Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The article asks, and answers…
“…The point of contention? The president’s record on issues related to abortion, the majority of which clash with the strict anti-abortion stance of the Catholic Church.”
True. Never mind that this fairly innocuous statement is the only polite way of saying that Barack Obama is the most anti-life person to ever occupy the office of President of the United States.
But the secular media doesn’t understand that the reason for the backlash goes deeper than opposition to President Obama’s abortion on demand stance.
To begin, it helps to know that Notre Dame University is not governed by the Catholic Church. Their website states "The University of Notre Dame is governed by a two-tiered structure (Fellows of the University and the Board of Trustees), in which laymen and women have joined with religious of the Indiana Province of Holy Cross in the governance of the University."
But it still bears the name of the Mother of Our Lord.
Notre Dame. Translated from French to English - Our Lady.
How DARE the president of Notre Dame University, Father John Jenkins, invite a man who is responsible for such colossal setbacks in the prolife movement, to speak at a University bearing the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary?
Patroness of the Unborn.
Does he not understand that by extending the invitation and giving Obama an honorary law degree, he is implying endorsement of Obama’s abortion policies?
Does he not understand how implying endorsement of Obama’s abortion policies in the name of Our Lady is so offensive it defies description?
What is next, a center for fetal stem cell research on the Notre Dame campus?
Their excuse is that it is prestigious to have the President of the United States accept an invitation to deliver the university’s commencement address, regardless of his policy stances.
Perhaps this argument would be defensible if the policy difference were minor, but abortion- on- demand is a central tenet of President Obama’s political ideology. Or maybe if it were not on the heels of the rescinding of the Mexico City policy and fetal stem cell decisions.
But there is no getting around Obama’s’ extreme position on abortion.
As if to vindicate Father Jenkins' decision, MSNBC reminds us that Catholics voted 54-45 in favor of Obama in the 2008 presidential election.
Further, many Catholics have buyer’s remorse. Even those who wrongly overlooked his stance on life, thinking perhaps his economic policies had merit, are now concerned at the alarming rate at which he is spending money, expanding government and moving our country towards godless secularism.
Father Jenkins crossed a line. Backlash among alumni and donors is likely, but he may actually have provided the catalyst for an examination of the Catholic political conscience.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Your teenagers want to see a movie.
The title sounds innocent enough, and the ubiquitous PG-13 movie rating doesn't offer much help in discerning content.
Plan A : You let them go . However, you sit directly behind them in the movie theater, so you can cover their innocent eyes and ears in the event of inappropriate scenes.
Plan B: HappyToBeCatholic parents visit Catholic Movie Reviews ahead of time and decide which movie your teenager will see based on evaluations by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop's Office for Film and Broadcasting.
Films are assigned the following classifications:
A-I -- general patronage;
A-II -- adults and adolescents;
A-III -- adults;
L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. L replaces the previous classification, A-IV.
O -- morally offensive.
** Discontinued classification. All archived movies that were originally in the A-IV category are now classified as L.
The reviews include the USCCB rating, the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and a brief synopsis of the movie.
So, you can relax and enjoy that 90 minutes of free time - maybe in adoration praying for most of Hollywood.
PS - There are archived reviews for movies no longer in theaters, and resources for television programs too!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
“Would that I could persuade all men to be devoted to this glorious Saint [St. Joseph], for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him and honored him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him. It is now very many years since I began asking him for something on his feast, and I have always received it. If the petition was in any way amiss, he rectified it for my greater good . . . "
" I ask for the love of God that he who does not believe me will make the trial for himself—then he will find out by experience the great good that results from commending oneself to this glorious Patriarch and in being devoted to him.”
“The children of the world are ignorant regarding the privileges and rights which the Most High has conferred on my holy spouse, and the power of his intercession with the Divine Majesty and with me. But I assure you, my daughter, that in Heaven he is most intimate with the Lord, and has great power to avert the punishment of Divine Justice from sinners. In all trials seek his intercession, because the Heavenly Father will grant whatever my spouse asks.”
“On the Day of Judgment, the condemned will weep bitterly for not having realized how powerful and efficacious a means of salvation they might have had in the intercession of St. Joseph, and for not having done their utmost to gain the friendship of the Eternal Judge."
O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the Loving of Fathers. O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press him to my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen.
Say for nine consecutive mornings for anything you may desire. It has seldom been known to fail.
This prayer was found in the fiftieth year of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the 1500’s it was sent by the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle.
It is promised that whoever reads this prayer or hears it or carries it, will never die a sudden death, nor be drowned, nor will poison take effect on them. They will not fall into the hands of the enemy nor be burned in any fire, nor will they be defeated in battle.
Make this prayer known everywhere.
Most Rev. George V. Ahr
Bishop of Trenton
Glory be to Jesus and Mary
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Following Father Corapi's interview on church opposition to socialism ( see 3/15/09 post), I've been mulling what several of the Obama Administration's proposed plans means for America.
Socialized medicine, or 'free health care' is among the most troubling.
First and foremost, it means federal funding of so many things Happy to Be Catholics must oppose. Abortions, for starters. Fetal stem cell research, all types of birth control, and euthanasia.
We've already been informed that Catholic hospitals will close if forced to deliver abortion services. So what would their fate be under a socialized plan?
But a temptation to look the other way because of the 'free' price tag remains.
Breaking news from Britain's National Health Service, their socialized medicine program, provides insight as to what lies ahead for American citizens if we continue down this road.
I have no confidence a system like this will be good for our country. And his plan to fund it by a massive tax increase seems positively insane, especially now. Something tells me they've underestimated the enormous cost associated with delivering even such substandard care.
The last thing our country needs is another few trillion dollars worth of debt.
Doesn't the Bible tell us that debt - which is all they seem to be handing us - is a curse, and children - who are viewed by this administration as disposable when unplanned or needed for research - are a blessing?
Please join me in praying that President Obama's plans to socialize our country's government are stopped and that private sector alternatives - preferably faith-based - are encouraged and allowed to flourish.
This is still the land of liberty. And for now, I am still allowed to pray as I choose.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Turns out he was born in Scotland.
Was kidnapped when he was sixteen and sold into slavery.
Ended up in Ireland as the slave of cruel pagan master.
Escaped after six years of after being advised to do so by his guardian angel.
Studied under St. Germain and became a priest.
He accompanied the great Saint on many missions but longed to return to Ireland to evangelize.
The saint, however, would not, as yet, descend from the mountain. He had vanquished the demons, but he would now wrestle with God Himself, like Jacob of old, to secure the spiritual interests of his people. The angel had announced to him that, to reward his fidelity in prayer and penance, as many of his people would be gathered into heaven as would cover the land and sea as far as his vision could reach. Far more ample, however, were the aspirations of the saint, and he resolved to persevere in fasting and prayer until the fullest measure of his petition was granted. Again and again the angel came to comfort him, announcing new concessions; but all these would not suffice. He would not relinquish his post on the mountain, or relax his penance, until all were granted. At length the message came that his prayers were heard:
• many souls would be free from the pains of purgatory through his intercession;
• whoever in the spirit of penance would recite his hymn before death would attain the heavenly reward;
• barbarian hordes would never obtain sway in his Church;
• seven years before the Judgement Day, the sea would spread over Ireland to save its people from the temptations and terrors of the Antichrist; and
• greatest blessing of all, Patrick himself should be deputed to judge the whole Irish race on the last day.
So it required big prayers and big penance and he was up to the task.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
There are a lot of things these days that give my Catholic self cause for outrage and sadness - President Obama lifting the ban on federal funding of fetal stem research is a big one. The whole culture of death that our government is embracing. Socialism, opposed in strong terms by the Church, being touted as the only reasonable answer to whatever ails the USA. The sickening yet fast -approaching milestone of fifty million babies murdered in the wake of Roe v. Wade.
All so wrong.
Fortunately for Happy to Be Catholics, an ancient prayer is making its way back into the mainstream and serious prayer warriors everywhere are adding it prominently to their arsenals.
I had heard this prayer was powerful, it was not until I started praying it myself that I realized just how special it is.
It is called the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows, the Deven Dolors of Mary Chaplet, or the Servite Rosary.
Lots of promises attached to this one. I'll list them following an explanation of the prayer.
You can check around on the Internet for a seven sorrows rosary. It looks a little different from a standard five-decade rosary. There are seven mysteries, followed by seven small beads ( called weeks in stead of decades)
The prayer goes like this:
1) Act of Contrition
2) Announce the First Sorrow. Our Father... then pray
Seven Hail Marys while meditating on the Sorrow
3) Announce each respective Sorrow, pray the Our Father, then pray Seven Hail Marys while meditating on the Sorrow.
4) Finish with three Hail Marys for the Tears of the Blessed Virgin Mary, followed
5) Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for the intentions of the Holy Father
6) Finish by praying ' Virgin Most Sorrowful, Pray for Us' three times.
The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady, with thanks to TheGrotto.org
The First Sorrow
The Holy Prophecy of Simeon
The Blessed Virgin, filled with joy, presented her only son in the temple. How her heart must have broken to hear the prophetic words of Simeon as he foretold the suffering of the Savior and His mother.
The Second Sorrow
The Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt
On a moments notice, St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin must take the Infant Jesus on a perilous journey to evade Herod's men who hunted Him. They endured cold, hunger and many hardships as they made their way to a foreign land.
The Third Sorrow
Mary seeks Jesus lost in Jerusalem
It is every parents nightmare to lose their child, and the Virgin Mary understands firsthand this profound sorrow. For three agonizing days St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother searched for twelve-year-old Jesus, before finding Him among the scholars in the temple.
The Fourth Sorrow
Mary meets Jesus on the way to Calvary
Jesus, battered and condemned to crucifixion, meets His mother, on the road to Calvary. He is beaten and indescribably defiled; her sorrow is absolute as Jesus drags the cross on which He will be crucified.
The Fifth Sorrow
Mary stands at the foot of the cross
Mary stands near her dying Son, unable to minister to him as he cries "I thirst". She hears him promise heaven to a thief and forgive his enemies. His last words, "Behold your mother," a gift for all of mankind, as His Beloved Mother becomes Mother of All Peoples.
The Sixth Sorrow
Mary holds the body of Jesus
The Pieta. The passion and death are complete, but for Our Lady, grief continues. She holds His body in her arms. Meditate on her tears.
The Seventh Sorrow
Mary places the body of Jesus in the tomb
The sun goes down on the most tragic day in history. As she awaits in faith the resurrection of her Son, Mary alone in sorrow, lays the body of her Son in the tomb.
As promised, The Promises. with thanks to MotherofAllPeoples.org and piercedhearts.org
According to the visions of St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) our Blessed Mother promises to grant seven graces to those who honor her and draw near to her and her Son every day by meditating on her dolors (sorrows) and entering into her grief.
"I will grant peace to their families."
"They will be enlightened about the divine Mysteries."
"I will console them in their pains and will accompany them in their work."
"I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls."
"I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives."
"I will visibly help them at the moment of their death-- they will see the face of their mother."
"I have obtained this grace from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son will be their eternal consolation and joy."
St. Alphonsus Liguori testifies to complementary revelations given by Our Lord to St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) where He further promises four special graces to those dedicated to the sufferings of the co-redeeming Mother:
1. That those who before death invoke the Blessed Mother in the name of her sorrows, should obtain true repentance of all their sins.
2. That He would protect in their tribulations all who remember this devotion, and that He would protect them especially at the hour of death.
3. That He would impress upon their minds the remembrance of His Passion, and that they should have their reward for it in Heaven.
4. That He would commit such devout clients to the hands of Mary, so that she might obtain for these souls all the graces she wanted to lavish upon them.
Hard to describe the peace I feel when I pray this rosary.
Please, Lord, let your peace remain with me always. And please help my country.
Touch President Obama's heart so that he may understand that abortion really and truly is murder. Open the eyes and hearts of the nation. And if there is anything wrong with my prayer, please fix it, because it is too important of a petition to get wrong.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
You can pour out your heart to wonderful St. Joseph. Ask him to present your prayers to Our Lord.
Devotion to St. Joseph will bring you closer to Our Lord and closer to Our Lady.
The thing about the Holy Family is – everything is focused on Jesus. And that is the way life should be.
Also, I say thank you to God the Father Almighty for the graces you have given to St. Joseph and Our Lady. That they corresponded to such unimaginable graces brings tears to my eyes. I am humbled and so very grateful to be able to learn about them and from them. And I thank you again that sinners like me are able to ask for their intercession. You are so good, Lord.
PS it is not too late to contact the Norbertine order and have your intentions included in the annual solemn novena to St. Joseph. (See yesterdays post for link)
The Seven Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph
1. The Doubt of St. Joseph and the Angel’s Message
"Her husband Joseph, being a man of honor and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit’" (Mt 1:19-20).
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
2. The Poverty of Jesus’ Birth and the Birth of the Savior
"And she gave birth to a son, her first-born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn" (Lk 2:7).
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
3. The Circumcision and the Holy Name of Jesus
"When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised" (Lk 2:21), "he named him Jesus" (Mt 1:25).
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
4. The Prophecy of Simeon and the Effects of the Redemption
"Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected7" (Lk 2:34).
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
5. The Flight into Egypt and the Overthrow of the Idols in Egypt
"So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt" (Mt 2:14). "That day, there will be an altar to Yahweh in the centre of the land of Egypt and, close to the frontier, a pillar to Yahweh" (Is 19:19).
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
6. The Return from Egypt and Life with Jesus and Mary in Nazareth
"But when he learnt that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as ruler of Judea, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the region of Galilee" (Mt 2:22). "When they had done everything that the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And as the child grew to maturity he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favor was with him" (Lk 2:39-40).
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
7. The Loss of the Child Jesus and the Finding of Jesus in the Temple
"When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere. Three days later, they found him in the Temple sitting among the doctors, listening to them and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies" (Lk 2:45-47) (7).
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
St. John shows us that the people asked, "Surely this is Jesus son of Joseph ... we know his father and mother" (Jn 6:42). O Blessed St. Joseph, who labored unselfishly through love to nurture the Son of God and Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We humbly implore:
Intercede with our Lord Jesus Christ, to assist us with His Divine grace; to follow the loving example of the Holy Family and live in peace and harmony within our own households.
Let us pray
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, may our family life be a reflection of your household at Nazareth. Help me to be able to say ‘I love you’ to each member of my family. Let Jesus’ pure love be in all my actions (2 Jn 6; 1 Cor 1:4; 1 Jn 3:18). May I never go to sleep harboring anger or unforgiveness towards them! Help me to see in all of them the presence of Jesus, especially when there is pain, division and lack of peace (1 Cor 8:11-12; Lk 7:47; Mt 18:22).
O Family of Jesus, with the guardian angels, watch over my family. Protect us from all evil influences and harm. Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, so adored by the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the most chaste heart of St. Joseph, reign always in my heart and in the hearts of my loved ones. Amen
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Head of the Holy Family.
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Protector, provider and foster-father to Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The bible tells us that Joseph was a just man.
Not just a man. A just man.
Various definitions of just tell us that means Joseph was 'fair, upright and honest'. Another definition says that just means 'free from self-interest'.
That makes alot of sense to me. Joseph put God first. Joseph put Jesus' and Mary's interests ahead of his own.
Yet another definition of just is 'of moral excellence'. Very likely some understatement here. At least by what modern society deems moral excellence.
For God the Father to ordain Joseph to fulfil the role of earthly father to His Only Son, nothing short of moral excellence would do.
He was the spouse of the Immaculate Conception. He held the Infant Jesus. He loved them, and protected them, prayed with them, worked and laughed with them. He knew as no other humans have had the opportunity to know Our Lord and Our Lady.
So he was not just a man.
The March 19th feast day of St. Joseph approaches, commemorated by an annual solemn novena held at the National Shrine of St. Joseph. The Shrine is located in DePere, WI, in care of the Norbertine Order. If you would like petitions delivered for the novena, please contact the Norbertines at
Friday, March 6, 2009
As a mother, it is almost unbearable to think of what Mary must have felt as she encountered Jesus on his way to Calvary.
I found a little solace in an encyclical of Saint Pius X.
Think about God the Father for a second.
Through the mystery of the Trinity, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, are one.
So God, in Jesus the Son, got to choose His own Mother.
He chose Mary.
Think about how perfect she would have to be, to be worthy to carry Him in her womb. To nurse Him, to hold Him, love Him and protect Him. How perfect she would be to be trusted to help shape His human nature.
Not only that, she had to understand the significance of her role in the salvation of humanity. She had to appreciate the magnitude of her responsibility in being the Mother of Our Lord.
Kind of hard to get your brain around that one. God is walking around in the kitchen, he's hungry. Have to make God a snack.
So God made Mary really smart. Wise, as they say in the bible. It means that she got it. She understood how important her Son was and is, that He truly was and is God. And when she stood at the foot of the cross, although her heart undoubtedly broke at the agony of her Son, she rejoiced along with Jesus in His Passion.
Because Mary, above all things, wants her Son to be happy. And that means having you home with Him in heaven. So however horrible it was to endure, both for Jesus who suffered and for His mother who had to watch her beloved Son in such unimaginable physical, mental and spiritual agony, the Passion was a beautiful thing.
She understood that you are worth it.
She knew that her Son dying on the cross was the greatest triumph the world would ever know.
Most people- Christians, Catholics - live their whole lives and only understand a fraction of what Mary knew.
So she joined her Son and rejoiced through her tears as he suffered on the Cross.
Yep, she is that cool.
And the good news is, she loves you with a mother's heart. She wants more than anything for you to be with her Son one day in heaven.
So open your heart, and ask for her help.
She will answer.
Full of Grace
The Lord is With Thee
Blessed art thou among women
and Blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus
Holy Mary, Mother of God
Pray for us Sinners
Now and the hour of our death
for further reading, see:
Saint Pius X
Encyclical, Ad diem illum, Feb. 2, 1904
Hence that never disassociated manner of life and labors. ... But when the final hour of her Son came, His Mother stood by the cross of Jesus, not just occupied in seeing the dread spectacle, but actually rejoicing that her Only-Begotten was being offered for the salvation of the human race. ... from this common sharing of sufferings and will, she merited to become most worthily the reparatrix of the lost world, and so the dispensatrix of all the gifts which were gained for us by the death and blood of Jesus. ... She ... since she was ahead of all in holiness and union with Christ, and was taken up by Christ into the work of human salvation, she merited congruously, as they say, what Christ merited condignly, and is the chief minister of the dispensation of graces.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
“A person self-described as a ‘production official,’ told the Canadian priest that Brown spoke for the majority of those working on the movie when he said, ‘Like most of us, he [Brown] often says that he would do anything to demolish that detestable institution, the Catholic Church.’ He credited the media for the ‘demise’ of the Church. This same person opined that the Catholic Church ‘is humanity’s chief enemy,’ adding that this sentiment is reflective of those in Hollywood.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
In this clip, he offers razor-sharp and VERY FUNNY insight on this most important sacrament.
PS Did you know that the Vatican's chieft exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth, says that the enemy hates confession more than exorcism? Who knew?
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Angels: The Twelve Most Important Things to Know About Them
They really exist. Not just in our minds, or our myths, or our symbols, or our culture. They are as real as your dog, or your sister, or electricity.
They’re present, right here, right now, right next to you, reading these words with you.
They’re not cute, cuddly, comfortable, chummy, or “cool”. They are fearsome and formidable. They are huge. They are warriors.
They are the real “extra-terrestrials”, the real “Super-men”, the ultimate aliens. Their powers are far beyond those of all fictional creatures.
They are more brilliant minds than Einstein.
They can literally move the heavens and the earth if God permits them.
There are also evil angels, fallen angels, demons, or devils. These too are not myths. Demon possessions, and exorcisms, are real.
Angels are aware of you, even though you can’t usually see or hear them. But you can communicate with them. You can talk to them without even speaking.
You really do have your very own “guardian angel”. Everybody does.
Angels often come disguised. “Do not neglect hospitality, for some have entertained angels unawares”—that’s a warning from life’s oldest and best instruction manual.
We are on a protected part of a great battlefield between angels and devils, extending to eternity.
Angels are sentinels standing at the crossroads where life meets death. They work especially at moments of crisis, at the brink of disaster—for bodies, for souls, and for nations.
Your Guardian Angel protects you out of service to God. He or she has seen you at your best and your worst, and knows all of your sins and good works.
It must hurt our Guardian Angels terribly when they see the offenses to God we cause when we sin.
So, I offer apologies and gratitude to my Guardian Angel.
I am sorry for any pain I have caused you.
And thank you so much for loving and serving the Lord by watching over me.
With Jesus' help, I will try to make your job a little more enjoyable.