Keep your eyes open!...


May 27, 2005


(John 6:53-56) So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.


A Reflection on Corpus Christi

What does Corpus Christi mean to me? It does not only bring the liturgy to mind; for me, it is a day on which heaven and earth work together. In my mind’s eye it is the time when spring is turning into summer; the sun is high in the sky, and crops are ripening in field and meadow. The Church’s feasts make present the mystery of Christ, but Jesus Christ was immersed in the faith of the people of Israel and so, arising from this background in Israel’s life, the Christian feasts are also involved with the rhythm of the year, the rhythm of seedtime and harvest. How could it be otherwise in a liturgy which has at its center the sign of bread, fruit of earth and heaven? Here this fruit of the earth, bread, is privileged to be the bearer of him in whom heaven and earth, God and man have become one. The way the Church’s feasts fit in with the seasons of the year is therefore not an accident. Consequently we must go on to discover the inner rhythm of the Church’s year and see the place Corpus Christi has within it.

First of all, clearly, it grows out of the mystery of Easter and Pentecost: it presupposes the Resurrection and the sending of the Spirit. But it is also in close proximity to the Feast of the Trinity, which reveals the inner logic in the connection between Easter and Pentecost. It is only because God himself is the eternal dialogue of love that he can speak and be spoken to. Only because he himself is relationship can we relate to him; only because he is love can he love and be loved in return. Only because he is threefold can he be the grain of wheat which dies and the bread of eternal life. Ultimately, then, Corpus Christi is an expression of faith in God, in love, in the fact that God is love. All that is said and done on Corpus Christi is in fact a single variation on the theme of love, what it is and what it does. In one of his Corpus Christi hymns Thomas Aquinas puts it beautifully: nec sumptus consumitur - love does not consume: it gives and, in giving, receives. And in giving it is not used up but renews itself. Since Corpus Christi is a confession of faith in love, it is totally appropriate that the day should focus on the mystery of transubstantiation. Love is transubstantiation, transformation. Corpus Christi tells us:Yes, there is such a thing as love, and therefore there is transformation, therefore there is hope.And hope gives us the strength to live and face the world. Perhaps it was good to have experienced doubts about the meaning of celebrating Corpus Christi, for it has led us to the rediscovery of a feast which, today, we need more than ever.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI)


O Sacrament most holy!
Gospel: The Banquet of Corpus Christi
Year of the Eucharist Online Catholic Resources

History of the Eucharistic Procession in Rome

St. Juliana of Mont Cornillon, born near Lieges, Belgium in 1193, was an Augustinian nun who during her years at the Mont Cornillon convent learned in repeated visions that the Lord wanted a feast to honor the institution of the Eucharist. She worked indefatigably to persuade Bishop Robert de Thorete of Liege to institute such a feast, which he did decree in 1246, stating that it should be celebrated locally on the Thursday after the octave of the Trinity. St. Juliana died in 1258.

Pope Urban IV (1261-1264), who had been archdeacon in Liege, knew of this feast and formally extended it to the entire Church when he published the Bull "Transiturus" on September 8, 1264. He ordered the feast to be celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday and granted many indulgences to the faithful who attended Mass and recited the Office. Urban IV had asked St. Thomas Aquinas, a friend of St. Juliana's, to compose the Office, which is still used today. The Council of Vienna confirmed Urban IV's Bull in 1312 and from that time on this feast became general.

The processions that take place today on this feast sprung up spontaneously centuries ago in various European villages and towns. The procession In Rome between the basilicas of St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major began in the late 1400's. Its current itinerary began in 1575 when the road that now directly links the two churches was built on the orders of Pope Gregory XIII. This route was followed for more than 300 years until the procession fell into disuse. It was resumed in 1979 by Pope John Paul II.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Union with God

27. My only desire would be to remain in silence, or else to speak only of God, for in this my heart takes so great a delight that it can never tire of so doing.

May 26, 2005

(Mat 5:11-12) "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.


When President Bush, a born-again Christian, launched the 2003 war against Iraq, he probably didn't expect one result - that Iraq, once a secular nation, would become especially dangerous for Christians.

Islamic extremists have bombed churches. They have burned liquor stores and killed their Christian owners. They harass Christian women who don't shroud themselves in black.

The president probably didn't expect another result - that Iraqi Christians would find refuge in Syria, a country that he often criticizes but that has a strong record of religious tolerance. In the past two years, Syria has taken in as many as 20,000 Christians fleeing violence and persecution in their native land.

Among them: Sabah Guryal.

"Christians in Iraq paid twice after coalition forces entered," says Guryal, until recently an executive of the Middle East Council of Churches in the northern city of Mosul.

"First, the Iraqi Muslims accused the Christians of supporting the coalition because we are Christians like the American soldiers. This is why they insult us, because we are "unbelievers.' And we pay the second time because the American forces consider us all Arabs, not Christians."

Anonymous callers warned Guryal to stop working for the council or he would be killed. His 22-year-old son, an interpreter for coalition troops, twice escaped kidnapping by men with guns.

"There are hundreds of stories like this," Guryal says. "Hundreds of families have been threatened."

By last summer, he had enough. With nothing but their clothes, he, his wife and their four children took a taxi to Damascus, where they share two rooms in a modest area of the city that has become home to many other Iraqi Christians. Left behind: A car. A spacious house. A lifetime of achievement.

"We leave everything," Guryal says, "just to be alive."

Christians from Iraq have gone to other countries, but most choose Syria because of cultural similarities and ease of entry.

Unique in the region, Syria allows any citizen of an Arab nation to enter for up to six months without a visa. President Bush says this "porous" border makes it easy for insurgents to cross into Iraq from Syria, but it also makes it possible for Christians to flee the dangers that have swept their country since the United States occupied it.

"From the time of independence in 1946, Syria has always opened its doors for every refugee who comes - Armenians, Palestinians, Sudanese and now Iraqis," says Archbishop Isidore Battikha, patriarch of the Greek Catholic Church in Damascus.

"They are all welcome in Syria, and the government asks us to help them - we open our churches, our meeting rooms, our schools, and help by money or finding money."

Christians also feel more comfortable in Syria than in Iraq's other neighbors, the overwhelmingly Muslim countries of Jordan, Iran, Turkey, Kuwait and especially Saudi Arabia. There, "religious freedom does not exist," the U.S. State Department says.

By contrast, about 10 percent of Syria's 18-million people are Christians, who worship freely in an atmosphere rich in history and tolerance.

It was on the road to Damascus that St. Paul converted after his vision of Christ. It was in Syria that disciples were first called Christians. And it was here on a recent Sunday morning, not far from the magnificent Omayyad Mosque, that hundreds prayed for their new pope, Benedict XVI, under the soaring stone arches of a Greek Catholic church.


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OPINION: Hypocrisy Most Holy- Muslims should show some respect to others' religions

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Union with God

26. Never forget Him Who died for love of you.  You will only love Him in so far as you know how to suffer in silence, preferring Him to creatures and eternity to time.

May 25, 2005

RECENT HEADLINE: S. Koreans Streamline Stem Cell Creation

LINK: Cloning: A Diabolical Counterfeit of Eternal Life

LETTER TO EDITOR KOREA TIMES: Regret Over Human Cell Cloning

I'm a young Catholic living in Korea with my wife, helping a Catholic missionary.

I was very sad when I heard and read that professor Hwang and scientists creating in Korea the world's first human embryonic stem cells.

This is an insult against God. Pope John Paul II and the new pope have said many times, through the Catholic Church, that the man are not allowed to manipulate life, and especially all cloning is forbidden, even for healing.

This is against the Love of God, and in the Bible, cloning is called an abomination. Only God, our Father has the right to manipulate and give all life, and life begins with an embryo, as God has already sent a soul at that first instant.

Cloning is the biggest sin humanity is committing against God in 2000 years.

Please tell professor Hwang to stop these manipulations and cloning, and the government to stop its financing of them, because God loves us, but if man continues to attack him through cloning, it will be terrible for all humanity and especially for Korea.

Please don't write such big articles in your newspaper about this sin, but with humility, stick to the position of the Pope and the Catholic Church about cloning.

Thank you very much in advance, and be assured that we pray for professor Hwang and all of you, that you receive the lights of the holy spirit, that you may understand the infinite love of God and his wisdom.


Vatican says embryo cloning is a crime
Stem-Cell 'Advance' is Actually Decline
Americans Strongly Oppose Cloning Human Embryos for Any Purpose
Dolly creator asks women to donate eggs

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Union with God

25. One thing the adorable Heart of Jesus asks of Its friends, viz: purity of intention, humility in action and singleness of purpose.

May 24, 2005

(Jude 1:17-21) But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; they said to you, "In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions." It is these who set up divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.


In the heat of France's debate over the European Constitution, the "no" camp occasionally uses a classic hot-button issue -- religion's role in politics -- to help bolster its campaign against the treaty.

Leading opponents of the text argue it could break down the separation of church and state here, undermining the right to abortion and allowing Muslim headscarves back into state schools after they and other religious symbols were banned last year.

Anti-treaty activists, who enjoy a slight lead in opinion polls as next Sunday's referendum on the issue nears, mostly base their campaign on warnings the constitution will threaten the French job market and undermine France's public sector.

But they add the faith factor, a contentious issue in a society where the secular tradition runs strong, in appeals aimed mostly at left-wingers leaning towards the "no" vote.

Henri Emmanuelli, campaigning against the treaty despite his Socialist Party's support for it, opted for a sudden warning about abortion after an uphill battle debating economic issues on television with pro-treaty conservative Nicolas Sarkozy.

Saying he was "alerting the women of this country," he said a clause respecting the right to life could allow conservatives and churches to seek a court reversal of abortion here.

France passed a landmark law separating church and state 100 years ago at the height of a long political struggle against the influential Roman Catholic Church.

Passions cooled over the years, but the law remained an accepted pillar of political life here.

The country's growing Muslim population has challenged this in recent years, demanding that headscarves or prayer rooms be allowed.

This has turned the defence of secularism into a rallying point for left-wing voters, especially state school teachers.

RELATED: French prelate fears European future "without a soul"


During the Vigil Mass of Pentecost at the Cathedral of La Almudena, the Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, expressed lament that Madrid is “falling into the temptation of a new Babel by wanting to build personal existence and society without God, beginning with marriage and the family.”

The former president of the Spanish Bishops Conference addressed his comments to the faithful gathered for the closing of the third diocesan synod of Spain. He noted during the preparatory phase of the synod, participants were already “fully aware of the crisis of faith that is affecting wide sectors of society.”

“Those who have completely lost [the faith] are not a few, and many live in contradiction with what it implies, some even completely estranged from religious practice, and there is no lack of those to whom the news of God and Jesus Christ has never reached,” the cardinal stated.

“We are in the midst of a spectacle of death of enormous proportions,” as to the victims of wars and “wicked terrorism” one must also add “the massive elimination of those most innocent, the unborn,” the cardinal said.


Pope's first challenge may be religious apathy in Europe
Catholic Church is losing sway in Europe
'The Cube and the Cathedral' Why Europe's great churches are empty.
Catholic devotion and doubts
On the Future of Catholicism in France

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Union with God

24. Jesus Christ is the true Friend of our hearts, for they are made for Him alone; therefore they can find neither rest, joy nor fullness of content save in Him- so let us love Him with all our strength.

May 20, 2005



(Mat 23:11-12) He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.


Most of us completely misunderstand the word humility.  It's usually confused with a cringing meek attitude, submissiveness or self-deprecation.

We think it means saying we're not a very good golfer when we know we really are.  That's not humility.  That's being coy and subtly begging for compliments, "Oh, yes you are, you're very good!" As Dag Hammarskjold put it in "Markings," "Humility is just as much the opposite of self-abasement as it is of self-exaltation."

"Do not think that if you meet a really humble person he will be what most people call 'humble,' nowadays:" writes C.S.  Lewis, "he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person who is always telling you he is a nobody.  He'll seem a cheerful, intelligent chap who takes a real interest in what you say to him.  If you do dislike him, it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily.  He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all."

Humility is so important that it is impossible for anyone to have any type of genuine spiritual life without the virtue of humility.  Humility tames the ego and rids us of superficiality and compels us to be true to ourselves and others.  Because of the nature of our egos, humility is an extremely slippery quality.  In the act of thinking we possess it, we prove to ourselves that we don't.  Like happiness, it alights on our shoulder only when we're unaware of it.

One of the reasons humility is so difficult is because our egos like to be seen as special and to stand out from everyone else.  We enjoy being seen as the "best" or the "worst," rather than just an ordinary fallible human being.  For example, many of us harbor the belief that either we've experienced a worse childhood than most people, or, that we are highly gifted and a cut above the rest of people (though we're entirely unappreciated).  Whether we see ourselves as the worst or the best, what suits us most is thinking we are outside the circle of the rest of humanity.  We're enthralled by grandiosity or victimhood, not ordinary humanness.

Genesis contains much wisdom about human nature.  It says God created humans by mixing dust and spirit.  Humility involves learning how to live with that reality - the reality of our mixed-up-ness, of being both saint and sinner, beast and angel.  Each of us is a spark of divinity encased in compost.  Someone has described humans as "the juxtaposition of incongruities."

Therapist Wayne Muller says of us, "Each of us was given a particular combination of wounds, gifts, talents and imperfections that merely give texture to the quality of our experience."

And what is the result of each of us being this bagful of wounds, gifts and human imperfections?  Muller so beautifully states, "We are all human beings who are born, trying to survive, learning to love, and preparing to live and die with some dignity and peace. No more, no less.

"To learn humility is to honor that your hurt and mine are one, that my life and yours are cut from the same cloth.  And that we share the gentle communion of being human."

The opposite of humility is pride.  Pride says that it's all right for you to be cut from the same human cloth, but not me.  It's understandable that you are imperfect, but not me.  Pride can't accept our being what we are: imperfect, struggling, aging, limited, mortal humans.  Humility can accept that.

Throughout its history, the human species has been tricked by the big lie that our limitation is the imperfection that renders us worthless.  The only way then, that worthlessness can be gotten rid of (we conclude), is to demonstrate that we are without limit, that we are super human and perfect, that we are god.

What a demanding way to live!  What a charade to keep up.  Humility says, "Cool it!"

Church Fathers on Humility:

I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I said groaning, "What can get through from such snares?" Then I heard a voice saying to me, "Humility."

St.  Anthony the Great

Humility is the only thing we need; one can still fall having virtues other than humility -- but with humility one does not fall.

Elder Herman of Mt.  Athos

For to despise the present age, not to love transitory things, unreservedly to stretch out the mind in humility to God and our neighbor, to preserve patience against offered insults and, with patience guarded, to repel the pain of malice from the heart, to give one's property to the poor, not to covet that of others, to esteem the friend in God, on God's account to love even those who are hostile, to mourn at the affliction of a neighbor, not to exult in the death of one who is an enemy, this is the new creature whom the Master of the nations seeks with watchful eye amid the other disciples, saying:"If, then, any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away.  Behold all things are made new" (2 Cor.  5:17).

St.  Gregory the Great

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Union with God

20. Do not cling to spiritual consolation, for it is not lasting; on the contrary, seek God by faith, and remember that He has a right to our love no less when He tries us than when He consoles us.

May 19, 2005

(Ecc 3:1-4) For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;


VIA Stephen:

           Who's in Heaven

      My mouth agape wide open
           as I entered Heaven's door,
           Not by the beauty of it all,
           by the lights or its decor.

      But it was the folks in Heaven
           who made me sputter and gasp--
           the thieves, the liars, the sinners,
           the alcoholics, the trash.

      There stood the kid from seventh grade
           who swiped my lunch money twice.
           Next to him was my old neighbor
          who never said anything nice.

      Herb, who I always thought
           was rotting away in hell,
           was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
          looking incredibly well.

      I nudged Jesus, "What's the deal?
           I would love to hear Your take.
           How'd all these sinners get up here?
           God must've made a mistake.

           And why's everyone so quiet,
           so somber? Give me a clue."

      "Hush, child," said He "They're all in shock.
          No one thought they'd see you."

VIA Adalberto: You have to love kids

*A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.

The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.

Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible. The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah". The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"

The little girl replied, "Then you ask him".

*A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work.

As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, "I'm drawing God." The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like." Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl: replied, "They will in a minute."

*A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to "honor" thy Father and thy Mother, she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, "Thou shall not kill."

*One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette heads. She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, "Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?" Her mother replied, "Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white." The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, "Momma, how come ALL of grandma's hairs are white?"

*A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, "Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face." "Yes," the class said. "Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn't run into my feet?" A little fellow shouted, "Cause your feet ain't empty."

*The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples.

The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray: "Take only ONE. God is watching."

Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Union with God

19. If you find yourself overwhelmed by distractions, collect your thoughts in the tranquil depths of the Sacred Heart. Our Lord will infallibly give you the victory over these distractions provided you fight vigorously against them.

May 18, 2005



Pope John Paul II has left behind a generation of committed young Roman Catholics who are already shaping the church in a more conservative mold than did their parents.

Church leaders call them Generation John Paul II.

At Catholic universities, these are the students studying the “theology of the body” -- John Paul’s theological justification for a conservative sexual ethic that includes opposition to contraception, abortion, premarital sex and some forms of assisted reproduction.

In seminaries, they are the young priests who wear the long black cassocks cast off by an earlier generation of Vatican II priests.

In their parishes, these are the youth group members who are reviving traditional spiritual practices like regular recitations of the rosary or “Eucharistic adorations” (praying for long stretches in front of the consecrated host).

“One of the great shocks to me was how conservative the people younger than me are, and these are Catholics from all over the world, not just the United States,” James Keating, 40, said.

Mr. Keating is an American theologian who is spending his sabbatical in Rome running the Lay Center at Foyer Unitas Institute, a guesthouse for Catholic students.

“Their Catholicism is quite focused on John Paul II, especially his teachings on contraception and the family,” Mr. Keating, who teaches at Providence College in Rhode Island, said. “It’s fairly significant. They are a force in the church.”

Pope John Paul II made evangelization of youth a priority of his pontificate. He appeared at World Youth Day events in cities around the world every two years, often choosing sites in countries he considered to be bastions of secularism: Denver, Paris, Rome, Toronto.


Pope Puts John Paul on Fast Track for Sainthood
John Paul II opened new era, rabbi says
Pope John Paul's prayer answered: A priest embraces his hidden Jewish roots


Thousands of North Texas Catholics gathered last Friday evening at the Cotton Bowl for a public display of faith and prayer that organizers said was unprecedented in Dallas.

The Eucharistic Family Rosary Crusade was the dream of the Rev. Jim Kelleher, who has spent much of the last several years working to make a massive prayer service a reality.

"Tonight we've come to help end the wars of the world," Father Kelleher told the crowd. "We have gathered here to pray for peace in our families, peace in our country and peace in the world."

The event focused on adoration of the Eucharist and the power of prayer.

Father Kelleher lives in Albuquerque, N.M., and is head of missions for the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. But he brought the crusade to Dallas at the urging of friends in North Texas.

Eucharistic Family Rosary Crusade Inc., a nonprofit organization established by North Texas Catholics, coordinated the evening's activities, which included a procession of about 300 priests and Catholic leaders, colorful costumes from around the world and a giant rosary.

The prayers were led by Bishop Charles Grahmann of Dallas, who carried the Eucharist into the stadium.

"This evening, many families from many different experiences of life, young and old, infants and elderly, gather together in awe at the mystery of God's love," the bishop said.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Union with God

18. You must take no notice of these thoughts of vanity, but say to Satan, when he suggests them to you in any of your actions: Begone, Satan, I not only renounce thee, but also thy evil suggestions. I did not begin for thee, and I will not end for thee.

May 17, 2005

(John 17:20-21) "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.


The historical separation between Roman Catholics and Anglicans has narrowed after both found common ground on the position of Mary, mother of Jesus, according to a document conceived at the highest church levels and released in Seattle yesterday.

Anglicans, already close to Catholics because of liturgy and traditions, have moved even closer through their understanding of Mary as outlined in the joint statement, which took five years and an international committee to complete.

The document seeks to transcend past controversies on Catholic dogma, including the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary. While not spelled out specifically in the Bible, such beliefs can be interpreted through Scripture, according to the 80-paragraph document.

The result might be an elevation, or at least a heightened acknowledgment, of the place of Mary -- particularly for Anglicans, the denomination born in England during the Reformation and called the Episcopal Church in the United States.

Anglicanism is considered closest to Catholicism because it gives Mary a pre-eminent place among the saints, includes her in Communion prayers and holds six Marian feast days.

Among other matters, Catholics and Protestants disagree over the Catholic dogmas of the Immaculate Conception -- the assertion that Mary lived a life free from sin from the moment she was conceived -- and the Assumption, the belief that her body and soul were taken into heaven when her earthly life ended.

Those dogmas have "created problems not only for Anglicans but also for other Christians," the document said, largely because they are not explicitly supported by Scripture.

But those dogmas also "can be said to be consonant with the teaching of the Scriptures and the ancient common traditions," said the document, titled "Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ."

RELATED: Vatican offers Anglican Church talks on reunification

SEE ALSO: United Methodist Council approves interim pacts with Episcopalians, Lutherans

REFLECTION by Father Ted:

My Lord Jesus Christ, what a wonderful opportunity You give to me to give to You, and to the Father, and to Your Holy Spirit thanks for the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

You reminded me yesterday that You want me to receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, including all of His gifts.

You urged me during the past week to pray for these gifts - actually, You had me begin this request beginning the day after Ascension Thursday.

You gave to me, as You have done to everyone who is baptized, these gifts in embryonic form on the day of my baptism.

You increased the influence of these gifts on me on the day of my confirmation.

You magnified them in my life on the day of my ordination.

Now You desire to intensify them in my life during this Holy Year of the Holy Eucharist.

For You want me, as You want so many of us, to become even more open to the influence of the Holy Spirit - to the effects of His mighty gifts.

You want me, as You want so many of us, to become as open to Him and to His gifts as were the Apostles and the other disciples who were present with Mary, Your Mother and our mother, on that awesome Pentecost morning.

They were ready for His coming that incredible morning. For they had prayed with Mary. And Mary had prayed for them.

Although I have already prayed with Mary for these gifts, I need to pray with Mary even more for the increase in these gifts - so that I can be that man, that priest that You want me to be.

You want me to become even a better instrument of Your merciful love.

You want me to radiate even more Your Presence.

Under the direction of Mary, as I pray for these gifts - and as I cooperate with the Holy Spirit, Mary’s spouse, I will be able to use these gifts more effectively. I will be able to radiate Your Presence more truly.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, pray for me now - and pray for me at the hour of my death. Amen.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Union with God

17. Do not distress yourself on account of any distaste or dryness you experience in God's service. He wills that you should serve Him fervently and constantly it is true, but without any other help than simple faith, and thus your love will be more disinterested, and your service the more pleasing to Him.

May 13, 2005  - OUR LADY OF FATIMA





In 1991 the Pope returned as pilgrim to Fatima "a pause, a moment of recollection, of personal transformation, of interior renewal. In his message and blessing, Fatima constitutes a conversion to God. In this place man's redemption is felt and is testified, through the intercession and help of Her who with her foot, as Virgin has always crushed and will always crush the head of the ancient serpent."

John Paul II has taken to heart the message of Fatima, applying it to the historical context of our century, looking at it as an extraordinary reminder to conversion through entrusting in, and in being consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In profound passage, he himself has compared the event of the entrustment at Golgota with the entrustment at Fatima: the "Totus Tuus" from the very beginning (Jn 19: 25-27) and the "Totus Tuus" of our days.

"The Sanctuary of Fatima is a privilege place, gifted with a special value: in itself it has an important message for the era which we are living. It is as if here, at the beginning of our century, resounded as a new echo, the words pronounced on Golgotha. Mary, who was beside the Cross-of her Son, had to accept again the will of Christ, Son of God. But while on Golgata the Son indicated to her only one man, John, the disciple whom he loved, here she had to accept them all. All of us, men and women of this century and of mankind's of difficult and dramatic history."

The act of entrustment which the Holy Father prayed at Fatima in 1991 in front of the Most Blessed Sacrament exposed after Mass, is an authentic song of love and of praise to the Virgin Mary, it is like a re-reading of that long journey of "Totus Tuus", which finds in the "House of Mary", at Fatima, perhaps the highest and the deepest tones.

Here some of the most significant passages of this act of consecration, which in the intention of the Pope was in collegial union with all the bishops of the world: "Again we address to You, Mother of Christ and of the Church, gathered at your feet in the "Cova da Iria", to thank you for all that you have done in these difficult years for the Church, for each one of us and for the entire humanity. "Show yourself Mother!", how many times we have invoked you! And today we are here to thank you, because you have always listened to us. You have showed yourself Mother: Mother of the Church, missionary on the earthly ways toward the awaited Christian third Millennium; Mother of men and women, through your constant protection you have spared us disaster and irreparable destruction, and have favoured the progress and the modern social conquests. Mother of the nations, through the unhoped for changes which given again trust to peoples too long oppressed and humiliated; Mother of life, through the multiple signs with which you have accompanied and defended us from evil and from the power of death; My Mother always, and in particular on that 13 May of 1981, on which I felt beside me your helping presence…

Yes, continue to show yourself Mother to all, because the world is in need of You. The new situations of the peoples and of the Church are still uncertain and unstable. The danger to substitute Marxism with another form of atheism exist, which by flattering the liberty tends to destroy roots of human and Christian moral. Mother of hope, walk with us! Walk with the men and women of this last piece of the twentieth century, with the human beings of every race and culture, of every age and condition. Walk with peoples towards solidarity and love; walk with the youths, protagonists of the future days of peace. Nations, who have recently acquired their liberty and now are engaged in constructing their future, need you. Europe needs you, which from East to the West cannot find her true identity without rediscovering the common Christian roots. The world needs you to solve the many and violent conflicts, which still threaten it.

Show yourself Mother of hope! Watch over the road where lies ahead. Watch over the men and the women and the new situations of peoples who are still threatened by the risks of war. Watch over those in authority of the Nations and over those who rule the sorts of humanity. Watch over the Church always beset by the spirit of the world. Watch over my 'Petrine' ministry, at the service of the Gospel and of humanity toward the new goals of the missionary action of the Church. Totus Tuus!

In collegial union with the Pastors in communion with the entire People of God, spread out in every angle of the earth, I also today renew to you the filial entrustment of the human race. With confidence, we entrust to ourselves to you. With you we intend to follow Christ, Redeemer of man: we are not burdened with tiredness, nor does fatigue slows our pace, difficulties do not discourage us, neither does sadness, extinguish the joy of the heart. You Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, continue to show yourself Mother of all, watch over our journey, grant that in full joy we may see your Son in heaven. Amen."

A LOOK BACK: Pope beatifies shepherd children in Fatima, May 13, 2000

SEE ALSO: Pope Benedict XVI Points Faithful Toward Virgin of Fatima

EDITOR'S NOTE: Pope John Paul II's passing on April 2, was forty days prior to the May 13th Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. It is interesting to note how frequently God uses the number 40 to mark critical intervals in the Bible. Often forty is seen representing a period of trial or punishment. God uses 40 to show us redemption and this parallels the process of birth. Forty is the number of weeks of a human pregnancy and where this involves a time of probation and trial and tribulation, the pain is secondary to the joy of new life

There are eight of such great periods on the surface of the Bible:

* Forty days Moses was in the mount, Exo 24:18; and to receive the Law, Exo 24:18.
* Forty days Moses was in the mount after the sin of the Golden Calf, Deut 9:18,25.
* Forty days of the spies, issuing in the penal sentence of the 40 years, Num 13:26, 14:34.
* Forty days of Elijah in Horeb, 1 Kings 19:8.
* Forty days of Jonah and Nineveh, Jonah 3:4.
* Forty days Ezekiel lay on his right side to symbolize the 40 years of Judah's transgression.
* Forty days Jesus was tempted of the Devil, Matt 4:2.
* Forty days Jesus was seen of His disciples, speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, Acts 1:2.

VIA Nadine: 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.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Union with God

13. My sweet Jesus, I unite my soul to Thy soul, and my heart, my mind, my life, and my intentions to Thine; and thus united, I present myself to Thy Father. Receive me, O Eternal Father, through the merits of Thy beloved Son.

May 12, 2005


Catholic Prophecy -Unapproved Catholic Apparitions

VIA Deacon John: Testimonials – A Stunning Conversion

The following account of the conversion of a British subject, was told to me (Josefa Gallego) by Father Miguel Fernandez, a priest from Barcelona, now deceased, who had given me authorization to publish it. Father Fernandez talked about this conversion, which he witnessed and was a part of, in a conference at a convent of religious Sisters in Barcelona in April 1982.

A friend of mine from Santander told me about the ecstasies of the four girls of Garabandal, and even gave me a photograph which I still have. He suggested I go there, but I wasn't the least bit interested. Granted, the Virgin Mary can appear any place she likes, but I was perfectly satisfied working in my parish and had no desire to go.

Later on, two priests from Madrid came to Barcelona during the summer and spoke to me about Garabandal in a rather contemptuous way. This sparked my interest to visit the place.

Then a book on Garabandal fell into my hands that turned me off completely. In spite of this, I still felt the need to visit. Then I read a book by Father [Eusebio Garcia de] Pesquera, which left me wondering. He mentioned priests who went to investigate the events, and even if they weren't outright believers, they at least were submitting the happenings to scientific methods. Among them were the Jesuit brothers, Fathers Luis Maria Andreu and Ramon Maria Andreu (now deceased).

Surely it was clear to me, that when confronted with the events surrounding Father Luis Maria, this wasn't something to fool around with, and I thought to myself: “Why can't God do that?” After reading more books on the subject, I decided to make the trip and went with four boys from my parish during the summer vacation. They had marvelous experiences there. The next summer, I felt compelled to go again, so I asked the youngsters if they wanted to join me. This time instead of four there were eight. Half of them, and a 43-year-old woman, went with me in my car while the rest took the train.

We arrived in the village around 10:00 p.m; it was dark and chilly. A light drizzle, made everything damp and the rocks underfoot were slippery. A man hurrying up the hill appeared next to us and since he looked as though he was about to slip and fall, I told the oldest boy to give him a hand. Instead of accepting the boy’s help, the man shunned him. We didn't know what he said, as he spoke in English, but he made a sufficiently unedifying gesture. The boy’s first reaction was ………. But I said to the youngster, “Hey! no murmuring! We came here to pray and we're going to pray for him, for the rebuff he gave us for our act of charity and kindness.” So we recommended him to the Virgin.

What do you think happened next? That man, who acted as if he'd been stung by a dozen wasps, came back down and joined us staying the rest of the evening. We remained there praying for about two hours with this man next to us. At the halfway point, we noticed him fall to his knees grimacing with pain. From time to time he seemed to be speaking to someone; we had no idea what it was all about. The next morning we arose and prepared to celebrate holy Mass at the Pines because I didn't want to miss Communion.

Now, what I'm about to say is not my opinion but what actually happened. A lady came up to me and said in English, “Miracle, Father!” I didn't understand what she meant, but people were pointing at me and saying, “He’s the one! He’s the one!” Then they brought me a boy and said, “Bless him! Bless him!” Another boy came up, and they said, “He wants to be a priest! Bless him!” When I saw all these people coming towards me saying, “Touch the medals! Touch the medals!” I didn't know what to think.

As all this was happening, a Passionist Priest arrived wearing his cassock. I was not dressed as a priest; we'd been camping out and sleeping on the ground in a tent, and I wore very ordinary clothes. Seeing that things were getting out of hand, I told everyone to go to that priest for the blessing, but what was my surprise when he himself came over and knelt in front of me for my blessing. I was dumfounded, and also afraid. I didn't know what was going on and thought everyone had gone mad.

They took up a collection of about 6,000 or 7,000 pesetas and gave it to us. Once things settled down, I began the Mass. When it came time for Communion, people began to weep, give thanks, and praise Mary out loud. We still didn't know what was happening as people continued to shout, “Miracle! Miracle!”

Finally, an Indian girl who spoke a little Spanish said to me, “Father, last night a great miracle happened here, and the Virgin chose you to be part of it.” “What happened?” “I don't know; I just found out about it.” Besides all this, a sad event occurred that morning. A woman I knew had died of cancer and left three young daughters. I felt that if I had had something kissed by the Virgin of Garabandal she wouldn't have died, so I went around the village asking everyone for some object kissed by Our Lady.

Finally, I went to the Pines, and said in front of the image of the Virgin: “Mother! I want this, not for me, I'm content with your motherly love, but for those who are gravely ill. I'm very upset about the pitiful death of this woman who was in the prime of her life.” I had no more than made this plea, when I opened my eyes (I always pray with my eyes closed) and there on the ground beside me was a rosary with a tag on it saying, “Kissed by the Virgin at Garabandal.” This was another emotional moment. I went around trying to find out who had lost it, but it wasn't until some time later that a man came up to me lamenting and said in English “You have my rosary.” I gave it to him, saying mentally to the Virgin, “Well, you gave and you took away; your will be done.” Not a moment after the man left, the woman who accompanied us to Garabandal and was staying in the village, came up to me and said, “Here, take this rosary that you were asking the Virgin for.” They divided the rosary keeping one part and giving me the rest.

Well, the morning after the rosary incident, the man (who we encountered going up to the Pines and who stayed with us for two hours) asked me after Mass if I planned to go to the church and pray the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament; I said yes, and would see him afterwards. He told me, “Here, Father, take this letter and God bless you.” I opened the letter and found the story of his conversion. What happened was, this Englishman had been tricked by fellow English Catholics to join them on a pilgrimage. They visited the tomb of St. Peter in Rome, and he made fun of it. They went to Lourdes and he made fun of the Virgin. They went to Fatima and Santiago de Compostela and he made fun of and blasphemed the Virgin. He was angry with everything and everyone who had deceived him into taking the pilgrimage. This explains why he indignantly refused our help when climbing the slippery path. Here is what happened according to his own testimony. As soon as we started praying to the Virgin for him, she took hold of him, lifted him up from the ground, and told him, “Don't go to the Pines. Join up with that priest. He is a minister of God.” That is why he came to us.

I've already said that I wasn't wearing my cassock, not even a cross, and even so, it was so dark he wouldn't have been able to tell anyway. Then in his letter he says: Father, in that moment I felt raised from the ground by a mysterious hand and it forced me to go back to where you were. I understood the prayers that you and your companions were saying for me, even though I don't know a word of Spanish. I was there for two hours while you prayed, understanding everything you said to Mary, but at a certain moment the Mother made me fall to the ground.

Later he wrote me a letter of explanation. He had been away from the Church for twenty years fighting against it, ridiculing all its beliefs especially the Eucharist and the Virgin Mary. He couldn't stand priests, but that day he fell on his knees, thanks to the power of Mary, crying and begging God for forgiveness. He felt the need to confess his sins. By Divine Providence, that English Passionist priest climbed up to the Pines and the man was able to make his confession amidst a sea of tears. That was the cause of all the buzz. Next morning when I was getting ready to celebrate Mass, I heard the Englishman telling the priest, “He’s the one. That’s him,” while pointing at me.

Signed: Father Miguel Fernandez

"And I have the right to feel so about you all, because I have you in my heart, all of you . . . For God is my witness how I long for you all in the heart of Christ Jesus." (Phil 1: 7-8)

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Union with God

12. We must keep control over all our senses by holy interior recollection, banishing all useless reflection and introspection; these only serve to disturb us and deprive our soul of that peace without which it will never be the sanctuary of God.

May 11, 2005


Reading (Acts 19:1-8) Gospel (St. John 16:29-33)

In the Gospel today, Our Lord begins by looking at His apostles, who are telling Him that they now believe that He is from God, and says to them, Do you really believe? He then goes on to tell them that an hour is coming when they are all going to be scattered and they are going to leave Him quite alone. In the face of that, He tells them that He has told them this so that they would have peace in Him. In the world, He says, they will have trouble, but He has conquered the world.

Now this is a very, very important point for us to understand. We will have peace only in Christ. In nothing else are we going to find the peace that we desire. He has told us that we are going to have trouble in this world, so why do we keep looking for some sort of worldly peace? Why do we keep trying to find fulfillment in the things that the world has to offer? Material things are not going to do it. Money is not going to do it. All of the things the world has to offer – the selfishness, the pleasure, the entertainment, and so on – will never bring peace. It brings a moment of enjoyment. It might bring a little bit of sensual pleasure, and then as soon as we walk away all of that is gone. So we realize that there is nothing lasting.

But if we are truly going to live the faith that we profess, then we are going to have trouble. This world, as we have tragically remade it from what God made, has become a pretty ugly place to be. We have maniacs who are now telling us that they are planning attacks on the United States and on the Vatican. It is not a happy place to be a Catholic these days. Thanks be to God! We actually have an opportunity to suffer for our faith. And we are going to find out, just like the apostles did, if we really believe.

We have been given everything. Just as we saw in the first reading, Saint Paul baptized these people in the Name of Jesus and laid his hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. We have been given everything. We have Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit, and, of course, God the Father right inside of us. And they are right here before us in the Blessed Sacrament. We have the sacraments. We have everything the Church offers, all the teachings, everything. So it is easy on one level to believe. Now the question is putting that belief into practice.

Are we really going to live what we profess? We have been given everything to do so, but the only way we are going to be able to put it into practice is if we are seeking that peace in Christ. If we are going to try to be at peace with the world then we have walked away from Christ leaving Him quite alone, as He told His apostles they were going to do at the time that He was persecuted. The Church is going to be persecuted and the Church is Christ. Are we all going to be scattered? Are we going to go our separate ways? Are we going to leave Him all alone on the Cross? Or are we going to remain faithful to Him? We all want to say that we will remain faithful, but there is only one way – and that is if we are seeking Him, if we are seeking our peace only in Him. If He is just a part of our life, even a rather peripheral part, we are going to walk away because it will not be politically correct, it will not be fun, it will not be pleasurable. If we are going to seek peace with the world, we will have no peace in Christ. Unless Jesus Christ is the center of our lives and unless we are united with Him in the depths of prayer, we have no reason to think that we will remain faithful. The Lord has made very clear to us that there is only one way, and that is to find our peace in Him. So we can search our hearts and we can ask ourselves, “Where do I seek my peace? Am I seeking it in the things that the world offers? Or am I seeking it in Jesus Christ?” If we are finding our peace only in Christ then we are on the right track, then the Holy Spirit can work within us and keep us faithful. But if we are seeking the things of the world then there is another spirit that will be working in us, and we can be reasonably assured that we will wander from Christ when that day comes.

We want to remain faithful and we have been given everything to do it. He has conquered the world, and He has given us the Holy Spirit so that we –with Him – can conquer the world. Now we need to put it into practice, to go beyond the material, to go beyond the sensual, to go beyond the self, to seek only Jesus Christ and to find our peace in Him.

RELATED: Eyes to See and Ears to Hear

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Union with God

11. One of the ways most pleasing to God of keeping ourselves in His holy presence, is to enter into the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to commit to Him all the care of ourselves. We must abide therein as in an abyss of love, and lose in it that which is of ourselves, so that He may substitute that which is of Himself.

May 10, 2005


(Deu 30:19) I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life, that both thou and thy seed may live


Pope Benedict XVI sent a clear message at the weekend that he intends to stick rigidly to the "pro-life" stance of his predecessor.

The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said he, like John Paul II, would defend "the inviolability of human life from conception to natural death".

He said it was the duty of the pontiff to ensure "obedience to the word of God" and resist "all efforts at adaptation or dilution as well as any opportunism". In an unmistakable reference to Catholic teaching on abortion and euthanasia, the Pope said: "The freedom to kill is not a true freedom, but a tyranny that reduces human beings to slavery."

Pope Benedict XVI made his remarks during the last of the ceremonies held for an incoming pontiff, in which he was enthroned as bishop of Rome.

Speaking from a marble and mosaic throne in St John Lateran, the oldest of Rome's four great basilicas, he said: "The Pope is not an absolute sovereign, whose thoughts and wishes are law.

"On the contrary, the ministry of the Pope is to be the guarantor of obedience to Christ and His word."

RELATED: Planned Parenthood launches campaign against Pope Benedict XVI


Christian leaders, theologians and religious activists from around the world gathered Monday for a meeting to assess some of the most serious challenges for the faith, such as growing rifts between churches and African congregations ravaged by AIDS.

The last time the World Council of Churches staged such a conference was in Brazil nine years ago, when the agenda was heavy with issues about preserving cultural identity and Christian missionary expansion in the former East Bloc.

Now - in one of the ancient sites of Christianity - the planned discussions highlight some new concerns, including growing rifts among Christians over issues such as same-sex unions, the role of gay pastors and women's contributions to worship. Also high on the list: ways to control AIDS and HIV in Africa and promoting interfaith dialogue with mainstream Muslims to offset the influence of Islamic extremists.

The conference is expected to draw more than 500 participants representing nearly every corner of Christianity from evangelical movements to mainline Protestant groups to Orthodox and Roman Catholic envoys.

Some leaders, such as the late Pope John Paul II, made historic overtures to Orthodox churches to end a nearly 1,000-year estrangement over disputes centering on papal authority and, in recent years, the Vatican's reach in traditional Orthodox lands. Some Protestant churches, meanwhile, have moved toward consolidation to counter shrinking congregations and resources.


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Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Union with God

10. Let us adore and love God through the adorable Heart of Jesus: let us do all our actions in Him; let us beg Him to do all in us and for us, and to restore us to grace by uniting us again to His Father, when sin has separated us from Him.

May 6, 2005


(Act 1:12-14) Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount that is called Olivet, which is nigh Jerusalem, within a sabbath day's journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James of Alpheus and Simon Zelotes and Jude the brother of James. All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.


This most ancient of all novenas begins on the Friday after Ascension Thursday, this year on 06 May (even when the Celebration of the Ascension is moved to the following Sunday).

A novena is made up of nine days of prayers for a special cause. The Novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the most ancient of all Novenas. It was the first one ever prayed. It recalls the period of nine days where Jesus sent his apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This wonderful Novena is addressed to the Holy Spirit and can be a powerful way for us to prepare to receive the light, strength and courage we need.

On May 4, 1897, Pope Leo XIII issued this order:

We decree and command that throughout the whole Catholic Church, this year and in every subsequent year, a novena shall take place before Whit-Sunday (Pentecost), in all parish churches.

So, let's pray this wonderful Novena, beginning on the Friday after Ascension Thursday, this year on the 6th of May, even when, like this year in the United States, the celebration of Holy Thursday is transferred to the next Sunday. Come Holy Spirit, Come!



VIA Leonard Wolff: We have established a new Catholic Website to bring about the "New Springtime" with "New Evangelization" in every parish. Our website promotes two main activities:

Please visit to view these Catholic activities in greater detail.

May you be blessed with all Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost!

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Union with God

6. Now is the time to humble myself and show God that I love Him.

May 5, 2005


With the world watching its every nuclear step, Iran declared Tuesday that it is determined to pursue all legal areas of nuclear technology, including uranium enrichment.

Addressing a U.N. conference on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said his government is "eager" to provide guarantees that its nuclear-fuel program will serve only peaceful purposes, as sought in talks with European governments.

Washington contends Iran's uranium enrichment program is aimed at building nuclear weapons, and President Bush has proposed banning such technology to all but those countries that already have it. Enriched uranium also can be used to generate electricity, which Iran says is its only aim.

"It is unacceptable that some tend to limit the access to nuclear technology to an exclusive club of technologically advanced states under the pretext of nonproliferation," Kharrazi said.

He also told delegates from more than 180 nations that the United States and other nuclear-weapons states should make legally binding assurances to non-nuclear states like Iran that they will not be subject to nuclear attack.


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VIA Philip: On The Passing of Sister Lucia of Fatima

Sunday the 13th February? has no significance, but the 13th is the monthly anniversary of the apparitions and the enormous miracle of the sun... And February is the month of the Purification. Has that any significance?

Also according to my 61 Missal, February 13 was one of only 7 free days.. Almost reserved for St. Lucia .....

On June 13th 1917, "I shall come soon to take Jacinta and Francis. But you must remain longer on earth. Jesus wishes to use you in making me known and loved. He wishes to spread in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. "

That she has now been taken to Heaven I view with grave forboding. The world and the majority of the faithfull have rejected His wishes. He has left us alone. Mary has taken Lucia out of this world doomed to fearful chastisement "such as the world has never seen or will again". Entire nations will be anihilated. Was the Boxing day tsunami a warning? I doubt it. It was too trivial. Correct estimates put that toll at no more than several hundred thousand.

Yet we must recall and take some comfort , that when the 10 year old Lucy was saddened about being left all alone on earth, Our Lady responded, "No my child, I shall never abandon you...My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."

This is our only hope. We must hold on to that promise. We are indeed granted an enormous grace, those of us who know and acknowledge and pray constantly to the Immaculate heart of Mary. But we must pray the Rosary more now than ever before, whilst we perform our normal daily duties, in faithful hope in His Mercy. Be ever ready to hold out that lifeline to those not yet convinced, but who will be soon.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Union with God

5. You have only to unite yourself in all that you do to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ. At the beginning of your actions, make His dispositions your own, and at the end offer His merits as satisfaction.

May 4, 2005

(Luke 18:8)  I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?"


The cavernous, cinderblock construction of the Church of the Most Precious Blood, built in 1954 in a solidly working-class neighborhood here, reflects an era when Ireland's priests could marshal one of the world's most devout Roman Catholic flocks for Mass each Sunday and on other days of obligation.

A half-century later, the massive church was nearly empty during Mass on a recent Sunday -- its cold, cement walls echoing with the thin coughs of elderly women, who seem to make up the majority of parishioners in many Irish parishes.

Here and across Europe, Catholicism is withering after decades of steady erosion from the forces of secularism, consumer culture, and the fallout from priest sex abuse scandals.

In some of Catholic Europe's largest dioceses in Germany, France, Italy, and Ireland, the percentage of Catholics who attend Mass regularly has slipped to as low as 20 percent, and in a few cities, like Paris, has reached as low as the single digits, according to figures compiled by the church.

The new pope, Benedict XVI, who hails from Germany, has said that the erosion of the church in Europe is one of the greatest challenges facing his papacy. He has called on Catholics to resist ''a dictatorship of relativism" in the modern, secular West that he believes has damaged the Christian foundation of Europe.

In his just-published book, ''Values in Times of Upheaval," the pope, who was then still known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, ruminated on the besieged soul of Christian Europe. ''In order to survive, Europe needs a critical acceptance of its Christian culture. Europe seems, in the very moment of its greatest success, to have become empty from the inside. Crippled, as it were," he writes.

How to heal the church looms over the next papacy, and those who know and work with Benedict say he is intent not so much on reaching out to the wayward many, but on turning inward and strengthening the core of the faithful few.

The commitment to this approach is revealed in Benedict's choice of his papal name. St. Benedict was a sixth-century monk who, when faced with the decay of the Holy Roman Empire and the onslaught of the barbarians, retreated to establish hilltop monasteries. The monasteries spread and became the foundations from which European Christendom was built.

The Rev. Augustine DiNoia, who worked closely with Ratzinger as the undersecretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said, ''This idea of turning inwards and reflecting is how we will see the pope confront the weariness of the church in Europe."


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Scary Stuff- A growing campaign of hatred against traditional Christians by secular liberals

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Union with God

4. Everything depends on prayer well made; but in order to pray well, one must be very recollected and mortified.

May 3, 2005

(Heb 12:1-2) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.


Pope Benedict XVI marked the passing of a month since John Paul II's death Monday at a Mass in his private chapel, the Vatican said, a day after he blessed some 50,000 people in his first appearance at his Vatican window as head of the Roman Catholic church.

Later Monday, Benedict will pray at John Paul's tomb in the grottoes beneath St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican said.

It said the area around the tomb would be closed off to the public so that Benedict could pay his respects in private.

John Paul died April 2 at the age of 84, and some 3 million pilgrims arrived in Rome to view his body and attend the funeral of one of the most beloved pontiffs in history.

Benedict used his appearance Sunday to denounce wars around the world, pay tribute to the world's workers on May Day and express hope that efforts toward Christian unity would continue. To that end, he wished happy Easter to the world's Orthodox Christians.

"I address you, my very dear brothers and sisters, for the first time from this window that the beloved figure of my predecessor made familiar to countless people in the entire world," Benedict said.

Cheers from the crowd frequently punctuated his remarks and Benedict pointed heavenward at one moment when speaking of his predecessor.

VIA Austin Ruse: They stood half a million strong in St. Peter's Square and chanted "Magnus, Magnus, Magnus." Translation: "Great, Great, Great." They were calling for our dearly departed John Paul II to be named "The Great." Only two previous Popes have been given that title; Leo the Great (d. 461), and Gregory the Great (d. 604). There hasn't been another one in 1400 years. Until now!

The title "Great" is not given by the Church. It is not given by the College of Cardinals. It is given by the people, by public acclamation and popular use. It is given by you and me.

Most of us will never have the opportunity to make our wishes on this known. But now you can...

I now direct you to where your voice can be heard. Go to and sign the petition calling for John Paul II to be universally acclaimed John Paul the Great.

Your name, along with millions of others, will be delivered directly to office of our new Pope Benedict XVI. The names will also be delivered to the Vatican press corps, the press in the United States and around the world.

Let your voice be heard: "Great, Great, Great, John Paul the Great"!

Go to right now and sign the petition.

And, this is very important, right now send this note to your family and friends. Send this around the world. Let this take on a life of its own. Let millions sign!

VIA Frank M. Rega: I was just reading in an Italian magazine an interview with a cardinal (Fiorenzo Cardinal Angelini) who was talking about how he would favor having Pope John Paul II immediately made a saint by Pope Benedict because of popular demand. Then he said in the interview that during the late Holy Father's visit to San Giovanni Rotondo in 1987 to pray at Padre Pio's tomb, he alluded to making Padre Pio a saint by his own authority. Supposedly, someone reported hearing the Holy Father refer to the long process for Padre Pio's canonization, saying: "Do it soon. Otherwise I will make him a saint myself!" (Fate presto. Altrimenti lo faccio santo io.)
(Paolo Scarano, Gente magazine, April 21, 2005, p. 18).

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Union with God

3. If you wish to pray well, be faithful in the practice of mortification, avoid dissipation of mind during the day, and never commit any willful faults.

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Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus

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