Wednesday, October 31, 2012

MIchael Voris is right!

Then he will say to those at his left hand, `Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'

Then they also will answer, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?' Then he will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.' And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

-- Matthew 25:41-46
Michael Voris is right about the need to teach about the reality of Hell. And he's right that very few of us will wind up in Heaven. Anyone who is Christian cannot deny this reality as Michael points out.

The children at Fatima were so frightened by the vision of Hell that Our Lady revealed to them that they spent much of their time afterward praying for the conversion of sinners.

St. Teresa of Jesus actually experienced the pain of a soul trapped in Hell and describes it in her writings.
I felt a fire in my soul. I cannot see how it is possible to describe it. My bodily sufferings were unendurable.... These sufferings were nothing in comparison with the anguish of my soul, a sense of oppression, of stifling, and of pain so keen, accompanied by so hopeless and cruel an infliction, that I know not how to speak of it. If I said that the soul is continually being torn from the body, it would be nothing, for that implies the destruction of life by the hands of another but here it is the soul itself that is tearing itself in pieces. I cannot describe that inward fire or that despair, surpassing all torments and all pain. I did not see who it was that tormented me, but I felt myself on fire, and torn to pieces... Left in that pestilential place, and utterly without the power to hope for comfort, I could neither sit nor lie down: there was no room. I was placed as it were in a hole in the wall; and those walls, terrible to look on of themselves, hemmed me in on every side. I could not breathe. There was no light, but all was thick darkness.
Sadly, I feel I must add that some of the conditions that St. Teresa describe remind me of descriptions I have read of the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo. It is one thing to imprison someone for crimes committed as a punishment and in order to protect society. But it is another thing to totally deprive a person of all human dignity. As a Church that believes in the dignity of all human beings I think we must speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Whenever we see a group of people stripped of their humanity, what follows is that their lives lose all value and they become disposable. We see this with the unborn and abortion. We are seeing this with the elderly and the sick with laws that would compel them to take their own lives so that they would not be a burden to society. And we see this in times of war when the enemy is always portrayed as less than human.

But even in times of war we must remember that each human being is a unique creation of God. We should never stop praying for our enemies. And as a nation we need to ask God in our prayers to keep our souls from being corrupted through the abuse of the power which He has granted us.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A graceless life

But you, my dearly beloved, be mindful of the words which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who told you, that in the last time there should come mockers, walking according to their own desires in ungodlinesses. These are they, who separate themselves, sensual men, having not the Spirit. But you, my beloved, building yourselves upon your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto life everlasting.
 -- Jude 1:17-21
Without Thy grace.  We elected to live gracelessly, we trusted solely to our strength, were bound only by our own laws, surrendered to our own whims and followed our own instincts. On those foundations we built our new towers. We have lifted our voices and celebrated triumphs, we have marched, we have worked, we have boasted and saved and squandered.  And the outcome?  Precisely without thy grace – a graceless life a pitiless age, an age of inexorable fate, a time of horror and violence, of worthless life and senseless death.  We ought not to be surprised that such a graceless life has translated itself into the kind of manifestation we are now enduring.  And we who have been dragged down into the universal collapse – which perhaps we did not try to prevent by every means in our power – must in the midst of our destiny overcome that destiny, turning it into a cry for grace and mercy, for the healing waters of the Holy Spirit.  Humanity ought never again to over-rate its capabilities or delude itself as we have done.  Those who survive should take these lessons to heart and preach them with inspired zeal.  The graceless way of living is presumptuous and leads to disaster.  We are truly human when we live in unity with God.

Father Alfred Delp, S.J.

Father Delp (1945) was a German Jesuit priest condemned to death by the Nazis in Berlin, Germany.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pope Benedict on Faith

So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
 -- 1 Corinthians 13:13
Pope Benedict XVI wrote his two first encyclicals on Love and Hope. It was predicted that his next encyclical would be on Faith, but I fear the the Holy Father has been too busy to focus his attention on this task.

But instead he has given us a whole year devoted to Faith. And he is blessing us with a whole series of Wednesday addresses on the topic of Faith.

I include below the full text of the talk he gave yesterday, both because I love the writings of Pope Benedict and always find them enriching and inspiring, and because it fits in so neatly with my comments at the end of my previous post. (The interesting thing is that I wrote that post prior to reading this papal address.)

 + + +

Dear brothers and sisters,
Last Wednesday, with the inauguration of the Year of Faith, I began a new series of catecheses on faith. And today I would like to reflect with you on the basic question: What is faith? Does faith still make sense in a world where science and technology have opened horizons heretofore unimagined? What does it mean to believe today? Indeed, in our own day a renewed education in the faith is greatly needed. This should naturally include a knowledge of the truths of the faith and the events of salvation, but above all it should come from a true encounter with God in Jesus Christ, from loving Him, from trusting Him, so that it involves the whole of our lives.
Today, along with so many signs of goodness, a kind of spiritual desert is also widening around us. Sometimes we get the feeling from certain events we hear about each day that the world is not moving towards the building up of a more fraternal and peaceful community. The very ideas of progress and wellbeing also reveal their shadows. Despite the grandeur of scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs, men today do not seem to have become freer and more humane; so many forms of exploitation, manipulation, violence, oppression and injustice still remain.
In addition, a certain kind of culture has taught men to move only along the horizons of things, of the practical, and to believe only in what can be seen and touched with one’s hands. On the other hand, however, there are an increasing number of people who feel lost and who - in the quest to move beyond a merely horizontal vision of reality - are ready to believe everything as well as its opposite. Within this context several fundamental questions emerge, which are far more concrete than they appear at first sight: What is the meaning of life? Is there a future for man, for us and for the new generations? How shall we direct the choices we freely make toward a successful and happy life? What awaits us beyond the threshold of death?
These insuppressible questions show that the world of planning, exact calculation and experimentation - in a word, of scientific knowledge - important as they are for the life of man, of themselves are not enough. We don’t only need bread; we need love, meaning and hope. We need a firm foundation and solid ground that helps us to live with real meaning, even in times of crisis, darkness and difficulty, and amid our daily problems. This is precisely what faith gives us: it is a confident entrusting of oneself to a “Thou” who is God; it provides a kind of certainty different from but no less sure than what comes to us from exact calculation or science. 
Faith is not simply a matter of man’s intellectual assent to truths about God; it is an act whereby I freely entrust myself to a God who is a Father and who loves me; it means clinging to a “Thou” who gives me hope and confidence. To be sure, this adherence to God is not devoid of content: it enables us to know that God himself revealed himself to us in Christ. He showed us his face and he truly drew near to each one of us. Indeed, God revealed that his love for man, for each one of us, is without measure: on the Cross, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God made man, shows us in the clearest fashion how far this love goes -- to the point of giving himself, to total sacrifice. By the mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Christ, God descends into the depths of our humanity in order to bring it back to himself, to raise it to his heights.
Faith means believing in God’s unfailing love, which endures even in the face of man’s iniquity, of evil and of death, and which is able to transform every form of slavery by granting the possibility of salvation. To have faith, then, is to encounter this “Thou” - God - who sustains me and offers me the promise of an imperishable love that not only aspires to eternity but also gives it. It means entrusting myself to God with the attitude of a child who knows very well that all of his difficulties and problems are safe in the “thou” of the mother.
And this possibility of salvation through faith is a gift that God offers to all people. I think we should meditate more often on this in our daily lives, which are sometimes characterized by tragic problems and situations. We need to reflect on the fact that Christian belief involves this trusting self-surrender to the profound meaning that upholds me and the world: that meaning we are incapable of giving ourselves but can only receive as a gift, and that provides the foundation on which we can live without fear. And we must be able to proclaim this freeing and reassuring certainty with our words and to demonstrate it by our Christian lives.
Each day, however, we see around us that many people remain indifferent or refuse to welcome this announcement. At the end of the Gospel of Mark we today have before us hard words from the Risen One, who tells us: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16), he will be lost. I would like to invite you to reflect on this. Confidence in the action of the Holy Spirit must always move us to go out and preach the Gospel, to courageously witness to the faith. But in addition to the possibility of a positive response to the gift of faith, there is also the risk of the Gospel being rejected, of a vital encounter with Christ not being received. St. Augustine posed this problem in one of his commentaries on the parable of the sower: “ We speak – he said – we cast the seed, we scatter the seed. There are those who despise, those who criticize and those who scoff. If we fear them, we shall have nothing more to sow, and the day of harvest will remain without a crop. Therefore, may the seed come forth from good soil (Discourse on Christian discipline, 13,14: PL 40, 677-678).
Rejection, then, cannot discourage us. As Christians we are witnesses of this fertile soil: despite our limitations, our faith shows that good soil exists, where the seed of God’s Word produces abundant fruits of justice, peace, love, of new humanity and of salvation. And the whole history of the Church, with all its problems, also demonstrates that good soil exists, good seed exists, and it bears fruit.
But we ask ourselves: where does man obtainthat openness of heart and mind that enables him to believe in God who became visible in Jesus Christ crucified and risen, and to receive his salvation so that Christ and his Gospel become the guide and light of life? The answer: we are able to believe in God because he draws near to us and touches us, because the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Risen One, enables us to receive and welcome the living God. Faith, then, is first and foremost a supernatural gift, a gift of God. The Second Vatican Council states: “To make this act of faith, the grace of God and the interior help of the Holy Spirit must precede and assist, moving the heart and turning it to God, opening the eyes of the mind and giving ‘joy and ease to everyone in assenting to the truth and believing it’ (Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum, 5).
The basis of our journey of faith is Baptism, the sacrament that gives us the Holy Spirit – making us children of God in Christ - and marks our entrance into the community of faith, the Church: we don’t believe on our own, without the preceding grace of the Spirit; and we don’t believe alone but together with our brothers and sisters. From Baptism on, every believer is called to re-live and make this confession of faith his own, together with his brothers and sisters.
Faith is a gift of God, but it is also a profoundly free and human act. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states it clearly. It says: “Believing is possible only by grace and the interior helps of the Holy Spirit. But it is no less true that believing is an authentically human act. [It] is contrary neither to human freedom nor to human reason” (n. 154). In fact, it involves them and exalts them in a gamble on life that is like an exodus; i.e., a going out of themselves, a departure from the security they afford and from their mental constructs in order to entrust themselves to the action of God, who shows us the way to attain true freedom, our human identity, true joy of heart and peace with everyone. To believe is to entrust oneself in all freedom and with joy to God’s providential plan for history, like the patriarch Abram, like Mary of Nazareth. Faith, then, is an assent whereby our minds and hearts pronounce their “yes” to God by confessing that Jesus is the Lord. And this “yes” transforms life and opens the way towards the fullness of meaning, making it so new, so rich in joy and reliable hope.
Dear friends, the times in which we live need Christians who have been seized by Christ, who grow in faith through familiarity with the Sacred Scriptures and the Sacraments – persons who are like an open book that tells of the experience of new life in the Spirit and the presence of God who sustains us on the journey and opens the way to endless life. Thank you.

Michael Voris is wrong

He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth belongs to the earth, and of the earth he speaks; he who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony; he who receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit; the Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.
 -- John 3:31-36
Michael Voris is wrong.

There. I said it. Even though I can agree with Michael V. at least 90% of the time, I disagree with him in some very critical areas.

I wish that Michael V. would stop and listen very carefully to what Archbishop Chaput has to say in this video.

The problem I see with Michael V. is that he sometimes lets his political views take precedence over his "Catholic identity". Compare what Archbishop Chaput has to say with what Michael V. says in his latest Daily Vortex.

While I absolutely agree with Michael V. and his analysis of the "social justice" movement within the Church sometimes he swings too far to the right and steps outside the teaching of the Church. I'm thinking very specifically of the issue of "illegal immigration".

We Catholics may belong to an "illegal church" pretty soon if things continue on along the same path that we are heading now. "Illegal" doesn't always equate with what is morally wrong. Just as "legal" doesn't always equate with what is morally right. We have "legal abortion", but how can we say that the killing of innocent unborn children should be protected by law simply as a matter of "choice".

Archbishop Chaput says in a related article:
Scripture and Catholic teaching, however, do have public consequences because they guide us in how we should act in relation to one another. Again, Catholic social action, including political action, is a natural byproduct of the Church’s moral message. We can’t call ourselves Catholic, and then simply stand by while immigrants get mistreated, or the poor get robbed, or – even more fundamentally — unborn children get killed. If our faith is real, then it will bear fruit in our public decisions and behaviors, including our political choices.
The Church's teachings must guide us. We may not always live up to the high standards of the Church which are based on the even higher standards of God. We must always remember to pray the Our Father and ask for God's forgiveness.

Please join me in praying for Michael Voris. He is a great warrior in the spiritual war which is currently raging in our society. Don't let him be so easily knocked off his steed. We need him fighting along side us and even leading the charge.

 + + +

I will close with a thought. It is something that I have become increasingly aware of in recent days. And both Michael V. and Archbishop Chaput touch upon this in some way.

We can either choose to turn our eyes upward to Heaven or downward to this physical world in which we spend our lives. When we gaze upward we begin to see the world through the eyes of Christ. This is how the saints live their lives, with their eyes focused on the Cross of Jesus.

When we shift our eyes downward we see only the physical world that surrounds us. We conclude that we are only animals instead of being children of God created in His own image. We even go as far as to interpret everything as having sexual symbolism as Freud did, instead of seeing everything in the world as part of God's creation and marveling at the miracle of life and humanity.

Through science we seek to reduce everything to cold numbers and equations. Science does this through measuring the world around us and "quantifying" everything. In this view we are only atoms and molecules, or 1s and 0s in a computer program.

Ultimately science would like to be able to measure God Himself. But God is immeasurable. From this, many conclude that God does not exist because He cannot be measured by any scientific instrument. He cannot be perceived directly or indirectly through our senses. And yet He can be experienced if only we are open to His will. The saints are our witnesses to this great Truth.

So "modern" man places himself in opposition to God. Choosing to look down rather than up. Ultimately this leads to human beings becoming commodities. We seek to satisfy our own selfish needs and desires. Our husbands and wives become objects used for our own pleasure. Gradually the family breaks down and society itself breaks down.

But the good news of the Gospel is that God exists. In fact He is the creator. And when we realize this and accept it then we can begin to live meaningful lives again and to heal our broken society.

And in fact God is Love. And it is this love which is present in the Church which will ultimately win this spiritual war.

We have as our prime human example of the love of God and for God the Blessed Virgin Mary. May we always seek to follow her example. Pray for us, Mother of God.

In the Book of Revelation it is revealed to us that the New Jerusalem has been measured.
Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told: "Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample over the holy city for forty-two months."
 -- Revelation 11:1-2
So even by the scientific criteria of measurement Heaven exists. There is an eternal life after the short life of this world.

When we live this life as if there is an afterlife, then we make our society stronger. When we ignore the afterlife then our society crumbles. It almost doesn't seem to matter whether we have faith or not. At least not in the beginning. But God is merciful and loving and he rewards acts of faith with true faith. We need only persevere by repeating these words from the Holy Mass based on the great profession of faith of a Roman officer:

"Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Norma McCorvey speaks out against abortion

Even the darkness is not dark to thee,
the night is bright as the day;
for darkness is as light with thee.

For thou didst form my inward parts,
thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful.
Wonderful are thy works!

 -- Psalm 113:12-14

More about Norma McCorvey from Priests for Life.
A turning point came in McCorvey's break from the abortion mentality when she realized the pro-life community could love her while being opposed to her philosophy, said Father Frank Pavone, International Director of Priests for Life, in a telephone interview with the Rio Grande Catholic. "She was beginning to separate the evil (of abortion) from the person, which is something that the pro-abortion mentality does not do," said Father Pavone. "The problems surrounding an unexpected pregnancy cannot be eliminated by eliminating the child, and that is the way the pro-abortion people believe."

The abortion industry's refusal to allow her to give any information to women making the decision to have abortions pushed her closer to the prolife philosophy. "When a woman has an abortion, that woman is signing up for the ball and chain group because she will always be shackled by what she has done until she repents and asks the Lord for forgiveness," said McCorvey.

After her conversion to Christianity and her renouncement of the abortion movement, McCorvey continued her search for the truth. Father Pavone said, "She came to the pro-life position but then she continued following that truth." He said that when people embrace the truth and are faithful and open to it, truth will lead them all the way. "And that is what she did," said Father Pavone. "She (McCorvey) followed the truth to the fullest expression, which is the Catholic Church."

People are given hope when they see McCorvey, who is perceived as the winner of the Roe vs. Wade decision, now renouncing it, according to Father Pavone. But he advises those who are suspicious of her conversion to the pro-life movement to get to know her. "She suffers a lot for what she has done and a person does not endure sacrifice and suffering for something they do not believe in," said Father Pavone.
See also, the LifeSiteNews article about the candidacy of Randall Terry and this political ad featuring Norma.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The persecution of Dr. Angela McGaskill

For when we were with you, we told you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction; just as it has come to pass.
 -- 1 Thessalonians 3:4

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Salve, Regina

And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."
 -- Luke 1:30-33

Hail, Holy Queen, mother of mercy;
Our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry poor banished children of Eve.
To thee do we send up our sighs
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us.
And after this our exile
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement; O loving; O sweet
Virgin Mary

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

 + + +

Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae;
Vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus, exsules, filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia ergo, Advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos
ad nos converte.
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis, post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens; O pia; O dulcis
Virgo Maria

V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix. 
R. Ut digni efficamur promissionibus Christi.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I believe...

The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.

He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.

 -- John 1:9-14

The Nicene Creed

 I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, 
maker of Heaven and earth and of all things 
visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus 
Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten 
of his Father before all ages, God of God, 
Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, 
not made, consubstantial with the 
Father, by Whom all things were made; Who 
for us men and for our salvation, came down 
from Heaven, and was Incarnate by the Holy 
Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made Man; 
He was crucified also for us under Pontius 
Pilate, and was buried. And the 
third day He rose again according to the 
Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven. He 
sitteth at the right hand of the Father: and He shall 
come again with glory to judge the living 
and the dead: and His kingdom shall have no end. 
And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and 
Giver of life, Who proceedeth from the Father and 
the Son, Who, together with the Father and the Son, 
is adored and glorified: Who spoke by the 
prophets. And I believe in one holy Catholic and 
apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism 
for the remission of sins. And I expect the resurrection 
of the dead, and the life of the world to come. 

In this Year of Faith proclaimed by Our Holy Father Benedict XVI let us all reflect on what we believe.

Father Frank Pavone is back

Men worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?" And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months; it opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them.
 -- Revelation 13 4:7
Welcome back Father Frank! We have sorely missed you!

In case you missed it... "After a year of exile, anti-abortion priest Frank Pavone is back"
Pavone appealed [Bishop] Zurek’s restrictions to Rome and in May the Vatican ruled that he was a priest in good standing and that he could travel freely, with Zurek’s permission. The bishop hasn’t told him otherwise, Pavone said, and seems unlikely to do so given Pavone's connections.
I would love to be able to report on Bishop Zurek's side of the story, but "Zurek’s office did not respond to several requests for a comment." It would be nice if the Bishop would clear the air after so publicly condemning Father Frank.

Back in August 1st Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann declared her support for Priests for Life on the floor of Congress. It's great to see the pro-Life family working together like this. God bless you Michelle.

Thank you Father Frank for all you have done and for all you continue to do to fight for the lives of the unborn. Now it's time to get back to work because their is much work to be done in the fields of Our Lord. Your presence has been much missed in the battlefield. The enemy has gained ground. And in this crucial election year we need your voice to be heard. Keep fighting for the Gospel in this spiritually barren desert in which we are living.

Judging from the following quote, Father Frank has only grown more determined after his ordeal.
“Some people have called me too aggressive. Well, too bad. The fight against abortion is too important to worry about ruffling feathers and the reality is that church efforts to combat abortion are too tame – the hierarchy’s deeds don’t match their words. And that sends the wrong message.

“There can be heated debate. There can be loyal opposition. That is how the church grows, The solution is not to lock me up in some convent. The solution is to sit down at the table like adults.”
My prayers and the prayers of many others around the world have been answered.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dolan and Dorothy Day

Jesus answered, "My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world."
-- John 18:36
So Archbishop Timothy Dolan thinks that Dorothy Day should be a saint. I'm sure "Catholics" Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden would agree.

My educated guess is that most Catholics that agree with Abp. Dolan on this will also be voting for Obama.

Dorothy Day was present at Vatican II. She was there to inject her political views into Church documents. She perfectly represents the "social justice" mentality which deliberately chooses to misrepresent the mission of the Church. Yes, we are called to help the poor, but no this is not the primary mission of the Church.

The primary mission is to save souls. Everything that happens in this life is secondary to the eternal life that comes afterwards. We are called to be pilgrims here on earth on a journey towards Heaven.

The bad fish

Another parable he put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.

So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the householder came and said to him, `Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?'

He said to them, `An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, `Then do you want us to go and gather them?'

But he said, `No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"

 -- Matthew 13:24-30
"We have seen that in the field of the Lord there are always the weeds as well. We have seen that in the net of Peter there are also the bad fish."

Pope Benedict XVI offered these comments about the post Vatican II period in the life of the Church on October 11 as he recalled his own participation in that council:
We were happy -- I would say -- and full of enthusiasm. The great ecumenical council was inaugurated, we were sure it would be a new springtime of the Church, a new Pentecost, with a strong presence of the new liberating grace of the Gospel.

Today as well we are happy, we carry joy in our hearts, but I would say it is perhaps a more sober joy, a humble joy. In these fifty years, we have learned and understood that original sin exists and is translated ever anew into personal sins that can even become structures of sin. We have seen that in the field of the Lord there are always the weeds as well. We have seen that in the net of Peter there are also the bad fish. We have seen that human frailty is also present in the Church, that the ship of the Church is sailing with the wind against it, with storms that threaten the ship. And at times we have thought: where is the Lord? He has forgotten us! This is a part of the experiences undergone over these fifty years.
The "weeds" and the "bad fish" to which Pope Benedict refers can only be the dissenters within the Church who have chosen to use Vatican II as an excuse to implement "reforms" that go against Church teaching.

Earlier on that same day in his homily Pope Benedict said, "In the years following, however, many embraced uncritically the dominant mentality, placing in doubt the very foundations of the deposit of faith, which they sadly no longer felt able to accept as truths."

I can only assume that the Pope is again referring to the "bad fish" and here he points out in an even more direct way that they have chosen to reject the truths of the Church and have substituted for them their own ideas which they have borrowed from the modern atheistic world.

In this same homily the Pope speaks of this God-less world as a desert, making the comparison with the desert that the ancient Israelites had to cross in order to reach the Promised Land.
Recent decades have seen the advance of a spiritual “desertification”. In the Council’s time it was already possible from a few tragic pages of history to know what a life or a world without God looked like, but now we see it every day around us. This void has spread. But it is in starting from the experience of this desert, from this void, that we can again discover the joy of believing, its vital importance for us, men and women. In the desert we rediscover the value of what is essential for living; thus in today’s world there are innumerable signs, often expressed implicitly or negatively, of the thirst for God, for the ultimate meaning of life. And in the desert people of faith are needed who, with their own lives, point out the way to the Promised Land and keep hope alive. Living faith opens the heart to the grace of God which frees us from pessimism. Today, more than ever, evangelizing means witnessing to the new life, transformed by God, and thus showing the path.
Thank you Holy Father for letting us know that you have not forgotten us and that you hear the prayers of the faithful.

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"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad.

So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth."

 -- Matthew 13:47-50
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See also:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cardinal Burke on Voting

And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck. But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.
 -- Luke 11:27-28
This interview with Cardinal Raymond Burke appears to be from 2010 but it is more relevant now than ever.

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Today, October 13th, is the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, Portugal. Pray to Our Lady of Fatima to protect the world from the continued spread of the "errors of Russia" whether it is in the form of atheism, socialism, marxism or humanism.

And as Cardinal Burke states in this video, pray also to Our Lady as she appeared in Guadalupe to protect the unborn and bring an end to abortion. And beyond that to defeat the anti-life forces which are spreading their poison throughout the world in the form of contraception, euthanasia and the destruction of the sacrament of marriage.

These are attacks on the Church that use the power of the government to undermine Church teaching and to ultimately defeat the Church herself. It is sadly obvious that their are many American bishops that are part of this movement. How else can we explain the silence or ambiguity from the American Church hierarchy when it comes to guiding Catholics in these elections?

I have not been a fan of Cardinal Dolan, head of the US Bishops, as you can easily tell by looking at my past articles here. I remained silent during the latest controversies with regards to his invitation of Obama to the Al Smith Dinner, but I cannot continue to remain silent.

My observation of Cardinal Dolan's past performance on the life issues including his abysmal performance in regards to the passing of legislation legitimizing "homosexual marriage" in New York leads me to conclude that he is not wholeheartedly defending Catholic teaching as he is called to do as a bishop of his flock. If the past is any guide then we will hear the most ferocious attacks on Obama after the elections -- if Obama wins reelection. I pray that this won't happen.

Abp. Dolan's tendency seems to be to do too little too late. If only he would speak out forcefully now when it makes a difference. If only he would instruct the local bishop in Albany, New York (Bishop Hubbard) to refuse communion to Governor Cuomo as Cardinal Burke states is required according to Canon Law.

As Cardinal Burke informs us in this video, the public scandal caused by openly pro-abortion and pro-"homosexual marriage" Catholic politicians and judges being continued to be allowed to receive communion leads others to the mistaken conclusion that the Church has changed its pro-life teachings or at the least does not consider them to be all that important. But what other conclusion can anyone draw from this inaction?

Cardinal Dolan needs to offer a response to Cardinal Burke without injecting so many ambiguous statements that the answer becomes open to interpretation. But then I suppose we already have his response in the form of the "Faithful Citizenship" guide for voters for 2012 from the US Catholic Bishops. This document is so ambiguous and so open to interpretation that one can only conclude that this is a deliberate act in order to misrepresent Church teaching in the area of abortion and "homosexual marriage" and in order to offer a false moral shield for American Catholics to vote for anti-life candidates -- especially those from the Democratic Party.

It is just this sort of "passive" resistance to Church teaching by the American Bishops that has brought us to the point that we are at today where American society is morally crumbling. The "errors of Russia" have spread to America and through our global leadership they have spread around the world.

As we enter into the Year of Faith as declared by Pope Benedict XVI let us pray that there will be an end to this folly. And that the Catholic Church in America will become a shining light on a hill as Christ asked of all of his followers.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The world is in flames

"The world is all in flames; they want to sentence Christ again... they want to ravage His Church."
-- St. Teresa of Jesus from The Way of Perfection Ch. 2:5

If the bishop is holy...

"If the bishop is holy the subjects will be so too."
-- St Teresa of Jesus from the Way of Perfection Ch. 3:10

Pray for our bishops.

The Mass is the Message

And there came to him the Pharisees and Sadducees tempting: and they asked him to shew them a sign from heaven. But he answered and said to them: When it is evening, you say, It will be fair weather, for the sky is red. And in the morning: Today there will be a storm, for the sky is red and lowering. You know then how to discern the face of the sky: and can you not know the signs of the times?
-- Matthew 16:1-3
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It can't be a concidence that Michael Voris' today devoted his Daily Vortex show to the topic of the Holy Mass.

How is it possible that his presentation so closely parallels a private discussion that I had with a very holy Catholic priest just one week ago?

Anyone who has spent anytime in prayer recently at Mass or before the Blessed Sacrament, or spent time meditating while saying the Rosary or while in quiet contemplation has received this message from God. It is a sign of the times that the struggle for the soul of the Catholic Church centers around the Holy Mass.

If you have not spent time thinking about the meaning of the Mass, then you have failed to grasp the profound significance of the Mass to humanity. And not just thinking but struggling to understand what it is that is being celebrated at Mass.

The Church guides us in our understanding of the Mass, but it cannot teach us definitively the Truth regarding this great gift from God because the Mass is a mystery which we will never be able to fully comprehend in a thousand lifetimes.

We get glimpses through private revelation while kneeling in prayer and feeling the spiritual and physical presence of Our Lord, but not even the greatest saints of the Church in history can ever claim to fully comprehend the divine message that God has transmitted to us in the form of this eternal and timeless sacred ceremony.

Do we dare claim to be able to read the mind of God?

To participate in the act of worship which is the Mass is to experience the past, the present and the future all wrapped up in one mystery which transcends time and space. The Mass is the sacrifice of the ancient Jewish priests at the Temple, it is Christ on the Cross at Calvary, it is the Heavenly Supper of the Lamb as described in Revelation. It is all this and much more.

It is the communion of the saints and the angels and the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is the earthly expression of the Holy Trinity.

What is the Mass? It is a gift from God, so profound that we can spend our whole lives exploring its mysteries. It is the soul and the essence of the Church. It is the fount from which all the teachings of the Church proceed.

The Mass is both the Message and the Messenger. It is where Heaven and Earth meet.

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This Saturday is the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima which was witnessed by 70,000 people. Pray a rosary for the Church in commemoration and in obedience to the wishes of Our Lady.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus. Sancta Maria mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen