New Books by Sr. LaDonna M. Pinkelman OSF – Franciscan Flowers & Franciscan Flowers ll

Franciscan_Flowers_Cover_for_Kindle Franciscan_Flowers_I_Cover_for_Kindle(2)

Kindle editions:

Franciscan Flowers

Franciscan Flowers ll

Christmas would be a lovely time to present a gift of poetry, prayer and praise.:

Prayers, prose and poetry of Sr. LaDonna M. Pinkelman OSF, gleaned over a period of many years of journaling. Franciscan Flowers ll continues where she left off in her previous work, Franciscan Flowers, to offer her gifts of prayer, poetry and prose, in the hope of inspiring love, and trust for the Lord, and further act upon her desire to participate in the new evangelization called for at the beginning of the Third Millennium by Pope John Paul ll, and echoed by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. Being even the smallest part of this brings her great joy.

20 Ways Media Completely Misread Congress’ Weak-Sauce Benghazi Report

20 Ways Media Completely Misread Congress’ Weak-Sauce Benghazi Report

By Mollie Hemingway

On September 11, 2012, Islamist militants attacked U.S. complexes in Benghazi, Libya. Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed, the first U.S. Ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979. Three other men were killed and 10 were injured.

The media immediately turned it into a political story, focusing more anger on Mitt Romney’s comments about the administration’s blaming of a YouTube video critical of Islam than determining the facts of the attack itself. Many in the media thought it fine that President Obama jetted off to a high-dollar fundraiser before the bodies cooled. When various high-level government officials blamed either a YouTube video critical of Islam — or our laws protecting free speech, it didn’t generate much controversy among big media.

The media tended to parrot White House talking points about the attack even years later. So even though everyone with knowledge of the scene in Benghazi knew otherwise, the New York Times was claiming until Friday — just this past Friday — that al Qaeda had nothing to do with the attack on Benghazi.

Really. Less than one year ago, the New York Times ran one of its massive “projects” — Pulitzer Prize attempts, basically — around the following claim:

Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.

If there’s something true in that pile of horse manure, you’ll have to point it out. Within days this was thoroughly debunked by those in the know (albeit highlighted by media outlets such as CNN). But just this past Friday afternoon, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released “the definitive House statement on the Intelligence Community’s activities before, during and after the tragic events that caused the deaths of four brave Americans” in Benghazi. We’ll look through all the flaws with this report (.pdf) here soon, but first we need to talk about the media reaction to same.

Things seemed to kind of get going with this tweet at 5:47 PM: read more via :20 Ways Media Completely Misread Congress’ Weak-Sauce Benghazi Report.

Satan at His Most Subtle: A Reflection on the Temptations and Traps of the Pious « Archdiocese of Washington

"What is temptation? Temptation is the work of Satan to drag you to Hell. And Satan can read you like a book and play you like piano. Do not exaggerate his power, but do not underestimate it either.

Some of his subtlest work is done in the area of religious observance. There, he can cloak himself quite easily in the lamb’s clothing of piety, but, wolf that he really is, distort it, either through excess or defect, thereby destroying you with what is good. Beware what some spiritual writers call the “traps of the pious.” Consider some examples:

He can discourage you with prayer by saying, “If only you would pray a little longer, God will give you what you seek.” But the deception is that if we can pray a little longer, then we can never have prayed enough. Thus though we pray, we only feel guilty and inadequate. And since we can never have prayed “enough,” prayer increasingly turns into a burdensome task; God becomes a cruel taskmaster demanding longer and more precise prayers. Or prayer becomes a superstitious endeavor whose outcome we somehow control by the length and type of our prayers. Jesus counsels us that the Father knows what we need and that we should not think that merely multiple words and pious actions are necessary. We may need to persevere in prayer over time, but God is not a cruel tyrant demanding endless incantations.

Satan can take the beautiful practice of praying the rosary, or attending daily Mass, or other devotions and slowly incite in us a feeling of smug superiority, elitism, or pride. Gradually, others are thought to be less devout, even in error, because they do not do or observe what is optional or encouraged but not required. What is beautiful and holy is thus employed to incite ever-growing pride and cynicism. A most extreme form of this comes from those who take the beautiful and powerful devotion to our Lady of Fatima and allow Satan to set them against even the Pope and all the world’s bishops by claiming that they failed, either ineptly or willfully, to properly consecrate Russia. And thus one of our most beautiful and informative apparitions can engender in some people distrust of the Church and disunity from her, from multiple popes, and even from Sister Lucia herself. It is an astonishingly crafty work of the evil one to take what is good and religious and corrupt it in the minds of some.

Satan can also take what IS required and turn it into a kind of religious minimalism, a way of keeping God at a distance. And thus he tempts some souls with the notion that Sunday Mass, a little something in the collection plate, and a few rushed prayers are the end of religion rather than the beginning of it. Such observances become a way of “checking off the God-box” and being done with God for the week, rather than a foundation on which to build a beautiful and ever-deepening relationship of love with God. Such minimal practices become a form of “God-control” for those tempted in this way; it is as if to say, “I’ve done what I am supposed to do, now God and the Church have to leave me alone. God also needs to take care me now since I’ve done what I’m required to do.” And thus the Church’s beautiful laws and the requirements describing the basic duties or foundation for a deepening relationship with God, become a kind of “separation agreement,” insisting on very strict visiting hours and specifying who gets what.

Satan can take religious zeal and corrupt it into harsh and uncharitable zealotry. He can take a love for the beauty of the Liturgy, ancient or new, and turn it into a persnickety insistence on exactly the right ingredients, at the expense of charity and at the cost of ridicule, false superiority, and disunity. And thus, charity thrust aside, we say, “Just make sure you celebrate the liturgy the way I like it. Anyone who doesn’t like what I like is antiquarian, a knave, or an uncouth troglodyte and must obviously hate the Church that I love so beautifully …”

via Satan at His Most Subtle: A Reflection on the Temptations and Traps of the Pious « Archdiocese of Washington.

#Ferguson Grand jury reaches decision in case of Ferguson officer – The Washington Post

PRAYER IN TIMES OF DISTRESS

"— A grand jury has reached a decision on whether to indict Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager sparked days of turbulent protests, sources close to the process said.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) and the county prosecutor’s office are expected to hold news conferences later Monday, and prosecutors have notified the family of Michael Brown — the teen who Wilson killed — that the grand jury’s decision will be announced Monday night, family attorney Benjamin Crump said.

Crump and other sources gave no indication of whether Wilson, 28, will face state charges in the August shooting death of Brown, 18, which triggered a frank conversation about race and police interaction with African Americans.


A police officer secures an area around the Buzz Westfall Justice Center in Clayton, Missouri, on November 24, 2014. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

By Wesley Lowery, Kimberly Kindy and Sarah Larimer November 24 at 3:06 PM http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/follow_button.9102a02e4157727d5d33e448662f9063.en.html#_=1416865234564&id=twitter-widget-0&lang=en&screen_name=WesleyLowery&show_count=false&show_screen_name=true&size=m http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/follow_button.9102a02e4157727d5d33e448662f9063.en.html#_=1416865234568&id=twitter-widget-1&lang=en&screen_name=kimberlykindy&show_count=false&show_screen_name=true&size=m http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/follow_button.9102a02e4157727d5d33e448662f9063.en.html#_=1416865234570&id=twitter-widget-2&lang=en&screen_name=slarimer&show_count=false&show_screen_name=true&size=m

ST. LOUIS — A grand jury has reached a decision on whether to indict Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager sparked days of turbulent protests, sources close to the process said.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) and the county prosecutor’s office are expected to hold news conferences later Monday, and prosecutors have notified the family of Michael Brown — the teen who Wilson killed — that the grand jury’s decision will be announced Monday night, family attorney Benjamin Crump said.

Crump and other sources gave no indication of whether Wilson, 28, will face state charges in the August shooting death of Brown, 18, which triggered a frank conversation about race and police interaction with African Americans.

[Timeline of events after the death of Michael Brown.]

The grand jury’s decision is the latest turn in a case marked in the national consciousness by the stunning images of clashes between protesters and police wearing riot gear and deploying tear gas in the days after Brown’s death. Details of the grand jury’s deliberations have leaked out in recent weeks, angering the Brown family and protesters who saw it as a signal that no charges would be filed.

As Ferguson, Mo., prepares for a grand jury to announce whether Officer Darren Wilson will be charged in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, here is a look back at the events leading up to that decision. (Gillian Brockell and Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post)

Although a parallel federal civil rights investigation of the shooting is continuing, federal investigators have all but concluded that they do not have a case against Wilson, law enforcement officials have said. Federal investigators are also conducting a broader probe of the Ferguson Police Department."

via Grand jury reaches decision in case of Ferguson officer – The Washington Post.

Come Holy Spirit – St. Gertrude the Great and the Feast of Pentecost

St. Gertrude and the Feast of Pentecost

*For the whole of the Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude the Great go here