Saturday, September 13, 2008

Just for Today, September 14

Lord Jesus, I have received the cross, I have received it from Thy hand: and I will bear it until death, as Thou hast laid it upon me. Indeed the life of a good religious man is a cross, but it is a cross that conducts him to Paradise.
-Bk. III, ch. lvi.
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Instead of reproaching Our Lord for having sent us this cross, I cannot fathom the depths of divine love which move Him so to treat us. God must love Father very dearly to send him such suffering. What joy for us to share this humiliation with him!
-Letters.
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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.

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Thoughts of St Augustine for September 14

BUT if haply as yet, by reason of the sick­nesses of the soul, from the love of the world which it hath contracted, we are unable even to taste how sweet the Lord is, let us how­ever believe the Divine testimony.
_________________________
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

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Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day-September 14

IN regard to what you have written to me, follow the advice of your confessor and you will not go astray. He holds the place of God; through him you may know the 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

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Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost (TLM), Our Individuality before God

By The Rev. T. J. Brennan, S.T.L.
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"And Jesus seeing their thoughts, said: Why do you think evil in your hearts?” - Matt. ix, 4.

My dear friends, the Gospel I have just read for you contains several lessons, this among others: that both we and our actions stand out distinctly in the sight of God. Numbers, however great, do not confuse Him; distance, however remote, does not dim His vision. Whether in the crowded city or in the trackless desert, we are known and noted, with everything that individualizes both ourselves and our conduct. Let us dwell on this thought for a moment.

You know it is very confusing to think of many individuals. The more acquaintances we have the less distinct are they in our minds. We all know, perhaps, twenty or thirty people well, as well as one human being can know another. We know a few hundred to talk with them socially, when we meet them, about the interests of life. And perhaps we know a few thousand by sight. Outside of these there are hundreds of millions living with us on the earth. We may speak of them as a body, yet to us they have no individuality. They are as undistinguished as the trees in the forest, or as the heads of corn in the field. They are always changing, the old ones departing, the young ones arriving; but to us the great mass always remains the same. If you add to these the millions and millions that were, the millions and millions that are to be, the thought becomes positively bewildering, the imagination refuses to act.

And yet every single one of those has a character, a history, an individuality of his own. We may, indeed, divide them off into races or generations, but that does not destroy their individuality. When we think, for example, of the English or Germans or Chinese we take certain types and multiply them by the number in these countries, and that is all. But that is a delusion. The type simply exists in books or in the imagination. When you come down to individuals there is only the faintest likeness to the type; the faintest likeness one to another. You may go into London with its millions, or into China with its hundreds of mi11ions, and there are no two exactly, or even approximately, alike, either in body or in spirit; in disposition or endowments; in passions, temptations or difficulties.

We can realize this best by considering and comparing those we know. Is there anyone among our acquaintances whom we can not distinguish "from another without the slightest difficulty? Even in the same family, born of the same parents and raised in the same surroundings, how easy to tell them apart! Well, it is the same among the mi11ions that now people or have peopled the earth. They are so many mi11ions of individuals; it is only because of our limited powers of apprehension and attention that we think of them as nations or races.

Now this limited power of attention influences us to our injury. For unconsciously we transfer these limitations to God also. We all indeed feel that God looks down on and regards the human race that he has created; that He knows the wants of humankind and sends the rain and the sunshine in season. But then, latent within us is the idea that just as the individual character and doings of the multitude are obscure and vague in our minds; so also that to the mind of God the individual is lost in the teeming mass that moves hither and thither on the face of the earth. Each one of us has the idea that we do not stand out distinctly before God clothed in our individual joys and sorrows, needs and temptations.

When we pray we have the idea that we are disadvantaged by the fact that we are but one among millions that are besieging the throne of God; when we sin or neglect our duties we shelter ourselves under the thought that our sin or neglect is lost in the multitudinous sins and negligences of the race; that though the race may have its prayers granted or its sins punished, yet that my individual prayer is too weak, my individual sin is too insignificant to be noticed by God. Hence we become careless in prayer and good works; we become unscrupulous in doing evil. This, I say, comes from transferring to God our limited power of apprehension and attention.

Now, my dear friends, to correct that evil we have only to remember what God is in Himself, to remember what He has told us about Himself. In the second lesson of the Catechism it is asked: "Does God know all things?" And the answer is: "God knows all things, even our most secret thoughts and actions." That is the simple statement of a truth which we ought to keep constantly in our minds. God being infinite in all things must be infinite in knowledge; there can be no place, no being in creation beyond His vision. To him there is no such thing as near and far off, because He is in all places equally; there is no such thing as clear and obscure, because His light shines on every work of His hands; there can be no such thing as attending well at one time, and attending carelessly at another time, like a child at school, because in Him there is no change nor shadow of alteration.

And however little we may understand it, yet it needs must be that each one of us must stand out individually, distinctly, in all our relations and characteristics before God. Supposing that only one human being existed in the world, and that he had been told, as we have been that God sees and knows all things, how he would have that as a guiding thought before him; how it would serve as an incentive to good, as a check to evil. Well, each one of us is seen and known by God as if no other existed; to imagine it otherwise would be to misunderstand the infinite character of God's knowledge and vision. The single blade of corn in the field receives its plenitude of sun; but not the less fully does it come to the waving millions that grow by its side. So is it with us. God sees the race; but He sees you and me, as if you and I were alone in the world. Reason tells us that it must be so.

Has not our Divine Lord told us the same thing? Nay, He tells us that even the little birds of the air, which flit about so numerously and seemingly so undistinguished, that even these are noted and numbered by the all-seeing eye of God. "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing; and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father" (Matt. x, 29). He even goes farther, and says: "The very hairs of your head are numbered" (Matt. x, 30). Does not the same appear from the recent Gospel: "There met Him ten men that were lepers." He took pity on their sad condition and He healed them. Only one returned to give thanks. Which of the Apostles, which of the bystanders, do you think, could have told how many more ought to have returned? I doubt if any could.

But there was one who could and did: "Were not ten," He said, "made clean and where are the nine?" Which of those standing by could have told what was the nationality of him who came back to give thanks? Only He who knows all things: "There is no one found to return and give glory to God but this stranger." Number did not confuse Him; nationality did not escape Him; each one of the ten stood before Him marked and noted as if there were but one instead of ten.

That is what we must all remember, and that is what those nine forgot. Of the ten that were cured these nine said, each to himself: "I have indeed received a great favor; but there are nine others, and I leave it to them to return fitting thanks to our kind benefactor." Only one of the ten remembered that there was a personal obligation on himself, which no one only he could fulfill. He remembered the days of aching and sorrow through which he had passed; he remembered the prompt and kind answer of the Nazarene; so "he went back with a loud voice glorifying God; and he fell on his face before His feet giving thanks." It mattered not to him what the others did; his duty was plain and he did it.

And that should be always our principle: To remember that God deals with us individually; to remember our individual rc1ations with God. Neither the good nor the evil that we do is lost before God because of the amount of good or evil in the world. We may be one of ten, or we may be one of a hundred, or we may be one of millions, but we are always individualized in the sight of God. It must have been a revelation to the grateful Samaritan after returning to thank his benefactor to find that to such wonderful power: he added an equally wonderful knowledge: "Were not ten made clean and where are the nine? There is no one found to return and give glory to God except this stranger."
__________________
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

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Gospel for Sept 13, Memorial: St John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor

Saturday, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 6:43-49

Integrity (Continuation)

(Jesus said to his disciples,) [43] "For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; [44] for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. [45] The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

[46] "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you? [47] Every one who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: [48] he is like a man building a house, who dug deep, and laid the foundation upon rock; and when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it had been well built. [49] But he who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation; against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great."
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Commentary:

43-44. To distinguish the good tree from the bad tree we need to look at the fruit the tree produces (deeds) and not at its foliage (words). "For there is no lack of people here on earth who, on being approached, turn out to be nothing but large, shiny, glossy leaves. Foliage, just foliage and nothing more. Meanwhile, many souls are looking at us hoping to satisfy their hunger, which is a hunger for God. We must not forget that we have all the resources we need. We have sufficient doctrine and the grace of God, in spite of our wretchedness" ([St] J.Escriva, "Friends of God", 51).

45. Jesus is giving us two similes--that of the tree which, if it is not good, produces good fruit, and that of the man, who speaks of those things he has in his heart. "The treasure of the heart is the same as the root of the tree," St Bede explains. "A person who has a treasure of patience and of perfect charity in his heart yields excellent fruit; he loves his neighbor and has all the other qualities Jesus teaches; he loves his enemies, does good to him who hates him, blesses him who curses him, prays for him who calumniates him, does not react against him who attacks him or robs him; he gives to those who ask, does not claim what they have stolen from him, wishes not to judge and does not condemn, corrects patiently and affectionately those who err. But the person who has in his heart the treasure of evil does exactly the opposite: he hates his friends, speaks evil of him who loves him and does all the other things condemned by the Lord" ("In Lucae Evangelium Expositio", II, 6).

46. Jesus asks us to act in a way consistent with being Christians and not to make any separation between the faith we profess and the way we live: "What matters is not whether or not we wear a religious habit; it is whether we try to practice the virtues and surrender our will to God and order our lives as His Majesty ordains, and not want to do our will but his" (St Teresa of Avila, "Interior Castle", II, 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.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Just for Today, September 13

He does much that does well what he does.
-Bk. I, ch. xv.
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Union with God was the chief theme of her instruc­tions to the novices. She would reprove one for idly humming an air, another for carelessly sitting sideways on her chair, saying sadly: "How few there are who do everything as well as they can! The majority are content with half measures and careless ways".
-Esprit de Sainte Therese.
__________________
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.

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Thoughts of St Augustine for September 13

THEY are good, who with their whole will serve God; but the evil serve of necessity; for no one escapes the laws of the Almighty.

But it is one thing to do what the law com­mands, another to suffer what the law commands.
_________________________
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

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Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day-September 13

It is an act of charity to correct sinners.

Would it not be great cruelty to see a blind man walking on the brink of a precipice, and not admonish him of his danger, in order to preserve him from temporal death?

It would be far greater cruelty to neglect, for the sake of avoiding a little trouble, to deliver a brother from eternal death.
_________________
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

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Will This Election Be Our "Last Chance -- For Life"?

Rational people - those who understand the natural moral law and the the consequences that arise for rebelling against it - know that the balance of life and death hinge on the outcome of this coming election. Patrick Buchanan writes about it here at Townhall.com. He who wins the election decides the fate of millions of unborn children for decades to come. The man who wins will probably appoint one, two, or more Supreme Court Justices.

This election is America's last hope to reverse Roe v. Wade. Upon its outcome will rest the life, or death, of millions of unborn children. The great social cause of the Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus, of the Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, of the entire right-to-life movement, hangs today in the balance.

Why? It is not just that Obama is a pro-choice absolutist who defends the grisly procedure known as partial-birth abortion, who backs a Freedom of Choice Act to abolish every restriction in every state, who even opposed a born-alive infant protection act.

Nor is it because Joe Biden is a NARAL Catholic who has...supported a women's "right" to abortion, the exercise of which right has ended the lives of 45 million unborn.

Nor is it even because McCain professes to be pro-life, or Gov. Palin is a woman who not only talks the talk but walks the walk of life.

No. The reason this election is the last chance for life is the Supreme Court. For it alone -- given the cowardice of a Congress that refuses to restrict its authority -- has the power to reverse Roe, and because that court may be within a single vote of doing so.

Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Sam Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts appear steeled to overturn Roe and return this most divisive issue since slavery to the states, where it resided until January 1973....

If Roe goes, all things are possible. If Roe remains, all is lost....

Read his article here.

Buchanan's points must be taken seriously if we are to begin to return to that period of our history when we were a nation in which "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" were more than just words. The most abominable crimes of genocide and infanticide against the most innocent and defenseless little ones among us will be our continued curse if our actions or inactions allow B. Hussein Obama to occupy the Oval Office.

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Woman from Warrenton professes temporary vows

Warrenton native Sister M. Lissetta Gettinger professed temporary vows with the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration last month.

Don and Lorraine Gettinger, Sister M. Lissetta’s parents, are members of Holy Rosary Parish in Warrenton.

The Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration are based in the Eastern or Immaculate Heart of Mary Province, centered in Mishawaka, Ind. Members of the congregation served from 1905 to 1988 as teachers and administrators at Immaculate Conception School in Union.

Sister M. Lissetta of St. Joseph, 27, professed her vows at Mass Aug. 10 in the chapel at Mount Alverno, the order’s motherhouse in Mishawaka. She vowed for three years "to live in chastity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, to choose a life of poverty and to offer the sacrifice of obedience," according to her community.

Provincial Superior Sister M. Angela Mellady accepted Sister M. Lissetta’s vows in the name of the Church. The white veil she wore as a novice for two years was exchanged with a black veil as an outward sign of her profession....

Awesome news! Let us keep Sister M. Lissetta in our prayers.


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News Updates, 9/12

"Some issues always involve doing evil”Kansas, Missouri bishops offer guidance on voting

Day late and a dollar short?
US bishops to discuss politics and abortion – after the election

Comedian faces prison sentence for Pope insult
Said he'd be 'tormented by great big poofter devils'

Joe Biden: attack of the killer bishops
Senator long ago abandoned the doctrines of his Church

Priest accused of dealing cocaine from rectory
University of Illinois chaplain pleads not guilty

Parental notice law back on ballot in California
Opposition faces well-funded foes

Montreal archbishop returns Canadian medal
Protests award of high honor to abortion rights activist

Priests: British TV has 'pro-Islam' bias
Head of religious broadcasting is a Muslim

Catholic journalists hunted by Vietnam police
Worried about the international exposure of their tactics

Pope trying to bridge gap between faith, reason
Benedict's trip to France is journey into deep secularism

Expert: No breakthrough in Vatican-China relations
Beijing is 'preserving control of the church at all costs'

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Fr Euteneuer's Spirit and Life Column of Terrorism, more

Here is an important Spirit & Life column from Fr. Tom:

The Real War on Terror

And in case you missed it, his S&L from the week before last:

Montezuma’s Abortion Revenge

And...
Abortion Extremists in Ecuador Send Death Threats to Bishop and HLI Director

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Gospel for Friday, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Old Calendar: Most Holy Name of Mary


From: Luke 6:39-42

Integrity

[39] He (Jesus) told them a parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? [40] A disciple is not above his teacher, but every one when he is fully taught will be like his teacher. [41] Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your eye? [42] Or how can you say to your brother, `Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye."
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Commentary:

[None for Luke 6:39-42. Below is a commentary on a similar theme from
Matthew 7:1-5:]

1. Jesus is condemning any rash judgments we make maliciously or carelessly about our brothers' behavior or feelings or motives. "Think badly and you will not be far wrong" is completely at odds with Jesus' teaching.

In speaking of Christian charity St. Paul lists its main features: "Love is patient and kind [...]. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Corinthians 13:4, 5, 7). Therefore, "Never think badly of anyone, not even if the words or conduct of the person in question give you good grounds for doing so" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 442).

"Let us be slow to judge.--Each one sees things from his own point of view, as his mind, with all its limitations, tells him, and through eyes that are often dimmed and clouded by passion" ("ibid"., 451).

1-2. As elsewhere, the verbs in the passive voice ("you will be judged", "the measure you will be given") have God as their subject, even though He is not explicitly mentioned: "Do not judge OTHERS, that you be not judged BY GOD". Clearly the judgment referred to here is always a condemnatory judgment; therefore, if we do not want to be condemned by God, we should never condemn our neighbor. "God measures out according as we measure out and forgives as we forgive, and comes to our rescue with the same tenderness as He sees us having towards others" (Fray Luis de Leon, "Exposicion Del Libro De Job", Chapter 29).

3-5. A person whose sight is distorted sees things as deformed, even though in fact they are not deformed. St. Augustine gives this advice: "Try to acquire those virtues which you think your brothers lack, and you will no longer see their defects, because you will not have them yourselves" ("Enarrationes In Psalmos", 30, 2, 7). In this connection, the saying, "A thief thinks that everyone else is a thief" is in line with this teaching of Jesus.

Besides: "To criticize, to destroy, is not difficult; any unskilled laborer knows how to drive his pick into the noble and finely-hewn stone of a cathedral. To construct: that is what requires the skill of a master" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 456).
___________________________
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.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bishops: No Reason for Pro-Life Catholic to Back Pro-Abortion Candidate

Kansas City, KS (LifeNews.com) -- Two leading Catholics bishops have issued a statement making it clear that pro-life issues like abortion and euthanasia must be the top priority for Catholic voters. While not endorsing any candidate, the Catholic leaders say those issues should guide the choices Catholic voters make in November.

Kansas City, Kansas Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann and Kansas City - St. Joseph Bishop Robert W. Finn address the questions in a joint pastoral letter released Thursday.

[...]

The bishops provide Catholic voters with guidelines for choosing between two candidates who take different stands on life and death issues -- such as abortion, the death penalty and war.

"In such cases, the appropriate judgment would be to select the candidate whose policies regarding this grave evil will do less harm," they say. "We have a responsibility to limit evil if it is not possible at the moment to eradicate it completely."

With abortion claiming nearly 50 million victims in the United States, the bishops appear to make it clear that no other issue is more important than where the candidates stand on abortion as other life and death issues result in the destruction of far fewer people.

In fact, the bishops go on to say that there is no justification for supporting a candidate who supports legal abortions when there is a candidate who opposes them.

"The voter, who himself or herself opposed these [pro-abortion] policies, would have insufficient moral justification voting for the more permissive candidate," they write....



The Joint Pastoral, "Our Moral Responsibility as Catholic Citizens," can be read here.

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Just for Today, September 12

Conceive an indignation against thyself; suffer not the swelling of pride to live in thee; but make thyself so submissive and little, that all may trample on thee, and tread thee under their feet, as the dust of the streets.
-Bk. III, ch. xiii.
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Grant that I may keep my vows in all their perfection, that no one may notice me, that I may be trodden under­foot and forgotten as a grain of sand. I offer myself to Thee, my well-Beloved, that Thy holy will may be ful­filled in me, without let or hindrance on the part of creatures.
-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.

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Thoughts of St Augustine for September 12

The end therefore of every commandment is Charity--that is, every commandment is referred to Charity.
_________________________
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

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Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day-September 12

Many sinners by the help of God's grace are converted and receive pardon. But because they neglect to ask for perseverance, they fall again and lose all.
_________________
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

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Missouri Legislature Misses Opportunity to Save Lives

From Missouri Right to Life:

ANOTHER MISSED OPPORTUNITY - NO CALL FOR SPECIAL SESSION

It is once again September and legislators have traveled to Jefferson City on taxpayer dollars to hold a constitutionally-required veto session. But instead of taking steps to enact legislation to require ultrasounds for pregnant women before an abortion is done and to pass other effective pro-life legislation, legislators have done nothing to move the pro-life cause forward.

"The Missouri legislature passed up an opportunity to urge the Governor to convene a special session and pass HB 1831," said Pam Fichter, President of Missouri Right to Life. "This legislation would have saved babies and protected women from being coerced into an abortion. It would also have given mothers the opportunity to view an ultrasound and receive information on their unborn child's development before deciding on abortion," Fichter continued. "Legislators also missed an opportunity to close the loophole of HB 818 from 2007 which opens the door for exploitation by the abortion industry to allow abortion to be performed by non-physicians."

It is never too late to save babies and protect women. It is disappointing that the legislators waxed long on rhetoric but fell short on action on September 10 when they could have done so much more to aid the cause of life.
Politicians who fail to protect the innocent unborn do not deserve to stay in office and they must be voted out!

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When Voting for the President this November – Vote Your Conscience

A Personal Message from Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center

As Catholics (and Christians) we have an obligation to form our consciences in the light of the truth the Church teaches.
-Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver
Dear Members & Friends of the Thomas More Law Center,

A short new inspirational video has begun circulating on the internet, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share it with you today. In just 3 minutes, the video speaks strongly to Americans about the issues that are at stake in this Presidential election… they are the very issues for which the Thomas More Law Center was founded to promote and protect.

Although the video speaks specifically to Catholics, it will provide inspiration to people of all faiths who value the sanctity of human life and traditional family values.Patriotic - Americans in Iwo Jima

Please take a moment today to experience the message this dramatic video contains… and please forward it to family and friends to remind them of what our country is facing this November 4th.



Also on this day, please take a moment to remember the tragedy of September 11, 2001. We pray for the families and Americans who still mourn as a result of that day.

May God bless you… and may God bless America.

Richard Thompson
President & Chief Counsel
###

Important articles:

Can McCain Take Up the Catholic Mantle?
by Brian Burch, President of Fidelis

Does It Matter Who’s Elected President?
by Fr. Frank Pavone

Infanticide and Obama
by Deal Hudson

Thoughts on ‘Roman Catholics for Obama ‘08,
by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver

A Response to Doug Kmiec

Obama vs. the Right to Life
by the Editors of the National Catholic Register

And many more resources here...

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Bishops To Take On Pro-Abort Pols?

WASHINGTON, Sept 10, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said the full body of U.S. bishops will discuss the practical and pastoral implications of political support for abortion during their annual assembly, November 10-13, in Baltimore....[Continued here]

What timing...a week after the election!

While we should be thankful that so many bishops have spoken out against the statements of Pelosi and Biden, in particular, we still should pray that this action will have positive results. Nonetheless, I remain skeptical that the full body of bishops will do anything of substance to address this most scandalous problem in the Church and to enforce Canon 915 for those who publicly support the murder of the unborn.

Perhaps, God willing, something will come from Rome to address this most serious matter before the election and serve as yet another guide for our bishops and priests?


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News Updates, 9/11

USCCB Releases Official Statement Correcting Biden's Abortion Statements
"Protection of innocent human life is not an imposition of personal religious conviction but a demand of justice."

Homosexual U.K. Documentarian Says Gay Lifestyle a "Sewer"...
Casual Degrading Sex, Drug Abuse and Misery

Catholic bishops condemn US immigration raids
Prelates say they break up families, disrupt communities

Pope to find unlikely ally in France's Sarkozy
In battle to inject Christian values back into Europe

Pope to address 'crisis of faith' in France
Two years to the day since Regensburg lecture

I told them to flee, Rwanda priest admits
At peak of 1994 genocide: seek shelter elsewhere

U.S. bishops ask for lifting of Cuba travel ban
'In light of the devastation and humanitarian disaster'

Spain: three out of four marriages 'rupture'
Following years of pro-abortion, anti-family policies

Man indicted for seeking heavenly tax refund
Iowan allegedly claims to be a citizen of heaven

Biologists on verge of creating new life form
Researchers working to design complete novelty

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Gospel for Thursday, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: Sts. Protus and Hyacinth, martyrs

From: Luke 6:27-38

Love of Enemies


[27] "But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, [28] bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. [29] To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your cloak do not withhold your coat as well. [30] Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again. [31] And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.

[32] "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. [33] And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. [34] And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. [35] But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish. [36] Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

[37] "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; [38] give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back."
_____________________

Commentary:

27. "In loving our enemies there shines forth in us some likeness to God our Father, who, by the death of His Son, ransomed from everlasting perdition and reconciled to Himself the human race, which previously was most unfriendly and hostile to Him" ("St. Pius V Catechism", IV, 14, 19). Following the example of God our Father, we must desire for everyone (even those who say they are our enemies) eternal life, in the first place; additionally, a Christian has a duty to respect and understand everyone without exception, because of his or her intrinsic dignity as a human person, made in the image and likeness of the Creator.

28. Jesus Christ teaches us by example that this is a real precept and not just a pious recommendation; even when nailed to the cross He prayed to His Father for those who had brought Him to such a pass: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Lk 23:34). In imitation of the Master, St Stephen, the first martyr of the Church, when he was being stoned, prayed to our Lord not to hold the sin against his persecutors (cf. Acts 7:60). In the liturgy of Good Friday the Church offers prayers and suffrages to God on behalf of those outside the Church, asking Him to give them the grace of faith; to release from their ignorance those who do not know Him; to give Jews the light to the truth; to bring non-Catholic Christians, linked by true charity, into full communion with our Mother the Church.

29. Our Lord gives us more examples to show us how we should act if we want to imitate the mercy of God. The first has to do with one of what are traditionally called the "spiritual works of mercy"--forgiving injuries and being patient with other people's defects. This is what He means in the first instance about turning the other cheek.

To understand what our Lord is saying here, St. Thomas comments that "Sacred Scripture needs to be understood in the light of the example of Christ and the saints. Christ did not offer the cheek to be struck in the house of Annas (Jn 18:22ff), nor did St. Paul when, as we are told in the Acts of the Apostles, he was beaten in Philippi (Acts 16:22f). Therefore, we should not take it that Christ literally meant that you should offer the other cheek to some to hit you; what He was referring to was your interior disposition; that is, if necessary we should be ready not to be intolerant of anyone who hurts us, and we should be ready to put up with this kind of treatment, or worse than that. That was how the Lord acted when He surrendered His body to death" ("Commentary on St John", 18, 37).

36. The model of mercy which Christ sets before us is God Himself, of whom St. Paul says, 'Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflictions" (2 Cor 1:3-4). "The first quality of this virtue", Fray Luis de Granada explains, "is that it makes men like God and like the most glorious thing in Him, His mercy (Lk 6:36). For certainly the greatest perfection a creature can have is to be like his Creator, and the more like Him he is, the more perfect he is. Certainly one of the things which is most appropriate to God is mercy, which is what the Church means when it says that prayer: 'Lord God, to whom it is proper to be merciful and forgiving...'. It says that this is proper to God, because just as a creature, as creature, is characteristically poor and needy (and therefore characteristically receives and does not give), so, on the contrary, since God is infinitely rich and powerful, to Him alone does it belong to give and not to receive, and therefore it is appropriate for Him to be merciful and forgiving" ("Book of Prayer and Meditation", third part, third treatise).

This is the rule a Christian should apply: be compassionate towards other people's afflictions as if they were one's own, and try to remedy them. The Church spells out this rule by giving us a series of corporal works of mercy (visiting and caring for the sick, giving food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty...) and spiritual works of mercy (teaching the ignorant, correcting the person who has erred, forgiving injuries...): cf. "St Pius X Catechism", 944f.

We should also show understanding towards people who are in error: "Love and courtesy of this kind should not, of course, make us indifferent to truth and goodness. Love, in fact, impels the followers of Christ to proclaim to all men the truth which saves. But we must distinguish between the error (which must always be rejected) and the person in error, who never loses his dignity as a person even though he flounders amid false or inadequate religious ideas. God alone is the judge and searcher of hearts; He forbids us to pass judgment on the inner guilt of others" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 28).

38. We read in Sacred Scripture of the generosity of the widow of Zarephath, whom God asked to give food to Elijah the prophet even though she had very little left; He then rewarded her generosity by constantly renewing her supply of meal and oil (1 Kings 17:9ff). The same sort of thing happened when the boy supplied the five loaves and two fish which our Lord multiplied to feed a huge crowd of people (cf. Jn 6:9)--a vivid example of what God does when we give Him whatever we have, even if it does not amount to much.

God does not let Himself be outdone in generosity: "Go, generously and like a child ask Him, 'What can You mean to give me when You ask me for "this"?'" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 153). However much we give God in this life, He will give us more in life eternal.
___________________________
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.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Just for Today, September 11

A priest, clad in his sacred vestments, is Christ's viceregent to pray to God for himself and for all the people, in a suppliant and humble manner.

He has before him and behind him the sign of the Cross of the Lord, that he may always remember the Passion of Christ. He bears the cross before him in his vestment, that he may diligently behold the footsteps of Christ, and fervently endeavour to follow them. He is marked with a cross behind, that he may mildly suffer, for God's sake, whatsoever adversities shall befall him from others.

He wears the cross before him, that he may bewail his own sins; and behind him, that through compassion he may lament the sins of others, and know that he is placed, as it were, a mediator betwixt God and the sinner.

Neither ought he to cease from prayer and the holy oblation, till he be favoured with the grace and mercy which he implores.
-Bk. IV, ch. v.
________________
The harvest-time had not yet come,
But Thou didst yearn to see
The golden grain all garnered safe
In Heaven's granary.
Lord of the harvest, send Thy priests
To reap where Thou didst sow!
To them I dedicate my life,
My sufferings here below.
-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.

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Thoughts of St Augustine for September 11

For he who loves aright, without doubt believes and hopes aright.
_________________________
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

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Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day-September 11

After a fault do not be disturbed, and never despair even though you know that you are wanting in fidelity, and though you should fall again and again into the same fault. Repent immediately, and renew your promise of amendment, with confidence in God.
_________________
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

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GLBT Minneapolis Basilica YouTube Video's

Views on Same sex marriage

Endorsing Same Sex Marriage

Someone having a little fun with the Basilica of Saint Mary

HT to Peter Cansius for the links...

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To Whom Joe Biden Bows

A good article by Terence Jeffrey:
Take a leap of faith. Assume Sen. Joe Biden is an intellectually rigorous man who never fails to act on his own convictions when he votes in the Senate -- and that he is especially careful in thinking things through when he votes on matters of life and death.

Now, try to entertain Joe Biden's logic -- on a matter of life and death.....
I know - it is asking a lot, but this demonstrates just how incoherent and insane are the positions held and promoted by anti-life/anti-family Catholic politicians.

For Biden -- if you take him at his word -- the question of when life begins is not determined by science but by religion. It is not only a multiple-choice question, but a question with multiple correct answers....On "Meet the Press," Tom Brokaw -- in a half-hearted way -- challenged Biden on the contradiction between his affirmation that life begins at conception and his pro-abortion voting record....
And now the lies and deceptions come spewing forth:

"No, what I voted (was) against curtailing the right, criminalizing abortion. I voted against telling everyone else in the country that they have to accept my religiously based view that it's a moment of conception," said Biden....

Yes, though he "believes" that life begins at conception, he opposes legislation aimed at curtailing the killing of innocent life. Imagine this confused man in earlier times:
"No, what I voted against was curtailing the right to own slaves - of criminalizing slavery. I voted against telling everyone else in the country that they have to accept my religiously based view that every person is equal in the sight of God and in the our country."

On July 18, 2006, and on April 11, 2007, he voted -- along with Republican presidential candidate John McCain -- for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act... [which] said taxpayers those who share Biden's understanding that life begins at conception must pay taxes to fund researchers who kill what Biden affirms are human beings. (The bill did not become law because President Bush vetoed it twice.)
Two questions are then asked of Biden with respect to his votes which are oppsed to his stated "beliefs":
1) Should the government approve the deliberate killing of innocent human lives, and

2) Should the government force taxpayers to pay for it.

As a man who has no courage of his convictions,
Biden answered both questions: yes.

Biden approves of the murder of the innocent while claiming to be a faithful Catholic. Frankly, I'm sick and tired of listening to these charlatans like Biden and Pelosi ridicule the Church and I'm growing equally tired and impatient of their bishops who refuse to adequately address them and the faithful.

When it came to these issues of life and death, Joe Biden would not have forced Americans to bow down to his convictions, he would have forced them to bow down to someone else's.
Biden [and Pelosi and others] would have us be governed, not by the natural moral law, but by the tyranny of evil and injustice. May God have mercy on their souls and the souls of their ecclesiastical leaders who aid and abet them by their silence and inaction.


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Biden avoids confrontation with his new bishop

Wilmington, Sep. 9, 2008 (CWNews.com) - Sen. Joseph Biden did not attend the September 8 installation Mass of Bishop W. Francis Malooly, the new leader of the Wilmington, Delaware diocese where the Democratic vice-presidential candidate lives.

Biden was in Wilmington on Monday morning, but left later in the day for a campaign appearance in Wisconsin, thus avoiding a potential showdown with his new bishop....
What a display of courage! What conviction!

Lost and rebellious souls like Biden are in desperate need of prayer as are our bishops, many of whom are too weak to safeguard the Blessed Sacrament from sacrilege and protect the faithful from notorius and deadly scandal by dissenting politicians.

Many appear to able to "talk the talk" - how few there are who will "walk the walk."

May the Holy Spirit enlighten the minds of the blind and convert their hearts.


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News Updates, 9/10

“A public street orgy"
Protests planned at Folsom Street Fair, San Francisco's annual celebration of sado-masochism

Head of bishops' panel criticizes clerics
Justice Anne M. Burke scores Cardinals George, Egan

Biden gets it wrong on abortion on national TV
Came across as victim of Church's 'random' stance

Thieves ransack church in Detroit's Corktown
Pastor searches pawn shops for cherished holy vessels

Sarah Palin: religious views on Iraq war, etc.
A review of her evangelical Christian convictions

No peace for Christians even in refugee camps
Priests threatened, coerced to convert to Hinduism

Gay Masses continue in Archdiocese of Westminster
Despite announcement, no signs they will be stopped

Pakistani Catholics condemn 'honor killings'
Five women brutally murdered in Balochistan province

Visiting Pope hopes to give Church shot in arm
Pope Benedict XVI visits Lourdes, France this week

Where is the sex change capital of the US?
Small Rocky Mountain town home to a cottage industry

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Gospel for Wednesday, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: St. Nicholas of Tolentino, confessor

From: Luke 6:20-26

The Beatitudes and the Curses


[20] And He (Jesus) lifted up His eyes on His disciples, and said: "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God. [21] Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh. [22] Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! [23] Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in Heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. [24] But woe to you that are rich, for you have received your consolation. [25] Woe to you that are full now, for you shall hunger. Woe to you that laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. [26] Woe to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets."
_________________________

Commentary:

20-49. These thirty verses of St. Luke correspond to some extent to the Sermon on the Mount, an extensive account of which St. Matthew gives us in Chapters 5 to 7 in his Gospel. It is very likely that in the course of His public ministry in different regions and towns of Israel Jesus preached the same things, using different words on different occasions. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit each evangelist would have chosen to report those things which he considered most useful for the instruction of his immediate readers--Christians of Jewish origin in the case of Matthew, Gentile converts in the case of Luke. There is no reason why one evangelist should not have selected certain items and another different ones, depending on his readership, or why one should not have laid special stress on some subjects and shortened or omitted accounts of others.

In this present discourse, we might distinguish three parts--the Beatitudes and the curses (6:20-26); love of one's enemies (6:27-38); and teaching on uprightness of heart (6:39-49).

Some Christians may find it difficult to grasp the need of practicing the moral teaching of the Gospel so radically, in particular Christ's teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is very demanding in what He says, but He is saying it to everyone, and not just to His Apostles or to those disciples who followed Him closely. We are told expressly that "when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at His teaching" (Matthew 7:28). It is quite clear that the Master calls everyone to holiness, making no distinction of state-in-life, race or personal circumstances. This teaching on the universal call to holiness was a central point of the teaching of (Blessed) Monsignor Escriva de Balaguer. The Second Vatican Council expressed the same teaching with the full weight of its authority: everyone is called to Christian holiness; consider, for example, just one reference it makes, in "Lumen Gentium", 11: "Strengthened by so many and such great means of salvation, all the faithful, whatever their condition or state--though each in his or her own way--are called by the Lord to that perfection of sanctity by which the Father Himself is perfect."

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus is not proposing an unattainable ideal, useful though that might be to make us feel humble in the light of our inability to reach it. No. Christian teaching in this regard is quite clear: what Christ commands, He commands in order to have us do what He says. Along with His commandment comes grace to enable us to fulfill it. Therefore, every Christian is capable of practising the moral teaching of Christ and of attaining the full height of his calling -- holiness --not by his own efforts alone but by means of the grace which Christ has won for us, and with the abiding help of the means of sanctification which He left to His Church. "If anyone plead human weakness to excuse Himself for not loving God, it should be explained that He who demands our love pours into our hearts by the Holy Spirit the fervor of His love, and this good Spirit our Heavenly Father gives to those that ask Him. With reason, therefore, did St. Augustine pray:
`Give Me what Thou command, and command what You please.' As, then, God is ever ready to help us, especially since the death of Christ our Lord, by which the prince of this world was cast out, there is no reason why anyone should be disheartened by the difficulty of the undertaking. To him who loves, nothing is difficult" ("St. Pius V Catechism", III, 1, 7).

20-26. The eight Beatitudes which St. Matthew gives (5:3-12) are summed up in four by St. Luke, but with four opposite curses. We can say, with St. Ambrose, that Matthew's eight are included in Luke's four (cf. "Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc."). In St. Luke they are in some cases stated in a more incisive, more direct form than in the First Gospel, where they are given with more explanation: for example, the first beatitude says simply "Blessed are you poor", whereas in Matthew we read, "Blessed are the poor in spirit", which contains a brief explanation of the virtue of poverty.

20. "The ordinary Christian has to reconcile two aspects of this life that can at first seem contradictory. There is on the one hand "true poverty", which is obvious and tangible and made up of definite things. This poverty should be an _expression of faith in God and a sign that the heart is not satisfied with created things and aspires to the Creator; that it wants to be filled with love of God so as to be able to give this same love to everyone. On the other hand, an ordinary Christian is and wants to be "one more among his fellow men", sharing their way of life, their joys and happiness; working with them, loving the world and all the good things that exist in it; using all created things to solve the problems of human life and to establish a spiritual and material environment which will foster personal and social development [...].

"To my way of thinking the best examples of poverty are those mothers and fathers of large and poor families who spend their lives for their children and who with their effort and constancy--often without complaining of their needs--bring up their family, creating a cheerful home in which everyone learns to love, to serve and to work" ([Blessed] J. Escriva, "Conversations" , 110f).

24-26. Our Lord here condemns four things: avarice and attachment to the things of the world; excessive care of the body, gluttony; empty-headed joy and general self-indulgence; flattery, and disordered desire for human glory--four very common vices which a Christian needs to be on guard against.

24. In the same kind of way as in verse 20, which refers to the poor in the sense of those who love poverty, seeking to please God better, so in this verse the "rich" are to be understood as those who strive to accumulate possessions heedless of whether or not they are doing so lawfully, and who seek their happiness in those possessions, as if they were their ultimate goal. But people who inherit wealth or acquire it through honest work can be really poor provided they are detached from these things and are led by that detachment to use them to help others, as God inspires them. We can find in Sacred Scriptures a number of people to whom the beatitude of the poor can be applied although they possessed considerable wealth--Abraham, Isaac, Moses, David, Job, for example.

As early as St. Augustine's time there were people who failed to understand poverty and riches properly: they reasoned as follows: The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the poor, the Lazaruses of this world, the hungry; all the rich are bad, like this rich man here. This sort of thinking led St. Augustine to explain the deep meaning of wealth and poverty according to the spirit of the Gospel: "Listen, poor man, to my comments on your words. When you refer to yourself as Lazarus, that holy man covered with wounds, I am afraid your pride makes you describe yourself incorrectly. Do not despise rich men who are merciful, who are humble: or, to put it briefly, do not despise poor rich men. Oh, poor man, be poor yourself; poor, that is, humble [...]. Listen to me, then. Be truly poor, be devout, be humble; if you glory in your ragged and ulcerous poverty, if you glory in likening yourself to that beggar lying outside the rich man's house, then you are only noticing his poverty, and nothing else. What should I notice you ask? Read the Scriptures and you will understand what I mean. Lazarus was poor, but he to whose bosom he was brought was rich. `It came to pass, it is written, that the poor man died and he was brought by the angels to Abraham's bosom.' To where? To Abraham's bosom, or let us say, to that mysterious place where Abraham was resting. Read [...] and remember that Abraham was a very wealthy man when he was on earth: he had abundance of money, a large family, flocks, land; yet that rich man was poor, because he was humble. `Abraham believed God and he was reckoned righteous.' [...] He was faithful, he did good, received the commandment to offer his son in sacrifice, and he did not refuse to offer what he had received to Him from whom he had received it. He was approved in God's sight and set before us as an example of faith" ("Sermon", 14).

To sum up: poverty does not consist in something purely external, in having or not having material goods, but in something that goes far deeper, affecting a person's heart and soul; it consists in having a humble attitude to God, in being devout, in having total faith. If a Christian has these virtues and also has an abundance of material possessions, he should be detached from his wealth and act charitably towards others and thus be pleasing to God. On the other hand, if someone is not well-off he is not justified in God's sight on that account, if he fails to strive to acquire those virtues in which true poverty consists.
___________________________
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.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Just for Today, September 10

Man's merits are not to be estimated by his having many visions or consolations, nor by his knowledge of Scriptures, nor by his being placed in a more elevated station; but by his being grounded in true humility, and replenished with divine charity; by his seeking always, purely and entirely, the honour of God; by his esteeming himself as nothing, and sincerely despising himself; and being better pleased to be despised and humbled by others, than to be the object of their esteem.
-Bk. III, ch. vii.
______________

Amongst those of the Community who came into contact with the Saint during her last illness was a lay­sister who could not understand her reputation for sanctity, as she had only seen her carrying out faithfully very ordinary duties. One day she brought the dying nun some food which would certainly have made her sick, so it was gently refused with an apology. The Sister was displeased, and remarked later: "I cannot understand why Soeur Therese is so much praised; she never does anything out of the ordinary; in fact, she could scarcely be called a good religious."

When this was repeated to the Saint, her face lit up with a smile, and she told a nun who came to see her how happy it made her to be so judged: "What joy to hear on my death-bed that I am not even a good nun!"
-Summarium.
__________________
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.

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Thoughts of St Augustine for September 10

Love, which the Apostle hath declared to be greater than these two, that is, than faith and hope, by how much the more it be in anyone, by so much is he better in whom it is.
_________________________
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

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Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day-September 10

If on some rare occasion it be necessary to speak a cross word, in order to bring an offender to a proper sense of his fault, yet in the end we ought invariably to leave him with a gentle countenance and a word of kindness. Wounds must be healed in the way that the good Samaritan in the Gospel healed them, with wine and oil.
_________________
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

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When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer to discuss Catholic teaching on abortion, at least two paths could emerge. The strongly pro-choice Catholic politician might vigorously debate Augustine and church history with her archbishop. Or the two will try to put their heads together to create a public resolution that is acceptable for everyone. Or maybe they will do both.

But two Catholic scholars who know about butting heads with the church agree on this: The controversy that brought this meeting about could have been avoided.
As long as rebellious and arrogant or willfully ignorant Catholics are elected to public office and publicly support, as did the pagans of old, the murder of innocent unborn children and who continue to flaunt their "Catholicism", this "controversy" will not go away - as much as they might wish.

“I think it’s a mistake for politicians to talk theology,” said Jesuit Father Thomas J. Reese, senior research fellow at Woodstock Theological Center. “Let’s just say, it’s above their pay grade....”
I think it's a mistake for Resse to open his month with useless commentary. There are many who are speaking of things "above their pay grade."

...David J. O’Brien, professor emeritus of Catholic studies at Holy Cross College, said Pelosi is not necessarily off the mark in her statements.
Guess it depends if one claims to be an "ardent, practicing Catholic"?

“There is some validity to the idea that the church’s stance was somewhat different at the beginning of the last century,” O’Brien said. “But I would also say it’s her role to speak to the political realities of today rather than church history. She might not have framed it quite right, but she has a right to speak to the issue from her perspective.”
As abortion is a abominable violation of the natural moral law, any "perspective" that Pelosi embraces that is contrary to the truth has no validity and hence, no right. She might have the freedom or license to speak as a fool but she has no right to speak and promote error and evil. And, of course, she and her Washington comrades who claim to be Catholic are obligated to uphold the truth, and reject error and evil.

And from that perspective, all Catholics have a right and perhaps obligation to push for dialogue on the realities of the abortion debate.
This statment is patently false and any "professor of Catholic studies" should know better, unless, of course, he too has rejected certain tenets of the Church's teaching.

“I personally feel we should not be so passive in dealing with hierarchy and dealing with this question,” said O’Brien, an outspoken critic of church paternalism. “They should be challenged as to the political uses of this issue.”

Church paternalism? One must ask if he corrupted the youth with his bankrupt opinions and beliefs? And why must there be so many "professors" in so-called Catholic colleges who are at war with the Church and, indeed, with Christ Himself?

“I wouldn’t argue over the teaching of the church,” he said, “but I would argue about the experience of the church. What do Catholics in everyday life say about their experience with this issue.”
How's this for experience - 40 to 50 million butchered and murdered babies since Roe V Wade - Is that enough "experience" for these cafeteria Catholics?

Reese pointed to the Catholics United-sponsored study released last week that states overturning Roe v. Wade would do little to reduce the number of abortions in America.
No doubt a flawed study, especially from a group which obfuscates the Church's teachings to give cover for heretics.

Some faithful Catholics still wonder why the penalty of excommunication is so rarely used when onslaughts of heresy, error, dissent and rebellion are publicly voiced and spread like a plague among the faithful?

at National Catholic Distorter here.

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News Updates, 9/9

Biden sees debate over abortion in Church teaching
Veep nominee will not 'impose' religious views on nation

Archbishop Chaput corrects Biden on abortion
'It is not an issue like...the price of foreign oil'

Obama says he was too flip on abortion issue
Says question about unborn baby's human rights is 'tough'

Christian graves vandalized in Tajikistan
Surviving relatives continue to leave country for Russia

Obama's verbal religious slip fuels critics
Nominee accidentally mentions his 'Muslim faith'

Aussie group wants Catholic school, not Muslim one
Critics cry: a clear case of double standards

Army followed Christian missionaries in Turkey
53rd anniversary of pogrom against the Orthodox Church

Churches reopen after deadly riots in eastern India
More facilities needed at makeshift camps at police shelters

At Vatican, not all voices are created equal
L'Osservatore Romano article on brain death still issue

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Gospel for Tuesday, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial of St. Peter Claver, priest
Old Calendar: St. Gorgonius, Martyr; St. Maria de la Cabeza (wife of St. Isidore the Farmer)


From: Luke 6:12-19

The Calling of the Apostles


[12] In these days He (Jesus) went out into the hills to pray; and all night He continued in prayer to God. [13] And when it was day, He called His disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom He named Apostles: [14] Simon, whom He named Peter, and Andrew, his brother, and James and John, and Philip and Bartholomew, [15] and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, [16] and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

The Sermon on the Mount

[17] And He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases; [18] and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. [19] And all the crowd sought to touch Him, for power came forth from Him and healed them all.
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Commentary:

12-13. The evangelist writes with a certain formality when describing this important occasion on which Jesus chooses the Twelve, constituting them as the apostolic college: "The Lord Jesus, having prayed at length to the Father, called to Himself those whom He willed and appointed twelve to be with Him, whom He might send to preach the King dom of God (cf. Mark 2:13-19; Matthew 10:1-42). These Apostles (cf. Luke 6:13) He constituted in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which He placed Peter, chosen from among them (cf. John 21:15-17). He sent them first of all to the children of Israel and then to all peoples (cf. Romans 1:16), so that, sharing in His power, they might make all peoples His disciples and sanctify and govern them (cf. Matthew 28:16-20; and par.) and thus spread the Church and, administering it under the guidance of the Lord, shepherd it all days until the end of the world (cf. Matthew 28:20). They were fully confirmed in this mission on the day of Pentecost (cf. Act 2:1-26) [...]. Through their preaching the Gospel everywhere (cf. Mark 16:20), and through its being welcomed and received under the influence of the Holy Spirit by those who hear it, the Apostles gather together the universal Church, which the Lord founded upon the Apostles and built upon Blessed Peter their leader, the chief cornerstone being Christ Jesus Himself (cf. Revelation 21:14; Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 2:20). That divine mission, which was committed by Christ to the Apostles, is destined to last until the end of the world (cf. Matthew 28:20), since the Gospel, which they were charged to hand on, is, for the Church, the principle of all its life for all time. For that very reason the Apostles were careful to appoint successors in this hierarchically constituted society" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 19-20).

Before establishing the apostolic college, Jesus spent the whole night in prayer. He often made special prayer for His Church (Luke 9:18; John 17:1ff), thereby preparing His Apostles to be its pillars (cf. Galatians 2:9). As His Passion approaches, He will pray to the Father for Simon Peter, the head of the Church, and solemnly tell Peter that He has done so: "But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail" (Luke 22:32). Following Christ's example, the Church stipulates that on many occasions liturgical prayer should be offered for the pastors of the Church (the Pope, the bishops in general, and priests) asking God to give them grace to fulfill their ministry faithfully.

Christ is continually teaching us that we need to pray always (Luke 18:1). Here He shows us by His example that we should pray with special intensity at important moments in our lives. "`Pernoctans in oratione Dei. He spent the whole night in prayer to God.' So St.Luke tells of our Lord. And you? How often have you persevered like that? Well, then...." ([Blessed] J. Escriva, "The Way", 104).

On the need for prayer and the qualities our prayer should have, see the notes on Matthew 6:5-6; 7:7-11; 14:22-23; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; 11:1-4; 22:41-42.

12. Since Jesus is God, why does He pray? There were two wills in Christ, one divine and one human (cf. "St. Pius X Catechism", 91), and although by virtue of His divine will He was omnipotent, His human will was not omnipotent. When we pray, what we do is make our will known to God; therefore Christ, who is like us in all things but sin (Hebrews 4:15), also had to pray in a human way (cf. "Summa Theologiae", III, q. 21, a. 1). Reflecting on Jesus at prayer, St. Ambrose comments: "The Lord prays not to ask things for Himself, but to intercede on my behalf; for although the Father has put everything into the hands of the Son, still the Son, in order to behave in accordance with His condition as man, considers it appropriate to implore the Father for our sake, for He is our Advocate [...]. A Master of obedience, by His example He instructs us concerning the precepts of virtue: `We have an advocate with the Father' (1 John 2:1)" ("Expositio Evangelii sec. Lucam, in loc.").

14-16. Jesus chose for Apostles very ordinary people, most of them poor and uneducated; apparently only Matthew and the brothers James and John had social positions of any consequence. But all of them gave up whatever they had, little or much as it was, and all of them, bar Judas, put their faith in the Lord, overcame their shortcomings and eventually proved faithful to grace and became saints, veritable pillars of the Church. We should not feel uneasy when we realize that we too are low in human qualities; what matters is being faithful to the grace God gives us.

19. God became man to save us. The divine person of the Word acts through the human nature which He took on. The cures and casting out of devils which He performed during His life on earth are also proof that Christ actually brings redemption and not just hope of redemption. The crowds of people from Judea and other parts of Israel who flock to Him, seeking even to touch Him, anticipate, in a way, Christians' devotion to the holy Humanity of Christ.
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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.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Just for Today, September 9

The world promises things temporal and of small value, and is served with great eagerness; I promise things most excellent and everlasting, and men's hearts are not moved! Be thou ashamed, O Sidon, saith the sea.

Alas! for an unchangeable good, for an inestimable reward, for the highest honours and never-ending glory, they are unwilling to take the least pains. Be ashamed, then, thou slothful servant!
-Bk. III, ch. iii.
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A week after I received the veil, our cousin Jeanne Guerin was married to Dr. La Neele. When she next came to the parlour and spoke of the affectionate con­sideration she showed her husband, my heart was moved, and I thought: It shall not be said that a woman of the world does more for her husband, a mere mortal, than I do for my beloved Lord!

I was filled with fresh fervour, and tried more than ever in all I did to please my heavenly Bridegroom, the King of kings, who has deigned to make me His bride.
-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.

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Thoughts of St Augustine for September 9

Nor could he in his Goodness allow ill to be done, unless in his Almighty Power he could work good even out of ill.
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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

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Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day-September 9

The true lovers of Jesus Christ care only to do what pleases him; and for the reason that it pleases him, when he wills, where he wills, and in the manner he wills.
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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

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Biden joins Pelosi in challenge to Church teaching on abortion

Since he rarely has an original thought or position of his own Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joseph Biden has decided to follow Nancy Pelosi and be yet another major public source of scandal to Catholics and to the general public:

In a Sunday-morning appearance on Meet the Press, Biden told NBC interviewer Tom Brokaw that he accepts the Church's teaching that life begins at conception. But he argued that the Catholic teaching cannot be applied to non-Catholic citizens.

Senator Biden's inaccurate rendition of Church teaching on abortion could be challenged today in a very public setting. On Monday, September 8, Bishop W. Francis Malooly will be installed as the new head of the Wilmington, Delaware diocese in which the Democratic lawmaker lives. Biden is expected to attended the installation Mass this afternoon. Thus the new bishop may be challenged immediately to decide whether a Catholic politician who flagrantly violates Church teaching on the sanctity of life will be allowed to receive Communion....
Let us pray that the Bishop will enforce Canon 915 and prevent this man from receiving Holy Communion and endangering his soul even further and prevent more sacrilege and scandal to occur.

Like Pelosi, Biden claimed that the Catholic Church has wrestled with the question of when human life begins. Citing St. Thomas Aquinas (whereas Pelosi had referred to St. Augustine), he pointed out that a Doctor of the Church believed that human life begins with quickening, when the baby first stirs in the womb.
This clown states that he "accepts" that life begins at conception yet he supports the killing of that life? Are these people really that mentally challenged that they cannot understand what they are saying?

Phil Lawler has much more here at CWNews.com.

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News Updates, 9/8

Pelosi accepts summons by SF archbishop
House Speaker under fire for abortion, Church comments

Hindu mob attacks Catholic mission in India
Priests, nuns, and 300 children narrowly escape death

Victims vexed by archdiocese's abuse counseling
Cardinal George tries to make up for lost time, souls

Pope: Italy needs new wave of Catholic politicians
Wants religious beliefs to shepherd country's future

Sarah Palin was baptized a Catholic as an infant
VP candidate raised in Pentecostal church, now non-denom

Madonna dedicates 'Like a Virgin' to Pope
Queen of Pop says she's a child of God, and so are you

Old boy calls school a pedophile paradise
Legacy of predatory priests still preys on Aussie school

Pope to visit Lourdes for 150th anniversary
Heaven opened to a 14-year-old girl called Bernadette

McCain campaign courts critical Catholic vote
Brownback: 'Just to get to the whole meat of the matter'

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Gospel for Sept 8, Feast: The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

From: Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23

The Ancestry of Jesus Christ

[1] The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the son of Abraham.[2] Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, [3] and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, [4] and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahson, and Nahson the father of Salmon, [5] and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz due father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, [6] and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, [7] and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa, [8] and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, [9] and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, [10] and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, [11] and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

[12] And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, [13] and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, [14] and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Aching and Achim the father of Eliud, [15] and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, [16] and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

The Virginal Conception of Jesus, and His Birth

[18] Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; [19] and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly. [20] But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; [21] she will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." [22] All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: [23] "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and His name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means God with us).
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Commentary:

1. This verse is a kind of title to St Matthew's entire Gospel. The promises God made to Abraham for the salvation of mankind (Gen 12:3) are fulfilled in Jesus Christ, as is Nathan's prophecy to King David of an everlasting kingdom (2 Sam 7:12-16).

The genealogy presented here by St Matthew shows Jesus' human ancestry and also indicates that salvation history has reached its climax with the birth of the Son of God through the working of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is the expected Messiah.

The genealogy is presented in a framework of three series, each consisting of fourteen links which show the progressive development of salvation history.

For the Jews (and for other Eastern peoples of nomadic origin) genealogical trees were of great importance because a person's identity was especially linked to family and tribe, with place of birth taking secondary importance. In the case of the Jewish people there was the added religious significance of belonging by blood to the chosen people.

In Christ's time each family still kept a careful record of its genealogical tree, since because of it people acquired rights and duties.

6. Four women are named in these genealogies--Tamar (cf. Gen 38; 1 Chron 2:4), Rahab (cf. Josh 2:6,17), Bathsheba (cf. 2 Sam 11:12, 24) and Ruth (cf. Book of Ruth). These four foreign women, who in one way or another are brought into the history of Israel, are one sign among many others of God's design to save all men.

By mentioning sinful people, God's ways are shown to be different from man's. God will sometimes carry out his plan of salvation by means of people whose conduct has not been just. God saves us, sanctifies us and chooses us to do good despite our sins and infidelities--and he chose to leave evidence of this at various stages in the history of our salvation.

11. The deportation to Babylon, described in 2 Kings 24-25, fulfilled the prophets' warning to the people of Israel and their kings that they would be punished for their infidelity to the commandments of the Law of God, especially the first commandment.

16. Jewish genealogies followed the male line. Joseph, being Mary's husband, was the legal father of Jesus. The legal father is on a par with the real father as regards rights and duties. This fact provides a sound basis for recognizing St Joseph as Patron of the whole Church, since he was chosen to play a very special role in God's plan for our salvation; with St Joseph as his legal father, Jesus the Messiah has David as his ancestor.

Since it was quite usual for people to marry within their clan, it can be concluded that Mary belonged to the house of David. Several early Fathers of the Church testify to this--for example, St Ignatius of Antioch, St Irenaeus, St Justin and Tertullian, who base their testimony on an unbroken oral tradition.

It should also be pointed out that when St Matthew comes to speak of the birth of Jesus, he uses an __expression which is completely different from that used for the other people in the genealogy. With these words the text positively teaches that Mary conceived Jesus while still a virgin, without the intervention of man.

18. St. Matthew relates here how Christ was conceived (cf. Luke 1:25-38): "We truly honor and venerate (Mary) as Mother of God, because she gave birth to a person who is at the same time both God and man" ("St. Pius V Catechism", I, 4, 7).

According to the provisions of the Law of Moses, engagement took place about one year before marriage and enjoyed almost the same legal validity. The marriage proper consisted, among other ceremonies, in the bride being brought solemnly and joyously to her husband's house (cf. Deuteronomy 20:7).

From the moment of engagement onwards, a certificate of divorce was needed in the event of a break in the relationship between the couple.

The entire account of Jesus' birth teaches, through the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 (which is expressly quoted in verses 22-23) that: 1) Jesus has David as His ancestor since Joseph is His legal father; 2) Mary is the Virgin who gives birth according to the prophecy; 3) the Child's conception without the intervention of man was miraculous.

19. "St. Joseph was an ordinary sort of man on whom God relied to do great things. He did exactly what the Lord wanted him to do, in each and every event that went to make up his life. That is why Scripture praises Joseph as `a just man'. In Hebrew a just man means a good and faithful servant of God, someone who fulfills the divine will (cf. Genesis 7:1; 18:23-32; Ezekiel 18:5ff.; Proverbs 12:10), or who is honorable and charitable toward his neighbor (cf. Tobias 7:6; 9:6). So a just man is someone who loves God and proves his love by keeping God's commandments and directing his whole life towards the service of his brothers, his fellow men" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 40).

Joseph considered his spouse to be holy despite the signs that she was going to have a child. He was therefore faced with a situation he could not explain. Precisely because he was trying to do God's will, he felt obliged to put her away; but to shield her from public shame he decided to send her away quietly.

Mary's silence is admirable. Her perfect surrender to God even leads her to the extreme of not defending her honor or innocence. She prefers to suffer suspicion and shame rather than reveal the work of grace in her. Faced with a fact which was inexplicable in human terms she abandons herself confidently to the love and providence of God. God certainly submitted the holy souls of Joseph and Mary to a severe trial. We ought not to be surprised if we also undergo difficult trials in the course of our lives. We ought to trust in God during them, and remain faithful to Him, following the example they gave us.

20. God gives His light to those who act in an upright way and who trust in His power and wisdom when faced with situations which exceed human understanding. By calling him the son of David, the angel reminds Joseph that he is the providential link which joins Jesus with the family of David, according to Nathan's messianic prophecy (cf. 2 Samuel 7:12). As St. John Chrysostom says: "At the very start he straightaway reminds him of David, of whom the Christ was to spring, and he does not wish him to be worried from the moment he reminds him, through naming his most illustrious ancestor, of the promise made to all his lineage" ("Hom. on St. Matthew", 4).

"The same Jesus Christ, our only Lord, the Son of God, when He assumed human flesh for us in the womb of the Virgin, was not conceived like other men, from the seed of man, but in a manner transcending the order of nature, that is, by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that the same person, remaining God as He was from eternity, became man, which He was not before" ("St. Pius V Catechism", I, 4, 1).

21. According to the Hebrew root, the name Jesus means "savior". After our Lady, St. Joseph is the first person to be told by God that salvation has begun.

"Jesus is the proper name of the God-man and signifies `Savior'--a name given Him not accidentally, or by the judgment or will of man, but by the counsel and command of God" [...]. All other names which prophecy gave to the Son of God--Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (cf. Isaiah 9:6)--are comprised in this one name Jesus; for while they partially signified the salvation which He was to bestow on us, this name included the force and meaning of all human salvation" ("St. Pius V Catechism", I, 3, 5 and 6).

23. "Emmanuel": the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14, quoted in this verse, foretold about 700 years in advance that God's salvation would be marked by the extraordinary event of virgin giving birth to a son. The Gospel here, therefore, reveals two truths.

First, that Jesus is in fact the God-with-us foretold by the prophet. This is how Christian tradition has always understood it. Indeed the Church has officially condemned an interpretation denying the messianic sense of the Isaiah text (cf. Pius VI, Brief, "Divina", 1779). Christ is truly God-with-us, therefore, not only because of His God-given mission but because He is God made man (cf. John 1:14). This does not mean that Jesus should normally be called Emmanuel, for this name refers more directly to the mystery of His being the Incarnate Word. At the Annunciation the angel said that He should be called Jesus, that is, Savior. And that was the name St. Joseph gave Him.

The second truth revealed to us by the sacred text is that Mary, in whom the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 is fulfilled, was a virgin before and during the birth itself. The miraculous sign given by God that salvation had arrived was precisely that a woman would be a virgin and a mother at the same time.

"Jesus Christ came forth from His mother's womb without injury to her maternal virginity. This immaculate and perpetual virginity forms, therefore, the just theme of our eulogy. Such was the work of the Holy Spirit, who at the conception and birth of the Son so favored the Virgin Mother as to impart fruitfulness to her while preserving inviolate her perpetual virginity" ("St. Pius V Catechism", I, 4, 8).
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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.

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