Monday, December 22, 2008


let It cry
let It mourn
let It holler out
up, towards the Heavens
allow thy Soul
direct forward natural Soul
Godly Soul
cry out
reach toward its Wholeness
thy Lord
plead with thy Beloved
cry, Come
holler, Come
(c) M. Singer 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fight FOCA

There is a terrible piece of legislation called "The Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA).
FOCA would establish the right to abortion as a fundamental right (like the right to free speech) and wipe away every restriction on abortion nationwide.
It will eradicate state and federal abortion laws the majority of Americans support and prevent states from enacting protective measures in the future.
FOCA will do away with state laws on parental involvement, on partial-birth abortion, and on all other protections.
FOCA will compel taxpayer funding of abortions.
FOCA will force faith-based hospitals and healthcare facilities to perform abortions.
Please read the expert analysis by Americans United for Life (AUL) and sign the Fight FOCA petition at:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Excerpted from my SMME entrance application:

I want to enter the SMMEs for a few reasons. The first year of my discernment from 2006 through 2007 was spent in prayer and I did not have a spiritual director at that time. I was in contact with a few different religious orders: Mission San Jose Dominicans, Daughters of Charity and School Sisters of Notre Dame. I liked different things about each one, but I soon recognized an undercurrent of apprehension: were those convents the right place? What did they think of me? Would I fit in? Why don't they practice their traditional charism? why the denuded chapels? why do they have to schedule in community time or prayer time together? why this and why that? When I stepped foot into the SMME motherhouse that Friday evening none of those previously ever-present questions arose in my mind. I was completely focused on God and on just enjoying myself during the retreat. I felt this sense of peace within myself, that I no longer had to search and question and research; no more comparison and contrast with my beliefs and practices with that of the religious community. I felt that it was over - which is why I so readily asked for papers Saturday morning before that evening's Eucharistic Adoration - I had already asked Jesus Friday night where He wanted me. He gave me the answers one after the other. The whole weekend God was saying "Yes, this is the place" in all those special ways He does in our own understanding of Scripture, prayer, music, people, etc. Lastly, as I was leaving Sunday to go home, I tried to see myself at the SMMEs just as I had tried with the MSJ Dominicans, the DCs, and SNDs; never had pictured myself that way before, so fully.

I'm very attracted to the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist way of life and community for reasons that echo the above. In the years since my Confirmation I have had to re-teach myself the mechanisms of the Catholic Church. I've had to learn about charisms, evangelical counsels, virtues of the flesh and theology. Few religious orders and communities actually practice a vow of obedience and poverty as I have seen in the SMMEs. There is a true sense of community: in the Eucharist and prayer life, in your daily life, and your interaction with each other. The vows and community life are faithfully lived out - sacrifice is not questioned, it's expected. I'll never forget the visit I made to convent here in Los Angeles and I was asked "Why should you have to sacrifice XYZ?" I don't have to sacrifice. I could enter a religious community that would permit me to own things - but then I'm not really, fully loving God, am I? Isn't that Who this is all about? God invites us, we say "yes," and I'm only supposed to give up what I think I can manage? No. I'm reminded of the verse in Revelations that describes what type of service and love God enjoys -- either be hot or cold, but not lukewarm. The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are definitely filled with love and passion for God and interested in doing His service and His will. Oh, and you're faithful to the Magisterium.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

entitlement 2

Entitlement is an attitude that says you have a right to recieve something. In looking it up in the Dictionary, it's also a term the government uses to address things that should be guaranteed to a citizen. That's how this world works - everyone's got a right to this or that and it's all based on how each person views something. There's no absolute standard, I'm no more right than you are wrong; I wouldn't even be able to say that you are wrong, because in your special grand scheme of things you are right.

On the other hand, there's someone called God, and the spiritual is just as real as the material. You know the ozone layer exists even though it cannot be seen, and bacteria exist in uncooked food even though you can't see it, feel it, or taste until it's too late. Same with God, you can ignore His commandments and precepts and have your "fun" and raise "hell," but once you die, then you will see, hear, know the consequences. You only know the difference until it's too late. This isn't about entitlement, but merit. Have you lived a life that merits eternal reward or punishment? Do you merit eternal reward after a little purgatorial refinement, or straight to punishment?

...Thoughts of mine after Thanksgiving Day with relatives.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Not Entitled

What is it about people that makes thenk they are automatically entitled to their desires?
You, and me, deserve nothing.
We merit nothing.
All that we have is a gift, even the mere act of breathing is a gift.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Is the Novus Ordo Mass Actually the Indult Mass?

by Fr. Paul Kramer’

The following is taken from Fr. Paul Kramer’s article entitled, "The Legal Status of the Tridentine Mass" in which he argues that the "Mass of the Ages" is the official liturgical rite of the western Church.

Bishop Forester, in Fr. Brian Houghton’s book, MITRE AND CROOK observes: This has been the most puzzling history of all. May I remind you, Fathers, that we already have two documents of the highest conceivable authority: the Bull QUO PRIMUM and the Constitution SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM, which are, moreover, in line with each other. What happens next?

On April 3rd, 1969, a Papal Constitution entitled Missale Romanum was promulgated purporting to be the law governing the New Order of Mass, as yet unpublished. In this original version it is not a law at all but an explanatory introduction to a permission. Even the word ‘Constitutio’ is nowhere to be found in the text, merely in the title:

1) There is no abrogation of previous legislation and no clause ordering
the use of the new rite.

2) There is no sentence to show that it is obligatory, let alone

3) There is no dating clause to show when it should come into

This of course did not prevent the powers that be from saying that it was a binding law. To do so they had recourse to a mistranslation. What is so curious is that the mistranslation was common to all languages. I have read it myself in English, French and Italian I am told that it is the same in German and Spanish. How can this possibly come about? How can all these expert translators make the identical mistranslation? Your guess is as good as mine. Here is the sentence, the fourth before the end of the original version, the fifth in the Acta: Ad extremum, ex iis quae hactenus de novo Missale Romano exposuimus quiddam nunc cogere et efficere placet... I have underlined the mistranslated words. "Cogere et efficere" is a well known Ciceronian phrase to be found in most dictionaries. Even if the translators could not be bothered to look it up, it is perfectly clear that "quiddam cogere" breaks down into "agere quiddam con" = to work something together, which is in the context "to sum up." Equally, "quiddam efficere" breaks down into "facere quiddam ex" = to make something out, which is in the context "to draw a conclusion."

And what did all the translators make of it? "In conclusion, We now wish to give the force of law to all We have declared..."; and in French, "Pour terminer, Nous voulons donner force de loi a tout ce que Nous avons expose..."; and in Italian etc. It is strange, my dear Fathers, but such is the truth: "to sum up and draw a conclusion" becomes "to give the force of law." And what did I do about it? Absolutely nothing for the simple reason that I did not bother to read the Latin until two or three years later. Do not judge me too severely. Have you read it?

But that is not the end. Worse is to come. The Acta for June, 1969, were published as usual about two months later. When it appeared, a brand new clause had been inserted into the original document as the penultimate paragraph. It reads: Quae Constitutione hac Nostra praescripsimus vigere incipient a XXX proximimensis Novembris hoc anno, id est a Dominica I Adventus. That is, "What we have ordered by this Our constitution will begin to take effect as from November of this year (1969), that is the first Sunday of Advent." You will notice: 1) that for the first and only time the word "Constitutio" appears in the text. 2) For the first time, too, a word signifying "to order" is introduced - "praescripsimus." 3) For the first time a date is given on which the order is to become effective. This is a permission turned into a law. Actually, there are a couple of snags even about this insertion. The word "praescripsimus" = We have ordered - is not the proper term in Latin, but I shall not bother you with refinements. More important, it is in the wrong tense. Up to this point the legislator has prescribed nothing at all. It is precisely in this clause that he claims to do so. The verb, therefore should be in the present tense: "praescribimus" = "what We are ordering by this our Constitution": not in the past perfect, "what we have prescribed." The only explanation I can think of for this howler is recognition by its author that he is tampering with a pre-existing text. Moreover, the logical conclusion from the use of the wrong tense can scarcely be what its author intended: since nothing was prescribed, nothing is prescribed; and the legislator, to boot, is still prescribing nothing. What a mess! I wonder how long a civil government would last which thus tampered with its own laws?

There is a last remark I wish to make about this strange document. It winds up with the usual clause de style: "We wish, moreover, that these decisions and ordinances of ours should be stable and effective now and in the future, notwithstanding - in so far as may be necessary - Constitutions and apostolic regulations published by Our predecessors and all other ordinances, even those requiring special mention and derogation." At long last - indeed it is the last word - there is a "technical" term in the constitution, so we know exactly where we stand: "derogation". The New Ordo is therefore only a permission after all. It is merely a licit exception, a derogation, to the previous laws which are still in force. They have not been abrogated...It is nonsense to claim that the bull Quo Primum has been abrogated.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Let Us Give Thanks

Thoughts of thanks right now:

  1. for the ability to freely express thanks and speech without censor
  2. for each and every one of YOU my friends online and off-line
  3. for my family and relatives and all the different ways they shape and form my life
  4. for the basic things to live life like sight, hearing, taste, touch and scent
  5. for a roof over my head, blankets on my bed, and things strewn around my room
  6. for change in my wallet and leftovers in the refrigerator
  7. the passage of Prop 8

I started to put together a list like this the evening of adoration at the SMMEs. This one says:

  1. "Blessed I thank You for:
  2. the gift of vocation
  3. the graces
  4. the gift of my parents
  5. sight and hearing
  6. the silence
  7. for leading me home
  8. for my sister
  9. the mystery
  10. the beatific vision
  11. Your mother
  12. La Virgen de Gaudalupe miracle
  13. for life
  14. for the course of my life
  15. the cult experience
  16. the gift of education
  17. the gift of desiring You
  18. the Church
  19. those who were able to lead me home August 2005: Mike, Fr. Aaron, Pat Ku, Christie Swanson, Jenny Schwartzkoff, and all others who were online friends at that time, and Sumer Alvarez, for which I would not have been at Mass if it weren't for her death and funeral.

This week I've heard "thanks" from patients:

  1. for giving hope
  2. for re-focusing
  3. for teaching its all right to ask God for things (not just praise; ask and ye shall recieve)
  4. for calming them
  5. for letting them know that people care
  6. for companionship

Last night driving home I tried to think of the ONE thing I am thankful for: the gift that God gives us all in His own time and in our spiritual readiness - the ability to desire Him and return it.

Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving

Monday, November 10, 2008

SMME Retreat

Went on the SMME (Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist) retreat this weekend. I flew in Friday evening and had a convent dinner because 5 of us (including the Dominican priest) did not get in until after 6pm. There were only about 30 of us there for the first night - we had all flown in. One from Alaska, Oregon, Me (Los Angeles), Boston, Vermont, Texas, and NY, etc. It was in the 40s and 30s the whole weekend.

In the morning they took us to Domino's Farms. Tom Monoham, the creator of Ave Maria Univ. set up a Catholic chapel in his Domino's office building and its down the road from the convent. I met with Sr. Joseph Andrew, vocation director, on Saturday morning and asked for my papers. She asked if I wanted to wait until Sunday morning, after all night Eucharistic Adoration. No. She squealed with delight when she found out that Fr Thomas Nelson was my spiritual director, too! She said that my student loans were very manageable.

Before I left the convent on Sunday afternoon, I stopped by the Spiritus Sanctus Acdemey chapel. I looked about to make certain no one else was around. Back when I was interested in Opus Dei, I started to tell Jesus 'Goodbye' when I left the establishment. This time I said, aloud, "I'll be back."

So, I have my application. I should probably give Fr. Thomas a heads up before I start, though.

Monday, September 8, 2008


darkness soaring into darkness
cold holding cold
fragility rejecting strength
smothered into death
rejection equating freedom
a soul collapsed in
fighting to avoid shelter
suffocating in unpercieved security
hoping on sufferance for liberty
falling from the lowest precipice
suppressed and deadened
timeless and loveless
vigor in descent
reviviscent surrender
simple elegance
always ever wanted
empire of constant presence

© M. Singer, Sept 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Life so Far

Classes are done for the summer, back in May, actually. Since then I have looked and looked for a job. I finally was employed at the end of June at two retail stores. However, sales are so low and business slow that my hours have been cut and I'm lucky to even work two days a week at one job, and get 4 hours paid at the other.

In the meantime, I'm working in the small vegetable garden or sewing. What am I sewing? bits and pieces of many different quilts. I'm in the process of quilting the one for grandma, sewing the one for grandpa and a bunch of other projects. Why the rush? Well, if I get accepted to the SMMEs, I won't be able to quilt any longer. I've got a lot of quilts to finish up for family members and fabric to use up. There's a clear possibility that I wont be able to make all the quilts with the fabric I've planned, so tonnes of little scrap quilts are being made. For grandpa I've made a scrappy Double Wedding ring; grandma an "amethyst" in green tones; mom Cathedral windows, which she doesn't know is for her but has declared that she does not like it. Too bad, its all in pink and cream colors for her. Dad and my sister I still have to figure out. Dad will likely get the kalidescope and monkey, I'll scrape something up. The one on the right, is just a scrap with blues, greens (melon is the light one), and browns. I thought I would use up all the fabric I had, but I didn't. Will probably make a second scrappy one. This one pictured is only 38" x 38".

Going camping this weekend and then in August will be going to Cancun with the family. On Aug 18th I'm due for jury duty and on the 25th classes resume.

Vocation-wise: I have registered for the fall retreat Nov 8-9th with the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist (SMMEs). I've told my dad about my discernment now. He seems ambivalent about it. He appears to be hoping that I'll go in November to the convent retreat, find out what it's really like and get back on track (date, marry, have kids, etc). In the meantime, I'm hanging out with a seminarian since he can't find work and my work hours suck. We talk about God, screwed up families, etc. all that fun stuff. Mom found out about it last week after we walked a couple miles on the beach strand and made fun of me the rest of the day ("why don't you hang around someone you can actually date?" "you don't want to be a nun, do you?"). Ha, good times.

I've also switched parishes. I no longer attend Mass at St John Fisher unless I can't help it. I now attend Ss. Peter and Paul Church which is much more conservative, in union with Rome, adheres to the GIRM, and well, actually looks like a church. I may even give and buy a chapel veil (not necessary), but it'll come in handy for when I do attend the TLM. I try to attend Bible study once a week at St James, and I have a spanish classes that runs once a week for six weeks (this week will be my last).

And that's my life in a nutshell.


What is in a name? Perhaps a reputation?

Names are not just what are given to us by our parents to distinguish us from one kid or another. Our names have a way of being tarnished or gleaming with our own reputation.
So, it can also be with God.

Exodus 20:7 (NKJV)
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
Exodus 20:7 (NAB; St Joseph Edition)
You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain. For the Lord will not leave unpunished him who takes his name in vain.

Maybe more than we are aware, the casual way we talk about God, inject His holy name into even the most flippant of conversations leaves non-believers wondering about our fear and reverence for this Creator we tell them we are so convicted about.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Richmond VA & Catholic Charities' Abortion Scandal

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Desiring God

O God my Truth, make me one with you in eternal love. Often I become weary with reading and hearing many things. You are all that I want and desire. (a Kempis, 3.2)

It's not just with words but of ideas that we become weary. The more that is heard, seen, and grapsed by the mind, the harder it is to discern the Truth. For example, if one listens to a single radio station, only one point of view is heard, but if two or more are heard, there are many more points to take into consideration regardless of whether these are wrong or not. So, it is the same with what we fill our eyes, mind, heart, and ears. What is that we dwell on? Is it the truth of God and the goodness that He's given to us to safeguard these very aspects, or are we being filled with the trends of the season?

Sunday, April 27, 2008


According to, a religion is a "set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs." Therefore under this general understanding I will refer to Santeria as a religion, although I do not give it any credence.

When the Spaniards were establishing a colony in South America and the island of Cuba, they brought slaves with them to do the hard labor. These slaves came largely from West Africa in the 1600s and 1700s, and they brought with them much of their folklore, culture, and religious practices. The slaves were polytheistic, but soon the Spaniards tried to encourage them convert to the Roman Catholic Church; yet, the West Africans continued to persevere in their practices. Therefore, the Spaniards began persecution of the slaves that included many of the atrocities we are vaguely aware of such as beatings, whippings, rapes, and other forms of torture.

Instead of converting, the West Africans began to take notice that some of their gods and goddesses looked vaguely like some of the better known Catholic Saints which the Spaniards put into their churches and chapels. So, what looked like Catholic converts to the Spanish, were really African slaves practicing the same pantheistic, animism and ancestor worship.

The main god is Olofi (aka, Olodumare or Olorun), but of the 400 minor gods and goddesses, only 16 are popularly worshipped and practiced: Obatala, Yemaya, Oshun, Oya, and Chango, to name a few. These five form the foundation of the practice of Santeria. The will of Olofi is manifested through the forces of nature. In exchange for total submission, observation of feasts, obedience to orders and rituals, the follower is promised supernatural powers and protection from evil in most major domains: influence/power, health, position, and ablitiy to see and modify the future. The "priests" of this religion are known as santeros.

The practices are supposedly limited to white magic and excludes black witchcraft.

Obatala is associated with Our Lady of Mercy and is the origin of the other gods and godesses and creation, but is not the creator (Olofi). He is also the patron of purity and peace. Orunla (aka, Ifa or Orunmila) is the patron of the high priests and the principal magician. He is associated with St Francis of Assisi. Yemaya is associated with the Virgin of Regla and is the patron of the sea and motherhood. Oshun is the younger sibling of Yemaya and the queen of love, marriage, gold, and the rivers. She is also the favorite concubine of Chango and is associated with our Lady of Charity. [...] More information: here.

How do I convey how familiar these names are, if not in print from the numerous trips I've made with my mom to the santero shops, to perhaps hearing some of them? Like, I've seen the names of Eleggua, Oggun, Ochosi, and Osun at different times as well as those mentioned above.
The Orishas, or gods, are represented by 16 cowrie shells and small figurines which represent the powers of each deity. These have to be wahed with sacred liquids made from teas and juices of plants, rubbed with oil, and fed with the blood of the deity's favorite animal (most typically chickens, pigeons, and other fowl). These objects have to be kept in the personal home. The bead necklaces and bracelets are made of the characteristic color of each Orisha, which protects the wearer from any magic spell via deflection. The Orisha protects it's "child" with its color.

There are initiation practices involved which are long, complicated, costly, and completed in a series of phases. First, the santero needs to learn which gods correspond to the initiate, which begins with the necklaces (which were constructed and then soaked in animal blood - and the smell is never lost) and ends with the asiento. The process is as follows: the wearing of old cloths (they are cut off of you), the bathing (a tea/infusion), and changing into white clothes to symbolize new life. An Orisha is assigned to the person to watch and protect and initiate. There are prayers in a foreign tongue (not Spanish), and animal sacrifices. Usually a second phase includes the divination of the initiate's future in which stones are thrown into a bowl filled with sand. Then the initiate is given the santeros' reading of his/her future. Then the initiate recieves his/her own set of cowrie shells, on which blood poured and a home for his/her Orisha, a decorated box containing food and oil for the seed. The seed is the home of the Orisha.

The Orishas are subject to human weaknesses: material greed, incest, adultery, drunkeness, violence, etc. Most of them "practice" witchcraft, divination, and magic. Necromancy also exists in Santeria along with the use of amulets and creating prayers or changing the fate of others (i.e., setting up white magic 'hexes' for someone, much like the Mormons can 'baptize' the dead). The whole focus of Santeria is the betterment of a single person, using prayer/hexes, magic, and divination of the person and others close to them to change their destiny which was created before they were born.

I've been involved with this stuff against my will, and often deceptively brought to participate in the initiation events - as in the the true nature of the outings were revealed to me.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Liturgical Dancing

Excerpt from Karl Keating's E-Letter on 05/09/2006

Inculturation has come at a high price.

When you watch the liturgical dancers, you will shake your head over the lack of good taste. You will not mistake these folks for the June Taylor Dancers. Even if you make allowances for the dancers being amateurs, the video is painful to watch.

The dancers are predominantly women, but there are a few men. The women wear floor-length dresses that billow out as they move. The men wear slacks and sport shirts. They all hold something in their hands--perhaps votive candles, it being hard to tell because the videographer sat far from the action.

The dancers swirl clockwise, lifting their hands high over their heads, first to the left and then to the right. Then they swirl in the other direction. Since their hands are occupied, there are few variations in their arm motions: stretch high to one side, then to the other, then bow low and bring the hands close to the floor, then do it all over again.

The footwork is simple, not even to the level of a three-step. Still, it is too much for some of the dancers. One of the men, although moving slowly, manages to trip over his own feet and almost falls to the ground.

Only a heartless viewer would not feel embarrassment on behalf of the dancers. Only someone with no appreciation for either liturgy or dancing would think that this was a successful melding of the two.

Here is what then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote about liturgical dancing in "The Spirit of the Liturgy":

"Dancing is not a form of expression for the Christian liturgy. In about the third century, there was an attempt by certain Gnostic-Docetic circles to introduce it into the liturgy. ... The cultic dances of the different religions have different purposes--incantation, imitative magic, mystical ecstasy--none of which is compatible with the essential purpose of the liturgy. ... "

It is totally absurd to try to make the liturgy 'attractive' by introducing dancing pantomimes (wherever possible performed by professional dance troupes), which frequently (and rightly, from the professionals' point of view) end with applause. Whenever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. ..."

I myself have experienced the replacing of the penitential rite by a dance performance, which, needless to say, received a round of applause. Could
there be anything further removed from true penitence? ..."

None of the Christian rites includes dancing. What people call dancing in the Ethiopian rite or the Zairean form of the Roman liturgy is in fact a rhythmically ordered procession, very much in keeping with the dignity of the occasion."

Friday, March 28, 2008


“Those who are well do not need physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” Mark 2:17

If one is ill, what does it do to the person? Things go awry biologically and the body goes into overdrive trying to purge itself of the impurities, the disease, the bacteria. So, too the Soul. How does one person come to purge their soul of impurities and sinful ways? St John the Baptist tells us the first thing to be done is repentance because the Kingdom of God is at hand, now is the time (Mt 3:2). Repentance and true sorrow for sin before God is how the Soul heals itself.

“A good person brings forth good out of a store of goodness, but an evil person brings forth evil out of a store of evil.” Matthew 12:35

Just as the body heals itself biologically and neurologically from an illness, to create immunity, the Soul has to show internal changes. One of many ways for the status of a Soul to be judged is by its fruit. Christians have to be on guard to ensure that worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things do not intrude and choke the Word (Mk 4:18-19). The Soul invariably becomes focused on God, but St Paul cautions, that just as an infant cannot consume solid food, so too the new Believer cannot produce stupendous works immediately.

However there are some immediate changes that need to be made. Love needs to be extended towards each and every person, just as God indiscriminately died for and loves each one of us into Being (Jn 15:17). From sorrowful repentance to God, we are charged to change our evil ways. For St Paul reminds the Church in Corinth that fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, boy prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunk or slanderous will not enter the kingdom of God. The Saint goes on to say that “such were you, but now you are sanctified.” The statement of the members of Corinth’s church were once sinners, but they have since put that sinful lifestyle behind them, shows how God charges, almost commands us to change.

Only those who observe the Law of God are justified, not merely those who hear it. Therefore, there is a huge difference between those who call Christ their Lord and try to change their lifestyle for Him, and those who have these Truths go in one ear and out the other. The Law needs to be practiced, just as much as it is taught. (Romans 2:13).

What is God’s Law? Better yet, the Bible is much clearer on what it is not. It is not homosexuality, wickedness, evil, murder, treachery, slander, gossip, looseness, promiscuity, greed, malice, envy, rivalry, spite, sloth, vanity, pride, and worldliness.
So what are Christians to do? To repent, be baptized, and take on the light and sweet yoke of Christ. In other words, don’t look back.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Children, go forth into the world and boast in your Heavenly Father!
Truly, His Son, whom they killed and laid in the tomb is Risen!
Go, Children of the Resurrection!
Go and share His Joy and Peace with all the world.

God Bless you this Easter Season.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Good Friday, 2008

Remember, O LORD, what has befallen us, look, and see our disgrace:
Our inherited lands have been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners.
We have become orphans, fatherless; widowed are our mothers.
The water we drink we must buy, for our own wood we must pay.
On our necks is the yoke of those who drive us; we are worn out, but allowed no rest.
To Egypt we submitted, and to Assyria, to fill our need of bread.
Our fathers, who sinned, are no more; but we bear their guilt.
Slaves rule over us; there is no one to rescue us from their hands.
At the peril of our lives we bring in our sustenance, in the face of the desert heat;
Our skin is shriveled up, as though by a furnace, with the searing blasts of famine.
The wives in Zion were ravished by the enemy, the maidens in the cities of Judah;
Princes were gibbeted by them, elders shown no respect.
The youths carry the millstones, boys stagger under their loads of wood;
The old men have abandoned the gate, the young men their music.
The joy of our hearts has ceased, our dance has turned into mourning;
The garlands have fallen from our heads: woe to us, for we have sinned!
Over this our hearts are sick, at this our eyes grow dim:
That Mount Zion should be desolate, with jackals roaming there!
You, O LORD, are enthroned forever; your throne stands from age to age.
Why, then, should you forget us, abandon us so long a time?
Lead us back to you, O LORD, that we may be restored: give us anew such days as we had of old.
For now you have indeed rejected us, and in full measure turned your wrath against us.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Life After Midterms

Three out of four projects done isn't too bad. It's been emotionally exhausting and I can barely think, at least not critically. To illustrate, I'm usually the life of Bible study, but not tonight.

But God knows me all too well and has used this moment when I was tired and doubting the use of my Lenten fast to bring me back to Him. I've never left Him since returning in 2005, but we all have those little moments when we pray "Lord I believe, help me in my unbelief."

So I was praying the Rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament and I did not want to pray for the end of abortion again, so it came to me that I should pray for chastity which would help end abortion by another avenue. God really used that moment to help me realize how much I am going to follow through on my discernment and enter religious life. He helped me see again how much I enjoy being His.

Now to explain why chastity is at the top of my mind: a friend of mine at the school of social work knows that I want to be a sister/religious, and she thinks that I could take social work to really re-vamp the abstinence programs because it's such a beautiful thing. Then I was finishing up the curriculum vitae that Fr. Thomas had asked me to write so he'd have something to talk to me about when I meet him for spiritual direction. I wanted to say that I wasn't attracted to marriage at all, that I like being chaste.

God really spoke to my heart during the Rosary and I ended up laughing for several moments in front of Him, in an empty church!

Oh, it's been a great day. Especially since then I've heard back from Fr. Thomas and I'll be meeting him tomorrow for the first time. I'm really excited, although I don't quite know what to expect

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sarah's Law

The Child and Teen Safety and Stop Predators Act of 2008
Call Toll Free (866) 828 8355

Dear Pro-Family Supporter,

"Sarah" was only 15 when she became pregnant and decided to have an abortion. During surgery the abortionist unknowingly tore her cervix and then sent her home. That week, Sarah's body was ravaged with severe infections related to the botched abortion. Even the hospital ICU couldn't save her because no one knew. Sarah died. Her parents didn't know she was pregnant. Her parents didn't know she had an abortion. Her parents could have saved her, if they had known.

Sarah's Law is a new Family notification Initiative slated for the Novemeber 2008 ballot. Sarah's Law will require a doctor to notify a parent of an under-18-year-old girl 48 hours prior to performing an abortion on her. In addition, Sarah's Law provides that if a minor girl is from an abusive home, the doctor may instead notify another adult family member (such as an aunt, grandmother, or older sibling over 21 years) of the pending abortion.

We need all the help you can give us to collect the 700,000 signatures by March 30 in order to qualify Sarah's Law for the 2008 ballot. Every signature counts. No effort is too small.

Please use the petition sheets right away and collect signatures from family, friends, and co-workders who are California registered voters.

You can call toll-free (866) 828 8355 or email to request more petitions.

In addition, if you can help Sarah's Law financially, you can contribute by logging onto and make a secured donation.

Let's pass Sarah's Law together and protect our young teen girls. A parent or other family member should know if a minor child is having surgery, whatever the surgery may be.

Operation Outcry

Spirit & Life®

"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 03, Number 09 Friday, February 29, 2008

Operation Outcry

In every country where abortion is being promoted, the insistent mantra of the abortion promoters is the lie that "unsafe (i.e., illegal) abortion" is damaging women's lives and should be replaced by "safe and legal" abortion.

The transformation of abortion from illegal to legal is supposed to make it - magically - safe for women. That was but one of the many lies about abortion that the US Supreme Court swallowed in 1973 when it legalized this killing procedure. While the abortion industry itself admitted that most of the illegal abortions were done by trained doctors in the comfort of their offices, very few arguments were as persuasive as the one that said women would be served by eliminating "back-alley" abortions and replacing them with abortion on demand. This pernicious lie is still a favorite argument of the abortion industry around the world, and they must marvel at how easily people fall for it.

Well, we know how to undo that lie. The same way we undo any lie: we defeat it with the truth. We are quick to acknowledge that abortion is never safe for unborn children, but 35 sad years of destruction has taught us that it's also a lie to think that legal abortion is safe and pain-free for women. Post-abortive women everywhere are the best witnesses to the truth about abortion, and that truth is very simple - there is no such thing as a safe abortion! Period. This testimony is valid both for our own fight here in the United States to overturn Roe as well as for our fight to keep this evil out of abortion-free countries. We need to join that fight as best we can and we now have a way to do that.

I have recently discovered a most worthy project for post-abortion testimonies called Operation Outcry. I am impressed by the scope of their work and the goal that they have set for themselves. This project is sponsored by the Texas Justice Foundation, the group that brought Norma McCorvey (the Roe of Roe v. Wade) back to the Supreme Court to let her story be heard. They want to collect one million "declarations" of post-abortion stories which will be entered into the public record when abortion comes back up before the Supreme Court. They are relying on various pro-life organizations to get the word out to post-abortive women and men who can declare, in a fully confidential manner, that abortion is not the salvation that it was promised to be in 1973 or ever.

In the face of the Supreme Court's ongoing commitment to Roe, the ones who have had real experience of those negative effects are able to testify to the highest court in our land something that we have always known: that abortion is a damaging, degrading and desperate procedure. It robs babies of their lives and women and men of their dignity. We think the Supreme Court needs to hear this message. In fact, the Texas Justice Foundation was the only pro-life brief that was cited in the recent partial birth abortion decision, and so we think there is a fighting chance.

Please do consider looking at the website of Operation Outcry and join in the effort to get declarations from one million women and men who have been affected negatively by abortion. The lie has to be countered by a strong witness to the truth, and after 35 years of abortion on demand, many people certainly have a strong witness to offer. There is no time like the present to use it!

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
Human Life International

The Pharaoh of old, haunted by the prescence and increase of the children of Israel, submitted them to every kind of oppression and ordered that every male child born of the Hebrew women was to be killed (cf. Ex 1:7-22). Today not a few of the powerful of the earth act in the same way. They too are haunted by the current demographic growth, and fear that the most prolific and poorest peoples represent a threat for the well-being and peace of their own countries. Consequently, rather than wishing to face and solve these serious problems with respect for the dignity of individuals and families anf for every person's inviolable right to life, they prefer to promote and impose by whatever means a massive programme of birth control. Even the economic help which they would be ready to give is unjustly made conditional on the acceptance of anti-birth policy.

page 28, Evangelium Vitae

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Thinking of the Agony in the Garden

On the first Saturday of Lent, I spent part of the evening crying. There were two things that held my attention, the Tabernacle behind the altar and a painting of Christ's agony in the garden. These two images and memories are remaining with me this Lent.

I walk away from Adoration with more reflective questions than answers, all centered around Life, death, abortion, choice, free will, Sin, etc. Not only do I bring my Lenten intention to the fore, but I also bring the kids that I have for clients at my internship.

By remembering the Cross, the agony in the garden and all the events that led up to His Crucifixtion, I know that Christ understands many things. He understands abuse, neglect, an unjustified death, and not wanting to die.

The unborn do not ask to die, and Christ likewise told the Father "take this cup from me."

The children never asked to be neglected, and Christ's disciples all fled from His side at the time of His arrest.

The children never asked to be abused, and Christ was scourged, humiliated, and spat upon.

So I go to Christ in prayer and during Adoration and remind Him that He needs to make Himself known to the little ones; to let them know that He understands. So many times we think that God does not understand, but He really does, when we look at the Biblical accounts. He knows what it is like to be an unborn child, and one that others (Herod) sought to kill. He has been a child, growing up among peers. He knows rejection, each time He was chased out of a town or plotted against by the religious authorities. He knows joy and sorrow. He knows phyiscal assault, abject humiliation, nakedness, unbearable pain, and so much more.

Matthew 26: 36-42
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me." He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will." When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, "So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, "My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!"

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

un-musical Lent

I feel like I am going mad this Lent. I have no sound whatsoever; although I'm not fasting for television, I also stear clear of this. Melodies of hymns sung at Mass on Sunday haunt me throughout the week.

This is not to say that my prayer life is not improving. I'm having deep conversations with God, outside of Adoration.

I think it was Friday morning, when the melody of Hosea struck me more than it had all week. I started playing around with words and phrases. I ended up with a prayer-song to God, but I can't replicate it here. I've since forgotten it. But below, I've put the verses and the ways I was playing around with them.

i love you
and seek your face
i long for you
and know your grace
i need you
and feel your healing presence

i love you
and seek your Life
i love you
and know your light
i need you
and feel your calavary

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Joined to God Through Pain

Never before have I ever actually chosen to spiritually suffer through Lent. Typically, I choose a new practice like Adoration last year, in hopes of establishing something new into my prayer life. This year, however I have noticed that my fasting from listening to music of any form in hopes for the end to abortion, is plunging me into what I can only hope to explain as joining God in the pain.

Abortion, it's so cold, lonely, and empty. It is a practice that purposefully and directly seeks to end life without a single hestitation or consideration of what God would desire. It is entirely selfish to commit abortion for the sake of financial security, convenience, and so forth. If a thought is given to the child or to God, it is hastily brushed away.

The pain garnered from the merest thought of abortion is not so easily brushed away. It tears at the soul. It's not a physical pain. It is not a pain where I feel abandoned by God, rather I know that He's suffering right next to me as I contemplate the meanings and implications and actions of abortion. He knows my pain, and in a small way, I know His.

It is like I am spending time with Him on this matter even if I am not fully aware of His Presence; there's a veil, and only during Mass and the Consecration is it fully lifted. Then and only then am I able to have a sense of Peace. It's not like other sensations of God's peace that I have experienced. It is not warming. It is not clarifying. It is subtle.

While I remember the Resurrection, I am more earnestly reminded of the Agony in the Garden.

Evening Prayer Hymn from the Office for the Dead

For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy name, O Jesus, be for ever blest:
Alleluia, alleluia!

Thou wast their rock, their fortress and their might;
Thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou in the darkness drear their one true light:
Alleluia, alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in thee, for all are thine:
Alleluia, alleluia!

But, lo, there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array:
The King of glory passes on his way:
Alleluia, alleluia.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Jan 2nd -- Day of Penance for Destruction of Human Life

Day of Penance for the violation to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion, and prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life.

Due to the legal atrocities that have been committed on human life, the Roman Catholic Church has set aside January 22nd as a day of penance and prayer for full legal rights and respect be returned to the innate right of life. To understand just how far abortion in all forms and the destruction of unborn children for the purpose of science has caused society to fall, we could look at the original Hippocratic oath as formulated by Hippocrates. In the original format, all physicians (pagan and believing) were sworn against committing any harm to the patient, even the prohibition of abortion because it was recognized as the destruction of a human being, although yet unborn. Perhaps this stems from the fertility cults that were prevalent in the centuries before Christ. At any rate, Pope John Paul II was correct in stating a society that kills its own children is a society without hope (even in the evolutionary sense).

Penance Within the faith, penance is both known as a virtue in which the sinner detests his sin for it offends God and destroys the bond and communication a sinner is able to have with Him, and as a sacrament. From the repentance the sinner affirms a decision to avoid the near occasions of sin and to sin no more. Although sinners rely on Christ Jesus for salvation, penance brings us back into Gods grace because we realize our sins and the sorrow it brings to God. As a sacrament, a penitent shows contrition, confession, and willingness for reparation for the sin(s). Known as both Confession and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, “penance” is a full conversion of our hearts towards God. Not only are we healing our spiritual connection with God through this sacrament, but also our fraternal communion to members of the Body of Christ (Barrack, 2007; CCC 1469). Sorrow for our sin encompasses shame, guilt for knowing God’s Law and violating it, sadness in distancing ourselves from God, and wanting to mend the relationship we have with God and the members of His Body. How can we show our repentance and willingness to endeavor in sinning less, or to abandon this particular sin forever more? Through reparation.

A theological concept, reparation is entwined with atonement. From Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, as sinners we are restored to our original condition before the Fall to a certain degree (newadvent, 2007). Christ made reparation for our sins and our separation from God and perfect union with Him by the Son’s arrest, suffering, and death on a Cross; thusly, we are restored to grace. Our own reparations for our sin can restore us to grace with God as well through various sacrifices and denials in which we can enjoin ourselves to the sacrifice and suffering of Christ (Ibid; Col1:24). In this sense, on January 22nd, a penitent sinner or a Christian who has not committed a sin against Life can fast, pray, or offer up other intentions for the sorrow of the sins he or others have committed against Life.

God as Creator
Throughout the Book of Job we are able to read the woe Job endures as the hand of Satan via the permission of God. These troubles that afflict him are the death of his children, the lass of his home and property. Yet all the loss is not material because it pressed down on his soul just like the dark night of the soul that St John of the Cross addresses. Job didn’t do anything to merit this suffering; he is innocent and just. Throughout, Job rebukes his friends by reminding them and us that God holds each living soul in His hands (10:12). Yet God isn’t just the creator of souls alone. Man’s body is not just a shell or an encasement for the soul; both flesh and spirit are created and loved by God (Merton, 1998). If life is created by God (CCC 2280), who has the authority to end it? Abel was killed by Cain because he gave a more just offering to the Lord. Cain was marked by God and made a nomad for his sin of homicide. Likewise, law given through the Ten Commandments state that no one has the right to murder, or in other words to take innocent life. Yet since 1973 trends as well as laws have tried to change the definition of life and what it means to be a dignified human with integrity worth preserving until natural death.

What is life? If we look at a dictionary such as Webster’s New World Dictionary (1980): “that property of plants and animals which makes it possible for them to take in food, get energy from it, grow, adapt themselves to their surroundings, and reproduce their kind […] the existence of a soul.” Since this is a deeply philosophical question, perhaps it is best left here since the purpose of this is not to discuss ad nauseam about what constitutes life, but more about why life cannot be terminated arbitrarily.

2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.

Just as God informs Jeremiah that He created the prophet from the very moment of his conception, so to are we formed. If one argues that Jeremiah is special by the very nature of his being a prophet, perhaps a look at Christ’s life is called for. Before Christ was conceived in Mary’s virgin womb through the power of the Holy Spirit, He was spiritual just as God the Father is spiritual. Christ did not become flesh (incarnate) until the moment of His conception. He had to assume an absolutely human form in order for Him to assume the sins of the whole human race and give us salvation through His death on a Cross. Christ is fully man and fully divine, we can see as God created Him in the womb, so to must God make each of us in the womb. We are all created by God at the moment of conception, and just as God was the one who took away Christ’s life, so too only He can take ours.

2258 Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.

Of the life forms that exist in our human society, it is the infirm, the elderly, and the young who are unable to fully defend themselves in their inalienable right to life. The elderly are living longer and often found to be suffering from diseases that debilitate them and leave them damaged, incomplete, or wiped out memories. Although it is difficult to see these men and women placed in nursing homes and day care facilities for their protection and care, they are still alive. God has a will for each person to fulfill, and one does not need to be cognizant when fulfilling that will. For the unborn children, this business of human dignity is a paradox. If a pregnant woman is killed, the murderer is charged with two counts of murder, but if the child is killed by the hands of its mother, that is called “choice.”

2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every
procured abortion. […] God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble
mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of

In Genesis, Adam and Eve are the parents of the human race and God tells them to
go forth and multiply. They are given charge of creation. When
something is handed over to the care of another person, it is for protection not
destruction as has been seen by an oversimplified examination of the stewardship
parables in the New Testament. Not only does this hold true for the unborn
and infants, but also the infirm and dying.

2276 Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick
or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.
2277 Whatever possible motives and means, direct euthanasia consist in
putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick or dying persons. It is morally

What does it convey to the world, when someone says he killed a dying relative out of love? Is love expressed through murderous actions or through support and compassion? What is compassionate and tender about taking away life from someone who may not be able to physically convey to another their will to live?

Inalienable Right to Life
2273 The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.

The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. … As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the [human being], the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation […].

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.--G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong with the World

Friday, January 11, 2008

National Vocation Awareness Week, Jan 13-20th

I looked at my calendar and realized how fitting it is for the start of National Vocations Awareness Week to fall on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, until I read the Mass readings for this upcoming Sunday. I did my homework, so it makes a bit more sense.

The Readings

Is 42:1-4, 6-7 God speaks through the prophet Isaiah: He has a chosen one who will bring justice to all the nations. Additionally, the chosen one will be formed by the Lord and He will establish him as a covenant for the people, to bring them light.
This chosen servant of the Lord can be seen to symbolize historical Israel, an idealized Israel, or even the prophet Isaiah himself, but when the New Testament is considered, Christ is the Messianic fulfillment of this passage. God chose that Mary should carry His Son and be given the name Emmanuel. God's Chosen One brought spiritual justice and eternal light and Life to all who believe.

Acts 10: 34-38 The whole of chapter 10 is about God's revelation to St. Paul that His resurrection and ascension are not reserved to the Jews for salvation, but also to the Gentiles. However, in light of the baptismal and vocational undertones of this Sunday's (01/12/2008) readings, it may be seen that God not only directly calls people such as St John the Baptist, Mary the Virgin Mother of God, St Joseph and so forth, but He will also call gentiles -- ordinary everyday people like you and I who have not seen or heard Him like our spiritual fathers. We are called differently but called nonetheless.

Mt 3: 13-17 (I'm still reading and praying about how to adress this passage).

The Vocational Call

I could start to describe my own vocational calling, but I won't do that. While I could ignore the Latin root for vocation, I don't want to do so. I have read many introductory articles and chapters on the vocational call, and all say that vocation comes from vocar which comes from the Latin "to call," but being the nerd that I am I also know that vocat means "to invite." God is gently, persistently and quietly calling and inviting us into relationship with Him. Sometimes He calls people to different missions and purposes in life; that is understandable if you know that the ways in which God's Will will be accomplished is likely to take many different skills, tasks, and proficiencies. Some things can be accomplished through the vocation of a career, a relationship status, a locale, and so forth. Therefore, should there be any wonder that God calls people to matrimony, single life, consecrated virginity, the diaconate, and the religious life? Not really.

However, given the prevalance of marriage in our society, the vocation that January 13 - 20th is trying to expose are the ones that need more thought. People get engaged and married everyday, but how many decide to remain single and chaste? Even if people do so, it's not to the same fanfare of a wedding ceremony and reception. How many women become consecrated virgins? Not many, but they do have a ceremony. How many enter religious life or the priesthood? Still fewer.

"No one -no one individual and no community- can proclaim the Gospel to himself: 'faith comes from what is heard' (Rom 10:17). No one can give himself the mandate and the mission to proclaim the Gospel. The one sent by the Lord does not speak and act on his own authority, but by virtue of Christ's authority; not as a member of the community, but speaking to it in the name of Christ. No one can bestow grace on himself; it must be given and offered" (CCC 875).
"Christ proposes the evangelical counsels, in their great variety, to every disciple. The perfection of charity, to which all the faithful are called, entails for those who freely follow the call to consecrated life the obligation of practicing chastity in celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom, poverty and obedience. It is the profession of these counsels, within a permanent state of life recognized by the Church, that characterizes the life consecrated to God" (CCC 915). The consecrated life is rooted in baptism and is fully committed to God, just as Christ called the disciples in saying "Come, follow me." The disciples immediately left their families, their homes, and their possessions. (Although we know Peter had a stepmother, which indicates the presence of a wife, she is not mentioned and family is not addressed thereafter.)

Poverty "Jesus said to him, 'If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me' " (Mt 19:21). There are many ways to be poor, but one of the ways to follow Christ closely is to become poor as He was poor, and to be poor as are the sinners He served were poor. Although this active love for the poor is one reason to practice voluntary poverty, I think it has largely to do with how we show love for God. God loves us, and the ways in which we can show Him love in return is to love eachother, especially if we believe that the Spirit of God is in each of us, then we will be loving not only each other but God simultaneously. We can especially see the ways to serve others when Christ tells the apostles in Mt 25:34-46. To the 'goats' on his left the shepherd will say "Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me." We know from the continuation of this passage that Christ tells the accursed that if they never did anything to clothe, feed, visit, or love the less fortunate, they refused to serve the Lord. While serving the Lord is the "duty" of each disciple, the vocational call asks it more and more fully of the called. How can we freely give if we are concerned about our own material and finanical wealth? Additionally, does it not encourage a total dependance on God, which was forgotten the moment when Eve ate the apple, because she was convinced by the serpent that she knew better than God did what she needed and desired?

Chastity In Malachi Martin's Hostage to the Devil, a book on exorcism and the ways in which the Father of Lies grabs hold of people and the ways in which the name of Jesus releases people, a priest reflects on how the gift of life to God for the purpose of His Will eliminates the need for sexual relations. "He now sounded more or less like the Gerald who had entertained me earlier that evening. We started walking back to the house. As we passed out through the hall and front dorr, he quoted Jesus: ' 'In the Kingdom of Heaven, they neither give their daughters in marriage nor are given in marriage.' No marriage there,' he commented musingly. 'No need for it.' He broke in on me. 'He was -- is -- God. No woman, no human lovemaking was needed to enrich him. [...] Once possessed of God and possessed by God, there's no point in making love. You have all that human love can give you and much more. Love itself" (p. 186-7; emphasis added). A biblical support for celibacy/chastity can be seen in Mt 19:12.

Obedience Especially obedience to God's Will, transmitted through the Spirit by so many conduits. God works through our friends, our family, our subordinates and superiors. How better else to learn submission and obedience?