The Miracle of Life – A Meditation on Mystery and Beauty of Life as we March

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

The magnificence of life is really too wonderful too describe. But I found this description some years ago which summons reverence by its very ability to baffle the mind:

MIRACLE OF LIFE– Consider the miracle of the human body.  Its chemistry is just as extraordinarily well tuned as is the physics of the cosmos.  Our world on bothsides of the divide that separates life from lifelessness is filled with wonder.  Each human cell has a double helix library of three billion base pairs providing fifty thousand genes.  These three billion base pairs and fifty thousand genes somehow engineer 100 trillion neural connections in the brain—-enough points of information to store all the data and information contained in a fifty-million-volume encyclopedia.  And then after that, these fifty thousand genes set forth a million fibers in the optic nerves, retinae having ten million pixels per centimeter, some ten billion in all, ten thousand taste buds, ten million nerve endings for smell, cells that exude a chemical come-on to lure an embryo’s lengthening neurons from spinal cord to target cell, each one of the millions of target cells attracting the proper nerve from the particular needed function.  And all this three-dimensional structure arises somehow from the linear, one-dimensional information contained along the DNA helix. Did all this happen by chance or do you see the hand of God?

Today, many of us march for life, here in Washington, on the West Coast,  and in other communities. Today we ponder the great mystery that is expressed in the 139th psalm:

For it was you who created my being,  knit me together in my mother’s womb. I thank you for the wonder of my being…Already you knew my soul my body held no secret from you when I was being fashioned in secret….every one of my days was decreed before one of them came into being. To me, how mysterious your thoughts, the sum of them not to be numbered! (Psalm 139 varia)

Read more. Or watch a fascinating video.

Exorcist priest exits public spotlight, mystifying many

It was a classic cable-TV shouting match.

After criticizing Fox Television commentator Sean Hannity for being soft on the abortion issue, Rev. Thomas Euteneuer said he would deny Hannity communion because of his views.

“Wow,” said Hannity, a Catholic and former seminary student, rendered temporarily speechless by the rebuke.

That was three years ago. Euteneuer was the president and the very public face of Human Life International, a worldwide anti-abortion organization. Friend and foe alike knew him as blunt-spoken when it came to defending his Church. He was a captivating public speaker, comfortable in the role.

His fierce and highly publicized 1999 campaign against a Fort Pierce abortion clinic became the subject of an HBO documentary, “12th and Delaware.”

He was also an exorcist. HLI, his publisher as well as his employer, was promoting his new book on its website.

But this summer, without warning, Euteneuer, 48, left his HLI post, saying he had been called back to the Palm Beach Diocese by Bishop Gerald Barbarito. His book on exorcism disappeared.

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Pope Benedict: Little sins and insensitivities lay the foundation for greater ones.

As one gives way to repeated sin and fails to repent, that sin becomes custom or habit. But having descended one rung on the ladder, the next rung now seems not so far, nor the one below that. And as one descends further into the darkness the eyes adjust to an increasing dimness, such that the light above now seems quite obnoxious. And behaviors once thought shameful, even impossible to one, now seem within reach and somehow plausible. As the memory of the light fades, the once unthinkable now becomes a daily fare. The descent on the moral ladder continues, one rung at a time, and the light gradually disappears.

St Augustine put it this way: Because of a perverse will was lust made; and lust indulged in became custom; and custom not resisted became necessity (Confessions 8.5). Evil does grow, hearts do harden, intellects do grow dark, very dark. 12-Step meetings often reference the “stinking thinking” that reinforces addiction, bizarre behavior,  and makes every form of lust one’s “God-given right.”  The only way to break this cycle is honest,  frequent confession and authentic accountability to others.

Link

Mystery advice from grandma: God made the Blessed Virgin Mary “plenty good enough”, so she never needed to draw attention to herself.


Our Lady was hidden, decreased and set aside most of her life, yet she is mysterious, beguiling, utterly lovely and loving. She carried the Mystery of the Incarnate Word – also hidden and set aside – in her womb.  She never sought affirmation or approval for their own sake, she didn’t try to convince those around her of her goodness, abilities or her “epic” Friday nights adventures.

Yet there aren’t enough superlatives in the world to describe her. There is no artist except One, who could ever attempt to capture her mystery or her loveliness. There is no one better at “making them wonder” than the Blessed Mother. We could wonder and wonder and wonder about her and never get tired of wondering.

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Submitted by Doria2

On the Role Of Women In Modern Society And the Church

Women who express a desire for the ministerial priesthood are doubtless motivated by the desire to serve Christ and the Church. And it is not surprising that, at a time when they are becoming more aware of the discriminations to which they have been subject, they should desire the ministerial priesthood itself. But it must not be forgotten that the priesthood does not form part of the rights of the individual, but stems from the economy of the mystery of Christ and the Church. The priestly office cannot become the goal of social advancement; no merely human progress of society or of the individual can of itself give access to it: it is of another order.

It therefore remains for us to meditate more deeply on the nature of the real equality of the baptized which is one of the great affirmations of Christianity: equality is in no way identity, for the Church is a differentiated body, in which each individual has his or her role. The roles are distinct, and must not be confused; they do not favour the superiority of some vis-a-vis the others, nor do they provide an excuse for jealousy; the only better gift, which can and must be desired, is love (cf. 1 Cor 12-13). The greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven are not the ministers but the saints.

The Church desires that Christian women should become fully aware of the greatness of their mission: today their role is of capital importance, both for the renewal and humanization of society and for the rediscovery by believers of the true face of the Church.

Read INTER INSIGNIORES Vatican Document

Father Z, St. Augustine, and the Mystery of the Incarnation

“He is the One through whom all things have been made and, on Christmas, Who has been made in the midst of all things. He is the Revealer of His Father and the Creator of His mother, the Son of God through His Father without a mother and the Son of Man through His mother without a father. He is great in the eternal day of the angels but small in the time-conditioned day of men. He is the Word of God before all time and the Word made Flesh in the fullness of time. Maker of the sun, He is made under the sun. Disposer of all ages in the bosom of His Father, He consecrates Christmas Day in the womb of His mother. In Him He remains while from her He goes forth. Creator of the heavens and the earth, He is born on earth under the heavens. Unspeakably wise, He is wisely speechless (Ineffabiliter sapiens, sapienter infans). Filling the universe, He lies in a manger. Ruler of the stars, He nurses at His mother’s bosom. He is both great in the nature of God and small in the form of a servant, but His greatness is not diminished by His smallness nor His smallness overwhelmed by His greatness.”

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A neat thing about Christmas

Christmas, Christ’s birth in a carnal body, calls forth faith, perhaps precisely because it mystifies. Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholics, it’s sometimes said, put different emphases on the events of Christ’s life. The Orthodox supposedly focus on Easter, Resurrection, and Redemption, while Catholics emphasize Christmas, Incarnation, and Christian life in the world (with the implied criticism that this tends to make us worldly). But there can be no competition of this kind between real Christians. No one perfectly imitates Christ, who came into the world and lived virtually like everyone else for thirty years before his extraordinary public ministry, death, Resurrection, and Ascension. Without His birth and Incarnation, however, there could be no death and Redemption. Earth and Heaven come together in Him in ways that exceed all telling.

Speaking with holy and Christian accuracy, we believe in this without understanding it. It remains a mystery for even the greatest theologians. Why were we redeemed in this and no other way? The pagan and Jewish critics had a point about Christ’s life and death, as Paul says: for the pagans it was foolishness and for the Jews a scandal.

And yet there is the fact of Christ, a man of no high birth who came into the world, not at Rome or Athens or one of the great Asian capitals, but in a small village in an unimportant nation on the Eastern edge of the Mediterranean in mid-winter. He won no public office, waged no military battles, developed no grand intellectual system – things we might understand as greatness. In human terms, only a fool would have expected such a person appearing in such a place and in such circumstances to turn the world upside down.

But he did, and does, which is why we ponder and prepare this month for His coming.

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