9 Things to Know and Share About Ash Wednesday

02/08/2016 Comments (4)

Ash Wednesday is upon us, and Lent is about to begin. Here are 9 things to know and share . . .

Ash Wednesday is upon us again!

Here are 9 things to know and share . . .


1. What is Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday is the day that Lent begins (see: 9 things you need to know about Lent).

The name comes from the fact that a particular rite is always celebrated on this Wednesday in which the faithful have ashes put on their foreheads.

According to the Roman Missal:

In the course of today’s Mass, ashes are blessed and distributed.

These are made from the olive branches or branches of other trees that were blessed the previous year [on Palm/Passion Sunday].


2. What does the putting on of ashes symbolize?

According to the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy:

125. In the...READ MORE

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NARAL Can't Win Against Ultrasound, Science and Common Sense

02/08/2016 Comment

(Photo credit: Madcapslaugh Ecografía, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

“Respect for human life finds an ultimate expression in the bond of love the mother has for her child….While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained. Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow.” —Justice Anthony Kennedy (Gonzales v. Carhart, April 18, 2007)

The abortion industry and its apologists have tried for decades to persuade us that the baby in the womb isn’t a baby.  NARAL, for instance, took exception on Twitter to a Doritos ad that aired during the Super Bowl that, in their words, tried to “humanize” the child in a mother’s womb. A...READ MORE

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The Super Bowl Ad that Freaked Out NARAL

02/08/2016 Comments (23)

Any commercial that horrifies NARAL intrigues me. Well, Doritos did it.

Now, I can't imagine watching this commercial and being offended because it humanizes the unborn. Can you imagine being that crazy? But I guess if your entire living is based on the dehumanization of the unborn, you might understand? So here's the commercial which horrified NARAL:


NARAL responded quickly with gasps and accusations of Doritos being "sexist" and "humanizing fetuses."

#NotBuyingIt - that @Doritos ad using #antichoice tactic of humanizing fetuses & sexist tropes of dads as clueless & moms as uptight. #SB50

— NARAL (@NARAL) February 8, 2016

The great Lila Rose responded:

Newsflash to @NARAL: human...READ MORE

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What Are You Giving Up for Lent?

02/05/2016 Comments (4)

Carl Spitzweg (1808-1885), “Ash Wednesday”

Here it comes.

THE question. The one that’s gnawing at your insides and filling your quiet moments with fret.

What are you giving up for Lent?

Well, perhaps it’s not as fretful to you as it is to me. If not, I’m happy for you. I fret because I never know what to give up and usually end up changing my mind three or four times before I finally decide.

What am I giving up for Lent?

For me, giving up the usual stuff—sweets, favorite foods, television or movies, for example—doesn’t work. I’m already on a restricted diet (have been for years and years) and I watch very little TV and only an occasional movie.

So, giving something up doesn’t mean all that much to me, Lent-wise.

Instead, I...READ MORE

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Cardinal De Paolis Confident About Synod Outcome, Decentralization

02/05/2016 Comments (18)

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, 80, prefect emeritus of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

– YouTube

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, one of the five cardinal contributors to the book “Remaining in the Truth of Christ” that reasserted the Church’s teaching on marriage ahead of the Synods on the Family, is confident about the outcome of the synod and Pope Francis’ plans for decentralization.

In this Jan. 30 interview with the Register, the Italian cardinal, a renowned canon law scholar, gives reasons for his optimism but also stresses the importance of knowing the destination of the Church's journey, acknowledges that many faithful are confused, and asserts that the sensus fidelium (sense of the faithful) can only refer to practicing Catholics who do not dissent from the Church’s Magisterium. ...READ MORE

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Pope Francis to Meet Patriarch Kirill in Cuba

02/05/2016 Comments (30)

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.

After years of speculation, for the first time in history the Successor of Peter and the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet on February 12, the Vatican announced today. 

The meeting will take place in Cuba where Patriarch Kirill will be making an official visit. Pope Francis will make a brief stop in Havana on his way to Mexico. 

The Vatican said the historic meeting "will mark an important stage in relations between the two Churches." 

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the meeting, expected to last two hours in total, will consist of spontaneous speeches from the Pope and the Patriarch who will also issue a joint declaration.  He added that the meeting,...READ MORE

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Honoring Mary "Too Much"?

02/05/2016 Comments (38)

William Bouguereau (1825-1905), “Virgin and Child”

An Evangelical friend wrote me in the course of an Internet conversation about Catholic piety toward the saints and said, "If some church had set up a statue to John the Baptist, and was sacrificing doves to it, then smashing that idol to rubble would be an act of honor and respect for John, not one of dishonor."

I understand the sensibility at work here since I believed something similar to it. I too once believed Catholic piety was intrinsically idolatrous and that Catholics honored saints (especially Mary) "way too much." My problem came when I began to encounter actual Catholic piety. I discovered that no informed Catholic adored Mary or any saint as a god or goddess. I discovered that...READ MORE

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The Upside of Zika

02/04/2016 Comments (5)

There are some who seem pretty thrilled with the outbreak of Zika because it's given new life to the anti-life crowd. The somewhat new virus has reinvigorated the tired old arguments against the Catholic Church's teaching on life and sexuality.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the Zika virus is spread through mosquito bites with he most common symptoms including fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis which typically lasts several days to a week. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. However, some reports link the disease with birth defects and some governments in South America have warned women at risk of contacting the Zika virus...READ MORE

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