Life after Epiphany


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Feminists fighting females, socialists being anti-social… the types of people who think abortion is OK

I was on retreat this weekend. I switched my phone off, I left my laptop at home – I voluntarily disengaged from all news and contact with the outside world for 2 short but precious days of silence, prayer, and growth.

I returned home from that relative calm to read a report of chaos and violence in the following article:
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/the-left-reveals-an-ugly-face-in-antiabortion-rally/story-fni0ffxg-1226739222330

As I read the observations reported of what transpired in Melbourne during the annual March for Babies, I have to admit that as disgusted as I was, I wasn’t really all that surprised. This behaviour is GENTLE compared with the murderous practices for which these people are campaigning.

Fanatical feminists attacking women whose opinions differ from their own; socialists denying the right of ordinary people to rally against oppression… it is no wonder that the journalist reporting felt the need to conclude that the left in Australia is the “natural home of the totalitarian and the bully.” That is precisely what we are seeing here.

In this demonstration I saw socialists and feminists betray almost every principle they profess to hold.     ~ Andrew Bolt

Let it be understood that I am not promoting the right side of politics in Australia either. Both extremes are far from perfect and both hold unconscionable views on a range of issues of ethical import. On the issue of abortion, however, the ideological opposition to truth, goodness and beauty does appear to have its primary thrust from the left.

As we pray and work and try to make Australia better, there is something important that I think we need to keep in mind. Our well-intentioned efforts to make the world a better place can result in consequentialist behaviour, in the loss of our own ability to love God and others, if we go about things the wrong way. Father Paul Scalia teaches on this far better than I could, and so I direct you to his article and sincerely recommend that you read it with an open heart, lest we who wish to see peace fall casualty to our own battle against evil: http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/the-church-militant-or-the-church-belligerent

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Benedict XVI: For the record

This post, on a blog I stumbled across this morning for the first time, is a wonderful tribute to the Pope Emeritus. None of this detracts from Pope Francis, whom I believe may just prove to be as saintly a Pope as his more recent predecessors. But the media ought to be ashamed of themselves for failing to report the real story. The real story here is the CONTINUITY of humility, the CONTINUITY of holiness in the Papacy. Slightly different styles, slightly different emphases… but CONTINUITY where it counts. Fidelity to Truth. Fidelity to Love. Fidelity to God.

I believe that all of the media circus about Pope Francis is an attempt by the media to gain some kind of leverage in shaping the direction of the messages that come out from Rome. I kind of almost get the feel that, due to Pope Francis’ country of origin being in Latin America, they are trying put an insidiously subtle liberation theology spin on everything he does…


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charity begins at home… Pope encouraging grassroots change

We saw major steps in ecumenism and cultural interchange with Pope Benedict XVI. This movement on the “big picture” was truly beautiful and enriching for the Church.

It certainly seems as though we are now receiving enrichment of a different kind; Pope Francis in his preaching and in his public messages to date seems to be honing in on the individual and his/her relationship with God.

Pope Francis’ recent Twitter feed is my case in point:

pontifextwitterfeed

And most recently: “Never speak poorly of others.”

These tweets are all short extracts taken from recent homilies and addresses. Each speaks to an aspect of one’s personal relationship with Christ and the nature of how that relationship expresses itself in relationship with others. It is the encounter with Christ that is important! Pope Francis is inviting each one of us to take a good look at ourselves, to stand as we are before the Lord and to receive His love and mercy and seek to live out the love we have received. His messages are simple but important…  and potentially very powerful in their effect, if we take them to heart.

Its almost like Pope Francis is acting as a personal spiritual director to every single individual in the Church throughout the world! How amazing that such a thing is even possible! Changing hearts. This can only be done by the Holy Spirit. It seems that He is working through our Holy Father in this way… we need to open ourselves up to these graces!

Both the “big picture” and the “grassroots growth” need attention. Each of us needs a shepherd to help lead us to Christ as individuals, and we also as the People of God, as a Church, need a shepherd. Both men are different, and the Holy Spirit has given each individual holding the Office of Pope a different task. Isn’t encouraging to see that all of us are being well tended?


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vatican web has a new look…

changingfaceofvaticanweb2

The site has changed several times now, to reflect the transition from Pope Benedict to Sede Vacante and now to Pope Francis. For anyone interested in a tiny tidbit of history, you can see what it used to look like here.


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Pope Francis I already has a Wikipedia page…

Can you believe it!?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_francis

Here is the coverage from white smoke through to the end of the Pope’s address. The white smoke is in the first minute. Once you have seen some of the coverage of the crowds, you may wish to skip through to the Habemus Papam announcement at 1 hour and 7 minutes. Pope Francis’ first appearance and address starts at 1 hour and 16 minutes.

Blessed be God for the gift of this humble, prayerful shepherd. The world is grateful for his generous “yes”, that he would wear the shoes of the Fisherman, that he would serve the Lord by becoming father of the faithful. Pope Francis, we pray for you as you have asked us to do. May you always cling to the Cross of our Saviour. May He be with you always.


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Habemus Papam!! Standing by to see who it is!

Blessed be God in all His gifts!!

loggiaOnTV

All eyes around the world glued to the loggia…

UPDATE: Go here to see the coverage of this historic event from the white smoke all the way through to the end of Pope Francis’ first appearance on the balcony!


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black smoke, white smoke… holy smoke!

Vatican news is reporting that there will be two smoke signals on each day of the conclave until a new Pontiff is elected. These are scheduled for around noon and 7pm Rome time. That means That in my little corner of the Earth, TV sets or laptops should be checked at 10pm AEDT and 5am AEDT each day, if there is to be any chance of seeing the announcement live.

10pm? Easy.

5am? I haven’t risen at that hour since I left the Motherhouse! A little help may be required here… Enter: Aussie Pope Alarm! Some genius employed by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has built a system that sends a text message straight to your mobile phone if the white smoke appears. Thank you, ACBC!

Of course, the times above assume that both ballots in each morning and each afternoon session are allowed to proceed owing to the first of the two in each session being unsuccessful. If a successful election occurs on a FIRST ballot, the signals will appear at either 8.30pm AEDT or 3.30am AEDT.

So for now? It’s time to watch and pray…