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Belgian Archbishop Refuses Euthanasia in Catholic Hospital

Battle lines drawn in Belgium over conscience

by Paul Russell, Director of HOPE: Preventing Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide:

Family set to sue over ‘non-euthanasia’ in Catholic aged care home.

Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, Jozef De Kesel

Over recent weeks the issue of conscientious objection, or the ‘conscience clause’ in the Belgian euthanasia law has been brought into the spotlight by the assertion by the new Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, Jozef De Kesel, that he has the right to refuse Catholic hospitals and aged care facilities to co-operate with euthanasia.

Euthanasia advocates both in academia and in the medical profession have bristled at the suggestion that institutions might say ‘non’ with many displaying a distinct and disturbing lack of understanding about the status of the 14 year old statute that allows doctors to kill their patients.

The Belgian law clearly provides a conscientious ‘out’ for doctors and others assisting in a euthanasia but it is otherwise silent about institutions. Some suggest that the extension to institutions such as a church ae implied while others suggest, dubiously to my thinking, that the silence suggests otherwise.

While, initially at least, this seemed like very much like an academic exercise with no-one really expecting the new bishop to force a show down. But a showdown was already in the making.

Various Belgian news outlets, today, are running with a story about a refusal by a Catholic nursing home to allow a doctor onto their premises to perform euthanasia. According to reports, the 74-year-old woman was terminally ill with metastatic cancer and living in the St. Augustine residential care centre in Diest.

The process of requesting euthanasia began in 2011 and progressed for six months before St. Augustine’s management refused access supposedly only days before the euthanasia was to take place. The various stories do not say whether or not the facility was formally aware of the process, however the family of the woman say that, after initially believing that the matter was simply a misunderstanding, they arranged for the woman to be transported to a private residence where the death took place. The family are claiming that the facility caused additional psychological and physical suffering for their mother.

The matter is listed to be heard in a civic court in Leuven in April – four and a half years after the death and after the matter had already been postponed twice before; why, we are not told.

I smell a rat. This issue precedes the current controversy but it does not take a cynic to question why, all-of-a-sudden, a matter that has twice been suspended over a death that took place over four years ago where the woman got what she wanted, is suddenly before the media and the courts?

If that were not enough to have any conspiracy theorist salivating, the lawyer for the woman’s family, Sylvie Tack, has a longstanding professional relationship to Belgian euthanasia supremo, Wim Distelmans and his Life Ending Information Network (LEIF) being lecturer, speaker and part of their peer review panel. Not a ‘hanging-offence’ certainly, but enough to question which was the horse and which the cart.

Overall, it may well be that Archbishop De Kesel was well aware of this pending case when he made his pre-Christmas declaration. If so, then full marks to him. As we observed earlier, it seems likely now that the courts may well determine the interpretation of Article 14 of the Belgian law.

It does not seem likely that the complaint by the woman’s family is principally about her treatment or any recompense or restitution for ‘suffering or loss’. As their lawyer told De Morgen: “The new Act states that doctors and staff who are involved in the euthanasia, can have conscientious objection. But the health care institution itself should not interfere with it themselves.”

Make no mistake: if ever there was going to be a test case, this is it. Rightly or wrongly, Belgian’s euthanasia supremos have always seen the Catholic Church and its influence as the last bulwark standing against them. I have heard them say as much personally. Perhaps, ironically, they also see Catholicism as the last voice of conscience – to which they clearly object.

Bishop Paprocki To Abp Cupich, “Set the Record Straight”

by Christine Niles  •  ChurchMilitant.com:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (ChurchMilitant.com) – In a rare move, the bishop of Springfield, Illinois is publicly correcting fellow Illinois prelate Abp. Blase Cupich of Chicago and his false notion of “conscience.”

In a letter to the editor published over the weekend in The State Journal-Register, Bp. Thomas Paprocki responded to a local dissenting Catholic who had praised Abp. Cupich for his erroneous remarks about Holy Communion. John Freml, author of the letter and local leader in the dissident groups Call to Action and Equally Blessed, had written on December 20:

As Archbishop Cupich said, “I think that when people come for Communion, it’s not up to any minister who’s distributing the Eucharist to make a decision about a person’s worthiness or lack of worthiness. That’s on the conscience of those individuals.”

I hope that local Catholics who have previously refrained from participating in Communion will take to heart Jesus’ message: “Take this, all of you, and eat it.” Remember that Jesus welcomed everyone to the table without condition, even Judas.

Freml was referring to Cupich’s recent remarks made during and after the 2015 Synod on the Family, where he implied that Holy Communion should be open not just to the divorced and remarried, but also to others in “irregular unions.” At a Synod press briefing in October, Cupich had said, “When people come to a decision in good conscience, then our job with the Church is to help them move forward and to respect that. The conscience is inviolable, and we have to respect that when they make decisions, and I’ve always done that.”

In response, Bp. Paprocki wrote that “[it] is important to set the record straight,” and that, contrary to Cupich’s claims, “Canon 916 directs those ‘conscious of grave sin’ to refrain from receiving Holy Communion.” He continued:

Individuals must form their consciences in accord with Church teaching. Conscience assesses how a person’s concrete action in a given situation accords with Church teaching — not to determine whether one agrees with or accepts Church teaching in the first place.

The bishop went on to clarify that Canon 915 mandates clergy to withhold Communion from manifest, public, grave sinners. This includes those joined in invalid, non-sacramental marriages, considered adultery in Catholic teaching. Refusing Communion to such people is not about “assessing personal worthiness,” Paprocki explains, but rather meant to protect the Sacrament from sacrilege as well as prevent the harm of scandal “caused by someone’s public conduct that is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ.”

It is true that Jesus welcomes everyone. But as Jesus said at the Last Supper, so we say in the eucharistic prayer at Mass, Jesus poured out His blood “for you and for many,” since not everyone accepts what Christ offers, just as Judas did not accept what Christ offered him.

Bishop Paprocki has headed the Springfield diocese since 2010, and during his tenure has developed a reputation for orthodoxy. Archbishop Cupich, on the other hand, has developed a more questionable reputation during his brief time as head of the Chicago archdiocese, and has a history of willingness to offer the Eucharist to those not in communion with the Church.

In November 2014, when asked point blank on CBS’ “Face the Nation” whether he would give Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, Cupich answered, “I would not use the Eucharist or, as you say it, the Communion rail as a place to have those discussions or a way in which people would be … excluded from the life of the Church” — this in spite of the fact that his position contradicts canon 915 of the Catholic Code of Canon Law, which states that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

And in a televised funeral Mass in April over which Abp. Cupich presided, the Protestant governor of Illinois, in violation of the norms of the Church, was given Holy Communion — a sacrilege. When ChurchMilitant.com reached out to the archdiocese to ask whether it had contacted the governor’s office ahead of time to advise that non-Catholics should not approach to receive Holy Communion, the archdiocese responded by saying that “when any person presents himself or herself for Holy Communion, the Minister of Communion presumes that the person can receive Communion.”

The Christmas Battle Cry! Declaring War Against Satan

Msgr. Charles Pope, National Catholic Register:

I, like you, love the beautiful Christmas season with all its sentimental appeal. And I wish you all of this in abundance. But as we know, the first Christmas was anything but sentimental and featured great hardships: Urgent travel to Bethlehem in the ninth month of pregnancy, no room at the inn, the subsequent flight to Egypt and the murder of the Holy Innocents. It is almost as though Satan, knowing that God was up to something good, tried to smoke out, prevent and pursue and destroy this great work of God.

And this is exactly what Scripture attests in a version of the Christmas story seldom told among Christians today. Consider the “other” Christmas story that looks behind the external events and interprets the deeper meaning of them:

 

(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.

Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron rod.

…And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But the dragon was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

…Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Rev. 12:1-5, 7-9)

Merry Christmas! While I have never seen this version of the story on a Christmas on a Hallmark card or a “made for TV” special, it is the deeper story, a more hidden but true picture of what was going on that dramatic and fateful night. The birth of Christ is (as John Eldredge one wrote in “Wild at Heart”) the Great Invasion, a daring raid by the ruler of the forces of Good into the universe’s seat of evil. Spiritually speaking, this is no silent night. It is D-Day. Behind the scenes is a deadly enemy….one of whom we rarely speak: Satan. Yet he is active, and involved.

Yes, it is a fierce spiritual war. It is war at Christmas! It is a war that was engaged that Christmas, whose definitive victory was won on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but whose wake still ripples forth in dramatic call to choose sides!

Yes, fellow Catholics, there is a dragon—even at Christmas. Sorry to get in the way of the tinsel and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. But there is a Satan, and he and his followers are to blame for most of the casualties you see in your family, in our culture and back through history.

Yet at Christmas there is also a Son who is born to us—and we name him Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God , Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace (Is 9:6). And He shall reign forever. And thus it is a battle, terrible and yet great. Terrible, since it is to blame for most of the causalities we see in our family, in our culture and back through history. But great, since in its midst comes forth at Christmas our victorious Christ. He is the One who, by his grace, snatches us who have answered his call out of the great tribulation to be among those who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb—yes, those who conquer by the Word of his testimony and by the Blood the Lamb (cf Rev 7:14; 12:11)

Sorry for such a non-traditional message. But something tells me that we Catholics who remain in the midst of the current culture wars have to regain a deeper sense of what was really going that Christmas, and this one too. For the danger is that we have become too nice for our own good and that we fail to recognize the battle to which we are summoned and which was engaged that first Christmas. Jesus the King of the Universe entered the territory of the “prince of this world” and began to take back territory from him.

And while the more paradoxical victory of the Cross cannot be forgotten, neither can the daring raid of Christmas night where the Lord advances against the foes, takes back territory, and inflicts on him the most serious blows. In the wailing of an infant can be heard a great war cry: “The long night of sin is over, the Light begins to shine, Arise O sleeper and Christ will give you light.”

And only in Christ can the angel’s song of “peace on earth” ever be truly found. Join him now in his great campaign of taking back territory from the terrible foe. An infant cries out;  somewhere, a great Red Dragon is in terror, for he knows his time short.

St. Francis’ Shocking Words on Detraction

Many are quick to pronounce their judgments on Church leaders with haste. May the words of St. Francis of Assisi bring caution and prudence:

The Sin of Detraction

“The vice of detraction, my Brethren, is an enemy to the very source of piety and grace and is abominable to the most merciful God; because the detractor feeds on the blood of the souls he has murdered with the sword of his tongue. The impiety of the detractor is far greater than that of th etheif, because the law of Christ (which is fulfilled by showing mercy) commands us to desire more ardently the salvation of the soul, than the safety of th ebody.

The Religious who murmurs against his Brethren, or his Superiors, what does he do but drench his Mother, holy Religion, with the gall of bitterness and insults? Detractors are of the generation of Cham, who ridiculed the shame of the father instead of hiding it; thus these make known and exaggerate the faults of their Superiors and their order and they consequently deserve to be cursed by God.

These, like swine, wallow in mire; for, after the manner of these unclean animals (being themselves far more unclean in their consciences), they feed and gorge themselves on the defects and weaknesses which they curiously seek for, and often falsely affirm they see and find in others; like mad dogsthey grumble at religious discipline and correction; they bark against their Order and their Superiors; and when they can, they bite. This is what the detractor says: ‘My life is most imperfect, I have no particular grace or merit, therefore I cannot find favour either with God or man. I know what I will do. I will discover the defects of my brethren, and and thus I shall obtain favour with my Superiors. I know they are men like unto myself, and in this way I may also get into office, because, when the cedars are fallen, the branches only will remain in the way.’

Alas! miserable man, feed thyself upon human flesh, and unable to live otherwise, gnaw the entrails of my Brethren.

Detractors wish to appear good without being so, to declaim against vice, but not to give up practising it; they praise only those in authority, whose favour they wish to gain; and they never praise anyone unless they think he will hear of it. They make themselves pale with fasting for the sake of praise that they may be considered spiritual; they can judge all things, and may not be judged by any. They glory in the good opinion of men, not in good works; in having the name of angels, but not the virtues.”

– St. Francis of Assisi

Final Reminder – This Is Your Last Chance

The End is Near, The 2016 Madonna Calendar
Offer Closes This Sunday, December 13th
With Guaranteed Delivery Before Christmas!

Courageous Priest Note:  Thank you for your overwhelming support of our family apostolate.  The calendars have been selling like hotcakes. We are making one final push for Christmas delivery.  We cannot tell you how much we love you, our faithful followers.  We pray for you all in our daily family Rosary.

 

Attention Lovers of Our Mother Mary:

Today the Courageous Priest family-run apostolate has been graced with the opportunity to share with you something special. Back by popular demand, we are offering you a 2016 Madonna Wall Calendar showcasing the works of 18th century French artist William Adolphe Bouguereau.

Honestly, it is a rare beauty, like a remember seeing the Grand Canyon with the awe and the peacefulness.

I fondly remember hearing a Dominican Sister of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist say that when you see true beauty, it turns your heart to the Heavenly Father’s House. Well, that is what Bouguereau has done. His masterpieces of Our Mother Mary without a doubt turn the heart to Heaven.

What Makes This Madonna Calendar So Special?

Well it is a calendar about our Mother Mary. But, honestly, when you open the package the typical response is a heartfelt “WOW!” The quality of this calendar is rare.

  • Touching it, you can actually feel the quality, like hands caressing silk.
  • You can really see the quality and professionalism. Remember the time when you were on vacation with your loved ones and you witnessed the most talented artisan creating the most remarkable craft?  It is like that.

 cover

And most importantly it speaks to your heart.

I witnessed that when Jeff first viewed the calendar. He stopped. Took a deep breath and exclaimed, “John, this one!” I knew exactly what he was talking about. He was overwhelmed with the beautiful image of Our Mother Mary. That’s Our Mother speaking to the heart.

I personally think Our Lady is very pleased with this calendar made in her honor.

You will love this! This Madonna calendar honors both the new and traditional liturgical calendars, which mostly means Saints removed from the old calendar are recognized on this one. Without a personal doubt, I believe God the Father honors both calendars. It is such a good feeling to see powerful saints, like St. Philomena and St. Christopher, back in their proper places on the calendar. It’s just like rekindling a good friendship lost long ago.

Brand new this year, the calendar includes the daily readings.  This calendar is a spiritual work horse.

As our “Thank You” to you, . . .

Your entire family, living and deceased, will be included in the 900 Christmas Mass Novena beginning on Christmas Eve which is offered by the Seraphic Mass Association.  Yes, that is correct, 900 Capuchin Masses including you in their special Mass intentions.

qwe

You can click the image to see a better picture.

Testimonials!

“I absolutely love the calendar – the Pictures are just beautiful! Glad I bought it ! Thanx” – Patti W.

“Dear John and Regan, the calendar arrived today and it is everything said and more. Thank you” – Walter B. from Florida

“Can’t wait for my 2 calendars! I am so excited.” – Brian K. Australia

“The beautiful calendar arrived yesterday. It is everything you promised and then some. Some 22 years ago I discovered William Bourguereau and his gently beautiful paintings. Softness which comes from love of The Lord and of Our Blessed Mother is in all of his works. I am delighted that you have made a whole collection of his paintings available in the calendar. What a lovely way to start each new day…and a new month.” June S. from Idaho

“Your beautiful calendars arrived today. The pictures, as you said, are good enough to frame.” – Denise O. from Missouri

How much is it?

Your typical professional-quality calendars range from $14.95 to $21.95 with a higher than expected shipping and handling cost. Yes, you can find some for less, but we are asking you to help support the Courageous Priest family run apostolate. We don’t ask for donations, but we do ask for your purchase. We want it to be a fair price, so we are offering it for $14.95 plus shipping and handling. We hope that is fair enough.

To be honest, the last time was a crazy big event with us selling a whopping 800 calendars.

At our request the supplier made the calendar smaller to fit a more economical shipping rate. That one little change has allowed us to lower the price by $4.00. That makes us both happy.

Please act now, this offer closes this Saturday, December 13th.  Rest assured, all orders will arrive before Christmas.

Click HERE to support Courageous Priest and Buy the 2016 Madonna Calendar

Important: No International orders. Sorry for the inconvenience, but shipping for international orders are running $10 to $36 extra.

20% Large Order Discount Available

This lovely calendar is perfect for the home or office and makes a great gift for Christmas or any occasion.   We are having people contacting us so they can order more for their loved ones.   So, here is what we are going to do for you.  When you buy 5 or more calendars you receive 20% off. Can you believe we had one generous soul order 50!

Click HERE to Buy 5 or more at 20% Off

Sharon from North Carolina said.

“After having just received one of your exquisite calendars of the Blessed Mother with the artwork of Bouguereau. We knew we’d enjoy having 5 more to give as gifts.”

Oh yeah, we have a guarantee.

We Guarantee Your Satisfaction – Buy it Risk-Free. You either absolutely love it or return it with a no-questions asked full refund. We want you 100% satisfied.

So, there you have it. Would you please do Courageous Priest and yourself a favor and buy this before the introductory low rate ends November 23rd.  We cannot tell you how much we greatly support your generosity.

May God, who is rich in Mercy, bless you.

John Quinn and Jeff Gares
Co-founders, Courageous Priest

P.S.  Please don’t wait. The offer ends this Saturday, December 13th.  All orders will arrive before Christmas. Go ahead and please click on the “Buy Now” button. For questions or to order by check, please call 573-735-2002.

P.P.S. And don’t forget about the the 900 Christmas Mass Novena  your family will be automatically enrolled.

P.P.P.S.   Don’t forget your friends and family. Over half of our purchases are going to loved ones.  And 20% off is hard to find on calendars before Christmas. Please click here for multiple orders.
2014 Madonna Calendar

september

Click HERE to support Courageous Priest and Buy the 2016 Madonna Calendar

Or

Click HERE to Buy 5 or more at 20% Off

3 Easy Steps to Make an Awesome Confession

By Fr. Josh Miller, Quid Sit:
Everybody’s looking to improve their game, right? Well, after hearing thousands and thousands of confessions, I thought I’d craft a post on how you can make your next confession even better.

I should note before I begin that every confession is great, and that there’s no such thing as a “bad” confession as long as you’ve come to the Sacrament with a contrite heart. So if you read these tips and think to yourself, “I’ve been making some bad confessions!,” fear not: it’s pretty hard to do, unless you don’t take any of it seriously.

I should also note that the first tip largely assume you’re in a confessional box — a “sin bin,” as I call it — at a designated time, standing in line and waiting for your turn. There is at least one other way to make an awesome confession, which I address near the end of this post.

Tip #1 – The Devil’s In The Details

The awesome confessions I hear begin something like this:

“Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been two weeks since my last confession. I accuse myself of the following: I lied twice, I hosted uncharitable thoughts against my neighbor six times, I have failed on numerous occasions to be charitable to my husband…”

What’s lacking here is the word — indeed, even the sentiment of the word — “because.” Whenever you confess, the reasons for your failures aren’t pertinent to your confession. However, they are pertinent to the spiritual life; sin, like any other imperfect thought, any other emotion we have, should prompt rational discourse. The “because” matters to us because the ultimate aim is growth in holiness, which is only obtainable if we understand the reasons behind our failure. Strictly speaking, however, the “because” is not important within the context of confession.

In fact, I’d even venture so far as to say that the “because” is potentially harmful in confession. When we discuss how we lack charity towards a neighbor, for example, the tendency is to exonerate ourselves, or to lessen our own culpability somehow:

“I lacked charity towards my neighbor because it’s just so hard to get along with them when they keep their yard looking like a scene from Animal House.”

The tendency with humankind from the Fall forward has been to scapegoat, to create allibi: “She made me do it!,” says Adam. Of course, God sees through the bologna Adam tells himself. Within the context of the Sacrament with our souls laid bare, we should be on guard against the temptation to justify ourselves.

Traditionally, this is known as confession by “number and kind.” There’s something beautiful in a simplistic declaration of guilt. When we list number and kind, we say, “I did this!” and nothing else matters. We escape the temptation to feel sorry for ourselves when we courageously take responsibility for what we’ve done, the details be damned — literally.

Tip #2: Your Sins Are Boring

I’m as guilty of it as you are: every one of us thinks our sins are the worst in the world. We come in and confess them with a hesitant nervousness, as if what we’ve done is the worst the priest will ever hear.

I know that feeling as a penitent, even when — on an intellectual level — I know there’s nothing extraordinary about how I’ve sinned.

But as a priest, I also know this: sin is boring. It’s humdrum. It’s the most common thing in the world. There’s no sin you could possibly reveal that would cause me to raise an eyebrow, or start throwing things around, or get me angry. In order to do that, I’d have to turn a blind eye to my own sin, and it’s always before me. Nothing you say in that confessional should cause you any anxiety to simply kick out there. I may throw out a challenge for you, but that’s always in the form of encouragement rather than me being surprised or moved in any way.

You know what causes my eyebrows to perk up in the confessional? Virtue. Whenever someone mentions how they’ve made progress in an area, or when they note how they’ve grown in a certain way, that’s extraordinary. That’s interesting!

The point here: if you realize that your sins will make me yawn long before they’re going to shock or surprise me, then you’ll relax and make an awesome confession.

Tip #3: Make Use Of A Guided, “Spiritual Direction” Confession

As promised above, I thought I’d talk a little bit about where Tip #1 does not necessarily apply: within the context of a guided, spiritual direction-type confession.

Usually, these are not going to take place within the context of your parish’s regular confession times. They’re the “by appointment only” types, which every priest should be open to scheduling in addition to the regularly scheduled time he spends in the sin

The purpose of such a confession is to solicit more feedback and spiritual help from the priest, perhaps asking him for tips or areas of guidance in one or more areas. These kind of confessions take longer, but they’re extremely helpful when we’re facing some kind of spiritual impasse. These confessions allow you to go into the level of detail that just isn’t possible during a regularly scheduled confession time. I find them to be personally helpful myself, and take advantage of this form with regularity.

So there you have it: three simple tips to make your confessions awesome. As previously stated, every confession is a wonderful thing, but we can always hope for continued growth!


Fr.-Josh-MillerBorn in Omaha, Nebraska in 1980, Fr. Miller was ordained a priest in 2010 and currently lives in Bloomingdale, Illinois. He is trained in biology, English literature, philosophy, and theology. None of them, however, proved bigger than the call to priesthood for the Diocese of Joliet. You can read his blog, “Quid Sit?” at http://www.fatherjosh.com/

Follow Father Miller on Twitter: @FrJoshMiller


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5 Reasons Why the Madonna Calendar is a Great Deal

  1. Your entire family, living and deceased, will be included in the 900 Christmas Mass Novena beginning on Christmas Eve which is offered by the Seraphic Mass Association.  It is a free bonus for all who purchase.
  2. It is nearly impossible to get a pre-New Year discount, but we offer a 20% Large Order Discount.
  3. Free Shipping and no taxes.
  4. It is a masterpiece honoring our Mother Mary.
  5. Our family prays for our subscribers and supporters.  And we do need your support.  Please say a prayer for this family apostolate.  We don’t ask for donations, but we do ask for a purchase.

 

The End is Near, The 2016 Madonna Calendar
Offer Closes This Saturday, December 13th
With Guaranteed Delivery Before Christmas!

Attention Lovers of Our Mother Mary:

Today the Courageous Priest family-run apostolate has been graced with the opportunity to share with you something special. Back by popular demand, we are offering you a 2016 Madonna Wall Calendar showcasing the works of 18th century French artist William Adolphe Bouguereau.

Honestly, it is a rare beauty, like a remember seeing the Grand Canyon with the awe and the peacefulness.

I fondly remember hearing a Dominican Sister of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist say that when you see true beauty, it turns your heart to the Heavenly Father’s House. Well, that is what Bouguereau has done. His masterpieces of Our Mother Mary without a doubt turn the heart to Heaven.

What Makes This Madonna Calendar So Special?

Well it is a calendar about our Mother Mary. But, honestly, when you open the package the typical response is a heartfelt “WOW!” The quality of this calendar is rare.

  • Touching it, you can actually feel the quality, like hands caressing silk.
  • You can really see the quality and professionalism. Remember the time when you were on vacation with your loved ones and you witnessed the most talented artisan creating the most remarkable craft?  It is like that.

 cover

And most importantly it speaks to your heart.

I witnessed that when Jeff first viewed the calendar. He stopped. Took a deep breath and exclaimed, “John, this one!” I knew exactly what he was talking about. He was overwhelmed with the beautiful image of Our Mother Mary. That’s Our Mother speaking to the heart.

I personally think Our Lady is very pleased with this calendar made in her honor.

You will love this! This Madonna calendar honors both the new and traditional liturgical calendars, which mostly means Saints removed from the old calendar are recognized on this one. Without a personal doubt, I believe God the Father honors both calendars. It is such a good feeling to see powerful saints, like St. Philomena and St. Christopher, back in their proper places on the calendar. It’s just like rekindling a good friendship lost long ago.

Brand new this year, the calendar includes the daily readings.  This calendar is a spiritual work horse.

As our “Thank You” to you, . . .

Your entire family, living and deceased, will be included in the 900 Christmas Mass Novena beginning on Christmas Eve which is offered by the Seraphic Mass Association.  Yes, that is correct, 900 Capuchin Masses including you in their special Mass intentions.

qwe

You can click the image to see a better picture.

Testimonials!

“I absolutely love the calendar – the Pictures are just beautiful! Glad I bought it ! Thanx” – Patti W.

“Dear John and Regan, the calendar arrived today and it is everything said and more. Thank you” – Walter B. from Florida

“Can’t wait for my 2 calendars! I am so excited.” – Brian K. Australia

“The beautiful calendar arrived yesterday. It is everything you promised and then some. Some 22 years ago I discovered William Bourguereau and his gently beautiful paintings. Softness which comes from love of The Lord and of Our Blessed Mother is in all of his works. I am delighted that you have made a whole collection of his paintings available in the calendar. What a lovely way to start each new day…and a new month.” June S. from Idaho

“Your beautiful calendars arrived today. The pictures, as you said, are good enough to frame.” – Denise O. from Missouri

How much is it?

Your typical professional-quality calendars range from $14.95 to $21.95 with a higher than expected shipping and handling cost. Yes, you can find some for less, but we are asking you to help support the Courageous Priest family run apostolate. We don’t ask for donations, but we do ask for your purchase. We want it to be a fair price, so we are offering it for $14.95 plus shipping and handling. We hope that is fair enough.

To be honest, the last time was a crazy big event with us selling a whopping 800 calendars.

At our request the supplier made the calendar smaller to fit a more economical shipping rate. That one little change has allowed us to lower the price by $4.00. That makes us both happy.

Please act now, this offer closes this Saturday, December 13th.  Rest assured, all orders will arrive before Christmas.

Click HERE to support Courageous Priest and Buy the 2016 Madonna Calendar

Important: No International orders. Sorry for the inconvenience, but shipping for international orders are running $10 to $36 extra.

20% Large Order Discount Available

This lovely calendar is perfect for the home or office and makes a great gift for Christmas or any occasion.   We are having people contacting us so they can order more for their loved ones.   So, here is what we are going to do for you.  When you buy 5 or more calendars you receive 20% off. Can you believe we had one generous soul order 50!

Click HERE to Buy 5 or more at 20% Off

Sharon from North Carolina said.

“After having just received one of your exquisite calendars of the Blessed Mother with the artwork of Bouguereau. We knew we’d enjoy having 5 more to give as gifts.”

Oh yeah, we have a guarantee.

We Guarantee Your Satisfaction – Buy it Risk-Free. You either absolutely love it or return it with a no-questions asked full refund. We want you 100% satisfied.

So, there you have it. Would you please do Courageous Priest and yourself a favor and buy this before the introductory low rate ends November 23rd.  We cannot tell you how much we greatly support your generosity.

May God, who is rich in Mercy, bless you.

John Quinn and Jeff Gares
Co-founders, Courageous Priest

P.S.  Please don’t wait. The offer ends this Saturday, December 13th.  All orders will arrive before Christmas. Go ahead and please click on the “Buy Now” button. For questions or to order by check, please call 573-735-2002.

P.P.S. And don’t forget about the the 900 Christmas Mass Novena  your family will be automatically enrolled.

P.P.P.S.   Don’t forget your friends and family. Over half of our purchases are going to loved ones.  And 20% off is hard to find on calendars before Christmas. Please click here for multiple orders.
2014 Madonna Calendar

september

Click HERE to support Courageous Priest and Buy the 2016 Madonna Calendar

Or

Click HERE to Buy 5 or more at 20% Off

Honestly, How Can One Be “Spiritual But Not Religious?”

Think About It.  Does God Want a Spiritual But Not Religious Faith?

Written with great charity, which makes this article perfect to be shared and discussed.

By Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Standing on my Head;

I’m Spiritual but not Religious.

I’m Spiritual but not Religious.

“I’m spiritual but not religious” is one of the catch phrases you’ll hear a good bit these days.

My question about this is, “How do you do that?”

Just exactly what do you do to be spiritual without being religious?

Do you kind of sit quietly from time to time and think beautiful thoughts?

Maybe you go for a hike and think, “Gee this is really a nice day!” Do you smile at folks and think to yourself, “I can see the sunshine of eternity in their smile!” Maybe  you feel warm when you read that poem about walking on the beach and there was only one set of footprints and that’s when the Lord carried you?” Do you maybe light a candle from time to time and turn out the lights and feel spiritual for a time? Do you sit cross legged on the mountaintop and watch the sunrise?

I just can’t figure out how a person can be spiritual without being religious because wouldn’t you have to be religious (at least a little bit) to be spiritual?

 

Spiritual But Not Religious Analogy

Saying you’re spiritual but not religious is like saying you love sports but you don’t play a sport and don’t watch it on TV or go to any games, because once you tried to play the sport or even go to the games you would have to be taking part in the rules that make sport actually happen.

Saying you’re spiritual but not religious would be like saying you love music, but you don’t play an instrument, never took music lessons, don’t go to concerts and don’t listen to music through your headphones even. Because if you were to do any of those things you would be taking advantage of the rules and regulations and structures and strictures that actually make music possible.

The root of the word “religious” is “to bind”. That means you bind yourself to a certain rule or way of doing things. It’s not all free flowing, do as you please and make it up as you go along. Just as there are rules to the game, music on the page and a map for the journey, so there is religion to make “being spiritual” possible.

Surely as soon as a person starts to try to “be spiritual” they start being religious.

Do you get spiritual by lighting a candle and having a little statue of Buddha in front of you? Well, that’s being religious. Do you get spiritual by reading a poem that means something to you or by reading a book with a collection of quotes or beautiful thoughts? Well, that’s being religious because you are treating those books as your sacred text.

So maybe what the “spiritual but not religious” person means is that they do not go in for organized religion. They mean they are not members of an institutional church. That’s possible, but maybe they misunderstand what the purpose of organized religion actually IS.

 

Religion Maps the Journey to being Spiritual

Organized religion with all its devotions and duties, with all its doctrines and dogmas, with all its rules and rubrics and regulations is simply the rules for the game, the music on the printed page, the map for the journey and the instructions for how to be spiritual.

The organized religion is not an end in itself, but a means to an end.

Organized religion is really only a group of people who want to be spiritual getting themselves organized. They gather the experience and tradition of the past, they gather their community together because being spiritual is easier with a group, and they share and care for one another and share the necessary disciplines to “be spiritual” successfully.

Spiritual But Not Religious

But of course, this gets messy because it gets real. I suspect being “spiritual but not religious” is too easy and too unreal. Getting spiritual in a religion, on the other hand, means you have to get to work. You have to climb the mountain. You have to scrape your knees. You have to learn how to love, forgive and help other people who are on that same journey and part of your team…and all that is tough.

Lest it seem like no more than an inspiring version of the Boy Scouts or the Rotary Club, it is the supernatural dimension that fires them up, inspires them supernaturally and helps them to get organized so their desire to “be spiritual” can achieve lift off.

 

Honestly, How Can One be “Spiritual but not Religious?”