Saturday, November 08, 2008

Principles and Practices - Starting November 18

We are nearing the completion of the texts from the little book, Just for Today, Selections from St Teresa of Lisieux and The Imitation of Christ, which will end on November 17.

So that there will be no breaks in the daily meditations, on November 18, I will continue with additional texts for meditation and reflection from another small book from 1930 titled "Principles and Practices". This book was compiled by Rev. J. Hogan Of The Catholic Missionary Society and includes daily readings from a variety of sources, such as: Ronald Knox, Archbishop Goodier, St Catherine of Siena, St John of the Cross, Raoul Plus SJ, St Francis de Sales, and many, many others.

I hope that these daily reflections are as helpful to others as they are to me, especially as they come from good Catholic books which are no longer in print or which are rather difficult to find. I use the daily readings from these books to provide an additional sustenance for my wanting spiritual life. As many of us are bombarded daily with attacks from the world and from Satan, I find these helps to be desperately needed today.

The preface of the book, Principles and Practices, is reproduced below, as are the relevant ecclesiastical approvals and the publisher information. I hope you find it enjoyable and worthy of your time. God bless you all.
Principles and Practices
Compiled By
Rev. J. Hogan
of The Catholic Missionary Society

The object of this selection of excerpts is not to offer any inducement to an indulgence in the tendency of the day--to shirk the study of complete works, and to be satisfied with paragraphs of information, but to stimulate to deeper inquiry and to reach for complete expositions.

But facts have to be faced, and there are people who need and desire food for thought in the spiritual life and who say they have no time for the master volumes. Perhaps this book will help both ways.

With real concentration, sincere reflection, and practical application it will not be useless.

Similar extracts will appear week by week in the Catholic Times.
J. H.
Published by
Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd.
Publishers To The Holy See

Nihil Obstat; Eduardus J. Mahoney, S.T.D. Censor deputatus.
Imprimatur; Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius generalis.

die 12a Junii, 1930.
First printed in 1930
Made and Printed in Great Britain

Just for Today, November 9

It is no great thing to be able to converse with them that are good and meek, for this is naturally pleasing to all, and everyone would willingly have peace, and love those best that agree with them.

But to live peaceably with those that are harsh and perverse, or disorderly, or such as oppose us, is a great grace and a highly commendable and manly exploit.
-Bk. II ch. iii.

Sometimes, when I was more violently tempted than usual, and saw that I would not be able to conceal the struggle, I ran away like a deserter. In spite of this, the Sister for whom I felt a natural aversion said to me one day:
"Will you tell me what you like so much in me? Every time I meet you, you give me a gracious smile."
What was it that attracted me? It was Jesus hidden in her soul who could change bitter into sweet.
-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 of St Augustine for November 9

THOU hast in store for me in heaven immortal riches, even thine own self; and here I have been desiring of thee on earth what even the wicked have, what criminals have, in the shape of money, gold, silver, jewellery, households of slaves; what many women of evil life have and many men of evil life; these things have I desired of my God, as something great upon earth, when all the while my God is keeping himself for me in heaven.
Click here for more information.

From Thoughts of St Augustine for Every Day
by Kathleen Mary Balfe (© 1926)
Nihil Obstat: Georgius D. Smith, S.T.D
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont

Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day-November 9

ANOTHER very severe pain for the holy souls is caused by the thought that, during life, God showed them so many special mercies not shown to others, after they had by their sins compelled him to hate them, and to condemn them to hell. He, nevertheless, through his pure mercy, pardoned and saved them.
From Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day
Compiled by Rev. C. McNeiry, C.SS.R.
Imprimatur: Joseph Hull, C.SS.R., Prov. Angl. Sup.
Nihil Obstat: Innocentlus Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor Deptutatus.
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius Generalis.
Westmonasterii, Die 9a Junii, 1927.
First published 1927

Gospel for Nov 9, Feast: Dedication of the St John Lateran Basilica

(32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Old Calendar: Dedication of the Archbasilica of Our Holy Savior;
St. Theodore, martyr

From: John 2:13-22

The Cleansing of the Temple

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No one understood what he was saying. Jews and disciples alike thought he was speaking about rebuilding the temple which Herod the Great had begun to construct in 19-20 B.C. Later on the disciples grasped what he really meant.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

2nd Reading-Nov 9, Feast: Dedication of the St John Lateran Basilica

(32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Old Calendar: Dedication of the Archbasilica of Our Holy Savior;
St. Theodore, martyr

From: 1 Corinthians 3:9c-11, 16-17

Apostolic Ministry (continuation)

[9] (For we are God's) building.

[10] According to the commission of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. [11] For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

[16] Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? [17] If any one destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and that temple you are.

9. "God's field, God's building". The Second Vatican Council uses these images to describe the inner nature of the Church: "The Church is a cultivated field, the tillage of God (cf. 1 Cor 3:9). on that land the ancient olive tree grows whose holy roots were the prophets and in which the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles has been brought about and will be brought about again (Rom 11:13-26). That land, like a choice vineyard, has been planted by the heavenly cultivator (Mt 21:33-43; cf. Is 5:1f). Yet the true vine is Christ who gives life and fruitfulness to the branches, that is, to us, who through the Church remain in Christ without whom we can do nothing (Jn 15:1-5).

"Often, too, the Church is called the building of God (1 Cor 3:9). The Lord compared himself to the stone which the builders rejected, but which was made into the cornerstone (Mt 21:42; cf. Acts 4:11; 1 Pet 2:7; Ps 117:22). on this foundation the Church is built by the Apostles (cf. 1 Cor 3:11) and from it the Church receives solidity and unity. This edifice has many names to describe it--the house of God in which his family dwells; the household of God in the Spirit (Eph 2:19:22); the dwelling-place of God among men (Rev 21:3); and, especially, the holy temple. This temple, symbolized in places of worship built out of stone, is praised by the Fathers and, not without reason, is compared in the liturgy to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. As living stones we here on earth are built into it (1 Pet 2:5). It is this holy city that is seen by John as it comes down out of heaven from God when the world is made anew, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband (Rev 21:1f)" ("Lumen Gentium", 6).

The Lord wants Christians to be living stones in this building and has associated them in the redemptive task of saving all mankind, so that in the course of their own redemption they might also be co-redeemers with him, completing "what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church" (Col 1:24): "Jesus has wanted every person to cooperate freely in the work of redemption [...]. The work of salvation is still going on, and each one of us has a part in it [...]. It is worth while putting our lives on the line, giving ourselves completely, so as to answer to the love and the confidence that God has placed in us. It is worth while, above all, to decide to take our Christian faith seriously" (St. J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 129).

10-11. With a solemn introduction (" According to the commission of God given to me", which equipped him for his ministry), St Paul identifies what holds together the community at Corinth and its individual members -- Jesus Christ, the essential basis for every spiritual building. Christ, as St Peter reminds us, is "the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the head of the corner. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:11-12).

Therefore, all genuine catechesis must be Christ-centered; it must all be focused on Jesus Christ, perfect God and perfect man, and on his teachings. Catechesis, says John Paul II, means "to reveal in the Person of Christ the whole of God's eternal design reaching fulfillment in that Person. It is to seek to understand the meaning of Christ's actions and words and of the signs worked by him, for they simultaneously hide and reveal his mystery. Accordingly, the definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ; only he can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity [...]. We must therefore say that in catechesis it is Christ, the Incarnate Word and Son of God, who is taught--everything else is taught with reference to him -- and it is Christ alone who teaches--anyone else teaches to the extent that he is Christ's spokesman, enabling Christ to teach with his lips" ("Catechesi Tradendae", 5-6).

Also, reflection on the fact that Jesus Christ is the foundation of the spiritual building, leads to the conclusion that a Christian "needs to be not only linked to Jesus Christ," St John Chrysostom points out, "but to adhere to him, to be finally attached to him: to be separated from him to the least degree is to be lost [...]. Notice all the comparisons the Apostle makes to explain this intimate unity: Jesus Christ is the head, we the body, for there can be no gap between head and ody. He is the foundation, we the building; he is the vine, we the branches; he the spouse, we the bride; he is the shepherd, we the flock; he is the way along which we are to travel; we are the temple, and God dwells therein; he is the first-born, we his brethren; he is the heir and we co-heirs; he is life and we have life through him; he is the resurrection and we men are raised up; he is the light by which our darkness is dispelled" ("Hom. on 1 Cor", 8, "ad loc.").

16-17. These words apply to the individual Christian, and to the Church as a whole (cf. note on 1 Corinthians 3:9). The simile of the Church as God's temple, frequently used by St. Paul (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 6:16), shows that the Holy Trinity dwells in the soul in grace. As [Pope] Leo XIII reminds us, by means of grace God dwells in the just soul as in a temple, in a special and intimate manner" ("Divinum Illud Munus" 10). Although this indwelling is attributed to the Holy Spirit (cf. John 14:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19), it really comes about through the presence of the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, because all actions of God which terminate outside God Himself (activities "ad extra") are to be seen as actions of the one, unique divine nature.

This sublime mystery which we could never have suspected, was revealed by Jesus Christ Himself: "The Spirit of truth [...] dwells with you, and will be in you [...]. If a man loves me, he will keep My word and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our home with him" (John 14:17-23). Although this is a matter which we never plumb in this life, some light is thrown on it if we remember that "the Divine Persons are said to inhabit as much as they are present to intellectual creatures in a way that transcends human comprehension, and are known and loved (cf. "Summa Theologiae", I, q. 43, a. 3) by them, yet in a way that is unique, purely supernatural, and in the deepest sanctuary of the soul" (Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis, Dz-Sch", 35).

Reflection on this wonderful fact will help us to realize how extremely important it is to live in the grace of God, and to have a horror of mortal sin, which "destroys God's temple," depriving the soul of God's grace and friendship.

Moreover, through this indwelling a human being begins to receiving an inkling of what the Beatific Vision--Heaven--will be like, for "this admirable union [of indwelling] differs only by virtue of man's [present] condition and state from union whereby God fills the blessed [in Heaven]" ("Divinum Illud Munus", 11).

The presence of the Trinity in the soul in grace invites the Christian to try to have a more personal and direct relationship with God, whom we can seek at every moment in the depths of our souls: "Get to know the Holy Spirit, the Great Stranger, on whom depends your sanctification. Don't forget that you are God's temple. The Advocate is in the center of your soul: listen to Him and be docile to His inspirations" (St. J. Escriva, "The Way", 57).
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.

1st Reading-Nov 9, Feast: Dedication of the St John Lateran Basilica

(32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Old Calendar: Dedication of the Archbasilica of Our Holy Savior;
St. Theodore, martyr

From: Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12

The Spring in the Temple

[1] Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east); and the water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. [2] Then he brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me round on the outside to the outer gate, that faces toward the east; and the water was coming out on the south side.

[8] And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah; and when it enters the stagnant waters of the sea, the water will become fresh. [9] And wherever the river goes every living creature which swarms will live, and there will be very many fish; for this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.

[12] And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing."

47:1-12. The vision of the spring revitalizing everything it meets on its flowing from the southern end of the way, is one of the most striking images temple and ending up in the Dead Sea, in the book. Its content is reminiscent of the vision of the bones (37:1-14): there, it was the Spirit that gave life to the dry bones; here, the water refreshes the dead waters. The image of the river reminds one of how in paradise (Gen 2:10-14) the four branches of the river make the whole garden beautiful; here, a single river actually gives life. Although the vision contains references to actual places, such as the oasis of En-gedi (v. 10), the Dead Sea or the Arabah, it is symbolic and what it shows is that the renewal of the temple and its worship will bring all sorts of advantages to the whole people.

There is an echo of this vision in the New Testament in the words of Jesus recorded by St John: “If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, 'Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water'” (Jn 7:37). Early Christian tradition links this text of St John with Ezekiel’s vision, seeing in the spring in the temple the waters of Baptism that flow from Christ who is life, or from Christ’s side on the altar of the cross: We go down to the water’s edge steeped in our sins and impurity, and we walk out of the water, our hearts filled with grace, fear of the Lord and hope in Jesus” ("Epistula Barnabae" 11, 10).
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.

News Updates, 11/8

Bishop of Diocese Where Biden Received Communion Calls Him to Account over Abortion
Bishop John Richard of the Pensacola-Tallahassee diocese reminded Biden that his policies reflect "a profound disconnection" from his obligation as a Catholic "to protect the weakest and most innocent among us: the child in the womb."...

Possible Barack Obama Supreme Court Nominee Harold Koh Backs Abortion
Washington, DC ( -- When the times comes for Barack Obama to make his first selection for the Supreme Court, Harold Hongju Koh, the dean of Yale Law School, is one of the people on his short list...

Abortion is "Non-Negotiable": Archbishop of Santa Fe, Argentina
"It's necessary to help the girl (who is pregnant) but not to propose the unacceptable solution of abortion," wrote the archbishop. "Abortion is not negotiable. If life exists, it has rights and it is necessary to respect them."

Obama Portrayed as Saint in Latino Newspaper
BOSTON – Barack Obama is compared to a saint on the front page of the Nov. 6, 2008 edition of Boston’s weekly Spanish-language newspaper El Planeta....article is titled, “San Martín de Obama”...includes 12 illustrations of Obama dressed in robes and holding a crucifix.

Syria's Assad congratulates Obama
Syria's state news agency says the country's president sent a telegram congratulating Barack Obama on winning the US presidential elections. SANA's report late Friday says President Bashar Assad expressed hope that with Obama's victory, "constructive dialogue" will prevail and "overcome difficulties that stood as an obstacle to actual progress toward peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East."

Obama: Extremists Say His Election In Harmony With Islam
(ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, NOVEMBER 7 - Barack Obamàs victory in the American presidential elections is a "demonstration of democracy according to the caliphate model in the origins of Islam". This was said by the spokesperson for the Hizb al-Tahrir (Liberation party) in Lebanon, a pan-Islamic extremist group which operates illegally in several Muslim countries and which has for decades sung the praises of the fight "against American domination" in the world. "Obama was elected by the majority of the American people and this is in harmony with our political representation system based on the example of the classical Islamic caliphate when Muslim followers elected the Caliph", Ahmad Qasas, spokesperson of the Tahrir, told ANSA, on the occasion of the party presenting its political programme in Beirut...

Friday, November 07, 2008

Gospel for Saturday, 31st Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 16:9-15

The Unjust Steward (Continuation)

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just for Today, November 8

Many things must thou pass by with a deaf ear, and think rather of those things that appertain to thy peace.

It is more profitable to turn away thy eyes from such things as displease thee, and to leave to everyone his own way of thinking, than to give way to contentious discourses. If thou standest well with God, and lookest to His judgement, thou wilt more easily bear to see thyself overcome.
-Bk. III, ch. xliv.

A certain member of the Community had a way of annoying me by everything she did; the devil must have had a finger in this, by making me see only her unpleasant side, but I would not give way to my anti­pathy.

I said to myself that charity is not merely a matter of feelings, but must be proved by deeds, so I set myself to do for her what I would do for the person most dear to me. Every time I met her I prayed for her, offering up her virtue and merits to God.

I knew this pleased Our Lord, for what artist is there who does not like to have his work praised? The divine Artist of souls is pleased when we do not stop at the exterior, but penetrate to the hidden sanctuary which He has chosen for a dwelling-place, and we admire its beauty.

I not only prayed much for the one who caused me many a struggle, but I also tried to be of service to her. When tempted to give her a disagreeable answer, I gave her instead a sweet smile, and tried to turn the conversa­tion, for it is written in the Imitation:
It is more pro­fitable to leave everyone his own way of thinking, than to give way to contentious discourses.
-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 of St Augustine for November 8

FIX thy gaze on the end of all and over­shoot the present...All this mass of humanity is one day to be called to account, to be put in the balance, and their works weighed.
Click here for more information.

From Thoughts of St Augustine for Every Day
by Kathleen Mary Balfe (© 1926)
Nihil Obstat: Georgius D. Smith, S.T.D
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont

Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day-November 8

THE pains of the holy souls are increased by all the particular favours they received from God, such as having been made Christians, having been born in a Catholic country, having been allowed time for repentance and having obtained the pardon of their sins. All these favours make them feel more sensibly their past ingratitude to God.
From Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day
Compiled by Rev. C. McNeiry, C.SS.R.
Imprimatur: Joseph Hull, C.SS.R., Prov. Angl. Sup.
Nihil Obstat: Innocentlus Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor Deptutatus.
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius Generalis.
Westmonasterii, Die 9a Junii, 1927.
First published 1927

Thursday, November 06, 2008

News Updates, 11/7

Billy Graham Won't Advise Obama Because of Strong Pro-Abortion Position
Washington, DC ( -- Respected Christian preacher Billy Graham has been an advisor and spiritual helper to presidents dating back to President Eisenhower. But that relationship with presidents will now come to an end because incoming president Barack Obama takes such a profoundly pro-abortion position.

Lawmakers Who Vote in Favor of Abortion in Uruguay Incur Excommunication
Montevideo, Nov 4, 2008 / 05:07 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Nicolas Cotugno of Montevideo told the Uruguayan daily El Pais that lawmakers who vote in favor of the legalization of abortion incur automatic excommunication, and stressed that “the values of the human being are not subject to vote.”...
[About time!!! Maybe US bishops will get a clue? Only when pigs fly!]

Fr. Thomas Reese [Jesuit Heretic] Confuses Honesty and Betrayal
Talking nonsense and calling it Catholicism has long been a specialty of Father Thomas Reese who said today that a majority of Catholics voted for Obama but if Obama actually supports the Freedom of Choice Act then he will have "betrayed" Catholics, according to What?!
[This clown, masquerading as a priest and now trying to cover for his heresy, supports an agent of Satan who promotes infanticide. Reese has repeatedly confused untold Catholics with his heresy and misleading rhetoric. He should have been dismissed from the clerical state years ago. Perhaps it's time for the Jesuit order to be suppressed? It's become an order of heresy and dissent, opposed to Christ, the Church, and the Pope .]

Planned Parenthood's Christmas Wish List for Obama Includes Forced Abortions
Washington, DC ( -- In its first email to supports following pro-abortion presidential candidate Barack Obama's victory Tuesday night, Planned Parenthood announced its Christmas wish list for an Obama administration. Included in the list is a request for funding for a UN agency involved in forced abortions in China...

Archbishop Gregory: Church ready for black Pope
Obama election is "a great step for humanity"
[A "great step for humanity"? Except, of course, for the unborn. Isn't being a bishop beyond Gregory's "pay grade"?]

Michael J. Fox Hopeful Obama Will Soon Fund Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Washington, DC ( -- With economics taking center stage during the presidential election and abortion coming in a distant second, stem cell research wasn't on the radar screen. But, now that Barack Obama is the incoming president, actor Michael J. Fox is hopeful that stem cell research will be back on the table.

Washington state legalizes assisted-suicide
Doctors now allowed to prescribe lethal dose of drugs

Three states ban same-sex marriage
California, Florida, and Arizona celebrate passage

Gay marriage-ban protesters arrested in California
Homosexuals take to the streets in protest of passage

Same-Sex "Marriage" Supporters Furious at California Loss: Lawsuits Filed Challenging Proposition 8
Besides the lawsuits, reports of threats aimed at Christian and other religious groups have been pouring in since it became clear that Proposition 8 would pass.

Catholics, Muslims condemn religious terrorism
Vatican forum ends with freedom of conscience statement

Obama made inroads with religious vote
Democrat prevailed with Catholic and Jewish Americans

Study: Catholic colleges have little effect
Students view abortion like general populace

40 Days for Life Leader: Pro-Lifers Must Look Beyond Elections and Focus on Making a Local Impact
Bereit said the life-saving impact of the recent 40 Days for Life effort cannot be attributed to any elected leader or law. "It was the result of people putting their faith into action right where they live," he said.

Archbishop to professor: deliver a pro-life Obama
Denver's Charles Chaput has words for Douglas Kmiec

Obama may have tricky relations with Vatican
Official branded Democrats the 'party of death'

Issues & Politics

Obama’s American Dream: Servitude
“When you choose to serve — whether it’s your nation, your community or simply your neighborhood — you are connected to that fundamental American ideal that we want life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness not just for ourselves, but for all Americans. That’s why it’s called the American dream,” declares Obama on the newly fashioned Office of the President-Elect website.
[Are we seeing Fascism coming to the USA? Maybe it's just a return to slavery?]

Man Arrested for Wearing McCain Shirt at Obama Victory Rally (YouTube)
On November 4, 2008 just hours after the presidential election victory of Barack Hussein Obama, thousands of Philadelphians streamed into the streets to cheer for their champion. Legions of Obama supporters formed iron ranks mostly of joy but when one man dared to have a differing opinion by wearing a McCain/Palin '08 t-shirt police officers threatened him with arrest and eventually did so without just cause.
Watch in horror as Obama kool-aid drinkers chant with joy as a man is arrested for exercising his First Amendment rights.

Day One: Obama faces Cold War threat, a warning from Israel...
The U.S. President-elect faces threats from Russia, Israel and Afghanistan as it emerged his election team's computers were hacked by a 'foreign entity' during the election.

What Happened to the Catholic Vote?
CHICAGO, Illinois, NOV. 6, 2008 ( More than half of U.S. Catholics voted Tuesday for a presidential candidate at odds with the Church's stance on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, despite the urging of more than 50 heads of dioceses to support pro-life candidates.

Rahm Emanuel- Obama's Chief of Staff: The Plan, Compulsory Service for all Americans, ages 18 to 25
We propose universal civilian service for every young American. Under this plan, All Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five will be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic training, civil defense preparation and community service....
[The 'messiah' needs your help...]

The Onion: Obama Win Causes Obsessed Backers To See How Empty Lives Are (YouTube)

Truly Classless! What a piece of work. Who ever heard of "The Office of the President-Elect"?

Fr Corapi: There Is Still a God in Heaven

Another email update:
The American people have now made it abundantly clear who they want to lead them, and the policies and practices that this president-elect has represented for some time, they can now claim as their own. Actions have consequences, and I am sure God has duly noted what our priorities are in the US of A. Economic matters would seem to take precedence over moral matters; money more important than life itself to most people (I guess they don’t consider almost 50,000,000 innocent children murdered by abortion part of life).

Now we shall see what the fruit of such a tree will be. I predict that we won’t have to wait long. In recent months we have seen “corrections” in the stock market, housing market, and banking industries. Now we’ll see if God orchestrates a “correction” in a country and a world that has demonstrated quite clearly that it prefers convenience and wealth to life itself.

Regardless of whatever happens next, remember there is still a God in Heaven and He loves you. He is infinitely merciful—and He is infinitely just as well.

God Bless You.
Fr. John Corapi
Fr Corapi's Website

Obama Expected to Embrace UN and Transnationalism

From C-FAM:
In the new Presidential administration, there will be a sea change in the way the US treats the UN and concepts like global governance and transnationalism. Look for the US to ratify a slew of dicey UN treaties. Look for a rejuvenated UN to begin announcing a gaggle of nasty global conferences. There is trouble ahead.

We report on what we expect from the Obama administration.

Spread the word.

Yours sincerely,
Austin Ruse

PS Our UN Petition for the Unborn Child is not up over 130,000! If you have not signed, go to and sign it. Then tell all your friends.

Obama Administration Expected to Expand US Relationship with UN and UN Treaties

Likely Obama Supreme Court Pick’s Globalist Views Alarm Social Conservatives

Gospel for Friday, 31st Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 16:1-8

The Unjust Steward

[1] He (Jesus) also said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a steward, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. [2] And he called him and said to him, 'What is this that I hear from you? Turn in the account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.' [3] And the steward said to himself, 'What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. [4] I have decided what to do, so that people may receive me into their houses when I am put out of the stewardship.' [5] So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' [6] He said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.' [7] Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' He said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.' [8] The master commended the dishonest steward for his prudence; for the sons of this world are wiser in their own generation that the sons of light.


1-8. The unfaithful steward manages to avoid falling on hard times. Of course, our Lord presumes that we realize the immorality of the man's behavior. What he emphasizes and praises, however, is his shrewdness and effort: he tries to derive maximum material advantages from his former position as steward. In saving our soul and spreading the Kingdom of God, our Lord wants us to apply at least the same ingenuity and effort as people put into their worldly affairs or their attempts to attain some human ideal. The fact that we can count on God's grace does not in any way exempt us from the need to employ all available legitimate human resources even if that means strenuous effort and heroic sacrifice.

"What zeal people put into their earthly affairs: dreaming of honors, striving for riches, bent on sensuality. Men and women, rich and poor, old and middle-aged and young and even children: all of them the same. When you and I put the same zeal into the affairs of our souls, we will have a living and operative faith: and there will be no obstacle that we cannot overcome in our apostolic undertakings" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 317).
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.

Just for Today, November 7

Set thyself, then, like a good and faithful servant of Christ, to bear manfully the cross of thy Lord, crucified for the love of thee.
-Bk. II, ch. xii.

When I was a postulant I found it very hard to per­form certain exterior mortifications customary in our monasteries, but I never gave way to my repugnance. The crucifix in the garth seemed to be looking at me with imploring eyes, begging me to make these sacri­fices.
-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 of St Augustine for November 7

WHATEVER that people suffered in the wilder­ness and whatever God gave them, all his scourges and all his gifts, are significant of our experiences in the wilderness of this life, as we walk seeking our country, now receiving to our consolation, now suffering to our probation.
Click here for more information.

From Thoughts of St Augustine for Every Day
by Kathleen Mary Balfe (© 1926)
Nihil Obstat: Georgius D. Smith, S.T.D
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont

Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day-November 7

THE holy souls are consoled by the remem­brance of the Passion of Jesus Christ and of the Blessed Sacrament, because through the Passion they are now saved, and through the Communions of the faithful and the Masses celebrated throughout the Church, they have received and receive so many graces. But they are tormented by the thought of having been ungrateful during life for these two great benefits of the love of Jesus Christ.
From Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day
Compiled by Rev. C. McNeiry, C.SS.R.
Imprimatur: Joseph Hull, C.SS.R., Prov. Angl. Sup.
Nihil Obstat: Innocentlus Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor Deptutatus.
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius Generalis.
Westmonasterii, Die 9a Junii, 1927.
First published 1927

Online Documentary Video - The Shrine of St. Joseph: Church of Miracles

Spreading the word about this little known but magnificent, miraculous Catholic shrine:
A high-quality, hour-long documentary video concerning the Shrine of St. Joseph in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA, has been placed online for free viewing:

The Shrine of Saint Joseph: Church of Miracles

The documentary was shot and produced back in 2000, paid for by the Shrine of St. Joseph's Friends, a non-profit lay group that helps to oversee the Shrine's renovations and daily/weekly operations. Permission has been given to make the video available on the Internet, in hopes of furthering public awareness of and interest in this beautiful church. This same video has been aired several times on EWTN.

Please enjoy the video, and feel free to pass the link to friends and family (please do!).

About the Shrine and the video:

In the stillness of its grand and silent Sanctuary, the Shrine of St. Joseph stands as a modern-day witness of faith, perseverance, and commitment. The quiet speaks powerfully to its simple beauty and impressive sense of dignity.

The Shrine of St. Joseph is an extraordinary Catholic shrine in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The majestic and stately appearance of this 19th Century architectural treasure is almost breath taking. The handcrafted wooden statues stand guardians of the historical richness, which is both extraordinary and miraculous.

Since 1864, this church has been the Church of Miracles. A German immigrant, Ignatius Strecker, was healed from terminal illness after he venerated a relic of Peter Claver. This miraculous healing led to the canonization of Peter Claver as a saint of the Catholic Church. Two years later there was another miracle at the church, and then another, and another. How many more miracles have taken place in connection with this church over the past 150 years, no one knows.

Many of this church's supporters say the fact that St. Joseph's is still standing today is a miracle in itself. It has survived declining parish membership, neglect, urban decay, vandalism, and acts of violence within its wall. More than one hundred years after the first miracle, a group of five men began an effort that would ultimately save this church. "The Shrine of St. Joseph: The Church of Miracles" is a moving testimony to the faith and commitment of the Shrine of St. Joseph's Friends to preserve this historic landmark church in a downtown St. Louis neighborhood that is also being rebuilt.

Come visit the Shrine of St. Joseph - you or your entire family can make a modern day pilgrimage that will renew and strengthen your faith for a lifetime.

The Shrine of Saint Joseph
1220 North 11th Street
Saint Louis, Missouri 63106-4614

There is an informative and accurate English-language Wikipedia entry concerning the Shrine:

The same video linked above is available, in segments, on YouTube:

And it is also available on Google Video (lower quality stream):

HT to Michael B

News Updates, 11/6

Roseanne Barr: Register Mormon, Catholic Churches, Judaism As PACs
The Mormon and Catholic churches and Jewish synagogues should be forced to register with the IRS as political action committees because they have "crossed the line between church and state" and "hate our country" and want nothing less than the "complete overthrow of the us [sic] government."
[First, all of the MSM should be registered as DNC PACs, shouldn't they?]

Obama may have tricky relations with Vatican
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Two months ago, a Vatican official [Archbishop Raymond L Burke] branded the U.S. Democrats the "party of death" because of its pro-choice stand on abortion. His words failed to sway millions of Catholics who cast their vote for Barack Obama....

With the Help of Catholics…Obama’s Victory
November 5, 2008 ( - When the U.S. bishops hold their annual meeting in Baltimore next week, one item on the agenda will be approval of the new Order for the Blessing of the Child in the Womb....It couldn't come at a better time.

What's wrong with Catholic voters? What's wrong with Catholics? by Phil Lawler
Yesterday, according to the exit polls, between 53 and 54% of American Catholic voters cast their ballots for Barack Obama, despite the Democratic candidate's enthusiastic support for unrestricted legal abortion... Why? ... Among Catholic voters who attend Mass weekly, McCain won majority support: 54- 45%. Among those who do not attend weekly Mass, the margin for Obama was an overwhelming 61- 37%. Thus Obama drew his support from inactive Catholics. And unfortunately, most American Catholics are inactive....

Archbishop Chaput to Kmiec: You Wanted Obama, Now Lobby Him on Abortion
Washington, DC ( -- Catholic apologists for Barack Obama pulled the wool over voters' eyes with their protests that he would have a pro-life administration and would seek to reduce abortions. Now that Obama has been elected, a top Catholic official is urging the Obama backers to make him make good on his word. During the election, the dueling between Catholic backers and Catholic opponents of Obama reached a fever pitch Groups like Catholics United and Catholics for the Common Good put up web sites, wrote editorials and sent out millions of mailings to voters to make them think pro-abortion candidate Obama would be pro-life president Obama. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver led the charge on the pro-life side against Pepperdine University professor Douglas Kmiec. In a letter to the editor to the web site Public Discourse, Chaput issued told Kmiec he would have to make good on his promises that Obama would reduce abortions and, in a more polite manner, told him to put up or shut up....
[Personally, I would like to see ardent, open, public supporters on Pro-death advocates excommunicated...]

Where is the body of Cardinal John Henry Newman?
Professor probes mystery over missing bones

“Contempt for the will of the people”
Same-sex marriage proponents won’t concede election, ask court to nullify Proposition 8

Mexican bishops condemn 'St. Death' devotion
...and St. Jude is not the patron saint of criminals

California stops gay marriage amid Obama victory
Voters also rejected limits on abortion in South Dakota

Catholic bishops congratulate Obama
Majority of Catholic voters opted for pro-abort president

Vatican: May God help Obama bring peace
Spokesman hopes president-elect will foster dignity

Pope Benedict urges Obama to build just world
Papal telegram delivered through U.S. ambassador

Black Pope could follow Barack Obama's election, says US archbishop
Wilton Daniel Gregory, 60, the Archbishop of Atlanta, said that in the past Pope Benedict XVI had himself suggested that the election of a black pontiff would "send a splendid signal to the world" about the universal Church....

Irish cardinal: Is EU really benefiting the Irish?
Does it mean intrusive bureaucracy, oppressive legislation?

How Obama lured millions of religious voters
Gains came most from Catholics who do not attend Mass

Obama's religious appeal reaches evangelicals
One quarter of them voted for president-elect

Issues & Politics

Ahmadinejad congratulates Obama, says he expects change
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday congratulated Barak Obama on his election win - the first time an Iranian leader has offered such wishes to a US president-elect since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

An Open Letter to Barack Obama:
Are you a Natural Born Citizen of the U.S.?
Are you legally qualified to hold the Office of President?

Newsweek: Obama, McCain campaigns hacked by ‘foreign entity’
At Obama headquarters, what was originally believed to be a virus planted in a phishing attack turned out to something more ominous. After an investigation, the FBI and Secret Service issued a dire warning:
You have a problem way bigger than what you understand,” an agent told Obama’s team. “You have been compromised, and a serious amount of files have been loaded off your system.”

Barack Obama Pushes Abortion on Day One With Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff
Washington, DC ( -- Barack Obama didn't wait 24 hours before making his first decision to promote abortion as the President-elect. Obama has offered the White House chief of staff position to pro-abortion Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, who has a 0 percent pro-life voting record....

Is Obama the secret son of Malcolm X? (Israeli Insider)
If Barack Hussein Obama II is Malcolm X's biological son and ideological heir, it would uniquely explain the mystery of why he was so generously helped by so many Arab and communist "friends in high places" long before he was a "somebody."

Missouri, the bellwether, backed the loser. What happened?

Putin may return to Kremlin in '09: report

U.S. Treasury teaches 'Islamic Finance 101'
Advisers, scholars to promote controversial Shariah funding

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Gospel for Thursday, 31st Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 15:1-10

Parable's of God's Mercy

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

The Lost Sheep

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

The Lost Coin

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. This silver coin was a "drachma", of about the same value as a denarius, that is, approximately a day's wage for an agricultural worker (cf. Matthew 20:2).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Just for Today, November 6

Above all things, and in all things, do thou, my soul, rest always in the Lord, for He is the eternal rest of the saints. Because, indeed, my heart cannot truly rest, nor be entirely contented, till it rest in Thee, and rise above all Thy gifts, and all things created.
-Bk. III, ch. xxi.

My will, may all, I do resign
Into Thy hands, which feed
My soul with hidden manna sweet,
Fulfilling all my need.
One look from Thee is my reward,
Thou knowest what is best;
And, safe within Thy arms, my soul
Shall sleep and take her rest.

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 of St Augustine for November 6

HE against whom thou hast declared war is much stronger than thou art....God he is with whom thou art dissatisfied; blush and be dissatisfied with thyself.
Click here for more information.

From Thoughts of St Augustine for Every Day
by Kathleen Mary Balfe (© 1926)
Nihil Obstat: Georgius D. Smith, S.T.D
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont

Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day-November 6

ANOTHER great torment of the holy souls arises from not knowing when their pains will cease. They are certain that they will be one day liberated; but the uncertainty of the length of their sufferings torments them severely.
From Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day
Compiled by Rev. C. McNeiry, C.SS.R.
Imprimatur: Joseph Hull, C.SS.R., Prov. Angl. Sup.
Nihil Obstat: Innocentlus Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor Deptutatus.
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius Generalis.
Westmonasterii, Die 9a Junii, 1927.
First published 1927

An Election Day Vignette - God Helps Us!

Saint Louis Catholic is "subjected to the test" while in line to vote - I'm not certain that I could have kept my mouth shut...

There are forces of evil at work within the Church and outside the Church. And children are the most vulnerable as we should recall when reading this anecdote...The enemies of Christ seem to be everywhere...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

News Updates, 11/5

Catholics Go For Obama (Rev. Thomas J. Reese)
Catholic voters ignored the instructions of a group of vocal bishops and delivered 54% of their vote for Barack Obama as president of the United States. These bishops, led by Archbishops Charles Chaput and Raymond Burke, argued that abortion was the most important issue in the election and that no other issues outweighed it. As a result, they argued, Catholics could not vote for a pro-choice candidate....
[Are these Obama "Catholics", in fact, Catholic at all? I think not.]

Not to Vote Pro-Life Is to Participate in the Culture of Death: Archbishop Burke
“A good citizen must support and vote for the candidate who most supports the inalienable dignity of innocent and defenseless life, and the integrity of marriage.”
[Polls indicate that the Catholic vote was split, generally, among both McCain and Obama. It is deplorable and repugnant that any Christian, Catholic or otherwise, would vote for a candidate for the office of president who supports legislation which allows the destruction of innocent human life, the murder of babies in the womb or outside the womb. I am so sickened and saddened that we, as a once God-fearing people, have failed miserably in the sight of Almighty God and his precious little ones by electing leaders who have no regard for life. We now reap what we have sown - especially if 'The One' follows through on his promises to undue the years and years of arduous work over the past 35 years in trying to right a monstrous and wicked wrong. Let us pray for Divine Intervention and mercy and ask our Blessed Mother and all of the Saints to pray for us as well. God suely knows that we need help!]

Bishop Cracks Down on Catholic Charities
Bishop Robert Hermann, in a memo to the Catholic Charities board, said that the organization had been allowed to drift in a direction that began to work contrary to the desires of Archbishop Rigali and Archbishop Burke...James Gunn, a former Catholic Charities board member and critic of the Archdioces said that the social ministry of the church is not nearly as important to them as their far-right conservative Catholic agenda.

Catholic law professor who endorsed Obama invited to speak at St. John’s Seminary
Douglas Kmiec, the Catholic law professor at Pepperdine University whose March endorsement of Barack Obama stunned conservatives, has been invited to give an election post-mortem at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo...titled “Catholics and the 2008 Election: Are We a House Divided?”

American is now officially an Obamanation
Senator from Illinois elected 44th U.S. president

Xavier University ripped for holding Obama rally
Catholic college hosted get-out-the-vote event

American Catholic shifting to Barack Obama
Despite aggressive prolife push by more than 50 bishops

Catholics long sided with presidential winner
Gave Bush edge needed to win Ohio in 2004, Obama in 2008

The disappearing / reappearing Catholic vote
A 20% difference is the threshold for significance

Restaurant owner attacked by Italian priest
Two nuns also join in Wild West-style saloon bar brawl

Catholic priest jailed for child sex offenses
Sentenced on six counts of indecent acts with a minor

Pius XII saw 'miracle of the sun' four times
Handwritten note reveals Pope's experience in 1950

Issues & Politics

From - Read it and weep:
* Obama Captures Win Over John McCain, Expected to Promote Abortions
* Washington Becomes Second State to Legalize Assisted Suicide in Vote
* Michigan Voters Approve Proposition 2 to Destroy Human Embryos
* California Very Narrowly Opposes Third Try for Parental Notification
* South Dakota Voters Defeat Second Ballot Measure to Ban Abortions
* Colorado Voters Soundly Defeat Personhood Ballot Measure on Abortion
[Time for repentance and reparations?]

Why? Answer: Radical Chic Becomes Obama Kumbaya

Tom Wolfe wrote about this phenomenon in his 1970 bestseller Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers during the early years. Unfortunately the phenomenon Wolfe described grew and became accepted where it then became part of our American culture. That guilt driven phenomenon "radical chic" was welcomed and accepted as much as "global warming caused by man" is being accepted due to the non-stop brainwashing indoctrination at all levels of society...

President - Elect Barack Obama Makes History by Deacon Keith Fournier
What is clear is that Barack Obama will now be my President as well as the President of all those who voted for him. I will pray for him and respect his office. I will also do all that I can to influence him and his administration concerning the truth of this fundamental human right to life. I will also do something else. I will join with others in building a new movement which recognizes the failures of both major political parties and seeks to build a new alliance of Americans. This alliance will insist upon the primacy of the fundamental human right to life - not as a single issue - but as the very framework and foundation of a truly just society....

Fidel Castro Praises Obama on Eve of Election, Joined by Socialist Allies in Other Latin American Countries
Luis Lula, Brazil's socialist President and friend of Castro, has also praised Obama in the days leading to the election, saying that his election would be a "subject of joy in the silent mind of each one of us."

And on a personal note, please keep in your prayers our Supreme Court Justices, especially Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and particularly, Anthony Kennedy.

Gospel for Wednesday, 31st Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 14:25-33

Conditions For Following Jesus

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Besides, for a soul to become filled with God it must first be emptied of everything that could be an obstacle to God's indwelling: "The doctrine that the Son of God came to teach was contempt for all things in order to receive as a reward the Spirit of God in himself. For, as long as the soul does not reject all things, it has no capacity to receive the Spirit of God in pure transformation" (St. John of the Cross, "Ascent of Mount Carmel", Book 1, Chapter 5, 2).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Just for Today, November 5

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.

She knew that whilst we are upon this earth prayer may sometimes be wearisome, but that to persevere in it in spite of fatigue, is to unite ourselves to Our Lord in His agony in the garden. To a novice who told her that she was looking forward to her retreat as it would mean a peaceful rest, she said: "So you are going into retreat in order to enjoy a rest? I am going that I may give myself more completely to God. Remember what is said in the Imitation: Where a man seeks himself, there he falls from love."

-Esprit de Sainte Therese.
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 of St Augustine for November 5

Lo, thy soul is at war. What soul and with whom at war? It is thy soul at war with God; a made soul against him by whom it was made. By the mere fact of thy existence and ability to cry out against him, thou art ungrateful.
Click here for more information.

From Thoughts of St Augustine for Every Day
by Kathleen Mary Balfe (© 1926)
Nihil Obstat: Georgius D. Smith, S.T.D
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont

Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day-November 5

A PAIN which still more afflicts the holy souls arises from the thought of having, during life, displeased by their sins that God whom they so ardently love. They understand far better than we do the claims God has to our love. Hence, at the thought of having offended him during life, they experience pain which surpasses every other pain.
From Thoughts from St Alphonsus for Every Day
Compiled by Rev. C. McNeiry, C.SS.R.
Imprimatur: Joseph Hull, C.SS.R., Prov. Angl. Sup.
Nihil Obstat: Innocentlus Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor Deptutatus.
Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius Generalis.
Westmonasterii, Die 9a Junii, 1927.
First published 1927

Election Prayer by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Lord Jesus Christ, You told us to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.

Enlighten the minds of our people [in] America.

May we choose a President of the United States, and other government officials, according to Your Divine Will.

Give our citizens the courage to choose leaders of our nation who respect the sanctity of unborn human life, the sanctity of marriage, the sanctity of marital relations, the sanctity of the family, and the sanctity of the aging.

Grant us the wisdom to give You, what belongs to You, our God.

If we do this, as a nation, we are confident You will give us an abundance of Your blessings through our elected leaders. Amen.
Composed by Father John Anthony Hardon, S.J.
Imprimatur: +Rene H. Gracida, Bishop of Corpus Christi, July 7, 1992
Published by Eternal Life in 1992

Monday, November 03, 2008

News Updates, 11/4

Catholic Bishop: Voters Who Support Pro-Abortion Obama Put Salvation at Risk
Kansas City, MO ( -- In one of the most far-reaching statements about Catholics and the presidential election, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City has urged Catholics not to vote for Barack Obama.

Archbishop Chaput : Senator Obama Most Pro-Abortion Candidate Since Roe v Wade

AP Does Final Disservice to Voters, Hides Barack Obama's Pro-Abortion Stance
Washington, DC ( -- The Associated Press has done a final disservice to voters as it has through the presidential elections by hiding Barack Obama's pro-abortion stance....

Michigan Bishop to Voters: Abortion can Only be Outweighed by an Evil Equivalent "in Number and Kind"
Because abortion consists in the murder of about one million unborn children every year, says the bishop, "A Catholic can, in good conscience, vote for a pro-choice candidate only if other issues outweigh this one in number and in kind."

Many have Asked: Is Obama the Anti-Christ - Famed Novelist Michael O'Brien Answers

Hospital Doctor Is Accused Of Giving Lover Abortion Pill Crumbled Into Her Tea

Polite Catholic Barbarians at the Obama Moment
What has troubled me so deeply about the upcoming presidential election is that for the American Catholic voter the November 4 choice really should be a “no-brainer”. We shouldn’t have to think that deeply about our obligation to use our vote to protect the unborn. It shouldn’t be this difficult! Neither party loyalty, nor social issue concerns, nor even a healthy Catholic concern for the common good should ever distract Americans from our most pressing and urgent focus — the abortion holocaust.

Excommunication looms for St Mary's parishioners in Brisbane

USCCB To Probe Aid Directed to ACORN
The CCHD sent $1,037,000 to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in 2007, including a $40,000 grant to an ACORN affiliate in Las Vegas that was raided last month by the Nevada attorney general's office in a voter-fraud probe.
[One of the reasons I give nothing to this group; this has been known to some or quites some time]

Many asking: Is Obama the Antichrist?
Novelist: 'He is a carrier of a deadly moral virus'

'O'Biden' plays up working-class, Catholic roots
Hopes to reach blue-collar workers in Republican land

Bishop Carlson on abortion and Catholic voters
'Right to life is the right through which all others flow'

First-ever Catholic-Muslim forum to open at Vatican
Three-day gathering opens 'new chapter' in long history

Abortion, the 'silent issue' in the election
Opponents don't feel any less strongly about it

El Paso Catholic bishop's open letter on voting
Church teaches voting is privilege and responsibility

Retired Catholic bishop guilty of sex abuse
Des Moins diocesan review board hands down verdict

Kindergarteners asked to sign 'gay pledge'
Calif. school teacher aimed to discourage harassment

Issues & Politics

Obama Tells Abbas: I Support Dividing Jerusalem
( Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama privately expressed his support for a new Arab state within Israel's current borders, including eastern Jerusalem, during his meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah this summer.

Justice Souter denies Stay of Election
Justice Souter's Clerk has informed Mr. Berg that Mr. Berg's application for an injunction to stay the November 4th election has been denied...The defendants are required to respond to the Writ of Certiorari by December first, after which Mr. Berg will have an opportunity to respond.

Why I Will Vote for John McCain by Deal W. Hudson

NEW VIDEO of Black Panthers patrolling Philadelphia Polling Place
[Welcome to the Banana Republic of Obama]

Honest and Open Election Hotline
The McCain-Palin campaign launched the Honest and Open Election hotline to help citizens learn the location of their polling place, as well as report any instances of irregularities at the polls, including voter fraud, intimidation, violence and electioneering. The hotline can be accessed via phone at: 866-976-VOTE....

Shocking: Obama's Attack Ad On Himself (YouTube)

All Barack Obama Statements Come With an Expiration Date. All Of Them.
By popular demand, the list of expired Obama statements... Consumers should be aware that promises, pledged, and soul-healing rhetoric are only effective for a limited time; upon expiration they become "just words."

Aunt Zeituni's Protectors - Obama Incapable of Telling the Truth
Senior aides to Sen. Barack Obama and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick were aware that Obama's aunt, Zeituni Onyango, was living in the United States illegally and in a South Boston public-housing project, and were monitoring her at the request of senior Obama campaign officials...

The Terrorist’s Candidate - Who gets Bill Ayers’ campaign cash? Only 'The One'

Makeup of U.S. Supreme Court Hangs in the Balance
A single appointee to the U.S. Supreme Court could decide whether Roe v. Wade remains the law. "This is a historic election," Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, told USA Today. "With the next president having the opportunity to appoint one, two or even more justices," the election could change the law "on the life issue."

Schumer on Fox: Fairness Doctrine ‘fair and balanced’
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday defended the so-called Fairness Doctrine in an interview on Fox News, saying, “I think we should all be fair and balanced, don’t you?”

Toledo Police brace for possible civil unrest
Issued riot gear

Obama Is Soul Of Sophomoric Self-Assurance
After the big gamble on subprime mortgages that led to the current financial crisis, is there going to be an even bigger gamble, by putting the fate of a nation in the hands of a man whose only qualifications are ego and mouth?

Barack Obama: Red Diaper Baby
Barack Obama is a "red diaper baby" who has spent his formative years -- literally from the moment of his birth -- interacting with members and sympathizers of the Communist Party, USA.