Keep your eyes open!...


May 31, 2006

(Mat 25:40) And the king answering shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me. 


The death toll in Indonesia continued to climb over the weekend as search and recovery teams sifted through the rubble following the 6.3 magnitude earthquake, which struck undersea off the coast of Yogyakarta, Indonesia in the early morning hours of 27 May. Latest reports indicate that more than 5,000 people have died, with most of the casualties occurring in the province of Yogyakarta and the district of Klaten in the Bantul region of Central Java.

At the outset, local Catholic parishes and staff from member organisations of Caritas Internationalis began assisting victims of the earthquake with temporary shelter, first aid, and emergency food and non-food assistance. Seven Catholic hospitals in the area have been treating the injured, while outreach teams of doctors and nurses have provided medical assistance to people in more remote areas. The national office of the Catholic Health Commission ?Perdhaki? has also arranged for more doctors and nurses to be sent to Yogyakarta from Catholic hospitals in Jakarta and Bandung. Medical supplies are being replenished under Government/UN coordination.

Damage and needs assessments by local Church and Caritas teams continue to take place. Caritas members have been assisted in their response by the presence of pre-positioned resources in Central Java, in the event of the displacement of people living in the surrounds of the erupting volcano of Mt. Merapi, some 100 miles from Yogyakarta.

Initial assessments estimate that 20 percent of the houses in Bantul have been completely destroyed, leaving upwards of 46,000 households (or approximately 230,000 people) homeless. A Catholic parish network in the rural areas has facilitated the delivery of relief assistance to affected communities who are sleeping outside and enduring rain at night. Other hard-hit districts include the city of Yogyakarta, and the districts of Klaten and Sleman.


Catholic network crucial for earthquake survivors
Catholic Relief Services provides emergency relief to earthquake victims in Indonesia
Catholics in quake-hit areas grieve, urged to reach out to victims as thousands dead
Quake in Java: Help the helpers, says Indonesian Church
Pope encourages those working for quake-affected in Indonesia


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

25. In the desert some people came to a great hermit and said 'How can you be content here with this severe way of life?' The hermit replied, 'All the severity of my life here cannot compare with a day of the torment prepared for sinners in the next world.'

May 26, 2006


OLDEST NOVENA BEGINS TODAY: Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts


(1Co 2:9) But, as it is written: That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard: neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.

What is Heaven? homily by Fr. Phil Bloom

You may have heard of Pascal's wager. A wager is a bet, like saying, "I bet you ten dollars the next person to walk thru the door will be a male. If it is a man or boy, I win ten dollars; if a woman or girl, you win ten dollars." Even those of us who don't go to casinos still make wagers, whether to settle an argument or invest for the future.

Pascal proposes the most serious wager of all. There are, he notes, only two possibilities: either God exists or he does not exist. If you bet that he does exist and live your life accordingly, you have won everything. If he does not exist, you have lost some passing pleasures. However, if you bet that God does not exist and live accordingly, you risk exchanging fleeting happiness for eternal loss. That is Pascal's wager: bet on God and win everything or bet against him and risk losing all. And now is the moment you must place your bet. There is no time to whine about things being so extreme.

In today's Gospel Jesus proposes a wager as dramatic as Pascal's. The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds the pearl of great price, he sells everything he has and buys it. The question for us is: How much are you willing to lay on the line, what will you risk to purchase that pearl? Before you answer I suppose you would like to have a little bit more information, namely, what exactly is the pearl?

First, let me try to clear away some problems we have because of our limited horizons. Our field of vision often extends only to what we can measure and put a price tag on. Anything beyond that does not capture our attention. Like I tried to show in last Sunday's homily, the threat of hell seems remote to most of us. But even worse, our idea of heaven has become trivialized.

I remember when my dad died. We had a beautiful funeral with Archbishop Murphy as the principal celebrant. Someone asked me, "Do you think your dad got to see that lovely service and hear the music?"

I said, "Maybe, but wouldn't that have been a little unfair?"

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"Well," I said, "Suppose you take your bride to Niagara Falls for the honeymoon. Wouldn't it be a cheat if instead of going to the Falls, you drove her out to some muddy creek?"

Do you see what I am saying? God is the fullness of being. Things here can only dimly reflect him. When we stand before him any other joy, or pleasure, or beauty, or goodness will seem as pale as chalk. This joy which excels everything else is called the "Beatific Vision," seeing God face to face. (I Jn 3:2, I Cor 13:12, Rev. 22:4)

Heaven is way beyond what we now experience. We do not have adequate words or images to describe it. Still, some images are better and others are worse. Our culture unfortunately has developed stereotyped ways of talking about heaven. Some of them are "cute:" Good old Joe is now up in that big golf course in the sky. I heard a eulogy where this guy talked about his dad up in heaven "jumping from cloud to cloud." (Evidently his father liked to jump.) I try to control my facial expressions and just tell myself that these are harmless cliches.

Perhaps a little better are images of heaven as reunion. She is finally back with her husband (mother, son, sister) whom she loved so much. That at least expresses something about the "communion of saints." Nevertheless it leaves out what makes the communion possible: seeing God himself. I don't know about you, but the thought of heaven as a giant sharing session sounds to me more like the other place.

An image of heaven that I personally love is from a children's story called the Chronicles of Narnia. Narnia is a kind of heaven and it is ruled by a magnificent lion called Aslan. Aslan represents Jesus. After the children have spent some time in Narnia, Aslan tells them they must return to their own world. The children become very sad and bury themselves in Aslan's mane. Aslan reassures them that one day they will be able to return to Narnia. The children say, "it is not Narnia. It is you, Aslan."

Perhaps some day you and I can come to the point of saying, "It is not heaven I desire. It is you, Jesus." Our deepest longing is really not for a place, but for a person, Jesus himself. To be with him is the kingdom of heaven. Last week I gave you the definition of hell. Please now listen to the definition of heaven. "Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness." (Catechism 1024)

Heaven will fulfill those deep longings of your heart. It is the pearl of great price. It is Jesus himself. I urge you right now to make the best wager. I know some of you kick yourselves for not buying Microsoft when it was five dollars a share. But this Sunday you have an offer that is infinitely better. I say infinite in the literal sense. Take what you have, what you are and bet it on Jesus. I know you hope to hedge your bet: "I want to follow Jesus, but my life would be empty without alcohol...that pornography." Your life is already empty, but sell those things now, and you will obtain something of real value. Do I need to say again the situation is extreme? There is no time for bargaining to whittle the cost down. The price of the pearl is fixed: everything.

We saw a beautiful example of that when Derek Lappe introduced himself to us two Sundays ago. He asked us to pray for him as his diaconate ordination approached and he had a very specific request, "that I will be a holy deacon and later a holy priest." Holiness is making oneself a total gift to God. The desire for complete sacrifice characterizes youth. As we age, we start holding things back. Derek's commitment of celibacy might seem crazy to more timid souls. That is because they have grown old. Those who are young recognize that to bet on Jesus is a wager well worth making, ultimately an offer you cannot refuse. Stop holding back. Tomorrow is too late. Now is the moment to wager all on Jesus. He himself is the pearl of great price. 


Life after Death

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

23. A hermit said 'We do not make progress because we do not realize how much we can do.  We lose interest in the work we have begun, and we want to be good without even trying.'

May 25, 2006

(Act 1:8-9) 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. And when he had said these things, while they looked on, he was raised up: and a cloud received him out of their sight.


"The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord marks the end of the earthly ministry of Jesus. It is the moment when he gives us our mission", wrote Archbishop Nichols, in the letter read in churches throughout the Archdiocese of Birmingham for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, yesterday.

"Jesus tells us: 'Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation.' (Mark 16.15) He promises to be with us, to work with us, especially through the power of the Holy Spirit.

"Jesus invites us to fulfil this mission today in a society which is secular, wealthy and divided. Our secular society tends to ignore the Word of God and live as if God does not exist."

"Individuals are urged to fashion values of their own, deciding for themselves what is right and what is wrong, and pursuing their own desires even when doing so may hurt others. As a result we live in a fragmented world, one in which divisions are deep and frightening for many.

"How are we to bear witness to Christ in this world?

"I suggest four important areas for our thought and action: First we must understand and live in a right relationship with wealth and prosperity. In God's plan, possessions and wealth are rightly ours only so that we can fulfil our responsibility towards others. We work and create wealth so that we can enhance our world in justice and charity. To long for wealth for its own sake is to lack inner freedom and to be enslaved.

"Even a person who is materially poor can be filled with a longing for wealth and the power that goes with it. In his heart that person is already enslaved to riches.

"Secondly, with this freedom we can uphold the key truth that human life is not our own possession but always and everywhere a gift of God, from conception until natural death. We strive to foster a positive attitude to life as God's gift by nurturing and supporting children as well as young and expectant mothers and fathers; by caring with patience for those who have difficult special needs and for the sick, the elderly and the dying.

"Thirdly, whether we are married or single we uphold the family as the basis of stable life both for its members and for society as a whole. We uphold the truth of the natural structure of the family - as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage - and defend it from attempts to undermine it or obscure its key characteristics.

"Fourthly we support and promote the right of parents to be the first and most important educators of their children, the first and best teachers of the faith. This means encouraging each other to teach the children how to pray, to mark family life as a place of God's blessing, to guide youngsters in the decisions they make about themselves, their friendships and their future.

"These truths about human life, about the family, about education and about wealth are the foundation not only of our own happiness but also of the health of our society. Yet sometimes in upholding or promoting them we can be made to feel as if we are narrow-minded or even sectarian."

Archbishop Nichols concluded his letter: "The gift of our Catholic faith is something of which we can be proud. Indeed, a true zest for life springs from a knowledge and love of God. A desire to make that love the foundation of our lives is energy for the mission given to us by the Lord.

"In building our lives in this way we respond to his invitation and promote within our society the truths that serve the well-being of all. In these ways we become builders of his Kingdom, often hidden and unsung but faithful and pleasing to the Lord."

RELATED: Gospel Commentary: The Joy of the Resurrection

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

21. He also said, 'Temptations come to us in all kinds of ways.  We ought to put on full armour, and then we shall seem to them to be expert soldiers when they attack us.'

May 24, 2006


Yesterday's first reading:

(Acts 16:22-34) The crowd in Philippi joined in the attack on Paul and Silas, and the magistrates had them stripped and ordered them to be beaten with rods. After inflicting many blows on them, they threw them into prison and instructed the jailer to guard them securely. When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and secured their feet to a stake.

About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened, there was suddenly such a severe earthquake that the foundations of the jail shook; all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted out in a loud voice, “Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.” He asked for a light and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.” So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house. He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds; then he and all his family were baptized at once. He brought them up into his house and provided a meal and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.

I am sure that I have read or heard this particular reading dozens of times, yet once again I see that one can never completely "know" the Scriptures.

....trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas.

I had never before given this verse a second thought.  After all, the jailer had many reasons to tremble before Paul and Silas:

1)  Admiration:  Here are two individuals who had been flogged to the point of death but yet were singing hymns of praise to God!

2) Fear: An earthquake powerful enough to open doors and chatter chains had just "coincidentally" occured.

3) Gratitude: Rather than behaving like the criminals that the jailer had been entrusted to secure, Paul and Silas made no effort to escape.  Had they escaped the jailer would have paid with his own life.

Though any or all of these reasons could have been more than enough to make the jailer tremble, my own eyes were opened to perhaps another.

.....he put them in the innermost cell and secured their feet to a stake.

.....He asked for a light and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas.

Paul and Silas had been place in an innermost cell which was deep enough in the darkened prison that it required the jailer to grab a light to find his way in to their cell.  Yet, Paul, "saw" the jailer as he was about to kill himself!

But Paul shouted out in a loud voice, “Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.”

It was the Holy Spirit that showed Paul that the jailer was about to take his own life, empowering Paul to intervene.  Upon arriving at Paul and Silas the jailer realized that he had miraculously been saved from death.  How did Paul know? The power of the Holy Spirit was manifest in Paul's seeing the jailer's drawn sword every bit as much as in the earthquake that preceded it. With fear and trembling he embraced the God of Paul and Silas.


The priest with the healing touch
A Gift of Healing
Following the path toward sainthood

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

20. Hyperichius said, 'Keep praising God with hymns, and meditating continually, and so lighten the burden of the temptations that attack you.  A traveller carrying a heavy burden stops from time to time to take deep breaths, and so makes the journey easier and the burden light.'

May 23, 2006

(Rev 6:5-6) And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying: Come and see. And behold a black horse. And he that sat on him had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard, as it were a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying: Two pounds of wheat for a penny, and thrice two pounds of barley for a penny: and see thou hurt not the wine and the oil.


Last February, LEAP/E2020 anticipated that a global systemic crisis was to be triggered at the end of March. Today, three months later, LEAP/E2020 can anticipate that the initial phase of this crisis is about to be finished and that, as soon as the beginning of June 2006, the crisis will enter a phase of acceleration. Before detailing the main features of this new phase (described in GEAB Nr5), LEAP/E2020 would like to clarify the 4 different phases of a global systemic crisis.

A global systemic crisis develops following a complex process where 4 phases can be distinguished, overlapping one another:
• in the first so-called “trigger” phase, a variety of until then un-related factors, start converging and interacting in a way that is perceptible mostly by careful observers and central players
• in the second “acceleration” phase, a large majority of players and observers suddenly become aware that a crisis is there and that it has already begun to affect a growing amount of the system’s components
• in the third so-called “impact” phase, the system starts to transform radically (implosion and/or explosion) under the strain of cumulated factors, simultaneously affecting the whole system
• in the fourth and last “decanting” phase, the features of the new system born from the crisis begin to appear.

In the present situation, LEAP/E2020 estimates that the initial trigger-phase is about to finish and that, during June 2006, the world will enter a phase of acceleration of the crisis.

The acceleration should elapse over 3 to 6 months and convey seven concrete consequences:

1. accelerated collapse of the Dollar
2. internal social and political crisis in the US
3. Iran/USA/Israel military conflict
4. increased global inflation
5. stop of the process of trade and economic globalisation
6. accelerated emergence of new regional/continental « blocks »
7. rebalancing of world assets’ comparative value.

The passage to phase 3 (so-called « impact-phase ») of the global systemic crisis process will occur when at least four of the previously mentioned factors will have taken place. 

EXCELLENT EDITORIAL: Wishful non-thinking won't stop the economy vaporising

MORE: Markets 'are like 1987 crash'


GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks rocked by commodities, risk fear; bonds up
Asian stocks close sharply lower as rout continues
Latin American stocks and currency fall as investors flee emerging markets
Russian Stock Market Loses 9% of Value
Indian stock exchanges halt trade after 10% fall
Mexican stocks plummet, peso hit hard
Emerging-Market Stocks Drop a 10th Day, Longest Rout in 8 Years

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

15. Syncletica said, 'If you live in a monastic community, do not wander from place to place; if you do, it will harm you.  If a hen stops sitting on the eggs she will hatch no chickens.  The monk or nun who goes from place to place grows cold and dead in faith.'

May 18, 2006


(Mat 25:30) And the unprofitable servant, cast ye out into the exterior darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

ONLINE PAMPHLET: Hell Exists And We Might Go There by Fr. Marcel Nault

VIA CABIO.ORG: The Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel 

Following the Moslem invasions of the Holy Land, the small Order of the Carmelites of Mount Carmel was exiled in Europe. These monks actually saw themselves as the heirs to the hermits and prophets who had lived on the mount in the days of old. Once settled in Europe, the never-heard of Order was ill considered and in danger of dying out. 

In 1251, Saint Simon Stock, then general of the Order, beseeched the Virgin Mary day and night to help the Order of Mount Carmel from vanishing off the face of the earth. She responded to his prayers by giving him a scapular to wear upon his clothing. At that time, household servants would wear a small tunic over their clothing whose color and sort indicated each person's rank and position. The scapular of Mount Carmel was in a way rather similar to one of these small tunics. Our Lady asked St Simon Stock to have all the Carmelite friars wear a scapular and accompanied her gift with these words: 

"Receive, my son this scapular, as the sign of your alliance with me. I give it to you as the habit of your order: it will be an excellent privilege for you and for all the Carmelite friars. He who wears it with faith will never suffer the eternal hell fires. It is the offer of salvation in times of danger and the happy possession of life everlasting."

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

14. Poemen also said this: Isidore, the presbyter in Scetis, once spoke to a group of monks and said, 'My brothers, isn't work the reason why we are here? But now I see that no work is done here. So I will take my cloak and go where there is work and so I shall find rest.'

May 17, 2006

(2Th 2:11-12) Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth but have consented to iniquity.



Opus Dei issues Da Vinci Code statement
Barna Releases New Da Vinci Data; Warns of Movie Impact
"Da Vinci" unites Indian Muslims and Christians
Christian groups plan anti Da Vinci Code boycotts, hunger strikes
Da Vinci Code: Protests, Debates, Leaflet Campaigns and Bannings
Success of Da Vinci Code 'sign of the times'

EDITORIAL: Where's the passion over 'Da Vinci Code'? - by Amy Welborn author of De-Coding Da Vinci: The Facts Behind the Fiction of The Da Vinci Code

Cardinal Camillo Ruini: "Works such as The Da Vinci Code are above all a commercial operation, but also constitute a radical and baseless challenge to the very heart of the Christian faith. It is hard not to have the feeling that their success has a relationship to the feeling of self-hatred, or at least loss of self-love, which invades our civilisation."

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations,:"Those who want to come to know real Christ are advised to read the Gospel and then to turn to Him with prayer. But those who are used to simply consumer a mass-cult commodity are free to make their own choice."

VIA MT Melvin: Why Mock God?

I truly hope you will help me send this around the world over the internet. As a Christian, are you finally willing to take a stand for the God who was tortured and died for you? Are you? WHY WOULD ANY CHRISTIAN PAY MONEY TO HOLLYWOOD TO SEE GOD MOCKED?

Despite the assurances of a few well meaning but terribly misguided Christian Pastors, there is simply no reason to see the DaVinci Code. How could any Christian possibly be enertained by a story that cruelly mocks the Son of God and claims that He is not Divine? That the Bible is a complete and total fraud? And that the Church that He founded is composed of leaders who are among the worst liers and most vile people in human history who sought to cover up God's marriage? This movie is simply the largest public display of Christian bigotry in history. It is complete and utter Heresy.

Have we not entered the time when good would be described as evil? How could a Christian possibly justify going to this movie? So, what are you going to do about this vile attack on your God? Don't you think you could at least forward this to everyone you know and ask them not to see this movie out of respect for what you hold dear.

Any well meaning non-Christian will sympathize with this type of bigotry that ridicules and blasphemes all that we hold sacred. Let us be sure we can anwser the question He Will pose to each of us: "Did you defend Me?" "How"? "What did you do?"

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

13. Poemen said, 'The character of the genuine monk only appears when he is tempted.'

May 16, 2006

(John 10:14-16) I am the good shepherd: and I know mine, and mine know me. As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father: and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring. And they shall hear my voice: And there shall be one fold and one shepherd.

REFLECTION BY FATHER TED: My dearest Lord Jesus, all this week You remind us of Your tremendous love for each one of us.

You express this love to us through the simple metaphor of the relationship between a shepherd and his sheep.

You want us to know You as The Good Shepherd.

You know us as a good shepherd knows each one of his sheep.

You tell us that You will always guide us, that You will always feed us, that You will always protect us.

You want us to be close to You.

You want us to stay close to You.

When we do, You nourish us as well as protect us.

You feed us in a most special way. For You give to us Your very self as our food.

You offer Yourself to us daily – in the Eucharist.

If we cannot come to receive You daily – in the Eucharist, You offer to us Yourself spiritually – in spiritual Communion.

You desire to nourish us – because we need Your strength to do the Will of the Father, just as You needed His strength to do His Will.

You urge us to pray daily – so that we can not only be strengthened by You, but also so that we can feel Your closeness and be aware that You are always with us.

You enable us to grow in Your likeness through our prayers, but also through the difficulties that we experience – especially through the various temptations that we undergo from the evil ones.

For when we are tempted by the devil, and we call upon You for Your assistance - either directly or through the intercession of Mary or other saints, You give to us the grace that we need to not only resist the tempter but also to grow in virtue as a result of our victory over the tempter.

My dearest Jesus, You want the very best for us.

That is why You desire for us to know Your voice and to listen to You.

You want us to do it Your Way – because that is the safest Way – the best Way. It is the way of love.

Thank You Jesus, for being our Good Shepherd. Thank You for guiding us, for feeding us and for protecting us.

May You always be our Good Shepherd.

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

11. Mathois said, 'I like to find some light but continual work, rather than a heavy work that is quickly finished.'

May 12, 2006



VIA Sue Cifelli: Holy Souls - Anointing the dying - Apostolic Pardon 

Why it is important to call for a priest early on to administer the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick to a loved one who is near death Here are some of the most important reasons :

1. The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick takes away all mortal and venial sins, even if the person is unconscious. To hear the person's last confession and to provide them with the Viaticum ( Holy Eucharist ), prepares them for their journey to Our Lord. In addition, the apostolic pardon takes away any temporal punishment (purgatory time) that remains for the soul.

Apostolic Pardon: (to be given by a priest only): " By the authority granted me by the Holy See, I hereby grant you full pardon and remission of all your sins: In the Name of the Father + and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

2. The devil at the time of death tempts the soul to despair by accusing it of its sins. Among other reasons, Our Lord instituted the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to drive him away at this time.

3. To restore the dying person to health. Although this is not a primary reason for the last sacrament, God sometimes allows a dying person to become fully recovered after receiving this sacrament, when the healing of the body is of spiritual benefit to the soul.

4. To save the soul of a person who is estranged from God by being in an unrepentant state of mortal sin. I have personal knowledge of such a case where a priest was called in to administer the last sacrament, where the dying person became repentant as a result of prayers from his family, especially the recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

5.To give the dying person the courage and strength to withstand their sufferings, knowing that they are fully prepared to meet Our Divine Savior.

If a person is unconscious or apparently dead, should you call the priest?

Yes ! The priest will administer a conditional anointing which will take away all mortal and venial sins, and if he gives the apostolic pardon, all purgatory time will be removed.

Theologians differ as to when exactly the soul departs. Many teach that the soul remains for several hours in the vicinity of its body and can be conditionally anointed and given the apostolic pardon during this time.

Please register your souls and prayer requests for perpetual masses at:>

Prayer to the Holy Souls in Purgatory

O, Holy Souls in Purgatory, you are the most certain heirs of heaven. You are most dear to Jesus as the trophies of His Precious Blood and to Mary, mother of mercy. Obtain for me through your intercession the grace to lead a holy life, to die a happy death, and to attain to the blessedness of eternity in heaven.

Dear suffering souls, who long to be delivered in order to praise and glorify God in heaven, by your unfailing pity help me in the needs which distress me at this time, particularly (name your needs), so that I may obtain relief and assistance from God.

In gratitude for your intercession, I offer to God in your behalf the satisfactory merits of my prayer and work, my joys and sufferings of this day (week, month, or whatever space of time you wish to designate). Amen.

Attend Mass and have a Mass offered for them, if at all possible. Offerings of the Precious Blood and the Way of the Cross are also powerful means of helping them and obtaining their help.


St. Gertrude the Great is invoked for souls in purgatory and for living sinners. Our Lord told St. Gertrude that the following prayer would release 1000 souls from purgatory each time it is said. The prayer was extended to include living sinners as well.

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen."

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

8. Poemen said about John the Short that he asked the Lord to take away his passions. So his heart was at rest, and he went to a hermit and said, 'I find that I am at peace, with no war between flesh and spirit.' The hermit said to him, 'Go and ask the Lord to stir up a new war in you. Fighting is good for the soul.' When the conflict revived in him, he no longer prayed for it to be taken away, but said, 'Lord, grant me strength to endure this fight.'

May 11, 2006 

(Gen 1:14) And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years:

HEADLINE: Brightest comet of year coming

EXCERPT VIA Yahoo Chastisement Group: God has been using signs in the heavens ever since He created the earth. It shows His glory. In ancient times, celestial spectacles were studied, being seen as omens or harbingers of up coming events. Today, unless a flaming meteor is getting ready to make landfall in the backyard, we are fairly oblivious to the movements of the heavenly bodies. But every once in a while something unexpected happens and God gets us to look up. The comet 73p Schwassmann-Wachmann may be such an event.

There is an interesting convergence of timing and significant dates occurring with the comet 73p Schwassmann-Wachmann during this most prophetically pregnant of times. Even its provocative name seems an arcane clue alluding to those who observe it – watchman. This comet's closest approach to the earth begins on May 12th, this starts the watch. The next day is the 13th of May, the anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima. The 14th of May is the anniversary of the statehood of Israel. These are the dates of the comet's closest approach to earth and are all laden with prophetic significance. The comet then passes through the elliptical orbit of the earth, whereby the gravitational pull and it's effects on the comet would be greatest. Scientists say that this is the time to be looking for a meteor shower. The date is May 25th, Ascension Thursday. The next astronomically significant date is perihelion, the date of its closest approach to the sun. The date, June 6 is written: 6/6/06. Now how's that for an eye popper? We are the watchman as this comet starts off its earthly run with Our Lady of Fatima and ends with the antichrist.

What are we watching, and what are the implications?

Comet 73P was discovered in 1930 and has since passed the earth several times but in 1995 it broke apart into pieces for unknown reasons. So now the comet that comes is not one but many "mini comets" likened to a string of pearls. It is the comet with the broken heart.

Could this too be a sign of things to come?

All of these things come together making this one interesting comet but what pushes it over the top and way past the realm of interesting is Pentecost. Two days before 73P reaches perihelion, the church celebrates Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit. This is the day that the Holy Spirit manifested as wind and fire and came to rest upon each of the apostles, breathing life into the new church. It is also the day that Yahweh gave the ten commandments to Moses. The spirit of the Father and the Son purifies, sanctifies, comforts and loves us infinitely beyond the depths of our oh so limited understanding. The Holy Spirit brings new beginnings, new life, making all things clean and new. This evokes the words of John Paul II who spoke of a new springtime if we would just be docile to the graces of the Holy Spirit. What better time than at Pentecost?

COMMENTARY by Protestant Evangelist Timothy Snodgrass: Signs in the Heavens
EDITOR'S NOTE: Timothy Snodgrass reported a vision of an Indonesian tsunami on 11-12-2004, more than a month before the event occurred.


Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida has created a very interesting page. It begins as a view of the Milky Way Galaxy viewed from a distance of 10 million light years, and then zooms in toward Earth in powers of ten. Ten million, to one million, to 100,000 light years until you finally reach a large Oak tree in Florida. If ever there was a witness to creation, these folks have captured it for our viewing pleasure!


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

6. A brother asked Theodore, 'If you suddenly hear the sound of falling masonry, are you frightened, abba?' He said, 'If the heavens fell down on the earth, Theodore would not be afraid.' For he had prayed to God that fear might be taken from him. That was why the brother questioned him.

May 10, 2006 

Must Read Interview: 'I just love to be alive... I was aborted, but I did not die'

VIA Jim McCrea:  Abortion is fought for very hard in our society as a "right" for a very specific reason.

Even here in Canada, very useful medical funding would be cut, but never abortion funding.

It is a sacred cow in Canada.  Why?

It is because abortion is the *sacrament* of the secular humanist order without God and religion.

The unborn are the weakest, the most invisible, and the most unable to defend themselves in society.

In fact, they are the very *symbol* of the weak in our society.

What a "right to choose" so vehemently stands for is the notion that we have the right to eliminate the weak if they stand in the way of our personal ambitions.

That is the principle that much of our society acts upon in their relations with other people.

And if you stand up against "choice," they reproach you like a vicious demon.

That can be seen on the faces of many people who pass by in cars (or on foot) on Life-Chain day, which is a silent protest on the streets against abortion that is held every year.

You can see many of their faces contorted in hatred and bitterness.

"How dare you tell me that I cannot kill, eliminate, or marginalize someone else if doing so will bring some sort of profit for myself." (their expressions are saying).

BRAZENLY DIABOLICAL: Planned Parenthood Promotes Abortion on Mother's Day

RELATED: Catholic Church in Scotland Alarmed Over New ‘Lunchtime Abortions’

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

3. Ammonas said that for fourteen years in Scetis he had been asking God day and night to give him strength to control his temper.

May 9, 2006 


When Civilizations Meet: How Joseph Ratzinger Sees Islam
Cardinal Pell challenges Islam - o ye, of little tolerant faith
Text: Islam and Western Democracies delived by Cardinal Pell
Palestinian Religious Leader Blasts Christian Zionists
Allah Takes Over Catholic Church
Iranian Christians, New Converts Face Deteriorating Situation
Situation of Christians in West Bank worsening since Hamas take-over


RELATED: Egypt's 1960s Remarkable Virgin Mary Sightings


I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as "Our Lady of Fatima" as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her Divine Son, too.

Evidence to support these views is found in the historical fact that the Moslems occupied Portugal for centuries. At the time when they were finally driven out, the last Moslem chief had a beautiful daughter by the name of Fatima.

A Catholic boy fell in love with her, and for him she not only stayed behind when the Moslems left, but even embraced the Catholic faith. The young husband was so much in love with her that he changed the name of the town where he lived to Fatima. Thus, the very place where Our Lady appeared in 1917 bears a historical connection to Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed.

The final evidence of the relationship of Fatima to the Moslems is the enthusiastic reception that the Moslems in Africa and India and elsewhere gave to the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Moslems attended the Catholic services in honor of Our Lady; they allowed religious processions and even prayers before their mosques; and in Mozambique the Moslems, who were unconverted, began to be Christian as soon as the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was erected.

Missionaries in the future will increasingly see that their apostolate among the Moslems will be successful in the measure that they preach Our Lady of Fatima. Because the Moslems have a devotion to Mary, our missionaries should be satisfied merely to expand and to develop that devotion with the full realization that Our Blessed Lady will carry the Moslems the rest of the way to her Divine Son.

As those who lose devotion to her lose belief in the Divinity of Christ, so those who intensify devotion to her gradually acquire that belief.

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

2. A brother asked Agatho, 'I have been instructed to go somewhere, and I have serious doubts about the place where I have been told to go. I want to obey the order, yet I'm frightened of the inner struggle which will follow.' The hermit said, 'Agatho was like that. He obeyed orders, and so he won the battle.'

May 5, 2006 


(Eph 6:10-12) Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord and in the might of his power. 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.

RECENT HEADLINE: Decadent world is in the grip of Satan, says Pope



It was once announced that the devil was going out of business and would offer all tools for sale to whoever would pay his price.

On the night of the sale they were all attractively displayed, a bad looking lot. Malice, Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Sensuality, and Deceit and all the other implements of evil were spread out, each marked with its price.

Apart from the rest lay a harmless looking wedge-shaped tool, much worn and priced higher than any of them. Someone asked the devil what it was.

"That's Discouragement," was the reply.

"Why do you have it priced so high?"

"Because," replied the devil, "it is more useful to me than any of the others. I can pry open and get inside a man's conscience with that when I could not get near him with any of the others, and when once inside I can use him in whatever way suits me best. It is so much worn because I use it with nearly everybody, as very few people yet know it belongs to me."

It hardly need be added that the devil's price for Discouragement was so high that it was never sold. He still owns it and is still using it.

Nihil Obstat: William V. Agnew, S.J.

Imprimatur: George Cardinal Mudelein Archbishop of Chicago

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Possessing Nothing

20. Someone brought a hermit who was a leper some money and said, 'Take this to spend, for you are old and ill.' He replied, 'Are you going to take me away from Him who has fed me for sixty years? I have been ill all that time, and have needed nothing because God has fed me and given me what I need.' He would not accept it.

May 4, 2006 

(1Th 5:17) Pray without ceasing.

LINK: "Prayer is Not Optional"- Saying the Jesus Prayer


VIA FATHER TED:  My dearest Lord Jesus, 90 years ago – during the springtime of 1916, You sent Your archangel Michael to 3 children in Portugal – nearly a year before You sent Your Mother to them.

When he came, he taught them important prayers that they needed to learn and to pray – not only to deepen their own faith and love of You, but also to enable them to help others to become open to Your divine mercy – which You would reveal to the world nearly 20 years later.

They were simple, but good children. Jacinta was only six; Francisco was only eight; and Lucia was only ten.

Why them? Why so young?

A mystery.

But You chose them.

And because You chose them, Your archangel Saint Michael came to them and he taught them.

He taught them first of all, a simple prayer of faith and of intercession – a prayer which we need to learn and to pray today.

“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, I love You. I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, do not love You.” He told them to pray it often.

In the beginning they prayed the prayer, but not as often as they needed to. So when he came a second time – during the summer of 1916, he exhorted them to pray it more often.

They did.

Then during the fall of 1916, he came to them a third time. He did so while they were praying as he had urged them to do.

This time he appeared to them with You in the Most Sacred Host. He was also holding a chalice – into which drops of Your Most Precious Blood fell, from the Consecrated Host.

He left the Host and the chalice – suspended in mid-air. He prostrated himself in front of the Host and the chalice with Your Most Precious Blood.

He adored You. So did the 3 children.

He gave to Lucia the Consecrated Host – for she had made her 1st Holy Communion. He gave to Francisco and to Jacinta Your Most Precious Blood – for they had not made their 1st Holy Communion.

They experienced the tremendous love that You want all of us to experience as we receive You in Holy Communion.

Jesus, help us today to become more like these holy children of Fatima. Teach us how to pray. Teach us how to receive You in the Most Holy Eucharist.

Make us want to be holy – like Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia.

Make us saints.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Possessing Nothing

19. A great man came from a distance to Scetis carrying gold, and he asked the presbyter of the desert to distribute it among the brothers. But the presbyter said to him, 'The brothers do not need it.' But he was very pressing, and would not give way, and put a basket of money in the church porch. So the presbyter said, 'Whoever is in need may take money from here.' No one touched it, some did not even look at it. The presbyter said, 'God has accepted your offering to him. Go away and give it to the poor.' He went away very much edified.

May 3, 2006 

(Phi 4:6-7) Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.



Iran Discovers Uranium Ore at 3 New Sites
Tehran found even closer to nukes
Iran says allies won't allow sanctions
Iran threatens Israel if US acts "evil"
Don’t use force against Iran, says India
Iran says uranium purity boosted to 4.8 percent


Cardinal Medina Estevez confirms Curial meeting about traditionalist concerns
Fewer than 1 in 5 attend Mass in Boston
Vatican: Numbers of European Priests Fall
Changing face of Catholic Church
Condoms 'are acceptable' say most UK Catholic priests
Hope Wanes in the Holy Land

Golden Arrow

May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most mysterious and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar.

This prayer was revealed by Our Lord to a Carmelite Nun of Tours in 1843 as a reparation for blasphemy. "This Golden Arrow will wound My Heart delightfully," He said, "and heal the wounds inflicted by blasphemy."

Imprimatur: T. J. Toolen, Archbishop of Mobile-Birm.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Possessing Nothing

17.  Someone asked a hermit to accept money for his future needs but he refused, because the produce of his labour was enough for him. When the giver persisted, and begged him to take it for the needs of the poor, he replied, 'If I did that my disgrace would be twofold. I do not need it, yet I would have accepted it: and when I gave it to others, I would suffer from vanity.'

May 2, 2006

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "Let us entrust the needs of the Church and of the world to Mary, especially at this moment marked by not a few shadows."



O most holy, most amiable and most glorious Virgin, Mother of God. 

Mistress and Advocate to whom we are all vowed and consecrated, making it our glory to belong to thee as children, servants and slaves for time and eternity, behold! with common accord, we throw ourselves at thy feet to renew our vows of fidelity and servitude to thee and to pray thee that as we belong entirely to thee, thou wouldst offer, dedicate, consecrate and immolate to the Sacred Heart of our adorable Jesus, ourselves and all that we are, all that we shall do and suffer, without reserving anything for ourselves. 

We wish to have no other liberty except that of loving Him, no other glory except that of belonging to Him as slaves and victims of His pure love, no other will or power but that of pleasing Him and contenting Him in everything, even at the price of our lives. And since thou hast all power over the amiable Heart of thy Divine Son, grant, O most charitable Mother, that He may receive and accept this consecration which we make today in thy presence, and through thy mediation, with the protestations of our fidelity, relying on His grace and thy help, which we beg thee not to refuse us. 

O, our sweet Hope, make us feel thy power over the amiable Heart of Jesus, and use thy influence on our behalf to lodge us there always. Pray Him to exercise His sovereign empire over our souls, making His love reign in our hearts, in order that He may consume us and transform us entirely into Himself. May He be our Father, our Spouse, our Protection, our Treasure, our Delight, our Love and our All in all things; may He destroy and annihilate in us all that is of ourselves and put in place of it all that is of Himself, in order that we may be able to be pleasing to Him. May He be the support of our powerlessness, the strength of our weakness, the joy of all our sadness. 

O Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, repair all our failings, supply for all that is wanting to us, burn our hearts in your holy ardors; consume all our coldness and cowardice in loving and serving you, since we wish to make all our holiness and happiness consist in living and dying in the state of slaves of the adorable Heart of Jesus, and servants of his holy Mother. Amen 


Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, in this tragic hour of the world's history, we entrust and consecrate ourselves to your Immaculate Heart, our only refuge, our hope, our salvation. Have pity on this world, torn by the most terrible conflicts, burning with the fires of hate, victim of its own sins. May your Heart be moved at the sight of so much ruin, pain and sorrow. 

We consecrate to your maternal heart our persons, our families, our country and the whole of humanity. Protect and save us! 

O Heart of Mary, source of true love, fill our selfish hearts with divine charity and with that true brotherly love without which there can never be peace. Grant that men and nations may understand and fulfill the precept of your Divine Son, LOVE ONE ANOTHER, in order that true peace may be firmly established in the Justice and Truth of Christ.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Possessing Nothing

16.  A brother asked a hermit, 'What must I do to be saved?' He took off his clothes, and put a girdle about his loins and stretched out his hands and said, 'Thus ought the monk to be: stripped naked of everything, and crucified by temptation and combat with the world.'
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