Saturday, January 22, 2022

Marching--Onward To Victory?

What a difference a year makes.

Last year was the 48th. edition of the National March for Life. Held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a stark change of attitude overshadowing it. The incoming party, in charge of the federal government with the barest of  "majority status", started to impose its will. Lead by the newly inaugurated President, it began to dismantle all the gains the pro-life movement accumulated in the past four years.

"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they are doing." (Or do they?)

Deep down, I wonder if the leaders of the pro-life movement and, perhaps, those grassroots supporters  thought the battle would now become a siege. All the work since the infamous Supreme Court decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, legalizing abortion throughout the entire pregnancy, was seeming being swept away. The promise made of enshrining this permanently into law was more real than ever.

The strife is o'er; the battle, done?

Not so fast. Those grassroots were very hardy. Pro-life laws enacted at the state level, while always part of the arsenal, were now becoming more front and center of this conflict. Intentionally or not, one of these pieces of legislation was going to become the legal counter-strike required, as the two rulings left it vulnerable to such an attack.

And, then, it happened.

The first significant salvo since the 1993 challenge of Planned Parenthood vs. Casey was fired. The Supreme Court announced and then accepted oral arguments regarding the lawsuit Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The question the Court will decide is the constitutionality of pre-viability prohibitions, a decision expected in late June.

Many people on both sides of the issue are anticipating a ruling favoring the pro-life movement. While this may not overturn Roe or Doe, it will do some damage. Which is why you are seeing state laws enacted which, depending on which side you champion, are anticipating a return of the question to the state level.

So, it ain't over. In fact, it just may be getting started. Which leads me to a parallel event. (Admittedly, this will be a stretch; but I still like the analogy.) The country has been embroiled in a cultural civil war since the 1960, much like it was embroiled in a cultural (as well as physical) one nearly 160 years ago. And where was one of the turning points? A battle in Mississippi.

Looks like there might be early fireworks this Independence Day.

And then, after that, the real work begins.

Monday, January 03, 2022

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.
Re-posted 1/3/2020.

Saturday, January 01, 2022

January 2022 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when prayer the Morning Offering:

For true human fraternity. We pray for all those suffering from religious discrimination and persecution; may their own rights and dignity be recognized, which originate from being brothers and sisters in the human family.

A reflection for this intention is found here. 

Hail, Theotokis!


Fish Eaters presents the Akathis Hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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Originally posted 1/1/2011.
Re-posted 1/1/2014.
Re-posted 1/1/2015.
Re-posted 1/1/2016.
Re-posted 1/1/2017.
Re-posted 1/1/2018.
Re-posted 1/1/2019.
Re-posted 1/1/2020.
Re-posted 1/1/2021.

Another New Year's Indulgence

For those of you who were unable to gain the indulgence from singing "Te Deum" last night, fear not.

You have another opportunity today.

Singing the hymn "Veni, Creator Spiritus", as it does on Pentecost Sunday, also carries with it a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions.

You will find the words and a familiar translation here.

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Originally posted 1/1/2016.
Re-posted 1/1/2017.
Re-posted 1/1/2018.
Re-posted 1/1/2019.
Re-posted 1/1/2020.
Re-posted 1/1/2021.

Perpetual Resolution


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Originally posted 1/1/2007.
Re-posted 1/1/2013.
Re-posted 1/1/2014.
Re-posted 1/1/2015.
Re-posted 1/1/2016.
Re-posted 1/1/2017.
Re-posted 1/1/2018.
Re-posted 1/1/2019.
Re-posted 1/1/2020.
Re-posted 1/1/2021