Keep your eyes open!...


August 28, 2015  

(Jer 31:15) Thus saith the Lord: A voice was heard on high of lamentation, of mourning, and weeping, of Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted for them, because they are not.

CRISIS MAGAZINE: Our Collective Responsibility to Protect the Unborn

ST. ANTHONY MESSENGER: Project Rachel: Vicki Thorn's Post-Abortion Ministry

Broken Branches Newsletter by Anne LastmanA Special letter

Dear friends I promised one of my "girls" Anne Marie, not her real name, but you have been praying for her and me as we have worked together, not finished yet, over the last few months that if she wrote her story for me and you I would give it front page space, she has, so herewith:

"February, 9 2015-a day that will be etched into my heart forever. That's the day I had an abortion, the day I killed my baby. I have never really given much thought to abortion. It was always something that others did. I didn't agree with it, as I knew it was a sin against God. However, today as I reflect, I am astonished that I ended up terminating my pregnancy, yet at the time I felt that there was no way out.

Three weeks prior, I had unexpectedly discovered I was pregnant. I am 44 years old and have 4 teenage children in my care. What should have been a wonderfully joyous occasion for me turned into a situation of despair, desperation and depression? And so began my cycle of "fixing the problem" My head was spinning and I didn't feel in control of my life. I had to take time off work and I spent my days visiting doctors to discuss my situation. They all informed me that it was no big deal to terminate. It's simple they said. I can even end the pregnancy as easily as taking a tablet, I went to see "counsellors" at fertility clinics who also advised me that termination is a simple procedure and very normal. Women do it all the time. I was repeatedly informed that at my age, I was at high risk of many complications if I continued with the pregnancy. All I was doing was terminating "cells".

As the days passed, I fell deeper and deeper into depression. I made an appointment to speak with a genetic counsellor at a private hospital opposite the Austin Hospital and the lady there spent an hour listening to me crying as I explained my fear of having a baby at my age. She pulled out a book and showed me all the risks involved with pregnancies with older women. She also told me that many Catholics have many abortions and are sent to the Austin to have the procedure.

I walked in and out of abortion clinics four times. I didn't want to be pregnant yet I didn't want to have an abortion. Even the abortion doctor whom I saw in my distressed state, informed me that I was "blessed" as I already had four children and why would I want to make my life financially difficult if I had another. He also told me to hurry up and decide because he has a business to run and id very busy. I must say looking back, those places were full to capacity. The rooms were full of young girls who were all calmly sitting and waiting patiently for their turn. I was the only one that was older and I was the only one who was in a very distressed state.

After three exhausting weeks I succumbed to the termination. I wanted and desperately needed my life to return back to normal. I was mixing up my depression with being pregnant and I could not stand one more minute of it.

My life however, didn’t return to normal, I felt empty inside and the realization that I had killed my own child was extremely hard for me to accept. I hated myself. I felt shame. I felt deep guilt and most of all I felt regret. I was still depressed and I would cry uncontrollably. I also feared God and I was afraid of retribution would follow. Exactly one week after the procedure, I was crying uncontrollably and I begged God to help me. He did. I stumbled across Anne Lastman’s name whilst googling abortion regret. Two days later I went to see her.

Thank you God for giving me Anne. Anne has helped me to heal. She has taught me that God’s love, Mercy and forgiveness is far greater than my sin. With Anne’s help my baby has a name and I have a plaque made remembering my child. I also know that my baby has forgiven me and we will be re united in heaven one day. Six months have passed since my abortion. It is the single thing that I think about every day and the one thing that I deeply deeply regret. Abortion changes you. If only I had met Anne before the abortion."


Dear friends as you read “Anne Marie’s” letter please note all the post abortion symptoms that I written about over the years. Note the stress, even the lies told to the woman, the coldness and distance of the abortion clinic staff, the ambivalence this woman went through. Even    the “abortionist” who used biblical language “blessed” that she had other children in order to hurry her into making her decision. And to think that her fear was that she may have had a difficulty with her pregnancy because of her age and the genetics counsellor who told her that “Catholics have many abortions and are sent to Austin Hospital for the procedure” was appalling. Nothing else can be said about this.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Humility

42. 'Once Theophilus of holy memory, the archbishop of Alexandria, came to Scetis. The brothers gathered together and said to Pambo, 'Speak to the bishop, that he may be edified.' Pambo replied, 'If he is not edified by my silence, my speech certainly will not edify him."'

August 26, 2015  

(1Pe 5:8-9) 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.

Father Francisco Acevedo, 100 year old priest in the Diocese of Malaga: "I still have to resist the devil, but it's not easy. The devil does not want there to be holy priests, and it's dangerous to not take this seriously”.


CATHOLIC ONLINE: If I were the Devil by Paul Harvey

If I were the devil . If I were the Prince of Darkness, I'd want to engulf the whole world in darkness. And I'd have a third of it's real estate, and four-fifths of its population, but I wouldn't be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree - Thee.

So I'd set about however necessary to take over the United States. I'd subvert the churches first - I'd begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: 'Do as you please.'

To the young, I would whisper that 'The Bible is a myth.' I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what's bad is good, and what's good is 'square.' And the old, I would teach to pray, after me, 'Our Father, which art in Washington.'

And then I'd get organized. I'd educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I'd threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I'd pedal narcotics to whom I could. I'd sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I'd tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the devil I'd soon have families that war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I'd have mesmerizing media fanning the flames. If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions - just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you'd have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

Within a decade I'd have prisons overflowing, I'd have judges promoting pornography - soon I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress. And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money. If I were the devil I'd make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

If I were the devil I'd take from those, and who have, and give to those wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And what do you bet? I could get whole states to promote gambling as thee way to get rich? I would caution against extremes and hard work, in Patriotism, in moral conduct. I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on the TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure. In other words, if I were the devil I'd just keep right on doing on what he's doing.

RENEW AMERICA: Why I wrote to Pope Francis (about an exorcist) by Matt C. Abbott


Ex-Satanist: Babies Ritually Aborted for Devil
What is the devil's favorite sin? An exorcist responds
Devil worshippers' gathering in Detroit not a joke; they're 'playing with fire'— priest

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Humility

41. 'They said of Poemen that he never wanted to cap the saying of others, but always praised what had been said.'

August 24, 2015  

(Joh 6:67-68) Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.

VATICAN RADIO: Pope Francis: Who is Jesus for me?

ALETEIA:  Interview with Matthew Kelley: How Each of Us Can Rediscover Jesus

: Rekindling Love for Jesus

IT is palpable: the body of Christ is tired. There are so many loads that many are carrying in this hour. For one, our own sins and the myriad temptations we face in a highly consumerist, sensual, and compulsive society. There is also the apprehension and anxiety about what the Great Storm has yet to bring. And then there are all the personal trials, most notably, family divisions, financial strain, sickness, and fatigue of the daily grind. All of these can begin to pile up, crushing and smothering and defusing the flame of God’s love that has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

…we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. (Rom 5:3-5)

But you see, St. Paul was only able to endure, to prove his character, to burn with hope precisely because he kept the flame of love alive. Once this flame dies, so too does endurance, character, and the hope that goes with it. The key to the joy that is missing from many Christian hearts today is that we have lost our first love. Not that we have abandoned God altogether; no, it is much more subtle. It’s that we have allowed distractions, self-absorption, anxiety, the endless pursuit of pleasure—in a word, worldliness—to enter our hearts. The irony is that we carry these things upon our shoulders like a cross—but it is the wrong kind of cross. The Cross of the Christian is meant to be the cross of self-denial, not self-seeking. It is the cross of loving without cost, not loving self at any cost.

So what now? Here is how to begin again. Take the “false” cross you have been carrying and use it for kindling to stoke into flame a renewed love for the Lord. How?

The first thing you must do, beloved, is pour your heart out before the Lord. Look, He already knows your sins, even the ones you are not aware of, and yet He still loves you. Look upon a crucifix today and remind yourself how far that He has gone for you. Do you think that after all that, He is now going to withdraw His love? Unthinkable! For one thing, you have only used up a single drop of His mercy. Satan wants you to think that you’ve finally drained the ocean of His love. What a silly lie!

O Jesus, do not hide from me, for I cannot live without You. Listen to the cry of my soul. Your mercy has not been exhausted, Lord, so have pity on my misery. Your mercy surpasses the understanding of all Angels and people put together; and so, although it seems to me that You do not hear me, I put my trust in the ocean of Your mercy, and I know that my hope will not be deceived. —Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, St. Faustina to Jesus, n. 69

Yes, reveal every single sin to Him, own them, and then ask forgiveness for them. You want to be perfect, and that is why you are sad—you are not the saint you want everyone else to think you are. Good. You would be too proud and unbearable if you were. Now, begin to become the saint God wants you to be. A saint is not a soul who never falls, but one who continually gets up again. Rekindle love for God by using your sins, in a profound and honest humility, as kindling. Pray Psalm 51 from the heart never doubting for a moment the next drop of Divine Mercy that awaits to be poured over you.

My child, know that the greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and an exaggerated anxiety. These will deprive you of the ability to practice virtue. All temptations united together ought not disturb your interior peace, not even momentarily. Sensitiveness and discouragement are the fruits of self-love. You should not become discouraged, but strive to make My love reign in place of your self-love. Have confidence, My child. Do not lose heart in coming for pardon, for I am always ready to forgive you. As often as you beg for it, you glorify My mercy. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1488

Look, if you are in an endless cycle of beating yourself up for your faults, that is indeed your fault. For Scripture is clear:

If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. (1 John 1:9)

You are dealing with the God of mercy, which your misery cannot exhaust. Remember, I did not allot only a certain number of pardons. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1485

Yes, the quickest way to douse the flame of love in your heart is to drown it in self-pity—precisely what Satan wants. If he cannot have your soul, then he’ll take your joy. At least this way, he can prevent you from being a light and path to others who are searching for Jesus. As Pope Francis said,

…an evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral! Let us recover and deepen our enthusiasm, that “delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing, even when it is in tears that we must sow… And may the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the good news not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervour, who have first received the joy of Christ. —Evangelii Gaudium, n. 10

So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you. (1 Pet 5:7)

The first thing, says St. Peter, is to climb back upon the platform of friendship with God through humility and reconciliation. If you want to survive in these times, make regular Confession an absolute essential in your spiritual walk. I go weekly, as St. John Paul II recommended. It is one of the greatest graces in my life. Go, and find out for yourself the treasury of grace that awaits you.

The second thing is to “cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.” Why are you carrying burdens that you cannot carry? That is, there are many things beyond your control, and yes, some things that you didn’t control and now you are suffering because of them.

For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. (Rom 7:19)

But even these failures you must give to the Lord. He knows how small you are, and that you are incapable of carrying these things alone.

Do not be absorbed in your misery—you are still too weak to speak of it—but, rather, gaze on My Heart filled with goodness, and be imbued with My sentiments. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1486

In the moment of frustration, sadness, anxiety, or anger that overwhelms you, it is difficult to pray. This too is a weakness that you must hand over to God in quiet resignation. But when the little interior storm has passed, give the circumstances to Jesus. Invite Him in to carry them with you. Not tomorrow. Who said you were going to live tomorrow? Don’t you know that this very night the Master may call you home? No, say “Jesus, help me in this next minute, this next hour to carry this unbearable cross.” And He says, good, it’s about time you asked.

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. (Matt 11:28-29)

What is His yoke? It is the yoke of His Divine Will, and His will is to love your neighbour. Yes, now that you have put yourself right with God (again), now that you have cast your cares upon Him, you must “go out” of yourself. If you keep your eyes fixed upon yourself, your will, your desires, your problems, you will reap exactly what you sow: more grief, more dismay, more emptiness.

…because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all… (Gal 6:8-10)

The one who gets right with God, but forgets His neighbour is like a groom who puts on a suit for his wedding and then just sits in the car, staring at his tidy appearance in the mirror. He looks like a man on a mission, but in fact, has forgotten his mission: to meet his beloved. And the beloved Christ wants you to meet is your neighbour, to meet Christ in them. Brothers and sisters, so many of your troubles would fade into the background if you would forget yourself and put your neighbour first—put your wife or husband’s needs ahead of yours; your siblings’, your colleagues’, your elderly parents’, your parish’s needs, etc. Let love for your neighbour’s wounds blind you to your own.

…let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Pet 4:8) we discover a profound law of reality: that life is attained and matures in the measure that it is offered up in order to give life to others. —POPE FRANCIS, Evangelii Gaudium, n. 10

So in conclusion, unload your burdens and light them on fire by immersing them in the burning Sacred Heart of Jesus. Confess your sins in honest humility, cast your cares upon Him, and begin to love again. It is from this renewed desire and little effort on your part to love God that Love can live again, in you.

What does all of this have to do with today’s Mass readings?

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the workers, and how even those who began the work day at 5 o’clock were still paid the same wages as those who put in a full day. The point is this: it’s never too late to begin again. [1] God is generous beyond comprehension, and is waiting to prove it to you…

Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last. (Today’s Gospel)

The flames of mercy are burning Me—clamoring to be spent; I want to keep pouring them out upon souls; souls just don’t want to believe in My goodness. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 177

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Humility

40. Joseph told this story:  Once when we were sitting with Poemen, he talked about 'abba' Agatho.  We said to him: 'He is a young man, why do you call him abba?'  Poemen said, 'His speech is such that we must call him "abba".'

August 5, 2015  

(Mat 6:33) Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.

MSGR. CHARLES POPE: Consider Answering This Question That Jesus Posed


Among the desert fathers one finds this story: “Abbot Lot went to see Abbot Joseph and said: `Father, according as I am able, I keep my little rule, and my little fast, my prayer, meditation and contemplative silence; and according as I am able I strive to cleanse my heart of bad thoughts: now what more should I do?’ The elder rose up in reply and stretched out his hands to heaven, and his fingers became like lamps of fire. He said: `Why not become all flame?'”

Indeed, why not? There probably isn’t a better challenge that might be addressed to any of us. Abbot Lot describes us pretty well, we “keep our little rule”. We are what classical spiritual writers describe as “proficient” in the spiritual life, beyond initial conversion, staunch and solid in grace. We’re essentially good, prayerful, honest, decent, dutiful, generous, moral, and sincere persons.

But the operative word here is “essentially”. We are these things essentially, though not radically. Like Abbot Lot, we’re good, generous, prayerful, and honest “according as we are able”, though that isn’t quite true either. Deep down we know that we’re capable of more, that God is inviting us to more. but that we are fixated at a certain level of mediocrity. Simply put, there are still too many compensations, addictions, and accommodations to comfort in our lives. As well, there is the fear of moving beyond what disrupts our lives. We live faith, hope, and charity, to a point, and there was a time when that point was enough, was what God was asking of us. Now, however, we sense a deeper call and know that we are being asked to let go of many of the things, both good and bad, to which we are clinging for comfort and stability.

We reach a point in the spiritual life, and it is precisely at that point where we have attained a certain proficiency in goodness, generosity, and fidelity, where God invites us to make a more radical “leap of faith”, beyond our comfort and stability. Like everything else that comes from God, this is precisely an invitation, a beckoning, not a threat. What concretely does this mean?

Let me offer a simple, rather graphic, example: Several years ago, while preaching a priests’ retreat, I was approached by a group of young priests who asked me to join their faith-support group for an evening of prayer and sharing. During the course of the evening, they shared with me the origin and intent of their group. The priest who founded the group put it this way: “We were good priests before we formed this group. Essentially we did the right things, were generous ministers, lived in an basic sincerity and honesty, and were respected. But we compensated too much too. We drank too much, ate too much, fantasized about sex too much, complained too much, felt too-sorry for ourselves, and had too many compensations – from masturbation to drinking too much expensive scotch. One day, I simply said, `Enough! If I’m going to be a priest, why not be a more radical one!’ But I knew that I couldn’t do it alone. So I talked to two priest friends and that’s how our group started. We meet at least once a week, sometimes twice. That’s a lot of time, but it’s worth it. It’s been four years since we started and we have more sobriety now in everything. Life is more demanding, but also more fulfilling. I’m happy in a way I’ve never been before.”

He, and his group, had moved beyond their “little rule”, taken the leap of faith, become pure flame. This is precisely what Jesus asks of the rich young man in the gospels, the one who turns him down and “goes away sad.” Notice how the gospels describe this young man, precisely as a person who is proficient in the spiritual life – essentially very good, decent, honest, generous, faithful, but also as experiencing a deeper call, a clear invitation, a dissatisfaction with the level of his own generosity: “What still is lacking for me?” That’s also our question.

The poet, Goethe, in a poem entitled, THE HOLY LONGING, describes how, at a certain point in the spiritual journey, one is handed the invitation to become “insane for the light”. What is this insanity?

Jesus names it as the invitation to give up everything and follow him more radically, Kierkegaard calls it “the leap of faith”, John of the Cross sees it as the willingness to enter the “dark night of the spirit”, and the Desert Fathers call it “leaving our little rule so as to become pure flame!”

Whatever the name, the idea is this: Eventually we reach a point in the spiritual life where, precisely because we are proficient at being good and decent, we are invited, like the rich young man in the gospels, to give up our most-cherished comforts and securities and plunge into the unknown in a radically new way.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Humility

39. 'He also said, 'Once when the monks were sitting down to eat, Alonius stood and waited on them: and when they saw it, they praised him.  But he said not a word.  So one of them whispered to him, "Why do you not answer when the brothers praise you?"  Alonius said, "If I answer them, I will be pleased that I have been praised."

August 3, 2015  

(Amo 3:6-8) Shall the trumpet sound in a city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, which the Lord hath not done? For the Lord God doth nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. The lion shall roar, who will not fear? The Lord God hath spoken, who shall not prophesy?

MARK MALLET: Words and Warnings

FR. DWIGHT LONGENECKER: America the Murderous: A Solemn Prophetic Warning

If you haven’t seen the latest video from Center for Medical Progress yet you ought to.  The editing and release of the videos…drip, drip, drip has been a brilliant piece of investigative journalism. hey did their research, they gathered their footage, they edited it down to show exactly what was going on. urthermore, it is almost as if they had anticipated the lying denials of Cecile Richards and the rest of her club.  She has followed the lead of Bill Clinton: “Deny, Deny, Deny.” Then when she denies, out comes the next video to prove she is lying.

The problem is, Americans are so hardened by sin, decadence and violence that I don’t think most of them really care.  You see, the violence in America is not just in the abortion clinics. Its in the streets, its in the homes, its in the military, its in the schools, its in our jails.  Why is it that we have such a violent county?  Because we have decided that killing solves the problem.  America the Beautiful? America the Murderous.

Furthermore, the recent Planned Parenthood videos have reminded us that this murder is an institutionalized, legal action.  It is supported by the rich people, the powerful people, the influential and educated people. The media supports it, and what is more frightening in the United States today than the fact that our journalists–who should be investigating and exposing the horrors of baby killing and marketing baby body parts are complicit in the crime.  The are complicit in the crime because they are intentionally ignoring the mass murder of unborn children in our midst.  The media support it and the politicians support it.  Politicians–especially so called Catholic politicians who support abortion are complicit in the crimes. They have now seen the plate of baby parts. They have now heard the clinicians saying, “Another boy!” and “Here’s an eyeball. Do you want an eyeball?” “What was that cracking sound? That was his skull.”

Even worse, the religious leaders support it. Thus the Dean of an Episcopal Divinity School described abortion as “a blessing”.  Not only was abortion a blessing but she said abortionists were “heroes and saints.”

This horror, blasphemy and wild, cold blooded killing cannot continue, and a warning has been given.  Twenty years ago Pope St John Paul II prophesied against America saying, “Woe, Woe to you America if you do not succeed in defending life!”  What happens when a solemn prophetic warning is given by God’s anointed?

If the warning is not heeded, disaster happens. That’s what.

The disaster may not happen immediately, but history reminds us that when a people rebel against God and continue without regard more and more deeply into the culture of death, then death is what they get.

They kill. They are killed.

They slaughter. They are slaughtered.

They murder the innocent and the vulnerable. They are murdered.

How to the respond to the prophet who pronounces “Woe! Woe to you!”

They laugh him to scorn. So I expect this blog post will be laughed at. John Paul’s solemn warning will be laughed at.

The murder and dissection of unborn babies for profit while the clinicians are laughing will continue.

Until disaster comes.

BLOG: Charles Johnston and the upcoming Storm -An alleged prophet with a critically important message for humanity

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Humility

38. He also said, 'If a man stays in his own place, he will not be troubled.
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