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Some Hard Spiritual Truths That Will Set You Free.

A Meditation on a Teaching from St. John of the Cross

I have written before on Five Hard Truths That Will Set You Free. In this post I would like to ponder Some Hard Spiritual truths that will set us free.
In calling them “hard truths,” I mean that they are not the usual cozy bromides that many seek. They speak bluntly about the more irksome and difficult realities we confront. But, if we come to accept them, they have a strange way of bringing serenity by getting us focused on the right things, instead of chasing after false dreams.
For it sometimes happens that a person can spend his whole life being resentful that life isn’t peachy, forgetting all the while that we are in exile, that we are making a hard journey, we pray, to a life where, one day, every sorrow and difficultly is removed, and death and sorrow are no more. But not now.
There is a kind of unexpected serenity in living in the world as it is, rather than resenting the world for not being what we want it to be. For now, the journey is hard and we have to be sober about our obtuse desires and destructive tendencies. And that is why there is a value in calling these insights, “hard truths that will set us free.”
In the very opening section of his Spiritual Canticle, St. John of the Cross lays out a presumed worldview that the spiritually mature ought to have attained. And because he presumes it of his reader, he states it only briefly.
Yet, for us who live in times not known for spiritual maturity, we ought to slow down for a moment and ponder these truths which are not only poorly understood, but even actively resisted today by many who call themselves wise and spiritually mature.
Remember now, these are hard truths, and many today wish to bypass the harder teachings of God. Thus we do well to pay special attention to a Spiritual Master who is deeply immersed in Scripture, as a remedy for the soft excesses of our modern times.

Church Flooded With Calls After 15-Year-Old Orphan Pleads to be Adopted

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 10/18/13 3:44 PM

Davion Henry made national headlines two weeks ago when he pleaded with members of a local church he attends to be adopted into a loving family. From the story about his request for someone to adopt him.
In church, Davion scanned the crowd. More than 300 people packed the pews. Men in bright suits, grandmoms in sequined hats, moms hugging toddlers on their laps. Everyone seemed to have a family except him. Davion sat beside Going, his caseworker from Eckerd, and struggled to follow the sermon: something about a letter Paul wrote. “He was in prison,” said the Rev. Brian Brown. “Awaiting an uncertain future … ”
The preacher spoke about orphans, how Jesus lifted them up. He described an epidemic, “alarming numbers of African-American children who need us.” Then he introduced Davion, who shuffled to the pulpit. Without looking up, Davion wiped his palms on his pants, cleared his throat, and said: ”My name is Davion and I’ve been in foster care since I was born … I know God hasn’t given up on me. So I’m not giving up either.”
Davion said he’d take anyone. “Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don’t care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be.”
Now, Fox News says the church has been flooded with calls.
“It has been just an awesome outpour,” Cynthia Coney, a secretary at St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church, said. “We’ve been getting calls from as far as Utah and forwarding them to his adoption agency.”

Read the rest here:  http://www.lifenews.com/2013/10/18/church-flooded-with-calls-after-15-year-old-orphan-pleads-to-be-adopted/

Abortionist Kills Disabled Babies as Old as 37 Weeks if They Won’t Have “Productive Lives”

by Dave Andrusko | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 10/20/13 3:30 PM

Ask yourself why would an Irish publication call one of the four American abortionists who will openly abort after 30 weeks? In this case it’s the Irish Independent’s Caitriona Palmer who phoned Susan Robinson, whose late abortion clinic is in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

There are two obvious answers. We have written several times about the documentary “After Tiller,” in which (a) Robinson (left) and three others are placed on a pedestal for aborting huge babies, and (b) abortionist George Tiller, killed in 2009, is glorified as one of the pioneers of this grisly trade.
Tomorrow “After Tiller” will be shown at the Irish Film Institute. Perfect timing.

Another reason may be that Ireland’s once firmly pro-life law on abortion has been breached. (Not surprisingly, this was made possible largely by a lie. See “Savita Halappanavar Died Due to Litany of Failures, Health Information and Quality Authority Report Confirms.”)

There is currently an effort to include more grounds for abortion and anyone who has followed abortion “reform” knows when pro-abortionists sense weakness, they push to remove one “impediment” after another until they have attained abortion on demand. That Robinson “scoffs” at that possibility hardly comes as a shock.

Whatever the combination of reasons, every time Robinson gives an interview, she undercuts the rationales and rationalizations that are presented as justifications to abort babies who have long since passed the point of viability.

Read the rest here: http://www.lifenews.com/2013/10/20/abortionist-kills-disabled-babies-as-old-as-37-weeks-if-they-wont-have-productive-lives/

Sebelius on the Run

The HHS Secretary refuses to testify about ObamaCare's rollout.

Oct. 18, 2013 7:04 p.m. ET
The Affordable Care Act's botched rollout has stunned its media cheering section, and it even seems to have surprised the law's architects. The problems run much deeper than even critics expected, and whatever federal officials, White House aides and outside contractors are doing to fix them isn't working. But who knows? Omerta is the word of the day as the Obama Administration withholds information from the public.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is even refusing to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in a hearing this coming Thursday. HHS claims she has scheduling conflicts, but we hope she isn't in the White House catacomb under interrogation by Valerie Jarrett about her department's incompetence.

The department is also refusing to make available lower-level officials who might detail the source or sources of this debacle. Ducking an investigation with spin is one thing. Responding with a wall of silence to the invitation of a duly elected congressional body probing the use of more than half a billion taxpayer dollars is another. This Obama crowd is something else.

What bunker is Henry Chao hiding in, for instance? He's the HHS official in charge of technology for the Affordable Care Act, and in March he said at an insurance lobby conference that his team had given up trying to create "a world-class user experience." With the clock running, Mr. Chao added that his main goal was merely to "just make sure it's not a third-world experience."

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Capitol Hill in Washington in April. Associated Press

He didn't succeed. Whatever is below third-world standards would flatter the 36 federally run exchanges as they've started up. But perhaps Mr. Chao or someone else, if not Mrs. Sebelius, can answer even the simple question of how many Americans have managed to enroll for coverage. HHS could easily resolve any confusion but it won't even talk to Democratic allies, friendly reporters and what it calls the insurance industry "stakeholders" that it will need to make ObamaCare work.

Read the rest at: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303680404579143343379804228

Pope to Auction Harley Davidson Motorcycle to Benefit Homeless

The sale of the motorcycle will fund the renovation of Caritas’ Don Luigi di Liegro Hostel and Soup Kitchen at Rome’s Termini station.

National Catholic Register
Lauren Cater/CNA
A contingent of Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders
were among the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square f
or the Pope's Sunday Angelus on June 16.
– Lauren Cater/CNA

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has donated his Harley Davidson motorcycle to be sold to raise money for a hostel and soup kitchen that serves Rome’s homeless.

“It is a precious gift that has once again made us happy in feeling the closeness of our bishop to the poor of the Church of Rome. We are deeply grateful to Pope Francis for this,” Msgr. Enrico Feroci, the director of Caritas Rome, said at an Oct. 12 press conference.
 The sale of the motorcycle will fund the renovation of Caritas’ Don Luigi di Liegro Hostel and Soup Kitchen at Rome’s Termini station. The two projects have operated since 1987 to help relieve the suffering of about 1,000 people every day, Caritas Rome reports.
Msgr. Feroci thanked Pope Francis on behalf of everyone who will benefit from “this act of hospitality and solidarity.” He assured the Pope that the poor will continue to pray for the “precious work that he is doing in the vineyard of the Lord.”

The Harley Davidson Motor Co. presented two of its motorcycles and a biker jacket to Pope Francis in June, when Rome hosted the 110th anniversary celebration of the iconic American motorcycle. On June 16, the Pope blessed about 800 bikers and their rides in St. Peter’s Square.
Pope Francis has encouraged clergy and religious to show humility in their choice of transportation.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-to-auction-harley-davidson-motorcycle-to-benefit-homeless#ixzz2i8SEB2EJ

Auburn’s new homecoming queen has a ridiculously inspirational life story

14 Oct, 2013
Yellowhammer News
Molly Anne Dutton, Auburn University's 100th Homecoming Queen
Molly Anne Dutton, Auburn University’s 100th Homecoming Queen

Over the weekend, Auburn University’s student body elected Molly Anne Dutton the school’s 100th Miss Homecoming, and boy what a story this young woman has to tell.

A couple of decades ago, Dutton’s biological mother, who was living in California at the time, was the victim of a sexual assault that resulted in her becoming pregnant. She was given an ultimatum by her husband: either abort the baby, or face divorce.
Lifeline Children’s Services, a Birmingham-based Christian adoption agency, got involved and helped the woman through her courageous decision to keep the baby and put her up for adoption instead of aborting.

This past weekend, the little girl born into those tough circumstances was elected her university’s homecoming queen after running on a platform entirely devoted to adoption advocacy.
“Because that resource was made available to my mother, she decided to give birth to me,” Dutton said. “And here I am talking to you guys 22 years later.”

“Light Up LIFE” was Dutton’s slogan, the perfect summation of her campaign’s goal to spread the word that adoption can bring light into a dark situation. It took Auburn’s campus by storm.

On a related note, Lifeline’s 11th annual fundraising dinner is coming up Nov. 7 in Birmingham. Team Yellowhammer will be there in full force and would love to have you join us. This is a no-brainer cause to get behind. Check out Lifeline’s website for more information.

Source: http://yellowhammernews.com/faithandculture/auburns-new-homecoming-queen-ridiculously-inspirational-life-story/

Pope Plans to Visit Israel as Early as Next Year

Trip to Israel Would Come After Pontiff's Strong Condemnations of Anti-Semitism

Wall Street Journal

Updated Oct. 17, 2013 7:25 p.m. ET

Six days after the death of former Nazi commander Erich Priebke, the furor over his burial continues, with Italian and Vatican officials refusing a funeral. Priebke had been serving a life sentence in Italy when he died at age 100. (Photo: Getty)
ROME— Pope Francis plans to visit Israel as soon as next year, the Vatican said, in what could be a landmark visit for a pontiff who has already won plaudits from the Jewish community for his strong condemnation of anti-Semitism.

On Thursday, the pope also met at the Vatican with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who invited him to visit Palestine as well. Israeli President Shimon Peres had already extended an invitation to the pope to visit the Holy Land shortly after the pontiff's election in March.
Following the invitation from Mr. Abbas, "we can now start thinking in a more concrete way regarding the planning of the visit," said Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi, adding that it could take place in 2014.

Pope Francis met Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas also known as Abu Mazen, during a private audience at the Vatican on Thursday. Poll Press
A papal trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories would follow in the footsteps of Pope Francis's predecessors, Benedict XVI and John Paul II. Both sought to promote Christian reconciliation with Judaism as emphasized in the key 1962-65 Second Vatican Council and do away with any vestiges of anti-Semitism after centuries of ambiguity within the church.

A visit by Pope Francis, who has so far made only one overseas trip since his appointment, could advance that dialogue. "We can see the steady and ongoing commitment of the Catholic Church on improving Catholic-Jewish relations," said Chad Pecknold, assistant professor of theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington DC.

During his young papacy, Pope Francis has reached out to the Jewish community on several fronts. Last week, he met with members of Rome's Jewish community to mark the 70th anniversary of the start of deportations of Italian Jews from Rome to Nazi concentration camps during the German occupation of Italy. On Oct. 16, 1943, more than 1,000 Roman Jews were deported. Only 16 returned home.

"For many centuries…the Jewish community and the Church of Rome have lived in our city, with a history—as we well know—that was often traversed by misunderstandings and even true grievances," Pope Francis said at the meeting.
Read the rest here:

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – October 18, 2013

Talking about the "things that matter most" on October 18
4:00 – Writing from Left to Right: My Journey from Liberal to Conservative
Engagingly, writing as if to old friends and foes, in his memoir, Writing from Left to Right: My Journey from Liberal to Conservative, Michael Novak shows how Providence (not deliberate choice) placed him in the middle of many crucial events of his time: a month in wartime Vietnam, the student riots of the 1960s, the Reagan revolution, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Bill Clinton's welfare reform, and the struggles for human rights in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also spent fascinating days, sometimes longer, with inspiring leaders like Sargent Shriver, Bobby Kennedy, George McGovern, Jack Kemp, Václav Havel, President Reagan, Lady Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II, who helped shape—and reshape—his political views. Yet through it all his focus on helping the poor and defending universal human rights remained constant; he gradually came to see building small businesses and envy-free democracies as the only realistic way to build free societies. Without protections for liberties of conscience and economic creativity, democracies will fail. Free societies need three liberties in one: economic liberty, political liberty, and liberty of spirit. Michael tells us his story.

5:00 - Making Sense of Mary
The world is full of nonsense when it comes to the Blessed Virgin Mary from simple confusion and ignorance to disrespect and blasphemy. Gary Michutahas done us a great service by blowing away the fog and shining the light of clarity on a matter so important to the story of God's salvation. Drawing from Scripture, Sacred Tradition, Councils and the Fathers of the Church, Gary helps scholars and beginners alike to understand the ABC's of the person and role of Mary. Gary joins us today.

Covering All the Bases With World Series Champion Jeff Suppan

The 2006 NLCS MVP discusses the MLB playoffs, family, prayer and Catholic media.

National Catholic Register
Dan Donovan/St. Louis Cardinals
Jeff Suppan delivers a pitch in the 2006
World Series against the Detroit Tigers.
– Dan Donovan/St. Louis Cardinals

With only four teams left in the playoffs, Major League Baseball is heading into the climax of its season, and Jeff Suppan knows exactly what the players are going through.

Suppan initially looked upon the playoffs with awe and trepidation, but, eventually, he gained a more accurate view of the dynamics at play. This helped to bring about a 2006 World Series Championship for him and the rest of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Now that Suppan has been away from professional baseball for over a year, he spends most of his time in southern California with his wife, Dana, and their two small children, ages 2 and 4. He makes the Sign of the Cross on their foreheads before putting them in bed, and he even gets a blessing back from his 4-year-old daughter.

Jeff Suppan, the 2006 National League Championship Series MVP, recently recounted this winsome story and many others to Register correspondent Trent Beattie.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/covering-all-the-bases-with-world-series-champion-jeff-suppan/#ixzz2i2Xdsln0

Mixed message: ‘If you can’t be good, be careful.’

              Public pressure forces a Catholic school system to compromise its teaching on chastity

By Steve Weatherbe
Oct 17, 2013
The Christians
Teens: Which works better, telling them not to or telling them how to?
Teens: Which works better, telling them not to or telling them how to?

The divergent religious and secular views of humanity collided recently in Alberta, Canada, where Catholic Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary is opposing mandatory Gardasil vaccinating of Catholic junior high school girls for Human Papilloma Virus, a sexually transmitted disease they can’t get if they remain chaste. Never known to duck a challenge, Bishop Henry has fought gay human rights complainants to standstill and the Canadian government right to the Supreme Court of Canada. This week he lost, or half-lost, the sex-vaccination debate in the small city of Medicine Hat. There the Catholic school board has decided to allow HPV vaccinations at school without encouraging them. Students will bring home permission forms.

Board chairman Peter Grad cautions parents not to sign these without thinking it through. “If they did that in this case,” he says, “it would be an abrogation of responsibility.” He hopes it will prompt “a meaningful parent-child talk about morality.”

Bishop Henry objects that the inoculation is self-defeating, but the province’s Catholic schools, one by one, have bowed to parental pressure, frightened by media coverage favoring a public health establishment led by Dr. John Meddings, head of the University of Calgary medical school.

Bishop Henry: ‘Safer sex’ effectively contradicts ‘no sex.’
Bishop Henry: ‘Safer sex’ effectively contradicts ‘no sex.’
Bishop Henry is ‘deplorable’?

Meddings termed Bishop Henry “deplorable…You are increasing the rate of spread of this virus in the population as a whole…Death rates, for both Catholics and non-Catholics, will increase as a consequence. I find it hard to appreciate the morality of this position.”

Henry, however, has laid out his position clearly enough. The public health “harm prevention” approach to sexual behavior is not immoral but it does fall far short of the Catholic view of sexuality, which Henry insists is supported by science: as evidence he cites the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada stating “Abstinence is the most efficient way to prevent HPV infection.”People of liberal inclinations seem to find it inconceivable that encouraging no sex among youth produces fewer problems than encouraging “safer sex.” In fact, Henry is up against the same disbelief that Pope Benedict XVI encountered when he declared in 2009 that condoms wouldn’t solve Africa’s AIDS epidemic. As Edward Green of the Harvard AIDS Prevention Project explained at the time, the public health industry prefers technological fixes to behavioral change, and has a visceral hostility to church groups.

See more at: http://thechristians.com/?q=node/746&utm_source=The+Christians+Book+Buyers&utm_campaign=996ac23637-TCH-Issue0136-BB&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e2d8bf6d30-996ac23637-57142977#sthash.Irw7BHyS.dpuf
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