January 30, 2006
DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN?
(Gen 8:8-9) Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; but the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put forth his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him.
FROM THE ARCHIVES- JANUARY 31, 2005
POPE'S DOVES OF PEACE TAKE FLIGHT, EVENTUALLY
Two doves released by children from the windows of the Vatican on Sunday to symbolise peace initially refused to take flight, causing the Pope to take the matter literally into his own hands.
A boy and girl released the birds from the window from which Pope John Paul had told pilgrims of the need to teach the young about peace. First the doves refused to leave the window ledge and when the Pope brushed them off, one flew back into the room.
The Pope himself then launched the bird once more into St Peter's Square but it flew back a second time, raising a chuckle from the 84-year-old pontiff. An unseen aide then threw the dove out again and it flew away.
POPE URGES WORLD TO UNITE AGAINST POVERTY
Pope Benedict XVI called on world
leaders to unite in the fight against poverty Sunday and sent two doves
flying into St. Peter's Square in a symbol of peace, continuing a
tradition begun by his predecessor, John Paul II.
Benedict, together with two children at his window, released a pair of doves into the square and laughed when one of the white birds darted back inside his studio.
"The dove wants to stay with the pope but it will find its freedom," Benedict said, and one of the children gave the bird another push to fly.
The birds did not go very far, perching on a cornice just below the window on the Apostolic Palace.
Benedict told the children in the square that by always saying the truth "you will become builders of peace."
The release of the doves in January became a tradition under John Paul. A Jan. 30, 2005, appearance at the window by John Paul with the children and doves was one of his last in public.
(Jer 30:5) For thus saith the Lord: We have heard a voice of terror: there is fear and no peace.
Vatican reacts with concern over Hamas election
Hamas Victory Stirs Franciscan's Concern
Churches Bombed in Iraq
EDITORIAL: Can Hamas Be Tamed?
FROM THE HOLY LAND VIA THE MAILBAG: "There is a mixed response from local Christians I have talked to: many apparently voted for Hamas, in order to punish and depose those Fatah 'thieves', believing there will be too many pressures on Hamas for them to avoid moderating their politico-religious aims. Other Christians are seriously worried what will happen when Hamas start requiring all citizens to abide by the Islamic religious Law (as announced by Mohammed Zahar just before the elections). One supposes there will soon be religious police to enforce those laws (including the jizra, or tax, which non-muslims, or dhimmis, must pay). Our Priest at Notre Dame addressed these fears in his homily last night, assuring us that with faith in the Lord, Christians should not be afraid."
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control19. John the Short said, 'If a king wants to take a city filled with his enemies, he first captures their food and water, and when they are starving he subdues them. So it is with gluttony. If a man is sincere about fasting and is hungry, the enemies that trouble his soul will grow weak.'
January 27, 2006
THE TRIB TIMES WILL RETURN NEXT WEEK, GOD WILLING (James 4:15).
SPERO NEWS: The seven daily habits of Holy Apostolic people
FROM THE MAILBAG
Via Nadine: SYMPTOMS OF INNER PEACE
* A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.
* An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
* A loss of interest in judging other people.
* A loss of interest in judging self.
* A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
* A loss of interest in conflict.
* A loss of ability to worry (this is a very serious symptom).
* Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
* Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
* Frequent attacks of smiling.
* An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
* An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.
PRAYER- "Lord our God, with the birth of your Son, your glory breaks on the world. As we celebrate his first coming, give us a foretaste of the joy that you will grant us when the fullness of his glory has filled the earth."
Catholic Sacramentals and Spiritual Warfare
Sacramentals: What Are They?
Blessed Salt by Rev. John H. Hampsch, C.M.F.
Cardinal Cottier on Exorcisms
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control7. They said of Agatho that for three years he kept a stone in his mouth in order to teach himself silence.
January 26, 2006
MORE MIDEAST INSTABILITY BREAKING- Palestinian shocker: Hamas claims election victory
24:6-8) And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be
not troubled. For these things must come to pass: but the end is not
yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
And there shall be pestilences and famines and earthquakes in places.
Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows.
JOHN MCCAIN: WAR BETTER THAN NUCLEAR IRAN
John McCain called Iran's nuclear ambitions "destabilizing" and "unacceptable," warning that military options are on the table.
"There's only one thing worse than the United States exercising the military option, and that is Iran having nuclear weapons," McCain (R-Ariz.) said on "Fox News Sunday."
McCain called for the United States first to use diplomacy, saying, "This is the most serious crisis we have faced, outside of the entire war on terror, since the end of the Cold War."
Iran has defied the United States by working to resume uranium enrichment, which Iran says it wants for electrical power but which can be used to make nuclear weapons.
McCain endorsed the administration's desire to take Iran to the United Nation's Security Council for possible sanctions if it doesn't cease its nuclear program.
MORE: Iran: Our Military Options
EXCERPT STRATFOR ANALYSIS- One geopolitical constant must be taken seriously: Israel will not permit Iran to deploy nuclear weapons.
Iran knows this. It has three possible strategies. First, hope that Israeli or American intelligence misses the development of weapons until after they are deployed, giving Iran a deterrent. Second, hope for an Israeli attack in order to position themselves in the Islamic world as the real leader and victim of the anti-Zionist struggle. Third, carefully approach the line of deployability without crossing it.
We suspect that the third option is the Iranian strategy. The problem with the strategy is it assumes that the United States and Israel are both seeing the same thing as the Iranians, which assumes that they have not only excellent intelligence but trust its excellence. The United States will have trouble with that assumption, while the Israelis have so much at stake that they will have a much lower trigger point. In short, the possibilities of miscalculation in the Iranian situation are substantial. The unintended rather than the intended consequence is the most dangerous.
HOOFBEATS OF THE RED HORSEMAN
U.S., Israel to attack Iran nukes 'before April'
Iran Warns Israel About Attack
Bush: 'We will protect Israel'
Report: Israel has identified 60 targets in Iran
HEADLINES: Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iran’s president sees “final war” between Muslims, West
Iran to question authenticity of Holocaust
Iran's leader challenges Europe to take back Jews in Israel
Iran president meets anti-Israel militants in Syria
Iranian defense minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar: "Israel does not have the courage to attack Iran, and if it commits such a big mistake, the defenders of Islamic Iran will put Israel in an eternal coma like Sharon."
CHICAGO TRIBUNE EDITORIAL: Why allow Iran's charade to continue?
VIA CHIESA ONLINE: Holy War- The Year the Muslims Took Rome by Sandro Magister
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control4. Daniel said of him, 'All the years he lived near us, we gave him the minimum amount of food to last each year, and every time we went to visit him, he shared it with us.'
January 25, 2006
17:20-22) And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who
through their word shall believe in me. That they all may be one, as
thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us:
that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which
thou hast given me, I have given to them: that, they may be one, as we
also are one.
POPE BENEDICT XVI:
"We understand, therefore, the reason why it is so important that we,
Christians, invoke the gift of unity with persevering constancy,". "If
we do so with faith, we can be sure that our request will be heard."
"We do not know when or how, as it is not for us to know, but we must not doubt that one day we will be one, as Jesus and the Father are united in the Holy Spirit."
FINAL DAY OF CHRISTIAN UNITY WEEK
Christian churches and communities of
all denominations in Rome are taking part in a week of prayer for
Christian unity among Christians. Pope Benedict XVI has stressed the
need for all those who had been baptised to reflect and pray for the
restoration of full Christian unity. The overall theme for the week
this year is taken from St. Matthew’s gospel “Where two or
three are gathered in my name, I am there among them”.
The conclusion of the week of prayer will be on Wednesday 25 January, the feast of the conversion of St. Paul, when Pope Benedict will preside at vespers at 17.30 in St Peter’s Basilica. Representatives of all the Christian communities in Rome are expected to be present.
REVIEW: The Need for Full Christian Unity
A LOOK BACK: Pope appeals for Christian unity at inauguration Mass
Pope hails spirit of Christian unity
Vatican meets with Anglicans after year-long break
Pope Pleased by Restart of Catholic-Orthodox Talks
Orthodox Leader Says He Will Meet Pope
Patriarch: Pope to visit Istanbul
On relations between Rome and the Lefebvrians
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control3. Arsenius said, 'One hour's sleep is enough for a monk if he is a fighter.'
January 24, 2006
(1Ti 2:1-2) I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men: For kings and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity.
HEADLINE: Judiciary Committee advances Alito nomination to the full Senate
AS JUSTICE, ALITO MAY HAVE SWIFT IMPACT
The confirmation of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court will make him a decisive vote in several upcoming cases.
The Los Angeles Times says Alito will have an immediate impact in the areas of abortion, religion and the death penalty.
Alito`s arrival on the court would also set the stage for far-reaching changes in election campaigns and the environment, the newspaper said.
President Bush`s nominee could tip the balance to the right on about half a dozen issues on which the justices have been closely split.
While Justice Sandra Day O`Connor voted in favor of a ruling that government officials may not prominently display the Ten Commandments, Alito has favored a greater accommodation for religion in public life.
And, in a discussion about abortion last week, Alito refused to pledge to uphold Roe vs. Wade, saying only that he values precedent and that it would take a 'special justification' to reverse the ruling.
While the court is not likely to face a question of overturning Roe vs. Wade in the next few years, the justices are likely to decide soon on whether to allow more government restrictions on abortion.
Alito would be fifth Catholic on Supreme Court
Catholic majority on the High Court?
First U.S. Supreme Court Catholic majority in history
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Compunction27. A brother asked a hermit, 'I hear the hermits weeping, and my soul longs for tears, but they do not come, and I am worried about it.' He replied, 'The children of Israel entered the promised land after forty years in the wilderness. Tears are the promised land. When you reach them you will no longer be afraid of conflict. For it si the will of God that we should be afflicted, so we may always be longing to enter that country.'
January 23, 2006
ABORTION IN THE HEADLINES
At March for Life, Thousands of Teens and Women Condemn Abortion
Protests at abortion decision anniversary
Abortion fight may move to states
Demonstrators Mark Roe V. Wade Anniversary
VIA Baptist Press: NYC still U.S. abortion capital
New York City has maintained its hold on an infamous title -- abortion capital of America.
The New York Daily News reported Jan. 15 the following, recently released statistics from the city's Department of Health to illustrate why the Big Apple deserves the designation:
-- There were 74 abortions for every 100 births in the city in 2004.
-- Of every 100 pregnancies in the city, 40 resulted in intentional abortions, far surpassing the national average of 24 in 2002, as estimated by the Alan Guttmacher Institute. (In New York City in 2004, there were 124,100 live births, 91,700 induced abortions and 11,700 spontaneous abortions.)
-- Abortions in New York City for out-of-town women increased from 57 to 70 of every 1,000 between 1996 and 2004.
On the same day, New York Magazine gave more insight into why the city is the country's abortion capital:
-- The ratio of abortions to births is one to one in some parts of the city.
-- New York City has "more abortions performed on minors, more repeat abortions and more late abortions (over 21 weeks)" than any other United States city.
-- Seven of every 10 abortions performed in New York state occur in its most populous city.
-- There are 34 clinics in New York City that perform more than 400 abortions apiece each year.
"New York City has fashioned itself as being the philosophical center of 'abortion on demand,' and it has a thriving industry to show for it," Christina Fadden Fitch told the Daily News. Fitch is legislative director of the New York State Right to Life Committee.
Excerpt Homily by Father Altier:God will take the blood of all of those babies and He will make something great, as only God can, because the old saying is The blood of martyrs is the seedbed of faith. There is no blood more innocent than that of a child in the womb; therefore, there is no blood that is going to be more powerful than that of a child from the womb. And we have now spilled upon this earth the blood of over 1 billion babies. That is a powerful force crying out to heaven, and God will hear the cries of those babies. But God will also hear the cries of the mothers. We recall when we think about the Holy Innocents, the Gospel writer Matthew tells us that that was to fulfill what was said: Rachel wailing for her children because they are no more. There is not a heart of a woman who has aborted a baby that does not cry out in pain. As much as they might want to try to hide it, they cannot. The reality is there. And if any woman will turn to God and allow those cries to be cries of repentance directed to Almighty God, those will be powerful prayers. So instead of turning upon ourselves, which is what this world tells us to do, we need to turn to God and we need to hear the words of Jesus Christ: Repent, and believe in the Gospel because the kingdom of God is at hand.
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Compunction24. A hermit said, 'As the shadow goes everywhere with the body, so we ought to carry penitence and weeping with us everywhere we go.'
January 19/20, 2006
THE TRIB TIMES WILL RETURN NEXT WEEK, GOD WILLING (James 4:15).
(Zec 12:2-3) "Lo, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of reeling to all the peoples round about; it will be against Judah also in the siege against Jerusalem. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it shall grievously hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will come together against it.
FROM THE MAILBAG
Some brief reflectionsBefore going on to speak about the Christian point of view, it is important to note, firstly, that we are talking about well-developed religious beliefs, which tend to be the strongest and most enduring of all beliefs, at the same time influencing the thoughts and motivating the activities of those who hold them.
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Compunction
7. Jacob said, 'Like a lantern giving light in a dark little room, so the fear of God comes into a man's heart and enlightens it, and teaches him all that is good and all the commandments of God.'21. A hermit said, 'If it were possible to die of fear, all the world would perish with terror rememberig the coming of God after the resurrection. What will it be like, to see the heavens opened, and God revealed in wrath and fury, and innumerable companies of angels gazing on the whole human race gathered together? Therefore we ought to live our lives as those who must give account of each action to God.'
January 18, 2006
(2Th 2:11-12) Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
COMMENTARY: Islamic Fundamentalism- When even the pope has to whisper
INTERVIEW: Father Joseph D. Fessio on the problems Christianity, especially in Europe, faces with the spread of IslamZEALOTRY PUTS IRAN ON APOCALYPTIC PATH
"An all-out international effort is
needed to stop Iran's nuclear program. If that failed and Iraq acquired
nuclear weapons, the likeliest outcome would be a Middle East living
with the Cold War concept known as mutually assured destruction (MAD).
If one nuclear power were to use a weapon, it would bring retaliatory
Not a pleasant thought. MAD assumes rational leadership, not rule by fanatics. What if a leader such as Ahmadinejad, who calls for the destruction of Israel and contends the Holocaust is a myth, were to turn a whole country into a suicide bomber? Sobering fuel for thought — and action."
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Compunction5. When Archbishop Theophilus of holy memory was dying, he said, 'Arsenius, you are blessed of God, because you have always kept this moment before your eyes.'
January 17, 2006FROM THE MAILBAG
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Compunction4. Elias said, 'I fear thre things: the first, the time before my soul leaves my body: the second, the time before I meet God face to face: the third, the time before He pronounces His sentence upon me.'
January 13, 2006
THE TRIB TIMES WILL RETURN NEXT WEEK, GOD WILLING (James 4:15).
(Rev 12:12) Rejoice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!"VIA Spero News: Apparitions true and false Part 2 by Fr Peter Joseph
Some norms for discernment
"The following norms are offered as
guides for the spiritual director in the discernment of spirits so far
as they pertain to revelations and prophecies:
1. Any revelation contrary to dogma or morals must be rejected as false. God does not contradict himself,
2. Any revelation contrary to the
common teaching of theologians or purporting to settle an argument
among the schools of theology is gravely suspect.
3. If some detail or other in a revelation is false, it is not necessary to reject the entire revelation; the remainder may be authentic.
4. The fact that a prophecy is fulfilled is not of itself a conclusive proof that the revelation was from God; it could have been the mere unfolding of natural causes or the result of a superior natural knowledge on the part of the seer.
5. Revelations concerning merely curious or useless matters should be rejected as not divine. The same is to be said of those that are detailed, lengthy, and filled with a superfluity of proofs and reasons. Divine revelations are generally brief, clear, and precise.
6. The person who receives the revelation should be examined carefully, especially as to temperament and character. If the person is humble, well balanced, discreet, evidently advanced in virtue, and enjoys good mental and physical health, there is good reason to proceed further and to examine the revelation itself. But if the individual is exhausted with excessive mortifications, suffers nervous affliction, is subject to periods of great exhaustion or great depression, or is eager to divulge the revelation, there is cause for serious doubt." (p. 430)
Is the information useful for the
salvation of souls? If it is merely to satisfy curiosity it is unlikely
to be of divine origin. Some seeming seers act like mediums, give
information on births, marriages, legal processes, diseases, political
events, etc. God does not run an Inquiry Office. Some are very clever
at observing, or very intuitive, and can work with little things. At
séances, furniture is often pushed about, or a spirit moves a
person’s hand to write messages, etc. God has never done these
things in any approved revelation.
Curiosity sticks out in people who claim to tell you what was the ultimate fate of Princess Diana, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, etc. We’d all love to know who’s in Heaven and who isn’t! A lady I heard of claims to know where every deceased person is: funnily enough everyone’s either in Purgatory or Heaven! I suppose it would do harm to business and popularity to tell people that certain relatives are in Hell! Actually, anyone who pronounces on famous people is immediately to be disbelieved.
Also suspect are revelations that merely give truisms and platitudes.
Why does the devil do it?
Catholics ought be very cautious in giving credence to visions and messages before they have received approbation from the Church. The devil has raised up many false mystics in recent years. People ask: "Why would the devil be behind a revelation which encourages people to pray and fast and do penance? That would be Satan divided against himself."
Fair question. Why would he do it?
Answer: For a number of reasons: to distract people from the genuine private revelations; to lead them into exercises not blessed as such by God; to bring private revelations into complete disrepute; to cause disenchantment and even a crisis of faith when a seer is later plainly seen to be false; and, worst of all, subtly to lead some people out of the Church altogether. The devil is willing to lose a lot, if he can gain in the long run.
The devil rejoices when Catholics reject the tried and true means of spiritual growth to chase after the extraordinary and the unapproved. The Church is extremely careful before approving a private revelation, for she knows how "even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light" (2 Cor 11:14). She must avoid both credulity and unfounded scepticism. "Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophesying, but test everything," directs St Paul (1 Thess 5:19-21). And St John warns, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God" (1 Jn 4:1). Some spirits are quite easy to discern; others very difficult. Priests in particular must be examples of prudence and obedience in this area.
Examples of visionaries judged to be false
Some individuals have been pronounced
against by name, e.g., Vassula Ryden, and the Little Pebble, William
Kamm. Vassula has been condemned twice by the Holy Office (the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), on the grounds that her
revelations do not come from God, and because they contain errors
against the Faith. You hear people say: "But her writings are so
spiritual and so beautiful!" I agree; possibly 99% of Vassula’s
messages are in conformity with the Catholic Faith—but that is
just how the devil operates to deceive pious Catholics. It is the 1%
that does harm. A poison apple is mostly good apple—but will harm
you nevertheless. The devil knows he cannot mislead devout Catholics
with outright heresy, but he can appeal to their piety and then subtly
plant errors within.
In any case, there has been no approved revelation in the history of the Church where God took someone’s hand and gave messages by writing with their pen. But you do find handwriting messages given at séances—and séances are condemned by the Church as a practice of the occult against the law of God.
I have seen one pious magazine defending Vassula by saying that Cardinal Ratzinger never signed the statement against her printed in L’Osservatore Romano. A man I know sent them the official statement from Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official Vatican gazette, which has the Cardinal’s signature at the bottom, along with the Bishop Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Unfortunately, the editor of the magazine had neither the humility nor the honesty to print a correction in the next issue.
Another example: the alleged apparitions in Garabandal in northern Spain, in which four young girls alleged that the Virgin Mary appeared to them from 1961-1965. The response of successive bishops of the diocese of Santander has been uniformly negative, and the present Bishop Vilaplaua has concurred with this verdict. Despite this, there are a number of active associations supporting Garabandal. A simple case of disobedience to lawful authority.
This is only one of a countless number. There’s Montichiari in Italy (1947), Necedah in the United States (1949), Palmar de Troya in Spain (1968), Bayside in the U.S. (1970), Dozule in France (1972), and hundreds of others - to say nothing of all the alleged visionaries and locutionists past and present, such as the Irish lady, Christina Gallagher, and many another poor deluded souls. Mrs Gallagher’s messages, in part, read like a frantic worried woman lamenting the state of the world. There are plenty of frantic worried people, lamenting the state of the world, who are good Catholics - but the Blessed Virgin from Heaven does not talk like them, in such a human, earthly, fretful fashion. To attribute such talk to Our Lady is an insult.
"Have visions; will travel" - such publicity seekers are not to be believed. Genuine visionaries fly from publicity. They do not go around with photographers and camera crews. They submit to investigation by Church authorities; but they do not have publicity agents.
The authority to judge and the duty to obey
No private individual has the
authority to judge definitively and officially which private
revelations are true and which are not.
The authority to rule on the genuineness of a private revelation rests first with the local Bishop.
The apparitions of Lourdes, Knock, Fatima, Beauraing, Banneux - to name only a few - were approved by the local Bishops. The Popes of the time never issued any judgement on them. The current canonical practice is that the local Bishop must appoint a committee to investigate and rule on any private revelation (if he thinks it worthy of investigation), but the Holy See may intervene if necessary or if the Bishops ask it to. Alternatively, he may ask the Episcopal Conference of his country to assist in the investigation and judgement.
It is forbidden, as well as sinful, to propagate private revelations which have received a negative judgement from the local Bishop, the conference of Bishops, or the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Some people say, "I’m going to follow it until the Pope says it’s false." This is a useless guide for action in this matter - very rarely does the Pope make a pronouncement for or against a revelation.
As for statements attributed to the Pope (e.g., "I heard that the Pope told Mrs Smith after Mass in his private chapel that he believes in Garabandal and Bayside;" "The Pope told Jack that he could go ahead and print that condemned book") - no one is entitled to act on such gossip. The Church is governed by publicly promulgated statements - not by hearsay and personal communications.
The Popes may choose to show their approval of certain revelations, after the decision of a local Bishop or conference of Bishops, by speaking of them, or by placing a new feast in the liturgical calendar, or by visiting the places intrinsically connected with them (e.g., Guadalupe, Paray-le-Monial, Rue de Bac, Lourdes, Knock, Fatima, Beauraing, Banneux).
Even should the local Bishop mistakenly disapprove of a genuine revelation, obedience to the Church remains paramount. It is a sin to propagate a private revelation disobediently, but it can never be a sin not to propagate one. This applies both to claimed seers and to followers. In fact, if an alleged visionary disobeys a legitimate order from the Bishop, and claims God’s backing for the action, this is a sure sign that the message is not from God. Even if a genuine private revelation has been given, not even God Himself would want or command a seer to spread it against a lawful decree of a Bishop to desist. In fact, there are occasions in the life of St Teresa of Jesus of Avila (died 1582) and St Margaret Mary (died 1690) and Sr Josefa Menendez (died 1923) where Our Lord gave them a directive, but then their superior forbade it. What did they do? They obeyed their human superior on earth. What did Our Lord then tell them? -‘You were right to obey my representative.’
On one occasion, the Sacred Heart of
Jesus told St Margaret Mary to do something, but her Superior did not
approve. When He came again, she asked Him about this, and He replied:
"…not only do I desire that
you should do what your Superior commands, but also that you should do
nothing of all that I order without their consent. I love obedience,
and without it no one can please me" [Autobiography of St Margaret Mary].
Spiritual writers have an axiom: A Superior may or may not be inspired by God in his command, but you are always inspired in obeying. (Of course, we’re not talking about where a Superior commands a sin; and, as I said above, it is not a sin to drop a private revelation).
Satan may really promote good things for a while, provided that he gains in the long run. The revelations of Necedah, Wisconsin, seemed to have good fruits, yet were false. Rosaries were said to change to gold. Similarly for Bayside. But disobedience showed them false. St Margaret Mary was told by Our Lord: "Listen, My daughter, and do not lightly believe and trust every spirit, for Satan is angry and will try to deceive you. So do nothing without the approval of those who guide you. Being thus under the authority of obedience, his efforts against you will be in vain, for he has no power over the obedient" [Autobiography].
After error itself, the mark of a false mystic is wilfulness and disobedience. I love this quote from Saint Faustina Kowalska: "Satan can even clothe himself in a cloak of humility, but he does not know how to wear the cloak of obedience." (Diary, par. 939). Genuine mystics, like Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio), are models of obedience. They never pretend to set up Christ against His Church.
Everyone is free to have an opinion, but all have to submit to the judgement of the Church with practical obedience. What I mean is: you are still free to disagree (the Bishop is not infallible in this matter), but you owe him practical obedience, that is, you may not act against the decree; you may not propagate a revelation that the Bishop has judged negatively, or continue to say publicly that you regard it as genuine. Remember, a Church commission may give a negative verdict for reasons which it cannot state publicly, e.g., it may have found out things against the character of the seer, but will not say so publicly, even though this would justify the decision and help people to accept it.
If a so-called message is judged not authentic for doctrinal reasons, then you are not free to defend such messages, because then you will be defending error. Vassula Ryden is an example of this: the judgement against her was for false doctrine in her writings. How and why pious Catholics defended her after the negative judgement by the Holy See’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is beyond me. Her whole case is black-and-white. Apart from unorthodoxy, her alleged messages, which are meant to be handwritten by Our Lord Himself, contain mistakes in English spelling and grammar!
Can you say publicly that an approved revelation is not genuine? Yes, if you want to. The Church never orders you to accept any private revelation. But any such disagreement should be voiced respectfully.
Caution never does harm
The simple fact is that most claimed revelations are false. It is extremely foolish, therefore, to devote oneself to propagating a disapproved or dubious message, which might actually come from the Father of Lies. If one day you see its falsity for yourself, you will regret it enormously, and be unable to undo the harm done to others. On the other hand, there are more than enough approved messages to spread, if you want to spread them. It is better to keep to what is countenanced by the Church, than to go it alone and risk being a dupe of the devil.
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Quiet14. Matrona said, 'Many solitaries living in the desert have been lost because they lived like people in the world. It is better to live in a crowd and want to live a solitary life than to live in solitude and be longing all the time for company.'
January 12, 2006
(2Co 11:13-14) For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.VIA Spero News: Apparitions true and false Part 1 by Fr Peter Joseph
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Quiet11. Nilus said, 'The arrows of the enemy cannot touch someone who loves quiet. But those who wander about crowds will often be wounded by them.'
January 11, 2006
(Mat 5:14-16) "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.EXCERPT HOMILY BY FATHER ALTIER Part 2
FROM THE MAILBAG VIA Joyce: The End Times Too much Pondering and not enough Pleading by Christopher
When I first had my conversion
experience, I was filled with the Love of God and wanted to tell
everyone about this fantastic gift I’d found… so I did. My
success ratio in leading people to Christ was maybe 5%, but the odds
were much better with my family and friends as they were now convinced
that I was 100% whacko. Through some trials, tribulations and personal
growth provided by my new found Friend, I have learned how better to
assist Him in witnessing to my brothers and sisters and am maturing in
my faith day by day.
Somewhere along the line I learned that Jesus was going to return. I’d heard this in the past but it now seemed like a reality that was “coming soon”!
While looking into this fantastic conglomeration of information on the End Times I slowly became familiar with Apparitions, Locutions, Prophesy, Visions, Miraculous Photos, Mystics, scientific data on recent natural disasters and odd physical occurrences affecting our world. I even experience some of these phenomenon’s in my personal life.
I soon found myself immersed so much in the “end” times I all but forgot to live in the “now” times and my child like faith was slipping away. All of this research became obsessive and was also taking up a lot of my time which would have been better spent taking care of business, reading scripture and pleading on my knees in prayer.
By our Lords Grace the real Truth began returning to me and I recalled the basics: that I was supposed to Love God above all, and my brother (and sister) as self. This simple Truth had became more difficult to hold on to as I wondered and speculated on both real or prophesied events of the End Times, some filling me with fear or worry of what was to come. With this spiritual unrest inside of me, Christ could not emanate from me.
Now what was that our Lord told us in Matthew 24:34? Oh yes: "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Oops… I almost forgot that verse… I’m so grateful that our Lord is compassionate enough to be reeling me back to where He wants me again. I’m not really sure why I had to go through this experience but Isaiah 55:8 comes to mind: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
The cunning and deception of the evil one knows no limits. He actually used Christ’s return to become a stumbling block to my faith! Isn’t my faith based on Christ’s birth, death, resurrection and return? I sure was off track for a while there. I Praise God for shining through once again!
I would be lying if I said that I no longer find End Time prophesy and current world events fascinating, and believe me, it’s a much better hobby than some I’ve devoted myself to in the past ( amen )!
I know that miracles happen every single day and that God is showing us signs of the times through scripture and in many other forms. From now on I’ll pray about the things I feel I should, but won’t attempt to figure out things that are not for me to know ( back to Isaiah55:8 ).
Yup, I’m going to nip anxiety in the bud this year and instead of searching every known media source for “answers’ I’ll continue to fast and drop to my knees in thanksgiving for all of my Blessings, praying for the sins and conversion of the world, my family, my friends and myself.
Let’s take the recent advice of Michael Brown from Spiritdaily.com concerning End Time prophesy:
“Indeed, watch; watch and discern and be careful as we all try not to go overboard”.
May Our Lord bless you abundantly with his Peace and Joy!
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Quiet8. Evagarius said, 'Cut the desire for many things out of your heart and so prevent your mind being dispersed and your stillness lost.'
January 10, 2006
THOUGHTS FOR A NEW YEAR
EXCERPT HOMILY BY FATHER ALTIER
Epiphany of the Lord
We rejoice when there are conversions. We rejoice when people see the light. But how often we are put to shame by the way these people live their lives. They have seen the truth and they have changed their lives to conform to the truth, whereas so many of us continue to try to compromise the truth, to be mediocre Catholics, and to find a way to let the darkness attempt to cover the light. We cannot do that any longer. The Wise Men were smart enough to look to the light in the darkness. We live in a day where darkness covers the earth and thick clouds cover the people, but there is a brilliant star that shines in the darkness. If we have any wisdom about us at all, we should be able to see that star – Who is Jesus Christ – shining in the darkness and to follow that star, to keep our eyes fixed upon it until we find Him, we unite ourselves with Him, and we bow down before Him and worship Him.VIA Dr. Stephen A Rinehart: Epiphany
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Quiet2. Antony said, 'He who sits alone and is quiet has escaped from three wars: hearing, speaking, seeing: but there is one thing against which he must continually fight: that is, his own heart.'
January 9, 2006
POPE SAYS TERROR PROVOKES 'CLASH OF CIVILISATIONS'
Pope Benedict on Monday warned
of a clash of civilisations caused by the "moral perversion" of
terrorism, called for peace between Israel and Palestinians, and urged
cuts in arms spending to feed the poor.
The 78-year-old German Pope offered his considerations of the international scene in his first "state of the world" address -- a traditional new year speech to diplomats accredited to the Vatican from more than 170 countries.
Benedict, elected last April, said parts of the world had witnessed "appalling scenes of military conflict" and urged all nations to shun the "law of might" to solve disputes.
His French-language speech was delivered in a frescoed Vatican hall amid international anxiety for the health of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and its ramifications for Middle East and global peace.
He said the Holy Land was a "nerve point of the world scene" and the solution of problems there was vital for international peace.
"There, the State of Israel has to be able to exist peacefully in conformity with the norms of international law; there, equally, the Palestinian people has to be able to develop serenely its own democratic institutions for a free and prosperous future," he said.
He said peace in the Middle East and elsewhere was possible only when diversity and equality among people was mutually recognised and respected and when all parties in conflict acknowledged their own errors and sought forgiveness.
"CLASH OF CIVILISATIONS"
The danger of a "clash of civilisations" had been "made more acute by organised terrorism, which has already spread over the whole planet," the Pope said.
"Its causes are many and complex, not least those to do with political ideology, combined with aberrant religious ideas. Terrorism does not hesitate to strike defenceless people, without discrimination, or to impose inhuman blackmail, causing panic among entire populations, in order to force political leaders to support the designs of the terrorists," he said.
"No situation can justify such criminal activity, which covers the perpetrators with infamy, and it is all the more deplorable when it hides behind religion, thereby bringing the pure truth of God down to the level of the terrorists' own blindness and moral perversion," he added.
He said he was thinking especially of Iraq, "the cradle of great civilisations, which in these past years has suffered daily from violent acts of terrorism."
Benedict said peace did not mean merely the absence of war.
"One cannot speak of peace in situations where human beings are lacking even the basic necessities for living with dignity," he said, urging the world community to tackle the scourge of starvation, of the homeless, of refugees.
"Are these human beings not our brothers and sisters? Do their children not come into the world with the same legitimate expectations of happiness as other children?" he asked.
He again called for arms spending cuts to help the poor.
"On the basis of available statistical data, it can be said that less than half of the immense sums spent worldwide on armaments would be more than sufficient to liberate the immense masses of the poor from destitution. This challenges humanity's conscience," he said.
RELATED: More than 800 million children are exploited, says Vatican report
SEE ALSO: Pope attacks 'culture of death'
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Quiet
1. Antony said, 'Fish die if they stay on dry
land, and in the same way monks who stay outside their cell or remain
with secular people fall away from their vow of quiet. As a fish must
return to the sea, so must we to our cell, in case by staying outside,
we forget to watch inside.'
Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus
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