Saturday, April 28, 2007

Fundraiser "Humor" at the Expense of Archbishop Burke

Hospital fundraiser opens on a light note

Archbishop Raymond Burke made it to the Fox Theatre Saturday — but only as a punch line.
I'm certain all had a good laugh at Archbishop Burke's expense.

When Bob Costas, the evening's host, walked onto the stage he scanned the crowd, gazing into the back rows of the upper balcony before breaking the prolonged silence.

"All right," Costas quipped. "I guess the archbishop is not showing up."
. . .
"Sheryl Crow made it clear that she is coming here for three reasons," Costas told the crowd. The singer wanted to help children, put on a good show and, Costas said, "get me ex-communicated."

Someone should tell Costas that, sadly, he doesn't pass the "litmus test" for even bad comedy...

Comedian Billy Crystal, later join in the "fun".
"I respect his right to choose," Crystal said of Burke. "His right to choose not to be here."

After a round of applause, Crystal added: "After all, charity begins at home — because that's where he is."
I never really cared much for for Costas or Crystal, tonight they confirmed that my intuition was correct.

And the fun and games - where many are being entertained by someone who claims to want to help children yet advocates the murder of the unborn...

But changes are coming we hear:
Anne Steffens, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said Saturday that some people seemed to misunderstand Burke's commitment to the Cardinal Glennon Medical Center.

Burke's beef, Steffens said, is with the charity foundation, which is independent of the hospital.
. . .
This summer, the archdiocese again will hold a special collection at all parishes to benefit the hospital. Steffens said that the collection had generated about $3 million for the foundation but that, from now on, the proceeds would go straight to the hospital. [my emphasis]

This is a good move...Since the "foundation" cares little for Catholic principles, it should not be the benficiary of any Catholic funding.

Crow, a singer who grew up in the Missouri Bootheel, appeared in a commercial last year in support of Missouri's Amendment 2, which protects embryonic stem cell research in the state. Burke campaigned against the measure, which passed.

[Sheryl] Crow, a singer who grew up in the Missouri Bootheel, appeared in a commercial last year in support of Missouri's Amendment 2, which protects embryonic stem cell research in the state. Burke campaigned against the measure, which passed.
For those who may have missed the ad, click here to see Sheryl Crow promoting the Cloning and Killing of human life, otherwise known as the infamous Amendment 2.

The Priest at Prayer, April 29

The Priest and the Eternal Truths
Mortal Sin in the Priest

Second Meditation

Malice of Sin

I. The soul of every human being living by God's grace is God's temple. What of the soul that has lost this grace by mortal sin?

It is still the temple of God: at least it still retains sufficient spaciousness and suitable structure to be the dwelling of Him whose throne is the highest Heaven and the whole earth His footstool.

The soul of the sinner is indeed a temple: it was created by God for that purpose; but now that the temple has been rendered unholy, profane, polluted, by the filth of sin, God, its rightful Dweller, has fled, and will not return until it be made clean by repentance.

The most beautiful cathedral, if seriously and publicly profaned, will have the Blessed Sacrament taken away from it until it be reconciled with due solemnity; because it has forfeited that decency and decorum which its Guest demands. For church styles will change with the varying tastes of the times: one epoch will choose the Gothic style, another the classic or Romanesque; but there will ever be a style and an ornamentation with­out which the most sumptuous architecture will be unworthy to house God. "Holy is Thy house, and must needs be holy until the end of time." (Ps. 92)

So too, a soul unadorned by the holiness of grace, though made to be God's temple, and still retaining the design and structure of such, is nevertheless held in
abhorrence and is repudiated by its Lord; it is given up to ruin and ignominy, like a deserted and accursed house.

This was my soul when I grievously sinned; this it is now if in sin I still continue.

II. There are terrible diseases--cancer, for example - that so entwine themselves around the deep, vital fibres of the organism as to become one with them. There are subtle poisons and malignant tumours that encrust upon, and soak into, the entrails, and there they remain un­probed until the grave, where at length they evaporate and perish among the ashes of the dead body.

A more penetrating cancer is sin, which all the strength of men and angels is powerless to extirpate from the substantial tissues and essence of our spirit.

Death, a corrosive that annihilates the germs of every physical disease, in the presence of the disease of mortal sin becomes a fixing bath. When death's icy breath passes over mortal sin in the soul, it fixes the sin there for ever; and with such force, so deeply, that neither the influx of eternity, nor oceans of tears, nor even the flames of Hell with all their penetrating and grappling of the soul's inmost being, will succeed in toning down a single shade or in effacing a single lineament. Is there any disease more intimate or more detestable?

Only the Blood of Jesus Christ takes out that stain; only the Fire of the Divine Spirit has power to burn so deeply and eradicate that dreadful cancer.

If thus thou art infected, my soul, let us go searching, even if it should mean spending all we possess; let us go searching until we find that health-giving and vivifying Spirit!

III. But my dull intellect, notwithstanding its close atten­tiveness and anxious striving, does not seem fully per­suaded nor manages to grasp how a human act, some­times merely internal, other times as quick as a flash of lightning, and, in certain cases, as innocuous, it would seem, as the petal of a flower; how such an act can carry with it so much malice. After pondering all the reasons, metaphysical and theological, I must frankly confess perhaps that I do not understand; I do not see in sin such an abominable monstrosity to be shunned at all costs.

I don't see or understand, but God does; and His judgement is infinitely just!

These two divine, infallible facts bear witness:

1. God, who is Equanimity, Goodness, and Justice Itself; Who is the Infinite Lover of man, being the Father that He is; by His very Justice is constrained to allow a single mortal sin unrepented of to find its meet punishment in the everlasting misery of Hell.

My God, Thine all-seeing Eyes must behold some­thing incomprehensibly horrible and detestable in that act which we call sin, and which perhaps to my eyes seems a harmless piece of mischief or a childish prank. Lord, I believe in the clear-sightedness of Thine un­clouded Vision rather than in the range of my limited mind!

2. Jesus Christ, the all-innocent Lamb whose bleat­ings might turn the hardest heart into a fountain of mercy; Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word, the Co-Equal and Consubstantial Son of God in Whom the Father finds all His Delight; just because He clad Himself with the garment of our iniquities and went surety for the
transgressions of men, His brethren; just for that appear­ance of the mere shadow of sin which God finds in Him, He is allowed to be sacrificed so mercilessly that His torments have come down the centuries filling all gen­erations with dread and sorrow.

This is the overwhelming lesson of the Cross. The red characters of His Blood portray the malice of sin. Only a sinister power like sin could possibly snatch away the human life of the Son of God! Now I see, dear Jesus, that my sins deserve one essential name: abomination.

From now on, every day, I shall pluck from the Tree of the Cross the first and most visible fruit that is offered to every passerby or to whosoever shelters in its shade: an immense detestation of sin and a clear knowledge of its malice.

Contemplating Jesus Christ crucified I can only cry out with David: "Who knows his own frailties?" Delicta, quis intelligit. . . ? (Ps. 18:13)

Who cannot decipher the detestable thing that sin is from the Blood-written letters upon the mangled frame of Christ on the Cross?
Adapted from The Priest at Prayer
by Fr. Eugenio Escribano, C.M. (© 1954)
Translated by B.T. Buckley, C.M.

Please pray for our priests and pray for vocations to the priesthood!

A Comment Needing a Rebuke and Correction

Pew Kneeler wrote the following in response to the post "Is Ignorance the Key to Burke/Crow/Costas Matter?"...Because it is so riddled with errors, I felt it desrved to be publicly exposed and corrected. There is much which can be learned from such an exercise. Unfortunately, many in the St Louis area and elsewhere are similarly "confused".

I will be updating this post periodically as I have time to address each of the claims/assertions of "Pew Kneeler", ...Feel free to comment or email me - it may help me respond more quickly...

The Archbishop has not spoken to the press in almost two full years.
Catholics deserve several things of our leader:

It is not the job of the Archbishop to "speak to the press" but to teach, govern and sanctify the faithful. These duites do not require that he make arrangements with the Post-Dispatch or other secular media to ensure that his message is getting out.

For those who are confused or whose minds have been clouded by secular news reports, they may be assured that the Archbishop has been relentless in performing his duties as shepherd of the Archdiocese. The fact that he has not called a press conference or had throngs of reporters and photographers following him around and reporting on his actions does not prove this erroneous claim that Catholics have been deprived of spiritual blessings or lack of leadership or that "Catholics deserve several things of our leader"...The faithful of the Archdiocese of St Louis have one of the best bishops to be found and are the envy of Catholics of many dioceses in the U.S.

1) Consistency. There is a ton of sin out there - from abortion to the death penalty, from poverty to human cloning. He has lost a ton of respect for his pro Iraq War stance, calling Pope John Paul II's vehement opposition to it "his personal view." When Pope JP II did everything in his power to stop Bush from a war based on lies, Burke ran a series of articles on "The just war theory." Hmmmm. Do we assume that Archbishop Burke has more wisdom than Pope John Paul II?

First some clarifications are in order:
Directly willed abortion - Sinful
Human Cloning-Sinful
Death Penalty-Not Sinful
Poverty, in and of itself-Not Sinful
Causing poverty-Sinful
Supporting the Iraq War-Not sinful

Now that that out of the way, let's proceed....

Pew Kneeler states that there is a need for consistency. It boggles the mind to try and imagine any time when Ab. Burke has been inconsistent. Fact: Iraq War starts March 20, 2003 and Archbishop Burke was still the Bishop of La Crosse. He was installed at the Archbishop of St Louis on Jan 26, 2004.

After reviewing the archives of the St Louis Review, I have been unable to find a "series of articles on the 'just war' theory." Archbishop Burke issue a Pastoral Letter on October 1, 2004, titled, "To Christ's Faithful of the Archdiocese of St. Louis: 'On Our Civic Responsibility for the Common Good'" in which he states:
30. Some Catholics have suggested that a candidate's position on the death penalty and war are as important as his or her position on procured abortion and same-sex "marriage." This, however, is not true. Procured abortion and homosexual acts are intrinsically evil, and, as such, can never be justified in any circumstance. Although war and capital punishment can rarely be justified, they are not intrinsically evil; neither practice includes the direct intention of killing innocent human beings. In some circumstances, self-defense and defense of the nation are not only rights, but responsibilities. Neither individuals nor governments can be denied the right of lawful defense in appropriate circumstances (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 2265 and 2309). While we must all work to eradicate the circumstances which could justify either practice, we must stop the killing of innocent unborn children and the practice of euthanasia, and safeguard marriage and the family now. One cannot justify a vote for a candidate who promotes intrinsically evil acts which erode the very foundation of the common good, such as abortion and same-sex "marriage," by appealing to that same candidate's opposition to war or capital punishment.

There was also an article in the same issue of the Review, "Questions and answers concerning Archbishop Burke's pastoral letter" which dealt briefly with the Death Penaly and War:
5. Aren’t capital punishment and war also pro-life issues? Capital punishment and war are certainly pro-life issues. Although they are rarely justified, they are, though, not intrinsically evil as is abortion. In some circumstances self-defense and defense of the nation are not only rights but responsibilities.

One cannot, however, justify voting for a candidate who promotes intrinsically evil acts which erode the very foundation of the common good, such as abortion, by appealing to that same candidate’s opposition to war or capital punishment.

Articles on "Just War" were found in the Review on these dayes, before Archbishop Burke came to St Louis:
October 18, 2002, 3 questions about U.S. shooting first, by George Weigel

December 13, 2002, Who is the just war tradition for? by George Weigel

May 2, s003, Force of law aided by the law of force by George Weigel

And there are several others from the year 2002. It seems, therefore, that Pew Kneeler, after having calumniated Archbishop Burke for being responsible for this series of articles, has mistakenly directed his anger toward the wrong person. Of course, I could be wrong, but as Pew Kneeler did not supply any sources for his opinions, it's difficult and tedious to go back, pull the data, and refute his accusations.

I'll get to his 2nd assertion soon.

2) Dialogue, not condemnation. Could he at least made a conciliatory comment, thanking Bob Costas for his 20 years of volunteering for Glennon? For Sheryl Crow to give up 2 weekend nights of concerts to volunteer her time when she could be making $400,000 per night? Or Billy Crystal, a Jew, who commands over $500,000 per appearance, but also is generously volunteering his time? Instead of vilifying, could he, as chairman of the board, asked to speak with Sheryl for 5 minutes beforehand? Engage in a conversation? Talk and listen, instead of pontificating?

3) Could he at least have mentioned that, thanks to Bob Costas, the Costas Center houses the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank, the 2nd largest holder of adult stem cells on the planet? All from donations of umbilical cords from mothers - all 100% Vatican approved and encouraged? Bob Costas has donated his time for 19 years in support of this - this is NOT an abortion clinic or embryonic cloning center - it's 100% in-line with Catholic dogma - and Sheryl Crow is helping it!

4) St. Louis has 2 children's hospitals - Cardinal Glennon, which is Catholic, and Children's Hospital, an affiliate of Barnes-Jewish and Washington University, where abortions are performed. BJC/Wash U would be the largest educational recipient of embryonic stem research. He's silent about that, but goes after one particular fundraising event at the Catholic hospital caring for children?

5) Watch Archbishop Burke as he speaks, and ask yourself these questions: Are you seeing a man full of Christ's spirit? Does he exude the holiness, serenity and joy of the Risen Christ? Do you feel Christ's compassion pouring out of his soul? Would you take your children to listen to him and follow his every word as thousands of Jews and Gentiles did to every word of Jesus? Would he be the first person you'd to turn to for consolation after your spouse or child has died, or if you, God help us, were having marital problems? What is the image of God that he represents to the world? The Jesus who walked this earth 2,000 years ago was also condemning of others - but his harshest condemnations were for the Sadducees and Pharisees, the "leaders" of the church at the time. Jesus spent his time with tax collectors and sinners, and Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. Who does the Archbishop appear to have more in common with here: the Saddudees & Pharisees, or those in Jesus's inner circle?

6) The Archbishop's "5 talking points" for political action were developed for him by Anne Wagner, the Chairman of Missouri's Republican Party. It was the five divisive issues that Karl Rove first developed to get the poor and middle class of believers to vote for tax cuts for the filthy rich and an unust war. Wait, before you go - Allen Alred is known as "Mr. Republican" for his staunch support for the Republican Party. Interesting to note that the Archbishop gave his full support to Governor Blunt in the last election, who, like Sheryl Crow, was VERY vocal about his support of embryonic research and cloning. Burke's response to Blunt? The same as with the Iraq war - silence.

7) Archbishop is canonically wrong to call a human "evil," as he has Sheryl Crow (except for Satan himself.) Yes, he can cite one's actions as "grave matter," but as all of us should remember from our Baltimore Catechism, there are three parts to sin: Grave matter, serious intent to do harm, and full consent of will. Since the Archbishop has never engaged in conversation, isn't it extremely presumptive that he knows the inner motivations of Sheryl? Her intent in coming to the Costas Gala is pure and good - to help raise funds for children with cancer AND the Vatican-approved adult stem cell center it houses. Hmmm.

In ending, prayerfully consider this: "The foundation of any fundamentalism, be it Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Communistic, or whatever, is narcissism."

No one on the planet has enough control to make the rest of the planet look like the lily-white, rural, conservative, homogenous background that Archbishop Burke so loved in his childhood back in Wisconsin, despite his yeoman's efforts. Please pray that the Holy Spirit can flood his soul with the joy of the Risen Christ, the Jesus who forgave the sinner on the cross who died along with him, and the God of mercy.

Please also pray for the end of polarization that is so divisive in our time, for reconciliation and healing of new wounds, and especially for the gift of humility, on all sides.

For all those angry about this, no matter from what side, please pray that our own hearts receive the gifts of God's conversion, for we all are sinners.

May 11 - The Rebirth of St. Francis de Sales

May 11, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Faith and Preservation -- The Rebirth of St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales Oratory

This event kicks off Historic Preservation Week 2007 and includes an organ recital, a welcome by Archbishop Raymond Burke, tours of the parish buildings and a reception featuring German wine. Reservations required.

Price: Free

Phone: 314-421-6474
Address: 2653 Ohio Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63118

What Does "Diversity" Really Mean

Diversity – it seems everything can be allowed in the name of diversity.

It is one of those “magic” words which is used, more often than not, to promote an agenda.

And so the lead story this week of the American TFP takes a look at the word diversity and its several meanings.

You can read the main story, “Diversity: A ‘Talismanic’ Word of the Homosexual Movement” by clicking here.

Gospel for Saturday, 3rd Week of Easter

Optional Memorial: St Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr
Optional Memorial: St Louis Grignion de Monfort, Priest

From: John 6:60-69

The Disciples' Reaction

[60] Many of His (Jesus') disciples, when they heard of it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" [61] But Jesus, knowing in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, said to them, "Do you take offense at this? [62] Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending where He was before? [63] It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. [64] But there are some of you that do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that should betray Him. [65] And He said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted him by the Father."

[66] After this many of the disciples drew back and no longer went with Him. [67] Jesus said to the Twelve, "Will you also go away?" [68] Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; [69] and we have believed, and have come to know, that You are the Holy One of God."


60-62. Many of His listeners find the Eucharistic mystery completely incomprehensible. Jesus Christ requires His disciples to accept His words because it is He who has spoken them. That is what the supernatural act of faith involves--that act "whereby, inspired and assisted by the grace of God, we believe that the things which He has revealed are true; not because of the intrinsic truth of the things, viewed by the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of God Himself who reveals them, and who can neither be deceived nor deceive" (Vatican I, "Dei Filius", Chapter 3).

As on other occasions, Jesus speaks about future events to help His disciples believe: "I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe" (John 14:29).

63. Jesus says that we cannot accept this mystery if we think of it in too human a way, in other words, by just seeking to indulge our senses or having too earthbound a view of things. Only someone who listens to His words and receives them as God's revelation, which is "spirit and life", is in a position to accept them.

66. The promise of the Eucharist, which caused arguments (verse 52) among Christ's hearers at Capernaum and scandalized some of them (verse 61), led many people to give up following Him. Jesus had outlined a wonderful and salvific truth, but those disciples closed themselves to divine grace; they were not ready to accept anything which went beyond their very limited horizons. The mystery of the Eucharist does call for a special act of faith. St. John Chrysostom therefore advised Christians: "Let us in everything believe God, and gainsay Him in nothing, though what it said be contrary to our thoughts and senses. [...] Let us act likewise in respect to the [Eucharistic] mysteries, not looking at the things set before us, but keeping in mind His words. For His words cannot deceive" (St. John Chrysostom, "Hom. on St. Matthew", 82).

67-71. This passage is similar to that at Capernaum where Peter again, in the name of the Twelve, takes the initiative in expressing his faith in Jesus as Messiah (cf. Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30). Other people present may have been unbelieving, but the Apostles are not scandalized by our Lord's words: they say that they have already a deep-rooted confidence in Him; they do not want to leave Him. What St. Peter says (verse 68) is not just a statement of human solidarity but an
_expression of genuine supernatural faith--as yet imperfect--which is the result of the influence of divine grace on his soul (cf. Matthew 16:17).

Although the Twelve stay with Him at this point, Judas will later betray the Master. Jesus' foreknowledge of this future infidelity throws a shadow over His joy at the loyalty of the Twelve. We Christians should be humble enough to realize that we are capable of betraying our Lord if we give up using the means He has left us to cleave to Him. St. Peter's words (verse 68) are a beautiful aspiration we can use whenever we feel tempted.

68. Simon Peter expresses the feelings of the Apostles who, through staying loyal to Jesus, are getting to know Him much better and becoming more closely involved with Him: "Seek Jesus; endeavoring to acquire a deep personal faith that will inform and direct your whole life. But, above all, let it be your commitment and your program to love Jesus, with a sincere, authentic and personal love. He must be your friend and your support along the path of life. He alone has words of eternal life" ([Pope] John Paul II, "Address to Students in Guadalajara", 30 January 1979).

69. "The Holy One of God": this is what the original text must have said, according to most of the Greek codexes and the most important early translations. "The Holy One" is one of the expressions which designate the Messiah (cf. Mark 1:24; Luke 1:35; 4:34; Acts 2:27; Psalm 16:10), or God Himself (cf. Isaiah 6:3; 43:15; 1 Peter 1:15; 1 John 2:20; etc.). The rendering "the Christ, the Son of God" found in some translations, including the Vulgate, is supported by less important Greek manuscripts, and would seem to be an explanation of the messianic significance of the original phrase.
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, April 27, 2007

YouTube Pulls Videos Showing Homosexual Indoctrination of Elementary School Children

Read the details here

Not to fear, though, the videos are now available on the website of Mass Resistance, a pro-family lobbying

The Priest at Prayer, April 28

The Priest and the Eternal Truths
Mortal Sin in the Priest

First Meditation

The Nature of Sin

I. Sin is an evil. Nobody desires evil as such, for evil and desirable are mutually-exclusive terms. Therefore our desire for evil is by reason of the good we think it includes, viz.: pleasure, utility, prestige. But sin, being an evil, carries with it the privation of some good, because evil is simply privatio boni.

When I yield then to sin, I show that, for me, there is a greater good to be found in what is sinful - for example, sensual pleasure, of a nature so low-grade and fleeting - than the good I forfeit by sinning: the eternal law of God which I trample underfoot, the grace I deprive myself of, the Divihe Goodness from which I depart; in a word: God.

My God! Thou art the price I pay for the good I seek in sinning!

How often have I not purchased the shameful dalliance of lust, the shadowy pomp of pride, and the illusory gain of this world's goods, with Thee, Coin of Infinite value!

Was I not overcharged? Did I not, O Sovereign Good, hold Thee too cheap? Lord, I treated Thee like devalued currency!

II. God can prefer the particular good of one creature to that of another; for instance, the good of man to that of an animal; and, in a certain sense, God can desire the particular evil of one creature in so far as it redounds to the good of another; for example, the destruction of an animal inasmuch as it benefits man.

But His own Goodness God desires absolutely, in every instance, and above all other good, with an intensity and a love infinite and eternal; for the simple reason that God's Goodness is the one Essential Good, the inexhaustible Source of all good.

Consequently, God must necessarily, with a necessity intrinsic to His very Being, hate sin; for sin severs from His Goodness - aversio a Deo - and rates His Goodness lower thalt the glimpse of some fugitive and degrading good. The measure of this Divine Hatred - the only hatred harboured by the Divine Essence - is the Love of His own Goodness, which is infinite.

I, poor wretch, was steeped in the Almighty's infinite and necessary Hatred whenever I sinned grievously!

And yet I said in my foolhardiness: I have sinned, and what harm hath befallen me? (Eccl. 5:4)

And the curse of God wrapped me about, sank like water into my inmost being, soaked, like oil, into the marrow of my bones! (Cf. Ps. 108:18)

III. Who am I? I was born when God willed; die I must when and as God pleases; I depend upon Him for the least atom of my being - that is what it means to be a creature and to have a Creator!

Moreover, I am something very small, insignificant­ - tamquam nihilum ante Te - and He is the Being par excellence, infinite, unchanging, boundless.

On irrational creatures God has imposed laws which they carry out blindly, inexorably; to me, God gave them engraven on my heart and mind, made them mine to reject or to abide by of my own free will.

God, the Eternal, with whose grandeur heaven and earth is charged, beckons to me as He beckoned to the stars, places me before His Sovereign Might, and rest­ing His Eyes upon me, those Eyes of which the sunlight is but a faint reflection, He intimates to me at each moment through the voice of my conscience: "Do what I order thee; keep my commandments"; and I, the sinner, reply, "I will not serve"; and face to face I rebel against obedience due to Him, and tear myself away from His dominion. Is that not outrageous?

I will often make acts of perfect contrition with all the earnestness of a soul truly contrite and humble;
* before going to bed, in case God may demand my soul that same night;

* on rising in the morning, in order to begin the day with a soul cleansed by tears of reperit­ance;

* as often as I enter a church, so that this interior holy water of penance may purify me;

* but above all, as soon as I have had the immense misfortune to fall into serious sin - lest my last hour surprise me in such an unhappy state, and there should overtake me a sudden, hopeless doom.
Adapted from The Priest at Prayer
by Fr. Eugenio Escribano, C.M. (© 1954)
Translated by B.T. Buckley, C.M.

Please pray for our priests and pray for vocations to the priesthood!

Guidelines for the Next Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

XII Ordinary General Assembly: Theme – “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church”

PD: Burke-Crow Dispute Simmered for Weeks

The split between St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke and the Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center Foundation over a star singer's appearance started to form weeks ago...

The split between St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke and the Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center Foundation over a star singer's appearance started to form weeks ago.

The first crack appeared on March 8 in the form of a letter from Burke, who is chairman of the foundation board, to hospital President Douglas A. Ries.

It outlined Burke's concerns over the decision to bring Sheryl Crow to town for the foundation's premier fundraising gala, benefiting the hospital's Bob Costas Cancer Center.
* * *
For seven weeks, Burke urged his fellow board members to drop Crow from the event, to be held Saturday night.
* * *
James Hitchcock, professor of history at St. Louis University and a regular columnist for the diocesan press, said Burke was in a no-win situation.

He sees Burke's decision as a "moral issue." And, he said, if Burke had taken any other position, he almost certainly would have run into criticism for that.
Hitchcock is correct - but I doubt Archbishop Burke even consider remaining on the board as an option. That would have been seen by some as tacit approval of the boards actions...

Still, Hitchcock added, "It's a mystery of how this happened at all; it's odd that nobody brought this up before now."
It appears that the Archbishop was unaware of this until sometime in February, if reports are correct.

It's shameful that the board refused to do the right thing by dropping Crow, especially considering her positions...Attorney Allen D. Allred, one of those who "co-founded the gala", is quoted again, saying, "If they [stars] want to help kids, I can find a common cause with them to help kids." I'm sure he can, being an attorney...To me, it seems rather schizophrentic for one to claim to want to help children while at the same time advocating the murder of children...I suppose Allred has found a "common cause" between those two diametrically opposed positions. If so, we'd certainly like to hear about it.

For those who may have missed it, click here to see Sheryl Crow promoting the Cloning and Killing of human life, otherwise known as the infamous Amendment 2

By the way, there is a poll running at the link above [Read More] - and I encourage everyone to vote...Here is the Poll Question and the current results:

Do you agree with the archbishop's stance?
26% Yes

73% No

2% I don't know

Votes: 4,249

This Settles it...

Indianapolis Billboards Claim the Bible Affirms Homosexuality
The 22 signs in Indianapolis are sponsored by Jesus Metropolitan Community Church and Faith in America. Pastor Jeff Miner described one of the billboards that proclaims, “Ruth Loved Naomi as Adam Loved Eve.”
I just can't imagine how that is possible...A mystery, perhaps...

Chlidren are such fun!

A boss wondered why one of his most valued employees had not phoned in sick one day. Having an urgent problem with one of the main computers, he dialed the employee's home phone number and was greeted with a child's whisper. " Hello? "

"Is your daddy home?" he asked.
"Yes," whispered the small voice
"May I talk with him?"
The child whispered, "No."

Surprised and wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, "Is your Mommy there?"
"Yes," whispered the child again.
"May I talk with her?"
The small voice softly said, "No."

Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss asked, "Is anybody else there?"

"Yes," whispered the child, "a policeman".

Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee's home, the boss asked, "May I speak with the policeman?"
"No, he's busy", whispered the child.

"Busy doing what?"
"Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the Fireman," came the whispered answer.

Growing more worried as he heard a loud noise in the background through the earpiece on the phone, the boss asked, "What is that noise?"

"A helicopter," answered the whispering voice.

"What is going on there?" demanded the boss, now truly apprehensive.
Again, whispering, the child answered, "The search team just landed a helicopter."

Alarmed, concerned and a little frustrated the boss asked, "What are they searching for?"

Still whispering, the young voice replied with a muffled giggle........." ME ."

Did Sheryl Crow Perform Last Year at the Bob Costas Benefit?

NEVER MIND...Found the answer (below)...Sorry for the confusion.

The 19th Annual Bob Costas Benefit for Children's Hospital must be a repeat from last year (as far as it concerns Sheryl Crow). According to, Sheryl Crow was to perform on April 1, 2006. (link here)

Event Date: Event Name: Category:
2006-04-01..The 18th Annual Bob Costas Gala...Arts and Music
8 PM

Event Description:
Sheryl Crow will perform at the 18th Annual Bob Costas Benefit for the Bob Costas Cancer Research Center on Saturday, April 1, at 8:00 p.m. at the Fox Theatre.

Everyone must have a ticket, regardless of age.

Tickets are now on sale and may be purchased by calling the Development Office at Cardinal Glennon at 314-577-5605. Tickets are $100, $75, $50, $35 and $25. Tickets are not currently on sale through MetroTix.

Did she really perform last year in St Louis for this benefit?
LMC News Straight Out of Nashville

Sheryl Undergoes Breast Cancer Surgery

Sheryl Crow underwent "minimally invasive" surgery on February 22 in Los Angeles. Although she will receive radiation treatment as a precaution, Crow's physicians say her prognosis is excellent. Crow had to postpone her North American tour with singer-songwriter Jack Ingram. The tour was scheduled to continue through April, and her itinerary also included an April 7 taping of VH1 Classic's Decades Rock Live with Vince Gill, Ryan Adams and Robert Randolph. Tim McGraw will step in for Crow at the 18th annual Bob Costas benefit for the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis on April 1...

St Louis Review: Archbishop concerned over hospital benefit

Some have wondered and asked on local blogs and other sites when the Archbishop found out about the Crow schedule and what he did to address the matter. I understood he found out in February and had discussions with the board. St Review confirms that here:
Archbishop Burke said it came to his attention less than two months ago that Crow was going to be featured at the benefit event. He wrote to Doug Ries, president of the medical center, who referred him to Edward Higgins, president of the board of governors for the foundation.

After several rounds of communication, members of the foundation’s executive committee ultimately decided "they were not convinced that having her perform at this fund-raising event called into question ... the Catholic identity of the medical center," Archbishop Burke said.
Apparently for some, money is more important than maintaining a truly Catholic identity...but not so with Archbishop Burke and he explains clearly, his reasoning, to the faithful:
"If I, as archbishop of St. Louis, were simply to let this pass, it would give people the impression that as long as the purpose is to raise money, you can associate with people, even feature people, who are public proponents of the killing of unborn children and embryonic human life."
Thank you, your Excellency, you have fulfilled your obligation to Christ, the Church and the faithful entrusted to your care...The board members have failed to live up to their obligations, they have abdicated their responsibilities, and have failed the children and the community.

ST Louis Review Article.
Photo by Mark Kempf

Also in the Review is this story, Day by Day, Archbishop Burke finds Church ministry fulfilling , which describes a day in the life of Archbishop Burke. For those who have wondered what he does, this article provides the details and confirms why we should keep him in our daily prayers.

The Christian Altar, Part 2

This is a continuation of The Christian Altar, Part 1

Bear in mind that this was composed in 1939, well before the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and some rubrics may have been modified...Other changes will be noted accordingly. Nevertheless, some may find the history fascinating.
Questions answered in this chapter:

How did the practice of entombing the relics of saints in altars originate? What was the decree of the Second Council of Nicaea? How is the practice of placing relics in altars suggested by the text in the Apocalypse? By St. Augus­tine? St. Ambrose?

What kind of relics are placed in altars? What is the Congregation of Sacred Rites? Why is it unnecessary to know the names of the saints whose relics are placed in the altars? What classes of saints are so honored today? What are direct and indirect relics? What feast is- celebrated in many dioceses on No­vember 5?

In what solemn rite is the altar identified with Christ? Of what three parts does the ceremony consist? What other ceremony does it resemble?

What does the word "tabernaculum" mean? What does it suggest? How is the tabernacle constructed? How was the Blessed Sacrament reserved during the first three centuries? What was the "arca"?

What were some methods of reservation in use during the early ages of the Church? What was the eucharistic dove? Where are such doves in use today? What was the eucharistic tower. When and how was the tower replaced?

When and for what reasons was the reredos introduced? Why did Pope Paul order that the relics be brought to the churches? What custom developed in some parts of Europe? Why were reredoses built?

What movement is bringing about a new development in the sacred arts? How is good taste in ornamentation being achieved? What are the requirements of the rubrics in regard to the altar? What purpose do cloth hangings serve?
The practice of entombing relics of the saints in altars and later in altar stones, is traceable to the custom of celebrating Mass over the graves of the martyrs. So firmly was the "cult of relics" established that in the year 787 the Second Council of Nicaea decreed that all consecrated churches should possess some relics. The law was so strict that a bishop who consecrated a church without them could be deposed.

TESTIMONY OF THE SAINTS: The altar quite naturally became the ideal repository for these relics because of the martyrs' resemblance to the Lamb of God. St. John the Evangelist, describing his vision of the heavenly Jeru­salem, relates in the Apocalypse: " . . . I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held" (VI, 9). Their fellowship in the sufferings of Christ prompted St. Augustine to say: "Rightly do the souls of the just rest beneath the altar since on it the body of the Lord is immolated." The word "altar" in these two quotations refers to Christ as the altar of heaven under which the souls of the martyrs live as their bodies rest under our altars. When St. Ambrose discovered the bodies of the Martyrs Gervase and Protase in the year 386, he placed them under an altar with the explanation: " . . . the martyrs are entitled to this resting place."

AUTHENTICATION OF RELICS: The relics which are placed in the sepulchres of altars and altar stones must be authenticated ones. The Congrega­tion of Sacred Rites [Ed.Note: Pre Vatican II, currently it is the Congregation for the Causes of Saints], a body composed of cardinals and other officials charged with the direction of the liturgy, decides upon the authenticity of such relics. When relics bear the official stamp of approval of this body, it does not matter whether or not the name of the saint is known. It became customary, however, to include in the sepulchre of the altar the relics of one martyr, to which may be added those of confessors and virgins or, when possible, a relic of the saint in whose honor the altar is dedicated. The rubric does not state that the relics must be direct, that is, parts of the bodies of saints. Liturgical writers, however, insist that the relics so honored must be direct. (Indirect relics are obtained from objects connected with the lives of saints). On November 5 [Old Calendar] the Church celebrates, in many dioceses, the feast of the Holy Relics preserved in the churches of the respective dioceses.

CONSECRATION OF THE ALTAR: The altar is identified with Christ in the beautiful and solemn rite of consecration which is performed by a bishop. This rite consists of three distinct phases: (1) The blessing of the altar with Gregorian water; (2) the entombment of the relics; and (3) the anointing with holy oils.

The entombment of the relics of the saints is one of the most profound and touching parts of the ceremony and closely resembles the formula of the ritual used in the burial of the bodies of the martyrs. On the day previous to the consecration of the altar, the relics are taken to the church in a special reliquary. Three grains of incense are enclosed with them and at least two candles are kept burning all night before them. "On the day of the consecration the relics are carried in solemn procession with cross, lights and incense, first around the church and then into the church. At the same time responses and antiphons are sung; the Church calling out to the Saints: 'Arise from your abodes, ye Saints of God; proceed to the place of your destination; sanctify all the places through which you pass, bless the people and preserve us sinful men in peace!' Amid clouds of incense, amid prayer and singing, they are placed in the receptacle anointed with chrism, and the opening is closed." [1]

THE TABERNACLE: The name tabernacle comes from "tabernaculum," a Latin word meaning "tent." It is suggestive of the tent of the Israelites which served as their sanctuary during their wandering in the desert before the erection of Solomon's Temple. The tabernacle is a box or chest made of solid marble, wood, stone, or metal, closed on all sides and permanently fixed to the altar. The interior should be lined with silk. A corporal is placed on the floor for the sacred vessels to rest upon.

During the first three centuries the Blessed Sacrament was not, as a rule, reserved in the churches, but the faithful, because of persecutions, were per­mitted to take It to their homes for the purpose of communicating themselves when in danger of death. The sacred Species was kept in a small silver box lined with cedar, called an "arca," a Latin word meaning "ark." As conditions became more favorable for the practice of the Christian religion, this custom was abandoned. During the fourth century the Holy Eucharist was reserved in the churches, but only for the sick.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE TABERNACLE: When the practice of re­serving the Blessed Sacrament became more general, the method adopted varied according to time and place. The vessel in which the Host reposed was some­times kept in a niche in the wall or in a pillar; in a recess under the altar or in a portable turret-shaped cabinet which was kept in the sacristy or in an ad­joining room called the "bridal chamber."

The cabinet was carried to the altar at the beginning of each Mass. Later on it was customary to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in a pyx which was placed in a receptacle of gold or silver fashioned in the form of a dove. The dove, which was covered with a richly embroidered silk veil ("dove-cot"), was suspended above the altar from the roof of the ciborium or canopy. By special permission eucharistic doves are still in use in two churches in France, one in Amiens and another in Valoires. [Ed. Note: I'm unclear whether this sti;; applies.]

The ciborium, which was supported by four columns, was later replaced by the eucharistic tower. This tower was octagon-shaped, made of wood or stone, and erected on the Gospel side of the altar. It was sometimes surmounted by a staff designed like a bishop's crozier, from which the dove was suspended.

In Rome it was customary to enclose the dove or a casket containing the sacred Species in the tower itself. These towers were used as receptacles for the Blessed Sacrament until the end of the sixteenth century when they were per­manently replaced by our present form of tabernacle built in the middle of the altar and inseparable from it.

THE REREDOS: The earliest types of altars did not have the super­structure at the back which is such a familiar ornamental feature today. About the tenth century, a panel, later called a reredos, was introduced. Curiously enough, the reredos, too, grew out of the "cult of relics" and the plundering of the Roman shrines and catacombs by the Goths and Lombards. In 761 Pope Paul I ordered that the bodies of the martyrs should be transferred to the "crypts of the churches" in order to give them safety and protection. In some parts of Europe, however, costly shrines and caskets containing the bodies of the saints were stacked behind the altars; some of them even rested on the altars. Later on this haphazard arrangement of relics was hidden by the erec­tion of panels or reredoses built back of the altar and in front of the reliquaries. Although admitting of much decoration, these reredoses remained comparatively simple until the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries when they became great struc­tures, sometimes reaching to the roof of the church. The altar often appeared to be merely a part of the reredos. They were usually made of wood and were elaborately carved and painted. Frequently they were covered with gold leaf and precious stones. Sometimes they contained niches for statues of the saints.

NEW STANDARDS: With the spread of the Liturgical Apostolate in the United States, architects, craftsmen, artists, and the clergy are turning their attention to the development of more worthy standards in the arts which are employed in the ornamentation of the altar. Simplicity and good taste are achieved by designs which are reduced to the fundamental liturgical require­ments and by the omission of all unessential details.

A stone slab supported by stone columns, a tabernacle enclosed in an all-seasonal canopy or veil of colored silk, six tall candle sticks and a large crucifix (which may be suspended from above), fulfill all the requirements of the rubrics. Cloth hangings are often used to bring these simple outlines into relief, an arrangement which admits of unlimited possibilities in light and color harmonies.

(1) Glhr, Tbe Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Page 243.
Adapted from Altar and Sanctuary, An Exposition of the Externals of the Mass
by Angela A. Glendenin (© 1939)
Published by the Catholic Action Committee
The Catholic Action Series of Discussion Club Textbooks

Is Conversion Possible at Most Holy Redeemer?

***Updated - See Below***

Picture here, are members of the "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence"

The BBC is to relay a 'gay Mass' from San Francisco this Sunday, the first time such a service has been broadcast.

The 50-minute Mass at the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in the predominantly gay Castro district of the city will feature prayers and readings tailored for the gay community.
* * *
...Father Donal Godfrey, the U.S. Jesuit priest celebrating the Mass, said he was delighted the BBC was "exploring how gay people fit into the perspective of the Christian narrative". [St Ignatius, pray fray for us!]

"Being gay is not special," he said. "It's simply another gift from God who created us as rainbow people."
* * *
The preacher will be James Alison - a homosexual British Catholic theologian and author of 'Is it ethical to be Catholic? - Queer perspectives'.
These people need our prayers and San Francisco needs a bishop who is capable and willing to call sinners to repentance and conversion.

The text of the "event" can be read here.

*** Update from LifeSiteNews *** 8:00pm 4/27
SF Archdiocese:It was not a Mass and We Didn't Endorse it
The Archdiocese of San Francisco is refuting the Evening Standard's claim that a service to be broadcast worldwide this Sunday by the BBC from a San Francisco parish is a "gay Mass". . .
Maurice Healy, Communications Director for the Archdiocese, however, was adamant that what will be broadcast is neither a Mass nor endorsed by the Archdiocese. Healy told, "The event was not, repeat not a 'gay mass' it was a prayer service organized by Jesuit father Donal Godfrey."

Healy said, "I'm told that he organized it. It was not an archdiocesan function and the archdiocese was not aware of the BBC broadcast."
. . .
When asked about the participation of the parish in the Gay Pride parade, Healy responded, "Their participation could be seen as a way of outreaching. They don't have the archdiocese' approval but Catholics are independent minded people."

When asked directly if Holy Redeemer is the gay parish in San Francisco, Healy said, "These are complex issues." He continued, "We don't make differentiations between gay parishes and other parishes. We don't take a census about ethnicity, or homosexual orientation."
From Luke 11: [24] "When an unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest; and finding none he says, `I will return to my house from which I came.' [25] And when he comes he finds it swept and put in order. [26] Then he goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first."

"Complex issues"? Is the man afraid to answer truthfully? If everyone else in the country knows about this den of iniquity, how can the Archdioces claim ignorance, or indifference?

This refusal/failure to speak clearly and unambiguously brings to mind this from the 3rd chapter of Revelation:

Letter to the Church of Laodicea
[14] And to the angel of the church of Laodicea, write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, who is the beginning of the creation of God: [15] I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would thou were cold, or hot.
[16] But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.
The Navarre commentary states:
As observed by Cassian, one of the founders of Western monasticism, lukewarmness is something that needs to be nipped in the bud: "No one should attribute his going astray to any sudden collapse, but rather [...] to his having moved away from virtue little by little, through prolonged mental laziness. That is the way bad habits gain round without one's even noticing it, and eventually lead to a sudden collapse. 'Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall' (Prov 16:18). The same thing happens with a house: it collapses one fine day due to some ancient defect in its foundation or long neglect by the occupiers" ("Collationes", VI, 17).
How long will the infestation and decay continue in San Francisco and other places before the foundation rots from within and collapses?

The Lifesite article by Hilary White is here.

The BBC Radio Broadcast is here. It's about 38 minutes long (excluding news, etc.)

Gospel for Friday, 3rd Week of Easter

From: John 6:52-59

The Discourse on the Bread of Life (Continuation)

(Jesus said to the Jews,) [52] The Jews disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?" [53] So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you; [54] he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. [55] For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. [56] He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. [57] As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me will live because of Me. [58] This is the bread which came from Heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever." This He said in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum.


49-51. The manna during the Exodus was a figure of this bread--Christ Himself--which nourishes Christians on their pilgrimage through this world. Communion is the wonderful banquet at which Christ gives Himself to us: "the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh". These words promise the manifestation of the Eucharist at the Last Supper: "This is My body which is for you" (1 Corinthians 11:24). The words "for the life of the world" and "for you" refer to the redemptive value of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. In some sacrifices of the Old Testament, which were a figure of the sacrifice of Christ, part of the animal offered up was later used for food, signifying participation in the sacred rite (cf. Exodus 11:3-4). So, by receiving Holy Communion, we are sharing in the sacrifice of Christ: which is why the Church sings in the Liturgy of the Hours on the Feast of Corpus Christi: "O sacred feast in which we partake of Christ: His sufferings are remembered, our minds are filled with His grace and we receive a pledge of the glory that is to be ours" ("Magnificat Antiphon", Evening Prayer II).

52. Christ's hearers understand perfectly well that He means exactly what He says; but they cannot believe that what He says could be true; if they had understood Him in a metaphorical, figurative or symbolic sense there would be no reason for them to be surprised and nothing to cause an argument. Later, Jesus reaffirms what He has said--confirming what they have understood Him to say (cf. verses 54-56).

53. Once again Jesus stresses very forcefully that it is necessary to receive Him in the Blessed Eucharist in order to share in divine life and develop the life of grace received in Baptism. No parent is content to bring children into the world: they have to be nourished and looked after to enable them to reach maturity. "We receive Jesus Christ in Holy Communion to nourish our souls and to give us an increase of grace and the gift of eternal life" ("St. Pius X Catechism", 289).

54. Jesus clearly states that His body and blood are a pledge of eternal life and a guarantee of the resurrection of the body. St. Thomas Aquinas gives this explanation: "The Word gives life to our souls, but the Word made flesh nourishes our bodies. In this Sacrament is contained the Word not only in His divinity but also in His humanity; therefore, it is the cause not only of the glorification of our souls but also of that of our bodies" ("Commentary on St. John, in loc.").

Our Lord uses a stronger word than just "eating" (the original verb could be translated as "chewing") which shows that Communion is a real meal. There is no room for saying that He was speaking only symbolically, which would mean that Communion was only a metaphor and not really eating and drinking the Body and Blood of Christ.

"All these invitations, promises and threats sprang from the great desire which (Jesus) had of giving us Himself in the holy Sacrament of the altar. But why should Jesus so ardently desire us to receive Him in Holy Communion? It is because love always sighs for, and tends to a union with, the object beloved. True friends wish to be united in such a manner as to become only one. The love of God for us being immense, He destined us to possess Him not only in Heaven, but also here below, by the most intimate union, under the appearance of bread in the Eucharist. It is true we do not see Him; but He beholds us, and is really present; yes, He is present in order that we may possess Him and He conceals Himself, that we may desire Him, and until we reach our true homeland Jesus Christ wishes in this way to be entirely ours, and to be perfectly united to us" (St. Alphonsus Liguori, "The Love of Our Lord Jesus Christ Reduced to Practice", Chapter 2).

55. In the same way as bodily food is necessary for life on earth, Holy Communion is necessary for maintaining the life of the soul, which is why the Church exhorts us to receive this Sacrament frequently: "Every day, as is desirable, and in the greatest possible numbers, the faithful must take an active part in the sacrifice of the Mass, avail themselves of the pure, holy refreshment of Holy Communion and make a suitable thanksgiving in return for this great gift of Christ the Lord. Here are the words they should keep in mind: `Jesus Christ and the Church desire all Christ's faithful to approach the sacred banquet every day. The basis of this desire is that they should be united to God by the sacrament and draw strength from it to restrain lust, to wash away the slight faults of daily occurrence and to take precautions against the more serious sins to which human frailty is liable' (Decree of the S.C. of the Council, 20 December 1905)" ([Pope] Paul VI, "Mysterium Fidei").

"The Savior has instituted the most august sacrament of the Eucharist, which truly contains His flesh and His blood, so that he who eats this bread may live forever; whosoever, therefore, makes use of it often with devotion so strengthens the health and the life of his soul, that it is almost impossible for him to be poisoned by any kind of evil affection. We cannot be nourished with this flesh of life, and live with the affections of death. [...]. Christians who are damned will be unable to make any reply when the just Judge shows them how much they are to blame for dying spiritually, since it was so easy for them to maintain themselves in life and in health by eating His Body which He had left them for this purpose. Unhappy souls, He will say, why did you die, seeing that you had at your command the fruit and the food of life?" (St. Francis de Sales, "Introduction to the Devout Life", II, 20, 1).

56. The most important effect of the Blessed Eucharist is intimate union with Jesus Christ. The very word "communion" suggests sharing in the life of our Lord and becoming one with Him; if our union with Jesus is promoted by all the sacraments through the grace which they give us, this happens more intensely in the Eucharist, for in it we receive not only grace but the very Author of grace: "Really sharing in the body of the Lord in the breaking of the eucharistic bread, we are taken up into communion with Him and with one another. `Because the bread is one, we, though many, are one body, all of us who partake of the one bread' (1 Corinthians 10:17)" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 7). Precisely because the Eucharist is the sacrament which best signifies and effects our union with Christ, it is there that the whole Church manifests and effects its unity: Jesus Christ "instituted in His Church the wonderful sacrament of the Eucharist, by which the unity of the Church is both signified and brought about" (Vatican II, "Unitatis Redintegratio", 2).

57. In Christ, the Incarnate Word sent to mankind, "the whole fullness of deity, dwells bodily (Colossians 2:9) through the ineffable union of His human nature and His divine nature in the Person of the Word. By receiving in this sacrament the body and blood of Christ indissolubly united to His divinity, we share in the divine life of the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. We will never be able to appreciate enough the intimacy with God Himself--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--that we are offered in the eucharistic banquet.

"We can therefore do nothing more agreeable to Jesus Christ than to go to Communion with the dispositions suitable to so great an action, since we are then united to Jesus Christ, according to the desire of this all-loving God. I have said with `suitable' and not `worthy' disposition, for who could communicate if it was necessary to be worthy of so great a Savior? No one but a God would be worthy to receive a God. But by this word suitable, or convenient, I mean such a disposition as becomes a miserable creature, who is clothed with the unhappy flesh of Adam. Ordinarily speaking, it is sufficient that we communicate in a state of grace and with an anxious desire of advancing in the love of Jesus Christ" (St. Alphonsus Liguori, "The Love of Our Lord Jesus Christ Reduced to Practice", Chapter 2).

58. For the third time (cf. 6:31-32 and 6:49) Jesus compares the true bread of life, His own body, with the manna God used to feed the Israelites every day during their forty years in the wilderness--thereby, inviting us to nourish our soul frequently with the food of His body.

"`Going to Communion every day for so many years! Anybody else would be a saint by now, you told me, and I...I'm always the same!' Son, I replied, keep up your daily Communion, and think: what would I be if I had not gone'" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 534).
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, April 26, 2007

The Priest at Prayer, April 27

The Priest and the Eternal Truths
Holiness of the Priesthood

Second Meditation

The Priest as the "Father of Souls"

I. "The purpose for which any high priest is chosen from among his fellow-men, and made represent­ative of men in their dealings with God, is to offer gifts and sacrifices in expiation of their sins." (Hebrews 5:1)

So my first obligation, as a priest, is to offer prayer and sacrifice for the salvation of souls.

As a father of souls, I must pray and weep before God for the sins of the world, with all the love of a father for his beloved children.

And what is the fragrant incense of prayer that appeases the Divine Wrath? What is the sacrifice that God has never disdained? Cor contritum et humiliatum - a heart that is contrite and humbled.

God will hardly listen to prayers for other men if the tongue that utters them He detests; if the heart whence they rise, far from being contrite, is hardened by pride and obdurate in wickedness; if my hands, when raised to Heaven, are steeped in sin.

II. "Keep yourselves unsullied, you that have the vessels of the Lord's worship in your charge." (Is. 52:11)

I am the one set apart, the one consecrated by the Finger of God and by the anointing of His Holy Spirit, to carry the vessels of the Lord; not chalices of silver and gold, not artistic treasures, but rather, those most precious vessels for whose sanctification and redemption Christ, the Almighty and Eternal God, deigned to die on a cross; souls to whom it has been given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God; souls made sanctuaries of the Holy Ghost, tabernacles of the Body of Christ.

It is my duty to make those vessels so clean that I leave them worthy to contain God. If the hands that wash are unwashed, will they not add to uncleanliness and minister to profanation?

Faith and devotion constrain me to show in my external demeanour towards the people the loftiest regard; similar to that which I have, for instance, in the celebration of Mass. God forbid that in my relations towards the faithful, the Mystical Body of Christ, I allow myself anything derogatory to the esteem that is their due as souls redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb without stain.

III. An obligation I cannot escape is good example.
St. Peter's admonition to priests rings in my ears:
"Be shepherds of the flock God has given you. Carry out your charge as God would have it done, cordially, not like drudges; generously, not in the hope of sordid gain; not tyrannizing, each in his own sphere; but setting an example, as best you may, to the flock." (I Peter 5:2,3)

From a practical and even a theological point of view, the most unanswerable argument for our Faith and morals is a Saint. Give me a saint, that is, a constant imitator of Jesus Christ, and his life will provide an adequate solution to any specious problem raised by irreligion. A good priest is worth more than a dozen works of apologetics. Shall I be worth at least one? Or will my life be a book of apologetics for evil?

My God, am I intimately and fully convinced of these truths? If slackness and foibles keep me far away from genuine holiness of life, do I at least believe that my calling, my God, and my neighbour are crying out for me to acquire it?

This conviction I shall take to heart and engrave on my mind, if only as the first step along the path of perfection.
Adapted from The Priest at Prayer
by Fr. Eugenio Escribano, C.M. (© 1954)
Translated by B.T. Buckley, C.M.

Please pray for our priests and pray for vocations to the priesthood!

"Defenders of Archbishop Burke" Issue Press Release

This was forwarded to me today:

April 25, 2007

Bill McKenzie, coordinator the Defenders of Archbishop Burke released the following statement today in support of Archbishop Burke's decision to resign as Chairman of the Board of the Cardinal Glennon Children's Foundation and encourage Catholics not to attend the benefit on Friday, April 28:

"Once again Archbishop Burke has courageously and correctly fulfilled the responsibilities of his position in the face of a particularly difficult controversy that will surely leave him open to criticism from anti-Catholics and those who do not understand the duties of a Catholic shepherd.

"The Board of Governors of the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation, in rejecting Archbishop Burke's pastoral guidance and deciding to retain their invitation to Sheryl Crow to perform at the Bob Costas Benefit for the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center had a choice between fidelity to God or human respect. They chose human respect.

"At a time when 4000 innocent lives are taken every day in our country by abortion, and millions more stand to be sacrificed through embryonic stem cell research, the Mayberry-like innocence of the board is simply irresponsible. The fact is that the Catholic Church is locked in an implacable struggle in this country with the forces of hell. For a Catholic, or a Catholic institution to ignore this is very odd. Apparently the board members just don't get it.

"The 400+ members of the Defenders of Archbishop Burke are fully in support of our beloved Archbishop. We pray for him, the members of the Board of Governors of the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation, Sheryl Crow and the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of St. Louis."
I also received this email which accompanied the Press Release:
Tuesday, April 25, 2007

Archbishop Burke resigned today as Chairman of the Board of the Cardinal Glennon Children's Foundation, a fundraising organization for the children's medical center. He took this step because the foundation has arranged for singer Sheryl Crow to perform at this Friday's benefit. Sheryl Crow has publicly promoted abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research, most notably as a proponent of Amendment 2 in the November Missouri election.

The Defenders of Archbishop Burke has refrained from any public statements or membership notification for over six months out of deference to the Archbishop's wishes that he be allowed to fight his own battles. This despite his often-stated appreciation for our support during the St. Stanislaus controversy.

I believe however that we will see a recurrence of some of the earlier insults and harsh criticism of the archbishop in the aftermath of his statement today.

When the St. Stanislaus affair took place there was no Defenders of Archbishop Burke. It took us several months to take action but once we did the tenor of the debate moderated considerably.

Therefore I am writing you today to encourage you to be prepared to defend the Archbishop tomorrow and in the days to come. There will be accusations in the workplace, the home, the stores, even in our parishes. The worst thing we can do is be silent as we were before.

We do not have to make eloquent statements, but we must leave no doubt that we support the Archbishop's actions. Think of this as an election. If more voices of criticism are heard than voices of support, the enemies of the Church will be emboldened. If we speak up to defend our shepherd the anti-Catholics will be more subdued. This will help the Church, the overall attitudes of St. Louisans, especially St. Louis Catholics and of course our beloved Archbishop Burke.

I believe that the Archbishop is fully in the right. I am thrilled to have such a courageous man as our leader. I believe that if all of our bishops were as conscientious as Archbishop Burke in fulfilling their responsibilities, the Catholic Church would be a much stronger voice for morality in America than it is today.

To hear the archbishop's statement and see more material explaining this decision please go to

In an effort to support the archbishop from the earliest days of this controversy I am releasing the following statement to the press immediately: (Ed. Note: Shown above)

God bless,
– Bill McKenzie
Defenders of Archbishop Burke
(Not affiliated with the Archdiocese of St. Louis)
HT to Howard for the info...

Archbishop Burke-A Contrast of Media Pictures

This picture is from an article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, depicting Archbishop Burke as mean and gruff...

And this is from a story at Catholic News Agency, titled "Archbishop Burke opposes Sheryl Crow concert out of pastoral necessity"...What a difference...
The second picture more accurately depicts Archbishop Burke.
So what's the deal with the Post-Dispatch?

Moral and Civic Responsibilities

I could not help but recall these words of Archbishop Burke (released on October 1, 2004) when reading the articles and watching the videos of the Cardinal Glennon/Sheryl Crow fiasco [here, here, here, here, and here] and thinking of Catholics and others who seem to have abandoned reason in exchange for the almighty dollar. A person who ignores or dismisses these words might be prone to the false belief that it would even be permitted to make a deal with the devil if the end result achieves some good.
13. As citizens of both Heaven and earth, we are bound by the moral law to act with respect for the rights of others and to promote the common good. The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council makes clear the responsibilities which are ours as citizens of the City of God and the city of man:

The Council exhorts Christians, as citizens of both cities, to perform their duties faithfully in the spirit of the Gospel. It is a mistake to think that, because we have here no lasting city, but seek the city which is to come, we are entitled to shirk our earthly responsibilities; this is to forget that by our faith we are bound all the more to fulfill these responsibilities according to the vocation of each one. But it is no less mistaken to think that we may immerse ourselves in earthly activities as if these latter were utterly foreign to religion, and religion were nothing more than the fulfillment of acts of worship and the observance of a few moral obligations. One of the graver errors of our time is the dichotomy between the faith which many profess and the practice of their daily lives. As far back as the Old Testament the prophets vehemently denounced this scandal, and in the New Testament Christ Himself with greater force threatened it with severe punishment. Let there, then, be no such pernicious opposition between professional and social activity on the one hand and religious life on the other. The Christian who shirks his temporal duties shirks his duties towards his neighbor, neglects God Himself, and endangers his eternal salvation (Gaudium et spes, n. 43a).

Our heavenly citizenship adds the grace of Christ to the duty of our earthly citizenship, which is to preserve, safeguard and foster the common good. As citizens of Heaven, we have the grace of the divine charity of The Good Samaritan to inspire and strengthen us in loving all, without boundaries.

14. The secularism of our culture, with its tendency to an exaggerated individualism, can easily cause confusion regarding the relationship of our duties as Christians and citizens, as citizens of Heaven and citizens of earth. We can easily begin to view our Christian duty as a private matter without legitimate reference to our civic duty. The Word of Christ, however, calls us to the constant conversion of our lives, by which we overcome any selfish individualism and live truly in Christ for love of God and our neighbor, also in fulfilling our civic responsibility.

From: On Our Civic Responsibility for the Common Good, A Pastoral Letter to Christ's Faithful of the Archdiocese of St Louis
by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke

I wonder how many St Louis Catholics have read this and have incorporated the principles of this Pastoral Letter into their lifes?

Dr Ed Peters: Abp Raymond Burke and Cardinal Glennon Hospital

Dr Edward Peters comments on the sad affair going on in St Louis.
What astounds me is that the directors of a fund-raiser for a venerable institution for children could have been so clueless as to invite Sheryl Crow, a notorious abortion advocate to headline their event; worse, the directors were so willful as to reject what were obviously many private entreaties by their chairman Abp. Burke to drop the mad idea before it all blew up in their face.

Is Ignorance the Key to Burke/Crow/Costas Matter?

The latest story story in the Post-Dispatch has quotes of Allen Allred which tend to demonstrate how completely ignorant and out of touch the man is when it comes to his professed Catholic Faith. The comments can only be described as foolish, thoughtless, idiotic, ridiculous, and irrational.

Allen Allred, chairman of the planning committee for the fundraiser and a board member of the Cardinal Glennon's Children's Foundation — the fundraising arm of the hospital — said Crow is not coming to make speeches.
That depends on what she sings, does it not? Has the board reviewed and approved her song list? If not, how can he claim what she will do or say?

"This event is about helping sick kids," he said. "I'm disappointed and saddened there are people in our community who are attempting to use this event to further a political agenda. If we go down that road, do we start asking doctors for their positions on abortion? Do we quiz every single donor what they think of embryonic stem cell research before accepting their money?"

Archbishop Burke is certainly not "attempting to use this event to further a political agenda." So to whom does Mr Allred refer? Unfortunately, no reporter seems to have asked him. Maybe he would be forthcoming enough to enlighten the public and tell us who is behind such an agenda?

Then he begins speaking like so many other pseudo-Catholics and imposters of the faith, by throwing red herrings to the press. He asks the infantile question:
"Do we start asking doctors for their positions on abortion? "
If a doctor wishes to work for a Catholic hospital, is it not relevant what his beliefs in this matter are? What faithful Catholic would want to hire a doctor who believes that killing the unborn is in accord with right reason, let alone with saving lives? What faithful Catholic hospital administrator would want to hire an abortionist or one who supports moral evils?

He then follows one absurd question with another, which is even worse:
"Do we quiz every single donor what they think of embryonic stem cell research before accepting their money?"
This question is thoughtless and irresponsible. How many of those who contribute to support Cardinal Glennon make it known to the world they they support the murder of the innocent unborn like Sheryl Crow has done?

Allred is against the wall on this one, and he knows it, or he lacks even the most basic understanding of his faith. What else explains these embarrassing questions?

Archbishop Burke asks the proper question, the answer of which seems to have eluded Allred and others:
"What if, for instance, there were someone appearing who we discovered was openly racist and who made statements and took actions to promote racism?...Do you think that I would let that go on?"

Evidently, those on the board of the Cardinal Glennon's Children's Foundation would not seem to have a problem with such a person - as long as enough money could be raised to help the children...after all, isn't "tainted" money still money? And isn't raising money their job, regardless of its source or circumstances?

Perhaps there should be a litmus test for board members of Catholic institutions - If there were more faithful Catholics on boards such as these, maybe episodes like this would be non-existent.

Gospel for Thursday, 3rd Week of Easter

Optional Memorial (Canada): Our Lady of Good Counsel

From: John 6:44-51

The Discourse on the Bread of Life (Continuation)

(Jesus said to the Jews,) [44] "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. [45] It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught by God.' Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. [46] Not that any one has seen the Father except Him who is from God; He has seen the Father. [47] Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. [48] I am the bread of life. [49] Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. [50] This is the bread which comes down from Heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. [51] I am the living bread which came down from Heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh."


44-45. Seeking Jesus until one finds Him is a free gift which no one can obtain through his own efforts, although everyone should try to be well disposed to receiving it. The Magisterium of the Church has recalled this teaching in Vatican II: "Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior help of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth" ("Dei Verbum", 5).

When Jesus says, "They shall all be taught by God", He is invoking Isaiah 54:13 and Jeremiah 31:33ff, where the prophets refer to the future Covenant which God will establish with His people when the Messiah comes, the Covenant which will be sealed forever with the blood of the Messiah and which God will write on their hearts (cf. Isaiah 53:10-12; Jeremiah 31:31-34).

The last sentence of verse 45 refers to God's Revelation through the prophets and especially through Jesus Christ.

46. Men can know God the Father only through Jesus Christ, because only He has seen the Father, whom He has come to reveal to us. In his prologue St. John already said: "No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has made Him known" (John 1:18). Later on Jesus will say to Philip at the Last Supper: "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9), for Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no one goes to the Father except through Him (cf. John 14:6).

In other words, in Christ God's revelation to men reaches its climax: "For He sent His Son, the eternal Word who enlightens all men, to dwell among men and to tell them about the inner life of God (cf. John 1:1-18). Hence, Jesus Christ, sent as `a man among men', `utters thewords of God' (John 3:34), and accomplishes the saving work which the Father gave Him to do (cf. John 5:36; 17:4). To see Jesus is to see His Father (cf. John 14:9)" (Vatican II, "Dei Verbum", 4).

48. With this solemn declaration, which He repeats because of His audience's doubts, (cf. John 6:35, 41, 48), Jesus begins the second part of His discourse, in which He explicitly reveals the great mystery of the Blessed Eucharist. Christ's words have such a tremendous realism about them that they cannot be interpreted in a figurative way: if Christ were not really present under the species of bread and wine, this discourse would make absolutely no sense. But if His real presence in the Eucharist is accepted on faith, then His meaning is quite clear and we can see how infinite and tender His love for us is.

This is so great a mystery that it has always acted as a touchstone for Christian faith: it is proclaimed as "the mystery of our faith" immediately after the Consecration of the Mass. Some of our Lord's hearers were scandalized by what He said on this occasion (cf. verses 60-66). Down through history people have tried to dilute the obvious meaning of our Lord's words. In our own day the Magisterium of the Church has explained this teaching in these words" "When Transubstantiation has taken place, there is no doubt that the appearance of the bread and the appearance of the wine take on a new expressiveness and a new purpose since they are no longer common bread and common drink, but rather the sign of something sacred and the sign of spiritual food. But they take on a new expressiveness and a new purpose for the very reason that they contain a new `reality' which we are right to call "ontological". For beneath these appearances there is no longer what was there before but something quite different [...] since on the conversion of the bread and wine's substance, or nature, into the body and blood of Christ, nothing is left of the bread and the wine but the appearances alone. Beneath these appearances Christ is present whole and entire, bodily present too, in His physical `reality', although not in the manner in which bodies are present in place.

For this reason the Fathers have had to issue frequent warnings to the faithful, when they consider this august Sacrament, not to be satisfied with the senses which announce the properties of bread and wine. They should rather assent to the words of Christ: these are of such power that they change, transform, `transelement' the bread and the wine into His body and blood. The reason for this, as the same Fathers say more than once, is that the power which performs this action is the same power of Almighty God that created the whole universe out of nothing at the beginning of time" (Paul VI, "Mysterium Fidei").

49-51. The manna during the Exodus was a figure of this bread--Christ Himself--which nourishes Christians on their pilgrimage through this world. Communion is the wonderful banquet at which Christ gives Himself to us: "the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh". These words promise the manifestation of the Eucharist at the Last Supper: "This is My body which is for you" (1 Corinthians 11:24). The words "for the life of the world" and "for you" refer to the redemptive value of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. In some sacrifices of the Old Testament, which were a figure of the sacrifice of Christ, part of the animal offered up was later used for food, signifying participation in the sacred rite (cf. Exodus 11:3-4). So, by receiving Holy Communion, we are sharing in the sacrifice of Christ: which is why the Church sings in the Liturgy of the Hours on the Feast of Corpus Christi: "O sacred feast in which we partake of Christ: His sufferings are remembered, our minds are filled with His grace and we receive a pledge of the glory that is to be ours" ("Magnificat Antiphon", Evening Prayer II).

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, April 25, 2007

More on the Ill-Advised Decision of Cardinal Glennon Children's Foundation

*** See Updated Links News and Video Links Below ***

Archbishop Burke is completely correct in his assessment of the situation of the Cardinal Glennon Children's Foundation (CGCF)to have Sheryl Crow appear at the fundraiser, the "Bob Costas Gala."

From a KTVI Fox Channel 2 report:
Cardinal Glennon is a Catholic hospital, but Burke believes Sheryl Crow's stance on abortion and embryonic stem cell research are in direct opposition to the teachings of the Catholic church. He calls her views morally evil.

Notice that Fox says that He calls her views morally evil? Abortion and ESCR are morally evil. The Church reminds us that abortion and embryonic stem cell research are both intrinsically evil. Those who can still make use of the natural light of moral reason know this as well. The Archbishop, who with so many others fought and prayed for the defeat of the deceptive and dangerous Amendment 2, has no other choice than to reject this effort by the CGCF to include a performer whose positions on life issues are so morally bankrupt and opposed to the natural moral law.
Allen Allred, the chairman of the planning committee for the gala since it started, and a practicing Catholic, says he's stunned.

"I'm saddened by what's taken place. I'm disappointed," Allred says. "None of this money benefits the Catholic church. This money benefits kids. This is not a think tank, and this is not a seminar on ideology. We don't look at the ideological issues du jour to decide if this is an appropriate person to help us help kids."
It's always easy for one to make a claim of being a "practicing Catholic." Allred's assertion that abortion and embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) are "issues du jour" are preposterous and demonstrate the mental vacuity of so many "practicing Catholics." Since the group is not a "think tank", are the members required to check their minds at the door? One can only wonder where he and others have been for the past year during the Amendment 2 debates and discussions. Perhaps some were too enamored with the Sheryl Crow ad supporting the Amendment to pay attention to Archbishop Burke or to reality?

In addition, Allred's claim that "This money benefits kids," rings hollow - Crow is a woman who advocates the murder of the most innocent. Even if she were to perform for free, it is unconscionable that a professed Catholic would align himself with a supporter of infanticide in order to gain money for those who were fortunate enough to escape the horrors of the abortuary.

People who promote and perpetuate scandalous behavior are a disgrace to all that is decent, upright, and virtuous. Cardinal Glennon hospital should disavow its association with Sheryl Crow until such time as she repents of her support of infanticide, and Allred and others should seek meaningful spiritual direction since they are oblivious of what it means to be Catholic.

The FOX 2 News Report is here and another video of Archbishop Burke is here.

Please remember Archbishop Burke in your prayers as he will surely be castigated and ridiculed for being a faithful shepherd - and pray also for those "practicing Catholics" who seem to have lost their senses and their faith. And poor, pathetic Sheryl Crow needs our prayers as well for her conversion - Remember, nothing is impossible for God!

*** More Links ***

From KSDK Channel 5 (with video links): Archbishop Protests Sheryl Crow's Charity Appearance

From KMOV Channel 4 (with video links): Archbishop says Bob Costas' fundraiser is "evil"