Keep your eyes open!...


August 30, 2003



American Catholics are about to experience major changes in the Communion rite as dioceses begin implementing updated General Instruction of the Roman Missal.

Instead, in a sign of the communal nature of the sacrament, worshippers will stand and sing until each person has received Communion.

The Rev. J-Glenn Murray, director of the Cleveland diocesan Office for Pastoral Liturgy, said the changes will unsettle many Catholics, but the diocese hopes the uniform guidelines will help people in the pews have a richer experience of the sacrament.

The changes are designed to retain both the personal and social nature of the sacrament, Murray said. "Communion is also about being in communion with the Body of Christ, the church," Murray said. "If you receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ, you make a commitment to the body of Christ, the church."

MORE: Taste and See the Goodness of the Lord

VIA READER: I think that if we could get one person for each chalice in each parish at each Mass to willingly go to Communion last with the intention of consuming all of the remaining Sacred Blood, then we could save Jesus from neglect. Also, it would help alleviate the stress that some Eucharistic Ministers feel when they don't like "drinking wine," but the priest leaves the purification of the vessels to them. If we could avoid having Jesus put in that situation, then it would be better for both the Eucharistic Ministers and for Our Lord.

The best way to get this started is to just start circulating the idea by e-mail. We could ask the readers to encourage a quiet movement at the grassroots level. Word will spread, and hopefully we can get volunteers to 'rescue' Jesus in this small way.

POPE ST. PIUS X- "Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven. There are others: Innocence, for instance, but that is for little children. Penance, but we are afraid of it. Generous endurance of the trials of life, but when they come we weep and ask to be spared. The surest, easiest, shortest way is by the Eucharist."

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

39. What are the particular offspring of the eight deadly sins? Or which of the three chief sins is the father of the other five (minor sins)?  I learnt from the holy men the following: 'The mother of lust is gluttony, and the mother of despondency is vainglory; sorrow and also anger are the offspring of those three (i.e. cupidity, sensuality, ambition); and the mother of pride is vainglory.'

August 28, 2003

(Luk 18:16)  But Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God.


Two women whose lawsuits were instrumental in making abortions legal in the United States were at the Georgia state capitol Monday.

Sandra Cano, who was known as Mary Doe in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Doe vs. Bolton ruling, now wants the court to reverse the decision.

The ruling eliminated a Georgia requirement which stated that three doctors had to agree in order for an abortion to be performed on a would-be mother whose health was in jeopardy.

Cano was joined by Norma McCorvey, the former Roe of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. She is trying to overturn that decision in a Texas court.

Cano’s lawyer, Allan E. Parker Jr., said the 1973 ruling was no longer justified.

“These are the two cases that brought abortion to America. There are no other cases and the amazing thing today is, when you look at those two women whose cases were used to bring abortion to America, for the first time in the history of the United States, people who won landmark decisions want to go back to the Supreme Court and say, ‘We were wrong’” Parker Jr. said.

Lawyers said the cases will eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court for a final ruling within three years.

MORE: Women Across the Nation Join Historic Effort

RELATED: Operation Outcry seeks to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade by mobilizing those who have been silent about the harmful effects of abortion. This can be accomplished only through prayer and with the testimonies of women who have suffered harm from abortion.

AMERICAN LIFE LEAGUE: 43,681,385 -Estimated killed by surgical abortion since Roe v Wade (1973)

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

38. It is difficult to overcome former bad habits; and those who keep on adding further new ones to them either fall into despair or get no benefit at all from obedience. But I know that to God all things are possible, and to Him nothing is impossible (Cf. Job 42:2, Luke 1:37).

August 27, 2003

(Gen 1:14)  And God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years,


All this month, Mars is closer to Earth than at any time in the past 60,000 years, shining brighter than any other celestial body except the moon and Venus. On Wednesday, at its nearest, Mars will be 34.6 million miles from Earth -- and won't be that close again until Aug. 28, 2287.

All of which means lots of nighttime viewing activity for the pope's stargazers -- the Jesuits who run the Observatory and who have battled to correct the notion, spawned by the Galileo affair nearly 400 years ago, that the Roman Catholic Church is hostile to science.

The Vatican Observatory, founded by Pope Leo XIII in 1891, is one of their prime exhibits, generating top-notch research from its scientist-clerics and drawing academics to its meteorite collection, which includes bits of Mars and is considered one of the world's best.

"Simply by being an astronomer and a Jesuit, I'm saying all I need to say about science and religion," Consolmagno, a meteorite specialist, said. He wore a T-shirt with a star chart for his stargazing, but changed into clerical garb for an interview and photos.

"The fact that I exist means there is obviously no conflict. The fact that the Vatican is paying for this first-class research means they don't see any conflict."

Pope John Paul II himself has been a keen supporter of the modern Vatican Observatory, although he hasn't been able to use the big telescopes for several years because of his infirmities, Consolmagno said.

A year after he became pontiff in 1978, John Paul created a commission to review Galileo's condemnation. After the commission reported back, John Paul declared in 1992 that the ruling against Galileo was an error resulting from "tragic mutual incomprehension."

A year later the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope was dedicated on Mount Graham, 75 miles east of Tucson, Ariz. It has been used for observations ranging from galaxy structure to stellar evolution.

Consolmagno says the Vatican has come a long way since the Galileo debacle, establishing first-rate science departments at Catholic universities and constantly updating its observatory, which for many years was in Vatican City itself.

Close encounter of the Mars kind
Seeing Red
A close-up look at Mars

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

37. Those who hear of treassure hidden in a certain place seek it and, having discovered it, take trouble to keep what they have found; but htose who get rich without trouble readily squander their possessions.

August 23, 2003


VIA David J. Sheehan: Thanks to the intercession of Saint Anne, I am back working. What follows is my Saint Anne story. She is quite a lady.

My Saint Anne Story

I have always liked the name of Anne. I do not know why, but to my ear, the name was always special. I remember as a child that my mom had us walk in a religious procession at St Joseph and St Anne Church on the south side of Chicago (California Avenue and 38th Place). There was a shrine there to St Anne. Maybe my mom put in a request to Saint Anne to watch over me in the years to come. I really don't know. Anyhow, “Anne” has always been one of my favorite names.

In the 1990s, I was working at a company in Houston. The owners were akin to Ali Baba and the 40 thieves but not quite so clever. I wanted to leave the company but God informed me that I had to stay there awhile until He released me. So I stayed and grumbled to myself. As we were approaching our year end audit, I grumbled more to myself as my work was increasing.

One night, I had a dream. In this dream, I saw a lady dressed like the Blessed Mother but she was not. She was older and a little bit taller. Her face was not cute as I picture the Blessed Mother but it was face with character and one you could trust. People were getting in line and going to this woman. She was standing on a short pedestal. I remember seeing a married couple - maybe middle aged - they came to this woman, explained their problem to her, she advised them and they went away satisfied.

So, I thought, heck, I will get in line and get some free advice on how to handle my problem at work. When my turn came and I explained my problem, this venerable lady looked me straight in the eye and said that I did not have any problem but myself. In other words, I was building a mountain and then complaining about climbing that mountain. When I woke up, I realized that the lady was right. I went back to work, applied myself and found productive ways to reduce my workload and I stopped grumbling.

After several years, God let me know that I should look for a new job. After several months of no success, I turned to Saint Anne and in a way, challenged her to help me. On her feast day, I received a call which turned into a job offer and I left Ali Baba and the 40 thieves. That was 1996.

Seven years later, I had been out of work for almost six months. I thought of St Anne again and asked her help. On her feast day, an ad ran in the paper. I responded to the ad and before the week was out, I had a job. This is the year 2003.

I am 50 now. I do not know what the future holds for me, but I do know that when the chips are down, I can count on that very special lady, Saint Anne.

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

36. Let us try to learn Divine truth more by toil and sweat than by mere word, for at the time of our departure it is not words but deeds that will have to be shown.

August 22, 2003


Alabama's associate Supreme Court justices ordered the Ten Commandments monument removed from the rotunda of the state judicial building Thursday, despite Chief Justice Roy Moore's fiery defense of his 5,300-pound granite marker.

As supporters prayed on the building's steps, Moore criticized his colleagues' decision and said the federal judge who had ordered the monument moved had put himself "above God."

Moore installed the monument two years ago and contends it represents the moral foundation of American law.

Chief justice vows to fight monument removal order
Supreme Court Denies Appeal To Save 10 Commandments

Archbishop Chaput: Church, Culture at Crossroads

Beal: What are the major challenges facing the archdiocese?

Chaput: The big one facing any Christian community these days is to preach the gospel without compromising in a culture that is increasingly unfriendly to its basic message. Some Christians and Christian groups might be willing to adjust the Christian message to fit the times. The role of a bishop is to do all you can to make sure the church is faithful to the teachings of the apostles. We don't have a right to change the teachings. So the ultimate task is to preach in a modern way but clearly and without compromise. And there are all kinds of pressures to compromise.

Beal: You frequently write and speak about the state of the culture and seem particularly concerned about values and the family.

Chaput: The classical way Christians talk about salvation through Jesus Christ is that Jesus saves us from our sins. It's also true that he saves us from our culture. He saved individuals from the shadows of the culture in which he lived and he has done so since. I think to be a Christian means to live differently from what the culture dictates. Not that the church means to be completely negative about our culture. But I do think its role is to challenge the culture in areas in which it has a negative impact on human dignity and the common good.

SEE ALSO: The last prejudice? Philip Jenkins argues that anti-Catholic bigotry is on the rise-even among Catholics

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

35. If through our activity God arises in us, His enemies will be scattered; and if we draw near to Him by divine vision, those who hate Him will flee from before His face and ours (cf. Ps 67:1).

August 21, 2003


The recent scandal of child abuse and sexual improprieties among a small minority of priests has had a significant impact on the Church.  From the highest levels of the Vatican to individual Catholics in the pews, no one has escaped unscathed.  For those unfortunate victims of abuse the re-opening of wounds and reliving of horrible memories has been an unending nightmare.  They have become living sacrifices to the demons of aberrant sexuality.  And so all share in their pain, and the entire Body of Christ has suffered with them.

In addition to the pain of the victims is the crisis of faith suffered by some Catholic believers.  How could this happen?  How could a Catholic priest behave this way?  Is it possible that faith in the Church is misplaced? How could God allow this to happen?

A prayerful consideration of the priesthood beginning in the Old Testament may shed light on the answers to these penetrating questions.


In Chapter 8 of the Book of Leviticus it is described how Moses instructed Aaron and his sons in their proper preparation for the priesthood.  Shortly thereafter the following event is described:

(Lev 10:1-2)  Now Nadab and Abi'hu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer, and put fire in it, and laid incense on it, and offered unholy fire before the LORD, such as he had not commanded them. And fire came forth from the presence of the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
Thus the two eldest sons of Aaron fell victims to the wrath of God for acting in a way contrary to His instructions.  Two of God’s earliest chosen priests paid the ultimate price for disobedience to His commands.  Aaron was left with two remaining sons to continue his lineage as holy priests of God.  Aaron himself would later grievously sin against the Lord by creating a golden calf as an object of idolatrous worship.

In the time of Samuel we are told about the sons of Eli, the priest of God:

(1Sam 2:12, 22-25)  Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they had no regard for the LORD. Now Eli was very old, and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. And he said to them, "Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading abroad. If a man sins against a man, God will mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?" But they would not listen to the voice of their father; for it was the will of the LORD to slay them.
Eventually both sons of Eli died in battle, and Eli, upon hearing the news of their death, fell over and died of a broken neck.


In the New Testament we have the selection by Jesus of Judas Iscariot.  Shortly after the selection of the Apostles Jesus sent out all twelve, including Judas:

(Mat 10:5-8)  These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.
The Lord gave Judas the same responsibilities that He gave to the other eleven disciples in spreading the Good News.  In addition Judas was apparently in charge of keeping the money:
(John 12:4-6)  But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, "Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it.
Clearly the selection of Judas by Jesus was not an accident.  Witness His words early in His ministry shortly after acknowledging to the disciples that He was indeed the Messiah:
(John 6:70-71)  Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was to betray him.
Jesus chose both Peter and Judas.   Peter repented of his blasphemous denial of Jesus and became the first head of the Church.  Judas, however, did not repent until it was too late.  He hung himself in despair and became the epitome of treachery for all generations.

What made one disciple respond to grace while the other rejected it?  Was God not able to provide enough grace for both?


(Isa 55:8-11)  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
The answer to the difficult questions posed earlier is very hard for modern man to accept.  After all we can explain everything.  Science has all the answers.  But thankfully the mind of God is beyond our reach.  Thankfully, God’s wisdom is too wonderful for us to understand.

Yet as we look back we can see the marvelous results of His work:


The difficulties of the Catholic Church today simply mirror the humanity of its members, including its priests. Clearly, the priesthood, even from its earliest days has not been immune to either sin or its consequences. The sinful nature of humanity has been present since Adam and is clearly illustrated in almost every major individual mentioned in the Bible.

In the words of Paul:

(Rom 3:9-12)  …for I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they have gone wrong; no one does good, not even one."
Rather than disproving the role of the Catholic Church in salvation history, recent events simply echo the need of all men for the salvation offered by Jesus.  History,viewed with the eyes of faith, shows us that the result of this crisis will undoubtedly be another manifestation of the power of God to turn evil into good.  A renewed Church will unwaveringly resume her journey towards the new Heavens and Earth that she has been promised. Just as Jesus changed the corrupted DNA he inherited from his human ancestors into a glorious incorruptible body, so the Church will ultimately be changed forever.
(Phi 3:20-21)  But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

31. Angels are a light for monks, and the monastic life is a light for all men. Therefore let monks strive to become a good example in everything, giving no occasion for stumbling in anything in all their works and words. For if the light becomes darkness, how much darker will be that darkness, that is, those living in the world (cf. II Cor 6:3).

August 20, 2003

(Hos 10:12)  Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain salvation upon you.


Pope John Paul II decried Sunday what he calls a movement away in Europe from its Christian roots.

"You can't deny, that in these times of ours, Europe is going through a crisis in values, and it is important that it recovers its true identity," John Paul told pilgrims and tourists in the courtyard of his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, a town on a hill near Rome.

"The process of European Union enlargement to other countries cannot deal only with geographical and economic aspects," the pope said, "but must translate into a renewed harmony of values to be expressed in law and life." He urged prayers so that the continent "be always aware of its own spiritual vocation and contribute to building solidarity and peace within its own borders and in the entire world."

Of the 10 nations scheduled to join the European Union next year, some, like Malta, Slovakia and the pope's native Poland, are heavily Roman Catholic.

The Vatican has mounted a campaign to persuade EU leaders to include a reference to Christianity's role in Europe in the Union's new constitution, which is being prepared.


Drought, Heat Ravage Harvests in Europe
Europe's Heat Wave Breaks Records
The High Cost of Europe's High Temps
Parisian cemeteries, morgues overwhelmed after heat wave

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

30. Instruction in childhood, education and studies, either help or hinder us in virtue and in the monastic way of life when we come of age.

August 8, 2003



VIA Circle of Prayer newsletter: As you well know, the summer of this year of the Rosary is rolling right along and next Friday, Aug 15th we will, with all of heaven and purgatory, celebrate the great Feast of the Assumption of Mary - assumed entirely from earth into heaven, body and soul.

Many of us will also be making our 33 day consecration to Our Lady using the formula given by St Louis de Montfort and personally used by Pope John Paul II on August 15th - at which time we will also gain a plenary indulgence granted by the Church.

So lets all work together to make August 15th an especially great day - in this great year of the Rosary - so that there will be extra rejoicing in purgatory as well as in heaven and on earth. Let us then dear friends, in the few remaining days available to us, work to enter as many souls as possible into the roles at the Purgatory Project so that they too may benefit from the perpetual Masses given for them by the Capuchin Friars (St Padre Pio's Order) who are missionary priests throughout the world.


...the following beautiful and powerful prayer is taken from the 33 day Consecration to Our Lady by St Louis de Montfort...

St. Louis De Montfort's Prayer to Mary

Hail Mary, beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father. Hail Mary, admirable Mother of the Son. Hail Mary, faithful Spouse of the Holy Ghost. Hail Mary, my Mother, my loving Mistress, my powerful sovereign. Hail, my joy, my glory, my heart and my soul. Thou art all mine by mercy, and I am thine by justice. But I am not yet sufficiently thine. I now give myself wholly to thee without keeping anything back for myself or others. If thou seest anything in me which does not belong to thee, I beseech thee to take it and make thyself the absolute Mistress of all that is mine.

Destroy in me all that may displease God; root it up and bring it tonought. Place and cultivate in me everything that is pleasing tothee. May the light of thy faith dispel the darkness of my mind.May thy profound humility take the place of my pride; may thy sublime contemplation check the distractions of my wandering imagination. May the continuous sight of God fill my memory with His presence; may the burning love of thy heartinflame the lukewarmness of mine. May thy virtues take theplace of my sins; may thy merits be my only adornment in the sight of God and make up for all that is wanting in me. Finally, dearly beloved Mother, grant if it be possible, that I may have no other spirit but thine to know Jesus, and His Divine Will; that I may have no other soul but thine to praise and glorify God; that I may have no other heart but thine to love God with a love as pure and ardent as thine.

I do not ask thee for visions, revelations, sensible devotions, orspiritual pleasures. It is thy privilege to see God clearly, it is thy privilege to enjoy heavenly bliss; it is thy privilege to triumphgloriously in heaven at the right hand of thy Son and to hold absolute sway over angels, men and demons.

It is thy privilege to dispose of all the gifts of God, just as thou willest. Such is, 0 heavenly Mary, the 'best part', which theLord hast given thee, and which shall never be taken away from thee - and this thought fills my heart with joy. As for my part here below, I wish for no other than that which was thine, to believe sincerely, without spiritual pleasures, to suffer joyfully without human consolation, to die continually to myself without respite, and to work zealously and unselfishly for thee until death, as the humblest of thy servants. The only grace I beg thee, for me, is that every moment of the day, and every moment of my life, I may say -"Amen, so be it, to all that thou art doing in heaven. Amen, so be it, to all thou didst do while on earth. Amen, so be it, to all thou art doing in my soul," so that thou alone mayest fully glorify Jesus in me for time and eternity. Amen.

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

29. Do not boast, man, of the wealth you have obtained without labour. For the Bestower, foreseeing your great hurt, and infirmity, and ruin, at least saves you to some extent by those unmerited gifts.

August 7, 2003


Classic science fiction movies sometimes portray laboratories that grow human body parts for transplants.

A new medical research company locating in Baton Rouge isn't going that far. But if it and research laboratories throughout the country are successful in their quest, the human body some day may be able to heal itself of major illnesses and injuries.

"This may sound very sci-fi," said Robert Hariri, president and chief medical officer of Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, a division of Anthrogenesis Corp. He's even heard it described as "X Files Technology."

Celgene broke ground Monday for a facility that will harvest stem cells - which essentially can develop into any part of a human with the right stimulus - from human placentas and umbilical cords which for years have been discarded as waste products following childbirth. The Baton Rouge facility, located in Bonne Carre technology park, will extract stem cells and store them in cryogenic tanks.

An innumerable number of stem cells can be extracted from the blood in placentas, Hariri told the Press Club of Baton Rouge on Monday. Stem cell research has generated a national controversy and moral debate in past years because researchers first thought the only source was human embryos, mostly from abortions.

Hariri said his company has avoided the controversy by developing the technology for a new source of stem cells. That process has been endorsed by the Vatican as morally acceptable, he said.


Spain to allow human embryo research
EU Sets Rules for Embryo Use in Stem Cell Research

SEE ALSO: Latest Clone- Horse that gave birth to itself

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.

August 6, 2003

(Rev 6:8)  And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.


The AIDS epidemic in South Africa is entering the "death" phase as mortality outstrips new infections, say scientists.

"South Africa is experiencing a devastating epidemic -- the world's worst -- and this is just the beginning,'' Quarraisha Abdool Karim, a researcher at the University of Natal, told the country's first national AIDS conference in Durban Monday.

South African President Thabo Mbeki's government has been criticized for its lackluster approach to tackling the disease, which has already infected about 5 million South Africans. As the incidence of HIVAIDS starts to plateau at about 33 percent, sickness and deaths are on the increase.

"What we are starting to see is the real face of the epidemic,'' Abdool Karim said.

Activists say AIDS kills about 600 South Africans each day -- a number that seems sure to grow as more people enter late stages of the disease without drug treatment.

Rod Hoff, a senior epidemiologist in the AIDS division at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, said: "Mortality is really just starting and won't peak for another three to four years. The social and economic impact will be considerable. Industry is really going to take a hit as people get sick.'' Abdool Karim said that in one major South African hospital, King Edward in Durban, an estimated 90 percent of hospital patients were HIV positive.


Lost Futures: The AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean
Australian HIV review fears 'new epidemic'
AIDS Cases on the Rise in United States
WHO: Aids is like Armageddon
CDC: HIV Diagnoses Climbing Among Gay and Bisexual Men
Condoms Won't Stop Aids Toll, Says Archbishop Ndingi

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.

August 5, 2003

(Mat 19:12)  For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it."


Catholic congregations in the Edmonton archdiocese are being asked to pray for more priests. The move is part of a recruitment drive by the local church, which is suffering a chronic shortage of clergy.

"People are being asked to pray for a priest," said Father Paul Moret, who has been put in charge of encouraging men to join the priesthood. "At the end of the day, it is all in God's hands."

Moret has been appointed full-time vocations director with two other priests to help him on a part-time basis. He said he doesn't see himself as a recruiter. "It's more a question of getting young people open to the idea," he explained.  "Ultimately, it is a call from God. "But there is so much going on in the world that interferes with hearing that call."

Many people in and out of the Catholic church have suggested the church's ban on priests marrying is the reason it's having a hard time getting young men to wear the collar. But Moret said he doesn't think getting rid of the vow of celibacy is the answer. "It is a major consideration and an obstacle," he said.  "(But) ultimately, I don't see celibacy as being a major barrier.

"Experience has shown that when you make things easier, you don't attract people with a sense of vocation.  When you demand more of people, you find the ones with a vocation."

Moret cited the nuns who joined Mother Theresa's order in Calcutta. "They wanted to follow her, even though it isn't an easy life," he said.  "People will commit to something meaningful.

"The priesthood is about a special relationship with Jesus built on sacrifice."

RELATED: Celibacy isn’t the issue; it’s holiness

SEE ALSO: Answering the call

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.

August 1, 2003



VIA Circle of Prayer newsletter:


This Franciscan feast of Our Lady of the Angels is celebrated on Aug 2; this feast grants the faithful who devoutly visit a parish church on Aug 2 a plenary indulgence; "All those who after confession shall visit the Portiuncula (or a parish church) with contrite hearts may obtain the full remission of the punishment due to the sins of their whole lives from the day of Baptism to the day they enter this church." This visit must include the recitation of the Lord's Prayer and the Creed; St Francis Assisi obtained this indulgence from Pope Honorius III in 1216 proclaiming "I want to send you all to Heaven!"


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.

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