A moment of grace: A universal affirmation of faith.

Responding to a rather complicated, multi-point,
on-line question about my Catholic faith,
a rather simple, all encompassing answer came to mind.
I share it with you, here:

God answers my prayers. God provides for all my needs.
God speaks to me when I need to hear from him.
God blesses me beyond measure.
God gives me hope.
For my part, I do my best to know, love and serve God,
every way I can, and to give him the thanks,
praise and worship that he is due.

Pro-life leaders urge caution, while Pope, Cardinal Dolan praise controversial Nelson Mandela

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, December 6, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The death of South African former President Nelson ‘Madiba’ Rolihlahla Mandela on Thursday has led to an outpouring of glowing praise for the man most known for ending apartheid – a system of racial segregation.

However, pro-life leaders have warned that praise from Christian leaders is inappropriate given Mandela’s role in bringing abortion-on-demand and homosexual “marriage” to South Africa.

According to official statistics, nearly a million unborn children have been killed in South Africa since President Mandela signed legislation in 1996 permitting abortion on demand two years after taking office. Same-sex ‘marriage’ was legalized in 2006, with Mandela having supported it long before its passage.

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Exquisite timing of “Miracle Priest’s” appearance reveals God’s loving providence

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After officials allowed him to approach the accident, Dowling reached his arm well into the car to touch Lentz’s head with oil. “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit,” he said. “May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.”

The prayer was the Anointing of the Sick, an ancient ritual with roots in Judaism that is one of Catholicism’s seven sacraments.

As the priest walked away from the Mercedes, Lentz — a member of an Assemblies of God Pentecostal church — asked him to return and pray aloud with her, which he did. He then moved out of the way so rescue efforts could resume.

Read more

Submitted by Bob Stanley

Editor’s note: From an obscure corner of the planet we witness a kind of genuine Ecumenism, as a Catholic priest lives the Gospel, ministering to a person of faith, in her time of greatest need.

This “grand coincidence” serves as a very timely reminder of God’s inestimable love, tender mercies and unbounded providence.

The Heavens and the Earth rejoice, as we give Him thanks and praise!

Prayer must include praise, thanks, pope says

VATICAN CITY — Prayer should not center just on asking God to fulfill one’s hopes and desires, but must include praise, thanks and trust in God’s plan which may not match one’s own, Pope Benedict XVI said.

The way Jesus prayed to his Father “teaches us that in our own prayers, we must always trust in the Father’s will and strive to see all things in light of his mysterious plan of love,” he said during his weekly general audience Dec. 14.

Link

Editor’s note: 1-Give God thanks and praise; 2-Tell God you’re sorry for your sins and promise to try to do better, in the future; 3-Ask for what you need, in as much explicit detail as possible; 4-Believe you will indeed receive for what you have prayed … otherwise, what’s the point of faith; 5-Repeat, as necessary.

This process is designed to help us align our fickle, fallible, human will with God’s perfect will and plan. Since God certainly knows his own mind, and he already knows precisely what we need, long before we typically manage to discern it, the results of prayer are invariably positive, even if we might initially fail to recognize how or why that can be.

Pope reflects on Psalm 136 and Jesus at the Last Supper

Alleluia.

Praise the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Praise ye the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who alone doth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who made the heavens in understanding: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who established the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who made the great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever. The sun to rule the day: for his mercy endureth for ever. The moon and the stars to rule the night: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who smote Egypt with their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever. With a mighty hand and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who divided the Red Sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever. And brought out Israel through the midst thereof: for his mercy endureth for ever. And overthrew Pharao and his host in the Red Sea: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who led his people through the desert: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever. And slew strong kings: for his mercy endureth for ever. Sehon king of the Amorrhites: for his mercy endureth for ever. And Og king of Basan: for his mercy endureth for ever. And he gave their land for an inheritance: for his mercy endureth for ever. For an inheritance to his servant Israel: for his mercy endureth for ever. For he was mindful of us in our affliction: for his mercy endureth for ever. And he redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever. Give glory to the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever. (136:27) Give glory to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

(Psalms 136:1-26)

Link

Israeli PM praises Pontiff for book’s treatment of Jews

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday sent a letter praising Pope Benedict XVI for reiterating that the Jewish people are not responsible for Jesus’ death. The Pope made the comments in a new book released on Wednesday.

“I commend you for forcefully rejecting, in your recent book, a false charge that has been a foundation for the hatred of the Jewish People for many centuries,” Netanyahu wrote.

Link

Editor’s note: So, I guess this means Mr. Netanyahu will be singing up for R.C.I.A. real soon, now!

Police Repeatedly Raid Church – Thomas More Law Center Files Federal Lawsuit

ANN ARBOR, MI – Without a warrant or other legal authorization, uniformed police officers conducted several raids on Faith Baptist Church in Waterford Township, Michigan, and threatened to prosecute several young Christian musicians for disorderly conduct – because the Township prosecutor objected to the playing of contemporary religious music. “Praise and worship” music is a central part of Faith Baptist’s religious services.

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against the Waterford Township supervisor, prosecutor and two high ranking police officials. The lawsuit was prompted by the series of police incursions into the church and threats by the Township prosecutor to raid the church every time music was heard coming from it.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center, observed, “Uniformed police officers entering a church during religious services and young church members being threatened with prosecution is something that happens in Communist China – not in America. ”

Continued Thompson, “It is clear that Waterford Township authorities targeted Faith Baptist Church because of the type of religious music it uses in its services. Some of the individual police officers involved in the raids – apparently more sensitive to the constitutional protections surrounding religion than were their superiors – personally apologized afterwards. ”

Faith Baptist Church, headed by Pastor Jim Combs, has a congregation of 10,000 members and conducts religious services on three different campuses. The police raids targeted the Waterford Township campus with 5,000 members.

Pastor Jim Combs first contacted the Thomas More Law Center in late October 2007, after the first in a series of police raids.

During a Wednesday night youth service, uniformed Township police, led by the Township prosecutor, burst into the Church’s sanctuary where the Church’s “Praise and Worship” band was warming up. The prosecutor ordered the officers to take the names and addresses of all the young people on stage so that they could be charged with “disorderly conduct. ”

The very next Sunday, Waterford Township police again raided Faith Baptist, this time during the Pastor Comb’s evening sermon. Officers were about to disrupt the services and remove the “Praise and Worship” band members and order them to surrender their driver’s licenses for personal information. However, an Assistant Pastor volunteered to bring the members to the police so as not to create an uproar among the congregation.

The Township prosecutor was caught conducting personal surveillance on the Church from his parked car just days later.

The lawsuit, filed Monday, alleges that Waterford Township officials violated Faith Baptist Church’s and the band members’ rights to Free Exercise of religion, Free Speech and Freedom of Association under both the Michigan and the United States Constitutions, and that Waterford Township’s actions have chilled Plaintiffs’ ability to worship according to their religious beliefs. Plaintiffs are asking the court to permanently prohibit further police raids and for monetary damages.

Brandon Bolling, the Law Center attorney handling the case, stated, “The Township prosecutor was very explicit: he told the pastors that churches should not play ‘rock music,’ and threatened that each time he heard music coming from the church he would conduct a raid. ”

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life through education, litigation, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at: www.thomasmore.org.