Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Prayer request

Dear Friends,

The leukemia which took my wife Gwen, which has always been fatal, is now becoming one of the diseases which can be cured by adult stem-cells. Max, of New York, has this same rare and aggressive leukemia (T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia, T-PLL) will receive a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor on this Thursday. Monday he received chemo to all but kill his own bone marrow. If the transplant is successful, he will be cured. Without it he will not survive. Its another incipient victory for morally acceptable stem cell research vs the oft-promoted immoral use of fetal cells from killed kids.

I was hoping that I might impose on you to offer a prayer intention for Max on Thursday. Although Gwen did not have the opportunity to partake of such a treatment, I give the Lord thanks with a joyful heart that such a treatment is available now.

Thank you and God bless,

From Honduras

An open letter from the Honduran Foreign Minister

The following open letter was printed in the Honduran newspapers yesterday, in Spanish, of course. It is from Carlos López Contreras, Foreign Minister of Honduras, addressed to the Citizens of World.Happily, a translation to English was also performed. You can read the original letter in Spanish in the newspapers [I haven't been able to find it online yet], or the English translation here. I'm including the letter in full here because I want everyone to read it and I know that some won't click links or don't have the ability to open PDF files.


An Open Letter to the Citizens of the World

from Carlos López Contreras, Foreign Minister of Honduras

As citizens of an increasingly smaller and interconnected global community, we are all responsible for respecting one other and for creating a better world together. Our diverse cultures, religions, and forms of government must continually search for ways to understand one another and work together.

In Honduras, we have always worked diligently to uphold this responsibility as inhabitants of a global village. We have always remained steadfast in our commitment, and this past month is no exception. In fact, it is an example of what we must all vow to do from time to time: hold true to the principals of democracy and the rule of law while protecting the human and civil rights of our fellow citizens in the face of criticism and misunderstanding by certain sectors of the international community.

Let me be clear about what we as Hondurans believe. We believe in the rights of every person to freely express themselves and their beliefs so long as it is done in accordance with the rule of law. We encourage full and equal participation in political discourse and believe that a free and unfettered press is a valuable part of that discourse. We believe that the Honduran government must act in accordance with the Constitution that establishes and limits its power to govern.

As the Minister of Foreign Affairs, I am charged with representing the Honduran government and its people before the world. Now more than ever, my job is to bring an understanding to our shared global community of our dedication to uphold these beliefs, and ask each of you to consider our views as we consider yours.

Yes, Manuel Zelaya was democratically elected as the Honduran President. We cherish democracy.

Yes, as President, he did abuse his power and violate the Constitution. We respect our Constitution.

Yes, his powers as President were automatically forfeited after our Attorney General investigated the violation and our Supreme Court ruled that the violation had occurred. We respect the rule of law.

Yes, the military was ordered to arrest him as part of their Constitutional duty. We know this appearance might seem troubling to some, but it is clearly written in our Constitution -and has always been a part of our Constitution.

Yes, it was a mistake to remove Manuel Zelaya, a Honduran national, from the country. We admit the error and are aware that there are consequences.

Those consequences are that the Constitution and rule of law must be upheld. And so, the Attorney General opened an investigation into the expatriation of Manuel Zelaya on July 4th, and we await the findings of this investigation.

We, the Honduran people, firmly believe that those consequences are not any of the following:

• The restitution of the Presidential powers of Manuel Zelaya. This is not an option the Honduran Constitution grants to the government. In fact, it is clear that the exact opposite must take place. No powers under any circumstances.

• The granting of amnesty to Manuel Zelaya by the executive branch. This is a proscribed duty of the Congress. and the Congress alone. This is their power, and theirs alone.

• The unilateral decision to negotiate breaking articles of the Constitution in order to satisfy some members of the international community. Popular opinion by powerful nations does not rule our nation, and should not rule any country.

Please consider what is being asked of our country: Break the Constitution. Ignore the rule of law.

We simply can not do this because of a mistake in expatriating a Honduran national who had been Constitutionally stripped of the powers that democracy provided to him only to have him abuse them.

We would never ask another nation to ignore its Constitution and trample on the rule of law much less purposely violate its Constitution to please our opinion.

Each day, our citizens wake up and hope that through our insistence and dedication that we can bring understanding to others. We are thankful to friends who have courageously spoken up on our behalf. We are grateful for their support, and are humbled that they have chosen to work selflessly alongside us to bring other nations to understanding our commitment to democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law.

We are a little country among the community of nations but our nation's larger mission is to protect human rights, democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law. We are confident that these are values worth standing firmly in order to uphold. We invite the world to examine our true intentions and decide for themselves. As we prepare to hold free and fair elections this coming November, our faith in these principles could not be more clear.

and this is interesting:

These 10 questions were prepared by the UCD for the OAS (Organization of American States). Unión Cívica Democrática is a large group of Honduran civic groups working to ensure the truth about what happened in Honduras gets published.

I do not believe that you can read these questions without seeing the glaring hypocrisy of the OAS.

Ten questions for the foreign ministers’ commission that visits Honduras on behalf of the Organization of American States

Why is the OAS.......?

REJECTING constitutional succession in Honduras,
but VOUCHING for the electoral fraud in Nicaragua and for the indefinite reelection of Hugo Chávez?

PREACHING non-intervention in the internal affairs of nations,
while INTERFERING in the constitutional and democratic processes of Honduras?

CRITICIZING Honduran law-enforcement efforts,
but IGNORING fierce repression of the Venezuelan opposition’s protesters?

PRETENDING to be a champion of the rule of law,
but IGNORING the Honduran Constitution, which was repeatedly violated by Zelaya?

CRITICIZING the alleged repression of news media in Honduras,
but KEEPING QUIET in light of the arbitrary closing of dozens of radio stations in Venezuela?
And KEEPING QUIET in light of the government in Ecuador threatening to do the same?

PREACHING about the defense of democracy,
while ALLOWING governments that are allegedly democratic to support the drug trade, which is so harmful for true democracies?

CONDEMNING Operation Phoenix, which was carried out by the Colombian government against a terrorist organization,
but FAILING TO CONDEMN the fact that rocket launchers sold to Venezuela landed in the hands of the FARC guerrillas?

PRETENDING to support a mediated solution to the Honduran crisis,
but PRESSURING for the acceptance of imposed, rather than negotiated, terms?

QUESTIONING the security measures taken by the Honduran government,
but IGNORING repeated calls by Zelaya for mobs to rise up and engage in the kind of violence that has already resulted in the loss of life?

PROCLAIMING solidarity with the Honduran people,
but REFUSING TO HEAR OUT the overwhelming number of members of Honduran society who categorically reject a corrupt and failed leader, who repeatedly demonstrated that he values his personal interests above those of his people?

On behalf of Honduran civil society, UNION CIVICA DEMOCRATICA requests that the honorable foreign ministers who visit us tomorrow give the Honduran people a public answer for each of these questions.

May these answers enable the citizens of the entire American continent to understand the motivations of the organization that represents them.

Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Centroamérica, August 23, 2009.

hat tip to La Gringa's Blogicito, an excellent place to keep up with events in Honduras.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Four marks of the Church

the following is extracted from "The Awakening" by James Kent Stone. it is a redaction of his earlier work "The Invitation Heeded", from which I've quoted previously. He writes about the Anglican error of starting with a presumed apostolicity, and ending with an invisible unity. The faith of the church enabled him to see that the four marks of the church are intended for all to see infallibly and without fail. Its a brilliant bit of work.

Chapter XII

The Church at the Council of Constantinople declared concerning herself that she is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. These are not only her essential qualities, but her outward and visible signs, the marks whereby she may always be infallibly recognized.

I. The church is, first, ONE. Unity is its prime characteristic. Whatever else the Church may be, it is one – visibly one, unmistakably one, incontrovertibly one.

II. The Church is Holy. Holiness is of the essence of the Church. The Church, therefore, cannot cease to be holy without ceasing to exist. As the unity of the Church implies its indivisibility, so the sanctity of the Church implies its incorruptibility. But the Reformation can be justified only by the assertion that the Church had become corrupted. Protestantism, therefore, is founded upon and absurdity.

III. The true Church is catholic: Catholicity is the third note of the Church. I have already spoken of the error of those who make it the first or the second. No one can rightly apprehend the Church’s universality who does not fully understand the nature of the Church’s unity. Unitas Catholica, quae toto orbe diffusa est (St. Augustine). The formula which is to guide us in our work of identification is not, The Catholic Church, is somehow or other One, but The Church which is one and undivided, is also Catholic. And, read thus, the mark of Catholicity is so plain that “the wayfaring man, though a fool,” cannot err by it.

IV. Finally, the Church, One, Holy, and Catholic, is also Apostolic. We shall now have no difficulty in ascertaining the sense in which Apostolicity is, and was intended to be, a note of the Church. Evidently it cannot be meant that the Church is to be recognized by the fact that its doctrine is Apostolic. This would be saying that the true Church is that which teaches the Truth – which would be an indeterminate proposition. We cannot know what the truth is until we have first found the true Church. And to discover the true Church, we must have some external and visible mark to guide us. The sign we are seeking can conceivably be no other than that of which all the ancient Fathers speak, and by which they identified the Church of their creed. It is found in the fact of Apostolic Succession.

The Anglican error, of course, differs from the Orthodox error, in that the apostolicity of the Orthodox is actual rather than presumed, but the end point is the same, multiple bodies without a common head.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thank you Mary Meade OPL and David Javidian OPL!

for a delightful presentation!

Mary first spoke about the natural law, what it is, and how it is a guide to life, regardless of the faith or lack thereof in a person, being truly universal; built into us.

David did a nice review of the Holy Father's new encyclical Caritas in veritate in the light of the Holy Father's use of the natural law to undergird his positions in various parts of the encyclical.

A lively discussion followed in the best of Dominican tradition! Come to Our Lady of the Valley Saturday at 1PM where the discussion will continue!

Then again, it seems Dominicans cant ge't together without food & drink and informal discussion...

...which sometimes ends up even less formal (and less food, but no less drink!)

During the Q/A session, this delightful fellow wanted to know where Jesus was in all this "natural law" stuff; an excellent question! I hope he comes Saturday; he left before I could invite him, I hope someone who knows him will pass along the invitation!.

Made in the image of God, we follow Jesus when we seek "the Way, the Truth, and Life"; as St. Louis de Montfort pointed out, the alternative is people who "wander, in error and falsehood, and death" - without Jesus as their guide.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Marriage Recovery presentation venue set!

The presentation by Mary Meade O.P.L. will be at 7PM Wed, Aug 12, at St. Mark's Church in Boise!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Here's a find!

Manual of the Brothers and Sisters of the Third Order of Penance of St. Dominic

found on the links page of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church - a lot of good Dominican books are linked there!

Now I have the original rule, the 1937 rule, and the current rule to compare; wahoo!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The act of love

The following is a meditation from Divine Intimacy by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen O.C.D.

The Act of Love

O Lord, grant that I may love You for Yourself and not seek my own consolation, and that in loving You, I may always seek Your will, not mine.

To love a person is to desire his well-being. We understand, therefore, that the essence of love is in the act of the will by which we wish good. This does not take away from the fact that the act may often be accompanied by sensible affection, making our love both and act of the will and of the sensibility. Nevertheless, it is clear that the substance of real love is not to be found in the emotions but in the act of the will. Charity does not change our manner of loving but penetrates it, supernaturalizes it, making the will and the sensibility capable of loving God. Yes, even sensible affection can be engaged in the act of supernatural love; God does not despise this humbler and less lofty manifestation of our love for Him, because He has commanded us to love Him not only with our whole mind and our whole soul, but also with our whole heart. All our powers – intellectual, volitive, and affective – are engaged in the act of love, and yet the substance of this act is not found in the feelings but in the will. Therefore, when our emotions are cold in our love of God, and we “feel” nothing, there is no reason for us to be disturbed; we will find less satisfaction in our love – for it is much more pleasant for us to feel that we are loving – but our act of love will be equally true and perfect. Even more, lacking the impetus and pleasure which come from our feelings, we will be obliged to apply ourself more resolutely to the act of the will and this, far from harming it, will make it more voluntary, and therefore, more meritorious. Precisely because the substance of love is in the act of the will that wishes good to God, in order to make our love purer and more intense, Our Lord will often deprive us of all consoling feelings; we will no longer feel that we love God – and this will give us pain – but in reality, we will love Him in the measure that we will with determination what He wills, and want His good pleasure and delight above all things. Besides, it is not in our power to feel love but it is always in our power to wish good to God, striving with all our strength to live for Him and to please Him.

St John of the Cross says: “It is by an act of the will that the soul is united to God; this act is love. Union with God is never wrought by feelings or exertions of the desire, for these remain in the soul as aims and ends.” The operation of the will is the act of love by means of which we wish good to God and conform our will to His. This operation properly ends in God, and is the true means of united us to Him. The feeling of love, on the contrary, is only a subjective impression sometimes produced in our sensibility by the act of love. It ends in the soul which experiences it and is a source of consolation, but we can clearly see that of itself it has no power to unite the soul to God. However, the soul can and should make use of it to give itself to God with more generosity, and in this sense, the feeling of love intensifies the operation of the will. Unfortunately, as we are so eager to seek satisfaction even in the most sacred things, the soul may easily stop at the sweetness of these feelings, and then it ceases to tend toward God with all its strength.
If we learned, as children, what love really is and how it operates, as explained above, there would be far fewer children raised by divorced parents.

Did you learn this as a child? I certainly didn't, and paid the price:

the substance of this act is not found in the feelings but in the will

The feeling of love, on the contrary, is only a subjective impression sometimes produced in our sensibility by the act of love. It ends in the soul which experiences it

Union [] is never wrought by feelings or exertions of the desire, for these remain in the soul as aims and ends

The only place I have seen this taught is Marriage Encounter; a good but insufficient offering against the cultural Moloch to which real love is sacrificed.

It appears that the presentation by Mary Meade will be moved to Friday, Aug 14. We don't have a confirmed venue yet but will post it when it is known.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Yard sale fund raiser for Mike Lee family

This just in:

3rd Annual Friends of Mike Lee Fundraising YARD SALE EXTRAVAGANZA!

August 14 & 15, 2009.
Friday & Saturday. 7:00am - 5:00pm

Newkirk Family Home:
1327 N. Rutledge, Meridian (near corner of Cherry Ln & Ten Mile)
Sponsored by LIFTID (Ladies in Faith Together - Idaho) and FOTMLF (Friends of the Mike Lee Family)

How can I help??

1. Pray for the success of this great event.

2. Donate your gently used furniture, tools, appliances, toys, housewares, clothes (very good condition only), and other sellable items. Clear out the garage! Liberate the closet! Tackle that "I wonder what is in there? box! Bring your items to the above address and leave in the driveway beginning Saturday, August 1. No appt. necessary. All items will be quickly stored and sorted.

3. Volunteer to help sort, price, set-up, and take-down.
Available shifts include: Mon-Thur between 9am-2pm. Friday (Sale Day) from 7am-noon or noon - 5pm. Saturday (Sale Day) 7am-noon or noon - 5pm or after 5pm for clean up.
Contact Lori Newkirk at 888-7006 or to sign up for a shift. Any time given is absolutely appreciated. Family friendly!!

4. Shop the sale. Find that bargain that you were hoping for. Find treasures you didn't know you needed. Come encourage the volunteers. Sale starts bright and early at 7am!

5. TELL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES. Encourage them to donate goods and to shop the sale.

Contact Lori Newkirk (info above) or Hope Ryan ( ph: 475-4594) with questions. Thank you!! Forward this to all interested!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Honduras - the rest of the story...

This is an interesting explanation of "Why Honduras?"

The Fall of Chavez Has Begun

What Hugo Chávez lost in Honduras was "the most important DRUG ROUTE in the Americas" with earnings of more than $100 million monthly.

This flow of drugs is the financial arm of ALBA. So, at this time, Chavez has no source of income to finance ALBA. It's that simple, and thus his BRUTAL ATTACK on Honduras.

May the world know.

Excellent blogs commenting on the Honduran situation:

La Gringa's Blogicito
World 4 Houduras