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Showing posts from February, 2012

Lenten Psalm Writing

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You probably never noticed the quotation marks in the psalms. But look at these, now.

Psalm 29
The God of glory thunders.

In His temple they all cry: "Glory!"

Psalm 41
Finally I said, "Holy One, have mercy on me.
Heal my soul, for I have sinned against you."
My enemies cruelly mutter against me,
"When will he die, and his name perish?"

Psalm 42
I say to you, my rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?"

The use of quotation marks gives a sense of dialogue taking place. It seems to me that it is used to highlight expression. I don't know if I can convey the same feeling.

Gather my dear one to Your Heart,
"My Love, My Life, My Jesus."
Warm them with blessings of wisdom;
Let them hunger for more of You.

Speak to them, "Come my children.
Seek the warmth of my church.
Hear the hymns of praise call to Me.
I will listen and answer. Trust."

Lenten Spiritual Exercise

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Lent requires writing a few psalms, don't you think? This time I was looking at restatement. This isn't repetition, rather it's restated. Look at this:

Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were born,
before the earth or the world came to birth

Psalm 89:34 I will not break my covenant,
I will not revoke my given word

Psalm 148:1 Praise the Holy One from the heavens!
Sing praises in the heights above

Get it?

OK. My turn:

Fear the mighty One
Cower from His might

Laugh with the angels at children's play
Giggle with joy in the playground's fun

Redemption is a leap of faith,
that man can change and be saved.

The last one brought me to prayer.

Why do Cardinals Wear Red?

Pope Benedict, himself, explains why cardinals wear red.

Sacrifices for Lent

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Thanks to Dominican Echoes, we have this thought provoking meditation.

For Lent

What are you giving up for Lent? Adam asked of Eve.
Well, Eve said. I am thinking I should give up apples.
And what about you, husband of mine?
Adam replied, I think I am going to give up taking advice from you.
What are you giving up for Lent?
Abel asked his brother Cain?
Cain replied, I am going to try to give up my anger
Lest in a weak moment, I injure someone I love.
What are you giving up for Lent?
Jacob asked his twin, Esau.
Apparently my birthright, little brother of mine.
What are you giving up for Lent?
Moses asked of Aaron?
I am going to give up worshiping false gods
Especially the golden calf variety.
What about you? Aaron asked Moses in return.
I am giving up my need to see the promised land.
What are you giving up for lent?
Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar asked Job.
I am giving up trying to understand the mind of God.
What are you giving up for Lent? I asked of Mary.
She whispered her response so …

What to Give Up for Lent

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How's your Lent going, so far?

???????? What?

It's not too late to start. Just begin, now, today.

Maybe you've given up. That's probably because you demanded the impossible.

How about beginning again, with something different--really different.

Don't give up anything. Add something.

You could add prayer time, spiritual reading, spending time with someone you'd rather not spend time with, do something nice for someone, give money to a cause that needs it.

I know. Change your attitude. From now on, don't be so judgmental. This one is hard and you'll most probably fail. Of course, it's not natural for you. Try again. And again.

This chart is Father Shane Johnson's. He's a priest from the Legionaries of Christ. I thought it apropos for Lent.

What is a Genuflect?

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Genuflecting is a sign of respect. It's kneeling on one knee in front of the person you wish to respect. Picture a man asking a lady to marry him.

How do you know what knee to kneel on?


Easy. You genuflect on the right knee, only to God. That's why we Catholics genuflect in front of the Tabernacle. See this picture of St. Dominic playing with Baby Jesus. Note that St. Dominic is on his right knee.

Now see the soldier genuflect to Former First Lady, Nancy Reagan. The soldier is on his left knee. BTW, the soldier is presenting the flag that draped President Reagan's coffin, to his widow.

Viva la difference.

Foreword for New Book on Pere Lataste

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Here is the Foreword of a new biography on Pere M. Jean-Joseph Lataste, OP, by the postulator of his cause for Beatification, Fr. Jean-Marie Gueullette, OP. The Foreword is written by Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, a well known writer, speaker, theologian, and a former Master of the Order of Preachers. That's me holding his hand. He's standing between Alpha and Omega.

Foreword for the book by Jean-Marie Gueullette OP

I began to read this biography of Jean-Joseph Lataste with a little trepidation. For a long time I had admired him as a brave Dominican who opened his life and his heart to women in prison and founded the Bethany sisters. He was a sort of grandfather to one of my favourite Dominican fraternities, in Norfolk State Penitentiary. But when I read his life, would he turn out to have been quite so admirable? Would he emerge as someone so marked by another time and spirituality that he would seem remote? The great joy of this wonderful book, for me at least, is that I f…

Fr. Leo on Obama's Promises

Father Leo speaks the truth with humor.

Press Release

Lenten Promise Leads to Award-Winning Devotional, Why God Matters

Layton, UT; Pueblo, CO— In 1996, Karina Fabian, mother of toddlers, made a Lenten vow that launched her career as a writer. Years later, it led her to share that joy of writing with her father, as they collaborated on an award-winning devotional, Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life. This year, she hopes to share the joy of Lent through her book and the Why God Matters website.
Deacon Steve Lumbert and his daughter Karina Fabian share their stories of how God led them from casual belief to deep devotion, and offer tips and exercises to help you see God's hand--and take it. Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life is published by Tribute Books and won the Christian Small Publisher Award for best book on Christian Living. It has over 40 reviews from readers of many Christian faiths who recommend it not only as a book to read, but to go through slowly, doing the exercises to strengthen the…

Burying the Alleluia

Did your parish bury the Alleluia? I don't know if mine did; I was at a new parish. They didn't. I don't think I've ever seen it. I'd like to. I love ceremony and drama. As I understand the tradition, there was drama and ceremony in abundance.

There was a solemn procession from the church to the parish cemetery transporting a coffin with the word "Alleluia" on it. Some mourners sincerely grieved, some wept openly, along the way to the cemetery, where "Alleluia" was buried until Easter.

Can't you just picture it. We mourners bawling our eyes out, waiting for the traffic light to turn green, so we can process across the street. Those Baptists counting out their Jack Chick tracts coming out of Grace Baptist Church will wonder who died. We'll bury the box next to the grave stone that has a hand print--you know the one that kids put their hand in, and if it fits, it means you're going to DIE. Yeah. Oh yeah.

Sigh. I'd lo…

What's Lent?

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What's it all about? Lent is a special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. It is touted as lasting 40 days. Don't believe that number anymore than you can believe that it rained 40 days for Noah. 40 is just a number telling you that it was a long time, not years, not half years, but more than one month. It's to give you a feel of the time. Nit pickers will object, but they just have to suck it up, offer it up.

OK nit pickers, I'll have pity on you. Don't count the Sundays in Lent. Is that 40 days? Well, how about don't count the Sundays and stop at Holy Thursday. Bingo!

Now see! I've been side-tracked. The devil's in the details!

Lent is a time of preparation for Easter by thinking more of God and thinking of Jesus' sacrifice by sacrificing more and praying more, ourselves.

What am I sacrificing? Every year I do without cream and sugar in my coffee. Do you know how hard that is…

Propriety Depends on the Circumstances

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This is a picture of my daughter. Doesn't she has a lot of natural curly hair? I was watching her correct her daughter's table manners. Her admonition that she didn't want her to embarrass herself when she was out in public, gave me a flash back.

I was in high school visiting a girl friend, for the weekend. It was breakfast and we were getting ready to go out. I placed my hair elastics, scrungies, and barrettes on the table, and proceed to brush and comb my hair.

My girl friend's mother said, "Faith, we do not brush our hair at the kitchen table."

I was mortified.

I didn't know. I was even more mortified that I didn't know. Geesh. Common sense would have told me that my hair would go in everyone's food.

How come I didn't know this was because the kitchen table is where my mother fixed my hair, when I was growing up. We all sat at the table for haircuts. I sat at the table while my mother braided my hair.

Our house was a two-fam…

Major Step

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Father Gordon MacRae has been in a New Hampshire prison for more than 20 years, and I believe he was falsely accused. He could have been out much sooner, if he had said he was guilty. But he's not.

His accuser was a young man that Father Gordon hardly knew. After the church paid out money, the accuser's brother said the same thing had happened to him. He received money, also. This family of brothers are the only ones who have ever accused Father Gordon.

No one else has come forward. At the time, the newspapers all but crucified Father Gordon. One newspaper even said that Father Gordon admitted his guilt. That's a lie; Father Gordon has always maintained his innocence. His bishop wouldn't help him.

What has come forward are people who say that this family bragged about concocting a story to get money from the church. And the National Center for Reason and Justice has just announced a new appeal. Of course, they need money and prayers.

Read about it on this …

Laughing

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A Jesuit, a Dominican, and a Franciscan are viewing a painting of Adam and Eve frolicking in the Garden of Eden. The Jesuit said, "This is Jesuit spirituality. They are so calm and happy." The Dominican said. "Not true. They are in ecstasy over the contemplation of God's gifts." "Bah!", said the Franciscan. "I don't think so. They have no clothes, no shelter, they have only an apple to eat, and they believe they're in paradise. This is clearly Franciscan influence."

Conscious Immolation

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Conscious Immolation is the term Pope Paul VI, used to describe St. Gianna Beretta. Gianna Beretta is the next saint I want to post about in my collection of saints in good married life. Actually, it's Fr. Thomas Keven Kraft, OP, who's complying lives of saints and holy people, who are well married. He means they were happily married; as opposed to their endurance in marriages from hell. That alone would be reason for sainthood. No, our interest is those in average life, not celibates.

Gianna Francesca Beretta was born in Magenta, Italy, in 1922. She was born into a large family; she was the the tenth of thirteen children. Eventually, five siblings died. Her family was very devout--daily communicants. Three of her siblings became religious; Virginia became a Canossian sister, Giuseppe became a diocesan priest, and Enrico became a Capuchin missionary. While Gianna also considered a religious vocation, she discerned that she was called to married life and motherhood.…

Process of Canonization

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This post is written by a guest blogger. Let me introduce you to my "cloistered brother", Steve. We are putting together an issue of eLumenate, highlighting Pere Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P., who will be beatified, June 3, 2012. Brother Steve thought that he would explain the process of canonization. Hence this post.



In the early days of the church, cults grew amongst the followers of certain holy persons, of which nearly all the martyrs were considered saints. Though without approval of the local bishop their recognition was not official. For nearly 1200 years, the authority to declare a person a saint lay with the local bishop.

In 993, the first official canonization by a Pope was made by John XV, when he elevated St. Ulric of Augsburg to sainthood. Not until 1171, was the process of canonization reserved to the Holy See by Pope Alexander III. The present process dates to 1588, when Sixtus V established the Sacred Congregation of Rites,, now handled by the Congr…

Fish = God

I don't know. What's your understanding of this little video?

God created friar and fish, so after being together for so long, they live in harmony.

???????

The fish represents God and the friar wants it. He goes after it and eventually gets it.

???????

I think that's what attracts me to this little video. I'm not sure I understand it; but I like it; it makes me smile.

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

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Our Lady of Lourdes is the name used to refer to the Marian apparitions that appeared to St. Bernadette and various individuals on separate occasions around Lourdes, France. The apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes began on 11 February 1858, when Saint Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl from Lourdes, told her mother, after being asked, that she had seen a "lady" in the cave of Massabielle, about a mile from the town, while gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. Similar appearances of the "lady" were reported on seventeen further occasions that year.
Bernadette Soubirous was canonized as a saint. In 1862, Pope Pius IX authorized the local bishop to permit the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes.

Preliminary Prayer to be said each day

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immacu…

Day Eight

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Preliminary Prayer

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that we may…

It's a Gettin Closer

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Everyday it's a-gettin' closer / Goin' faster than a roller coaster But I'm not talking about "Love;" I'm talking about the Beatification of Pere M. Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P. It's scheduled for June 3rd, in Bescacon, France. And I'm so-o-o blessed to be going.

There's a web site I'd like to call your attention to. It's under construction. It's dedicated to the promotion of Pere Lataste, the Apostle of Prisons, and the reviving of the Bethany Brothers. This is a group of men who follow Latastian spirituality. Give them a click.

Seventh Day of the Novena

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Preliminary Prayer to be said each day

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your…

Six Down

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Preliminary Prayer to be said each day

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your…

Classic

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Abbott: You throw the ball to first base.
Costello: Then who gets it?
Abbott: Naturally.
Costello: Naturally.
Abbott: Now you've got it.
Costello: I throw the ball to Naturally.
Abbott: You don't! You throw it to Who!
Costello: Naturally.
Abbott: Well, that's it—say it that way.
Costello: That's what I said.
Abbott: You did not.
Costello: I said I throw the ball to Naturally.
Abbott: You don't! You throw it to Who!
Costello: Naturally.

Day Five

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Preliminary Prayer to be said each day

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your…

People Pleasers

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Don't ask me why; but "Everybody's Talking at Me" often pops into my mind, during scripture readings.


You see I'm the Lector for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time. I'm reading 1Corinthians 10:31-11:1. I love these short dramatic readings. It's so short that I'll have no problem memorizing it, so I don't have to look down to read it; I can look people in the eyes.

Although, I like the Reading, itself, I don't really agree with it. The idea is not to cause scandal. It seems to me that St. Paul is driving himself crazy trying to be a people pleaser.

Do not be a stumbling-block to Jews and Greeks and to the church of God,
even as I myself in all things please all men, not seeking what is
profitable to myself but to the many, that they may be saved.


St. Ambrose gives the opposite advice to St. Monica: "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." St. Ambrose seems more sensible to me. Would St. Monica's neighbors back home …

Novena Day Four

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Preliminary Prayer to be said each day

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your vi…

Day Three Our Lady of Lourdes Novena

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Preliminary Prayer to be said each day

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your…

The Purpose of Love

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What is the purpose of love? It can't be to procreate, because that can be done without love.

I think the purpose of love is evidence that God exists. God is Love.

Day Two

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Preliminary Prayer to be said each day

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your…

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes

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I would like to invite you, to begin a marvelous 9-Day Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes, starting today, Friday, February 3rd and end on the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, next Saturday, February 11th.

Novena Intention: Along with your own intentions, we ask you to pray for our country and also for America Needs Fatima to be able to meet its goal of 8,000 Rosary Rallies in October, 2012. As always, we assure you of our prayers.

Preliminary Prayer to be said each day

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lo…

Friday Fast

The USCCB is asking Catholics to “fast” on Friday, February 3, by limiting their food spending to the allotment on the USDA Modified Thrifty Food Plan--about $18 for a family of four.

The theme of the February First Fridays for Food Security initiative is food insecurity and climate change. “Food insecurity is also a serious problem globally and is often intensified by climate change,” states a USCCB flyer. “According to a recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization, climate change will significantly affect the availability of water for growing food and for crop production globally. This will disproportionately affect poor people in rural areas whose livelihoods are closely connected to agriculture and natural resources.”

Our Cardinal Archbishop's Letter

Here is Cardinal O'Malley's letter:
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Allow me this opportunity to share with you important information concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people—the Catholic population—and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy tha…