Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mental Prayer for Palm Sunday

Father, Forgive Them

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: To share Christ's sorrow with Him, to better appreciate His spirit of love for me.

Mental Picture (cf. Luke 23:34): The spikes have been driven into Jesus' hands, feet... the cross is raised... dropped with a thud into the hole prepared for it. Jesus groans... the unspeakable pain... fresh blood spurts from His wounds. Jesus, unjustly tried, scourged, condemned as the worst criminal, laughed at, spat upon, hangs there and looks out at the mocking crowd and at the soldiers, His blood still on their hands, dividing His clothes among them. Will He speak about His great pain, the injustice done to Him, ask for something for Himself? No! His words are, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." To the end, even in His dying agony, Christ thinks more about us and the evil we do to ourselves than He thinks about Himself.

My Personal Application: When anyone treats me unfairly even in little things, the first thing I usually think of is how to get even, how to hurt him back. How unlike Christ I am! Have I ever simply taken it on the chin, when I could have fought back - even tried to do that person a good turn instead of a bad one? How hard this is! How much Christ showed He loved me by doing this for me - sure1y I can do the same for Him once in a while.

I Speak to Christ: Lord, how differently you act from the way the world acts. You are showing me the way. Teach me to love men as you loved us. Only great love can forgive. I need this kind of love. Please help me learn from you.

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

The 2nd Annivesary of the Murder of Terri Schiavo

Fr Fr. Frank Pavone:
March 30, 2007

Dear Friends,

Last night I preached at the Memorial Mass for the second anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo. She died on March 31, 2005. I was with her family for the day yesterday. Her parents, Bob and Mary, her brother Bobby, her sister Suzanne and her niece Alex have all been an extraordinary example of faithfulness under trial. They have never sought the spotlight; they only sought to love and serve Terri.
* * *
When I was in Terri’s room as she was dying, I felt so intensely the presence, by prayer and concern, of all of you and of all who throughout the world were thinking, praying, and crying about what was happening to Terri. You were all there, and I told Terri you were all there. God was expressing to her, through all of us, his great name, “I AM.”
* * *
More here.

A Reflection for Palm Sunday

The ceremony that you have just witnessed is at once a memorial and a symbol. As a memorial it carries the mind back to that faraway scene near the Holy City, which is so vividly pictured in the Gospel that has just been read. Our blessed Lord on His way from Jericho to Jerusalem comes to the little village of Bethphage, over the shoulder of the Mount of Olives. He sends two of His disciples into the village and directs them to bring Him an ass on which He is to make His entry into Jerusalem. This He does, as St. Matthew reminds us, that the prophecy may be fulfilled, which was foretold by the prophet: "Behold, thy King comes to thee meek, and sitting upon an ass."

There are with our blessed Lord, besides His disciples, a multitude of men. They followed Him as He came on His journey from Jericho, or have come out to meet Him from Jerusalem. Some spread thin garments on the path before Him. Others cut down the boughs of the palm tree and the olive that grow on the hillside, and strew them on the way. All join in the glad acclaim: "Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!"

Outwardly and to all human appearances this is a day of triumph for the lowly Galilean. Here is He who passed for the son of Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth, now openly hailed by His own countrymen as the Son of David, the long-wished-for Messias, the Expected of the nations, and Desire of the eternal hills. He comes, it should seem, to take peaceful possession of the throne of His Father, and to reign over a willing people in Jerusalem, the ancient seat of sovereign power, the chosen city of God.

One would need to be more than human not to feel that it is a great day, a day of exaltation and a day of joy. And He who draws near the city, He who comes, as was foretold by the prophet, meek, and sitting upon an ass, He, indeed, is more than human, more than the Son of David for whom the Jews own Him this day. He is the Son of God, the Son of the living God, who, "being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal to God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in fashion formed as a man." At this very moment, when the hosannas of a people are sounding in His ears, He knows that the time is near when He shall further humble Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.

He knows, for He is God, that some of the very men who are hailing Him Son of David, will, in a few days, be joining their voices with the rabble before the judgment seat of Pilate, and crying out: "Crucify Him, crucify Him." Hence, alone amid that jubilant multitude and surrounded by those tokens of triumph, He who is the object of all the acclaim, is grave and sad. We are told by another Evangelist that when He was now in sight of the city, He wept over it, saying: "Had thou known, and that in this thy day, the things that are for thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy sight."

Such, then, is the scene and such are the incidents which today's ceremony serves to recall to our minds. The scene is a touching one, and in its way typical. The multitude that confessed Christ on that day were like the great mass of those who have confessed Him in every age since then. Alas, for the fickleness of human nature! We see our own lives mirrored in the Gospel scene. One day we acclaim Christ our King, and the very next day, perhaps, we desert Him, and go over to the enemy, take up again the works and pomps of the devil which we renounced in baptism. We serve Him when we feel like it.We are fair-weather friends. We follow Him when we find it easy to do so. We are ready to work for Him and with Him when all goes well with us, and to shout hosannas, but we murmur when trials come upon us, and when we are called upon to share His Cross we shrink from the sacrifice.

Let us look at the symbolic meaning of today's ceremony. The branches with which the multitude strewed the way were cut from the palm and olive trees. The men who cut and strewed them simply meant to honor our Lord. They little thought, in all likelihood, that their action had a symbolic significance. Yet it is plain to us who look back on the scene that those branches bore a hidden meaning and were fitting emblems of Him who was making His solemn entry into the city of His fathers. For the oil of the olive tree is used in anointing, and Christ is the anointed of the Lord - anointed above His fellows with the oil of gladness. The olive, too, is the emblem of peace, and He who went by Bethany that day into the holy city is the Prince of peace, and the Giver of that peace which passes understanding. The palm, on the other hand, is the emblem of victory, and our Lord was on the eve of the great struggle in which He was to snatch from the very jaws of defeat the victory of victories - victory over death and the powers of darkness.

Today, then, in memory of those far-off events, we take the blessed palm and carry it to our homes. We, too, have been anointed with the oil of gladness, God's sweet grace, in baptism, and in the tribunal of penance have heard as from the lips of Christ Himself: "Go in peace; thy sins are forgiven thee."

We, too, as followers of Christ, must be girded for the battle, seeing that the life of man is a warfare upon the earth. Let us bear ourselves in the day of our trial as true soldiers of Christ. Let us fight the good fight that we may one day be found worthy to wear the crown - to join the great multitude of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, who stand before the throne of God and in sight of the Lamb, clothed in white robes and with palms in their hands.
Adapted from Plain Sermons by Practical Preachers, Vol. II(©1916)
Homily by Bishop Alexander MacDonald
Nihil Obstat: Remegius Lafort, S.T.D
Imprimatur: John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

Gospel for Saturday, 5th Week of Lent

From: John 11:45-56

The Sanhedrin Decides on the Death of Jesus

[45] Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary (Magdalene) and had seen what He (Jesus) did, believed in Him; [46] but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. [47] So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council, and said, "What are we to do? For this Man performs many signs. [48] If we let Him go on thus, every one will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation." [49] But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all; [50] you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish." [51] He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation, [52] and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. [53] So from that day on they took counsel on how to put Him to death.

[54] Jesus therefore no longer went about openly among the Jews, but went from there to the country near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim; and there He stayed with the disciples.

[55] Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. [56] They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, "What do you think? That He will not come to the feast?"


45-48. Once again, as Simeon had predicted, Jesus is a sign of contradiction (cf. Luke 2:34; John 7:12, 31, 40; 9:16; etc.): presented with the miracle of the raising of Lazarus some people believe in Jesus (verse 45), and some denounce Him to His enemies (cf. verses 46-47)--confirming what is said in the parable of the rich man: "neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead" (Luke 16:31).

"Our (holy) place": this __expression or similar expressions such as "the place", "this place", was used to designate the temple, the holy place "par excellence" and, by extension, all the Holy City of Jerusalem (cf. Maccabees 5:19; Acts 6:14).

49-53. Caiaphas held the high priesthood from the year 18 to the year 36 A.D. (cf. "The Dates of the Life of our Lord Jesus Christ" in "The Navarre Bible: St. Mark", p. 49). Caiaphas was the instrument God used to prophesy the redemptive death of the Savior, for it was one of the functions of the high priest to consult God on how to lead the people (cf. Exodus 28:30; Numbers 27:21; 1 Samuel 23:9; 30:7-8). Here Caiaphas' words have a dual meaning: one, Caiaphas' meaning, is that he wants to put Christ to death, on the pretext that that will ensure the political peace and survival of Israel; the other, the meaning intended by the Holy Spirit, is the announcement of the foundation of the new Israel, the Church, through the death of Christ on the Cross (Caiaphas is unaware of this meaning). And so it happens that the last high priest of the Old Alliance prophesies the investiture of the High Priest of the New Alliance, which will be sealed in His own blood.

When the Evangelist states that Christ was going to die "to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad" (verse 52), he is referring to what our Lord had said regarding the salvific effects of His death (cf. John 10:14-15). The prophets had already announced the future assembly of Israelites faithful to God to form the new people of Israel (cf. Isaiah 43:5; Jeremiah 23:3-5; Ezekiel 34:23; 37:21-24). These prophecies are fulfilled by the death of Christ, who, on being raised up on the cross, draws and gathers together the true people of God, composed of all believers, whether Israelites or not. The Second Vatican Council uses this passage as a source when speaking of the universality of the Church: "All men are called to belong to the new people of God. This people therefore, whilst remaining one and only one, is to be spread throughout the whole world and to all ages in order that the design of God's will may be fulfilled: He made human nature one in the beginning and decreed that all His children who were scattered should be finally gathered together as one (cf. John 11:52). It was for this purpose that God sent His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things (cf. Hebrews 1:2), that He might be teacher, king and priest of all, the head of the new and universal people of God's sons" ("Lumen Gentium", 13).

In the fourth century, St. John Chrysostom explained the catholicity of the Church using these words: "What is the meaning of `to gather into one those who are scattered abroad'? He made them one body. He who dwells in Rome knows that the Christians of India are his members" ("Hom. on St. John", 65, 1).

54. The time for Him to die has not yet arrived; therefore Jesus acts prudently, taking the steps anyone would take not to precipitate events.

55. Since the Passover was the most solemn Jewish feast, the people used to arrive in Jerusalem some days in advance to prepare for it by washings, fasts and offerings--practices established not by the Mosaic law but by popular piety; the rites of the Passover itself, with the sacrificing of the lamb, were a rite of purification and expiation for sins. The Passover of the Jews was a figure of the Christian Pasch or Easter, for, as St. Paul the Apostle teaches us, our paschal lamb is Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:7), who offered Himself once and for all to the eternal Father on the cross to atone for our sins. (Pope) Paul VI recalled this happy truth of faith: "Gave Himself for me? But does there still exist a religion which is expressed in sacrifices? No, the sacrifices of the ancient law and pagan religions have no longer any reason to exist; but the world always needs a sacrifice, a valid, unique and perennial one, for the redemption of human sin [...]; it is the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, which wipes out sin from the world; a sacrifice which the Eucharist actualizes in time and makes it possible for the men of this earth to take part in it" ([Pope] Paul VI, "Homily on Corpus Christ", 17 June 1976).

If the Jews prepared to celebrate the Passover with all these rites and ablutions, it is obvious what steps we should take to celebrate or participate in the Mass and to receive Christ--our Pasch--in the Eucharist. "On this earth, when we receive an important person, we bring out the best--lights, music, formal dress. How should we prepare to receive Christ into our soul? Have we ever thought about how we should behave if we could only receive Him once in a lifetime?" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 91).
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 30, 2007

Mental Prayer for Saturday after the Fifth Sunday of Lent

Christ Is Stripped of His Garments

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Lord, let me feel the shame you fclt as men stared at you and laughed.

Mental Picture: Later on that day... a low hill just outside Jerusalem's western wall... three men stumble to the top and sprawl down on the ground, exhausted. The crowd pours round in a circle, watching everything with a savage joy. The sol­diers joke and chat while they give the mob a moment's rest. Then a word from their officer and they rip the clothes from the men's bodies... the crowd shouts approval... three more criminals are about to die.

My Personal Application: I have experienced moments of intense shame and embarrassment. What could make me live through such a situation again? What could have made Christ willing to go through such an ordeal in His Passion when He foresaw it before it took place?

I Speak to Christ: My God, you have come to this! How you humiliated yourself when you stripped yourself of your glory in heaven to be­come one of us! And on earth, you, who own the universe, owned no more than the clothes on your back! But that wasn't enough! You allowed us to humiliate you even more by stripping even these from you. Help me to understand your great love for us.

Thought for Today: "They divided His garments among them."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Fr Jonathon Morris on Hannity & Colmes to Discuss Contraception?

Remember Fox News analyst Fr. Jonathan Morris, of the Legionaries of Christ, who also wrote an Open Letter which was critical, not of Hannity's heterdox behavior but of Fr. Euteneuer?

Well, John Mallon tells us:
I have just received notice that Father Jonathan Morris will be on Hannity and Colmes tonight, Friday, March 30, discussing contraception. I have no reason to doubt the report but tried to confirm it with Fox’s switchboard but it is constantly busy. The number is: 212-556-2500.

I hope and pray Fr. Morris proclaims the truth as taught by the Church and does not shrink from his responsibility to be a witness to the fact that artificial contraception is intrinsically evil.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states (cf. 2270):
..."every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil.

Pope John Paul II explained that contraception contradicts and is opposed to true love:
“Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality.” (Familiaris Consortio, #32)
Pope Paul Vi, in Humanae Vitae, declared:

In conformity with these landmarks in the human and Christian vision of marriage, we must once again declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun, and, above all, directly willed and procured abortion, even if for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as licit means of regulating birth. Equally to be excluded, as the teaching authority of the Church has frequently declared, is direct sterilization, whether perpetual or temporary, whether of the man or of the woman. Similarly excluded is every action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible. (Nos. 13, 14)

And in Casti Connubii, Pope Pius XI declared:

Any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guild of a grave sin.(No. 56)

Nazi Tactics Continue in Germany against Homeschoolers

In a followup to a story reported a month ago, it appears that a Youth Welfare Officer lied on German television about homeschooler, Melissa Busekros, who was "taken away" [kidnapped] from her family...The "Officer" stated that Melissa was happy in state custody away from her family...

For over two months, 15 year-old homeschooled Melissa Busekros has been in the custody of Germany's Jugendamt, an organization created by National Socialist (Nazi) chancellor Adolf Hitler in 1939 to supervise and control families politically after he banned homeschooling in 1938 as subversive to indoctrinating German youth in the Nazi ideology. The Jugendamt ordered Melissa to undergo psychiatric treatment for "school phobia," and has placed her in a foster home and location unknown to her parents who are allowed to see their daughter only once a week. (emphasis added)

Why does this government agency still exist?

"The father was showing the videotape [of the officer's statements] to the daughter when another worker within the room for the visit came over and slammed the computer shut, called the police, and had him escorted off the property," Joel Thornton, president of IHRG [the International Human Rights Group]told

The "truth" is what the Jugendamt determines it to be.

Thornton also referenced that Melissa had written the IHRG a letter March 12, petitioning their help to return to her family. <
Hardly indicative of someone who wishes to remain in custody of the Gestapo...

Thornton told that he was going to meet with 4 other homeschooling families in the Dresden area this weekend, and also with the Brause family, which lost legal custody of their children to the Jugendamt, and faces the uncertainty of whether police may storm their home and carry off their children like they did to the Busekros family. (

"Not to worry...We here to 'help' you", they'll tell everyone...they (the Jugendamt) are doing this for the children...after all, in their tyrannical eyes, children are the property of the all-powerful State, and like most elitists and socialists, they know what's best for everyone.

Thank God that LifeSite keeps us updated on these assaults on the family!

Msgr. Kevin T. McMahon Appointed Vicar for HealthCare/Biotech Issues

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke has appointed Msgr. Kevin T. McMahon, a priest of the Diocese of Wilmington, Del., as episcopal vicar for moral and religious matters related to health care and biotechnology.

Oregon Catholic Press in Takeover Move in St Louis

Oregon Catholic Press has announced its purchase of Liturgical Publications of St. Louis Inc., which had been providing weekly parish bulletins, among other services, to parishes across the country for more than three decades.

The sale was effective March 15. A separate corporation has since been formed, called Pastoral Solutions Inc., which will continue to provide parish bulletins, annual directories, websites and other services.

It remains to be seen what good can come of this move. For a bit of background on OCP, one might want to review this Crisis magazine article from 2002, The Hidden Hand Behind Bad Catholic Music or this, "GIA and Oregon Catholic Press - Treasurehouses of Catholic Musical ..." and no doubt many others.

Maybe others can offer better insights about Liturgical Publications of St. Louis Inc., OCP, and whether this takeover will benefit St Louis. From over this way, I don't see it.

Archbishop Burke on Prayer and Penance for Peace in Iraq

...Frequently, I am asked about the Church’s teaching on peace and war, and about our response as Catholics to the war in Iraq. I respond now to those questions, especially in the context of the strong grace of reconciliation, which God the Father gives us through our annual commemoration of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of His only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. At the same time, I offer words of hope, securely rooted in Christ Who alone is our peace.
. . .
Some of the faithful have asked me: Why have the Holy Father or I not declared the war in Iraq to be unjust? Neither the Holy Father nor I have made such a declaration because the Church’s teaching recognizes that it belongs to "those who have responsibility for the common good" to make the prudential judgment regarding the justice of going to war (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2309). Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have been tireless in indicating to the leaders of governments the requirements of a just war and the grave consequences of going to war. They have made clear the immorality of certain positions and practices, but they respect the office of those who govern to decide whether war is necessary to protect the common good. You and I may disagree with the prudential judgment of those who govern us, but we must respect the fact that it is a prudential judgment and that those who govern us have the responsibility to make the judgment.
Difficult it is to find more solid advice than what Archbishop Burke gives us this week, namely that:
Our first response is prayer and penance, and

Our second response is reflection
How many of us actually go before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and get down on our knees and pray and do penance for peace and the conversion of hearts? How many of us pray for the leaders of countries that they might seek peaceful means to resolve differences? When a prudential decision has been made that military action is necessary, how many of us offer aid and comfort to the enemies of our country? How many of us ask our Blessed Mother for her intercession to protect our soldiers and our country?

Since all things are possible for our Almighty Father, we should, as Archbishop Burke reminds us, "pray with all our might for an end to the war in Iraq and for peace throughout the world."

"Come and See" Weekend at Kenrick Glennon Seminary

Come and See weekend is to be held March 31-April 2, 2007.

This invitation is to high school juniors and seniors to experience something of seminary life at Kenrick Glennon Seminary where students for the priesthood live and study. To register please call the Vocation Office at (314) 792-6460.

Kansas Bishops Fighting Embryonic Stem Cell Research

In the Tomb - A Reflection for the Evening of Good Friday

"Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden...There...they laid Jesus." St. John, 19:41.

On February 17, 1934, tragedy struck the Belgian nation. King Albert was killed in a fall from a mountain. His broken body lay in state in the chapel of the royal palace. Hundreds of thousands of Belgians shuffled by in tribute to their dead king. Men, women and children from all parts of the land moved slowly into the chapel, paused for a silent moment to gaze grief-stricken at the royal face swathed in white linens to cover his wounds.

Flickering candles cast a soft glow. Moving shadows even made the face of the king appear to move, as if he were accepting the homage of his people. The women and children genuflected in an ancient, royal courtesy. The men turned sharply to face the coffin, clicked their heels, and stood for a moment rigidly at attention. They moved on, making room for the next.

Attendants helped limping, crippled veterans who had fought with Albert at the front during the first World War, when he personally lead his troops. Many wept unashamed, and turned sadly away to limp out into the wintry day.

The chapel was banked with flowers from all over the world. Their fragrant petals were the incense of universal tribute. Before leaving, hun­dreds of thousands signed a "gold book"; they had paid a tribute of love to Albert, man and king.

On Good Friday, you and I will file past the dead body of another King, the King of kings. He was killed on a mountain, the mount of Calvary. His body was broken by the bloody scourging, the crowning with thorns, and by the cruel nails driven into His hands and feet. Even after death, a soldier pierced His side with a lance. The shattered body of our King will be witnessed again as hundreds of millions view it on Good Friday.

What were the thoughts of the Belgians as they looked at their beloved leader?

1. They thought of his kindness, his consideration for the poor, the rank and file, his interest in the least member of his kingdom.

2. They thought of King Albert's courage in many personal exploits, and especially when he personally lead his troops against the invaders.

3. They thought of his many wonderful deeds for the welfare of his country - how he improved public works, how he promoted national pros­perity, how he gave Belgium a place in the sun.

4. They thought of his manly life, his honesty and justice as a ruler, his personal blamelessness.

5. They thought of his bereaved wife and children, the shock and the loss it was to them.

6. They also thought, no doubt, of their failure at times to do the bidding of their king, when his commands seemed too difficult or too demanding.

7. They remembered their sacrifices for their monarch - at home, in public service, and on the field of battle.

8. Here before his body they realized that his great heart was stilled and quiet. Their leader was dead.

And what will we think about as we stand or kneel before the dead body of our King, Jesus Christ?

1. We think of His limitless love and kindness, His countless deeds of mercy, His consideration toward the sick and poor and crippled.

Z. We think of Christ's courage in taking upon Himself the punishment for all our sins, His bravery in entering upon His passion and death, know­ing beforehand how terrible it was to be.

3. We remember His wonderful deeds, His many miracles worked for those who were the most needy and neglected. Best of all we think of that stupendous miracle of love which He worked the night before He died, the miraculous gift of Himself in Holy Communion. We remember Him raising even the dead to life.

4. We think of His heart-broken Mother, who had to stand by as her Son was beaten and broken and nailed to a cross.

5. We, too, think of our frequent failures to keep His commands; we realize now what sin really means. Our King died because of our sins.

6. We think also of our sacrifices for Christ. All too small and all too few they were, but generously He rewards them all. We realize how much He did for us and how little we have done for Him, especially during this Lenten season.

7. Most important, as we see the wound in His side, opening into His loving Heart, we begin to realize the love He has for us, for every single one of us.

8. In particular we remember His promise that after three days He will rise again.

Indeed, the Belgians loved their king, but they did not, they could not love him nearly as much as we love Christ, our King. In fact, King Albert was great as a man and as a monarch because he tried to follow Christ, he tried to be like Christ.

The things admired in King Albert and in Christ are the things we must develop - kindness, courage, devotion to those in our charge, loyalty to those above us.

During the evening of Good Friday, move closer to the tomb of Christ. Place your hand upon His broken body. Think of what it means. Then pledge yourself to be true to your King in the future, to be more worthy of a King who has given everything for us. Amen.
Adapted from Occasional Talks
by Fr. Arthur Tonne, OFM (©1949)

Gospel for Friday, 5th Week of Lent

From: John 10:31-42

Jesus and the Father Are One (Continuation)

[31] The Jews took stones again to stone Him (Jesus). [32] Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone Me?" [33] The Jews answered Him, "We stone you for no good work but for blasphemy; because You, being a man, make Yourself God." [34] Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, `I said you are gods'? [35] If He called them gods to whom the word of God came (and Scripture cannot be broken), [36] do you say of Him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, `You are blaspheming,' because I said, `I am the Son of God'? [37] If I am not doing the works of My Father, then do not believe Me; [38] but if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me and I am in the Father." [39] Again they tried to arrest Him, but He escaped from their hands.

[40] He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John at first baptized, and there He remained. [41] And many came to Him; and they said, "John did no sign, but everything that John said about this Man was true." [42] And many believed in Him there.


31-33. The Jews realize that Jesus is saying that He is God, but they interpret His words as blasphemy. He was called a blasphemer when He forgave the sins of the paralytic (Matthew 9:1-8), and He will also be accused of blasphemy when He is condemned after solemnly confessing His divinity before the Sanhedrin (Matthew 26:63-65). Our Lord, then, did reveal that He was God; but His hearers rejected this revelation of the mystery of the Incarnate God, refusing to examine the proof Jesus offered them; consequently, they accuse Him, a man, of making Himself God. Faith bases itself on reasonable evidence--miracles and prophecies--for believing that Jesus is really man and really God, even though our limited minds cannot work out how this can be so. Thus, our Lord, in order to affirm His divinity once more, uses two arguments which His adversaries cannot refute--the testimony of Sacred Scripture (prophecies) and that of His own works (miracles).

34-36. On a number of occasions the Gospel has shown our Lord replying to the Jews' objections. Here He patiently uses a form of argument which they regards as decisive--the authority of Sacred Scripture. He quotes Psalm 82 in which God upbraids certain judges for acting unjustly despite His reminding them that "You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you" (Psalm 82:6). If this psalm calls the sons of Israel gods and sons of God, with how much more reason should He be called God who has been sanctified and sent by God? Christ's human nature, on being assumed by the Word, is sanctified completely and comes to the world to sanctify men. "The Fathers of the Church constantly proclaim that what was not assumed by Christ was not healed. Now Christ took a complete human nature just as it is found in us poor unfortunates, but one that was without sin, for Christ said of Himself that He was the one `whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world'" (Vatican II, "Ad Gentes", 3).

By using Sacred Scripture (cf. Matthew 4:4, 7, 10; Luke 4:1, 17) Jesus teaches us that Scripture comes from God. Therefore, the Church believes and affirms that "those divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in Sacred Scripture have been committed to writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Holy Mother Church, relying on the belief of the Apostles, holds that the books of both the Old and New Testament in their entirety, with all their parts, are sacred and canonical because, having been written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (cf. John 20:31; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 3:15-16) they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church. [...] Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scriptures must be acknowledged as teaching firmly, faithfully, and without error that truth which God wanted put into the sacred writings for the sake of our salvation" (Vatican II, "Dei Verbum", 11).

37-38. The works which our Lord is referring to are His miracles, through which God's power is made manifest. Jesus presents His words and His works as forming a unity, with the miracles confirming His words and His words explaining the meaning of the miracles. Therefore, when He asserts that He is the Son of God, this revelation is supported by the credentials of the miracles He works: hence, if no one can deny the fact of the miracles, it is only right for Him to accept the truth of the words.

41-42. The opposition offered by some people (cf. John 10:20, 31, 39) contrasts with the way other people accept Him and follow Him to where He goes after this. St. John the Baptist's preparatory work is still producing results: those who accepted the Baptist's message now look for Christ and they believe when they see the truth of what the Precursor said: Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God (John 1:34).

Work done in the Lord's name is never useless: "Therefore, My beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58). Just as the Baptist's word and example had the effect of helping many people later to believe in Jesus, the apostolic example given by Christians will never be in vain, even though the results may not come immediately. "To sow. The sower went out... Scatter your seed, apostolic soul. The wind of grace will bear it away if the furrow where it falls is not worthy.... Sow, and be certain that the seed will take root and bear fruit" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 794).
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, March 29, 2007

Fr. Tom Euteneuer: Mini-Catechesis on Contraception

In this video, the first of a series, Father Euteneuer addresses questions on contraception, including some that Sean Hannity raised on Father’s March 9 appearance on Hannity & Colmes.

From Fr. Euteneuer:
The response to the Sean Hannity interview of March 9th was overwhelmingly positive in defense of the Church's teaching and the right/duty of a priest to defend it in public. To address the misconceptions of the cultural mindset of easy acceptance of contraception, I have created a mini-series on contraception to inject some basic common sense insight into the subject and create a modern tool for evangelization. There will be several more mini-catecheses after Easter so stay tuned!
The video link is here.

Mental Prayer for Friday after the Fifth Sunday of Lent

Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Grant, O my suffering Savior, that I may recognize my cross in daily life, and carry it gladly.

Mental Picture (cf. Matt. 27:32): The Jews can see their prisoner is dying... His cross is crushing Him... as He walks He leaves a bloody trail... His breathing comes hard... labored. Another for help. There! in the crowd, a foreigner... just the man! Hearing the suggestion, Simon turns away... to lose himself in the mob... no use resist­ing... the guards force him to carry the cross... an aching nuisance... why did he have to be the one? Grumbling over his bad luck, he bends under the weight... and slowly follows Christ to Calvary... and he who a moment before was un­known becomes a man we will never forget.

My Personal Application: Christ is asking me also to carry my cross behind Him. But I don't get my cross all at once. Do I realize that the diffi­culties in my daily life are my cross? The studies or work that I may dislike... obedience to authority that I find so hard... people who make life difficult...misunderstanding - all these small splinters add up to make up my cross.

I Speak to Christ: This gives me a new slant on things, Lord. You've shown me the way. You ask nothing that you haven't done before me. Most men don't understand your cross; help me put my understanding into practice!

Thought for Today: "If anyone will come after me, let him take up his cross daily and follow me."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

St Francis de Sales on Mental Prayer

From The Work of God Apostolate:
Let us now speak of mental prayer; and if it pleases you, I shall show you, through a comparison with the Temple of Solomon, how there are four levels in the soul. [Cf. St. Francis de Sales: Treatise on the Love of God, Bk. 1, ch. 12]. In that Temple there was first a court which was set aside for the Gentiles, so that no one might be able to excuse himself from divine worship. It was because there was no nation which could not come to render praise in that place that this Temple was so pleasing to the Divine Majesty. The second court was destined for the Jews, both men and women, though later a separation was made in order to avoid the scandals which might arise in such a mixed assembly. Then, mounting higher, there was another place for the priests, and finally there was a court destined for the cherubim and their Master, where the Ark of the Covenant rested and where God manifested His will, and this place was called the Sancta Sanctorum [that is, the Holy of Holies].

In our souls there is the first level, which is a certain knowledge that we have through our senses, as by our eyes we know that such an object is green, red or yellow. But after this there is a degree or level which is still a little higher, namely, a knowledge that we have by means of consideration. For example, a man who has been ill-treated in a certain place will consider what he will be able to do in order not to return there. The third level is the knowledge we have through faith. The fourth, the Sancta Sanctorum, is the highest point of our soul, which we call spirit, and so long as this highest point is always fixed on God, we need not be troubled in the least.

Ships at sea all have a mariner's needle, which always points to the north star, and though the boat may be heading southward, the needle nevertheless does not fail to point always north. Thus it sometimes seems that the soul is going straight for the south, so greatly is it agitated by distractions; nevertheless, the highest point of the spirit always looks toward its God, who is its north. Sometimes people who are the most advanced have such great temptations, even against faith, that it seems to them that their whole soul consents, so greatly is it disturbed. They have only this highest point which resists, and it is this part of ourselves which makes mental prayer, for although all our other faculties and powers may be filled with distractions, the spirit, its fine point, is praying.

Now in mental prayer there are four parts, the first of which is meditation; the second, contemplation; the third, ejaculations; and the fourth, a simple attention to the presence of God. The first is made by way of meditation, in this manner: We take a mystery, for instance Our Lord crucified. Then having pictured Him to ourselves thus, we consider His virtues: the love which He bore to His Father, which made Him suffer death, even death on a cross [Cf. Phil. 2:8], rather than displease Him, or to speak better, in order to please Him; the great gentleness, humility and patience with which He suffered so many injuries; and finally, His immense charity toward those who put Him to death, praying for them amidst His most excruciating sufferings. [Cf. Lk. 23:34]. Having considered all these points, our affections will be moved with an ardent desire to imitate Him in His virtues; we will then implore the Eternal Father to render us true images of His Son. [Cf. Rom. 8:29].
. . .
This is from one of four sermons translated from St. Francis de Sales' Oevres, vol. IX (Annecy:Nierat,1892-1964), pp. 46-72. They come from the memories of two of the visitation sisters who heard them, and not from St. Francis' own notes.

The complete sermon, (The Heart of Prayer, April 12, 1615) from which this excerpt was taken can be read in its entirety here...

Canon Law, Confession, Faculties, and Validity

Recently, an email was sent to Marek Bozek inquiring about a St Stanislaus bulletin article (PDF file) regarding "Communal Penance Services" to be held March 31. The bulletin stated that several priests would be available to hear confession.

Noting this curiosity of several priests helping out at a schismatic church with an excommunicated priest as the 'hired' pastor, Bozek was asked if these would be Roman Catholic priests from the archdiocese with the necessary faculties to hear confessions and grant absolution. Certainly, no archdiocesan priest would be so foolish as to venture into the territory of a schismatic group without the permission of the local ordinary?

First, it's important to understand how some at St Stanislaus feel about the laws of the Church. From the FAQ page, we read:
What is Canon law?

This is a set of constantly changing laws that govern the operation of Roman Catholic Church; however they are broad, open to interpretation and full of conflicting interpretations. The laws were created by clergy, written by clergy, interpreted by clergy and are changed by clergy. It is very difficult to understand how the 1891 transfer to the Parish civil corporation is a violation of the church law in the historical perspective. The first codification of Church law, Code of Canon law, was issued in 1917. Subsequently, the canons were revised on 2 separate occasions in 1943, and again in 1983. Canon Law is not doctrine and as indicated above can be changed in the future.

"Constantly changing, open to interpretation, and full of conflicting interpretations" (does this imply misinterpretation?)...and let's not forget, "man-made" law - apparently meaning, it can be dismissed as irrelevant and non-binding by the one who is subject to it. If this is possible with the laws of the Church as the leaders of St Stanislaus maintain, doesn't this also apply with the "man-made" laws of the country? After all, those laws are also "constantly changing, open to interpretation, and full of conflicting interpretations". And, of course, these laws are not doctrine.

Despite his not having been granted faculties by the bishop, Marek Bozek maintains, erroneously, that he can hear confessions and grant absolution because, in his view, the sacrament of holy orders is not based on the faculties [granted] but on the sacramental character of ordination. Likewise, despite the absence of faculties, he claims to be able to celebrate Mass, because he "does it everyday." The question of liceity nevers appears to enter the picture.

Even more outrageous and disquieting is the fact that "priests" scheduled to hear confessions apparently have no faculties to do so. In fact, it may even be worse than this since "some of the priest[s] present for the Penance Service will be men who were validly ordained in the Roman Catholic Church but do not possess any longer regular faculties granted by the Archbishop."

Perhaps, it's a language issue, but the statement that "some of the priests...will be men who were validly ordained in the Roman Catholic Church..." is rather alarming - or at least, should be - to anyone who considers himself a faithful Catholic.

Does this mean that some of the "priests" are not men? Or that some were not validly ordained as Catholic priests? Or some have rejected the faith after being ordained? This is unknown...

Given this mindset, it would be entirely proper to be treated by a person who claims to be a medical doctor, even if he has no license to practice medicine, or to board an aircraft to be flown by a person, who does not have the necessary certification and licensing to fly. But in the present case, one's immortal soul is at risk.

Without a doubt, none of these "priests" will be able to grant absolution - and this is a terrible injustice to the people and a gravely serious sin for those who are complicit in this charade.

Experience has demonstrated that there are some at St Stanislaus with little regard for the lawful directives of the Archbishop or the Holy See, and that the current (or previous) Code of Canon Law is "man-made" law which can be ignored at will, Bozek was sent an excerpt from the 16th century Roman Catechism - the Catechism of the Council of Trent. This excerpt poignantly dismisses claims that one does not need faculties or approval from the Church and that without faculties, no priest or bishop (except in danger of death) can be a valid minister of the Sacrament; hence, if there is no valid minister, there is no absolution:
The Minister of the Sacrament of Penance

The Usual Minister
We now come to treat of the minister of this Sacrament. That the minister of the Sacrament of Penance must be a priest possessing ordinary or delegated jurisdiction the laws of the Church sufficiently declare. Whoever discharges this sacred function must be invested not only with the power of orders, but also with that of jurisdiction. Of this ministry we have an illustrious proof in these words of our Lord, recorded by St. John: Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained, words addressed not to all, but to the Apostles only, to whom, in this function of the ministry, priests succeed. (my emphasis)

This is also most fitting, for as all the grace imparted by this Sacrament is communicated from Christ the Head to His members, they who alone have power to consecrate His true body should alone have power to administer this Sacrament to His mystical body, the faithful, particularly as these are qualified and disposed by means of the Sacrament of Penance to receive the Holy Eucharist.

The scrupulous care which in the primitive ages of the Church guarded the right of the ordinary priest is easily seen from the ancient decrees of the Fathers, which provided that no Bishop or priest, except in case of great necessity, presume to exercise any function in the parish of another without the authority of him who governed there. This law derives its sanction from the Apostle when he commanded Titus to ordain priests in every city, to administer to the faithful the heavenly food of doctrine and of the Sacraments. (my emphasis)
Unfortunately, sacrileges and sins continue to be piled upon sacrileges and sins with no end in sight - and, sadly, it is heard that the numbers who are joining St Stanislaus are increasing. Bozek makes the claim that the Holy Spirit is behind this growth - nothing could be farther from the truth! The Holy Spirit does not lead souls down a path of sinfulness and schism, away from Christ, His Church, and the sacraments. There may very well be a "spirit" which is leading souls to this congregation of rebellion and sacrilege...whatever it is, it certainly isn't "holy"...

And finally, all should recall the admonition given by Archbishop Burke in December 2005:
The ordained priest who goes into schism, in addition to being bound by the above-listed prohibitions, is also rendered irregular for the exercise of Holy Orders (cf. can. 1044, §1, 2º). In other words, he may not exercise the Sacrament of Holy Orders which he has received. Any Mass celebrated by a suspended and excommunicated priest is valid, but illicit. To knowingly and willingly celebrate the Holy Mass, when one is legitimately prohibited from doing so, is a most grave sin. A priest under the penalty of excommunication does not give valid sacramental absolution (cf. can. 966, §1). Neither can he validly officiate at a wedding (cf. can. 1108, §1).

The celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation by a schismatic priest is invalid because he no longer has any faculty to do so, either by universal Church law or the granting of the faculty by the diocesan bishop (cf. can. 882). Baptism and the Anointing of the Sick are conferred validly but not licitly (cf. cann. 862; and 1003, §§1-2).

The faithful who approach a schismatic priest for the reception of the sacraments, except in the case of danger of death, commit a mortal sin...

(all emphasis above is mine)

O God, all hearts are in Your hands; You can bend as You will the most stubborn, and soften the most obdurate. Do that honor this day to the precious blood, the merits, the sacred wounds, the holy name, and loving Heart of Your beloved Son, of bestowing your grace and light upon all of us whose pride blinds us and keeps us separated from You.

April 22-Solemn High Mass with Homily by Abp. Burke

April 22, 10 a.m. at the St Francis de Sales Oratory
2653 Ohio Avenue
St Louis

Solemn High Mass in the presence of His Grace, The Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop of St. Louis. The Mass will be celebrated by the Very Rev. Msgr. R. Michael Schmitz, Vicar General and Provincial Superior for the United States. Archbishop Burke will be the Homilist.

Additional info here (PDF)...
Thanks to Stephanie for the update!

Mystery French nun in Pope John Paul’s beatification case identified

PARIS (AP) — Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre is the French nun whose testimony of a mystery cure from Parkinson’s disease will likely be accepted as the miracle the Vatican needs to beatify Pope John Paul II, an official at the Paris maternity hospital where she works said Wednesday.

The identity of the nun has been one of the Catholic Church’s most closely guarded secrets. The nun says that she was cured of Parkinson’s after she and her community of nuns prayed to John Paul.

Gospel for Thursday, 5th Week of Lent

From: John 8:51-59

Jesus Warns the Unbelieving Jews (Continuation)

(Jesus said to the Jews,) [51] "Truly, truly, I say to you, if any one keeps My word, he will never see death." [52] The Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, as did the prophets; and You say, `If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste death.' [53] Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do You claim to be?" [54] Jesus answered, "If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say that He is your God. [55] But you have not known Him; I know Him. If I said I do not know Him, I should be a liar like you; but I do know Him and I keep His word. [56] Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see My day; he saw it and was glad." [57] The Jews then said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" [58] Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." [59] So they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple.


51-53. "He will never see death": our Lord promises eternal life to those who accept His teaching and remain faithful to it.

Sin, as the Fourth Gospel teaches, is death of the soul; and sanctifying grace, life (cf. John 1:4, 13; 3:15, 16. 36; etc.). Through grace we enter eternal life, a pledge of the Glory we shall attain beyond this earthly life and which is the true Life. Blinded by their hostility, the Jews do not want to listen to the Lord and therefore they fail to understand Him.

55. The knowledge our Lord is speaking about implies more than intellectual knowledge. The Old Testament speaks of this "knowing" in the sense of love, faithfulness, generous self-surrender. Love for God is a consequence of the certain knowledge we have of Him, and at the same time the more we love God, the better we get to know Him.

Jesus, whose holy human nature was intimately united (though not mixed) with His divinity in the one Person of the Word, continues to assert His singular and ineffable knowledge of the Father. But this accurate language of Jesus is absolutely incomprehensible to those who close themselves to faith: they even think He is blaspheming (cf. verse 59).

56. Jesus presents Himself as the fulfillment of the hopes of the Old Testament patriarchs. They had stayed faithful, eager to see the Day of Salvation. Referring to their faith, St. Paul exclaims: "These all died in faith, not having received what was promised, but having seen it and greeted it from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth" (Hebrews 11:13). The most outstanding of those patriarchs was Abraham, our father in faith (cf. Galatians 3:7), who received the promise of being father of an immense people, the chosen people from whom would be born the Messiah.

The future fulfillment of the messianic promises was a source of great joy for Abraham: "Abraham, our father, who was set apart for the future accomplishment of the Promise, and who hoped against hope, receives when his son Isaac is born the prophetic firstfruits of this joy. This joy becomes transfigured through a trial touching death, when this only son is restored to him alive, a prefiguring of the resurrection of the One who was to come: the Son of God, promised for the redeeming sacrifice. Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing the Day of Christ, the Day of Salvation: he "saw it and was glad" (Paul VI, "Gaudete In Domino", II).

Jesus moves on a plane superior to that of the patriarchs, for they only saw prophetically, from "afar", the day of Christ, that is, the actual event of the Redemption, whereas it is Christ who brings it to pass.

58. Jesus' reply to the skeptical remarks of the Jews contains a revelation of His divinity. By saying "Before Abraham was, I am" our Lord is referring to His being eternal, because He is God. Therefore, St. Augustine explains: "Acknowledge the Creator, discern the creature. He who was speaking was a descendant of Abraham, but that Abraham might be made, before Abraham He was" (St. Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang.", 43, 17).

The Fathers recall, in connection with the words of Christ, the solemn theophany of Sinai: "I AM WHO I AM" (Ex 3:14), and also St. John's distinction in the prologue to his Gospel, between the world which "was made" and the Word which "was" from all eternity (cf. John 1:1-3). The words, "I am", used by Jesus so absolutely are the equivalent therefore, of His affirming His eternity and His divinity. Cf. note on John 8:21-24.

[The note on John 8:21-24 states:
21-24. At the outset of His public ministry, Jesus could be seen to have all the features of the promised Messiah; some people recognized Him as such and became His followers (cf. John 1:12-13; 4:42; 6:69; 7:41); but the Jewish authorities, although they were expecting the Messiah (cf. John 1:19ff), persisted in their rejection of Jesus. Hence the warning to them: He is going where they cannot follow, that is, He is going to Heaven, which is where He has come from (cf. John 6:41ff), and they will keep looking out for the Messiah foretold by the prophets; but they will not find Him because they look for Him outside of Jesus, nor can they follow Him, for they do not believe in Him. You are of the world, our Lord is saying to them, not because you are on earth but because you are living under the influence of the prince of this world (cf. John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11); you are his vassals and you do his deeds (cf. 8:44); therefore, you will die in your sin. "We are all born with sin", St. Augustine comments, "all by our living have added to what we were by nature, and have become more of this world than we then were, when we were born of our parents. Where would we be if He had not come, who had no sin at all, to loose all sin? The Jews, because they did not believe in Him, deserved to have it said to them, You will die in your sin" ("In Ioann. Evang.", 38, 6).

The salvation which Christ brings will be applied to those who believe in His divinity. Jesus declares His divinity when He says "I am He", for this _expression, which He repeats on other occasions (cf. John. 8:28; 13:19), is reserved to Yahweh in the Old Testament (cf. Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 43:10-11), where God, in revealing His name and therefore His essence, says to Moses "I AM WHO I AM" (Exodus 3:14). In this profound way God says that He is the Supreme Being in a full, absolute sense, that He is dependent on no other being, that all other things depend on Him for their being and existence. Thus, when Jesus says of Himself, "I am He", He is revealing 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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mental Prayer for Thursday after the Fifth Sunday of Lent

Christ Falls Beneath the Cross

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Lord, let me feel the weight of your cross, so that I might know the intensity of your love.

Mental Picture: Noontime on a dusty, windy day in early spring... a narrow street in Jerusalem filled with snarling people... they are watching three men carry crosses... hate is in their eyes. One of the men strumbles... the crowd laughs in mockery. The third man can hardly move... His eyes are fixed on the ground... His back is doubled under the cross. He pauses, then lunges forward... His foot catches on the corner of a cobblestone and He sprawls forward as the people He loves laugh at Him. Jesus has fallen under the weight of His cross.

My Personal Application: Have I ever had anyone laugh in my face, mocking my good intentions? It often takes real heroism then to keep one's temper. Have I ever had anyone mock my efforts to help him? It takes more than heroism to continue to help. It takes love.

I Speak to Christ: Lord, the physical sufferings you went through were terrible, but the pain in your heart was even worse. Help me to feel that pain, so that I may know your love for me, and for all men.

Thought for Today: Within thy wounds hide me!
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Explosive Revelations...Canadian Catholic Schools

Explosive Revelations about Homosexual Teachers in Canadian Catholic Schools
At one school 5 teachers 'outed' themselves as homosexuals

TORONTO, March 28, 2007 ( - In the upcoming April issue of the Canadian Catholic Magazine, Catholic Insight makes some explosive revelations about openly homosexual teachers in Catholic schools in Canada. "Homosexually active Catholics have been infiltrating Ontario's Catholic schools for some time and, with their new legal status, now demand to be recognized," says the article co-authored by editor Fr. Alpohonse de Valk and investigative reporter Tony Gosgnach.
Time to clean up the mess, shut 'em down and restart, or homeschool (which may become illegal if the "chosen elite" have their way).

Continued here...

Are you a CFC - a Carbon Free Catholic?

Religious groups see environmentalism as moral issue
And some see environmentalism as the newest religion...

Paper plates are out at the Unitarian Universalist Society's potluck dinners.
* * *
The congregation watched Al Gore's documentary on climate change called "An Inconvenient Truth" in January.
...and they saw the light, courtesy of Mr. Carbon Credit himself...
Instead of giving up chocolate for Lent, Catholics in Portland, Ore., are going on a 40-day carbon-emission diet, said Meg O'Brien, a member of St. Andrew parish.

The goal is for each member to reduce the emission of 5,000 pounds of carbon by making sacrifices like not driving on the weekends or switching to energy-efficient light bulbs.

Sally Vance-Trembeth, a Catholic theologian, said her commitment to the environment led her to give up her snowblower when she taught at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.

"Before we moved out to San Francisco, I was in the process of converting our large lawn into a prairie," Vance-Trembeth said in an e-mail.

Giving up the snowblower? What a sacrifice! Personally, I prefer a tractor with a blade.

I have used energy efficient bulbs for a few year - not only because of the energy usage reduction but primarily, because I do not have to change bulbs every couple of months...

Catholic Bishop Thomas Wenski of the Orlando Diocese, which includes Volusia County, has weighed in on the national debate on global warming. "To do nothing could be dangerous and costly to the flourishing of humankind on the planet," Wenski said in a public statement.
What is proven to be more dangerous to mankind is the rampant moral breakdown and decay in society due to abortion, contraception, homosexuality, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, relativism, socialism, secular humanism, and on and on...

But, just in case, maybe we ought to stock up on some carbon offsets like Gore and Edwards...just to be, you know, carbon neutral...

Oakland Cathedral Project Update-$190 Million and growing

The project budget for the Cathedral Center has increased from an early estimate of $131 million in 2003 (based on very early conceptual plans that contained assumptions and allowances for costs not yet known) to a current estimate of $190 million in January 2007.

Hell...Exists and is Eternal, says Pope Benedict

And, as he affirms the teaching of Christ and the Church, this is no surprise except for those who continue to deny reality - the existence of God, of sin, of evil, and of the dire consequences that await those who reject God.

ROME, March 27, 2007 ( - In a homily delivered Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI stated, "Jesus came to tell us that He wants us all in heaven and that hell - of which so little is said in our time - exists and is eternal for those who close their hearts to His love."

Europe: An “Apostate” from Itself (Chiesa)

An “Apostate” from Itself: The Lost Europe of Pope Benedict
Even before its separation from God, Joseph Ratzinger sees the old continent withdrawing from itself, from “its very identity.” Fifty years after the Treaty of Rome, the most critical assessment is that of the pope. Here it is...

Gospel for Wednesday, 5th Week of Lent

From: John 8:31-42

Jesus Warns the Unbelieving Jews (Continuation)

[31] Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in Him, "If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples, [32] and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." [33] They answered Him, "We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, `You will be made free'?"

[34] Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave of sin. [35] The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. [36] So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. [37] I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word finds no place in you. [38] I speak of what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have heard from your father."

[39] They answered Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did, [40] but now you seek to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did. [41] You do what your father did." They said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God." [42] Jesus said of them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not on My own account, but He sent Me."


30-32. Of those Jews who do believe in Him Jesus asks much more than a shallow faith resulting from superficial enthusiasm: they should be true disciples; Jesus' words should imbue their whole life. That kind of faith will bring them to know the truth and to become really free persons.

The knowledge of the truth which Christ is speaking about is not just intellectual knowledge; it is rather the maturing in the soul of the seed of divine Revelation. That Revelation's climax is to be found in Christ's teaching and it constitutes a genuine communication of supernatural life (cf. John 5:24): He who believes in Jesus, and through Him in the Father, receives the wonderful gift of eternal life. Knowing the truth is, in the last analysis, knowing Christ Himself, God become man to save us; it means realizing that the inaccessible God has become man, our Friend, our Life.

This is the only kind of knowledge which really sets us free, because it removes us from a position of alienation from God--the state of sin and therefore of slavery to the devil and to all attachments of our fallen nature--and puts us on the path of friendship with God, the path of grace, of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, the liberation we obtain is not just light which shows us the way; it is grace, which empowers us to keep to that way despite our limitations. "Jesus Christ meets the man of every age, including our own, with the same words: `You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free' (John 8:32). These words contain both a fundamental requirement and a warning: the requirement of an honest relationship with regard to truth as a condition for authentic freedom, and the warning to avoid every kind of illusory freedom, every superficial unilateral freedom, every freedom that fails to enter into the whole truth about man and the world. Today also, even after two thousand years, we see Christ as the One who brings man freedom based on truth, frees man from what curtails, diminishes and as it were breaks off this freedom at its root, in man's soul, his heart and his conscience. What a stupendous confirmation of this has been given and is still being given by those who, thanks to Christ and in Christ, have reached true freedom and have manifested it even in situations of external constraint!" (John Paul II, "Redemptor Hominis", 12).

"Christ Himself links liberation particularly with knowledge of the truth; `You will know the truth and the truth will make you free' (John 8:32). This sentence testifies above all to the intimate significance of the freedom for which Christ liberates us. Liberation means man's inner transformation, which is a consequence of the knowledge of truth. The transformation is, therefore, a spiritual process, in which man matures `in true righteousness and holiness' (Ephesians 4:24). [...] Truth is important not only for the growth of human knowledge, deepening man's interior life in this way; truth has also a prophetic significance and power. It constitutes the content of testimony and it calls for testimony. We find this prophetic power of truth in the teaching of Christ. As a prophet, as a witness to truth, Christ repeatedly opposes non-truth; He does so with great forcefulness and decision and often He does not hesitate to condemn falsehood" (John Paul II, "General Audience", 21 February 1979).

St. Thomas Aquinas explains the meaning of these words of our Lord in this way: "In this passage, being made free does not refer to being freed of every type of wrong [...]; it means being freed in the proper sense of the word, in three ways: first, the truth of His teaching will free us from the error of untruth [...]; second, the truth of grace will liberate us from the slavery of sin: `the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death' (Romans 8:2); third, the truth of eternity in Christ Jesus will free us from decay (cf. Romans 8:21)" ("Commentary on St. John, in loc.").

"The truth will set you free. How great a truth is this, which opens the way to freedom and gives it meaning throughout our lives. I will sum it up for you, with the joy and certainty which flow from knowing there is a close relationship between God and His creatures. It is the knowledge that we have come from the hands of God, that the Blessed Trinity looks upon us with predilection, that we are children of so wonderful a Father. I ask my Lord to help us decide to take this truth to heart, to dwell upon it day by day; only then will we be acting as free men. Do not forget: anyone who does not realize that he is a child of God is unaware of the deepest truth about himself. When he acts he lacks the dominion and self-mastery we find in those who love our Lord above all else" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 26).

33-34. For centuries the people of Israel were ruled by other nations (Egypt, Babylon, Persia...), and now they were under the dominion of Rome. Therefore, the Jews thought that He was referring to political bondage or dominion--which in fact they had experienced but never accepted. In addition, since they belong to the people chosen by God, they regarded themselves as free of the moral errors and aberrations of Gentile nations.

They thought that true freedom was a matter of belonging to the chosen people. Our Lord replies that it is not enough to belong to the line of Abraham: true freedom consists in not being slaves of sin. Both Jews and Gentiles were subject to the slavery of original sin and personal sin (cf. Romans 5:12; 6:20 and 8:2). Only Christ, the Son of God, can liberate man from that sorry state (cf. Galatians 4:21-51); but these Jews do not understand the redemptive work which Christ is doing and which will reach its climax in His death and resurrection.

"The Savior", St. Augustine comments, "is here explaining that we will not be freed from overlords, but from the devil; not from captivity of the body but from malice of soul" ("Sermon", 48).

35-36. The words slave and son are reminiscent of the two sons of Abraham: Ishmael, born of the slave woman Hagar, who would be given no part in the inheritance; and Isaac, son of the free woman Sarah, who would be the heir to God's promises (cf. Genesis 21:10-12; Galatians 4:28-31). Physical descent from Abraham is not enough for inheriting God's promises and attaining salvation: by faith and charity one must identify oneself with Jesus Christ, the true and only Son of the Father, the only one who can make us sons of God and thereby bring us true freedom (cf. Romans 8:21; Galatians 4:31). Christ gives "power to become children of God [to those] who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12-13). Thus, a person who identifies himself with Christ becomes a son of God and obtains the freedom proper to sons.

"Freedom finds its true meaning when it is put to the service of the truth which redeems, when it is spent seeking God's infinite Love which liberates us from all forms of slavery. Each passing day increases my yearning to proclaim to the four winds this inexhaustible treasure that belongs to Christianity: `the glorious freedom of the children of God!' (Romans 8:21). [...] Where does our freedom come from? It comes from Christ our Lord. This is the freedom with which He has ransomed us (cf. Galatians 4:31). That is why He teaches, `if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed' (John 8:36). We Christians do not have to ask anyone to tell us the true meaning of this gift, because the only freedom that can save man is Christian freedom" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 27 and 35).

37-41. Our Lord replies to the Jew's objection: yes indeed, they are Abraham's children, but only in a natural sense, according to the flesh; this is something which does not count any more; what matters now is acceptance of Jesus as the One sent by the Father. Jesus' questioners are spiritually very far away from being true children of Abraham: Abraham rejoiced to see the Messiah (cf. John 8:56); through his faith he was reckoned righteous (cf. Romans 4:1ff), and his faith led him to act consequentially (cf. James 2:21-24); this was how he attained the joy of eternal blessedness (cf. Matthew 8:11; Luke 16:24). Although those Jews "derived from him the generation of the flesh, they had become degenerate, by not imitating the faith of him whose sons they were" (St. Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang.", 42, 1).
Those who live by faith, St. Paul says, are the true sons of Abraham and like him they will be blessed by God (cf. Galatians 3:7-9). In point of fact, the people who are arguing with our Lord have not only rejected His teaching: their own deeds indicate that they have a radically different affiliation: "You do what your father did" is a veiled accusation that they are children of the devil (cf. verse 44).

The false security Jews felt on the grounds of being descended from Abraham has its parallel in a Christian who is content with being baptized and with a few religious observances, but does not live up to the requirements of faith in Christ.

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

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mental Prayer for Wednesday after the Fifth Sunday of Lent

Jesus Meets His Blessed Mother

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Mary, my Mother, let me feel the sorrow that filled your heart, realizing my sins caused it.

Mental Picture: Mary tries to reach Jesus when the cross is laid on His shoulder. A howling, shrieking mob jostles her out of the way. Leaving the scene, she takes her stand farther along the route which Jesus will pass. Now she sees the procession, the gleam of Roman breastplates in the lead... a pressing mob, swirling clouds of yellow dust. On and on comes the roaring tide... there was the top of His cross, but Him she could see. Then she catches sight of Him... bent and breathing hard... dragging His cross along. For a moment their eyes meet, and all their years are in their glances... no word is needed... then Jesus is lost to her sight as the flowing mob coalesces around its victim.

My Personal Application: As I contemplate this scene, I must take my place next to Mary and endure that look of Jesus. It was my sins that placed the cross on His shoulders. My sins caused the anguish in Mary's heart as Mother and Son met. What would my reaction be to one that so hurt my own mother? my own Son? How then will I react to sin?

I Speak to Mary: Dearest Mother, I am more sorry than I can say for making you endure this meeting. You who have given me only love have received from me only ingratitude. Beg from your Son for me a feeling of shame for my sins and the strength to carry on, fighting in His army.

Thought for Today: "A sword of sorrow shall pierce your heart."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Ever Hear of the Second Amendment Sisters?

Actually, the Second Amendment Sisters, Inc. is a women's advocacy group dedicated to preserving the basic human right to self-defense, as recognized by the Second Amendment. They, like all rational people, believe in personal responsibility, education, and enforcement of laws against violent criminals.

Terri Schiavo's Brother Rebukes Bishop Lynch

And if there ever was a bishop in need of a righteous rebuke and reprimand, it is Robert Lynch.
As the second anniversary of Terri Schiavo's death from dehydration on March 31, 2005, approaches, her brother, Bobby Schindler is releasing a letter written to Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida.

The text of the letter is available online. Bobby Schindler also makes the following comments:

In light of the fact that Bishop Lynch refused my family's pleas for his help in our attempt to save my sister's life, I am posting an "open letter to Bishop Robert Lynch" which I sent to him on March 9, 2007, and to which I have, to date, received no response.

On March 13, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI reasserted that Catholic politicians have a "grave responsibility" to defend all innocent human life, and a "non negotiable" duty to oppose the practices of abortion and euthanasia. . .
* * *

And Bishop Lynch, in abdicating his responsibilities two years ago in the Terri Schiavo execution, will be unable to respond to Bobby's letter - so there is probably no reason to expect a response. And in the unlikely event that Bishop Lynch does respond, it will be no surprise if it contains meaningless drivel, couched in pious platitudes.

Dr Peters: Congratulations to Cardinal Stickler - the Canonist

Many of us are aware of Cardinal Stickler and his defense of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, particularly the Tridentine Mass. However, Dr Ed Peters notes something about which I was unaware and perhaps others are as well.

Today, Alfons Maria Cdl. Stickler marks 70 years of priestly life. And that's something to celebrate. But, with due regard for Pope Benedict's admiration of Cdl. Stickler's unsung labors in the Vatican Archives, it is Cdl. Stickler the canonist whom I congratulate today.

Cardinal Stickler - Celebrates 70 Years as a Priest

VATICAN CITY, MAR 27, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a Letter, written in Latin and dated March 26, to Cardinal Alfons Maria Stickler S.D.B., archivist and librarian emeritus of Holy Roman Church, for the occasion of the 70th anniversary of his ordination as a priest. The cardinal was ordained in the Roman basilica of St. John Lateran on March 27, 1937.

In his Letter Benedict XVI recalls the "charm and affability" of Cardinal Stickler, who is due to celebrate his 97th birthday in August, as well as the "charity and piety" that characterized his priestly ministry. He also praises the cardinal's efforts towards the expansion and renovation of the Vatican Apostolic Library.
Please remember Cardinal Stickler in your prayers.


Distorting and Perverting "Mental Reservation"

Lawyers Grapple with Catholic Doctrine
"Mental reservation" has been used in modern times to "claim that it is morally justifiable to lie in order to protect the reputation of the institutional church," said Thomas P. Doyle, a Virginia priest who is an expert in canon law and has been widely consulted by lawyers for people who say they were victims of abuse.

It has been misused "to justify lying," Doyle said last week. The doctrine is "not accepted church teaching" but has been widely discussed by scholars and moral theologians, Doyle said.

Fr. Hardon's Pocket Catholic Dictionary defines "Mental Reservation" as:
Speech in which the common and obvious sense of one's words is limited to a particular meaning. The morality of this kind of speech depends on whether the listener can reasonably conclude from the circumstances that a mental reservation is being used.

Fr Hardon also explains "Mental Reservations" here in a discussion on the Eighth Commandment:
We may never tell a lie. But we are also obliged to keep secrets. How to resolve the dilemma? An approved way is by what is called mental reservation.

A legitimate mental reservation is to reserve in one’s mind the real meaning of what is said, but allow the listener a reasonable clue that such reservation is being made. If a prudent person can gather the intended meaning from the circumstances, then it is a broad mental reservation. Broad mental reservations are not only permissible but may be obligatory.

A strict mental reservation provides no reasonable clue to the real meaning of what is said. Actually strict mental reservations are lies. (emphasis added)

The Headline Says It All...

A son of a priest argues family case for church reform

Gospel for Tuesday, 5th Week of Lent

From: John 8:21-30

Jesus Warns the Unbelieving Jews

[21] Again He (Jesus) said to them, "I go away, and you will seek Me and die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come." [22] Then said the Jews, "Will He kill Himself, since He says, `Where I am going, you cannot come?'" [23] He said to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. [24] I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am He." [25] They said to Him, "Who are You?" Jesus said to them, "Even what I have told you from the beginning. [26] I have much to say about you and much to judge; but He who sent Me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from Him." [27] They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. [28] So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing on My own authority but speak thus as the Father taught Me. [29] And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to Him." [30] As He spoke thus, many believed in Him.


21-24. At the outset of His public ministry, Jesus could be seen to have all the features of the promised Messiah; some people recognized Him as such and became His followers (cf. John 1:12-13; 4:42; 6:69; 7:41); but the Jewish authorities, although they were expecting the Messiah (cf. John 1:19ff), persisted in their rejection of Jesus. Hence the warning to them: He is going where they cannot follow, that is, He is going to Heaven, which is where He has come from (cf. John 6:41ff), and they will keep looking out for the Messiah foretold by the prophets; but they will not find Him because they look for Him outside of Jesus, nor can they follow Him, for they do not believe in Him. You are of the world, our Lord is saying to them, not because you are on earth but because you are living under the influence of the prince of this world (cf. John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11); you are his vassals and you do his deeds (cf. 8:44); therefore, you will die in your sin. "We are all born with sin", St. Augustine comments, "all by our living have added to what we were by nature, and have become more of this world than we then were, when we were born of our parents. Where would we be if He had not come, who had no sin at all, to loose all sin? The Jews, because they did not believe in Him, deserved to have it said to them, 'You will die in your sin'" ("In Ioann. Evang.", 38, 6).

The salvation which Christ brings will be applied to those who believe in His divinity. Jesus declares His divinity when He says "I am He", for this _expression, which He repeats on other occasions (cf. John. 8:28; 13:19), is reserved to Yahweh in the Old Testament (cf. Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 43:10-11), where God, in revealing His name and therefore His essence, says to Moses "I AM WHO I AM" (Exodus 3:14). In this profound way God says that He is the Supreme Being in a full, absolute sense, that He is dependent on no other being, that all other things depend on Him for their being and existence. Thus, when Jesus says of Himself, "I am He", He is revealing that He is God.

25. A little before this Jesus had spoken about His Heavenly origin and His divine nature (cf. verses 23-24); but the Jews do not want to accept this revelation; which is why they ask Him for an even more explicit statement: "Who are You?" Our Lord's reply can be understood in different ways, because the Greek text has two meanings: 1) our Lord is confirming what He has just asserted (cf. verses 23-24) and what He has been teaching throughout this visit to Jerusalem--in which case it may be translated "precisely what I am telling you" or else "in the first place what I am telling you". This is the interpretation given in the New Vulgate. 2) Jesus is indicating that He is the "Beginning", which is the word St. John also uses in the Apocalypse to designate the Word, the cause of all creation (Revelation 3:14; cf. Revelation 1:8). In this way Jesus states His divine origin. This is the interpretation given in the Vulgate. Either way, Christ is once more revealing His divinity; He is reaffirming what He said earlier, but without saying it all over again.

"Many people in our own days ask the same question: 'Who are You?' [...] Who, then, was Jesus? Our faith exults and cries out: it is He, it is He, the Son of God made man. He is the Messiah we were expecting: He is the Savior of the world, the Master of our lives: He is the Shepherd that guides men to their pastures in time, to their destinies beyond time. He is the joy of the world; He is the image of the invisible God: He is the way, the truth and the life; He is the interior friend; He is the One who knows us even from afar; He knows our thoughts; He is the One who can forgive us, console, cure, even raise from the dead; and He is the One who will return, the judge of one and all, in the fullness of His glory and our eternal happiness" (Paul VI, "General Audience", 11 December 1974).

26-27. "He who sent Me": an _expression very often found in St. John's Gospel, referring to God the Father (cf. 5:37; 6:44; 7:28; 8:16).

The Jews who were listening to Jesus did not understand whom He was referring to; but St. John, in recounting this episode, explains that He meant His Father, from Whom He came.

"He spoke to them of the Father": this is the reading in most of the Greek codexes, including the more important ones. Other Greek codexes and some translations, including the Vulgate, read, "He was calling God His Father."

"What I have heard from Him": Jesus had connatural knowledge of His Father, and it is from this knowledge that He speaks to men; He knows God not through revelation or inspiration as the prophets and sacred writers did, but in an infinitely higher way: which is why He can say that no one knows the Father but the Son and He to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him (cf. Mt 11:27).

On the type of knowledge Jesus had during His life on earth, see the note on Luke 2:52.

28. Our Lord is referring to His passion and death: "`And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself'. He said this to show by what death He was to die" (John 12:32-33). Rounding out the Synoptics and the Letters of St. Paul, the Fourth Gospel presents the Cross, above all, as a royal throne on which Christ is "lifted up" and from which He offers all men the fruits of salvation (cf. John 3:14-15; cf. also Numbers 21:9ff; Wisdom 16:6).

Jesus says that when that time comes, the Jews will know who He is and His intimate union with the Father, because many of them will discover, thanks to His death and resurrection, that He is the Messiah, the Son of God (cf. Matthew 15:39; Lk 33:48). After the coming of the Holy Spirit many thousands will believe in Him (cf. Acts 2:41; 4:4).
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.