February 24, 2009

Lenten Fasting

As I've re-embraced my Catholic faith the past few years, I've struggled with fasting during Lent. I don't really have a diagnosed medical reason for not fasting, but I do have a relatively high metabolism coupled with eating habits (5-6 small meals a day) that make the fasting guidelines of "one meal, two small meals and no snacks" a bit difficult. In fact, last Ash Wednesday, I stumbled (mentally) through an early afternoon meeting and then started to see stars by mid-afternoon. At that point, and given past fainting spells, I decided to break the fast. My priest assured me that this would count as a medical condition since fainting while driving home would be bad. He also gave me wonderful input on other ways to fast, for instance, fasting from TV watching.

On a related note, I received this prayer from a friend:
A Lenten Prayer For Families

Fast from judging others; feast on Christ in them.
Fast from wanting more; feast on being thankful.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from worry; feast on trust.
Fast from complaining; feast on enjoyment.
Fast from negatives; feast on positives.
Fast from stress; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from fear; feast on truth.
Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.
Fast from gossip; feast on silence.
Fast from fighting; feast on peace. Amen.

Good advice for everyone, yet hard for most of us to put into practice. May this Lenten season bring you closer to God through fasting.

February 9, 2009

What's their problem?

Making the rounds on Catholic/conservative blogs last week were outraged responses to the House-passed version of the stimulus bill that bans money from being spent on facilities that allow religious worship.

I'm a little late to the game, but what's their problem? Isn't one of this country's greatest strengths freedom of religion? To me, that includes being able to discuss my religion in public places. I'm not saying that the government should pay for new churches. But if students want to meet on campus for a prayer group meeting, bible study or Mass, then I don't see how that violates others' rights.

Some exerpts from the Fox.com article:

The provision bans money designated for school renovation from being spent on facilities that allow "religious worship." It has ignited a fury among critics who say it violates the First Amendment and is an attempt to prevent religious practice in schools.

According to the bill, which the Democratic-controlled House passed despite unanimous Republican opposition, funds are prohibited from being used for the "modernization, renovation, or repair" of facilities that allow "sectarian instruction, religious worship or a school or department of divinity."

Critics say that could include public schools that permit religious groups to meet on campus. The House provided $20 billion for the infrastructure improvements, of which $6 billion would go to higher education facilities where the limitations would be applied.

The American Civil Liberties Union also defends the constitutionality of the restriction, which they say has been the law since 1972.

February 1, 2009

Father speaks out against FOCA

In his homily this morning, Father spoke out against FOCA and the evils of the culture of death. He then asked us to fill out the fight FOCA postcards in the pews and hand them in during the collection, giving us a few minutes to complete the postcards. It was great!

Today is the feast day of St. Brigid of Ireland. I found this prayer and thought it worth sharing:
St Brigid, Mary of Ireland
Ask for us all today
The courage to do God's bidding
Whatever the world may say
The grace to be strong and valiant
The grace to be firm and true
The grace to be faithful always
To God, God's mother and you.