As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...
He who knows the story - "There were a lot of reasons I ended up converting to Christianity. It was a years-long process in which I searched and asked questions and read a couple of shelves full of books. But one of the key turning points in my journey was that moment when I realized that this belief system understood the human story better than any other."
When Does Lent End? - [Interesting question... technically, liturgically speaking, the answer is Holy Saturday Mass commemorating the Lord's Supper. This begins the Triduum, which is its own liturgical celebration apart from Lent. But we do continue to fast and abstain through this period.]
Ash Wednesday, Fasting, Abstaining, and You - [By the time of this posting the information in this article is old, but still worth reviewing.] "You should by now have a plan for your spiritual life and your physical/material mortifications and penitential practices during Lent. You would do well to include some works of mercy, both spiritual and corporal."
What Does Jesus Mean by Hypocrisy? It’s Deeper than You Think - "The modern notion is that a hypocrite is someone who says one thing but does another, a person who is two-faced, who is inconsistent or phony. Jesus’ teaching on Hypocrisy does not exclude this notion but is far richer."
Santorum vs. Obama: The Debate America Needs - "Santorum’s life and political career remind America of what George Washington, Alexis de Tocqueville, and Benedict XVI each have expressed so clearly: the character and decency of America – and with them her greatness as a nation – depend on her citizens’ religiosity and commitment to Judeo-Christian morality."
Santorum attends the Novus Ordo in Latin, and has attracted vibrant young people including Evangelical Christians to manage his campaign
The Rosary Crusade for Santorum gathers pace - [This from a blogger in Europe.]
The Message on Contraception, Without Apology - [Great little feature about a Catholic priest in Massachusetts. We need a lot more priests like this.]
Father, We're Ready for that Homily on Contraception Now - "Just as the tide has turned on the issue of abortion, I see it turning with contraception too. Even non-Catholics are conceding that that the Church may not be totally crazy when it says that artificial birth control is neither good for the individual nor for society."
Thank you President Obama for making Catholics more Catholic… - "We hear a lot about the need to believe God loves us and to be loving and forgiving and most of us take those words to heart and try to advance in those respects. But we don’t hear priests preach on moral topics."
Obama Contra Ecclesia - "We’ve grown too comfortable with the quiet atrocities decimating western Christendom. Francis Cardinal George, a prominent member of the U.S. episcopate, remarked recently, 'I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.'"
Papal States are guarantee of popes' legal and political independence - "Why does the Pope need his own territory? Why can't he just be a simple Italian citizen? I'll give you several good reasons..."
Cardinal Timothy Dolan: Could He Become Pope? - [Interesting video. Worth watching...but I doubt it will happen.]
Same-sex marriage views in the Catholic Church are rooted in the Scriptures, teachings of Jesus Christ - "The bishops’ seemingly unpopular opposition to same-sex marriage is not based on their desire to 'make church law into state law;' rather, they are guarding the nature and mission of marriage as established by God in the order of creation as the lifelong union of one man and one woman for the good of their union and the procreation of children. On this basis, the Church and the state have no authority to redefine marriage."
HHS and soft totalitarianism - "It is no exaggeration to describe that cast of mind as 'soft totalitarianism': an effort to eliminate the vital role in health care, education and social service played by the institutions of civil society, unless those institutions become extensions of the state."
Hysterical Abortion Advocates Equate Ultrasounds To Rape - [It's this kind of moral deceit that "The real outrage, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with women supposedly being raped. This is entirely about the simple fact that pro-aborts know that for many women, seeing an ultrasound or hearing the heartbeat will be a game-changer."
On the Religious Speech of Two Presidents and How the Modern Demand for a “Religion Free” Public Sector is Extremism - "These quotes do not indicate that these Presidents were perfect Christians, or that they were never critical of some aspects of religion, but they do indicate that, as Presidents, Washington and Lincoln understood the importance of religious faith for this country, and were quite comfortable articulating both the need for faith and its benefits."
Bleaching the Bible - [Uuug!!] "In an over-reaching gesture of solidarity that boggles the mind, some mainline Christian organizations are changing their Holy Scriptures to avoid offending Muslims."
Bishop's barroom musings brew up controversy - [Read this to see what kind talk will get you kicked out of a bar... It might surprise you.]
Time Magazine Op-Ed: Perhaps “Some Time in Jail” for Catholic Bishops Defending Religious Liberty - [Typical leftist tactic - silence opponents, and if that doesn't work then make their opposition a criminal act.]
A Non-Catholic's Guide to Lenten Weirdness - [Just for laughs!]
During the weeks of Lent I will not be on the computer as frequently as I normally am, and so my list of headlines may be smaller than usual. As with every Friday issue of "Last Call", feel free to post more headlines in the comments section below.