Keep your eyes open!...


April 30, 2010 


(Psa 127:3-5) Lo, sons are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.


VIA HLI: The Dawn of Demonic Deception by Jenn Giroux

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of "The Pill" the Wall Street Journal ran a lengthy and misleading article ("The Birth Control Riddle" April 20, 2009) by Melinda Beck, calling the arrival of The Birth Control Pill the "dawn of dependable contraception" which "ignited the sexual revolution, ended the post-war baby boom and helped millions of women enter the work force." Ms Beck then proceeds to lament all of the "unplanned pregnancies" which still occur today before detailing for us how safe it is now to use new and improved birth control methods.

Marshall McLuhan, the late, great expert on the media, who converted to Catholicism before he died said, "The major media are engaged in a Luciferian conspiracy against the truth." How true!  Ms Beck's column is a prime example of this conspiracy, including such blatant lies and misrepresentations as:

"the benefits outweigh the risks" when taking "The Pill"

"...the longer a woman uses the pill, the lower her risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer", and "...the pill does not seem to increase the risk of getting [breast cancer]".

Beck then goes on to reassure the readers with sources such as the Guttmacher Institute (Planned Parenthood's own research arm) and a quote from Planned Parenthood's VP of Medical Affairs who explains away the damaging side effects by saying, "We have to keep these things in perspective.  A woman's risk for problems is substantially higher during pregnancy."

"The Pill" and the widespread use of other contraceptives in reality ushered in the 'Dawn of Demonic Deception' in America.  One needs only to review some of the bitter fruits of "The Pill" to appreciate why.

* A Mayo Clinic study said that women who use hormonal contraceptives for a minimum of 4 years prior to their first full term pregnancy have a 52% higher risk of developing breast cancer
* Women who use a hormonal contraceptive for more then 5 yrs are 4 times more likely to develop cervical cancer
* Prior to the sexual revolution and "The Pill" there were known to be 5 sexually transmitted diseases: Today there are more than 30.
* There are over 50 medical studies which indicate that use of oral contraceptives and Depo-Provera place women at higher risk for almost all known risk factors of HIV.

As we look around today, we see how accurately Pope Paul VI predicted what would follow if contraception were adopted on a wide scale: a general lowering of moral standards, an increase in infidelity, ever-greater objectification of women, and the use of contraception as a weapon.  Smaller and more broken families, rampant homosexuality, pornography, and China's coercive one-child policy are just some of the sad and obvious reminders of Pope Paul's wisdom in reaffirming the Church's perennial teaching against contraception in Humanae vitae.

Exposing the lies of contraception is, indeed, the great moral challenge of our day.  It is not only a battle for life, it is a battle for souls.

When asked recently by a major publication to name her greatest regret, Martha Stewart replied, "Not having a dozen offspring." This neatly summarizes the widespread "post-contraceptive regret" that weighs heavily on the hearts and souls of women who bought into the lies of the abortion industry.  Even Catholic families have since the 1960's dropped from 5.5 to 2.1 children today, increasingly rejecting the joys and challenges of larger families for the lesser goods of greater material comfort, "freedom," and professional accomplishment.

The 1920's-era story (ironically, the same time that Margaret Sanger was beginning her efforts to legalize contraception and abortion in America) comes to mind of the small boy who was peering out a window at dusk as a man came along to light the gas street lights.

His mother asked, "What are you looking at?"

As if explaining the obvious, the boy replied, "I am watching a man poke holes in the darkness."

Today as confirmed Catholics this is all that God is asking of us - to stand in bold witness and poke holes in the spiritual darkness that surrounds us.  Encountering the demonic deceptions forwarded by Ms.  Beck and others who ignore the devastation wrought by contraception, we must answer with the light of truth.

Our daily faithfulness to God's perfect plan for sexuality and marriage through the rosary and sacraments is the only way to reclaim the culture and our nation.  Only by using these gifts can we help bring about a countercultural comeback of chastity and the family.

Reader: Here’s just a little clip of some of the animation that Brian has been working on for some time now.  Some of it is close to the final product, some is still in the making but it looks awesome!  I am very proud of Brian for doing this project and of all the artists that have worked on it … at a fraction of their cost!  Brian has been so faithful throughout all the ups and downs of this project, always sure that God will handle everything.  I’m not saying that he hasn’t had his share of frustrations but in the end, he always comes back to the realization that everything is in God’s hands and He will take care of it.  I have learned, in a much greater way, what trust and faith in God looks like just by watching Brian.  God’s grace showed Brian that he has a talent and that he should use it to glorify Him and that is why Brian started this ministry 7 years ago.  I know that God is going to use this project for good.  Thank you to all of you who have worked for Lumen, prayed for Lumen, spread the word about us, and financially supported us throughout the years!  You too are answering the call of God to teach our little ones about Him!  I’m sure you have brought a smile to God’s face too!  Thanks for reading and watching!

RELATED LINK: Lumen Entertainment Announces The "Value of Life Project"

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

28. Some, I know not why (for I have not learned to pry conceitedly into the gifts of God) are by nature, I might say, prone to temperance, or stillness, or purity, or modesty, or meekness, or contrition. But others, although almost their own nature itself resists them in this, to the best of their power force themselves; and though they occasionally suffer defeat yet, as men struggling with nature, they are in my opinion higher than the former.

April 29, 2010 

(Php 1:9-10) And this I pray: That your charity may more and more abound in knowledge and in all understanding: That you may approve the better things: that you may be sincere and without offence unto the day of Christ:

KOREA: Priests Alerted to Activities by 'Visionary'

Kwangju archdiocese has issued a letter warning its priests of activities by supporters of an alleged Marian visionary who has incurred excommunication.

In its letter, sent on April 15, the archdiocese said supporters of Julia Youn have recently distributed leaflets and DVDs in parishes without approval.

The archdiocese has asked parishes to dispose of them.

Youn and her supporters claim that the Catholic laywoman started receiving Marian “revelations” after her statue of the Blessed Mother “started weeping” in 1985.

She and her followers then established “the Blessed Mother´s Mountain,” the name they gave to their center in Naju, located in Kwangju archdiocese.

According to the archdiocesan letter, Youn’s recently distributed DVD claims she experienced a “second Eucharistic miracle at the Vatican” during which a communion host allegedly turned into a bloody lump of flesh in her mouth.

An archdiocesan priest, Father Thomas Park Seong-yeol, told UCA News that June 30 is the 25th anniversary of alleged miracles claimed by the group. He surmised that Youn’s followers are expanding their activities to get official recognition from the Church on this occasion.

Kwangju archdiocese had rejected the supernatural claims of the group, and issued directives in 1998, 2003 and 2005 banning Catholics from visiting and participating in ceremonies at their center.

In January 2008, then Archbishop Andreas Choi Chang-mou of Kwangju declared that Youn and her followers who had insisted that divine miracles had taken place, had incurred latae sententiae excommunication.

This means the excommunication is not imposed by judgment but automatically results from an action that places one outside the community of faith.

The Vatican had also said it respected the archdiocese’s decision on Youn. Her followers, however, insist that the Vatican supports them.

According to Father Park, Youn’s DVD contains an interview with the retired Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis, former apostolic nuncio to Korea, in Rome. In it, he allegedly said that the ban on liturgical activities at Youn’s center was “absurd,” and that Archbishop Choi had “no authority” to make this declaration.

Father Park pointed out that Archbishop Buliatis expressed his own opinion, and that it was not the Vatican’s position.

MORE: Vatican supports archdiocese´s ruling on alleged visionary

ARCHBISHOP'S DECLARATION: Declaration concerning "The Phenomena and Messages which happened to Julia Youn of Naju and her statue of the Blessed Mother"

THOUGHTS FROM A YOUN SUPPORTER: What is going on in Korea is an intense spiritual battle.  It is a war being waged all over the world to decide the fate of the human race, but is currently being fought especially intensely in Korea.  In some ways, Korea seems to be at the focal point in this spiritual war.  Korea has the highest abortion rate in the world: more than 50% of all pregnancies end in abortion.  North Korea has the only remaining Stalinist dictatorship, now threatening world peace, while starving its own people.  The Blessed Mother has been giving messages of grave importance and pouring down so many miraculous signs in Naju.  When she wins the battle in Korea, the whole continent of Asia may open up for her advances, and the faith in the West may also be revitalized.

This is a difficult time for the Church and for everyone who stands up for the Truth.  In Naju, Our Lady has repeatedly said that, with the help of her little-but-devoted children, her Immaculate Heart will surely triumph.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

27. I have seen one and the same sick man sometimes drink the medicine of obedience, and move, walk and not sleep in order to cleanse his impurity; and sometimes, when the eye of his soul was sick, remain still and silent. He who has ears to hear let him hear.

April 28, 2010 

(Col 1:23-24) If so ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and immoveable from the hope of the gospel which you have heard, which is preached in all the creation that is under heaven: whereof I Paul am made a minister. Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church:

HOMILY: Bishop Slattery delivered at Solemn Pontifical Mass, Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.

by Father Ted – April 25, 2010:  For many many months now we have heard and read about the sexual abuse problems among the clergy. We have been offered diverse reasons for this situation. Many have been blamed for this situation.

What has amazed me – and this for many years now – is that no one, to my knowledge – or very few – have mentioned who has been the cause of this situation, how he has caused this, and why he has caused this.

Of course, one of the reasons why he has not been mentioned is because it is not politically correct to mention him influencing us today.

For many years now, very very few people talk or even write about him and how he has been striving to destroy the Church – since the very beginning.

We have, almost deliberately ignored the fact that the devil, like a roaring lion, as saint Peter declares in his first letter, goes about seeking those whom he can destroy.

I remember many years ago, hearing about the mystical experience of Pope Leo XIII had after he had celebrated Holy Mass – overhearing the dialogue between Lucifer and Jesus; and how, as a result of this experience the Holy Father composed the powerful prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel – which prayer he exhorted us to pray at the end of each Mass, with the exception of the Solemn High Mass on Sunday.

No one has declared that Satan has been behind this scandal. No one has declared how he did this; nor why.

I became aware of how he was working nearly forty years ago. I realized what he was doing and how he was doing this activity – because I, like many of my brothers who were priests were duped by him.

What he was doing was simply attempting to destroy the Church of Jesus Christ.

How he began to do it was also quite simple.

For he is quite subtle and quite sneaky.

I was brought up by the Benedictines during my high school years – during the late 40s and the early 50s.

I was taught the motto of Saint Benedict – “To Pray and to work”. I learned that both work and prayer are important. But pray is more important.

When I looked back on my upbringing, I observed that in the late 1940s and in the early 1950s, this motto of Saint Benedict had been altered. What was being emphasized during that time was work – work being more important that prayer.

Shortly after I was ordained to the priesthood in June of 1961, while I was beginning my work as a priest who was assigned to teach in a Catholic High School, I was informed that “work was my prayer”.

I recall that I and many of my confreres were delighted to accept this new teaching that had filtered down to us within the Church. We thought “Wow – my work is my prayer.” Now my classroom preparations were my prayers.

When we bought this teaching, we dropped one of the mandatory prayers that we had promised to fulfill when we were ordained to Major Orders.

We believed that we were justified in doing so. But it was that justification that was part of the blindness that Lucifer had given us.

We did not abandon prayer. But we diminished our prayer life.

The result was imperceptible, and yet significant.

For in 1968, when the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI published his encyclical “Humanae Vitae” we rejected it – as many others had done. We believed that he was wrong.

But that was due to our blindness caused by Satan.

As I later learned, when one reduces his/her prayer life, one is not able to discern truth easily.

For me, it took several years, to recognize my blindness. This occurred because of the prayers of others for me.

Spiritual blindness was the first effect of my diminishing my prayer life.

What also happened was that I, and my other brothers, who had dropped praying the Divine Office, were not able to resist our temptations.

I know now that I need a strong prayer life to overcome my temptations. I know now that many of my temptations are activated by the devil. He knows me; he knows my weaknesses. He prods me to given into these weaknesses.

Those of my brothers, who had sexual weaknesses, were tempted by him. And, without the deep prayer life, they were not able to resist.

What Lucifer was doing, of course, was striving to destroy the Church by weakening the priests within the Church and injuring members of their flocks.

The third effect of a diminished prayer life is that we began to see the flaws and imperfections within the Church magnified immensely. With the result being that we want to leave such an imperfect – corrupt – Church.

Many of my brothers did. I almost did too. But there were profoundly holy lay people that I knew, who prayed for me – though I did not realize this at that time. And their prayers, their powerful and merciful prayer, kept me from leaving.

Their prayers enabled me to see the light of truth.

And as a result I was able to confess my blindness. I was able to admit my wrong-doings. I was able to profess my faith in the teachings of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. I was able to recognize once again the importance of a deep fervent prayer life.

I admit, like Pope Benedict XVI has declared, that “Prayer is the number one responsibility of the priest”.

But isn’t this just was our first pope declared in dealing with the first recording ecclesial problem in the Jerusalem Church? We read about this during the Mass on the 2nd Saturday of Easter.

Satan is still trying to weaken and to destroy our Church.

And isn’t that why we have not taken seriously the call that our Holy Father Pope John Paul II gave to a group of American Bishops in May of 1998 when he exhorted them to encourage their priests to offer Mass daily, whether there is a congregation present or not?

Isn’t that why we have not taken seriously the call that our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI gave to the American Bishops two years ago in Washington, DC when he exhorted them to daily visit our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, to pray the Rosary daily, and to daily pray the Divine Office?

Like in the early Church we need to become men filled with the Holy Spirit and endowed with wisdom, as was the requirement for the first deacons. Like in the early Church we need to become men whose primary tasks are prayer and proclaiming the Gospel.

We are called to become saints. We are called to encourage our lay brothers and sisters to become saints. We are called to evangelize the world.

Lord help us 

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

26. I have seen an unskilled physician who, by subjecting to dishonour a sick man who was contrite in spirit, only drove him to despair. And I have seen a skilled physician who operated on an arrogant heart with the knife of dishonour, and drained it of all its evil-smelling pus.

April 27, 2010 

(Mat 19:14) But Jesus said to them: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such.

HEADLINE: Pope: Priests Must Protect Kids

Pope Benedict XVI told priests Sunday to safeguard children in their charge from evil and win the "absolute" trust of their flock, even as his own papacy is clouded by accusations he and other top churchmen failed to protect minors adequately from pedophile clergy.

Since a trip to Malta a week earlier when he wept with adults who had been sexually abused as children by priests, Benedict seems to be stepping up his reaction as the scandal deepens and widens, posing the most challenging crisis in decades for the Roman Catholic church.

Benedict, in remarks to the public in St. Peter's Square Sunday, told priests they must "fight for the defense of the flock," defend their charges from "evil" and ensure that faithful can place "absolute trust" in their pastors.

He urged them to model themselves on Jesus the "Good Shepherd," who, "with immense tenderness, safeguards his flock and defends it from evil," adding "only in him can the faithful place their absolute trust."

But Benedict made no admission of responsibility for devising and overseeing what victims in lawsuits contend were strategies to protect the church from scandal instead of children from harmful priests.

In his remarks from his studio window in the Apostolic Palace, he appeared on guiding the world's 1.1 billion Catholics through the church crisis. He thanked the crowd and "all those who with their prayers and affection support my ministry" as pontiff.

Benedict singled out for praise an Italian church group that promoted Sunday as a national day to remember abused children.

The Meter Association combats pedophilia in the Italian Catholic church. But while hailing its work in defending children from "violence, exploitation and indifference," the pope never used the word "pedophilia" and did not mention the violence that children have suffered at the hands of priests and, in at least a couple of cases, even bishops.

Instead the pope focused on the good clergy do for children.

"Above all, I want to thank and encourage all those who dedicate themselves to prevention and education" against violence, Benedict said, singling out parents, teachers and the "so many priests, nuns" and others who work with young people in parishes, schools and church groups.

MORE: Pope will make historic apology for abuse

FATHER DE SOUSA COMMENTARY: A critic blinded by hatred

MARK SHEA EDITORIAL: The Rumors of the Church's Death are Greatly Exaggerated

OPINION: The dictatorship of relativism strikes back—and goes nuclear

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

25. Sometimes what serves as a medicine for one is poison for another; and sometimes something given to one and the same person at a suitable time serves as a medicine, but at the wrong time it is a poison.

April 23, 2010  


(Rom 8:22-23) We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.


2010, the year of natural disasters
"Major," Green Meteor Lights Midwest Night Sky
Western Australia shaken by largest earthquake in 50 years
Woe and the Volcano

EXCERPT PETER KREEFT ON HEAVEN: Talk about heaven and you'll get sneers. But talk about a mysterious dissatisfaction with life even when things go well—especially when things go well—and you'll get a hearing from man's heart, even if his lips will not agree.

No one longs for fluffy clouds and sexless cherubs, but everyone longs for heaven. No one longs for any of the heavens that we have ever imagined, but everyone longs for "something no eye has seen, no ear has heard, something that has not entered into the imagination of man, something God has prepared for those who love him."

We are still children, however hard we try to cover that up. There are no "grown-ups". When we get old, we only exchange our toys: business for bats, sex for sleds, power for popguns. At death our Father calls: "Come, little one. Time to put away your toys and come home."

Home—that's what heaven is. It won't appear strange and faraway and "supernatural", but utterly natural. Heaven is what we were designed for. All our epics seek it: It is the "home" of Odysseus, of Aeneas, of Frodo, of E.T. Heaven is not escapist. Worldliness is escapist. Heaven is home.

People think heaven is escapist because they fear that thinking about heaven will distract us from living well here and now. It is exactly the opposite, and the lives of the saints and our Lord himself prove it. Those who truly love heaven will do the most for earth. It's easy to see why. Those who love the homeland best work the hardest in the colonies to make them resemble the homeland. "Thy kingdom come. .. on earth as it is in heaven."

The pregnant woman who plans a live birth cares for her unborn baby; the woman who plans for an abortion does not. Highways that lead somewhere are well maintained; dead ends are not. So if we see life as a road to heaven, some of heaven's own glory will reflect back onto that road, if only by anticipation: the world is charged with the grandeur of God and every event smells of eternity. But if it all goes down the drain in death, then this life is just swirls of dirty water, and however comfortable we make our wallowing in it, it remains a vanity of vanities.

The existence of heaven, the desire for heaven, the nature of heaven, and the relevance of heaven are all important questions. But there is only one question that's absolutely essential, one question compared with which how we might save the world from a nuclear holocaust is trivial: "What must I do to be saved?" When I'm honest enough to look through the door of death, infinite joy or infinite joylessness loom up as my only two possible destinies. What decides for joy? What is heaven's entrance ticket? What is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

I am horrified to report that I've asked this question of hundreds of Catholic college students, and far fewer than half have known the answer. This means that the Church's religious education has been not a failure but an inexcusable disaster. Most reply either "God is good to everybody" or "I'm basically a good person."

If anyone out there is unsure of the correct answer, then for the love of God get out your Bible and study for your finals! To save you time—since you may die while reaching for your Bible—I will quote God's scandalously simple answer to the most important question in the world, how to get to heaven: "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31).

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

24. The providence of God is one thing, His help is another, and His protection another. Providence is displayed in all creation, help only in the faithful, protection in the faithful who truly have faith, mercy in those who serve God, and consolation in those who love Him.

April 22, 2010  

(1Th 5:20) Despise not prophecies.


EXCERPT FROM STORY OF APPROVED APPARITION: Years later, Mother Mariana was given yet another vision pertaining to the 20th Century. The date of that apparition was February 2, 1634, Feast of the Purification, the 40th anniversary of the first appearance of Our Lady of Good Success to Mother Mariana. This was to be the last time Our Lady of Good Success was to appear to Mother Mariana on this particular Feast Day (which is now also considered the Feast Day of Our Lady of Good Success) for January of that next year, 1635, Mother Mariana would go to her eternal reward. As Mother Mariana was praying in the upper choir loft before the Blessed Sacrament, as she often did, the Sanctuary lamp went out. Mother Mariana was left in complete darkness. The extinguishing of the Sanctuary Light signified the dire straits the Church would be in during these times.

Our Lady of Good Success was quite clear on what would be the demise of the Catholic Church—the general theme--a lax and perverse clergy. Certain members of the Catholic clergy would become as thieves stealing that Tabernacle light…thieves that would steal what is rightfully ours by virtue of our baptism in the Catholic Church—our Faith. They would rob us of Doctrine, Dogma and Tradition—ransacking the Church as it were leaving us in total darkness without even as much as the light of the Sanctuary Lamp (which signifies the presence of the Holy Eucharist---Jesus Christ, Himself). Our Lady of Good Success went into great detail to explain what the five reasons were for the extinguishing of the light.

The first reason why the lamp was snuffed out was because in the end of the 19th Century and the 20th Century, heresies would prevail not only in Ecuador but universally. "As these heresies spread and dominate, the precious light of Faith will be extinguished in souls by the almost total corruption of customs."

The second reason was that in these times the Conceptionist Community would shrink and even be infected with bad attitudes and false charity as a result of the pervading situation of the Church at the time. Many vocations would be lost as a direct result. "The faithful souls would suffer a continuous and slow martyrdom, weeping in secret and imploring that such dire times be shortened." 

The third reason the lamp failed was due to the fact that during this century a worldwide campaign against the virtues of chastity, and purity would succeed in ruining the youth. Our Lady of Good Success affirmed, "There will be almost no virgin souls in the world". The fourth reason the lamp was put out was to demonstrate how the Masonic and other secret sects would have so much influence on society and even the Church. "During these unfortunate times," she foretold, "evil will invade childhood innocence. In this way, vocations to the priesthood will be lost, resulting in a true calamity." 

Our Lady of Good Success could foresee that there would still be some good, faithful religious that would be willing to suffer all for the salvation of souls and sustenance of the Holy Catholic Church. "The secular clergy will leave much to be desired because priests will become careless in their sacred duties. Lacking the divine compass, they will stray from the road traced by God for the priestly ministry, and they will become attached to wealth and riches, which they will unduly strive to attain. How the Church will suffer during this dark night! Lacking a prelate and a father to guide them …many priests will lose their spirit, placing their souls in great danger."

The poor priestly souls that would be left to uphold the Church would suffer greatly.

"Against them the impious will rage a cruel war, overwhelming them with vituperations, calumnies and vexations in order to stop them from fulfilling their ministry. But they, like firm columns, will remain unswerving and will confront everything with a spirit of humility and sacrifice with which they will be vested, by virtue of the infinite merits of my most Holy Son, Who will love them in the innermost fibers of His Most Holy and Tender Heart.

Our Lady of Good Success implored that the people of this time should "clamor insistently" to the Heavenly Father for an end to 'these ominous times' sending to the Church a prelate and father who would restore the spirit to the priests".  The fifth reason the lamp went out was due to those who have the financial means to help the Church but do nothing. Because of their uncaring attitude toward God and His Church, they would have allowed evil to seemingly triumph.

Due to the extreme wickedness that Mother Mariana saw in these visions of our era, she fainted and remained unconscious for two days. The doctor, unable to revive her, expected her death to be at hand. But Mother Mariana miraculously awoke and returned to health to live another year.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS: Our Lady of Good Success, in Quito, Ecuador by Marian Theresa Horvat

BROCHURE TO SHARE: Our Lady of Good Success

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

18. A good schedule and resolution for the advanced, and evidence of their progress is: absence of vainglory, freedom from anger, good hope, stillness, discernment, firm remembrance of the judgment compassion, hospitality, moderation in reproof, dispassionate prayer, lack of avarice.

April 21, 2010  

(Rev 12:10-12) And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: Now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ: because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of the testimony: and they loved not their lives unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens, and you that dwell therein. Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time.

VIA SPIRITDAILY: Billows From Strange Iceland Crater Bring to Mind Prophecy That Told of 'Great Smoke'


October 18, 1961 - "We must make many sacrifices, perform much penance and visit the Blessed Sacrament frequently. But, first, we must lead good lives. If we do not, a chastisement will befall us. The cup is already filling up and if we do not change, a very great chastisement will come upon us."

June 18, 1965 - "As my message of October 18 has not been complied with and has not been made known to the world, I am advising you that this is the last one. Before, the cup was filling up. Now it is flowing over. Many cardinals, many bishops and many priests are on the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them. Less and less importance is being given to the Eucharist. You should turn the wrath of God away from yourselves by your efforts.

"If you ask for His forgiveness with sincere hearts, He will pardon you. I, your mother, through the intercession of St Michael the Archangel, ask you to amend your lives. You are now receiving the last warnings.

"I love you very much and do not want your condemnation. Pray to us with sincerity and we will grant your requests. You should make more sacrifices. Think about the passion of Jesus.


O Glorious Archangel St. Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, and spirits of evil.

Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist Thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan, who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels.

Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men; his depraved mind, corrupt heart, his spirit of lying, impiety, blasphemy, his pestilential breath of impurity and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the Spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.

Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate Thee as their protector and patron; in Thee Holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to Thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent who is the devil and Satan, do Thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered, hostile powers.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered, the root of David.
V. Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord R. As we have hoped in Thee.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee


God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy name, and we humbly implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin Immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel St. Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of souls.

Pope Leo XIII, 1888 Raccolta 1933 (Partial Indulgence)

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

13. Let those who have been humbled by their passions take courage. For even if they fall into every pit and are trapped in all the snares and suffer all maladies, yet after their restoration to health they become physicians, beacons, lamps, and pilots for all, teaching us the habits of every disease and from their own personal experience able to rescue those who are about to fall.

April 20, 2010  

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "Now, after the Resurrection, Jesus invites him three times to avow his love, in this way offering him healing and forgiveness and at the same time entrusting him with his mission. The miraculous catch of fish underlined the apostles' dependence on God for the success of their earthly projects. The dialogue between Peter and Jesus underlined the need for divine mercy in order to heal their spiritual wounds, the wounds of sin. In every area of our lives we need the help of God's grace. With him, we can do all things: without him we can do nothing." 

EXCERPT: Bishop Robert Vasa: Spiritual danger: God, though merciful, is still to be revered

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy does not presume on God’s mercy; it manifests a proper reverence for him who is still God while pleading to him for that mercy because of a confidence that he who is all powerful is also kind and merciful. “For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” Begging for mercy and refusing to utilize the sacrament of reconciliation implies that there is no repentance component associated with a reliance on God’s mercy. Begging for this mercy and presuming that it will be granted even without repentance or contrition is presumption. Begging for this mercy while manifesting an inability to accept that it will be granted, even with great repentance and contrition, is despair.

Proper reverence for God, even a God whom we know to be infinitely merciful, demands of us that we approach this vast storehouse of infinitely abundant mercy with a kind of fear and trembling.

When we recognize that we who are so lacking in mercy are approaching the one who is mercy itself then I suspect that we will make that approach with a more appropriate degree of reverential fear.

It is spiritually dangerous to forget that God, even a merciful God, is still God.

VIA A Moment with Mary: Speak to Souls About this Great Mercy

Sister Faustina Kowalska wrote about having over twenty apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, as well as over thirty visions of Christ, the angels and the departed. "On March 25th, in the morning, during meditation, God's presence enveloped me in a special way, as I saw the immeasurable greatness of God and, at the same time, His condescension to His creatures. Then I saw the Mother of God, who said to me, 'Oh, how pleasing to God is the soul that follows faithfully the inspirations of His grace!'

'I gave the Savior to the world; as for you, you must speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the second coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just judge. Oh, how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it.' '

Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for (granting) mercy. If you keep silent now, you will be answering for a great number of souls on that terrible day. Fear nothing. Be faithful to the end. I sympathize with you.'"

VIA Christian-Witness: Mercy — Satan's Greatest Torment

The greater the difficulties which I see, the more am I at peace. Oh, if in this whole matter the glory of God and the profit to souls were not greatly served, Satan would not be opposing it so much (Diary, 764).

† I have now learned that Satan hates mercy more than anything else. It is his greatest torment (Diary, 764).

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

11. Theft is loss of property. Theft is doing what is not good as if it were good. Theft is unobserved captivity of the soul. The slaying of the soul is the death of the rational mind that has fallen into nefarious deeds. Ruin is despair of oneself, following on the breach of the law.

April 16, 2010  


(Php 1:28-30) And in nothing be ye terrified by the adversaries: which to them is a cause of perdition, but to you of salvation, and this from God. For unto you it is given for Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him: Having the same conflict as that which you have seen in me and now have heard of me.The works of watercolourist John Martin Borg will be used on the papal Mass leaflet

VIA TIMES OF MALTA:  The Papal itinerary and routes

: Pope faces growing hostility on visit to Malta

Pope Benedict XVI's planned two-day trip to Malta this week is set to be overshadowed by the paedophile scandal enveloping the Catholic Church, with victims of abuse on the island demanding that he meet them and apologise.

A papal visit to the staunchly Catholic nation would normally be one of the easier official journeys for a pontiff, but revelations surrounding the scale of the abuse committed by the clergy have stunned and angered the nation. According to the diocesan authorities in Malta, 45 of its 850 priests have been accused of abuse and the Maltese Catholic Church is conducting investigations into several sex abuse claims.

Demands for a public apology by the Pope are being led by Lawrence Grech, who said that he was regularly abused by priests and who is holding a media conference today with nine other alleged victims. "He should recognise that these things happened in Malta, reflect about the victims' suffering and issue a formal apology," he said.

"We want to meet the Pope and we want an apology," added Mr Grech, now 37 and a father of two. He said that he was abused by two priests and a lay Christian Brother at St Joseph's, a Catholic orphanage in Santa Venera, between 1984 and 1987. He has begun legal action against the clergymen involved. He also claimed that a fourth man has since transferred to Rome without penalty.
"The priest used to come to my room at 6.30am and go to preach at the church at 7am," Mr Grech said. He wrote to the Vatican a month ago demanding an apology, but has so far has received no response.

Another man Joseph Magro, 38, claimed yesterday that he too had been abused by a priest at the same home when he was between 16 and 18. "I can never forget," he said. "I want justice."

No one was available to comment from the Maltese Catholic Church on the claims on Sunday.

At the weekend large billboards promoting the papal visit to Malta on April 17-18 were defaced by vandals who added a Hitler moustache to the Pope's photograph and scrawled the word paedophile next to his image.

The papal visit is the first foreign trip that the Pope has made since fresh sex allegations in the Catholic Church emerged across Europe and the US, raising questions about his personal response to abusers both as Archbishop of Munich, and later as the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Mgr Charles Scicluna

A Maltese priest, Mgr Charles Scicluna knows the Pope personally and is one of the most senior figures in the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith at the Vatican, which deals with cases of sexual abuse involving priests.

Q. What steps have been taken by the Congregation in recent years to improve the safeguards?

Promotion of a safe environment for children is left to the individual diocese. The diocese has to promote the protection of children on its own territory. It also has to be responsible for the screening of personnel - clergy and non-clergy - as well as liaising with the statutory authorities to be able to implement any safeguards. So it is not the responsibility of the Congregation to enforce or impose protection of children policies, but we are responsible for the negative side - that is, people who offend are brought to our tribunal. That is our specific role.

Q, Does the Congregation view paedophilia as an incurable condition?

This is not a question of dogma or doctrine, but a question of psychology and human sciences - which have developed on this aspect in recent years. There are compulsive paedophiles who are sick and who cannot control their compulsion. However, most cases (60 per cent) involve ephebophilia (sexual preference for mid-to-late adolescents). If you're talking about sexual relations with a 17-year-old, that would be heterosexuality or homosexuality. So diagnosis has to be carried out on a case by case basis and we would need expert advice before deciding.

Q, Does the Church now just want to get rid of these priests?

Dismissing the person from the clerical state means they have no status as clergy and they cannot abuse the trust people instinctively put in clergy. We have to ensure they are not destitute - that is what Canon Law demands - but the outcome of the future of such people is a concern which the Church has to share with society.

Q. How has this issue affected the morale of the Church - in Rome and outside of Rome?

The current pressure doesn't help morale. But I think Catholics are used to being under pressure and this is another type. However, I find that all this pressure not only humiliates us but purifies our commitment and also gives us a deeper understanding of the virtue of hope - which is about persevering in moments of tribulation. In his encyclical Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope), Pope Benedict talks in a very beautiful way of the gift the virtue of hope gives us. In moments of great tribulation and humiliation, the virtue of hope helps us to go on, to go forward and helps us survive through the storm.

Q. Some people have described the Church's current predicament as a crisis. Do you see it like that?

If crisis means a turning point, then it's welcome. Because that means that whatever good comes from this - and good will come from this - is going to change the way we look at certain problems and the way we address them. Crises are also opportunities. And these are very good opportunities for us to grow.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

10. If the day in our soul does not draw to evening and grow dark, then the thieves will not come and rob and slay and ruin our soul.

April 15, 2010  

(Mat 10:24-25) The disciple is not above the master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the good man of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household?


Call to hold Pope over abuse cases
Dowd: The Pope is Morally Compromised
The case for arresting the Pope
In sermon, E. Longmeadow priest calls on Pope Benedict to step down
Pope's immunity could be challenged in Britain
Will UN try Pope Benedict for crimes against humanity?
Pope's Birthplace Hit With Obscene Graffiti

Michael D. O'Brien:

by Fr. Euteneuer: Piercing the Darkness

Even a casual observer of American society can tell that there is a certain sinister chaos spreading throughout every aspect of public life these days. Naturally, as it filters through society it finds its way into our homes, families and personal lives as well. The reports of monumental breakups and takeovers, meltdowns, dysfunctions, cutbacks, disasters, protests, catastrophic events, scandals, and just plain moral chaos are, shall we say, legion, and it does not look like there will be any let up in the dismantling of our formerly decent society any time soon. Public officials and the movers-and-shakers of social communications long ago divorced American culture from authentic Christian values, and the result is that modern America has found itself first wandering then running down a very slippery slope to moral and social anarchy. The darkness has settled upon us.

This idea came home to me this week when I attended the 5th Anniversary Mass of Terri Schindler Schiavo at Ave Maria University in FL. How well I remember the horrible killing scene in Pinellas Park, FL in 2005 when the combined efforts of pro-lifers and some political allies were not able to stop the forward motion of such raw evil. From the Florida circuit courts all the way up to the US Supreme Court, the corrupt judiciaries refused to intervene and even ordered her killing, with impunity. The US Congress was almost laughably powerless to help. The utter uselessness of the bishop and clergy in the diocese where Terri was murdered was a microcosm of the Church Impotent rather than the Church Militant. The thousands of calls that the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation now gets in their attempt to stop other similar killings are an indication that this same darkness is now penetrating our society at an alarming level.

Every aspect of American society is touched by this chaos: the pervasive and unstoppable corruption in government, the major media, Hollywood, academia, healthcare, and even within our own churches! All of this corruption is multiplying the shadows over our society and penetrating into every aspect of personal and family life as we speak.

What I find most alarming, as an exorcist, is the spread of truly occult phenomena in our youth culture. It used to be that vampires had to go back into their coffins with the first streaks of dawn. Now handsome young vampires are sullying the covers of every gossip magazine and tantalizing prime time audiences with their evil - and teenage girls are just swooning for them.... Don't be fooled: the vampire culture is the spawn of the Harry Potter culture that has washed over our youth for a decade and still seduces parents into thinking it is all just "harmless entertainment." Kids dressing up as sorcerers, blogging about vampires, dabbling in Wicca - it's just plain seductive and evil. Our Baptismal Promises demand that we "reject Satan and all his works and all his empty promises," and that includes demons, witches and vampires!

If I were anything other than a Christian, I would probably despair of the status of the culture all around us. Yes, there are movements fighting to take the culture and politics back, but most of these are just about political power and, if they have an effect at all, they will just install another version of corruption in place of the political devils they cast out.

The reason I don't despair in the face of all this darkness, though, is because I remember that once-upon-a-time Evil had its Hour. I am not talking about sixty-minutes of willowy darkness. I am talking about the worst crime ever committed in history, the blackest deed ever known to man: the killing of the Son of God on Calvary. The corrupt politicians, clergy and laity of the day were all implicated in the crime. Worst of all, the devil was sitting back gloating at his masterpiece of evil.

But much to the devil's surprise, evil did not win the Day...because at that very moment of deepest darkness, the Son of God did something utterly unforeseen and caught the whole wicked world unaware: He shattered the darkness and rose from the dead! Who would have imagined!

Ever after, those who persevere through Good Friday looking toward the joy of Easter Sunday find themselves immersed in the same eternal mystery of Light. Christ has pierced the darkness and given us Hope! We can sing the great "Te Deum" hymn with the greatest fervor now in every dark hour of our lives: "In you Lord is our hope - and we shall never hope in vain!"

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

6. After God, let us have our conscience as our mentor and rule in all things, so that we may know which way the wind is blowing and set our sails accordingly.

April 14, 2010  

(1Pe 5:8-10) Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls, your brethren who are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you and confirm you and establish you.

COMMENTARY: Remove First Wooden Beam From Your Own Eyed, and Let the One Without Sin Cast the First Stone at Her
EXCERPT- Bishop: Catholic Church among 'safest places' for children

"No doubt, this year's Holy Week may appear to have shifted more in the direction of Good Friday rather than Easter Sunday. Lots of people are weighing in with their comments about the Church and its failings.

Society reacts to the Church with a certain ambivalence. On the one hand the Church is excoriated for its moral stance on a number of issues and reviled for being out-of-touch with modern ideas and freedoms. On the other, the church is excoriated when instances surface among its members of moral turpitude. Catholics and non-Catholics alike, even if they are hardly religiously observant, sense the Church bearing down on their lives. That in itself provokes either resentment or welcome. This influence certainly exposes Catholicism to ready critique.

People expect the church to be immune from the filth of the world, to use the pope's term here. And would that that were the case. But, we are a human community, and given that our highest ideals represent superlative achievement in any life, not everyone can reach what we preach and require for leadership and rank-and-file. We've known this for 2000 years. For this reason, the Church has never been unnerved by sinners in her midst. We do what we can to change them for the honor of God!

In every crate of apples you will find a couple bruised ones; even a couple rotten ones. But that does not mean the whole crate is bad. We are a Church of sinners and saints and this mix the outside world does not understand.

Then too, our fault as Church is perhaps that we did not imagine that certain of our clergy could and would defy the Church in what it stands for by behavior that is despicable. Ours is a trusting institution. We trust that every one wishes to do as we do and do as Jesus would do. But more vigilance is clearly needed.

With every citation of wrong-doing brought to light, it would appear progress has not been made with vigilance in the area of child and youth protection, when in fact, much progress has been made. True enough, in this day and age, institutions of all types are faced before the scrutiny of the multi-motive press and media to keep them honest. Some of the press and media are our friends, but not all. Curiously, the press and media are not that interested in what the Church is doing in this area:

Over the last 25 years, vigorous action has taken place within the Church to avoid harm to children:

    * Potential seminarians receive extensive psycho-sexual evaluation prior to admission.

    * Virtually all seminaries concentrate their efforts on the safe environment for ministry.

    * There have been very few cases of recent sexual abuse of children by clergy during the last decade or more. But, there seems to be a journalistic fascination with cases from the past and missteps trying to work through those cases.

    * Catholic dioceses across the country have taken extraordinary steps to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults. Just about every diocese that has a web-page advertises on its front page contact information and numbers to be accessed when anything appears suspicious in the ranks of leadership whether by clergy or laity.

    * Every Church employee who teaches, coaches, or directs children and youth go through criminal background checks and must undergo training sessions in safe environment and appropriate adult-to-child behavior.

    * Similarly, school children and teens undergo age-appropriate education to recognize adult gestures, good and bad.

    * Annual audits of every Catholic diocese in the country take place by outside examiners versed in criminal justice that monitor these mandated background checks, safe-environment training for church workers and any reported instances of misconduct and the resolution of pending cases. These reports are made public each year.

As a result of the last eight years of an official Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, we can say, confidently, that there is no clergyman functioning in the Church in the United States today who has a credible accusation of this nature documented in his background.

And it does not stop there. Every diocese is constantly re-looking at its child and youth safety policies and renewing the membership on its review boards made up of lay experts in fields of child care and protection advising the bishops to make sure these policies are doing the job we want done. Child protection measures will have to be constantly updated.

Other institutions bear this problem. It is essentially a societal problem that has touched every institution of society including the privacy of the family. Considering efforts made to heal the wounds caused by clergy misconduct, the Catholic Church is probably one of the safest places for children at this point in history.

Crimes of this nature should not take place in the Church. And, unfortunately, we have been slow to recognize a thorough approach to this anomaly within the halls of religion moving, as we have, from prayer and penance as a response way back, to sending people to therapy as a possible corrective and now to information that seems to indicate the incurable situation for many who are genuine perpetrators — hence the tendency of the public today to rest on merely the criminal aspects of the anomaly.

An enormous change in approach helped, namely, these policies have as their chief aim above all else and before all others, the protection of children and youth.

You may have seen an opinion column Good Friday (April 2) in The Wall Street Journal, by Peggy Noonan, that offers an insightful comment on things. She says:

      '...There are three great groups of victims in this story. The first and most obvious, the children who were abused, who trusted, were preyed upon and bear the burden through life. The second group is the good priests and good nuns, the great leaders of the church in the day to day, who save the poor, teach the immigrant and literally save lives. They have been stigmatized when they deserve to be lionized. And the third group is the Catholics in the pews — the heroic Catholics of America and now Europe, the hardy souls who in spite of what has been done to their church are still there, still making parish life possible, who hold high the flag, their faith unshaken. No one thanks those Catholics, sees their heroism, respects their patience and fidelity...with their prayers they keep the world going, and the old church too.'

Resurrection is the power of God over all the forces that diminish and destroy life. Greed diminishes us as surely as illness. Selfishness and crime is every big as destructive as despair. Resurrection is also the power of God to fulfill all the possibilities of life. We can be raised daily from self-centeredness to sacrificial service, from guilt and grief to forgiveness and hope, from the pains and scars of life to resurrected healing in Christ. As Christians we are being raised daily from death to life."

VATICAN WEBSITE: Guide to Understanding Basic CDF Procedures concerning Sexual Abuse Allegations

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

5. Every satanic conflict in us comes from these three generic causes: from negligence, or from pride, or from the envy of the demons. The first is pitiable, the second is most wretched, but the third is blessed.

April 13, 2010  

(1Ti 2:1-3) I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men: For kings and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour,

ANNOUNCEMENT: Knights of Columbus encourage novena for Pope Benedict

Novena for Pope Benedict XVI

The Knights of Columbus is promoting a novena for Pope Benedict XVI, beginning Divine Mercy Sunday, April 11, and concluding Monday, April 19, the fifth anniversary of the Holy Father’s election in 2005.


Lord, source of eternal life and truth; give to your shepherd, Benedict, a spirit of courage and right judgment, a spirit of knowledge and love.  By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care, may he, as successor to the Apostle Peter and Vicar of Christ, build your Church into a sacrament of unity, love and peace for all the world.  Amen.

V/ Let us pray for Benedict, the pope.
R/ May the Lord preserve him, give him a long life, make him blessed upon the earth, and not hand him over to the power of his enemies.
V/ May your hand be upon your holy servant.
R/ And upon your son, whom you have anointed.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

NEWSLINK: Church in times of difficulty, says Pope

Pope Benedict XVI has acknowledged the Catholic church is in "times of difficulty" but avoided direct comment on sex abuse, as the Vatican faced fresh criticism over the scandal.

After a series of pedophile priest revelations which have cast a pall over the holiest week in the Christian calendar, the embattled pontiff spoke of priests' special responsibility to society in an Easter Monday prayer.

Pope Benedict told hundreds of followers at Castel Gandolfo near Rome that "the loving presence (of Christ) accompanies the Church on its path and supports it in times of difficulty".

"Priests, ministers of Christ, have a special responsibility", said the 82-year-old pontiff, appearing calm and smiling, adding that they should be "messengers of victory over evil and death".

Many of the assembled worshippers waved banners of support.

RELATED: Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades stresses need for 'healing'

During his visit, the bishop also responded to questions about the way the Catholic church in general and Pope Benedict XVI in particular handled cases of abuse of children by priests in the United States and several European countries.

"The sexual abuse of minors is an appalling sin and a crime," Rhoades said. "We are ashamed of it and have zero tolerance for it. Pope John Paul II used to say there is no place in priesthood and the religious life for those who harm the young. The overwhelming majority of our priests are men of great integrity. That too often gets forgotten."

Rhoades called attacks on Benedict "very unfair and unjust."

MORE: Archbishop Wuerl again defends Pope Benedict

"If anyone strongly worked to combat this terrible crime, it's been Pope Benedict as Cardinal Ratzinger," Rhoades said. "He's worked to remove priests who committed this crime. I question the motives of these attacks. It's important to work for the healing of the victims."

Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington has again defended Pope Benedict against charges that he covered up the clerical abuse of children. In an April 10 interview with Vatican Radio, Archbishop Wuerl noted that the future Pontiff played a key role in assisting with the implementation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Charter for the Protection of Young People, which permanently removed from ministry all priests who abused children.

"I think the Holy Father has set the example of how we have to reach out to those suffering," Archbishop Wuerl added, noting that the American media have rarely reported on the Pope's outreach to victims.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

4. Let no one on seeing or hearing something supernatural in the monastic way of life fall into unbelief out of ignorance; for where the supernatural God dwells, much that is supernatural happens.
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