“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

At Calvary Christ Was Not Invisible...

Indifference By G. A. Studdert-Kennedy

When Jesus came to Golgatha,
They hanged Him on a tree,
They drove great nails through hands and feet,
And made a Calvary.

They crowned Him with a crown of thorns,
Red were His wounds and deep,
For those were crude and cruel days,
And human flesh was cheap !

When Jesus came to [your home town]
They simply passed Him by,
They never hurt a hair of Him,
They only let Him die;

For men have grown more tender,
And they would not give Him pain,
They only just passed down the street,
And left Him in the rain.

Still Jesus cried, "Forgive them,
For they know not what they do!"
And still it rained the winter rain
That drenched Him through and through;

The crowd went home and left the streets,
Without a soul to see,
and Jesus crouched against a wall
and cried for Calvary.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Archbishop Sheen Checking In; Baby with No Pulse for 61 Minutes Perfectly OK

Sheen's Intercession Saved Their Baby
Born lifeless and without a pulse for 61 minutes, following prayers to the Servant of God, little James Fulton had a pulse:

By MARIANNE MEDLIN via the National Catholic Register:

“It had been a healthy pregnancy; it was a healthy labor. Everything was good,” Bonnie recalled.

But what the couple and attending midwife and birth assistant did not know was that there was a knot in James’ umbilical chord which tightened while he was descending the birth canal.
Her son, at 9 lbs. 10 oz., was a stillborn.

“I have a memory of repeating Sheen’s name, in my head, not out loud, but just kind of saying over and over again ‘Fulton Sheen, Fulton Sheen’ while they were still doing CPR,” she said.
Bonnie’s husband also baptized the baby James Fulton — “the name we had agreed upon” — before he was rushed to the St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Ill. During the transport to the hospital, a friend who had attended the birth called others to pray, with some of them invoking Sheen’s name as well.

...But at the hospital, a full 61 minutes after he was born and while doctors were preparing to declare the time of death, James Fulton suddenly had a pulse.

Although the medical team was stunned, they refrained from being optimistic, and simply told Bonnie’s husband that the baby had a heartbeat; but that was all they could say.

“My husband interpreted that as ‘He’s alive, but just for now,’” Bonnie recalled.

Doctors expected James Fulton to die within the week, or, at the very least, be on a ventilator or feeding tube — blind and strapped into a wheelchair — for the rest of his short life.

What happened in the following days, however, was nothing short of extraordinary.

...“There were people from all over the world who emailed me and left comments on my blog saying, ‘We’re praying for your son, and we are asking for Sheen’s intercession,’” Bonnie said. “It was really powerful and humbling.”

Within a week of his birth, doctors were shocked to find that James Fulton was breathing on his own.

“Everyone was just amazed by that — that wasn’t supposed to happen,” his mom said.

And day by day, after all of his vital organs were seen to be functioning properly, it became more apparent that little James Fulton was going to be just fine. "

Blogger Note: Apparently, Baby James Fulton, Life is Worth Living :) ...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Best of VCR: John Paul II: A Beatified Pope

As the current political and financial situation of our great country seems to be very dim, I would like to reflect on a man up a balcony thirty years ago today who instructed us to "Be Not Afraid…"

As I am sure we can agree, God has a master plan for all of us. I think one of the greatest gifts from the life of this great Pope was that it assured and reminded us that God has a master plan for our "little lives" because we saw God’s master plan for Pope John Paul II’s majestic life so clearly. It is easier to see paint on the canvas when there are broad strokes rather than thin lines.

I heard many years back, and wish I could quote the source, maybe George Weigel, that it was very against the tradition of the Papacy to have a Pope call himself, the first. And yet in 1978, when Albino Luciani was elected Pope John Paul I, it happened. This unique situation in 2,000 years of Church history and the use of the Roman numeral was not a pointless effort because it foreshadowed a second to come. It was God’s plan to have Karol Wojtyla in the Papacy at that time as seen by how he called Pope John Paul I home after less than two months. Looking back, the first designation makes all the sense in the world now as we now know who was coming. For those trivia buffs out there, Wojtyla’s first instinct was to be called Pope Stanislaw, or Pope Stanley, to honor a very significant Polish saint and bishop of Krakow. He reconsidered and took the name John Paul.

When they announce "Habemus Papam", or Latin for "We Have a Pope!," on that night in St. Peter’s square the announcement of the non-Italian sounding name, "VOY-TEE-WHA." brought confusion and polite applause from the crowd in the courtyard. I often think he in his life went from polite applause that October night to 4,000,000 people coming to his Mass in the Philippines 15 years later. What an impactful life!

The two most incredible events that I have seen in my forty years of life, were both tied to this great man. One was the week of his funeral and viewing. The non-ending lines of mourners went on day, after day, after day. I remember telling a friend, the scene felt more like of a funeral for a beloved King, not a humble priest. I also vividly see as I write this post the page-flipping Bible on his plain wood casket during his funeral and the Cardinals holding on to their birettas/hats. A great wind was present at his funeral, a sign of the Holy Spirit.

The second most incredible world moment of my life was the week when the Berlin Wall came down. To see East-Germans sitting on top of the wall and swinging sledgehammers is an image that no one can ever forget. They were not breaking into tiny bits a structure, they swung their hammers thinking about smashing an evil regime and an ideology into tiny bits. An oppressive government collapsed and people were free.

Many do not know a story about John Paul that lead to this moment. When the Polish Solidarity movement was about to be crushed by Soviet tanks, John Paul II communicated with the secretary of the Soviet Communist party stating that if there was any Soviet aggression against the Poles, he would resign the Papacy and stand on the front lines with his people. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when the Kremlin received that word. This was not a political ploy, he was dead serious. He would resign the Papacy and stand with his people. It is somewhat of a global PR nightmare to run down a defenseless Pope in a tank. The Russians hands were tied and they continued to lose their control of Poland. As a historical note, the Kremlin feared the senior Cardinal of Poland, Stefan WyszyƄski, much more than Karol Wojtyla when they were Cardinals. They felt Wojtyla was less of a threat and could be reasoned with when comparing the two Polish Cardinals. I read a comment that was made within the Kremlin after Wojtyla's election, saying at least it was not Wyszynski. They could not have been more wrong.

I will finish this reflection with VCR friend Fr. Owens Kearns’ statement after the passing of John Paul II. He was a guest on a cable news network and was asked by the commentator what was the greatest achievement of this Pope’s life was. So many thoughts riffled through me head: defeating Communism, his encyclicals, the "Culture of Life" movement he established. Fr. Owen surpassed my thoughts. He said, paraphrasing, "The example he gave us of life’s beauty and value in its fading days, the way he accepted his suffering and died with grace." I was speechless and stunned. This was also more poignant because Terri Schiavo's life was being seen as having no value at the same moment down in Florida.

I think many parents have many things they want to teach their children. Being honest, how to play Sports, finances, relationships, family history, cooking, etc… Don’t ever under estimate the learning opportunity we can gift wrap to our children as they witness us meet our most difficult trials in our lives with grace, acceptance and Faith; offering everything up. John Paul,a spiritual parent to us, did not under estimate this teaching opportunity.

John Paul the Great, Pray for Us!

Monday, April 25, 2011

There was a Heart: Msgr. James McDonald

I have been on a prolonged hiatus from blogging, involved in some other pressing Catholic endeavours. But will all the discouragement that the news of Fr. Euteneuer and the allegations of Fr. Corapi have brought to me, I felt the absolute urge to post this sermon from VCR hero, Msgr. James McDonald.

Msgr. McDonald is giving a sermon in the presence of the relic of the actual heart of St. Jean Vianney, patron of priests. The church is filled with priesst, seminarians and religious people.

It was such a pick up for me listening to his words. As the saying goes, Msgr. McDonald is absolutely convincing because he is absolutely convinced.

Say a prayer for my favorite prelate today after listening to his talk - that Christ will keep him in good health. And say a prayer for our beloved priesthood.

Click here for the Sermon.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Quarter Century of Catholic, Pro-Life Leadership in New York City

Archbishop Timothy Dolan met the problem and the occasion head on Thursday holding a press conference to address a report released by the NYC Department of Health that stated a horrific statistic that 41% of all pregnancies in the 5 burroughs of NYC end in an abortion:

"For the first time in my happy twenty-one months as a New Yorker, I am embarrassed to be a member of a cherished community I now — usually with a lot of pride — call home.

That 41% of New York babies are aborted — a percentage even higher in the Bronx, and among our African-American babies in the womb — is downright chilling.

This New York community is rightly celebrated for its warm welcome to immigrants, for its hospitality, sense of embrace and inclusion, and gritty sensitivity for those in need.

But we are tragically letting down the tiniest, most fragile and vulnerable: the little baby in the womb.

We have to do more than shiver over these chilling statistics!

I invite all to come together to make abortion rare, a goal even those who work to expand the abortion license tell us they share.

A quarter century ago, Cardinal John O’Connor publicly stated: “Any woman who is pregnant and in need can come to the Church and we will help you,” a pledge Cardinal Egan, and now I, reaffirm. Through our Catholic charities, our adoption services, our lobbying on behalf of pregnant women and mothers of infants, our support for life-giving alternatives to the decision all call tragic — abortion, — in our education of youth for healthy, responsible, virtuous sexual behavior, our health care, — we have done our best to keep that promise, … and these haunting statistics only prod us to keep at it.

Mother Teresa remarked that the worst poverty was to take the life of a baby so we could live, as we want. New York does not deserve the gravestone, “Abortion capital of the world.” Our boast is the Statue of Liberty, not the “Grim Reaper.”

Bravo, Archbishop, thank you for your leadership.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Benedict the Compassionate

Benedict, the Intellectual? Yes, But Benedict, the Compassionate also, as shown here in this clip of him traveling to the Gemelli Polyclinico Hospital to visit children in the pediatric ward and the neonatal intensive care unit.

It is a side of our Holy Father that should be showcased much more. Think of what this meant to the Catholic Faithful parents at this hospital who were exhausted and discouraged.

Htip Creative Minority via Al Kresta