Saturday, January 31, 2015

Feast of St. John Bosco



Don Bosco

My First Holy Communion and Confirmation was at St. John Bosco Church, in Redford, Michigan, so this saint has always been special to me.

10 Sayings from the Great Master of Youth – St. John Bosco

Friday, January 30, 2015

Prayer for Peace ~ St. Pope John Paul

 


Prayer for Peace in the World By St. Pope John Paul II

Immaculate Heart of Mary, help us to conquer the menace of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today, and whose immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world and seem to block the paths toward the future.

From famine and war, deliver us. From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us. From sins against human life from its very beginning, deliver us. From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us. From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us. From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us. From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us. From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us. From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us.
Accept, O Mother of Christ, this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings,laden with the sufferings of whole societies. Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit conquer all sin: individual sin and the “sin of the world,”sin in all its manifestations.

Let there be revealed once more in the history of the world the infinite saving power of the redemption: the power of merciful love. May it put a stop to evil. May it transform consciences. May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of hope. Amen

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Make Your Hearts Firm


MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR LENT 2015

“Make your hearts firm” (Jas 5:8)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

"Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each communities and every believer. Above all it is a “time of grace” (2 Cor 6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away from him. He is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us. Usually, when we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others (something God the Father never does): we are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the injustices they endure… Our heart grows cold. As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I don’t think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference. It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront.

When the people of God are converted to his love, they find answers to the questions that history continually raises. One of the most urgent challenges which I would like to address in this Message is precisely the globalization of indifference.

Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.

God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation. In the Incarnation, in the earthly life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, the gate between God and man, between heaven and earth, opens once for all. The Church is like the hand holding open this gate, thanks to her proclamation of God’s word, her celebration of the sacraments and her witness of the faith which works through love (cf. Gal 5:6). But the world tends to withdraw into itself and shut that door through which God comes into the world and the world comes to him. Hence the hand, which is the Church, must never be surprised if it is rejected, crushed and wounded.

God’s people, then, need this interior renewal, lest we become indifferent and withdraw into ourselves. To further this renewal, I would like to propose for our reflection three biblical texts.

1. “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Cor 12:26) – The Church

The love of God breaks through that fatal withdrawal into ourselves which is indifference. The Church offers us this love of God by her teaching and especially by her witness. But we can only bear witness to what we ourselves have experienced. Christians are those who let God clothe them with goodness and mercy, with Christ, so as to become, like Christ, servants of God and others. This is clearly seen in the liturgy of Holy Thursday, with its rite of the washing of feet. Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet, but he came to realize that Jesus does not wish to be just an example of how we should wash one another’s feet. Only those who have first allowed Jesus to wash their own feet can then offer this service to others. Only they have “a part” with him (Jn 13:8) and thus can serve others.

Lent is a favorable time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like him. This happens whenever we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. There we become what we receive: the Body of Christ. In this body there is no room for the indifference which so often seems to possess our hearts. For whoever is of Christ, belongs to one body, and in him we cannot be indifferent to one another. “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy” (1 Cor 12:26).

The Church is the communio sanctorum not only because of her saints, but also because she is a communion in holy things: the love of God revealed to us in Christ and all his gifts. Among these gifts there is also the response of those who let themselves be touched by this love. In this communion of saints, in this sharing in holy things, no one possesses anything alone, but shares everything with others. And since we are united in God, we can do something for those who are far distant, those whom we could never reach on our own, because with them and for them, we ask God that all of us may be open to his plan of salvation.

2. “Where is your brother?” (Gen 4:9) – Parishes and Communities

All that we have been saying about the universal Church must now be applied to the life of our parishes and communities. Do these ecclesial structures enable us to experience being part of one body? A body which receives and shares what God wishes to give? A body which acknowledges and cares for its weakest, poorest and most insignificant members? Or do we take refuge in a universal love that would embrace the whole world, while failing to see the Lazarus sitting before our closed doors (Lk 16:19-31)?

In order to receive what God gives us and to make it bear abundant fruit, we need to press beyond the boundaries of the visible Church in two ways.

In the first place, by uniting ourselves in prayer with the Church in heaven. The prayers of the Church on earth establish a communion of mutual service and goodness which reaches up into the sight of God. Together with the saints who have found their fulfilment in God, we form part of that communion in which indifference is conquered by love. The Church in heaven is not triumphant because she has turned her back on the sufferings of the world and rejoices in splendid isolation. Rather, the saints already joyfully contemplate the fact that, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, they have triumphed once and for all over indifference, hardness of heart and hatred. Until this victory of love penetrates the whole world, the saints continue to accompany us on our pilgrim way. Saint Therese of Lisieux, a Doctor of the Church, expressed her conviction that the joy in heaven for the victory of crucified love remains incomplete as long as there is still a single man or woman on earth who suffers and cries out in pain: “I trust fully that I shall not remain idle in heaven; my desire is to continue to work for the Church and for souls” (Letter 254, July 14, 1897).

We share in the merits and joy of the saints, even as they share in our struggles and our longing for peace and reconciliation. Their joy in the victory of the Risen Christ gives us strength as we strive to overcome our indifference and hardness of heart.

In the second place, every Christian community is called to go out of itself and to be engaged in the life of the greater society of which it is a part, especially with the poor and those who are far away. The Church is missionary by her very nature; she is not self-enclosed but sent out to every nation and people.

Her mission is to bear patient witness to the One who desires to draw all creation and every man and woman to the Father. Her mission is to bring to all a love which cannot remain silent. The Church follows Jesus Christ along the paths that lead to every man and woman, to the very ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8). In each of our neighbours, then, we must see a brother or sister for whom Christ died and rose again. What we ourselves have received, we have received for them as well. Similarly, all that our brothers and sisters possess is a gift for the Church and for all humanity.

Dear brothers and sisters, how greatly I desire that all those places where the Church is present, especially our parishes and our communities, may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference!

3. “Make your hearts firm!” (James 5:8) – Individual Christians

As individuals too, we have are tempted by indifference. Flooded with news reports and troubling images of human suffering, we often feel our complete inability to help. What can we do to avoid being caught up in this spiral of distress and powerlessness?

First, we can pray in communion with the Church on earth and in heaven. Let us not underestimate the power of so many voices united in prayer! The 24 Hours for the Lord initiative, which I hope will be observed on 13-14 March throughout the Church, also at the diocesan level, is meant to be a sign of this need for prayer.

Second, we can help by acts of charity, reaching out to both those near and far through the Church’s many charitable organizations. Lent is a favourable time for showing this concern for others by small yet concrete signs of our belonging to the one human family.

Third, the suffering of others is a call to conversion, since their need reminds me of the uncertainty of my own life and my dependence on God and my brothers and sisters. If we humbly implore God’s grace and accept our own limitations, we will trust in the infinite possibilities which God’s love holds out to us. We will also be able to resist the diabolical temptation of thinking that by our own efforts we can save the world and ourselves.

As a way of overcoming indifference and our pretensions to self-sufficiency, I would invite everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 31). A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realizes its own poverty and gives itself freely for others.

During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: “Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum”: Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.

It is my prayerful hope that this Lent will prove spiritually fruitful for each believer and every ecclesial community. I ask all of you to pray for me. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady keep you."

POPE FRANCIS

Photo: MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR LENT 2015

“Make your hearts firm” (Jas 5:8)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each communities and every believer. Above all it is a “time of grace” (2 Cor 6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away from him. He is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us. Usually, when we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others (something God the Father never does): we are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the injustices they endure… Our heart grows cold. As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I don’t think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference. It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront.

When the people of God are converted to his love, they find answers to the questions that history continually raises. One of the most urgent challenges which I would like to address in this Message is precisely the globalization of indifference.

Indifference to our neighbour and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.

God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation. In the Incarnation, in the earthly life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, the gate between God and man, between heaven and earth, opens once for all. The Church is like the hand holding open this gate, thanks to her proclamation of God’s word, her celebration of the sacraments and her witness of the faith which works through love (cf. Gal 5:6). But the world tends to withdraw into itself and shut that door through which God comes into the world and the world comes to him. Hence the hand, which is the Church, must never be surprised if it is rejected, crushed and wounded.

God’s people, then, need this interior renewal, lest we become indifferent and withdraw into ourselves. To further this renewal, I would like to propose for our reflection three biblical texts.

1. “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Cor 12:26) – The Church

The love of God breaks through that fatal withdrawal into ourselves which is indifference. The Church offers us this love of God by her teaching and especially by her witness. But we can only bear witness to what we ourselves have experienced. Christians are those who let God clothe them with goodness and mercy, with Christ, so as to become, like Christ, servants of God and others. This is clearly seen in the liturgy of Holy Thursday, with its rite of the washing of feet. Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet, but he came to realize that Jesus does not wish to be just an example of how we should wash one another’s feet. Only those who have first allowed Jesus to wash their own feet can then offer this service to others. Only they have “a part” with him (Jn 13:8) and thus can serve others.

Lent is a favourable time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like him. This happens whenever we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. There we become what we receive: the Body of Christ. In this body there is no room for the indifference which so often seems to possess our hearts. For whoever is of Christ, belongs to one body, and in him we cannot be indifferent to one another. “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honoured, all the parts share its joy” (1 Cor 12:26).

The Church is the communio sanctorum not only because of her saints, but also because she is a communion in holy things: the love of God revealed to us in Christ and all his gifts. Among these gifts there is also the response of those who let themselves be touched by this love. In this communion of saints, in this sharing in holy things, no one possesses anything alone, but shares everything with others. And since we are united in God, we can do something for those who are far distant, those whom we could never reach on our own, because with them and for them, we ask God that all of us may be open to his plan of salvation.

2. “Where is your brother?” (Gen 4:9) – Parishes and Communities

All that we have been saying about the universal Church must now be applied to the life of our parishes and communities. Do these ecclesial structures enable us to experience being part of one body? A body which receives and shares what God wishes to give? A body which acknowledges and cares for its weakest, poorest and most insignificant members? Or do we take refuge in a universal love that would embrace the whole world, while failing to see the Lazarus sitting before our closed doors (Lk 16:19-31)?

In order to receive what God gives us and to make it bear abundant fruit, we need to press beyond the boundaries of the visible Church in two ways.

In the first place, by uniting ourselves in prayer with the Church in heaven. The prayers of the Church on earth establish a communion of mutual service and goodness which reaches up into the sight of God. Together with the saints who have found their fulfilment in God, we form part of that communion in which indifference is conquered by love. The Church in heaven is not triumphant because she has turned her back on the sufferings of the world and rejoices in splendid isolation. Rather, the saints already joyfully contemplate the fact that, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, they have triumphed once and for all over indifference, hardness of heart and hatred. Until this victory of love penetrates the whole world, the saints continue to accompany us on our pilgrim way. Saint Therese of Lisieux, a Doctor of the Church, expressed her conviction that the joy in heaven for the victory of crucified love remains incomplete as long as there is still a single man or woman on earth who suffers and cries out in pain: “I trust fully that I shall not remain idle in heaven; my desire is to continue to work for the Church and for souls” (Letter 254, July 14, 1897).

We share in the merits and joy of the saints, even as they share in our struggles and our longing for peace and reconciliation. Their joy in the victory of the Risen Christ gives us strength as we strive to overcome our indifference and hardness of heart.

In the second place, every Christian community is called to go out of itself and to be engaged in the life of the greater society of which it is a part, especially with the poor and those who are far away. The Church is missionary by her very nature; she is not self-enclosed but sent out to every nation and people.

Her mission is to bear patient witness to the One who desires to draw all creation and every man and woman to the Father. Her mission is to bring to all a love which cannot remain silent. The Church follows Jesus Christ along the paths that lead to every man and woman, to the very ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8). In each of our neighbours, then, we must see a brother or sister for whom Christ died and rose again. What we ourselves have received, we have received for them as well. Similarly, all that our brothers and sisters possess is a gift for the Church and for all humanity.

Dear brothers and sisters, how greatly I desire that all those places where the Church is present, especially our parishes and our communities, may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference!

3. “Make your hearts firm!” (James 5:8) – Individual Christians

As individuals too, we have are tempted by indifference. Flooded with news reports and troubling images of human suffering, we often feel our complete inability to help. What can we do to avoid being caught up in this spiral of distress and powerlessness?

First, we can pray in communion with the Church on earth and in heaven. Let us not underestimate the power of so many voices united in prayer! The 24 Hours for the Lord initiative, which I hope will be observed on 13-14 March throughout the Church, also at the diocesan level, is meant to be a sign of this need for prayer.

Second, we can help by acts of charity, reaching out to both those near and far through the Church’s many charitable organizations. Lent is a favourable time for showing this concern for others by small yet concrete signs of our belonging to the one human family.

Third, the suffering of others is a call to conversion, since their need reminds me of the uncertainty of my own life and my dependence on God and my brothers and sisters. If we humbly implore God’s grace and accept our own limitations, we will trust in the infinite possibilities which God’s love holds out to us. We will also be able to resist the diabolical temptation of thinking that by our own efforts we can save the world and ourselves.

As a way of overcoming indifference and our pretensions to self-sufficiency, I would invite everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 31). A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realizes its own poverty and gives itself freely for others.

During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: “Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum”: Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.

It is my prayerful hope that this Lent will prove spiritually fruitful for each believer and every ecclesial community. I ask all of you to pray for me. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady keep you.

FRANCIS

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Most Important Subject



Pope Francis' message to the young people of the Philippines was given in an impromptu speech, but it is a message we all, young and old, need to learn and practice.

Sts. Timothy & Titus

EWTN Daily Catholic Mass - 2015.1.26 - Fr. Anthony Mary - Sts. Timothy & Titus

Sunday, January 25, 2015

National Catholic Schools Week








National Catholic Schools Week

Sunday, January 25, 2015 to Saturday, January 31, 2015


Good News for the Nation:
Catholic Schools Are Thriving


Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service


Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service Faith is something that we must exercise every day in our lives - See more at: https://www.osvparish.com/Blogs/WhatsNewInCatholicSchools/Post/TabId/1703/ArtMID/16716/ArticleID/16768/Catholic-Schools-Communities-of-Faith-Knowledge-and-Service-.aspx#sthash.KF83XzIu.dpuf

Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service Faith is something that we must exercise every day in our lives - See more at: https://www.osvparish.com/Blogs/WhatsNewInCatholicSchools/Post/TabId/1703/ArtMID/16716/ArticleID/16768/Catholic-Schools-Communities-of-Faith-Knowledge-and-Service-.aspx#sthash.KF83XzIu.dpuf


Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service Faith is something that we must exercise every day in our lives - See more at: https://www.osvparish.com/Blogs/WhatsNewInCatholicSchools/Post/TabId/1703/ArtMID/16716/ArticleID/16768/Catholic-Schools-Communities-of-Faith-Knowledge-and-Service-.aspx#sthash.KF83XzIu.dpuf

Why Pope Francis Seems in a Hurry

A vision of post-apocalypse London from the History Channel series "Strange Rituals" produced by Fox Television/Incubator TV.

Apocalyptic beliefs may explain why Francis is a pope in a hurry

Friday, January 23, 2015

Fulton Sheen on Birth Control




“The root principle of birth-control is unsound. It is a glorification of the means and a contempt of the end; it says that the pleasure which is a means to the procreation of children is good, but the children themselves are no good. In other words, to be logical, the philosophy of birth-control would commit us to a world in which trees were always blooming but never giving fruit, a world full of sign-posts that were leading nowhere. In this cosmos every tree would be a barren fig tree and for that reason would have upon it the curse of God.”
~ Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lessons from Early Church Fathers

 The Ancient Path

 10 Lessons from the Early Church Fathers for Today

"They aren’t superheroes, but the fathers of the early Christian church are models that can be followed for centuries." 

By John Michael Talbot

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

St. Agnes, a lamb for Christ

 St. Agnes 3

 St. Agnes, a lamb for Christ | St. Paul Center For Biblical Theology

Happiness in Large Catholic Families

 

"Below is an excerpt from an address given by Pope Pius XII to the Directors of the Associations for Large Families of Rome and Italy in January 20, 1958, the nineteenth (and final) year of his papacy. Throughout the address the Holy Father eloquently speaks of the joy, sacrifice and generosity so prevalent amongst those families who God has abundantly blessed with the gift of children."

Pope Pius XII on Large Catholic Families

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

Be Faithful, by Mark Mallett



Be Faithful
by Mark Mallett

Is This a Miraculous Image of the Divine Mercy?

http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/files/2015/01/divine-mercy.jpg

Is This a Miraculous Image of the Divine Mercy?

Spiritual Training - "Get in the Game!"

SPIRITUAL TRAINING DAY 16 – Get in the Game!

Fr. Richard Heilman

PRAYERS: Day 15 of 33 Day Total Consecration -
 http://totalconsecration.ageofmary.com/preparation-16.html

"Remember, it was Mary’s ‘fiat’ (‘yes’) that brought the Holy Spirit: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to Thy word” (Lk 1:38). Because Mary submitted, the Holy Spirit came upon her, and she was filled with the life of God. Spiritually speaking, the same thing happens to us once we are ready to set aside our foolish pride and humbly offer our “yes” to God. And, just as Mary delivered a Savior into the world, we are called to bring this Divine Life we’ve received to all we encounter.

Obedience In Love (O.I.L.) is what Sacred Scripture refers to as “fear of the Lord” or holy fear. As distinct from servile fear (fear of punishment), holy fear is a fear of disappointing or being separated from the one you love. St. Francis de Sales wrote, “We must fear God out of love not love Him out of fear.” It is like a son who loves his dad very much and fears disappointing him or damaging the relationship or being separated in any way. St. Paul wrote: “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, ‘Abba, Father’’’ (Rom 8:15).

Why did the Bridegroom say, “I do not know you” (Mt 25:12) to the foolish virgins who did not bother to bring enough oil? They represent those who are stuck in that kind of empty religiosity that avoids the extra effort, the sacrifice that is vital in any real love relationship. Instead, they neglect, take shortcuts, or avoid altogether the greater demands of obedient love. Trapped in spiritual sloth (indifference), there is no holy fear and therefore, they are content to keep God at an impersonal, manageable distance as they remain just a face in the crowd — a pew potato — a bench warmer who is content to be on the team but avoids the effort of getting in the game. “Faith means battles;” said St. Ambrose, “if there are no contests, it is because there are none who desire to contend.”
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Faith, Scripture and Grace



Faith is not alone, Scripture is not alone, Grace is not alone. We ought not separate what God has joined. 
By: Msgr. Charles Pope

Pope Francis to Canonize Evangelizer of the Wild West

 Pope Francis to canonize evangelizer of the Wild West

In a surprise addition to his fall 2015 trip to the U.S., Pope Francis is planning to canonize the founder of California's first missions, Bl. Junipero Serra."

Pope Francis to canonize evangelizer of the Wild West :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Related article:

Explore California's 21 Historic Catholic Missions

O.I.L. for the Fire

SPIRITUAL TRAINING DAY 15 – O.I.L. for the Fire

Fr. Richard Heilman

PRAYERS: Day 15 of 33 Day Total Consecration -
 http://totalconsecration.ageofmary.com/preparation-15.html

"How then are we to prepare our restless hearts to receive the power of the Holy Spirit? Recall Jesus’ parable of the 10 virgins (Mt 25:1-12), five of whom were wise and five of whom were foolish. When the time came to meet the Bridegroom and go in to join the festivities, the foolish ones did not have enough oil for their lamps. They were forced to go get more oil while everyone else went in to “join the dance.”

Why has study after study shown that people of religious conviction are the happiest? For those who have yielded to a deeply devoted (semper fi) love relationship with Jesus, there is a distinctive serenity and joy about them. There seems to be an extra spring in their step and twinkle in their eye. Far from the boredom and misery of sloth, they radiate a supernatural love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, and gentleness (Fruit of the Holy Spirit, Gal 5:22-23). They are attracted to spiritual things. They have a resolve to lighten the burdens of others. They have a sense of purpose and mission. They seem to have discovered the way to “join the dance” of life.
In the meantime, like the five foolish virgins, there are those who seem to be “on the outside looking in,” wondering what it takes to be invited to “the dance of life.”

Now, the Holy Spirit is often depicted as fire. Jesus said, “I have come to cast fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled” (Lk 12:49). When Pentecost arrived, the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire that came and rested on the disciples (Acts 2:3). We know fire needs fuel to ignite, whether it’s kindling or, as in the parable of the 10 virgins, oil for a lamp. Spiritually speaking, the Holy Spirit will come to rest on those hearts that have provided the fuel for its fire.
So, what is the fuel we offer for the Holy Spirit’s fire? The word “oil” provides a superb acronym to describe the necessary fuel for receiving the fire of the Holy Spirit: O.I.L. = Obedience In Love. Blessed Charles de Foucauld called obedience the “yardstick of love.” It’s a clear way we measure the fidelity and unselfishness of our hearts. Jesus said that His yoke is easy and His burden light (Mt 11:28-30) not because He would ask less of us, but because He knew that love renders suffering bearable and even joyful. St. Ignatius of Loyola said, “It is not hard to obey when we love the one whom we obey.”

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Shadows of a Good Society


"The world today is tearing up the photographs of a good society, a good family, a happy, individual personal life. But the Church is keeping the negatives. And when the moment comes when the world wants a reprint, we will have them."--Venerable Fulton J. Sheen~

"The world today is tearing up the photographs of a good society, a good family, a happy, individual personal life. 
But the Church is keeping the negatives. And when the moment comes when the world wants a reprint, we will have them."
 ~ Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

War on the Supernatural

SPIRITUAL TRAINING DAY 14 – War on the Supernatural

Fr. Richard Heilman

PRAYERS: Day 13 of 33 Day Total Consecration -
 http://totalconsecration.ageofmary.com/preparation-14.html

"The unfortunate reality is that the modern campaign of militant secular indoctrination has been so severe that only a dwindling remnant remains who believes or trusts in God’s supernatural power. As a result, the spiritual hearts of many are reduced to the size of a thimble, only capable of receiving a few meager drops, if any, from the wellspring of God’s graces (Rev 22:1-2). In spiritual terms, this makes us puny and scrawny rather than strong and powerful mighty warriors ready to confront the powers of darkness in the heavenly realm. With so many modernized Christians ignoring the reality of grace, it is no wonder that evil is thriving in our day.

In speaking of the need for a New Evangelization, Pope Benedict XVI said, “the true problem of our times is the ‘Crisis of God,’ the absence of God, disguised by an empty religiosity” … a kind of lukewarm, going through the motions of one’s faith, which ends up collapsing completely. The terrible consequence of this war on the supernatural is seen in the epidemic of spiritual sloth in our times — hearts deadened to the Divine Life of God.

Fr. Robert Barron draws attention to this very real epidemic in our times:
“A real concrete statistic around this is that 70 percent of the baptized faithful are staying away from Mass on a regular basis. And we’re doing well in comparison with the European countries. Vatican II said the Mass is the source and summit of the Christian life … everything leads to and flows from the Mass. The Eucharist is everything, and 70 percent could care less about it. Yes, there are many reasons around why some do not go to Mass, but I suspect that, for most, they are suffering from spiritual sloth; they could just care less.”

Aristotle said, “No one can long remain in sadness without any joy.” Depriving oneself of spiritual joy through neglect and sloth leaves one desperate to fill that void with inferior pleasures. Hence, it is no wonder why we see so many people frantically attempting to fill their lives with every kind of activity and distraction possible, desperately trying to avoid the gloom of emptiness. St. Augustine said, “You have made us for Yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You."

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Saint Joseph Vaz, First Saint of Sri Lanka



Apostle of Ceylon

Pope's Homily at Canonization of St. Joseph Vaz


Saint Joseph Vaz
 

To Depend on Jesus Christ Alone

A prophecy given in Vatican City in May of 1975, in the presence of Pope Paul VI:

"Because I love you, I want to show you what I am doing in the world today. I want to prepare you for what is to come. Days of darkness are coming on the world, days of tribulation… Buildings that are now standing will not be standing. Supports that are there for my people now will not be there. I want you to be prepared, my people, to know only me and to cleave to me and to have me in a way deeper than ever before. I will lead you into the desert… I will strip you of everything that you are depending on now, so you depend just on me. A time of darkness is coming on the world, but a time of glory is coming for my Church, a time of glory is coming for my people. I will pour out on you all the gifts of my Spirit. I will prepare you for spiritual combat; I will prepare you for a time of evangelism that the world has never seen…. And when you have nothing but me, you will have everything: land, fields, homes, and brothers and sisters and love and joy and peace more than ever before. Be ready, my people, I want to prepare you…"

 ~ given by Dr. Ralph Martin, presently consultor to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization

Do Not Be Shaken, by Mark Mallett

 
"We have entered a period of time in the Church that will shake the faith of many. And that is because it is going to increasingly appear as though evil has won..."

 Do Not Be Shaken
by Mark Mallett

Ladies and Gentlemen, Fulton Sheen





 Originally Broadcast in 1967. Archbishop Sheen shows what it means to be a true lady and a real gentleman. Love, being polite, courtesy, respect that each person deserves.

****************

"CHURCH OF NICE
I get the "Church of Nice" objection, if we are talking about "withholding" certain truths to spare people's feelings. But, I part company when objection to the "Church of Nice" means giving people license to bludgeon others with the truth. Sanctifying grace raises us to a whole new order, far above any barbarism. In this state of sanctifying grace, we are in friendship with Christ, and we reflect His Sacred Heart to a waiting world."

"Cardinal Burke is an excellent model. Extremely gentle, but incredibly courageous."
"It's been a long time since I watched the Fulton Sheen video (above^^^). It's really good ... I highly recommend it. I watch him and future saints like Cardinal Burke, and I am inspired by their desire to "win hearts" not just "win arguments." Both of these men are ferociously courageous in their desire to bring truth to souls. But, they do it in such a way as to coax them into truth ... love is an art, at times"
 ~ Fr. Richard Heilman

How Big is Your Trust Bucket


 

SPIRITUAL TRAINING DAY 13 – Your Trust Bucket

Fr. Richard Heilman

PRAYERS: Day 13 of 33 Day Total Consecration -

 http://totalconsecration.ageofmary.com/preparation-13.html

"Jesus told St. Faustina: “The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is — trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is my desire to give them much, very much. On the other hand, I am sad when souls ask for little, when they narrow their hearts.”

This is amazing! Jesus is telling us that we can literally grow our spiritual hearts to be capable of more and more of His supernatural graces. Our spiritual heart is a vessel, Jesus tells us. It’s like a “trust bucket” that we bring to the well of God’s graces. The greater our trust, the larger is our bucket for receiving His amazing supernatural grace. What’s stopping you from possessing a huge trust bucket filled with many graces?"

Monday, January 12, 2015

Lose Yourself in Love



"You ought to forget yourself in God; let your spirit fall, as a drop of water, into that immense ocean of charity, to repose there and receive the divine communications, without losing sight of your nothingness. We learn all things in this divine solitude; we learn more things in this interior school by being silent than by talking. St. Mary Magdalen out of love fell at the feet of Jesus; there she was silent, she listened, she loved, she lost herself in love."

~ St. Paul of the Cross

God Strong!

SPIRITUAL TRAINING DAY 12 – God Strong!

Fr. Richard Heilman

PRAYERS: Day 12 of 33 Day Total Consecration - 
 http://totalconsecration.ageofmary.com/preparation-12.html

"The U.S. Army ran a very effective “Army Strong” advertising campaign to recruit soldiers. The key message was: “There is strong, and then there is Army Strong.” The commercial goes on to say, “It is a strength like none other. It is a physical strength. It is an emotional strength. It is strength of character. It is strength of purpose. The strength to do good today, and the strength to do well tomorrow. The strength to obey, and the strength to command. The strength to build, and the strength to tear down. The strength to get yourself over, and the strength to get over yourself.”
These are warrior assets necessary to overcome the enemy. However, recall that our struggle is not against flesh and blood combatants, but against the much stronger and craftier spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm (Eph 6:11). This means it is not enough for you to possess the power of a warrior. You must discover what it means to be supernaturally empowered by God. You are to become not just Army Strong, but God Strong. You must know what it means to be in a state of grace. St. Ignatius of Loyola said, “Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly.”
Fr. John Hardon wrote: “St. Thomas Aquinas believed that man is more than a composite of body and soul, that his is nothing less than elevated to a supernatural order which participates, as far as a creature can, in the very nature of God. Accordingly, a person in the state of grace, or divine friendship, possesses certain enduring powers, the infused virtues and gifts, that raise him to an orbit of existence as far above nature as heaven is above earth, and that give him abilities of thought and operation that are literally born, not of the will of flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”"

10 Priests on Gay Marriage

From 'Catholic Household'

"The idea of “same-sex unions” only came about because of a prior failure in heterosexual marriage. In this new era of the Church’s life in the Western world, I think Catholics would do well to not get overstrained about the evident social disorders all about us, but focus instead on living faithful, humble, and devout lives from within, beginning with the family."
 
What 10 Priests Say About Gay Marriage

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Time for a Truly Catholic Renovation

 

Time for a Truly Catholic Renovation - Crisis Magazine

Taking Catholicism Seriously

“One of the gravest errors of our time is the dichotomy between the faith which many profess and the practice of their daily lives.” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 43) 

Taking Catholicism Seriously

My Focus and Prayer of 2015





On this Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord, I have made my prayer, commitment and focus for the year of 2015..."To be in the world, but not of the world".  I want to be totally of Christ.  "me" of Jesus".  Isn't that what Our Lord wants for all of us !  This world is not my forever home, so this year my focus will be to look less at the things of the world, and spend more time and effort learning what the Lord expects of me as a Catholic revert.  I ask your prayers please, as I don't  have any family and no Catholic friends (I live in Utah!), except online Catholic friends, so this endeavor will be just between  the Lord and me,  with the help of your prayers, and those of Our Lady Our Blessed Mother.

Today I want to thank strong and brave Catholics who stand against the modern culture. Those who speak out against the sins of the flesh...immodesty, homosexuality, porn, abortion, contraceptives, the redefining of marriage, etc.  It seems to me that much of the violence and terrorism we see today,  really begins with these basic immoralities in families which lead to such unhappy and violent people.  God designed the plan for our happiness and when we ignore His Plan...literally, all hell breaks lose.  I don't want to be any part of that world!  It breaks my heart to see what this modern world has become.

So this year, I will still be in the world but not of the world, unless the Lord take me Home.  Continuously I will pray to find myself wrapped in the arms of Our Lord, warm and safe and happy and obedient...living only in His will.  In the world, but of  Heaven!

Thank you for your prayers. It's going to a wonderful year! God Bless you!!!


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pope Benedict XVI's Prophetic Words From 1969


Josef Ratzinger
 “The future of the Church, once again as always, will be reshaped by saints”
~ Joseph Ratzinger, 1969.

"The Real Crisis Has Scarcely Begun"

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn

 
 Sunday Bible Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn

Friday, January 9, 2015

Shadows of Men


From ChurchMilitant.TV

 "Jesus Christ has disappeared. Wherever the people are true Christians, there are men to be found in large numbers, but everywhere and always, if Christianity wilts, the men wilt. Look closely, they are no longer men but shadows of men. Thus what do you hear on all sides today? The world is dwindling away, for lack of men; the nations are perishing for scarcity of men, for the rareness of men. I do believe: there are no men where there is no character; there is no character where there are no principles, doctrines, stands taken; there are no stands taken, no doctrines, no principles, where there is no religious faith and consequently no religion of society.

 Do what you will: only from God you will get men."

 ~Louis Cardinal Pie, Christmas Homily, 1871

War on Masculinity

 WEB-Catholic-Men-for-Jesus-Christ-Jeffrey-Bruno

Who Wants Good Men? Satan Does—And the World Doesn't
 Modern culture has declared war on masculinity.

".... a sober and honest look at publicly available evidence suggests that our culture has been crushing men (and boys) simply because they are male. Compelling evidence to support that claim is found in both secular and Christian sources."....

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Antichrist in Our Times, Mark Mallett


"The black ship is sailing..."

Antichrist in Our Times

by Mark Mallett

Finding Silence in the Traditional Latin Mass

 image

Finding Silence in the Traditional Latin Mass - OnePeterFive

Glorius Sermon on the TLM by Archbishop Sample


"On March 1, 2014 Archbishop Alexander Sample of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon celebrated a Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Brigittine Monastery "Our Lady of Consolation" in Amity, Oregon. The Mass was the crowning celebration of a 3-day conference on Gregorian Chant and the role of sacred music in the liturgy."

 "Archbishop Alexander Sample has long been known as one of the most orthodox and tradition-friendly bishops in the United States.  Here he gives a sermon during a Pontifical High Mass offered as the crowning event of a 3-day conference on Gregorian Chant and the role of sacred music in the liturgy at a Brigittine Monastery in Oregon."

Fr. John Bosco's Dream/Prophesy

Another post from my favorite Priest from Wisconsin.  (Hope I don't have to move back there! Left  (Wisconsin Dells)  after 3 yrs in '94 when winter temperatures were minus (-)30 for way too long...)

"I AM DECLARING WAR!!! WHO'S WITH ME?!?!"

Fr. Richard Heilman

"The "War on Terror" was brought about by us. Here's why ...
The first move of evil is to rid his foes of their spiritual armor (supernatural grace). Then he advances. Christians then end up resorting to military strength to defend themselves and push back evil. As long as we choose to go it alone, without God (secularism), we will need to use material (not supernatural) means to avert evil. Evil is kept at bay when faith is vibrant in the world. That's why we are in for a lot of hurt in our times until the Great Apostasy becomes a Great Awakening.

Fr. John Bosco's Dream/Prophesy, with his two pillars, gives us the exact prescription for keeping evil at bay. It is a movement to return the practice of "Regular Holy Hours of Adoration" and "Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary.""
"Imagine yourself to be with me on the seashore, or better, on an isolated rock and not to see any patch of land other than that under your feet. On the whole of that vast sheet of water you see an innumerable fleet of ships in battle array. The prows of the ships are formed into sharp, spear-like points"…
miraclerosarymission.org|By Father John Bosco

'Serviam' ~ I Will Serve

SPIRITUAL TRAINING DAY 8 – It Must Be Deeply Personal!

Fr. Richard Heilman

PRAYERS: Day 8 of 33 Day Total Consecration -
http://totalconsecration.ageofmary.com/preparation-08.html

"If we claim that we have fellowship with Him, and yet we walk in darkness, then we are lying and not telling the truth (1 Jn 1:6). Origen, in his commentary on this passage, writes: “No one can grasp the meaning of the Gospel unless he has rested on the breast of Jesus and unless he has received from Him Mary, who becomes his mother also.” Here we are identifying the entryway (or opening) into the Divine Life of God and the way of sanctification — It must be deeply personal!
Entrance into the Divine Life actually parallels the first day (birthday) of our Savior’s life in the world and the moment the newborn baby Jesus is laid in the arms of His mother, Mary. Imagine the scene … their eyes locked and through the windows of their adoring eyes they peered into each other’s soul. What occurred was a bond of love, a semper fi “transformation that could not be undone.”

Throughout all of salvation history we see such cries as “Let His face shine upon you” (Nm 6:25) and “Do not hide Your face from me” (Ps 27:9, 69:17, 102:3). This face-to-face, “look-me-in-the-eye” bonding is essential in understanding the necessity for making a semper fi connection with Christ. This kind of face-to-face encounter with God changes everything as it calls forth, quite literally, a transformation that cannot be undone. It marks a major shift away from a “face-in-the-crowd,” “Christian in name only,” “do-only-what’s-minimally-required” empty religiosity, into a totally dedicated (semper fi) loyalty in love that remains faithful to God, to each other, and to the mission, no matter what.

Pope Benedict XVI said, “The heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind … the Evil One has power in this world, as we experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God.” The motto of the Evil One is “Non Serviam,” “I will not serve.” Our daily motto must stand in contrast to this; it must be identical to Mary’s: “Serviam!” — “I will serve!”"
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Holy Days of Obligation, Fr. Wade Menezes


Father Wade Menezes, CPM has been the Celebrant of Daily Mass on EWTN all week, as the EWTN Missionaries are on their annual week long retreat.

Father Menezes is a part of "The Fathers of Mercy".

Here is his latest blog post:

Gothic Church Interior Crux of the Matter   Holy Days of Obligation

"Holy Days of Obligation "


Holy Days of Obligation:  To Worship is a Sign of Human Freedom
By Fr. Wade Menezes, CPM
The Fathers of Mercy

"Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation require of the Catholic Christian obligatory Mass attendance.  Why?  Precisely because we love God; not because we fear Him.
The Second Vatican Council teaches that “the Sacred Liturgy is above all things the worship of the Divine Majesty” (SC, 33).  God calls us to Himself, and we want to respond – with sacred and divine worship.  Apart from illness, for example, the Church teaches that the faithful are obliged to participate in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy on all Sundays and Holy Days of obligation. This is a grave obligation, and to willfully neglect it can cause one to commit mortal sin.

In fact, every Sunday is a Holy Day of obligation.  The Code of Canon Law (1246) states clearly that, “Sunday, on which by Apostolic tradition the Paschal Mystery is celebrated, is to be observed in the universal Church as the primary Holy Day of obligation.”

Other examples of Holy Days of obligation (apart from Sunday itself) include the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God on January 1st; the Assumption of Mary on August 15th; and the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin on December 8th.  While there are other Holy Days of obligation established throughout the world (such as the Ascension of Our Lord and the Solemnity of Corpus Christi), national bishops’ conferences can dispense the faithful from the obligation for a just reason and even transfer a Holy Day to be observed on a Sunday.

As faithful sons and daughters of the Church, let us remember, too, that faithfully attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation brings with it not only an observance of the Third Commandment, but also a faithful adherence to a formal precept of the Church.  Also, to worship God is a sign of human freedom.  When Moses sought release of the Israelites from their slavery under Egyptian rule, it was precisely to go and worship, something they could not do under Egyptian rule.  Thus, to worship God is a sign of human freedom.  To not worship God is a sign of human slavery.  Be free.  Worship Almighty God."

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

God, Our Father, Loved Us First

Archbishop Samuel Joseph Aquila- Archdiocese of Denver.