mercredi, juillet 28, 2010

Only one surgical abortion site in Arkansas

It is still too much, but we can rejoice for the following news received from 40 Days for Life. Deo gratias!

It appears to be official - William Harrison is closing the Fayetteville Women's Clinic due to health reasons. In case you missed it, this story aired on KFSM.,0,7890155.story

Please continue to pray for Harrison, his health, conversion, family and that no other abortionist comes to take his place.

We give all the glory and praise to God that abortions have stopped at the Fayetteville Women's Clinic. Thank you to each one of you who has prayed for an end to abortion in our town, state and nation and taken a stand against the injustice of abortion. As we rejoice over the babies that will be saved and the parents who will be spared from a lifetime of regret by currently not having an abortionist at the FWC, we must continue to pray that abortions will also stop at Planned Parenthood on Township. Planned Parenthood performs medical abortions through RU-486 and distributes abortifacient contraceptives. In addition, it is rumored that Planned Parenthood may be considering building a mega clinic in Arkansas, which means our prayers are all the more important at this time.

In case you are wondering, 40 Days for Life will take place as planned this fall in Fayetteville. Given the recent events, we are carefully discerning the location of the fall campaign. We will be sure and keep you updated. God bless.

dimanche, juillet 25, 2010

Destruction of Jerusalem

Commentary of Saint Gregory the Great on today's gospel

"The evil spirits lay siege to the soul, as it goes forth from the body, for being seized with the love of the flesh, they caress it with delusive pleasures. They surround it with a trench, because bringing all its wickedness which it has committed before the eyes of its mind, they close confine it to the company of its own damnation, that being caught in the very extremity of life, it may see by what enemies it is blockaded, yet be unable to find any way of escape, because it can no longer do good works, since those which it might once have done it despised. On every side also they enclose the soul when its iniquities rise up before it, not only in deed but also in word and thought, that she who before in many ways greatly enlarged herself in wickedness, should now at the end be straitened every way in judgment. Then indeed the soul by the very condition of its guilt is laid prostrate on the ground, while its flesh which it believed to be its life is bid to return to dust. Then its children fall in death, when all unlawful thoughts which only proceed from it, are in the last punishment of life scattered abroad. These may also be signified by the stones. For the corrupt mind when to a corrupt thought it adds one more corrupt, places one stone upon another. But when the soul is led to its doom, the whole structure of its thoughts is rent asunder. But the wicked soul God ceases not to visit with His teaching, sometimes with the scourge and sometimes with a miracle; that the truth which it knew not it may hear, and though still despising it, may return pricked to the heart in sorrow, or overcome with mercies may be ashamed at the evil which it has done. But because it knows not the time of its visitation, at the end of life it is given over to its enemies, that with them it may be joined together in the bond of everlasting damnation."

jeudi, juillet 15, 2010

La voici, la voilà!

L'intégrale du Défilé du 14 juillet 2010, qui plus est, sans les commentaires !
Merci au Ministère de la Défense !

mercredi, juillet 14, 2010

I like this octopus

There is no need to present Octopus Paul, the most famous octopus in the world who was 100% right for his predictions during the World Cup. He can now enjoy a peaceful and well deserved retirement but Paul thought he still had a prediction to make. Is this the announcement of the near coming of the Great Monarch?

mardi, juillet 13, 2010

The truth about Bastille Day

The following text was written by John Zmirak and published on the blog (July 15th 2008.)

Yesterday probably passed without much fanfare in your home, but July 14 is a day I usually try to commemorate. Not because I carry a single drop of French blood (more's the pity -- I'd be proud to be a cousin of Joan of Arc and François Mauriac). No, it's because I think Bastille Day is a solemn occasion every Catholic should remember -- like the feast of the Martyrs of Mexico, or the Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War.

Bastille Day marks the beginning of the greatest organized persecution of the Church since the Emperor Diocletian, and the explosion onto the world of ideologies that would poison the next two centuries: socialism and radical nationalism. Between them, those two political movements racked up quite a body count: In his 1997 book Death By Government, scholar R. J. Rummel pointed out that during the first 88 years of this century, almost 170,000,000 men, women, and children have been shot, beaten, tortured, knifed, burned, starved, frozen, crushed, or worked to death; or buried alive, drowned, hung, bombed, or killed in any other of the myriad ways governments have inflicted death on unarmed, helpless citizens or foreigners.

And the first such modern genocide in the West took place in France, beginning in 1793. It was undertaken by modern, progressive apostles of Enlightenment and aimed at Catholic peasants, and by its end up to 300,000 civilians had been killed by the armies of the Republic.

It was ordinary peasants of the Vendée and Brittany regions who rose up in that year against the middle-class radicals in Paris who controlled the country. The ideologues of the Revolution had already

• executed the king and queen, and left their young son to die of disease in prison;
• declared a revolutionary "war of liberation" against most of the other countries in Europe;
• seized all property of the Church, expelling thousands of monks, priests, and nuns to fend for themselves, then sold the property to their cronies to raise money for their wars;
• ordered all clergy to swear allegiance to the French state instead of the pope; and
• launched the first universal conscription in history, drafting ordinary people (most of them devout peasants bewildered by the slogans that held sway in Paris) to fight for the Revolution.

When the Parisians came to take away their sons for the army, the Vendeans finally fought back and launched a counter-revolution in the name of "God and King." It quickly spread across the northwest of France, tying down the government's professional armies -- fighting untrained bands of devout guerillas, many of them armed only with muskets suited to hunting.

As Sophie Masson -- herself a descendant of Catholics who fought in the Vendée resistance -- has written:

The atrocities multiplied, the exterminations systematic and initiated from the very top, and carried out with glee at the bottom. At least 300,000 people were massacred during that time, and those of the intruders who refused to do the job were either shot or discredited utterly. But still the people resisted. Still there were those who hid in the forests and ambushed, who fought as bravely as lions but were butchered like pigs when they were caught. No quarter was given; all the leaders were shot, beheaded, or hanged. Many were not even allowed to rest in peace; the body of the last leader was cut up and distributed to scientists; his head was pickled in a jar, the brain examined to see where the seed of rebellion lay in the mind of a savage. . . .

"Not one is to be left alive." "Women are reproductive furrows who must be ploughed under." "Only wolves must be left to roam that land." "Fire, blood, death are needed to preserve liberty." "Their instruments of fanaticism and superstition must be smashed." These were some of the words the Convention used in speaking of the Vendée. Their tame scientists dreamed up all kinds of new ideas -- the poisoning of flour and alcohol and water supplies, the setting up of a tannery in Angers which would specialise in the treatment of human skins; the investigation of methods of burning large numbers of people in large ovens, so their fat could be rendered down efficiently. One of the Republican generals, Carrier, was scornful of such research: these "modern" methods would take too long. Better to use more time-honoured methods of massacre: the mass drownings of naked men, women, and children, often tied together in what he called "republican marriages," off specially constructed boats towed out to the middle of the Loire and then sunk; the mass bayoneting of men, women and children; the smashing of babies' heads against walls; the slaughter of prisoners using cannons; the most grisly and disgusting tortures; the burning and pillaging of villages, towns and churches.

The persecution only really ended when Napoleon came to power in 1799 -- and needed peace at home so that he could launch his wars of conquest. He patched together a modus vivendi with the pope, and the Vendée quieted down.

This story is little discussed in France. Indeed, a Catholic historian who teaches at a French university once told me over dinner, "We are not to mention the Vendée. Anyone who brings up what was done there has no prospect of an academic career. So we keep silent." It is mostly in the Vendée itself that memories linger, which may explain why that part of France to this day remains more Catholic and more conservative than any other region. The local government, to its credit, opened a museum marking these atrocities on their 200th anniversary in 1993 -- with a visit by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who pointed out that the mass murders of Christians in Russia were directly inspired by those in the Vendée. The Bolsheviks, he said, modeled themselves on the French revolutionaries, and pointed to the Vendée massacres as the right way to deal with Christian resistance.

Of course, it wasn't supposed to work out this way. The Revolution had begun with a financial crisis, and promised to pare back an absolutist monarchy, perhaps along British lines. King Louis XVI -- a kindly if not terribly competent king, who'd lifted legal penalties against Protestants and Jews -- had bankrupted his kingdom bankrolling the American Revolution. (In gratitude, the U.S. Congress hung a portrait of the monarch in the Capitol, and named for his family the southern county which gave birth to bourbon.) The legislators who met in 1789 for the first time in over a century intended at first to reform their government, not replace it.

And some reforms were certainly needed: the ruthless centralization imposed by Louis XIV and XV had hollowed out French political life and concentrated power over the lives of citizens almost entirely in Paris, in the hands of technocrats. Predictably, they'd made a mess of things.

Unlike its sister kingdom across the channel, France had no sitting parliament, no common law protecting its subjects from arbitrary arrest, and an economy largely driven not by free citizens but the state. The French "Gallican" Church, while still in communion with Rome, was largely controlled by the kings -- who appointed its bishops and set its policies. Indeed, the kings of France, Portugal, and Spain had arranged in 1767 for the suppression of the Jesuits -- whose loyalty to Rome and rejection of the Divine Right of Kings made them suspect, and whose defense of the rights of Indians got in the way of "progress."

The educational vacuum created by the destruction of this order was quickly (and ironically) filled by Enlightenment philosophes. The first generation to rise without the Jesuits would come of age in 1789. The abuses that would mark the Revolution -- including mass executions of priests and nuns -- were endorsed by intellectuals schooled on the slanderous pamphlets of Diderot, full of pornographic falsehoods about the "secret lives" of monks and nuns.

Indeed, there's a chilling similarity between the anti-clerical literature that prepared the public for the looting of monasteries and the anti-Semitic canards that were spread by the Nazis. The euphemism that was used to describe stealing monastic property for the state -- "secularization" -- found its echo in the 1930s in the term the German government employed for robbing the Jews: "aryanization." If the Jews are indeed a priestly people, it is not surprising that such diabolical parallels exist.

Just as fascists excused their atrocities by pointing to Jewish prominence in the financial sphere and the press, leftists still defend the persecution of the Church by pointing to her political influence. We shouldn't let them get away with it. I wait in vain for the historian who will write a comprehensive comparison of anti-Semitism and anti-clericalism.

In the meantime, I'll mark Bastille Day as best I can. In 1989, I helped organize a Requiem Mass for all the Revolution's victims (we invited the French consul-general, but he pleaded a prior engagement). On several subsequent anniversaries, I've thrown a memorial party on the day, with foods and wines from the Vendée and counter-revolutionary songs. (Recipes and lyrics appear in each of my Bad Catholic's guides.) In the Christian spirit of transforming suffering into joy, I think that the hearty folk who fought for God and king would appreciate the gesture. But in the Vendée itself, a French friend has told me, some people still wear black armbands on their country's national holiday.

samedi, juillet 10, 2010

Rediscovering simplicity of life!

I was happy when I recently found the English translation of a very good book that I read some years ago when I was in the Seminary: Abandonment to Divine Providence by Father de Caussade, s.j.
Father de Caussade (1675-1751) was a French Jesuit, director of souls, preacher of the Spiritual Exercises. He wrote several books of spiritualy that are all helpful and accessible to anyone. He is known for his belief in the sacredness of the present moment, or the "eternal now", proof that the Jesuits can be be close to the Benedictines.... sometimes! We will come back to this notion soon.
For now, as an appetizer, enjoy the following words of Father de Caussade. May they help us to discover the simplicity of life that we need.

"God still speak today as he spoke to our fathers, when there were no spiritual directors or set methods. Then, spirituality consisted in fidelity to the designs of God, for it had not yet been reduced to an art and explained in a lofty and detailed manner with many rules, maxims, and instructions. Surely our present needs demand this, but it was not so in former times when we were more upright and simple. Then it was enough for those who led a spiritual life to see that each moment brought with it a duty to be faithfully fulfilled. On that duty the whole of their attention was fixed at each successive moment, like the hand of the clock which marks each moment of the hour. Under God’s unceasing guidance their spirit turned without conscious effort to each new duty as it was presented to them by God each hour of the day."

vendredi, juillet 09, 2010

Le Mont Saint Michel

De magnifiques images de la Merveille de l'Occident.
Merci à MGRoyaume

"Plus loin, dans la ligne bleuâtre des flots aperçus, d'autres roches noyées montraient leurs crêtes brunes ; et l'œil, continuant le tour de l'horizon vers la droite, découvrait à côté de cette solitude sablonneuse la vaste étendue verte du pays normand, si couvert d'arbres qu'il avait l'air d'un bois illimité. C'était toute la nature s'offrant d'un seul coup, en un seul lieu, dans sa grandeur, dans sa puissance, dans sa fraîcheur et dans sa grâce; et le regard allait de cette vision de forêts à cette apparition du mont de granit, solitaire habitant des sables, qui dressait sur la grève démesurée son étrange figure gothique." (Guy de Maupassant)
Au centre

mercredi, juillet 07, 2010

The Nature of Sacramental Grace (V)

By Father Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.
Our dignity is further revealed in the Sacrament of Penance. In order to receive absolution, men and women entrust the priest with their secret thoughts and desires, which not even the Angels themselves are allowed to know. And thus the priest actually cooperated with God in giving back life to the soul. So, whether he is celebrating Mass or ministering to souls, he is another Christ. His priesthood is a splendid participation in the priesthood of Christ; he is Christ’s minister, His living, conscious instrument for the saving of souls.

Remember that the priest in celebrating Mass is so closely united to Christ – the principal Offerer – as his instrument that the one effect of Consecration is produced by both of them together, just as a writer and his pen produce the same effect. The effect of Consecration – the changing of the substance of bread and wine – is produced by God as the principal agent, by the huminity of Christ as the instrument conjoined to the divinity, and by the celebrant as a separate instrument, conscious and free.

It might be objected that the Sacramental grace of the priesthood is of less worth than the priestly character, for although the latter is indelible, sacramental grace, like Sanctifying Grace, is lost by mortal sin. This is a serious difficulty, since the more perfect an accidental reality, the more firmly does it inhere in the substance to which it belongs. Therefore, grace, which can be lost, does appear to be less perfect than the character which can never be lost.

In reply to this objection, notice why it is that the character cannot be lost. It is not because of its own perfection and dignity, but because it is conferred for the valid celebration of Mass and for the valid administration of Penance, which provide for the spiritual welfare of the faithful. This is very well explained by St. Thomas: “The sacramental character is a sharing of Christ’s priesthood by His faithful…”; also, in answer to the first objection: “Grace is present in the soul as a form complete in its being, whereas the character is there as an instrumental power. Now a complete form is present in its subject according to the condition of that subject , so that grace is present in the soul of a person here on earth according to the volatile nature of the will. But an instrumental power is to be considered rather from the point of view of the condition of the principal agent; hence the character is indelibly present in the soul not because of any perfection of its own but because of the perfection belonging to Christ’s priesthood, from which the character originates as an instrumental power.” (IIIa, Q.63, art 5c).

Again, in answer to the third objection, St. Thomas says: “The character endures even after this life, in the good as redounding to their glory, in the wicked as stressing their disgrace, just as the character of military service remains in a soldier after the victory has been won, as the mark of honor in the victors, as a mark of dishonor in the vanquished.”

This concludes for the present our study of the dignity of Christ’s priesthood and of ours.

vendredi, juillet 02, 2010

Saint John Bosco Academy coat of arm

We are glad to present our new coat of arm

Visit Saint John Bosca Academy's website:

The Nature of Sacramental Grace (IV)

By Father Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange
Therefore the sacramental grace of the priesthood, since it is a permanent and intrinsic mode of habitual grace, can be looked upon as a feature of the priest’s spiritual character which is meant to develop and grow to perfection – to the age of maturity in the spiritual life.

It follows that while no growth is possible in the character of Holy Orders, which empowers a man to exercise validly the priestly functions, yet the sacramental grace, having as its aim an increasingly holy celebration of Mass and administration of Penance, is intensified at the same time as habitual grace, which it modifies and strengthens in a special way. True, this is not expressed in so many words in the theological works, but it is deduced as certain from the purpose of these divine gifts.

And thus all are agreed that the sacramental grace of Holy Orders should bear fruit and that it entitles a man to further and higher actual graces – provided no obstacle is put in the way. It develops rather like the features of a child countenance, which change with the different facial expressions of smiling, crying, blinking, etc. Therefore, “how careful we must be not to lose that sacramental grace or prove ourselves unworthy of it by receiving the Sacrament without the suitable disposition.” (Billuart )

The value of our priesthood is also evident in the fact to which we have already alluded – namely, that so far as the Consecration of the Eucharist is concerned, the Bishop himself has no greater power than the priest. And this power of consecrating the body of Christ is far more outstanding than the power of consecrating priests and chalices, because the Holy Eucharist is the supreme Sacrament and Sacrifice, containing not merely the gift of grace but the very Author of grace. So we find St. Thomas, St. Albert, St. Bonaventure, Scotus and Soto of the opinion that the Episcopate is not a separate Sacrament from that of priesthood but is its extension and perfect complement, giving the power to ordain, confirm and govern. It is, therefore, the fullness of the priesthood and is intended to be as fruitful in the Bishop as the grace of priesthood should be in the priest.