Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Enemies of the human race?

In today's Supreme Court decision, "United States v. Windsor," Justice Scalia had some poignant words to share in his dissent.  In particular, I direct you to these two paragraphs, found on page 55:
But the majority says that the supporters of this Act acted with malice—with the “purpose” (ante, at 25) “to disparage and to injure” same-sex couples. It says that the motivation for DOMA was to “demean,” ibid.; to “impose inequality,” ante, at 22; to “impose . . . a stigma,” ante, at 21; to deny people “equal dignity,” ibid.; to brand gay people as “unworthy,” ante, at 23; and to “humiliat[e]” their children, ibid. (emphasis added).

I am sure these accusations are quite untrue. To be sure (as the majority points out), the legislation is called the Defense of Marriage Act. But to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to condemn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution. In the majority’s judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to “dis-parage,” ”injure,” “degrade,” ”demean,” and “humiliate” our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homosexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence— indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Prayers for marriage

Chief Justice John Roberts just announced that the Supreme Court will give their rulings on Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor tomorrow at 10 am.  These are the two cases dealing with the redefinition of marriage.

Please pray today for these two decisions and for the upholding of the truth, goodness and beauty of marriage.  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

33,000 years of marriage in one place

Msgr. Charles Pope recently wrote about the wedding anniversary Mass for the Archdiocese of Washington, DC.  Together, there were 33,000 years of marriage represented at the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception for the event.  That's incredible!

Along with celebrating the faithful witness of these couples, Msgr. Pope also shares several tips concerning marriage that he has learned from long-married couples.  They are definitely worth a read, especially for engaged and married couples.

You can find the advice here.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The world is upside down

As always, Anthony Esolen has a way with words. His column, "Welcome to the Mental Ward" is an excellent depiction of the craziness of our nation and world right now.
A taste:
On the next Monday—for the lunacy outlasts the phases of the moon—we are told that a pregnant woman is, emotionally, a tender flower, who must be protected against people praying for her and her child as she enters the abortuary. On Tuesday, we are derided for being impossibly old-fashioned if we suggest that it might not be a good thing for women who are possibly pregnant to be crawling on their bellies on a battlefield, where men will be shouting things much more terrifying than the Hail Mary. On Wednesday we are told that a church’s failure to provide free contraceptives to its employees is a terrible sin against the common good. On Friday, we are told that the notion of the “common good” is trumped by the individual’s supposed right to be antisocial in matters of sex.

On Saturday, we are told that no man is an island. On Sunday, we are told that every woman is an island. On Monday, a bad man is sued to support a child conceived out of wedlock. On Tuesday, a good man is told to shut up when he sues to support his child conceived within wedlock, rather than have it aborted. On Wednesday, we complain that there are no good men to marry. On Thursday, we make sure to destroy the last institution that made for good men.

Read it all here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Modesty is about revealing your dignity"
Try as I might, I can't seem to upload this video to the blog.  So, take my word for it that Jessica Rey's brief presentation on "The Evolution of the Swimsuit" is well worth your time.  

Today it's a given that 95% of women will spend their beach time in a bikini.  But has that always been the case?  Learn more about what you wear in the water.  

The video is available here.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A pro-life inspiration

Brandon Vogt shared this interview with nine-year-old Giovanni, a pro-life blogger.  Here he shares his work of making duct tape wallets with pro-life messages to raise funds for pro-life organizations.


You can read about his wallets and his donations thus far at his blog.  It's also where you will find more information about how to order a custom wallet.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

"Dear mom with a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis"

This is a beautiful, heartfelt letter from Lauren to all mothers expecting a child with Down Syndrome.  The beginning ...
Dear mom who just received a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis,

I know how you feel.

Except — unlike you, I was holding my new baby, Kate, in my arms when I found out. She was wrapped in a blanket, looking up at me as I cried, listening to the Neonatologist on staff tell me — only minutes after she was born — that she had Down syndrome. And what that meant.

He said that it meant she had an extra chromosome. And that she would have learning delays. He said that it meant she was significantly predisposed to certain medical conditions, including congenital heart defects — and that we should get her heart tested right away. He said that it meant she had low muscle tone and may not be able to breastfeed. He said that it meant she would do things on a different schedule than other kids.

And in those first few days, after hearing those statistics, talking to doctors and researching online, I thought I knew what it “meant” to have a child with Down syndrome. And quite frankly, I was devastated.

And so it is with you.

But let me tell you — from one mother to another — those facts are not what it means to have a child with Down syndrome.

Many of those facts may not even apply to you. Some might, but many might not. I’ve learned this with all of my children. And I never allow generalizations to set my expectations. (For the record, Kate breastfed like a champ and continues to break stereotypes.)

What those facts didn’t tell me about Kate is that — along with almond eyes and slightly lower muscle tone — she would also have my thick, blond hair and full lips. That she’s a Daddy’s girl. That she loves peanut butter waffles and rocking her baby doll to sleep. They didn’t tell me that she’s a nurturing big sister, a doting little sister — and the star in the room wherever we go.

It's definitely worth the read here.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Singing together after 66 years

Thanks to Deacon Greg for sharing this video.  After 66 years together, a man now sick in the hospital requested singing this song with his wife:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Quote book

"Clearly, then, the fundamental problem of youth is profoundly personal. In life, youth is when we come to know ourselves. It is also a time of communion. Young people, whether boys or girls, know they must live for and with others, they know that their life has meaning to the extent that it becomes a free gift for others. Here is the origin of all vocations -- whether to priesthood or religious life, or to marriage and family. The call to marriage is also a vocation, a gift from God. 

Jerzy Ciesielski and his wife
"I will never forget a young man, an engineering student in Krakow, who everyone knew aspired with determination to holiness. This was his life plan. He knew he had been 'created for great things,' as Saint Stanislaus Kostka once expressed it. And at the same time, he had no doubt that his vocation was neither to priesthood nor to religious life. He knew he was called to remain the secular world. Technical work, the study of engineering, was his passion. He sought a companion for his life and sought her on his knees, in prayer. I will never forget the conversation in which, after a special day of retreat, he said to me: 'I think that this is the woman who should be my wife, that it is God who has given her to me.' It was almost as if he were following not only the voice of his own wishes but above all the voice of God Himself. He knew that all good things come from Him, and he made a good choice. I am speaking of Jerzy Ciesielski, who died in a tragic accident in the Sudan, where he had been invited to teach at the University. The cause for his beatification is under way." 

-- Bl. John Paul II in "Crossing the Threshold of Hope"

Friday, June 7, 2013

Day of Prayer for Priests

It's the Feast of the Sacred Heart, which is a beautiful event for all Catholics. But in a particular way we are asked to pray for our priests today. Here is a prayer written by St. Therese:

Prayer for Priests

O Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep your priests within the shelter of your sacred heart, where none may touch them.

Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch your sacred body.

Keep unsullied their lips, daily purpled with your precious blood.

Keep pure and unearthly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of your priesthood.

Let your holy love surround them, and shield them from the world’s contagion.

Bless their labors with abundant fruit,

and may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here on earth,

and in heaven, their everlasting crown.

Mary, Mother of Priests, pray for priests and vocations to the priesthood.

– St. Therese of Lisieux

(Thanks to Deacon Greg for sharing this prayer in the past.)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

How about some good news?

Russia had its first Eucharistic procession since 1918 for Corpus Christi this year!


(Thanks to Marcel LeJeune for sharing on Aggie Catholics.)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

When a Catholic school teacher signs a contract ...

Ohio seems to have been at the center of many recent controversies related to same-sex activities. We have the Cub Scout leader in Ohio who was asked to step down from her role because of her same-sex relationship. We have the firing of a Catholic school assistant principal in Cincinnati who defended the redefinition of marriage via social media. Then there's the firing of a teacher in Columbus who was in a same-sex relationship. And the firing of another teacher in Cincinnati who used artificial insemination to become pregnant, also in a same-sex relationship.

The latter three stories are not simple cases of discrimination or not. Each involves an individual who signed a contract in order to work in a Catholic school, promising to live the Catholic faith, knowing that students would be looking to him or her as a role model.

The case of the Cincinnati teacher was decided in court yesterday, with a judge awarding her $171,000. What's really at stake here and why is this case such a big deal for the country? Gail Finke has a great piece on Catholic Exchange, exploring the answer.

It’s a story because it’s about sex and religion. A pretty young woman has a sweet little baby, how can that be wrong? So she’s a lesbian and she lied about that — who cares in this day and age, except the mean old Catholic Church that just wants to oppress women and stop them from having sex with whoever they want to, whenever they want to? So she violated her contract — who cares about that either, as long as the contract is with anyone connected with the Catholic Church and concerns sexual morality?

She has a case because the judge who okayed her suit in February ruled that she was not a ministerial employee. We’ll go into the implications of that ruling in a minute, but its immediate effect was that the case could proceed. Judge Arthur Spiegel found that it was not clear whether Dias was fired for being pregnant (which is illegal) or for sexual activity outside of marriage (which can be illegal, if it is not applied equally to men and women) or for artificial insemination (also illegal if it was not applied equally to men).

Judge Spiegel said it was a jury’s job to decide that, so all last week we were treated to reports ranging from the bemused to the hysterical — the latter being CNN personality Ashleigh Banfield equating the schools’ morality clause to sharia law. Even in more sober accounts, we’ve heard about Ms. Dias crying on the stand as she remembered being fired, and testifying that she thought fulfilling the contract that she signed every year for five years just meant she should “be a Christian woman and follow the Bible.”

Be sure to take the time to read it all here.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Waiting for the Supreme Court

Well, it's been more than a week since I last posted, which is a first in the history of "Unshakeable Hope."  Hopefully, the lapse in writing won't continue.

In late March, the Supreme Court spent two days hearing oral arguments related to the redefinition of marriage.  At the time, their forthcoming decision was on many people's minds.  The media-projected images of protesters and signs and chants were everywhere, as were talking heads pontificating on the subject on every news show.

Now, we're in June -- the month when the Supreme Court is expected to hand down their decision.  If we needed to be praying in late March, then we certainly need to be praying now.  Their decision -- whichever way it goes -- will have enormous implications for our nation.  

Don't forget this June to pray for the nine justices of the Supreme Court -- for wisdom, for courage, for insight.