Saturday, June 21, 2008

Just for Today, June 22

Thanks be to Thee, O good Jesus, our eternal shep­herd; who hast vouchsafed to feed us, poor exiles, with Thy precious Body and Blood, and to invite us to the receiving of these mysteries with the words of Thy own mouth, saying: Come unto me, all you that labour and are burdened, and I will refresh you (Matt. xi, 28).

-Bk. IV, ch. i.

Out of Me, both little and great, rich and poor, as out of a living fountain, draw living water; and they who freely and willingly serve Me shall receive grace for grace.

-Bk. III, ch. ix.

All ye who bear a burden
Come unto Me, Who know
A place of quiet refreshment,
Where living waters flow! . . .
O Heart, the well-spring of all love,
Within Thy depths I hide,
And drink the living waters
That flow down from Thy side!

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 - June 22

To judge rightly of the goodness and perfec­tion of any one's prayer, it is sufficient to know the disposition he takes to it, and the fruits he reaps from it.

-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 June 22, False Gods

Of course, I believe in one and only one God. Why, then, this meditation?

It is not at all a matter of dogma but of morals. It is not a problem of doctrine but of practice. I, who in doctrine admit only one God, in practice, perhaps, cultivate a goodly number of idols, my petty welfare, my self-love, my vanity, my satisfaction sought in certain aversions, my too human thirst for success, and a score of others. In Pompeii one can see how the Roman houses were peopled with statues of numerous gods; each room had its own. In the house of my soul, are there not numerous side-chapels, places to offer a little incense to some false gods?

How can I reconcile this inconsistency - a very single-hearted service of God Most High, that I certainly wish to give, and my devotion, on the side, to a darling little idol?

We often read in the Acts of the Martyrs that the pagan judges said to the Christians: "Adore your God as much as you wish, but adore ours also." These valiant souls responded, "No, that is im­possible, there is but one true God, there are no other gods; the worship of the Lord cannot be reconciled with homage paid to idols," and they threw the incense on the ground.

I will be vigilant for the little truancies that might creep into my single-hearted worship of the Lord. I shall get rid of them by purifying my intention. God alone! No compromise. I will re­pudiate all false gods irrevocably.

"My God, grant that I love only You - You alone."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

6th Sunday after Pentecost, Confidence In God's Providence (Extraordinary Form)

Confidence In God's Providence
By Rev. Ferdinand Heckmann, O.F.M.

"From whence can anyone fill them here with bread in the wilderness?” (Mark viii, 4).

In the miracle related in today's Gospel our Divine Savior teaches us an all-important lesson. A great multitude, so we read, had followed Him for three days even into a wilderness. Forgetful of the things of earth, of their temporal affairs, and even of the needs of the body, they were wholly intent upon listening to the words of power and grace that fell from His lips. For, as St. Matthew tells us, "The people were in admiration at his doctrine. For he was teaching them as one having power, and not as the scribes and Pharisees" (Matt. vii, 28, 29).

Such devotion to Him touched the compassionate heart of Jesus. And "calling his disciples together, He saith to them: 'I have compassion on the multitude, for behold they have now been with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And if I shall send them away fasting to their home, they will faint in the way; for some of them came from afar off.' And his disciples answered him: 'From whence can anyone fill them here with bread in the wilderness?'" (Mark vii, 1-4).

A peculiar and astonishing question on the part of the disciples who should by this time have learned in the school of Christ that in all needs we can and must have a firm trust in God's providence and His omnipotent power. They had witnessed on another occasion how their Divine Master fed five thousand men besides the women and children in a miraculous manner. They had seen with their own eyes how with one word He raised the dead to life, restored speech to the dumb and hearing to the deaf, and performed many other miracles, thus manifesting His Divinity and almighty power, that with Him nothing is impossible. How could they doubtingly ask: "From whence can anyone fill them here with bread in the wilderness?"

They knew from the history of their own people how almighty God during the space of forty years had fed the immense multitude of Israelites on their journey through the desert with a miraculous bread which every morning fell from heaven. If they had recalled all this to their minds, how could they have doubted that their Divine Master was able to feed this comparatively small multitude with seven loaves and a few fishes? The Apostles at that time sadly lacked, what is often sadly lacking to many Christians, namely, a lively faith in God's omnipotent power and a firm trust in His providence.

Let us then consider the reason why we should have always a firm 'confidence and trust in God's providence.

No article of our holy faith is more clearly revealed in Holy Writ, more expressly proposed to our .belief by our holy Mother, the Church, and more consonant with right reason than the article which commands us to believe that the all-knowing, all-powerful and all-wise God who created this world rules and regulates every thing in this world according to the unchangeable decrees of His Divine Providence; that this Divine Providence watches over every man and fills with blessings every living creature, so that they will lack nothing if they only have a firm confidence in Him and fulfill the purpose for which they were created, which is to know God, to love Him and to serve Him in this world.

In whom could we and should we place a greater confidence than in Him who has a perfect knowledge of our wants and necessities, who has the power to relieve them and whose goodness and love for us assures us that He will relieve them. Now God perfectly knows everything that concerns us and what is necessary for us.

"All things," says St. Paul, "are naked and open to his eyes" (Heb. iv, 13). "He cares for each one in particular," says St. Augustine, "as if He were occupied with him alone, and He cares for the whole world as He would for one individua1.”

Nothing is so small and insignificant as to exclude it from His care and providence. "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?" says our Divine Savior, "and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore; better are you than many sparrows" (Matt. x, 29-31). If God then cares for the least things that to our mind seem of no importance whatever, how much more careful will He not be of us who were made to know love and possess Him for all eternity. We can truly say with David: "I am a beggar and poor; the Lord is careful of me" (Ps. xxxix, 18).

God knows the needs of His own creatures and from the beginning of the world has cared and provided for them. Before He formed man out of the slime of the earth He created all things necessary for his sustenance and comfort. "Behold," said God to our first parents, "I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth, and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat; and to all the beasts of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to all that move upon the earth, and wherein there is life, that they may have to feed upon" (1. Mos. i, 29, 30).

After the flood God said to Noah: "Everything that moveth and liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herbs have I delivered all to you" (1. Mos. ix, 3). For the aid and comfort of His chosen people He sent Joseph into Egypt that during the seven years of plenty he might provide for the seven years of famine. "Be not afraid," said Joseph to his trembling brethren, "and let it not seem to you a hard case that you have sold me into these countries, for God sent me before you in Egypt that you may be preserved upon the earth and may have food to live" (1. Mos. xlv, 5, 7).

For forty years He provided for the needs of the people of Israel in their journey through the desert. When they lacked water He commanded Moses to strike a rock "and gave them to drink, as out of the great deep. He brought forth water out of the rock, and made streams run down as rivers" (Ps. lxxvii, 15, 16). When they doubtingly asked: "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Because he struck the rock, and the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed. Can he also give bread, and provide a table for his people?" God "commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven. And He rained manna upon them to eat, and had given them the bread of heaven, and sent them provisions in abundance. And He rained upon them flesh as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea. So they did eat, and were filled exceedingly, and He gave them their desire; they were not defrauded of that which they crave" (Ps. lxxvii, 15, 16, 19-30).

When God commanded the prophet Elias to flee before the wrath of Achab, to whom in punishment for his idolatry he had predicted that neither rain nor dew would fall upon the earth for three years, and hide himself by the torrent of Carith, He said to him: "There thou shalt drink of the torrent; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening, and he drank of the torrent. But after some time the torrent was dried up, for it hath not rained upon the earth. Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying: 'Arise and go to Sarephta of the Sidonians, and dwell there; for I have commanded a widow woman there to feed thee.' He rose and went to Sarephta. And when he was come to the gate of the city he saw the widow woman gathering sticks, and he called to her and said to her: 'Give me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.' And when she was going to fetch it he called after her, saying: 'Bring me also, I beseech thee, a morsel of bread in thy hand.' And she answered: 'As the Lord thy God liveth, I have no bread, but only a handful of meal in a pot, and a little oil in a cruse; behold I am gathering two sticks that I may go in and dress it, for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.' And Elias said to her: 'Fear not, but go and do as thou hast said; but first make for me of the same meal a little hearth cake and bring it to me; and after make for thyself and thy son. For thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: The pot of meal shall not waste, nor the cruse of oil be diminished, until the day wherein the Lord will give rain upon the face of the earth.' She went and did according to the word of Elias; and he ate, and she, and her house, and from that day the pot of meal wasted not, and the cruse of oil was not diminished, according to the Word of the Lord, which He spoke in the hand of Elias" (III. Kings xvii, 3-17).

When the prophet Daniel was confined for six days in a den of lions at the instigation of the Babylonian priests, an angel of the Lord commanded the prophet Habacuc to carry the dinner which he was bringing to the reapers in the field to Daniel in Babylon. And when the prophet answered: "Lord, I never saw Babylon, nor do I know the den," the angel of the Lord took him by the top of his head and carried him by the hair of his head, and set him in Babylon over the den in the force of his spirit. And Habacuc cried, saying: "0 Daniel, thou servant of God, take the dinner that God hath sent thee." And Daniel said: "Thou hast remembered me, O Lord, Thou hast not forsaken them that love Thee" (Dan. xiv, 34-37).

In the New Testament God has shown the same merciful care of His own, because in great need He has provided for them even in a .miraculous manner, as is attested by the lives of the saints. Truly has David said: "Trust in the Lord, and do good, and dwell in the land, and thou shalt be fed with its riches. Delight in the Lord, and he will give thee the requests of thy heart. Commit thy way to the Lord, and he will do it. I have been young, and now am old; and I have not seen the just forsaken, nor his seed seeking bread" (Ps. xxxvi, 3-6, 25).

God knows our needs before we are aware of them. According to the Gospel story our Divine Savior knew that the people were in want of the necessary food; they had not to ask him to provide for their needs. Therefore, "calling His disciples together, He saith to them: 'I have compassion on the multitude, for they have now been with Me three days, and have nothing to eat. And if I shall send them away fasting to their home, they will faint in the way; for some of them came from afar off.'" How beautifully did Jesus here show Himself as the true Son and image of Him of whom He says: "Be not solicitous saying: 'What shall we eat,' or 'what shall we drink,' or 'wherewith shall we. be clothed?' For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and His justice, i. e., His love, grace and friendship, and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. vi, 31-33). "And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens. For they think that in much speaking they may be heard. Be you not therefore like to them, for your Father knoweth what is needful for you, before you ask Him" (Matt. vi, 7, 8).

When our Lord visited the two sisters, Martha and Mary, the former was busy concerning the things of the body, how she might entertain her Guest, while Mary sat at the Lord's feet listening to the words of life that fell from His lips. And Martha said to Jesus: "Lord, hast Thou no care that my sister hath left me alone to serve? Speak to her therefore, that she help me." And the Lord, answering, said to her: "Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many things; but one thing is necessary," and that one thing is the salvation of our soul.

We are created for one thing; we are bidden to seek one thing; and we often seek everything else but that. The thoughts that burn within us are often not the thoughts of God and heaven, but thoughts of our earthly success and possessions. We are often too solicitous for the things of earth and of amassing transitory riches to the detriment of our eternal salvation. Man consists of a body and a soul, and he must labor for the preservation and salvation of both, for the Scripture says: "In the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat thy bread until thou return to the earth, out o~ which thou wast taken" '( I. Gen. iii, 19).

God therefore demands that we should faithfully labor for the things we stand in need of, for, says the Apostle: "If any man will not work, neither let him eat." But this care and labor for the things of the body must be secondary and subordinate to the care and labor for the salvation of our soul. "Having food and wherewith to be covered, with these we should be content," says the Apostle. "For they that will become rich fall into temptation, and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition. For the desire of money is the root of all evils" (1. Tim. vi, 8, 9).

Our Lord warns us against this too great solicitude for the things of earth when He says : "You cannot serve God and mammon." And He said this to the Pharisees who were covetous, and they derided Him. "Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat, and the body more than the raiment? God has created our body and soul, and in their union consists our present life. For the preservation of this life we need food, shelter and clothing. Now, if God has given us this life, how can we in any way doubt that He will also give us the things necessary for its preservation? He who has given us the greater, our life, will certainly also give us the less, the things necessary for its preservation. "The eyes of all hope in Thee, 0 Lord; and Thou givest them meat in due season," says the royal prophet. "Thou openest Thy hand and .fillest with blessing every living creature" (Ps. cxliv, 15, 16).

And in order to inspire us with greater confidence, our Divine Savior calls our attention to God's solicitude and care for His other creatures. "Behold the birds of the air," He says, "for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns, and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they?" If God, then, provides all things needful for the birds of the air because He has created them, with how much more reason will He not do the same for man, created to His image and likeness, and redeemed by the precious Blood of His only Son. "And which of -you by taking thought," our Divine Savior adds, "can add to his stature one cubit. If then ye be not able to do so much as the least thing, why are you solicitous for the rest? And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they labor not, neither do they spin. But I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. . And if the grass of the field, which is to-day, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe, how much more you, 0 ye of little faith?" . (Matt. vi, 26-3 I ) .

God, therefore, not only knows our needs, but His goodness will also relieve them. "He is rich unto all that call upon Him." "Christ did not say," says St. John Chrysostom, "God knoweth, but your Father knoweth, so as to encourage men to have greater confidence in Him. For if He is our Father, He cannot disregard the needs of His children. For what father would allow his children to be in want even of necessaries if he is able to provide them?" "Ask and it shall be given to you," says our Divine Savior. "For every one that asketh receiveth. Or what man is there among you of whom, if his son shall ask bread, will reach him a stone? O~ if he shall ask him a fish, will he reach him a serpent? If you then being evil, know how to give good things to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him" (Matt. vii, 7-1 I). "Can a woman," says God by the prophet Isaias, "forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? And if she should forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee in My hand" (Is. xlv, 15, 16). So great is the fatherly and more than motherly care and solicitude of God for us, His children.

If, then, God our Creator and loving Father watches with a tender care and solicitude over all His creatures and provides for their needs, what reason have we not to abandon ourselves with childlike confidence to His providence. Everything in our life depends upon His blessing, and therefore does the Apostle say: "Neither he that planteth is anything, nor he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase" (I. Cor. iii, 7). How useless for us and injurious to God are our excessive cares, anxieties and fears, our desperate efforts to provide everything that concerns our bodies, our earthly lives, our state and welfare, as if there were no one in the world to take care of us but ourselves, as if there were neither a God nor Providence to look after us. "Cast all your care upon him," St. Peter admonishes us, "for he hath care of you" (I. Pet. v, 7).

Our chief care should be to lead a good and Christian life; to observe the commandments of God; to use a moderate and diligent care in, regard to the acquirement of temporal things; to have recourse to God in all needs with a firm assurance that nothing will then be wanting to us. Christ has promised this when He said: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things will be added unto you."
Adapted from Plain Sermons by Practical Preachers, Vol. II(©1916)
Homily by Rev. Ferdinand Heckmann, O.F.M.
Nihil Obstat: Remegius Lafort, S.T.D
Imprimatur: John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

Gospel for June 21, Memorial: St. Aloysius Gonzaga, confessor

Old Calendar: St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Gospel for Saturday, 11th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 6:24-34

Trust in God's Fatherly Providence (Continuation)

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [24] "No one 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.

[25] "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? [26] Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? [27] And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? [28] And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; [29] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. [30] But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? [31] Therefore do not be anxious, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' [32] For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all. [33] But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.

[34] "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day."

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.

25-32. In this beautiful passage Jesus shows us the value of the ordinary things of life, and teaches us to put our trust in God's fatherly providence. Using simple examples and comparisons taken from everyday life, He teaches us to abandon ourselves into the arms of God.

27. The word "span" could be translated as "stature", but "span" is closer to the original (cf. Luke 12:25). A "cubit" is a measure of length which can metaphorically refer to time.

33. Here again the righteousness of the Kingdom means the life of grace in man--which involves a whole series of spiritual and moral values and can be summed up in the notion of "holiness". The search for holiness should be our primary purpose in life. Jesus is again insisting on the primacy of spiritual demands. Commenting on this passage, Pope Paul VI says: "Why poverty? It is to give God, the Kingdom of God, the first place in the scale of values which are the object of human aspirations. Jesus says: `Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness'. And He says this with regard to all the other temporal goods, even necessary and legitimate ones, with which human desires are usually concerned. Christ's poverty makes possible that detachment from earthly things which allows us to place the relationship with God at the peak of human aspirations" ("General Audience", 5 January 1977).

34. Our Lord exhorts us to go about our daily tasks serenely and not to worry uselessly about what happened yesterday or what may happen tomorrow. This is wisdom based on God's fatherly providence and on our own everyday experience: "He who observes the wind will not sow; and he who regards the clouds will not reap" (Eccles 11:4).

What is important, what is within our reach, is to live in God's presence and make good use of the present moment: "Do your duty `now', without looking back on `yesterday', which has already passed, or worrying over `tomorrow', which may never come for you" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 253).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Minnesota Archdiocese "Gay" Pride Activities at St Joan of Arc


The bulletin states (as shown in this screen capture):

Pride Week at SJA: Please join us on Wednesday, June 25 at 7 pm in the church for a prayer service to celebrate and give thanks for the gifts of our Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered community. Celebrate with us in prayer and song - we'll be joined by guest musician and SJA favorite Ann Reed. This service is part of Pride week in the Twin Cities. FFI on the week's events contact Julie Madden at the Parish Center.

For more information contact:
Father James Cassidy Phone: 612.823.8205
Father James Debruycker -,

As announced in the Saint Joan of Arc bulletin last week (see above):

See a more extensive list of MN Catholic GLBT Archdiocese Activities at:

Check out the parish calender for the Voice of the Faithful meeting on June 26:
Perhaps Archbishop Nienstedt is not yet aware of this?

HT to PC for the links.

Just for Today, June 21

They may indeed sound forth words, but they give not the spirit. They speak well; but if Thou be silent, they do not set the heart on fire. They work only outwardly, but Thou instructest and enlightenest the heart.

-Bk. III, ch. ii.

You tell me that my letters do you good. I am glad to hear it, but I do not deceive myself. Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain tnat build it (Ps. cxxvi). Unless grace touches the heart, the most elo­quent discourse cannot draw from a single act of love.

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 - June 21

As clouds obscure the sun, so bad thaughts darken and destroy the brightness of the soul.

-Ven. Louis of Granada.
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 June 21, God Be Praised

St. Magdalene of Pazzi had a revelation of the glory that Aloysius Gonzaga gave to God by his fervent habit of ejaculatory prayers.

How many times a day it happens that I pronounce the joyous exclamation "God be praised," or others similiar, from my awak­ening in the morning when the Benedicamus Domino invites me to a generous, hearty "Praised be the Lord," on through all the Deo Gratias of the entire day, especially in my prayer in choir, until my thanksgiving in Evening Prayer.

Do I put into this expression all it means?

Do I always give it its full value? Or is it not rather a matter of routine, sounds uttered without thinking of them or at least without attaching to them any significance.

I ought to endeavor more than I do to make all the prayers I offer, more meaningful; to make them truly prayers - truly the elevation of my heart to God. Without doubt, in virtue of my general good will and the offering of my whole life to God, even those expressions which are unaccompanied by an explicit inten­tion, glorify God in some manner. But how much richer would the offering be if my heart were more fully in it!

There is one occasion particularly when I will try to give my Deo Gratias its full value and significance, and that is when I meet with suffering. Instead of becoming irritated or writhing under it, I will try to pronounce a cordial and vigorous "Thank you, Lord." "A single God be praised in suffering," the saintly Mother Barat used to say, "is worth more than a thousand in joy."

Blessed be God! God be praised! Deo Gratias in everything, always and everywhere, especially when things go badly or com­pletely awry.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Barat Academy offering scholarships

by Barbara Watkins, Review Staff Writer

Barat Academy, the newest Catholic high school in the archdiocese, has $500,000 in scholarships available to eligible students for the 2008-2009 school year.

Barat Academy opened last fall in Dardenne Prairie in West St. Charles County. It is a private independent college preparatory school offering single-gender education to boys and girls modeled in the traditions of Sacred Heart education.

The scholarships are part of the newly established St. Madeleine Sophie Barat Fund, named after the foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart for whom the school is named.

"This is a very exciting opportunity for us as a new school," said Debby Watson, president of Barat Academy.

"The scholarships are meritbased," she said. "And we have increased our financial aid potential.

Our board has committed that we will meet 100 percent of the demonstrated financial need of any student who qualifies — judged on academic standards, college-bound students with good marks and citizenship."

In its first year, Barat Academy had only a freshman class.

A new freshman class will be added each year for the next three years, so that by 2010 the school will have freshmen through seniors.

Last year an anonymous donor came forward to provide full tuition — at a cost of $11,000 a student — for the first 150 students in the freshman class.

"Only 83 students qualified, so we asked if we could commit the rest of that original donation into a scholarship fund. And the donor agreed," Watson said.

There are six scholarships, each with multiple award recipients, with criteria ranging from academics to leadership and faith. Awards will range from $500 to $7,500.

"We have openings in both freshman and sophomore classes for the fall," Watson said. "We have about 120 registered so far and hope to increase it to 160, so we are taking additional qualified students in both grades."

In addition to academic excellence Barat Academy offers a full range of athletic programs, Watson said. Ground-breaking is scheduled for Monday, June 23, on a new stadium that includes an eight-lane track and synthetic turf field.

"After our first year, the students and the families we have been able to serve have far surpassed any expectations we ever had. We are living St. Madeleine Sophie’s vision in St. Charles County," Watson said.

Source: St Louis Review

“In Every Place There Is Sacrifice”

by Fr. F. X. Lasance

“Did you ever think that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is being offered in some part of the world every hour of your life? When it is midnight in New York, Masses are beginning in the churches of Italy. There ancient altars, at which Saints have knelt, are lit up with tapers, and the Vicar of Christ and thousands of priests are lifting holy hands up to Heaven. A little later and the bells of a thousand towers of France begin to sprinkle the air with holy sounds; and in every city, town and hamlet, kneeling crowds adore the chastening hand of God and pray for sinners who despise His ordinances.

“Chivalric and religious Spain catches the echoes, and when it is one a.m. in New York, offers the great Sacrifice in countless splendid churches. And then Catholic Ireland, the “Island of Saints”, which had during many centuries suffered for the Faith, rallies anew around the altars it would never forsake. At two o’clock and after, the priests of the islands of the Atlantic- perhaps the Cape Verde – white-robed and stoled and wearing the great cross on their shoulders, bend before the tabernacle. An hour later a courageous missionary lifts up the chalice of salvation on the ice-bound coast of Greenland.

“At half-past four the sacred lamps twinkle through the fogs of Newfoundland; and at five, Nova Scotia’s industrious population begins the day attending Mass. And now all the Canadian churches and chapels grow radiant as the faithful people – the habitant of the country, the devout citizen, the consecrated nun, and the innocent – hasten to unite their prayers around the sanctuary where the priest is awaiting them. At six, how many souls are flocking to the churches of New York, eager to begin the day of labor with the holiest act of religion! Many young people, too, gather around the altar at a later hour, like the fresh flowers open with the morning, and offer their dewy fragrance to Heaven. An hour later the bells of Missouri and Louisiana are ringing; and at eight, Mexico, true to her faith, bends before her glittering altars. At nine the devout tribes of Oregon follow their beloved black gown to their gay chapels, and California awhile loosens its grasp on its gold to think of the treasure that rust doth not corrupt.

“And when the Angelus bell is ringing at noon in New York, the unbloody Sacrifice is being offered up in the islands of the Pacific, where there are generous souls laboring for our dear Lord. And so the bells are ringing on, on, over the waters, and one taper after another catches the light of faith, making glad all the isles of the sea. At two the zealous missionaries of Australia are murmuring with haste, eager for the coming of Our Lords: “Introibo ad altare Dei.” And all the spicy islands of the East catch the sweet sounds, one after another, till at four in the afternoon China proves there are many souls who are worthy of the name of celestial by their rapt devotion at the early rite. Then in Tibet there is many a modest chapel where the missionary distributes the Bread of Life to a crowd of hungry souls.

“At six the altars of Hindustan, where St. Francis Xavier ministered, are arrayed with their flowers and lamps and the sacred vessels, and unwearied priests are hastening to fortify their souls before him Who is their life and their strength. At nine in Siberia, where many a poor Catholic exile from Poland has no other solace from his woes but the foot of the altar and the Bread of Heaven. During the hours when New York is gay with parties and balls and theatrical amusements, the holiest of rites is going on in the Indian Ocean and among the sable tribes of Africa, whose souls are so dear to the Saviour Who once died for all. At eleven in Jerusalem, the Holy City over which Jesus wept, where He wrought so many miracles, where He suffered and offered Himself a sacrifice for the whole world.

“When midnight sounds again in New York, the silver bells are tinkling again in every chancel in Rome. And so it goes on; the divine Host is constantly rising like the sun in its course around the earth. Thus are fulfilled the words of the prophet Malachias [1:11]: ‘From the rising of the sun even to the going down thereof, My name is great among the Gentiles; and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to My name a clean oblation: for My name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts.’”

“Not an instant of time passes that Mass is not offered, and the Host not adored. Talk of an Empire on which the sun never sets, of the British reveille drum ever beating as our planet revolves on its axis and the day chases night around the globe; what is that to the unending oblation of the Catholic Church? What moment is not a priest’s voice uttering ‘Te igitur, clementissime Pater!’ What moment is not counted by the bell which announces the silent and invisible coming of their God to prostrate adorers in some quiet sanctuary, in Europe, or in Asia, or in America, in the Atlantic cities or in the woods of Oregon, in the Alps or on the Andes, on the vast terra firma all along the Meridians or on the scattered islands of the sea?”

- Webster (Knickerbockers’ Mag., p. 638, vol. 38, 1851).

HT to Mark S. for the info.

News Updates, 6/20/08

Your [religious] beliefs are going to be called “hatred”

Croatian Bishops: Baptism only for active Catholic families
Croatians want to see evidence of seriousness about faith

'Christian holy wine' factory found in Egypt

Archaeologists discover two presses with large crosses

California Pro-lifers get frosty reception from some legislators during Capitol Day for Life lobbying sessions

Group files suit over 'I Believe' plates in SC

Vatican tribunal denies St. Frances Cabrini Church appeal
Parishioners have held sit-in/vigil since 2004 closing announcement

Jeremiah Wright, Michael Pfleger appear together,
Double-teams annual banquet of the Cook County Bar Association, the country’s oldest black lawyers’ association

High school students had pact to get pregnant
None of the girls was over 16

"Irrevocably deadlocked"
Jury can’t decide whether man who participated in deadly altercation committed hate crime against homosexual

Gospel for Friday, 11th Week in Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: St. Silverius, pope and martyr

From: Matthew 6:19-23

Trust in God's Fatherly Providence

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [19] "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, [20] but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. [21] For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

[22] "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; [23] but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness."


19-21. The idea here is very clear: man's heart yearns for a treasure which will give him security and happiness. However, every treasure in the form of earthly goods--wealth, property--becomes a constant source of worry, because there is always the risk we will lose it or because the effort to protect it is such a strain.

Against this, Jesus teaches us here that our true treasure lies in good works and an upright life, which will be eternally rewarded by God in Heaven. That indeed is treasure which one never loses, a treasure on which Christ's disciple should put his heart.

Jesus closes the teaching contained in the preceding verses with a kind of refrain (verse 21). He is not saying that people should be unconcerned about earthly things; what He does say is that no created thing can be "the treasure", the ultimate aim, of man. What man should do is make his way to God, sanctify himself and give all glory to God, by making right use of the noble things of the earth: "Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31; cf. Colossians 3:17).

22-23. Here is another jewel of Jesus' wisdom teaching. It begins with a sentence which is then immediately explained. The Master uses the simile of the eye as a lamp which provides the body with light. Christian exegesis has seen this "eye", this "lamp", as meaning the motivation behind our behavior. St. Thomas explains it in this way: The eye refers to motive. When a person wants to do something, he first forms an intention: thus, if your intention is sound--simple and clear--that is to say, if it is directed towards God, your whole body, that is, all your actions, will be sound, sincerely directed towards good" (St. Thomas Aquinas, "Commentary on St. Matthew", 6, 22-23).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pope would like Tridentine Mass in each parish, Vatican official says

LONDON (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI would like every Catholic parish in the world to celebrate a regular Tridentine-rite Mass, a Vatican cardinal has said.

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos also told a June 14 press conference in London that the Vatican was writing to all seminaries to ask that candidates to the priesthood are trained to celebrate Mass according to the extraordinary form of the Latin rite, also known as the Tridentine Mass, restricted from the 1970s until July 2007 when Pope Benedict lifted some of those limits....
This is such wonderful news!

Just for Today, June 20

Fly the tumult of men as much as thou canst, for treating of worldly affairs hinders very much, although they be discoursed of with a simple intention. For we are quickly defiled and ensnared with vanity.

But devout conferences concerning spiritual things, help very much to spiritual progress; especially where persons of the same mind and spirit are associated together in God.

-Bk. I, ch. x.

Instead of separating us, the grille at Carmel united us more closely than ever: our life was made up of the same thoughts and desires, the same love of Jesus and of souls. The things of this world were never the theme of our conversations. At Les Buissonnets we used to gaze far into beyond the stars, but in the parlour it was our hearts that reached out, and we chose contempt and suffering in this world, that we might enjoy eternal happiness in the next.

-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 - June 20

The benefits to be derived from spiritual read­ing do not merely consist in impressing on the memory the precepts set forth, but in opening the heart to them, that they may bear fruit.

-Ven. Louis de Blois.
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 June 20, Love is a Great Thing

Magna res amor. Love is a great thing. Am I convinced of it? What esteem have I for this most sublime of virtues? What knowl­edge of the attentions that it supposes? What zeal for the mani­festations love demands?

"O charity," a doctor used to say, "if I knew your value, I would give any price to have you."

But I am far from possessing a like enthusiasm, a like apprecia­tion, and yet, I pride myself on my good judgment!

To love, as far as I am concerned, is such a little thing and it receives so little of my attention.

In order to reveal to one of His favorite servants what His love for her was in comparison with hers for Him, Our Lord plunged Angela of Foligno into a distress beyond description. She had such a realization of the nothingness of her own love in contrast with that of her Savior that she no longer wished to live. Her suf­fering was a true crucifixion.

Lord, let me understand, not in a manner that is beyond me, but by faith, how great a thing love is in You, and what a great thing love ought also to be in me. Grant that I may not always offer You such a thimble-like capacity for loving. I wish so much to love You. You know it. And then again - I do not wish it.

"Confidence, my daughter, to wish to love is to love. To com­plain loyally of one's little love is to have begun to understand what a great thing love is."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Cardinal Ouellet Praises Humanae Vitae

Abortion the Consequence of the 'Culture of Contraception'
Says controversial encyclical "was not taught enough" and because "we have not followed it, we have seen the consequences."

at LifeSiteNews

Did Catholic charity staff help teen get abortion?

Joanne D. Nattrass, executive director of Commonwealth Catholic Charities...said in a statement that Catholic Charities staff members assisted the girl in preparations leading up to the abortion.
What exactly does "assisted the girl in preparations leading up to the abortion" mean? Everything up and until when the "doctor" (murderer) performed his execution?

A social worker signed a consent form and "a person associated with CCC" took her to and from the abortion facility, Nattrass said.
Was this a State "social worker" or someone in the employ of CCC? And what does "a person associated with CCC" really mean - volunteer? staff member?

Two months earlier, Catholic Charities staff assisted the girl in the implantation of a contraceptive device, she said.
It sounds like there are real problems at this "Catholic charity." It's difficult, at best, to believe that this was an isolated incident.

"Both the implantation of the contraceptive device and the abortion were contrary to basic teachings of the Catholic [C]hurch," Nattrass said in the statement.
One can't help but wonder when she come to this realization?

She said that she is not aware of any other previous abortions involving minors in Catholic Charities' care.
Was she even aware of this one before it became public knowledge? Perhaps an investigation is in order? Sounds like someone is unaware of what goes on under her "watch." How many others have been treated with such "loving care" from this organization? Sounds more like a Planned Parenthood office than a Catholic charity!

I cannot help but feel sorrow and grief for the teenager and her murdered child...May the Lord grant both of them peace.

Making St Francis Proud?

For the longest time Tuesday morning, Brother Richard Jonathan, a member of the Society of Saint Francis, was the only one carrying a sign outside San Francisco City Hall as cameras whirred and gay men and lesbians filed in to be legally hitched.

Anyone who has paid attention to the Roman Catholic hierarchy’s official disappointment over the state Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling a month ago could be forgiven for looking twice at Jonathan’s placard. “Franciscans for Same-Sex Marriage,” it read....

An open and public scandal - what actions, we ask, will his superiors take to remedy this scandalous public rebellion? What about the bishop where this travesty occurred?

Brother Jonathan is ill-educated and confused about God, Jesus, and "love." Perhaps he should not be allowed in public anymore - except, of course, for his coming public penance [Uh, right!]?

By his actions, he trashes Our Lord, the Church, St Francis, and all of the faithful. He harms those afflicted with homosexual inclinations by encouraging them to engage in perversion and hedonism while erroneously calling it 'love.'

St Francis, please pray for the conversion of your wayward brothers.

Haditha Marine prepares to sue Murtha over smear

Congressman had accused soldiers of killing 'in cold blood'

In an interview with nationally syndicated radio talk host Michael Savage, the lead attorney for Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani said he and his client will look into suing [Democratic Rep. John] Murtha and the Time magazine reporter, Tim McGuirk, who first published the accusations by Iraqi insurgents.

But the attorney, Brian Rooney, said nothing will happen immediately because he wants Chessani, described as a devout Christian and the father of six homeschooled children, completely "out of the woods" legally before any action is taken. The government, through Lt. Col. S.M. Sullivan, today filed a notice that it would appeal the case to the next judicial level.

Murtha fueled the case by declaring that the Marines involved were cold-blooded killers. Murtha should face the harshest judgment possible for his actions or words! The Thomas More Law Center, which handled this case, deserves a our support and gratitude. And all of us, unlike many of the traitors in Washington DC, should thank our brave fighting men and women and pray for them daily.

News Updates, 6/19/08

Vatican to mark anniversary of death of Pope Pius XII
An AP article, no excerpts.

Well-loved Catholic author Ann Ball passes away
Houston, Jun 9, 2008 / 05:45 pm (CNA).- Ann Ball, a prolific author who wrote lives of the saints alongside Catholic cookbooks, died of a heart attack shortly before midnight on Sunday...

The new Da Vinci Code: Secrets of the Sistine Chapel (The Times)
Forget The Da Vinci Code. "Experts" are now convinced that Michelangelo painted subversive messages into his frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Is there any truth in their claims — or are their imaginations running away with them?

Pro-lifers Baffled by Archdiocese: Another Strike, but No Outs as Obama's Chicago Priest Returns to Parish
Rev. Michael Pfleger returns, but pro-lifers ask why it takes racial taunting of Clinton and not abortion to put priest on leave

The “ingenuity of the devout”
Barack Obama does not “disregard doubt” – even that shown by pro-lifers, says Pepperdine’s Douglas Kmiec

Bishop Serratelli: The language of the liturgy-- the value of the new translations
(Paterson Beacon)

African Diplomats, Take Note: This Is How the Church Works (Chiesa)
They came to Rome from 22 African countries, for an intensive course on the foreign policy of the Holy See. Their instructors included the heads of Vatican diplomacy. They left again enthusiastic. It is on their continent that Catholicism is growing most vigorously

Catholic sex abuse crisis far from over in Vermont
In Diocese of Burlington, the worst is yet to come

German Lutherans Poised to Elect Active Homosexual Bishop

Cross-dressing students get 'transvestite toilet',
ten percent at Thai school say they're transgendered

Gospel for Thursday, 11th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial of St. Romuald, abbot
Old Calendar: St. Juliana of Falconieri, virgin; Saints Gervase and Protase, martyrs

From: Matthew 6:7-15

An Upright Intention in Almsgiving, Prayer and Fasting (Continuation)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) [7] "And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. [8] Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. [9] Pray then like this: Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. [10] Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. [11] Give us this day our daily bread; [12] And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors; [13] And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [14] For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father also will forgive you; [15] but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

7-8. Jesus condemns the superstitious notion that long prayers are needed to attract God's attention. True piety is not so much a matter of the amount of words as of the frequency and the love with which the Christian turns towards God in all the events, great or small, of his day. Vocal prayer is good, and necessary; but the words count only if they express our inner feelings.

9-13. The "Our Father" is, without any doubt, the most commented-on passage in all Sacred Scripture. Numerous great Church writers have left us commentaries full of poetry and wisdom. The early Christians, taught by the precepts of salvation, and following the divine commandment, centered their prayer on this sublime and simple form of words given them by Jesus. And the last Christians, too, will raise their hearts to say the "Our Father" for the last time when they are on the point of being taken to Heaven. In the meantime, from childhood to death, the "Our Father" is a prayer which fills us with hope and consolation. Jesus fully realized how helpful this prayer would be to us. We are grateful to Him for giving it to us, to the Apostles for passing it on to us and, in the case of most Christians, to our mothers for teaching it to us in our infancy. So important is the Lord's Prayer that from apostolic times it has been used, along with the Creed, the Ten Commandments and the Sacraments, as the basis of Christian catechesis. Catechumens were introduced to the life of prayer by the "Our Father", and our catechisms today use it for that purpose.

St. Augustine says that the Lord's Prayer is so perfect that it sums up in a few words everything man needs to ask God for (cf. "Sermon", 56). It is usually seen as being made up of an invocation and seven petitions--three to do with praise of God and four with the needs of men.

9. It is a source of great consolation to be able to call God "our Father"; Jesus, the Son of God, teaches men to invoke God as Father because we are indeed His children, and should feel towards Him in that way.

"The Lord [...] is not a tyrannical master or a rigid and implacable judge; He is our Father. He speaks to us about our lack of generosity, our sins, our mistakes; but He also does so in order to free us from them, to promise us His friendship and His love [...]. A child of God treats the Lord as his Father. He is not obsequious and servile, he is not merely formal and well-mannered; he is completely sincere and trusting" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 64).

"Hallowed by Thy name": in the Bible a person's "name" means the same as the person himself. Here the name of God means God Himself. Why pray that His name be hallowed, sanctified? We do not mean sanctification in the human sense--leaving evil behind and drawing closer to God--for God is Holiness Itself. God, rather, is sanctified when His holiness is acknowledged and honored by His creatures--which is what this first petition of the "Our Father" means (cf. "St. Pius Catechism", IV, 10).

10. "Thy Kingdom come": this brings up again the central idea of the Gospel of Jesus Christ--the coming of the Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is so identical with the life and work of Jesus Christ that the Gospel is referred to now as the Gospel of Jesus Christ, now as the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matthew 9:35). On the notion of the Kingdom of God see the commentary on Matthew 3:2 and 4:17. The coming of the Kingdom of God is the realization of God's plan of salvation in the world. The Kingdom establishes itself in the first place in the core of man's being, raising him up to share in God's own inner life. This elevation has, as it were, two stages--the first, in this life, where it is brought about by grace; the second, definitive stage in eternal life, where man's elevation to the supernatural level is fully completed. We for our part need to respond to God spontaneously, lovingly and trustingly.

"Thy will be done": this third petition expresses two desires. The first is that man identify humbly and unconditionally with God's will--abandonment in the arms of his Father God. The second that the will of God be fulfilled, that man cooperate with it in full freedom. For example, God's will is to be found in the moral aspect of the divine law--but this law is not forced on man. One of the signs of the coming of the Kingdom is man's loving fulfillment of God's will. The second part of the petition, "on earth as it is in Heaven", means that, just as the angels and saints in Heaven are fully at one with God's will, so--we desire--should the same thing obtain on earth.

Our effort to do God's will proves that we are sincere when we say the words, "Thy will be done." For our Lord says, "Not every one who says to Me, `Lord, Lord' shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven." (Matthew 7:21). "Anyone, then, who sincerely repeats this petition, `Fiat voluntas tua', must, at least in intention, have done this already" (St. Teresa of Avila, "Way of Perfection", chapter 36).

11. In making this fourth petition, we are thinking primarily of our needs in this present life. The importance of this petition is that it declares that the material things we need in our lives are good and lawful. It gives a deep religious dimension to the support of life: what Christ's disciple obtains through his own work is also something for which he should implore God--and he should receive it gratefully as a gift from God. God is our support in life: by asking God to support him and by realizing that it is God who is providing this support, the Christian avoids being worried about material needs. Jesus does not want us to pray for wealth or to be attached to material things, but to seek and make sober use of what meets our needs. Hence, in Matthew as well as in Luke (Luke 11:2), there is reference to having enough food for every day. This fourth petition, then, has to do with moderate use of food and material things--far from the extremes of opulence and misery, as God already taught in the Old Testament "Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food which is needful for me, lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, `Who is the Lord?' or lest I be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my God" (Proverbs 30:8).

The Fathers of the Church interpreted the bread asked for here not only as material food but also as referring to the Blessed Eucharist, without which our spirit cannot stay alive.

According to the "St. Pius V Catechism" (cf. IV, 13, 21) the Eucharist is called our daily bread because it is offered daily to God in the Holy Mass and because we should worthily receive it, every day if possible, as St. Ambrose advises: "If the bread is daily, why do you take it only once a year [...]? Receive daily what is of benefit to you daily! So live that you may deserve to receive it daily!" ("De Sacramentis", V, 4).

12. "Debts": clearly, here, in the sense of sin. In the Aramaic of Jesus' time the same word was used for offense and debt. In this fifth petition, then, we admit that we are debtors because we have offended God. The Old Testament is full of references to man's sinful condition. Even the "righteous" are sinners. Recognizing our sins is the first step in every conversion to God. It is not a question of recognizing that we have sinned in the past but of confessing our present sinful condition. Awareness of our sinfulness makes us realize our religious need to have recourse to the only One who can cure it. Hence the advantage of praying insistently, using the Lord's Prayer to obtain God's forgiveness time and again.

The second part of this petition is a serious call to forgive our fellow-men, for we cannot dare to ask God to forgive us if we are not ready to forgive others. The Christian needs to realize what this prayer implies: unwillingness to forgive others means that one is condemning oneself (see the notes on Matthew 5:23-24 and 18:21:21-35).

13. "And lead us not into temptation": "We do not ask to be totally exempt from temptation, for human life is one continuous temptation (cf. Job 7:1). What, then, do we pray for in this petition? We pray that the divine assistance may not forsake us, lest having been deceived, or worsted, we should yield to temptation; and that the grace of God may be at hand to succor us when our strength fails, to refresh and invigorate us in our trials" ("St. Pius V Catechism", IV, 15, 14).

In this petition of the "Our Father" we recognize that our human efforts alone do not take us very far in trying to cope with temptation, and that we need to have humble recourse to God, to get the strength we need. For, "God is strong enough to free you from everything and can do you more good than all the devils can do you harm. All that God decrees is that you confide in Him, that you draw near Him, that you trust Him and distrust yourself, and so be helped; and with this help you will defeat whatever hell brings against you. Never lose hold of this firm hope [...] even if the demons are legion and all kinds of severe temptations harass you. Lean upon Him, because if the Lord is not your support and your strength, then you will fall and you will be afraid of everything" (St. John of Avila, "Sermons, 9, First Sunday of Lent").

"But deliver us from evil": in this petition, which, in a way, sums up the previous petitions, we ask the Lord to free us from everything our enemy does to bring us down; we cannot be free of him unless God Himself free us, in response to our prayers.

This sentence can also be translated as "Deliver us from the Evil One", that is to say, the devil, who is in the last analysis the author of all evils to which we are prone.

In making this request we can be sure that our prayer will be heard because Jesus Christ, when He was on the point of leaving this world, prayed to the Father for the salvation of all men: "I do not pray that Thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldst keep them from the evil one" (John 17:15).

14-15. In verses 14 and 15 St. Matthew gives us a sort of commentary of our Lord on the fifth petition of the "Our Father".

A God who forgives is a wonderful God. But if God, who is thrice-holy, has mercy on the sinner, how much more ought we to forgive others--we sinners, who know from our own experience the wretchedness of sin. No one on earth is perfect. Just as God loves us, even though we have defects, and forgives us, we should love others, even though they have defects, and forgive them. If we wait to love people who have no defects, we shall never love anyone. If we wait until others mend their ways or apologize, we will scarcely ever forgive them. But then we ourselves will never be forgiven. "All right: that person has behaved badly towards you. But, haven't you behaved worse towards God?" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 686).

Thus, forgiving those who have offended us makes us like our Father, God: "In loving our enemies there shines forth in us some likeness to God our Father, who, by the death of His Son, ransomed from everlasting perdition and reconciled to Himself the human race, which before was most unfriendly and hostile to Him" ("St. Pius V Catechism", IV, 14, 19).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Just for Today, June 19

Thy saints, O Lord, who now rejoice with Thee in the kingdom of heaven, whilst they were living, expected in faith and great patience the coming of Thy glory. What they believed, I believe; what they hoped for, I hope for; and whither they are come, I trust that I also, through Thy grace, shall come. In the meantime, I will walk in faith, strengthened by the examples of Thy saints.

-Bk. IV, ch. xi.

What will become of me? Shall the sight of my own helplessness make me die of grief? Oh no! I shall not even let it trouble me. My abandonment makes me dare to remain as I am, fixing my eyes on the divine Sun until the day of my death. Nothing shall alarm me, neither wind nor rain; if heavy clouds hide the Sun of love, if it seems to me that nothing exists but the night of this life, that will be the moment of perfect joy, the moment to make hope reach out to its furthest limit, and, without leaving my place, to know that beyond the gloomy clouds my bright Sun is shining.

-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 - June 19

In the eyes af the sovereign Judge the merit of aur actions depends on the motives which prompted them.

-St. Gregory the Great.
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 June 19, The Heart of Jesus

"Who is better able to speak to the heart, than the heart?" asks Father Nouet, a great spiritual writer of the seventeenth century. They say that the heart is first to live and last to die.

"You have shown us that, O Heart most strong and sweet. Your Heart was the first to live for us and the last to die; the first, wounded during Its life, the last wounded after Its death. At the very moment death sealed Your lips, love opened Your Heart, to testify to us the excess to which it carried You. The Jews would have liked You to die a thousand times to satisfy their hate; and You, on the contrary, desired to die a thousand times to satisfy Your love.

"O Divine Heart, Heart completely consecrated, abandoned, given up, devoted to the love of men, I wish no longer to have a heart except to give You a return of love; to give myself irrevocably to You. I wish to love You only in the measure of Your great Heart which loved me more than Its life.

"I tell You this in the Presence of the Divine Majesty, in the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary who had a heart only to love the Heart of her Son.

"Heart of Jesus, I wish to be eternally Yours. Let it be so."

(The Man of Prayer-The Preface)

Not only do I wish to be Yours, O Heart of Jesus, but I beg of You the grace to dwell within You. The same Father Nouet says:

"There is no person so poor that he has no place to lodge. 'The birds even have their nest and the foxes their holes,' as Our Lord said. A Christian alone should not be without a dwelling, a wanderer and vagabond in the world; he must have a place of retreat where he can establish himself and lead a peaceful and ordered life.

"Wherever he may search, he will not find a better place than the Sacred Heart of Jesus which is the most magnificent of palaces.

"Access to It is easy, because It is always open. Are we not assured that He loves us, and that love lodges all those it loves, in the heart as in its own dwelling?

"But it is important that we establish ourselves there by a faithful correspondence to grace; we must know what we should do to please Him. We can learn it from the saints."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Me, Me, Me! I Believe in Me!

Carl Olson writes:
Priestette: "I believe in the supremacy of conscience...

"...and my conscience has led me all along to be an ordained Roman Catholic priest."

That is Toni Tortorilla, a lesbian "counselor and spiritual director" who, according to a June 17th article in The Oregonian, "ministers to about 90 people in Portland and in Eugene who call themselves the Sophia Christi Catholic Community." I've written about Tortorilla before, as she has performed pretend Masses here in Eugene, Oregon, where I live. She is now back in the (very accommodating) media limelight because a second priestette underwent a pretend ordination in the Portland, Oregon, area a few days ago, as announced on the blog of another priestette, Bridget Mary, who is active in Call to Action...

That's probably Bridget Mary Meehan - she's usually at all of these events...You know, tending her "flock."

Malformed and dead consciences reign supreme in the minds of wild-eyed heretics and schismatics...Dressing up like priests, they look like clowns. They're so lost and they enjoy leading others over the cliff. Pray for them and for those they lead astray!

Catholic Charity Assisted with Child's Abortion?

Federal authorities are investigating the actions of a Catholic charity in Richmond which helped a 16-year-old Guatemalan girl to receive an abortion in January, in possible violation of Virginia law.

And Federal officials notified the USCCB about this grave matter.

Four employees of Commonwealth Catholic Charities, Richmond, (CCR) have been fired and one supervisor with the bishops' Migration and Refugee Services agency has been suspended....

This is so unbelievable! How does one express feelings of frustration and anger? Is there relief that the employees have been fired! Perhaps now, they'll get the picture?

Assisting in the procurement of a directly willed abortion results, as I understand it, in a latae sententiae excommunication. And at least for some, it also results in termination of employment at a Catholic facility. Thanks God for that! Unfortunately, I would not be surprised if, in some places, they might be promoted.

The unnamed girl, who already had one child, had been fitted with a contraceptive device provided by CCR two months earlier, the letter said. CCR members signed the consent form necessary for a minor to have an abortion and had someone drive her to and from the abortion clinic.

Direct cooperation in the evil of abortion by a Catholic agency...How sad and revolting! After years and years, how could these people do this? Was it ignorance of the highest magnitude, or deliberate rejection of Church teaching and the natural moral law?

Nonetheless, let us pray for the teenage girl, her murdered baby, and those who facilitated in this crime.

'Pro-Life' Drugstores Market Beliefs

When DMC Pharmacy opens this summer on Route 50 in Chantilly, the shelves will be stocked with allergy remedies, pain relievers, antiseptic ointments and almost everything else sold in any drugstore. But anyone who wants condoms, birth control pills or the Plan B emergency contraceptive will be turned away....

How long will it take before culture of death supporters file a lawsuit against this pharmacy and its owners?

"I'm very, very troubled by this," said Marcia Greenberger of the National Women's Law Center, a Washington advocacy group. "Contraception is essential for women's health. A pharmacy like this is walling off an essential part of health care. That could endanger women's health."

Lies, lies, and more lies from the peddlers of death. Contraception is not essential to women's health but is a detriment to both women and unborn children. This is not about "health." Rather it's about forcing others to cooperate in the promotion of unhealthy evils.

It's similar, in a certain way, to the recent California Supreme Court forcing others to accept, embrace, or sanction sodomy and other immoral homosexual acts as "rights" when, in reality, these acts are crimes against nature and are opposed to life and the family.

...Karen Brauer [is] president of Pharmacists for Life International, which promotes a pharmacist's right to refuse to fill such prescriptions. The group's Web site lists seven pharmacies around the country that have signed a pledge to follow "pro-life" guidelines, but Brauer said there are many others.

One need only check into NaProTECHNOLOGY (Natural Procreative Technology), which:
is a new women's health science that monitors and maintains a woman's reproductive and gynecological health. It provides medical and surgical treatments that cooperate completely with the reproductive system.

Thirty years of scientific research in the study of the normal and abnormal states of the menstrual and fertility cycles have unraveled their mysteries.

The Washington Post is the source of this article.

Cardinal: If They Understand the Mass, They'll Come

QUEBEC CITY, JUNE 16, 2008 ( If Catholics really understood the meaning of Sunday Mass, they wouldn't miss it, Cardinal Josef Tomko said at the opening of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress.....

"The Eucharist is a gift of God," said Cardinal Tomko. "Not as an object, as the other gifts of God, but a very special one, because the gift of God himself.

"The Eucharist is Christ himself, a Person with his divine and human nature, given to us. It is the body and blood of the Risen Christ present with us under the sacramental signs of the bread and wine."

Headlines from the Future?

I know this has been done before, but I received this yesterday and decided to share it - It's not really funny, but ominous:

Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions.

Mexifornia, formerly California, becomes 7th largest country in the world.

White minorities petition to have English recognized as Mexifornia's third language.

Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crops and livestock.

Baby conceived naturally. Scientists stumped.

Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.

Iran Off Limits, physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels.

France pleads for global help after being taken over by Jamaica.

Castro dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking everywhere.

George Z. Bush says he will run for President in 2036.

Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only.

85-year $75.8 billion study: Diet and Exercise key to weight loss.

Average weight of Americans drops to 250 lbs.

Massachusetts executes last remaining conservative.

Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights.

Average height of NBA players is now nine feet, seven inches.

New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by January 2036.

Congress authorizes direct deposit of formerly illegal political contributions to campaign accounts.

IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75 percent.

Florida voters still having trouble with voting machines.

A Note to Bloggers and Others

Associated Press expects you to pay to license 5-word quotations

The AP, known in some circles as Al-Qaeda Partisans or as Allah’s Propagandists, in
"defin[ing] clear standards as to how much of its articles and broadcasts bloggers and Web sites can excerpt" the Associated Press is now selling "quotation licenses" that allow bloggers, journallers, and people who forward quotations from articles to co-workers to quote their articles. The licenses start at $12.50 for quotations of 5-25 words....

Clearly, this is a Stalinist attempt to limit or destroy "fair use" and free speech by a group of elitists. As with others, I intend to deprive AP of its attempted extortion fees and urge others to do the same.

News Updates, June 18

The Hour of the Eucharist, Part 1
QUEBEC CITY, JUNE 17, 2008 ( It is the hour of the Eucharist, but three things are needed for Catholics to go deeper in the Eucharistic mystery, said the founder of a fraternity dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament.

'I'm not changing,' Pfleger vows as suspension ends,
returns to parish two weeks after Hilary comment

Vatican demands opening of Israeli archives
Access restricted to documents relating to Pope Pius XII

Not the time for quiet Catholics
Bishops of the Los Angeles archdiocese issue statement criticizing legalized same-sex marriage

Professed "Catholic" mayor celebrates homosexual marriages
Gavin Newsom officiated over ceremony of lesbian couple

“A degrading poison that withers life”
President of Human Life International writes to fellow priests about prophecies of Pope Paul VI on social effects of rampant artificial contraception

Gospel for Wednesday, 11th Week in Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: St. Ephrem, deacon, confessor and doctor

From: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

An Upright Intention in Almsgiving, Prayer and Fasting

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [1] "Beware of practising your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in Heaven.

[2] "Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. [3] But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, [4] so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

[5] "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. [6] But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

[16] "And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. [17] But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, [18] that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

1-18. "Piety", here, means good works (cf. note on Matthew 5:6). Our Lord is indicating the kind of spirit in which we should do acts of personal piety. Almsgiving, fasting and prayer were the basic forms taken by personal piety among the chosen people--which is why Jesus refers to these three subjects. With complete authority He teaches that true piety must be practised with an upright intention, in the presence of God and without any ostentation. Piety practised in this way implies exercising our faith in God who sees us--and also in the safe knowledge that He will reward those who are sincerely devout.

5-6. Following the teaching of Jesus, the Church has always taught us to pray even when we were infants. By saying "you" (singular) our Lord is stating quite unequivocally the need for personal prayer--relating as child to Father, alone with God.

Public prayer, for which Christ's faithful assemble together, is something necessary and holy; but it should never displace obedience to this clear commandment of our Lord: "When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father".

The Second Vatican Council reminds us of the teaching and practice of the Church in its liturgy, which is "the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; it is also the fount from which all her power flows [...]. The spiritual life, however, is not limited solely to participation in the liturgy. The Christian is indeed called to pray with others, but he must also enter into his bedroom to pray to his Father in secret; furthermore, according to the teaching of the Apostle, he must pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)" ("Sacrosanctum Concilium", 10 and 12).

A soul who really puts his Christian faith into practice realizes that he needs frequently to get away and pray alone to his Father, God. Jesus, who gives us this teaching about prayer, practised it during His own life on earth: the holy Gospel reports that He often went apart to pray on His own: "At times He spent the whole night in an intimate conversation with His Father. The Apostles were filled with love when they saw Christ pray" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 119; cf. Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; etc.). The Apostles followed the Master's example, and so we see Peter going up to the rooftop of the house to pray in private, and receiving a revelation (cf. Acts 10:9-16). "Our life of prayer should also be based on some moments that are dedicated exclusively to our conversation with God, moments of silent dialogue" ("ibid", 119).

16-18. Starting from the traditional practice of fasting, our Lord tells us the spirit in which we should exercise mortification of our senses: we should do so without ostentation, avoiding praise, discreetly; that way Jesus' words will not apply to us: "they have their reward"; it would have been a very bad deal. "The world admires only spectacular sacrifice, because it does not realize the value of sacrifice that is hidden and silent" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 185).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Just for Today, June 18

If thou wilt be borne withal, bear also with another. See how far thou art yet from true charity and humilitY, which knows not how to be angry with anyone, or to have indignation about anyone but one's self.

-Bk. II, ch. iii.

I did not always find it sweet and easy to practise charity, and I will tell you one of the many struggles I have had on that score. For a long time I had a neighbor during prayer who did nothing but rattle her rosary, or make some other slight noise the whole time. I may have been the only one to notice it; as I have very keen hearing, but I cannot tell you how tiring I found it. I felt tempted to turn my head and look at the culprit to make her keep still; but I knew in my heart that it would be much better to endure patiently for the love of God, and at the same time avoid hurting another's feelings. Therefore I did not move, although sometimes bathed in perspiration, and unable to make anything but a prayer of' endurance. I wanted to suffer peacefully and joyfully, at least in my inmost soul, and so tried to enjoy this tiresome little noise. Instead of ignoring it - which was impossible - I listened attentively, as though it were a beautiful concert, and my prayer, which was far from being the prayer of quiet, consisted in offering this concert to Our Lord.

-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 - June 18

In time of temptation continue the good thou hast begun before temptation.

-St. Vincent Ferrer.
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 June 18, I Can Always Love

When the glass painter, Claudius Lavergne, went to Italy to per­fect his education in art, he was twenty years old and had known more than one difficulty. He took with him a little book, The Imitation of Christ. On the flyleaf of the book he wrote these words to explain what help he expected from the slender volume: "When men turn against me, I can always love."

Quotations credited as famous are frequently cited, but none is more beautiful than this one. Let tribulations come, if they will, I can always love. A few lines suffice to move me to yield my heart completely - a word from the Gospel, a psalm verse, a chap­ter of the Imitation - a drop of tonic as it were - calm and peace are soon restored; love of God and of neighbor are either possible again or grow more fervent.

It is a good idea for me to keep a small but personal selection of thoughts or holy passages to which I like to revert at difficult moments. The heart is so easily crushed! At such moments how difficult it is not to withdraw into self and forget the great horizons.

Whatever may be the circumstances or persons who cause me to suffer, I can always love. I must remember that. I will construct for myself in advance, an arsenal where I can hastily withdraw to strengthen myself on days when I might be more than usually tempted to love no more.

"Whom do you consider the happiest person?" asked King Charles IX of the poet Le Tasse.

"The good God."

"Yes, but the happiest of human beings?"

"He who most closely resembles the good God."

"But God is love, therefore, he who loves the most is the happiest."

My God, let me learn of You how to love!
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)