Monday, August 31, 2009

A Different Kind of Liberal

For abortion opponents, cruel ironies abounded in this sibling disagreement. Because of Eunice Shriver’s work with the developmentally disabled, a group of Americans who had once been marginalized and hidden away — or lobotomized, like her sister Rosemary — was ushered closer to full participation in ordinary human life. But because of laws that her brother unstintingly supported, that same group was ushered out again: the abortion rate for fetuses diagnosed with Down syndrome, for instance, is estimated to be as high as 90 percent.


It’s worth pondering how the politics of abortion might have been different had Ted shared even some of his sister’s qualms about the practice. One could imagine a world in which America’s leading liberal Catholic had found a way to make liberalism less absolutist on the issue, and a world where a man who became famous for reaching across the aisle had reached across, even occasionally, in search of compromise on the country’s most divisive issue.

Ross Douthat, NY Times

Friday, August 28, 2009


Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.
Jesus, Mark 2

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ted Kennedy on abortion

While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized -- the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.

On the question of the individual's freedom of choice there are easily available birth control methods and information which women may employ to prevent or postpone pregnancy. But once life has begun, no matter at what stage of growth, it is my belief that termination should not be decided merely by desire.

I share the confidence of those who feel that America is willing to care for its unwanted as well as wanted children, protecting particularly those who cannot protect themselves. I also share the opinions of those who do not accept abortion as a response to our society's problems -- an inadequate welfare system, unsatisfactory job training programs, and insufficient financial support for all its citizens.

When history looks back to this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family, and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception.

From a letter to Mr. Thomas Donnelly of Great Neck, NY, dated August 3, 1971.

Here's to the pro-life Democrats.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Joyfully accept plundering

Brethren, recall the former days when [...] you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised.
St. Paul, Hebrews 10

Friday, August 21, 2009

Do not lose heart

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
St. Paul, 2 Corinthians 4

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jesus Prayer

The Jesus Prayer set to music by John Michael Talbot.

Download AAC file here if Flash player doesn't work.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Morning & evening prayers

In the morning I greet my God and resolve to give no room to sin,
But rather consecrate the day to You
Abiding firm and mastering the passions;
For wickedness would bring dishonour upon my greying hairs and upon the table at which I minister.
I pray You, O my Christ, bring this beginning to a happy end.
I deceived You, Word of God, in very truth when I consecrated this day to You.
Now night comes upon me,
And my own light is not undimmed.
This I prayed over and foresaw, but in part my feet have stumbled and on me darkness fell, that hater of salvation.
Rekindle my light, O Christ, and shine on me again.

St. Gregory the Theologian


He who seeks humility from God but does not accept the person that God sends him so as to humble him, doesn't know what he is asking for, for virtues are not purchased like groceries (as many kilos as we want). Rather, God sends us people for us to be tested, to exert ourselves, acquire virtues, and be crowned.

Elder Paisios, Epistles

Monday, August 17, 2009

On questioning

On this account, the Watcher [Gabriel] had saluted Mary as a pledge of great peace for the whole world.

"Hail Mary, our Lord is with you," he was saying to her, "you will conceive and bear a son in your virginity."

She said to him: "How will this be as you say, since I am a virgin and there is no fruit of virgins?"

In that moment it was very necessary to question, so that the mystery of the Son dwelling in her might be explained to her.


Eve had not questioned the serpant when he led her astray, she who by her will kept silent and firmly believed the treachery.

The latter maiden heard truth from the faithful one, nevertheless in this way she had sought out an explanation.

The former heard of becoming a goddess from a tree, but she did not say: "How will what you mention ever happen?"

The Watcher told this one that she would conceive the Son of God, but she did not accept it until she was well informed.

That she in her person would ascend to the divine rank, the virgin wife of Adam did not doubt the liar.

To this one who would bear the Son of God it was told, but she inquired, sought, investigated, learned and then kept silent.

See now how much more beautiful is the latter than the former; because of her beauty, the Lord chose her and made her his Mother.

Jacob of Serug, On the Mother of God (Mary Hansbury, translator)
Homily 1, pages 31-33

I recommend this episode of the Word from the Fathers podcast.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fathers in Christ

I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.

St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 4

May we all have such fathers.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Eunice Kennedy Shriver

"Eunice Kennedy Shriver's heart for the most vulnerable among us will be deeply missed," said Jane Abraham, General Chairman of the Susan B. Anthony List. "She fought for the dignity inherent in every human life, born and unborn. Her legacy will serve as a life-affirming example to young women everywhere, and for that we are so blessed."

US News & World Report

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Iraqi Shiites turn the other cheek

“Let them kill us,” said Sheik Khudair al-Allawi, the imam of a mosque bombed recently. “It’s a waste of their time. The sectarian card is an old card and no one is going to play it anymore. We know what they want, and we’ll just be patient. But they will all go to hell.”

NY Times

Harlots & tax collectors

Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

Jesus, Matthew 21

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Shame & strength

It is the same in the sacrament of confession: the more shame we feel when we make ourselves naked before God, the more strength is given to us to overcome sin and the passions.

Archimandrite Zacharaias, The Enlargement of the Heart