Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thoughts and Counsels - November 11

A resolute will triumphs over everything with the help of God, which is never wanting.

-St. Alphonsus
From Mary, Help of Christians
Part VI, Thoughts and Counsels of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Compiled by Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, OFM (© 1909, Benziger Brothers)

Meditation for November 11. The Measure of my Sanctity

We sometimes hear it said that it depends upon ourselves...and upon ourselves only...whether or not we become a St. Theresa, a St. Margaret Mary, a St. Thomas Aquinas, or a St. Francis.

That is not true. God does not necessarily destine everyone for the same degree of sanctity as his neighbor, and my problem is not how to sanctify myself with my neighbor's grace, but with my own grace, with my own measure of sanctity.

How am I to know this measure of sanctity?

For me it is determined to a large extent by the very nature of my Institute. As a Carmelite I do not hawe to sanctify myself ac­cording to the Rule of a Visitandine; as a Little Sister of the Poor, I do not have to sanctify myself according to the manner of a Bernardine or a Canoness of St. Augustine.

Even within the same religious family, there is still room for diversities without number, according to particular attraction; special divine inspiration; lights received; difference in physical or moral resistance; different reading done; different comprehen­sion of the same things according to different spirits.

In his treatise on the Love of God (Bk. ii, Chap. vii), St. Fran­cis de Sales explains well how admirable Divine Providence is in the diversity of graces that it distributes. I will be able with profit to meditate upon it.

"I can and ought to be a saint, I understand it now, Lord. Give me the grace to become the saint You wish to see me become in truth."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Gospel for Nov 10, Memorial: St Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor

Old Calendar: St. Andrew Avellino, priest; Sts.Tryphon, Respicius and Nympha, virgins and martyrs

From: Luke 16:9-15

The Unjust Steward (Continuation)

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [9] "And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations.

[10] "He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. [11] If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches? [12] And if you had not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? [13] No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."

[14] The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they scoffed at Him. [15] But He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God."


9-11. "Unrighteous mammon" means temporal good which have been obtained in some unjust, unrighteous way. However, God is very merciful: even this unjust wealth can enable a person to practice virtue by making restitution, by paying for the damage done and then by striving to help his neighbor by giving alms, by creating work opportunities, etc. This was the case with Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector, who undertook to restore fourfold anything he had unjustly taken, and also to give half his wealth to the poor. On hearing that, our Lord specifically declared that salvation had that day come to that house (cf. Luke 19:1-10).

Our Lord speaks out about faithfulness in very little things, referring to riches--which really are insignificant compared with spiritual wealth. If a person is faithful and generous and is detached in the use he makes of these temporal riches, he will, at the end of his life, receive the rewards of eternal life, which is the greatest treasure of all, and a permanent one. Besides, by its very nature human life is a fabric of little things: anyone who fails to give them their importance will never be able to achieve great things. "Everything in which we poor men have a part--even holiness--is a fabric of small trifles which, depending upon one's intention, can form a magnificent tapestry of heroism or of degradation, of virtues or of sins.

"The epic legends always relate extraordinary adventures, but never fail to mix them with homely details about the hero. May you always attach great importance to the little things. This is the way!" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 826).

The parable of the unjust steward is a symbol of man's life. Everything we have is a gift from God, and we are His stewards or managers, who sooner or later will have to render an account to Him.

12. "That which is another's" refers to temporal things, which are essentially impermanent. "That which is your own" refers to goods of the spirit, values which endure, which are things we really do possess because they will go with us into eternal life. In other words: how can we be given Heaven if we have proved unfaithful, irresponsible, during our life on earth?

13-14. In the culture of that time "service" involved such commitment to one's master that a servant could not take on any other work or serve any other master.

Our service to God, our sanctification, requires us to direct all our actions towards Him. A Christian does not divide up his time, allocating some of it to God and some of it to worldly affairs: everything he does should become a type of service to God and neighbor--by doing things with upright motivation, and being just and charitable.

The Pharisees jeered at what Jesus was saying, in order to justify their own attachment to material things; sometimes people make fun of total commitment to God and detachment from material things because they themselves are not ready to practice virtue; they cannot even imagine other people really having this generosity: they think they must have ulterior motives. See also the note on Matthew 6:24.

[The note on Matthew 6:24 states:
24. Man's ultimate goal is God; to attain this goal he should commit himself entirely. But in fact some people do not have God as their ultimate goal, and instead choose wealth of some kind--in which case wealth becomes their god. Man cannot have two absolute and contrary goals.]

15. "Abomination": the original Greek work means worship of idols, and, by derivation, the horror this provoked in a true worshipper of God. So the __expression conveys God's disgust with the attitude of the Pharisees who, by wanting to be exalted, are putting themselves, like idols, in the place of God.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Thoughts and Counsels - November 10

There is more security in self-denial, mortifica­tion, and other like virtues, than in an abundance of tears.

-St. Teresa
From Mary, Help of Christians
Part VI, Thoughts and Counsels of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Compiled by Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, OFM (© 1909, Benziger Brothers)

Meditation for November 10, For What Ideal

At Genoa there is a cemetery called lIe Campo Santo; it is filled with magnificent tombs of granite and marble which make it a point of interest for travelers. Sometimes the inscriptions are singularly revealing. One imposing slab of stone indicates that the person whose grave the mausoleum marks was an honest fruit dealer; she had cherished only one ambition in her life, to save, to hoard, to economize, that she might buy before her death a monument high enough to suit her.

A whole existence spent to obtain at death a slab of stone that would not look insignificant!

Most probably I find this fruit dealer perfectly ridiculous.

But at the same time, if someone were to read my conscience, the motives which influence me, the reasons for my effort, as for example to succeed in the occupations which have been confided to me, or to please a superior or official, would I not appear just as ridiculous?

Much more so, perhaps. The good merchant of Genoa did not have the graces of light that I have, nor was she called as I to the perfection of Christianity, to the perfection of detachment.

But I, how justly could others ridicule me, if they could read in me the true motives of my zeal, of my devotion, of my obedience. I will seek to purify my actions; purify my intentions. God alone!
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Funeral Prompts Forced Resignation of Priest

Baltimore's new Roman Catholic archbishop removed a priest who was pastor of three South Baltimore parishes for offenses that include officiating at a funeral Mass with an Episcopal priest, which violates canon law.

Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien personally ordered the Rev. Ray Martin, who has led the Catholic Community of South Baltimore for five years, to resign from the three churches and sign a statement yesterday apologizing for "bringing scandal to the church."

Martin led the funeral Mass on Oct. 15 for Locust Point activist Ann Shirley Doda at Our Lady of Good Counsel with several clergy, including the Rev. Annette Chappell, the pastor of the Episcopal Church of the Redemption in Locust Point, Martin said.
Do people no longer use their God-given intellects anymore? What was this priest thinking?

Sean Caine, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, said this was one example of repeated administrative and liturgical offenses Martin had committed in more than a year...
Figures...another advocate of the "Do-it-yourself" Mass...

Chappell did not participate in the consecration of the Eucharist but read the Gospel at the service, Martin said. Someone at the service reported to the archdiocese that Martin gestured to Chappell to take Communion, though Martin said he did not recall doing so...

Martin, who has not been defrocked, said he has been barred from celebrating Mass publicly. He will go on an extended retreat and counseling at a monastery in Latrobe, Pa., he said.
Good for Archbishop O'Brien! No doubt, he will be subjected to ridicule from those who understand little, if anything, about the Holy Mass or about the Catholic faith - and this unfortunately includes some Catholics.

The statement Martin signed will be read at weekend Masses at the community's three parishes, Our Lady of Good Counsel, St. Mary's Star of the Sea and Holy Cross parishes, Martin said...

"What, are we in the Dark Ages again? This is absolutely ridiculous," [said Joyce Bauerle, a longtime friend of Shirley Doda.]
Decades of catechetical failure may be one of the reasons for such ignorance. It could also be due to an attitude of dissent, especially considering the pries was admonished before and gave such a bad example when it came to liturgical necessities...

Bait & Switch - Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)

Diogenes writes (and a growing number of us concur):
Yes, it's that time of year again. Thanksgiving is coming, and on the Sunday before the feast, Catholic Americans will be asked once more to contribute to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the bishops' project to change the world through citizen activism...

...the bishops have to work hard to keep the funds flowing into the CCHD coffers. This week, out in Portland, Oregon, Archbishop John Vlazny is doing his best. Along the way, the good archbishop acknowledges that there are cynics out there questioning the value of the CCHD approach...

It's one thing to give $5 to a panhandler, hoping that he'll buy himself lunch, and learn with disappointment that he promptly spent the money on booze. It's quite another thing to hand him the money as he stands at the doorway of the tavern.

The list of CCHD recipients is pockmarked with leftist groups whose aspirations clash with the basic principles of Catholic morality. The conflicts are inevitable. But that's not the only problem. Because it was designed to promote social change-- "a relic of early-1970s social activism," as I put it recently, CCHD's activities raise political questions even when there are no clear moral principles at risk...
I quit contributing to the CCHD years ago and will never give it another dime. I don't need leftists and bureaucrats at the USCCB choosing which groups to give my charitibale contributions to...Most people are mature enough to figure out which groups are really deserving of financial assistance and which ones are not - a capability seemingly absent at the CCHD.

Read Diogene's entire commentary here.

Archbishop Burke: Attempted ordinations to the priesthood

I write with great sadness about the announced attempt to ordain two women of the Archdiocese of St. Louis to the Order of Priests, on this coming Nov. 11 at the synagogue of the Central Reform Congregation, located at 5020 Waterman Ave. in the City of St. Louis. The attempted ordination is a violation of what is most sacred to us in the Church, one of the sacraments. It imperils the eternal salvation of the women seeking the attempted ordination and the woman, claiming to be a Roman Catholic bishop, who proposes to attempt the ordination. It generates confusion among the faithful and others who are not Catholic regarding an infallible teaching of the Catholic faith. What is more, the hosting of the attempted ordination by the Central Reform Congregation constitutes a grave violation of the mutual respect which should mark the relationship between the Jewish faith and the Roman Catholic faith...

What is most painful about the proposed attempted ordinations is the calculated and grave offense they will offer to our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. From the teaching in the Holy Scriptures, faithfully handed down to us in the Magisterium, there is no doubt that our Lord Jesus Christ chose only men for the Holy Priesthood, even as He, at the Last Supper, consecrated only men for the priestly office and ministry...

A Catholic who continues to have a question in the matter is bound to inform himself or herself more fully about the Church’s teaching, so that the question may be resolved in accord with the Catholic faith.

In addition to the sacrilege of the attempted ordinations to the Sacred Priesthood, there is added the sacrilege of any attempts by the women involved to offer the Holy Mass, after their supposed ordination. They have, in fact, announced that they will "co-pastor the Thérèse of Divine Peace Inclusive Community on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. beginning Dec. 1, 2007," which will meet in Hope Chapel at the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis at 5007 Waterman Ave. One has to suppose that they will attempt to offer the Holy Mass, a most grave offense against our Lord and His Church...

Given the most sacred nature of the sacraments which will be simulated, the women involved and any Catholic who knowingly and deliberately assists them risks the eternal salvation of their souls. They commit mortal sin. Because of the most grave, public and obstinate nature of the proposed act of attempted ordination, the Church automatically applies medicinal penalties to the parties who complete the act. Medicinal penalties, for example, excommunication and interdict, are aimed at calling the persons away from their sin and to reconciliation with Christ and His Church...

I urge you, therefore, to offer fervent prayers for the women involved, that they will repent and be reconciled with the Church. Please pray, too, for all who will be confused and led astray by their sinful action...

Another painful aspect of the proposed attempted ordinations is the hosting of the event by a Jewish synagogue. To host an event which is offensive to the faith of the Roman Catholic Church is profoundly disrespectful and a most serious violation of the relationship which has developed between leaders of the Jewish faith and the archbishop of St. Louis...

I hope that my reflections will lead you to pray for the conversion of heart of the women involved, for the sake of their eternal salvation and for the sake of the many whom they will lead into confusion about the Church’s teaching and practice...

Archbishop Burke's complete column is here. As always, his explanation is worth reading in its fullness so that one might fully understand the gravity of the situation. So many seem incapable of that understanding today and he provides us with the means to respond to others who question our Church and her teachings.

And, as always, we should pray for the conversion of these women and for others whose might place their eternal salvation at risk.

Traditional Latin Mass Moves Forward in Monterey Diocese

Monterey Bishop Richard Garcia has begun to fulfill his promise of assuring celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass in his diocese.

In July, the Diocese of Monterey announced that it would have two Tridentine Masses in place by September -- one at the northern end, the other at the southern end of the diocese. Initially, the Tridentine Mass was to be celebrated twice a month at both northern and southern non-parish locations.

In a September pastoral letter entitled “In Him We Live,” Bishop Garcia reiterated his promise – but noted that the number of intended locations for celebrating the Tridentine Mass had risen to three. The third location for the Mass, said the bishop, will serve the central region of the diocese...

Federal Court: Druggists May Deny Emergency Pill

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge has suspended Washington state's requirement that pharmacists sell "morning-after" birth control pills, a victory for druggists who claim their moral objections to the drug are being bulldozed by the government.

In an injunction signed Thursday, U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton said pharmacists can refuse to sell the morning-after pill if they refer the customer to another nearby source. Pharmacists' employers also are protected by the order...
Let us pray that this is more than just a temporary reprieve from the tyranny and persecution that the pro-death advocates wish to impose on others...

Archdiocese Q&A Regarding St Stanislaus Kostka Corporation

Considering the recent news concerning St Stanislaus Church, the Archdiocese has posted a brief Q&A on the matter here.

Other posts on the St Stanislaus situation on this site can be found here:
Various St. Stanislaus Posts 2005
And More Posts from 2004

You can also try searching by using keywords of "stanislaus" or "bozek".

Dr. Edward Peters: Civility, yes, but fairness and accuracy too

I have nothing against platitudes. Though simplistic, platitudes tend to be true, and these days many people need to have simple truths reiterated. To the extent that the Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good statement, A Catholic Call to Observe Civility in Political Debate, simply reiterates some obvious truths about needing to observe "civility" in public discourse, I say fine. But there is more to the CACG statement than that. Despite their genteel demeanor and above-the-fray tone, I suggest that the CACG is firmly supporting one side in a crucial "partisan" debate (the wrong side, at that) and that they are discouraging Catholics from exercising some fundamental canonical rights...
Great commentary!

Colorado Bishops' Statement Regarding Planned Parenthood

In early November, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) broke ground on a new headquarters and clinic in northeast Denver. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains purchased this property secretly under the guise of Fuller 38 LLC.

Planned Parenthood told the Denver Post that PPRM planned to complete the entire project in secrecy to avoid protests and delays that other Planned Parenthood buildings have encountered around the country. The new PPRM location is 7155 E. 38th Denver. The entire project is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2008 and the general contractor for the project is the Weitz Company LLC.

The public deserves to know the facts about Planned Parenthood. The national organization is among the leading abortion providers, performing across the nation 264,943 abortion procedures in 2005 alone, a 29% increase since 2000. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains has stated that it served 125,000 patients in five states, including Colorado, last year and of those 8,800 received abortions.

Teens and young people are the primary customers for their services and information, which include the distribution of contraception, emergency contraception and chemical and surgical abortions. Nationally 70 % of Planned Parenthoods customers are under age 25 and 27% are under age 19. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood is a supplier of graphic and explicit sex educational materials. These materials are being used in some Colorado’s public schools.

Planned Parenthood calls itself pro-child, pro-woman, and pro-family. Yet it is an organization based on falsehoods about the human person, the family and community life.

When a minor comes to Planned Parenthood, she is provided information on contraception, sex education and treatment of STDs without parental notification. How can Planned Parenthood justify calling itself pro-family or pro-child when it intrudes itself between a child and parent?

Planned Parenthood vigorously opposes any legislation that would provide advance medical information pertaining to an abortion procedure, and opposes any legislation that would provide a woman, who is seeking an abortion, knowledge of her unborn child’s development or information regarding alternatives to abortion. Considering the psychological and physical effects of abortion on a woman, how can it Planned Parenthood call itself pro-woman and oppose widespread access to advanced information?

We, the Catholic bishops of Colorado, deplore the negative impact of the actions and philosophy of PPRM. We urge the Catholic community and all people of good will to defend themselves and their beliefs against Planned Parenthood by every legal and ethical means at their disposal. We ask all Catholics to pray, within their families and parish communities, that the dignity and sanctity of every human life will be upheld at all stages of development.

Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. - Archbishop of Denver
Most Reverend Arthur N. Tafoya, D.D. - Bishop of Pueblo
Most Reverend Michael J. Sheridan, S.T.D - Bishop of Colorado Springs

Gospel for Nov 9, Feast: Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

Old Calendar: Dedication of the Archbasilica of Our Holy Savior; St. Theodore, martyr

From: John 2:13-22

The Cleansing of the Temple

[13] The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. [14] In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business. [15] And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. [16] And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; you shall not make my Father's house a house of trade." [17] His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for thy house will consume me." [18] The Jews then said to him, "What signs have you to show us for doing this?" [19] Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." [20] The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?" [21] But he spoke of the temple of his body. [22] When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.


13. "The Passover of the Jews": this is the most important religious feast for the people of the Old Testament, the prefiguring of the Christian Easter (cf. note on Mt 26:2). The Jewish Passover was celebrated on the fourteenth day of the month of Nisan and was followed by the festival week of the Azymes (unleavened bread). According to the Law of Moses, on those days every male Israelite had to "appear before the Lord God" (Ex 34:23; Deut 16:16)--hence the pious custom of making a pilgrimage to the temple of Jerusalem for these days, hence the crowd and all the vendors to supply the needs of the pilgrims; this trading gave rise to abuses.

"Jesus went up to Jerusalem": by doing this Jesus publicly shows that he observes the Law of God. But, as we shall soon see, he goes to the temple as the only-begotten Son who must ensure that all due decorum is observed in the House of the Father: "And from thenceforth Jesus, the Anointed of God, always begins by reforming abuses and purifying from sin; both when he visits his Church, and when he visits the Christian soul" (Origen, "Hom. on St John", 1).

14-15. Every Israelite had to offer as a passover sacrifice an ox or a sheep, if he was wealthy; or two turtle-doves or two pigeons if he was not (Lev 5:7). In addition he had to pay a half shekel every year, if he was twenty or over. The half shekel, which was the equivalent of a day's pay of a worker, was a special coin also called temple money (cf. Ex 30:13); other coins in circulation (denarii, drachmas, etc.) were considered impure because they bore the image of pagan rulers. During the Passover, because of the extra crowd, the outer courtyard of the temple, the court of the Gentiles, was full of traders, money-changers etc., and inevitably this meant noise, shouting, bellowing, manure etc. Prophets had already fulminated against these abuses, which grew up with the tacit permission of the temple authorities, who made money by permitting trading. Cf. notes on Mt 21:12-13 and Mk 11:15-18.

16-17. "Zeal for thy house will consume me"--a quotation from Psalm 69:10. Jesus has just made a most significant assertion: "You shall not make my Father's house a house of trade." By calling God his Father and acting so energetically, he is proclaiming he is the Messiah, the Son of God. Jesus' zeal for his Father's glory did not escape the attention of his disciples who realized that what he did fulfilled the words of Psalm 69.

18-22. The temple of Jerusalem, which had replaced the previous sanctuary which the Israelites carried around in the wilderness, was the place selected by God during the Old Covenant to express his presence to the people in a special way. But this was only an imperfect anticipation or prefiguring of the full __expression of his presence among men--the Word of God became man. Jesus, in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" (Col 2:9), is the full presence of God here on earth and, therefore, the true temple of God. Jesus identifies the temple of Jerusalem with his own body, and by so doing refers to one of the most profound truths about himself--the Incarnation. After the ascension of the Lord into heaven this real and very special presence of God among men is continued in the sacrament of the Blessed Eucharist.

Christ's words and actions as he expels the traders from the temple clearly show that he is the Messiah foretold by the prophets. That is why some Jews approach him and ask him to give a sign of his power (cf. Mt 16:1; Mk 8:11; Lk 11:29). Jesus' reply (v. 20), whose meaning remains obscure until his resurrection, the Jewish authorities try to turn into an attack on the temple--which merits the death penalty (Mt 26:61; Mk 14:58; cf. Jer 26:4ff); later they will taunt him with it when he is suffering on the cross (Mt 27:40; A 15:29) and later still in their case against St Stephen before the Sanhedrin they will claim to have heard him repeat it (Acts 6:14).

There was nothing derogatory in what Jesus said, contrary to what false witnesses made out. The miracle he offers them, which he calls "the Sign of Jonah" (cf. Mt 16:4), will be his own resurrection on the third day. Jesus is using a metaphor, as if to say: Do you see this temple? Well, imagine if it were destroyed, would it not be a great miracle to rebuild it in three days? That is what I will do for you as a sign. For you will destroy my body, which is the true temple, and I will rise again on the third day.

No one understood what he was saying. Jews and disciples alike thought he was speaking about rebuilding the temple which Herod the Great had begun to construct in 19-20 B.C. Later on the disciples grasped what he really meant.
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, November 08, 2007

Thoughts and Counsels - November 9

The errors of others should serve to keep us from adding any of our own to them.

-St. Ignatius
From Mary, Help of Christians
Part VI, Thoughts and Counsels of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Compiled by Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, OFM (© 1909, Benziger Brothers)

Meditation for November 9, With the Dead

Do I often ask for the souls in Purgatory, refreshment, light and peace, as we do in the liturgy of the Requiem?

Poor Souls! All the stage scenery of painted pasteboard, that is the earth, which interested them so much, has collapsed. Nothing is definitely catalogued as nothing. On looking back, nothing draws them; on looking forward, everything attracts them. Not that they have seen God face to face, in the particular judgment, but they have understood, and with what conviction, that God is their only good. It is still impossible to reach Him. Between their present state and God there is an insuperable abyss. It is like the suffering of a child who, seeing his tenderly loved mother on the opposite bank of a river, stretches forth his arms to her, powerless, and calls to her desolately.

Doubtless, great loving souls endure this agony even on earth, although naturally in a lesser degree, since their understanding of God is less clear.

To wish to embrace God, to dart with all one's desire toward Him and never to attain Him, never to discover Him, unless through a veil, and in obscurity, a hidden God. . . what a cru­cifixion!

That great specialist in the most authentic descriptions of Pur­gatory, St. Catherine of Genoa, could not have spoken so well of the Purgatory of the beyond without having experienced to the full the Purgatory of earth.

She relates that one day she had a vision of the Savior convers­ing with the Samaritan woman and she cried, "O Jesus, give me a little drop of water that you gave to the woman from the well of Jacob, because I cannot endure any longer this great fire which burns me entirely." Immediately she received a drop of the di­vine water, and was marvelously refreshed.

"Give me, O Great Saint, a thirst for God; intensify my desire to possess God eternally and to arrive at the greatest possible union with Him, here on earth. Give me also a great pity for the souls who suffer in the place of purgation. Let me obtain for many a speedy termina­tion of their sufferings, and bring them more quickly to the joy of the contemplation of God whom they so much desire."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

A Poll: Should women be ordained as Roman Catholic priests?

Brought to you by the St Louis Post Dispatch.

As I read the poll and voted I could not help but recall the quote of then Cardinal Ratzinger, "Truth is not determined by a majority vote."

The count so far, which is not surprising:

65% Yes

35% No

Votes: 944

Polls are unscientific, reflecting only the views of those who choose to participate.
Change the results here (See the "Related" box

And for even more "enlightenment," you can read others' comments here. (including those of our lost friend Joe)

Shock therapy for freshmen at St. Thomas shockingly trite

by Katherine Kersten, Star Tribune, Minneapolis

Nov. 8--The University of St. Thomas' latest attempt at freshman shock therapy is in full swing. The vehicle is the school's "common text" -- a book, chosen annually, that all freshman English students must read and discuss.

If you've ever wondered where the idea comes from that colleges and universities have become liberal indoctrination camps, well, it comes from rituals like this.

As usual, this year's common text isn't a literary classic by a Dead White Male. It's "The Handmaid's Tale," an ideologically freighted polemic by feminist novelist Margaret Atwood.

Here's a summary: Right-wing Christian fanatics have taken over America and imposed a theocratic state. Women are virtual slaves, the continent is awash in pollution, abortionists are executed. Many fertile women must become "handmaids" -- reproductive machines -- who are compelled to breed with male "Commanders."The Handmaid's Tale" portrays the dominant Christian culture of the future as totalitarian and consumed with hatred toward women. The book includes graphic scenes of sexual abuse.


For decades, the archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has led the university's board, automatically serving as chair. The incoming archbishop, John Nienstedt, has a reputation for orthodoxy and might be expected to exert his influence now.

And here comes a tactic employed by the board members of St Stanislaus some years back to exclude the Archbishop from the board:

On Oct. 25, they effectively bumped the incoming archbishop from the board. They did so by voting to eliminate ex officio members, and then inviting back as individuals those -- such as retiring Archbishop Harry Flynn -- who have not interfered in the past with the institution's leftward tilt.

St. Thomas spokesman Doug Hennes says the bylaws change has been under discussion for several years, and is unrelated to Nienstedt's appointment...

Sounds so familiar. There are good Catholic colleges and universities (click here for more information).

Barbara Kralis writes:
St. Thomas is trying to pull a fast one on a Bishop whom they know will "right the ship". Please get the article and disseminate and then pray pray pray. This not only affects the college but the seminary where the Bishop has the right to determine rector and faculty. A shrewd liberal tactic for sure. Anyway Flynn is with the school and is privy to their shenanigans and is also part and parcel of the decision. Nienstedt needs lots of prayers for an afternoon meeting today, Nov. 8th.
Keep this situation in your prayers if you can...there is no end, it seems, to the corruption taking place in so called Catholic colleges...

HT to Darla for the tip!

Radical Homosexual Campaign Launched by UN Officials

From C-FAM, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute:

We report today on yet another radial social initiative launched this week at UN headquarters. A number of governments and UN officials endorsed a radical homosexual document they hope to foist on the General Assembly and the Member States of the UN.

Spread the word.
Yours sincerely,
Austin Ruse

Women warned against Catholic ordination

In another story (this one from the AP), readers gain more insights into the mindset of two women who are soon-to-be excommunicated...

ST. LOUIS—The St. Louis Archdiocese has warned two Roman Catholic women that they will be excommunicated if they are ordained as priests on Sunday.

Rose Marie Dunn Hudson, 67, and Elsie Hainz McGrath, 69, are set to be ordained by a former nun as part of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement that began in 2002.
Of course, both will ignore Archbishop Burke.

"It's a typically hierarchical form of intimidation, and we will not be intimidated," McGrath said.

McGrath's response is no surprise. Church history has numerous examples of heretics and schismatics speaking the same way all throughout history. For someone who supposedly has a "theology" degree, one would think she would understand that the CHurch is a hierarchically structured institution.

"What is he going to do, burn us at the stake, or what?" Hudson asked...
Were we living in the middle ages, where such a punishment might have been inflicted, would these women claim to be so brave? Of course not - their alleged "calling" would be ignored for what it truly is, a temptation from the father of lies.

"We're going to just totally ignore it. This is not unexpected. We wondered why it took so long."
Likewise, they ignore the King of kings and the Lord of lords, Who granted His authority to His Church...

Women as priests? Plans test alliance...

Next, men will pretend to be women priestettes...

Tim Townsend, from the Post Dispatch, appears to be quite busy these days, following stories of "Catholic" dissent and rebellion...

A ceremony set for Sunday to ordain two women as priests in a Central West End synagogue is testing long-standing alliances among St. Louis religious leaders...

St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke has reacted strongly, and Jewish leaders are questioning the synagogue's decision to host the ceremony.

The president of the Interfaith Partnership of Metropolitan St. Louis, who is Jewish, said the decision by Central Reform Congregation may have been a mistake.
May have been a mistake? There's no question about it. Nevertheless, these two grandmothers, would have found some other place to exercise their defiance and rebellion...

Hudson, 67, is a grandmother of 11 from Festus who retired three years ago after 40 years as a teacher, the last 21 in the St. Louis public school system. McGrath, 69, of St. Louis, has eight great-grandchildren and recently retired after a dozen years as an editor at a Catholic publishing house. Before that, she was a campus minister at St. Louis University.
I wonder if anyone has interviewed the children or grandchildren? Are they Catholic, quasi-Catholic, anti-Catholic, or what? What sort of problems will such matronly arrogance and pride bring to the children and grandchildren? Are they supportive of such lunacy?

Yes, children, actions have consequences...

The two women will be ordained as priests of an organization called Roman Catholic Womenpriests, which, in its constitution, defines itself as "an international initiative within the Roman Catholic Church"...

The group insists that it is Roman Catholic, but the church says it is not. Church leaders say that Womenpriests is like any other Christian denomination that breaks away from the church because it dislikes its doctrine.

Some mentally challenged individuals insist that they are God, Superman, or who knows what else...and all of them are wrong. letters delivered by courier Monday evening, Burke told Hudson and McGrath "to renounce your intention to attempt to receive priestly ordination." If not, he said, "you will incur automatically … the censure of excommunication. …"

The women agreed to allow a Post-Dispatch reporter to read most of Burke's letter, including his signature, Wednesday. But they refused to reveal parts of it.
The new priestettes evidently don't advocate a policy of openess and transparency.

Harvey Schneider, president of the Interfaith Partnership of Metropolitan St. Louis, said Talve made a mistake. "Susan may have meant well, but in retrospect it may not have been such a great idea," he said. "I hope if there is a chasm that develops, it can be healed."
Talve appears to be unreliable - it may be in the Church's best interest to avoid her in future dealings - it seems prudence is not one of her strong points...

A Response to a Jesuit who ‘Came Out’ at Campus Mass

Another traitor among the Jesuits...

FRONT ROYAL, VA — The Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, STL, president of Human Life International, (HLI) today published an “open letter” to Father Thomas J. Brennan, SJ, who declared that he was a homosexual during a student Mass, admitting that it was one of “the worst kept secrets” on campus.

Father Euteneuer’s response, “Homosexual Jesuit Needs Refresher Course in Priestly Love” was published in his weekly email newsletter, Spirit & Life, available Thursday after 3:00 PM EST on the HLI website ( The letter called for Brennan to apologize to his congregation.

Father Euteneuer said, “There is something just plain wrong about abusing people’s trust in the priesthood in such a public way, and since you chose to ‘go public’ with this matter, a public response to your outrageous ‘outing’ is merited.”

“First of all,” Father Euteneuer said, “Holy Mass is not a forum for your self-expression. You chose the sacred liturgy and the pulpit reserved for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the launching pad for your personal testament to homosexuality … You’ve read the same documents I’ve read about the liturgy, and none of them say the liturgy is your personal stage.”

He continued, “[Celibacy] is a form of Christian chastity to which you and I are called, and I trust that you are faithful to it. … A heterosexual celibate renounces his natural desire for wife and children in order to embrace the Bride of Christ in a direct spousal relationship. A homosexual celibate renounces an unholy desire for members of the same sex: that is a renunciation of a disorder, not the embrace of a Bride.

“When even a celibate priest chooses to go public about his homosexual identity as an expression of ‘diversity’ or ‘pride’, the faithful are rightfully confused and scandalized. Not only do you owe them an apology, you owe them a better example of priesthood. They deserve a priest who is clear about the Church’s doctrine about homosexual acts and who teaches it unambiguously. … If you do not clearly witness the Church’s teaching about your own vocation, how can you teach others to be faithful to theirs?
Fr Euteneuer hits the ball out of the park with this statement.

And what a disgrace and scandal this priest is to Our Lord, St Ignatius, the Jesuit order, and the priesthood. Will anything be done by his superiors to correct this outrage? When pigs fly, maybe?

More at HLI.

Gospel for Thursday, 31st Week in Ordinary Time

Memorial Bl. John Duns Scotus
Old Calendar: Holy Four Crowned Martyrs

From: Luke 15:1-10

Parable's of God's Mercy

[1] Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear Him (Jesus). [2] And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."

The Lost Sheep

[3] So He told them this parable: [4] "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? [5] And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. [6] And when he comes home he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.' [7] Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

The Lost Coin

[8] "Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she lost one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? [9] And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, `Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I has lost.' [10] Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.



1-32. Jesus' actions manifest God's mercy: He receives sinners in order to convert them. The scribes and Pharisees, who despised sinners, just cannot understand why Jesus acts like this; they grumble about Him; and Jesus uses the opportunity to tell these Mercy parables. "The Gospel writer who particularly treats of these themes in Christ's teaching is Luke, whose Gospel has earned the title of `the Gospel of mercy'" (John Paul II, "Dives In Misericordia", 3).

In this chapter St. Luke reports three of these parables in which Jesus describes the infinite, fatherly mercy of God and His joy at the conversion of the sinner.

The Gospel teaches that no one is excluded from forgiveness and that sinners can become beloved children of God if they repent and are converted. So much does God desire the conversion of sinners that each of these parables ends with a refrain, as it were, telling of the great joy in Heaven over sinner who repents.

1-2. This is not the first time that publicans and sinners approach Jesus (cf. Matthew 9:10). They are attracted by the directness of the Lord's preaching and by His call to self-giving and love. The Pharisees in general were jealous of His influence over the people (cf. Matthew 26:2-5; John 11:47) a jealousy which can also beset Christians; a severity of outlook which does not accept that, no matter how great his sins may have been, a sinner can change and become a saint; a blindness which prevents a person from recognizing and rejoicing over the good done by others. Our Lord criticized this attitude when He replied to His disciples' complaints about others casting out devils in His name: "Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in My name will be able soon after to speak evil of Me" (Mark 9:39). And St. Paul rejoiced that others proclaimed Christ and even overlooked the fact they did so out of self-interest, provided Christ was preached (cf. Philippians 1:17-18).

5-6. Christian tradition, on the basis of this and other Gospel passages (cf. John 10:11), applies this parable to Christ, the Good Shepherd, who misses and then seeks out the lost sheep: the Word, by becoming man, seeks out mankind, which has strayed through sinning. Here is St. Gregory the Great's commentary: "He put the sheep on His shoulders because, on taking on human nature, He burdened Himself with our sins" ("In Evangelia Homiliae", II, 14).

The Second Vatican Council applies these verses of St. Luke to the way priests should approach their pastoral work: "They should be mindful that by their daily conduct and solicitude they display the reality of a truly priestly and pastoral ministry both to believers and unbelievers alike, to Catholics and non-Catholics; that they are bound to bear witness before all men of the truth and of the life, and as good shepherds seek after those too who, whilst having been baptized in the Catholic Church, have given up the practice of the Sacraments, or even fallen away from the faith" ("Lumen Gentium", 28). However, every member of the faithful should show this same kind of concern--expressed in a fraternal way--towards his brothers and sisters, towards everyone on the road to sanctification and salvation.

7. This does not mean that our Lord does not value the perseverance of the just: He is simply emphasizing the joy of God and the saints over the conversion of a sinner. This is clearly a call to repentance, to never doubt God's readiness to forgive. "Another fall, and what a fall!... Must you give up hope? No. Humble yourself and, through Mary, your Mother, have recourse to the merciful Love of Jesus. A "miserere", and lift up your heart! And now begin again" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 711).

8. This silver coin was a "drachma", of about the same value as a denarius, that is, approximately a day's wage for an agricultural worker (cf. Matthew 20:2).
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, November 07, 2007

Thoughts and Counsels - November 8

The best preparation for death is a perfect resignation to the will of God, after the example of Jesus Christ, who, in His prayer in Gethsemani prepared Himself with these words, "Father, not as I will, but as Thou wilt."

-St. Vincent de Paul
From Mary, Help of Christians
Part VI, Thoughts and Counsels of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Compiled by Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, OFM (© 1909, Benziger Brothers)

Meditation for November 8, For All Eternity

Thinking of death, a great artist, who was unfortunately a pagan, the Countesse de Noailles, felt herself broken in advance at the realization that one day there was to be an end.

"To have received all and cease to know.
What then? I was life and I am going to cease to be
For all eternity?"

For her, scarcely believing at all in the immortality of the soul, death was the end of all. Instead of imagining the tomb as an arch of triumph, an open door to the beyond, she saw it as a hole; an abyss; there is no outlet; it is closed in by the earth on both sides. She pitied herself, sorrowing at this eternal destruction of what she had felt so vibrant in life.

"Could it truly be that the universe destroys
Its most ardent creation?"

Ah yes, it is true that one day death will overtake me, and this life below, so warm, so full of desires, of curiosities, of thirsts of all kinds, will find its end. Ah, if one could only stop the march of the hours!

"Alas, if we could only tell fleeting time to wait."

No, no, time rolls on impassable. At each minute I am dying a little, but I am not aware of it. Only the last minutes of my life will be called, wrongly it is true, the time of my death. Every minute contributes to the approach of my last minute, which will definitely cut the thread of my existence. As the sentence, often written upon sun dials, expresses it: "Every hour strikes, the last kills."

I will try to remember well in this season that I am always dying. I will use this thought as an incentive truly to live every moment, that is to say, to give to each of my days its complete fruit for souls and for God.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Fox2 News on "Catholic" Women Priestesses

Local Fox2 News has a video of a short interview with Elsie Hainz McGrath and Rose Marie Hudson who are scheduled to commit an act of schism this Sunday resulting in automatic excommunication...

(KTVI - -- It is a first for St. Louis, and it's giving rise to another battle with St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke. Two Catholic women are about to be ordained priests. FOX 2's Andy Banker reports on the firestorm that's ignited on so many fronts.

Archbishop Burke Issues Warning of Automatic Excommunication

From the Post Dispatch:
St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke has warned two Roman Catholic women that if they go through with a planned ordination Sunday, they will be automatically excommunicated for an act of schism.

The two women, Elsie Hainz McGrath (pictured right) and Rose Marie Hudson (on the left) , are scheduled to be ordained as priests of an organization called Roman Catholic Womenpriests at Central Reform Congregation, a synagogue in St. Louis. Only men are ordained as priests in the Roman Catholic church.

In letters delivered by courier to the two women Monday evening, Burke admonished them "to renounce your intention to attempt to receive priestly ordination" and "to retract publicly any denial or contrary affirmation regarding the Church’s Catholic Doctrine...that women cannot validly receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders."

The archbishop continued: "Should you refuse to comply, in order to protect the faithful from grave spiritual will incur automatically...the censure of excommunication..."

The archdiocese would not comment on the letters Wednesday, saying that all correspondence from the archbishop is private.
Here it comes!


The Archdiocese of St Louis has more on this here, titled "The Nature of Priestly Ordination: Theological Background and Some Present Concerns"

A Daughter of "Father" Mother writes...

From the combox regarding this post we read:

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your comments. I only tuned in because my mom's name came up in the article (and I will leave that up to you all to figure out which one that is) but I must say I have had quite a laugh with all this ridiculous back and forth about laws, canons, blah blah blah.
I can't seem to find any mention of canon law in the post but then, it was probably hidden between the lines and I'm too obuse to see it....

I guess my only question would be, what are you so scared of? Talking? Figuring out how to solve the priest shortage in the Catholic Church? Being accepting of all people? Not rejecting someone just because of how they were born? Maybe focusing truly on the work of Jesus?Hmmm...this is truly interesting.

I don't believe anyone is scared or afraid, except to the extent we might fear the loss of the souls of our sisters in Christ - after all, we are joined by baptism and their actions, objectively, place their souls in grave danger. For this, we should all be fearful and pray for conversion.

The comments about the priest shortage are completely devoid of any sense of rational thinking since this sham 'ordination' ritual does absolutely nothing to address the issue. It merely causes scandal and division within the Church, inflicting more pain in the Body of Christ.

And what does "being accepting of all people" mean in the context of the 'discussion'? That some propose to become heretics or engage in schismatic acts does not require that the faithful pretend that nothing is wrong and we "accept" these women as faithful Catholics. Did not our Lord tell his disciples to leave those, shaking the dust from their sandals, who would not hear the Good News? The two women and their supporters also choose to reject Him and the One Who sent Him...

Then comes the specious claim that these women are "rejected" because of how they were born - I assume this means "as female." Lord, please have mercy on us!

And of course, they could do the work of Jesus if they had not chosen to reject Him and His Church - but facts merely cloud the important things - like prideful arrogance and a lust for some hidden power...

Well folks, thanks for the laugh! It really was a pleasure. Oh, and before you start discussing it amongst yourselves, yes, I do have a degree in Theology and Pastoral Ministry...yes, CATHOLIC theology.


Well now we get to the meat and potatoes - we've been dealing with a woman who has a "degree" in Theology and Pastoral Ministry, and in Catholic theology, no less! I wonder if these degrees are passed from one generation to the next. Maybe Erin is next in line to be ordained - Just think, this could become a family thing.

Lastly, I don't think it makes any difference who her mother is. I don't care to guess. Both are extremely confused, wrong, and heading for disaster and both need our prayers. That they have succumbed to the lures and promises of the evil one is regrettable indeed.

Woman rabbi takes the heat for Catholic ordinations

What a title from the National Catholic Distorter...But I suspect that there will be a litttle more "heat" after the so-called ordinations occur - if you catch my drift.

Pamela Schaeffer writes:
Two Catholic women are being ordained by Roman Catholic Womenpriests here Nov. 11, prompting outrage from Catholic officials -- outrage that, surprisingly, is directed less at the women aspiring to the Catholic priesthood, or at the movement ordaining them, than toward a rabbi who agreed to host the event.

The women to be ordained are Elsie Hainz McGrath, a retired writer and editor for a Catholic publishing house, and Rose Marie Dunn Hudson, a former teacher. Bishop Patricia Fresen, who was for many years a Dominican nun, ordained the women as deacons Aug. 12 and will perform the ceremony here. The women are among a growing number of deacons, priests and bishops ordained in the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement. Based on responses to formal invitations, Hudson said organizers are expecting 300 to 400 to attend.
Quite the gala, this pretend ordination will be.

In keeping with a form developed by Roman Catholic Womenpriests, both McGrath and Hudson have completed a course of pre-ordination studies and were previously ordained as deacons. Both women are converts and both have long been involved in service to the church. Each has four children and 11 grandchildren....

Hudson, a longtime teacher, was certified by the St. Louis archdiocese as a lay pastoral minister in 1998, after completing a two-year formation program,...
A 'lay pastoral minister' - How nice!

and received a master’s degree in pastoral studies in an extension program offered by Loyola University, New Orleans. She was the first woman to serve as parish council president at her former parish, St. Joseph Catholic Church in Farmington, Mo.

As others have repeatedly stated, this 'ordination' sham is all about power and pride...

McGrath worked with the St. Louis archdiocese to develop a family life commission, earned an undergraduate degree in theology at St. Louis University while working as a secretary in the theology department in the 1980s.
Might be part of the problem...? Maybe others know about the 1980s theology department at SLU?

Invited to join the editorial staff at Liguori, the Catholic publishing house, she stayed for 12 years, while earning a master’s degree from Aquinas Institute of Theology in 2002. Her late husband was an ordained deacon in the St. Louis archdiocese, and she attended courses with him throughout a rigorous formation program.
And let's not forget that Liguori was still selling her pamphlets and booklets as of last week.

And is a master's from AI something of which to be proud? And how "rigorous" exactly was the diaconate program years ago? Mind you, I'm asking questions because I do not know? What I do know is that there has been a miserable failure in the past about some of these programs which has led, it seems, to an attitude of rebellion and dissent...It's no wonder there are so many so-called Catholics who pick and choose what they believe - if they believe anything at all.

One can only hope and pray that the Archbishop of St Louis addresses this scandalous behavior, if and when the event occurs. There's still time for these two ex-Catholic women to repent and be reconciled with the Church.

NCR article here.

More articles on this subject are here.

Russell Shaw asks: Can bishops agree on Communion for politicians?

I guess it depends on what one means by "agree"...but the short answer, lacking divine intervention, is probably "no."

"The bishops are not of one mind in discussing this question," Cardinal Francis George of Chicago diplomatically told an interviewer...

They've been arguing about that since 2004, and up to now the closest they've come to agreement was a statement three years ago saying each bishop could do as he thought best in his own diocese...

...there are several important differences between 2004 and 2007 where this issue is concerned...
Certainly everyone recalls that Archbishop Burke stated that John Kerry would be denied Holy Communion if he were to come to the St Louis Archdiocese. And as bishop of La Crosse, Bishop Burke had previously taken that step with other politicians supporting the killing of the unborn.

And many of us painfully recall what happened next, with countless weak-kneed bishops refusing to protect the Holy Eucharist.

... Among the critics of Archbishop Burke's position were prominent members of the hierarchy such as Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington and Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles.

Prominent members of the hierarchy? Only in these eyes of a few...

It's not difficult to see the polarization caused by Mahony and McCarrick on this issue. But they weren't the only ones...

Bishop Donald W. Wuerl of Pittsburgh -- now, archbishop of Washington -- complained about unilateral action by one bishop on a matter affecting them all. He called for a "process, mechanism or procedure" for reaching consensus. accommodating for the bishop/politician - a pathetically sad example of being "lukewarm."

Next week the bishops meet in Baltimore to 'discuss' this matter some more...a matter which should have been settled by Cardinal McCarrick's failed special "Task Force" to formulate a 'report' and 'recommendations' about this issue.

Bishops who oppose refusing Communion say that would politicize the Sacrament, though it isn't clear what they mean by that.

They probably don't know either, it's just a nice sound bite which gives them cover in doing nothing...

Helping set the stage for the bishops' discussion in Baltimore -- along with Pope Benedict's remarks last May -- is the fact that several current presidential contenders are pro-choice Catholics. Another factor is a recent article by Archbishop Burke arguing his position in a canon law journal. Although it's no secret that the bishops are divided, the coming debate is likely to take place in executive session.

In his interview, Cardinal George called some Catholic politicians' voting records "scandalous," but he questioned whether the bishops could agree on a uniform policy.

One can only pray that, between now and the meeting, our Lord will give more of our bishops the courage, zeal and wisdom that so few seem to possess, especially when it comes to proclaiming the truth, and protecting the Holy Eucharist from sacrilege by those who publicly proclaim their support for the murder of the most innocent unborn sons and daughters of God.

Shaw's complete article is here.

Gospel for Wednesday, 31st Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 14:25-33

Conditions For Following Jesus

[25] Now great multitudes accompanied Him (Jesus); and He turned and said to them, [26] "If any one comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. [27] Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple. [28] For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? [29] Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, [30] saying, `This man began to build, and was not able to finish.' [31] Or what king, going to encounter another king in a war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? [32] And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace. [33] So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple."


26. These words of our Lord should not disconcert us. Love for God and for Jesus should have pride of place in our lives and we should keep away from anything which obstructs this love: "In this world let us love everyone," St. Gregory the Great comments, "even though he be our enemy; but let us hate him who opposes us on our way to God, though he be our relative [...]. We should then, love, our neighbor; we should have charity towards all--towards relative and towards strangers--but without separating ourselves from the love of God out of love for them" ("In Evangelia Homiliae", 37, 3). In the last analysis, it is a matter of keeping the proper hierarchy of charity: God must take priority over everything.

This verse must be understood, therefore, in the context of all of our Lord's teachings (cf. Luke 6:27-35). These are "hard words. True, `hate' does not exactly express what Jesus meant. Yet He did put it very strongly, because He doesn't just mean `love less,' as some people interpret it in an attempt to tone down the sentence. The force behind these vigorous words does not lie in their implying a negative or pitiless attitude, for the Jesus who is speaking here is none other than that Jesus who commands us to love others as we love ourselves and who gives up His life for mankind. These words indicate simply that we cannot be half-hearted when it comes to loving God. Christ's words could be translated as `love more, love better', in the sense that a selfish or partial love is not enough: we have to love others with the love of God" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 97). See the notes on Matthew 10:34-37; Luke 2:49.

As the Second Vatican Council explains, Christians "strive to please God rather than men, always ready to abandon everything for Christ" (Vatican II, "Apostolicam Actuositatem, 4).

27. Christ "by suffering for us not only gave us an example so that we might follow in His footsteps, but He also opened up a way. If we follow that way, life and death becomes holy and acquire a new meaning" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 22).

The way the Christian follows is that of imitating Christ. We can follow Him only if we help Him bear His cross. We all have experience of suffering, and suffering leads to unhappiness unless it is accepted with a Christian outlook. The Cross is not a tragedy: it is God's way of teaching us that through sin we can be sanctified, becoming one with Christ and winning Heaven as a reward. This is why it is so Christian to love pain: "Let us bless pain. Love pain. Sanctify pain....Glorify pain!" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 208).

28-35. Our Lord uses different examples to show that if mere human prudence means that a person should try to work out in advance the risks he may run, with all the more reason should a Christian embrace the cross voluntarily and generously, because there is no other way he can follow Jesus Christ. "`Quia hic homo coepit aedificare et non potuit consummare! He started to build and was unable to finish!' A sad commentary which, if you don't want, need be made about you: for you possess everything necessary to crown the edifice of your sanctification--the grace of God and your own will." ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 324).

33. Earlier our Lord spoke about "hating" one's parents and one's very life; now He equally vigorously requires us to be completely detached from possessions. This verse is a direct application of the two foregoing parables: just as a king is imprudent if he goes to war with an inadequate army, so anyone is foolish who thinks he can follow our Lord without renouncing all his possessions. This renunciation should really bite: our heart has to be unencumbered by anything material if we are able to follow in our Lord's footsteps. The reason is, as He tells us later on, that it is impossible to "serve God and Mammon" (Luke 16:13). Not infrequently our Lord asks a person to practice total, voluntary poverty; and He asks everyone to practice genuine detachment and generosity in the use of material things. If a Christian has to be ready to give up even life itself, with all the more reason should he renounce possessions: If you are a man of God, you will seek to despise riches as intensely as men of the world seek to possess them" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 633). See the note on Luke 12:33-34.

Besides, for a soul to become filled with God it must first be emptied of everything that could be an obstacle to God's indwelling: "The doctrine that the Son of God came to teach was contempt for all things in order to receive as a reward the Spirit of God in himself. For, as long as the soul does not reject all things, it has no capacity to receive the Spirit of God in pure transformation" (St. John of the Cross, "Ascent of Mount Carmel", Book 1, Chapter 5, 2).
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, November 06, 2007

Msgr. Perl of the Ecclesia Dei Commission discusses upcoming document on Summorum Pontificum

From the Una Voce Arkansas Ozarks Regional Newsletter:

Msgr. Perl of the Ecclesia Dei Commission on an Upcoming Document (from the Italian Papal news website Petrus):

"It is true, we are writing a document-instruction on the correct interpretation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum which has liberalized the Mass according to the liturgical books of Saint Pius V, as modified by Blessed John XXIII."
Thus says Monsignor Camille Perl, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, in an exclusive interview to Petrus, who adds:

"Though not a Congregation, we have been granted the faculty to prepare this note for the definition of some aspects of the Papal Motu Proprio as, for example, that of the stable group. We will thus clarify what is understood as stable group, how many people should precisely ask their Parish Priest to celebrate in the pre-Conciliar rite."

Monsignor Perl, the instruction is due to the several objections raised by Bishops and Priests opposed to the new rules of access to the Mass in Tridentine Rite?

"The situation is under the eyes of all. Regardless of that, after the Pope's Motu Proprio, it was legitimate to expect contrasting reactions. Some have expressed enthusiasm, some have not. Nevertheless, it is enough to recall that the Motu Proprio did not come down from heaven, but is the result of a long path."
This should be interesting - while the motu proprio was quite clear, it's evident that some have difficulty understanding things which are unambiguous or not unintelligible...

And we are also informed of "An Extraordinary Event in Little Rock"

At a clergy continuing education event on October 16-18, fifty-seven priests and deacons learned more about Summorum Pontificum.

Held at the St. John Center in Little Rock, the group heard Father Laurent Demets, FSSP, current chaplain for the St. John the Baptist Latin Mass Community in North Little Rock, Cherokee Village, and Mountain Home, and former chaplain Father Joseph Portzer, FSSP, lead a program in which the Motu Proprio and its implications were covered in some depth....
Wonderful news!

[This is a ".doc" file]

Thoughts and Counsels - November 7

True humility consists in being content with all that God is pleased to ordain for us, believing ourselves unworthy to be called His servants.

-­St. Teresa
From Mary, Help of Christians
Part VI, Thoughts and Counsels of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Compiled by Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, OFM (© 1909, Benziger Brothers)

Meditation for November 7, The Greatest Evil

A monarch of ancient times, in the kingdom of Persia, one day called together three of the wisest philosophers then known, and asked them what they regarded as the greatest evil on earth.

The first answered: the greatest evil is sickness.

The second declared: the greatest evil is old age.

The third explained: the greatest evil is to have to admit in the face of death that you have bungled your life.

I hope earnestly, by the mercy of God, not to waste my life but to assure my salvation. The true problem is, however, to know whether I shall have acquired for God during my life the merits He expects; if I shall have saved in my lifetime all the souls that were dependent on my sanctity; if I shall have procured for the Lord all the glory that He wished.

To bungle my life. The expression is very strong. But be­tween bungling my life and making it productive of the greatest returns, there is an enormous distance, a tremendous range. If I have to appear before God today, what would I think of my life? Would I be completely satisfied with it? Does it offer, truly, completely, honestly, the expected fruit of my existence?

"O my God, am I not deluded? Is that what a life of a religious means? But no, let me see. Well, but then, what do I expect?"
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Excommunication for New St Stanislaus Board Members?

St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke has warned two recently-elected members of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Church board that by joining the church’s leadership they have committed an act of schism, and he has summoned them to the Catholic Center on Lindell to defend themselves.

Stan Rozanski, 59 of south St. Louis County and Bernice Krauze, 65 of south St. Louis received letters Friday telling them the Rev. Thomas Doyle, their choice of a canon lawyer to represent them before Burke, had been rejected by the archbishop. Instead, Burke assigned them legal representation from within the archdiocese.
These two were interviewed on a very brief news report this evening but I was not quick enough to capture it...maybe I can later. They did not seem too concerned about this - after all, most of those in schism reject lawful authority and make for themselves a new church based on their own desires. They ignore the seriousness of their actions.

Archbishop Burke's Vision For The Future

From our local Fox station:

In Good Faith: Archbishop Burke's Vision For The Future
By Dan Gray

( -- Seeing the Archbishop greet parishioners after a Sunday mass at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, he comes across as a friendly man with a great smile. At every event he stays until every person who wants to meet him has a chance to do so. He speaks with a soft voice but at times he carries the church's hard line.
"First of all as Archbishop, I have to be concerned about the whole flock whether they like me or not or whether they like what I'm doing or not, so that's the number one thing. I never deliberately intentionally alienate anyone and I don't write anybody off," Burke said...

"In the world in which we live some people don't accept everything the church teaches and I'm sorry about that, some Catholics don’t and I'm sorry about that. I have to try and help them understand but my point is I need to keep teaching the faith..."

"...The Catholic identity is very much in danger. Why? Because we live in a culture that's completely secularized. A kind of relativism, a kind of hedonism, materialism and so forth, these kinds of tendencies of our culture, for us we have to resist them. My vision for the Archdiocese, I’ve always used the words, the new evangelization to lead the faithful of the Archdiocese to live their Catholic faith with a new enthusiasm and a new energy that will make a difference in our world."

Something worth noting, as Archbishop Burke tells us, is that Kenrick-Glennon seminary has seen a 50 percent increase in the number of seminarians since last Spring (112 this fall). God is so very generous when his children practice and live a fervent prayer life and are faithful to Christ and His Church.

More here with video.

HLI Condemns Action of NJ Governor and State Senator as ‘Tyranny’

From a Press Release from Human Life International:

FRONT ROYAL, VA — The Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, STL, president of Human Life International, (HLI) today said, “When a state rejects the protection of individual consciences, that state loses its soul.”

Father Euteneuer was commenting on a New Jersey law sponsored by state Senator Joseph Vitale and signed into law by Governor Jon Corzine that effectively forces pharmacists in that state to violate their consciences by filling prescriptions for abortifacient—abortion-causing—contraception...

Day by day, we seem to fall further into an abyss of totalitarianism, where an individual's true freedom is rejected by the state and politicians suffer from illusions of grandeur and power.

Religious persecution of the state, taking the form of coercion under duress, is just one of a number of attempts to impose paganism and tyranny among those who have a sense of moral decency and obligation. The only difference, as I see it, between pagan Rome and a pagan America is that currently the state or federal government does not yet deprive Christians of life - only liberty and livelihood...But this, too, could change - if history is any indicator.

Read HLI's Press Release here.

KMOV Interview of Newest St Stanislaus Board Members

Archbishop Raymond Burke threatens two more local Catholics with excommunication

{KMOV) - St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke is threatening two more local Catholics with excommunication. They are parishioners at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church. That parish has been battling Archbishop Burke practically since he was installed...

Stan Rozanski and Bernice Krauze are the newest board members of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church...

News 4 spoke to those parishioners and an archdiocese spokesman about this new confrontation.
Link here

Video here

Bishop Vasa: Lessons in Obedience...

Lessons in obedience and God's will are part of daily life

BEND — Discerning and discovering God’s will is one thing; determining what one will do once that will is known or manifested is quite another...

There are some, especially some in the Church, who claim that the opinions of those members of the 1968 papal commission who proposed that contraception should be acceptable, needed to be heeded and followed.

Instead, Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical, “Humanae Vitae,” concerning the transmission of human life, in which the longstanding teaching of the Church which proscribes the use of artificial contraception was reaffirmed. God’s will had been manifested. Yet, despite that encyclical, now approaching its 40th anniversary, many in the Church have determined that God’s will for them is that they not listen to or heed this voice of the Church...
Bishop Vasa relates an ordeal with a county planning board which nade a decision on a matter not to his liking...Nevertheless he acknowledges that he is required to obey the ruling - despite the fact that he disagrees with it. But this decision does not bear the mark of infallibility as does Humanae Vitae.

He offers an interesting and easy to understand perspective, especially for those who think disobedience is the answer.

Gospel for Tuesday, 31st Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 14:15-24

Parable of the Invited Guests

[15] When one of those who sat at table with Him (Jesus) heard this, he said to Him, "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the Kingdom of God!" [16] But He said to him, "A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; [17] and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, `Come; for all is now ready.' [18] But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, `I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.' [19] And another said, `I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.' [20] And another said, `I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' [21] So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, `Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.' [22] And the servant said, `Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.' [23] And the master said to the servant, `Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. [24] For I tell you, none of those who were invited shall taste my banquet.'"


15. In biblical language the _expression "to eat bread in the Kingdom of God" means sharing in eternal beatitude, of which this great banquet is a symbol (cf. Isaiah 25:6; Matthew 22:1-4).

16-24. If God invites someone to know Him in faith, he should sacrifice any human interest which gets in the way of replying to God's call, no matter how lawful and noble it be. The objections we tend to put for- ward, the duties we appeal to, are really just excuses. This is why the ungrateful invitees are blameworthy.

"Compel people to come in": it is not a matter of forcing anyone's freedom -- God does not want us to love Him under duress--but of helping a person to make right decisions, to shrug off any human respect, to avoid occasions of sin, to do what he can to discover the truth.... A person is "compelled to come in" through prayer, the example of a Christian life, friendship-- in a word, apostolate. "If in order to save an earthly life it is praiseworthy to use force to stop a man from committing suicide, are we not to be allowed use of the same force--holy coercion -- to save the Life (with a capital) of many who are stupidly bent on killing their souls?" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 399)
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, November 05, 2007

Thoughts and Counsels - November 6

Death is welcome to one who has always feared God and faithfully served Him.

-St. Teresa
From Mary, Help of Christians
Part VI, Thoughts and Counsels of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Compiled by Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, OFM (© 1909, Benziger Brothers)

Meditation for November 6, The Hour of My Death

What kind of death awaits me? A gentle death or a violent death? A death in bed, a death in prison? A death resulting simply from old age; from failing strength, from sickness, from a bullet; or from a cudgel (club)? God alone knows!

If we were living in other times, such questions would be useless or extravagant. But in the period of history in which we live and in which we shall die, all is possible, and we must be ready. Fur­thermore, nowhere is it written that the era of martyrs is closed.

Assuredly, I should not get proud, believing too readily that such little virtues as mine are the seed of the martyr.

Neither ought I to live in a state of cowardice which makes me reject it, a priori, as a too beautiful end, declaring, without any proof, that it is not meant for me.

The right rule of action is to let God determine my future, and my end; I will prepare myself, with all my soul, for my end, which will demand of me the maximum of love. To do that, I will strive throughout my life, beginning today, to live in the habitual gift of maximum love. Charles de Foucauld wrote in 1897:

"Think that you must die a martyr and desire that it be today....In order that I may give you this infinite grace, be faithful, in vigilance and in carrying your cross. Consider that it is to this death that all your life must tend; see of what trifling importance many things seem in this light; think often of this death to prepare for it, and to judge things by their right value."

It was only nineteen years after having written these lines, the first of December, 1916, that Foucauld was assassinated in the Sahara.

My problem is not whether I shall die a martyr, that is God's concern. My problem is to live, and nineteen years if necessary, as someone of whom God can make a martyr.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)