Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gospel for the 2nd Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday)

From: John 20:19-31

Jesus Appears to the Disciples
[19] On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." [20] When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. [21] Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, even so I send you." [22] And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. [23] If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

[24] Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. [25] So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in His side, I will not believe."

[26] Eight days later, His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, "Peace be with you." [27] Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side; do not be faithless, but believing." [28] Thomas answered Him, "My Lord and my God!" [29] Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."

[30] Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; [31] but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
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Commentary:
19-20. Jesus appears to the Apostles on the evening of the day of which He rose. He presents Himself in their midst without any need for the doors to be opened, by using the qualities of His glorified body; but in order to dispel any impression that He is only a spirit He shows them His hands and His side: there is no longer any doubt about its being Jesus Himself, about His being truly risen from the dead. He greets them twice using the words of greeting customary among the Jews, with the same tenderness as He previously used put into this salutation. These friendly words dispel the fear and shame the Apostles must have been feeling at behaving so disloyally during His passion: He has created the normal atmosphere of intimacy, and now He will endow them with transcendental powers.

21. Pope Leo XIII explained how Christ transferred His own mission to the Apostles: "What did He wish in regard to the Church founded, or about to be founded? This: to transmit to it the same mission and the same mandate which He had received from the Father, that they should be perpetuated. This He clearly resolved to do: this He actually did. `As the Father hath sent Me, even so I send you' (John 20:21). `As Thou didst send Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world' (John 17:18). [...] When about to ascend into Heaven, He sends His Apostles in virtue of the same power by which He had been sent from the Father; and He charges them to spread abroad and propagate His teachings (cf. Matthew 28:18), so that those obeying the Apostles might be saved, and those disobeying should perish (cf. Mark 16:16). [...] Hence He commands that the teaching of the Apostles should be religiously accepted and piously kept as if it were His own: `He who hears you hears Me, and he who rejects you rejects Me' (Luke 10:16). Wherefore the Apostles are ambassadors of Christ as He is the ambassador of the Father" ([Pope] Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum"). In this mission the bishops are the successors of the Apostles: "Christ sent the Apostles as He Himself had been sent by the Father, and then through the Apostles made their successors, the bishops, sharers in His consecration and mission. The function of the bishops' ministry was handed over in a subordinate degree to priests so that they might be appointed in the order of the priesthood and be co-workers of the episcopal order for the proper fulfillment of the apostolic mission that had been entrusted to it by Christ" (Vatican II, "Presbyterorum Ordinis", 2).

22-23. The Church has always understood--and has in fact defined--that Jesus Christ here conferred on the Apostles authority to forgive sins, a power which is exercised in the Sacrament of Penance. "The Lord then especially instituted the Sacrament of Penance when, after being risen from the dead, He breathed upon His disciples and said: "Receive the Holy Spirit...' The consensus of all the Fathers has always acknowledged that by this action so sublime and words so clear the power of forgiving and retaining sins was given to the Apostles and their lawful successors for reconciling the faithful who have fallen after Baptism" (Council of Trent, "De Paenitentia", Chapter 1).

The Sacrament of Penance is the most sublime __expression of God's love and mercy towards men, described so vividly in Jesus' parable of the prodigal son (cf. Luke 15:11-32). The Lord always awaits us, with His arms wide open, waiting for us to repent--and then He will forgive us and restore us to the dignity of being His sons.

The Popes have consistently recommended Christians to have regular recourse to this Sacrament: "For a constant and speedy advancement in the path of virtue we highly recommend the pious practice of frequent Confession, introduced by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; for by this means we grow in a true knowledge of ourselves and in Christian humility, bad habits are uprooted, spiritual negligence and apathy are prevented, the conscience is purified and the will strengthened, salutary spiritual direction is obtained, and grace is increased by the efficacy of the Sacrament itself" ([Pope] Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis").

24-28. Thomas' doubting moves our Lord to give him special proof that His risen body is quite real. By so doing He bolsters the faith of those who would later on find faith in Him. "Surely you do not think", [Pope] St. Gregory the Great comments, "that is was a pure accident that the chosen disciple was missing; who on his return was told about the appearance and on hearing about it doubted; doubting, so that he might touch and believe by touching? It was not an accident; God arranged that it should happen. His clemency acted in this wonderful way so that through the doubting disciple touching the wounds in His Master's body, our own wounds of incredulity might be healed. [...] And so the disciple, doubting and touching, was changed into a witness of the truth of the Resurrection" ("In Evangelia Homiliae", 26, 7).

Thomas' reply is not simply an exclamation: it is an assertion, an admirable act of faith in the divinity of Christ: "My Lord and my God!" These words are an ejaculatory prayer often used by Christians, especially as an act of faith in the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Eucharist.

29. [Pope] St. Gregory the Great explains these words of our Lord as follows: "By St. Paul saying `faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen' (Hebrews 11:1), it becomes clear that faith has to do with things which are not seen, for those which are seen are no longer the object of faith, but rather of experience. Well then, why is Thomas told, when he saw and touched, `Because you have seen, you have believed?' Because he saw one thing, and believed another. It is certain that mortal man cannot see divinity; therefore, he saw the man and recognized Him as God, saying, `My Lord and my God.' In conclusion: seeing, he believed, because contemplating that real man he exclaimed that He was God, whom he could not see" ("In Evangelia Homiliae", 27, 8).

Like everyone else Thomas needed the grace of God to believe, but in addition to this grace he was given an exceptional proof; his faith would have had more merit had he accepted the testimony of the other Apostles. Revealed truths are normally transmitted by word, by the testimony of other people who, sent by Christ and aided by the Holy Spirit, preach the deposit of faith (cf. Mark 16:15-16). "So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes from the preaching of Christ" (Romans 10:17). The preaching of the Gospel, therefore, carries with it sufficient guarantees of credibility, and by accepting that preaching man "offers the full submission of his intellect and will to God who reveals, willingly assenting to the revelation given" (Vatican II, "Dei Verbum", 5).

"What follows pleases us greatly: `Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.' For undoubtedly it is we who are meant, who confess with our soul Him whom we have not seen in the flesh. It refers to us, provided we live in accordance with the faith, for only he truly believes who practices what the believes" ("In Evangelia Homiliae", 26, 9).

30-31. This is a kind of first epilogue or conclusion to the Gospel of St. John. The more common opinion is that he added Chapter 21 later, which covers such important events as the triple confession of St. Peter, confirmation of his primacy and our Lord's prophecy about the death of the beloved disciple. These verses sum up the inspired writer's whole purpose in writing his Gospel--to have men believe that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ announced by the prophets in the Old Testament, the Son of God, so that by believing this saving truth, which is the core of Revelation, they might already begin to partake of eternal life (cf. John 1:12, 2:23; 3:18; 14:13; 15:16; 16:23-26).
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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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Principles and Practices - April 11

The Strength of the Afflicted

It is better when burdened to be with the strong, than unburdened with the weak. When you are loaded with afflictions you are with God, who is your strength, and His is with the affiicted. When you are unburdened you are by yourself, who are weakness itself, for the virtue and fortitude of the soul grow in tribulations.

-Fiona McKay.
_________________
From Principles and Practices
Compiled by Rev. J. Hogan of The Catholic Missionary Society
Published by Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., Publishers To The Holy See
Nihil Obstat; Eduardus J. Mahoney, S.T.D. Censor deputatus.
Imprimatur; Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius generalis.
First printed in 1930

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The School of Love & Other Essays, April 10

THE APOSTLE'S GRIEF

"Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalised, and I am not on fire?" - 2 COR. xi. 29.

THERE are many sufferings in life; I mean, many veins of suffering, along which pain wells from and back to the human heart. But there is one agony distinct from all the rest, which, when felt, gives one a totally new idea of the suffering of the Heart of Christ Our Lord.

It is the suffering, the peculiar agonis­ing void, the torture that makes moaning no relief, nor motion of the body any change, which one feels when one watches a soul one dearly loves deliberately exchanging good for evil.

A soul comes across our path; in a very little time we see it to be transparent as crystal, a thing of real beauty, all the more beautiful because it does not know it itself. We revel in the sunshine of its presence, the thought of evil is banished when it is there, at the sight of it, at the thought of it, we thank God that He has made man.

Delicate and perfect it has grown up out of and amidst the evil that lies wallowing around it, and by its mere presence there we know that all the rest is worth while....

[continued tomorrow]
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From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918

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Friday, April 09, 2010

Gospel for Saturday Within the Octave of Easter

From: Mark 16:9-15

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene and to Two Disciples
[9] Now when He (Jesus) rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast our seven demons. [10] She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. [11] But when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.

[12] After this He appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. [13]And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.

Jesus Appears to the Eleven. The Apostles' Mission
[14] Afterwards He appeared to the Eleven themselves as they sat at table; and He upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw Him after He had risen. [15] And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation."
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Commentary:
11-14. When reporting these first appearances of the risen Jesus, St. Mark stresses the disciples' disbelief and their reluctance to accept the fact of the Resurrection, even though Jesus foretold it (cf. Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34). This resistance shown by the Apostles is a further guarantee of the truth of Jesus' resurrection; they were to be direct, specially-appointed witnesses to the risen Christ, yet they were reluctant to accept this role. They had personal, direct proof of the truth of the Resurrection.

However, our Lord will say: "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe" (John 20:29). In the Apostles' case, they needed, in addition to faith in the risen Christ, clear evidence of His resurrection, for they were to be the eye-witnesses, key witnesses who would proclaim it as an irrefutable fact. In this connection [Pope] St. Gregory the Great comments: "The reason why the disciples were slow to believe in the Resurrection was not so much due to their weakness as to our future firmness in the faith; what other purposes does this have (the very Resurrection being demonstrated by many arguments to those who were in doubt) than that our faith should be strengthened by their doubt?" ("In Evangelia Homilae", 16).

12. Our Lord's appearance to these two disciples is reported more fully by St. Luke (cf. 24:13-35).

15. This verse contains what is called the "universal apostolic mandate" (paralleled by Matthew 28:19-20 and Luke 24:46-48). This is an imperative command from Christ to His Apostles to preach the Gospel to the whole world. This same apostolic mission applies, especially to the Apostles' successors, the bishops in communion with Peter's successor, the Pope.

But this mission extends further: the whole "Church was founded to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth for the glory of God the Father, to make all men partakers in redemption and salvation....Every activity of the Mystical Body with this in view goes by the name of `apostolate'; the Church exercises it through all its members, though in various ways. In fact, the Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well. In the organism of a living body no member plays a purely passive part, sharing in the life of the body it shares at the same time in its activity. The same is true for the body of Christ, the Church: `the whole body achieves full growth in dependence on the full functioning of each part' (Ephesians 4:16). Between the members of this body there exists, further, such a unity and solidarity (cf. Ephesians 4:16) that a member who does not work at the growth of the body to the extent of his possibilities must be considered useless both to the Church and to himself.

"In the Church there is diversity of ministry but unity of mission. To the apostles and their successors Christ has entrusted the office of teaching, sanctifying and governing in His name and by His power. But the laity are made to share in the priestly, prophetical and kingly office of Christ; they have therefore, in the Church and in the world, their own assignment in the mission of the whole people of God" (Vatican II, "Apostolicam Actuositatem", 2).

It is true that God acts directly on each person's soul through grace, but it must also be said that it is Christ's will (expressed here and elsewhere) that men should be an instrument or vehicle of salvation for others.

Vatican II also teaches this: "On all Christians, accordingly, rests the noble obligation of working to bring all men throughout the whole world to hear and accept the divine message of salvation" ("ibid.", 3).
___________________________
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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Principles and Practices - April 10

Holy Communion

There is an instinct in us all, no matter how unaccustomed we may be to pray, which seems to tell us that if ever our prayer should be real and from the depth of the soul, it should be at the moment of Holy Communion. If the Blessed Sacrament is that which, on the authority of Our Lord's own words, we believe it to be, His own true Body and His own true Blood, then there must be no imitation, there must be no mere playing at devotion, there must be a strong soul's genuine expression of itself, whenever we receive It into ourselves.

-Archbishop Goodier.
_________________
From Principles and Practices
Compiled by Rev. J. Hogan of The Catholic Missionary Society
Published by Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., Publishers To The Holy See
Nihil Obstat; Eduardus J. Mahoney, S.T.D. Censor deputatus.
Imprimatur; Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius generalis.
First printed in 1930

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The School of Love & Other Essays, April 9

THE OTHER SIDE

[continued from yesterday]

...Then, as the visitor made no comment, he added: "Isn't he absurd, con sidering I am the Holy Ghost myself!"....

Now how many of us have a touch of this lunacy in ourselves? How many of us have not noticed that if we fancy ourselves in any way, if we think ourselves rather clever, or strong-willed, or brilliant, or pious, we are inclined to be hard on those who have a repu­tation for the same.

We do not like to own it; we are ashamed of ourselves when we dis­cover it; but there is no more sure proof of vanity than the refusal to brook another star of our particular magnitude in our own horizon. Nor, we may add, is there any more sure proof that we are not that which we imagine ourselves to be.

Mere intellectual brilliance resents a rival; a really clever man welcomes the ability of another. Sham strength fears competition: a really strong man rejoices in the strength of a companion. Imitation sanctity must shine alone; a really holy man has no greater satisfaction than the discovery and promotion of another's holiness.

It is often said that the perfection of good manners consists in being perfectly natural and perfectly true. This explains why, in the opinion of very many, the contented poor are often the best-mannered people in the world. Whether the statement be true or not, a very little modification makes it safe.

Good man­ners are founded on a certain give and take. If we are ourselves, neither more nor less, if we take others for what they are, neither less nor more, if we adapt ourselves to them, and them to ourselves, without any presumption or arrogance, then we shall behave as we should.

This is the life that is true, in the exterior as well as within; and this is why, when we meet a saint, if we ever do, we shall be most struck, not by his sanctity, nor by his abstraction, but by the yielding deference of his manners. He appreciates the good he finds in others; he shows that good its due respect; and the consequent behaviour is one of those links which inseparably unite the saint with all mankind.
___________
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

News Updates, 4/8

UN Judge: Pope Should be Tried at International Criminal Court
A high ranking United Nations (UN) jurist called on the British government to detain Pope Benedict XVI during his upcoming visit to Britain...
[Maybe this 'judge' would like to experience some capital punishment?]

Montana Bishop Boots Gay Group from Parish Hall
BILLINGS, Montana, April 8, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Bishop Michael Warfel of Great Falls-Billings has asked a local support group for homosexuals to move its meetings out of a local parish hall to avoid confusion over the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality....

Death Peddler DemonRat Bart Stupak to retire
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who had a central role in the health reform fight as the leader of anti-abortion Democrats, plans to announce Friday that he will not run for reelection...

Costa Rica president: End priests' celibacy vows
Says forbidding sexual relations 'goes against nature' 

Bishop: Africa also suffers sex abuse by priests
Weakens Church's ability to speak with moral authority 

Catholic Charities priests sued by ex-Latino chief
Claims he was falsely accused of threat to kill CEO 

Memphis diocese admits mistakes in abuse scandal
Unsealed court documents reveal extent of problems 

Prolife Catholic pharmacy shutters in Virginia
'No contraceptives' policy drew wide praise 

Bertone defends himself, Pope from accusations
Vatican cardinal begins 9-day tour of South America 

Ontario bishop unexpectedly resigns
No longer able to 'maintain the necessary stamina' 

Former Vatican No. 2 becomes unlikely cheerleader
Sodano praises Pope for his handling of clerical sex abuse 

Legion of Christ's Georgia college to close
Efforts to raise money 'have not met expectations' 

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Gospel for Friday Within the Octave of Easter

From: John 21:1-14

The Miraculous Draught of Fish
[1] After this Jesus revealed Himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and He revealed Himself in this way. [2] Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathaniel of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. [3] Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will go with you." They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing.

[4] Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. [5] Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any fish?" They answered Him, "No." [6] He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. [7] That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea. [8] But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

[9] When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. [10] Jesus said to them, "Bring some fish that you have just caught." [11] So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. [12] Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. [13] Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. [14] This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after He was raised from the dead.
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Commentary:
1-3. There are some very significant things in this account: we find the disciples "by the Sea of Tiberias", which means they have done what the risen Christ had told them to do (cf. Matthew 28:7); they are together, which shows that there is a close fraternity among them; Peter takes the initiative, which in a way shows his authority; and they have gone back to their old jobs as fishermen, probably waiting for our Lord to give them new instructions.

This episode is reminiscent of the first miraculous draught of fish (cf. Luke 5:1-11), where our Lord promised Peter He would make him a fisher of men; now He is going to confirm his mission as visible head of the Church.

4-8. The risen Jesus goes in search of His disciples, to encourage them and tell them more about the great mission He has entrusted to them. This account describes a very moving scene, our Lord together with His own: "He passes by, close to His Apostles, close to those souls who have given themselves to Him, and they do not realize He is there. How often Christ is not only near us, but in us; yet we still live in such a human way!... They, the disciples, recall what they have heard so often from their Master's lips: fisher of men, apostles. And they realize that all things are possible, because it is He who is directing their fishing.

"Whereupon `the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, It is the Lord!' Love, love is farsighted. Love is the first to appreciate kindness. The adolescent Apostle, who felt a deep and firm affection for Jesus, because he loved Christ with all the purity and tenderness of a heart that had never been corrupted, exclaimed: `It is the Lord!'"

"`When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes and sprang into the sea.' Peter personifies faith. Full of marvelous daring, he leaps into the sea. With a love like John's and a faith like Peter's, what is there that can stop us?" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 265-266).

9-14. We can sense here the deep impression this appearance of the risen Jesus must have made on the Apostles, and how sweet a memory St. John kept of it. After His resurrection Jesus showed the same tenderness as characterized His public ministry. He makes use of natural things--the fire, the fish, etc.--to show that He really is there, and He maintains the familiar tone typical of when He lived with the disciples.

The Fathers and Doctors of the Church have often dwelt on the mystical meaning of this episode: the boat is the Church, whose unity is symbolized by the net which is not torn; the sea is the world, Peter in the boat stands for supreme authority of the Church, and the number of fish signifies the number of the elect (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, "Commentary on St. John, in loc.").
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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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Hitler learns that Gomez will succeed Mahony as Archbishop of LA



Another of a series of Hitler spoofs...HT to TM!

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Principles and Practices - April 9

Strength in Suffering

To have courage and strength in suffering does not mean to rejoice ecstatically in suffer­ing, or to toy with the burden as an athlete with a heavy club. The important thing is that man, in battling with his feelings, does not permit himself to rebel against God, to renounce his duty and his calling, but that, even though the act calls for a tremendous sacrifice, he utters a heroic 'Fiat voluntas tua!'

That is the victory of strength over weak­ness. In this fact lies consolation and hope for us, that He, too, had to wrestle with weakness, and, realizing this weakness, cried out to the Father: 'Let this chalice pass from Me'!

-Rev. A. Huounder, S.J.
_________________
From Principles and Practices
Compiled by Rev. J. Hogan of The Catholic Missionary Society
Published by Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., Publishers To The Holy See
Nihil Obstat; Eduardus J. Mahoney, S.T.D. Censor deputatus.
Imprimatur; Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius generalis.
First printed in 1930

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The School of Love & Other Essays, April 8

THE OTHER SIDE

[continued from yesterday]

When, then, we make up our minds about another, let us give both ourselves and our victim a fair start. The chances are that every man we meet is a human being and not a portent; and every human being has both his weaknesses and his good points. No one is wholly bad, very few are wholly good; if then we hear anyone indiscriminately praised, let us not at once imagine to ourselves an ideal so perfect that we must inevitably be disappointed when we meet.

Nor, on the other hand, need we because of our disappointment cancel all that we have heard. Probably the truth lies midway between the two. If the man is not the unrivalled genius we fancied, he may be very talented all the same; if he does not always show his power, it may be there ready for its occasion; if he is not a saint, he may have that in him which makes for sanctity.

Few people do not say a good thing some­times; few are not mortified in some respects; even if there are few who pray, at least there are few who do not desire it and who do not make the effort sometimes. - Or to put our conclusion in another way, if we did not form our judgments of others beforehand we should usual1y find that our impressions of them would almost invariably be good.

There is another factor which may often warp our estimate of others. The story is told in various forms of the visitor who was being shown through a lunatic asylum by a harmless inmate, sensible on every point but one. As they walked along a corridor they passed another harmless lunatic. "See that man," said the guide, "what do you think is his craze? He actual1y thinks himself to be the Holy Ghost!"

Then, as the visitor made no comment, he added: "Isn't he absurd, con­sidering I am the Holy Ghost myself!"....

[continued tomorrow]
___________
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

News Updates, 4/7

DA: Sex ed class could lead to criminal charges
Law warns against contributing to delinquency of minors

Vatican: There's an anti-Catholic hate campaign
Holy See official says Church must pardon its attackers

New LA archbishop 'embraces strict orthodoxy'
San Antonio bishop will succeed Cardinal Mahony

French bishop: helping pedophile a 'mistake'
Jacques Gaillot took in convicted Canadian priest

Hitler 'wanted to steal' Shroud of Turin
Secretly hidden in Benedictine abbey during WWII

Money paved way for Maciel's influence in Vatican
Known as greatest fundraiser of the modern Church

Former Norwegian bishop admits child abuse
Stepped down as bishop of Trondheim last year

The Passion of the Pope: 6 accusations, 1 question
Attacked where he most exercises his leadership role

Chicago archdiocese: Obama is 'not pro-abortion'
Controversial Fr. Michael Pfleger to be honored

“[…Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who is president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, has approved of the honor and will preside at the event” – I’ve NEVER trusted Cdl George – he’s now participating in promoting scandalous behavior.  May God have mercy on his soul!]

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Gospel for Thursday in the Octave of Easter

From: Luke 24:35-48

[35] Then they (the disciples) told what had happened on the road, and how He (Jesus) was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Jesus Appears To The Eleven And Their Companions
[36] As they were saying this, Jesus Himself stood among them, and said to them, "Peace to you!" [37] But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit. [38] And He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts? [39] See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; handle Me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have." [40] And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. [41] Andwhile they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, He said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" [42] They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, [43] and He took it and ate before them.

Jesus' Last Instructions And Leave-Taking
[44] Then He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about Me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled." [45] Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, [46] and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, [47] and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. [48] You are witnesses of these things."
_____________

Commentary:
36-43. This appearance of the risen Jesus is reported by St. Luke and St. John (cf. John 20:19-23). St. John reports the institution of the sacrament of Penance, whereas St. Luke puts the stress on the disciples' difficulty in accepting the miracle of the Resurrection, despite the angels' testimony to the women (cf. Matthew 28:5-7; Mark 16:5-7; Luke 24:4-11) and despite the witness of those who had already seen the risen Lord (cf. Matthew 28:9-10; Mark 16:9-13; Luke 24:13ff; John 20:11-18).

Jesus appears all of a sudden, when the doors are closed (cf. John 20:19), which explains their surprised reaction. St. Ambrose comments that "He penetrated their closed retreat not because His nature was incorporeal, but because He had the quality of a resurrected body" ("Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc".). "Subtility", which is one of the qualities of a glorified body, means that "the body is totally subject to the soul and ever ready to obey its wishes" "St. Pius V Catechism", I, 12, 13), with the result that it can pass through material obstacles without any difficulty.

This scene showing Christ's condescension to confirm for them the truth of His resurrection has a charm all of its own.

41-43. Although His risen body is incapable of suffering, and therefore has no need of food to nourish it, our Lord confirms His disciples' faith in His resurrection by giving them these two proofs--inviting them to touch Him and eating in their presence. "For myself, I know and believe that our Lord was in the flesh even after the Resurrection. And when He came to Peter and his companions, He said to them, `Here, feel Me and see that I am not a bodiless ghost.' They touched Him and believed, and were convinced that He was flesh and spirit [...]. Moreover, after the Resurrection, He ate and drank with them like a man of flesh and blood, though spiritually one with the Father" (St. Ignatius of Antioch, "Letter to the Christians at Smyrna", III, 1-3).

44-49. St. Matthew stresses that the Old Testament prophecies are fulfilled in Christ, because His immediate audience were Jews, who would accept this as proof that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah. St. Luke does not usually argue along these lines because He is writing for Gentiles; however, in this epilogue he does report, in a summarized way, Christ's statement to the effect that everything foretold about Him had come true. By doing so He shows the unity of Old and New Testaments and that Jesus is truly the Messiah.

46. From St. Luke's account we have seen how slow the Apostles were to grasp Jesus' prophecy of His death and resurrection (cf. 9:45; 18:34). Now that the prophecy is fulfilled Jesus reminds them that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead (cf. Acts 2:1-4).

The Cross is a mystery, in our own life as well as in Christ's: "Jesus suffers to carry out the will of the Father. And you, who also want to carry out the most holy Will of God, following the steps of the Master, can you complain if you meet suffering on your way?" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 213).
___________________________
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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Principles and Practices - April 8

The Demand of Life

God puts Himself at our beck and call. "Ask and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you." He is ready and anxious to comply with our slightest wish, and it is only when we ask for foolish things that God wisely turns aside. God is infinitely rich and can bestow every good. We are not and our means are limited. But we have plenty to give, and if we can say to our fellow creatures what God has said to us - "Ask and you shall receive," and heed the calls which come to us in various ways, we shall see God in every demand which is made upon us. Time will be spared and work will be done - even com­forts will be sacrificed and necessities shared. The importunities of others will remind us of God.

-J. Hogan.
_________________
From Principles and Practices
Compiled by Rev. J. Hogan of The Catholic Missionary Society
Published by Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., Publishers To The Holy See
Nihil Obstat; Eduardus J. Mahoney, S.T.D. Censor deputatus.
Imprimatur; Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius generalis.
First printed in 1930

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The School of Love & Other Essays, April 7

THE OTHER SIDE

[continued from yesterday]

...Then comes the meeting. There is no halo, perhaps there is instead a rather unruly head of hair. There are no wounds; instead there is a daintiness, almost a foppishness about his fingers that is worthy of a dandy. He has scarcely a wrinkle on his face; on the con­trary he is quite aggressively healthy-looking, with not a shade of mortification. His eyes are not cast down, much less are they turned up; rather they twinkle at a joke, look about at every thing of interest, almost make you think of the warning that the eyes are the win­dows of the soul.

And as for his conversa­tion-well, really! He asks how you are; he talks about the weather; he remarks on the news in the morning paper; he discusses some triviality suggested by a book on the table or a picture on the wall; he propounds just the same commonplace platitudes that everybody else drones out. His behaviour is no less dis­appointing; so uneven, so given to long silence or else to rather inordinate laughter, so easy-going, so ordinary, perhaps even, if we watch him closely, not always in very good taste.

And this is your saint! We forget that it is ourselves who are to blame. We had no busi­ness to divorce our ideal from human nature. In our picture we have eliminated a saint's first characteristic, his hiddenness; but besides, and perhaps worse, we have taken the remarks of others and magnified them so that those who uttered them could never have recognised the original.

They never said he was a saint; they merely said he was a very human being who suited their fancy. They never said he was mortified; they merely said he did not always take sugar in his tea. They never said he was a man of prayer; they merely found him once fingering his beads. We have added the rest; and the poor man gets a bad time of it at our hands....

[continued tomorrow]
___________
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

News Updates, 4/6

Pope names Gomez to take over in Los Angeles
San Antonio archbishop will eventually replace Mahony

88 gay couples have married in Mexico City
Law allowing such unions took effect last month

Opinion: Anti-Catholicism and the NY Times
Pat Buchanan sees continuing trend of anti-Church hatred

Computer mistranslates key Vatican memo
Undercuts NY Times' criticism of Pope Benedict

Barbie gets ordained as Episcopal priestess
Outfitted with smells-and-bells wardrobe to match

Rabbi urges charity in current Catholic-Jewish flap
Papal preacher mentioned 'anti-Semitism' on Good Friday

O'Brien: papal preacher's comments reprehensible
Baltimore archbishop denounces anti-Semitism comparison

Turin Shroud 3D glasses condemned by Church
Says plans are 'an exclusively commercial initiative'

Catholic actor booted from ABC show 'Scoundrels'
Neal McDonough refused to engage in sex scenes


=====Other News=====

UNREAL ABUSE OF POWER: BARACK OBAMA ATTEMPTING TO FORCE THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL TO DROP SARAH PALIN’S NEW SHOW
Man, where does one even begin with this deal? We all know that Barack Obama is nothing more than a Chicago street thug. That’s what a “community organizer” is, at least as defined by Alinsky’s methods, the methods Obama used to teach when he worked for ACORN....

Obama Bans Islam, Jihad From National Security Strategy Document
[Chairman] MaObama's advisers will remove religious terms such as "Islamic extremism" from the central document outlining the U.S. national security strategy and will use the rewritten document to emphasize that the United States does not view Muslim nations through the lens of terror, counterterrorism officials said...[
[...no doubt, to be replaced with conservatives, Christians, ex-military, state militias, & freedom loving people.
It is a source of great consternation that many of the people that I know still refuse to believe that a Kenyan Muslim communist is illegitimately occupying the office of President of the U.S.]

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Gospel for Wednesday within the Octave of Easter

From: Luke 24:13-35

The Road To Emmaus
[13] That very day two of them (disciples) were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, [14] and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. [15] While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. [16] But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him. [17] And He said to them, "What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?" And they stood still, looking sad. [18] Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered Him, "Are You the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" [19] And He said to them, "What things?" And they said to Him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, [20] and how our chief priests and rulers delivered Him up to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. [21] But we had hoped that He was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened. [22] Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning [23] and did not find His body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that He was alive. [24] Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see." [25] And He said to them, "O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! [26] Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?" [27] And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

[28] So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, [29] but they constrained Him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So He went in to stay with them. [30] When He was at table with them, He took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. [31] And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished out of their sight. [32] They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?" [33] And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the Eleven gathered together and those who were with them, [34] who said, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" [35] Then they told what had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of the bread.
______________________

Commentary:
13-35. In the course of their conversation with Jesus, the disciples' mood changes from sadness to joy; they begin to hope again, and feel the need to share their joy ith others, thus becoming heralds and witnesses of the risen Christ.

This is an episode exclusive to St. Luke, who describes it in a masterly way. It shows our Lord's zeal for souls. "As He is walking along, Christ meets two men who have nearly lost all hope. They are beginning to feel that life has no meaning for them. Christ understands their sorrow; He sees into their heart and communicates to them some of the life He carries within Himself."

"When they draw near the village, He makes as if to go on, but the two disciples stop Him and practically force Him to stay with them. They recognize Him later when He breaks the bread. The Lord, they exclaimed, has been with us! `And they said to each other: "Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?"' (Luke 24:32). Every Christian should make Christ present among men. He ought to act in such a way that those who know Him sense `the aroma of Christ' (cf. 2 Corinthians 2:15). Men should be able to recognize the Master in His disciples" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 105).

13-27. Jesus' conversation with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus gives us a very good idea of the disillusionment felt by His disciples after His apparent total failure. Cleopas' words summarize Christ's life and mission (verse 19), His passion and death (verse 20), the despair felt by His disciples (verse 21), and the events of that Sunday morning (verse 22).

Earlier, Jesus had said to the Jews: "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to Me" (John 5:39). In saying this He indicated the best way for us to get to know Him. Pope Paul VI points out that today also frequent reading of and devotion to Holy Scripture is a clear inspiration of the Holy Spirit: "The progress made in biblical studies, the increasing dissemination of the Sacred Scriptures, and above all the example of tradition and the interior action of the Holy Spirit are tending to cause the modern Christian to use the Bible ever increasingly as the basic prayerbook and to draw from it genuine inspiration and unsurpassable examples" ([Pope] Paul VI, "Marialis Cultus", 30).

Because the disciples are so downhearted, Jesus patiently opens for them the meaning of all the Scriptural passages concerning the Messiah. "Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?": with these words He disabuses them of the notion of an earthly and political Messiah and shows them that Christ's mission is a supernatural one--to save all mankind.

Sacred Scripture contained the prophecy that God would bring about salvation through the redemptive passion and death of the Messiah. The Cross does not mean failure: it is the route chosen by God for Christ to achieve definitive victory over sin and death (cf. 1 Corinthians1:23-24). Many of our Lord's contemporaries failed to understand His supernatural mission because they misinterpreted the Old Testament texts. No one knew the meaning of Sacred Scripture like Jesus. And, after Him, only the Church has the mission and responsibility of conserving Scripture and interpreting it correctly: "All that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgment of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God" (Vatican II, "Dei Verbum", 12).

28-35. The Master's presence and words restore the disciples' spirits and give them new and lasting hope. "There were two disciples on their way to Emmaus. They were walking along at a normal pace, like so many other travelers on that road. And there, without any fuss, Jesus appears to them, and walks with them, His conversation helping to alleviate their tiredness. I can well imagine the scene, just as dusk is falling. A gentle breeze is blowing. All around are fields ripe with wheat, and venerable olive trees, their branches shimmering in the soft glowing light.

"Jesus joins them as they go along their way. Lord, how great you are, in everything! But You move me even more when You come down to our level, to follow us and to seek us in the hustle and bustle of each day. Lord, grant us a childlike spirit, pure eyes and a clear mind so that we may recognize You when You come without any outward sign of Your glory.

"The journey ends when they reach the village. The two disciples who, without realizing it, have been deeply stirred by the words and love shown by God made man, are sorry to see Him leaving. For Jesus `appeared to be going further' (Luke 24:28). This Lord of ours never forces Himself on us. He wants us to turn to Him freely, when we begin to grasp the purity of His Love which He has placed in our souls. We have to hold Him back (`they constrained Him') and beg Him: `Stay with us, for it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent' (Luke 24:29).

"That's just like us--always short on daring, perhaps because we are insincere, or because we feel embarrassed. Deep down, what we are really thinking is: `Stay with us, because our souls are shrouded in darkness and You alone are the light. You alone can satisfy this longing that consumes us.' For `we know full well which among all things fair and honorable is the best--to possess God for ever' (St. Gregory Nazianzen, "Epistulae", 212).

"And Jesus stays. Our eyes are opened, as were those of Cleopas and his companion, when Christ breaks the bread; and, though He vanishes once more from sight, we too will find strength to start out once more--though night is falling--to tell the others about Him, because so much joy cannot be kept in one heart alone.

"The road to Emmaus--our God has filled this name with sweetness. Now the entire world has become an Emmaus, for the Lord has opened up all the divine paths of the earth" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 313f).

32. If you were an apostle, these words of the disciples of Emmaus should rise spontaneously to the lips of your professional companions when they meet you along the way of their lives" ("The Way", 917).

33-35. The disciples now feel the need to return to Jerusalem immediately; there they find the Apostles and some other disciples gathered together with Peter, to whom Jesus has appeared.

In sacred history, Jerusalem was the place where God chose to be praised in a very special way and where the prophets carried out their main ministry. God willed that Christ should suffer, die and rise again in Jerusalem, and from there the Kingdom of God begins to spread (cf. Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8). In the New Testament the Church of Christ is described as "the Jerusalem above" (Galatians 4:26), "the Heavenly Jerusalem" (Hebrews 12:22) and the "new Jerusalem" (Revelation 21:2).

The Church began in the Holy City. Later on, St. Peter, not without a special intervention of Providence, moved to Rome, thereby making that city the center of the Church. Just as Peter strengthened these first disciples in the faith, so too Christians of all generations have recourse to the See of Peter to strengthen their faith and thereby build up the unity of the Church: "Take away the Pope and the Catholic Church would no longer be catholic. Moreover, without the supreme, effective and authoritative pastoral office of Peter the unity of Christ's Church would collapse. It would be vain to look for other principles of unity in place of the true one established by Christ Himself [...]. We would add that this cardinal principle of holy Church is not a supremacy of spiritual pride and a desire to dominate mankind, but a primacy of service, ministration and love. It is no vapid rhetoric which confers on Christ's vicar the title: `Servant of the servants of God'" ([Pope] Paul VI, "Ecclesiam Suam", 83).
________________________
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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Principles and Practices - April 7

God is Always Ready

Learn to entwine with prayer the small cares, trifling sorrows, and the little wants of daily life. Whatever affects you, turn it into prayer, and send it up to God. Disclosures you may not make to man you may make to God. Men may be too little for your great matters: God is not too great for your small ones. Only give your­self to prayer, whatever be the occasion that calls for it.

-Leaflets.
_________________
From Principles and Practices
Compiled by Rev. J. Hogan of The Catholic Missionary Society
Published by Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., Publishers To The Holy See
Nihil Obstat; Eduardus J. Mahoney, S.T.D. Censor deputatus.
Imprimatur; Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius generalis.
First printed in 1930

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The School of Love & Other Essays, April 6

THE OTHER SIDE

[continued from yesterday]

...From this it is safe to make a general con­clusion, and it is this: Most men are better than the estimate we form of them before we know them. Our first judgments, founded on hearsay, or on some wholly alien evidence, must necessarily be exaggerated; it is de­prived of the means of filling in the lights and the shades which personal contact alone can provide.

If we hear of another's talents, we magnify the poor victim in our minds till he becomes a perfect monster; if we are told of his strength of will, we imagine some inhuman cyclops; if we have proof of his fascinating personality, we picture some siren of the sea that will lure us, unless we are care­ful, to our destruction.

Then comes the discovery, and with it often the reaction to the opposite extreme.

Mon­ster as the creature of our imagination was, it was nevertheless an idol; we meet the man in real life and find him only human. So that, very often, our second judgments are as unsound as our first. Our monster of intel­lect falls so short of our anticipation that we declare him to be overrated, forgetting that it is ourselves alone who have done him this injustice.

Our strong man never seems to put forth his strength; we wonder whether he real1y has any. And so with all the rest of the­ idols which our fancy has set up.

But if this is true of every type of man it is particularly true of those who earn that most unenviable of reputations, the reputation for being good. Poor creatures! What a time such people have! A man is talked about as being holy; he has had the misfortune to utter some spiritual remark, he has been seen to do or not to do something which has been taken as proving his mortified spirit, he has been found somewhere on his knees - perhaps asleep - and the word has gone round that he is a man of prayer.

A stranger hears of him and is curious. He wonders whether after all he is going to come across a live saint; whether there wi11 be a halo round his head, whether his hands will have wounds in them, whether his haggard face will bear the marks of long fasting, whether at the very least his eyes will not be for ever closed, or else for ever turned upwards so that the white alone will appear.

Then comes the meeting....

[continued tomorrow]
___________
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918

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News Updates, 4/5

Vatican priest likens abuse furor to anti-Semitism
Reaction from Jewish groups ranged from skepticism to fury

Pope Names Latino Leader For L.A. Archdiocese [Member of Opus Dei Movement]
VATICAN CITY - The pope on Tuesday named Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio, Texas, to take over the Los Angeles archdiocese when its current archbishop retires, putting him in line to become the highest-ranking Latino in the American Catholic hierarchy...

Cardinal George to Honor Father Pfleger With Lifetime Achievement Award
Cardinal George of Chicago will honor Barack Obama’s racist friend and spiritual advisor Father Pfleger in a special ceremony this week. Like his buddy Jeremiah Wright, Father Pfleger is known for his intolerant outbursts at the pulpit. Pfleger said, “America is the greatest sin against God.”
[Pray for Cardinal George, he's lost his mind]

Sex abuse cost Catholic Church in US $3 billion
Only a fraction of the perpetrators faced prison

Vatican cardinal rejects sex abuse 'gossip'
Sodano made remark in unusual message of support to Pope

Studies find patterns of Catholic clergy sex abuse
Overwhelming majority of victims were adolescent boys

German bishop attacked during Easter service
Defended himself from broomstick with an incense bowl

Priest accused of US abuse still working in India
Has no plans to return to the US to face the courts

Pope visits Malta mid-month, abuse cases await
Victims want Benedict to use the trip to apologize

Church building relocation off to bumpy start
Plans underway to move Buffalo church to Georgia

Levada brought back accused priest with conditions
US cardinal now handles sex abuse cases for the Vatican

===== Other Issues =====
Investigation Reveals Numerous Bogus Claims on Obama Resume
In what is being called 'the biggest hustle in human history,' a special investigation has discovered numerous bogus claims on Barack Obama's resume, including the outright lie that he was a 'Constitutional scholar and professor.' The claim turns out to be false.

Report on Social Security delayed
Delayed to cover up the fact that the "fund" is in the RED due to .GOV theft

Michelle Obama Confirms Obama was Born in Kenya [Youtube]
“Barack has led by example. When we took our trip to Africa and visited his home country in Kenya”

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Monday, April 05, 2010

Gospel for Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

From: John 20:11-18

The Appearance To Mary Magdalene
[11] But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; [12] and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. [13] They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." [14] Saying this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. [15] Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?" Supposing Him to be gardener, she said to Him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away." [16] Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). [17] Jesus said to her, "Do not hold Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God." [18] Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that He had said these things to her.
______________

Commentary:
11-18. Mary's affection and sensitivity lead her to be concerned about what has become of the dead body of Jesus. This woman out of whom seven demons were cast (cf. Luke 8:2) stayed faithful during His passion and even now her love is still ardent: our Lord had freed her from the Evil One and she responded to that grace humbly and generously.

After consoling Mary Magdalene, Jesus gives her a message for the Apostles, whom He tenderly calls His "brethren". This message implies that He and they have the same Father, though each in an essentially different way: "I am ascending to My Father"-my own Father by nature-"and to your Father"-for He is your Father through the adoption I have won for you and by My death. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, shows His great mercy and understanding by gathering together all His disciples who had abandoned Him during His passion and were now in hiding for fear of the Jews (John 20:19).

Mary Magdalene's perseverance teaches us that anyone who sincerely keeps searching for Jesus Christ will eventually find Him. Jesus' gesture in calling His disciples His "brethren" despite their having run away should fill us with love in the midst of our own infidelities.

15. From Jesus' dialogue with Mary Magdalene, we can see the frame of mind all His disciples must have been in: they were not expecting the resurrection.

17. "Do not hold Me": the use of the negative imperative in the Greek, reflected in the New Vulgate ("noli me tenere") indicates that our Lord is telling Mary to release her hold of Him, to let Him go, since she will have another chance to see Him before His ascension into Heaven.
___________________________
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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Principles and Practices - April 6

The Small Faults

How careful we should be not to let these imperfections get a footing. One who would commit such would, the opportunity given, commit greater. Immortified, self-opinionated, peculiar, and peevish minds are apt to fall into this vice.

St. Jane Frances.
_________________
From Principles and Practices
Compiled by Rev. J. Hogan of The Catholic Missionary Society
Published by Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., Publishers To The Holy See
Nihil Obstat; Eduardus J. Mahoney, S.T.D. Censor deputatus.
Imprimatur; Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius generalis.
First printed in 1930

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The School of Love & Other Essays, April 5

THE OTHER SIDE

WHEN we are young we naturally believe in everyone we meet. A child who has had anything like a home has been brought up on trust and confidence; it has not learnt to dis­believe or doubt, at all events those whom it knows.

Still, even a child instinctively fears those whom it does not know; a stranger is to it something to be dreaded, something to be suspected of being on the whole more evil than good.

When we grow a little older we think we outgrow this fear. But in matter of fact it is commonly more intensified, though it may show itself along another line. Some may call it shyness; some may call it criticism; whatever outward expression it may assume there is a tendency in us to think hard things of those whom we do not know, to picture strangers to ourselves as persons rather to be feared than welcomed, to dread meeting them, and to be anxious even to pain about what we shall find when we make their acquaintance.

Then when the meeting does come, in nine cases out of ten we are agreeably surprised. The stranger is very much like ourselves after all. The great man is not so great; or if he is, he is obviously great against his will. The scholar is a child, the soldier a school-boy magnified; we come across them one by one and condemn ourselves for our preconceived judgments. When we made them we were little better than children; we feared what was unknown; when we come to know it we are ashamed of our fears....

[continued tomorrow]

___________
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918

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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Gospel for Monday within the Octave of Easter

From: Matthew 28:8-15

Jesus Appears To The Women
[8] So they (Mary Magdalene and the other Mary) departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell His disciples. [9] And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Hail!" And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshipped Him. [10] Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee; and there they will see Me."

The Soldiers Are Bribed
[11] While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. [12] And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sum of money to the soldiers [13] and said, "Tell people, `His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.' [14] And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." [15] So they took the money and did as they were directed; and this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.
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Commentary:
1-15. The resurrection of Jesus, which happened in the early hours of the Sunday morning, is a fact which all the evangelist state clearly and unequivocally. Some holy women discover to their surprise that the tomb is open. On entering the hall (cf. Mark 16:5-6), they see an angel who says to them, "He is not here; for He has risen, as He said." The guards who were on duty when the angel rolled back the stone go to the city and report what has happened to the chief priests. These, because of the urgency of the matter, decide to bribe the guards; they give them a considerable sum of money on condition that they spread the word that His disciples came at night and stole the body of Jesus when they were asleep. "Wretched craftiness," says St. Augustine, "do you give us witnesses who were asleep? It is you who are really asleep if this is the only kind of explanation you have to offer!" ("Ennarationes in Psalmos", 63, 15). The Apostles, who a couple of days before fled in fear, will, now that they have seen Him and have eaten and drunk with Him, become tireless preachers of this great event: "This Jesus, they will say, "God raised up, and of that we are all witnesses" (Acts 2:32).

Just as He foretold He would go up to Jerusalem and be delivered to the leaders of the Jews and put to death, He also prophesied that He would rise from the dead (Matthew 20:17-19; Mark 10:32-34; Luke 18:31-34). By His resurrection He completes the sign He promised to give unbelievers to show His divinity (Matthew 12:40).

The resurrection of Christ is one of the basic dogmas of the Catholic faith. In fact, St. Paul says, "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:14); and, to prove his assertion that Christ rose, he tells us "that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Then He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared also to me" (1 Corinthians 15:5-8). The creed states that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day ("Nicene Creed"), by His own power (Ninth Council of Toledo, "De Redemptione Creed"), by a true resurrection of the flesh ("Creed" of St. Leo IX), reuniting His soul with His body (Innocent III, "Eius Exemplo"), and that this fact of the resurrection is historically proven and provable ("Lamentabili", 36).

"By the word `resurrection' we are not merely to understand that Christ was raised from the dead...but that He rose by His own power and virtue, a singular prerogative peculiar to Him alone. Our Lord confirmed this by the divine testimony of His own mouth when He said: `I lay down My life, that I may take it again....I have power to lay it down: and I have power to take it up again' (John 10:17-18). To the Jews He also said, in corroboration of His doctrine" `Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up' (John 2:19-20) [...]. We sometimes, it is true, read in Scripture that He was raised by the Father (cf. Acts 2:24; Romans 8:11); but this refers to Him as man, just as those passages on the other hand, which say that He rose by His own power, related to Him as God" ("St. Pius V Catechism", I, 6, 8).

Christ's resurrection was not a return to His previous earthly existence; it was a "glorious" resurrection, that is to say, attaining the full development of human life--immortal, freed from all limitations of space and time. As a result of the resurrection, Christ's body now shares in the glory which His soul had from the beginning. Here lies the unique nature of the historical fact of the resurrection. He could not be seen by anyone but only by those to whom He granted that grace, to enable them to be witnesses of this resurrection, and to enable others to believe in Him by accepting the testimony of the seers.

Christ's resurrection was something necessary for the completion of the work of our Redemption. For, Jesus Christ through His death freed us from sins; but by His resurrection He restored us all that we had lost through sin and, moreover, opened for us the gates of eternal life (cf. Romans 4:25). Also, the fact that He rose from the dead by His own power is a definitive proof that He is the Son of God, and therefore His resurrection fully confirms our faith in His divinity.

The resurrection of Christ, as has been pointed out, is the most sublime truth of our faith. That is why St. Augustine exclaims: "It is no great thing to believe that Christ died; for this is something that is also believed by pagans and Jews and by all the wicked: everyone believes that He died. The Christians' faith is in Christ's resurrection; that is what we hold to be a great thing--to believe that He rose" ("Enarrationes in Psalmos", 120).

The mystery of the Redemption wrought by Christ, which embraces His death and resurrection, is applied to every man and woman through Baptism and the other sacraments, by means of which the believer is as it were immersed in Christ and in His death, that is to say, in a mystical way he becomes part of Christ, he dies and rises with Christ: "We were buried therefore with Him by baptism unto death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).

An ardent desire to seek the things of God and an interior taste for the things that are above (cf. Colossians 3:1-3) are signs of our resurrection with 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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Principles and Practices - April 5

The Sacred Heart

The pious soul will find in the Heart of Jesus a sure refuge against all the attacks of Satan, and at the same time a sweet place of rest. Let us not stand outside it, but enter deep within.

-St. Anthony of Padua.
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From Principles and Practices
Compiled by Rev. J. Hogan of The Catholic Missionary Society
Published by Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., Publishers To The Holy See
Nihil Obstat; Eduardus J. Mahoney, S.T.D. Censor deputatus.
Imprimatur; Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius generalis.
First printed in 1930

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The School of Love & Other Essays, April 4

ONE ANOTHER

[continued from yesterday]

The third principle is that of charity; which means that we should take a chance of doing good when we get it, and should not be too often on our own defensive. Charity does not calculate too much, charity is not too dis­criminating, charity does not care to haggle, charity does not demand a quid pro quo, charity expects to make many a mistake, charity shuts its eyes and goes on.

This is a point that needs little development; it only needs that we should take it to ourselves - pru­dently and wisely, if we like, but none the less truly and practically.

We can always see the beauty of self-sacrificing charity in others; let us not forget that in ourselves it can be no less beautiful. In others we can see its conquering power; the same can it effect in ourselves.

"There remain, then," to use the words of St. Paul, "these three."

Faith teaches us to believe in everybody, not as satisfied optimists, but as men amongst our fel1ow-men.

Hope gives us the confidence that nothing we do is wasted.

Charity goes further; it bids us not easily to miss a chance of doing good, not to act on the defensive, never to use the argu­ment that we are not obliged as a reason for standing aloof.

You want to do something worth doing before you die; seize the oppor­tunities that are given you every day, and in the end you will find that something has been done.

Do not be for ever waiting for the great occasion, and fretting because it never seems to come; if you keep waiting, and mean­while do nothing, either the occasion will never come, or when it comes you will not recognise it, or you will be so utterly unprac­tised in the art of doing and giving that you will be unable to seize it.

On the contrary, make your own occasion; give, and give, and give again. You will find that one great deed will lead to another; your hands will never be empty. There is always work for such workers; this is a profession which is not over­stocked, in which competition is not great, and yet of which the profits are portentous.

Of what kind are those profits? Not always of money, though even in the matter of money it is strange how often genuine charity is re­quited; but rather of biood; not of broad acres, but of human hearts; not perhaps in the goods of this world, where rust and the worm destroy, but in a world where there are no thieves, and canker does not enter.
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From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918

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