Monday, December 29, 2008

Bittersweet Symphony



The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony is one of my all-time favorite songs. I don't know if the lyrics are the best I've ever heard, but I really enjoy the melody. Today was bittersweet for me. As usual, the Christmas season brings great excitement and joy, but once the family goes back home and I go back to work I am always a little depressed. Today was a momentous occasion for Shelly and I because today we became home owners! We closed on our townhouse and the place is now officially our own. This is very exciting for us. We will be happy to be moving out of our apartment and having a place we can really call our own. In a couple short months, we will have a baby girl and our life will change again forever. The year of 2008 has probably been the best year of my life - it was the first full year I've had a salaried job, I married a wonderful woman in June, Shelly and I are expecting a baby girl, and now I've bought my first home. All these things are joyous things, but it's also been a little stressful. So many life changing events in one year! Now that we are having a child and bought a townhouse, we've made a strong commitment. These events, while exciting and joyful, also all but guarantee that I will not be able to see my family in Indiana very often and this is very sad to me. I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas in Indiana. I saw my grandparents for the first time since the wedding. It was good to see them, but 2 days really isn't long. I saw my cousins/aunts/uncles for a couple hours. I got to see my parents and family a little longer since they came down to Atlanta with us, but 5 days isn't long when you consider a year is 365 days long, and with so many family members getting together during the holiday season it isn't often that we get to spend a lot of quality time with individual family members. This past week has taught me that we must TREASURE EVERY MOMENT we have on this earth. Every moment of our lives is special and we can never go back and relive our lives. Life is a series of changes both big and small. We can either treasure the time we have or we can worry our lives away. I prefer to treasure every moment and store every second I get to spend with my family in my mind and in my heart. As time goes by, many things will change in our lives but love will always remain in my heart for all of my family. While circumstances have led me further away from my family in Indiana, my love for my family only continues to grow. Sunday we celebrated the Holy Family. The Holy Family is the model family. All families are called to be like the Holy Family. All families have difficulties and my family is no different, but our family was a place of love just as the Holy Family was a place of love. Strong families are very important. God so loved the world that He sent His only Son and His Son was born to a Virgin Mary. He also had an earthly father figure in Joseph. This shows the importance of a strong family. It's not just a name giving to a group of related people, it's a way of living. It's a way of growing, learning, teaching and love. The family does not die when a member moves away. The strong family only grows closer the further apart they become. The strong family loves more as time passes. The strong family produces men and women who build strong families of their own. The strong family encourages faithfulness, a willingness to listen to God's call, and selflessness. May God bless all families on this day and always. I wish you all a Merry Christmas Season and a Happy New Year! God bless.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

So Much To Be Thankful For...

I am thankful for…

  • God (Father, Jesus Christ The Son, & The Holy Spirit)
  • The Church (especially my parish St. Michael the Archangel)
  • Shelly and our baby girl on the way
  • My entire family (mom, dad, brothers sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, mother and father in-law, and all my inlaws - all of you are the best!)
  • My friends
  • My job
  • Clothes, food and shelter
  • The United States of America
  • freedom
  • David Bereit and all the leaders of the Pro-Life movement
  • All those people who sacrifice and offer service to those less fortunate
  • life

I missed Thanksgiving with my family in Indiana for the first time in my life. Shelly and I went with her parents to Alabama to visit her family. I miss my Indiana family very much, but we'll be up to see you at Christmas. I hope you were able to have a great Thanksgiving despite my absence and I'm sure you did. I love you all so very much! By the way, I love you too in-laws.

So now that you've seen my list, what are you thankful for?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Responding to a Pro-Abortion Comment

You can find the post I made several months back here

“War is not inherently evil? Are you kidding me, terrorist caused this war because of their EVIL actions. Both of you are men. Try getting knocked up when you have been raped or have an abusive partner or are so broke the baby would suffer far far far more than having an abortion. Then get back to me when you actually put yourself in the situation. No one has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body ESPECIALLY a man!”

First of all, thank you for visiting my blog. I’m glad that you took the time to read through one of my posts. I would like to respond to your comment, so I hope you stick around to listen to my explanation to your comment. I believe that you truly believe that your position is the good and just position and although it is not, I believe that you have good intentions. I hope that as we discuss this issue, you might be able to see things in a different light and keep an open mind.

1) “War is not inherently evil? Are you kidding me, terrorist caused this war because of their EVIL actions.”

a. War can not be equally compared to abortion. War should be avoided at all costs. I’m not particularly happy about the war we are currently undertaking, but you just answered yourself about why we could justify the war. Terrorists caused the war through their evil actions. Do we not then have justification for defending ourselves from that evil act? The thinking when going to war was in hopes that it would PREVENT the loss off innocent human lives. Of course war will cause some innocent casualties, but it could also prevent future terrorist attacks – thus saving lives. We feel great sorrow for those soldiers to who die for their country. They are doing a great service to help protect our freedoms and their loss of life in war is very unfortunate. However, they do not die in vain. They join the service with the understanding that war is possible and their job is a dangerous one. These soldiers have lived in a free country and freely chose to join the military. The unborn do not chose to die. They are completely innocent and therefore abortion is an intrinsic evil.

2) “Both of you are men. Try getting knocked up when you have been raped

a. The fact that we are men does not mean that we can not understand what is right and wrong. There are many, many women who are pro-life as well. Have you talked to any of those women? Did you know that abortion actually hurts women? Several women who have had abortions regret their decision and become some of the most active pro-life advocates. Neither I nor any other man can know what it is like to be with child. I wish I could though because I think it must be an amazing feeling. I often ask my wife, who is now 17 weeks pregnant, how she feels. I ask her how she feels just thinking about the fact that our baby is alive in her womb. I just think that is so amazing and awesome. The development of a baby is a wonderful blessing and miracle from God. I will never get “knocked up” but I could be the spouse of a rape victim. God-willing that will never happen, but if it were to happen how should I feel? I will be furious. My anger will not be directed at the baby, but at the heinus act. Hopefully I will have the courage to forgive the rapist. I will feel violated just as my wife most certainly will feel. When we got married we were no longer two but one. Her pain is my pain. If I could take the pain away from my wife and bear it myself, I would do it in a second. If this action were to lead to conception of a baby how would I react and how would my wife react? Although this baby was not planned by us and the circumstances around the conception were terrible, I would not consider abortion unless my wife’s life was in serious danger. If I were in her situation, I would hope that my spouse had the same feeling. I would stand by my wife and comfort her any way that I could. I would cry with her and suffer with her in times of pain, but I would rejoice when the baby is born. This baby did not choose the circumstance of his or her conception. This baby is innocent of the rapist’s sin and is deserving of the right to life.

3) “or have an abusive partner”

a. If the woman has an abusive partner, I would hope that she seeks help. There are many people and places that can help in these situations. This should not however be a justification for abortion.

4) or are so broke the baby would suffer far far far more than having an abortion. Then get back to me when you actually put yourself in the situation.”

a. How broke is too broke? Who is to decide? Who is suffering when the woman has the abortion? Think about what you are saying here. If I’m a baby in my mother’s womb, I don’t care if she makes $2/day. I don’t care if my dad left my mom. I don’t care if my mom was raped. I just want to live. How in the world is receiving life “far, far, far” more suffering for the baby than the termination of life? Getting pulled out of my mother’s womb and crushed and killed is not suffering? Those people who are living in difficult financial or social circumstances have options such as adoption. Are you thinking about the baby or are you thinking about yourself when you base your decisions on financial reasons? Is it convenient for the baby or is it convenient for the mother. Is the convenient decision always the right decision? Think about the baby. I will never be a woman, but you will never be a man. How about you put yourself in my situation. It takes two people and God to make life. How am I as a man supposed to feel if the life I helped to create is destroyed before he or she is even born? It would be devastating to me. You cannot condemn me for being a man any more than I could condemn you for being a woman.

5) “No one has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body ESPECIALLY a man”

a. Those men are terrible! Honestly, not all men are bad. I’m sorry if you’ve had some bad male characters in your life, but not all men are evil. You know what I think is ironic? You say that no one has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body, but in abortion you are not only telling a future man or woman what to do with her body, but you are actually destroying their body and killing it. The baby is not the mother’s body, it is a separate being. It is a baby living inside the mother not a PART of the mother. This is essential to understand. When a man or woman counsels the mother and encourages them to chose life, they are not telling the woman what to do with her body but rather encouraging the mother to consider the life of the baby. As a man, I have just as much right as the mother to protect the life of our baby. If the baby were outside the womb and the mother decided life was too hard and she wanted to kill our baby, would I not have the right and responsibility to protect my child? So, I also should have the obligation to protect my child in the womb. Likewise if I was the neighbor and I knew that my neighbor was going to kill their young child, I would have the responsibility to protect the life of the child. We all are responsible in the protection of life, whether that life is born or unborn.

The issue of abortion is about the baby, not the mother. It only becomes about the mother if the mother’s life is compromised. That is not disrespecting the mother, but if we truly look at the issue of abortion we should realize that the choice is not usually about the health of the mother but that of the baby. If we can accept and understand that life begins at conception, if we can all come to see life as a blessing and our first inalienable right, we should all be on the same side – fighting for life. If the mother (and father) truly want what is best for THE BABY, then they will always chose life. I am very passionate about this issue, because I believe that if we can not understand the issue of abortion we cannot understand life. The church has also been very clear about the gravity of the issue of abortion. Every life is a blessing. Abortion is killing. Remember the commandments, thou shall not kill. When pro-abortion people bring up war, they are just diverting the issue. We aren’t talking about war, we are talking about abortion. What is the right choice? Who is making the choice? The life of the mother, father and baby all need to be considered, but the choice must always be life. It is a blessing and it is a right. No one has the right to kill innocent lives, and that includes mothers.

Please pray for the conversion of the woman who made these comments and for the conversion of all those of like mind. I'd like to hear what my loyal readers think about the issues this anonymous poster brought up and my response. Just please remember to be respectful. We are all God’s children. We can more easily touch the hearts and minds of others if we always respond in a respectful and loving way. Hopefully all will come to understand the great gift of life and the issue of abortion will become an unthinkable choice. Please continue to pray for the unborn, the parents of the unborn, and the lives of all the innocent and less fortunate, and the lives of all those that are effected when innocent lives are taken. Go and make disciples of all people. God bless you all.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

US Bishops United Against FOCA

Cardinal George Voices Hope for Obama Administration, Points to Possible Obstacles to Our Desired Unity

BALTIMORE—Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), voiced hope for the Obama Administration but pointed to possible obstacles to our desired unity, in a Nov. 12 statement at the end of the annual fall assembly of the USCCB.

"The bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States welcome this moment of historic transition and look forward to working with President-elect Obama and the members of the new Congress for the common good of all," he said.

He said that "the unity desired by President-elect Obama and all Americans at this moment of crisis will be impossible to achieve," if the administration's policies increase abortions.

"Aggressive pro-abortion policies, legislation and executive orders will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans, and would be seen by many as an attack on the free exercise of their religion."

"We express again our great desire to work with all those who cherish the common good of our nation," he added. "The common good is not the sum total of individual interests: it is achieved in the working out of a common life based upon good reason and good will for all."

Cardinal George's remarks follow.

STATEMENT of the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
"If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do its builders labor; if the Lord does not watch over the city, in vain does the watchman keep vigil." (Psalm 127, vs. 1)

The Bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States welcome this moment of historic transition and look forward to working with President-elect Obama and the members of the new Congress for the common good of all. Because of the Church's history and the scope of her ministries in this country, we want to continue our work for economic justice and opportunity for all; our efforts to reform laws around immigration and the situation of the undocumented; our provision of better education and adequate health care for all, especially for women and children; our desire to safeguard religious freedom and foster peace at home and abroad. The Church is intent on doing good and will continue to cooperate gladly with the government and all others working for these goods.

The fundamental good is life itself, a gift from God and our parents. A good state protects the lives of all. Legal protection for those members of the human family waiting to be born in this country was removed when the Supreme Court decided Roe vs. Wade in 1973. This was bad law. The danger the Bishops see at this moment is that a bad court decision will be enshrined in bad legislation that is more radical than the 1973 Supreme Court decision itself.

In the last Congress, a Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) was introduced that would, if brought forward in the same form today, outlaw any "interference" in providing abortion at will. It would deprive the American people in all fifty states of the freedom they now have to enact modest restraints and regulations on the abortion industry. FOCA would coerce all Americans into subsidizing and promoting abortion with their tax dollars. It would counteract any and all sincere efforts by government and others of good will to reduce the number of abortions in our country.

Parental notification and informed consent precautions would be outlawed, as would be laws banning procedures such as partial-birth abortion and protecting infants born alive after a failed abortion. Abortion clinics would be deregulated. The Hyde Amendment restricting the federal funding of abortions would be abrogated. FOCA would have lethal consequences for prenatal human life.

FOCA would have an equally destructive effect on the freedom of conscience of doctors, nurses and health care workers whose personal convictions do not permit them to cooperate in the private killing of unborn children. It would threaten Catholic health care institutions and Catholic Charities. It would be an evil law that would further divide our country, and the Church should be intent on opposing evil.

On this issue, the legal protection of the unborn, the bishops are of one mind with Catholics and others of good will. They are also pastors who have listened to women whose lives have been diminished because they believed they had no choice but to abort a baby. Abortion is a medical procedure that kills, and the psychological and spiritual consequences are written in the sorrow and depression of many women and men. The bishops are single-minded because they are, first of all, single-hearted.

The recent election was principally decided out of concern for the economy, for the loss of jobs and homes and financial security for families, here and around the world. If the election is misinterpreted ideologically as a referendum on abortion, the unity desired by President-elect Obama and all Americans at this moment of crisis will be impossible to achieve. Abortion kills not only unborn children; it destroys constitutional order and the common good, which is assured only when the life of every human being is legally protected. Aggressively pro-abortion policies, legislation and executive orders will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans, and would be seen by many as an attack on the free exercise of their religion.

This statement is written at the request and direction of all the Bishops, who also want to thank all those in politics who work with good will to protect the lives of the most vulnerable among us. Those in public life do so, sometimes, at the cost of great sacrifice to themselves and their families; and we are grateful. We express again our great desire to work with all those who cherish the common good of our nation. The common good is not the sum total of individual desires and interests; it is achieved in the working out of a common life based upon good reason and good will for all.

Our prayers accompany President-elect Obama and his family and those who are cooperating with him to assure a smooth transition in government. Many issues demand immediate attention on the part of our elected "watchman." (Psalm 127) May God bless him and our country.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

40 Days for Life - Survey

40 Days for Life is conducting a survey. If you participated in the fall 40 Days for Life campaign or even if you think you might be interested in participating in future 40 Days for Life campaigns, please fill out this short survey. I encourage you to get involved. It is a tough but very rewarding ministry and one that can save lives. Sometimes success can not be measured in numbers, but I believe that the more people we can get to become actively involved in the pro-life cause, the more lives we can save. Thanks and God bless!

Survey

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Barack Obama Promises to Sign FOCA

Please sign a petition against FOCA. I have already done so and it is quick and easy. It takes 1 minute. Please click on the Ad on the right side of my blog to sign the petition. It is critical for the Pro-Life movement that FOCA is shot down. Obama has already stated this will be the first thing he does when he gets into office. Let's make sure that this is not the case.



FOCA Would Wipe Away Every Restriction on Abortion Nationwide

This would eradicate state and federal laws that the majority of Americans support, such as:
  • Bans on Partial Birth Abortion
  • Requirements that women be given information about the risks of getting an abortion
  • Only licensed physicians can perform abortions
  • Parents must be informed and give consent to their minor daughter's abortion
FOCA would erase these laws and prevent states from enacting similar protective measures in the future.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's A Girl

Shelly had an ultrasound this morning and we found out that we are having a girl. Shelly and I are very excited. We really didn’t have a preference, but we are very happy to see that the baby is doing well. We were able to see her head, spine, hands and fingers, legs, and heartbeat. It’s awesome hearing the doctor say there is your baby girl. Our girl is not yet born, but she is a baby and we love her very much.

God works in mysterious ways. I told Shelly that I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we found out the sex of our baby the day after the presidential election. Obviously I’m very disappointed in the outcome, but being able to see my baby girl today gave me great hope and joy. Our country is going through difficult times not only financially but morally as well. People are confused or simply ignorant of several very important social issues of our time. It would be easy for one to wake up today with an empty feeling of hopelessness. I myself was very disappointed last night, but we must not despair. If we ever become complacent, we are not fulfilling our duty as good Christians. We must work harder now than ever before to fight for what is good and right. We must not be afraid. Tonight, thousands of pro-life leaders will be joining in a teleconference to discuss our next move considering the election results. I will not be joining the conference, but they will be recording and I will listen to the conference when it is posted on the 40 Days For Life website. I expect it to be very encouraging and hopeful. We just recently completed the Fall 40 Days For Life campaign, but those who participated are not stopping at 40 days. Why not 365 days for life? The abortionists don’t stop so neither should we. We must be as strong now as ever before in our convictions and we must never give up our freedoms nor give up fighting for the freedoms of those less fortunate. God bless!

P.S. – We have a couple names picked out but have not yet made a final decision. We plan on keeping the name a secret until the big day. I know that’s always exciting to find out what name the parents will chose, but the most important thing is the health of the baby. We appreciate all your prayers.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Where Our Country Might Be Headed

If Obama is elected you can count on him to keep at least one of his promises, there will be change. Too bad that change will be for the worse. My pastor at my church, Father Larry, gave a couple great homilies leading up to this election. He has worked hard to form the conscious of the parish faithful, but many will ignore his words and the Church’s teachings. Father Larry emphasized the importance of the abortion issue and how it is morally wrong to support someone who is so strongly for abortion and who has publicly said he’ll do everything in his power to see that abortions continue. Father Larry and Pope John Paul II have had the foresight to see what damage can be done when life is not respected or valued. Father Larry told me personally and repeated in his homily that he would not back down, he would not be silenced, and he was not afraid. He shared with us in the parish that in the not so distant future, we might see our pastor headed to jail. Wow. This certainly caught our attention. He noted that we have already seen signs in places like Canada where clergy are being locked up for “hate speech” and don’t be surprised if this starts happening here under an Obama presidency. The culture of death is more advanced in Europe, but the United States is headed in that direction.

What many people fail to realize is that we are talking about more than just the issue of abortion. Even though the issue of abortion is enough reason to not vote for Obama, Obama’s socialistic economic policies are linked to his cultural and social positions. His policies will destroy the family. When innocent life is not protected, the rights of all of us will be diminished. It won’t all happen at once, but gradually we will start seeing the government grow and have more control over our lives. It will become power over the people as opposed to power of the people. We are looking at changing the very thing that has made this the greatest country on earth. I hope and pray that I am wrong and that an Obama presidency won’t lead us down this path, but it is very possible. If democrats win control of the senate, there may be no stopping these very liberal laws, homosexual "marriages", and Obama's first priority when he gets into office is to sign the "Freedom of Choice" bill - a bill that will legalize abortion in all cases including partial birth abortion (and this is supposed to limit abortions how? - to those voting for Obama, say they are against abortion, but that that the president won't make a difference in the number of abortions). John McCain is not perfect, but he is the far lesser of evils in this election. Your vote counts. Those of like mind, please fulfill your duty to vote tomorrow. There is much at stake. If we wake up Wednesday morning with a disappointing outcome, let us not despair. That only means that we must work harder to protect our rights and the rights of others. Let your voice be heard and have no fear. Regardless of the outcome tomorrow, we must continue to live our lives as good Christians. We must never lose hope. Below are a couple opinion articles that I found and thought were good. I encourage you to read the links below. God bless.
http://www.newsweek.com/id/163896
http://catholicinsight.com/online/political/article_854.shtml
http://www.pewsitter.com/view_news_id_12350.php
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/11/03/an-open-letter-to-our-fellow-catholics-on-election-eve/

Sunday, November 2, 2008

An Election Prayer to Mary


O Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, at this most critical time, we entrust the United States of America to your loving care.

Most Holy Mother, we beg you to reclaim this land for the glory of your Son. Overwhelmed with the burden of the sins of our nation, we cry to you from the depths of our hearts and seek refuge in your motherly protection.

Look down with mercy upon us and touch the hearts of our people. Open our minds to the great worth of human life and to the responsibilities that accompany human freedom.

Free us from the falsehoods that lead to the evil of abortion and threaten the sanctity of family life. Grant our country the wisdom to proclaim that God's law is the foundation on which this nation was founded, and that He alone is the True Source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

O Merciful Mother, give us the courage to reject the culture of death and the strength to build a new Culture of Life.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tebow Family Ignored Doctor, Chose Life

If Tim Tebow's mother and father listened to their doctor's recommendation, Tim Tebow would not be with us today. You can hear his mother talk about it here.

Today there is a big football game between Georgia and Florida. I am a huge Georgia fan, but I am also a big Tim Tebow fan. I will be rooting for my bulldogs for sure, but I wish nothing but the best for Tim Tebow (after this game of course). From everything I've heard about him, he is a great person and he comes from a great family. He is a very talented football player that has inspired thousands of Florida fans and even fans of other teams. Thank God that his parents chose life and may God touch the hearts and minds of those people who encounter doctors who encourage abortion. May God give them strength and help them realize it is a baby and not just some tissue. Don't forget to click on the link above to listen to the audio and God bless! Go Georgia Bulldogs!

Monday, October 27, 2008

100th Post!!!

I have now made it to my 100th post! I'd like to thank all of my loyal readers. Without you, I doubt I would have even made it to 50 posts. I have made some changes throughout the year+ that I've been writing this blog. I have added some links on the right side of the blog. I invite you to click on these links occasionally, especially the recommended links. As I find more good resources that promote life, I'll be sure to post them as well. If you have any comments or recommendations, I welcome your thoughts. Below I have listed 10 of my favorite/most popular posts. The post may be old, but the message never gets old. If you missed some of my older posts, you can always go back and find all my posts in the blog archive also on the right side of the blog. Once again, thank you all and God bless!

In God's Image and Likeness

How is Faith Lost?

Middle School Provides Birth Control

Anxiety

Empathy

I Know Just Two Certainties

Happy Father's Day

Will Catholic Vote Be the Difference?

Christian Responsibility

Respect Life Sunday

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My First Prayer Vigil at Abortion Facility

This morning I kept my promise and I went with 5 women from St. Michael the Archangel to the nearest abortion facility to pray. When we got there at 7am, there were already several people from St. Thomas the Apostle. Total, we had 42 people. My arms are a little sore from holding signs for 3 hours. It is a pain that am happy to endure. We were not allowed real close to the abortion facility, but we were able to stand on the sidewalk on the main road. I was not able to see any of the women enter the abortion clinic, but I heard that there were 15 abortions at this location today. They average 20-30 abortions on Saturdays, so hopefully our presence dissuaded some women but even 1 is too many and I left sad that I couldn't dissuade more. One of the abortionists from the facility spoke to one of the leaders of the prayer vigil as he was driving away. The abortionist was trying to rationalize what he is doing by stating there is a large number of children available for adoption. The number he gave was not accurate, but the fact that he even took the time to talk to this woman shows that it is bothering him. The day was mostly peaceful. We had a couple men drive by and honk their horn and yell and one man drove by and showed us his middle finger. Despite these few, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Several honked in agreement, some waved and gave a thumbs up.

Of the 6 people from St. Michael the Archangel that went to pray, this was the first time for 3 of us and one of the women hadn't been in a prayer vigil for 5 years. This is very exciting. Obviously, I was the only man from our small group and all the women were very pleased to see me there. So much so that one asked if I would "tell my story" and asked if I wanted to set up a committee. I said I would do anything that I can to help spread the pro-life message. One woman with us is a hairdresser and was thinking of more ways that she can make a difference. She voiced an idea of forming a "hairdressers for life" group that would donate 50% to pro-life activities. Many good people are doing many good things and many good ideas were tossed around. There are many ministries that you can get involved in, but I encouraged you to get involved in at least one. I've just done this once and it is already so rewarding to me. I plan on continuing participating in pro-life ministry. Please consider what you can do to make a difference and go out and do it!

Thanks for all of you who have wished me a happy birthday. Thank you mom and dad for choosing life. God bless!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

As Christians, we are called to live of life of service to God and others. Perhaps no one has ever so eloquently spoken about our call to service than Saint Francis of Assisi. This is one of my favorite prayers. May we keep these words on our mind and in in our hearts.
---
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen
---

Happy birthday Elizabeth! I hope you have a great day everyday, but especially on this day - you little nut! God bless!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stay Strong

Planned Parenthood is not happy about the 40 Days For Life Campaign. We are seeing several instances where people are being persecuted for peacefully praying outside abortion clinics. We are now just past the half way point in the 40 Days For Life Campaign. The other night I participated in a webcast for 40 Days For Life's midpoint rally. It was very inspirational. There are many great people working very hard to end abortion. It is very important in this election season to make abortion the number one voting issue. If a politician does not respect the life of the most innocent person, an infant, what makes us think he'll respect our life? How can we trust a man with those convictions? We can't and we should not vote for such a person. Our country needs a conversion of heart. We need to overturn Roe vs. Wade and be the leader in the world in promoting life. All this said, the president will not make this happen. We must make this happen. The abortion problem is not here because of who's sitting in the White House, it's still here because we, good Christian men and women are sitting in our house. We must go out and join those in prayer, fasting and community outreach. We should make it a priority to take on this issue and educate people about the evils of abortion. I am at fault as well. I have not done nearly enough. I must do more. For this reason, I will make my first ever trip to an abortion clinic here in Marietta, GA at 7:00 AM on my birthday - October 25th. This is a great sacrifice, but in the grand scheme of things my sacrifice is very small. I can think of no better way to celebrate my birthday than to go to the abortion clinic and pray for an end to abortion. Below is an email I received today from the director of 40 Days For Life. Stay strong and never lose faith. We WILL end abortion in this country. God bless!


Dear Mike,
Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortionchain, does NOT like 40 Days for Life.
The billion-dollar organization -- that rakes in$336.7 million tax dollars each year while aborting289,750 children -- is always fighting to protect itsbottom line.
And it has brought out one of its tired old ploys forthis fall's 40 Days for Life -- a campaign it calls"Pledge-a-Picket."
Planned Parenthood supporters are asked to make adonation for each person who prays outside itsfacilities, claiming that pro-lifers are helpingto raise money for the abortion business.
Planned Parenthood has been using this tactic innumerous cities across the country where 40 Days forLife campaigns are disrupting customer income.
To further demonstrate how much 40 Days for Life isimpacting Planned Parenthood's revenue stream, theorganization has now rolled out a national campaignattempting to counter the impact of 40 Days for Lifewhile raising funds for the abortion operation.
They use a web-based blog called, "I am Emily X,"which uses a made-up character that represents, "asmall group of Planned Parenthood employees," whocontinually accuse 40 Days for Life participants ofharassing clinic workers and customers.
To give an example, the blog reported this Tuesdayfrom Nebraska where the abortion workers have countedmore than 350 volunteers participating in the 40 Daysfor Life campaign thus far. (Great job, Nebraska!)
"Emily X" then condemns a group of Catholic priestsand lay people who came out to peacefully pray therosary together outside their doors, saying, "I worryabout how intimidating the sound of all those voicesat once can be," before claiming that the rosary,"has been corrupted as a tool to frighten women."
That's what they call intimidation?
First of all, if Planned Parenthood triesPledge-a-Picket in your community, please don'tchange what you're doing!
You are NOT raising money for Planned Parenthood.This is a deceptive campaign meant to dissuadefaithful people whose prayers are cutting in to theabortion chain's bottom line. You are praying to endthe evil of abortion -- PLEASE DON'T STOP!
Devanie Cooper, the local 40 Days for Lifecoordinator in Memphis, gave a great answer when aWREG-TV reporter asked her about Pledge-a-Picket."Prayer and fasting works better than money does,"she said. "We're going to win this; God's going towin this."
The 40 Days for Life team in Manchester, NewHampshire is noting the real effect this campaign ishaving on Planned Parenthood.
Mike and his wife pray outside near the end of thebusiness day. "We observe that the people working atthe clinic leave all at once and very quickly inorder to avoid any interaction with us," he said. "Ibelieve that deep down in their souls they know thatwhat they are doing is evil."
I suspect that the 40 Days for Life team in Spokane,Washington is having a similar impact. Why else wouldPlanned Parenthood send eight of its own employeesoutside with signs promoting "choice"?
"Two or three more joined them within the next halfhour," said Inga. "They lined up on the curb oneither side of our prayer volunteers, with an'in-your-face' attitude, mocking us with their looksand laughter. This was the first time in eithercampaign that we have encountered this kind ofpersecution."
Inga said only two people were signed up to pray atthe vigil when this happened, but God had otherplans. The people who were scheduled to leave thevigil stayed and kept praying -- and other peoplekept arriving to join them until more than two dozenfaithful believers were gathered in prayer outside ofPlanned Parenthood.
When 5 o'clock came, the Planned Parenthood employeesgave up and went home. But the 40 Days for Life teamcontinued to pray.
"We all felt great cause for rejoicing that we hadbeen found worthy to suffer for truth and life," Ingasaid. "Truly, this is a sign that we are somehowgetting under their skin, disrupting business,causing women to not keep their appointments,possibly even saving lives of babies and keepingwomen from a lifetime of regret."
Please keep Planned Parenthood and its employees inyour prayers. A call to conversion can be extremelyunsettling to those being called. But the call isstrong, and it is real.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Back Home Again

We just got back home from our trip to Bowling Green. We had a really good time. It's been so long since I've seen my family and I got to see them all except my brother Steve (who was on a trip in North Carolina) and my sister Anna (who had homecoming this weekend). I also got to meet my nephew Sam for the first time and he is so cute. He's a very big boy. I told his dad that he looks like an offensive tackle or linebacker. I'm glad to be back home, but I never like to leave my family.

This morning at church I was almost overcome by my emotions. When I went up to receive the Eucharist, I caught sight of my mom who was holding Sam. She had the biggest smile on her face. It almost made me cry and I don't even know why. I guess I just had so many emotions flowing at the time. I was trying to concentrate on receiving the body of Christ, but at that one moment I was overwhelmed. I had felt an almost uncontrollable love. I thought about how I am soon to become a parent and I can only hope that I am half the parent for my child as my parents were and continue to be for me. I just have the best family in the world and I am so thankful. I'm a momma's boy. Always was and I guess I always will be. I'll always cherish and love my family and the time I get to spend with my family. That duration of time has dwindled but the quality of time has never been greater. I look forward to our next meeting (most likely Christmas) and I love you all!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I'm Going to Be a Dad!!!

Praise God! Please keep my wife and our baby in your prayers. I pray every day for their health. God has blessed me so much and I can't wait to experience all the great blessings our baby will provide my family. I'm so blessed. Praise God. God bless!

THIS IS LIFE!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Respect Life Sunday

-The following letter was read at mass this morning. Please read the whole letter, and reflect on the bishop's words. They are incredibly powerful and true! I have bolded the sections that I believe are especially important. Please forward this on to everyone you know and help spread the word. Thank you and God bless!-

A PASTORAL LETTER FROM BISHOP MARTINO
(Bishop of Scranton, PA)

My brothers and sisters in Christ,

The American Catholic bishops initiated Respect Life Sunday in 1972, the year before the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the United States. Since that time, Catholics across the country observe the month of October with devotions and pro-life activities in order to advance the culture of life. This October, our efforts have more significance than ever. Never have we seen such abusive criticism directed toward those who believe that life begins at conception and ends at natural death.

As Catholics, we should not be surprised by these developments. Forty years ago, Pope Paul VI predicted that widespread use of artificial contraceptives would lead to increased marital infidelity, lessened regard for women, and a general lowering of moral standards especially among the young. Forty years later, social scientists, not necessarily Catholics, attest to the accuracy of his predictions. As if following some bizarre script, the sexual revolution has produced widespread marital breakdown, weakened family ties, legalized abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, pornography, same-sex unions, euthanasia, destruction of human embryos for research purposes and a host of other ills.

It is impossible for me to answer all of the objections to the Church’s teaching on life that we hear every day in the media. Nevertheless, let me address a few. To begin, laws that protect abortion constitute injustice of the worst kind. They rest on several false claims including that there is no certainty regarding when life begins, that there is no certainty about when a fetus becomes a person, and that some human beings may be killed to advance the interests or convenience of others. With regard to the first, reason and science have answered the question. The life of a human being begins at conception. The Church has long taught this simple truth, and science confirms it. Biologists can now show you the delicate and beautiful development of the human embryo in its first days of existence. This is simply a fact that reasonable people accept. Regarding the second, the embryo and the fetus have the potential to do all that an adult person does. Finally, the claim that the human fetus may be sacrificed to the interests or convenience of his mother or someone else is grievously wrong. All three claims have the same result: the weakest and most vulnerable are denied, because of their age, the most basic protection that we demand for ourselves. This is discrimination at its worst, and no person of conscience should support it.

Another argument goes like this: “As wrong as abortion is, I don't think it is the only relevant ‘life’ issue that should be considered when deciding for whom to vote.” This reasoning is sound only if other issues carry the same moral weight as abortion does, such as in the case of euthanasia and destruction of embryos for research purposes. Health care, education, economic security, immigration, and taxes are very important concerns. Neglect of any one of them has dire consequences as the recent financial crisis demonstrates. However, the solutions to problems in these areas do not usually involve a rejection of the sanctity of human life in the way that abortion does. Being “right” on taxes, education, health care, immigration, and the economy fails to make up for the error of disregarding the value of a human life. Consider this: the finest health and education systems, the fairest immigration laws, and the soundest economy do nothing for the child who never sees the light of day. It is a tragic irony that “pro-choice” candidates have come to support homicide – the gravest injustice a society can tolerate – in the name of “social justice.”

Even the Church’s just war theory has moral force because it is grounded in the principle that innocent human life must be protected and defended. Now, a person may, in good faith, misapply just war criteria leading him to mistakenly believe that an unjust war is just, but he or she still knows that innocent human life may not be harmed on purpose. A person who supports permissive abortion laws, however, rejects the truth that innocent human life may never be destroyed. This profound moral failure runs deeper and is more corrupting of the individual, and of the society, than any error in applying just war criteria to particular cases.

Furthermore, National Right to Life reports that 48.5 million abortions have been performed since 1973. One would be too many. No war, no natural disaster, no illness or disability has claimed so great a price.

In saying these things in an election year, I am in very good company. My predecessor, Bishop Timlin, writing his pastoral letter on Respect Life Sunday 2000, stated the case eloquently:

Abortion is the issue this year and every year in every campaign. Catholics may not turn away from the moral challenge that abortion poses for those who seek to obey God’s commands. They are wrong when they assert that abortion does not concern them, or that it is only one of a multitude of issues of equal importance. No, the taking of innocent human life is so heinous, so horribly evil, and so absolutely opposite to the law of Almighty God that abortion must take precedence over every other issue. I repeat. It is the single most important issue confronting not only Catholics, but the entire electorate.

My fellow bishops, writing ten years ago, explained why some evils – abortion and euthanasia in particular – take precedence over other forms of violence and abuse.

The failure to protect life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the ‘rightness’ of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community. If we understand the human person as ‘the temple of the Holy Spirit’ – the living house of God – then these latter issues fall logically into place as the crossbeams and walls of that house. All direct attacks on innocent human life, such as abortion and euthanasia, strike at the house’s foundation [emphasis in the original]. These directly and immediately violate the human person’s most fundamental right – the right to life. Neglect of these issues is the equivalent of building our house on sand. Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics, 23.

While the Church assists the State in the promotion of a just society, its primary concern is to assist men and women in achieving salvation. For this reason, it is incumbent upon bishops to correct Catholics who are in error regarding these matters. Furthermore, public officials who are Catholic and who persist in public support for abortion and other intrinsic evils should not partake in or be admitted to the sacrament of Holy Communion. As I have said before, I will be vigilant on this subject.

It is the Church’s role now to be a prophet in our own country, reminding all citizens of what our founders meant when they said that “. . . all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Church’s teaching that all life from conception to natural death should be protected by law is founded on religious belief to be sure, but it is also a profoundly American principle founded on reason. Whenever a society asks its citizens to violate its own foundational principles – as well as their moral consciences – citizens have a right, indeed an obligation, to refuse.

In 1941, Bishop Gustave von Galen gave a homily condemning Nazi officials for murdering mentally ill people in his diocese of Muenster, Germany. The bishop said:

“Thou shalt not kill!” God wrote this commandment in the conscience of man long before any penal code laid down the penalty for murder, long before there was any prosecutor or any court to investigate and avenge a murder. Cain, who killed his brother Abel, was a murderer long before there were any states or any courts or law. And he confessed his deed, driven by his accusing conscience: “My punishment is greater than I can bear. . . and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me the murderer shall slay me” (Genesis 4:13-14)”

Should he have opposed the war and remained silent about the murder of the mentally ill? No person of conscience can fail to understand why Bishop von Galen spoke as he did.

My dear friends, I beg you not to be misled by confusion and lies. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, does not ask us to follow him to Calvary only for us to be afraid of contradicting a few bystanders along the way. He does not ask us to take up his Cross only to have us leave it at the voting booth door. Recently, Pope Benedict XVI said that “God is so humble that he uses us to spread his Word.” The gospel of life, which we have the privilege of proclaiming, resonates in the heart of every person – believer and non-believer – because it fulfills the heart’s most profound desire. Let us with one voice continue to speak the language of love and affirm the right of every human being to have the value of his or her life, from conception to natural death, respected to the highest degree.

October is traditionally the month of the Rosary. Let us pray the Rosary for the strength and fortitude to uphold the truths of our faith and the requirements of our law to all who deny them. And, let us ask Our Lady to bless our nation and the weakest among us.

May Mary, the mother of Jesus, the Lord of Life, pray for us.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Joseph F. Martino, D.D., Hist. E.D.
Bishop of Scranton

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Respect People, Not Immoral Opinions

I have great respect for people. We all should respect one another, because we are all great gifts from God. Sure we are all sinners, but we must have respect for life and love our neighbors. However, we should not confuse a respect for a person with respect for all opinions. What do I mean by this? I think I can best explain this by giving an example of a common argument given by pro-choice (mothers choice to kill their unborn babies) advocates. First of all, I’d like to point out that these people are not pro-choice in the true sense because they are just advocating that the mother has a choice in whether or not to terminate the life of her baby. Last time I checked, that does not include giving the father a choice or the unborn baby a choice. Is not the father also involved in the creation of the life forming inside the woman? Since the unborn can not speak up for themselves, we must be the voice for the unborn. For this reason, I label people who are for abortion pro-abortion as opposed to pro-choice. It more accurately labels their position. Some will say they are not for abortion, but they don’t feel they can tell another woman what to do. Newsflash people, that is the same thing as advocating the abortion. Think about it!

A common argument given by pro-abortion advocates is that they don’t feel they have the “right” to tell a mother what to do with her body. They don’t think it’s fair to legislate on an issue of “choice”. They say they want to limit the number of abortions, but they think that keeping abortion legal and using taxpayer dollars to fund institutions like Planned Parenthood will help limit abortions? I think not. Another phrase that irks me is that Planned Parenthood helps to solve “unwanted pregnancies”. Unwanted by whom? The parents? The future grandparents? Society? Every life is a gift from God and just because a couple does not “plan” to have a baby does not mean the baby is unwanted. That is a terrible thing to say and is completely untrue.

I can respect a person who has a pro-abortion view on life. I can respect that they have been given the great gift of life and with that great gift of life comes a gift of free will. I respect that others might have differing opinions than my own. My opinion may not always be the correct opinion, but certain truths have been revealed by God that are not debatable. Life is a moral issue. Those who do not respect life must be confronted in a peaceful but serious way. If one does not respect life, that will most likely lead to several misguided and potentially very dangerous outlooks on life. I cannot respect the immoral opinions that go against God’s teachings and most fundamental truths. I respect the fact that all people are capable of having an opinion, but I must not agree or respect the opinion itself.

Sharing with people the love God has for each one of us is not disrespectful. If anything, talking about tough issues like abortion is the ultimate sign of respect. It is not acceptable to agree to disagree on an issue so great as the issue of abortion. This is a life or death issue and it must be discussed. If a pro-abortion person is uncomfortable talking about abortion, maybe there is a reason for that. Maybe they know deep down inside that abortion is wrong. It is our responsibility to reach out to these people. When we do, we must not be condescending and mean. We must approach these people with the respect that they deserve and always with the goal of helping them understand the greatness and fullness of life. We are not forcing our ideas upon them, but we are offering them tools to discover what is right. We must do this. Jesus tells us we must reach out to those who are in need and millions of unborn are in need of our help.

So next time when you hear someone say they can not force their opinions on anyone else, let them know that they did exactly what the said they would not do: forced their opinion on you. When politicians say that they can not legislate what a woman decides to do or not do with her body, bring up the fact that all our laws are based on choices. Pro-abortion is not pro-choice. If we do nothing, we are not part of the solution but part of the problem. Do not be afraid to voice your opinion, but be prepared for a negative reaction. Strong opinions will always be greeted with strong reactions. Know that many people will criticize and ridicule you. Jesus was no stranger to criticism and ridicule. Do what you know is right and reach out to those who are in need. Respect all people, including the unborn and people in all stages of life, and respectfully communicate with those who do not know or understand God and his great love for all. Do not be afraid, God is with you. God bless you all!

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Feast of St. Michael the Archangel



Today is Michaelmas Day, the feast of St. Michael the Archangel. This day holds particular interest to me because St. Michael the Archangel is my patron saint. Let us remember St. Michael the Archangel as we pray.

Saint Michael the Archangel, Defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Sign That 40 Days For Life is Working

*******************ACTION NEEDED********************

Please contact the New York City Council immediately
at (212) 788-7116 or use the online form posted at:
http://snipurl.com/3vsoy

Ask them to stop the proposed "clinic access" bill
that attempts to silence 40 Days for Life and other
pro-life efforts.
****************************************************

Link
Abortion Proponents' Clinic Proposal Attacks Peaceful 40 Days for Life vigils in New York
Contact: Amber Dolle, 40 Days for Life, 804-852-2979

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 /Christian Newswire/ --"It's no coincidence that on the opening day of this fall's nationwide 40 Days for Life campaign, a New York city council member joined with prominent abortion advocacy groups at city hall to propose sweeping new legislation designed to stifle peaceful pro-life expression on the streets of the nation's largest city," said David Bereit, national campaign director of 40 Days for Life. "This proposal flies in the face of both freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, and reasonable New Yorkers won't tolerate it."

The proposal would create 15-foot buffer zones around "reproductive health care facilities" and seems to target, among others, Chris Slattery, who directs 40 Days for Life campaigns in the Bronx and Queens and has a history of effective pro-life activism as president of Expectant Mother Care-EMC FrontLine Pregnancy Centers.

Under the plan, clinics would be permitted to file harassment charges against anyone within the 15-foot area without even having to prove intent. "This legislation is clearly intended to harass and intimidate peaceful people who are often simply standing and praying; when they do speak to women outside the facilities, they're not 'harassing' anyone," said Bereit. "The simple fact is that telling people the truth about abortion is detrimental for the clinics' business."

"These mostly volunteer street counselors," agreed Slattery, "often hurt abortion businesses by successfully and peacefully dissuading abortion patients from entering their sites when offered free help, education, medical care and housing."

The legislative proposal was announced at a news conference that included representatives of Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the New York Civil Liberties Union and Dr. Emily's Women's Health Center - an abortion corporation whose Bronx location is the site of a 40 Days for Life prayer vigil.

Slattery says he will vigorously oppose the legislation. "Within minutes of learning of this new proposed bill on Wednesday, I contacted David Bereit, and we have begun assembling a crack legal team and activist support network for a full scale counter-attack against this unfair, biased and blatantly unconstitutional bill," he said.

The 40 Days for Life campaign is a community-based effort that is going on in more than 170 cities from coast to coast. It began September 24 and continues through November 2.

Monday, September 22, 2008

40 Days For Life



40 Days for Life starts this Wednesday, September 24th. Please consider joining me in participating in 40 Days for Life. This is the first time I have heard of this campaign and I am very excited to participate for the first time. In order to participate you may do one or all of three things: Pray and fast, prayer and vigil outside a Planned Parenthood center or abortion clinic, and community outreach. Please visit the website and read more about this great campaign for life. In addition to the three things listed above, I encourage you to sign up to receive daily emails about 40 Days for Life and participate in the daily devotional. You can find all this information on the website. Prayer is very powerful and with your help, we can end abortion. We are already seeing great things happening. Talk with people in your church and in your community. Spread the word about 40 days for life. God bless!


---

Prayer and fasting

As you prepare for the fall 40 Days for Life campaign (September 24 - November 2), please remember that prayer and fasting are the foundation. If there is no abortion facility in your town, praise God! But wherever you are or whatever you're doing, you can pray to end abortion. And you can pray for God's guidance for those involved in prayer vigils and pro-life action around the country.

Also please consider fasting. Some people are unable to fast from food for health reasons; that's understandable. Fasting simply involves renouncing an activity that can put a barrier between you and God. It could be television, the internet, chocolate, coffee, etc. You really can do without it. Take the time you usually spend in those activities and give it back to God.

To help guide your prayer, we have a 40-day series of devotionals that accompany the 40 Days for Life campaign. They are all posted for your convenience. You can still pray, even if a formal campaign is not currently being conducted. God will use your 40-day commitment to prayer in some way, in some fashion.

Specific prayer requests are also included in the 40 Days for Life e-mail updates. Please use the form on this page to receive these important messages.


Constant vigil

The visible, public centerpiece of 40 Days for Life is a 40-day, round-the-clock prayer vigil outside a Planned Parenthood center or other abortion facility in your community.

It is a peaceful and educational presence. Those who are called to stand witness, this 24-hour-a-day presence send a powerful message to the community about the tragic reality of abortion. It also serves as a call to repentance for those who work at the abortion center and those who patronize the facility.

If you do not have an abortion facility or Planned Parenthood office in your town, you can still conduct 40 Days for Life. However, you will need to select a different location which has some strategic significance ... perhaps near city hall, a courthouse, or a highly visible intersection.


Community outreach

During 40 Days for Life, the pro-life message is proactively taken to every corner of your community.

A door-to-door petition and education drive reaches out to every household in your town or city. Informational flyers are distributed in neighborhoods to raise awareness about the local crisis of abortion. Citizens are invited to sign a petition of support for the sanctity of human life, and people are given the opportunity to visibly show their support for 40 Days for Life by wearing wristbands, placing signs in their yards, or displaying bumper stickers on their vehicles.

This one activity alone can help a community rapidly identify hundreds, or even thousands, of pro-life supporters during the 40 days. These people can then be encouraged to pray and join in local pro-life efforts.

Church involvement begins by meeting with local pastors, other church leaders, and members of different congregations. The Body of Christ is invited to pray together and participate in 40 Days for Life, uniting in one focused mission that can save lives and make an eternal impact.

Media outreach is conducted through carefully targeted news stories, talk shows, editorials, and letters to the editor. This enables you to get the pro-life message out to many people who would never see the inside of a local church.

If your community has a college campus, many students can be impacted through an intense 40-day campus outreach. This can consist of flyer raids, sidewalk chalking, petition drives, table displays, and much more.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Life, Faith, and Family

Thanks for this link Mark.

Quotes from Barack Obama

The thought that a man who would make the following comments could be our next president is very frightening to me!
-----------------------------------------
"If [my daughters] make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."


Q: Do you personally believe that life begins at conception?

A: This is something that I have not come to a firm resolution on. I think it's very hard to know what that means, when life begins. Is it when a cell separates? Is it when the soul stirs? So I don't presume to know the answer to that question.

Read More
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He also supports teaching sex education to KINDERGARTENERS... these kids don't even know how to read yet! Terrible! Obama is Terribly wrong on practically every single important social issue of our time. We can not let this man become president.


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ABC News' Teddy Davis and Lindsey Ellerson Report: Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told Planned Parenthood Tuesday that sex education for kindergarteners, as long as it is "age-appropriate," is "the right thing to do."

"I remember Alan Keyes . . . I remember him using this in his campaign against me," Obama said in reference to the conservative firebrand who ran against him for the U.S. Senate in 2004. Sex education for kindergarteners had become an issue in his race against Keyes because of Obama’s work on the issue as chairman of the health committee in the Illinois state Senate.

"'Barack Obama supports teaching sex education to kindergarteners,'" said Obama mimicking Keyes' distinctive style of speech. "Which -- I didn’t know what to tell him (laughter)."

"But it’s the right thing to do," Obama continued, "to provide age-appropriate sex education, science-based sex education in schools."

Botched Abortion Survivor

If you have troubles viewing the video clip, you can get details on this website. Remember to pray for the unborn and those lost to abortion. God bless!
http://www.bornalivetruth.com/

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Christian Responsibility

Before I get into my post about Christian responsibility, I'd like to say a quick prayer for those affected by Hurricane Ike.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Heavenly Father, please look over those people who have been affected by Hurricane Ike over the weekend. Bless them and keep them safe. Many areas are without power and several have no home to go back to and are struggling to find basic necessities of life such as food. May these people find strength by turning to you during this difficult time and touch the hearts of those who have not been effected so that we do all that we can to comfort those in need. We ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.


As good Christians, we have a responsibility and an obligation to make it a lifelong quest to know our faith well and share its truths with others. We should strive for Christian unity. Jesus established one church and although it is now been divided several thousand of times, we all believe in the same, one God. We can contribute to Christian unity through prayer, study of our faith, communication with other denominations and religions, and through cooperation. Remember in one of my previous posts that we must do all things with love. Acting as if one is superior to another is not the correct way to spread the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We do not have the ability to offer salvation to others, but we do have the ability and responsibility of leading all towards salvation: towards Jesus Christ. Only through God can we be saved, but we can help lead people to Jesus. We must do this. Since humans have been given the gift of free will, we can not force people to accept God. We are not to slam a bible over someone's head. We can quote scripture all day, but if we do not teach with love in our hearts we will not be able to lead people to God. What we as Christians must do is to provide others every opportunity to accept, know and love God.

We are on this earth to prepare ourselves so that we may be worthy to enter the kingdom of Heaven AND to help lead others toward that same goal. In order to do this, we must first educate ourselves and continue to educate ourselves in our faith. We are on a lifelong journey toward Heaven and this requires constant work to better ourselves. We must be an example that others can see and want to follow. It reminds me of the church hymn that includes the line, "They will know we are Christians by our love." This is very true. If we live good Christian lives, our great happiness and joy should shine brightly to others. Everyone is searching for happiness, but many never truly find it. This is because they don’t know and love God, who is the very source of happiness. Christians know that they don't need "things" to be happy, but our happiness comes from the fulfillment and joy stemming from a life of service to God and to others. Our example of service to God and others is a good start for us to begin our lifelong responsibility to lead others and keep ourselves focused on God.

Simply living a selfless life is not enough. We must look for opportunities to evangelize and act when those opportunities present themselves. We don't evangelize by force but through love. Remember that evil can only triumph in the world if good people do nothing. It is not enough to know what is right and wrong. If we see something that is wrong and we do nothing, we are responsible for the sins of others since we knew they were wrong and did nothing. We must take action and be an active participant in important decisions in the work place, in our homes, and on the streets. We must live our lives not simply stay alive. We have every reason to live our lives with passion and enthusiasm because we know that through God we can be saved. This is a wonderful thing! If we keep these things in mind, people will come in droves to see what it is that makes us such a happy and loving group of people. They will come in droves to learn the Truth. They will come in droves seeking to know, love and serve the Lord and one another. They will come and it is our duty to lead them toward that understanding. We are to love God and our neighbor above all other things. Do all things with love and in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior and people will follow. God bless!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Am I Living or Simply Surviving?

Am I truly living or am I simply surviving? This is a question we should ask ourselves from time to time. We have not been brought into this world simply to survive. While living and surviving are closely tied, there is a distinct difference between the two. Obviously we must survive in order to live, but must we live in order to survive? Survival requires us to be alive in a physical sense, but living has a deeper meaning than simply our physical presence. It is true that to be alive means that we are not dead, but we can be mentally or spiritually dead and yet still be alive physically. To be truly alive in a mental and spiritual sense we must pursue a positive, satisfying existence. The definition of a positive, satisfying existence could mean different things to different people. In my opinion, this means that we must seek God in our daily lives. After all, God is the source of all that is good in the world. God is the source of our happiness. God is love. If we do not actively pursue to know and love God, we will always feel emptiness. We will feel abandoned and alone, but God never abandons us. We may think that He does, but really it is just a lack of understanding on our part. Surviving is not good enough for us. We are not like the other animals of the world. We were made in the image and likeness of God. We seek more than simply survival on this earth. We seek eternal life in heaven. So we must frequently ask ourselves whether or not we are simply surviving or are we living our life according to God’s will? This living does not require physical wellness or material wealth. To be truly alive is something all of us can achieve regardless of the significance of our earthly standing. In fact, often times material wealth and physical wellness lead us to complacency and may lead us to a life devoid of truly living. Think about everything I have said about living and then read the following quote I have heard or read from an old acquaintance. This is a very common feeling among many people in relationships of all stages.

“I got so caught up living for someone else and forgot to live for myself”

Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever said or thought something like this? I bet you have at least at some point in your life. I have. Maybe I didn’t say the same exact quote, but I think we all at times reach a point where we think we’ve had enough. We work so hard for someone or something and we don’t see a return. Maybe we do something nice for someone and we don’t receive thanks for our deed. We might be inclined then to no longer do good deeds for that person. After all, that person does not appreciate what I do for them than why should I do anything?

The answer is love. We do it out of love. If we can’t understand that, then we don’t know what love truly is and we won’t understand why relationships crumble when adversity strikes. I believe one of the main reasons we have such a high divorce rate in the U.S. and in the world is because we don’t really know what love is. If we all truly knew and understood what love is, we would not make comments like the one above. If we want to know what love is, all we have to do is look at a crucifix. God is love. The very life of Jesus Christ is the definition of love. All we have to do is follow his example. Granted it is not always easy, but when we fall we have the opportunity to recognize our sinfulness and turn back to God. He is always willing to forgive us sinners who sincerely repent and ask for strength to overcome our sinfulness. In the course of our lives we will be presented with difficulties and hardships. We will encounter disappointment, failure and sadness. All of us will suffer at some point in our life. How we respond to our sufferings defines our character. If we are living a life only for ourselves, it is as if we are walking through life with deaf ears and one eye closed. We will not be able to react reasonably when we encounter difficult times. We will not be able to see the bigger picture, the greater importance of our life. How said it would be if we were on this earth to live a life for ourselves? Think about that! No wonder so many people are depressed. That’s a really sad outlook on life.

The fact of the matter is that we are not on this earth to live for ourselves, but to live for others and for God! When I hear people say they forgot to live for themselves, I pray to God that I may never forget the importance of living my life for others and for God. I’m not saying this is easy. It is in our nature to look after our own best interests. Capitalism is based on this very notion. It is not wrong to take care of ourselves, but when we live solely in order to fulfill our own wants we are not following Jesus’ example.

I am going to repeat the comment in question and when you read it a second time, I want you to focus your thought on Jesus. Read this comment and think about the life of Jesus. Think about how much he sacrificed and suffered for others. Think about his reaction to those who persecuted him and nailed him to a cross. Take a look at a crucifix and tell me if you agree with this basis for living your life.

“I got so caught up living for someone else and forgot to live for myself”

As followers of Christ, we must follow his example. If we follow Him we will discover love. We will not simply survive, but we will discover what it truly means to live!

God Bless!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Will the Catholic Vote Be the Difference This November?

It very well could be. With Obama picking a Catholic, Biden, as VP I get the feeling he is trying to sway Catholic voters to vote for him. It could be a decision that backfires on Obama, because his positions are often in conflict with the Catholic position on many issues - most notably on abortion. If there is discussion about these issues, there could be a major backlash from Catholics. There are some prominent Catholic politicians that are trying to defend their Pro-Choice position, but their argument is not very convincing. Nancy Pelosi in particular is getting some bad publicity for her defense of abortion. You can read the story HERE

I’m glad that a couple of bishops are speaking up on this issue. I read through this article and it sickens me! I did not know Nancy Pelosi was a Catholic before reading this article… her positions on the issues (especially abortion) are even more sickening to me. It is just embarrassing to be honest. The Catholic position on abortion couldn’t be clearer and the fact that she is touting her faith and saying she has done much research on her faith is laughable. If she truly researched the Catholic position on abortion, there is no possible way she could be Pro-Choice. She obviously had an opinion on the issue first and then tried to find justification for her opinion as opposed to discovering the Church's position to help her form an opinion. She wouldn't have to do much research to find that the Church has always and always will be against abortion.Nancy Pelosi is a perfect example of why there are such a large number of Catholics who leave the Church and why there are currently over 30,000 Christian denominations. Many people do not trust that the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit to help preserve the Truth. They form opinions based on a lack of knowledge or false assumptions and break away from Church teaching. They then form a new church and make themselves a "pope" or they stay in the Catholic church and try to justify their opinion despite it's obvious contradiction with Catholic teaching. Either way these people are deceiving themselves.

Jesus formed one Church and Jesus is the Truth. There is only one Truth. There are some who do not follow the truth. Some knowingly ignore the Truth and several are simply ignorant of the Truth. It is our responsibility to continually practice and study our faith and through our strength and knowledge in our faith we might be able to educate and evangelize those people who don't know or who may have lost their faith.

Unfortunately many Catholics are not practicing Catholics and even some who say they are, are completely ignorant of their faith. If all Catholics truly understood their faith and participated in the election this November, it is my opinion that McCain would win in a landslide. Why? Simply because of the abortion issue? No. Although the abortion issue is the most important issue for Catholic voters, Obama is on the wrong side of most of the issues. Catholics are a major population in the US and if they would only do some basic research on the candidates and work to understand the Catholic Church teaching, McCain is the next president. Honestly, if Catholics regularly go to Church, listened to the word of God and deeply reflected on their participation in the Eucharist, several of these political issues would become very clear. These “catholic” politicians who distort Church teachings sicken me. There are some good ones like Sam Brownback, but the media is quick to term him and the like as “too radical”. How is a guy like Brownback "radical" and a guy like Obama who has socialistic, Pro-Choice positions not radical? I hope to see more condemnation from the clergy about misleading comments like those made by Nancy Pelosi. Politicians are very influential people, and they often play on the general public's ignorance. The fear is that those people who do not understand the Church's position on important issues may be swayed by these politicians who misrepresent Church teachings. Generally the clergy doesn't speak out on political issues, but in this case I think they hold a responsibility to speak out and clarify the true teachings of the Catholic Church. The Church is responsible for preserving the Truth and the Truth will help clear up issues such as abortion. This is not a problem that is limited to politics. We must always work to preserve and preach the Truth. Every Sunday we say that we will keep the word of God on our mind, on our mouth and in our heart. Go out and spread the word of God. Don't sit by idly. Those who do nothing against evil or the ignorant are actually participating through their inaction. When examining the issues, we MUST MUST MUST prayerfully and responsibly form our opinions. God bless!