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We Are Stained Glass People

Reflecting the light of God through our imperfections. A wonderful reflection from Mariele Courtois:

We are surrounded by several young children. Some are eager to befriend us, and others are more careful. “How are you?” we ask one young girl. She looks at us. We talk to her. About school. About the beautiful day. About anything. It is not exactly a conversation. It is only an attempt to put her at ease. Her responses are short and guarded.
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Why Our Babies Aren't Angels

Difficult topic here.

My baby’s not an angel. And I’m glad for it. Almost anyone who has ever lost a child has probably heard it or said it themselves. In the midst of condolences or their own processing of grief, they are told that their child is now an angel. The platitudes are many: You’re now a parent to an angel. They just received their angel wings I have two angel babies in heaven. Now you have your own guardian angel. There is talk of an “angel day”, jewelry with angel wings representing their baby or loved one, sweet poems regarding our new angels in heaven, and even Catholic companies selling items bedecked with winged babies as a memorial for miscarriage or infant loss. “Angel baby” is a common term in the miscarriage/infant loss world for a baby that has died.
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Patriarch Kirill: The West is no longer Christian

We are lost.

Western countries do not identify with the Christian tradition, and harassed those who defend Christian values, said the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill on Wednesday at a meeting with US preacher Franklin Graham at the St. Daniel Monastery.
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Ben Carson Was Right to Compare Abortion to Slavery

I know it's controversial. Don't care. It is the dehumanization of others.

This weekend, Ben Carson did what he does best. He clearly and plainly stated a mainstream conservative view that most Republican politicians dare not utter — in this case, that the debate over abortion is comparable to the debate over slavery. Speaking to NBC’s Chuck Todd, Carson said: “During slavery — and I know that’s one of those words you’re not supposed to say, but I’m saying it — during slavery, a lot of slave owners thought they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave, anything that they chose. And what if the abolitionists had said, ‘I don’t believe in slavery, but you guys do whatever you want’? Where would we be?”
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Surest Way to Moral Chaos? Ignore the Bible

Eric Metaxas writes:

What’s the surest way to theological, spiritual, and moral chaos? Ignoring the Bible, of course. In their book “The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters,” Chuck Colson and Harold Fickett wrote, “Knowing God is and He has spoken, enables the Christian to affirm that there is truth, an ultimate reality that begins with God and extends throughout his creation.”
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Helen Alvare Says "Dear Synod Fathers, You Missed a Step."

Important read:

Something is missing from the two trajectories emerging from the Vatican’s Synod on the Family. The first trajectory emphasizes reaching out to the “lost sheep” where sex and marriage are concerned. The second (dubbed the “Yes We Can!” plan by John L. Allen Jr.) — holds that people can really live according to Church teachings and that “we’re going to have your back in pulling it off!” But what about about giving Catholics a floor to stand on? And a brightly lit path? In other words, what about a step that could both help prevent lost sheep and inspire strong families?
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Amy Welborn on the Synod: Breaking Bad Version

This is brilliant.

#Synod2015: It’s Tight. October 21, 2015 by Amy Welborn Another day of #Syond2015! Quick! Let’s go to Italy before it’s over!
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Synod Confronts “Gender Ideology,” Threat to Education

The Cardinal Newman Society has the interview:

An auditor at the Synod on the Family in Rome says that the growing threat to families from the spread of gender ideology, particularly the danger it poses to all levels of education, has been discussed at length during the Synod. “[Gender ideology] has enormous implications for Catholic education at every level – including college,” said Dr. John Grabowski in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. Grabowski is a professor of moral theology and ethics at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and an auditor and assistant to the General Secretary at the Synod. “The concern about ‘gender ideology’ has been discussed in the Synod, both in the general assembly and in small groups.”
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Texas Gov: Planned Parenthood Doesn't Deserve Taxpayer Money

Liking this guy.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says that Planned Parenthood has “very serious legal issues” in Texas. A letter was sent to Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas on Monday notifying them that their Medicaid contracts will be terminated. Abbott defended the state’s decision to cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood clinics, “money that they do not deserve,” on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” and says he expects and hopes for a legal challenge.
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Washington Coach Prays After Game, Defying Orders

It takes courage to be a Christian.

A Washington coach who was told by district officials to stop leading prayers after games went ahead with a prayer at the 50-yard line after a weekend game. The Kitsap Sun reports Bremerton High assistant coach Joe Kennedy knelt as his players left the field and prayed on Friday. Players from the other team and others joined him.
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Cardinal Pell Responds to #SynodWalkout Petition

One Peter Five has the skinny.

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Public University PAYS UP After Professor Claimed ‘Moral Right’ To Censor, Batter Teen Abortion Foe

Good.

The University of California, Santa Barbara has agreed to settle a civil lawsuit brought by two anti-abortion protesters after feminist studies professor Mireille Miller-Young mocked them, stole their sign, destroyed the sign and scratched up the wrists of one protester — a 16-year-old girl.
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Reporter Hits DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz With Jarring Abortion Question

This moral miscreant can't even admit her own kids were human. Because that would give up the game.

A reporter with MRC TV recently asked Democratic National Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz if her three children were “human beings” before they were born. After a brief pause, Schultz replied, “I believe that every woman has the right to make their own reproductive choices.” “What did you believe about your children though?” the reporter pressed.
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Missionaries of Charity Close Orphanage Doors in Light of New Gov't Regulations

Sad. But it's the right thing to do.

Orphanages in India run by the Missionaries of Charity have decided to close their doors in light of new adoption guidelines that the sisters say violate their ideological and religious views. Sister Amala, who serves at Nirmala Shishu Bhawan, a New Delhi orphanage run by the Missionaries of Charity, explained the decision. “The new guidelines hurt our conscience. They are certainly not for religious people like us,” she said, according to NPR.
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Religion, Violence, and Ignorant Bigotry

After the Oregon shooting, Prof. Randall Smith is asked why are religion and violence linked? Here's what he wished he said:

I got a call this week from one of our university’s “public affairs” offices asking whether I would talk to a reporter from a local television station about the school shooting in Oregon. “Why do they want a theologian?” “Because the shooter may have been targeting people for being religious.”
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Fr. Trigilio Responds to Priest Who is Misguided and Misguiding About Same-Sex Marriage

Thank goodness for good priests.

On Oct. 5, The Catholic Voice, a publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland, published the text of a homily by Father Dan Danielson, who all but endorses same-sex "marriage." Click here to read it (if you can stomach it). I asked Father John Trigilio Jr., author, EWTN personality, and president of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, to respond to Father Danielson's assertions. Father Trigilio's excellent response is as follows (slightly edited):
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HS Principal Ban Pro-Life Flyers Featuring Baby Pandas, Whales, and Mother Teresa

He said they're too controversial.

A high school principal in an outer suburb of Cincinnati is facing the possibility of a lawsuit after he censored six out of seven flyers submitted for display on campus by the Students for Life club.
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Fetal Body Parts Found in Trunk of Abortionist's Car?

Thank goodness, it wasn't in a back alley. It was the trunk of a car.

Raid on doctor’s office after possible fetuses found in car – Was he performing illegal abortions?
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The Ignored Behavioral Sciences Scandal

Many of the studies you've read about are NOT reproducible.

One morning in August, the social science reporter for National Public Radio, a man named Shankar Vedantam, sounded a little shellshocked. You couldn’t blame him. Like so many science writers in the popular press, he is charged with reporting provocative findings from the world of behavioral science: “.  .  . and researchers were very surprised at what they found. The peer-reviewed study suggests that [dog lovers, redheads, Tea Party members] are much more likely to [wear short sleeves, participate in hockey fights, play contract bridge] than cat lovers, but only if [the barometer is falling, they are slapped lightly upside the head, a picture of Jerry Lewis suddenly appears in their cubicle .  .  .  ].”
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Eric Metaxas on How Tolkien Led CS Lewis to Faith

Love me some conversion stories, especially this one.

Until I was an adult who had found faith and this world of meaning, I knew very little about C. S. Lewis. He was the Oxford don who turned from atheism to belief in God because late one night in 1930 he was walking along a wooded path behind Magdalen College with his friend J. R. R. Tolkien. This was years before Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings and long before Lewis wrote his famous Chronicles of Narnia. They were just young men who had survived the grim horrors of World War I, who had seen the ghastly hell and death of the trenches and the gas warfare, and who were now brilliant young professors at Oxford University. But as they walked and talked along that path, long past midnight, Tolkien had the grounding of a deep belief in something else, and Lewis did not. Tolkien felt that this world was not all there is, but Lewis felt that it was, that the sad horrors of the war they had both survived told them this, that this ugly world was all there is and ever would be and we must face this, although it made us sad to think of it. But surely Lewis — or Jack, as his friends called him — sometimes also wondered why, if it were true, it would make us sad. If it were true, why would something in us want it not to be true? What was that something in us, and how did it get there? What was the meaning of the fact that we should desire something else? What was the meaning of our desire for meaning?
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Ten Real Steps to Building Your Toddler’s DIY Halloween Costume

Funny 'cause it's true:

Really, how hard can it be? Sure, maybe you were the one in elementary school who rubber cemented your hands together. But that was a long time ago. Now you’re an adult with a small child. Why not show off your awesome adult competence by creating your own adorable, home spun Halloween costume? Your child will be amazed at their own lovingly made, one-of-a-kind, Halloween creation, and you will be a hero. “How clever,” your friends will marvel, “What a brilliant, good parent you are! Your child is bound to become a president, with parenting like that!” Well, we’ve been through it. And we want to share what we’ve learned. Here are the real ten steps to creating your own very special Halloween Creation..
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"Are You a Christian?" A Meditation on Martyrdom

Brian Lee at The Federalist writes:

Are you a Christian? What would you say if a man holding a gun to your head asked this question? Are you a Christian? According to reports (and here), the recent mass shooter in Oregon—nameless, for our purposes—asked many of his victims about their faith before he pulled the trigger. Professing Christianity earned one a mocking retort, and a bullet to the head:
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What to Look For When You've Lost Your Joy

Beautiful thoughts from Rachel Macy Stafford:

I didn’t know when I’d changed from a positive person to a negative one; I only knew I had. I could still remember myself as a cheerful special education teacher, somehow managing to see the positives in every student and every situation, no matter how dismal. But somewhere along the line, I stopped seeing the goodness. I focused solely on what was wrong and what needed to be changed. Given the fact I had a loving husband, two beautiful children, a healthy mind and body, and a safe and comfortable home, you would have thought I’d wake up every morning feeling grateful, optimistic, and content. But that was not the case.
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Practicing Catholic Synod at Home and In the Parish

Sherry writes:

The Synod is ongoing, but what about the rest of us, in the parishes, in the pews? The pope has returned to Rome and we've had a week of feasting on identifying as Catholic to the world. Now it's time for the work of being Catholic. As a member of the Catholic blogosphere (not an actual cabal or illuminati, it's my own made up name for the mass of Catholics out there blogging about either being Catholic, trying to live Catholic, or learning about Catholicism), the big question we're all left with, is now what? Somehow, in the midst of feeding the homeless, clothing the naked, reading scripture, praying the rosary, standing up for the unborn, instructing the ignorant, and all of that, we've somehow sensed, we've missed something important. So important, there's a Synod on the Family going on, because all this doing has not done what it is supposed to do, create a community, a sense of being each others' brothers and sisters, in Christ, and in reality. Why hasn't that happened?
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Bombshell Admission: HHS Tells The Stream: We’ve Conducted ZERO Oversight of Planned Parenthood Since 2007

Gov't negligence and Planned Parenthood evil.

The Stream has uncovered alarming information about Planned Parenthood after submitting a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The request was spurred by a series of undercover videos suggesting that Planned Parenthood may be involved in illegal activity in the aborted fetal body parts aftermarket. Under the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should be performing audits on Planned Parenthood, since Planned Parenthood is involved in research on aborted fetuses and HHS is supporting its work with funding. Specifically, according to HHS’s own documents, “Section 498A of the Public Health Service Act [42 USC 289g-1] requires the annual submission to Congress of a report describing research involving therapeutic transplantation of human fetal tissue supported or conducted by the NIH.” In the fourth undercover video released by the Center for Medical Progress, Dr. Savita Ginde, a Planned Parenthood abortion doctor in Colorado, revealed that the organization’s fetal harvesting is categorized as research, explaining, “Putting it under the research gives us a little bit of a, a little sort of an overhang over the whole thing.”
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God Wants Me to be Happy, Right?

Uhm, but not in the way you mean it. Monsignor Charles Pope writes:

One of the questionable, and unfortunately common, forms of moral reasoning today is the rather narcissistic notion that God wants each of us to be happy. Sometimes it is put in the form of a rhetorical question: God wants me to be happy, doesn’t He? And this sort of reasoning (if you want to call it that) is used to justify just about anything. Thus, in pondering divorce, a spouse might point to his or her misery and conclude that God would approve of the split because God wants me to be happy, doesn’t He? Many seek to justify so-called same-sex marriage, and other illicit sexual notions in the same way.
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ABC's 'Dancing With The Stars' Tells a Story of Finding Faith

Newsbusters has the details:

We’ve reported several mysterious media aversions to the mention of God in the last few days, so we should note the opposite. On ABC’s Dancing with the Stars on Monday night, a couple danced to “Amazing Grace.” Boy-band member Carlos PenaVega of the group Big Time Rush testified about finding God and his wife Alexa in one week’s time. After the excitement of a big tour ended, he felt down. “I started smoking weed like...every day, I was like ‘I don’t want to talk to anybody. I don’t want to see anybody.’ I really hit rock bottom."
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Notre Dame's China Trap

Worrisome:

"[It is] ludicrous that Notre Dame should establish a college with China when the Vatican is essentially excluded from China"
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Catholic Priest Discovers the Hidden Holocaust.

Featured on 60 Minutes:

The Holocaust is marked and memorialized at places like Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen, Dachau. But nearly half of the six million Jewish victims were executed in fields and forests and ravines, places that were not named and remain mostly unmarked today. They were slaughtered in mass shootings and buried in mass graves in the former Soviet Union, where until very recently, little had been done to find them. Our story is about a man who's brought these crimes of the Holocaust to light. He is not a historian, or a detective or a Jew. He's a French Catholic priest named Father Patrick Desbois. And for the past 13 years, he has been tracking down the sites where many of the victims lie and searching for witnesses who are still alive; many of whom had never been asked before to describe the horrors they had seen more than 70 years ago.
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The Night I Outran My Demons

Moving stuff from The Catholic Herald.

As a young doctor on a cancer ward, I consoled myself with drink and New Age nonsense. Then one evening I stepped into a chamber of horrors Looking back over my 29 years as a medic, I think my year at the cancer hospital was the hardest. Every fourth day and weekend without fail, I would cover the intensive care unit for 24 hours as the resident middle-grade doctor. In all my time there, not one patient survived, though not for lack of trying. Not one.
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Contrary to Media Spin, Public Support for Planned Parenthood Continues to Erode

Michael New writes:

On Monday, the Washington Post ran a story about public opinion toward Planned Parenthood. According to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, the shocking videos released by the Center for Medical Progress have purportedly resulted in little change in attitudes toward the organization. Additionally, the poll indicates that most Americans continue to support federal funding for Planned Parenthood. This poll has been touted by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post and covered by numerous media outlets, including MSNBC, The Hill, and National Public Radio.
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