Saturday, September 30, 2006

Mental Prayer for October 1-Why God Created Me

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Lord, help me to see that I am made for you and you alone.

The Idea: I stand before God's throne and ask reverently, "Lord, why did you create me?"

Out of the silence comes God's voice, "My child I am fully happy. When I create, I get nothing from creatures that increases my happiness. Why did I create you? Because I want to share my infinite happiness with you forever. I want to give you the glorious opportunity of enjoying me in face-to-face vision and love forever in heaven. Your eyes have never seen, nor have your ears ever heard, nor have you in your wildest dreams ever imagined the happiness I plan for you in heaven. Why did I create you? Because I want you to share my happiness - forever.

My Personal Application: Full happiness. Every­body craves it. From my experience I know that nothing here on earth can ever fill that craving. Now I know why. Because my soul is created for God: to see Him face to face in heaven and to be drowned in full happiness with Him forever. This is my only goal in life: to get back to God. Do I deeply realize this truth of truths? Do I practi­cally want God as the big goal of my life? Or do I waste my life in a continual pursuit of attractive creatures? Can I ever take a chance of missing this big goal of my life?

I Speak to God: Lord, how good you are. You create, not to get anything, but to give me yourself forever. Thank you for giving me life, this glorious opportunity to win you. Lord, I keenly desire to be with you in heaven. Help me to make this the one big desire of my life.

Thought for Today: "You have made us for your­self, O Lord, and our hearts are restless till they rest in you" (St. Augustine).
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Gospel for Sept 30, Memorial: St Jerome, Priest, Doctor of the Church

From: Luke 9:43b-45

Second Prophecy of the Passion

[43b] But while they were all marvelling at everything He (Jesus) did, He said to His disciples, [44] "Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men." [45] But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, that they should not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying.


44. Christ predicts His passion and death a number of times. Initially He does so in veiled terms (John 2:19; Luke 5:35) to the crowd; and later, much more explicitly, to His disciples (Luke 9:22), though they fail to understand His words, not because what He says is not clear, but because they do not have the right dispositions. St. John Chrysostom comments: "Let no one be scandalized by this imperfection in the Apostles; for the Cross had not yet been reached nor the grace of the Spirit given" ("Hom. on St. Matthew", 65).
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 29, 2006

Mental Prayer for September 30-God Created Me

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: My Creator, help me realize that all I am and all I have comes from you.

The Idea: The most basic, fundamental truth that man must hold - indeed, seize upon and fasten so deeply in his consciousness that it influences his every decision and action - that truth is this: God created me!

He made me out of nothing - I had no right to exist at all - out of millions of possible persons, God selected me - selected and planned everything about me - my mental and nervous system, eyes and ears, features, talents - everything! I belong entirely to Him, my Maker.

My Personal Application: Do I take my life for granted?
Do I realize that it comes originally from God?...
That from moment to moment I depend on Him for the next second of life?
Do I ever thank God for creating me?
Do I make an act of adoration to my Creator every morning?
Do I realize that I belong to God?
Do I see His will (what He wants me to do) as the big duty of my life?
Am I firmly resolved to do what He commands and avoid what He forbids for me?

I Speak to God: My Creator, I know that I first came from you. I know that my every breath depends on your keeping me in existence. I adore you, my Creator; I admit that I belong entirely to you as the work of your hand. I see that your will is the primary duty of my life. I want to do it fully - but I am so utterly dependent on your help­ing grace. me to serve faithfully.

Thought for Today: May God's will be the rule of my life.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

October 7 - Pro-Life Rally, with Alan Keys, Judie Brown

Defenders of the Unborn invite you to a rousing "Get Out the Vote" on Saturday, October 7, at 11:30am at

January Wabash Park
501 N Florissant Rd
Ferguson, MO. 63135

The key note speaker will be Dr. Alan Keyes.

Other guest speakers will include:
  • Joseph Scheidler - Pro-life Action League Founder

  • Judie Brown - American Life League President

  • Paul Byrne - Pro-Life advocate for 20 years

  • Zip Rzeppra - Former sportscaster with KMOV and a Pro-Life advocate and frequent guest on local Catholic Radio WRYT

  • Rain or shine, bring a blanket or chair.

    This may be the last time to hear Dr Keyes speak in the St. Louis area before Missourians vote on Amendment 2.

    Thanks to Marc P. for the information.

    Local Parishioner to be Ordained in Rome

    John J. O’Brien will be ordained a transitional deacon for the Archdiocese of St. Louis on Thursday, Oct. 5, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

    Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of the U.S. Military Diocese will be the ordaining prelate.

    New transitional deacon

    O’Brien, 25, is a seminarian at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. A member of St. Joseph Parish in Josephville, he is the oldest of six children of John and Renee O’Brien of Lake St. Louis.

    O’Brien was a member of the inaugural class of Gateway Academy in Chesterfield when it was founded in 1992. He graduated from Lumen Christi High School in Hardy, Ark., in 1999.

    After attending a seminary in the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., and St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn., O’Brien transferred to the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at St. Louis University through Cardinal Glennon College of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in 2003. O’Brien is expected to be ordained to the priesthood in St. Louis in May 2007 and to return to Rome for the fall 2007 academic year.

    About 40 friends and relatives will be in Rome for the ordination, including Father Timothy Elliott, former pastor of St. Joseph in Josephville and founding pastor of the new St. Gianna Parish in St. Charles County; Father Raymond D. Hager, associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Cottleville; Father Michael Butler, director of the archdiocesan Vocation Office; and Deacon Fielding Harrison and his wife, Sue, of St. Joseph Parish in Josephville.

    This is a very special event as the parishioners of St Joseph's and St. Gianna's keep John O'Brien in their prayers.


    J.C. Corcoran Reveals His Ignorance about Cloning Issues

    ... And in all fairness, it should be noted that this is likely to happen anytime he opens his mouth to speak. That having been noted, here is an email I received from Jaci Winship...
    For everything there is a season. There is a "time to be silent and a time to speak." Please call K-HITS 96FM at (314) 621-4106 to protest morning show host J. C. Corcoran's comments that Vitae Care Foundations' television ad is "totally made up."

    J. C. Corcoran reported on Tuesday morning September 26 that he has never heard of anyone experiencing kidney failure or experiencing infertility from ovarian stimulation or egg extraction. However, real women have been hospitalized and some have died from egg harvesting.

    The truth is:

  • 5% to 14% of women who "donate" their eggs will experience blood clotting, kidney or liver damage, future infertility, and while rare, death. 1

  • In fact, 20% of the 129 women who participated in South Korean Woo-suk Hwang's discredited study experienced medical complications.2

  • Amendment 2 does not protect women from exploitation because it allows women to be paid by fertilization clinics for their eggs and researchers can legally purchase those eggs from fertility clinics (see Section 6, Article 17).

  • "It would take - thousands of eggs on an assembly line' to produce a custom therapy for a single person."
    -Thomas Okarma, Geron Corporation3

  • By some estimates, at least 80 million women will need to "donate" eggs for researchers to treat the 16 million diabetes patients in the US.
    - David Prentice, PH.D, former stem cell researcher4

  • Please call K-HITS at (314) 621-4106 or email immediately to make sure the J. C. Corcoran hears truth about the documented medical health risks of egg harvesting.

    Now is the time to speak out against the minimization of the real risks women face during ovarian hyperstimulation and egg extraction. Visit for more information on how egg harvesting endangers women.

    Jaci Winship
    Executive Director

    1 Duke University Medical Center, Information for Oocyte, accessed on-line April 11 2006 at David Magnus, Mildred K Cho, "Issues in Oocyte Donation for Stem Cell Research," Science Espress, May 19, 2005. referenced in Carrie Gordon Earll, Women's Voices Against Cloning, Ed. Dawn Vargo, Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs: 2006.

    2 Global News Wire - Asia Africa Intelligence Wire, January 14, 2006 referenced in Women's Voices Against Cloning.

    3 Women's Voices Against Cloning.

    4 Testimony of Dr. David A. Prentice, Ph.D. to Legislature of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, senate Judiciary Committee, hearing on Human Cloning Ban, H. 138, March 20, 2002 referenced in Women's Voices Against Cloning

    I almost never listen to this station - it's extraordinarily irritating to listen to JC's pompass, arrogant yet mentally challenged ramblings and blatherings. He's in desperate need of prayers for his conversion. Perhaps, if he chooses to respond to God's call, he will return to the Catholic faith.

    Archbishop Burke: Safeguarding embryonic human life: Our civic and religious duty


    Faced with the grave moral crisis of Amendment 2, we are called to speak for and fight for our tiniest brothers and sisters who cannot speak for themselves or fight to defend themselves. Ultimately, we are called to vote for the safeguarding of embryonic human life by voting "no" on the ballot for Amendment 2 on this coming Nov. 7. Fundamental to whatever we do is the prayer which we offer to God, asking for His help and for His blessing on our efforts. Our opposition to Amendment 2 has been characterized as a situation similar to David going against Goliath. The proponents of Amendment 2 have seemingly endless funds with which to use the communications media and other means to advance their deadly project. What is more, they have the strong support of certain influential public figures. Without the guidance and help of God’s grace, we will not succeed in defending the most defenseless human lives.

    Prayer: First means of defending human life

    As your shepherd, I urge you to pray fervently each day to God for the safeguarding of embryonic human life in our state. In particular, I ask you to pray the rosary, seeking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary on behalf of her tiniest and youngest children. Please join our Archdiocesan Rosary Crusade for the safeguarding of embryonic human life. A most helpful prayer leaflet of the Rosary Crusade is available in your parish and from the Respect Life Apostolate of the archdiocese.

    At other times in the history of the Church, when Christians seemed powerless before the forces of destruction and death, the faithful have prayed the rosary, imploring God’s mercy and strength. I think of the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. All of Christian Europe, at the urging of the Holy Father, prayed the rosary for the victory of the Christian forces against the seemingly invincible Turkish forces. Against all reasonable predictions, the Christian forces won.

    Each year, when we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on Oct. 7, we recall the power of the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary on behalf of her children at the Battle of Lepanto and in so many other desperate situations. Let us not fail to call upon her help in our urgent need. Please pray the rosary or, at least, some part of the rosary every day, asking our Blessed Mother to intercede for the safeguarding of embryonic human life.

    Acts of reparation and sacrifices

    The gravity of the situation also calls for acts of reparation for the grave sin of the attack on innocent and defenseless human life in our society. When we consider how gravely offensive to God is our lack of respect for human life which He has created in His own image and likeness and has redeemed with the Most Precious Blood of His only-begotten Son, we are inspired to make reparation, to offer prayers and sacrifices to God in sorrow for acts of human cloning and acts of deliberate destruction of human embryos.

    By our fasting and other sacrifices, we purify our own consciences of the confusion regarding what is morally right and wrong. At the same time, we are strengthened to give clear and effective witness to the truth about human life. We also win strength for others who may be struggling in fulfilling their call to safeguard all human life, from the moment of inception to the moment of natural death.

    Are we religious zealots or fanatics?

    There are many aspects to the whole situation of our voting on Amendment 2, which, to be frank, are absurd. It is, first of all, absurd that we should even be asked to consider guaranteeing constitutionally the right to generate human life artificially for the sake of destroying it.

    A great absurdity in the whole initiative to convince the citizens of Missouri to vote for Amendment 2 is the accusation that those who oppose the amendment are religious zealots or fanatics. The characterization deflects attention from the scientific truth that the human embryo is a human life. Opposition to Amendment 2 is not a question of religious fanaticism or zealotry. It is a question of responding to the natural law written upon every human heart, which demands that we safeguard and promote human life at all stages of its development, from the moment of inception to the moment of natural death.

    Yes, our religious faith gives us divine grace for obeying the dictates of the natural moral law, but it does not alter the law of nature, known by every man or woman of good will. The love of Christ in our hearts helps us immeasurably in our care for all our brothers and sisters, including the tiniest and most defenseless among us, but our defense of their right to life is not a matter of some peculiarly religious doctrine or practice.

    It will not surprise you that the opponents of Amendment 2 include scientists, doctors and other medical professionals, philosophers, religious leaders, lawyers and people of various works and professions. They belong to various Christian denominations and religious faiths. What unites them is their obedience to the natural moral law which recognizes the human embryo as human life and is committed to safeguard and defend it.
    Archbishop Burke's 9/29/06 Column.

    US Supreme Court to Revisit Landmark Abortion Case Next Week

    The original Doe, Sandra Cano, will testify that Doe v. Bolton was based on fraud

    Excomunicated St Louis Priest Featured "Call to Action" Conference Speaker

    It seems that some people can never learn when to stop.

    Such is the case with the excommunicated priest, Marek Bozek. Bozek incurred excommunication for the canonical crime of schism when, after having been suspended for disobedience and going "AWOL", he decided to become a "priest for hire" and agreed to "work" for the rebellious (and also excommunicated) Board of Directors of St Stanislaus Kosta Church in St Louis. St Stanislaus Kostka Church was subsequently repressed by Archbishop Burke and can no longer be considered a Catholic parish.

    Recently, it was noted that the St Louis group, Catholic Action Network, had joined with the notoriously anti-Catholic group, Call to Action, which, puzzlingly purports to be Catholic. Catholic Action Network was also promoting the upcoming Call to Action Conference (CTA)which is being held in Milwaukee on November 3-5, 2006.

    This year's CTA conference, titled "I AM, Rise Up People of God", hosts an entire circus of clowns and sideshow freaks. A view of the "Focus Sessions & Presentations" page has "mug shots" of nearly all of the performers. This conference appears to be one of the few other places to witness such a "gathering" of dissenters, rebels, heretics, schismatics, and apostates, (all professing to be 'faithful' Catholic). The most well known would seem to be the annual Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.

    Speakers and presenters representing the St Louis metropolitan area are:

    Marek Bozek, Hired "Priest" for St. Stanislaus Kosta Church, as well as;

    David Clohessy of SNAP, Survivors' Network of Those Abused by Priests; and
    Lena Woltering of FOSIL (Fellowship Of Southern Illinois Laity)...

    In perpetuating lies and distortions, "Marek Bozek...local and regional CTAers and activists tell stories of their own nonviolent action in struggles with unjust leaders in their Church."

    Of course, in order to maintain his delusional understanding of himself, Archbishop Burke, and the Church, it would seem that Bozek must continue to repeat, over and over to himself, that he -Marek Bozek- and the St Stanislaus renegades are the injured parties in need of justice. This is made all the easier when one is surrounded by those who feel the same - those who "feel" that Holy Mother Church is cruel and indifferent to their special interests. How utterly depressing such a gathering must be, if one actually uses rather than ignores, his rational intellect.

    If it was not previously obvious to those at St Stanislaus that they have a problem on their collective hands, it should be now. Perhaps, Bozek, with the approval of the St Stans Board, could work out a deal in which St Stanislaus becomes a regional CTA center and affiliate. What better way to cement ones relationship with and fidelity to the devil?

    A Special HT to Patrick K for the "heads up"!!!

    Gospel for Sept 29, Feast: Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels

    From: John 1:47-51

    The Calling of the First Disciples (Continuation)

    [47] Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to Him, and said to him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" [48] Nathaniel said to Him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." [49] Nathaniel answered Him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel! [50] Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these." [51] And He said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see Heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."


    45-51. The Apostle Philip is so moved that he cannot but tell his friend Nathanael (Bartholomew) about his wonderful discovery (verse 45). "Nathanael had heard from Scripture that Jesus must come from Bethlehem, from the people of David. This belief prevailed among the Jews and also the prophet had proclaimed it of old, saying: `But you, O Bethlehem, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler of Israel' (Micah 5:2). Therefore, when he heard that He was from Nazareth, he was troubled and in doubt, since he found that the announcement of Philip was not in agreement with the words of the prophecy" (St. John Chrysostom, "Hom. on St. John", 20, 1).

    A Christian may find that, in trying to communicate his faith to others, they raise difficulties. What should he do? What Philip did--not trust his own explanation, but invite them to approach Jesus personally: "Come and see" (verse 46). In other words, a Christian should bring his fellow-men, his brothers into Jesus' presence through the means of grace which He has given them and which the Church ministers--frequent reception of the sacraments, and devout Christian practices.

    Nathanael, a sincere person (verse 47), goes along with Philip to see Jesus; he makes personal contact with our Lord (verse 48), and the outcome is that he receives faith (the result of his ready reception of grace, which reaches him through Christ's human nature: verse 49).

    As far as we can deduce from the Gospels, Nathanael is the first Apostle to make an explicit confession of faith in Jesus as Messiah and as Son of God. Later on St. Peter, in a more formal way, will recognize our Lord's divinity (cf. Matthew 16:16). Here (verse 51) Jesus evokes a text from Daniel (7:13) to confirm and give deeper meaning to the words spoken by His new disciple.
    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 28, 2006

    Mental Prayer for September 29-Who Is God?

    Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

    Presence of God

    Grace I Ask : My God, help me to come to know you.

    The Idea: Who is God? I won't see Him face to face till heaven. But let me see if I can't form some idea of Him.

    In all this world God is the only one who has life of Himself, completely independent of all others. He is eternal, with no beginning and no end of life, of existence. He is the one God who dwells in full happiness as Three Divine Persons.

    From one thundering act of His will billions of stars and planets streamed into being. The Milky Way I see at night - millions of stars, millions of miles apart - are His handiwork. The slashing might of the hurricane, the awesome power of the ther­monuclear explosion - these are the creatures of His hand and a faint glimmer of His power. All these He rules as master of the universe. At His will each moves and works out His plan.

    But this is not all. God is my personal God, my Father, who lavishes His love on me and cares for every hair of my head. He alone is all-good and all-beautiful. The glowing beauty of sunset on the Grand Canyon is but the faintest mirror of His glorious beauty.

    My Personal Application: Do I ever try to think of what God must be in Himself? Do I ever use the power or beauty or goodness in everyday things to help me realize what God is? Do I mean every word of my morning act of adoration to this great God? Am I truly reverent in my prayers?

    I Speak to God: My God, I kneel down and adore your majesty and your goodness. I praise you for being so perfect, so mighty, so much the master of creation. My Father, I thank you for your per­sonal care for me. Help me one day to see you face to face.

    Thought for Today: My God, help me to come to know you.
    Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
    by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

    Catholic News Service Receives "Caution" Rating for Fidelity

    Who would have guessed that?

    Of course, many may recall the glowing movie review of Brokeback Mountain not too long ago...but there is so much more.

    For years, many have relied on the invaluable web site reviews from Catholic Culture (formerly PetersNet) with respect to Fidelity, Resources, and Usability - with "Fidelity" to the Church's teachings being of utmost importance when it comes to Catholic web sites.

    Two days ago, CatholicCulture updated its review of Catholic News Service, the propaganda arm of the USCCB and as we see, a cautionary flag has been raised. Why?

    Because of its links to dissident sites and its articles with questionable content.

    This comes as no surprise to many who have vocalized these problems in the past. What remains to be seen is what, if anything, the bureaucracy in Washington does to fix its problems...

    For more information on the recent review, check it out here.

    Failing some very needed corrective action, one would be well advised to view Catholic News Service with discretion and prudence.

    USCCB Urges Removal of All Doors and Locks from Homes

    ...In a manner of speaking...

    The USCCB's latest lack of common sense comes in the form of its opposition to H.R. 6061 which authorizes a 700 mile fence on our southern borders...Of course, as with most USCCB policies and position, this one also needs to be flushed!

    The opposition expressed by the USCCB is akin to having a house built with the conditions that no doors or locks may be installed - simply put, such deterrents to criminal activity are not permissible. Why? It seems that having locked doors might cause the "criminal" to break a window to illegally enter your abode - and worse, he might be so stupid as to hurt himself in the process - all because you locked the doors of your home.

    Bishop Gerald R. Barnes, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, (after having consulted, it appears, with towering intellects to produce this ill-conceived opposition) states:
    "We oppose H.R. 6061 because we believe it would not solve the problem of illegal immigration."

    Again, I will return to the analogy of doors and locks on your home. The good bishop is suggesting that since having doors and locks would not stop criminal from illegally entering your home, you should not install them at all. It seems that one should not take any steps to address the problems.

    I would go even further and take this thinking to its logical conclusion - those who have locks on their doors should remove them since locked doors do NOT stop crime. In fact, is robbery really a crime at all?...Aren't those who are so desperate to enter your home without your permission entitled to everything (and everyone) within your house?....Frankly, this thinking is so illogical that I feel embarrassed for the USCCB.

    But, O happy day! There is more:
    “Indeed, we believe it would create more problems than it would solve.” The Bishop said enactment of H.R. 6061 could “drive those seeking to cross the border to take more remote and dangerous routes, resulting in more unnecessary and tragic migrant deaths in the American desert.”

    More twisted, incomprehensible thinking...If one takes concrete steps to deter a number of illegal immigrants from entering the country, has one not already reduced, rather than increased the number of problems? Maybe I need a picture to 'splain it to me...?

    Those who choose to comply with the laws are not a problem. The bishop would have us believe that it would be so much better to let criminals and potential terrorists come into the country freely through the open and unlocked front door so they can avoid taking unnecessary risks - (such as climbing through a window?)...

    We can only wonder what comes next? Should we throw open the windows and place ladders outside for the sake of convenience? In this way we could be more accommodating to the criminals - those who are lazy, those who prefer little effort or exertion can use the open doorway. Those who like a bit more excitement and exercise can use the ladders. In any case, remember that the home owner will still bear the full responsibility in the event of injury...and the USCCB won't be there to help you out.

    Gospel for Thursday, 25th Week In Ordinary Time

    From: Luke 9:7-9

    Herod's Opinion of Jesus

    [7] Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, [8] by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen. [9] Herod said, "John I beheaded; but who is this about whom I hear such things?" And he sought to see Him.


    7-9. Except for the Sadducees, all Jews believed in the resurrection of the dead, as revealed by God in Sacred Scripture (cf. Ezekiel 37:10; Daniel 12:2 and 2 Maccabees 7:9). It was also commonly believed by Jews at the time that Elijah or some other prophet had to appear again (Deuteronomy 19:15). This may have been why Herod began to think that perhaps John had come back to life (Matthew 14:1-2 and Mark 6:14-16), particularly since Jesus worked miracles and people thought this power was the prerogative of those who had risen from the dead. And yet he was aware that Christ was working miracles even before John died (cf. John 2:23); therefore, at first, he was disconcerted. Later, as the fame of Christ's miracles spread, to have some sort of adequate explanation he decided, as the other Gospels tell us, that John must indeed have risen.
    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 27, 2006

    Mental Prayer for September 28-Necessity of Prayer

    Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

    Presence of God

    Grace I Ask: To grow in appreciation of prayer.

    The Idea: Nothing is more natural or necessary for us than prayer. Without prayer man is as a fish out of water. Created by God and for God, we instinctively turn to Him for everything we need: guidance, strength, forgiveness, and grace to reach our heavenly goal. We cannot get along without God. It is the most natural thing in the world, when we are in need, to turn to the one person who can do something about it. Lincoln said: "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no­where else to go; my own wisdom and that of all around me seemed insufficient for that day."

    My Personal Application: Without prayer, man is nothing. St. Theresa and St. Vincent de Paul saw that "without mental prayer one becomes either a brute or a demon."

    Without prayer my soul is lifeless. I end up living on the brute animal level, never attaining the high, rich, full life that should be mine as a son of God.

    St. Alphonsus said, "Unless by a miracle, without mental prayer we fall in the end into mortal sin."

    Prayer is the meeting of hearts, the conversing of two people very much in love. Unless I use this normal means given me to grow in intimate knowledge and love of God, I'll end up loving myself very much - which means that I seek only my own pleasure... and, in the end, find only sin!

    I Speak to God: Prayer still seems terrifyingly difficult at times. Yet I know you want me to pray, to talk things over, to grow in familiarity with you. Teach me then to pray, to want to pray, to be at ease with you.

    Thought for Today: Nothing is more necessary than prayer.
    Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
    by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

    Catholic Action Network Joins Call to Action

    In predictable fashion, Catholic Action Network, a local, rather insignificant, group has aligned itself with another dissenting group, Call to Action. What is surprising is that it took so long for this small group of imposters of the faith to join CTA.

    Since CAN's current emphasis these days are the promotion of homosexuality as a moral good and of women's ordination as a "right", its affiliation with known groups of malcontents, dissenters and heretics isn't really 'news'. It is, rather, worth noting that this group - adamantly opposed to the teachings of the Church, especially with respect to homosexuality and Holy Orders - still uses the name of "Catholic" when, in fact and in deed, it is anything but.

    Previously, Archbishop Burke had reminded this group that it should refrain from using the name "Catholic" since it has rejected many of the Church's teachings. But such usurpation of titles or names is to be expected from those engaged in the practice of deception. Archbishop Burke, in responding to a letter from a CAN member, states:
    With regard to the Catholic Action Network for Social Justice, I do not believe that it is proper for the Network to use the titled “Catholic.” I have reviewed the materials on the website for the Catholic Action Network, and find several of them to be contrary to Church teaching and discipline. If it is the intention of the Network to remain Catholic, then the mission of the Network must be purified of those elements of dissent from Catholic teaching and practice.

    There may be a sign of hope, though. There is a job opening as "Program Director" for CAN...It may even be possible for a truly faithful Catholic to "infiltrate" this nest of dissent and attempt to "purify" it of its "elements of dissent from Catholic teaching and practice."

    The requirements of this "Job Opening" are here. Nowhere does it state that one should be "Catholic"...however, it would appear that being a material heretic would be considered a priority for obtaining the position.

    If you can't send them a resume, then perhaps, you can include them in prayers for those in need of conversion...

    Gospel for Sept 27, Memorial: St Vincent de Paul, Priest

    From: Luke 9:1-6

    The Mission of the Apostles

    [1] And He (Jesus) called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, [2] and He sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal. [3] And He said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. [4] And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. [5] And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them." [6] And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the Gospel and healing everywhere.


    1-4. This is the first mission the Apostles were sent on. Jesus wants them to gain experience which will stand to them in the mission they will have after He ascends into Heaven. He charges them to do what He Himself did--preach the Kingdom of God and heal the sick. This scene is commented on at greater length in notes on Matthew 10:7-8; 10:9-10; and Mark 6:8-9.

    [Notes on Matthew 10:7-8 states:
    7-8. Previously, the prophets, when speaking of the messianic times, had used imagery suited to the people's spiritual immaturity. Now, Jesus, in sending His Apostles to proclaim that the promised Kingdom of God is imminent, lays stress on its spiritual dimension. The power mentioned in verse 8 are the very sign of the Kingdom of God or the reign of the Messiah proclaimed by the prophets. At first (chapters 8 and 9) it is Jesus who exercises these messianic powers; now He gives them to His disciples as proof that His mission is divine (Isaiah 35:5-6; 40:9; 52:7; 61:1).]

    [Notes on Matthew 10:9-10 states:
    9-10. Jesus urges His disciples to set out on their mission without delay. They should not be worried about material or human equip- ment: God will make up any shortfall. This holy audacity in setting about God's work is to be found throughout the history of the Church: if Christians had bided their time, waiting until they had the necessary material resources, many, many souls would never have received the light of Christ. Once a Christian is clear in his mind about what God wants him to do, he should not stay at home checking to see if he has the wherewithal to do it. "In your apostolic undertakings you are right--it's your duty--to consider what means the world can offer you (2 + 2 = 4), but don't forget--ever! --that, fortunately, your calculations must include another term: God + 2 + 2..." ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 471).

    However, that being said, we should not try to force God's hand, to have Him do something exceptional, when in fact we can meet needs by our own efforts and work. This means that Christians should gene- rously support those who, because they are totally dedicated to the spiritual welfare of their brethren, have no time left over to provide for themselves: in this connection see Jesus' promise in Matthew 10:40-42.]

    [Notes on Mark 6:8-9 states:
    8-9. Jesus requires them to be free of any form of attachment if they are to preach the Gospel. A disciple, who has the mission of bringing the Kingdom of God to souls through preaching, should not rely on human resources but on God's Providence. Whatever he does need in order to live with dignity as a herald of the Gospel, he must obtain from those who benefit from his preaching, for the laborer deserves his maintenance (cf. Matthew 10:10).

    "The preacher should so trust in God that he is convinced that he will have everything he needs to support life, even if he cannot himself obtain it; for he should not neglect eternal things through worrying about temporal things" (St. Bede, "In Marci Evangelium Expositio, in loc."). "By these instructions the Lord did not mean that the evangelists should not seek to live in any other way than by depending on what was offered them by those to whom they preached the Gospel; otherwise this very Apostle [St. Paul] would have acted contrary to this precept when he earned his living by the labor of his own hands" (St. Augustine, "De Consensu Evangelistarum" , II, 30).]
    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 26, 2006

    Mental Prayer for September 27-What It Takes to Persevere

    Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

    Presence of God

    Grace I Ask: To fight the good fight for Christ!

    The Idea: "Cowards die many times before their death, The valiant never taste of death but once" (Shakespeare).

    "Gentleman Jim" Corbett, when asked what was the most important thing a man must do to become a boxing champion, replied: "Fight one more round!"

    My Personal Application: God helps those who help themselves - those who are doing everything they can to make themselves His apostles. God first of all expects me to use daily prayer, the sacraments, and a constant awareness of His pres­ence. And then... what else? What else does He look for in me? He looks for courage!... the courage to toil to develop my talents - so that I can use them in His service. This means hard study, plenty of it, so that I can become the intelligent, well-informed lay apostle that the Pope is calling for. It means the drudgery of learning to express myself fluently - on my feet or in writing - whenever the occasion calls for it. It means going to the painstaking trouble of acquiring social virtues, learning how to work with others, how to influence others, how to carry out orders and fulfill my part in a big program (even when my task is dull or difficult and I would much prefer to be doing something else). Do I have the courage to do such things as these... and perhaps much more besides?

    I Speak to Christ: When I'm tired, downhearted, and inclined to give it all up, be with me and be my strength! Don't let me think one mistake or several failures is the end of it all. Help me to profit by them and use them as stepping stones to success - the success of your great campaign­ - that's what counts! I love you and I want to serve you with all I have!

    Thought for Today: Have I got what it takes?
    Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
    by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

    Gospel for Tuesday, 25th Week in Ordinary Time

    From: Luke 8:19-21

    The True Kinsmen of Jesus

    [19] Then His (Jesus') mother and His brethren came to Him, but they could not reach Him for the crowd. [20] And He was told, "Your mother and your brethren are standing outside, desiring to see You." [21] But He said to them, "My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of God and do it."


    19-21. These words of our Lord show us that fulfillment of the Will of God is more important than kinship and that, therefore, our Lady is more united to her Son by virtue of her perfect fulfillment of what God asked of her, than by the Holy Spirit's using her to make Christ's body (cf. notes on Matthew 12:48-50 and Mark 3:31-35).

    [Notes on Matthew 12:48-50 states:
    48-50. Jesus obviously loved His Mother and St. Joseph. He uses this episode to teach us that in His Kingdom human ties do not take precedence. In Luke 8:19 the same teaching is to be found. Jesus regards the person who does the will of His Heavenly Father as a member of His own family. Therefore, even though it means going against natural family feelings, a person should do just that when needs be in order to perform the mission the Father has entrusted to him (cf. Luke 2:49).

    We can say that Jesus loved Mary more because of the bonds between them created by grace than because He was her son by natural generation: Mary's divine motherhood is the source of all our Lady's other prerogatives; but this very motherhood is, in its turn, the first and greatest of the graces with which Mary was endowed.]

    [Notes on Mark 3:31-35 states:
    31-35. In Aramaic, the language used by the Jews, the word "brethren" is a broad term indicating kinship: nephews, first cousins, and relatives in general are called `brethren' (for further explanation cf. note on Mark 6:1-3). "Jesus did not say this to disown His mother, but to show that she is worthy of honor not only account of having given birth to Jesus, but also because she has all the virtues" (Theoplylact, "Enarratio In Evangelium Marci, in loc.").

    Therefore, the Church reminds us that the Blessed Virgin "in the course of her Son's preaching received the words whereby, in extolling a kingdom beyond the concerns and ties of flesh and blood, He declared blessed those who heard and kept the word of God as she was faithfully doing" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 58).

    Our Lord, then, is also telling us that if we follow Him we will share His life more intimately than if were a member of His family. St. Thomas explains this by saying that Christ "had an eternal generation and a generation in time, and gave preference to the former. Those who do the will of the Father reach Him by Heavenly generation [...]. Everyone who does the will of the Father, that is to say, who obeys Him, is a brother or sister of Christ, because he is like Him who fulfilled the will of His Father. But he who not only obeys but converts others, begets Christ in them, and thus becomes like the Mother of Christ" ("Commentary on St. Matthew", 12, 49-50.)
    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 25, 2006

    Mental Prayer for September 26-Praying Always

    Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

    Presence of God

    Grace I Ask: Almighty God, teach me to pray always.

    The Idea: When we get to heaven, we'll know, love, be interested in, and talk to God and His saints forever. That is really praying. So in heaven we'll be praying always and enjoying it immensely.

    But there is something seemingly impossible: even here on earth we can almost do the same - ­pray always. How? First of all, the obvious times of Mass, mental prayer, Rosary, etc. But also the rest of the day. In all circumstances: dances, games, classes, blue Mondays. It isn't as hard as it sounds: He is really with us always. I can tell Him that I wish to do my best to serve Him in all I do. I can be interested in what He's interested in: helping others, saving souls. I can remind Him of His plans for me, ask help in all I do. I can tell Him about the good time I hope I to have at a get-together, at a game; offer Him the little trials of disappointments during the day... God is present always. I can find Him in anything, anywhere, any time. I can atways pray.

    My Personal Application: Have I taken advantage of this opportunity? Let me go back and think it over honestly now before God.

    I Speak to God: Almighty God, everywhere and always present, how can I go on wasting this chance? There is so much to talk to you about, to ask about, to learn about you. I have so many things to thank you for and to love you for. What an enriched life I can have by praying always.

    Thought for Today: "Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God!" (St. Paul)
    Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
    by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

    This time, Milingo made it easy.... Dr. Edward Peters informs us.

    This is because the confused Archbishop Milingo ordained four men to the episcopate...Dr. Peters says:
    ... the notorious Abp. Milingo has just walked right into an unambiguous excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See (1983 CIC 1382). The only canonical question I can see is whether notification of an excommunication can be sent via email. . . This ordination most definitely means something: it means the episcopal orders Christ entrusted to His Church have just been conferred on four patently ill-disposed men; it means five men are now automatically excommunicated; and it means Rome is squarely faced with a grave violation of ecclesiastical order.

    Dr Peters will discuss this tomorrow with Al Kresta on the radio...

    Click here for more details.

    Weigel: Pope posed tough questions that the world must answer

    ...there is the precision of [the Pope's] mind: I have often described Benedict as one of those rare men who, when asked a question, pauses, reflects — and then answers in complete paragraphs.
    [Pope] Benedict XVI says precisely what he means and means exactly what he says. So what exactly was the pope saying, and why did he say it?
    Why would the pope raise these volatile questions, and in an academic lecture that he surely knew would be reduced to sound bites that distorted his meaning? I think that Benedict knew precisely the risks he was taking and thought the risks worthwhile. Why?
    A good article.

    Dr Edward Peters: A Problematic Proposal

    As I read it, Prof. David Carlin wants Catholic priests in America to stop officiating at weddings recognized under civil law since, in his opinion, accepting state recognition of Catholic weddings implies the Church’s concession of the legitimacy of state-legislated divorce. See

    For Dr Peters' response to this proposal, see his latest Canon Law Blog post:

    Gospel for Monday, 25th Week in Ordinary Time

    From: Luke 8:16-18

    Parable of the Sower. The Meaning of the Parables (Continuation)

    (Jesus told the crowd,) [16] "No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, that those who enter may see the light. [17] For nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light. [18] Take heed then how you hear; for to him who has will more be given, and from him who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away."


    [There is no commentary available for Luke 8:16-18. The commentary for the same parable found in Mark 4:21-25 states:]

    16-17. This parable contains a double teaching. Firstly, it says that Christ's doctrine should not be kept hidden; rather, it must be preached throughout the whole world. We find the same idea elsewhere in the Gospels: "What you hear whispered, proclaim it upon the housetops" (Mt 10:27); "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole of creation..." (Mk 16:15). The other teaching is that the Kingdom which Christ proclaims has such ability to penetrate all hearts that, at the end of time, when Jesus comes again, not a single human action, in favor or against Christ, will not become public or manifest.

    24-25. Our Lord never gets tired of asking the Apostles, the seed which will produce the Church, to listen carefully to the teaching he is giving: they are receiving a treasure for which they will be held to account. "To him who has will more be given...": he who responds to grace will be given more grace and will yield more and more fruit; but he who does not will become more and more impoverished (cf. Mt 25:14-
    30). Therefore, there is no limit to the development of the theological virtues: "If you say 'Enough,' you are already dead" (St. Augustine, "Sermon" 51). A soul who wants to make progress in the interior life will pray along these lines: "Lord, may I have due measure in everything, except in Love" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 427).

    [The commentary for still another similar parable found in Matthew 13: 12 states:]

    12. Jesus is addressing his disciples and explaining to them that, precisely because they have faith in him and want to have a good grasp of his teaching, they will be given a deeper understanding of divine truths. But those who do not "follow him" (cf. note on Mt 4:18-22) will later lose interest in the things of God and will grow even blinder: it is as if the little they have is being taken away from them.

    This verse also helps us understand the meaning of the parable of the sower, a parable which gives us a wonderful explanation of the supernatural economy of divine grace: God gives grace, and man freely responds to that grace. The result is that those who respond to grace generously receive additional grace and so grow steadily in grace and holiness; whereas those who reject God's gifts become closed up within themselves; through their selfishness and attachment to sin they eventually lose God's grace entirely. In this verse, then, our Lord gives a clear warning: with the full weight of His divine authority He exhorts us--without taking away our freedom--to act responsibly: the gifts God keeps sending us should yield fruit; we should make good use of the opportunities for Christian sanctification which are offered us in the course of our lives.
    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 24, 2006

    Mental Prayer for September 25-Doing My Part

    Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

    Presence of God

    Grace I Ask:To think straight about this important matter and to live out what I think.

    The Idea: Organizations are built to get things done in an organized, orderly way. If the things to be done aren't important, it doesn't much matter how poor the organization is. But when the things to be done are tremendously important, then it becomes tremendously important that the organization be really good, really orderly, really organized.

    My Personal Application: One of the really im­portant organizations I belong to is my parish. It was built to do the important job of providing for the Sacramental life of the parish and passing on the faith. Is my parish orderly, well organized, running well? That depends pretty much on me. Am I doing my part for my community of faith? Am I praying, co­operating, trying to become more like Christ, following in His footsteps?

    I Speak to God: Perhaps I begin to see what they mean when they say I should look on those placed over me as taking your place. If you want an organization to do a job, you want everyone in that organization to do his part of the job, to pull to­gether with everybody else until the job is done. In my parish, school, and community that would mean following the directions of pastors, teachers, civil authoristies, obeying rules, etc. I'm sorry, I just didn't think much about it before...

    Thought for Today: To resist true authority is to resist God.
    Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
    by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

    Gospel for the 25th Week in Ordinary Time

    From: Mark 9:30-37

    Second Prophecy of the Passion

    [30] They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And He (Jesus) would not have any one know it; [31] for He was teaching His disciples, saying to them, "The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and when He is killed, after three days He will rise." [32] But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to ask Him.

    Being the Servant of All

    [33] And they came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house He asked them, "What were you discussing on the way?" [34] But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest. [35] And He sat down and called the Twelve; and He said to them, "If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all." [36] And He took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in His arms, He said to them, [37] "Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me".


    30-32. Although moved when He sees the crowds like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36), Jesus leaves them, to devote time to careful instruction of the Apostles. He retires with them to out-of-the-way places, and there He explains points of His public preaching which they had not understood (Matthew 13:36). Here, specifically, for a second time, He announces His death and resurrection.

    In His relationships with souls Jesus acts in the same way: He calls man to be with him in the quiet of prayer and there He teaches him about His more intimate plans and about the more demanding side of the Christian life. Later, like the Apostles, Christians were to spread this teaching to the ends of the earth.

    34-35. Jesus uses this argument going on behind his back to teach His disciples about how authority should be exercised in His Church--not by lording it over other, but by serving them. In fulfilling His own mission to found the Church whose head and supreme lawgiver He is, He came to serve and not to be served (Matthew 20:28).

    Anyone who does not strive to have this attitude of self-forgetful service, not only lacks one of the main pre-requisites for proper exercise of authority but also runs the risk of being motivated by ambition or pride. "To be in charge of an apostolic undertaking demands readiness to suffer everything, from everybody, with infinite charity" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 951).

    36-37. To demonstrate to His Apostles the abnegation and humility needed in their ministry, He takes a child into His arms and explains the meaning of this gesture: if we receive for Christ's sake those who have little importance in the world's eyes, it is as if we are embracing Christ Himself and the Father who sent Him. This little child whom Jesus embraces represents every child in the world, and everyone who is needy, helpless, poor or sick--people who are not naturally attractive.
    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.