In this season of joy, some profound insights into the value of suffering

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Saint Pope John Paul II
– All of those who suffer, especially the innocent, may feel themselves called to participate in the work of redemption, carried out through the cross
– The suffering of the innocent is especially valuable in the eyes of the Lord
– Even when the darkness is deepest, faith points to a trusting acknowledgment: ‘I know that you can do all things’

Sacred Scripture
– Is it not logical that we accept suffering?
– Taking up the cross is the obligation of whoever follows Jesus
– The sufferings of Christ are a cause of rejoicing
– The future glory surpasses all suffering

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– Death and all consequent bodily defects are punishments of original sin

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
– Original sin subjected all human nature to suffering
– Sufferings: a means of cooperating with God
– Means of purification and of salvation
– From the greatest of all moral evils God has brought forth the greatest of all goods

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– A new meaning for suffering – participation in the saving work of Jesus
– Makes a person more mature, helping to discern what is not essential

Saint John Chrysostom
– The remedy against pride; the power of God in weak men

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Catholic catechesis is lousy because it’s based on the widely adopted liberal educational “model”

Sermon-Mount-Jesus-Christ

Other denominations, I’ve observed, do a better job of offering meaningful adult faith formation, and it’s well attended. Yes, there is Sunday school for children, but that’s not considered the central formational focus of the community. There are logistical differences beyond the confessional ones here, of course. Episcopalians and Lutherans and Presbyterians rarely offer 6 back-to-back services on a Sunday morning, and don’t have the same need for childhood sacramental preparation as Catholics do. Many Protestant churches schedule formation opportunities for all ages on Wednesday evenings.

That’s part of the reason the adult formation classes and workshops we do offer are so poorly attended—adult catechesis just not a part of our regular expectation and structure. And adding it to an already overscheduled parish calendar doesn’t seem to be much of a solution.

So here’s my totally immodest proposal, audaciously presented on the virtual eve of the grand ComicCon of Catholic religious education, L.A.’s RECongress: Snap out of it. Let’s just stop catechizing children.

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Father Pavone: The pro-life message will not harm our children. What will harm them, however, is the “pro-choice” mentality…

He points out that, while parents are the primary educators of their children, they have an obligation not to withhold important truths from their children — including the truth about abortion. He shares:

I know of another case in which parental permission was obtained for all the students in the class, except one, to see a photo of an aborted baby. After school the student whose parents had denied permission insisted that her friend let her see the picture. On returning home she passionately challenged her mom, “Why did you not want me to see what is really happening to these babies! Why was I not allowed to see the truth?”

Just growing up in a society where he or she could have been aborted — where value is placed on lives based on wantedness or so-called unwantedness– Fr. Pavone notes, has been shown to have a psychological impact on the young generations. This is one reason why it is particularly important to be open about  abortion with our children.

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The left-wing seminaries we call universities

A particularly dramatic recent example was a pastor who told me that he has three sons, all of whom have earned doctorates — from Stanford, Oxford, and Fordham. What parent wouldn’t be proud of such achievements by his or her children?

But the tone of his voice suggested more irony than pride. They are all leftists, he added wistfully.

“How do you get along?” I asked.

“We still talk,” he responded.

Needless to say, I was glad to hear that. But as the father of two sons, I readily admit that if they became leftists, while I would, of course, always love them, I would be deeply saddened. Parents, on the left or the right, religious or secular, want to pass on their core values to their children.

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Submitted by Francis V.

Why does the court ban the pictures but allow the decrepit underlying conduct?

The U.S. Supreme Court decided on Monday to not review the case of Scott v. Saint John’s Church in the Wilderness, a case that involved a lower court banning display of explicit abortion images from being shown where children are likely to view them.

The New York Times recalled that the case originated from a 2005 pro-life outdoor protest on Palm Sunday at an Episcopal church in Denver. The protestors were apparently unhappy with the church’s pro-abortion stance, and protested by showing large pictures of aborted fetuses, upsetting some of the 200 children who were present.

After the church sued Kenneth T. Scott, one of the people behind the protest, the Colorado Court of Appeals placed a ban on “displaying large posters or similar displays depicting gruesome images of mutilated fetuses or dead bodies in a manner reasonably likely to be viewed by children under 12.”

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Catholic comedian explains why he has a big family – and other fun stuff

Well, why not? I guess the reasons against having more children always seemed uninspiring and superficial.

What exactly am I missing out on? Money? A few more hours of sleep? A more peaceful meal? More hair?

These are nothing compared to what I get from these five monsters who rule my life … each one of them has been a pump of light into my shriveled black heart.

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Indifference is corrosive to the true faith.

The first aspect of indifferentism is the idea that all the Christian denominations–for that matter all the different religions–are pretty much the same. You know the schtick–”We are all following different paths up the same mountain. You choose your path I choose mine.” The unique claims to Catholic truth have been watered down or denied completely. So if we have been telling our kids for the last fifty years that all the other Christian denominations are pretty much the same we should be surprised when they quite happily marry a Methodist or tootle off to the community church or join the Episcopalians?

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MSNBC, Barack Obama and the Teacher’s Unions think you’re too stupid to raise your own children, so they’re planning to take over.

nofamily

“…The idea behind this is going to be so appealing to so many people.  So many people are going to say, ‘I love that.’  Because I’m freaked out.  I don’t know what to do with my kids…  They’re unruly.  They’re whatever.  I don’t know what to do. And so the State will relieve you of that.

And I think that there’s a good 20 to 30% of America, maybe even higher now, I’m not sure, [that] will gladly have the State take that over so they don’t have to worry about it.  Yet another one of your responsibilities taken from you — I’m sorry. Another one of your responsibilities that you will gladly hand over because you don’t know what to do.  And so they will do it for you: Don’t worry! We’ll raise your kids.  We’ll train your kids.  We’ll educate your kids because it’s working out so well…  [Emphasis added]

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From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1881 Each community is defined by its purpose and consequently obeys specific rules; but “the human person . . . is and ought to be the principle, the subject and the end of all social institutions.”4

1882 Certain societies, such as the family and the state, correspond more directly to the nature of man; they are necessary to him. To promote the participation of the greatest number in the life of a society, the creation of voluntary associations and institutions must be encouraged “on both national and international levels, which relate to economic and social goals, to cultural and recreational activities, to sport, to various professions, and to political affairs.”5 This “socialization” also expresses the natural tendency for human beings to associate with one another for the sake of attaining objectives that exceed individual capacities. It develops the qualities of the person, especially the sense of initiative and responsibility, and helps guarantee his rights.6

1883 Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co- ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.”7

1884 God has not willed to reserve to himself all exercise of power. He entrusts to every creature the functions it is capable of performing, according to the capacities of its own nature. This mode of governance ought to be followed in social life. The way God acts in governing the world, which bears witness to such great regard for human freedom, should inspire the wisdom of those who govern human communities. They should behave as ministers of divine providence.

1885 The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends toward the establishment of true international order.

If Catholic schools were factories, the end product would be lukewarm Catholics.

help

A “theologically orthodox”
Catholic school teacher sounds off

I could recount many nightmarish stories of how most of the Catholic school educators and administrators I have encountered have been men and women of little or no faith in Christ and Church. Even in the religion departments it is common to encounter ex-nuns who feel the Church is in sin because they can’t be priests, homosexual men who are more interested in defending the lifestyle than in teaching the straight Catholic faith, and a range of those who are in dissent on some or another important Catholic doctrine.

If there are problems of personnel inside the Religion departments, the other disciplines are almost completely immersed in doing exactly what they would be doing in a public school. I have often wondered what small percentage of Catholic high school teachers actually like the Catholic Church? It is obvious that in hiring these folks, the biggest unspoken question is not “Are you enthusiastic about your Catholic faith?” but “Can you tolerate pretending to be on board with the Catholic stuff you will encounter from time to time here?”

There’s lots more

Editor’s note: Be sure to see the reader comments … all of them.

A man finds himself at the mid-century mark of his life, wishing he’d had children.

Life Regrets Of A Childless Liberal At 50

By Anonymous Attorney on March 4, 2013 at 11:49am

A relative on my wife’s side was on the phone with his mother recently, reflecting on his impending 50th birthday. He wondered if he’d leave a legacy of any kind. His career has been spent on the Internet—he made a nice bundle during the tech boom, but as with all things Internet, it flits off into cyberspace.

He and his wife have lived in an apartment—albeit an impressive one—all their adult lives. When they’re gone, it’ll be turned over to another tenant.

But most paining to him was the regret that he and wife did not have children.

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Submitted by Mark H.

The end of the world has already happened. It’s just not what you think.

apocalypse

The end of the world has indeed happened. It did not happen on a specific day, but has spread out over several decades. The world that disappeared was a world where most children knew how to read and write. A world where we admired the heroes rather than the victims. A world where political machines had not turned into the soul grinding machines. A world where we had more role models than rights. A world where one could understand what Pascal had meant when he wrote that entertainments distracted us from living a real human life. A world where the borders safeguarded those who lived their way of life and a life of their own.

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Study: Divorce is much worse on children than originally thought.

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Lenten Activities for Children

lentcrafts

A bunch of things kids can make, print and accessorize in order to make Lent more practical and fruitful.

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In the face of such monstrous evil, the proper response is to pray.

Posted today at The American Catholic site

All hail, O holy Queen, Mother exceeding merciful; Life’s spring, sweet comfort, our Hope-bearer, all hail. To thee our plaint we lift, children of Eve yet in exile. To thee our aspiring, and longing and weeping, lift we from this vale of sorrow. Ah then, Mary, be our intercessor; hither vouchsafe to turn thine eyes compassionate, and look upon us. And Jesus, blessed offspring of thy womb, O Mother, show thou to us when earthly exile endeth. O gentle, O loving, O gracious Virgin Mary!

Words fail me.  My prayers for the poor kids murdered, their parents and the adults murdered and their families.

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President Obama: “I hope that over the next several days, next several weeks and next several months, we all reflect on how we can do something about some of the senseless violence that ends up marring this country.”

obamasad

The President wasn’t talking about the 3000+ totally innocent babies who were wantonly slaughtered today (and every day) by abortion. He was talking about the 7 adults and 20 children who were tragically shot to death by a crazed gunman in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Heart rending testimony of a former abortion clinic worker who left her job and has since become a Christian.

My official title at the mill was “health worker.” I did various duties-lab work, leading groups (deceiving women about their abortions), “advocating” (deceiving women during their abortions), and assisting the abortionist, which included helping during the abortion and checking to make sure all the parts of the baby were there in the collection jar afterwards. I will never forget, in the second-trimester abortions, holding those little feet up to a chart on the wall to make sure of the age of the baby.

Just like everyone else employed there I laughed at the pro-lifers outside the mill and hardened my heart against the truth. If I thought about what was really happening, it became overwhelming. So, I treated the whole issue as a joke-but somewhere along the line God started working on my heart. I started to read literature left by the pro-lifers, and pro-life books. I began to see what I was doing in a whole new light. I saw these babies for what they were-human beings. It was very hard for my heart and head to accept because I had been leaving both my heart and head at home for so long to work there.

I began looking towards God and sometimes visiting church and reading the Bible. I know that the only thing keeping me from accepting Christ into my life was the fact that I was involved in murder-the murder of those made in His image. After working there eight months, I could no longer resist God-He had awakened me to the ugliness of abortion. I knew that in every abortion a living human being is killed, and I believe that a part of the mother is killed too. In May of 1991 I left the mill and believed that I had shut the door on my abortion experience.

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Video explains host of problems linked with use of chemical contraceptives

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Common sense Catholic family education

“Religious education” can sound intimidating and far worse is “catechesis.” Neither term came to mind as I washed some dishes in the sink and my 6-year-old grandson wandered into the kitchen. He’s used to the fact I tend to whistle, hum or sing absentmindedly, unaware I’m making any noise at all.

“I know that song!” he said, interrupting me mid-whistle. “We have it at church.”

Hmmm . . .  I wasn’t aware of what I was whistling. Since I presumed his parish Mass didn’t feature anything by Creedence Clearwater Revival or show tunes, then it was . . . Of course. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”

My grandson was pleased he recognized the melody. I was happy he was going someplace where it was sung – religiously.

That’s part of the ABCs, too. We leave Mass, we’re sent, but we take something with us. And we share it. That Advent song — whistled in a kitchen — led easily to a short conversation about Mass, Advent and . . . naturally . . . Christmas.

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Disgusting video: How Planned Parenthood uses your tax money to get your children hooked on sex.

Watch the “adults only” video from the American Life League

Being Jesus

A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson.

‘If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait.’ 

Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, ‘Ryan , you be Jesus!’

Submitted by Joan V.