Tuesday, December 08, 2009

It becomes you to be mindful of us, as you stand near Him Who granted you all graces, for you are the Mother of God and our Queen. Help us for the sake of the King, the Lord God Master ,

Who was born of you.

For this reason you are called "full of grace".

Remember us, most holy Virgin and bestow on us gifts from the riches of your graces, Virgin, full of grace. St Athanasius 373

I have been blessed to become a part of the Bagel Brothers—an unofficial coffee klatch of men who attend morning mass at St Ann in Coppell. I even received my own reusable Coffee Tumbler this last week, which allows me marvelous discounts and offsets global warming by reducing the increasing load of disposable paper cups into the local land fill. As men of good will are wont to do—we turned to deep theological discussions today and some had to come and go—so I thought I would put together a quick smattering of the uniquely Catholic tenants we touched on today and what they mean.

Papal Infallibility and Ex Cathedra –Although a uniquely Catholic concept and though it has had tenants in Sacred Scripture and statements to support it all the way back to the Early Church Fathers—you may be surprised to learn that it was until the Council of Trent (which was an answer to the Protestant questions opened by Luther and then expanded upon by later dissenters) the term papal infallibility was used mostly as a charge against the papacy by such dissenters. We must understand that it is long Catholic tradition to not going around defining things definitively until there is some question or statement of heresy to answer and correct.

Vatican I address’ the question to the Church and answers with an affirmation that indeed papal infallibility was real and therefore a tenant of the Church and as such had been believed from the beginning. But dogmatically papal infallibility was not defined as a Catholic belief that must be held until 1870.

Ex cathedra, ("from the chair"), refers to a teaching by the pope that is considered to be made with the intention of invoking infallibility. This “the chair” does not mean from the actual papal throne but refers back to the Biblical concept from the Old Testament and practiced by all the Tribes of Israel and upheld by the kings of Israel and Judah when they speak of the “chair of Moses”. God Himself tells us that Moses was unique of all men in his day that God chose to speak to him face to face, when we refused to speak to anyone else in such a manner and they live. Speak of protocol—God established from the very beginning how and when he would speak to men and then breaks those very rules to speak straight to Moses as a friend to friend.

Catholic belief that as Jesus, Himself establishes Peter as the first among the apostles and gives to him the keys of the kingdom and pronounces him the “rock” upon which He will build His Church—that HE, Jesus, was doing as His Father God had done in choosing to establish Moses as the “seat of Moses” or the one he would speak specifically to lead His people—hence we have the pope-the papal office, which we with full belief call the “chair of Peter”. When we refer to the Holy See we speak of this concept and when the Traditionalist who have broke in recent years from Rome speak of “sede vacante” they are saying the chair is empty. But, to be truly Catholic is to be someone who believes in the one who sits on the chair of Peter as being the one who affectionately and definitively speaks the Word of God to us fresh and powerfully as His Church.

In reality, popes are very select in the use of their power of infallibility. The Vatican has no official list of papal infallibility decrees and it is one of the things that moral and pastoral theologians such as myself (albeit arm-chair at best) love to sit around over coffee and debate over for hours such as issues of abortion, the preferential treatment of the poor, and the death penalty—are they infallible teachings or no? I like to laughing say that you can turn on any popular Evangelical, Protestant, or especially Charismatic preacher on the airwaves today and they will make more emphatic-infallible statements in one sermon then the Church has through her Popes in 2000 years. Rather we look to the Pope as the Holy Father to be the Pastor of the World and to be the final voice on deciding what is the accepted and formal beliefs of the Church and how they will be put into actual practice in any given age.

In fact--since July 18, 1870, this power has been used only once ex cathedra and that was in 1950 when Pius XII proclaimed the Assumption of Mary as a dogmatic dogma—an article of faith one has to believe to be Roman Catholic. Some of my readers are actually old enough that you actually had a choice to believe or not on this issue although from the beginning we have a strong belief in the Assumption of Mary. In 1950 it becomes an actual article of faith for one to believe to be Catholic—let the naysayers call us Mary worshipers—this we do believe (had to quote Father Fred). You still have many choices—even here, you can believe she died first or she did not die—that is up to you. I believe she actually did die surrounded by the beloved Apostles but if that is too much for you, you can go the other way—still takes faith since neither of us were there eh. I also buy into a young and viral St Joseph and not some tottering old man where remaining chaste was a burden—I see a manly, viral, and most upright St Joseph, but if you see an old one we can still be good and faithful Catholics. We may not even vote for the same people-hush Daniel and stop meddling—the point is we have many places where opinions are that, just opinions and many have different ones. But these things—Papal Infallibility, the Assumption of Mary body and soul into Heaven, and today’s holy day of obligation-the Immaculate Conception—these things are articles of faith-dogmatic dogmas-the things that yes we do believe to call ourselves Catholic.

J Some of you think right here you have caught me when I say only one time—remember we are Catholics—the way we say something is just as important as the thing itself. Of course now you get the brain teaser—the Immaculate Conception which was indeed defined December 8, 1854 by Pius IX ex cathedra was done so before the solemn definition of Papal Infallibility in 1870. Pius IX consulted the Bishops of the world from 1851-1853 to get a sense of how the universal faithful had believed from the beginning and in his papal bull (letter to the Church with a papal proclamation) “Ineffabilis Deus” (Ineffable God) he defines the dogma/doctrine of the Immaculate Conception: “We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful.”—Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, December 8, 1854

Now, I must point out the beauty of the Magisterium (hierarchy of the Church-Pope-Cardinals-Bishops) and how the Holy Spirit guides and protects the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth even though He left it in the hands of very weak, frail, and the most mortal of men. The dogma of 1854 was defined in accordance with the conditions of papal infallibility which would not even be defined until 1870 by Vatican I. The papal definition of the dogma declares with absolute authority that Mary possessed Sanctifying Grace from the first instant of her existence and was free from the lack of grace caused by Original Sin. Mary's salvation was won by her Son, Jesus Christ the Son of God and Savior of the World through his Passion, Death on the Cross, and Resurrection from the Dead and was not due to her own merits. I like to say that God reached down outside of human time and saved Mary before she was born through the very merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Again believe with faith and do not add ridiculous wrinkles to your forehead. Is it any harder to believe this than to believe that God could save you and me that Jesus really did raise from the dead and that Heaven is a wonderful place filled with glory and grace and one day God willing we can and will go and be with God as part of His family forever and ever? I know how much I loved honoring my Mom and Dad all the days of their lives and live to honor them even now long after they are both dead. I know how blessed and honored I am by my own children who strive so hard to please me and the many things they do for me out of such love. How easy it is to believe that a God who is love and full of All-power and who chose to empty Himself of Divine Attributes and become man—that such a God would not safe-guard the very vessel that would hold and nourish Him from the very moment of conception by the Holy Spirit. The God of Power and Might of the Old Testament had a very exact formula for the Ark of the Testament to hold his Written Word of God—how much more special would He feel about and protect His Ark that was to hold and carry the Word Made Flesh—Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God?

According to Vatican I and Catholic tradition, the conditions required for ex cathedra teaching from the Pope to be infallible are:

1. It has to be the Pope-the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church

2. He has to speak “ex cathedra" through the authority of his apostolic office

3. He has to define

4. A doctrine concerning faith or morals—he does not profess to be a brain surgeon or even to be able to drive the Pope mobile—but in matters of faith and morals-he defines the doctrine, and even then to be papal infallible it

5. Must be held by the whole Church-the teaching must be clear that the Church is to believe this—to consider it definitive and binding on them as Catholics.

Traditionally the manner of these definitive decrees have a time-followed formula which either has one or both—a verbal proclamation that the teaching is definitive—We declare, we decree, we define…and/or an accompanying anathema (cut off, separated, excommunicated, outside the Church) stating that to dissent from this separates you from the Grace of the Church, but that it is possible to be received back in the good graces of the Church by affirming the belief of the Church.

For example, in 1950, with Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII's infallible definition regarding the Assumption of Mary, there are attached these words: “Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which We have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.”

As I said earlier-the Vatican has given no complete list of papal statements considered to be infallible. But, again as a reminder of the presence of the Holy Spirit and how He protects the office of the Pope-the Seat of Peter, it is interesting that in 1998 while still Cardinal Ratzinger—our now Pope Benedict XVI while the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith did list a number of instances of papal and ecumenical council statements of infallibility and to complete these musings by answering another—he lists as one point of reference on that list-- Leo XIII’s declaration in Apostolicae Curae that Anglican orders are “absolutely null and utterly void” as one of the teachings to which Catholics must give “firm and definitive assent”. These teachings are not understood by the Church as revealed doctrines but are rather those which the church’s teaching authority finds to be so closely connected to God's revealed truth that belief in them is required in order to safeguard the divinely revealed truths of the Christian Faith. Those who fail to give “firm and definitive assent”, according to the commentary, would “no longer be in full communion with the Catholic Church”.

J That should leave the door open for another coffee klatch indeed. If you are not coming to coffee, see what you are missing.

Final musings:

In July 2005 Pope Benedict XVI asserted during an impromptu address to priests in Aosta that: “The Pope is not an oracle; he is infallible in very rare situations, as we know."

Some declared statements from the Council of Trent (16TH Century) of interest to Catholics today:

Ordination (twenty-third session) was defined to imprint an ontological mark an indelible character on the soul. The priesthood of the New Testament takes the place of the Levitical priesthood. To the performance of its functions, the consent of the people is not necessary.

In the decrees on marriage (twenty-fourth session) the excellence of the celibate state was reaffirmed concubinage condemned and the validity of marriage made dependent upon its being performed before a priest and two witnesses—although the lack of a requirement for parental consent ended a debate that had proceeded from the twelfth century. In the case of a divorce, the right of the innocent party to marry again was denied so long as the other party is alive, even if the other may have committed adultery.

Quick musing and reflections after this morning’s coffee with the Bagel Boys of St Ann’s,


Feast of the Immaculate Conception

December 8, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

St. Andrew Christmas Novena Prayer to Obtain Favors:

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

(It is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew (30th November) until Christmas will obtain what is asked.)

+MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York
New York, February 6, 1897

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Drum Major Instinct
Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Historic "Drum Major Instinct Speech" was delivered
at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia,
on February 4, 1968.
Note from Daniel: There is an impressive stained glass window depicting Martin Luther King, Jr. in the small chapel in Brooks Hall, Brooks College, Baylor University, Waco, Texas. This Sermon was delivered exactly 60 days before he was murdered.
This morning I would like to use as a subject from which to preach: "The Drum Major Instinct." "The Drum Major Instinct." And our text for the morning is taken from a very familiar passage in the tenth chapter as recorded by Saint Mark. Beginning with the thirty-fifth verse of that chapter, we read these words: "And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came unto him saying, ‘Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.’ And he said unto them, ‘What would ye that I should do for you?’ And they said unto him, ‘Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.’ But Jesus said unto them, ‘Ye know not what ye ask: Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? And then Jesus goes on toward the end of that passage to say, "But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your servant: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all."
Now very quickly, we would automatically condemn James and John, and we would say they were selfish. Why would they make such a selfish request? But before we condemn them too quickly, let us look calmly and honestly at ourselves, and we will discover that we too have those same basic desires for recognition, for importance. That same desire for attention, that same desire to be first. Of course, the other disciples got mad with James and John, and you could understand why, but we must understand that we have psome of the same James and John qualities. And there is deep down within all of us an instinct. It's a kind of drum major instinct—a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first. And it is something that runs the whole gamut of life.
And so before we condemn them, let us see that we all have the drum major instinct. We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade. And you know, we begin early to ask life to put us first. Our first cry as a baby was a bid for attention. And all through childhood the drum major impulse or instinct is a major obsession. Children ask life to grant them first place. They are a little bundle of ego. And they have innately the drum major impulse or the drum major instinct.
Now in adult life, we still have it, and we really never get by it. We like to do something good. And you know, we like to be praised for it. Now if you don't believe that, you just go on living life, and you will discover very soon that you like to be praised. Everybody likes it, as a matter of fact. And somehow this warm glow we feel when we are praised or when our name is in print is something of the vitamin A to our ego. Nobody is unhappy when they are praised, even if they know they don't deserve it and even if they don't believe it. The only unhappy people about praise is when that praise is going too much toward somebody else. But everybody likes to be praised because of this real drum major instinct.
It goes through life; the drum major instinct is real. And you know what else it causes to happen? It often causes us to live above our means. It's nothing but the drum major instinct. Do you ever see people buy cars that they can't even begin to buy in terms of their income? You've seen people riding around in Cadillac’s and Chryslers who don't earn enough to have a good T-Model Ford. But it feeds a repressed ego.
You know, economists tell us that your automobile should not cost more than half of your annual income. Now the economists also say that your house shouldn't cost—if you're buying a house, it shouldn't cost more than twice your income. That's based on the economy and how you would make ends meet. So, if you have an income of five thousand dollars, it's kind of difficult in this society. But say it's a family with an income of ten thousand dollars, the house shouldn't cost much more than twenty thousand. Well, I've seen folk making ten thousand dollars, living in a forty- and fifty-thousand-dollar house. And you know they just barely make it. They get a check every month somewhere, and they owe all of that out before it comes in. Never have anything to put away for rainy days.
There comes a time that the drum major instinct can become destructive. And that's where I want to move now. I want to move to the point of saying that if this instinct is not harnessed, it becomes a very dangerous, pernicious instinct. For instance, if it isn’t harnessed, it causes one's personality to become distorted. I guess that's the most damaging aspect of it: what it does to the personality. If it isn't harnessed, you will end up day in and day out trying to deal with your ego problem by boasting. Have you ever heard people that—you know, and I'm sure you've met them—that really become sickening because they just sit up all the time talking about themselves. And they just boast and boast and boast, and that's the person who has not harnessed the drum major instinct.
And then it does other things to the personality. It causes you to lie about who you know sometimes. There are some people who are influence peddlers. And in their attempt to deal with the drum major instinct, they have to try to identify with the so-called big-name people. And if you're not careful, they will make you think they know somebody that they don't really know. They know them well, they sip tea with them, and they this-and-that. That happens to people.
And the other thing is that it causes one to engage ultimately in activities that are merely used to get attention. Criminologists tell us that some people are driven to crime because of this drum major instinct. They don't feel that they are getting enough attention through the normal channels of social behavior, and so they turn to anti-social behavior in order to get attention, in order to feel important. And so they get that gun, and before they know it they robbed a bank in a quest for recognition, in a quest for importance.
And then the final great tragedy of the distorted personality is the fact that when one fails to harness this instinct, he ends up trying to push others down in order to push himself up. And whenever you do that, you engage in some of the most vicious activities. You will spread evil, vicious, lying gossip on people, because you are trying to pull them down in order to push yourself up. And the great issue of life is to harness the drum major instinct.
Now the other problem is, when you don't harness the drum major instinct—this uncontrolled aspect of it—is that it leads to snobbish exclusivism. It leads to snobbish exclusivism. And you know, this is the danger of social clubs and fraternities—I'm in a fraternity; I'm in two or three—for sororities and all of these, I'm not talking against them. I'm saying it's the danger. The danger is that they can become forces of classism and exclusivism where somehow you get a degree of satisfaction because you are in something exclusive. And that's fulfilling something, you know—that I'm in this fraternity, and it's the best fraternity in the world, and everybody can't get in this fraternity. So it ends up, you know, a very exclusive kind of thing.
And you know, that can happen with the church; I know churches get in that bind sometimes. I've been to churches, you know, and they say, "We have so many doctors, and so many school teachers, and so many lawyers, and so many businessmen in our church." And that's fine, because doctors need to go to church, and lawyers, and businessmen, teachers—they ought to be in church. But they say that—even the preacher sometimes will go all through that—they say that as if the other people don't count.
And the church is the one place where a doctor ought to forget that he's a doctor. The church is the one place where a Ph.D. ought to forget that he's a Ph.D. The church is the one place that the school teacher ought to forget the degree she has behind her name. The church is the one place where the lawyer ought to forget that he's a lawyer. And any church that violates the "whosoever will, let him come" doctrine is a dead, cold church, and nothing but a little social club with a thin veneer of religiosity.
When the church is true to its nature, it says, "Whosoever will, let him come." And it does not supposed to satisfy the perverted uses of the drum major instinct. It's the one place where everybody should be the same, standing before a common master and savior. And a recognition grows out of this—that all men are brothers because they are children of a common father.
Now the other thing is, that it leads to tragic—and we've seen it happen so often—tragic race prejudice. Many who have written about this problem—Lillian Smith used to say it beautifully in some of her books. And she would say it to the point of getting men and women to see the source of the problem. Do you know that a lot of the race problem grows out of the drum major instinct? A need that some people have to feel superior. A need that some people have to feel that they are first, and to feel that their white skin ordained them to be first. Make it plain, today, ‘cause I’m against it, so help me God. And they have said over and over again in ways that we see with our own eyes. In fact, not too long ago, a man down in Mississippi said that God was a charter member of the White Citizens Council. And so God being the charter member means that everybody who's in that has a kind of divinity, a kind of superiority. And think of what has happened in history as a result of this perverted use of the drum major instinct. It has led to the most tragic prejudice, the most tragic expressions of man's inhumanity to man.
The other day I was saying, I always try to do a little converting when I'm in jail. And when we were in jail in Birmingham the other day, the white wardens and all enjoyed coming around the cell to talk about the race problem. And they were showing us where we were so wrong demonstrating. And they were showing us where segregation was so right. And they were showing us where intermarriage was so wrong. So I would get to preaching, and we would get to talking—calmly, because they wanted to talk about it. And then we got down one day to the point—that was the second or third day—to talk about where they lived, and how much they were earning. And when those brothers told me what they were earning, I said, "Now, you know what? You ought to be marching with us. [laughter] You're just as poor as Negroes." And I said, "You are put in the position of supporting your oppressor, because through prejudice and blindness, you fail to see that the same forces that oppress Negroes in American society oppress poor white people. And all you are living on is the satisfaction of your skin being white, and the drum major instinct of thinking that you are somebody big because you are white. And you're so poor you can't send your children to school. You ought to be out here marching with every one of us every time we have a march."
But let me rush on to my conclusion, because I want you to see what Jesus was really saying. What was the answer that Jesus gave these men? It's very interesting. One would have thought that Jesus would have condemned them. One would have thought that Jesus would have said, "You are out of your place. You are selfish. Why would you raise such a question?"
But that isn't what Jesus did; he did something altogether different. He said in substance, "Oh, I see, you want to be first. You want to be great. You want to be important. You want to be significant. Well, you ought to be. If you're going to be my disciple, you must be." But he reordered priorities. And he said, "Yes, don't give up this instinct. It's a good instinct if you use it right. It's a good instinct if you don't distort it and pervert it. Don't give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be first in love. I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be first in generosity. That is what I want you to do."
And he transformed the situation by giving a new definition of greatness. And you know how he said it? He said, "Now brethren, I can't give you greatness. And really, I can't make you first." This is what Jesus said to James and John. "You must earn it. True greatness comes not by favoritism, but by fitness. And the right hand and the left are not mine to give, they belong to those who are prepared."
And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness.
And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant. This morning, you can be on his right hand and his left hand if you serve. It's the only way in.
Every now and then I guess we all think realistically about that day when we will be victimized with what is life's final common denominator—that something that we call death. We all think about it. And every now and then I think about my own death and I think about my own funeral. And I don't think of it in a morbid sense. And every now and then I ask myself, "What is it that I would want said?" And I leave the word to you this morning.
If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize—that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards—that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school.
I'd like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I'd like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody. I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry.
And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. And that's all I want to say.

If I can help somebody as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
If I can show somebody he's traveling wrong,
Then my living will not be in vain.
If I can do my duty as a Christian ought,
If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought,
If I can spread the message as the master taught,
Then my living will not be in vain.
Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition. But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth and in commitment to others, so that we can make of this old world a new world.

Delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, on February 4, 1968.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered on April 4, 1968 at the age of 39.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This is an Internet forward that made me giggle and giggle and reminded me so of my own Jeweled Princes when she was so young--the picture is even eerily familiar of mine own sweet girl. Apologies for not being able to give proper credit for picture and story---

Cup of Tea

One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge of me. I was maybe 2 1/2 years old and had just recovered from an accident. Someone had given me a little 'tea set' as a get-well gift and it was one of my favorite toys.

Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought him a little cup of 'tea', which was just water.

After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my mom came home. My dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was 'just the cutest thing!' My mom waited and, sure enough, here I come down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy and she watches him drink it up.

Then she says (as only a mother would know...):

'Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?
Aunt Nell’s Figgy Yummy's--a family favorite and Concepcion makes them even better then Auntie did-enjoy-from my kitchen to yours,


Cookie Dough:

* 1/2 cup melted organic coconut oil
* 3/4 cup organic vanilla sugar
* 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
* 1/2 cup organic milk
* 1 large organic egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon organic sea salt

Cookie Filling:

* 1/2 cup organic Mission figs, chopped
* 1/2 cup organic apricots, chopped
* 1 tablespoon fresh organic orange zest using your micro plane
* 1/3 cup spring water
* 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed organic orange juice
* 2 teaspoons organic vanilla sugar
* 1/4 teaspoons organic fresh ground nutmeg using a micro plane

* Cream together coconut oil, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda and cream of tartar and salt. Mix well.
* Roll out dough and cut with a round cookie cutter.
* Place all the ingredients for the filling in a saucepan and cook on low heat until it becomes soft and thick. Cool.
* Place cookie on cookie sheet-add 1 teaspoon of filling on top and cover with a second cookie. Prick top of cookie with a fork.
* Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Makes-- 24 cookies. Yummy
Dear ones in Standing Just for the Gospel of Life,

As you all know--just days ago--October 29, 2009 we received this news from Tom Clark,
the State Director of Pro-life activities for the Knights of Columbus:

Brothers all,....Horrible News - Late-term abortion facility opening in Dallas.

Fairmount abortion center relocates to new facility with new name. It is capable of killing a child up to 24 weeks (6 months). CPLC sidewalk counselors are standing at the entrances to the new facility's office park on Greenville Ave. They have spent the past days sharing with tenants and those arriving at the complex that a new late-term abortion facility was opening there. Not one person that they spoke to knew that this was a late-term abortion facility.

Building on the momentum of the current 40 Days for Life-Dallas Campaign, where 2,000 people of faith have come out to pray outside of Robinson's abortion center on Record Crossing, the CPLC is calling for a massive prayer and public witness effort, particularly at this new late-term abortion facility, to bring about an end to the killing of innocent unborn children at the 5 abortion centers in Dallas.

Here is a listing of the Catholic Churches closest to this new killing center (there are a number of nearby churches of other denominations as well):

St. Patrick – 3.78 miles
St. Paul, Richardson – 4.79 miles
Christ the King – 4.97 miles (the abortion facility is in the boundaries of Christ the King)
St. Rita – 5.34 miles
St. Thomas Aquinas – 5.53 miles

If you belong to one of these churches, will you please share this information with your pastor and/or your fellow parishioners?

Thanks and God bless,
Tom Clark
State Pro Life Chairman
Texas State Council KofC

What you may not have known is that the White Rose, the Catholic Crisis Pregnancy Center that is next door to the Routh Street Abortion Facility over on Central Expressway-the very Catholic presences for Life that has been there each and every day for over 24 years-- and for years actually shared a wall between the centers--has long been longing to expand and meet even more needs in the diocese. The question has always been one of timing, greatest need, and ability to sustain the expansion once it began.

The Bishop of Dallas expressed his hopes just last October, 2008 to see many White Roses spread around the whole diocese--thanks be to God--in less than 16 days from hearing this sad news of such a horror sneaking into our community--they have been graced to find, procure and open their first Satellite Center--the Little White Rose-at 8499 Greenville Avenue.

The Surgi-Center [late-term abortion center] is in the middle of a series of medical complexes on the North-East corner of Greenville and Royal Lane. The Little White Rose is on the South-West Corner of Greenville and Royal Lane on the 2nd Fl
oor and looks down upon the heroic Side Walk Counselors--those who Stand for Life right at the very driveway of the Killing Center. They can point up to the Little White Rose and send each and every person they talk to for aide right across the street. The Little White Rose will throw open their doors Wednesday, November 18th and will be keeping the same hours as the main White Rose facility over on Central Expressway. They have three counseling rooms and of course the on-site sona-gram.

What a great blessing God has done in giving us the opening and ability to step up to this new and specific challenge the Culture of Death has thrown up to mock the Gospel of Life and seek to continue to seek and to save those who are being led to slaughter.

There will be an Open House, there will be Dedications and Blessings--more information will be coming soon--along with a list of things you can help provide to keep this new and vital center up and running. But, I wanted you to be some of the first to hear--light a candle and offer your prayers of thanksgiving that the vision of our Bishop is coming to pass at this desperate hour.

And keep pressing in with prayers for all the pro-life work done by so many good people and groups of good will in our metroplex.

And especially remember the Little White Rose, as up till now in Dallas women as late as 6 months could not even legally obtain an abortion, and now they can--they need this option to help them see that as John Everett long said--"there is no such thing as an un-planned pregnancy, there are crisis pregnancies, and if you can address the crisis then you can help the woman choose the life of their baby and complete their pregnancy."

I will keep you informed and am comforted that you will keep this new effort for the Gospel of Life close to your heart. How good and pleasant it is to get good news in the fight--that once again our Faithful Father has raised up a Defense in Jesus Name against the Foe--rejoice and keep Standing Just my friends.

Please forward to all your list--I do not care if I get this good news 20 times--spread the word and pray

For Life,

Texans Opposed to Planned Parenthood

Friday, October 02, 2009

Howdy Dear ones,

My phone is on the fritz-intermittent-actually even calling some of you at wild times--it will be that way a few days while I negotiate a proper upgrade price with AT&T--not happy with the first offer. So if you want to respond, email is the best for now.

I have been given the pleasure and privilege of hosting a Table at the October 3rd Gala Event for The White Rose and the Invitation is included below as are a series of notes by the priest--Fr. Tom Eutenueur for those of you who are not familiar with him to get a feel for him. For those of you who trust my opinion--just let me say, he is one of my favorites, and he is head of the largest pro-life organization in the world.

Sorry to only give days notice, but I am coming to you who have not heard of the event or said yes to it as a late entry to try and round up nine loving, willing, able to pay, God-fearing, God-loving, baby-loving, available, fun-loving, wine-drinking, good looking, make me look good at my table sweeties--to be my heroes and sit with me at my now empty table. Think of this as one of those pay to get me out of jail events I always wanted to be a part of but the organizations were always the wrong ones to support--except you get to dress up to the nines, see me in dress shoes, get lots of good wine and food, and support my favorite local charity in the whole diocese.

White Rose Benefit
October 3, 2008--this Saturday
Brookhollow Golf Club
6:30 Drinks and 7:00 Dinner
(if I cannot get you into the Patron Party we will snag a bottle and have a tailgate--be there at 6:30 and I will find the drinks--hey I am a thirsty and crafty kind of guy for my heroes--and since becoming Catholic have become a creative host to fine drinks)
Cost--$150 for the evening and hopes you will want to become a regular giver to the White Rose Woman's Center

How to help me--if you can buy a seat at the table please click on the email below and make your intentions known to Susan Collis:secollis@verizon.net.Co st $150 per seat--respond as soon as possible as event is Saturday--not to late to respond and get a seat at the table--contact Susan at 214-455-4357 up to the event.

I suppose you could give any gift or even give the gift of $150 even if you cannot come--but just think how fun it would be for me to show up and find 9 wonderful friends waiting for me at my table for an unforgettable evening of good wine, good food, good fun, good friends, and good works. So here is the deal--write me back any time and visit about anything and everything--but do not write me about this--I will either show up to the only empty table on Saturday for too your sweet faces helping me help you do the wonderful giving for the Culture of Life in the midst of this Culture of Death. Please somebody save me from myself.

I know $150 is a lot of money and this year I am missing for the first time many of these good and noble fun events myself as we all have to cut back on our budgets--I am missing the Seminarian Dinner at $125, dinner with the Bishop of Fort Worth-but this is one opportunity to give I must beg you to attend, and give to if you have tithes, offerings, disposable income, good will giving monies left in your budget this year. Somehow I believe the Bishops and even the wonderful seminarians will plod along--we attend a party or not, but this is the group in the whole diocese who shows up day in and day out and has for the last 24 years to help the women, and the children--to save the babies--to make us real and truthful as Catholics when we say as a Church, we will help, we will care, we will help you...

The White Rose through my good friend John Everett and his sweet wife Gerri have been my good friends since 1994 when they met me as the Rosary Praying Baptist Preacher. I slept on their couch and spent many hours talking about the faith and my love for the Church all the while a Baptist pastor--many a good meal and pro-life event, an all night adoration, rosaries.

When I was making the transition from Baptist to Catholic and it did not go well with some national pro-life groups perceiving that I was "changing sides" it was John Everett, the White Rose, and Carol Everett of the Heidi Group who came to Waco-along with Norma McCorvey who Stood with me and validated the first 100 Days of Waco. The White Rose donated the very first Project Gabriel sign to me to put up in front of my church Mothers Day, 1996 in front of Trinity Church of Waco, Texas and we had babies saved because of the first calls to The White Rose on the Baby Due line and young Baylor co-eds who needed help got it through all our efforts. John Everett was one of my families sponsors into the Church when we came into the Church, Assumption, 1998 and stood with me, as we stood with Norma McCorvey when she came into the Church 2 days later. John Everett stood with us as Norma McCorvey made her great bombshell from my pulpit in May of 1999 at her Bethlehem in Trinity Church-- that she was entering the Catholic Church. And, when surprise, that cost me my job, it was the White Rose through John and his networking me into the Catholic community of Dallas that got me the jobs and connections I have made to become so much a part of this vibrant Catholic community. And it was the White Rose through John and Gerri Everett who saved my life--in October 2000 when horrors of horrors, we lost our beloved Sarah Ruth in an instant in a car wreck--the 14-17th of October are still my black days every year. I cannot say how and what all they did, my heart remains full that when it was too painful to connect to anyone and everyone, they were one couple that kept taking me in, kept taking me under their wing and just loving me through the simple deeds of small talk, Curia gossip, hot sauce and chips--week after week, year after year, one bowl of chips after another.

Those of you who have known my more than 10 years you know my dark days and you know I love you all and owe you all so much for not giving up on me--but for my money in charity giving--my debt of love is here--there are many worthy groups and I say give to them all, come on in, the water is fine--but as I have influence of any kind over you, if you can send anything to this noble group at this time, and stand with me, as I STAND with them in truly saving babies--send what you can, and if you can come and surprise me as my dinner guest at your own nickle--I would be so honored to sit with you and make you look good at this elegant evening.

Having mentioned my sweet Sarah Ruth, and it being so close to the day of her death, and my great loss, I am attaching a couple of sweet pictures of her--please keep us on your HOPE bead in your daily Rosary--the Vinzant family, and Sarah Ruth--and know that I love you all. Again--I do not want to know if you gave or if you are coming--email Susan and let me be surprised.

Anything else, I have much time to visit and would love to catch up with any and all--life makes us all so busy, I am glad to be learning at this stage to slow down, but if you got this you are in my heart, in my holy hours, and in my many prayers.

If you cannot give cash, I understand more then you realize, so just give the love and prayers and let us keep in touch.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Well my dear ones--it has been sometime since I last shared a favorite old family recipe. You may not have a dear like my Concepcion to come and do the actual cooking for you--but I am sure that this will be a fast favorite for you and your loved ones if you just give it a try.

I am so enjoying my new kitchen and this break from the Texas heat with these delightful showers this week and decided to dust off a favorite that Concepcion whips up for Andrew, Lewis, and me. I have other favorite family recipes that Concepcion keeps treating us with on my blog: http://a-view-from-my-bedside.blogspot.com/

You remain in my heart, my prayers, and my recent happy memories,

Grandmother Vinzant's Apple Pie
5 Granny Smith apples
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and the zest of the lemon
1/3 cup organic Vanilla sugar + 1 teaspoon
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon good cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

2-- 9 inch pie shells
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup good Sour Cream

1 Egg beaten

Peel, core, and slice apples. Toss in lemon juice and zest of the lemon. Add 1/3 cup sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add apple mixture and simmer for 5 minutes, covered. Stir occasionally.

Strain and reserve the liquid and apples.
Whisk cornstarch with water and return the apple liquid to your pan.
Whisk in. While whisking, bring the mixture back to a simmer and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Pour over the apples and cool in the refrigerator for one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the apple mixture with the pecans and pour into one of the pie crusts.
Top with sour cream.
Lightly flour the second pie crust and cut into 1 inch strips. Arrange over the pie in a lattice design.
Brush the lattice top, with the egg.
Sprinkle with sugar. Place the pie pan on a cookie sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Bake pie for 40 minutes.

If the crust begins to get too dark, remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil and return for the remaining baking time.

Make a nice pot of hot tea to sip from a porcelain cup--please do not attempt to sip a good loose leaf green tea from a coffee cup--gauche. If possible serve yourself the tea from a nice ceramic or porcelain tea pot while you are at it. Turn up your Bose music system and listen to music that stirs your soul--while this righteous pie smell fills your house with the smell of generations past and the hopes of generations to come. Add a schemer of Devonshire cream and some Laura Secord Raspberry jam to your favorite homemade scone (recipe to follow at a cooler date) and dive into the latest good book you have always laying about--currently I am reading: A Year in the World: Journeys of A Passionate Traveler, by Frances Mayes in the living room; St Augustine's The Confessions in the bedroom; a new Nicholas Sparks in the bath; an undisclosed thriller at the pool-side table; the Letters of Brother Laurence on the
i Phone; and The Second Edition of the Ignatius Bible at the kitchen table.

Kick off those shoes--if you putter in your beautiful kitchen with them on--better to prepare food barefoot I always say--more connected to the grounding and the soul of the food. And before you know it my Granny's wonderful pie will be yours for a first taste, and after the first piece, I promise you it will become your families favorite too.

And all you hearty guys like me out there---when the house is dead quite and everyone else asleep, this pie will call you cold from the Ice Box-- and a sneaked piece along with a ice cold barley soda--now that is a little reminder that Heaven is a real and waiting place--Land of Goshen.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Today is the Feast Day of the Two Hearts--please keep this and read when you can--you may want to print and take with you to your Face Time with Jesus at your next Holy Hour.

Trusting in the Two Hearts and keeping each of you in mine.


Address at Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sunday, 6 June 1999

1. “We honour your Heart, O Jesus . . .”.

I thank Divine Providence that together with all of you here present I am able to give praise and glory to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the most perfect revelation of the paternal love of God. I am glad that the devout practice of reciting or singing the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus every day during the month of June is very much alive in Poland and continues to be followed.

I greet everyone gathered here this Sunday afternoon. In a special way I greet Bishop Andrzej, Pastor of this Diocese, his Auxiliary Bishop and the representatives of the Polish Bishops, the priests, consecrated men and women and all the People of God. I extend a cordial welcome to the pilgrims from Russia, from the District of Kaliningrad, who are present here with their Archbishop, Tadeusz. I also greet the faithful of the Greek Catholic Church. And I greet all the members of the young Church in Elblag, which is particularly linked to the figure of Saint Adalbert. Not far from here, according to tradition, he gave his life for Christ. In the course of history, the death of this martyr has produced in this land abundant fruits of holiness. In this place I wish to remember Blessed Dorota of Matowy, wife and mother of nine children, and also the Servant of God Regina Protmann, foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Catherine, whom — God-willing — the Church will raise to the glory of the altars during this pilgrimage through my ministry in Warsaw. Another one to be enrolled in the ranks of the Blessed will be a son of this land, Father Wladyslaw Demski, who gave his life in the concentration camp of Sachsenhausen, publicly defending the cross which was sacrilegiously profaned by the executioners. You have received this magnificent spiritual heritage and you must care for it, develop it and build the future of this land and of the Church in Elblag on the solid foundation of faith and religious life.

2. “Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness, have mercy on us”.

Thus we invoke Jesus in the Litany. Everything that God wanted to tell us about himself and about his love he placed in the Heart of Jesus, and by means of that Heart he has told us everything. We find ourselves before an inscrutable mystery. In Jesus’ Heart we read the eternal divine plan of the world’s salvation. It is a plan of love.

We have come here today to contemplate the love of the Lord Jesus, his goodness which is compassionate towards every person; to contemplate his Heart blazing with love for the Father, in the fulness of the Holy Spirit. Christ loves us and reveals his Heart to us as the fount of life and holiness, the source of our redemption. In order to have a deeper understanding of this invocation we must turn to Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman in the little town of Sicar, at the well which had been there since the time of the Patriarch Jacob. She had come to draw water. Jesus said to her: “Give me a drink”, and she answered him: “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” She then received Jesus’ response: “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink', you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water . . . the water that I shall give will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (cf. Jn 4:1-14).

Jesus is the source; it is from him that divine life in man finds its beginning. To have this life, we need only approach him and remain in him. And what is this life if not the beginning of human holiness, the holiness which is in God and which man can reach with the help of grace? All of us wish to drink from the divine Heart, which is the source of life and holiness.

3. “Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times” (Ps 106:3).

Brothers and Sisters, meditating on God’s love, revealed in the Heart of his Son, requires a consistent response on our part. We have not been called only to contemplate the mystery of Christ’s love, but take part in it. Christ says: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15). He thus places before us a great calling and at the same time a condition: if you want to love me, keep my commandments, keep God’s holy law, walk in the way that I have shown you.

God’s will is that we keep the commandments, that is, the law of God given to Israel on Mount Sinai through Moses. Given to all people everywhere. We know the commandments. Many of you repeat them everyday in prayer. That is a very good and devout practice. Let us repeat them now, as they are found in the Book of Exodus, to confirm and renew what we remember:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
You shall not covet your neighbour’s house.
You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife” (cf. Ex 20:2-17).

This is the foundation of the morality given to man by the Creator: the Decalogue, the ten commandments of God pronounced resolutely on Mount Sinai and confirmed by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount, in the context of the eight Beatitudes. The Creator, who at the same time is the supreme law-giver, has inscribed on the human heart the whole order of truth. This order determines what is good, provides a foundation for the moral order and constitutes the basis of the dignity of man created in God’s image. The commandments were given for the good of mankind, for man’s personal good and the good of family and society. They are truly the way for all people. The material order by itself is not enough. It must be completed and enriched by the supernatural order. Thanks to this, life takes on a new meaning and man is made better. Life, in fact, needs the power that comes from divine, supernatural values; only then does it take on its full splendour.

Christ confirmed this law of the Old Covenant. In the Sermon on the Mount he spoke clearly to his hearers: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them” (Mt 5:17). Christ came to fulfil the law, above all to give it its proper content and meaning, and to show its full significance and depth: the law is perfect when it is pervaded by love of God and love of neighbour. It is love that determines man’s moral perfection and his likeness to God. “He who has my commandments and keeps them”, says Christ, “he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (Jn 14:21). Today’s liturgical celebration dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus reminds us of God’s love, for which man yearns intensely. It shows us that the practical response to this love is the keeping of God’s commandments in our daily lives. God does not intend that they should grow dim in our memory but that they should remain forever impressed on people’s consciences so that, knowing and keeping the commandments, they “might have eternal life”.

4. “Happy are they who practise righteousness”.

The Psalmist refers thus to those who follow the path of the commandments and keep them to the end (cf. Ps 119:32-33). Keeping the divine law, in fact, is the basis for obtaining the gift of eternal life, that is, the happiness that never ends. To the question of the rich young man, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” (Mt 19:16), Jesus responds: “If you would enter life, keep the commandments” (Mt 19:17). This response by Jesus is particularly important in our modern reality, in which many people live as though there were no God. The temptation to organize the world and one’s own life without God or even in opposition to God, without his commandments and without the Gospel, is a very real temptation and threatens us too. When human life and the world are built without God, they will eventually turn against man himself. Breaking the divine commandments, abandoning the path traced out for us by God, means falling into the slavery of sin, and “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23).

We find ourselves face to face with the reality of sin. Sin is an offence against God, it is being disobedient to him, to his law, to the moral norms which God has given to man, inscribing them on the human heart, confirming and perfecting them by Revelation. Sin pits itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from him. Sin is “love of self carried to the point of contempt for God”, as Saint Augustine put it (De Civitate Dei, 14, 28). Sin is a great evil in all its many dimensions. Starting with original sin, to the personal sins committed by each person, to social sins, the sins which weigh heavily on the history of the entire human family.

We must be constantly aware of this great evil, we must constantly cultivate the subtle sensitivity and clear consciousness of the seeds of death contained in sin. This is what is commonly known as the sense of sin. Its source is to be found in man’s moral conscience; it is linked to the knowledge of God, to the experience of union with the Creator, Lord and Father. The more profound this awareness of union with God — strengthened by a person’s sacramental life and by sincere prayer — the clearer the sense of sin is. The reality of God lays open and sheds light on the mystery of man. We must do all that we can to make our consciences more sensitive, and to guard them from becoming deformed or imperceptive.

We see what great tasks God has put before us. We must truly form our humanity in the image and likeness of God, to become people who love the law of God and want to live according to it. The Psalmist cries out: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” (Ps 51:1-2). Is this not for us a touching example of the man who presents himself repentant before God? He desires metanoia for his own heart, so that he may become a new creature, different, transformed by God’s power.

Saint Adalbert stands before us. We feel his presence here because in this land he gave his life for Christ. For a thousand years he has been telling us, by the witness of his martyrdom, that holiness is attained by sacrifice, that there is no room here for compromise, that we must be faithful to the end, that we must have the courage to protect the image of God in our souls even if it means paying the ultimate price. His martyr’s death is a reminder to all that by dying to evil and sin they will enable the new man to come to birth in themselves, the man of God who keeps the Lord’s commandments.

5. Dear Brothers and Sisters, let us contemplate the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is the source of life, since by means of it victory over death was achieved. It is also the source of holiness, since in it sin — the enemy of man’s spiritual development — is defeated. The Heart of the Lord Jesus is the starting-point of the holiness of each one of us. From the Heart of the Lord Jesus let us learn the love of God and understanding of the mystery of sin — mysterium iniquitatis.

Let us make acts of reparation to the Divine Heart for the sins committed by us and by our fellow men. Let us make reparation for rejecting God’s goodness and love.

Let us draw close each day to this fount from which flow springs of living water. Let us cry out with the Samaritan woman “Give us this water”, for it wells up to eternal life.

Heart of Jesus, burning flame of love,
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, expiation for our sins
— have mercy on us. Amen.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Dear Ones in Standing Just for the Gospel of Life,

Here is another- too wonderful- opportunity for you to share with me. The White Rose is having a day of Adoration from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM in their chapel that overlooks by a wall of windows the entire property of the Rue Street Abortion Facility with Holy Mass at 1:00 PM celebrated by our own diocesan priest--Fr. Paul Weinberger. This is in celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi.

If you are able to schedule your day to come to mass or any of the times of Adoration, I promise you that your heart will be empowered to believe stronger for the goodness of the Lord to show up in the land of the living. You will be stirred to offer up prayers in reparation for the many sins committed in our society and in the whole world. And you will enter into the silence and the peace of our Mighty God as HE shows up in that precious little Chapel and as you agree with His Sacred Heart.

And here is the best part—starting June 11, 2009 it will be the beginning of weekly Thursday Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at The White Rose. I know you are truly as excited as I am. Nowhere in the Dallas diocese can you find a closer spot to the Gates of Hell where Jesus shows up 24 hours a day in the Tabernacle of the Holy Alter—as you knell or sit in prayer looking out of that wall of windows watching all that goes in as the poorest of the poor are carried against their wills to be ripped out of the very bodies of life of their own Mothers—your cries will reach the very Heart of Heaven. I can tell you there is nowhere else I would rather be. I hope to bump into you or see your name on the list as one of the many praying Catholics in the Dallas diocese in this most Holy place.

You remain in my heart —standing for the Gospel of Life in the midst of this Culture of Death,



The White Rose Women’s Center and St. Joseph’s Helpers of Dallas

4313 N. Central Expressway

The Feast of Corpus Christi

Thursday, June 11, 2009

9:00am – 4:30pm

Holy Sacrifice of the Mass 1:00pm

Celebrated by Fr. Paul Weinberger

You are invited to spend time with our Lord at the foot of Calvary to pray for God’s mercy in the conversion of all hearts involved in the killing of innocent human life and in support of all those in the prolife ministry. Adoration will be held in the chapel at the White Rose Women’s Center which overlooks Routh Street abortion mill located next door. Please come and pray with us.

Will you please sign-up for adoration by going to www.mysignup.com/stjosephshelpers or contact Darcy Maggio by email maggio@sbcglobal.net or phone 214-824-7314. Weekly Thursday adoration beginning June 11th.

Please park on the side streets to be mindful of our clients.

Directions: We are on the west side of Central Expressway between Knox and Fitzhugh. It is a blue building with alley access between Oliver and Lee Streets.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I trust you are well. A recent event made me think again of you and I wanted to share it with you.
I am having more of my T. S. Elliot and Alford Lloyd Tennyson moments in friendships and memories--

I am including a quick email to a high school friend who was writing me to tell me the boy I had dropped off at St Louis so long ago--sometime in the winter of 1973 and he was then Confirmed in 1974--under Bishop Harris--my first Mass--had died recently and his funeral Mass was at St. Louis last week. We had long lost touch, but the video of his Tribute service brought back so many memories--and happily so many pleasant memories and as a result of his passing I am now hearing and reconnecting to many I have lost touch with over the last 30 years--very touching.

It has been very nice to be reacquainted with the original joy of seeking after and finding so many of the wonders of the Church--all there at St. Louis. Such a sweet, unexpected surprise of joy in remembering.

God bless,


Hi Danny,
So good to hear that you and your sons are doing well, in spite of the difficulties over the years with Jan and her decisions. I remember in HS you were very interested in Catholicism (didn't we drive with Mark Gilmer and Donna Perry to St. Louis church at night one time in somebody's VW, or did I dream that?) I was surprised to read you converted in 1998, when I thought it was 20+ years prior! I'm proud of the father you are, and it sounds like you have had a long and reflective spiritual journey over the years. What do you like/find in Catholicism that you didn't find in your former Baptist faith?

You may recall that I was Baptist for many years, but when I married Ed in 1977, he was Methodist, so I've been going with him to 1st UMC here ever since. It's okay - I deeply admire their commitment to mission work world-wide and tolerance, but on some levels (not all), I miss my Baptist days. I don't know if I'd ever go back to it, though, although the core beliefs are the same. My brother and family are Catholic, so we've had several worship experiences there with them over the years. Some of it I understand, all of it I deeply respect. My world view is there's room for all :)

Please don't be too hard on yourself for getting a bit out of shape over the years! It's a tough world out there, and we all have our comfort zones. I'm facing down a piece of carrot cake as we speak, and I truly hope my willpower to save it for a later date (in small bites!) wins out! But knowing me, I'll replace it with hot dogs, because those are also calling me (and chips, and watermelon...oh my...)

Take care of yourself and the boys, and keep being the good dad and good person you seem to be. I've enjoyed "typing" to you, so I hope you stay in touch!

Anne :)

Hi Anne,

Wow I have been taking back with so many memories since Donna emailed yesterday just before you on Mark's passing.

My charity is a bit weak for Bruce right now as I asked him about Mark last Summer at the Midway reunion for the 1970-1974 Classes and he only mentioned he was teaching in Chilton and when I asked if he had remained Catholic he said yes he had--did not mention him getting married or having the cancer---how I would have liked to catch up with him while he was still here and tell him how much he meant to me. And I would have driven down to honor his life for the Viewing or the Mass.

I just finished the Tribute video and Randy brought so many memories back to me--I was actually teaching a Bible study on Cardinal the night Mark ran his hand through Teresa's window and as soon as he had it stitched up--we talked all night long that night.

I have told the story far and wide of taking Mark and Teresa to St Louis and handing them over to the priest saying, "These two Baptist would like to be Catholic, can you help them?" It did not occur to me for over 30 years I do not even know how they got home--I left them there and walked off with the Rosary the priest gave me as a dumbfounded gift for bringing him a couple of Baptist and I still carry the medal Scapular medal he gave me. When Mark was confirmed the next spring that was the very first Mass I went to--so me taking him, him becoming Catholic, the priest giving me the gifts, and going back to the Church for his confirmation and then night after night all through the rest of High School was my beginning to the Church myself---I just wrote Randy a long note and asked for Mark's address so I can send a Mass card to his wife, and have a Mass up here said for him.

Yes, indeed we did go--I sat many late nights in that wonderful church, and I am so glad Mark continued to find comfort there and finished his funeral mass there--did they marry at St Louis? Was his wife Catholic--I saw they only married in 2006 and Donna thought he had been sick about 3 years--did they know each other long before his illness? Questions--tell what you know eh.

All of the songs he played at his Tribute brought back the vivid memories of our youth--the movie, the poem, the book--we had remained close in the things we loved although we lost touch these last 30 years---wow.
We may have not been the Great Generation, but we are what we are and who we are and our times have made us so.

God bless,


Hi Randy,

Anne and Donna just told me about Mark's passing. I am so sorry to not have the chance to connect with him again before losing him.

I saw Bruce at the 1970-1975 joint class reunion last year in Waco and asked about him, but he never let on he was ill and I just saw your FB page today to see you had mentioned him earlier in the month.

I would like very much to get his widows address and send a Mass card. I just finished watching the video and it brought back so many memories.
Mark came and found me at a party in Woodway the night he put his hand thorough Teresa's window and we talked almost the whole night that night with his wrist all bandaged up.

I have told the story about taking him and Teresa over to St Louis and dropping them off at the priest saying, "I have two Baptist kids that want to be Catholic, can you help them?..." and it took me 30 years to realize I dropped them off and never knew how they even got home that day from St Louis after talking to the priest. A year later when I went to his Confirmation again at St Louis was the very first Mass I attended and I still carry the medal Scapular medal he gave me but have long lost the rosary the priest gave me for bringing him two Baptist kids :)

I would have very much liked to have written him and driven down for his funeral Mass. I to have such memories of him and his VW and the love for hockey which I had never followed before meeting him. I do want to send a Mass card and have a lovely Mass said for him up here at the Cistercian Monastery which is a very fine Catholic Boys School in Dallas--you can see the Monastery on line--he would have liked it very much and they do the music in Latin.

I noticed they only married in 2006 and Donna thought he had been sick almost 3 years--had he known his wife much longer, did they have time together before the sickness--I would love to hear a bit more of his life--Bruce only told me he taught at Chilton last Summer which I thought was wonderful having driven through there many times and thought it was a sweet little Texas town.

I lost a very good friend up here--my mentor at 64 to the same cancer and it was a very hard death. I am very close to his widow and although it has been 3 years she is just now finding her own way again and is in fact leaving today for 36 days in Italy--I am so glad to see her getting out and onto something other than the routine she had always known.

Randy, any thoughts on his last few years would be very appreciated along with the address.

Thank you again for your touching tribute to such a long and continued friendship.

God bless,

Danny Vinzant

Thursday, May 21, 2009

FYI--of course being from me it will be long--but very informative--this group I never heard of before--Faithful America-- seems to be a code group for pro-Obama, pro-choice, why can't we be friends theology...Note there very skewed poll taken from among their own membership--talk about the fox in the hen house...i am sure this means to them that I too am a "hard-lined protester" nay-saying all the good and lovely things this President wants to do to bring about peace on earth....please God help us, and deliver us from what we deserve--Save us oh God, save a people for yourself O God...

I guess it is back to the streets for me along with dear Norma---
hey,hey,ho,ho, this common-ground foolishness has got to Go....

for Life,

Following is a "dialogue" on finding "common ground on the abortion issue"
1st from a very dear friend who was the first to share Christ with Norma (jane roe of roe v wade) here in Dallas years ago:

Bullshit. Those of you with stronger sensibilities, please excuse my choice of words.

Dialogue? There is no dialogue. Do they really want to hear a Catholic perspective on how to reduce unexpected pregnancy?! Hell no! What concession is the "other side" willing to make in this dialogue/compromise? It was recently said that if there is nothing wrong with abortion, i.e., it is just another option or choice, then why should we want to reduce them?

There is no compromise. We should engage people with a different opinion. This does not mean we compromise our own convictions. When Norma McCorvey became pro-life then later a Christian and finally a Catholic Christian, she was always presented an uncompromising view of the the Faith. I know because I had a beer with her and three or four of her co-workers when she worked in an abortion clinic in Dallas. It was the first time she had engaged socially with a "sidewalk counselor". We talked for hours. Later other pro-lifers engaged her for days, weeks and months all the while presenting an uncompromising view of life based on a Christian perspective. Isn't it ironic then that she would be arrested at Notre Dame, witnessing to those who have a watered-down approach to Catholicism?!

If you really believe that those who have a non-Catholic approach to sexuality really want to dialogue then just ask Miss California, Miss Prejean. Make no mistake, there is not a dialogue taking place. If so, her response to the question regarding "gay" marriage would have been judged based on the substance of the answer and whether it was answered in an intelligent way, not whether she agreed or not. What do you think would have been said if a conservative would have raised the question of abortion in the question/answer portion of the Miss USA pageant? Likely, it would have been said, "This is not a forum for politics!"

I don't mean to draw a direct correlation between abortion and gay marriage. You can oftentimes, though, find the same people in the same camps. Whenever we find ourselves at odds with the Church, it is going to be because of our own desire to do what we want and a further desire to receive approval for the decision. Often we hear "I don't understand why the Church..." or the Church is outdated in..." because we want to do what we want. And we do. I do it all the time. Calling sin something else, though doesn't change the outcome. A little humility in this situation can get us back on track.
written in response to:
--- On Tue, 5/19/09, Angelica wrote:
What is this nonsense? I have never seen a more deceptive man in office and I am still so angry about the fact that a Catholic University gave him a platform to speak. This is the result of encouraging "open dialogue" at Our Lady's University! Read the fine print at the bottom of this e-mail. We really need to pray for our nation and Notre Dame.

in response to another:

FYI, Pax Christi is a local Catholic Peace group.

Sent: Monday, May 18, 2009 3:55 PM

To Pax Christi El Paso --The president's words on this topic are powerful words. Especially the part about a "sensible conscience clause." Hope people on both sides of the issue are listening. And I hope our president truly is paying attention to voices on both sides. Here is a link to the full text of President Obama's talk at Notre Dame and a petition which some of you may want to sign if you have not already done so. Peace. Wayne

From: mail@faithfulamerica.org
Sent: 5/18/2009 12:13:06 P.M. Mountain Daylight Time
Subj: Abortion: a New Way Forward



Dear Wayne,

Many think what we're doing is impossible. But we have faith.

Yesterday, during a highly anticipated speech at Notre Dame, President Obama outlined a strategy for people on all sides of the issue to work together to reduce the number abortions in America through decreasing unintended pregnancies and increasing support for women and families.[1]

Many, like the hard-line protesters at Notre Dame's commencement, believe such "common ground" can't exist, but President Obama believes it can, and we do, too.

Sign the petition: support Obama's new way forward on abortion.

We know we have both people who identify as pro-choice and who identify as pro-life in our Faithful America community, but we think we can all come together, as President Obama asked us to, with "open hearts, open minds and fair-minded words" to address this complicated issue that has been dividing our nation for decades.

We would never ask you to put aside or minimize your deeply-held beliefs on this issue, but we are asking you to join us in supporting the new approach President Obama outlined in his speech.

Our petition states:

President Obama, we support your call for civility and "fair-minded words" in the abortion debate and join you in seeking the common ground you outlined in your speech at Notre Dame: working together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, making adoption more available and providing care and support for women who do carry their pregnancies to term.

Sign the petition: common ground is possible.

Does this approach magically erase all the divisions on this issue? Of course not. But, it is a crucial step forward. It is a model for common ground without compromise and, if enacted into law, would mean real improvements in for the lives and health of women and families.

This is not the end of debate on this issue. But we are hopeful about this new direction. Back in January, we surveyed Faithful America members about your values and priorities and 83 percent of you said you would be excited about this new approach on abortion. [2]

We're excited too. Join us in supporting President Obama' new way forward on abortion.

Click here to sign the petition.
Thank you for all you do,
Beth, Katie, Dan, Kristin and Jennifer
The Faithful America team


[1] Video and transcript of President Obama's speech: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=haYrOM1yTAQAcLNtwwpXK1DTEfoHjCFa

[2] In Faithful America 's 2009 member survey, we asked the multiple-choice question: "Some people are taking a new approach to the issue of abortion. Legislation has been proposed to reduce the number of abortions in America by both preventing unintended pregnancies and supporting pregnant women and new parents through sex education, access to contraception, improved health care options, and expanding adoption. This bill enables pro-life and pro-choice advocates to find common ground to reduce the number of abortions without criminalizing the procedure. If Faithful America were to make supporting this approach to the issue of abortion a priority, how would you feel?"

Forty-five percent (553) responded "very excited," 37.6% (457) responded "somewhat excited," 13.1% (159) responded "neutral," 2.6% (32) responded "disappointed" and 1.2% (15) responded "very disappointed"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thanks to Dr. Michael Foley of Baylor University and the St. Gregory the Great Society of Waco, Texas--I am lifting two wonderful articles from his monthly newsletter, OK as he lifted them from previous works. Thanks for all the heavy lifting Mike. :)

If you do not have time to read them now, print them out and read in bed later. And if you cannot read it all and want to dismiss it as more of Daniels love for all things Latin--the important point of both is the ancient and venerable beauty of our faith--here is one of our most famous churches in Rome who tomorrow celebrates its 1400th year as a Catholic Church--wow--and the other, not everyone needs to rush out and join the old things, but we must bring into the new rite--more and more, the silence and reverence that is due Mass as the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our dearly beloved Lord Jesus Christ. What a beautiful Church and what a beautiful Mass we have been given.

more glad to be Catholic every day,



Restoring All Things: A Column on the Liturgical Year

“To restore all things in Christ” (Eph. 1:10) was the motto of the great liturgical reformer Pope St. Pius X and a fitting description of how the Church calendar sanctifies everyday life. In this column we present some of the customs that developed from the Church’s celebration of its sacred cycles.

The following is a great article on a great church which has a great anniversary tomorrow and a great connection to the upcoming feast of Pentecost.

Turning Temples Christward

By Elizabeth Lev

ROME, APRIL 30, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Rome may have celebrated its 2,782 year anniversary on April 21, but another important birthday is in the offing. On May 13, the Pantheon will celebrate its 1,400th year as a Christian church.

The jewel of Rome's historical center, the Pantheon was the most ambitious building project undertaken in Roman history. The giant hemispherical dome resting on the cylindrical drum drew on every lesson the Romans had learned in 800 years of conquest and construction.

The engineering mastery displayed in the Pantheon surpassed any country in the Empire. The concrete dome spanned 143 feet in diameter, twice as large as the next runner up -- a bath complex in Baiae. The sophisticated employment of pozzolana cement, instead of lime mortar, the structural arches countering the lateral stress, and the gradation of the density of the cement from foundation to dome testified to a people who had outstripped

even the Egyptians and their pyramids.

This monument to man's ingenuity was intended to symbolize the Roman fixation with deification. The first temple on the site, built in 25 B.C. by Agrippa, son-in-law of Augustus, featured Mars and Venus, the divine ancestors of Julius Caesar and by extension, Augustus himself. The new building constructed by Hadrian in 125 at the zenith of the Roman empire went even further.

The height and diameter of the building are equal: 143 feet by 143 feet. The equality of the horizontal and the vertical signifies the conjunction of heaven and earth. The giant open oculus, a round hole at the very top of the dome, provides the sole source of light for the temple. It was conceived as an eye (hence the name oculus) through which the gods surveyed the emperor, the god-in-waiting on earth. And the decoration of the dome and floor were made up of intermingled circles and squares, symbols of heaven and earth, respectively.

A Pythagorean reading of the Pantheon saw the oculus as the sun, the 28 ribs extending from the oculus as the moon, and the three semicircular niches in the drum as a triangle with the emperor at the apex. This interpretation sees the design of the Pantheon as a symbol of the emperor's apotheosis.

After almost half a millennium as a pagan structure, the Eastern Emperor Phocas gave the Pantheon to Pope Boniface IV who conferred new life and identity on the ancient structure. On May 13, 609, it became the first pagan temple to be transformed into a Christian church.

Instead of falling into disrepair and ultimately being quarried for new projects, the Pantheon was reborn as St. Mary of the Martyrs, ready to continue through the centuries with a newer and more glorious purpose. To cement its dignity among churches, the bones of hundreds of martyrs were brought from the catacombs outside the city for safekeeping within its strong walls.

As a result of the martyrs' translocation, the Pantheon celebrates its dedication on Nov. 1, All Saints Day.

In Rome, the roots of conversion were sunk so deep that the very urban fabric turned from its old pagan significance to a greater Christian message. Mirabilia Urbis, a medieval Roman guide book, recounts a convoluted tale of the Pantheon as a temple to the fertility goddess Cybele, claimed for Christianity in the name of Mary, mother of God.

The most wonderous manifestation of the Christianized Pantheon take place on Pentecost Sunday when red rose petals are dropped through the oculus into the church. Representing the tongues of flame of the Holy Spirit, the petals flutter among the gathered crowds, a festive reminder of how through God’s grace, all things can be made new.

Makes Sense: A Column Featuring Articles of Interest

This outstanding piece of homespun wisdom comes to us from Mrs. Christi Derr, who describes herself as “an average, church-attending, EWTN-watching, married mother of five, lay Catholic.” The Byzantine liturgy, incidentally, is the rite used by the Eastern Churches, both those in full union with the pope (such as the Ukrainian Catholic Church) and those not (e.g., the Greek Orthodox). It is an ancient liturgy that can be traced back to St. John Chrysostom (5th century).

True Worship of God is the Cure for Insanity

By Christi Derr

Three earth-shattering events converged in my life recently and radically altered my whole world view. I attended a Byzantine Divine Liturgy, I attended a Latin Mass, and I visited my hair stylist.

To begin with the last: Everyone knows that the most astute social scientists in the world are bartenders, taxi drivers, and hair stylists. So, recently I climbed the mountain, so to speak, to seek the latest wisdom from my personal stylist. In the midst of a cut and style she casually informed me that the most abused drugs are prescription anti-depressants. I later discovered through news articles that the abuse of anti-depressants is indeed a fact. Abusers range from pre-teen kids to every age of adulthood. I can’t even imagine how many children and adults are in therapy. I am completely overwhelmed by the obvious conclusion that so much of the treatment contains some sort of prescription! It is impossible to not ask the question, "Why?" The United States is one of the most affluent nations in history; there are no current wars on our soil, no famine, or great plague sweeping the nation. We have antibiotics, modern dentistry and indoor plumbing; even the economy cannot explain why we are all so depressed.

Next snapshot: Many Catholic families whose faith and lives I greatly admire have started attending Latin or Byzantine liturgies. There are not enough, probably to justify a trend article in the news, but enough in my personal sphere of acquaintance that I took note. Here, I must admit to a kind of impatience with criticism of Vatican II that I have listened to over the years. I had some initial reluctance over attending these “throw back” liturgies with them, but I eventually accepted their invitations. What I experienced at these parishes was truly life changing to me!

After participating in the liturgies I walked away with the same reaction from both. I was filled with a sort of holy awe and struggled to come to grips with what I was feeling. I had just worshipped the Almighty Triune God. I realized that up until participating in those liturgies, I had gone to Mass, but now I had worshipped God. I suddenly felt like I had never worshipped Him before. It isn’t very modern to worship; I was almost uncomfortable saying the word. I experienced a radical shift in my understanding of the sacrifice of the Mass. There are so many “helps” throughout these liturgies that make the average church goer really understand what he is participating in! Here are a couple of elements from both Masses that really struck me as a newcomer to worship.

In the Byzantine Liturgy the priest sings out, “Wisdom, be attentive!” before the readings and Gospel. How effective! I suddenly stop looking at the shoes of the woman in front of me and am attentive to the Word of God. Similarly, before the anaphora, again the lector sings out, “The doors! The doors!” the doors of the iconostas open and we are reminded in a physical manner of a great spiritual truth — that heaven itself has been opened to us and we are allowed (we do not by any means deserve this privilege) to participate in the heavenly banquet of the Lamb. The most powerful aspect of the Eastern liturgy, though, is its overpowering beauty! The prayers and praises sung throughout the celebration are so splendidly beautiful that one is almost convinced that the Holy Spirit dispensed with His usual custom of inspiring man to write, and just took up a pen and wrote everything Himself — so much does the beauty seem to be beyond anything man is able to produce.

In the extraordinary form of the Latin Mass there is an effective use of silence. If there is any single overpowering trait of the modern world, it is a lack of silence. Much of what the priest prays during consecration is prayed quietly. The people are left in silence to reflect upon what is happening, dare I say, to contemplate. In fact there is time for reflection throughout the whole of the extraordinary form of the Latin Mass. Brilliantly, this silence is then contrasted with Gregorian chant of the Psalms. The most powerful attribute of the “old Mass” to me though, is the time spent kneeling at the altar rail, waiting for the priest to bring Our Lord to each communicant. Why in the world did we ever do away with altar rails? I was raised on the Novus Ordo, so it is not like I am going all nostalgic here. I can not tell you how much that time for reflection accompanied by the appropriate body language helped to remind me of the great truth — Jesus Himself, God in the flesh, is allowing me to receive Him and thus become a part of Him! Look at the difference in symbolism and instruction: Waiting in line and putting out my hand is no different from a million different activities that I do daily. I wait in line and put my hand out for movie tickets, to get change, airline tickets, etc. In contrast, there is no time ever that I kneel down, open my mouth and someone “feeds” me. Body instructs spirit. My body is telling me that something is happening here that is like nothing else in my life. The fact I am “fed” reminds me of my true helplessness and the fact that God Himself is stooping down to feed me! The fact that I am kneeling tells me that God and I are not equals, He is greater than I. The fact that I have to wait teaches me that I do not command God; I wait on Him.

The modern Mass is of course, valid. Jesus in the Eucharist is still Jesus in the Eucharist. But it is too often celebrated in way that is “bare bones” and minimalistic. What are missing in the “normal” American Mass are the “helps” that some of us ordinary Catholics need. What is missing is our preparation to receive Him properly. He is not changed, we are. To me, it is the difference between pouring water on a sponge and pouring water over concrete. God is all powerful and in His Mercy He comes to us in any valid Mass but our disposition in receiving Him is radically different in the three discussed liturgies. The chants, the silence, beautiful music, bodily postures and poetic descriptions all help us to understand what great act is really taking place at the Mass and prepare us to receive Jesus with love. Should we ever be matter-of-fact or comfortable with the idea that Jesus comes to us in the Holy Eucharist? Shouldn’t we be in perpetual shock? Where is the awestruck gratitude? Where is the worship of the Word made flesh? Or are we so comfortable because we really don’t believe it anymore, or worse, can’t wait to change the subject back to us?

“Wait a moment, average church-going lay woman,” you protest, “didn’t you just say that you were impatient with complaints about Vatican II and handwringing over the Novus Ordo? Is this whole article a subversive way of encouraging rebellion against the new Mass and enlistment in Fraternity of St. Peter or Eastern Rite churches all over the country?” Well, no. Mother Teresa became a Saint by attending the Novus Ordo Mass; the Mass is still holy. What we need to rebel against is the way we have been participating in it. (And perhaps the music — well, one song at least and immediately. I would like to nominate, “Sing a New Church into being” as the first to go!) We need to blow on the glowing ember of our worship of the Holy Trinity and rouse it to bright and hot flame.

Pope St. Pius X, whose name, sadly, has been dragged through the mud by schismatic traditionalists, prophetically stated that the modern heresy would be man worshiping himself. He writes in E Supremi , “[M]an, with infinite temerity, has put himself in the place of God…[and] made of the universe a temple wherein he himself is to be adored.” And so the reason for our depression becomes clear. If man is god, what a pathetic and weak god he is! I mean, we can’t even solve the smallest of our daily problems — traffic for instance. We all are familiar with the pettiness, selfishness, lack of love, and sometimes even cruelty, we experience in ourselves and others. Who wouldn’t be depressed if we, with all these evils, are god?

Which brings me back to my hair stylist…A definition of sanity is when one’s perception of reality matches reality. For instance, if there is a paper in front of me, and I perceive a paper and not an army of flying monkeys, I am sane. On the other hand if mankind, despite all evidence to the contrary, starts to think that man is God, we are collectively insane. No wonder so many people are being prescribed anti-depressant drugs. For many of these people the answer to all this sadness and hopelessness is: Worship! Adoration! Our souls are nourished on truth, beauty and goodness in the same way that our bodies are kept alive with food, water and air. Without worship and adoration our souls become sickened.

Again, it is not practical, nor even a good idea for all of us to run out and join a Church with ancient liturgies. However, just as midwives making an entrance into health care reformed the ways doctors were delivering babies, and the remarkable success of homeschoolers in the educational scene has challenged schools to improve, we need collectively to be inspired by the worship that is occurring at these liturgies and emulate it. We need to quiet our souls and realize that participating in the Holy Mass is THE most important thing we will ever do in our lives. The most immediate and practical response to this challenge of worship would be to fill up the hours of adoration at our parishes, or to start adoration there. We need to cry out with the angels, “Holy! Holy! Holy!” We should fall down in worship before Almighty God, thereby realizing the truth that He is God and we shall not have any false Gods before Him! As with all things connected with Our Good Lord, if we begin by trying to render Him a service — true love and worship, He will turn it to a good for us — in this case, the reclamation of our sanity!