The U In JesUs….


                                      Poem from an unknown author

Before U were thought of or time had begun,

God put U in the name of His Son.

And each time U pray, U will see it is true,

U cannot spell out JesUs and not include U.

U are a pretty big part of His wonderful name,

For U He was born; that’s why He came.

And His great love for U, is the reason He died,

It even takes U to spell crUcified.

Isn’t it thrilling and splendidly grand;

He rose from the dead, with U in His plan.

The stone rolled away, the gold trUmpet blew,

and the word resUrrection is spelled with a U.

When JesUs left earth at His Upward ascension;

He felt there was one thing He jUst had to mention.

“Go into the world and tell them it’s trUe,

that I love them all – just like I love U.”

So many great people are spelled with a U,

It all depends now on what U will do.

He’d like all to know, and it all starts with U………JesUs and U!

Will U let others know, that they too are the U in JesUs?

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Christians Must Recover Spiritual Inspiration


Here is a great article on the unity of Christ’s church:

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0800475.htm

If the March For Life Ain’t News….What Is?


Remarks by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson at the 2008 March for Life
Washington, DC – January 22, 2008 

“Thank you, Nellie, for your tireless energy and devotion to the pro-life cause.
 
We first met 30 years ago at the March for Life and I am proud that thousands of Knights of Columbus have volunteered to help stage this march over the years.
 
We have followed your example.  We help organize Marches for Life all across North America – at the West Coast March for Life three days ago in San Francisco, in Mexico City last fall, and in the Canadian capital of Ottawa each May.
 
We gather here today at the beginning of another election year, a year in which almost all of the candidates promise “change.”  But we have been coming to Washington for 35 years asking for change – asking to change Roe v. Wade. 
 
Thirty-five years ago, the Supreme Court imposed a change on our nation that is at odds with our history, our Constitution and our humanity.  And it is time to change Roe v. Wade.
 
Abortion is wrong because abortion hurts everyone.
 
It takes the life of the innocent unborn child.
 
It victimizes the mother and the father.
 
It compromises doctors and nurses.
 
It undermines respect for judges.
 
It implicates the taxpayer who pays for it.
 
It coarsens the society that tolerates it.
 
No woman should feel that she must have an abortion. 
 
We can find a better way. 
 
We can build a society in which every woman and child can find the support and care they deserve. 
 
We can build a culture of life. 
 
We can give hope to every woman and every child. 
 
Today I see thousands of helping hands ready to make this hope a reality and I know there are millions more.
 
Together we can bring change. 
 
Together we can build a new culture of life in our hearts, in our homes, and in our laws.”

I saw nothing about the March on the news reports…..did you?

By Whose Authority?:I Peter 5:1-14


So I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, (overseeing) not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you younger members, be subject to the presbyters. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: “God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble.” So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you. Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for (someone) to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings. The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ (Jesus) will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. To him be dominion forever. Amen. I write you this briefly through Silvanus, whom I consider a faithful brother, exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Remain firm in it. The chosen one at Babylon sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son. Greet one another with a loving kiss. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

In this section of sacred Scripture, Peter addresses the presbyters. I noticed in researching this, the actual word in the Greek language is presbuteros. In short, this word carries with it a connection with Jewish religious leadership; the Sanhedrin. In Matthew 23:2, Jesus references this style of leadership: “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. This word chair (also seat in some translations) is the Greek word kathedra. We as Catholics see the connection instantly with the authority of the office of Moses in the Old Testament, and with that of the authority of the office of Peter in the New Testament.

Jesus is the fulfillment of Judaism. This fulfillment is called Christianity. Would Jesus really tell us to toss the baby out with the bath water? I doubt it. There was already a hierarchical system in place. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraphs 1539-1541:

The chosen people was constituted by God as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” But within the people of Israel, God chose one of the twelve tribes, that of Levi, and set it apart for liturgical service; God himself is its inheritance. A special rite consecrated the beginnings of the priesthood of the Old Covenant. The priests are “appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.”
Instituted to proclaim the Word of God and to restore communion with God by sacrifices and prayer, this priesthood nevertheless remains powerless to bring about salvation, needing to repeat its sacrifices ceaselessly and being unable to achieve a definitive sanctification, which only the sacrifice of Christ would accomplish.
The liturgy of the Church, however, sees in the priesthood of Aaron and the service of the Levites, as in the institution of the seventy elders, a prefiguring of the ordained ministry of the New Covenant. Thus in the Latin Rite the Church prays in the consecratory preface of the ordination of bishops:
    God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, . . .
    by your gracious word
    you have established the plan of your Church.From the beginning,
    you chose the descendants of Abraham to be your holy nation.
    You established rulers and priests,
    and did not leave your sanctuary without ministers to serve you. . . 

 All this to say, our presbyters [priests] are here to lead us and we are to follow their example as they willingly oversee God’s flock. Peter reminds them that upon their faithful service, they will receive the unfading crown of glory when the Chief Shepherd is revealed.

Peter then turns to us, the flock [the younger members] and commands us to be subject to the presbyters. With all due respect to the sacred Scriptures, he doesn’t say “be subject to the Scriptures” but to the presbyters. They are assigned to us by God through His Church the “pillar and foundation of the truth” (I Tim. 3:15).

This submission to the truth can only come about as we choose to clothe ourselves with humility. It is so easy to hide behind scripture as my only authority. After all, my relationship with God is my own business…right? Wrong! My relationship with God is personal, but it should never be private; especially to those in my own community. If we won’t humble ourselves God opposes us. If we do [humble ourselves] He bestows favor on us, and will exalt us in due time. God knows humility hurts, He experienced it on the cross. So cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.

We must also be sober [straightforward in character] and vigilant [watchful] for the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for (someone) to devour. So what do we do? Resist him! As we learned in the James study, Whose Lover Are You?:

By allowing God’s Spirit to work within us we submit ourselves to God. If we think to highly of ourselves, God will resist us; “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” When we submit to God (give Him the authority over our lives) several things happen. He bestows a greater grace because of our humility. With this greater grace we are also able to resist the devil, assured that when we do, he (the devil) will flee from us! How amazing is that grace!

We are not alone; there are others suffering all over the world; but we must remember the God of all grace… will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you after you have suffered a little. The Holy Spirit through Peter, wants us to read, listen and hear these words; this is the true grace of God. Remain firm in it.

So this week, let us submit to the presbyters who oversee us willingly and not by constraint, not for shameful profit but eagerly, for they are our examples to follow. Being humble in spirit before God and His Holy Church, as well as being sober and vigilant; steadfast in faith, to the God of all grace.

Amen.

Ten Challenges for the Pro-Life Movement


I received this in an e-mail earlier today.More information is at the bottom of the post:

As we gear up for next Tuesday’s March for Life in Washington DC, I (Rev. Thomas Euteneuer) offer this list of challenges to the pro-life movement in America. If we really wish to beat the abortion culture we have to mature as a movement. Thirty-five years of the same strategies and ideas have not gained us the victory we seek because the fight against the most pervasive spiritual evil that has ever entered the world can only be won on God’s terms. The pro-life movement has invested more in political and cultural change than in spiritual change. Let us not be afraid to fight Goliath’s weapons of mass destruction with the faith of David who came against the giant “in the name of the Lord of Hosts.” (1 Sam 17:45)

10. Recruit Hispanics and other minorities into the pro-life movement—while we march on Washington DC, the abortion industry is scheming more ways to get minority women into their killing centers and capitalize on their vulnerabilities as immigrants, legal or illegal. Every pro-life group needs to put Hispanic outreach on the agenda immediately so that their largely Catholic values and culture will not be paganized by the politics of death.

9. Reject politicians who believe in rape, incest, life-of-the-mother and fetal deformity “exceptions”—political candidates who believe that these “exceptions” are legitimate are really saying that it’s okay to kill some babies and save others. They are worse than false prophets; they are frauds who perpetuate the notion that we can adopt the values of the devil while still serving God. Vote pro-life, not pro-some-life.

8. Challenge the accepted notion that condoms and birth control reduce abortions—reverse that lie with the truth: namely, that birth control does not reduce abortions, it increases them. Why else would a society saturated by birth control still have 1.3 million abortions? Almost 60% of women who go into abortion clinics cite failed birth control as their reason for aborting. Remember that the same folks who sell abortion also sell birth control, and they’re making a killing.

7. Educate doctors that abortifacient birth control is chemical homicide—most physicians conveniently overlook the abortifacient nature of all chemical birth control methods. Doctors are complicit in the chemical deaths of millions of babies and need to be told that they will be held accountable before the Throne of God for every lethal prescription that bears their signatures. If you care about his or her soul, you will educate your doctor!

6. Boycott corporations and organizations that fund or promote abortion—the abortion industry lusts for public support of any kind. Businesses and organizations that fund the baby-killers need to be awakened, and rather sharply, by the pro-life conscience of our society. Companies that refuse to see abortion’s moral dimension must be made to feel—economically—that abortion is a really bad business decision. And don’t hide your light under a bushel basket: make a public witness, write a letter, stage a picket. Let others know that you dissent from the culture of death.

5. Go on the offensive against Planned Parenthood’s funding—abortion is not the only source of money for the Planned Parenthood baby-killers; they are awash with cash due to the profits from their “clinic business” (i.e., selling birth control and sterilizations) and senseless government funding for “family planning.” Pro-life groups not willing to cut off their funding stream for contraception will just continue to see the PP monster grow and will never effectively undermine the demand for abortion.

4. Embrace the embryonic stem cell and euthanasia issues with the same fervor as abortion—let’s not adopt the same logic as the pro-aborts who dismiss the pre-born child and the inconvenient handicapped person as “not viable” and look the other way when they are destroyed for profit, or worse, market them as material for extermination. Let’s recognize that our defense of life must remain rock solid through the entire life spectrum, no matter how small or vulnerable.

3. Remind the Christian churches—again—that abortion exists with their permission—history will judge the churches of Christ that were apathetic toward abortion more harshly than the churches of Germany during the 30s and 40s. Christians living in a free society aren’t being sent to gas chambers for speaking out, so we have no excuse. It has been said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in the face of a moral crisis, do nothing. Christians must know that we will be held accountable if we are silent and indifferent to the plight of Christ’s least brethren.

2. Fast for the conversion of abortion promoters—“Some demons are not driven out except by prayer and fasting,” said the Lord (Mt 17:21). A regular habit of tangible sacrifices for those most immersed in the grip of the abortion demon will erode the power of this evil. The Lord just needs an army of souls who are willing to embrace this practice—then astonishing results will abound. Why not go back to fasting or abstaining from meat on Fridays for this cause?

1. Get down on our knees and ask the one true Savior to end abortion—the pro-life movement needs to humbly admit that abortion is such a massive evil and so deeply rooted in our social fabric that no human power can eliminate it. While we need to vote for pro-life politicians, they are not our saviors. Abortion needs to be driven out by the spiritual authority of Christ’s church like an unclean spirit. Once the pro-life movement begins to seriously fight abortion in its spiritual dimension, we will see some real pro-life victories in politics and society. We can’t say that prayer hasn’t worked until it’s actually been tried.

Spirit & Life®
“The words I spoke to you are spirit and life.” (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 03, Number 03 | Friday, January 18, 2008

www.hli.org

Sharing In Christ’s Sufferings:I Peter 4:12-19


Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you. But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when His glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let no one among you be made to suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as an intriguer. But whoever is made to suffer as a Christian should not be ashamed but glorify God because of the name. For it is time for the judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, how will it end for those who fail to obey the gospel of God? “And if the righteous one is barely saved, where will the godless and the sinner appear?” As a result, those who suffer in accord with God’s will hand their souls over to a faithful Creator as they do good.

 Why are we surprised when we (as Christians) suffer? Are we really that ignorant of the sacred Scriptures (Jas. 1:2-3, Phil. 3:10, Col. 1:24, Jn. 15:18-20)? Or do we avoid these texts altogether, hoping that God will forget these parts if we over emphasize the “Sabbath rest” and the “abundant life” passages?

Could this be the reason that the gospel that is being preached in the 21st century is seemingly so weak and ineffective; this lack of mentioning suffering? Yet, if we look closely at the book of the Acts of the Apostles, it reveals to us the  power of the first century Church in Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit, to be sure, but we also see the suffering, persecution and even God’s judgement upon it’s members, as a means to effective growth, ministry and maturity. Are we not called to share in the sufferings of Christ? Peter reminds us we are!

This should also call to mind, Jesus’ sermon on the mount in Matt. 5:10-12 (or His sermon on the plain in Luke 6:22-23). As a disciple of Christ, I would not be preaching the “true”gospel, if that gospel does not mention suffering. As the Church teaches in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraphs 1505 and 1508:

Moved by so much suffering Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries his own: “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.” But he did not heal all the sick. His healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. They announced a more radical healing: the victory over sin and death through his Passover. On the cross Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the “sin of the world,” of which illness is only a consequence. By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion.

The Holy Spirit gives to some a special charism of healing so as to make manifest the power of the grace of the risen Lord. But even the most intense prayers do not always obtain the healing of all illnesses. Thus St. Paul must learn from the Lord that “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” and that the sufferings to be endured can mean that “in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his Body, that is, the Church.”

 Yet Peter says to suffer as a Christian, not as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as an intriguer. There is no shame in suffering for righteousness on account of Christ, but there is shame in suffering for that which is unrighteous – for that which goes against Christ. All suffering may not be the result of good Christian conduct. It could be the result of our own selfish and/or evil desires. It could also be the result of the “curse” of the “fall”; but it is always intended to bring us toward redemption. Again in paragraphs 517 and518 of the CCC, it states:

Christ’s whole life is a mystery of redemption. Redemption comes to us above all through the blood of his cross, but this mystery is at work throughout Christ’s entire life:
  • already in his Incarnation through which by becoming poor he enriches us with his poverty;
  • in his hidden life which by his submission atones for our disobedience;
  • in his word which purifies its hearers;
  • in his healings and exorcisms by which “he took our infirmities and bore our diseases”;
  • and in his Resurrection by which he justifies us.

 Christ’s whole life is a mystery of recapitulation. All Jesus did, said, and suffered had for its aim restoring fallen man to his original vocation:
 When Christ became incarnate and was made man, he recapitulated in himself the long history of mankind and procured for us a ‘short cut’ to salvation, so that what we had lost in Adam, that is, being in the image and likeness of God, we might recover in Christ Jesus.For this reason Christ experienced all the stages of life, thereby giving communion with God to all men.

Suffering is a powerful tool that God uses to “conform us to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29) yet we must be willing to walk the way of the cross. As Jesus Himself said “…and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me,” (Matt. 10:38). Nothing said suffering and death in first century Palestine, quite like a cross.

Now, what exactly does Peter mean by it is time for the judgment to begin with the household of God? Could he have been thinking back on his experience with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11) knowing that lying to the Holy Spirit, as well as to the members of the Christian community, brings about His sure and swift judgement? Maybe so, for Peter knows that if God judges His household [Church] by such a measure of judgement, how will it end for those who fail to obey the gospel of God?

The writer of Hebrews puts it this way, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (10:31). Peter also quotes from Proverbs 11:31 and consoles us with the promise that when we  suffer in accord with God’s will we hand our souls over to a faithful Creator.

So this week, let us rejoice when we suffer knowing that Christ suffered in love for our redemption. Glorify God when we suffer and continue to obey His commands, for He is a “faithful Creator” to whom we have entrusted our souls.

I also would like to close with a quote from Father Benedict Groeschel, who says before praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the most Holy Rosary, “Whenever good comes into contact with evil – there is suffering.” It helps me to remember that!

Amen.

Top Seven Acts of Christian Bashing in America of 2007


This is a list from the Christian News Wire; read the whole article here.

 

7.) Golden Compass, the Movie–Phillip Pullman’s atheistic answer to C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series because destroying the church and killing God in the mind of every child is the best revenge. Why be damned alone when you can take a few million souls with you and get rich on the proceeds.

 

6.) John Edwards’s Campaign Bloggers who called Christian supporters of President Bush his “wing nut Christofascist base.” One asked, ‘What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit,’ to which she replied, ‘You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.’ They posed the thoughtful question of religious conservatives, “What don’t you lousy %#*@!+# understand about keeping your noses out of our britches, our beds and our families?”

 

 5.) CNN’s “God’s Warriors” and “Friends of God”–Two biased, anti-Christian documentaries were produced and aired. One by Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, Alexandra, “Friends of God” on HBO and the other by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, “God’s Warriors.” At least they tried to act as if they wanted to be fair. Of course, they failed. Evangelicals are almost 100 million strong and very diverse but are reduced to clichéd caricatures or are portrayed as the moral equivalents of Islamic terrorists.  

 

4.) Attack on Jerry Falwell–CNN reached a new low when Anderson Cooper invited Christopher Hitchens, editor of Vanity Fair Magazine, on his show the day of Jerry Falwell’s death to make critical remarks about Falwell. Hitchens made the most reprehensible and offensive remarks one can imagine against a Christian minister, Jerry Falwell, even on the day of his death. Christopher Hitchens called Falwell “a little toad … a horrible little person…an evil old man…a conscious charlatan and bully and fraud…an actual danger to democracy, to culture, to civilization.”  

 

3.) Violence on San Francisco Church–In September, Christians in San Francisco spoke out against a blasphemous anti-Christian advertisement for the Folsom Street Fair, a perverted “fair” for the sadomasochistic, leather fetish community. The ad mimics the classic Christian painting of Christ at the Last Supper. In the ad, Christ and the 12 Disciples are portrayed as sexual deviants provocatively posed before a table of sex toys.

 

2.) Federal Hate Crimes Bill–The 2007 Federal Hate Crimes Bill which threatens religious liberties and lays the groundwork for “thought crime,” which has no place in American law and violates the concept of equal protection under the law. As has occurred in other nations, these laws pave the way for Christians to be silenced and even arrested because they believe that homosexual acts are sinful. It is totalitarian regimes which punish thoughts, not free societies. Thomas Jefferson declares that “the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions.”

 

1.) Colorado Church Murders–“You Christians brought this on yourselves I’m coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill. … God, I can’t wait till I can kill you people. Feel no remorse, no sense of shame, I don’t care if I live or die. …” Posted by a troubled young man, Matthew Murray, ten hours after killing two at the Arvada missionary base and two hours before killing two at a Colorado Springs church. Churches used to be considered sanctuaries, but now they are targets for the hateful and the deranged. The CADC calls on every church to be prepared to use deadly force, if necessary, to protect their congregations.