Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day, December 12

Many years ago, in primitive times, civilizations used to worship nature deities—deities in charge of the forces of nature, such as a water deity, vegetation deity, earth deity, sky deity or sun and moon deities.  Oftentimes, due to severe weather or other natural phenomenon, these earth gods were considered angry and vindictive, requiring human sacrifice, including the murder of innocent children, to appease them.

Moloch was an ancient Egyptian deity of that sort, and people burned their sons or daughters to death as an offering to him. The God of Abraham, Yahweh, not only expressly forbade the murder of children as an offering to this god, but made it clear that He, the True God Who made the heavens and the earth and all that was in it, did not want human sacrifice. The true God was a loving father to humanity, not a bloodthirsty, angry tyrant.

Other “mother-earth gods” were similarly portrayed. Archaeologists have uncovered ritual murders of children in what was known as Capacocha ceremonies to appease the angry earth mother, Pachamama. These ceremonies were not only discovered centuries ago but also recently—the last Capacocha ceremony was discovered in 1999 by archaeologists at the summit of the Llullaillaco volcano in Argentina. The bodies of a seven-year-old boy and a 15-year -old, known as “the Maiden,” had been perfectly preserved, and the study conclusively showed Pachamama as the intended recipient of the barbaric sacrifices. (See Family Life Org. AU Pachamama and child sacrifice).

The Aztec culture of Mexico had similar bloodthirsty gods, Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent, and Tonantzin, the mother-god, which the culture thought required human blood to exist. Aztec priests sacrificed hundreds if not thousands of living humans per year to appease these angry earth gods.  (See olg-parish.com/history of the apparitions of our lady of guadalupe to Juan Diego on Tepeyac hill html dashes in between words).

But the true God, loving Creator and Lord of heaven and earth, would be made known again, this time in Mexico.

Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to an Aztec, Juan Diego, in December of 1531 to tell him that the true God was not bloodthirsty, angry and vindictive. She would bring the beautiful message that the true God loved His people and did not want human sacrifice. In an apparition Juan Diego saw a beautiful girl, Mary, bathed in rays of light, who called out his name. The beautiful woman said:

“Dear little son, I love you. I want you to know who I am. I am the Virgin Mary, Mother of the one true God, of Him Who gives life. He is Lord and Creator of heaven and of earth. I desire that there be built a temple at this place where I want to manifest Him, make Him known, give Him to all people through my love, my compassion, my help and my protection.

I truly am your merciful Mother, your Mother and the Mother of all who dwell in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, and of those who seek and place their trust in me. Here I shall listen to their weeping and their sorrows. I shall take them all to my heart, and I shall cure their many sufferings, afflictions and sorrows. So run now to Tenochtitlan and tell the Lord Bishop all that you have seen and heard.”

So many beautiful things have emerged from this story. It is worth a look to see the whole history of Jesus’ beautiful mother as appearing that day, Our Lady of Guadalupe. The beautiful mother of God prompted a conversion of Latin America to the God of love, eschewing the brutal, primitive, bloodthirsty gods of old.

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is today, December 12th.

And it coincides with a difficult time in our church’s history, and a chance to begin a novena here, at celebratesheen.com.

If you have never prayed the Rosary, look at comepraytherosary.org, or go to YouTube and write the words, Come Pray the Rosary.

And God bless you!!

 

 

 

 

 

Please Pray for China’s Missing Bishop, Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin!

Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin has been “detained” by the Chinese government after making this courageous speech and declaring his loyalty to the true Catholic Church in China.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIuMdFIxasI

He is now missing and there is fear that he is being harmed or has even been martyred for his Faith!

Please pray for him and join the twitter conversation #whereisbishopma?

See this BBC article about China’s missing Bishop http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-18779032

Thank you and may God bless you!!!

Fortnight for Religious Freedom

Please pray with us from now until July 4th!

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

O God our Creator,

Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.

We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be “one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayer Resources


 

 

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/fortnight-for-freedom/

(From the USCCB site)

The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/fortnight-for-freedom/upload/Fortnight-for-Freedom-Bulletin-Insert.pdf

For more information, go to www.fortnight4freedom.org

Thank you, and God Bless You!!

For Greater Glory

I saw “For Greater Glory” today, and it was a wonderful movie. Out in theaters now, this beautiful, spectacularly-filmed movie had me moved to tears many times. Based upon a true story, the film highlights the true heroes and tragedies in Mexico’s war for religious freedom in the early 1900.  Hurry up and see it — the film may not be out for much longer and it is definitely worth a look.

For more information, go to http://www.forgreaterglory.com/

And here are a few more reviews. Go see it and let me know what you think!:-)

http://www.thenewamerican.com/reviews/movies/item/11601-for-greater-glory-portrays-the-cristeros-fight-for-religious-freedom

http://www.ldsmag.com/1/article/10935

http://catholicmom.com/2012/05/30/for-greater-glory-timely-and-remarkable/

Why You Should Care About the Catholics

First, an announcement. If you care about religious freedom and the First Amendment of the Constitution, please join us on March 23, 2012 to Stand Up For Religous Freedom (see http://standupforreligiousfreedom.com/ ) from 12-1 pm in cities across the country!

For Arizona, the location is the Sandra Day O’Connor Courthouse, 401 W Washington St. Phoenix, Arizona.

map

For other cities, please go to this website for the location. The time is  12-1 pm everywhere in the U.S.

http://standupforreligiousfreedom.com/locations/

Why You Should Care About the Catholics

I know that there are many people who do not really understand why the Catholic Church is so upset about HHS Kathleen Sebelius’ order for the Churches to provide contraception and abortifacients to those whom they serve. Why not just give in?  Why is this such a big deal?

First of all, let me explain that contraception, especially the kind of contraception that kills an unborn baby,  is not just any kind of sin. It is the worst kind of sin– a mortal sin. For the deeper reasons for the Catholic Church’s stance on contraception and abortion, read this document, and perhaps even this article.

But the basic issue is this: ordering Catholics to provide contraceptives and abortifacients is like requiring Muslims to provide wet t-shirt contests every Friday for their young women to participate in, or requiring Jewish people to eat bacon cheeseburgers every week for their health. Except that it’s actually a lot worse. A Catholic who participates in a mortal sin (like providing abortifacients) must go to confession and repent in order to receive the Sacraments — in order to do anything that is Catholic — in fact, in order to actually continue to BE Catholic. .

So to begin with, what we are talking about with this new Kathleen Sebelius-generated law is that the government is ordering the Catholic church to do something that would essentially make Catholics no longer Catholic. The mandate destroys freedom of religion by definition.

But let’s also look at the impact here. Catholics who have never disobeyed a law in their lives, are faced with the choice of disobeying a law with severe consequences and incurring fines, jail, or a shut down, or choosing to disobey their conscience — the core of their faith — and consequently cease to be Catholic.

They must either stop being who they are, or  face a government power that will ultimately destroy their very existence (esp. the existence of the agencies they have established to care for the poor and sick, such as hospitals and other charitable services).

And to make a long story short, I think that’s the point.

With this HHS Mandate, the Obama administration is not as much concerned with the miniscule addition of a few more free contraceptives as they are with the destruction of the Catholic Church’s charitable influence, especially the Church’s formidable presence in the healthcare industry.

And that’s why you should care about the Catholics.  Because what this administration wants to do in the healthcare arena after they get total, unrestrained control over healthcare in America is not something that the people of this country want.

Why do I think that this administration wants to shut down all of the Catholic hospitals, care centers, charitable organizations and schools? Well, first of all, this is not the Obama administration’s only bizarre, unprecedented attack on the Catholic Church during the last month or so.  See  http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/03/absolutely-appalling-obama-uses-banks-to-control-catholic-church/

The pattern of harassment lately leads me to believe that the Obama administration and HHS Kathleen Sebelius’  “war” is not only being waged against the unborn, but also against the Church. 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203518404577094631979925326.html

Also, this act of closing Catholic hospitals et al. is a  “necessary” step  towards Obama’s ultimate agenda.  I think that getting the Catholics out of the way is just the beginning — I truly believe that they have quite a bit more planned  with Obamacare than they are telling you now.

See…

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/here_come_death_panels_rOgtOinGhJgRdmCYR9JtcK

 So much has changed since Obamacare was approved by Congress.  Abortion was not a part of the originally passed Obamacare.  Conscience protections were promised, sworn, insisted upon and practically written in blood verifying that they would be there and not be taken away.  The Death Panels were removed from the law to get it passed. Executive orders were signed to reassure everyone that nothing like this would ever happen. Let me rephrase that. President Obama was the one who promised that conscience protections would be in place. President Obama was the one who signed an Executive order promising that abortions would not be paid for by Obamacare. The President even made Rep. Stupak and pro-life advocates actually look stupid for questioning his integrity on the matter.  There was absolutely no question that Obama promised not to do what Obama just did to the American people in order to get Congress to agree to his healthcare bill.

http://sytereitz.com/category/catholic/

The President’s guarantees were so iron clad and his contradiction of those promises so blatant, that if Obama were sellling a house instead of a bill,  he’d be indicted for fraud. There is no way to explain Obama’s “in your face” reversal on his promises to Congress and the American people except that he was just looking for a way to trick Congress into signing something that would give himself and his HHS Czar total control over healthcare in America.

(Maybe that is one way to fight Obamacare — to bring up the fact that it was issued under false pretenses.) http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/03/white-house-announces-executiv.html )

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/03/white-house-announces-executiv.html

 So what does Obama’s healthcare look like now? Buried in the fine print, the healthcare bill gave almost completely unrestrained authority to HHS.  Do you want to guess what happened?

Death panels were secretly sneaked back in and are now a part of Obamacare.

http://frontpagemag.com/2010/12/28/backdoor-death-panels/

(Obama’s Christmas present to the American people when they weren’t paying attention)

Abortion is being paid for by Obamacare with a $1 surcharge.

Conscience protections are forbidden by law and  severe punishment is threatened.

And free contraception is being dispensed like bubble gum, now considered a right that trumps the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The Obamacare that was passed, despite its unpopularity, looks nothing like the Obamacare that is evolving with each stroke of HHS Kathleen Sebelius’ pen.

 If you look at how convincingly they promised and cajoled and issued comprehensive executive orders that left little room for doubt that they would not do what they just did, , that abortion would not be paid for by Obamacare, that conscience protections would be in place etc. — you might want to think twice before you trust anything they’re telling you now. http://ofbyfororagainst.com/

And then the next thing you should do is to Google Kathleen Sebelius, who now has this incredible power over life and death in America. This woman can pretty much issue any law she feels like ordering and make people do anything she wants.  So who is this woman who has that kind of power over you, and what are her views?

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/the-trial-of-kathleen-sebelius

http://michellemalkin.com/2011/10/28/shredding-kathleen-sebelius/

http://lewiscrusade.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/no-death-panels-ha/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203518404577094631979925326.html

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/01/31/obama_sandbags_the_archbishop_112967.html

O.k. So let’s say that you are trying to overhaul the entire healthcare industry of the United States and how people look at healthcare in general. The decision of who should be entitled to medical care is something that you want to control–totally, without competition or objection.  You want to change long held perceptions about who is worthy of care from the historical concern for the individual person to a more statistics-based cost/benefit analysis.

And let’s say that your formidable competitor in the healthcare industry considers everyone beloved and worthy of care, regardless of usefulness or age or convenience.

Let’s say that your competitor’s healthcare systems comprised the largest group of non profit systems in the country. Let’s say that in 2005 they had more than 611  hospitals representing approximately 12% of all hospitals nationwide. Further, that more than a quarter were located in rural areas, so they owned the predominant health care services in those areas. And let’s add that they additionally had acute care facilities that treated and continue to treat more than 1 in 6  patients each year. Let’s even say that your competitor, the Catholic church, has more members than any other single religion in North America.

 

That kind of competitor could be a problem for an agency that wants to be the only player on the block. The bottom line is that the Catholic Church has a definite influence in health care as it stands right now. By delivering an impossible mandate, this administration gets a two-for — a win for the culture of death, and the potential destruction of an obstacle to unrestrained power.

Now, let’s say that you are a eugenicist and you want health care to be based on your own criteria and not on the principle that all people are endowed by their Creator with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness –not all people, anyway.

http://www.lifetree.org/timeline/

Let’s say that you want to be in charge of the decision of who lives and who dies.  An organization like the Catholic Church could really crimp your style. The Catholic Church has been standing up for the rights of the unborn child even when they’ve stood alone. They will stand up for the rights of the elderly or the newly born or the infirm in the same way. They have always stood against and will continue to be a thorn in the side of the Culture of Death. They consider each person precious in the eyes of God, precious in reality, despite what he or she can contribute to society. The Church teaches that  each life is a gift from God regardless of age or usefulness or infirmity.  The Church would  be a bigger pain than the Constitution to an administration that wants to be in complete and total charge of who has access to medicine in America.  

So if the case for killing granny is made http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/09/killing_granny_1.html  and the Catholic presence in healthcare remains,  how successful will Obama and his Czars be at dominating the system?

http://www.impeachobamacampaign.com/oops-democrat-who-outed-obamas-death-panels-is-sorry-you-found-out/

First they came for the Catholics. After that it will be easy to come for everybody else.

And that brings up a few more points.

Read Humanae Vitae and tell me if you don’t think it’s just a little bit prophetic. What has happened to the family since contraception was introduced into society?  :-)http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

“Read Love and Responsibility” by Pope John Paul II and tell me that it doesn’t make sense. 

Consider why it is the Catholic Church who is being persecuted now–whom have they stood up for? Whom have they defended from the beginning? Consider what is really happening in abortion centers right now and decide for yourselves what  is really going on and whether it should continue. 

And check out this article from Business Insider: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-02-08/politics/31036663_1_sexual-revolution-moral-standards-marriage

The fact that Catholics are being persecuted, and that it may get really difficult for us really terrifies me.  And yet, it also makes me really proud to be Catholic.  It strengthens my belief and my love for my Church and makes me want to stand too for the defenseless — not only the defenseless unborn but the elderly and infirm as well –even if I stand alone with my brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church. 

I believe that the end of all of this turmoil will not result in destruction of the Catholic Church, which is not in a building, but is in our hearts and souls.  Instead I think that through this trial the Catholic church will grow and flourish exponentially, increasing the number of true believers who will do what it takes to follow Christ and care for all people, even, and perhaps especially, those whom this world wants to throw away.