Saturday, March 28, 2009




In you, O Mother Mary, was restored the likeness of God, for you carried your cross and followed Christ, you taught by your deeds how to spurn the body, for it passes away, and how to value the soul for it is immortal. Wherefore, your soul is forever in happiness with the angels.


Triumphant leader, to you belongs our praise of victory, and since you saved us from adversity we offer you our thanks: We are your people, O Mother of God. So, as you have that invincible power, continue to deliver us from danger, that we may cry out to you: Hail O Virgin and Bride ever pure.

Gradual — Responsory

Make your vows and pay them to the Lord our God;
All that are round about Him shall bring gifts.

In Judea is God known, His Name is great in Israel.


BRETHREN: When Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) He entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but His own Blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the Blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.


Come let us rejoice in the Lord, let us shout with jubilation unto God our Savior.

Let us come before His countenance with thanksgiving,
and with psalms let us shout in jubilation unto Him.


AT THAT TIME: They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, He began to tell them what was to happen to Him, saying, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and spit upon Him, and scourge Him, and kill Him; and after three days He will rise." And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Him, and said to Him, "Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You." And He said to them, "What do you want Me to do for you?" And they said to Him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory." But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" And they said to Him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not Mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared." And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to Him and said to them, "You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Ugly Truths

Hat Tip to + Papist + Filioquist + Azymite + Priest & Pilgrim + for a spot on discussion of the true history and motives of Planned Parenthood's founder, entitled The Ethic of Control: Margaret Sanger, Eugenics, and Planned Parenthood. To those who don't know the rest of the story (as Paul Harvey used to say), there just might be more to why Planned Parenthood seeks out certain neighborhoods to establish their clinics (read: Abortuaries).

Read it here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Eastern Uprising Down Under

Hat Tip to Byzantine Texas for linking to a powerful discussion about special problems faced by Eastern Church Catholic children attending Roman Church Catholic schools in Australia. The original news article is from an Australian Catholic website (natch) called Catholica and is headlined as Issues regarding the Education of Eastern Catholics in Latin Catholic Schools… .

I won't excerpt it; go read it. It is as relevant in the US as likely anywhere in which the Roman Church is in the majority.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Of Stem-Cell and Relativism

John Kass at the Chicago Tribune has written a biting essay on the US Administration's change in stem cell policy. Entitled Stem Cell Policy Shift Brings a Sinking Feeling, it is worth your reading time.

Larry Anderson's essay The Myth of Relativism and the Cult of Tolerance at American Thinker is also succinct an worthy of consideration.

(Note: I may revise this entry as I am trying to find an article I read a few days ago on the use of the term "fetus" and the political shift in its meaning.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

As my Grandfather would have said, "Now, there's stem cells and there's stem cells...."

Real Clear Politics has an essay by Kathleen Parker regarding President Obama's recent "lifting" of the stem cell ban by the US Government. Here are a few pertinent excerpts:

Unfortunately, the stem cell debate has been characterized as a conflict between science (as though science is always right) and religious "kooks" (as though religious folk are never right). In choosing sides, it is, indeed, easier to imagine lunch with a researcher who wants to resurrect Christopher Reeve (whom Obama couldn't resist mentioning) and make him walk again, than with the corner protester holding a fetus in a jar. (Note: I don't believe I've ever heard of an abortion protester "holding a fetus in a jar".)

The insistence on using embryonic stem cells always rested on the argument that they were pluripotent, capable of becoming any kind of cell. That superior claim no longer can be made with the spectacular discovery in 2007 of "induced pluripotent stem cells" (iPS), which was the laboratory equivalent of the airplane. Very simply, iPS cells can be produced from a skin cell by injecting genes that force it to revert to its primitive "blank slate" form with all the same pluripotent capabilities of embryonic stem cells.

The iPS discovery even prompted Dr. Ian Wilmut, who cloned Dolly the sheep, to abandon his license to attempt human cloning, saying that the researchers "may have achieved what no politician could: an end to the embryonic stem cell debate." And, just several days ago, Dr. Bernadine Healy, director of the National Institutes of Health under the first President Bush, wrote in U.S. News & World Report that these recent developments "reinforced the notion that embryonic stem cells ... are obsolete."

Many scientists, of course, want to conduct embryonic stem cell research, as they have and always could with private funding. One may agree or disagree with their purposes, but one may also question why taxpayers should have to fund something so ethically charged when alternative methods are available.
Read the entire essay here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On True Theology

Another divorce which needs to be mentioned is that between theology and liturgy. For an Orthodox theologian, liturgical texts are not simply the works of outstanding theologians and poets, but also the fruits of the prayerful experience of those who have attained sanctity and theosis. The theological authority of liturgical texts is, in my opinion, higher than that of the works of the Fathers of the Church, for not everything in the works of the latter is of equal theological value and not everything has been accepted by the fullness of the Church. Liturgical texts, on the contrary, have been accepted by the whole Church as a “rule of faith” (kanon pisteos), for they have been read and sung everywhere in Orthodox churches over many centuries. Throughout this time, any erroneous ideas foreign to Orthodoxy that might have crept in either through misunderstanding or oversight were eliminated by church Tradition itself, leaving only pure and authoritative doctrine clothed by the poetic forms of the Church’s hymns.

“Theology is Not For Everyone” Bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Vienna.

Thanks to Fr Milovan and others for excising this wonderful quote. (See Theological education in the 21st century)

St Ephraim and the Powers of Heaven