News & Commentary

Satan’s hatred for God is most obvious in his hatred for virginity, marriage, and procreation

November 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Last week, we looked at how Lucifer, by refusing to serve the God of fruitfulness and sacrificial love, merited his own everlasting isolation and barrenness, and how he ever seeks to draw human souls into his realm of selfishness. In particular, the refusal to subordinate the natural to the supernatural is his defining trait, and explains why he hates celibacy and virginity more than anything else in the world.

Satan hates marriage for much the same reason: it, too, is a life of self-sacrifice made possible only by divine blessing, a state ordered to the multiplication of children of God who will have the potential to receive supernatural elevation by grace and to enjoy heavenly glory, of which the devil deprived himself. The power of generation in man — how mysterious it is! To be invited into partnership with the Author of life! To stand, in procreation, at the origin of being ex nihilo: this is a power no angelic spirit has. It is a direct participation in God’s creative act. As the great Thomist theologian Scheeben explains, if Adam and Eve had not fallen, they would have transmitted not only natural life to their offspring, but also the condition of supernatural life: their children would have been conceived and born in a state of grace. This is why the devil so hated Adam and Eve, resplendent in grace as they were: he knew that from their loins would spring an entire race of beings destined for immortal glory with the angels. Even though we are now fallen and no longer conceive “sons of God,” the privilege of procreation and the freedom to cooperate with Christ in the sanctification of our children remain ours. As Pope Pius XI eloquently testifies in the greatest papal document ever written on marriage and family:

How great a boon of God this (good of offspring) is, and how great a blessing of matrimony is clear from a consideration of man’s dignity and of his sublime end. For man surpasses all other visible creatures by the superiority of his rational nature alone. Besides, God wishes men to be born not only that they should live and fill the earth, but much more that they may be worshippers of God, that they may know Him and love Him and finally enjoy Him forever in heaven; and this end, since man is raised by God in a marvelous way to the supernatural order, surpasses all that eye hath seen, and ear heard, and all that hath entered into the heart of man. From which it is easily seen how great a gift of divine goodness and how remarkable a fruit of marriage are children born by the omnipotent power of God through the cooperation of those bound in wedlock.

For although Christian spouses even if sanctified themselves cannot transmit sanctification to their progeny, nay, although the very natural process of generating life has become the way of death by which original sin is passed on to posterity, nevertheless, they share to some extent in the blessings of that primeval marriage of Paradise, since it is theirs to offer their offspring to the Church in order that by this most fruitful Mother of the children of God they may be regenerated through the laver of baptism unto supernatural justice and finally be made living members of Christ, partakers of immortal life, and heirs of that eternal glory to which we all aspire from our inmost heart. (Encyclical Casti Connubii, no. 12)

Satan did what he could to thwart this plan — and so he does with each of us, if we let him. The devil opposes natural as well as supernatural generation: he seeks to prevent men and women from using the gift of their sexuality to bring more life into the world; he seeks to prevail upon them to kill the fruit they bear; he seeks to lead them away from the source of immortality in the sacraments of the Church. Hating procreation, he has bent all his efforts toward either preventing it through contraception or destroying its fruits through abortion. Contraception is an abomination of desolation in the midst of the temple, which is the human body sanctified by the Holy Spirit: through contraception, the Lord and Giver of Life is cast out as if He were an evil spirit, and in his place is welcomed the spirit of lust and avarice, to make its home in the barren womb, like a church with no tabernacle and no Real Presence.

Contrary to the demonic spirit of selfishness, spouses give up their right of self-determination over their own bodies when they vow their faithful love to each other until death, come what may. Christ, too, is faithful to His Church, come what may, and never gives up on her sinful members until all who are destined for glory have reached the fatherland. In light of God’s faithfulness to sinful Israel and Christ’s faithfulness to His still-imperfect Church, divorce is an unredeemable fiction, adultery an abomination, and Eucharistic communion for those who are “remarried” an act of sacrilege by which the Savior is spat upon, scourged, crowned with thorns, and crucified in His Sacrament.

Let us make no mistake about it: Lucifer, with the pseudo-patience of an immortal spirit, has slowly built up an anti-religion, a counterfeit Catholicism, that has for its purpose the eternal damnation of men, just as the Catholic religion has for its purpose their eternal salvation. Divorce, and with it, adultery, is the anti-sacrament of Marriage; contraception, and from it, abortion, is the anti-sacrament of Baptism; the self-indulgence of masturbation and homosexual activity is the anti-sacrament of Confirmation, which produces self-control and fortitude; euthanasia is the anti-sacrament of Extreme Unction. In place of holy orders, there is negligent fatherhood and man-hating feminism; in place of penance, there is the hedonistic satisfaction of every bodily appetite; in place of the Eucharist, there is idolatry of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

It is far from coincidental that the sacred liturgy had to fall into ruins first before the devil could carry out his attack on virginity and celibacy. These latter have no meaning, no purpose, apart from the wedding feast of the Lamb to which the liturgy gives us access. When the liturgy is drained of adoration, beauty, and contemplation, it can no longer awaken, nourish, and direct an all-consuming hunger and thirst for God’s kingdom. It will no longer stir up priestly and religious vocations or sustain them to the end. The Mass and the Divine Office had to be brought low before celibacy and virginity could be felled. The so-called “irreversible liturgical reform” had to predate the supposedly irreversible decline in “traditional models of ministry and service.”

In reality, the Church’s authentic liturgy, in all its depth and splendor, always summons forth abundant vocations to the priesthood and the religious life. This, again, is why the devil hates the usus antiquior with such implacable fury. Wherever the traditional liturgy returns, celibacy and virginity blossom anew — as do marriages in which husband and wife sacrificially welcome many children. Satan hates it all and is at work, sleeplessly, to fight against it, using every means at his disposal.

We are now in a better position to see the connection between Sr. Lucia’s statement that “the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family” and Pope Siricius’ castigation of Jovinian for denying the superiority of the celibate or virginal life dedicated to God. False teachings on marriage and the “relaxation” of the required discipline of clerical celibacy are two flanks of a single army laying siege to the City of God on earth. Any word, any action against the sanctity of marriage, the good of the family, or the exalted vocations of clerical and religious life finds its origin in the General of this army, the Enemy of mankind. As we endure the worst doctrinal confusion, moral laxity, and liturgical uprootedness the Church has ever suffered, may the Lord, mighty in battle (Ps 23:8), save His people and bless His inheritance (Ps 27:9).

Mass is a time of silence and prayer, not idle chitchat, pope says

http://thecatholicspirit.com/news/nation-and-world/from-the-pope/mass-time-silence-prayer-not-idle-chitchat-pope-says

Junno Arocho Esteves | November 15, 2017

At church, Catholics should spend their time in silence before Mass, preparing “to meet with Jesus” instead of engaging in “chitchat,” the pope said Nov. 15 during his weekly general audience.

“Silence is so important,” he said. “Remember what I told you last time: we are not going to a show. Silence prepares us and accompanies us.”

The pope continued his new series of audience talks on the Mass, reflecting on the Eucharist as a form of prayer that is “the highest, the most sublime and, at the same time, the most concrete” way of encountering God’s love.

“This is the greatest grace: to experience that the Eucharist is the privileged moment to be with Jesus and, through him, with God and with our brothers and sisters,” the pope said.

In the Gospels, he continued, Jesus teaches his disciples that the first thing needed to pray “is to know how to say ‘father’” and to trust in God with the humility of a child.

Christians also must allow themselves to be “surprised by the living encounter with the Lord,” he said, and not simply “talk to God like a parrot,” repeating the words of prayers without thinking.

“The encounter with God is a living encounter,” the pope said departing from his prepared remarks. “It is not an encounter of a museum, it is a living encounter. And we go to Mass, not a museum! We go to a living encounter with the Lord.”

Pope Francis said the Mass is also a gift and a consolation where Christians discover that God’s greatest surprise is that he “loves us even in our weakness.”

“The Lord encounters our frailty,” the pope said. “This is the environment of the Eucharist. This is prayer.”

49ers Player Marquise Goodwin Reveals the Pro-Life Reason Why He Was So Emotional After Scoring a Touchdown

MICAIAH BILGER   NOV 13, 2017   |   5:15PM    WASHINGTON, DC

The San Francisco 49ers’ win on Sunday was marked by a player’s heartbreaking tribute to his baby who died too soon.

Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, who scored a touchdown from an 83-yard pass in one of the biggest plays of the game, honored his baby son with a skyward kiss and what appeared to be a moment kneeling in prayer in the end zone, Yahoo Sports reports.

After the game, Goodwin revealed that he and his wife, Morgan, lost their very premature baby son early Sunday morning due to pregnancy complications.

Morgan Goodwin posted a photo of their son’s tiny hand Sunday on Instagram to mark his early death. She said they lost their son after she went into preterm labor in a failed struggle “to keep our healthy baby safe in my womb.”

Marquise said he scored the touchdown Sunday for his son.

According to the news report:

Goodwin had Giants’ corner Janoris Jenkins beat, and ran the last 20 or so yards to the end zone alone. Before he crossed the goal line, Goodwin blew a kiss skyward, and once he was in the end zone, he dropped to one knee, and then two.

He appeared to cross himself and then cradled the ball.

It was an emotional moment.

On Sunday night, Goodwin revealed just why he responded the way he did to his first touchdown as a member of the 49ers.

He explained: “Although we are hurt, I am grateful for the experience and grateful that God blessed me with a wife as courageous and resilient as Morgan. The pain (physically, mentally, & emotionally) that she has endured is unbelievable. Please Pray for the Goodwin family.”

Marquise’s post also included a photo of their son’s tiny hand against what appears to be his own.It is not clear how far along in the pregnancy their son was, but what is clear is that the Goodwins believe their son’s life was valuable. It did not matter how old he was or how long he lived, baby Goodwin’s life was precious and important.

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I just wanna thank those who’ve genuinely prayed for @morganakamomo& myself through out this pregnancy. Unfortunately we lost our baby boy due to some complications, and had to prematurely deliver him early this morning around 4am. Although we are hurt, I am grateful for the experience and grateful that God blessed me with a wife as courageous and resilient as Morgan. The pain (physically, mentally, & emotionally) that she has endured is unbelievable. Please Pray for the Goodwin family. 💙

 

Why Millennial Women Are Rejecting The Pill

 

Calah Alexander | Nov 13, 2017

Why Millennial women are rejecting the pill

When I was 18, I was prescribed birth control for some dubious reason … dubious primarily because I can’t even remember what the reason was. I wasn’t sexually active and didn’t have PCOS or unpleasant periods, but I went to the doctor for some reason and walked away with the pill.

It didn’t take long to figure out that it wasn’t really medicine at all. It made me feel terrible, weepy and unhinged, and I rapidly gained 10 pounds. More alarmingly for a college freshman, I found my thinking muddled and my schoolwork suffering. I didn’t even finish the first month before I stopped taking them altogether.

Years later, accepting Church teaching on contraception was part of the hurdle of converting. I’ll admit I struggled with the rejection of contraception as a whole for a while, but it took me no time at all to reject the pill, particularly. By that time I had my first child and I knew exactly what symptoms the pill mimicked — the weepy, crazy, cloudy days of early pregnancy. No way would I do that unless there was an actual baby on the other end … even though I was pretty sure that without the pill, there would be.

Turns out that I’m not alone in my easy rejection of the pill for reasons other than faith. Many Millennial women are rejecting the pill for various reasons, according to this month’s Vogue.

In fact, younger women are turning away from the pill in droves — an NHS study found that the number of women in contact with sexual and reproductive health services who used user-dependent contraception, including the pill, had dropped by more than 13 per cent between 2005 and 2015. It’s hardly surprising: a quick Google search chums up some alarming reports, from articles on possible links between the pill and cancer to claims that are outright bizarre, such as “contraceptive pills flushed down the toilet are turning fish transgender.”

Despite Vogue’s easy dismissal of reports as “alarmist,” the pill has been known for years to be carcinogenic. The World Health Organization classifies birth control pills as a Group 1 carcinogen, along with things like asbestos and tobacco. So it’s no wonder that women are finally saying enough is enough and finding alternate methods of pregnancy prevention.

Although alternate methods are denigrated as the “rhythm method” in popular media, Catholic women have been using them for years. Vogue features an app designed by a female particle physicist that tracks basal body temperature. Otherwise known as natural family planning, this is a method of pregnancy planning that Catholics have been using for decades. In fact, it’s the first method I learned when I converted 10 years ago.

As its creator mentions, this method doesn’t work for everyone. It didn’t work for me — but again, Catholics are ahead of the game. There are at least a half-dozen different methods that combine various symptom tracking, including the Marquette method that uses the ClearBlue Easy fertility monitor. And as technology has improved, so has fertility tracking; there’s an app for whichever method you choose.

So whatever the reasons might be for Millennial women’s rejection of the pill, they’re lucky that fertility tracking is easier and more accurate than ever — thanks, in large part, to the work Catholics have been doing all along.

Why the Tally of the Church Shooting’s Victims Included a Fetus

Brazil Committee Votes Overwhelmingly to Ban All Abortions

MICAIAH BILGER   NOV 10, 2017   |   5:14PM    BRASILIA, BRAZIL

A Brazilian legislative committee passed a bill to protect unborn babies from abortion in all cases Wednesday, despite pressure on the South American country to expand its abortion laws.

The Daily Caller reports the bill passed by an overwhelming majority in an 18-1 vote. It would amend the constitution and recognize unborn babies’ right to life.

“To defend abortion, like it or not, is a Satanic, diabolical and destructive act,” Evangelical Congressman Pastor Eurico told the committee as he showed a model of a 12-week unborn baby.

In Brazil, abortion is legal in cases involving rape, incest and risks to the mother’s life; the country’s high court also ruled in 2012 that unborn babies with certain types of fatal anomalies also may be aborted, according to the report.

The bill would prohibit abortions in all cases and protect unborn babies’ right to life.

The committee vote is just a small hurdle. To become part of the constitution, the bill must pass both congressional bodies by a two-thirds majority.

Reuters speculated that the legislation may have a chance of passing: “The measure could clear those hurdles as part of a trade-off for other legislation the governing coalition seeks to pass, such as pension reform needed to plug a gaping budget deficit.”

Abortion activists have been pushing Brazil to legalize abortion on demand for years. In 2016, the country saw a concerted effort to push abortion during the zika virus scare. The virus was linked to microcephaly and other problems in unborn babies.

But a poll at the time by the Datafolha Institute in Brazil found that 58 percent of Brazilians reject abortion in cases where pregnant women are infected with the Zika virus, according to the Catholic News Agency. According to the poll, 32 percent think the woman should be allowed to have an abortion and 10 percent had no opinion.

Brazilians also rejected abortion in cases where the unborn baby is diagnosed with microcephaly, with 51 percent opposed and 39 percent in favor, according to the report.

Pediatricians blast new app giving 12-year-olds access to abortion-inducing drugs without parents

American College of Pediatricians

November 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The American College of Pediatricians is alerting parents to a dangerous new mobile phone app called Nurx. Dubbed the “Uber for birth control,” Nurx enables teens as young as age 12 to obtain contraceptive and abortive medications including the pill, vaginal ring, Plan B and Ella without parental knowledge or local physician oversight.

Sexual activity in adolescence is associated with harmful emotional and physical consequences including depression, suicide, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and sexual exploitation at the hands of abusive boyfriends or sex traffickers. Easy access to contraceptives that bypasses parents and a physician visit, as Nurx does, increases the likelihood of teens experiencing these bad outcomes.

Adolescents are cognitively and emotionally immature. They need parental wisdom and oversight to compensate for their emotional impulsivity and their limited capacity to assess risk.  All hormone based contraception has serious potential side effects including stroke and cancer; some increase the chance of contracting an STI. Plan B is embryocidal at certain points in a girl’s menstrual cycle, and Ella works the same way as the abortion pill.  All women, especially adolescent women, benefit from a face-to-face encounter with a physician to discuss these risks.

Dr. Patricia Lee June of the American College of Pediatricians Board of Directors warns,

Nurx wrongly excludes those who know the child and her health history best — her parents and her physician, and places the full responsibility for a life-changing healthcare decision on a girl’s shoulders. When it comes to achieving optimal teen health, connected parents – not Smartphones – are paramount.

For more information about how you can become a connected parent and promote sexual responsibility to your child visit our Family Cycle and Sexual Responsibility pages at www.Best4Children.org.

“The Eucharist and the Pro-Life Movement”

Fr Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for Life speaks about the impact of the Eucharist on his life and the power the Eucharist brings to the Pro-life Movement in America.

Stop Denying Science. Birth Control Isn’t Necessary For Women’s Health

By 

Planned Parenthood is marshalling women to #Fight4BirthControl, because apparently allowing those with moral objections to opt-out of the Obamacare contraception mandate is disastrous for women’s health. I wonder if the women using this hashtag understand how the contraception mandate works. Or how insurance works. Or birth control itself, for that matter.

To recap, the Obama administration’s contraception mandate directed employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception, including embryocidal methods, at no direct cost to employees. Several lawsuits challenged the mandate for violating the religious freedom of religious employers who object to providing birth control, including methods that may result in the loss of an embryo. So the Trump administration released a rule that allows any employer—publicly traded, nonprofit, or otherwise—to opt out of the mandate for religious or moral reasons.

Anyone who has followed the mandate controversy closely know this rollback will likely only affect a small percentage of employers. Birth control is so ingrained in our culture and medical community that the majority of employers already chose to pay for birth control prior to the mandate.

But there is another important conversation to have beyond what the mandate did or didn’t do: whether birth control is “necessary” for women’s health, and whether it should therefore be “free.” As a woman who has taken contraception for health-related reasons and suffers a chronic, life-threatening medical condition, and as a physician with a particular focus on fertility awareness and women’s health, I think the hysteria concerning the contraception opt-out is dishonest about the real answers to these questions.

Birth Control Doesn’t Treat Reproductive Problems Well

I know from personal experience and my medical practice that birth control is not the only, or even the best, way to treat the reproductive issues women experience. I also know as an adult who has paid for health insurance that no insurance is ever expected to cover all aspects of personal health care, even for life-threatening conditions. The treatment I need for my life-threatening asthma requires a substantial co-pay from me, which no “mandate” has been provided to alleviate.

Two medical emergencies in college revealed this tension, which I think deserves more weight in our conversation about the contraception mandate, and what is considered “necessary” in health care. Like many young women, in high school and college I suffered from debilitating menstrual cramps once a month. The pain was intense and seemed to drain me of all my energy such that I couldn’t get out of bed for at least one or two days.

The doctor I saw at the student health center was very kind and eager to help. She decided the best course of action would be to take the birth control pill. The doctor explained that the pill worked by suppressing my normal hormones almost entirely, preventing me from having true menstrual bleeds. Since I wasn’t sexually active, my cramps lasted only a couple days a month, and I worried about the side effects of the pill, I asked if I could take anything else that would eliminate the pain but not interfere with my natural cycle.

Not really, she explained, unless I had a crystal ball and could predict when I would get the cramps again—then, maybe, I could pre-medicate with an anti-inflammatory medication. So I started taking the pill. Thankfully, I did notice a difference right away. However, when my hair started to fall out, to the point that I had a huge bald spot, I decided to stop taking the pill. There had to be a better way!

I later discovered that if I tracked my menstrual cycle, I could better predict when my period would begin, and if I took ibuprofen a day or two before, my period was not nearly as painful. For me, the solution was simple, but I have a close family member who experienced even more severe pain with her periods. So, she started charting too, and consulted with a physician trained in NaPro Technology who discovered endometriosis.

Rather than temporarily suppress symptoms with the pill, the doctor performed the surgery necessary to truly eliminate the disease. My family member and I experienced real relief when charting allowed us to identify and treat the root causes of our pain, all without taking the pill. And the good news is, charting our cycles costs very little and has no harmful side effects.

We Should Focus Resources on Truly Critical Medication

This brings me to my second medical emergency: an asthma attack during a time I could not afford preventive medications.

When I was in college, my medications and doctors’ visits were covered under the student health insurance plan. Yet I still had to pay a significant medication co-pay for my steroid asthma inhalers. So often at the beginning of the school year, after paying tuition and purchasing a semester’s worth of textbooks, I didn’t always have the money to refill my asthma medications, especially for the steroid inhaler designed to prevent asthma attacks.

On one cold fall day in early October, this almost led to my demise. I was literally running late to my English writing seminar. The air was much colder than I expected, and as a result it triggered a severe asthma attack. I was halfway to class and my rescue inhaler did not seem to be working. I decided to walk the rest of the way to my classroom and did my best to not draw attention to my late arrival, but it was obvious I was in severe respiratory distress.

Thankfully, somebody had already called 911. When paramedics placed an oxygen mask over my face, I could feel the relief like a person walking in the desert for days taking her first sip of cold water. The air never tasted so good. And I promised myself that, no matter the cost, even if it meant eating Ramen noodles for a month, I would make sure to purchase my preventive asthma medication.

When I see the hysteria regarding the cost of birth control and women having to pay those fees, I think of that moment. I nearly died because there was no “mandate” that covered the cost of my preventive asthma medicine.

Women deserve relief from the conditions that disrupt their reproductive systems. As a physician with a particular interest in fertility and women’s health, I strongly believe women can learn to better monitor and manage reproductive health issues by charting their cycles and working with physicians trained to use those charts to aid in diagnosing and managing the true underlying causes of gynecological ailments.

As an added bonus, when couples learn to chart from a trained instructor, they can use this information to prevent pregnancy or even plan to have a baby. The birth control pill cannot “cure” anything, from acne to cramps to endometriosis; it simply masks symptoms of underlying hormonal issues. While it can help prevent pregnancy and then only some of the time, it does so by suppressing the normal function of the woman’s reproductive system.

Furthermore, as a patient who suffers from a chronic disease, I would rather see our health care dollars be spent to ensure people like me have access to medications that can truly prevent life-threatening complications. Why do we “fight for birth control,” but not drugs that allow people to breathe?

Dr. Marguerite Duane, a board certified family physician and adjunct associate professor at Georgetown University, is co-founder and executive director of FACTS – the Fertility Appreciation Collaborative to Teach the Science. She is a member of Women Speak for Themselves.

On contraception, church must continue to defend life, cardinal says

German Cardinal Walter Brandmuller greets Professor Josef Seifert at a conference on Blessed Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae,” in Rome Oct. 28. The conference was organized by Voice of the Family, a coalition of pro-life and pro-family groups. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See HUMANAE-VITAE-CONFERENCE Oct. 30, 2017.

By Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) — The acceptance of artificial contraception by some Christian churches and communities beginning in the 1930s has led “to the monstrosity of what is today known as procreative medicine,” which includes abortion, said German Cardinal Walter Brandmuller.

Inaugurating an Oct. 28 conference anticipating the 50th anniversary of Blessed Paul VI’s encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” Cardinal Brandmuller told participants that in ignoring traditional church teaching men and women today have seated themselves “on the throne of the Creator.”

In “Humanae Vitae,” published in 1968, Pope Paul underlined the responsibility that goes with human sexuality and marriage. While he taught that couples can space the birth of their children for valid reasons, they must use only natural methods of avoiding fertility. Birth control, he said, causes an “artificial separation” of the unitive and procreative aspects of married love.

In his speech at the Rome conference, Cardinal Brandmuller said that after the Second Vatican Council, the church faced significant pressure — including from within its own ranks — to endorse contraception as “morally justifiable” just as the Anglican Church had done at the 1930 Lambeth Conference and the U.S. Federal Council of Churches, the precursor of the National Council of Churches, did in 1961.

Nevertheless, he added, Blessed Paul defended the sanctity of life and brought “temporary closure to a series of doctrinal affirmations on the matter of contraception.”

“Humanae Vitae” proves that ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit that guides the process of “paradosis,” or teaching based on church tradition, and “ensures that the faith of the church develops in the course of time” while remaining faithful to Christ’s teachings, Cardinal Brandmuller said.

He prayed that the document would continue to “irradiate the ‘splendor veritatis’ (‘the splendor of the truth’), capable of illuminating the current darkness of minds and hearts.”

Cardinal Brandmuller, former president of the Pontifical Commission for Historical Sciences, was one of four cardinals who formally asked Pope Francis to clarify his teaching on Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried. When the four prelates did not receive a response, they released the letter — commonly referred to as the “dubia” — to the press.