Thursday, December 31, 2009

Okay, so my BIGGEST new year's resolution is to TRULY keep this blog up and to just frankly do what I do - communicate. So, I invite my old readers, who wonder why I don't post more, and my new readers who I'll be seeking out in 2010, to visit me here from time to learn about who is speaking the TRUTH, what the TRUTH really means, why we should care, and most of all where we can go to receive it!

I start by pointing to the ROCK, and listening to what the voice of the Catholic Church, the moral compass of society has to say on these matters. We'll start with prayer.

Pope Benedict XVI's general prayer intention for January 2010 is: "That young people may learn to use modern means of social communication for their personal growth and to better prepare themselves to serve society".

His mission intention is: "That every believer in Christ may be conscious that unity among all Christians is a condition for more effective proclamation of the Gospel".


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More on Ecclesia Dei

Me thinks some things are happening in the Vatican. Several movements in the placement of Bishops to different offices as it relates to the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei".

The following is an English-language translation from the Italian of the Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data" of Pope Benedict XVI, "Ecclesiae unitatem".

Issued by the Vatican Press Office:

The document concerns the structure of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" which deals with questions involving the Society of Saint Pius X and which as of now becomes dependent upon the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The original text of the Motu Proprio is written in Latin:

1. The duty to safeguard the unity of the Church, with the solicitude to offer everyone help in responding appropriately to this vocation and divine grace, is the particular responsibility of the Successor of the Apostle Peter, who is the perpetual and visible principle and foundation of the unity of both bishops and faithful. The supreme and fundamental priority of the Church in all times - to lead mankind to the meeting with God - must be supported by the commitment to achieve a shared witness of faith among all Christians.

2. Faithful to this mandate, following the act of 30 June 1988 by which Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre illicitly conferred episcopal ordination upon four priests, on 2 July 1988 Pope John Paul II of venerable memory established the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" whose task it is "to collaborate with the bishops, with the departments of the Roman Curia and with the circles concerned, for the purpose of facilitating full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, religious communities or individuals until now linked in various ways to the Society founded by Msgr. Lefebvre, who may wish to remain united to the Successor Peter in the Catholic Church, while preserving their spiritual and liturgical traditions, in the light of the Protocol signed on 5 May last by Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Lefebvre".

3. In keeping with this, faithfully adhering to that duty to serve the universal communion of the Church, also in her visible manifestation, and making every effort to ensure that those who truly desire unity have the possibility to remain in it or to rediscover it, I decided, with the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum", to expand and update through more precise and detailed norms the general indications already contained in the Motu Proprio "Ecclesia Dei" concerning the possibility of using the 1962"Missale Romanum".

4. In the same spirit, and with the same commitment to favouring the repair of all fractures and divisions within the Church, and to healing a wound that is ever more painfully felt within the ecclesiastical structure, I decided to remit the excommunication of the four bishops illicitly ordained by Msgr. Lefebvre. In making that decision my intention was to remove an impediment that could hinder the opening of a door to dialogue and thus invite the four bishops and the Society of Saint Pius X to rediscover the path to full communion with the Church. As I explained in my Letter to Catholic bishops of 10 March this year, the remission of the excommunication was a measure taken in the field of ecclesiastical discipline, to free individuals from the burden of conscience constituted by the most serious of ecclesiastical penalties. However it is clear that the doctrinal questions remain, and until they are clarified the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers cannot legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.

5. Precisely because the problems that now have to be examined with the Society are essentially doctrinal in nature, I have decided - twenty-one years after the Motu Proprio "Ecclesia Dei" and in keeping with what I had intended to do - to reconsider the structure of the Commission "Ecclesia Dei", joining it closely to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

6. The Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" will, then, have the following configuration:

(a) The president of the Commission is the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

(b) The Commission has its own staff, composed of the secretary and officials.

(c) It will be the task of the president, with the assistance of the secretary, to submit the principal cases and questions of a doctrinal nature for study and discernment according to the ordinary requirements of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and to submit the results thereof to the superior dispositions of the Supreme Pontiff.

7. With this decision I wish in particular to show paternal solicitude towards the Society of Saint Pius X, with the aim of rediscovering the full communion of the Church.

To everyone I address a pressing invitation to pray ceaselessly to the Lord, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, "ut unum sint".

From Rome, at St. Peter's, 2 July 2009, fifth year of Our Pontificate.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summary of Encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate"

So for those of you who don't have the time to read through the Pope's new Encyclical, here is a summary of the text.

For a blog that is centered on calling attention to Truth, I am so excited to be able to share this with everyone:

From the Vatican Press Office:

The Encyclical published today - which comprehends an introduction, six chapters and a conclusion - is dated 29 June 2009, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles.

A summary of the Encyclical released by the Holy See Press Office explains that in his introduction the Pope recalls how "charity is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine". Yet, given the risk of its being "misinterpreted and detached from ethical living", he warns how "a Christianity of charity without truth would be more or less interchangeable with a pool of good sentiments, helpful for social cohesion, but of little relevance".

The Holy Father makes it clear that development has need of truth. In this context he dwells on two "criteria that govern moral action": justice and the common good. All Christians are called to charity, also by the "institutional path" which affects the life of the "polis", that is, of social coexistence.

The first chapter of the Encyclical focuses on the message of Paul VI's "Populorum Progressio" which "underlined the indispensable importance of the Gospel for building a society according to freedom and justice. ... The Christian faith does not rely on privilege or positions of power, ... but only on Christ". Paul VI "pointed out that the causes of underdevelopment are not primarily of the material order". They lie above all in the will, in the mind and, even more so, in "the lack of brotherhood among individuals and peoples".

"Human Development in Our Time" is the theme of the second chapter. If profit, the Pope writes, "becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty". In this context he enumerates certain "malfunctions" of development: financial dealings that are "largely speculative", migratory flows "often provoked by some particular circumstance and then given insufficient attention", and "the unregulated exploitation of the earth's resources". In the face of these interconnected problems, the Pope calls for "a new humanistic synthesis", noting how "development today has many overlapping layers: ... The world's wealth is growing in absolute terms, but inequalities are on the increase", and new forms of poverty are coming into being.

At a cultural level, the Encyclical proceeds, the possibilities for interaction open new prospects for dialogue, but a twofold danger exists: a "cultural eclecticism" in which cultures are viewed as "substantially equivalent", and the opposing danger of "cultural levelling and indiscriminate acceptance of types of conduct and lifestyles". In this context Pope Benedict also mentions the scandal of hunger and express his hope for "equitable agrarian reform in developing countries".

The Pontiff also dwells on the question of respect for life, "which cannot in any way be detached from questions concerning the development of peoples", affirming that "when a society moves towards the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for man's true good".

Another question associated with development is that of the right to religious freedom. "Violence", writes the Pope, "puts the brakes on authentic development", and "this applies especially to terrorism motivated by fundamentalism".

Chapter three of the Encyclical - "Fraternity, Economic Development and Civil Society" - opens with a passage praising the "experience of gift", often insufficiently recognised "because of a purely consumerist and utilitarian view of life". Yet development, "if it is to be authentically human, needs to make room for the principle of gratuitousness". As for the logic of the market, it "needs to be directed towards the pursuit of the common good, for which the political community in particular must also take responsibility".

Referring to "Centesimus Annus", this Encyclical highlights the "need for a system with three subjects: the market, the State and civil society" and encourages a "civilising of the economy". It highlights the importance of "economic forms based on solidarity" and indicates how "both market and politics need individuals who are open to reciprocal gift".

The chapter closes with a fresh evaluation of the phenomenon of globalisation, which must not be seen just as a "socio-economic process". Globalisation needs "to promote a person-based and community-oriented cultural process of world-wide integration that is open to transcendence" and able to correct its own malfunctions.

The fourth chapter of the Encyclical focuses on the theme: "The Development of People. Rights and Duties. The Environment". Governments and international organisations, says the Pope, cannot "lose sight of the objectivity and 'inviolability' of rights". In this context he also dedicates attention to "the problems associated with population growth".

He reaffirms that sexuality "cannot be reduced merely to pleasure or entertainment". States, he says, "are called to enact policies promoting the centrality and the integrity of the family".

"The economy needs ethics in order to function correctly", the Holy Father goes on, and "not any ethics whatsoever, but an ethics which is people-centred". This centrality of the human person must also be the guiding principle in "development programmes" and in international co-operation. "International organisations", he suggests, "might question the actual effectiveness of their bureaucratic and administrative machinery, which is often excessively costly".

The Holy Father also turns his attention to the energy problem, noting how "the fact that some States, power groups and companies hoard non-renewable energy resources represents a grave obstacle to development in poor countries. ... Technologically advanced societies can and must lower their domestic energy consumption", he says, at the same time encouraging "research into alternative forms of energy".

"The Co-operation of the Human Family" is the title and focus of chapter five, in which Pope Benedict highlights how "the development of peoples depends, above all, on a recognition that the human race is a single family". Hence Christianity and other religions "can offer their contribution to development only if God has a place in the public realm".

The Pope also makes reference to the principle of subsidiarity, which assists the human person "via the autonomy of intermediate bodies". Subsidiarity, he explains, "is the most effective antidote against any form of all-encompassing welfare state" and is "particularly well-suited to managing globalisation and directing it towards authentic human development".

Benedict XVI calls upon rich States "to allocate larger portions of their gross domestic product to development aid", thus respecting their obligations. He also express a hope for wider access to education and, even more so, for "complete formation of the person", affirming that yielding to relativism makes everyone poorer. One example of this, he writes, is that of the perverse phenomenon of sexual tourism. "It is sad to note that this activity often takes place with the support of local governments", he says.

The Pope then goes on to consider the "epoch-making" question of migration. "Every migrant", he says, "is a human person who, as such, possesses fundamental, inalienable rights that must be respected by everyone and in every circumstance".

The Pontiff dedicates the final paragraph of this chapter to the "strongly felt need" for a reform of the United Nations and of "economic institutions and international finance. ... There is", he says, "urgent need of a true world political authority" with "effective power".

The sixth and final chapter is entitled "The Development of Peoples and Technology". In it the Holy Father warns against the "Promethean presumption" of humanity thinking "it can re-create itself through the 'wonders' of technology". Technology, he says, cannot have "absolute freedom".

"A particularly crucial battleground in today's cultural struggle between the supremacy of technology and human moral responsibility is the field of bioethics", says Benedict XVI, and he adds: "Reason without faith is doomed to flounder in an illusion of its own omnipotence". The social question has, he says, become an anthropological question. Research on embryos and cloning is "being promoted in today's highly disillusioned culture which believes it has mastered every mystery". The Pope likewise expresses his concern over a possible "systematic eugenic programming of births".

In the conclusion to his Encyclical Benedict XVI highlights how "development needs Christians with their arms raised towards God in prayer", just as it needs "love and forgiveness, self-denial, acceptance of others, justice and peace".

Friday, July 3, 2009

Tomb of St. Paul

Okay, so I need to start blogging...I'm going to start with blogging about things that I think are representative of Truth - the evidence of the answer that Pilate sought...

I'll start with the discovery of the Tomb of St. Paul. This morning in the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, and Professor Ulderico Santamaria, director of the scientific laboratory of the Vatican Museums, hosted a presentation on the sarcophagus of St. Paul.

The following is the VPS report which was just released:

" Cardinal Cordero explained how two years ago he had suggested to the
Pope that the tomb of St. Paul be subject to a scientific examination. Benedict
XVI accepted the proposal but ordered that the outcome only be announced at the
end of the Pauline Year. Hence it was necessary to keep the results secret until

Professor Santamaria dwelt on the technical aspects of the
survey, explaining how a small hole was made in the sarcophagus through which a
probe was then introduced. Fragments of blue linen, purple linen interwoven with
gold thread, grains of red incense and bone fragments were discovered. Carbon
dating on organic elements from these finds suggest that they belong to a person
who lived in the first or second centuries. "This", the Pope said on 28 June
during the closing ceremony for the Pauline Year, "seems to confirm the
unanimous and uncontested tradition that these are the mortal remains of the
Apostle Paul, and it fills our heart with profound emotion".

The cardinal also explained how the Pope does not exclude the
possibility of undertaking a more detailed examination of the sarcophagus of St.
Paul. However, he went on, the Holy Father did not wish this to take place
during the Pauline Year because, in order to open the sarcophagus, it would be
necessary to dismantle the papal altar and the thirteenth-century baldachin by
Arnolfo di Cambio which, he concluded, would be a difficult and delicate

Here is a link to a National Geographic news article:

So, more truth to come...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Getting ready for a week in LA...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

looks like its going to be too nice of a day to work --- grrrr.....why can't weekends be like this?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

In Philly/Chicago/Houston/Denver/SF/St. Paul/Minn? Don't miss the prev screening of Stoning of Soraya M.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Read this great article from Fr. Barron. It's on CNN:
Maximus is looking for digital animators and musicians for Catholic children's project. Please email us at with leads.
Any Clergy or Religious that follow me want 2b interviewed 4 a piece on Social Media - how u use it for your ministry? DM/FB/ or email me.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Maximus on Twitter now. Plz follow us @TheMaximusGroup 4 latest on great work of New Evangelization. Catholics rock! Come & see. #Catholic
If you haven't picked up your copy of Dave Durand's, Win the World yet. You Must. Amazing read from this totally 2gether Catholic.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Great commentary from popular blogger Mark Shea:
URG!: looking 4 experts on the Blood Miracle @ San Gennaro (St. Januarius). 4 a FOX news special. Plz email or DM me leads. #Catholic

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

is praying for detractors to one of the Church's best messengers...
RT please - Boston screening 2night of The Stoning of Soraya M/ made by Steve McEveety & featuring Jim Caviezel. Register: <a href=""></a> #Catholic

Monday, May 11, 2009

@CatholicTravel and @metrobabycards are doing okay, but please pray for baby girl who is in the NicU, next 48 hours are very imp...
please pray for my associate @CatholicTravel and his wife @metrobabycards. She had an Emergency C section just minutes ago...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

New Blog is up - dedicated to all the mothers in my life:

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Rules the World

"Blessings on the hand of women! Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel, Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it, Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world!" -
William Ross Wallace

As a married woman, I often wonder what it would be like to be a mother. For a number of reasons, my husband and I have not been able to conceive, but it has not stopped me from praying and meditating on what type of person I would become when given the gift of motherhood.

These times of meditation have led me recently to turn to the lives of the women who throughout our Catholic history have demonstrated the essence of authentic feminine life by loving, nurturing, and in some cases relinquishing the very lives that grew inside of them for so many months.

And so on this Mother’s Day, I find myself reflecting on sanctification, not just my own but the means I would use to help my future children achieve such grace. I turn to the saints, because surely these lives of holiness honored by the Church will shed some light on this divine mission of motherhood.

Most certainly, I pause to reflect first and foremost on the great Mother of God, Mary most holy. With courage and strength, this young, simple girl said yes to a stupendous task — to bear the Messiah. I often reflect if given such a choice, how would I respond? It seems at times my own life is marked by distrust, my own agendas and an unwillingness to accept the life appointed to me by God. In contrast, Mary’s holiness is marked by an unwavering trust in God, a desire for His Will and a dedication to the life that she accepted. Even knowing she was the mother of the Divine, she stands as the model of the heroic, and very human, virtues of patience, faithfulness and generosity.

Sts. Anne and Elizabeth bring me great peace when I reflect on their lives. St. Anne, mother of Mary, persevered through 20 years of infertility, praying fervently to God to give her a child. Likewise, St. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, had reached an advanced age without conceiving. I share their anguish, their doubts about God’s love, the thoughts of fear and abandonment, the speculation about this pain being some sort of punishment. They never lost faith and year after year, both women and their husbands would make their plea in the temple for the Lord to help them in their sadness. And when God’s time was right, their requests were granted. Both Mary and John the Baptist were conceived through the message of an angel. These women were distinctly mothers of sure faith, constant hope and abiding love. I pray for an increase in these virtues as I struggle each month with the reality of my own barren womb.
Giving Birth to History

One of my great passions is venerating the great relics of the Church. I am captivated by their timeless preservation. If it weren’t for this next holy mother, I would have no place to go. St. Helena was the mother of the Emperor Constantine — a man who is remembered for his profound conversion and beginning the end of the Christian persecutions in Europe. While he was chiefly responsible for Helena’s own conversion to Christianity at the age of 63, her life following her conversion was one deeply dedicated to God. For the next twenty years of her life, she traveled the Middle East collecting the relics of the Passion, most notably the True Cross, and erecting churches and basilicas which would bear testimony to the truth of Christianity to this day. Her perseverance and courage provided a means for mothers, fathers, priests and teachers to teach the faith of Jesus Christ through a tangible, visual way.

I reflect on the life of St. Monica when I think of my adolescent years and the matriarchs in my life who sustained me in prayer. St. Monica had three children, one of whom later became a Doctor of the Church, St. Augustine of Hippo. If it weren’t for St. Monica, we might never have been able to console ourselves with the knowledge that, “our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, O God” and the many other pearls of wisdom passed to us from this converted sinner, son of this holy mother. Loyal to a troubled marriage and faithful to this troubled son, St. Monica persevered with fortitude and piety in bringing about a metanoia in Augustine and witnessing to us that through Christian motherhood even the hardest of hearts can be penetrated.

There are mothers who know that their children are chosen for great things and try to move heaven and earth to assure they follow the will of the Father. It’s a quiet confirmation — a sort of knowing — that cannot be described, which a mother feels when her child is in her womb or the first time she gazes upon his or her face. St. Sylvia had that knowing — that her child was destined for greatness. By herself, she was a great defender against the heresies creeping up in her time, and when her son was born, the virtue of justice enveloped her when she saw his face for the first time. She raised him with a deep sense of justice — a virtue strong enough to make this young boy grow into the person we know as Pope St. Gregory the Great.

And there is the mother of St. Dominic, Blessed Jane of Aza, who saw in a vision before she even conceived him that a dog with a burning torch in its mouth would come forth from her womb and set the world on fire. Of course, this prophetic dream foretold of the powerful preaching of St. Dominic which would converts hearts and transform souls. Blessed Jane and her husband Venerable Felix raised three other children who dedicated their lives to God.
Like Mother, Like Daughter

Likewise, Zelie Guerin Martin challenged her children in the ways of contemplative prayer, study of Scripture and languages. All five of her children pursued paths of sanctity, offering their lives to Jesus as religious sisters. The youngest of these girls is another Doctor of the Church, St. Therese of Lisieux. These two mothers are models of steadfast love — the willingness to give back to God what is truly His. They are symbols of encouragement and understanding for all parents whose children are called to religious life.

And finally, in this Mother’s Day reflection, I recall the mothers who protected life, forgave mercifully, and steadfastly pursued righteousness on behalf of their children. Saint Gianna Molla, a faithful Catholic mother and pediatrician, gave her life for her unborn child after discovering she had a cancer that could only be removed by aborting her daughter. Refusing such an end for her child, Gianna Emanuela is 44 years old today because of her mother’s unconditional love and sacrifice. Assunta Goretti witnessed the most horrible event a mother could bear when her twelve-year-old daughter Maria was brutally attacked by a family friend. On her deathbed, Assunta witnessed the faith and love which her parenting had nurtured. Maria forgave the boy that had mortally wounded her. Twenty-seven years later, Assunta would face this boy, now a man, who had killed her daughter. She too, spoke words of forgiveness: “If my daughter could forgive you, who am I to withhold forgiveness.” Both Assunta and the repentant murderer Alejandro would join the Holy Father in 1950 as he formally canonized Maria Goretti.

Reflecting on the lives of these sanctifying mothers, recalling their struggles and battles, both visible and invisible, it is frightening to imagine what lies ahead for me and for so many women in today’s world. But I am comforted in knowing that every Mass I attend, every intercession I implore, every petition I cry out to the mercy of God, is held in the company of these holy women who serve as models for the kind of mother I would like to be. St. Catherine of Siena, the twenty-third child of an Italian family, said that “If we become what God intended us to be, we will set the world on fire.”

So then, if the world rests in the playrooms, school yards and cradles of your life, then strive to be the mothers that God intended you to be, so the goodness of your children may set the world on fire. Happy Mother’s Day!

Woman, how divine your mission Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages Are from mother-love impearled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Pre-screening for Catholic leaders & influencers 2 Steve McEveety/Jim Caviezel new movie in Boston,go 2 R reg. site: <a href=""></a>
Pre-screening for Catholic leaders & influencers 2 Steve McEveety/Jim Caviezel new movie in Boston,go 2 R reg. site:
anyone aware of any Catholic journalists in Israel 4 the Pope's visit, we need some additional sources for possible interviews...#Catholic
Small commericail at beginning, but here is the Nightline interview with Christopher West:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

is thankful 4 the Catholic Church, John Paul II & the Theology of the Body, and the Church's best messengers on this imp topic. Good job CW!
praying for the next 30 minutes before Christopher West's interview on Nightline airs. Pray with me!
Want 2 know how great the Nightline piece turned out? Thanks for prayers. Tune in 2night 4 the broadcast.
If we are at LEAST not just a Christian nation, what are we at MOST?
This holy priest & client of ours @ TMG released his statement this morning on leaving the Legionaries <a href=""></a> Keep him in prayer.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bishop Wenski homily (Reparation for sins against human life):

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
~William James

Okay, so when it comes to myself, I'm a procrastinator. I said it!

With always the best intentions (purity of intention as my Spiritual Director would say), I never get to the "list" of things that I need or want to do for myself. Just take a look at my "new year resolutions".

  • Do the laundry every day
  • Update the household budget every week
  • Go to adoration once a week
  • Exercise at least 3 days a week
  • Spiritually journal (SD's commandment) 15 minutes a day
  • Finish one room in my house each month
  • Go on a real vacation
  • Spend meaningful time with my extended family(Mom, Sis, Niece, godchildren, etc) at least once a week
  • Finish the basement (started almost 4 years ago...sigh)
  • Pay off all outstanding debts
  • File a blog entry once a week

I won't tell you how I'm doing on most of them, but it's close to abyssmal. It has to be the Sanguine in me because it's definitely not the Choleric.

So that brings me to my LAST resolution on the list - file a blog entry once a week. purest of intentions and my heart's desires do not help in getting me to be accountable to this. So, I've been thinking about how I can do better at this, because I really do want to blog. Hey, I've got a lot to say!

But that brings me to part of my problem. I'm an over-achiever and I suffer from the great sin of Pride (thank you Choleric temperament), so...part of my issue is wanting every blog to be perfect, every thought to be articulate, every topic - totally relevant. And if it isn't, well...not gonna post. In fact, as a I write this, there are 5 unpublished blogs sitting in my draft folder...BECAUSE, I did not think they were perfect and I couldn't find the time to perfect them, so I abandoned them. As my friends over at CardoLife would say, I am surely not pivoting towards virtue here.

And I've complained that because my days are typically spent writing for other people's missions and calls to evangelize in their own particular ways, I often feel spent in energy and creativity when it comes to my own thoughts.

But as I sit here this morning, I'm reminded about the inspiration I was given to write this blog to begin with - the command given to be the "morning watchmen of the third millennium" (Is21:11-12) - to give witness to the truth, so that all who have eyes to see will ....see. There are so many Pilates (not the exercise, for those just jumping on this train - read my first blog entry) out there, who don't know the truth and amidst all the noise, don't know it when they hear it.

So, I realize that it *is* what I *do* every day that gives witness to the truth. It's the clients that we represent at The Maximus Group. It's the media monitoring that we do daily so we can counter the false prophets and the dissidence in the Catholic faith, and fight against the attacks against Christianity in the media and the culture. It's the speakers we work with who have been sent forth to share the message of life, fidelity, hope, healing and truth to the four corners of the globe. It's the great work happening in evangelization throught the United States and the world.

My blog entries are about answering Pilate's great question, What is Truth?, and sharing with any who are willing to listen: the people in which it can be heard and the places where it can be found.

St. Catherine of Siena, help me to be a better evangelizer.

If you are what you will be, you will set the world on fire. Let the truth be
your delight...proclaim it...but with a certain congeniality.
- St Catherine of Siena

Friday, May 1, 2009

A real Twitter article for Catholics,
Do you have swine flu?
A Question for Fr. Jenkins:
Sigh..Justice David Souter. Y do u hate babies in the womb? U couldn't have waited like 1000 more days? St. Joe, u got lots 2 pray for 2day.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Great post by @amywelborn2 @ her blog:
plz pray @ 1pm 4 special media intention, we have a major interview w/Nightline 4 a key messenger of TOB. Pray 4 wisdom & transformation.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I just created a Twibe...hmmm....I did? okay, well here it is: I think!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Pew Study shows why Catholics leave the Church...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Great spotlight on young couple, founders of Catholic toy company:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

New encyclical on its way:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bible in a Minute!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Vatican requests retraction - sweet!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rage Against the Dying of the Light

Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night. - Dylan Thomas

So, I started this blog at the end of 2008 and promised I would write at least once a week. Didn't happen for a couple reasons. The first, I lost my inspiration. I admit, I was defeated. An Obamanation seemed too much to bear (and to defend). I mean, can you blame me? Just this past week alone, 17 covers of major magazines carried his mug. Even the celeb pubs. One of the big ones, Entertainment Weekly, have crowned him "President Rock Star" on the cover of this week's issue. I guess I've felt like we've turned our great country over to American Idol. "Protect and defend Ryan Seacrest!"

The second reason is somehow I lost my love of writing in general and the whole idea of doing this regularly was giving me what my Italian grandmother (may she rest in peace) called "agita". I used to love to write: high school reporter led to college newspaper editor led to poetry book writer and then broadcast journalist for 4 years. Ahhh, but here the story took a turn...which I won't get into now. Bad choices led me away from writing. Perfect LOVE brought me back, but these days I write other people's stories, and I DO IT ALL DAY LONG. As the GM of a Catholic PR company, I have to edit press releases, and editorial pieces, media biographies, and pitch letters. I guess I've felt I just don't have time for my own thoughts - despite the fact that I have a TON of them.

So, that leads me to this post. Something changed yesterday for me. One of the most sad and stressful days of my life opened a window in my head, and in my heart. I've had my share of sad and stressful days - don't get my wrong, but yesterday was different. Two significant pieces of news woke me up internally - like a light bulb of inspiration going off in my head and a fire that filled my heart. The first was this news -The death of a brilliant, inspirational and much loved Catholic writer and evangelist. The second was this, but I'll get to that later.

The first news was stunning, not just because this death was sudden, but because it appeared in an instant to take away great hope. Michael had recently moved to Birmingham to lead an incredible new office in the Diocese there - the Office of the New Evangelization. Despite Pope John Paul II's commission at the dawn of the new millennium to let this be the age of a new advent of evangelization in our communities, not many dioceses have answered this call yet.

You can check. I have.

But Michael's new position (and opening of this new office) in Birmingham brought great hope to those of us who have a burning, a yearning, to be responsive to this great commission. And in an instant, it was gone. Amy Welborn, another pioneer of this new evangelization and Michael's devoted wife, wrote this in a message to her friends yesterday:

There is much that grieves me about this, even as I still feel that I am in a terrible dream. I have to say, though, what puzzles me and frustrates me as much as the personal grief and loss is the fact that just in the past few months, Michael had finally arrived in this space and place where he was free to use brilliance and creativity in service to the Church in a context in which he was accepted, valued and could really lead and do much good. He had so much planned, so much cooking for evangelization and formation in this diocese. And now it's not to be. That is among the many things I do not understand.

Amen! I don't understand it either. But understanding is one of the gifts of the Spirit, and so we pray, Lord, help us to understand. Why Michael? Why now?

One of my favorite poets is Dylan Thomas. The musicality of his poetry captured me when I was very young and his themes of love, life (and death) and then new life was somehow comforting to a young girl who, at times, was confronted with very stinging encounters with the here and hereafter as she navigated her adolescence and college years.

One of them, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night was a favorite. I remember having debates in poetry and literature classes in both high school and then college about the meanings of the different stanzas in the villanelle. We know that he wrote the poem about his dying father, a once strong, authoritarian man who had been reduced to weakness and suffering at the end of his life. But DT doesn't just call out his father's path to death. He uses metaphors throughout to call out the deaths of different types of men, who meet death differently, yet the same. Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light is a mantra of frustration directed at the realities of life and death that we are powerless to change.

Yesterday, we also learned, quite publicly, about the tragic truth of Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the priestly congregation, The Legionaries of Christ and the apostolic movement, Regnum Christi. Along with 800 priests and 70,000 lay members worldwide, Fr. Maciel is responsible for 68 years of evangelization and formation. The news of him leading a double life is, I'm certain, devastating to the many priests, brothers, consecrated women and members of the lay movement who trusted, believed and held in fidelity the particular "rule" that marked their charism and spiritual identity. I am not a member of the movement and so I can't speak to the specific lessons and tools of formation that have been passed down through the years from Fr. Maciel to his priests to the lay members nor can I speculate on how this revelation will affect the integrity of those lessons and the trust in that formation. I do know that I have many dear friends serving and leading apostolates within the movement, and I have met and call friends many amazing Legionary priests. My heart aches for them. Truly. My heart aches for the Church who entrusts the souls of humanity to a holy priesthood.

This is again a moment where we search our hearts for wisdom and understanding. Lord, help us to understand. Give us wisdom and discernment. Why Fr. Maciel? Why now?

When I started this blog, I was inspired by an encounter brought alive for me in The Passion of The Christ. The encounter begins with Jesus before Pilate with the question, "quid est veritas?", What is Truth? It continues with Pilate and his wife Claudia, who cannot answer him except to admonish, "If you will not hear the truth, no one can tell you." Evangelization, in its many forms, is the hearing aid to the Truth. It is our task to point others towards what is True, what is Good, and what is Holy, and to be trustworthy in word and example.

My company happened to be working on a project with Michael's new office in Birmingham. We hoped to do a big event with the pro-marriage film, Fireproof, to evangelize the faithful about God's plan for marriage and to save marriages that are in trouble. His secretary Allison and one of my staff members had become telephone buddies. Yesterday, Allison and Lisa spoke; She was devastated of course, wondering aloud what this all meant and why. But in her grief, she shared with Lisa the content of Michael's last column which he had apparently been very pensive about. In fact, yesterday, his Facebook status still held his micro-post from Sunday, "Still thinking about that column." For someone as prolific as Michael has been with words, I remembered thinking, how difficult could writing a column be? Little did I know that would be his last status update, and surely little did I know what his "thinking" would become.

We serve a great God. And he gives us glimpses into his Majesty through the witness, example and inspiration of others. There is no doubt that in God's omniscience, he prepared Michael a dwelling place of inspiration in these last words to us. Through them, God also left something for those left behind - a love letter of sorts for those who question, who search for understanding, those of us (like me) who at times feel like we need to know "the plan" and rarely surrender our will to that of our Heavenly Father's. In our forgetfulness, He reminds us, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in your weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9)

Amy shared the full content of the column today on her blog. She calls it The Last Column and it will be published this week in the Diocese of Birmingham's weekly newspaper. Let it be a consolation for all of us that fall victim to the "Big Lie", that which is not Truth. Not God. Not what we're meant to be.

So, yesterday was a troubling and emotional day. But within all this tragic news, I was given the reminders of why we do what we do - why the New Evangelization commission is needed now more than ever and why we can't give up when we feel defeated.

While I still love Dylan Thomas, I'm pretty sure he was not able to hear the truth. Any biographical read of his life bears witness to that. But the amazing thing about the poem, "Do Not Go Gentle.." is that it still serves as a tool of understanding for those who believe. The wise men, the good men, the wild men and the grave men of Dylan Thomas' poem "rage against the dying of the light" only when something they left behind cannot be continued or finished.

I've been inspired to be faithful to the path that God has set before me, to rage against the dying of the light, which is Truth, now, while I am here, willing and able. So in my disappointment and my grief, I am thankful today and I am hopeful.

"..and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. - St. Paul (Romans 5:5)

** Side Note: My participation in the Catholic Writers Conference Online in the midst of all this emotion yesterday was a bright spot. If you haven't checked them out, you should. Their online conference is all week long. I also apologize to them for breaking my 600 word rule for blogs. Hey, there are exceptions to every rule!