Saturday, October 28, 2006

Mental Prayer for October 29, For You-Everything!

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Jesus, suffering for my sins, help me to speak my sorrow and resolves to you.

Mental Picture: I stand at the foot of the cross with Mary and look on Jesus. His body hangs low on the nails, writhing in agony. From head to toe the scourge has made of Him one bleeding wound. The needle-like thorns stab His head with killing pain. Blood and tears mingle and run down His face. His glazing eyes look out on me and would say one thing, "My child, this is what your sins have cost me. This I suffered to win you heaven. How will you answer my love?"

I Speak to God: Lord, all I can say is that I love you. You, my God, my Creator, you under­went these terrible sufferings for me. You gave up your life for me. Lord, on my knees I tell you sincerely that I'm sorry for all the sins of my past life. Jesus, I never realized as deeply before that my sins caused you this suffering. Lord, I mean this: today marks the end of serious sin in my life. I'm going to steer clear of the things that lead me into sin. And I won't play around carelessly any more with things on the borderline of sin. Please help me to be strong, Lord. Give me aid when temptation comes.

Jesus, the future is going to be different. You gave your life for me. Now I'm going to live to serve you. I'm going to follow you. Your will and your service are going to be the goal of my every day. Help me to live daily for you.

Thought for Today: You gave your life for me, a sinner; help me to live for you.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Gospel for Oct 28, Feast: St. Simon and St. Jude, Apostles

From: Luke 6:12-16

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.


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 Kingdom 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...." ([St] 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.
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, October 27, 2006


What s series! Unbelievable!

Mental Prayer for October 28, Venial Sin : The Risk

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Dear Lord, give me what it takes to stay in training for eternity.

The Idea: All season Joe had known it would come - his big chance - the opportunity to be a star football player. So far he'd had a so-so season. "Not enough zip," the coach said. But now he was in the championship game... 30 seconds to go... his school ahead by one point! Tyler of the opposing team was almost clear. Only Joe stood between him and the winning TD. This would be Joe's victory! He stretched his legs, filled his chest with air, gave it all he had. But, it wasn't enough! His lungs hurt, his legs were heavy. Tyler outran him. Because of Joe... the cham­pionship... lost.

Back in the locker room, nobody looked at him. Only the coach didn't know that Joe hadn't caught Tyler because he was out of condition. He'd broken training all season. Just a small beer here, a little cigarette there - nothing serious. But when the big test came, Joe didn't have what it takes, because he'd broken training.

My Personal Application: Am I staying in training for eternity? Not if I'm careless about venial sin - sinning easily just because the sins are "little."

Someday the big test will come along: the violent temptation to sin mortally. If I've stayed in condition spiritually, if I've not broken training by deliberate venial sin, I'll be strong enough to beat that temptation. But if I've broken training by venial sins, there's a big chance I'll fall. Find out what God thinks about this. Ask Him.

I Speak to God: Dear Lord, give me what it takes to stay in training for eternity. Give me the grace to see how foolish it is to be careless about venial sin. Give me the strength to stay in spiritual training - so that I never commit venial sin deliberately.

Thought for Today: Dear Lord, give me what it takes.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

A Brilliant Examination of Danforth's Anti-Christian Rhetoric

Dr James Hitchcock writes:
Scarcely a day goes by without some new warning that religious fanatics are destroying American liberties. One of the most widely publicized is by former Sen. John Danforth of Missouri, who is both a lawyer and an Episcopal clergyman and also speaks as a Republican who longs for the good old days when the party was interested in things like balancing the budget, before it was “captured” by religious fanatics.
. . .
Danforth the clergyman and Danforth the politician are difficult to separate, because he proposes things that he claims are both right for the nation and good for the party, which he warns will ultimately suffer at the polls for its “pandering” to believers...

The Terri Schiavo case woke him up to the dangers of the “religious right.” But... Danforth appears to see no moral issue at all, only a violation his party’s supposed traditional commitment to limited government and state’s rights.

He professes also to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman but that government should stay out of the issue of homosexual “marriage.” (His Republican principles forbid that the U.S. Constitution be amended to define marriage but require that the Missouri constitution be amended to insure tax subsidies for stem-cell research.)...

Danforth is simplistic in attributing such issues solely to religious belief...

Danforth...[urges] believers to be charitable and tolerant in their public utterances even while almost hysterically condemning the “religious right” as a threat to the Republic...

A standard criticism of conservative believers is that they “intrude” issues into the political process that are “divisive.” But once again, the critics offer their own view as the only correct one — favoring homosexual marriage is not divisive, opposing it is...

Danforth clearly seems to believe that, despite his own one-time pro-life position, conservative religion has no legitimate place in the public square...

Danforth praises his own church because it “holds within itself a variety of views. And I think that is good,” thereby implying that the remedy for religious divisiveness is for everyone to emulate the Episcopalians.

Hitchcock-1, Danforth-0
Hitchcock does a great job dissecting Danforth's unfortunate disconnect with reality.

John and his brother, William, are both hyping and extolling the "promises" of embryonic stem cell the expense of ethics, morality, and representational government. And as mentioned earlier, these men need our prayers - we need to pray for their conversion.

Cardinal Arinze Decries Liturgical Abuses

Oct. 27 ( - The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship spoke out sharply against liturgical abuses during an October 26 presentation in Paris.

Speaking at the Catholic Institute of Paris, Cardinal Francis Arinze (bio - news) decried the "banalization, desacralization, and secularization of the liturgy." He rebuked priests who take an "overtly egocentric" approach to the liturgy, violating the norms of the Church. And he also criticized priests whose "false humility" leads them to "share their role with the laity."
. . .
In a separate address to the conference, Archbishop André Vingt-Trois of Paris-- who is the chancellor of the Catholic Institute-- observed that in France, debates about liturgical practice have been "exploited in a debate of a different order." He explained that some radical Catholics had moved toward "a new model of the Church," through "a celebration of the assembly itself, substituting for a celebration of the work of God."

Perhaps, someday, disciplinary action will be taken against those who persist in offending God and abusing the faithful with their disrepect for the Holy Mass. One cannot help but feel sorrow for those who must endure illicit Masses or worse. Some suffer unnecessarily at the whims of some priests and liturgists and others may not even know what's right from what's wrong.

May God continue to guide our Holy Father, Cardinal Arinze, and others who are doing the Lord's work for His Church and His people.

Amendment 2 and the Beginning of Human Life

From Archbishop Burke:
The heart of the discussion regarding Amendment 2 and the common good centers around the question:
When does human life begin?
Proponents of Amendment 2 argue that it does not involve human cloning and, therefore, human life for one of two reasons.

First of all, some say that the being created through somatic cell nuclear transfer or cloning is not human because male sperm is not involved in the process of its generation.

Secondly, some say that the artificially generated human embryo is not a human being until the embryo is implanted in the womb, the endometrium, of a woman.

Clearly, if you hold that human life can be generated only by the fertilization of the egg of a woman by the sperm of a man, the question of the implantation of the artificially generated being becomes irrelevant to answering the question of the human identity of the embryo produced through somatic cell nuclear transfer or cloning.

The question, however, remains:
If the cloned embryo is not human, what is it?
. . .At the same time, the proponents claim that those who hold that the artificially generated being is a human embryo and, therefore, a human life are following a religious definition of the beginning of human life and trying to impose upon the general population a particular religious belief.

Former Sen. John Danforth, one of the most prominent proponents of Amendment 2, in his recently published book, "Faith and Politics," declares: "Calling these blastocysts (5-to-7-day-old human embryos generated through cloning) human life can only be understood as a statement of religious doctrine, and advancing legislation to protect them can only be understood as attempting to enforce religion by resorting to the criminal law" (p. 93).
. . .

Mr. Danforth and other proponents of Amendment 2 believe that human life begins with the implantation of the embryo in the womb of a woman, denying the identity of human life to the embryo before implantation. But what is the human embryo before implantation, if not a human being? Implantation adds nothing to the identity of the being, it only provides the natural place for the next stages of its development. The standard textbooks of embryology define the beginning of human life at fertilization or artificial generation by cloning.

Following the logic of Mr. Danforth, I suppose, Amendment 2, which claims to prohibit human cloning, actually prohibits the implantation of the embryo produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer or cloning in the womb of woman. Why? The obvious answer is: Because it is a human life which, once implanted in the womb, will simply continue its growth, in accord with the full identity which it already has.

Following up a bit on Archbishop Burke's excellent column, we must not forget that while this amendment prohibits the "implantation of the embryo into a woman's uterus" (known as "Clone and Kill") - there is nothing in the language of the amendment which would prevent implantation of an embryo into an artificial womb later when the scientific research into articial wombs has developed further. As reported earlier, this research has been well under way for at least a decade.

We must pray for the souls of the Danforths and of all those who wish to create a class of human beings subject to the whims and desires of the powerful - in essence, a new form of slavery. Those wanting to enslave the vulnerable and innocent human beings for their eventually abuse, murder and destruction are in most need of conversion. Say a prayer right now that their hearts might be changed and their minds might be enlightened and that they may reject the false promises of the father of lies. May God have mercy on them for what they want to do.

Archbishop Burke's complete column can be found here.

Holy Mass on Eve of Election with Archbishop Burke

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke will celebrate Mass on Monday, Nov. 6, the eve of the Nov. 7 election, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Gabriel the Archangel Church, 6303 Nottingham Ave. in St. Louis Hills.

The Mass will be dedicated to safeguarding embryonic human life and the right to life for the unborn. The rosary will be prayed beginning at 7 p.m.

The Nov. 7 ballot includes the proposed Amendment 2, which would constitutionally protect embryonic stem-cell research in Missouri. The Church opposes embryonic stem-cell research while supporting adult stem-cell research.

The Mass is sponsored by Our Lady of Guadalupe Mother of Life Praesidium of the Legion of Mary, part of the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate. The Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a photographic replica of the original image, will be at the Mass.

For more information or directions, call (314) 481-9296 or (314) 863-6853.
Source: St Louis Review.

Gospel for Friday, 29th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 12:54-59

The Coming of Christ

[54] He (Jesus) also said to the multitudes, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, `A shower is coming'; and so it happens. [55] And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, `There will be scorching heat'; and it happens. [56] You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearances of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?"

[57] "And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? [58] As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. [59] I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper."


56. Jesus' listeners knew from experience how to forecast the weather. However, although they knew the signs of the Messiah's coming announced by the prophets, and were hearing His preaching and witnessing His miracles, they did not want to draw the logical conclusion; they lacked the necessary good will and upright intention, and they just closed their eyes to the light of the Gospel (cf. Romans 1:18ff).

This attitude is also found to be very widespread in our own time, in forms of certain kinds of atheism denounced by the Second Vatican Council: "Those who willfully try to drive God from their heart and to avoid all questions about religion, not following the biddings of their conscience, are not free from blame" ("Gaudium Et Spes", 19).
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, October 26, 2006

Mental Prayer for October 27, Venial Sin: The Cost

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: To see venial sin as offending you, the almighty, all-holy, all-loving God.

The Idea: Cardinal Newman: "The Church holds that it were better for the sun and moon to drop from heaven, for the earth to fail, and for all the many millions who are on it to die of starvation, in extremest agony... than that one soul... should commit one venial sin."

Fr. Chaignon: "That [venial sin] must be an exceedingly great evil which cannot be repaired by tbe tears of the whole world, by the torments of the martyrs... the mortifications of all the saints, nor by all the good works that have been performed by holy men from the beginning of the world until now, and that shall be performed from now to the end of time."

St. Catherine of Genoa: "If anyone of the angels or saints were marked with this stain [venial sin], he would instantly be removed from the presence... of God."

My Personal Application: Is my attitude: "Oh, it's only a venial sin"? When God judges me, will He thrust me away from Him until venial sin is burned out of my soul? Saints say that the only difference between hell and purgatory is that purgatory eventually comes to an end. Do I realize that the all-loving God created the agoniz­ing pains of purgatory to punish venial sin? That's God's view of venial sin. Is my view anything like His?

I Speak to God: Dear Lord, I have been careless in my attitude toward venial sin. When I see that only your sufferings could repair for it, I weep to think of my carelessness. Give me a loathing for venial sin and the strength and cour­age to fight against my bad habits.

Thought for Today: The overwhelming evil of venial sin!
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

How to “Restore Full Citizenship to the Christian Faith”

Pope Ratzinger and his vicar, Ruini, see in Italy “a rather favorable terrain” for the public rebirth of Christianity in Europe and the world, too. But many do not accept their view. And the archbishop of Milan, Tettamanzi, has placed himself at the head of the opposition
by Sandro Magister

Interesting observations...

The text of the Holy Father's address to the participants of the Fourth National Ecclesial Convention in Verona can be found here.

Virginia Bishops: Church Teaching and Civic Responsibility

...Explaining these teachings clearly is among the most fundamental of our responsibilities as bishops. This year, our teaching on public-policy matters has included pastoral letters, issued jointly by us to the faithful in our two dioceses, on stem-cell research and on the institution of marriage.

...We are convinced that a consistent ethic of life should be the moral framework from which to address issues in the political arena...

We must never abandon this moral framework in favor of divisive rhetoric that can cloud one’s ability to see each issue as Christ asks us to see it. But just as it would be wrong to reject a consistent ethic that values all human rights, it would also be a mistake to conclude that all issues are equal in moral gravity...

...we must understand the difference in moral gravity between policies which are intrinsically unjust (e.g., abortion, euthanasia, and the deliberate destruction of human embryos) and policies involving prudential judgments about which people of good will may disagree concerning various means of promoting economic justice, public safety, and fair opportunities for every person.

We reaffirm these observations from our previous letter and will continue to teach two basic truths -- that, no matter what the issue is, human dignity must be the central consideration; and that, above all else, our laws must honor the right to life, without which no other right could even exist.
Full text of the Bishops' letter is here.

Covington Diocese Bars Pro-Life Group


NEWPORT - A Northern Kentucky Catholic diocese has barred an anti-abortion group from its churches and forbidden its priests from handing out the literature from the organization.

Bishop Roger Foys of the Diocese of Covington issued a note to priests last week saying priests should have "no involvement" with Northern Kentucky Right to Life and to remove all of the group's materials from diocese facilities and churches.

"There are many good people involved in NKRTL who are being misled," Foys wrote, without giving specifics. "We cannot give any semblance that the Diocese approves of the tactics of some of the leadership of NKRTL."

New Order of Dominicans Receives Many Vocations

Nine years ago, four Dominican Sisters from Nashville decided to create a new Dominican order. Today, there are 73 members, and the group continues to grow...

Mother Assumpta Long, Sisters Joseph Andrew, Mary Samuel Handwerker and John Dominic Rasmussen started as Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia Congregation in Nashville. They felt called to answer John Paul II’s call for a new evangelization within religious life and formed the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.

As seen in their name, the Eucharist and devotion to the Blessed Mother are at the heart of this community. The nuns begin each day with a Holy Hour and Mass. They also recite the rosary daily and participate annually in St. Louis de Montfort’s total consecration to Jesus through Mary.
This is great news of a wonderful blessing in a world of confusion and darkness.

The Sisters are hosting vocations discernment retreat weekends this coming Nov. 5-6, next Feb. 24-25 and next May 26-27. For more information, visit:

And remember them in your prayers.

The full article can be read here.

Gospel for Thursday, 29th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 12:49-53

Jesus the Cause of Dissension

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [49] "I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! [50] I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished! [51] Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; [52] for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; [53] they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."


49-50. In the Bible, fire is often used to describe God's burning love for men. This divine love finds its highest __expression in the Son of God become man: "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son" (John 3:16). Jesus voluntarily gave up His life out of love for us, and "greater love has no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).

In these words reported by St. Luke, Jesus Christ reveals His abounding desire to give His life for love of us. He calls His death a baptism, because from it He will arise victorious never to die again. Our Baptism is a submersion in Christ's death, in which we die to sin and are reborn to the new life of grace: "We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).

Through this new life, we Christians should become set on fire in the same way as Jesus set His disciples on fire: "With the amazing naturalness of the things of God, the contemplative soul is filled with apostolic zeal. `My heart became hot within me, a fire blazed forth from my thoughts' (Psalm 38:4). What could this fire be if not the fire that Christ talks about: `I came to cast fire upon the earth, and would that it were already kindled' (Luke 12:49). An apostolic fire that acquires its strength in prayer: there is no better way than this to carry on, throughout the whole world, the battle of peace to which every Christian is called to fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ (cf. Colossians 1:24)" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 120).

51-53. God has come into the world with a message of peace (cf. Luke 2:14) and reconciliation (cf. Romans 5:11). By resisting, through sin, the redeeming work of Christ, we become His opponents. Injustice and error lead to division and war. "Insofar as men are sinners, the threat of war hangs over them and will so continue until the coming of Christ; but insofar as they can vanquish sin by coming together in charity, violence itself will be vanquished" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 78).

During His own life on earth, Christ was a sign of contradiction (cf. Luke 2:34). Our Lord is forewarning His disciples about the contention and division which will accompany the spread of the Gospel (cf. Luke 6:20-23; Matthew 10:24).
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, October 25, 2006

Mental Prayer for October 26, Pains of Hell

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Dear Lord, help me so to feel the pains of the damned that if I ever forget your love, at least the fear of hell will keep me from sinning.

Walk Into Hell:
SEE the bottomless pit of fire, wider than the ocean. See the damned souls enveloped in fire. Watch it scorch and burn, yet never consume. It is real. It will never stop burning. These souls I see in bodies of fire once walked the earth, as I do, in bodies of flesh.

HEAR the cries, the howls, the blasphemies. Hear the souls cursing the day they were bom with the free will with which they damned them­selves forever.

SMELL the smoke, the sulphur, the filth, the burning flesh which will be there after the body rises. Smell the stink of evil.

TASTE the bitterness of grief, of tears, the sour­ness of evil. Taste sin!

FEEL how those fires touch and burn. Feel the pain, the horror, the despair. Peel the loneliness for God - each soul made for Him - now a yawn­ing hole that will never be filled - an open wound that will never heal.

FEEL eternity. This is forever - beyond all reach of my imagination - unending - on and on ­forever.

I Speak to God: Dear Lord, help me understand the reality of hell. These souls once lived as I do. They knew what it was to have a good time. They had sorrows, joys, ambitions. They knew how to serve you. There are Catholics here who deli­berately committed mortal sin. One is enough to damn a soul forever. Dear Lord, thank you for not having put an end to my life when I would have fallen into hell. Help me never to commit a mortal sin, never to damn my soul to hell.

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

New Jersey 'Gay' Marriage Opinion - Homosexual Unions Required

Denying committed same-sex couples the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose. The Court holds that under the equal protection guarantee of Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, committed samesex couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes. The name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to samesex couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter left to the democratic process.

Jill Stanek: Michael J. Fox is a cannibal

Michael J. Fox is a famous TV and movie star. He is witty. He is charming. A few years ago, we learned he has Parkinson's disease [PD].
...PD is tragic, particularly in Fox's case, because it rarely afflicts persons under 60 years old.

Yet everyone faces tragedy at one time or another, in one form or another. A person's moral fiber is revealed in tragedy.

So we learned through Fox's affliction that he has either extremely poor judgment or a diabolical character flaw. He supports human embryonic stem-cell experimentation, thus contending that some humans are subhuman and expendable for others' personal gain.
Just as others throughout history have claimed...Slaveholders, Hitler, Islamofacists who kill countless Christians and Jews.

Fox advocates killing certain people to experiment on them "for the greater good" simply because those people don't look like we do – yet. This is odd, because some day Fox won't look like most people either.

...using Fox's logic, experimentation of 2-year-olds should be acceptable. Toddlers are certainly far less developed on the human continuum and don't look at all normal by adult standards.

Scientifically speaking, a human is a human from the instant of fertilization, no matter what phase of development. "Take that single cell of the just conceived zygote, put it next to a chimpanzee cell, and 'a geneticist could easily identify the human. an altered past, Fox would have allowed the dissection of his days-old embryonic children so he could surgically ingest them in an effort to cure his own ailments – high tech cannibalism.

It's funny that Fox calls himself a vegetarian.
This is a brutally honest review of Fox's position as played in the Claire McCaskill politcal ads in Missouri...And Claire "approves" his message...Utter buffoonery!

Kansas Bishops: Moral Principles for Catholic Voters

Another excellent explanation which should be shared with our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as with others:


We are conscientious voters when we are guided by our consciences. Conscience is a law “written” by God on our hearts that disposes us to love and to do good and avoid evil (cf. Romans 2:12-16). The conscience is like an inner voice that has the authority of the very voice of God. We have a serious duty to follow the guidance of conscience. To act against the judgment of conscience when it is certain about what is good and evil has the same seriousness as disobeying God. It is important to remember however that it is possible for our conscience to be certain and at the same time incorrect about what is good and evil.

For this reason, we have an equally serious duty to properly form or teach our conscience so that it can correctly judge what is good and evil. We are obliged to seek the truth and then to abide by it. We need to make this inquiry all throughout our lives, as we grow and as the questions we face change or become more complicated. In seeking the truth, Catholics receive important guidance from the teachings of the Catholic Church on matters pertaining to faith and morals...


In some moral matters the use of reason allows for a legitimate diversity in our prudential judgments. Catholic voters may differ, for example, on what constitutes the best immigration policy, how to provide universal health care, or affordable housing. Catholics may even have differing judgments on the state’s use of the death penalty or the decision to wage a just war...

Notwithstanding a possible diversity of prudential judgments, each of us should guide our decision-making on such issues by a fundamental respect for the dignity of every human person from the moment of conception to natural death. This is a non-negotiable principle. It is the foundation for both Catholic social teaching and of a just society. Respect for human dignity is the basis for the fundamental right to life. It is also the basis for the right to those things needed to live with dignity, for example, productive work and fair wages, food and shelter, education and health care, protection from harm, and the right to move from one country to another when these things are not available to us at home...

In light of the above, it is a correct judgment of conscience that we would commit moral evil if we were to vote for a candidate who takes a permissive stand on those actions that are intrinsically evil when there is a morally-acceptable alternative.

Read the full text here...

Catholic Answers Voters Guide - Based on "Bad Theology"?

So says Eric McFadden of the "'Catholic' Alliance for the Common Good". Actually, to be fair, Eric said, in full:

I think that guide [the Catholic Answers Voters Guide for Serious Catholics] has been proven to be based on bad theology and not the fullness of our Catholic faith and teachings. We would be happy to send you a quantity of ours to balance that out.

A couple of things right off the bat...Of course, I'll take him up on his offer for some guides - it will be that many less that can be used to confound and improperly 'guide' others...

Secondly, I'm curious who has "proven" that the Catholic Answers guide is based on bad theology and does not reflect the "fullness" of Catholic teaching?

I received an email early Monday morning from the group "Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good" with the subject: Got your Catholic Voter Guides?

They were (and are) offering FREE guides - perfect for those who wish to help save unsuspecting Catholics from doctrinally defective teachings by taking the guides out of circulation...Part of that Monday email that I received stated:
Here's what you can do:

Order a quantity of voter guides today. There is no cost for the guide.

We will ship quantities at no cost to reciepiants [sic] of this email. Simply email - include the amount you need and your mailing address. You may call us at 202-903-0856.

Tell your friends, family, colleagues, and fellow parishioners about Voting for the Common Good.

I say - Order a hundred or two and remove them from circulation. Save others from confusion.

Anyway, after I received this email for the "free" guides, I replied with the following, to test the people at the "common good" camp:
Our parish is distributing the "Voters Guide for Serious Catholics"
Is that the guide we need?

And this brings us back to the top of this post - granted, some may suggest that I engaged in a small bit of "trickery", but the question I asked was quite honest and there is nothing deceptive in what I said or asked. I'll forward this on to Catholic Answers Action for clarification and I'll also ask Eric if he can be a bit more specific...Later.

Extension of Vessel Purification Indult Denied...

This won't bode well for many who merely refer to the purification of sacred vessels as "doing the dishes", but this 3 year experimental indult expired last last year! Of course, as has been the custom of the USCCB(NCCB) and many American bishops, an indult becomes normative after its experimental time ends. At times, flagrant disregard of Vatican norms has been common...

Lay ministers may not cleanse Communion vessels, Pope Benedict says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- At the direction of Pope Benedict XVI, extraordinary ministers of holy Communion will no longer be permitted to assist in the purification of the sacred vessels at Masses in the United States.

In an Oct. 23 letter, Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked his fellow bishops to inform all pastors of the change, which was prompted by a letter from Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

The U.S. bishops had asked the Vatican to extend an indult -- or church permission -- in effect since 2002 allowing extraordinary ministers of holy Communion to help cleanse the Communion cups and plates when there were not enough priests or deacons to do so.
"Communion cups and plates"? Is it any wonder some refer to the purification as "doin' dishes"? It's more than shameful when an allegedly Catholic institution such as CNS fails to demonstrate a proper respect for sacred vessels which are used for the Body and Blood of our Lord.

May God Bless and Keep Pope Benedict XVI!


Gospel for Wednesday, 29th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 24:39-48

Jesus Appears To The Eleven And Their Companions

[39] See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; handle Me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have." [40] And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. [41] Andwhile they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, He said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" [42] They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, [43] and He took it and ate before them.

Jesus' Last Instructions And Leave-Taking

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Cross is a mystery, in our own life as well as in Christ's: "Jesus suffers to carry out the will of the Father. And you, who also want to carry out the most holy Will of God, following the steps of the Master, can you complain if you meet suffering on your way?" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 213).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Here's the Response to the Michael J Fox Ad

With Jim Caviezel of 'The Passion of Christ' and Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan, who pitches Game 4 of the World Series, Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals, and Patricia Heaton...

Here's the ad..

Mental Prayer for October 25, Mortal Sin Deserves Hell

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Dear Lord, give me a real under­standing of what a horrible thing mortal sin is.

The Idea: Larry and Sheila leave a party. It has been a swell party, the best in their ten months of dating. Before going home they "park" awhile. In the back of his mind, Larry suddenly thinks of the warnings he has heard... but they don't apply to him... deliberately... he has never fallen into mortal sin... and then... fully... deliberately! Finally Larry takes Sheila home. He is nervous... he has committed his first mortal sin... he speeds... he doesn't see the other car... there is a terrific crash, like an explosion! The jaws of hell open, and Larry's soul plunges into the pit of eternal fire - unending torture - for one mortal sin.

This is the cost of just one mortal sin. This is God's point of view: the just price of one mortal sin is everlasting agony in hell. Nothing worse could happen to me; nothing else on earth is as horrible as committing even one mortal sin.

My Personal Application: Do I really understand the horror of one mortal sin? Have I always understood? Did I ever commit a mortal sin? Am I in mortal sin right now? I should rather suffer anything on earth than commit even one mortal sin... because the price is hell. Resolve ­- completely - never mortal sin! Ask God's help.

I Speak to God: Dear Lord, give me a real under­standing of how horrible mortal sin is. Teach me your point of view. When I am tempted to commit one, remind me that it will cost me eternal pain in hell. Give me the grace never in the future to commit even one mortal sin.

Thought for Today: Dear Lord, when I'm tempted to sin mortally, remind me of hell.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Coming: An AD Response to Michael J Fox's Lamentable TV Spot

A DrudgeReport EXCLUSIVE: Ad Response To Michael J. Fox running in Missouri tomorrow night; stars Jim Caviezel of 'The Passion of Christ' and Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan, who pitches Game 4 of World Series... MORE...

The Original Fox AD

Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist, Coming Soon?

Oct. 24 ( - The publication of the papal document concluding the work of last year's Synod on the Eucharist is "imminent," according to the I Media news agency.

Citing informed sources at the Vatican, I Media reports that Pope Benedict XVI will soon release his apostolic exhortation on the Eucharist. The Holy Father reportedly was reviewing a final draft of the document late in August.

The imminent release of a papal document on the Eucharist would be noteworthy under any circumstances. But in light of the reports that Pope Benedict is preparing another document on the use of the Latin Mass, the document will be even more anxiously awaited. Some Vatican-watchers have surmised that the Pontiff will release his motu proprio on the Latin Mass in conjunction with the apostolic exhortation on the Synod.
Interesting article from CWNews....

October 29, "Priesthood Sunday"

Dear Friends,

You can help affirm priests throughout the nation as "Priesthood Sunday" approaches. This Sunday, October 29, is designated as "Priesthood Sunday," and we at Priests for Life want to help you honor the priests whom you admire and who have served you well. Would you send us their names and a few lines about how they have helped and served you? Just email us at We will place their names on a special honor roll on our website.

Meanwhile, the column below is especially important. There are four special state initiatives/referenda on the ballot for the upcoming election, and you can help with each of them even though you may not live in those states. Please read it carefully, and pass it along!

I also want to alert you to the fact that Priests for Life's 2007 Calendar is now being printed. It has photos of our pastoral team at work, key quotes from Church leaders about the pro-life effort, and something that no other calendar has: indications of days that are especially important to the pro-life movement (such as the Annual March for Life, and key pro-life saints). Order your copy of the calendar today, because there is a limited supply. Request it at

Regarding my upcoming travels, I will be speaking tomorrow night in Austin, TX at the Texas Alliance for Life banquet, and then in Denver on Thursday and Friday at the Catholic Leadership Conference. The following week, please be sure to tune into the daily televised Mass on EWTN on Friday, November 3 when I will be the celebrant and homilist, and will give an important pre-election message.

Let me also provide you with the upcoming schedules for our other TV shows and Radio programming:

Catholic Vote Series: The Catholic Vote Part 5: Party Loyalty and Loyalty to Christ. Watch on EWTN Friday, October 27th at 10:00pm ET and Saturday, October 28th at 2:30am ET. Listen on EWTN radio Friday, October 27th at 1am ET, Saturday, October 28th at 6:30pm ET and Sunday, October 29th at 5am ET.

Gospel of Life: What Christians Can Do for Elections. Guest: Karen Cross. Watch on the "Angel One" channel on the Sky Angel Satellite System ( - Monday, October 23rd at 3:30am, Tuesday, October 24th at 2am, Thursday, October 26th at 8:30am and Saturday, October 28th at 7:30pm (all times Eastern). Listen to Gospel of Life episodes on the web!

Life on the Line radio program: Save One. Sheila Harper recounts the story of her abortion, the pain it caused and the ministry that grew from her experience. Listen on Saturday, October 28th and Sunday, October 29th. Go to for stations and airing times.

Please tune in and spread the word! In fact, you can help us - and your whole parish -- by asking your pastor to place in the parish bulletin an announcement about our TV shows. Thanks in advance!

Blessings and prayers,
Fr. Frank Pavone

Four State Ballot Measures
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

In using this year’s elections "to participate in building the culture of life" (US Bishops, Living the Gospel of Life, n. 34), we need to pay attention not only to the candidates, but to the ballot initiatives and referenda in particular states. Whether we live in those states or not, we can and should help to support the measures that should be supported and reject those that should be rejected, because in each case the outcome will have an effect on the entire country.

Measures that are brought directly to the citizens for a vote enable the citizens to participate more directly in self-government. Much of the ambiguity and unpredictability of candidates is gone. No longer is it a matter of whether we can trust the individual to support a particular piece of legislation. Here, the citizens get to vote on the policy directly. And often a ballot measure will motivate voters to come out more than a candidate will.

There are four states in particular that have ballot measures especially important to the abortion issue.

First, in California, voters should support the Parents' Right to Know and Child Protection Initiative (Proposition 85). This would require an abortionist to notify the parent of a minor before performing an abortion on her. Over half the states have this kind of law, and these laws reduce the numbers of abortions. California performs about a quarter of the nation's abortions. For Proposition 85 to pass would mean the protection of parental rights as well as a major dent in the abortion industry. For information, visit

Second, a similar measure is on the ballot in Oregon. Voters should support the Parental Involvement and Support Act (Measure 43), which would expand parental rights by mandating that written or in person notice be provided to one parent of an unemancipated minor 15 years of age or older at least 48 hours prior to performing an abortion on that teenager. For information, visit

Third, voters in South Dakota should support the Women's Health and Human Life Protection Act (Referred Law 6), which would simply ban abortions throughout the state. For information, visit

Finally, voters in Missouri should reject the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative (Amendment 2), which deceptively claims to ban "human cloning," but only bans a human clone from being implanted in a woman, not from being created and then killed for research purposes. For info, visit

No matter where we live, we should help voters in these states to be informed about these measures. While Churches and other tax exempt organizations can never tell people to vote for or against a clearly identified candidate, they are allowed to tell people to vote for or against a particular ballot initiative or referendum. Organizations should put this information on the front page of their website between now and Election Day, because people in the states that have these measures can access those websites.

Let's work together on these measures, for pro-life victory!

Remember to support our work at

This column an be found online at

Comments on this column? Email us at, Priests for Life, PO Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314; Tel: 888-PFL-3448, 718-980-4400; Fax: 718-980-6515; web:

This column can be listened to online in MP3 format at

This column can be heard via podcast. See for more details.

We are grateful for your willingness to receive these email blasts so that we can continue to bring you critical information. A few people at times feel they have to refuse these communications, and all they need to do is tell us by emailing But we look forward to the privilege of continuing to send them to you!
HT to Patte G for the reminders.

A Commentary on Cardinal McCarrick's Address before the CCCB

Cardinal McCarrick Continues to Conceal Rome's Insistence that Pro-Abort Politicians Be Denied Communion

Failure to mention central contents of crucial Ratzinger letter seemingly habitual for McCarrick

Part 1

CORNWALL, October 23, 2006 ( - Last week, recently-retired Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick delivered an address to the annual Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. McCarrick, who headed up the US Bishops Conference task force on Catholics in Political Life, spoke mainly of his experiences on the task force and of the central debate it explored - namely that of whether or not to deny Holy Communion to Catholic politicians who reject Church teachings on central issues such as abortion and euthanasia.

During the 2004 deliberation among US Bishops, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sent a letter to the US Bishops to use as a guide. The letter pointed out that obstinately pro-abortion Catholic politicians, after being duly instructed and warned, "must" be denied Communion.

In his 12-page address, however, McCarrick did not even provide the gist of Cardinal Ratzinger's letter which outlined in six successive points why communion "must" be denied in the specified cases. He did however speak about a bracketed afterthought at the bottom of Cardinal Ratzinger's letter which spoke of reception of communion for Catholics who vote for pro-abortion politicians.

The failure to mention the central contents of that Ratzinger letter entitled "Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion. General Principles" is seemingly habitual for Cardinal McCarrick.

After reading the Cardinal's address, it is hard to imagine a weaker or more cowardly address in response to Cardinal Ratzinger's memo and the shameful so-called 'Catholic' politicians who openly flaunt their pro-death positions knowing that few bishops have the courage to abide by Canon 915 or the directives of Holy Father...What a real treat this must have been for the Canadian Bishops. Is this the best example of a bishop with fortitude and fidelity who could be found in the US...?

A LifeSiteNews article here.

*** Updated *** 10/24/06

Part 2 (from LifeSiteNews)
CORNWALL, October 24, 2006 ( - Whether intentional or not, the concealing of the Ratzinger document and the downplaying of seemingly clear statements from the Vatican has produced an atmosphere of controversy. Faithful Catholics voiced their concerns over what they saw as outright deception. And from his remarks to the Canadian bishops, it seems Cardinal McCarrick is still smarting from the responses he received to this day.

The "Communion issue," Cardinal McCarrick told the Canadian bishops last Tuesday, "became ground zero in the struggle to identify 'the real Catholic Church' in the United States." A significant portion of his speech was devoted to the "attacks" bishops on either side of the debate received.

Gospel for Tuesday, 29th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: St Anthony Claret, Bishop

From: Luke 12:35-38

The Need for Vigilance and the Parable of the Steward

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [35] "Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, [36] and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. [37] Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them. [39] If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants!"


35-39. In the preaching of Christ and of the Apostles we are frequently exhorted to be watchful (cf. Matthew 24:42; 25:13; Mark 14:34)--for one thing, because the enemy is always on the prowl (cf. 1 Peter 5:8), and also because a person in love is always awake (cf. Song of Songs 5:2). This watchfulness expresses itself in a spirit of prayer (cf. Luke 21:36; 1 Peter 4:7) and fortitude in faith (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:13). See the note on Matthew 25:1-13.

[The note on Matthew 25:1-13 states:
1-13. The main lesson of this parable has to do with the need to be on the alert: in practice, this means having the light of faith, which is kept alive with the oil of charity. Jewish weddings were held in the house of the bride's father. The virgins are young unmarried girls, bridesmaids who are in the bride's house waiting for the bridegroom to arrive. The parable centers on the attitude one should adopt up to the time when the bridegroom comes. In other words, it is not enough to know that one is "inside" the Kingdom, the Church: one has to be on the watch and be preparing for Christ's coming by doing good works.

This vigilance should be continuous and unflagging, because the devil is forever after us, prowling around "like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). "Watch with the heart, watch with faith, watch with love, watch with charity, watch with good works [...]; make ready the lamps, make sure they do not go out [...], renew them with the inner oil of an upright conscience; then shall the Bridegroom enfold you in the embrace of His love and bring you into His banquet room, where your lamp can never be extinguished" (St. Augustine, "Sermon", 93).]

35. To enable them to do certain kinds of work the Jews used to hitch up the flowing garments they normally wore. "Girding your loins" immediately suggests a person getting ready for work, for effort, for a journey etc. (cf. Jeremiah 1:17; Ephesians 6:14; 1 Peter 1:13). Similarly, "having your lamps burning" indicates the sort of attitude a person should have who is on the watch or is waiting for someone's arrival.
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, October 23, 2006

Mental Prayer for October 24­, I Caused Christ's Suffering

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Dear Jesus, let me see just what my sins did to you.

Mental Picture: The many-tailed whip falls again and again on His bare back till the blood trickles down in crimson streams. He grits His teeth to keep back the cries that swell in His throat. His head snaps back with the pain as the crown of thorns is driven into it. He winces with humilia­tion as the crowd shouts, "Let Him be crucified! Give us Barabbas!" His agonized body staggers and wavers beneath the weight of the huge, rough cross. His face plows into the dust as He falls. Kicks and lashes rain on His body. Stretched on the cross He feels the nerve-tearing pain of spikes driven through His hands. Hanging on the cross... His tortured body one mass of unbear­able pain... His ears ringing with the taunts of the jeering crowd... Christ looks sadly on those He had come to save.

My Personal Application: My sins caused all this! Christ feels most keenly the sins of us who are consecrated to Him in the name of His Mother, just as we would feel much more hurt if struck or jeered at by one dear to us. Do I see now what sin really is? Ask our Lord to give me His knowledge of sin!

I Speak to God: Forgive me, Jesus, for what I have done to you. Give me a loathing for sin that I may add no more to your sufferings. Have mercy, dear Jesus!

Thought for Today: When tantalized by sin, picture Christ suffering.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

From the Illinois Federation for Right to Life...A Daily Alert

With election season approaching, it is very important for your pastors to clearly understand the law as they speak out on current issues facing our country.

Since 1954, legislation regarding the Internal Revenue Code has prevented pastors and other clergy from endorsing or supporting candidates for public office.

Basically, the code gives the IRS the right to take away the tax-exempt status of your church if your pastor speaks out on political issues.

Ironically, this silencing of our church leaders goes completely against the desires of our Founding Fathers!

Throughout the Revolutionary War, American pastors preached vehemently from their pulpits against the tyranny of Great Britain and of the desire for a new government.

Americans United conceded that pastors do have the right to speak out on the moral and biblical issues of the day, even during election season.

To further clarify, the only thing pastors are prohibited from doing is endorsing or opposing candidates for public office (this prohibition does not apply to the pastor in their individual capacity).

Therefore, the distribution of non-partisan voter guides, the holding of political debates, and the preaching of moral issues are all allowed to take place within a church facility.

For more news about the rights of your pastor this political season, please review this new information and either print it for your church leader(s) online at:

No More Revenue for the Post-Disgrace... least from me. We have been contemplating cancelling the subscription for months. But now - it's a done deal.

The Post-Disgrace, as a matter of standard policy and procedure, endorsed "Crazy" Claire McCaskill for U.S. Senator - It's understandable since Claire is nothing more than a pro-death, anti-life, political hack who has a most difficult time dealing with the truth. But the Post's endorsement of a "person" who wishes to deny rights to other "persons" is to be expected.

But, the final straw came when the Post, obviously ignoring the facts and rejecting all sense of ethics and decency, chose to endorse Amendment 2.

A number of things led up to the decision to stop the Post from throwing its excrement on my yard: There was the Michael J Fox commercial endorsing the murder of the unbornduring the World Series last night - endorsed, of course, by McCaskill.

Then, there was an ad featuring that stalwart paragon of truth and ethics, former Senator "Jack" Danforth, who stated that the opponents of Amendment 2 were "making claims that are not true" when discussing the facts of the amendment - this coming from the man who has, evidently, sold his soul to the devil. It is beyond me how a man, who claims to be pro-life, can advocate the killing of innocent unborn human life so that others can try to line their pockets.

And the most revolting words from this agent of evil were those accusing opponents of Amendment 2 of "distortions". Despicable! What a pathetic, sick, demented man Danforth has become. His lies are lies and his 'truths' are lies - evil has overtaken him and it seems that nothing which now comes from his mouth can stand the light of day. May God have mercy on his sorry soul.

The Puke-Dispatch begins its endorsement of Amendment 2
Missouri is home to some of the world's finest research institutions, including Washington University in St. Louis and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City. If we are to remain on the cutting edge, scientists must be free to pursue the most promising avenues of inquiry. Voters should protect that freedom by approving Amendment 2, the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative.

What lies! What deceit! What an imagination! Of three sentences, two are deliberately deceitful...the Post makes the mistake of equating "license" with freedom - twice!

If we are to remain on the cutting edge, scientists must be free to pursue the most promising avenues of inquiry.

Some wish to be above the law, exempt from the law, to make the law - and the Post endorses this as freedom rather than the tyranny that it truly is. It's not too strange that the Post supports the "some are more equal than others" philosophy of the pigs from "Animal Farm."

Voters should protect that freedom by approving Amendment 2, the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative.

Freedom? The Post would have its readers follow it as it marched in lockstep to the tunes of Adolph Hitler, were he alive today. The Post wants voters to protect unethical and immoral behavior - whether it be in the form of defective political candidates or defective legal initiatives.

It is times like this that I ask God to help me with patience. I have anbsolutely zero tolerance for lying or self-imposed stupidity, both of which are quite abundant here in Missouri these days, it seems. It's sometimes difficult, at least for me, to practice the virtues needed to deal with people and organiztions like this. With God's grace, may I always be willing to pray for their them and their conversion.

Gospel for Monday, 29th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 12:13-21

Parable of the Rich Fool

[13] One of the multitude said to Him (Jesus), "Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me." [14] But He said to him, "Man, who made Me a judge or divider over you?" [15] And He said to them, "Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." [16] And He told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; [17] and he thought to himself, `What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' [18] And he said, `I will do this: I will store all my grain and my goods. [19] And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.' [20] But God said to him, `Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' [21] So is he who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."


13. This man is only interested in his own problems; he sees in Jesus only a teacher with authority and prestige who can help sort out his case (cf. Deuteronomy 21:17). He is a good example of those who approach religious authorities not to seek advice on the way they should go in their spiritual life, but rather to get them to solve their material problems. Jesus vigorously rejects the man's request--not because He is insensitive to the injustice which may have been committed in this family, but because it is not part of His redemptive mission to intervene in matters of this kind. By His word and example the Master shows us that His work of salvation is not aimed at solving the many social and family problems that arise in human society; He has come to give us principles and moral standards which should inspire our actions in temporal affairs, but not to give us precise, technical solutions to problems which arise; to that end He has endowed us with intelligence and freedom.

15-21. After His statement in verse 15, Jesus tells the parable of the foolish rich man: what folly it is to put our trust in amassing material goods to ensure we have a comfortable life on earth, forgetting the goods of the spirit, which are what really ensure us--through God's mercy--of eternal life.

This is how St. Athanasius explained these words of our Lord: "A person who lives as if he were to die every day--given that our life is uncertain by definition-- will not sin, for good fear extinguishes most of the disorder of our appetites; whereas he who thinks he has a long life ahead of him will easily let himself be dominated by pleasures" ("Adversus Antigonum").

19. This man's stupidity consisted in making material possession his only aim in life and his only insurance policy. It is lawful for a person to want to own what he needs for living, but if possession of material resources becomes an absolute, it spells the ultimate destruction of the individual and of society. "Increased possession is not the ultimate goal of nations nor of individuals. All growth is ambivalent. It is essential if man is to develop as a man, but in a way it imprisons man if he considers it the supreme good, and it restricts his vision. Then we see hearts harden and minds close, and men no longer gather together in friendship but out of self-interest, which soon leads to strife and disunity. The exclusive pursuit of possessions thus becomes an obstacle to individual fulfillment and to man's true greatness. Both for nations and for individual, avarice is the most evident form of underdevelopment" ([Pope] Paul VI, "Populorum Progressio", 19).
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, October 22, 2006

Mental Prayer for October 23-God and My Gratitude

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: I want to realize deeply my ingrati­tude and see how I may overcome it.

The Idea: How terrible it would seem to me if my brother or sister sided with strangers against me. How much worse if I saw them joining with strangers to curse my parents, throw rocks at them, kill them. What would be my disgust, my anger with them for attacking those who had done so much for them?

My Personal Application: But we are doing this against God. When we follow our lower passions of laziness, envy, anger... when we steal, lie, or are impure or unkind - what is this but joining God's enemies in their attack on Him? With our venial sins we help to insult God; with our mortal sins we try to kill Him in our lives. Yet this is the God who gave us life in preference to millions of other possible men and who keeps us living each second... who has given us every good thing we've ever had: parents, friends, health, talents... who has given us every happy moment we've ever had. Tell Him how stupid we cab be at times, how sorry we are for our ingratitude to Him. Ask His pardon, too!

I Speak to God: O Jesus, suffering before me on the crucifix, I see what my sins have done. Help me to realize vividly your love, your devotion. Help me never to be ungrateful to you again.

Thought for Today: Jesus, help me to look at sin from the cross with you, to see it today for what it really is.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Gospel for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

From: Mark 10:35-45

The Sons of Zebedee Make Their Request

[35] And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Him, and said to Him, "Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of you." [36] And He said to them, "What do you want Me to do for you?" [37] And they said to Him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory." [38] But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" [39] And they said to Him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; [40] but to sit at My right hand or at My left is not Mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared." [41] And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. [42] And Jesus called them to Him and said to them, "You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. [43] But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, [44] and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. [45] For the Son of Man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom of many."


35-44. We can admire the Apostles' humility: they do not disguise their earlier weakness and shortcomings from the first Christians. God also has wanted the Holy Gospel to record the earlier weaknesses of those who will become the unshakeable pillars of the Church. The grace of God works wonders in people's souls: so we should never be pessimistic in the face of our own wretchedness: "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).

38. When we ask for anything in prayer, we should be ready, always, to accept God's will, even if it does not coincide with our own: "His Majesty knows best what is suitable for us; it is not for us to advise Him what to give us, for He can rightly reply that we know not what we ask" (St. Teresa, "Mansions", II, 8).

43-45. Our Lord's word and example encourage in us a genuine spirit of Christian service. Only the Son of God who came down from Heaven and freely submitted to humiliation (at Bethlehem, Nazareth, Calvary, and in the Sacred Host) can ask a person to make himself last, if he wishes to be first.

The Church, right through history, continues Christ's mission of service to mankind: "Experienced in human affairs, the Church, without attempting to interfere in any way in the politics of States, `seeks but a solitary goal: to carry forward the work of Christ Himself under the lead of the befriending Spirit. And Christ entered this world to give witness to the truth, to rescue and not to sit in judgment, to serve and not to be served' (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 3). Sharing the noblest aspirations of men and suffering when she sees them not satisfied, she wishes to help them attain their full flowering, and that is why she offers men what she possesses as her characteristic attribute: a global vision of man and of the human race" (Paul VI, "Populorum Progressio", 13).

Our attitude should be that of our Lord: we should seek to serve God and men with a truly supernatural outlook, not expecting any return; we should serve even those who do not appreciate the service we do them. This undoubtedly does not make sense, judged by human standards. However, the Christian identified with Christ takes "pride" precisely in serving others; by so doing he shares in Christ's mission and thereby attains his true dignity: "This dignity is expressed in readiness to serve, in keeping with the example of Christ, who `came not to be served but to serve.' If, in the light of this attitude of Christ's, `being a king' is truly possible only by `being a servant', then `being a servant' also demands so much spiritual maturity that it must really be described as `being a king.' In order to be able to serve others worthily and effectively we must be able to master ourselves, possess the virtues that make this mastery possible" (John Paul II, "Redemptor Hominis", 21). Cf. note on Matthew 20:27-28.
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.