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Conform or Be Destroyed

More evidence that liberals are The Borg.

He said that God created men and women. And he quoted this radical text from antiquity called “the Book of Genesis.” I know. Lock that guy up. Here’s the thing. We live in a time of supposed plurality of beliefs, but some beliefs are more “free” than others. We give lip service to the concept of diversity, but the only diversity that is truly acceptable is narrowly defined and usually trending on Twitter.
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Dutch Bishops Changed the Words of "Our Father."

I'm guessing the term "pastoral" will be the excuse.

Dutch Catholics are raising alarm bells after the bishops of the Netherlands and Belgium changed the words to the Our Father in a way that they believe amounts to an "ideological reinterpretation of the text." Dutch Catholics who still attend weekly Mass heard a newly-worded Our Father last Sunday that no longer asked God the Father, as Jesus taught, “to lead us not into temptation” but, instead, “not into trial.” Vox Populi, an orthodox Catholic lay group, is organizing a petition advocating the traditional translation. “Why would this ‘reform’ be necessary now? There is not a single pastoral need to come up with a ‘new common Dutch-Flemish translation’ of the ‘Our Father.’”
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Cardinal Burke on Amoris Laetitia Dubia: ‘Tremendous Division’ Warrants Action

This is truly amazing what's going on right now. Edward Pentin's interview with Cardinal Burke is a must-read:

Some might argue that you are only four cardinals, among whom you’re the only one who is not retired, and this is not very representative of the entire Church. In that case, they might ask: Why should the Pope listen and respond to you? Well, numbers aren’t the issue. The issue is the truth. In the trial of St. Thomas More, someone told him that most of the English bishops had accepted the king’s order, but he said that may be true, but the saints in heaven did not accept it. That’s the point here. I would think that even though other cardinals did not sign this, they would share the same concern. But that doesn’t bother me. Even if we were one, two or three, if it’s a question of something that’s true and is essential to the salvation of souls, then it needs to be said.   What happens if the Holy Father does not respond to your act of justice and charity and fails to give the clarification of the Church’s teaching that you hope to achieve? Then we would have to address that situation. There is, in the Tradition of the Church, the practice of correction of the Roman Pontiff. It is something that is clearly quite rare. But if there is no response to these questions, then I would say that it would be a question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error.
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There Actually Was a Blessed Lucy of Narnia.

Who knew?

The real Blessed Lucy of Narnia was even more amazing than CS Lewis’s imagination
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From Addiction to Hope. A Beautiful Story

I'm on the internet reading news aggregators, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and everything else. So I see a lot. You become sorta' blasé about the whole thing. Not that it's not enjoyable. It is. Most of the time. Well, a good portion of the time. I don't like all the arguing to be honest. So I tend to stay out of comboxes. I like connecting with folks but inevitably someone comes and starts yelling and taking something you wrote and twisting it into its worst possible meaning. It's tiring. And I read lots of folks being clever. I do it myself. Instead of actual commentary I drop some snark and call it a day. And I read some folks trying to be clever. Sometimes it can all feel a little formulaic. But then you read something real. You read a real story about real people who went through something terrible, had their faith tested, and came out the other end. This story is one of them. Check it out:

Call 911! A loud thud startled me awake from a deep sleep. Alarmed, my wife and I immediately sat up. Confused, I groped for the light switch as something heavy fell on my wife’s side of the bed. “What is it?” I asked, to no one in particular. As parents of eight children, my wife and I had been awakened in the middle of the night before. But this time, something was different. I finally found the light switch, and leaped out of bed to find my teenage son’s limp body lying in my wife’s arms. “Are you sick? What’s the matter?” Blinking repeatedly, I strained to make sense of the sight. My wife, ever attuned to our children, was already cradling him, assessing his condition. “Mom, pray for me” I heard him say in a weak voice, amidst labored gasps. “I’m dying. I can’t breathe.” “What’s the matter?” I repeated dully, still attempting to comprehend the situation. “The drugs.” 
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The Pope's "Sympathy displaced the primacy of truth and reason" on Trans Issue

Fr. Gerald Murray writes:

What is the average man-in-the-street, Catholic or otherwise, to make of these words spoken by Pope Francis on the plane trip back to Rome from Azerbaijan on October 2?
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Voting as a Catholic in 2016

Archbishop Aquila offers guidance to Catholics:

I have voted in every presidential election since 1972 and I have never experienced an election like this year’s. Both candidates are disliked, lack credibility, and have made comments that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. The American public is fed up with politics as usual and with the establishment in both parties. So, what should Catholics do when we vote in November?
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Poll: Americans Split Evenly on Requiring Business Owners to Serve Same-Sex Weddings

Predictably, people who attend religious services tended to want to protect religious liberty more than others. So in the end, once again, we do not have a political problem so much as a religious one.

Americans are closely divided on the question of being compelled to celebrate same-sex marriages, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. Those surveyed split evenly on whether wedding-related businesses should be required to provide services to same-sex couples, regardless of religious objections the business owners might have. A total of 49 percent agreed, while 48 percent disagreed.
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Frankensteining Babies With DNA From Three Parents Is A Terrible Idea

Once you accept that life is disposable, monkeying with it isn't that big of a jump.

Scientists have announced the first birth of a child born with DNA from three parents. The procedure was developed to prevent a mother from passing to her baby a serious and fatal genetic mutation. This might sound like good news. It is not. Because the procedure has not been approved in the United States, the U.S. doctor who performed it, John Zhang, did so in Mexico. “There are no rules there,” he said.
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The US Bars Christians, Not Muslim Refugees from Syria

Everyone is outraged that Donald Trump suggested banning Muslim refugees but the Obama administration has effectively barred Christian refugees from Syria from entering the US.

Up to a million Syrian Christians have fled Syria, and the US has accepted just 56.
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Young priest whom Pope encouraged in battle against cancer dies

Prayers.

A man of God. Someone who endured illness with faith and fortitude until the end. This is how those who knew Father Francisco Rencoret remembered him. The 35-year-old Chilean priest died of cancer early August 13. Ordained in 2013, Fr. Rencoret had been studying Canon Law at the Gregorian University in Rome. He was forced to return home to Chile in order to receive cancer treatments after his diagnosis.
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The Story Behind St. Maximillian Kolbe

Beautiful tragic.

"I could only thank him with my eyes. I was stunned and could hardly grasp what was going on. The immensity of it: I, the condemned, am to live and someone else willingly and voluntarily offers his life for me - a stranger. Is this some dream? I was put back into my place without having had time to say anything to Maximilian Kolbe. I was saved. And I owe to him the fact that I could tell you all this. The news quickly spread all round the camp. It was the first and the last time that such an incident happened in the whole history of Auschwitz. For a long time I felt remorse when I thought of Maximilian. By allowing myself to be saved, I had signed his death warrant. But now, on reflection, I understood that a man like him could not have done otherwise. Perhaps he thought that as a priest his place was beside the condemned men to help them keep hope. In fact he was with them to the last." -Testimony of Franciszek Gajowniczek,for whom Maximilian Kolbe offered himself at Auschwitz
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Sheila Liaugminas on party platforms, conventions, candidates and veeps

Questions. Lots of questions.

Who are they, and where do they stand? In the course of the past week, we saw the entire Republican convention play out with the formal nomination of Donald Trump and his acceptance speech laying out his vision and plans if elected. And we’re about to see the Democratic convention unfold, as Hilary Clinton is officially nominated candidate and formally accepts on the final night. These are historic events, we’ve often been reminded in this election cycle. But while there’s a certain ‘first ever’ historic nature in the two candidates, the reality of their party platforms and their individual visions for America—what, at the end of the day, they actually stand for and they would actually do in the Oval Office—is what America must (or should) consider now that we’ve heard Trump and prepare to hear Clinton.
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At WYD, Vatican releases teen sex-ed program that leaves out parents and mortal sin

Whoops.

"More souls go to hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason," Our Lady of Fatima warned the three young seers in 1917. But this message, unfortunately, is entirely absent from the Vatican’s newly released sex-ed program for teens. Instead, sexual sins are not mentioned at all. The 6th and 9th commandments are ignored while sexually explicit images and immoral videos are used as springboards for discussion. The program titled “The Meeting Point: Course of Affective Sexual Education for Young People” was released last week by the Pontifical Council for the Family to be presented this week to young people at World Youth Day in Poland.
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Dannenfelser: The Democrat Party is More Extreme on Abortion Than Ever

An unreported horror in the DNC's platform changes:

On Monday night the Democratic Party ratified a platform custom made to reflect Hillary Clinton’s policy agenda. And just when you thought the Party couldn’t get more extreme on abortion, think again.
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Jonah's with Ted

Standing against the faux outrage against Ted Cruz.

There are two things to say about that. First, many of these people are willingly buying into Manafort’s stagecraft. The Trump team knew about the speech beforehand. The outrage on the floor may have ended up being genuine, but it started out manufactured. I understand that Chris Christie will spew whatever fake outrage his masters instruct, like a trained seal barking for another herring. But I don’t see why so many supposedly seasoned political observers are volunteering for service. Second, what the Hell are people talking about? This is part of the corruption of Trump. He called Ted Cruz a liar every day and in every way for months (it used to be considered a breach in decorum to straight up call an opponent a liar, never mind use it as a nickname). The insults against his wife, the cavalier birtherism, the disgusting JFK assassination theories about his Dad: These things are known. And yet the big conversation of the day is Ted Cruz’s un-sportsmanlike behavior? For real?
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GOP Strengthens Pro-life Stand at Platform Meeting

Some good news from The SBA List:

This afternoon the RNC Platform Committee voted on and approved the 2016 language which is expected to be ratified in Cleveland next week. The platform significantly strengthens the party’s stand on pro-life issues. Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser responded to the news saying:
“The Republican platform has always been strong when it comes to protecting unborn children, their mothers, and the conscience rights of pro-life Americans. The language passed by the platform committee this afternoon takes that stand from good to great. Firstly, it is reflective of Donald Trump’s pro-life policy commitments to appoint pro-life Justices, to advocate for and sign into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and to defund America’s largest abortion business Planned Parenthood.
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Life Ain't a Box of Chocolates, It's More Like Horseradish Sauce

Personally I don't like horseradish sauce but I love Sherry Antonetti's writing:

This weekend, I traveled to Buffalo to witness my Godson's wedding. I ate well. It was an odd experience, being sans children. You would think having time without household chores or people to serve, I'd have written something but alas, I discovered, my time management skills are worse than I thought, for I am a sufficient reason to not get to the keyboard. While at the hotel, the Taste of Buffalo filled the street outside the lobby. I enjoyed wine ice cream and fried risotto and even took a turn at Karaoke. Mercifully, the video my mom took is too long to upload so my teens won't have to suffer having their mom's warbling preserved forever in internet amber. It's good to know it's there though, sort of like a plausible threat of mutually assured destruction. They don't want it out. I don't want it out. They behave, I retain a hint of dignity online, if not in reality.
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To the Red Haired Girl at the Splash Pad

This is the most beautiful story on the internet today. Go read it.

I saw you with your frizzy red pigtails, freckled face and your soaking wet yellow dress. I saw you watching my daughter. I saw you sitting near her, not too close, but close enough to watch her expression as she concentrated on watching the buckets fill with water and then pour down. Most kids would be standing under that water. Mine likes to watch from a distance. I saw you smile at her. And then I saw you look up at me.
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Evelyn Waugh’s forgotten battle to preserve the Latin Mass

The Catholic Herald reports:

Considered one of Britain’s greatest novelists, and widely regarded as one of the prominent Catholics of his time, Evelyn Waugh, author of Brideshead Revisited, died 50 years ago this year. While he will be remembered for his great works of fiction, many Catholics will be unfamiliar with his connection with the Latin Mass and his association with the beginnings of the Latin Mass Society (LMS). In the 1960s, Waugh had grave concerns about Vatican II and the liturgical reform that was happening. He wrote many articles on the subject and recorded in his diaries and letters how aggrieved he was about, particularly about the earlier 1955 Holy Week reforms, the Dialogue Mass, which was becoming more common, and Mass in English.
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John Wayne Films For the Fourth of July

Liberty and patriotism never goes out of style.

This Fourth of July long weekend is made for a trip down American history courtesy of John Wayne films. Wayne was an American original. Thirty seven years after his death, in the annual Harris poll of favorite actors he ranked number four overall, and number one among men voting. In his day he was never shy about declaring his love of country, and he did so when patriotism was fashionable and when it was unfashionable. An American icon, the deathbed convert to the Catholic Church is a symbol of this nation, instantly recognizable around the globe. Here are some of his films set in the history of this land.
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Women are Harmed by Abortion Clinics. Liberal Justices Don't Care

Edel Finegan of the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia is pulling no punches.

The most infuriating part of the decision is the Court's reference to the “right to abortion.” There is no right to abortion because “the procedure” takes the life of unborn child. There is no basis in the moral, natural or US law for denying the humanity of the unborn child. Legal abortion allows an industry built on fear and exploitation to thrive, while women are harmed.
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Yeah the Supreme Court Hates Pro-Lifers But There's Reason for Optimism

Michael New of Ave Maria University says there's real reasons for optimism. I pray he's right.

Pro-lifers have every reason to be disappointed with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. In the wake of the Kermit Gosnell trial, Texas took the lead in enacting legislation to protect both women and their unborn children. HB2, which was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry in 2013, requires that abortion facilities have the same health standards as ambulatory surgical centers and that physicians performing abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. This ruling strikes down that law.
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Sherry Writes Another Wonderful Piece "Something Else, Something More

Sherry writes:

My parenting skills run between the urgent, "We need to do something!"and the slothful, "Do we have to do something?" with my reaction to most events in life being something like, "We should have done something more." and "Why didn't we do something?" and when the kids do something spectacular, being in awe and thinking, "I've done nothing to merit this." "They're something. They're something special." Yesterday, they were something.
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Rep. Franks: Research Shows Kids Do Better with a Traditional Family

It's funny to mark the moment when common sense becomes controversial.

U.S. House Representative Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), who formerly headed Arizona’s subcommittee on Child Protection and Family Preservation as a state lawmaker, said the research shows that children are in the best position to succeed in life if reared in a traditional family with a mother and father, not with same-sex “parents” or divorced parents.
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German Jesuit Says Catholic Church Should Fight for Homosexuality as a Human Right

Oh my.

On 25 May 2015, the official website of the German bishops, katholisch.de, reported on an interview given by the notable German Jesuit, Father Klaus Mertes. In his interview, originally given to the German newspaper, taz, Mertes claims that it took the Catholic Church in the West 200 years to get “where we are now” with regard to the question of homosexuality. He continues: “In Africa or South East Asia, people are still at a very different point. The fight for the rights of the homosexuals is a world-wide project for which it is thus worth remaining in the Church.” In order to make the way free to a new assessment of homosexuality, Mertes proposes that the Magisterium “reflect upon sexual morality in light of charity, and not in light of a notion of nature which considers the marital act in an isolated way, without taking into account the different [sic] contexts.” In his eyes, Catholic sexual morality “is stuck in a fixation.”
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Planned Parenthood Celebration Jolted by Abortion Survivor

She sings the anthem to applause, then her secret is revealed to stunned silence.

I want to share with you an awesome experience I had in the Colorado House of Representatives on May 8. It is a humbling experience to look back and realize that God used me to play a role in His divine orchestration. I was leaving the House chambers for the weekend when our Democrat speaker of the House announced that the coming Monday would be the final day of this year's General Assembly. He went on to state that there were still numerous resolutions on the calendar which we would need to be addressed prior to the summer adjournment. Interestingly, he specifically mentioned that one of the resolutions we would be hearing was being carried by the House Majority Leader Alice Madden, honoring the 90th anniversary of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
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What a Dad Didn't Say at His Daughter's Wedding

Tom Hoopes writes:

Cecilia, I know what you can expect from your marriage. Intense joys followed quickly by intense sorrows —euphoria and rage, deep comfort and monumental irritation. You will be driven to the end of your limit and desperately want to quit. His boyish charm will become irresponsible immaturity. Your quiet charm will become maddening secretiveness. The sources of your love will become shallow pools. The arguments will come and it will seem like everything — joy, peace, happiness, the future — is at stake every time. But if you hang on — and I pray to God you hang on (literally, I’m praying every day you guys will hang on) — if you hang on, you will find the amazing thing that follows the first phase of marriage. The irritations will remain, but will become background noise. Joy will take over the foreground— the joy that is only possible to those who have dedicated their lives to someone else and fought selfishness away with every ounce of their being.
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Archbishop Lori: HHS Mandate Part of ‘Bloodless’ Persecution

The Cardinal Newman Society reports:

The Obama administration’s use of the HHS mandate to attack the religious freedom of Catholic educational institutions and other organizations is part of a “bloodless” persecution in the U.S. of those seeking to bring the “healing balm” of truth, love and mercy into our culture, Baltimore Archbishop William Lori recently stated. “Just because this polite persecution is bloodless, we should not imagine that it is victimless,” Archbishop Lori said at the ceremonial opening of the newly-expanded Divine Mercy University in Arlington, Va., on May 19.
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Hitler's Pope and 9 Other Anti-Catholic Myths Disproven By History

Non-Catholics found discovered something surprising about the history of the Catholic Church:

Roman Catholics have gotten a bad reputation: they're responsible for the Dark Ages, the Crusades, and the Inquisition. They're anti-science, anti-Semites, and anti-freedom. Each of these accusations is an oversimplification that perverts history. According to a new, groundbreaking book by sociologist and historian Rodney Stark, the truth is far more friendly to the Catholic Church, and those who say otherwise are overlooking important developments in the study of history. In Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History, Stark rebuts 10 historical myths that reflect badly on the Catholic church. Little do many of us know, Catholics actually pioneered capitalism, laid the foundations for science, abolished slavery, and denounced witch hunts. That doesn't sound so dark to me. Stark is not a Catholic, and neither am I, but these truths are very important for everyone to know.
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Media Want To Make Sure You Never Hear About ‘The Little Sisters Of The Poor’

The lengths they go to is hilarious.

Last week I was at a religious liberty confab attended by some of the Little Sisters of the Poor. One of my favorite vignettes from the conference was watching a decorated Sikh Army captain, who recently won his religious liberty battle to wear a turban while he serves in non-combat scenarios, chat it up with the cheerful gaggle of Little Sisters, who are in a major religious liberty battle against President Obama over whether the government can force them to violate their religious beliefs or face crippling fines. Both are represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
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5-10 Muslim Refugees Request Baptism in Austria Every Week

The work of the Holy Spirit:

The number of Muslim migrants in Austria who want to convert to Christianity has increased massively in recent months; however, most of these migrants, who are refugees from conflict-torn countries like Iran, Syria, and Afghanistan, are in danger of violence from radical Muslims who consider the converts as apostates. According to Kurier, only 33 percent of the people converting into the Catholic faith in 2015 were Muslims. However, that percentage has increased to over 83 percent this year. The Archdiocese in Vienna is already handling about five to ten adult baptism requests per week.
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The Sisters Who Treat the Untreatable

Wonderful piece from the NY Times:

At the beginning of the 20th century, sick Americans typically died at home. By the middle of it, they mostly died in hospitals. And yet this great transformation in the geography of death was, at first, of little interest to medical providers: In the 1960s, some doctors routinely chose not to inform terminal patients of their fate. Studies found hospitals stashing dying people at the ends of halls and largely ignoring them. Medicine, it was said, was about healing people. It had nothing to offer the already dying.
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Sisters of Life hold up dignity of single moms in 25-year-old ministry

Their beautiful ministry is an inspiration for all of us:

On a drizzly gray morning in early May, the bright kitchen at Visitation Mission on Manhattan’s East Side was filled with the sound of laughter and the inviting aromas of fresh-cut vegetables and baking cookies as postulants and novices of the Sisters of Life prepared food for themselves and their anticipated guests. Visitation is the nerve center for the Sisters of Life’s material, emotional and spiritual outreach to pregnant women in crisis. The sisters help more than 900 women at the former convent each year, said Sister Magdalene, the congregation’s local superior.
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Ethicist says embryo breakthrough is a ‘step towards an inhuman future’

But I thought science meant doing whatever you can because...science.

Researchers have discovered a way to keep human embryos alive in laboratories for longer, paving the way for experimentation on embryos beyond the current legal limit. Previously, embryos grown in laboratories have not lived past nine days – the stage at which an embryo needs to an implant in order to survive. But scientists at the University of Cambridge have discovered a way to keep embryos alive beyond that point. The embryos were allowed to die at 13 days, because the current law does not permit them to live beyond 14 days.
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Vocations to the priesthood: bad numbers? Those numbers didn’t just happen by themselves.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf writes:

I’ve written many times about the situation of vocations to the priesthood. We all know that there are certain parishes in dioceses which produce more priests. We all know that there are certain dioceses which produce more priests. We all know that there are certain religious groups which produce more priests. They have factors in common.
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A Good Motto for 2016: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here

Sherry in despair.

The people have spoken and we will have as President this fall, someone who thinks Planned Parenthood does some very good things...or we will have Hillary Clinton. We will have someone who has no humility. We will have someone who has no scruples about lying, about destroying others, and about lying about destroying others. We will have someone who thinks the law is for other people.
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Why You're Right to be Very Very Worried About the Future of This Country

Dennis Prager, normally an optimistic sort, lathers on the doom and the gloom disturbingly heavy. And he's right. The Stream:

A Dark Time in America There are many reasons why — other than the first years of the Civil War — there has never been a darker time in American history. Here are a few.
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Bishop Barron on Shakespeare and the Fading of the Catholic World

"I wonder whether everyone can agree that Shakespeare was indeed mourning the loss of something that came apart in the sixteenth century—something beautiful and something worth putting back together."

Last week the world marked the 400th anniversary of the death of the greatest writer in the English language and one of the three or four most significant artists the human race has produced. William Shakespeare simply contains so much. In the manner of Dante, Homer, Michelangelo, James Joyce, and Aquinas, he seems to encompass the whole: every texture of feeling, every nuance of thought, the tragedy of sin, the most exquisite longings of the soul, the most confounding confusions, heaven, hell, and everything in between.
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Europe Rejects Surrogacy (Again)

Chelsea writes:

More good news from Europe: last month the Council of Europe’s Social Affairs and Health Committee voted against the draft report on surrogacy that proposed regulation of the practice rather than a full ban. This comes just three months after the European Parliament approved a resolution condemning all forms of surrogacy as “reproductive exploitation and use of the human body for financial or other gain”.
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Multiple reports confirm Planned Parenthood videos were not manipulated

Hey, if you're not going to take "Thou Shall Not Kill" seriously, you're probably not going to be concerned with "Thou shall not bear false witness."

Planned Parenthood has been called out on social media for its deception and spin when it comes to… well, pretty much everything. But in this case, Planned Parenthood Action Fund claimed that the Center for Medical Progress’s undercover videos featuring Planned Parenthood’s own employees were “faked criminal videos.”
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There is So Much My Head Might Explode

A plea for actual diversity from Sherry:

Curt Schilling got fired for sharing a Facebook post and adding his own two cents. That is ESPN's right, they are in the perception business. Target has made a decision to declare all bathrooms unisex. That is their right as a business. Some will boycott ESPN and Target, others will cheer. I don't know how we will survive the ever shifting sands of language and perception in these days. We have protests and counter protests for everything, and never is there any peace. However the question becomes, what is the cut off point? Can one discuss an idea not popular or discuss a moral stance not popular without being tarred, feathered and burned off the internet? When, where and how can the public allow for diversity of thought? Can one hold a moral position not popular, even dare to utter it or live by it, and hold a job in this century?
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Study Shows Competition from School Choice Improves Education

PJ Media:

Via Watchdog.org: A new study from the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice shows that competition is the key to improving American education. “Pursuing Innovation” looks at “how effective open enrollment, charters, and educational choice programs are at improving student outcomes.” There were four key findings in this report. The first is that education by ZIP code may soon be a thing of the past, as non-residential forms of school choice (open enrollment, charter schools, homeschooling, and private educational choice programs) grow rapidly. The second is that competition from private school choice and charter schools do the most to improve schools, because they allow public school dollars to follow the student. Public schools then have more incentive to better serve families or attract new students. The other two conclusions have to do with the future of education and choice. Once is that educational improvements cannot grow by leaps and bounds until school choice does the same.
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Rome’s Fabled Trevi Fountain to Be Dyed Red in Honor of Christian Martyrs

A sad reminder:

On April 29, the Trevi Fountain, one of the most popular and emblematic tourist spots in Rome, will be dyed red in recognition of all Christians who even today give their life for the faith. The event is being organized by Aid to the Church in Need and seeks to “call attention to the drama of anti-Christian persecution.”
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Love Doesn’t Die: A Mother Remembers Her Daughter with Down Syndrome

Wow.

Jean recalled, “My husband and I were told to place [the baby] in a state institution and tell everyone she died at birth. Days went by and social workers visited me trying to make my husband and I follow the doctor’s orders. The final straw was when they said, ‘Bringing her home would be an injustice to your neighbors, as she will lower the property value on your street.’ My husband and I shed tears and we shared our feelings that this baby was given to us by God, we could not throw her out!"
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There is No Post in my Trauma

Confessions of a Sleep Deprived Momma writes:

When you have a child who is medically fragile and have gone through stuff that no mother should ever have to see; you are often told that your panic attacks are due to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) from doctors, therapists, family members, and friends. Recently I started seeing a therapist and once again I was told that I have PTSD. As I sat there listening to him tell me what he thought I was going through; I stopped him and told him something that rocked my on world “there is no post in my trauma.” This is truer then I like to admit. Yes there horrors from the past with Mighty Z that wake me up in the middle of the night in cold sweats feeling shaky as my heart pounds in my chest, yes there are noises and smells that bring me back to a traumatic time where I almost lost her. However, what is harder to deal with is not really the past trauma but the current any moment trauma that has yet to happen, but surely will happen any given moment. It is hard to stay in the present and to not give into the trauma that is lurking around the next corner waiting to pop out at you any moment.
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Do Jews, Christians, and Muslims Believe in the Same God?

Dennis Prager writes:

Most Americans say they believe in God. And around the world, religious Jews, Christians, and Muslims all say they believe in God, as do many people who do not identify with any formal religion. But this statement is actually meaningless. To cite but one example, the God in whose name Muslims cut innocent people’s throats and rape women cannot be the same God as the God of those who believe that God hates such actions.
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Understanding the Little Sister's Response to the Court

The great Helen Alvare writes:

The Supreme Court asked the government and the religious institutions involved in the recent HHS Mandate litigation (I’ll collectively address the institutions as the Little Sisters) to address whether: “contraceptive coverage may be obtained by [the Little Sisters’] employees through [the Little Sisters’] insurance companies, but in a way that does not require any involvement of petitioners beyond their own decision to provide health insurance without contraceptive coverage to their employees” Yesterday, the Little Sisters filed a Supplemental Brief saying “sure there is”!
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Wendy Davis Hypes Abortion at Notre Dame on Feast of the Annunciation

Disgrace:

Catholics celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation on Monday, when the Virgin Mary said “yes” to God and Christ was conceived in her womb through the power of the Holy Spirit. But at the University of Notre Dame, a number of students spent Monday night on campus listening to former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis describe the benefits for women of choosing abortion or using contraception.
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Good News. Young Men are Impotent b/c of Porn

Rod Dreher reports:

Time magazine’s cover story this week is about what ubiquitous hardcore pornography is doing to men. I can’t link to it because it’s a subscribers-only piece, but Southern Baptist pastor Denny Burk has a detailed (but not NSFW) rundown of what it reports. The gist of it is that porn is changing the brains of young men, who have been watching it from a young age, such that they are impotent with actual women.
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Another Biblically Historic Find Provides Evidence of Mary Magdalene’s Existence

Eric Metaxas writes of some new discoveries that make the Bible look accurate. Gasp.

A real biblical site, a real woman, and a real faith, all rooted in history. That’s what we learn from the archaeological dig at Magdala. If there were a prize for the least-understood yet incredibly-important person in the Bible, it would probably go to Mary Magdalene. I suspect that more people “know” that she was a prostitute—which is based on a misreading of Luke, chapters 7 and 8—than the fact that she was the first witness to the Lord’s resurrection.
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Embattled Marquette Professor Will Apologize ‘When Hell Freezes Over

So I guess not anytime soon.

Marquette University has delayed the termination of Associate Professor John McAdams, opting to suspend him without pay through the fall 2016 semester, but University President Dr. Michael Lovell is demanding an apology from McAdams as a condition of getting his job back over his November 2014 blog post criticizing a graduate student instructor who bullied a student for arguing against same-sex marriage. McAdams said in a recent radio interview that he’ll apologize, “When hell freezes over.”
- See more at: http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/4801/Embattled-Marquette-Professor-Will-Apologize-%e2%80%98When-Hell-Freezes-Over%e2%80%99.aspx#sthash.QoXclvYp.dpuf Continue reading>>>

Video: Ben Shapiro debates pro-choicers on when a ‘bundle of cells’ becomes a human being

Nice job by Shapiro defending life, even in the face of a weird question about semen.

Prior to Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro speech at George Washington University last night, he stopped by Maryland’s Salisbury University, where he got into a prolonged debate with two pro-choice attendees (probably students) about a) when does a “clump of cells” actually become recognized as a human being and b) does life begin at conception (via the Blaze):
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Zmirak Asks: "Was Trump Right That Women Who Have Abortions Should Be Punished?"

The answer is no. His thinking is clear so I thought I'd pass it along.

Abortion is unique because pregnancy is. The fact that an unborn baby resides entirely inside the body of another human being with rights of her own makes mincemeat of our whole approach to justice, which is based on individual rights, balanced against the rights of others and the claims of the common good. Yes, the baby has the right to life, but the mother has the right to control her body, too, so how can we disentangle the claims of two people who literally inhabit the same space, eat the same food, and are intimately related? To what else can we compare this situation: Siamese twins? A stubborn, unwanted tenant? A famous violinist who needs to share a healthy person’s organs, whose fans have kidnapped her and hooked the two together? Since no other relationship is exactly akin to pregnancy, all analogies finally fail. Abortion has no prefabricated answer, but requires the careful needle of a custom-tailor statesman.
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Keep Calm and Carry On: Christians in a Darkening Culture

Eric Metaxas writes:

It was 1939, just before the outbreak of what would come to be known as the Second World War. Hitler was on the move, the dominoes were starting to fall. The British government, facing what Winston Churchill would soon call “an ordeal of the most grievous kind,” needed to bolster the people’s flagging spirits. So it began producing a series of propaganda posters. One of them, with a bold, red background, was to be used only in the event of an invasion. That invasion never came, and so the poster was never used. But the slogan on it has lived on, and it has particular relevance to our day. The message: “Keep Calm and Carry On.” I like that.
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Surprising Scholarly Agreement on Facts That Support Jesus’ Resurrection

Something happened, right?

Here’s something you might not have known about contemporary scholarship. It might actually surprise you, unless you’ve been keeping up with these things: virtually all researchers, whether they are skeptical, liberal, moderate or conservative in their approach and beliefs, agree in recognizing a small but definite core of historical facts from the end of Jesus’ life. And this core of facts reveals a lot about the reality of the resurrection.
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10 Stages of Easter Candy Eating

I can't believe I ate the whole thing.

*Sixteeen year old son asked, "Did this really happen?" I answered, "No. No it did not." He believes me...sort of. Stage 1: Oh! There is so much! I couldn't possibly eat all of this...I'll pace myself and just eat this one chocolate egg. Maybe the ears off the bunny...and a few jelly beans but not the chocolate ones...just to give myself variety. Stage 2: Fifteen minutes later. I'm still hungry. I'll finish off the bunny. It's hollow so it's not like it's so much chocolate anyway.
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Sherry: Let the Little Sisters Serve

Nice little charity you have here Little Sisters of the Poor. Twenty-seven homes across the nation where all you do all day is care for the elderly and the sick all of your lives…and it’s true, you’ve done this for over 150 years regardless of a person’s capacity to pay or religious affiliation. Even though you are sisters, your non-profit is not religious enough to warrant an exemption. We, the government, in an effort to provide affordable health care for everyone, will shut down a non-profit serving the people we’ve claimed the H.S.S. mandate is supposed to serve. One has to ask “Why?”
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There’s No Public-Health Case for Making Nuns Provide Free Birth Control

The great Michael New writes:

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a group of cases challenging the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that non-profit employers offer health-care coverage that includes contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization. The challengers in the consolidated cases, captioned Zubik v. Burwell, include Little Sisters of the Poor, Priests for Life, and a variety of religious non-profits. Many of the arguments that have been put forth in support of the plaintiffs involve conscience rights. These are important arguments that certainly deserve attention. However, in the amicus brief I filed in on behalf of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, I emphasized public-health arguments which have received relatively little media attention.
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"Catholic Republicans" and the Rise of Trump

Great piece by Notre Dame Law prof Rick Garnett

At Commonweal, Anthony Annett has a characteristically hard-hitting but, in this particular case, I believe overstated and in places unfair post called "Catholic Republicans Are Implicated in the Rise of Trump." He is, among other things, responding to our own Robby George's recent call for Catholics not to support Trump (and, in so doing, to prevent the Republican Party from being a reasonably effective even if obviously imperfect vehicle for some causes about which many Catholics care, including the pro-life cause).
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Prof. Robert George on Shutting Down Trump

Rhetoric and tactics that are reminiscent of a dark time:

It's true, alas, and shameful, that Donald Trump's rhetoric about "punching people in the face" and so forth, and the tactics of some of his particularly overheated supporters, bring to mind the rhetoric and tactics of the fascist parties of the 1920s and 30s. That is among the many reasons I have forcefully and publicly spoken out against the Trump campaign, including in a recent public appeal by a group of Catholic thinkers to our fellow Catholics and all citizens of goodwill. But it is equally true, and every bit as shameful, that the hard left, including many Bernie Sanders supporters (though, it must be emphasized, without encouragement of any sort from Senator Sanders himself), employ vile rhetoric and engage in acts of intimidation that also call to mind the rhetoric and tactics of those fascist parties.
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Hey, Before You Support Socialism, Know This...

Socialism's got a particularly bloody history:

Nikolai Bukharin was executed by shooting in Moscow on March 15, 1938. He had been revered as a giant of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, as one who even worked side by side with Vladimir Lenin himself. Alas, Bukharin’s Marxist chickens had come home to roost by the time he was shot like a dog during Josef Stalin’s reign of terror. His execution marked the pinnacle of Stalin’s show trials of high-level officials. You see, Bukharin invested in building a political system that inevitably puts the reins of power into the hands of just a few strongmen who end up calling all the shots. It’s a system in which suspicion and the smell of treason tend to hang in the air.
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The Little Lepers in My Living Room

Funny and insightful stuff from Deirdre Mundy:

Why is Jesus crying? Because he fell down. Because the banana broke. Because I said he can’t stuff the other toothbrushes down the bathroom drain. (He’d already gotten three down there.) Because he isn’t allowed to play the organ during Mass. Because Grandma only played with him outside for three hours before she had to leave. Because his sister said the new baby can be Dora if it’s a girl, but not Boots if it’s a boy. Because the helmet fell off the Lego guy. Because he is two, the world is big and everything is always broken. My youngest son’s name is Henry, not Jesus, and he is perpetually mourning and weeping in this vale of tears that is his life. The disappointments come fast and furious, both from Henry and, more sporadically, his older siblings. Once upon a time I was a single woman. I prayed the rosary. I reflected on Scripture. I attended daily Mass, made it to confession every two weeks and looked forward to the stations of the cross on Lenten Fridays. Now, my prayer life is a litany of “Please, Lord, help me through the next 10 minutes.” The Church tells us we’re supposed to see Jesus in the faces of the people we meet every day. I’m mostly home with the kids. As far as I can tell, Jesus is somewhat hysterical, extremely emotional and has unrealistic expectations for how the world should work. And he’s crying again.
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A Lenten Check-Up Don’t be afraid to start again in these final weeks

Sherry writes:

I remember those Lents when I kept my resolution but still failed in what I set out to do. By giving up chocolate, diet soda, the internet and social media, I emerged from those 40 days slimmer, less addicted to caffeine, and Facebook-free, yet no stronger spiritually. The Lents that drew me closer to God were those when I stopped trying to “better myself,” and submitted to the will of the Lord. The Lent I remember most fondly was the year I phoned my sister every day to pray a Hail Mary. My sister and I are 11 years apart, living in different states. She has three children and deals with the struggles of a young family. I am awash in teenagers, with all the trials they bring. We’d lost our father that Ash Wednesday, and mourning through the 40 days by just reciting one prayer together each day made the loss more bearable.
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The Most Brilliant Minivan Parenting Hack EVER!

Awesome idea:

My childhood BFF and her kids came to visit me this week for Spring Break. She’s an engineer married to someone with an engineering/inventor brain, which means there’s always a part of me that wants to see what new parenting hacks they’ve invented. This time it’s one I’m totally stealing, and you might want to too.
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5 Key Exchanges From Biggest Abortion Supreme Court Case in a Decade

You never know how the high court will go but this is pretty interesting reading and hopefully indicative of where they're heading.

Wednesday, while a huge crowd of protesters stood in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building, the justices heard oral argument in the first major abortion case in nearly a decade. In Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Supreme Court is considering whether Texas’s H.B. 2 law—a common-sense reform intended to increase women’s health and safety—has the purpose or effect of imposing an “undue burden” on women who are seeking abortions.
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L'Osservatore Romano: "Spotlight" Not Anti-Catholic

I haven't seen the movie but just because something tells the truth about something bad done by some in the Church doesn't make it anti-Catholic.

Spotlight, the Oscar-winning film, has a compelling plot. The film is not anti-Catholic, as has been written, because it manages to voice the shock and profound pain of the faithful confronting the discovery of these horrendous realities.
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The slow growth of Lent can lead to a spiritual springtime

Sherry writes:

My son called from graduate school, somewhat discouraged. As part of his degree program, he works with ninth graders, spending his days trying to convince jaded 13 and 14 year olds to care about literature. He’s new to the field and discovering that the major struggle in teaching is not making a lesson plan, but in motivating the students. He wants to reach them now and see regular progress in the classroom, but he’s not getting the feedback he expects. It’s hard to convey the value of patience to someone so young in his chosen career.
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Oy With the Popesplaining Already

Amy Welborn begs you to cease the popesplaining.

Guess what. You don’t have to defend every word the Pope says. Even if you consider yourself an enthusiastic and faithful Catholic of any stripe you are not obligated to defend every utterance in every papal interview or even every papal homily or declaration. Popes – all popes – can say things that are wrong, incorrect, ill-informed, narrow, short-sighted and more reflective of their personal biases, interests and limitations than the broader, deeper tradition of Catholicism. Which is why, traditionally, popes didn’t do a lot of public talking.
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Paul VI and the Nuns Raped in the Congo. What the Pope Never Said

Edward Pentin reports:

First Francis and then Fr. Lombardi have restated for the umpteenth time that pope Montini permitted those nuns to take birth control pills. But that’s false. Here is how that urban legend was born. And what the true status of the question is
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4 Lessons We Can All Learn from Justice Scalia's Legacy

Alliance Defending Freedom:

The passing of an extraordinary man, and the deafening commotions of our increasingly pugnacious politics and morally unhinged culture put me in mind, these days, of some lines from Rudyard Kipling’s Recessional: The tumult and the shouting dies; The Captains and the Kings depart: Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice, An humble and a contrite heart. Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget – lest we forget! Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was surely among “the Captains and the Kings” of our age: a man whose deep personal faith guided and informed his profound and decades-long service to the nation as the High Court’s most outspoken and passionate voice for religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.
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To the Teacher's Aide in My Son's Special Education Classroom: I See What You Are Doing

Nice piece by Love in a Different Language:

As the parent of a child with special needs, I cannot help but be an overemotional ball of overprotectiveness most of the time. I have decided that this is not a downfall, it’s my job. I must be my child’s voice, until he finds his own. I must be my child’s eyes, until he can tell me what goes on around him each day. I must be wise and very discerning of the people I allow to surround my child, because he cannot tell me for himself how they treat him. I must be my child’s advocate on every front, because that is the sacred calling that the Lord has hand-picked for me. It is because of this sacred calling, that I watch and I protect. And I want to send this message to the teacher’s aide in my son’s Special Education Classroom: I See What You Are Doing.
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Scandal of the Day: Christian Heidi Cruz Says Christian Things

David French reports:

The scandal du jour, from the ignorant, anti-Christian sectors of the Left, comes courtesy of a brief excerpt of a radio interview with Heidi Cruz, Ted Cruz’s wife:
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I Really Hope This Catholic College President Didn't Say This

President: "This is hard for you because you think of the students as cuddly bunnies. But you can't. You just have to drown the bunnies ... put a Glock to their heads." Uh-oh.

A small Catholic college in Maryland is in turmoil after a report that its president wanted to weed out struggling students quickly to improve the school's standing. Now some teachers have been sent packing. Ed Egan was a professor at Mount Saint Mary's University in Maryland.
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‘Rhode Island’s Most Notorious Abortionist’ to Speak at Providence College

Ugh.

Providence College, a Catholic Dominican institution in Rhode Island, is scheduled to host a political panel discussion Thursday night featuring a former Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island medical director who is “Rhode Island’s most notorious abortionist” according to a local pro-life leader.
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When God's Love Hurts

Cassandra Poppe writes:

Crosses. Suffering. The human race has been plagued with hardship ever since that fateful day in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve desired more than the goodness God had already given them. And from that point on, most viewed suffering as a punishment from God – until that first Good Friday when Our Lord transformed punishment into a blessing. It seems natural for us to try to alleviate hardships when they come. A painkiller, a massage, an adjustment to the thermostat. How many little things do we do each day, each hour, to tweak the comfort level around ourselves? As these first 2 paragraphs were written, I have already adjusted my posture, scratched an itch and taken a sip of my drink. All actions taken almost without thinking and all done to increase my comfort.
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Valentine Campaigns

Sherry has some Valentine's Day thoughts for the presidential contenders:

Hillary Clinton: Bring me the hearts of everyone who did not vote for me. Bernie Sanders: Free Hearts for Everyone! Marco Rubio: Everyone loves the tin man. Right?
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NASA Bans Jesus

Todd Starnes reports:

The name of Jesus is not welcome in the Johnson Space Center newsletter, according to a complaint filed on behalf of a group of Christians who work for NASA. The JSC Praise & Worship Club was directed by NASA attorneys to refrain from using the name ‘Jesus’ in club announcements that appeared in a Space Center newsletter.
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Photographer Captures Smiling Newborn Babies

Just cute. Adorable even.

These gorgeous photos are by Sandi Ford, who specialises in capturing newborns smiling. "I have learned to recognise the little signs that a baby is about to let out a smile and I sit there ready with the camera to catch it!" she says. "I once read that there are two types of people in this world – those that see a newborn smile as wind, and those that don't. I see it as a rare treat that I am lucky enough to capture."
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As Heard in a 4th Grade Classroom

These are fun.

These were submitted to me by a fourth grade teacher friend of mine. Don’t worry. There’s more where these came from. So proud of having hung our school American flag, one of my students points it out to me: Girl: Look at the American flag! I hung it… Doesn’t it look good? Me: Wow!! You did a beautiful job. Looks great! Girl: Thanks… I know. I do good things, and I look good doing ’em.
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11 Catholic Converts Share Their Stories

Great piece.

Why would an atheist, abortion worker or drug addict decide to become Catholic? Stories of those who have converted to Catholicism inspire us and renew our own passion for the faith. The men and women whose stories we feature today come from diverse backgrounds. Whether a criminal, an atheist, or an ardent anti-Catholic, each has a testimony of the path they left behind when God revealed to them the truths of the Catholic faith. The stories that we share today are all of people who have chosen to live out their commitment to their new found faith with passion through the power of the Holy Spirit. All of them are now authors, speakers, and leaders who encourage others to grow in faith and devotion. We hope that you will enjoy listening to these powerful examples of God’s love and saving power. Remember, no one is so far from God that he or she cannot find their way back to Him.
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Fasting, Giving, Praying: 21+ Ideas for What Kids & Teens Can Do for Lent

Peanut Butter and Grace:

Fasting, almsgiving, and prayer are at the heart of the forty days of Lent. Here are some strategies for helping your kids get involved in these traditional penitential practices. Most of these ideas are appropriate for kids ages six and up. (The best way to introduce younger kids to Lenten practices is for them to see adults and older kids in the family practicing them; use their natural curiosity and desire to be “grown up” as a springboard for talking about what you’re doing, and why.)
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Big Families Don't Know They're Big

Great piece.

Big families are like big dogs. We don’t have a clue we’re big. It’s perfectly normal in our world to cook for a crowd every day. We whip our big vans in and out of parking lots like they are sports cars. We don’t bat an eye at the line of shoes by the back door or the pile of coats weighing down the coatrack. And it doesn’t even faze us that we take up an entire pew (or more) at church. In fact, we don’t think we have a lot of kids because we always know someone with more kids than we have. Besides, for most of us, the children came to us one or two at a time, and we simply adjusted to the addition as they’ve shown up. We didn’t suddenly have 5 or 8 or 14 children drop in our laps one day. They sort of trickled in…right under our noses.
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I Thought Casual Sex Would be Empowering

But it was the opposite. Verily Mag reports:

­­­When I was 17, a friend and I promised to lose our virginity within the year. We saw sex glamorized on TV and in music and heard popular peers talking about it as an amazing experience. The idea of the 21st century woman making her own sexual narrative sounded enticing. I wanted to be in control. The real clincher seems so cliche in retrospect: the women who had no-strings-attached sex enjoyed enviable celebrity among men. My friend and I didn’t want to be left out. I approached my sexual initiation with confidence. I believed Sex in the City’s premise that uninhibited sexual expression was healthy and integral to female happiness—that women who avoided sexual opportunities somehow lacked the courage. A coward, I was not. And so I lost my virginity to a stranger.
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The March for Life 2016 Changed Everything

New Wave Feminists reports:

On January 22, 2016, for the first time in the history of the March for Life, a chanting blockade of counter-protesters from pro-abortion group Stop Patriarchy met the first wave of pro-life marchers, and those marchers were holding signs reading: “I AM A PROLIFE FEMINIST.” However it happened, whether it was fate or luck, the very first people the Stop Patriarchy counter-protesters saw were not old men, not blue-haired ladies with Bibles, not priests or nuns, not frat boys or politicians or church leaders. They were young women, carrying signs declaring themselves feminists. It was a moment I will never forget as long as I live.
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See What Happened When a Man Who Appeared Homeless Walked Into a Chick-fil-A

Nice story.

A Tennessee father is crediting Chick-fil-A with helping teach his daughter “life lessons” in his viral Facebook post about a store manager’s kindness toward a man in need. “I love teaching my daughter life lessons, and I also love being there to watch other Christians teach her life lessons. Thank you, Chick-fil-A, for taking care of the latter today,” wrote Joey Mustain in a post that has been shared over 43,000 times as of Jan. 26.
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9 Reasons the Weasleys are (Probably) a Catholic Family

Love this.

I first read the Harry Potter series before converting to Catholicism and the Weasleys were my favorite family in the books (obviously). Imagine my delight when I discovered that they’re a big Catholic family! Well….OK, the books don’t come right out and say they’re Catholic but I think there’s some solid reasons to assume they are.
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Recipe for a Perfect Love Story

Beautiful.

Until recently, Tim Harris, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was the only restaurant owner in the country with Down syndrome. But what drives a restaurateur who has lived for his business to close up shop? A girl he loves more than anything. Steve Hartman reports.
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Unprecedented Violence Against Christians In 2015

The most ignored horror:

The Christian Post reported that over 7,000 Christians were killed for their faith between Nov. 1, 2014, and Oct. 31, 2015, finds Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors. 2015 surpasses 2014 the worst year for Christian persecution than any other time in modern history.
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A Father’s Brave Refusal to Give Up Son with Down Syndrome

Bravery.

Samuel Forrest faced an unimaginable choice last year after his wife threatened—it’s me or our son. Their newborn son, Leo, born January 21, 2015 in Yerevan Armenia, was unexpectedly diagnosed with Down Syndrome. His wife, Ruzan, was understandably scared, and unfamiliar with the condition. Under the pressure, she gave her husband the ultimatum.
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She Crawled

This is from a few years ago but it is devastatingly beautiful.

I didn’t know her. But, I knew her story. Her name was Lori. She was the friend of my friend, Sallie. Last year, Sallie shared Lori’s story with some of us from church. She was asking that we pray for her situation. She was battling inflammatory breast cancer, and she had been told that she would not live much longer. She had a husband and two small children under the age of seven.
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This Year, We Need to Be Wronged

Sherry Antonetti writes:

If we mean what we say in the Our Father, we should be searching out opportunities to forgive and asking for forgiveness
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Topless Abortion Feminist Converts to Pro-Life

Presumably puts a shirt on too.

Brazilian feminist Sara Winter used to work to legalize abortion. She was one of the founders of a radical group that carries out offensive topless protests at churches. Now, she says people should learn from religious women who put their faith into action – and reject the powerful forces promoting abortion in her country. What changed her mind? The birth of her child. “I understand I made a huge mistake, and I ask forgiveness from the bottom of my heart. The way to achieve public policy changes for women has nothing to do with mocking people’s religions,” she said in a Dec. 15 Facebook post.
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Notre Dame Prof. Calls Permissive Gun Laws a 'Manifestation of Racism’

Campus Reform:

A professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame published an op-ed in The New York Times linking lenient gun laws in America to racism. Prof. Gary Gutting argued “permissive gun laws are a manifestation of racism” and invoked “hatred of racism” as a motivation for the gun control movement. According to Gutting, high exposure to guns in largely poor black neighborhoods along with low restrictions on gun ownership permeates a culture of racism.
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You Are Immoral if You Eat Fish

Wesley Smith reports:

Animal rights, properly understood, is an ideology that insists the capacity to feel pain is the basis for possessing rights. Hence, several years ago, PETA claimed that eating meat is an evil equivalent to Auschwitz. Now, with some studies showing that fish may feel pain, we are told over at the Huffington Post to stop eating fish. The writer is Marc Bekoff, a professor (of course) of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. From "Science Shows Fish Feel Pain, So Let's Get Over It and Do Something to Help These Sentient Beings":
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The Good Shepherd One Pew Up

Great piece by Sherry:

He came to Mass every Sunday at nine o’clock. He and his 20-something-year-old son sat in the pew in front of us, and somehow we always wound up behind them. His son had severe autism and sometimes wore headphones to help deal with the crowd and the noise. On Thanksgiving weekend I shook hands with him at the sign of peace and told him how grateful I was for his weekly witness, how it heartened my husband and me as we dealt with our children (the 10-, eight-, seven- and four-year-old always seemed to turn into talkative squirrels at Mass). He had never complained and always beamed a great smile at the sign of peace. “See you next week,” I said. He nodded.
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