Keep your eyes open!...


June 30, 2014  

(1Sa 16:7) And the Lord said to Samuel: Look not on his countenance, nor on the height of his stature: because I have rejected him, nor do I judge according to the look of man: for man seeth those things that appear, but the Lord beholdeth the heart.

FATHER CARLOS PADILLA: We would like to experience Christ’s nearness. But it is so hard to become like Christ! St. Ignatius of Antioch warned us: "Do not wish to have Jesus Christ in the mouth and worldly desires in the heart at the same time."
We receive Communion, eat him as food. We are with him, but our feelings are not his. They are worldly. They are the feelings of that “old man” who lives within us and refuses to die.

VIA Jim J. McCrea: Is Your Striving For Perfection Authentic?

Many Christians strive for perfection, following the teaching of Jesus: "So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48).

But we have to ask ourselves: is our perfection authentic or is it something we merely imagine to be perfection? What is true perfection that is pleasing to God?

We can ask: is our perfection a help and a consolation to others or is it a burden and a sorrow to others?

EXCERPT TRACT: The Requirements For Modesty In Dress

Modesty should be promoted by mothers in their children from early infancy.  Many foolish mothers train their little daughters to consider scanty attire as the normal thing.  Let such mothers take to heart the serious admonition of Pope Pius XII:  "O Christian mothers, if you knew what a future of anxieties and perils, of ill-guarded shame you prepare for your sons and daughters, imprudently getting them accustomed to live scantily dressed and making them lose the sense of modesty, you would be ashamed of yourselves and you would dread the harm you are making for yourselves, the harm which you are causing these children, whom Heaven has entrusted to you to be brought up as Christians."

Purity is like a precious pearl; it is purchased at a great price, retained only with great care and watchfulness and easily lost or destroyed.  Beware of pride and flattery, as arch-enemies of your purity.  You may not be finely dressed or pretty and graceful; you may not have those attractions which are most admired by the world; but if you have the virtues of modesty and purity you have something which money cannot buy and an ornament which will outlast all the fading treasures of earth.  "How beautiful then is modesty and what a gem among virtues it is." (St. Bernard, Confessor and Doctor of the Church)

Our Sorrowful and Immaculate Mother, who in all her apparitions is fully covered, is presented by her divine Son to us as the perfect model of modesty and purity.  She is terribly saddened by the immodest and impure conduct so prevalent in our society.  Our Lord speaks to us through His Blessed Mother in condemning the modern trends of uncovering the body.  In fact, Our Lady came down from heaven to warn against this disrobing trend.  Listen to what she revealed to little ten-year-old Jacinta of Fatima while she was dying in a hospital in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1920:  "Certain fashions will be introduced which will offend Our Divine Lord very much.  Those who serve God ought not to follow these fashions.  Our Lord is always the same."  And she also revealed to Jacinta that "the sins that lead most souls to hell are the sins of the flesh."

Now let us look at pictures of Our Lady in three of her most famous apparitions:

In her appearance to Blessed Juan Diego in Mexico, she left a self portrait which has been miraculously preserved for over four centuries.  It is on display in the Basilica in Mexico City.  The pictures of Our Blessed Mother as she appeared at Lourdes to St. Bernadette and to the three children at Fatima are from descriptions provided by the seers.  These appearances occurred over a period of more than four centuries, but see how her dress is always the same.

Let this paper be ended on a positive note.  The eminent way to protect and nourish an unsullied and perfect chastity, as proven by experience time and again throughout the course of centuries, is solid and fervent devotion to the Virgin Mother of God.  St. Gregory of Nicomedia encourages sinners by assurance if they have recourse to Our Blessed Mother, with a determination to amend their lives, she will save them by her intercession.  To obtain favors from Our Lady, we must perform certain devotions practiced by her servants:  First, to recite at least five decades of her Rosary every day.  Second, to wear the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.  Third, to have a picture or a statue of Our Lady in our home and recite her litany every day.  There are other devotions by the servants of Mary, but most of all we should recommend ourselves frequently to her in prayer.  "If you persevere until death in true devotion to Mary, your salvation is certain."  St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

EXCERPT Deseret News: Modesty means more than apparel

Walsh then shares an excerpt from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

"Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person."

Walsh then reiterates a similar message to Craig's.

"Modesty isn’t virtuous because it’s ‘hot,’ it’s virtuous because it’s concerned with something far greater than being hot."


The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Non-Judgement

2. A brother sinned and the presbyter ordered him to out of church. But Besasarion got up and went out with him, saying 'I too, am a sinner.

June 27, 2014  

(Mat 11:28-30) Come to me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: And you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.

VIA NIGERIA: The Feast Of The Most Sacred Heart Of Jesus by Rev. Fr. John Damian AdizIE

Today is another special day in the history of salvation. The Catholics all over the world and some orthodox Christians are celebrating the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is the feast that highlights the importance of the Heart, as the symbol of love. It is on a day like this that we reflect on the nature of the heart of Jesus as the most sacred, the most affectionate, the most wounded and most caring heart. The heart of Jesus is so large that it accommodates all. It is a heart that feels what we feel, a heart that is meek and humble.

The human heart is the central or innermost part of the body. It is an amazing organ that pumps oxygen and blood throughout the body to sustain life. It is an indispensable organ in the body. It is the heart that sustains the human body. The human body ceases to exist whenever the heart seizes to pump. Whatever affects the heart affects the entire human body. The heart represents a person’s will or desire. It reveals one’s true nature and mortification.

The bible describes the heart as the seat of faith. Authentic faith comes from the heart. The writer of the book of Hebrew states clearly that “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Salvation comes through faith in Christ Jesus. Faith comes through the heart. The heart is therefore the centre of human belief. Without the heart there will be no faith and without faith there will be no salvation.

Generally, the heart is often depicted as the symbol of love. It is the root of true and authentic love. True love comes directly from the heart. The Lord says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5). Our love for God is incomplete without the heart. Our love for God must come directly from the heart.

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: is one of the most widely practiced and well-known Roman Catholic devotions. This devotion takes the physical heart of Jesus as the representation of his divine love for humanity. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus just as it invokes his most holy name. It adores the incarnate Word and his Heart which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins (CCC 2669). We Adore the Heart of Jesus because it is the most sacred and most caring heart. It is a heart that is wounded by love.

The heart of Jesus was physically pierced with a lance. After his crucifixion on the Cross, the Soldier broke the legs of the two thieves that were crucified with him but “When they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water” (John 19:32-34). The lance pierced through the heart of Jesus. His heart was wounded because of our sins.

The prophet Isaiah gave a spiritual interpretation of this wounded heart of Jesus. The Prophet wrote concerning Jesus, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5). The heart of Jesus was wounded not because he committed any sin; he was wounded because of our transgression. Each time we commit sin we are wounding the heart of Jesus a second time.

Our Lord Jesus Christ possesses the most humble, the most caring and most affectionate heart. Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29).

Jesus is not as heartless as most leaders. He is compassionate and love. When people are hungry Jesus is hungry with them; when they are sick he is sick with them. When Jesus saw the hungry crowd he was moved with pity for they were like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34). Out of compassion, He took his time to teach them. He even fed five thousand men with uncountable women and children.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: emphasizes the purest love, the long-suffering and compassion of the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ towards humanity. The origin of this devotion in its modern form is derived from Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a Roman Catholic nun from France, who learnt the devotion from Jesus during a series of apparitions which occurred between 1673 and 1675.

In one of such apparitions, Our Lord appeared to Mary and revealed devotions to His Sacred Heart. Jesus said to her: “Look at this Heart which has loved people so much, and yet they do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth.” Jesus made some promises to her telling her how he would help those who honor His Sacred Heart. The following promises were made by our Lord Jesus Christ to those who are devoted to his sacred heart:

1). I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life. 2). I will give peace in their families. 3). I will console them in all their troubles. 4). Hey shall find in my heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death. 5). I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings. 6). Sinners shall find in my heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy. 7). Tepid souls shall become fervent. 8). Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection. 9). I will bless the homes in which the image of my sacred heart shall be exposed and honoured. 10). I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts. 11). Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in my heart, and it shall never be effaced. 12) The all-powerful love of my heart will grant to all those who shall receive communion on the first Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; my heart shall be their assured refuge at the last hour.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus consists in attending Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion in reparation for those who do not receive Our Lord, who do not love Him and who wound Him by their sinful lives. The Feast of the Sacred Heart has been in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar since 1856, and is celebrated on the 19th day after Pentecost. As Pentecost is always celebrated on Sunday, the Feast of the Sacred Heart always falls on a Friday. Besides, First Fridays of the month is also set aside for special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Child of God, you don’t necessarily have to go through all the rigorous devotions to the Sacred Heart for you to be devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A journey of many miles begins with a step. You can start with the invocation of the Sacred Heart as revealed to Mary: “O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee; for I fear all things from my own weakness, but I hope for all things from Thy Goodness.”

You can as well start with short ejaculatory prayer such as: “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – Have mercy on us!” Immaculate Heart of Mary – Pray for us! The more you say this prayer in your heart the more your heart is purified and transformed into the temple of God. Repeat this prayer wherever you find yourself. Say it when you are in examination hall. Say it while you are cooking, or when you are walking along the way and even when you are driving or travelling. As you are about to sleep let this prayer be on your lips. If you form the habit of saying this prayer, you will never experience bad dreams again. You will start experiencing inner peace. Your heart will be filled with love and joy. You will never be separated from the presence of God. You will succeed in all your endeavors and it shall be well with you, in Jesus name – Amen!

ASIANEWS.IT: Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in China

VATICAN RADIO: Hymns in honour of the Sacred Heart

NCR: Open Your Home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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

24. A hermit said, 'When you flee from the company of other people, or when you despise the world and worldlings, take care to do so as if it were you who was being idiotic.

June 26, 2014  

(Eph 6:11-13) Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore, take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day and to stand in all things perfect.

POPE FRANCIS: “God has called us to know him and to love him precisely by loving our brothers and sisters, by persevering in the fellowship of the Church and by seeking in all things to grow in faith and holiness as members of the one body of Christ.”

AINA NEWS: Christians and Other Non-Muslims of the Middle East Face Extinction

EDITORIAL: Politics As Usual, Or Spiritual Warfare?

Well-meaning statesmen and politicians strive mightily for political solutions such as an Israel-Palestine accord – or moving the Muslim Brotherhood to “democracy.” They are living in a fool’s paradise. Islam’s hatred of the USA and Israel is not political; it’s spiritual at its very core. Political solutions have yet to work; but like insanity, we keep doing the same thing over again.

The West has strangely dug itself into a deep hole by denying Christianity, creating an enormous spiritual vacuum. It denies what created its beauty and prosperity. Russia is trying to sort out its renaissance – choosing between her once lost beauty or power unleashed. China has found itself the largest beneficiary of American companies selling out their own customers by removing their opportunities to learn, innovate, work, earn, and buy – trading “Yankee ingenuity” for a “Yangtze ingenuity” that is devoid of human or environmental stewardship (or compassion.) Now politicians talk about “creating jobs!”

While the West plays politics against the powers of evil within and without, its spiritual vacuum is being filled with two competing (yet complicit) forces. One is Islam, its rules of law an absolute counter to history’s freest economic/human accomplishment system. Islam only evangelizes by the edge of the scimitar, the bomb vested jihadist who seeks an eternal reward, and a highly developed spiritual malady of lying. Its masses wallow in poverty and fear, while the rulers live grand lifestyles.

The other is “Eugenic progressivism,” which has no care or concern for the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. Its extremes look to a world population reduced to 500 million, human experimentation in the lab, and new ways to eliminate the unwanted. The current scandals at the Veterans Administration hospitals are not just poor administration, but part of the intended spiritual corruption of our health care system to achieve eugenic goals with a minimum of resistance.

Our only hope is to regain the spiritual roots so beautifully given us in the US Declaration of Independence, coupled with the Ethics of her Constitution and the protective Logic of her Bill of Rights. With one exception, adherents of nearly all the world’s races and religions have found a safe home in the United States with its predominantly Christian foundations. America is far from perfect, but nowhere on earth can freedom and liberty be found on such a broad human scale.

The war against these foundations has been waged for over 100 years by “eugenic progressivism” and its money manipulators. In recent years, the war has been joined by Islamic radicals with their jihad against all they see as infidels – including competing Islamic sects, but especially “The Great Satan” of individual liberty and Israel. They compete to dominate a one world government – fascist/communist or supreme caliphate. Neither bodes well for the human race.

If complete lack of respect for human life and the hope of eternal reward for murdering innocents isn’t spiritual warfare, please explain what political strategy will drive out the demons of the culture of death? Just ask your local jihadist or eugenicist. They can both be found crawling around the halls of government, wearing suits and ties and living grand lifestyles. These are the very halls where freedom must ring.

MORE: The Fall of Mosul- For anyone who cares about Christian history, it’s like the end of the world.

REVIEW: Taking the Devil Seriously

FATHER LONGENECKER: The way to counter this? Don’t compromise now and you won’t compromise then. Stay faithful now in all the little things so you will one day be faithful in a great thing. Stay loyal, true, bold. Stay honest and informed, sympathetic and alert. Live the life of faith now with joy, zeal, courage and love.  Then if a test comes you will pass the great test because you have passed all the little tests building up to it.

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

23. A hermit said, 'If a man prepares for the next day, it cuts away the fruit of his spirit and leaves him dry.

June 22, 2014  

(Joh 6:52-54) The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you: except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.

POPE FRANCIS: "Jesus, keep us from the temptations of worldly food, from the poisoned food that makes us slaves; purify our memory, so that it does not remain captive to selfish and worldly selectivity, but that it may be a living memory of your presence throughout the history of your people, as memory becomes 'memorial' of your act of redemptive love."

CORPUS CHRISTI: The Miracle of the Real Presence in the Eucharist

VIA Jim J. McCrea:  How Can Jesus Fit Into the Little Host?

EXCERPT: Feast of Corpus Christi, a Sermon by Father Francis X. Weninger, S.J., 1882

There is not one moment In the day, not one moment in the night, in which the sacrifice of the Mass is not offered up in one or another quarter of the globe. Not one single moment wherein some priest in one or another portion of the world is not elevating the Sacred Host to heaven, surrounded with a glory and splendor which our eyes can not behold, and beside which the glory of the saints and angels seems dim. There is not one moment of time in which this Adorable Victim is not presented to the Eternal Father— an offering so precious that all the praise and homage ever offered by the Angels, or that ever will be offered, is as nothing compared to it.

...We are objects of envy to the very Angels. They wonder and adore when we receive our Saviour; when we are united to the divinity and humanity of Christ; when we hold captive the Author of grace, our God and Redeemer, in the poor dwelling of our hearts. Return thanks, O Christian, for every Holy Communion which has been administered since the Last Supper, and for those which will be given until the end of time. Thank God especially for every worthy Communion which you have received yourself; and beg of the Lord to grant you occasion, from this day forward, often to enjoy the same happiness. Beg Him also for grace to employ His presence in your hearts as profitably as possible; yes, in a manner so perfect as to initiate you into His personal love and knowledge.

EXCERPT ALETEIA: The Real Presence? How Can We Be Sure? The real question is "How can we doubt It?"

Those who struggle to believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, don’t have to rely on Gospel passages and the opinions of Church fathers and converts alone.
For hardcore skeptics, our merciful Lord has permitted 153 approved Eucharistic miracles attesting to his Real Presence in the Eucharist, across the ages and in many countries of the world. In this Internet age, it is easy to learn more about them. The most famous are the miracles that occurred in Italy in Orvieto (1263), Lanciano (8th century) and Siena (1730).
In each miracle where bread and wine have taken on the appearance of flesh and blood, the flesh has been confirmed to be cardiac tissue and the blood is always Type AB. A website called gives details about the 153 approved miracles of the Eucharist and other  miracles that are well-documented but not formally approved.  
In light of Jesus’ words, in light of the central mystery of our faith, the constant teaching of the Church and hundreds of miracles through the centuries, how will you approach Communion today? As a routine, without giving it much thought?
If it’s been months or years since you’ve been to Confession, do you get in the line for Communion anyway, to prevent other people from thinking that you’ve committed some awful sin? Actually THAT, receiving the Eucharist unworthily, is a truly grave sin. It is a sacrilege to receive Holy Communion while being in a state of mortal sin. If you’ve not fulfilled the obligation for once yearly Confession, if you’ve intentionally skipped Mass on a Sunday without adequate reason, such as illness, you may not be in a state of grace to later receive the Eucharist unless this grave sin has been confessed and absolved.
Quoting St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, the Catechism warns:
“Whoever, therefore, eats of the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. ... For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself” (1 Cor 11: 27-29). “Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of reconciliation before coming to communion” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1385).
Our belief in the Real Presence must, therefore, guide our reception of the Eucharist and permeate all of our actions when we are in church. Sacred silence, reverent genuflections and proper attire for worship are all manifestations of deep reverence and faith. But don't confine your reverence and gratitude for this greatest imaginable gift to the interior of the church. When you leave Mass after receiving Communion worthily, you carry Jesus within you and you live in him. Let us try always to be aware of this extraordinary grace, into the parking lot and beyond.

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

20. She also said, 'The same thing cannot at once be seed and a full-grown bush. So men with a worldly reputation cannot bear heavenly fruit.

June 20, 2014  

(Mat 6:9-13) Thus therefore shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our supersubstantial bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Reflections by Father Ron Rolheiser, OMI: A CANOPY UNDER WHICH TO PRAY

Do we ever really understand or master prayer?  Yes and no.  When we try to pray, sometimes we walk on water and sometimes we sink like a stone. Sometimes we have a deep sense of God’s reality and sometimes we can’t even imagine that God exists. Sometimes we have deep feelings about God’s goodness and love and sometimes we feel only boredom and distraction. Sometimes our eyes fill with tears and sometimes they wander furtively to our wrist-watches to see how much time we still need to spend in prayer. Sometimes we would like to stay in our prayer-place forever and sometimes we wonder we even showed up. Prayer has a huge ebb and flow.

I remember an incident, years back, where a man came to me for spiritual direction. He had been involved for several years in a Charismatic prayer-group and had experienced there powerful religious emotions. But now, to his surprise, those emotions had disappeared. When he tried to pray, he experienced mostly dryness and boredom. He felt that there was something wrong because his fiery emotions had disappeared. Here’s how he expressed it: “Father, you’ve seen my bible, seen how most every line is highlighted with a bright color because the text spoke so deeply to me. Well, right now, I feel like pitching my bible through a window because none of that means anything to me anymore! What’s wrong with me?”

The quick answer could have been: “God is wrong with you!” I pointed him towards the experience of Theresa of Avila who, after a season of deep fervor in prayer, experienced eighteen years of boredom and dryness. Today, I would have him read the journals of Mother Theresa who, like Theresa of Avila, after some initial fervor in prayer, experienced sixty years of dryness.

We nurse a na´ve fantasy both about what constitutes prayer and how we might sustain ourselves in it. And what often lies at the center of this misguided notion is the belief that prayer is always meant to be full of fervor, interesting, warm, carrying spiritual insight, and carrying the sense that we are actually praying. Coupled with this notion is the equally misguided notion that the way to sustain feeling and fervor in prayer is through constant novelty and variety or through dogged concentration. Classical writers in spirituality assure us that, while this is often true during the early stages of our prayer lives, when we are neophytes at prayer and in the honeymoon stage of our spiritual lives, it is becomes less and less true the deeper we advance in prayer and spirituality.

Much to the relief and consolation of anyone who has tried to sustain a prayer life over a long period of time, the great mystics tell us that once we are beyond the early, honeymoon, stage of prayer, the single greatest obstacle to sustaining a life of prayer is simple boredom and the sense that nothing meaningful is happening. But that doesn’t mean that we are regressing in prayer. It often means the opposite. MORE

[email protected]: Distractions at Prayer

While journeying on horseback one day, St. Benedict met a farmer walking along. "You've got an easy job," said the farmer. "Why don't I become a man of prayer? Then I, too, would be traveling on horseback."

"You think praying is easy," replied the saint. "If you can say one 'Our Father' without any distraction, you can have this horse."

"It's a bargain," said the surprised farmer. Closing his eyes and folding his hands, he began to say the "Our Father" aloud: "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come..."

Suddenly he stopped and looked up, "Shall I get the saddle and bridle, too?"

VIA Jim J. McCrea: How to Pray Better

To pray better, pray to pray better.

Pray that your prayer improves and becomes what it should be.

God is simplicity itself.


God's Judgments - How Strict? How Lenient?
The Existence and Nature of God
Why Does God Exist?

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

19. Syncletica said, 'An open treasury is quickly spent; any virtue will be lost if it is published abroad and is known about everywhere.  If you put wax in front of a fire it melts; and if you pour vain praises on the soul it goes soft and weak in seeking goodness.

June 19, 2014  

(Joh 16:33) These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have distress. But have confidence. I have overcome the world.

POPE FRANCIS: “We run the risk of forgetting the suffering which doesn’t affect us personally. May we respond to it, and may we pray for peace in Syria”.

ICN:  Syria: Aleppo without water, churches reopen ancient wells

: UN Panel: Syria, Iraq edging into regional war

A U.N. commission on Syrian war crimes is sounding the alarm that the entire region is on the brink of war. In its latest report Tuesday to the U.N. Human Rights Council, the commission said "a regional war in the Middle East draws ever closer" as Sunni insurgents advance across Iraq to control areas bridging the Iraq-Syria frontier — drawing in Washington and Tehran.

That, along with a fourth year of civil war in Syria and the paralysis of "inaction" on the U.N. Security Council, threatens to topple the region, according to the four-member commission. The panel is investigating war crimes and other abuses in Syria, where President Bashar Assad was re-elected to another seven-year term in a highly contentious vote held amid fighting that has killed more than 160,000 people.

"The conflict in Syria has reached a tipping point, threatening the entire region," said the head of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry, Brazilian diplomat and scholar Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, in a speech to the 47-nation rights council in Geneva. The atrocities and terrorist attacks in northern Iraq by forces affiliated with the al-Qaida-inspired militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, will likely draw in more foreign fighters and other outside involvement, the commission said. It said the Sunni Muslim militant group has shown itself "willing to fan the flames of sectarianism both in Iraq and Syria."

Syrian opposition groups and extremists like ISIL and Al Nusra Front are fighting each other for control of the region while also battling the Syrian government, which benefits Assad, according to the commission.

"We are possibly on the cusp of a regional war," commission member Vitit Muntarbhorn, a Thai professor who has investigated human rights in North Korea, told reporters. "That is something we are very worried about."

REPORT: Demographic Upheaval: How the Syrian War is Reshaping the Region

AMERICAN SPECTATOR:  IRAQ BREAKS APART- And it can't be put it back together again.

STRATFOR:  The Intrigue Lying Behind Iraq's Jihadist Uprising

Iraq - Foreign intervention won't help

A local Catholic has stated that the international community should not intervene in the struggle against ISIS extremists in Iraq, insisting that the priority is for Iraqi leaders to "work together" to overcome the crisis.

In an interview today with international charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Archbishop Jean Sleiman of Baghdad stressed that political “consensus” within Iraq would be critical in overcoming the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), which last week pulled off a series of military take-overs of key northern cities including Mosul, the country’s second-largest city.

Speaking from Baghdad, the archbishop described how many people were trying to leave the city, fearing an onslaught from ISIS amid reports of it pressing south towards the capital.   He reported that, with many roads out of the capital blocked, departures from Baghdad’s airport were fully booked until the end of the month.

The archbishop, who became Latin-rite Catholic Archbishop of Baghdad in 2001, said, “In responding to this crisis, the international community should think of the common good, not their own interests. They should think of peace.”


ICEJ: Christians Facing Increasingly Desperate Situation in Iraq

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

16. Ammon (of the place called Raithu) brought this question to Sisois: 'When I read Scripture, I am tempted to make elaborate commentaries and prepare myself to answer questions on it. '  He replied, 'You don't need to do that.  It is better to speak simply, with a good conscience and a pure mind.

June 17, 2014  

(Rev 6:4) And there went out another horse that was red. And to him that sat thereon, it was given that he should take peace from the earth: and that they should kill one another. And a great sword was given to him.

POPE FRANCIS: "I invite all of you to unite yourselves with my prayer for the dear Iraqi nation, especially for the victims and for those who most suffer the consequences of the growing violence, in particular the many persons, among whom are so many Christians, who have had to leave their homes.  I am following with lively concern the events of these last days in Iraq."

FIDES.ORGThe Chaldean Patriarchate: Day of fasting and prayer for peace

The Patriarchate of Babylon of the Chaldeans, with a widespread appeal on Sunday 15 June, called on all Chaldean communities in Iraq and the world to "dedicate next Wednesday June 18 to fasting and prayer for the restoration of security and stability in Iraq.

"Fasting and Prayer" - reads the statement released to promote the initiative - "are capable to change the hearts of people and encourage them towards dialogue and respecting each other through the blessing of God".
Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako addressed the invitation to all Chaldean churches directly from the United States, where, along with other Bishops, continues his pastoral visit to the Chaldean communities present in North America. The dramatic developments of the situation in Iraq, triggered by the capture of Mosul by militant jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), are followed with concern by the Chaldean Patriarch and the Bishops, who will return back home in the current week and for now have decided not to cancel the meeting of the Synod of the Chaldean Church in program from June 24 to 28.

Originally the important summit of the Chaldean episcopate was to be held in Baghdad. Instead, with a significant change in the program, the meeting will be held in Ankawa, near Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. The transfer of the seat in a region controlled by the Kurds and not affected by the conflict will facilitate the participation of the Bishops of Mosul and Kirkuk. The agenda of the synod was initially focused on pastoral and jurisdictional issues concerning the life of the Church, such as the choice of new Bishops for the vacant episcopal sees and the unification of the rituals in the liturgical celebrations of baptism and marriage. "Obviously", explains to Fides Agency Father Albert Hisham, a spokesman for the Patriarchate, "the new situation in Iraq will lead to a change in the agenda. The Bishops will evaluate new emergencies that mark the condition of the Christian community and those concerning the Country".

OPINION: The War on Christians


Iraq: As chaos grows, priest fears civil war
Christians from Mosul say they have been targeted for months
Iraqi Christians flee homes amid militant push

ANALYSIS: Today I am simply reviving what other westerners (both Protestant and Catholic) have brilliantly predicted from the Bible, People like John Wesley explaining the iron teeth as the Islamic threat: “Ever since the religion of Islam appeared in the world, the espousers of it…have been as wolves and tigers to all other nations, rending and tearing all that fell into their merciless paws, and grinding them with their iron teeth” and Hilaire Belloc, “Will not perhaps the temporal power of Islam return and with it the menace of an armed Mohammedan world, which will shake off the domination of Europeans—still nominally Christian—and reappear as the prime enemy of our civilization? … I cannot but believe that a main unexpected thing of the future is the return of Islam.”

And Catholic Bishop Fulton Sheen, “Today (1950), “the temporal power of Islam may return and, with it, the menace that it may shake off a West which has ceased to be Christian, and affirm itself as a great anti-Christian world Power.”, And Vernon Richards, “The true Islamic concept of peace goes something like this: Peace comes through submission to Muhammad and his concept of Allah (i.e. Islam). As such the Islamic concept of peace, meaning making the whole world Muslim, is actually a mandate for war. It was inevitable and unavoidable that the conflict would eventually reach our borders, and so it has.” “This is Islam’s latest attempt to conquer the infidel world. Why do you suppose they waited until three centuries after the siege and battle of Vienna before they tried again? Was it because they saw an opportunity to get after us for the first time since 1683, because political correctness and the apologists it brought in train softened us up, and made us totally unaware of how evil and intolerant Islam really is, and gave them that window of opportunity to once again threaten our civilization with doom.”, and Josiah Litch (1840), who interpreted the star of Revelation as the ushering in of Islam: “A star, in the figurative language of Revelation, is a minister of religion. See Revelation 1:20… A fallen star then would signify a fallen or heretical minister of religion. This was undoubtedly the Arabian imposter, Mahomet. [Mohammed]. There is so general an agreement among Christians, especially protestant commentators, that the subject of this prediction is Mahommedism [Islam]”.

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

12. When Nesteros the Great was walking in the desert with a brother, they saw a dragon and ran away. The brother said, 'Were you afraid, abba?' Nesteros answered, 'I wasn't afraid, my son. But it was right to run away from the dragon, otherwise I should have had to run away from conceit.

June 12, 2014  

(Mat 5:10-12) Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.

CHALDEAN PRIEST FR. QAIS:  "We have suspended catechism and activities with young people for safety reasons but the churches are open. In this month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we celebrate Mass every day and pray asking the Lord to save us from new outbreaks of sectarian violence."

HEADLINE: Christians among 500,000 fleeing Mosul after Islamist forces seize city

AINA EXCERPT: The Cleansing of Iraq's Christians Is Entering Its End Game

The government of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, fell overnight to the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, also called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Mosul's panic-stricken Christians, along with many others, are now fleeing en masse to the rural Nineveh Plain, according to the Vatican publication Fides. The border crossings into Kurdistan, too, are jammed with the cars of the estimated 150,000 desperate escapees.

The population, particularly its Christian community, has much to fear. The ruthlessness of ISIS, an offshoot of al-Qaeda, has been legendary. Its beheadings, crucifixions and other atrocities toward Christians and everyone else who fails to conform to its vision of a caliphate have been on full display earlier this year, in Syria.

As Corner readers will remember, in February, it was the militants of this rebel group that, in the northern Syrian state of Raqqa, compelled Christian leaders to sign a 7th-century dhimmi contract. The document sets forth specific terms denying the Christians the basic civil rights of equality and religious freedom and committing them to pay protection money in exchange for their lives and the ability to keep their Christian identity.

Since 2003, Iraq's Christian community has suffered intense religious persecution on top of the effects of the conflict and, as a result, it's shrunk by well over 50 percent. Mosul, the site of ancient Nineveh of the Assyrians, who converted to Christianity in the first century, has become the home of many Christians who remained. Considered by Christians the place of last resort inside Iraq, Mosul and the surrounding Nineveh Plain has been home to many Christian refugees driven out of Baghdad and Basra. Mosul has the only university, the best hospitals, and the largest markets serving the Christian towns and villages of the Nineveh Plain. The plain, itself, is now at grave risk of direct jihadi attacks and the possibility of being cut off from an essential city.

Once upon a time, some of the Mosul Christians might have fled to Syria, but they now have few options. More will give up on the region altogether and join their relatives and former neighbors in Michigan, California, Sweden, and elsewhere in the West. The fall of Mosul is a serious blow for the Iraqi state, and the implications for Iraq's Christian community are devastating.


After Mosul, Al Qaeda seizes 38,000 sq. km of Iraqi territory, division-size armored vehicle fleet
The Battle to Establish an Islamic State Across Iraq and Syria
Did al Qaeda win the Iraq war?

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

8. Another brother spoke with the same Theodore, and he began to talk about matters of which he had noe experience. Theodore said to him, 'You've not yet found a ship to sail in, nor put your luggage aboard, nor puto ot to sea, and you're already acting as if you were in the city which you mean to reach. If you make some attempt to do the things you are discussing, then you can talk about them with understanding.

June 10, 2014  

(Mat 7:21-23) Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.

POPE FRANCIS: "The Church is not a house to rent. It is a home to live in.”

The Final Confrontation  by Fr. C. John McCloskey  

MARK MALLET BLOG: The Rising Morning Star

COURAGEOUS PRIEST: Bishop Athanasius Schneider: We Are In The Fourth Great Crisis Of The Church!

Liberals, collaborating with the “new paganism”, are driving the Catholic Church towards a split, according to Bishop Athanasius Schneider, the liturgical specialist who is carrying on a rearguard fight against “abuses” in the Church.

So serious are the problems, Bishop Schneider said in an interview last week, that this is the fourth great crisis in the history of the Church, comparable to the fourth-century Arian heresy in which a large part of the Church hierarchy was implicated.

If you have not heard of the Soviet-born bishop, you will. The sincere, scholarly clergyman is auxiliary bishop of the distant Archdiocese of St Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan. But this month he has received a rock star welcome from congregations across the country on his tour of England and he has embraced cyberspace to put over a trenchant, traditional defence of the Church. “Thanks be to God, the internet exists,” he said.

His views are not popular with everyone, especially not some of his liberal colleagues, or, he says, with the mainstream media of the secular world. But his audiences tell another story.

Vatican II Documents Need Clarification

Bishop Schneider is best known for arguing that Holy Communion should be received on the tongue while kneeling, which he insists is the more efficient way to foster respect for the Sacrament and to prevent abuse of the Sacred Hosts. The 53-year-old bishop has called also for clarification (a new Syllabus of Errors), aimed at the clergy, to put a stop to liturgical and doctrinal freewheeling on a range of issues in the “spirit of Vatican II”.

In his interview, Bishop Schneider said the “banal” and casual treatment of the Blessed Sacrament is part of a major crisis in the Church in which some laity and clergy, including some in positions of authority, are siding with secular society. At the heart of the problems, he believes, is the creeping introduction of a man-centred agenda, while in some churches God, in the tabernacle, really is materially put in a corner, while the priest takes centre stage. Bishop Schneider argued that this situation is now coming to a head. “I would say, we are in the fourth great crisis [of the Church], in a tremendous confusion over doctrine and liturgy. We have already been in this for 50 years.”

How long will it last?

“Perhaps God will be merciful to us in 20 or 30 years.” In the autumn, the synod of bishops will meet in extraordinary session to discuss the family, in the light of the questionnaire which Pope Francis invited the faithful to complete, giving their views on marriage and sexuality. Expectations are growing that rules will be relaxed on a range of sexual matters and in terms of divorced people receiving Communion as a sign of “mercy” from the Church.

Pope Francis Has Taught Beautiful Catholic Doctrine In His Official Homilies

Pope Francis is perceived to be at the forefront of a new liberal attitude coming from Rome. But Bishop Schneider says: “Thanks be to God, Pope Francis has not expressed himself in these ways that the mass media expect from him. He has spoken until now, in his official homilies, very beautiful Catholic doctrine. I hope he will continue to teach in a very clear manner the Catholic doctrine.” The bishop said he hopes “the majority of the bishops still have enough Catholic spirit and faith that they will reject the proposal and not accept this”.

A Coming Split?

Nevertheless, he can foresee a split coming, leading to an eventual renewal of the Church on traditional lines. But, he believes, this will not be before the crisis has plunged the Church further into disarray. Eventually, he thinks, the “anthropocentric” [man-centred] clerical system will collapse. “This liberal clerical edifice will crash down because they have no roots and no fruits,” he said.

In the turmoil, Bishop Schneider, fears traditional Catholics may, for a time, be persecuted or discriminated against, even at the behest of those who have “power in the exterior structures of the Church”. But he believes those involved with the “heresy” will “not prevail against the Church”. And, in hope, the bishop said: “The Supreme Magisterium will surely issue an unequivocal doctrinal statement, rejecting any collaboration with the neo-pagan ideas.” At this point, Bishop Schneider believes, the modern thurificati et traditores will leave the Church. “I can presume that such a separation will affect each level of Catholics: lay people and even not excluding the high clergy,” he said.

Such comments are unlikely to win Bishop Schneider popularity in some circles, but he argues: “It is quite insignificant to be popular or unpopular. For every member of the clergy, their first interest should be to be popular in the eyes of God and not in the eyes of today or of the powerful. Jesus said a warning: ‘Woe to you when people speak well of you.’”

FIRST THINGS: The Pope is Catholic- Why the Synod Will Surprise Skeptics

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

6. Once a brother came to Theodore of Pherme, and spent three days asking him for advice. Theodore did not answer, and he went sadly away. So Theodore's disciple asked him, 'Abba, why didn't you speak to him? Look, he has gone away sad.' He replied, 'As a matter of fact, I said nothing to him because he's only interested in getting credit by repeating what others have said to him.'

June 7, 2014  

(Joh 20:21-22) He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost.


Pope Francis Gets Involved In Middle East Peace Process
Peace in the Holy Land: Patriarch Bartholomew in Rome
Different faiths, same witness: How Vatican explains prayers for peace

VATICAN RADIO: Cardinal Parolin: Prayer at centre of Peres-Abbas meeting on June 8

: Pentecost 2014 and the birthday of the Church

: Feast of Pentecost

The day is coming when there is going to be a New Pentecost and we are going to see things that have never been seen in the history of the world, extraordinary outpourings of the Holy Spirit that are going to make the greatest saints that the world has ever known with exception, I think, to Our Lady, Saint Joseph, and Saint John the Baptist. Beyond that, we are going to see the greatest saints that have ever been known in the history of the world.

Now whenever there is truth, there is going to be falsehood. The devil is the great imitator and he does everything he can to mock Christ and everything that the Lord does. So we need to be very careful because we have all kinds of people running around claiming all sorts of things for the Holy Spirit these days, really for the last forty years. We need to be very cautious about this because initially what appeared to be an extraordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit back in the 1960’s has proven to be anything but. The Holy Spirit is given to lead us into all truth, and what has happened is that we live now in a society where the second largest Christian body are fallen-away Catholics. The largest Christian body is Catholics. The second largest body of Christian people are fallen-away Catholics, all because the Holy Spirit supposedly descended upon them and led them right out of the Church. That was not the Holy Spirit. There are numerous unholy spirits that are given to mock the true Spirit. We need to be very cautious.

When we look for signs and wonders and extraordinary things, the devil is always more than happy to provide them. God too can provide them without any problem, but that is not always the way He works. In fact, most often it is not. Recall the tiny whispering breeze, the little breath. That is not God manifesting Himself in extraordinary ways. What He is doing is asking us for extraordinary faith. When we cannot see the working of the Holy Spirit in clear manifestations, we have to believe and trust that He is there working in our hearts and leading us to Christ. What would indeed be easier is if there were great signs and flashing lights and bells and whistles and everything else. It would be obvious what we were supposed to do, but that would not require a lot of faith. To listen intently to a tiny whisper, to believe that your sins are forgiven when you do not feel anything different, to believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the forms of bread and wine when you do not see any change requires much more faith than if there were extraordinary signs and wonders being worked.

With regard to the false manifestations, let me simply say this: The first person in the modern world to speak in tongues took place in Wichita, Kansas on January 1, 1901, the first day of a new century – a century which I may remind you, from the vision of Pope Leo XIII, was handed over to Satan. Within thirteen years, it had spread like wildfire out into California (where else?!). And by 1917, several churches had come together that were all these Pentecostal groups and they formed what is today called the Assemblies of God, which is the largest-growing Christian body – almost entirely fallen-away Catholics led by the Holy Spirit, supposedly, into the worship of self and away from Jesus Christ and His sacraments. It was not until the 1960’s that this entered into the Catholic Church, and people left in droves supposedly led by the Spirit. Now they were indeed led by a spirit; we need not discuss which one.

Following signs and wonders, following extraordinary things, people started looking not for the ordinary but for the extraordinary. They wanted to see things, they wanted to experience things, rather than doing things in the ordinary way that God has chosen. They wanted to go back to Moses on Mount Sinai with the lightning and the thunder and the earthquake and the wind and all of the extraordinary phenomenon. They forgot about Elijah and the tiny whispering sound. They wanted the strong driving wind and the tongues of fire coming down, and they forgot that Jesus breathed on His disciples. We need to be very careful.

There is indeed a New Pentecost coming. It has not yet occurred. We will see extraordinary things unknown in the history of the world only because they will be absolutely necessary at that time, because it will be a time unparalleled in human history where evil will have run its course and God will then raise up the greatest saints to crush the head of Satan through the power of Our Blessed Lady, the spouse of the Holy Spirit.

SURVERY: Culture Upside Down: There Has Been A Colossal Shift In America’s Values Since 2001

Capturing America's Heart: A Third Awakening?

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

5. Zeno (the disciple of Silvanus) said, 'Never stay in a well-known place nor sit with a famous man, nor lay a foundation on which you might sometime build yourself a cell.'

June 5, 2014  

(Joh 2:3-5) And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.

POPE FRANCIS: "And 'the Virgin of readiness' is now ready to help us when we pray, when we ask for her help and protection."


CATHOLIC ONLINE: Fr Dwight Longenecker: Do Catholics Pray to Mary?

: A Mother's Rosary (II)

A few years later, God's will called this young priest to work as a chaplain in a hospital. One day, a poor sick patient was brought in. He exclaimed to the priest as he entered, "Don't you start speaking to me about religion. I believe in nothing and nobody." Nevertheless, the chaplain kindly visited this man as often as possible, only to be pushed away scornfully. So one day the priest said, "In that case, my friend, I will recite the Rosary for you." "Don't mention the word Rosary around me," answered the patient. "But this prayer can only make you feel better," replied the priest.

"You don't understand, Father, the Rosary is the reason for my bad luck," confided the patient. "How can that be, my friend? What are you trying to say?" asked the priest. "Well, I will tell you, since you seem to really want to know. When I was little, my mother made me recite the Rosary with her, every day. Then I grew up and I had to go to the nearby town to learn a trade. There, bad comrades influenced me to do evil things and I began to feel contempt for God. I was in pretty bad shape, when my family called me back home because my mother was dying. I didn't want to hurt her, so I lied and promised her that I would say a part of the Rosary, every day as often as possible. Then my poor mother gave me her own rosary. After her funeral, I returned to the workshop in town. On my journey, the Devil made me think this thought, "Get rid of that Rosary; throw it away on the ground!" So I did it. I threw the rosary on the road, but since then, I have been so unhappy that I think I must be cursed."

The priest was very moved and asked, "When did this happen? What is the date of your mother's death?" Upon hearing the patient's response, the priest drew the rosary out of his pocket and said, "My friend, do you recognize this one?" The patient could only shout, "It's my mother's rosary!" He took it in his hands lovingly and kissed it with tears in his eyes.

"Assuredly," said the chaplain, "this rosary that you call the reason of your bad luck, was for me the reason of my happiness! I owe my priesthood to it. And now, my friend, it will become the occasion of your happiness too."

"Yes, Father, and let me confess my sins," replied the patient. The priest answered, "I will come back tomorrow and administer the last sacraments to you. In the meantime, I will leave you the rosary so that you can repair your sins. I will take it back again later."

A few days later, the patient died happy and sanctified, kissing his mother's rosary... And then the priest took his simple rosary back again, and these dear memories never left him.

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

3. They said of Arsenius and Theodore of Pherme that they hated fame and praise more than anything. Arsenius avoided people likely to praise him. Theodore did not avoid them, but their words were like daggers to him.

June 2, 2014

(Act 1:8) But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth.

POPE FRANCIS: "We must tell the truth: Christian life not just one big party. Not at all! We cry, we cry so many times. When we are sick; when we have a problem with our son, in the family, with our daughter, or wife, or husband; When we see that our salary does not reach the end of the month and we have a sick child; when we see that we cannot pay the mortgage on the house and we must somehow survive ... So many problems, we have so many. But Jesus tells us: 'Do not be afraid!'. 'Yes, you will be sad, cry and people will even rejoice, the people who are against you'".

"But - he continued - there is another sadness: the sadness that comes to all of us when we take the wrong road". When , "to put it simply", "we try to buy happiness, joy, [the happiness and joy] of the world, of sin.  In the end there is a void within us, there is sadness". And this, he reiterated , "is the sadness of  the wrong sort of happiness". Christian joy, "is a joy in hope, which comes". 

"However, in times of trial we do not see this. It is a joy that is purified by trials, our everyday trials: 'Your sorrow will turn to joy'. But it's hard to go to a sick person who is suffering greatly and say: 'Come on! Come on! Tomorrow you will have joy!'. No, you cannot say this! We have to help them feel what Jesus made us feel. When we are in the dark, we do not see anything , 'I know, Lord, that this sorrow will turn to joy. I do not know how, but I know it!'. An act of faith in the Lord. An act of faith!".

To help us understand the sadness turns to joy, Jesus takes the example of a woman in labor: "It’s true, women suffer a lot in childbirth - the Pope said - but then when she holds her child,  she forgets". What remains is "the joy of Jesus, a purified joy". That is "the joy that remains". The Pope acknowledged that this joy is "hidden in some moments of life, we do not feel it in bad times, but it comes later: a joy in hope". This, then, "is the message of the Church today: Do not be afraid!". 

"Be courageous in suffering and remember that after the Lord will come, after joy will come, after the dark comes the sun. May the Lord give us all this joy in hope. And the sign that we have this joy in hope is peace. How many sick, who are at the end of life, in pain, have that peace of soul ... This is the seed of joy, this is the joy of hope and peace. Do you have peace of soul in times of darkness, in times of trouble, in times of persecution, when everyone else rejoices at your suffering? Do you have peace? If you have peace, you have the seed of joy that will come later. May the Lord help us understand these things”.

VATICAN RADIO: Pope Francis opens 37th National Convocation of the “Renewal in the Spirit”

VIDEO: Pope Francis meets the Moviment of the Holy Spirit Renewal

RON SMITH REPORT: The Gift of Tongues

Note from Ron: To receive my Catholic Q&A reports please contact me with your correct email address.

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.'
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Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus

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