Archive for the ‘prayer’ Category

Transcript of Pope Benedict’s Remarks to Young Americans on Life, Hope, Prayer

April 20, 2008

From Peace and Freedom

On April 19, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI addressed compelling remarks to all young Americans while appearing at the Seminary of St. Joseph in Yonkers, New York.

We at Peace and Freedom believe this address, among all the Pope’s fine talks and sermons this week in the United States, provided the most stirring message. 

Below is a sample of that sermon and then you’ll find a link to the entire text.

Pope Benedict XVI waves before leaving Saint Joseph Seminary ... 
Pope Benedict XVI waves before leaving Saint Joseph Seminary following a meeting with the youth in New York April 19, 2008. Pope Benedict visited Ground Zero, site of the World Trade Center destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks, on Sunday to pray for the nearly 3,000 victims and their families and for an end to hatred and violence.REUTERS/Max Rossi
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On April 19, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI gave the remarks below at the Seminary of St. Joseph in Yonkers, New York.

“What happens when people, especially the most vulnerable, encounter a clenched fist of repression or manipulation rather than a hand of hope? A first group of examples pertains to the heart. Here, the dreams and longings that young people pursue can so easily be shattered or destroyed. I am thinking of those affected by drug and substance abuse, homelessness and poverty, racism, violence, and degradation — especially of girls and women. While the causes of these problems are complex, all have in common a poisoned attitude of mind which results in people being treated as mere objects ? a callousness of heart takes hold which first ignores, then ridicules, the God-given dignity of every human being….”

“At times…  we are tempted to close in on ourselves, to doubt the strength of Christ’s radiance, to limit the horizon of hope. Take courage!”

“What matters most is that you develop your personal relationship with God. That relationship is expressed in prayer. God by his very nature speaks, hears, and replies. Indeed, Saint Paul reminds us: we can and should “pray constantly” (1 Thess 5:17). Far from turning in on ourselves or withdrawing from the ups and downs of life, by praying we turn towards God and through him to each other, including the marginalized and those following ways other than God’s path (cf. Spe Salvi, 33)….”

“There is another aspect of prayer which we need to remember: silent contemplation. Saint John, for example, tells us that to embrace God’s revelation we must first listen, then respond by proclaiming what we have heard and seen (cf. 1 Jn 1:2-3; Dei Verbum, 1). Have we perhaps lost something of the art of listening? Do you leave space to hear God’s whisper, calling you forth into goodness? Friends, do not be afraid of silence or stillness, listen to God, adore him in the Eucharist. Let his word shape your journey as an unfolding of holiness….”

Related:
Pope at St. Patrick’s in New York: We Owe Bishop Hughes

Read the entire transcript of the Pope’s remarks:
Papal Message at St. Joseph’s Seminary, New York
http://peace-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2008/04/papal-message-at-st-joshephs-new-york.html
Petersdom von Engelsburg gesehen.jpg
St. Peter’s, Rome

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Pope Benedict Encourages Young Americans, Seminarians

April 20, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI focused on the future of his American church Saturday as he marked the third anniversary of his election as pontiff, rallying young people, priests and seminarians and assuring them of his support as they dealt with the damage from the clergy sex abuse scandal.

On a highly personal day, Benedict spoke of suffering under Nazism in his youth and, at another point, touched on his own “spiritual poverty.” He added that he hoped to be a worthy successor to St. Peter, considered the first pope.

Benedict began the day with a Mass at St. Patrick’s cathedral. The building was packed with cardinals and bishops, priests and nuns, who cheered him to mark the day he succeeded Pope John Paul II on April 19, 2005.

The German-born pope lamented that what he called “the joy of faith” was often choked by cynicism, greed and violence. Yet he drew an analogy to show how faith can overcome distractions and trials.

In America, he has said repeatedly, the religious intensity stands out in marked contrast to the tepid spiritual emphasis in his native Europe. That makes the U.S. a testing ground for him in his bid to counter secular trends in the world.

Benedict later was driven to St. Joseph’s Seminary in nearby Yonkers, for a rally with young Catholics and seminarians. Upon arriving he blessed about 50 disabled youngsters in the seminary chapel. Two small girls gave him a painting and a hug.

The pope got a hero’s welcome at the youth rally from a festive crowd of 25,000, which burst into wild cheers when Benedict first acknowledged them from the stage. The shy theologian took time to reach out and shake hands with the ecstatic faithful in the front rows.

During his speech at the rally, Benedict reflected on the repression of his own youth under Nazism. He urged the young people and seminarians to carry on the faith while enjoying the liberties that they were fortunate to have.

“My own years as a teenager were marred by a sinister regime that thought it had all the answers,” he said making a rare reference to his own life. “Its influence grew — infiltrating schools ands civic bodies, as well as politics and even religion — before it was fully recognized for the monster it was.”

At the end of the St. Patrick’s service, Benedict was clearly moved when his top assistant, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, read a tribute for the third anniversary.

Benedict told the crowd of 3,000 that “I am deeply thankful” for the support they showed him, and for “your love, your prayers.” The pope said that he, like St. Peter, was a “man with his faults.”

Read the Pope’s remarks:
Transcript of Pope Benedict’s Remarks to Young Americans on Life, Hope, Prayer

God Is On The Battlefield; Troops Have to Be Ready

March 10, 2008

By William Blazek 
Washington Post – Newsweek

Their sudden departure from this world reminds me to keep myself in right relationship with God….

You may want to say this prayer yourself, in case your chopper goes down tonight. Given the way the end surprised my men, I certainly will. Eternal rest give unto them, O
Lord….

Read the rest:
http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guest
voices/2008/03/preparing_for_the_end_death_
in.html

UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter

Thanksgiving: The Bounty and Goodness of Our God

November 22, 2007

By Chuck Colson
Thanksgiving

It has become the worst drought in the history of the Southeast. The ground is parched; crops are dying. And last week, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue decided to do something about it. He urged Georgians to pray for desperately needed rain.

Despite much ridicule and some protest, last week, Gov. Perdue led a prayer vigil on the steps of the State Capitol. Praying along with him were pastors from several denominations and hundreds of Georgians.

Gov. Perdue may not have realized it, but he was following in the steps of our Pilgrim fathers and mothers nearly 400 years ago: Joining together with neighbors for prayer was a familiar ritual for the Pilgrims. For example, in April of 1623—three years after the first Pilgrims landed—the transplanted Englishmen and women planted corn and other crops. A good harvest was essential to their survival. But in the weeks following the planting, it became clear that a dry spell was turning into a drought.

Pilgrim father Edward Winslow recorded their distress in his diary. “It pleased God, for our further chastisement,” he wrote, “to send a great drought; insomuch as in six weeks . . . there scarce fell any rain.” The crops began to shrivel up “as though they had been scorched before the fire . . . God,” Winslow wrote, “which hitherto had been our only shield and supporter, now seemed in His anger to arm Himself against us. And who can withstand the fierceness of His wrath?”

The Pilgrims decided the only solution was to humble themselves before God in fasting and in prayer. They appointed a day of prayer and set aside all other employments.

Winslow describes what happened next. “In the morning,” he wrote, “when we assembled together, the heavens were as clear, and the drought as like to continue as it ever was.” But by late afternoon—after eight or nine hours of prayer—“the weather was overcast, the clouds gathered on all sides,” Winslow wrote. The next morning brought “soft, sweet and moderate shows of rain, continuing some fourteen days.” The needed rain was “mixed with such seasonable weather,” he wrote, “as it was hard to say whether our withered corn or drooping affections were most quickened or revived, such was the bounty and goodness of our God.”

This dramatic answer to prayer was a witness to the local Indians. As Winslow notes, “The Indians . . . took notice . . . all of them admired the goodness of our God towards us, that wrought so great a change in so short of time, showing the difference between their conjuration and our invocation on the name of God for rain.”

The harvest that fall was abundant—and the Pilgrims survived yet another year.

Today is Thanksgiving—the day on which we recall the three-day celebration in 1621 in which the Pilgrims invited local Indians to join them in thanking God for His blessings on them—not, as some school children are taught today in class, giving thanks to Indians. And Americans ever since have been celebrating this, an occasion recognized and enshrined by Congress. We ought to take time to thank God for His manifold blessings on us today.

By the way, the day after Governor Perdue prayed on the Capitol steps, rains swept the state—nearly an inch in places. But the drought has continued. So, as we give thanks today, let’s remember those in the drought-stricken Southeast and ask the Giver of all good gifts to bless the land with rain.

Related:

America’s First Thanksgiving

Our Nation: Based Upon God, Not Fiction

The United States: A Nation of Prayer and Hope

Harry Potter, Gay Life and “Question Authority”

October 24, 2007

By Ben Shapiro
Townhall
October 24, 2007

I  am not a fan of the Harry Potter series. Nonetheless, I, like every other sentient human being, know something about Harry Potter. Most of my friends are fans. My three younger sisters are fans. I’ve seen the movies. I’ve read small portions of several of the books.So when J.K. Rowling announced last week that Albus Dumbledore, the aged headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was gay, I was somewhat confused. When did the old dude with the funky beard turn into Gore Vidal?  

According to Rowling, Dumbledore was always Gore Vidal. At a Carnegie Hall reading, one of Rowling’s fans asked whether Dumbledore had ever found “true love.” “Dumbledore is gay,” Rowling gleefully responded. Dumbledore was apparently in love with his rival, Gellert Grindelwald, a dark wizard. “Falling in love can blind us to an extent,” Rowling explained. Dumbledore’s homosexual crush, Rowling stated, was his “great tragedy.” Rowling went on to label the Harry Potter books a “prolonged argument for tolerance” and told her fans to “question authority.”

Read the rest:
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/BenShapiro/
2007/10/24/dumbledore_waves_the_rainbow_flag

Related:
Another Reason to Avoid “Harry Potter” Books

Harry Potter: More Worthless Pop Culture

Kids reading fewer books despite Harry Potter hoopla

Priest Says Harry Potter Helps Devil, Evil

Our Nation: Based Upon God, Not Fiction

Our Nation: Based Upon God, Not Fiction

July 23, 2007

94 percent of the Founding Fathers’ quotes in 15,000 documents were based on the Bible.

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
July 23, 2007

Because of an essay of mine about the Harry Potter book series (link at the end of this essay), I have already received many emails asking, “What makes you think the Founders of our nation really believed in God? Many didn’t go to church.”

Well, here is some of what I do know, based upon years of reading history (and not fiction and fantasy like the Harry Potter books).

Prayer goes hand-in-hand with hope; and America was founded by men deeply governed by their hope and prayer and belief in God.

The Founding Fathers established the United States, wrote the Declaration of Independence; the Bill of Rights and the Constitution; and created a nation firmly rooted in the belief in God and freedom of religion protected by the separation of church and state.

Many of the Founders and their forefathers fled Europe to escape religious persecution.  They wanted this new nation to allow them freedom of religion and thus the very nation is rooted in a belief in God.

The Declaration of Independence starts this way: “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the Earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

After signing the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams, who was called “the firebrand of the American Revolution,” affirmed his obedience to God by stating, “We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom alone men ought to be obedient. From the rising to the setting of the sun, may His kingdom come.”

James Madison, the fourth president, made the following statement, “We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”

Madison is often referred to as “The Father of Our Constitution.”
Page one of the original copy of the Constitution
Page one of the original copy of the Constitution

When historians at the University of Houston conducted a 10-year study of the ideas that shaped our republic, they found 94 percent of the Founding Fathers’ quotes in 15,000 documents were based on the Bible.

“God created all men equal,” one of the most fundamental and important acclamations of our government, became an underlying reason for the Civil War, a fundamental reason for the Emancipation Proclamation and a keynote of equality ever since.

Every president of the United States is sworn into office, by reciting an oath while he has one hand on the Bible. The oath ends, “So help me God.”

Every session of Congress since 1777 commenced with a prayer by a minister paid by the taxpayers. (Just today my wife and I attended Catholic Mass at the “Cathedral” adjacent to Catholic University in Washington D.C.  The celebrant was the Catholic Chaplain to the U.S. Congress.)

Every military service of the United States pays uniformed religious ministers for the officers and men in service. These ministers are from all faiths that recognize the importance of God in human life.  Nearly every base has a chapel.

The Ten Commandments are carved into the doors of the Supreme Court and appear prominently in the court’s chambers.Every piece of U.S. currency bears the words “In God We Trust.”

In America, you are even free to start your own religion. Nobody (except possibly the Internal Revenue Service) will interfere, so long as you don’t do anything outside the normal bounds of decent behavior.

So, as we all celebrate the blessings of American freedom, justice and government every day, perhaps we should reflect upon the roots and tenets of our democracy. We are not a Godless people. Or are we?

Yes, our democracy is evolving and we are open and accepting to that evolution. But let us not allow the evolution to turn into a careless revolution or even an unintended erosion of the principles by which we live and we are governed.I am one of those historians that thinks the Founders were pretty smart. Their belief in God, hope and prayer encourages me every day.

Sadly, some and maybe many in our society have moved away from a belief in God and toward beliefs in other things. Money? Drugs? Sex? Harry Potter? I don’t know what all.

I just think there is some merit in reviewing the work of our Founders. It’s time well spent. And certainly time better spent than reading Harry Potter.

The essay that prompted the one above is:
Harry Potter: More Worthless Pop Culture

Related:
Priest Says Harry Potter Helps Devil, Evil

“The great good news about America — The American gospel, if you will – is that religion shapes the life of the nation without strangling it. Belief in God is central to the country’s experience, yet for the broad center faith is a matter of choice, not coercion and the legacy of the Founding is that the center holds.”
–John Meacham, managing editor of Newsweek, is also the author of, American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers and the Making of a Nation.

Imported Seafood, Chinese Products and the Twilight Zone

July 22, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
July 23, 2007

Imported Seafood

After hearing all the stories of tainted seafood from China, much of which has now been banned from U.S. import by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, my mother-in-law heard from her daughter (my wife) that I had done extensive research into catfish imported into the U.S. from Vietnam.

We found that the Vietnamese farm (pond) grown catfish were fed human feces most of their lives. The “bottom feeders” seemed to love the stuff and thrive on it.

Just a few months before “harvesting,” the Vietnamese catfish get treated to the cleanest water Vietnam can provide and a high protein diet that would make a professional boxer smile. This “washes” the Viet catfish just before they are sold for export.

Everybody seemed happy until the FDA (and some in the American public) decided the practice of feeding human feces to catfish was disgusting. Maybe even dangerous.

Vietnam says the problem has now been corrected and that catfish sales are, well, off the bottom.

Yet my mother-in-law decided she would no longer buy any frozen imported seafood from “Communist Asian nations” (China and Vietnam). Then she decided unilaterally to include Thai seafood in the deal. Why?  Every Vietnamese seems to know that when an export product is questionable, Thailand will be more than happy to label the product as Thai for a small cut in the action.  Plus Thailand had a coup last year and they are no longer a democratically governed nation. So Mom figures they are one step closer to communism.

We’ve moved from chemistry to politics in one giant leap of the, well, catfish.

So, mother-in-law now only eats fresh seafood from the U.S.A.

There are two twists to this. My wife’s mother is Vietnamese herself. And guess who gets to drive mother to the Washington D.C. waterfront for U.S.A. seafood? Me.

Fortunately, we found some wonderful Vietnamese-American seamen to assist us with American crab, flounder and other goodies!

Mother is on the All American Seafood Diet from now on: for chemical and political reasons, apparently!

Chinese Products

For several years we’ve watched the rising tide of imported Chinese consumer products into the United States. One of the real bell ringers for me has been a friend who says, every time we meet: “Why don’t we just all buy American.”

If you’ve been to any Sears, WalMart or Target lately you already know the answer: everything is made cheaper in China so U.S. businesses, to a great extent, no longer make toasters and the other things you need at home.

This morning, at church, we found offered for sale, some small holy statues meant for car dashboard mounting. Some think this kind of thing can protect you in case of an accident. Every dashboard mounted holy statue I have ever seen is looking INTO the car. I decided, for the first time in my life, to give this car holy statue magic a try. But because Washington D.C. traffic is getting more and more dangerous, I decided I’d mount my holy person looking OUT though the windshield. I figure she’ll scream or something if any real danger is about to surprise me.

In determining how to mount my holy person on the dashboard, I turned the tiny statue upside down seeking instructions. A small label on the bottom reads, “Made in China.”

Unexplained Apparition

There was a TV program named “The Twilight Zone” when I was a kid. In it, Rod Serling explored the unexplainable week after week.

Last week, when I got to the bottom of three or four deck underground garage, I had to stop for a blind lady with a white cane smack in the driving lane, walking somewhere. I could see no other cars anywhere and have no idea what a blind lady was doing at the bottom of the underground garage.

My wife said: “She has a holy statue WAY better than yours.”

Related:
Tricky Vietnamese Truth About Catfish

Despite outcry, many Americans can’t live without China goods