I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

The Apostle’s creed

Darth Vader: Your powers are weak, old man.

Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi: You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.

Star Wars 1977


In the Catechism of the Catholic Church entries 946-962 refer to the Communion of Saints.

To be brief the Communion of Saints consists of all believers living and dead, it is divided into three parts, The church Militant (those on earth) the Church Suffering (those in purgatory being purified prior to  heaven) and the Church Triumphant (those in heaven)

Yet all three parts of the church while currently physically separated all share in the charisms of faith

951 Communion of charisms. Within the communion of the Church, the Holy Spirit “distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank” for the building up of the Church.482 Now, “to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”483

And this linkage is significant because it means members of the communion of saints are in a position to exchange spiritual goods

955 “So it is that the union of the wayfarers with the brethren who sleep in the peace of Christ is in no way interrupted, but on the contrary, according to the constant faith of the Church, this union is reinforced by an exchange of spiritual goods.”492

956 The intercession of the saints. “Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness…. They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus…. So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped.”493

Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death and I shall help you then more effectively than during my life.494  (St Dominic dying to his brothers) 


I want to spend my heaven in doing good on earth.495 (St. Therese of Lisieux, the Final Conversations, tr. John Clarke
(Washington: ICS, 1977), 102.) 

all for the purpose of bringing us closer to Christ, and the utilization of this link is not reserved for canonized saints: emphasis mine

958 Communion with the dead. “In full consciousness of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Church in its pilgrim members, from the very earliest days of the Christian religion, has honored with great respect the memory of the dead; and ‘because it is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins’ she offers her suffrages for them.”498Our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective. 

And THAT brings us to the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

One of the things that defined Justice Scalia as a man was his Catholic faith.  He was not just Catholic but VERY Catholic and was not shy about expressing it as in this excellent must read interview from NY Magazine from 2013 (the interviewers questions are in bold)

I don’t know how, by your lights, that’s going to be regarded in 50 years.
I don’t know either. And, frankly, I don’t care. Maybe the world is spinning toward a wider acceptance of homosexual rights, and here’s Scalia, standing athwart it. At least standing athwart it as a constitutional entitlement. But I have never been custodian of my legacy. When I’m dead and gone, I’ll either be sublimely happy or terribly unhappy.

You believe in heaven and hell?
Oh, of course I do. Don’t you believe in heaven and hell?

Oh, my.

Does that mean I’m not going?
[Laughing.] Unfortunately not!

Wait, to heaven or hell?
It doesn’t mean you’re not going to hell, just because you don’t believe in it. That’s Catholic doctrine! Everyone is going one place or the other.

But you don’t have to be a Catholic to get into heaven? Or believe in it?
Of course not!

Oh. So you don’t know where I’m going. Thank God.
I don’t know where you’re going. I don’t even know whether Judas Iscariot is in hell. I mean, that’s what the pope meant when he said, “Who am I to judge?” He may have recanted and had severe penance just before he died. Who knows?

Can we talk about your drafting process—
[Leans in, stage-whispers.] I even believe in the Devil.

You do?
Of course! Yeah, he’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that.

By definition, Justice Scalia’s, like all those who die, is at this current moment is in one of three places or states.

Among the Damned in hell suffering the eternal punishment for the willing rejection the mercy of God through unrepented sin.

Among the Church Suffering in purgatory being purified before entering heaven.

Among those in heaven seeing God as he is, part of the Church Triumphant.

Now we have absolutely no idea as to the state of the Justice’s soul at time of his death nor the current state of his soul, but it occurs to me given the state of our country which is a cause of fear for many  a fear that has been exacerbated by the good justice’s death, that there is a rather obvious plan of action for a faithful Catholic who wishes to allay that fear an do something to help out:

Why do we not ask for Justice Scalia’s prayerful intercession for our country?

It makes perfect sense.

Assuming the justice has not been dammed he is in a better and stronger position to be of aid to America now than at any point in his life.  Furthermore if he is among the church suffering our prayers for his soul are a positive good we can do in repayment for all the good he has done for us and our country over the years.

And of course if he has already joined the Church triumphant in heaven his intercession on our behalf is just as effective as any canonized saint after all the only difference between a canonized saint and one that is not is our certain knowledge of the state of their soul.

In keeping with this idea starting today I’ve added to my daily prayer set an extra decade of the Rosary, the 4th sorrowful mystery Christ carrying the Cross,  and will offer it daily for the souls in purgatory and asking the intercession of Justice Scalia and the souls in purgatory to help America bear its crosses.

I figure it’s an excellent prayer because if the Justice is in fact damned one is still enlisting the aid of the holy souls in purgatory while giving them succor (one of the spiritual works of mercy) and if not all the advantages I’ve already listed come into play.

Now of course if you prefer to offer a different prayer or devotion, say, for example, the divine mercy chaplet, that works too.  It’s not what prayer you use in asking for the intercession but that you ARE praying and asking for intercession that makes the difference.

Picture the thought of millions of Christians asking for the intercession of St. Antonin of DC for our country on a daily basis.  I think such a thing has the power to change the world.



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by baldilocks

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, 79, died today in Texas while on a hunting trip.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott:

He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution. We mourn his passing, and we pray that his successor on the Supreme Court will take his place as a champion for the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

At another site, I opined that he got out just in time—for himself, at least.

Official SCOTUS Portrait

Justice Scalia’s death, while a personal tragedy for his family, is also one for this country. And it points to the importance of presidential ideology and decision-making, since it is the president who nominates the court’s candidates. With Justices Kagan and Sotomayor, we get two examples of the type of judicial philosophy that President Obama looks for in his Supreme Court justices.

Many opinion-makers on the conservative side of politics are looking to the Republican-lead U.S. Senate to block any of President Obama’s nominations until January 2017 and this has precedent. But if the Democrat nominee for president wins the election, such an unlikely stand would be for naught.

The game has changed.

A lot of people out there are nervous now, and not only conservatives. Justice Scalia, along with Justices Thomas and Alito, had often been the only things standing between the people of the United States and full-on tyranny.

But, as I said to a friend a few minutes ago, God sometimes forces the hands of those of us who are called by His name. He is our only steadfast protector and will always be if we ask Him and trust in Him. I say let’s go for it.

Enjoy your reward, Mr. Justice Scalia.

My Kenya trip has been postponed for one week; I leave on the 21st.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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It is highly unlikely that Justice Scalia dissent in Obergefell et al vs Hodges is going to get the attention that his dissent in King vs Burwell did, but there is a paragraph in this dissent that should be recited and memorized by every conservative in America:

But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch. The five Justices who compose today’s majority are entirely comfortable concluding that every State violated the Constitution for all of the 135 years between the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification and Massachusetts’ permitting of same-sex marriages in 2003.  They have discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a “fundamental right” overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since. They see what lesser legal minds— minds like Thomas Cooley, John Marshall Harlan, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Learned Hand, Louis Brandeis, William Howard Taft, Benjamin Cardozo, Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter, Robert Jackson, and Henry Friendly— could not. They are certain that the People ratified the Fourteenth Amendment to bestow on them the power to remove questions from the democratic process when that is called for by their “reasoned judgment.” These Justices know that limiting marriage to one man and one woman is contrary to reason; they know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago, cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry. And they are willing to say that any citizen who does not agree with that, who adheres to what was, until 15 years ago, the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies, stands against the Constitution.

This is the fundamental belief of the Baby Boomer generation, that they are in fact the greatest generation and all those who came before were dopes at best and bigots at worst.  The people dancing in front of the Supreme Court today share this belief and that ignorance & hubris is why ISIS, China, radical Islam and Putin are also celebrating today.

They know that the path we have chosen leads to their victory and they are convinced we are too lazy & stupid to get off of it.


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I certainly can’t put what this decision means better than this:

The somersaults of statutory interpretation they have performed (“penalty” means tax, “further [Medicaid] payments to the State” means only incremental Medicaid payments to the State, “established by the State”means not established by the State) will be cited by litigants endlessly, to the confusion of honest jurisprudence.

And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.

America you now live in a country where any contract you have, any agreement you sign any deed you hold means nothing. America you willingly did this to yourself, and you will deserve the new normal that you will now have to live with.  May you be happy with the choice you have made

I’ll give Jesus Christ the last word:

Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.


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Via Joe Miller & Twitter I found this long NY Magazine interview with Antonin Scalia. It’s worth reading in its entirety but there are several sections on his faith I wish to highlight.

First Justice Scalia’s exchange on & agreement with the Pope on being evangelistic is very much worth quoting:

Q: But he also wanted to steer its emphasis away from homosexuality and abortion.

Scalia:Yeah. But he hasn’t backed off the view of the church on those issues. He’s just saying, “Don’t spend all our time talking about that stuff. Talk about Jesus Christ and evangelize.” I think there’s no indication whatever that he’s changing doctrinally.

I spent my junior year in Switzerland. On the way back home, I spent some time in England, and I remember going to Hyde Park Corner. And there was a Roman Catholic priest in his collar, standing on a soapbox, preaching the Catholic faith and being heckled by a group. And I thought, My goodness. I thought that was admirable. I have often bemoaned the fact that the Catholic church has sort of lost that evangelistic spirit. And if this pope brings it back, all the better.

Note how he didn’t allow the false narrative concerning doctrinal change. First rate, but If I had to pick something for every Catholic to read it would be the section on Heaven & Hell.

Scalia notes he will be either very happy or very unhappy after death and when the Jennifer Senior jokes about their existence he points out that belief in Hell is not a requirement for getting there. But it’s when he states his belief in the Devil Ms. Senior is totally thrown off, particularly when he notes his tactics have changed as society has:

Q: Isn’t it terribly frightening to believe in the Devil?

Scalia: You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil. (emphasis mine)

Q: I hope you weren’t sensing contempt from me. It wasn’t your belief that surprised me so much as how boldly you expressed it.

Scalia: I was offended by that. I really was.

This is significant, there are plenty of people who hold Christians in disdain and do their best to suggest that people who follow Christianity in general or Catholicism in particular are simply ignorant rubes, it’s ironic that many of the beautiful “enlightened” people who pooh-pooh the Devil aren’t as enlightened as they think:

We currently live in an age where people believe in psychics, witchcraft and various unseen forces. I can drive down the street in Leominster or Worcester and see the shingle for psychics advertising their services. I have Wiccan friends one who is a Wiccan priest. You see all kinds of books on harnessing various forces. Science Fiction fans talk of all kinds of planets that might be inhabited by all sorts of creatures; yet all these same people would look as if you had 4 heads if you suggest that the devil or hell exists.

Christ specifically states the existence of Heaven & Hell and I find it very interesting that people so willing to invoke him when convenient ignore this. As C.S Lewis (whose Screwtape letters Scalia approvingly cites) said

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

I think this is why Scalia is really hated. He clearly embraces Christ and the Church and at the same time upsets the ignorance equation. No matter what our friends on the left say of him, “ignorant” is not a word that can be credibly used to describe him and he take offense at those who belittle those beliefs.

The left will be very happy when he is gone.

I came upon the dissent filed by Justice Scalia in McCreary County vs. ACLU where the Supreme Court found that the intent behind the 10 Commandment display in the county courthouse was relevant to determining if the display itself is unconstitutional.  The Court stated that if the government acts with the predominant purpose to advance religion, that act is unconstitutional.  In a sharp dissent by Justice Scalia, he criticized the Court’s opinion and provided a very clear explanation as why the public acknowledgement of Deity is not only deeply historical but Constitutional.

Here is an excerpt from the transcript of Justice Scalia’s reading of his dissent when the Court announced its opinion.  It is worth reading:

On September 11, 2001, I was attending in Rome, Italy an international conference of judges and lawyers principally from Europe and the United States.

That night the President of the United States gave an address to the nation concerning the murderous attacks upon the twin towers and the pentagon in which almost 3,000 Americans were killed.

The address ended as presidential addresses often do with the prayer, “God bless America.”

The next afternoon, I was approached by one of the judges from European country who after extending his profound condolences on my country’s loss sadly observed how I wish that the Head of State of my country at a similar time of national tragedy and distress could conclude his address, “God bless the name of the county.”

It is of course absolutely forbidden, he said.

That is one model of the relationship between church and state.

A model spread across Europe by the armies in Napoleon and reflected in the Constitution of France which begins France is a secular republic.

Religion is strictly excluded from the public forum.

That is not and never was the model adapted by America.

George Washington added to the form of presidential oath prescribed by Article II of the Constitution that concluding words “So help me God.”

The Supreme Court under John Marshall opened its sessions with the prayer “God save the United States and this honorable court.”

The First Congress instituted the practice of beginning its legislative sessions with a prayer.

The same week that Congress submitted the Establishment Clause as part of the bill of rights for ratification by the states; it enacted legislation providing for paid chaplains in the House of Senate.

The day after the First Amendment was proposed, the same Congress that had proposed it requested the President to proclaim “A day of public Thanksgiving and Prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of almighty God.”

President Washington authored the first thanksgiving proclamation shortly thereafter devoting November 26, 1789 on behalf of the American people “to the service of that great and glorious being who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that is, that was, or that will be.”

I could add to these examples many other official and quasi-official indications of the compatibility with the Establishment Clause of expressions of belief in God.

Today’s majority opinion brings forward no official or quasi-official statement expressing what the majority says to be the contrary view, only letters and statements of individual Framers.

Some of which are contradicted by the actions that those Framers themselves took when they were in official office.

There is moreover no indication that America’s views on the official acknowledgment of God today are any different from what they were in 1789.

Presidents continue to conclude the presidential oath with the words, “So help me God” and to wish you thanksgiving proclamations calling for thanks to God.

Our legislatures state and national continue to open their sessions with prayers led by official chaplains.

The sessions of this Court continue to open with the prayer “God save the United States and this honorable Court.”

Invocation of the Almighty by our public figures at all levels of the government remains common place.

Our coinage there is the model “In God we trust” and less than three years ago an active Congress adapted unanimously by the Senate and with only five nays in the House of Representatives criticized a Federal Court opinion that had held the words under “God” in the pledge of allegiance to be unconstitutional.

With all of this reality and much more scarring it in the face how can the court possibly assert as it does in today’s opinion that “the First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and non-religion”, manifesting a purpose to favor adherence to religion generally is unconstitutional.

Who says so?

Surely not the words of the Constitution, surely not the history and traditions that reflect our society’s constant understanding of those words, surely not even the current sense of American society nothing stands behind the Court’s assertion that governmental affirmation of America’s belief in God is unconstitutional except the Court’s own say so, citing as support only the unsubstantiated say so of earlier courts going back no further than the mid 20th century.

Besides appealing to the demonstratively false principle that the government cannot favor religion over irreligion, today’s opinion suggest that the posting of the Ten Commandments violates the principle that the government cannot favor one religion over another.

That is indeed a valid principle where public aid or assistance to religion is concerned or where the free exercise of religion is at issue but it necessarily applies and has always applied in a more limited sense to public acknowledgment of the Creator.

If religion in the public forum had to be entirely non-denominational, there could be no religion in the public forum at all.

One cannot say the word God or the Almighty, one cannot offer public supplication or thanksgiving without contradicting the beliefs of some people that there are many gods or that God or the gods pay no attention to human affairs.

With respect to the public acknowledgment of religious belief, it is entirely clear from our nation’s historical practices and its practices today that there is a distance between the acknowledgment of a single Creator and the establishment of a religion.

The former is as the court itself said in the case appproving legislator prayers “a tolerable acknowledgment of beliefs widely held among the people of this country.

The three most popular religions in the United States, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam which combined a count for 97.9% of all believers are monotheistic.

All of them moreover, Islam included, believe that the Ten Commandments were given by God to Moses and are divine prescriptions for a virtuous life.

Publicly honoring the Ten Commandments is thus indistinguishable in so far as discrimination against other religious is concerned from publicly honoring God.

Both practices are recognized across such a broad and diverse range of the population that they cannot reasonably be understood as a government endorsement of a particular religious viewpoint.

The Court today fails to recognize that in the context of public acknowledgements of one God or of the Ten Commandments, there are legitimate competing interests.

On the one hand, the interest of a minority, the religious minority and not feeling excluded, but on the other hand, the interest of the overwhelming majority of religious believers in being able to give God thanks and supplication as a people and with respect to our national endeavors.

Our national tradition has resolved that conflict in favor of the majority.

It is not for this Court to change a disposition that accounts many Americans think for the phenomenon remarked upon in a quotation attributed to various authors including Bismarck but which I prefer to associate with Charles de Gaulle, “God watches over little children, drunkards, and the United States of America.”

You can listen to the entire speech here:  http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2004/2004_03_1693

Lisa @ AmericaisConservative.org