Archive for August, 2010

DVD Padre Pio Miracle Man

Posted: August 31, 2010 by julesplife in DVD Review

Product Details
Actors: Sergio Castellitto
Directors: Carlo Carlei
Format: NTSC
Language: Spanish, English, Italian
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)

Number of discs: 1
Studio: Ignatius Press
DVD Release Date: October 1, 2006
Run Time: 214 minutes

Sypnosis :- This movie captures the Capuchin friar’s intense faith and devotion, and deep spiritual concern for others, as well as his great compassion for the sick and suffering. It reveals the amazing details and events in Padre Pio’s life as a boy and throughout his 50 years as a monk, dramatizing the frequent attacks of the Devil on him, as well as the persecution he suffered at the hands of people, including those in the church. Starring Italian actor Sergio Castellitto, and directed by Carlo Carlei, this is an outstanding feature film on the amazing life of this great saint.

REVIEW :- I absolutely love this film!  And I find that after transforming my own life and watching it a 2nd time, the story seems to touch me even more profoundly.  Tears seem to constantly well up as I watched how Padre Pio suffered with dignity.

There seems to be a few fans of Padre Pio that feels that this movie does not do his life justice in that there might be a few discrepancies.  And furthermore, he had perform so many more miracles then what was portrayed in this DVD.  On the first point, I cannot comment on the discrepancies if any but I will say that I trust the Ingnatius Press Studios.  As for the many miracles not shown in this movie, perhaps they should wait for the made of TV-Mini Series.

I highly recommend this DVD.

Also for those who might not know this, Padre Pio is Saint Pio.

CANONIZATION OF ST. PIO OF PIETRELCINA CAPUCHIN PRIEST
Known as Padre Pio

ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II

Monday, 17 June 2002

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. It is a great joy for me to meet you again the day after the solemn canonization of the humble Capuchin of San Giovanni Rotondo. Dear pilgrims and devotees, I greet you with affection who have gathered in Rome in such large numbers for this special occasion. I first of all greet the bishops, priests and religious who are present here. I want to pay special attention to the Capuchin Franciscans who in communion with the whole Church praise and thank the Lord for the marvels he has worked in their exemplary confrere. Padre Pio is an authentic model of spirituality and humanity, two characteristic features of the Franciscan and Capuchin tradition. I greet the members of the “Padre Pio Prayer Groups” and the representatives of the family of the “Home for the Relief of Suffering”, that great institution for the treatment and the care of the sick that came forth from the new saint’s charity. I embrace you, dear pilgrims from the noble land that gave birth to Padre Pio, from the other regions of Italy and from every part of the world. By your presence here, you witness to how widespread are devotion to and confidence in the holy Friar of the Gargano in the Church and on every continent.

2. But what is the secret of such great admiration and love for this new saint? He is first of all a “friar of the people”, a traditional characteristic of the Capuchins. He is also a saint who is a miraculous healer, as the extraordinary events which are part of his life attest. However, above all Padre Pio is a religious who is deeply in love with the crucified Christ. He even shared physically in the mystery of the Cross during his life. He liked to link the glory of Tabor with the mystery of the Passion, as we read in one of his letters: “Before exclaiming with St Peter “Oh how good it is to be here’, it is necessary first to climb Calvary, where one sees only death, nails, thorns, suffering, extraordinary shadows, abandonment and fainting” (Epistolario III, p. 287). Padre Pio made his journey of demanding spiritual ascesis in communion with the Church. The temporary misunderstandings he had with one or other ecclesial authority did not put a brake on his attitude of filial obedience. Padre Pio was a faithful and courageous son of the Church and in this situation following the shining example of the “Poverello” of Assisi.

3. May this holy Capuchin to whom so many people turn to from every corner of the earth point out to us the means to reach holiness which is the goal of our life as Christians. How many faithful in every social condition, from the most diverse places and the most difficult situations hurried to ask his help! He knew how to offer them all what they needed most, which they were often groping for without being fully aware of it. He passed on to them the comforting and enlightening Word of God, enabling each person to draw from the sources of his grace through his diligent dedication to the ministry of the confessional and the fervent celebration of the Eucharist. So it was that he wrote to one of his spiritual daughters: “Do not be afraid to come to the Lord’s altar to be fed with fleshoftheImmaculateLamb,because no one will better reconcile your spirit than your king, nothing will warm it more than his sun, and nothing will soothe it better than his balm” (ibid., p. 944).

4. The Mass of Padre Pio! It was an eloquent reminder to priests of the beauty of the priestly vocation. For the religious and the lay people who flocked to San Giovanni Rotondo even at the early morning hours, it was an extraordinary catechesis on the value and importance of the Eucharistic sacrifice. Holy Mass was the heart and the source of his whole spirituality: “There is in the Mass”, he used to say, “the whole of Calvary”. The faithful who crowded round his altar were profoundly impressed by the intensity of his “immersion” in the Mystery, and perceived that “the Father” participated in his person in the Redeemer’s sufferings.

5. St Pio of Pietrelcina presented himself to everyone – priests, men and women religious and lay people – as a credible witness to Christ and to his Gospel. May his example and intercession spur everyone to greater love for God and concrete solidarity with his neighbour, especially those who are in greatest need. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom Padre Pio called by the beautiful name of “Our Lady of Grace” (Santa Maria delle Grazie), help us to follow in the footprints of this religious who is so beloved by the people! With this hope, I cordially bless you who are present here, your loved ones and all who are committed to following in the spiritual footsteps of the beloved saint of Pietrelcina.

———————————————-

“Pray, pray to the Lord with me, because the whole world needs prayer. And every day, when your heart especially feels the loneliness of life, pray. Pray to the Lord, because even God needs our prayers.”

— St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Natural Family Planning

Posted: August 31, 2010 by CatholicJules in Great Catholic Articles

  • What is Natural Family Planning?

Natural Family Planning (NFP) refers to the practice of achieving or avoiding pregnancies according to an informed awareness of a woman’s fertility.

  • Why is NFP the best in family planning?

NFP provides a medically safe, healthy, highly effective and very low cost method of planning your family.  It is convenient (no birth control devices to use), and it’s immediately reversible for achieving or avoiding pregnancy. It is increasingly available throughout the world, it tells you when you have achieved pregnancy, and it’s morally acceptable.

  • How long does it take to learn NFP?

In general, it takes about 3-6 cycles to confidently learn how to chart and interpret the individual’s chart although it varies from couple to couple. We recommend that couples who are preparing to get married to come to the NFP centre at least 6 months before their wedding day to receive instruction.

  • Is NFP compulsory?

Every individual has their own right and choice, NFP using the Billing’s Ovulation Method is the recommended method to manage fertility in a morally acceptable way for Catholic couples.

  • What’s the difference between NFP and Contraception?

This rhetorical question takes many forms:

  • “NFP and contraception have the same intention of planning for the good of one’s children.  Both are contraceptive and moral.”
  • “How is the conscience of someone who uses contraception different from one who uses NFP?  They both want the same things – the good of the family.”
  • “NFP is the same as Contraception because both may aim to limit family size.”
  • “Contraception is defined as ‘the practice of or method used in deliberately preventing a woman becoming pregnant as a result of having sex’.  Would this not mean that the rhythm method or other NFP methods would fall under this definition and be at risk of the ‘contraceptive mentality: loss of respect for women and human life, the weakening of family, and population control by governments?’ ”
  • “For the same grave reasons that make Natural Family Planning (NFP) morally acceptable, wouldn’t the use of a condom instead be just as moral?  How then is the condom any different from NFP?”
  • “Surely you can’t be saying that NFP and Contraception are different because one is natural and the other artificial?   What’s wrong with being artificial?”
  • “If every sexual act must remain open to the transmission of life, then NFP is wrong too.” [1]  and even
  • “In both NFP and Contraception the sperm cells die, so they are the same.”

The recurring theme is that similar goals or effects prove that they are the same, both contraceptive and immoral or both family planning and moral.  

The Answer:

Both NFP and contraception have to do with birth regulation but how does that make them the same?

All crows are birds and all eagles are birds but are crows eagles?   Likewise, both Men and Women are human beings but is a Man a Woman?   Or we could point to the hare (genus Lepus) and the rabbit (seven genera) which look similar but are completely different animals.   Or to apples and oranges and even dukus and durians which are all fruits yet different, one from the other. 

Good intentions alone without licit methods are insufficient.  If you eat the poisonous mushroom you will die even if you want it to be the delicious, and expensive, truffle. 

What exactly is this difference? 

Although both are used to regulate birth, they do so in different ways.  NFP modifies sexual behaviour to suit fertility while contraception suppresses fertility to suit behaviour.  

They take opposite paths, and adopting one, either one, means to develop the habits and culture that go with that practice and to turn one’s back on the other – usually with far reaching consequences.

The words themselves imply the paths taken.  

“Contra-ception” means anti-conception and is commonly extended to anti-pregnancy and anti-birth, so providing different ways of getting rid of unwanted children in a sex-sparing, anti-life package.    

Contraceptives are never used to achieve pregnancy, as the term ‘family planning’ should suggest.  They may plan for the good of some children but often at the expense of other children, some of whom may be selected for abortion.  Experience does show in fact that the trends of contraception and abortion are often in direct relation, abortion having being legalised for the purpose of recovery from failed contraception. 

Contraceptives are not wrong merely because they are ‘artificial’.   They are intrinsically evil because they rupture God’s design of Procreative Love, no matter what good intentions or results we may have for using them.   

“Natural Family Planning” on the other hand means planning a family, not avoiding one, as married couples decipher their cycles of fertility and infertility in a truly unitive relationship that does not hinder the transmission of life. ‘Natural’ refers to Natural Law, in line with the order of Creation, not to the absence of pills or devices. 

While sexual intercourse, unlike nutrition, is unnecessary for individuals, it is a part of married love and commits married couples to the gift of fertility and to accept as many children as they can take care of.   But the Designer has also given them a second gift, the gift of infertility in each cycle, and for grave reasons they can use these infertile days to space or even indefinitely postpone the next child.    

Like following instructions in the designer’s manual, NFP accommodates God’s design.   If the more serious the matter is, like surgery or flying a plane, the greater the disaster if we fail to follow the manual’s instructions, why should it be any different with the creation of human life and the way God has designed this?    

Contraception is like locking the door and sending out the rejection, “Don’t come.  You’re not wanted,” but spacing pregnancy with NFP uses the built-in mechanisms of our biology and is like taking the opportunity provided by the Creator of Life to delay the invitation to the next child.   

Using NFP and using contraceptives are thus different acts, separate from the intentions we may have for using them.  And the act must first be judged independently of these intentions.  This is because you can never do moral evil even for worthy goals or consequences.[2]  

[1]NFP does not block the transmission of life.   Sexual intercourse is given to procreation but fecundity normally means cyclical fertility until menopause – like a radio is designed to produce music even though it’s sometimes off. NFP is dedicated to this design and the sexual act is not blocked to conception if and when this is possible.  But ‘contraception’ blocks a baby that could have resulted from sex on fertile days.  It changes the design of fecund sex – like using the radio to hammer a nail into the wall.   Abstaining from sex is not ‘contraception’.   After all, celibates are not practising contraception.   Nor is it ‘contraception’ to have sex on infertile days, since conception is not possible then anyway.

[2] If we do an intrinsically evil act because there are good reasons for doing it, we would have to say that the evil act is a good thing to do.  To thus misrepresent evil as good makes good and evil indistinguishable and would open the door to all evil acts since no one does anything without a good reason.   Inevitably, this leads to the corruption of conscience and to the increasing inability to make moral choices.

  • But if NFP is not substantively a contraceptive, why then do many people feel that it is?

Perhaps we can point at the anti-baby milieu in which we live.  In a culture that extols acquisitions the Child is not one of the 5 Cs.   On the contrary, decades of institutional denial and rejection of babies has created the mindset that children are accidents and unwanted burdens at worst, or optional extras or even cures for infertility at best. 

Not only does contraception violate the procreative meaning of intercourse but also its unitive meaning, as it disfigures the sexuality of husband and wife and obstructs the total self-giving that is characteristic of love[3].

People below 50 years of age are born into this culture, with a condom in the mouth, to borrow the idiom of the silver spoon.   And women may now need to work outside the home without alternative opportunities for child care, particularly during financial reversals, which erodes their biological roles as mother and home-maker. 

Adulterated by contraception, sex itself has been de-linked from procreation and is now little to do with babies. There is more and more sex without babies and more and more babies without sex.  

And even when we have sexual relations using NFP, we may use it as a contraceptive. The words we use betray us. We ‘prevent’ pregnancy rather than ‘postpone’ one;  we ‘make babies’ or ‘reproduce’ rather than ‘procreate’. And we may even greet a surprise pregnancy with, “Oh no” instead of “Thank God for the gift”.  

Choosing life is choosing love for people over things, where children are more precious than the things they replace.   So we need to cultivate or re-cultivate within ourselves a willingness to co-operate with God to accept fertility and children as gifts we value and protect instead of diseases we are afraid of and need to control. 

NFP is good in itself because it accommodates God’s design for procreation, but it is no different from a contraceptive if the goals for using it are illicit e.g. having sex using NFP to have no children at all could be illicit.  Used as a contraceptive, NFP would be a contraceptive and would then – and only then – merit the accusation, “NFP is the same as Contraception.” 

Clearly then the formation of conscience is essential, as Pope John Paul II advised on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae, 1988, “Another way of weakening the spouses’ sense of responsibility with regard to their conjugal love is that of spreading information about natural methods without accompanying it with adequate formation of conscience.”

If these principles are followed, marital sex will unite physical loving with fecundity, and spouses will be able to develop a fine balance between the two aims of marital sexuality, i.e. marital intimacy and children.

In summary, NFP modifies sexual behaviour to suit fertility while contraception suppresses fertility to suit behaviour.They take opposite paths, and adopting one, either one, means to develop the habits and culture that go with that practice and to turn one’s back on the other – usually with far reaching consequences.

 

[3] Inner beauty does not depend on recognition by the beholder but on fidelity to God’s design.  The husband who recognizes the inner beauty of his wife is the fortunate one.  In a sense, he is seeing God.

  • What’s the basis for NFP?

It is scientifically established that during each menstrual cycle a woman normally becomes fertile and then naturally infertile. The fertile time is the part of her cycle when sexual intercourse can result in pregnancy. A woman’s body provides certain physically signs to indicate her fertile and infertile times. 

  • What are the signs of fertility and infertility?

The most used signs are a normal discharge of cervical mucus and other signs include changes in her cervix and a feeling called “ovulation pain”. 

Cervical mucus is nature’s way of helping a man’s sperms reach a woman’s egg. Her flow of cervical mucus generally starts in a small way several days before she ovulates (releases an egg), it is a very positive sign that her fertile time has started. About the time she ovulates, her mucus may be abundant and have a consistency something like raw egg white. After ovulation, her mucus normally disappears.

  • What is the Billings Ovulation Method?

The Billings Ovulation Method uses only the mucus and the dryness as the signs of fertility and infertility. The other signs are also used by many women. 

  • Is this what used to be called “the Rhythm Method”?

No, The Rhythm Method was the Calendar Rhythm Method developed in 1930. It was based on some biological averages, but it did not work well for women who had irregular cycles. It was the 1930’s model of NFP, and great progress has been made since then.

  • Can NFP work with irregular cycles?

Yes, Modern NFP assumes that every woman is irregular at least some of the time. In general, if her fertile time comes earlier or later than usual, she knows about it because the start of her cervical mucus comes earlier or later.

  • Does NFP take much time?

No,  With NFP’s Billing’s Ovulation Method, during the day she takes a moment now and then to become aware of her cervical mucus and at night she records a symbol to describe her mucus. This simple process gives them an accurate day to day picture of her fertility.

  • Is NFP SAFE?

Yes, Natural Family Planning uses no birth control devices or drugs.  Every drug has potential side effects and should be taken only when necessary to cure or relieve an illness etc. But fertility is a normal process, not a disease.  Birth control pills and implants are unnecessary drugs, and most intrauterine devices (IUDs) were taken off the market because of health related lawsuits;  some physicians have linked spermicides with birth defects.

  • NFP is HEALTHY ; What does it mean?

NFP is health enhancing.   Through NFP charting, a woman becomes aware of her normal fertility – menstrual cycle.  Some kinds of cycle irregularities can alert her to possible underlying problems and she can seek early health-care assistance.

  • How EFFECTIVE is NFP?

Numerous studies including one by the World Health Organisation have shown that NFP can be used at the 98% level of effectiveness for AVOIDING pregnancy. That’s equal to the birth control pill and better than all the barrier methods.

  • Can NFP help ACHIEVE pregnancy?

Yes, with NFP you will become aware of the most fertile days in your overall fertile time, and you will learn how to maximize your mutual fertility.

In addition, your charted cycles may reveal certain patterns that can contribute to infertility and which sometimes can be corrected simply by better nutrition.  Many couples of marginal fertility are helped by NFP training to achieve much wanted pregnancies and the charts of those who may need medical help can assist the knowledgeable physician.

  • Can breastfeeding space babies?

Yes, but only when a mother practices a very natural form of baby care characterized by mother-baby closeness.   This is called “ecological breast-feeding” to distinguish it from “cultural breast-feeding” which does not space babies. 

In addition, ecological breast-feeding helps you to keep your baby healthy and contributes greatly to the emotional enrichment of both mother and baby.

  • Is NFP morally acceptable?

Yes, all the major religions including the Catholic Church accept the use of natural family planning when couples have a sufficiently serious reason for spacing babies or family limitation.

On the other hand, the teachings of the Catholic Church, some Orthodox churches, some part of the Judaism and an increasing number of Protestants are opposed to sterilization and the use of contraceptive or abortifacient drugs and devices.   It should be noted that intrauterine devices and birth control drugs (both the pill and implants) can cause very early abortions.

  • Is Natural Family Planning “Natural”?

In other words, is it natural for a married couple to practice sexual self-control?. Yes. No one denies that at times this is difficult, but such difficulties do not make periodic continence “unnatural”.  “Natural” means living up to the demands of our human mature “created in the image and likeness of God”. All of the Ten Commandments are sometimes difficult to follow, but all of them spell out the challenge of being true to our own nature.

  • How does NFP affect a marriage?

Sexual self-control can help build the marital relationship and therefore most couples report that NFP has a positive effect on their marriages.  They find that periodic abstinence helps keep their sexual relationship fresh, improves their communication, and gives them a deeper respect for each other.

In addition, the practice of NFP helps to develop the same strength of character that is necessary for marital fidelity and lifelong marriage.  NFP couples have an extremely low divorce rate. This makes sense because couples who respect the natural moral law, God’s order of creation, can expect to enjoy its benefits.

  • So NFP builds better marriages?

Yes, but not automatically.   Couples rarely begin to practice Natural Family Planning out of a desire to improve their marital relationship.   However, if they are going to practice NFP harmoniously, they soon find that they have to communicate more fully and creatively with each other.  Couples do not ignore each other at times when they choose to avoid sexual relations, rather they develop non-genital ways of expressing their love and affection, which is the art of marital courtship.

Related To NFP

Thought Of The Day…

Posted: August 30, 2010 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Bible Literacy


Bible literacy is highly important for all Catholics and reading the bible requires a certain discipline.  While we pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us, we too must yearn to know God for ourselves and His love for us through his Word.  Only then will we approach the Bible with reverence,  and the practical knowledge to unlock it’s treasures will be made available to us.

Below is a humorous example of a man with a certain single attitude towards reading the bible :-

He says…..

Lord guide me, he then opens the bible, uses his finger wiggles it a little and lets it point down to ‘Judas hung himself’..’
Oh No! he says to himself then quickly closes and reopens the bible for a second time.  He lets his finger glide down and the passage reads “Go now and do likewise..”  He repeats the process quickly and on the  third attempt it reads, “What you must do, do quickly!”

This might happen if we do not have the discipline or proper attitude…  
😀


Question: Here’s a simple question that I think will stump you. Since marriage is a necessary, natural institution, it hardly seems necessary for it to be a sacrament. After all, marriage already existed before the sacraments. Why would Our Lord have to make marriage a sacrament?

Answer: Well, I’m afraid you didn’t stump me, but you did give me the opportunity to explain an important issue. There are actually two points that need to be made in answering your question. One is about marriage, the other is about sacraments in general.

In a certain sense, marriage is the original sacrament. St. Paul said, “Husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. No one ever hates his own body, but nourishes and fosters it, just as Christ does the Church, since we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, ‘and the two shall be as one flesh.’ This is a great sacrament, I mean it regards Christ and the Church” (Eph. 5:28-32).

Marriage symbolizes the union between God and the human race, a unity that is the purpose for which we were created. That’s why St. Paul cites Genesis 2 and relates the natural institution of marriage directly to the spousal relationship between Christ and the Church. This union was intended “from the beginning” to be realized in Christ the Incarnate Son of God, the Bridegroom of the Church, his mystical Body. St. Thomas Aquinas points out that the marriage of our first parents, Adam and Eve, was a sacrament signifying the union of Christ and the Church to be consummated in the glory of heaven (Summa Theologiae II-II, q.2, a.7). This means that marriage was already in a sense a “sacrament” pointing to Christ even before Adam and Eve, the first married couple, fell into sin.

Many Catholics forget that there have always been sacraments, instituted by God to express faith in Christ and the effects of faith in Him. All the rites and observances of the Old Covenant, circumcision, sacrifices, and so on, were “sacraments” of faith in the coming Savior and Messiah. These Old Testament “sacraments” symbolized and pointed toward the effects of His future coming. Yet all of these were established by God after the fall, and after the promise of a Redeemer from sin and death. But marriage is different. It preceded the Fall and was the original sacrament or sign of that union between God and Man. In fact, it was from the start intended by God to be an efficacious, that is “truly effective,” cause of grace. If there had been no Fall of Adam, sanctifying grace would have been transmitted simply by natural generation, the union of husband and wife. The priesthood and worship would have been a family matter under the priesthood of the Father of the household. So when Our Lord made the marriage a sacrament of the New Covenant, He was only bringing to perfection an institution which had always been in some sense a sacrament of God’s love for the human race. It’s interesting to note that the sacrament of marriage is the only sacrament which is discussed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in terms of the whole history of our race, from creation before the fall until Christ (CCC 1601-1617). Marriage is the primordial sacrament.

Now, in the light of all this you might ask, “So what’s new and different about Christ’s institution of marriage as a sacrament of the New Covenant?” Christ came into the world to overcome sin and death, things about which Adam and Eve were happily unaware on their “wedding day,” and so marriage in Christ is not only a sign of God’s union with humanity, but most particularly sign of the sacrificial love of the Cross. St. Thomas teaches that all the sacraments in some way indicate the power of Christ’s suffering and death. In the mutual offering of their lives and bodies one to the other, man and woman in marriage share in the love of Christ on the Cross. The liturgy of the Roman Church shows this beautifully in the Mass for the Celebration of Marriage, when the special “nuptial blessing” of the couple is given after the Our Father as the Body and Blood of the Lord are lying in sacrifice on the altar. It is then that the Church prays for the fruitfulness and fidelity of their union, uniting the mutual offering of the man and woman with the offering of Christ’s Body. As any faithful Catholic married couple will tell you, there is always some cross to bear in wedded life. The Holy Sacrament of Matrimony unites these to the Cross of Christ, the Bridegroom of his Church.

 Question Answered By FR. HUGH BARBOUR, O.PRAEM

DVD-The Story of the Twelve Apostles

Posted: August 28, 2010 by CatholicJules in DVD Review

Actors: History Channel
Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD, NTSC
Language: English
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 2
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: A&E Home Video
DVD Release Date: February 25, 2003
Run Time: 170 minutes

Review :-  Definitely one for your personal collection….I think Robert J. McNamara did an excellent job of reviewing this DVD so here it is…

This documentary from the History Channel does a fine job examining the lives of the 12 disciples chosen by Christ to carry his teachings to the world. Beginning by providing an historical overview of life in Jerusalem under Roman rule, it goes on to cogently explain the circumstances by which Jesus, having become recognized as a teacher, was able to recruit his apostles. Intelligently handled reenactments provide dramatizations of significant events in the lives of the disciples, and their diverse personalities and individual relationships with Jesus, as well as their lives following the crucifixion, are covered in some depth. Biblical scholars, including university professors and priests, appear throughout in interview segments to offer their insights, and the narration by actor Martin Sheen is understated but always interesting. The issue of separating fact from myth is dealt with at some length, and a discussion of how some accounts of the lives of the apostles came to be judged as the Apocrypha is of particular interest. The Story of the Twelve Apostles is a commendable look at some of history’s most intriguing figures, 12 men who were considered outlaws but whose influence is today felt around the world.

12-Year-Old Speaks Out On The Issue Of Abortion

Posted: August 28, 2010 by CatholicJules in Videos/Audio

The preparation and delivery of the speech was fabulously done by this 12 year old on such an highly important message. Well researched even though a 12 year old is hardly qualified to talk about the emotional effects of it ( True emotional effects without a doubt) . However I do hope that all the young too can learn from it.

Below is the transcript of the speech by 12year old “Lia” of Toronto, who prepared and delivered this speech for her grade 7 class.

Transcript of speech
What if I told you that, right now, someone was choosing if you were gonna live or die? What if I told you that this choice wasn’t based on what you could or couldn’t do, what you’d done in the past or what you would do in the future? And what if I told you…you could do nothing about it?

Fellow students and teachers, thousands of children are right now in that very situation. Someone is choosing, without even knowing them, whether they are gonna live or die. That someone is their mother. And that choice is abortion.

Every day a hundred and fifteen thousand children are dying through abortion. A hundred and fifteen thousand. That means that five thousand children would die every hour. All those lives…gone. All that potential…gone. And all that hope in the future…gone.

Now, I know what some of you might be thinking, “Oh, it’s not really killing. After all, a fetus isn’t a child…right? Why do we think that just because a fetus can’t talk or do what we do it isn’t a human being yet? The word “fetus” comes from the Latin word meaning “young one” or “young child”. Some babies are born after only five months. Is this baby not human? We would never say that, yet abortions are performed on five month old fetuses all the time. Or do we only call them humans if they’re wanted? No, fetuses are definitely humans, knit together in their mothers by their wonderful Creator, who knows them all by name.

Some people might say that, since abortion’s legal now, it doesn’t matter. It’s not our business. But, if an action is unjust, it needs to be illegal, and it has to be our business. And this particular law has a huge impact on our society. In 1997 over one million abortions took place just in the U.S. And just last year over forty-two million abortions happened worldwide. I’d say that’s a huge impact.

I know some people say that the mother has a right to abort. After all, her life is dramatically impacted by having a baby. But I’m asking you to think about the child’s rights that were never given to it. No matter what rights the mother has, it doesn’t mean we can deny the rights of the fetus. Talking about the mother’s choice…the mother may have had a choice not to have unprotected sex in the first place. We must remember that with our rights and our choices come responsibilities and we can’t take someone else’s rights away to avoid our responsibilities.

At this point, I imagine the age old question arises. What if the mother didn’t choose to have sex? What if she was raped? But let’s us look at the facts for the U.S., as an example. Only one percent of all American abortions are hard case categories. This includes rape, incest, and the life of the mother being in danger. One percent. That hardly justifies the disturbing volume of abortions that happen these days.

And who’s to say abortion’s the easy way out? I don’t think people understand the effects of abortion on a woman. I don’t have time to list all the negative after effects, but here are a few examples of the physical effects. Seventeen percent of women who’ve had abortions face complications in their subsequent pregnancies. Some may not even be able give birth at all. They are also at a greater risk of developing breast cancer if they have an abortion.

But perhaps the worst effects are the emotional ones. Women who’ve had an abortion tend to have more mood disorders substantial enough to provoke them to harm themselves. In addition, women who’ve had an abortion are five times more likely to have problems with drug and alcohol abuse. Abortion leaves a woman feeling lost and uncertain about their future. Almost one-third of all women who had an abortion are dissatisfied with their decision. It certainly is not the cure-all people think it is.

I read a story on the Focus on the Family website. It was about a girl who had an abortion. She writes:

“I had abortion at the age of seventeen. And it was the worst thing I ever did. I would never recommend it to anyone because it comes back to haunt you. When I tried having children, I lost three. Something happened in my cervix during the abortion.” – Sharon Osborne.

Hers is just one of the many heart-wrenching stories that nobody tells these days. And those same ones are the ones that we need to hear about.

Thank you for taking time to think about the issue of abortion, to think about the unborn, and to think about the effects of abortion on a mother. If you walk away with anything after this speech, walk away with the words of Horton. You know him…the elephant that risked his life to save that little speck? Remember him and his famous quote:

“Even though you can’t see them or hear them at all, a person’s a person…no matter how small.”

Thank you.

Q & A On Our Catholic Faith

Posted: August 27, 2010 by CatholicJules in Great Catholic Articles, Questions & Answers

Below is a link to a PDF file on Our Catholic Faith for non-catholics who may be interested to know more.  The file can also be found on my box.net widget bottom left of this blog.

God bless,