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13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

An excellent list of signs of mental strength.  How do you measure up?

Overcoming Bitterness: 5 Steps for Healing the Hurt that Won’t Go Away

No one wants to be bitter.  It sneaks up on us.  Bitterness is unforgiveness fermented.    The more we hold onto past hurts the more we become drunk on our pain and the experience can rob us of the joy we can find in anything.  Bitterness occurs when we feel someone has taken something from us that we are [Read More...]

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – November 19, 2013

Talking about the “things that matter most” on November 19

4:00 – Kresta Comments

4:40 – Undercover: Hotel Profiting from “Room-Service Abortions” in Albuquerque: City to face historic late-term abortion ban Today
The pro-life organization Live Action has released a second investigative video, highlighting what Live Action President Lila Rose has coined “room-service abortions” – and the hotels that profit off such sinister arrangements. The new undercover recording features an investigator attempting to schedule a 25-week abortion appointment with Southwestern Women’s Options, Albuquerque’s notorious late-term facility.  After specifying that the late-term abortion comprises a “week-long procedure,” the staffer directs the investigator to the Plaza Inn – “a hotel that we work in conjunction with” – which offers room rate discounts and free transportation to and from all appointments. Voters in Albuquerque, New Mexico will go to the polls today to vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation.  Research shows that children in the womb are able to feel pain at this point in their development, if not sooner. We talk to Lila about this investigation which proves the need for this legislation in NM.

5:00 – The Gettysburg Address Turns 150 Years Old
On the Civil War battlefield where President Abraham Lincoln gave a speech that symbolized his presidency and the sacrifices made by Union and Confederate forces, thousands gathered today, historians and everyday Americans alike, to ponder what the Gettysburg Address has meant to the nation. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address — delivered 150 years ago today, took place here nearly five months after the major battle that left tens of thousands of men wounded, dead or missing. We talk to Ronald White Jr. who has written one of the most authoritative biographies of our 16th President, A. Lincoln: A Biography

5:40 – Kresta Comments

“Mothers Aren’t Important” Or Another Reason “Nobody Does Childhood Like the English”

Years ago, Mike Myers had a character on SNL called, “Simon.”  The segment would often show Myers as a little boy in a bathtub cheerfully and guilelessly talking about his awful family life, which he took completely in stride and wrote off with the catchphrase, “Because nobody does childhood like the English!” I doubt anyone [Read More...]

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

Talking about the “things that matter most” on November 18

4:00 – God’s Double Agent: The True Story of a Chinese Christian’s Fight for Freedom
Tens of millions of Christians live in China today, many of them leading double lives or in hiding from a government that relentlessly persecutes them. Bob Fu, whom the Wall Street Journal called “The pastor of China’s underground railroad,” is fighting to protect his fellow believers from persecution, imprisonment, and even death. We hear h is his fascinating and riveting story.

5:00 – The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution
From Iraq and Egypt to Sudan and Nigeria, from Indonesia to the Indian subcontinent, Christians in the early 21st century are the world’s most persecuted religious group. According to the secular International Society for Human Rights, 80 percent of violations of religious freedom in the world today are directed against Christians. In effect, our era is witnessing the rise of a new generation of martyrs. Underlying the global war on Christians is the demographic reality that more than two-thirds of the world’s 2.3 billion Christians now live outside the West, often as a beleaguered minority up against a hostile majority– whether it’s Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia, Hindu radicalism in India, or state-imposed atheism in China and North Korea. In Europe and North America, Christians face political and legal challenges to religious freedom. Long-time Vatican analyst John Allen exposes the deadly threats and offers investigative insight into what is and can be done to stop these atrocities. Christians today indisputably form the most persecuted religious body on the planet, and too often its new martyrs suffer in silence. John is here to try and shatter that silence.

St John Chrysostum (& Other Saints) on Whether Catholic Parents Should Spank.

I came across an interesting sermon by St. John Chrysostum (c. 347-407) titled, An Address on Vainglory and The Right Way for Parents to Bring Up Their Children.  I’m not all the way through yet, but I had to share this bit for those of you who wonder whether Catholic parents should spank.  I was [Read More...]

It’s About to Rain!

The trailer for the biblical epic “NOAH” has finally been released. The early peek at the film’s visual effects are impressive, as all creatures great and small crowd into the ark as Noah warns, “A great flood is coming.” The cast includes Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and Logan Lerman. The official trailer for the film, which opens March 28, is below. ENJOY!

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – November 14, 2013

Talking About the “Things that Matter Most” on Nov. 14, 2013


4:00 – Suggestion: why not have the government traffic organs? After years of fighting black market medicine, researchers propose a new approach
New ethical trends in medicine usually turn up in obscure medical journals first. Witness the academic argument for legalizing trade in human organs in a report in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. This idea was newsworthy: the government should pay living kidney donors – or more accurately, vendors – $10,000 to cut the dialysis cost of those waiting for transplants. The proposal totally contradicts accepted views on the role of government and the ethics of organ donation. Fr. Tad Pacholczyk of the National Catholic Bioethics Center is here to analyze.

4:40 – Kresta Comments

5:00 – Superior Catholic Schools Already Exceed Common Core Standards
We have received an overwhelming amount of e-mails, letters, phone calls, columns, press releases, articles and more regarding the Common Core Curriculum. Today we delve into it with Dan Guernsey, headmaster at the Donohue Academy and serves on the board of the National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools, (NAPCIS), which provides consulting and accreditation services for more than 150 independent Catholic schools across the nation

Kresta Commentary from May of 2010 – Do You Know the Mind of Christ on Immigration?

Do you know the mind of Christ on immigration?
Christians are disciples of Christ. The word “disciple” means  literally, “learner” i.e., a follower, pupil, or adherent of a teacher or religious leader. Claiming to be a disciple when you think you’ve got nothing more to learn is just plain dumb and shows you’ve got a lot to learn.  Scripture teaches that when a disciple is fully trained he will be like his Teacher. Catholic disciples, i.e., learners, are followers of Christwho teaches them through His Body, the Church.  So what has Christtaught on immigration? Do you know the mind of Christon immigration? 
I think the first response might be “Can I even know the mind of Christon immigration?” If you mean you know what piece of legislation Jesus would pen to solve our immigration crisis, then “No”. 
If you mean, however, having a knowledge of the priorities of the Kingdom and how the laity should function in ordering the temporal affairs of the state, then, “Yes”. By purifying our hearts and motives in prayer, allowing divine revelation to clarify the natural law that we know through right reason, civil debate, and by exercising the virtue of prudence, we can produce legislation that is more rather than less likely to reflect the Mind of Christ. 
This scares some people and ends the discussion. They fear theocracy and mullahs and burning stakes, etc. The images are all wrong. This is not, first of all, a matter of divine revelation. For those who accept a divine revelation, God has spoken! Yes, this would a conversation stopper in political debate.  How do argue with God?
But in the integration of faith and public life, political argument, not divine revelation, is foremost. Civil debate and discovery are central. The method is more that of trial and error than application of a divinely ordained policy. Consequently, we never have the certainty in prudential political matters that we have in revealed dogmas like the Trinity. Nevertheless, in reading through comments and commentary sparked by Arizona’s immigration debate, I’ve been so disappointed. So much of what I’ve read by Catholics seems to think that the teaching of the Church has no role to play in forming our minds on prudential political matters. As though there is no mind of Christon the issue. As though the plight of immigrants or the safety of the host nation are matters of complete indifference to God. 
For instance, in some circles, the Old Testament phrase “Welcome the stranger” (Lv 19:34; Dt 10:17-19)) is mocked as though it is sentimental whitewash concealing a left wing political agenda. Well, the devil can quote Scripture but, in fact, a quick look at some standard reference work like the Anchor Bible Dictionary would show lots of ink about the foreigner, the stranger, and the alien. Care for foreigners is central to ancient Israel’s self understanding since they were once strangers in a foreign land. 
A related theme is picked up in the New Testament under the notion of “hospitality.” Strangely, it’s usually political conservatives that  parody the “welcome the stranger” or “hospitality” motifs. Nevertheless, their importance as a mark of the faithful Church can be confirmed by any of the standard Bible dictionaries. 
On the other hand, political liberals invite ridicule by acting as though a simple quote or practice from ancient Israel(whose borders were porous and often changing) can somehow be directly invoked to declare current immigration law unjust. 
Shameful and silly arguments are advanced by both sides. From the left: that those concerned for border security are really racists and xenophobes in disguise. Just look in their car’s trunk and you’ll find a hood or a swastika flag. From the right: that Catholic ministry to migrant workers is a calculated and sinister church growth strategy. 
All of this neglect and nonsense shout that most Catholics are unfamiliar with, for instance, the Pope’s annual message on the World Day of Migrants and Refugees easily available with a few keystrokes at http://www.usccb.org/mrs/papalstatements.shtml. I confess that on Kresta in the Afternoon I have rarely even mentioned these particular papal addresses never mind use them as the spur to commentary. 
Or that John Paul IIwho hailed from a nation perpetually concerned about her borders could write that “the Church in Americamust be a vigilant advocate, defending against any unjust restriction on the natural right of individual persons to move freely within their own nation and from one nation to another. Attention must be called to the rights of migrants and their families and to respect for their human dignity, even in cases of non-legal immigration.  Migrants should be met with a hospitable and welcoming attitude which can encourage them to become part of the Church’s life.” (John Paul II, Ecclesia in America, 236, 237). 
John Paul II sounds like he’s familiar with the civil law of ancient Israelwhich had a different understanding of borders. Foreigner or sojourners had certain rights but also certain limitations while in Israel. Civil rights were provided for foreigners by the Law of Moses (Ex 12:49; Lv 24:22), and they came under the same legal processes and penalties (Lv 20:2; 24:16, 22; Dr 1:16). They were to be treated politely (Ex 22:21; 23:9) , loved and treated generously if poor and receive the fruits of the harvest (Lv 19:10;23:22; Dt 24;19-22). They could receive sanctuary in times of trouble (Nm 35:15; Jos 20:9). A foreigner could not take part in tribal deliberations or become a king (17:15) The prophet Ezekiel looked forward to the messianic age when the foreigner would share all the blessings of the land with God’s own people (Ez 47:22,23). He envisioned a coming Kingdom without borders. The Church is, today, that emerging, visible society in sacramental form.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church also gives us as citizens of America, the lead nation of the world, reason to remember that to whom much is given, much will be demanded and that enforcement of our laws is a matter of the common good.

CCC 2240 “Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country…

CCC 2241 “The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.” 
Now this teaching doesn’t translate very easily into public policy. Among Catholics, however, it should set the tone and establish some parameters.
Of course, the Church also teaches the importance of the rule of law. St. Thomas Aquinas regarded it as the “primary proper means of coordinating civil society.” As the Archbishop of Denver, Charles Chaputwrote “Illegal immigration is wrong and dangerous for everyone involved. There’s nothing ‘good’ about people risking their lives for the mere purpose of entering the United States. There’s nothing ‘good’ about our nation not knowing who crosses our borders and why they’re here, especially in an age of terrorism, drugs and organized violent crime.  There’s nothing ‘good’ about people living in the shadows; or families being separated, or decent people being deported and having to start their lives all over again, sometimes in a country that they no longer- or never did-know.”
I am convinced that our southern borders will not suddenly be closed off.  I am similarly convinced that 11-18 million illegal immigrants won’t be deported. With those assumptions in place, what do you want to do?
Indignation is understandable and natural since grave injustice has been committed. Indignation, however, is no exemption from dealing with reality. And the reality is that neither Democrats nor Republicans will close the borders nor will they deport the majority of illegal aliens.
Further, the American people will not support comprehensive immigration reform without a believable commitment to secure the border. We went through that in the last Bush administration.
So, in the meantime, how is the Church to treat illegal immigrants who are frequently already Catholic?
1. Welcome them so they will come out of the shadows. The Church is not an arm of law enforcement. When Jewish religio-civil authorities tried to lure Jesus into enforcing a particular legal penalty, he argued for discretion rather than strict retribution and said, “Go and sin no more.”
2. Minister the sacraments including penance.
3. Exhort them to pay back taxes, get to the back of the immigration line and pay a necessary financial penalty.
4. Give them sanctuary and promise to stand with them through the process of naturalization. Make disciples of them.

5. Where appropriate encourage them to turn state’s evidence against factories or agribusiness which lured them over here and held them in a form of indentured servanthood.

6. Insist that Federal and State authorities cease trivializing the law by lack of enforcement. Their failure discredits the law in the eyes of the citizens, invites violation, and wreaks havoc on the common good.

7. If the state interferes with the legitimate ministry of the Church, we must obey God rather than man.

What do you think?

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – November 13, 2013

Talking About the “Things that Matter Most” on Nov. 13, 2013


4:00 – Assisting Victims of Typhoon Haiyan / How to Help the Poor This Christmas
Desperation gripped Philippine islands devastated by Typhoon Haiyan as looting turned deadly today and survivors panicked over shortages of food, water and medicine, some digging up underground water pipes and smashing them open. Five days after one of the strongest storms ever recorded slammed into cities and towns in the central Philippines, anger and frustration boiled over as essential supplies dwindled. Some survivors scrawled signs reading “Help us”. We talk to Jim Cavnar of Cross Catholic International about the recovery effort and we also look at one easy way you can help the poor this Christmas season.

4:40 – Kresta Comments

5:00 – Immigration and Our Nation’s Future
Immigration is a phenomenon America has experienced countless times over the centuries and with each wave of new arrivals to our shores comes a discussion of how we should react. Because what is decided about our immigration laws will have long-lasting material and spiritual consequences, the Bishops of the state of CO decided to write a pastoral letter to emphasize some of the moral principles that should be considered in the discussion. Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver is here with us.

5:40 – Lessons for Catholics From Last Week’s Elections
The 2016 overtones were clear in this year’s two most high-profile elections. Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s resounding re-election victory in Democratic-leaning New Jersey sets the opening argument for a possible White House run while Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial victory gives fellow Democrats — if not his confidante Hillary Rodham Clinton, herself — a road map for success in the pivotal presidential swing-voting state. Christie became the first Republican to earn more than 50 percent of the New Jersey vote in a quarter-century. McAuliffe is the first member of the party occupying the White House to become Virginia governor since 1977. Catholic columnist Paul Kengorreads the tealeaves.

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