Divine Mercy Sunday

Today, the Church’s Liturgical Calendar celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday, a day especially dedicated to remembering God’s mercy.

Jesus appeared to Saint Faustina Kowalska over a period of many years, detailing his Mercy to her, urging her, a cloistered nun, to make this message known to the world and to promote the image shown at the right. The white ray represents the water which flowed from side of Jesus when struck the lance after his death on the cross. This water represents the waters of baptism which makes souls righteous. The red represents his blood which is the life of souls.

He also asked her to promulgate a chaplet for the faithful to pray to seek God’s mercy for themselves and others. It’s prayed using regular rosary beads and the details can be found at the link above. It’s relatively short, taking less than ten minutes, but when prayed well, really reminds you of the vastness of God’s mercy and how dependent we are on it.

Her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul, is a really good, albeit long, read. It’s definitely recommended as it shows both how wonderful Christ’s mercy is and how needful we are of it. It’s also an excellent treatise on the value of suffering, how my offering up our suffering in union with the suffering of Christ on the Cross, we can make a difference for ourselves and others. (This doesn’t mean we have to seek suffering out, but when it inevitably comes along, we should take advantage of the opportunity to make lemons out of lemonade, so to speak.)

This is a wonderful feast actually requested by Jesus during one of his appearances to Saint Faustina. Any time is a good time to recall the mercy of God, but this is a truly excellent time since it’s at his request.

Texas State Senator: Choose Adoption and Receive $500

Texas lawmaker offers choice: Abortion or $500 – CNN.com

A Texas legislator has proposed that pregnant women considering abortion be offered $500 not to end their pregnancies.

Republican State Sen. Dan Patrick, who also is a conservative radio talk show host, said Friday the money might persuade the women to go ahead and have babies, then give them up for adoption.

He said during a legislative conference in New Braunfels, 45 miles south of Austin, there were 75,000 abortions in Texas last year.

“If this incentive would give pause and change the mind of 5 percent of those women, that’s 3,000 lives. That’s almost as many people as we’ve lost in Iraq,” Patrick said.

This is a great idea. The government’s primary interest is, of course, protecting the lives of its citizens so we should applaud this effort to encourage women not to take the lives of their children. Given that many women cite financial considerations as a reason for seeking an abortion, this financial incentive should be a good thing.

It should surprise no one that Planned Parenthood opposes this attempt to save lives. Is there any abortion they don’t support?

Texas State Senator: Choose Adoption and Receive $500

Texas lawmaker offers choice: Abortion or $500 – CNN.com

A Texas legislator has proposed that pregnant women considering abortion be offered $500 not to end their pregnancies.

Republican State Sen. Dan Patrick, who also is a conservative radio talk show host, said Friday the money might persuade the women to go ahead and have babies, then give them up for adoption.

He said during a legislative conference in New Braunfels, 45 miles south of Austin, there were 75,000 abortions in Texas last year.

“If this incentive would give pause and change the mind of 5 percent of those women, that’s 3,000 lives. That’s almost as many people as we’ve lost in Iraq,” Patrick said.

This is a great idea. The government’s primary interest is, of course, protecting the lives of its citizens so we should applaud this effort to encourage women not to take the lives of their children. Given that many women cite financial considerations as a reason for seeking an abortion, this financial incentive should be a good thing.

It should surprise no one that Planned Parenthood opposes this attempt to save lives. Is there any abortion they don’t support?

“Just in case you have trouble picking me out, I’ll be wearing number 42.”

George F. Will – Taking a Bat to Prejudice – washingtonpost.com

Those were the words Jackie Robinson said to his wife as he headed to make his major league debut on this day 60 years ago. Mrs. Robinson would, of course, have no trouble picking her husband out of the crowd as he would be the only non-white person on the field, breaking the major leagues’ color barrier. Now, there had been black players in major league baseball decades prior to this, and non-white players had played played lengthy careers in the majors, but this marked the beginning of a new tie in baseball, when people of all skin colors would be allowed into our national pastime.

This act had been years in the planning. Branch Rickey, one of the greatest baseball minds of all time, had spoken to Robinson in 1945 about breaking the color barrier.

A shorthand version of their fateful conversation in August 1945:

Rickey: “I know you’re a good ballplayer. What I don’t know is whether you have the guts.”

Robinson: “Mr. Rickey, are you looking for a Negro who is afraid to fight back?”

Rickey, exploding: “Robinson, I’m looking for a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back.”

Jackie was legitimate Hall of Famer, but there were better black talents out there. What drew Rickey to choose Robinson was that he was man enough not to fight back. Choosing a greater talent without the self-control of Robinson could have set back the integration of baseball, and therefore, the country. A black striking out in anger would have made racial tensions higher and confirmed the worst stereotypes of white America, so as frustrating as it might have been at time for Robinson to hold his tongue (and his fists), those are the sacrifices which change a country. And America is better for him having held back.

It was the fol owing year that President Truman issued his executive order desegregating America’s armed forces. It’s an unanswerable question, but a good one, if Truman would have issued the order had the integration of baseball not gone well. The link above shows that the issue was already being studied at the time of Robinson’s debut, but if the Dodgers had fallen apart or strife had ensued, Truman could easily have decided not to continue the process. Instead, the Dodgers finished in first place in their league, albeit with two fewer wins than the years before), with Robinson leading the team in games played, at-bats, Runs, hits. total bases, stolen bases, singles, extra-base hits, hit by pitch, sacrifice hits, power/speed number, and tied for the team lead in doubles and home runs. He was probably not their best player, but was in the conversation. The Dodgers went on to lose the World Series, but that’s what the Dodgers did back then.

It’s for this reason, I’ve long believed that Jackie Robinson was the most significant civil rights figure in American history. If he hadn’t done such a superb job of maintaining his dignity and showing that whites and blacks could successfully and peaceably work together, Martin Luther King, for all his own abilities, may not have been as effective as he was.

So we should take time to remember this day, not just for its meaning to baseball, but it’s meaning to America.