Keep your eyes open!...


June 21, 2006


INSPIRATIONAL: The Indian who revived Catholicism in Sri Lanka

Blessed Fr Joseph Vaz pray for peace in Sri Lanka!


VIA Sue Cifelli: A Prayer to Our Lady in Time of Trouble

Holy Virgin Mary, you are reigning in glory, with Jesus, your Son.
Remember us in our sadness. Look kindly on all who are suffering or fighting against any difficulty.
Have pity on those who are separated from someone they love.
Have pity on the loneliness of our hearts.
Have pity on the weakness of our faith and love.
Have pity on those who are weeping, on those who are praying, on those who are fearful.
Holy Mother, please obtain for all of us hope and peace with justice.

VIA Dana Morvant: Prayer for Hurricane Season

O God, Master of this passing world, hear the humble voices of your children. The Sea of Galilee obeyed your order and returned to its former quietude; you are still the Master of land and sea. We live in the shadow of danger over which we have no control; the Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant, can awake from its seeming lethargy, overstep its conventional boundaries, and invade our land and spread chaos and disaster.

During this hurricane season we turn to You, O loving Father. Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with passing time. O Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, Our Beloved Mother, we ask you to plead with your Son in our behalf, so that spared from the calamities common to this area and animated with a true spirit of gratitude, we will walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son to reach the heavenly Jerusalem where a stormless eternity awaits us. Amen.

By Maurice Schexnayder, Second Bishop of Lafayette, La

VIA Sue Cifelli:Please pray for our troops & the weather in the war zones

The weather in Baghdad, Iraq today is 109 degrees, and tomorrow it is going to reach 110 degrees. You can keep tabs on the weather there by clicking this link:

The weather in Qandahar, Afghanistan is 66 degrees right now and will be 102 degrees tomorrow. You can keep tabs on the weather there by clicking on this link:

Our troops need our prayers for strength, endurance, and safety. If it be God's will, give these men and women the strength they need to prevail.

Let us pray:
"Lord, please hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen."

Prayer Request: When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops around the world.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Nothing Done For Show

2. The monks praised a brother to Anthony. Anthony went to him and tested him to see if he could endure being insulted. When he saw that he could not bear it, he said to him, 'You are like a house with a highly decorated outside, but burglars have stolen all the furniture by the back door.'  

June 16, 2006


POPE BENEDICT XVI: The transubstantiation of "poor man's bread" into the Body of Christ is both a "synthesis of creation" and a means by which "creation is raised to the divine."


The nation's Roman Catholic bishops signed off Thursday on a new English translation for the Mass that would change prayers ingrained in the memories of millions of American parishioners.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted at its biannual meeting for a new translation after a brief but vigorous debate over several small changes in wording. The 173-29 vote on the Order of the Mass was aimed at satisfying Vatican calls for a translation that's closer to the Latin version.

Before Mass changes at the parish level, the Americans' version must go to offices in the Holy See for final approval.

"Without a doubt, this is the most significant liturgical action to come before this body for many years," said Bishop Donald Trautman, chairman of the conference's Committee on Liturgy.

Mass changes, as approved by U.S. bishops

A look at some of the changes to the Mass that were approved by the U.S. Roman Catholic bishops Thursday. The bishops' version now goes to the Vatican for final approval:

_The exchanges between priest and parishioners that now go "The Lord be with you" / "And also with you" would become "The Lord be with you" / "And with your spirit."

_The Act of Penitence, in which parishioners now confess aloud that they have sinned "through my own fault" would include the lines "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault."

_In the Nicene Creed, the opening words "We believe" would become "I believe."

_Early in the Eucharistic Prayer, "Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might" would become "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts."

_Before Communion, the prayer "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you" would become "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof."

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

45. A hermit said, 'If you fall ill, do not complain.  If the Lord God has willed that your body should be weakened, who are you to complain about it?  Does he not care for you in all your needs?  Surely you sould not be alive without him.  Be patient in your illness and ask God to give you what is right, that is, that which will enable you to do his will, and be patient, and eat what you have in charity.'  

June 15, 2006

(Mat 26:26-28) And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread and blessed and broke and gave to his disciples and said: Take ye and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.

Church celebrates Real Presence by Archbishop Thomas Collins
Christ comes to us beyond sight, touch and taste

Pope to lead Corpus Christi procession through Rome

Last stanza of Lauda Sion by Saint Thomas Aquinas

Jesus, Shepherd mild and meek,
shield the poor, support the weak;
help all who Thy pardon sue,
placing all their trust in You:
fill them with Your healing grace!
Source of all we have or know,
feed and lead us here below.
grant that with Your Saints above,
sitting at the feast of love
we may see You face to face.
Amen. Alleluia.

VIA Nadine Mansour: Where We Learn Silence

How wonderful is the silence of Christ in the Tabernacle
Silence is the greatest lesson ever preached
Silence under irritation:
Silence under criticism:
Silence under disappointment:
Silence when rebuffed:
Silence under ingratitude:
Silence under jealousy in oneself:
Silence under the jealousy of others:
Silence under disloyalty:
Silence when self-pleased:
Silence in sorrows of all kinds.


U.S. Catholic bishops to debate changes to Mass translation
How Will the Mass Change?
Pro-Life Catholics to Tell U.S. Bishops: ‘Stop Coddling Pro-Abortion Politicians’

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

41. There was a hermit who was often ill. But one year he did not fall ill and he was very upset and wept saying, 'The Lord has left me, and he has not visited me.'  

June 14, 2006

(Heb 4:12) For the word of God is living and effectual and more piercing than any two edged sword; and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow: and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 


Lord, who can comprehend even one of Your words? We lose more of it than we grasp, like those who drink from a living spring. For God’s word offers different facets according to the capacity of the listener, and the Lord has portrayed his message in many colors, so that whoever gazes upon it can see in it what suits him. Within it he has buried manifold treasures, so that each of us might grow rich in seeking them out.

The word of God is a tree of life that offers us blessed fruit from each of its branches. It is like that rock which was struck open in the wilderness, from which all were offered spiritual drink. As the Apostle says: “They ate spiritual food and they drank spiritual drink.” And so whenever anyone discovers some part of the treasure, he should not think that he has exhausted God’s word. Instead he should feel that this is all that he was able to find of the wealth contained in it. Nor should he say that the word is weak and sterile or look down on it simply because this portion was all that he happened to find. But precisely because he could not capture it all he should give thanks for its riches.

Be glad then that you are overwhelmed, and do not be saddened because he has overcome you. A thirsty man is happy when he is drinking, and he is not depressed because he cannot exhaust the spring. So let this spring quench your thirst, and not your thirst the spring. For if you can satisfy your thirst again you can drink from it once more; but if when your thirst is sated the spring is also dried up, then your victory would turn to your own harm.

Be thankful then for what you have received, and do not be saddened at all that such an abundance still remains. What you have received and attained is your present share, while what is left will be your heritage. For what you could not take at one time because of your weakness, you will be able to grasp at another if you only persevere. So do not foolishly try do drain in one draught what cannot be consumed all at once, and do not cease out of faintheartedness from what you will be able to absorb as time goes on.

VIA Jim McCrea: Apostolic Preaching

"Preaching is a mystery so rich and delicate, it can fully be realized only in these oases of prayer. When the apostle has the signal grace of being called to break the bread of Truth this may at times give him a troubled conscience. The souls before him are eager for the divine word. Fasts of all kinds have sharpened their hunger and their faith is awakened and begging. If the Holy Spirit find in his priest an instrument that is poor, humble, docile, a true servant of the Gospel, who is not seeking to give *his* doctrine, *his* teaching, nor to present it in a personal way so as to please, but has the sole ambition of communicating the doctrine of Jesus, leaving it absolute in its poverty, as pure instrument, without human charm, the Spirit puts on his lips ineffable, inflamed words, at which the priest himself is sometimes astonished. The Holy Spirit touches his lips with that burning coal of which Isaiah speaks. God's instrument can then give what he does not have, what he has perhaps understood intellectually, but what he has received from the Church and transmits humbly to those who understand, thanks to the Spirit of Jesus."

From "The Fire of Contemplation" by Thomas Philippe, O.P.

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

38. A hermit said, 'The monk's cell is the furnace in Babylon in which the three children found the Son of God. It is the pillar of cloud out of which God spoke to Moses.'  

June 13, 2006

"The scientist's condition as a sentinel in the modern world, as one who is the first to glimpse the enormous complexity together with the marvellous harmony of reality, makes him a privileged witness of the plausibility of religion, a man capable of showing how the admission of transcendence, far from harming the autonomy and the ends of research, rather stimulates it to continually surpass itself in an experience of self-transcendence which reveals the human mystery". - Pope John Paul II, 7/17/85.


The scientist who led the team that cracked the human genome is to publish a book explaining why he now believes in the existence of God and is convinced that miracles are real.

Francis Collins, the director of the US National Human Genome Research Institute, claims there is a rational basis for a creator and that scientific discoveries bring man "closer to God".

His book, The Language of God, to be published in September, will reopen the age-old debate about the relationship between science and faith. "One of the great tragedies of our time is this impression that has been created that science and religion have to be at war," said Collins, 56.

"I don't see that as necessary at all and I think it is deeply disappointing that the shrill voices that occupy the extremes of this spectrum have dominated the stage for the past 20 years."

For Collins, unravelling the human genome did not create a conflict in his mind. Instead, it allowed him to "glimpse at the workings of God".

"When you make a breakthrough it is a moment of scientific exhilaration because you have been on this search and seem to have found it," he said. "But it is also a moment where I at least feel closeness to the creator in the sense of having now perceived something that no human knew before but God knew all along.

"When you have for the first time in front of you this 3.1 billion-letter instruction book that conveys all kinds of information and all kinds of mystery about humankind, you can't survey that going through page after page without a sense of awe. I can't help but look at those pages and have a vague sense that this is giving me a glimpse of God's mind."

RELATED: DNA: The Tiny Code That's Toppling Evolution


Alpha and Omega: Reconciling Science and Faith by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Catholic Perspectives on Faith and Science
Science and Faith by Prof. Dr. Arnold Neumaier

(Rom 1:18-20) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice: Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. His eternal power also and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.

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

37. When a brother was troubled by thoughts of leaving the monastery, he told this to his abbot. He said, 'Go and sit down, and entrust your body to your cell, as a man puts a precious possession into a safe, and do not go out of it. Then let your thoughts go where they will. Let your mind think what it likes, so long as it does not drive your body out of the cell.'  

June 9, 2006


(Mat 18:10) See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.

EXCERPT INTERVIEW: Angels, Our Best Friends by Father M. Stanzione

Q: What do angels represent for the Catholic faith and why are they the object of more attention by other groups and religious movements than by Christians?

Father Stanzione: Sadly, the catechesis on evangelization has been somewhat lacking on this point of the world's knowledge of angels. Others have taken advantage of the vacuum that has been created.

What is central in theology is the doctrine on God, the Holy Trinity, and Jesus Christ. But the angels are not useless or superfluous realities, because they are part of God's revelation.

Angels are creatures as we are, with an ontological difference. We are born and die; angels do not die and have been given to us by God to keep us company. The angels are an important complement in the creation of the body; they are human beings' best friends.

A theologian has written that the angels are servants of God, and they make themselves servants of those who make themselves God's servants.

Some maintain that Jesus Christ, being the only mediator, does not need angels. In fact, in the Acts of the Apostles, the history of the early Church makes evident the fundamental role of the angels. We can say that Jesus Christ is the only mediator and the angels collaborate in Jesus Christ's mediation.

The decline in attention and veneration of the angels in the last 50 years is due to a kind of secularization, influenced by a Protestant deviation, which criticizes veneration of the Virgin, saints and angels. There has been no clear evangelization on the nature and role of angels and there is some confusion even among Catholics.


Angels in Catholic Teachings and Traditions
Saint Pio: The Guardian Angels
Catholic Encyclopedia: Angels

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

36. A hermit said, 'A tree cannot bear fruit if it is often transplanted.  So it is with the monk.'  

June 8, 2006

(2Co 12:7-9) And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

VIA Father Ted: May 30, 2006 - Reflection by Father Ted

My dearest Lord Jesus, thank You for allowing me to be here, once again, in Medjugorje. As always, You want me to become aware of the tremendous love that You and Your Father and Your Holy Spirit have not only for me, but for all.

During this brief visit to this “Oasis of Peace” You have allowed me to use some of the gifts that You have given to me for the benefit of others. For the gifts, both natural and supernatural, that You have given to me are for others – just as their gifts are for me and for others.

You have given these gifts to me – to allow me to show love. That is why Saint Paul reminds us that “love” is the greatest of the gifts that You have given to man.

And it is through the use of this “the greatest of the gifts” that You have exhorted us to love one another.

You used the gifts that the Father had given to You.

You used them to benefit others.

And many people – men, women, boys, girls – benefited from Your use of these gifts.

Among the gifts that You have given to us – to each one of us – are our weaknesses.

I did not believe this when I was younger.

In fact, I wished that I did not have such weaknesses.

Many times I pleaded with You to remove them from me.

But You did not.

And I wondered why.

Now I know. These weaknesses of mine are truly gifts – from you.

For when I recognize them – when they reveal themselves within me – when I call upon You to help me – to not give into them, You do help me.

I overcome my weakness – my “thorn in the side”.

I overcome this inclination to sin; I resist the temptation – through Your help – through Your grace.

I grow in virtue; I grow in strength – which is why You gave me such weaknesses.

That You Jesus, for all Your gifts of “love”.

My I use each one to honor You and to bless and benefit my brothers and sisters.

I love You, my Lord and my God.

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

32. It used to be said that if you were tempted where you were living, you should not leave the place at the time of the temptation.  If you did leave it then, you would find that the temptation that you were fleeing would go with you to the next place.  You should be patient until the temptation is over, then you could leave without upsetting anyone or troubling others who lived there.  

June 7, 2006

(Luke 18:8) I say to you that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?


It used to be called "Catholic Europe." But if declining membership, plummeting church attendance, and shrinking vocations are measures, Roman Catholicism - indeed, Christianity - is headed toward collapse across the continent.

The feeling pervading church circles is that "something important has died, or is in a terminal state," said the Rev. Michael Paul Gallagher, a theologian at Rome's Jesuit seminary, Collegio Romano.

The crisis that lies just beyond the Vatican's big bronze doors is arguably the gravest facing Pope Benedict XVI. But how to shore up the church's dissipating base of 280 million baptized Catholics in more than two dozen countries - without bowing to Europe's postmodern culture - is a conundrum that seems to have even the pontiff baffled.

In his first year, he has called for a return to worship and better training in the faith for youth. He also has pinned some hope for renewal on the small ecclesial movements he promotes; intensely conservative and often lay-led, groups such as Focolare and Regnum Christi devote themselves to special causes - the poor, the preservation of traditional families - and demand utter commitment, even vows, from their members.

Yet Benedict has made it clear that a grand plan eludes him.

"Secularism and de-Christianization are gaining ground... and the influence of Catholic ethics and morals is in constant decline," he told German bishops late last summer.

"What can we do?" he asked. "I do not know."

Some analysts say there is more at stake than one continent, that the church's European troubles may portend its future in North America. Benedict himself is sounding that alarm.

"In the United States, too, the Christian heritage is decaying at an incessant pace," he warns in a forthcoming book previewed in the Catholic magazine New Things.

The European trends that Benedict has inherited were evident in the 1960s, and dramatically visible through the pontificate of John Paul II. Between 1975 and 2000, Catholic baptisms and weddings - two linchpin rituals - were down 34 and 41 percent, respectively.

A low birthrate among whites has helped drive the numbers. The population that has traditionally stocked the pews is not replacing itself.

"To adopt a somewhat poignant metaphor," demographer Phillip Longman wrote in his 2004 book, The Empty Cradle, "if Europe were a woman, her biological clock would be rapidly running down. It is not too late to adopt more children, but they won't look like her."

Hungry for labor, many nations have opened their doors to immigrants, often non-Christians with higher birthrates. Muslims in Europe are estimated at as many as 23 million, more than twice the number in the United States. France alone has five million Muslims, who make up 8 percent of its population.

Demographics are only part, and surely the easier part, of the explanation for the Catholic Church's difficulties. Far knottier is a historic attitude shift away from the institutional faiths that held sway over culture and politics for more than a millennium.

For a blatant sign, look no further than the European Union's unratified constitution. Over the Vatican's vehement objections, the document makes no mention at all of the continent's Judeo-Christian heritage.


Thinning: priests and laity united in the pain
Ex-Catholics move toward a secular life
Europe's Endangered Families
A Clash of Culture, Faith
Divorces rising in Catholic Europe
Latin American voters not seen toeing Catholic line

PRAYER: Litany of the Holy Ghost

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

31. A hermit lived in the desert twelve miles from the nearest water.  Once, on his way to draw water, he was tired out.  So he said, 'Why suffer this?  I will come and live by the spring.' As soon as he said this, he turned round and saw a man following him and counting his steps.  He asked him, 'Who are you?  He said, 'I am an angel of the Lord, sent to count your steps and reward you.' When the hermit heard this, his resolve was strengthed, and he moved his cell five miles further from the spring.'  

June 6, 2006

(Rev 13:18) Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast. For it is the number of a man: and the number of him is six hundred sixty-six.

FROM What about June 6, 2006?

Relax! Although this date could be abbreviated 6/6/6, it has absolutely nothing to do with the "Beast" of the Book of Revelation! Consider these few points:

* First, this date should more properly be written 6/6/06 or 06/06/06 or even 06/06/2006, since 6/6/6 is ambiguous as to the decade or century.
* Second, this date depends on the Gregorian calendar commonly used today, but is different on the calendars in use at the time the Book of Revelation was written (Julian, Roman, Hebrew), and also different on other calendars in use today (Islamic, Chinese, etc.)
* Third, Revelation 13:18 clearly says that 666 is "the number of a person," not an indication of any date.
* Fourth, combinations of three sixes can be found almost anywhere we want, if we look hard enough.
* Fifth, we can lots of have fun with all this, but there's no need to be worried or superstitious about it!
* Sixth, I had to put a sixth bullet in this list, but I don't really have much else to say about June 6! ;-)

However, since several people have recently asked me to predict what will happen on June 6, 2006, here's my reply:

As a biblical scholar and Catholic priest, I think trying to predict the future is a misuse of the Bible. Biblical prophecy is not about crystal-ball gazing into the future. Rather, prophets of the Bible are those who speak on behalf of God, conveying God's messages to people, interpreting the past, present, and future through God's eyes, so to speak. Biblical prophets call people to repent and to remain faithful to God, not to worry about when the world will end or who is the "beast" of the Book of Revelation.

But just for fun, after the above disclaimer, here is what I personally "predict" will happen on June 6, 2006:

* Most adults will go to work, but a few will call in sick, as on any other weekday;
* many children will go to the beach or the park, enjoying their first week of summer vacation, while an unfortunate few will struggle through their last days of school;
* websites like mine with information on 666 and related apocalyptic themes will have a spike in the number of visitors;
* millions of automobile odometers will briefly show a 666 sequence at some time during the day, but very few drivers will notice;
* only a few math afficionados will practice their factoring skills (666=2x3x3x37), while millions of shoppers will look for a 666 in a product bar code or on their sales receipts;
* lamentably few people will vote in California's primary election, and similarly few will go to see the remake of the "Omen" movie on its unusual mid-week opening night;
* more gamblers than usual will sit at a roulette table that evening, but few of them will know that the sum of the numbers on the spinning wheel equals 666;
* more people will get married than on most other Tuesdays, but some pregnant women will avoid giving birth on June 6 by have C-sections on June 5 or 7.
* Then, on June 7, most of us will wake up and wonder what all the fuss was about, while the wedding industry starts preparing for July 7, 2007!


Doomsayers spooked as number of the beast rolls around
Hell of a party planned in Hell (Michigan) on 6-6-06
Curiosity, Humor Surround June 6, 2006

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

30. A brother said to a hermit, 'My thoughts wander, and I am troubled.' He answered, 'Go on sitting in your cell, and your thoughts will come back from their wanderings. If a she-ass is tethered, her foal skips and gambols all round her but always comes back to the mother. It is like that for anyone who for God's sake sits patiently in his cell. Though his thoughts wander for a time, they will come back to Him again.'  

June 2, 2006


VIA: Charles Fears:

Heaven, Hell & Purgatory 

According to passages from the Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905 - 1938)

"I feel certain that my mission will not come to an end upon my death, but will begin. ... 1 will draw aside for you the veils of heaven to convince you of God's goodness."

(Diary of St. Maria Faustina 281)

This leaflet is designed to help the reader reflect after death. The truth of these States of life after death (the three last things) are well addressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Please read numbers 1023 to 1037 in the Catechism for basis in Faith on these points.

In the Catechism, see especially number 1022, covers the subject of the soul's eternal destiny time of death: Each [person] receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven - through purification or immediately - or immediate and everlasting damnation. Reproduced in this leaflet are a selection of passages from the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska on these States of life after death. This saint was Our Lord's Secretary and Apostle of Divine Mercy.

All quotations have been reprinted verbatim from the Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul.

"Incomprehensible is the happiness in which the soul will be immersed."

After Holy Communion, I was carried in spirit before the throne of God. There I saw the heavenly Powers which incessantly praise God. Beyond the throne I saw a brightness inaccessible to creatures, and there only the Incarnate Word enters as Mediator. (Diary 85)

Today I was in heaven, in spirit, and I saw inconceivable beauties and the happiness that awaits us after death. I saw how all creatures give ceaseless praise and glory to God. I saw how great is happiness in God, which spreads to all creatures, making them happy; and then all the glory and praise which springs from this happiness returns to its source; and they enter into the depths of God, contemplating the inner life of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, whom they will never comprehend or fathom.

This source of happiness is unchanging in its essence, but is always new, gushing forth happiness for all creatures. Now I understand Saint Paul who said "Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has pre­pared for those who love Him." (Diary 777)

The sight of this great majesty of God, which I came to understand more profoundly and which is worshiped by the heavenly spirits according to their degree of grace and the hierarchies into which they are divided, did not cause my soul to be stricken with terror or fear; no, no, not at all! My soul was filled with peace and love, and the more I came to know the greatness of God, the more joyful I became that He is as He is. And I rejoice immensely in His greatness and am delighted that I am so little because, since I am lit­tle, He carries me in His arms and holds me close to His heart. (Diary 779)

O my God, how I pity those people who do not believe in eternal life; how I pray for them that a ray of mercy would envelop them too, and that God would clasp them to His fatherly bosom. (Diary 780)

I learned in the Heart of Jesus that in heaven itself there is a heaven to which not all, but only chosen souls, have access. Incomprehensible is the happiness in which the soul will be immersed. 0 my God, oh, that I could describe this, even in some little degree. Souls are penetrated by His divinity and pass from brightness to brightness, an unchanging light, but never monotonous, always new though never changing. 0 Holy Trinity, make Yourself known to souls! (Diary 592)

A vivid presence suddenly swept over me, and I was caught up in spirit before the majesty of God. I saw how the Angels and the Saints of the Lord give glory to God. The glory of God is so great that I dare not try to describe it, because I would not be able to do so, and souls might think that what I have written is all there is. ...

And all that has come forth from God returns to Him in the same way and gives Him perfect glory. (Diary 1604)

"Most of the souls there are those who disbe­lieved that there is a hell."

Today I was led by an Angel to the chasms of hell. It is a place of great torture; how awesomely large and extensive it is! The kinds of torture I saw: the first torture that constitutes hell is the loss of God; the second is perpetual remorse of conscience; the third is that one's condition will never change; the fourth is the fire that will pene­trate the soul without destroying it - a terrible suffering, since it is a purely spiritual fire, lit by God's anger; the fifth torture is continual darkness and a terrible suffocating smell, and, despite the darkness, the devils and the souls of the damned see each other and all the evil, both others and their own; the sixth torture is the constant company of Satan; the seventh torture is horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words, curses and blasphemies. These are the tortures suffered by all the damned togeth­er, but that is not the end of the sufferings. There are special tortures destined for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses. Each soul undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings, related to the manner in which it has sinned. There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. I would have died at the very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God had not supported me. Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, 0r that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like.

Saint Michael the, Archangel I, Sister Faustina, by the order of God, have visited the abysses of hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence. I cannot speak about it now; but I have received a command from God to leave it in writing. The devils were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God. What I have written is but a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there are those who disbe­lieved that there is a hell. When I came to, I could hardly recover from the fright. How terribly souls suffer there! Consequently, I pray even more fer­vently for the conversion of sinners. I incessantly plead God's mercy upon them. 0 my Jesus I would rather be in agony until the end of the world, amidst the greatest suffering, than offend You by the least sin. (Diary 741)

"My mercy does not want this, but justice demands it."

. . . [The next night] I saw my Guardian Angel, who ordered me to follow him. In a moment I was in a misty place full of fire in which there was a great crowd of suffering souls. They were praying fervently, but to no avail, for themselves; only we can come to their aid. The flames which were burning them did not touch me at all. My Guardian Angel did not leave me for an instant. I asked these souls what their greatest suffering was. They answered me in one voice that their greatest torment was longing for God. I saw Our Lady visiting the souls in Purgatory. The souls call her "The Star of the Sea." She brings them refresh­ment. I wanted to talk with them some more, but my Guardian Angel beckoned me to leave. We went out of that prison of suffering. [I heard an interior voice] which said, My mercy does not want this, but justice demands it. Since that time, I am in closer communion with the suffering souls. (Diary 20)

Once I was summoned to the judgment [seat] of God. I stood alone before the Lord. Jesus appeared such as we know Him during His Passion. After a moment, His wounds disappeared except for five, those in His hands, His feet and His side. Suddenly I saw the complete condition of my soul as God sees it. I could clearly see all that is displeasing to God. I did not know that even the smallest transgressions will have to be accounted for. What a moment! Who can describe it? To stand before the Thrice-Holy God! Jesus asked me, Who are you? I answered "I am your servant, Lord." You are guilty of one day of fire in purgatory. I wanted to throw myself immediately into the flames of purgatory, but Jesus stopped me and said, Which do you prefer, suffer now for one day in purgatory or for a short while on earth? I replied, "Jesus, I want to suffer in purgatory, and I want to suffer also the greatest pains on earth, even if it were to the end of the world." Jesus said, One [of the two] is enough; you will go back to earth, and there you will suf­fer much, but not for long; you will accomplish My will and My desires, and a faithful servant of Mine will help you to do this. Now, rest your head on My bosom, on My heart, and draw from it strength and power for these sufferings, because you will find neither relief nor help nor comfort anywhere else. Know that you will have much, much to suffer, but don't let this frighten you; I am with you. (Diary 36)

One evening, one of the deceased sisters, who had already visited me a few times, appeared to me. The first time I had seen her, she had been in great suffering, and then gradually these sufferings had diminished; this time she was radiant with hap­piness, and she told me she was already in heaven . . . And further, as a sign that she only now was in heaven, God would bless our house. Then she came closer to me, embraced me sincerely and said, "I must go now." I understood how closely the three stages of a soul's life are bound together; that is to say, life on earth, in purgatory and in heaven [the Communion of Saints]. (Diary 594)

After Vespers today, there was a procession to the cemetery. I could not go, because I was on duty at the gate. But that did not stop me at all from praying for the souls. As the procession was return­ing from the cemetery to the chapel, my soul felt the presence of many souls. I understood the great justice of God, how each one had to payoff the debt to the last cent. (Diary 1375)

One day, I saw two roads. One was broad, cov­ered with sand and flowers, full of joy, music and all sorts of pleasures. People walked along it, danc­ing and enjoying themselves. They reached the end without realizing it. And at the end of the road there was a horrible precipice; that is, the abyss of hell. The souls fell blindly into it; as they walked, so they fell. And their number was so great that it was impossible to count them. And I saw the other road, or rather, a path, for it was narrow and strewn with thorns and rocks; and the people who walked along it had tears in their eyes, and all kinds of suffering befell them. Some fell down upon the rocks, but stood up immediately and went on. At the end of the road there was a magnificent garden filled with all sorts of happiness, and all these souls entered there. At the very first instant they forgot all their sufferings. (Diary 153)

Excerpt from Catechism of the Catholic Church and excerpts from Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska.

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

28. A hermit was asked by a brother why, when he stayed in his cell, he suffered boredom. He answered, "You have not yet seen the resurrection for which we hope, nor the torment of fire. If you had seen these, then you would bear your cell without boredom even if it was filled with worms and you were standing in them up to your neck.'  

June 1, 2006 



Vatican Concerned By Problems Facing Christians in Islamic Countries
Catholics drop in number in Mideast
Pope Urges Muslims to Respect Christians

BYZANTINE CATHOLIC CHURCH REVIEW: Christian Flight from the Middle East


(Matt.9:28.) "Do you believe that I am able to do this?"

*God deals with impossibilities *

It is never too late for Him to do so, when the impossible is brought to Him, in faith, by the one in whose life and circumstances the impossible must be accomplished if God is to be glorified.

If in our own life there have been sin,rebellion, unbelief, and disaster, it is never too late for God to deal triumphantly with these tragic facts if brought to Him in full surrender and trust.

*God delights in impossibilities.*

"There is nothing too hard for You."Jeremiah.32:17.
Is there anything too hard for Me?"Jeremiah.32:27.
"For with God nothing will be impossible." Luke.1:37 
"The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." 18:27.
God *can and will* "restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten".Joel 2:25.

He will do this when you put the whole situation and yourself unreservedly and believingly into His hands.
*Not because of what you are but because of what He is.*
God forgives and heals and restores.

*God delivers you from impossibilities.*

Facing a critical problem?
*Your problem is His Project!*
Just stand behind Him and watch how He handles your problem.
How do you know?
*"...for He Himself knew what He would do". John 6:6.*

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

26. A hermit said, 'Our predecessors were reluctant to move from place to place, except perhaps for three reasons: first, if a man was angry with them and no amount of satisfaction would calm him down; secondly, if many praised them; and thirdly, if they wre tempted to lust.'
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