Keep your eyes open!...


June 30, 2005

(Mat 18:10) "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.


Reflection by Father Ted:

Thank You, Jesus, for speaking to each one of us everyday.

Many times we do not hear You - because we are preoccupied with so many other things.

Yet, everyday You speak to us.

Sometimes, directly.

Sometimes, indirectly - through others or through events.

You speak to us sometimes through our guardian angels.

These angels You have given to us to help us to know You, to love You, to serve You in this world - so that we can be with You and the Father and the Holy Spirit forever in heaven - our true home.

From the first moment of our creation they have been with us.

Throughout our development within the womb of our mothers, they were with us - watching over us - praying for us.

At our birth, they were present.

Throughout our entire lives they are with us.

While they intercede for us, they worship You and the Father and the Holy Spirit.

When they speak to us, they do so because of their love for You and the Father and the Holy Spirit and because they love us.

Many times You allow them to protect us from harm.

Many times You have them warn us to avoid certain people and places and things - because You know and they know what is harmful to us.

When we listen to them - just as when we listen to You, we become blessed; we grow in virtue.

When we do not listen to them - just as when we do not listen to You, we hurt ourselves and others - through sin.

And when we sin, this behavior saddens them.

They do not want us to sin.

Yet we do have the free will to reject their warnings - just as we can and do reject Your exhortations.

Jesus, thank You for giving to us such wonderful helpers - our guardian angels.

Thank You for speaking to us through them.

Angels of God, our guardians dear, to whom God’s love commits us here. Ever this day be at our side - to light, to guard, to rule, to guide. Amen.

Praise You Jesus, now and forever. Amen.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

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

June 29, 2005

(2Pe 3:8-9) But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.


Monday June 27, 2005

As we look around in our world today, the great question that we ask so often is: How long is God going to tolerate all the evil? How many babies have to be killed? How many things need to happen? How many marriages need to break up? How many people need to contracept? How many times do all of these evil things happen? How many priests and nuns abandon their vocation and start teaching things that are completely false and leading people astray, and on and on it goes. Look at what is happening in Spain right now – a Catholic country – where they are protesting in order to have homosexual marriages, as they call it. Of course, it is going to pass because of the government that is elected there. We have to wonder how long God is going to tolerate it.

But then we look at the first reading, and we hear Abraham asking God, “What if there are but fifty people in the city of Sodom that are innocent? How about forty-five? or forty? or thirty? or twenty? or ten? Will you spare the place for the sake of those people?” And each time the Lord says, “If I can even find but ten, I will not destroy the place.” So when we wonder how long God is going to tolerate the evil in the world, we need only to think about this particular passage. What if He can find even just a handful of innocent people, of holy people, will He forebear for the sake of that handful? He has made His answer clear.

We need to also, then, forebear. It is a test for each one of us as to whether or not we will remain faithful in the midst of all the evil that surrounds us. It is a test for each one of us to determine whether or not we are going to remain faithful to God when it seems that something different should happen. If we think that God ought to intervene and do something and He does not do it in our time, then we begin to wonder and doubt and question. So the question is not: How much evil is God going to tolerate? The real question is: Are we going to remain faithful in the midst of an evil society? That is what it really comes down to.

Part of that remaining faithful is not just holding tenaciously to the doctrines of the Faith; it has to do with the charity and the mercy that God shows toward us and that we therefore need to show toward others. Are we praying for the conversion of these people? Or are we instead praying that God will send a lightning bolt and destroy the whole mess? Abraham intervened and prayed that God would spare the place for the sake of the innocent. Are we praying for that? For many of us, we could probably look back in our lives and say, “If God would have intervened with some sort of lightning bolt at such and such a time in my life, I would have gone to hell. Am I glad that somebody was praying for my conversion? Should I not do the same for others?” Why is it that suddenly we become so self-righteous since we have had a conversion and we pray that God would destroy everyone else? That does not make sense. If mercy has been shown to us, we need to show mercy in return.

God will indeed intervene one of these days, at the appointed time that He Himself has decided. In the meantime, it is for us to pray that we will remain faithful and that others will be converted. Saint Peter tells us that God’s patience is directed toward salvation. He wants as many souls saved as He can. Therefore, He continues to wait, and He allows many, many people to fall away so that those whom He has chosen will be brought into the fold. That includes each one of us. We now need to act as children of God.

Remember that Our Lord chastised James and John when they wanted to call down lightning on the people who would not receive Jesus. Rather than calling down the lightning, Jesus chastised his disciples who wanted to see the show and wanted to see the people destroyed. The Lord simply said, “Let’s move on to another place.” So too for us, we need to pray that these people will be converted – not destroyed. What kind of charity is it for us to desire that people would go to hell? There is no charity in that. We need to pray that they will be converted so that they too will be able to go to heaven because no one should desire that anyone would go to hell. What a horrible place to be, and what a horrible thing to desire for anyone. Christian charity requires that we have to be like God, Who has shown mercy to us. In turn, we must show mercy to others so that many will be converted and many will be able to enter eternal life.

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.

June 28, 2005

(2Ti 3:1-4) Know also this, that in the last days shall come dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, Without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, Traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasure more than of God:


Justices reject Ten Commandments at courthouses
Changes in Spain jarring Catholic Church
Jerusalem court overrules ban on gay parade
Canada may be 3rd nation to OK gay unions
Cable company refuses to televise ad on abstinence


Pope presents Catechism
Pope Urges Italy to Guard Christian Roots
Pope chastises Europe for "excluding" God from life and taking life from God
Denver's Chaput flogs Europe, saying it is forsaking Christianity
What would Thomas More do? by Father Raymond J. de Souza
Father Bao: from Communist militant to priest in the underground Church


Via Richard: The feeling I have been getting from the Holy Spirit is that we can still mitigate much of what is coming but we can no longer stop it.

When Terri Schiavo was killed by the state we went to another level.

There won't be any 'soft landing' from here. But as individuals we can hide ourselves in the Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart and we will be protected and consoled. But we are beginning to live life in a world where there are no longer guarantees - except our eternal salvation will be guaranteed if we remain faithful until the end.

The judgement has been passed (so I feel) upon the US that since we have placed our courts above God - then these false 'gods' will be the rulers of our national lives - and God will abide by our decision to replace Him.

It is like when Israel rejected God and wanted the prophet Samuel replaced with an earthly king - and God allowed it and gave them Saul as king who lorded it over them and ruled by his whim with an iron fist.

Now in 2005 in the US - God will - and once again has - sadly stepped aside and is abiding by our collective free will decision to trade in our God given freedom and in place of that make ourselves slaves to the whim of a few human false gods.

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 worrying be equally satsified with all; for, provided that this divine Heart is pleased, loved and glorfied, nothing else matters.

June 17, 2005


(2Co 12:10) For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Reflection by Father Ted:

My Lord Jesus Christ, many years ago You tried to teach me the importance of 'knowing myself '.

I did not take Your exhortation seriously.

Yet You wanted me to know myself - for then I would be able to realize how You and the Father and the Holy Spirit have blessed me.

I did not know then how important this truth is.

Only recently have I begun to take seriously Your calling for me to 'know myself'.

As I become aware of this truth I realize that everything from You is a gift.

I have become more grateful for the many talents that You have bestowed upon me.

I have begun to use these talents more faithfully.

And when I have You not only bless me but You especially bless those who are the recipients of these talents that You have given to me.

I realize that these talents were given to me by You to honor the Most Blessed Trinity as well as to bless many of my brothers and sisters.

What I did not realize years ago, what I am beginning to realize at this time is that one of the greatest gifts that You have given to me are 'my weaknesses'.

I used to complain about these weaknesses of mine.

I used to lament that I was so imperfect - so weak.

Now I am realizing that when I know my weaknesses, I can call out to You to help me - and not only do You help me, Your help enables me to grow in virtue.

I know that I have not yet fully accepted 'these weakness' as gifts of love.

I know that when I experience these weaknesses - especially when I am tempted, I do not readily call out to You for help.

Because of this, I do not succeed in conquering my temptations; instead I give into these sinful inclinations.

But I am learning - slowly.

Yet when I experience these weaknesses - in my temptations; and when I sincerely call upon You for Your help, You faithfully give to me these graces that I need - and I am able to succeed in conquering the temptations - resulting in another victory.

The result is growth in virtue.

Thank You Jesus for allowing me to 'know myself' a little better.

Thank You Jesus for prompting me to call out to You for help.

Thank You Jesus for giving me the graces that I need to resist these temptations.

Thank You Jesus for enabling me to grow in virtue.

Thank You Jesus for enabling me to become a Saint.

VIA Nadine: Strength and Courage

It takes strength to be certain, It takes courage to have doubts.

It takes strength to fit in, It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to share a friend's pain, It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to hide your own pain, It takes courage to show it and deal with it.

It takes strength to stand guard, It takes courage to let down your guard.

It takes strength to conquer, It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to endure abuses, It takes courage to stop them.

It takes strength to stand alone, It takes courage to lean on a friend.

It takes strength to love, It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive, It takes courage to live.

May you find strength and courage in everything you do, And may your life be filled with Friendship and Love!

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

17. He has assured me that the pleasure He takes in being loved, known and honored by His creatures, is so great that, if I am not mistaken, He has promised me that all those who are devoted and consecrated to Him shall never perish.

June 16, 2005

(Heb 12:6-7) For whom the Lord loveth he chastiseth: and he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Persevere under discipline. God dealeth with you as with his sons. For what son is there whom the father doth not correct?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I don't recall a period where I have received so many prayer requests from so many that are hurting.  Today in Church the priest asked for petitions from parishoners during the Prayers of the Faithful, and once again, I was impressed by the difficulties being encountered by devoted members of the Church.  For this reason I share the following inspirational story courtesy of Richard.


A man heard God calling to him. He heard God say, "You are to go and push on the rock."

As the sun rose, the man went out, and with all his might, he pushed this rock all day long. When night fell he went to bed exhausted. The next day he got up again and began to push the rock. The next day he pushed. The following day he pushed. This went on for several years until he heard the voice of Satan. Satan said to the man, "You are pushing that rock, yet how far have you actually moved it?"

The man responds, "I haven't moved it at all. I haven't even budged it."

Satan says, "Do you believe that this is what God is calling you to do? You are not succeeding at all. You are a failure."

Suddenly the man was discouraged. In that moment he suddenly saw himself as a complete failure for he had pushed the rock for years and he had accomplished nothing. The rock had never moved.

In his distress he went to God in prayer and said, "Lord, you've told me to push the rock and I've pushed and pushed the rock but I have failed. I am a failure. I have not succeeded at all."

God responded by saying, "I never told you to move the rock. I told you to push the rock, and in your pushing, look at your shoulders. They are not weak and thin like they were years ago when you started. Look at your back and your arms and legs. Look at the person you are today. You are not the same person that I originally called to push that rock. You are stronger now. You have more faith. You may not be able to move the rock, but I can."

Our calling to do the work that God has called us to do. The task may seem enormous, and the need so grand that it will feel like we are pushing against a solid rock that does not move. Yet the promise of God is that he will strengthen us for the task and enable us to fulfill our calling.
Remember the purpose may not be to move the rock, but to develop you into the person that God wants you to be. In pushing the rock we will grow to realize that with God, we can do all things.
Dear friend of the holy souls, Praying for our loved ones can be like that story - you seem to push and push on a huge boulder year in and year out and nothing seems to happen, except you get tired and discouraged.

But maybe when we do grow discouraged, as we all do, maybe we just need to step back and see our 'pushing on the rock' through God's eyes and not our own.

Praying for the holy souls can also be tiring and at times we may want to just quit. I have felt that fatigue many times myself. But we love the holy souls and they need our prayers so very much and so we cant quit, it would be uncharitable if we did, and besides we too will need prayers when we die so we have to keep going - we have to keep pushing on the rock.

So, yes please do enter all those (both living and deceased) who are the 'rocks' you are pushing against in your life at :

The perpetual Masses and all our combined Adorations and prayers may be just the thing you need to move those mountains.

May the peace and joy of Jesus our Lord be with each and every one of you.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

16. I can hardly express my joy at seeing the increase of devotion to the Sacred Heart of my Saviour.  I seem to live for that alone.  Sometimes such an ardent desire to make It reign in all hearts is kindled within me that there is nothing I would not do and suffer to bring this about.

June 15, 2005

(Rom 8:22-23) We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.


7.0 Northern California quake spurs tsunami warning
Eight Aleutian Earthquakes jolt Islands
Quake shakes southern Iran
Northern Chile Is Hit by Magnitude 7.9 Earthquake
5.2 Earthquake Jolts Palm Springs Area
Earthquake measuring 4.9 jolts Crete
5.7 Earthquake rocks Indonesian island

CLOSER LOOK: Valley fault still overdue for big quake

VIA Jim Bramlett: Remembering Pompei

A program on the History Channel made me think of Pompei, a Roman city that was totally destroyed by a volcano in AD 79, just nine years after the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem.

It was lunch time in the ancient Italian city of Pompei. Vesuvius, the nearby volcano, was about to begin 19 hours of spectacular eruptions. All the people in the 600-year-old town of 20,000 could have escaped. There had been time to flee. But in AD 79, no one recognized the inherent danger of the mountain's warnings.

There was an eyewitness. He was called "Pliny the Younger." He wrote: "For several days before (the eruption), the earth had been shaken, but this fact did not cause fear because it was a commonly observed feature in Campagnia." (Quote from Pliny the Younger, Eyewitness to Vesuvius Eruption 24-25 August 79 A.D.)

Through the modern miracle of television, I saw photos of skeletons of many victims who have been unearthed from the disaster. One was a young lady holding and trying to protect a small child. Both were destroyed by the sudden onslaught of fire, lava and ash.

The message to us, 1,926 years later is this: As in AD 79, people today are ignoring the inherent dangers and warnings of God's impending judgment on a wicked world. When it comes, it will destroy all in its path, men, women and children. In Pompei, only about 20,000 died, a small number compared with the 2004 earthquake and tsunamis in south Asia which reportedly killed well over 200,000. Future natural disasters or terrorist WMDs could exceed that total many times over.

The earth is a dangerous place. Sudden death without warning threatens every person every day. Our fixed eternal state is only one disaster and one heartbeat away. A person is a fool to falsely presume otherwise and to continue in sin or reject or delay a total commitment to Christ, the only One who can save us, in this world and the next. Don't be a fool. Repent of any known sin and commit all to Him today. Then believe and claim the protective promises of Psalm 91 and elsewhere. And when your time does come, you will enter into indescribable peace, joy and love in the presence of the Lord, and not a dark, lonely, hopeless eternity without Him in a place frequently spoken of by Jesus.

"How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? Which, having begun to be declared by the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard him. God also bearing them witness by signs and wonders and divers miracles and distributions of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will." (Heb 2:3-4)

Remember Pompei, and tell others.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

15. I feel entirely lost in this divine Heart.  It is as though I were in a fathomless abyss, in which He discloses to me treasures of love and of grace for those who consecrate and sacrifice themselves to give and procure for Him all the honor, love, and glory in their power.

June 14, 2005


In Bari, pope highlights importance of Eucharist, Christian unity
Eucharist calls for Christian unity, Pope says
Pope stresses family, marriage, Eucharist
Pope plans personal instruction for First Communicants


VIA Jim J. McCrea: Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is Absolutely Unique

There is much talk in the Church today about Jesus being present in the people. This is a truth, but with many of today's Catholics, it has been misapplied. It is often looked at that Jesus is present *only* in the people ("we are the body of Christ" the saying goes), so true worship of God is often seen solely in human activism. It is seen that we are to serve God exclusively through serving our neighbor.

Or if Christ is acknowledged in the Eucharist, He is seen as being on a same level there as He is in the people. Also, Christ's presence in the Word (Scripture) is equated with Christ's presence in the Eucharist, so the liturgy of the Word is given equal weight with the liturgy of the Eucharist.

All these trends are faulty. They come from a leveling of everything down, and they lead to a loss of the sense of the sacred to which the proper reverence is due (reverence such as kneeling and silence in the face of the holy).

The presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is unique. For it is only there that He is fully and substantially present as He is at the right hand of the Father. Jesus' full being is present in the Eucharist, with His infinite wisdom, knowledge, power, holiness, love, and happiness. He contains all things and all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him (Matthew 28:18). We do not know, this side of the grave, what benefits are ours for spending time before the Eucharistic Jesus. We get a supernatural *Son* tan more than an exposure from a billion billion suns.

But it takes the gift of faith to see this. No natural knowledge or scientific technique can possibly arrive at this. To "waste" an hour before Jesus in the Eucharist in Adoration, is to truly live by Faith. Many of us Catholics, on the other hand, live only by the senses in that we engage only in Church activities that are physically tangible and will give us emotional satisfaction.

Infinity is contained within a little white Host, but there Jesus is infinitely silent and still. Both the humility and love of Jesus is infinite to motivate Him to come to us like that. At the end of each hour spent before the Eucharist, the angels see us as with far more splendor of the divine than at the beginning of that hour. Imagine the astronomical gain achieved by innumerable hours before the Blessed Sacrament in a life-time. What we gain in the presence of the Eucharist is almost completely dark to our minds in this life, but will be revealed only at our judgment at death. "Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it even dawned on the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Cor 2:9).

Jesus is certainly present in the people (for those in His friendship in the state of grace), but not in the way that He is present in the Eucharist. For His presence in each person is a presence of vital activity, not a physical, real, and substantial presence (presuming that one is in the state of grace. When one has committed an unrepentant mortal sin, Christ is not even present in that one as a vital supernatural principle of action. How many Catholics "in the community" are in that position, we do not know). If the presence of Jesus in a given person is a presence of vital activity, it is finite and can always be increased. Its level can always vary from person to person. On the other hand, the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist cannot be more or less than it is. This is because the Eucharist is Jesus Himself, and Jesus cannot be more or less than what He is. The difference between Jesus in each person and Jesus in the Eucharist can be shown by the proper signs of reverence given. It is proper to kneel before Jesus in the Eucharist, but generally speaking, not before Jesus in the believer.

Again, the Word or Scripture is not equal to Jesus, because Scripture is not the substantial full Jesus, but merely the Word of the Word. The Scripture is words of Jesus and words about Jesus. It is not Jesus itself. Scripture requires reverence, but not worship. Worship is due to the Eucharistic Jesus because the Eucharistic Jesus is literally God - Jesus being equally divine to God the Father. The liturgy of the Eucharist, therefore, is infinitely more important than the liturgy of the Word. They cannot be equated.

Much is discussed about Jesus in the community. But Jesus lives authentically in the community only to the extent that He is worshiped privately in the Eucharist by the participants. The Mass is a communal celebration and sacrifice. Spending time privately before the Eucharist, to absorb the riches of Christ there, makes one's Masses far more fruitful and builds community in an authentic sense. I have noticed that the people who are regular Eucharistic adorers, have the best Christian love and affection for each other.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

14. I no longer wish for anything but to procure the glory of the Sacred Heart. How happy I should be if, before I die, I were able to do something to please Him!

June 10, 2005



A Chat With Father Richard 'Joey' Kaump about being a priest
Priest fasts in tower to gain attention for community center
Among Catholic and Protestant clergy, the laborers are fewer
Diocese puts one priest in charge of three churches
Priest cleared of abuse allegation
Rebel Catholics plan to ordain women on river
Underground Chinese Catholic priest released



Featured Writings of Peter Kreeft, Ph.D.
Articles by Father John Corapi, SOLT
The Pieta Prayer Booklet And The 15 St. Bridget Prayers


VIA Dennis DeLaurier: A few years back I wrote a software program that was meant to make Divine Mercy Sunday more popular. It contains information on the Divine Mercy Devotion.  I have also put some of my prayers in it as well. I hope you enjoy it.

Please email Dennis by clicking on the link above and he will send you the program as a zip file.  If you have problems with this, he would be glad to send you the program on CD.

May Jesus who is the Divine Mercy have mercy on all of us.

VIA Jim McCrea: A very interesting article on Bible translations


It points out something that all Catholics should realize: there are two type of Bible translations: *formal equivalent* and *dynamic equivalent.* Formal equivalent is a word by word translation as closely as possible, and dynamic equivalent is simply having the meaning of the sentence the same. The Douay-Rheims is an example of the formal equivalent translation and the New American Bible is an example of the dynamic equivalent translation. The New American translation is very clear and intelligible in plain English, but for accuracy, the Douay-Rheims is better. So if one is uncertain of the meaning of a text in the New American Bible, go to the Douay-Rheims to get a better idea.

I once heard something very interesting on EWTN. A number of bishops were talking and one said that the Bible is not the Word of God, but is an interpretation of the Word of God, so that the Bible that you read or hear at Mass is one step removed from the literal word of God. How to we get the truth then? It is because we have the Magisterium. The Magisterium interprets the Word of God in its univocal exactness. As a result, what we get from the Magisterium is 100% literally true when it teaches on matters of Faith or morals.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

10. It seems to me that the great desire that our Lord has that His Sacred Heart should be honored by some particular worship is to renew in souls the effects of His Redemption.

June 9, 2005


It's a goal that has eluded Christianity for nearly 1,000 years: mending the rifts between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. Pope Benedict XVI has declared a "fundamental commitment" to heal the divide, and this week will engage in an indirect round of talks with the Russian Orthodox.

In spiritual terms, it's an epic invitation to repair the broken foundation of the faith - at a time when the European Union is erasing the last Cold War separations and some Christian leaders appeal for greater cooperation to challenge the rise of militant Islam.

But then comes a reality check. Even the smallest steps toward reconciliation can kick up disputes that require the finesse of a diplomat and the perspective of a historian to overcome. And, in the end, any serious bids at rapprochement will force the Vatican to confront some core differences such as honoring Orthodoxy's traditions of autonomous leadership and married clergy.

Greek theologian Athanasios Papathanasiou calls it "the pain of brotherly debate."

It's made more acute because the ancient divide reaches beyond religious differences, which are mostly over liturgical points and joint recognition of sacraments. The bigger gulf, clerics and theologians say, is one of conflicting perceptions and priorities.

When Vatican leaders look east, they see a patchwork of Orthodox churches with a shared fellowship in the roots of Christianity. May 29 in Italy's Adriatic port of Bari, Benedict declared a "fundamental commitment" to advance dialogue with the leaders of the world's 200 million Orthodox and 1.1 billion Catholics.

The Orthodox view of the West, however, is often shaded by historical grievances - religious and political - and deep suspicion of Vatican motives and power.

"It's not an even equation," said Thomas Groome, director of the Boston College Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry. "The deeper skepticism to any improved relations resides within Orthodoxy."

No clear vision exists about what type of unity is even possible or desirable.

For the faithful, one important landmark would be a formal pact on mutual recognition of baptism, marriage and other aspects of church life. But that would need the Orthodox to speak in a single voice - something that's nearly impossible now. The Orthodox world is divided among more than a dozen autonomous churches and other congregations, each with different views.

The Vatican, too, could be pushed into some unfamiliar spots.

Closer bonds with married Orthodox clergy don't present a distinct problem. The Vatican's priestly ranks include married Eastern Rite clerics and some Anglican priests who converted to Catholicism. It could, however, put added pressure on the Vatican to reconsider its ban on married clergy.

A bigger challenge is sorting out the main reason for the split 10 centuries ago: the clout of the papacy versus the Orthodox view of equal distribution of power among its churches.

"Can Rome devise a new way of thinking of primacy that does not lead to dominance over any other churches?" said Anton Vrame, director of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute in Berkeley, Calif. "That is the question only Benedict and the Vatican can answer."

It may not be needed for a long time. Church experts from both sides believe any increased collaboration in coming years may be slow and safe - such as possible joint declarations on social issues or sharing resources for aid work and Christian education. A hint of common ground emerged last month in Ukraine, where Catholic and Orthodox leaders put aside their many internal disputes to urge the government to keep Christian-oriented classes in schools.

Last month, the head of Russia's small Catholic community, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, said the pontiff seeks to join forces with Orthodox to battle "aggressive secularism." Similar dialogue is ongoing with the two churches and the many Protestant denominations.

"Don't expect big things in a short time," said Brother Jeff Gros, a spokesman on interreligious affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "If anything, this will be a gradual evolution."


Pope pledges to end Orthodox rift
Alexy II calls on Vatican for cooperation
Russian Orthodox Church is open for dialogue with the Vatican
Ukraine Churches Unite to Defend Christian Ethics Curriculum in Schools

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

9. The Sacred Heart is a hidden and infinite treasure desiring to manifest Itself, to be poured out and distributed, so as to alleviate our distress.

June 8, 2005

HOMILY by Father Altier on the Beatitudes:


Dearest Jesus, thank You for allowing our parish to begin extended Eucharistic Adoration.

You have wanted it for us.

Moreover we need it.

If we are to become the holy men, women, boys and girls that You want us to be, we must be exposed to Your Presence more often.

Now You give us the opportunity to experience this exposure.

In the readings today, both for the Divine Office and for the Mass of this Monday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time, You have exhorted us to do it Your way; You exhorted us to hang in there.

In the first reading from the Office of Reading - from the Book of Joshua, You told us four times to "be firm and steadfast".

Actually You told Joshua. For he was to lead Your people into the promised land - in those days.

But today, we who share in Your priesthood - through ordination - are to lead Your people into The Promised Land which is heaven.

To do so we must enable these brothers and sisters of ours to experience Your presence and to teach them to listen to You as You speak to them in diverse ways.

What better ways to experience Your presence than to participate in Holy Mass and to participate in Eucharistic Adoration.

Then in the first reading for today’s Mass - from the 2nd letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians You had him use the word "encouragement" five times, and the word "encouraged" twice.

To me that means that You want me, and my other brother priests to encourage our lay brothers and sisters to expose themselves more often to You and to Your word.

Then in the gospel for today - from the beginning of the "Sermon on the Mount" You remind us of how to become "blessed" - which implies for me: how to become more like You - who are "The Blessed One".

You offer to us the "Eight Beatitudes" - although there are actually nine given.

These are the attitudes that we need to posses to become "blessed".

But these "Beatitudes" are merely listing Your attitudes - You who are "The Blessed One".

When we reflect these attitudes we are becoming more and more like You.

This is precisely what You and Your Father and Your Holy Spirit want for us.

Thank You for exhorting us to become more and more like You through our exposure to Your Presence.

A WORD FROM THE LORD VIA [email protected]:

"In your struggles you will find strength from me. Do not grow weary in well-doing, but be encouraged, strengthened, and preserved. The reward is at the end and not at the beginning."

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

8. God is so good that He allows us to appropriate this treasure of the really poor- The Sacred Heart of Jesus- the heavenly plenitude of Which can most fully supply for what is lacking to us.

June 3, 2005


An Apostolic Mission for the Renewal of the Devotion to The Sacred Heart of Jesus

For all Catholic men and women, families and young people troubled by the many afflictions of modern life.......Discover the greatest source of spiritual and temporal help, graces and blessings for those who truly love the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and practice His requested Devotion with the essential prayers and acts, including the "First Friday" and the "Nine Fridays" promises.


Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Sacred Scripture
Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus


Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is primarily based upon the Sacred Scriptures. In the New 'testament, there are two references to the Heart of Mary in the Gospel according to St. Luke: ..Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart. " (Lk 2: 19) and " His mother meanwhile kept all these things in her heart. " (Lk 2:51 ) In the Old Testament, the heart is seen as the symbol of the depths of the human soul, the center of its choices and commitments. For all mankind, it is a symbol of love. In the Book of Deuteronomy we are told, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Dt. 6:5) When Our Lord Jesus Christ was asked by the scribes which was the first commandment, he answered them by quoting this verse to them (see Mk. 12:29-31) .

It was the Heart of Mary which expressed her "yes" to God. .['his was her response to the message sent through the angel at the Annunciation. By her loving consent, Mary first conceived Christ in her heart and then in her womb. Our Lord Jesus, Himself: when reminded by a woman in the crowd how blessed was the womb which gave birth to Him, responds, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it." (Lk. 11 :28) Pope John Paul II , in his first encyclical, REDEMPTOR HOMINIS, wrote "the mystery of Redemption was formed under the heart of the Virgin of Nazareth when she pronounced her "fiat" (R.H. #22).

In 1942, the twenty-fifth anniversary of Fatima, Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That same year, he assigned the feast day to August 22, the octave of the Assumption. On May 4, 1944, he extended the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the Universal Church. With the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council in 1969, the feast was given a more suitable place on the day following the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That is the Saturday after the second Sunday after Pentecost.

The opening prayer for the liturgical celebration helps us focus on the important message of this feast day. God prepared the heart of Mary as a fitting home tor the Holy Spirit. May we, His chosen people become temples of His glory. We ask Mary to help us- her spiritual children, so dear to her heart, to stay ever united in friendship with her Son and never separate ourselves by sin.


(Luk 2:51)  And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

3. As I was about to receive Holy Communion, our Lord told me that He would come Himself to imprint on my heart the mystical life which He leads in the Holy Eucharist, a life entirely hidden and annihilated in the eyes of men, a life of sacrifice and seeming inactivity. He added that He would Himself give me the strength to do what He required of me.

June 2, 2005

POPE BENEDICT XVI: “Thanks to fear in the Lord, we have no fear of the evil that rages in history. Thus, we can resume with vigour our march on the path of life” accompanied by the words Jesus uttered on his last day: “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world!”


Pope Benedict XVI has backed a campaign by Italy's Catholic Church to oppose repealing an assisted fertility law that supports say reigns in runaway research in the reproductive technologies field.

The need for the law came when a 62 year-old woman who became pregnant via artificial insemination. The fertility specialist responsible for that feat has already stated he wants to be the first researcher to clone a human being.

The pope commended Italian Catholic officials for trying to "enlighten the choices of Catholics."

The Pope said it was important for the church to urge Catholics in the European country to protect human life, reports the Life News.

The pope spoke to the Italian bishops’ conference, which has called on Italians to boycott the referendum, scheduled for June 12-13. While it was his first foray into an Italian issue, the pope’s support was not unexpected. Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the head of the Italian bishops conference, is the pope’s vicar for Rome.

The current law forbids sperm and egg donation, limits the number of embryoscreated with in vitro techniques to three and bans all embryo research.

The referendums would abrogate the law’s provisions on embryo research, the three-embryo limit, the ban on egg or sperm donation from outside the couple and the attribution of rights to the unborn.

Opponents complain the law restricts scientific research and a woman’s reproductive rights.

The ANSA news agency reported that 85% of the physicians at Italy’s largest gynaecological hospital in Turin support changing the law and that more than 100 of the doctors issued a public appeal today for Italians to vote.

A communist politician, Franco Giordano, went on Radio Radicale and called the pope’s remarks an “unwarranted interference in the affairs of the Italian state.” The Radicals are among the sponsors of the referendum.

The Vatican had previously been accused of interference in Church-backed referendums in 1974 and 1981 that unsuccessfully sought to overturn laws permitting divorce and abortion, publishes the Scotsman.

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CLOSER LOOK: Thou shalt not tempt thy neighbor

COMMENTARY: Peruvian cardinal rips hedonism, neo-paganism

(1Th 4:3-5) For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from unchastity; that each one of you know how to take a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God;

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

2. Jesus makes Himself poor in the Blessed Sacrament; He gives us all He has, reserving nothing for Himself, so as to possess our hearts and enrich them with Himself. I must forsake and despise myself, if I wish to imitate Him and to win His most lovable Heart.

June 1, 2005

VIA Jim McCrea: Both Intellectual Arguments *and* Prayer are Required for Evangelization


(Psa 32:6-7) Therefore let every one who is godly offer prayer to thee; at a time of distress, in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. Thou art a hiding place for me, thou preservest me from trouble; thou dost encompass me with deliverance. [Selah]

VIA: Denis Carter: I CAME BACK

I was a cradle Catholic, but I was lukewarm. As a young man, I did my own thing. I got married, in the Church of England. My marrage was a disaster, but I stayed married and had two children.  Never went to church, and experimented with different faiths. My marrage started to break up and I started to have a relationship with a women.  At the same time, my wife became ill, cancer.  I still continued with my relationship, but I had this terrible guilt, as time passed; my wife died. Then it hit me..... I'm EVIL , and broke off the relationship with this other women. She was married also. Oh God how I missed my wife. What have I done, I lost my daughter, but my son stayed close to me. Will God ever forgive me I thought, can I be so bad; He listened to me and forgave me. I went to every Catholic Church for confession repeating the same sin.  Then in the Divine Mercy as spoken to Saint Faustina our Lord said even the most hardened sinner,if he recites this Chaplet even once will receive grace from My infinite mercy. I thought, He would actually forgive me; yes really me; and with all the other black sins from my past. And now I try to live my life for our Lord, and put it all behind me. Thank you my Lord for being merciful!

VIA Jennifer Schuberth: I'd like to tell you about our little adventure, and how I saw the hand of God repeatedly over the last weeks.

Every year, I plan the May Crowning for Our Lady Of Perpetual Help parish in Ellicott City, Md. The May Procession threatened rain to the point Msgr. Smith, our pastor asked if we should have it indoors this year. We opted not to at the last minute, and trusted that the skies would hold... The clouds were there until right at the moment when Mary was crowned. At that moment, the sky broke out into clear skies and sunshine! You could not miss the timing.

On Friday last week, I drove our old Toyota to Delaware from Maryland for a softball tournament my daughter was to be in that weekend. I had my 14 year old daughter, Maria and my 9 year old son, Mike with me. On the way, in the driving rain on a very busy route 100... my windshield wipers flew off. I got out on the side of Route 100 because I had no choice. I could not see without wipers. Because I was standing in the cold rain trying to fix the wiper, I reached in the back seat, and grabbed my daughter's Patriots softball jacket and put it on. I fixed the wiper and ift fell off again. I drove to Wal Mart, got new wipers, and a very nice man put them on for me. One hour delay here frustrated me at the time, but is important later in the story, as is the jacket.

Now it was 2:30 p.m., and we finally were on our way to Delaware. When we hit Route 50, there was a 20 mile backup. We sat in stop and go traffic all the way. I think the Bay Bridge was shut down for the wind. Immediately before the toll booth to get on the Bay Bridge, smoke started coming out of my engine! I pulled over to the side of the road, got out and called my husband, Larry. We were both wondering what to do for about five minutes, because it would have taken Larry two hours to fight through the traffic to reach the point we were at and help us. I heard a voice behind me, turned around and saw Gator Lueck, one of the dad's from Maria's team going to the same tournament.. In the middle of all that traffic, he glanced over and did not recognize me or the car, but saw the Patriots' jacket (I had put on because of the cold rain and the wipers earlier), and realized someone was in trouble. He pulled his van in a lane for an unopen toll booth. I was never so stunned to see anyone standing there in my life when I looked up and saw Gator asking me if I needed help!

So, the police came and helped Gator pull his car over to us, so we could load up. A tow truck showed up out of nowhere with the highway department and towed the car over to a safe spot and we jumped in the van with Gator, and he drove us to the tournament. It turns out Gator was the ONLY one, out of my daughter's team, who was going there in the afternoon. Everyone else was traveling later and he was the only one who would have had enough room for all three of us! God had to make sure Gator saw us, thus the Patriots jacket on me! Plus, the car HAD to smoke to show me there was a problem right then, BEFORE we got on the Bay Bridge, because there is absolutely NO where to pull over once you get on the bridge. We would have surely caused a terrible accident had we broken down on the bridge.

My husband, Larry, and daughter, Tara had to come get the car and it ended up being $300.00 for the radiator, BUT can you see the hand of God in that story?? God was so taking care of us the whole time!!!! I literally was on the side of the road no more than five minutes and I had help. I never wear that Patriot's jacket! What are the chances that Gator would be coming by at exactly that time, in all that traffic, unless God took control of everything to the point of delaying us one hour at Wal Mart and with the wipers!!! Although it was hard not having a car in Delaware, it all worked out and I felt God telling me once again, "Here is the lesson for you. I hear all these prayers. I am listening and taking care of you. Do not be afraid."

One more story. Now we are in Delaware with no car and I am wondering how I am going to get to Mass. I got all the info.. church two miles down the road, got the Mass times. Although there are lots of Catholics on the team, most don't really worry about getting to Mass every Sunday when we have these weekend tournaments. There was one father I had seen make some effort to go to 7:30 Mass when we had local tournaments, so I prayed for help and zeroed in on him. When I asked him if he was going to Mass, he hemmed and hawed a while and said, "Well if it works out. I'll have to check into the times.. etc...."So I reached into my pocket and showed him the Mass times. He ended up going and bringing us to Mass, and guess what the Holy Spirit had the priest say during his homily?

I kid you not. He stood up there and said, " Missing Mass on Sunday is a very serious sin. When you miss Mass on Sunday, you are telling God that whatever you are doing is more important than He is in your life". I told my children that message wasn't for us because we were getting to Mass if we had to walk two miles, but I thought I knew who that message was for. :-)

Anyway, I was just in awe of God this past week!

It was as if He was saying, "Well you have to go through these ordeals, but remember I am in control and taking care of you at all times. " :-)


One great means of preserving a constant peace and tranquility of heart is to receive all things as coming from the hands of God, whatever they may be, and in whatever way they may come. -St. Dorotheus

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

1. Let every knee bend before Thee, O greatness of my God, so supremely humbled in the Sacred Host. May every heart love Thee, every spirit adore Thee and every will be subject to Thee!

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