Big Pro Life Rally and Conference this Saturday (1/29) in Fort Wayne, Indiana

The ArchAngel Institute is presenting a community discussion of the Manhattan Declaration in the basement theater of the Allen County Public Library at 3 pm on Saturday, January 29, 2011.

Panelists include Father David Mary, Father Glenn Kohrman and theologian Dr. John Bequette.

This event follows the 37th Annual March for Life, which begins with a rally at the Scottish Rite Cathedral at 12 noon on the same day.

March for Life kicks off at noon.

Conference begins at 3.

Complete details here.

 

This Week’s Ask Alice: Is There A Link Between Faith and Prosperity and A Question About the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Heather writes: Why do you say God is going to make my life better if I believe? It doesn’t say that anywhere in the bible.

Alice Answers: Accounts of God’s punishments are rampant in the Old Testament from the moment Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden to the Great Flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. And all of those chastisements occur in Genesis, the first book of the Bible.

For the Israelites, 215 years of Egyptian enslavement culminated with the ten plagues. Basically, God was punishing the sinful, disobedient people of ancient times. However, the Old Testament also contains countless examples of God’s protection. Many righteous people such as Noah (with his Ark afloat), Joseph (whose dreamy gift saved him from slavery) and Moses (the Jewish baby rescued by Pharaoh’s own daughter) were recipients of God’s Mercy.

“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him may not die but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

In the New Testament we see God’s deep, abiding love manifested through His Son, Jesus. Examples of Jesus’ divine mercy and love are evident when our Lord dined with Zacchaeus, the tiny tax collector, cast out seven demons from Mary Magdalene, fed thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fishes, saved an adultress from stoning, and forgave the woman who washed His feet with her hair.

Sadly, ours is a sinful world where both good and evil people suffer. “For his sun rises on the bad and the good, he rains on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45) God doesn’t cause all of the sickness and suffering in the world. Many societal and personal wounds are the result of people’s cruelty and indifference toward one another.

God doesn’t promise earthly pleasures and treasures, but he does promise joy, peace, comfort, love and a heavenly banquet to those who those believe in him. Both the Old and New Testaments are overflowing with God’s wonderful promises. “You believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” (1Peter 1:8)

“Present your needs to God in every form of prayer and and in petitions full of gratitude. Then God’s own peace, which surpasses all understanding, will stand guard over your hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus.” (Phillippians 4:6).

When we are going through tough times the Lord invites us to, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will refresh you.” (Matthew 11:28) “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will grant you the desires of your heart…” (Psalm 37:4)

In addition to the countless gifts bestowed upon believers, God is saving the best gift for last.

“Eye has not seen, ear has not heard… what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1Corinthians 2:9)

No husband, wife, sibling, parent, friend, lawyer, philanthropist, psychologist or physician could make and keep such perfect promises!

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

****

Nancy writes: The priest at a local church I know will hear confessions and tell the penitent to say their Act of Contrition outside of the confessional, in the church, and then he will give them absolution! Is this a valid confession?

Alice Answers: We Catholics tend to appreciate ritual, especially when it comes to important things. And what could be more important than the peace of mind that comes from having all of our sins totally and absolutely forgiven?

For that reason, it’s best for all concerned to always try to do everything “by the book” … but sometimes, things don’t go exactly as planned.

I don’t know your priest or your parish, but my guess is that the time frame available for hearing confessions is limited, the number of priests available is small, and the lines are long.

Under such conditions, asking people to make their Act of Contrition in advance would not be considered an abuse, and it would also not be likely to affect the validity of the sacrament, in any way.

Here’s why:

In order to receive absolution for sins, the Sacrament of Penance typically requires three things of the penitent: 1) Genuine contrition (sorrow) for committing the sins; 2) Repentance. The existence of a firm purpose of amendment, including both a sincere intention and a real, practical possibility of turning away from sin; 3) Verbal confession of all known mortal sins, to the priest.

Assuming that everyone involved is acting in good faith, and that all three of the above mentioned things are present, the confession is considered to be good, the priest may absolve, sins are forgiven, sanctifying grace is restored to the soul, and all is well.

With these essential conditions fully satisfied, the power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is also more than sufficient to overcome most other variations in formula or follow through.

Changing the order of some things, omitting the Act of Contrition, and/or even failing to perform the assigned penance would not (typically) serve to invalidate an otherwise good confession. And of course, in times of emergency, war, or imminent peril, certain other expediences might also become necessary or prudent, in order to save souls.

Governments continue to “wink” as Muslims persecute and murder Christians.

Christian converts risk judicial murder in Afghanistan. Pakistan is threatening to execute a Christian “blasphemer” in Pakistan. Iran recently initiated a campaign against Christians. Even in relatively liberal Muslim states, like Kuwait, where Christians can worship openly, proselytism is forbidden.

Egypt is a particularly apt case since the number of Christians is relatively large, constituting as much as 15 percent of a population of more than 80 million.

Violence is common. In mid-November an off-duty police officer boarded a train and opened fire, murdering a 71-year-old Copt and injuring five other Christians. Last November Muslim mobs destroyed a score of homes and shops in Qena Province. Earlier in the year six Copts along with a Muslim guard were killed and another nine Copts wounded in a drive-by shooting in the town of Nag Hammadi. Kathryn Cameron Porter of the Council for Human Rights observed afterwards: “Copts in Egypt continuously face ongoing discrimination and outright persecution, either by the Egyptian government or through its tacit approval.”

Read more

Seen on the web: Even a 5 year-old can see that abortion is totally wrong.

A reader comment:

This morning I was watching a video from the March for Life, sparked by the posts on you blog, and my daughter asked “what’s that.” She is about to turn 5, and so I knew it was the perfect time to start to form her conscious in terms of abortion (of course she is already positively aware of the value of life in our home).

It was both the hardest and most powerful morning of my parenting life. I felt so ashamed as I told her (with tears in my eyes) that it was legal in our country for a mother to murder a baby in her womb.

Her response was chilling…

“Daddy, we have to move.”

Read more at Taylor Marshall’s blog

40,000-strong Paris March for Life an ‘unprecedented’ success

PARIS, France, January 24, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – About 40,000 people joined the Paris March for Life on Sunday afternoon: an unprecedented success.

For its 7th edition the pro-life rally was for the first time honored with a papal endorsement. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s letter bearing Pope Benedict’s personal blessing and encouragements reached the organizers on the Friday preceding the March, a development that led to mainstream media coverage announcing the venue.

No less than four bishops joined the March’s 2011 edition: Mgr Dominique Lebrun, of Saint-Etienne, was back after having been the first-ever French bishop to join last year. Mgr. Guy Bagnard, of Bellay-Ars, participated in the pre-March press conference before walking along with the crowd through the wide boulevards from the Place de la République to the heart of the city, the Place de l’Opéra, which proved almost too small to host all the participants.

Link

The Barbaric Vision of ‘Progressive’ (Socialist) Heroes

Thinkers such as the famous science fiction writer H.G. Wells, who between 1905 and 1940, was one of the most admired and influential men in the world. In describing his fellow socialist and some-time friend, George Bernard Shaw wrote of Wells, “Multiply the total by ten; square the result. Raise it again to the millionth power and square it again; and you will still fall short of the truth about Wells – yet the worse he behaved the more he was indulged; and the more he was indulged the worse he behaved.” Shaw, by the way, lied about what he had seen in Stalin’s Russia and when questioned by a Western journalist about the forced starvations in Ukraine threw a can of Russian meat at him. Wells, though, was worse.

At heart he was a social engineer. In massively best-selling books such as Anticipations and A Modern Utopia Wells wrote that he believed the world would collapse; from this collapse a new order should and would emerge. “People throughout the world whose minds were adapted to the big-scale conditions of the new time,” he wrote. “A naturally and informally organized educated class, an unprecedented sort of people.” A strict social order would be formed. At the bottom of it was the base.

These were “people who had given evidence of a strong anti-social disposition,” including “the black, the brown, the swarthy, the yellow.” Christians would also “have to go,” as well as the handicapped. Wells devoted entire pamphlets to the need of “preventing the birth, preventing the procreation or preventing the existence” of the mentally and physically handicapped. “This thing, this euthanasia of the weak and the sensual is possible. I have little or no doubt that in the future it will be planned and achieved.”

Read more from Michael Coren

Deacon Turner reflects on the Mass for Life: The future of the Catholic Church is brighter than you might think.

Imagine 25,000 young Catholics cheering for their bishops, priests, religious and deacons! Imagine a standing ovation at the mere mention of the Holy Father. Then imagine a moment in the Mass when those same 25,000 young people come together in a perfect silence while praying for the safety of the unborn.

That was the scene at the Mass for Life in Washington’s Verizon Center. Here is the really neat part. About four miles away the same thing was happening with another 10,000 young Catholics in the DC Armory building. Now, add the rest of us older folks attending Mass in dozens of parishes throughout the city and you had a pretty exciting day to be Catholic.

I have been to several hockey and basketball games in the Verizon Center but no professional athletic team could excite me more than that many teens worshiping Christ and resolving themselves to fight for the rights of the unborn.

Link