Saturday, August 07, 2010

Gospel for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 12:32-48

Trust in God's Fatherly Providence (Continuation)

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [32] "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. [33] Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. [34] For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

The Need for Vigilance and the Parable of the Steward (Continuation)
(Jesus said to His disciples,) [35] "Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, [36] and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. [37] Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them. [39] If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants!" [40] You also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."

[41] Peter said, "Lord are you telling this parable for us or for all?" [42] And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? [43] Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. [44] Truly I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions. [45] But if that servant says to himself, 'My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, [46] the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful. [47] And that servant who knew his master's will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. [48] But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much is given, of him much will be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more."

33-34. Our Lord concludes this address by insisting on those imperishable goods to which we should aspire. In this connection the Second Vatican Council concludes its teaching on the universal call to holiness saying: "Therefore all the faithful are invited and obliged to holiness and perfection of their own state of life. Accordingly let all of them see that they direct their affections rightly, lest they be hindered in their pursuit of perfect love by the use of worldly things and by an adherence to riches which is contrary to the spirit of evangelical poverty, following the Apostle's advice: Let those who use this world not fix their abode in it, for the form of this world is passing away (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:31)" ("Lumen Gentium", 42).

"When Holy Scripture refers to the heart, it does not refer to some fleeting sentiment of joy or tears. By heart it means the person who directs his whole being, soul and body, to what he considers his good, as Jesus himself indicated: 'For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also' (Matthew 6:21)" (St. J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 164). Our Lord's teaching is quite clear: man's heart yearns to possess wealth, a good social position, prestigious public or professional appointments, which he sees as providing him with security, contentment and self-affirmation; however, this kind of treasure involves endless worry and disappointment, because there is always a danger of losing it. Jesus does not mean that man should forget about earthly things, but he does teach us that no created thing should become our "treasure", our main in life: that should be God, our Creator and Lord, whom we should love and serve as we go about our ordinary affairs, putting our hopes on the eternal joy of heaven. See also the note on Matthew 6:19-21.

[The note on Matthew 6:19-21 states:

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

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

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

35-39. In the preaching of Christ and of the Apostles we are frequently exhorted to be watchful (cf. Matthew 24:42; 25:13; Mark 14:34) -- for one thing, because the enemy is always on the prowl (cf. 1 Peter 5:8), and also because a person in love is always awake (cf. Song of Songs 5:2). This watchfulness expresses itself in a spirit of prayer (cf. Luke 21:36; 1 Peter 4:7) and fortitude in faith (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:13). See the note on Matthew 25:1-13.

[The note on Matthew 25:1-13 states:

1-13. The main lesson of this parable has to do with the need to be on the alert: in practice, this means having the light of faith, which is kept alive with the oil of charity. Jewish weddings were held in the house of the bride's father. The virgins are young unmarried girls, bridesmaids who are in the bride's house waiting for the bridegroom to arrive. The parable centers on the attitude one should adopt up to the time when the bridegroom comes. In other words, it is not enough to know that one is "inside" the Kingdom, the Church: one has to be on the watch and be preparing for Christ's coming by doing good works.

This vigilance should be continuous and unflagging, because the devil is forever after us, prowling around "like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). "Watch with the heart, watch with faith, watch with love, watch with charity, watch with good works [...]; make ready the lamps, make sure they do not go out [...], renew them with the inner oil of an upright conscience; then shall the Bridegroom enfold you in the embrace of His love and bring you into His banquet room, where your lamp can never be extinguished" (St. Augustine, "Sermon", 93).]

35. To enable them to do certain kinds of work the Jews used to hitch up the flowing garments they normally wore. "Girding your loins" immediately suggests a person getting ready for work, for effort, for a journey etc. (cf. Jeremiah 1:17; Ephesians 6:14; 1 Peter 1:13). Similarly, "having your lamps burning" indicates the sort of attitude a person should have who is on the watch or is waiting for someone's arrival.

40. God has chosen to hide from us the time of our death and the time when the world will come to an end. Immediately after death everyone undergoes the Particular Judgment: "just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment..." (Hebrews 9:27). The end of the world is when the General Judgment will take place.

41-48. After our Lord's exhortation to vigilance, St. Peter asks a question (verse 41), the answer to which is the key to understanding this parable. On the one hand, Jesus emphasizes that we simply do not know exactly when God is going to ask us to render an account of our life; on the other -- answering Peter's question -- our Lord explains that His teaching is addressed to every individual. God will ask everyone to render an account of his doings: everyone has a mission to fulfill in this life and he has to account for it before the judgment seat of God and be judged on what he has produced, be it much or little.

"Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed (cf. Hebrews 9:27), we may merit to enter with Him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed (cf. Matthew 25:31-46) and not, like the wicked and slothful servants (cf. Matthew 25:26), be ordered to depart into the eternal fire (cf. Matthew 25:41)" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 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, and by Scepter Publishers in the United States. We encourage readers to purchase
The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.

An Easy Way to Become a Saint - August 7

Continued from yesterday...

Chapter 2. How to Love God

Some say that they cannot love God

There are people who say that they cannot love God. When they make an act of love and say, "Oh my God, I love You," they feel nothing in their hearts to correspond to their words. Their words sound hollow, cold and false. This is what they tell us themselves.

Unfortunately, this happens to many, and as a consequence, they are losing every day of their lives great merits and never experience the wonderful happiness they should enjoy in their Religion.

Why cannot they love God?

There are four reasons:

First of all, they never ask God to help them to love Him.

Secondly, they do not realize, as we have said, what God is, His boundless goodness, His sweetness, mercy and love.

Thirdly, they do not understand how much He loves them.

Fourthly, they have no idea of all that He has done for them. All this we will now explain in detail.

Remark that when speaking of love we do not mean an emotional love, sentimental love; we speak of the solid love of God which comes from a clear, intelligent understanding of how good and sweet God is.

He Himself tells us: "Taste and see how sweet the Lord is," and again, "My yoke is sweet, My burden light."...

[Continued tomorrow]
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
Lisbon, Portugal
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949

Friday, August 06, 2010

Gospel for Saturday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: St Sixtus II, Pope and Martyr,and Companions, Martyrs
Optional Memorial: St Cajetan, Priest
Optional Memorial: Our Lady's Saturday

From: Matthew 17:14-20

The Curing of an Epileptic Boy
[14] And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and kneeling before him said, [15] "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; for often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. [16] And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him." [17] And Jesus answered, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me." [18] And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. [19] Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" [20] He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move hence to yonder place,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you."

14-21. This episode of the curing of the boy shows both Christ's omnipotence and the power of prayer full of faith. Because of his deep union with Christ, a Christian shares, through faith, in God's own omnipotence, to such an extent that Jesus actually says on another occasion, "he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father" (Jn 14:12).

Our Lord tells the Apostles that if they had faith they would be able to work miracles, to move mountains. "Moving mountains" was probably a proverbial saying. God would certainly let a believer move a mountain if that were necessary for his glory and for the edification of one's neighbor; however, Christ's promise is fulfilled everyday in a much more exalted way. Some Fathers of the Church (St. Jerome, St. Augustine) say that "a mountain is moved" every time someone is divinely aided to do something which exceed man's natural powers. This clearly happens in the work of our sanctification, which the Paraclete effects in our souls when we are docile to him and receive with faith and love the grace given us in the sacraments: we benefit from the sacraments to a greater or lesser degree depending on the dispositions with which we receive them. Sanctification is something more sublime than moving mountains, and it is something which is happening every day in so many holy souls, even though most people do not notice it.

The Apostles and many saints down the centuries have in fact worked amazing material miracles; but the greatest and most important miracles were, are and will be the miracles of souls dead through sin and ignorance being reborn and developing in the new life of the children of God.

20. Here and in the parable of Matthew 13:31-32 the main force of the comparison lies in the fact that a very small seed--the mustard seed--produces a large shrub up to three meters (ten feet) high: even a very small act of genuine faith can produce surprising results.
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.

An Easy Way to Become a Saint - August 6

Continued from yesterday...

Chapter 2. How to Love God

Is it easy to love God?

Most certainly, for God created us expressly to love Him and to love Him with all our hearts and souls. He is goodness itself. He has done everything to make us love Him. One might as well ask if it is easy for a child to love its mother, for a wife to love a dear husband, for a friend to love a friend, for a servant to love a good and generous master.

It is much easier to love God, who is infinitely good and sweet, God who loves us tenderly and affectionately, who is our dearest and most loving Father, our best, our truest Friend. All that is necessary is to realize His goodness.

The first great Commandment, the very essence of our holy Religion, is to "Love God with all our heart and soul; with all our strength and mind." This everyone must do.

Surely the all-merciful and wise God would never make the very first condition of His beautiful Religion something hard and difficult....

[Continued tomorrow]
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
Lisbon, Portugal
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949

Thursday, August 05, 2010

News Updates, Aug 6

Nashville Priest May Face Canonical Discipline Over Heretical Video
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, August 5, 2010 ( - A priest of the Nashville diocese may be facing canonical discipline after putting out a video on the front of his parish website this week denouncing the Pope and various Church teachings such as those against divorce, contraception, women's ordination, and the married priesthood...

Maine diocese weighs in on gay marriage decision
It's 'an insult to the millions of California residents'

Kenya's bishops lament passage of new Constitution
Referendum 'does not respect our moral values'

Mexican court upholds capital's gay marriage law
Rejecting an appeal by dissenting federal prosecutors

Sex abuse lawsuit targets Los Angeles archdiocese
Accused remains at large, wanted on 19 felony counts

'Lourdes' GPS misspelling confuses pilgrims
'...more and more people are getting it wrong'

Tom Monaghan to give half of fortune to charity
Ave Maria University founder signs 'Giving Pledge'

Nuns, priests accused of sex abuse at orphanage
Sisters of the Divine Savior in the crosshairs

Milwaukee priests lament new Mass translations
' we have to rub salt in the wounds?'

Medics dump botched abortion victim in forest
Moscow clinic may face criminal negligence trial

=== Other News ===

Under Obama ‘We Shall All Become Slaves on the Government’s Plantation’
Alan Keyes, a conservative activist and former diplomat, said Wednesday that President Barack Obama and liberals in Congress are promoting a dependence on government that mirrors slavery...

Gospel for August 6, Feast: The Transfiguration of the Lord

From: Mark 9:2-10

The Transfiguration
[2] And after six days Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them, [3] and His garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth bleach them. [4] And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus. [5] And Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah." [6] For he did not know what to say, for they were exceedingly afraid. [7] And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is My beloved Son; listen to Him." [8] And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only.

[9] And as they were coming down the mountain, He charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man should have risen from the dead. [10] So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.

2-10. We contemplate in awe this manifestation of the glory of the Son of God to three of His disciples. Ever since the Incarnation, the divinity of our Lord has usually been hidden behind His humanity. But Christ wishes to show, to these favorite disciples, who will later be pillars of the Church, the splendor of His divine glory, in order to encourage them to follow the difficult way that lies ahead, fixing their gaze on the happy goal which is awaiting them at the end. This is why, as St. Thomas comments (cf. "Summa Theologia", III, q. 45, a. 1), it was appropriate for Him to give them an insight into His glory. The fact that the Transfiguration comes immediately after the first announcement of His passion, and His prophetic words about how His followers would also have to carry His cross, shows us that "through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).

What happened at the Transfiguration? To understand this miraculous event in Christ's life, we must remember that in order to redeem us by His passion and death our Lord freely renounced divine glory and became man, assuming flesh which was capable of suffering and which was not glorious, becoming like us in every way except sin (cf. Hebrew 4:15). In the Transfiguration, Jesus Christ willed that the glory which was His as God and which His soul had from the moment of the Incarnation, should miraculously become present in His body. "We should learn from Jesus' attitude in these trials. During His life on earth He did not even want the glory that belong to Him. Though He had the right to be treated as God, He took the form of a servant, a slave (cf. Philippians 2:6)" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 62). Bearing in mind WHO became man (the divinity of the person and the glory of His soul), it was appropriate for His body to be glorious; given the PURPOSE of His Incarnation, it was not appropriate, usually, for His glory to be evident. Christ shows His glory in the Transfiguration in order to move us to desire the divine glory which will be given us so that, having this hope, we too can understand "that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18).

2. According to Deuteronomy (19:15), to bear witness to anything the evidence of two or three much concur. Perhaps this is why Jesus wanted three Apostles to be present. It should be pointed out that these three Apostles were specially loved by Him; they were with Him also at the raising of the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:37) and will also be closest to Him during His agony at Gethsemane (Mark 14:33). Cf. note on Matthew 17:1-13.

7. This is how St. Thomas Aquinas explains the meaning of the Transfiguration: "Just as in Baptism, where the mystery of the first regeneration was proclaimed, the operation of the whole Trinity was made manifest, because the Son Incarnate was there, the Holy Spirit appeared under the form of a dove, and the Father made Himself known in the voice; so also in the Transfiguration, which is the sign of the second regeneration [the Resurrection], the whole Trinity appears--the Father in the voice, the Son in the man, the Holy Spirit in the bright cloud; for just as in Baptism He confers innocence, as signified by the simplicity of the dove, so in the Resurrection will He give His elect the clarity of glory and the refreshment from every form of evil, as signified by the bright cloud" ("Summa Theologiae", III, q. 45, 1.4 ad 2). For, really, the Transfiguration was in some way an anticipation not only of Christ's glorification but also of ours. As St. Paul says, "it is the same Spirit Himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him" (Romans 8:16-17).

10. That the dead would rise was already revealed in the Old Testament (cf. Daniel 12:2-3; 2 Maccabees 7:9; 12:43) and was believed by pious Jews (cf. John 11:23-25). However, they were unable to understand the profound truth of the death and Resurrection of the Lord: they expected a glorious and triumphant Messiah, despite the prophecy that He would suffer and die (cf. Isaiah 53). Hence the Apostles' oblique approach; they too do not dare to directly question our Lord about His Resurrection.
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.

An Easy Way to Become a Saint - August 5

Chapter 2. How to Love God

Continued from yesterday...

Now let us see what we can do to become saints.

The first, the easiest and the most certain of all means to become a saint is to love God. We cannot possibly do anything holier, anything more pleasing to Him or anything more meritorious for ourselves.

We must learn all about the Love of God, for nothing is more important and more necessary for us, and nothing more conducive to our happiness.

To love God is the great work of our lives.

The value of an act of love

The value of one simple act of love is priceless. An act of love is of greater value than a thousand acts of any other virtue, just as one small diamond is worth more than a thousand gold pieces.

Our Blessed Lord told Benigna Consolata that any ordinary Christian can make an act of love in a moment which will have a reward for all eternity. We can make countless acts of love every day without any difficulty.

Secondly, He told her that one act of love gives Him more glory and more pleasure than a thousand horrible blasphemies give Him pain!

Thirdly, love wipes out our sins. One short act of love won for the thief on the cross the promise that he would be that very day with Christ in Paradise.

On the other hand, all that we do which is not done for the love of God is worthless and will get no reward. We may toil for long years and receive great praise and honor for our labors but, if our work is not done for love of God it is worthless.

Thus it is that a poor old woman who tells her beads at the church door, who bears her poverty patiently and who lives a quiet Christian life will have a higher place in Heaven than the great statesmen, the clever generals, the famous politicians, who direct the destinies of vast empires but who do not think of offering their work to God...

[Continued tomorrow]
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
Lisbon, Portugal
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949

New Updates, August 5

Cardinal George Decries Court Decision Striking Down California Marriage Law
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Francis George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, decried the August 4 decision of a federal judge to overturn California voters' 2008 initiative that protected marriage as the union of one man and one woman...

Judge overturns California gay marriage ban
Latest dramatic twist in watershed legal saga

Protesters in Poland block cross from being moved memory of the late President Lech Kaczynski

Fundraiser steals $51K from Catholic schools
Fund was supposed to lower tuition costs for poor

Hitchens calls Pope an 'elderly criminal'
Atheist laments he will likely die before Benedict

Pope: Eucharist is Jesus' greatest gift to us
A 'treasure whose value cannot be measured'

Groups want Cardinal Law dismissed from post
Accuse Vatican of giving abuse 'culprit' a soft landing

Police breakthrough in priest's murder case
Ballistics report links incident to other killings

Jewish donors give Catholic schools a lift
'We like to get a good return on our investment'

=== Other Issues ===

Networks Ignore Missouri Voters' Rejection of ObamaCare, Instead Celebrate Obama's Birthday
In the first voter referendum on ObamaCare, Missourians on Tuesday overwhelmingly (by 71 to 29 percent) backed Proposition C which called upon the state to enact a statute to “deny the government authority to penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance,” an outcome the St. Louis Post-Dispatch described as “rebuking President Barack Obama's administration.” On Wednesday night, however, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts skipped the bad news for President Obama – yet all found time to celebrate his 49th birthday....

Senate to confirm Kagan as court's 4th-ever woman
Her confirmation assured, Elena Kagan is on the brink of becoming the fourth woman ever to serve as a Supreme Court justice....Republicans have harshly criticized Kagan, 50, as a political activist who would be unable to put aside her liberal views and render impartial decisions. Democrats defend the former Harvard Law School dean as a highly qualified legal scholar who could help bring consensus to the polarized court.
[A pro-death, lesbian communist - all who vote to confirm this 'woman' are voting for tyranny!]

GM [Government Motors] donates $41,000 to lawmakers' pet projects
When General Motors went through bankruptcy last year, it suspended its political donations. Now that it's owned by the U.S. government, it's donating to lawmakers' pet projects again. The carmaker gave $41,000 to groups associated with lawmakers, the vast majority of it -- $36,000 -- to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the company reported on a disclosure form last week. The CBC Foundation is a charity with 11 members of the Congressional Black Caucus on its board....

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Gospel for Thursday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: Dedication of St Mary Major

From: Matthew 16:13-23:

Peter's Profession of Faith and His Primacy
[13] Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of Man is?" [14] And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." [15] He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" [16] Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." [17] And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, by My Father who is in Heaven. [18] And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build My Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. [19] I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven." [20] Then He trictly charged the disciples to tell no one that He was the Christ.

Jesus Foretells His Passion and Resurrection
[21] From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. [22] And Peter took Him and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to You." [23] But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a hindrance to Me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men."

13-20. In this passage St. Peter is promised primacy over the whole Church, a primacy which Jesus will confer on him after His Resurrection, as we learn in the Gospel of St. John (cf. John21:15-18). This supreme authority is given to Peter for the benefit of the Church. Because the Church has to last until the end of time, this authority will be passed on to Peter's successors down through history. The Bishop of Rome, the Pope, is the successor of Peter.

The solemn Magisterium of the Church, in the First Vatican Council, defined the doctrine of the primacy of Peter and his successors in these terms:
"We teach and declare, therefore, according to the testimony of the Gospel that the primacy of jurisdiction over the whole Church was immediately and directly promised to and conferred upon the blessed Apostle Peter by Christ the Lord. For to Simon, Christ had said, `You shall be called Cephas' (John 1:42). Then, after Simon had acknowledged Christ with the confession, `You are the Christ, the Son of the living God' (Matthew 16:16), it was to Simon alone that the solemn words were spoken by the Lord: `Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in Heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the powers of Hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and what you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven' (Matthew 16:17-19). And after His Resurrection, Jesus conferred upon Simon Peter alone the jurisdiction of supreme shepherd and ruler over His whole fold with the words, `Feed My lambs....Feed My sheep' (John 21:15-17) [...].

"(Canon) Therefore, if anyone says that the blessed Apostle Peter was not constituted by Christ the Lord as the Prince of all the Apostles and the visible head of the whole Church militant, or that he received immediately and directly from Jesus Christ our Lord only a primacy of honor and not a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction: let him be condemned.

"Now, what Christ the Lord, Supreme Shepherd and watchful guardian of the flock, established in the person of the blessed Apostle Peter for the perpetual safety and everlasting good of the Church must, by the will of the same, endure without interruption in the Church which was founded on the rock and which will remain firm until the end of the world. Indeed, `no one doubts, in fact it is obvious to all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, Prince and head of the Apostles, the pillar of faith, and the foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and the Redeemer of the human race; and even to this time and forever he lives,' and governs, `and exercises judgment in his successors' (cf. Council of Ephesus), the bishops of the holy Roman See, which he established and consecrated with his blood. Therefore, whoever succeeds Peter in this Chair holds Peter's primacy over the whole Church according to the plan of Christ Himself [...]. For this reason, `because of its greater sovereignty,' it was always `necessary for every church, that is, the faithful who are everywhere, to be in agreement' with the same Roman Church [...].

"(Canon) Therefore, if anyone says that it is not according to the institution of Christ our Lord Himself, that is, by divine law, that St. Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole Church; or if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of St. Peter in the same primacy: let him be condemned [...].

"We think it extremely necessary to assert solemnly the prerogative which the only-begotten Son of God deigned to join to the highest pastoral office. And so, faithfully keeping to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, for the glory of God our Savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion, and for the salvation of Christian peoples, We, with the approval of the sacred council, teach and define that it is a divinely revealed dogma: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks "ex cathedra", that is, when, acting in the office of shepherd and teacher of all Christians, he defines, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, possesses through the divine assistance promised to him in the person of St. Peter, the infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals; and that such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are therefore irreformable because of their nature, but not because of the agreement of the Church.

"(Canon) But if anyone presume to contradict this our definition (God forbid that he do so): let him be condemned" (Vatican I, "Pastor Aeternus", chaps. 1, 2 and 4).
23. Jesus rejects St. Peter's well-intentioned protestations, giving us to understand the capital importance of accepting the cross if we are to attain salvation (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:23-25). Shortly before this (Matthew 16:17) Jesus had promised Peter: "Blessed are you, Simon"; now He reproves him: "Get behind me, Satan." In the former case Peter's words were inspired by the Holy Spirit, whereas what he says now comes from his own spirit which he has not yet sloughed off.
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.

When will this witch be excommunicated?

Pelosi Statement on Marriage Equality Ruling

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement on the ruling announced today by U.S. District Court Judge Walker in the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger:

“I am extremely encouraged by the ruling today, which found that Proposition 8 violated both the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Proposition 8 has taken away individual rights and freedoms, and is a stain upon the California Constitution.

“We must continue to fight against discriminatory marriage amendments and work toward the day when all American families are treated equally."
Does her bishop, like Chairman MaObama, lacking the 'cajones' to do his duty?

An Easy Way to Become a Saint - August 4

Chapter 1. Two Kinds of Saints

Continued from yesterday...

Father [Monsignor Robert] Hugh Benson, the convert son of the Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury, went for a short visit to Catholic Ireland, of which he had heard so much.

At his request, a friend took him to visit some of the poor sick in their little homes.

He saw what he called "wonders." These dear sufferers amazed the young convert by their faith, patience and perfect resignation to the will of God.

One old man was suffering from an awful cancer, already in an advanced stage, which was eating away his breast.

Father Benson, full of compassion, tried to say some words of comfort to him.

"Oh my, Father, it's nothing" replied the old man. "Sure in a few days I will be with God in Heaven. Didn't He suffer much more for me?"

On his return to England, Father Benson wrote a touching article on the heroic patience and faith of these poor people. "They seem to see God," he said.

Owing to political troubles, an unfortunate man slew his enemy, a crown official.

Denounced by a perfidious friend of his own, he was arrested and condemned to death. He repented sincerely of his crime, but could not pardon his base accuser. The chaplain of the prison used his utmost efforts to induce him to go to Confession.

"This I cannot do," he said, "because, though sorry for my crime, I cannot pardon my false friend. Thus my Confession would be bad."

A good Sister of Mercy won his heart by her infinite kindness and delicacy. She too tried to induce him to confess. In vain.

On the eve of his execution, she made a last, supreme effort. "Do you know who I am?" she asked him. "Yes, Sister, you are an Angel from Heaven."

"No, I am no Angel from Heaven, but I am the sister of the man whom you killed. I have pardoned you, I have fasted and prayed and done all I could to save your soul."

Amazed, the poor man fell on his knees and, in a flood of tears, kissed her feet.

"Yes, yes, Angel of God, for you are, indeed, an Angel. I forgive with all my heart my enemy, oh forgive me you."

Hers, indeed, was heroic forgiveness.

A single act, as we have said, reveals at times heroic sanctity.

The widow's alms won Our Lord's high approbation. "She has given more," He said, "than all the rest." She had given only a mite, but she gave it with all her heart.

The Good Thief's plea for mercy on the cross obtained plenary pardon for all his crimes.

The Publican's short prayer: "O God, have mercy on me, a sinner" made his soul as white as snow.

[End of Chapter 1]
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
Lisbon, Portugal
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949

Keyes files complaint against Kagan for 'conspiracy to defraud Supreme Court'

Recently, we received the following message from Alan Keyes' national pro-life organization — Declaration Alliance — appealing for support of a criminal complaint filed by DA and Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch alleging that Elena Kagan defrauded the Supreme Court by altering a scientific report on partial-birth abortion when she was an attorney for President Bill Clinton.

The complaint, which Declaration Alliance and Freedom Watch filed July 28 before the Supreme Court, demonstrates from court records that Kagan altered a scientific analysis — inserting her own words — and passed off the analysis before the Supreme Court as official scientific opinion, fraudulently influencing the court to overturn Nebraska's partial-birth abortion ban in 2000.

The complaint seeks to have Kagan disbarred from practicing before the Supreme Court, as well as investigated for obstruction of justice.

Please read the appeal from Alan Keyes below and give this praiseworthy legal action your support.

Stephen Stone
President, RenewAmerica
More here

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Gospel for August 4, Memorial: St John Vianney, Priest

Wednesday, the 18th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 15:21-28

The Canaanite Woman
[21] And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. [22] And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon." [23] But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and begged Him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying after us." [24] He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." [25] But she came and knelt before Him, saying, "Lord, help me." [26] And He answered, "It is not fair to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." [27] She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table." [28] Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly.

21-22. Tyre and Sidon were Phoenician cities on the Mediterranean coast, in present-day Lebanon. They were never part of Galilee but they were near its northeastern border. In Jesus' time they were outside the territory of Herod Antipas. Jesus withdrew to this area to escape persecution from Herod and from the Jewish authorities and to concentrate on training His Apostles.

Most of the inhabitants of the district of Tyre and Sidon were pagans. St. Matthew calls this woman a "Canaanite"; according to Genesis (10:15), this district was one of the first to be settled by the Canaanites; St. Mark describes the woman as a "Syrophoenician" (Mark 7:26). Both Gospels point out that she is a pagan, which means that her faith in our Lord is more remarkable; the same applies in the case of the centurion (Matthew 8:5-13).

The Canaanite woman's prayer is quite perfect: she recognizes Jesus as the Messiah (the Son of David)--which contrasts with the unbelief of the Jews; she expresses her need in clear, simple words; she persists, undismayed by obstacles; and she expresses her request in all humility: "Have mercy on me." Our prayer should have the same qualities of faith, trust, perseverance and humility.

24. What Jesus says here does not take from the universal reference of His teaching (cf. Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16). Our Lord came to bring His Gospel to the whole world, but He Himself addressed only the Jews; later on He will charge His Apostles to preach the Gospel to pagans. St. Paul, in his missionary journeys, also adopted the policy of preaching in the first instance to the Jews (Acts 13:46).

25-28. This dialogue between Jesus and the woman is especially beautiful. By appearing to be harsh He so strengthens the woman's faith that she deserves exceptional praise: "Great is your faith!" Our own conversation with Christ should be like that: "Persevere in prayer. Persevere, even when your efforts seem barren. Prayer is always fruitful" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 101).
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.

An Easy Way to Become a Saint - August 3

Chapter 1. Two Kinds of Saints

Continued from yesterday...

The Children of Fatima

What happened more recently at Our Lady's sanctuary in Fatima will serve as another lesson on how to reach great holiness by simple means.

The Angel Guardian of Portugal came to prepare the three chosen children who were later on destined to see Our Blessed Lady.

Three things the Angel bade them do, viz., to pray devoutly, to hate sin and to offer to God with patience the sufferings the Almighty would be pleased to send them, this for His greater glory and for the salvation of souls. God's Holy Mother herself, when she came, taught them the same lessons, which enabled these poor ignorant little children to become worthy of their glorious mission.

Can we not do what three poor, unlettered children did?

- - - - -

We ourselves from time to time meet with simple souls whose extraordinary virtue is made evident by a single act.

A dear old woman run over by a carriage in Dublin and horribly crushed was rushed to a hospital.

One of the Mercy Nuns who became her nurse tried with infinite delicacy to comfort and console her.

What was not the nun's surprise when the patient opened her eyes and said,
"Sister dear, are you telling me to be resigned to God's Holy will? Let me tell you that God's holy will has been always to me as welcome as the fruit to the tree."
Poor, with many sorrows and needs during her long life, she now, in the throes of agony, manifested her perfect union with the will of God....

[Continued tomorrow]
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
Lisbon, Portugal
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949

Monday, August 02, 2010

Gospel for Tuesday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 15:1-2, 10-14

True Cleanness
[1] Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, [2] "Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat."

[10] And he called the people to him and said to them, "Hear and understand: [11] "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but whatcomes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." [12] Then the disciples came and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?" [13] He answered, "Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. [14] Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."

10-20. Our Lord proclaims the true meaning of moral precepts and makes it clear that man has to answer to God for his actions. The scribes' mistake consisted in concentrating on externals and not giving pride of place to interior purity of heart. For example, they saw prayer in terms of exact recital of fixed forms of words rather than as a raising of the soul to God (cf. Mt 6:5-6). The same thing happened in the case of dietary regulations.

Jesus avails of the particular cases dealt with in this passage to teach us where to find the true center of moral action: it lies in man's personal decision, good or evil, a decision which is shaped in his heart and which then is expressed in the form of action. For example, the sins which our Lord lists are sins committed in the human heart prior to being acted out. In the Sermon on the Mount he already said this: "Every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Mt 5:28).
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.

Feds Responsible for Release of Criminal Invader Who Killed Nun

Illegal Immigrant Who Killed Nun In Accident Was Released By Feds

The man suspected of drunken driving and killing a Catholic nun in Prince William County this weekend is an illegal immigrant who was awaiting deportation and who federal immigration authorities had released pending further proceedings, police said Monday.

The man, Carlos Montano, a county resident, had been arrested by police twice before on drunk-driving charges, and on at least one of those occasions county police reported him to federal authorities....
This country is under attack from without and from within. Perhaps someday we will see the traitors and criminals receive their "just" punishment.

Article here.

An Easy Way to Become a Saint - August 2

Chapter 1. Two Kinds of Saints

Continued from yesterday...

Benigna Consolata

A second example that will encourage the humblest of us is the story of Benigna Consolata. Her life, her conduct were so ordinary that those who were most intimate with her had not the faintest idea that she was a Saint.

She did not spend her nights in prayer, nor did she fast more rigorously than the others, she never worked miracles, yet her pure, humble life attracted the love of Our Lord, who frequently appeared to her and treated her with the most loving intimacy.

When speaking to her, He addressed her by her pet name, "Nina Mia." Her name was Benigna Philomena Consolata. He revealed to her the most consoling doctrines and said to her, "My dear little Secretary, write all I tell you, that others may know it.

"The Sisters who lived with her were utterly surprised when they learned after her death of her wonderful sanctity.

We ourselves may be surprised when we enter Heaven to see on high thrones those whom we knew on Earth but whose sanctity we did not suspect....

[Continued tomorrow]
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
Lisbon, Portugal
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Gospel for Monday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: St Eusebius of Vercelli, Bishop
Optional Memorial: St Peter Julian Eymard, Priest

From: Matthew 14:13-21

First Miracle of the Loaves and Fish

[13] Now when Jesus heard this, He withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed Him on foot from the towns. [14] As He went ashore He saw a great throng; and He had compassion on them, and healed their sick. [15] When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, "This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves." [16] Jesus said, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat." [17] They said to Him, "We have only five loaves here and two fish." [18] And He said, "Bring them here to Me." [19] Then He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish He looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. [20] And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. [21] And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

14-21. This episode must have occurred in the middle of springtime, because the grass was green (Mark 6:40; John 6:10). In the Near East loaves were usually made very thin, which meant it was easy to break them by hand and distribute them to those at table; this was usually done by the head of the household or the senior person at the meal. Our Lord follows this custom, and the miracle occurs when Jesus breaks the bread. The disciples then distribute it among the crowd. Here again we can see Jesus' desire to have people cooperate with Him.
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.

An Easy Way to Become a Saint - August 1

Chapter 1. Two Kinds of Saints

Continued from yesterday...

Ssint Therese of Lisieux

We have a striking example in our own days of a canonized Saint who was actually given to us as an example of how to become holy, by what she herself tells us is the easy, the "little way" to Heaven.

St. Therese of Lisieux never worked a miracle, never enjoyed heavenly visions, never did anything extraordinary, but she did well all that she did. She tells us that she went to Heaven in a lift [an elevator].

In the Carmelite Convent in which she lived, none of the Sisters remarked anything wonderful in her conduct. She was sweet and joyful and was the sunshine of the community. Possibly some of the other Sisters prayed longer and did more rigorous penances than she did.

An incident which took place before her death shows how simple and unpretentious was her life.

It was the custom in the Convent for the Prioress to write a short account of the life of each Sister after that Sister's death. During the illness of St. Therese, two Sisters were heard speaking of this. One said to the other, "Poor Mother Prioress, whatever will she find to write about poor little Sister Therese?"

Yet this dear little Saint began to work so many wonders after her death and obtain so many favors for those who had recourse to her that the whole world rang with her praises. She was solemnly canonized after a remarkably short time.

What a consolation she offers to those who wish to be holy! Hers was the little, the easy way, the lift [elevator] by which we, too, no matter how weak we are, can go to Heaven...

[Continued tomorrow]
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
Lisbon, Portugal
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949