Keep your eyes open!...


April 30, 2005




FATHER ALTIER ON PRAYER: But each one of us, because of our baptism, is a priest – different, entirely different, a different kind of priesthood even than the sacramental (or ordained) priesthood. Nonetheless, each one of us is a priest, prophet, and a king. If each one of us is a priest, it means that we are all to be holy, we are all to be offering sacrifice, and we are all to be practicing the role of mediation. If we ask ourselves, “What exactly would that look like?” it is quite simple. The mediator role, for those of you who are parents, is to pray for your children. But you are to pray also for your spouse. We all need to pray for the circumstances in the world. There is no shortage of things to pray for. You might say, “I’m too busy. I don’t have time to pray.” Isn’t that the Catholic problem these days? We are all too busy to pray. There is a saint who once said, “If you’re too busy to pray, you’re too busy,” because God is to be the first priority in our lives. Love God and love your neighbor, Jesus said. Seek first the kingdom of God and His way of righteousness, and all these other things will be given to you besides. Prayer is to be the number one priority in all of our lives.

If we are going to pray, that leads us right into the sacrificial aspect of our baptismal priesthood. Number one, it means we are going to have to sacrifice some of our time. Prayer takes time, so that means there are other things that go to the wayside. And I can guarantee you that in any one of our lives there are many things that could go easily to the wayside, things that are a total waste of time but we like them and so therefore we do not want to give them up. We would rather do those things than to pray because it is more fun. Prayer is not about having fun; that is not the purpose of prayer. Prayer is to develop a relationship with God, to grow in love with Him, to be united with Him. That is exactly what happened when we were baptized, and it is what God desires for each one of us: to grow in holiness, which means to become more godlike, to be more perfectly united with Him. The only way that is going to happen is through prayer.

Now as you begin to pray what will happen is that God will begin to point out to you the things that can go. So there are lots of things, then, that we can start to sacrifice, things that are even good. But remember the way that the devil works. The devil is not stupid. He is the most intelligent creature God made. He knows that if you are trying to do what is right that he is not going to be able to tempt you too much to do something which is completely hideous, so he takes the lesser route. If he realizes that you are trying to do what is right, and he is not going to get you to fall too badly, then at least he wants to cut his losses and he wants to keep you from getting better. So what he will do is give you all kinds of good things to keep you from doing the best thing. The best thing is prayer. He gets us all running around, busy with all kinds of good things. And because they are good things, we say to ourselves, “Everything I’m doing is good, so it must be what God wants!” Not necessarily. If you are not spending a substantial amount of time in prayer every day, you are not doing what God wants. That is a guarantee. Therefore, if you are running around as most Americans like a chicken with its head cut off, you are not doing what God wants you to do. Some of the things, yes. All of them, no.

First and foremost, as far as the duties of our state in life are concerned, is prayer. And I’m not talking about cranking off a morning offering while you are shaving or brushing your teeth in the morning and racing out the door. I am not even talking about seeing if you can pray a Rosary while you are stuck in traffic. Those are good things to do, but that is not the kind of prayer I am talking about. I am talking about setting aside a chunk of time every day where you can go into your heart and be united with God. That is what we have to do, and that is what is going to lead us deeper into that union with God.

And what is it going to look like when we get there? What we are going to find when we get inside is that there is a beautiful exchange that is happening. Jesus told us in the Gospel reading today that He is going to prepare a place for us. We have Saint Peter, on the one hand, telling us that we have to build ourselves up into a spiritual edifice, into a temple for the Lord; and Jesus, on the other hand, is telling us that He is going to prepare a place for us. So we are to prepare a place for Him and He is preparing a place for us. If you look at the way it works, for all eternity (assuming that we go the right direction) we are going to be able to enter into the temple that Our Lord has built for us. In the meantime, as long as we are here, we are inviting Him to enter into the temple that we have made for Him. And so there is this wonderful exchange that goes on between the Lord and ourselves, that He now enters into us and we enter into Him. Our eternity will be union with Jesus Christ, and that eternity starts now.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

30. Should you find yourself overwhelmed by fear, cast yourself into the abyss of the unshaken confidence of the Sacred Heart, and there your fear will give place to love. If you find yourself frail and weak, lapsing into faults at every moment, go to the Sacred Heart and draw from It the strength which will invigorate and revive you.

April 29, 2005

(2Th 2:15) So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.

VIA Jim McCrea: My Three Day Apostasy

There is an incident in my own life that might explain why I am so adamant about defending Catholic Church teaching to the letter.

In 1987 I was aware of the great controversy surrounding the contraception issue and the fact that most Catholics rejected Church teaching on that point.

At that point, a thought dawned on me that perhaps the Church was wrong on that teaching and should soften and compromise. I then said to myself that the Church should change Her teaching on this and allow contraception for married couples. They should do this to catch up to modern thinking (I was illicitly positing public pressure as some sort of Magisterium which is highly illogical when you think of it. Truth is still truth even if 100% of the people reject it).

What happened after that was that I asked: "What if Christ never founded a Church?" "He didn't." I said "He just founded Christianity in general."

Then I said: "What if Jesus is not God?" "No He isn't. There is not proof that He is" (which is actually wrong).

Then I said: "There is no proof that God is a Trinity so I can't accept that"

Then I declared: "God does not exist because the laws of nature explain everything"

What happened was that I completely lost the Faith and fell into a state of complete apostasy.

For three days my mind was in a murky darkness justifying all that the secular world holds in opposition to Christianity. I was not thinking according to reason, but according to my passions. This is because the supernatural light of faith that comes from God was completely withdrawn from me. But on the third day, I felt myself being sucked into a black hole. An ultimate despair and disintegration was taking hold of me.

I then cried out: "Jesus help me! I believe!"

Instantly I was rescued. My mind then had restored the clear light in which the truth could be seen and in which peace abides.

The point is, that all started when I denied Catholic Church teaching on a single point which was Her doctrine on the forbiddance of contraception. Everything else quickly fell like dominoes. What was played out in me is the principle that if one rejects one point of Church teaching, one rejects them all, and hence rejects God. This is because If one rejects even one point, one is saying that God is not to be believed or that the Catholic Church does not have a commission from God to teach the truth. You just have to cut the little rope holding the boat to the dock and it will drift away.

The teaching of the Catholic Church on contraception is the "fuse link" in the Catholic Christian structure. If that blows, everything else goes. It is a testing point that God has given us to determine whether we will obey Him or not. Rationalizations that contraception should be allowed to avoid this that and the other evil in personal lives and society are just that - rationalizations. They are temptations from the evil one. These rationalizations are not based on true logic but a form of pseudo-logic. They always have fallacies concealed within them. For example, it is argued that contraception should be allowed because overpopulation is a problem and overpopulation leads to poverty, misery, violence, injustice etc. That is a false argument because those problems are not caused by many people living close together, as such, but by evil in the human heart that wishes to be unjust to one's neighbor. People living close together may indeed manifest that more. But if man did not have an unjust heart to begin with, large numbers of people living together would not be a problem. The contraceptive mentality feeds such evil in the human heart because the acceptance of contraception is a *reification* error turning a person into a thing that can be manipulated for personal pleasure. So the introduction of contraception to a poor and highly populated society will increase and not decrease its problems.

Contraception leads to every other moral evil in life. It has been documented that the acceptance of contraception in our society has led to the general breakdown of our society. Contraception leads to promiscuity, then abortion, then homosexuality, and then euthanasia. This is because it all starts with the principle that the other is to be used and not loved. Overpopulation arguments are based upon the fallacy that God can create life but that he cannot provide for it. That demonstrates a lack of faith and trust and a reliance on our human reason *alone.* (human reason, which is unaided and tries to stand alone, leads us right into the brambles and the rationalization of every injustice against our neighbor. Human reason can only be used rightly if submitted to God and His law) For those who trust God, God provides beyond all our calculations. He provides miraculously when all seems hopeless and He dashes to pieces to the best laid plans outside His will.

Besides, a married couple is not obliged to have as many Children as possible. Natural family planning is allowed to space children where needed. Natural family planning is resisted and falsely argued against because it means that one must submit oneself to a law higher than oneself. It is a matter of human pride trying to be God. The justification of artificial birth control against NFP is a statement that one is one's own God, completely in charge of one's own destiny, and that the true God is not to be bowed to. The serpent said to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden that if they ate the forbidden fruit, they shall be like gods knowing (determining) good and evil. This is what many people follow today and what the false prophets of today teach others to do. That leads to misery in this life and eternal death hereafter.

RELATED: Catholic Physicians' Views Mimic other U.S. Physicians' Views on Key Moral Issues; Catholics Differ on Embryonic Stem Cell Research


South Korea's Hwang Woo-suk is the king of cloning
GM industry puts human gene into rice
Blending of species raises ethical issues

POPE JOHN PAUL II: "The limit imposed upon evil is ultimately Divine Mercy".

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

29. Know that He wishes more love than fear from you. Therefore, abandon yourself to His love, and let him act in you, with you and for you, according to His desire and good pleasure.

April 28, 2005

(John 17:9-11) I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom thou hast given me, for they are thine; all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.


The Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches must develop cooperation, Pope Benedict XVI said on Monday during the talks with Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, who headed the Moscow Patriarchate delegation for the pope enthroning ceremony.

The pope expressed confidence the two Churches should together defend common Christian values in Europe's life at present.

The importance to settle the problems in relations between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church was emphasised during the meeting.

The pope also noted the importance of the theological and liturgical tradition of the Orthodox East and expressed his respect for the mission and pastor service of the Russian Orthodox Church.

In the Apostolic Palace, Benedict XVI received delegations of Christian Churches and other denominations.

Metropolitan Kirill conveyed to the pope congratulations and greetings from Patriarch Alexy of Moscow and All Russia.

Archbishop Mitrofan of Pereyaslavl-Khmelnitsky greeted Benedict XVI on behalf of Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine.

Delegations of Christian denominations that participated in the enthroning ceremony also attended the evening service led by the pope.


VIA Dr. Peter Jones thru Jim Bramlett: In 1988, representatives from the French Reformed Seminary of Aix-en-Provence in southern France where I taught for 18 years were guests at the Vatican through the auspices of some very orthodox French priests who loved Christ and the Scriptures and who wanted us to visit Rome. We were shown the more protected tourist sites, such as Peter's tomb and the pagan necropolis under St. Peter's Cathedral. We were also received in the private quarters of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who at the time was serving his seventh year as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This same Ratzinger is now Benedict XVI. Who is Ratzinger? For liberal observers, he is Papa Ratzi, the polarizing, ruthless enforcer, the "papal rottweiler," disciplining Latin American "liberation" theologians, denouncing homosexuality and gay marriage, and reining in Asian priests who see non-Christian religions as part of God's plan for humanity. For Bible believers, his courageous positions, made in the light of a deep and informed commitment to biblical theism, have created a bulwark against rising world paganism,.

Who is Ratzinger? Here is my personal testimony, for what it is worth. This very powerful ecclesiastical figure, even then the No. 2 in the Vatican hierarchy, warmly received us, an unimpressive group of French orthodox Protestant/Reformed theologians, for two hours. In the first hour, in fluent French, he gave a magnificent overview of the state of theology and of the dangers of German liberal theology in particular. His critique of Bultmann was superb. We Protestants then took an hour to present the case for orthodox Protestant theology. Cardinal Ratzinger listened with rapt attention. Our time together was not a casual, nor perfunctory "audience," but a genuine theological exchange. I was impressed by his intellect, by his linguistic ability (fluency in at least five languages), by his theological wisdom and by his openness to biblical theology. As we left, we gave him a bound copy of Calvin's Institutes, and he graciously accepted my article on the apostle Paul as the last apostle. Clearly my article did not change his mind about the papacy, but I have it on good authority that he has been reading the copy of Calvin's Institutes.

So that was that, I thought. However, the next day while sight-seeing in Rome I happened to meet his secretary, a French priest. "How did the Cardinal enjoy our visit?" I asked. Without hesitation he replied: "The Cardinal said he wished there was a seminary like that in the Catholic Church."

How do we (Protestants) respond? This morning, Robert Godfrey, historian and President of Westminster Seminary in California (where I am adjunct professor and scholar in residence), ended our daily chapel by announcing the name of the new pope. He then did something few Protestants do. He prayed that the Spirit might lead Benedict XVI into a deeper and fuller understanding of Scripture and the Gospel.

Knowing what I learned about this man in that short but meaningful encounter, surely this prayer is not in vain.

SEE ALSO: Anglican leader says pope to give energy to united Christian witness

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

28. Keep your soul always in peace, with love and trust in our Lord, and- I repeat- remember what you have promised Him, that is to say, undivided love, persevering humility and generous mortification. This is what you owe to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

April 27, 2005

(Mat 28:19-20) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."


Pope Benedict pledged the Roman Catholic Church to a new push for converts yesterday on his first papal visit outside the Vatican to the shrine of Christianity's first missionary.

Fresh from a jubilant audience with German pilgrims that shed the stress of his election and inauguration, the Pope, 78, journeyed to the southern suburbs of Rome to pray at the 4th century Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

The church, the largest in Rome after St. Peter's Basilica, has associations with the theme of Christian unity.

The Pope, however, used his visit to the reputed burial place of St. Paul, the co-founder of the Church with St. Peter and its first evangeliser, to make clear he saw a pressing need to revitalise the quest to spread the Catholic message.

'This is a pilgrimage I very much desired to make ... a pilgrimage, so to speak, to the roots of the mission,' the Pope, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, said in his homily.

'The Church is by its very nature missionary, its first task is evangelisation,' he said. 'At the start of the third millennium, the Church feels with renewed vigour that the missionary mandate from Christ is more current than ever.'


VIA Mark Ingraham: Please accept my website as a link. It offers a free printable mini-catechism, which is an effective and inexpensive handout for RCIA, CCD, campus and prison ministries.

Parishes and groups may reproduce it on any office copier on short notice in any quantity. I also offer prayer and saint sheets, and a Bible timeline.

VIA Matthew McDevitt: I have a site ( that sells unique Gregorian Chant CDs. I recorded them at the Seminary that I used to attend - they are beautiful, professionally edited, and not available elsewhere. Marian Hymns, Vespers, Matins, Benediction Hymns, Kyriale, Mass Propers, Divine Office, etc. I have lyrics to many famous Chant pieces, free samples for download, and I plan to put up English translations as well!

I know this Chant will do a lot of good, if people can discover it and listen to it.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

27. Let us have no further reserve with Him; let us abandon to Him all that we are, without anxiety about the future, not reflecting on ourselves and our incapacity.

April 25, 2005

POPE BENEDICT: The Church is alive and we are seeing it: we are experiencing the joy that the Risen Lord promised his followers. The Church is alive she is alive because Christ is alive, because he is truly risen. In the suffering that we saw on the Holy Father's face in those days of Easter, we contemplated the mystery of Christ's Passion and we touched his wounds. But throughout these days we have also been able, in a profound sense, to touch the Risen One. We have been able to experience the joy that he promised, after a brief period of darkness, as the fruit of his resurrection.


As he formally assumed the helm of the Roman Catholic Church Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI continued to set a tone of humility, inclusion, outreach and optimism, using language that seemed designed to reassure those concerned about his 24-year-record tenure as Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith .

"My real program of governance is not to do my own will, not to pursue my own ideas, but to listen, together with the whole church, to the word and the will of the Lord, to be guided by Him so that He himself will lead the church at this hour of our history," the pope said in his coronation homily, which he read in Italian as tens of thousands of people watched and listened in St. Peter's Square.

The ceremony, known as a mass of investiture, was seen by millions of television viewers around the world and attended by dozens of foreign dignitaries, including the Queen of Spain, the German chancellor and President Bush's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a convert to Roman Catholicism.

As he did in his Sistine Chapel homily the day after he was elected and in his remarks Saturday to an audience that included 1,000 journalists Benedict sought to reach out on Sunday. He delivered "special greetings" to Christians of other denominations, and also to Jews, "to whom," he said, "we are joined by a great shared spiritual heritage."

Benedict had invited Rome's chief rabbi to the installation ceremony, but the rabbi, Riccardo di Segni, couldn't attend because of the Passover holiday that began Saturday.

The pope also wondered aloud how he'd bear the weight of leading the world's 1.1 billion Catholics, and he struck an optimistic tone about a church that many believe is in crisis in some areas of the world.

"... Weak servant of God that I am, I must assume this enormous task, which truly exceeds all human capacity. How can I do this? How will I be able to do it?" he asked. The audience answered with an ovation.

"... I am not alone," Benedict continued. "And your prayers, my dear friends, your indulgence, you love, your faith, and your hope accompany me."



(Luke 24:32) And they said one to the other: Was not our heart burning within us, whilst he spoke in the way and opened to us the scriptures?

1)  Why did Pope Benedict XVI, knowing the speculation surrounding the prophecy of St. Malachy, nevertheless take a name that fulfills the expectations of the prophecy?

Before anyone suggests that it was done without awareness of the prophecy, the reader should be reminded that reportedly Pope Benedict XVI's  best writings was on the subject of eschatology (the doctrine of the last things).

2) In extending an "olive branch" to the Jewish people so early in his pontificate, is Pope Benedict reminding us of a well known eschatologic expectation of the Church, the corporate conversion of Israel.

RELATED: Church Fathers and Saints on the End-Times Conversion of the Jews

3) Why has Pope Benedict chosen his first pilgrimmage outside of the Vatican walls to be to the 4th century Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls?

Perhaps a clue from an interview of then Cardinal Ratzinger:

"In Paul it is particularly evident that his apostolate, being a universal apostolate directed at the entire pagan world, also incorporates the prophetic dimension. Because of his encounter with the risen Christ, he unlocks for us the mystery of the resurrection and leads us into the profundity of the Gospel. Because of this encounter he develops a new understanding of the Word of Christ, highlighting the aspect of hope and bringing out its critical potential. Being an apostle is, of course, something unrepeatable. The question here is, then, what happens in the time of the Church when the apostolic epoch ends."

"...As far as the first form is concerned, the prophetic claim should always be acknowledged in the apostolic college in the same way as the apostles themselves were prophets, too, in their own way; this, so that it is not just the present that is highlighted in the Church but so that the Holy Spirit proper may always have the possibility of action. This can be observed in the history of the Church in great figures such as Gregory the Great and Augustine. We could mention other names of great personages who held office within the Church and who were also prophetic figures. For this we see that the institutional figures themselves hold the door open for the Holy Spirit. It was only by so doing that these men were able to fulfill their office in a prophetic way, as the Didaché puts it very well.

The second form envisages God who, through charisms, reserves for himself the right to intervene directly in the Church to awaken it, warn it, promote it and sanctify it. I believe that this prophetic-charismatic history traverses the whole time of the Church. It is always there especially at the most critical times of transition. Think, for example, of the birth of monacheism, constituted in the beginning by the retreat of Anthony Abbot to the desert. The monks were the ones who saved Christology from Arianism and Nestorianism. Basil is another of these figures, a great bishop and, at the same time, a true prophet. Later, it is not hard to see a charismatic origin in the movement of the mendicant orders. Neither Dominic nor Francis prophesied the future but they did understand that the moment had come for the Church to shake free of the feudal system, to give new value to the universality and poverty of the Gospel, and to apostolic life. By so doing, they gave the Church its true face back, that of a Church fired by the Holy Spirit and led by Christ himself. They represent a new beginning and they thus brought about the reform of the ecclesiastical hierarchy."

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

25. Cast yourself often into His arms or into His divine Heart, and abandon yourself to all His designs upon you.

April 23, 2005




Reading (Acts 12:24-13:5a) Gospel (St. John 12:44-50)

In the first reading today, we hear about Paul and Barnabas being set aside for the work to which God had called them. The people had prayed and fasted, and the Holy Spirit had inspired them to be able to understand what it was that God was asking. We have watched something similar over the last couple of days as the cardinals of the world prayed and fasted and begged the Holy Spirit to guide them in choosing the man who would be the 265th successor of Saint Peter. They chose a truly extraordinary man, and we are greatly blessed to have Pope Benedict XVI to lead the Church through this next phase of time.

This is the man who, for over twenty years, was in charge of making sure that all of the doctrine of the Church was properly upheld, to make sure if someone was preaching heresy that they would be censured properly. This is a man who was in a unique position out of anybody in the world to know exactly what the difficulties and problems are that are facing the Church and the world. And the fact that in only four ballots the cardinals put him into the Chair of Peter sends quite an astounding message to the world. Number one, it shows the unity among the cardinals. Number two, it demonstrates clearly the direction that the cardinals want the Church to go: solid orthodoxy, clarity, to continue the work, the extraordinary work, that Pope John Paul has begun. Yet what is truly amazing, when you look at the entire college of cardinals, is that it may be that there was only one who was big enough and strong enough to be able to step outside of the shadow of John Paul II to be able to lead the Church in an entirely different manner and yet at the same time on a parallel track but not under the shadow that John Paul has left, which is an immense shadow.

So we are truly blessed as we see the work of the Lord continue. We need now simply to do exactly what each one of the other 114 cardinals did yesterday, that is, to vow our obedience, our loyalty, to the man that the Holy Spirit Himself has set aside. As Jesus Himself has told us that He does not speak on His own but only what the Father has told Him, so too, we have to understand the same to be true with regard to the teachings of the Holy See. They are not merely the teachings of a man, but they are the teachings that the Lord Himself desires in that they are guaranteed in any kind of official teaching to be free of error so that we will not be led into error. This is truly an extraordinary thing, a grace that the man in that office is given. We need to pray for this man.

For those of you who are considerably older than I, imagine at 78 years old suddenly being asked to take on literally the weight of the world. Now he carries on his shoulders the entire Church. He is the Pope not only for Catholics, but he is the Pope to the entire world. Consequently, he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders because there is only one vessel of salvation for this world, and that is the Holy Roman Catholic Church and Jesus Christ, Whom she preaches, and Whom through the Church continues to be with us in the Blessed Sacrament. So we need very, very seriously to pray that God will continue to guide His Church in the same kind of extraordinary manner that we have witnessed over the last 26 years, and even prior to that. Indeed, we are confident that He will because all we have to do is look at the individual He has chosen for that office.

There is great cause for rejoicing today. Yet this is the man who recognizes the difficulties in the Church. On Good Friday, when he wrote the meditations for the Stations of the Cross, he likened the Church to a ship that was taking on water, a ship that is listing badly. He understands better than anyone in the world what he has agreed to take on. And thanks be to God! for giving him the grace to be able to say “yes” to captain the ship even when he knows that it is in trouble. But we are guaranteed that the jaws of hell will never prevail against the Church. And God has chosen a man who is going to be able to put things right, to be able to continue in a different vein the work that our Holy Father Pope John Paul II has begun. In those areas where things need to be shorn up, I think we can be assured that they will be. And so a singular grace has been given now to the Church and to the world. On our part, we need to pray for him and continue to pray for the Church that in these difficult and turbulent times this truly extraordinary man who has been elevated to the chair of Peter will be protected, that he will be strengthened, so that he will guide the Church with clarity, with decisiveness, and according only to the way of the Lord.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

23. Rely entirely on God with perfect confidence in His goodness, which never forsakes those who, distrusting themselves, hope in Him.

April 22, 2005

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "Today's Church must be aware of its task, that is bringing to the world the voice of the Man who once said: 'I'm the light of the world; those who follow me won't be walking in the darkness but will see the light of the life'"


Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday pledged to work to unify all Christians, reach out to other religions and continue implementing reforms from the Second Vatican Council as he outlined his goals and made clear his pontificate would closely follow the trajectory of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

Benedict, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, listed top priorities of his papacy in a message read in Latin to cardinals gathered in the Sistine Chapel for the first Mass celebrated by the 265th leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

He said his "primary task" would be to work to reunify all Christians and that sentiment alone was not enough.  "Concrete acts that enter souls and move consciences are needed," he said.

The new pope said he wanted to continue "an open and sincere dialogue" with other religions and would do everything in his power to improve the ecumenical cause.

The message was clearly designed to show that Benedict was intent on following many of the groundbreaking paths charted by John Paul, who had made reaching out to other religions and trying to heal the 1,000-year-old schism in Christianity a hallmark of his pontificate.

Benedict referred to his predecessor several times in his message, including a reference to the late pope's final will, where John Paul said he hoped new generations would draw on the work of the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 meeting that modernized the church.

"I too … want to affirm with decisive willingness to follow in the commitment of carrying out the Second Vatican Council, in the wake of my predecessors and in faithful continuity with the 2,000-year-old tradition of the church," he said.


SEE ALSO: Jews welcome new pontiff as 'real friend'

OPINION: Catholic Church is in safe hands

INSIDER'S VIEW: Benedict XVI: The Pope and His Agenda

GUEST OPINION: Benedict XVI – ‘Ubi Petrus, Ibi Ecclesia’

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

22. Remain in peace, wholly given over and immolated to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ Who, I am sure, will never forsake you. He will take very special care of you, in proportion as you trust in Him, and abandon yourself with unswerving fidelity to Him, whenever there is a question of proving your love.

April 21, 2005


"The election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI is a tremendous moment for the Church and a great affirmation of the legacy of Pope John Paul II.

Today's events may have been more of a surprise to those outside the Catholic community than they would be to anyone who has lived the Catholic faith seriously over the last two decades. People with direct experience of Cardinal Ratzinger invariably encountered a man of character, kindness, refined intelligence, humility, simplicity and grace; a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ and a faithful son of the Second Vatican Council where he served as a theologian.

Pope Benedict XVI will pastor the People of God with dedication and love. He will be a great Holy Father to us all."

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver


Priests for Life Statement on the Election of Pope Benedict XVI
Austin Ruse: New Pope's Name May Be Sign of Focus on Evangelizing Europe
ALL trusts Pope Benedict XVI to guide Catholic Church in building Culture of Life


Dear brothers and sisters,

After our great Pope, John Paul II, the Cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble worker in God's vineyard.

I am consoled by the fact that the Lord knows how to work and how to act, even with insufficient tools, and I especially trust in your prayers.

In the joy of the resurrected Lord, trustful of his permanent help, we go ahead, sure that God will help. And Mary, his most beloved Mother, stands on our side. Thank you.


Pope Benedict XVI will be formally installed Sunday, but his papacy began inside the Sistine Chapel immediately after Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected and responded with a simple: "I accept."

Hints of what that papacy will mean for the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics could come as early as Wednesday in his homily at Mass, which the Vatican said would be delivered in Latin, or during Sunday's installation at St. Peter's Basilica.

In the first homily of John Paul II after his election in 1978, the newly minted pope seized the moment to impress the faithful with his now-famous phrase: "Don't be afraid." John Paul directed it at all Catholics, but believers in his native Poland - then struggling to shake off communist rule - took his words especially to heart.

It begins with the cardinals reciting the Lord's Prayer. Each of the scarlet-robed prelates then expresses his homage to the new pope, receives his embrace and exchanges the "Kiss of Peace."

Among the most important parts of the Mass to bless Benedict is the placing of the pallium - a narrow stole of white wool embroidered with six black silk crosses - around his shoulders, pinning it in place with three jeweled gold pins. The pallium symbolizes his pastoral authority.

The Ceremony of Investiture will be performed by the senior cardinal deacon, Jorge Medina Estevez, the Chilean who on Tuesday evening proclaimed Benedict's name to the world from the basilica balcony.

In Latin, he will recite these words:

"Blessed be God, who has chosen you as shepherd of the universal church, entrusting you with this apostolic ministry. May you shine brilliantly during long years of earthly life, until, when called by our Lord, you are vested with immortality as you enter his celestial kingdom. Amen."

The liturgy ends with the pope giving his apostolic blessing, known in Latin as Urbi et Orbi ("To the city and the world").

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

21. Practice abandonment as regards your body, taking and accepting indifferently sickness or health, work or rest- abandonment as regards your soul, cherishing dryness, insensibility, desolation, and accepting them with the same thanksgiving as you would sweetness and consolation.

April 20, 2005



Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, recent Prefect of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and International Theological Commission, Dean of the College of Cardinals, was born on 16 April 1927 in Marktl am Inn, Germany. He was ordained a priest on 29 June 1951.

His father, a police officer, came from a traditional family of farmers from Lower Baviera. He spent his adolescent years in Traunstein, and was called into the auxiliary anti-aircraft service in the last months of World War II. From 1946 to 1951, the year in which he was ordained a priest and began to teach, he studied philosophy and theology at the University of Munich and at the higher school in Freising. In 1953 he obtained a doctorate in theology with a thesis entitled: "The People and House of God in St. Augustine’s doctrine of the Church". Four years later, he qualified as a university teacher. He then taught dogma and fundamental theology at the higher school of philosophy and theology of Freising, then in Bonn from 1959 to 1969, Münster from 1963 to 1966, Tubinga from 1966 to 1969. From 1969, he was a professor of dogmatic theology and of the history of dogma at the University of Regensburg and Vice President of the same university.

Already in 1962 he was well known when, at the age of 35, he became a consultor at Vatican Council II, of the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joseph Frings. Among his numerous publications, a particular post belongs to the ‘Introduction to Christianity’, a collection of university lessons on the profession of apostolic faith, published in 1968; Dogma and revelation, an anthology of essays, sermons and reflections dedicated to the pastoral ministry, published in 1973.

In March 1977, Paul VI elected him Archbishop of Munich and Freising and on 28 May 1977 he was consecrated, the first diocesan priest after 80 years to take over the pastoral ministry of this large Bavarian diocese.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Paul VI in the consistory of 27 June 1977. Titular churches, suburbicarian see of Velletri-Segni (5 April 1993) and suburbicarian see of Ostia (30 November 2002).

On 25 November 1981 he was nominated by John Paul II Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; President of the Biblical Commission and of the Pontifical International Theological Commission.

Relator of the 5th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (1980).

President Delegate to the 6th Synodal Assembly (1983).

Elected Vice Dean of the College of Cardinals, 6 November 1998.  On 30 November 2002, the Holy Father approved the election, by the order of cardinal bishops, as Dean of the College of Cardinals.

President of the Commission for the Preparation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and after 6 years of work (1986-92) he presented the New Catechism to the Holy Father.

Laurea honoris causa in jurisprudence from the Libera Università Maria Santissima Assunta, 10 November 1999.

Honorary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 13 November 2000.

Curial Membership:


Over the centuries, the most popular name has been John. Twenty-three popes have taken the name of Jesus' most beloved apostle, followed by 16 Gregories, 15 Benedicts and 13 Leos.

Benedict, which comes from the Latin for "blessing," is one of a number of papal names of holy origin such as Clement ("mercy"), Innocent ("hopeful" as well as "innocent") and Pius ("pious").

From Prophecy of the Popes: Following John Paul II, only two popes remain in the prophecy (of St. Malachy). The next motto is Gloria Olivae, the glory of the olive. This motto has led to speculation that the next pontiff will be from the Order of Saint Benedict or will at least choose Benedict as his papal name.


Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

20. As regards your taking up your abode in His Sacred Heart, why should you fear? Our Lord Himself invites you to come to Him and take your rest in His Heart. Is It not the throne of mercy, where the most miserable are the most favorably received, provided that, although steeped in misery, they are drawn by love?

April 19, 2005


Cardinals head into their first full day of voting for a new pope on Tuesday after an inaugural ballot failed to find a successor to John Paul.

Crowds of faithful are expected to flock to St. Peter's Square, their eyes fixed on the Sistine Chapel roof to watch for the stream of smoke that will announce the result of each balloting session, keen to see history in the making.

On Monday, thousands of people including the Bank of Italy governor, housewives, pensioners and teenagers waited on tenterhooks for the result of the conclave's first ballot. The smoke came out black, signaling no pope had been elected.

FROM THE IRISH TIMES: The cardinals now get down to serious business with two ballots in each morning and afternoon session over the next three days. If no candidate attracts a two-thirds majority - 77 votes - in the first three full days, then a day's pause will be observed prior to a further 21 ballots.

If the electoral process is still blocked after those 21 ballots, then the cardinals themselves may opt for a simple majority (50 per cent plus one) to decide the election.

The smart money says it will not go that far and that we will have a new pope by Thursday at the latest. That prediction is partly based on historical precedent since the eight conclaves of the 20th century lasted an average of 3.2 days. Gone are the days when a conclave might last two years and nine months, as happened in Viterbo when the conclave ran from November 1268 to September 1271.

If a reasonably brief conclave looks possible, that remains just about the only safe prediction around here. The impression garnered over the last two weeks in Rome remains unchanged - namely that this electoral contest is wide open.


Cardinal Ratzinger's wish for "a pastor that guides us to knowing Christ"
INSIDE THE VATICAN: True Collegiality is Union with Peter


VIA Lifesite: Catholic League president William Donohue commented on the discrimination against Catholics exhibited by E-Bay. "As president of the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization, I was disturbed to learn that eBay would unnecessarily offend 63 million Catholics in the U.S., and 1.1 billion worldwide, by selling a consecrated Host online," said Donohue. "To Catholics, the Eucharist is the center of our religion, worthy of the utmost reverence. While we don't expect non-Catholics to maintain the same perspective, we do expect them to be respectful of our sentiments. That is why the decision not to withdraw this item is so disturbing."

The Community Watch Team of eBay's Trust & Safety division responded to complaints about the sale of Holy Communion saying it does not prohibit sales of items 'endowed with sacred properties by certain religious groups.' Donohue concluded, "Since the policy is conditional, i.e., it refers only to 'certain' groups, it would be instructive to know which religious groups eBay would protect. Obviously, Catholics did not make the cut."

Several readers have suggested a boycott of E-Bay service until the company changes its policy. Others have suggested demanding the enactment of a US law prohibiting the sale of consecrated hosts which would legally force E-Bay to alter its anti-Catholic stand.

To express your concerns to eBay eBay Customer Support:
[email protected]
Write to eBay president:
Meg Whitman
2145 Hamilton Avenue San Jose, California 95125
Or call:
See the eBay prohibited items page:

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

19. Think no more of what people say, but of pleasing the Heart of Jesus alone, according to the lights He will give you. He loves you and He will never allow you to perish, so long as you trust in Him.

April 15, 2005


(1Th 5:17) Pray without ceasing.

VIA Dan Lynch: Persevere With One Heart in Prayer for the new Pope

In the apostolic constitution "Universi Dominici Gregis," promulgated in 1996, John Paul II the spiritual attitude which the Church must live that period.

"During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, and above all during the time of the election of the Successor of Peter," says the text, "the Church is united in a very special way with her pastors and particularly with the cardinal electors of the supreme pontiff, and she asks God to grant her a new Pope as a gift of his goodness and providence."

John Paul II gave as the example "the first Christian community spoken of in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 1:14)," indicating that "the universal Church, spiritually united with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, should persevere with one heart in prayer."

"Thus the election of the new Pope will not be something unconnected with the People of God and concerning the college of electors alone, but will be in a certain sense an act of the whole Church," states the document.

The Holy Father wrote, "In all cities and other places, at least the more important ones, as soon as news is received of the vacancy of the Apostolic See and, in particular, of the death of the Pope, and following the celebration of his solemn funeral rites, humble and persevering prayers are to be offered to the Lord (see Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24), that he may enlighten the electors and make them so likeminded in their task that a speedy, harmonious and fruitful election may take place, as the salvation of souls and the good of the whole People of God demand."

The text says that the whole Church, "with fervent prayers and supplications to the Holy Spirit," should ask on behalf of the College of Cardinals the ability to "make their choice before God alone and with concern only for the 'salvation of souls, which in the Church must always be the supreme law.'"

VIA Dana P Morvant: The Veni Creator Spiritus is the official invocation of the Holy Spirit used since the ninth century at ordinations, councils, and conclaves. It is most appropriate to pray this powerful prayer for the conclave of Cardinal Electors who will vote on Pope John Paul II's predecessor. Lets distribute this prayer far and wide.

Veni Creator Spiritus

Come, O Creator Spirit blest!
And in our souls take up Thy rest;
Come, with Thy grace and heav’nly aid,
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

Great Paraclete! to Thee we cry;
O highest gift of God most high!
O fount of life! O fire of love!
And sweet anointing from above!

Thou dost appear in sev’nfold dow’r
The sign of God’s almighty pow’r!
The Father’s promise, making rich
With saving truth our earthly speech.

Kindle our senses from above,
And make our hearts o’erflow with love;
With patience firm and virtue high,
The weakness of our flesh supply.

Far from us drive the foe we dread,
And grant us Thy true peace instead;
So shall we not, with Thee for guide.
Turn from the path of life aside.

O may Thy grace on us bestow
The Father and the Son to know,
And Thee, through endless times confessed,
Of Both th’ eternal Spirit blest.

All glory, while the ages run,
Be to the Father and the Son
Who rose from death: the same to Thee,
O Holy Ghost, eternally. Amen

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

15. In everything and everywhere, I desire nothing but the accomplishment of the divine good pleasure, allowing the divine Heart of Jesus to will and desire in me and for me, just as He pleases. I am content to love Him alone: whatever He wishes me to love, that He will love for me.

April 14, 2005

COMMENTARY: What Does the Catholic Church Need Now?


Cardinals' choice goes beyond pope
History teaches: Expect the unexpected at papal conclave
In picking new pope,a key issue is Islam

VIA Chris Hudson: Prayer to the Holy Spirit for the Church:

O Holy Spirit, Creator, mercifully assist Thy Catholic Church and by thy heavenly power strengthen and establish her against the assaults of her enemies; and by Thy love and grace renew the spirit of Thy servants whom Thou hast annointed , that in Thee they may glorify the Father and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Indulgence 500 Days each time
Leo XIII Aug 26,1889
S. P. Ap Oct. 16, 1935


v. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
r. Amen

v. Come Holy Ghost, and fill the hearts of thy electors, and kindle in the the fire of Thy Love.
r. Send forth Thy Spirit, upon thy electors, and relish in them what is right unto salvation.

v.. Let us pray: O God, grant, thru Thy most boundless goodness, a Bishop of Rome who shall be both pleasing to Thee and deeply revered by thy people, and that both by word and mouth, he may edify those over whom he is place. Through Christ our Lord.
r. Amen

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, (three times)

v. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
r. Amen

VIA Marilyn Murphy: I have felt the Holy Father's presence very intensely and "seen" him in the corners of my minds' eye, perhaps my heart's eye. I felt so close to him that I could almost feel him near me. It was a wonderful sensation, like I could communicate with him now, at last. When he was Pope, my chances of ever seeing him, except on TV, were next to zero. Now that he is in Heaven and I know inside of my being, that he truly is in Heaven, well he is totally accessible and I love it.

Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever! Amen.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

14. What have you to fear except to lose that confidence in Him, which constrains Him to stoop from the throne of His omnipotence and condescend to come to the aid of our weakness?

April 12/13, 2005


VIA Jo Labriola:


John Paul II was a man who, in this age of arrogance and self-love, sharply contrasted the world’s values with his great humility and love for his fellow-man. We all saw something in him (although many might not have been able to define it) that touched our inner being and attracted us to him. Our youth and elderly saw it. Those from other faiths saw it and even those who would disparage him saw it, which caused them to criticize him even louder. Let us celebrate and rejoice with all the angels and saints at his entrance into the Eternal Light.


Come Holy Spirit, come!

Enter into the hearts of your cardinals and anoint them as they gather together and invoke Your name. Place within their minds the next Successor to the Chair of Peter as Your will dictates. A man who…… Will not compromise Your teachings; Will defend Your truth; Will emulate Your love; Will stand firm and courageous in these trying times.

Oh Lord, preserve Your Church and Apostolic Prelate. Subdue your enemies. Through the intercession of Your Blessed Mother, raise up for us another who will be steadfast and true – A man after Your own heart. We stand upon the promises of Christ…..

Who guides and leads us; Will never leave us; And Who will establish His law upon the earth. Amen


Cardinals meeting daily in Rome to discuss the main issues facing the Roman Catholic Church ahead of a conclave to elect a Pope next week have signed a petition asking a future Pope to "accelerate" the beatification of John Paul II, a report said on Tuesday.

The petition was signed by "many" but not all of the 134 cardinals present at Monday's meeting, according to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

Cardinals have clearly caught the popular mood following the funeral mass for the late Pope on Friday when some in the massive crowd began chanting "santo, santo", demanding that the Polish-born pontiff be declared a saint.

The letter had been left on a table for cardinals to sign and, at the end of the meeting, was handed to the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Germany's Joseph Ratzinger, who will have the task of delivering it to the next Pope.


John Paul II Canonization Could Happen in October - Archbishop
For sainthood, miracle needed from the grave
Reports of Pope John Paul II's miracles pour in

VIA Fr. John Peter msfs through Javier López Torres:

We had a beautiful celebration at the cathedral church here in St. Lucia with all the clergy and thousands of people. During the homily our Archbishop Kelvin E. Felix delivered an very emotional message and shed tears. He said John Paul II worked a miracle during his visit to St. Lucia on 7th July 1986. Let me explain about it: it seems a 18 months old child was seriously sick and doctors left all hope for that child. The child was very week and at the point of death. The mother brought the child to the holy father and asked him to pray over as the holy father was going around and blessing the people after the Mass. The child was specially blessed and photos' were taken, holy blessing the dying child. Holy father left on the same day. On the following day the mother of the child was in the laundry room and she saw her child walking and coming to her. She left the work she was doing shouted praising God on her knees. This miracle was testified by the doctors and archbishop and Mgr. Patric Anthony. That child is now 18 years old boy and was an altar server at the cathedral church. The boy was called along with his mother as a witness. Archbishop as he was narrating this, he cried aloud. He could not continue with his homily for a brief moment. It was so emotional. The whole congregation stoodup clapping hands. Archbishop said that this miracle is registered in vatican and told the holy father that this miracle will be a proof for his canonisation after his death.

John Paul II was and is the Father of the world. I could see the miracle at St. Peter's square millions of people irrespective of nationality, language, religion and colour participating at the funeral Mass of the Holy Father. Let us pray to him, for truly he is a saint.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

12. When you are in trouble and anxiety, go and plunge yourself in the peace of this adorable Heart, which no one can take from you.

April 10, 2005

(Mat 16:18) And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

EXCELLENT REVIEW: Papal election and succession



Please help send this out to many. Prayer will be most important in this election of a new Holy Pope. If you're a priest, please tell your parish to pray this litany starting today, continuing throughout the Conclave, which starts on April 18th, until a new Pope is elected. If you have a prayer list or other email lists, send this out far and wide. The world needs to pray that the Holy Ghost to send us a Holy Pope.

Litany of the Holy Ghost Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Father all powerful, have mercy on us
Jesus, Eternal Son of the Father, Redeemer of the world, save us.
Spirit of the Father and the Son, boundless life of both, sanctify us.
Holy Trinity, hear us.

Holy Ghost, Who proceedest from the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.
Holy Ghost, Who art equal to the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.

Promise of God the Father, have mercy on us.
Ray of heavenly light, have mercy on us
Author of all good, have mercy on us
Source of heavenly water, have mercy on us
Consuming fire, have mercy on us
Ardent charity, have mercy on us
Spiritual unction, have mercy on us
Spirit of love and truth, have mercy on us
Spirit of wisdom and understanding, have mercy on us
Spirit of counsel and fortitude, have mercy on us
Spirit of knowledge and piety, have mercy on us
Spirit of the fear of the Lord, have mercy on us
Spirit of grace and prayer, have mercy on us
Spirit of peace and meekness, have mercy on us
Spirit of modesty and innocence, have mercy on us Holy Ghost, the Comforter, have mercy on us
Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier, have mercy on us
Holy Ghost, Who governest the Church, have mercy on us
Gift of God, the Most High, have mercy on us
Spirit Who fillest the universe, have mercy on us
Spirit of the adoption of the children of God, have mercy on us

Holy Ghost, inspire us with horror of sin.
Holy Ghost, come and renew the face of the earth.
Holy Ghost, shed Thy light in our souls.
Holy Ghost, engrave Thy law in our hearts Holy Ghost, inflame us with the flame of Thy love.
Holy Ghost, open to us the treasures of Thy graces Holy Ghost, teach us to pray well.
Holy Ghost, enlighten us with Thy heavenly inspirations.
Holy Ghost, lead us in the way of salvation Holy Ghost, grant us the only necessary knowledge.
Holy Ghost, inspire in us the practice of good.
Holy Ghost, grant us the merits of all virtues.
Holy Ghost, make us persevere in justice.
Holy Ghost, be Thou our everlasting reward.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Send us Thy Holy Ghost.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, pour down into our souls the gifts of the Holy Ghost.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, grant us the Spirit of wisdom and piety.

V. Come, Holy Ghost! Fill the hearts of Thy faithful, R. And enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

Let Us Pray
Grant, 0 merciful Father, that Thy Divine Spirit may enlighten, inflame and purify us, that He may penetrate us with His heavenly dew and make us fruitful in good works, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, liveth and reigneth forever and ever. R. Amen.

"O Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to you"

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

10. Have recourse trustfully to God's loving kindness and He will not forsake you, for He longs to bestow His graces. Though you may have had the misfortune to offend Him, He is always ready to receive you, provided you return humbly to Him.

April 7, 2005

PATRICK J BUCHANAN: "What set John Paul II apart from the other leaders of his time was his goodness, his holiness, his sanctity, his moral courage in defending the truths of the church and his uncompromising refusal to alter moral truth to accommodate the spirit of an immoral age. His charisma, like that of Mother Teresa, came of the fact that he was a Man of God, not a man of this world. He became popular by testifying to the unpopular truths of Jesus Christ."






The funeral of Pope John Paul II on Friday will generate a worldwide audience of 2 billion people, making it the most watched event in the history of television. This means it will be the most watched event in the history of the world, surpassing all of the Super Bowls, television shows, funerals and weddings ever broadcast.

The Pope profoundly impacted so many people because he displayed charisma and warmth and delivered a forceful message. From the beginning of his papacy, he was a man on a mission. This outpouring of love and affection from millions of people is a fitting tribute to a man who accomplished so much in his 26 years as leader of the Catholic Church.

The intensity of the coverage will not only continue throughout the week until the Pope’s funeral on Friday, but it will extend until the 117 member College of Cardinals elects the next Pope. This worldwide attention will be a great opportunity for the next Pope to begin his papacy with unusual interest and excitement.

In addition, the death of Pope John Paul II will be a great opportunity for the Church to bring disenfranchised Catholics back to the fold and recruit new followers. Much depends on who is selected as the next Pope and how that individual builds upon John Paul II’s impressive legacy and the incredible attention given to his passing.


The Global Language Monitor, which scans the Internet for the use of specific words or phrases using Roman characters, found 35,000 new stories on the pope in the 24 hours after his death Saturday.

That compares with about 3,500 new stories on Bush within a day of his re-election and 1,000 new stories on former President Reagan within a day of his death last year.

Paul J.J. Payack, president of Global Language, said the jump reflected the Roman Catholic pontiff's influence.

"He was tied in history, probably more than any pope in contemporary time," Payack said. "Because of his extensive travels, he's well known in many more countries."


North Korean Catholics Grieve for Pope
Chinese Ambassador Leads Security Council in Moment of Silence for Pope
Pope John Paul II: The Pope of the People
Vietnam PM tenders condolence on Pope’s death
President Hugo Chavez Frias orders 5-day mourning for Pope John Paul II
'Muslims Share Catholics' Mourning'
Flags lowered across Asia as different faiths mourn pope of peace
Other faiths feel pope's loss

Cuban President Fidel Castro, dictator of officially atheist Cuba: "Rest in peace indefatigable warrior for friendship between peoples, enemy of war and friend of the poor."

SEE ALSO:  Cuba has 'surprise' Pope mourning

(Mat 7:20) Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

7. Act towards our Lord with entire confidence and simplicity: do not spend time by dwelling too often on your past faults; this only serves to satisfy self-love and to discourage us.

April 6, 2005



Explicit Reminder from EWTN: While two commissions convened by bishops of Santander, Spain, have stated that there were no phenomena which would authentic the events as certainly supernatural they did not condemn the message. In this regard, the first commission stated, "we have not found anything deserving of ecclesiastical censure or condemnation either in the doctrine or in the spiritual recommendations that have been published as having been addressed to the faithful." The bishop who called the second commission, Bishop del Val, upon retiring from office stated in an interview that the message of Garabandal was "important" and "theologically correct."
FATHER GOBBI MESSAGE #449- The Pope of My Secret
May 13, 1991 Anniversary of the First Apparition at Fatima

Excerpt: "When this Pope will have completed the task which Jesus has entrusted to him and I will come down from heaven to receive his sacrifice, all of you will be cloaked in a dense darkness of apostasy, which will then become general.

There will remain faithful only that little remnant which, in these years, by accepting my motherly invitation, has let itself be enfolded in the secure refuge ofmy Immaculate Heart. And it will be this little faithful remnant, prepared and formed by me, that will have the task of receiving Christ, who will return to you in glory, bringing about in this way the beginning of the new era which awaits you."



Potential Successors to Pope John Paul II 04-04-05
Guessing Game Begins on Pope's Successor 04-03-05
Next pope will likely carry on John Paul's legacy 04-02-05
Thoughts Turn to the 'Pope-Ables' 03-07-05
Next pope: 'We are going to be surprised,' says Allen 03-06-2005
Corridors of Power - A new pope 01-08-05
Next Pope could be Asian or Latin American 11-29-04
Strict Prelate Becomes Voice Of the Vatican 11-05-04
Cardinals circle papal throne 10-21-04
On Pope's 84th Birthday, Succession Talk Looks To Africa 05-18-04

The World From Rome Capsule Look at Top Ten Papal Candidates 03-05-04

Religion: Who Will Be The Next Pope? (current)
Brief information link on current favorite: Dionigi Cardinal Tettamanzi

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

6. When you have committed faults, do not be anxious because anxiety, uneasiness and too much agitation withdraw the soul from God and cause Jesus Christ to withdraw from the soul. Let us, rather, ask pardon of Him and beg His Sacred Heart to restore us to favor.

April 5, 2005



110 De labore Solis (of the eclipse of the sun, or from the labour of the sun)

Pope John Paul II was born on May 18, 1920 during a solar eclipse. In an astonishing coincidence, he will be buried on April 8, also the day of a solar eclipse.
Remaining Popes:

111 GLORIA OLIVAE - The glory of the olive

The Order of St Benedict has claimed by tradition that this pope will come from within the Order. St Benedict himself has prophesied that before the end of the world comes about, his Order will triumphantly lead the Catholic Church in its fight against evil. Difficulty here, though not insurmountable, is that a the order of St Benedict presently has only one Cardinal in their membership, Paul Augustin Cardinal Mayer OSB, who was born in 1911.

Others have speculated that this prophecy could refer to a Pope with Jewish origins.  Here is an excerpt from an article, Jewish-born priest is 'pope's man in Paris', posted in 1997:

"The Archbishop of Paris, who often stood at John Paul II's side during the Pope's recent visit, has been mentioned as a possible successor. But even that could not be quite as remarkable as Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger's life so far."

Cardinal Lustiger has recently retired, though he is still eligible to vote in the upcoming Conclave.

The following editorial excerpt provides more (though not unbiased) information on Cardinal Lustiger as a papal candidate:

Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, whose See was the Cathedral of Notre Dame on Paris's Seine River, was born Aaron Lustiger in 1926. At the age of 13, Lustiger was placed in safekeeping with a French Catholic family by his Polish Jewish immigrant parents. Lustiger's mother and father later perished at Auschwitz. At the age of 14, Lustiger converted to Catholicism. Lustiger remains a powerful member of the College of Cardinals and John Paul II considered Lustiger to be his personal liaison to the French government and people.

Although Lustiger is a supporter of Israel, his unique viewpoints and very office and religion are anathema to the Orthodox rabbis who dictate religious policy in Israel. Lustiger is an enigma to the Orthodox religious figures in Israel: for them Lustiger is an apostate and a potentially dangerous proselytizer.

Unlike Schoenbron, Lustiger would not only continue John Paul II's policies of opposing Bush and the neocons but would ratchet things up a bit. His abhorrence for Bush's preemptive warfare policies stem from his own bitter experiences with Hitler's similar policies that ravaged his native France and all of Europe.

It is no secret that Lustiger, like Schoenbron, has traveled around the world to increase his visibility with the Catholic faithful. Lustiger impressed John Paul II with revitalizing the Catholic Church in what had become a very secularist France. John Paul II was also keenly aware that Lustiger's mother and father perished in a concentration camp in the pope's native Poland. After his success in reversing the fortunes of the Catholic Church in France, Lustiger engaged in his own public relations campaign.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, during a visit to Australia in 2001, Lustiger charmed his audiences, Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish with his sense of humor. Rejecting those who believe the Catholic Church should bend to popular will, Lustiger, said, "I'm sorry Jesus Christ did not have a good public relations office because maybe he wouldn't have had the bad problem of being crucified."

SEE ALSO: Jean-Marie Lustiger: Second Jewish Pope?

?112  In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oues in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis ciuitas septicollis diruetur, & Iudex tremêdus iudicabit populum suum. Finis.
(In extreme persecution, the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people. The End.)

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

5. Keep your heart in peace and let nothing trouble you, not even your faults. You must humble yourself and amend them peacefully, without being discouraged or cast down, for God's dwelling is in peace.

April 4, 2005


Pope John Paul II made a final plea for peace last night, in a posthumous message he had prepared for the Sunday mass that turned into a moving farewell by 130,000 pilgrims huddled in St Peter's Square.

"To humanity, which at times seems lost and dominated by the power of evil, of egoism and of fear, the Lord rises again to offer the gift of his love that forgives, reconciles and reopens the soul to hope," said his message, read by Vatican interior minister Archbishop Leonardo Sandri. "It is a love that changes the heart and bestows peace. How much the world needs to comprehend and embrace the divine mercy."

GREATEST TRIBUTE: Pope visited nearly every corner of the world in spreading Gospel


Here are some statistics relating to the papacy of Pope John Paul, which began on October 16, 1978:

The Pope reigned for 26 years, five months and 15 days, the third-longest pontificate in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, which spans some 2,000 years.

During his pontificate, Pope John Paul:

-- travelled a total of 1,247,613 km (775,231 miles), or 3.24 times the distance from earth to the moon, in papal trips inside and outside Italy.

-- made 104 trips outside Italy
-- visited 129 different countries and territories
-- made 146 trips in Italy
-- made 301 visits to parishes in Rome
-- spent 822 days, or over two years and three months, on trips outside the Vatican
-- read more than 20,000 addresses
-- read nearly 100,000 pages of addresses
-- held 1,161 general audiences at the Vatican that have been attended by about 17.8 million people
-- issued 114 major documents, including 14 encyclicals, 45 apostolic letters, 14 apostolic exhortations and 11 apostolic constitutions
-- beatified 1,338 people, more than all of his predecessors in the last four centuries combined
-- canonised 482 saints, more than all of his predecessors in the last four centuries combined
-- appointed 231 cardinals, of whom 183 are still alive and 117 under the age of 80 and eligible to enter the conclave to elect a new Pope; of the 117, 115 were appointed by John Paul and only two by Paul VI, who reigned from 1963 to 1978
-- held meetings with more than 1,600 political leaders, including 776 with heads of state and 246 with prime ministers
-- the largest crowd at a papal Mass was some four million in Manila in 1995



Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

4. It is His Will that we should apply to Him in all our needs, with humble, respectful, but very filial trust, abandoning ourselves entirely to His loving care like children to a good father.

April 3, 2005

(John 20:21) Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you."


The Divine Mercy Devotion and a Memorial to Pope John Paul II

Today, which is the octave day of Easter, the Church celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday. When we think about an octave, it is reminiscent of creation. It is the eighth day; that is what the word octave means: “eight.” And so the eighth day was for the Jewish people the greatest day of the feast. Recall that last Sunday we celebrated Easter, and an octave means that for eight days we celebrate the feast, so we have not only a celebration of Easter on Easter Sunday, but the Church celebrates Easter for eight days, this being the greatest as it is the octave day, the first day of the new creation, the day of the Resurrection. It is the day on which the love of God is poured into our hearts in a profound way.

It is in the midst of the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead that we turn once again to beg for mercy. Mercy is obtained for us through the Passion of Christ. It is a fact that God will extend His mercy to anyone who asks, and yet at the same time we have to recognize the cost. Mercy does not come without a cost – and the cost of mercy is the Cross. So as we look at the Resurrection, one might wonder why in the midst of the celebration of the Resurrection we suddenly seem to go back to where we were in Lent, asking for mercy. But there is no contradiction because you cannot celebrate the Resurrection without the Passion. The Resurrection has no meaning without the Crucifixion, and so there is nothing that is inherently contradictory about these two elements that the Church celebrates on the same day. In fact, it is the Resurrection that grants to us the hope that if the mercy of God is extended to each one of us that we too will be able to share in the glory of His Resurrection.

The celebration of this feast day is really dependent on one person, and that is Pope John Paul II. The revelations of Our Lord, of course, were given to Saint Faustina, but initially back in Poland the local bishop had squelched the Divine Mercy devotion as he was investigating the whole apparition, trying to determine the situation and what would be best. So, for the time, he had stopped any spread of that devotion. Then there was a new cardinal who was appointed in Krakow, a man by the name of Karol Wojtyla. Cardinal Wojtyla, recognizing the importance of this particular devotion to Divine Mercy, allowed it to once again be publicly spread. He, of course, was then made the Pope. And very early on in his pontificate, he spread the devotion of Divine Mercy beyond the confines of his diocese in Poland to the whole world.

The Holy Father, in his latest book, which has not yet been translated into English, explains why he did this. Some of his detractors have given him lots of grief, saying that all he has done is to take these Polish devotions and force them on the whole world. He explains that the very reason why he brought these devotions to the whole Church was because in the face of all the horrors of Word War II, and in the face of all the sinfulness in this society in which we live, that there has never been a time when mercy was more necessary. There has never been a time when people had more of a purpose and a need to call out to God for mercy. And I can tell you from personal experience that there are many, many people who have come back to the Church because of a devotion to Divine Mercy. The number of people who have come to Confession, who have converted, who have told me that the very reason why they came back to the Church was through the praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet is great. It is a very powerful thing.

This mercy is what Pope John Paul was all about. We need to recognize the mercy of God that has been extended to us and to the whole world in the person of Pope John Paul II. For over 26 years, this astounding man shepherded the Church. For many of us, we hardly even remember any other pope. For the young people, they have never known another pope. This man is the third longest-reigning pope in history, and he is without doubt one of the most extraordinary human beings ever to have walked the face of the earth. The newscasts are telling us that he is certainly one of the most influential people of the 20th century. But if they cannot see beyond the 20th century, they have a problem.

The man was absolutely brilliant. When he was elected to the papacy, he spoke 26 languages and dialects. English was considered his eighth-best language, and he spoke it quite fluently. When he became Pope, he learned many other languages so that he could preach to people in their own language. This man was so prolific in his writing that the theologians are telling us it will take more than a century just to be able to work through all the things John Paul II has written. The tragedy for many of us is that so many have never read much of anything that he has written. But this man was so prolific in his work that it could only be the work of the Holy Spirit. With the schedule that he kept, how he was able to continue to write thousands upon thousands of pages is not explainable in human terms. How a man who was not well health-wise could continue to maintain the kind of schedule that he did is not explainable in human terms.

We have to understand that we have been in the presence of a saint. I truly believe that it is not going to be long before this man will be canonized. I also firmly believe that history is going to know him as John Paul the Great. There are only two popes in history who have the title “The Great,” and I think that we have had the privilege of living in the presence of the third. He truly is one of the most extraordinary human beings in history, and he has defined history in our day in such a profound way.

Certainly, he had his detractors. It is interesting when you listen to what it is they did not like, it was the simple truth. It was not John Paul so much whom they hated, it was the One for Whom he was the Vicar. It was Jesus Christ and His Church that they were opposed to. And no matter how much the people clamored, our Holy Father would not waffle when it came to the truth. This man, in over 26 years, went on over 100 apostolic “pilgrimages,” shall we call them. He brought Jesus Christ to the world. If you listen to his detractors, you would think that this is some old man who is completely out of touch, who does not get it – “He cannot relate to average people.” Yet, this is a man who, when he came to America, over 500,000 young people came to see; many, many times more than the hippies at Woodstock that we always hear about. The young people began a chant: “John Paul II, we love you!” Over and over and over they would sing it. If you watch the videotape of that, our Holy Father, when they finally ended, lifted his head with a huge smile and he chanted back: “John Paul II, he loves you!” The young people erupted in applause. When he went to the Philippines, 7 million people came to see him. That is more than any human being in human history in one place. Millions and millions of young people through the World Youth Days have been touched by this man, whom his detractors tell us is out of touch.

In the Gospel reading today, Our Lord told His apostles that as He had been sent so now He was sending them. Pope John Paul II understood what it meant to be an apostle. The word apostle means “to be sent” or “one who is sent.” He went out and he preached Jesus Christ. We have been so blessed by God to have lived in the presence of a saint, and we need to understand the mercy that God has extended to us in this way. He was truly a man for our time. When we look at what he has accomplished, God always raises saints to be able to defend the areas that Satan is attacking. As I have told you many, many times, the area of attack today is on marriage and the family. In the official teaching of the Church, there are approximately 6,000 pages written about marriage in over 2,000 years. Three thousand of those pages were written by Pope John Paul II, the saint that God raised up to be able to defend the area Satan was attacking. His teachings on marriage are only beginning now to be understood and to be promulgated. They are among the most beautiful things that I have ever in my life read, extraordinary teachings.

When we think about our Holy Father and the effect that he has had, I think we can truly say that perhaps the only person that has had more effect than him is Our Lord Himself. Living in a world that is more populated than ever before, he has been able to touch the hearts of the people, with a charismatic personality that when one was in his presence they could not help but to be changed. When people look back over his pontificate over history, one of the things they will undoubtedly say about him negatively is that he should have been more strong as far as discipline goes. But we have to remember that this was a man who was raised up under Communism, and he learned that the way he had to work was to try to keep the flock together. What he tried desperately to do was to make sure he did not ostracize anyone for fear that they would take others away with them. He tried to keep everyone together, and, through love, to bring them to the truth. Love is truly what this man was about. That is what the young people saw.

What we have seen over these last few years of his pontificate is the example of what it is to carry the cross, to follow Jesus to Calvary. We have seen that the man who brought mercy to the world through this devotion to Divine Mercy has also shown us how to live it. As I mentioned earlier, mercy does not come without a cost. It is freely given to anyone who asks, yet for those who are going to pray for mercy for others, they need to share in the work that brought mercy to the world. For those who have prayed the Novena of Divine Mercy over the last nine days, you know the people for whom you were praying, not only the lukewarm or those who do not know the Lord, but even for those who are part of the Mystical Body already. We pray for mercy for each of them. If we are going to pray that people will come to Christ, if we are going to pray that people will be converted and that their lives will be touched, then we have to share in the work of mercy, and mercy was obtained for us on the Cross. Recall the words of our Holy Father back several years ago when some of his detractors were trying to tell us that he was too sick to carry on, that his health was so bad that he needed to resign, he said simply, “Jesus Christ did not come down from His Cross, and I will not come down from mine.” Right to the very last minute, he refused to come down from his cross and he refused to stop working. In the last day of his life, he appointed new cardinals and new bishops throughout the world, 29 new cardinals who will be part of the new election of the next pope.

At the very end, with thousands of pilgrims gathered outside his window, he was able to say to them, “I have gone out to you; now you have come to me. And I thank you.” Truly the heart of a shepherd. He has gone out to his sheep and he has called them, and they came to him. As soon as the word went out in Rome that he was dying, the people took to the streets, hundreds of thousands of people, so much that they had to block the streets and start turning people away because they could not handle the crowds who came to a man who was supposedly out of touch, to an old man from Poland who did not understand what life was really all about. I tell you, this man understood far better than any of us – and all of us combined – what it was all about. Our Holy Father was completely devoted to Our Lord, to His Mother, and to the people entrusted to his care.

We have had the privilege to live in the presence of a saint, and we have to thank God for that. He has gone forth now to his reward, a well-deserved reward, I might say. He has broken through the veil of death. Refusing to get off the cross, he has now entered into death with Christ. And he has now gone forth to see the two people whom he loved more than anyone, and that is Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. We must pray for him, but we can be guaranteed that as the good shepherd of his flock he continues to pray for us. So we pray that the Church will very soon recognize the sanctity of this man and elevate him to be a saint. In the meantime, as we pray for him and remember the chant of the young people to this incredible man, to one of the most extraordinary human beings to ever walk the face of the earth, our love pours out for him, and yet at the same time our heart calls out to our shepherd: “Holy Father, pray for us to God.”

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

3. Bury all your misery in the mercy of the loving Heart of Jesus and think of nothing but of pleasing Him by forgetting self. Henceforth let Him do all that He wills in you, with you and for you.

April 2, 2005

'I am happy. Be it yourselves as well'

'I have looked for you. Now you have come to me. And I thank you'



Long live the memory and ministry of Pope John Paul the Great!

I was hoping and praying that the Pope would live to see Divine Mercy Sunday this year but it was not to be.

Perhaps it is so that tomorrow all Catholics can fill the Churches in celebration of these two great gifts of God: Pope John Paul II, and the Divine Mercy Indulgence.

Please encourage all you know to honor the Pope's memory by attending Mass tomorrow!

Also if possible encourage all to avail themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation today.


VIA Dr. Ng: I knew in my heart that our Holy Father would be taken up to heaven on Saturday which is a First Saturday. Our Blessed Mother would certainly want him go up straight to heaven with her intercession.

VIA Father Gant: But don't forget, Divine Mercy Sunday starts at 4 pm Saturday.
So the Pope attended Divine Mercy Mass at 8 p.m. in his apartment and then died right after that at 9:47 p.m. Saturday night.

The reason we start the day before is because that is the way God measures time. Remember Genesis? "And that was the evening and the morning, the first day."


VIA Michael: Yes, I concur with you that he will be remembered as J. P. the Great. At least in the hearts of those who have read his writings, prayed with him and adored the Blessed Mother as he did. I will join you in spirit at the Sunday of Divine Mercy. I am sure that our beloved Pope will cash in all those chips from our Lord for every person that will be forgiven tomorrow. What a spectacle that would be.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Peace- Trust- Abandonment

2. The Spirit of God does all things in peace. Let us have recourse to God with love and confidence, and He will receive us into the arms of His mercy.

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