Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday - Day of Our Lady


The Blessed Virgin speaks:I lived a long time in the world after the Ascension of my Son; and God so willed it that many souls, seeing my patience and life, might be converted to Him, and the Apostles of God and other elect confirmed. And even the natural constitution of my body required that I should live longer, that my crown might be increased. For all the time that I lived, after the Ascension of my Son, I visited the places in which He suffered and showed his wonders. So rooted, too, was His Passion in my heart, that whether I ate or worked, it was ever as if fresh in my memory. So, too, my senses were withdrawn from earthly things, because I was only inflamed, as it were, with new desire, and in turn, torn by grief and joy that I never omitted aught of God's service. And I so dwelt among men as not to expect nor take even aught of what is pleasing to man, except scanty food. That my Assumption was not known to many nor proclaimed by man, God, who is my Son, so willed, that faith in His own Ascension whould be first implanted in men's heart, because the hearts of men were hard and loth to believe His Ascension; how much more would they have been so had my Assumption been proclaimed in the very beginning of the Faith. (Lib. 6:61). Some years later after the Ascension of my Son, I was one day much afflicted with a longing to rejoin my Son; then I beheld a radiant angel, such as I had before seen, who said to me: "Thy Son, who is Our Lord and God, sent me to announce to thee that the time is at hand when thou shalt come bodily to Him, to receive the crown prepared for thee." "Dost thou," I replied, "know the day or hour when I shall leave the world?" The angel replied: "The friends of thy Son will come and enter thy body." Saying this, the angel disappeared, and I prepared for my departure, going, as was my wont, to all the spots where my Son had suffered; and when one day my mind was absorbed in admiring contemplation of divine charity, my soul was filled therein with such exultation that it could not contain itself, and in that very consideration, my soul was loosed from the body. But what magnificent things my soul then beheld; with what honour the Father, Son and Holy Ghost then honoured it, and by what a host of angels it was wafted up, thou canst not conceive, nor will I tell thee before thy soul and body are severed, although I have shown thee some of all these things in that prayer which my Son inspires in me. Those who lived with me when I gave up the ghost knew well, from the unusual light, that divine things then took place in me. After this, the friends of my Son, divinely sent, interred my body in the valley of Josaphat, countless angels, like specks of sunlight, attending, but malignant spirits not daring to approach. For fifteen days my body lay buried in the earth; then, with a multitude of angels, it was assumed into Heaven.

After my Son ascended to Heaven, I lived in the world fifteen years - the time from my Son's Ascension to my death. And when dead, I lay in the sepulcher three days; then I was taken up to Heaven with infinite honour and joy; but my garments in which I was interred, remained in the tomb, and I was then attired in such vesture as my Son and Lord, Jesus Christ. Know, too, that there is no human body in Heaven but the glorious body of my Son and mine. (Lib 7:26)

Picture of Our Lady with Child Jesus taken during Our Lady of Mt Carmel Feast day devotional procession - Italian Harlem shrine of Our Lady in New York.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

St. Therese and the Missions
by Christine J. Murray

St. Therese of Lisieux had a special affinity with the missions even before she entered the convent. Her autobiography, Story of A Soul, relates her first retreat at an abbey in preparation of her First Communion. She stood out from the rest because she wore the big crucifix her sister Leonie had given her, "which, like the missionaries, I had fastened to my belt." And like most saints, the interpretation of the outward sign was misguided. She had entered the Lisieux Carmel, the saint wanted to go to the new Carmel in Saigon, but knew she would never be able to when she was diagnosed with tuberculosis about a year before she died in 1897 at the age of twenty-four. Pope John Paul II has directed the faithful to use St. Therese as a model for the missions. Hers was a life of intense prayer, which is necessary in any missionary work. As Christians, we must practice charity. Some missionary organizations have de-emphasized the role of bringing the Gospel into their lives, as Jesus exhorted to the Apostles. Recently, the director of a missionary home for orphaned and abandoned boys in Jamaica spoke at a parish. The nun explained the abject poverty and how many parents are abandoning their children at younger ages. Many of the children cared for there are homeless and without discipline. She spoke of the challenges of making them take direction, then teaching them to read, then learn a trade so their own children do not end up in the same boat. She also mentioned that she has learned to trust God to provide for the home and to keep it from closing.

This is all very noble, but she failed to mention whether these boys learn to trust God, or if they ever hear of Him. Do they learn, in the time that they learn and live there, about Jesus and Christian morality? Do they have the chance of not only living a more materially rich life, but also a spiritually rich one? Maybe they do learn these things. If so, why was not it deemed important enough to mention? After all, she had an audience of church-going Catholics. This oversight could be more easily excused if it were an isolated incident. Sadly, that is not the case. It is more pathetic that the people sitting in the pews do not notice. The Holy Father has called for new missionary zeal in the Catholic Church. In his message of the World Day for the Missions, which will be observed October 19, Pope John Paul II does point out that not all Christians are called to become missionaries in the traditional sense. However, the Second Vatican Council states that missions are "the special undertakings in which preachers of the Gospel, sent by the Church and going into the whole world, carry out the work of preaching the Gospel and implanting the Church among people who do not yet believe in Christ" (Ad gentes, no. 6). St. Therese participated in missionary work through her own prayer and sacrifice at the Carmel convent in Lisieux. She even "adopted" two missionary priests for this purpose, with all her good works and self-said "poor merits" offered for their work. This a large reason why the Little Flower is the patroness of the missions. Indeed, prayer is the "stone foundation" for any missionary work to truly succeed. She engaged in this work in the Martin home while growing up, in her work in Carmel, and while she lay dying in an infirmary bed. All of us can do this according to our own state of life. We need to see Jesus in everyone we meet, including the lady a few pews behind us singing terribly off key.

We also need to carry out mission work in today's pagan world. As the Holy Father said in his catechesis on missions, "There is the consideration that in the Churches of the first evangelization, from which came many missionaries working in Ômission countries', there is an increasing awareness that their territory is becoming Ôa mission land' requiring a Ônew evangelization'" (General audience May 3, 1995, no. 3). This is true in several dioceses, particularly in the United States, where the Faith has been lost. This can be more challenging missionary activity than going to a land where no one has ever heard of Jesus. People who have heard the Gospel, but have been misled about the Church's teachings, can be just as or more tenacious about holding on to their beliefs. And the religious relativism prevalent in today's world has many people feeling comfortable in believing and practicing "whatever" in the name of tolerance. Many children exposed to catechetical programs in the past 30 years have not received the fullness of the Catholic Faith, which makes it easier for them to turn away from it. As Pope John XXIII stated in his encyclical Princeps Pastorum in 1959, "The sheer number of Christians means little if they lack virtue; that is, if, while enjoying the name of Catholic, they do not stand firm in their determination." After baptism, they need solid catechesis.

But we cannot give up part of Christian teaching in a particular culture so the truth may be more easily accepted. And it is impossible to embrace customs that are in direct conflict with the Gospel. As St. Therese and every other saint has shown, it is not enough to believe that Jesus was a "good guy." Her simplicity and desire to do everything, no matter how little, totally in union with God's will shows us the way to reach eternal life.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008


I am the salvation of the people, saith the Lord: in whatever tribulation they shall cry to me, I will hear them: and I will be their Lord for ever. Attend, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. (Ps. 77:1) Glory etc.

Almighty and merciful God, graciously keep us from all things that are hurtful; that we, being set free both in mind and body, may with ready minds accomplish whatever is Thine. Thro'.

EPISTLE (Ephes. 4:23-28)
Brethren, Be re­newed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth. Wherefore, putting, away lying, speak ye the truth every man with his neighbour, for we are members one of another. Be angry, and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your anger. Give not place to the devil. He that stole, let him now steal no more; but rather let him labour, work­ing with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have something to give to him that suffereth need.

St. Paul admonishes the Ephesians to lay aside the- old man, like a worn out garment, and put on the new man, that is, to renew their internal and external life. This renewal according to his teaching takes place, when we by a true repentance put away our vices, shun all lies, anger, injustice, &c., and adorn our soul with virtues, and zealously seek after Christian justice and perfection. We have, perhaps, already sought to change our manner of living, for which a jubilee or some other particular solemnity of the Church gave us occasion, and at that time, perhaps, purified our soul by a general confession, making the firm resolution to live for God, and work out our salvation, we appeared converted, and to have become other men: but how long did this conversion last? Ah, how soon did we fall back into the old, sinful ways. And why? Because we lived in too great, deceitful security. We thought everything accomplished by the general confession; we were satisfied, and omitted to employ the means of remaining in the state of grace. We did not thank God for the grace of conversion; we did not ask Him for the grace of perseverance; we frequented evil company, and did not avoid dangerous occasions; we indulged in idleness and pleasures as before. How can it appear strange, if such a conversion is fruitless? Ah, we should remain in wholesome fear even after the remission of our sins (Ecclus.5: 5) Even if we could say that we have done everything, nevertheless we cannot be certain, whether we be worthy of hatred or love. (Ecclus. 9: 1) We should, therefore, work out our salvation according to the advice of St. Paul (Philipp. 2: 12) in fear and trembling, and thus not fall into the old life of sin, losing the hope of a new conversion.

GOSPEL (Matt. 22: 1-14)
At that time, Jesus spoke to the chief priests and the Pharisees in parables, saying: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a king, who made a marriage for his son. And he sent his servants, to call them that were invited to the marriage, and they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying: Tell them that were invited, Behold I have prepared my dinner; my beeves and fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come ye to the marriage. But they neglected: and went their, ways, one to his farm, and another to his mer­chandise: and the rest laid hands on his servants, and having treated them contumeliously, put them to death. But when the king had heard, of it; he was angry: and sending his armies, he destroyed those murderers, and burnt their city. Then he saith to his servants: The marriage indeed is ready; but they, that were invited were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, call to the marriage. And his servants going forth into the ways, gathered together, all that they found, both bad and good; and the marriage was filled with guests. And the king went in to fee the guests; and he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment: and he saith to him: Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having on a wedding garment? But he was silent. Then the king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.

This parable agrees in many respects with that for the second Sunday after Pentecost, and has the same meaning. See, therefore, the explanation of that gospel, as also of the feast of St Catherine, to which maybe added the following:

In this parable the king is our Heavenly Father who has espoused His only-begotten Son to the Church, and on this occasion prepares the most sumptuous marriage-feast by giving the evangelical doctrine, the holy Sacraments, and the heavenly joys. The servants sent to invite the guests are the prophets, apostles and disciples of Christ. Those invited are the Jews who despised the honor and grace of the divine King, destined for them, abused and killed His servants, and were, therefore, cast aside and with their city Jerusalem, destroyed by the armies of their enemies, as a just punishment; in their stead the heathens and all those nations were called, who were on the broad road to destruction, and who now occupy the places of the unfortunate Jews at the marriage feast of the Church, and shall also occupy them in heaven. In the Jews to whom Christ addressed this parable, is verified that many of them, nay, all are called, but few chosen, because they would not heed the invitation.

We have the honor not only to be invited to this marriage-feast, but are in reality guests at it, because we are members of the Church of Christ by faith. "But the Christian," says St. Gregory, "who is a member of the Church by faith, but has not charity, is like to a man who comes to the marriage-feast without the wedding garment." With this garment which is charity, Christ was vested, when He came to celebrate the nuptials with His spouse, the Church, and by the bond of charity the Son of God also unites Himself with His elect. He clearly lets us know that charity is the wedding garment which should vest us. Those, therefore, who believe and are in the communion of the Church, but who do not preserve the grace of charity, are indeed in the wedding-chamber, but they are not adorned with the wedding garment. They are dead members of the Church, and shall not be admitted without this garment into the celestial marriage-feast in the triumphant Church, but rather be cast like that unfor­tunate guest into exterior darkness. This guest was silent, when asked by the king, why he had not .the wedding gar­ment. By this we see, that no one can excuse himself to God for not having charity, because every one can have it, if he asks it from God, and, as St. Augustine says, our heart is the workshop of charity, and every one who has a heart can practice it.

I thank Thee, O Jesus, that Thou didst call me to the marriage-feast in Thy Church; give me the wedding garment of charity that I may be present at the celestial marriage-feast, and not be cast into exterior darkness.

Cast him into the exterior darkness. (Matt. 22:13)

What is hell?
Hell is that place where the damned must suffer eternal punishment.

Is there a hell?
Yes; holy Scripture and the Church teach us that there is a hell. Reason tells us that there is a just God who will punish sin. It is evident that all sins are not punished in this world; there must, therefore, be a place, where every mortal sin, not atoned for by sorrow and penance, will be punished, and this place is - hell. All nations from the beginning of the world, even those who had not the light of revelation, believed this. But clearer still is the existence of hell shown by holy Scripture: The pious Job (10: 22) speaks of a region of misery and darkness, where the shadows of death and no order, but where eternal terror dwells. The Prophet Isaias (30: 33) says that hell is deep and wide, and that the fire burning in it, is like a stream of sulphur, ignited by the breath of the Lord. Our Saviour expressly says that those who have done evil, shall go to everlasting torment (Matt. 25:46), that they shall be tortured by everlasting fire (Matt. 25: 41). He makes mention of hell, and says that an inextinguishable fire burns there, and a worm which never dies, plagues the wicked (Mark 9: 42, 43; Matt. 10: 28). All the Fathers of the Church teach and testify to the same doctrine. St. Augustine, among many others, says: "The infinite wisdom of God tells us that there is a hell, and the illimitable power of God it is that punishes the dam­ned in a wonderful, but real manner."

Wherein do the pains of hell consist?
Sacred Scripture and the Church teach concerning the pains, of the reprobate in hell, that the damned burn there in an inextinguishable fire (Mark 9: 45). The holy doctors of the Church say, that this fire is never extinguished, and its smoke ascends or rises from century to century, “I see this fire," says St. Gregory, "as if it were gifted with reason; it make a distinction between the guilty, and tortures the damned according to the nature of their sins." This fire burns, but never consumes its victims; it commu­nicates, as Cassiodorus says, immortality to the reprobate and lets them suffer pain, which preserves them, like salt which penetrates the flesh and keeps it from corruption, as Jesus says: Every one shall be salted with fire (Mark 9: 8). This fire does not shine, it leaves the reprobate in darkness (Matt. 8: 12), and with this fire a never dying worm continually torments the damned. This worm is not only a bad conscience, say the holy Fathers, but particu­larly the privation of the Beatific Vision. Eternally will the thought torment the damned: I have lost God, the only true and highest Good, I have lost Him through my fault, I have lost Him for a brief pleasure, I have lost Him forever. In hell eternity devours all time; and if after millions and millions of years a damned soul wailingly asks his companion in misery: What time is it? he receives the answer: Eternity. Who would not fear hell, and avoid sin which incurs eternal punishment, when he reflects upon this! Arid yet there are many, upon whom the truth of the existence of a hell makes no impression, who even deny that there is such a place, and who say: God is love, He can have no pleasure in the torments of His creatures, He cannot eter­nally punish a sin which was committed in so short a time as is the life of man." But those who speak thus, forget that God is just, that His love and mercy are indeed always ready to forgive the contrite and penitent, but that His justice must also be satisfied, when the sinner continually rejects the merciful love of God; they forget, that every grievous sin which man commits voluntarily and knowingly is an infinite, eternal insult, offered to God, which can only be atoned for by an eternal punishment. For the perverted and malicious will of a man, who dies in mortal sin, remains perverted and malicious forever, therefore he must also be punished eternally. O my dear Christian, do not listen to such deceivers; for just on account of their sinful life, they fear hell and therefore they endeavor to free themselves from this fear by denying the existence of hell; but they cannot succeed; for Jesus, the Truth, has told us that there is a hell, and His word remains for all eternity. Endeavor rather by a pious life to escape hell, descend there in spirit frequently according to the advice of a saint, contemplate the torments of the damned, and let this reflection urge you to imitate Christ, who has promised the joys of heaven to all His faithful followers.

The kingdom of heaven is likened to a king, who made a marriage for his son (Matt. 22:2)

Heaven is compared by Christ to a marriage-feast because we will there enjoy all imaginable pleasures in the most perfect union with God. In what these joys consist, St. Paul could not describe, although he was wrapt into the third heaven and tasted these pleasures; he only said: Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him (1 Cor. 2:9). Holy Writ, indeed, gives us many descriptions of the celestial joys, by comparing heaven to a paradise of bliss, sometimes to a precious pearl, or a treasure which neither rust nor moth consumes, nor thieves steal; again it represents heaven under the picture of a kingdom, a throne, a crown, whereby we are raised to the highest honor; at another time to the picture of a city which is built of gold, precious stones and pearls, lighted by the splendor of God, filled with magnificence and glory, and where the inhabitants enjoy undisturbed peace and security. These are only images or similitudes, which are taken from the most beautiful, most precious, and magnificent things of the earth, to teach us that heaven is as beautiful and pleasant a place, as we can wish and represent to ourselves, and that all possible beauty, agreeableness and joy may be found there in the highest and most perfect manner, free from evil, anxiety, disgust and fear of losing them.. In heaven we will possess God Himself, the source of all joy and bliss, and will enjoy His own happiness for all eternity. More is riot needed to give us the highest conception of heaven. Who would not willingly despise the vain, short and im­perfect pleasures of this earth, whilst contemplating this indescribable bliss? Who would not willingly bear all the misfortunes. and misery of this world, when considering that the more .miserable we have been in this life the happier will we be hereafter. What would it avail us to have enjoyed all the pleasures of this world, if deprived of the pleasures of heaven, in, eternity!

How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord, of hosts! my soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God. (Ps. 88:2-3) How do I loathe the world, when I contemplate heaven.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

1966 - live of Carmelite nuns in French cloister

Video recorded visit to a Carmelite convent,1966, where for the first time a report is made on the activities of these religious, totally cut off from the outside world ... filmed their lives since rising at 5:40 until bedtime at 10:30pm,- meals, prayer, processions in the corridors and hours of joyful, even musical relaxation. 1966 back when they had no heat,and still chanted in Latin. Notice the Priest celebrating in French, facing the 'congregation' side, and the Novus Ordo, less than one year after the closing of Vatican II and 3 years before the official promulgation of the New Ordinary reformed Mass of Pope Paul VI.

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Our Immaculate Mother is Queen of Martyrs. She suffered so much and because of that she consoles the martyrs and all those carrying their heavy crosses: "O all ye that pass by the way, attend, and see if there be any sorrow like to mine sorrow" (Lam 1:12). Mary suffered deeply in her spirit exactly as the holy man, Simeon foretold: "And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed" (Luke 2, 35). Mary suffered as mother and Co-Redemptorix, she desired and suffered with her Son without any consolation unlike the martyrs souls filled by the merciful power of God with consolations in the moments of their gravest tortures: "According to the multitude of my sorrows in my heart, thy comforts have given joy to my soul" (Ps 93, 19). Our Immaculata long-suffering made her the Queen of Martyrs. Mary suffered for years when one after another, seven sword of sorrows pierced her heart. She could said with the prophet: "For my life is wasted with grief: and my years in sighs" (Ps 30, 11). Let us console our loving Mother with compassion! Let us imitate her patience in carrying the crosses God's providence grants us. Let us suffer in the spirit of holy resignation so prominent in Our Lady, who in the middle of the most grievous spiritual pain was most patient and resigned. And if we think we are not going to endure the pain anymore, let us fly into the compassionate arms of the Mother of Sorrows and look at the seven swords piercing: "forget not the groanings of thy mother" (Ecclus 7:29)
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Friday, September 19, 2008

Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair has landed teaching job at Yale University

According to ITN, Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair has admitted to being "a bit nervous" about starting his teaching career at Yale University. He is about to commence the series of semester-long seminars "faith and globalisation" course.

In an interview with the university's Yale Daily News, Mr Blair said: "I'm sort of a bit nervous for it, really."I was never a star student, and I'm coming along mixing with a whole lot of people who I'm sure are a whole lot more clever and smarter than I am." (O, goodness he must be really nervous!) He said he was partly drawn to the university after his son Euan graduated from there earlier this year with a master's degree in international relations.<"The chance to actually come to such a great institution as Yale and be able to interact with students - for me, it's a tremendous privilege," Mr Blair said.The course will explore the issues concerning the public roles of religious faiths in the context of globalisation. According to the newspaper, hundreds of "eager students" applied for admission to the course. Following his first seminar, Mr Blair will take part in a larger question and answer session from Yale students and staff. I do not wonder the interest in Tony Blair's lecture, who seems to be self-made expert in "religion".

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Vespers with Pope Benedict XVI at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

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Saturday - Day of Our Lady

Very beautiful meditation on the Passion of Our Lord narrated by Our Lady herself, very fitting spiritual reading for the coming Feast of the Cross Exaltation.

At that time, my Son was suffering, and as Judas the traitor approached He stooped towards him - for Judas was of low stature - giving him a kiss, saying: 'Friend, wherefore hast thou come?' And immediately some seized Him, others dragged Him by the hair, others defiled Him by spitting upon Him. Then my Son spoke, saying: 'I am reputed as a worm, which lies in winter as if dead, on which the passer-by spits and tramples. The Jews have this day treated me like a worm, because I was deemed most abject and unworthy of them.' (Lib 4, c:99).
When the time of my Son Passion arrived, His enemies seized Him, striking Him on His cheek and neck; and spitting upon Him, they mocked Him,. Then, led to the pillar, He stripped Himself, and Himself stretched His hands to the pillar, which His enemies, pitiless, bound. Now, while tied there He had no clothing, but stood as He was born, and suffered the shame of His nakedness. Then his enemies rose up, for the stood on all sides, His friends having fled, and they scourged His body, pure from all spot or sin. At the first blow, I, who stood nearest, fell as if dead, and on recovering my senses I beheld His body bruised and beaten to the very ribs, so that His ribs could be seen; and what was still more bitter, when the scourge was raised, His very flesh was furrowed by the thongs. And when my Son stood thus, all bloody, all torn, so that no soundness could be found in Him nor any spot to scourge, then one, his spirit roused within him, asked: "Will you slay Him thus unjudged?" and he immediately cut His bonds. Then my Son put on His clothes, and I beheld the spot where my Son's feet stood all full of blood, and I knew my Son's course by His footprints, for wherever He went, the earth seemed stained with blood; nor did they suffer Him to clothe Himself, but they compelled and urged Him to hasten.
Now, as my Son was led away like a robber, he wiped away the blood from His eyes. And when He was condemned, they gave Him His cross to bear. When He had carried it a short way, one came up and assumed it. Meanwhile, as my Son was going to the place of His Passion, some smote Him on the back, others struck Him in the face. And so violently and rudely was He struck that though I did not see the person striking, I distinctively heard the sound of the blow. And when I came with Him to the place of the Passion, I there beheld all the instruments prepared for His death. And my Son Himself , coming thither, divested Himself of His clothes, the attendants saying to each other: "These vestments are ours, nor can He have them again, that is condemned to death." Now, while my Son stood as naked as when He was born, one, running up, handed Him a cloth with which, exulting inwardly, he covered Him. Then His cruel executioners seized Him, and stretched Him on the cross. First they fixed His right hand to the beam, which was pierced with nails, and they transfixed His hand in the part where the bone was firmest. Then drawing His other hand with a rope, they affixed it in like manner to the cross. Then they crucified His right foot, and over it the left, with two nails, so that all the nerves and veins were extended and broken. This done, they fitted a crown of thorns to His head, which so acutely wounded the venerable head of my Son that His eyes were filled, His ears stopped up, with the blood that streamed down, and His whole beard matted with the gore. And as He stood thus pierced and bloody, condoling with me as I stood mourning, He looked with blood-stained eyes to John, my kinsman, and commended me to him.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008


According to pro-life agency SPUC, American Catholic bishops have commenced instructions of certain pro-choice politicians-
Ms Nancy Pelosi, the senior Democratic politician, has agreed to meet Most Rev George Niederauer, Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, to discuss her comments interpreting the Catholic church's teachings on life issues. [LifeNews, 8 September]

Three Catholic bishops have sought to correct Senator Joe Biden, the Democratic party's candidate for vice-president, following his remarks about abortion. Mr Biden said he agreed with church teaching that life began at conception but categorised that teaching as a "personal and private" matter of religious faith. Justin Cardinal Rigali and Bishop William Lori said: "The Catholic Church does not teach this as a matter of faith; it acknowledges it as a matter of objective fact." [Christian Today, 11 September]

Archbishop Charles Chaput said: "[R]esistance to abortion is a matter of human rights, not religious opinion, and the senator knows very well as a lawmaker that all law involves the imposition of some people's convictions on everyone else ... Abortion is a foundational issue; it is not an issue like housing policy or the price of foreign oil." [Irish Times, 10 September]

Mr Biden has also contrasted the opposition of Sarah Palin, the Republican party's vice-presidential candidate, to embryo research with her promise to support for special needs children. Ms Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life women's group, commented: "Biden outrageously implied that Americans who refuse to sacrifice innocent human life in the name of unproven, desperate attempts to cure our nation's ills through embryo-destructive research somehow don't really care about children ... Compassion can never be built upon callous disregard for human life. History has shown this has led to the near elimination of entire classes of human beings." [LifeNews, 9 September]

Senator John McCain, the Republican party's candidate for US president, has reiterated his opposition to the 1973 supreme court ruling in the Roe v Wade case, which declared abortion to be a constitutional right. Mr McCain told Glamour magazine that he would seek to have the decision reversed. Mr McCain has also stated on previous occasions that individual American states should decide the abortion issue and that he is opposed to judge-made law. [LifeNews, 10 September]

Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate, has sought to clarify comments he made about unborn children's rights. Mr Obama admitted that his comments to a Christian forum had probably been too flippant. Mr Obama had said that the question of unborn children's rights was "above his pay grade". [Christian Today, 9 September]

The first scheme combining collection of umbilical cord blood and research using cord blood stem cells has been launched in Nottingham, England. The Anthony Nolan Trust Cord Blood Bank predicts 50,000 donations of cord blood by 2013. Dr Steve McEwen, the trust's chief executive, said: "The beauty of this programme will not only be to save the lives of hundreds more patients but also provide researchers the opportunity to develop innovative new treatments." [BBC, 11 September]

The parliament of the Australian state of Victoria has rejected a bill which would have allowed terminally ill patients to end their lives with the help of a doctor. The Physician Assisted Dying Bill was rejected by the parliament's upper house by 25 votes to 13. A parliamentary committee will now consider the bill further. [ABC, 10 September]

The head of the Catholic church's doctrinal office has opposed a proposed new pro-abortion law in Spain. Cardinal Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that "the plan saddens me because ...the precious dignity of each person that begins at conception ... is not at the heart of this plan". The law will be drafted by a government-appointed committee of experts. [Catholic News Agency, 8 September]
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Monday, September 08, 2008


To read more please click on the title

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Seventeenth Sunday of the Pentecost

The Sunday of "greatest Commandment" - to read Instructions please click the title of the post

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When I was born, it was not unknown to the demons, but speaking by a certain similitude, they thus thought: "So a certain virgin is born, what shall we do? For it is evident that something wonderful is to take place in her.

If we throw around her all the nets of our malice, she will be burst them like tow. If we examine all her heart, it is defended by a strong garrison. There is no spot in her for a spear to touch. Therefore, we may fear lest her purity be our torture. Her grace will crush all our strength; her constancy prostrate prostrate us beneath her feet." But the friends of God, who were in long expectation, said by divine inspiration: "Why grieve we more? We should rather rejoice, for the light is born that is to dispel our darkness, and our desire shall be accomplished." And the angels of God rejoiced, although their joy was always in the vision of God, saying:"Something desirable is born on earth, and especially beloved by God, whereby true peace shall be made up." Indeed, daughter, I assure thee, that my birth was the opening of true joy; for then came forth the rod from which that flower proceeded, whom kings and prophets desired. And when I had attained an age to know something of my Creator, then I turned to Him with unspeakable love, and desired him with my whole heart. I was also preserved by wonderful grace, so that not even in my tender years did I consent to sin, because the love of God and my parents' care, good education, the preservation of good, and fervour of knowing god preserved with me. (Lib. VI c:56).
I am she, who from eternity have been in the love of God, and from my infancy the Holy Ghost was perfectly with me. And you may take an example from a nut, which, when it grows exteriorly, increases in the interior, so that the shell is always full, and there is no space to receive aught else. So I, from my childhood, was full of the Holy Ghost, and according ti the increase of my body and age, the Holy Ghost filled me so copiously as to leave no room for the entrance of any sin. Hence I never committed a mortal or venial sin , for I was so ardent in the love of God, that nothing was pleasing to me except the perfect will of God; for the fire of divine love was enkindled in my soul, and God, blessed above all, who created me by his power, and filled me with the virtue of the Holy Ghost, had an ardent love for me. (Lib. III c:8).

Today's picture presents beautiful statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel from the shrine in Harlem.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Holy Cross Novena

For link to Novena click the post title.

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