Keep your eyes open!...


February 21, 2007  

(Mat 6:16-18) And when you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret, will repay thee.

VIA Ronald E Smith List: (References available upon request at [email protected])

Q: What are the Church's laws regarding fast and abstinence during Lent?

A: “Fasting: Limiting the intake of food and drink for a religious purpose. Customarily, fasting required that a person take only one meal a day, but current Church discipline permits one to take a main meal and two lesser meals, which together do not equal the main meal. Mandatory fast days now are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, on which days one must abstain from meat and eat only one main meal. Fridays in Lent are days of abstinence, and meat may not be taken on those days; and on the other Fridays of the year, individuals may either fast, abstain or practice other forms of mortification.” “Another Catholic tradition is abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent. Practicing abstinence or abstaining, in the general sense, means voluntary doing without food, drink, or some other pleasure. But for Catholics, it’s a specified requirement: Catholics must abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and every Friday of Lent and fast on Ash Wednesday and good Friday. Abstaining: Refraining from eating all meat, if you’re 14 years old on up.”

“All persons who have completed their fourteenth year are bound by the law of abstinence; all adults are bound by the law of fast up to the beginning of their sixtieth year.” For some clarification, I spoke to a priest in our Chancery. Beginning of the sixtieth year means upon reaching your fifty-ninth birthday and now counting down towards your sixtieth birthday. Affirming this again, “Fasting is observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all Catholics who are 18 years of age but not yet 59.”

“The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life.”  “The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor.” “The fifth precept (You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence) ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts; they help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.” “Ascesis: Self-discipline.”

 “Ash Wednesday is to be observed as a day of penance in the whole Church, one of both abstinence and fasting.” “Good Friday is a day of penance to be observed as of obligation in the whole Church, and indeed through abstinence and fasting.”

“Abstinence is to be observed on every Friday (during Lent) which does not fall on a day of obligation, while abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday or, according to local practice, on the first day of ‘Great Lent’ and on Good Friday.”

“The law of fasting allows only one full meal a day, but does not prohibit taking some food in the morning and evening, observing – as far as quantity and quality are concerned – approved local custom.”

This missive only addresses the mandatory minimum requirements of Holy Church during Lent. There is no restriction on us doing more if we can safely do so. Also remember that priests, for individuals, and bishops, for individuals and groups, can give dispensations from these laws for valid reasons. Examples: St. Patrick’s feast day falls on a Friday during Lent. The bishop could give a dispensation for Irish ethnic parishes or, if warranted, the entire diocese. A priest could give a person who is diabetic or has another serious health concern a dispensation from fasting and/or eating meat on days of abstinence. But, these are exceptions to the rule and not the rule for all!

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

47. A hermit said, 'Take care to be silent. Empty your mind. Attend to your meditation in the fear of God, whether you are resting or at work. If you do this, you will not fear the attacks of the demons.'

February 20, 2007

(Isa 55:6-7) Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found: call upon him, while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unjust man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God: for he is bountiful to forgive.


Gazing upon the face of Christ crucified unites us with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment.

"I firmly wish that my face reflecting the intimate pains of my soul, the suffering and love of my heart, be more honoured! Whoever gazes upon me already consoles me."

(Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sister Pierina)

Our Lord, in visions to Sister Marie of Saint Peter, requested that a devotion to His Holy Face be established. He gave her the Golden Arrow prayer as a remedy to the "poisoned arrows" of blasphemy. Later, Sister Pierina, was urged to spread the devotion, and to have a medal cast.

The Feast of the Holy Face was established by Pope Piux X upon Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent). A beautiful novena in honour of the Holy Face may be said on the nine previous days, culminating on the feast day.

VIA Nadine Mansour: The Maronites and Ash Monday

As Maronite Catholics, the Season of Lent starts tomorrow being Ash Monday (in the Roman/Latin Rite it is Ash Wednesday). Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church to help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice. "Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return". The custom is from an old ceremony. Christians who had committed grave faults were obliged to do public penance. On Ash Wednesday the Bishop blessed the hair shirts, which they were to wear during the forty days, and sprinkled over them ashes, made from the palms from the previous year. Then, while the faithful recited the Seven Penitential Psalms, the penitents were turned out of the holy place because of their sins, as Adam, the first man was turned out of paradise on account of his disobedience. They did not enter the Church again until Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) after having won reconciliation by the toil of forty days' penance and sacramental absolution. Later on, all Christians, either public or secret penitents, came out of devotion to receive ashes.

The prayers of this time of year stress penance (being death to self with Christ) and joy (resurrection to a new person with Christ). They enable us to take a greater part in the Mystery of God's redeeming plan for the whole universe. Penance is the inner aversion to the evil existing in and around us, and a generous conversion in love to God. Traditionally, the Lenten practices of prayer and fasting were the means for achieving this aversion-conversion. They are still valid but there are many other forms of penance that we may use - for e.g., working for social or individual justice; performing works of mercy.

"Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil...spending forty days and forty nights [there]." - Mt 4:1-2 "The Season of Lent keeps inviting us, in a pressing way, to meditate on this great truth: love is of God. This is a living, present reality that we should never forget." - Pope John Paul II

Dear Lord Jesus, As you spent forty days in the desert to prepare for Your mission, grant that my Lenten journey may prepare me to celebrate the Holy Mysteries of Your Death and Resurrection. Help me Lord that all my thoughts, words and actions may be according to Your will for You are gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy to those who call on You with repentant hearts and lives. Amen

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

45. A hermit said, 'Unless the inner self lives soberly, the outer self is beyond control.'

February 16, 2007  


(Mat 12:30) He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth.

VIA Nadine Mansour: I Own The Fence - Author Unknown

There was a large group of people. On one side of the group stood a man, Jesus. On the other side of the group stood Satan.

Separating them, running through the group, was a fence. The scene set, both Jesus and Satan began calling to the people in the group and, one by one - each having made up his or her own mind - each went to either Jesus or Satan.

This kept going. Soon enough, Jesus had gathered around him a group of people from the larger crowd, as did Satan.

But one man joined neither group. He climbed the fence that was there and sat on it.

Then Jesus and His people left and disappeared. So too did Satan and his people. And the man on the fence sat alone.

As this man sat, Satan came back, looking for something which he appeared to have lost. The man said, "Have you lost something?"

Satan looked straight at him and replied, "No, there you are. Come with me."

"But", said the man, "I sat on the fence. I chose neither you nor Him."

"That's okay," said Satan. "I own the fence."

VIA Ed Fisher: 26 Beautiful One-liners

1. Give God what's right -- not what's left.
2. Man's way leads to a hopeless end -- God's way leads to an endless hope.
3. A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
4. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.
5. In the sentence of life, the devil may be a comma--but never let him be the period.
6. Don't put a question mark where God puts a period.
7. Are you wrinkled with burden? Come to the church for a face-lift.
8. When praying, don't give God instructions - just report for duty.
9. Don't wait for six strong men to take you to church.
10. We don't change God's message -- His message changes us.
11. The church is prayer-conditioned.
12. When God ordains, He sustains.
13. WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning.
14. Plan ahead -- It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
15. Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory position.
16. Suffering from truth decay? Brush up on your Bible.
17. Exercise daily -- walk with the Lord.
18. Never give the devil a ride -- he will always want to drive.
19. Nothing else ruins the truth like stretching it.
20. Compassion is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.
21. He who angers you controls you.
22. Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.
23. Give Satan an inch & he'll be a ruler.
24. Be ye fishers of men -- you catch them & He'll clean them.
25. God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
26. Read the Bible -- It will scare the hell out of you.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

46. A hermit said, 'Satan has three powers, which lead to all the sins. The first is forgetfulness, the second negligence, the third selfish desire. If forgetfulness comes, it causes negligence, negligence is the mother of selfish desire, and by selfish desire we fall. If the mind is serious, it repels forgetfulness, negligence does not come, selfish desire finds no entry, and so with the help of Christ we shall never fall.'

February 15, 2007  

(Mat 18:19-20) Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father who is in heaven. For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.


VIA C-Fam: If you are going to help fight CEDAW, you must act now. CEDAW is the UN treaty that is being used by radicals to change laws on abortion around the world. It was just used in Colombia to overturn some of their abortion laws. This dangerous treaty is coming to the US thanks to pro-abortion Senators in the US Senate. We need your help and we need it now and there is only one more week to sign the petition.

I ask you to go to and sign our petition to the US Senate not to ratify CEDAW. And then send this message to all of your friends. We must get thousands and thousands from all over the world to sign this petition. All Americans with a conscience should sign this petition, but all people of goodwill around the globe should also. The US is ever more sensitive these days about what people around the world think. The radicals will be telling the Senate that there is overwhelming support for CEDAW around the world. We must let them know that this is not true. We will deliver this petition with thousands of signatures directly to the US Senate. . 

VIA Dennis DeLaurier: I had offered to send anyone who wanted my Divine Mercy CD if they sent an e-mail. I now have a website They can now download the CD and also all of my 107 prayers I have written the past 7 years. The site is devoted to the the Divine Mercy and contains information about the Divinne Mercy.

VIA Dorothy: Please take the time to visit and read the messages from Anne the Lay Apostle, approved by her bishop in Ireland and has found worthy following in the US from the following [to name a few]:

1. Archbishop Philip Hannon of New Orleans [retired]
2. Father Bill McCarthy
3. Sr. Bridget McKenna
4. Fr. Frank Scallon
5. Dr. Mark Miravelle [Deacon/Steubenville Fransiscan U]

Please pray about it and think about consolidating your efforts with this group. They are also linked to the mission of Divine Mercy. The message is spreading worldwide in the short time when the messages got published. Anne does not get a penny from the sale of the publication and the group is trying to make it as affordable for all to receive the messages. They just received their 501[3] status and are located at

Direction for Our Times
9000 West 81st Street
Justice, IL 60458

The Dominican Sisters of the Immaculate Conception is sponsoring them by providing them with an office space at their convent. Her messages have all been forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith - Vatican.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

44. They said of a hermit that his thoughts suggested to him, 'Rest today; do penance tomorrow.' He contradicted the thoughts, saying, 'No, I do penance today, and tomorrow the Lord's will be done.'

February 14, 2007  



The Pope lashed out today at what he said were laws threatening families and society, hinting at his disapproval of legislation permitting abortion and euthanasia.

"No law made by man can subvert the law written by the Creator, without society being dramatically injured at the base of its foundation," Pope Benedict told a convention on natural law, which the Church considers ethically binding.

The Pope specifically spoke of the need to defend human life from "its beginning to its natural end," hinting at the condemnation of abortion and euthanasia.

He also spoke of the need to defend "marriage," an indirect reference to attempts worldwide to grant legal rights to same-sex couples.

Pope Benedict said natural law does not depend on "the will of the legislator." The Vatican has directed recent concern about legislation proposed by the Italian government that would grant recognition and rights to same-sex unions as well as unmarried heterosexual couples.

In Britain, there are plans to extend the Equality Act 2006 – forbidding schools, businesses and other agencies refusing services on the basis of age, disability, gender, race or religion – to give the same protection to lesbian, gay and bisexual people.


Austrian Bishop Laun Says Mall Owner Excommunicated for Providing Space for Abortion Clinic
Portugal Government Shows Hypocrisy in Abortion Vote Bias

VIDEO LINK: Inside the Womb with Multiples Unprecedented images of triplets and quadruplets before birth

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

43. A brother said to a hermit, 'I don't find any disturbance in my heart.' The hermit said, 'You are like a door swinging open. Anyone who likes can go inside, and come out again, and you don't notice what is happening. If you had a door that was shut you wouldn't let wicked thoughts come in, and then you would see them standing outside the door and fighting against you.'

February 9, 2007 


(Mar 16:17-18) And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."

REFLECTION: Our health care workers are today's Good Samaritans


The Apostolic Penitentiary published a decree announcing the concession of indulgences to the faithful for the World Day of the Sick, which is celebrated every year on February 11, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. This year, the Day will be celebrated in Seoul, Korea. "We must," the text of the decree reads, "reflect deeply upon the fact that human remedies have a limit and that, therefore, there will inevitably come a time when man reaches the end of his journey on this earth. To the sick who are in that condition we must offer the most attentive care and the greatest charity, so that their transit from this world to the Father is comforted by divine consolation and so that, as the Church's prayer for the dying implores, they may see the gentle face of Jesus Christ and clearly hear the voice calling them to eternal glory and joy."

"With this awareness, the Holy Mother Church hopes that the annual celebration of the World Day of the Sick may become an effective catechesis of the teaching ... of the treasure of Revelation, concerning the value and function of suffering."

For this reason, Plenary Indulgence will be granted "to the faithful who, under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Holy Father), and with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin, participate on February 11 in the city of Seoul, or at any other place decided by the ecclesiastical authorities, in a sacred ceremony held to beseech God to grant the goals of the World Day of the Sick."

The decree continues: "The faithful who, in public hospitals or in private houses, like 'Good Samaritans' charitably assist the sick - especially those suffering incurable and terminal diseases - and who, because of the service they provide, cannot participate in the aforementioned ceremony, will obtain the same gift of Plenary Indulgence if on that day they generously provide, at least for a few hours, their charitable assistance to the sick as if they were tending to Christ the Lord Himself, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin, and with the intention of observing, as soon as they can, the conditions required for obtaining the Plenary Indulgence.

"The faithful who, through sickness, old age or similar reason, are prevented from participating in the aforementioned ceremony, may obtain the Plenary Indulgence if, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin and with the intention of observing, as soon as they can, the conditions required, they spiritually participate together with the Holy Father in the aforesaid ceremony, pray devotedly for the sick, and offer - through the Virgin Mary 'Health of the Sick' - their physical and spiritual sufferings to God."

Partial Indulgence, the text of the decree concludes, will be conceded to "all the faithful whenever, between February 9 and 11, with a contrite heart they raise devout prayers to the merciful Lord calling for these aspirations to be met in order to help the sick, especially those suffering incurable and terminal disease."

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

42. A hermit said, 'No one can harm the man at the emperor's side; Satan cannot harm us if we keep ourselves close to God, as it is written, "Draw nigh to me, and I shall draw nigh unto you" (Zech. 1:3). But because we are so often puffed up with pride, it is easy for the enemy to snatch away our wretched soul to carnal passion and disgrace.'

February 8, 2007  

(2Co 6:2) For he saith: In an accepted time have I heard thee and in the day of salvation have I helped thee. Behold, now is the acceptable time: behold, now is the day of salvation.

MEDITATION: MARK MALLET- The Sacrament of the Present Moment

EXCERPT, THE HOLY MOMENT: The only true time, the only time that is truly real, is the present moment. The future time such as tomorrow, two minutes from now, and so on, does not exist, it can only be anticipated. The past also doesn't exist, what has happened has happened, and it will never happen again in that moment ever again. So, St Augustine concludes, and rightly so, that the only true time is that moment which we live.

VIA Nadine Mansour: Coincidence or Miracle?

I was asked the other day if I believed in coincidences.

I said that, "No I don't believe that there are any coincidences in this life. I do believe that there are miracles in this life, however. I see more proof of them everyday."

Just look at the world around us. Is it a coincidence that the sun rose so beautifully today that it filled countless hearts and souls with wonder, love, peace, and joy?

It seemed more like a miracle to me. Is it a coincidence that life developed so intelligently and perfectly on this world?

Is it coincidences that birds know to fly south each winter, that the seasons change and flowers bloom each spring, and that thousands upon thousands of different plants and animals live, grow, and thrive here?

It seems to me more like a hundred million miracles created by a glorious, joyous mind and a loving hand.

Look at your own lives as well. Is it a coincidence that you accidently walked into the wrong room and met the person who changed your life and blessed you with love?

Is it a coincidence that you followed a silent urge to turn off the road before you had to and later learned you avoided a deadly accident because of it?

Is it a coincidence that you were on the verge of despair and then heard a song, or read a line, or got a call that lifted your spirits and strengthened your soul once again?

Are they all coincidences or are they all little miracles created by God and His angels to guide you, protect you and help you to ever greater love, joy, and goodness in your life?

Embrace the miracles in your life then. Embrace the miracle of life. Rejoice in these miracles and use them to choose and share ever more love and joy with others.

It's not a coincidence that God put you in their life. You're there to share his miracle of life!

Celebrate in the knowledge that you are loved, cared for, and watched over by God and always remember that Life is full of Miracles not coincidences.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

40. A hermit said, 'If you lose gold or silver, you can find something as good as you lost. But the man who loses time can never make up what he has lost.''

February 7, 2007  

(Luke 18:38-39) And he cried, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"



'I knew God was carrying me' – Neighbors’ aid key in Fla. disaster
Catholic Charities responds to Florida tornado devastation, urges recovery donations
Flood victims in Jakarta brace for more rain 
Levees in 27 States at Risk of Failing


Slain priest remembered on anniversary of death
Court blocks dismissal of evangelical Navy chaplain
Religious persecution growing worldwide
Cross Removal Stirs Va. College Campus


In the darkness of the moment, I turn to you, O Lord,
You who are the light in which there is no darkness.
Help me to see my way among the rocks and the holes,
The rubble of this sin-filled land in its starkness,
All the places where I might trip and fall
And be swallowed up by the night.

How the sound of sin's dark consequences
pierce through the midnight of this poor world,
The hatred masquerading as good intentions,
in smoke and fire and death and grief unfurl,
in little ways, too, with heart rending words
designed to cut and blight.

O Lord, remember us, how you gave your blood in love
to open up the door to heaven's healing touch,
And looked upon all our hurts and pains with loving eyes,
Shepherdless this people, needing much --
And as the darkness thickens, Lord,
Restore to us our sight!

Steadfast love we have not, save what comes from You,
Who sends your grace to fall upon this hard place
In spite of who we are and what we've done since day began.
In spite of sin and coldness, O Lord, turn not your face,
But remember how you wept in the garden
That one spring moonlit midnight.

O Lord, have pity on the ones I cannot reach but know
How frightened, lost and hungry are their days,
O Lord, the children lost, their parents dying, the wars go on
Satan's laughter piercing through the blood red haze --
Remember Lord, the cross that awful day,
Help us by your might!

Kyrie eleison,
Christe eleison,
Kyrie eleison.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

41. A hermit said, 'Before soldiers or hunters start on expeditions, they do not consider whether some will be wounded while others will be unhurt. Each one fights for himself alone. That is how a monk should be.'

February 6, 2007  

(Mat 19:14) .....Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."


Pope Benedict XVI emphasized the sanctity of life "from conception to its natural end," speaking against abortion and euthanasia, and urged the faithful to defend traditional marriage as it faces "multiple challenges."

"Life is the work of God, and should not be denied to anyone, not even the smallest and defenseless unborn child, especially not when affected by grave disabilities," the pontiff said Sunday in his traditional noon blessing, which fell on the day that the Italian Church celebrates life.

The pontiff also warned against legitimizing euthanasia "by masking it with a veil of human compassion." Vatican teaching holds that defense of life from conception to natural death rules out abortion and euthanasia.



Portugal's top cleric urged followers to reject abortion as the predominantly Catholic country decides in a weekend referendum whether to liberalise the country's strict anti-abortion stance.

Catholics must take into account the sanctity of life when casting their votes, Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo said.

Sunday's referendum will ask voters if they agree with the legalization of abortion until the 10th week of pregnancy.

The conscience of Christians regarding abortion "must be illuminated not only by natural light but also by the word of God and the teachings of the Church," the cardinal, who is Partriarch of Lisbon, wrote in a text published on the Church's website.

RELATED: Deciding if 100,000 Children Will Die Each Year: Portugal's Abortion Referendum

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sunday, the day of the Portuguese referendum, is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.  Let us pray for her intercession!

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

39. A hermit said, 'A monk ought to examine himself every day morning and evening, to check how far he has kept the Lord's will. He ought to be leading a penitential life all his days. That was the way Arsenius lived.'

February 2, 2006 


(Isa 6:8) And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send? and who shall go for us? And I said: Lo, here am I, send me.


EXCERPT POPE JOHN PAUL II: The reasons for the World Day for Consecrated Life

2. The purpose of such a day is threefold: in the first place, it answers the intimate need to praise the Lord more solemnly and to thank him for the great gift of consecrated life, which enriches and gladdens the Christian community by the multiplicity of its charisms and by the edifying fruits of so many lives totally given to the cause of the Kingdom. We should never forget that consecrated life, before being a commitment of men and women, is a gift which comes from on high, an initiative of the Father "who draws his creatures to himself with a special love and for a special mission" (VC 17). This look of special love profoundly touches the heart of the one called, who is urged by the Holy Spirit to place himself or herself in the footsteps of Christ, in a particular way of following him, by means of assuming the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience. A stupendous gift!

"What would become of the world if there were no religious?" St. Teresa rightly asked herself (Autobiography, ch. 32, n. 11). This is a question which brings us to give unceasing thanks to the Lord, who by this singular gift of the Spirit continues to enliven and sustain the Church in its demanding journey through this world.

3. In the second place, this day is intended to promote a knowledge of and esteem for the consecrated life by the entire People of God.

As the Council underlined (LG 44) and as I have had occasion to emphasize in the above-mentioned Apostolic Exhortation, consecrated life "'constitutes a closer imitation and an abiding re-enactment in the Church' of the way of life which Jesus, the supreme Consecrated One and missionary of the Father for the sake of his Kingdom, embraced and proposed to his disciples" (VC 22). It is thus a special and living memory of his being Son, who makes of his Father his only love -- his virginity; who finds in him his exclusive richness -- his poverty; and who has, in the will of his Father, the "food" by which he is nourished (cf. Jn 4:34) -- his obedience.

This form of life, embraced by Christ and made present particularly by consecrated persons, is of great importance for the Church, called in every member to live the same upward striving toward God who is All, following Christ in the light and power of the Holy Spirit.

The life of special consecration, in its many forms, is thus at the service of the baptismal consecration of all the faithful. In contemplating the gift of consecrated life, the Church contemplates her own intimate vocation of belonging only to her Lord, desirous of being in his eyes "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and without blemish" (Eph 5:27).

The fittingness of dedicating a special World Day is evident, then, for it assures that the doctrine about consecrated life will be more widely and deeply meditated and assimilated by all members of the People of God.

4. The third reason regards consecrated persons directly. They are invited to celebrate together solemnly the marvels which the Lord has accomplished in them, to discover by a more illumined faith the rays of divine beauty spread by the Spirit in their way of life, and to acquire a more vivid consciousness of their irreplaceable mission in the Church and in the world.

Immersed in a world which is often agitated and distracted, taken up sometimes by the press of responsibilities, consecrated persons also will be helped by the celebration of this annual World Day to return to the sources of their vocation, to take stock of their own lives, to confirm the commitment of their own consecration. In this way, they will be able to give witness with joy to the men and women of our time, in diverse situations, that the Lord is the Love who is able to fill the heart of the human person.

Truly there is great urgency that the consecrated life show itself ever more "full of joy and of the Holy Spirit," that it forge ahead dynamically in the paths of mission, that it be backed up by the strength of lived witness, because "modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses" (Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Nuntiandi 41).



Behold the lilies of the fields
What drew one man to the priesthood
Northern priest trades in Anglican faith for Catholic calling

(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.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

38. One hermit visited another hermit and said during their conversation, 'I'm dead to the world.' The other said, 'Don't be so confident until you have actually died. You may say about yourself that you are dead, but Satan is not dead.'

February 1, 2006 

POPE JOHN PAUL II, Evangelium vitae: "How is it still possible to speak of the dignity of every human person when the killing of the weakest and most innocent is permitted?

EXCERPT Bishop Robert Vasa: Abortion is the defining life issue. Just as it is inconceivable for someone to be unconcerned about the poor, the needy, the homeless, the disenfranchised, the immigrant, so it is most disconcerting to see an American ambivalence and even active antipathy toward the pre-born.

If the same solution which our country deems appropriate for treating the undesired pre-born was directed toward the poor, the needy, the homeless, the disenfranchised or the immigrant then, I suspect, the extent of these “problems” could be diminished significantly.

No one, thanks be to God, proposes such heinous measures, unless of course, that poor, needy person has the misfortune of not yet being born. No one proposes the elimination of the homeless as the solution to homelessness unless that “homeless person” is the one forcibly evicted from the home God gave him or her in the womb.

No one proposes a “final solution” for dealing with the disenfranchised or immigrant unless that immigrant is one of the newest prenatal arrivals to our land. Our conviction about the intrinsic value and dignity of human life is evident in our compassion toward individuals in a variety of difficult social situations.

It is time in our land to extend that same compassion, that same protection of law and right reason, to those who have been deprived of these protections for the past 34 years. It is precisely the kind of thing a community would do. In a particularly striking way, it is the kind of thing that a community committed to the life and teaching of Jesus would do. It is the kind of thing that a community committed to the life and teachings of Jesus must do.

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Heartbeat of Miami is a bold and winsome call to the Christian community to open 3 to 5 pregnancy help centers in the neediest neighborhoods of Miami over the next two years. These centers will be equipped with ultrasound and staffed by nurses, trained peer counselors, and volunteers from the Christian community. When established they will save thousands of women every year from the violence and agony of abortion- in direct competition to the nearly 40 (!) abortion facilities operating in Miami. They are targeting and exploiting women who are anxious and unprepared for pregnancy.

In response to God's call to "rescue the weak and the needy" and "deliver them from the hand of the wicked" (Psalm 82:3), Heartbeat of Miami will be a practical way to save lives in a life changing way for the glory of God and the advancement of the Gospel. To succeed it will take hard work, strategic planning, generous giving and prayer from Christians and Churches in and around Miami. May God give you a burning heart to join in this Great Work.

Why Miami? Florida is one of the four states in America where abortion is concentrated. And in Florida, 40.1 percent of all abortions are happening in Miami-Dade County and in nearby Broward County. The problem is centralized in and around Miami.

Further, when Care Net compared the pregnancy center resources to abortion facilities in 10 of our nation's largest cities, something startling emerged. Miami has nearly 40 abortion facilities, not including hospitals, marketing abortion to women struggling with an unexpected pregnancy. But it has only one ultrasound- equipped pregnancy center. Truly it is time to challenge this stronghold in the culture of death with the life-saving, life-changing Gospel of Life.

Of this Gospel, Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) said, "Life is God's most precious gift. Abortion not merely an awful tyranny; it is a smear against the integrity of God as well. Suffer as we must, even die if need be, such rebellion against heaven must not be free to run its terrible courses."


The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

36. He also said, 'The life of a monk should be like that of the angels, all fire to burn up sin.'

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Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus

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