Wednesday, January 30, 2013

West Coast March for Life 2013

    Photo: Paul Ryan/West Coast Walk for Life

West Coast March for Life. More photos here

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Women Tell the Painful Truth of Abortion

                                                      Photo of Irene Beltran, one of the speakers at the Roe. v. Wade Conference on January 22, 2013 on Capital Hill (CNSnews/Penny Starr).


Roe v. Wade Conference: Women Share Graphic Stories About Abortion's Toll on Their Lives
Article found on cnsnews.com on January 22, 2013.

If you go to CNSNews you can see the video of their testimony.

(CNSNews.com) – One after another, women came to the microphone at a Capitol Hill press conference on Tuesday to tell members of the media about how abortion had scarred their lives, some of them sharing graphic stories of an event they said had lifelong consequences. The conference was held on the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
Irene Beltran told how she had a saline abortion when she was six months pregnant.

“When the abortionist administered the poison in my stomach I was mortified and shocked because I felt my child kick and turn hastily,” Beltran said. “Later, I found out she was being burned and could feel the pain.”

Instead of returning to the abortion clinic the next day to complete the process, Beltran went with her family to a hospital to see if the baby could be saved. But her daughter did not survive.


“My parents and other family members were able to cradle her in their arms and we spent the last moments with her,” Beltran said. “Then the nurse walked in and carried her small, helpless, now cold, lifeless body out of the room.”

Kelly Stauffer said she was 14 when she got pregnant and was 5 months along when her doctor confirmed her pregnancy.  Her parents told her an abortion “was the best way to rid our lives of this problem.”

Stauffer said that was not the case.

“I can still, 17 years later, vividly remember the five-day process of being slowly and painfully dilated, of laying on an examination table and feeling the baby inside me frantically demand my attention right before the abortion’s needle ended her life, and I remember feeling utterly alone as I was forced into labor, delivering my baby’s lifeless body,” Stauffer said, choking back tears. “No, life, sadly was never the same.”

Olivia Gans-Turner, who now is director of American Victims of Abortion (AVA), said she had an abortion when she was a college student. She said she was intimidated by the abortion clinic staff and not given information she would later learn and that would add to her emotional struggle for years to come.

“I was told repeatedly that I was immature and foolish not to have an abortion,” Gans-Turner said. “Worst of all, I was not told vital information about the child I was carrying, including the medical fact that by the time I had an abortion at 12 weeks, my baby already had a beating heart and brain waves.”

Linda Shrewberry, who helped found AVA and Black Americans for Life, said although the details of her abortion 41 years ago have faded, her dedication to helping end the practice is still very personal.
“As an academic and as a black person, I was shocked -- as I have researched and looked at this issue -- I was shocked to discover the racist, elitist roots of abortion,” Shrewberry said, citing the belief in eugenics of Margaret Sanger, a pro-abortion advocate who founded the American Birth Control League in 1921, which later became part of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

abortion,
From left, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), visits with women who spoke to the media on Jan. 22, 2012, about the harm they suffered after having abortions, Linda Shrewberry, center, and Olivia Gans-Turner, founding member and director, respectively, of the American Victims of Abortion. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

Shrewberry said that abortion was a strategy of population control in the eugenics ideology and that the general population had to be persuaded that abortion was a positive idea.
“How convenient to pose their compliance with destroying their offspring as their choice and their right,” Shrewberry said. “For Planned Parenthood – mission accomplished – 30 percent of all abortions are performed on black women and children.”

Data on abortions show that more than 30 percent of abortions are performed on African Americans while they represent only 13 percent of the U.S. population.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who is co-chairman of the House Pro-life Caucus, introduced the women at the conference, which was called “Forty Years of Victims: The Legacy of Abortion.”

“Forty years today marks the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous, reckless and inhumane abandonment of women and babies to abortionists,” Smith said. “Forty years of victims – dead babies, wounded women, shattered families.”

“Forty years of government-sanctioned violence again women and children,” Smith said.


March for Life 2013: 500,000 and Counting

March for Life 2013 500,000

What the media doesn't want you to know.

                                                          Just a few people

                                                       Photo from Catholic Free Press

                                                          Still another view.

                                                 Photo found on DefendProclaimtheFaith

                                           





Monday, January 28, 2013

Are Pro-Abortion Activitists Really Losing?



Why did Time magazine’s January 14 issue make the claim, front and center on its cover, that “abortion-rights activists” are “losing”? Other than marking the 40 year anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it seems a rather odd statement. But is it really? While some may consider it shocking for Time to make such an assertion, the conclusion is clear.

From the onset of the article, the author is sympathetic to the abortion cause. Not only is she sympathetic to their cause, she is clearly drumming up support for them throughout the article. Certainly, that is no surprise from the mainstream media. The premise of the article is that it is more difficult for women to access abortion. Why should that matter? One word: money.

Shortly after Time published this piece, Planned Parenthood released their statistics for 2011-2012. Their statistics, however, do not match the bleak picture painted by Pickert.  By their own statistics, Planned Parenthood performed a record 333,964 abortions. Up, not down, from the previous year and a direct contradiction to the statement that abortions are more difficult to obtain. What Planned Parenthood doesn’t want you to know is that taxpayers are footing the bill, increasing the amount each year. Last year taxpayers footed the bill to the hefty tune of $542.4 million. No small change!

What you won’t find in their report or in the Time article is that Planned Parenthood is doing just fine financially. Its net assets are valued at $1, 244.7 billion. With a national debt topping an astronomical $16 trillion, an amount larger than our entire economy, our country is facing an economic crisis. We are precariously poised to face a recession or worse unless Congress controls its spending. What that means for anyone who is receiving a piece of the federal pie is that they need to create a convincing case that they are worth being spent on; they are needed and they have a need.
How is Planned Parenthood needed? Just mention a cut in funds and suddenly they are for women’s health. During the Presidential debates, President Obama claimed, “There are millions of women all across the country who rely on Planned Parenthood for mammograms.” Sorry, but it’s not true. Planned Parenthood does not do a single mammogram. Zero. While they offer other services, their number one service is abortion.

Bill Clinton once said he wanted to keep abortion “safe, legal and rare.” According to the Guttmacher Institute more than 1 million abortions are performed each year. That is hardly rare. What about safe? According to the Centers for Disease Control more than 400 women have died from legal abortions since 1973. What about licensing? Why are pro-abortion activists against safety at abortion clinics, as noted in the Time article? No one talks about the women who are driven away in ambulances at the back door of the “legal” abortion clinics (as in two separate incidents in Milwaukee on July 21, 2012) or the women who have died or been maimed by doctors like Milan Vuitch. And no one wants to hear the facts about partial birth abortion, because it is too gruesome.

Pro-abortion advocates, as well as Planned Parenthood, want to present themselves as compassionate, caring. Yet, the local pregnancy help center offers women free ultrasounds and pregnancy tests, while the abortion clinic across the street charges poor women $75.00 for the same combined services.

What is Planned Parenthood’s need? The bottom line is that Planned Parenthood wants to continue receiving your tax dollars. And the best way to do that is create as many people as possible sympathetic to their cause. Why the odd story about abortion on the cover of Time? The author wants to incite people to support abortion, particularly since the latest Gallup Poll reveals that more people consider themselves “pro-life” than “pro-choice.” The tenor of the article is that “the pro-choice cause is in crisis.” By creating a crisis, pro-abortion activists hope to gain people’s support. They want to present themselves as “losing” or in need of financial assistance along with the claim that they are needed for women’s health. Ultimately, Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider, has a need: Your tax dollars. It’s all about the money.

Elizabeth Yank
Thanks to Catholic Exchange for publishing. January, 28, 2013




Sunday, January 27, 2013

Forbes Magazine on Homeschooling

Forbes
 

"Want to Tel the State to Stick It? Homeschool Your Kids"

This notion that the children belong to the state, that their education must be provided for by the state … is inimical at every step to liberty.” – J. Gresham Machen

The swelling legions of homeschoolers poke a subtle rebuke at America’s ever expanding nanny state. Under both parties, Washington has systematically invaded private spheres and co-opted public services historically performed by local bodies. But a spontaneous groundswell of freedom minded folks has continued America’s rich inheritance of rugged individualism.

The God-fearing, flag-waiving, gun-toting homeschool crowd embodies the American spirit of mutual self-reliance. You won’t encounter a more neighborly bunch. Their children thrive without government “help.” Their support networks blossom sans the state’s sanction. Meanwhile, taxpayers waste a fortune securing abysmal academic results. In 2012, SAT scores fell to their lowest level since tracking began. As spending soars, assessment scores plummet.

The modern homeschool movement comes largely by Christians aghast over an academic establishment overrun by progressives. Schools long ago became laboratories for instilling statism and distilling politically correct groupthink. Values clarification anyone? With public education increasingly geared toward multicultural agitation against America’s godly heritage, many parents resolved to safeguard the hearts, souls and minds of their young.
At least 1.5 million students receive home-based academic instruction. The ranks of homeschoolers are rising rapidly across every social strata, faith and ethnicity. While many families lack sufficient means for someone to stay home, it’s not generally those affluent enough to afford exclusive parochial education. The highest homeschool participation appears in households with incomes ranging from $25,000 to $75,000. The homeschool community reflects a cross-section of Americans; the children of truck drivers and lawyers, whites and blacks, rich and poor, Christians and unbelievers.

What is civilization save passing to posterity the accumulated prosperity, cultural achievements, customs and mores of our forbearers? In the American context this includes self-reliance. Parents are the primary medium for rearing children. Should liberty endure, America must restore her multi-generational perspective, lately befuddled by Leviathan permeating life.

We have two principle tutors, lessons learned via individual experience and the wisdom amassed by our ancestors. Progressives have purposely uprooted America’s multi-generational perspective for many decades. Woodrow Wilson, who prior to the White House presided over Princeton, wrote, “The use of a university is to make young gentlemen as unlike their fathers as possible.”

Not to besmirch the many fine teachers, but an education establishment intent on discrediting tradition as a compass has rendered much of America’s youth adrift with only the pittance of personal experience to navigate their course. Students are prodded to disdain the independent spirit and biblical morality which birthed America’s exceptionalism. But casting aside the wisdom of our fathers comes at great peril.

Edmund Burke admonished “The individual is foolish, but the species is wise.”

J. Gresham Machen, the foremost defender of fundamentalism in the modernist controversy of the past century, also led the battle against compulsory public education. A fierce libertarian, Machen cautioned, “If you give the bureaucrats the children, you might as well give them everything else as well.”

We have. See election 2012.

Barack Obama – who spent his past assailing the American system – would not be president without overwhelming support from twenty-somethings imbued with a reverence for the state. No longer the family tree, “government is the only thing we all belong to” claims the ruling party.

Ron Paul senses the urgency, “Expect the rapidly expanding homeschool movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary reforms needed to rebuild a free society with constitutional protections.” Dr. Paul warns, “We cannot expect a federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.” Proving his point, homeschool parents were instrumental behind several UN treaties stalling in the Senate.

Like the local self-government formed indigenously by settler communities on America’s frontier, homeschoolers spontaneously built a support apparatus from the ground up. The free market at work, parents can readily access almost any curricula, subject matter or activity.

The Department of Education’s Dr. Patricia Lines countered the notion of homeschoolers withdrawing from America’s social fabric, “Like the Antifederalists these homeschoolers are asserting their historic individual rights so that they may form more meaningful bonds with family and community. In doing so, they are not abdicating from the American agreement. To the contrary, they are affirming it.”

A misperception persists that homeschooled children lack social skills. Dr. Brian Ray, of the National Home Education Research Institute, surveyed seven thousand adult graduates of homeschools. His research reveals they are significantly more likely to participate in community service initiatives, join civic, religious or business organizations and be politically involved. A limited study by J. Gary Knowles found no homeschool graduates who were unemployed or residing on welfare.

Unless socialization means sassing their parents, as confirmed by Dr. Larry Shyers, homeschooled children exhibit significantly less behavioral problems than other students. Public schools nurture self-esteem. Homeschooling cultivates character allowing children to flourish into responsible citizens. Moreover, Dr. Ray concludes adults taught at home retained their parent’s worldviews far more frequently than peers. Students learning at home absorb much less liberal cant.

Homeschooled kids don’t lack socialization . . . but socialism.

The most pressing motive behind taking on the terrific burden of home education is to impart religious or moral beliefs at 36 percent; safety was primary for 21 percent of parents and dissatisfaction with academic performance at other schooling options accounted for 17 percent. Parents also cited geographical distance, preferring non-traditional teaching methodologies or wishing to tailor classes per a particular student’s needs.

Some parents simply prioritize getting our children into Heaven over getting them into Harvard. Forging godly character, precept upon precept, surpasses SAT scores in importance. But homeschooled children suffer no discernible academic handicap.

It’s not only national spelling bees and similar competitions where homeschooled students have become a force. Studies consistently have homeschooled students scoring 15-30 points above national averages. A recent survey by Brian Ray covering 11,739 students showed homeschooled children tested at the 86th percentile. These stellar results held for boys and girls; all incomes; whether or not the parent had teacher credentials; whether their budget was above or below $600; and the amount of state regulation.

The Home School Legal Defense Association asks, “If government regulation does not improve the results of homeschoolers why is it necessary?” Many Americans coming from other walks no doubt similarly ponder the efficacy of red-tape.

The impressive results may partly derive from positive selection. And any child whose parents willingly invest so much time would likely thrive in other settings, but students previously homeschooled continue to prosper at college. They obtain above average grades with higher graduation rates.

Despite undeniable successes – or perhaps because of them – homeschooling still faces resentment by suspicious social workers and government bureaucrats. Per Christine Field, an attorney with the National Center for Life and Liberty (we are members), “If we are losing rights, it is in the social services arena where an anonymous phone call can bring authorities in to ‘investigate’ a homeschooling family. The Fourth Amendment violations committed by social workers … can wreak legal havoc on parents.”

Homeschooling represents a microcosm of traditional Americana and a rebuke of government meddling. Hence liberals hate it.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

American Spectator: Pro Choice Advocate Almost Admits That Abortion is Killing


You can find this essay on The American Spectator: Pro Choice Advocate (Almost) Admits Abortion is Killing. 

I have copied it in it entirety.

Just when you think that the hard left has gone soft, that they’re all either multi-culti sentimentalists or “fact”-obsessed technocrats, an essay like this one over at Salon comes along. As her title (“So what if abortion ends life?”) makes clear, Mary Elizabeth Williams is impatient with her coevals on the left, who blather and equivocate whenever they’re forced to talk about abortion.

The essay itself is, alas, far from the model of clarity that Williams seems to have intended it to be. In fact, it’s a bit of a mess. In one paragraph Williams praises the efforts of Planned Parenthood to move the abortion debate beyond the rhetoric of “choice” and “life,” while in the next she mentions “the dirty tricks of the anti-choice lobby” and refers to “[us] on the pro-choice” side. So I’m wondering: does Williams think that “choice” is a fudge or not? If so, why does she continue to use it as a label? For my part, I tend to agree with her that “pro-life” and “pro-choice” are both wanting in descriptive power, and suggest replacing them with “pro-life-under-any-circumstances” and “pro-death-at-the-whim-of-the-mother-though-never-that-of-the-father” respectively.

A bit later Williams gloats over the fact that “seven in 10 Americans [are] in favor of letting Roe v. Wade stand.” Well, to borrow from her title, “So what?” Let the figure be eight or nine out of ten Americans: only 2.88839328 × 10-6 percent of us are Supreme Court justices. How many Americans can explain to me the legal reasoning behind the Court’s decision in 1973? (Here’s the text of the Fourteenth Amendment: find me what it says about a “right to privacy.”)

Her essay really, err, takes off in her fourth paragraph:
Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always. [bold mine, MW]
“All life is not equal”: This is the language of slave owners and totalitarians. It is also, in its way, a legitimate metaphysical and ethical stance, albeit one that, as a Christian, I find emetic. (After all, one can observe that person x and person y are unequal in the sense that they exhibit marked differences in natural ability, attainment, etc., due to hereditary and other factors, without believing that x or y is lacking in metaphysical dignity or any less beloved of God.) It’s hard for me to see, though, how the entire project of egalitarianism, which is itself the result of a kind of weak misreading of the ancient Christian belief that we are created in God’s image, does not collapse once one admits “all life is not equal.”

“[N]on-autonomous”: Is a newborn infant “autonomous”? A toddler? An eight-year-old? At what point do young homo sapiens become “autonomous”? The inordinate amount of time upon which a young human is completely dependant upon its mother (i.e., “non-autonomous”) is one of the most distinctive characteristics of our species. Really I guess I’m wondering why, if a person’s not being “autonomous” makes it okay to kill him or her, a mother shouldn’t be able to chuck her crying, expensive three-year-old into a river if the fancy strikes her? “She’s the boss,” right?

Still, I can’t help but feel that, despite her attempt at plain speaking in the above paragraph, Williams remains a bit squeamish, at least rhetorically speaking, about the actual implications of her position. Recall her title: “So what if abortion ends life?” Well, when “life” ends, we call that “death”; and when “death” comes as the result of someone delibarately ending the life of another, we call that “killing.” So why not write “So what if abortion is killing?”

(Thanks to Rod Dreher over at the American Conservative for bringing this essay to my attention.)

Refresh! Virtual Midwinter Conference for Catholic Homeschoolers



Refresh! Virtual Midwinter Conference for Catholic Homeschoolers

From Maureen: 

Refresh Midwinter Homeschool Conference  along with Michelle Grunkemeyer and Walter Crawford. It takes place throughout the month of February and is free for anyone who would like to attend. We have some really wonderful speakers and talks lined up including our list owner and moderator Maria Rioux ...

Simplified Writing: What Every Student Needs to Succeed with Erin Brown Conroy
The Catholic Revival from Newman to Tolkien with Joseph Pearce
Your Own Toy Theater: G. K. Chesterton's Legacy with Children with Nancy Brown
How to Homeschool and Not Lose Your Mind with Mary Ellen Barret
Healthy Mind, Happy Heart: How to Build Your Child's Attitude and Focus with Erin Brown Conroy
Fueling the Peace Lamp to Prevent Burnout with Rita Munn
Twenty Years of the Henebry Homeschool: What Worked for Us with Ana Braga Henebry
Balanced Parenting: Real Actions that Make Parenting Easier with Erin Brown Conroy
20 Factors College Admissions Committees Consider with Katherine O'Brien
Schooling Multiple Ages: Tips from a Mom of 13 with Erin Brown Conroy
Ora et Labora: Loving Service as Prayer with Maria Rioux

I just found out that Dr. Carol will be doing 2 webinars for the conference too. I'll let you know when we get them scheduled.

We are able to bring the webinars to Catholic homeschoolers for free due to the generosity of our sponsors, including Little Flowers Girls Club, American Chesterton Society, and Celtic College Consultants.

Please feel free to pass this email on to other Catholic homeschooling families.

Blessings,
Maureen :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Another Company in Court Over Obamacare

                                                  Photo from Life News

The Obama administration is appealing a ruling that stopped the forced Obamacare mandate on the family business, Hercules Industries. Life News.com has the story.

Other companies include Sioux Chief Manufacturing Co. are also involved in lawsuits.

And Still more companies!

Rulings on Obamacare seem to be based on the whims of the judge. One rules against and the other for. According to Lifenews.com more judges have ruled against Obamacare than for.

If you say something is, does that mean it is true? Obama declared last week Wednesday, January 16, 2013, as Religious Freedom Day as he pursues enforcing the Obamacare mandates against others religious freedom.

Patheos has some commentary about Religious Freedom Day.

                                            Photo found on Patheos


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Clinton on Benghazi, Then and Now: It Matters

Immediately after the report of Benghazi, Hillary Clinton brings up the protest was a result of a film.

Today she testifies--hmm. How many months later? Why are the media not allowed to interview them?





Why does it matter? Because Obama, and the administration said one thing and now you are saying something else. It matters because the American people want to know why you didn't do anything that military experts say could have been done. It matters because people died because of your negligence.

More questions that should be  asked

Clinton smirks while Sen. Rand Paul "blasts" her "failure of leadership."


This  is just one of many reactions.  Charlie Sykes gathered opinions.

Ronald Regan First Inaugural Address

Mark Levin was playing part of Regan's first inaugural address. Dr. Paul Kengor laments the radical change in world views.

Ronald Regan Second Inaugual Address: "If not us, who? If not now, when?"

Regan's Second Inaugural Address. "If not us, who? If not now, when?" Listen and weep, then persevere on doing what is right!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Alabama Supreme Court Recognizes Unborn as Persons

NCRegister has an article about the state Supreme Court ruling on unborn babies as persons.



Sunday, January 20, 2013

Huge Prolife Rally in Dublin


Over 25,000 prolifers, braving bitterly cold, winter temperatures, attended a rally in Dublin, Ireland  protesting the government's proposal to allow for abortion.

Mickey Harte, a football manager (soccer in the USA) said, "Ireland is almost unique in the Western world in looking out for, and fully protecting, two patients during a pregnancy – a mother and her unborn child." 

"We are here to oppose the unjust targeting of even one unborn child's life in circumstances that have nothing to do with genuine life-saving medical interventions."

Before the huge rally,  Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin,  held a prayer service for “the child in the womb” at St Andrew’s Church in Westland Row.

Irish Examiner offers more facts about the huge turnout. As always don't expect the mainstream media to share all the facts or show the pictures.

This is not the first huge prolife rally in Ireland to protest the proposed changes in the law. In Dec. there was another rally of 10,000 at a prolife vigil.

While the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar is being used to fuel the debate, the truth that abortion would not have saved her life is being hidden. Life News has more than one story, covering her death and the abortion advocates exploiting her case.  Here is another story. There are lots of stories on Life News. I would recommend you go to the site and search using her name

Friday, January 18, 2013

What Did You Say Obama! A Nation Rises-- March for Life


A video for everyone to see. A Nation Rises--March for Life by Blackstone Films.
Make this video go viral!

USCCB Novena of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage: Marking the 40th Anniversay of Roe v. Wade

USCCB: Nine Days of Prayer, Penance & Pilgrimage: Marking the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade -usccb.org.

Even if you are unable to this novena, you can always say a Hail Mary every day! From the USCCB . . .

Daily Reflections

Day One: Saturday, January 19, 2013

Intercession: For the mother who awakens each morning with the memory of abortion fresh in her mind: that the Lord may still the terror in her heart and lead her gently to the well-spring of his love and mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. May she, and all who've been involved in an abortion decision, find healing and hope through Project Rachel Ministry.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: Today's Gospel reading from Mark recounts Jesus dining with tax collectors and sinners. When the Pharisees question Jesus about this, he responds, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners." In a society where millions of people have fallen prey to the false promises of the culture of death, let us witness to the mercy of Jesus and invite all who've been harmed to experience his abundant love and healing.
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • Take time to write a handwritten note to someone who is lonely or needing encouragement.
  • Pray for your deceased relatives and those who have no one to pray for them.
  • "Spiritually adopt" a baby by saying this prayer every day: "Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of [baby's name], the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion." – Prayer of Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Did you know? Women who've had an abortion have a 138% higher risk of mental health problems compared to women who've given birth, according to a 2011 article in the British Journal of Psychiatry that analyzed 22 major studies on women's mental health following abortion. Together, the studies involved over 800,000 women. Visit HopeAfterAbortion.org for more information on abortion's aftermath and where to find help.


Day Two: Sunday, January 20, 2012

Intercession: For the father whose child died with his cooperation and consent: that the Lord grant him the grace to repent and be reconciled with God.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: Today's memorial of St. Sebastian, the famous martyr and patron of athletes, lived his faith courageously in the midst of intense Roman persecution. St. Sebastian's life reminds us that even in the midst of threats to the faith, a life lived and died in Christ is the ultimate witness—one that changes others. The wedding feast at Cana, described in today's Gospel, recounts the first miracle Christ performs, changing six stone jars of water into wine. At the request of his mother, Jesus takes up the ordinary substance of water and turns it into something extraordinary—choice wine for the wedding guests. Our life, too, is changed into something extraordinary when given over to Christ. We trust that He always gives us what we need. Today we bring to him our desire to uphold human life, and entrust everything to him, through the intercession of his mother. We can be certain that he will bless all our efforts with success.
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • When others are speaking uncharitably about someone else, change the conversation, leave, or offer a counter opinion that is kind and charitable.
  • Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. . . for mothers and fathers who've lost a child through abortion, asking that they find the courage to seek Reconciliation and counseling through Project Rachel Ministry.
  • Read about the life of a modern (19th or 20th century) saint. You might be surprised by how much you have in common with them.
Did you know? Four out of ten men whose partners had an abortion experienced chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, occurring on average 15 years after the abortion. Among these men, 88% had feelings of grief and sadness, 82% had guilt, 77% felt anger, 64% anxiety and 68% isolation. The full article is here.

Day Three: Monday, January 21, 2012

Intercession: For the parents who influenced their child's choice to abort their grandchild: that they may have the humility and wisdom to see the wrong they've done and to seek forgiveness from God and from their child.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: Today we honor the life of St. Agnes, a 12-year-old girl martyred in Rome in 304 AD during the Diocletian persecution. Agnes never wavered in her commitment to remain a virgin and to give her whole life to the Lord, refusing proposals to marry. Her innocence and heroism facing death helped bring an end to the persecution of Christians in Rome. Following the example of St. Agnes, let us remain steadfast in recognizing Christ, who is Love Incarnate, as the source and summit of our lives. May his love give us the determination and courage to live for him and for others, especially the most vulnerable among us.
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • It's easy to put our headphones on and ignore our siblings or parents in the car. Instead, enjoy the opportunity you have to talk to them, ask them how they are doing.
  • Smile. Ask God today for the grace to be extra joyful and share your love for Christ with those who need that encouragement the most today. "Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." –Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
  • We can sometimes forget how blessed we are to have many of our daily comforts. Give up sleeping with your pillow tonight.
Did you know? When an unborn baby girl is at just 19 weeks' gestation in her mother's womb, her tiny ovaries already contain all the eggs she will have in her lifetime, to one day have babies of her own. Visit www.ehd.org. . . for amazing facts on embryonic and fetal development.

Day Four: Tuesday, January 22, 2012

Intercession: For the doctors, nurses and counselors who now know they were wrong in cooperating with abortion: may God grant them the courage to renounce their involvement in the abortion industry and open their hearts to doing his will from now on.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: Today, on this 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we consider the past four decades in which our society has legally permitted abortion, wandering far from God. Instead of accepting children in joy and hope, our culture is lost in a barren place marked by rejection of others, sorrow and despair. Yet, like Abraham, whom we hear about in today's first reading, Christians must "hold fast to the hope that lies before us," trusting in faith that Christ makes all things new. With Mary's intercession, let us pray that our nation becomes a place where every child is welcomed with joy, as an irreplaceable gift from our Creator.
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • Go to an abortion clinic and pray, or set aside an hour today to pray for those who are struggling with a decision of life or death for their unborn child.
  • Pray the Rosary today for someone who has hurt or disappointed you, and ask for the grace to forgive that person.
  • Instead of donating "old clothes," offer to buy a new piece of clothing or item a charity is seeking.
Did you know? Planned Parenthood personnel have aborted over 5,300,000 children since 1970. That's equal to the entire population of Colorado. In 2009, 97.6 percent of Planned Parenthood's "services" for pregnant women involved killing their children, and only 2.4 percent involved prenatal care or adoption referral. See www.americanthinker.com/2011/04/things_planned_parenthoods_tru.html. . . .

Day Five: Wednesday, January 23, 2012

Intercession: For scientists and pharmaceutical employees who help create and manufacture contraceptive and abortifacient drugs: that the Lord will open their eyes to the moral danger and health risks these drugs pose for women and prompt them to work only on medications that benefit human life.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: In today's Gospel, we hear how Jesus grieved the hardness of heart of the Pharisees, as he heals the man with the withered hand. Let us open our hearts in faith, entrusting our culture to the healing power of Christ, the One who has overcome sin and the power of evil. We recall the words of Pope Benedict XVI, having faith that "this God exists, and hence that this power to 'take away the sin of the world' (Jn 1:29) is present in the world" (Saved in Hope [Spe Salvi], 36).
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • Gratitude helps us love God and neighbor. Today try to not complain or be negative. Say a prayer of thanksgiving instead.
  • Sometimes we forget to quiet ourselves and spend quality time with God. Fast from Facebook or Twitter today. Spend that extra time meditating on a Gospel passage.
  • Don't push the snooze button. Get right out of bed and offer your day in prayer to God. "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light" (Ephesians 5:14).
Did you know? More than 360 young women using the patch, contraceptive ring or Yaz/Yasmin pills have died in recent years due to heart attacks, strokes or pulmonary embolisms associated with these drugs and devices. The World Health Organization declared that the estrogen in contraceptives can cause cancer in humans. See "Life Matters: Contraceptives and Women's Well-Being," and here.

Day Six: Thursday, January 24, 2012

Intercession: For those whose work involves promoting abortion and contraceptive use:may God help them understand that the casual sex they foster undermines the capacity for the self-giving, faithful and enduring love that is the longing of every heart.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: On this feast of St. Francis de Sales, let us consider these words of the great saint: "All that we do must be motivated by love and not force. We must love to obey rather than fear to disobey." St. Francis reminds us that all of our actions must be borne of a spirit of love, and that we find our freedom in living the truth. As we defend the dignity of human life, let us ask St. Francis to pray for us so that everything we say and do for unborn children and their grieving parents is imbued with both compassion and truth.
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • Learn how to pray the Angelus. . . prayer, and get into the habit of saying it every day—at noon or 6 pm or on awakening (or all three times).
  • Today ignore your sweet tooth. Make healthy eating choices.
  • Clean a room in your house without being asked or without telling anyone. Pray for your family members while you clean, "and your Father who sees in secret will repay you" (Matthew 6:6).
Did you know? Surveys shows that most young adults want to be married one day, but contraceptive use encourages self-centeredness rather than self-control and long-term commitment. The percentage of adults who are married has fallen from over 72% in 1960 to only 52% in 2009, and many men are no longer willing to marry the mother of their children. Single women have 83% of abortions. Currently 41% of births in the U.S. are to single moms, up from 17% three decades ago. Cohabiting and single-parent families are 3 times more likely to be poor and face higher risks (compared to married families) of physical and mental abuse, dissatisfaction with life and depression. Citations are at http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/respect-life-program/2012/upload/life-matters-contraceptives-and-womens-well-being.pdf.


Day Seven: Friday, January 25, 2012

Intercession: For elected leaders who oppose any restriction on the abortion license: may God allow them to grasp the brutal violence of abortion and the reality of post-abortion suffering experienced by countless women and men.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: Today's reading from Acts tells the story of St. Paul's conversion. Before, he was "breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord." After encountering Christ, Paul became a "chosen instrument," filled with the Holy Spirit, and ready to suffer for Jesus' name. There is absolutely nothing and no one outside of the power of God's loving embrace. Today we remember the children, the mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and all those who have been involved in or affected by abortion. We entrust them to the unfathomable healing mercy of God, recalling the words of Jesus to St. Faustina: "The greater the misery of a soul, the greater its right to My mercy" (Diary, 1182).
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • Go to Confession—today, if possible—or during this week.
  • Fast from snacking today. Eat three meals only.
  • Today, go visit an adoration chapel and spend an hour with Jesus.
Did you know? The barbaric abortion procedure called partial-birth abortion first became known in 1993. In this mid- and late-term procedure, an abortionist delivers a live baby feet-first up to his neck, plunges surgical scissors into the base of his skull, sucks out his brains and then removes the lifeless baby's body from the birth canal. Because of the reluctance of some politicians to put any restrictions on abortion, it was not until 2007 that a federal ban on partial-birth abortion finally went into effect. See http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/abortion/partial-birth-abortion/.

Day Eight: Saturday, January 26, 2012

Intercession: For an end to legal abortion in our nation and for the conversion of all hearts, so that the inherent rights of every human being—especially those most at risk of abuse and rejection—will be upheld.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: On this memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, we hear St. Paul's words to them: "do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord." These words ring true for us today, especially as we speak the truth that life is worth living, and that every person, without exception, deserves the chance to live his or her life, and experience its beauty and goodness. Blessed John Paul II reminds us that our first step in giving our testimony is to have an outlook of wonder on the beauty of life, "discovering in all things the reflection of the Creator and seeing in every person his living image" (Evangelium Vitae, 83).
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • Read about a Church teaching you don't understand in the Catechism.
  • Make an honest assessment of your "giving finances" – are you giving too little? Make a resolution to give a set weekly or monthly donation to your parish or favorite local charity.
  • Do you love your cup of tea or coffee in the morning? Fast from caffeine today or try your coffee black.
Did you know? In 1995, Pope John Paul II wrote a great encyclical called the Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae). He describes how when a culture accepts the killing of one group of people (unborn children, for example) it's not long before other people are seen as expendable. Today, doctor-assisted suicide is legal in two states. Many have come to accept euthanasia of the elderly or dying by refusing to provide them with food and water. Many Americans support embryonic stem cell research in the search for cures for diseases and conditions that had been thought incurable, even though such research entails destroying these embryos. Persons with disabilities and their families often have to fight to receive life-saving treatments that routinely would be given to patients who do not have a disability. Where will it end?

Day Nine: Sunday, January 27, 2012

Intercession: For repentance, healing and peace, in every heart and every nation.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: Today is the memorial of St. Angela Merici, foundress of the religious community now known as the Ursuline nuns. Living in northern Italy in the early 1500s, she was moved by the needs of young girls in the community, who were poor and uneducated. She responded to the girls' needs by educating them in the Gospel. Her example reminds us that to share Christ with those in need is to share news of great joy. "…for today is holy to our LORD. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD must be your strength!" (Nehemiah 8:10) We hear these words proclaimed in today's first reading. The message of the Gospel of Life is one of great joy! Our call to live this Gospel is not marked with sadness and despair, but with hope, expectation and exuberant joy. "It is up to you, young followers of Christ, to show the world that faith brings happiness and a joy which is true, full and enduring.… The Gospel is the "good news" that God loves us and that each of us is important to him. Show the world that this is true!" (Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the 27th World Youth Day, March 15, 2012).
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • Spend quality time with a family member or friend; ask them if they would like to help out at a local charity with you.
  • Say three Hail Mary's for your parish priest. Without our priests, we could not have the sacraments.
  • Make a "quiet hour" today, turning off all electronic devices (cell phone, iPod, computer, television, radio, video game system), and retreat to your room.
Did you know? Pope Benedict XVI recently linked. . . respect for life with peace:"The path to the attainment of the common good and to peace is above all that of respect for human life in all its many aspects, beginning with its conception, through its development and up to its natural end. True peacemakers, then, are those who love, defend and promote human life in all its dimensions, personal, communitarian and transcendent. Life in its fullness is the height of peace. Anyone who loves peace cannot tolerate attacks and crimes against life."
It's up to you—through your prayers and actions—to help create a culture of life and peace. May God bless you for your dedication and sacrifices for life!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Huge Paris Protest: Defending Marriage Between a Man and a Woman



 Champ de Mars Paris, France Jan. 13, 2013. From Galliawatch.




Another picture from Rorate-caeli.blogspot.com


On the Feast of the Holy Family, January 13, 2013 thousands surged into Paris. Over 1 million (new estimates are 1.3 million ) people, Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists, came out in support of marriage between a man and a woman. The picture only shows one direction. There were three separate routes meeting at the Eiffel Tower and the flow of people was constant from early morning until late at night. Not only were the crowds incredibly enormous, but they included an unusual combination of groups, homosexuals, social conservatives and the Catholic church. One of the main organizers of the event, "Frigide Barjot," (stage name) a French comedian, said, "those against gay marriage are multicultural, multi-religious, multi-philosophical and multi-sexual." Of course, don't expect the mainstream media to admit to the numbers. Just look at the pictures and watch the videos.

What's all the ruckus? They were protesting President Francois Hollande’s pledge to legalize gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to adopt children. Protestors waving pink, blue, and white flags with a mother, father and child, as well as many others carrying pro-family posters, began from 3 different points (each group carrying a different color) and came together at the Eiffel Tower. Read the story at Rorate-caeli, thinkinghousewife.com, Galliawatch, Galliawatch and rt.com.

You can read an eyewitness account at Protect the Pope. National Organization of Marriage --a French group, also has many more photos. Lots of photos on Le Parisien, where you can see the three separate colors. And more photos at Toronto Sun.

NCRegister had an interesting related article about France banning the words "mother" and "father." 

For the slanted media, this one gets most of the facts ABC News (Australia) but much of the mainstream media totally ignored this, did not show the massive crowds of people, used it to advertise other stories sympathetic to gays, or distorted the story.

Here are two fair stories from the press, Concord Monitor and TimesLIVE

First Things  has an article about other gays opposing gay marriage.






 Pictures below from the Thinking Housewife and Galliawatch








White Flags.

                               Photo from Benoit Tessier
Blue Flags.


                                Photo from  Reuters/Charles Platiau


Pink Flags


                                       Photo from Reuters / Benoit Tessier

The signs are translated as “Where is your daddy, where is your mommy,” “Two mothers without a father, that’s not equal rights,” and “Long live equality, firstly, in marriage.”

  

Periodic Table of Elements


If you are looking for an interactive Periodic Table of Elements for studying chemistry, when you click on the element at ptable.com lots of info pops up.

But my all time favorite Periodic Table of Elements site not only offers wild hair and humor, but cool experiments, periodicvideos.com, The Periodic Table of Videos.

Have fun!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Les Miserables: A Review


Les Miserables: To See or Not to See.

Ever since she heard the movie was coming out, my daughter (who is 24) has been waiting anxiously to see it. Years ago, she saw the spectacular Broadway version. She sings the incredible music all the time. My other children also like to play the music on the piano. It is very dramatic and moving. The words are inspiring. My husband and I have also seen the theater production. All three of us have read the book. I don't think you need to read the book to understand the storyline, but it definitely offers a depth to understanding the complete story and the times. The author, by the way, likes to digress from the storyline and pontificate.

There have been discussions on blogs asking for advice on whether or not to see the movie and what age is it appropriate for? First off, I think the film industry was disingenuous in giving the movie a PG-13 rating. After seeing the movie, I would not let my 12 or 15-year-old see the movie. It should be rated R for the sexual content. That being said. They probably didn't give it an R because they felt there was not enough nudity. It is too bad the producer(s) decided to add some extra images that did not need to be included. I was hoping to take my younger daughters to see it.

The problem is images. They stick in your mind. The question is whether the negative images stick more or the positive images? If you want to close your eyes to avoid the negative images (as someone suggested), then the 2 parts to avoid are when Fantine sells her body to the soldier. She has nothing else to sell and she fears for her daughter. The other part is the song "Master of the House."

The song "Master of the House" displays the depravity and debauchery of man (humankind--for those who are politically correct). How low will a man sink? The Thenardiers are a direct contrast to the other characters who are trying to lift themselves up. They seem to know no bounds on how far they can sink.

In reading some comments on various sites I want to also add that the movie is not doing great at the box office, because they know how to market it to a Christian audience, breitbart.com, but because of the theme of the movie of love, mercy, kindness, and redemption--a universal message of Christian love. It is the innate desire of the human heart, as St. Augustine says, "Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in thee." The movie also shows how one person's choice can dramatically affect another. It is perhaps even more sad that people don't understand poetry. They truly don't understand the line "To love another person is to see the face of God."



 "To love another person is to see the face of God" is the message of Bl. Mother Teresa. She said, “Seeking the face of God in everything, everyone, all the time, and his hand in every happening; This is what it means to be contemplative in the heart of the world. Seeing and adoring the presence of Jesus, especially in the lowly appearance of bread, and in the distressing disguise of the poor” (In the Heart of the World: Thought, Stories and Prayers).


This movie has one of the most Catholic inspiring messages I have ever seen. The ending alone is something to reflect upon. Where does JeanValjean die? In a convent! In front of the Eucharist!!!!  It is peaceful and quiet and the candles are flickering. What is he doing? Praying for his "daughter" and her husband to be: Cosette and Marius. When he dies, who comes to greet him? Fantine. Why? Because he has turned his hatred and bitterness into love. He loved another person--truly loved--with pure intentions, not expecting anything in return and at great personal expense to himself.

To fully understand the closing moments of the movie is to reflect back on the very beginning and to meditate on all the choices Valjean makes. Repeatedly, he comes to a crossroads and has to make a decision. When he wavers and starts to think about himself instead of those around him is when his poor choice leads to Fantine losing her job and sinking into depravity.

He could have chosen not to help the man who is trapped under the cart. By doing so, Javert would have found it more difficult to recognize him. But in freeing the man from under the cart, the man was later there to help Valjean to find a place of refuge. It is an incredible movie of love and forgiveness. 

Javert also contrasts with Valjean. Javert embodies justice without mercy to the bitter end. He despairs because he cannot accept mercy. He does not understand it. Through the Bishop's kindness and forgiveness, Valjean begins his journey to understanding mercy. He is at first the receiver of mercy, but then he must learn to pass mercy onto others. He does this multiple times: Stepping forward to save the man condemned because he looked like him, saving the man under the cart, interceding on Fantine's behalf, saving Marius' life, and sparing Javert's life. He personifies Christ's command to us to forgive "seventy times seven."

The movie is all about choices. It challenges the viewer, "Are you going to make choices so that you too can be like Valjean at the end of your life?"

"Come with me, where chains will never bind you
All your grief, at last, at last behind you
Lord in heaven, look down on him with mercy
Forgive me all my trespasses and take me to your glory."

"Take my hands
I'll lead you to salvation
Take my love for love is everlasting
And remember the truth that once was spoken
To love another person is to see the face of God"

The Complete Text Below:

 VALJEAN:
Now you are here
Again beside me
Now I can die in peace
For now my life is blessed

COSSETTE:
You will live, papa
You're going to live
It's too soon to ever say goodbye

VALJEAN:
Yes, cossette
Forbid me now to die
I'll obey
I will try

On this page
I write my last confession
Read it well
When I at last am sleeping
It's a story of those who always loved you
Your mother gave her life for you and gave you to my keeping

FANTINE:
Come with me
Where chains will never bind you
All your grief
At last, at last behind you
Lord in heaven;
Look down on him in mercy

VALJEAN:
Forgive me all my trespasses and take me to your glory

FANTINE, VALJEAN AND EPONINE:
Take my hand
And lead me to salvation
Take my love
For love is everlasting
And remember
The truth that once was spoken:
To love another person is to see the face of god

ALL:
Do you hear the people sing?
Lost in the valley of the night
It is the music of a people who are climbing to the light
For the wretched of the earth
There is a flame that never dies
Even the darkest nights will end and the sun will rise

They will live again in freedom in the garden of the lord
They will walk behind the ploughshare
They will put away the sword
The chain will be broken and all men will have their reward!

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring when tomorrow comes!
REPEAT

Aaaaah, aaaaah, aaaah,
Tomorrow comes!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sorry Folks, Fiscal Cliff Deal Sticks It to Middle Class

Photo from Breitbart.com


While some politicians are claiming that the fiscal cliff deal was to help the middle class, that just "ain't" so. Read michellemalkin.com.And michellemalkin.com

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Obama wants Christians, not Muslims to Lose Religious Freedom

While the Obama administration is determined that Christians should not be able to follow their consciences when it comes to Obamacare, cnsnews.com. That is not the case for Muslims. Just google Muslims exempt Obamacare.