Monday, July 30, 2012

This makes me think... it should make you think too.

In real life, democracy is built on two practical pillars: cooperation and conflict. It requires both.  Cooperation, because people have a natural hunger for solidarity that makes all community possible. And conflict, because people have competing visions of what is right and true. The more deeply they hold their convictions, the more naturally people seek to have those convictions shape society. 

What that means for Catholics is this: We have a duty to treat all persons with charity and justice. We have a duty to seek common ground where possible. But that’s never an excuse for compromising with grave evil. It’s never an excuse for being naive. And it’s never an excuse for standing idly by while our liberty to preach and serve God in the public square is whittled away.  We need to work vigorously in law and politics to form our culture in a Christian understanding of human dignity and the purpose of human freedom. Otherwise, we should stop trying to fool ourselves that we really believe what we claim to believe.

There’s more. To work as it was intended, America needs a special kind of citizenry: a mature, well-informed electorate of persons able to reason clearly and rule themselves prudently. If that’s true — and it is — then the greatest danger to American liberty in our day is not religious extremism. It’s something very different. It’s a culture of narcissism that cocoons us in dumbed-down, bigoted news, vulgarity, distraction and noise, while methodically excluding God from the human imagination. Kierkegaard once wrote that “the introspection of silence is the condition of all educated intercourse” and that “talkativeness is afraid of the silence which reveals its emptiness.”  

Silence feeds the soul. Silence invites God to speak. And silence is exactly what American culture no longer allows. Securing the place of religious freedom in our society is therefore not just a matter of law and politics, but of prayer, interior renewal — and also education. 

What I mean is this: We need to re-examine the spirit that has ruled the Catholic approach to American life for the past 60 years. In forming our priests, deacons, teachers and catechists — and especially the young people in our schools and religious-education programs — we need to be much more penetrating and critical in our attitudes toward the culture around us. We need to recover our distinctive Catholic identity and history. Then we need to act on them. 

America is becoming a very different country, and as Ross Douthat argues so well in his excellent book Bad Religion, a renewed American Christianity needs to be ecumenical, but also confessional.  Why?  Because: “In an age of institutional weakness and doctrinal drift, American Christianity has much more to gain from a robust Catholicism and a robust Calvinism than it does from even the most fruitful Catholic-Calvinist theological dialogue.”

America is now mission territory. Our own failures helped to make it that way. We need to admit that. Then we need to re-engage the work of discipleship to change it.

--Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia, Address to the Napa Institute, given July 26, 2012

Read more.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Among Women ReadHER 7.28.12 Aurora, marriage, motherhood, and gutsy bishops

Among Women ReadHER 7.28.12

Some stories outside the headlines on the violent shootings in Aurora:

Learning Who We Lost: The Aurora Victims
Posted at Hot Air
Say a prayer.

Denver's Bishop Conley's Remarks and Invocation at the Prayer Vigil for the Victims in Aurora
Posted as a PDF from the Archdiocese of Denver
Worth reading and praying.

A Miracle Inside the Aurora Story
By Brad Strait at Celtic Straits
Lotsa folks praying for this woman's recovery, and thanking God, perhaps, for the "gift" of her curious medical malady.

The Dark Knight Before the Dawn
By Joseph Susanka at Patheos
Joseph is an insightful film buff and Catholic writer. His column this week reflects on the film The Dark Knight, and the shootings in Aurora. He says: "Heroism and the confrontation of evil—a confrontation most often achieved through suffering—is the only way to truly grapple with the problem. To paraphrase Alfred, we must learn to get back up; to rise again, and press ever forward towards the light."

Other interesting stuff: 

Women say "I Do" to Husband's names
By Carolyn Moynihan at
I always watch what Moynihan is writing about. This is interesting. It was more optimistic that I would have thought.

Before You Get Here
By Lauren Warner at Sipping Lemonade
A mom writers a touching note to her daughter in the womb.

The 'Busy' Trap
By Tim Krieder at the New York Times' Opinionator
A bit long, but worth the read. Insightful, challenging. H/T to Sarah Vabulas.

The Joys of a Wonderfully Imperfect Life
By Meg Meeker, MD from her blog
Very very good advice.

The War on (Little) Women and Other Insanities
By George Weigel at The Catholic Difference
Sex selection abortions, the Supreme Court, and more, in the US.

Chicken-Gate - An Exercise in Media-Induced Hysteria and Fascism...
By Katrina Fernandez at The Crescat
Simply the shortest and most succinct blog post I could find on this story that, I think, originated here in Boston area with it's mayor getting his knickers in a twist about Chick Fil-A's president expressing his personal philosophy. Which leads me to ask: Is Chick Fil-A not serving customers based on their sexual orientation, or firing their employees with same-sex attraction? That would be news. But its not. Instead we have a Christian business owner and his company being smeared because of comments he made to a church organization, a right he has in freedom of speech. Lord have mercy on business leaders everywhere. I'm suddenly in the mood for sweet tea.

And now this sad news about the death of the PR spokesperson at Chick-Fil-A.

Building a Culture of Religious Freedom
Address by Archbishop of Philadelphia, +Charles Chaput, OFM, Cap (as found in the National Catholic Register)
Read this one. Share it. Talk to your children about this. The new evangelization will fail if we fail to be distinctly Catholic and Christian in our thinking, discourse, and finally, love and example.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The F.U.N. Quotient... Where's Waldo edition

Among Women Podcast #140 features Dawn Eden and her book offering hope and healing for sexual wounds

Among Women 140* turns our attention to the tender subject of recovery and healing from the wounds of sexual abuse, especially those sustained in childhood. My guest this week is Dawn Eden, author of My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints. In this conversation, Dawn shares some of the spiritual richness she found after coming into the Catholic Church as a convert, and how the prayers, sacraments, and saints of the church offer solace and renewal for those who have suffered from sexual wounds. She also describes the stained glassed triptych to the left, in some depth.

This program also features some excerpts from St. Faustina's Diary of Divine Mercy, and in particular, contains a lovely prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of grace found in the sacramental life. You'll also find numerous links and resources on the podcast page, including a free drawing to enter for Dawn Eden's new book.

*Programming note: due to the sensitive nature of this topic, parental discretion is advised. While no abuse is graphically described in this conversation, we wish to protect the innocence of children who may be in earshot of the program.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I'm over at Amazing Catechists... doing my Pat-in-the-Cat thing, and talking about taking faith on vacation

I've written about this subject before, in which I ask Does the Catechism Have Any Wisdom for My Summer Vacation? Go check out my column at Amazing Catechists.

Monday, July 23, 2012

This makes me think... what the end of the Catechism says

A few short summary lines of catechesis on The Lord's Prayer... 

2857 In the Our Father, the object of the first three petitions is the glory of the Father: the sanctification of his name, the coming of the kingdom, and the fulfillment of his will. The four others present our wants to him: they ask that our lives be nourished, healed of sin, and made victorious in the struggle of good over evil.
2858 By asking "hallowed be thy name" we enter into God's plan, the sanctification of his name - revealed first to Moses and then in Jesus - by us and in us, in every nation and in each man.
2859 By the second petition, the Church looks first to Christ's return and the final coming of the Reign of God. It also prays for the growth of the Kingdom of God in the "today" of our own lives.
2860 In the third petition, we ask our Father to unite our will to that of his Son, so as to fulfill his plan of salvation in the life of the world.
2861 In the fourth petition, by saying "give us," we express in communion with our brethren our filial trust in our heavenly Father. "Our daily bread" refers to the earthly nourishment necessary to everyone for subsistence, and also to the Bread of Life: the Word of God and the Body of Christ. It is received in God's "today," as the indispensable, (super-) essential nourishment of the feast of the coming Kingdom anticipated in the Eucharist.
2862 The fifth petition begs God's mercy for our offences, mercy which can penetrate our hearts only if we have learned to forgive our enemies, with the example and help of Christ.
2863 When we say "lead us not into temptation" we are asking God not to allow us to take the path that leads to sin. This petition implores the Spirit of discernment and strength; it requests the grace of vigilance and final perseverance.
2864 In the last petition, "but deliver us from evil," Christians pray to God with the Church to show forth the victory, already won by Christ, over the "ruler of this world," Satan, the angel personally opposed to God and to his plan of salvation.
2865 By the final "Amen," we express our "fiat" concerning the seven petitions: "So be it."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Among Women ReadHER 7.21.12... CUA & Wheaton's collab on HHS, "dating", Olympics, What Women Want

Among Women ReadHER 7.21.12

Prayers for Aurora with the Office of the Dead
By Elizabeth Scalia at The Anchoress
Let us pray, pray, pray.

Philip Ryken and John Garvey: An Evangelic-Catholic Stand on Liberty
By Philip Ryken and John Garvey at the Wall Street Journal
The fight againt HHS mandate continues. In this article the President of Wheaton College (a major Evangelical institution) and the President of The Catholic University of America team up to file suit against the mandate. Stay tuned, and stay informed on this issue - a must for every Catholic. 

You can track all the lawsuits here (not just the Catholic ones.) 

Women Speak for Themselves is a cool initiative... please check it out.

Finally, if you missed Archbishop Chaput's Homily in DC on July 4th, go here and read it.

Bishops Welcome Inclusion of Conscience Provisions in a House Appropriations Bill
Posted at the USCCB
Read it for some encouragement. There's still a long way to go to make this happen.

In Defense of the 'D' Word
By Michael Hammond at the Catholic Portal at Patheos
I sent this to my sons; it's about dating. 

Abducted by Art
By Simcha Fisher at her blog at National Catholic Register
Some stirring commentary on art and comic strips and the state of weight and women. (On a related note, on AW 139 this week, we're talking to Ellen Austin about her comic strip creation, "Gracieland.") 

Should a Six Year Old Girl Be Trying to Look Sexy?
By Tony Rossi at Christopher Close-up
A good question... especially for the parents reading this.

What Women Want
By Barbara Kay at the National Post, reprinted by CERC
More commentary on the previous Atlantic Monthly article on the work/home balance for women.

The Miracle of the Violet
By Maria Morera Johnson at
If you pay attention, the little things in life have much to teach us. Over and over again. (This article is also available in Spanish.)

SQPN Announces an All-New Virtual Ticket to the CNMC
Posted at
Can't make it the CNMC in Dallas? This might be a great option to get all the talks, plus content from previous conferences delivered to you after the event.

Prayer, Faith Guide Maryland Swimmer in Quest for Olympic Gold
By Maureen Boyle in the Catholic Standard
Praying a Hail Mary before each race, and other thoughts.

Get your catechism fix here... with the cutest catechist on the planet to date... son of author and blogger Brandon Vogt.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The F.U.N.Quotient... cuz I usually have the most fun when music is playing...

One for your inspiration...

And one for fun and silliness!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Among Women # 139: Conversation, Conversion & the Comics

Join me for this week's Among Women 139 where I talk about the power of conversations that can lead to conversion, as in the life of St. Joan Delanoue, a French businesswoman-turned-founder-of a religious order. 

Joining me in conversation today is wife, mother, catechist, and creator of a comic strip online, also known as a web-strip, Ellen Austin, who shares her faith, and also has a remarkable knack for seeing life through the eyes of children through her heroine of "Gracieland". 

Plus get all the details about the Catholic New Media Conference, Aug 29 - 31 in Dallas.

Listen or download this episode, AW 139, here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

This makes me think... about marriage and life-long love...

Is it possible that entering into a once-and-for all, no-possibility-of-changing our minds, I-will-love-you-forever-and-you'll-do-the-same, promise to a person of the opposite sex can be an opportunity to see God face to face? Is it possible that eschewing temporary experiences of sex in favor of a lifelong promise to be faithful and loving to the other is fraught with meaning and a doorstep to eternity?
Let's be very clear about what's on the table: nothing less than an act of faith. Here's God's proposal: "if you choose to enter into a lifelong relationship with a person of the opposite sex, and choose to love that person in every moment of every day for the rest of your life, you'll come to know who I am and how I love the people I've created. It will demand all of you; it will demand sacrifice and conversion and transformation. It will demand forfeiting all your selfish desires but discovering beautiful shared desires. It will be a vocational call, summoning from you the difficult process of discerning when and how you will invite children into your world, care for aging parents, contribute to a community, reach out to others in need, build a future. Through it all, I will be with you to guide you, and you will find joy.

--Timothy Muldoon, "The McDonaldization of Sex 5: Sacred Sex", part of a series.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Among Women ReadHER...7.14.12

Among Women ReadHER 7.14.12

Attachment Theory
By Elizabeth Foss in the Catholic Herald
Protect your marriage. Read this very wise advice.

The Gospel and Social Media
By Sr. Mary Ann Walsh on the USCCB Blog
Take notes. 

Is Being Strict the Same as Being Effective?
By Mary Beth Hicks at Family Events
Some parenting wisdom.

Want to Be Motivated?
By Matthew Warner at Fallible Blogma
Cool video, under  2mins.  

A Plea for Really Committing to Adult Faith Formation
By R. Thomas Richard, PhD at Homiletic and Pastoral Review
This is why I went back to school in my 40s. This is sooo needed in the church today.

Father's Don't Abort Your Daughters
By Timothy Dalrymple at Philosophical Fragments
Painful truth: More and more we need to stand up for life... especially a woman's life, a daughter's life. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

The F.U.N. Quotient...

Fun with GPS...


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Among Women #138 The Two Hearts

Among Women 138 celebrates the two hearts of Jesus and Mary, as I explain the significance of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in terms of a new parish initiative for the new evangelization, called Hearts Afire, with my guest, Kelly Wahlquist. Plus I enjoy recounting my travels in France at Rue de Bac, where the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal is located in Paris.

A.S.K. = Ask, Seek, Knock = 3 Steps Toward Praying Aloud With Others... a tip for the new evangelization

My latest column over at Patheos is an observation on the active avoidance Catholics apply when it comes to a very basic skill... leading another person in prayer for their sake, or the sake of others. It also offers a brief tutorial with the baby steps on how to overcome it... using a strategy that co-opts some of the words of Jesus: Ask, Seek, and Knock. Here's an excerpt:

I’ve learned that this praying-aloud-thing with another person is a skill that not all Catholics share an enthusiasm for. What I mean is that it is one thing to pray together at Mass, or to pray a rosary aloud with a group, or to pray a formal grace before meals. But it is entirely another experience to pray aloud, somewhat spontaneously, with the people you are with… even when they are Christians themselves, about a subject that is on their hearts and minds. 
Now, I’m not talking about my evangelical Christian friends, who are usually very open to praying-on-the-spot when asked. Their freedom to offer a word of prayer or thanksgiving in-the-moment is something worth emulating. 
Why don’t we Catholics act with the same freedom? 
I hear this thought often: We’re private. My religion is just between me and God. We Catholics love our private prayer… and rightly so. Jesus taught that when we pray we should close our doors and pray to our Father in heaven in secret. And that’s fine. That’s good. Let’s all do more of that, too. 
Maybe all that private prayer is why sharing prayer with another person sometimes feels too intimate… or we fear doing it wrong. But, really, it is nothing to fear because Jesus is there within the breaths of any group prayer… For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Mt 18: 20.)" 
Others have told me praying with others outside of Church is uncomfortable because we Catholics are raised with the formal vocal prayers of the Church -- all of which are wonderful, beautiful, and majestic -- but not with informal or spontaneous prayer -- that we don’t know any other ways to pray. 
Other times, we’re afraid to do something so spontaneous… we don’t want to be labeled as a Jesus freak, or a religious fanatic. 
From an evangelization standpoint, all these excuses are hard to square in front of Jesus who asked us to be active is in sharing the faith, when he said, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (Mt 28: 19.)

Check out the rest. And if you like the column, you may subscribe by email or RSS here. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

This makes me think... about the new evangelization...

The way you share the message will be unique as you are. You don't have to be a writer or preacher to share the good news... God has wired you to share His message in distinctive, wonderful ways that reflect His heart and His design for you.

--Holley Gerth, God's Heart for You.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Among Women ReadHER 7.7.12

Among Women ReadHER 7.7.12
Roberts' Rules
By Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review Online
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision upholding "Obamacare", some commentary on the Chief Justice's reasoning.

A Soldier's Wife
By Calah Alexander at Barefoot and Pregnant
Maybe you've come across this "cause" (Battling Bare) on Facebook... military wives writing their spousal messages of love on their bodies in an attempt to shock and raise awareness that not all military husbands' get the help they need for post-traumatic stress disorder. It's powerful, novel, but is it too edgy in terms of propriety? It's a tough call for me. BUT, in my mind, vets not getting the help they need after they serve their country remains a greater sin.

The Dilemma of Worthiness
By Sarah Vabulas at Integrated Catholic Life
You've heard the phrase "YOLO" -- you only live once? More on that.

Optimistic Antidotes for Mom
By Patti Armstrong at
I always love Patti's in-the-trenches honesty -- one part giggle and one part common sense that I need! Hear more from her on AW 117 and a ways back on AW 39. 

Group Challenges Downs Syndrome Testing
Posted at Downs Syndrome Daily
H/T goes to my pal, blogger/author and pro-life activist Leticia Velasquez, who is an expert in the family, social, and political aspects of Down Syndrome... Here about her new book on the subject, on AW 121, and her conversion story and pro-life mission on AW 30.

Things You Should Know About Pinterest
By Fr Roderick VonHogen at his blog
Fr. Roderick, the CEO of SQPN, has been blogging more of late at this site, with tips concerning new media and evangelization. This post talks about Pinterest, which is very popular with so many women I know online. I'm on Pinterest... but not everyday. Would love your thoughts about it. In a related note, come see Fr Roderick speak, plus a great line-up at the Catholic New Media Conference this August... or get a virtual ticket if you can't come!

The Pill and Female Sex Drive
Posted at
Here's a group of young adults with a new website using blogging and video testimonies to bring about awareness and are launching a rebellion, in their own words, "that sex should be awesome and saved until marriage, that pregnancy can be justly avoided without harmful chemicals, and that love is worth fighting for." See what you think. 

The Saint and the Scapular: St. Simon Stock and Our Lady of Mount Carmel
By Kathy Schiffer at Seasons of Grace
Kathy recalls her journey through France and recalls this Marian title and saint held dear by Carmelites the world over. The Feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel comes up on July 16th.  For more on Carmelite spirituality, you may enjoy AW 109 with Erin Miller who talks about her faith journey and entry as a Third Order Carmelite. And if you want a podcast about my recent trip to France and pilgrimage to Lourdes, you can find the podcast here, and a photo-journal blog post here. 

Have you checked out the new Among Women website... now the entire podcast archives are fully downloadable, and you can listen on your smart phone!  (coming soon to iPad and other tablet formats.)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

2677 Words: It's Worth Your Time, America

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of AMERICA.
WHEN, in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another; and to assume, among the Powers Of The Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the Causes which impel them to the Separation.
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
HE has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.
HE has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
HE has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People, unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them and formidable to Tyranny only.
HE has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.
HE has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the people.
HE has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, Incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining, in the mean Time, exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and Convulsions within.
HE has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
HE has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
HE has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and the Amount and Payment of their Salaries.
HE has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.
HE has kept among us, in times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the Consent of our Legislatures.
HE has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
HE has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
FOR quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us:
FOR protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
FOR cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:
FOR imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
FOR depriving us in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:
FOR transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:
FOR abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule into these Colonies:
FOR taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
FOR suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.
HE has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection, and waging War against us.
HE has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.
HE is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with Circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.
HE has constrained our fellow Citizens, taken Captive on the high Seas, to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
HE has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.
IN every Stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every Act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.
NOR have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them, from Time to Time, of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our Connexions and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the Rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
WE, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be,FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connexion between them and the State of Great-Britain, is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT STATES may of Right do. And for the Support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honour.
~The text of the Declaration of Independence, our national treasure.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Can't come to Dallas for the Catholic New Media Conference? You can still get a virtual ticket!

For those not able to attend the CNMC and join in all the fun of being there in person, the Virtual Ticket will allow them to download quality audio recordings of each session, plus exclusive interviews made during the conference.  At least 25 hours of content!

Other conferences have done this to great success and we hope that this will be a popular addition to the CNMC.  The price of the Virtual Ticket is $120 and can be purchased through the regular CNMC registration process at . Please tell your friends, colleagues and audiences about this additional way of experiencing the CNMC!  

Monday, July 2, 2012

This makes me think... about how my communion in the Eucharist is incomplete without communion with others

“Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor 10:17). 

Union with Christ is also union with all those to whom he gives himself. I cannot possess Christ just for myself; I can belong to him only in union with all those who have become, or who will become, his own. Communion draws me out of myself towards him, and thus also towards unity with all Christians. We become “one body”, completely joined in a single existence. Love of God and love of neighbour are now truly united: God incarnate draws us all to himself...

Eucharistic communion, includes the reality both of being loved and of loving others in turn. A Eucharist which does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented. Conversely... the “commandment” of love is only possible because it is more than a requirement. Love can be “commanded” because it has first been given...

Anyone who needs me, and whom I can help, is my neighbour. The concept of “neighbour” is now universalized, yet it remains concrete... [it] calls for my own practical commitment here and now...

Jesus identifies himself with those in need, with the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison. “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40). Love of God and love of neighbour have become one: in the least of the brethren we find Jesus himself, and in Jesus we find God.

--- Benedict XVI, encyclical, Deus Caritas Est ("God is Love"), 2005, par. 14, 15.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Among Women Podcast #137- Back From Wherever I've Been (plus a new website!)

The Lady at the Grotto, Lourdes
"I am the Immaculate Conception."

Among Women 137 catches you up on your humble host’s recent whereabouts of late… especially her pilgrimage to Lourdes, France. I'm a few days off my promised schedule for this podcast, but thanks for being patient... 

And here’s a first for Among Women… an episode that departs from our normal format… where I just talk…and share some of my thoughts regarding my time off. Let’s just pretend we’re walking together, you asked me how I’m doing with the book thing and the how the travel was, and then you couldn’t shut me up! (Trust me, this format will not be a habit. While I know I can talk non-stop for an hour or more, there's no reason to demonstrate that you, dear listeners! And yet I have... because I did not wish to shortchange a guest interview in terms of time and emphasis!)
Something you'll notice right away if you click on the link for Among Women 137 is that I'm finally introducing the new website for Among Women. You'll also find links there for my personal site,, as well. You may find that older posts are still a bit buggy, I've yet to restore all 136 previous podcast posts to their proper format... but most of the links work, and what's more... you can listen to all the archives at your desktop, or on your smartphone. Very soon, I will be installing the mobile widget to make it look prettier on your cell phone. Also, the Master Index is still under construction but I hope to have that updated soon for your use. As you'll see below, I'll be trying to share archived shows of related interest when I post a new show. Anyway I'm happy to have come this far, and will be working over the summer to get the site in better shape. Eventually this blog may migrate over to new AW home as well. But as anyone who has done a site migration knows, that's a daunting task. So that's still under construction too... and I'm weighing benefits of staying here or going there... I'm still working with the design and the look, and I do not have what I love yet... in fact I'm not even up to like yet, so there's much more to do. I've had a good run with Blogger and would miss my old work flow... I'm still figuring things out over at the new place. Thanks for your patience. 
Anyway... a few links that you may wish enjoy to go along with the monologue of AW 137...
Links for this episode: 

Older shows of related interest:

  • On St Bernadette: AW 53
  • On the Immaculate Conception: AW 80
  • On the Angelus: AW 64

The new Roman Missal (click & learn about the coming changes):

Watch Catholic TV here! Find Women's programs: "WINGs" and "Woman at the Heart of the Church"

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