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...
April: The Month of the Blessed Sacrament - "The practice of Eucharistic adoration on earth not only brings us grace but prepares us for our life in Heaven."
9 things you need to know about Divine Mercy Sunday - "Millions of people look forward to and are profoundly moved by this day. What is it, and why is it so important to them? Here are 9 things you need to know."
Hæc Nox Est... - Homily of Pope Francis for the Easter Vigil Mass
Pope Francis becomes first pontiff to visit St. Peter's tomb - "The site is where pagans and early Christians were buried, and has been restored after extensive archaeological excavations began in 1965." [Includes short video]
Pope Francis’ General Audience focused on women. Feminists aren’t going to be happy. - [A presentation of Pope Francis' words along with commentary from Fr. Z.] See also: Pope Francis on the Role of Women
Have we entered an age of a new gnosticism? - "What this foot washing issue does is reveal how vast the gulf is now that divides those who maintain that order, law and reason are necessary in the Church and society and those who, like gnostics who possess secret powers of interpretation of even more secret teachings, apply super-principles which trump lesser matters such as reason, law and order."
A Simple Prayer Method From A Simple Pontiff - "It is a lovely way to pray, and it showcases Pope Francis’ sense of simplicity, his priority for family, his love for the poor and also his recognition that prayer is powerful."
Pope Francis’ Ideas of What Is at the Heart of the Church - "...for Pope Francis, the heart of the Church is, well, the heart. That is, the human heart and its transformative relationship with God’s heart."
Can't chant, can't speak English? Pope says it's because he's tone-deaf - "After a musically proficient and polyglot Pope Benedict XVI, it came as a surprise to many that Pope Francis doesn't sing or chant at Mass or speak foreign languages in public."
The Devil and Pope Francis - "An emerging theme of the young pontificate seems to be that of spiritual battle against the devil, expressed in direct, simple language."
Recovering the Real St. Francis - "St. Francis of Assisi is often represented with a skull because he constantly contemplated death. In fact he knew even before his death that he would die from the wounds of the Stigmata that he would eventually receive. Moreover, the skull in Catholic art generally represents man's triumph over death."
Pope Francis’ Poverty Will be Forgotten - "When Pope Francis gets down to work things will change. When his love of poverty shifts to criticism of the rich and powerful we’ll find that suddenly the media and the champagne socialists will not love him so much." See also: Benedictine and Franciscan Poverty
Should Pope Francis sell off the Vatican’s art collection and give the money to the poor? The answer is an emphatic ‘No’ - [I hate it when people suggest this! It just shows their ignorance about the purpose of church decoration and how little such a move would affect global poverty.]
Making Sense of the Shroud - "Even if the Shroud were not Christ’s burial linen, its origin would still be one of the world’s great mysteries. Its image of a body bearing the marks of torture and crucifixion was not painted on or burned in; it’s not berry juice or coffee or Sharpie. Indeed, we’re not sure how it was created..." See also: New experiments on Shroud show it’s not medieval, and: Shroud of Turin: Let’s include the basic facts, please
Is America Still a Good Country? - "'Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.' So wrote Alexis de Tocqueville."S See also: Samuel Gregg: What Tocqueville Knew
So… how did it go? Summarizing the marriage trials at the Supreme Court - "It is sobering to realize how little information our country currently has regarding the impact redefining marriage could have on children, families, and society at large. Even more notable is just how young the conversation of 'What is marriage?' is in our country."
Why the Catholic Church and ‘gay marriage’ cannot coexist - "In addition to the numerous implications that a redefinition of marriage would have on society and children, the Church is gravely concerned about the legal redefinition of marriage because it would threaten its fundamental ability to exist and exercise its ministry fully."
Felix and Oscar: A Post-Modern Marriage - "The thing that a married man and woman do, that no one else can do, is to consummate the marriage, bringing it to its fullest realization. The marital act unites across the chasm of the sexes and across the generations, from the past into the future. "
The Right to Redefine Marriage? - "The state has no public interest in romantic relationships as such. But the state does have an interest in recognizing and promoting marriage because the bond of marriage unites men and women to each other and to whatever children may result from their union."
Gay son defends the stance of anti-gay marriage Congressman father -[I think people need to realize that those of us who support traditional marriage are not haters - we do not wish ill toward gays.]
AP coddles illegal immigrants with style change edict - [When a major news agency changes words in order to cover the truth... how can we say that there's no media bias?] Another example of the media pushing an agenda: Media Encourage Elderly to Commit Suicide, Call it "Rational" and this: Goodbye, Marriage
Guns and babies: A tale of two massacres - "The gun lobby is often accused of resisting any new gun law as if it were the proverbial camel's nose under the tent. The liberal editors who are keeping Kermit Gosnell's case off the air should ask themselves whether they aren't taking sides in the culture war."
Planned Parenthood Opposes Bill Protecting Babies Born After Botched Abortions - [Unbelievable! - A Planned Parenthood representative supports allowing to die infants born alive during abortions. See video at this link.]
Unborn Babies Learn Language in Womb, as Early as 30 Weeks - "New reports of fascinating research show babies can distinguish between their native language and foreign languages when they’re just a few hours old. A new study found that and suggests they start absorbing language before birth."
Cardinal George: “I’m religious but not spiritual” - "Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, in his weekly column, takes the notion of 'spiritual, not religious' and gently turns it just like it should be turned – upside down."
Is Prayer Synonymous With Worship? - "When Catholics say we are praying to God and praying to saints we are talking about qualitatively different things as different as a monkey is to a man. The Protestant generally only has one species in mind when he thinks of prayer—prayer to God that necessarily includes adoration."
Authentic Creativity and the Liturgy - "Much like the norms that govern ethical behavior lead to a perfected freedom, which in turns opens a space for authentic creativity, so too do the rubrics of the Mass open up a space for authentic freedom."
What the Church Needs Now - "The Vatican needs purgation at the top, to enable real renewal from below. And the church as a whole needs to offer and embody proof — in Rome, the local parish and everywhere in between — that the alternative Catholicism preaches can actually be lived."
A Catholic's Guide to the End of the World as We Know It - [The world is crazy...these are five tips for surviving it.]
iIncarnate: Meet Jesus in Mary’s Womb - [Interesting app...I thought of this about two years ago. Too bad I didn't do anything about it.]