Saturday, June 03, 2006

Gospel for June 3, Memorial: St. Charles Llwanga & His Companions, Martyrs

From: John 21:20-25

Peter's Primacy (Continuation)

[20] Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved, and who had lain close to His breast at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray You?" [21] When Peter saw Him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about this man?" [22] Jesus said to him, "If it is My will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow Me!" [23] The saying spread abroad among the brethren that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, "If it is My will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?"


[24] This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true.

[25] But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.


20-23. According to St. Irenaeus ("Against Heresies", II, 22, 5; III, 3, 4) St. John outlived all the other Apostles, into the reign of Trajan (98-117 A.D.). Possibly the evangelist wrote these verses to dispel the idea that he would not die. According to the text, Jesus does not reply to Peter's question. The important thing is not to be curious about what the future will bring but to serve the Lord faithfully, keeping to the way He has marked out for one.

24. This is an appeal to the testimony of the disciple "whom Jesus loved" as a guarantee of the veracity of everything contained in the book: everything which this Gospel says should be accepted by its readers as being absolutely true.

Many modern commentators think that verses 24 and 25 were added by disciples of the Apostle, as a conclusion to the Gospel, when it began to be circulated, a short time after St. John completed it. Be that as it may, the fact is that both verses are to be found in all extant manuscripts of the Fourth Gospel.

25. St. John's account, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, has as its purpose the strengthening of our faith in Jesus Christ through reflecting on what our Lord said and did. Like the Fourth Gospel, we shall never be able to capture the full richness and depth of our Lord's personality. "Once one begins to be interested in Christ, one's interest can never cease. There is always something more to be known, to be said--infinitely more. St. John the Evangelist ends his Gospel making this very point (John 21:25). Everything to do with Christ is so rich, there are such depths for us to explore; such light, strength, joy, desire have their source in Him. [...] His coming to the world, His presence in history and culture and [...] His vital relationship with our conscience: everything suggests that it is unseemly, unscientific and irreverent ever to think that we need not and cannot advance further in contemplation of Jesus Christ" ([Pope] Paul VI, "General Audience", 20 February 1974).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Friday, June 02, 2006

FutureChurch "dismayed" it was not consulted about bishop appointment

And this:
FutureChurch prays that Bishop Lennon will vigorously address the priest shortage by inviting open discussion of both married and celibate priestly calls and ordaining women as deacons as a doable next step toward their full inclusion in priestly ministry.
How is it possible that one can keep beating one's head against the wall year after year, decade after decade, while remaining completely oblivious to reality. Would not this continual cranial assault not "knock some sense into one's head" as I used to hear growing up? Apparently that was just something my momma used to say to scare us as kids. One would have to admit that this group, and others like it, are tenacious beyond belief. Some would say they are foolish rather than hopeful. Is it not foolish to hope for something which will never happen (as in women priests) - something which has no possibility of ever happening?

A Reflection for Pentecost

(Jesus said to His disciples,) "But when the Paraclete comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He shall give testimony of Me; and you shall give testimony, because you are with Me from the beginning." (St John 15:26, 27)

There is about this Sunday a calmness of regret as well as of expectancy, that greatly helps to pious thought and affec­tion. With holy Church we are thinking of Him who has been taken up from us. His absence from our eyes makes His Divine figure grow clearer in our mind. What He did and said, what He was and is, begin to stand out in stronger relief; and the charm of it all becomes more completely engrossing.

To remain on the mount of the Ascension, looking up to heaven, seems the only thing to do-even though Angels should ask us why we do so. We look in the direction He took, because now more than ever we want to see Him. But the Vision is not for our time of wayfaring, for the time of our participation in the sufferings of which He care­fully forewarned us. So we fall back on His loving words, more justly than the bereaved of earth fall back on the treasured details of the lives they may be mourning.

Great are those words, beyond human estimate or interpretation; great in what they say of Him, greater, if possible, in what they imply of us. The time, dear brethren, is so full of heaven's light and inspiration that we may venture to turn our gaze even on the unspeakable grandeurs that are Christ's and that He reveals as about to be ours. All the words of His farewell moments are of specially supernal import and promise. Let us dwell on the wondrous affirmations in this Gospel: That the Son of Man sends the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity to be His witness; that through that Divine Parac1ete, the Spirit of Truth, He enables us to be also His veritable witnesses.

I. "When the Parac1ete comes, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, He shall give testimony of Me." While our Lord was still in His suffering Flesh and His disciples had not yet received he Holy Ghost, He spoke those Divine mysteries to them. Now that He is glorified, seated at the right hand of God, and that we have been renewed by His outpoured Spirit, we should be able to hear these same heavenly truths. Adoring the mystery of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is wise religion, since God Himself proposes it to our contemplation. Simple faith loves to repeat: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God in three Divine Persons. It knows, too, why it names the Persons in that order. From the Father is the Son, from the Son - with the Father - is the Holy Spirit. And the sending, the mission, of which we have mention and promise in the Gospel, is made known through the revela­tion of the adorable Trinity. The Father, of whom the Son is be­gotten, sends the Son; the Son; of whom the Holy Spirit pro­ceeds, sends the Holy Spirit: sends Him from the Father, since He and His Father are as One in breathing forth that Divine Spirit.

Nothing personal to God is more often said by our Lord than that, His Father sent Him. He almost makes the Father's Name be "He who sent Me." Now He speaks of also sending; and He whom He is to send is the Third Person of the ever Blessed Trinity.

If you are not given to meditating on the Divine Trinity - though most wholesome for mind and heart is that primary meditation - at least take the plain truth which arises out of the Mystery, and out of our Lord's familiar words about it. What is that plain truth? Simply that He is God. That is the saving truth to know and to proclaim. Much revelation and much meditation are already yours, if, with all your mind and all your heart, you can believingly say: Christ our Lord is God, our God. There is the revealed truth, with its fruit of eternal life, of which the world has been proving itself unworthy.

We must notice that when our Lord was speaking those great things about the Father, and Himself, and the Holy Spirit, He was using His human mind and His human lips. In the midst of His human disciples, He, the Son of the human Virgin, could open His mouth and affirm: The Paraclete, who proceeds from the Father, I will send to you. And those men, who had learned that the outpouring long promised was of the Spirit of God, might question and say: The Paraclete! Is He not God ? Yes, He is God. And you will send Him? Even so, for I am God. "Have I been so long a time with you, and have you not known Me?"

To know with steady clearness the present God, was not in the compass of the disciples' troubled existence; nor is it of ours. Yet, as they were ready, when called on, to acknowledge His Divinity, so must we be ready to show it forth, to bear witness to it. His words, which we read, are, if taken rightly, its most solemn affirmation.

He not only sends, as He declares, the Paraclete from the Father, but He sends Him for His own purpose. "He shall give testimony of Me" expresses the Divine aim of the Third Person's mission: He, Spirit of Truth, shall bear witness to Me, the Truth.

And here we are reminded of the Lord's own mission as He stated it before even the unbelieving Pilate: "For this was I born, and for this came I into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth." Presently, the Holy Spirit is coming to give us testimony of Him who is indeed our Truth, as well as our Way and our Life.

God bearing witness to God is, of course, natural. But how glorious is it not to the Son of Man? In His humble Humanity He would not prematurely glorify Himself; as Man He even said: "If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing." When the hour was come, there was One to whom He could say: "And now glorify Thou Me, O Father, with Thyself, with the glory which I had, before the world was made, with Thee."

The incredulous Jews had tried to take away His glory, had effectually dishonored Him by rejecting His authentic message. What was more painful to His Sacred Humanity, they had dis­honored His Father whose words He was delivering: "He who honors not the Son, honors not the Father who has sent Him." Even the works which His Father did in Him, by which, at His Mother's request, He began the manifesting of His glory, they would not believe. Rather, they blasphemously attributed those Divine works to the power of satan. But now the Spirit of Truth is about to make such manifestations, to give such testi­mony of the Lord and His Gospel, that rejection or denial must be morally impossible: only those determined to die in their sin can continue their opposition to the Christ of the Lord, God blessed forever.

Soon we commemorate the first great conversions to the faith of Christ and His Church. We shall be exulting in the Might of the Spirit that hurried the multitudes to belief in the Lord of Glory, even in Him whom they themselves had crucified. We shall see in magnificent exercise the commission He gave to teach not only Israel but all nations, when men will gather to Peter and John and the others, to hear the Apostolic announcements and commands. This comes of the testimony borne to the Son of Man by the Holy Spirit; this is the first and the main fruit of the Promise sent us from the Father. Oh! that we be prepared to accept and transmit this testimony, to receive the Gospel of the grace of God and prove that we have received it not in vain!

II. "You shall give testimony, because you are with Me from the beginning," is the second part of our text. The words are of high promise and convey wondrous truths concerning the Lord's disciples. They have also a clear application to all members of His mystical Body, the Church, and so must concern ourselves.

To cooperate with God is the glory of His creatures. It is a glory which in some degree may be found wherever there is free action. But to cooperate in His mysteries of grace, in His revela­tions and communications of Himself, is necessarily the sublimest of our grandeurs. The excess of Divine goodness is reached when He uses us as if He had need of us. "You shall give testi­mony of Me," as though our testimony mattered to Him who is the splendor of the Father's glory.

When His infinite authority, His infinite excellence, had to be affirmed in all independence of earthly cavil, He once Divinely said: "But I receive not testimony from man. . . . I have a greater testimony. . . . The Father himself who has sent Me,
has given testimony of Me." He afterwards made the disciple of His Bosom add: "If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. For this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because He has testified of His Son" (1 John 5:9). Yet to the men whom He commissioned to carry His Name to the ends of the earth, He vouchsafed to say : "You shall give testimony."

We may well ask how the Apostles could receive so Divine a mission, and, still more, how we can have any such mission ourselves. They had it through the Holy Spirit whom the Lord breathed into them, who came upon them like fire, and dwelt in them abidingly. "He shall abide with you, and shall be in you," was the promise of power to evangelize. It was He, the Father's Spirit, that was to speak in them when they bore testimony to the Son. In the coming Pentecost we shall be reminded of their eagerness and boldness in proclaiming the power of the Lord's name, the truth of His resurrection, the grace of His Gospel. The tongues of fire will be resistless; the message will have to be heard. There was included in the promise: "He shall give testi­mony of Me, and you shall give testimony," that those heralds of the Faith should speak by the Holy Spirit. The account of their early preaching accords with the prediction, for it is written: "With great power did the Apostles give testimony of the resur­rection of Jesus Christ our Lord, and great grace was in them all" (Acts 4:33). Happy mouthpieces of the Paraclete! Happy witnesses to the Son of Man!

By grace, we too give our testimony. Wherever there is true faith and the corresponding good works there is witness borne that Jesus is indeed the Saviour, that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who has come into this world. Without Him we could do nothing Christian; only by His Spirit do we show forth His truth. In this consists the apostolic, the sacerdotal royalty of every simplest Catholic life.

Very strikingly do the Apostles identify the profession and practice of Christianity with the testimony of Christ. Their work consists in declaring that testimony; their exhortation is to be not ashamed of it. Their brethren are they "who have the testimony of Jesus"; the same are they who are the children of the Woman clothed with the Sun, and who keep the Commandments of God (Rev 12:17). The supreme test of fidelity was recognized in those who were "slain for the word of God and for the testi­mony which they held," who were "beheaded for the testimony of Jesus." But the common life of the faithful Catholic, the everyday struggle to save one's own soul, can testify to God and His truth most effectually and meritoriously.

The Apostle could write to his favorite disciple: "Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and hast confessed a good confession before many witnesses." He even implies a comparison of such practical testifying with the suffering Lord's witnessing to the truth: "Who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate, a good confession" (1 Tim. 7:13).

All real following of Christ demands the martyr spirit. It im­poses the obligation of confessing; it calls for courage and endur­ance in giving testimony. Being with Christ in daily life is the way to escape denying Him. "You shall give testimony," He says in the Gospel, "because you are with Me from the be­ginning." The words can, indeed, be taken to signify that His disciples knew, as He said at His trial, all His teachings. Being with Him from the beginning of His sacred ministry, they could bear witness to His words and actions. But their fitness to give a testimony to Him, in any sense like the Holy Spirit's testimony, was brought about by their loving intercourse with Him in the conduct of life. To be intelligently and morally with Christ, is the quick way to be holy, to be heroic.

In the Novena for Pentecost, there was shown, when it was first observed, the happy result of keeping company with the Lord. In the Cenacle, where the disciples were persevering in prayer with Mary the Mother of Jesus, St. Peter proposed the choosing of a witness to replace the traitor. No time was to be lost in filling the first vacancy in the Apostolic College. The conditions of the election - which may have been held on this very day - are instructive and can serve to illustrate our present subject. The new Pontiff, who had risen in the midst of his brethren, authoritatively said: "Wherefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day wherein He was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of His resurrection." So the going in and out with the Lord was the blessed training that rendered the disciple fit to be an Apostle, even to be a testimony bearer with the Holy Spirit. Matthias, on whom the happy lot fell, testified by his virtues as well as by his preaching. He finally gave his life for Him in whose adorable company he had been transformed and sanctified.

But some one may be saying that Judas also was with the Lord from the beginning. The wretch had, indeed, been long counted in the chosen twelve; but, morally, with the Lord he never was. He did not believe. Of a quite early period it is written: "Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that did not believe, and who he was that would betray Him. . . . This same (Judas Iscariot) was about to betray Him, whereas he was one of the twelve" (John 6:64, 71).

The fearful exception but serves to enforce the rule. We have to be thoroughly with Christ, most and first by sound belief, if we would truly confess Him, if we would hear our glorious testimony. On that condition the Church may be heard insisting in today's office. She brings before us the Lord's own declaration that God is light and that in Him there is no dark­ness. Then follows the warning: "If we say that we have fellow­ship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He also is in the light, we have fellowship one with another."

One of her great doctors is also put forward to tell us that our vices alone can exclude us from the company of Christ. Who would think otherwise? While He was among men, demons had to flee at His approach; so had sin, if the sinners would remain with Him. He to whom we cling, as our God and Redeemer, is taken up from us, and we would follow Him. Holy Church lifts our mind to heaven and encourages us to hope for the day when we can ascend there even in body. But again she warns. Your pride will not ascend with Christ; your avarice will not ascend, nor your licentiousness. Your sins are your fet­ters: throw them away and be free to follow your glorified Saviour. With Him the Spirit of Truth and Holiness placed you, in the be­ginnings of Catholic virtue; to Him the same Spirit will unite you in never-ending felicity.

Conclude in the abounding graces of this most sacred season, to be fully worthy of your supernal vocation in Christ Jesus. Be mindful of your privileges, alive to your op­portunities. The divinest of works is easily within your reach, its rewards beyond all computing. The grandeur of bearing testimony to the Christ of God, by our Christian life, might well be its own recompense; but there remains the glorification of His bearing testimony to us.

Realize His assurance - comprehensive and individual: "Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God. . . . Every one that shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven."

Acknowledged as His, as worthily His, acknowledged in the sight of the blessed angels, of the Virgin Mother, of the Eternal Father, shall we all be, because we shall have been faithful to Him in the grace of His Holy Spirit.
Adapted from Plain Sermons by Practical Preachers (1916)

Senator Jim Talent Opposes Missouri Stem Cell Initiative

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Senator Jim Talent (R-Mo.) issued the following statement:

"I personally cannot support the initiative because I've always been opposed to human cloning and this measure would make cloning human life at the earliest stage a constitutional right."

"As I've repeatedly said, at the federal level, I will continue to support new alternatives and research that hold promise to give us get exactly the stem cells we want to relieve human suffering without cloning.

"I would encourage every Missourian to study the initiative carefully and make up their own minds on this very difficult moral issue."


Missourians Against Human Cloning - UPDATE

The Coalition is actively working to get the Truth out across Missouri and your help is needed. The language of the proposed Cloning Amendment is so purposely deceptive that we need to tell everyone we know this amendment would enshrine human cloning in our constitution even though the twisted wording says just the opposite.

One important way you can help is to join our Friend to Friend Campaign. Friends receive a packet of materials and agree to share the truth with at least 10 households who, once they learn the truth, agree to vote NO on the cloning amendment. You will gather information and a $10 contribution from these 10 households.

You will also recruit 2 people who agree to become a Friend as well and we will send them their own packets. This simple but effective program will allow us to spread the truth throughout our state.

Please email me at or call our office at 636-536-9877 to request a Friend to Friend packet. Together we can defeat this unethical amendment! For more information please visit our website

What: Phyllis Schlafly will discuss EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH with Rob Hanson, MD, PhD, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Specialist at St. John's Mercy Medical Center.

What: Saturday, June 3

Time: 11 am - Noon

Where: Eagle Forum Live (check the station listing below for your area)

Tell your friends and listen to this educational opportunity to learn more about the most important issue facing Missouri voters!

Call in with your questions and comments: 1-800-736-3202

Missouri Columbia KMCV Radio 89.9 FM
Missouri Gravois Mills KCRL Radio 90.3 FM
Missouri Jefferson City KMCV Radio 89.9 FM
Missouri Kirksville KLTE Radio 107.9 FM
Missouri Mountain Grove KELE Radio 1360 AM
Missouri Richmond KAYX Radio 92.5
Missouri Springfield KSCV Radio 90.1 FM
Missouri St. Louis KSIV Radio 1320 AM
Missouri St. Louis KSIV Radio 91.5 FM
Kansas Overland Park KCCV Radio 760 AM
Kansas Overland Park KCCV Radio 92.3 FM
Kansas Topeka KCVT Radio 92.5 FM
Kansas Topeka KJTY Radio 88.1 FM
Kansas Wichita KCVW Radio 94.3 FM

State Mapping of the Pro-Death Culture

WASHINGTON, DC, June 2, 2006 ( – A new website launched by pro-abortion, and pro-homosexual rights groups ranks each of the United States according to a number of criteria including abortion and contraceptive access, and laws pertaining to homosexuality. The website, called Mapping Our Rights, ranks New Mexico and New York as tied for first place as the two most socially liberal states in the union, while South Dakota and Ohio are tied for last place.

The site has been hailed as a valuable source of easily accessible information for pro-life activists, and as a cause for pride for those working for the cause of life in states ranked lowest.

This site can be located here... IPAS states :
Complete with state-by-state rankings, “Mapping Our Rights” is an ideal tool for monitoring state policies. A resource that will help activists, journalists and researchers, it’s also for individuals who wants to know how their states — or a state they may relocate to — govern their bodies and relationships.

The site is a unique collaboration between Ipas, an international reproductive health and rights organization; the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; and the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective.

In other words, this site is great for those who wish to learn where to go to facilitate the murder of unborn babies. Yet as God brings good out of evil, it serves as a great tool to see where work must be done to change the culture to one of love and life.

New, Progressive Mass Translations Reviewed by Vox Clara

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican's review of English-language Mass translations is picking up speed as bishops' conferences approve liturgical books.

The Vox Clara Committee, a body of English-speaking bishops appointed to advise the Vatican on translations, met May 29-June 1 and will meet again in July.

While many bishops expressed concerns over changing texts recited by the faithful during Mass, these new texts will cause no more problems than the changes which occurred subsequent to the Second Vatican Council...Actually, with more progressively accurate translations, the faithful might be more inclined toward the inestimabile transcendence of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration...

...Nearly One Million Sex Crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants in the United States

After conducting a 12 month in-depth study of illegal immigrants who committed sex crimes and murders for the time period of January 1999 through April 2006 , it is clear that the U.S. public faces a dangerous threat from sex predators who cross the U.S. borders illegally.

There were 1500 cases analyzed in depth. They included: serial rapes, serial murders, sexual homicides, and child molestation[s] committed by illegal immigrants. Police reports, public records, interviews with police,and media accounts were all included. Offenders were located in 36 states, but it is clear, that the most of the offenders were located in states with the highest numbers of illegal immigrants. California was number one, followed by Texas, Arizona, New Jersey, New York, and Florida.

Based on population numbers of 12,000,000 illegal immigrants and the fact that young males make up more of this population than the general U.S. population, sex offenders in the illegal immigrant group make up a higher percentage. When examining ICE reports and public records, it is consistent to find sex offenders comprising 2% of illegals apprehended. Based on this 2% figure, which is conservative, there are approximately 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States.

Make your reservations - June 11

Kenrick-Glennon Seminary history professor Father Michael Witt will discuss "Christianity Under Attack" at the next dinner meeting of Credo of the Catholic Laity on Sunday, June 11, at 6 p.m. at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 7750 Carondelet Blvd., Clayton. Cost per person is $20. Call Howard Brandt at (314) 894-0357 or e-mail

Archbishop Burke Recommends ‘Stories of Saints’

This new line of comic books was reported on here this past March, and looked to be an excellent means of teaching others about the Saints.

Stories of the Saints," a monthly four-packet comic book series on Catholic saints, has a new fan.

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke is recommending the series to catechists at parishes and schools in the archdiocese.

In a recent letter to priests, school administrators and directors of religious education, Archbishop Burke wrote, "I can tell you very honestly that the booklets are beautifully done, are true to the lives of the saints and are inspiring." He called the "Stories of the Saints" a "vital resource in the Catholic education and formation of our children and young people."

The booklets are published monthly by Arcadius Press of Springfield, Mo. The publishers offer opportunities for group fund-raising. For more information, access or call (417) 887-6570.
Source, the St Louis Review

Eight Permanent Deacons to Be Ordained June 3

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke will ordain eight men to the Order of the Diaconate at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 3, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, Lindell Boulevard and Newstead Avenue in the Central West End.

This is the 26th class of permanent deacons in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, which began the program in 1976. Those to be ordained are Deacons Charles Allen, H. Wayne Groner, Donald McElroy Sr., Paul Hecktor, Michael Nicolai, James Powers, Randall Smith and Ralph Wehner.

World falls short on pledges to fight HIV and AIDS

A day after a major U.N. report found that the disease continued to spread, albeit slower than before, [U.N. Secretary-General Kofi] Annan told delegates that efforts to fight AIDS among women and children had failed and that young people still had little understanding of AIDS.

The virus "has spread further, faster and with more catastrophic long-term effects than any other disease," Annan said. "Its impact has become a devastating obstacle to the progress of humankind."
Mr Annan should know that the sanctioning of immoral behavior by passing out condoms will never result in a decrease in the spread of AIDS. Yet, as the head of a organization which has outlived its usefulness, being more concerned with power and money that the true rights and dignity of the human person, various UN agencies and departments continue to press forward in repugnant campaigns to enshrine the murder of innocent unborn babies as a "right" while choosing condoms over abstinence as the means to curb deadly STDs. It's amazing how so many allegedly educated people can be so utterly stupid.

HIV/AIDS activists and groups arriving at the United Nations for the three-day event warned that countries appeared reluctant to set new targets to fight the disease and would shy away from making any major promises.

The groups also asserted that the United States and some other socially conservative nations - backed by the Roman Catholic Church - could try to strip from the 2001 promises wording that says effective prevention requires greater availability of condoms, microbicides and vaccines.
This last sentence is, at a minimum, a deception if it is not an outright lie. The Church does not oppose the greater availablity of vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat AIDS or other diseases. The promotion and use of condoms, however, is a different matter. And the promotion of condoms as an effective means of preventing the disease is also deceptive and deadly. There is a way to prevent this disease - a lifestyle based on living chastely which includes abstinence outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage. The sooner this truth is taught, the sooner we will see a change.

Gospel for Friday, 7th Week of Easter

From: John 21:15-19

Peter's Primacy

[15] When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." [16] A second time He said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord, you know I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." [17] He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep. [18] Truly, truly I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go." [19] (This He said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this He said to him, "Follow Me."


15-17. Jesus Christ had promised Peter that he would be the primate of the Church (cf. Matthew 16:16-19 and note on the same). Despite his three denials during our Lord's passion, Christ now confers on him the primacy He promised.

"Jesus questions Peter, three times, as if to give him a triple chance to atone for his triple denial. Peter has learned his lesson from the bitter experience of his wretchedness. Aware of his weakness, he is deeply convinced that rash claims are pointless. Instead he puts everything in Christ's hands. `Lord, You know well that I love You" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 267). The primacy was given to Peter directly and immediately. So the Church has always understood--and so Vatican I defined: "We therefore teach and declare that, according to the testimony of the Gospel, the primacy of jurisdiction over the universal Church of God was immediately and directly promised and given to Blessed Peter the Apostle by Christ our Lord. [...] And it was upon Simon Peter alone that Jesus after His resurrection bestowed the jurisdiction of chief pastor and ruler over all His fold in the words: "Feed My lambs; feed My sheep" ("Pastor Aeternus", Chapter 1).

The primacy is a grace conferred on Peter and his successors, the popes; it is one of the basic elements in the Church, designed to guard and protect its unity: "In order that the episcopate also might be one and undivided, and that [...] the multitude of the faithful might be kept secure in the oneness of faith and communion, He set Blessed Peter over the rest of the Apostles, and fixed in him the abiding principle of this twofold unity, and its visible foundation" ("Pastor Aeternus, Dz-Sch 3051"; cf. Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 18). Therefore, the primacy of Peter is perpetuated in each of his successors: this is something which Christ disposed; it is not based on human legislation or custom.

By virtue of the primacy, Peter, and each of his successors, is the shepherd of the whole Church and vicar of Christ on earth, because he exercises vicariously Christ's own authority. Love for the Pope, whom St. Catherine of Siena used to call "the sweet Christ on earth", should express itself in prayer, sacrifice and obedience.

18-19. According to Tradition, St. Peter followed his Master to the point of dying by crucifixion, head downwards, "Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom in Rome during Nero's persecution of Christians, which took place between the years 64 and 68. St. Clement, the successor of the same Peter in the See of the Church of Rome, recalls this when, writing to the Corinthians, he puts before them `the generous example of these two athletes': `due to jealousy and envy, those who were the principal and holiest columns suffered persecution and fought the fight unto death'" ([Pope] Paul VI, "Petrum Et Paulum").

"Follow Me!": these words would have reminded the Apostle of the first call he received (cf. Matthew 4:19) and of the fact that Christ requires of His disciples complete self-surrender: "If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up the Cross daily and follow Me" (Luke 9:23). St. Peter himself, in one of his letters, also testifies to the Cross being something all Christians must carry: "For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps" (1 Peter 2:21).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Prayers of Reparation

From an email I received. If possible, please consider attending this.

Dear Friends,

You may have noticed that box office receipts in the for the The DaVinci Code Movie dropped by 67% in the United States last weekend. While this is very encouraging news, the movie continues to be shown in St. Louis area theaters, thus the public blasphemy of Our Lord continues.

For this reason, TFP member Dr. Howard Whitcraft is organizing another protest on Friday evening June 2nd at the Des Peres 14 Cine on Manchester from 6-8PM.

Please come and offer prayers of reparation to Our Lord. Although the media has dropped this issue like a hot potato, and it appears that the movie has lost the interest of the masses, one thing remains our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church are being attacked with each showing of this movie! Poor attendance, bad reviews and lack of media coverage are not the focal issues of this campaign. The purpose of this Campaign has been and continues to be to make public acts of reparation in defense of Jesus Christ and the Holy Catholic Church. Each time this movie is shown, the offense occurs all over again!

Let me know if you have any questions, and if you can be there with Dr. Whitcraft on Friday night. Please forward this announcement to your friends and family.

Can you spend an hour or two to defend Him?
HT to Mark Serafino for passing this along.

The Holy Spirit - The Divine Feminine

Gleaned from this Sunday's June 4th bulletin from a local Catholic parish, we see the promotion of the sacred or divine feminine - just in time for Pentecost and coincident with the recently released movie, "The Da Vinci Code"...How inspiring!

Another thing that I just noticed is that this bulletin section was previous titled "Kleba's Korner, The Pastor's Peace". Notice the placement of the apostrophe - indicating the possessive case for a singular pastor - meaning that the column was written by the pastor od the parish, presumably, as many articles, for the edification of the pastor's congregation.

But now the title, "The Pastors' Peace" (absent "Kleba's Korner"), has been changed to the plural possessive case by moving the apostrophe after the "s" (rather than before the "s"), indicating that there is more than one "pastor" - that the column is the product of a group of "pastors"...The Archdiocesan web site, however, lists only one pastor. Might this not lead some to believe that the other column authors, "Sean" and "Louise", are pastors as well?

Anyway, on to the column:

The Pastors' Peace

New Beginnings Are Nigh!

The 1960’s British comedy troop “Beyond the Fringe” featured the genius of Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, and Dudley Moore (among others.) They had a routine, set on a remote mountaintop, where a religious disciple haltingly asks the master: Will this wind be so mighty as to lay low the mountains of the earth? And because this was British comedy, it went on forever. But the question is worth asking on Pentecost.

What do we expect this mighty wind to do?

In the ancient hymn for Pentecost, Veni Creator Spiritus, the Church sings of the Spirit’s power to fill us, to anoint us, to be a creative force in our lives. The Spirit is the font of life, and the fire of love. We sing of the Spirit endowing our speech, imparting light, and invigorating us at times of weakness with “deathless might.”

We trust in Her ability to bestow abiding peace. We sing of the protection the Spirit imparts. And we rely on the discernment that comes with the Spirit’s presence in our lives.

The People of God have long called this Divine Spirit Sophia, recognizing in this creative source of God’s life in us the Divine Feminine. She is an advocate, a counselor, a paraclete (one who is called alongside to aid).

And this Spirit is the great equalizer. With the same Spirit endowing each of us, we are drawn to a new understanding of God’s work in the world, as we witness the myriad of gifts that spring up in the community of people who call Jesus their friend.

Let us pray that we step up and step out into this mighty wind.

May the Holy Spirit stir up new and holy things in this community. May we be renewed. And may we journey at the side of this powerful and invigorating force together, confident that the Holy Spirit is moving in our midst.

For the record, the eventual answer to the question in the “Beyond the Fringe” routine was: “No. That’s why we’re on top of this mountain.” We’re not here to avoid this Spirit; we’re here to cooperate with Her.

The members of the Pastoral Team—Sean, Gerry, and Louise—take turns writing The Pastors’ Peace each week.

All bolded emphasis above is mine.

Perhaps we can look and see how Jesus refers to the Paraclete, Whom He sent from the Father to the Apostles after His Ascension:

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [26] "But when the Counsellor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness to Me; [27] and you also are witnesses, because you have been with Me from the beginning. (John 15:26-27)

And this:

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [12] "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. [13] When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak of His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. [14] He will glorify Me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. [15] All that the Father has is Mine; therefore I said that He will take what is Mine and declare it to you." (John 16:12-15)

Again all bolding above is mine...This says nothing about the Holy Spirit overshadowing the Blessed Virgin Mary. As some have commented before, if the Holy Spirit is feminine, then doesn't Jesus have "two mommies"?

It is to be understood that as pure spirit, God (in the Person of the Father and in the Person of the Holy Spirit) has no gender, but should we not respect the manner in which Jesus revealed and spoke of such mysteries to us?


Defiant Woman Simulates Sacraments

The headline of the article is wrong. It says:
Defiant female priest says Mass
Actually, there are two things wrong: one is the claim that she is a "Female priest" and the other is that she celebrated "Mass". She may have said or celebrated something which looked like a Mass and in doing so, she seems to have incurred automatic (latae sententiae) penalty of interdict under Canon 1378 (#2) which states:
Canon 1378
2. The following incur an automatic (latae sententiae) penalty of interdict or if a cleric, an automatic (latae sententiae) suspension:
(1) one who has not been promoted to the priestly order and who attempts to enact the liturgical action of the Eucharistic Sacrifice;
This act of attempting to celebrate the Holy Mass is a most grave abuse of the Liturgy. Redemptionis Sacramentum (RS) lists it as Graviora Delicta - the most grave kind of liturgical abuses which are reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Ordinary of the diocese is obliged to refer this matter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith immediately:
[RS 179.] Delicts against the faith as well as graviora delicta committed in the celebration of the Eucharist and the other Sacraments are to be referred without delay to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which “examines [them] and, if necessary, proceeds to the declaration or imposition of canonical sanctions according to the norm of common or proper law”.
If the bishop does what he is supposed to do, the CDF should be addressing this matter in the near future.
The fledgling congregation gathered in a circle at Sunday Mass at Spartan Memorial Chapel to introduce themselves. A woman in a long, white robe spoke first. "My name is Victoria Rue, and I am a Roman Catholic woman priest."
Her name may well be "Victoria Rue", but a Roman Catholic priest, she is not...She may be delusional but she has not been, nor can she be, ordained to the priesthood - it can never happen.

"God has called me," said Juanita Cordero, a Los Gatos woman who will soon be ordained as a deacon and aims to be a priest by 2007. "Growing up it was never a possibility because it was always for men."

Cordero, a former nun, is among 120 women enrolled in the Roman Catholic Womenpriests program, which has been boldly ordaining groups of women as priests and deacons.
Figures...a former nun. The fact remains that the priesthood is and always will be reserved to men only. These former "Catholics", in actuality, are starting their own "religious sects", but they have not the courage to "leave" the Church. This is what pride and defiance does to one's mind. It obscures reality. It poisons faith. It binds one in bondage and slavery. It destroys one's conscience. It leads to spiritual death.

A dozen will be ordained in Pittsburgh on July 31, including Cordero and women from Carmel and Pismo Beach.
I wonder if they'll invite Bishop Wuerl?

Pope Benedict XVI, like his predecessor Pope John Paul II, probably won't allow women's ordination, said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a Vatican expert.
Reese should know better. The male only priesthood can never change. Any thinking to the contrary displays an utter lack of understanding concerning the irreformaable, immutable teachings of the Church.

"You got 20 centuries of teaching and practice. You need a pretty good reason to reverse that," Reese said. "They would say you can't reverse that."
But, Fr Tom, what say you?

Polls show that a majority of American Catholics support women's ordination, he said, but it's unclear if they would support a maverick movement to bring it about.
If these polls are accurate, then this is just another example of the many examples which demonstrate that a "majority" of Catholics have not been adequately catechized - a revealing indictment of the bishpos and priests for the past 30-40 years.

...some rituals [of the Mass] have been tweaked. Clergy and laity gather and walk to the front of the church. Phrases such as ``our mother'' and ``she'' are regularly interspersed with the more familiar ``our Father'' and ``he.'' Homilies resemble Bible study sessions as priests sit and invite congregants to share their thoughts on the teachings.
This should make Dan Brown proud...These people are worshipping the "sacred feminine" and themselves. All in a "feel good" manner where they can "share" their flawed opinions.

Kathleen Strack says she decided to stop waiting. She had wanted to be a priest since age 8 and in the 1999 got a master's in divinity just in case the opportunity ever arose. Now 61, she's ready for ordination.

It's hard. She knows some will treat her as an outcast in the faith she deeply loves. She's currently using her maiden name, not wanting to be excommunicated before she becomes a priest.
What is this "faith she deeply loves"? It certainly is not the Catholic Faith or the Church Jesus established. She must be worshipping her own will, since she rejects following the will of God.

It's sad that so many of these people have been led astray. The have abandoned our Lord and His Church. They have succumbed to the false promises of the evil one. They have bought into his lies and deceptions and they are encouraged by those who are "legion"...

They need our prayers and our reparations for the sacrileges they perpetuate.

Belleville Police Interest in Priest Welcomed by SNAP

On Monday, Belleville Police Chief Dave Ruebhausen said he will send a detective to meet with leaders of the St. Henry Oblate Retirement Home on North 60th Street that houses [Rev Real]Bourque.
. . .
"We welcome the (police) chief's concern and involvement," Dorris said. "At the same time, the idea of having a fellow priest travel with Bourque is simply unworkable. That's been promised and tried dozens of times before with disastrous results."
Barbara Dorris is the outreach director for the St. Louis-based Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Of course, Dave Clohessy keeps trying to place responsibility for resolving the issue on Bishop Braxton:
In a letter dated Tuesday asking Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton to meet with SNAP members, national director Dave Clohessy wrote, "Over the past few weeks we have repeatedly asked you to rectify this very dangerous situation but you have chosen to act like a cold-hearted CEO, claiming you are powerless to control a priest in your diocese...."
Clohessy still doesn't get it. I wonder if he complains to Burger King for his issues with McDonalds?

Gospel for June 1, Memorial: St. Justin, Martyr

From: John 17:20-26

The Priestly Prayer of Jesus (Continuation)

(Jesus lifted His eyes to Heaven and said,) [20] "I do not pray for these (My disciples) only, but also for those who believe in Me through their word, [21] that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. [22] The glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, [23] I in them and Thou in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me and hast loved them even as Thou hast loved Me. [24] Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, may be with Me where I am, to behold My glory which Thou hast given Me in Thy love for Me before the foundation of the world. [25] O righteous Father, the world has not known Thee, but I have known Thee; and these know that Thou hast sent Me. [26] I made known to them Thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

20-23. Since it is Christ who is praying for the Church His prayer is infallibly effective, and therefore there will always be only one true Church of Jesus Christ. Unity is therefore an essential property of the Church. "We believe that the Church founded by Jesus Christ and for which He prayed is indefectibly one in faith, in worship and in the bond of hierarchical communion" ([Pope] Paul VI, "Creed of the People of God", 21). Moreover, Christ's prayer also indicates what the basis of the Church's unity will be and what effects will follow from it.

The source from which the unity of the Church flows is the intimate unity of the Three Divine Persons among whom there is mutual love and self-giving. "The Lord Jesus, when praying to the Father `that they may all be one...even as we are one' (John 17:21-22), has opened up new horizons closed to human reason by implying that there is a certain parallel between the union existing among the Divine Persons and the union of the sons of God in truth and love. It follows, then, that if man is the only creature on earth that God has wanted for its own sake, man can fully discover his true self only in a sincere giving of himself" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 24). The unity of the Church is also grounded on the union of the faithful with Jesus Christ and through Him with the Father (verse 23). Thus, the fullness of unity--"consummati in unum"--is attained through the supernatural grace which comes to us from Christ (cf. John 15:5).

The fruits of the unity of the Church are, on the one hand, the world believing in Christ and in His divine mission (verses 21, 23); and, on the other hand, Christians themselves and all men recognizing God's special love for His faithful, a love which is a reflection of the love of the Three Divine Persons for each other. And so, Jesus' prayer embraces all mankind, for all are invited to be friends of God (cf. 1 Timothy 2:4). "Thou hast loved them even as Thou hast loved Me": this, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, "does not mean strict equality of love but similarity and like-motivation. It is as if He were saying: the love with which You have loved Me is the reason and the cause of Your loving them, for, precisely because You love men do You love those who love Me" ("Commentary on St. John, in loc."). Besides noting this theological explanation, we should also ponder on how expressively Christ describes His ardent love for men. The entire discourse of the Last Supper gives us a glimpse of the depth of Jesus' feelings--which infinitely exceeds anything we are capable of experiencing. Once again all we can do is bow down before the mystery of God-made-man.

20. Christ prays for the Church, for all those who, over the course of centuries, will believe in Him through the preaching of the Apostles. "That divine mission, which was committed by Christ to the Apostles, is destined to last until the end of the world (cf. Matthew 28:20), since the Gospel, which they were charged to hand on, is, for the Church, the principle of all its life for all time. For that very reason the Apostles were careful to appoint successors in this hierarchically constituted society" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 20).

The apostolic origin and basis of the Church is what is termed its "apostolicity", a special characteristic of the Church which we confess in the Creed. Apostolicity consists in the Pope and the Bishops being successors of Peter and the Apostles, holding the authority of theApostles and proclaiming the same teaching as they did. "The sacred synod teached that the bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the Apostles as pastors of the Church, in such wise that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and Him who sent Christ (cf. Luke 10:15)" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 20).

21. Union of Christians with Christ begets unity among themselves. This unity of the Church ultimately redounds to the benefit of all mankind, because since the Church is one and unique, she is seen as a sign raised up for the nations to see, inviting all to believe in Christ as sent by God come to save all men. The Church carries on this mission of salvation through its union with Christ, calling all mankind to join the Church and by so doing to share in union with Christ and the Father.

The Second Vatican Council, speaking of the principles of ecumenism, links the Church's unity with her universality: "Almost everyone, though in different ways, longs for the one visible Church of God, a Church truly universal and sent forth to the whole world that the world may be converted to the Gospel and so be saved, to the glory of God" ("Unitatis Redintegratio", 1). This universality is another characteristic of the Church, technically described as "catholicity". "For many centuries now the Church has been spread throughout the world, and it numbers persons of all races and walks of life. But the universality of the Church does not depend on its geographical distribution, even though this is a visible sign and of motive of credibility. The Church was catholic already at Pentecost: it was born catholic from the wounded heart of Jesus, as a fire which the Holy Spirit enkindled.

"In the second century the Christians called the Church catholic in order to distinguish it from sects, which, using the name of Christ, were betraying His doctrine in one way or another. `We call it catholic', writes St. Cyril, `not only because it is spread throughout the world, from one extreme to the other, but because in a universal way and without defect it teaches all the dogmas which men ought to know, of both the visible and the invisible, the celestial and the earthly. Likewise because it draws to true worship all types of men, governors and citizens, the learned and the ignorant. And finally, because it cures and heals all kinds of sins, whether of the soul or of the body, possessing in addition--by whatever name it may be called--all the forms of virtue, in deeds and in words and in every kind of spiritual life' ("Catechesis", 18, 23)" ([St] J. Escriva, "In Love with the Church", 9).

Every Christian should have the same desire for this unity as Jesus Christ expresses in His prayer to the Father. "A privileged instrument for participation in pursuit of the unity of all Christians is prayer. Jesus Christ Himself left us His final wish for unity through prayer to the Father: `that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me' (John 17:21).

"Also the Second Vatican Council strongly recommended to us prayer for the unity of Christians, defining it `the soul of the whole ecumenical movement' ("Unitatis Redintegratio", 8). As the soul to the body, so prayer gives life, consistency, spirit, and finality to the ecumenical movement.

"Prayer puts us, first and foremost, before the Lord, purifies us in intentions, in sentiments, in our heart, and produces that `interior conversion', without which there is no real ecumenism. (cf. "Unitatis Redintegratio", 7).

"Prayer, furthermore, reminds us that unity, ultimately, is a gift from God, a gift for which we must ask and for which we must prepare in order that we may be granted it" ([Pope] John Paul II, "General Audience", 17 January 1979).

22-23. Jesus possess glory, a manifestation of divinity, because He is God, equal to the Father (cf. note on John 17:1-5). When He says that He is giving His disciples this glory, He is indicating that through grace He makes us partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Glory and justification by grace are very closely united, as we can see from Sacred Scripture: "Those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified" (Romans 8:30). The change grace works in Christians makes us ever more like Christ, who is the likeness of the Father (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4; Hebrews 1:2-3): by communicating His glory Christ joins the faithful to God by giving them a share in supernatural life, which is the source of the holiness of Christians and of the Church: "Now we can understand better how [...] one of the principal aspects of her holiness is that unity centered on the mystery of the one and triune God. `There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all' (Ephesians 4:4-6)" ([St] J. Escriva, "In Love with the Church", 5).

24. Jesus concludes His prayer by asking that all Christians attain the blessedness of Heaven. The word He uses, "I desire", not "I pray", indicates that He is asking for the most important thing of all, for what His Father wants--that all may be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (cf. 1 Timothy 2:4): which is essentially the mission of the Church--the salvation of souls.

As long as we are on earth we share in God's life through knowledge (faith) and love (charity); but only in Heaven will we attain the fullness of this supernatural life, when we see God as He is (cf. 1 John 3:2), face to face (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:9-12). Therefore, the Church has her sights fixed on eternity, she is eschatological: that is, by having in this world all the resources necessary for teaching God's truth, for rendering Him true worship and communicating the life of grace, she keeps alive people's hope of attaining the fullness of eternal life: "The Church, to which we are all called in Christ Jesus, and in which by the grace of God we acquire holiness, will receive its perfection only in the glory of Heaven, when will come the time of the renewal of all things (Acts 3:21). At that time, together with the human race, the universe itself, which is so closely related to man and which attains its destiny through him, will be perfectly reestablished in Christ (cf. Ephesians 1:10; Colossians 1:20; 2 Peter 3:10-13)" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 48).

25-26. God's revelation of Himself through Christ causes us to begin to share in the divine life, a sharing which will reach its climax in Heaven: "God alone can give us right and full knowledge of this reality by revealing Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in whose eternal life we are by grace called to share, here below in the obscurity of faith and after death in eternal light" ([Pope] Paul VI, "Creed of the People of God").

Christ has revealed to us all we need to know in order to participate in the mutual love of the Divine Persons--primarily, the mystery of who He is and what His mission is and, with that, the mystery of God Himself ("I made known to them Thy name"), thus fulfilling what He had announced: "No one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him" (Matthew 11:27).

Christ continues to make known His Father's love, by means of the Church, in which He is always present: "I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Matthew 28:20).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Pope Exhorts Ecclesial Movements to Obedience

VATICAN CITY, MAY 31, 2006 ( Benedict XVI wrote a message to express the Church's gratitude to the ecclesial movements and new communities and to call them to obedience and communion with the Pope and bishops.

Minneapolis: Where heresy and dissent abound

Pope John Paul II expressed grave concern for the future of the Catholic Church in America, and rightly so. He knew of the dangers lurking in the dark that insidiously threaten to undermine the Catholic faith. Today we look around with dismay at the state of affairs in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis and realize that a more striking dichotomy could hardly exist. We have arrived at the point where good is stamped out as something evil, and evil is permitted to flourish as a good.
Elizabeth Schwab then continues to document numerous accounts to substantiate her opening paragraph. It includes many of the instances which many Catholic blog readers have probably seen...There are some things about which I was unaware, such as Archbishop Flynn and Auxiliary Bishop Richard Pates 'presiding' at the funeral Mass for Fr. Harvey Egan, former pastor of St. Joan of Arc Church, a well known hotbed of, at a bare minimum, heterdoxy.

Well worth the read, as a "refresher" of the the Twin Cities Archdiocese...Where faithful and obedient priests are "silenced"...

Full Court Press To Save the Mt. Soledad Cross

From the Thomas More Law Center:
Yesterday, the Thomas More Law Center’s West Coast Regional Office filed a 49-page opening brief in the California appellate court, challenging the state judge’s ruling on Proposition A. Also filed was a motion to expedite the appeal in an attempt to have the issue decided before the ninety-day federal court deadline to remove the cross has expired. If the appeal is successful, the Mt. Soledad Cross and national memorial would be transferred to the federal government. Such a transfer would moot the federal court order, which is based on a finding that the cross on City property violates the California Constitution.

Maguire always seems to cause confusion among Catholics

Letter from Bishop Choby,

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I recently learned, as some of you may have, that a theology instructor from Marquette University, Daniel Maguire, has been invited to speak at Christ the King Parish this weekend. I was greatly saddened and disturbed to learn that one of our parishes would extend this invitation despite Mr. Maguire’s extensive published record of positions which stand in clear opposition to teachings on the sanctity of life.

His long history in this regard has led to a prohibition against his speaking at parishes of his home diocese. That prohibition, which remains in effect, was put in place a number of years ago by Archbishop Rembert Weakland.

I want to make it perfectly clear that he appears without my endorsement as Bishop of the Diocese of Nashville.

I further wish to make it clear that I have great concern for the confusion that might arise from Mr. Maguire’s appearance. Our Catholic teachings on life issues, which I wholeheartedly endorse, are well known. I encourage the longstanding efforts of many of you, to support the sanctity and dignity of life in all of its stages.

Sincerely in Christ,
Most Rev. David R. Choby
Bishop of Nashville
This letter can be found here...However, it seems the pastor of Christ the King Parish has canceled this event:
CANCELLATION OF MAGUIRE PRESENTATION - a statement from Father Mallett:

"I was approached several months ago by a local group who gather regularly for prayer and support in their work for peace and justice. From time to time they have a speaker, and Dan Maguire was mentioned because he had recently published a book in that area of concern. The group wished to have the presentation here for convenience, but it was inadvertently advertised to the Catholic community through the eRegister. In order to avoid any misunderstanding about the Church's position relative to other moral issues written about by Prof. Maguire, such as contraception and abortion, the sponsoring group asked that we cancel the presentation at this parish. I did not extend the original invitation to Prof. Maguire."

Good call by all! Some Catholics are safer as a result. The event may still be occurring somewhere else, but at least it will not be at this parish.

Seminary Visitations Report Expected This Fall

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CNS) -- Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services said May 26 that the Vatican's visitations to U.S. seminaries and houses of formation are nearly complete, and he hopes the resulting reports will be released this fall.

"Moderates" Lament McCarrick's Loss

Cincinnati Personnel Director Resigns...

...Knowingly hired a criminal to perform criminal background checks

Gospel for May 31, Feast: The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

From: Luke 1:39-56

The Visitation

[39] In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, [40] and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. [41] And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit [42] and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessedare you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! [43] And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? [44] For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. [45] And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."

The Magnificat

[46] And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, [47] and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, [48] for He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; [49] for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. [50] And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. [51] He has shown strength with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, [52] He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; [53] He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent empty away. [54] He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, [55] as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever."

[56] And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.


39-56. We contemplate this episode of our Lady's visit to her cousin St. Elizabeth in the Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary: "Joyfully keep Joseph and Mary company...and you will hear the traditions of the House of David.... We walk in haste towards the mountains, to a town of the tribe of Judah (Luke 1:39).

"We arrive. It is the house where John the Baptist is to be born. Elizabeth gratefully hails the Mother of her Redeemer: Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honored with a visit from the mother of my Lord? (Luke 1:42-43).

"The unborn Baptist quivers...(Luke 1:41). Mary's humility pours forth in the "Magnificat".... And you and I, who are proud--who were proud--promise to be humble" ([St] J. Escriva, "Holy Rosary").

39. On learning from the angel that her cousin St. Elizabeth is soon to give birth and is in need of support, our Lady in her charity hastens to her aid. She has no regard for the difficulties this involves. Although we do not know where exactly Elizabeth was living (it is now thought to be Ain Karim), it certainly meant a journey into the hill country which at that time would have taken four days.

From Mary's visit to Elizabeth Christians should learn to be caring people. "If we have this filial contact with Mary, we won't be able to think just about ourselves and our problems. Selfish personal problems will find no place in our mind" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By," 145).

42. St. Bede comments that Elizabeth blesses Mary using the same words as the archangel "to show that she should be honored by angels and by men and why she should indeed be revered above all other women" ("In Lucae Evangelium Expositio, in loc.").

When we say the "Hail Mary" we repeat these divine greetings, "rejoicing with Mary at her dignity as Mother of God and praising the Lord, thanking Him for having given us Jesus Christ through Mary" ("St. Pius X Catechism", 333).

43. Elizabeth is moved by the Holy Spirit to call Mary "the mother of my Lord", thereby showing that Mary is the Mother of God.

44. Although he was conceived in sin--original sin--like other men, St. John the Baptist was born sinless because he was sanctified in his mother's womb by the presence of Jesus Christ (then in Mary's womb) and of the Blessed Virgin. On receiving this grace of God St. John rejoices by leaping with joy in his mother's womb--thereby fulfilling the archangel's prophecy (cf. Luke 1:15).

St. John Chrysostom comments on this scene of the Gospel: "See how new and how wonderful this mystery is. He has not yet left the womb but he speaks by leaping; he is not yet allowed to cry out but he makes himself heard by his actions [...]; he has not yet seen the light but he points out the Sun; he has not yet been born and he is keen to act as Precursor. The Lord is present, so he cannot contain himself or wait for nature to run its course: he wants to break out of the prison of his mother's womb and he makes sure he witnesses to the fact that the Savior is about to come" ("Sermo Apud Metaphr., Mense Julio").

45. Joining the chorus of all future generations, Elizabeth, moved by the Holy Spirit, declares the Lord's Mother to be blessed and praises her faith. No one ever had faith to compare with Mary's; she is the model of the attitude a creature should have towards its Creator--complete submission, total attachment. Through her faith, Mary is the instrument chosen by God to bring about the Redemption; as Mediatrix of all graces, she is associated with the redemptive work of her Son: "This union of the Mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to His death; first when Mary, arising in haste to go to visit Elizabeth, is greeted by her as blessed because of her belief in the promise of salvation and the Precursor leaps with joy in the womb of his mother [...]. The Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood (cf. John 19:25), in keeping with the Divine Plan, enduring with her only-begotten Son the intensity of His suffering, associating herself with His sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which was born of her" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 57f).

The new Latin text gives a literal rendering of the original Greek when it says "quae credidit" (RSV "she who has believed") as opposed to the Vulgate "quae credidisti" ("you who have believed") which gave more of the sense than a literal rendering.

46-55. Mary's "Magnificat" canticle is a poem of singular beauty. It evokes certain passages of the Old Testament with which she would have been very familiar (especially 1 Samuel 2:1-10).

Three stanzas may be distinguished in the canticle: in the first (verses 46-50) Mary glorifies God for making her the Mother of the Savior, which is why future generations will call her blessed; she shows that the Incarnation is a mysterious __expression of God's power and holiness and mercy. In the second (verses 51-53) she teaches us that the Lord has always had a preference for the humble, resisting the proud and boastful. In the third (verses 54-55) she proclaims that God, in keeping with His promise, has always taken care of His chosen people--and now does them the greatest honor of all by becoming a Jew (cf. Romans 1:3).

"Our prayer can accompany and imitate this prayer of Mary. Like her, we feel the desire to sing, to acclaim the wonders of God, so that all mankind and all creation may share our joy" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 144).

46-47. "The first fruits of the Holy Spirit are peace and joy. And the Blessed Virgin had received within herself all the grace of the Holy Spirit" (St. Basil, "In Psalmos Homilae", on Psalm 32). Mary's soul overflows in the words of the "Magnificat". God's favors cause every humble soul to feel joy and gratitude. In the case of the Blessed Virgin, God has bestowed more on her than on any other creature. "Virgin Mother of God, He whom the heavens cannot contain, on becoming man, enclosed Himself within your womb" ("Roman Missal", Antiphon of the Common of the Mass for Feasts of Our Lady). The humble Virgin of Nazareth is going to be the Mother of God; the Creator's omnipotence has never before manifested itself in as complete a way as this.

48-49. Mary's __expression of humility causes St. Bede to exclaim: "It was fitting, then, that just as death entered the world through the pride of our first parents, the entry of Life should be manifested by the humility of Mary" ("In Lucae Evangelium Expositio, in loc.").

"How great the value of humility!--"Quia respexit humilitatem.... It is not of her faith, nor of her charity, nor of her immaculate purity that our Mother speaks in the house of Zachary. Her joyful hymn sings: `Since He has looked on my humility, all generations will call me blessed'" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 598).

God rewards our Lady's humility by mankind's recognition of her greatness: "All generations will call me blessed." This prophecy is fulfilled every time someone says the Hail Mary, and indeed she is praised on earth continually, without interruption. "From the earliest times the Blessed Virgin is honored under the title of Mother of God, under whose protection the faithful take refuge together in prayer in all their perils and needs. Accordingly, following the Council of Ephesus, there was a remarkable growth in the cult of the people of God towards Mary, in veneration and love, in invocation and imitation, according to her own prophetic words: `all generations will call me blessed, for He who is mighty has done great things for me'" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 66).

50. "And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation": "At the very moment of the Incarnation, these words open up a new perspective of salvation history. After the Resurrection of Christ, this perspective is new on both the historical and the eschatological level. From that time onwards there is a succession of new generations of individuals in the immense human family, in ever-increasing dimensions; there is also a succession of new generations of the people of God, marked with the sign of the Cross and of the Resurrection and `sealed' with the sign of the paschal mystery of Christ, the absolute revelation of the mercy that Mary proclaimed on the threshold of her kinswoman's house: "His mercy is [...] from generation to generation' [...].

"Mary, then, is the one who has the "deepest knowledge of the mystery of God's mercy". She knows its price, she knows how great it is. In this sense, we call her the "Mother of Mercy": Our Lady of Mercy, or Mother of Divine Mercy; in each one of these titles there is a deep theological meaning, for they express the special preparation of her soul, of her whole personality, so that she was able to perceive, through the complex events, first of Israel, then of every individual and of the whole of humanity, that mercy of which `from generation to generation' people become sharers according to the eternal design of the Most Holy Trinity" (John Paul II, "Dives In Misericordia", 9).

51. "The proud": those who want to be regarded as superior to others, whom they look down on. This also refers to those who, in their arrogance, seek to organize society without reference to, or in opposition to, God's law. Even if they seem to do so successfully, the words of our Lady's canticle will ultimately come true, for God will scatter them as He did those who tried to build the Tower of Babel, thinking that they could reach as high as Heaven (cf. Genesis 11:4).

"When pride takes hold of a soul, it is no surprise to find it bringing along with it a whole string of other vices--greed, self-indulgence, envy, injustice. The proud man is always vainly striving to dethrone God, who is merciful to all His creatures, so as to make room for himself and his ever cruel ways.

"We should beg God not to let us fall into this temptation. Pride is the worst sin of all, and the most ridiculous.... Pride is unpleasant, even from a human point of view. The person who rates himself better than everyone and everything is constantly studying himself and looking down on other people, who in turn react by ridiculing his foolish vanity" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 100).

53. This form of divine providence has been experienced countless times over the course of history. For example, God nourished the people of Israel with manna during their forty years in the wilderness (Exodus 16:4-35); similarly His angel brought food to Elijah (1 Kings 19:5-8), and to Daniel in the lions' den (Daniel 14:31-40); and the widow of Sarepta was given a supply of oil which miraculously never ran out (1 Kings 17:8ff). So, too, the Blessed Virgin's yearning for holiness was fulfilled by the incarnation of the Word.

God nourished the chosen people with His Law and the preaching of His prophets, but the rest of mankind was left hungry for His word, a hunger now satisfied by the Incarnation. This gift of God will be accepted by the humble; the self-sufficient, having no desire for the good things of God, will not partake of them (cf. St. Basil, "In Psalmos Homilae", on Psalm 33).

54. God led the people of Israel as He would a child whom He loved tenderly: "the Lord your God bore you, as a man bears his son, in all the way that you went" (Deuteronomy 1:31). He did so many times, using Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, etc., and now He gives them a definitive leader by sending the Messiah--moved by His great mercy which takes pity on the wretchedness of Israel and of all mankind.

55. God promised the patriarchs of old that He would have mercy on mankind. This promise He made to Adam (Genesis 3:15), Abraham (Genesis 22:18), David (2 Samuel 7:12), etc. From all eternity God had planned and decreed that the Word should become incarnate for the salvation of all mankind. As Christ Himself put it, "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Week after the Ascension - Who is the Holy Spirit?

"When the Advocate has come, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness concerning me." St. John, 15:26.

"I believe in the Holy Spirit." Creed.

One of the most brilliant converts to the Catholic Church, Henry Edward Manning, lived in the 19th century. In 1842, while still a member of the Anglican Church, he published a book of sermons, only to have a devout and intelligent friend point out to him afterwards that he had entirely forgotten to mention the Holy Ghost. Not once had he spoken of the Holy Spirit.

True enough, he had completely forgotten to speak of the "forgotten God." He started to think and investigate. He read and studied all he could find about the Holy Spirit, especially the many Bible references to the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. Light came; strength came; courage came. Two years after that chance criticism Manning entered the Catholic Church, where the Holy Spirit became the soul of his life.

Just as Manning left the Holy Ghost out of his book, so many of us leave the Holy Spirit out of the work we do. Unlike Manning, too many of us never attempt to learn something about this Spirit of light and love. Jesus tells us that He will send this Spirit of truth, this Giver of life, this Sanctifier. More than three hundred times in one way or another the Bible speaks of the Holy Ghost.

When we pray in the Apostles' Creed: "I believe in the Holy Spirit," we mean that the Holy Spirit is God. He is the Thitd Person of the Blessed Trinity. He has the same nature as God the Father and God the Son, although He is a different person. He is not the Father and He is not the Son. He is the Spirit of both. This is one of the deepest mysteries of Christian faith.

This mystery was revealed before the coming of Christ, but not as clearly as it is now. Christ taught us much more about the Holy Spirit. Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit is God like the Father and Himself, but He is a different Person from the Father and the Son. At our Lord's baptism the Holy Spirit came down upon Him in the form of a dove. The Holy Spirit was different from the Son who was baptized, and from the Father whose voice was heard from heaven. When Jesus sent His apostles to preach to the whole world, He commanded them to baptize all nations, "in the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

The Holy Spirit has the powers of God. He knows all things: "For the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God." 1 Cor. 2:10. The Holy Ghost is everywhere: "The Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world." Wisdom, 1:7. In the words of the Angel Gabriel to our Blessed Mother the Holy Ghost is all-powerful:. "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee." St.. Luke, 1:35. The Holy Spirit has the power of prophecy: "Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." He works miracles: "I cast out devils by the Spirit of God." St. Matthew, 12:28. Through the Holy Spirit comes the power of forgiving sins: "Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them." In a word, the Holy Spirit has the same powers as the Father and the Son.

I would attempt to explain another point, expressed by our Lord in these words just read to you: "The Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father." St. John, 15:26. To proceed means to move forward, to move away from or out of. A procession is a group that moves out of the sanctuary and through the church. Does the Holy Spirit "proceed" from God the Father and God the Son in that way? No. Let me try to illustrate.

An artist has an idea of a picture of the Sacred Heart that he would like to paint. In his mind he works out an idea of his picture: the size, the figure, the facial features, the coloring, the background. The picture is still locked up in his mind. It is a part of the artist's soul, as it were; it remains within him, is part of him.

When he puts his picture on canvas, he transfers what was in his mind to canvas. The more skillful he is the better he expresses in paint and color the picture that was in his soul. The picture, as it were, comes out of his mind and lives apart from the artist. The picture proceeds from the painter.

The Holy Spirit does not proceed in that way from the Father and Son. Rather, this is how it happens. Suppose the artist had his picture only in his soul, and never did put it on canvas. And suppose we would be able to see that picture in his soul, as part of the artist. In some similar way, the Holy Ghost proceeds from the will of the Father and the Son, but remains true God, remains perfect and equal to them. In created things there is no perfect example of this.

We make much of this Third Person of the Holy Trinity, because we go back in spirit to the time when Mary and the Apostles were waiting for His official coming. Join that group. Wait and pray for His coming. They needed light and strength and courage. So do we. They receive light and courage from the Holy Spirit. So shall we.

You professional people need the Holy Spirit. You parents, you young people choosing a way or a partner in life, all of you need this Holy Spirit.

Let me ask you a candid question: "Did you ever ask the Holy Spirit to help you with any problem?" Try it. When you make the sign of the cross at the end of this sermon think especially of the Third Person of the Trinity. Bring the Holy Spirit into your thinking, into your problems, into your decisions. Say simply: Holy Spirit, help me with this problem. Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of these Thy faithful. Amen.
Adapted from Talks on the Creed
by Fr. Arthur Tonne, OFM (© 1946)

Da Vinci Code boosts Opus Dei numbers

The controversial religious organisation lambasted in the blockbuster movie and book The Da Vinci Code has revealed that membership inquiries have soared in the past year.
Jack Valera, Opus Dei's UK spokesman, said: "We're getting 10 times more enquiries than we would normally get. Over the last two months, as the hype for the film has built up, we have had about 50 inquiries a month about membership. We would normally get about three or four a month.
Good news!

Missed this...

A Memorial Day thought, especially for the clergy

Certainly something to be learned...

A Warning from the Diocese Of San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Diocese of San Jose has warned local Roman Catholics that baptisms, weddings and other ceremonies performed at San Jose State University by a professor who describes herself as a priest do not count as sacraments.

This says much about the state of the Church in certain areas of the country and the world. When the Church has to issue a "warning" about women posing as "priests" and the invalidity of any sacraments they pretend to perform, something is terribly wrong...

There is more:
Diocese of San Jose officials only planned the warning and do not intend to initiate excommunication proceedings or take other steps to punish Rue [Victoria Rue, a professor of women's studies and religious studies at San Jose State] and her followers...
Of course they don't want to proceed with further canonical steps - few wish to confront those who are challenged about historical facts:
"The reality of women priests is historical," said Rue, "It's a birthright women have."
Sure enough!...and the earth is flat!

The Pope at Auschwitz: “They wanted to kill God”

“By destroying Israel, they ultimately wanted to tear up the taproot of the Christian faith.” A startling interpretation of the Holocaust in the words of the German pope
by Sandro Magister

Week after the Ascension - Anger, Hatred, Fighting

"Yes, the hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think he is offering worship to God." St. John, 16:2.

Alexander the Great was by nature passionate and impatient, but for many years he managed to hold the reins on his passions. One sad and tragic day, however, he lost his self-control. At a banquet a singer compared Alexander to the gods. Justly indignant at this was Clitus, a general who had saved Alexander's life. Clitus criticized such lickspittle honors.

Alexander would have run him through with his sword, had not an officer put it aside. The friends of Clitus hurried him away, but the half-drunk officer returned by another door to make little of Alexander. In a fury Alexander snatched a spear and hurled it through the heart of his general, the friend of his childhood, his life companion and rescuer.

For several days the world conqueror writhed in remorse and sorrow, calling out the name of his life-long friend. He had conquered the world but he could not conquer himself. He had taken every worthwhile city of the ancient world, but he could not take that most important city - the city of his own spirit.

Here we have a picture of every man who commits the following sins against the Fifth Commandment: anger, hatred, revenge, quarreling, fight­ing, and inflicting bodily injury.

Very few of us will ever commit murder or suicide. Very few of us will ever directly take the life of another. Nevertheless, many of us have short­ened the lives of others by the sharp and deadly weapons of sorrow and grief, anxiety and bitterness.

Many a child has put early wrinkles and grey hair on a parent through disobedience, defiance and bad conduct. Many a home is a horrible hell through unfriendly looks, unkind words, lack of affection and even open aversion. What are the causes of all this?

Sins against the Fifth Commandment:
1. Anger is the most common sin against the fifth law of God. It is a sudden, violent feeling of the soul, caused by a real or imagined injury, and carrying with it a desire for revenge. What a terrible tyrant anger can be. It drives out every reasqnable thought and word and action. It makes us act like angry monkeys. It looks for words that will sting and wound. It reaches for weapons that will injure and hurt. It breaks up the strongest friendships. It make miserable homes and sours the sweetest family rela­tions.

Anger not only harms the one against whom you are angry, it hurts physically the one who is angry. Certain poisons or humours are created which work harm upon the human system. The white face and the red neck of the extremely angry person show that it is a strain on the human system.

2. Hatred means wishing evil to someone. Every law of God forbids that, but especially it is against the Fifth. There is but one step between wishing evil and carrying it out. Hatred is the very opposite of the love which God has commanded for all His children.

3. Envy and revenge are the brothers of hatred. Rooted in the heart, envy flows over into evil actions. It feels sad at the prosperity or good fortune of another. It drove Cain to murder his brother. It drives many to be unkind in every way.

4. Quarreling is also forbidden. It means an angry argument. It means a finding fault and disputing angrily and violently. Usually it is loud and noisy, with a tendency to fighting and hurting others.

Quarreling is all too common among us Christians. We quarrel about money and we quarrel about so-called rights. We quarrel about where we are going, when we are going and how we are going. We dig up and rake up past mistakes and shortcomings.

Today we must realize how harmful, how sinful quarreling is, how it breaks up homes and loves and friendships, how it harms the work of the Church, of the parish, and of the community, how displeasing it must be to an All-loving God who has ordered us to love one another, who has told us:
"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God." St. Matthew, 5:9.

5. Fighting is likewise forbidden. It means striking or punching another, dealing blows. Often this takes place, God forbid, between those who claim they love one another. It is forbidden to all because it often causes physi­cal harm; it is opposed to the law of Christian charity; it lowers man to the level of angry animals; it tries to settle arguments by might and not by right.

The guilt in dealing physical blows depends on the injury intended, done or risked; it depends upon the office or position of the one attacked, it depends on the amount of malice or deliberation. Those who fight at the drop of a hat are forgetful of the words of Christ: "Blessed are the meek, for the shall possess the land."

All these sins against the Fifth Commandment we find in that very spot where we would least expect them - in the home. In that very place where loved ones should be showing the very best in their hearts, we find a display of the worst. That is one of the main reasons it is so important for us today to realize the wickedness of such sins, and to determine with God's grace to avoid them.

We should say a word about strikes. No one, striker or strike-breaker or anybody else has any right to hit or beat or physically manhandle another human being.

Here again we see the wisdom of God's law against anger, hatred, quar­reling, fighting and violence. We are intelligent, aren't we? We can dis­cuss and settle our arguments without blows, can't we?

Don't be another Alexander the Great. He conquered all the known world, but failed to conquer himself.

Some have the false idea that God is on their side, no matter how unjust their stand. Christ speaks of them in the Gospel. They think they serve God when they kill the servants of God. We will not make that mistake. We will try with God's help and grace, to keep as completely as we can this fifth law of His.
Adapted from Talks on the Commandments
by Fr. Arthur Tonne, OFM (© 1948)