Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Fidentem Piumque Animum - On the Rosary

The 'Pope of the Rosary', Pope Leo XIII's tenth Encyclical on the Holy Rosary.

Pope Leo XIII

20 September 1896

To Our Venerable Brethren, The Patriarchs, Primates, Bishops, and other Local Ordinaries Enjoying Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See.

Venerable Brethren, Health and the Apostolic Blessing.

1. We have already had the opportunity on several occasions during Our Pontificate of bearing public testimony to that confidence and devotion towards the Blessed Virgin which We imbibed in Our tenderest years, and have endeavoured to cherish and develop all our life long. For, having fallen upon times of calamity for Christendom and perils for the nations, We have realised how prudent it is to warmly recommend this means of safeguarding happiness and peace which God has most mercifully granted to Mankind in His August Mother, and which hath ever been celebrated in the annals of the Church. The manifold zeal of Christian people has responded to Our desires and exhortations, most particularly in exciting a devotion to the Rosary; and a plentiful harvest of excellent fruits has not been wanting. Still we can never be satisfied with celebrating the Divine Mother, who is in truth worthy of all praise, and in urging love and affection towards her who is also the mother of mankind, who is full of mercy, full of grace. Yea, Our soul, wearied with the cares of the Apostolate, the nearer it feels the time of Our departure to be at hand, with the more earnest confidence looks up to her from whom, as from a blessed dawn, arose the Day of happiness and joy that was never to set. It is pleasant to us to remember, Venerable Brethren, that We have in other letters issued from time to time extolled the devotion of the Rosary; for it is in many ways most pleasing to her in whose honour it is employed, and most advantageous to those who properly use it. But it is equally pleasant to be able now to insist upon and confirm the same fact. Herein we have an excellent opportunity to paternally exhort men’s minds and hearts to an increase of religion, and to stimulate within them the hope of eternal reward.

2. The form of prayer We refer to has obtained the special name of “Rosary,” as though it represented by its arrangement the sweetness of roses and the charm of a garland. This is most fitting for a method of venerating the Virgin, who is rightly styled the Mystical Rose of Paradise, and who, as Queen of the universe, shines therein with a crown of stars. So that by its very name it appears to foreshadow and be an augury of the joys and garlands of Heaven offered by her to those who are devoted to her. This appears clearly if we consider the nature of the Rosary of Our Lady. There is no duty which Christ and His Apostles more emphatically urged by both precept and example than that of prayer and supplication to Almighty God. The Fathers and Doctors in subsequent times have taught that this is a matter of such grave necessity, that if men neglect it they hope in vain for eternal salvation. Every one who prays finds the door open to impetration, both from the very nature of prayer and from the promises of Christ. And we all know that prayer derives its chief efficacy from two principal circumstances: perseverance, and the union of many for one end. The former is signified in those invitations of Christ so full of goodness: ask, seek, knock (Matt. vii., 7), just as a kind father desires to indulge the wishes of his children, but who also requires to be continually asked by them and as it were wearied by their prayers, in order to attach their hearts more closely to himself. The second condition Our Lord has born witness to more than once: If two of you shall consent upon earth concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by My Father who is in heaven. For where there are two or three gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them (Matt. xviii. 19, 20). Hence that pregnant saying of Tertullian: Let us gather into an assembly and congregation that we may, as it were, make up a band and solicit God (Apologet. c. xxxix): such violence is pleasing to God; and the memorable words of Aquinas: It is impossible that the prayers of many should not be heard, if one prayer is made up as it were out of many supplications. (In Evang. Matt. c. xvii). Both of these qualities are conspicuous in the Rosary. For, to be brief, by repeating the same prayers we strenuously implore from Our Heavenly Father the Kingdom of His grace and glory; we again and again beseech the Virgin Mother to aid us sinners by her prayers, both during our whole life and especially at that last moment which is the stepping-stone to eternity. The formula of the Rosary, too, is excellently adapted to prayer in common, so that it has been styled, not without reason, “The Psalter of Mary.” And that old custom of our forefathers ought to be preserved or else restored, according to which Christian families, whether in town or country, were religiously wont at close of day, when their labours were at an end, to assemble before a figure of Our Lady and alternately recite the Rosary. She, delighted at this faithful and unanimous homage, was ever near them like a loving mother surrounded by her children, distributing to them the blessings of domestic peace, the foretaste of the peace of heaven. Considering the efficacy of public prayer, We, among other decrees which we have from time to time issued concerning the Rosary, have spoken thus: “It is Our desire that in the principal church of each diocese it should be recited every day, and in parish churches on every feast-day (Apostolic Letter Salutaris Ille, 24th December, 1883). Let this be constantly and devoutly carried out. We also see with joy the custom extended on other solemn occasions of public devotion and in pilgrimages to venerated shrines, the growing frequency of which is to be commended. This association of prayer and praise to Mary is both delightful and salutary for souls. We ourselves have most strongly experienced this – and Our heart rejoices to recall it – when at certain times in Our Pontificate We have been present in the Vatican basilica, surrounded by great crowds of all classes, who united with Us in mind, voice, and hope, earnestly invoked by the mysteries and prayers of the Rosary, her who is the most powerful patroness of the Catholic name.

3. And who could think or say that the confidence so strongly felt in the patronage and protection of the Blessed Virgin is excessive? Undoubtedly the name and attributes of the absolute Mediator belong to no other than to Christ, for being one person, and yet both man and God, He restored the human race to the favour of the Heavenly Father: One Mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a redemption for all (1 Tim. ii. 5, 6). And yet, as the Angelic Doctor teaches, there is no reason why certain others should not be called in a certain way mediators between God and man, that is to say, in so far as they cooperate by predisposing and ministering in the union of man with God (Summa, p. 111., q. xxvi., articles 1, 2). Such are the angels and saints, the prophets and priests of both Testaments; but especially has the Blessed Virgin a claim to the glory of this title. For no single individual can even be imagined who has ever contributed or ever will contribute so much towards reconciling man with God. She offered to mankind. hastening to eternal ruin, a Saviour, at that moment when she received the announcement of the mystery of peace brought to this earth by the Angel, with that admirable act of consent in the name of the whole human race ( Summa. p. III., q. xxx., art. 1). She it is from whom is born Jesus; she is therefore truly His mother, and for this reason a worthy and acceptable “Mediatrix to the Mediator.” As the various mysteries present themselves one after the other in the formula of the Rosary for the meditation and contemplation of men’s minds, they also elucidate what we owe to Mary for our reconciliation and salvation. No one can fail to be sweetly affected when considering her who appeared in the house of Elizabeth as the minister of the divine gifts, and who presented her Son to the Shepherds, to the kings, and to Simeon. Moreover, one must remember that the Blood of Christ shed for our sake and those members in which He offers to His Father the wounds He received, the price of our liberty, are no other than the flesh and blood of the virgin, since the flesh of Jesus is the flesh of Mary, and however much it was exalted in the glory of His resurrection, nevertheless the nature of His flesh derived from Mary remained and still remains the same (de Assumpt. B. V. M., c. v., among the Opera S. Aug).

4. Yet another excellent fruit follows from the Rosary, exceedingly opportune to the character of our times. This we have referred to elsewhere. It is that, whilst the virtue of Divine Faith is daily exposed to so many dangers and attacks, the Christian may here derive nourishment and strength for his faith. Holy writ calls Christ the Author and finisher of faith (Heb. vii. 2), the Author, because He taught men many things which they had to believe, especially about Himself in whim dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead (Colos. ii., 9), and also because He mercifully gives the power of believing by the grace and, as it were, the function of the Holy Ghost; the Finisher, because in Heaven, where He will change the habit of faith into the splendour of glory, He openly discloses to them those things which they have seen in this mortal life as through a veil. Now Christ stands forth clearly in the Rosary. We behold in meditation His life, whether His hidden life in joy, or His public life in excessive toil and sufferings unto death, or His glorious life from His triumphant resurrection to His eternal enthronement at the right hand of the Father. And since faith, to be full and sufficient, must display itself, – for with the heart we believe unto justice, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Rom. x., 10), – so have we also in the Rosary an excellent means unto this, for by those vocal prayers with which it is intermingled, we are enabled to express and profess our faith in God, our most watchful Father; in the future life, the forgiveness of sins; in the mysteries of the august Trinity, the Incarnation of the Word, the Divine Maternity, and others. All know the value and merit of faith. For faith is just like a most precious gem, producing now the blossoms of all virtue by which we are pleasing to God, and hereafter to bring forth fruits that will last for ever: for to know Thee is perfect justice, and to know Thy justice and Thy power is the root of immortality (Wisdom xv., 3). It is here the place to add a remark respecting the duties of those virtues which faith rightly postulates. Among them is the virtue of penance, and one part of this is abstinence, which for more reasons than one is necessary and salutary. It is true the Church is growing more indulgent towards her children in this matter, but they must understand they are bound to take all care to make up for this maternal indulgence by other good works. We rejoice for this reason also to propose particularly the use of the rosary, which is capable of producing worthy fruits of penance, especially by the remembrance of the sufferings of Christ and His Mother.

5. To those therefore who are striving after supreme happiness this means of the Rosary has been most providentially offered, and it is one unsurpassed for facility and convenience. For any person, even moderately instructed in his religion can make use of it with fruit, and the time it occupies cannot delay any man’s business. Sacred history abounds with striking and evident examples. It is well known that there have been many persons occupied in most weighty functions or absorbed in laborious cares who have never omitted for a single day this pious practice. Combined with this advantage is that inward sentiment of devotion which attracts minds to the Rosary, so that they love it as the intimate companion and faithful protector of life; and in their last agony they embrace and hold fast to it as the dear pledge of the unfading Crown of glory. Such a pledge is greatly enhanced by the benefits of sacred indulgences, if properly employed; for the devotion of the Rosary has been richly endowed with such indulgences by both our Predecessors and Ourselves. These favours will certainly prove most efficacious to both the dying and the departed, being bestowed as it were by the hands of the merciful Virgin, in order that they may the sooner enjoy the eternal peace and light they have desired.

6. These considerations, Venerable Brethren, move us incessantly to extol and recommend to Catholic peoples this excellent and most salutary form of devotion. Yet another very urgent reason, of which we have often spoken both in Letters and Allocutions, encourages us to do this. For that earnest desire, which We have learnt from the Divine Heart of Jesus, of fostering the work of reconciliation among those who are separated from Us daily urges Us more pressingly to action; and we are convinced that this most excellent Re-union cannot be better prepared and strengthened than by the power of prayer. The example of Christ is before us, for in order that His disciples might be one in faith and charity, he poured forth prayer and supplication to His Father. And concerning the efficacious prayer of His most holy Mother for the same end, there is a striking testimony in the Acts of the Apostles. Therein is described the first assembly of the Disciples, expecting with earnest hope and prayer the promised fullness of the Holy Spirit. And the presence of Mary united with them in prayer is specially indicated: All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with Mary the Mother of Jesus (Acts i., 14). Wherefore as the nascent church rightly joined itself in prayer with her as the patroness and most excellent custodian of Unity, so in these times is it most opportune to do the same all over the Catholic World, particularly during the whole month of October, which we have long ago decreed to be dedicated and consecrated, by the solemn devotion of the Rosary, to the Divine Mother, in order to implore her for the afflicted Church. Let then the zeal for this prayer everywhere be re-kindled, particularly for the end of Holy Unity. Nothing will be more agreeable and acceptable to Mary; for, as she is most closely united with Christ she especially wishes and desires that they who have received the same Baptism with Him may be united with Him and with one another in the same faith and perfect charity. So may the sublime mysteries of this same faith by means of the Rosary devotion be more deeply impressed in men’s minds, with the happy result that “we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.”

7. Meanwhile, as a pledge of the Divine Favours and Our affection, We most lovingly impart to You, your clergy and People, the Apostolic Benediction.

Given at St. Peter’s in Rome, September 20, 1896, in the 19th year of Our Pontificate.

“Without Logos, the West Is Lost”

Another fascinating book that I would love to read, but, alas, so many books, so little time! Well, it goes on the list.

From MercatorNet

By Fr Gavan Jennings

Western society is crumbling as it loses the vital link between faith and reason

Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization
By Samuel Gregg | Regnery Gateway, USA | 2019, 192 pages

This book provides a wonderfully accessible overview of the evolution of a concept which has been the key to the development of Western civilisation, or we might better say is the hallmark of Western civilisation: the mutual interplay of faith and reason. Gregg shows how this key was sought by the Greeks, found by Judeo-Christianity, and progressively lost during the Enlightenment. He examines the kinds of pathologies which are produced by both faith and reason respectively when they are decoupled from one another.

Gregg starts out with “The Speech That Shook the World” — the Regensburg Address of Pope Benedict XVI in 2006, in which Ratzinger warned of the danger of the uncoupling of faith and reason. The fact that Ratzinger hit the nail on the head with his words here were — sadly — borne out by the violent (and sadly in some cases fatal) reaction of fundamentalists across the Islamic world. But Ratzinger’s words were for the West as much as for anyone else, for the integration of faith and reason which had been the hallmark of the West has been in crisis for a long time now, and the disasters of recent Western history are the bitter fruit of that crisis.

Ancient Greeks

Western civilisation begins with a Greek word and concept: logos, which refers to rational order — one we embody in words. This is in a way the Greek discovery, and it unleashed their philosophical speculations. The irrationality of the gods of Greek religion always seriously trammelled philosophical speculation. Vastly different was the religion of the Jews with its supremely rational God, and the advent of Christianity revealed fully the hidden depths of this rationality (the logos was made flesh) and on the rationality of God is founded the rationality (and freedom) of man.

In the thought of St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), this synthesis of faith and reason is brought to a supreme realisation. At the very same time, however, significant fissures between faith and reason began to appear in the incipient rationalism of the Latin Averroists as well as the incipient fideism of elements within the Franciscan order.

Various developments

Gregg prefaces his discussion of the great disjunction between faith and reason which takes place in the Enlightenment with an important proviso. He cautions the reader against an overly simplistic dismissal of all of Enlightenment thought tout court as anti-Christian. He is at pains to point out that much of the Enlightenment movement was quite compatible with Christianity, citing the historian Ulrich L. Lehner as saying “only a small fraction of Enlighteners were anti-religious; the overwhelming majority were interested in finding a balanced relation between reason and faith.” He points out the critical engagement of many Catholic intellectuals with the Enlightenment.

Gregg also reminds us that there was not just one Enlightenment, but several, and they differed in their attitude to the faith. The Scottish Enlightenment for instance involved a number of particularly religious men, such as the Presbyterian minister Thomas Reid (1710–1796). The leaders of the American Enlightenment similarly, despite their declarations of separation of Church and State, were mostly very well disposed towards religion in general, and Christianity in particular.

This was, however, not the case in the French Enlightenment. Gregg quotes Joseph Ratzinger’s distinction between “the Anglo-Saxon trend [in Enlightenment thought], which is more inclined to natural law and tends towards constitutional democracy,” from that associated with Jean-Jacques Rousseau, which “ultimately aims at complete freedom from any rule.” 

New religions

And even though the work of such Englishmen as Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton and John Locke never shares in the French animus against Christianity, they mark a decided shift away from metaphysical speculation in favour of utility and the empirical and so pave the way to scientism and the two great secularist ideologies of the nineteenth century: Marxism and liberalism. Ironically, although these two systems are prefaced on a rejection of religion (though in a much more virulent manner in Marxism), Gregg points out the quasi-religious character of both:

Like Judaism and Christianity, Marxism has its own canon of sacred books — the works of Marx, Engels, and Lenin, among others — which its adherents study as Jews and Christians study the scriptures. Marxists join a church-like organisation — the Party — with its own faithful (party members), clerical hierarchy (the Central Committee, the Politburo, the general secretary), theologians (Marxist theoreticians), saints (Che Guevara or Lenin, whose embalmed body is venerated in a shrine), and doctrines from which party members may not stray without compromising their orthodoxy.

Even the intellectuals that John Stuart Mill envisages overseeing the implementation of liberalism function as a kind of “clerisy”. It took Nietzsche of course to bring things to their logical conclusion: with the disappearance of God also goes any claim to objective truth (a delusion for the herd), and all we are left with is the will, and in particular the will to power.

Faith alone

In a sense, Nietzsche marks the culmination of the rationalist pathology stemming from the decoupling of faith and reason. The faith side of this binomial has a pathology of its own: fideism. In chapter five, Gregg discusses the origins and implications of the fideism which has come to dominate (as Ratzinger warns in this Regensburg address) the world’s greatest bastion of fideism, which is Islam.

He describes the fateful showdown which took place in Islam between the ninth and twelfth centuries, in which the pro-reason school — the Mutazilites — were defeated by the fideistic, voluntaristic school of the Ash’arites. The implications of this defeat went far beyond Islamic theology, into every aspect of the Islamic worldview, and in a dramatic way into political thought: the perceived mode of divine rule sets the standard for political rule, and so if God’s power is envisaged as tyrannical and mankind’s correct attitude is one of submission (“Islam” means submission) then similarly, political power is conceived of as despotic over a submissive population.

Gregg does not despair for Western civilisation. Decline, he thinks “ is not inescapable”. He considers that those who conceive of a reason as closed to faith must acknowledge that this view created Marx and scientism — with all the destruction they have wrought on the world. On the other hand, those more sympathetic to faith must acknowledge that the Enlightenment has been part of a bulwark against the kind of fideism which has come to dominate the Islamic world. But above all, there will be no recovery without the rediscovery of what made Western civilisation in the first place: the interplay of faith and reason. “Without Logos, the West is lost.”

Downfall of the Monarchy of Madagascar

An oft-forgotten monarchy destroyed by the forces of the Satanic French Republic, in this case, the Third.

From The Mad Monarchist (28 February 2013)

It was on this day in 1897 that the Kingdom of Madagascar officially ceased to exist after the last queen was deposed by the forces of the French Third Republic. It was a sad day for the downcast monarch, Queen Ranavalona III, and for Madagascar as a whole but the French were also not quite the villains they are often portrayed as. In cases like these there does tend to be a habit of exaggerating things. When it came to the great colonial race, France was anxious to expand, not simply for the sake of expansion, but also to block British colonial expansion. Whether Africa or Asia the French thinking was that if they did not take control of an area the British certainly would and then they would be shut out. And, considering how hugely successful the British Empire was, it is not an outrageous mentality to have. One could hardly swing a dead cat anywhere in the world without hitting a British colony. It might just be one little rock(all) in the middle of the ocean, but look away for a second and there would be a Union Jack flying over it.

There is also no denying the fact that the Kingdom of Madagascar was in less than ideal shape. The Queen, and Madagascar had a succession of female monarchs, did not count for much anymore. She devoted her time to playing games, doing needlework and collecting the latest fashions from Paris and was a rather naïve woman. Some time previously Madagascar had officially become a constitutional monarchy and, while many sources speak of this as an achievement in the march of progress, in effect it meant that the monarch was overthrown in all but name. Officially, the Queen was supposed to share power with her Prime Minister (which itself had become an office dominated by one family) but the standard procedure was for the PM to be married to the monarch (imagine the consequences such a policy would have in other monarchies!) and in a country where women were definitely second-class and polygamy was more common than not, in fact if not in name it was the Prime Minister who ruled Madagascar while the Queen kept herself busy with hobbies.

The introduction of constitutional monarchy could almost be seen as the replacement of one royal family by another. For example, Prime Minister Rainiharo obtained that office, as well as that of Commander-in-Chief, by marrying Queen Ranavalona I in 1833. He was succeeded as Prime Minister by his son Rainivoninahitriniony (hope I spelled that right) who was an attempted regicide and coup leader but that did not stop his brother Rainilaiarivony from succeeding him as Prime Minister. He first married his cousin and had 16 children but then also married Queen Rasoherina (the widow of the King his own brother had plotted to kill and who the new PM purged from the list of kings -even making it illegal to speak his name). In due course he married each of the last three Queens of Madagascar; Ranavalona II and Ranavalona III in their turn. He was complicit in a number of coup attempts and was responsible for the new constitution that drastically limited the power of the monarchy and in effect made him king in all but name.

The French, for their part, had no initial desire to bring down the monarchy in Madagascar. Oddly enough, even in republican France, many recognized the value of monarchy in foreign countries and French colonies. Sometimes they were quite beneficial to colonial monarchies and at other times, even when the French were detrimental it was inadvertent. French concern about the British was not unfounded. British influence was growing in Madagascar, particularly through British missionary Bible societies to the extent that the Queen and Prime Minister became Protestant Christians, ordered their court to do the same and “encouraged” the public to be baptized out of patriotic love for the Queen. Alcohol was banned, work on Sunday was banned and a few Catholics were persecuted to show how truly Protestant Madagascar had become. In fact, most continued with their native beliefs with a dash of Christianity thrown into the mix.

The last King of Madagascar, Radama II (the one the PM’s brother had knocked off) had made some concessions to France that the subsequent native authorities refused to honor, sparking the first unpleasantness between France and Madagascar. France gained a port on the north shore and the promise of 50 million francs in reparations. The treaty also effectively made Madagascar a protectorate but left local affairs to the locals. However, as often happened, the two sides disagreed on what exactly had been agreed to, Madagascar pulled out of the agreement, sought foreign assistance and France sent the troops in once again. That time the royal palace was the target and the future of the monarchy would not be so certain. According to some sources, Queen Ranavalona III was in favor of the French incursion as a way to rid herself of her old and domineering husband (he was more than 30 years older than the poor girl). The local populace did nothing to hinder the French advance and the native military was swept aside with little difficulty. After a few shots at the palace the PM surrendered and the next day the Queen recognized France as the protecting power of Madagascar. Her husband was removed from office and exiled to Algeria (where he actually became quite the Francophile himself) but Queen Ranavalona III was allowed to retain her throne.

In a way, this was a liberating moment for the young monarch. Though, the innocent young woman was a little nervous when the French said she would need a new Prime Minister and she immediately chose French General Jacques Duchesne who had led the recent campaign. The worry arose from her assumption that she would have to marry him and the Queen was relieved when told that such was no longer to be the case. Unfortunately, once it was too late, the native population did begin to rise up against the French presence as well as the Christian missionaries (Catholic or Protestant) and all other foreign influences. Members of the royal court and royal family were implicated in this and, from that point on, many in France began to see the monarchy as being more trouble than it was worth. The rebellion was put down and a hard military man, General Joseph Gallieni (who would go on to considerable fame in World War I) was put in charge of things in Madagascar. Not long after arriving he had the royal properties seized, placed the Queen under house arrest and finally, on February 27, 1897, abolished the monarchy and sent the Queen into exile on Reunion Island, later being moved to Algeria.

The former Queen visited France several times in the following years where she was a big hit and which she adored. She had become a bit of a Francophile as well, just like her former husband/PM (who actually wrote an open letter to the rebels in Madagascar, saying they should stop their attacks and be grateful to the French). She died on May 23, 1917 up to the last working for the Algerian Red Cross to show her solidarity with France during the Great War. In the absence of the monarchy, less than ideal though it might have been, Madagascar has not prospered. In 1960 the island nation regained its independence from France and in the short span of time since then has already gone through four republics, coups and power struggles remain commonplace and most of the populace lives in poverty. Yet another example of the horrible results of abolishing a perfectly good monarchy.

Bishop Challoner's Meditations - June 29th

ON ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL

Consider first, the wonders of God in these two glorious saints; reflect what they were before their being called by Jesus Christ, how admirable they were afterwards exalted by divine grace, and how perfectly they corresponded with divine grace, by their zeal and by their labours, by their lives and by their deaths. The wisdom of God came down from heaven to build a house, to found a city, to establish a kingdom here upon earth, which should ever be victorious over all the powers of hell, and should subsist till time itself should end. And see what choice he has made of men to be his principal instruments in this great work. See in the person of St. Peter, a poor, weak, illiterate fisherman, made the master-builder, under Christ, of this house and temple, and at the same time the strong rock and foundation of it; see him raised to be the first governor of this city, the prime minister of this kingdom of God upon earth, St. Matt. xvi. 18, 19, and St. John xxi. 15, &c. Oh! how true it is, that 'God hath chosen the foolish things of the world, that he may confound the wise, and the weak things of the world that he may confound the strong: and the things that are contemptible, and things that are not, -that no flesh should glory in his sight,' 1 Cor. I. 27, &c. O divine wisdom, how incomprehensible are thy ways, and how much exalted above the ways of men! O how do these thy dealings with us confound the proud and comfort the humble!

Consider 2ndly, in the person of St. Paul, another still more admirable instance of the power of divine grace and of the incomprehensible wisdom of the ways of God. An ignorant fisherman as St. Peter was, seems indeed nowise qualified to be a preacher and teacher of Jews and Gentiles, a founder of churches, an apostle, and prince of the apostles; but then he was humble and simple, and such God usually chooses for the greatest things. But as for St. Paul, he was not only not qualified to be preacher of the gospel, but positively disqualified by dispositions directly contrary to the humility and simplicity of the gospel. He was a blasphemous Pharisee, a fiery zealot, a bloody persecutor, a ravenous wolf, scattering and destroying the sheep of Christ. And yet he is made, in a moment, by a miracle of grace, a vessel of election, to carry the name of Christ before nations and kings and the children of Israel; he is changed in an instant from a wolf into a lamb; he puts off at once the Pharisee, the blasphemer, the persecutor; he lays down his own will at the feet of Christ, and has now no other passion but that of employing his whole life in propagating the name, the will and the kingdom of his God. O! here is a change of the right hand of the Most High! Here the wonders of God's power, wisdom, and goodness, shine forth much more brightly than even in the raising of the dead to life.

Consider 3rdly, the lives of these two great saints after their call and election; their ardent zeal for the glory of their Lord; their unwearied labours in preaching and propagating his kingdom; their constancy in a long course of sufferings, dying, in a manner daily, for the cause of God; and above all things, that divine love and charity which continually burnt in their breast, which animated all their words and actions, supported them in all their labours and sufferings, kept them always in their interior united to their God, and was daily growing stronger and stronger in them, till it made them victorious over death, and brought them to true life, in the eternal enjoyment of the great object of their love.

Conclude to give praise and glory to God for all the graces and glory bestowed upon these two princes and pillars of his church. Study to learn the great lessons they taught both by word and work. But especially learn of them the practice of divine love - nothing else can make us saints.

29 June, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles

1. Jesus was walking one day along the shore of the Sea of Galilee when He saw two fishermen casting their nets into the water. He approached them and said: “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17) These two fishermen were brothers named Simon and Andrew. The divine Master won their hearts immediately, so that they left their boat and their nets and followed Jesus. Simon was later called Peter and became the leader of the Apostles.

Peter's generosity and great love for Jesus are evident in the pages of the Gospel. When our Lord foretold the institution of the Blessed Eucharist, many of His disciples were scandalised and left Him. "Do you also wish to go away?" Jesus asked His Apostles. St. Peter answered Him without delay. “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast words of everlasting life, and we have come to believe and to know that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God.” (John 6:69) On another occasion Jesus asked His disciples: “Who do men say the Son of Man is?” The Apostles hesitated and began to suggest the names of various Prophets. But St. Peter was inspired to make the reply: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Then our Lord appointed him Head of the Church. “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona . . . thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” (Mt. 16: 15-19) By these words there was instituted the loftiest and most ancient of the dynasties, the Papacy. The successors of St. Peter will rule the Church to the end of time and no power, neither persecution nor heresy, neither human tyranny nor false civilisation, will ever succeed in destroying this citadel of truth and goodness.

When a band of hired ruffians arrested Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, His disciples were terrified and did nothing. Peter was the only one to show any courage, drawing his sword in defence of his divine Master. Later Jesus was brought in chains before the Sanhedrin and was condemned to death. Peter had not the heart to leave Him to His fate. He was too generous for that, even if he was too hasty and went on to deny Jesus three times. But he repented quickly and regretted his fault for the rest of his life. Even in his sin we can discern Peter's generosity of spirit.

Before he went to Rome, Peter had flouted the authority of the Synagogue of Jerusalem and had endured prison and undertaken long journeys in the course of his mission. Providence brought him to Rome, where he established the Roman Church which he was to sanctify by the shedding of his blood. He was crucified close to the Vatican hill from which his successors would one day govern the Christian world. His martyrdom bestowed an invincible strength upon the Church for all time.

2. It is good to admire the fidelity of St. Peter and the designs of divine Providence in making him the visible Head of the Church, but it is far better to follow his example. His love for Jesus led him to leave his family and his fisherman's trade in order to follow Our Lord. It led him to undertake long voyages, to endure imprisonment, and to face martyrdom. What can we do for the love of Jesus? Remember that if love is to be sincere it must be generous and effective.

Secondly, let us meditate on and imitate the ardent and fearless faith of St. Peter. He was not afraid to preach the teaching of Christ before the Sanhedrin. He was not afraid of Herod, who cast him into prison. He was not afraid of the Roman Emperor, who caused him to be crucified. Our faith should be steadfast and lively like his.

Finally, let us imitate Peter in his repentance. Although he loved Jesus very much and had such great faith in Him, in a moment of weakness and of imprudence he denied Him three times. All his life, however, he wept bitterly for this sin. Whenever he heard a cock crowing, it was as if an arrow had pierced his heart. He was not satisfied until he was hanging upon the cross like his divine Master and could prove his love for Jesus by a martyr's death.

3. Protect your people, O Lord, and keep them safe always, trusting as they do in the protection of your Apostles, Peter and Paul. Amen.

Eastern Rite - Feasts of 29 June AM 7530

Today is the Feasts of the Holy, Glorious, All-Praiseworthy and Chief Apostles Peter and Paul; Passing into Eternal Life (1941) of Blessed Iakym (Joachim) (Senkivsky), Basilian Protohegumen and Martyr of Drohobych, where his body was boiled.
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Sermon of Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo

Today the Holy Church piously remembers the sufferings of the Holy Glorious and All-Praised Apostles Peter and Paul.

Saint Peter, the fervent follower of Jesus Christ, for the profound confession of His Divinity: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” was deemed worthy by the Savior to hear in answer, “Blessed art thou, Simon ... I tell thee, that thou art Peter [Petrus], and on this stone [petra] I build My Church” (Mt.16:16-18). On “this stone” [petra], is on that which thou sayest: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God” it is on this thy confession I build My Church. Wherefore the “thou art Peter”: it is from the “stone” [petra] that Peter [Petrus] is, and not from Peter [Petrus] that the “stone” [petra] is, just as the Christian is from Christ, and not Christ from the Christian. Do you want to know, from what sort of “rock” [petra] the Apostle Peter [Petrus] was named? Hear the Apostle Paul: “Brethren, I do not want ye to be ignorant,” says the Apostle of Christ, “how all our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (1 Cor.10: 1-4)....

Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the final days of His earthly life, in the days of His mission to the race of man, chose from among the disciples His twelve Apostles to preach the Word of God. Among them, the Apostle Peter for his fiery ardor was vouchsafed to occupy the first place (Mt.10:2) and to be as it were the representative person for all the Church. Therefore it is said to him, preferentially, after the confession: “I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in the heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth: shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt.16: 19). Therefore it was not one man, but rather the One Universal Church, that received these “keys” and the right “to bind and loosen.” And that it was actually the Church that received this right, and not exclusively a single person, turn your attention to another place of the Scriptures, where the same Lord says to all His Apostles, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit” and further after this, “Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them: and whose soever sins ye retain, are retained” (John 20: 22-23); or: “whatsoever ye bind upon the earth, shall be bound in Heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosened in heaven” (Mt.18:18). Thus, it is the Church that binds, the Church that loosens; the Church, built upon the foundational cornerstone, Jesus Christ Himself (Eph 2:20), doth bind and loosen. Let both the binding and the loosening be feared: the loosening, in order not to fall under this again; the binding, in order not to remain forever in this condition. Therefore “Iniquities ensnare a man, and everyone is bound in the chains of his own sins,” says Wisdom (Prov 5:22); and except for Holy Church nowhere is it possible to receive the loosening.

After His Resurrection the Lord entrusted the Apostle Peter to shepherd His spiritual flock not because, that among the disciples only Peter alone was pre-deserved to shepherd the flock of Christ, but Christ addresses Himself chiefly to Peter because, that Peter was first among the Apostles and as such the representative of the Church; besides which, having turned in this instance to Peter alone, as to the top Apostle, Christ by this confirms the unity of the Church. “Simon of John” -- says the Lord to Peter -- “lovest thou Me?” -- and the Apostle answered: “Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee”; and a second time it was thus asked, and a second time he thus answered; being asked a third time, seeing that as it were not believed, he was saddened. But how is it possible for him not to believe That One, Who knew his heart? And wherefore then Peter answered: “Lord, Thou knowest all; Thou knowest that I love Thee.” “And sayeth Jesus to him” all three times “Feed My sheep” (John 20:15-17).

Besides this, the triple appealing of the Savior to Peter and the triple confession of Peter before the Lord had a particular beneficial purpose for the Apostle. That one, to whom was given “the keys of the kingdom” and the right “to bind and to loose,” bound himself thrice by fear and cowardice (Mt.26:69-75), and the Lord thrice loosens him by His appeal and in turn by his confession of strong love. And to shepherd literally the flock of Christ was acquired by all the Apostles and their successors. “Take heed, therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock,” the Apostle Paul urges church presbyters, “over which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28); and the Apostle Peter to the elders: “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof not by constraint, but willingly: not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind: neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when is appeared the Prince of pastors, ye will receive unfading crowns of glory” (1 Pet. 5:2-4).

It is remarkable that Christ, having said to Peter: “Feed My sheep,” did not say: “Feed thy sheep,” but rather to feed, good servant, the sheep of the Lord. “Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor.1:13). “Feed My sheep”. Wherefore “wolfish robbers, wolfish oppressors, deceitful teachers and mercenaries, not being concerned about the flock” (Mt.7:15; Acts 20:29; 2 Pet 2:1; John 10:12), having plundered a strange flock and making of the spoils as though it be of their own particular gain, they think that they feed their flock. Such are not good pastors, as pastors of the Lord. “The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11), entrusted to Him by the chief Shepherd Himself (1 Pet 5:4). And the Apostle Peter, true to his calling, gave his soul for the very flock of Christ, having sealed his apostleship by a martyr’s death, is now glorified throughout all the world.

The Apostle Paul, formerly Saul, was changed from a robbing wolf into a meek lamb. Formerly he was an enemy of the Church, then is manifest as an Apostle. Formerly he stalked it, then preached it. Having received from the high priests the authority at large to throw all Christians in chains for execution, he was already on the way, he breathed out “threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1), he thirsted for blood, but “He that dwells in the Heavens shall laugh him to scorn” (Ps 2:4). When he, “having persecuted and vexed” in such manner “the Church of God” (1Cor.15:9; Acts 8:5), he came near Damascus, and the Lord from Heaven called to him: “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?” and I am here, and I am there, I am everywhere: here is My head; there is My body. There becomes nothing of a surprise in this; we ourselves are members of the Body of Christ. “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me; it is hard for thee to kick against the goad” (Acts 9:4-5). Saul, however, “trembling and frightened”, cried out: “Who art Thou, Lord?” The Lord answered him, “I am Jesus Whom thou persecutest.”

And Saul suddenly undergoes a change: “What wantest Thou me to do?” -- he cries out. And suddenly for him there is the Voice: “Arise, and go to the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do” (Acts 9:6). Here the Lord sends Ananias: “Arise and go into the street” to a man, “by the name of Saul,” and baptize him, “for this one is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9: 11, 15, 18). This vessel must be filled with My Grace. “Ananias, however, answered: Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he hath done to Thy saints in Jerusalem: and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Thy Name” (Acts 9:13-14). But the Lord urgently commands Ananias: “Search for and fetch him, for this vessel is chosen by Me: for I shall show him what great things he must suffer for My name’s sake” (Acts 9:11, 15-16).

And actually the Lord did show the Apostle Paul what things he had to suffer for His Name. He instructed him the deeds; He did not stop at the chains, the fetters, the prisons and shipwrecks; He Himself felt for him in his sufferings, He Himself guided him towards this day. On a single day the memory of the sufferings of both these Apostles is celebrated, though they suffered on separate days, but by the spirit and the closeness of their suffering they constitute one. Peter went first, and Paul followed soon after him. Formerly called Saul, and then Paul, having transformed his pride into humility. His very name (Paulus), meaning “small, little, less,” demonstrates this. What is the Apostle Paul after this? Ask him, and he himself gives answer to this: “I am,” says he, “the least of the Apostles... but I have labored more abundantly than all of them: yet not I, but the grace of God, which was with me” (1 Cor.15:9-10).

And so, brethren, celebrating now the memory of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, remembering their venerable sufferings, we esteem their true faith and holy life, we esteem the innocence of their sufferings and pure confession. Loving in them the sublime quality and imitating them by great exploits, “in which to be likened to them” (2 Thess 3: 5-9), and we shall attain to that eternal bliss which is prepared for all the saints. The path of our life before was more grievous, thornier, harder, but “we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses” (Heb 12: 1), having passed by along it, made now for us easier, and lighter, and more readily passable. First there passed along it “the author and finisher of our faith,” our Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Heb 12: 2); His daring Apostles followed after Him; then the martyrs, children, women, virgins and a great multitude of witnesses. Who acted in them and helped them on this path? He Who said, “Without Me ye can do nothing” (John 15: 5).

Troparion — Tone 4

O first-enthroned of the Apostles, / and teachers of the universe, / intercede with the Master of all / to grant peace to the world, / and to our souls great mercy.
 
Kontakion — Tone 2

(The original melody)
O Lord, You have taken to Yourself the steadfast and divinely-inspired heralds, the leaders of Your Apostles, / for the enjoyment of Your good things and for their rest; / for You have accepted their labors and their deaths as above all burnt offerings, / for You alone know the hearts of men. 

Kontakion — Tone 2

Today Christ the Rock glorifies with highest honor / the rock of Faith and leader of the Apostles, / together with Paul and the company of the Twelve, / whose memory we celebrate with eagerness of faith, / giving glory to Him Who glorified them!
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Blessed Iakym (Senkivsky) was born 2 May 1896 at Haji Velyki, Ternopil District, Ukraine, Russian Empire. He studied theology at Lviv and was ordained on 4 December 1921. He obtained his Doctorate in Theology from Innsbruck, Austria. He was a novice in the Basilian Order of Saint Josaphat at Krekhiv in 1923. First assigned to the village of Krasnopushcha, and then Lavriv. He then held various positions at the Saint Onufry monastery at Lviv from 1931 to 1938. He was made Prior of the monastery at Drohobych in 1939. Arrested for his faith on 26 June 1941 by Communist authorities, he was boiled to death three days later in a cauldron. He was beatified in June 2001 by Pope John Paul II.

IN LUMINE FIDEI: 29 JUNE – SAINTS PETER AND PAUL (Apostles and Mart...


IN LUMINE FIDEI: 29 JUNE – SAINTS PETER AND PAUL (Apostles and Mart...: O Roma felix, quae duorum Principium Es consecreta glorioso sanguine: Horum cruore purpurata caeteras, Excellis orbis una pulchr...

29 June, The Chesterton Calendar

JUNE 29th
ST. PETER'S DAY

When Christ at a symbolic moment was establishing His great society, He chose for its corner-stone neither the brilliant Paul nor the mystic John, but a shuffler, a snob, a coward—in a word, a man. And upon this rock He has built His Church, and the gates of Hell have not prevailed against it. All the empires and the kingdoms have failed because of this inherent and continual weakness, that they were founded by strong men and upon strong men. But this one thing—the historic Christian Church—was founded upon a weak man, and for that reason it is indestructible. For no chain is stronger than its weakest link.

'Heretics.'


29 June, The Holy Rule of St Benedict, Patriarch of Western Monasticism

CHAPTER XXII. How the Monks are to sleep

27 Feb. 29 June. 29 Oct.

Let them sleep each one in a separate bed, receiving bedding suitable to their manner of life, as the Abbot shall appoint. If possible, let all sleep in one place: but if the number do not permit of this, let them repose by tens or twenties with the seniors who have charge of them. Let a candle burn constantly in the cell until morning. Let them sleep clothed, and girded with belts or cords - but not with knives at their sides, lest perchance they wound themselves in their sleep - and thus be always ready, so that when the signal is given they may rise without delay, and hasten each to forestall the other in going to the Work of God, yet with all gravity and modesty. Let not the younger brethren have their beds by themselves, but among those of the seniors. And when they rise for the Work of God, let them gently encourage one another, because of the excuses of the drowsy.

30 June, The Roman Martyrology

Prídie Kaléndas Iúlii Luna prima Anno Dómini 2022

On the morrow we make commemoration of the holy Apostle Paul.
June 30th 2022, the 1st day of the Moon, were born into the better life:

At Limoges, in Gaul, [in the first century,] holy Martial, first Bishop [of that see,] and the two Priests Alpinian and Austriclinian, whose lives shone brightly with the fame of miracles.
On the same day, [at Talca, in Spain,] the holy [martyrs, the] Priest Caius and the Sub-Deacon Leo.
At Alexandria, under the Emperor Severus, the holy martyr Basilides. He led the holy Virgin Potamicena to execution, and while doing so, protected her from the insults of some lewd man, and he received a reward from her for this reverential service. Three days afterwards she appeared to him and put a crown upon his head, by the which vision she not only turned him to Christ, but also by her prayers, while he fought his short fight, she made him a glorious martyr.
At Rome, holy Lucina, a disciple of the Apostles, who contributed of her goods to the necessities of the Saints, visited the Christians who were kept bound in prison, and ministered to the burial of the martyrs, beside whom she was buried in a vault which she made for herself.
Also at Rome, [in the fourth century,] the holy Virgin Aemiliana.
At Viviers, the holy Priest and Confessor Ostian.
V. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God.

Memes of the Day


Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Investigation Underway of Major Fire at Catholic Bookstore in Houston

And the attacks continue! At least, so far, they're only attacking buildings. Attacks on people will come later if history is any guide.

From Catholic News Agency

By Kevin J. Jones

A Saturday evening fire caused major damage to the Sacco Company Catholic Store in downtown Houston. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

A fire started about 8 p.m. June 25 at the store, which is more than 6,000 square feet in area. The building is on San Jacinto Street five blocks south of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. 

The store’s owners say they are still open for business online and at their other Houston location.

“We did suffer a fire on Saturday evening. It did destroy most of our store,” Andrew Sacco, the store’s owner, told CNA June 27. “It’s a pretty big blow. It’s a family-owned business. We’ve been in that location for over 30 years. It’s a significant blow to us.”

Sacco said he did not know of any signs of vandalism, arson, or threats

“We don’t have any information on that at this time. The fire is still being investigated,” he told CNA. “We’re waiting on insurance adjustors and inspectors. There’s been no determination on the cause of the fire.”

Arson investigators were on the scene of the fire, KPRC 2 News reports.

A Houston Fire Department spokesperson told CNA on Monday that the incident investigation is still considered open and active. 

The fire comes amid concerns about arson and vandalism at churches, pregnancy centers, and other institutions which oppose abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision last week.

The store which suffered the fire was the Sacco Company’s main location and had all of its main inventory.

“We’re going to have to be rebuilding our inventory back up. We are working with our vendors,” Sacco said. “Any necessary orders can be fulfilled.”

The San Jacinto Street location is temporarily closed. The company’s other location, Veritas Catholic Bookstore, is still open on the 2900 block of Chimney Rock Road in west Houston.

“We are working out of our sister store, Veritas Catholic Bookstore,“ Sacco said. “We’re still operational, we’re just working to get things back up and running … We’re still taking church goods orders. We can ship directly from our manufacturers.”

Historic West Virginia Catholic Church Burned to Ground by Arsonist, Police Say

Historically, it starts with Church burnings before it moves on to physical attacks against Priests and Nuns.

From Fox News

By Anders Hagstrom

St. Colman Catholic Church is only the most recent church to face an arson attack

A historic Catholic church in West Virginia burned to the ground this weekend, and police are now investigating the incident as arson.

St. Colman Catholic Church was already a smoldering ruin when firefighters from the Beaver Volunteer Fire Department arrived to the scene Sunday morning. The church was built in 1878 and was declared an official historical site in 1984.

Authorities have not released information about potential suspects.

Police encouraged anyone with information about the arson to contact Trooper D. Daniels at (304) 256-6700, the WV State Fire Marshal’s Arson Hotline at 1 (800) 233-3473 or Crime Stoppers of Raleigh County at 304-255-STOP or crimestopperswv.com.

 

The alleged arson comes as Catholic churches across the U.S. and in Canada have faced a spate of vandalism and arson attacks in recent years.

The church burnings rose amid protests against Canada's now-defunct residential schools program. The program saw Catholic-run schools tasked with forcibly assimilating indigenous children from the late 1800's to 1970.

The congregation stopped holding services at St. Colman after it was declared a historic site in 1984.

In Bed With The Left

Remember, Francis called Emma Bonino, an abortionist, one of 'Italy's forgotten greats'!

From The American Catholic

By Donald R. McClarey, JD

Aw, we’ve embarrassed them at their cocktail parties with pro-aborts.  Mea culpa!  Mea culpa!  Mea maxima culpa!

Bonus:

The Pope’s pal has the sads:

Italy’s most prominent abortion activist Emma Bonino, a leftist who helped pass Law 194 that legalised abortion in Italy, said the overturning of Roe showed the risk in Italy of moving backwards and of "losing achievements that had seemed permanent". Let’s hope she is right.
 
Link to tweet with video:
 

Body and Soul

Lesson Seventeen of God and His Creation, with Fr Gregory Pine, OP, BA, STL, Assistant Director for Campus Outreach at the Thomistic Institute.

 

A soul is not a ghost in a machine or a mere emergent property. It is not an occult claim or a material reduction—the soul is the form of the body, an animating force that separates the living from the non-living. In this video, we'll revisit some of the insights from the last video, teasing out implications and advancing insights a bit further.

Our Very Catholic President Responds to the Roe Decision

Mr Griffey has a few short thoughts about how our 'devout Catholic' President reacted to the overturn of Roe vs Wade.

From Daffey Thoughts

By David Griffey

By pledging to fight like a mad dog to keep abortion as it was: Legal, unrestrained and allowable from conception to mere seconds before viable birth.   I'd like to say something about his Catholicism and how our abortion for sex culture is an affront to God and human decency.  But this is modern Catholicism.  Given our pope's priorities, I don't know how much footing I would have.  Suffice to say, President Biden is among those Catholics who believe the only acceptable way to live the Gospel is through the filter of modern, secular leftwing activism and worldviews. 

/Satire/ Dems Pause January 6 Hearings To Call For Insurrection /satire/

As Charles Coulombe says, if 6 January was an insurrection, so was the attack on the Arizona Capitol.

From The Babylon Bee

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Democrats have temporarily pushed pause on the January 6th hearings in order to lead an insurrection against the federal government.

"On January 6th, a branch of our federal government was almost overthrown because politicians used dangerous rhetoric that caused—wait, hold on everyone, I just got the update. Roe's been overturned!" said Representative Adam Schiff. "Okay, well if all the Republicans could please sit tight, there will be a brief recess while our Democratic caucus takes to the streets demanding we overthrow a branch of the federal government."

After closing down their presentation entitled "How Trump Undermined Institutional Authority", Democrats raced to join the crowd surrounding the Supreme Court building. "Rigged! Rigged decision!" shouted Senator Elizabeth Warren. "Judges must no longer be allowed to hold power! We will never abide by an illegitimate decision by an illegitimate court. Fight, fight!" she screamed as beleaguered police arrived in riot gear.

Despite the fact liberal states will still have the most permissive abortion laws in the world outside North Korea, Democrats helpfully painted the Supreme Court's decision as a matter of life and death. "They are literally going to enslave every woman in America and force them to have 17 babies," said Representative Ilhan Omar to a group of mentally unstable lunatics. "Which is why the Supreme Court cannot stand! To the streets!" she shouted, then returned to the House for a speech on why Trump's words were directly responsible for violence.

At publishing time, the January 6 committee had resumed its hearings to the stark sound of no one caring.

These Companies Will Cover Abortion Travel Costs for Employees

Here's your boycott list. I know some of them are almost impossible to boycott, but do what you can.

From The Hill

By Karl Evers-Hillstrom

Several of the nation’s largest companies are willing to reimburse employees who travel out of state to legally access abortion services. 

Businesses will face increasing pressure to offer that benefit after the Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, a decision that will lead to abortion bans in at least 13 states.

Most companies already cover abortion care in their health plan, but a number of major employers expanded their benefits to include travel costs after Texas enacted harsh abortion restrictions earlier this year. Additional companies followed suit after the Supreme Court’s draft decision was leaked last month. Friday’s ruling has already prompted more employers to join in.

Here are some of the major companies helping pay for abortion-related travel expenses:

Disney

The Walt Disney Co. said Friday that it will reimburse workers for travel and planning costs associated with seeking an abortion. The company said in a statement it will ensure its employees have access to reproductive care “no matter where they live.”

Meta 

Meta Platforms said Friday that it intends to reimburse travel costs for employees seeking an out-of-state abortion “to the extent permitted by law.”

“We are in the process of assessing how best to do so, given the legal complexities involved,” the tech giant said in a statement.

Condé Nast

The global media company said Friday that it will reimburse travel and lodging expenses for employees who cannot legally obtain abortion, infertility or gender-affirming services locally.

Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch called the ruling a “crushing blow to reproductive rights that have been protected for nearly half a century” in a memo to employees.

Zillow

Zillow said Friday that it will reimburse employees up to $7,500 to travel significant distances for reproductive services, gender-affirming care and other procedures. The expanded benefits went into effect June 1.

“We strongly support our employees’ right to make health care choices that are right for them, and we will continue to do so,” Zillow said in a statement.

Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed will provide a stipend to employees to travel out of state to access legal abortion services, CEO Jonah Peretti wrote in an email to employees Friday.

“The decision is so regressive and horrific for women that it compels us to step up as a company to ensure that any of our employees who are impacted have funding and access to safe abortions as needed,” Peretti said.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Lauren Hobart said Friday that the company will reimburse up to $4,000 in travel expenses for employees seeking access to legal abortion services in response to the ruling.

“We are making this decision so our teammates can access the same health care options, regardless of where they live, and choose what is best for them,” Hobart said in a statement.

Amazon

The e-commerce giant told employees last month that it will pay up to $4,000 in travel expenses annually for non-life threatening medical procedures that are not available within 100 miles of an employee’s home, including abortions.

Levi Strauss & Co. 

The denim brand said last month that it would reimburse workers who travel out of state to get an abortion and expressed opposition to legislative efforts to restrict abortion access. 

“Given what is at stake, business leaders need to make their voices heard and act to protect the health and well-being of our employees. That means protecting reproductive rights,” the company said in a statement.

JPMorgan Chase

The banking giant told employees in a memo this month that it would expand its health plan to cover travel expenses for employees getting an abortion. That benefit will go into effect in July. 

Starbucks

The coffee chain told employees last month that it would reimburse travel expenses for an abortion or gender-affirming procedure that is not available within 100 miles of an employee’s home. 

“Regardless of what the Supreme Court ends up deciding, we will always ensure our partners have access to quality healthcare,” Starbucks executive Sara Kelly told employees. “And when actions impact your access to healthcare, we will work on a way to make sure you feel supported.”

Yelp

The online review platform announced in April that it would reimburse travel costs for employees seeking an abortion who can’t access services in their home state. 

“We’ve long been a strong advocate for equality in the workplace, and believe that gender equality cannot be achieved if women’s healthcare rights are restricted,” Yelp Chief Diversity Officer Miriam Warren said in a statement.

Microsoft

Microsoft announced last month that it reimburse expenses for employees traveling out of state for abortion services or gender-affirming care. The software giant said in a statement it would do everything it could under the law to “protect our employees’ rights and support employees and their enrolled dependents in accessing critical healthcare.”

Apple

During an employee-only discussion last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company would cover travel expenses for workers seeking an out-of-state abortion, according a recording obtained by The New York Times. 

Citigroup

The investment bank told employees in an April memo that it would provide abortion travel benefits “in response to changes in reproductive healthcare laws in certain states.”

Mastercard

The credit card company told employees this month that it will pay for travel and lodging for employees who need to travel out of state to access abortion services. 

Netflix

The streaming company added travel reimbursement for abortions and gender-affirming care to its health care plan this summer. The policy, which also covers cancer treatment and transplants, pays up to $10,000 per service for each employee. 

Tesla

As of last year, the Austin, Texas-based carmaker reimbursed travel and lodging for employees seeking health care services that aren’t available in their home state. The policy includes abortions without mentioning the procedure by name, according to The New York Times. 

Lyft

The ride-hailing company announced in April that it would cover travel costs for employees enrolled in the company health care plan who need to travel more than 100 miles to obtain an abortion.