Friday, September 02, 2005

Following Christ means sacrifice

Sometimes errors made by some people are gains made by others.

I think Wisconsin lost a lot a few years back when a decision was made by someone in the Archdiocese that one young man did not have a vocation. He went elsewhere, because he DID believe he had one, according to my sister.

I have just been 'introduced to him' via an email I got today, giving me the url to an online sermon of his that is excellent!

Because my sister lives out there in VA, I wrote and asked her if she or hubby knew him, and she wrote back that they do. She also told me that he is a very good friend of her sister in law and her parents, who was turned down by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee when he sought to enter the seminary here. Sad. We had so few new seminarians in Wisconsin when he must have begun his education.

Our loss was St Mary's Catholic Church of Alexandria, VA's gain, according to my sister. And if this sermon is any way to assess the vocation of this priest, he is in the right job. I only wish that he had been able to be here, in Wisconsin.

He is speaking of picking up our cross and carrying it, of suffering, of following Christ. And IMHO, the only thing he missed in his list is marriage. It is our vocation to help our spouse toward Salvation, but too many forget that, or do not know that, and opt out, breaking their vows in today's easy no fault, forced, unilateral divorce and easy nullity.

God bless you, Fr Dennis Kleinmann, for speaking Truth. Can I pray for you to return to Wisconsin permanently?

The Washington Times

Following Christ means sacrifice

Published August 29, 2005

The following are excerpts of a sermon given yesterday by the Rev. Dennis Kleinmann at Saint Mary Catholic Church in Alexandria.

From all reports, Cardinal Ratzinger, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, did not want to be pope. At 78, it was said he was looking forward to retirement, returning to his home country of Germany, where he would finish out his life writing and doing some research.

It was also suggested that the homily he gave as dean of the College of Cardinals just before the opening of the papal conclave, where he strongly spoke out against the "dictatorship of relativism," was meant to be marching orders to the cardinals but an indication that he did not want the papacy.

In addition, he himself said at an audience after his election that when it looked like he was gaining votes, he prayed: "God, please don't do this to me." He then said: "Evidently, this time He didn't listen to me."

Also after his election, an American cardinal revealed that when asked, as is traditionally done, "Do you accept the papacy?" he simply bowed his head in silence. Asked again, he almost sheepishly responded: "If it be the will of God."

"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." These words of today's Gospel are ever so fitting of Pope Benedict XVI.

He has truly denied himself and has taken up his cross. Lest there be any doubt in our minds, not only does he now have the tremendous task of leading all people, all of us -- all sinners -- to Christ, to salvation, to heaven, but he also has to face all kinds of ridicule. We need only to consider all that has been said of Benedict these months since his election as pope. He is a Nazi. He is a Rottweiler. He is too authoritarian. Just last week, he was accused of being out of touch with the world's youth as a million of them gathered to be with him for World Youth Day in Cologne [in Germany].

It would appear that Benedict is not afraid to deny himself and pick up his cross. But the question is, are we? We see in this passage how Peter responded to the idea of suffering.

This passage follows last week's, where Jesus declared that Simon Peter was the rock upon which our Lord would build His church. Almost immediately, Peter does not want hardship. Certainly, he doesn't want it for Jesus, who in turn replies: "Get behind me, Satan ... You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."

Isn't that true of many? Too often people seek the easy way. They want what is convenient, what will bring the most pleasure -- at times at the expense of their salvation. That, of course, is not the way of Jesus Christ. His way, as He tells us today, involves sacrifice and suffering. He will die on a cross for us. He asks no less from us.

Most will not die on a cross -- but we are to accept the sufferings that come our way. We usually do not have to look too far. Daily we encounter the cross. The message of Christ is not to shun those crosses, but to accept them, if not even embrace them.

That is so countercultural in our world today. People turn to pain killers -- prescription medications, alcohol and illegal drugs. Society in general, advertisements in particular, preach the good life to us -- if we just drive this car or have this plasma TV, our life will be great; we won't have to suffer, or at least we will suffer less. Abortion will erase the suffering, inconvenience or displeasure of a pregnancy. Embryonic stem-cell research will provide a cure for Parkinson's disease and many other things that ail us.

The reality is that pain can be a good thing. Put your hand on a hot burner and you will experience pain -- a warning to get it off or do great damage to your hand. So, too, in the spiritual life. Suffering in this life helps to purify and strengthen us.

Suffering ultimately is the result of evil. Sadly, our world is filled with evil. When we confront evil, we suffer. We cannot give in to evil. The road to holiness passes through the cross of suffering. The road to heaven, the glory of the resurrection is preceded by the cross of suffering. This is not easy.

Thankfully, the grace Jesus has obtained by His death on a cross is always there for us. That grace helps us not only to accept suffering, but to see the value in it. Pope Benedict seems to have a handle on this. He did not want the seat of suffering, the chair of Peter, but he did accept it, and now with the grace of God he is helping us, just as Pope John Paul II did before him, to see how suffering is redemptive.

Copyright © 2005 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

Raymond Arroyo/Mother Angelica

Those of us who watch or have watched EWTN over the years, lucky enough to have it on Cable for half a day, or 24 hours, or have listened on short-wave radio, or on Catholic radio now that it is finally coming into its own, via Relevant Radio, etc... know Raymond Arroyo.

He and his family recently escaped Katrina, probably losing their home, but knowing what is really important... Life. He was interviewed about that by Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes, and then on Wednesday on Relevant Radio's newest program.

He has also spent three years interviewing Mother Angelica on Saturday mornings right up to the time of her stroke, completing those interviews just in time. The resulting book is now due for release on Sept. 6th, and is available through secular booksellers or EWTN.

I was very glad to hear that he and his family are safe, and to hear about the book, as it sounds like it will be very interesting to read.

God bless + !!

Image Welcome to the official Raymond Arroyo website. Raymond's biography, MOTHER ANGELICA: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF A NUN, HER NERVE AND A NETWORK OF MIRACLES hits book stores on September 6, 2005. Raymond will be traveling the country on a BOOK TOUR. Come visit him if you can.

Survivors' guilt

I know that a person 'should' have a minimum of three to six months of earnings in savings for those rainy days that happen in life as a backup. I know that it is important to have savings for the future, etc. But sometimes, life happens, and it isn't always possible.

Raising three alone, putting them through Catholic schools, including High School (for many reasons, including the fact that every adult in those buildings knew every kid, and none got away with skipping out, a sort of back up system for me), returning to school myself while doing this has left me often still living more of a check to check life than that ideal. But there are times when I really WISH that this was not so.

As I watch what is going on in New Orleans, I know that they need a lot of help from people of all walks of life, including medical. If I had that three to six month cushion that is recommended, I would be on my way down there to help. I feel so helpless now. There is NOTHING personal that I can do. I am too far away to offer a bedroom for a few months. My nursing skills are being used here to support myself right now. My Dental Hygiene skills, same.
Money, yes, is needed, and that 'cushion' in the bank could have easily been divided in half and sent to one of the relief agencies... or even more... if it were there. Someday, it will be, as I 'recover' slowly from 'single' parenthood created by no fault forced, unilateral divorce so long ago. But it has not happened just yet.

I needed furniture, and saved that money to purchase it recently, still needing bookshelves and a dining room set (the table/chairs I have are your basic inexpensive set you get when first married, showing the wear of 35+ years, a son who found that a sharp knife could make nice slits in the plastic one day.... and then that the insides of the cushion could be seen, etc...)

But today, sitting here, again watching the news stories of what people are going through down there in Biloxi, New Orleans, Mobile, etc...I find myself wishing that the living room set I had done without already for a year was still not ordered, with the money spent for it on its way to those who can help down there.

Even my severe allergies, asthma would not prevent me from going there, if I could just swing it financially. One can wear masks to help a little.

Survivors' guilt can reach even those of us far away from the scenes of the horrific destruction.

I always talk about what I will do someday, when I am rich and famous, realizing that I will never be either. But if I were either right now, I would not be on this chair, watching what is going on, nor writing on this puter. My scrubs would have been packed, my car filled, and I would have left already. My heart cries out to the people there. My skills are needed... but only my prayers and a small amount of financial donation are able to be offered. And though prayer will help.... it is very hard to know I have to continue to sit here, watching, praying..... not doing.

Lord, help them all to find each other, to get the medical help needed, to find water and food, shelter and clothes. Be with them, strengthen those in need, and those aiding them. Send angels to protect all from those who would do evil at such a time. Comfort those dying, unable to reach help. Be merciful, Lord, in Jesus' Precious name. Put your arms around them each, so that they know that they have not been forsaken. Send your angels to reach those in most need. Guide them to safe havens. Help those who are there to rescue find those in need of rescue quickly. Be with the babies, and their parents. Be with the elderly and their families. Be with the disabled. Be with those who are now experiencing the anguish of loss, and the pain of dehydration/starvation. Cool their feverish bodies. Comfort them, Oh Lord.

Call those who would do evil to account, to repentance, to end the turmoil, the looting, the shooting and turn to you for forgiveness, or face your Justice swiftly.

Mary, pray for them as only a Mother can.

HUSH, LITTLE FETUS... by Jill Stanek, RN

Jill Stanek, RN worked in a hospital where late term abortions were done, and learned that dying babies were put into a dirty utility room to die alone when born alive during an abortion, and she later testified about this, then was fired for being outspoken about it, and is now a very active voice for the unborn. She was invited by President Bush for the signing of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.

Her latest article is another on the ridiculous 'findings' recently about fetal pain, or 'LACK of a group of 'professionals'... but with a vested interest in the abortion industry.

Their 'findings' state that fetuses do not feel pain until late in the pregnancy..... something that is a gross figment of someone's imagination or wishful thinking. Anyone who has ever taken care of a premie can verify that they do not know what they are talking about. Touch itself, much less a needle can alter their vital signs, and cause distress! During abortion, it is much more than touch! It is a tearing apart, ripping apart, cutting apart of a human being.... but those invested in the abortion industry would rather we not think about that when we think about those 'fetuses', those 'products of conception', those unwanted 'blobs of tissue'.... those tiny pre-born babies...

Jill Stanek, RN cites other reports that clearly show the truth about babies and pain.... and which changed the way neonatal intensive care units and the doctors and nurses who work with those tiny people take care of them, long before this latest ... uhm, 'study' came out.

None of us know...neither the Day nor the Hour

Matthew 24:

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?"
4: And Jesus answered them, "Take heed that no one leads you astray.
5: For many will come in my name, saying, `I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray.
6: And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet.
7: For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places:
8: all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs.
9: "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.
10: And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another.
11: And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
12: And because wickedness is multiplied, most men's love will grow cold.
13: But he who endures to the end will be saved.
14: And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come.
15: "So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),
16: then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains;
17: let him who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house;
18: and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle.
19: And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days!
20: Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath.
21: For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.
22: And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
23: Then if any one says to you, `Lo, here is the Christ!' or `There he is!' do not believe it.
24: For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
25: Lo, I have told you beforehand.
26: So, if they say to you, `Lo, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out; if they say, `Lo, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it.
27: For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man.
28: Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
29: "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken;
30: then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory;
31: and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32: "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.
33: So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
34: Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place.
35: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
36: "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.
37: As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man.
38: For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark,
39: and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man.
40: Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left.
41: Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left.
42: Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
43: But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into.
44: Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

New Orleans...........

I have been in a sort of state of shock, as much of the nation has been, glued to the TV when I am home and awake, and wondering about it when I am at work. The tragedy of Katrina in the Gulf area is horrendous.

The description of the events in any of the area hit is bad, but listening to what happened in New Orleans is beyond imagination or belief. What they will find when the water finally goes down, and they can begin to really search is not something that I want to hear.

Single floor dwellings, water rising fast, people trying to escape by going to the attic... and the water still rising... trapping people inside with no way to get out, no way to escape... some swept away by waters rushing rapidly by, perhaps never to be seen again, or ever found. Some who managed to get out of the buildings, and out of the water, dying of thirst and sickness before they can get to safety, left on a road, face covered, because there are simply too many living to gather in...five day old infants burning with fever, and no one stopping to help the mother until a reporter finally stops a police car for her. Because there are just too many ...too many.... too many to help, and no real safe place to go, including hospitals.

Families split up, not knowing if the others have survived or not, though just a few days ago, they were all together. Families outside the area not being able to reach them to know if their loved one is safe or not. Friends, relatives, neighbors....

Homes lost. Neighborhoods gone. Cities gone!!

Destroyed in one night of wild raging winds and water. Someone being interviewed said
that this can only be described as being of Biblical in the Great Flood, I imagine. It is what I have been thinking of also for the past several days...

Then come those intent on evil to compound this tragedy! The looters, the shooters. I have no sympathy for them, if they are caught. Had they been simply looking for food and water, it would be understandable. But to steal is wrong. To do it when this kind of catastophic event has just happened simply makes it worse than normal theft.

Finally, to hear that in the very shelters where those victims went to be SAFE, there have been rapes and more shooting is pure evil. To learn via the news that rescuers have been shot at while trying to get people out of that area, delaying their escape from the ravages of nature is horrifying!

May God have Mercy on the victims, and may His Justice be swift on those inflicting the evil on others at a time such as this.

Fr William Saunders

I came on this article today, by Fr Saunders. This issue has not missed many families today, but he is speaking Truth, and it is VERY important to hear..... and should be repeated often, though we seldom hear it preached from the pulpits, or anywhere else.

Marriage Problems

by Fr. William Saunders


Other Articles by Fr. William Saunders

I know Catholics are required to be married in the Catholic Church or have special permission from the bishop to be married in another Church. I have been invited to a wedding of a relative who is a lifelong Catholic. Sadly, the couple has chosen to be married outside the Catholic Church, without preparation in or permission of the Church, because one needs an annulment first.

Worse yet, the bride’s father, also a Catholic and a judge, intends to officiate at the ceremony. Should I go? They are my family, yet I know that I have an obligation to my faith and that people will see my presence as support of this action which I believe is wrong.

Father Saunders answers: Unfortunately, the scenario presented in the question is becoming less uncommon. The primary reason is that some couples do not want to wait for the final resolution of the annulment process for the previous marriages of either or both parties. A secondary reason is that some Catholics are ignorant of their obligation to be married in the Catholic Church. The best way to answer this question is to approach it step by step.

First, if a person is a practicing Catholic, then he should want to be married in the Catholic Church. To be married in the Catholic Church is indeed a requirement of Church law (unless the bishop grants permission to be married in another Church for a good reason). Nevertheless, a practicing Catholic should want to celebrate the sacrament of matrimony in the Church where he worships, most likely since infancy. To just abandon the Catholic Church because one does not like a particular regulation reveals a lack of faith. Moreover, such a union would be considered invalid, and the couple would be living in a state of mortal sin which deprives them of Holy Communion.

Second, if one or both parties is a practicing Catholic but one or both has already been married before and the former spouse is still living, then the first marriage must first be resolved by either a Declaration of Nullity or other canonical process. Keep in mind that the first marriage took place in a public setting — before God, family and friends — and vows were exchanged which in some way stated "until death do us part." Therefore, some public declaration by the Church must be made stating that this person is now free to marry again before he can marry another person. Without this public declaration, the second marriage is an act of adultery. Our Lord taught, "Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. The man who marries a woman divorced from her husband likewise commits adultery" (Lk 16:18). Adultery is a mortal sin, and this adulterous union would deprive a couple of Holy Communion. We cannot simply disregard what our Lord taught about marriage. So please, let no one say these are "man-made" or "Church-made" rules as we sometimes hear.

A good, practicing Catholic whose first marriage unfortunately has ended in divorce should want to have a public declaration attesting to his freedom to do so before seriously considering marriage again. Moreover, a good, practicing Catholic would also realize that there is no guarantee that a Declaration of Nullity (or other canonical declaration) will be granted; rather, he may be bound to his first marriage until "death do us part." Better to wait and resolve the first marriage than enter an adulterous union and jeopardize one’s salvation. While the process of obtaining a Declaration of Nullity may seem onerous, the Church is simply trying to help a person whose marriage sadly ended in divorce by determining if the exchanged vows are binding while upholding the Gospel truth.

Worse yet, as in this particular question, to have the bride’s supposedly Catholic father, who happens to be a judge, preside at a civil marriage of his supposedly Catholic daughter is simply scandalous. Remember what our Lord taught:

It would be better for anyone who leads astray one of these little ones who believe in Me, to be drowned by a millstone around his neck, in the depths of the sea. What terrible things will come on the world through scandal! It is inevitable that scandal should occur. Nonetheless, woe to that man through whom scandal comes! (Mt 18:6-7)

This judge is clearly committing mortal sin for defying the Gospel teachings regarding marriage, for sanctioning his daughter’s adulterous union, and for scandalizing all of those present, particularly those Catholics in attendance.

This brings us to another point. So what then is a good, practicing Catholic relative actually witnessing when he attends the marriage ceremony of a practicing Catholic outside of the Catholic Church? Whatever one wants to call it, it is not a marriage in the eyes of God and the Church. Most importantly, keep in mind that when a person attends a wedding, he is not simply attending but participating in that wedding: He is witnessing the exchange of vows, asking God to bless the union, and rejoicing with the whole Church for this "new creation" of husband and wife. Therefore to participate in a ceremony which is invalid in the eyes of the Church and which places the couple in a state of mortal sin is wrong. Such witness gives tacit approval of sin, violates one’s own good conscience, gives scandal to others and may lead astray those who are weak in faith. Think of the message such an action gives to young people present at such a wedding who see the approval of grandparents and other relatives who are respected and trusted.

I once had very devout Protestant couple ask me about attending the marriage of a Catholic friend who had been divorced, but was now getting remarried in a Protestant Church. They were hesitant to attend because of our Lord’s teaching in the Gospel. They told me, "We thought the Church disapproved of these things." I had to explain what our Church does teach on this issue, which reassured them. They did not attend the wedding, and were disappointed in their Catholic friends.

Some relatives fear alienating the relative getting married invalidly, and so they attend the wedding. The rationale here is that by attending the wedding, they hope to persuade the couple to have it later "validated" in the Church. The tragedy here is that the couple is entering into a state of mortal sin and depriving themselves of Holy Communion. If by chance this couple died and were deprived eternal salvation, what then would the relatives think and how liable would they be for their complicity? This language might sound stern or old-fashioned, but it is Gospel reality.

Perhaps when these difficult circumstances arise, a wise, trusted, respected and faithful relative might say or write to the Catholic in question. I don’t pretend to be "Dear Abby,"
"Dr. Laura," or "Dr. Phil," but here goes —

Dear So and So:

You know that I love you very much. I am writing this to you because
I am concerned for your spiritual welfare. You are a member of the Catholic Church — baptized, confirmed and a regular recipient of Holy Communion. As a member,
you should be married in the Catholic Church. This is our Church.
Why then are you getting married elsewhere? To be married now in
another church is wrong. Your marriage will not be recognized
by God or the Church, and you will be in mortal sin. I cannot bear to see you
commit such a sin. Why not wait a few months, resolve your first marriage,
and then be married in the Church? Why not talk with a priest
and see what can be done to help in this situation? Is it not better to do what
is right in the eyes of God and our Church than to risk your soul?

I hope that you will consider this plea. I love you, and I will pray for you,
but right now in good conscience I cannot attend your wedding
because doing so would contradict my beliefs.

Granted, these words may seem hard, but then the Gospel is hard at times. Just as the martyrs faced the challenges of faith with great fortitude, so must we, even when it involves our loved ones. If more Christians, including Catholics, took that Gospel message more seriously, we would not be in the dire straights of moral relativism and apathetic Christianity today. Moreover, maybe our divorce rate in America would not be at 50 percent during the first five years of marriage.

Fr. Saunders is pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Potomac Falls and a professor of catechetics and theology at Notre Dame Graduate School in Alexandria. If you enjoy reading Fr. Saunders' work, his new book entitled Straight Answers (400 pages) is available at the Pauline Book and Media Center of Arlington, Virginia (703/549-3806).

(This article courtesy of the Arlington Catholic Herald.)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

TWO dates of Infamy: Jan 22 and Aug 2, 1973


"I will not cooperate with immoral, unjust laws corruptly and cowardly imposed on the American people for the sake of pretending to solve social and economic problems by murdering innocent children...Indeed, I will not obey unjust laws nor consent to cooperate with the murder of the sacred lives of God's precious children. I could no more adhere to the unjust laws of this land, or in any way give credence to evil enshrined in law, than deny God Himself."
~~~Joan Andrews Bell

Personal note to above... Joan Andrews Bell literally did NOT cooperate in any way when she was sentenced, nor in the time she was imprisoned. Because of her non-compliance, she spent much of her prison term in solitary confinement, even denied Mass and the Sacraments for most of that time. Joan Andrews Bell has my deepest admiration.

The colored portion above is essentially my long standing feeling, and belief about the no fault divorce laws of this land, and my non-cooperation with it, as well as my feelings about the enormous number of 'Null' decisions of the US Tribunals. Both Civil authorities and Church authorities need to change to protect family and Marriage, not continue to justify the evil of the past thirty years.

Roe V Wade (Jan 22, 1973) and the Unified Marriage and Divorce Act (Aug 2, 1973) became laws of the land. While MOST know about the first, many ignore the second evil of that year. But they are both evil, and both destroy families and people. Though I did not use HER words above exactly, my actions both at the time of the forced unilateral civil destruction of my marriage, and my actions since then speak those words LOUDLY. And I know many others who do the same..... Just as Joan Andrews Bell lives her words, we have lived ours by not recognizing what man has attempted to do via the laws that resulted from the happenings of Aug 2, 1973. While much of the Church supports Joan Andrews Bell in what she stands for, most of the Church does NOT support those of us who refuse to accept Civil divorce, nor the 'new' thinking regarding Declaration of Nullity in the USA as taught by men like Fr Wrenn.

Instead, the same person who initiated the Civil destruction of the marriage is the one who also usually initiates the petition for nullity....... and is rewarded by being granted a second "victory" again at the expense of the faithful spouse. More of us are appealing to Rome today as the Court of Second Instance, and being rewarded by overturning the majority of US decisions.

When we have no voice in our Civil courts to defend our marriage, and we have little to no support in our Church to defend our valid marriages, we feel VERY lost and alone, deserted. (WE cannot sign the forms used to petition the Tribunals, as we do NOT believe our marriages are/were 'Null' at the time of the wedding...which we must swear to if we initiate the proceedings!! )

Ezekiel 3:
17: "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.
18: If I say to the wicked, `You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.
19: But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you will have saved your life.
20: Again, if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.
21: Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning; and you will have saved your life."

Truth matters, and the truth is we are creatures made in the image of a loving God, and life has an ultimate value. So beware of the smooth-talking philosophers in our midst. Their position may seem very appealing and even logical. But it’s a deadly logic.
~~Chuck Colson

"Right is still right if nobody is right,
and wrong is still wrong if everybody is wrong,"
Archbishop Fulton J Sheen author of The Life of Christ

Our vows:
The groom says:I (...), take you (...) to be my wife.
I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad,
in sickness and in health.
I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

The bride says:I (...), take you (...) to be my husband.
I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad,
in sickness and in health.
I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

Malachi 2:

[13] And this again you do. You cover the LORD's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor at your hand.

[14] You ask, "Why does he not?" Because the LORD was witness to the covenant between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. [15] Has not the one God made and sustained for us the spirit of life? And what does he desire? Godly offspring. So take heed to yourselves, and let none be faithless to the wife of his youth. [16] "For I hate divorce, says the LORD the God of Israel, and covering one's garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless."

Matthew 5:
[31] "It was also said, `Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'

[32] But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 19:
[3] And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?"

[4] He answered, "Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, [5] and said, `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? [6] So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder." [7] They said to him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?" [8] He said to them, "For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. [9] And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery."

Mark 10:
[2] And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"

[3] He answered them, "What did Moses command you?" [4] They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to put her away." [5] But Jesus said to them, "For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. [6] But from the beginning of creation, `God made them male and female.' [7] `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, [8] and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. [9] What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder."
[10] And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter.

[11] And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; [12] and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

Luke 16:
[18] "Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

1Corinthians 7
[10] To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband

[11] (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband) -- and that the husband should not divorce his wife. [12]

To the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.

[13] If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. [14] For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy. [15] But if the unbelieving partner desires to separate, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. For God has called us to peace. [16] Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Steve Calvin: Think fetuses can't feel pain? Try telling them that

Last update: August 30, 2005 at 7:35 AM
Steve Calvin: Think fetuses can't feel pain? Try telling them that
Steve Calvin

Published August 30, 2005

Last week's article on fetal pain in the Journal of the American Medical Association proves the desperation of the defenders of unrestricted abortion. The article reviews medical literature and concludes that fetuses are unlikely to feel pain prior to 30 weeks gestation.

The authors were clearly motivated to write what I view as a medical fantasy to counter proposed federal legislation that would limit abortion in the second trimester. The legislation would require informing women considering abortion that fetuses beyond 20 weeks feel pain and would require anesthesia for the fetus.

Twenty-five years of delivering babies and a specialization in high-risk obstetrics provide me some experience to refute the claim that fetuses feel no pain until 30 weeks. Many of the tiny babies that I deliver, some as small as 1 pound at 23 weeks, have required surgery during their difficult neonatal battle for life. All of them receive anesthesia.

Before the 1970s, many newborns, both term and preterm, were operated on without anesthesia in the mistaken belief that they could not feel pain. They certainly couldn't tell anyone about their discomfort. With more sophisticated monitoring it became clear that blood pressure and pulse rose dramatically during the trauma of surgery. Subsequently, a subspecialty of pediatric anesthesia developed.

Those who deny fetal pain claim that hormonal and withdrawal responses to invasive procedures are mere reflexes and are no evidence of pain. Recently, I performed an amniocentesis on a patient at 21 weeks gestation because of a possible infection. On ultrasound, the fetus pulled away from the needle when it grazed her arm. It is clear to me that this fetus felt discomfort, and that she would feel horrible pain if she were dismembered in the exercise of an unjust constitutional right.

The medical literature duel over abortion has been quite one-sided since most of the medical hierarchy is ardently pro-abortion. There are, however, courageous exceptions.

The most important medical study on abortion this year got absolutely no media coverage. A French study in the April 2005 British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology convincingly showed that a previous abortion increased the risk of subsequent delivery at 22 to 27 weeks by 70 percent. Premature birth has heavy personal and societal costs, yet the alarm over the increasing rate of prematurity ignores the abortion connection.

The fight over requirements for informed consent prior to abortion continues because abortion defenders refuse to accept any restriction on this manufactured constitutional right to exercise prenatal lethal violence. Their blind orthodoxy requires denial of fetal pain and willful ignorance of the significant long-term consequences of abortion.

Steve Calvin is a Minneapolis physician.

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