Saturday, July 19, 2008

Just for Today, July 20

Lord, I will suffer willingly for Thee whatsoever Thou art pleased should befall me. I will receive with in­difference from Thy hand good and evil, sweet and bitter, joy and sorrow; and will give Thee thanks for all that happens to me.
-Bk. III, ch. xvii.

"They say of you that you have never suffered much." With a smile she pointed to a glass containing a draught of a bright red colour: "To look at it," she said, "one would think it a delicious drink, yet it is exceedingly bitter. It is a figure of my life; to others it has seemed bright and happy, as though I drank from the cup of delight, yet all the while it was most bitter. I speak of bitterness, but my life has not been embittered, for I knew how to draw joy and comfort from it all."
-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 - July 21

No one has a right to mercy who can not him­self show mercy.

-Ven. Louis de 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 July 20, Chaff and Wheat

An ancient proverb of Palestine divided the disciples of the Rabbi into four classes.

The sponges: the pupils who absorbed absolutely everything, non-essentials as well as essentials. ­

The funnels: the pupils for whom the instructions entered at one ear and left by the other.

The strainers: the pupils who let the wine run through keeping only the dregs, that is, those who retained only what was of sec­ondary importance.

The sifters: the pupils who kept everything important, passing over only what was negligible, the chaff.

Let me examine myself. In which class do I belong? Whether in regard to profane or sacred knowledge, is everything in its right place in my mind? Is it all clear; in its proper order of impor­tance; intelligently understood; intelligently ordered?

How often even among the pious, the order of values is troubled; they forget to put first things first, having, as they say, only the de­votions of a good man or good woman.

For a religious individual more than that is necessary.

Above all, if I am to form others, I must first acquire myself what I should impart. I must be rich in pure and nourishing wheat and cast aside only that which I will not need.

"O Jesus, You who were the most perfect Teacher, grant that I may be an attentive pupil, docile and intelligent according to Your Wisdom and Your law. Give me a clear and profound understanding of Your Gospel that all in my mind and in my actions may be in its right place and have that degree of value You have given it."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Gospel for Saturday, 15th Week in Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: St. Vincent de Paul, confessor

From: Matthew 12:14-21

Jesus, the Suffering Servant of Yahweh

[14] But the Pharisees went out and took counsel against Him, how to destroy Him. [15] Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed Him, and He healed them all, [16] and ordered them not to make Him known. [17] This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: [18] "Behold my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon Him, and He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles. [19] He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will any one hear His voice in the streets; [20] He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick, till He brings justice to victory; [21] and in His name will the Gentiles hope."

17-21. Once again the sacred text points out the contrast between the contemporary mistaken Jewish notion of a spectacular messianic kingdom and the discernment which Jesus asks of those who witness and accept His teaching and miracles. By providing this long quotation from Isaiah (42:1-4), the Evangelist is giving us the key to the teaching contained in Chapters 11 and 12: in Jesus the prophecy of the Servant of Yahweh is fulfilled: the lovable and gentle teacher has come to bring the light of truth.

When narrating the passion of our Lord, the Gospels will once again remind us of the figure of the Servant of Yahweh, to show that in Jesus the suffering and expiatory aspect of the death of the Servant finds fulfillment (cf. Matthew 27:30, with reference to Is 50:6; Matthew 8:17 and Isaiah 53:4; John 1:38 and Isaiah 53:9-12; etc.).

17. Isaiah 42:1-4 speaks of a humble servant, beloved of God, chosen by God. And in fact Jesus, without ceasing to be the Son of God, one in substance with the Father, took the form of a servant (cf. Philippians 2:6). This humility led him to cure and care for the poor and afflicted of Israel, without seeking acclaim.

18. See the note on Matthew 3:16.

[Note on Matthew 3:16 states:
16. Jesus possessed the fullness of the Holy Spirit from the moment of His conception. This is due to the union of human nature and divine nature in the person of the Word (the dogma of hypostatic union). Catholic teaching says that in Christ there is only one person (who is divine) but two natures (divine and human). The descent of the Spirit of God spoken of in the text indicates that just as Jesus was solemnly commencing His messianic task, so the Holy Spirit was beginning His action through Him. There are very many texts in the Old Testament which speak of the showing forth of the Holy Spirit in the future Messiah. This sign of the Spirit gave St. John the Baptist unmistakable proof of the genuineness of his testimony concerning Christ (cf. John 1:29-34). The mystery of the Holy Trinity is revealed in the baptism of Jesus: the Son is baptized; the Holy Spirit descends on Him in the form of a dove; and the voice of the Father gives testimony about His Son. Christians must be baptized in the name of the Three Divine Persons. "If you have sincere piety, the Holy Spirit will descend on you also and you will hear the voice of the Father saying to you from above: "This was not My son, but now after Baptism he has been made My son" (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, "De Baptismo", 14).]

19. The justice proclaimed by the Servant, who is filled with the Holy Spirit, is not a noisy virtue. We can see the loving, gentle way Jesus worked His miracles, performing righteousness in all humility. This is how He brings about the triumph of His Father's Justice, His plan of revelation and salvation--very quietly and very effectively.

20. According to many Fathers, including St. Augustine and St. Jerome, the bruised reed and the smoldering wick refer to the Jewish people. They also stand for every sinner, for our Lord does not seek the sinner's death but his conversion, and his life (cf. Ezekiel 33:11). The Gospels often bear witness to this reassuring truth (cf. Luke 15:11-32), the parable of the prodigal son; Matthew 18:12-24, the parable of the lost sheep; etc.).
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, July 18, 2008

Just for Today, July 19

Love is swift, sincere, pious, pleasant and delightful; strong, patient, faithful, prudent, long-suffering, cour­ageous, and never seeking itself: for where a man seeks himself, there he falls from love.

-Bk. III, ch. v.

I had noticed that Mother Prioress seemed to take special pleasure in talking to one member of the Com­munity, and apparently liked and trusted her more than she did me. I told the Saint how this hurt me, expecting sympathy, but to my astonishment she said: "No doubt you think that you love our Mother very much?"

"Of course! Otherwise I should not mind if others were preferred to me."

"Very well; I will show you that you are making a mistake; you do not love her but yourself. When we really love someone, we rejoice at their happiness and would make any sacrifice to secure it. If you loved our Mother sincerely and unselfishly for her own sake, you would be glad if she found pleasure even at the expense of your own feelings. Therefore, if you see that she prefers talking to others rather than to you, do not be hurt by this apparent neglect."

-Conseils et Souvenirs.
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 - July 19

We should offer ourselves and all we have to God, that He may dispose of us according to His holy will, so that we may be ever ready to leave all and embrace the afflictions that come upon us.

-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 July 19, Gentleness

"All men are so constituted that they want to be treated with gentleness; man is made that way, we cannot change him." St. Vincent de Paul.

According to the words of St. Francis de Sales, gentleness re­quires us to know how to repress the movements of anger, but if necessary how to manifest anger. Did not Our Lord one day call St. Peter, Satan. We may not be actuated by anger, however, but only by duty.

We must also know how to be affable and courteous to all.

We ought to excuse those who have caused us displeasure and not brood at all, over the sorrows which weigh us down.

We ought to succeed not only in forgiving injustices and affronts but also in treating kindly those who caused them.

If such is the rule, for every soul having the spirit of Him who wishes us to be meek and humble, how much more should this ideal be faithfully practiced by a religious soul.

"A Sister of Charity who grieves her no longer a Sister of Charity," said St. Vincent de Paul. "No, she is no longer a Sister of Charity, she only wears the habit of one."

A religious who is not in the literal sense of the word, and in the smallest matters, a sister of charity is not a religious.

One might almost think she follows a master who has said "Learn of me for I am disagreeable, gloomy and of an untractable disposition." She is surely not a follower of Him of whom it was said "Let us go to the Gentle One."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

More "Humanae Vitae" Dissent from Professed Catholics

‘Catholics for Choice’ to publish open letter to Pope criticizing Humanae Vitae

New York, Jul 18, 2008 / 02:50 pm (CNA).- A group of Catholic dissenters plans to publish an open letter to Pope Benedict XVI in a major U.S. and a major Italian newspaper criticizing Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae on the fortieth anniversary of its promulgation, July 25. The group Catholics for Choice (CFC) claims that the encyclical’s teaching against contraception has been an “utter failure” that endangers women’s lives and leaves millions at risk of HIV. However, a major pro-life leader said the group’s accusations were hard to take seriously.

According to the version of the open letter obtained by CNA, CFC argues that there is a “paradox” in Humanae Vitae because “most Catholics use modern contraceptives, believe it is a moral choice to do so, and consider themselves Catholics in good standing.” The letter asserts that the encyclical has been an “utter failure” in convincing Catholics to abandon contraceptive use....
The “utter failure” has been because of bishops' and priests' rebellion against this irreformable teaching of the Church and the lack of courage by ecclesiastical authority to discipline those rebels and we are left with apostates and heretics who claim to be Catholic while embracing and promoting every immoral abomination known - infanticide, divorce, homosexuality, euthanasia, and on and on...

The fact that many "Catholics" use contraception cannot imply that it is right - it merely confirms that many are ignorant or willfully obstinate regarding the Church's teachings.

Priestettes Converging in Boston for Another "Party"

Three aspiring Catholic priests will be anointed and prayed over this weekend in an ordination liturgy that will resemble the traditional in most ways but one: The three being ordained are women.
Uhh...wrong! The delusional women will not be ordained as priests nor can they be considered Catholic. They might be considered witches, priestettes, clowns or escapees from a mental ward, but Roman Catholic priests they are not nor will they ever be.
But the women being ordained say they are acting because they feel called to the priesthood and compelled to resist what they view as a wrong church teaching.
"Compelled to resist..." Too bad they can't be "compelled to resist" the promptings and lies of those who confirm them in their prideful rebellion.
"We're part of a prophetic tradition of disobeying an unjust law," said Gabriella Velardi Ward, a 61-year-old Staten Island architect with two children and five grandchildren, who will be ordained along with Gloria Carpeneto of Baltimore and Mary Ann McCarthy Schoettly of Newton, N.J....
What in the blazes is this "prophetic tradition" that these self-indulgent drama queens talk about? Since I'm not a woman, I wonder if this malfunction of the will and intellect could be menopausal in nature? It seems to be mostly leftovers from the 60s and 70s who embark on this "priestette" journey to hell.
"Excommunication or not, I will still be a validly ordained priest and still will be able to serve the people of God," she said.
Signs of severe mental disturbance - the inability or unwillingness to see reality. The FACT that she will NOT be a validly ordained priest is the reality that she refuses or is unable to admit. Her children should do her a favor and have committed for observation and evaluation.
The ordination will be Sunday afternoon in Church of the Covenant on Newbury Street in Boston's Back Bay. The church is affiliated with two Protestant denominations, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Christ.
Will any of the excommunicants or their supporters from St Louis be attending? Will the Boston archdiocese set up a "surveillance" operation to take pictures and video or will these nuts post it all the web themselves?

This will be just another excommunication party!

News Updates, 7/18

Catholic League rushes to defense of Deal Hudson
'Catholics put a premium on forgiveness, reconciliation'

Pope denounces 'squandering' of resources
Makes repeated references to the environment at WYD

Freedom and tolerance cannot be separated from the truth, Pope Benedict XVI warns
"This is fuelled by the notion, widely held today, that there are no absolute truths to guide our lives..."

Bishop Vasa: World Youth Day is time to pray for religious fidelity
"a disconnect when someone insists that they have a personal appreciation for the person of the Holy Father while adamantly rejecting the very things which he is teaching and upholding."

Benedict is encouraging Anglican converts
More evidence that Catholic liberals are panicking

Pope Benedict urges Anglicans to 'avoid schism'
Sends message of support to Canterbury archbishop

She’s recommended by Call to Action
Eclectic nun to speak at retreat center owned by San Francisco archdiocese

Fr Ian Ker: Neocatechumenal Way: 'The Age of the Neocats'
"This recently approved and rapidly growing ecclesial movement will play a decisive role in the future of the Catholic Church"

Accused Catholic priest restored to ministry
Investigation fails to substantiate abuse allegation

Polish priest charged with sex attack on young woman
Allegedly fondled a 16-year-old girl on an airplane

Catholic School Principal Caught In Gay Tryst
Picked the backyard of a vacant home to conduct their group sex.

Abortionist charged with manslaughter
Cape Cod woman died after abortion procedure

£350,000 for Lourdes shrine ended up in priest's bank account
Treasurer of the Catholic shrine of Lourdes at the centre of a major fraud inquiry

Gospel for Friday, 15th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial of St. Camillus de Lellis (USA)
Old Calendar: St. Camillus of Lellis, confessor; St. Symphorosa and her Seven Sons, martyrs

From: Matthew 12:1-8

The Question of the Sabbath

[1] At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck ears of grain and to eat. [2] But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, "Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath." [3] He said to them, "Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him: [4] how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? [5] Or have you not read in the law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are guiltless? [6] I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. [7] And if you had known what this means, `I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless. [8] For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."


2. "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.

3-8. Jesus rebuts the Pharisees' accusation by four arguments--the example of David, that of the priests, a correct understanding of the mercy of God and Jesus' own authority over the Sabbath.

The first example which was quite familiar to the people, who were used to listening to the Bible being read, comes from 1 Samuel 21:2-7: David, in flight from the jealousy of King Saul, asks the priest of the shrine of Nob for food for his men; the priest gave them the only bread he had, the holy bread of the Presence; this was the twelve loaves which were placed each week on the golden altar of the sanctuary as a perpetual offering from the twelve tribes of Israel (Leviticus 24:5-9). The second example refers to the priestly ministry to perform the liturgy, priests had to do a number of things on the Sabbath but did not thereby break the law of Sabbath rest (cf. Numbers 28:9). On the other two arguments, see the notes on Matthew 9:13 and Mark 2:26-27, 28.

[The notes on Matthew 9:13 states:
13. Here Jesus quotes Hosea 6:6, keeping the hyperbole of the Semitic style. A more faithful translation would be: "I desire mercy MORE THAN sacrifice". It is not that our Lord does not want the sacrifices we offer Him: He is stressing that every sacrifice should come from the heart, for charity should imbue everything a Christian does--especially his worship of God (see 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Matthew 5:23-24).]

[The notes on Mark 2:26-27, 28 states:
6-27. 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 in 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 Dan 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.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Just for Today, July 18

The devil never sleeps, neither is the flesh yet dead: therefore thou must not cease to prepare thyself for battle, for on the right hand and on the left are enemies that never rest.
-Bk. II, ch. ix.

For several days she had suffered great mental an­guish, and often implored us to pray and get prayers said for her: "If one only knew how necessary it is to pray for those in their agony! How much we need that verse of the hymn at Compline: Procul recedant somnia et noctium phantasmata (Far off let idle visions fly; no phantom of the night molest)! I think the devil must have obtained permission from Almighty God to tempt me by the extremity of my suffering to fail in patience and faith."
-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 - July 18

It is true that God promises forgiveness if we repent, but what assurance have we of obtaining it tomorrow?

-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 July 1, Gaiety

All the saints recommended joy. "I love to have you gay [joyful]," St. Ignatius said to one of his novices whom he had seen a little sad one day.

St. Vincent de Paul often wrote, "Keep yourself gay, honoring in that way the holy tranquillity of Our Lord's soul. Be gay in­deed, I beseech you. Oh, what good reasons for it do souls of good will have! You will please take care of your health and of honor­ing the gaiety of the Heart of Our Lord."

St. Francis de Sales also encouraged his penitents many times to a complete expansion of soul in the joy and gaiety of the chil­dren of God.

Don't think that in order to be modest, it is necessary to be strained in appearance; that to be fervent means to live in a ten­sion; that to be recollected it is necessary to be absorbed. Far, very far from us, be such a morose Christianity that is shriveled up as if crushed between two doors. No, ours is a beautiful religion of sunshine and fresh air where souls expand in joyous love.

"Holiness among women," observed Father Faber, "is always more rigid than among men." That indicates a quality in a woman which can easily be a fault. The fault would consist in becoming too exacting and somewhat of a busybody through concern for details. It is good to want things finished, smooth, and perfect, and one can readily understand that it is permissible for the religious to extend her concern for the perfect into her striving after perfection. All will go well if there is no excess; firmness does not mean rigidity, nor strength, harshness.

"O Jesus, teach me to serve You in hymnis et canticis, in hymns and songs. Scatter the dark clouds which sometimes like to slip across my sky. Give me the grace always to prefer to seek the roses on the rose bushes rather than the thorns. Let joy reign!"
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Homosexual Activists Fail to Deny Citizens' Rights

Marriage amendment to stay on California ballot

The California Supreme Court has ruled that the marriage protection amendment will remain on the state's November ballot.

Following the California's Supreme Court ruling that legalized homosexual "marriage" in that state, activists sued to keep the marriage protection amendment off the November ballot. However, they failed in their attempt on Wednesday when the court ruled in favor of Proposition 8's inclusion on the ballot....
Now the people of California will be able to exercise their rights by voting on these 14 words as an amendment to their constitution: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

When this passes, there will be more "wailing and gnashing of teeth" as right order is restored, the natural moral law is "approved" - at least for a time.

Texts of the Holy Father's Addresses

Pope Benedict's:
Text of Address to youth
Text of Address at welcoming ceremony

News Updates, 7/17

"Catholic" activists ask McCain to boot Deal Hudson
Scandal-ridden publisher not best choice as 'faith adviser'

Don’t blame celibacy
Catholic ethicist says retired Australian bishop wrong about cause of sexual abuse crisis
'Family planning' groups object to abortion plan
Proposal defines some contraception methods as abortion

“More than 500 unborn children saved from abortion”
Fall 2008 40 Days for Life Campaign seeks participants

Same-sex marriage a gift to California's economy?
Wedding planners, hotels and bakers rolling in dough

Anglican chiefs gather for summit amid schism
Once-a-decade meeting at Lambeth clouded by deep splits

Pope Benedict rides to Anglican leader's rescue
Vatican shuns defectors, backs calls for Anglican unity

Rome: Ex-Anglican communities to become Catholic
Provision of 'Anglican Use' parishes to be expanded in U.S.

Gospel for Thursday, 15th Week in Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: St. Alexis, confessor

From: Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus Thanks His Father (Continuation)

(At that time Jesus declared,) [28] "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."


28-30. Our Lord calls everyone to come to Him. We all find things difficult in one way or another. The history of souls bears out the truth of these words of Jesus. Only the Gospel can fully satisfy the thirst for truth and justice which sincere people feel. Only our Lord, our Master--and those to whom He passes on His power--can soothe the sinner by telling him, "Your sins are forgiven" (Matthew 9:2). In this connection Pope Paul VI teaches: "Jesus says now and always, `Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' His attitude towards us is one of invitation, knowledge and compassion; indeed, it is one of offering, promise, friendship, goodness, remedy of our ailments; He is our comforter; indeed, our nourishment, our bread, giving us energy and life" ("Homily on Corpus Christi", 13 June 1974).

"Come to Me": the Master is addressing the crowds who are following Him, "harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd" (Matthew 9:36). The Pharisees weighed them down with an endless series of petty regulations (cf. Acts 15:10), yet they brought no peace to their souls. Jesus tells these people, and us, about the kind of burden He imposes: "Any other burden oppresses and crushes you, but Christ's actually takes weight off you. Any other burden weighs down, but Christ's gives you wings. If you take a bird's wings away, you might seem to be taking weight off it, but the more weight you take off, the more you tie it down to the earth. There it is on the ground, and you wanted to relieve it of a weight; give it back the weight of its wings and you will see how it flies" (St. Augustine, "Sermon" 126).

"All you who go about tormented, afflicted and burdened with the burden of your cares and desires, go forth from them, come to Me and I will refresh you and you shall find for your souls the rest which your desires take from you" (St. John of the Cross, "Ascent of Mount Carmel", Book 1, Chapter 7, 4).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Just for Today, July 17

Be never altogether idle; but either reading, or writing, or praying, or meditating, or labouring in something that may be for the common good.
-Bk. I, ch. xix.

I told the Saint how it surpised me never to find her idle, although so ill. "I always feel the need," she said, "of having some work in hand. It prevents my thinking about myself and wasting time."
-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 - July 17

It is the key of obedience that opens the door of paradise. Jesus Christ has confided that key to His vicar, the Pope, Christ on earth, whom all are obliged to obey even unto death.

-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 July 17, Selfless Living

Marie Antoinette de Geuser was a young girl who had a very clear vocation to the religious life and an undeniable vocation to the Carmelite Order, but she died without being able to follow out her desires. She took this magnificent resolution: "I will keep myself aloof from myself."

In his book The Glory of the Spiritual Nuptials, Ruysbroeck has taken for his theme the words of the Spouse to the Virgins: Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go forth to meet Him; in each chapter he reiterates this call making it more and more insistent.

From the soul whom He has chosen, God pushes away all fa­miliar supports, even the dearest; He wants it to be detached and to belong to Him alone. Soon it is within the soul itself that de­tachment is pursued. The word of God is living and effectual, remarks the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, it is more piercing than any two-edged sword and reaching into the division of the soul, and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrew iv, 12.)

This it is that spiritual authors describe when they demand that there be nothing but God alone in the depths of the soul. Mag­nificent solitude! It holds God alone. Tragic solitude, that is to say--a complete crumbling down absolutely, definitely, of all that is not God.

Absolutely! Nothing, absolutely nothing else!

Definitely! That is forever. And that is why Consummata in order to express her irrefutable Consummatum est wrote: "I will keep myself aloof from myself." To which she added further "I will keep self, dead."

On that condition will the living God dwell in me in His pleni­tude.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

18 New Orleans Parishes Closed, More to Follow

NEW ORLEANS (CNS) -- Confirming decisions he had announced in April in a post-Katrina realignment plan for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes signed letters July 3 closing 18 parishes and either merging them with others or changing their status to mission churches....

Archbishop Hughes signed the letters of suppression following a facilitation process in which parishioners were invited to town hall meetings to express their feelings and concerns about the closures and mergers. Each parish selected a leadership team that made recommendations to Archbishop Hughes.

The decisions, announced at parishes July 11-12, involve 11 clusters of parishes. Archbishop Hughes also said four pairs of parishes would each share a pastor....
It's sad to see this occur, and it must be disheartening, not only for the faithful of the closed parishes, but also for any bishop who has to make such difficult decisions. Many of us have gone through similar trials in recent years and offer our prayers of support.

I’ll do something that shows this cracker has no power

Another psychotic wailing of University of Minnesota professor.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented on the latest developments to surface regarding the pledge made by Paul Z. Myers, a professor at the University of Minnesota, to desecrate the Eucharist:

“Myers was quoted yesterday saying, ‘I have to do something. I’m not going to just let this disappear.’ [Last Friday it was reported that he had acquired a Host.] He continued, ‘Something will be done. It won’t be gross. It won’t be totally tasteless, but yeah, I’ll do something that shows this cracker has no power....’
This man doesn't appears to be "normal." Only a fool mocks the Almighty as this.
“The biology professor made it clear that he would never disrespect Islam the way he does Catholicism. When asked about those who abuse the Koran, for example, he said such an act was analogous to desecrating a graveyard. ‘That’s completely different,’ he said. ‘I don’t favor [that idea].’ But when it comes to the Body of Christ, he opines, ‘The cracker is completely different...’
He may deny it, but the consecrated Host, is completely different...From the above and previous comments attributed to this man, we can only pray that his family and friends obtain for him the pschological help it seems he so desparately needs. He appears consumed with hatred and hostility toward the truth...There's something wrong with this man. Some make think he could even benefit from an exorcism. I would tend to agree.

News Updates, 7/16

"Take it down!"
Photo of John McCain praying at shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe provokes discord at La Raza convention in San Diego

Anti-pope activists given legal right to 'annoy'
Court upheld right to hand out condoms, coat hangers

“Homosexual activists in positions of authority”
Federal appeals court slated to consider constitutionality of San Francisco resolution condemning Catholic Church

100,000 Catholics gather for WYD in Sydney
Papal visit scene resembled a city-sized school camp

Catholic traditionalists slam 'happy' WYD
Members of Society of St Pius X condemn festivities

Return to traditions at World Youth Day
Catholics to receive Communion on tongue from Pope

Beatification near for Cardinal Newman?
The Vatican has directed that the body of Cardinal John Henry Newman should be exhumed from a simple cemetery and preserved in a marble sarcophagus in the Birmingham Oratory...

Denver archdiocese hit with another sex abuse suit
Accused priest was already named in huge settlement

Mediation Sessions between Bishop Braxton & Priests

BELLEVILLE --Mediation between Bishop Edward Braxton and Belleville Diocese priests who have called for him to resign is under way in a process designed to give detractors and supporters equal time....
Give "detractors" and supporters equal time? Part of the problem is that those who are in error actually believe that they are entitled to a have their beliefs/opinions heard. Coddling dissension only leads to more of the same. Instead of acting like little children, maybe these "men" should grow up a bit, if that's even possible.

Four separate sessions with mediator Tom Reid of the Bellevue, Wash.,-based The Reid Group have been held; including two on July 1 in Paderborn. On that day members of the Southern Illinois Association of Priests, who are among Braxton's severest critics, met with Reid in the morning. Later that day other priests who signed their names to a letter in March that totaled 46 signatures calling for Braxton to resign, met with Reid.

The next day, international priests who are guests on temporary duty in the diocese attended a morning session at St. Peter Cathedral. In the afternoon, any priest not among the other groups, including supporters of the bishop, were invited to a second session at the cathedral....
The Southern Illinois Association of Priests? Have they unionized? Perhaps, if they spent more time in prayer they would have less time to publicly complain and stir up dissension? Maybe this little session will help them and make them "feel" better? God forbid that one might have to take up a cross sometime during his life.

Gospel for Wednesday, 15th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Old Calendar: Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel

From: Matthew 11:25-27

Jesus Thanks His Father

[25] At that time Jesus declared, "I thank Thee, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; [26] yea, Father, for such was Thy gracious will. [27] All things have been delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal


25-26. The wise and understanding of this world, that is, those who rely on their own judgment, cannot accept the revelation which Christ has brought us. Supernatural outlook is always connected with humility. A humble person, who gives himself little importance, sees; a person who is full of self-esteem fails to perceive supernatural things.

27. Here Jesus formally reveals His divinity. Our knowledge of a person shows our intimacy with Him, according to the principle given by St. Paul: "For what person knows a man's thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him?" (1 Corinthians 2:11). The Son knows the Father by the same knowledge as that by which the Father knows the Son. This identity of knowledge implies oneness of nature; that is to say, Jesus is God just as the Father is God.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just for Today, July 16

They are all one through the bond of love; they have the same sentiments, the same will, and all mutually love one another. For being elevated above themselves and drawn out of the love of themselves, they are wholly absorbed in the love of Me, in whom also they rest by an eternal enjoyment. Nor is there anything which can divert them from Me, or depress them: for being full of the eternal truth, they burn with the fire of a charity that cannot be extinguished.

In many there is ignorance, especially in such as being but little enlightened seldom know how to love anyone with a perfect spiritual love. They are as yet much inclined to such or such by a natural affection and hu­man friendship. But there is an incomparable distance between what the imperfect imagine, and what en­lightened men contemplate by revelation from above.

-Bk. III, ch. lviii.

One of the greatest graces I have received this year has been to understand in all its implications the law of charity. I had never fully grasped Our Lord's meaning when He said: The second is like to this: thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Matt. xxii, 39). I applied myself chiefly to the love of God, and it was in loving Him that I learned the true meaning of these words: Not everyone that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matt. vii, 21).

I learned what is the will of God from Our Lord's words at the Last Supper, when in giving them His new commandment He bade them love one another as He had loved them (John xii, 34). I began to study in what way He had loved them; evidently not for their natural qualities, for they were ignorant, and did not look at things from a supernatural point of view. Yet Our Lord calls them His friends, His brethren; wishes them to share with Him the kingdom of Heaven. He throws open the way to Heaven by dying for them upon the Cross, saying: Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John xv, 13).

-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 - July 16

Is there anyone in the world who has invoked thee, O Mary, without having felt the benefit of thy protection, which is promised to those who invoke thy mercy?
-St. Bernard.
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 July 16, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

On the 16th of July, 1251, Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock and gave him the habit of Carmel. Those who wear the scapular, not only in the cloister, but in the world as well, will receive countless graces, particularly that of a quick deliverance from Purgatory.

In addition to this general history of the scapular there is another story of a more individual nature.

On the 16th of July, 1887, there lay dying at Yun-Nan one of the most valiant missionaries of the Far East, Father Godefroy Chicard, who was worn out after twenty-nine years of labor in China; when young he had hesitated between three careers--monk, robber, or knight. God had reserved for him not the crown of bloody martyrdom, but the slow martyrdom of a life drained out. The last words he pronounced were consecrated to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on whose feast he died.

Godefroy had a sister in the Carmelite order at Niort. He loved her with all his heart and venerated her deeply. He often said to others, "You haven't a sister, a Carmelite? So much the worse for you! There is nothing better in the world than a Carmelite!"

How the sister from the seclusion of her cloister encouraged her brother!
"Oh what a life is yours, my dear Brother, and what love of God you need to persevere in it. St. Francis de Sales speaks in his letters of the exaltation of works. Your labors might well be described in that way. For it is love that acts. I rejoice at this, as if it were a personal good. My work hardly resembles yours, but I have the same intentions--the glory of God, the salvation of souls and your dear mission. I direct toward these intentions my actions, my prayers and sacrifices...Oh, if I could only be your Veronica! To wipe from your face, the perspira­tion, the dust, and perhaps the blood. But courage, your struggles lead to an unending rest."
If I am a contemplative, I ought to love and understand the apostolate of the missions. If vowed to the exaltation of works, I should try to understand the apostolic significance of the cloistered life.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Obama's abortion record telltale, says Catholic group

A Catholic pro-life group warns Catholics and Evangelicals that a vote for Barack Obama is "a vote for the radical agenda of Planned Parenthood." The Democratic presidential nominee recently blasted his anticipated November opponent, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), for saying he hopes to see Roe v. Wade overturned and appoint justices in the mold of Sam Alito and John Roberts.

Flanked by Hillary Clinton at a "Women for Obama" rally in New York, Obama welcomed the endorsement of Planned Parenthood and boasted he had a 100-percent approval rating from the abortion advocacy group compared to rival McCain's zero-percent rating....

Brian Burch, president of the Catholic pro-life group Fidelis, says despite what Obama's surrogates may claim, the Illinois senator has supported abortion 100 percent of the time, and has pledged to do so if voters install him in the Oval Office....

"We would never allow a candidate to receive our support who says 'I want to reduce the number of slaves in America -- but I am 100 percent committed to keep slavery legal,'" the Catholic activist suggests. "We have to remember again what this is and what abortion is -- it is the taking of human life, it is destructive to women, [and] it's destructive to our country...."

"We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members." Margaret Sanger, Founder of Planned Parenthood and early advocate of eugenics.

You can read more about this "death peddler" here at Margaret Sanger, In Her Own Words

And this man thinks he is qualified to be President? A supporter of infanticide! What an pathetic ignoramus! Let us pray for him and all those whose hands are stained with the endless blood of God's innocent little ones! And let us pray for our slaughtered brothers and sisters, daughters and sons who are daily sacrificed to appease the wants of a depraved world.

ICRSP Ordinations by Archbishop Burke in Florence

On Thursday, July 3rd, the Most Rev. Raymond L. Burke, newly appointed Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura ordained two priests of the Institute of Christ the King at the magnificent Chiesa dei Santi Michele e Gaetano, in Florence.

Pictures here.

Eucharist taken from Cathedral tabernacle

The Eucharist was stolen Friday from the tabernacle at Corpus Christi Cathedral on the 500 block of North Upper Broadway, police said.
Perhaps to hand over to Minnesota professor Paul Myers?


A Return to Traditions at World Youth Day

By Andrew Rabel

At a press conference this morning, Cardinal George Pell of Sydney in answer to a question from Andrew Rabel, an Inside the Vatican magazine journalist, indicated that at the final WYD Mass at Randwick Racecourse on Sunday, in line with older practices that have been used in the Vatican and inside Italy in recent months, communion will most likely be received by those kneeling, from the Pope....
Now if this could become the normative posture, we might see a return to a sense of the sacred...Where are those Communion rails?

News Update, 7/15

TMLC to Defend Right of Religions to Express Opposition to Homosexual Adoptions;Oral Arguments Tomorrow in Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Does the San Francisco Board’s resolution virulently condemning the Catholic Church because of its moral teachings on homosexuality violate the Constitution’s prohibition of government hostility toward religion?

Pope relaxing after arrival in Australia
Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Sydney on June 13 to begin his visit to Australia for World Youth Day (WYD). After a brief airport welcoming ceremony on Sunday afternoon, the Holy Father ...

'Sneering secularists' are the new Pope-bashers
Liberal elite regard religious people as aliens from Mars

Young Catholics gather for opening Mass in Sydney
Tens of thousands of Catholic pilgrims awaited a Mass opening the World Youth Day festival

Tony Snow: An Integrated Life
The news that Tony Snow, a Catholic convert and national media figure, had lost his battle with colon cancer in the wee hours of Saturday morning was not a surprise, but it was still a sad disappointment. He is survived by his wife Jill and three children. God comfort them....

Catholic school principal caught in gay orgy
He's been 'a well-regarded educator up until this point'

Wiccans, Druids and Catholics
San Francisco archdiocese and USF offer facilities for meeting of North American Interfaith Network

The Last Word on Cardinal George?
"Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops, like bishops and your religious act like religious." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen )

Hazing alleged in Catholic church case
Student says worshippers tried to make him eat Host

Vienna Cardinal awards notorious pro-abortion-politician
On June 25 the archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, decorated the socialistic deputy mayor of Vienna, Renate Brauner, with the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great.

Gospel for Jul 15, Memorial:St. Bonaventure, bishop and doctor

Old Calendar: St. Henry, emperor and confessor

From: Matthew 11:20-24

Jesus Reproaches People for Their Unbelief

[20] Then He (Jesus) began to upbraid the cities where most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. [21] "Woe to you, Chorazin! woe to you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. [22] But I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. [23] And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to Heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. [24] But I tell that it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you."


21-24. Chorazin and Bethsaida were thriving cities on the northern shore of the lake of Gennesaret, not very far from Capernaum. During His public ministry Jesus often preached in these cities and worked many miracles there; in Capernaum He revealed His teaching about the Blessed Eucharist (cf. John 6:51ff). Tyre, Sidon, Sodom and Gomorrah, the main cities of Phoenicia--all notorious for loose living--were classical examples of divine punishment (cf. Ezekiel 26-28; Isaiah 23).

Here Jesus is pointing out the ingratitude of people who could know Him but who refuse to change: on the day of Judgment (verses 22 and 24) they will have more explaining to do: "Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required" (Luke 12:48).
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, July 14, 2008

Setting the Record Straight!

[Archbishop] Burke is a true believer in the safety of children

Regarding the editorial "The true believer" (June 29): The Catholic Church laments the very real damage done to those who were sexually abused by priests. Archbishop Raymond Burke strongly has supported all efforts to protect our children since the day he arrived in St. Louis in 2004. His commitment to the safety of children is unwavering.

The Archdiocese disputes the statement from the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests, a statement the Editorial Board did not verify with the Archdiocese.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has no knowledge of any priest against whom a credible accusation of sexual abuse against a minor has been proven holding any pastoral role within the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Those are the priests for whom the archbishop is responsible.

Archbishop Burke's record on child safety stands for itself. The Archdiocese of St. Louis had an extremely strong showing when it was audited last year for compliance to the Safe Environment Program, mandated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Not only did the Archdiocese pass the audit, it was commended as one of the strongest programs in the country.

Compliance figures compiled for June 30 this year show that than 99.6 percent of all the 35,000 local church employees and volunteers — everyone from the archbishop to soccer referees — are in full compliance with the SEP. The remainder are those who have just begun the compliance process. Thanks to the strong leadership of Archbishop Burke, archdiocesan institutions and activities are safe for children.

By repeating in print unproven and spurious assertions, the Post-Dispatch is complicit in perpetuating a myth and is giving credibility to information that is simply not true. It was an example, par excellence, of journalism at its weakest.

Monsignor John Shamleffer | St. Louis
Judicial Vicar

Monsignor Richard Stika | St. Louis
Vicar, Office of Child and Youth Protection

Deacon Phil Hengen | St. Louis
Director - Office for Child and Youth Protection
As printed in the online edition of the Post Dispatch!
Great job, gentlemen! One wonders, though, when the Post will again print more trash from SNAP and Clohessy?

Source: Post Dispatch

Just for Today, July 15

If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments (Matt. xix, 17). If thou wilt know the truth, believe Me: if thou wilt be perfect, sell all: if thou wilt be My disciple, deny thyself: if thou wilt possess a blessed life, despise this present life.
-Bk. III, ch. lvi.

O Poverty! thy faithful hands
Have stripped me for the race,
The snare is broken that did hold
Me fast, but for thy grace.
Let others cling to joys that bring
But weariness and pain;
I run my course, unfettered, free,
Eternal joy to gain.
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 - July 15

We are not innocent before God if we punish that which we should pardon, or pardon that which we should punish.

-St. Bernard.
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 July 15, Weak Women

Mother Javouhey, foundress of the Religious of St. Joseph of Cluny often used to say "I don't like weak women."

She could talk thus, for the king of her day once called her A Great Man.

St. Theresa of Avila was of the same mind. Both these women thought that a religious should have a vigorous soul; that she should be above the weakness of certain religious who must be coddled like children, or always upheld and encouraged lest they lose heart on the way.

Forward then! In the service of Our Lord there is no place for inconsistent, hesitating, perturbed, unstable, cowardly souls, wrapped up in themselves.

A nun is a woman. She can never have too many womanly gifts, --love, pity, zeal for service; a certain need of being guided and of unburdening herself. But she must possess them in a great man­ner! They must be accompanied by a virile courage, a beautiful moderation in desires for marks of affection and confidence, a total forgetfulness of self, a discreet but profound humility.

Who was more a woman than the Virgin Mary? Nevertheless, who more than she possessed courage to the degree of heroism? She stood--does not this word say all? Think of her discretion in words to the point of complete silence, she kept all in her heart; we are not told of any desire on her part to be pitied or complimented.

"My God, I do not want to lay claims to gifts that I do not have, nor to imagine myself stronger than I am. I beg of You, grant me the grace to be in my community, not as a straw which floats, but a valiant soul who remains steadfast and knows how to carry on; give me character and virtue to be ready for everything, even for something harder."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

What's Your Moral IQ on Violence, Fear and Habit in Moral Matters?

Violence, Fear, and Habit in Moral Matters

Allow ten points for each question. One hundred per cent means that you are a moral theologian; 90, you know the law; 80, you are about average; 70, you'd better join a study club.

I. What is violence?

2. Mary, violently resisting, is carried into a Baptist revival and forced, against her will, to take part in the services. Does Mary sin in any way?

3. If John saw that he would be forced to eat meat on Friday whether he resisted or not, would he be obliged to resist?

4. Louise, being forced to commit a sin against her will, does not resist. She knows that there are people around who will be scandalized by her lack of resistance. Does she sin?

5. Alice Marie, forced at the point of a gun to give her employer's money to a robber, inwardly gives consent to her sin. She does not believe that she can sin in this case. Is she right?

6. What is fear?

7. When would a person, who acted because of fear, not be guilty of sin?

8. Whenever Jack slices a ball on the golf course, he inadvertently blasphemes. Is Jack guilty of sin?

9. If Jack, who inadvertently blasphemes on the golf course, recognizes that he has a bad habit and does nothing about it, is he guilty of sin?

10. Pat, forced at the point of a gun to sign a contract, wonders if she is obliged to keep it.

Answers next Monday...

Adapted from The Queen's Work Magazine, December 1946

Answers, What Kind of a Theologian Are You-The Nativity?

Questions can be viewed here.

1. Micheas, Mich. 5, 2.
2. a-Yes. b-Yes. c-Yes. d-No.
3. a-Yes. b-Yes. c-Yes.
4. a-No. b-Yes. c-Yes.
5. a-No. b-No. c-No.
6. a-St. Peter, Mat. 16, 15. b-St. John, John. 1, 18.
7. a-Yes. b-Yes. c-Yes. d-No.
8. a-Yes. b-No. c-Yes.
9. a~No. b-Yes. c-Yes. d-Yes.
10. a-St. John, Jo. 1, 1, 14. b-St. Paul, Gal. 4, 4.
Adapted from The Queen's Work Magazine, December 1946

Filipino Archbishop bars pro-abort politicians from Communion

...Archbishop Jesus Armamento Dosado of Ozamis has announced that politicians who support legal abortion will not be allowed to receive Communion....

Minneapolis Catholic Church to Host Gnostic Anglican "Priestess" & Homosexual "Unions" Supporter

As you may recall, some months ago in Minneapolis, St. Paul Archdiocese, A Faithful Rebel exposed the proposed lecture of Carol Curoe, an active lesbian who was scheduled to speak at a Catholic parish in Minneapolis.

Now, as if the radicals hadn't learned the lesson then, when the Archdiocese had to very wisely intervene and suggest that the venue be moved, now they are aiming at stirring up a little more scandal. They have invited a female Anglican "priestess" and supporter of homosexual unions to lead Catholics in "Centering prayer and inner awakening", again at a Minneapolis Catholic Church.[See notice here] One wonders why they cannot seem to grasp the serious and scandalous nature of such activities being held in Catholic parishes, by people who actively contradict the Church's teachings.

What is it with all these so-called Catholics and their "itching ears" for all things vile and putrid? Another parish putting Archbishop Nienstedt to the test, it seems...

News Update, 7/14

Teens To Provide World Youth Day Web Coverage From Sydney
Training sponsored by USCCB in cooperation with MyCatholicVoice and the Embassy of Australia

Study: Oral contraceptives linked to artery plaque
Ten-year use associated with a 42% increase risk

Victims: Reforms 'must follow Pope's apology'
'It is essential for the Church to prevent, to reconcile'

Clodovis and Leonardo Boff, Separated Brethren (Chiesa)
The liberation theology that once united them now divides them.

“Zen-like oasis”
Among other things, Oakland’s new cathedral will feature a “healing garden” for victims of clergy sexual abuse

Colombian hostage says Catholic faith sustained her
Ingrid Betancourt prayed daily on a wooden rosary

Victory for registrar who refused gay 'weddings'
Harassed and discriminated against for her stance

Gospel for July 14, Memorial: Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin

Old Calendar: St. Bonaventure, bishop and doctor

From: Matthew 10:16-23

Jesus' Instructions to the Apostles

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [16] "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. [17] Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues, [18] and you will be dragged before governors and kings for My sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles. [19] When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; [20] for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. [21] Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; [22] and you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. [23] When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of Man comes."


16-23. The instructions and warnings Jesus gives here apply right through the history of the Church. It is difficult for the world to understand the way of God. Sometimes there will be persecutions, sometimes indifference to the Gospel or failure to understand. Genuine commitment to Jesus always involves effort--which is not surprising, because Jesus Himself was a sign of contradiction; indeed, if that were not the experience of a Christian, he would have to ask himself whether he was not in fact a worldly person. There are certain worldly things a Christian cannot compromise about, no matter how much they are in fashion. Therefore, Christian life inevitably involves nonconformity with anything that goes against faith and morals (cf. Romans 12:2). It is not surprising that a Christian's life often involves choosing between heroism and treachery. Difficulties of this sort should not make us afraid: we are not alone, we can count on the powerful help of our Father God to give us strength and daring.

20. Here Jesus teaches the completely supernatural character of the witness He asks His disciples to bear. The documented accounts of a host of Christian martyrs prove that He has kept this promise: they bear eloquent witness to the serenity and wisdom of often uneducated people, some of them scarcely more than children.

The teaching contained in this verse provides the basis for the fortitude and confidence a Christian should have whenever he has to profess his faith in difficult situations. He will not be alone, for the Holy Spirit will give him words of divine wisdom.

23. In interpreting this text, the first thing is to reject the view of certain rationalists who argue that Jesus was convinced that soon He would come in glory and the world would come to an end. That interpretation is clearly at odds with many passages of the Gospel and the New Testament. Clearly, Jesus refers to Himself when He speaks of the "Son of Man", whose glory will be manifested in this way. The most cogent interpretation is that Jesus is referring here, primarily, to the historical event of the first Jewish war against Rome, which ended with the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple in the year 70, and which led to the scattering of the Jewish people. But this event, which would occur a few years after Jesus' death, is an image or a prophetic symbol of the end of the world (cf. note on Matthew 24:1).

The coming of Christ in glory will happen at a time which God has not revealed. Uncertainty about the end of the world helps Christians and the Church to be ever-vigilant.
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, July 13, 2008

Just for Today, July 14

Thy cell, if thou continue in it, grows sweet; but if thou keep not to it, it becomes tedious and distrasteful. If, in the beginning of thy conversion, thou accustom thyself to remain in thy cell, and keep it well, it will be to thee afterwards a dear friend and a most agreeable delight.
-Bk. I, ch. xx.
At the beginning of July her condition became serious, and she was taken down to the infirmary. Looking at her empty cell and knowing that she would never return, Mere Agnes de Jesus said to her: "How painful it will be to see this cell after you have been taken from us!"

"My little Mother, you must comfort yourself with the thought of my happiness in Heaven, which in great measure I shall have earned in this little cell. I have suffered so much here, that I would have been glad also to die here."
-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 - July 14

The brightest ornaments in the crown of the blessed in heaven are the sufferings which they have borne patiently on earth.
-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 July 14, Obedience

St. Mechtilde in her Book of Revelations relates that God showed her one day tbe procession of the virtues. They were per­sonified by virgins standing before the Most High. One of them was kneeling, offering to the Lord a cup of gold into which each virgin poured, in her turn, a precious liquor. Astonished at this vision, the saint dared to ask for an explanation. Our Lord told her:
"The Virgin who is kneeling is Obedience;, she alone can give Me to drink because Obedience contains in itself the richness of the other virtues; true obedience must necessarily be the ensemble of all the virtues."
And in tbe light of grace, the Saint saw how true it was.
"Teach me, as You taught St. Mechtilde, O Divine Master, the price and dignity of obedience. Show me that to practice obedience means to practice a multitude of other virtues, patience, humility, faith, con­fidence, docility--that it is to give to my religious life, its strength, its reward, its value.

"I do not want my taste for obedience to diminish, as I advance in years, but on the contrary I want it to become more entire, more uni­versal, more intelligent, more supernatural.

"Grant, O Lord, that in all the difficult moments, when self love re­volts, when I find reasons and pretexts, I remember the virgin with the golden cup who on her knees presents to You the perfume of the other virtues, that not a drop be lost; that all be gathered to honor You as You deserve.

"O God, Lover of obedience, make me obedient!"
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Kleba Comments on Meeting with Archbishop Burke?

This was posted, I assume, some time ago, but I just came across it.
For your reading pleasure, presumably, from the Pastor of St Cronan parish. Continued here....

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost (TLM), On Discouragement

By Rev. H. G. Hughes

"And God will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able." (1 Cor. 10:13)

One of the enemies, and a very dangerous enemy, against which a Christian must ever be on guard, is discouragement. How many people there are who wish to love and serve God, but become discouraged and lose heart in face of the difficulties that are inseparable from the Christian life. It is, indeed, a favorite trick of the Evil One to make us discouraged, to make us think it is no good trying; that we are not getting on, or that being good is' really too hard; or at least that the best we can do is just to manage to get into heaven after a good deal of purgatory. The devil tempts with discouragement especially sinners, those who have fallen, and perhaps fall often, into mortal sin. He tells them that it is of no use their trying to be any different; that they are too bad ever to hope to become really good; that their temptations are too strong to be resisted.

It is a dangerous disease, this disease of discouragement. It is dangerous to those who are trying to be good, yet who have faults and sometimes fall into sin – it is dangerous because it takes away from them that joyous confidence which would lead them securely along the way of holiness; it is dangerous because it might even lead them to give up altogether and give themselves over to sin. And in the case of persons who have to struggle with habits of mortal sin, the devil knows that discouragement will simply stop them from making any real effort to rise to a better life.

So, then, whatever happens, even should we have the misfortune to commit mortal sin, we must not let ourselves be discouraged. Discouragement is not fair to God, and it is not fair to ourselves.

First, it is not fair to God, for it is simply another name for want of confidence in Him, want of trust in His infinite fatherly love, and in the unlimited power of His holy Grace.

And it we are wanting in this confidence, we are really depriving God of some of the worship we owe Him, for we are bound to worship God by faith, and hope, and charity - and confidence, trust, is part of the Christian virtue of hope. Listen to some words written by that great saint, Peter of Alcantara. They occur in a small treatise which he wrote for persons aiming at Christian perfection; and he is telling them how to act when they have fallen into any fault. After describing the faults to which such persons are liable, he says: "Should you have incurred all the miseries above described, and as many more as you please, one loving turn of the soul towards God prevails and gains more than all the sadness, reflection and examination imaginable concerning the fault or guilt, especially in venial and ordinary sins....Nay," he adds, "I will be bold to go further and affirm that this loving confidence in God is necessary not only after venial and daily sins, but also after great ones, yea, though we sinned frequently and not through frailty, but malice; for contrition and affliction alone will not raise us up if we have not also this loving confidence and confiding love in the goodness and mercy of God."

Then, discouragement means some want also of faith; it means that we do not really believe as we ought, in God's immense love, and mercy, and grace.

Yet our dear Lord has done all that He could to persuade us of His love and mercy - much more than He need have done. "What is there," said the prophet, speaking in the name of God, speaking of the work of our Divine Redeemer: "What is there that I ought to do more to My vineyard, that I have not done to it?" (Isaias v, 4).

My dear brethren, when we think of all that our blessed Lord has done for us, when we remember that it was for sinners that He became Man and lived and died; when we remember His loving words of promise to all who come to Him, how He has pictured Himself as the Good Shepherd, going into the wilderness to seek and save the lost sheep, and has told us that there is joy in heaven over the repentant sinner more than over the just, who need no repentance; when we look at the Church, with all her great and abundant means of grace and pardon, and reflect that this is God's great machinery, if I may use the word, for the rescue of those sunk in sin, for the raising up of those who are brought low by sinful habits, when we realize the grand truth that Jesus still lives on in the Catholic Church, now, as when He walked on earth, the living, loving and effective Saviour of all who come to Him, what place can there rightly be for discouragement, for anything but a great hope, a joyful, confident hope in our good and merciful God?

Does not discouragement often come from this, that instead of looking upon God as our most kind and loving Father, who, when He forbids sin, is forbidding only what He knows must make us miserable; and in commanding virtue, is commanding what will make our lives joyous and noble--instead of looking upon Him, I say, as our truest, most faithful Friend, whose love far, far surpasses that of the most tender mother for her child--we look upon Him as a hard taskmaster, always ready to catch us in a fault, putting burdens upon us heavier than we can bear, setting us tasks that we can not accomplish?

In the Epistle of this day St. Paul tells us, "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able, but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it" (1. Cor. x, 13). But when we allow ourselves to be discouraged, we forget this, and take a hard and unjust view of our dear Father in heaven, of our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Thus is discouragement unfair to God. It is also unfair to ourselves; it does not give us a chance; it does not give God's grace a chance with us. For, dear brethren, amongst other evils, it takes away our vigor, makes us unwilling to try; it fills us with false ideas, such as these--that God is not loving us; that our temptations are worse than other people's; that God is withdrawing His help, that virtue is out of our reach, that we shall never be any good.

Thus we prevent even God Himself from doing what He would for us; because, when He offers us His Grace, instead of rising up manfully and trying our best, we sit down and complain with folded hands, and weakly give way at the first assault of temptation. Thus, instead of using the grace God offers to us, we let it pass by unheeded. Sometimes this comes from an erroneous notion about grace itself.
People are apt to make a mistake about God's grace and the way it acts. I am speaking now, not of sanctifying grace, but of helping grace; that Divine assistance which is ever at hand at the moment when we have any difficult work to do or any temptation to resist.

Some people seem to think that this Divine grace ought simply to work a miracle for them; that it ought to do everything, without any effort on their part. But grace does not do this; it does not dispense with our efforts, but crowns them with success; it does not take away the struggle and the conflict, but it strengthens us to overcome. God's grace is with us to complete and carry to successful issue our poor endeavors.

Discouragement, my brethren, comes from ignorance and pride together. We forget that we are fallen men and women; that spiritual progress is slow, that we must mount step by step the ascent that leads to heaven. We expect too much from ourselves, and this is really pride. Discouragement simply means that we have been depending too much upon ourselves and our own efforts, instead of throwing ourselves with loving confidence upon God.

We must, indeed, distrust ourselves--utterly; but we must not forget that we are not left to ourselves. God expects an effort, but He does not expect that effort to succeed without His help; and that help He never will refuse to those who trust in Him. Our mistake is that we trust to self, and do not stretch out our hands to God. The proper course has been put thus by one of God's saints: "Strive and work as if all depended on you; trust and pray as if all depended upon God."

Brethren, we must not doubt our dear Lord's love, nor His will to help us, nor the power of His grace. St. Paul assuredly did not trust himself, yet he said, "I can do all things through Christ strengthening me." This is the remedy for all discouragement, the persuasion of this truth, divinely taught, "I can; I am able; nothing is impossible; I can do all things, not, indeed, in my own strength, but through Christ strengthening me. And He will strengthen me if I trust Him and go to Him and earnestly beg of Him the help I need."

We must have a loving confidence in our Divine Lord, in His grace, and in His love, and especially in temptation. There are two ways of meeting temptation. There is the way of those who have not this loving confidence in Jesus. They meet temptation with a disheartening persuasion that they are sure to fail. I know I shall give way, they say, forgetting those words of the Apostle: "I can do all things through Christ strengthening me." If they do say a prayer or two, it is with no heart, no confidence. But he who trusts in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, meets temptation bravely, joyously, confidently; he says not, "I shall fail," but "I will win, in the strength of my loving Lord and Master."

Listen to these words taken from a spiritual book which St. Francis of Sales made use of all his life: "Suppose a soul to be heavy-laden with sins, to have every possible fault and every imaginable defect, and to have tried, by every possible means and every kind of spiritual exercise, to forsake sin and to practice holiness. We will suppose this soul to have done all this, and yet to have failed in making the smallest advance in holiness, nay, on the contrary, to have been borne the more strongly towards evil.

"For all this she must not lose her trust in God, nor give over her conflict or lay down her arms, but still fight on resolutely, knowing that none is vanquished in this spiritual combat but he who ceases to struggle and loses confidence in God, whose succor never fails his soldiers, though He sometimes permits them to be wounded. Fight on, then, valiantly; for on this depends the whole issue of the strife, for there is a ready and effectual remedy for the wounds of all combatants who look confidently to God and to His aid for help; and when they least expect it they shall see their enemies dead at their' feet" (The Spiritual Combat). Past failure, then, my brethren, is no cause for discouragement. In failure, in temptation, in discouragement itself, turn to our dear Lord, confidently, lovingly, familiarly, and say to Him: "Dear Lord, Thou seest what I am. I will no longer trust in my own strength, I will depend on Thee. I know that I can do all things by Thy grace."
Adapted from Plain Sermons by Practical Preachers, Vol. II(©1916)
Nihil Obstat: Remegius Lafort, S.T.D
Imprimatur: John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York