Friday, December 31, 2010

How to make the New Year resolution that fits you

1. Be honest. Know yourself. What is your strongest virtue? What is your worst vice? Therefore, tailor your resolution so it strengthens your good side and fights your bad one. A one-size fits all resolution is useless.

2. Be specific. Don't use generalities. They don't work. For example, if you need to be more humble, just saying "I am going to be more humble," is useless. You need to zero in on one situation where you need to practice humility and resolve to improve in that one situation.

3. Be simple. Don't make it complicated. Focus on something you can see and measure easily and that does not overwhelm you each time you try to obtain it. Otherwise, you will become distracted and your energy will be dispersed and misdirected.

4. Be reasonable. Don't try to do too much at once. You won't become a saint in one day. Remember: you have one MAJOR point upon which is hinged your entire fidelity to God and His Holy Laws. This is a called your primordial light. Find out and work on improving it. Everything else will improve if you improve on that one major point.

How to discover your primordial light

5. Be consistent. It's far better to do something small everyday to improve on that one key point in your soul than to make a big resolution that you cannot keep for more than a week or two. Slow and steady wins the race!

6. Be humble. Recognize that you cannot do any good action which has value in the supernatural order without God's grace and the intercessory help of the Blessed Mother. Beg God's grace through Our Lady's intercession constantly in all your thoughts, desires and actions

7. Be disinterested. Remember that God wants us to defend His rights and interests, and to share His thoughts and ways. And therefore, to focus on things, happening and events that are very close to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary that are not necessarily linked to our own personal interests.

8. Write it down. It's important to write down your resolution so you can refer back to it often during the year. Also, by writing it down, you will be able to review it when the year is over, and to evaluate your progress since the time the resolution was made.

9. Public expressions of faith. Don't hide your faith. That's just what the devil wants. He knows when you express your faith publicly, others see you and are encouraged to follow your good example. Say grace openly and proudly before meals in a restaurant so people can see. You'll be surprised with the good reactions you will get.

10. Devotion to Our Lady. Have more devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Devotion to the Mother of God is a panacea. Saint Louis de Montfort said that devotion to Holy Mary is the easiest, safest, fastest, most secure, and surest path to Jesus and to our own salvation. If you can do nothing else, resolve to say the Rosary everyday. Saint Louis de Montfort wrote:

"If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins 'you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory.' Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practice black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and will save your soul, if-- and mark well what I say-- if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins."

Catholic lady in Pakistan starts New Year with price on her head

We’ve been praying very hard for the Catholic lady, Asia Bibi, in Pakistan who is on death row for defending her Catholic faith. 

Now she has a price on her head, which was set at $5,800 by Yousuf Qureshi, imam of the largest mosque in Peshawar.  He set this price at a public rally.

What a way to start the New Year – with a $5,800 price tag on your head! 

Please continue to pray for poor Asia Bib!  In a sense, she is a living martyr.

The hidden saint who spread graces to the whole world

December 31 – Saint  Catherine Laboure

On November 27, 1830, Our Lady appeared to Saint Catherine Labouré in Paris and revealed to her the design of the Miraculous Medal. Its first great miracle was the deathbed conversion of a bishop who had sworn allegiance to the French Revolution. Our Lady gave St. Catherine the mission to have a medal struck and to spread it.

This she accomplished with only her confessor's knowledge.  Although she then remained hidden and obscure in her convent, as befits a woman religious, devotion to Our Lady of Grace marked a true renewal of devotion to Our Lady in Europe.  

With the use of the Miraculous Medal, extraordinary graces spread throughout the Church. It became a common custom to wear a Miraculous Medal around one’s neck or to place it on the chest of an impenitent patient while making the novenas and prayers prescribed by Our Lady. It seemed almost certain that the person would convert as a result.

Through this devotion, Our Lady began to dispense many other graces to the world.

Moreover, this devotion is linked to two other very important devotions, which the Jansenists had attempted to bury: the devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Not only did this devotion help defeat Jansenist sentiments, it also helped give rise to a colossal ultramontane movement in the philosophical, political and social fields. The results were a great nineteenth century movement devoted to Our Lady, the definition of papal infallibility, and the devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

St. Catherine died on December 31, 1876. Let us ask her for the grace of accomplishing our duty in life according to our vocation leaving everything in the Hands of Our Lady.

In view of the past graces and consolations of the Miraculous Medal, let us cultivate devotion to it with great fervor.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

St. Egwin -- December 30 – The Earth Swallowed Them Up!

St. Egwin -- 7th century, Mercia, England.

His pious parents made sure to baptize and confirm him soon after birth.   Early on, he " built a pleasant mansion for the Holy Ghost in his heart". 

He was ordained a priest and a bishop.  In this capacity, he  preached the word of God with great zeal, while growing in holiness and virtue. 

In particular, he worked to restore the tenets of Christian marriage and the notion of good and evil.  Many resisted his wise counsels.  They told the bishop slanders about him. 

As a result, the Pope summoned him to Rome to answer these charges.  In expiation for the sins of his calumniators,  he walked to Rome shackled with locked chains.  The key was thrown into the Avon River. 

Months later, St. Egwin arrived in Rome to the tolling of bells that tolled untouched.  A fisherman found the key to the saint's chains in a fish’s belly caught in the Tiber.  When the Pope heard this miracle, he knew St. Egwin was innocent.

Towards the end of his life, ever zealous to gain souls for Christ, St. Egwin travelled to a neighboring village called Alcester.  It was remarkable for its beauty and natural resources and was frequented by the royalty.  But the inhabitants were very wicked and steeped in vice. 

St. Egwin tried to win these souls for Heaven.  As he preached,  the evil people drowned him out with the noise of hammers and anvils.  St. Egwin left the city.  God judged it.  The earth opened up and swallowed the entire perverse generation.

At the end of his life, St. Egwin addressed those around him:

“I pray and beseech you, reverend and beloved sons, strive with all your might to keep and to do all that God has commanded." 

We must need this saintly advice.  By the life of St. Egwin, we see that God is merciful but also just to those who reject Him.

Which reminds you most of God?

There are some things that God placed in the Universe directly, and some that man made, that are extremely beautiful and innocent and grandiose. 

As such, they remind us of God in a very powerful manner.

Therefore, I suppose that Satan hates them very much as a result.  Here are four of them.  Please tell me which you like the most:

Notre Dame, Paris



A child’s smile

 School mates 0392c

Niagra Falls


The stars

File:Pleiades large.jpg

The higher reasons for celebrating a birthday

Most of us enjoy celebrating birthdays. I know I do.

But it’s rare to sit down and mediate on the higher reasons for the birthday celebration.

File:Birthday candles.jpg

Well, there are higher reasons to celebrate a birthday. They are based on the fact that a birthday is the day that the person came into the world.  The world is a richer place with the addition of this new person.

In principle, every new person is a grace, a favor of God. Human society grows richer in consequence. And every human being is a colossal. Why?

Because each person will be judged by a colossal God, and will have a colossal reward or punishment in the afterlife.

This thought should help us to appreciate the great value of each human life.

Yes, it’s true that we all carry the burden of original sin with us. And, yes, it’s true that we are inferior to the angels. And, finally, it’s true that we inherit the inclination to certain vices from our ancestors.

Yet each person that is born enriches the world, which is God’s great work, in a meaningful and sensible manner.

When we celebrate a birthday, we celebrate the arrival of a new person to this world. We celebrate a “new actor on the world stage.”

We celebrate that new person’s aptitudes to see and love God in a completely unique and special manner. We celebrate the virtues that that new person is called to practice, and the wealth of soul that is his or hers alone. We even celebrate the new person’s merit and struggle in overcoming original and actual sin in all of its negative consequences, and the glory this means for God and mankind.

Ultimately, we celebrate a new and wonderful plan of God.  How marvelous!


Picture by: Ed g2s

Shared by the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

NEW BOOK -- The Family as a Regenerating Force in Society

ORDER YOUR COPY of The Christian Institution of the Family








The Christian Institution of the Family: A Dynamic Force to Regenerate Society is an easy to read yet thoughtful work that takes a different approach in explaining the role of the family.

Written and promoted by the TFP in the United Kingdom, it gives an accurate historical background of the family from ancient to contemporary times. The book especially explains the function of the family and its role in the development of medieval society. It then details the origins of the feudal system and organic society.

From this historical development, it is easy to see why the family is a dynamic regenerating force. The family provides the conditions necessary for the rise of natural leaders who become elites. Through the cultivation of inherent leadership skills nurtured in the environment of the family, these figures prepare themselves to govern a village, a county or even a nation.

ORDER YOUR COPY of The Christian Institution of the Family

One unique insight of the book is its treatment of the topic of aseity as a virtue whereby one develops one’s abilities to the fullest. This concept is defined by Saint Thomas Aquinas and elaborated by the great Catholic thinker, Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira.

An application of this virtue is extended to individuals, families, and then groups, cities and nations.

This book is important because a correct understanding of the family is essential if the nation is to have authentic fatherhood, excellent families and true leadership. This timely work is a must-read for those who desire to regenerate society via the dynamic force of the institution of the family.

Finally, there are the excellent pictures illustrating the text and facilitating the message of its chapters. The harmonious interlays add suavity, charm and clarity to a comprehensive yet accessible work.

ORDER YOUR COPY of The Christian Institution of the Family

(Article by Charles Laczkoskie)

38 Killed in Nigeria Christmas Weekend Attacks

While Catholics in Iraq were unable to attend midnight Mass due to bomb threats, Catholics in Nigeria were being murdered.

According to press report, dozens of Catholics were killed in Nigeria over the Christmas weekend.  Police suspect the murders were carried out by the radical Muslim group Boko Haram, which has a history of attacking churches.

It’s incredible that Catholics are murdered on Christmas, the birthday of Christ, yet hardly a Catholic voice is raised in protest, concern or reparation.  Where will this stop?

Something is NOT right here.

Vatican official says no punishment expected for dissenting nuns under investigation

by Matthew Hoffman

ROME, December 22, 2010 ( - After decades of dissent by large numbers of American nuns against Catholic doctrines on life and family, including the Church’s condemnation of abortion and homosexuality, a Vatican official says that they will not be punished, and that Rome should pursue a “strategy of reconciliation” with the wayward religious.

In an interview with the National Catholic Reporter, a newspaper dedicated to promoting left-wing dissent against Catholic teaching, the Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life said that an ongoing Vatican investigation of American nuns was unlikely to result in disciplinary action.

“I can say that I would be very surprised if anybody would purport to give any punitive or overly prescriptive norms as a result of this visitation,” said Archbishop Joseph Tobin. “If the visitors, in dialogue with the sisters, have identified some specific issues that need to be dealt with, okay. But forcing people into habits or something like that? That’s not what this is about.”

The Archbishop was referring to the fact that many American nuns do not wear the habit of a religious.

Tobin also said that a major shake-up of women’s religious orders “would be really disrespectful of what women religious in America have accomplished,” and that the “depth of anger and hurt that exists among the sisters ... can’t be ignored.”

The Archbishop’s words are in sharp contrast to statements made by then-Archbishop, now-Cardinal Raymond Burke, in a speech earlier this year, in which he condemned American nuns who have promised “resistance” to the Vatican and have endorsed the Obama health care plan despite its potential to fund abortion procedures.

Denouncing “the public and obstinate betrayal of religious life by certain religious,” Burke asked: “Who ever could have imagined that religious congregations of pontifical right would openly organize to resist and attempt to frustrate an apostolic visitation, that is, a visit to their congregations carried out under the authority of the Vicar of Christ on earth, to whom all religious are bound by the strongest bonds of loyalty and obedience?”

“Who could imagine that consecrated religious would openly, and in defiance of the bishops as successors of the Apostles, publicly endorse legislation containing provisions which violate the natural moral law in its most fundamental tenets, the safeguarding and promoting of innocent and defenseless life, and fail to safeguard the demands of free exercise of conscience for healthcare workers?” he added.

High-profile acts of public dissent against Catholic doctrine on life and family by American nuns in recent years include public speeches given by the leading figures in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, implying that homosexual behavior should be accepted by the Catholic Church.  They also include the actions of nuns like Sr. Joan Chittister, who openly “questions” the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion, as well as Sr. Donna Quinn of the Sinsinawa Dominican community, who acted as an escort for an abortion clinic and continued to defend her activities even after she was removed by her congregation.

ACLU targets Phoenix bishop for opposing hospital abortion

by Kathleen Gilbert

NEW YORK, December 16, 2010 ( - The American Civil Liberties Union has attacked Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix after news broke this week that the bishop had taken further steps against a Catholic hospital that had performed a direct abortion.

Reacting to the latest clash, Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said the staff of the St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center “did the right thing” by killing an unborn child late last year to avert aggravation of the mother’s pulmonary hypertension.

“A hospital’s first responsibility must be to protect the health of its patient,” said Kolbi-Molinas in a statement Wednesday. “Religiously affiliated hospitals are not exempt from federal laws that protect a patient’s right to receive emergency care, and cannot invoke their religious status to jeopardize the health and lives of pregnant women.”

The pro-abortion wing of the advocacy group had already written to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in July of this year urging them to investigate Catholic hospitals that refuse to perform direct abortions as a matter of Catholic moral principle.

The Arizona Republic had revealed earlier this week that Bishop Olmsted had offered an ultimatum to the hospital’s parent company in order to keep their official Catholic status. The bishop said the hospital would have to backtrack on its endorsement of the abortion, submit to a diocesan review, and agree to ongoing staff training on the U.S. bishops’ Ethical and Religious Directives.

Should the hospital not comply, it would still be able to call itself “Catholic,” but the diocese would officially renounce the facility and priests would no longer be permitted to conduct Mass there.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The saint was martyred twice

St. Thomas Becket disagreed with King Henry II about the position of the Catholic Church in 12th century England.  

He said the Church has absolute power in ecclesiastic affairs and the English king said he had the right to command Bishops and faithful.  This is the error of Regalism. 

St.  Thomas disagreed and was exiled.  Upon his return, he attacked these errors and was murdered in the sanctuary of Canterbury Cathedral where he was Archbishop.

Although many English went to the death site to honor the slain Bishop, the nobles and clergy still supported Regalism. 

Over time, this laid the groundwork for the Protestant Revolt of King Henry VIII and Anglicanism.  The hatred for St. Thomas and the Catholic Church was so great that 400 years later, Henry VIII burned his relics to erase his memory.

St. Thomas’ second martyrdom -- a martyrdom that gave him the glory of being hated by evil for Christ's sake.  His fidelity was so great he was considered a threat 400 years later.

Think of the action of a termite on wood.  The termite eats the interior of the wood leaving the exterior intact.  With time, the interior grows weak.  The entire edifice collapses.  Apply the same principle to the Catholic Church.  Bad doctrines within will weaken the entire orthodox structure over time.

St. Thomas’ life helps us understand what can happen when error goes unopposed.  May Our Lady stop the errors of today and bring about the glorious reign She promised at Fatima, the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart in the world.

Mission Accomplished, Thank God

TFP standards proclaim the ideals of
Christian Civilization

TFP Student Action 2010 campaign highlights

Opposing the Lewd V-Monologues
January 2010 – TFP Student Action mobilized its members to protest against the vulgar V-Monologues play at DePaul University in Chicago, America’s largest Catholic university.

TFP Volunteer Assaulted: Video Clip Tells Story
January 2010 -- While rallying for traditional marriage at the New Jersey Statehouse on January 7, TFP member Elias Bartel, 21, was assaulted by a woman wearing a blue “equality” t-shirt.

March for Life & TFP Student Conference
January 2010 – College and high school students gathered at TFP headquarters for a conference before attending the 300,000-strong annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. with great enthusiasm.

Planned Parenthood deleted

Victory!  Planned Parenthood as ‘Career Path’ Deleted

February 2010 – Catholic Rosemont College listed Planned Parenthood on its web site under “career paths and opportunities” for students.  TFP Student Action protested successfully.

February 2010 – With 10,000 participants, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is the largest annual conservative conference in America.  TFP Student Action members promoted moral values at this conference with a booth and distributed 4,000 flyers against open homosexuality in the military.

Video:  Winning the Abortion Debate
March 2010 -- TFP Student Action volunteers welcomed the challenge of campaigning against abortion at George Washington University. Their mission was simple: Defend innocent life.  See the video here.

Abortion Scandal at Jesuit University
April 2010 -- Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women (NOW) were listed on the web site of the University of Detroit Mercy – a Catholic institution. TFP Student Action launched a successful protest.

Homosexual “Jesus” Play
March 2010 -- Right before Holy Week, Tarleton State University in Texas planned to stage the blasphemous play Corpus Christi. This adult-content play portrays Our Lord and the apostles as homosexuals.  TFP Student Action protested successfully.

Demonstration for True Marriage

March 2010 -- TFP volunteers rallied for God’s marriage at the Pennsylvania Statehouse as members of the State Senate Judiciary Committee convened for an important vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment.


Victory: University Cancels "Corpus Christi" Blasphemy

March 2010 – After TFP Student Action launched its peaceful protest, Tarleton State University effectively pulled the plug on the offensive play.

Blasphemy at Gallaudet University Opposed
April 2010 -- Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. scheduled the blasphemous play Corpus Christi on its campus.  TFP Student Action led a protest against it.

Protesting Pro-Homosexual Events at Notre Dame
April 2010 – TFP Student Action mobilized its members to protest a week-long pro-homosexual event at the University of Notre Dame, which featured a lecture titled "Homosexuality Under the Dome” and a "Day of Silence."

Jesuit University Deletes 2 Abortion Links
April 2010 – After weeks of peaceful protest, the Catholic University of Detroit Mercy removed two links to abortion provider Planned Parenthood that were listed on its web site. Over 11,500 petitions were collected.

Anti-Catholic Cartoon Targets the Pope
April 2010 -- Le Monde Magazine in France published a cartoon showing the “Pope” sodomizing a little boy.  TFP Student Action issued a protest.

Comedy Central Mocks Our Lord
May 2010 -- TFP Student Action urged Comedy Central to cancel the production of a new cartoon series called JC that mocks Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Thousands of TFP Student Action members participated in this effort.

Stalin Sculpture at D-Day Memorial Dishonors Heroes
June 2010 -- Should a bust of mass-murderer Joseph Stalin stand right beside American heroes at the National D-Day Memorial?  Thousands of TFP Student Action members called for the statue’s removal.

Catholic College Links to 10 Abortion Advocacy Groups
June 2010 -- The Alverno College Research Center for Women and Girls (RCWG) listed ten abortion advocacy organizations on its web site.  TFP Student Action called for their removal.

Professor FIRED for Being Catholic
July 2010 -- The University of Illinois fired a professor for articulating Catholic moral teaching.  TFP Student Action generated thousands of protest emails.

Victory: Catholic Professor Reinstated
July 2010 -- The University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana confirmed that it will once again allow Dr. Kenneth Howell to teach on Catholicism after recently firing him for explaining Catholic moral doctrine to his class.  Victory!

Chivalry Inspires a New Generation at TFP Camp

July 2010 – TFP Student Action volunteers coordinated Call to Chivalry camps in both Louisiana and Pennsylvania.  The ten-day adventures inspired boys to live the ideals of Catholic knighthood.

Prayer Vigil to End Abortion
August 2010 – At the largest Planned Parenthood abortion facility in America, TFP members defended innocent life and prayed for the end of abortion.

Caravan against Socialism in Texas
August 2010 – The American TFP and TFP-Louisiana kicked off a new caravan in Texas. Our tour visited major cities in the Lone Star State with the clear goal of alerting the public about the growing dangers of socialism in America.

Seton Hall University Betrays Catholic Identity

September 2010 -- Seton Hall University started a pro-homosexual course on “The Politics of Gay Marriage.”  Thousands of TFP Student Action members called for its cancelation.

No to NYC Mega Mosque
September 2010 -- TFP Student Action volunteers joined a huge rally one block from Ground Zero in New York City against the “Victory Mosque” and remembered the victims of 9-11.

Victory!  Planned Parenthood Link Gone
November 2010 -- Boston College Law School – a Catholic institution – has removed Planned Parenthood from its web site after a TFP Student Action protest generated 7,100 email and phone calls.

Rally for Troops at Fort Benning

November 2010 – For the fifth year in a row, TFP Student Action volunteers have made the trek from Pennsylvania to Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, to oppose the socialist SOA Watch protest there and support our troops.

Research Finds Homosexual Movement at 101 Catholic Colleges
December 2010 -- After careful research, the TFP survey discovered that 101 (41%) of Catholic universities and colleges currently list pro-homosexual student clubs on their web sites. Among Jesuit-run universities, however, the number increases to 100%.

Get honor and heroism– learn about Col. John Ripley

We live in a time of growing sin and dishonor.  In fact, our society is trying to make sin into something “honorable and desirable.”

At a recent Fatima home visitation, one lady put it like this: “The world is becoming a haunted house.”

To fight back, to keep our sanity, to save our souls, we must keep on deepening our convictions that virtue and honor go hand and hand.

For this purpose, I know nothing better than reading the magnificent book An American Knight.

Order your copy here:

Hardcover bound, 218 pages with 33 illustrations. 

“Nothing in my life that has moved me more than Colonel John Ripley’s story as narrated in An American Knight…” (“Rocky” Bringas, El Paso, TX)

And now that homosexuals are allowed to openly serve in the military, the honorable life of war hero Colonel John W. Ripley is more inspiring and important than ever.

My colleague Norman Fulkerson has written An American Knight, which is the first and only cradle-to-grave biography about this Marine Corps legend and Navy Cross recipient.

This book also narrates his moral battles against sending American women into combat and allowing homosexuals to openly serve in the military. He had guts on and off the battlefield.

Once you start this book, you won’t put it down.

This is the true story of how one man stopped the largest Communist offensive of the entire Vietnam War. He blew up the Dong Ha Bridge during the Easter Offensive. This halted a column of 30,000 enemy troops and 200 Soviet-made tanks dead in their tracks.

Colonel Ripley’s heroism extended beyond the battlefield, however, and encompassed his private life also.

When Hollywood producers proposed a movie deal Col. Ripley agreed as long as the actor portraying him would not be shown having affairs in Vietnam.

“I have never been unfaithful to my wife Moline,” he told the stunned Hollywood crowd, “and I never will be.”

An American Knight is more than a book. It’s part of a crusade to revive honor in America. Col. Ripley is the role model we knew had to exist.

Obama signs repeal of military ban on homosexuals

by Peter Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 22, 2010 ( – U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law Wednesday the repeal of the 1993 law that bans homosexuals from serving in the armed forces, amid shouts of “yes, we can.”

At the signing ceremony, the president stated, “no longer will tens of thousands of Americans in uniform be asked to live a lie. Or look over their shoulders in order to serve the country they love.”

This past weekend, the U.S. Senate had passed, by a 65-31 margin, a bill that repealed the law, which is commonly referred by the name of an accompanying Pentagon enforcement policy, “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT). The U.S. House of Representatives passed its own bill a week ago by a vote of 250 in favor to 175 against.

“Your country needs you, your country wants you, and we will be honored to welcome you into the ranks of the finest military the world has ever known,” Obama told the nation’s homosexuals.

“We are not a nation that says ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are one that says ‘Out of many, one,’ ” Obama declared before signing the bill, referring to the United States’ unofficial motto “E pluribus unum” featured on the back of U.S. coins.

The president said allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. military was a project 200 years in the making, and “will strengthen our national security.”

Opponents of repeal, such as Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, have argued the contrary position, saying that the U.S. risks devastating its military in wartime if the findings of the Pentagon’s working group report on DADT repeal are to be taken seriously.

Donnelly stated in response to the Senate’s repeal of DADT that “cross-tabbed data displayed on the 2010 DADT Survey website indicate that among Army combat arms personnel, 21.4% would leave sooner than planned, and 14.6% would think about leaving - a total potential loss of more than a third (36%) of those valuable troops.” 

“Marine combat arms would be weakened even more, with 32% of Marines saying they would leave sooner than planned, and 16.2% considering an early end to their careers, totaling almost half,” she continued.  “The gradual loss of so many combat troops and what the report described as “only 12%” of families likely to decline re-enlistment could put remaining troops in greater danger, and break the All-Volunteer Force.”

Obama did add that homosexuals should not come out immediately, because the Pentagon will need at least 60 days to certify that DADT repeal will not impact the military’s troop readiness, recruitment, and retention.

Donnelly, however, has argued that given the impact on retention of combat troops recorded by the working group study, neither President Obama, nor Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, nor Defense Secretary Robert Gates, should certify DADT’s repeal. The law passed by Congress states that repeal may only be implemented once all three have signed off on certification.

CBS News reports that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) unsuccessfully tried to attach an amendment to the defense authorization bill passed by the U.S. Senate last night, that would have made the military chiefs part of the certification process for DADT repeal. Most of the military chiefs were opposed to repeal, especially Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos.

McConnell attempted to have the amendment included by unanimous consent, but Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), a DADT repeal advocate, objected to its inclusion in the defense spending bill. Had it been included, the opposition of the military chiefs might have delayed, perhaps indefinitely, certification of DADT repeal.

December 28 -- The Feast of the Holy Innocents

The Holy Innocents are venerated as martyrs even though it does not seem that they merited martyrdom.  God chose by an act of pure Goodness to deem this so.  They earned the crown of martyrdom because in a mystical way they had a share in the mysteries of the Divine Infancy.

By the merits of the Redemption, these children earned Heaven by the baptism of blood.  Children who die shortly after Baptism also inherit eternal life in Heaven.  But today, many children are not baptized because of parent’s indifference. 

Even worse, the sin of abortion robs countless souls the benefits of the sacrament.  This fact alone should make us fight unceasingly against this monstrous sin.

Many families have a child who has died in infancy shortly after Baptism.  The Church teaches that these fortunate little ones are in Heaven enjoying the Beatific Vision.  They are the perfect and most efficient patrons for the families that love them.

Why not ask them to intercede for us , to pray for us and to help  us in our difficulties?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Lady – a model par excellence of humility and chastity

Thus Christian chastity, as well as Christian humility, is grounded in the mystery of grace. In this mystery both virtues have their foundation and their law; from it they draw their vitality, and their relation to this mystery is similar to their relation to the Divine maternity in the case of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

NS Paris

Humility and virginal chastity were the principal and most peculiar virtues of the Mother of God. These virtues were a necessary preparation for her sublime maternity, as they were in turn nourished and fostered by this maternity.

The Blessed Virgin, now, is the arch-type of the children of God; as these resemble her in her supernatural dignity, so must they resemble her in those supernatural virtues ; and as Mary was incited to the practice of these virtues by her exalted vocation, so ought we to be animated to the same practice by the recollection of our high vocation.

As these virtues were never perfectly practiced on earth before the Mother of God, so they flourished after her, only where, by faith in Christ, the mystery of grace was known and glorified. Where grace is neglected or ignored, then these virtues will decline and be lost. Only where grace is appreciated in all its glory, will these virtues be understood, valued, and fervently practiced.

Taken from The Glories of Divine Grace by Fr. Matthias J. Scheeben

Catholic lady in Pakistan still on death; see pictures of her daughter; husband in hiding

While you and I sit in our comfortable homes, Asia Bibi is on death row in Pakistan for defending her Catholic faith.

Asia Bibi's husband has received death threats and has had to go into hiding with the couple's two teenage daughters.

See the picture and full story here:,0,2418002.story

Jim Caviezel calls abortion ‘the greatest moral defect of the western world’

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

SPAIN, December 20, 2010 ( - Actor James Caviezel, who played Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ,” said in a recent interview in Spain that he regards abortion as “the greatest moral defect of the western world.”

Caviezel was in the country to promote his latest movie “The Stoning of Soraya M.,” which has just been released there. He was asked by the publication Sembrar, “in your judgment, what is the greatest moral defect of the western world?”

“Abortion, without any doubt,” answered Caviezel. “As Mother Theresa said, ‘abortion will end up bringing the world to nuclear war’. When a man kills a man in a war situation, it is bad, very sad.  Attila [the Hun] went further.  He said ‘not only am I going to kill men, but also women and children.’  He raised the bar to another level.”

However, added Caviezel, “abortion goes much further: when the mother herself kills her son she goes against her own nature, against her own instinct.  People talk about ‘choice’, but when a woman does that, when she destroys the life of her unborn child, then we have arrived at the limit.  The level cannot go higher regarding evil.”

“In the United States, there have been 50 million abortions since 1973,” said the actor, observing that the number is equal to the total number of deaths in World War II, and “one-fifth of our population.”

“The demographic triangle is being inverted.  The base keeps shrinking, until there aren’t young people to maintain the population. So, what happens?  The next stage is the so-called ‘right to die,’ euthanasia,” he said.

Caviezel, a committed Catholic who has starred in numerous major motion pictures, has been led by his pro-life convictions to adopt two handicapped Chinese children. His role in the Passion of the Christ has earned him worldwide acclaim.

Christmas victory at the food court

by Matthew Hoffman

( - As the year 2010 was winding to an end, something marvelous happened at a food court in a Canadian shopping mall.  Suddenly, the patrons came to life and began to sing, to sing beautifully, to sing the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s Messiah.  The “flashmob” event, filmed with multiple hidden cameras, found its way to YouTube, where it has been seen more than 26 million times since November 17, making it one of the most viewed videos in the history of the site.

As I watched the video, I pondered the question of why I, a grown man who is not known for losing his composure, was crying like a baby, and why so many others reacted the same way, both in the food court itself and among the viewers who left comments.  Why was this video of an old work of Christian polyphony reaching and moving tens of millions of people, a distinction normally enjoyed by the banal expressions of popular culture?

The first and most obvious answer is that the sheer beauty and reverence of the piece has been moving people to tears since it was first composed by Handel himself.  According to an old story about Handel, his assistant once searched him out after calling his name for several minutes.  He found Handel in his room, in tears, as he composed the Hallelujah Chorus.  “I thought I saw the face of God,” he said.

It was moving to see such beautiful people, from every generation and racial background, perform this great work with joy and reverence, but even more moving was its capacity to transform a food court, a trite symbol of our increasingly debased consumer culture, with the glorious praise of God. For a moment that day in November, the militant secularity of modern society fell mute in the face of something it could never produce, nor begin to fathom, a beautiful voice from its repudiated past, insisting on truths that will never die: and He shall reign forever and ever!

I wept also for the lost world of my childhood. Although the culture of the 1970s, already reeling from the upheavals of the 1960s, was only a pale reflection of the Christian society that preceded it, many elements of that lost civilization were still intact. The Hallelujah Chorus and other similar works were simply taken for granted, an affirmation of a commitment to a Christian culture that permeated the United States, Canada, and much of the western world. But the America I was born into has been swept away, and the Hallelujah Chorus is now a revolutionary act, a defiant gesture in the face of a cynical, “post-Christian” society.

But Christendom, with Christ as its king, can never die.  It may be forced underground for a time, into the privacy of one’s home and heart, but the words of the Hallelujah Chorus remind us that Jesus Christ is “the Lord God omnipotent,” the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” whose reign will never end. It will sprout a thousand times anew and in a thousand places, in shopping malls and streets, in businesses and government offices. Its resurrection, like that of Christ himself, is guaranteed.

“When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony,” wrote Pope Pius XI in his encyclical establishing the feast of Christ the King. To that, let all Christendom say, “Amen.”

Sunday, December 26, 2010

December 27 -- St. John the Evangelist

We often hear St. John called the "Beloved Apostle".   In studying his life we see why.

St. John's lineage was from the House of David.  Therefore, he was a flesh relative of both Our Lord and Our Lady.

However, St. John's virginity was the factor that brought him into Our Lord's confidence and friendship. So much so  that Our Lord permitted him to rest his head on His shoulder and allowed him to hear the beatings of the Most Sacred Heart.  What manifestations of love, and also the anticipations of the sorrows of the Passion he must have heard!

Then, Our Lord granted him another incomparable gift -- to a virginal disciple He gave His Most Virgin Mother.  Is there anything greater?  But there is something that is not often mentioned which deserves our attention. 

St. John distinguished himself as a counter-revolutionary by defending one of the first heresies which denied that the Father and Son were co-substantial.  In other words, St. John was the precursor of all those who combat heresy through history.

Let us ask St. John to be counted among those who fight without quarter against today’s errors.  Perhaps our wish to defend the Church will earn the reward of having Our Lady with us always as St. John did.

December 26 -- St. Stephen

St. Stephen has the immense honor of being the first martyr of the Catholic Church. He was a man of purity and strength , a great preacher of the Faith.  God worked many miracles through him. 

These converted many of good faith and angered those of evil intent.  The latter hated St. Stephen and tried to upset his apostolate with sophisms and tricks, to no avail.  This angered and confused the faithless ones and they vented their hatred on him. 

Why?  The reason is precisely because St. Stephen spoke goodness and truth, the opposite of evil and error.  Evil people love evil and fight the good.  This attitude resulted in the stoning of St. Stephen. He was martyred because he loved God and wished that others would love Him. 

St. Stephen could be called " a second Lamb of God".   Let us pray to St. Stephen asking for courage to speak Truth and to act in goodness no matter the consequence. 

Let us also ask Our Lady to be shrewd in knowing good and evil -- in being as intransigent against evil as the evil is against the good.

Did you remember to pray for the persecuted Catholics on Christmas?

How many of us remembered to pray for the Catholics around the world who are being persecuted, martyred and harassed for the Catholic faith?

While most of us where enjoying a very pleasant Christmas day, with Mass and the usual festivities, Catholics in Africa. Pakistan and Iraq, among other places, where not able to celebrate at all.  In Iraq midnight Mass was canceled.

In Pakistan, one Catholic mother of five, Asia Bibi, spent Christmas on death row for mentioning her Catholic faith to some Muslim friends. 

Meanwhile, in the UK, the BBC blasphemes the Most Pure Virgin Mary with the new TV series “The Nativity.” 

As we still savor the graves and blessings of Christmas today on the 26th, let us not forget those who are sacrificing their comfort, security and very lives to be faithful to the Infant King who was born in Bethlehem.

For more data on the persecution of Christian worldwide, please see:

The Birth of Our Lord: More Bold Than Any Revolutionary Utopia

Nothing proves more how grace makes utopias possible than the thought of Christmas.

As Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira observed:

“Something happens on Christmas night. It is as if through the power of God an immense impossibility becomes possible, and a shower of graces flows from Heaven to earth, turning into marvelous realities all of our impossible dreams. And how so? Because “apparuit salvator noster Domini Nostri Jesu Christi,” [our savior, Our Lord Jesus Christ appeared]. The Savior becomes incarnate in a Virgin and dwells amongst men. He comes with everything He brought for men. This is more audacious than any other utopia, but grace, miracle and the power of God turn it into reality.”

That first Christmas night opened up for men the immense possibilities that grace would later shape into Christendom. It made possible the practice of the Commandments and counsels in an order which the pagan world judged impossible.

The atheist or rationalist may smirk at such considerations. However, they do not realize that by limiting themselves to their atheistic reasoning, they embrace at best the narrow and fallible utopias of their soulless and pragmatic world. They do not perceive that they lose the best of reality.

Everything changes once we reason in function of a world created by God, turned toward God and where God Himself, his angels and saints can actively intervene. This conviction makes one capable of extraordinary élan, where the spirit of faith can unite with practical achievements and lead to the attainment of utopias in this valley of tears, that are marvelous prefigures of Heaven.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Searching for Christmas…A Story

Police Officer

One Christmas night, Our Lord came down into a modern city to see what people were doing. Every­one was celebrating “Happy Holidays!” Christ met a policeman directing traffic and asked: “What does ‘Happy Holidays’ mean?”

The policeman eyed Him suspiciously. “Where are you from?”

“From Bethlehem.”


“Bethlehem,” Our Lord repeated.

“Oh…Don’t you know it’s a holiday for kids?”

“What is the origin of the holiday?” Our Lord asked.

“Look, you ask too many questions. Can’t you see I’m busy?

At the Restaurant
Next, Christ paused by a restaurant advertising “Christmas Party—$50.00.” Ladies and gentlemen in elegant attire were entering. He stepped inside. Nice tables covered with white linen and lighted Christmas candles were arranged in rows.

A woman, seeing Our Lord, complained loudly: “You let beggars in here?!” The waiter rushed over to Him. “What are you doing in here?” he demanded. “Go beg on the street!” Christ studied the young man. “If you only knew what I am ‘begging’ for…,” He started to reply, but He was shoved out as the woman playing the piano sang, “Peace on earth and mercy mild.”

At School
Outside, Christ allowed Himself to be swept along by the throng that flowed like a river between stores. He saw toys everywhere, but rarely a Nativity scene. He then found Himself near a large school playground. Above the gate was a sign: “Christmas Party for Children.” Our Lord went in. There were hundreds of children inside, receiving toys. 

As they noisily ran and tumbled, important looking women hurried about. Neither a Nativity scene nor a crucifix could be seen. Nobody mentioned the Child Jesus.

As Christ stood there, a feeling of isolation grew in His heart. He felt like a trespasser. Finally, He approached a young boy whose arms overflowed with toys. “Do you love the Child Jesus who gave you so many nice toys?” Our Lord asked the little boy.
The boy stared at Him, puzzled: “What Child Jesus?”

“Don’t you know Him?”


The headmaster rushed over. “What did this man say to you?” she frantically asked the boy. Learning what Our Lord had asked and whose Name He had dared mention, her eyes glared at Our Lord and she snarled, “You need to leave -- now!”

Christ left and again walked through the streets, passing innumerable places where His creatures celebrated Christmas without knowing why.

In the Home
Weary, He came to a neglected suburb. A building with tiny lights caught His eye. Approaching one of the windows, He saw His own image displayed on the wall. His eyes brightened when He noticed a simple but attractively arranged crèche. Just then, the door opened and a boy came out.

The boy stopped abruptly at the sight of the man shivering in the darkness. Icy gusts blew around them. “Sir, you could freeze out here! You need to get out of the cold.”

“I am quite cold,” answered Our Lord.

“Come in, then. We have a good fire going.”

Our Lord entered. Near the fireplace, children gathered around a young priest. As the fire crackled, the priest told the children about the infinite grandeur and glory hidden within the little figure of the Child Jesus. He paused the moment Our Lord entered the room. “Come in! You look cold! Please, warm yourself here.”

The children promptly offered the newcomer a place close to the fire.

“Have you had anything to eat? Joseph, go ask your mother to prepare something hot for this gentleman.”
Christ’s gaze rested on them, one by one, as if He were memorizing every little face. Above all, He gazed at the young priest. “Are you alone, my friend?” asked the priest kindly.


All eyes turned curiously on the Stranger, waiting. Christ did not speak. Very slowly, regally, Jesus’ hand moved. He extended it over their heads, as if reaching beyond the humble cottages of that poor suburb, and encompassing the city whose miseries He had witnessed, he exclaimed, “Misereor super turbas!” (I have pity on these people!) Then, slowly, before their astonished eyes,

He disappeared.

“It was He!” cried one of the boys.

The priest nodded solemnly. “Yes, it was.”   

Merry Christmas!

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Gathered 'round the Manger

Christ in Christmas, Gathered 'round the Manger

Once again, Lord, Christmas approaches. Christianity hastens again to adore Thee in the manger at Bethlehem, where Thou can be seen by the light of the twinkling star or under the brighter and more splendorous light of the maternal and sweet gaze of Mary. Saint Joseph stands nearby, so captivated by Thee that he seems to take notice neither of the animals that surround Thee, nor of the angels who have opened the heavens and can be heard and seen, singing in the highest.

In a short while, the Magi will arrive with their entourage, laden with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Through the centuries, others will also come to venerate Thy crib: from India, Ancient Nubia, Macedonia, Rome, Carthage, and Spain; Gauls, Franks, Germans, Angles, Saxons, and Normans. Both pilgrims and crusaders will come from the West to kiss the ground of the cave where Thou were born.

Your manger will be venerated all over the earth. In the great Gothic or Romanesque cathedrals, multitudes will gather around Thee, offering Thee presents of gold, silver, incense, and above all the piety and sincerity of their hearts.

Then will come the period of the Western discoveries in which the benefits of Thy Redemption will reach new lands. Incas, Aztecs, natives of various tribes, blacks from African shores or further inland, bronze-skinned Indians, slender and pensive Chinese, short and agile Nipponese, all will gather around Thy crib and adore Thee.

The star of Bethlehem now shines over the whole world. The angelic promise has been heard by all peoples, and all across the earth hearts of goodwill have found the inestimable treasure of Thy peace. Overcoming all obstacles, the gospel has finally spread to people all over the world. In the midst of contemporary desolation, this great gathering of people from all nations and races around Thee is our only consolation, indeed our only hope.
We are among them, kneeling before Thee. See us, Lord, and have pity on us. There is something we would like to say.

Who are we? We are those who will not kneel before the modern Baal. We carry Thy law engraved upon the bronze of our hearts and we do not allow the errors of our times to become engraved upon this bronze sanctified by Thy Redemption. We love the immaculate purity of orthodoxy above all else and reject any pact whatsoever with heresy, its wiles and infiltrations.

We are merciful to the repentant sinner, and since—due to our unworthiness and infidelity—we count ourselves among that number, we implore Thy mercy. We spare no criticism either, of insolent and conceited impiety or of strutting vice that scorns virtue. We pity all men, particularly the blessed who suffer persecution for love of the Church, who are oppressed everywhere because they hunger and thirst for virtue, who are abandoned, ridiculed, betrayed, and disdained because they remain faithful to Thy commandments.

Many are those whose suffering is not celebrated in contemporary literature: the Christian mother who will pray alone before Thy crib because her children no longer practice the Faith; the strong yet austere husband who is misunderstood or even loathed by his own due to his fidelity to Thy teachings; the faithful wife who bears the solitude of both heart and soul, because frivolous habits have led to adultery he who should be her support, her “other half”; the pious son or daughter who—while Christian homes are celebrating—sense how in their own home, family life has been stifled by egotism, hedonism, and secularism; the student who is shunned and mocked by his colleagues because of his fidelity to Thee; the professor who is eschewed by fellow staff because he will not condone their errors; the parish priest or bishop around whom a menacing wall of misunderstanding or indifference has been raised because he refuses to compromise the integrity of the doctrine entrusted to his care; the honest man made penniless for refusing to swindle.

All of these isolated people, scattered across the globe, ignorant of each other, now gather around Thee to offer Thee a gift and a prayer.

Their gift exceeds the sun and the stars, the oceans with all its riches, and the earth in all its splendor: they give themselves entirely and faithfully. By preferring complete orthodoxy over approval, purity over popularity among the impure, honesty over gold; by remaining faithful to Thy law even when this entails sacrificing career and fame, they attain perfection in their spiritual life by practicing love of God above all things, which is a sincere and lasting love.

Such love differs greatly from love as it is understood nowadays, which predominantly consists of gushy and illogical feelings, senseless and blurry affections, obscure self-condescension and trite justifications to appease one’s conscience. Instead theirs is true love, enlightened by Faith, justified by reason, serious, chaste, upright and persevering—in a word, theirs is love of God.

They also offer a prayer. Before all else—because they love it above all else in this world—for Thy holy and immaculate Church: for both the pastors and the flock; foremost, for the pastor of the pastors of the flock, that is for Peter, whom today we call Benedict.

May the Church, which now moans as a captive in the dungeons of this anti-Christian “civilization”, finally triumph over this era of sin and implant a new civilization for Thy greater glory. May the saints become ever holier, may the good be sanctified, may sinners become good, and may the impious convert. May the impenitent who have rejected grace and are jeopardizing souls be dispersed, humbled, and their efforts frustrated. May the souls in purgatory rise to heaven straight away.

They also pray for themselves: may their orthodoxy be ever purer, their purity ever more rigorous. May they be more faithful amidst adversity, stand ever taller amidst humiliations, be more energetic in their struggles. May they be more terrible to the impious, yet more compassionate towards those who are ashamed of their sins, seriously strive to overcome them and publicly acclaim virtue.

Finally, they pray for Thy Grace, without which no will can durably persevere in good, and no soul can be saved; may it be more abundant in proportion to the number of their miseries and infidelities.

Written by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

The above article was originally published in O Legionário, December 22, 1946. It has been translated and adapted for publishing without Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira’s revision. –Ed.

Merry, Merry Christmas!








True joy is the light of the soul; and the true light is the one that comes from the splendor of truth.

Truth is the Wisdom of God, the Word that “came down from heaven by the power of the Holy Spirit, was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man” (Nicene Creed).

Whose light shone to us from a simple manger.

A newborn baby boy is lulled to sleep in the arms of the Mother of mothers, the Virgin of virgins.

His name is sweeter than honey but so powerful it drives away all devils. It is a name “above every name”: Jesus.

A name so full of grandeur that when pronounced, “every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” (Philippians 2:9-10).

And “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4).

Once again the world is enveloped in darkness. Men have closed their eyes to the light and, deprived of the splendor of truth, have lost true joy.

But to “men of good will” (Luke, 2:14) light still shines in the darkness.

Good will is an upright intention, a mind open to the truth and a heart prone to affection toward the One Who is “Light from Light, true God from true God” (Nicene Creed).

And since it is Christmas, as we celebrate the light that came to this world, let us rejoice in the joy of our souls.  In spite of the darkness of neo-paganism, the light continues to shine; and so does joy.  Merry Christmas!

by Luiz Solimeo

Friday, December 24, 2010

December 25 – Christmas Day

Today is Christmas, one of the most celebrated feasts of the Holy Catholic Faith.

File:Fra Angelico 037.jpg

All of Christendom should be contemplating  this Holy Birth.  One week ago, we celebrated the Expectation of Our Lady, the day we think about how Our Lady anticipated the great day of the birth of her Son.

On Christmas, this great day has arrived.  She carried Him in her maternal womb as in a Tabernacle; it was a profound relationship;  Mother and Son knew each other in the greatest possible intimacy.

Now the moment has come when she would see her Son face to face.  What an extraordinary joy and love must have resulted! 

The angels sang canticles of jubilation and man and nature knew that history would mark this glorious event.  St. Joseph adored God, his adopted Son, Who now fulfilled the prophecies of the Gospel.  St. Joseph gazes at this Divine Child , his God and the God of all men.  The sanctity of the Divine Child illuminates the entire surroundings.  The Light of Christmas emanates light for all to see and to adore.

How different is this explanation from the depiction of most Christmas cards, where the Christ Child is shown as a simple Child devoid of the Divine mentality which constitutes the Divine Person -- or worse!

We reject these modern aberrations and ask Our Lady and St. Joseph to give us a profound understanding of the Person of the Christ Child so that we may celebrate Christmas as they did.

The True Face of the Saints

Sometimes the real faces of the saints doesn’t match the holy cards that people make up for them.  That’s why I thought you’d like to see the real photos of a few saints, to appreciate the sanctity that shines from them and contrast them with the inaccurate holy cards you see all over the place today.

File:Francesca Cabrini.JPG

Saint Frances Cabrini, first canonized American saint.



Saint John Neumann, 4th bishop of Philadelphia 1852-1860.  The first and only American bishop to be canonized.


Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus.

           St. Pius X

Pope Saint Pius X in full Papal Regalia.


On his deathbed.


File:Galg gem.jpg

Saint Gemma Galgani, the mystic from Lucca Italy.


The three Fatima children Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta.

Why did cultural conservatives lose the battle over “Don’t ask, don’t tell?”

by Peter Smith

December 21, 2010 ( - Why did cultural conservatives lose the battle over “Don’t ask, don’t tell?” In 1993 a Democrat-controlled Congress overwhelmingly passed the federal law banning open homosexuals from serving in the armed forces. So what changed in the past 17 years?

Certainly a handful of Republicans had a hand in its passage. Six Republicans – Sens. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mark Kirk of Illinois, George Voinovich of Ohio, and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine – reneged on their word to help their party block all legislation until the big item of funding the federal government was settled.

Well, promises, promises. After the 63-33 vote for cloture, repealing DADT was a fait-accompli. So two more Republicans jumped on board, Sens. John Ensign of Nevada and Richard Burr of North Carolina, making eight total GOP votes for repeal.

Eight liberal Republicans put the final nail in the coffin on DADT. Or did they?

Conservatives should hesitate before they jump to that conclusion.

In fact, just five of the eight Republicans who voted to repeal DADT have solid socially liberal positions and records on “gay rights” and abortion: Brown, Murkowski, Kirk, Collins, and Snowe.

Voinovich, however, has a social conservative record: he has a 100 percent pro-life rating from the National Right to Life Committee, and has scored high marks in the past for his votes from pro-family groups such as Family Research Council (88%, 2007-2008) and the American Family Association (100%, 2007-2008).

The Ohio senator also voted for a U.S. constitutional amendment that would define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, and thereby ban same-sex “marriage.”

Voinovich is not a typical RINO (Republican In Name Only) like the Senate ladies from Maine. Neither are Ensign and Burr. Both have high pro-life ratings, and voted to protect the traditional definition of marriage in the Constitution.

Burr explained his vote, saying that while the 1993 law was a “generationally right” policy, its repeal was “inevitable.” 

Andrew Stiles at National Review Online observes in a Dec. 20 analysis of Burr’s “surprising vote” that the GOP caucus did not put up a vigorous defense of DADT. He quotes Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) admitting to NRO that repeal was “something people knew was going to happen.” Corker said he believes that if Democrats actually did have hearings, even more Republicans may have jumped on board.

These events should set off alarm bells for cultural conservatives: the message is no longer resonating the way it did in 1993.

In 1993 a Democrat-controlled Congress banned homosexuals from serving in the U.S. military. But today, a Gallup poll released on December 9 shows that two-thirds (67%) of the country have no moral conviction that banning homosexuals from the military is a just policy.

Conservative analyst John Guardiano argues at the Daily Caller that when it comes to “blame,” conservatives should look no further than themselves.

Social conservatives deserve to lose the culture war, he says, because many “pathetically inarticulate and tongue-tied” conservative leaders and journalists are failing to connect with the American people and make a persuasive case against politically and rhetorically savvy “gay rights” activists.

Guardiano lays bare the embarrassing, illogical rhetoric of the well-intentioned (but painfully wrong) Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and the intellectual vacuity of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) to make his point.

“Instead of avoiding so-called gay rights, ‘marriage equality,’ and issues of religious liberty and federalism, conservatives need to learn to talk about these issues with the same level of political skill, dexterity and sophistication that they talk about, say, taxes and missile defense,” he says.

I agree. Ultimately, conservatives are failing on messaging. The politicians and the American people no longer get why retaining the 1993 law was either good for the troops or good for the country. Prudential reasons were not going to trump the moral conviction that DADT had to go. As far as prudence goes, the Pentagon plans to repeal DADT slowly, because the United States still is engaged in full-scale combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For most Americans, homosexuality is a very abstract concept. A look into the details of the lifestyle and its health consequences confirms fairly quickly that homosexual behavior is physically, sexually, emotionally destructive. But Americans won’t learn that from watching sitcoms like “Will & Grace,” where two homosexuals were among the principle characters of the eight season NBC program.

Matt Lewis at Politics Daily gives credit to Hollywood for having influenced the popular imagination to accept homosexual behavior as fairly normal – basically just like heterosexual relations, except the person they love is of the same sex. (Lewis also points out that Will and Grace was very popular among Republican women.)

Lewis is right, but he could go even further: it is the breakdown of marriage, and acceptance of casual sexual relationships among heterosexuals (also depicted on TV) that has primed the popular imagination to see little substantial difference between heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior. Once the distinction is blurred, saying homosexuals can’t serve, and homosexuals can’t marry (each other), begins to look like little more than unthinking prejudice, unworthy of a more progressive age.

Of course, social conservatives are not losing across the board. Lewis notes that social conservatives have “given ground on the gay issue, but gained it on the life issue,” pointing out that over half the country identifies itself now as pro-life.

But will the country be able to sustain a culture of life, without a culture of traditional marriage and family? I wouldn’t bet on it.

The numbers show that most Catholics in US Congress Voted to Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Here’s the report card on the 160 Catholics serving in the US Congress:

117 or 73% voted to repeal the DADT policy that had barred homosexuals from serving openly in the military.

39 or 24% voted to keep DADT.

4 abstained.

EDITORIAL: Crucifying Christians on Christmas

The faithful face persecution in many Muslim lands

See this Washington Times Editorial:

December 24 -- St. Charbel Makhlouf

Youssef Makhlouf was born in 1828 in a village in Lebanon, near a grove of cedar trees.  He was the youngest in his family and became a shepherd and would pray in a grotto much as the Fatima children did. 


Both parents were extremely pious.  Young Youssef was influenced also by two maternal uncles who were monks.  Often they would tell him: "All here below is nothing, the world is vanity, life is short.  The true beauty is God, near Him there is true happiness.  Wisdom is to not find oneself with empty hands at the supreme hour."

Youssef Makhlouf took the name of Charbel upon entering the monastery and was ordained at age 31.  To the general observer, his life was not extraordinary.  However, his deeds of heroic virtue defy human endurance. 

The true purpose of his existence was to be a victim soul in union with Our Lord.  This, he did.  Just before Christmas in 1898, St. Charbel was struck with paralysis as he was saying Mass. 

He repeating the following until he died on December 24: " O Father of Truth, behold Your Son , Victim to please You; condescend to approve (this offering), because for me He endured death, to give me life..."

St. Charbel gave his life for the salvation of souls. God was pleased with his sacrifice because after his death, thousands of miracles have occurred.  His body is totally incorrupt and a miraculous healing liquid continually exudes from it. Upon application , this liquid heals both body and soul.

Ask St. Charbel to seek the glory of God before all things, to seek his Will not our own, and to remember that "wisdom is to not find oneself with empty hands at the supreme hour".

Thursday, December 23, 2010

No Christmas in Iraq

The Associated Press and many other news agencies have reported that:

Iraqi churches cancel Christmas festivities

Full story here:

Merry Christmas

Victory: Senate strips provision allowing abortion on military bases from defense bill

by Peter Smith

December 22, 2010 ( - The U.S. Senate has passed the defense authorization bill for FY2011, but only after controversial provisions, including the Burris Amendment, were stripped from the measure.

The amendment would have struck out a section of the U.S. Code that has prohibited Department of Defense facilities from being used to perform abortions except in cases of rape, incest, and risk to the life of the mother. The measure was introduced by into the defense authorization bill by then-Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) during an Armed Services Committee markup in May.

Pro-life groups reacted with outrage at the time, saying that the measure would “turn every U.S. military hospital in the world into an abortion clinic.”

One hundred and eighty U.S. House members also objected to the Burris language, which was not included in the House version of the defense spending measure.

If the Senate had passed the measure with the Burris amendment, the two chambers of Congress would have had to reconcile the bills, spending even more time debating over the controversial measure with the Christmas recess deadline only days away.

Susan B. Anthony List’s President Marjorie Dannenfelser said the passage of the defense authorization bill without the Burris amendment is a sign of the pro-life movement’s growing political clout in Congress.

“This is one more example of the increased muscle of the pro-life movement,” said Dannenfelser.  “Congress heard the pro-life grassroots activists’ voices and kept abortion out of military medical facilities.  It is time for the abortion industry to stop using the military as a place to advance its agenda.”

Vandals Storm Creches Nationwide - Baby Jesus Smashed, Dismembered, Desecrated

WASHINGTON, December 21, 2006 ( - The Catholic League is reporting vandalism to nativity scenes across the United States. 

Figures from nativity scenes were stolen or vandalized in Tucson, AZ ; Millbrae, CA; Mission Viejo, CA; Moorpark, CA; San Francisco, CA; Naugatuck, CT; Waterbury, CT (Jesus was taken, but one of the arms was left behind); Fort Walton Beach, FL; Des Moines, IA; Sioux City, IA; Ammon, ID; Chicago, IL (32 figures of baby Jesus were nabbed-they were later dumped on the lawn of a Catholic church); Jackson County, IL (two incidents); Tinley Park, IL; Floyd County, IN; Fort Wayne, IN; Montgomery County, IN; Wichita, KS; Hardin, KY; Lafayette, LA (two incidents); Youngsville, LA; Fitchburg, MA; Southborough, MA; Winthrop, ME; Portage Township, MI; Fayettville, NC; New Bern, NC; Columbus, NE (12 baby Jesus figures were stolen in one day); Plaistow, NH; Dover, OH; Utica, OH (three incidents); Artemis, PA; Bucks County, PA; Greenfield, PA; Hilton Head, SC; Halom City, TX; Santa Fe, TX; Salt Lake City, UT; Winfield, WV and West Allis, WI.

“Some of these attacks were clearly motivated by malice,” the League’s Bill Donohue commented. “The baby Jesus figure stolen in Plaistow, NH was later returned, having been defiled by a pair of devil horns.  The hooligan who stole the manger from Southborough, MA left the surrounding secular decorations standing.”

Donohue continued, “In Sioux Falls, SD, someone crushed the face of the statue of Jesus.  What’s worse, the creep in Des Moines, IA burned Jesus’ face, doused the statue with red nail polish, and twisted the electrical cord around its neck.”

Commenting Wednesday on the tradition of nativity scenes, Pope Benedict XVI said, “In a few days it will be Christmas, and I imagine that, in your homes, you are putting the final touches to your nativity scenes, which are such an evocative depiction of Christmas. I hope that this important element, not only of our spirituality but also of our culture and art, may endure as a simple and eloquent way to remember the One Who came ‘to dwell among us’.”

See related coverage:

Nativity Scenes Vandalized in Three Major Canadian Cities - Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto

Nativity Scene Stolen by Abortion Clinic Worker Returned by Police

New York Village Would Rather Remove 9-Foot Menorah than Allow Nativity Scene

Have a blessed and merry Christmas – in the TRUE PEACE of God

We gather to celebrate the beautiful feast of Christmas, a lovable tradition, established and handed down to us through the centuries.

As 2010 comes to a close, we look back to find that 2009 ended in similar circumstances: generalized chaos and confusion.

Presently our situation is similar to last year's with an even greater potential for confusion and even greater risk, while a general atmosphere of apprehension spreads over the whole country.

Peace in Truth is found in the Holy Roman Catholic Church

Yet, at this Yuletide, we recall the angelic chant to the shepherds on that rustic and poetic first Christmas Eve as the angels sang, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to men of good will".

Yes, peace is tranquility, but not just any tranquility.

St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that "peace is the tranquility of order". Where there is order there is real peace. Where there is an absence of order there is no peace. What exists is a veiled disorder, an artificial order, but no real peace.

Peace exists, rather, in churches where Catholic doctrine is professed in its integrity; where people all love, understand and feel the same way because they are imbued with the Divine Holy Ghost, who is eminently a Spirit of Peace.

In temporal society we find this peace in a very few places, namely at such gatherings as these, where men live who indeed strive to give glory to God in the highest and, therefore, peace on earth reigns among these men of good will.

But you who are a supporter of America Needs Fatima are also an agent of peace. You savor this peace, you appreciate this peace, you take it to your families, and thus bring them the law of Christ, the Faith of Christ, the order of Christ and the Reign of Christ. As you take into your families the doctrine of His Holy Catholic Church and live by its sweet rule and yoke, you have true peace.

This is the peace that our Lord Jesus Christ wanted to bring to the world and which He expressed in these magnificent words: Pacem relinquo vobis, pacem meam do vobis, "I give you My peace, I leave you My peace." Which means, He gave them His peace, which is the tranquility of order, leaving this gift to men, to the world, at the time that He was about to leave earth to ascend to heaven.

Great and small gather around the manger

So, let us approach that heavenly crib of Jesus Christ, the King of Peace, the descendant of a regal dynasty from which also descended Mary Most Holy and Saint Joseph, who, nevertheless, now kneels in the capacity of a humble carpenter before the Savior just born of his wife, the Virgin Mother.

And before great potentates draw near the crib with precious gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, God wished for humble shepherds to approach and be received with tender love. Even the ox and the donkey were invited to warm Baby Jesus with their breath.

We must be soldiers of peace and soldiers of order

All this is peace; all this is order. We should be soldiers of peace and soldiers of order, fighting in an orderly manner as true soldiers of Christ in the Reign of Christ.

But aren't these terms, peace and fight, contradictory? Isn't peace concomitant with non-aggression? So how can we be "soldiers of peace"? Likewise, how can we call ourselves "soldiers of order" in case of war, when war is such a huge mess?

Nevertheless, peace is present when one fights against disorder through order. This must be well understood. Peace, the peace of Christ in the Reign of Christ exists when men are in order. But this peace does not exist only in non-combat. There is peace also when one fights for order against disorder.

There was also a great battle in heaven between Saint Michael the Archangel and the angels of fidelity and obedience against the angels of infidelity and disobedience. It was so great a battle that Scriptures describes it for us as a great battle was fought in heaven.

So, even at this moment peace did not cease to reign in heaven, because the good were on the side of God fighting to expel from the heavenly mansion the devils who, as agents of disorder, had become unworthy of it.

If there was a war in heaven, it was a war of health against disease, a war of life against death, a war of good against rebellious evil. This battle, by the very fact that it was a battle between what should exist against what should not exist, in itself is order.

In the contemporary world we are precious agents of peace in the measure that we fight against evil angels and those who are dedicated to spreading evil, the agents of war.

So also in the contemporary world we are precious agents of peace in the measure that we fight the evil angels and their minions in their multifaceted attack on faith, morality and good customs.

In the contemporary world we are precious agents of peace in the measure that we fight the evil angels and their minions in their multifaceted attack on faith, morality and good customs.

The peace that we desire for the coming year is the peace of order against the agents of disorder. Only then will we have the peace of order in the tranquility of order. So, let us be agents of order in the coming year, not only because we refuse to engage in useless battles, but also because we do choose to engage in the good fight of which Saint Paul speaks when he said of himself as he lay dying: "Lord, I fought the good fight, now give me the reward of Thy glory." If we do this in the coming year as we have done this year, we can end the year with peace and hope.

In this generation of thieves and adulterers let us be souls on fire, souls burning with love and strong warriors engendered by Faith. We were not born only to rejoice, or mainly to be happy. We were born, above all, to fight; we were born, above all, to serve the Holy Catholic Church.

Then whatever the furor of evil throughout the world, whatever their threats, we are agents of peace, we are children of Mary, and we are fighters of good order. Thus, by the grace of Mary we may say like Saint Paul and the end of next year: Lord, throughout this year we fought the good fight. Give us now during this year the reward of Thy glory.

(Adapted from a message of Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira to TFP Supporters on Dec. 18, 1992 at a Christmas gathering.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 23 -- St. John Cantius

St. John Cantius, also known as St. John Kenty, was born in Poland in 1403.  Early in life, he distinguished himself at Cracow University as a scholar of great ability and industry.

Ordained in 1421, he was firmly grounded in the writings and spirituality of St. Augustine.  His modesty and virtue were evident by his large number of followers.  His love of the Holy See drew him to Rome four times, on foot and alone, while his devotion to the Passion of Our Lord led him to Jerusalem hoping to gain a martyr's crown by preaching to the Turks.

Both in the classroom and in the pulpit, St. John was an implacable defender of the Faith and enemy of heretics, reminding all to "fight all heresies".

St. John never lost an opportunity to bring the Gospel to the poor and to the nobility.  He understood well the necessity of directing the higher classes for it is to them that God gave the vocation of leadership.  The nobility has the position to influence society: they are responsible for the formation of those under their care.

By the time of his death in December of 1473, many considered him to be very holy.  Surely his knowledge and wisdom sought a covenant with holiness.

Let us ask St. John Cantius to see heresy, even in its most disguised forms and to fight against it with wisdom and knowledge.

After homosexuality – why is incest wrong?

Please go here to see an excellent article by Albert Molher on the slippery slope that exists since all sorts of sexual perversion have become “justified,” including incest.

Report sheds light on abortion, contraception in Catholic hospital network

SAN FRANCISCO, December 21, 2010 ( - Catholic Healthcare West, the owner of a Phoenix hospital that lost its Catholic status following an abortion there, has a long history of disobedience to Catholic moral teaching despite its name, according to a report by American Life League.

The San Francisco-based company owns 41 hospitals and medical centers in California, Arizona, and Nevada, and is the eighth largest hospital system in America.

American Life League (ALL) claimed that within only two days of investigating, they discovered that at least one CHW hospital promotes Planned Parenthood on its website, while another lists contraceptives as a service. In addition, at least 12 CHW members performed tubal ligations as of 2001 and 20 members refer for vasectomies.

The report offered details on several groups funded by CHW grants that are actively opposed to Catholic teaching, such as the San Francisco Health Plan, which covers abortion and contraception.

A 2007 CHW “Preferred Drug List” showing covered medications in the group’s medical plans lists several contraceptives, including emergency contraception, according to a document presented in the report.

(See the full ALL report here.)

The group also noted that the organization’s CEO, like Sr. Carol Keehan of the Catholic Health Association, strongly supported the federal health care plan that was widely condemned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and top pro-life groups as posing a major threat to the unborn.

An April 2010 Business Wire article unearthed by ALL reported that CEO Lloyd Dean “worked directly with Congress and the Obama Administration in supporting passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

On Tuesday, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix announced that St. Joseph’s Hospital, a member of the CHW network, was no longer a Catholic hospital after it refused to alter its practices to comply with the Ethical and Religious Directives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The bishop specifically condemned CHW for failing to comply with Catholic morality standards of health care.

“In all my seven years as Bishop of Phoenix, I have continued to insist that this scandalous situation needed to change; sadly, over the course of these years, CHW has chosen not to comply,” said Olmsted.