Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bishop John's Address ~ January 26th, 2012

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to include in their employees' health insurance plans sterilization, abortion inducing drugs and contraception, as if pregnancy were a disease.

In so ruling, the administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our nation's first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty.

We cannot - we will not - comply with this unjust law. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

Therefore, I ask of you two things. First, we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Second, I recommend visiting the website, to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that well reverse the Administration's decision.

+Bishop John

As a note: as a Byzantine I am not supposed to fast this week in honor of the extreme grace of Divine Mercy on this the feast of the Repentant Publican, but there are other ways to offer up prayers. Rosaries, daily Masses, novenas and other such things are marvelous ways to pray for the Lord's work in the world.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In honor of Roe vs. Wade

Psalm 94

O Lord, thou God of vengeance,
thou God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O judge of the earth;
render to the proud their deserts.
O Lord, how long shall the wicked,
how long shall the wicked exult?

They pour out their arrogant words,
the boast, all the evildoers,
They crush Thy people, O Lord,
and afflict Thy heritage.
They slay the widow and the sojourner,
and murder the fatherless
and they say, "The Lord does not see,
the God of Jacob does not perceive."

Understand, O dullest of the people!
Fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, does He not hear?
He who formed the eye, does He not see?
He who chastens, the nations, does he not chastise?
He who teaches men knowledge,
The Lord, knows the thoughts of man,
that they are but a breath.

Blessed is the man whom Thou dost chasten, O Lord
and whom Thou dost teach out of Thy law
to give him respite from days of trouble
until a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not forsake his people;
he will not abandon his heritage;
for justice will return the the righteous,
and all the upright in heart will follow it.

Who rises up for me against the wicked?
Who stands up for me against evildoers?
If the Lord had not been my help,
my soul would soon have dwelt in the land of silence.
When I thought, "My foot slips,"
Thy steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.

When the cares of my heart are many,
Thy consolations cheer my soul.
Can wicked rulers be allied with Thee,
who frame mischief by statute?
They band together against the life of the righteous,
and condemn the innocent to death.

But the Lord has become my stronghold,
and my God the rock of my refuge.
He will bring back on them their iniquity
and wipe them out for their wickedness;
the Lord our God will wipe them out.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Poem of the Day

Veiled in White

~Katherine Bittner

You Holy priests
gathered about the altar
I have a secret to tell.

I have watched and marveled
as when you approach the altar
upon which the Most Holy Sacrifice is offered
you bend and kiss its surface
with the greatest reverence and tenderness
veiled in white

Tomorrow is my wedding day
and when my bridegroom kisses me
I shall know what the altar feels
when you caress her with your devotion
veiled in white

Oh you who are Christ to us
in the sacrament of the alter,
In this Holy sacrifice of marriage
My bridegroom shall become Christ
and consecrate in me the Divine Image
veiled in white