“I was irresistibly prompted to go out into the open air … The slush of melting snow formed a deep mud along the banks of the River Charles, which I followed down toward Boston … As I wandered aimlessly, something impelled me to look contemplatively at a young tree. On its frail, supple branches were young buds … While my eye rested on them, the thought came to me suddenly, with all the strength and novelty of a revelation, that these little buds in their innocence and meekness followed a rule, a law of which I as yet knew nothing … That night, for the first time in years, I prayed.”
Probably because of my skeptical bent, most apparitions (including those approved as worthy of belief) are things I can take or leave. I don’t disbelieve in them, but they’re not something I give much thought or spiritual focus to. The great exception to this is the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which has been dear to me ever since I was a child reading Tommie dePaola’s outstanding The Lady of Guadalupe.
The story of Our Lady’s appearances to Juan Diego is simple and moving on its own, and the significance of her appearance in emphasizing the truly universal nature of Catholicism cannot be underestimated.
Happy December 12th.
Today the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a new Instruction entitled Dignitas Personae, On Certain Bioethical Questions. You can find it along with a Vatican summary as well as a Q&A and press release from the USCCB here.
It is usually a bad sign when a President’s Chief of Staff is ducking questions. To all those outside the Land of Lincoln, welcome to Chicago politics 101!
Update I: I think Emanuel may be an ex-chief of staff even before he becomes chief of staff if this story pans out.
Update II: More detail as to the contacts between Blagojevich and Emanuel as to the Senate seat.
“Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations.”