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Most Catholic Senators support abortion December 10, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, Society.
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The vast majority of Catholic senators, almost all of whom are democrats, overwhelmingly support abortion for women.  Below are the pro-life ratings for all Catholic senators –

Senate

100%—Mike Johanns, R-Neb.

100%—Jim Risch, R-Idaho

100%—David Vitter, R-La.

  94%—Pat Toomey, R-Pa.**

  68%—Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska

  50%—Robert Casey Jr., D-Pa.

  31%—Mary Landrieu, D-La.

  23%—Susan Collins, R-Maine

  11%—Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

  4%—John Kerry, D-Mass.

  2%—Richard Durbin, D-Ill.

  2%—Tom Harkin, D-Iowa

  2%—Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.

  2%—Patty Murray, D-Wash.

  2%—Jack Reed, D-R.I.

  1%—Robert Menendez, D-N.J.

  0%—Mark Begich, D-Alaska

  0%—Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

  0%—Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

  0%—Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

Is the almost universal nature of party affiliation for pro-abort senators  a pretty strong indicator of which comes first, party or principle?  Why is it that it’s almost universally the democrats that break this way?  Also note, the democrat party, after the tarring it took in November, is even more solidly pro-abort than it was before.  There are far fewer ‘pro-life democrats,’ meaning those who occasionally vote in defense of life.  Every single Catholic member of Congress with a 100% pro-life rating is a Republican.

On the House side, it’s not as bad, because there are many more conservative Catholic representatives.  Even there, there are large numbers of pro-abort ‘Catholic’ House members.

More gift ideas December 10, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, General Catholic.
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I made a recommendation for a Christmas gift in the form of a book last week, and that recommendation seemed well received, so I’m going to recommend a few more books that I think have some merit and may not be too well known:

Therese and Lisieux by Pierre Descouvemont  Unfortunately, Amazon does not have a picture of this book, but this is THE definitive book on the life of St. Therese.  While the text may not be quite as detailed as other biographies of St. Therese, there is no other source that has anywhere near the number of photographs.  It is literally a recreation of her life, and is a beautifully laid out book.  The book has many excerpts from her notebooks, photographs of the pages, which are great, but unless you read French, you have to rely on the summations in the associated captions.  This is  a fantastic book.  If you have an interest in St. Therese, you should try to get this book.

Divine Intimacy by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene OCD.  This is a book of deep Carmelite spirituality, all about giving oneself totally over to God’s Will, dying to self and living only to know, love, and serve God.  Tons of practical commentary from the Saints with an accompanying theme writtten by Fr. Gabriel, divided into daily readings.  This is amazing spirituality, great stuff.  It is very challenging, not to read, but to put into practice. 

Vera Sapientia, or True Wisdom, by Thomas a Kempis.  This book is a fantastic companion to The Imitation of Christ.  It goes deeper into some subjects, and is more focused on dying to self and living in, for, and through Christ.  It goes along well with Divine Intimacy, but is a bit different spirituality – less Carmelite, perhaps more Augustinian, more cerebral?  It’s very interesting to a novice like me.  I really love it. 

The Dialogue, St. Catherine of Siena.  Another brilliant work.  St. Catherine possesses such an intimate relationship with God, it even seems to put some of the great Carmelites  like St. Therese and St. Teresa of Jesus a bit in the shade.  A different spirituality, though, very cognizant of sin and the numerous potentials for getting off the track God intends for us.  She is also a great source for contemplating and understanding suffering.  I love St. Catherine.  Another good accompaniment to this is, of course, the great work of St. Teresa of Jesus, The Interior Castle

The Gospel of John. I think this is one of the best “Bible” movies ever made.  A literal reading of the Gospel of John, word for word, with excellent actors and very good set design, etc.  The translation used is not Douay Reims, I think it’s a melange of fairly modern protestant translations, but it’s still a great movie.  Henry Ian Cusick does a great job performing Jesus.  You can also see this entire movie on YouTube.

I’m not a good sufferer December 10, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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I should do better.  Sufferings can be a prime way to grow closer to God and to show our love for Him, but in our modern culture, no one thinks they should ever have to bear any sufferings, and I count myself in that group.  Some reflections on that from My Daily Bread, Book 3 Chapter 53, ‘The Value of Adversity’:

Christ:
My child, a man’s true greatness is seen in adversity.  Hard work, disappointments, failures, criticism, misinterpretations, opposition, sorrow, and bodily suffering are the tests which show you what you really are.  Your virtues are proved and your faults are revealed during these adversities.

Prosperity and success are not always good for you.  Your gretaest achieveement on earth is to be united with me in all things.  You can achieve this union best in time of adversity.  When all goes well, you can decieve yourself, but not so when matters go badly.  Faith, hope, humility, patience, and the other supernatural virtues can be measured only be their testin gin real live.  IN adversity you cannot deceive yourself, but you see yourself as you really are. 

I want you to become truly holy.  I desire you to offer hyourself ot Me without reservation or exception.  Such an offering is best made in trials and suffering. Your natural self-interest and self-seeking msut be buried in My Will.  You cannot be sure that this has been done until  you accept whatever adversity I send in your daily life. 

Think:

Nothing is more pleasing to God, nor more profitable to me, than to suffer willingly for love of Christ my King.  As I grow in the appreciation of this Truth, I shall come to rpefer adversity to consolation and ease.  Within me will grow the desire to do more for Jesus, Who did so much for me.  I shall advance in the desire to be more like Christ and His saints.  I shall therefore with to suffer more, edure more contradictions, misunderstandings, failrues, disappointments, sorrows, and pain. 

Pray:

My loving and all-wise God, although You allow me to face temptations and adversities, it is for my own good that You do so.  You want me to rise to greater heights of goodness, so that I may gain gretaer eternal glories in Heaven.  In the middle of my trials and sufferings I ought to love You as much as ever, realizing that this adversity is a loving gift from You.  You know what is best for me, and You send it my way so that I may embrace it and accept it.  Grant me the wisdom to bless You in my trials and to love You in my sufferings.  Amen.

Many of the Saints learned how to suffer with a glad heart, filled with joy that God would send thema cross to bear to grow closer to Him and to earn many graces, perhaps even the salvation of souls.  St. Therese suffered horribly from her tuberculosis, but she did so with a glad heart.  I pray I may grow to embrace whatever God sends me, as so many of the great Saints did.

UPDATE: Providentially, this little bit was in the reading I did from Vera Sapientia by Thomas a Kempis today:

Console yourself by suffering like to Christ your Lord and God, and give thanks if you are able to bear a little for Him.  I tell you there is greter merit in suffering than in doing.

It’s my blog birthday and I’ll post OT if I want to….. December 10, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Society.
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….so if you’ve read here for a while you know I have a serious interest in things aviation/aerospace.  I was really disappointed (read as, very mad) when Obama cancelled the Constellation program, which would have finally given up on the chimera of a non-reusable “reusable” spaceplane (the Shuttle), and gotten back to much cheaper, individually, space capsules in a mode similar to Apollo, Gemini, and Soyuz.  It would have been a program directed at extra-orbital flight, first the Moon, then various Lagrange points, and finally Mars, possibly.  But Obama thout it was too…..Bush……and so he cancelled it.  Seriously, that’s the main reason.

Anyway, two days ago, a company called SpaceX launched their Falcon9 rocket with a protoype space capsule on top.  The rocket successfully orbited the capsule, which then splashed down in the Pacific 500 miles west of Mexico.  This is the first time a private enterprise has ever launched, a recovered, a spacecraft.  And this spacecraft, the Dragon, which is a blunt ballistic cone ala Apollo and Gemini, is being intended not only to fly cargo to the International Space Station, but also to carry up to 7 people to orbit and beyond.  The first launch, carrying cargo, to the ISS is scheduled for late next year, which seems aggressive, but maybe they can pull it off.  A manned flight, privately conducted by SpaceX, is planned for 2012.  Both launches of the Falcon9 rocket have been successful.

Here is the launch video from Dec. 8:

One reason I am interested in this is that I have a daughter who has wanted to be nothing but an astronaut since she was 2.  Whethere that will last, who knows, but she loves the idea right now.