Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Burden to the Economy?

Below is an exerpt from a conversation between George Stephanopoulos and Nancy Pelosi on ABC's This Week.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?

PELOSI: No apologies. No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.

How long before we start emptying the mental health care facilities because they are a "burden to the economy?" How about the convalescent hospitals? In fact, why don't we just have the family with five children pick their favorite three becuase the other two are too expensive? Where do we draw the line?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Malachi's Prophecy of Christ's Perpetual Sacrifice - Mal 1:11

"For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the Lord of Hosts." - MAL 1:11

In this prophecy, God reveals that He is going to discontinue the system of Old Covenant sacrifices and perfect it with a new sacrifice. Catholic author John Salza points out four important features about His new sacrifice:

-The sacrifice will be offered "from the rising to the setting of the sun.".
-The sacrifice will be offered " in every place."
-The sacrifice will be offered "among the nations."
-The sacrifice will be a single (minchah) sacrifice.

I think its important to note that Malachi 1:11 uses the Hebrew word minchah, for offering, which is singular. Thus, Malachi is referring to a single sacrifice! And, it will be offered "from the rising to the setting of the sun" and "in every place."

What is Malachi referring to? A single perfect sacrifice occurring on earth from the rising to the setting of the sun? Yes! Malachi is referring to the worldwide sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The early Church Fathers were unanimous in their recognition of this universal sacrifice. It is the pure sacrifice of Christ that is sacramentally offered among the nations, around the clock and in every place, in Catholic Churches throughout the world! Therefore, we can say that Malachi's prophecy has been fulfilled by the continual, sacramental re-presentation of Christ's pure offering in the Holy Mass, or Malachi is a false prophet.

[1] The Biblical Basis for the Eucharist. John Salza. Our Sunday Vistor.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Life - Imagine the Potential

The ad was produced by CatholicVote.org, a site which launched last September to educate and inspire Catholic voters.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pope congratulates Obama on Inauguration Day

Vatican City - Catholic News Service. See Article Here

"Pope Benedict XVI, congratulating Barack Obama on his inauguration as U.S. president, prayed that he would remain steadfast in his dedication to promote understanding, cooperation and peace in the world. The pope, in a Jan. 20 telegram, told Obama that he prayed God would "grant you unfailing wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high responsibilities." Popes traditionally send a telegram of congratulations to new presidents of the United States on the day of their inauguration.

In his message to Obama, Pope Benedict said he prayed, under the new president's leadership, "may the American people continue to find in their impressive religious and political heritage the spiritual values and ethical principles needed to cooperate in the building of a truly just and free society.

"The pope said he hoped the future of the United States would be "marked by respect for the dignity, equality and rights of each of its members, especially the poor, the outcast and those who have no voice."

"At a time when so many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world yearn for liberation from the scourge of poverty, hunger and violence, I pray that you will be confirmed in your resolve to promote understanding, cooperation and peace among the nations, so that all may share in the banquet of life which God wills to set for the whole human family," the pope said.

Pope Benedict also asked God to bless the Obama family and all the people of the United States.

The pope had also sent a personal message of congratulations Nov. 5 on what he called the "historic occasion" of Obama's election, the first time a black man has been elected president of the United States."

Friday, January 16, 2009

January 18, 2009 - National Sanctity of Human Life Day

Catholic News Agency:
In what may be his last declaration as U.S. president, George W. Bush has announced that he is establishing January 18, 2009 as "National Sanctity of Human Life Day."

President Bush writes that "All human life is a gift from our Creator that is sacred, unique, and worthy of protection.

"On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, our country recognizes that each person, including every person waiting to be born, has a special place and purpose in this world. We also underscore our dedication to heeding this message of conscience by speaking up for the weak and voiceless among us." . .

The president closed his declaration by saying that "the sanctity of life is written in the hearts of all men and women" and that National Sanctity of Life Day should be dedicated building "a society in which every child is welcome in life and protected in law."

Read the full article:

President declares Sanctity of Human Life Day, sums up pro-life victories

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

"Let us do honor to Christ's baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness. Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed. Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of men, for whom His every word and every revelation exists. He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of Him who is the light of heaven. You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received-though not in its fullness-a ray of its splendor, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Saint Gregory Nazianzus, Bishop (330-389AD), Oratio 39, "Sancta Lumina," 14-16,20.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

For Unto Us a Child is Born...

On Friday, January 2nd at 6:23pm, Melissa and I welcomed Catherine Siena Guillen into our arms. She was 6lbs. and 2oz.

This experience has been unlike anything else. We are truely thankful for being blessed with our beautiful child. As Melissa and I experience the joys of parenthood, we've also noticed how our love has grown more deeply and profound for one another. God has poured out an abudance of grace upon us not only continue to serve eachother, but to love Catherine more than we ever imagined. We are thankful!

It has all been wonderful and amazing for us. Here are few pictures from the hospital. .

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"In Remembrance"

“In remembrance” (Luke: 22:17–19). These words in Jesus’ institution of the Eucharist harken back to the Old Testament concept of Anamnesis. The word, translated “memorial,” or “remembrance,” indicated a festival or practice or object intended as a link for future generations with a distinctive act of God. More importantly, as there were a handful of Greek words that can describe a "remembrance" of something, anamnesis is the only word that refers exclusively to a sacrifice.

Through the anamnesis, God’s people sensed their personal participation, along with the original generation, in the act God performed for them. Therefore, the institution of the Eucharist, in observing it we are drawn back into history and realize that we truly were there at the Cross.

What Jesus did then echoes throughout history, as real today as in the 1st century, for we appropriate by faith all that Jesus accomplished in giving His body and blood for our sakes.

14 When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. 15 He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I tell you, I will not eat itc until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989, S. Lk 22:14-19

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Jesus Made Me Do It

Why is it that if you were to mention the name of Buddah, Mohammed or Confucius you would be viewed as someone who has an open mind, is well read and informed, but, if you mention the name of Jesus, the conversation gets uncomfortable? I think it is Jesus' fault. After all, Buddah, Mohammed or Confucius were great moral teachers. They pointed their followers to something greater than themselves. They would say, "don't look to me, look to my teaching." Jesus on the other hand doesn't point to anything greater than himself. He doesn't say, "follow my teaching" he says, "follow me!" That is a pretty bold statement.

All other religious leaders have used a sort of third point of reference. The "meaning of life" can be spoken of in the third person. You can disregard the teaching without disregarding the teacher. That doesn't work with Jesus because he is his teaching. He isn't just the messenger, he is the message. The two are inseparable. Jesus doesn't tell us that he will show us the way, the truth and the life. He says, "I AM the way, the truth and the life." You can't reject Jesus' way without rejecting Jesus.

Jesus requires a response; He provokes a response. For some it is a response of adoration and worship; for others it is a response of anger and hate. Why would one respond in anger? Because when we look Jesus, he shows us ourselves. (Remember in high school when the really pretty girl would walk in the room and all the other girls would tear her down behind her back? Imagine how they would talk about her if she were the smartest as well.) When we look at Jesus, we see our true selves; and we don't like what we see.

The good news is that Jesus has come to make all things new. He has come to establish a new humanity where we are free to be as God intended. Jesus came not only to free us from the consequence of sin; he came to free us from our sin. This comes at an expense. We have to be willing to give our entire selves. We have to be willing to give up our pride, fear, lusts-- our sins. But many times, we don't want to. We want to hold on to these things that are so "precious" to us and God will allow us to do so. It will change us not unlike the transformation Smeagol experienced when he held onto the ring.

Lord, change me...make me new!!!