Saturday, June 28, 2008

More from St Cronan Parish

Minneapolis has its confused St Joan of Arc parish and St Louis has St Cronan's, where Sister Louise Lears, S.C., was recently relieved of her positions as a member of the "Pastoral Team" and Coordinator of Religious Education anywhere in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. One might reasonably assume that the self-appointed title of "co-pastor" no longers applies [actually it never did]...

See:
Statement Regarding the Canonical Discipline of Sr. Louise Lears, S.C.,

Decree of Extra-Judicial Adjudication In the Matter of Sr. Louise Lears, S.C.,

Questions and Answers Regarding the Matter of Sr. Louise Lears, S.C.
Now the website hosts a rainbow banner and notice about "St. Louis Pride Weekend" [Screen capture below]



The bulletin for this weekend states:
Happy Pride Weekend! The St. Louis Pride Parade steps off at noon Sunday on South Grand. Blessings on all the LGBTQ folk and families who have found a spiritual home at Saint Cronan — thank you for sharing your journey of faith with us all.

And some wonder why this continues at a Catholic parish?

Finally, Louis Lears writes a farewell note to the St Cronan community:

The Pastors’ Peace

My Dear Community
Many of you know that this is my last week as a member of the Pastoral Team. I will continue to be an active member of our parish and neighborhood family through the end of August...

In the past 2½ years, you have taught me how to pastor, how to lead and how to follow, how to accompany and how to vision. You have been patient and encouraging as I learned—with my amazing colleagues and brothers Seán and Gerry—to be a member of the Pastoral Team....

Dissent and obstinacy - do good works make up for these evils?


From the homily on "Catholic Profession" from the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, we read:
It would be of no use to say then: "Lord, I am a Catholic; the Church is my mother; I have professed the faith, I have received Sacraments, I have known and held the truth." Christ would say to us: "Not every one that saith, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doth the will of My Father who is in heaven....I never knew you; depart from Me, you that work iniquity."

Who is supporting the opposition of the natural moral law and of the teachings of Christ and His Church?

Now by open violence of persecution, now by insidious temptations of worldly advantages, now by attacking Catholic education, now by the spread of evil ideas, immoral ideas, revolutionary ideas by means of the press, by calumniating the Church, holding her sacred teachings up to ridicule as old-fashioned, childish and superstitious; attacking the sacred institutions of marriage and the family, advocating divorce and giving facilities by law for the violation of holy matrimony, the remarriage of divorced persons, [and sanctioning homosexuality] - one professes by one's membership of the Catholic Church, to be against all this.
The answer is clear!

Just for Today, June 29

Fight like a good soldier: and if sometimes thou fall through frailty, rise up again, with greater strength than before, confiding in My more abundant grace; but take great care thou yield not to any vain complacency and pride. Through this, many are led into error, and sometimes fall into incurable blindness. Let this fall of the proud, who foolishly rely on their own strength, serve thee for a warning, and keep thee always humble.

-Bk. III, ch. vi.
_______________

I understand why St Peter fell. He counted too much on the affection he felt for Our Lord, instead of relying on the strength of divine grace. I am, quite sure that if he had said to Our Lord: "Master, give me the courage to follow Thee even unto death," he would have obtained the grace.

I wonder why Our Lord, knowing what would happen, did not say to him: "Ask Me for the grace to accomplish what you desire"? I think it was in order to teach us two lessons: firstly, that His visible presence did not teach the Apostles more than we can learn from the inspirations of grace; secondly, that having chosen St Peter to govern the Church, whose members would include so many sinners, He wished him to learn by experience what man is without the help of God. That is why Our Lord said to him before his fall: Thou being once converted, confirm thy brethren (Luke xxii, 32), i.e., tell them the story of your fall, and show them by your own experience how necessary it is for salvation to rely solely upon God.

-Conseils et Souvenirs.
__________________
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 - June 29

Strive always to preserve freedom of spirit, so that you need do nothing with the view of pleas­ing the world, and that no fear of displeasing it will have power to shake your good resolutions.

-­Ven. Louis de Blois.
________________________
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 June 29: Lord, I Have Left All

Today's feast of St. Peter and Paul recalls, among other things, the words of the Apostles to Jesus, Lord, we have left all to follow You.

In reflecting upon the text Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you, it is said that the great Christian, Augustin Cochin, commented "Neglect to seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be taken from you as well."

The two quotations clarify each other.

In order to discover the truth of the second, I have only to look about in the world, the world of which our Savior speaks. How true it is! What it seeks in the first place is surely not the King­dom of Heaven, the development of the supernatural life, the in­crease of divine riches in the soul; the rigorous consequences have followed - all other things are lacking as well.

How do persons who possess happiness spend their time? Throwing themselves into pleasures? No indeed. Those who run after pleasure remain perpetually thirsty, pursuing eternal mirages, powerless to escape suffering, mourning, sickness, and death; powerless to procure that without which they cannot live, the comforts of earth in an ever-increasing measure, the suppres­sion of all pain or of all that causes pain and suffering.

They have cast aside the essential for the accidental, the eternal for the temporal. And so it happens that with the essential, they lose also the accidental; with the eternal, the temporal. Little does the one thing necessary matter to them; they seek to gorge themselves on the excess. And in the wake of the one thing nec­essary has followed, like a craft caught by cords to the rear of a boat, the hoped-for excess. It is as if a man had voluntarily caused a shipwreck and then sees slipping from under him the miserable raft whose support he had anticipated.

"O Lord, how much the wretchedness of the world lights up the wealth of my existence!"
_________________
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost-Catholic Profession

By the Rev. H. G. Hughes

"Not everyone that saith to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doth the will of My Father, Who is in heaven, he shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."-St. Matthew vii, 21.

It is right for us, dear brethren in Jesus Christ, to be proud of our Catholic name and our Catholic privileges, provided always that we are deeply thankful to almighty God, and acknowledge that we have been made members of His one true Church upon earth. But while we rejoice over our Catholic privileges, we must by no means forget our Catholic responsibilities. Against this forgetfulness our Divine Lord utters a serious and terrible warning in the words of my text, taken from the Gospel of to-day. "Not everyone that saith to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doth the will of My Father, who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven." And to this Christ added: "Many will say to Me in that day (that is, in the day of judgment), 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name, and cast out devils in Thy Name, and done many miracles in Thy Name?' And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you that work iniquity" (St. Matt. ix, 21-23).

These words of our Divine Lord were spoken first, it is true, to the Jews; and they were aimed especially at the Pharisees, who made much more of the observance of their traditions than they did of a good life; but they are meant for us Catholics also, members of Christ’s Church. It is as necessary for us as for the Jews to remember that we cannot be saved by a nominal adherence to our religion; that faith alone will not save us without good works; that we must endeavor to live up to the truth that we possess and profess.

The Apostles of Christ plainly and forcibly teach the same lesson to the first generation of Christians. St. Paul speaks to Titus of those who "profess that they know God; but in their works they deny Him, being abominate, and credulous, and to every good work reprobate" (Tit. i, 16). And the same Apostle tells the Corinthians that neither the possession of faith, nor kind actions, nor suffering for religion, nor, as Christ also said, even the power of working miracles, are of any avail for salvation without charity, which leads us to do the will of God: "If I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing" (I. Cor. xiii, 2, 3). And charity, love of God, is tested, Christ tells us, by the keeping of His commandments, by a good Christian life. "If you love Me, keep My commandments."

St. James gives us the same warning when he writes: "What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him? . . . So faith, also, if it have not works, is dead in itself. . . for even as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead" (St. James ii, 14, 17, 26).

We Catholics, then, dear brethren, need this warning as much as the Jews of old. They expected to be included in the kingdom of heaven by the mere fact that they were of the chosen race of Abraham; and more than once our blessed Lord was forced to undeceive them: "Think not to say within yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father'" (St. Matt. iii, 9). And when on another occasion they appealed to the fact that they were Abraham's children, He pointed out that they were no true children of Abraham unless they imitated the good deeds of Abraham: "They answered and said to Him, 'Abraham is our father,' Jesus saith to them: 'If you be the children of Abraham, do the works of Abraham. . . . You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do'" (St. John viii, 39 and 44).

Brethren, it would be a terrible thing for us if, standing at the bar of Christ's Judgment, we should hear the dreadful sentence: "Depart from Me, thou cursed, into everlasting fire." It would be of no use to say then: "Lord, I am a Catholic; the Church is my mother; I have professed the faith, I have received Sacraments, I have known and held the truth." Christ would say to us: "Not every one that saith, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doth the will of My Father who is in heaven. . . . I never knew you; depart from Me, you that work iniquity."

For, my brethren, it is not professing the faith only that will save us. We cannot be saved without the faith, for, says St. Paul: "Without .faith it is impossible to please God." But faith alone will not suffice. "What dost thou ask of the Church O God?" the priest says to those seeking Baptism. "Faith," is the answer. "What doth faith bring thee to? Life everlasting." But then the priest in the name of the Church adds: "If, then, thou desirest to enter into life, keep the commandments. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself."

It is worth while, and not only worth while, but necessary for us to ask ourselves from time to time whether our conduct is in accordance with our profession of the faith and religion of Jesus Christ, whether we are seriously and earnestly endeavoring to live up to our Catholic privileges as far as, by God's grace, we can. Surely I need not remind you at any length what your Catholic profession demands of you, or what your privileges as Catholics are! Yet let me say a few words to recall these things again to your minds. Your Catholic profession, what is it?

At your baptism you renounced the devil with all his works, the world with all its pomps and vanities, the flesh with all its temptations. Then you were ranged with Christ under the banner of His Cross against Satan and his hosts, and against the sinful world and all worldly and irreligious men who are on the side of the devil. Then you swore allegiance through your sponsors, and have since personally ratified your allegiance to Jesus Christ, your King, your Lord and your Saviour. You profess to be on His side against all the forces of evil. You profess to be one of that great army of His on earth which through the centuries fights His battle, upholds His principles and His ideals in the face of a world which hates them and will have nothing to do with them except to persecute those who hold them, and tries by any and every means to root them out of the minds and hearts of men.

Now by open violence of persecution, now by insidious temptations of worldly advantages, now by attacking Catholic education, now by the spread of evil ideas, immoral ideas, revolutionary ideas by means of the press, by calumniating the Church, holding her sacred teachings up to ridicule as old-fashioned, childish and superstitious; attacking the sacred institutions of marriage and the family, advocating divorce and giving facilities by law for the violation of holy matrimony, the remarriage of divorced persons-you profess by your membership of the Catholic Church, to be against all this.

And, dear brethren, I firmly believe that you are' against all these things that I have mentioned; I believe that you are firmly and determinedly ranged on the side of Christ and His holy Church against all these things. But Satan is crafty, and the world is insidious. It may be that, while you would look with horror upon any suggestion from the evil one that you should advocate or support any of these evils; yet you may be induced, by the craft of our great enemy, from the plausibility o~ many of the maxims of the world, by the innate weakness of human nature, almost unconsciously to adopt worldly ways and worldly principles in things that appear perhaps unimportant, but are not unimportant, since laxity about them is bound to diminish the fullness of Catholic life and energy amongst us.

Let me try to explain more fully what I mean. There are Catholics who take, if I may say so, a somewhat selfish view of their religion. They wish to save their souls; they mean to do what is necessary to save their souls. They attend Mass, they go to the Sacraments from time to time; they observe what the Church puts upon them as of obligation-but are they enthusiastic, anxious, are they even particularly interested in the grand ideals and the grand work of the Church; are they at all alive to the interests of Jesus Christ in the world, interests which the Catholic Church represents and works for; the salvation of souls, the defense of the faith, Catholic education, the cultivation of the Christian life, of vocations to the religious life and the priesthood?

Do they realize that they are members of the fighting body an army sworn to fight to the death against the soul-destroying forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil? Do they see at all the vast conflict that is going on now in the world about them, a conflict that is being waged as fiercely now as ever it was between the Church and the world, between faith and unbelief, between Christianity and 'paganism-modern paganism, but still paganism? Are they awake to the fact that the enemies of the Church, of Christ's Vicar, the Pope, yes, and of Christ Himself and of Christianity are rampant and only too successful? Look at France, at Portugal, at Italy, and even Catholic Spain-in those countries the Church and the Pope are the objects of incessant and violent attack by the press, by legal enactment, by legalized robbery of Church property, by the oppression of religious orders and the attempted extinction of Catholic schools.

Brethren, these things do not come home to us so strongly in this country, but we know too well that there are millions of our countrymen who hate the Catholic name, and who, if we gain more power and influence, would not scruple to imitate the tactics of those who are persecuting the Church on the continent of Europe. And what are we Catholics doing? What are our Catholic men doing? Many, it is to be feared, are blind to the vast interest, the vast issues which are at stake for the Church and for the human race. For, brethren, since Christ came, the true interests of humanity are bound up with the interests of Christ's universal Catholic Church. What we have to ask ourselves then is this: Am I trying to be, in my place, and in my measure, an effective unit in the great army of Christ; does my life contribute to the forwarding and the effective defense of the interests of Jesus in the world as upheld and represented by His Church of which I am a member?

But, you will say, perhaps: "How can I do this? What influence have I? How can I work for these great interests?" Brethren, that is the cry of selfishness; it is the cry of the man who cares only about himself; who thinks, if he does not ask: "Am I my brother's keeper?" Who forgets that the Church of Christ is a living body of which the health and vigor and vitality depend upon the health and vigor and vitality of its single members; who forgets that an inert and useless member is a hindrance to the whole body to which it belongs.

You ask me how you can play your part, and an effective part, in the Church's work and the Church's battle. In reply I will ask you a question-it is this: If every man in our congregation here, and every woman too, were a truly enthusiastic Catholic, having thoroughly at heart the interests of Christ, and therefore of the Church of Christ in this place-a Catholic who first and foremost, of course, for it is the only foundation on which to build, is anxious for his own spiritual health and progress; who therefore is never absent from Mass, is willingly and frequently, not only now and then, at the Sacraments; who contributes to the keeping up of a good and fervent spirit in the whole body by assiduous attention at the various services, who is thoroughly loyal to Catholic principles in daily life and in business dealings; who, because he is a good consistent Catholic is therefore upright and honest, kind and charitable; who, besides this, looks out to wider interests than even those of his own soul; or, rather, who realizes that he can not save his own soul if be neglects his duty to others and to the Church; one who does what he can, by informing himself about his religion first, and then by a word in season, as well as by his good Catholic life, to impress the truth of Catholicism on others; who will not shrink, either through laziness or timidity, from taking his part in civic life or in any public good work that a Catholic can join in; who is not ashamed to profess the faith anywhere and everywhere; one upon whom the clergy can always depend for loyal cooperation in any work that is set on foot for the advance of religion; one, in a word, who identifies himself with the Church in her great fight, and, as a consequence, identifies himself with his leaders in that fight, the holy Father, the Bishop of the Diocese, and his own priests - I say, if all Catholics in this place were like that, would not the Catholic faith be more flourishing amongst us even than it is; would not our non-Catholic friends be struck by it; would not many more, seeing our good works, glorify our Father who is in heaven by their quick submission to the one true Church of Jesus Christ?

But extend this supposition, my brethren, to all Catholics, to the Catholics of this country, to the Catholics of the world. Were all Catholics what I have described, what limits need we put then to the success of the Church, to her victories, to her progress?

It is true, dear brethren, that we must act at home, in the place where we are. But it must be with a wide outlook, and in no narrow spirit.. The narrow parochial spirit, under the plea that charity begins at home, will inevitably have the effect of blinding our eyes and shutting up our hearts to the grand interests of Catholicism; and in that way, what we do here in this place will suffer; for it will be infected by that narrow spirit. And the effects of that narrow spirit in a parish are only too well known. It is a spirit of criticism; a man will not join in some good work, will not join, for instance, some sodality or association that is established because something in it does not happen to suit his ideas. He will even depreciate such things and hinder others from joining. He will not give money to some object because he personally is not greatly impressed with the necessity of that object; or, again, does not quite approve of the way in which it is proposed to carry it out. He does not reflect that the general interests of religion will gain, by such objects, and gain all the more for his loyal support, even though to his critical eye some improvement in detail might be introduced; he does not reflect that, by holding back, he is weakening the interests of his religion. The narrow spirit is an ungenerous, niggardly spirit. The man who has it will not do more than he need.

A general Communion is asked for. He says: "Why should I go to Communion? It is not my day." Or, he will not attend evening services; perhaps because he does not like the particular form of service that is used, or he does not like sermons, or the sermons are not up to his standard of what a sermon ought to be. He forgets that a full church and good attendance at the services help to put the spirit of enthusiasm into the whole body, to say nothing of the blessing of God that he may have every time he attends the services of the Church. He is not generous enough to take this wider view of the matter. Brethren, I need not enter into any more details; your own conscience will tell you in what ways, by what increase of loyal cooperation with the Church's work in this place you can level up your Catholicism.

God forbid that I should say that Catholicism is at a low level. I do not think so. But it would be conceited of us to think or say that it is incapable of being brought to a higher level, that there is no room for improvement; that the narrow, selfish spirit is wholly exorcised from amongst us. I spoke of our Catholic privileges. How great they are! How they accompany us through life, from the cradle to the grave; precious fruits of the Passion of Jesus, red with His Blood. The Holy Mass, what an unspeakable treasure! The Sacraments, the infallible word of truth; Christ's Vicar as our teacher, leader and guide; the examples and fellowship, the help and intercession of the saints; Mary, our Mother and our Advocate; the fellowship of Christ's Holy Bride the Church; her prayers and sacrifices and blessings, in which, as her children and members, we all communicate. What reasons for gratitude are all these; what incentives to generosity; what calls to do all we can for the interests of Christ and His Church to which He has given us the grace of belonging!

And I would say especially to the Catholic men of this congregation, take these things to heart. Men can do so much for the good of religion. Ask yourselves whether you have that wide and generous conception of your Catholic privileges and responsibilities which I have tried to put before you; ask yourselves whether, satisfied with a nominal Catholicism, or, since please God there are not many whose claim to the Catholic name is wholly nominal, satisfied with a Catholicism which is not altogether free from that reproach, you may not come to some extent under the category or those who say Lord, Lord, not doing whole-heartedly, generously, ungrudgingly the Will of their Father who is in Heaven, that Will which is not that we should be content with small things, but that we all, by our full and vigorous Catholic life, both as individuals and as a body, should unanimously work together, as St. Paul says, "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ, until we all meet"-those as yet outside, dear brethren, as well as those within the fold-"into that unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. iv, 12, 13).
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Adapted from Plain Sermons by Practical Preachers, Vol. II(©1916)
Nihil Obstat: Remegius Lafort, S.T.D
Imprimatur: John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

Gospel for June 28, Memorial: St Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr

Saturday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time
Old Calendar: St. Irenaeus; Vigil of Saints Peter and Paul


From: Matthew 8:5-17

The Centurion's Faith

[5] As He (Jesus) entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to Him, beseeching Him [6] and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress." [7] And He said to him, "I will come and heal him." [8] But the centurion answered Him, "Lord, I am not worthy to have You come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. [9] For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, `Go,' and he goes, and to another, `Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, `Do this,' and he does it." [10] When Jesus heard him, He marvelled, and said to those who followed Him, "Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. [11] I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven, [12] while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." [13] And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go; be it done for you as you have believed." And the servant was healed at that very moment.

A Number of Cures

[14] And when Jesus entered Peter's house, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick with fever; [15] He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and served Him. [16] That evening they brought to Him many who were possessed with demons; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick. [17] This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, "He took our infirmities and bore our diseases."
___________________

Commentary:

5-11. "Centurion": an officer of the Roman army in control of one hundred men. This man's faith is still an example to us. At the solemn moment when a Christian is about to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the Church's liturgy places on his lips and in his heart these words of the centurion, to enliven his faith: Lord, I am not worthy...".

The Jews of this time regarded any Jew who entered a Gentile's house as contracting legal impurity (cf. John 19:28; Acts 11:2-3). This centurion has the deference not to place Jesus in an embarrassing position in the eyes of His fellow Israelites. He shows that he is convinced that Jesus has the power over disease and illness; he suggests that if Jesus just says the word, He will do what is needed without having actually to visit the house; he is reasoning, in a simple, logical way, on the basis of his own professional experience. Jesus avails of this meeting with a Gentile believer to make a solemn prophecy to the effect that His Gospel is addressed to the world at large; all men, of every nation and race, of every age and condition, are called to follow Christ.

14-15. After his body--or soul--is healed, everyone is called to "rise up" from his previous position, to serve Jesus Christ. No laments, no delays; instead one should make oneself immediately available to the Lord.

16-17. The expulsion of evil spirits is one of the main signs of the establishment of the Kingdom of God (cf. Matthew 12:8). Similarly, the healing of diseases, which ultimately are the result of sin, is one of the signs of the "works of the Messiah" proclaimed by the prophets (cf. Isaiah 29:18; 35:5-6).
___________________________
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Just for Today, June 28

Thou thunderest forth over my head Thy judgements, O Lord, and Thou shakest all my bones with fear and trembling, and my soul is terrified exceedingly. I stand astonished, and consider that the heavens are not pure in Thy sight.

If in the angels Thou hast found sin, and hast not spared them, what will become of me? Stars have fallen from heaven, and I that am but dust, how can I presume?

-Bk. III, ch. xiv.
________________

Our justices, they are as nought
Before Thy judgement-throne;
Where angels failed, I too would fail
If I stood there alone.
O Thou didst thunder on the mount,
Yet love bids me draw near,
Unite my sacrifice to Thine
And banish every fear.

-Poems.
__________________
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 - June 28

Whilst here below our actions can never be en­tirely free from negligence, frailty, or defect; but we must not throwaway the wheat because of the chaff.

-Ven. John Tauler.
________________________
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 June 28, Broken Moments

Of St. Frances of Rome, a matron of the fifteenth century, it is told that on one occasion while she was saying the Office of the Blessed Virgin, her husband called her. She stopped immediately, returning later to her prayers. Scarcely had she begun again, when again she was summoned. Four times in succession she was inter­rupted, but she did not lose her smile. When she returned finally to finish her prayer, she found the verse written in her book in beauti­ful letters of gold.

How often do I not experience interruptions, particularly in certain activities! Do I then practice the exquisite patience and smiling self-control of St. Frances, or do I, rather, allow my annoy­ance to be seen? How quick I am to murmur: "A person never has a minute to oneself! I'm always being disturbed! A person can't live any more!"

Yes, not a minute to oneself. Our minutes belong to God and to our neighbor. Always to be disturbed! This is truly life. This is life, and what more than this can constitute a great life, if I know how to animate all these bits of time, all these twigs of action with the right disposition of soul?

After all, what would there be to my life if it were not for the utilization of odd moments. The Little Sisters of the Poor made pretty quilts for the old men's beds from little diamond-shaped pieces of goods cut out from remnants. I must learn the art of making use of odds and ends; it's a useful art in the kitchen; it is useful for sanctity.

There is nothing more agreeable than to have long hours to one­self, and for certain types of work it is to be desired. But, if it is my lot to have only broken time, God be praised for it!

Lord, teach me to make my life a great one with a multitude of little actions. Each letter of the alphabet is a scarcely noticeable sign, yet through the combination of many of these little signs, a poet succeeds in writing a beautiful poem. With the letters and the words of the whole world give me the grace to compose a unique and truly divine poem.
_________________
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Bishop Robert Hermann Elected Archdiocesan Administrator

From the Archdiocesan website:

Bishop Robert J. Hermann The Archdiocesan College of Consultors―a seven-member board of advisors made up of priests of the Archdiocese of St. Louis―has elected the Most Rev. Robert J. Hermann, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, to serve as archdiocesan administrator.

In this role, Bishop Hermann will oversee the day-to-day operations of the archdiocese until the installation of a successor to Archbishop Raymond L. Burke.

Bishope Hermann was born in Weingarten, Missouri, in 1934. He undertook his studies for the priesthood at St. Louis Preparatory Seminary, Cardinal Glennon College, and Kenrick Seminary, and was ordained a priest in 1963. He was appointed as a bishop by Pope John Paul II on October 16, 2002. His episcopal ordination took place at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis on December 12, 2002, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Link.

St Cronan Parish Council Issues Statement Regarding Louise Lears

STATEMENT OF THE PARISH COUNCIL
OF SAINT CRONAN CHURCH
in the matter of the Canonical Discipline of
Sister Louise Lears, S.C.
27 June 2008

Sister Louise Lears was removed from the Pastoral Team of Saint Cronan Church by the action of Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke on Thursday 26 June 2008. No communication was received by the pastor or people of the parish, other than the publication of the "Decree of Extra-Judicial Adjudication" on the Archdiocesan web site late in the day 26 June 2008. The decree relieves Sr. Louise of her service to us and our children and seeks to remove her from our common worship, effective immediately.

The people of Saint Cronan Church wholeheartedly support the pastoral work of Sr. Louise Lears and have been edified by her depth of caring for the people of this parish, our children, the children of our neighbors, and the men and women who call the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood of St. Louis home. Sister Louise has been a model of compassion and of non-violent resolution of conflict. She has encouraged us to live more fully the Gospel of Jesus. It saddens us deeply that she has been singled-out for prosecution in a Church court and we raise serious questions of the wisdom of having one man serve as prosecutor, judge, jury - and now, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court - in any supposed system of Justice.

We are concerned that Archbishop Burke seems more comfortable seeking resolution of conflict through recourse to Church law and by wielding his considerable power and authority over officials in the Archdiocese and its formal legal structures, rather than following the simpler, less expensive, and more challenging course of action recommended by Jesus (Matthew 5:21-26) that we seek reconciliation face-to-face with those with whom we are in confliict.

The people of Saint Cronan Church repeatedly invited Archbishop Burke to engage in conversation with us. The Archbishop repeatedly declined our invitations. [Ed. Note: These must have been private invitations, as I never saw them on the website.]

The long tradition of the Roman Catholic Church has held the primacy of an individual's conscience in making ethical decisions. The people of Saint Cronan Church respect this tradition and we recognize Sr. Louise's integrity and courage.
Does this "courage" include attending and engaging in the sham ordinations of women priestettes here in St Louis? Or her being the "Co-Pastor" of the parish? Something's amiss in the consciences of some individuals.

Source: St Cronan Church

Also posted are these:

A Statement of Sister Louise Lears, SC, and,

A Statement of Sister Barbra Hagedorn, SC

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke's Statement Regarding His Appointment as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura



Video at the Archdiocesan website here, or YouTube, here.

The Archdiocese Prese Release can be read here.

Dr Edward Peters: First thoughts on Abp. Burke's promotion to the Signatura

St. Louis Abp. Raymond Burke has just been named to head the Apostolic Signatura. For my first thoughts on the appointment that will make Burke the most influential American in Rome.

No doubt this is a sad day for the faithful of St Louis who have come to love and cherish the man who has been their spiritual father and apostolic successor for 4+ years.

Read what Dr Peters says about it here: http://www.canonlaw.info/2008/06/first-thoughts-on-abp-burkes-promotion.html

A short clip from this morning's Press Conference with Abp Burke

video

More here at myfoxstl.com

Decree of Extra-Judicial Adjudication In the Matter of Sr. Louise Lears, S.C

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke issued the following statement regarding Sr. Louise Lears, S.C. on June 26, 2008:

After a canonical process of several months, Archbishop Raymond Burke has, today, decided the case of Sister Louise Lears, S.C., a member of the “pastoral team” at Saint Cronan Parish, who was accused of four delicts, all connected with her encouragement of, promotion of and participation in the attempted ordination of two women to the Sacred Priesthood at a local synagogue in November of last year. Delicts, which must be published in the Church, are grave and external violations against the Catholic faith or moral teaching. For the entire statement, decree of interdict, and a listing of general questions and answers, please click the links below:

Statement Regarding the Canonical Discipline of Sr. Louise Lears, S.C.

Decree of Extra-Judicial Adjudication In the Matter of Sr. Louise Lears, S.C.

Questions and Answers Regarding the Matter of Sr. Louise Lears, S.C.

St Louis Loses Archbishop Burke to Rome

As reported on by KTVI Fox News, St Louis is now awaiting an administrator for the Archdiocese as Archbishop Burke is being transferred to Rome...Waiting for more details.

What a loss for the St Louis Archdiocese! I can't believe this! While we cannot help but feel a profound sense of sadness at the prospect of having a great bishop and spiritual father leave us, we understand that he is needed elsewhere for the good of the Church. For some of us, this is a very sad day personally - but this is a selfish attitude for us to have.

Even though this announcement may be painful for many of us, we should, nevertheless, congratulate His Excellency on this appointment and offer him our heartfelt prayers of support and joy. Evidently, the Holy Father recognizes his talents and abilities (as we did) and he needs him for the greater glory of God and His Church.

Let us not neglect our daily prayers for his intentions and may our heavenly Father, if it be His will, grant the faithful of St Louis another faithful and dedicated shepherd. [Bishop Bruskewitz, perhaps?]

Those of us who looked forward with anticipation to Archbishop Burke being named a Cardinal may soon see those hopes and prayers become a reality. Let us also not neglect to show our gratitude to God for granting us the opportunity to have been blessed by the appointment of this wonderful shepherd to the flock of St Louis. Let us also show our gratitude to Archbishop Burke for his fidelity and courage in the face of so many trials while he was our shepherd.

An update:
Archbishop Raymond Burke today was appointed to the office of Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome. He will remain in St. Louis until he moves to Rome later this summer.

From VIS:
The Holy Father:

- Appointed Cardinal Agostino Vallini, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, as vicar general of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome, and archpriest of the papal basilica of St. John Lateran. He succeeds Cardinal Camillo Ruini, whose resignation from the same office the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke of Saint Louis, U.S.A., as prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura....

News Updates. 6/27

Minneapolis parish takes gay pride service outside
Archbishop banned homosexual meeting inside church

SSPX snubs Pope's call to rejoin Rome?
Does Fellay speak for all?

Treatment center for sex offender clergy closed"significant downturn in business" means financial woes

Neopaganism among U.S.'s fastest-growing religions
Cross-pollination of New Age movement and hippie culture

HIV resurges in men who have sex with men
Cases climb 12% among U.S. males ages 13 to 24

Gospel for Friday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial of St. Cyril of Alexandria, bishop and doctor

From: Matthew 8:1-4

The Curing of a Leper

[1] When He (Jesus) came down from the mountain, great crowds followed Him; [2] and behold, a leper came to Him and knelt before Him, saying, "Lord, if You will, You can make me clean." [3] And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, "I will; be clean." And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. [4] And Jesus said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.
______________________

Commentary:

Chapters 8 and 9 of St. Matthew deal with a series of miracles worked by our Lord. The first Christians had vivid experience of the fact that the glorified Jesus was still present in His Church, confirming its teaching by signs, by miracles (Mark 16:20; Acts 14:3).

And so, St. Matthew, after giving the nucleus of Jesus' public teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (Chapters 5-7), goes on now to gather a number of miracles to support our Lord's words. Some commentators call this section--Chapters 8 and 9--"the works of the Messiah", paralleling what they called "the words of the Messiah" (the Discourse on the Mount). In Chapters 5-7 we see Jesus as the supreme lawgiver and master who teaches with divine authority, a unique authority superior to that held by Moses and the prophets. Now, in Chapters 8 and 9, He is shown as endowed with divine authority over disease, death, the elements and evil spirits. These miracles worked by Jesus Christ accredit the divine authority of His teaching.

1. The Gospel draws attention, for the third time, to the huge crowds that flocked to Jesus: literally, "many multitudes followed Him". This shows the popularity He had achieved: He was so popular that the Sanhedrin (the great council of the Jewish nation) dared not arrest Him for fear of what the people would do (cf. Matthew 21:46; 26:5; Mark 14:2). Later on, they would accuse Him before Pilate of stirring up the whole country from Judea to Galilee. And we will see Herod Antipas' eagerness to meet Jesus, of whom he has heard so much (cf. Matthew 14:1). In contrast to this huge popularity, we find the elders opposing Him and deceiving the people into calling for Jesus' execution (cf. Matthew 27:20-22).

2. The Fathers have taken the following meaning from this cure: leprosy is a vivid image of sin: it is ugly, disgusting, very contagious and difficult to cure. We are all sinners and we are all in need of God's forgiveness and grace (cf. Romans 3:23-24). The leper in the Gospel knelt down before Jesus, in all humility and trust, begging to be made clean. If we have recourse to our Savior with that kind of faith, we can be sure than He will cure the wretchedness of our souls. We should often address Christ with this short prayer, borrowed from the leper: "Lord, if You will, You can make me clean."

4. According to the Law of Moses (Leviticus 14), if a leper is cured of his disease, he should present himself to a priest, who will register the cure and give him a certificate which he needs to be reintegrated into the civil and religious life of Israel. Leviticus also prescribes the purifications and sacrifice he should offer. Jesus' instruction to the leper is, then, in keeping with the normal way of fulfilling what the laws laid down.
___________________________
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Just for Today, June 27

The saints that are highest in the sight of God are the least in their own eyes, and the more glorious they are, the more humble they are in themselves.

-Bk. II, ch. x.
______________

When asked what we were to call her when praying to her after her death, she replied humbly: "Call me little Teresa."

-Conseils et Souvenirs.
__________________
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 - June 27

A man of prayer is capable of everything. He can say with St. Paul, "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me."

-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 June 27, Curiousity

The fact that I'm curious is no mystery. I was born curious. So were we all, but I must suppress my desires to know what does not concern me, and my interest in those things which, as far as my peace and union with God are concerned, it would be far better I ignored.

I must, of course, be very alert regarding all that can be a source of true enrichment or a help in my apostolate. Should I harbor any doubt, I have superiors to enlighten me.

Now I am considering merely useless curiosities - it should hardly be necessary to mention such as are unwholesome or dan­gerous. The author of Spiritual Combat suggests some of these useless curiosities - "novelties, greater or lesser changes in the world if they do not concern you." These last words he underlined. "Put such useless ideas out of your thoughts," he counsels. Then he adds further:

"Every time you hear or see them, close against them, in the depths of your soul, the entrance to your will, so that they do not distract you inwardly; do not center upon such things all the powers of your life."

He concludes:
"Even in the science of divine things show yourself humble and modest,"
giving as a final counsel these words,
"Do not desire to know anything but the life and death of your crucified Christ."
Despite the differences in circumstances and time, these words emphasizing the right points are always good to hear, to meditate upon and to practice.

Do I have sufficient curiosity regarding all that touches upon the life and death of my Savior, the great mysteries of the Divine Life, the Church, the establishment of God's Kingdom in the world? Aside from a legitimate curiosity concerning my work, my studies, the true needs of my soul, am I sufficiently detached from useless curiosity?

"Let me know myself, let me know You," St. Augustine used to pray. Let me know only You, St. Paul prayed. I will think and pray like them. Above all, I will live like them.
_________________
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

St. Francis de Sales Oratory Wins “Golden Brick Award”

Renovation efforts at St. Francis de Sales Oratory have now received public recognition with reception of the annual “Golden Brick Award” bestowed by the DeSales Community Housing Corporation. The Corporation, which spun off from St. Francis de Sales parish as a separate legal entity decades ago, gives the award to people and/or projects that have contributed positively to the Tower Grove East and Fox Park neighborhoods. Nominees may include businesses, institutions, or even individuals that have demonstrated a commitment towards improving the neighborhoods.

The project which won the award for the Oratory this year was the renovation of the vesting sacristy in the church building, a renovation which resulted in the replication of a chapel built by St. Louis King of France. Although this represents just one project out of many in the restoration of St. Francis de Sales church and rectory, it was considered significant, especially since the sacristy project was involved in a Papal award, the “Bene Merenti,” recently given to Abbe Alexander Willweber of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

When the Institute was first given the administration of St. Francis de Sales as an oratory three years ago, both the church and rectory—as well as adjoining schools and convent—were in serious states of disrepair. However, the church now displays most of its former glory as the “Cathedral of South St. Louis,” and the rectory has undergone a thorough renovation. Although the adjoining school and convent buildings still await major updating, the work so far has greatly contributed to a general renaissance in the area. Indeed, the Fox Park Neighborhood Association regards the Oratory campus as the “anchor” of the neighborhood.

Fr. Karl W. Lenhardt, Rector of the Oratory, Vice Provincial of the Institute, and Episcopal Delegate for the Implementation of the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, in the Archdiocese of St. Louis will receive the Golden Brick Award on Wednesday evening, July 9, at 5:30pm in a presentation ceremony at the Tower Grove Abbey (2336 Tennessee).

###

Thanks to Mr. Jon R. T. Rochê for the update.
Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest
St. Francis de Sales Oratory
2653 Ohio Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118

NARAL Catholics Line Up for Obama

As if they truthfully can, in reality, be called "Catholic".....

You are the Democratic candidate for president. You want to reach out to Catholics. So what do you do when the majority of the elected officials on your National Catholic Advisory Council have the seal of approval from NARAL Pro-Choice America?

Celebrate, perhaps and dance with the devil?

Why some call themselves "Catholic" while giving aid and comfort to the enemies of God we might not fully understand. But we do know that they are traitors to the Faith, and they are traitors of our Lord, much like Judas.

By condemning the unborn to death by their support of abortion, they cry out, like the enemies of Christ, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" For whatsoever you do to these...you do unto Me...

The coming months will be particularly revolting, I suspect, as we hear of more and more so-called "Catholics" lending aid and comfort to Satan and those who support his plans of evil and death.


June 28-Day of Recollection with Bishop Hermann

Women for Faith & Family
warmly invites you to a

Day of Recollection
"If you knew the gift of God"

20th Anniversary of
Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter
Mulieris Dignitatem
On the Dignity and Vocation of Women

with

Bishop Robert Hermann

Saturday, June 28, 2008
Cardinal Rigali Center
20 Archbishop May Dr.,
Saint Louis, MO - 63119

____________________

REGISTRATION INFORMATION

Note: Donation for registration includes continental breakfast and box lunch, plus all materials.

Regular: $35 • Family: $35 + $10 for each additional member (please register all names)

Students: $15 (limited scholarships available) • Religious, clergy, seminarians: gratis (please register)

Please register by June 15 to guarantee seating and meals! (For late registration, please add $5.)

Please make checks payable to:
Women for Faith & Family,
PO Box 300411,
St. Louis, MO 63130

Info? Phone 314 863-8385 (ask for Gina Caufield) •
E-mail: info@wf-f.org •
Web site: www.wf-f.org

SCHEDULE:
8.30 - Morning prayer (Lauds) - Bishop Hermann
9:00 - Continental Breakfast
9:45 - Bishop Hermann - Meditation I
10:30 - Rosary
10:45 – 11:15 - Silent prayer / adoration
11.15 - Mass - Bishop Hermann, celebrant
12:00 - Angelus + Lunch
1:00 - Bishop Hermann – Meditation II
1:45 – 2:45 - Silent prayer - Confessions
2:45 – 3:30 - Bishop Hermann Meditation III
3:30 – 3:45 - Silent prayer
3.45 - Begin Novena to the Holy Spirit
4:00 - Evening prayer (Vespers)
_______________________

###

Sorry for the late notice, I just received it this morning.

News updates, 6/26

Pope prefers Communion on the tongue, Msgr. Marini says

In Florence, Catholics Are Rewriting Their History
Catholic progressivism in the twentieth century, in Italy and the world, has its epicenter in the capital of Tuscany. A major conference on Fr. Milani, La Pira, and Fr. Balducci has analyzed the phenomenon for the first time. Professor Pietro De Marco has opened the discussion....

Spanish parliament to extend 'rights' to apes
Keeping them for circuses or TV commercials forbidden

Pew Survey, Father Pfleger And The USCCB

Bishop Saltarelli: Pastoral letter on the Year of St. Paul

Uproar over prayer service for gays grows
Archbishop John Nienstedt bars ministry from Twin Cities

Gov. Schwarzenegger vows to pray 20 rosaries a day for health care reform

Priest resigns after sex proposal is taped
Images of sexually harassment broadcast on Spanish TV

Georgia sex offenders challenge church volunteer ban
Does law rob them of their right to religious worship?

A Proposal to Extend the Communion Fast

Dr Edward Peters has published a short article in Antiphon proposing that the Communion fast be extended to three hours (up from one) and that it be calculated from the beginning of Mass (instead of from the reception of Communion).

For a synopsis of his reasons click here.

Gospel for Thursday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial of St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, priest (in some dioceses)
Old Calendar: Saints John and Paul, martyrs


From: Matthew 7:21-29

Doing the Will of God

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [21] "Not every one who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven. [22] On that day many will say to Me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?' [23] And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from Me, you evildoers.'

Building on Rock

[24] "Every one then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; [25] and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. [26] And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; [27] and the rain fell, and the floods came, and winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it."

[28] And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at His teaching, [29] for He taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
________________

Commentary:

21-23. To be genuine, prayer must be accompanied by a persevering effort to do God's will. Similarly, in order to do His will it is not enough to speak about the things of God: there must consistency between what one preaches--what one says--and what one does: "The Kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power" (1 Corinthians 4:20); "Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" (James 1:22).

Christians, "holding loyally to the Gospel, enriched by its resources, and joining forces with all who love and practice justice, have shouldered a weighty task on earth and they must render an account of it to Him who will judge all men on the last day. Not every one who says, `Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but those who do the will of the Father, and who manfully put their hands to the work" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 93).

To enter the Kingdom of Heaven, to be holy, it is not enough, then, to speak eloquently about holiness. One has to practice what one preaches, to produce fruit which accords with one's words. Fray Luis de Leon puts it very graphically: "Notice that to be a good Christian it is not enough just to pray and fast and hear Mass; God must find you faithful, like another Job or Abraham, in times of tribulation" ("Guide for Sinners", Book 1, Part 2, Chapter 21).

Even if a person exercises an ecclesiastical ministry that does not assure his holiness; he needs to practice the virtues he preaches. Besides, we know from experience that any Christian (clerical, religious or lay) who does not strive to act in accordance with the demands of the faith he professes, begins to weaken in his faith and eventually parts company also with the teaching of the Church. Anyone who does not live in accordance with what he says, ends up saying things which are contrary to faith.

The authority with which Jesus speaks in these verses reveals Him as sovereign Judge of the living and the dead. No Old Testament prophet ever spoke with His authority.

22. "That day": a technical formula in biblical language meaning the day of the Judgment of the Lord or the Last Judgment.

23. This passage refers to the Judgment where Jesus will be the Judge. The sacred text uses a verb which means the public proclamation of a truth. Since in this case Jesus Christ is the Judge who makes the declaration, it takes the form of a judicial sentence.

24-27. These verses constitute the positive side of the previous passage. A person who tries to put Christ's teaching into practice, even if he experiences personal difficulties or lives during times of upheaval in the life of the Church or is surrounded by error, will stay firm in the faith, like the wise man who builds his house on rock.

Also, if we are to stay strong in times of difficulty, we need, when things are calm and peaceful, to accept little contradictions with a good grace, to be very refined in our relationship with God and with others, and to perform the duties of our state in life in a spirit of loyalty and abnegation. By acting in this way we are laying down a good foundation, maintaining the edifice of our spiritual life and repairing any cracks which make their appearance.

28-29. Jesus' listeners could clearly see the radical difference between the style of teaching of the scribes and Pharisees, and the conviction and confidence with which Jesus spoke. There is nothing tentative about His words; they leave no room for doubt.
___________________________
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, June 25, 2008

Midwives Now Have Legal Right to Perform Abortions?

The following is a Press Release by Missouri Right to Life on Wednesday, June 25, 2008:

The decision by the Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday, June 24th brings back the pro-life issues of HB 818, which allows midwives to perform abortions.

"HB 818, passed during the 2007 legislative session, establishes the Missouri Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Missouri Right to Life has no position on the main topic of this bill. However, HB 818, now upheld by the Missouri Supreme Court, contains a new provision, section 376.1753, that permits midwives to perform services that Missouri law has not previously allowed. Missouri Right to Life has no position on whether, in general, expanding midwives’ role in pregnancy and childbirth is appropriate. Unfortunately, because of the drafter’s choice of language in the amendment, including the use of a term that has been all but forgotten in the English language—“tocological”—the new provision can be exploited to allow abortions to be performed by non-physicians," said Pam Fichter, President of Missouri Right to Life.

"Whatever the intent of the drafters and proponents of new sec. 376.1753, abortionists have been handed an unexpected gift in HB 818," according to Fichter.

"Missouri Right to Life urges the Governor’s leadership in calling for a special session in September 2008 to run concurrent with the veto session to pass language to address the pro-life issues raised by HB 818," said Pam Fichter.

Just for Today, June 26

I am He that in an instant elevates an humble mind to comprehend more reasons of the eternal truth than could be acquired by ten years' study in the schools.

-Bk. III, ch. xliii.
_________________

God has given me the grace to understand the myste­rious depths of charity. If I could put into words all I know, it would sound like a song of Heaven, but, alas, I can only speak in halting words like a child. Our Lord's own words confirm what I say, otherwise I should be tempted to remain silent.

-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 - June 26

The world around us is, as it were, a book writ­ten by the finger of God; every creature is a word on the page. We should apply ourselves well to understand the signification of the volume.

-­Ven. Bartholomew of Martyrs.
________________________
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 June 26, The Diversity of the Divine Calls

There are not two souls alike. The vocation of one is not the vocation of another. Within the limits of an identical life, within the same religious family, there can be and are among the indi­vidual souls divergencies which prove the variety of divine calls.

I must understand well that I am not obliged to sanctify myself with the grace of my neighbor. All that I have to do is use to the full the grace given to me; that is all. My neighbor must use to the utmost the grace she receives.

Consequently, I need not judge, appraise, or criticize. This sister seems less mortified, needs more dispensations. That is none of my business. I must understand that the whole world does not walk at the same tempo, nor in the same alignment. St. John the Baptist led a penitential life in the desert. When people came to him asking, "What ought we do?" he did not counsel them to adopt his manner of life, but rather to seek perfection in their own state.

Our Lord did not live as His precursor; His goal was different, His grace different. It appears that Providence does not like uni­formity. Infinite diversity in His natural and supernatural crea­tion is one of His riches. There are not two souls alike, nor two saints. What a difference between St. Francis de Sales and St. Francis of Assisi; Thomas the Apostle and Thomas Aquinas; Vincent de Paul and Vincent Ferrer; Ignatius of Antioch and Ig­natius Loyola! Even among the closest friends of Christ, what differences! Between Joseph and John the Baptist; between Peter and John; between St. Paul and the Twelve; between Martha and Magdalen.

And what differences not only among individual souls, but also among religious families, Carmelites, Visitandines, Sisters of Char­ity, Religious of the Sacred Heart, Sisters of the Worker and Sisters of the Assumption.

I will thank God for this marvelous fecundity. I will thank Him for having placed me as He did; in this place He has given me, I will strive to fulfill to the utmost my personal vocation.
_________________
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Poll: More Catholics Leaning toward 'Party of Death'

Washington DC, Jun 25, 2008 / 01:23 am (CNA).- A new survey from Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) indicates that Catholics may lean towards voting for the Democratic candidate for president in the 2008 election....

...According to the study, pro-abortion sentiment has slightly increased among adult Catholics. In 2002, 55 percent somewhat or strongly agreed with the statement “A woman should have the right to choose to abort an unwanted pregnancy.” In 2006, the percentage in agreement increased to 58 percent.

Should we be surprised that there are professed Catholics embracing the culture of death? This is the fruit of failed catechesis and failure to discipline. It is repulsive to even consider how a person who professes to be a follower of Christ could support anyone who promotes the murder of the unborn or partially born. That they call themselves "Christian" or "Catholic" is an abomination.

The enemy has breached the walls and has enlisted the aid of our own relatives and friends. Have we diligently prayed for them? Have we made reparations for our sins and for theirs? Have we "invited" them to leave while they ponder their their heretical or heterdox views, thereby sparing the as yet uninfected with their 'disease'?


The Eucharist Is Not a Meal Among Friends

The Pope called the Eucharist "our most precious treasure" because it contains "all the mystery of our salvation." He also emphasized the need to "do everything possible" to receive Our Lord "with a pure heart". To receive in a state of grave sin, he noted, "opposes the action of Eucharistic grace".

The text of Pope Benedict's homily for the 49th Eucharistic Congress: The Eucharist Is Not a Meal Among Friends, can be read here.

Aug 18-Shroud of Turin Scholars to Speak at Botanical Garden

By now, most are aware of the dispute over the carbon dating results from tests some twenty years ago.

...One man who has challenged the radiocarbon dating is Avinoam Danin, a professor of botany at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has spent decades examining images of plant remains on the shroud. Danin has said the shroud was buried in the vicinity of Jerusalem — not Europe, as had previously been thought — during the months of March or April.

Danin and Petrus Soons, a retired medical doctor who has used digitized photos of the shroud to create three-dimensional holograms, will give a free double lecture at the Missouri Botanical Garden on Monday, Aug. 18, at 5:30 p.m....

This might be an interesting lecture for those in the neighborhood.

Article source, Post-Dispatch

News Updates, 6/25

Folowing the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec,
Cardinal Marc Ouellet Will Re-Open Minor Seminary

Book version of U.S. bishops’ statement promoting Gregorian chant soon to be available

NARAL Catholics Line Up for Obama

Former Abortion Clinic Worker Testifies that Live-Born Baby was Stabbed to Death

Vatican accused over girl's murder
Allegation: archbishop ordered assassination

Educational anarchy?
California Appeals court hears oral arguments in landmark homeschooling case

San Francisco Catholic Charities Hosts "Who's Who" Crowd of Homosexual Marriage Supporters

Vatican halts John Paul II's 'saint factory'?

Catholic bishops: Africa should reject Mugabe
'Passionately" support free and fair Zimbabwean election

Gospel for Wednesday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 7:15-20

False Prophets

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [15] "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. [16] You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? [17] So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. [18] A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. [19] Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. [20] Thus you will know them by their fruits."
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Commentary:

15-20. There are many references in the Old Testament to false prophets; perhaps the best-known passage is Jeremiah 23:9-40 which condemns the impiety of those prophets who "prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray"; "who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes; they speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord [...]. I did not send the prophets, yet they ran. I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied"; they "lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them; so that they do not profit this people at all."

In the life of the Church the Fathers see these false prophets, as of whom Jesus speaks, in heretics, who apparently are pious and reformist but who in fact do not have Christ's sentiments (cf. St Jerome, "Comm. in Matth.", 7). St John Chrysostom applies this teaching to anyone who appears to be virtuous but in fact is not, and thereby misleads others.

How are false prophets and genuine prophets to be distinguished? By the fruit they produce. Human nobility and divine inspiration combine to give the things of God a savor of their own. A person who truly speaks the things of God sows faith, hope, charity, peace and understanding; whereas a false prophet in the Church of God, in his preaching and behavior, sows division, hatred, resentment, pride and sensuality (cf. Gal 5:16-25). However, the main characteristic of a false prophet is that he separates the people of God from the Magisterium of the Church, through which Christ's teaching is declared to the world. Our Lord also indicates that these deceivers are destined to eternal perdition.
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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, June 24, 2008

Just for Today, June 25

If heavenly grace and true charity come in, there shall be no envy or narrowness of heart, nor shall self-love keep its hold. For divine charity overcomes all, and
dilates all the powers of the soul.

-Bk. III, ch. ix.
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As the rule of silence and solitude was strictly kept, she only saw her sisters at recreation. Had she been less mortified, she might often have sat beside them, but she made it her practice to talk to those nuns whose company pleased her least. No one could tell whether she had any particular affection for her own sisters.

-The Story of a Soul (L'Histoire d'une Âme)
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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 - June 25

If the love of God is in your heart, you will understand that to suffer for God is a joy to which all earthly pleasures are not to be com­pared.

-St. Ignatius.
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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 June 25, The Religious Spirit

The water of the Jordan at the outlet of Lake Tiberias becomes very poisonous the nearer it approaches the Dead Sea; the waters washing the shore absorb the slime charged with the salt and bro­mide that covers it, consequently the fish that are carried along by the current are soon in danger of death in conditions so injurious to them. At the place where the clear fresh water begins to mingle with the brackish water, they swim to the surface, soon flop over and perish quickly. They are then cast up on the shore, on small islands, where they attract a great number of birds of prey.

So long as I live in the milieu for which I am created, so long as I immerse myself in the depths of the religious spirit, I have noth­ing to fear. I have all the means to help me move at ease.

Should the pure water of my religious life, by flowing too closely along the shores of the world, mingle with its alluvial soil and absorb some of its corrupt elements, there can be grave danger.

At first, remaining too much at the surface, I will not be able to perceive immediately these poisoned deposits in the cross currents containing brackish residues. I will be on my guard for the first signs of adulteration or impurities.

How else can the great number of desertions be explained? The soul descends from the eternal heights as does the Jordan, spread­ing itself out into a poisonous sea, and like it, is carried away by the rapids. The religious did not sufficiently watch over the purity of her beginnings.

I will be attentive never to mingle Christ's principles with those of Lucifer; the pure with slime.

"St. John the Baptist, you, who died to keep intact your moral holi­ness, grant that through your example I may have a horror of all ad­mixture; of every compromise."
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Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

News Updates, 6/24

A Reconciliation soon with the SSPX?
By this 28 June, the Fraternity of St. Pius X...will...have to decide whether to accept the five conditions proposed by the Vatican in order to reenter into full communion with Rome

Australian archbishop defies Pope Benedict
Continues to allow convicted pedophile to remain priest

Archdiocese halts church's annual gay pride prayers
St. Joan of Arc will hold service with no mention of gay rights

"Many religions can lead to eternal life”
Majority of U.S. Catholics say one faith as good as another [Another clear manifestation of the de-Christianization of our country and the world]

Australian group to protest over Pope's visit
Their message for the Pope: 'gays are great and condoms save lives'

Abortion Better than Adoption says European Parliamentary Assembly Resolution
The resolution on the problem of child abandonment hints that abortion is morally superior to adoption

Vatican delegation beatifies Lebanese priest
Dignitaries on hand as thousands attend Beirut ceremony

Calgary's Bishop Henry Calls on Premier to Curtail Powers of Human Rights Commissions
Cites "inane stupidity and gross miscarriage of justice" regarding treatment of Stephen Boissoin

Fr. Pfleger: 'Ain't nothing like a comeback!'
Spiritual frenzy marks priest's roof-raising return to pulpit

Abortion and machismo
Pro-lifer tells Mexico’s Supreme Court that legalized abortion encourages men to be irresponsible

Gospel for Sunday, June 24, Solemnity: The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Old Calendar: Nativity of St. John the Baptist

From: Luke 1:57-66, 80

The Birth and Circumcision of John the Baptist

[57] Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. [58] And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. [59] And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechariah after his father, [60] but his mother said, "Not so; he shall be called John." [61] And they said to her, "None of your kindred is called by this name." [62] And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. [63] And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they all marvelled. [64] And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. [65] And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; [66] and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him.

[80] And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel.
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Commentary:

59. Circumcision was a rite established by God under the Old Covenant to mark out those who belonged to His chosen people: He commanded Abraham to institute circumcision as a sign of the Covenant He had made with him and all his descendants (cf. Genesis 17:10-14), prescribing that it should be done on the eighth day after birth. The rite was performed either at home or in the synagogue, and, in addition to the actual circumcision, the ceremony included prayers and the naming of the child.

With the institution of Christian Baptism the commandment to circumcise ceased to apply. At the Council of Jerusalem (cf. Acts 15:1ff), the Apostles definitely declared that those entering the Church had no need to be circumcised.

St. Paul's explicit teaching on the irrelevance of circumcision in the context of the New Alliance established by Christ is to be found in Galatians 5:2ff; 6:12ff; and Colossians 2:11ff.

60-63. By naming the child John, Zechariah complies with the instructions God sent him through the angel (Luke 1:13).

64. This miraculous event fulfills the prophecy the angel Gabriel made to Zechariah when he announced the conception and birth of the Baptist (Luke 1:19-20). St. Ambrose observes: `With good reason was his tongue loosed, because faith untied what had been tied by disbelief" ("Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam. in loc.").

Zechariah's is a case similar to that of St. Thomas, who was reluctant to believe in the resurrection of our Lord, and who believed only when Jesus gave him clear proof (cf. John 20:24-29). For these two men God worked a miracle and won their belief; but normally He requires us to have faith and to obey Him without His working any new miracles. This was why He upbraided Zechariah and punished him, and why He reproached Thomas: "Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe" (John 20:29).

80. "Wilderness": this must surely refer to the "Judean wilderness" which stretches from the northwestern shores of the Dead Sea to the hill country of Judea. It is not a sand desert but rather a barren steppe with bushes and basic vegetation which suit bees and grasshoppers or wild locusts. It contains many caves which can provide shelter.
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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.

Monday, June 23, 2008

What Kind of a Theologian Are You? On God

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 God.

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 heretical to say that the one true God cannot be known
a) with certainty;
b) by the natural light of human reason;
c) through created things?

2. Who said: "...since the creation of the world his invisible attributes are clearly seen...his everlasting power also and divinity - being understood through the things that are made. And so they are without excuse"?

3. Human reason is unable to know that God exists without the supernatural help of
a) actual grace;
b) faith;
c) sanctifying grace;
d) revelation.

4. By natural reason alone man is able to know that God is
a) spiritual;
b) im­mutable;
c) infinite;
d) omnipotent;
e) triune.

5. Who said: "We see now through a mirror in an obscure manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I have been known"?

6. It is of divine and Catholic faith that in the beatific vision the blessed see
a) the divine essence;
b) God as He is;
c) the three divine persons;
d) all crea­tures.

7. The blessed see God
a) with their bodily eyes;
b) intuitively;
c) comprehensively;
d) unequally, according to the diversity of their merits.

8. To have the beatific vision souls need the light of glory.

9. Is it of divine Catholic faith that the one true living God is
a) omnipotent, eternal, immense, incomprehensible;
b) infinite in intelligence and will and all perfection;
c) ineffably exalted and supremely happy?

10. St. Paul said:
a) "God will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowl­eedge of the truth"; b) "For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
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Answers tomorrow...

Adapted from The Queen's Work Magazine, October 1947