Saturday, May 10, 2008

Answers, On Grace - What Kind of a Theologian Are You?

Questions can be viewed here.

1. a-Yes. b-No. c-Yes.
2. a-No. b-Yes. c-Yes.
3. a-Yes. b-No. c-Yes.
4. a-No. b-No. c-No.
S. a-No. b-Yes. c-No.
6. a-Yes. b-No. c-Yes.
I. a-Yes. b-Yes. c-Yes.
8. a-Yes. b-Yes. c-Yes.
9. a-Yes. b-Yes. c-Yes. d-Yes.
10. a-No. b-No. c-No. d-Yes.
Adapted from The Queen's Work Magazine, May 1946

Just for Today, May 11

For the profit of one that stands in need, a good work is sometimes freely to be omitted, or rather to be changed for a better. For by doing thus, a good work is not lost, but is changed into a better.

-Bk. I, ch. xv.

During the afternoon she received Extreme Unction and Holy Viaticum. After the ceremony she showed us her hands with great respect. She had scarcely finished her thanksgiving when several of the Community came to see her and speak to her. She said to me afterwards:
"My thanksgiving was often interrupted, but I remem­bered how, when Our Lord withdrew into the desert and the people followed Him, He did not send them away. I tried to imitate Him by receiving my Sisters graciously."
-Novissima Verba.
For more information, see this post.
Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.

Thoughts and Counsels - May 11

Mary being destined to negotiate peace between God and man, it was not proper that she should be an accomplice in the disobedience of Adam.

-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 May 11-Pentecost, The Holy Ghost

The Paraclete, the Holy Ghost that My Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things. (John xiv, 26.)

There are two main ideas in these words of Christ's discourse at the Last Supper: the Holy Spirit will teach you; the Holy Spirit will console you.

1. Teach and radiate the light. Did not the Holy Ghost descend upon the Apostles in the form of tongues of fire to command just that?

But I would be mistaken in thinking that this teaching is to come from without.

No, the Holy Spirit enlightens from within. He works in those who enjoy the happiness of living in the state of grace. The hymn of Pentecost often reminds us during the octave that the Holy Ghost dwells within our souls, hospes animae. I have frequently meditated on this truth and know its immense benefit to my soul. God has His own habitation in me. In this intimate dwelling in the depths of my heart, He speaks to me, inspires me and leads me on.

2. Radiate the light, yes, but also the warmth. The Holy Spirit does not only teach me, He has another function; He comes to endow me with joy and courage.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Love: wherever He is He burns, He inflames, He stimulates zeal. Oh! how welcome He is at cer­tain times. When a cold wave comes over me and my ardor cools, when monotony assails me and difficulties crush me, I am certainly in great need of a consoler.

"Divine Consoler, prove to me as fully as possible Your beautiful title. You are not only the hospes animae, the guest of my soul, but dulcis hospes, the sweetest guest. Communicate to me this fortifying sweetness; I do not ask sensible gifts and consolation, but grant me generosity and strength of will, and an ardent desire for the good. Consolator optime, Dulcis hospes animae...."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Dr Edward Peters: Staunching the Wound of Bleeding Kansas

Dr Peters write:

Abp. Joseph Naumann has applied a Canon 915 tourniquet to the wound inflicted on the Body of Christ by the Catholic governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius. His actions are a model to emulated.
Read more about it here.

Archbishop Flynn ends lay preaching at Mass?

Father Terry Rassmussen, pastor of St. Joseph in New Hope, finished reading, closed the Book of the Gospels, and stepped away from the ambo. From the congregation, Ginny Untiedt stepped forward.

Clad in a white robe, Untiedt bowed as Father Rassmussen laid his hands on her head and blessed her. She looked up, walked to the ambo and began preaching for the last time.

As many as 29 parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis have used lay preachers at Mass during the past 25 years. In January, however, Archbishop Harry Flynn instructed pastors to discontinue the practice. He gave his retirement date - May 2 - as the time by which parishes should develop "a pastoral plan" to end lay preaching at Mass....

25 years of wandering in the wilderness...And the faithful were left to find a parish where a licit Mass was celebrated.

Archbishop Flynn referenced the 2004 Vatican instruction "Redemptionis Sacramentum" as a reason to discontinue the liturgical abuse. Strange that it took so long. Every faithful Catholic has known for years that it was not permitted and is a grave abuse.

Is it any wonder that the Church is infected and infested with dissent and rebellion - with women thinking that they can be priests and dressing up as clergy (see the picture above), with the widespread rejection of the authority of the Church, and so forth?

Thankfully, the faithful in Minneapolis now have a new shepherd - Archbishop John Nienstedt. May God shower him with the graces necesary to lead them as Christ would.

Proponents of lay preaching argue that canon law allows the practice and that both the congregation and pastors benefit from hearing Gospel reflections from diverse voices....

I wonder just where they get that...Maybe my comprehension is not what it used to be, but I don't get it. Canon Law seems pretty clear to me:

Can. 767 §1 The most important form of preaching is the homily, which is part of the liturgy, and is reserved to a priest or deacon. In the course of the liturgical year, the mysteries of faith and the rules of christian living are to be expounded in the homily from the sacred text.

§2 At all Masses on Sundays and holydays of obligation, celebrated with a congregation, there is to be a homily and, except for a grave reason, this may not be omitted.

§3 It is strongly recommended that, if a sufficient number of people are present, there be a homily at weekday Masses also, especially during Advent and Lent, or on a feast day or an occasion of grief.

§4 It is the responsibility of the parish priest or the rector of a church to ensure that these provisions are carefully observed.

But, like others we've witnessed, some twist the canons to their own ends, while ignoring the most relevant parts of the code. But then, this is what has been going on for years, to the detriment of numerous souls.

Then we have this:
Lay preaching also brings a woman's perspective to the Gospels, Baumer said. "The suppression of lay preaching is simultaneously the suppression of female voices, because no matter how God has gifted a lay woman . . . to break open the Word, the community will not have access to that word as it gathers on Sunday," she said. [Patricia Hughes Baumer co-founded the lay preaching training organization Partners in Preaching with her husband, Fred, in 1997.]

"Break open the word?" What's that? I'm surprised we haven't heard them say "Break open the bottle" when the wine is brought to the altar for the offering and consecration.

If I saw such activity as this, I'm afraid I'd have to get up and leave. This is just another example of a gross misunderstanding or of a deliberate bastardization of "active participation of the laity."

You can read the entire article from the Catholic Spirit here.

Gospel for Saturday, 7th Week of Easter

Optional Memorial of Blessed Damien de Veuster, priest
Old Calendar: St. Antoninus, bishop and confessor; Sts. Gordian and Epimachus, 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, May 09, 2008

Just for Today, May 10

They rejoice without end in the presence of God, beholding His glory face to face; and bring trans­formed from glory into the glory of the incomprehen­sible Deity, they taste the Word of God made flesh, as He was from the beginning, and as He remaineth for ever.

When I call to mind these wonders, even every spiritual comfort becomes grievously tedious to me; because, as long as I behold not my Lord openly in His glory, I make no account of whatsoever I see and hear in the world. Thou art my witness, O God, that not one thing can comfort me, nor anything created give me rest, but only Thou, my God, whom I desire for ever to contemplate.

-Bk. IV, ch. xi.

We had placed a picture of the Holy Face which she much loved beside her bed, for the feast of the Trans­figuration.

"How wise Our Lord was to have lowered His eyes when He left us His portrait!" she said to me. "As the eyes are the mirror of the soul, if we had caught a glimpse of His soul we should have died of joy. Oh! how much good the Holy Face has done me during my life! My devotion to the Holy Face, or rather my piety itself, has been inspired by these words of Isaias: There is no beauty in him, nor comeliness: and we have seen him, and there was no sightliness, that we should be desirous of him: despised and the most abject of men, his look was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed him not (Is. liii, 2, 3).

I also wished to be without beauty or comeliness, and to tread the winepress alone (ibid. lxiii, 3), unknown by all.

-Novissima Verba.
For more information, see this post.
Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.

Thoughts and Counsels - May 10

He who remembers having invoked the name of Mary in an impure temptation, may be sure that he did not yield to it.

-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 May 10, Valor in Strife

Jeanne d'Arc said, "It is not so much a matter of conquering in the struggle, but rather of fighting well. To fight well depends on us. Victory, however, is not of ourselves. The decision rests with God." At least, this is the way one of her best interpreters expresses her thoughts. (Charles Peguy)

In the spiritual life we should like so much to triumph after de­fending ourselves courageously; it is irritating to begin again in­definitely these little skirmishes and battles against nature. How we would love to breath easy once for all.

No, earth is not the land of finality nor the land of the defini­tive. It is the land of incessant struggle, of constant advance into the midst of enemies who never lay down their arms. We can never say, "Ah! now, it is finished, I don't have to struggle any more, I can rest."

To warn us against this tempting illusion, St. Francis de Sales informs us smilingly that our corrupt nature will die a quarter of an hour after us, which is equivalent to saying that we will have to fight to the very end.

And perhaps, on the way, one or the other failure springing from human weakness or our perverse inclinations will mark the stages. If we can say that at no time have we disarmed, given up, or lost our foothold; but on the contrary, despite temptations, and dis­turbances, in spite of temporary defeats and momentary laxity, we have held fast and struggled to resist, then we can remain in peace. God is satisfied.

He knows our infirmities, that our good intentions surpass our weak will; that we are rich in promises which are sincere indeed; but that our realizations always fall short and lack energy. God is not surprised at our vacillation and blunders. They keep us humble.

Courage! Let us not allow ourselves to be vanquished.

St. Jeanne d'Arc, give us your spirit and your valiant persever­ance.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

On Grace - What Kind of a Theologian Are You?

You know that
"all those things are to be believed with divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the written or orally transmitted word of God, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment or by her ordinary and universal magisterium, proposes for belief as having been divinely revealed." (Vatican Council.)

Can you recognize truths which are divine and Catholic faith?

Try the Following Quiz on Grace.

Give yourself 10 points for each of the 10 questions Which you answer correctly. If you score 95-100, give yourself a SCL (summa cum laude); 90-95, a MCL (magna cum laude); 85-90, a CL (cum laude); 80-85, a BP (bene probatus); 70-80, a P (probatus); 1>-70, a NP (non probatus).

[Answer each "a, b, c, d" with Yes or No]

1. Is it of divine and Catholic faith that grace is necessary for
a) all salutary acts;
b) all naturally good works;
c) final perseverance?
2. Actual grace is a transient supernatural gift of God that
a) can be seen or felt by the recipient;
b) can be received and used without being recognized as actual grace;
c) may be expected in times of need, retreat, missions, etc.
3. Without grace an adult can
a) know God's existence;
b) avoid all mortal sins for a long time;
c) perform some naturally good works.
4. Man's natural powers alone enable him to
a) impetrate grace;
b) merit it con­gruously;
c) merit it condignly.
5. God gives actual grace
a) only to Christians;
b) to all infidels and sinners;
c) to infants.
6. Actual grace was given
a) before the time of Christ,
b) and only to adult Jews,
c) and to all adults.
7. Does God give to all adults sufficient grace
a) to overcome grave temptations;
b) to acquire sanctifying grace;
c) to gain
8. Is it of divine and Catholic faith that
a) grace is necessary to merit eternal life;
b) efficacious grace does not take away man's freedom;
c) man cannot rise from mortal sin without grace?
9. Actual graces come from
a) God;
b) Christ;
c) Our Lady;
d) the sacraments.
10. A man's refusal to use an actual grace given to him
a) is always a sin;
b) always means the loss of his soul;
c) always means the loss of all further graces;
d) may mean the loss of special graces which God would otherwise have given him.

Answers tomorrow...6:00pm

Adapted from The Queen's Work Magazine, May 1946

Answers-What's Your Moral I.Q.? Love of thy Neighbor

Questions can be viewed here.

1. It is a supernatural virtue by which we must love our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.

2. Yes, we must include everybody in the world.

3. Yes.

4. No, if it does not cause scandal or grieve our neighbor.

5. No. He is acting well within his rights.

6. Yes, if I will not endanger my own salvation by doing so.

7. No. Unless there is some hope of success I may not risk my life to save the life of another.

8. I am not bound in every case, but if I can easily help him I should do it frequently.

9. Yes. We should love first our husband or wife and parents, children, our brothers and sisters, relatives, friends, and everyone else.

10. No. I may hate the sin but I may never hate the sinner.
Adapted from The Queen's Work Magazine, May 1946

Kansas Archbishop Urges Pro-Abortion Gov. Sebelius to Skip Communion

A leading Catholic official in Kansas says the state's pro-abortion governor, Kathleen Sebelius, needs to refrain from receiving communion until she changes her position supporting abortion. Sebelius recently came under fire from pro-life advocates for vetoing a bill that would limit abortions.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, and a strong pro-life advocate himself, criticized the veto as well and called on Sebelius to take the "necessary steps for amendment of her life."

In a column published in Friday in the diocesan Catholic newspaper The Leaven, Naumann said he wrote Sebelius in August and urged the potential Democratic vice-presidential running mate to refrain from communion....

HT to Darla for the link...

And our prayers go out to our Lord so that He may bestow His graces on Archbishop Naumann to withstand the coming attacks for doing what is right!

Please thank Archbishop Naumann at phone number: 913-721-1570 or at their web site at:

Fr Corapi Update (via latest email newsletter)

From the Weekly Wisdom update:
May 3rd: Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, CT is Fr. John Corapi's alma mater.

Father was a seminarian at Holy Apostles from 1987-1990, including summer sessions. This year, May of 2008, Holy Apostles College and Seminary held its 50th Commencement Exercises.

Father was invited to speak at the Commencement ceremony and receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree.

Due to serious health problems he was unable to travel to the Seminary. However, desiring to address the faculty, seminarians, and other students, Father recorded a special address from his television studio in northwest Montana.

More than anything, it is a heartfelt thank you to Holy Apostles for the excellent priestly formation and education he received there.
I know nothing else at the time. Perhaps others might know. It looked like his travels have been put on hold for the time being. Our prayers continue for his full recovery.

Code Pink Protesters Try Witchcraft at Anti-Marine Rallies

Code Pink is now resorting to witchcraft to beef up the number of its supporters protesting a controversial Marine Corps Recruiting Center in Berkeley, Calif.

The women's anti-war group has told ralliers to come equipped with spells and pointy hats Friday for "witches, crones and sirens" day, the last of the group's weeklong homage to Mother's Day....
What disturbed individuals these are...

Want to know what my first thought was when I read this headline? Actually, it was my second thought.

In reading some of the recent St Cronan bulletins on its COPA program, I was shocked, but not surprised, to see a blurb for helping CodePink:
CODEPINK Rush Hour Bannering Every Wednesday at 4:00p on
the Soulard pedestrian overpass above the I-44/55 split.

When a group supports women priestettes, homosexuality, and heaven knows what else, can witchcraft be far behind?

World Health Assembly to Endorse Pro-Abortion Conference

(NEW YORK – C-FAM) The General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet in Geneva later this month and is expected to promote the outcome of a controversial pro-abortion conference that took place in London last year. The 61st annual World Health Assembly (WHA) will discuss “mobilizing political will” in the area of “sexual and reproductive health." In a document prepared for the meeting, there is a reference to the Women Deliver Conference which was sponsored by various UN agencies and pro-abortion non-governmental organizations.
As reported last year by the Friday Fax, Women Deliver was billed as a conference focused on maternal, child and newborn health and reducing maternal mortality but participants were overwhelmed by the conference’s abortion focus. Out of 98 scheduled sessions at Women Deliver, 35 focused on abortion while only 2 dealt with newborn health. The agenda was organized by Frances Kissling, former president of Catholics for a Free Choice, and the majority of discussions focused on securing funding and harnessing political will for “reproductive rights,” a term that has been interpreted by UN committees to include abortion on demand. One organizer bluntly told C-FAM's Susan Yoshihara that the Women Deliver conference was a "pro-choice conference...."[Continued...]

Special Delivery for Pro-abort Ted Kennedy

From the Washington Times, we read:

By Julia Duin - Despite a 2004 order from the future Pope Benedict XVI barring pro-choice Catholic politicians from the Communion table, a quintet of elected officials flouted his wishes twice during his recent six-day visit here by partaking of the sacrament right before his eyes.

[...] in fact, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, a liberal Massachusetts Democrat, got a personalized delivery of Communion, said Dan Skehan, a businessman from Lancaster, Pa., who sat in Section 216 directly above the senator.

Minutes before the rest of the enormous crowd lined up to receive the sacrament, Mr. Skehan and his two sons spotted a priest making his way down the steps to the senator to hand him the consecrated host.

"It was obviously prearranged," Mr. Skehan said, "maybe out of regard for his girth and lack of mobility. I turned immediately to both my sons and said, 'Oh my gosh, look at that.' Everyone in my section, which was filled with people from Lancaster, said, 'That is outrageous. How could they do that?'"
Indeed, how could such a scandal be permitted? Is it because of bishops and priests who are afraid or could it be more sinister than that - do they actually support notorious public proponents of abortion, infanticide, and other evils?

The other pro-choice [pro-death] Catholic politicians who took Communion at Nationals Stadium were House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat; Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat; and Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat.

Evidently, it was a pro-aborts love-fest at Nationals Stadium, hosted by Archbishop Wuerl. Nothing more need be said.

"Archbishop Wuerl is right that it's up to the bishop to discipline their members," said American Life League spokesman Michael Hichhorn. "But to deny Communion is not a disciplinary action; it is a defense of the Holy Eucharist."
There seem to be so few today who would defend Our Lord from profanation. It might be termed "pastorally insensitive" to do what is right.

Perhaps those who are reluctant should read Archbishop Burke's analysis: The Discipline Regarding the Denial of Holy Communion to Those Obstinately Persevering in Manifest Grave Sin. Then, they might realize that their inaction is even more scandalous, in my eyes, than these professed Catholic politicians receiving Holy Eucharist.

The truth surfaces again: Abstinence seen as key to AIDS fight in Africa

Boston, May. 9, 2008 ( - Efforts to curb the AIDS epidemic in Africa should concentrate on promoting sexual restraint, a team of Harvard researchers has concluded, after finding that condom-distribution campaigns have not significantly reduced the spread of the disease.

"We need a fairly dramatic shift in priorities, not just a minor tweaking," said Dr. Daniel Halperin, who led the research team from the Harvard School of Public Health. The group's report in Science magazine found that male circumcision had a dramatic effect in curtailing the transfer of the HIV virus. But efforts to promote condom use did not affect the spread of AIDS in Africa....

Will the moral relativists and condom promoters label this as another flawed study?

Northern California Call to Action Website Shutdown?

For those who want to see the pictures or looney video of the "Mr Potato Head Liturgy" posted here, the links are currently down. The reason?

Your website has been suspended!

The web hosting account that hosts this website has been blocked due to high bandwidth usage!

If you are the owner of this website, please login to your hosting Control Panel and order additional traffic quota.

If you are a visitor to this website, please access this page later.

This website is hosted by

Apparently it became a popular hit! And the additional traffic probably costs the heretical organization more money. I hope they pay the bill soon.

When I think of pics and video, I can only think, "Groooovy, man!"

The video has made its way to YouTube here:

Warning - Don't watch it after or during meals or while imbibing your favorite liquids.

Missouri Cures Without Cloning Campaign Update

From Jaci Winship at Missouri Cures without Cloning:

I know many of you have questions as we shift our focus longer term and I hope this email will answer those questions.

First, as noted by one liberal blog, our commitment to protecting our state from becoming a haven for human cloning experiments continues to discourage cloners from setting up shop in Missouri. While our movement to close the human cloning loophole in our constitution builds, our coalition partners work hard to protect taxpayer dollars from this unethical, unnecessary and unproven research. All of us working together will be victorious because Missourians do not support human cloning experiments.

Many of you have asked about the logistics and timeline for the next phase of the campaign.

This summer and fall we will hold informational meetings across the state. These meetings will provide an opportunity for us to share ideas and plans. We will also continue to expose the deceptions about human cloning and share the truth about the scientific breakthroughs that provide real cures and treatments.

In addition to the Presidential race, many critical Missouri leaders will be elected this November. I encourage you to actively support candidates who stand with us in opposition to human cloning.

This November, we will submit our initiative petition for the 2010 general election to the Secretary of State. We are prepared for the possibility that Robin Carnahan will still hold the office and will be as devious and misleading as she has been during this term. However, even if we have to proceed through another court challenge, we should have ample time to collect signatures. We could be collecting signatures a year from now!

Thank you all for your time, talent and financial support of this critical effort to protect human dignity. I look forward to meeting with you over the next few months as together we continue to build our extensive grassroots movement toward victory in 2010.

October beatification for John Paul 2?

The late Pope John Paul II could be beatified in October this year to coincide with the 30th anniversary of his election to the papacy, a Polish newspaper predicts.

Catholic World News says the Vatican has not commented on the report that appeared in the Dziennik newspaper.

But the cause for beatification of the late Pontiff still has several hurdles to clear, and the Vatican would undoubtedly want to allow a substantial period of time to prepare for the beatification ceremony, CWN believes....

Liturgy, Stem Cell Research, Topics at June Bishops' Meeting

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Matters of liturgy and language will dominate the agenda of the U.S. bishops' spring meeting June 12-14 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Fla. But such hot-button issues as embryonic stem-cell research, medically assisted nutrition and hydration, and clergy sex abuse also will come before the bishops....

As they begin what Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., chairman of the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship, called "the final phase of the process of translation and approval of the Roman Missal for use in the United States," the bishops will vote on a new translation of the proper prayers for each Sunday and feast day during the liturgical year...

Gospel for Friday, 7th Week of Easter

Old Calendar: St. Gregory Nazianzen; bishop, confessor and doctor

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, May 08, 2008

Just for Today, May 9

Unless I put myself in this disposition, to be willing to be despised and forsaken by all creatures, and to be esteemed nothing at all, I cannot arrive at inward peace and strength, nor be spiritually enlightened, nor fully united to Thee.

-Bk. III, ch. xli.

I said to her: If you continue to live for some time, no one will be able to understand your illness. She answered gaily: "What will that matter? Everyone is free to despise me; that is what I have always wanted, and now at the end of my life I shall see my desire fulfilled!"

-Novissima Verba
For more information, see this post.
Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.

Thoughts and Counsels - May 9

If you persevere until death in true devotion to Mary, your salvation is certain.

-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 May 9, Joy

"Health is not contagious; sickness is."

It is true, alas! certain sicknesses do spread, not only sicknesses of the body but also those of the soul, in particular, sadness and down-heartedness; someone who easily gives way to feelings or is readily disturbed, diminishes or at least risks diminishing the morale of the whole group.

But is it true that health is not contagious?

Bodily health we need not discuss, but what about that of the soul? If it is true that one person's dejection weighs on a whole group, cannot the serene joy of an individual, on the contrary, up­lift the whole group? Nothing is more contagious than enthusiasm! One alert step forward and a whole assembly moves into action.

Who can deny the inspirational force of a strong morale, of a judicious and serene optimism rising, not from simplicity of in­telligence, but from interior strength of the will; not from an imagination prompt to distort reality or from an over-exalted sensi­tiveness, but from balance, a sane outlook, and a profound faith.

Joy spreads. By our joy we must win others to joy. Our happi­ness should enkindle theirs.

As a child, the future Ursuline, Marie de l'Incarnation (Marie Guyard)" was very joyful; she imagined that on that account her mother thought her unfit for the religious life. "I believe that my mother thought me unfit for the cloister because of my gay and pleasant disposition which she considered incompatible with the virtue of religion."

The contrary is true. The religious life needs and must have only cheerful souls.

Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

What's Your Moral I. Q.? Love of thy Neighbor

Allow ten points for each question. One hundred per cent means that you are a moral theologian; 90, you know the law; 80, you are about average; 70, you'd better join a study club.

1. What is love of our neighbor?

2. Must we include Osama Bin Laden and other notorius people in our love of our neighbor?

3. Mary wishes John to become very sick in order that he may return to the Sacraments. Does Mary love John?

4. Is it sinful to avoid meeting our personal enemy in order not to become angry with him?

5. Wealthy Nellie carelessly destroys Jack's $20,000 convertible roadster, and she asks Jack's forgiveness. Would Jack fail in charity if he forgave her and sued her for damages?

6. I know that Fred is in mortal sin and in danger of death. I am the only one who can get him to go to confession. Am I bound to help him?

7. Alex, washed overboard in a storm in the North Atlantic, is drowning. Am I
bound to go in affer him to save him?

8. Am I bound to help my neighbor in ordinary need?

9. Are we obliged to love some of our neighbors more than others?

10. Am I ever allowed to hate anyone?

Answers tomorrow...

Adapted from The Queen's Work Magazine, May 1946

Something Worth Remembering: Developing a Catholic Sense

A great article available from TFP and written by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira in the early 30's:

Catholic doctrine is one thing and Catholic sense another. There are several points where Catholic doctrine is applied with great advantage when it is aided by Catholic sense.

Catholic doctrine does not condemn priestly marriage. But Catholic sense, profoundly identified with the thought of the Church, understands that in the real world, the grandeur of the priesthood demands priestly celibacy.

Catholic doctrine is perfectly compatible with the early organization of the Church, in which some ecclesiastical posts were filled through election by the faithful among themselves. But Catholic sense, while understanding the advantage of this system in other times, today intransigently defends the present organization of the Church, the only one compatible with the circumstances of our times.

In short, knowledge of Catholic doctrine is for us as necessary as it is, for a navigator, to know the position of the stars as he watches the skies to orient his route. For its part, Catholic sense represents the practical knowledge of the pilot who, mindful of the treacherous reefs and sandbanks, turns his eyes not only to the skies but also to the sea, looking for the dangers he must avoid.

Without both things, that is, knowledge of the stars and the obstacles hidden in the sea, navigation is impossible.

Likewise, without a serious knowledge of Catholic doctrine and a keen Catholic sense, it is impossible to navigate safely through this stormy ocean in which we sail....
Some would have believe otherwise and, of course, they would be wrong.

Source: The American TFP

FSSP granted a personal parish in Rome

It is with great joy that the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter announces the opening of a personal parish in the Diocese of Rome. The decree of erection of the parish, which is dated Easter day of 2008, states that in conformity with art. 10 of Summorum Pontificum, "and after having received the proposal of the Cardinal Vicar, the Holy Father has established that in the central sector of the Diocese of Rome, in the 1st District, and in a fitting place of worship, namely, the Church of Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini [...] should be erected a personal parish, in order to guarantee proper pastoral care for the entire community of Traditional faithful residing in the same Diocese".

The Fraternity of St. Peter is deeply grateful to the Holy Father and his Vicar, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, to be entrusted with this parish in the See of Peter. Of the many dioceses where the Fraternity serves, this is the tenth apostolate which has been erected as a full personal parish, and the first in Europe. It is hoped that this particular parish will serve not only the local parishioners, but that it will also provide a fine example of the beauty and solemnity of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite to the many pilgrims and students in Rome. Rev. Joseph Kramer, FSSP, has been appointed as the first pastor of the parish Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini, Rector of the venerable Archconfraternity of the same name, and Rector of the church.

The installation of Fr. Kramer as pastor, and official opening Mass of the parish will take place on June 8, 2008. The Fraternity of St. Peter asks for your prayers in carrying out these new duties towards the faithful, and the Diocese of Rome.

From the General Secretariat FSSP, on May 7, 2008.

Pope to make apology in Sydney to abuse victims

THE Pope is set to make an historic apology when he visits Sydney in July - to the tens of thousands of Australians sexually and physically abused by predatory Catholic priests.

Church sources have told The Daily Telegraph there is mounting expectation that Pope Benedict XV1 will use his Australian trip to express his shame and regret over the church's long-running abuse scandal - and may also meet with victims....

I understand that the majority of the victims were post-pubescent adolescents, indicating that in Australia, like the US, this was largely a problem with homosexuality.

As always, let us offer our prayers for the victims of these criminal assaults and pray for the conversoin of the priests involved in these crimes.

Read more here.

Pentecost Reflections

These are a re-posting from last year's reflections:
A Reflection for Pentecost

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

A Pentecost Reflection by Marcellino D'Ambrosio

The Holy Spirit and Confession


Gospel for Thursday, 7th Week of Easter

Old Calendar: Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel; St. Acathius, martyr (RM)

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 07, 2008

Just for Today, May 8

Oh! happy mind and blessed soul, which deserves to receive Thee, her Lord God, devoutly! and in receiving Thee to be filled with spiritual joy. Oh! how great a Lord does she entertain! how beloved a guest does she bring into her house! how sweet a companion does she receive! how faithful a friend does she accept of! how beautiful and how noble a spouse does she embrace, who deserves to be loved above all her beloved, and beyond all that she can desire.

Let heaven and earth, with all their attire, be silent in Thy presence, O my dearest Beloved; for whatever praise or beauty they have, is all the gift of Thy bounty; nor can they come up to the beauty of Thy name, of whose wisdom there is no end.

-Bk. IV, ch. iii.

Oh! how sweet was Our Lord's first visit to my soul! It was like a loving kiss; I felt that I was loved, and in return I said: I love Thee and give myself to Thee for ever! Jesus asked nothing of me, no sacrifice. Long ago He and little Teresa had exchanged looks and understood each other. On this day it was more than a look, it was a fusion; Teresa disappeared like a drop in the ocean, and only Jesus remained as King and Master. Had she not begged Him to take away her liberty? She feared it; feeling herself so weak and fragile, she wished to be united to the divine strength.

-The Story of a Soul (L'Histoire d'une Âme)
For more information, see this post.
Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.

Thoughts and Counsels - May 8

The servants of Mary who are in purgatory receive visits and consolations from her.

-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 May 8, Self-Disparagement

Not without reason has someone counseled: "Never speak evil of yourself"; adding ironically, "Others will take care of that."

The advice is good, even if the motive is more amusing than conclusive.

Don't speak evil of yourself. Why? - Not only is it useless, in view of the clear sightedness - or ill-will - of others; but it may also be harmful: harmful sometimes to one's field of activity, harm­ful to the virtues one desires to practice.

The best reputation is not too good to accomplish well what God demands; it is useless then to insist upon defects more or less real; if they are real, be quiet about them, others will see them; if they are imaginary or exaggerated, what is the use of misrepresenting the truth?

But, some will say, to accuse oneself is virtuous.

Is that not often a manifestation of vanity? Some abase them­selves just to see their humility admired. Is it humility to want others to consider you humble?

We want none of that which some have called humility with a hook.

"O Mary, in this month which is especially dedicated to you, teach me your great virtues and particularly humility. Your servant, St. Francis de Sales, said that 'humility is like the chain of a rosary whose beads consist of other virtues.' Well, if the beads of virtues are very snall, grant that at least the chain which holds and links them may be of strong, unbreakable metal."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

News from Saint Francis de Sales Oratory

The following Email newsletter contains information about:

Pentecost Sunday-Whitsunday,

K of C Council # 14067-Mothers Day Brunch,

Visit of the Very Rev. Msgr. Gilles Wach-Founder and Prior General
Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest


Sunday May 11, 2007: Pentecost Sunday
10 am First Holy Communion
After 8 am and 10 am Masses: 2nd Annual Mother’s Day Breakfast by the Knights of Columbus in the church hall: Please Contact Mr. Tom Leith at 314. 481. 2512 to make your reservation. Reservations end on Friday May 9th. The price is $15.00 for adults, $10.00 for children 12 and under, and FREE for children 3 and under.
Recital of the Oratory Choirs at the Breakfast

Sunday May 25, 2007: Corpus Christi
10 am Solemn High Mass with Procession.
The Choir will sing Mozart’s “Spatzen-Messe”

Tuesday, June 3, 2007: Visit of the Very Rev. Msgr. Gilles Wach, Founder and Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest
6:30 pm Votive Mass of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Perpetual Help Devotions
Mass will be followed by a reception in the church hall.

Dear Faithful and Friends of St. Francis de Sales Oratory,

For several of our smallest Oratory members, this Pentecost Sunday is a most significant day—the day of their First Holy Communion, the day they receive our blessed Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. Now they receive for the first time the food which will strengthen them spiritually and grow them into strong members of Christ’s Mystical Body. Let us all pray for them that they will receive Our Lord frequently and grow closer to Him each day. It is very fitting that we celebrate the First Communion on this feast of Pentecost because it is the Holy Ghost who unites us in the sacramental life of the Church with Christ, the head of His Mystical Body and through Him with the Heavenly Father.

It is also very fitting that this year on the same day we honor all our mothers here at the Oratory. The Blessed Virgin Mary, the new Eve and prototype of all mothers is the Bride of the Holy Ghost. Mothers’ Day is a good opportunity to remember all of our mothers and pray for them. This is the second year the Knights of Columbus are hosting a breakfast buffet for Mothers in our Oratory hall. I wish them all well and a happy, gracious day of relaxation with their families.

I am also most grateful to the Music Department at the Oratory and to Our Music Director, Mr. Nick Botkins, for the recital they will give on the occasion of the breakfast in the church hall. This should be a great encouragement to join and to support our choirs in their hard work for the dignity and beauty of the liturgy. It is with great joy that we can announce today that on the external solemnity of Corpus Christi, on Sunday May 25 during the Solemn High Mass (10am) that precedes the Solemn Procession with the Blessed Sacrament, the choir will sing the “Spatzenmesse” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This will contribute a lot to the solemnity of this celebration and we are most grateful for this expression of love and veneration of our Lord, present in the Holy Eucharist.

On Tuesday, June 3, we will have the occasion to welcome the beloved founder and Prior General of our Institute, the Very Rev. Msgr. Gilles Wach. At 6:30 pm he will celebrate the Votive Mass of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, followed by the traditional Perpetual Help Devotions. It would be a wonderful expression of gratitude for the work and the presence of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest if many of you could attend this Mass. It will be followed by a reception in the Church hall where everyone will be able to meet and greet with Msgr.Wach.

Finally, there is wonderful news about our highly venerated Archbishop, His Grace, The Most Rev. Raymond L. Burke. Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has honored him by appointing him to two Vatican offices. He has been named to the Pontifical Commission for Legislative Texts, which interprets canon law, and to the Congregation for the Clergy, which regulates questions of the life of the clergy. These appointments confirm the great pastoral wisdom and strength of our beloved shepherd and our Institute as the clergy and the faithful of St. Francis de Sales Oratory congratulate His Grace wholeheartedly on this expression of confidence and esteem by the Holy Father. We gratefully renew the assurance of our faithful prayers for the intentions of our Archbishop: May he stand and shepherd in Thy strength, O Lord, in the sublimity of Thy name - Stet et pascat, in fortitudine tua, Domine, in sublimitate nominis tui.

Yours devotedly in Christ the King,
Fr. Karl W. Lenhardt
Episcopal Delegate/Rector/Vice Provincial

Ordinary schedule of Masses at the Oratory:

Daily: 8:00am Low Mass
Sunday: 8:00am Low Mass, 10:00 Solemn High Mass
Tuesday: 6:30pm Low Mass, followed by Perpetual Help devotions
Wednesday: 8am; 12:00 NOON, Low Mass
Thursday: 7:00pm Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament with Benediction
First Friday: 7:00pm Solemn High Mass
Holy Days: 8:00am, and 12:10pm, 7:00pm Solemn High Mass
Confessions/ Holy Rosary 30mins before all Masses

For more information:

Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest
St. Francis de Sales Oratory
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Russell Shaw: On Clericalism

Imagine a man who wakes up in the morning with a headache, fever, and chills. The symptoms persist and are there when he goes to bed that night. Next day, it's the same thing again -- headache, fever, chills. This continues day after day, week after week, over and over. Finally the poor man starts to think: "I guess this is how people always feel. I just have to live with it."

The Catholic Church is something like that man. In the Church, the illness is called clericalism. We Catholics have suffered from it so long that most of us take it for granted. In fact, we're clericalists ourselves. "That's how it is," we say. And our symptoms persist.

They look like this:...
While not really a Russell Shaw fan, I thought it might be worth reading reading what he says about the topic.

Acts of the Apostles : the First Pentecost

This is from a website which has scans of Catholic comics from the 40 through the 60s...Some worthwhile stuff here. Of course, it's pre VCII, but nevertheless, these comics, no doubt, were used as an educational tool to enrich the lives of many children with historical/scriptural knowledge...

I think I need to spend some time there to see what so many children are mssing today. I did a search on the keyword "catholic" and had hundreds of titles to choose from...looks to be a wonderful resource.

Fratres Blog: Mr. Potato Head Concelebrates the Holy Mass?

The closing Liturgy of the 2008 West Coast Call To Action Conference, held in San Jose, California, last week (see “highlights” below) demonstrates why faithful Catholics must move to convince U.S. Bishops that the time has come for the full dissolution of all false renewal (see: dissent) groups within the Church such as Call To Action....
That this occurred in San Jose should net be much of a surprise...Need anyone wonder why Bishop Bruskewitz excommunicated members of this group? Naw, I didn't think so. Anyway, here’s a link to the video.

This is probably similar, in a great many respects, to the "women's led liturgies" sponsored by Catholic Action Network.

For more pictures of this spectacle, look at the CTA "closing liturgy" photos here. Make sure you put on the armor of faith beforehand, though - you'll be entering the devil's lair...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Gospel for Wednesday, 7th Week of Easter

Old Calendar: St. Stanislaus, bishop and martyr

From: John 17:11b-19

The Priestly Prayer of Jesus (Continuation)

(Jesus lifted his eyes to heaven and said, ) [11b] "Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou has given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. [12] While I was with them, I kept them in thy name, which thou hast given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. [13] But now I am coming to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. [14] I have given them thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world. [15] I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one. [16] They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. [17] Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth. [18] As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. [19] And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.

11-19. Jesus now asks the Father to give his disciples four things--unity, perseverance, joy and holiness. By praying him to keep them in his name (v. 11) he is asking for their perseverance in the teaching he has given them (cf. v. 6) and in communion with him. An immediate consequence of this perseverance is unity: "that they may be one, even as we are one"; this unity which he asks for his disciples is a reflection of the unity of the three divine Persons.

He also prays that none of them should be lost, that the Father should guard and protect them, just as he himself protected them while he was still with them. Thirdly, as a result of their union with God and perseverance they will share in the joy of Christ (v. 13): in this life, the more we know God and the more closely we are joined to him, the happier will we be; in eternal life our joy will be complete, because our knowledge and love of God will have reached its climax.

Finally, he prays for those who, though living in the world, are not of the world, that they may be truly holy and carry out the mission he has entrusted to them, just as he did the work his Father gave him to do.

12. "That the scripture might be fulfilled": this is an allusion to what he said to the Apostles a little earlier (Jn 13:18) by directly quoting Scripture: "He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me" (Ps 41:10). Jesus makes these references to Judas' treachery in order to strengthen the Apostles' faith by showing that he knew everything in advance and that the Scriptures had already foretold what would happen.

However, Judas went astray through his own fault and not because God arranged things that way; his treachery had been taking shape little by little, through his petty infidelities, and despite our Lord helping him to repent and get back on the right rode (cf. note on Jn 13:21-32); Judas did not respond to this grace and was responsible for his own downfall. God, who sees the future, predicted the treachery of Judas in the Scripture; Christ, being God, knew that Judas would betray him and it is with immense sorrow that he now tells the Apostles.

14-16. In Sacred Scripture "world" has a number of meanings. First, it means the whole of creation (Gen 1:1ff) and, within creation, mankind, which God loves most tenderly (Prov 8:31). This is the meaning intended here when our Lord says, "I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one" (v. 15). "I have taught this constantly using words from holy Scripture. The world is not evil, because it has come from God's hands, because it is his creation, because Yahweh looked upon it and saw that it was good (cf. Gen 1:7ff). We ourselves, mankind, make it evil and ugly with our sins and infidelities. Have no doubt: any kind of evasion from the honest realities of daily life is for you, men and women of the world, something opposed to the will of God" ([St] J. Escriva, "Conversations", 114).

In the second place, "world" refers to the things of this world, which do not last and which can be at odds with the things of the spirit (cf. Mt 16:26).

Finally, because evil men have been enslaved by sin and by the devil, "the ruler of the world" (Jn 12:31; 16:11), the "world" sometimes means God's enemy, something opposed to Christ and his followers (Jn 1:10). In this sense the "world" is evil, and therefore Jesus is not of the world, nor are his disciples (v. 16). It is also this pejorative meaning which is used by traditional teaching which describes the world, the flesh and the devil as enemies of the soul against which one has to be forever vigilant. "The world, the flesh and the devil are a band of adventurers who take advantage of the weakness of that savage you bear within you, and want you to hand over to them, in exchange for the glittering tinsel of a pleasure--which is worth nothing--the pure gold and the pearls and the diamonds and rubies drenched in the life-blood of your God-Redeemer, which are the price and the treasure of your eternity" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 708).

17-19. Jesus prays for the holiness of his disciples. God alone is the Holy One; in his holiness people and things share. "Sanctifying" has to do with consecrating and dedicating something to God, excluding it from being used for profane purposes; thus God says to Jeremiah: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations" (Jer 1:5). If something is to be consecrated to God it must be perfect, that is, holy. Hence, a consecrated person needs to have moral sanctity, needs to be practising the moral virtues. Our Lord here asks for both things for his disciples, because they need them if they are to fulfill their supernatural mission in the world.

"For their sake I consecrate myself": these words mean that Jesus Christ, who has been burdened with the sins of men, consecrates himself to the Father through his sacrifice on the Cross. By this are all Christians sanctified: "So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood" (Heb 13:12). So, after Christ's death, men have been made sons of God by Baptism, sharers in the divine nature and enabled to attain the holiness to which they have been called (cf. Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 40).
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.

Just for Today, May 7

I have often said to thee, and I repeat it again: forsake and resign thyself, and thou shalt enjoy a great inward peace. Give all for all; seek nothing, call for nothing back; stand purely, and with a full confidence in Me, and thou shalt possess Me.

-Bk. III, ch. xxxvii.

Jesus has shown me the only way that leads to the fire of divine love: it is that of a little child who, full of trust, falls asleep in its father's arms. The Holy Ghost speaking by the mouth of Solomon says: Whosoever is a little one, let him come to me (Prov. ix, 4), and the same Spirit of love affirms that to him that is little, mercy is granted (Wisd. vi, 7). The prophet Isaias reveals to us that at the last day the Lord shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather together the lambs with his arm, and shall take them up in his bosom (Is. xl, 11).

As if these assurances were not enough, the same prophet cries out in God's name: You shall be carried at the breasts, and upon the knees they shall caress you. As one whom the mother caresseth, so will I comfort you (ibid. lxvi, 12).

After hearing words such as these, one can only remain silent, overwhelmed by love and gratitude. If other souls, as weak and imperfect as I am, could experience what I feel, not one would despair of reach­ing the summit of the heights of love, as all Our Lord asks for is self-surrender and gratitude.

-The Story of a Soul (L'Histoire d'une Âme)
For more information, see this post.
Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.

Thoughts and Counsels - May 7

Let us consider what the glorious Virgin en­dured, and what the holy apostles suffered, and we shall find that they who were nearest to Jesus Christ were the most afflicted.

-St. Teresa.
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 May 7, Mutual Support

I have my faults, each one around me has hers. The desire for perfection did not transform us into seraphim at the beginning of our novitiate. It is only by daily striving that the edifice of perfection is erected. Just as I must admit that I still have faults, so I must expect that my neighbor has his foibles and limitations even after long years in religious life.

Consequently we must bear with one another.

That is one of the first exigencies of community life. Sometimes it happens that all live in cordial harmony without any serious dis­agreement or friction. Thank God for that, but remember it does not happen frequently. More often God permits incompatibility of temperaments, many little occasions of disagreement and fre­quent divergencies of opinion. It is all excellent for the general practice of patience.

I must not be surprised or scandalized, or use it as an excuse for never forming an opinion of my own. I must have enough virtue to smooth down my own rough comers and to overlook the unintentional sharpness of others so that I do not suffer excessively from them; I must have enough human kindliness and religious spirit to develop a healthy optimism and always to take things in good part.

And if I must get angry sometimes, let it be with myself and not with others.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Archbishop Burke among Three U.S. Prelates Given Vatican Appointments by Benedict XVI

And Archbishop Burke is one of those...

Vatican City, May 6, 2008 / 11:03 am (CNA).- Today Pope Benedict appointed members to the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and the Congregation for the Clergy. Among the appointees are two American archbishops and one cardinal.
The new appointments [to the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts] are: Cardinals Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;...Archbishops John Joseph Myers of Newark, U.S.A., and Raymond Leo Burke of Saint Louis, U.S.A...
Archbishop Burke was also appointed to the Congregation for the Clergy. Congratulations and prayers go out to him and the others with their additional responsibilities.

Cardinal Cipriani challenges "invented" human rights

Lima, May. 6, 2008 ( - Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima, Peru, has warned against a proliferation of supposed human rights that are "invented" by international organizations, the ACI-Prensa news agency reports.

In his weekly radio address, Cardinal Cipriani observed that genuine human rights are "based on natural law, a law that is etched on men's hearts." These rights, he added, are not created by a mandate from the UN or any other human organization....

CAN unveils its "Catholic, Open and Affirming" Curriculum

On its main web page, Catholic Action Network & "Holy Familes" states:
Our Holy Families working group unveiled it’s “Catholic, Open and Affirming” Curriculum, which will assist faith communities with discussing the issues surrounding sexual orientation.

The "Catholic, Open and Affirming" Curriculum can be facilitated in small faith-sharing groups. Contact CAN to discuss bringing "Catholic, Open and Affirming" to your community. The curriculum is a helpful way to have healthy dialogue surrounding the issues surrounding homosexuality and the church.

We are looking for people who would be interested in facilitating the "Catholic, Open and Affirming" Curriculum.

Since "Holy Families" was "born," so to speak, at St Cronans, some might wonder if the "COPA" program there is the same as or similar to that promoted by CAN?

From the 4/13 St Cronan bulletin we read:

This weekend we begin a four-week series of discussions concerning the kind and character of welcome we extend to LGBT Catholics in our midst. The Pastoral Team and the Parish Council have whole-heartedly embraced this model of discussion and theological reflection. It’s crucial that you make a commitment to participate in COPA. There are two sessions each week – you can attend either session based on your schedule. If you’re unable to attend either session on a particular week, you can catch-up online at; but we encourage you to make every effort to participate each week, because the program builds on the group’s work from the previous sessions.

We owe a special debt of thanks to the faithful men and women who have shepherded the COPA project and curriculum to this point. This parish is grateful for the hours and years of work that have gone into this program. Your love for the People of God is evident in your passion, your care, and your advocacy for truthtelling....

One wonders what sort of "truth" is being told and if it's in accord with the teachings of the Church?

USCCB: New Executive Director for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations

WASHINGTON—Father James P. Steffes, rector of Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minnesota, has been named executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. He succeeds Msgr. Edward Burns, who returns to the Diocese of Pittsburgh for pastoral work. The new appointment becomes effective August 1.....