Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Priest at Prayer, July 1

The Third Part - Vices and Virtues

FRATERNAL CHARITY (or the Love of One's Neighbor)

Second Meditation - The New Commandment

I. St. Paul's definition of a priest is simply: a man who is specially appointed to the task of loving God and his fellow men, a man chosen from among men to devote himself to a ministry on their behalf at every hour of the day.

This explains why the Divine Master reserved his most touching lessons of fraternal charity for His Apostles and for the very moment they were made priests:
Little children. . . a new commandment I give unto you: that you love one another as I have loved you. . .

By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another. (John xiii, 33-35)

The distinctive feature, the hallmark, the unmis­takable sign of discipleship of Christ is going to be, not so much faith or miracles or even martyrdom for Christ, as their love for one another.

Little children! It is the second time Jesus calls His Apostles by this endearing title, and perhaps it was the last. Servants, friends, brothers, were terms frequently on His lips, but filioli only when speaking to them of mutual charity. This term of endearment was the honey­tipped point which made the precept of love penetrate like an arrow into our hearts, by nature so prone to hatred.

II. In calm and silence let us ponder over the newness of this precept which our Saviour and Lawgiver entrusted to His first newly-ordained priests.

The precept is new by reason of the manner and author of its promulgation; not Jehova, at whose touch the mountaintops burst into angry flame; but the Word, made flesh and blood for our sakes, who took upon Him­self, as it were, our common touch, our own gentle mode of human speech. It is new, by reason of the place where the precept was given: not the wild rugged peaks of Sinai wrapped in lightning and thunder, but the familiar and heart-to-heart talk of a father among his children after supper; not Jaweh in glorious pomp and splendour, but Jesus of Nazareth, girded with a towel, like a slave, on His knees at Judas's feet, washing and kissing them. The command of love issues from under the feet of the man consumed with fiendish rancour! It was also new in the preamble introducing the command; not the solemn, awe-inspiring I am the Lord thy God (Ex. xx, 2), but that most tender: Filioli mei! my darling children!

III. New also is the standard model of our love for our neighbour.

Formerly it was: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; now it is: love one another as I have loved you.

Love for myself, self-love, which is so liable to delusion and perversity, and which I must renounce if I am to become a true disciple of Christ - if any will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me (Matt. xvi, 24) - is not sufficient a model for other loves; I must take my standard from the incomparably wise, unconquerable, disinterested, infinite love which the Good Shepherd feels for His sheep.

Finally, this commandment is new in extension: "as I have loved you "-to the limits reached by our Lord, to the extremes to which His love has brought Him for our sakes: the Eucharist He had just given us, and the Cross that was awaiting Him.

Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John xv, 13)

"It is hard enough to find anyone who will die on behalf of a just man. . . . but here, as if God meant to prove how well he loves us, it was while we were still sinners that Christ, in his own appointed time, died for us." (Rom. v, 7-8)

" . . . the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal. ii, 20)

Any commentary on so many and such sublime "novelties" of the new precept would only unsettle the deep impression that takes hold of any human heart pondering over them carefully.

Persuaded that I have to love my neighbour, and being anxious to see unmistakable signs of this love in me, I am going to examine myself and find out whether I possess or not this threefold love, because if I do not I am determined to struggle until it is firmly ensconced in my life:

1. Love for souls, whose loss is my grief, and their salvation my one abiding interest;

2. Love for my enemies, because God created them also, gave them an immortal soul, the same as mine, redeemed them in the Blood of the Lamb, and made them capable of eternal happiness;

3. Love for the poor, with whom Christ identifies Himself and through whose hands He imparts eternal life:

"Make use of your base wealth to win yourselves friends, who, when you leave it behind, will welcome you into eternal habitations." (Luke xvi, 9)

I shall have the poor sit at the banquet of my love, and I shall be delighted, O Jesus, that they cannot repay me even with their gratitude; because it is Thou who, according to Thy promise, wilt requite me when the just shall rise again.

Possessed of this threefold love, I shall, by Thy Mercy, O Lord, be able to boast that I observe Thy new precept of charity.
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!

Dearest pastors and all the faithful of the Catholic Church in China...

ROMA, June 30, 2007 – The Holy See today released the text of the letter written by Benedict XVI "to Bishops, Priests, Consecrated Persons and Lay Faithful of the Catholic Church in the People’s Republic of China."

The letter bears the date of May 27, 2007, the feast of Pentecost.

The complete text of the letter is on the Vatican website here.

And Chiesa has printed the explanatory note released by the Holy See together with the letter:


By his "Letter to Bishops, Priests, Consecrated Persons and Lay Faithful of the Catholic Church in the People’s Republic of China", which bears the date of Pentecost Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI wishes to express his love for and his closeness to the Catholics who live in China. He does so, obviously, as Successor of Peter and Universal Pastor of the Church.

From the text two basic thoughts are clear: on the one hand, the Pope’s deep affection for the entire Catholic community in China and, on the other, his passionate fidelity to the great values of the Catholic tradition in the ecclesiological field; hence, a passion for charity and a passion for the truth. The Pope recalls the great ecclesiological principles of the Second Vatican Council and the Catholic tradition, but at the same time takes into consideration particular aspects of the life of the Church in China, setting them in an ample theological perspective. . .
Continued here.

Gospel for Saturday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 8:5-17

The Centurion's Faith

[5] As He (Jesus) entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to Him, beseeching Him [6] and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress." [7] And He said to him, "I will come and heal him." [8] But the centurion answered Him, "Lord, I am not worthy to have You come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. [9] For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, `Go,' and he goes, and to another, `Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, `Do this,' and he does it." [10] When Jesus heard him, He marvelled, and said to those who followed Him, "Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. [11] I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven, [12] while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." [13] And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go; be it done for you as you have believed." And the servant was healed at that very moment.

A Number of Cures

[14] And when Jesus entered Peter's house, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick with fever; [15] He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and served Him. [16] That evening they brought to Him many who were possessed with demons; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick. [17] This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, "He took our infirmities and bore our diseases."


5-11. "Centurion": an officer of the Roman army in control of one hundred men. This man's faith is still an example to us. At the solemn moment when a Christian is about to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the Church's liturgy places on his lips and in his heart these words of the centurion, to enliven his faith: Lord, I am not worthy...".

The Jews of this time regarded any Jew who entered a Gentile's house as contracting legal impurity (cf. John 19:28; Acts 11:2-3). This centurion has the deference not to place Jesus in an embarrassing position in the eyes of His fellow Israelites. He shows that he is convinced that Jesus has the power over disease and illness; he suggests that if Jesus just says the word, He will do what is needed without having actually to visit the house; he is reasoning, in a simple, logical way, on the basis of his own professional experience. Jesus avails of this meeting with a Gentile believer to make a solemn prophecy to the effect that His Gospel is addressed to the world at large; all men, of every nation and race, of every age and condition, are called to follow Christ.

14-15. After his body--or soul--is healed, everyone is called to "rise up" from his previous position, to serve Jesus Christ. No laments, no delays; instead one should make oneself immediately available to the Lord.

16-17. The expulsion of evil spirits is one of the main signs of the establishment of the Kingdom of God (cf. Matthew 12:8). Similarly, the healing of diseases, which ultimately are the result of sin, is one of the signs of the "works of the Messiah" proclaimed by the prophets (cf. Isaiah 29:18; 35:5-6).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Priest at Prayer, June 30

The Third Part - Vices and Virtues

FRATERNAL CHARITY (or the Love of One's Neighbor)

First Meditation - Nature of Fraternal Charity

I. How far should our love go - that love which enshrines everything contained in God's law? God has been pleased to give us the answer in a most striking manner. He, Whom no one has seen in this life, con­descended to show Himself through the medium of manifold and awe-inspiring apparitions to His ancient People, as if to establish a tangible right to their wholehearted allegiance; and at length revealed Himself in Person, became Man, and held converse with mortal man, so as to be able to say to us:
He that seeth me, seeth the Father also.

We are face to face with God when we look upon Christ, and anyone who says he believes in God and loves God but at the same time refuses to acknowledge wd love Christ is to be accounted a liar.

Well now, according to the Apostle of Love, it is impossible to love God or Christ without having love for one's neighbour:
"If a man boasts of loving God, while he hates his own brother, he is a liar."(I John iv, 20)

and the same Apostle adduces this apparently strange reason:
"He has seen his brother, and has no love for him; what love can he have for the God he has never seen?" (id.)

The love we have for our neighbour, therefore, is the hallmark and gauge of our love for God. And, on the contrary, without this love for our neighbour our love for God is false. There is falsehood and delusion and vain observance - religio vana - in that so-called love and worship of God, in those devotions and prayers of ours, if we lean on them and think to find in them support for despising and judging rashly and slandering or criticising with venom and mercilessly hurting our neighbour by crushing him in his weaknesses or ignoring him callously in his griefs and losses, no matter what his race, his nationality, his position, or even his morals and beliefs.

Has my supposed piety ever been a sort of buskin and toga like those of the old Roman Patrician, in which I felt authorised to strut about with a leering glance at my neighbour and to exclaim with Horace: "Odi profanum vulgus et arceo" - I loathe the common herd and I keep my distance? If so, my piety was a pietism execrated by God and by Christ.

II. There is something mysterious and attractive about every man, about human nature, which would seem to captivate God Himself, enamouring Him, so to speak, in such a manner that it elicits from Him acts of the most generous loving-kindness; Self-belittlement, abase­ment, sacrifice, dedication in body, soul and Divinity to the lofty enterprise, the only enterprise worthy of God, of winning over at all costs the love of the human heart. God so loved the world! (John iii, 16)

Not a single human being exists who cannot exclaim with absolute truth, whatever his caste or condition:
"I know and I believe in the love God has for me." (I John iv, 16)

It is a belief exclusively Catholic. Other cults and sects reject it, it offends them; their spirit of contradiction and denial rather prompts them to ask with the Psalmist:
What is man, O God, that thou shouldst keep him in remembrance?

But how can I, who believe in the love God has for man, refuse to love whom God has loved so exceedingly?

And why should I wonder, Lord, that Thou art so ­exacting in demanding of me, with threats of lightning Wrath, that I too love my fellow men out of regard for Thy incomprehensible love?

III. In this precept God shows Himself exacting: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Matt. xix, 8). Self­-love is the standard and a high one it is. He could have chosen another standard, for instance the things a man is fondest of, his wife, his children, his mother. No, "as thyself". In the human heart is lodged no affection more widespread, more profound, more unquenchable and ready to serve than the love of self. If we analyse our­selves carefully, if we take apart this complicated machinery of human nature, we shall find that our whole being, our whole life, with all its variety of phenomena and manifestations, with all its long list of appetites and tendencies, comes down to but one thing: that boundless, limitless love we have for ourselves. Accord­ing to that model, then, I am commanded by My Lord and God to love others: thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

And that there might be no mistake about it, God, in His ten commandments, has devoted seven of them to the various works of love towards my neighbour; three for Himself, seven for man. So jealous is He of the honour and welfare of the children of Adam that He does not leave a single human value without a wall of defence, without the shield and flashing sword of a divine precept: Thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not steal, etc., etc.

I shall try to purify my love for my neighbour of all its dross and base metal. It is not a Christian love if its foundation is my selfishness or sensuality, no matter how fervent and self-denying it may appear on the surface.

Nor is that honorable and noble human love, which rests merely on the wisdom or virtue or generous qualities of a fellow man, to be accounted Christian; it can be made Christian, but of itself it falls far short.

The driving force behind true Christian charity towards all men - for it embraces everyone without any possible exception - is the supreme fact that they were created by God, endowed with an immortal soul, made into God's image and likeness, raised to the supernatural level, and are destined for eternal happiness through the redeeming Blood of Jesus Christ. Christian love is based on motives inspired by Christian faith, nothing less.

I shall, therefore, try to bring myself to love my neighbour precisely for these motives, rejecting as worthless any other motive which cancels out the former, and subordinating those other human motives that are naturally honourable and good to the higher motives of faith.
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!

Input Requested

Due to another recent derogatory comment about Archbishop Burke by our friend and self-proclaimed Catholic, Joe, I can only say the following as I and seek your input.

Joe, much like so many others, does not have an inkling of who the Archbishop is or the kind of true shepherd he is, especially in a world when many surrender to the culture. At least, Joe is rather consistent - his antipathy seems to have no end. His continued clinging to and promotion of numerous heretical positions, in addition to constant disparaging of faithful bishops, places him in in direct opposition to the Church and to those faithful who are making diligent efforts to learn and live the faith as taught by Christ and handed on to us by His Apostles and their successors.

For this reason, in addition to his disparaging remarks concerning Archbishop Burke, among others, I submit the following poll:

Please Vote Here!

A New Web Site -

The Online Catholic Newspaper of the Third Millennium is a unique Catholic news web site that was launched earlier this year. We are based in the U.S. and the preponderance of news on the site is from the U.S, we do feature Catholic related news from around the world.

The news on the site comes from two sources. The main source is from the conventional secular and Catholic press. We scour the news every day and put on Pewsitter those stories about the Catholic Church, faith, religion and the important moral and spiritual struggles of the day.

The second news source is the Catholic lay faithful. The concept behind the site is to enlist an army of "pewsitters" to be the eyes and ears for Pewsitter - hence the name. By submitting newsworthy items to Pewsitter, the laity can help shape and influence the Church and be a powerful force for positive change.

Pewsitter's initial focus will be on the national and international news on its home page. Its mid term objective is it to feature the Catholic news of the day within each of the 189 Catholic dioceses throughout the U.S.
This looks to be quite an undertaking and well worth taking a look at...

At a glance: Differences between Tridentine Mass & the Novus Ordo

Catholic News Service, while getting some of the points correct, seems to have missed a great number of other points in addition to being wrong on others:

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Here at a glance are the basic differences between the Tridentine Mass, promulgated in 1570, and the Roman Missal published in 1969 in response to the reforms called for by the Second Vatican Council:

-- While Latin is the original language of both liturgical texts, the new missal permits use of the vernacular language; because it called for full, active participation, the use of a local congregation's language became customary.
Partially correct up to the "permits use of the vernacular language", then CNS goes off the tracks completely...

For the reality of what true and authentic "active participation" means, check out Archbishop Burke's timely column on "Sacramentum Caritatis" here in which he states, in part: does not mean "mere external activity during the celebration." It means, rather, a deeply interiorized participation, that is, participation in the sacred action of the Mass with awareness of its profound significance for our daily living...
This is from his continuing series of articles on the Holy Father's The Sacrament of Charity ...

-- With the exception of readings for the feast days of individual saints, the Tridentine Mass has a one-year cycle of Scripture readings. The Vatican II liturgy has a three-year cycle for Sunday readings and a two-year cycle for weekday readings.

-- The old penitential "prayers at the foot of the altar," recited by priests and other ministers before Mass, were replaced by the penitential rite within the Mass, recited by the entire congregation.
Maybe, except when the "penitential rite" ALWAYS excludes the Confiteor...

-- In the Tridentine Mass, the first half of the liturgy was called the Mass of the Catechumens and almost always included a reading from one of the New Testament epistles and from one of the four Gospels. The new Liturgy of the Word, in accordance with ancient church tradition, almost always begins with a passage from the Old Testament.

-- The Liturgy of the Eucharist, formerly called the Mass of the Faithful, begins with the preparation of the gifts. The old offertory prayers were revised in the new liturgy to avoid what some people saw as a duplication of the eucharistic prayers.

-- Instead of one eucharistic prayer, there are now nine -- four for general Sunday and weekday use, two for Masses focusing on reconciliation and three for Masses for children.
I believe there are more than this, but there is no indication if this refers to the number of "approved" Eucharist Prayers or not...

-- In the new Mass, the Communion rite was simplified, allowing communicants to receive the Eucharist under the forms of both bread and wine.
Simplified? With a plethora of EMHCs all over the place? It's simplified, alright!

-- The new Mass eliminated the recitation at the end of every Mass of what was known as the "last Gospel" -- the beginning of the Gospel of St. John.
It certainly did...

-- A priest celebrated the Tridentine Mass facing east, which -- given the layout of most churches -- meant he celebrated with his back to the congregation. Since the promulgation of the Roman Missal, the priest normally faces the congregation.
Again, partially correct...the priest, however, has his back to the people as he LEADS them in offering glory and worship to God...

Certainly, there are many other differences, some of which are profound, including the horrid translations we've endured in the Mass of Paul VI, as well as the innumerable liturgical abuses which have spread like wildfire in many places.

CNS Source

By the way, CNS reports that Cardinal Sean O'Malley and Archbishop Raymond Burke were the only bishops from the United States participating in the meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on the upcoming Motu Proprio on the Latin Mass...CNS also notes:

Like Cardinal O'Malley and Archbishop Burke, some of the participants were neither presidents of their national bishops' conference nor chairmen of their conference's liturgy committees, a Vatican source said.
Bishop Trautman and Bishop Skystad evidently could not attend...

White European Countries Major Donors to UN Population Control Programs

The UN Population Fund is the UN agency in charge of population control and the promotion of abortion. Most of its programs are aimed at the poor black and brown global south. However, according to its own report released last week, most of its money comes from the rich, white, European countries that are in steep fertility decline. Hmmmmm, go figure that.

Spread the word.
Yours sincerely,
Austin Ruse
Here's the article.

Catholic bishops consider their political involvement

Omaha Archdiocese Cuts Ties with Creighton University's Family Center

A Jesuit institution wallows in and spreads its poison...

OMAHA, Neb. -- The Omaha Archdiocese has severed ties with a Jesuit university's family center after two researchers urged the church to allow unmarried couples to live together and have sex and children as long as they are engaged.

The Creighton University researchers' essay, published in the June issue of U.S. Catholic magazine, said that more unmarried Catholic couples are living together today, and that they doubt the claim that the couples are living in sin.

"It would appear closer to the truth that they are growing, perhaps slowly but nonetheless surely, into grace," Michael Lawler and Gail Risch wrote.

The essay prompted a letter to the editor from Omaha Archbishop Elden Curtiss. The June 5 letter, a copy of which was provided to The Associated Press by the archdiocese, aimed to discredit the researchers as Catholic theologians and dissociated the university's Center for Marriage and Family from the archdiocese.

"The teaching of the Catholic Church about fornication is clear and unambiguous; it is always objectively a serious sin," Curtiss wrote.

Retired Bishop Quinn "Walks the Labyrinth"...

...after all, "walking the labyrinth" is much easier than following in Christ's footsteps...

Retired Sacramento bishop attends unusual retreat in Burlingame

Sacramento’s retired bishop, Francis Quinn, spoke at a June 7 contemplative retreat at Burlingame’s Mercy Center to mark its 25th anniversary, San Francisco’s archdiocesan newspaper, Catholic San Francisco, reports.

The Center, says its web site, is “sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and rooted in the Catholic tradition.” It “welcomes women and men of diverse faiths and cultural backgrounds.”
One should understand that when one reads or hears that a group is "rooted in" the Catholic (or Jesuit, etc) tradition, it deserves a closer look for many times, it seems, something entirely different has been "grafted" onto that once "Catholic" stock...Such, it appears, is the case in this situation...

You can read about it here.

Gospel for June 29, Solemnity: Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles

From: Matthew 16:13-19:

Peter's Profession of Faith and His Primacy

[13] Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of Man is?" [14] And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." [15] He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" [16] Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." [17] And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in Heaven. [18] And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. [19] I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven."


13-20. In this passage St. Peter is promised primacy over the whole Church, a primacy which Jesus will confer on him after His Resurrection, as we learn in the Gospel of St. John (cf. John 21:15-18). This supreme authority is given to Peter for the benefit of the Church. Because the Church has to last until the end of time, this authority will be passed on to Peter's successors down through history. The Bishop of Rome, the Pope, is the successor of Peter.

The solemn Magisterium of the Church, in the First Vatican Council, defined the doctrine of the primacy of Peter and his successors in these terms:
"We teach and declare, therefore, according to the testimony of the Gospel that the primacy of jurisdiction over the whole Church was immediately and directly promised to and conferred upon the blessed Apostle Peter by Christ the Lord. For to Simon, Christ had said, `You shall be called Cephas' (John 1:42). Then, after Simon had acknowledged Christ with the confession, `You are the Christ, the Son of the living God' (Matthew 16:16), it was to Simon alone that the solemn words were spoken by the Lord: `Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in Heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the powers of Hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and what you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven' (Matthew 16:17-19). And after His Resurrection, Jesus conferred upon Simon Peter alone the jurisdiction of supreme shepherd and ruler over His whole fold with the words, `Feed My lambs....Feed My sheep' (John 21:15-17) [...]

"(Canon) Therefore, if anyone says that the blessed Apostle Peter was not constituted by Christ the Lord as the Prince of all the Apostles and the visible head of the whole Church militant, or that he received immediately and directly from Jesus Christ our Lord only a primacy of honor and not a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction: let him be condemned.

"Now, what Christ the Lord, Supreme Shepherd and watchful guardian of the flock, established in the person of the blessed Apostle Peter for the perpetual safety and everlasting good of the Church must, by the will of the same, endure without interruption in the Church which was founded on the rock and which will remain firm until the end of the world. Indeed, `no one doubts, in fact it is obvious to all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, Prince and head of the Apostles, the pillar of faith, and the foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and the Redeemer of the human race; and even to this time and forever he lives,' and governs, `and exercises judgment in his successors' (cf. Council of Ephesus), the bishops of the holy Roman See, which he established and consecrated with his blood. Therefore, whoever succeeds Peter in this Chair holds Peter's primacy over the whole Church according to the plan of Christ Himself [...]. For this reason, `because of its greater sovereignty,' it was always `necessary for every church, that is, the faithful who are everywhere, to be in agreement' with the same Roman Church [...]

"(Canon) Therefore, if anyone says that it is not according to the institution of Christ our Lord himself, that is, by divine law, that St Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole Church; or if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of St Peter in the same primacy: let him be condemned.

"We think it extremely necessary to assert solemnly the prerogative which the only-begotten Son of God deigned to join to the highest pastoral office. "And so, faithfully keeping to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, for the glory of God our Savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion, and for the salvation of Christian peoples, We, with the approval of the sacred council, teach and define that it is a divinely revealed dogma: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks "ex cathedra", that is, when, acting in the office of shepherd and teacher of all Christians, he defines, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, possesses through the divine assistance promised to him in the person of St. Peter, the infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals; and that such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are therefore irreformable because of their nature, but not because of the agreement of the Church.

"(Canon) But if anyone presumes to contradict this our definition (God forbid him to do so): let him be condemned" (Vatican I, "Pastor Aeternus", Chaps. 1, 2 and 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.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Priest at Prayer, June 29

The Third Part - Vices and Virtues

CHARITY (or the Love of God)

Second Meditation - Priestly Motives

I. Our innate weakness offers many an obstacle to the keeping of God's law, and our twisted inclinations and vicious habits provide many more. But greater still are the stumbling blocks on the steep climb of priestly duty. We cannot but strain and stagger under this yoke with all its extra burdens, enough to tax the strength of an angel.

All the more reason why we should not forget that charity alone endows with superabundant energies, for "Charity sustains, believes, hopes, endures to the last" and, giving a little twist to our Lord's words: all things are possible to him that loveth.

The author of the Imitation, in an immortal passage worthy of Plato, has this to say:
"Love does not feel the burden nor take account of hard work; it desires more than it can cope with; it does not complain if the impossible is com­manded, being sure of accomplishing everything in God; and it brings many things to a successful issue where one who loves not would falter and fall." (Bk. III, ch. vi.)

There is one label for all my cowardice and lack of courage, that chafes at any restraint and sees mountains in molehills: want of the love of God.

II. Our Divine Lord, when making me His distinguished and privileged minister, might well have asked me: "Dost thou love me more than these?" (John xxi, 15)

Who should love Thee, Lord, if not I? Into these feeble hands of mine Thou didst deposit Thy doctrine, Thy Sacraments, Thy honour and glory, Thy own Person; a complete retractation, it would seem, of a former statement: I will not give my glory to another (Is. xlii, 8).

No one contemplates and actually touches the inex­haustible wealth of the Lord's Mercy so closely as I, and for all that, this tremendous Lover comes begging to me for a few crumbs of my love, of that paltry love which I have lavished so prodigally up to now on a host of vile creatures without receiving or even asking in return for so much as a disdainful "thank you"; and yet, of a love which is my heart's only treasure to dispose of freely.

I must confess with shame, O Lord, that when I did give Thee something of my love it was only after a lot of bargaining, only by driblets, as it were; and many a time I just answered thee with a round refusal, or else, I asked for, or snatched, it back after giving it, as though repentant of having deposited my sole treasure in such hands, or rather, in such a Heart, as Thine.

III. And yet, I would love Thee! Yes, I would that my heart were a red-hot cinder in the brazier of Thy divine Charity! Because if love unites and transforms, what more desirable gain than to transform my heart into Thine? Ah, but I find it hard to accomplish. It is hard for the mind to ascend the rugged heights of faith to the Absolute Truth where God dwells in Light inac­cessible (1 Tim. v, 16); harder still for the human will to keep to the hilly road of love and the fulfilment of God's Will and reach the All-spiritual Sovereign Good, which is so remote and so estranged from the greater number of my tastes and pleasures.

And I am so accus­tomed to, and glutted with, the clammy sweetness of tangible things - portrayed to me so fascinatingly amid the auroral splendours of desire - and I am so much at home with the love of what is human and with the human ways of love, that my soul refuses to face, rejects as an airy nothingness, as unsubstantial food, the love of what is purely Divine.

And precisely for this reason the Word of God became Man, became flesh, as St. John puts it, who also writes:

"Our message concerns that Word, who is Life; what he was from the first, what we have heard about him, what our own eyes have seen of him; what it was that met our gaze, and the touch of our hands." (l John i, 1)

The result is, O Jesus, that now when I think of Thee, remember Thy actions, bring Thee before my imagination, sympathise with Thy griefs, ruminate Thy words, and love Thee in all things, I am entering into a mind like my own, cherishing a flesh like mine, loving a heart like mine; and at the same time, I am loving my God and keeping the greatest and first Commandment; because in seeing and loving Thee, one sees and loves Thy Father; for Thou and the Father are One (John xiv, 9; x, 30).

I thank Thee, dear Jesus, for having placed the precept of loving God within such easy reach of me. No, it will not be hard for me now, it will be something easy and smooth to love Thee; for Thy life I read and ponder over every day; Thy doctrine I teach; Thy flesh I eat, and Thy blood I drink.

St. Gregory no longer baffles me when he says that "the Saints learn by loving what they speak about when teaching".

IV. The precept to love God is very much like God Him­self: unseen and unfelt, and yet it is in everything, sustaining and giving life to everything.

So too, this commandment seems to impose no particular obligation, but it is the soul of the entire decalogue. I shall therefore derive motives for observing it from the fact of its being so gently insinuating and easy to fulfil.

Negatively, I shall observe this precept by a fixed determination never to offend God and to lose everything rather than God. And on the positive side, when the occasion arises of offending Him, I shall choose to forgo any other good, however great, rather than incur mortal sin; and when tempted and allured by the enemies of my soul to go astray, I shall sooner see them disappointed and myself stripped of everything than insult and forfeit God.

Moreover, I shall thank the good God who in His loving kindness has so condescended to my human condition and so adapted Himself to my natural manner that, without reproach, He allows me to love all created things, as many as I wish, on the sole condition that their place in my affections is not opposed to, and incompatible with, His; and even allows me to love them with stronger feeling and greater intensity than Himself, as long as I hold Him in higher esteem and appreciate His love more than that of all creatures.

1. I shall school myself in the affective love of God by directing all my activities to His greater glory; that is, to a clearer and more adequate knowledge of God and to loving Him and conforming to His divine Will ­in everything:
(a) Choosing whatever pleases Him best either in work or in suffering,
(b) Doing so in the mode and manner most accept­able to Him; and
(c) Simply and solely because it does please Him, with that purest intention alone.

2. Putting it in a nutshell: I shall transfer the fourth commandment to the first, conducting myself towards God as to a true and only Lord and Father; caring for Him, revering Him, and obeying Him as such; for this is the Christian manner of divine worship. And thus my whole life, with all its yearnings and in all its dealings, will be but one long act of piety and filial fear and worship in spirit and truth towards my Father who is in heaven.

3. In sum, I shall stake my all on loving in every way my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, God and Man; studying Him affectionately, meditating on His life and character, feasting my mind and senses on Him; prefer­ring Him to all my friends, all my kith and kin, to father and mother, and to my own self; because he that loves father or mother more than Christ is not worthy of Christ (Matt. x, 37)
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!

Pope Begins "Year of St Paul"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 28, 2007 ( Benedict XVI has declared June 2008-June 2009 the year of St. Paul in celebration of the 2,000th anniversary of the saint's birth.

The Pope decreed the year in a vespers celebration held today at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

The Holy Father explained during his homily: "This 'Pauline Year' will take place in a special way in Rome, where for 2,000 years under the papal altar of this basilica, lies the tomb that according to experts and undisputed tradition has conserved the remains of the apostle Paul." . . .

New Bishop for Superior...

VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Peter F. Christensen of the clergy of the archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, U.S.A., pastor of the parish of the Nativity of Our Lord, as bishop of Superior (area 40,701, population 443,209, Catholics 81,885, priests 71, permanent deacons 57, religious 104), U.S.A. The bishop- elect was born in Pasadena, U.S.A., in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1985. He succeeds Bishop Raphael Michael Fliss, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

Vatican confirms briefing on motu proprio; publication near

Among the prelates who took part in the June 27 meeting at the apostolic palace were Cardinal Camillo Ruini (bio - news)of Rome; Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, the president of the Italian bishops' conference; Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz, the president of the German bishops' conference; Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of Westminster, England; Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard of Bordeaux, the president of the French bishops' conference; Bishop Kurt Koch of Basel, Switzerland; Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston; and Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis.

Vatican: No unions in schools

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The highest court in the Roman Catholic church has ruled against St. Louis Catholic elementary school teachers in their quest to unionize and bargain with the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Church judges in Rome upheld Archbishop Raymond Burke's decision in 2004 to deny elementary school teachers the right to unionize and negotiate with the archdiocese, the teachers' group said Tuesday.

In a letter to teachers, Burke had said the archdiocese and individual parishes will not recognize or bargain collectively with any teachers organization.

The Association of Catholic Elementary Educators Local 1312 said it was the third and final appeal. It said the court gave no reasons for the ruling.
Another reason for Archbishop Burke being in Rome in addition to the briefing on the Motu Proprio...

It seems that ACEE is now least as far as the Church is concerned.

Belgian Bishop Accused of "Homophobia"

Belgian homosexual activists have brought charges against Mgr André-Mutien Léonard, the Roman-Catholic bishop of Namur, for homophobia, a criminal offence in Belgium according to the country’s 2003 Anti-Discrimination Act. In an interview last April in the Walloon weekly Télé Moustique, the bishop is said to have described homosexuals as “abnormal” people.

Roman Curia: The Reform That Isn't There (Chiesa)

Appointments made at a snail's pace. Documents that are useless or continually delayed. Offices drifting aimlessly. Why the renewal of the Vatican bureaucracy is not a priority for Benedict XVI

by Sandro Magister

Gospel for June 28, Memorial of St Irenaeus, bishop and martyr

Thursday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 7:21-29

Doing the Will of God

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [21] "Not every one who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven. [22] On that day many will say to Me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?' [23] And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from Me, you evildoers.'

Building on Rock

[24] "Every one then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; [25] and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. [26] And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; [27] and the rain fell, and the floods came, and winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it."

[28] And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at His teaching, [29] for He taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

21-23. To be genuine, prayer must be accompanied by a persevering effort to do God's will. Similarly, in order to do His will it is not enough to speak about the things of God: there must consistency between what one preaches--what one says--and what one does: "The Kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power" (1 Corinthians 4:20); "Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" (James 1:22).

Christians, "holding loyally to the Gospel, enriched by its resources, and joining forces with all who love and practice justice, have shouldered a weighty task on earth and they must render an account of it to Him who will judge all men on the last day. Not every one who says, `Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but those who do the will of the Father, and who manfully put their hands to the work" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 93).

To enter the Kingdom of Heaven, to be holy, it is not enough, then, to speak eloquently about holiness. One has to practice what one preaches, to produce fruit which accords with one's words. Fray Luis de Leon puts it very graphically: "Notice that to be a good Christian it is not enough just to pray and fast and hear Mass; God must find you faithful, like another Job or Abraham, in times of tribulation" ("Guide for Sinners", Book 1, Part 2, Chapter 21).

Even if a person exercises an ecclesiastical ministry that does not assure his holiness; he needs to practice the virtues he preaches. Besides, we know from experience that any Christian (clerical, religious or lay) who does not strive to act in accordance with the demands of the faith he professes, begins to weaken in his faith and eventually parts company also with the teaching of the Church. Anyone who does not live in accordance with what he says, ends up saying things which are contrary to faith.

The authority with which Jesus speaks in these verses reveals Him as sovereign Judge of the living and the dead. No Old Testament prophet ever spoke with His authority.

22. "That day": a technical formula in biblical language meaning the day of the Judgment of the Lord or the Last Judgment.

23. This passage refers to the Judgment where Jesus will be the Judge. The sacred text uses a verb which means the public proclamation of a truth. Since in this case Jesus Christ is the Judge who makes the declaration, it takes the form of a judicial sentence.

24-27. These verses constitute the positive side of the previous passage. A person who tries to put Christ's teaching into practice, even if he experiences personal difficulties or lives during times of upheaval in the life of the Church or is surrounded by error, will stay firm in the faith, like the wise man who builds his house on rock.

Also, if we are to stay strong in times of difficulty, we need, when things are calm and peaceful, to accept little contradictions with a good grace, to be very refined in our relationship with God and with others, and to perform the duties of our state in life in a spirit of loyalty and abnegation. By acting in this way we are laying down a good foundation, maintaining the edifice of our spiritual life and repairing any cracks which make their appearance.

28-29. Jesus' listeners could clearly see the radical difference between the style of teaching of the scribes and Pharisees, and the conviction and confidence with which Jesus spoke. There is nothing tentative about His words; they leave no room for doubt.
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, June 27, 2007

The Priest at Prayer, June 28

The Third Part - Vices and Virtues

CHARITY (or the Love of God)

First Meditation - General Motives

I. What is charity? A supernatural habit of the mind whereby we love God above all things for His own sake, and ourselves and our neighbour for Him.

It is a theological virtue like the two previous ones, but higher than they, and the only eternal one of the three. Faith and hope will take us as far as the threshold of eternity, but when we actually enter it they will have fallen away. Only of charity St. Paul has said: charity never falls away, never dies; it is eternal, like God Himself, like the Holy Spirit who pours it into our hearts; and of such surpassing excellence that only the Divine Spirit can infuse it; of a quality that no human force or even the strength of the seraphim, the spirits of love, can impart it to us.

It directs man's most rebellious faculty, his rational appetite, to his final goal. It elevates a man's free will above all desirable things of earth and beyond every creature visible and invisible of the universe, to fix it securely on God, the Supreme Good. It is the last word in human perfection, even now: vinculum perfectionis. (Colos. iii, 14) It is, in a sense, the possession here below of the Sovereign Good, if not in the fulness of union as in heaven, intentionally and affectively, which is the only union possible to us while we are way­farers.

O God, my only Good, do I possess this glorious supernatural endowment? Is my mind and my heart a temple, here and now, of Thy Spirit? Dost Thou at this moment keep my inconstant will bound fast to Thee by that perfect bond, that bond so gentle and delightful and strong?

II. Even supposing - an impossible supposition, of course - that every virtue were enshrined in my soul, my whole existence a most fertile soil and limitless source of heroism, if I lack charity, nihil mihi prodest, nihil sum: it would avail me nothing, I should count for nothing. (Cor. xiii, 3)

Charity is necessary - necessitate medii - for my justi­fication and salvation. Who does not love God is in sin. So it is not to be thought a mere flash from a heart on fire when St. Paul exclaims:
"If there is anyone who has no love for the Lord, let him be held accursed - anathema sit!" (1 Cor. xvi, 22)

It is but God's irrevocable statement. Whoever does not love God remains apart and severed from God; whoever appears before the Judgement seat of God without the cloth-of-gold garment of divine love will have his part and lot with the hypocrites in the unquenchable fire.

O God, let the solemn, imperative, and burning proclamation which accompanied the issuing of the great precept of love on Mount Sinai serve to impel my entry into the kingdom of those that love thee.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength and with thy whole mind (Deut. vi, 5):
for this is the greatest and the first commandment (Matt. xxii, 37).

Or, as St. Thomas of Villanova says:
"Love the Lord your God, at least because He is yours. You love your field and your clothing, because they belong to you, they are yours. Then, why not love God who is also yours? Of all that is yours, will God alone be unworthy of love?"

III. The love of God is the royal road leading to God, the shortest, the quickest, or rather, the only way of approach to union with God.

Thus St. Paul devotes a long and beautiful chapter (1 Cor. xii) to a consideration of the various charismatic gifts and graces - gratiae gratis datae - which attracted so many souls in those early Christian centuries to the Fold of the Divine Redeemer: prophecy, the gift of healing, of tongues, of mind­reading, etc., but he concludes with these words:
"Prize the best gifts of heaven; meanwhile, I can show you a way which is better than any other." (1 Cor. xii, 41)

and that better way is no other than charity, the soul of every other virtue, the life and value of every good work, to which he devotes the most beautiful of all his writings, chapter thirteen of the same Epistle.

The act of least outward significance, for instance, to give someone a drink of water, if done out of super­natural charity is of greater value in the sight of the
Supreme Judge than the tortures of a St. Laurence if endured without charity.

And I, poor blind soul, how often I have tormented myself hunting after elaborate ways and means of spiritual perfection, looking out for byways and unbeaten tracks, and meanwhile, perhaps, bypassing the shortest and easiest and most satisfying route: the love of God.

"Wilt thou not learn to love the Lord thy God, and obey him, and keep close to his side? Thou hast no life, no hope of long continuance, but in him." (Deut. xxx, 20)

Even on earth, where the senses crave for satisfac­tion with drunken fury: even here, my happiness and my life is to love the Lord my God and to keep closely united to Him. Surely experience has given me a taste of this. And I know what befalls the reckless soul who separates from God expecting to find something better!

As St. Augustine says in his Confessions:
"My soul lay down among creatures, seeking sweet repose; she tossed from one side to another . . . but found the bed hard and unbearable; because Thou alone, Lord, art rest. Tu solus, Domine, requies."

"Repose and sweetness; because the day my soul loved Thee, remained in Thy Presence, and dwelt within Thee, she was like a bee in its honey­comb cell, seeing nought, touching nought, tasting nought but honey and peace and rest." (Bk. VI, chap. xvi)

1. Intimately convinced that the charity which unites me to God is far superior to mercy and any other virtue - because nothing is higher and more perfect than union with the Supreme Being, the Source of all that is - and that such close union with God is the exclusive outcome of true interior love, I resolve to train myself to make frequent and ardent acts of affective charity every day, rejoicing and finding delight in God's infinite Goodness, and thanking Him in terms such as those of the Gloria in excelsis Deo: Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam; and fostering a keen desire that all intelli­gent and free-willed creatures should join with me in this same praise and thanksgiving for all eternity.

2. I shall, by God's mercy, remain always in the state of sanctifying grace, or I shall do my utmost to recover it as soon as I have lost it, so that God may have some regard for my desire and praise, which from sinful lips would not be a handsome tribute.
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!

July 7 is THE Day!

From Catholic World News:
Vatican, Jun. 27, 2007 ( - The long-awaited motu proprio in which Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) liberalizes access to the traditional Latin Mass will be released on July 7, according to the German-language news service. reports that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (bio - news), the Vatican Secretary of State, introduced the text of the motu proprio to a group of 30 bishops at the Vatican on June 27. Pope Benedict made a brief appearance at the meeting, the story indicates.

The June 27 meeting drew bishops from all around the world, who had been invited to the Vatican for an advance briefing on the papal document. Pope Benedict has taken special pains to ensure that the world's bishops are well prepared for the motu proprio, hoping to minimize opposition to the move.

Coming soon to a totalitarian state near you?

German Pastor Sentenced to a Year in Jail for Comparing Abortion to the Nazi Holocaust
This article has been updated by LifeSiteNews...

The story published Tuesday on the jailing of Pastor Lerle in Germany has been retracted after was informed that we were working with false information from trusted news sources. While Pastor Lerle has in the past been jailed for anti-abortion activities his current one year imprisonment stemmed solely from charges of holocaust denial and not from comparing abortion to the Nazi Holocaust as we erroneously reported Tuesday.

My sincere apologies for this serious error.
John-Henry Westen

Arizona Catholics Protest the 'Silencing' of Edwina Gateley

PHOENIX, Ariz. (National Catholic Reporter) – Catholics in Phoenix took out a paid advertisement in The Arizona Republic June 8 headlined “Catholic Women Will Not Be Silenced” to protest the treatment of popular Catholic speaker and writer Edwina Gateley by the Phoenix Diocese, which is led by Bishop Thomas Olmsted.

They also gathered 2,000 signatures on a petition they said they said would give to Bishop Olmsted.

Gateley was contracted to give a weeklong retreat to religious women at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, Ariz., June 1-8, but in March diocesan officials informed her they would be taping her presentations to monitor whether her talks conformed to Catholic teaching.

Diocesan spokesman Jim Dywer said June 13 that the purpose of the taping was to avoid prejudging Gateley. “We had heard that she had a reputation for giving statements that are antithetical to Catholic teaching. ... [But] we didn’t want to prejudge it. So we just figured we would tape it ... to see if she really does what other people claim she does.”

Dwyer said, “She balked at that, which is her right, but she decided to withdraw. Nobody here silenced her.”
Not to worry, though, for the group of malcontents, Call to Action, is on the case...What more could an unfaithful Catholic ask for?

Remember to pray for Bishop Olmsted.

Polish Church Reports Secret Police Ties

A special commission of Poland's Roman Catholic Church said Wednesday that documents in secret police files showed "about a dozen" living bishops had ties to the communist-era secret services.

But a top bishop warned that the former secret police documents may not be an accurate guide.


After six months of work, the commission said that among Poland's 132 bishops "about a dozen were registered by the security services of communist Poland as 'secret collaborators' or 'operational contacts,'" while one was registered as an "agent" of the intelligence service.
And the report will be sent to Vatican "for further evaluation."

How many people suffered at the hands of the communists because of "collaborators" or snitches may never be known.

Ex-Gays vs. Ex-Ex-Gays

From California Catholic Daily:
Rival conferences explore appropriate Catholic response to homosexuality

Rival ex-gay-related conferences are taking place simultaneously this week in Irvine. One is the five-day long Exodus Freedom Conference being held at Concordia University from June 26 to July 1. The other is the Ex-Gay Survivors' Conference -- organized by Soulforce and Beyond Ex-Gay -- which is meeting just down the road at the University of California at Irvine from June 29 to July 1.

Exodus is promoting a therapeutic approach, offering hope that men and women can receive "freedom in Christ" to walk away from homosexuality. The Survivors' conference directly disputes this, claiming that homosexuality is God-given (or natural), and that ex-gay ministries do emotional and spiritual harm to their intended beneficiaries.

Pretty simple? Team Ex-Gay vs. Team Ex-Ex-Gay? Not so fast. There are several more layers of complexity.
. . .
According to Fr. John Harvey, founder of Courage, his orthodox Catholic ministry for people with same-sex attraction focuses on chastity rather than a change in orientation. Many men and women may not develop an interest in the opposite sex, Fr. Harvey told Zenit news agency, "but, strengthened by prayer and the sacraments, they have can avoid sexual sin and enjoy deep, enduring friendships ruled by the love of Christ."

$100,000 or More of Damage to Cemetery

Someone toppled more than 100 headstones at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery over the weekend in what may be the most expensive act of vandalism at a Catholic graveyard in the St. Louis area.

"I've talked to some people, and this is possibly the worst ever, in terms of damage," said Monsignor Dennis M. Delaney, director designate of Catholic cemeteries for the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Repairs may run to or beyond $100,000, officials said Monday.
. . .
A section where priests are buried seemed especially hard-hit, with about a dozen large granite crosses knocked or pulled over. A rope was left tied to one of them.
This damage was done by cowards, no doubt...

Dr Ed Peters: Update-Hunch confirmed

UPDATE: June 27. Hunch confirmed. Sheila Rausch Kennedy, in her oddly organized book, Shattered Faith, at p. 215, quotes her letter to the Tribunal of Boston: ". . . in accordance with canon law, I am appealing your affirmative decision to the [Roman] Rota as the Court of Second Instance. . ." My emphasis. Thus we must conclude that, because he had only one of the two necessary affirmative decisions (as explained below), Joseph Kennedy never received an annulment from the Catholic Church; the Roman Rota did not overturn an American annulment in this case for the simple reason that there was no annulment to overturn.
Read the original post at:

Gospel for Wednesday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 7:15-20

False Prophets

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [15] "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. [16] You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? [17] So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. [18] A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. [19] Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. [20] Thus you will know them by their fruits."


15-20. There are many references in the Old Testament to false prophets; perhaps the best-known passage is Jeremiah 23:9-40 which condemns the impiety of those prophets who "prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray"; "who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes; they speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord [...]. I did not send the prophets, yet they ran. I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied"; they "lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them; so that they do not profit this people at all."

In the life of the Church the Fathers see these false prophets, as of whom Jesus speaks, in heretics, who apparently are pious and reformist but who in fact do not have Christ's sentiments (cf. St Jerome, "Comm. in Matth.", 7). St John Chrysostom applies this teaching to anyone who appears to be virtuous but in fact is not, and thereby misleads others.

How are false prophets and genuine prophets to be distinguished? By the fruit they produce. Human nobility and divine inspiration combine to give the things of God a savor of their own. A person who truly speaks the things of God sows faith, hope, charity, peace and understanding; whereas a false prophet in the Church of God, in his preaching and behavior, sows division, hatred, resentment, pride and sensuality (cf. Gal 5:16-25). However, the main characteristic of a false prophet is that he separates the people of God from the Magisterium of the Church, through which Christ's teaching is declared to the world. Our Lord also indicates that these deceivers are destined to eternal perdition.
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, June 26, 2007

The Priest at Prayer, June 27

The Third Part - Vices and Virtues


Second Meditation - Priestly Motives

I. Once ordained a priest, what is there for me to hope for, apart from eternal life? The good things of earth? At my ordination I deliberately placed them out of my reach. And even in my enjoyment of those which my priestly condition does not forbid me, it is my personal experience, or the experience of others I know, or both together, that no sooner have my itching fingers begun to clutch them, no sooner have my thirsting lips tried to suck their sweetness, than their hollowness and deceptiveness have stood revealed and they have been true only to the name written upon their inmost nature: delusion, satiety! Even if they were something solidly good, how shortlived, how ephemeral, how frail they are!

But, whatever their nature, I solemnly renounced them when at my ordination I claimed the Lord for my prize and inheritance:
Dominus pars hereditatis meae et calicis mei, tu es qui restitues hereditatem meam mihi. (Ps. xv, 5)

With St. Augustine I said: "Let others make their choice of the good things of earth and of time for their enjoyment; the Lord is my lot. Let others drink of deadly pleasures; it is the Lord who fills my cup."

Am I going to retract that renouncement? Was it all a farce?

II. We priests bear a heavier yoke than the laity, and in like measure our difficulties increase, our temptations gather fury, discouragements multiply; our souls are ships braving wilder storms, their frail sides are lashed more mercilessly. There is but one anchor to hold fast and firm: the anchor of which the Apostle speaks: the anchor of hope, which is sure and immovable, reaching that inner sanctuary beyond the veil, where Jesus Christ, our escort, has entered already. (Heb. vi, 18-20.)

How many times in my priestly life has my conscience made shipwreck through not casting this anchor of hope, but keeping it idle on deck like a piece of scrap iron?

III. It is a tragic thing for the faithful when their priests and instructors in the Faith fail to live by the hope of eternal reward. What will their practice of religion be like?

Either they will give up all practice of Christianity, because if there is nothing to hope for in another life the crucified Christ will appear an absurdity; or else, bypassing the pith and substance of every Christian act, hope of eternal life, they will debase practice to the level of empty, meaningless formula and vocal articulation, nothing more.

Or again, by a certain inconsis­tency, as illogical as it is frequent, they will give honour and have recourse to Christ and the Saints with Chris­tian prayer and belief, but in that same spirit with which the pagans of old invoked Mercury, the god of wealth and plunder, and Bacchus, the god of wine, and Venus, the goddess of lust; they will turn to Christ for pre­cisely those same boons and favours which were expected from the false gods of old.

Just think of it; asking a crucified God solely or in the first place for honours, pleasures, and riches! I only hope that my own example has not led them to it!

IV. Who is there who does not cherish the hope of some­thing this world can give? What is our life but a texture of a thousand colours being woven by the 100m of hope? A texture, however, which reality is all the time unravel­ling without mercy, breaking and scattering the strands in big handfuls along the roads and crossroads of our earthly existence.

Hopes of the past were my day­dreams: vigilantium somnia; money, prosperity, pleasures, appointments, dignities, honours: these are my dreams of the morrow. Tomorrow, that cruel god at whose shrine I have been slaughtering and sacrificing all my yesterdays; the god who, when he comes, brings instead of achievement a sneer and empty hands or hands full of bitter disappointment, and vanishes into thin air like the rest of my days.

It is God's command that we should keep on hoping. It is part and parcel of my inner nature that I should hope for something. Then why let this irrepressible energy run to waste? Why not divert my hope from possessions which shall never be mine, which are always ephemeral, and which even if they were permanently mine would still leave me hungering and empty as ever; and direct my longings, like a compass-needle, to the magnetic North of God and everlasting life? Hope is a force that was given me as a spur to goad me along the road which leads to eternal happiness.

1. I shall meditate more assiduously on the eternal life which awaits me, until I have pinned all my hopes upon it, like an anchor pinned to the bottom of the sea. My God, when wilt Thou grant me the grace to be able to say with all sincerity these words of the Psalmist: Ps. xxvi, 4:
"One request I have ever made of the Lord, let me claim it still, to dwell in the Lord's house my whole life long."

2. Not to be satisfied with a lifeless sort of hope, but ever to possess a hope vivified by charity; and therefore, to avoid grievous sin, which robs hope of its principle of life; even though it may not reject it altogether from my soul, it deprives it of supernatural energy.

3. If I am a prey to vice, especially sensual vice, to combat despair, vice's poisonous fruit. The greatest temptation for any sensual person is always either to believe oneself irrevocably lost on account of the appar­ent impossibility of returning to the path of Christian chastity, or stupidly to assume that God will somehow manage to save one's soul without any great effort on one's part. Oh, the danger of soft sensuality! Greater than we imagine!

4. To profess the tenderest love for Mary, the Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
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!

Chimera embryos have right to life, say bishops

Human-animal hybrid embryos conceived in the laboratory - so-called “chimeras” - should be regarded as human and their mothers should be allowed to give birth to them, the Roman Catholic Church said yesterday. . .

...the Catholic bishops of England and Wales,...said that the genetic mothers of “chimeras” should be able to raise them as their own children if they wished.

The bishops said that they did not see why these “interspecies” embryos should be treated any differently than others.
. . .
The bishops, who believe that life begins at conception, said that they opposed the creation of any embryo solely for research, but they were also anxious to limit the destruction of such life once it had been brought into existence.

In their submission to the committee, they said: “At the very least, embryos with a preponderance of human genes should be assumed to be embryonic human beings, and should be treated accordingly.
What a sick, sad world we are creating...

HT to Trish for the link.

Archbishop Myers Assigns Priest to Latin Mass Community in New Jersey

More Great News from The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest:

With the gracious permission of the Archbishop of Newark, the Most Reverend John Myers, the Institute of Christ the King will be assigning a priest to the Latin Mass Community at St. Anthony of Padua Chapel in West Orange, Newark- New Jersey. Father Matthew Talarico, one of our newly ordained priests, has been appointed Rector of the Chapel by the Archbishop Myers. Father Talarico, who has already gained good experience serving as deacon in other Institute apostolates and in carrying out many responsibilities in the Seminary, will begin his work on July 17th.

Daily Rosary, Every Evening at 8:00pm CDT

The Holy Rosary via live conference call is now an ongoing every day event. People start signing in at 9:00 ET/8:00 CT/7:00 MT/6:00 PT and it begins promptly at 9:10 ET.

Even if you are please feel free to jump in. Sometimes individuals use their speaker phone capabilities and family members pray along as well.

It is all to promote the Holy Rosary and pray for The Church as well as for our own personal intentions.

Phone number: 712-432-2222 (IOWA) Access Code: 767279 (ROSARY)

Please join in this daily live conference call recitation of the Holy Rosary and spread the word any way you can.

Thank you!

Angel Alerts

Pope Benedict and the Mass (ITV)

In Rome in mid-June, the release of Pope Benedict’s motu proprio allowing wider celebration of the "old Mass" was reportedly "imminent," expected in any case "during the first days of July, before the Pope goes on his summer vacation," Vatican officials close to the Pope said. (And yet, the document has been delayed before.)

So what do we know already about this matter? Several things: 1) that the Pope has wished to publish the motu proprio for about a year; 2) that he has been advised by many bishops, who evidently fear it will cause divisions in the Church, not to publish it; 3) that he has therefore taken his time, consulting many advisors, and has written a prefatory letter to explain what the motu proprio means.
. . .
Some would see the Holy Father’s interest in the old Mass as a matter of cultural taste. His desire for a wider use of the old rite in Latin is seen as something comparable to his interest in classical music. For these people, the issue is often reduced to a question of practicality: the old rite, in Latin, is "impractical" in the 21st century, and so, these people say, it would be unwise to expand its use.

But this is a serious misunderstanding of Benedict’s motivation. He is not concerned with Latin in itself. His respect for the "old Mass" is not a nostalgic cultural attachment to an ancient language. No, Benedict is concerned about the essence of the Mass itself.

And what is that essence? The right worship of God.
. . .
...It isn’t about the Latin. (And the Latin Mass is, in any case, not the Latin Mass at all; that is a misnomer; it is, rather, "the Latin, Greek and Aramaic Mass," with "Kyrie eleison" in Greek and "Amen" and "Alleluia" in Aramaic.) And those who think Latin is at the core of this matter do not see fully what is at stake here.
. . .
But what is the problem? It seems that Benedict, like many thoughtful believers, is concerned about the fact that the conciliar reform of the liturgy in the 1960s has in some way apparently failed to achieve its chief goal, which was to bring about an even greater reverence for the Eucharist, an even greater participation by the faithful in the mystery of Christ, an even deeper sacramental life within the Church. (That is what the conciliar fathers hoped to accomplish by approving a liturgical reform.)
Some noteworthy excerpts from an Inside the Vatican NewsFlash.

Complete article is here

June 29 - 51 Archbishops to Receive Pallium

The list of the metropolitan archbishops who will receive the pallium from Pope Benedict XVI in the course of a Eucharistic celebration due to be held in the Vatican Basilica on Friday June 29, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles can be read here.
From the U.S., there is one archbishop - Joseph Edward Kurtz of Louisville,KY.

Made public today was a "Motu Proprio," written in Latin...

From the Vatican Information Service we read:
VATICAN CITY, JUN 26, 2007 (VIS) - Made public today was a "Motu Proprio," written in Latin, with which the Holy Father Benedict XVI restores the traditional norm concerning the majority required for the election of the Supreme Pontiff. According to this norm, in order for the election of a new Pope to be considered valid it is always necessary to reach a majority of two thirds of the cardinals present.

With this document, Benedict XVI substitutes the norm established by John Paul II who, in his 1996 Apostolic Constitution "Universi Dominici gregis," laid down that the valid quorum for electing a new Pope was initially two thirds but that, after three days of voting without an election, there would be a day dedicated to reflection and prayer, without voting. Thereafter, voting would resume for seven additional ballots, another pause for reflection, another seven ballots, another pause and yet another seven ballots. After which an absolute majority was to decide how to proceed, either for a vote by absolute majority or with balloting between two candidates. This was to happen only in the event that the cardinals arrived at the 33rd or 34th ballot without a positive result.
Not the MP most were looking for...But this (the restoration of the 2/3 requirement for electing a new pope) is good, I believe...


And the FULL TEXT of Motu Proprio in LATIN (the Official language of the Church):




Constitutione apostolica Universi Dominici gregis, die XXII Februarii anno MCMXCVI promulgata1, Venerabilis Decessor Noster Ioannes Paulus II, nonnullas immutationes induxit in normas canonicas servandas pro electione Romani Pontificis a Paulo VI, felicis recordationis, statutas2.

In numero septuagesimo quinto memoratae Constitutionis statutum est ut exhaustis incassum omnibus suffragationibus, iuxta normas statutas peractis, in quibus ad validam electionem Romani Pontificis duae ex tribus partes suffragiorum omnium praesentium requiruntur, Cardinalis Camerarius Cardinales electores consulat de modo procedendi, atque agetur prout eorum maior absoluta pars decreverit, servata tamen ratione ut electio valida evadat aut maiore absoluta parte suffragiorum aut duo nomina tantum suffragando, quae in superiore scrutinio maiorem suffragiorum partem obtinuerunt, dum hoc quoque in casu sola maior absoluta pars requirebatur.

Post promulgatam vero laudatam Constitutionem, haud paucae petitiones, auctoritate insignes, ad Ioannem Paulum II pervenerunt, sollicitantes ut norma traditione sancita restitueretur, secundum quam Romanus Pontifex valide electus non haberetur nisi duas ex tribus partes suffragiorum Cardinalium electorum praesentium obtinuisset.

Nos igitur, quaestione attente perpensa, statuimus ac decernimus ut, abrogatis normis quae in numero septuagesimo quinto Constitutionis Apostolicae Universi Dominici gregis Ioannis Pauli II praescribuntur, hae substituantur normae quae sequuntur:

Si scrutinia de quibus in numeris septuagesimo secundo, tertio et quarto memoratae Constitutionis incassum reciderint, habeatur unus dies orationi, reflexioni et dialogo dicatus ; in subsequentibus vero suffragationibus, servato ordine in numero septuagesimo quarto eiusdem Constitutionis statuto, vocem passivam habebunt tantummodo duo Cardinales qui in superiore scrutinio maiorem numerum suffragiorum obtinuerunt, nec recedatur a ratione ut etiam in his suffragationibus maioritas qualificata suffragiorum Cardinalium praesentium ad validitatem electionis requiratur. In his autem suffragationibus, duo Cardinales qui vocem passivam habent, voce activa carent.

Hoc documentum cum in L’Osservatore Romano evulgabitur statim vigere incipiet. Haec decernimus et statuimus, contrariis quibusvis non obstantibus.

Datum Romae, apud Sanctum Petrum, die XI mensis Iunii, anno MMVII, Pontificatus nostri tertio.


1 IOANNES PAULUS II, Constitutio apostolica Universi Dominici gregis, 22 februarii 1996, in AAS 88 (1996) 305-343.

2 PAULUS VI, Constitutio apostolica Romano Pontifici eligendo, 1 octobris 1975: AAS 67 (1975) 605-645.

Accused Priest Jumps from Bridge to His Death

The Rev. William A. Rosensteel, a veteran priest who once served in Gallitzin and Johnstown, killed himself Sunday on the eve of an announcement that sex abuse allegations against him would be referred to law enforcement.

The 64-year-old priest jumped from the McNally Bridge on Route 219 in Richland Township late Sunday afternoon. He died of blunt force trauma, said Cambria County Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski.

Rosensteel, an Ebensburg native who at various times during his 38-year career had served at the former St. Patrick parish in Gallitzin and St. Patrick’s in Johnstown, had been on administrative leave since March. He was facing sex abuse allegations dating to 1972.

Events leading to the priest’s suicide had a rapid momentum, beginning late last week. On Friday, Joseph Adamec, bishop of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, announced that – after conducting an initial diocese review – the 1971 claims against Rosensteel would be turned over to civil authorities.

Gospel for Tuesday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 7:6, 12-14

Respect for Holy Things

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [6] "Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you.

The Golden Rule

[12] "So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

The Narrow Gate

[13] "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. [14] For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."


6. Jesus uses a popular saying to teach prudent discernment in the preaching of the word of God and distribution of the means of sanctification. The Church has always heeded this warning, particularly in the sense of respect with which it administers the Sacraments--especially the Holy Eucharist. Filial confidence does not exempt us from the sincere and profound respect which should imbue our relations with God and with holy things.

12. This "golden rule" gives a guideline to realize our obligations towards and the love we should have for others. However, if we interpreted it superficially it would become a selfish rule; it obviously does not mean "do utdes" ("I give you something so that you will give me something") but that we should do good to others unconditionally: we are clever enough not to put limits on how much we love ourselves. This rule of conduct will be completed by Jesus' "new commandment" (John 13:34), where He teaches us to love others as He Himself loved us.

13-14. "Enter": in St. Matthew's Gospel this verb often has as its object the "Kingdom of Heaven" or equivalent expressions (life, the marriage feast, the joy of the Lord, etc.). We can interpret "enter" as an imperious invitation.

The way of sin is momentarily pleasant and calls for no effort, but it leads to eternal perdition. Following the way of a generous and sincere Christian life is very demanding--here Jesus speaks of a narrow gate and a hard way--but it leads to Life, to eternal salvation.

The Christian way involves carrying the cross. "For if a man resolve to submit himself to carrying this cross--that is to say, if he resolve to desire in truth to meet trials and to bear them in all things for God's sake, he will find in them all great relief and sweetness wherewith he may travel upon this road, detached from all things and desiring nothing. Yet, if he desires to possess anything--whether it comes from God or from any other source--with any feeling of attachment, he has not stripped and denied himself in all things; and thus he will be unable to walk along this narrow path or climb upward by it" (St. John of the Cross, "Ascent of Mount Carmel", book 2, chapter 7, 7).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Priest at Prayer, June 26

The Third Part - Vices and Virtues


First Meditation - The Foundations of Hope

I. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us, with groans beyond all utterance; He asks for us to be given eternal life; He petitions the Father from the inmost sanctuary of our hearts, where He dwells by His grace. (Cfr. Rom. viii, 25-27)

And our Divine Redeemer Himself, how eagerly He exhorts us to lay up treasures for Heaven!

Are my ideas and aspirations in consonance with the pleadings of the Holy Spirit and with the Saviour's exhortation? To be honest with myself, are there not goods of this world which I desire with greater yearn­ing and towards which I tend with stronger impulse and in whose attainment I spend more energy than for eternal life?

Why should I not expect to receive from my Father in Heaven what He so frequently and loyally promises, and so insistently begs me to take? But, have I imagined that He will give it me without even a thought on my part? without forcing myself to acquire it?

"The kingdom of heaven has opened to force, and the forceful are even now making it their prize." (Matt. xi, 12)

II. For God's part, we are so certain of heaven that, in the Gospel phrase, if we live in His grace we are already in possession of eternal life. Grace is the gift of the Holy Ghost, of the Spirit of God, of the Spirit of Christ, infused into our souls; it is a spirit of divine adoption, whereby God makes us His children and grants us full right to call Him Abba, Father. And, being children of God, we are also God's heirs, and co-heirs with Christ: heirs to God's estate, to Christ's kingdom, the kingdom of heaven. (Cfr. Rom. viii, 17) Moreover, the spirit of adoption, grace, confers upon us not so much a lawful claim to inherit as the inheritance itself, eternal life.:
And I give them life everlasting: and they shall not perish for ever.(John x, 28)

At the small cost of obtaining forgiveness of my sins and of remaining in His friendship, I can, thanks to my heavenly Father, possess even here below His Life, life everlasting.

Do I enjoy the moral certainty that now, at this very moment, I am the holder of so rich a treasure? Do I esteem it higher than all worldly goods? Do I use every precaution to safeguard it?

III. Another pledge of eternal life is given me, a pledge of still greater value: the Son of God Himself! O Father, Thy own divine Son, Thine only-Begotten Son, is given to the world to answer for the truth of Thy promises!
For God so loved the world, as to give his only-­begotten Son: that whosoever believeth in him may not perish, but may have life everlasting. (John iii, 16.)

Not content with delivering Him to us by the Incar­nation, the Father did not spare the Son, but gave Him up to death for our ransom. As Origen says: "His own He gave up to strangers, His own Son, for the sake of sons of adoption." Jesus signs the Father's promise for us in His Blood on the Cross. He remains our Divine Hostage in the tabernacle of our Altars, the pledge of our eternal peace.

Father in Heaven, what will it cost Thee to com­municate Thy happiness to us - Thy happiness which does not diminish or lose in the communicating - seeing that Thou gavest us the very Blood of Thy own Son, in Whom Thou hast all Thy delight?

Believing all this, as I do, am I still in doubt about God's promise? Do I still hesitate?

IV. There is still another pledge and earnest of eternal life, the pignus futurae gloriae, as I call it using the Church's words: the sacred Banquet wherein Christ is received.

"This is my body, given up for you; this cup is the new testament in my blood."

Certain people insist on drawing up their wills in their own handwriting, they do not entrust them to another's hand: a sign of the scrupulous and painstak­ing care they demand in the execution of their wills. But Thou, Lord, hast surpassed them all. Thou didst write Thy last will in Thy own Blood; or rather, it is Thy Blood Itself which constitutes Thy will on my behalf; not only Thy Blood on Mount Calvary, but, as it were, a fresh copy every day in the Sacrifice of the Mass. And this Blood of the New Covenant, this Will of Thine written in Thy Blood, is to be not merely handed over to me, but incorporated, by drinking, into my inmost being.
Hic calix Novum Testamentum est in meo sanguine. . . .

A testament that stands, that is valid, unchangeable, eternal.

And what dost Thou leave me, O Lord, in Thy will?

qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remis­sionem peccatorum.

The remission of sin, and Thy grace; and therefore, as a consequence, Thy own glory.

Could I ask of Thee, or couldst Thou possibly give me, a better guarantee? Lord, I hope, I trust, I have confidence, in Thee!

I will not put my trust in the wealth of this world, nor in mortal man - a staff that easily breaks and splinters the hand which leans too heavily upon it; nor in my own earthly life - a fleeting shadow, a wisp of cloud that the breeze evaporates; nor in my own per­sonal worth, which is very meager; but in God alone. Yes, even in the affairs of ordinary daily life; but much more so when it comes to obtaining the grace of avoid­ing sin or of rising up from sin and of persevering and finally winning eternal life.
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!