Keep your eyes open!...


August 29, 2008    

BULLETIN: Pro-life, Pro-family Leaders Praise McCain's Choice of Pro-Life Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for VP Running Mate


(Mat 9:37-38) Then he saith to his disciples, The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth labourers into his harvest.


National shortage of Catholic priests forcing many to work past retirement age
Wanted: More Catholic priests
While priesthood shrinks, Catholic deacons multiply
Priests named to oversee parish mergers

IN THE NEWS: Married, ex-Baptist minister to become Catholic priest

David Harris never considered his conversion to Catholicism six years ago to be a rejection of the Baptist faith that nourished him from childhood in Eastern Kentucky.

But as a married man, Harris did think the switch meant he would leave one thing behind -- his status as an ordained minister.

He was wrong.

Early next month, he'll make history as the first married, former Baptist minister to become a Roman Catholic priest in the United States.

He'll also be only the second married man from any former denomination to become a priest in the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Harris, 53, is scheduled to be ordained Sept. 6 at the Cathedral of the Assumption.

He is the only priest being ordained in the archdiocese this year.

His ordination is allowed under a seldom-used exception to the church's requirement that priests be celibate.
Exception to the rule

The exception, which requires case-by-case permission from the Vatican, allows ordination of married converts who had been ordained Protestant ministers.

While about 100 former ministers from Episcopal and other American Protestant denominations have taken that path, Harris is the first former Baptist known to do so, according to researchers and others familiar with the process.

"All I could do is say, 'Church, would you consider this?' " said Harris, now a deacon at St Aloysius Church in Pewee Valley, where he will become associate pastor upon his ordination. "If the church had said no, I would have gone on and enjoyed my faith and done something else."

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, who supported Harris' application to the Vatican, said he's looking forward to the ordination.

"I think the world of him," he said.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

29. When we see anger and pride in those who seem to be mourning in a way pleasing to God, then their tears are to be regarded as repugnant to God. For what communion hath light with darkness? (cf. 2 Cor 6:14).

August 27, 2008     

COMMENTARY: Satan, while hidden, remains active in us and in society by Bishop Robert Vasa

INTERVIEW: What is Evil?

REFLECTION: Fort Faith: Wage war against the devil's plans for you

The kids are back in school, and mountains of peer pressure have begun to pile up on them. Meanwhile, parents and grandparents are left trying to figure out how to help those young souls they love so much make it through those tough years of adolescence.

Read Nehemiah 4:13-23. There are three things you should know about spiritual warfare that you can find in this passage. Here they are:

1. Do not be afraid.

2. Remember the Lord.

3. Fight.

In about 600 B.C., Nehemiah, the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes in the palace of Susa (in modern day Iran), had prayed to God and then received permission from the king to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. But the evil and jealous Sanballat the Samaritan was intent on preventing this from happening. The wall had been destroyed when the Jews were booted out of their city by the Babylonians.

Nehemiah used half of his workforce to build the wall, while the other half stood guard, paying special attention to the lowest points of the wall and where there were families. This was done to make sure that Sanballat, along with several other bullies and their forces were not successful in stopping the rebuilding of the wall, which surrounded the very centerpiece of Jewish civilization.

Nehemiah said to the people, "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes." Later he said, "20. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!"

You know, it's easy to forget that even here in little Fort Gibson, we have a heavenly guest who wants to be part of our lives everyday. He's the same God who was with Nehemiah 2,600 years ago, and who helped him rebuild the Jerusalem wall in only 52 days (6:15).

When we are walking with the Lord, we have every reason to be confident, not fearful. When we are constant in prayer, we can't help but to constantly remember the Lord. And when we are fighting on the Lord's side, we will find that the Lord is faithful to us, and will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear.

The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 that when we use our Christian armor the way it was intended, we will be able to do three things: fearlessly make known the Gospel, we will pray in the Spirit continually, and we will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. That's the same basic message that Nehemiah taught 600 years earlier.

In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, the apostles Paul says, "(2Co 10:3)  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. (2Co 10:4)  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty to God, unto the pulling down of fortifications, destroying counsels, (2Co 10:5)  And every height that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God: and bringing into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ.

May God give each of us the perseverance to make sure we are in that number when the trumpet sounds and the Lord gathers us home.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

28. Those who have obtained mourning in the depth of their being hate their own life as something painful and wearisome, and a cause of tears and sufferings; and they turn and flee from their body as from an enemy.

August 26, 2008     

(Eph 6:12-13) For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore, take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day and to stand in all things perfect.

COMMENTARY: Spiritual Warfare, Part 3

EDITORIAL: Obama Chooses Senator Biden for VP and the Battle for Life is Engaged


Cardinal Egan's Comments on the Unborn: "They Are Human Beings With an Inalienable Right to Live"

Archbishop Wuerl on the Church and Abortion: It "Is the Same Teaching as It Was 2,000 Years Ago"

Denver Bishops on Church's Stance Against Abortion: "It's Always Important to Know What Our Faith Actually Teaches"

Abbas Anthony R.D. Curley:

"...the devil, having failed in all his other schemes, tempts us with thoughts of despair: he tries to persuade us that in the past things were different and that the men through whom God performed wonders for the strengthening of the faith were not like us. He also tells us that there is now no need for such exertion. For are we not all of us Christians and all baptized? 'He who believes and is baptized is saved' (Mark 16:16). What more do we need? But if we succumb to this temptation and remain as we are, we will be completely barren. We will be Christians only in name, not realizing that he who has believed and been baptized must keep all Christ's commandments; and even when he has succeeded in doing this, he should say, 'I am a useless servant' (Luke 17:10), as the Lord told His apostles when he instructed them to carry out all He had laid down for them." St. Peter of Damaskos

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

27. Genuine compunction is undistracted pain of soul, in which it gives itself no relief but hourly imagines only its dissolution; and it awaits, like cool water, the comfort of God who comforts humble monks.

August 22, 2008     


MEMORIAL: The Queenship of Mary, Mother of God

Ad caeli Reginam: Encyclical of Pope Pius XII on proclaiming the Queenship Of Mary, 11 October 1954.

Reflection by Father Ted– August 15, 2008: My dearest Lord Jesus, on this feast day of the Assumption of Your Mother into Heaven, You want us to consider that You desire us to be with You and with Her in Your eternal home.

You want us to focus on this desire of Yours which You also expressed so simply the night before You died – “that where I am you also may be.” Every day You have given to us as an opportunity to experience Your love for us.

Every day is an opportunity for us to thank You for the gift of life – which is Your expression of Your love.

Before I was ordained – back in 1961 – You urged me to have one of my remembrances of my ordination a holy card with the caption – Seek first the kingdom of God and His way of holiness.

Even then You wanted me to remember that I was made to be with You in Your home.

Only when I remember this can I truly achieve that union which You want me to have with You, and Your Father and Your Holy Spirit.

Only when I remember this will I ask You for the help that I need to be so united with You in Your Holy Family.

I need Your help.

You want to give me Your help.

You give me that help through the assistance of Mary, Your Mother, whom You took up to heaven – body and soul.

You want me to ask You for that help through Mary.

For You also want me to experience that maternal love that You experienced on earth and still experience now in heaven.

That maternal love comes from Your Holy Spirit who is Your Mother’s spouse and from Your Father.

I need this maternal love.

Thank You Jesus, for having created Mary – to be Your Mother.

Thank You Jesus, for having taken her home to be with You – in her glorified body.

Thank You Jesus, for having given me Mary to be my Mother too.

Help me to live this day, and every day, in union with Her and with You.

May I be the holy son that You and She want me to be – saint Edmund.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

26. He who mourns when he wishes has not attained the beauty of mourning, but rather he who mourns on the subjects of his choice, and not even on these, but on what God wants. The ugly tears of vainglory are often interwoven with mourning which is pleasing to God. We shall know this with all proof and piety when we see ourselves mourning and still doing evil.

August 21, 2008     

LINK: Our Lady of Knock Shrine - Place of Mystery and Miracles

A MOMENT WITH MARY: Devotions to Mary Associated with Apparitions 

There are three main Marian devotions closely associated with apparitions of the Blessed Virgin.  An especially great Marian devotion is the Rosary whose origin predates Saint Dominic (d.  1221), but is the subject of many of the messages of the Virgin in various other apparitions, such as Lourdes and Fatima where Our Lady called for an increase in the prayer of the Rosary, declaring it one of the conditions needed for world peace and the conversion of Russia.

Another recommended devotion is wearing the Brown Scapular.  There are many kinds of scapulars, all valuable, but this one is eminent among them.  There is a very ancient tradition that a great Carmelite monk, Saint Simon Stock, Superior of the Carmelite Order in England in 1251, after imploring the help of Our Lady, was favored with a vision in which she gave him the Brown Scapular, saying: "This will be a privilege for you and for all Carmelites, that he who dies in this will not suffer eternal fire."

The third important Marian devotion is the Miraculous Medal which originated with the apparitions at the Rue du Bac in Paris in 1830.  The Blessed Virgin appeared three times in the chapel of the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, to Saint Catherine Laboure, then a novice.  Our Lady asked St Catherine to have a medal struck after a certain model and she promised abundant graces to all those who would wear the medal with confidence.  The medal bears these words:

"O Mary Conceived Without Sin, Pray for Us Who Have Recourse to Thee."


Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

25. Both in creation and in compunction, there is that which moves itself and that which is moved by something else. When the soul becomes tearful, moist and tender without effort or trouble, then let us run, for the Lord has come uninvited, and is giving us the sponge of God-loving sorrow and the cool water of devout tears to wipe out the record of our sins. Guard these tears as the apple of your eye until they withdraw. Great is the power of this compunction, greater than that which comes as a result of our own effort and reflection.

August 20, 2008     

(Rom 8:35-39) Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? Or distress? Or famine? Or nakedness? Or danger? Or persecution? Or the sword? (As it is written: For thy sake, we are put to death all the day long. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.) But in all these things we overcome, because of him that hath loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

HEADLINE: Beijing, religious freedom according to the Olympics

Double standards: while in the Olympic village foreigners enjoy full (or almost full) religious freedom, the Official and underground Church in China are under strict surveillance from both the police and Patriotic Association, to “avoid mass gatherings” and “guarantee security” during the Games.

As was promised by the Chinese government, there is an entire area of the Olympic village dedicated to spirituality and prayer. Catholic and protestant Christians share common spaces: there are also locations for Buddhists and Muslims, Hindus and Jews. Attention too has been paid to the quality of the food offered according to religious credence: vegetarian, halal, kosher….. Some Olympic teams have their own chaplain to celebrate mass, meet with the faithful, and speak freely etc…..

According to Chinese chaplains present on the ground there are even functions that see the participation of both foreign and Chinese faithful. All of this however, takes place in the sealed off Olympic village, access to which is restricted to registered persons or persons accompanied by them.

According to AsiaNews sources, the situation of the underground Church is far worse: beyond the bishops, who have been missing for years, for the past weeks many other underground bishops and priests are under house arrest and the faithful have been threatened against holding any form of gathering during the period, otherwise “there will be consequences after the Olympics”.

The impressions of many observers are that China wants to present an image of openness and freedom to the outside world, but within, they continue their control and restrictions. In order to boost this image of a “paradise” of religious freedom, the semi-official English language newspaper, China Daily, (read by most tourists), during this period has done a series of reports on Beijing’s Churches and their history.

MORE: Persecution Still 'Behind the Scenes' in Communist China


Iraqi Christians: Round trip to Death Street
Catholic priest tortured, killed in India
Saudi girl executed for becoming Christian
Attacks on Christians escalate in India's Karnataka state

CNA INTERVIEW: Son of Hamas leader describes conversion to Christianity

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

24. Theology will not suit mourners, for it is of a nature to dissolve their mourning. For the theologian is like one who sits in a teacher's seat, whereas the mourner is like one who spends his days on a dungheap and in rags. That is why David, so I think, although he was a teacher and was wise, replied to those who questioned him when he was mourning: 'How shall I sing the Lord's song in a strange land? (Ps 136:5)- that is to say, the land of passions.

August 19, 2008     

(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.

CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY: Catholics who support abortion should not receive Communion, says Archbishop Burke

INTERVIEW EXCERPT: Archbishop Charles J.  Chaput, O.F.M.  Cap., “Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life"

Q: Describe what it means to be a "faithful citizen."
A: It means having our priorities in order. Our first obligation is to God. Nothing is more important than that. Every other duty in our life is enriched if we're first faithful to Him and his Church. The greatest gift we can give our nation is the moral witness of our faith—in our words, our choices and our actions. The more authentically we live our Catholic faith, the more truly we contribute to our country as faithful citizens.

Q: You explain what Christ's words, "render unto Caesar," mean. Can you share that here?
A: Christians owe respect and appropriate obedience to secular authority, because that authority ultimately draws its legitimacy from God. But Caesar is not God. Caesar's authority is limited. More to the point: Secular law does not trump God's law. When a nation passes bad laws, Christians have a duty to work to change them. A nation's political life is always an expression of justice or injustice. Catholics need to respect the dignity of other people who have differing views, but that never excuses Catholic silence or inaction in the face of evil public structures, policies or laws.

MORE:  Pro-Choice Catholic Politicians and Communion
The debates over denying Catholic politicians communion are marked by ignorance about the church and disregard for the real nature of the Eucharist. If we ignore or deny what the church teaches, we are not "in communion" with the Catholic faith. We separate ourselves from the community of believers. If we receive communion anyway, we engage in a lie.

IN THE NEWS: Denver archbishop not among Democrats' invited clerics to upcoming convention

SEE ALSO: Archdiocese of Denver to hold vigil at largest abortion facility

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City:  "When you talk about protecting innocent human life, this is something that we need to do as human beings. And the fact that the Church has a voice on this issue and a position on this issue, doesn't mean it's an imposing of our beliefs or values, anymore than the effort to break down segregation by the Church was an effort to impose some kind of religious doctrine on the culture or society, but it was us standing up for a fundamental human right," said the archbishop.

After mention was made of his recent public request for the Catholic governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius, to refrain from receiving Communion because of her support for abortion, Archbishop Naumann explained that political choices have ramifications for Catholics.

"Unfortunately, for a Catholic, there's no choice in public life to stand for certain of these issues. And if they can't be retained in office, then they shouldn't want to be retained in office, if that's what is going to have to be compromised to do it."

Bishop of Orlando, Most Rev. Thomas Wenski:  “The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed."

EDITORIAL: Addressing the oxymoron 'pro-abortion Catholic'

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

23. In the case of tears, as in everything else, our good and just Judge will certainly take into consideration the strength of our nature. For I have seen small tear drops shed with difficulty like drops of blood, and I have also seen fountains of tears poured out without difficulty. And I judged those toilers more by their toil than by their tears, and I think that God does also.

August 1, 2008  


(Luke1:28) And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.


REVIEW: All About The Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary
Assumption Feast History, Information, Prayers, Resources, Traditions, & More

HEADLINE: Cardinal Ivan asks Anglicans to pray to Mother Mary

NEW DELHI (ICNS): Cardinal Ivan Dias, a top Vatican official, has addressed the 14th Lambeth conference, asking the Anglicans to seek Mother Mary's help in spreading the Gospel.

The Indian Cardinal, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, addressed the once-in-ten-years assembly of bishops of the Anglican Communion on July 22.

"For a disciple of Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel is not an option, but a command of the Lord," the cardinal told the assembly convened by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Douglas Williams, the principal leader of the Church of England.

The Vatican nuncio to United Kingdom Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz accompanied the cardinal. Christians in England were in communion with the pope until 16th century. But during the English Reformation the Church broke away from papal fold and remained as an independent national church. During the British colonial days, this Church established its own wings in colonies also.

Despite several dogmatic and theological differences both the Churches now accept Blessed Mary as mother of God. But orthodox Anglicans still do not accept Catholic dogmas on the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary.

Cardinal Ivan suggested some "common steps" for evangelization acceptable to both Catholics and the Anglicans. One such step was seeking help of Mary, the Mother of God. "Mary is the star of New Evangelization, besides being a subject of Christian Piety," he said.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

22. Let your very dress urge you to the work of mourning, because all who lament the dead are dressed in black. If you do not mourn, mourn for this cause. And if you mourn, lament still more that, by your sins, you have brought yourself down from a state free of labours to one of labours.
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