Saturday, August 23, 2008

Just for Today, August 24

The reason why we are so willing to talk is because by discoursing together we seek comfort from one another, and would gladly ease the heart, wearied by various thoughts. And we very willingly talk and think of such things as we most love and desire, or which we imagine contrary to us. But, alas! it is often in vain and to no purpose: for this outward consolation is no small hindrance of interior and divine comfort.
-Bk. I, ch. x.

I had asked her advice on several matters, and she said: "If we refrain from seeking relief by talking about our own troubles, God gives us the grace to guide and comfort other souls. By acting otherwise we do not find relief, but only aggravate the trouble."
-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 of St Augustine for August 24

But when the mind hath been imbued with the beginning of faith, which worketh by love, it goes on by living well to arrive at sight also wherein is unspeakable beauty known to holy and perfect hearts, the full vision of which is the highest happiness.
Click here for more information.

From Thoughts of St Augustine for Every Day
by Kathleen Mary Balfe (© 1926)
Nihil Obstat: Georgius D. Smith, S.T.D
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont

Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day-August 24

The eternal truths are all spiritual things that are seen, not with the eyes of the body, but with the eyes of the mind - that is, by reflection and consideration.
From Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day
Compiled by Rev. C. McNeiry, C.SS.R.
Imprimatur: Joseph Hull, C.SS.R., Prov. Angl. Sup.
Nihil Obstat: Innocentlus Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor Deptutatus.
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius Generalis.
Westmonasterii, Die 9a Junii, 1927.
First published 1927

Dr Edward Peters:About Biden, let's ask the right questions well

Barack Obama’s selection of Joseph Biden as his running mate is sure to provoke questions about Biden’s eligibility for holy Communion under canon law. Hoping to get out ahead of things, I’m suggesting that we start by asking the right questions, well.
Read about it here...

Let's not neglect to recall that Joe Biden was listed as one of the "Deadly Dozen" by America Life League which states:
These 12 United States senators claim to be Catholics, but their public support for the deadly practice of legalized abortion is scandalous in the eyes of the Church. Canon Law 915 makes it clear that professing such heretical beliefs makes them unworthy to receive Holy Communion...
We'll have to see if the rights questions are asked well and --- when they are, if anything comes of it...I'm betting nothing will change and that grave public scandal will persist and be ignored...I hope I'm wrong.

Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost, The Death Of The Soul

By The Rev. H. G. Hughes

"He that was dead sat up, and began to speak." Luke vii, 15.

In the country of Galilee, not far from our Blessed Lord's own town of Nazareth, there stood, and still stands, upon the slope of a lofty hill, the little town of Naim, where Christ worked the great miracle of which we read in today's Gospel. In our Lord's own time it was a flourishing place; its name meant “Beautiful"; today it is but a squalid village. Yet it is a spot of the highest interest to the Christian traveller; for he can ascend the very pathway, rocky and steep, leading to the gate of Naim, up which the Saviour of Men was going when He met the sad funeral procession descending from the town to the place of' burial without. That was a great day for Naim and its people. Little did they think, as they set forth that day to lay the widow's son in his last resting-place that they were to meet the Lord arid Master of life and death; the Giver of life, the Conqueror of death. Yet so it was to be.

We can imagine that sad procession. In the midst, the body of the young man, cut down in the flower of his youth. The corpse is embalmed with sweet perfumes, wrapped round with linen bands, carried upon an open bier: in front are the hired minstrels or flute-players; round about the bier are the mourners, also hired, paid to express the grief of the relatives of the dead by noisy demonstrations of sorrow; while close to the lifeless body walks the grief-stricken widowed mother, silent in her sorrow, bitterly weeping for her only son, her pride, her hope, and her support. With her, as we read, was "a great multitude of the city"; some of them friends, others passers-by, who, according to the Jewish custom, had joined the funeral train as they chanced to meet it.

Outside the gate of the city, coming up the steep pathway, there approached another procession: it is the great Prophet and Teacher of their country of Galilee, Jesus of Nazareth, surrounded by disciples whom he had won to Himself, and who were full of joyful hope that He would deliver their country from its oppressors, and set up again the glorious throne of David. The two companies, so different in their thoughts and feelings, meet. The glad faces of the friends and followers of Jesus fall to a sad solemnity, changing to looks of sincere pity as they see the weeping mother and learn her sad story. But their pity is as nothing to that of one Heart there, the all-sympathizing Sacred Heart of Jesus, that can read the hearts of men, and so can fathom our griefs as we never can fathom or understand to its depths the sorrow of our fel1ow-creatures.

Jesus stops before the funeral train: He heeds not the mourners; He puts aside the multitude of friends and feIIow-citizens; He goes straight where He is needed most, straight to the heart-broken mother, true to His own promise, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Luke v, 5), true to the mission ascribed to Him by the prophet Isaias, "to comfort all that mourn" (Is. lxi, 2). He stands before that sorrowful mother, and in tones of indescribable compassion He says to Her words few indeed, but laden with comfort and hope, words that cause her to look wonderingly to His sacred face and to gaze into His eyes, in which she sees the light of a pity all divine. "Whom when the Lord had seen, being moved with mercy toward her, He said to her, weep not" (Luke vii, 13). Then "He came near, and touched the bier. And they that carried it stood still. And He said : Young man, I say unto thee, arise" (ib. 14).

Words of mighty power and efficacy! Words that winged their way even into the dread mysterious realms of death, and found out the spirit in its far-off unknown abode and brought it back to its earthly tenement again; for, at those words, lo, "he that was dead sat up, and began to speak." And then Jesus "delivered him to his mother"; gave him back, whole and sound, thrilling once more with young life and energy, to the embraces of his mother's amazed and rapturous love. "And there came a great fear on them all"; for they felt that they stood in the presence of a Supreme Power, of One Whom death obeyed, of One Who gave life as He willed. "And they glorified God, saying, A great prophet is risen up among us, and God hath visited His people."

There is another death, dear brethren, than the death of the body: a death far more terrible than bodily death. It is a death that means eternal ruin of body and soul; a death hopeless, irremediable, unless the same Lord Who showed His power in this great miracle of mercy at Naim work a still greater miracle in the resurrection of souls to the life of grace. It is the awful death of sin. What is bodily death to that? He Who compassionated the widow, He Who wept at the grave of Lazarus, thought little of bodily death compared with the death of the soul. "Fear ye not," He has told us, "them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both body and soul in hell" (Matt. x, 28).

It was to restore the life of grace to poor sinners that He was born, that He lived and toiled and suffered and gave His very life. And if He pitied that mother who had lost her son by temporal death, and who might hope to be one day reunited to him, what must be His deep pity and compassion for foolish souls who, by an act of wilful self-destruction, have cut themselves off from life and love and happiness, separating themselves by sin from God Who is all these, and apart from Whom true life, true love, true happiness are not?

For in a sinful soul, dear brethren, Christ sees, not the destruction of this earthly tabernacle of flesh, the dissolution of material elements, separation from earthly joys and earthly friends, but He sees the utter ruin of that immortal spirit breathed into man by the very breath of God, the destruction of His own beauteous image and likeness; and, in the future, the eternal misery of bitter self-reproach, the keen anguish of burning desire for happiness never to be gained, a wrecked and wasted existence, everlasting separation from the only good, the only joy, the only possession worth living for-the God Who made us for Himself.

And so, in His infinite compassion and mercy, Jesus comes to meet us when we are dead in sin, when we are already being carried out to be buried in hell, when, not the mourning of friends, but the mocking laugh of demons is ushering us to that last dreadful abode of misery. He comes, and He says to the evil spirits, "laugh not: not yet is this soul your prey. I am the Master of Life, the Giver of Grace." And to the soul dead in sins He says: "Arise: go in peace; thy sins are forgiven thee. Rise to the life of grace; rise to a new life in which sin shall no more have place. Go now, and sin no more."

And Christ has placed this power of restoring to souls the life of grace, won by His own death and resurrection, this power of raising souls from death to life, in a great Sacrament of His Holy Church, who is the mother of our souls. Through that great Sacrament He brings us from death to life, and delivers us to our Mother the Church whole and sound, restored to the life of grace and charity. Of this the miracle at Naim was an image. Learn from that miracle the evil of the death of sin, since He who so compassioned human sorrow for the death of the body, yet made it as nothing in comparison with the death of the soul.

Learn to hope in the power of Him who can raise us not only from bodily, but from spiritual death. Glorify God, as did the people of Naim; glorify and thank Him for that great Sacrament of Spiritual Resurrection that He has given us through the shedding of His Precious Blood. Fly, henceforth, from sin which cost Him so dear, which does to our souls such infinite harm ; and, should passion or human weakness, or the force of strong temptation overcome you, fly quickly to that great means of grace--a humble and sorrowful confession, by which the life of grace can be given you again.

How strange it seems, dear brethren, that with so great a means of pardon, so easy of access as confession is, people will go for months, sometimes for years in their sins. God is very patient, but the time is fixed beyond which we shall not be allowed to go on in sin. The sinner will commit his last mortal sin; and what will happen then? Think of the Rich Fool in our Blessed Lord’s parable. He was content; he had said boastingly to his soul, "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years: take thy rest; eat, drink, make good cheer" (Luke xii, 19). That night he goes to his couch. He has but laid him down, and is falling away into the unconsciousness of sleep with his thoughts still running on his future enjoyments, when he starts into sudden wakefulness, a dreadful fear at his heart. An inward voice has spoken to him, the Voice of God; "Fool, this night do they require thy soul of thee" (ib. 20). "Fool! This very night, now, thou art to die."

Brethren, when that dread call comes, as it will come to all of us, there is no refusal, no delay. We cannot expect a miracle to raise us from the grave and give us another opportunity. What would that poor rich fool have given for a few moments only of respite, to collect his bewildered senses, to recall some lesson of early life that would help him now, to breathe one prayer for pardon. But it is too late. Even as he struggles to realize what is happening the hand of Death is upon him, and he is hurried before his Almighty Judge. "What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark viii, 36).

Brethren, delay not your true and earnest repentance; come, and come quickly to Jesus, Master of Life and Death, Giver of Grace and pardon. He will restore life to your souls; He will give you new life, new strength, new courage, and, if you will ask Him, often, fervently, perseveringly, He will grant you to continue to the end in the divine life of grace, so that when your time shall come, your bodies will die, indeed, but only to know, at the last great day, a resurrection far more glorious than that of the widow's son at Naim; a resurrection, not to joys of earth, but to the incomparably sweeter joys of heaven, our dear and longed-for home.
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

WHO Promotes Abortion Method in Bangladesh...and more

From the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM):
We report today that the World Health Organization has initiated a new program in Bangladesh supporting a procedure called “menstrual regulation.” Menstrual regulation is the method that is used to perform abortions where abortion is illegal.

We report also on a new European Union report calling for sweeping new reforms requiring EU states to accept homosexual marriage. The report was written by a group that attacked Slovenia last year for agreeing to a treaty with the Holy See on conscience protection for doctors.

Spread the word.
Yours sincerely,
Austin Ruse
The devil and his minions never cease promoting slavery of sin and evil throughout the world.

Gospel for Saturday, 20th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial of St. Rose of Lima, virgin
Old Calendar: St. Philip Benize, confessor

From: Matthew 23:1-12

Vices of the Scribes and Pharisees

[1] Then said Jesus to the crowds and to His disciples, [2] "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; [3] so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. [4] They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. [5] They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, [6] and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, [7] and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men. [8] But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. [9] And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in Heaven. [10] Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. [11] He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; [12] whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted."


1-39. Throughout this chapter Jesus severely criticizes the scribes and Pharisees and demonstrates the sorrow and compassion He feels towards the ordinary mass of the people, who have been ill-used, "harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd" (Matthew 9:36). His address may be divided into three parts: in the first (verses 1-12) He identifies their principal vices and corrupt practices; in the second (verses 13-36) He confronts them and speaks His famous "woes", which in effect are the reverse of the Beatitudes He preached in Chapter 5: no one can enter the Kingdom of Heaven--no one can escape condemnation to the flames--unless he changes his attitude and behavior; in the third part (verses 37-39) He weeps over Jerusalem, so grieved is He by the evils into which the blind pride and hardheartedness of the scribes and Pharisees have misled the people.

2-3. Moses passed on to the people the Law received from God. The scribes, who for the most part sided with the Pharisees, had the function of educating the people in the Law of Moses; that is why they were said to "sit on Moses' seat". Our Lord recognized that the scribes and Pharisees did have authority to teach the Law; but He warns the people and His disciples to be sure to distinguish the Law as read out and taught in the synagogues from the practical interpretations of the Law to be seen in their leaders' lifestyles. Some years later, St. Paul--a Pharisee like his father before him--faced his former colleagues with exactly the same kind of accusations as Jesus makes here: "You then who teach others, will you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? For, as it is written, `The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you'" (Romans 2:21-24).

5. "Phylacteries": belts or bands carrying quotations from sacred Scripture which the Jews used to wear fastened to their arms or foreheads. To mark themselves out as more religiously observant than others, the Pharisees used to wear broader phylacteries. The fringes were light-blue stripes on the hems of cloaks; the Pharisees ostentatiously wore broader fringes.

8-10. Jesus comes to teach the truth; in fact, He is the Truth (John 14:6). As a teacher, therefore, He is absolutely unique and unparalleled. "The whole of Christ's life was a continual teaching: His silences, His miracles, His gestures, His prayer, His love for people, His special affection for the little and the poor, His acceptance of the total sacrifice on the cross for the redemption of the world, and His resurrection are the actualization of His word and the fulfillment of revelation. Hence for Christians the crucifix is one of the most sublime and popular images of Christ the Teacher.

"These considerations are in line with the great traditions of the Church and they all strengthen our fervor with regard to Christ, the Teacher who reveals God to man and man to himself, the Teacher who saves, sanctifies and guides, who lives, who speaks, rouses, moves, redresses, judges, forgives, and goes with us day by day on the path of history, the Teacher who comes and will come in glory" (John Paul II, "Catechesi Tradendae", 9).

11. The Pharisees were greedy for honor and recognition: our Lord insists that every form of authority, particularly in the context of religion, should be exercised as a form of service to others; it must not be used to indulge personal vanity or greed. "He who is the greatest among you shall be your servant".

12. A spirit of pride and ambition is incompatible with being a disciple of Christ. Here our Lord stresses the need for true humility, for anyone who is to follow Him. The verbs "will be humbled", "will be exalted" have "God" as their active agent. Along the same lines, St. James preaches that "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6). And in the "Magnificat", the Blessed Virgin explains that the Lord "has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree [the humble]" (Luke 1:52).
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, August 22, 2008

School of the Americas Watch Founder Dissents from Catholic Teaching

The American TFP has some more information about the activities of the “pacifist” Maryknoll priest Fr. Roy Bourgeois.

Just for Today, August 23

Oo most happy mansion of the city above! O most bright day of eternity, which knows no night, but is always enlightened by the Sovereign Truth! a day always joyful, always secure, and never changing its state for the contrary! O that this day would shine upon us, and all those temporal things come to an end!
-Bk. III, ch. xlviii.

Although big feasts did not often occur, there was one, very dear to me, that each week brought round--Sun­day. It was the day of rest, God's own feast day. The happy day was over all too soon, and so was tinged with melancholy. Until Compline my happiness was com­plete, but as soon as the evening office had been said, my heart grew sad. I thought of the morrow, when ordinary life would begin again, with work to be done and lessons to be learnt. This world seemed a land of exile and I longed for eternal rest, for the Sunday which would have no sunset in our own true homeland.
-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 of St Augustine for August 23

The promise of life everlasting is so made to believers that each one judge not that he can attain unto it, even through a dead faith, which without works cannot save, but through that faith of grace which worketh through love.
Click here for more information.

From Thoughts of St Augustine for Every Day
by Kathleen Mary Balfe (© 1926)
Nihil Obstat: Georgius D. Smith, S.T.D
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont

Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day-August 23

Drive away sadness, preserving your tran­quillity and a cheerful countenance in all events, with a constant uniformity. He who wills what God wills should never be downcast.
From Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day
Compiled by Rev. C. McNeiry, C.SS.R.
Imprimatur: Joseph Hull, C.SS.R., Prov. Angl. Sup.
Nihil Obstat: Innocentlus Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor Deptutatus.
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius Generalis.
Westmonasterii, Die 9a Junii, 1927.
First published 1927

News Update, 8/22

Diocese failed to investigate priest sex abuse
Belleville's former vicar general testifies

Giant mirror replaces tabernacle
Catholic meditation room in India promotes 'God within'

RI bishop wants halt to mass immigration raids
Urges federal agents to conscientiously object

Medical journal doubts worth of HPV vaccines
Articles score unproven effectiveness and high costs

Barack Obama's 'lost' brother found in Kenya in a hut on the outskirts of Nairobi

McCain staff quarantined after threat letters
Offices in New Hampshire and Colorado evacuated

Petition backs feminist theologian for USD chair
Catholic university withdrew offer to pro-abort

$25,000 bail set for accused priest embezzler
Pleaded not guilty to charges of financial crimes

Bush plan would blunt Calif. birth control law
Requires Catholic hospitals to provide birth control coverage

Gospel for August 20, Memorial: Queenship of Mary

Old Calendar: Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Sts. Timothy, Hippolytus & Symphorian, martyrs
Gospel for Friday, 20th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 22:34-40

The Greatest Commandment of All

[34] But when the Pharisees heard that He (Jesus) had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. [35] And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, to test Him. [36] "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?" [37] And He said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. [38] This is the great and first commandment. [39] And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. [40] On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."


34-40. In reply to the question, our Lord points out that the whole law can be condensed into two commandments: the first and more important consists in unconditional love of God; the second is a consequence and result of the first, because when man is loved, St. Thomas says, God is loved, for man is the image of God (cf. "Commentary on St. Matthew", 22:4).

A person who genuinely loves God also loves his fellows because he realizes that they are his brothers and sisters, children of the same Father, redeemed by the same blood of our Lord Jesus Christ: "this commandment we have from Him, that he who loves God should love his brother also" (1 John 4:21). However, if we love man for man's sake without reference to God, this love will become an obstacle in the way of keeping the first commandment, and then it is no longer genuine love of our neighbor. But love of our neighbor for God's sake is clear proof that we love God: "If anyone says, `I love God', but hates his brother, he is a liar" (1 John 4:20).

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself": here our Lord establishes as the guideline for our love of neighbor the love each of us has for himself; both love of others and love of self are based on love of God. Hence, in some cases it can happen that God requires us to put our neighbor's need before our own; in others, not: it depends on what value, in the light of God's love, needs to be put on the spiritual and material factors involved.

Obviously spiritual goods take absolute precedence over material ones, even over life itself. Therefore, spiritual goods, be they our own or our neighbor's, must be the first to be safeguarded. If the spiritual good in question is the supreme one of the salvation of the soul, no one is justified in putting his own soul into certain danger of being condemned in order to save another, because given human freedom we can never be absolutely sure what personal choice another person may make: this is the situation in the parable (cf. Matthew 25:1-13), where the wise virgins refuse to give oil to the foolish ones; similarly St. Paul says that he would wish himself to be rejected if that could save his brothers (cf. Romans 9:3)--an unreal theoretical situation. However, what is quite clear is that we have to do all we can to save our brothers, conscious that, if someone helps to bring a sinner back to the Way, he will save himself from eternal death and cover a multitude of his own sins (James 5:20). From all this we can deduce that self-love of the right kind, based on God's love for man, necessarily involves forgetting oneself in order to love God and our neighbor for God.

37-38. The commandment of love is the most important commandment because by obeying it man attains his own perfection (cf. Colossians 3:14). "The more a soul loves," St. John of the Cross writes, "the more perfect is it in that which it loves; therefore this soul that is now perfect is wholly love, if it may thus be expressed, and all its actions are love and it employs all its faculties and possessions in loving, giving all that it has, like the wise merchant, for this treasure of love which it has found hidden in God [...]. For, even as the bee extracts from all plants the honey that is in them, and has no use for them for aught else save for that purpose, even so the soul with great facility extracts the sweetness of love that is in all the things that pass through it; it loves God in each of them, whether pleasant or unpleasant; and being, as it is, informed and protected by love, it has neither feeling nor taste nor knowledge of such things, for, as we have said, the soul knows naught but love, and its pleasure in all things and occupations is ever, as we have said, the delight of the love of God" ("Spiritual Canticle", Stanza 27, 8).
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, August 21, 2008

Oregon Bishop Calls Modern Cultural Changes "Pleasing" to the Devil

BAKER CITY, OR, August 21, 2008 ( - Bishop Robert Vasa has called the pro-choice culture a victory for the Devil, saying that "Satan must be very pleased indeed" with the results.
Bishop Vasa speaks the truth - we need more like him. In the past, I have received skeptical or derogatory emails or comments when mentioning that some are working with or working for Satan. Some of these folks, it seems, refuse to believe that Satan even exists, though our Lord spoke of him. These are often the same who reject numeous teachings of the Church...Anyway, it's always encouraging when bishops and priests acknowledge this truth and speak to the faithful about it.

Bishop Vasa's column in the Catholic Sentinel entitled Satan, while hidden, remains active in us and in society discussed society’s tendency to overlook the Devil’s role in the increasingly widespread acceptance and demand for abortion, euthanasia, and homosexual unions....

Bishop Vasa's column can be read here.

Just for Today, August 22

In regard to that little of thy will which thou now willingly forsakest, thou shalt for ever have thy will in heaven. For there thou shalt find all that thou willest, all that thou canst desire.
There thou shalt enjoy all good, without fear of ever losing it. There thy will, being always one with mine, shall desire nothing foreign or private.
-Bk. III, ch. xlix.

God will do my will in Heaven, because I never did it on earth.
-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 of St Augustine for August 22

This then is profitable, to believe in God with a right faith, to worship God, to know God, that we may both obtain from Him help to live well, and in case we sin, may earn pardon from Him; not continuing care­lessly in the things which He hates, but departing from them.
Click here for more information.

From Thoughts of St Augustine for Every Day
by Kathleen Mary Balfe (© 1926)
Nihil Obstat: Georgius D. Smith, S.T.D
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont

Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day-August 22

God wills us to be saved, but for our greater good, He wills us to be saved as conquerors. We have to live in continual war­fare; we must fight and conquer. "The powers of hell are mighty," says St Bernard, "but prayer is stronger than all the devils."
From Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day
Compiled by Rev. C. McNeiry, C.SS.R.
Imprimatur: Joseph Hull, C.SS.R., Prov. Angl. Sup.
Nihil Obstat: Innocentlus Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor Deptutatus.
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius Generalis.
Westmonasterii, Die 9a Junii, 1927.
First published 1927

Support University of San Diego's Decision on Rosemary Radford Reuther!

From Thomas Peters at American Papist:

Please Sign the Petition to Support USD!

Brian McDaniel took up my challenge to collect 4,000 signatures supporting the University of San Diego's recent decision to rescind a prestigious position to heretical theologian Rosemary Radford Reuther.

If ever there was someone who clearly deserves no place of honor in a Catholic school of Theology - she's it. Beyond her long membership in the offensive "Catholics for Choice" organization, she also advocates women priests, homosexual marriage, and a litany of positions not in harmony with Church teaching.

The original San Diego Union Tribune article claimed that "Two national women's religious groups have sponsored a petition with more than 2,000 signatures demanding that she be allowed to assume the post."

I'd like to demonstrate to the University of San Diego that there are even more faithful Catholics who support them, and are with them attempting to live up to the challenge Pope Benedict has given to Catholic academe.

Please, go sign the petition and spread the word!

Strife at St Mary's over "Buddha" statue

A member of St Mary's South Brisbane Church who contacted The Courier-Mail yesterday said it was understood Archbishop John Bathersby was weighing up the future of the church, after complaints were forwarded to him from The Vatican.

"A very right-wing parishioner came and was offended by some of the artwork in the church, including some indigenous art, and an image of a praying monk which they mistook as a Buddha," the parishioner said....

Run by Father Peter Kennedy, the vibrant and strong church community of St Mary's - where women are allowed to preach and homosexual couples can have their relationships blessed - has long been a thorn in the conservative Catholic Church's side....
A "Right-wing parishioner" actually contacted the Vatican???? How intolerant and selfish! Why would a faithful (Right-wing) Catholic not embrace idolatry? What Catholic parish doesn't have a statue of Buddha in its sanctuary while the tabernacle has been torn out or moved to a closet? Look at all the trouble these "right-wing" Catholics cause in the Church - Shame, shame!

All kidding aside, this parish appears to be like so many others we hear about from time to time....Just how many diseased parishes are there?

Audio: Obama arguing against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act

Barack Hussein Obama, arguing against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act at the Illinois state legislature in April 2002, coldly claims that two doctors helping a baby born alive after a botched abortion would be a burden for the aborting mother...

What human being is so extreme that he would oppose saving even living infants?

This is worse than gruesome - it's pure evil! I'm certain it makes Satan very happy to have such a cooperative assistant! Mr "Hope" and "Change" gives us "Infanticide-we can believe in..."

Listen here (Chicago Tribune mp3) or at YouTube here.

A PDF transcript is here.

Jill Stanek has more detail here:
Links to Barack Obama's votes on IL's Born Alive Infant Protection Act

News Updates, 8/21

Catholic university nixes feminist "scholar"
Offer of endowed chair withdrawn from Radford Ruether

Mexico Church assailed for maligning miniskirt
Scantily-clad gals rally at doors of Mexico City cathedral

Don't lie: Archbishop Chaput on Catholic citizenship
Yes, religion has something to say to the public square

Atlanta archbishop to testify in sex abuse trial
Belleville priest removed from ministry over allegations

Tentative $10M settlement in KC church abuse cases
50 claims filed against the diocese and its priests

Beijing bishop urges pope to visit China
'Relations with the Vatican are constantly improving'

Editorial: For Catholics, no good choice this fall
Cultural liberal pro-abort vs. trigger-happy warmonger

Priest jailed for taking 17-year-old to motel
Judge says homosexual seduction was 'double betrayal'

Pope notes secret to effective planet-saving
Benedict says key is recognizing role of Creator

Gospel for August 21, Memorial: St Pius X, Pope

Thursday, 20th Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of St. Pius X, pope
Old Calendar: St. Jane Frances Fremiot de Chantal, widow

From: Matthew 22:1-14

The Parable of the Marriage Feast

[1] And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, [2] "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son, [3] and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast; but they would not come. [4] Again he sent other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have made ready my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves are killed, and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast.' [5] But they made light of it and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, [6] while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. [7] The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. [8] Then he said to his servants, "The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. [9] Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find.' [10] And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

[11] "But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment; [12] and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. [13] Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.' [14] For many are called, but few are chosen."

1-14. In this parable Jesus reveals how intensely God the Father desires the salvation of all men--the banquet is the Kingdom of heaven --and the mysterious malice that lies in willingly rejecting the invitation to attend, a malice so vicious that it merits eternal punishment. No human arguments make any sense that go against God's call to conversion and acceptance of faith and its consequences.

The Fathers see in the first invitees the Jewish people: in salvation history God addresses himself first to the Israelites and then to all the Gentiles (Acts 13:46).

Indifference and hostility cause the Israelites to reject God's loving call and therefore to suffer condemnation. But the Gentiles also need to respond faithfully to the call they have received; otherwise they will suffer the fate of being cast "into outer darkness".

"The marriage", says St Gregory the Great ("In Evangelia Homiliae", 36) "is the wedding of Christ and his Church, and the garment is the virtue of charity: a person who goes into the feast without a wedding garment is someone who believes in the Church but does not have charity."

The wedding garment signifies the dispositions a person needs for entering the Kingdom of heaven. Even though he belongs to the Church, if he does not have these dispositions he will be condemned on the day when God judges all mankind. These dispositions essentially mean responding to grace.

13. The Second Vatican Council reminds us of the doctrine of the "last things", one aspect of which is covered in this verse. Referring to the eschatological dimension of the Church, the Council recalls our Lord's warning about being on the watch against the wiles of the devil, in order to resist in the evil day (cf. Eph 6:13). "Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed (cf. Heb 9:27), we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed (cf. Mt 25:31-46) and not, like the wicked and slothful servants (cf. Mt 25:26), be ordered to depart into the eternal fire (cf. Mt 25:41), into the outer darkness where "men will weep and gnash their teeth'" ("Lumen Gentium", 48).

14. These words in no way conflict with God's will that all should be saved (cf. 1 Tim 2:4). In his love for men, Christ patiently seeks the conversion of every single soul, going as far as to die on the cross (cf. Mt 23:37; Lk 15:4-7). St Paul teaches this when he says that Christ loved us and "gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" (Eph 5:2). Each of us can assert with the Apostle that Christ "loved me and gave himself for me" (Gal 2:20). However, God in his infinite wisdom respects man's freedom: man is free to reject grace (cf. Mt 7:13-14).
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, August 20, 2008

Just for Today, August 21

Nature doth all for her own lucre and interest; she can do nothing gratis, but hopes to gain something equal or better, or praise, or favour for her good deeds; and covets to have her actions and gifts much valued. But grace seeks nothing temporal, nor requires any other recompense but God alone for her reward, nor desires anything more of the necessaries of this life than may be serviceable for the obtaining a happy eternity.
-Bk. III, ch. liv.

If a man take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him (Matt. v, 40). To let go one's cloak must surely mean to give up all rights, to consider oneself the servant and slave of others. It is easier to walk or run without a cloak, so Jesus adds: Whosoever will force thee one mile, go with him other two (ibid., 41). It is not enough to give what is asked of me, I must foresee another's need, show that she does me an honour by asking a service of me; and if anything is taken from me, appear glad to be rid of it.

It is not always possible to obey this passage from the Gospel literally; sometimes I am obliged to refuse. But where charity has taken deep root in a soul, it shows outwardly: a refusal may be so gracious that it gives as much pleasure as a gift. An obliging person is, of course, being made use of continually, but that is no reason for avoiding those whom one might have to refuse, for Our Lord says: From him that would borrow of thee, turn not away (ibid., 42). Nor must I be obliging merely to appear so, or in the hope of getting some little service in return, for Our Lord has said: If you lend to them of whom you hope to receive, what thanks are to you? for sinners also lend to sinners, for to receive as much. Do good, and lend, hoping for nothing thereby: and your reward shall be great (Luke vi, 34, 35).
-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 of St Augustine for August 21

Thus the faith in Christ, the faith which is of Christian grace, that is, that faith which works through love, being laid as a foundation, suffers no one to perish.
Click here for more information.

From Thoughts of St Augustine for Every Day
by Kathleen Mary Balfe (© 1926)
Nihil Obstat: Georgius D. Smith, S.T.D
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont

Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day-August 21

Some cannot bear to walk under a strong sun, or to remain in a close room before a big fire; they cannot endure a spark from a candle; and still they fear not the devouring flames of hell. Which of you can dwell with devouring fire?
From Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day
Compiled by Rev. C. McNeiry, C.SS.R.
Imprimatur: Joseph Hull, C.SS.R., Prov. Angl. Sup.
Nihil Obstat: Innocentlus Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor Deptutatus.
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius Generalis.
Westmonasterii, Die 9a Junii, 1927.
First published 1927

The Holy Eucharist: A Right or a Gift? An Interview with Archbishop Burke

Thomas McKenna (pictured here with Archbishop Burke), founder and president of Catholic Action for Faith and Family, recently sat down with Archbishop Raymond L. Burke to discuss issues of respect for the Holy Eucharist and canon 915.

Read more

Catholics who support abortion should not receive Communion, says Archbishop Burke

Rome, Aug 19, 2008 / 10:00 am (CNA).- The prefect of the Apostolic Signature, Archbishop Raymond Burke, said this week that Catholics, especially politicians who publically defend abortion, should not receive Communion, and that ministers of Communion should be responsibly charitable in denying it to them if they ask for it, “until they have reformed their lives.”

In an interview with the magazine, Radici Christiane, Archbishop Burke pointed out that there is often a lack of reverence at Mass when receiving Communion. “Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ unworthily is a sacrilege,” he warned. “If it is done deliberately in mortal sin it is a sacrilege....”

LifeSiteNews comments here: Ministers Have "Obligation to Deny" Communion to Pro-Abortion Politicians

Will Denver's Archbishop Chaput Finally Enforce Canon 915?

Barbara Kralis writes:
The Democrat National Convention of the pro-abortion party of the United States will take place within the Archdiocese of Denver from Saturday, August 23, with the official Welcoming Celebration, through Friday, August 29, 2008....

Many of these visiting folks will be pro-abortion Catholics — or Catholics-in-Name-Only [CINOs]. Ironically, the 'Freedom from Religion Foundation' is posting a billboard near the Convention Center that says, 'Keep Religion Out of Politics'....

Many are wondering if Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Archdiocese of Denver is prepared spiritually to take advantage of such a momentous teaching moment? Here's why....
We've all heard the talk - Now it's time to walk the walk... How many PUBLIC baby murder advocates and sodomy promoting politicians - who claim to be Catholic - will be testing the resolve of the Church while in Denver? Will this be just another of numerous scandals in which so-called "Catholic" politicians publicly reject the natural moral law and the teachings of the Church without fear of rebuke or penalty?

News Updates, 8/20

Archbishop Burke: No Communion for pro-abortion Catholics
Priests should be 'responsibly charitable' in denying it

“An evolving relationship”
Catholic Charities of San Francisco committed to increasing “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender” adoptions

Bangladesh Church tries to end loud singing
Liturgy commission: Catholic hymns are 'out of control'

Mexican priests: wearing miniskirts causes rape
Critics say Church is trying to justify sexual violence

GOP says McCain ruled out pro-abortion veep
Aids say nominee 'got the message' from pro-lifers

Pope Benedict XVII urges fight against racism
Combat intolerance to foreigners amid Italian row

Catholic school prevails in English-only lawsuit
'It has divided a school, its church and congregation'

Argentina gay couples get to inherit pensions
'There's no turning back as our rights advance'

Bishop: Catholic schools must strive to form saints assist students on their path to 'eternal salvation'

Gospel for August 20, Memorial: St Bernard, Abbot and Doctor

Old Calendar: St. Bernard
Wednesday, 20th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 20:1-16

The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard

[1] "For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. [2] After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. [3] And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place; [4] and to them he said, `You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.' So they went. [5] Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. [6] And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing; and he said to them, `Why do you stand here idle all day?' [7] They said to him, `Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, `You go into the vineyard too.' [8] And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, `Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.' [9] And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. [10] Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. [11] And on receiving it they grumbled at the householder, [12] saying, `These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.' [13] But he replied to one of them, `Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? [14] Take what belongs to you, and go; I choose to give to this last as I give to you. [15] Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity? [16] So the last will be first, and the first last."


1-16. This parable is addressed to the Jewish people, whom God called at an early hour, centuries ago. Now the Gentiles are also being called--with an equal right to form part of the new people of God, the Church. In both cases it is a matter of a gratuitous, unmerited, invitation; therefore, those who were the "first" to receive the call have no grounds for complaining when God calls the "last" and gives them the same reward--membership of His people. At first sight the laborers of the first hour seem to have a genuine grievance--because they do not realize that to have a job in the Lord's vineyard is a divine gift. Jesus leaves us in no doubt that although He calls us to follow different ways, all receive the same reward--Heaven.

2. "Denarius": a silver coin bearing an image of Caesar Augustus (Matthew 22:19-21).

3. The Jewish method of calculating time was different from ours. They divided the whole day into eight parts, four night parts (called "watches") and four day parts (called "hours")--the first, third, sixth and ninth hour.

The first hour began at sunrise and ended around nine o'clock; the third ran to twelve noon; the sixth to three in the afternoon; and the ninth from three to sunset. This meant that the first and ninth hours varied in length, decreasing in autumn and winter and increasing in spring and summer and the reverse happening with the first and fourth watches.

Sometimes intermediate hours were counted--as for example in verse 6 which refers to the eleventh hour, the short period just before sunset, the end of the working day.

16. The Vulgate, other translations and a good many Greek codexes add: "For many are called, but few are chosen" (cf. Matthew 22:14).
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, August 19, 2008

Another Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) in St Louis!

We have just been informed that the Extraordinary Form of the Holy Mass is now celebrated in another St Louis location on Sunday at 9:00AM at the Shrine of St. Joseph located on 1220 North 11th Street.

This is a beautiful church well worth visiting if you have the opportunity. The web site offers a virtual tour.

HT to KC for the tip!

Maryknoll Priest Roy Bourgeois Calls Meeting with Superiors "Productive"

From the National Catholic Reporter (Dissent Propaganda Central) we read:
Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois, who concelebrated a Mass at a women’s ordination ceremony earlier this month, has met with leaders of his religious community, calling the meeting “productive.” At the same time, Bourgeois told his superiors he did not recant his actions and urged a continuing dialogue about the place of women in the church.

He did not recant and presumes to tell the Church that further dialogue is needed...This, after he presumably "concelebrated" with a group of women who are not now, nor ever can be, ordained. It is not noted whether or not he laid his hands on the head of the woman to be "ordained."

Perhaps, a re-reading of the General Decree by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Regarding the crime of attempting sacred ordination of a woman is in order:

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to protect the nature and validity of the sacrament of holy orders, in virtue of the special faculty conferred to it by the supreme authority of the Church (see canon 30, Canon Law), in the Ordinary Session of December 19, 2007, has decreed:

Remaining firm on what has been established by canon 1378 of the Canon Law, both he who has attempted to confer holy orders on a woman, and the woman who has attempted to receive the said sacrament, incurs in latae sententiae excommunication, reserved to the Apostolic See....

Perhaps a canon lawyer can confirm if this priest has incurred automatic excommunication based on the reports to date?

Maryknoll spokeswoman Betsey Guest said Bourgeois and Maryknoll leadership released a joint statement following their meeting that states, “An investigation has been carried out as to the true facts of the August 9 event in Lexington, Ky., A report of that investigation will be sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. In the meantime, Fr. Bourgeois has received a canonical warning...."

“Contrary to popular understanding, participants in the ceremony, such as Father Bourgeois, were not automatically excommunicated,” the statement said.
A "canonical warning"? This is the best that the Maryknoll order can do for a wayward renegade priest who has publicly repudiated the Church?

Bourgeois said he knows that the Vatican could come down with a more severe penalty. And if Vatican authorities should say he’s excommunicated? “I would be very very sad. I’ve been a Maryknoll priest for 36 years. But if Rome came down with the ax? I’d have to embrace it,” he said.
We should pray for his soul and for his conversion. Evidently his conscience is severely malformed and he is blinded by his own prideful attitude. What a disgrace this is for the order's founders and for our Blessed Mother. The order issued a press release here.

from NCR here

Just for Today, August 20

No man hath so lively a feeling of the Passion of Christ, as he who hath happened to suffer like things.
-Bk. II, ch. ii.

The charity of Christ is never diminished, and the greatness of His propitiation is never exhausted.
-Bk. IV, ch. ii.

One Sunday, as I closed my missal after Mass, a picture of the Crucifixion slipped out a little beyond the pages, only one pierced hand showing. I was filled with a strange emotion I had never felt before. The sight of the Precious Blood running down unheeded, no one troubling to gather it up, broke my heart. I resolved always to remain in spirit at the foot of the Cross, to receive the heavenly dew of salvation and give it to souls.

Christ's dying cry: I thirst! re-echoed in my heart, and increased my burning love. I longed to give Him to drink, and was myself tortured with a thirst for souls, and a desire to save them from perdition.
-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 of St Augustine for August 20

Christ is the Foundation in the building of a wise Master-builder; this stands in no need of exposition...but if Christ then without doubt faith in Christ.
Click here for more information.

From Thoughts of St Augustine for Every Day
by Kathleen Mary Balfe (© 1926)
Nihil Obstat: Georgius D. Smith, S.T.D
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont

Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day-August 20

You may ask, Does God will that others commit sin, by injuring us in our property or in our reputation? No; God does not will their sin; but he wishes us to bear with such a loss and with such a humiliation; and he wishes us to conform, on all such occasions, to His divine will.
From Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day
Compiled by Rev. C. McNeiry, C.SS.R.
Imprimatur: Joseph Hull, C.SS.R., Prov. Angl. Sup.
Nihil Obstat: Innocentlus Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor Deptutatus.
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius Generalis.
Westmonasterii, Die 9a Junii, 1927.
First published 1927

School prevails in English-only lawsuit

A federal judge ruled Friday that a Wichita Catholic school policy requiring students to speak only English didn't break any civil rights laws.

But U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten criticized both sides in the lawsuit for the way they handled the conflict and characterized St. Anne Catholic School's implementation of its English-only policy as "one-sided...."

The Rev. Thomas Leland, St. Anne's pastor, said that English was the "common ground" for all the students and teachers.

"As long as we have a common ground, that is where we have to meet," Leland testified Friday....

Leland said that when school starts Monday at St. Anne, the English-only policy will remain in force.

Archbishop Burke's Homily, Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This is the homily given by His Excellency this past Sunday at the Cathedral Basilica at the Mass of Farewell and of Thanksgiving to God for Archbishop Burke's four and a half years as shepherd of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and for ever. Amen.

The dialogue of our Lord with the Canaanite woman and the miraculous healing of her daughter are striking signs of God's love of us, which truly knows no boundary. The Canaanite woman, who was not Jewish but Gentile, was, nevertheless, full of faith in God's love which alone could save her daughter. She recognized God's love incarnate in our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord tested her faith by making reference to the privileged place of His own people, the Jewish nation, in the Father's plan for our salvation. He reminded her that He was sent, first, to save His own people, so that they, in turn, might bring His salvation to all the nations. The Canaanite woman, with her great faith, begged to taste some fruit of the salvation which she clearly understood would come to the Gentiles, to all the nations, through the Jewish nation (Gospel). Our Lord's immediate healing of her daughter confirmed her faith and gives all of us the assurance that the gift of faith in Jesus Christ is indeed, at one and the same time, the gift of eternal life for all, without boundary.

God's desire to save all nations, without boundary, was manifested in a particular way in the miraculous conversion and subsequent apostolic ministry of Saint Paul. In Saint Paul, we see the realization of God's plan to bring eternal life to all the nations through the Jewish nation. Saint Paul, a most devout Jew, in his zeal for the Jewish faith, was thoroughly dedicated to the persecution and even execution of the first Christians. The risen Christ appeared to Saint Paul, while he was on the road to Damascus to arrest Christians. Through the miraculous apparition, Saint Paul understood that Christ is the fulfillment of all that the Jewish people believed and practiced.

Our Lord gave Saint Paul the gift of faith and poured out the Holy Spirit upon him in the Sacrament of Baptism, so that Paul could be His chosen instrument for bringing the faith and sacraments to all the nations. Saint Paul, therefore, was most conscious of the vocation of his own nation to bring the Savior to all the world. The observance of the Year of Saint Paul, which we have just begun, gives us a grace-filled occasion to grow, through the intercession of Saint Paul, in our understanding of the mystery of faith, by which God the Father unceasingly seeks to save all the nations through the passion and death of His only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Saint Paul faced the difficult situation of the rejection of the vocation to show the Savior to the world, on the part of some of his people. But he never lost hope that God's mercy, manifested in the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles, would also bring the Jewish people to the faith and to the eternal life which faith in Christ brings to all mankind. He declared:
For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world,
what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? (Reading II).

As a devout Jew, Saint Paul had come to understand the meaning of the Word of God, spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
...for my house shall be called
a house of prayer for all peoples (Reading I).
Saint Paul understood that God the Father, Who had chosen the Jewish people for a most special service in His work of salvation, was, thereby, desiring to receive into His holy temple all other peoples, "[t]he foreigners" who would receive His Word with faith and put His Word into practice, worshiping Him in His holy temple and doing what is right and just. During the Year of Saint Paul, conscious of the immeasurable and ceaseless love of God, drawing all men to Himself, may we be inspired to pray ever more fervently, as we have just prayed: "O God, let all the nations praise you!" (Responsorial Psalm).

Over the weeks since the announcement of my transfer from the office of Archbishop of St. Louis to the office of prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, my thoughts have been filled with deepest gratitude for the manifold ways in which God our Father, through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, pours out His Holy Spirit upon us in the Church, drawing all men to Himself in love. A major change in our lives leads us to a grateful reflection on the chapter of the story of our life pilgrimage, which we are completing. As I reflect upon the relatively brief time of my service as Archbishop of St. Louis, I cannot thank God enough for the great mystery of His love, which brought me to you, His beloved flock of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and has never ceased to increase my pastoral love of you. I have even come to thank God for the deep sorrow which leaving you means for me, for it, too, is a manifestation of the work of the Holy Spirit Who binds a shepherd in love of the flock for the sake of the teaching of the Gospel and the bringing of the grace of the sacraments to all, both the members of the household of faith and those who have not yet received the gift of faith but look to the Church for the sign of God's mercy and love.

As I bid you farewell today, I invite you to be one with me in reflecting upon the many signs of God's love at work in the Church in our archdiocese. The reflection goes far beyond what we can express in the few minutes we have, but there is a special grace for such reflection in today's farewell, to which we must respond. Consider, for example, the longstanding and deep roots of the Catholic faith in the archdiocese, and how they continue to bear fruit in the lives of devout Catholic families. Consider the dedication to Catholic education, to sacred worship, and to the works of charity, which are all fruits of the Catholic faith, handed down, with integrity, from the time of the apostles and from the time of the first evangelization of this chosen portion of God's vineyard. Consider the gift of our priests, both priests of the archdiocese and members of religious orders and communities, true shepherds of the flock, who are totally loyal to Christ, the Good Shepherd, represented in their bishop, and are thus united, with the bishop and each other, in the one priestly ministry of our Lord. Consider the flowering of many new vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life, and the wonderful work of preparing the future shepherds of the flock at our own archdiocesan seminary, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

Consider the study of the Catholic faith and the teaching of the faith in the homes, parish schools of religion, Catholic schools, and the Paul VI Pontifical Catechetical and Pastoral Institute, and through the activities of many associations of the faithful and other Catholic institutions. Consider the incomparable beauty of this Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, which symbolizes so stunningly the Catholic faith, lived, historically and presently, by the faithful of the archdiocese. Consider the ministration of the sacraments, especially the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance, and, above all, the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and the continuous adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, which take place daily in the many churches and chapels throughout the ten counties of our archdiocese. Consider the most beautiful fruit of the teaching of the faith and the worship of God, which is the daily conversion to Christ in seeking to live a holy life, a life poured out, with Christ, in pure and selfless love of God and our neighbor, especially our neighbor who is in most need. Consider the Christian stewardship practiced by so many in the archdiocese, on behalf of the whole Body of Christ, through parish support, the Annual Catholic Appeal, and many other charitable, educational, and missionary works.

In bidding you farewell, my thoughts, full of gratitude for all that God has been accomplishing in our midst, turn also to what remains to be done in carrying out more effectively the new evangelization. Today, we are called to teach, celebrate and live our Catholic faith with new enthusiasm and new energy in a society which is enslaved by materialism and secularism, and by the destructive individualism which is their fruit. We know the challenges in living the Catholic faith, which the faithful of the Archdiocese have historically faced, for example, the severe hardships to be overcome in carrying out the first evangelization of our area, the intimidation caused by a virulent anti-Catholicism, especially in the 19th Century, and the struggle to overcome the evil of the socially-acceptable prejudice toward and hatred of neighbor because of nationality or race.

We know the challenges in living the Catholic faith, which the faithful of the Archdiocese must meet today. We experience, for example, the daily temptation to compromise our witness to the truths of the faith or to remain silent before the agenda of a totally secularized society, an agenda which is constantly propagated by the communications media and which worships “politically-correct” speech and action over the speaking and living of the truth in love. We are painfully conscious of the most grievous attacks on human life and on the cradle of human life in the sacramental union of man and woman in Holy Matrimony, which are carried out daily in our society. We face directly the call to be one people with our brothers and sisters who are immigrants to our nation, to overcome any lingering form of national or racial prejudice and hatred. Within the Church, we struggle daily with those who would remake the truths of the faith and its practice, in accord with their own agenda, rebelling against the teaching authority of the Church’s pastors and betraying the Church’s witness to Christ in the world.

Conscious of what we must yet do in the new evangelization of our culture and of the daunting challenges which we face, we do not give way to confusion or discouragement. Rather, we remain confident in the immeasurable and unceasing thirst of God for our souls and the souls of all men, without boundary. Before our failures and the challenges we continue to face, we turn to our Lord to instruct us in the truth and to fortify us with the grace of the sacraments. We turn to our Lord in His holy Church, with humility, seeking the salvation which He alone can give us, and with confidence, trusting that His only desire is to save us from sin, to save us for eternal happiness with Him.

When our hearts are beset with doubt and fear and worry, let us go the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Blessed Mother, especially under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the title of her wondrous visit to our continent in 1531. She lovingly draws us to herself, so that she may bring us to her divine Son, the only-begotten Son of God. She helps us, by her example and her intercession, to lift up our hearts, with her Immaculate Heart, to the glorious pierced heart of Our Lord Jesus, the heart which He took in her sinless womb, under her Immaculate Heart. Our Lord never fails to receive us into His heart, with unceasing love, giving us rest and strength. He overcomes in us all doubt and fear and worry, so that we can bring the Father's mercy and love to our world. The Heart of Jesus, seated at the right hand of the Father in glory, is the unfailing source of divine love in our lives, the divine love which alone heals and nourishes our souls, the divine love which alone saves our world.

Recognizing in the Heart of Jesus the source of our every grace and blessing, we consecrated ourselves, our archdiocese, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, on June 17th of last year, on the occasion of the dedication of the shrine to the Sacred Heart in this Cathedral Basilica. As we reflect, today, upon the blessings of the past and the challenges of the future, let us renew again the Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart. Let each of us pray to Our Lord, as we prayed in the Act of Consecration:
I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants ("Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart" by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque).
May God the Father, in His infinite mercy and love, make the fruit of my time as your shepherd to be the faithful union of our hearts with His heart, the Sacred Heart of His incarnate Son, so that we may always find our joy and peace in serving Him with all our heart.

Let us now, with the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, lift up our hearts to the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus. One in heart with the Heart of Jesus in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, may we know the mystery of salvation in our lives and be, for the world, without boundary, the faithful messengers of freedom and peace, of eternal salvation in Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received, have mercy on us.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America and Star of the New Evangelization, pray for us.
Saint Louis of France, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, pray for us.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Source: Archdiocesan Web Site

News Updates, 8/19

"The possibilities of a post-Vatican II Church”
Speakers for upcoming Northern California Lay Convocation not exactly models of orthodoxy

Doctor: Premature baby came 'back to life'
'This is the first time I've ever seen such a thing'

Denver archbishop not among Dems' invited clerics
Chaput recently published book on Catholics and politics

Court: doctors must treat gays and lesbians
Religion no reason to refuse artificial insemination

Pope suggests Italy headed toward fascism
Berlusconi's 'right-wing leadership' under scrutiny

Priest faces discipline over Womenpriests' ceremony
Maryknoller: 'In conscience I felt I had to be there'

Lawyer posts abusive priests' phone numbers
'I have no problem with people calling them'

Catholic group highlights China's rights abuses
Also calls for release of underground Catholic priests

Survey: Many believe in divine intervention
57 percent in survey said God could save a patient

Carmelite priest beaten, murdered in India
Martyr sacrificed his life for the poor and marginalized

Gospel for Tuesday, 20th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial of St. John Eudes, priest
Old Calendar: St. John Eudes, confessor

From: Matthew 19:23-30

Christian Poverty and Renunciation

[23] Jesus said to His disciples, "Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. [24] Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God." [25] When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" [26] But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." [27] Then Peter said in reply, "Lo, we have left everything and followed You. What then shall we have?" [28] Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man shall sit on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. [29] And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for My name's sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. [30] But many that are first will be last, and the last first."


24-26. By drawing this comparison Jesus shows that it is simply not possible for people who put their hearts on worldly things to obtain a share in the Kingdom of God.

"With God all things are possible": that is, with God's grace man can be brave and generous enough to use wealth to promote the service of God and man. This is why St. Matthew, in Chapter 5, specifies that the poor "in spirit" are blessed (Matthew 5:3).

28. "In the new world", in the "regeneration": a reference to the renewal of all things which will take place when Jesus Christ comes to judge the living and the dead. The resurrection of the body will be an integral part of this renewal.

The ancient people of God, Israel, was made up of twelve tribes. The new people of God, the Church, to which all men are called, is founded by Jesus Christ on the Twelve Apostles under the primacy of Peter.

29. These graphic remarks should not be explained away. They mean that love for Jesus Christ and His Gospel should come before everything else. What our Lord says here should not be interpreted as conflicting with the will of God Himself, the creator and sanctifier of family bonds.
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, August 18, 2008

What's going on here?

As reported by Diogenes:
Storm Clouds over Amarillo

Don't look now, but the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life, the religious order founded in 2005 by Father Frank Pavone, has quietly been disbanded. The Missionaries continue to exist as a lay association, but the lay members may be confused, since they originally signed up as lay affiliates of an order that no longer exists.

The disappearance of the religious order reflects a decision by the Amarillo (Texas) diocese, ratified by the Vatican. In the long run, the move may presage further troubles for Priests for Life, Father Pavone's more successful venture....

But there's more to the story. Church officials in Amarillo and in Rome were reportedly concerned about possible confusion in fundraising between the religious order and the secular corporation. Beyond that there were-- and still are-- concerns about the successful fundraising by Priests for Life, a group that has been raising tidy sums with minimal ecclesiastical control....

HT to Darla for the link...

Just for Today, August 19

Lord, I stand much in need of a grace yet greater, if I must arrive so far that it may not be in the power of any man or anything created to hinder me. For as long as anything holds me, I cannot freely fly to Thee. He was desirous to fly freely to Thee, who said: Who will give me wings like a dove, and I will fly away and be at rest (Ps. liv, 7).

What can be more at rest than a simple eye that aims at nothing but God? And what can be more free than he who desires nothing upon earth? A man ought there­fore to pass and ascend above everything created, and perfectly to forsake himself, and in ecstasy of mind to stand and see that no creatures can be compared with Thee; because Thou infinitely transcendest them all.
-Bk. III, ch. xxxi.

Thank God I have never met with anything but dis­appointment in human friendships. A heart like mine would have been taken captive and its wings clipped, and then I could no longer fly away and be at rest. How can a heart given up to human love ever be intimately united to God? It is impossible. I have seen so many souls, attracted by its false light, burn their wings like hapless moths, and then come back wounded to Jesus, the divine Fire which burns and consumes not.
-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 of St Augustine for August 19

Neither can the love of God exist in a man who loves not his neighbour, nor the love of his neighbour in him who loves not God.
Click here for more information.

From Thoughts of St Augustine for Every Day
by Kathleen Mary Balfe (© 1926)
Nihil Obstat: Georgius D. Smith, S.T.D
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont

Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day, August 19

We have not Jesus Christ on earth to make us sensibly hear his voice; but in his stead he has left us his priests, and has told us that he who hears them hears him, and he who despises them despises him. Happy they who are obedient to their spiritual Father.
From Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day
Compiled by Rev. C. McNeiry, C.SS.R.
Imprimatur: Joseph Hull, C.SS.R., Prov. Angl. Sup.
Nihil Obstat: Innocentlus Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor Deptutatus.
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius Generalis.
Westmonasterii, Die 9a Junii, 1927.
First published 1927

Bishop Robert Finn: "We Want Authentic Catholic Schools that Help Form Saints"

As we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary's Assumption, our schools begin to open. Students all over the diocese get their back packs together, some put on uniforms, and everyone begins getting up a bit earlier and ready for school. The studies, sports teams, and school clubs will soon be in full gear. The new year begins and our Catholic schools remain a big part of it: for many generations - and for thousands of students.

The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is blessed with Catholic schools from early childhood through university. The mission and goals of our schools overlap in a variety of ways with the educational targets of the public schools. But there is something more that must define our schools....

News Updates, 8/18

Abortion, same-sex marriage and the Supreme Court
Saddleback Forum elicits answers to "the big questions” from McCain, Obama

Exorcist: Promiscuity can lead to possession
'Among the causes of homosexuality is a...demonic factor'

Controversial Catholic group to return funds
Questions arise over organization's enormous wealth

On abortion, candidates subtly seek centrist votes
Both parties want it 'both ways' on controversial subject

Cardinal George's release of deposition a milestone
Cardinal worked to reduce molester's 20-year sentence

Former bishop takes oath as Paraguay president
Promises to give to end nation's entrenched corruption

Sex abuse priest removed by Diocese of Albany
SNAP: 'The diocese did not move quickly enough'

Shroud of Turin stirs new controversy
Colorado couple dispute radiocarbon dating

Pope announces planned trip to Lourdes
Benedict XVI recalled Virgin's 'maternal solicitude'

Gospel for Monday, 20th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial of St. Jane Frances de Chantal, religious (USA)
Old Calendar: St. Agapitus, martyr

From: Matthew 19:16-22

The Rich Young Man

[16] And behold, one man came up to Him (Jesus), saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" [17] And He said to him, "Why do you ask Me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments." [18] He said to Him, "Which?" And Jesus said, "You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, [19] Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself." [20] The young man said to Him, "All these I have observed; what do I still lack?" [21] Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and come, follow Me." [22] When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.


17. The Vulgate and other translations, supported by a good many Greek codexes, fill this verse out by saying, "One alone is good, God."

20-22. "What do I still lack?" The young man kept the commandments that were necessary for salvation. But there is more. This is why our Lord replies, "if you would be perfect..." that is to say, if you want to acquire what is still lacking to you. Jesus is giving him an additional calling, "Come, follow Me": He is showing that He wants him to follow Him more closely, and therefore He requires, as He does others (cf. Matthew 4:19-22), to give up anything that might hinder his full dedication to the Kingdom of God.

The scene ends rather pathetically: the young man goes away sad. His attachment to his property prevails over Jesus' affectionate invitation. Here is sadness of the kind that stems from cowardice, from failure to respond to God's calling with personal commitment.

In reporting this episode, the evangelists are actually giving us a case-study which describes a situation and formulates a law, a case-study of specific divine vocation to devote oneself to God's service and the service of all men.

This young man has become a symbol of the kind of Christian whose mediocrity and shortsightedness prevent him from turning his life into a generous, fruitful self-giving to the service of God and neighbor.

What would this young man have become, had be been generous enough to respond to God's call? A great apostle, surely.
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.