Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Priest's "Open Letter" to Nancy Pelosi

From the Pastor's Desk

Nancy, you are fooling yourself and I fear fooling many good Catholics. You are simply not in sync with the Catholic Church and until you change your non-Catholic positions should stop calling yourself Catholic. Your record shows that you support embryonic stem cell research, planned parenthood, contraception, family planning funding, allowing minors to have an abortion without parental consent, and are against making it a crime to harm a fetus, etc. etc.

The fact that you favor married priests and women priests certainly would not classify you as conservative, but here is your answer to the question: “Are you a conservative Catholic?”
“I think so. I was raised, in a very strict upbringing in a Catholic home where we respected people, were observant, were practicing Catholics and that the fundamental belief was that God gave us all a free will and we were accountable for that, each of us. Each person had that accountability, so it wasn’t for us to make judgments about how people saw their responsibility and that it wasn’t for politicians to make decisions about how people led their personal lives; certainly, to high moral standards, but when it got into decisions about privacy and all the rest, than that was something that individuals had to answer to God for, and not to politicians.” (National Catholic Reporter, 1-22-03)
That sounds fair and tolerant, but your record belies high moral standards.

The NARAL rates you 100% pro-abortion. Your statement in Newsweek Magazine (10-23-06):
“To me it isn’t even a question. God has given us a free will. We’re all responsible for our actions. If you don’t want an abortion, you don’t believe in it, [then] don’t have one. But don’t tell somebody else what they can do in terms of honoring their responsibilities. My family is very pro-life. They’re not fanatics and they’re not activists. I think they’d like it if I were not so vocally pro-choice.”
We elect politicians to make laws that help people honor their responsibilities, such as protecting life itself. Can politicians tell someone else not to kill? I fail to understand why you can favor partial birth abortion. How can you explain that it is proper to bring a baby part way out of the birth canal and then stick a scissors in its head to suck out the brains? Is it possible that votes mean more to you than life itself?

Yes, Nancy, we would all like it if you were not so vocally pro-choice , i.e. pro-death. Until your choice is in line with Catholic doctrine, please, Nancy, do not receive the Eucharist when you attend Mass.

–Rev. John Malloy, SDB

Kudos! to this courageous priest from San Francisco!
We need more priests to speak out about the hypocrisy of politicians who claim to be Catholic, and who are a source of scandal for all peoples. May timid bishops learn a lesson of courage from priests and laity who are not afraid to speak the truth.

Source, Parish Bulletin (PDF) of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church

Bishop Gumbleton Withdraws From Arizona Call To Action Speaking Engagement

Tucson, Feb. 2, 2007 ( - Retired Bishop Thomas Gumbleton has cancelled a speaking engagement in Arizona, in accordance with the wishes of Tucson’s Bishop Gerald Kicanas.

Bishop Gumbleton had been scheduled to speak at a meeting of the activist group Call to Action. But Bishop Kicansas wrote to the retired Detroit auxiliary, telling Gumbleton that he did not approve of the Call to Action meeting and would discourage Gumbleton from visiting the Tucson diocese under the auspices of the dissident group.

Beyond Pro-life, Fighting the Whole Cultural War

In the Cultural War, the fight over abortion is one of the fronts where the battle rages most fiercely...[Yet] the grave moral crises that cause abortion must be addressed. Abortion takes place because of promiscuity, immorality, a contraceptive mentality and the breakdown of the family. Just closing down all the clinics will not provide a definitive solution to these causes of abortion.
. . .
All these issues force us to go “beyond pro-life.” And the first way to do this is to go beyond the vague notion of “life” as our unifying principle.
. . .
We must find another banner that can unify us in the pro-life struggle and still encompass the whole Cultural War. By defining our enemies’ unifying principle, we can define our own.
. . .
[And] their unifying principle is this “freedom” which is actually a revolt against moral law ranging from a mild irritation to a rabid fanaticism.

Thus, our unifying principle should explicitly and proudly declare that in opposing abortion we are defending true freedom, which is guided by the moral law based on divine and natural law. Thus, our unifying principle is the defense of moral law.

Gospel for Saturday, 4th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: St Blase, Bishop and Martyr
Optional Memorial: St Ansgar, Bishop
Optional Memorial: Our Lady's Saturday

From: Mark 6:30-34

The Apostles Return

[30] The Apostles returned to Jesus, and told Him all that they had done and taught. [31] And He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. [32] And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves.

First Miracles of the Loaves

[33] Now many saw them going, and knew them, and they ran there on foot from the towns, and got there ahead of them. [34] As He landed He saw a great throng, and He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.


30-31. We can see here the intensity of Jesus' public ministry. Such was His dedication to souls that St. Mark twice mentions that the disciples did not even have time to eat (cf. Mark 3:20). A Christian should be ready to sacrifice his time and even his rest in the service of the Gospel. This attitude of availability will lead us to change our plans whenever the good of souls so requires.

But Jesus also teaches us here to have common sense and not to go to such extremes that we physically cannot cope: "The Lord makes His disciples rest, to show those in charge that people who work or preach cannot do so without breaks" (St. Bede, "In Marci Evangelium Expositio, in loc."). "He who pledges himself to work for Christ should never have a free moment, because to rest is not to do nothing: it is to relax in activities which demand less effort" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 357).

34. Our Lord had planned a period of rest, for Himself and His disciples, from the pressures of the apostolate (Mark 6:31-32). And He has to change His plans because so many people come, eager to hear Him speak. Not only is He not annoyed with them: He feels compassion on seeing their spiritual need. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). They need instruction and our Lord wants to meet this need by preaching to them. "Jesus is moved by hunger and sorrow, but what moves Him most is ignorance" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 109).
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, February 02, 2007

Petition Asks Bishops to Hold Politicians Accountable

American Life League has launched a public petition campaign asking the U.S. Catholic bishops to uphold the Church's stance on the sanctity of human life by enforcing Canon Law 915. "The Church's teachings on the incompatibility of supporting abortion and receiving Holy Communion are clear and concise," said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. "Denial of Communion is not a sanction or a punishment; it is in fact a form of pastoral correction designed to show that an individual is out of communion with the Body of Christ."

Today's petition is just the latest step in encouraging Church officials to defend Canon Law 915, which states that those who "obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to communion." The petition is available online at

"There is absolutely no reason for Catholics to be divided on this issue," said Mrs. Brown. "The Church's teachings are clear. Abortion is murder and anyone who supports it should not scandalize the Body and Blood of Christ by receiving Holy Communion in the Catholic Church."

Since the Crusade for the Defense of Our Catholic Church's launch in January 2003, it has conducted numerous ad campaigns, organized protests, and activated Catholics across the country. The program is designed to encourage Catholic bishops to act on this grave matter. Signed copies of the most recent petition will be presented to the bishops at their semi-annual meeting in June.

"Catholics in the public eye have a tremendous opportunity to defend the sanctity of each and every human being's life," said Mrs. Brown. "It's our hope that, with the guidance of the bishops, these Catholics will understand this truth and use their positions to protect innocent preborn babies."

Release issued: 2 Feb 07


The petition is here.

Mental Prayer for February 3, Christ's Respect for Authority

First Saturday of February (Also Monthly Check­Up)

Fifth Joyful Mystery (The Finding in the Temple)

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: To have Christ's view of obedience.

Mental Picture (cf. Luke 2:41-52): When Jesus was 12, He went with His parents to Jerusalem. He became separated from them, and only after three days of frantic searching did they find Him. His reason: special obedience to His heavenly Father had required this. But now things were to resume their normal course, "and He went down to Nazereth and was subject to them."

My Personal Application: This boy was God, with all power and all knowledge! Yet He was subject to Mary and Joseph, mere creatures! But why? Because all authority comes from God, and in obeying His parents, Jesus was obeying His heavenly Father!

One of the reasons Christ lived on earth was to set us an example. Here He shows me the proper respect I should have for lawful authority.

Do I endeavor to see the authority of God in the directions of my parents, teachers, public officials, my priest, my bishop, the Holy Father and all who possess rightful authority over me ? Do I criticize lawful authority - to the extent that I deny their right to command me?

Is the whole end and aim of my daily activity to do God's will? Do I realize that in obeying those having authority over me (in the things they have the right to direct me in) I am doing God's will... and thereby sanctifying myself?

I Speak to Mary: You who understood perfect obedience so well, help me to practice it faithfully. Obtain for me the basic humility to recognize God's dominion over me and to obey those who take His place in my regard.

Thought for Today: Jesus was obedient to them.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Candlemas - LightsOn Over the World

"My eyes have seen Thy salvation. . . a Light to the revelation of the Gentiles. . ." St. Luke, 2:32.

"Father, do you have some candles to spare?"

Had you been answering the door of a certain Catholic rectory in Cin­cinnati, Ohio, during the frightful Ohio Valley flood of 1937, you would have been greeted frequently with that request. The reason: Flood waters had put out of commission the electric supply in many sections of the Queen City of the West; people were seeking lanterns, lamps, candles­ - anything that would give light. Candles became very precious - even stubs and stumps. And upon the altar for several days, recalling the catacombs, we said Mass by candle light.

In the early centuries candles were of such practical use, but for many hundreds of years Mother Church has been using them for their rich religious meaning.

The wax, produced by virgin bees, is a beautiful figure of the pure Body of Christ; the flame denotes His divinity. The lighted candle reminds us of Christ's Gospel, the Holy Bible, which dispels the darkness of sin and ignorance; the lighted candle also stands for the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth.

For the individual Catholic the candle's flame means the faith that makes us "children of the light." Its warmth and heat show us the fiery tongues of Pentecost, "which consume not, but enlighten." When given to the Church, candles signify Christian self-sacrifice. As the burning taper consumes itself, so must the Christian consume himself in serving God.

For these reasons we use lighted candles in practically every service of the Catholic Church, not merely or chiefly to give light, but to remind us of Christ, the Light of the world, to remind us that from Christ, the Light, all blessings and graces and spiritual favors come. Burning tapers are used in every sacrament except that of penance. They are used in the various steps of ordination to the priesthood, and in the consecration of a bishop.

We are reminded to think of these glowing, dancing, bowing, warming tongues of flame, especially on the feast of the Purification, February 2 (now called The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord). To understand the connection between the blessing of the candles and the bringing of the Infant Christ to the temple, re-read the Gospel for that day, St. Luke, 2:22-32:
"At that time, after the days of Mary's purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried Jesus to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord; as it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord; and to offer a sacrifice according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons. And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Ghost was in him: and he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the
Christ of the Lord. And he came by the spirit into the temple. And when His parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the cus­tom of the law, he also took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said: Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word in peace; for my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples; a Light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel."

As Mary carried Christ, so we carry a candle, the symbol of Christ.

The following from the first of the five prayers used in the blessing of the candles, will give you the keynote of Candlemas Day:

"Holy Lord. . . who. . . by the labor of the bees. . . hast brought this liquid to the perfection of wax; and who, on this day, didst fulfill the desire of the righteous Simeon; we humbly beseech Thee, that by calling upon Thy most holy name, and by the meditation of Blessed Mary, ever a virgin, whose festival we this day devoutly celebrate, and by the prayers of all the saints, Thou wouldst be pleased to bless and sanctify these candles, for the service of men, and for the good of their bodies and souls in all places, whether on sea, or on land; and that Thou wouldst be pleased merci­fully to hear from Thy holy temple, and from the throne of Thy majesty, the prayers of Thy people, who desire to carry these candles in their hands with reverence, and with sacred hymns to praise Thy name. . . "

After the five prayers, the celebrant sprinkles the candles with holy
water, lays incense on the burning charcoal, and incenses the tapers, which he then distributes to those who have assisted him. During the distri­bution the choir renders a beautiful chant called, The Light of the Gentiles. The words are, those of the aged Simeon, which you will find above in the close of the Gospel for this day.

The priest walks through the church accompanied by the servers, and in some places by the entire congregation, all carrying candles. Filled with joy, radiant with spiritual light, excited, like the venerable Simeon, by the impulse of the Holy Spirit, the Church goes forth to meet her God. The Church thus imitates the wondrous procession in the temple on the day of Mary's purification, the day on which she and St. Joseph carried the Light of the world, Jesus, into the house of the Lord.

May every Catholic, at least in spirit, find himself in that procession on Candlemas Day. May everyone carry a candle, figure of Christ, light of the individual, light of tne world. May that procession wend its way into all the darksome corners of the world. May the faith it represents burn in your heart, in your life. Carry it out into the world with you. Only then will the lights go on all over the world, as the popular song would lead us to hope, only then when men carry Christ in their hearts -burning, warming, flaming, lighting. May Christ, the true Light that enlightens every man that comes into the world, may He lead you and guide you and light your way. Amen.
Adapted from Occasional Talks
by Fr. Arthur Tonne, OFM (©1949)

Gospel for Feb 2, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

From: Luke 2:22-40

The Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

[22] And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they (Joseph and Mary) brought Him (Jesus) up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord [23] (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord") [24] and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons."

Simeon's Prophecy

[25] Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. [26] And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. [27] And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, [28] he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said, [29] "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word; [30] for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation [31] which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, [32] a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for the glory to Thy people Israel."

[33] And His father and His mother marvelled at what was said about Him; [34] and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, His mother, "Behold this child is set for the fall the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against [35] (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."

Anna's Prophecy

[36] And there was a prophetess Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Ahser; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, [37] and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshipping with fasting and prayer night and day. [38] And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of Him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

The Childhood of Jesus

[39] And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. [40] And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him.

22-24. The Holy Family goes up to Jerusalem to fulfill the prescriptions of the Law of Moses--the purification of the mother and the presentation and then redemption or buying back of the first-born. According to Leviticus 12:2-8, a woman who bore a child was unclean. The period of legal impurity ended, in the case of a mother of a male child, after forty days, with a rite of purification. Mary most holy, ever-virgin, was exempt from these precepts of the Law, because she conceived without intercourse, nor did Christ's birth undo the virginal integrity of His Mother. However, she chose to submit herself to the Law, although she was under no obligation to do so.

"Through this example, foolish child, won't you learn to fulfill the holy Law of God, regardless of personal sacrifice?
"Purification! You and I certainly do need purification. Atonement and, more than atonement, Love. Love as a searing iron to cauterize our soul's uncleanness, and as a fire to kindle with divine flames the wretchedness of our hearts" ([St] J. Escriva, "Holy Rosary", Fourth Joyful Mystery).

Also, in Exodus 13:2, 12-13 it is indicated that every first-born male belongs to God and must be set apart for the Lord, that is, dedicated to the service of God. However, once divine worship was reserved to the tribe of Levi, first-born who did not belong to that tribe were not dedicated to God's service, and to show that they continued to be God's special property, a rite of redemption was performed.

The Law also laid down that the Israelites should offer in sacrifice some lesser victim--for example, a lamb or, if they were poor, a pair of doves or two pigeons. Our Lord, who "though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9), chose to have a poor man's offering made on His behalf.

25-32. Simeon, who is described as a righteous and devout man, obedient to God's will, addresses himself to our Lord as a vassal or loyal servant who, having kept watch all his life in expectation of the coming of his Lord, sees that this moment has "now" come, the moment that explains his whole life. When he takes the Child in his arms, he learns, not through any reasoning process but through a special grace from God, that this Child is the promised Messiah, the Consolation of Israel, the Light of the nations.

Simeon's canticle (verses 29-32) is also a prophecy. It consists of two stanzas: the first (verses 29-30) is an act of thanksgiving to God, filled with profound joy for having seen the Messiah. The second (verses 31-32) is more obviously prophetic and extols the divine blessings which the Messiah is bringing to Israel and to all men. The canticle highlights the fact that Christ brings redemption to all men without exception--something foretold in many Old Testament prophecies (cf. Genesis 22:18; Isaiah 2:6; 42:6; 60:3; Psalm 28:2).

It is easy to realize how extremely happy Simeon was--given that many patriarchs, prophets and kings of Israel had yearned to see the Messiah, yet did not see Him, whereas he now held Him in his arms (cf. Luke 10:24; 1 Peter 1:10).

33. The Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph marvelled not because they did not know who Christ was; they were in awe at the way God was revealing Him. Once again they teach us to contemplate the mysteries involved in the birth of Christ.

34-35. After Simeon blesses them, the Holy Spirit moves him to further prophecy about the Child's future and His Mother's. His words become clearer in the light of our Lord's life and death.

Jesus came to bring salvation to all men, yet He will be a sign of contradiction because some people will obstinately reject Him--and for this reason He will be their ruin. But for those who accept Him with faith Jesus will be their salvation, freeing them from sin in this life and raising them up to eternal life.

The words Simeon addresses to Mary announce that she will be intimately linked with her Son's redemptive work. The sword indicates that Mary will have a share in her Son's sufferings; hers will be an unspeakable pain which pierces her soul. Our Lord suffered on the cross for our sins, and it is those sins which forge the sword of Mary's pain. Therefore, we have a duty to atone not only to God but also to His Mother, who is our Mother too.

The last words of the prophecy, "that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed", link up with verse 34: uprightness or perversity will be demonstrated by whether one accepts or rejects Christ.

36-38. Anna's testimony is very similar to Simeon's; like him, she too has been awaiting the coming of the Messiah her whole life long, in faithful service of God, and she too is rewarded with the joy of seeing Him. "She spoke of Him," that is, of the Child--praising God in her prayer and exhorting others to believe that this Child is the Messiah.

Thus, the birth of Christ was revealed by three kinds of witnesses in three different ways--first, by the shepherds, after the angel's announcement; second, by the Magi, who were guided by a star; third, by Simeon and Anna, who were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

All who, like Simeon and Anna, persevere in piety and in the service of God, no matter how insignificant their lives seem in men's eyes, become instruments the Holy Spirit uses to make Christ known to other. In His plan of redemption God avails of these simple souls to do much good to all mankind.

39. Before their return to Nazareth, St. Matthew tells us (2:13-23), the Holy Family fled to Egypt where they stayed for some time.

40. "Our Lord Jesus Christ as a child, that is, as one clothed in the fragility of human nature, had to grow and become stronger but as the eternal Word of God He had no need to become stronger or to grow. Hence He is rightly described as full of wisdom and grace" (St. Bede, "In Lucae Evangelium Expositio, in loc.").
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Knowing Your Religion

(I have reposted this since it refers to the Gospel for February 2)

"He was full of wisdom and the grace of God was upon him." St. Luke, 2:40

It was Christmas of 1886 in the very heart of France. A man by the name of Paul Claudel was trying to gain a name and place as a writer. He was not the least interested in religion, but in order to get the atmosphere of Christmas for an article he was writing, he attended the Solemn High Mass in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. The crowded church made him uncomfortable. Nevertheless, Christmas afternoon he was again in the cathedral, kneeling near a pillar.

Vespers and the singing of the Magnificant touched the heart of the young writer. After the last note had died away, and the last candle had been put out, and the last cloud of incense had floated away, and the last worshipper had departed, Claudel remained. All alone in that mighty cathedral he hid his face in his hands. Suddenly he realized that he was praying. He also realized that there was only one thing for him to do - ­make a complete and deep study of religion.

That he did and four years later on Christmas of 1890 in that very same cathedral he made his first Holy Communion. Since then his name has been listed among the literary great. From 1927 to 1933 he served as ambassador of France to the United States.

Everyone who wants to be a thorough, faithful, committed Catholic like Claudel must make a serious and deep study of religion. One may have genuine faith with but little knowledge, but the more you know about your faith the deeper that faith can be. There are certain things every Catholic must know:
1. You must know that there is but one God and you must know that there is a heaven and a hell. You must also know about the Holy Trinity and that Jesus, the Son of God, became Man and died for all of us. You must know these four foundation truths in order to receive the Sacraments. These facts are necessary as means.

2. By command of the Church you must also know:
a. The Commandments of God and of the Church.
b. The seven sacraments.
c. The Our Father, Hail Mary, and Apostles' Creed.
d. The duties of your state in life.
3. Every person who desires to become a Catholic is instructed in these principal truths of our faith. Every born Catholic is also instructed in them. And should there be present here today anyone reading this who calls himself a Catholic, but who does not know the points we have mentioned, he is bound in conscience to learn them, if he possibly can.
Too many neglect this duty of the First Commandment - the solemn, serious duty to know your religion. Many have little time and talent. Others are able to learn very little about religion. But I know that most Catholics are able to learn religion. I repeat: You have a solemn duty to learn the truths of your Catholic faith.


Look at the results of religious ignorance.
a. We see many who don't believe in God, or who act and live as if they did not believe. Atheists are born and nourished in religious ignorance.

b. We see many who believe nothing but what they can see or feel or figure out. Faith plays no part in their lives.

c. We see Secularism, condemned by the bishops of the United States in 1948 as our principal problem. It means that the things of the spirit are unknown and unheeded by too many.

d. We see every kind of crime committed because people do not know better, or because they do not know where or how to get the grace and help to do better.

e. We witness an open assault leveled toward Our Lord and those who have chosen to follow Him. Many Christians are unable or unwilling to defend their faith against the attacks perpetrated by atheists, secular relativists, and many others who promote the culture of death and immorality.

To know your religion is a strict obligation, particularly of parents. Fathers and mothers must know their religion and must see that their chil­dren learn their religion. God will hold every parent responsible for the soul of his child. Let me suggest a few ways in which you can make a serious study of religion, as did Paul Claudel, the great French writer, statesman and Catholic:
  • 1. Read your Bible: Time and again we have urged you to do that. In the New Year read a chapter every day or at least every week.

  • 2. Read faithfully Catholic newspapers, such as a good diocesan newspaper. There you find your faith applied to the problems of the day.

  • 3. Read some good Catholic magazines which have demonstrated fidelity to the teachings of the Church.

  • 4. Read some book that gives you a connected explanation of your faith. Books from Ignatius Press are excellent in this regard.

  • 5. When you have questions about religion you can't answer, call us up, make an appointment and get the answer clear and straight. You can also call the Apologetics Department at Catholic Answers at 619-387-7200. They would be happy to help.

  • 6. Attend good and faithful Catholic study and discussion clubs or consider starting one yourself.

  • 7. Listen thoughtfully and attentively to every sermon you hear. There is always a thought in it. If possible, listen to or watch EWTN.

  • 8. Take home faithful, solid pamphlets and read them - talk about them.
  • May the story of Paul Claudel inspire you to study your religion. May the First Commandment awaken you to the duty of knowing your faith. Thank God, you have the faith. Keep it by knowing it thoroughly and practicing it.

    May the picture of Jesus in St. Luke's Gospel be a picture of you: "He ­grew in wisdom." May you grow, everyone of you, in the wisdom and knowledge of our glorious Catholic faith. Amen.
    Adapted from Talks on the Commandments
    by Fr. Arthur Tonne, OFM (© 1948)

    Mental Prayer for February 2, Our Lord Is Presented in the Temple

    First Friday

    Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

    Presence of God

    Grace I Ask: That I may help light the way to God for others.

    Mental Picture (cf. Luke 2: 22-39): Our Lord is presented to God His Father in the Temple. Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to offer Him to God's service... and stand by in wonder as the old man Simeon gently takes Him in his arms and, inspired by God, joyously tells great things of Him. He is the salvation prepared in the sight of all men, a light for every nation, the glory of His people.

    My Personal Application: Our Lord was offered to God through the hands of His Mother. Whom can we, as Catholics, better choose to present us to God, to offer us, completely, absolutely, to God's service? In that service Christ is going to show God's goodness to all men; He is going to save them; He is going to glorify His Father. Finally, He is going to be a light in whom God's message shines out for everyone.

    That prophecy we remember today in receiving blessed candles, a sign or symbol that each of us too is called by God to be what our Lord was. In our words and actions we must show God's good­ness to all men, the man down the street and the man in the African jungle. We must be a light guiding others to God, whom they otherwise might miss in the darkness. Are my words, my actions, my prayers aimed at this? Why not ask our Lady to help make them so? Offer ourselves to God through her. Ask her to make us see our privilege of being other Christs, other lights in whom God's message shines out.

    I Speak to Christ and Mary: Lord, later on you called yourself the light of the world. You told all men to let their light shine before men so that they might glorify their Father in heaven. Help me to do just that. Help me to carry on your work. And since this means giving myself to God's service, no matter what I am to be - doctor, plumber, lawyer, priest, secretary, sister - may you, Mary, offer me for it as you offered your Son.

    Thought for Today: "I am the light of the world."
    Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
    by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

    Holy See Will Not Sign UN Convention on Disabled

    VATICAN CITY, FEB 1, 2007 (VIS) - Made public today was a talk delivered by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations in New York, concerning a Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, approved by the U.N. General Assembly on December 13, 2006 and due to be signed by member States on March 30.

    In a note accompanying the talk, the archbishop recalls that, "since the beginning of work in July 2002, the Holy See has participated actively in the preparation of the document, collaborating in the insertion of explicit references to respect for the right to life and the recognition of the role of the family in the lives of disabled people. Nonetheless, in the final stage of the work, unacceptable references to 'reproductive health' have been introduced into articles 23 and 25 and, for that reason, the Holy See has decided not to adhere to the new convention."

    A Pro-Abortion US Knight of Malta?

    Former DNC chairman says he has been invited to be a Knight despite pro-abortion views
    By Peter J. Smith

    WASHINGTON, D.C., January 31, 2007 ( - Terry McAuliffe, a Catholic and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has submitted an application to the Knights of Malta, a prestigious order in the Catholic Church, despite his pro-abortion views placing him publicly at odds with the Catholic Church.
    . . .
    According to the Knights own website, McAuliffe fails to be a candidate to their order by their own requirements since an applicant must be "in good standing with the church"; an impossible situation on account of McAuliffe's pro-abortion views.
    He boldly denies the Church's teaching on the sanctity of life...yet his 'pastor' recommends him for the Knights of Malta. What a bunch of pathetic clowns! They all make a mockery of Christ's passion and death and of His Church. They choose to spit in Christ's face and take charge of scourging Him without remorse. What kind of evil possesses these people?

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why people like him and his abortion loving, baby killing friends and comrades don't surrender their wills to the the teachings of the Church. One's prideful and obstinate refusal to accept this teaching places him outside the Church. May Our Lord have mercy on them and on us!

    Milingo in Seoul to study Moon’s theology

    How much could there possibly be to study?

    Help Needed Right Now to Block CEDAW

    Received from C-Fam:

    Pro-abortion Democrats are poised to push a radical UN treaty onto the Senate floor for ratification. If you are American you should be gravely concerned for it will be used to uphold abortion in the United States. Even if you live elsewhere you should be extremely concerned if the US Senate ratifies this treaty which has been used by radicals to force governments to legalize abortion on demand.

    CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) is touted by supporters as the International Women's Rights Treaty. The treaty itself is full of nice sounding language about women's equality, something we are all for. But the implementing committee of the treaty, a body that governments must appear before every few years, is as radical as you can get. Here are a few examples of their work.

    • The treaty condemns prostitution but the committee has directed governments to legalize prostitution.
    • The CEDAW committee has directed 37 pro-life governments to change their laws on abortion, even though the treaty is SILENT on abortion,
    • The CEDAW committee has criticized Ireland for allowing the Church to have too strong a voice on public policy.
    • The committee has directed Lybia to reinterpret the Koran to fall within committee guidelines (how long before they try that on Christian countries).

    The outrages of this out of control committee go on and on and on. Just this past week we watched them berate pro-life Poland on the question of abortion (I repeat, even though the treaty is SILENT on abortion).

    Dozens of countries have ratified CEDAW but so far the US has resisted. The US must continue to resist because as long as it does, it remains a beacon of hope for all those who are resisting this dangerous treaty. The US must not ratify CEDAW. So I turn to you.

    I ask you to go to HERE and sign our petition to the US Senate not to ratify CEDAW. All Americans with a conscience should sign this petition, but all people of goodwill around the globe should also. The US is ever more sensitive these days about what people around the world think. The radicals will be telling the Senate that there is overwhelming support for CEDAW around the world. We must let them know that this is not true.

    I urge you to go immediately HERE and sign the petition against US ratification if CEDAW. We will deliver this petition with thousands of signatures directly to the US Senate. Go HERE now and sign. And then send this message to all of your friends. We must get thousands and thousands from all over the world to sign this petition.

    Yours sincerely,

    Austin Ruse
    President, C-FAM

    PS Last summer your signature on our World Cup prostitution petition got global attention. You can make a real difference today by going HERE and signing our petition against CEDAW.

    Gospel for Thursday, 4th Week in Ordinary Time

    From: Mark 6:7-13

    The Mission of the Twelve

    [7] And he (Jesus) called to him the Twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. [8] He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; [9] but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. [10] And he said to them, "Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. [11] And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them." [12] So they went out and preached that men should repent. [13] And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.

    7. Cf. note on Mk 1:27; 3:14-19.
    [The note on Mk 1:17 states:

    27. The same authority that Jesus showed in His teaching (1:22) is now to be seen in His actions. His will is His command: He has no need of long prayers or incantations. Jesus' words and actions already have a divine power which provokes wonder and fear in those who hear and see Him.

    Jesus continues to impress people in this way (Mark 2:12; 5:20-42; 7:37; 15:39; Luke 19:48; John 7:46). Jesus of Nazareth is the long-awaited Savior. He knows this Himself and He lets it be known by His actions and by His words; according to the gospel accounts (Mark 1:38-39; 2:10-11; 4:39) there is complete continuity and consistency between what He says and He does. As Vatican II teaches ("Dei Verbum", 2) Revelation is realized by deeds and words intimately connected with each other: the words proclaim the deeds and clarify the mystery contained in them; the deeds confirm the teaching. In this way Jesus progressively reveals the mystery of His Person: first the people sense His exceptional authority; later on, the Apostles, enlightened by God's grace, recognize the deepest source of this authority: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16).]

    [The note on Mk 3:14-19 states:
    14-19. The Twelve chosen by Jesus (cf. 3:14) receive a specific vocation to be "people sent out", which is what the word "apostles" means. Jesus chooses them for a mission which He will give them later (6:6-13) and to enable them to perform this mission He gives them part of His power. The fact that He chooses "twelve" is very significant. This is the same number as the twelve Patriarchs of Israel, and the Apostles represent the new people of God, the Church founded by Christ. Jesus sought in this way to emphasize the continuity that exists between the Old and New Testaments. The Twelve are the pillars on which Christ builds His Church (cf. Gal 2:9); their mission to make disciples of the Lord (to teach) all nations, sanctifying and governing the believers (Mt 28:16-20; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:45-48; Jn 20:21-23).]

    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 not 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. Mt 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 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 to 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 labors of his own hands" (St Augustine, "De Consensu Evangelistarum", II, 30).

    13. St Mark is the only evangelist who speaks of anointing the sick with oil. Oil was often used for treating wounds (cf. Is 1:6; Lk 10:34), and the Apostles also use it for the miraculous cure of physical illnesses by virtue of the power given them by Jesus. Hence the use of oil as the matter of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, which cures wounds of the soul and even, if appropriate, bodily diseases. As the Council of Trent teaches--"Doctrina De Sacramento Extremae Unctionis", chap. 1--in this verse of St Mark there can be seen a "hint" of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, which our Lord will institute and which later on "is recommended and promulgated to the faithful by St James the Apostle" (cf. Jas 5:14ff).
    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, January 31, 2007

    Mental Prayer for February 1, Preparing for First Friday

    Reparation to the Sacred Heart

    Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

    Presence of God

    Grace I Ask: Dear Sacred Heart, help me to learn the lesson of reparation to you.

    The Idea: When I hurt someone who is dear to me, I usually feel bad until I have made up with this loved one. No one is dearer to me than my Lord. He has been hurt by my sins and the sins of others. Sin put Him on the cross of Calvary. I have hurt Christ, but I have a way of making up for this injury to Him. I can show Christ that I do love Him and that I am sorry for hurting Him by little acts of reparation, "making up" for my sins, and the sins of others.

    My Personal Application: I, by offering up small distasteful acts each day, can make up for the injury done to our Lord by sin. Accepting projects without complaint... giving up a favorite snack... doing a little extra work for someone out of love for God - ­ these are actions by which I make reparation to our Lord.

    In addition to these acts, there is a very special way in which I can comfort the injured Heart of our Lord. The first Friday of each month is set aside as a special day for reparation. I can offer my Mass and Communion on that day in repara­tion to the Sacred Heart. Our Lord Himself asked for this practice. Do I take advantage of this chance to show my love for Christ? I must resolve now to be faithful to this devotion. By it, I can show my love for Christ who loves me so much.

    I Speak to Christ: Dear Sacred Heart, I want to make up in some way for my sins which have hurt you.

    Thought for Today: "My heart has expected re­proach and misery and I looked for one to grieve with me but there was none."
    Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
    by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

    Gospel for Jan 31, Memorial: St John Bosco, Priest

    Wednesday, 4th Week in Ordinary Time

    From: Mark 6:1-6

    No Prophet Is Honored In His Own Country

    [1] He (Jesus) went away from there and came to His own country; and His disciples followed Him. [2] And on the Sabbath He began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard Him were astonished saying, "Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to Him? What mighty works are wrought by His hands! [3] Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judah and Simon, and are not His sisters here with us?" And they took offense at Him. [4] And Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house." [5] And He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands upon a few sick people and healed them. [6] And He marvelled because of their unbelief.


    1-3. Jesus is here described by His occupation and by the fact that He is the son of Mary. Does this indicate that St. Joseph is dead already? We do not know, but it is likely. In any event, the description is worth underlining: in the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke we are told of the virginal conception of Jesus. St. Mark's Gospel does not deal with our Lord's infancy, but there may be an allusion here to His virginal conception and birth, in His being described as "the son of Mary."

    "Joseph, caring for the Child as he had been commanded, made Jesus a craftsman, transmitting his own professional skill to him. So the neighbors of Nazareth will call Jesus both "faber" and "fabri filius": the craftsman and the son of the craftsman" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 55). This message of the Gospel reminds us that our vocation to work is not marginal to God's plans.

    "The truth that by means of work man participates in the activity of God Himself, his Creator, was 'given particular prominence by Jesus Christ'--the Jesus at whom many of His first listeners in Nazareth 'were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to Him?... Is not this the carpenter?'" (Mark 6:23). For Jesus not only proclaimed but first and foremost fulfilled by His deeds the 'Gospel', the word of eternal Wisdom, that had been entrusted to Him. Therefore this was also 'the gospel of work', because 'He who proclaimed it was Himself a man of work', a craftsman like Joseph of Nazareth (cf. Matthew 13:55). And if we do not find in His words a special command to work--but rather on one occasion a prohibition against too much anxiety about work and life--(Matthew 6:25-34)--at the same time the eloquence of the life of Christ is unequivocal: He belongs to the `working world', He has appreciation and respect for human work. It can indeed be said the 'He looks with love upon human work' and the different forms that it takes, seeing in each one of these forms a particular facet of man's likeness with God, the Creator and Father" (John Paul II, "Laborem Exercens", 26).

    St. Mark mentions by name a number of brothers of Jesus, and refers in general to His sisters. But the word "brother" does not necessarily mean son of the same parents. It can also indicate other degrees of relationship--cousins, nephews, etc. Thus in Genesis 13:8 and 14:14 and 16 Lot is called the brother of Abraham (translated as "kinsman" in RSV), whereas we know that he was Abraham's nephew, the son of Abraham's brother Haran. The same is true of Laban, who is called the brother of Jacob (Genesis 29:15) although he was his mother's brother (Genesis 29:15); there are other instances: cf. 1 Chronicles 23:21-22, etc. This confusion is due to the poverty of Hebrew and Aramaic language: in the absence of distinct terms, the same word, brother, is used to designate different degrees of relationship.

    From other Gospel passages we know that James and Joses, who are mentioned here, were sons of Mary of Clophas (John 19:25). We know less about Judas and Simon: it seems that they are the Apostles Simon the Cananaean (Matthew 10:4) and Judas the son of James (Luke 6:16), the author of the Catholic Epistle, in which he describes himself as "brother" of James. In any event, although James, Simon and Judas are referred to as brothers of Jesus, it is nowhere said they were "sons of Mary"--which would have been the natural thing if they had been our Lord's brothers in the strict sense. Jesus always appears as an only son: to the people of Nazareth, He is "the son of Mary" (Matthew 13:55). When He was dying Jesus entrusted His mother to St. John (cf. John 19:26-27), which shows that Mary had no other children. To this is added the constant belief of the Church, which regards Mary as the ever-virgin: "a perfect virgin before, while, and forever after she gave birth" (Paul IV, "Cum Quorumdam").

    5-6. Jesus worked no miracles here: not because He was unable to do so, but as punishment for the unbelief of the townspeople. God wants man to use the grace offered him, so that, by cooperating with grace, he become disposed to receive further graces. As St. Augustine neatly puts it, "He who made you without your own self, will not justify you without yourself" ("Sermon" 169).
    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, January 30, 2007

    God's Permission of Evil

    Considering the daily reports of the evil which surrounds us and which appears to be encircling the globe, perhaps it would be beneficial to again spend some time in reflecting on the matter:

    God is the Ruler of the world. He holds all creation in the hollow of His hand. Nothing can happen against His will. If there is evil in the world, therefore, is not He accountable for it?

    These reflections must come to every thinking man. They must puzzle many a good man. That there is evil in the world and lots of it, and of the worst sort, is evident. Right at the start of creation, we see Cain guilty of murder. From that time on it has been murder, adultery, lying, stealing, slander and all kinds of wrong-doing. And yet God has forbidden evil under the heaviest penalties. He has thundered against it by the most solemn laws. By threats and calamities He has shown His prohibition and detestation of it.

    Is He powerless therefore to prevent it? Is He a Ruler who cannot enforce His laws? If He does not want evil in the world, why does He not stop it?

    About His hatred of evil there can be no doubt. He positively and solemnly condemns it. Is He therefore helpless? "I call heaven and earth to witness this day that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life, that both thou and thy seed shall live" (Deut. xxx, 19). These words of God Himself give us the answer.

    Yes, God does forbid evil. He hates it, He condemns it, He does not want it. And He could stop it. If He wanted to He could change our nature and make us bond instead of free. But He has given us free will. We are not bound to do this or that. He could force us to do right and avoid wrong. But that would be granting us freedom and denying it by the same act. That would be a contradiction.

    And, as God cannot contradict Himself, He will not prevent evil by compulsion. He has made us free men, free to do or not to do, to choose between good and evil. We could not be free, we could not choose, if there were not evil as well as good. He permits the evil in order to leave us freedom of choice. But He forbids us to abuse our liberty by choosing evil.

    If there were no evil in the world, there would be no virtue, for virtue means doing good and avoiding evil. But how could we avoid evil if God did not permit its existence? God therefore permits evil in order to allow man the exercise of his freedom as regards right and wrong. Were no evil possible, there could be no conquest of virtue over vice, no noble struggle of right against wrong, no triumph of, justice over iniquity. Man would be a bondsman to necessity, not a freeman with liberty of choice, for with no evil there would be no choice between right and wrong.

    Man values liberty above all else. For it he will sacrifice everything and risk even life. God in giving us this greatest of gifts realized our responsibility and the danger of our abusing it, yes, even the possibility of our using it against Himself. But for His all-wise reasons, He gave us this wonderful if dangerous endowment. He wants us to use it to serve Him, to do justice, to do good and avoid evil. But He will not force us, for to do so would be to take back what He has given. And God does not .reverse Himself.

    Moral evil is not something in itself, but a negation. It is a refusal on the part of man to do his duty. It is using our free will against the purposes of its Giver. This results in all sorts of disasters. Injustice, calumny, bodily disease, feuds, wars and such, are for the most part the consequence of the abuse of out free will.

    Everything in creation is good in itself. Evil means using a good thing in a wrong way. For instance, morphine is a good thing in itself. When used rightly it relieves pain and saves life. No hospital care could be conducted without it. But when used wrongly, it constitutes an abuse and becomes a vice. Instead of being good, it becomes evil. But the evil is not in the morphine, but in the will of the man who uses it wrongly.

    Evil is a negative thing, the lack of conforming to God's prescribed way of acting; but, for displaying His goodness and for giving to mortals opportunities of practicing the noblest virtues, God permits it. By allowing us liberty of choice, by permitting evil, God shows us His marvelous patience.

    See how at times He endures the transgressions of sinners for years and years, patiently bearing with them, warning and entreating them to be converted and live. And when they turn away from evil, behold how His mercy is poured out upon them, restoring them to His friendship. See His love for the sinner by what He suffered in order to redeem him from the consequences of evil.

    Finally, consider how His justice is glorified if, after love and patience and forgiveness, the sinner still goes on defying Him. For after death, the judgment, when God will justify all His ways and deal rigorously with those who abused their liberty instead of using it as He directed.

    In the parable, Christ forbade the cockle to be uprooted, lest the good seed should also be plucked up with it. "An enemy hath done this," He said, when the cockle was reported to Him. You see He disclaims responsibility for the cockle. It was an enemy act. The sinner, perverting the use of his free will, is the enemy, the cause of the evil that is done. And Christ said: "Let both grow up until the harvest."

    This was the permission of evil. It was allowed that good might come of it. Not only good on the part of God by manifesting His patience, mercy, love and justice, but good also on the part of man. For in turning away from evil, the sinner triumphs over it. In combating evil, the good man is tried like gold in the fire and found worthy of companionship with God.

    In praying for those who lead evil lives the pious exercise charity. The holy missioners in trying to reclaim the sinner exercise that zeal which characterized Christ Himself. Evil, then, in God's providence works out good. It enables the just man to look upon heaven as the reward of victory. It saves this world of men and women from being a mere machine.

    God is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end of all things. He made all things besides man for man, but man He made for Himself. All men return to Him, either to glorify His mercy and to live by reigning with Him, or to display His justice by eternal banishment from Him whom they despised and whose laws they defied by choosing evil. God is the best judge of whether or not the permission of evil is worth while. He sees the present and the future, He knows all things, and He has decided on the tolerance of evil.

    A soldier might think that a bayonet charge was a cruel order. Bloody it might be, but the commander may see peace and victory where the soldier sees but wounds. The Commander of the world's forces knows what is best and He has a heart, for He is none other than our Father in heaven. Our heart, with all its feelings of mercy and kindness, is His handiwork. All our tender feelings come from Him. No one can give what He has not got.

    In God, therefore, there is mercy and consideration beyond that which we can conceive. We may safely trust Him to know and to do what is right and best. Our part is to do what is right and to do it as best we can. That is the best way to lessen the evil which we deprecate.

    No matter how we look at evil it is a mystery. Our purpose has been to show that, if it is beyond our complete understanding, it is not beyond God's wisdom who knows how to draw good from evil. One of the joys of heaven will be to see how God has done this. Man's life on earth is a warfare. God has so stated. Since, therefore, we are not confirmed in good, as the angels are, we must by our own free will do good and avoid evil, and thus win life's battle.

    Then we shall receive the reward of victory. Then shall we see face to face, not only God Himself, but all His plans. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the mind of man to conceive of the things God has prepared for them that love Him." Let us serve Him now. Afterwards we shall understand Him, and share in His blessedness forever.
    Adapted from The Hand of God, A Theology for the People
    by Fr. Martin J. Scott, S.J.(© 1918)

    Planned Parenthood Exposed!

    A "must see" video...PP workers advising the "13 year old caller" how she should not disclose certain information about her "22 year old" partner (who's really a child molester) in order to avoid a statutory rape charge. These may be the recordings from the Life Dynamics "sting operation" from a couple of years ago or so...

    Mental Prayer for January 31, Under His Banner

    Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

    Presence of God

    Grace I Ask: To want, and to ask sincerely, to become a saint.

    The Idea and My Response: To be received fully under Christ's banner is a great favor. He can grant it to anyone in any state of life. It means, really, to be a saint.

    Since it is so great a favor, and so important, and since it is so difficult, it would be foolish to trust to my own powers or to think I could raise myself to it alone. I need His grace. And so today I shall do three things to get it:

    1. Think over again what it means, what changes it will make in my life to become a real Christian. Look in the Gospels or the lives of the saints for some idea.

    2. Ask for this gift of being received under Christ's banner; ask in three steps :
    a) Ask the Blessed Virgin, His mother and greatest follower, that I may be received by her Son as a special follower; say one Hail Mary.

    b) Ask Jesus Christ Himself to receive me, through His mother's prayers; say the Morning Offering.

    c) Ask God the Father to give me this grace of being a special servant of His Son; say an Our Father.
    3. Try to live today as a real Christian, to live the un­selfish life of Christ.
    Thought for Today: "To be received under His banner..."
    Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
    by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

    British group supports move to encourage Latin Mass

    Joining other groups from France, Italy, Poland, Germany, and the English-speaking countries, the English group-- brought together under the auspices of Una Voce International-- says that today “there is great hope and expectation that this treasure of civilization will be freed from its current restrictions.”

    Pseudo-Christian "Works of Mercy"

    Anglican Nun-Run Hospice Arranges Prostitute for Disabled Man
    “It’s not our job to make moral decisions for our guests” says nun

    OXFORD, United Kingdom, January 29, 2007 ( – A British hospice for the disabled run by an Anglican nun had arranged for a disabled man to have sex with a prostitute as part of its works of mercy.
    . . .
    Unfortunately, Sister Frances, foundress of [the hospice] Douglas House and its associated hospice for children, Helen House, sees no contradiction in her presumed Christian principles and abetting a practice long regarded in Christian civilization as degrading the sacred dignity of women and a social scourge.

    Do these people even have a conscience anymore? How disturbed are their minds? Have they lost all sense of sin? God help us all - protect us from these imposters!

    Dominican Friars March for Life Video

    Follow the March for life (18 mins. 32 sec.) with the Dominican Friars.

    It was shot on the ground at the March from inside the moving crowd. It includes the personal testimony of many Dominican Friars, Sisters, CFR’s, Renewal Sisters, pastors, campus ministers, college students, and youth.

    Courtesy of the Dominican Friars.

    A Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

    When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember this story about a mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.

    A professor stood before his philosophy class with several items in front of him.

    When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

    The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly and the pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full they agreed it was.

    The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar . Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full and the students responded with a unanimous "yes."

    The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

    "Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things- God, your family, your children, your health, your friends, your freedom -- things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

    "The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car.

    "The sand is everything else -- the small stuff.

    "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

    The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

    "Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Help the poor and the less fortunate. Pray and thank God for your your many blessings. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal."

    Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

    One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

    The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

    Chiesa: Cdl. Martini and Euthanasia: When It Is Licit to Cut Life Short

    For the former archbishop of Milan, the seriously ill person has at every moment the right to interrupt the care that keeps him alive. No, objects the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life. But the real clash is between Martini and the pope.
    by Sandro Magister

    In Tucson, Gumbleton Not Welcomed by Diocese

    A retired auxiliary bishop from Detroit who is an outspoken advocate for sexual abuse victims and gays and lesbians will be in Tucson next week, but he's not being welcomed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson.

    Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas said that decision is based on the identity of the group hosting the Rev. Thomas J. Gumbleton's talk, which he says takes positions that are contrary to church teachings. For that reason, the group's messages cannot be promoted on church property, the bishop said. He said he's had written contact with Gumbleton and made it clear that Gumbleton will not be in Tucson at the invitation of the local diocese.

    "I'm saddened and disappointed to hear it," said Laurie Olson, vice president of the Tucson chapter of Call to Action, a group of lay Catholics that seeks changes in the church and is sponsoring Gumbleton, who will talk about homosexuality and Catholicism.

    A group of lay Catholics? Hardly. This is nothing more than a sad group of malcontents wishing to refashion a church according to their wills and who are being enabled by a bishop whose 'teachings' are opposed to the Church he is supposed to represent...Is it not time for a national or universal excommunication of 'Call to Action' members rather than the merely local excommunication such as the one imposed by Bishop Bruskewitz?

    And poor Bishop Gumbleton...even his own brother bishops realize he is "out there'...

    Gospel for Tuesday, 4th Week in Ordinary Time

    From: Mark 5:21-43

    Jairus' Daughter is Restored to Life.
    The Curing of the Woman With a Hemorrhage

    [21] And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about Him; and He was beside the sea. [22] Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing Him, he fell at His feet, [23] and besought Him, saying, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live." [24] And He went with him.

    And a great crowd followed Him and thronged about Him. [25] And there was a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years, [26] and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. [27] She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. [28] For she said, "If I touch even His garments, I shall be made well." [29] And immediately the hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. [30] And Jesus, perceiving in Himself that power had gone forth from Him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, "Who touched My garments?" [31] And His disciples said to Him, "You see the crowd pressing around You, and yet You say, `Who touched Me?'" [32] And He looked around to see who had done it. [33] But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth. [34] and He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."

    [35] While He was speaking, there came from the ruler's house some who said, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?" [36] But ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe." [37] And He allowed no one to follow Him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. [38] When they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, He saw a tumult, and people weeping and wailing loudly. [39] And when He had entered, He said to them, "Why do you make a tumult and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping." [40] And they laughed at Him. But He put them all outside, and took the child's father and mother and those who were with Him, and went in where the child was. [41] Taking her by the hand He said to her, "Talitha cumi"; which means, "Little girl, I say to you arise." [42] And immediately the girl got up and walked; for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were overcome with amazement. [43] And He strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

    21-43. Both Jairus and the woman with the flow of blood give us an example of faith in Christ's omnipotence, for only a miracle can cure Jairus' daughter, who is on her death-bed, and heal this lady, who has done everything humanly possible to get better. Similarly, the Christian should always expect God to help him overcome the obstacles in the way of his sanctification. Normally, God's help comes to us in an unspectacular way, but we should not doubt that, if it is necessary for our salvation, God will again work miracles. However, we should bear in mind that what the Lord expects of us is that we should every day fulfill His will.

    22. At the head of each synagogue was the archisynagogist, whose function it was to organize the meetings of the synagogue on Sabbaths and holy days, to lead the prayer and hymns and to indicate who should explain the Sacred Scripture. He was assisted in his task by a council and also had an aide who looked after the material side of things.

    25. This woman suffered from an illness which implied legal impurity (Leviticus 14:25ff). Medical attention had failed to cure her; on the contrary, as the Gospel puts it so realistically, she was worse than ever. In addition to her physical suffering--which had gone on for twelve years--she suffered the shame of feeling unclean according to the Law. The Jews not only regarded a woman in this position as being impure: everything she touched became unclean as well. Therefore, in order not to be noticed by the people, the woman came up to Jesus from behind and, out of delicacy, touched only His garment. Her faith is enriched by her _expression of humility: she is conscious of being unworthy to touch our Lord. "She touched the hem of His garment, she approached Him in a spirit of faith, she believed, and she realized that she was cured [...]. So we too, if we wish to be saved, should reach out in faith to touch the garment of Christ" (St. Ambrose, "Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam", VI, 56 and 58).

    30. In all that crowd pressing around Him only this woman actually touched Jesus--and she touched Him not only with her hand but with the faith she bore in her heart. St. Augustine comments: "She touches Him, the people crowd Him. Is her touching not a sign of her belief?" ("In Ioann. Evang.", 26, 3). We need contact with Jesus. We have been given no other means under Heaven by which to be saved (cf. Acts 4:12). When we receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, we obtain this physical contact through the sacramental species. We too need to enliven our faith if these encounters with our Lord are to redound to our salvation (cf. Matthew 13:58).

    37. Jesus did not want more than these three Apostles to be present: three was the number of witnesses laid down by the Law (Deuteronomy 19:15). "For Jesus, being humble, never acted in an ostentatious way (Theophilactus, "Enarratio In Evangelium Marci, in loc."). Besides these were the three disciples closest to Jesus: later, only they will be with Him at the Transfiguration (cf. 9:2) and at His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (cf. 14:33).

    39. Jesus' words are in contrast with those of the ruler's servants; they say: "Your daughter is dead"; whereas He says: "She is not dead but sleeping". "To men's eyes she was dead, she could not be awoken; in God's eyes she was sleeping, for her soul was alive and was subject to God's power, and her body was resting, awaiting the Resurrection. Hence the custom which arose among Christians of referring to the dead, whom we know will rise again, as those who are asleep" (St. Bede, "In Marci Evangelium Expositio, in loc."). What Jesus says shows us that, for God, death is only a kind of sleep, for He can awaken anyone from the dead whenever He wishes. The same happens with the death and resurrection of Lazarus. Jesus says: "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him out of sleep." And, when the disciples think that it is ordinary sleep He is referring to, our Lord tells them plainly: "Lazarus is dead" (cf. John 11:11ff).

    40-42. Like all the Gospel miracles the raising of the daughter of Jairus demonstrates Christ's divinity. Only God can work miracles; sometimes He does them in a direct way, sometimes by using created things as a medium. The exclusively divine character of miracles--especially the miracle of raising the dead--is noticed in the Old Testament: "The Lord wills and brings to life; He brings down to Sheol and raises up" (1 Samuel 2:6), because He has "power over life and death" (Wisdom 16:13). And also in the Old Testament God uses men to raise the dead to life: the prophet Elijah revives the son of the widow of Sarepta by "crying to the Lord" (cf. 1 Kings 17:21), and Elisha prevails on Him to raise the son of the Shunammite (2 Kings 4:33).

    In the same way, in the New Testament the Apostles do not act by their own power but by that of Jesus to whom they first offer fervent prayer: Peter restores to life a Christian woman of Joppa named Tabitha (Acts 9:36ff); and Paul, in Troas, brings Eutychus back to life after he falls from a high window (Acts 20:7ff). Jesus does not refer to any superior power; His authority is sovereign: all He has to do is give the order and the daughter of Jairus is brought back to life; this shows that He is God.
    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, January 29, 2007

    Mental Prayer for January 30, To Be Like Him

    Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

    Presence of God

    Grace I Ask : To speak to God with a sincere heart.

    The Idea: Today my meditation is to think over what it really means to be under Christ's banner and, after I think it over, to ask Him to receive me under it in all the fu1lness of that meaning. I will say slowly, thinking over a phrase at a time, the following prayer:

    I Speak to Christ: Dear Christ, to be like you is the noblest ambition any Christian could have. I want to be like you. I want my life to be an imitation of yours in selfless work for the good of others.

    I would like to be won completely by you and taken under your special banner - the cross. I would like to ruin the devil's plan for my life completely. Help me to do this. Make me see and think straight. Get the silly, immature ideas of praise, human respect and wealth out of my head. I would be happy to live your kind of life as you lived it­w ithout any reward or recognition at all, except from you.

    My God, give me the gift of being received under your banner in the highest degree of pover­ty of spirit, and if you wish it and think it good, even in actual poverty.

    And receive me too in bearing all injuries and humiliations gladly for your sake. Let the world think I'm crazy - if it's for you. They talk about people being crazy over one another - that's the way I'd be happy to be for you: crazy in love with you who were crazy enough to die for love of me.

    Thought for Today: "To serve Christ is to reign."
    Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
    by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

    Rev. Robert F. Drinan, S.J. , Dead at 86

    Georgetown University mourns the death of Professor Robert F. Drinan, S.J., who passed away on Sunday, January 28 after battling pneumonia and congestive heart failure. He was 86.

    “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Father Robert Drinan,” said Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia. “Over the course of his distinguished career as priest, lawyer, public servant, activist, and scholar in Washington and around the world he touched and inspired innumerable lives. Father Drinan’s commitment to human rights and justice will have a lasting legacy here at Georgetown University and across the globe. Father Drinan’s deep dedication to his Church, his family, his colleagues, his students and the entire community will be dearly missed.”


    Drinan was the first Catholic priest elected to the U.S. Congress, who criticized his Catholic brothers and sisters for “seeking to impose” their pro-life views on the rest of the nation, the "priest" who celebrated Mass for Pelosi...and Teddy Kennedy said that Drinan was "one of the finest people ever to serve in Congress"...

    Of course, Drinan was an outspoken defender of abortion rights which made him one of the "go to guys" for so-called spiritual "enlightenment" by professed Catholic politicians.

    Hopefully, Drinan repented of his apparent rejection of the Church's teaching on abortion. May God have mercy on his soul.

    *** Updated
    Catholic World News has some historical insights here.

    Gospel for Monday, 4th Week in Ordinary Time

    From: Mark 5:1-20

    The Gerasene Demoniac
    [1] They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. [2] And when He (Jesus) had come out of the boat, there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, [3] who lived among the tombs; and no one could bind him any more, even with a chain; [4] for he had often been bound with fetters and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the fetters he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. [5] Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out, and bruising himself with stones. [6] And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshipped Him; [7] and crying out with a loud voice, he said, "What have You to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure You by God, do not torment me." [8] For He had said to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" [9] And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "My name is Legion; for we are many." [10] And he begged Him eagerly not to send them out of the country. [11] Now a great herd of swine is feeding there on the hillside; [12] and they begged Him, "Send us to the swine, let us enter them." [13] So, He gave them leave. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea. [14] The herdsmen fled, and told it in the city and the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. [15] And they came to see Jesus, and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. [16] And those who had seen it told what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine. [17] And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their neighborhood. [18] And as He was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged Him that he might be with Him. [19] But He refused, and said to him, "Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you." [20] And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and all men marvelled.

    1-20. The inhabitants of Gerasa were mostly pagans, as one can gather from the fact that there was such a huge herd of swine there (which must have belonged to a number of different people). Jews were forbidden to raise pigs or eat pork (Leviticus 11:7).

    This miracle emphasizes, once more, the existence of the devil and his influence over men's lives: if God permits it, the devil can harm not only humans but also animals. When Christ allows the demons to enter the swine, the malice of the demons becomes obvious: they are tormented at not being able to do men harm and therefore they ask Christ to let them, at least, inflict themselves on animals. This He does, in order to show that they would have the same effect on men as they have on these swine, if God did not prevent them.

    Clearly it was not Jesus' intention to punish the owners of the swine by the loss of the herd: since they were pagans that were not subject to the precepts of the Jewish law. Rather, the death of the swine is visible proof that the demon has gone out of the possessed man.

    Jesus permitted the loss of some material goods because these were of infinitely less value than the spiritual good involved in the cure of the possessed man.

    15-20. Notice the different attitudes to Jesus Christ: the Gerasenes beg Him to go away; the man freed from the devil wants to stay with Him and follow Him. The inhabitants of Gerasa have had our Lord near them, they have seen His divine powers, but they are very self-centered: all they can think about is the material damage they have suffered through the loss of the herd; they do not realize the marvel Jesus has worked. Christ has invited them and offered them His grace but they do not respond: they reject Him. The man who has been cured wants to follow Jesus with the rest of His disciples but our Lord refuses; instead He gives him a task which shows Christ's unlimited compassion for all men, even for those who reject Him: the man is to stay in Gerasa and proclaim to the whole neighborhood what the Lord has done for him. Perhaps they will think again and realize who He is who has visited them, and escape from the sins their greed has led them to commit. These two attitudes are to be found whenever Christ passes by--as are Jesus' mercy and continuous offer of grace: our Lord does not want the death of the sinner but rather that he should turn from his way and live. (cf. Ezekiel 18:23).

    20. The "Decapolis" or "country of the ten cities", among the more famous of which are Damascus, Philadelphia, Scythopolis, Gadara, Pella and Gerasa. The region was located to the east of the lake of Gennesaret and was inhabited mainly by pagans of Greek and Syrian origin. This territory came under the Roman governor of Syria.
    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, January 28, 2007

    Mental Prayer for January 29, No Small Changes

    Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

    Presence of God

    Grace I Ask : To be willing to change my life for Christ.

    The Idea and My Personal Application: What actual changes would occur in my life if I were to take my place under Christ's banner, deliberately choosing to cooperate completely with His strategy for me?

    1. My life will be shifted around to make Him its center, and to make His glory, the spread of His kingdom, my chief concern. I will find means to make myself and as many other people as possible know, love, and serve Him. I will be as like to Him as possible in all my dealings with other people.

    2. I will turn completely away from sin and from snares likely to lead me to sin. I know what these are better than I usually want to admit. Thinking of them now in particular, I renounce them.

    3. I stop planning my life as a whole in terms of the money, power, worldly renown, or personal comfort that I can win or gain. I try to think of and choose a way of life in terms of serving God and others entirely, of doing good, of winning success for eternity - the only real success.

    4. I try to change my everyday thoughts and actions too, so that I judge things as they really are in the sight of God. I do not fall for the glitter of gold or of chrome, the attraction of fame, or the admiring glance of a friend. In fact, I would consider it a favor from God to be able to live as Christ did. Let my work be unappreciated in this life to keep me out of the trap of se1f-­admiration. Let me live poor rather than rich, be without some, or all, of the things I want, to keep me from tying down my heart to this world.

    I Speak to Christ: Dear Christ, this is your formula for success. With your help, it can be mine too. Please help me to appreciate it and to love it.

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

    Gospel for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    From: Luke 4:21-30

    Jesus Preaches in Nazareth (Continuation)

    [21] And He (Jesus) began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." [22] And all spoke well of Him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth; and they said, "Is this not Joseph's son?" [23] And He said to them, "Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, 'Physician, heal yourself; what we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here also in your own country.'" [24] And He said, "Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country. [25] But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; [26] and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. [27] And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian." [28] When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. [29] And they rose up and put Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow on the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down headlong. [30] But passing through the midst of them He went away.
    20-22. Christ's words in verse 21 show us the authenticity with which He preached and explained the Scriptures: "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." Jesus teaches that this prophecy, like the other main prophecies in the Old Testament, refers to Him and finds its fulfillment in Him (cf. Luke 24:44ff). Thus, the Old Testament can be rightly understood only in the light of the New--as the risen Christ showed the Apostles when He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures (cf. Luke 24:45), an understanding which the Holy Spirit perfected on the day of Pentecost (cf. Acts 2:4).

    22-29. At first the people of Nazareth listened readily to the wisdom of Jesus' words. But they were very superficial; in their narrow-minded pride they felt hurt that Jesus, their fellow-townsman, had not worked in Nazareth the wonders He had worked elsewhere. They presume they have a special entitlement and they insolently demand that He perform miracles to satisfy their vanity, not to change their hearts. In view of their attitude, Jesus performs no miracle (His normal response to lack of faith: cf., for example, His meeting with Herod in Luke 23:7-11); He actually reproaches them, using two examplestaken from the Old Testament (cf. 1 Kings 17:9 and 2 Kings 5:14), which show that one needs to be well-disposed if miracles are to lead to faith. His attitude so wounds their pride that they are ready to kill Him. This whole episode is a good lesson about understanding Jesus. We can understand Him only if we are humble and are genuinely resolved to make ourselves available to Him.

    30. Jesus does not take flight but withdraws majestically, leaving the crowd paralyzed. As on other occasions men do Him no harm; it was by God's decree that He died on a cross (cf. John 18:32) when His hour had come.
    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.