Saturday, March 24, 2007

Mental Prayer for the 5th Sunday of Lent (Passion Sunday)

Scourging at the Pillar

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Make me, Jesus, see what sin did to you, that I may detest and despise it and have strength to fight against it.

Mental Picture (cf. Luke 23:22): Pilate says, "I find no fault in Him, nevertheless I will have Him scourged for you." Cruel soldiers step forward... merciless... hate shining in their gleaming eyes. Rudely they seize the innocent victim... rip the clothes violently from His back... seize His arms and chain them to a low stumplike column. Thus the blows will hit their mark with full force. The soldiers seize the leather whips... at the end of the lashes are bits of metal with razorsharp points to tear more deeply into the flesh. The whips whistle through the air... they land with a sicken­ing thud on the back of Christ. He gasps... He twists... He struggles with the intense pain... His Body becomes a vast sea of blood. But the blows continue until His very bones are laid bare. The patience... the silence of Christ drives the tor­mentors on to more diabolical fury as lash after lash buries itself yet deeper in His innocent flesh.

I Speak to Christ: Every time I toy with temptation I am deciding whether I shall once again bring down the cruel lash on your back. Every time I commit sin I become cowardly like Pilate and join the soldiers in scourging you. Please fill me with strength and confidence when temptations and difficulties torment me. "Passion of Christ, strengthen: me!"

Thought for Today: "... and they took Him and scourged Him."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Gospel for Saturday, 4th Week of Lent

From: John 7:40-53

Different Opinions About Jesus (Continuation)

[40] When they heard these words, some of the people said, "This is really the prophet." [41] Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "Is the Christ to come from Galilee? [42] Has not the Scripture said that the Christ is descended from David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?" [43] So there was a division among the people over Him. [44] Some of them wanted to arrest Him, but no one laid hands on Him.

[45] The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why did you not bring Him?" [46] The officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this man!" [47] The Pharisees answered them, "Are you led astray, you also? [48] Have any of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in Him? [49] But this crowd, who do not know the law, are accursed." [50] Nicodemus, who had gone to Him before, and who was one of them, said to them, [51] "Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?" [52] They replied, "Are you from Galilee too? Search and you will see that no prophet is to rise from Galilee." [53] They went each to his own house, but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.


40-43. "The prophet" refers to Deuteronomy 18:18, which predicts the coming of a prophet during the last times, a prophet to whom all must listen (cf. John 1:21; 6:14); and "the Christ" ("the Messiah") was the title most used in the Old Testament to designate the future Savior whom God would send. This passage shows us, once again, the range of people's attitudes towards Jesus. Many Jews--not taking the trouble to check--did not know that He had been born in Bethlehem, the city of David, where Micah (5:2) says the Lord will be born. It was their own fault that they used this ignorance as an excuse for not accepting Christ. Others, however, realized from His miracles that He must be the Messiah. The same pattern obtains throughout history: some people see Him simply as an extraordinary man, not wanting to admit that His greatness comes precisely from the fact the He is the Son of God.

46. The truth begins to influence the straightforward souls of the servants of the Sanhedrin but it cannot make headway against the obstinacy of the Pharisees. "Notice that the Pharisees and scribes derive no benefit either from witnessing miracles or reading the Scriptures; whereas their servants, without these helps, were captivated by a single discourse, and those who set out to arrest Jesus went back under the influence of His authority. And they did not say, `We cannot arrest Him, the people will not let us'; instead they extolled Christ's wisdom. Not only is their prudence admirable, for they did not need signs; it is also impressive that they were won over by His teaching on its own; they did not say, in effect, `No man has ever worked such miracles,' but `No man ever spoke like this man.' Their conviction also is worthy of admiration: they go to the Pharisees, who were opposed to Christ, and address them in the way they do" (St. John Chrysostom, "Hom. On St. John", 9).
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, March 23, 2007

June 17-Installation of Shrine of the Sacred Heart at Cathedral Basilica

Mark your calendar for this very special event!

From Archbishop Burke:
Having reflected at some length on the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and its central place in our daily Christian living and, therefore, in our Lenten observance, I am happy to announce that a shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus will be installed in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. The image of the Sacred Heart will be enthroned in the shrine. At the time of the enthronement, I, together with representatives from throughout the archdiocese will solemnly consecrate the archdiocese to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. (emphasis added)

The enthronement and the act of consecration will take place in the cathedral basilica at the regular 5 p.m. Mass on this coming June 17, the Sunday after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which will be celebrated on June 15. Since June 17 is a Sunday of Ordinary Time, it will be possible to celebrate the Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
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The mosaic image of the Sacred Heart will be placed in an altarpiece made of marble from Pietrasanta in Italy. The shrine will include stands with votive candles to represent our prayers continuously lifted up to the glorious Heart of Jesus.

The shrine has been designed by Duncan G. Stroik of the School of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. He is internationally known for his design of beautiful churches and chapels, in accord with the long tradition of sacred architecture, at an affordable cost for the parish or Catholic institution. His design of the shrine of the Sacred Heart is truly beautiful and, therefore, inspiring.

Funding for the shrine comes from the generous gifts of the contribute to this worthwhile project, please contact Msgr. Joseph Pins, V.E. - Rector of the Basilica Catherdral at (314) 373-8200.

Archbishop Burke's announcement can be read here.

Mental Prayer for Saturday After the Fourth Sunday of Lent

Christ or Barabbas

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Lord, never let my spiritual values become so dulled that I even consider choosing sin before you.

Mental Picture: The mob suddenly grows quiet. On the balcony three figures... Pilate, Christ, and Barabbas. Your choice! He who gave life to your dead, or he who is a murderer! He who went about healing the sick or he who despised weakness! He who stands for all that is good, or he who has done evil! Your choice! But the choice had been made long before. Greed and desire for power had dulled their spiritual values. The voices of the prophets were drowned by the raging sea of their passions. The voices of the chief priests grew and swelled, whipping up the shouts of the mob until all we can hear is: "Give us Barabbas - as for the other, crucify Him! Crucify Him!"

My Personal Application: Christ stands before His people. He came to save them, but He would not force Himself on them. Christ must be freely chosen. Here is their chance - here is the chance for men to choose their Savior. What does Christ think as He hears His chosen people reject Him? His mind is clear and He knows the bitterness of being rejected. Men are free, I am free - every time I sin seriously I reject Christ, I choose some­thing else - someone else - not Him.

I Speak to Christ: Lord, let this scene of rejection be so impressed on my memory that whenever I am tempted to sin, it will prevent me from making the same mistake. So often in the past I have chosen Barabbas before you. I choose you now, I choose to fight in your army.

Thought for Today: "O good Jesus, hear me. Let me not be separated from thee."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Dr Ed Peters: Prof. Bainbridge's call for Cdl. Mahony's resignation

Dr Peters writes:
I know nothing about UCLA law professor Stephen Bainbridge beyond what I saw on a very impressive (for a civil lawyer) resume posted on his website, but his recent post on the chronic problems in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in which he specifically calls for Cdl. Mahony's resignation is getting attention…. I note that Prof. Bainbridge attempts to use canon law in his resignation argument, and canon law is something I do know a bit about.

Read my reactions here:
Many Catholics are, indeed, concerned about the problems in the Church and the example that some, including Cardinal Mahony, give to others. Our concern should prompt us to prayer - daily prayer, in fact.

Anyway, it's well worth the time to read Dr. Peters' analysis of matters like this, particularly from the canonical perspective. This helps the lay faithful better understand these issues and mitigates confusion that can arise from misunderstandings about the law.

Something in the works, maybe?

From the Holy See:
Yesterday evening, March 22, [Pope Benedict XVI] received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

- Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei."

April 17-Bishop Gaydos, Keynote Speaker for Serra Dinner

Bishop John Gaydos of Jefferson City will be the guest speaker at the fourth annual dinner honoring priests serving in the St. Charles Deanery.

The event, sponsored by the Serra Club of St. Charles, will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, at The Columns, 711 Veterans Drive in St. Charles. Auxiliary Bishop Robert Hermann of St. Louis will be a featured guest.

Bishop Gaydos is a St. Louis native and a graduate of Cardinal Glennon College here and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He served in St. Louis as a parish pastor, secretary to Cardinal John J. Carberry and Archbishop John L. May, vice chancellor, chancellor, vicar general and vicar for clergy. He was named bishop of Jefferson City in 1997.

Tickets are $35, with proceeds to be used for vocations programs of the St. Charles Deanery Serra Club. For tickets or information on the dinner honoring priests of the deanery call Janice at (636) 447-4339 or Sharon at (636) 447-3673.


Daniel Maquire's Heresies Denounced by USCCB

FINALLY! The US Bishops have made a step in the right direction by publicly stated that two of this man's pamphlets do not present Catholic teaching...Now if they can only go the distance call out the others of the many heretics among us, the Church would be better off.
On June 19, 2006, Professor Daniel Maguire of Marquette University sent two pamphlets to all of the Catholic Bishops in the United States, one entitled The Moderate Roman Catholic Position on Contraception and Abortion and the other A Catholic Defense of Same-Sex Marriage. These pamphlets do not present Catholic teaching. His views about contraception, abortion, same sex "marriage", as well as the very nature of Church teaching and its authoritative character, cross the legitimate lines of theological reflection and simply enter into the area of false teaching. Such mistaken views should not be confused with the faith and moral teaching of the Catholic Church. Since it is apparent that considerable efforts have been made to give these views the widest possible distribution as if they were a valid alternative to the teaching of the Catholic Church, the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops considers it important to offer a public correction of the erroneous views proposed in these pamphlets. At the same time, the Committee on Doctrine calls attention to the Catechism of the Catholic Church where correct and authentic teaching can be found. This readily available source of the faith and moral teaching of the Catholic Church clearly demonstrates the mistaken character of the positions found in the two pamphlets and their unreliability as a guide for Catholics seeking to know and live their Catholic faith.
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The Archbishop of Milwaukee, exercising his pastoral responsibilities as teacher and shepherd, has made public statements affirming that the views expressed by Professor Maguire in his two pamphlets are erroneous and incompatible with the Church's teaching.[24] We the Committee on Doctrine of the USCCB concur that, despite his claims to authority as a Catholic theologian, the views of Professor Maguire on contraception, abortion, and same-sex "marriage" are not those of the Catholic Church and indeed are contrary to the Church's faith. We deplore as irresponsible his public advocacy of his views as authentic Catholic teaching.
Faithful Catholics have long known of this ex-priest and his antipathy toward Catholic teaching. Pity the poor students at Marquette who are forced to imbibe from the poisonous well to which he leads them. As a self-styled "pope", and self-appointed arbitor of truth, Maguire says, in response:
“They’re simply uninformed,” Mr. Maguire said of the bishops. “There is no one Catholic view on contraception, abortion or same-sex marriage. There’s a diversity of views. And it’s not just Dan Maguire versus the bishops. There’s a large school of thought that agrees with everything I’ve said in these pamphlets.” (Source: NYT)

The sad part is there are many professed Catholics who hold these same heretical views, no doubt, due to the widespread dissemination of error and false teaching. They need our prayers.

And the bishops should be congratulated on taking such steps to defend the teachings of the Church and protect the faithful from spurious and heretical opinions...Why not send each of bishop who sits on the Committee on Doctrine an email thanking him for his courage...They are:
Most Rev. William E. Lori, Chairman
Most Rev. Leonard P. Blair
Most Rev. Edward W. Clark
Most Rev. José H. Gomez
Most Rev. Robert J. McManus
Most Rev. Arthur J. Serratelli
Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Most Reverend Donald W. Wuerl
His Eminence Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ, Consultant
His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Consultant
Full Bishops' statement here.

March 25-31, Fertility Care Week

From Archbishop Burke:
This coming March 25-31 has been designated by FertilityCare Centers of America Inc. as Worldwide FertilityCare Week. I write about Worldwide FertilityCare Week for two reasons. First of all, many married couples in the archdiocese experience difficulties in conceiving and bearing a child. Because the gift of children is the crown of marital love, couples who suffer from some form of infertility bear a particularly heavy cross. As archbishop, I desire to be close to them and to offer them care which respects their individual health, and the integrity of their relationship with each other and of their act of human procreation.

Secondly, I want to celebrate the strong presence of FertilityCare Centers in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. There are 10 FertilityCare Centers in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, whose work is coordinated by K. Diane Daly, RN, CFCE, director of the archdiocesan Office of Natural Family Planning, and Ann M. Prebil, RN, BSN, CFCE. Daly and Prebil have their office in the Department of Fertility Care Services at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, 11700 Studt Road, Suite C. Their telephone number is (314) 991-0327.
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It is important, therefore, that we begin and accompany all of our efforts to assist couples suffering from infertility with prayer to God. Recently, I was able to celebrate the Holy Mass for a number of couples who are seeking to conceive and bring to birth a child. At the conclusion of the Mass, I blessed each couple with the relic of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, who has been a particularly powerful intercessor on behalf of couples experiencing any kind of difficulty in childbearing. St. Gianna, who died on April 28, 1962, and her husband Pietro, who is still living, had experienced many sorrows in conceiving and giving birth to their children...

At the beginning of each day, I revere a relic of St. Gianna and pray for all of the couples who are suffering with infertility. I also pray for all those who assist them. Please join me in my prayer for the couples in the archdiocese who are desiring to have a baby and for those who care for them.

Fr Fessio to Stay at Ave Maria, New Job

Less than 24 hours after the beloved provost of Ave Maria University was fired, he was back on the job Thursday night — this time wearing a new hat.

Father Joseph Fessio will become a “designated theologian in residence” who will maintain a room on campus, assume teaching responsibilities and make further plans for student study abroad, Fessio and university officials said.

“I’m back and I’m glad,” Fessio said.

But Fessio said he was never given a reason why he was asked to resign Wednesday, other than administrative differences.

Gospel for Friday, 4th Week of Lent

From: John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

Jesus Goes Up to Jerusalem During the Feast of Tabernacles

[1] After this Jesus went about in Galilee; He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him. [2] Now the Jews' feast of Tabernacles was at hand. [10] But after His brethren had gone up to the feast, then He also went up, not publicly but in private.

[25] Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, "Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? [26] And here He is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to Him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? [27 Yet we know where this man comes from; and when the Christ appears, no one will know where He comes from. [28] So Jesus proclaimed, as He taught in the temple, "You know where I come from? But I have not come of My own accord; He who sent Me is true, and Him you do not know. [29] I know Him, for I come from Him, and He sent Me." [30] So they sought to arrest Him; but no one laid hands on Him, because His hour had not yet come.


1-2. The Jewish custom was for closer relatives to be called "brothers", brethren (cf. notes on Matthew 12:46-47 and Mark 6:1-3). These relatives of Jesus followed Him without understanding His teaching or His mission (cf. Matthew 3:31); but because He worked such obvious miracles in Galilee (cf. Matthew 15:32-39; Mark 8:1-10, 22-26) they suggest to Him that He show Himself publicly in Jerusalem and throughout Judea. Perhaps they wanted Him to be a big success, which would have indulged their family pride.

2. The name of the feast recalls the time the Israelites spent living under canvas in the wilderness (cf. Leviticus 23:34-36). During the eight days the feast lasted (cf. Nehemiah 8:13-18), around the beginning of autumn, the Jews commemorated the protection God had given the Israelites over the forty years of the Exodus. Because it coincided with the end of the harvest, it was also called the feast of ingathering (cf. Exodus 23:16).

10. Because He had not arrived in advance of the feast (which was what people normally did), the first caravans would have reported that Jesus was not coming up, and therefore the members of the Sanhedrin would have stopped planning anything against Him (cf. 7:1). By going up later, the religious authorities would not dare make any move against Him for fear of hostile public reaction (cf. Matthew 26:5). Jesus, possibly accompanied by His disciples, arrives unnoticed at Jerusalem, "in private", almost in a hidden way. Half-way through the feast, on the fourth or fifth day, He begins to preach in the temple (cf. 7:14).

27. In this chapter we often see the Jews disconcerted, in two minds. They argue with one another over whether Jesus is the Messiah, or a prophet, or an impostor (verse 12); they do not know where He gets His wisdom from (verse 15); they are short-tempered (verses 19-20); and they are surprised by the attitudes of the Sanhedrin (verse 26). Despite the signs they have seen (miracles, teaching) they do not want to believe that Jesus is the Messiah. Perhaps some, thinking that He came from Nazareth and was the son of Joseph and Mary, cannot see how this fits in with the notion usually taken from Isaiah's prophecy (Isaiah 53:1-8) about the Messiah's origin being unknown--except for His coming from the line of David and being born in Bethlehem (cf. Matthew 2:5 which quotes Micah 5:2; cf. John 7:42). In fact Jesus did fulfill those prophetic predictions, though most Jews did not know it because they knew nothing about His virginal birth in Bethlehem or His descent from David. Others must have known that He was of the house of David and had been born in Bethlehem, but even so they did not want to accept His teaching because it demanded a mental and moral conversion which they were not ready to make.

28-29. Not without a certain irony, Jesus refers to the superficial knowledge these Jews had of Him: however, He asserts that He comes from the Father who has sent Him, whom only He knows, precisely because He is the Son of God (cf. John 1:18).

30. The Jews realized that Jesus was making Himself God's equal, which was regarded as blasphemy and, according to the Law, was something punishable by death by stoning (cf. Leviticus 24:15-16, 23).

This is not the first time St. John refers to the Jews' hostility (cf. John 5:10), nor will it be the last (8:59; 10:31-33). He stresses this hostility because it was a fact and perhaps also to show that Jesus acts freely when, to fulfill the Father's will He gives Himself over to His enemies when His "hour" arrives (cf. John 18:4-8). "He did not therefore mean an hour when He would be forced to die, but one when He would allow Himself to be put to death. For He was waiting for the time in which He should die, even as He waited for the time in which He should be born" (St. Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang., 31, 5).
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.

Mental Prayer for Friday after the Fourth Sunday of Lent

Christ Before Herod

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Grant me a pure heart, so that you might never remain silent to my soul.

Mental Picture (cf. Luke 23: 8-11) : Loud, boister­ous, irate for having been called at this early hour, the pleasure-loving court of the Fox, Herod, assemble. The deeds of the Wonder Worker had even reached their ears... a chance to see some of His magic. The rowdy crowd subsides as the king addresses the composed defendant. "Do a trick for us!... Come now!... Are you a fool!... Fool!... Of course; bring the white cloak of the fool... This simpleton can't even talk." And Christ remained silent.

My Personal Application: What is going through the mind of Christ as He stands here in front of Herod and the court? How does He feel? Herod is a king ; but a king who has thoughts only for this world. Christ is a king whose kingdom is not of this world. Herod and the court make a fool of Christ. He came to save men. He is God who came to show us how to live right. He is wise and Herod and all men who are like him say, "He is a fool." He loves us all more than we can say, and men say... "a fool." Where do I stand? What do I say?

I Speak to Christ: My Lord and King, help me to understand how you felt before Herod; how you felt every time anyone called your teaching and your life foolish. I stand with you. I know some men will call my life foolish - but you show me the way. I follow.

Thought for Today: Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Valid Confessions?

From page 8 of the March St Stanislaus Kostka Church Bulletin (PDF file):
March 31 - Lenten Communal Penance Service
As a part of our preparations to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus with renewed spirits, our Parish will conduct a Lenten Penance Service on Saturday, March 31st at 5:30 p.m. In addition to our pastor, several priests will be available to hear individual confessions.

I sent an email to Mr. Bozek asking if these additional priests are, in fact, 1) Roman Catholic, 2) from this archdiocese, and 3) if they have the requisite faculties to hear confession and grant absolution.

Certainly these will not be priests from this archdiocese, will they? It would seem that any priest who facilitates in the exercise of the sacraments at a suppressed parish and at the direction of an excommunicated and schismatic priest would be subject to some canonical ecclesiastical penalties. It should be understood that Marek Bozek cannot validly absolve anyone in the Sacrament of Penance, nor can he validly confirm anyone in the Sacrament of Confirmation (that too is listed in the bulletin), nor can he validly officate at weddings (also in the bulletin)...(See Archbishop Burke's December 2005 column on the schism here.

Maybe Bozek will answer the email...Maybe it's time to go to St Stans to see who might be aiding and abetting this schism.

Commonweal Promotes Electing of Bishops

In the Commonweal article, The Case for Electing Bishops, by Adam A. J. DeVille, it is claimed that "the system is totally unreliable." Which system? That system, in which the country's papal nuncio produces a terna - a list of three candidates for the episcopacy - which is sent to Rome for review by the Holy Father and from which he may make a decision.

Why is it asserted that "the system is totally unreliable?" DeVille points to the recent debacle in Poland as a prime example:

The whole affair undermines trust in the Roman system, which obviously failed to scrutinize Wielgus closely enough, and then, when exposed, still tried to force him on the local church of Warsaw. If the Roman curia knew about his past and did not care, it is guilty of malfeasance; if it did not know of his past, it is guilty of incompetence. In either case it shows that the system is totally unreliable.

While some very valid points are made by DeVille, it seems a bit of a stretch to assume that the system is "totally unreliable". In fact, one might equally claim that the system is good but there are too many "totally unreliable" people who are involved - and that is the reason for the failures.

DeVille proceeds to enlighten his readers with a short history lesson on how the current method of appointing bishops came to pass, never failing, however, to steer his readers in a particular direction:

Papal appointment of bishops has never been defined as a matter of dogma. Neither theologians nor bishops and popes in council have even bothered to come up with a theological justification for it. Such a system of appointment is both theologically unsupported and ecumenically intolerable.

"Theologically unsupported and ecumenically intolerable"? Strong words - used, it seems, to persuade others to question the authority or the decisions of the Holy Father and to generate dissatisfaction with the current methodology and to press for a more "democratic" system more appealing to groups of spoiled children.

DeVille admits that:
There are of course no panaceas: no system is perfect. But just about any system would be better than the current one, at least for mature local churches in stable sociopolitical contexts.

It must be noted that these "mature local churches in stable sociopolitical contexts" exclude those in China and Cuba...Some might claim that they also include those in the Americas as well - as anyone who has watched a televised USCCB meeting can attest. One need only look at who is elected to head the Liturgy committee, for example, when other, more worthy candidates were available.

Popular election, of course, does not guarantee that every bishop will be a saint. And popular elections can be abused to produce infelicitous results. Observers of current Anglican troubles will tell you that popular election can and does result in bishops who are so far apart from other bishops on major issues as to be in de facto schism. That, clearly, is not a path Catholics should take.

And even with papal oversight, this would generate all sorts of problems, particularly if the Holy Father refuses to accept the "bishop-elect". God knows we do not need to follow the PCUSA down its path.

DeVille tells us of a system which:
...would quietly prevent the election of a popular but heterodox local figure, which could precipitate a division between the local and universal church. Such a system would also help ensure that Rome never again appoints severely flawed bishops to a local church...

With heterdox or ill-informed Catholics overwhelmingly outnumbering faithful Catholics, it is difficult to see how such a system could work.

Lastly, readers are advised that the Code of Canon Law contains provisions for the faithful to elect their leaders:

For its part, the 1983 Code of Canon Law, pertaining to the Latin Church, also contains provisions for diocesan synods (see canons 460-68), which, though rarely convoked in the Western church, have a venerable history and solid precedent and could certainly be brought back to life again as electoral assemblies. There is one other canon in this Code that is especially relevant but often overlooked: canon 377 notes that "the Supreme Pontiff freely appoints bishops or confirms those lawfully elected"...

It is claimed that, given more of a voice in the selection process of a local bishop, the people, can have "leadership worthy of their trust and obedience."

While there are bishops who, based on their own actions and statements, do not "deserve" our trust, nonetheless, they do deserve our obedience, at least to the extent that their demands and directives are lawful and congruent with the teachings and disciplines of the Church.

Personally, I have more trust in good bishops and faithful Catholics keeping the Holy Father and curial officials updated so that wise decisions can be made rather than engaging in a "democratic" voting exercise for bishop...What's failed in the past, among other things, is that questionable nuncios (Jadot) were not recalled before extensive damaged was inflicted upon the Church and that others were using the system to push through proteges who not the best of candidates for leading the faithful toward heaven.

I think what we need is much more prayer and the daily offering of our sufferings to our Lord.

A specila tip of the hat to J.J., who provided the article...

Cardinal Francis George: Sending Mixed Messages?

Priest concerned over Chicago cardinal's remarks on pro-abortion politicians receiving Communion
Matt C. Abbott
March 19, 2007

Father J. Patrick Serna, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, provided me with the following observations regarding Cardinal Francis George's recent remarks on pro-abortion politicians receiving the Holy Eucharist. (The cardinal's remarks can be found in a scan of a March 18-31, 2007 Catholic New World story at the end of this column. Only the first few sentences of the story are available on the paper's Web site.)

MO Gov Pulls Funding from Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinics

Missouri Governor Matt Blunt: "Patients should not have to go to an abortion clinic to access life saving tests," Blunt said. "Today I put an end to taxpayer dollars going to Planned Parenthood in Springfield and Joplin through the Show Me Healthy Women Program. This ensures women may access important preventative care without contributing to abortion providers' goal of facilitating the destruction of innocent life."

March 31 - Catholic Homeschooling Conference

Holly Pierlot will speak at the St. Louis Catholic Homeschool Association's 2007 Catholic Homeschool Conference on Saturday, March 31, at the Cardinal Rigali Pastoral Center in Shrewsbury.

The annual conference is intended to introduce Catholic families to the possibilities of home schooling.

Pierlot is a home-schooling mother of five and author of the book "A Mother's Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul."

At the conference, a curriculum fair and vendors' area will offer Catholic home-schooling materials.

Registration before Monday is $25 a person, $35 a married couple and $8 a high school student with paying parent. Continental breakfast and box lunch are included. Registration after Monday will be $30 a person or $45 a married couple. Register online at

For more information or for registration information by mail, call Kathy Harkins at 314-918-0639.

Heterosexuals Moving to SF Castro District - Oh My!

To walk down San Francisco's Castro Street -- where men casually embrace on sidewalks in the shadow of an enormous rainbow flag -- the neighborhood's status as "gay Mecca" seems obvious.

But up and down the enclave that has been a symbol of gay culture for more than three decades, heterosexuals are moving in...
* * *
But some gay and lesbian residents of the Castro are worried that the culture and history of their world-famous neighborhood could be lost in the process, and they have started a campaign to preserve its character. The city, meanwhile, is spending $100,000 on a plan aimed at keeping the area's gay identity intact.

Heterosexuals "are welcome as long as they understand this is our community," said Adam Light, a leader in the Castro Coalition...

Fr Joseph Fessio "Out" at Ave Maria University

The sudden and unexpected departure of popular Ave Maria University Provost Joseph Fessio on Wednesday left students and faculty stunned and upset.

Fessio, once a student of the current pope, was asked to resign his position immediately Wednesday.
* * *
Fessio’s dismissal came one day after recent statements he made were published in an article in the California Catholic Daily titled, “Hey, Hey, Baby Gay! What Do You Do? What Do You Say?”

His statements were also published on March 2 on the personal Web site of one of the country’s preeminent evangelist leaders, the Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr.

In the article, Mohler suggested that there was a “possibility that a biological basis for homosexuality may be proven,” the Associated Press reported. Mohler’s argument was endorsed by Fessio.

According to the California Catholic Daily article, “research strongly suggests that sexual preference is biologically determined in animals, and possibly in humans.”

“Same-sex activity is considered disordered,” Fessio said. “If there are ways of detecting diseases or disorders of children in the womb, and a way of treating them that respected the dignity of the child and mother, it would be a wonderful advancement of science.”

University officials wouldn’t comment on the article. It is unclear if Fessio’s statements were connected to his dismissal.

Gospel for Thursday, 4th Week of Lent

From: John 5:31-47

Christ Defends His Action (Continuation)

(Jesus said to the Jews,) [31] "If I bear witness to Myself, My testimony is not true; [32] there is another who bears witness to Me, and I know that the testimony which he bears to Me is true. [33] You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. [34] Not that the testimony which I receive is from man; but I say this that you may be saved. [35] He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. [36] But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has granted Me to accomplish, these very works which I am doing, bear Me witness that the Father has sent Me. [37] And the Father who sent He has Himself borne witness to Me. His voice you have never heard, His form you have never seen; [38] and you do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He has sent. [39] You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to Me; [40] yet you refuse to come to Me that you may have life. [41] I do not receive glory from men. [42] But I know that you have not the love of God within you. [43] I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. [44] How can you believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? [45] Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; it is Moses who accuses you, on whom you set your hope. [46] If you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote of Me. [47] But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"


31-40. Because Jesus is Son of God, His own word is self-sufficient, it needs no corroboration (cf. 8:18); but, as on other occasions, He accommodates Himself to human customs and to the mental outlook of His hearers: He anticipates a possible objection from the Jews to the effect that it is not enough for a person to testify in his own cause (cf. Deuteronomy 19:15) and He explains that what He is saying is endorsed by four witnesses--John the Baptist, His own miracles, the Father, and the Sacred Scriptures of the Old Testament.

John the Baptist bore witness that Jesus was the Son of God (1:34). Although Jesus had no need to have recourse to any man's testimony, not even that of a great prophet, John's testimony was given for the sake of the Jews, that they might recognize the Messiah. Jesus can also point to another testimony, better than that of the Baptist--the miracles He has worked, which are, for anyone who examines them honestly, unmistakable signs of His divine power, which comes from the Father; Jesus' miracles, then, are a form of witness the Father bears concerning His Son, whom He has sent into the world. The Father manifests the divinity of Jesus on other occasions--at His Baptism (cf. 1:31-34); at the Transfiguration (cf. Matthew 17:1-8), and later, in the presence of the whole crowd (cf. John 12:28-30).

Jesus speaks to another divine testimony--that of the Sacred Scriptures. These speak of Him, but the Jews fail to grasp the Scriptures' true meaning, because they read them without letting themselves be enlightened by Him whom God has sent and in whom all the prophecies are fulfilled: "The economy of the Old Testament was deliberately so orientated that it should prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ, Redeemer of all men, and of the Messianic Kingdom (cf. Luke 24:44; John 5:39, 1 Peter 1:10), and should indicate it by means of different types (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:11). [...] Christians should accept with veneration these writings which give __expression to a lively sense of God, which are a storehouse of sublime teaching on God and of sound wisdom on human life, as well as a wonderful treasury of prayers; in them, too, the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way" (Vatican II, "Dei Verbum", 15).

41-47. Jesus identifies three obstacles preventing His hearers from recognizing that He is the Messiah and Son of God--their lack of love of God, their striving after human glory and their prejudiced interpretation of sacred texts. His defense of His own actions and of His relationship with the Father might lead His adversaries to think that He was looking for human glory. But the testimonies He has adduced (the Baptist, the miracles, the Father and the Scriptures) show clearly that it is not He who is seeking His glory, and that the Jews oppose Him not out of love of God or in defense of God's honor, but for unworthy reasons or because of their merely human outlook.

The Old Testament, therefore, leads a person towards recognizing who Jesus Christ is (cf. John 1:45; 2:17, 22; 5:39, 46; 12:16, 41); yet the Jews remain unbelievers because their attitude is wrong: they have reduced the Messianic promises in the sacred books to the level of mere nationalistic aspirations: this outlook, which is in no way supernatural, closes their soul to Jesus' words and actions and prevents them from seeing that the ancient prophecies are come true in Him (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:14-16).
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, March 21, 2007

Mental Prayer for Thursday After the Fourth Sunday of Lent

Christ Before Pilate

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Lord, give me the grace in this meditation to be strong, so that fear of what people think will never prevent me from doing what I know is right.

Mental Picture (cf. Matt. 27:11-26): Dawn is just breaking... Christ before the petty Roman gover­nor... the judge of the living and the dead before
an unimportant Roman official. A few leading questions reveal Christ's innocence. "Crucify Him!"... that cry cannot be silenced. If I free Him, I will have the people against me. Caesar will not like another disturbance among the people. I will scourge Him then. "Crucify Him!"... "Crucify Him!"... "Jesus or Barabbas?" "Crucify Him!"... "I am innocent of the blood of this just man...I find no cause in Him."... "Crucify Him!"... and he gave Him up to be crucified.

My Personal Application: Do I face the truth even though it is difficult? Or do I, like Pilate, look for some way out, even to the point of offending God? When Christ demands the difficult of me, do I refuse because of what others might think of me, and then proceed to try to salve my conscience? Does the "respect" of the "crowd" govern my life and the practice of my religion?

I Speak to Christ: Lord, it is so easy to yield to the argument that everybody is doing it! And so difficult to do right when I imagine others will make fun of me. Let Pilate be an example to me... give me strength to do what is right, no matter how much others will ridicule me, or think less of me.

Thought for Today: Am I innocent of the blood of this just man?
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Head of Human Genome Project: "Homosexuality Is Not Hardwired"

Francis S. Collins, one of the world's leading scientists who works at the cutting edge of DNA research, concluded that "there is an inescapable component of heritability to many human behavioral traits." However, he adds, "for virtually none of them, is heredity ever close to predictive."
. . .
The heritability estimates for personality traits were varied: General Cognitive Ability (50%), Extroversion (54%), Agreeableness (42%), Conscientiousness (49%), Neuroticism (48%), Openness (57%), Aggression (38%) and Traditionalism (54%).
. . .
Dr. Collins succinctly reviewed the research on homosexuality and offers the following:

"An area of particularly strong public interest is the genetic basis of homosexuality. Evidence from twin studies does in fact support the conclusion that heritable factors play a role in male homosexuality. However, the likelihood that the identical twin of a homosexual male will also be gay is about 20% (compared with 2-4 percent of males in the general population), indicating that sexual orientation is genetically influenced but not hardwired by DNA, and that whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not predeterminations [emphasis in original]."

The heritability estimates for homosexuality is substantially lower than General Cognitive Ability, Extroversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, Openness, Aggression and Traditionalism!
at NARTH here.

Fr. Paul Mankowski,SJ: Remarks on the gospel of judas

A week ago, we Jesuits of the Pontifical Biblical Institute were informed in the course of a regular community meeting that our main lecture hall would be in use on March 20 at the request of a former faculty member (Salesian Father Frank Moloney) for the public launch of a novel he had co-authored with Jeffrey Archer. The Rector apologized in advance for any inconvenience caused by the event itself and for any ructions caused by attendant publicity.

That publicity -- both before and after the event -- gave rise to lurid headlines ("Pope Gives Blessing to Gospel of Jeffrey Archer") and nonsense of other kinds as well. Here's the lede from the Times of London:

Jesus never turned water into wine, He did not walk on the water and He never calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee, according to a new 'Gospel' published today with Vatican approval and co-authored by Jeffrey Archer.
The following points are offered in correction of errors of fact, emphasis, or interpretation given in the English-speaking media.
Fr. Mankowski does a great job, in clear and easy-to-understand language, of exposing yet another attempt to redefine or re-write the Gospels.

Judas - Again, and Just in Time for Lent

Curiosity prompts novelist to write new version of Judas' story
By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- Curiosity about the New Testament figure of Judas and a feeling that his reputation as the worst sinner in history "isn't fair, isn't right" led British novelist Jeffrey Archer to attempt a new version of the story.

Archer, presenting "The Gospel According to Judas by Benjamin Iscariot" at a March 20 press conference in Rome, said he is a practicing Anglican who wanted his new book to be backed up by solid biblical scholarship.

So he convinced Father Francis J. Moloney, provincial of the Salesians in Australia and a former president of the Catholic Biblical Association of America, to collaborate.
He probably didn't need much convincing - he's supposedly well educated, you see...But he want the ignorant sheeple to accept his version, and many do; especially when one is frequently encouraged by "scholarly" priests to discount what is in the New "make it up as we go along"...

Both Archer and Father Moloney doubt that Judas committed suicide, a story recounted only in the Gospel of St. Matthew.
Well then, if it's only in the Gospel of Matthew, we certainly can't take it seriously. After all, we do need corroborating evidence to attempt to prove that Matthew is telling the truth, do we not?

Are we to understand that, what the gospel asserts as true, is in fact, not true - in direct contradiction to Dei Verbum?

The Benjamin Iscariot in Archer's title is Judas' fictitious son, who – years after the death of Jesus – finds his father living in an ascetic community near the Dead Sea. His father reluctantly gives his version of what happened to Jesus and the son writes it down.

Father Moloney told reporters in Rome that none of the things in Archer's account that differ from the accounts of the New Testament can be certain.
Coming next, Jesus ascended into the skies via his alien spacecraft...

Perhaps these "scholars" are members of the Ursuline Church in Linz, Germany (previously posted here) which featured an art exhibition "Requiem for a friend Judas Iskarioth"...and to many people, St Judas Iscariot...

The remainder of the article contains a lot of baloney from it at your own risk.

Archbishop Chaput: We need to stop pornography, now

A friend recently quipped to me that if Americans were as good at the “war on terror” as we are in our “war on common sense,” the world would be a much safer place. He was talking about our country’s increasingly confused attitudes toward sex.

Last week offered a good example. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, said that “I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts. I do not believe the United States is well-served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way.”

Note that Pace did not say that, “homosexual persons are evil.” He said that homosexual acts are wrong. And of course he’s right. We might question the general’s choice to comment in the context he did, but not his content. He simply stated the Western moral tradition. We should respect his courage for saying it...

USCCB Official Charged with Theft-Over $60K

Austin police have issued an arrest warrant for Leo Anchondo, a former Austin Catholic leader who rose from his position helping immigrants in Central Texas to working for immigration reform on a national stage.

Anchondo, 34, is accused of stealing more than $60,000 from Immigrant Concerns, an office within the Catholic Charities of Central Texas, said Helen Osman, a spokeswoman for the diocese. He left his job as director of that office in 2005 to become national manager of the Justice for Immigrants campaign created by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Gospel for Wednesday, 4th Week of Lent

From: John 5:17-30

The Cure of a Sick Man at the Pool at Bethzatha (Continuation)

[17] But Jesus answered them, "My Father is working still, and I am working." [18] This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath but also called God His Father, making Himself equal with God.

Christ Defends His Action

[19] Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what He sees the Father doing; for whatever He does, that the Son does likewise. [20] For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all that He Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him, that you may marvel. [21] For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He will. [22] The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, [23] that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. [24] Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

[25] "Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. [26] For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself, [27] and has given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. [28] Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice [29] and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.

[30] "I can do nothing on My own authority; as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I seek not My own will but the will of Him who sent Me."

17-18. "My Father is working still, and I am working": we have already said that God is continually acting. Since the Son acts together with the Father, who with the Holy Spirit are the one and only God, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, can say that He is always working. These words of Jesus contain an implicit reference to His divinity: the Jews realize this and they want to kill Him because they consider it blasphemous. "We all call God our Father, who is in Heaven (Isaiah 63:16; 64:8). Therefore, they were angry, not at this, that He said God was His Father, but that He said it in quite another way than men. Notice: the Jews understand what Arians do not understand. Arians affirm the Son to be not equal to the Father, and that was why this heresy was driven from the Church. Here, even the blind, even the slayers of Christ, understand the works of Christ" (St. Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang., 17, 16). We call God our Father because through grace we are His adopted children; Jesus calls Him His Father because He is His Son by nature. This is why He says after the Resurrection: "I am ascending to My Father and your Father" (John 20:17), making a clear distinction between the two ways of being a son of God.

19. Jesus speaks of the equality and also the distinction between Father and Son. The two are equal: all the Son's power is the Father's, all the Son does the Father does; but they are two distinct persons: which is why the Son does what He has seen the Father do.

These words of our Lord should not be taken to mean that the Son sees what the Father does and then does it Himself, like a disciple imitating his master; He says what He says to show that the Father's powers are communicated to the Son through generation. The word "see" is used because men come to know things through the senses, particularly through the sight; to say that the Son sees what the Father does is a way of referring to all the powers which He receives from Him for all eternity (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, "Comm. on St. John, in loc.").

20-21. When He says that the Father shows the Son "all that He Himself is doing", this means that Christ can do the same as the Father. Thus, when Jesus does things which are proper to God, He is testifying to His divinity through them (cf. John 5:36).

"Greater works": this may be a reference to the miracles Jesus will work during His lifetime and to His authority to execute judgment. But THE miracle of Jesus was His own resurrection, the cause and pledge of our own (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:20ff), and our passport to supernatural life. Christ, like His Father, has unlimited power to communicate life. This teaching is developed in verses 22-29.

22-30. Authority to judge has also been given by the Father to the Incarnate Word. Whoever does not believe in Christ and in His word will be condemned (cf. 3:18). We must accept Jesus Christ's lordship; by doing so we honor the Father; if we do not know the Son we do not know the Father who sent Him (verse 23). Through accepting Christ, through accepting His word, we gain eternal life and are freed from condemnation. He, who has taken on human nature which He will retain forever, has been established as our judge, and His judgment is just, because He seeks to fulfill the Will of the Father who sent Him, and He does nothing on His own account: in other words, His human will is perfectly at one with His divine will; which is why Jesus can say that He does not do His own will but the Will of Him who sent Him.

22. God, being the Creator of the world, is the supreme Judge of all creation. He alone can know with absolute certainty whether the people and things He has created achieve the end He has envisaged for them. Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, has received divine authority (cf. Matthew 11:27; 28:18; Daniel 7:14), including the authority to judge mankind. Now, it is God's will that everyone should be saved: Christ did not come to condemn the world but to save it (cf. John 12:47). Only someone who refuses to accept the divine mission of the Son puts himself outside the pale of salvation. As the Church's Magisterium teaches: "He claimed judicial power as received from His Father, when the Jews accused Him of breaking the Sabbath by the miraculous cure of a sick man. [...] In this power is included the right of rewarding and punishing all men, even in this life" (Pius XI, "Quas Primas, Dz-Sch 3677"). Jesus Christ, therefore, is the Judge of the living and the dead, and will reward everyone according to his works (cf. 1 Peter 1:17).

"We have, I admit, a rigorous account to give of our sins; but who will be our judge? The Father [...] has given all judgment to the Son. Let us be comforted: the eternal Father has placed our cause in the hands of our Redeemer Himself. St. Paul encourages us, saying, Who is [the judge] who is to condemn us? It is Jesus Christ, who died [...] who indeed intercedes for us (Romans 8:34). It is the Savior Himself, who, in order that He should not condemn us to eternal death, has condemned Himself to death for our sake, and who, not content with this, still continues to intercede for us in Heaven with God His Father" (St. Alphonsus Liguori, "The Love of Our Lord Jesus Christ Reduced To Practice", Chapter 3).

24. There is also a close connection between hearing the word of Christ and believing in Him who sent Him, that is, in the Father. Whatever Jesus Christ says is divine revelation; therefore, accepting Jesus' words is equivalent to believing in God the Father: "He who believes in Me, believes not in Me, but in Him who sent Me.... For I have not spoken on My own authority; the Father who sent Me has Himself given Me the commandment what to say and what to speak" (John 12:44, 49).

A person with faith is on the way to eternal life, because even in this earthly life he is sharing in divine life, which is eternal; but he has not yet attained eternal life in a definitive way (for he can lose it), nor in a full way: "Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him" (1 John 3:2). If a person stays firm in the faith and lives up to its demands, God's judgment will not condemn him but save him.

Therefore, it makes sense to strive, with the help of grace, to live a life consistent with the faith: "If men go to so much trouble and effort to live here a little longer, ought they not strive so much harder to live eternally?" (St. Augustine, "De Verb. Dom. Serm.", 64).

25-30. These verse bring the first part of our Lord's discourse to a close (it runs from 5:19 to 5:47); its core is a revelation about His relationship with His Father. To understand the statement our Lord makes here we need to remember that, because He is a single (divine) person, a single subject of operations, a single I, He is expressing in human words not only His sentiments as a man but also the deepest dimension of His being: He is the Son of God, both in His generation in eternity by the Father, and in His generation in time through taking up human nature. Hence Jesus Christ has a profound awareness (so profound that we cannot even imagine it) of His Sonship, which leads Him to treat His Father with a very special intimacy, with love and also with respect; He is aware also of His equality with the Father; therefore when He speaks about the Father having given Him life (verse 26) or authority (verse 27), it is not that He has received part of the Father's life or authority: He has received absolutely all of it, without the Father losing any.

"Do you perceive how their equality is shown and that they differ in one respect only, namely, that one is the Father, while the other is the Son? The _expression `He has given' implies this distinction only, and shows that all other attributes are equal and without difference. From this it is clear that He does everything with as much authority and power as the Father and is not endowed with power from some outside source, for He has life as the Father has" (St. John Chrysostom, "Hom. on St. John", 39, 3).

One of the amazing things about these passages of the Gospel is how Jesus manages to express the sentiments of God-Man despite the limitations of human language: Christ, true God, true man, is a mystery which the Christian should contemplate even though he cannot understand it: he feels bathed in a light so strong that it is beyond understanding, yet fills his soul with faith and with a desire to worship his Lord.
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, March 20, 2007

Mental Prayer for Wednesday after the Fourth Sunday of Lent

Peter's Denial

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: To understand and feel the sorrow that fills Christ during His Passion.

Mental Picture (cf. Luke 22:54-62): Peter follows Christ at a distance to the courtyard of the high priest - watches Him being unjustly tried. Lying witnesses come forward... Jesus says nothing. Finally He speaks; Peter watches a guard step up, hit Him in the face. Jesus, hands tied behind His back, answers: "If I have said something wrong, accuse me of it; but if not, why did you strike me"?" Christ's courage... and Peter saw it all. Outside. Peter hears the servants around the fire talking about this criminal Jesus and His twelve riff-raff followers. A maid looks at Peter and says, "Look, this is one of them." Peter denies it. Three times he denies that he knows Christ. The swears and curses of his last denial are hardly finished when Jesus turns, and looks at Peter. Peter goes away, weeping bitterly.

My Personal Application: In the garden, Christ had warned Peter: "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation." Peter had slept instead.

Now, afraid of a little servant girl, Peter denies that he even knew Christ. That very night he had told Jesus, "I will follow you to prison and to death!" What was Christ thinking when He turned to look at Peter? What sorrow he caused Christ! How often I, like Peter, have denied Christ and added to His sorrow, by being afraid to do before others what was right.

I Speak to Christ: Lord, how sorry I am for having been such a fair-weather friend! How often I have told you I would be loyal to you, then was too much a coward to stand up before others for my friendship with you. I will not add to your sorrows again. Help me, for I am weak.

Thought for Today: Passion of Christ, strengthen me!
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Local Women Led Liturgies

"Catholic" Action Network (CAN) has posted the most recent Women Led "liturgy" - the Stations of the Cross - which were held, according to both CAN and the Women's Ordination Conference, at St Cronan's "Catholic" Church in St Louis.

CAN posts this:
Women Led-Liturgies
an opportunity for Catholic women (especially those called to ordination) to lead prayer
Saturday, February 17th 2007
St. Cronan's parish: 1202 S Boyle Ave (map here)

Check out our Liturgies:
September 2006.
December 2006.
January 2007.
February 2007.
March 2007.
What should be quite repugnant to the sensibilities of any Catholic who has any belief in the Church which Christ instituted for us, is that these individuals persist in distorting nearly all that is Catholic. Take a look at their "Stations of the Cross," for instance:

Stations of the cross
Adapted from Women’s Ordination Conference

Women Led Prayer
March 17, 2007
Sponsored by Justice for Women in the Catholic Church
Catholic Action Network
Please Enter in Silence

Call to Worship: Please stand


Voice 3, A woman called to ordination today: Mine was an ordinary childhood, you could say. Born just before the American entry into World War II, I still have vivid memories of blackouts… food rationing… letters from an uncle who fought in the Pacific… my mother’s trauma as she learned of President Roosevelt’s death. As an only child, I was shy. But I loved books and found friendship in them. I found friendship in my faith, as well. It was my father who first taught me to pray before bedtime. And my parents brought me to Mass every Sunday, though the Latin sounded like gibberish to my young mind. And yet… there was something… Mystery that drew me in. I remember statues covered in purple during Lent, incense wafted aloft. I remember visiting churches on Holy Thursday evening. And, as a teenager, I can remember being wrapped in the hovering silence of a darkened church before Midnight Mass. Then suddenly, trumpets would sound, lights would come on full, and joyful strains of familiar hymns would fill the church. Christ was born! Liturgy mattered to me. But it would be many years before I would come to know how very much it mattered.
. . .
I was forty years old when I fell head over heels in love with the liturgy of the church. How did it happen? One event built on another, without my ever realizing it: an inspiring priest, the recognized need, finally, for something more, something deeper and truer, despite marriage and three beautiful children. Within months of becoming head of the parish liturgy committee, I participated in workshop after workshop. What excitement! What connection to my deepest longings! One morning I literally woke up and knew that I had to study theology… and that ministry would become a way of life for me. And, from the time I walked into my first theology class, I felt I had come home.

People I served in parishes confirmed what I knew to be true. “You have found your calling!” “Who says women can’t be ordained priests!” (This statement was made before Pope John Paul II clearly pronounced that the church had no authority to ordain women.) It was then that liturgy became the source of my deepest joy… and my deepest pain. The church I love denied me my heart’s greatest desire, and the calling of the Spirit.
. . .
This anonymous voice is contrasted with St Therese of Lisieux and the priest-imposter Ludmila Javarova,a Czechoslovakian woman who claims to have been ordained by some renegade bishop. It's more than presumtuous to include St Therese's remarks in something such as this as though she would approve.


Lector: A reading from the Prophet Isaiah (42:1-4, with “he” made plural)
. . .
The Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time

Response: O Christ, Vulnerable One, we adore you and bless you; by your holy cross, help us transform our world.

A woman called today: How can I ever forget the excruciating pain? After 8 full years in parish ministry, suddenly there was no place open for me. I felt like my heart had been ripped out! In the end, the God who had led me this far, was still with me. A few dear friends supported me in my return to studies to complete my M.Div, and my spiritual strengthening.
. . .
Closing: Let us sign one another with God’s power of compassion poured out, of life out of death and proclaim.
“My friend, receive the sign of the cross on your forehead. It is Christ who now strengthens you with this sign of his love. Learn to know and follow him.”
This charade was supposed to have occurred at St Cronan' isn't difficult to imagine that this is the case. After all, looking over its website one finds all sorts of things, such as:
Scripture Reflection
from LGBT Perspectives
Tuesday 3/20 -- 7:00p
Parish Center Lower Level
What a parish!

A Warning to the Entire Continent (Chiesa)

The Sentence Against Theologian Jon Sobrino Is Aimed at an Entire Continent
In pointing out the errors in two books, the Vatican wanted above all to warn their readers: the bishops, priests, and laypeople of Latin America. It is the prelude to Benedict XVI’s upcoming visit to Brazil. At the center of it all is the question on who is the real Jesus
by Sandro Magister

Recommended Reading: Bishop Fisher on Conscience and Authority

Zenit has an excellent article here.

"Struggling to Recover a Catholic Sense"

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 3, 2007 ( Here is the text Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia, delivered at the conference sponsored by the Pontifical Academy for Life and held in the Vatican last Friday and Saturday. The theme of the conference was "The Christian Conscience in Support of the Right to Life."
Our dissenting brothers and sisters who choose to separate themselves from the Church by mistakenly appealing to a malformed or defective conscience in rejecting the Church's teachings on abortion, euthanasia, sodomy and homosexuality, embryonic stem cell research, artificial contraception, etc., would do well to read this article with an open and uncluttered mind, in a spirit of Christian docility.

Orange County Priest who Celebrated Latin Mass, Dead at 77

Father Daniel Johnson, a champion of pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic traditions and the centuries-old Tridentine Mass, has died. He was 77.

Johnson died Sunday at a Duarte hospital after a long illness.

"He was a pioneer in reforming liturgical reform," said Michael J. Sundstedt, a longtime parishioner at St. Mary's by the Sea in Huntington Beach, where Johnson served as pastor for 25 years before retiring in 2004.
. . .
Although regarded as stodgy and closed-minded in some quarters, he was a hero to Southern California Catholics who disliked the "peace hugs" and "hootenanny music" of modern services, parishioners said.
. . .
Emphasizing tradition and decorum, Johnson discouraged parishioners from snapping photos at baptisms and weddings — and he resisted Vatican II reforms that allowed people to receive Communion in their hands...
. . .
[By a decision of Bishop Tod Brown] The Diocese of Orange stopped offering Tridentine Masses at St. Mary's by the Sea after Johnson left. But the Latin service will be briefly resurrected there for his funeral Mass, church officials said. The date hasn't been set.
May the soul of Fr. Johnson rest in peace.

Gospel for Tuesday, 4th Week of Lent

From: John 5:1-16

The Cure of a Sick Man at the Pool at Bethzatha

[1] After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. [2] Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Hebrew called Bethzatha, which has five porticoes. [3] In these lay a multitude of invalid, blind, lame, paralyzed. [5] One man was there, who had been ill for thirty-eight years. [6] When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there for a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be healed?" [7] The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled, and while I am going another steps down before me." [8] Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your pallet, and walk." [9] And at once the man was healed, and he took up his pallet and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. [10] So the Jews said to the man who was cured, "It is the Sabbath, it is not lawful for you to carry your pallet." [11] But he answered them, "The man who healed me said to me, `Take up your pallet, and walk.'" [12] They asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, `Take up your pallet, and walk'?" [13] Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. [14] Afterward, Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse befall you." [15] The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. [16] And this was why the Jews persecuted Jesus, because He did this on the Sabbath.


1. We cannot be certain what festival this was; it probably refers to the Passover, known the world over at the time as the national festival of the Jewish people. But it could refer to another festival, Pentecost, perhaps.

2. This pool was also called the "Probatic" pool because it was located on the outskirts of Jerusalem, beside the Probatic Gate or Sheep Gate (cf. Nehemiah 3:1-32; 12:39) through which came the livestock which was going to be sacrificed in the temple. Around the end of the nineteenth century the remains of a pool were discovered: excavated out of rock, it was rectangular in shape and was surrounded by four galleries or porches, with a fifth porch dividing the pool into two.

3-4. The Fathers teach that this pool is a symbol of Christian Baptism; but that whereas the pool of Bethzatha cured physical ailments, Baptism cures those of the soul; in Bethzatha's case only one person was cured, now and again; shown through the medium of water (cf. Chrysostom, "Hom. on St. John", 36, 1).

The Sixto-Clementine edition of the Vulgate includes here, as a second part of verse 3 and all of verse 4: "waiting for the moving of the water; [4] For an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and troubled the water' whoever stepped in first after the troubling of the water was healed of whatever disease he had." The New Vulgate, however, omits this passage, assigning it to a footnote, because it does not appear in important Greek codexes and papyri, nor in many ancient translations.

14. The man may have come to the temple to thank God for his cure. Jesus goes over to him and reminds him that the health of the soul is more important than physical health.

Our Lord uses holy fear of God as motivation in the struggle against sin: "Sin no more, that nothing worse may befall you". This holy fear is born out of respect for God our Father; it is perfectly compatible with love. Just as children love and respect their parents and try to avoid annoying them partly because they are afraid of being punished, so we should fight against sin firstly because it is an offense against God, but also because we can be punished in this life and, above all, in the next.

16-18. The Law of Moses established the Sabbath as a weekly day of rest. Through keeping the Sabbath the Jews felt they were imitating God, who rested from the work of creation on the seventh day. St. Thomas Aquinas observes that Jesus rejects this strict interpretation: (The Jews), in their desire to imitate God, did nothing on the Sabbath, as if God on that day had ceased absolutely to act. It is true that He rested on the Sabbath from His work of creating new creatures, but He is always continually at work, maintaining them in existence. [...] God is the cause of all things in the sense that He also maintains them in existence; for if for one moment He were to stop exercising His power, at that very moment everything that nature contains would cease to exist" ("Comm. on St. John, in loc.").

"My Father is working still, and I am working": we have already said that God is continually acting. Since the Son acts together with the Father, who with the Holy Spirit are the one and only God, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, can say that He is always working. These words of Jesus contain an implicit reference to His divinity: the Jews realize this and they want to kill Him because they consider it blasphemous. "We all call God our Father, who is in Heaven (Isaiah 63:16; 64:8). Therefore, they were angry, not at this, that He said God was His Father, but that He said it in quite another way than men. Notice: the Jews understand what Arians do not understand. Arians affirm the Son to be not equal to the Father, and that was why this heresy was driven from the Church. Here, even the blind, even the slayers of Christ, understand the works of Christ" (St. Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang., 17, 16). We call God our Father because through grace we are His adopted children; Jesus calls Him His Father because He is His Son by nature. This is why He says after the Resurrection: "I am ascending to My Father and your Father" (John 20:17), making a clear distinction between the two ways of being a son of 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, March 19, 2007

Mental Prayer for Tuesday After the Fourth Sunday of Lent

Jesus Is Captured: Judas

The Passion of Christ-Its Meaning

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: A deeper understanding and love of Christ - and sorrow with Christ in sorrow, who is going to His death for my sins.

Mental Picture (cf. Matt. 26:41-50): Night... the shadowy grove of olive trees... in the distance the white houses of Jerusalem and the golden roof of the temple glimmer in the moonlight. The Apostles are asleep; Jesus is praying. Into the garden comes Judas at the head of a band of soldiers. He walks right up to Jesus and points Him out to them by a sign of friendship... such a hateful hypocrite, a coward, a traitor! Jesus begins to speak: will He damn Judas on the spot for such treachery? He begins: "Friend..."; Christ is calling him friend. Then He says, "Judas, don't you realize the terrible thing you are doing in betraying me? Judas, stop and think! Repent before it is too late." Desperately our Lord tries to save Judas... He forgets about the wrong done to Himself; He is thinking of the harm Judas is doing to his own soul.

My Personal Application: What went on inside Christ when Judas turned Him over to the sol­diers? Not to abandon a friend even when he abandons you or betrays you, is a mark of tremen­dous, disinterested love. Such was Christ's love for Judas. Such is Christ's love for me, too, for I have betrayed Him each time I have sinned.

I Speak to Christ: Dearest Lord, how can I help but admire you when you show yourself such a true friend? How wrong I've been, like Judas, to betray you by my sins. Help me to do better - ­I will do better - from now on.

Thought for Today: "He was betrayed into the hands of sinners."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Fr Tom Euteneuer on EWTN Radio

This just in (and updated):
Father Tom Euteneuer will be on EWTN Radio on Open Line Tuesday, March 20, with Barbara McGuigan on the internet.

The show starts at 2:00 Central Time and lasts until 3:00 pm.

Visist then click on radio.

An Update on The Morality of Contraception

From Dr Jeff Mirus at CatholicCulture:

Thanks to Fr. Thomas Euteneur of Human Life International, we have what we might call a teaching moment on contraception. Fr. Euteneur has taken on talk show host Sean Hannity, who is known as a generally conservative thinker who utterly fails to grasp the fundamentals of sexual morality. Well, he is hardly alone.

...If you need a basic analysis of the issue to help open the eyes of someone who just doesn't see what all the fuss is about, I think you'll find the column useful: Contraception: Why It's Wrong.
For a bit of background on the Hannity/Euteneuer issue, click here.

It's also interesting to note that I came across this post from Feb 2006:
During the 2004 campaign, John Kerry was subjected to bitter invective from religious leaders and pundits for his stance on abortion. Raymond Burke, the Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Louis, went so far as to forbid Kerry Communion in his diocese, and Fox News commentator Sean Hannity opined that if Kerry couldn't support a major tenet of his religion "... he can go to another church." [emphasis added]
As Jeff Mirus states, it is indeed a teaching moment. And how many times have we been advised that we must help in the "New Evangelization" and the "Re-Evangelization" of our lost brothers and sisters...America, as Fr. Hardon put it, will cease to exist, if we do not return this country to its Christian roots and foundation.

Why Is Contraception Wrong?

Dr Jeff Mirus has an interesting article on the subject here.

And for those who are Fr. John Hardon fans, might I suggest a few of his articles, such as:
Contraception: Fatal to the Faith and to Eternal Life,

Contraception Feeds Social Decline,

Either Stop Contraception or Destroy the Family.

He has so many more insightful articles - all worth reading with an attentive mind.

Gospel for the Solemnity: St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

From: Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a

The Ancestry of Jesus Christ (Continuation)

[16] And Jacob, (was) the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, ofwhom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

The Virginal Conception of Jesus, and His Birth

[18] Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; [19] and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly. [20] But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; [21] she will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." [24a] When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.


16. Jewish genealogies followed the male line. Joseph, being Mary's husband, was the legal father of Jesus. The legal father is on a par with the real father as regards rights and duties. This fact provides a sound basis for recognizing St. Joseph as Patron of the whole Church, since he was chosen to play a very special role in God's plan for our salvation; with Joseph as his legal father, Jesus the Messiah has David as his successor.

Since it was quite usual for people to marry within their clan, it can be concluded that Mary belonged to the house of David. Several early Fathers of the Church testify to this--for example, St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Irenaeus, St. Justin and Tertullian, who base their testimony on an unbroken oral tradition.

It should also be pointed out that when St. Matthew comes to speak of the birth of Jesus, he uses an ___expression which is completely different from that used for the other people in the genealogy. With these words the text positively teaches that Mary conceived Jesus while still a virgin, without the intervention of man.

18. St. Matthew relates here how Christ was conceived (cf. Luke 1:25-38): "We truly honor and venerate (Mary) as Mother of God, because she gave birth to a person who is at the same time both God and man" ("St. Pius V Catechism", I, 4, 7).

According to the provisions of the Law of Moses, engagement took place about one year before marriage and enjoyed almost the same legal validity. The marriage proper consisted, among other ceremonies, in the bride being brought solemnly and joyously to her husband's house (cf. Deuteronomy 20:7).

From the moment of engagement onwards, a certificate of divorce was needed in the event of a break in the relationship between the couple.

The entire account of Jesus' birth teaches, through the different fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 (which is expressly quoted in verses 22-23) that: 1) Jesus has David as His ancestor since Joseph is His legal father; 2) Mary is the Virgin who gives birth according to the prophecy; 3) the Child's conception without the intervention of man was miraculous.

19. "St. Joseph was an ordinary sort of man on whom God relied to do great things. He did exactly what the Lord wanted him to do, in each and every event that went to make up his life. That is why Scripture praises Joseph as `a just man'. In Hebrew a just man means a good and faithful servant of God, someone who fulfills the divine will (cf. Genesis 7:1; 18:23-32; Ezekiel 18:5ff.; Proverbs 12:10), or who is honorable and charitable toward his neighbor (cf. Tobias 7:6; 9:6). So a just man is someone who loves God and proves his love by keeping God's commandments and directing his whole life towards the service of his brothers, his fellow men" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 40).

Joseph considered his spouse to be holy despite the signs that she was going to have a child. He was therefore faced with a situation he could not explain. Precisely because he was trying to do God's will, he felt obliged to put her away; but to shield her from public shame he decided to send her away quietly.

Mary's silence is admirable. Her perfect surrender to God even leads her to the extreme of not defending her honor or innocence. She prefers to suffer suspicion and shame rather than reveal the work of grace in her. Faced with a fact which was inexplicable in human terms she abandons herself confidently to the love and providence of God. God certainly submitted the holy souls of Joseph and Mary to a severe trial. We ought not to be surprised if we also undergo difficult trials in the course of our lives. We ought to trust in God during them, and remain faithful to Him, following the example they gave us.

20. God gives His light to those who act in an upright way and who trust in His power and wisdom when faced with situations which exceed human understanding. By calling him the son of David, the angel reminds Joseph that he is the providential link which joins Jesus with the family of David, according to Nathan's messianic prophecy (cf. 2 Samuel 7:12). As St. John Chrysostom says: "At the very start he straightaway reminds him of David, of whom the Christ was to spring, and he does not wish him to be worried from the moment he reminds him, through naming his most illustrious ancestor, of the promise made to all his lineage" ("Hom. on St. Matthew", 4).

"The same Jesus Christ, our only Lord, the Son of God, when He assumed human flesh for us in the womb of the Virgin, was not conceived like other men, from the seed of man, but in a manner transcending the order of nature, that is, by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that the same person, remaining God as He was from eternity, became man, which He was not before" ("St. Pius V Catechism", I, 4, 1).

21. According to the Hebrew root, the name Jesus means "savior". After our Lady, St. Joseph is the first person to be told by God that salvation has begun.

"Jesus is the proper name of the God-man and signifies `Savior'--a name given Him not accidentally, or by the judgment or will of man, but by the counsel and command of God" [...]. All other names which prophecy gave to the Son of God--Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (cf. Isaiah 9:6)--are comprised in this one name Jesus; for while they partially signified the salvation which He was to bestow on us, this name included the force and meaning of all human salvation" ("St. Pius V Catechism", I, 3, 5 and 6).

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

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Mental Prayer for Monday After the Fourth Sunday of Lent

The Agony in the Garden - Thy Will Be Done

The Passion of Christ-Its Meaning

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: O God, help me to say always, "Thy will be done."

Mental Picture (cf. Matt. 26:36-46): Midnight... deserted spot in a grove of olive trees... I see a haggard man on the ground, clinging to a rock for support. Suddenly, I see a chalice suspended in the air before the man. It tilts forward and in it both He and I see... a knotted scourge... a filthy blindfold... inch-long thorns shaped like a crown... three jagged spikes. A voice fills the night, "My Son, will you suffer these for men?" And the trembling man responds, "Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass... but not my will, but thine be done." He knows entirely what His Father wants Him to suffer, and He freely chooses to do His Father's will... for me... for my sins.

My Personal Application: Do I remember way back when I meditated on why I was made and saw God's will for me? And do I remember my sins when I disobeyed God's will? Now I see the price Christ had to pay for sin. This was not easy for Christ. Yet by His willingness He re­pairs for my unwillingness - for the many times I turned away from what I knew was right.

I Speak to Christ: My suffering Savior, help me always to conform my will to yours. When temp­tation is strong, when sin is ever so enticing, when my will is drawn so strongly to sin, give me the grace to say, "Not my will, but thine be done."

Thought for Today: "Not my will, but thine be done."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)