Restoring the Sacred

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

Fr. Lankeit's Homily: December 11, 2016

Obama's Relationship with Russia

Lets not forget this one.

From YouTube:
Published on Mar 27, 2012
On Monday while President Obama was taking part in a global nuclear security summit in South Korea, he was caught on tape asking for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for "space." "This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility," Obama implored. Obama assured the departing Russian President he will have the "flexibility" required to deal with missile defense issues after the 2012 presidential election.

The Sexiest Man Alive: Prager U

The Sexiest Man Alive: What makes a man sexy? What makes a man...a man? Is there something about being the 'bad boy'? Or is it more about predictability and reliability? Jim Geraghty of National Review explains.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Friday, November 25, 2016

Russian Patriarch: LGBT agenda poses ‘significant threat for the existence of the human race’

From Lifesitenews.Com, November 23, 2016:

Here's a piece:
“...the Orthodox hierarch insisted that hatred and personal judgment have no place in the Christian's life. "We don’t condemn people who have different sexual preferences," he clarified. "That's on their conscience and it’s their business, but they shouldn’t be discriminated against or punished."
“But the Patriarch drew the line at societal affirmation of homosexuality. "However, under no circumstances should this be accepted as a social norm, no different from the social norm that stems from our moral nature, meaning marriage between a man and wife who create a family and have children."
“Kirill solemnly warned that Western laws legalizing same-sex "marriage" and transgenderism will destroy humanity. "This new trend poses a significant threat for the existence of the human race," he said.

Pope Francis and the SSPX Regularization

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fr. John Lankeit's Homily: Post Election 2016

Fr. Leikeit's homily begins at about the 18:30 mark.  Don't miss it!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Rowboat Comes For You...

Received via email from a friend:


This may be the best and most honest political promotion statement you will ever read.  It decidedly does not brush objections aside.  

You hate Hillary?  READ it.  You hate Trump?  READ it.  You think there's no choice?  READ it.  And, read it with your grown-up hat on.  
We've all been dealt huge responsibility with this election.  The first step toward accepting responsibility is accepting it, and the first step toward accepting it is recognizing it.  

READ THIS.  Read every single word.  It'll take you about three minutes.  Be sure to read to the end (take a few minutes and read all of it!)

Are you sickened and despondent with the current campaign and upcoming presidential election?
I consider myself a conservative and do truly believe our country is at a political/economic/moral/ social crossroads. I need to let you know I could/would never vote for Hillary Clinton to lead this country.  To me, she represents everything that is wrong with our current political structure.  On the flip side, I look and listen to Donald Trump and I cringe at every rude, insulting comment he makes.

If you find yourself in a similar state of mind, please read the following article:

A Message For Christians About Donald Trump

Here's a famous joke about God and how he talks to us.

"A deeply faithful Christian man is stuck on roof at home with massive flooding up to the 2nd floor. Rowboat comes. He says "No, I'm waiting for God. I prayed and I know he's coming."  2nd Rowboat. "No, I'm waiting for God." 3rd Rowboat. "No, I'm waiting for God."

Water rises. The man drowns. Now he's meeting God in heaven. The religious man says, "Where were you God? I prayed. I was faithful. I asked you to save me. Why would you abandon me?"

God says, "Hey, I sent you 3 rowboats."

Did you ever consider Trump is our rowboat?

Maybe God is trying to tell us something important--that now is not the time for a "nice Christian guy" or a "gentleman" or a typical Republican powder puff. Maybe now is the time for a natural born killer, a ruthless fighter, a warrior. Because right about now we need a miracle, or America is finished. Maybe the rules of gentlemen don't apply here. Maybe a gentleman and "all-around nice Christian" would lead us to slaughter.

Or do you want another Mitt Romney, Bob Dole, John McCain, Gerald Ford or Paul Ryan? Did any of them win? Did they lead the GOP to "the promised land?" Did they change the direction of America ? No, because if you don't win, you have no say.

Paul Ryan couldn't even deliver his own state, Wisconsin ! And as leader of the House, Paul Ryan rolls over to Obama like my dog rolls over for a scrap of food, or a steak bone.  Nice, but obedient. I mean Paul Ryan...not my dog. My dog is actually a pretty good defender and loyal.

Maybe God is knocking on your door loudly, but you're not listening. Maybe God understands we need a "war leader" at this moment in time. Maybe God understands if we don't win this election, America is dead. It's over. The greatest nation in world history will be gone. Finished. Kaput. Adios.

And with one last breath, maybe what we need to save us at the last second, is someone different. Someone you haven't ever experienced before-- because you weren't raised in rough and tumble New York where nothing good gets accomplished unless you're combative, aggressive, outrageous, on offense at all times, and maybe just a tad arrogant too.

Someone with a personality you've never seen on stage at your church. Maybe, just maybe, being a nice gentlemanly Christian would not beat Hillary and her billion dollars, and her best friends in the media who will unleash the dogs of hell upon the GOP nominee.

I guess you think God is only nice and gentlemanly. Really? Then you've missed the whole point of the Bible. When necessary, God is pretty tough. When necessary, God strikes with pain, death and destruction. When necessary, God inflicts vengeance.
Maybe you think God couldn't possibly be associated with someone like Trump. Trump is too vicious, rude and crude.
When we won WWII, was God "nice?" Were we gentlemanly when defeating Hitler? Were we gentlemanly when firebombing Germany? Were we gentlemanly when dropping atomic bombs on Japan ? Is God ever "nice" on the battlefield? Or does he send us vicious SOB's like General George S. Patton so the good guys can defeat evil?

It's pretty clear to me God sends unique people to be "war leaders." That's a different role than a pastor or church leader. God understands that.
And maybe it's time to re-define "nice." Maybe Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan aren't nice at all--because they led us to defeat. And losing again would mean the end of America . And God can't allow that. Maybe Romney and Ryan mean well, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Or maybe they're just jealous they had their chance and blew it. Maybe they'd rather help elect Hillary than allow a Trump victory that would make them look weak, feckless and incompetent.

"Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." (Isiah 40:30-31)

God is about miracles. We don't need a "nice guy" or a "gentleman" right now. It's the 4th quarter and we're losing 14-0. We need a miracle.

So let me repeat my message to Christians: "YOU'RE MISSING THE BOAT."

I believe Trump is our miracle. I believe Trump is our rowboat. Except he's more like a battleship!

No one is saying Trump is perfect. No one is saying Trump is a perfect conservative. But he is a patriot. He is a warrior. He is a capitalist. He is the right man, at the right time.  Yes, he's a bit rude and crude and offensive. But that may make him the perfect warrior to save America , American exceptionalism, capitalism and Judeo-Christian values. The choice should be easy for Christians.

It's Trump...or it's the end of the American dream.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fr. John Lankeit's Homily on the 2016 Election

Fr. John Lankeit is the Rector of Sts Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix.  He may well die in prison or a martyr - or a martyr in prison, according to the late Francis Cardinal George of Chicago.   If only more priests would be so courageous.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Liberty University Convocation: Full Address By Dinesh D'Souza

Matt Walsh: Real Men are Pro-Life

Matt Walsh writing at The Blaze:
Dante said the darkest places in Hell are for those who reserve their neutrality in times of moral crisis. I’d only add that the darkest parts of the darkest places are reserved for men who reserve their neutrality in the face of the mass murder of children.

To read the entire post, click on the below link:

Friday, October 14, 2016

Dear Mr. Trump, Did you ever blow it!

 A good friend, John Askins, sent this letter, which unfortunately says it all about the upcoming election.  It's a must read for every voter.

Dear Mr. Trump:
Boy, did you ever blow it. You could have been President of the United States. All you had to do was run as a Democrat. (Hey, you practically are one anyway!)
Seriously, you obviously have a poor grasp of history. Right now you are suffering from daily "bimbo eruptions" as they would be characterized were you only a Democrat. Don't get me wrong. I do not have an ounce of sympathy for you as your wounds are totally self-inflicted. You cannot brag about groping women and then be shocked when they claim you groped them. Duh.
Yes, we all know that Bill Clinton's behavior was far worse than what we know about you so far. So what? He's a Democrat. Sure, he raped Juanita Broaddrick, sexually assaulted Paula Jones, Katherine Willey, and many, many others. That's the point. As a Democrat your accusers would be trashed by the media, not you.
But you are the dummy who chose to run as a Republican. What on earth were you thinking?
Didn't you know there are scores of principled conservatives who would break ranks within their own party and rightfully condemn your disgraceful behavior? Didn't you know that the exact opposite would be true as a Democrat where they would close ranks and your popularity would soar to new heights?
Heck, as a Democrat you could even be a sexual predator, get drunk, leave a young woman in a car to drown, and later become the "Lion of the Senate". Again where is your sense of history?
Forgive me, sir. But your poor judgment in running as a Republican disqualifies you from serving as our Commander-In-Chief. You're a Democrat if I ever saw one.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Thomas Sowell: Wealth, Poverty, and Politics

Recorded on September 8, 2016
Hoover Institution fellow Thomas Sowell discusses inequality and how it is part of the human condition. Sowell notes that political and ideological struggles have led to a dangerous confusion about income inequality in America. We cannot properly understand inequality if we focus on the distribution of wealth and ignore wealth production factors such as geography, demography, and culture. What is important is not inequality but human capital; once human capital is unleashed it creates an enormous amount of wealth for people of all classes. In addition there needs to be a sense of humility and gratitude for the generations that have gone before us for the prosperity we have today.

The Vortex—New World Order

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Published on Sep 19, 2016
Fr. Michael Orsi - Call to Action at the Day of Remembrance for the Unborn on September 10, 2016


We are at a “precarious moment in our history” when churches must speak truth to power or risk the loss of a lot more than their tax statuses, former Ave Maria Law School chaplain Father Michael Orsi said in a blistering speech at a National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children event on September 10.

Orsi, now on the pastoral team of St. Agnes Church in Naples, Fl said, “For too long, pastors and churches have been bullied into believing that they can say nothing political from the pulpit,” said Orsi. The regulation that is used to silence them “was a piece of spite work” against non-profits that had opposed President Lyndon Johnson, he said.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Matt Walsh: They're not Protesters; They're Terrorists!

Matt Walsh wrote this piece on the Charlotte "protests" today at The Blaze.  Here's a sample:
Another city in flames thanks to Blacks Lives Matter and their apologists. Have we had enough of this yet? I wonder how many more buildings need to be torched, businesses looted, and innocent bystanders and police officers attacked before we finally call this what it is: terrorism.
It’s absolutely sickening to me that the media still uses the word “protest” to describe the kind savagery and chaos we saw in Charlotte last night. They were doing all of the things we’ve come to expect — setting fired, robbing stores, assaulting random white people — and even employing some tactics that we haven’t seen. For instance, a group of thugs tried to throw an unconscious white reporter into a fire. THEY TRIED TO BURN SOMEONE ALIVE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET. Sorry to yell, but I’m at my wit’s end. This is madness. And still the media calls it a “protest.”
If Charlotte was a protest and Ferguson was a protest and Baltimore was a protest, then I guess the bombs that went off in Manhattan over the weekend were a protest. I guess Orlando and San Bernardino and 9-11 were protests. If the domestic terrorism of BLM can be called a protest, why can’t the terrorism of ISIS or Al Qaeda be given the same label?

You can read the entire post by clicking   HERE.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Saint Josemaria Escriva and The Traditional Latin Mass

This is from Fr Z's Blog today:

Joseph Card. Ratzinger had been concerned for years about the loss of Christian identity, which is at the heart of Western Civilization. Later, as Benedict XVI, he gave us a great tool by which we could reinvigorate our Catholic identity and, so, resist the negative influences of secularism and relativism.

To read the entire post click HERE.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Matt Walsh: Hillary Clinton is a Sick Woman Addicted to Power

Matt Walsh, writing today at The Blaze, confirms that Hillary Clinton is a Sick Woman, and his source is impeccable.
Hillary Clinton is many things, most of them bad, but she is nothing if not pitiful. There have been rumors flying around for months surrounding her declining health, and every coughing fit, every image of the candidate needing help to walk up the stairs, every time she falls down, every lengthy break she takes from the trail, every piece of evidence must lead an observant person to the conclusion that Hillary Clinton is not exactly a picture of health and vitality. And all of these concerns seemed to be officially validated late last week when an authority on Hillary Clinton’s health came forward to confirm them. That authority being Hillary Clinton herself.

To read the entire post, click HERE.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Friday, September 2, 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

Matt Walsh: If Planned Parenthood Had Its Way, Simone Biles Would Be Dead

Matt Walsh, writing at The Blaze today, posits an interesting "what if" story:
Simone Biles is now a world famous American Olympian and, according to people who know a lot more about the subject than I do, perhaps the greatest gymnast of all time. Her story is incredible and inspiring. All the more inspiring when you consider how fortunate she was to even be born at all.
Simone’s mother was a poor, black drug addict. She was not prepared to be a mother. She was exactly the kind of woman Planned Parenthood preys upon. Exactly the kind of mother the abortion industry makes its millions by manipulating and exploiting. And Simone Biles was exactly the kind of baby Planned Parenthood specifically dedicates itself to exterminating. The fact is this: Planned Parenthood has centered its entire business around murdering children like Simone Biles. Her mother rejected the lies of the abortion industry and chose life instead, thank God, and now look at what her daughter has done with that gift. Look at what a person can do if they escape the bloody grasp of Planned Parenthood.
How many of the millions of other poor black children executed by Planned Parenthood could have gone on to conquer the world like Simone? All human beings have incredible potential. Planned Parenthood snuffs out that potential and tosses its victims in a dumpster. But when that potential is protected and preserved, just look at what happens:
 You can read the whole post by clicking HERE.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mike Piazza: Catholic Faith is the "Greatest Gift of All."

(photo from National Catholic Register)

Mike Piazza Says Catholic Faith is “Greatest Gift of All”

From The National Catholic Register

BY PATTY KNAP 07/25/2016

New York Mets slugger Mike Piazza was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday with an emotional speech before 50,000 people in Cooperstown, NY.

His day began early with 7:30 Mass at St. Mary’s Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, a short walk from the Hall of Fame. As he left the church, he met with a beaming Father John Rosson, who said, “We have a celebrity in church this morning.”  Piazza asked for and received a special blessing from the priest. Piazza signed autographs and took pictures with parishioners.

In his acceptance speech Piazza thanked both his parents and described his Catholic faith as the greatest gift of all from his parents, especially his mother, Veronica:

She gave me the gift of my Catholic faith, the greatest gift a mother could give a child, which has had a profound impact on my career and has given me patience, compassion and hope. Pope Benedict the XVI said, ‘One who has hope, lives differently.’ Mom, you raised five boys, and you were always there for me.’

Piazza has often credited his Catholic upbringing as being the foundation of his life.  He was one of the athletes featured in the evangelization movie, "Champions of Faith", about the journey of Christian athletes.  He regularly attends special Masses held at baseball stadiums around the country for the players and is sometimes a lector.

Piazza's emotional ties to New York are highlighted in 2001 clips of his home run that propelled the Mets past Atlanta in the first game back from the World Trade Center attacks. Almost 15 years after the two-run shot cleared the fence at Shea Stadium, Piazza is a constant witness to the impact of the attacks, and he talked about it again over the Hall of Fame weekend:

The significance for me, personally, is the amount of people I see who want to talk about that moment," Piazza said. "I was sitting on a plane one time with my headphones on. It was a four-hour flight, and just as the plane was landing, the guy next to me said, 'You know, I lost my brother on 9/11, and I was at that game and I just want to thank you for what you did.' I was completely blown away. I listened to him and told him a few stories and he really enjoyed it.

Piazza has said that the firefighters, police and families who had to continuing living after the trauma of  9/11 were the true heroes.

He also thanked and honored his father, Vince, in how he was raised:

My father’s faith in me, often greater than my own, is the single most important factor of me being inducted into this Hall of Fame. Thank you, Dad.  I know he watched every game, cried when I cried, was angry when I was angry and celebrated more than I could ever celebrate. He was a man deeply devoted to his family and after having suffered a major stroke a few years ago, is stronger willed than ever.’

In an interview with BeliefNet, Piazza talked about having priorities in life and Christ at the center.

Because it's a game based on failure. It is a slice of life, so to speak, that life is adversity, and how you deal with adversity. And baseball, if you fail seven out of 10 times, you're a success. It's probably not the same numbers in life. But I still feel that in life it's not so much [about] the good times. It's what you find out about yourself during the bad times. Because when the times are going well, or things are going well, everyone's on their best behavior. And it's easy to be good. But when you go through adversity, when a couple goes through frustrations, or they go through a bankruptcy, or they have bills--all these things, you see a person's true colors. And you see a person's true grace under fire, so to speak. 

As a player, you have to believe. I have to believe every day that when I get in that batter's box, good things are going to happen. I can't go up there thinking, "Oh, I'm going to strike out. Or, I'm going to hit into a double play." Or even if I'm 0 for 20, I believe that 21st time I'm going to get that hit. And that's the way I think we have to be in life, to realize that we are going to go through a tremendous amount of test and adversity and frustration. 

We want to try to get closer to God. We want to try to be like Jesus. We always want to try to get on that horse and do the right thing, and be positive. And be positive not just for yourself but for other people.

Who's More Compassionate: The Left or the Right?

Just what we need: Another Pro Abortion BUT personally opposed politician.

Matt Walsh writing today at The Blaze, registers his disdain for yet another politician who is personally opposed to abortion, but supports the "right" of a mother to kill her baby.  What irked me just as much is the penchant of the media to constantly refer to Kaine as a "Devout Catholic."  Devout Catholics do not support the killing of innocent babies.

Click on the link to read the Matt Walsh post:

Monday, July 11, 2016

Do 97% of Climate Scientists Really Agree? Prager University

From YouTube:

Published on Jul 11, 2016
Is it true that 97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is real? Where does the 97% figure come from? And if it is true, do they agree on both the severity of and the solution to climate change? New York Times bestselling author Alex Epstein, founder of the Center for Industrial Progress, reveals the origins of the "97%" figure and explains how to think more clearly about climate change.

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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Comey: Clinton Interview Not Recorded; 7-7-2016, and Comey Not Present at Interview

Although Comey testified he believes Clinton was truthful during the interview, it's hard to understand how he came to that conclusion since he was not there, and there is no transcript of what she said during the interview.  He was not sure whether there were five or six agents present at the interview, but he said he did not talk with all of them afterward.  Since we will never be privy to much about the interview itself, it appears Comey's understanding of the word "transparency" (a word he used often during his testimony before Congress) is different from this one:  an honest way of doing things that allows other people to know exactly what you are doing.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Why Private Investment Works & Govt. Investment Doesn't: Prager University

Published on Apr 25, 2016
From transportation to energy, and everything in between, should the government invest money in as many promising projects as possible? Or would that actually doom many of those ventures to failure? Burt Folsom, historian and professor at Hillsdale College, answers those questions by drawing on the fascinating history of the race to build America's railroads and airplanes.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) questions FBI Director Comey on Hillary Clinton E...

Monday, July 4, 2016

An Independence Day Prayer: Archbishop John Carroll

(photo from wikipedia)

Archbishop John Carroll (1735-1815), the first bishop of the United States, wrote this prayer November 10, 1791, to be recited in parishes throughout his diocese.
We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.
We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope N., the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.
We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.
We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state, for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.
We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.
Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

God Bless the USA - The Texas Tenors HAPPY FOURTH!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Friday, May 6, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Islamic Terror: What Muslim Americans Can Do

Courtesy of Prager U.
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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Mother Angelica: Foundress of EWTN, R.I.P.

Easter Sunday 2016: HE IS RISEN!

From today:
The Earth’s Deepest Wound: the Empty Tomb

By Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2016
In the history of the world, only one tomb has ever had a rock rolled before it, and a soldier guard set to watch it to prevent the dead man within from rising: that was the tomb of Christ on the evening of the Friday called Good. What spectacle could be more ridiculous than armed soldiers keeping their eyes on a corpse? But sentinels were set, lest the Dead walk, the Silent speak, and the Pierced Heart quicken to the throb of life.
They said He was dead; they knew He was dead; they would say He would not rise again; and yet they watched! They openly called Him a deceiver. But, would He still deceive? Would He, Who “deceived” them into believing they won the battle, Himself win the war for life and truth and love?
They remembered that He called His Body the Temple and that in three days after they destroyed It, He would rebuild It; they recalled, too, that He compared Himself to Jonas and said that as Jonas was in the belly of the whale for three days, so would He be in the belly of the earth for three days and then would rise again. After three days Abraham received back his son Isaac, who was offered in sacrifice; for three days Egypt was in a darkness that was not of nature; on the third day God came down on Mount Sinai. Now, once again, there was worry about the third day. . . .
In the dim dawn of Sunday morning several women were seen approaching the tomb. The very fact that the women brought spices proved that they did not expect a Resurrection. It seemed strange that such should have been the case after the many references by Our Lord to His death and His Resurrection. But evidently the disciples as well as the women, whenever He predicted His Passion, seemed to remember more His death than His Resurrection.
It never occurred to them as a possible thing; it was foreign to their thoughts. When the stone was rolled to the door of the sepulcher, not only was Christ buried but also all of their hopes. The only thought the women had was to anoint the body of the dead Christ – an act that was born of despairing and as yet unbelieving love. Two of them, at least, had witnessed the burial; hence their great concern was the practical act:
Who is to roll the stone away for us
From the door of the tomb? (Mk 16:3)
It was the cry of hearts of little faith. Strong men had closed the entrance to the tomb by placing this huge stone against it; their worry was how to remove the barrier in order that they might carry out their errand of mercy. The men would not come to the tomb until they were summoned – so little did they believe. But the women came, only because in their grief they sought consolation in embalming the dead.
Nothing is more anti-historical than to say that the pious women were expecting Christ to rise from the dead. The Resurrection was something they never expected. Their minds were not made up of the kind of material on which such expectations could grow.
The Women at the Sepulchre (The Angel at the Tomb of Christ) by Benjamin West, 1805 [Brooklyn Museum]
But as they approached, they found the stone rolled back. Before their arrival, there had been a great earthquake, and an angel of the Lord, who descended from heaven, rolled back the stone and sat upon it:
His face shone like lightning,
And his garments were white as snow;
So that the guards trembled for fear of him
And were like dead men. (Mt 28:4)
When the women came near they saw that the stone, great as it was, had been rolled away already. But they did not immediately jump to the conclusion that His Body had risen. Their conclusion could be that someone had removed the body.
Instead of the dead Body of their Master, they saw an angel, whose countenance was as lightning and his raiment as snow and who said to them:
No need to be dismayed;
You have come to look for Jesus of Nazareth,
Who was crucified;
He has risen again;
He is not here.
Here is the place where they laid Him
Go and tell Peter and the rest of His disciples
That He is going before you into Galilee.
There you shall have sight of Him
As He promised you. (Mk 16:6–7)
To an angel, the Resurrection would not be a mystery, but His death would be. For man, His death was not a mystery, but His Resurrection would be. What had been natural to the angel, therefore, was now made the subject of the announcement. The angel was one keeper more than the enemies had placed about the Savior’s grave, one soldier more than Pilate had appointed.
The angel’s words were the first Gospel preached after the Resurrection, and it is the one that went back to His Passion, for the angel spoke of Him, as “Jesus of Nazareth Who was crucified.” These words conveyed the name of His humanity, the humility of His dwelling place, and the ignominy of His death; in all three, lowliness, ignominy, and shame are brought in comparison with His rising from the dead.
Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Jerusalem are all made the identifying marks of His Resurrection. The angel’s words: “Here is the place where they laid Him,” confirmed the reality of His death and the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies. Tombstones bear the inscription: Hic jacet or “Here lies.” Then follows the name of the dead and perhaps some praise of the one departed. But here in contrast, the angel did not write, but expressed a different epitaph: “He is not here.”
The angel called on the women to behold the place where their Lord’s Body had been laid, as though the vacant tomb was evidence enough of the fact of the Resurrection. They were directed to hasten immediately and give intelligence of the Resurrection. It was to a virgin woman that the birth of the Son of God was announced. It was to a fallen woman that His Resurrection was announced.
Those who saw the empty grave were bidden to go to Peter who had tempted Our Blessed Lord once from the Cross and had three times denied Him. Sin and denial could not choke Divine love. Paradoxical though it was, the greater the sin, the less the belief; and yet the greater the repentance from sin, the greater the belief.
It was to the lost sheep panting in the wilderness that He came; it was the publicans and the harlots, the denying Peters and the persecuting Pauls to whom the most persuasive entreaties of love were sent. To the man who was named a Rock and who would have tempted Christ from a Cross, the angel now sent through the women the message, “Go tell Peter.”

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Socialist Origins of America: Prager University

Courtesy of Prager University.

From YouTube:
Was America once socialist? Surprisingly, yes. The early settlers who arrived at Plymouth and Jamestown in the early 1600s experimented with socialist communes. Did it work? History professor Larry Schweikart of the University of Dayton shares the fascinating story. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Little girl conducting a choir - mini maestro, Kyrgyzstan

From YouTube:
Very talented little girl from Kyrgyzstan conducting a church choir during Sunday morning service. Girl's name is Lara, her Dad is singing in the choir of the Central Church of Kyrgyzstan. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Iditarod 2016: Ceremonial Start Photos

That's Aliy Zirkle, my pick again this year to win The Last Great Race.

You can check out photos from yesterday's ceremonial start in Anchorage by clicking HERE.

Today is the official start in Willow, and the first musher (of the 85 starters) to reach Nome (1,000 miles away) wins.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Dr. Charles Rice—His Final Uncut Interview

Dr. Charles Rice (August 7, 1931 – February 25, 2015) in his final uncut interview with Michael Voris of Church

Obama: A Most Disingenuous Quote (even for him)

From "Heard on the Stump," WSJ: February 27, 2016:

Barack Obama speaking in Jacksonville, Florida about "folks who are on the campaign trail"
"They're spending all their time talking down America .  I don't know when it became fashionable to do that."
Herewith a few wild guesses of when "it became fashionable to do that," courtesy of the Heritage Foundation:

(1) Speech by President Obama, Rhenus Sports Arena, Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2009.  "In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive."

(2) Speech by President Obama to the Turkish Parliament, Ankara, Turkey, April 6, 2009.  "Every challenge that we face is more easily met if we tend to our own democratic foundation. This work is never over. That's why, in the United States, we recently ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. That's why we prohibited--without exception or equivocation--the use of torture. All of us have to change. And sometimes change is hard...Our country still struggles with the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans."

(3) President Obama, speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.
"There is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America's strongest currency in the world. Instead of building a durable framework for the struggle against al Qaeda that drew upon our deeply held values and traditions, our government was defending positions that undermined the rule of law." 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Monday, February 22, 2016

FBI Director: The San Bernardino litigation is about the victims and justice.

FBI Director James Comey explained last night, in a blog post at Lawfare, why the FBI is involved in litigation over the cell phone usage of the San Bernardino terrorists.

Here's the whole post:

We Could Not Look the Survivors in the Eye if We Did Not Follow this Lead
By James Comey Sunday, February 21, 2016, 9:03 PM

The San Bernardino litigation isn't about trying to set a precedent or send any kind of message. It is about the victims and justice. Fourteen people were slaughtered and many more had their lives and bodies ruined. We owe them a thorough and professional investigation under law. That's what this is. The American people should expect nothing less from the FBI.
The particular legal issue is actually quite narrow. The relief we seek is limited and its value increasingly obsolete because the technology continues to evolve. We simply want the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist's passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly. That's it. We don't want to break anyone's encryption or set a master key loose on the land. I hope thoughtful people will take the time to understand that. Maybe the phone holds the clue to finding more terrorists. Maybe it doesn’t. But we can't look the survivors in the eye, or ourselves in the mirror, if we don't follow this lead.  
Reflecting the context of this heart-breaking case, I hope folks will take a deep breath and stop saying the world is ending, but instead use that breath to talk to each other. Although this case is about the innocents attacked in San Bernardino, it does highlight that we have awesome new technology that creates a serious tension between two values we all treasure: privacy and safety. That tension should not be resolved by corporations that sell stuff for a living. It also should not be resolved by the FBI, which investigates for a living. It should be resolved by the American people deciding how we want to govern ourselves in a world we have never seen before. We shouldn't drift to a place—or be pushed to a place by the loudest voices—because finding the right place, the right balance, will matter to every American for a very long time.  
So I hope folks will remember what terrorists did to innocent Americans at a San Bernardino office gathering and why the FBI simply must do all we can under the law to investigate that. And in that sober spirit, I also hope all Americans will participate in the long conversation we must have about how to both embrace the technology we love and get the safety we need.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Scalia's Funeral: A Salutary Correction by Fr. Mark Pilon

Fr. Mark Pilon, who serves in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, with Fr. Paul Scalia wrote today at The Catholic Thing in praise of "a certain corrective in the beautiful liturgy at the National Shrine. It was a true liturgy, which means it was focused overwhelmingly on the Lord Jesus Christ and only secondarily on the deceased."

Fr. Pilon gave credit and praise to Fr. Scalia for this return to "a proper funeral liturgy."
Here is the Fr. Pilon essay:
A Salutary Corrective in Scalia’s Funeral
Fr. Mark A. Pilon
I had a Nunc Dimittis moment yesterday, watching the funeral of Judge Scalia. My guess is that I wasn’t alone. I have been waiting for fifty-two years for some corrective to the kind of Catholic funeral liturgy that began to take hold with the Funeral Mass for President Kennedy in 1963. With that particular liturgy, there began the deterioration of Catholic funerals across this land. And now that has received a certain corrective in the beautiful liturgy at the National Shrine. It was a true liturgy, which means it was focused overwhelmingly on the Lord Jesus Christ and only secondarily on the deceased.
The celebrant, Justice Scalia’s son Fr. Paul Scalia, was only a few years old when JFK was assassinated. So he probably wasn’t paying much attention to that funeral at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Washington. But his father was, I suspect, very attuned to what went on that day, as were most of us Catholic adults at the time. It was the beginning of the eulogistic liturgy that has become the norm in many churches today.
The Mass itself was celebrated by Cardinal Cushing in twenty minutes flat, with no homily. At the end of the Mass, the liturgy suddenly became focused on JFK and his accomplishments. Bishop Hannan, a family friend, gave a ten-minute eulogy, which meant it was half as long as the Mass itself.
That eulogy, something completely out of place in the old liturgy, did throw in some biblical passages JFK liked. But the bulk of the eulogy was a reading from his Inaugural Address, which made it about a third as long as the Mass itself. The biblical passages seemed almost arbitrary really, as a lead in to the really important material written by JFK.
Cardinal Cushing, perhaps feeling slighted by Mrs. Kennedy’s inviting Hannan to speak, gave us a taste of the kind of eulogy that would be standard fare in the future. And not only at state funerals, but at ordinary funerals throughout the country. On the day before the funeral, Cushing celebrated a Memorial Mass in Boston, in which he gave the most maudlin and effusive, and almost totally secular eulogy of JFK and his family.
After the assassination of Robert Kennedy, the funeral Mass celebrated at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, using the new Mass funeral liturgy, featured a long eulogy by Sen. Ted Kennedy. His eulogy was much more like Cardinal Cushing’s than Bishop Hannan’s. In just five years, the eulogistic funeral now had become an occasion for glorifying men rather than God.
I don’t blame the Kennedys as such, because they couldn’t have done this without clergy cooperation.
Well, all of that received a kind of counter action or corrective at the funeral of Judge Scalia. This liturgy was totally focused on Christ Himself, and only secondarily and derivatively on Scalia. Lest anyone think that I’m disrespecting the judge, the most powerful example of this focus was in the homily given by his son, Fr. Paul Scalia, who writes for The Catholic Thing from time to time. His clever introduction to the homily set the tone and theme of what was to follow.
He spoke about coming together to honor someone whom we all know and love, and then surprised the congregation by saying he was speaking about Jesus Christ. That was it. The corrective. At last. Father Scalia went on to organize the funeral homily around what God had done for his father, the many blessings that God had bestowed upon him and upon the family indirectly through his father. It was fantastic. If I weren’t so old, I would’ve jumped out of my chair and cheered.
Father Scalia, I’m sure, conducted the liturgy and framed his homily according to his own faith, and I was quite sure this is exactly what was going to happen. Quite honestly, I was not surprised at all, and yet I couldn’t help feeling tremendously lifted by his words. Further, he stated that he also was fulfilling what he was certain was the will of his father, whom he told us really despised eulogies if for no other reason than that they tended to deprive the deceased of the prayers he would otherwise benefit from if the focus were not on his virtues.
As his son so adeptly mentioned, while his father was a man of great virtue, he was nonetheless a man like us all, that is, a man whose weaknesses required our prayers and God’s mercy.
The focus of every liturgy, including baptisms, confirmations, marriages, ordinations, consecrations, and even funerals, if they are Catholic, has to be on Jesus Christ. Father Scalia made that clear in his words and in his whole conduct of the liturgy. In doing so, he not only served well his earthly father, but more importantly his Heavenly Father.
I don’t know how much affect this is going to have on the American church, but let’s hope it will have some effect in both public and private. A friend once told me that I don’t have to worry that they would be canonizing someone with a personality like mine at my funeral. I told him that was very comforting. Nonetheless, in my will, I have asked that the celebrant and preacher do for me what father Scalia did so effectively for his dad on Saturday. And just to be safe, I have also arranged for many Masses to be celebrated for the repose of my soul.
With a proper funeral liturgy, I will also get a lot more prayers than with some kind of maudlin ceremony with a meaningless eulogy. I’m sure Judge Scalia is very grateful to his son for the kind of reverent and theologically meaningful funeral liturgy that took place at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Saturday.
May Judge Scalia rest in peace.

Fr. Paul Scalia's Eulogy/Homily for his Father: Antonin Scalia

(photo from USA Today)

It cannot be easy to eulogize your father, especially when you are a priest and the eulogy is the homily you are delivering at the Requiem Mass for your very famous father.  Fr. Paul Scalia did that yesterday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and it could not have been done better.

Here is the transcript, courtesy of USA Today:
We are gathered here because of one man. A man known personally to many of us, known only by reputation to even more. A man loved by many, scorned by others. A man known for great controversy, and for great compassion. That man, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth.
Your Eminence Cardinal Wuerl, Your Excellencies, Archbishop Viganò, Bishop Loverde, Bishop Higgins, my brother priests, deacons, distinguished guests, dear friends and faithful gathered:
On behalf of our mother and the entire Scalia family, I want to thank you for your presence here, for your many words of consolation, and even more for the many prayers and Masses you have offered at the death of our father, Antonin Scalia.
In particular I thank Cardinal Wuerl, first for reaching out so quickly and so graciously to console our mother. It was a consolation to her and therefore to us as well. Thank you also for allowing us to have this parish funeral Mass here in this basilica dedicated to Our Lady. What a great privilege and consolation that we were able to bring our father through the holy doors and for him gain the indulgence promised to those who enter in faith.
I thank Bishop Loverde, the bishop of our diocese of Arlington, a bishop our father liked and respected a great deal. Thank you, Bishop Loverde, for your prompt visit to our mother, for your words of consolation, for your prayers.
The family will depart for the private burial immediately after Mass and will not have time to visit, so I want to express our thanks at this time so that you all know our profound appreciation and thanks. You will notice in the program mention of a memorial that will be held on March 1st. We hope to see many of you there. We hope the Lord will repay your great goodness to us.
We are gathered here because of one man. A man known personally to many of us, known only by reputation to even more. A man loved by many, scorned by others. A man known for great controversy, and for great compassion. That man, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth.
It is He whom we proclaim. Jesus Christ, son of the father, born of the Virgin Mary, crucified, buried, risen, seated at the right hand of the Father. It is because of him. because of his life, death and resurrection that we do not mourn as those who have no hope, but in confidence we commend Antonin Scalia to the mercy of God.
Scripture says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever. And that sets a good course for our thoughts and our prayers here today. In effect, we look in three directions. To yesterday, in thanksgiving. To today, in petition. And into eternity, with hope.
We look to Jesus Christ yesterday, that is, to the past, in thanksgiving for the blessings God bestowed upon Dad. In the past week, many have recounted what Dad did for them. But here today, we recount what God did for Dad, how he blessed him.
We give thanks first of all for the atoning death and life-giving resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our Lord died and rose not only for all of us, but also for each of us. And at this time we look to that yesterday of his death and resurrection, and we give thanks that he died and rose for Dad.
Further, we give thanks that Jesus brought him to new life in baptism, nourished him with the Eucharist, and healed him in the confessional.
We give thanks that Jesus bestowed upon him 55 years of marriage to the woman he loved, a woman who could match him at every step, and even hold him accountable.
God blessed Dad with a deep Catholic faith: The conviction that Christ's presence and power continue in the world today through His body, the Church. He loved the clarity and coherence of the church's teachings. He treasured the church's ceremonies, especially the beauty of her ancient worship. He trusted the power of her sacraments as the means of salvation as Christ working within him for his salvation.
Although one time, one Saturday afternoon, he did scold me for having heard confessions that afternoon, that same day. And I hope that it's some source of consolation, if there are any lawyers present, that the Roman collar was not a shield against his criticism.
The issue that evening was not that I had been hearing confessions, but that he had found himself in my confessional line, and he quickly departed it. As he put it later, "Like heck if I'm confessing to you!" The feeling was mutual.
God blessed Dad, as is well known, with a love for his country. He knew well what a close-run thing the founding of our nation was. And he saw in that founding, as did the founders themselves, a blessing, a blessing quickly lost when faith is banned form the public square, or when we refuse to bring it there. So he understood that there is no conflict between loving God and loving one's country, between one's faith and one's public service. Dad understood that the deeper he went in his Catholic faith, the better a citizen and public servant he became. God blessed him with the desire to be the country's good servant because he was God's first.
We Scalias, however, give thanks for a particular blessing God bestowed. God blessed Dad with a love for his family. We have been thrilled to read and hear the many words of praise and admiration for him, for his intellect, his writings, his speeches, his influence and so on.
But more important to us — and to him — is that he was Dad. He was the father that God gave us for the great adventure of family life. Sure he forgot our names at times, or mixed them up, but there are nine of us.
He loved us, and sought to show that love. And sought to share the blessing of the faith he treasured. And he gave us one another, to have each other for support. That's the greatest wealth parents can bestow, and right now we are particularly grateful for it.
So we look to the past, to Jesus Christ yesterday. We call to mind all of these blessings, and we give our Lord the honor and glory for them, for they are His work. We look to Jesus today, in petition, to the present moment, here and now, as we mourn the one we love and admire, the one whose absence pains us. Today we pray for him. We pray for the repose of his soul. We thank God for his goodness to Dad as is right and just. But we also know that although dad believed, he did so imperfectly, like the rest of us. He tried to love God and neighbor, but like the rest of us did so imperfectly.
He was a practicing Catholic, "practicing" in the sense that he hadn't perfected it yet. Or rather, Christ was not yet perfected in him. And only those in whom Christ is brought to perfection can enter heaven. We are here, then, to lend our prayers to that perfecting, to that final work of God's grace, in freeing Dad from every encumbrance of sin.
But don't take my word for it. Dad himself, not surprisingly, had something to say on the matter. Writing years ago to a Presbyterian minister whose funeral service he admired, he summarized quite nicely the pitfalls of funerals and why he didn't like eulogies.
He wrote: "Even when the deceased was an admirable person, indeed especially when the deceased was an admirable person, praise for his virtues can cause us to forget that we are praying for and giving thanks for God's inexplicable mercy to a sinner."
Now he would not have exempted himself from that. We are here then, as he would want, to pray for God's inexplicable mercy to a sinner. To this sinner, Antonin Scalia. Let us not show him a false love and allow our admiration to deprive him of our prayers. We continue to show affection for him and do good for him by praying for him: That all stain of sin be washed away, that all wounds be healed, that he be purified of all that is not Christ. That he rest in peace.
Finally we look to Jesus forever, into eternity. Or better, we consider our own place in eternity and whether it will be with the Lord. Even as we pray for Dad to enter swiftly into eternal glory, we should be mindful of ourselves. Every funeral reminds us of just how thin the veil is between this world and the next, between time and eternity, between the opportunity for conversion and the moment of judgment.
So we cannot depart here unchanged. It makes no sense to celebrate God's goodness and mercy to Dad if we are not attentive and responsive to those realities in our own lives. We must allow this encounter with eternity to change us, to turn us from sin and towards the Lord.
The English Dominican, Father Bede Jarrett, put it beautifully when he prayed, "O strong son of God, while you prepare a place for us, prepare us also for that happy place, that we may be with you and with those we love for all eternity."
Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
My dear friends, this is also the structure of the Mass, the greatest prayer we can offer for Dad, because it's not our prayer, but the Lord's. The Mass looks to Jesus yesterday. It reaches into the past — reaches to the Last Supper, to the crucifixion, to the resurrection — and it makes those mysteries and their power present here on this altar.
Jesus himself becomes present here today under the form of bread and wine so that we can unite all our prayers of thanksgiving, sorrow and petition with Christ himself as an offering to the father. And all of this with a view to eternity, stretching towards heaven, where we hope one day to enjoy that perfect union with God himself and to see Dad again and, with him, rejoice in the communion of saints.

(Rev. Paul Scalia is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia and the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.)

Friday, February 19, 2016

Sophia SketchPad: Confirmation

What is Sophia SketchPad?

Sophia SketchPad is an innovative video series launched last year as part of Sophia Institute for Teachers. With over 200,000 views, this series has become one of the most popular resources used in Catholic schools and parish catechetical programs.

Sophia Institute for Teachers was launched two years ago to provide Catholic educators with the tools and training they need to catechize their students and prepare them to live out the Catholic Faith.

Since Fall of 2014, we have partnered with 20 dioceses to host nearly 100 teacher formation workshops nationwide, and we are directly engaging 20,000 Catholic school teachers with the tools and training they need to help their students graduate as knowledgeable and practicing Catholics.

Sophia Institute for Teachers is funded 100% through charitable donations, so please consider helping us sustain and grow this important work.

From Crisis

Ben Sasse to President: You and Nominee Must Reject Pen and Phone

From today's Morning Bell at The Heritage Foundation.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Matt Walsh: The Progressive Response to the Tragic Death of an Icon

(photo from Wikipedia)

Matt Walsh, writing at The Blaze yesterday, encapsulated exactly the difference between too many Progressives and decent Americans:
Within minutes of the man’s death — and this, by the way, is a man with a wife, nine kids and dozens of grandkids — progressives erupted with applause and jubilation all over social media. Plenty of outlets have compiled some of the celebratory remarks, but that probably isn’t necessary. If you didn’t see it, you can imagine. And keep in mind, these weren’t just a few scattered bad apples, but thousands and thousands of human beings gloating over the still warm corpse of a man so decent and admirable that some of his closest friends belonged to the ideological group now exalting in his demise. And these weren’t merely anonymous trolls on Twitter, but famous folks and folks in media and seemingly regular folks who used their real names and real pictures to post triumphant and sarcastic obituaries. Then, not satisfied with ghoulishly dancing on a freshly dug grave, thousands more began offering their fervent prayers that Clarence Thomas die next...
Liberals celebrating Scalia’s death aren’t just celebrating death, but evil. They aren’t just wrong in what they do and say, but in the reason why they do and say it. They hate a man because he protected the law, justice, human life, marriage and truth. They hate him for his rightness, and they’re happy he’s dead so that wrongness may win. That’s what makes this all so demented.
You can read the entire essay by clicking HERE.