Keep your eyes open!...






 

April 30, 2008    

(Mar 16:17-18) And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils. They shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents: and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay their hand upon the sick: and they shall recover.

PROFILES OF EXTRAORDINARY RELIGIOUS
Interview with Fr. Zlatko Sudac
Article 02/07: The Vatican turns away followers of the 'new Padre Pio'
Since his ordination to the priesthood, Fr. Fernando has found that the gift of healing has become more pronounced in him and that God is using him even more. He spent the first year of his priesthood as the associate pastor of St. Timothy's parish in North York, Ontario, however, since July, 2003, he has been given a new ministry in his community which would help to foster the spiritual gifts God has given him. He is now regularly conducting Healing Masses, retreats and missions, with large numbers of people now in attendence.

April 30, Wednesday @ 6:30 pm (Praise & Worship), 7:00 pm (Mass)

Eucharistic Celebration followed by Healing Service
St. Anthony of Padua Parish
5770 N. Maroa, Fresno CA 93704

Contacts:
Ben & Christy Villas
(559) 271-1246

Sister Rosa Maria
(559) 439-0124 x 112

Philippines bishops' conference Public Affairs head Bishop Deogracias Iniguez Jr.: "Few people are given the special gift of healing, and Father Suarez is one of them. But church officials are still observant".

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

30. Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who guards you will honour your patience. While a wound is still fresh and warm, it is easy to heal; but old, neglected and festering ones are hard to cure, and require for their care much treatment, cutting, plastering and cauterization. Many from long neglect become incurable, but with God all things are possible.

April 29, 2008    

(Mar 16:17-18) And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils. They shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents: and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay their hand upon the sick: and they shall recover.

THOUSANDS FLOCK TO SEE 'SAINT OF OUR TIME'

The exhumed body of Italian mystic and friar Saint Pio of Pietrelcina has drawn tens of thousands of pilgrims eager to get a glimpse of him to this small southern town.

Since Thursday, devotees and members of the Roman Catholic clergy have trooped to Padre Pio's hometown of Pietrelcina to revere the saint, who died in 1968 at the age of 81.

Padre Pio was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002 before one of the biggest Vatican crowds. His sainthood was fast tracked on account of some 1,000 miracles submitted to the Vatican for his case.

Padre Pio's remains were exhumed from a marble crypt on March 3 by the Vatican and "restored" for public viewing to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his death. Church officials declared the saint's body " in relatively good condition", with the beard, nails, knees and hands reported to be incorrupt.

However, since the face was not well-preserved, the Church commissioned a silicone mask of the monk's face be made for the viewing. The body was then dressed in a brown Capuchin monk's habit and the fingerless gloves Padre Pio wore in his lifetime.

The controversial priest, who became popular for his many miracles and intercessions, was believed to have manifested the stigmata - the bleeding wounds of Jesus Christ- in his hands. The fingerless gloves were meant to "catch" blood dripping from the wounds on his hands.

Reports said some 15,000 devotees, majority of them Catholic priests and nuns, attended Mass before the saint's remains went on display on Thursday.

By Friday, Church officials reported that more than 800,000 people have requested to view Padre Pio's remains that the Church was forced to extend the display until September 2009.

Earlier reports said the viewing will only be for several months. However, San Giovanni Rotondo had already been welcoming seven to eight million of Padre Pio's devotees every year.The public exhibit of the saint's remains are expected to increase the numbers even more.
 
VIDEO: An Italian saint_24_APR_08

VIDEO: Padre Pio - Father Pious, the first years - part 1(1887-1910)

LINK: http://members.aol.com/fmrega7/emptytomb.htm

FROM THE MAILBAG VIA Dawn:  Every evening, at the 20.30, the Frati Cappuccini will be gathered to the grave of the blessed Padre Pio to recite the S. Rosario according to the intentions of all those people that ask to be remembered in the prayer. To that time, this your application will be deposed on the grave. If you find possible, anywhere you find to yourself, spiritually unite to us with it recites of the S. Rosario.

LINK: http://www.conventopadrepio.com/inglese/padrepio/scrivi_san_pio.html

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

29 (cont.). Previous habit often tyrannizes even over him that mourns. And no wonder! The account of the judgments of God and our falls is shrouded in darkness, and it is impossible to know which are the falls that come from carelessness, and which from providential abandonment, and which from God's turning away from us. But someone told me that, in the case of falls which come to us by Divine providence, we acquire a swift revulsion from them, because He who delivers us does not allow us to be held for long. And let us who fall wrestle above all with the demon of grief. For he stands by us at the time of our prayer, and by reminding us of our former boldness before God, he tries to devastate our prayer.


April 25, 2008
   

THE TRIB TIMES WILL RETURN NEXT WEEK, GOD WILLING (James 4:15).

(Luke 1:28) And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Father Gabriele Amorth, Chief Exorcist of Rome, April 11, 2008, Zenit.org

On one occasion an exorcist friend of mine asked the devil what most hurts him about Our Lady, what most annoys him. He responded, 'That she is the purest of all creatures and that I am the filthiest; that she is the most obedient of all creatures and that I am the most rebellious; that she is the one who committed no sin and thus always conquers me.'

LINK: On Mary Immaculate by Padre Pio

BREAKING: New Pictures of Padre Pio Straight from Italy

PRAYER OF SAINT CASMIR

Every day, O my soul, pay your respects to Mary,
Make her feasts solemn and celebrate her brilliant virtues;
Contemplate and admire her elevation;
Proclaim her blessedness both as Mother and Virgin;
Honor her so that she delivers you from the weight of your sins;
Invoke her so as not to be driven by the torrent of passion;
I do know if anybody can honor Our Lady worthily
Yet he who keeps silent in her praises is senseless;
Everyone should exalt and love her in a special way,
And never cease to cherish and pray to her;
O Mary, the honor and glory of all women,
You who God has raised above all creatures;
O Virgin of Mercy, hear the prayers of those who never stop praising you;
Purify those who are guilty and make them worthy of heaven;
Hail, O holy Virgin, through whom the gates of heaven were opened to undeserving souls
You, who, the old serpent's snares never managed to seduce;
You repair and console despairing souls
Preserve us from the evils that will fall on the wicked;
Obtain perpetual peace for me,
And save me from the misfortune of the flames of Gehenna;
Obtain for me to be chaste and modest, gentle, kind, sober, pious, prudent, upright and the enemy of all falsehood;
Grant me meekness, love of harmony and purity;
Make me strong and constant on the path of righteousness.

Mary is a Woman Who Loves (III)

Finally, Mary is a woman who loves. How could it be otherwise? As a believer who in faith thinks with God's thoughts and wills with God's will, she cannot fail to be a woman who loves. We sense this in her quiet gestures, as recounted by the infancy narratives in the Gospel. We see it in the delicacy with which she recognizes the need of the spouses at Cana and makes it known to Jesus. We see it in the humility with which she recedes into the background during Jesus' public life, knowing that the Son must establish a new family and that the Mother's hour will come only with the Cross, which will be Jesus' true hour (cf. Jn 2:4; 13:1). When the disciples flee, Mary remains beneath the Cross (cf. Jn 19:25-27); later, at the hour of Pentecost, it will be they who gather around her as they wait for the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14).

Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter, Deus Caritas Est #41 (2005)

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

29. The sorrowful humility of the mourning is one thing; the condemnation of the conscience of those who are still living in sin is another; and the blessed wealth of humility, which the perfect attain by the action of God, is yet another. Let us not be in a hurry to find words to describe this third kind of humility, for our effort will be in vain. But a sign of the second is the perfect bearing of indignity.


April 24, 2008
   

POPE BENEDICT XVI (2/08/08): "Anyone who does not recognize the Final Judgment does not recognize the possibility of failure and the need for redemption. Anyone who does not labor for heaven does not work for the good of mankind on earth."

What does the Catholic Church teach on the Last Things?[1]

On the Last Things the Catholic Church teaches as divinely revealed, that:

1. Man's probation ends with death.
2. The Particular Judgement follows immediately after death.
3. The good go to heaven and the wicked go to hell after the Particular Judgement.
4. Those who are not entirely purified go to purgatory after the Particular Judgement.
5. This world will come to an end when God wills.
6. The dead will rise again on the Last Day.
7. On the Last Day Jesus Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead.
8. After the General Judgement the elect will enter life eternal, but the reprobate will go into the everlasting torments of hell.
9. The thought of the Last Things inspires man with the fear of the Lord and the love of God.

[1] The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, by Rev. Peter Geiermann, C.SS.R.
Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. 1977.

RONALD E. SMITH Q & A- Purgatory Scriptures & Church Teachings


PRACTICAL POINTS

1. Think often of Hell and the possibility of your going there. Pray every day that you will not die with mortal sin on your soul. Say the Act of Contrition every night:

"O my God, I am very sorry for having offended Thee, and I hate all of my sins, because I fear the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell, but most of all because my sins offend Thee, my dear God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, do penance, and amend my life. Amen."
 
2. Presumption is the sin committed by people who think that a good God will not punish a sinner with the torments of Hell. God, being a just judge, has to reject those who choose to separate themselves from Him by mortal sin.

3. The horror of Hell helps us understand the evil of mortal sin. Mortal sin is the greatest evil in the universe.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

28. It is impossible for us who have fallen into the pit of iniquities ever to be drawn out of it, unless we sink into the abyss of the humility of the repentant.


April 23, 2008
   

(Luke 10:2) And he said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he send labourers into his harvest.

PROSPECTIVE PRIESTS EMBRACE POPE'S TRADITIONAL BELIEFS

Nick Blaha was singing in a Peoria choir loft three years ago when he sensed God's call to surrender his life and become a priest.

Pope Benedict XVI heartened him even more in 2005 when, in the pontiff's first words to the faithful, he called himself "a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord."

Those words echoed the same self-doubt, devotion and deep desire to serve God felt by Blaha and others contemplating the priesthood.

"He struck me as one more way in which God is providing for his people," said Blaha, 28, a student at Mundelein Seminary. "The simplicity of this man—amid all this pomp and world politics, it didn't matter. It was so clear it was God's choice."

Meet the B16 generation—a wave of young Catholics raised in a church divided by teachings about sexuality and battles over whether women and married men should become priests. Unlike the generation that came of age under Pope John Paul II, which embraced the empowerment and freedom granted by the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, many in the B16 group wish to re-anchor the church in its core traditions.

The need for clergy is great. A severe shortage of priests already threatens to cripple the American church, with seminary enrollment steadily declining over the last four decades to 3,274 students from 8,325, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

Some believe the only solution is for church leaders to initiate candid conversations about ordaining married men and women and reconsider church teachings for today's era. Celibacy remains the primary reason why most men leave seminary, yet seminarians rarely engage in open debates about that issue or the exclusion of women.

The church has another view, believing that post-Vatican II reforms resulted in a weakened institution that doesn't inspire. What's needed, church leaders say, is restoring the church's foundation.

That philosophy guides the students now at Mundelein Seminary outside Chicago. Reflecting their back-to-basics bent, the most sought-after class is on the Doctrine of God, or the theology of the Trinity.

"It's surprising to see how animated they are in returning back to that, their zeal in wanting to get to that clarity," said Rev. Dennis Lyle, rector of Mundelein Seminary.

Pope Benedict likely would approve. Cardinal Francis George, head of the Chicago archdiocese and the church's top U.S. leader, recalls meeting with the pope at the same time Vatican inspectors were visiting Mundelein. In that talk, Pope Benedict stressed the importance of avoiding moral relativism by correctly teaching moral theology.

"We don't make up our own laws," George said. "We don't make up our own way to the Lord. We don't make up our own morality. . . . He's very clear on that."

"God is as generous in this generation as he's always been," George said. "There are all kinds of cultural and social phenomena that make it harder to hear the call. But the call is there and it's our job to see to it that those whom the Lord desires in this way of life will cooperate with his grace."

RELATED: Recruiting posters featuring Catholic priests send out a call that's being answered

IN THE NEWS: Hoped for Healing with SSPX Slows in Pace

COMMENTARY
http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/04/sspx-refuses-to-sign-an-agreement-with-the-holy-see/

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

27. I am fully aware, my good friends, that the struggles I have described will seem to some incredible, to others hard to believe, and will seem to some to breed despair. But to the courageous soul they will serve as a spur, and a shaft of fire; and he will go away carrying zeal in his heart. He who is not up to this will realize his infirmity, and having easily obtained humility by self-reproach, he will run after the former; and I do not know whether or not even overtake him. But the careless man should leave my stories alone, lest he despair and squander even the little he has accomplished, and thus correspond to the man of whom it was said: 'But from him that hath no desire or eagerness, even what he hath will be taken away from him.


April 22, 2008
   

CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY RECAP OF POPE BENEDICT'S APOSTOLIC JOURNEY

POPE URGES U.S. CATHOLICS TO HASTEN COMING OF GOD'S KINGDOM

Sixty thousand people on Sunday attended the papal Mass at Yankee Stadium, where Pope Benedict explained in his homily that true freedom is found in self-surrender and turning away from sin. Asking Americans to "use wisely the blessings of freedom," he proclaimed that Christ sets mankind free. 

Pope leaves thanking America and pointing to Christ our Hope 

9/11 first responder: Pope's Ground Zero visit is an incredible, beautiful thing
Pope Benedict XVI's third anniversary
Kelly Clarkson adds her voice to youth rally
Pope Benedict XVI pays solemn visit to Ground Zero 
Knights give Yankee's Stadium 105 lb. plaque to commemorate Benedict XVI's visit 
Bill Maher apologizes for calling Pope Benedict a Nazi
Pope Benedict speaks of families as the birthplace of vocations 
Seek holiness using the four essentials, Benedict XVI tells youth 
Do not let darkness stifle your hope, says Pope 
Holy Father calls handicapped to be signs of hope, apostles of prayer
Holy Father expected to address vocations in seminary in Yonkers 
Pope praises "exemplary American priest" who founded Knights of Columbus
Franciscan University president reacts to Pope's education speech 
First-ever papal Mass held at St. Patrick's 

FROM BBC: In pictures: Pope's US tour

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

9. Others were continually beating their breasts, and recalling their past life and state of soul. Some of them watered the ground with their tears; others, incapable of tears, struck themselves. Some loudly lamented over their souls as over the dead, not having the strength to bear the anguish of their heart. Others groaned in their heart, but stifled all sound of their lamentations. But sometimes they could control themselves no longer, and would suddenly cry out.


April 18, 2008
   

THE TRIB TIMES WILL RETURN NEXT WEEK, GOD WILLING (James 4:15).

(Rom 11:18-21) Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root: but the root thee. Thou wilt say then: The branches were broken off that I might be grafted in. Well: because of unbelief they were broken off. But thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear. For if God hath not spared the natural branches, fear lest perhaps also he spare not thee. 

HISTORY AWAITS THE POPE AND THE RABBI

This is a busy time for Rabbi Arthur Schneier, and his schedule will only become more complicated as the week winds down. Preparations must be made for Passover, which begins Saturday night. Like any rabbi who leads a congregation, he has to write a sermon for the Sabbath. Then he needs to come up with themes for Passover services on Sunday and Monday.

Oh, one other thing: He also has to welcome a pope.

The New York journey of Pope Benedict XVI will include a historic stop of 20 minutes or so late Friday afternoon at the Park East Synagogue on East 67th Street, where Rabbi Schneier has been the spiritual leader since 1962. “Historic” is an often abused word. But in this instance it isn’t misplaced.

Never before has a pope visited a synagogue in this country. Indeed, till now, there have been only two recorded papal visits to synagogues anywhere: by John Paul II in Rome in 1986 and by Benedict in Cologne, Germany, in 2005, four months after he ascended to the papacy.

So Benedict’s conversation with Jewish religious and lay figures at Park East — think of it, with absolute respect, as the Schmooze of the Fisherman — is a certified big deal, brief though it will be.

“I look at it as a message of good will by Pope Benedict, saluting the largest Jewish community in the world outside of Israel — New York — but in a greater context, American Jewry and world Jewry,” Rabbi Schneier said. “Basically, the message is: ‘I am continuing the outreach to the Jews.’ ”

RELATED: Synagogue Choir Is Set to Serenade Pope

OPINION:  The Pope Goes to Shul

LINK
: Catholics for Israel

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

8. Others sat on the ground in sackcloth and ashes, hiding their faces between their knees, and they struck the earth with their foreheads.

April 17, 2008    

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "In every time and place, the Church is called to grow in unity through constant conversion to Christ, whose saving work is proclaimed by the Successors of the Apostles and celebrated in the sacraments."

EDITORIAL: BENEDICT XVI- A pope with a talent for clarity
by Henry G. Brinton, Senior Pastor of Fairfax (Va.) Presbyterian Church

Five hundred years ago, when Protestants were locked in a theological cage fight with the Church of Rome, Martin Luther described the papacy as "truly the kingdom of Babylon, yes, the kingdom of the real Antichrist!'' But today, Protestants are more likely to praise the pope for his messages of moral clarity, and the incendiary language of the past is relegated to blogs such as "666, the Pope, Anti-Christ & Vatican -- for Dummies!'' As a Presbyterian pastor, I have respect for Pope Benedict XVI that would have been incomprehensible to Protestants of the past, and I won't be leading any protests when he visits Washington and celebrates Mass at Nationals Park today. In fact, I am convinced that he can help to provide an antidote to all that is fractured, fuzzy and cerebral about contemporary Protestant Christianity.

Catholics remain united

For starters, the pope is a symbol of the unity of the church. While I've heard it said that Baptists ''multiply by division,'' forming new congregations every time a church splits, Catholics remain united under the leadership of the Bishop of Rome. This is not to say that all Catholics agree with his teachings -- according to a Pew Research Center survey from August 2007, 51 percent of American Catholics believe that abortion should be legal, 42 percent are in favor of gay marriage and 60 percent support the death penalty. But all do have a connection to the same Holy Father, and 66 percent say they would like to attend one of his public events.

Aside from the Archbishop of Canterbury, there is no other international figure who can take a stand for the unity of the Christian church -- a body that is now fractured into more than 33,000 distinct denominations in 238 countries. Unity is important for Christians who want to work together to fight AIDS, global poverty and the materialism of modern life.

I am also impressed by the fact that the pope speaks with remarkable clarity. Whether you agree with him or not, you have to admit that he is completely clear about where he stands. Pro-life. Pro-celibate priesthood. Anti-contraception. Anti-ordination of women.

Even non-Christians admire him for holding on to strong beliefs in our morally wavering world. In contrast, my denomination opposes abortion in most cases but supports the continued legality of the procedure -- a position that makes sense to me but leads some to criticize us for sending a fuzzy, mixed message. We Presbyterians need to communicate more clearly where we stand.

In addition, I envy the pope for his human touch. I was once given a humorous coffee mug that defines Protestantism in the following way: ''It's the thought that counts.'' The same mug's definition of Catholicism: ''Stop thinking those thoughts.'' A focus on ''thought'' is a problem for many overly cerebral Protestants, because Christianity has always been a very earthy religion, seeing Jesus as God in human flesh and Communion as the body and blood of Christ.

A brother in Christ

While some may say, ''The pope is only a man,'' others will say, ''Exactly. That's the point.'' The pope is a human, representing God-in-human-form. There is power in his flesh-and-blood presence, in his ability to speak with visitors in their own languages, in his human touch.

There is no equivalent in a Presbyterian Church that looks for leadership in a biennial General Assembly of pastors and elders.

For all of these reasons, I am not bothered as the pope descends on Washington this week. To me, Benedict XVI is not the Antichrist, but a brother in Christ who can teach me lessons in how to offer my church unity, clarity and a powerful human touch.

RELATED

The pope's global reach
Pope finds points of stress with other religions
US Muslim Group Declines to Meet Pope

THE DARK SIDE

Abortion-rights supporters Kerry, Pelosi take communion at Papal Mass

PELOSI: "Communion is the body of the people of the church coming together," Pelosi said at her weekly news conference after returning from the Mass. "I feel very much a part of that."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

7. Others stood in prayer with their hands tied behind their backs like criminals; their faces, darkened by sorrow, bent to the earth. They regarded themselves as unworthy to look up to Heaven. Overwhelmed by the embarrassment of their thoughts and conscience, they could not find anything to say or pray about to God, how or with what to begin their prayers. But filled with darkness and a blank despair, they offered to God nothing but a speechless soul and a voiceless mind.

April 16, 2008    

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, POPE BENEDICT XVI!

NATIONAL CATHOLIC REGISTER PROFILE: Benedict, The Simple Genius

US NEWS
: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Pope Benedict XVI

NEWSLINK: Prospective priests embrace leader's traditional beliefs

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "Freedom is not only a gift, but also a summons to personal responsibility."

FROM THE MAIBAG
Reflection by Father Ted – April 14, 2008

My Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me; have mercy on my brother priests; have mercy on our brother bishops.

We have failed to carry out Your command to teach Your children.

We have not taught them Your Commandments.

We have not taught them how to love You above everything.

We have not taught them that their primary call is to Know You, to Love You, to Serve You in this world so that we can be with You in Your home forever.

We have not taught them how to pray each and every day.

We have not taught them how to love each other as You love us and them.

We have not taught them how to evangelize the world through service.

We have not taught them how to deal with their weaknesses.

We have not taught them how to deal with satan and his fallen angels.

We have not taught them how to resist the many temptations that each one encounters.

We have not taught them the reality of sin; nor how to deal with our sinful inclinations.

We have not taught them the importance of frequent confession.

We have not taught them the value of frequent participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

We have not taught them the reality of Your true Presence in the Holy Eucharist.

We have not taught them the importance of daily Eucharistic Adoration.

We have neither taught them how to become saints nor how to help others to become saints.

Yes – we have taught some – but too few.

Forgive me Jesus; forgive us Jesus for what we have failed or neglected to do.

May we repent and begin anew to become the saints that You ordained us to be.

May we repent and begin anew to assist our lay brothers and sisters to become the saints that You have called them to be.

Have mercy on us Lord Jesus. Enkindle in us once again the fire of Your Divine Love.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

6. Others lifted up their eyes to Heaven, and with wailings and outcries, implored help from there.

April 15, 2008   

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "Dear brothers and sisters, I ask you all to pray for the success of my visit, so that it may be a time of spiritual renewal for all Americans."

AMERICA IS READY TO TAKE THE MEASURE OF POPE BENEDICT

Americans will get their closest and most sustained view yet of Pope Benedict XVI this week, when the pontiff visits the United States for the first time since his election in 2005.

So far, many people know him for who he's not — namely John Paul II, his charismatic, crowd-pleasing predecessor — or perhaps what he was for many years, the Vatican's chief enforcer of doctrine.

But with six days of public events — including stadium Masses in Washington, D.C., and New York City — Benedict will have ample opportunity to connect with Americans.

"It will be on the news every night. It will be some further enlightenment about who is this man, Benedict XVI," said the Rev. Joseph G. Hubbert, associate professor of religious studies at Niagara University.

It may be the only chance for most Americans to get a glimpse of Benedict in person. The pontiff turns 81 during his visit and has not been nearly as globe-trotting as John Paul II, who toured the U.S. seven times in his 26-year tenure.

OPINION: Pope bravely offers test for all religions

APOSTOLIC JOURNEY RESOURCES

http://www.uspapalvisit.org/
http://www.ewtn.com/USPapalVisit08/index.asp
http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/
http://benedictinamerica.blogspot.com/

SCHEDULEhttp://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/religion/5691301.html

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

5. I saw some of those guilty yet guiltless men standing in the open air all night till morning, and never moving their feet; by force of nature pitifully dazed by sleep, yet they allowed themselves no rest, but reproached themselves, and drove away sleep with dishonours and insults.

April 14, 2008  

(Phi 1:21-23) For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If it is to be life in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

HOMILY - Fr Ignatius: My Soul Thirsts for You My God 

Our life in this world should be a sort of Purgatory - thirsting and longing for God - He alone who can satisfy the desire of our souls. Ave Maria!

FROM THE MAILBAG
VIA
Dawn: UPDATE

I am on top of the world! I had a lumpectomy on Thursday morning. Orders weren't received when my husband took me to pre-register at the hospital on Tuesday, so I had to be there by 6 am the day of surgery for tests! My sister came with us...Let me explain...

I am not sure what all I had filled you in on, as so much was such a whirl at the time. Our family doctor, a "good Catholic boy" I call him (he is), agreed with me when I said I wanted the breast cancer lump out. MD Anderson had scheduled tests on April 29th, and my meeting a surgeon on the 30th. No date for surgery. I wanted it out! Our doc has a surgeon friend, who actually had performed a sugery (navel hernia) on my husband a couple of years ago-and did a great job. I asked him: What if I were your wife? He said he'd send me to him, not wait for MDA. So, to him I went.

Wednesday, April 9th, I was annointed again by one of our Parish Priests during Holy Mass. Thursday, like I wrote, we arrived at 6, I had a chest x-ray, EKG and bloodwork done. Then surgery. The surgeon said when he opened me up, it came right out. No growth into muscle (Thank You, Jesus!) Both masses, lymph node(s) to the sentinel removed. I was hurting when I woke up in recovery. The nurse gave me morphine, but they waited until I woke to do so.

Shortly after 11 am, I was wheeled out to the car. We were on our way home! I was so relieved, and elated, I started to cry. The nurse started crying with me (she was so sweet!) What a relief. Dear God in Heaven, Thank You.

I was buoyed up by all the prayer, I was. I felt it. I knew it. I want to thank each person for their prayers and supplication(s). I cannot begin to tell you what a relief it was and is for me to get that cancer out of me. I know it's not over. But, I'm over the first hurdle. Biopsy results will be back Monday or Tuesday. I'm meeting with the surgeon Thursday, the 17th.

I may have to wait until Heaven to thank each of you (personally), but I will. I promise!

I don't know if it is psychosomatic (totally) or not. I definitely feel better. I think I look better (my eyes), and it's not just nerves-I don't think. I believe my body knows that the 'poison' is gone. Maybe so. I'm having to make myself 'stay down.' I'm not supposed to be lifting anything with that arm (staples and a drain). I am feeling really good. Rest, yes. I'm so happy, after being so down. I was scared (maybe I still should be-but I'm at peace).

My sister came over and spent the day with us today. We went to confession this evening. I spoke with our Priest who'd anointed me. I said I turned everything (myself) over to God--- then I take it back again (worry). ;o)

I love you in Christ Jesus. You are my brothers and sisters in Christ. I know that. I knew it before, but I know it like never before. I am forever grateful, and each of you are in my prayers forever.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

4. And so, coming to this abode of penitents and to this true land of mourners, I actually saw (if it is not audacious to say so) what in most cases the eye of a careless person never saw, and what the ear of a slothful person never heard, and what never entered the heart of an indolent person- that is, I saw such deeds and words as can incline God to mercy; such activities and postures as speedily attract His love for men.

April 11, 2008  

(1Jo 4:8) He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.

Spirit Daily: Vatican assumes authority over Medjugorje

Medjugorje Witness: I Implore You, Do Not Come to Medjugorje Again If You Do Not Want to Listen to Our Lady

Reflection by Father Ted – April 7, 2008

My dearest Lord Jesus, on this memorial of Saint John Baptist de la Salle, the founder of the Christian Brothers, You remind me, You remind many of us, of how important, how necessary it is for us to teach our children the truth – the truth about who they are and why You created them; and how to achieve that destiny that You have given to them and to all of us.

When I was a little child in elementary school, then called grammar school, You taught me through the Sisters of the Holy Family. You taught me that I was created to “know You; to love You; and to serve You in this life”; so that I could be with You and Your Father – my Father – and Your Holy Spirit for ever in Your home which is heaven.

I did not know then that what You were calling me to be was a saint.

For a saint is one who truly knows You – as his/her personal savior and as his/her lover; and as his/her greatest friend.

You gave me a share in Your very life when I was baptized about a month after my mother gave birth to me. You called me Your beloved little brother.

You gave to me – even before then, a very special angel to watch over me and to help me to experience Your love and Your presence.

Through my parents You also taught me how to pray simply. And through my parents You taught me how to love You.

Through my parents You taught me Your commandments and the precepts of Your Church. Though I did not realize then that the keeping of Your commandments and of the precepts of You Church were signs of my loving You.

I did not know then, but now I do - that the most important thing in my life is to love You.

I do this by doing what You have asked of me.

You want me to be a man of prayer; You want me to proclaim Your Gospel.

You want me to teach Your children the importance of praying so that they will become boys and girls of prayer. You want me to teach Your children Your Commandments so that they too can become saints.

Through the children of Fatima, You have taught me that I must teach Your children to pray the Rosary even every day.

Also through the children of Fatima You have taught me that I must teach Your children to read the Bible – the Word of Life and to receive Holy Communion – the Bread of Life, as well as to make sacrifices for the sake of the conversion of sinner.

Yes Jesus, You want me, You want them to become saints. May I, may they do exactly what You ask of me and of them – just like Francisco and Jacinta Marto of Fatima did; just like their cousin Lucia did.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

3. Weak as I am, I heard that there was a certain powerful and strange way of life and humility for those living in a separate monastic establishment called 'The Prison' which was under the authority of the above-mentioned man, that light of lights. So when I was still staying there, I asked the good man to allow me to visit it. And the great man, never wishing to grieve a soul in any way, agreed to my request.

April 10, 2008     

(Psa 112:4) To the righteous a light is risen up in darkness: he is merciful, and compassionate and just. 

WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS (Mat. 24:6)

Mideast countries prepare for war
Iran, Syria, Lebanon on military alert over US Gulf movements and Israel’s home defense drill
Middle East mystery
Syria Plans Emergency Drill amid Fears of War with Israel

FROM THE MAILBAG
VIA
Dawn: My Miracle (So Far)

-Monday, March 24th, I went for a mammogram and ultrasound images of the lump I have found.

-Tuesday, I went to Holy Mass, and received the Anointing of the Sick from one of our Priests.

-Wednesday, March 26th, I went back to the ultrasound lab for a biopsy (using ultrasound & needle). The radiologist used the ultrasound to look first. He found a 2nd mass under the 1st. He asked the tech if she'd seen it, and she said no. I could tell by her voice that she was shocked (and embarrassed). I said maybe it wasn't there before---silence. He took some images with both on the screen. Then, he did the biopsy. He said the 2nd mass looked like a fibroid to him (benign-but needs removed too). He said it may be protecting my lymph nodes from the cancerous mass. There is tissue between the two. I asked his opinion on the 1st, and he said he thought it was cancer. It is.

After he left the room, and the tech was finishing cleaning up, I asked her. She said she agrees and thinks that the 1st is cancerous, and the 2nd is a fibroid. Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ!

Thank you to all for your support. To those who've e-mailed (you know who you are), and everyone else. I am grateful. Humbled and flattered. God Bless you, my friends in Christ!

Further Update: We just got back from meeting with the surgeon, and I'm getting it out Thursday morning at 8 am, Texas time! I pray it hasn't reached my lymph nodes. (please, please, please? God's Will be done.)

I am offering it all up to Our Lord and God. Jesus, I Trust In You!


VIA
Dennis: Jesus has emptied Himself 

From St. Paul:
“Jesus though He is by nature God, did not consider His equality with God a condition to be clung to, but emptied Himself by taking on the nature of a slave, fashioned as He was to the likeness of men and recognized by outward appearance as Man.” 

Even though taking on the nature of a slave was necessary, His real purpose was to humble Himself and became obedient to death; yes, to death even on the cross. This emptying restored to His Father all the glory that had been stolen from Him by sin and in the process redeemed sinning and sinful mankind.

Above from the “Spiritual Secrets of a Trappist Monk” - A Wonderful book 

Jesus the Man, Jesus our God is waiting for all of us. He is here on this earth in the form of the Eucharist (the real presence). He is waiting as the Son of Mercy (the Divine Mercy). He is waiting as our merciful Savior. We need to go to Him now as there is little time left. When we go, we need to go as a child and He will place us in His Merciful Heart. If not, then He will be our just judge.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

2. Gather together and come near, all you who have angered God; come and listen to what I expound to you; assemble and see what He has revealed to my soul for your edification. Let us give first place and first honour to the story of the dishonoured yet honoured workers. Let all of us who have suffered an unexpected and inglorious fall listen, watch and act. Rise and be seated, you who through your falls are lying prostrate. Attend, my brothers, attend to my word. Incline your ears, you who wish to be reconciled afresh with God by a true conversion.

April 9, 2008     

(1Jo 2:18) Little children, it is the last hour: and as you have heard that Antichrist cometh, even now there are become many Antichrists: whereby we know that it is the last hour.

EXCERPT: Dr. Peter Kreeft: "We are living in a spiritual Hiroshima"

History of the Jihad (Culture War in the battle between Christ and the Antichrist)

Since the Middle Ages, humanity has been on a slow, ever-ascending upward slope of becoming smarter, healthier, and more technologically advanced, while, at the same time, being on a slow, ever-descending slope of becoming weaker morally.

God's grace will save us, but on two conditions:

1. We ask for it, which means that we must value wisdom and holiness more than cleverness and worldly riches.

2. We believe that God will deliver (not to believe is to call God a liar).

These past centuries, mankind has fluctuated between the sins of despair and presumption. Despair is represented by Camus and other Existentialists. Presumption is exemplified by Rousseau, the Enlightenment, and by New Age ideas and practices.

We are entering an apocalyptic age, which might be described as Brave New World or as The Abolition of Man-each of which, ironically, is also the title of a book by Aldous Huxley and by C. S. Lewis, respectively. We should recall that the Bible predicts that the Great Tribulation of the end times will be so bad that no flesh would survive if God did not shorten the days.

In the First Millenium after Christ, the Church won the world. But then, she became fat and weak. The Second Millenium has belonged to the Antichrist. We are now in the Third Millenium, and the outcome these next thousand years is anything but clear.

We need to remember that this world is not our home; heaven is.

GEORGE WEIGEL: "The pope is coming to the U.N., not to give a pontifically guided tour of the world scene, praising this and lamenting that. In this 60th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he is far more likely to challenge the world body to take more seriously the moral truths that undergird the human dignity the U.N. was founded to defend -- moral truths that can be known by reason."

FROM THE MAILBAG
VIA
Jim Bramlett: Charlton Heston at Harvard - http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/heston_culture_war/2008/04/06/85865.html?s=al

This is the late Charlton Heston's historic speech at the Harvard University Law School on February 16, 1999. This is a profound speech, and a keeper! Please pass it on.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

1. Repentence is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigourous awareness.

April 8, 2008     

(Mat 28:19-20) Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

RECENT HEADLINES


Pope praised by high-profile convert from Islam
The Story of a Convert from Islam – Baptized by the Pope at St. Peter's
Pope laments killing of Iraqi priest

INTERVIEW: Frank Rega, author of St. Francis and the Conversion of the Muslims

OPINION EXCERPTBin Laden is Right: Pope Benedict is Leading a Crusade by Father Jonathan

Benedict's crusade can be likened to a quiet pilgrimage in the pursuit of rescuing human reason from the clutches of fundamentalism. It aims to restore reason as the great cultural meeting point for people of every race and creed.

While Benedict sees rationality as the only suitable launching pad of all true faith, bin Laden sees it as the great obstacle to his manipulation of the masses. While Benedict sees faith and reason as mutually enriching sources of truth, bin Laden sees the former as incompatible with the later. And while Benedict claims God can never command us to do evil because the first universal moral dictate of reason —"do good and avoid evil"— reflects his loving voice, bin Laden on the other hand claims Allah can do whatever he pleases, evil included.

The good news Benedict is preaching is that truth and goodness are of universal attraction. The more Pope Benedict whispers about universals, the more Muslims will listen. And they already are. Earlier this month the Vatican announced 225 Muslim leaders have asked to enter into official dialogue with Christians to proclaim the need for peace and mutual respect. Last week the Muslim country of Qatar inaugurated its first official Christian church. After the historic and first ever visit of a Saudi King to the Vatican last year, the two states are now in negotiations to allow the construction of Christian churches in the Kingdom, the holy ground of Mecca and Medina.

These are small, but incredibly significant signs that Muslims too are signing up to fight the crusade.

In other words, bin Laden has every reason to be afraid.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 4- "On blessed and ever-memorable obedience"

5. You who have decided to strip for the arena of this spiritual confession, you who wish to take on your neck the yoke of Christ, you who are therefore trying to lay your own burden on another's shoulders, you who are hastening to sign a pledge that you are voluntarily surrendering yourself to slavery, and in return want freedom written to your account, you who are being supported by the hands of others as you swim across this great sea- you should know that you have decided to travel by a short but rough way from which there is only one erring path, and it is called self-rule. But he who has renounced this entirely, even in things that seem to be good and spiritual and pleasing to God, has reached the end before setting out on his journey. For obedience is distrust of oneself in everything, however good it may be, right to the end of one's life.
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