Keep your eyes open!...


January 31, 2012 

(Mat 18:5) And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me.


Born in 1815 in Turin, Italy, Don Bosco was ordained priest in 1841. He taught poor young boys about God, how to live moral lives, and basic livelihood skills. He founded the Salesian Order in 1859 to educate more neglected young boys. In 1872, together with St. Mary Mazarello, he established the Daughters of Our Lady Help of Christians to help poor and neglected young girls.

MORE: St. John (Don) Bosco

PROPHECY: Don Bosco's Prophecy of the Two Columns

CATHOLIC REPORT: Saint John Bosco's Two Pillars Dream:  Did Pope Benedict Fulfill That Dream With His Voyage Down the Rhine At The Start Of World Youth Day?


Sweet Savior, Saint John Bosco had a powerful love and tender heart for youth. I lift up to You the children and teenagers in my life. Protect them; lead them away from the temptations of the world and hold them tight in Your arms. When Saint John was a boy, he performed circus tricks to draw in the neighborhood children, and then he shared the homily he'd heard at Mass. Help the youth in my family and church become powerful evangelists to their peers. Bless those who have been gifted with a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, and help them say yes to this call. Saint John Bosco, pray for us. Amen.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

14. I admire the mercy of God with regard to the dear departed one... Happy the soul who has quitted this miserable life where there is nothing but suffering and affliction of mind, and where our salvation is constantly endangered through sin, the greatest enemy of the soul.

January 26, 2012 

(Psa 46:10) Be still and see that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth.

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "The God of biblical revelation speaks also without words: 'As the Cross of Christ demonstrates, God also speaks by His silence. If God speaks to us even in silence, we in turn discover in silence the possibility of speaking with God and about God.  ...  In speaking of God's grandeur, our language will always prove inadequate and must make space for silent contemplation.  Out of such contemplation springs forth, with all its inner power, the urgent sense of mission, the compelling obligation 'to communicate that which we have seen and heard' so that all may be in communion with God".

"In silent contemplation, then, the eternal Word, through Whom the world was created, becomes ever more powerfully present and we become aware of the plan of salvation that God is accomplishing throughout our history by word and deed.  ...  This plan of salvation culminates in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the mediator and the fullness of all revelation.  He has made known to us the true face of God the Father and by His Cross and Resurrection has brought us from the slavery of sin and death to the freedom of the children of God.  The fundamental question of the meaning of human existence finds in the mystery of Christ an answer capable of bringing peace to the restless human heart.  The Church's mission springs from this mystery; and it is this mystery which impels Christians to become heralds of hope and salvation, witnesses of that love which promotes human dignity and builds justice and peace".

FROM THE MAILBAG: Saint Romuald’s Brief Rule

"Sit in your cell as in paradise.  Put the whole world behind you and forget it.  Watch your thoughts like a good fisherman watching for fish.  The path you must follow is in the Psalms—never leave it.

If you have just come to the monastery, and in spite of your good will you cannot accomplish what you want, take every opportunity you can to sing the Psalms in your heart and to understand them with your mind.

And if your mind wanders as you read, do not give up; hurry back and apply your mind to the words once more.

Realize above all that you are in God’s presence, and stand there with the attitude of one who stands before the emperor.

Empty yourself completely and sit waiting, content with the grace of God, like the chick who tastes nothing and eats nothing but what his mother brings him".

Saint Romuald’s Brief Rule is taken from Saint Bruno of Qerfurt’s Lives of the Five Brothers (Chapter nineteen).  It was written around AD 1006—about twenty years before Saint Romuald’s death—and is based on reports from Saint John, one of the “five brothers”, who, like Saint Bruno, knew Saint Romuald well.  We can therefore be certain we have here an authentic version of Saint Romuald’s teaching and spirit.

BOOK EXCERPT: An archer depends on the strength of his bow, but if he keeps it strung all the time, the string loses strength.  To keep a how strong, it must be unstrung and given time to rest.  That is how God designed you also.

If you keep your body strung on high alert all the time, as I talked about earlier, then when you are ready to shoot, you will not have the tension or elasticity necessary to aim well and hit your target.  Like an archer, you aced to find times to unstring your bow, so to speak_

If you constantly push yourself beyond God's boundaries for your life, you will be ineffective and also miss a blessing God ordained for you.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

11. Have no reserve with Him Who wishes to dwell within you as the source of eternal life. He would reign in you, to rule and govern you, by being the motive power of all your actions and the object of all your affections.

January 24, 2012 

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "At the heart of every culture, whether perceived or not, is a consensus about the nature of reality and the moral good, and thus about the conditions for human flourishing. In America, that consensus, as enshrined in your nation's founding documents, was grounded in a worldview shaped not only by faith but a commitment to certain ethical principles deriving from nature and nature's God. Today that consensus has eroded significantly in the face of powerful new cultural currents which are not only directly opposed to core moral teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but increasingly hostile to Christianity as such".

THE NEW AMERICAN: Religious Groups Vow to Fight Obama’s Contraception Mandate

The Obama administration announced January 20 that under its 2010 ObamaCare medical legislation employers will be compelled to cover birth control for women free of charge, including controversial contraceptive drugs which can induce abortion early in a woman’s pregnancy. The administration rejected an appeal from religious organizations, led by the Catholic Church, for an exemption on insurance provided to employees of religious institutions such as hospitals, colleges, and charities.

 Under the ruling, most health insurance covered by employers will be required to include free access to all contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including such “emergency contraception” as Plan B, RU-486, Ella, and other “morning after” drugs which can induce abortion in women who take them very early in their pregnancies.

The White House made the announcement about the ruling through Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, who insisted that the decision “was made after very careful consideration, including the important concerns some have raised about religious liberty.” She expressed her belief that the mandate “strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services.”

REVIEW: A Primer On the HHS Rule, What You Need to Know

RELATED VIDEO: Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan on HHS Conscience Regulation

CALIFORNIA CATHOLIC: “Never before in US history”

Both the president of the U.S. bishops and the bishops’ Pro-Life chairman called on the thousands of Catholics gathered for the National Prayer Vigil for Life to speak out for the protection of conscience rights and religious liberty.

“From a human point of view, we may be tempted to surrender, when our government places conception, pregnancy and birth under the ‘center for disease control,’ when chemically blocking conception or aborting the baby in the womb is considered a ‘right’ to be subsidized by others who abhor it,” said Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at the vigil’s closing Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on January 23.

His words referred to the January 20 announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that nearly all employers will be forced to cover drugs and procedures that violate their conscience in their health insurance plans.

“When the ability of feeding, housing, and healing the struggling of the world is curtailed and impeded if one does not also help women abort their babies, one can hardly be faulted for being tempted to the ‘sin against the Holy Spirit’ and just consider all as lost,” Cardinal-designate Dolan said.

Addressing the opening Mass the previous evening, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, excoriated the HHS rule.

“Never before in our US History has the Federal Government forced citizens to directly purchase what violates our beliefs. At issue here as our President of the Conference stated it this past Friday, is the survival of a cornerstone constitutionally protected freedom that ensures respect for conscience and religious liberty,” said Cardinal DiNardo.



Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

10. Provided He is pleased we ought to be satisfied, and ought not to be troubled about our feelings of dissatisfaction or annoyance; these arise within us only because we are not sufficiently mortified and simple-hearted to cut off the windings and reflections of self-love.

January 20, 2012 

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "I am convinced that legislative measures which not only permit but at times even promote abortion for reasons of convenience or for questionable medical motives compromise the education of young people and, as a result, the future of humanity.”

USCCB: National Prayer Vigil For Life
The National Prayer Vigil for Life is an all-night pro-life prayer vigil held on the eve of the March for Life each January. Over 20,000 pilgrims from across the nation pray through the night for an end to abortion and a greater respect for all human life. It is held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

The vigil schedule includes the Opening Mass celebrated in the Great Upper Church. Prayer continues throughout the night with the National Rosary for Life, Night Prayer and Holy Hours for Life. The following morning, the prayer vigil concludes with Morning Prayer, Benediction and the Closing Mass the next morning.

The National Prayer Vigil for Life is one small part of the Church's "great prayer for life." It is sponsored by the USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and The Catholic University of America Office of Campus Ministry.

A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer. - Blessed Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no. 100

NCR: March On, March for Life

EXCERPT EDITORIAL: On Roe's anniversary, remembering 50 million killed

Thirty-nine years ago the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Roe v. Wade. The justices decided 7-2 that the practice of abortion in America was a right protected by the Constitution and thus legal throughout the United States. The date was Jan. 22, 1973. The specific date of the Roe decision deserves to be remembered as a day of infamy along with other tragic events like the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Roe ruling also deserves to be compared to the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide. All are despicable atrocities.

Those who track the numbers report that more than 50 million preborn babies have had their lives snuffed out as a direct result of the Roe decision. Think about the death toll and then compare it with the 2,400 who were killed at Pearl Harbor and the 3,000 who lost their lives on Sept. 11.

Ponder the number of 50 million dead preborn children and contrast them with the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis, 1 million of whom were children. Also consider the Rwandan genocide, which took place in the spring of 1994, where between 800,000 and 1 million Tutsis were brutally slaughtered by their fellow countrymen, the Hutus.

Each historic event has been universally deemed a horrific calamity. Additionally, world leaders and historians have rightly declared these tragic events must always be remembered and studied so they are never repeated. The only exception is abortion.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

9. Let us take refuge in the Wound of the Sacred Side like a poor traveller, who seeks a safe harbor in which to shelter from the rocks and tempests of the stormy sea of this life, for here below we are continually exposed to shipwreck, unless we have the help of our all-wise Pilot.

January 18, 2012 

(1Co 15:57-58) But thanks be to God, who hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast and unmoveable: always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

VIS NEWS: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins January 18

Following the Angelus prayer on Sunday, Benedict XVI invited the faithful, "as individuals and in communities, to participate spiritually, and where possible practically in the Week of Prayer, to ask God for the gift of full unity among the disciples of Christ".

VATICAN RADIO: Singing in Christian Unity : Gibbons is the name...

VIA MANILA: Christian unity

Hundreds of countries across the world will observe from Wednesday, Jan. 18, until Jan.25, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Ecumenical Week), which promotes prayer and dialogue for the unity of Christian churches.

The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches said the theme for this year’s observance is “We Will All Be Changed by the Victory of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Taken from 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, the theme highlights what Saint Paul said: “Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation and we are called to live as children in the light.”

VIA CALGARY: "Ecumenical worship services which offer an opportunity to draw together Christians from a variety of different backgrounds that helps us to unite us in Christ and to one another. That's basically what the week is for."

The theme is based on the following biblical passage from Corinthians: "We will all be changed by the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ."

"The word 'victory' there is not meant in triumphalist terms, but rather Paul in Corinthians talks about victory in Christ when it's servanthood. Of service. When it's of loss and sacrifice," Kim says.

"So the Polish churches have understood that idea of victory and have tried to communicate through this week of prayer liturgy in terms of how we understood victory as Christians. It's not about winning and power. About being triumphant, but rather about serving, giving, sacrificing. That's the focus.

VIA MALTA: Celebrating Christ’s victory over the self

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

30. This Feast of the Sacred Heart is a day of salvatona and of eternal blessing for all who honour It with a humble and sincere heart. Let us then, love this divine Heart and in all things try to conform ourselves to It.

January 13, 2012 

(1Pe 2:24) Who his own self bore our sins in his body upon the tree: that we, being dead to sins, should live to justice: by whose stripes you were healed.

RON SMITH REPORT: Confession Explained

CATHOLIC PAMPHLET: Sorrow For Sin By His Grace the Most Reverend John Charles McQuaid, D.D. Archbishop of Dublin, Primate of Ireland

PRAYER: Prayer in Sorrow for Sin

: Reflection by Father Ted - – January 3, 2012

My dearest Lord Jesus, as we begin this new year of 2012 You exhort us who are members of Your clergy that we are to bless Your people. For on New Year’s Day in the first reading at Mass You told Moses to speak to his brother and his nephews and exhort them to proclaim to Your people “The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace.

If we are to do what You want us to do, then we, ourselves, must listen to You, as intently as did Moses.

You want us to be like You. When we were ordained we were reminded that we are to be “another Christ.” If we are to be another You, then we must really get to know You and strive to imitate You.

One of the significant characteristics that You have revealed to us is that You spent much time in prayer – conversing with Your Father and listening to Him.

This is one of the key messages that Your Vicar, Pope Benedict XVI emphasized when he met several years ago with the American bishops in Washington. He stressed to them that they must be men of prayer. He told them that they should spend one hour with You in Eucharistic Adoration daily; that they should pray the Rosary daily; and that they should pray the Divine Office daily – not only Lauds and Vespers.

Obviously they were to exhort us priests to imitate them so that we can be men of prayer.

We, in turn, are to exhort our lay brothers and sisters to become men and women of prayer as well.

For we all have a similar mission - to evangelize the entire world.

And without being close to You, how can we imitate You and do what You have commanded us to do.

When we listen to You, we become receptive to receiving Your Holy Spirit who will enable us to reflect You to others – that is why You have reminded us also that we are to be “the light of the world” – and our world right now seems to be in tremendous darkness.

Lord Jesus, help us to respond to Your call so that we will bless Your people and enable them to experience Your Peace.

Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us, your priestly children, so that we become like Your Son, the Prince of Peace, and reveal to His People and your children how to experience the peace of Christ now and forever.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

29. Let us not be grieved if our desires for the glory of the divine Heart are not at once fulfilled. This delay is only permitted because He takes pleasure in seeing the increase of our zeal and eagerness for His glory.

January 10, 2012 

(Rev 6:9-11) And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying: How long, O Lord (Holy and True), dost thou not judge and revenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given to every one of them one; And it was said to them that they should rest for a little time till their fellow servants and their brethren, who are to be slain even as they, should be filled up.

CNA REVIEW: A Persecuted Church and its Heroes

HEADLINE: Catholics defy terror warning at Philippine parade

VIS NEWS: POPE BENEDICT XVI: "In this perspective. it is clear that an effective educational programme also calls for respect for religious freedom. This freedom has individual, collective and institutional dimensions. We are speaking of the first of human rights, for it expresses the most fundamental reality of the person. All too often, for various reasons, this right remains limited or is flouted. I cannot raise this subject without first paying tribute to the memory of the Pakistani Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, whose untiring battle for the rights of minorities ended in his tragic death.

  "Sadly, we are not speaking of an isolated case. In many countries Christians are deprived of fundamental rights and sidelined from public life; in other countries they endure violent attacks against their churches and their homes. ... In other parts of the world, we see policies aimed at marginalising the role of religion in the life of society, as if it were a cause of intolerance rather than a valued contribution to education in respect for human dignity, justice and peace. In the past year religiously motivated terrorism has also reaped numerous victims, especially in Asia and in Africa. ... Religion cannot be employed as a pretext for setting aside the rules of justice and of law for the sake of the intended 'good'".

  "I would also like to bring up several encouraging signs in the area of religious freedom. I am referring to the legislative amendment whereby the public juridical personality of religious minorities was recognised in Georgia; I think too of the sentence of the European Court of Human Rights upholding the presence of the crucifix in Italian schoolrooms. ... I hope that Italy will continue to foster a stable relationship between Church and State, and thus serve as an example to which other nations can look with respect and interest.

  "On the continent of Africa ... it is essential that cooperation between Christian communities and governments favour progress along the path of justice, peace and reconciliation, where respect is shown for members of all ethnic groups and all religions. It is painful to realise that in different countries of the continent this goal remains distant. I think in particular of the renewed outbreak of violence in Nigeria, ... the aftermath of the civil war in Cote d'Ivoire, the continuing instability in the Great Lakes region and the humanitarian emergency in the countries of the Horn of Africa. I once again appeal to the international community to make every effort to find a solution to the crisis which has gone on for years in Somalia.


Nigeria's descent into holy war
Egypt: Islam: One year after the massacre of Christians in Alexandria, Egypt seeks a way forward
Muslim Persecution of Christians: The Christmas Edition

VATICAN RADIO: What future for the Catholic community in Gaza?

VOICE OF THE MARTYRS: We would like to extend this special opportunity for you to request a complimentary copy of Tortured for Christ for your Christian friends and family members. Help spread the message of today's persecuted church.  Link:

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

28. If you would live entirely for Him, and reach the perfection which He desires of you, you must sacrifice yourself unreservedly with all that depends on you. You must no longer will anything but by the will of this loving Heart, and no longer love anything but by Its affections. You must act only by Its light; never undertake anything without first asking for Its counsel and help; give It all the glory thereof; return It thanks, both for failure and for success in your undertakings, and without worry be equally satisfied with all; for, provided that this divine Heart is pleased, loved and glorified, nothing else matters.
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