Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mental Prayer for September 17-Catholic Activities

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Lord, give me the spirit of zeal that inflamed the hearts of the Apostles.

The Idea: "You are the light of the world," Christ said. And a light has to shine so that others can see. A Catholic who does not help spread Christ's Faith is a living contradiction. In the same way it is a contradiction to be a Catholic and not be active in some way - prayer, parish projects, or other activ­ities for the Church. Christ needs a specially devoted army of helpers. He depends on us to do His work today. That is how much He trusts us. The communists worked so hard to spread their diabolical doctrine of hatred, as do today's enemies of Christ and His Church; can we be indifferent to spreading the word and work of Christ?

My Personal Application: What is my zeal in Catholic activities? Do I have the spirit that filled the hearts of the early Christians? Do I cooperate in all the jobs that go into planning an activity, even down to collecting tickets or decorat­ing? Do I give my full attention and energy to my prayer, to spiritual projects proposed for the whole parish and Church? This is the way I show my love for Christ: by doing the work of the Church in love and zeal and devotion. Does the zeal of the Christ's enemies put me to shame? The chain is as strong as its weakest link. Am I the weakest link?

I Speak to God: Lord, give me strength to do my part in spreading your kingdom. If I have been lazy in the past, I will work all the harder in the future - in prayer, projects, and all the jobs where my help is needed, for you and for our Mother.

Thought for Today: My love for Christ is shown more by what I do than by what I merely say.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Gospel for 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."


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.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Mental Prayer for September 16-What Is a School?

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: The grace to see why and how I must work at what I want to be.

The Idea: In the U. S. military academies - West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs - men are be­ing taught the high standards expected of them if they want to serve their country in a special way. The uniforms they wear, the subjects they take, the traditions among which they live - all remind them every day of what they are to become; all help them to prepare themselves for their special career.

It's easy to see, in a school like that, that every­thing is aimed directly at making the students into what they want to be - professional officers of the U. S. Army, Navy, Air Force. But really, every school is aimed at getting its students ready for the life they want in the best possible way. One's own school may not be perfect, but here and now, it may be the best way of preparing that one has. Hopefully, it offers one many more helps than one could ever find on his own.

My Personal Application: I have a life to live. I want that life to turn out well; it's the only one I have. Then I have to prepare myself for the future as well as I can right now. I have to use all of the opportunities I have - the chances to learn, the occasions to get to know others, the possibilities to develop my talents in different activities and areas, the times I have to avail myself of the Sacraments and to pray.

I Speak to God: My God, am I dreaming about a great tomorrow and not doing today what I can to build toward the tomorrow? Help me to open my eyes that I might see, help me to be receptive to Your grace and assistance.

Thought for Today: God helps first those who help themselves.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

From TFP: Finding Trans-Intolerance

Should parents have a say about who educates their children?

Now, a “transgendered” teacher with an officially recognized mental disorder returns to class dressed as a woman and no one can opt out.

Click here to read “Finding Trans-Intolerance.”

Calling out to Allah in Milwaukee Cathedral

The sound of cannons will explode tonight from within the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
. . .
The performance of "The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace," by the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee archdiocesan and St. Sebastian choirs will commemorate Sept. 11, 2001, in a powerful and different way.

Perhaps the most appropriate soloist is Amjad Khleifat, who was approached by Milwaukee Archdiocesan Choir Director Jeff Honore and Kamenski to perform the second movement's "Adhaan" or "Call to Prayers," which Jenkins indicated should be recited in its native Arabic.

From the marbled ambo in the center of the cathedral Sunday, Khleifat covered his ears and rehearsed, calling out to Allah in a sweeping, sitar-like voice..."Lord grant us strength to die!"

Too much for words...Isn't Archbishop Dolan in charge?

California Bishop Tod Brown Responds to Lay Group

From Matt Abbott at RenewAmerica:

In the ongoing saga in the Diocese of Orange, Calif., Bishop Tod Brown has formally responded to the Catholic lay group Restore the Sacred. The text of the bishop's letter (dated September 6, 2006), which was sent to a member of Restore the Sacred, is as follows:

The Future for Missouri's Deceptive "Cloning" Amendment?

The folks responsible for attempting to hoodwink the citizens of the State of Missouri with deception, doublespeak, and outright lies, may be encouraged that, while implantantion in utero of cloned embryos is "banned" in the amendment, there are other sorts of macabre possibilities for them on the horizon.

Notwithstanding the fact that the proponents of embryonic research and killing have redefined a scientific term to be something else for political and monetary purposes as noted here,:

(2) “Clone or attempt to clone a human being” means to implant in a uterus or attempt to implant in a uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy that could result in the creation of a human fetus, or the birth of a human being. [Sect 6, "Meanings"]
...the opportunity may exist for demented and diabolical "researchers" to use "artificial wombs" thereby avoiding the restrictions of their new definition of "cloning".

The St. Louis Review has an article today by Jennifer Brinker which brings the future eerily into focus:

It sounds like a scene from a science fiction movie, but using artificial wombs to conduct embryonic stem-cell research may soon be a reality...

Jim Cole, volunteer legal counsel for Missouri Right to Life, has detailed that in a new paper he wrote on the issue. Cole has penned several articles on the possible effects of Amendment 2, the Nov. 7 ballot initiative that seeks to constitutionally protect embryonic stem-cell research and human cloning in Missouri.

"Note well that it [the amendment] says ‘to implant in a uterus,’" said Cole. "An artificial womb is not a uterus."

One such example of using artificial wombs comes from Dr. Hung-Ching Liu of Cornell University’s Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility. Liu and her team of researchers have been working on developing artificial wombs for about the last decade.

According to a 2002 article in The Observer, sister publication to British-based newspaper The Guardian, Liu’s research team removed endometrial cells from wombs and grew layers of them on scaffolds of biodegradable material formed into the interior of a uterus....

"Clearly, an artificial womb that depends on biodegradable scaffolding, the cultivation of endometrial cell layers, the artificial addition of nutrients and hormones and the constant attention of scientists during gestation is not a ‘uterus,’" said Cole.

Amendment 2, he said, only forbids the implantation of cloned embryos into a uterus. Therefore, the proposed amendment would allow the implantation of cloned embryos into these artificial wombs, "where they can be gestated into any stage that scientists have the ability to maintain them," said Cole.

Certainly, one would be safe in assuming that the proponents of the Missouri "Cloning for Killing" amendment knew of this and other research and employed the best legal wordsmiths to develop a legal document which would provide them public funding for all of their ghoulish and morbid "research"...

May God help us in overcoming this hideous attack on the unborn, on life itself, and on ethics and common sense.

St. Gianna Parish planning Sept. 23-24 for first Masses

The new St. Gianna Parish in St. Charles County will celebrate its first Masses the weekend of Sept. 23 and 24.

The parish earlier received a special-use permit and occupancy permit for a temporary church in a warehouse building in Lake St. Louis. The building is about a mile from the permanent site of the parish.

Since the permits were issued, the parish has been busy converting the building for use as a church. Father Timothy Elliott, pastor of St. Gianna, said besides the area for the church and meeting space, the building has been adapted to include three offices, restrooms, a cry room, confessional and other modifications.

"They’ll be building it to the very last day," he said. Once the building is complete, the pastor, parish secretary and PSR director will come there during office hours.

In another big step for the parish, the Wentzville School District has given approval for the parish to use classrooms at South Middle School for the parish school of religion. The PSR will open Oct. 16.

Father Elliott has been attending neighborhood meetings with parishioners. "It’s very encouraging. There’s a lot of enthusiasm," he said.

Islamofacists Are Never Satisfied

Pope's speech sparks Muslim anger

Angry protests against Pope Benedict XVI erupted in the Islamic world today as the Vatican struggled to explain a reference by the Pontiff to the Prophet Mohammad’s “evil and inhuman” contribution to religion.

Muslim students burn an effigy of Pope Benedict XVI at a protest rally in Allahabad, India, Friday, Sept. 15, 2006. A growing chorus of Muslim leaders has called on the Pope to apologize for the alleged derogatory comments made by him about Islam. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

In a speech on Tuesday at Regensburg University in his native Germany Pope Benedict analysed a conversation between Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus and a Persian scholar after the siege of Constantinople in 1391.

He quoted the emperor as saying: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

Pope Benedict went on to question as “unreasonable” Muslim adherence to Jihad, a holy war to propagate the faith.

Members of Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (MLJK) shout slogans during a demonstration in Srinagar, India, Friday, Sept. 15, 2006. Police detained dozen of members of MLJK after they took out a protest demonstration against Pope Benedict XVI for making what it called 'derogatory' comments about Islam, and seeking an apology from him for hurting the sentiments of Muslims. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Is it even possible to comment on Mohammed or Mohammedanism without being critical, objectively speaking?

What the Holy Father was discussing was faith and reason or, in this case, that acting contrary to reason is contrary to God's nature.

The Holy Father was also critical of the West for removing that which is spiritual from reason.

There is plenty to ponder for those who wish to read and understand the Pope's words.

The Pope's address can be read here.

Gospel for Sept 15, Memorial: Our Lady of Sorrows

From: John 19:25-27

The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (Continuation)

[25] So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. [26] When Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing near, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" [27] Then He said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.


25. Whereas the Apostles, with the exception of St. John, abandon Jesus in the hour of His humiliation, these pious women, who had followed Him during His public life (cf. Lk 8:2-3) now stay with their Master as He dies on the cross (cf. note on Mt 27:55-56).

Pope John Paul II explains that our Lady's faithfulness was shown in four ways: first, in her generous desire to do all that God wanted of her (cf. Lk 1:34); second, in her total acceptance of God's will (cf. Lk 1:38); third, in the consistency between her life and the commitment of faith which she made; and, finally, in her withstanding this test. "And only a consistency that lasts throughout the whole of life can be called faithfulness. Mary's 'fiat' in the Annunciation finds its fullness in the silent 'fiat' that she repeats at the foot of the Cross" ("Homily in Mexico Cathedral", 26 January 1979).

The Church has always recognized the dignity of women and their important role in salvation history. It is enough to recall the veneration which from the earliest times the Christian people have had for the Mother of Christ, the Woman "par excellence" and the most sublime and most privileged creature ever to come from the hands of God. Addressing a special message to women, the Second Vatican Council said, among other things: "Women in trial, who stand upright at the foot of the cross like Mary, you who so often in history have given to men the strength to battle unto the very end and to give witness to the point of martyrdom, aid them now still once more to retain courage in their great undertakings, while at the same time maintaining patience and an esteem for humble beginnings" (Vatican II, "Message To Women", 8 December 1965).

26-27. "The spotless purity of John's whole life makes him strong before the Cross. The other apostles fly from Golgotha: he, with the Mother of Christ, remains. Don't forget that purity strengthens and invigorates the character" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 144).

Our Lord's gesture in entrusting His Blessed Mother to the disciple's care, has a dual meaning (see p. 19 above and pp. 35ff). For one thing it expresses His filial love for the Virgin Mary. St Augustine sees it as a lesson Jesus gives us on how to keep the fourth commandment: "Here is a lesson in morals. He is doing what He tells us to do and, like a good Teacher, He instructs His own by example, that it is the duty of good children to take care of their parents; as though the wood on which His dying members were fixed were also the chair of the teaching Master" (St Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang.", 119, 2).

Our Lord's words also declare that Mary is our Mother: "The Blessed Virgin also advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of His suffering, associating herself with His sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim who was born of her. Finally, she was given by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross as a mother to His disciple" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 58).

All Christians, who are represented in the person of John, are children of Mary. By giving us His Mother to be our Mother, Christ demonstrates His love for His own to the end (cf. Jn 13:1). Our Lady's acceptance of John as her son show her motherly care for us: "the Son of God, and your Son, from the Cross indicated a man to you, Mary, and said: 'Behold, your son' (Jn 19:26). And in that man He entrusted to you every person, He entrusted everyone to you. And you, who at the moment of the Annunciation, concentrated the whole program of your life in those simple words: 'Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word' (Lk 1:38): embrace everyone, draw close to everyone, seek everyone out with motherly care. Thus is accomplished what the last Council said about your presence in the mystery of Christ and the Church. In a wonderful way you are always found in the mystery of Christ, your only Son, because you are present wherever men and women, His brothers and sisters, are present, wherever the Church is present" (John Paul II, "Homily in the Basilica of Guadalupe", 27 January 1979).

"John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, brought Mary into his home, into his life. Spiritual writers have seen these words of the Gospel as an invitation to all Christians to bring Mary into their lives. Mary certainly wants us to invoke her, to approach her confidently, to appeal to her as our mother, asking her to 'show that you are our mother'" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 140).

John Paul II constantly treats our Lady as his Mother. In bidding farewell to the Virgin of Czestochowa he prayed in this way: "Our Lady of the Bright Mountain, Mother of the Church! Once more I consecrate myself to you 'in your maternal slavery of love'. 'Totus tuus!' I am yours! I consecrate to you the whole Church--everyone to the ends of the earth! I consecrate to you humanity; I consecrate to you all men and women, my brothers and sisters. All peoples and all nations. I consecrate to you Europe and all the continents. I consecrate to you Rome and Poland, united, through your servant, by a fresh bond of love. Mother, accept us! Mother, do not abandon us! Mother, be our guide!" ("Farewell Address" at Jasna Gora Shrine, 6 June 1979).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

More Helps to Pray

Suppose that you begin your mental prayer - ­you remember God is present; you ask His help­and then you can't seem to think of anything in particular to say.

What then?

That is what the daily "Mental Prayer" posts are for. Each day's "meditation" suggests things it might be good for you to talk over with God­ - or at least to think over, in God's presence - ­on that day.

The words in the posts are to help you get started. The real praying, of course, is always your own talking with God: your own thinking, speaking, loving, being sorry, asking help - or just listening - as you kneel before Him.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Dr Edward Peters: Vatican II, Canon 1262, and chapel veils

I recently saw an advertisement for chapel veils. The ad features a lovely young lady wearing a handmade veil, and presents the following text: "Did you know that nothing in Vatican II changes the practice of headcoverings for women and that Canon 1262 is still in force?" Assertions about canon law always get my attention, so I wondered, is Canon 1262 still in force?

Hmmmm...The answer to that question is here.

Mental Prayer for September 15-Getting Started in Prayer

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: To pray well.

The Idea: The first step in talking to God is as easy as saying hello. I go to meet God by stopping to remember one true fact - the fact that I am alone in His presence. He is here, and I am here alone with Him. And I recall what I am here for: to talk with Him, with God. Have I done this today? Slowly, carefully? Next I ask Him to help me spend this time well. This can be the most important 15 minutes in my day. And only a fool starts anything really impor­tant without asking God's help first.

And now, thinking of God here present, I say to Him first whatever I most feel: my own thoughts, the ones that come naturally to me, the ones God sends me - those are best. I will stay kneeling here before Him and think about those things.

My Personal Application: Do I really want to learn to pray? Then I must take the steps: daily practice, start right, ask God's help. Then talk to Him sincerely and honestly; no one can fool God.

I Speak to God: My God, you are here with me. You have plans for me. Help me to know you better every day so that I may come to see what you want - and may have the strength to do it.

Thought for Today: Lord, teach me to pray.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Kueng Criticizes Pope during German Visit

Tuebingen, Germany- Hans Kueng, the Swiss-born Catholic theologian who has been a long-time critic of the Vatican, slammed Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday for not offering dialogue during a six-day visit to Germany. There had not been "a single future-oriented signal" from the pope, nor were there any suggestions of reforms on the way, Kueng told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa in an interview.

"He didn't fulfil any of the hopes of reform-oriented Catholics. "
That is, the Holy Father did not offer Kueng the papacy...

Wishful Thinking aims to put married priests back to work

Of course it does...

Todd and Rebecca Malek were not religious, but her parents insisted on a priest to officiate their wedding. The Maleks made a family compromise through They found a former Catholic priest to marry them at a Melbourne Holiday Inn, a place not allowed in the Catholic Church for weddings, but it was where the couple wanted to say their vows.

"It was a wonderful experience," said Malek, a 1991 graduate of Seabreeze High School. The religious tone was just right, he added. "It felt like a real wedding, not like going to a justice of the peace."

As long is it "felt" real, that's all that matters to many these days. Many lack the fundamental capacity to use their intellects - their minds seems to have been shutdown, replaced by emotion and feelings...But we know that "feeling" like they are married does not make them married although, in the eyes of the state, they are. In the eyes of the Church, however, they are, objectively, in grave sin for a number of reasons, not the least of which is fornication, since there is no sacramental bond of matrimony. And the facilitators of these sham "marriages" are even more culpable, objectively, for perpetrating frauds in the form of invalid sacraments.

In the words of [ex-priests, Paul] Roma and [Jim] Peterman, the married priests are just no longer part of the "corporation."

"I work directly for the boss," said Peterman, who lives in Viera. "I skip all the managers."
"Corporation" = Church, "Managers" = Pope and bishops. So, who exactly is the "Boss"? I think everyone knows.

Diary of a Pilgrimage of Faith

September 14, 2006
Munich, Altötting, Regensburg: Diary of a Pilgrimage of Faith
An anthology of the homilies and speeches delivered by Benedict XVI during his trip to Bavaria. “Faith’s vision embraces heaven and earth, past, present and future, eternity. And yet it is simple...”
by Sandro Magister

Archbishop Burke Helps St. Joseph's Conclude Centennial

Archbishop Raymond Burke came to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Imperial Sunday to mark the end of the church's yearlong centennial celebration by celebrating Mass. Approximately 500 people, mostly church members, gathered to worship, pray and reflect in their octagonal church.

When nearly 50 members of the church's Life Teen group swarmed the Archbishop after Mass to get their picture taken with him, there was enough energy in the sanctuary to power the church for another 100 years.
This is something that many will remember for years to come.

"He's the first one (Archbishop) I've met," said 16-year-old Katie Hentrich of Imperial... "It's cool, it's neat."
As the Archbishop began to speak, some snapped pictures with their cell phones.
The vitality and enthusiasm of younger Catholics is certainly inspiring, and there can be no doubt that Archbishop Burke elicits this kind of response because of his fatherly love and devotion to his people.

Pastor [John] Brennell said that commitment one year ago by the Archbishop afforded the church the opportunity to celebrate each month during the year and for the lead-up to the Archbishop's visit. "So, Archbishop, you were worth waiting for," he said. The congregation applauded.

The congregation applauded...As do most of the faithful of St. Louis.

Post Dispatch story link here.

Missouri Supreme Court to Hear Former Priest's Appeal (Post-Dispatch)

*** Updated ***
As I had previously thought, Fr. Graham is not an "ex-priest" or "former priest" as the Post asserts...:
Father Graham remains a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and Archbishop Raymond Burke continues to have an obligation under canon law to provide necessary support for him.
Source: Archdiocese of St. Louis Communications Office (PDF File)

Gospel for Sept 14, Feast: Exaltation of the Holy Cross

From: John 3:13-17

The Visit of Nicodemus (Continuation)

(Jesus said to Nicodemus,) [13] "No one has ascended into Heaven but He who descended from Heaven, the Son of Man. [14] And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, [15] that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life." [16] For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. [17] For God sent the Son into world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.


13. This is a formal declaration of the divinity of Jesus. No one has gone up into Heaven and, therefore, no one can have perfect knowledge of God's secrets, except God Himself who became man and came down from Heaven--Jesus, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Son of Man foretold in the Old Testament (cf. Daniel 7:13), to whom has been given eternal lordship over all peoples.

The Word does not stop being God on becoming man: even when He is on earth as man, He is in Heaven as God. It is only after the Resurrection and the Ascension that Christ is in Heaven as man also.

14-15. The bronze serpent which Moses set up on a pole was established by God to cure those who had been bitten by the poisonous serpents in the desert (cf. Numbers 21:8-9). Jesus compares this with His crucifixion, to show the value of His being raised up on the cross: those who look on Him with faith can obtain salvation. We could say that the good thief was the first to experience the saving power of Christ on the cross: he saw the crucified Jesus, the King of Israel, the Messiah, and was immediately promised that he would be in Paradise that very day (cf. Luke 23:39-43).

The Son of God took on our human nature to make known the hidden mystery of God's own life (cf. Mark 4:11; John 1:18; 3:1-13; Ephesians 3:9) and to free from sin and death those who look at Him with faith and love and who accept the cross of every day.

The faith of which our Lord speaks is not just intellectual acceptance of the truths He has taught: it involves recognizing Him as Son of God (cf. 1 John 5:1), sharing His very life (cf. John 1:12) and surrendering ourselves out of love and therefore becoming like Him (cf. John 10:27; 1 John 3:2). But this faith is a gift of God (cf. John 3:3, 5-8), and we should ask Him to strengthen it and increase it as the Apostles did: Lord "increase our faith!" (Luke 17:5). While faith is a supernatural, free gift, it is also a virtue, a good habit, which a person can practise and thereby develop: so the Christian, who already has the divine gift of faith, needs with the help of grace to make explicit acts of faith in order to make this virtue grow.

16-21. These words, so charged with meaning, summarize how Christ's death is the supreme sign of God's love for men (cf. the section on charity in the "Introduction to the Gospel according to St. John": pp. 31ff above). "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son for its salvation. All our religion is a revelation of God's kindness, mercy and love for us. `God is love' (1 John 4:16), that is, love poured forth unsparingly. All is summed up in this supreme truth, which explains and illuminates everything. The story of Jesus must be seen in this light. `(He) loved me, St. Paul writes. Each of us can and must repeat it for himself--`He loved me, and gave Himself for me'(Galatians 2:20)" (Paul VI, "Homily on Corpus Christi", 13 June 1976).

Christ's self-surrender is a pressing call to respond to His great love for us: "If it is true that God has created us, that He has redeemed us, that He loves us so much that He has given up His only-begotten Son for us (John 3:16), that He waits for us--every day!--as eagerly as the father of the prodigal son did (cf. Luke 15:11-32), how can we doubt that He wants us to respond to Him with all love? The strange thing would be not to talk to God, to draw away and forget Him, and busy ourselves in activities which are closed to the constant promptings of His grace" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 251).

"Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it. This [...] is why Christ the Redeemer `fully reveals man to himself'. If we may use the __expression, this is the human dimension of the mystery of the Redemption. In this dimension man finds again the greatness, dignity and value that belong to his humanity.[...] The one who wishes to understand himself thoroughly [...] must, with his unrest and uncertainty and even his weakness and sinfulness, with his life and death, draw near to Christ. He must, so to speak, enter into Him with all his own self, he must `appropriate' and assimilate the whole of the reality of the Incarnation and Redemption in order to find himself. If this profound process takes place within him, he then bears fruit not only of adoration of God but also of deep wonder at himself.

How precious must man be in the eyes of the Creator, if he `gained so great a Redeemer', ("Roman Missal, Exultet" at Easter Vigil), and if God `gave His only Son' in order that man `should not perish but have eternal life'. [...]

`Increasingly contemplating the whole of Christ's mystery, the Church knows with all the certainty of faith that the Redemption that took place through the Cross has definitively restored his dignity to man and given back meaning to his life in the world, a meaning that was lost to a considerable extent because of sin. And for that reason, the Redemption was accomplished in the paschal mystery, leading through the Cross and death to Resurrection" (John Paul II, "Redemptor Hominis", 10).

Jesus demands that we have faith in Him as a first prerequisite to sharing in His love. Faith brings us out of darkness into the light, and sets us on the road to salvation. "He who does not believe is condemned already" (verse 18).

"The words of Christ are at once words of judgment and grace, of life and death. For it is only by putting to death that which is old that we can come to newness of life. Now, although this refers primarily to people, it is also true of various worldly goods which bear the mark both of man's sin and the blessing of God.[...] No one is freed from sin by himself or by his own efforts, no one is raised above himself or completely delivered from his own weakness, solitude or slavery; all have need of Christ, who is the model, master, liberator, savior, and giver of life. Even in the secular history of mankind the Gospel has acted as a leaven in the interests of liberty and progress, and it always offers itself as a leaven with regard to brotherhood, unity and peace" (Vatican II, "Ad Gentes", 8).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mental Prayer for September 14-My Need of Prayer

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: To understand why I need mental prayer.

The Idea: Why must I make mental prayer every day in order to be a more faithful Catholic? First, because a faithful Catholic is trying to do great things for God. He wants to win souls; he wants to be with God in heaven; he wants to change the world. But only a person very close to God can do these things, only a person with God's strength and God's help, only a person who prays.

Second, a Catholic should want to live as good a life as possible. Now two things that cannot mix are frequent mental prayer and frequent serious sin. I cannot come before God, day after day, look at Him, talk to Him, and keep on being His enemy, knowing that if I died at that moment I'd be separated from Him forever. So a Catholic makes mental prayer - to stay faithful and in a state of grace.

My Personal Application: God is calling me to pray - now - and every day. Can I turn my back on Him? All He has done for me up to now is nothing compared to what He will do in the future - if I am faithful in my mental prayer.

I Speak to God: My God, there must be a reason why all the great saints, all the great Catholics who have done outstanding work in your service, all backed up their work with prayer. There must be a connection between prayer and real success. Help me to see it - and to live it.

Thought for Today: I want to learn to pray.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

U.N. is an instrument of peace, Vatican nuncio says at prayer service

NEW YORK (Catholic Online) – The United Nations is an instrument of peace that stands with the peoples of the world and directs its resources to the service of nations, said the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio to the international body.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the nuncio of the Holy’s See permanent observer to the U.N., made the remarks during a Sept. 11 prayer service held at Holy Family Church here on the occasion of the opening of the 61st session of the U.N. General Assembly.

The nuncio must be referring to a different U.N. than the one which continually promotes abortion and contraception as "health services", promotes homosexuality as another 'human' right, among other evils while failing to defend against genocide, and "ethnic cleansing," insists on disarming all peoples so that they may not defend themselves, the U.N. which opposes Church teaching and basic morality is so many areas...Sure he is not speaking of that U.N.?


In this culture of death and selfishness, when it seems that much of the news is meant to lead people to despair, when contraception, abortion, infanticide, and embryonic killing is occurring every second of every day - we should be not be surprised when God's grace and goodness shine upon us to remind us that we are His children, He loves us, and He wants us to be happy with Him in heaven.

I received an email today which helped to bring this into focus again, especially for those who have been blessed with children. This is just too good not to pass on. Some may have seen various breakdowns of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards of raising children listed this way:

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140.00 for a middle income family. Talk about price shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition.

But $160,140.00 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into:
* $8,896.66 a year,
* $741.38 a month, or
* $171.08 a week.
* That's a mere $24.24 a day!
* Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is don't have children if you want to be "rich." Actually, it is just the opposite.

What do you get for your $160,140.00?
* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
* Glimpses of God every day.
* Giggles under the covers every night.
* More love than your heart can hold.
* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
* A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
* A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites.
* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140.00, you never have to grow up. You get to:
* finger-paint,
* carve pumpkins,
* play hide-and-seek,
* catch lightning bugs, and

You have an excuse to:
* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,
* go to Disney movies, and
* wish on stars.

You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect school papers and creations for holidays, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For a mere $24.24 a day, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for:
* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,
* taking the training wheels off a bike,
* removing a splinter,
* filling a wading pool,
* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and
* coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat in history to witness the:
* first step,
* first word,
* first bra,
* first date, and
* first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren.

You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.

That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!!

Love & enjoy your children & grandchildren & great-grandchildren!!!!!!!

It's the best investment you'll make.
I thank God that He has permitted me to share in His creation by becoming a parent. I cannot even imagine what my life would have been like without children. What a wonderful blessing from our Heavenly Father!

From Vatican Radio: The Text of Pope Benedict's Talks in Bavaria

can be found here.

An Update from Missourians Against Human Cloning

Campaign Update

We have less than 60 days to go and the campaign needs your continued support. The grassroots effort we have developed is going to make a great difference. There are many opportunities to talk to someone about the deceptions in the proposed Amendement 2. From sporting events to family get togethers, there are people in your neighborhood and office that have not heard the truth about it.

If you have are a part of our Friend-to-Friend program, make it a personal goal to return your pack to the MAHC office by September 17th. Return your postcards and sign up sheets to MAHC PO Box 967, Chesterfield, MO 63006. Remember that your Friend-to-Friend recruits need time to receive, recruit, and return their Friend-to-Friend packets. Remember that its important to return the get-out-vote-postcards in the Friend-to-Friend packets to makes sure that everyone who learns the truth remembers to vote NO on Amendment 2 on November 7th.

We are final stages of developing a statewide billboard plan. If you are interested in sponsoring a billboard in your area, please contact Kathy Dodge at Our goal is to have a statewide message in order to be effective.

We would also like to thank "Young Friends for Life" for their hard work and successful fundraising event at the St. Louis City Museum, which raised support for the Missourians Against Human Cloning media campaign. Thank you for your continued support and helping spread the truth!

Jaci Winship
Executive Director
The Missourians Against Human Cloning web site is here.

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

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."


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.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Alter Christus - The Priceless Value of Time


Msgr. Kelley in his "Dominus Vobiscum" tells of a death­bed incident which has a deep lesson for all, but especially, for priests. The Archbishop of San Francisco sat near his dying priest, and, seeing him downcast, asked: "Father, are you afraid to meet God?"

The good priest looked at his archbishop with a steady gaze and answered: "No, I am not afraid. I have confidence in His mercy and charity. No, I am not afraid to meet Him. But" - and here his eyes filled with tears - "I have another feeling that makes me sad: I am ashamed...Ashamed, because I have so little to offer Him for such a long life in His service."

On being assured that he had been a hard-working and most successful priest, the dying man insisted: "I myself know best the oppor­tunities I have missed. I am ashamed because I did not do more."

How many of us can hope to be free from such death-bed regrets?

Whether we look at our own spiritual life or at the works of our ministry, are we not poignantly conscious - in our more serious moods - that we could have done much more?

This feeling may have come upon us at times with a special urge, a saving grace: perhaps a dangerous sickness putting us unexpectedly face to face with death, has made us exclaim in all sincerity: "If I am given another chance, my life will be a very different one." But, perhaps also health returned, and with it our old habits of a very average zeal and of spiritual mediocrity... Or, we hear of a friends's death; - an anniversary comes round; - advancing years begin to tell: and we confess: "My own turn may come soon, my time in this world is closing, yet how empty it is of the higher life!" Fleeting impressions, too often barren of practical results.

* A recollection day is a good opportunity to guard ourselves against laying up a stock of bitter regrets for our death-bed and to school ourselves to sustained fervor, by reflecting upon the priceless value of Time and the use we can and ought to make of it.


Every moment is an opportunity offered us by God. The value of Time is measured by the use it can be put to: it is measured therefore by eternity, for the use we make of every single moment makes us better or worse is a help or a hindrance for making others better - for all eternity. What a responsibility!

The value of Time for us may be considered, in a way, as measured by the value of Christ's Precious Blood: does not every moment of Time come to us laden with the merits of that Precious Blood? The graces merited by Christ's death upon the Cross are always at hand. Not a moment in our daily life but we can make use of it to obtain some practical application of Christ's redeeming Sacrifice, for our own soul, for the flock entrusted to us, for Christ's Mystical Body on earth, for the suffering souls in purgatory. . .

Let us try and realize more and more, with a practical spirit of faith, what we know full well in theory: that each day God gives us is a great gift of His loving mercy, that each day puts at our disposal a series of graces merited for us by the Precious Blood of Christ, that each day may leave its mark for all eternity on the state of our soul, of innumerable other souls. . .

* Pray that the Holy Spirit may fill our souls with those lights from on high: "Veni, Sancte Spiritus... Da nobis recta sapere..." - Resolve to look upon Time as an in­exhaustible mine of pure gold, out of which we can quarry eternal happiness for men and glory for God.


If such is the value of Time, let us hasten to make every use of it while it is ours: "Negotiamini dum venio..." Comes the night of life, when we shall look in vain for another working hour: "Venit nox quando nemo potest operari."

"Recta sapere", then, means to make the most of our life now, day after day: not to be satisfied with living just a decent sort of life, minting some money for heaven on the one hand, but on the other squandering a good deal of that precious Time in vain and profitless occupations, little in keeping with our sacerdotal character and without any use for our eternal destiny.

Let us endeavour, rather, to imprint on all our actions a truly supernatural character that will draw largely and unceasingly on the merits of Christ's Precious Blood: put fervour in our official prayers and spiritual exercises, the normal channel for God's grace, and find time for additional supplications "ad thronum gratiae"; perform the duties of our sacred ministry with a zeal that leaves us no rest so long as we can do something more for souls; sanctify and make fruitful, by the purity of our intention, even our most ordinary and trivial occupations; turn into pure gold the hard metal of trials and sufferings that come our way and the mortifica­tions we can add, by uniting them to Christ's sufferings in the spirit of love and union.

* Compare with this program of life the way I spent my time, say yesterday: If I were to die today, what would I like to have done - or to have left undone ­- yesterday? The answer will give me the clue to fruitful conclusions for this recollection, and help me to aim at that fullness of life to which St Paul exhorts us: "Ut ambuletis digne Deo, per omnia placentes, in omni opere bono fructi­ficantes" (Col. 1:10).

How much time have I wasted? Hence, "tempus instanter operando redimere" (Oration of St Stanislaus Kostka).

"Excita, quaesumus, Domine, tuorum fidelium voluntates: ut divini operis fructum propensius exse­quentes, pietatis tuae remedia maiora percipiant, Per D.N.I.C." (Oration of the last Sunday after Pentecost).

Adapted from Alter Christus, Meditations for Priests by F.X. L'Hoir, S.J. (1958)
Meditation 9.

Please pray for our priests and pray for vocations to the priesthood.

Mental Prayer for September 13- My Mental Prayer

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Lord, teach me what real prayer is, that I may learn to pray well.

The Idea: When I really like someone, I like to be with him, I like to talk to him. Now I say I love God. Do I like to be with Him?, Do I like to talk to Him? I don't always talk to friends in fancy speeches written by other people. Then I shouldn't talk to God only in that way. If I want to get to know Him as a real friend, I must talk to Him often, personally, in my own words, about things I really care about, things that are important to me.

That kind of talking to God is known as mental prayer. It's the same sort of praying I ordinarily do after Communion or when I drop into the chapel for a short visit. If I'm not very good at talking to God that way, I just haven't gotten to know Him very well yet. I must start putting aside some time daily to try to talk to Him so I do get to know Him better. That's why I should spend at least 15 minutes in "mental prayer" every day.

My Personal Application: God is here with me now - waiting, ready to hear me. What is there now, today, that I most need to talk over with Him? My renewed resolutions to pray every day? My hopes to make this year the best of my life? Something I want or need?

I Speak to God: My God, you are here with me. Teach me how to come close to you, how to speak with you. Teach me to pray.

Thought for Today: Lord, teach me to pray.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Dr Ed Peters on Canine canons

A saying in canon law runs thus: "There's no law against it till somebody does it." Well, somebody's doing a new "it", so maybe it's time for a new law.

Per the New Jersey Herald News and the Te Deum Blogspot, Fr. Louis Scurti, a campus minister at William Paterson University in New Jersey, "brings his two dogs everywhere [oh?] and that includes Sunday Mass." His pair of pooches set themselves up in the sanctuary during Mass, "making people feel included" [huh?] and providing a "symbol of domesticity" [double huh?]. Although the apparently untethered canines "have been known to growl" at late-comers, Fr. Scurti assures us that his dogs "don't remove the sacredness of the liturgy at all."

Freedom to Celebrate the Latin Mass Soon?

The French national newspaper Le Figaro reports today some interesting words from the first Superior of the new Institute of the Good Shepherd, said at Mass yesterday:

Father Laguérie is convinced that the Roman wind blows in the right direction. And he even believes he knows that "Rome is about to publish a document destined to restore the Traditional rite to its place, to liberalise its usage."
When would this document come?
Via Rorate-caeli..

Another Rally Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Local and national opponents of Missouri’s stem-cell initiative came together Monday in a rousing church revival that was part prayer meeting, part science lecture and part political rally.

Former presidential candidate Alan Keyes compared the initiative to terrorists who take innocent human life and to slaveholders who justified slavery by arguing that blacks were different.

The Rev. Robert Finn, bishop of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese, also compared the battle against the initiative to the war on terrorism, calling early stem-cell research “the wholesale manufacture and destruction of human life.”

The initiative, Amendment 2, is so deceptively worded, that one might think that voting "yes" would be be a vote to outlaw cloning when, in fact, such a vote allows cloning to be carried out by scientists.

And this attempt to enshrine cloning - this creation of human life - as a lawful and constitional "right" is to be done solely in order that this life can be destroyed. How utterly demonic.

Donn Rubin, chairman of the initiative’s sponsors — the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures — said: “The rhetoric of stem-cell opponents is out of step with more than 100 patient and medical groups that support this amendment… To call organizations like the Christopher Reeve Foundation and the Children’s Leukemia Foundation forces of evil is offensive and over the top.”

What is "over the top" are Rubin's comments. His insistence that that the initiative "strictly prohibits any attempt to clone a human being" is a falsification of the truth, a rejection of basic biological science.

Please remember "The Rosary Crusade" to safeguard embryonic human life and prevent human cloning. We pray for our Blessed Mother's intercession. And may our Lord protect us from this evil.

Some background on today's feast (optional memorial)

The feast originated in Spain and was approved by the Holy See in 1513; Innocent XI extended its observance to the whole Church in 1683 in thanksgiving to our Lady for the victory on September 12, 1683 by John Sobieski, king of Poland, over the Turks, who were besieging Vienna and threatening the West.

This day was commemorated in Vienna by creating a new kind of pastry and shaping it in the form of the Turkish half-moon. It was eaten along with coffee which was part of the booty from the Turks.

Among the immense booty, the victors found a great number of sacks filled with strange green beans. They took them to be fodder for the camels which the Turkish Pasha had brought along. Since the camels had fled with the army, this part of the booty seemed useless, and it was decided to dump it in the Danube. However, one of the inhabitants of the city, a man named Kolsinsky, who had been a prisoner of the Turks and knew their ways, explained that it was a fruit from which the Turks, after roasting it, made a popular drink. In return for valuable services rendered during the siege he asked permission to open a shop where he could sell this Turkish drink. The permission was readily granted, and he opened the first "coffee house" in the city.

When the people of Vienna tried the new drink, they found it not to their liking, for Kolsinsky served it the Turkish way — in small cups, with the grounds, black and unsweetened. A friend then advised him to make the drink more acceptable: "Strain it," he said, "so the grounds won't grit between the teeth. Add some milk to make it look brighter and sugar to make it sweet. And serve it together with something to eat. Why not use a new kind of pastry? Shape it in the form of the Turkish half-moon?" (The Turks had put their Mohammedan crescent on every church steeple in the place of the Christian cross.)

Kolsinsky followed the advice, and his products immediately became very popular. The people now enjoyed drinking the coffee prepared in this manner, and they gleefully devoured the "Turkish Crescent," the sight of which had filled them with terror during the war.

Thus started the custom, which has since spread from Vienna all over the world, of drinking coffee without grounds in the cup, of mixing it with milk or cream, and sweetening it with sugar. The pastry in form of the Turkish half-moon (crescent, croissant, Kipfel) also has remained a familiar sight on coffee tables up to this day.
Source...Catholic Culture

Gospel for Sep 12, The Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(Optional Memorial)

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.


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.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Mental Prayer for September 12-Prayer of Generosity

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous.

The Idea: At the end of a summer full of God's good gifts to us, and at the beginning of a new school year and the autumn season, we on our part could do no better than to pray to God with the prayer for generosity used by St. Ignatius Loyola:

I Speak to God:
"Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and ask for no reward, save that of knowing that I am doing your will."

Lord, show me how I can serve you as you should be served, in a way that is worthy of God. Show me how I can give to you whatever I have - ­talents, wealth, time - and not figure up how much it is costing me. Show me how I can keep fighting under your banner without worrying about the suffering it involves. Show me how to work hard and forget about watching the clock for quitting time. Show me how to work and keep working for you without worrying about what I am going to get out of it. All I ask as a reward from you is the realization that I am doing what you want me to do.

Thought for Today: "Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Women'sOrdinationConference Issues "Action Alert"

The "Women's Ordination Conference" Issued an "Action Alert" when Liguori Publications prudently withdrew Bridget Mary Meehan's books after Meehan decided to flagrantly repudiate Catholic teaching by attempting to become a Catholic 'priestess'...

The Action Alert from August 18 reads:

3. Contact Liguori Publications to register your disapproval for pulling Bridget Mary Meehan’s books.

After her ordination as a priest in Pittsburgh, Ligouri Publications issued a statement saying they would no longer distribute her books.

Write to or call (800) 325-9521 to register your disapproval and request that they transfer Bridget Mary Meehan’s books to a mainstream distributor so they will be available to interested readers.

While Liguori still carries books by, what some would term, less than orthodox authors, it made the right decision in this case.

Meehan, saddened by the Liguori action, stated:
"Financially, it's a problem for me...But Joan of Arc was burned at the stake as a heretic and then later declared a saint. I'm honored to walk in the company of such holy women." (Source)

We need to pray for her and for all who are so out of touch with reality.

Stem Cells and Shadow Boxing

by David A. Wemhoff

We hear over and over about the secularists, and the liberals, and those who want to allow for this or that, all of which is against our beliefs. That which we believe has been formed by the Roman Catholic Church as it teaches the Roman Catholic Faith. Whether it is abortion, women’s rights, homosexual rights, contraception, taking Christ out of Christmas, or striking prayer to Jesus in the State House, we are told that it is the liberals, the secularists, or some other amorphous group, that is pushing an agenda that is “un-Christian”. At some point, we come to the realization that this worldview which creates this liberal/secularist category is flawed because things never seem to get better. The editor of this magazine has called this situation, the one in which we find ourselves in 21st Century USA, as the “Whig view of history” while others have called it “shadow boxing”.

There are a lot of problems with not accurately identifying one’s temporal enemies. An initial one is that you call your own identity into question. Another is the failure to accurately analyze the social and political dynamics of the day. Without honest analysis of the situation and the opponents, you cannot expect to win at anything...

When we ascribe to this “shadow boxing” view of dealing with enemies of the Faith, the Church, and all that is decent and right, it follows that our passion for the fight is diminished, our tactics are muted, and our will is weakened.

Perhaps what is most nefarious about this whole situation is the elevation of these “secular” beliefs to a level of respectability. These beliefs become institutionalized as legitimate viewpoints that people can have and hold, all to their own and to society’s detriment. Opposing these ideas can only be within the boundaries of the pre-ordained limits of discourse. In other words, conservatives oppose liberals. Faith communities oppose secularists. Traditionalists oppose progressives. What does it all mean, you ask. It means this is how we are all controlled—we create our own illusion of doing something when in reality we are just running in place.

...Once you buy into the modern day Construct, you’ve lost...
And Catholics, by and large, have submitted to this "construct"...And we have let others set the terms of the debate - on nearly every issue. Mr Wemhoff cites one of the best examples as that of embryonic stem cell research.

A very interesting article.

The Blessed Mother and Islam

From Fr. John Corapi:

As we watch the spectacle of the world seeming to self-destruct before our eyes, we can’t help but be saddened and even frightened by so much evil run rampant. Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Somalia, North Korea—It is all a disaster of epic proportions displayed in living color on our television screens.

These are not ordinary times and this is not business as usual. We are at a crossroads in human history and the time for Catholics and all Christians to act is now. All evil can ultimately be traced to its origin, which is moral evil. All of the political action, peace talks, international peacekeeping forces, etc. will avail nothing if the underlying sickness is not addressed. This is sin. One person at a time hearts and minds must be moved from evil to good, from lies to truth, from violence to peace.

Islam, an Arabic word that has often been defined as “to make peace,” seems like a living contradiction today. Although it is supposed to be a religion of peace, Islam has been hijacked by Satan and now operates in the dark space of international terrorism.

As we celebrate the birthday of Our Lady, I am proposing that each one of us pray the Rosary for peace. Prayer is what must precede all other activity if that activity is to have any chance of success. Pray for peace, pray the Rosary every day without fail.

There is a great love for Mary among Muslim people. It is not a coincidence that a little village named Fatima is where God chose to have His Mother appear in the twentieth century. Our Lady’s name appears no less than thirty times in the Koran. No other woman’s name is mentioned, not even that of Mohammed’s daughter, Fatima. In the Koran Our Lady is described as “Virgin, ever Virgin.”

Archbishop Fulton Sheen prophetically spoke of the resurgence of Islam in our day. He said it would be through the Blessed Virgin Mary that Islam would be converted. We must pray for this to happen quickly if we are to avert a horrible time of suffering for this poor, sinful world.

Turn to our Mother in this time of great peril. Pray the Rosary every day. Then, and only then will there be peace, when the hearts and minds of men are changed from the inside. Talk is weak. Prayer is strong. Pray!

God bless you,
Father John Corapi

From Fr. Corapi's Electronic Newsletter.

September 11 Remembrances

Originally posted 9/9/06.

Below is a list of 911 Memorials and Remembrances I have seen or read in the past few days. As we approach the 5th anniversary of September 11, the following videos and memorials serve as a shocking reminder that we are at war against madmen.

I read a post which had poignantly stated:
"We didn’t lose almost 3,000 people that day. We lost one wonderful person at a time, almost 3,000 times." (Freeper, Mr. Silverback)

I offer the following links (which will be updated periodically) for your prayerful reflection - These are deeply moving - to the point of tears - again!

America Attacked (about 7MB)

Attack on America Memorial Site

911 Video - Where were you on that day?

Tribute to New York (September 11, 2001)

Kevin Cosgrove’s 911 call from the World Trade Center

Crystal Morning: September 11th, 2001

September 11th 2001: MyPearlHarbor

A South Carolina radio station's audio tribute to 9/11 victims...

And here is another tribute:

The 2,996 Project is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.
On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers
will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11.
Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.

We will honor them by remembering their lives,
and not by remembering their murderers.

And another Must See site :

There are about 1300 images at this site...

** Updated 9/11/06 **

America 911 Photo Essay

Eternal rest give to them, O Lord:
and let perpetual light shine upon them.

O GOD of peace, lover and guardian of charity, give to all our enemies true charity and peace, grant them the re­mission of all their sins, and mightily deliver us from their machinations. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gospel for Monday, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 6:6-11

The Cure of a Man with a Withered Hand

[6] On another Sabbath, when He (Jesus) entered the synagogue and taught, a man was there whose right hand was withered. [7] And the scribes and the Pharisees watched Him, to see whether He would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find an accusation against Him. [8] But He knew their thoughts, and He said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come and stand here." And he rose and stood there. [9] And Jesus said to them, "I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?" [10] And He looked around on them all, and said to him, "Stretch out your hand." And he did so, and his hand was restored. [11] But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.


10. The Fathers teach us how to discover a deep spiritual meaning in apparently casual things Jesus says. St. Ambrose, for example, commenting on the phrase "Stretch out your hand," says: "This form of medicine is common and general. Offer it often, in benefit of your neighbor; defend from injury anyone who seems to be suffering as a result of calumny; stretch your hand out also to the poor man who asks for your help; stretch it out also to the Lord asking Him to forgive your sins; that is how you should stretch your hand out, and that is the way to be cured" ("Expositio Evangelii sec. Lucam, in loc".).

11. The Pharisees do not want to reply to Jesus' question and do not know how to react to the miracle which He goes on to work. It should have converted them, but their hearts were in darkness and they were full of jealousy and anger. Later on, these people, who kept quiet in our Lord's presence, began to discuss Him among themselves, not with a view to approaching Him again but with the purpose of doing away with Him. In this connection St. Cyril comments: "O Pharisee, you see Him working wonders and healing the sick by using a higher power, yet out of envy you plot His death" ("Commentarium in Lucam, in loc.").
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.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sept 11-Missourians Against Human Cloning Meeting

For all in the area, this just in:

Meeting to be held at:

Grace Presbyterian Church
(located 1 mile east of Highway K on Highway N.)

7:00 pm on Monday night September 11.

We are looking for Church Coordinators from all denominations: Catholic, Baptist, Assembly of God, Charasmatic, Lutheran. Please notify others whom you have discussed this issue with and bring them with you.

Thank you ever so much!
Lois Linton
Regional 1 Director
Missourians Against Human Cloning