Friday, January 24, 2020

In Another's Words

On or around January 22, the anniversary of the two Supreme Court decisions which allows abortions to be performed for any reason at any time during the entire length of the pregnancy, I attempt to write something about this.

This year, on the 47th. anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, I have decided not to comment.

Instead, I am going to let someone else speak.

For the first time in the history of the National March For Life, the sitting President of the United States made a live appearance and gave a speech.

Yes, I realize a majority of the country does not like how he has conducted himself in the office, much less the policies he has enacted so far in his first term, especially regarding this topic. And, yes, since he is up for re-election, assuming he is not removed from office and banned from seeking the position ever again during the on-going impeachment trial, this may seem to be a part of his election campaign. But this is a significant, even a watershed moment for the pro-life movement. The incumbent, who has done so much in advancing a pro-life agenda, despite legislation enacted in New York State and Illinois and the machinations of the governors of Virginia and California in the past year, has earned the right to rally the troops at their most important event.

Courtesy of LifeSite News, here is the text of President Donald Trump's speech to those gathered at the National Mall:

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Thank you very much and thank you, Jeanne. It is my profound honor to be the first president in history to attend the March for Life. We are here for a very simple reason: to defend the right of every child, born and unborn, to fulfill their God-given potential.

For 47 years, Americans of all backgrounds have traveled from across the country to stand for life. 

And today as President of the United States, I am truly proud to stand with you.

I want to welcome tens of thousands – this is a tremendous turnout – tens of thousands of high school and college students who took long bus rides to be here in our nation's capital. And to make you feel even better, there are tens of thousands of people outside that we passed on the way in. If anybody would like to give up their spot, we can work it out.

We have a tremendous group of people outside. Thousands and thousands wanted to get in. This is some great success.

Young people are the heart of the March for Life. And it’s your generation that is making America the pro-family, pro-life nation.

The life movement is led by strong women, amazing faith leaders, and brave students who carry on the legacy of pioneers before us who fought to raise the conscience of our nation and uphold the rights of our citizens. You embrace mothers with care and compassion. You are empowered by prayer and motivated by your unselfish love. You are grateful and we are so grateful ­­– these are incredible people – to be joined by Secretary Alex Azar and Kellyanne Conway.

And thanks also to Senators Mike Lee and James Lankford who are here. Thank you, fellas. And Representatives Steve Scalise, Chris Smith, Ralph Abraham, Warren Davidson, Bob Latta, John Joyce, Lloyd Smucker, Brian Fitzpatrick, and Brad Wenstrup. Thank you all. I have to say – and I look at it, and I see it exactly – we have many more politicians in the audience. But if you don't mind, I won’t introduce them all.

All of us here understand an eternal truth: Every child is a precious and sacred gift from God.
Together, we must protect, cherish, and defend the dignity and the sanctity of every human life.

When we see the image of a baby in the womb, we glimpse the majesty of God's creation.When we hold a newborn in our arms, we know the endless love that each child brings to a family. When we watch a child grow, we see the splendor that radiates from each human soul. One life changes the world – from my family, and I can tell you, I send love, and I send great, great love – and from the first day in office, I have taken historic action to support America’s families and to protect the unborn.

And during my first week in office, I reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy and we issued a landmark pro-life rule to govern the use of Title X taxpayer funding. I notified Congress that I would veto any legislation that weakens pro-life policy or that encourages the destruction of human life.

At the United Nations, I made clear that global bureaucrats have no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that protect innocent life. Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House.

As the Bible tells us, each person is wonderfully made.

We have taken decisive action to protect the religious liberty – so important – religious liberty has been under attack all over the world and frankly, very strongly attacked in our nation. You see it better than anyone. But we are stopping it. And we’re taking care of doctors, nurses, teachers, and groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor.

We are preserving faith-based adoption and to uphold our founding documents, we have appointed 187 federal judges, who apply the consultation as written, including two phenomenal supreme court justices – Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

We are protecting pro-life students’ rights to free speech on college campuses. And if universities want federal taxpayer dollars, then they must uphold your First Amendment right to speak your mind. And if they don't, they pay a very big financial penalty, which they will not be willing to pay.

Sadly, the far left is working to erase our God-given rights, shut down faith-based charities, ban religious leaders from the public square, and silence Americans who believe in the sanctity of life. They are coming after me because I am fighting for you and we are fighting for those who have no voice. And we will win because we know how to win. We all know how to win. We all know how to win. You’ve been winning for a long time. You’ve been winning for a long time.

Together, we are the voice for the voiceless. When it comes to abortion – and you know this, you’ve seen what’s happened – Democrats have embraced the most radical and extreme positions taken and seen in this country for years and decades, and you can even say, for centuries.

Nearly every top Democrat in congress now supports taxpayer-funded abortion all the way up until the moment of birth. Last year, lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother's womb right up until delivery.

Then, we had the case of the Democrat governor in the state of Virginia, the commonwealth of Virginia. And we love the commonwealth of Virginia, but what is going on in Virginia? What is going on? The governor stated that he would execute a baby after birth. You remember that.

Senate Democrats even blocked legislation that would give medical care to babies who survive attempted abortions. And that’s why I’ve called on Congress – two of our great senators here, so many of our congressmen here – I called upon them to defend the dignity of life and to pass legislation prohibiting late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in their mother's womb.

This year, the March for Life is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which forever enshrined women's rights to vote in the United States and given by the United States constitution. Such a big event. Today, millions of extraordinary women across America are using the power of their votes to fight for the right and all of their rights as given in the Declaration of Independence – it’s the right to life.

To all the women here today, your devotion and your leadership uplifts our entire nation and we thank you for that. The tens of thousands of Americans gathered today not only stand for life – it’s really here that they stand for it so proudly together. And I want to thank everybody for that. You stand for life each and every day. You provide housing, education, jobs, and medical care to the women that you serve. You find loving families for children in need of a forever home. You host baby showers for expecting moms. You make – you just make it your life's mission to help spread God's grace.

And to all the moms here today, we celebrate you and we declare that mothers are heroes. Your strength, devotion, and drive is what powers our nation. Because of you, our country has been blessed with amazing souls who have changed the course of human history.

We cannot know what our citizens yet unborn will achieve. The dreams they will imagine. The masterpieces they will create. The discoveries they will make. But we know this: every life brings love into this world. Every child brings joy to a family. Every person is worth protecting.

And above all, we know that every human soul is divine and every human life, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of Almighty God.

Together, we will defend this truth all across our magnificent land. We will set free the dreams of our people. And with determined hope, we look forward to all of the blessings that will come from the beauty, talent, purpose, nobility, and grace of every American child.

I want to thank you. This is a very special moment. It’s so great to represent you. I love you all. And I say with a true passion, thank you, God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you all. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

January 2020 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Promotion of World Peace. We pray that Christians, followers of other religions, and all people of goodwill may promote peace and justice in the world.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

(Another case of "better late than never".)

December 2019 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here was the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
The Future of the Very Young. That every country determine to take the necessary measures to make the future of the very young, especially those who suffer, a priority.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

(Caught up in the Advent spirit? Nope. Just plain forgot.)

Friday, January 03, 2020

Every Knee Should Bend

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 
Phil. 2:6-11
In my 2016 Christmas Eve Reflection, using this passage as a focal point for a phrase, I had wondered if people have forgotten that Jesus is God. With at least 70% of the faithful not believing in the Real Presence (depending on the poll you have seen), it is no wonder why one may see such casual, if not irreverent behavior, during Communion. Many people, using lex orandi, lex credendi as a starting point, question the posture of standing and receiving the Sacred Host on the hand versus kneeling and receiving on the tongue, saying this contributes to the lack of reverence.

I made mention I genuflect as I pass by the Tabernacle outside of Mass, praying the "Jesus Prayer" as I pause there. I also bow my head at the mention of the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and during the recitation of the Gloria Patri, as is/was customary. I do that to remind me of the very thing I decry, to give witness to the fact that He is here among us.

Today is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. You may not see it on your calendar, as it was seemingly removed and then restored. In keeping with a positive take on the 2nd. Commandment, there are two prayers you can use to honor "the name which is above every name."

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The first is one of the six officially approved litanies of the Church. The Litany of the Holy Name invokes titles associated with Jesus. A partial indulgence is gained for its recitation.

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, hear us.
R. Jesus, graciously hear us.
V. God the Father of Heaven
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Holy Spirit,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Holy Trinity, one God,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, Son of the living God,
R. Have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, [etc.]
Jesus, brightness of eternal light.
Jesus, King of glory.
Jesus, sun of justice.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary.
Jesus, most amiable.
Jesus, most admirable.
Jesus, the mighty God.
Jesus, Father of the world to come.
Jesus, angel of great counsel.
Jesus, most powerful.
Jesus, most patient.
Jesus, most obedient.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
Jesus, lover of chastity.
Jesus, lover of us.
Jesus, God of peace.
Jesus, author of life.
Jesus, example of virtues.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls.
Jesus, our God.
Jesus, our refuge.
Jesus, father of the poor.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful.
Jesus, good Shepherd.
Jesus, true light.
Jesus, eternal wisdom.
Jesus, infinite goodness.
Jesus, our way and our life.
Jesus, joy of Angels.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles.
Jesus, teacher of the Evangelists.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs.
Jesus, light of Confessors.
Jesus, purity of Virgins.
Jesus, crown of Saints.

V. Be merciful, R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Be merciful, R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.
V. From all evil, R. deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Your wrath, [etc.]
From the snares of the devil.
From the spirit of fornication.
From everlasting death.
From the neglect of Your inspirations.
By the mystery of Your holy Incarnation.
By Your Nativity.
By Your Infancy.
By Your most divine Life.
By Your labors.
By Your agony and passion.
By Your cross and dereliction.
By Your sufferings.
By Your death and burial.
By Your Resurrection.
By Your Ascension.
By Your institution of the most Holy Eucharist.
By Your joys.
By Your glory.

V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. have mercy on us, O Jesus.
V. Jesus, hear us.
R. Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, You have said, "Ask and you shall receive, seek, and you shall find, knock, and it shall be opened to you." Grant, we beg of You, to us who ask it, the gift of Your most divine love, that we may ever love You with our whole heart, in word and deed, and never cease praising You.

Give us, O Lord, as much a lasting fear as a lasting love of Your Holy Name, for You, who live and are King for ever and ever, never fail to govern those whom You have solidly established in Your love.
R. Amen.

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The other is a very familiar prayer at the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The Divine Praises are recited as the Sacred Host is being returned to the tabernacle. It can also be used to make reparations for blasphemy and profane language.

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most Holy.
Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her Glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the Name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.

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Perhaps one or both of these can be your New Year's resolution in terms of the spiritual life.

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Originally posted 1/3/2017.
Re-posted 1/3/2018.
Re-posted 1/3/2019.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Old Song For A New Decade


Tonight is a unique ocassion. The new year that arrives will have a zero at the end of it. While time is a normal way to mark milestones, this one should be a bit more festive. And when the time for that special chime comes, the one that marks end and beginning of a year and a decade, may these words from Robert Burns ring out with more meaning:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
And never brought to mind? 
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
And auld lang syne? 
 

For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne, 
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne. 
 

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp, 
And surely I'll be mine! 
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne. 
 

For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne, 
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne. 
 

We twa hae run about the braes, 
And pu'd the gowans fine; 
But we've wandered mony a weary fit 
Sin' auld lang syne. 
 

For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne, 
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne. 
 

We twa hae paidled i' the burn, 
Frae morning sun till dine; 
But seas between us braid hae roared 
Sin' auld lang syne. 
 

For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne, 
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne. 
 

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere, 
And gie's a hand o' thine! 
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught 
For auld lang syne. 
 

For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne, 
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne.

May God bless you as you begin 2020. May His grace and favor shine in what you do, say, and are. May He bestow upon you and yours an abundance of virtue in your lives.

Happy New Year, Everybody!