Author: Lisa Graas
•10/31/2002 12:59:00 AM
Whisper
by Lisa Graas



Graceful dawn speaks madness to my mind;

wraps gently 'round my heart in layers kind.

Whispers softly. Whispers, "I am here".




Underneath and round the layers fold.

Mind, inside, I hide. I'm lost. I'm cold.

Whisper softly, "Mind cannot be bold."




Heart so bold it cries, it cries to all.

Mind so cold, its bitter daggers fall.

Whisper softly. Whisper. Let me hear.




Heaven's sunlight, clear and white and plain.

Bitter daggers fallen still remain.

Leap, my heart. Cry and let me hear.




Whisper softly. Whisper. Heaven's near.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/31/2002 12:45:00 AM
Labor Pullout Shatters Israel's Ruling Coalition JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon faced a struggle to keep his government afloat on Thursday after the Labor Party abandoned his ruling coalition in a bitter dispute over funding for Jewish settlements.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/30/2002 11:05:00 PM
NEWS FROM PALESTINE

Good-Byes -- OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PINA) - In the past five days, I’ve said good-bye to friends in two extraordinarily different ways, but both have relevance to life in the Middle East in the current situation and both illustrate the tragedy that is taking place here – for all concerned. READ MORE

Arafat Initiates New Government by Denouncing Violence - Palestinian Killed in the West Bank -- RAMALLAH, West Bank (PINA) - The new Palestinian government held its first meeting Wednesday, one day after winning a Parliamentary approval in Ramallah. Meanwhile, a Palestinian was shot dead in the West Bank. READ MORE

Report: Palestinian Stillborns Up by 500% Due to Israel’s Human Rights Violation -- OCCUPIED JERUSALEM - The number of stillborn births in West Bank villages gripped by occupation, curfew and choking siege has risen by an unprecedented 500 percent, Physicians for Human Rights reported Monday. READ MORE
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/30/2002 11:02:00 PM
Of interest to parents: Here are the Newbery Medal Winners, 1922-2002
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/30/2002 10:58:00 PM
Assumption of Mary

To read the story of the Assumption of Mary, go HERE
Another really great page is HERE
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/29/2002 01:08:00 AM
Register your souls with the Purgatory Project for 500 Masses. Just go to holysouls.com
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/29/2002 12:01:00 AM
Prayers are needed for Boston Carreon, a little boy who had surgery this evening after swallowing a penny.

~Love from Lisa~
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/20/2002 09:05:00 AM
Today's Readings
October 20, 2002
Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Reading I
Isaiah 45:1, 4-6 (Douay-Rheims)
(Isa 45:1) Thus saith the Lord to my anointed Cyrus, whose right hand I
have taken hold of, to subdue nations before his face, and to turn the backs
of kings, and to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut.
(Isa 45:4) For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my elect, I have
even called thee by thy name: I have made a likeness of thee, and thou hast
not known me.
(Isa 45:5) I am the Lord, and there is none else: there is no God besides
me: I girded thee, and thou hast not known me:
(Isa 45:6) That they may know who are from the rising of the sun, and they
who are from the west, that there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and
there is none else:

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 96:1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10
(Psa 96:1) A canticle for David himself, when the house was built after the
captivity. Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the
earth.
(Psa 96:3) Declare his glory among the Gentiles: his wonders among all
people.
(Psa 96:4) For the Lord is great, and exceedingly to be praised: he is to
be feared above all gods.
(Psa 96:5) For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils: but the Lord made
the heavens.
(Psa 96:8) Bring to the Lord glory unto his name. Bring up sacrifices, and
come into his courts:
(Psa 96:9) Adore ye the Lord in his holy court. Let all the earth be moved
at his presence.
(Psa 96:10) Say ye among the Gentiles, the Lord hath reigned. For he hath
corrected the world, which shall not be moved: he will judge the people with
justice.
(Psa 96:7) Bring ye to the Lord, O ye kindreds of the Gentiles, bring ye to
the Lord glory and honour:

Reading II
1 Thes 1:1-5b
(1Th 1:1) Paul and Sylvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians:
in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ.
(1Th 1:2) Grace be to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for you
all: making a remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing,
(1Th 1:3) Being mindful of the work of your faith and labour and charity:
and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ before God and our
Father.
(1Th 1:4) Knowing, brethren, beloved of God, your election:
(1Th 1:5) For our gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power
also: and in the Holy Ghost and in much fulness, as you know what manner of
men we have been among you for your sakes.

Gospel
Mt 22:15-21
(Mat 22:15) Then the Pharisees going, consulted among themselves how to
insnare him in his speech.
(Mat 22:16) And they sent to him their disciples with the Herodians,
saying: Master, we know that thou art a true speaker and teachest the way of
God in truth. Neither carest thou for any man: for thou dost not regard the
person of men.
(Mat 22:17) Tell us therefore what dost thou think? Is it lawful to give
tribute to Caesar, or not?
(Mat 22:18) But Jesus knowing their wickedness, said: Why do you tempt me,
ye hypocrites?
(Mat 22:19) Shew me the coin of the tribute. And they offered him a penny.
(Mat 22:20) And Jesus saith to them: Whose image and inscription is this?
(Mat 22:21) They say to him: Caesar's. Then he saith to them: Render
therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God, the things
that are God's.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today's Readings as referenced in the Catechism of the Catholic Church

First Reading -- References in the catechism
***

Responsorial Psalm -- Reference in the catechism
#2143 Among all the words of Revelation, there is one which is unique: the
revealed name of God. God confides his name to those who believe in him; he
reveals himself to them in his personal mystery. The gift of a name belongs
to the order of trust and intimacy. "The Lord's name is holy." For this
reason man must not abuse it. He must keep it in mind in silent, loving
adoration. He will not introduce it into his own speech except to bless,
praise, and glorify it.

Second Reading -- References in the catechism
***

Gospel -- Reference in the catechism

#2242 The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of
civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order,
to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel.
Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to
those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction
between serving God and serving the political community. "Render therefore
to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are
God's." "We must obey God rather than men":
When citizens are under the oppression of a public authority which oversteps
its competence, they should still not refuse to give or to do what is
objectively demanded of them by the common good; but it is legitimate for
them to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens against
the abuse of this authority within the limits of the natural law and the Law
of the Gospel.

Note: References in the catechism were found by searching the catechism at
christusrex.org. Some references could not be found with this search
engine. It's possible that I made an error. If you would like to search
the catechism, you may do so at
http://www.christusrex.org/www2/kerygma/ccc/searchcat.html
It is advised that you search the catechism for keywords and/or themes that
you think are applicable. Also, as you search the catechism, take note of
other Scriptural references listed for that passage in the catechism. This
will help you to see the theme(s) flowing through the readings. If you do
not have searchable Bible software, you can search the Douay-Rheims for free
online at http://olivetree.com/bible/index.html
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/15/2002 07:01:00 PM
Bloggus Interruptus

Sorry no blogging for a while, and perhaps not for some time to come. I have been hanging out HERE because the discussion has been so enlightening, and HERE because the discussion has been so uncanny. As I'm looking in my history folder, I see the sock smell-o-meter. I'm going to have to have a talk with my son. He was supposed to be doing something educational while he was on here. Or could that be my husband's file? Hmmmm.

I've been HERE getting coloring pages for my preschoolers and HERE reading about Augustine's thoughts on the Eucharist (and Baptists say he was Baptist???). My son and I were reading about Spanish Exploration in the Americas (coolorama), and I was HERE reading about inclusive language in Bible translations. I was only on this page about dissecting the eye of a cow two seconds. ICK. Must run. I'll return when I can.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/15/2002 07:57:00 AM
How cold are thy baths, Apollo!
~~~Longfellow, Jugurtha


PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman

Worldwide Caution

Oct. 10, 2002

This Worldwide Caution Public Announcement supersedes the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement dated September 9, 2002. In light of the recent audio tape attributed to Usama bin Laden and other reports of threats to American interests, this Worldwide Caution is being issued to alert Americans to the need to remain vigilant and to remind them of the continuing threat of terrorist actions that may target civilians. This Worldwide Caution expires on April 8, 2003.


The U.S. Government continues to receive credible indications that extremist groups and individuals are planning additional terrorist actions against U.S. interests. Such actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations. Because security and security awareness have been elevated within the U.S, the terrorists may target U.S. interests overseas. We remind American citizens to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.


Terrorist groups do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. Attacks on places of worship and schools, and the murders of private American citizens, demonstrate that as security is increased at official U.S. facilities, terrorists and their sympathizers will seek softer targets. These may include facilities where Americans are generally known to congregate or visit, such as clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools or outdoor recreation events. Americans should increase their security awareness when they are at such locations, avoid them, or switch to other locations where Americans in large numbers generally do not congregate. American citizens may be targeted for kidnapping or assassination.


U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or suspend public services from time to time to review their security posture and ensure its adequacy. In those instances, U.S. Embassies and Consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to American citizens. Americans are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.


As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to Americans overseas, it shares credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. In addition to information on the Internet, U.S. travelers can hear recorded information by calling the Department of State in Washington, D.C. at 202-647-5225 from their touch-tone telephone, or receive information by automated telefax by dialing 202-647-3000 from their fax machine.

Author: Lisa Graas
•10/14/2002 07:28:00 PM
An interesting historical document.


APOSTOLIC DELEGATION
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
3339 Massachusetts Avenue
Washington, D.C.



June 22 1943

Your Excellency,


In reference to our conversation of a few days back, I wish to present for Your Excellenecy's consideration and attention the following points relative to the situation in Palestine.


The Holy See has despite grave difficulties constantly manifested deep interest and concern in “non-arians.” This is quite clear from the recent action taken in favor of the Jewish youths and infants interned in Slovackia to prevent their removal from that Republic.


The aid of the Holy See has recently been enlisted to assist In the removal of difficulties so that Jewish children may be transported to Palestine. Their immigration from European countries has been permitted by this British Government.


Although the Holy See is deeply interested in the welfare of these children, it seems opportune to recall at this time of general question of the “Hebrew Home” in Palestine. Since 1917, when the question first arose, the Holy See has made known its attitude on the point and has repeated it in several formal documents.


In 1919 His Holiness, Pope Benedict IV, in speaking to a Consistory of Cardinals, mentioned the great solicitude the Popes have shown for the preservation of the venerable and holy places in Palestine. For years they hare sacrificed to keep them from the hands of infidels. Now that their possession has been secured, it must be protected and strengthened. If the power of the infidels in Palestine increases, the monuments will again be in danger. (A.A.S. Vol. XI, page 100).


On June 13, 1921, the same Sovereign Pontiff pointed out that although he did not want to interfere with any rights of the Jewish people, neither did be desire to prejudice in any way the rights of Christians in Palestine. (A.A.S. Vol. XIII, page 283). The attitude of the Church was set forth in an “Aide Memoire” to the Council of the League Of Nations on June 4, 1922. A copy is attached to this letter. There is also a copy of a letter from Cardinal Gasparri under date of March 6, 1922.


In this question two points must be considered. The first concerns the Holy Places (for example, the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, Bethlehem, etc.). Catholics rejoice in certain rights regarding these places and in justice their rights must be rocognized, and respected. Repeated formal assurances that these rights will be respected are ever necessary and will again be required after the present war,


The second point concerns Palestine itself. Catholics the world over are piously devoted to this country, hallowed as it was by the presence of the Redeemer and esteemed as it is as the cradle of Christianity. If the greater part of Palestine is given to the Jewish people, this would be a severe blow to the religious attachment of Catholics to this land. To have the Jewish people in the majority would be to interfere with the peaceful exercise of these rights in the Holy Land already vested in Catholics.


It is true that at one time Palestine was inhabited by the Hebrew Race, but there is no axiom in history to substantiate the necessity of a people returning to a country they left nineteen centuries before.


If a “Hebrew Home” is desired, it would not be too difficult to find a more fitting territory than Palestine. With an increase in the Jewish population there, grave new, international problems would arise. Catholics the world over would be aroused. The Holy See would be saddened, and justly, so, by such a move, for it would not be in keeping with the charitable assistance non-arians [sic] have received and will continue to receive at the hands of the Vatican.


I am confident that from these points, Your Excellency will appreciate the position of the Holy See in this matter.


'With sentiments of esteem and every good wish, I remain


Yours very sincerely,

(Signed) A. G. CICOGNANI.

Archbishop of Laodicea

Apostolic Delegate.


Author: Lisa Graas
•10/14/2002 07:26:00 PM
Examining Islam examining Christianity

A Muslim apologist, Dr. Ja`far Sheikh Idris, writes:
One cannot truly believe in ‘Issa [Jesus] and not believe in Muhammad (SAAW). To truly accept one Prophet or Messenger necessitates the acceptance of all those who came before him and all who will come after him, ending with Muhammad (SAAW).

There is not enough information in the formula given above to classify it as a statement of logic.

If the first "prophet" (1) warned of false prophets, (2) founded an authoritative Church to teach, (3)AND if that Church has taught from the beginning of its life on earth that there would be no new revelation, then the second prophet could not be accepted.

Author: Lisa Graas
•10/14/2002 04:00:00 PM
Arab Christians
To better understand the plight of Christian Arabs in the Holy Land, I recommend books by Fr. Elias Chacour available at Amazon.com.

Author: Lisa Graas
•10/14/2002 03:20:00 PM
Current results from The Palestine Chronicle reader polls.

Who is the Most Capable Individual to Lead the Palestinian People?
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi 35.56%

Will Israel go through with its plan to expel relatives of accused Palestinian fighters? Yes 64.68%

Should The Palestinian Resistance Retaliate Against The Israeli Massacre In Gaza? No 52.20% | Yes 42.16%

Following Annan’s report, is Israel off the hook regarding the Jenin Massacre? Yes 55.53% | No 41.47%

Is the US serious in its call for Israeli withdrawal? No 79.67% | Yes 15.33% | I Don't Know 5.01%

Is the International Community Doing Enough to Provide Relief to Palestinians? No 77.69%

Should the PA Stall Talks with Israel after 15 Palestinian Deaths in a Week? No 48.75% | Yes 44.85% | I Don't Know 6.41%

Do You Agree with Fatah’s Decision to Halt Its Operations Inside Israel? Yes 52.14% | No 43.41%

Does Sharon Intend to Kill Arafat? Yes 64.12% | No 35.88%

Does Arafat have the ability to control suicide bombings? No 68.39%

Should Sharon Be Tried for War Crimes? Yes 74.85%

Will the Jenin Massacre Change the World’s Perception of the Palestinian struggle? No 51.04% | Yes 42.65%

Will Israel Be Held Accountable for the Jenin Massacre? No 60.25% | Yes 36.07%

Will the UN Eventually Investigate the Massacre in Jenin? No 72.36%


SEE COMPLETE RESULTS OF THESE POLLS >>>>>>HERE<<<<<<<
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/14/2002 02:40:00 PM
Quote of the Day

The saints have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult moments in the Church's history.
Pope John Paul II
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/14/2002 11:19:00 AM
Today's Readings
October 14, 2002 -- Monday of the Twenty-Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Galatians 4:22-24, 26-27, 31 - 5:1
Psalm 113:1-7
Luke 11:29-32

Author: Lisa Graas
•10/14/2002 10:41:00 AM
Book Reviews
OLD THUNDER: A LIFE OF HILAIRE BELLOC, By Joseph Pearce, Ignatius Press, was reviewed by James E. Person, Jr..

Merle Rubin reviews The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Rubin reveals an interesting irony about this book's popularity in feminist circles. This book is not recommended, but the review is worth reading.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/14/2002 09:42:00 AM
Voice of the Faithful
Kelly Clark has been doing a fantastic job keeping us all up to date about VOTF in her column The Lady In The Pew and the Lord knows I have enough to keep me busy without tackling something else, but I just have to say something about it. I can't keep quiet about it. I was reading this (sarc on) completely unbiased (sarc off) account by Steven Rosenberg in The Boston Globe this morning and it occurred to me that there is a KEY POINT that should be continually pressed home to those who may be soothed by the siren song of VOTF.

If you will notice on their website VOTF has enumerated three 'goals' of the organization. These are (1)"To support those who have been abused". This is definitely a good thing. The second is "to support priests of integrity". This, too, is a good thing. Of course, a "priest of integrity" can mean different things to different people. There are those who believe that a priest who refuses communion to those who publicly advocate homosexual behavior is not a priest of integrity whereas others would marvel at his COURAGE (pun intended). For the sake of argument, though, I will give them that one and assume they are referring to priests who agree that pederasty in the Church should be stopped. Now, however, let us examine goal #3 which is "To shape structural change within the Church." WHOA!! WHAT??? Shaping structural change in the Catholic Church??? What could be more Protestant than that??? Laity changing the structure of the Church? "Shaping" means "changing", right? And what is the "structure" of the Church?? Why, we have a hierarchical church, do we not? Why would I want to turn it upside down and start looking at the universe through the wrong end of the telescope? It's a no-brainer.

VOTF states on it's website that it's internal "working group" (Structural Change Working Group) is a nine-member (all laity) group working to "clarify church structures: 1) as they are defined, (2) as they actually function, and (3) as they ought to be" and then adds, "to fulfill the vision of Vatican II." Um, excuse me? For more information on this "vision of Vatican II" garbage, please see "I was robbed", by Leila Miller. For you progressives, you can rest assured that Leila's story is a FRESH look at OLD mistakes, one of which is a mischaracterization of Vatican II (i.e., application -- or rather MISapplication -- of "mandates" that cannot be found anywhere in the actual text of the council decrees).
Oh!! I nearly forgot!! You must must MUST also read I. Shawn McElhinney's Vatican II and Authority for another good look at this "spirit of Vatican II" hogwash.

PARDON MY CANDOR, but, you see, I am a convert, and we converts do not take kindly to a bunch of cradle Catholics who have little or no appreciation for what they have in the Catholic Church, starting up these little committees to subvert the very heart of those doctrines of the Church that we cherish so much that we have abandoned all to cling to Her. If they want to be Protestants, I say, let them start up their own church somewhere!! But do not start throwing rocks at the beautiful Bride of Christ simply because you think she has a little mud on her face.

Okay, I've had my little spew about VOTF. Just one last thing, though. A Rev. Curley was quoted in that Boston Globe story (linked above) saying, ''I'm trying to work within the existing structure,'I think they're reinventing the wheel.'' AMEN, FATHER!! Amen.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/14/2002 08:16:00 AM
News from Palestine
What the US President Wants Us to Forget
Stop Ethnic Cleansing in the Mideast Before It Starts
Israeli Troops Kill Six Palestinians
Two Jewish Authors Underscore "Israeli Holocaust" Against Palestinians
IOF Blow Up Rafah Homes, Crush 4-Year Child to Death
Survey Asks British Writers to Take Sides: Half Vote for Palestinians
Arafat Set to Announce New Cabinet within 10 Days
Peacemaker
"Kingdom Not Bound by UN Resolution on Iraq"
Bloody Takeover Vandalises Holiest City
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/14/2002 01:10:00 AM
New Poll
Please consider taking this new poll about Voting and Mental Illness.
View current results of celibacy poll here
Take the poll on Celibacy of Priests


Mental Illness and Voting

Author: Lisa Graas
•10/13/2002 06:02:00 PM
The Return of a Prodigal Daughter

I was robbed! by Leila Miller
has been available online for a couple of years. In all this time, I don't recall receiving even ONE negative comment about it although I have received countless words of agreement with it. Please note that I AM NOT LEILA MILLER. I am Lisa Graas -- the tiny little webmistress who is GRATEFUL to Leila for allowing me to post her story on my site (The Lighthouse). I only WISH I could write like that. People confuse us all the time, so I had to mention that. :-) I don't think "Leila Miller" sounds ANYTHING like "Lisa Graas", and I can assure you that we look NOTHING ALIKE. She is a Palestinian city girl with a college degree and I am a white trash girl with a diploma from an Appalachian high school......but whatever, people!!!!! AS LONG AS YOU READ IT!! :-) Here's the lead-in... just a little hors d'oeuvre to whet your appetite....

I was robbed.

I am a "Generation X" Catholic, raised and catechized in the tumultuous aftermath of Vatican II. I was a victim of "renewal" and experimentation gone awry, and so were my peers. With great regret and without exaggeration, I contend that the results have been catastrophic for my generation. It is my firm belief that the overwhelming majority of young Catholics don't have even an elemental understanding of their Faith. As a direct result of that ignorance, young Catholics are leaving the Church in a steady stream (or, dare I say, tidal wave?).

It's not entirely accurate to say that I left the Catholic Church (though I considered it), but it's clear to me now that for most of my young adulthood, I was not in the Catholic Church. Read more.......


Author: Lisa Graas
•10/13/2002 05:02:00 PM
Bargain Books from Ignatius Press
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/13/2002 04:58:00 PM
Palestine, as seen by photographer Luke Powell


See the beauty of Palestine at the online gallery of photographer Luke Powell.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/13/2002 02:46:00 PM
Is Ashcroft Opening A Pandora's Box?"

In the Palestine Chronicle, William Hughes writes about Attorney General John Ashcroft's push to convict those who have financed al Qaeda. Hughes is correct to be critical of Ashcroft's charge that the conspiracy of Muslim terrorism originated in the camps of the Mujahideens. Although Hughes' charge of McCarthyism seems to fall short of fairness, Ashcroft's remarks are indeed another vile bowl of that duplicity stew that our government keeps serving up to us. Ashcroft has brought to my mind those immortal words of Richard III...
"A horse, a horse. My kingdom for a horse." Reagan piped loads of money to the Mujahideen, you silly Ashcroft!! So, are we in the conspiracy to fund terrorism, too? Sheesh.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/13/2002 01:23:00 PM
Mi Papa, I Love You! ~~ This Week In History::

After praying the Angelus, Oct 10, 1999, the Holy Father spoke of the World Day of Mental Health,
Today we are observing the World Day of Mental Health, promoted by the World Health Organization. In her multifaceted commitment to the sick, the Church is always attentive to those affected by psychological disturbances. I assure these brothers and sisters of ours and their families a special remembrance in my prayer, and I encourage everyone who works at any level in this challenging field of health care.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/13/2002 01:00:00 PM
Recommended Online Reading



Peace in the World, Dialogue among Christians and with other Religions..PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN UNITY

The Jewish People and Their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible...PONTIFICAL BIBLICAL COMMISSION

Spiritual Childhood...The Life of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Peoples everywhere, open the doors to Christ!...REDEMPTORIS MISSIO...Encyclical Letter of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II on the permanent validity of the Church's missionary mandate

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Peace and Everyday Life...PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE

Ut Unum Sit...Encyclical Letter of the Holy Father John Paul II on Commitment to Ecumenism
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/13/2002 11:11:00 AM
Mental Health News

Hooray for parents! Mental Health Week: Psychiatry Making America Mindless

Mona Charen commentary: ADHD disinformation

Anorexia in Korea Op-Ed / Korea Herald

Teen Drug Abuse Recovery ABC News: When Rich Kids Go Bad

Houston Chronicle report Nat'l Depression Screening Day

Children with birth defects are a joy to loving parents
Couple embraces highs, lows of raising sextuplets

Human Genome Project Genome sequencing is about to get personal

Drug Addiction:
Kazakhstan: President orders study on effects of decriminalizing 'soft' drugs
State Rep. John S. Martinez killed in car crash

Euthanasia News:
Belgian outcry over first mercy killing under new law

Ten Things Your Pharmacist Won't Tell You
Ten Things Your Health Insurer Won't Tell You

Mental health care for poor 'beyond crisis,' report finds

Courts told to reconsider retardation claims in cases

Fragile X Syndrome Scientists Identify Possible Link To RNAi
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/13/2002 11:03:00 AM
More from Palestine

Frightened and Deprived: A report on the lives of Palestinian children

Let Hamas Send Its Own Sons: Letter to the Editor written by the father of a suicide bomber

Sharon doing to courts what he has done to TV
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/13/2002 08:52:00 AM
Quote of the Day

"Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source."
~~~Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910), Russian novelist, philosopher.
Prince Andrew, in War and Peace, bk. 12, ch. 4 (1868-1869).
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/13/2002 08:39:00 AM
Today's Readings
Isaiah 25:6-10
Psalm 23:1-6
Phil. 4:12-14, 19-20
Mt 22:1-14
EWTN's Catholic Almanac
Today's Homily (EWTN)
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/13/2002 08:13:00 AM
Palestine Chronicle - 13 Oct


I'm sharing with you today these stories written by Palestinians for the Palestinian Chronicle. You can find more information about the plight of the Palestinian people, including pictures from what is being termed as "the massacre in Gaza", via the Palestinian Chronicle website. I cannot imagine that the American people will continue to stand by and let our leaders make decisions for us that are not based on our principles of peace and justice. I believe that God is all-loving AND all-just, and I believe that the oppressed will see justice in God's time, not ours, but those who stand opposed to justice in the world, whether it be in impeding justice toward the Israelis, the Americans, the British, the Arab world as a whole OR the Palestinians, do so at their own peril. May God help the Palestinians to know justice. May God help the Israelis to know justice. May God help us all. May God bless you. ~Love from Lisa~


The Case against Ariel Sharon


Demolition of Palestinian Homes a War Crime: UN Expert


Iraq Ready to Resolve All Inspection Issues


This Year’s Palestinian Olive Crop is Stained by Blood


Israel Under Fire for Its Treatment of Palestinian Children


Israel Bar Palestinians from Praying at Al-Aqsa


US Plans Postwar Occupation of Iraq


Lawyers in Sharon Case Seek European Parliament Support


Khan Yunis: Before the Juggernaut


By Jennifer Loewenstein

For Palestine Chronicle




MADISON, Wisconsin (PC) - A mobile watchtower, lifted into the air by a crane, surveys Khan Yunis day and night. An ambulance from the city waits behind a nearby concrete building day after day; it waits so that the next child shot for playing too close to the wall can make it to the local hospital before dying. The wall is a vast, menacing construction stretching down the coast as far as you can see, separating Khan Yunis from the Gush Katif settlement block in the Gaza Strip. Israeli soldiers sit poised with machine guns in the cylindrical bunker at the northern edge of the wall overlooking the ruins they've made of the Khan Yunis refugee camp.



Over there to the south and west, in the Jewish settlements, no one worries about water shortages or electricity outages. Families don't live in corrugated iron shacks unrecognizable as homes from the outside until someone points out what is supposed to be a door; until you see ragged clothing hanging up to dry above a parched piece of earth beside the shack. Parents in the settlements aren't afraid that their children will be murdered for absentmindedly playing too close to a wall. Their panorama is the buoyant, sparkling Mediterranean lapping the white sands outside their windows; an occupied view: for settlers only.



There are children from the refugee camp playing in the shell of a building not far from the wall. A small Gaza girl eyed me with a dark face, suspicious but curious, the last time I walked this area. When I asked to take her picture she simply stood still with the same brooding expression on her face as I clicked the camera. A year later and here she is playing among the ruins; taller and longer haired but with the same knowing look. When she sees me she stops and we both flash a quick smile of recognition. She's not dead, I think. One cannot help but wonder this about those who go on living here.



And now I wonder again about her and her playmates; about the men and women mulling about in the hot streets of the market. I wonder about the boy who was shot in the arm by a soldier in the mobile watchtower target practicecarried away by the ever-present ambulance just after I arrived to gape incredulously at the wall. I wonder about the boy who draped a Palestinian flag over his shoulders like a cape after the funeral of two others killed in the night by a tank. He ran past us to his home, a white apartment building with bullet holes and tank-blasted craters in the concrete decorating its sorry façade. Can it really be this bad? Can you expect people to keep listening to the morbid descriptions of life here without questioning your accuracy? Perhaps not, and yet the most striking feature of all is that it is so much worse than these paltry words can express.



I've awoken to a most disturbing email message from a friend. "Massacre in Gaza" the subject heading reads. "Things grew very bad tonight in Khan Yunis. After an incursion into the refugee camp two people were killed and ten injured. A tank then stopped suddenly in the road and the Israelis started behaving in a crazy way, firing everywhere. A helicopter fired a rocket killing eight more people and wounding about 100. Later we heard that they were shelling the Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis. Things are going so much to the worse here."



It's déjà vu in the Gaza Strip: more incursions, more firing, more dead, more dazed children, more grieving relatives, more wreckage in the wasteland of the Strip. I still tense up at the sound of airplanes flying overhead because of my nights spent in Rafah and Gaza City. Five months of listening to fighter jets, helicopter gunships, tank firing, machine gun fire, grenadesand the slightest "bang" now makes me jump. What are we turning a population of full-time inhabitants of this hell into??
My friend Ghada writes to me the next day, "The attack in Khan-Yunis was more than horrible. I went numb when I heard of it. The only thing I can say is 'what can we do?' We pray God to stop the Israeli madness soon."



The signs aren't looking good. The specter of war in the region is looming. Talk of "transfer", of the forced expulsion of the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, is gaining in popularity not only in Israel but also in pro-Israel circles in the United States. Members of Congress and of the Bush administration are echoing the most outspoken advocates of this policy in Israel, people like Effi Eitam in charge of Israel's settlements programs and an outspoken advocate of expulsionor General Eitan Ben Elyahu, former head of the Israeli Air Force who recently announced that "eventually we will have to thin out the number of Palestinians living in the territories." No one protested.



Under cover of war, the Gaza girl with the dark eyes and her playmates, the bereaved family members of the recent massacre, the children at the kindergarten near where the Mezan Center for Human Rights office is, my former co-workers themselves Ghada with her beautiful English and hopes to study abroad, and Mais with her beaming 'good-mornings', and Anwar, the maintenance man, and the diligent Ramiz, Adnan, and Hazem, and the owners of the Matooq restaurant who welcomed me every time I came in for lunch, and the storekeepers and the taxi-drivers, the beggar-children and the women shopping for food they're all supposed to disappear, like chemical-treated stains.



The juggernaut advances and there is blood on our hands. The oranges and olives will witness the last of the just the people I met who told me they would never leave Palestine. Will their deaths move us to open our eyes?
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/12/2002 01:12:00 PM
Today's Readings
Galatians 3:22-29
Psalm 105:2-7
Luke 11:27-28
EWTN's Catholic Almanac
Today's Homily (EWTN)
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/12/2002 01:08:00 PM
Quote of the Day

Luk 16:10
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in that which is greater: and he that is unjust in that which is little is unjust also in that which is greater.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/12/2002 10:21:00 AM
NEWS


ADHD.....
Attention drugs 'do not shrink brain'


ALCOHOLISM......
Predicting Behavior Is Brain Teaser to Scientists


AUTISM......
Animal-assisted therapy works wonders

Autism Observed: A Conversation with Child Psychiatrist Dr. Milton Anderson

Families of autistic children 'not getting enough support'


BIPOLAR DISORDER......
Abbott [maker of Depakote] Plans 2,000 Job Cuts; Profit Rises

'Brain link' to manic depression


BIRTH DEFECTS......
Congressmen introduce anti-andro bill
Calif. State EPA chief met with company before gift to Davis campaign


BULIMIA......
Racing needs to find a way to help jockeys


DEMENTIA......
A labor of love


DRUG ADDICTION......
Experts Sound Alarm on Health of Americas' Natives

Drug czar decries Arizona pot measure


DRUNK DRIVING......
France wages war on dangerous drivers
Indian film star charged with homicide


DYSLEXIA......
Web sites offer help, answer questions on learning disabilities
Defining statement
ST Pocket Money Fund helps boy with disability


DEPRESSION......
Grisly hanging video stuns murder trial
Counseling resources underused
Ruling would let firm label anti-depressant as non-addictive
HOPE dims for homeless -- Funding cutbacks are about to kill an acclaimed program to help mentally ill on the streets

Authentic Happiness
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/11/2002 10:40:00 PM
Throwing gasoline on a fire.
Imagine this. You are at a party. All of your friends and family are there. You accidentally get too close to the BBQ grill and burst into flames.
QUESTION: What sort of reaction do you expect your family and friends to have?
(A) Some will stand there shocked while others try to put out the flames.
(B) Some will stand there shocked while others throw a chemical accelerant (i.e., gasoline) on you. As the shock wears off, those who were shocked turn to go home saying, "Gee, that was a great party until he(she) caught on fire and ruined it for everybody." If you answered "B" you know what many people who have mental illness experience.
Mentally ill subjected to abuse
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/11/2002 10:05:00 PM
Death Tourists Assisted Suicide group Dignitas helps mentally ill people end it all.Suffering is NEVER "needless", folks. You know, I have "long periods of lucidity", but I have noticed that most people cannot tell when I am lucid or not. It's also interesting to look up the word LUCID in the dictionary. It can mean different things, you know?
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/11/2002 08:30:00 PM
Update from The Lady In the Pew
Kelly's got a fantastic new look for her site. I am so happy for her. On the serious side, though, I'm so grateful for the report she gives us about the situation in her parish and we all need to be praying for them. Kelly makes a comparison to the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances law that bars pro-life protestors from blocking access to the front door of an abortion clinic. Not only this, there is a buffer zone around the front of the clinic which pro-lifers cannot enter. I agree with Kelly. The comparison is not only a fair one, but it is BRILLIANT. I wish I'd thought of it. How dare these people block the entrance to a CHURCH!! Please read Kelly's report and commentary on this situation.
The Lady In The Pew.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/11/2002 09:59:00 AM
Here I am with my children on the boardwalk at Charleston, South Carolina (my favorite city). My youngest son is a little peeved because we made him get out of the water fountain. My husband and I have two sons and two daughters. What a blessing. Since having my youngest child, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Due to the medication, I am unable to have more children. We practice Natural Family Planning. There are different methods of NFP. I would use NFP even if I weren't Catholic. It is the smart thing to do for yourself and for a healthier marriage. If a couple is not able to practice the level of self-giving required in NFP, that couple is in need of marriage counseling, in my opinion. But I digress. God has blessed me in so many ways. This picture is a reminder of that.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/11/2002 09:13:00 AM
RE: my Thursday night blog

My cousin writes:
Thanks for the morning smile - have a great day!

My brother writes:
What are you taking? The blue ones or green ones? GO TAKE YOUR MEDICINE!!!

FYI: I take neither blue pills nor green ones. I take Effexor (orange capsules), Wellbutrin (purple tablets), Lithium (pink capsules), Trileptal (yellow capsules), and Zyprexa (white tablets). Perhaps I should ask my doctor about these blue and green pills you speak of, bro. :-) Thanks for the reminder to take my medicine. NOTE TO READERS: My brother is responsible for making sure that I take my meds. Many people who have mental illness need loved ones to help remind them to take their medicine. It is important for loved ones to know how important our medication is for us to be able to get the best possible quality of life. Some of the medications used by mentally ill people are the type that people with drug addictions like to abuse. We do not take these medications for a "high". They do not make us "high". They affect us differently than they affect people who have no illness. I put it this way -- some people take chemicals in order to achieve INSOBRIETY and some people take chemicals in order to achieve SOBRIETY
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/10/2002 10:50:00 PM
My Thursday Night Blog Hello, and welcome to Thursday. I'm so glad you could join me. Tonight on the Thursday Night Blog my special guests are Hootie and the Blowfish. Hootie is a former hobo who was recently released from prison after serving time for copyright violations and the blowfish are,...well... blowfish. I have no idea what they have planned so be prepared for anything. Oh, and if you haven't signed that disclaimer, my goons will be with you shortly to escort you to the exit. FIRST UP TONIGHT, though, I will be speaking with Madeline Murray O'Hare and this is going to be really exciting, folks, and do ya know why??? Well, Madeline is going to reveal to us the name of the person who murdered her!! Isn't that cooooooooooooool??????? That's right, that's right...so don't go anywhere! Stick around, folks, because this is as good as it gets. Taking us into commercial is our special musical guest, Corduroy Cellphone!!! [[[[APPLAUD]]]]
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/10/2002 10:00:00 PM
Prayers to St. Raphael.....For my dear friends who are traveling this week and weekend, for their safe return to those who love them, and for all the mentally ill for whom St. Raphael is a patron....

Dear Saint Raphael, your lovely name means "God heals." The Lord sent you to young Tobiah to guide him throughout a long journey. Upon his return you taught him how to cure his father's blindness. How natural, therefore, for Christians to pray for your powerful help for safe travel and a happy return. This is what we ask for ourselves as well as for all who are far from home.


Glorious Archangel Saint Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners. I beg you, assist me in all my needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God," I humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of my soul and the ills that afflict my body. I especially ask of you the favor {mention your petition} and the great grace of purity of prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Saint Raphael of the glorious seven who stand before the throne of Him who lives and reigns, angel of health, the Lord has filled your hand with balm from heaven to soothe or cure our pains. Heal or cure the victim of disease, and guide our steps when doubtful of our ways. Amen.


O Raphael, lead us toward those we are waiting for, those who are waiting for us: Raphael, Angel of happy meeting, lead us by the hand toward those we are looking for. May all our movements be guided by your Light and transfigured with your joy.
Angel, guide of Tobias, lay the request we now address to you at the feet of Him on whole unveiled Face you are privileged to gaze. Lonely and tired, crush by the separations and sorrows of life, we feel the need of calling you and of pleading for the protection of your wings, so that we may not be as strangers in the province of joy, all ignorant of the concerns of our country. Remember the weak, you who are strong, you whose home lies beyond the region of thunder, in a land that is always peaceful, always serene and bright with the resplendent glory of God. Amen.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/10/2002 05:31:00 PM



A Note from a Reader (I like it so much, I'm putting it in two places! Ha!)--


Dear Ma'am

I do not claim to be an expert; however, in one of your columns you quote a good priest as referring to autistic people as ultimately self-absorbed. I find this characterization to be questionable. From everything I understand of the phenomenon, autistic people are NOT self absorbed, in fact many severely autistic people may not have any concept of self at all. They are absorbed because they are unable to filter information and focus on that which conveys information. The noise of the air conditioner and the sound of a mother's voice are both sensory stimuli that have equal importance in the mind of an autistic person (again, this is just from reading, so I don't claim to know this first hand). You cannot be self absorbed if you cannot separate your self from the things around you.

I believe that you are correct when you maintain that we would all benefit from greater understanding of and sensitivity to those with mental and psychological illnesses.

shalom

Steven
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/10/2002 02:13:00 PM
Unclear, to be sure. On the website Catholic Way: the Medical Corner.... waaaaaay (so to speak) down at the bottom of the page, we read this:
Alzheimer’s Disease is not a mental illness; it is organic brain disease in which brain chemistry is altered and brain cells die.
This needs some MAJOR CLARIFICATION for lay people: Use of the word "organic" does not mean "biological", therefore this statement above about Alzheimer's DOES NOT MEAN that "mental illness" is not biological in origin. Tricky terms, eh? Bipolar disorder, for instance, is a brain disease in which the brain chemistry is altered, however it is not "organic". Biological, yes. Organic? No. It's all in the terminology, folks. Just for the record, you know? Okay. Is it just me or could someone with Alzheimer's Disease be reading that and say to himself, "Whew!!! At least it's not a MENTAL ILLNESS!! At least it's ORGANIC, which means it's not my FAULT!"

Here is a definition of organic disease, which mental disorders are NOT and a definition of FUNCTIONAL DISEASE which mental disorders ARE.

Organic Disease -- a disease attended with morbid changes in the structure of the organs of the body or in the composition of its fluids.

Functional Disease -- a disease of which the symptoms cannot be referred to any appreciable lesion or change of structure; the derangement of an organ arising from a cause, often unknown, external to itself opposed to organic disease, in which the organ itself is affected.


Organic and Functional Diseases are both BIOLOGICAL (pertaining to biology) disorders. So, there ya have it, folks. The absence of the term "organic" does not mean that it is not biological.
~Love from Lisa~
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/10/2002 12:38:00 PM
Catholic humor -- Let's poke fun at Fred by saying he's mentally ill.
A Usenet post in a discussion about St. Augustine:
Pay no mind to Fred...he has a mental illness and in addition is a bigot. I am a Catholic, who just happens to have more education than Fred.
Some people will say anything, even be so low as to accuse someone of being mentally ill (GASP), to make a point. This person is not a bigot? Fred is a bigot?? Hmmmm. What's the point? The point is that Catholics need to be educated about mental illness.
~Love from Lisa~
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/10/2002 12:10:00 PM
Catholics and Mental Illness
It was never my intention to become the internet cop for Catholics with mental illness, but no one else seems to be doing it, so here I am, yet again.
A very good traditional Catholic priest whom I admire very much and who shall remain nameless writes on his website:
"..self-absorption is usually a prime characteristic of people who are suffering from a mental illness! Autistic people, for example, are deeply self-absorbed, are they not?--sometimes so much so that it’s almost impossible to communicate with them. Those who suffer from schizophrenia or clinical depression or an eating disorder are also overly-focused on themselves in one way or another."
The good padre's intent is to preach a sermon, presumably to people who are ALL mentally healthy, on the evils of self-absorption.
Now, let it be known that I, Lisa Graas, am a Catholic who has an illness called Severe Mixed Episode Bipolar I Disorder with Mood-Congruent Psychosis. By stating this, am I self-absorbed? Should I hide this diagnosis? Should I never mention it? By mentioning it, am I being full of myself? Am I parading something? If I had cancer (I did have cancer once, but anyway...) if I had, say.....colon cancer... and if it had reached my brain and if I were having hallucinations as a result of this, or if I were screaming at the nurses due to the cancer being in my brain, would it be okay for the priest of my local parish to announce to the congregation that people who have colon cancer and suffer from hallucinations are self-absorbed? Would this be a good example to give to my fellow parishioners as I lay in a hospitable bed, lonely and rejected because my fellow parishioners think I'm just being self-absorbed and do not REALLY have an illness? Sigh. What's the point? The point is that Catholics need to be educated about mental illness. ~Love from Lisa~



A Note from a Reader --
Dear Ma'am

I do not claim to be an expert; however, in one of
your columns you quote a good priest as referring to
autistic people as ultimately self-absorbed. I find
this characterization to be questionable. From
everything I understand of the phenomenon, autistic
people are NOT self absorbed, in fact many severely
autistic people may not have any concept of self at
all. They are absorbed because they are unable to
filter information and focus on that which conveys
information. The noise of the air conditioner and the
sound of a mother's voice are both sensory stimuli
that have equal importance in the mind of an autistic
person (again, this is just from reading, so I don't
claim to know this first hand). You cannot be self
absorbed if you cannot separate your self from the
things around you.

I believe that you are correct when you maintain that
we would all benefit from greater understanding of and
sensitivity to those with mental and psychological
illnesses.

shalom
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/09/2002 10:44:00 PM
My pick for the top story is the news (see the N.Y. Post) that Saddam Hussein has been paying $10,000 each to Palestinians willing to commit suicide bombings to kill Israelis. Considering that Palestinians are an impoverished group of people, and considering the oppression that the Palestinians have suffered at the hands of Israeli Zionists, is it any wonder that young men filled with frustration would be willing to carry out such a deed? It's almost a NO-BRAINER!! So, there you have it, folks. I hate to say, "I told you so, but...."
The Washington Times Abortion rates decline in late 1990s
The Washington Times Miss America told to zip it on chastity talk
The Washington Times Key Democrats join Bush on Iraq measure
The New Zealand Herald Mother's rights breached if 'porn' birth stopped, court told
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/09/2002 10:39:00 PM
From A to Z
Received in email...


FROM A TO Z

Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of "Camp Complaining"
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To "thank" is a command
Until we see Him coming!
Victorious in the sky
We'll run the race with gratitude
Xalting God most high
Yes, there'll be good times and some bad, but...
Zion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!
"I AM Too blessed to be stressed!"
The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor. The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything. Love and peace be with you forever, Amen.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/09/2002 04:25:00 PM
Quote of the Day
At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by 'I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.' Hungry not only for bread - but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing - but naked of human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a home of bricks - but homeless because of rejection. ~~Mother Teresa
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/09/2002 03:07:00 PM
Update from The Lady In the Pew
Kelly's back and she's better than ever. You simply must not miss this edition of
The Lady In The Pew.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/09/2002 02:11:00 AM
I'll be in and out. I'll be in and out of here for the next several days. I may post or I may not. It all depends on things. I've just been given a new medication by my doctor to treat my bipolar disorder and this usually means that I will not be "myself" (not that I ever am myself, but you know..) while I'm adjusting to the medication. You may email me here if you have questions, comments or are in need of my assistance.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/09/2002 01:07:00 AM
News Around the Web
Atlantic Monthly Interview with B. R. Myers, author of A Reader's Revenge

Arab News Sharon to press on with offensive

Austin American Statesman President picks up support on Iraq

Baltimore Sun Tensions High A Day After School Shooting

Bangkok Post Girl killed in southern Gaza as Sharon ignores US rebuke

BBC U.S. Court Orders Ports to Reopen

Boston Herald Stocks Rise for First Day in Five; Wal-Mart, PepsiCo Gain

Buenos Aires Herald Killer Meningitis

CBS News War Talk in Congress

Chicago Sun-Times Crime Inc., The New Chicago Mob

Christian Science Monitor Missiles Herald Pakistani Elections

CNBC Dockworker return buoys stocks

CNN Sniper Puts D.C. Area On Edge

L.A. Daily News Bush Makes Case for Attacking Iraq

Denver Post Bush: "clear evidence of peril"

EurasiaNet Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan seek stronger civil rights guarantees

Financial Times Wall Street Rises on Bush Intervention

Forbes Linux Goes Shopping

Fortune Gen X "slackers" have reason to complain, "Dude! Where's my job?"
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/09/2002 12:31:00 AM
See Today's Bluelight Specials at Kmart.com!
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/08/2002 09:11:00 PM
Leftist Racism
Although I cannot endorse this website, this article at FrontPage.com sets forth some very interesting points about Nazism allowing us to see that it was truly a Leftist ideology in many of its tenets. The writer's points about American acceptance of eugenics for purposes of racial oppression are much evidenced in the writings of the intelligentsia of the period, including such feminist icons as Margaret Sanger. SEE ALSO:
German Catholic Martyrs of Nazism

Walter Dirks and the Catholic Resistance to Nazism

Persecution of the Catholic Church in the Third Reich

Revelations of Russian Historian Evghenija Tokareva

Paal Ekran has an awesome site called "The Nazism Exposed Project"
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/08/2002 08:19:00 PM
Quote of the Day II
Our Lord avoided any offensive personal remarks when He preached. He attacked only the vices of a school, of a caste, also the bad examples and scandals. He did not reveal hidden crimes or secret defects. -- St Peter Emyard
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/08/2002 07:43:00 PM
TODAY'S READINGS

Galatians 1:13-24


For you have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion: how that, beyond measure, I persecuted the church of God and wasted it. And I made progress in the Jew's religion above many of my equals in my own nation, being more abundantly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased him who separated me from my mother's womb and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles: immediately I condescended not to flesh and blood. Neither went I to Jerusalem, to the apostles who were before me: but I went into Arabia, and again I returned to Damascus. Then, after three years, I went to Jerusalem to see Peter: and I tarried with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles I saw none, saving James the brother of the Lord. Now the things which I write to you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterwards, I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea, which were in Christ: But they had heard only: He, who persecuted us in times past doth now preach the faith which once he impugned. And they glorified God in me.


Psalm 139
Unto the end, a psalm of David. Lord, thou hast proved me, and known me: Thou hast known my sitting down, and my rising up. Thou hast understood my thoughts afar off: my path and my line thou hast searched out. And thou hast foreseen all my ways: for there is no speech in my tongue. Behold, O Lord, thou hast known all things, the last and those of old: thou hast formed me, and hast laid thy hand upon me. Thy knowledge is become wonderful to me: it is high, and I cannot reach to it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy face? If I ascend into heaven, thou art there: if I descend into hell, thou art present. If I take my wings early in the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea: Even there also shall thy hand lead me: and thy right hand shall hold me. And I said: Perhaps darkness shall cover me: and night shall be my light in my pleasures. But darkness shall not be dark to thee, and night shall be light all the day: the darkness thereof, and the light thereof are alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast protected me from my mother's womb. I will praise thee, for thou art fearfully magnified: wonderful are thy works, and my soul knoweth right well. My bone is not hidden from thee, which thou hast made in secret: and my substance in the lower parts of the earth. Thy eyes did see my imperfect being, and in thy book all shall be written: days shall be formed, and no one in them. But to me thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honourable: their principality is exceedingly strengthened. I will number them, and they shall be multiplied above the sand, I rose up and am still with thee. If thou wilt kill the wicked, O God: ye men of blood, depart from me: Because you say in thought: They shall receive thy cities in vain. Have I not hated them, O Lord, that hated thee: and pined away because of thy enemies? I have hated them with a perfect hatred: and they are become enemies to me. Prove me, O God, and know my heart: examine me, and know my paths. And see if there be in me the way of iniquity: and lead me in the eternal way.


Luke 10:38-42
Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain town: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary. who, sitting also at the Lord's feet, heard his word. But Martha was busy about much serving. Who stood and said: Lord, hast thou no care that my sister hath left me alone to serve? Speak to her therefore, that she help me. And the Lord answering, said to her: Martha, Martha, thou art careful and art troubled about many things: But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Today's Homily
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/08/2002 07:30:00 PM
Quote of the Day
Happiness is the interior peace and joy which results from loving well. And here, one must clarify that love is not a feeling, but an act of the will (a choice).
~Leila Miller~
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/07/2002 11:08:00 PM
I wonder if this was one of the tanks Jerry Falwell was repairing on his visit to Israel?
A neighbor holds the white flag that was attached to the wheelchair of fifty-seven-year-old Kamal Zghair. On April 10, Kamal Zghair was attempting to reach the gas station where he slept when he was shot and killed by an Israeli tank. His body and wheelchair were then run over by the tank. (c) 2002 Peter Bouckaert/Human Rights Watch

Author: Lisa Graas
•10/07/2002 02:28:00 PM
Something GOOD coming out of Boston College Father Matthew Lamb writes about Theological Malpractice
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/07/2002 02:14:00 PM
CELIBACY OF PRIESTS POLL The poll regarding celibacy of priests is still active. If you haven't voted yet, please do.
VOTE HERE
| Current Results | Post in the Message Area
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/07/2002 12:16:00 PM
A penny saved is a penny burned? According to The Observer, we're on the brink of a global financial crash. Since this coincides with our president's readiness to engage us in a war that makes about as much sense as a three-legged table, AND since there is a view among conservative economists that post-war economies are the most vibrant of economies, I'm wondering .... well, you can figure it out.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/07/2002 11:59:00 AM
IRAQ At MSNBC I found a great story which has an excellent, readable overview of our history with Saddam Hussein. Why Saddam? Why Now?
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/07/2002 11:20:00 AM
What were you doing when you were 15 years old?
At 2pm yesterday in Palestine, Mohammed Zeid, 15 years old, was gunned down in the street by Israeli troops. Why? I'm sure the answer many will give is "suicide bombers". The brutality of suicide bombing seems to make Americans accept as a reasonable response ANY LEVEL of revenge that the Israeli Army may seek to inflict on ANY PALESTINIAN including children, from babies to teenagers. Why????
No wonder Palestinians are saying, "YOUR DUPLICITY IS KILLING US"
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/07/2002 10:48:00 AM
Quotes of the Day!
"How to make God laugh -- Tell him your future plans" -- Woody Allen
A reader in Arizona writes:
"How to make God angry -- Fornicate with, then marry, your step-daughter."
I don't know about you guys, but I thought that was pretty clever!
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/06/2002 04:17:00 PM
What a gem!!
You'll have to pardon my exhuberance but this is the first time I have actually seen a Protestant argue IN WRITING that Augustine was Catholic. Here is Dave Hunt arguing the point to James White.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/06/2002 12:55:00 PM
A Reader Asks: Is it a sin to listen to Barry Manilow singing Could it be Magic while getting ready for Mass?
This is a good question and the answer might surprise you. Not only is it NOT SINFUL, but some theologians have opined that this may be a good and holy thing to do at anytime, either before Mass, after Mass, or throughout the weekend and, yes, even every day of the week. The only thing that we are required to do is fast for one hour before receiving Holy Communion. Oh, and of course, you should never be late for Mass nor fail to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/06/2002 12:38:00 PM
Quote of the Day
"I got everything I needed from being homeschooled."
Jordan Watson, freshman at Austin College, Sherman,TX
See the story here
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/06/2002 10:21:00 AM
The Stigma of Mental Illness If you or someone you love has suffered from the stigma of mental illness, please send in your story. All submissions will remain confidential unless you specifically request publication. Thanks! ~Love from Lisa~
Email your comments

For more information see Stigma: Building Awareness And Understanding About Mental Illness by the National Mental Health Assoc.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/05/2002 08:46:00 PM
Crisis Pregnancy Ministry One of the most rewarding experiences of my life was as an outreach volunteer ministering to those considering abortion. Women who find themselves dealing with an untimely pregnancy are often subjected to great humiliation. Often, the crisis pregnancy counselor is the only person she knows who treats her with compassion. Please support your local crisis pregnancy ministry. Find out what you can do to help. It is easier than you may think. You can save lives. I have. Thanks.>~Love from Lisa~>
Pregnancy Centers Online
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/05/2002 08:14:00 PM
Stem-Cell Research Nancy Reagan pushes quietly for stem-cell reseach
Very disappointing, indeed.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/05/2002 12:02:00 AM
The rebuilding of Dresden
In Dresden, we became the iconoclasts. Today, we rebuild. For any who have seen the pictures of Dresden after the Allied bombs destroyed her, this will be a moving story. See also the entry for Dresden at Encyclopedia.com. Read how some Jews are returning to Germany in a report from the Jerusalem Post. You might also like reading about an interesting day in Dresden for a reporter too young to fully understand.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/04/2002 09:59:00 PM
The world's funniest joke?

Okay, here it is folks. According to British scientists, this is the world's funniest joke. Who am I to argue with science? Personally, the weasel joke at the bottom of the page was my favorite.
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/04/2002 09:55:00 PM
Skeletons in the Closet: Planned Parenthood definitely does NOT want you to read >>THIS<<
Author: Lisa Graas
•10/04/2002 09:45:00 PM
Celibacy of Priests -- same questions as the CNN/USAToday/Gallup poll


Here are the current results of the celibacy poll.

1. Would you favor or oppose allowing Catholic priests to marry and continue to function as priests? Oppose (57%)


2. Do you think that sexual abuse of young people by priests is a widespread problem in the United States, or not that widespread a problem? Not that widespread (57%)


3. Overall, do you think the Catholic Church has done a good job or a bad job in dealing with the problem of sexual abuse committed by its priests? Bad Job (70%)


4. Do you think the Catholic Church has been more concerned with protecting its own image or with solving the problems of sexual abuse by its priests? Protecting Own Image (60%)


5. If a priest was known to have sexually abused young people, but had undergone rehabilitation, would you be willing to accept him as your parish priest, or not? No (60%)


6. Do you think the rate of sexual abuse of young people is higher among priests than it is among the general population, about the same, or lower among priests than it is among the general population? Lower among priests (40%)


This poll is still active. You can vote >>>HERE<<<


Author: Lisa Graas
•10/04/2002 08:49:00 PM
Attn: Protestants (Zionist or otherwise)!
I was told that I would get hate mail. No hate mail so far, but I have gotten a couple of emails from a Zionist/Lutheran/Nestorian/Conservative-and/or-Liberal Sola Scriptura adherent. I'm not really sure what his religion is, precisely. He has come at me from all sides, as people usually do when they don't know very much about Catholicism. I've decided to post my response to him here just in case there are any others of his ilk lurking.



Re: Infant baptism --
Jesus was circumcised as an infant. Do you require circumcision? If no, why not? Baptism replaced circumcision. We know that baptism replaced circumcision because Paul plainly states it. We do not seek to "fish the Bible" for alternative explanations when we disagree with others. We choose to do what the Bible says, in keeping with what the early Church believed. In this, we hold fast to the traditions that have been handed on to us, whether by letter or by word (orally).



It is Biblical to remain united to the truths that have always been known but which were not recorded in the Bible like a list of recipe ingredients. God's Word is living and active. It is not something that was ever meant to be listed in written form ONLY as a set of rules with the exception of the Ten Commandments. But I digress. All those who crossed the Red Sea with Moses were baptized into Christ, including the children. They were "dib dabbed" as you say by the mist in the cloud, all at once. I have chosen to become as close as possible to Jesus Christ. What I mean by this is that I choose to be on a journey in my life in which I am learning day by day to abandon myself to His will. It is an amazing journey to be on. I have read great things here and there which were written by Protestants, but true wisdom I have found only in the Bible and in the lives of the Saints.



Re: Intelligence --
I am amazed by how often I am given the verse which you gave me in regard to fools and the wise. This verse refers to the wisdom of the world. You seem to be telling me that wisdom of the Bible is evil. Be careful. Bible scholars may obtain salvation as well as anyone else can. Neither does God require Bible scholarship for salvation. God has provided an authoritative
Church to preach the truth so that even the illiterate may come to know the life of Christ and, in this, come at last into His rest.



Re: Mary as the Mother of God --
I'm sorry that you don't understand about Mary. I'm sorry that you don't realize how your thinking really lessens a person's view of Jesus. Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant because she carried God's Word within her. The Ten Commandments, the Rod of Aaron and the manna which were inside the Ark of the Covenant of the Old Testament are in no way more holy than Jesus is. It was prophesied that in the piercing of Mary's soul, the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. From the time that I was a little girl of about ten years old, growing up in a Baptist household, LONG before I became Catholic, I understood that Mary is the woman in Revelation 12:1. It wasn't until after I accepted Christ (in The Church which you know as "Catholic") that I
learned that this is also the understanding of the Church.



Mary is the "new Eve". Eve said 'no' to God. Mary said 'yes' to God. All that she is, she is because God has made her that way. God protected her from the stain of original sin. We know this because of what we know about God's holiness. It is what we believe about God's holiness that requires us to believe what we do about Mary. I can assure you that you do not know the holiness of God if you cannot accept that Mary was protected from the stain of original sin. We honor Mary as our mother because she is the mother of Christ. Just as Eve is the mother of humanity, Mary is the mother of all those who live in Christ. You are afraid of something, it seems. It seems you are afraid that by calling Mary the Mother of God, we are going to say that she is greater than God. The Church has never said this and never will.



You said:
A human woman Cannot truly be the mother of the Eternal God
The mother of the man Jesus,Yes
The mother of God the Father / the Creator without beginning or end,...




The Church does not teach that Mary is the mother of the Father. The Church teaches that she is the Mother of Christ and that Christ is God. Do you not believe in the Trinity? What you describe has a name. It is called Nestorianism. It was condemned as a heresy by the Church centuries ago. I'm surprised that you accept such a thing -- that Christ is not divine, or that He was actually two persons. It is not true.



Re: "call no man father" --
You agree, I suppose, that it is okay to call a man "doctor" as long as we are of the understanding that Jesus is the true physician in heaven. It is the same with calling priests 'father'.


1Th 2:11 As you know in what manner, entreating and comforting you (as a father doth his children),

Jam 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar?




Re: Matrimony --
I'm really not sure where you get the idea that the Catholic Church forbids people to marry. Well, that's simply not true. I am a Catholic, as you know, and I am also married. I was married in the Catholic Church. Matrimony is a sacrament in the Church (the sacraments are vast rivers of grace flowing from the Cross of Christ) and is known by the Church to be a holy institution through which many people are redeemed. Matrimony is much much much more elevated in Catholic theology than in ANY Protestant church today. Protestant churches have almost no theology about matrimony whereas our understanding of Matrimony is a central aspect in the life of the Church. It boggles the mind that you would even suggest that marriage is forbidden in the Catholic Church. It is Protestants who miss the mark in the area of marriage with their acceptance of abortion and contraception. Contraception is gravely evil and it is a travesty that every Protestant denomination has accepted contraception. Why? It seems to be because they don't FULLY understand the difference between lust and love.



Catholics are not vegetarians like the Gnostics whom Paul was referring to in his First Letter to Timothy. Paul was speaking about Gnostics who did not allow marriage for anyone and did not allow animals to be killed (ergo abstaining from all meat at all times). They believe that the soul is trapped in the body and that this was a bad thing. They often committed suicide by starvation in order to "release" the soul from the "prison" which they viewed the body to be.



Re: fish on Fridays --
I can't recall Jesus eating any other kind of meat, and if I'm not mistaken, fish is meat, and also, Jesus fasted. Fasting is not evil. Jesus fasted.



Celibacy of priests is not a doctrine. It is a discipline. Our priests are, at this time in the Church, required to follow the example of Paul. The Church may certainly change this at some later date, but as a body we are seeking perfection in all things, hence the discipline of Paul is, at this time, a requirement. Even so, in the early Church, those who were ordained and were married were required to live apart from their spouses to fully dedicate themselves to ministry and fullness of life in the Lord. Marriage is not about fulfilling lustful pleasures. Lust is always a grave evil, even in marriage. I assure you that it is possible for a man and a woman to have a fulfilling sex life without one ever lusting for the other. In fact, it is not God's will for lust to enter into the marital act at all. If you do not understand this, then you do not understand Holy Matrimony.



Re: Christ's body and divisions in the Church --
You are correct that Christ's body was not meant to be divided. Catholics understand that the Father did not deny His Son's prayer for unity. We recognize that there is unity in the Catholic Church (although there are also wolves claiming to be Catholic who do not adhere to Catholic doctrine). We recognize, as the Church teaches, that all who are properly baptized are members of His Body. When a Protestant converts to Catholicism, he is not re-baptized. There is no need because the Church recognizes the validity of baptisms as long as they were done properly, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Christ's body is not divided. There are, however, many people who have chosen to separate themselves from it because they choose to lean on their own understandings rather than the will of God which has been passed to us without error for 2,000 years.


2Th 3:6 And we charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition which they have received of us.




Re: the priest only drinking from the cup
, I do not know what you are talking about. I always partake of the Cup myself. Most people do. It's a personal choice.



Re: Peter as the first Pope --
I agree that Jesus is the Cornerstone, the topstone and all throughout. If it were not so, there could be no Papacy, no Church, no Church members. The universe itself was created through Him. I share in the universe because of Christ. I share in His priesthood as I offer my body as a living sacrifice. So, too, the priests share in His ministry as teachers and as images of the bridegroom at the wedding feast of the Lamb. Christians share in many things that belong to Christ alone because we are partakers of His divine nature. By giving Peter authority, Christ was not taking any authority away from Himself.



RE: the word "Catholic".
Catholic means "universal". Universality (Catholicity) is one of the four marks of the Church. The four marks of the Church are that the Church is One, Holy, Catholic (Universal), and Apostolic. The world does not like referring to us as the One Church, the Holy Church, or the Apostolic Church. We are the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church which truly has no name. Catholic is a word that people have grown accustomed to. One truth, one kingdom, one bread, one body, one baptism, one God and Father of all. I am a member of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church. When I say that I am Catholic, I say it for the benefit of others, not for myself. It means nothing for one to call ones self "Catholic" as we can see in the American Catholic Church today where so many dissent from the Faith. The Church is both visible and invisible. If you have been baptized properly, you are a member of the Church which means that you, too, are Catholic although you don't realize it.



Re: Sola Scriptura --
You say the only safe guard is the Bible. God loves His children more than you think. He provided a means whereby the ignorant and unstable could learn His truth without fear of being led astray. He did not leave us orphans to be tossed about with every wind of doctrine. Up until the 1930s every Christian Church in the world taught that contraception is evil. Every
single one. I believe it was the Anglican Church which was the first to allow contraception. Over the decades up until now, one by one, Protestant churches dropped their teaching against contraception. It's an historical fact easy to be researched. I recommend you check it out sometime. It's a travesty. Just look what Protestantism has become. It is based not in the Bible but in the self.



Re: Certainty of Authority --
Am I sure it is His Church? If it is not His Church then He has no church.



Re: Paul went to the Greeks / Christ was crucified by Romans and Jews --
I don't know what your point is in telling me that the Apostle Paul went to the Greeks and that the Romans and the Jews crucified Jesus. We all crucified Jesus. Every single one of us. The Bible is not a numbers game. There is deep meaning in the Bible that applies equally to our time, but it is not a Rubik's Cube or a recipe book. You say that you question powers. Perhaps this is the problem. You have a problem with anyone being in authority over you, but how can I respect your position when the Bible testifies that we should obey the leaders of the Church?



Re: "powers" --
The Church's greatest heroes are the weakest and humblest who have ever lived. Our power is in Christ as God's strength is made perfect in weakness. Mother Teresa is an example of a TRUE Catholic. What you read in the papers is not an example of true Catholicism. True Catholicism is that which is lived in one's daily life as Mother Teresa lived. Most bishops in America
are not in agreement with the Vatican on many things. It's a terrible situation here. The Church is full of wolves, but you should never mistake the wolves for the sheep.



Re: Zionism --
Zionism is a political issue that even many Jews do not believe in. I was reading about Jerry Falwell crawling under Israeli tanks to grease them while slick, young Israeli soldiers leaned against the wall and rested. These tanks are not defensive. They are oppressive. The Israeli government will not honor treaties that it signs, just like Hitler did with Chamberlain and others. They will do anything for self-preservation, even if it means bulldozing Palestinian homes and leaving the Palestinians cold and hungry. Palestinian women in labor go to hospitals, which are run by Israelis, and are denied treatment simply because they are Palestinian. I've read that the suicide bombings that have taken place in Israel can be traced to operatives of Saddam Hussein. I have no pity for the Zionist position. What I have pity for is the downtrodden. That is my agenda, and the reason that it is my agenda is because it is Christ's agenda. We are to lift up the downtrodden always, no matter whom they may be. This is why I speak for the people of Palestine at this time. Tomorrow, I may speak for the people of Israel. Whomever is being brutalized is the one I speak for, and today that one is
Palestine.



RE: when the Lord will return --
If He comes today I will rejoice in Him. With all due respect, I don't care when you think He will come. Who are you? I mean, really.

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