Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bishop Thomas Olmstead

If you haven't heard the backstory, Bishop Olmstead of Phoenix forbade a hospital to call itself a "Catholic hospital" because it performed a direct abortion. Now he's facing his own blizzard of negative press, not only from the pro-abortion gang you'd expect, but from a bunch of what are supposedly our own troops, who I think see themselves mirrored in that hospital.

In this clip, Bp. Olmstead was asked how he felt about all the negative things being said about him in the blogosphere.

Good answer. So many times as Priests, Deacons, Religious, laity, we allow the truth to pass through the filter of, "Will this make people not like me?" (the grammar may not be the best, but you know what I mean)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Where have all the flowers gone?

Fr Z's blog linked to's story on Planned Parenthood's recently released 2008-09 annual report. The report shows that, in 2008-09, Planned Parenthood received $363 million in government grants and contracts. A bulk of that, I'm sure, went to fund contraception (to prevent any new lives) and abortion (to kill the lives that did begin).

$363 million in a year. Let's remember that the next time we ponder why it is that there are more people collecting Social Security than putting into it.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Those who give homilies can relate to this

This one goes out to the Priests and Deacons who preach God's Word.

For weekend Masses, I usually have some notes to guide me. I don't read my homilies word for word (I don't think I could), but I have a guideline of where I want to go with it, and whatever I see along the way that helps me get there, so be it.

But for weekday homilies, I just go at it. By way of preparation, before Mass I check out the readings, read the Barclay Commentary on it, and try to read a bit about the Saint of the day (if there is one). What thread connects them all? Where's my "foot in the door" to get the crowd's attention? What do they need to know about this saint? How do I do it all in under 5 minutes?

This morning I preached about St. Nicholas. I got it all in: his connection to Santa Claus, the stories of his generosity, his theological fortitude in the days of the Arian heresy and the Council of Nicea. If I may say so, I was funny, profound, and left them knowing more about the Saint than they did before the Mass.

Preachers, when we're done, have a moment to ourselves. That little time that it takes to walk from the ambo to the chair is the time when we know in our hearts how we did with our homily. Today, it felt like this:

Though there are also days it feels like this:

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Fr. Cantalamessa on atheism

With the brouhaha over the billboard by the Lincoln Tunnel, atheism has been in the news lately. Father Cantalamessa's recent Advent meditation for the Holy Father and the Papal Household, titled, "The Christian Answer to Atheist Scientism", has a great passage:
There are nocturnal birds, such as the owl and the little owl, whose eye is made to see in the dark of night, not in the day. The light of the sun would blind them. These birds know everything and move at ease in the nocturnal world, but know nothing of the daytime world. Let us adopt for the moment the genre of the fable, where the animals speak among themselves. Lets suppose that an eagle makes friends with a family of little owls and speaks to them of the sun: of how it illuminates everything, of how, without it, everything would fall into darkness and cold, of how their nocturnal world itself would not exist without the sun. What would the little owl answer other than: "What you say is nonsense! I've never seen your sun. We move very well and get our food without it; your sun is a useless theory and therefore it doesn't exist."

It is exactly what the atheist scientist does when he says: "God doesn't exist." He judges a world he does not know, applies his laws to an object that is beyond their scope. To see God one must open a different eye, one must venture outside the night. In this connection, still valid is the ancient affirmation of the Psalmist "The fool says: there is no God."

Friday, December 03, 2010

Great reflection on the Church's funeral rite.

Zenit News Agency carried the homily given by Pope Benedict for Manuela Camagni, one of the consecrated ladies who care for the Pope and the Papal Apartments, who was killed in a car accident last week. At the end of the homily, he gave what I believe is a great reflection for any of us who have attended funerals of loved ones.
So, in this moment of sadness, we are consoled. And the liturgy renewed after the Council dares to teach us to sing "Alleluia" even in the Mass for the Dead. This is audacious! We feel above all the pain of the loss, we feel above all the absence, the past, but the liturgy knows that we are in the Body itself of Christ and that we live from the memory of God, which is our memory. In this intertwining of his memory and of our memory we are together, we are living. We pray to the Lord that we may feel increasingly this communion of memory, that our memory of God in Christ may become ever more alive, and thus be able to feel that our true life is in him and in him we all rest united. In this sense, we sing "Alleluia," certain that the Lord is life and his love is never ending. Amen.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

That's just wrong!

Yesterday I received a letter, asking me about how many palms I would like for Palm Sunday, 2011.