Happy Thanksgiving!

Follow Sunlit Uplands by E-Mail

Monday, November 20, 2017

Happy 70th Anniversary to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh


When a whole nation, 16 realms, and a Commonwealth of 54 nations pray in song for 65 years for blessings upon one and for a long life, the results are astonishing!

To mark the 70th Wedding Anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, new photographic portraits have been released worldwide. 

The Queen and His Royal Highness will celebrate their Wedding Anniverary on Monday, 20th November 2017.

The portraits, by British photographer Matt Holyoak of Camera Press, were taken in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle in early November. 

In this first release, The Queen and His Royal Highness are framed by Thomas Gainsborough's 1781 portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte, who were married for 57 years.

The marriage of the then Princess Elizabeth to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten took place at Westminster Abbey on 20th November 1947.

Find out about The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh's wedding day here: http://bit.ly/2jCD1Pc

Sunday, November 19, 2017

President Trump's Thanksgiving Proclamation

THANKSGIVING DAY, 2017



BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


A PROCLAMATION

On Thanksgiving Day,
as we have for nearly four centuries, Americans give thanks to Almighty God for our abundant blessings.  We gather with the people we love to show gratitude for our freedom, for our friends and families, and for the prosperous Nation we call home.

In July 1620, more than 100 Pilgrims boarded the Mayflower, fleeing religious persecution and seeking freedom and opportunity in a new and unfamiliar place.  These dauntless souls arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in the freezing cold of December 1620.  They were greeted by sickness and severe weather, and quickly lost 46 of their fellow travelers.  Those who endured the incredible hardship of their first year in America, however, had many reasons for gratitude.  They had survived.  They were free.  And, with the help of the Wampanoag tribe, and a bountiful harvest, they were regaining their health and strength.  In thanks to God for these blessings, the new governor of the Plymouth Colony, William Bradford, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and gathered with the Wampanoag tribe for three days of celebration.

For the next two centuries, many individual colonies and states, primarily in the Northeast, carried on the tradition of fall Thanksgiving festivities.  But each state celebrated it on a different day, and sometime on an occasional basis.  It was not until 1863 that the holiday was celebrated on one day, nationwide.  In the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, of one of the bloodiest battles of our Nation's Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the country would set aside one day to remember its many blessings.  "In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity," President Lincoln proclaimed, we recall the "bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come."  As President Lincoln recognized: "No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things.  They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy."

Today, we continue to celebrate Thanksgiving with a grateful and charitable spirit.  When we open our hearts and extend our hands to those in need, we show humility for the bountiful gifts we have received.  In the aftermath of a succession of tragedies that have stunned and shocked our Nation -- Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; the wildfires that ravaged the West; and, the horrific acts of violence and terror in Las Vegas, New York City, and Sutherland Springs -- we have witnessed the generous nature of the American people.  In the midst of heartache and turmoil, we are grateful for the swift action of the first responders, law enforcement personnel, military and medical professionals, volunteers, and everyday heroes who embodied our infinite capacity to extend compassion and humanity to our fellow man.  As we mourn these painful events, we are ever confident that the perseverance and optimism of the American people will prevail.

We can see, in the courageous Pilgrims who stood on Plymouth Rock in new land, the intrepidness that lies at the core of our American spirit.  Just as the Pilgrims did, today Americans stand strong, willing to fight for their families and their futures, to uphold our values, and to confront any challenge.

This Thanksgiving, in addition to rejoicing in precious time spent with loved ones, let us find ways to serve and encourage each other in both word and deed.  We also offer a special word of thanks for the brave men and women of our Armed Forces, many of whom must celebrate this holiday separated from the ones for whom they are most thankful.  As one people, we seek God's protection, guidance, and wisdom, as we stand humbled by the abundance of our great Nation and the blessings of freedom, family, and faith.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 23, 2017, as a National Day of Thanksgiving.  I encourage all Americans to gather, in homes and places of worship, to offer a prayer of thanks to God for our many blessings.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.

DONALD J. TRUMP




Saturday, November 18, 2017

Father Rutler: The Power of Clear Teaching

Fr. George W. Rutler
The Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas has been made a shrine, for the massacre there has left it a hallowed place for mourners. A red rose marks where each of the victims died, and then there is one pink rose. That is for the unborn baby that died in the womb. To the frustration of some, Texas is one of 38 states that recognize an infant in utero as a victim when the mother is assaulted. Federal law also accords legal rights to the unborn in cases of federal and military crimes. A pink rose is at least a tacit acknowledgement that a human life existed before birth, and Catholics know that life is life, with no varying shades. This is one example of how truth prevails despite attempts to obscure it.
 
Confusion has also muddled marriage. When marriage is refashioned into an oxymoronic “same-sex marriage,” along with ambiguity about procreation and the permanence of natural marriage, the social order loses interest in it altogether. Even among self-professed Catholics, whose population has increased in the last forty years, there has been a 60% decrease in weddings.
 
As the Religious life is a consecrated form of spiritual marriage, opaqueness about such commitment has caused the virtual evaporation of many communities. In the past five years alone, with the exception of communities solid in doctrine, there has been a loss of over seven per cent among women religious, while orders of men declined somewhat less.
 
St. John Paul II spoke clearly about priestly charisms, and during his pontificate the number of seminarians worldwide increased from 63,882 to 114,439. The years of Pope Benedict XVI saw the numbers grow to 118, 257. Since then, in a time of confusion in the Church and society as a whole, there has been a consistent global decline. In our own vast archdiocese, of the small handful of recent ordinations none was a native New Yorker.
 
Yet often where there is clarity of doctrine and high morale, the picture is bright. In 2015, the most recent year for statistics, there was a 25% increase nationally in ordinations. The archdiocese of St. Louis, with a Catholic population roughly less than a quarter the size of the archdiocese of New York, has considerably more seminarians, and the dioceses of Madison, Wisconsin and Lincoln, Nebraska, relatively small in population, each have about twice as many seminarians as we have in “the capital of the world.”
 
In the pro-life movement, on the federal level there are positive developments correcting the anti-life legislation of recent years. And where better instruction is provided, Catholic marriages are becoming more purposeful and stable. Then too, a new generation of young priests sound in doctrine and liturgy is appearing. There is strength in clarity. “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (1 Corinthians 14:8).


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thanks Be to God for Blessed Solanus Casey

In the early 1980's, I first discovered leaflets in the back of a Church about the extraordinary life of Father Solanus Casey.  From that moment on, I felt powerfully drawn to a spiritual friendship with this simple, humble and very holy man.  It was as if I had always known him, and though most unworthy, I feel no less touched by him than the many thousands who have received dramatic physical and spiritual healings through his intercession.  He constantly prods and helps me in my brokenness, and I thank God for this special friend, spiritual guide, powerful intercessor and beautiful reflection of God's own love.  Most especially, I thank God ahead of time for the beatification of Father Solanus soon to take place and his ultimate canonization.  These recognitions will make this saint, whose whole life was one of service to others, known to the whole world.  "Blessed be God in all his designs."

Following is a brief introduction to the life of Blessed Solanus Casey and a longer video which explores his powerful spirituality and union with God.




Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Polish PM Offers to Save John Paul II Statue after French Court Orders Removal of Cross

The bronze statue of Pope John Paul II in Ploërmel, France (Getty Images)
She offered to move it to Poland to save it from 'political correctness'

Poland’s prime minister has stepped into a row over a statue of Pope St John Paul II in Ploërmel, a town in Brittany.

France’s top administrative court, the Conseil d’Etat, has ruled that a large cross over the nearly-25-foot high statue of John Paul in prayer must be removed, because it contravenes a 1905 law banning any “religious sign or emblem” in a public space, upholding France’s strict separation of Church and State.

Beata Szydło, prime minister of Poland, has offered to have the statue moved to Poland, to rescue it from “the dictates of political correctness”. She said that religious censorship is undermining the values of Europe.

Read more at Catholic Herald >>