June 16, 2006

THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST (Sunday, June 18 A.D. 2006)

In practice and in attitude, are we forgetting that the Eucharist is a covenant?


When our Lord first gave us his Eucharist, he called his Blood "the Blood of the new and everlasting Covenant." With that declaration he echoes Moses' words in ratifying the ancient Mt. Sinai Covenant. "Behold the blood of the Covenant!" [Exodus 24:8]

The Mt. Sinai Covenant took place with God DEMANDING reverence for his untouchably holy mountain at whose foot he decreed an altar of piled stones unmarked by human tools.

The Mt. Sinai Covenant— just as any covenant— is a life-and-death mutual transaction, by which both parties in the Covenant vow to lay their lives on the line for each other.

By our casual liturgical manners today, we fail to let the New and Everlasting Covenant speak of the implicit, solemn and dangerous demand Christ is requiring of us by giving us his Eucharist AS a covenant.

We do not "receive" the Eucharist with right intention if we fail to understand that it is a COVENANT, that is, a binding two-way "faithful-unto-death" vow. One never “receives” a covenant. A covenant is always agreed to and entered.

ALL SOLEMNITY is owed to the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist, the Mass, simply by the very nature of a covenant.

- - - -

I have posted a homily for the solemnity on my "homily blog".
Click HERE for it.

He went to observe and learn. So, I think it was unnecessary and unwise to set himself up for potential martyrdom.

A friend in Illinois sent me the following as part of an e-mail on Friday afternoon, June 16.

- - - -

Here's my report on midday prayer at the mosque about an hour ago.
I went to a mosque that is not associated with Nation of Islam.
I entered 15 minutes early and was told to leave my sandals in the special room where there was a place to wash my feet.
I did so and entered …sitting in the back….
Only men entered….
Then a leader came and [chanted]….
Next the imam came to the front and reminded people to face the front….
He then asked non-Muslims to stand and raise their hands.
I was the only one.
He …asked what my purpose was for being there.
I said I am a Christian and a chaplain and currently have a Muslim patient and want to learn better how to work with him.
He asked if I could profess that God is One and Mohammed is his prophet.
I said "No."
He laughed nervously and many of the 50 or so guys started to gasp and look around at me.
He said: "You believe God is one and Jesus submitted to him?"
He was trying to give me a way to save face.
I said: "Yes, Jesus submitted to God and WAS God."

I have never before felt like someone wanted to kill me until today.
EVERYONE was looking back at me and some scowled in the most seriously scary way I've ever seen as they hissed.
The imam was in a jam now;
he told everyone to calm down and told me that I would have to sit in the foyer with the women (no women were present) but I could not worship there.
He meant no disrespect.
One of his guards …came from behind and motioned me to follow him.
I ignored him until I was finished talking (listening) to the imam.
He told me not to leave until after the prayers when he would come and talk to me.

I left.

- - - -

I wrote my friend the following response.

- - - -

You could have said Jesus submitted to God, for he submitted his humanity to God.

Inside the mosque, it wasn't absolutely necessary to say that Jesus is God.
To proclaim that in a mosque was proselytism (evangelization) and, in their understanding, a blasphemous utterance.
So, in my judgment, you committed an UNNECESSARY offense.
(There are NECESSARY offenses.)

So....
What was your ORIGINAL and CONSCIOUS intention in going into the mosque?
Simply to observe?
To pray to the God of Abraham?
To evangelize/proselytize?
To do all three?

- - - -

In my judgment, my friend spoke unwisely.

When the imam (Muslim clergyman) asked my friend why he had come,
my friend answered,
“…I am a Christian and a chaplain
and currently have a Muslim patient
and want to learn better how to work with him.”

Since my friend stated that as his purpose for being in the mosque,
I presume my friend would have done best to simply add,
“I’m here to observe as a guest.”
The unspoken intention my friend would have done best to keep in mind would have been,
“I’m not here to announce Jesus right now;
I’m here to observe Muslim prayer.”

If you want to learn, it may at times be wisest to shut your mouth and say as little as possible.

On this occasion, I believe my friend failed to obtain a positive lesson in how “to learn better how to work with” his Muslim patient. Rather, he may have learned what NOT to do-- a negative lesson.

My fear is that my friend could have gotten killed. If he had waited around for the imam after the service, would some zealous jihadist within the congregation have taken the occasion to harm my friend?

As for my comment that Jesus submitted to God, I remind my readers that there is such a thing as the “One Will Heresy” (called “monothelitism”).
The reality is that Jesus had both a human will and a divine will. The two are distinct in existence, even though they act in harmony.


Cambodian monks have permission to watch the World Cup ... but are forbidden to gamble, laugh, cheer or scream while doing so.

Normally these monks never watch television.

However, Non Ngeth, the Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia's Buddhist Monks, has given exceptional permission for the monks to watch the World Cup games.

Nonetheless, he has banned specific behaviors.

Want to read the Associated Press article?
Click HERE for it.

June 15, 2006

WORLD CUP SEX-TRAFFICKING UPDATE

The global campaign against World Cup sex trafficking is growing . . .

The US Congress has held hearings . . .

The Vatican has complained . . .

We need your help right now to make it grow faster . . .

June 15, 2006

Dear Colleague,

The World Cup started a few days ago in Germany and the campaign to stop forced prostitution there is growing by leaps and bounds.
Yesterday, June 14th, the US House of Representatives held hearings on the issue.
A few days ago the US Government formally complained to the German government.
And the Vatican has issued a complaint to the Germans.
I have gotten word that demonstrations are happening in front of the Germany Embassy in London.
You have already signed the petition, which now numbers almost 20,000 names. We need to make that number grow. We need that number to double, even triple.

You have already signed the petition, but have you sent it around to all your friends? I urge you to do so.

At the end of this letter, I am attaching a copy of our letter from last week. Would you please cut and paste this letter in the body of an email and send it to your entire email address book?

The only way we can have a real impact is if the names on our petition is a big number. Please send this around right now!

Yours sincerely,

Austin Ruse, President, C-FAM

COPY EVERYTHING BELOW THIS LINE AND SEND IT TO YOUR ENTIRE EMAIL ADDRESS BOOK . . . DO IT NOW . . .

____________________________________________________________

There is a young girl in Russia who is about to trafficked into forced prostitution in Germany . . .

There are thousands just like her . . .

You should do something about it . . .

Here's what . . . .


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Dear Colleague,

There is a young girl in Russia who is about to answer an ad for a waitress job in Berlin while the World Cup is going on.

When she arrives in Berlin, her "employer" will beat her, steal her passport, chain her to a radiator in a dirty room, and force her into prostitution.

This is happening right now all over Eastern Europe. Young girls are being enticed into forced prostitution in Berlin as the Germans are preparing to host the World Cup.

We must do what we can to stop this outrage.

All told 40,000 prostitutes are about to descend on the World Cup that is just about to begin in Berlin.

I urgently need you to read this email, sign the protest petition and SEND THIS EMAIL TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY.

Some have expressed skepticism that this charge is true. How could something so monstrous be true?

Well, here is the lead from a recent story on the BBC:

"From the outside, it looks like an ordinary motel that you would find on the edge of a motorway. But as you walk into the Artemis, a few scantily clad women who are standing near the main entrance provide and obvious sign that there is more on offer here.

"Artemis is one of Germany's largest brothels. It opened recently, just in time for the World Cup. It is a short bus ride from Berlin's Olympic stadium, where many of the games, and the final, will be played" (May 15, 2006, BBC)

There it is.

One of our Friday Fax readers called the German Embassy in Canada and the diplomat who spoke admitted the charges that thousands of prostitutes are descending on Berlin and that special brothels have been built. Some are no more than one room sheds.

So, here is our question. What is moral and decent about that? And then the question becomes; how many of these women are being forced into prostitution. Those who are experts in human trafficking say that legal prostitution is a magnet for human traffickers and a magnet for forced prostitution.

We must do something about this.

This is one of the largest and most important sporting events in the world and the German government is colluding in sullying the reputation of this sport of their people. Moreover, the German government is colluding in the inevitable trafficking of human flesh for the sexual pleasure of rowdy drunks.

We must do something about this. Here is what you and your family and friends can do.

First, go to http://www.c-fam.org/stopwcpro.htm and sign the petition. At our site you can also read more about the horrific state of human trafficking . . . of women and even children. Sign the petition!

Second, SEND THIS EMAIL TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW. WE MUST GET 50,000+ NAMES TO HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT.

We will present this petition, signed by thousands from all over the world, to the German Mission to the United Nations, the Germany Embassy in Washington DC, the Office of the Chancellor of Germany, and to our pro-family friends in the German Parliament so they can initiate a resolution condemning the tragedy that is about to happen in Berlin.

I urge you to act now. Even now, the traffickers are gathering in Berlin. They are setting up shop. Young girls are being beaten. Help them right now by going to http://www.c-fam.org/stopwcpro.htm and signing the petition and then sending this email to everyone you know.

We can and will cause a stink about this. We, along with thousands of others, can raise a holy ruckus but we have to act fast. The World Cup begins in a week and goes for a month.

Act now. Go to http://www.c-fam.org/stopwcpro.htm to sign the petition and send this message to your entire address book.

Yours sincerely,

Austin Ruse, President, C-FAM

PS 15,400 have signed so far. We need 50,000 more and we need it fast. http://www.c-fam.org/stopwcpro.htm


June 13, 2006

A convenient exposure to the "Liturgy of the Hours" -- together with valuable daily spiritual food


For each day, "Magnificat" magazine offers:
+ prayers for both morning and evening, drawn from the Church's official "Liturgy of the Hours"
+ the official texts of the daily Mass
+ meditations from the writings of the Fathers of the Church, and a great variety of spiritual writings
+ essays on the lives of the saints

[No, they are not paying me to blog this.]

You can request a sample copy from their website.
Click HERE for it.

If you use their search engine (powered by Google), it will cost you nothing; but it generates donations to pro-life organizations.


[Information from their website]

About ProLifeSearch.com

ProLifeSearch.com is the “Web’s First Pro-Life Search Engine.”™ Search the Web just like you would with Yahoo or Google.

We donate money to Pro-Life charities, and you will never have to donate any of your own money.

To make sure this is crystal clear: We make all of the donations from revenue generated from our site. You never have to donate any of your own money to make this happen.

Here’s how it works.
It’s simple:

1. You use ProLifeSearch.com for searching, news, shopping, information, and other regular Internet activity.
2. Revenue generated from user activity is donated to approved pro-life charities. Currently, we donate a minimum of 50% of all net profits.

3. You do not have to register to use ProLifeSearch.com, but if you choose to register you will have the chance for our donations to be made in your name, or the name/honor/memory of someone special to you.

What are these Sponsored Links?
These are paid advertisements. Revenue from advertisers is how we generate money for pro-life donations.

What’s the catch?
There is no catch and there are no strings: you don’t have to donate any of your own money.

Is it safe for my family to use ProLifeSearch.com?
Absolutely. At ProLifeSearch.com we use a special program filter called SafeSearch. With SafeSearch, sites and web pages containing adult themed and explicit sexual content are excluded from web search results.

Do I have to provide my personal information to use ProLifeSearch.com?
No.

Who is ProLifeSearch.com?
We’re a privately-held company in Chicago, Illinois, founded and managed by two guys who both try hard everyday to be the good Catholic boys their mothers always hoped they’d be.
Click HERE for it.

June 12, 2006

The Natural Family Planning "Rosary"?

These “CycleBeads” (a brand name) help a woman track her cycle and identify the days she could become pregnant and the days when pregnancy is most unlikely. This particular method of family planning is more than 95% effective when used correctly by a woman whose menstrual cycles are regular and between 26 and 32 days in length. [Note well. Women whose cycles are irregular or outside this range would best use other natural methods of family planning instead of CycleBeads or together with them.] The day a woman starts her period she puts the ring on the red bead. Each day she moves the ring ahead by one bead. When the ring is on the red bead or a dark bead, there is very low likelihood of pregnancy. When the ring is on a white bead— days 8 through 19— there is a high likelihood of achieving pregnancy.

CycleBeads were developed by the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University [link by clicking: here]. This institute develops and tests natural family planning methods.

Cyclebeads has its own website.
Click HERE for it.

June 11, 2006

The central quality of Brown's “The Da Vinci Code” is not fictional.

What is that central quality? It is a hate-filled and hate-generating attitude towards the Catholic Church. That attitude is not a fiction. It’s a reality. However, it is a reality that uses fiction to promote and perpetuate itself.

In response to that reality, the worthy Catholic attitude is joy. In the Holy Gospel according to Matthew (5:11-12), Jesus says,
"Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad….”

As Catholics, we can expect and accept the hate, but it is right for us to fight the fiction (the falsehood) that presents itself as truth, and with which the hate attempts to justify itself.

[The picture is a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci.]