Saturday, October 27, 2007

Thoughts and Counsels - October 28

He who wishes to find Jesus should seek Him, not in the delights and pleasures of the world, but in mortification of the senses.

-St. Alphonsus
From Mary, Help of Christians
Part VI, Thoughts and Counsels of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Compiled by Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, OFM (© 1909, Benziger Brothers)

Meditation for October 28, Sallies of Humor

A reasonable person should always be guided by reason. A Christian soul, possessing in full the c1earsightedness that faith gives, judges not only with good human wisdom, but leaning upon this human wisdom judges everything from a divine viewpoint.

If such is the normal manner of acting for a Christian, such ought to be, a fortiori, the normal manner of acting for a religious soul - calm good judgment and an ardent spirit of faith.

Should I not then, for this very reason, ward off and condemn all outbursts of humor; flee excesses of sensibility or of imagina­tion; and avoid giving events an importance they do not have?

I will remind myself of this, again and again, and I will try to convince myself that things are just as important as I make them. Assuredly they possess a value in themselves; it is very possible, however, that their value is not at all what I accord to them; but I am emotionally excited either pleasantly or unpleasantly, not so much by the realities which surround me, as by the interpretation I give them.

Imagine any happening, say the death of a woman, for example; I am not informed of it; the reality exists, but I do not suffer. Or, again, when there is some insignificant detail, I make a mountain out of it; I am going to suffer, not for what it is in itself, but for the importance I attach to it.

The danger consequently lies in permitting my imagination to wander, my sensibility to go unchecked; in allowing myself to color insignificant details, trifling details, blue, black, or rose according to the state of my soul, so that I do not see them as they really are. Some persons distort everything, take everything the wrong way, even a kind word someone says to them; they embellish or blacken according to the days, the time, or the weather.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Vatican official says Templars book nothing new

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- It was billed as the Vatican's effort to "come clean" and reveal secret documents about the mysterious Knights Templar, the medieval crusading order that has inspired ancient legends and modern novels.

But after seeing exaggerated press reports for two weeks, Bishop Sergio Pagano apparently had had enough.

"I've read in the papers that this is about discoveries. In no way can one talk about discoveries -- every one of these texts was already known," he said Oct. 25...

Many media reported that the elaborate collector's edition, titled "Processus Contra Templarios" ("The Trial Against the Templars"), would include a previously secret document called the Chinon parchment, supposedly discovered in 2001 after being misplaced in a Vatican archives drawer...

Bishop Pagano, however, said the Chinon document was not a recent discovery. It was "described perfectly" in a 1912 Vatican archives catalogue and was available to researchers -- but researchers didn't notice until 2001, he said.

Miller Apologizes for Folsom Street Poster

MILWAUKEE (October 26, 2007) – Miller Brewing Company today issued a formal apology for the offense caused by the use of Miller brand logos on a poster promoting the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco. The company said it has taken action to ensure that such an incident will not happen again...

In addition to issuing a formal public apology today, Miller sent letters of apology to Catholic Archbishops George H. Niederauer of San Francisco and Timothy M. Dolan of Milwaukee.

Gospel for Saturday, 29th Week In Ordinary Time

From: Luke 13:1-9

The Need for Repentance

[1] There were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. [2] And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus? [3] I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. [4] 0r those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? [5] I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."

Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

[6] And he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. [7] And he said to the vinedresser, 'Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?' [8] And he answered him, 'Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. [9] And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'"


1-5. Our Lord used current events in his teaching. The Galileans referred to here may be the same as mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (5:37). The episode was fairly typical of the times Jesus lived in, with Pilate sternly suppressing any sign of civil unrest. We do not know anything about the accident at Siloam other than what the Gospel tells us.

The fact that these people died in this way does not mean that they were worse than others, for God does not always punish sinners in this life (cf. Jn 9:3). All of us are sinners, meriting a much worse punishment than temporal misfortune: we merit eternal punishment; but Christ has come to atone for our sins, he has opened the gates of heaven. We must repent of our sins; otherwise God will not free us from the punishment we deserve. "When you meet with suffering, the Cross, your thought should be: what is this compared with what I deserve?" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 690)

3. "He tells us that, without Holy Baptism, no one will enter the Kingdom of heaven (cf. Jn 3:5); and, elsewhere, that if we do not repent we will all perish (Lk 13:3). This is all easily understood. Ever since man sinned, all his senses rebel against reason; therefore, if we want the flesh to be controlled by the spirit and by reason, it must be mortified; if we do not want the body to be at war with the soul, it and all our senses need to be chastened; if we desire to go to God, the soul with all its faculties needs to be mortified" (St John Mary Vianney, "Selected Sermons", Ash Wednesday).

6-9. Our Lord stresses that we need to produce plenty of fruit (cf. Lk 8:11-15) in keeping with the graces we have received (cf. Lk 12:48). But he also tells us that God waits patiently for this fruit to appear; he does not want the death of the sinner; he wants him to be converted and to live (Ezek 33:11) and, as St Peter teaches, he is "forbearing towards you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance" (2 Pet 3:9). But God's clemency should not lead us to neglect our duties and become lazy and, comfort-seeking, living sterile lives. He is merciful, but he is also just and he will punish failure to respond to his grace.

"There is one case that we should be especially sorry about--that of Christians who could do more and don't; Christians who could live all the consequences of their vocation as children of God, but refuse to do so through lack of generosity. We are partly to blame, for the grace of faith has not been given us to hide but to share with others (cf. Mt 5:15f). we cannot forget that the happiness of these people, in this life and in the next, is at stake. The Christian life is a divine wonder with immediate promises of satisfaction and serenity--but on condition that we know how to recognize the gift of God (cf. Jn 4:10) and be generous, not counting the cost" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 147).
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, October 26, 2007

Thoughts and Counsels - October 27

We ought to have a special devotion to those saints who excelled in humility, particularly to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who declares that the Lord regarded her on account of her humility.­

-St. Vincent de Paul
From Mary, Help of Christians
Part VI, Thoughts and Counsels of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Compiled by Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, OFM (© 1909, Benziger Brothers)

Meditation for October 27, Supernatural Attractiveness

A young girl who later entered the Institute of Marie Reparatrice wrote, after having been reproached for too serious an exterior,
"I will avoid an exterior that is somewhat severe or in any case a little too serious. God lives in me; I ought to be radiant. My God, help me to do everything with good grace, to be amiable, to be appealing, to win hearts for You; help me to be well loved, esteemed, sympathetic, if it be Your will, so that others may recog­nize that it is You alone who has made me so attractive, and that they will be drawn to love You. May Your Presence in me inflame the souls who approach me."

This prayer, which was not meant for publicity at all, is the expression of a simple soul. The following year this brief indica­tion shows the results obtained: "Monday: Mademoiselle D. has guessed my secret. . . . Am I not then like the others?"

And then again: "I must be good to let God shine through my heart. . . ."

And finally this line: "I am struggling against whatever is not You, my God."

And I, on the contrary, do I not struggle against God? Have I not, after noble efforts in the beginning of my religious life, let my old self show through, especially my grumbling, moody, unfriendly and dull old self. I must have enough faith to rise above it to charity; I mean, I must believe enough in the Divine Presence within me to ask Him alone to shine through me. Then I will be supernaturally attractive.

"My God, grant that I may grow in grace in every respect, in supernatural depth and in radiance."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Priests' Saturday -Your Prayers, Please

"Sanctify them in truth." St. John, 17:17.

Several years ago a knowing and amiable priest in New York City set­tled a 39-month-old strike of several hundred employees of a Broadway restaurant. For that many months pickets had paraded before the eating place, covering more than seven times the distance to the moon, and wear­ing out over seven thousand pairs of shoes. A host of civic organizations and even Mayor La Guardia himself had failed in repeated attempts to break the deadlock between the management and the workers. The priest succeeded.

This is just one example of the hundreds of cases in our country alone where priests have successfully and satisfactorily served as arbiters, um­pires, and go-betweens in the settlement of strikes. The ordination cere­mony does not specifically mention that the holy oils give us that skill. At the same time, the efficient work of priests in this field emphasizes the many-sided activities of our spiritual leaders, and will strengthen my ap­peal for prayer and penance in their behalf.

In particular I want to recommend to you the devotion called Priests' Saturday. It is so simple and so easy, yet appealing and powerful a devo­tion, that it has spread through many countries, and, I hope, will spread more widely among Americans. Here is how it works:

Offer up the Saturday after the First Friday of each month to our Savior, through the merciful hands of Mary His Mother, for the sanctifi­cation of all priests and students for the priesthood. Give that Saturday wholly and entirely to our Lord, that is, offer to Him Holy Mass, Holy Communion, all your prayers, your work, your pains and pleasures, joys and sorrows. If you cannot attend Mass and receive Communion on that particular Saturday, do so the next day, Sunday.

The point is that you offer some definite day and some definite deeds for priests and priests-to-be throughout the world. The Saturday after the First Friday will be comparatively easy to remember. Better still, offer, as many do, every Saturday, particularly for your own pastor and priests.

You do not need to sign your name, or send it to any organization, you make no pledges or promises, you pay no dues. Simply decide right now that you are going to pray for your priests. Their work is so many-sided, their work needs so sorely the grace and help of God, that it is only through prayer and penance of the people united with their priests, that those same leaders will be able to carry on their divine work effectively.

Why such a devotion? Listen to the late Pope Pius XI:
"God in heaven and I on earth, we desire nothing more ardently than prayer and sacrifice for priests. . . . Let us beg God that He may give us holy priests. If we have this, all else will follow; but if this be wanting, all else will avail nothing."

When the idea of the Priest's Saturday was presented to His Holiness, he exclaimed:
"We heartily praise and bless the work. . . . We repeat, the thing pleases Us. . . . We praise and bless it heartily."

Echoing the Holy Father's words, bishops and priests throughout the world have eagerly greeted the Priests' Saturday. Bishop Bares of Berlin in whose diocese the devotion was established in 1934, made the statement:
"It is with great joy that I welcome this saving thought of the Priests' Sat­urday. If a holy priest is the best gift of heaven to earth, then the efforts of the faithful through prayer and sacrifice for holy priests will be the fairest gift of earth to heaven."

Perhaps you are wondering why we priests ask for prayers. Perhaps you are thinking that we have all the prayers and graces we need. True, God is generous to us with His graces, but we need many more. In fact, we cannot do our work without your spiritual help. Let me give you some reasons you should pray for your priests:

1. He has many heavy responsibilities. Some of these are financial; some are spiritual. In the confessional, for example, the priest is responsible for the soul before him. He is responsible for every soul in his parish, for non-­Catholic as well as Catholic. He is responsible for leading his people to God. That is a tremendous responsibility.

2. Consider the many temptations of the priest. He is tempted to pride, because people honor him in many ways. He is tempted to impatience. He is tempted to laziness and to intemperance. He is tempted to impurity and to jealousy. His lonely life demands many special graces, which you can win for him.

3. The priest has trials. Some have the trial of bad health, others of limited talents, others have opposition from certain people within and without the Church.

4. The priest has tasks of which most people know nothing. He spends hours in keeping books, in instructing converts, in visiting the sick, in teaching catechism. On Sunday he fasts until after the last Mass. That is for many a priest a great physical drain.

These things are mentioned not to create sympathy or to drive you to tears of compassion for your pastor and your assistant. Rather, we mention these as reasons for helping your spiritual leaders with your prayers and your penance.

I know you all want to share in our work. Pray for our work. Offer the sacraments, offer Saturday and everything in it for our work, and you will be sharing in all the blessings that it is our privilege to impart. Amen.
Adapted from Occasional Talks
by Fr. Arthur Tonne, OFM (©1949)

St Joseph Men's Society sending sacrilege dossier to Rome

The recent highly publicized photos and video of San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer serving Communion to two flamboyantly dressed members of the anti-Catholic "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence" was no happenstance.

And soon the shocking images will be on their way to the Vatican for any Catholic leaders who have not yet seen them.

"I am the gentleman responsible for the filming of the whole thing," Anthony Gonzales, chief of the St. Joseph's Men Society, told WND shortly after the first round of publicity over the photos and video. "I sent one of my men to film this."

Gonzales said he knew the archbishop was going to the parish in the heart of the homosexual street fair to "be part of the celebration of their lifestyle, and we were waiting to see what he was going to do and how he was going to do it."

And the reason?

"We can't even take our children to Mass anymore. We can't even go to our churches," he said. "We finally got to the point, and said, 'Hey, look, we can't take this anymore.'


Gonzales, a theologian, said a compilation of documentation will be forwarded to Rome within the next few days.

"We're also composing a letter to Neiderauer asking him to excommunicate the group, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, so that this mistake cannot happen again. And we're asking him to excommunicate (San Francisco Mayor)Gavin Newsom and (U.S. House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi for not adhering to Catholic doctrine on same-sex relationships and abortion."

Guess it doesn't hurt to ask...but I doubt Archbishop Niederauer is going to listen..."Scandal? What scandal?," might be the words from the chancery...

at WorldNet Daily.

HT to Trish for the link!

'Cures Without Cloning' Challenges Ballot Language

Members of Cures Without Cloning are challenging a ballot summary of their initiative approved by the Missouri Secretary of State earlier this month.

Cures Without Cloning filed a suit in Cole County Circuit Court late Oct. 19. The suit is requesting the court to invalidate the ballot title certified by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan and to adopt a newly proposed summary.
The human cloning supporters in Jefferson City deliberately twisted the language of the proposed ballot initiative to confuse voters. Deception and trickery are common tactics for the political hacks intent on clouding the issues regarding embryonic stem cell research and human cloning...

A press release on Missourians Agains Human Cloning Web Site states:
As Carnahan Attempts to Confuse Voters,

Cures Without Cloning Initiative Exploring All Options

All Options -Including Impeachment - Will be Explored

Some wonder how Missourians could elect such an individual but that's a different issue...Nevertheless, she should be impeached for malfeasance...

Steve Rupp, in a letter to the Editor of the St Louis Post Dispatch writes about the issues:
Second casualty: Truth
Regarding the editorial on embryonic stem cell research, "The first casualty" (Oct. 16): Unfortunately, the editorial created the second casualty: the truth.

The editorial states that the proposed new amendment would replace the Amendment Two definition with a new one. Actually, the new amendment would put into our Constitution the only definition of cloning that is accepted universally and by the National Institute of Health and virtually every textbook ever written on the subject. It is the definition recognized and then banned by seven states and more than a dozen countries around the globe. It is the only definition that is supported by science.

The editorial says that "inducing an egg to divide in a petri dish is not cloning." True. That cannot be done. An egg cannot divide; an embryo can. Using the word egg in this context shows a lack of scientific knowledge or a deliberate attempt to mislead. The editorial says, "To qualify as cloning as most people understand the term...." People should know that somatic cell nuclear transfer is cloning. People are smart enough to get it. They just need a newspaper that uses scientific fact and not language created by those who stand to profit by dehumanizing the human embryo.

Steve Rupp | Florissant
For Missourians, it's another case of "He we go again" as state bureaucrats push lies and falsehoods on the public again because they know that they cannot win in an open honest discussion.

What a disservice to Missouri citizens and what an injustice to the unborn who are created to be deliberately killed for profit...

The St Louis Review has an article on this here.

More on "Bella" the movie

This weekend the pro-life movie Bella debuts in select cities. If it does well in this limited release, it will get a national one next.

Thomas Peters at American Papist received an advance screener copy of Bella and has posted his review of it here:

He's also created a megapost with information so people can help get the word out about Bella:

U.S. Bishops To Discuss Faith And Politics Statement...

...Will Focus On Helping To Form Consciences

The...USCCB will consider an updated statement on faith and politics at their 2007 November general meeting. The proposed statement focuses on the bishops’ role in helping to form consciences in political life.

“In this statement, we bishops do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote,” the draft states. “Our purpose is to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God’s truth. We recognize that the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience, and that participation goes well beyond casting a vote in a particular election.”
Color me skeptical - I'll wait to see the final document.


In the Service of the Gospel of Life

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke writes:
On this coming Sunday, Oct. 28, we will celebrate our annual Archdiocesan Respect Life Convention at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Downtown St. Louis. It is an important time for all of us to gather new enthusiasm and new energy for our service of the Gospel of Life.

The keynote speakers, the workshop presenters and the exhibitors will all provide excellent and timely inspiration and resources for our carrying out of the respect life apostolate in our homes, in our parishes and in the entire Archdiocese of St. Louis. The convention will conclude with the celebration of the Holy Mass at 5 p.m., at the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (the Old Cathedral).

The Respect Life Convention provides an exceptional opportunity to come to know better the apostolate on behalf of human life in the archdiocese and to be directly involved in the most fundamental and essential work of the Church, which is the protection and fostering of all human life from the moment of its inception to natural death.

Please plan to take part in the Respect Life Convention. The sacrifice which you will make to do so will be more than repaid in the enthusiasm and energy for living of the Gospel of Life, which you will find through your participation.
And there is this, Father Pavone Headlines at Respect Life Convention

Before the Last Conclave: "What I Told the Future Pope" (Chiesa)

Cardinal Giacomo Biffi commits his memoirs to a book. And here's a preview: the speech he gave in the closed-door meeting with the cardinals. And also, his critical views on John XXIII, on the Council, and on the "mea culpas" of John Paul II
Continued here at Chiesa.

A very good read!

Gospel for Friday, 29th Week in Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: St. Evaristus, pope and martyr

From: Luke 12:54-59

The Coming of Christ

[54] He (Jesus) also said to the multitudes, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, `A shower is coming'; and so it happens. [55] And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, `There will be scorching heat'; and it happens. [56] You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearances of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?"

[57] "And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? [58] As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. [59] I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper."


56. Jesus' listeners knew from experience how to forecast the weather. However, although they knew the signs of the Messiah's coming announced by the prophets, and were hearing His preaching and witnessing His miracles, they did not want to draw the logical conclusion; they lacked the necessary good will and upright intention, and they just closed their eyes to the light of the Gospel (cf. Romans 1:18ff).

This attitude is also found to be very widespread in our own time, in forms of certain kinds of atheism denounced by the Second Vatican Council: "Those who willfully try to drive God from their heart and to avoid all questions about religion, not following the biddings of their conscience, are not free from blame" ("Gaudium Et Spes", 19).
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, October 25, 2007

Thoughts and Counsels - October 26

That which we suffer in the accomplishment of a good work, merits for us the necessary graces to insure its success.

-St. Vincent de Paul
From Mary, Help of Christians
Part VI, Thoughts and Counsels of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Compiled by Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, OFM (© 1909, Benziger Brothers)

Meditation for October 26, The Easy Way

A Berber woman was walking along the road with an enormous basket on her head.

"Is it heavy, Majouba?"

"No," said she, without stopping. "Up there it does not weigh."

And that is true; one must possess his life by elevating it above self; the higher one raises it, the less it weighs.

There are three reasons that it weighs less: We escape more easily the perpetual care of looking at self, of analyzing self, actions which often paralyzed self; how many crush themselves by con­stant worry over whether or not they will be able to conquer a par­ticular obstacle; to carry out a certain resolution; to fulfill a loved ideal? If there is an examination of self which is fruitful, there is also an introspection which abuses examen and often discourages the soul.

Another reason: The more we approach our life from the heights, the more attractive and the more interesting it becomes. We feel the necessity of hardening ourself, of holding the head erect, and the body steady. We are less likely to warp. Furthermore, in certain atmospheres we breathe better and the whole system gains in strength.

Finally a third reason: The more we raise our life above our­selves, the nearer our soul gets to God and the more God blesses it.

Sometimes we may be driven to say, in thinking of the occupa­tions which load us down, of our vocation which palls, of tempta­tions which attack us, of our declining health, "It is heavy!"

"I will make a courageous effort to lift the burden in both hands and, like the Berber woman, place it above my head. God will see this upraised gesture and will help me. Then, farther removed from the sight of the burden and consequently better able to carry it, I will be less crushed. Stabat, was said of Mary. I also will stand. The cross will no longer be before me but above me."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Liguori Still Selling Items by Woman "Deacon" McGrath

Interestingly, the author search capability on Liguori's website revealed no books by Elsie McGrath during the past couple of weeks...But as research has shown, the books and other items are still for sale by Liguori.

Apparently, in what seems to be an effort to hide the books from the search capability (previous post), someone at Liguori removed the Author's name from the inventory item. Searching by ISBN or Product Code revealed that the items were still available. Deceptive? Perhaps...

Have a look for yourself:

Godparenting: The Role of Baptismal Sponsor

In Spanish

Liturgical Signs and Symbols: An Introduction to the Rites of RCIA

A Prayer for Parenthood/A Prayer for Our Pregnancy
In Spanish

Caring for My Aging Parents

Choose Life Prayer Card

Descanse en paz: Una oración en el cementerio (Prayers in the Cemetery)

La vocación del Diaconado (The Vocation to the Diaconate)

Making a Marriage: How Two Become One

It should be noted that Roman Catholic Womenpriests issued a press release on October 15 on the upcoming "ordination" of two women in the St Louis Archdiocese:

On November 11, 2007, two women will be ordained as Roman Catholic priests in a historic ceremony in the city of Saint Louis. Rose Marie Dunn Hudson of Festus, Missouri, and Elsie Hainz McGrath of Saint Louis, will be ordained by Bishop Patricia Fresen of Germany...

Rose Marie and Elsie have both earned graduate degrees in theology and ministry, and have been engaged in active ministry for many years. Rose Marie is a retired school teacher, a wife, mother and grandmother. Elsie is a retired editor, a widow, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Prophetic obedience, a hallmark of the RCWP movement, led them to make this life-altering commitment and “walk the talk” of clerical reform in the Roman Catholic Church. As priests, they will continue to exercise a variety of volunteer ministries...

“It is an honor to celebrate these historic ordinations at CRC [Central Reform Congregation],” Bridget Mary Meehan, national spokesperson for RCWP, stated. “Catholic womenpriests work with all faith traditions for peace, justice, and equality in our world.”

One must wonder why Liguori dropped Meehan's books, while keeping McGrath's (albeit surrepticiously)?

A WomenPriests Update

Starting December 1, Ree Hudson and Elsie McGrath will be "co-pastoring" the Thérèse of Divine Peace Inclusive Community. What a denigration being perpetrated on St Thérèse. I trust she is praying for them!

They will be using the Hope Chapel at the First Unitarian Church of Saint Louis, on Waterman at Kingshighway.

These two women, having attempted to be ordained by women pretending to be bishops in the heretical group Roman Catholic WomenPriests, will have succeeded only in excommunicating themselves and placing their souls in grave jeopardy.

Catholics Against Rudy has a new petition...

Catholics Against Rudy has a new petition, by which you can express your public opposition to the candidacy of "pro-choice Catholic" Rudy Giuliani:

We are Catholics who will not vote for Rudy Giuliani in the GOP primary. The purpose of this petition is to allow faithful Catholics to speak out against Rudy Giuliani's abysmal record on non-negotiable "Culture of Life" issues (e.g., abortion, embryonic stem cell research) and traditional marriage, and to publicly oppose his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination.
Source: Catholics in the Public Square

The Saved and the Lost

Today I received a little prayer book to supplement my Prayer-Book for Religious by Fr. F.X.Lasance.

This book, My Prayer-Book, Happiness in Goodness, Reflections, Counsels, Prayers, and Devotions, is also by Fr. Lasance.

In anticipation of next Wednesday's Gospel, I have posted an excerpt of my newest used prayer-book for those who might be interested:

The Saved and the Lost

A certain man said to our blessed Saviour, as we read in the Gospel of St Luke (xiii, 23): Lord, are they few that are saved?" Jesus simply replied: "Strive to enter by the narrow gate."

"It is a question," says Father Walsh, S.J., in his admirable and consoling study, "The Comparative Number of the Saved and Lost," "about which there is no authoritative decision of the Church, nor unanimous opinion of her Fathers or theologians.

"Many, notably Suarez, hold - as Father Faber does - that the great majority of adult Catholics will be saved. Some, amongst whom we are glad to count the illustrious Dominican, Father Lacordaire, hold or incline to the opinion that the majority of mankind, in­cluding heathens and heretics, will be saved.

"Pere Monsabre, O.P., Father Castelein, S.J., and Rev. Joseph Rickaby, S.J., advocate this mildest opinion. Father Rickaby says in his Conference, 'The Extension of Salvation': 'As to what proportion of men die in sanctifying grace, and what propor­tion in mortal sin, nothing is revealed, nothing is of faith, and nothing is really known to theologians. If ever you find a theologian confidently consigning the mass of human souls to eternal flames, be sure he is venturing beyond the bounds of Christian faith and of theological science. You are quite free to disbelieve his word. I do not believe it myself.

"'The rigor of the older theologians culminated in Jansenism. To the Jansenist the elect were the few grapes left upon the vine after a careful vintage (Is. xxiv. 13)' Since the extirpation of Jansenism, the pendulum of theological speculation has swung the other way, and theologians generally hope more of the mercy of God, or, at least, speak with less assurance of the range of His rigorous justice.'

"The reasons," continues Father Walsh, "which have induced me to think the mildest opinion, namely, that the majority - and I scarcely fear to add, the great majority - of mankind will be saved, are: First, because the study of God's character urges, if not forces, me to do so. Second, because this opinion appears to make most for His greater honor and glory, and for the merits of Christ. Third, because the belief in it is better calculated to make us love God, and to serve Him the more from love.

"Cardinal Bellarmine, in one of his expositions of the Psalms, writes: 'David records God's providence in regard of the beasts and the birds in order to let man see that he will never be forsaken by God in His providence. God, who so bounteously feeds beasts and ravens, will never desert those who are made to His own image and likeness.' Is not such Our Lord's reasoning and conclu­sions as we have them in His Sermon on the Mount: 'Behold the birds of the air; for they neither sow nor do they reap, nor gather into barns, and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are you not of much more value than they?'

"The most learned theologians lay down and prove the following proposition: That God really and sincerely wishes the salvation of all men, because He is the Creator of all men. In the words of St Ambrose: 'God wishes all whom He creates to be saved, would to God, O men, that you would not fly and hide yourselves from Him; but even if you do He seeks you, and does not wish you to perish.' It is more probable that though many can and will fight God to the end and be lost, they will be fewer far than those whom He will tenderly, and in His own way, bring home to Him­self.

"God is not only the Creator but the Father of all men without any exception. He hsa commanded us to address Him by this title: 'Our Father, who an
in heaven.' All Christians do so; and a preacher, in his opening instructions, would teach and exhort the untutored savage to believe in and speak to Him as such.

"God is the Father of all men and eminently a per­fect Father. We could not imagine such a father cast­ing out, expelling from his home forever a child, until he had tried the proper means to keep him with himself­ until the child deserts him, or, by wilful, obstinate, persistent disobedience to his father's will, necessitates his own expulsion. Such a father will do all he well can for the welfare of his children - do everything short of violence to enable his children to succeed in all that is for his own and their good. The dominant desire - wish - will- of such a father must be to make his children happy; his dominant dread and horror, that one of them should be unhappy.

"Our Lord tells us how easy and swift true repentance can be in the case of the publican - the notorious and typical sinner - who by making an act of sorrow for his sins, in seven words, went home to his house justi­fied. God is far more ready and generous in forgiving the worst than men - even good men - are in forgiving each other, and bad would it be for the best of us if He were not.

"By way of showing the effect which can be produced by the very thought of God Our Father, and belief in Him as such, I may give a fact told to me by the person concerned - now dead for some years. He fell into a state akin to despair about his salvation. A confessor, to whom he opened his mind, told him to go, take his Bible, and write out all the texts in which God calls Himself his Father. He did so, and was blessed with calm and peace before he had written twenty." - Fr. Nicholas Walsh, S.J.

"Say to them: As I live, saith the Lord God: I desire not the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way, and live" (Ezech. xxxiii. 11).

"The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke xix. 10).

"Behold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called, and should be the sons of God" (1 John iii, 1).

"But I say to you: Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you; that you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh the sun to rise upon the good and bad, and raineth upon the just and unjust. . . Be you perfect as also your heavenly Father is perfect." - Words of our blessed Saviour; Matt. v. 44, 45, 48.

"Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore have I drawn thee, taking pity on thee" (Jer. xxxi. 3).

"The Lord is gracious and merciful; patient and plenteous in mercy."

"The Lord is sweet to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works."

"Every day will I bless Thee, and I will praise Thy Name forever" (Ps. cxliv. 8, 9, 2).

Let us give the good God, our Father in heaven, a service of Love, in the spirit of St. Francis Xavier, who said: "O God! I love Thee, not for the sake of winning heaven, or of escaping hell, not for the hope of gaining aught, but solely because Thou art my God."

"Not with the hope of gaining aught,
Not seeking a reward;
But as Thyself hast loved me,
O ever-loving Lord.
E'en so I love Thee, and will live,
And in Thy praise will sing;
Solely because Thou art my God
And my eternal King."
From My Prayer-Book, Happiness in Goodness
by Fr. F.X. Lasance (©1944)

Link to "Bella" the Movie

Catholic Tide Is Turning: Interview With Author David Hartl

COLUMBUS, Ohio, OCT. 24, 2007 ( Young people want something built on a solid foundation after seeing how the culture of death is destroying society, said author David Hartline.

Hartline is the author of the recent book "The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism," published by Catholic Report.

In this interview with ZENIT, Hartline considers some of the changing trends in the Church that have come about through courageous Catholic leaders, seen especially in Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
Q: In what ways do you see the tide turning?

Hartline: It is turning in many ways. In a nutshell, wherever Church orthodoxy is taught the Church is flourishing. This extends to the young and old...

For example in the United States, the Archdioceses of Denver, St. Louis, and Omaha, along with the Diocese of Lincoln, known for their clear observance of Church orthodoxy, have the same number of men studying for the priesthood than less-orthodox led dioceses that have five to 10 times as many Catholics...

The Lord blesses and provides for those who are faithful to Him and His Church...

...[a] visiting priest [from Uganda] told me he was taken aback by some in the Western world who verbally attack the Church, some of whom were even members of the Church. He said such a thing would be unthinkable in much of Africa, since the Church, its teachings and graces, such as the sacraments, are embraced with awe, wonder and gratitude.

All faithful Catholics are taken aback by these attacks, especially when they come from within...

...young people want something built on a solid foundation. The connection Jesus made with Peter being the rock and giving him the keys to the kingdom (Matthew 16:16-19) is a powerful example of apostolic succession to the youth so shaken by cultural and religious trends that come and go with the wind.

I'll bet this book is a delightful and refreshing read.

Ordination of Women Cause Anglicans to Seek Refuge in Catholic Church

300 Anglicans defect to Rome after row over women priests

UP to 300 Irish Anglicans could soon be joining the Roman Catholic Church to the traditional hymn tune 'Faith of Our Fathers'.

A report in today's 'Irish Catholic' newspaper claims that three Church of Ireland parishes are Romeward-bound, and may soon be received by Pope Benedict into full communion with the Catholic Church.

This change of denominational allegiance is part of a long-standing doctrinal feud over the ordination of women.
More here.

Protests sparked by teen pregnancy forum at Holy Cross

College of the Holy Cross sophomores, from left, Emily Turner, Eugene Briones and Megan Marrs, with freshman Jennifer Larsen, hold anti-abortion signs yesterday while junior Joseph Gonzalez stands across the street with opposing signs. (T&G Staff/PAUL KAPTEYN)

WORCESTER— A conference for social workers, nurses and others involved in reducing teen pregnancy — including members of prominent abortion-rights groups — went on as planned yesterday at the College of the Holy Cross over the objections of Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus and some students.

A Diocese of Worcester spokesman said the bishop would not take any immediate steps against Holy Cross, but would consider the Jesuit college’s decision to rent meeting space for the conference in any future evaluation of whether it can properly call itself a Catholic institution.
It is a scandal for Holy Cross to engage in such activities - only a fool would consider it to be a Catholic institution...

May one assume that the junior above, publicly supporting the death of the unborn, the erroneous 'right to choose' [life or death], is not a Catholic? Perhaps decades ago we might have assumed such. But not today - with the moral decay and confusion in the Church today, nothing seems to be sacred anymore. And untold numbers of people claim to be Catholic while they oppose the very teachings of Christ and His Church. How demented is this?

Is it not coincidental that when so many removed the 'sacredness' from our churches to make them more appealing to the whims of 'modern man', we also lost our sense of the sacred for everything else, including the sanctity of life?

‘Irony’ in Archbishop of Canterbury’s Abortion Statement

Fr. Thomas Euteneuer sees ‘Irony’ in Archbishop of Canterbury’s Abortion Statement:

FRONT ROYAL, VA — The Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, STL, president of Human Life International, (HLI) today remarked on an op-ed appearing in the British publication The Observer on October 21, entitled, “Britain's abortion debate lacks a moral dimension” by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams.

Father Euteneuer said, “While not agreeing with everything Dr. Williams said, I certainly appreciate his comments on the tragedy of abortion in commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the British Abortion Act. He is certainly correct about the moral ‘slippage’ that has occurred, where abortion is viewed far more casually today than was foreseen in 1967.”

“However,” Fr. Euteneuer said, “As a Roman Catholic priest I see a genuine irony in his comments. At one point Dr. Williams asks, ‘We may well ask what has happened’ in regard to this slippage. For a Roman Catholic what has happened is all too clear: In 1930 The Church of England was the first Christian church to allow the separation of procreation from the marital act in the Lambeth decision on contraception and gave endorsement, even if unwittingly, to future policies which would allow the killing of children. It's a small step from excluding children from sex to expelling children from the womb.” Fr. Euteneuer said.

“The ‘slippage’ Dr. Williams speaks of is precisely what Pope Pius XI warned of in the Papal encyclical, Castii Conubii, issued in response to Lambeth, and what Pope Paul VI reiterated in his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae. These popes said that the widespread use of contraception would lead to ‘a general lowering of morality’. By now we see this in our entire society. On the social as well as the personal levels, contraception and abortion are two sides of the same bad penny.” Fr. Euteneuer said.

He continued, “If you think it through, Dr. Williams’s comments on our current moral climate tend to vindicate the Roman Catholic position on birth control as still the only realistic position if we hope to restore moral sanity. HLI hopes that all good-willed people will take a hard look at how we got where we are today and recognize the role contraception played in it. It is my prayer that the centuries-old Christian consensus on the sin of contraception, which all but vanished at Lambeth, will be restored.”
Press Release for Oct 25...

Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer is the president of Human Life International.

Perpetually Juvenile

...The "sisters" are a group of gay men who dress up as nuns — of the drag-queen variety — in an attempt to parody Catholicism and, in a larger sense, Christianity, for what they perceive as its intolerance towards homosexuality. Their motto is "go forth and sin some more" and members have adopted satirical names such as "Sister Chastity Boner" and "Sister Constance Craving of the Holey Desire"...

If groups such as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence spent half as much time criticizing Islam for its abuses against gay rights as they do Catholicism, then perhaps their attempts at activism might be seen as truly groundbreaking. As it is, their juvenile behavior is redolent of a son desperately rebelling against his father, a teenage girl telling her mother she hates her because she can't stay out as late as she'd like, and other similarly adolescent expressions of fury.

When we start seeing sex toys with Muhammad's likeness on them being sold at the Folsom Street Fair or sisters infiltrating mosques in burqas, then perhaps we can call these activists and their supporters brave. Until then, perhaps it's time for the sisters to grow up.


Gospel for Thursday, 29th Week in Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: Sts. Chrysanthus and Daria, martyrs; Sts. Crispin and Crispinian (RM)

From: Luke 12:49-53

Jesus the Cause of Dissension

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [49] "I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! [50] I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished! [51] Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; [52] for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; [53] they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."


49-50. In the Bible, fire is often used to describe God's burning love for men. This divine love finds its highest __expression in the Son of God become man: "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son" (John 3:16). Jesus voluntarily gave up His life out of love for us, and "greater love has no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).

In these words reported by St. Luke, Jesus Christ reveals His abounding desire to give His life for love of us. He calls His death a baptism, because from it He will arise victorious never to die again. Our Baptism is a submersion in Christ's death, in which we die to sin and are reborn to the new life of grace: "We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).

Through this new life, we Christians should become set on fire in the same way as Jesus set His disciples on fire: "With the amazing naturalness of the things of God, the contemplative soul is filled with apostolic zeal. `My heart became hot within me, a fire blazed forth from my thoughts' (Psalm 38:4). What could this fire be if not the fire that Christ talks about: `I came to cast fire upon the earth, and would that it were already kindled' (Luke 12:49). An apostolic fire that acquires its strength in prayer: there is no better way than this to carry on, throughout the whole world, the battle of peace to which every Christian is called to fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ (cf. Colossians 1:24)" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 120).

51-53. God has come into the world with a message of peace (cf. Luke 2:14) and reconciliation (cf. Romans 5:11). By resisting, through sin, the redeeming work of Christ, we become His opponents. Injustice and error lead to division and war. "Insofar as men are sinners, the threat of war hangs over them and will so continue until the coming of Christ; but insofar as they can vanquish sin by coming together in charity, violence itself will be vanquished" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 78).

During His own life on earth, Christ was a sign of contradiction (cf. Luke 2:34). Our Lord is forewarning His disciples about the contention and division which will accompany the spread of the Gospel (cf. Luke 6:20-23; Matthew 10:24).
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, October 24, 2007

Thoughts and Counsels - October 25

As all our wickedness consists in turning away from our Creator, so all our goodness consists in uniting ourselves with Him.

-St. Alphonsus
From Mary, Help of Christians
Part VI, Thoughts and Counsels of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Compiled by Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, OFM (© 1909, Benziger Brothers)

Meditation for October 25, Christ the King

In the beginning of Christian art, Christ was more often repre­sented in the attitude of a monarch seated on a throne, judging the living and the dead, than in the attitude of a suppliant showing His heart, asking that we deign to love Him.

Which of the two images, the Christ of Love or the Christ of Justice, is the nearest to true Christianity?

The two representations must be united instead of opposed, and that is indeed what the Church has done in giving us the Feast of the Sacred Heart and the Feast of Christ the King.

The Feast of the Sacred Heart is the manifestation of the titles of the Love we ought to love; the Feast of Christ the King is the manifestation of the sovereign rights of the Son of God, rights not to be indefinitely scorned, but rather profoundly respected and gen­erously served, not only by individuals, but by groups, societies and States.

At the time of Jansenism, under pretext of recalling the grandeur of God, some sects tended to forget His goodness; the Devotion to the Sacred Heart came opportunely to recall that if God was Ma­jesty He was also Love. In this age, when, under pretext of laicism, the world sought to modernize God, or to pass Him by in silence, or to destroy Him, the Church wished by a special Feast to recall to the world that God has His rights and that Christ is "Someone."

"We do not want Him to reign" cry some poor people who are either very thoughtless or beside themselves. And I, my Lord, I cry to You with all my power, "I want to see You reign over everything and every­one. And in order to begin with something that depends solely on me, I beg You to reign entirely over me. Let all in me be Yours. Let all in me recognize at every instant both Your sovereignty of right and Your sovereignty of love. I am Your possession, and I am Your spouse forever."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

The Failure to Teach, Sanctify, and Govern...

Those at "A Shepherd's Voice" maintain that the problems (and I would suggest , the history of sacrilege/blasphemy) occurring at Most Holy Redeemer are due to a "failure to exercise rightful authority by the successive Bishops of San Francisco." [Source]

But the latest revelation from is in some ways even more shocking. The Church was hosting meetings of "leather (read S/M)" motorcycle clubs for over six years, and a photographer who chronicles such things was there taking photos. Remember, the things you see are taking place on church property.

Quamdiu Domine has links to these "events" which were photographed at Most Holy Redeemer Church's parish hall from February 16, 2002 through February 17, 2007.

Truly we pray, "How long, O Lord?"

Stealth priestess?

Catholic Church Conservation suggests: Coming soon to a Church near you.

And from the Clarion Ledger we read:

Lay Catholics step up during priest shortage

GLUCKSTADT — Dressed in a knee-length black skirt and tweed blazer, Pam Minninger stood at the entrance of St. Joseph Catholic Church greeting her parishioners before Sunday Mass.

I'm not certain who the people in the picture above are or where this picture was taken, but is the bishop Joesph Latino, bishop of the Diocese of Jackson Mississippi?

At any rate, it looks like she might be next in line for an "ordination ceremony" by one os the kook women pretending to be "bishops."

More pictures at Cathcon here.

Protest the Blasphemous "Chocolate Jesus"

From the good folks at TFP:

It is time to vehemently protest against Cosimo Cavallaro’s display called “Chocolate Saints…Sweet Jesus,” that will be on display from Oct. 27 to Nov. 24 at The Proposition gallery in New York City. You can protest by clicking here.

It is a horrible portrayal of Our Lord Jesus Christ made in chocolate. What you see is a stark naked suspended figure with outstretched arms upon an invisible cross. He is surrounded by the Blessed Mother and other saints also in chocolate.

In the fantasy world of avant garde art, they try to label these flying chocolate Christ figures as works of art. But, in the real world, a pornographic display of a chocolate male figure not resembling in any way the august figure of Our Lord Jesus Christ comes across to millions not as art but blasphemy.

Protest now by clicking here.

Cardinal Rigali Urges Faithful to See the Film, "Bella"

Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, is urging the faithful throughout the Archdiocese to see the powerful new film "Bella" which opens in select local theaters on Friday, October 26, 2007. Cardinal Rigali said, "This film has a message that is so connected to life: to the problems of life, the challenges of life, the value of life. This film, I believe, is destined to have an extraordinary impact on people's lives."

More here.

Holy Cross College & Planned Parenthood

Diogenes note this amazing coincidence:

Here is the web site for the Planned Parenthood clinic in Worcester, Massachusetts. Make a note of the phone number for local calls: (508) 854-3300.

Now here is the web site for student health services at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester. Notice the number recommended to students who are concerned about sexually transmitted diseases: 508-854-3300. Haven't we seen that number somewhere else?

No, Holy Cross doesn't refer students to Planned Parenthood for abortions. Holy Cross refers students to Planned Parenthood for STD tests. But Holy Cross does refer students to Planned Parenthood.

So tonight, when Planned Parenthood representatives participate in a panel at Holy Cross on teen pregnancy, it won't be the first point of contact. They're already working together.
Just another in a long list of once Catholic colleges whose leadership has directed the institution away from truth, freedom, and the Church and headlon toward toward apostasy and worse...One of deliciously poisonous fruits of the Land O'Lakes Conference rebellion, no doubt...

It's time for the Bishop to act!

Source, CWNEWS

Catholic school auctions off dinner with Nancy Pelosi

Every year, St. Helena Catholic School -- situated in the Napa wine country -- has a benefit auction at the Rutherford Grove Winery called “Gala at the Grove.” Guests pay $150 a ticket to bid on distinctive wines and other products to benefit the school. This year’s gala included a unique item up for bid: “Dinner with the Speaker,” an intimate dinner with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The winning bid for the dinner was $14,000.
. . .
[School principal Jim] Ritchie refused to comment when asked how a Catholic school could offer dinner with a militantly pro-abortion, pro-homosexual politician as a prize. “I can’t answer that,” he said. “You’ll have to call her office.”
I'm certain everyone else can answer it - does the school care about the example it sets for students? Apparently not - scandal is, after all, all the rage in California these days.

Monsignor John Brenkle, pastor of St. Helena Catholic Church, part of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, is scheduled to join the winners at the Pelosi dinner. When he was asked the same question as Ritchie, Brenkle answered by invoking the Iraq war.
Sounds familiar...refuse to discuss the real issue while attempting to move the 'discussion; off into another area...a common tactic used by dissenters...

He also has a different take on Canon 915 than Archbishop Burke...

California Catholic Daily: “But you can be a Catholic and support the idea of a just war. You can’t be a Catholic and support abortion in any way, shape or form.”

Brenkle: “You cannot support this war I’m afraid.”

California Catholic Daily: “So you can throw abortion out the window because you don’t like Bush and the war?”

Brenkle: “No, but you put up with the imperfections of politicians. Nobody is perfect.”

California Catholic Daily: “Have you met Nancy Pelosi?”

Brenkle: “She’s a part-time member of our parish.”

California Catholic Daily: “Have you ever discussed her positions on abortion and homosexual marriage with her?”

Brenkle: “I have not had an opportunity to do so.”

California Catholic Daily: “Do you allow her to come to Holy Communion after the Church has taught that manifest public sinners who are unrepentant are to be denied Holy Communion?”

Brenkle: “The Church has never taught that.”

California Catholic Daily: “I think the Archbishop of St. Louis would disagree -- and he’s a canon lawyer.”

Brenkle: “Yeah, well I happen to be a canon lawyer too, y’know, and I think the bishops who said that are in a very minority position.”
Would a faithful Catholic want to receive spiritual advice or direction from such a priest - one who is incapable of unwilling to see and address the horrors of intrinsically evil acts and the necessity of confronting those who support those acts. Great example for the school children! Not!

at California Catholic Daily

Gospel for Wednesday, 29th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial of St. Anthony Claret, bishop
Old Calendar: St. Raphael the Archangel

From: Luke 12:39-48

The Need for Vigilance and the Parable of the Steward (Continuation)

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [39] "But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would have been awake and would not have left his house to be broken into. [40] You also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."

[41] Peter said, "Lord are you telling this parable for us or for all?" [42] And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? [43] Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. [44] Truly I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions. [45] But if that servant says to himself, `My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, [46] the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful. [47] And that servant who knew his master's will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. [48] But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much is given, of him much will be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more."


40. God has chosen to hide from us the time of our death and the time
when the world will come to an end. Immediately after death everyone
undergoes the Particular Judgment: "just as it is appointed for men to
die once, and after that comes judgment..." (Hebrews 9:27). The end of
the world is when the General Judgment will take place.

41-48. After our Lord's exhortation to vigilance, St. Peter asks a
question (verse 41), the answer to which is the key to understanding
this parable. On the one hand, Jesus emphasizes that we simply do not
know exactly when God is going to ask us to render an account of our
life; on the other--answering Peter's question--our Lord explains that
His teaching is addressed to every individual. God will ask everyone
to render an account of his doings: everyone has a mission to fulfill
in this life and he has to account for it before the judgment seat of
God and be judged on what he has produced, be it much or little.

"Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the
advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course
of our earthly life is completed (cf. Hebrews 9:27), we may merit to
enter with Him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the
blessed (cf. Matthew 25:31-46) and not, like the wicked and slothful
servants (cf. Matthew 25:26), be ordered to depart into the eternal
fire (cf. Matthew 25:41)" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 48).
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, October 23, 2007

The Rosary - Conversation Help

"Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee." St. Luke, 1:28.

One of the most capable and upright of our statesmen in the past was Mr. Edward McGrady, former Assistant Secretary of Labor. He was particularly skillful in settling disputes between management and labor. He was just; he was informed; he was courteous; he was fearless. Many an hour and many a day he spent at the tables of arbitration. Many a delicate situation he solved to the satisfaction of both parties.

Almost as well known as his achievements in the field of labor was the fact that McGrady carried a Rosary with him constantly, and that during the disputes his hand often reached into his pocket, there to finger his beads in a prayer for help in solving the difficulty before them. He was calling God into those conferences.

Of this practice of McGrady an eminent co-worker has spoken, none other than General Hugh Johnson, a rough and ready unsentimental soul if there ever was one. Johnson declared:
"McGrady has done more for industrial peace than any single man. He goes into a fierce conference with a Rosary in his pocket where his fingers can touch it at every critical point."

What an inspiration! Before government and radical agitators, before friend and foe, he was unafraid to have it known that he drew help from his Rosary.

Even the ancient Greeks, pagan as they were, had a similar practice. They carried what they called "Conversation Beads." That is, while they talked they fingered a string of beads, usually made of amber. No, they were not Rosary beads, but they were a mechanical help to conversation. The Greeks did like to talk about deep and serious topics. They did like to converse about things that required keeping the mind on the subject. They found that these "Conversation Beads" were a big help.

All the more so are your Rosary beads. Not only do they keep your mind on the subject under discussion, your beads will also help you solve that problem. I can see several advantages of carrying a Rosary constantly:

1. It is a big help to concentration. How difficult it is to keep one's mind on a certain topic. How easy it is to wander in thought and speech from the subject at hand. Holding your Rosary in your hand will help keep your attention on what you are doing or saying.

Certainly it is a big help in spiritual concentration. Talking to God meets with many distractions. If you have some object you can touch, some material things you can conveniently carry, you have a help for the mind.

2. According to psychiatry, holding something is also an outlet for what we call "nerves" or the tensions of everyday life. Whether it is the sense of holding on to something material, something solid, something certain, or the physical grip itself, we cannot say. Certainly the nerves are quieted.

3. Holding your Rosary is also an excellent form of physical and mental relaxation. You can even close your eyes; you can even sit down or walk as you finger bead after bead with our Blessed Mother before your mind's eye. The power and practice of relaxing is one means to health. The stress and strain of every day both on the body and the mind will find pleasant relief in the few minutes you spend saying your Rosary or even some part of it.

4. The Rosary is also an excellent substitute for some of the more harmful helps to conversation, like cigarettes and intoxicating drink.

Over and above these material considerations is the overwhelming fact that the Rosary is a prayer, first and last. It is a tangible means of keeping our minds on God and His Blessed Mother. It is the sound track on which the soul reels off the divine movies of the joyful, sorrowful and glorious highpoints in the life of God's Mother. [And in the Luminous mysteries, on the life of Christ].

It is a string of pearls which we graciously hang about the neck of our heavenly Queen. It is the diamond­-studded diary of the most lovable, the most beautiful, the most kindly, the most influential woman who ever lived. It is a bouquet of fresh, fragrant flowers culled from the human heart, simply and attractively arranged, tied with a ribbon of love and admiration, and presented to the most perfect Lady. It is the favorite prayer of the statesman like McGrady and the ordi­nary citizen like the Catholic who lives next door.

Sometimes we hear this objection to saying the Rosary:

"What is the use of mumbling the same prayer over and over and over, five times, ten times, fifty times? It seems to be merely words repeated without any meaning."

In answer we remind you that our Lord Himself repeated certain prayers. In the Garden of Olives He said the same prayer three times. He taught us to say the "Our Father." In the same way, when we recite the Hail Mary, we are repeating the beautiful, the most important words, spoken by the Angel Gabriel to our Blessed Mother.

Furthermore, a child will repeat time and again such simple phrases as: "I love you, mother." A lover will repeatedly express his affection for his beloved, even though it is in the very same words every time.

There is plenty of variety in the Rosary, when one thinks about the various mysteries and what they imply, if one offers a particular bead, or a particular decade for some special purpose, if one keeps in mind that he is talking to the Queen of heaven and earth, directly in contact with her on the walkie-talkie of his Rosary.

Too many intelligent people recite the Rosary, for anyone to say that it is monotonous or thoughtless or uninspiring. I hope you are among these spiritually intelligent sons and daughters of Mary, who every day tell your beads to her, who every day keep in contact with her Mother heart through the Rosary. Amen.
Adapted from Occasional Talks
by Fr. Arthur Tonne, OFM (©1949)

Thoughts and Counsels - October 24

Do not let confusion for your faults overwhelm you with despair, as if there were no longer a remedy.

-St. Catherine if Siena
From Mary, Help of Christians
Part VI, Thoughts and Counsels of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Compiled by Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, OFM (© 1909, Benziger Brothers)

Meditation for October 24, The Use of Creatures

First of all, creatures should not be a hindrance to me in serving God. I ought rather to use them as a means to go to God.

These are the two great ideas that St. Ignatius emphasized and developed in the beginning and at the end of the Exercises - in the consideration of Indifference, and in the Contemplation on Divine Love.

In the meditation on Indifference he claims that the sight of the goal must be so imperious that we are ready to sacrifice all which does not help to attain it. This creature has value as a means. Fine, we will use it. Such a person or such an object is not a means under the circumstances, has absolutely no value as a means; nothing is simpler, we must put it aside.

But isn't this a negative procedure? There is something greater and better to do. God has made us kings in creation, not only that we may not be the slaves of creatures, but that creatures serve us as pedestals to elevate us to Him. In the first part of the Contemplation on Love, or rather, the ways to acquire love, Ad Amorem, St. Ignatius endeavors to incite in the retreatant the desire of forming this habit of finding God among created things; creatures far from hiding God from us ought to reveal Him to us, if our faith is lively enough.

Ignatius himself, upon closing his window one evening, noticed the starry sky; in this beautiful pic­ture of the heavens powdered with stars he discovered the Lord and, falling into an ecstasy, he remained there until morning.

We scarcely expect to react as did St. Ignatius, but at least let the earth help us picture heaven; the created, the Uncreated; the pedestal, the statue; the beauty of things, the Infinite Beauty of God. Use in this spirit the praises and canticles of the Psalms.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Requiescat in Pace...

By now you may have learned that Archbishop Burke's brother, John, died last Thursday.

The funeral will be at Sacred Heart Church in Appleton, WI on Friday, Oct. 26th, 11:00AM.

Please keep the Burke family in your prayers.

World Renowned Theologian: No Plan B

World Renowned Theologian Renders Possibly Decisive Blow in Debate on Plan B in Catholic Hospitals
Says that "even if the pill in Plan B is only 'dubiously' abortive, we simply may not use it at all"

WASHINGTON, DC, October 22, 2007 ( - In what is likely the most significant contribution to date in the debate over the use of the so-called "emergency contraception" pills at Catholic hospitals, renowned theologian Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner has written on the subject. The Doctor of Sacred Theology who has been teaching theology in Franciscan universities and seminaries in the US and Italy for forty years, has questioned the basis on which the whole issue is based - namely whether it is permitted for Catholics to administer Plan B even if it acted as a contraceptive rather than causing abortions...

Fr. Fehlner, who was the North American Superior for the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in the United States from 1996 to 2002, dismissed outright the use of Plan B at Catholic hospitals where there is any doubt as to it possibility of causing an abortion. "The fact is, if we have any doubt about whether a given action would directly risk someone's life, entail a violation of justice or threaten the salvation of a soul, we may not act on the basis of a scientific probability," he writes. "That means even if the pill in Plan B is only 'dubiously' abortive, we simply may not use it at all..."

However, beyond the question of the abortifacient effects of the pills, Fr. Fehlner - a familiar name to those who watch EWTN, points out that the Church teaches that contraception is intrinsically evil and thus is not permissible even in cases of rape.
An excellent article at LifeSiteNews.

More here.

There is this as well:
Editor's note: Fr. Fehlner's two essays on the topic also address the 'lotio' and the concepts of natural and unnatural sins which are key to a full Catholic theological understanding of this debate. Interested readers may read Fr. Fehlner's essays on the subject here: (Part 1) (Part 2)

We must pray for those who attack the Church...

...and the Holy Father; we must pray for those who reject the truth, virtues, the natural moral law and choose, instead, to cling to lies, darkness, vice, immorality, disobediece, or whatever happens to satisfy their 'desires.'

And we should pray for ourselves, as well, that we might be receptive to the graces God provides for us so that our will might be conformed to His will, that we resist the desires for rebellion and sin, that we grow in fidelity to and love of Him and the Church He provided for all. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by the rejection of both our arrogant pride and our willful practice of disobedience.

To many, this word - obedience - is anathema. It is viewed as a hindrance to one's 'freedom' when, in fact, we gain true freedom by being obedient. It is precisely the example of obedience which Jesus gives us, so that we might also, in love and humility, take up the cross and follow Him.

When considering the numerous dissenting and false opinions and positions, both here and in the world, it might seem justified to lash out, at times, at those whose views are so opposed to the Church and to the good, especially when those people claim to be Christians, and in particular, Catholics. Sometimes I forget the advice of Fr John Corapi, which is most helpful during those times when the voices of dissent seem to be the only voices which can be heard:

"There is no such thing as being a good Catholic and being disobedient to the Holy Father. There is no such thing as being a good Catholic and being a dissident when it comes to faith and morals. There is no such thing as dissent from authentic and authoritative Church teaching. No such thing. Those who do that separate themselves from Christ and His body. They become dead members of the body of Christ.

"You should avoid such people like the plague and you should keep your children from such people as though keeping them from the worst contagion, because contact with such people can poison their minds, poison their souls and kill them morally and spiritually, and you don't want to be responsible for that. That is not lack of charity, that is not lack of pastoral concern. That IS charity, that IS being pastoral and that IS being merciful. It is not merciful to turn our children over to those that can poison their hearts and minds. That is not charitable, merciful, nor pastoral.

"Pray for people that attack the Church, the Holy Father, the Magisterium. Pray for them, love them indeed, but don't listen to them and don't put yourselves nor your children in a position where they or you can be influenced." [excerpt from the talk, "Messages for Homeschoolers"]

The loud, obnoxious and poisonous voices of dissent should be refuted - and they should be ignored so that we are not negatively influenced by them. But, more importantly, when we encouter those pitiable souls, we should always say a pray for their conversion and a prayer that we might be an example of Christ's charity and fidelity. I pray that our Lord will grant me the grace to reach that seemingly impossible pinnacle.

Vatican Press announces publication of 1962 Edition of the Roman Missal

Vatican City, Oct 23, 2007 / 10:14 am (CNA).- The Vatican Press, Libreria Editricie Vaticana, has announced that it will begin selling the Roman Missal of 1962...

It is available for purchase at a price of 59 Euros. Further details can be found at

What's a brewin' at Franciscan University?

Fr. Z writes:
A well-substantiated rumor has it that a petition for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum bearing 155 names of students and faculty has been denied by the plenary council of T.O.R friars on the grounds that the motu proprio does not apply to Catholic universities. You can certainly see what the implications are. Keep this one on your radar; it’s going to be huge.
Fr Z has plenty of updates on the goings on in Steubenville... click here Is this ProLifeSearch Resurrected?

It certainly seems to have the look and feel of, but then it could be my eyes and memory playing tricks on me...

Link here.

So much of what happens in life is out of our control

This is one of the ideas expressed in a letter, signed by Bishop Donald E. Pelotte, that was recently posted on the Diocese of Gallup’s Web site. Although the letter is well-written and thoughtful, it does little to address the many questions Catholics have about the bishop’s medical condition since he was seriously injured in a July 23 incident and particularly since Sept. 27 when Pelotte made a confused call to a 911 dispatcher.
Source: The Gallup Independent

Bishop Pelotte’s letter can be read here.

The Encyclical Against the "Modernists" Turns 100 – But Without Fanfare

Froom Chiesa:

No official celebrations for the centenary of the "Pascendi" encyclical. The "unworthy methods" used to fight this battle have been discarded. But the questions at the center of that controversy are still open. And the book "Jesus of Nazareth" is proof of this.
by Sandro Magister
This is what the new director of "L'Osservatore Romano," professor Giovanni Maria Vian, said in the first significant interview that he granted after his appointment:

"Pius X was a great reformist pope, and in regard to the modernist question he understood very well what was at stake and what were the dangers for the Church's faith. Unfortunately, his reputation is now linked mostly to the ways in which modernism was combated, often with methods unworthy of the cause they were intended to defend."
More here.

Gospel for Tuesday, 29th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial of St. John of Capistrano, priest
Old Calendar: St. Anthony Mary Claret

From: Luke 12:35-38

The Need for Vigilance and the Parable of the Steward

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [35] "Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, [36] and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. [37] Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them. [39] If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants!"


35-39. In the preaching of Christ and of the Apostles we are frequently exhorted to be watchful (cf. Matthew 24:42; 25:13; Mark 14:34)--for one thing, because the enemy is always on the prowl (cf. 1 Peter 5:8), and also because a person in love is always awake (cf. Song of Songs 5:2). This watchfulness expresses itself in a spirit of prayer (cf. Luke 21:36; 1 Peter 4:7) and fortitude in faith (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:13). See the note on Matthew 25:1-13.

[The note on Matthew 25:1-13 states:
1-13. The main lesson of this parable has to do with the need to be on the alert: in practice, this means having the light of faith, which is kept alive with the oil of charity. Jewish weddings were held in the house of the bride's father. The virgins are young unmarried girls, bridesmaids who are in the bride's house waiting for the bridegroom to arrive. The parable centers on the attitude one should adopt up to the time when the bridegroom comes. In other words, it is not enough to know that one is "inside" the Kingdom, the Church: one has to be on the watch and be preparing for Christ's coming by doing good works.

This vigilance should be continuous and unflagging, because the devil is forever after us, prowling around "like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). "Watch with the heart, watch with faith, watch with love, watch with charity, watch with good works [...]; make ready the lamps, make sure they do not go out [...], renew them with the inner oil of an upright conscience; then shall the Bridegroom enfold you in the embrace of His love and bring you into His banquet room, where your lamp can never be extinguished" (St. Augustine, "Sermon", 93).]

35. To enable them to do certain kinds of work the Jews used to hitch up the flowing garments they normally wore. "Girding your loins" immediately suggests a person getting ready for work, for effort, for a journey etc. (cf. Jeremiah 1:17; Ephesians 6:14; 1 Peter 1:13). Similarly, "having your lamps burning" indicates the sort of attitude a person should have who is on the watch or is waiting for someone's arrival.
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.