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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday!

Don't forget today is Ash Wednesday! A day for fasting and abstinence.

Today's mass readings:

Reading 1 Jl 2:12-18

Even now, says the LORD,return to me with your whole heart,with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;Rend your hearts, not your garments,and return to the LORD, your God.For gracious and merciful is he,slow to anger, rich in kindness,and relenting in punishment.Perhaps he will again relentand leave behind him a blessing,Offerings and libationsfor the LORD, your God.
Blow the trumpet in Zion!proclaim a fast,call an assembly;Gather the people,notify the congregation;Assemble the elders,gather the childrenand the infants at the breast;Let the bridegroom quit his roomand the bride her chamber.Between the porch and the altarlet the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,And say, "Spare, O LORD, your people,and make not your heritage a reproach,with the nations ruling over them!Why should they say among the peoples,'Where is their God?'"
Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his landand took pity on his people.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17 R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.Thoroughly wash me from my guiltand of my sin cleanse me.R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.For I acknowledge my offense,and my sin is before me always:"Against you only have I sinned,and done what is evil in your sight."R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.A clean heart create for me, O God,and a steadfast spirit renew within me.Cast me not out from your presence,and your Holy Spirit take not from me.R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.Give me back the joy of your salvation,and a willing spirit sustain in me.O Lord, open my lips,and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Reading II 2 Cor 5:20-6:2
Brothers and sisters:We are ambassadors for Christ,as if God were appealing through us.We implore you on behalf of Christ,be reconciled to God.For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
Working together, then,we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.For he says:
In an acceptable time I heard you,and on the day of salvation I helped you.
Behold, now is a very acceptable time;behold, now is the day of salvation.

Gospel Mt 6:1-6, 16-18Jesus said to his disciples:"Take care not to perform righteous deedsin order that people may see them;otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.When you give alms,do not blow a trumpet before you,as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streetsto win the praise of others.Amen, I say to you,they have received their reward.But when you give alms,do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,so that your almsgiving may be secret.And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
"When you pray,do not be like the hypocrites,who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street cornersso that others may see them.Amen, I say to you,they have received their reward.But when you pray, go to your inner room,close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
"When you fast,do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.They neglect their appearance,so that they may appear to others to be fasting.Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.But when you fast,anoint your head and wash your face,so that you may not appear to be fasting,except to your Father who is hidden.And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."

From USCCB website.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Message from EWTN

Do you love Professor Ralph Martin’s books, audiotapes and EWTN television show, “The Choices We Face?” You can learn all about the life and spiritual formation of Martin – who is a professor at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and Franciscan University of Steubenville and President of Renewal Ministries – on EWTN Global Catholic Network’s “Profiles of Faith.”

The show airs 6 p.m. ET Tuesday Feb. 24 and 6:30 a.m. ET Friday Feb. 27.

Gus Federle
Online Services
EWTN Global Catholic Network
5817 Old Leeds Road
Irondale, AL 35010

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Defending Life Begins At Home

Contributor Doug writes: The fight to preserve a culture of life begins at home. I have had many recent conversations, and in some cases, arguments, with family members and fellow Catholic friends who did not know anything about Obama’s abortion record or stance, yet all voted for him and are zealous supporters. In some cases, they still expressed support for him, even after being edified of his barbaric record on abortion (such as denying medical treatment to fully born infants who survived botched abortions) in the Illinois State Senate. One person even denied his record, and called it conservative rumors spread by Rush Limbaugh. I was also recently involved at my parish in distributing to our parishioners literature and post cards to our members of Congress regarding the euphemistically dubbed “Freedom of Choice Act” (FOCA), our nation’s most radically insidious (and unconstitutional) pro-abortion plan yet, and to be funded on the taxpayers’ dime no less. I was again amazed at how many of my fellow Catholics were so outraged because they didn’t know about FOCA, or the pro-abortion stance of Obama and their members of Congress. Some even sorrowfully admitted to voting for these people without knowing about their records. (Sadly, I am sure there were some who were not outraged at all.)

The Catholic Church calls on its members to make and have informed consciences, yet roughly 54% of Catholics voted for Obama. As Catholics comprise roughly 1/3 of Connecticut’s population, I wonder how many also voted for Lieberman, Dodd, and our pro-abortion members of the House of Representatives. That duty doesn’t just end at Catholics. All citizens have an ethical and moral duty to be informed and principled voters, yet clearly, many, regardless of denomination, are not. No issue is more important than preserving innocent, vulnerable life.

Clearly, we need to ramp up our efforts to defeat not just abortion, but euthanasia and (embryonic) stem cell research as well. But before we take on the opposition, we pro-lifers first need to better educate ourselves.

I think it was a “Doonesbury” comic strip that once classically depicted the character saying, “I have met the enemy, and it is I.” Prophetic indeed.

Edmund Burke once famously said, “All that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.” I would only add to that sage gem, “..and for good men to know nothing.” (You, too, ladies!)

All voters need to be more diligent and more diverse in educating themselves on current events, issues, and political candidates. In this age of the Internet, it’s now even easier. For anyone who cannot afford a computer, they can certainly afford a visit to his or her local public library, where a computer can be used for free.

How many Catholics out there have a copy of the Catechism in their homes to know what our Church teaches and requires? How many citizens have a copy of the Constitution in their homes to know what our government is intended to do and not intended to do? And again, if you can’t afford to buy a copy, these resources are also available on the Internet.

49.5 million abortions have taken place in the US since the Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973. Genocide of such magnitude is in the league of those committed by the likes of Hitler, Stalin and Mao. How many of those precious children were needlessly and cavalierly executed because far too many of their older and presumably wiser fellow citizens failed to protect them because they were out of the loop by their own fault?

Ignorance is simply no excuse, especially when lives are at stake.

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