Saturday, January 26, 2008

Just for Today, January 27

O Jesus, the brightness of eternal glory;.the comfort of a soul in its pilgrimage! My tongue cannot express the sentiments of my heart, but my silence itself speaks to Thee.
-Bk. III, ch. xxi.

Apart from the Divine Office, which, although un­worthy, I have the happiness of reciting, I do not look for beautiful prayers in books; there are so many that they make my head ache. Besides, it is so difficult to choose between them, as each is more beautiful than the other, so that I do like little children who cannot read: I tell my Heavenly Father what I have to say, and He always understands.

It seems to me that prayer is just the raising of one's heart and an upward glance to Heaven, a cry of love and gratitude in the midst of trials just as much as in joy. It is the being lifted on to a higher, supernatural plane, where the soul is enlarged and united to God.
-The Story of a Soul (L'Histoire d'une Âme)
For more information, see this post.
Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.

Thoughts and Counsels - January 27

God gives each one of us sufficient grace ever to know His holy will, and to do it fully.
-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 January 27, My Classification

There are four kinds of religious souls:
the perfect
the irregular
the tepid
those who strive for perfection without ever attaining it.

In which category am I?

The best authors say that there are four types of religious souls in every house--of even the most holy Institutes. The authors differ only in this: some, like Alvarez de Paz, affirm that the num­ber of lukewarm and irregular religious is considerable; others, less severe, believe them rather limited in number. Father Louis Lal­lemant, for example, remarks: "In an order in which regular ob­servance is flourishing, the majority of the community are among those who strive for perfection; the rest includes some perfect, a few tepid souls and a very few bad religious."

Do I belong to the worthless? No, I hope not. And if unfor­tunately that should be the case, I must change my life at once.

Am I one of the perfect, one of those so firmly rooted in love that God may ask anything?

No doubt, I belong to the good but weak souls who strive after perfection with intervals of generosity and cowardice.

And yet who knows? What if God wanted to make me a soul perfect in perfection? Where would I be if I had always corre­sponded, if I had always kept in step with God?

Humbly but generously I will conform myself to God's plan for my perfection.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Gospel for Jan 26, Memorial: Sts. Timothy and Titus, bishops

Old Calendar: St. Polycarp, bishop and martyr

From: Mark 3:20-21

His Relatives Are Concerned About Jesus

Then He (Jesus) went home; [20] and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. [21] And when His friends heard it, they went out to seize Him, for they said, "He is beside Himself."
20-21. Some of His relatives, whose outlook was too human, regarded Jesus' total commitment to apostolate as excessive: the only explanation, they thought, was that He was out of His mind. On reading these words of the Gospel, we cannot help being moved, realizing what Jesus did for love of us: people even thought Him mad. Many saints, following Christ's example, have been taken for madmen--but they were mad with love, mad with love for Jesus Christ.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Just for Today, January 26

For Thy will and the love of Thy honour ought to be regarded above all, and to comfort and please a man more than any benefits whatsoever, which he hath received, or can receive.
-Bk. III, ch. xxii.

There is a verse of the Psalms which I recite very reluctantly every day at Sext: Inclinavi cor meum ad faciendas justificationes tuas in aeternum, propter retri­butionem (Ps. cxviii). (I have inclined my heart to do thy justifications for ever, for the reward.) I then hasten to add in my heart: Dear Lord, Thou knowest that I do not serve Thee for the sake of a reward, but simply because I love Thee, and in order to save souls.
-The Story of a Soul (L'Histoire d'une Âme)
For more information, see this post.
Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.

Thoughts and Counsels - January 26

God is supreme strength, fortifying those who place their trust and confidence in Him.

-St. Catherine of Siena
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 January 26, The Different States of Prayer

"There are," St. Theresa of Avila remarks, "four ways of water­ing the garden: with water drawn by hand from a well, which is a very laborious task, or with water drawn by means of a mill which draws much more water with much less effort; or by directing the waters of a stream or a river so that the garden is well irrigated with little labor on the part of the gardener; or finally by abundant showers, a method incomparably better than all the others, because Our Lord Himself waters the garden with no labor on our part."

God does not treat all souls alike; some must exercise themselves laboriously at prayer; let them not be afflicted, they are not less loved, and their way is the most secure from illusions.

Others experience singular ease at prayer; they love to pray, at least most of the time; it seems to them that without their exerting any effort, or manifesting the least concern, the waters of the depths rise, fructifying their lands and allowing them to drink deep of the wells of Jacob.

In certain cases God does all the work; the water falls from heaven. That is not necessarily a proof that the land is better here than elsewhere. It is true, however, that God does not generally shower His choice graces on poorly prepared soil.

"You know, Lord, the status of my prayer. I must not judge it by Your part in it; but by what I contribute to it. Grant that I may refuse You nothing. Deal with me, not according to my desires, but according to Your will. Grant only that I attain the perfection You have planned and that my prayer correspond to Your desires."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Woman Gives Her Own Life So Her Unborn Child Could Live

Seeing this and reading this story, I could not help but think of St Gianna Beretta Molla whose stands out as a great example of a saintly woman who exercised this self-sacrificing love and heroic virtue.

A mother made the ultimate sacrfice by refusing cancer treatment to give birth to a healthy baby boy.

Lorraine Allard was told four months into the pregnancy the devastating news that she was in the advanced stages of cancer.

A further blow came when doctors advised her to terminate the foetus [kill the baby], which was 23 weeks old, and start chemotherapy straight away.

Instead, she insisted on waiting long enough to give her unborn son a chance to survive, telling her husband, Martyn: "If I am going to die, my baby is going to live."

This selfless love and dedication brings tears to my eyes.

A Caesarian section was scheduled at 26 weeks but Mrs Allard, 33, went into premature labour a week before and Liam was born on November 18. [He weighed a mere 1 lb 11 oz]

She then began chemotherapy but passed away on January 18, having left her sickbed a handful of times to cradle her son in her arms beside his incubator.

Lorraine Allard died on January 18. Please remember her in your prayers.

Fanning the flames: Biondi Urged to Speak Out

As reported in the Post Dispatch:

...the Rev. Lawrence Biondi, SLU's president, has remained relatively silent on the issue [regarding SLU basketball coach and alleged Catholic, Rick Majerus and his publicly espoused support of abortion (a woman's 'right' to choose to murder her unborn child) and embryonic stem cell research]. He has not responded to numerous requests from the Post-Dispatch for interviews sent via e-mails, to phone calls and to visits to his office.

Some faculty members wish Biondi or other campus leaders would speak out forcefully on the issue to make clear that the university respects academic freedom and that other employees should not be fearful about speaking their minds.

Once again we witness an attempt to circumvent the real issue which is not about academic freedom or one's freedom to speak his mind. This is an issue of grave public scandal, fomented by Majerus (with the help of the Post-Dispatch), who by first claiming to be Catholic, spouts off about his support for a woman's "right to choose" [abortion, the direct and wilful murder of an innocent and defenseless unborn child] and his support for embryonic stem cell research - again the murder of an innocent human being.

Fools who wish to tread these waters cannot claim that their 'rights' to free speech and opinions are violated when the lawful ecclesiastical authority rebukes them and calls them to recant public statements supporting such immoral and evil acts.

But many faculty and student leaders say they are comfortable with the university's statement through spokesman Jeff Fowler, which said that Majerus was expressing his own opinions and not speaking on behalf of the university. Fowler has not definitively said whether Majerus will be reprimanded.

Majerus, lacking the wisdom to or restraint to keep his mouth shut, expressed his flawed and pro-death opinions after having been picked out of the crowd by a TV reporter who recognized him as the SLU basketball coach...While he may not have been speaking for SLU,he represents SLU anytime he is in public.

The flare-up began over the weekend when Majerus told a reporter at a Hillary Clinton rally that he is "pro-choice" and supports embryonic stem cell research.

Burke responded by saying he would deny Majerus Holy Communion and that SLU should discipline him. Majerus, unapologetic, told the Post-Dispatch that he does not regret his comments and does not expect to be punished by SLU.

He doesn't regret his comments? It should come as no surprise considering his background. This is the attitude that the sin of pride breeds in man. The man consumed by his own pride and arrogance regrets nothing. His eyes are blinded and his heart is hardened.

Majerus has ventured into dangerous territory. His refusal to publicly retract his 'opinions' and repent of the grave scandal he has caused, and continues to cause, deserves to be addressed by the Archbishop of St Louis. Majerus shows no signs of regret, but like all others who obstinately persist in grave manifest public sin, he seems to be inviting the Archbishop to "do something" about it.

Poor Rick Majerus...As I heard so often, "Sin make one stupid"! I wonder if Majerus will have any regrets after the imposition of medicinal penalties?

Does Coach Majerus really think he can out play Abp. Burke?

Dr Edward Peters, a canon lawyer and graduate from St Louis University, reports:

Jesuit-run St. Louis University's basketball coach Rick Majerus (yes, a basketball coach) is telling St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke (yes, the canonist archbishop), to mind his own business regarding Majerus' outspoken support for (get ready for it) abortion and experimentation on embryonic humans! If it weren't that expressing support for such deeply offensive conduct is so deadly serious, I'd be laughing.
Read more about it at:

Gospel for Jan 25, Feast: The Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle

From: Mark 16:15-18

The Apostle's Mission
[15] And He (Jesus) said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation. [16] He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. [17] And these signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; [18] they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."

15. This verse contains what is called the "universal apostolic mandate" (paralleled by Matthew 28:19-20 and Luke 24:46-48). This is an imperative command from Christ to His Apostles to preach the Gospel to the whole world. This same apostolic mission applies, especially, to the Apostles' successors, the bishops in communion with Peter's successor, the Pope.

But this mission extends further: the whole "Church was founded to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the Earth for the glory of God the Father, to make all men partakers in redemption and salvation.... Every activity of the Mystical Body with this in view goes by the name of `apostolate'; the Church exercises it through all its members, though in various ways. In fact, the Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well. In the organism of a living body no member plays a purely passive part, sharing in the life of the body it shares at the same time in its activity. The same is true for the body of Christ, the Church: `the whole body achieves full growth in dependence on the full functioning of each part' (Ephesians 4:16). Between the members of this body there exists, further, such a unity and solidarity (cf. Ephesians 4:16) that a member who does not work at the growth of the body to the extent of his possibilities must be considered useless both to the Church and to himself.

"In the Church there is diversity of ministry but unity of mission. To the Apostles and their successors Christ has entrusted the office of teaching, sanctifying and governing in His name and by His power. But the laity are made to share in the priestly, prophetical and kingly office of Christ; they have therefore, in the Church and in the world, their own assignment in the mission of the whole people of God" (Vatican II, "Apostolicam Actuositatem", 2).

It is true that God acts directly on each person's soul through grace, but it must also be said that it is Christ's will (expressed here and elsewhere) that men should be an instrument or vehicle of salvation for others.

Vatican II also teaches this: "On all Christians, accordingly, rests the noble obligation of working to bring all men throughout the whole world to hear and accept the divine message of salvation" ("ibid"., 3).

16. This verse teaches that, as a consequence of the proclamation of the Good News, faith and Baptism are indispensable pre-requisites for attaining salvation. Conversion to the faith of Jesus Christ should lead directly to Baptism, which confers on us "the first sanctifying grace, by which original sin is forgiven, and which also forgives any actual sins there may be; it remits all punishment due for these sins; it impresses on the soul the mark of the Christian; it makes us children of God, members of the Church and heirs to Heaven, and enables us to receive the other sacraments" ("St. Pius X Catechism", 553).

Baptism is absolutely necessary for salvation, as we can see from these words of the Lord. But physical impossibility of receiving the rite of Baptism can be replaced by either martyrdom (called, therefore "baptism of blood") or by a perfect act of love of God and of contrition, together with an at least implicit desire to be baptized: this is called "baptism of desire" (cf. "ibid"., 567-568).

Regarding infant Baptism, St. Augustine taught that "the custom of our Mother the Church of infant Baptism is in no way to be rejected or considered unnecessary; on the contrary, it is to be believed on the ground that it is a tradition from the Apostles" ("De Gen. ad litt"., 10, 23, 39). The new "Code of Canon Law" also stresses the need to baptize infants: "Parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptized within the first few weeks. As soon as possible after the birth, indeed even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the sacrament for their child, and to be themselves duly prepare for it" (Canon 867).

Another consequence of the proclamation of the Gospel, closely linked with the previous one, is that "the Church is necessary", as Vatican II declares: "Christ is the one mediator and way of salvation; He is present to us in His body which is the Church. He Himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse to enter it, or to remain in it" ("Lumen Gentium", 14; cf. "Presbyterorum Ordinis", 4; "Ad Gentes", 1-3; "Dignitatis Humanae", 11).

17-18. In the early days of the Church, public miracles of this kind happened frequently. There are numerous historical records of these events in the New Testament (cf., e.g., Acts 3:1-11; 28:3-6) and in other ancient Christian writings. It was very fitting that this should be so, for it gave visible proof or the truth of Christianity. Miracles of this type still occur, but much more seldom; they are very exceptional. This, too, is fitting because, on the one hand, the truth of Christianity has been attested to enough; and, on the other, it leaves room for us to merit through faith. St. Jerome comments: "Miracles were necessary at the beginning to confirm people in the faith. But, once the faith of the Church is confirmed, miracles are not necessary" ("Comm. in Marcum, in loc."). However, God still works miracles through saints in every generation, including our own.
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, January 24, 2008

Just for Today, January 25

Let Thy name be praised, not mine, let Thy work pe extolled, not mine; let Thy holy name be blessed; but to me let nothing be attributed of the praises of men.
Thou art my glory; Thou art the joy of my heart. In Thee will I glory and rejoice all the day; but for myself I will glory in nothing but in my infirmities (II Cor. xii, 5).
-Bk. III, ch. xl.

Someone had said to her: "You are a Saint!"

"No, I am not a saint, nor have my deeds ever been those of a saint. I am a very little soul whom God has overwhelmed with graces. In Heaven you will see that I am speaking the truth."
-Novissima Verba
For more information, see this post.
Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.

Thoughts and Counsels - January 25

In vain men try. They can never find in crea­tures sincere affection, perfect joy, or true peace.

-Bl. Henry Suso
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 January 25, Dead

If we were perfectly dead to ourselves, and no wise entangled in our inner hearts, then might we be able to relish things divine, and experience something of heavenly contemplation. (Imitation of Christ, I, 4.)

God is a jealous God. He does not want to be put on an equal with bric-a-brac. When He sees the heart entangled with a thou­sand useless things, He has no desire to impose His presence. No doubt, if such a soul is in the state of grace, He dwells in it, but He is silent; if we do not deign to notice Him, He remains unnoticed; since we prefer something else He avoids forcing Himself upon us. The more inconsiderate the soul, the more discreet He is.

If, on the contrary, someone clings to Him alone, and counts all else as nothing, He is captivated and must always struggle not to give Himself completely. As soon as He discovers the possibility of communicating Himself to a receptive soul, He opens the flood gates: "Make room, I will come as a torrent," He said to Mother Ponnet of the Visitation order. He will say the same to all of us.

Not that He will generally communicate Himself to us in sensible consolations; they are not always His most precious gifts, and the soul at times profits more by something different. We can entrust ourselves to Him; He will take possession of the first place that is free. We may be able to say with Marie Antoinette de Geuser: "My chalice is full, but I wish it were larger," or "Lord, You possess the whole estate of my heart, but make it larger that you may be more comfortable there."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Please Help These Catholic Theology Students!

Our dear friend, Fr. Phillip Powell, O.P., writes:

My senior/grad theology seminar here at the Univ of Dallas is alled "Postmetaphysical
theologies." The class has a blogsite called "suppl(e)mental."

A major part of the students' grades hangs on "doing theology" in public. My goal here is to acquaint these budding Catholic theologians with the weirdnesses of reading, writing, and writing about Christian theology for an audience outside the academy.

The theologies we will be covering in the seminar are decidedly non-Catholic, sometimes downright (though never explicitly) anti-Catholic, and represent some of the best contemporary theology out there. My goal here is to introduce my very, very orthodox theologians-to-be to the veritable circus of theological methods, vocabularies, personalities, and schools that push and pull the faith of the Church in both creative and destructive directions.

Fr Powell will be assuming an additional role as something like "Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts."

These budding theologians will start posting on the 29th of January and do so regularly until May according to Fr Powell.

Fr James Vann Johnston Jr., JCL, Appointed Bishop-elect of Springfield–Cape Girardeau, Mo.

KNOXVILLE—His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI announced today that he has appointed the Rev. James Vann Johnston Jr., JCL, currently chancellor and moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Knoxville, to lead the Diocese of Springfield–Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Bishop-elect Johnston’s ordination and installation as bishop of Springfield–Cape Girardeau is scheduled for Monday, March 31, in Springfield, Mo.
Bishop-elect Johnston was ordained a priest on June 9, 1990; he was the second priest ordained in the Diocese of Knoxville and the first priest ever ordained at Holy Ghost Church in Knoxville.

He will be the sixth bishop to lead the Springfield–Cape Girardeau Diocese, succeeding Bishop John Joseph Leibrecht, who has served there since 1984. Bishop Leibrecht is 77 years old; at age 75 bishops must submit their resignation to the Vatican. The Diocese of Springfield–Cape Girardeau is home to 65,000 Catholics, 5.9 percent of the population.
Good news for the faithful of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.

Wisconson Mandates Murder of the Innocent

For immediate release
January 23, 2008
Contact: Matt Sande, Director of Legislation, (262) 352-0890
or Virginia Zignego, Director of Communications, (262) 796-1111

State Assembly Forces Wisconsin Hospitals to Provide Chemical Abortion
"Chemical Abortion Hospital Mandate" tramples conscience rights, says Pro-Life Wisconsin

Madison – The Wisconsin State Assembly today voted in favor of legislation mandating that all Wisconsin hospitals, regardless of religious affiliation, inform an alleged victim of sexual assault about “emergency contraception” and provide it upon her request. Assembly Bill (AB) 377, the “Chemical Abortion Hospital Mandate,” passed 61 to 35.

“It’s a sad day for Wisconsin ,” said Peggy Hamill, state director of Pro-Life Wisconsin. “The state Assembly has shamefully ignored the fate of embryonic children by forcing Wisconsin hospitals to dispense a known abortion-causing drug to vulnerable women. In so doing, they have trampled upon the conscience rights of hospitals and hospital workers in blatant disregard of our federal and state constitutions which guarantee freedom of religious expression and liberty of conscience. This deadly legislation should never have been scheduled for floor action. That it passed the day after the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade is an added insult.”

Pro-Life Wisconsin’s primary opposition to AB 377 is based on the abortion-causing action of so-called “emergency contraception (EC)” which, under the bill, is defined to include both the morning-after pill and the intrauterine device (IUD). The morning-after pill can work in three ways: to suppress ovulation; to inhibit the mobility of sperm; and, after fertilization, to alter the lining of the uterus so that a newly conceived child is unable to implant in the womb, thus starving and dying. This last action is pre-implantation chemical abortion. The IUD always works to block implantation and therefore always causes an abortion.

Pro-Life Wisconsin commended the 34 Republican legislators and 1 Democrat legislator (Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer, D-Manitowoc) who voted against AB 377.

“We applaud these legislators who courageously held firm to their pro-life convictions and their sworn constitutional oaths,” said Matt Sande, PLW’s director of legislation. “That so many of their colleagues, Democrats and Republicans, flouted both their moral duty to protect preborn children and their legal duty to protect conscience rights is cause for great frustration and anger in the pro-life community. This is a day that will be long remembered.”

The 16 Republican representatives who voted in favor of AB 377 include: Terry Musser (R-Black River Falls), Jeff Wood (R-Chippewa Falls), J.A. Hines (R-Oxford), Dean Kaufert (R-Neenah), Brett Davis (R-Oregon), Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls), Lee Nerison (R-Westby), Al Ott (R-Forest Junction), Jeff Stone (R-Greendale), Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel), Sue Jeskewitz (R-Menomonee Falls), John Murtha (R-Baldwin), Kitty Rhoades (R-Hudson), Robin Vos (R-Racine), Steve Wieckert (R-Appleton) and Mary Williams (R-Medford).

Representing over 30,000 families across the state, Pro-Life Wisconsin will continue to defend the lives of preborn children and protect the conscience rights of medical professionals.
It's ironic that so-called "pro-choice" advocates are so opposed to "choices" with which they disagree. But then, these individuals and groups are not the freedom and liberty-loving people they claim to be - they are tyrants who will stop at nothing to deprive others of their God-given rights so that they can continue killing of the innocent - especially if that means trashing the bill of rights and imposing their dictatorship upon all who fall within their jurisdiction. Actions such a this are the natural fruits of evil - an evil to which all are called to submit.

It's time for leaders of Catholic hospitals to vigorously oppose this intrusion by tyrannical bureaucrats and death peddlers - even if it means persecution or jail. How soon will it be before being pro-life, or pro-family is criminalized as an offense against the State? Should Catholic hospitals close or fight or refuse to obey this illegitmate law?

HT to Darla for the link!

Dr Edward Peters:Argumentum pro: Laity can preside at certain liturgies

In the course of answering some questions about "presiders" at liturgies, Fr. Edward McNamara, LC, made an interesting, but I think controvertible, statement: "Only an ordained minister can, strictly speaking, preside at any liturgical act." That sounds inconsistent with the language used in several authoritative sources.
Read about it at:

And Dr Peters reminds us that this Friday, January 25, is the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the 1983 Code of Canon Law!

Just for Today, January 24

What great matter it is, if thou, who art but dust and a mere nothing, submit thyself for God's sake to men, when I, the Almighty and the Most High, who created all things out of nothing, have, for thy sake, humbly subjected Myself to man?
-Bk. III, ch. xiii.

I will humble myself and subject my will to that of my Sisters in all things, without waiting to consider whether they have the right to give me orders or not. No one, my Beloved, could claim this right over Thee, and yet Thou didst obey not only Our Lady and St Joseph, but even Thy executioners.
-The Story of a Soul (L'Histoire d'une Âme)
For more information, see this post.
Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.

Majerus - Jesuit Educated, 'Nuff Said

And he's a perfect fit for a non-Catholic group...St Stanislaus is accepting new "parishioners." He would certainly be welcomed at the "priestettes" new cult.

Surprised by the reaction to his pro-choice, pro-embryonic stem cell research comments made Saturday night at a Hillary Clinton political rally, St. Louis University basketball coach Rick Majerus spent part of Wednesday morning on the phone, trying to calm his elderly mother.
During an exclusive 90-minute conversation Wednesday, Majerus was civil and respectful in his comments made about Burke. But make no mistake: Majerus is unyielding, and defiant.

"I'm very respectful to the archbishop," Majerus said. "But I rely on my value judgments, thanks to my education at Marquette, which is a Jesuit institution, just like St. Louis. And that Jesuit education led me to believe that I can make a value judgment. And my value judgment happens to differ from the archbishop's."

Marquette University? Who could have imagined that?

Unfortunately, Majerus' "value judgements" are in error. His concept of right and wrong has been compromised by an insidious sense of pride in his own ability to determine what is thruth and what is means to be a Catholic. One need only read or listen to what he says to understand that his defiance and obstinacy are similar to the expressed views of the schimatic Marek Bozek, the board members of St Stanislaus, and the deluded women who pretend to be priestettes, Rose Hudson and Elsie McGrath.

"I do not speak for the university or the Catholic Church. These are my personal views. And I'm not letting him change my mind. I think religion should be inclusive. I would hope that all people would feel welcome inside a church, and that the church would serve to bring people together, even if they happen to disagree on certain things."

While he may not speak for the university, he is a representative of that university and his actions and words are a source of public scandal. His personal views are no longer private - he has made his personal "value judgements" public - and he did so while being a representative of SLU.

And he thinks religion should be "inclusive"? What does that mean, exactly...? Is heaven inclusive? Apparently not, for then there would be no Hell. Is the Church any different? God calls all to come to the light of the truth and accept His commands and He has deigned that the Catholic Church should carry on this mission in the world. The Church accepts all who freely consent to the teachings of Christ and to her precepts. Those who do not accept these teachings really have no desire to be members of His Church. Majerus is either ignorant of what it means to be Catholic and a follower of Christ - or - he willfully rejects Christ and His Church.

"These beliefs are ingrained in me," Majerus said. "And my First Amendment right to free speech supersedes anything that the archbishop would order me to do. My dad fought on Okinawa in World War II. My uncle died in World War II. I had classmates die in Vietnam. And it was to preserve our way of life, so people like me could have an opinion."
No one is denying his right to an opinion. The Church, however, is well within her rights to deny him access to her most valued sacraments since he chooses to publicly embrace the murder of the innocent, thereby causing a very grave public scandal. The door swings both ways and he has chosen, by his denial of fundamental truths concerning life issues, to exit the doors of the Church.

"Hope is the essence of life; it's something we all cling to," Majerus said. "And stem cell research provides hope for all of the people who are afflicted with a myriad of deadly diseases. I owe it to my friend and those who are suffering to be an advocate if I can.

"I just feel like there could be a cure out there. And who knows where the cure lies? We need to keep searching. With stem cell research, to me you aren't destroying life. You're embracing life, embracing hope."
Apparently, setting records for low scores is something Majerus is well qualified for. His ignorance concerning embryonic stem cell research is appalling. What is that embryo, Mr. Majerus, if it is not a human being? At what stage does an embryo become human?

As for abortion, Majerus said his position is simple: A woman should have the freedom to choose.
The freedom to choose to do what? Murder an innocent human being? Complete the sentence, please...

Majerus said he would welcome a visit, or a conversation, with Burke.

"But in the end, it wouldn't make a difference," he said. "Because the archbishop would still believe in what he believes, and I would still stick with my beliefs."
The deadly sin of pride and arrogance. This man may have been baptized a Catholic but he has abandoned the faith in favor of intellectual dishonesty and rebellion.

It must be understood that no one is compelling the man from conforming to the teachings of the Church or to change his beliefs. His beliefs, being in direct opposition to the teachings of the Church however, place him outside the Church and he has chosen to jeopardize his eternal salvation. By defiantly speaking out about his heretical beliefs, he has caused, and continues to foment discord, disunity and scandal.

"The wisest thing probably is not to be involved in any of this," he said. "But I feel like, in my heart of hearts, that I should talk about what I believe in."
SLU has a mess on its hands. And so does the Archbishop. Majerus' antics should not be tolerated, his opinions are flawed, his thinking is defective, and his faith is lacking. He values, not life, but the culture of death and those who promote that demonic culture. He has not the wisdom to know when to keep his mouth shut - and when he does speak, he displays an attitude of arrogance befitting of far too many Jesuit-educated "Catholics."

"A lot of people like the safe harbor. And perhaps my comments will hurt my recruiting efforts, or damage the relationship I have with our (basketball) supporters. I hope not. But I can't divorce what I believe from who I am."
Well, at least we now know "who he is" and that he can't change what he believes...

Professed "Catholics" who are public advocates of abortion and embryonic stem cell research who fail to recant these evil positions should be denied Holy Communion until they do recant. Or until they have the guts and intellectual honesty to leave the Church and find a relgion which fits their sick "belief system."

Source: Post Dispatch

And there is this article, as well:
SLU trustee: Majerus entitled to opinion

Joe Adorjan, the board member who was formerly the board's chairman, said the board has not met to discuss the topic and that board members will likely send their views on the matter to the Rev. Lawrence Biondi, SLU's president.
Speaking for himself, Adorjan said he does not think Majerus should be punished for expressing his views.

"My personal view is that he is an employee of the university and the university is run by a lay board," he said. "I think that's the coach's personal opinion and he's totally entitled to his personal opinion as would be any employee of any other organization."
Yes, he is an employee of a nominally Catholic institution. And yes, he is entitled to his opinion...And he's also free to accept or reject the teachings of the Church. And as shepherd of Catholics in the Archdiocese of St Louis, Archbishop Burke Burke is free to invoke Canon 915, which seems highly probable considering Majerus' outspoken attitude and behavior.

Adorjan doesn't speak for the Church, and Archbishop Burke has not indicated in any way that he speaks for the University. If SLU wishes to ignore the issue, faithful St Louis Catholics would only be confirmed of their belief of SLU's questionable fidelity to the Church. I wonder if Joe Adorjan even cares about that - after all, SLU is run by a "lay board." Sound familiar?

Gospel for Jan 24, Memorial: St Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor

Optional memorial of Our Lady of Peace
Old Calendar: St. Timothy, bishop and martyr

From: Mark 3:7-12

Cures Beside the Sea of Galilee

[7] Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed; also from Judea [8] and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, hearing all that He did, came to Him. [9] And He told His disciples to have a boat ready for Him; [10] for He had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon Him to touch Him. [11] And whenever the unclean spirits beheld Him, they fell down before Him and cried out, "You are the Son of God." [12] And He strictly ordered them not to make Him known.


10. During our Lord's public life people were constantly crowding round Him to be cured (cf. Luke 6:19; 8:45; etc). As in the case of many other cures, St. Mark gives us a graphic account of what Jesus did to these people (cf. Mark 1:31, 41; 7:31-37; 8:22-26; John 9:1-7, 11, 15). By working these cures our Lord shows that He is both God and man: He cures by virtue of His divine power and using His human nature. In other words, only in the Word of God become man is the work of our Redemption effected, and the instrument God used to save us was the human nature of Jesus--His Body and Soul--in the unity of the person of the Word (cf. Vatican II, "Sacrosanctum Concilium", 5).

This crowding round Jesus is repeated by Christians of all times: the holy human nature of our Lord is our only route to salvation; it is the essential means we must use to unite ourselves to God. Thus, we can today approach our Lord by means of the sacraments, especially and pre-eminently the Eucharist. And through the sacraments there flows to us, from God, through the human nature of the Word, a strength which cures those who receive the sacraments with faith (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, "Summa theologiae", III, q. 62, a. 5).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thoughts and Counsels - January 24

We should only make use of life to grow in the love of GOd.

-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 January 24, A Childlike Spirit

Pauline Reynolds, an English convert, wrote the following resolu­tion during a retreat at Montmartre before her entrance, at the age of fifty, into Carmel de Saint Pair in Normandy:

"Our Lord has sustained me all morning in the thought that in view of my age and what my life has been, I need most of all to acquire a childlike spirit, to be a five-year-old child; more than that, to be a child in arms who can neither speak, walk nor help itself, that is turned any way without being consulted and without being given a reason. I had not a very clear idea of this state of holy childhood. I meditated on it more assiduously, while listening to Jesus the Teacher: You must be born again...Unless you become as little children...

"I looked at Jesus the Model, Jesus of the Incarnation, of the crib, of the flight into Egypt, of Nazareth. What silence! What dependence! He is silent with the shepherds and the Magi when He could have told them so much; He is silent in the Temple in His Presentation, not breathing even one word of praise to His Father. Then, what a mystery is the flight into Egypt! He is suddenly awakened and carried off in the darkness. He permits it all. At twelve He seems to break His silence, to emerge from His obscurity. But at the first word of His Mother, He goes back again to dependence on His creature and remains unknown and submissive, which is more than obeying, until the age of thirty.

"And now, He is still a child in the Host. They do what they will with him, and sometimes they are malefactors, robbers, and even alas! unworthy priests who outrage Him. He is a child, He is helpless, He is dependent, He is a minor.

"What a lesson for me! Until now, through the grace of God, I have abandoned myself to Him and His Providence. In the future my aban­donment will include His creatures. I ought to have given myself up to every superior as I have given myself up to Him.

"O Jesus, I thank You for Your divine instructions! Speak to me again. Tell me what You wish of me, and make me what You want me to be. Give me the light to see, the will to do and the power to act."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Archbishop Burke would deny Majerus Holy Communion

And what is the problem with this? As shepherd of the Church in St Louis, Archbishop Burke has no choice but to take this action. People with big mouths telling the world that they profess to be Catholic yet, by publicly supporting abortion "rights," deny the intrinsic evil of abortion, deny that it is murder - should be disiplined. After 35+ plus years of re-affirmation of the natural moral law and the Church's perennial teaching on the matter, it is a stretch to presume that Majerus speaks out of ignorance...

While Hillary Clinton was courting votes, Rick Majerus was courting trouble.

First, he said he was "not going to go there."

Then, he did.

The Catholic basketball coach for the Catholic St. Louis University looked into the TV camera at the Clinton rally last weekend and said, "I'm pro-choice, personally."

That's when the Roman Catholic coach ran smack into the Roman Catholic archbishop.


"If SLU wants to have a policy of, 'you have to be Catholic and believe the Catholic way,' SLU wouldn't exist," said Laura Willingham, research assistant in SLU's School of Medicine. "Should (Majerus) have said it publicly? There's freedom of speech."
Yes, my dear, Laura, there is...there is also the fact that Majerus has caused public scandal in the Church, for which he must now make amends...This "freedom" works in both directions - to publicly support the pro-choice position, he has hs chosen to reject a fundamental aspect of the faith - and he's free to do that. He must now understand the consequences of his actions.

Harold Bush, an English professor who is president of the SLU Faculty Council, said it's unrealistic to think that people affiliated with the university don't have different viewpoints.
More meaningless drivel from another clueless professor...Some people are unable to grasp the simple concept of scandal.

The Rev. Lawrence Biondi, SLU's president, did not respond to interview requests. A spokesman for the university, Jeff Fowler, said Majerus was speaking for himself, not SLU, at the Clinton rally.

"Rick's comments were his own personal view," he said. "They were made at an event he did not attend as a university representative. It was his own personal visit to the rally."
Horse hockey! As a public figure, he indeed represents the university whether he likes it or not....Does one think that the media approached him because he was an unknown? Or was it likely that they were curious why a professed Catholic would be supporting a pro-death presidential candidate?

"The situation has to be disciplined," Burke said Tuesday of Majerus' comments. "You can't have a Catholic university with one of its prominent staff making declarations that are inimical to Catholic teaching."

Dr Edward Peters: Uta Ranke-Heinemann's alleged excommunication

Uta Ranke-Heinemann, the German theologian who in 1985 became the first woman to receive, and in 1987 the first to forfeit, a major chair in Catholic theology, is in the news again, this time using Cdl. Lehmann's announcement that he will step down as chairman of the German episcopal conference as the occasion to remind folks that she was a classmate of famous figures like Lehmann and Ratzinger. [PS note: reported here]

There's nothing new in her remarks; they are assessed elsewhere.

But I paused over Ranke-Heinemann's claim (at times, it sounds more like a boast) to have been excommunicated. I wonder, when exactly was that?

Read more about this at:

Domestic partnership bill and “spanking bill” up again in California legislature

Family defense groups are warning about two bills, now before the California legislature.

One bill, AB 755, introduced last year by Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D-Mountain View), would, “in its practical effect, make a non-injurious spanking with an object such as a ruler, small paddle, etc. illegal. After being arrested, charged, and tried in a criminal court, parents could receive up to one year in jail and lose custody of their children,” said a Jan. 22 alert from the Child and Family Protection Association and the Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense Association.
A bill that would expand domestic partnerships to all adults has also been introduced into the state legislature. In California, domestic partnerships, which currently apply only to heterosexual couples over age 62 and homosexual couples, offer nearly all the state benefits accruing to a marriage of a man and woman.

Domestic partners, says state law, “are two adults who have chosen to share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring.”
I wonder if "domestic partners" will still be able to spank each other without fear of state sponsored intrusions?

Gospel for Wednesday, 2nd Week in Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: St. Raymund of Penafort, confessor;
St. Emerentiana, virgin and martyr

From: Mark 3:1-6

The Curing of the Man with a Withered Hand

[1] Again He (Jesus) entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. [2] And they watched Him, to see whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. [3] And He said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come here." [4] And He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. [5] And He looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. [6] The Pharisees went out, and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against Him, how to destroy Him.


5. The evangelists refer a number of times to the way Jesus looks at people (e.g. at the young man: Mark 10:21; at St. Peter: Luke 22:61, etc). This is the only time we are told He showed indignation - provoked by the hypocrisy shown in verse 2.

6. The Pharisees were the spiritual leaders of Judaism; the Herodians were those who supported the regime of Herod, benefiting politically and financially thereby. The two were completely opposed to one another and avoided each other's company, yet they combined forces against Jesus. The Pharisees wanted to see the last of Him because they considered Him a dangerous innovator. The most recent occasion may have been when He pardoned sins (Mark 2:1ff) and interpreted with full authority the law of the Sabbath (Mark 3:2); they also want to get rid of Him because they consider that He lowered their own prestige in the eyes of the people by the way He cured the man with the withered hand. The Herodians, for their part, despised the supernatural and eschatological tone of Christ's message, since they looked forward to a purely political and temporal Messiah.
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, January 22, 2008

Just for Today, January 23

To Thee I lift up mine eyes; in Thee, O my God, the Father of Mercies, I put my trust. Bless and sanctify my soul with Thy heavenly blessing, that it may be made Thy holy habitation, and the seat of Thy eternal glory; and let nothing be found in the temple of Thy dignity that may offend the eyes of Thy majesty.
-Bk. III, ch. lix.

Make of my soul a sanctuary,
Thy holy dwelling-place;
Make it a garden of delight
Where every flower seeks the Light:
The glory of Thy face.
For more information, see this post.
Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.

Thoughts and Counsels - January 23

Nothing created has ever been able to fill the heart of man. God alone can fill it infinitely.­

-St. Thomas Aquinas
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 January 23, Self-Renunciation

A spiritual writer, who certainly did not lack wit, made this re­mark: "He who proposes to give up all must count himself among the things to be given up."

In fact, what would be the use of breaking with the world and its idols if we keep ourselves as an idol. By the vow of poverty we give up material possessions; that is already a great deal. By the vow of chastity, we give up the affections of the heart, and all who have bound themselves by this vow know they have given up much more than treasures of metal, wood or stone.

It is by the vow of obedience, however, that we give ourselves most completely. It is the vow by which we renounce our whims and desires and by which we bind ourselves to the Rule of the In­stitute. It requires more than the renunciation of material goods and the affections of the heart; it requires the renunciation of the spirit. If it is true that liberty is the most precious thing on this earth, then the greatest sacrifice is the oblation of this liberty to God. That is what enhances the merit of the vow of obedience.

We submit to orders regarding the major points of the Rule, but are we as conscientious as we ought to be in the observance of little things? When our Superior General commands, of course we obey; but do we obey with the same promptness, the same abnegation, without calculation or hesitation when a subordinate superior com­mands?

Nevertheless the voice of God speaks to us through this superior just as well as through the highest authority. If it is the Sovereign Master that we intend to obey, is He not represented at the lowest rung of the ladder as well as at the highest? We need faith and self-denial and must exercise ourselves in them with ever-increas­ing fervor. We must accustom ourselves to submit in the least details. We must see God in all our superiors, whoever they may be, and endeavor always to obey faithfully and joyfully.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

SLU Basketball Coach Catholic? Hardly...

The recent flap over comments advocating stem cell research and being "pro-choice" (pro-death) by St. Louis University basketball coach Rick Majerus are but another example of Catholics who are either ignorant or willfully opposed to the natural moral law and to the teachings of the Church.

Archbishop Burke has responded by stating, in part:
"It's not possible to be a Catholic and hold those positions," Burke said. "When you take a position in a Catholic university, you don't have to embrace everything the Catholic church teaches. But you can't make statements which call into question the identity and mission of the Catholic church."
See video here.

More on this with video of Archbishop Burke is here.

The Post Dispatch has reported here.

SLU, as a presumably Catholic institution, needs to do something about this anti-life, culture of death menatlity espoused by Majerus. This is utterly reprehensible.

And I'm not even commenting about his support for the Hildebeast

Bishop Braxton Issues Apology on Spending

From the Post Dispatch:
Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton released a statement this morning apologizing for spending money from restricted diocesan and Vatican funds. He said he’d found a donor who would contribute enough money to pay back both funds.
While the anonymous donation will replenish both funds completely, Braxton said in his statement, "it does not resolve the larger question of the confusion, mistrust, misunderstanding, loss of confidence, and even anger caused by these developments. I regret this very much, and I apologize for anything I may have done, even unwittingly, to contribute to this situation."

Selling “non-essential real estate" in LA

LA Archdiocesan Catholic Center sold for $31 million to help cover costs of clergy sexual abuse settlement

Influential Catholics Criticize "Call for Civility" in Politics

Washington, Jan. 21, 2008 --- A group of 96 influential Catholics issued a petition today that explicitly criticizes a statement released last November that calls for greater "civility" among Catholics in political discourse.

The signers of the new statement believe the November statement would have the effect of silencing the pro-life movement and silencing criticism of pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

Most of the signers of the new statement are influential actors in the public-square, public policy, or academia. Among the 96 signers are university professors, think-tank scholars, journalists, authors, doctors, lawyers and others. They include such Catholic luminaries as Templeton Prize winner Michael Novak, authors Robert Royal and Peter Kreeft, columnist Russell Shaw and many others.

Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), and one of the organizers of the statement released today said, "Rather than giving pro-abortion Catholic politicians a pass, we should vote them out of office and encourage them to repent."

Michael Novak of the American Enterprise Institute said, "Too often these days civility is defined as giving in to the way the media define the issue under debate, whereas honesty demands insisting upon a different way of looking on things, even when this attempt is treated as a nuisance."

William Saunders of the Family Research Council said, "I signed this statement because, as the Church teaches, abortion is the most important issue in the world; it is not an issue like others, it is not one on which reasonable people can disagree. We cannot let calls for civility toward pro-abortion Catholic politicians obscure our fundamental obligation to oppose abortion."

For more information, click here.

Priest senate chairman: Braxton should speak out publicly about expenditure

BELLEVILLE --The chairman of the Belleville Diocese priest senate said Bishop Edward Braxton should speak out publicly in the metro-east concerning his alleged misuse of local donations to a pontifical world-wide fund to help the poor.

In December, the diocesan finance council sent a letter to the U.S. representative of Pope Benedict XVI concerning the use of money from a restricted bank account assigned to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, an international mission fund under the director of the Holy See or papal office. The money cannot be spent in the country of origin and must be sent to Rome.

The Rev. Jerry Wirth, leader of the 18-member priest senate, of which Braxton is president, said Monday, "In the light of what is going on, he is going to have to do something to regain the trust of a lot of people...."

Gospel for Tuesday, 2nd Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial of St. Vincent of Saragossa, deacon and martyr;
Old Calendar: Saints Vincent and Anastasius, martyrs

From: Mark 2:23-28

The Law of the Sabbath

[23] One Sabbath He (Jesus) was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way His disciples began to pluck ears of grain. [24] And the Pharisees said to Him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" [25] And He said to them, "Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and hungry, he and those who were with him: [26] how he entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?" [27] And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath; [28] so the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."


24. Cf. note on Matthew 12:2. [Note on Matthew 12:2 states: "The Sabbath": this was the day the Jews set aside for worshipping God. God Himself, the originator of the Sabbath (Genesis 2:3), ordered the Jewish people to avoid certain kinds of work on this day (Exodus 20:8-11; 21:13; Deuteronomy 5:14) to leave them free to give more time to God. As time went by, the rabbis complicated this Divine precept: by Jesus' time they had extended to 39 the list of kinds of forbidden work.

The Pharisees accuse Jesus' disciples of breaking the Sabbath. In the casuistry of the scribes and the Pharisees, plucking ears of corn was the same as harvesting, and crushing them was the same as milling--types of agricultural work forbidden on the Sabbath.]

26-27. The bread of the Presence consisted of twelve loaves or cakes placed each morning on the table in the sanctuary, as homage to the Lord from the twelve tribes of Israel (cf. Leviticus 24:5-9). The loaves withdrawn to make room for the fresh ones were reserved to the priests.

Abiathar's action anticipates what Christ teaches here. Already in the Old Testament God had established a hierarchy in the precepts of the Law so that the lesser ones yielded to the main ones.

This explains why a ceremonial precept (such as the one we are discussing) should yield before a precept of the natural law. Similarly, the commandment to keep the Sabbath does not come before the duty to seek basic subsistence. Vatican II uses this passage of the Gospel to underline the value of the human person over and above economic and social development: "The social order and its development must constantly yield to the good of the person, since the order of things must be subordinate to the order of persons and not the other way around, as the Lord suggested when He said that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. The social order requires constant improvement: it must be founded on truth, built on justice, and enlivened by love" ("Gaudium Et Spes", 26).

Finally in this passage Christ teaches God's purpose in instituting the Sabbath: God established it for man's good, to help him rest and devote himself to Divine worship in joy and peace. The Pharisees, through their interpretation of the Law, had turned this day into a source of anguish and scruple due to all the various prescriptions and prohibitions they introduced.

By proclaiming Himself `Lord of the Sabbath', Jesus affirms His divinity and His universal authority. Because He is Lord He has the power to establish other laws, as Yahweh had in the Old Testament.

28. The Sabbath had been established not only for man's rest but also to give glory to God: that is the correct meaning of the __expression "the Sabbath was made for man." Jesus has every right to say He is Lord of the Sabbath, because He is God. Christ restores to the weekly day of rest its full, religious meaning: it is not just a matter of fulfilling a number of legal precepts or of concern for physical well-being: the Sabbath belongs to God; it is one way, suited to human nature, of rendering glory and honor to the Almighty. The Church, from the time of the Apostles onwards, transferred the observance of this precept to the following day, Sunday--the Lord's Day--in celebration of the resurrection of Christ.

"Son of Man": the origin of the messianic meaning of this __expression is to be found particularly in the prophecy of Daniel 7:13ff, where Daniel, in a prophetic vision, contemplates `one like the Son of Man' coming down on the clouds of Heaven, who even goes right up to God's throne and is given dominion and glory and royal power over all peoples and nations. This __expression appears 69 times in the Synoptic Gospels; Jesus prefers it to other ways of describing the Messiah--such as Son of David, Messiah, etc.--thereby avoiding the nationalistic overtones those expressions had in Jewish minds at the time (cf. "Introduction to the Gospel according to St. Mark", p. 62 above).
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, January 21, 2008

Just for Today, January 22

If thou hadst the purity of an angel, and the sanctity of St John the Baptist, thou wouldst not be worthy to receive or handle this sacrament. Take heed to thyself, and see what kind of ministry has been delivered to thee by the imposition of the bishop's hands.
-Bk. IV, ch. v.

The privilege of handling the consecrated vessels, and preparing the linen cloths which were to come in con­tact with Jesus Christ was a great joy to me. I realized how fervent this ought to make me, and often recalled these words spoken to a holy deacon: Be ye clean, you that carry the vessels of the Lord (Is. lii, II).
- The Story of a Soul (L'Histoire d'une Âme)
For more information, see this post.
Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.

Thoughts and Counsels - January 22

A precious crown is reserved in heaven for those who perform all their actions with all the diligence of which they are capable; for it is not sufficient to do our part well; it must be done more than wel1.

-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 January 22, The Privilege of the Humble

There is place for all in "the Wound of the Heart of Jesus," Madeleine Sophie Barat said to her daughters, "but one must be very little to penetrate into the depths, into the secrets of the Divine Heart."

On another occasion she said, "We must be meek and humble with Jesus and like Jesus; see Him alone; then we will be true reli­gious, and the Divine Heart will produce fruits, first in us, then through us in the souls of those confided to our care."

Our Lord spoke of meekness and humility with so touching an accent, because He considered them the chief virtues of the soul, Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of Heart. (Matt. xi, 29.) He even went so far as to say, Unless you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. xviii, 3.)

Not only does He invite us to humility, He even proposes to us His own example.

Alas! It may be that we have faults and even serious faults, and more than once we are tempted to think that they are going to paralyze the work of grace in our souls. If we humble ourselves and make an effort to combat them, nothing is lost.

The saintly foundress of the Religious of the Sacred Heart very justly remarked:
"Faults and failures do not destroy the work of the Good Master, if when we recognize them, we abase ourselves in humility and de­tachment from self. Mercy then acts freely and that is all God wishes; He is powerful enough to compensate for all our deficiencies and to act through us as soon as we, having become cognizant of our nothingness, let Him be Master."
"O Jesus, teach me Your two great virtues, meekness and hu­mility. However imperfect I may be, take me to Your Heart. I will make myself so little that there will be place for me there, a most secret place in its very depths."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Exclusive local coverage of the March for Life!

From Thomas Peters:
I'm a Catholic young adult, studying and working in Washington DC, who is providing exclusive on-the-ground coverage of the 35th March for Life. Here is the link:

Here's what I offer:

All March-for-Life related posts are collected here (includes event schedules & info)

My photographs will be uploaded to this Flickr page, and now include the first batch

My videos will be uploaded to this YouTube page, and now include a few videos

Of course, the lion’s share of coverage will arrive tomorrow evening, after the March for Life.

Diocese bishop opts for circus Mass over Ave Maria's dedication ceremony

Last Sunday, Diocese of Venice Bishop Frank Dewane celebrated Mass at a Sarasota church accompanied by priests wearing colorful Ferris wheels, clowns, giraffes, unicycles, lions and merry-go-rounds on their vestments.

This was the annual circus Mass, Dewane said, honoring the nearly 100-year history of the Ringling family on Florida’s west coast and the importance of itinerant people like circus performers to the Catholic universal church.

Last Sunday, Ave Maria founder Tom Monaghan spoke inside his new 100-foot-tall, $24-million oratory at Ave Maria town accompanied by residents and supporters of the private university in the Catholic tradition...

Last Sunday was the day Monaghan and university President Nick Healy had invited Dewane to celebrate dedicatory Mass at the oratory after consecrating it as a sacred place.

Last Sunday came and went.

Without Dewane’s consecration, no one can celebrate Mass inside the oratory.
Continued troubles in Naples, it seems...

And what's with the sacrilegious vestments?

Gospel for Jan 21, Memorial: St Agnes, virgin and martyr

Monday, 2nd Week in Ordinary Time
Old Calendar: St Agnes

From: Mark 2:18-22

A Discussion on Fasting

[18] Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to Him (Jesus): "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?" [19] And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. [20] The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. [21] No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; if he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. [22] And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but new wine is for fresh skins."


18-22. Using a particular case, Christ's reply tells about the connection between the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament the Bridegroom has not yet arrived; in the New Testament He is present, in the person of Christ. With Him began the Messianic Times, a new era distinct from the previous one. The Jewish fasts, therefore, together with their system of religious observances, must be seen as a way of preparing the people for the coming of the Messiah. Christ shows the difference between the spirit He has brought and that of the Judaism of His time.

This new spirit will not be something extra, added on to the old; it will bring to life the perennial teachings contained in the older Revelation. The newness of the Gospel--just like new wine--cannot fit within the molds of the Old Law.

But this passage says more: to receive Christ's new teaching people must inwardly renew themselves and throw off the straight-jacket of old routines.

19-20. Jesus describes Himself as the Bridegroom (cf. also Luke 12:35; Matthew 25:1-13; John 3:29), thereby fulfilling what the Prophets had said about the relationship between God and His people (cf. Hosea 2:18-22; Isaiah 54:5ff). The Apostles are the guests at the wedding, invited to share in the wedding feast with the Bridegroom, in the joy of the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Matthew 22:1-14).

In verse 20 Jesus announces that the Bridegroom will be taken away from them: this is the first reference He makes to His passion and death (cf. Mark 8:31; John 2:19; 3:14). The vision of joy and sorrow we see here epitomizes our human condition during our sojourn on earth.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Just for Today January 21

Search not curiously to know what shall befall thee, but rather study to inquire what is the will of God, well pleasing and perfect.
-Bk. I, ch. xxv.

This is what thou shouldst wish, that in life or death, God may be always glorified in thee.
-Bk. III, ch. xlix.

Thou hast taught me, O God, from my youth: and till now I will declare Thy wonderful works, unto old age and grey hairs (Ps. lxx, 17).

What will old age be in my case? I see no reason why it should not be now, rather than later: two thousand years are no more in the sight of God than twenty years - or even a single day.

Do not think that I want to leave you, as though it were a greater privilege to die young; I only wish to please Our Lord. As He seems to be calling me out of this life, I cannot help rejoicing; for God has no need of anyone, least of all myself, to do good on earth.
-The Story of a Soul (L'Histoire d'une Âme)
For more information, see this post.
Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.

Thoughts and Counsels - January 21

When faith grows weak, all virtues are weak­ened. When faith is lost, all virtues are lost.

-­tT. 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 January 21, He Hath First Loved Us

The words of 8t. John are addressed to all men: Not as though we had loved God, but because He hath first loved us. (John iv, 10.)

How much more is this true of the religious soul.

I did not yet exist and God had already thought of me. He thought of me not only as one of His potential creatures, but as a spouse whom He would call to His special service.

When I came into the world He surrounded me with attention. I was born into a family in which the spirit of Catholicity reigned. Others, from their childhood, saw only bad example and forgetful­ness of the essential truths of life. From the very beginning I was led into the way of truth.

Later, when I reached the use of reason, God enlightened me, He assisted me, and prevented me from faltering. I was not in­fluenced by bad example or harmful conversations. How many interior inspirations I received; how many exterior helps!

My education brought to light again all the graces I had received. Then came the call. How moved I was at first! Was it possible that God wanted me in His service? What abundant assistance I received when nature recoiled before impending sacrifices.

And in spite of all, the persistant voice, so gentle, so firm, whis­pered, Come, Daughter of God.

I left the world. And since then, what an accumulation of graces! It is too much; I shall never be able to make a fitting re­turn. As soon as I wish to give God a little love, I see that He has anticipated me. He is always ahead of me. He wins at every turn. He is always first.

"Lord, teach me, not to surpass You in love, but not to fall too far short of what You expect of my love."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Voice of the unFaithful Meeting - Feb 16

A recent mailing from the local St Louis Chapter of Voice of the unFaithful has announced a 'presentation' titled "Reflections on the Dream."

Who or what is VOTFSL? From the flyer, we read:
VOTFSL is a forum for dialogue and action among Catholics of the Saint Louis Archdiocese vho are committed to building a Church that is open, transparent, mutually accountable and governed in a manner that is faithful to the vision of the Second Vatican Council.

Unfortunately, VOTF is faithful to its own interpretation of the council and the council documents rather than the Church.

The scheduled speaker at the this little get-together is Fr. Jim Dougherty
Pastor, of St. Mary Parish, Trenton, IL. The flyer continues:

Fr. Jim will reflect on the promise of our church today and of its challenges

Saturday, February 16, 2008 9am-2pm
Eden Theological Seminary
475 Lockwood
Webster Groves, MO

With optional extended afternoon film showing "Deliver Us From Evil"
(Academy Award-nominated documentary film)

Registration: Free Will Offering

*Call 314-258-1280 for lunch reservations*
(suggested lunch offering: $10 per person)

I suspect that there might be a few St Louis priests in attendance in previous meetings like this are any indication.

One might ask if Bishop Braxton is aware that one of his diocesan priests is going to speak to VOTFSL? Maybe this is an opprtunity to enlighten VOTFSL members and participants? This is doubtful since Fr Dougherty made his parish avail to FOSIL last March (2007) for an annual meeting.

Gospel for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

From: John 1:29-34

The Witness of John (Continuation)

[29] The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! [30] This is He of whom I said, `After me comes a man who ranks before me, for He was before me.' [31] I myself did not know Him; but for this I came baptizing with water, that He might be revealed to Israel." [32] And John bore witness, "I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from Heaven, and it remained on Him. [33] I myself did not know Him; but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, `He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' [34] And I have seen and borne witness that this is the Son of God."


29. For the first time in the Gospel Christ is called the "Lamb of God". Isaiah had compared the sufferings of the Servant of Yahweh, the Messiah, with the sacrifice of a lamb (cf. Isaiah 53:7); and the blood of the paschal lamb smeared on the door of houses had served to protect the firstborn of the Israelites in Egypt (cf. Exodus 12:6-7): all this was a promise and prefiguring of the true Lamb, Christ, the victim in the sacrifice of Calvary on behalf of all mankind. This is why St. Paul will say that "Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed" (1 Corinthians 5:7). The _expression "Lamb of God" also suggests the spotless innocence of the Redeemer (cf. 1 Peter 1:18-20; 1 John 3:5).

The sacred text says "the sin of the world", in the singular, to make it absolutely clear that every kind of sin is taken away: Christ came to free us from Original Sin, which in Adam affected all men, and from all personal sins.

The Book of Revelation reveals to us that Jesus is victorious and glorious in Heaven as the slain lamb (cf. Revelation 5:6-14), surrounded by saints, martyrs and virgins (Revelation 7:9, 14; 14:1-5), who render Him the praise and glory due Him as God (Revelation 7:10).

Since Holy Communion is a sharing in the sacrifice of Christ, priests say these words of the Baptist before administering it, to encourage the faithful to be grateful to our Lord for giving Himself up to death to save us and for giving Himself to us as nourishment for our souls.

30-31. John the Baptist here asserts Jesus' superiority by saying that He existed before him, even though He was born after him. Thereby he shows us the divinity of Christ, who was generated by the Father from all eternity and born of the Virgin Mary in time. It is as if the Baptist were saying: "Although I was born before Him, He is not limited by the ties of His birth; for although He is born of His mother in time, He was generated by His Father outside of time" (St. Gregory the Great, "In Evangelia Homiliae", VII).

By saying what he says in verse 31, the Precursor does not mean to deny his personal knowledge of Jesus (cf. Luke 1:36 and Matthew 3:14), but to make it plain that God revealed to him the moment when he should publicly proclaim Jesus as Messiah and Son of God, and that he also understood that his own mission as precursor had no other purpose than to bear witness to Jesus Christ.

32-34. To emphasize the divinity of Jesus Christ, the Evangelist includes here the Precursor's testimony regarding Jesus' Baptism (cf. the other Gospels, which describe in more detail what happened on this occasion: Matthew 3:13-17 and paragraph). It is one of the key points in our Lord's life, in which the mystery of the Blessed Trinity is revealed (cf. note on Matthew 3:16).

The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, of whom it is said in Genesis 1:2 that He was moving over the face of the waters. Through this sign of the dove, the Isaiah prophecies (11:2-5: 42:1-2) are fulfilled which say that the Messiah will be full of the power of the Holy Spirit. The Baptist points to the great difference between the baptism he confers and Christ's Baptism; in John 3, Jesus will speak about this new Baptism in water and in the Spirit (cf. Acts 1:5; Titus 3:5).

"The Son of God": it should be pointed out that in the original text this _expression carries the definite article, which means that John the Baptist confesses before his listeners the supernatural and transcendent character of Christ's messiahship--very far removed from the politico-religious notion which Jewish leaders had forged.
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.

2nd Reading for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

From: 1 Corinthians 1:1-3


[1] Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus,
and our brother Sosthenes,

[2] To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in
Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every
place call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and

[3] Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus


1-9. With slight variations almost all St Paul's letters begin in the same kind of way: there is a greeting (vv. 1-3), which carries the name of the writer, information on the addressee(s), and the conventional phrase; and an act of thanksgiving to God (vv. 4-9), in which the Apostle refers to the main qualities and endowments of the Christians to whom he is writing. By comparing his letters with other letters that have come down to us from the same period, it is quite apparent that St Paul usually begins his letters in the style of the time. yet he does not entirely follow this rigid pattern: he changes the usual opening--"Greeting!" (cf. Acts 15:23; 23:26)--to this more personal one, which has a pronounced Christian stamp: "Grace to you and peace." Also, the way in which he introduces himself and describes those he is addressing tells much more than a simple "Paul to the Corinthians: greeting!" Even his words of thanksgiving convey tenderness and warmth--and their tone is not merely human, for he attributes to God the virtues he praises in the faithful.

The Fathers of the Church have drawn attention to this characteristic of Paul's letters--the way he manages to convey a deep doctrinal message in a familiar style, nicely suited to whomever he happens to be addressing: "A doctor", St John Chrysostom explains, "does not treat the patient in the same way at the start of his illness as when he is recovering; nor does a teacher use the same method with children as with those who need more advanced tuition. That is how the Apostle acts: he writes as suits the needs and the times" ("Hom. On Rom", Prologue).

1. St Paul attaches to his name three features which identify him--his divine calling; his office as Apostle of Jesus Christ; and the will of God, the source of his apostolic vocation.

"Called": this is a carefully chosen word designed to convey the vigorous and personal way God called him. He calls all men to faith, to grace, to holiness, and to heaven (cf., e.g. Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:2; 1:26; 7:20; Eph 1:18). By defining himself as "called" (cf. Rom 1:1), St Paul is very probably referring to the episode on the road to Damascus (cf. Acts 9:1-19), when Christ changed his life, as he had earlier changed the lives of the Twelve.

"Apostle of Christ Jesus": Paul can find no stronger expression than this to describe his mission: he is forever applying this title to himself--thirty-five times by our reckoning. This fact of his apostleship is the basis of his authority--authority to praise, teach, admonish and correct orally and in writing. He is so totally identified with this mission that he has no other purpose than to pursue it; his life is dedicated to this end; all his thoughts, words and actions are aimed at achieving it. Humbly (because he once persecuted the Church: 1 Cor 15:9) and yet forthrightly (cf. 1 Cor 9:1-2) he puts himself on the same level as the Twelve as far as vocation and apostleship are concerned.

"By the will of God": the Apostle's energy and vitality are ascribable not to himself but to God, who had plans for Paul ever since he was in his mother's womb (Gal 1: 15); so much so that later in this letter he actually says, "If I preach the Gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel" (1 Cor 9:16).

"Our brother, Sosthenes": it is uncertain whether this was the same person as the ruler of the synagogue in Corinth mentioned in Acts (18:17). The prominent position given him here suggests that he was someone well-known to the community at Corinth, either for his ministry among them or because he often accompanied St Paul; he may have been the secretary, or scribe, who actually wrote the letter down (cf. 16:21).

2. "The church of God at Corinth": the addressee of the letter. The very grammar of the phrase emphasizes the fact that the Church is not the totality of the local communities: rather, each local community--here, the Christians of Corinth--represents the whole Church, which is one and indivisible: "The Apostle calls it [the community] 'the church of God' in order to show that unity is one of its essential and necessary characteristics. The Church of God is one in its members and forms nothing but a single Church with all the communities spread throughout the world, for the word 'church' does not mean schism: it means unity, harmony, concord" (St John Chrysostom, "Hom on 1 Cor", 1, "ad loc".).

In another three brush-strokes St Paul here describes those who make up the Church--those sanctified in Jesus Christ, those called to be saints, those who invoke the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

"Those sanctified in Christ Jesus": the faithful receive at Baptism the grace which makes them a holy people (cf. Ex 19:6; 1 Pet 2:9); the participle "sanctified" implies something stable, such as is the intimate union between the individual Christian and Jesus. The formula "in Christ Jesus" here refers to the fact that the baptized are grafted on to Christ like branches attached to a wine (cf. Jn l5:1ff); this link with Christ is what makes them saints, that is, sharers in God's own holiness; and it involves a duty to strive for moral perfection. "As those who profess any art, even though they depart from its rules, are still called artists, so in like manner the faithful, although offending in many things and violating the engagements to which they had pledged themselves, are still called holy, because they have been made the people of God and have consecrated themselves to Christ by faith and Baptism. Hence, St Paul calls the Corinthians sanctified and holy, although it is certain that among them there were some whom he severely rebuked as carnal, and charged with grosser crimes" ("St Pius V Catechism", I, 10, 15).

"Called to be saints": through faith and Baptism "all Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of love" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 40).

"Those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ": this circumlocution describes Christian believers (cf. Acts 9:14, 21; 22:16; Rom 10:12); what makes them different from others is that they worship Jesus Christ as Lord and God, in the same way as the faithful of the Old Covenant invoked the name of Yahweh. To be a member of the Church of God, therefore, it is essential that a person believe that Christ is God. "We believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. He is the eternal Word of the Father before time began, one in substance with the Father, "homoousios to Patri", through whom all things were made. He was incarnate of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit and was made man. 'Equal, therefore, to the Father according to his divinity, less than the Father according to his humanity, his unity deriving not from some impossible confusion of substance but from his Person"' (Paul Vl, "Creed of the People of God", 11).

3. Peace of soul, that "serenity of mind, tranquillity of soul, simplicity of heart, bond of love, union of charity" of which St Augustine spoke ("De Verb. Dom. Serm.", 58), originates in the friendship with God which grace brings with it; it is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal 5:22-23). This is the only true kind of peace: "There is no true peace, just as there is no true grace, other than the grace and peace which come from God," St John Chrysostom teaches, "Possess this divine peace and you will have nothing to fear, even if you be threatened by the direct danger, whether from men or even from the demons themselves; whereas see how everything is a cause of fear for the man who is at war with God through sin" ("Hom. on 1 Cor", 1, "ad loc".).
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.