Keep your eyes open!...


May 31, 2013  

(Mat 28:19-20) Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

CRISIS MAGAZINE: Pope Francis Calls All Catholics to Evangelize by Regis Martin

ROME REPORTS: Vatican invites Catholics around the world, to join the Pope in prayer

MEDITATION: Thoughts by St Theophan (1815-1894)

[Acts 14:6–18; John 7:14–30]

On Mid-Pentecost a cry is heard from the Lord: If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink (John 7:37). If so, then let us all go to Him. Whoever thirsts for anything, as long as it is not contrary to the spirit of the Lord, will find satisfaction without fail. Whoever thirsts for knowledge, go to the Lord, for He is the only light truly enlightening every man. Whoever thirsts for cleansing from sins and to soothe the burning of his conscience, go to the Lord, for He lifted up the sins of the whole world onto the tree (cf. I Pet. 2:24) and tore up their handwriting (cf. Col. 2:14). Whoever thirsts for peace of heart, go to the Lord, for He is the treasure, the possession of which will force you to forget all deprivations and despise all goods in order to possess Him alone. Whoever needs strength — He has every strength. Glory — He has glory on high. Freedom — He is the giver of true freedom. He will resolve all of our uncertainties, will break the bonds of the passions, will disperse all sorrows and grieving, will enable us to overcome all impediments, all temptations and snares of the enemy, and will smooth out the path of our spiritual life. Let us all go to the Lord!

: Pope to lead millions in global hour of Adoration

From the Cook Islands to Chile, Burkina Faso, Taiwan, Iraq, Bangladesh, the United States, and the Philippines, people will unite in prayer with Pope Francis this weekend before One Lord and in One faith, for an hour of Eucharistic Adoration.

The Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration, will be broadcast from St. Peter’s Basilica next Sunday, 2 June from 5:00pm-6:00pm local time. Its theme is: “One Lord, One Faith”, which was chosen to testify to the deep unity that characterizes it in this Year of Faith.

“It will be an event,” Archbishop Fisichella president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, explained, “occurring for the first time in the history of the Church, which is why we can describe it as ‘historical’. The cathedrals of the world will be synchronized with Rome and will, for an hour, be in communion with the Pope in Eucharistic adoration. There has been an incredible response to this initiative, going beyond the cathedrals and involving episcopal conferences, parishes, lay associations, and religious congregations, especially cloistered ones.”

Dioceses worldwide will be synchronized with St. Peter’s and will pray for the intentions proposed by the Pope. The first is: “For the Church spread throughout the world and united today in the adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist as a sign of unity. May the Lord make her ever more obedient to hearing his Word in order to stand before the world ‘ever more beautiful, without stain or blemish, but holy and blameless.’ That through her faithful announcement, the Word that saves may still resonate as the bearer of mercy and may increase love to give full meaning to pain and suffering, giving back joy and serenity.”

Pope Francis’ second intention is: “For those around the world who still suffer slavery and who are victims of war, human trafficking, drug running, and slave labour. For the children and women who are suffering from every type of violence. May their silent scream for help be heard by a vigilant Church so that, gazing upon the crucified Christ, she may not forget the many brothers and sisters who are left at the mercy of violence. Also, for all those who find themselves in economically precarious situations, above all for the unemployed, the elderly, migrants, the homeless, prisoners, and those who experience marginalization. That the Church’s prayer and its active nearness give them comfort and assistance in hope and strength and courage in defending human dignity.”


100,000 Christians Die For Faith Every Year
Religious Freedom and the Need to Wake Up by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Austria's Archbishop: We Pray for Middle East Christians in Their Plight

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

11. What should I do, had I not a cross to bear? ...It is my whole treasure in the adorable Heart of Jesus Christ, and there it is the cause of all my happiness, my delight and my joy.

May 29, 2013  

(1Th 5:6) Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do: but let us watch, and be sober.

SERIES: Opening the Book of Revelation

Stephen Walford: My name is Stephen Walford, a Catholic from Southampton, England. I am writing to you to ask if you would consider publicizing a book that I have recently had published called Heralds of the Second Coming. The book has an apocalyptic Foreword by Cardinal Ivan Dias (see link below), an Imprimatur from my local Bishop, and is a study of the prophetic teachings of the Popes from Bl Pius IX to Benedict XVI concerning the approaching second coming of Jesus. The book gives a new angle on the end times because until now , there has been no real research of the great popes- and the results prove they have warned of the gradual fulfilment of the eschatological signs Jesus gave in the Gospels.

COMMENTS VIA GRAEHAME THORNE: Excerpts from the book on the InterNet, some of which follow...

"The 2003 publication of the post-synodal exhortation 'Ecclesia in Europa' showed Pope John Paul’s view that Europe is also living what he called a 'silent apostasy'."
(Good but sadly obvious point.)

"In tandem with this falling away of belief in the central tenets of Catholic doctrine, the Church has been plagued by a continuous stream of dissenting voices and organizations in the past few decades. The 'We are Church' movement espouses women priests, artificial contraception, and married priests, while the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States has continually peddled an anti-magisterial agenda, advocating among other things a homosexual lifestyle and new age fads, while neglecting the authentic development of charisms associated with its Orders."
(Better, but also painfully obvious.)

"Obedience to legitimate authority within the Church has been questioned ever more frequently in recent years and the teachings of the Church no longer adhered to even by many priests. The liturgical abuses...stem from this culture of autonomy from Rome..."
(An excellent point, that many of the problems in today's Church "stem from a culture of autonomy from Rome..." And to many, this is not obvious.)

"The sexual abuse scandals of recent times confirm a demonic infiltration in the heart of the Church in what could be seen as a strategic attempt by the Devil to destroy the reputation of the priesthood. By targeting innocence and purity among the little ones (cf. Matt. 18:6), the revering of the priest as an alter Christus (another Christ) is turned on its head; the absolute antithesis of Jesus Christ the High Priest."
[Truly superb. The author targets what many only whisper-- that "the sexual abuse scandals confirm a (very conscious & deliberate-- my addition) demonic infiltration in the heart of the Church." This I believe is a key element of Satanic strategy in preparing for the End Times & the advent of the AntiChrist-- to debase the Catholic clergy, destroy peoples' confidence in it, & completely undermine the efforts of apologists. And in so doing, to offer a Satanic counter-sacrament that weakens the Church while it profoundly strengthens the Adversary.)


Forward of 'Heralds of the Second Coming' by Cardinal Ivan Dias as compiled by Matt C. Abbott
Stephen Walford’s ‘Heralds of the Second Coming’ will help you read the signs of the time with a watchfulness for the coming of the Lord
Catholic Culture: Are the End Times Near?
Unveiling the Apocalypse Review: Heralds of the Second Coming

'Portsmouth People', the Diocese of Portsmouth Catholic Magazine, has this to say : "Stephen Walford has produced a striking book. His main theme is the central importance to Christian faith, hope and charity of the doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ. He shows how this has been prophesied not only in the various apparitions of what he calls ‘the Marian era’ but also in the utterances quite literally of one Pope after another in the last century and a half. The book is very well produced, eloquent and well researched. It...introduces the reader to a range of powerful material that is not well known in the Church. The author writes from what most surely be regarded as a conservative perspective... Individual readers may have their points of disagreement with some of the views expressed but no one can fail to learn from this book or to have their faith in the coming Christ strengthened."

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

6. I think He intends to try you like gold in the crucible, so as to number you amongst His most faithful servants.  Therefore you must lovingly embrace all occasions of suffering, considering them as precious tokens of His love.  To suffer in silence and without complaint is what He asks of you.

May 28, 2013  

(Gen 1:26-27) And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.

POPE FRANCIS: The love of God is "not sentimental, emotional, but the love of the Father who is the source of all life, the love of the Son who died on the cross and rose, the love of the Spirit who renews man and the world.”

ESSAY: Concerning the Trinity and the Divinity of Jesus Christ by Jim J. McCrea

The greatest mystery of the Christian faith is that of the Trinity - that three persons exist in one God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Each of the persons is truly God, and the persons are distinct from each other. The Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the Holy Spirit (This is opposed to the error of modalism which states that Father, Son, and Holy spirit are merely different functions or offices of one person). Yet there is only one God and not three. This seems to assert the contradiction that 1=3. This article will attempt to explain how this paradox can be solved from a philosophical perspective.

The next greatest mystery of the Faith is that of the Incarnation. The doctrine of the Incarnation asserts that God the Son - that is, the second person of the Trinity assumed a human nature and walked the earth as one of us. God became man without ceasing to be God. Jesus Christ, therefore, has two natures which exist in one person, which is Himself. He is God and man at the same time. This is paradoxical, because we have a being who is infinite and finite at the same time.

The mystery of the Trinity was contemplated early in the history of the Church. St. Augustine, in his work The Trinity, discusses the notion of three persons in one God. He considers, at first, the Father and the Son. If they are distinct persons, how can they be one God? The theology of the Church teaches that the Father begets the Son, and the Son is begotten by the Father. That is why the Father is called the Father, and the Son is called the Son. (This cannot be thought of in terms of physical generation. This is because God is pure spirit. The generation of the Son from the Father may be thought of being analogous to light emanating from a lamp - or more precisely, as light emanating from light [Nicene creed]. The Father does not first exist and then generate the Son. The generation of the Son is eternal - that is, the Father always has been generating the Son, and always will be. This generation is not something willed into existence as creatures are. It is as eternally necessary as the being of the Father Himself) St. Augustine says that the sole point of distinction between the Father and the Son is the fact that the Father begets the Son, and the Son is begotten by the Father. No other difference exists. By extension, the only point of distinction between the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is the fact that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, and not the other way around. The persons are distinguished from each other by what theologians call their "relations of origin." Their relations of origin are the only points of distinction between the persons.

The logical consequence of this, is that when the persons are considered absolutely and in themselves, apart from their relations, they are identical. This means that they are the same being, which means that they are the same God, which means that there is only one God. The persons are identical with respect to being, and distinct with respect to relation. Another way to say it, is that they are identical with respect to "what" they are, but distinct with respect to "who" they are. This explains how each of the distinct persons can be God, and yet there is only one God.

The second paradox to be explained here, is that of how two natures (human and divine) can exist in the one person who is Jesus Christ.

The nature of God, according to the theologians is to be both infinite and simple. He is infinite, in that there is no limit to his being or his attributes. He is infinite goodness, intelligence, and power (among other things). He is simple in that there is no composition in God. He is not as a human, in being composed of different parts. His simplicity is absolute. His various attributes are identical with his being. The intellect, will, power, and being of God are all the same thing, and his essence is identical to his existence. This is true of all three persons of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. How can it be that the Son, with these attributes of God, can be man at the same time?

It says in The New Catholic Encyclopedia that the incarnation of the Son, as man, could involve no change within the Son himself. It had to have involved an alteration in nature alone. This is because the Son, being God, is immutable, which means that it is impossible for him to change. It is a true teaching of the Church that God the Son, as Jesus, took flesh and blood from the Virgin Mary in her womb. A human body developed for Jesus, as it does for any human being, and a human soul was created for him, directly by God, to infuse the body the moment it began to exist. Body and soul were assumed, or taken up into the person of God the Son, so that the human being that walked the earth as Jesus, was truly God the Son. Even though the body and soul of Jesus are created realities, the uniting of these with the person of the Son prevented the body and soul of Jesus from acquiring their own personhood (as happens with the rest of us). Even though Jesus is truly human, because his human nature was taken up into the person of the Son, we say that Jesus is a divine and not a human person. This joining of that human body and soul with the person of God the Son is technically known as the "hypostatic union."

Jesus, or God the Son, being truly human, has everything that pertains to the "what" of being human. Not only does he have a true human body and soul, but he also has a true human intellect and will. He has true human feelings, memory, and imagination. Although "what" he is is truly God and "what" he is is also fully man, "who" he is is exclusively God the Son; the second person of the Trinity. It is also a teaching of sound theology that anything done by or to Christ is done by or to his person as it exists in two natures, and is not done by or to one nature in isolation, as if the two natures were two different persons. It can, therefore, be validly stated that God died on the Cross and that Jesus maintains the universe in existence. Although the former was done in his human nature and the latter is done in his divine nature, both are done by Jesus Christ who is both God and man.

The traditional formula states that Christ is like us in all things but sin. Some have argued that this makes Christ different from being truly human. The truth is, because Christ is without sin, he is more human than the rest of us. We become less human - that is, less real - to the extent that sin resides within us.

PART II: The Psychology of the Trinity

MORE: Atheists Misunderstand by Jim J. McCrea

Atheists do not understand the true arguments for the existence of God.

First of all, they generally claim that if the universe has a cause, that cause must be much more complex than the universe (they are seeing it as one physical thing causing another). The problem with that (they see) is that it has not solved anything, for if the universe requires a cause that much more complex cause would itself need a cause, so you would be right back where you started. So applying Occam's razor, where the simplest explanation should suffice, why not just go with the simplest explanation and leave out the higher cause (thus validating atheism for them)?

However, with such a physical view, they do not consider the broadest and most universal concepts that can be applied to the situation (metaphysics).

The reason why the universe requires a cause outside of itself is because of its *contingency.* Its contingency means that the universe, or any given thing within it, does not have to exist or it can be different from what it is. We observe this as physical things come in and out of existence and change, or at least have the capability of doing do. As a result, a contingent being must have an ultimate explanation for why it exists and why it is the way it is. It cannot be its own explanation in the same way that a contingent truth cannot be used as a premise to prove itself (to try to do so is universally condemned as circular reasoning).

When we postulate God as a first cause of this, being a first cause He must have an attribute that is fundamentally different from the universe and what is in it. God is not contingent, but is *necessary* so does not have a cause Himself. He cannot not exist and cannot be different from what He is. He is Pure Actuality, without the potential for being anything different. He exists because He is Existence Itself, rather than merely having existence in the possessive sense that finite things do. He is infinite because a strictly infinite being cannot be other than what it is, thus He fulfills all that is possible for a being to fulfill. Infinity and necessity are correlatives just as finitude and contingency are correlatives, for if something is finite, it can be other than what it is because it can exist in another configuration or it can possibly not exist because the potential space it occupies can be considered empty.

God, also, is not infinitely complex (as the atheists, having a materialist view of the cause of the universe, would say if God existed), but is infinitely simple, in that He has no composition of parts. For if God is pure actuality without the potential to be anything different, He is in no way decomposable and so He does not have parts that can be separated from another. He is an absolute unity.

God must be personal, because an infinite being must be greater than persons within the universe (us). If He were impersonal, in an important respect He would be less than us. In fact, God has revealed Himself to be three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Therefore, if we show that God is required to explain the existence of the physical universe, that at the same time brings us to a logical understanding of what God must be.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

5. In God's sight, our cross is as a precious balm which loses its aroma on exposure to the air; therefore we must make every effort to hide our cross and carry it in silence.

May 23, 2013  

(Sir 5:4-9)  Say not: "Who can prevail against me?" for the LORD will exact the punishment. Say not: "I have sinned, yet what has befallen me?" for the LORD bides his time. Of forgiveness be not overconfident, adding sin upon sin.  Say not: "Great is his mercy; my many sins he will forgive." For mercy and anger alike are with him; upon the wicked alights his wrath. Delay not your conversion to the LORD, put it not off from day to day; For suddenly his wrath flames forth; at the time of vengeance, you will be destroyed.

CATHOLIC REGISTER: Disproving science when it comes to an afterlife

ESSAY: Are You Saved Just Because You are "Good"? by Jim J. McCrea

: Thoughts by St Theophan (1815-1894)

[Acts 5:12–20; John 20:19–31]

My Lord and my God! (John 20:28) cried the holy apostle Thomas. Do you feel the strength with which he has grasped the Lord, and how tightly he is holding onto Him? A drowning man grasps the plank on which he hopes to be saved in the same way. We will add that whoever does not have the Lord like this for himself and does not keep himself this way in relation to the Lord, does not yet believe in the Lord as he should.

We say: “Saviour and Lord,” meaning that He is the Saviour of all; but Thomas says: “my Saviour and Lord.” He who says: “my Saviour,” feels his own salvation proceeding from Him. The feeling of salvation lies adjacent to the feeling of perishing, out of which the Saviour pulls whomever He saves. The feeling of perishing, for a man who is life-loving by nature and who knows that he cannot save himself, forces him to seek the Saviour. When he finds Him and feels the power of salvation proceeding from Him, he grasps Him tightly and does not want to be torn from Him, though he be deprived for this of life itself. Such a nature of events in the spiritual life of a Christian are not only imagined in the mind, but are experienced in deed. Then, both his faith and his union with Christ become firm, like life and death. Only such a person can sincerely cry: Who shall separate me! (cf. Rom. 8:35).

VIA Newsletter
: THE FATAL RACE by David Wilkerson [May 19, 1931 - April 27, 2011]

The word race suggests competition and in Hebrews 12:1, God’s people are likened to runners in a long-distance race. Today, the race has been corrupted and the prize has become carnal.

If we could spend just a few minutes in heaven, we would never again compete in a carnal race. If only we could experience a short walk within the gates of that city of God; drink in the peace, the beauty, the heavenly splendors; listen to the grand choirs of angels singing the glories of the Lord; mingle with the patriarchs, the martyrs, the apostles, those who came out of great tribulation; visit with departed loved ones; feel the glow of God's holy light; and best of all, catch a glimpse of the face of the resurrected Lamb of God and feel the glory and warmth and sense of security shining forth from His presence!

Would we ever come back to this earth and take up the fatal race again? Never! You and I would live only for the Lord, rejecting the world and all its pleasures and carnal things. We would run His race!

If we could spend even a few minutes in hell, we would never be the same. Imagine what it would be like to be drawn into that black furnace of fire and everlasting darkness; to suddenly be cast into a demonic world of godlessness, cursing, hatred, lust, and corruption; to hear the groans of the eternally damned and witness their terror, their gnashing teeth; to rub shoulders with the workers of iniquity, the crucifiers of the Lord Jesus; to listen to the endless sounds of hopeless, useless prayers of the damned, shaking their fists at the God of justice, cursing the day they were born; to feel what being lost means, cut off from God and truth and love and peace and all comfort.

How could you return to earth from your short visit to hell and ever be the same again? Would you go back to neglecting God's Word, His house, His love? Would you go about your selfish pursuits of accumulating, hoarding gold and silver, and praying for even more? I hardly think so. No, you and I would live every hour as if it were our last.

Do you want to quit running and beating the air in vain? Set your face and heart to seek the Lord as never before!

MUSIC VIDEO: I Can Only Imagine (with lyrics) - MercyMe

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

4. Prostrating myself at the foot of my Crucifix I said: "How happy should I be, O my loving Savior, if Thou wouldst imprint on me the likeness of Thy sufferings."  To which He replied: "This is what I intend to do, provided thou dost not resist Me and on thy side dost contribute thereto."

May 20, 2013  

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

AMERICAN CATHOLIC: Pentecost: Why Was the Holy Spirit Sent?

EXCERPT: Come, Holy Spirit! by Fr. Jerry M. Orbos SVD

We need a new Pentecost in our present day and time. We need the Holy Spirit in our lives to guide, to heal, to comfort, and to counsel us. May we be liberated from our fears, ignorance, pride, and hunger for worldly riches and power. We all need transformation and renewal. “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth thy spirit and they shall be created, and you will renew the face of the earth.”
* * *
I am writing this column in Lisieux, France, the home of St. Therese whom Pope Pius X called “The Greatest Saint of Modern Times.” Her humility and littleness are what made this saint great. There is no greater power than gentleness and humility. The world, of course, will laugh at this, but the Holy Spirit will teach and remind us what our Lord and Master has taught us. “The advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I told you.”
* * *
St. Therese’s “little way” is all about being simple, humble, and childlike. It is being deeply confident in God’s love and providence. She reminds us that we do not need to do great things to love God, but to do whatever we do with much love. She is also the Patroness of the Missions, offering prayers and sacrifices for missionaries “out there” within the walls of the Carmelite convent in Lisieux. If Pentecost must happen again, we all must be a part of it in our own “little way.”
* * *
Pope Francis, who chose to be named after St. Francis of Assisi, is an agent of Pentecost, filled with simplicity, sincerity, humility, poverty, and trust in God’s providence. Today, let us ask ourselves: Am I an agent of Pentecost, or an agent of Babel?

EXCERPT NEWS.VA: Pope at Pentecost: Newness, harmony and mission

1.    Newness always makes us a bit fearful, because we feel more secure if we have everything under control, if we are the ones who build, programme and plan our lives in accordance with our own ideas, our own comfort, our own preferences. This is also the case when it comes to God. Often we follow him, we accept him, but only up to a certain point. It is hard to abandon ourselves to him with complete trust, allowing the Holy Spirit to be the soul and guide of our lives in our every decision. We fear that God may force us to strike out on new paths and leave behind our all too narrow, closed and selfish horizons in order to become open to his own. Yet throughout the history of salvation, whenever God reveals himself, he brings newness and change, and demands our complete trust: Noah, mocked by all, builds an ark and is saved; Abram leaves his land with only a promise in hand; Moses stands up to the might of Pharaoh and leads his people to freedom; the apostles, huddled fearfully in the Upper Room, go forth with courage to proclaim the Gospel. This is not a question of novelty for novelty’s sake, the search for something new to relieve our boredom, as is so often the case in our own day. The newness which God brings into our life is something that actually brings fulfilment, that gives true joy, true serenity, because God loves us and desires only our good. Let us ask ourselves: Are we open to “God’s surprises”? Or are we closed and fearful before the newness of the Holy Spirit? Do we have the courage to strike out along the new paths which God’s newness sets before us, or do we resist, barricaded in transient structures which have lost their capacity for openness to what is new?

2.    A second thought: the Holy Spirit would appear to create disorder in the Church, since he brings the diversity of charisms and gifts; yet all this, by his working, is a great source of wealth, for the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of unity, which does not mean uniformity, but which leads everything back to harmony. In the Church, it is the Holy Spirit who creates harmony. One of Fathers of the Church has an expression which I love: the Holy Spirit himself is harmony – “Ipse harmonia est”. Only the Spirit can awaken diversity, plurality and multiplicity, while at the same time building unity. Here too, when we are the ones who try to create diversity and close ourselves up in what makes us different and other, we bring division. When we are the ones who want to build unity in accordance with our human plans, we end up creating uniformity, standardization. But if instead we let ourselve be guided by the Spirit, richness, variety and diversity never become a source of conflict, because he impels us to experience variety within the communion of the Church. Journeying together in the Church, under the guidance of her pastors who possess a special charism and ministry, is a sign of the working of the Holy Spirit. Having a sense of the Church is something fundamental for every Christian, every community and every movement. It is the Church which brings Christ to me, and me to Christ; parallel journeys are dangerous! When we venture beyond (proagon) the Church’s teaching and community, and do not remain in them, we are not one with the God of Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Jn 9). So let us ask ourselves: Am I open to the harmony of the Holy Spirit, overcoming every form of exclusivity? Do I let myself be guided by him, living in the Church and with the Church?

3.    A final point. The older theologians used to say that the soul is a kind of sailboat, the Holy Spirit is the wind which fills its sails and drives it forward, and the gusts of wind are the gifts of the Spirit. Lacking his impulse and his grace, we do not go forward. The Holy Spirit draws us into the mystery of the living God and saves us from the threat of a Church which is gnostic and self-referential, closed in on herself; he impels us to open the doors and go forth to proclaim and bear witness to the good news of the Gospel, to communicate the joy of faith, the encounter with Christ. The Holy Spirit is the soul of mission. The events that took place in Jerusalem almost two thousand years ago are not something far removed from us; they are events which affect us and become a lived experience in each of us. The Pentecost of the Upper Room in Jerusalem is the beginning, a beginning which endures. The Holy Spirit is the supreme gift of the risen Christ to his apostles, yet he wants that gift to reach everyone. As we heard in the Gospel, Jesus says: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to remain with you forever” (Jn 14:16). It is the Paraclete Spirit, the “Comforter”, who grants us the courage to take to the streets of the world, bringing the Gospel! The Holy Spirit makes us look to the horizon and drive us to the very outskirts of existence in order to proclaim life in Jesus Christ. Let us ask ourselves: do we tend to stay closed in on ourselves, on our group, or do we let the Holy Spirit open us to mission?

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

3. Crosses, contempt, sorrows and afflictions are the real treasures of the lovers of Jesus Christ crucified.

May 16, 2013  

(1Th 5:20-21) Despise not prophecies. But prove all things: hold fast that which is good.


AMERICAN CATHOLIC: Pope Leo and Saint Michael the Archangel  (includes YouTube Video voice recording of Pope Leo XIII)

CRITCAL COMMENTARY by Graehame Thorne: Thank you for the interesting article on the prophecy of Pope Leo XIII (ED: refers to Unveiling the Apocalyse link above) . While I was of course familiar with many of its elements, it did offer a somewhat different perspective.

For example, I knew that the prophecy couldn't be traced back prior to c. 1933. I didn't regard this as a serious objection-- & I still don't-- for 2 reasons.

1st, b/c it's an established historical fact that Pope Leo wrote the Prayer to St. Michael in 1884 & had it distributed thruout the Church with instructions that it be said at every Low Mass. The Prayer specifically calls upon the archangel to protect the Church against Satan, & it contains one startling element, in that it refers to Satan being-- not in Hell-- but "prowling the world". The Prayer calls upon God to thrust him back into Hell. Aside from the Prophecy, no other event can be pointed to that seems sufficient to motivate either the Prayer & its accompanying instruction to be said worldwide at every Low Mass, or this startling theological change-- that Satan isn't in Hell, but is "prowling the world".

...and 2d, b/c the Prophecy accurately predicted events that took place in the 1958-72 timeframe. Whether dated to 1884 or c. 1933, its prediction & precise dating of the decline of the Church seems compelling. And that prediction makes sense only if the Prophecy actually took place as described in 1884, not if it was fabricated c. 1933.

For these reasons, I regard the 1934 conclusion of Fr. Bers, "that the prophecy was a later invention that was 'spreading like a virus'", as untenable. The fact that an eyewitness later surfaced-- Fr. Domenico Pechenino, a priest who worked at the Vatican during the time of Leo XIII-- adequately demonstrates my point. And Fr. Pechenino's account, although vague in other details, links the Prophecy firmly to the Prayer to St. Michael. Also, the fact that Fr. Pechenino's account is vague in some of its details is convincing ervidence of his veracity, as he said only what he personally witnessed. In fact, even the author of your article, Emmett O'Regan, concludes, "The fact that Fr. Pechenino's account confirms the later 1933 version can be used to establish that the prophecy of the 100 years of Satan's greater power is in fact genuine."

Where I part company with Mr. O'Regan is when he says, "But when should this 100 year period be calculated from? ...there are only two real options-- either the year the vision was first received (1884)...or the turn of the century. It seems the latter position is the most likely..."

Where does Mr. O'Regan get the idea that there's a 100-year period at all? Or that it should be calculated from the turn of the century? He-- along with the "most interpreters" whom he doesn't bother to name-- doesn't say. Surely in a vision received in 1884, the most likely starting point for its fulfillment is in 1884.

...but the Prophecy doesn't mention a "100 year period" at all. If it did then that might lend marginal credibility to the notion that the period might begin in 1901. But what it actually says is "a period of 75 to 100 years". Mr. O'Regan & the "most interpreters" whom he doesn't name don't mention this b/c a period of 75 years wouldn't logically begin in 1901.

Furthermore, there's a curious chain of reasoning which I've alluded to before that links the year 1884 to the Prophecy of La Salette. In 1846, the year that the Apparitions of La Salette took place, the Church had no systematic means of establishing & recording the details of a vision; and when Melanie Calvat & Maximin Giraud sent the secrets they'd been told to the pope, Rome never made them public (an example that the Vatican would later follow in the case of the 3d Secret of Fatima). So 33 years after the vision, when Melanie published her recollections, it is possible that she erred in certain details (eg. demons released from hell in 1864 vs. 1884). The Vatican claimed as much when it condemned her book, but Rome never made public the information which she & Maximin had previously sent.

Furthermore, the key element in the Prophecy of Pope Leo was that Satan would endeavor to destroy the Church within 75 to 100 years. It makes no sense to date this period of time from the turn of the century b/c he was evidently given the power & the time in which to use it in 1884, not 1901. if we add 75 years to 1884 we get 1959, the year that Pope John XXIII both refused to release the 3d Secret of Fatima & convened the 2d Vatican Council. That Council that began the formal decline of the Church. I believe these 2 things to be closely related b/c the 3d Secret speculatively may have contained a warning not to convene an ecumenical council. Disregarding the 3d Secret of Fatima & convening the 2d Vatican Council are the 2 key events that are most intimately involved in the deterioration of the Church and the inexorable rise of relativism.  The fact that the Prophecy of Pope Leo accurately predicted that this would take place "in 75 to 100 years" is further convincing proof of the genuineness of the Prophecy.

What all this means is that the 75 to 100 year period has to be dated from 1884, & not from 1901. The fact that Pope Leo XIII consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on 11 Jun 1899 does absolutely nothing to refute this view, since following his vision of 1884 & for the rest of his pontificate Pope Leo did many things to strengthen the Church against Satan. Writing a longer & more explicit Prayer to St. Michael, for example. The date of the consecration is simply coincidence, nothing more.

When Mr. O'Regan alludes to the 20th century being framed by 2 rare planetary alignments, I have no problem with this b/c nothing that he says about it has anything whatsoever to do with the Prophecy of Pope Leo.

...but when he "...suggests that the opening of the marked by just such an event," I have to take issue.

The opening of the Abyss occurs at the beginning of Ch. 9. But the very last thing that happens in Ch. 8 is the eagle flying in mid-heaven, "...crying out 'Woe! Woe! Woe!' to the inhabitants of the earth." St. Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419) identified himself as this eagle, he raised people from the dead to testify to the truth of his claim, & his claim was endorsed by the Church in its Bull of Canonization. So if St. Vincent Ferrer was the eagle of the Apocalypse in the early 15th Century, then we should expect the events of Ch. 9 to be interpretable in terms of something that happened not too long afterward. But Mr. O'Regan would have us believe that the next 500+ years passed with nothing in the Apocalypse to show for them.

I believe that Fr. Herman Kramer ("The Book of Destiny" (© 1955, published by Beuchler Press) made much better sense of these passages when he said that the star which fell from heaven to earth at the beginning of Ch. 9 was Martin Luther, to whom was given the key to the Abyss to loose the Protestant Reformation on Mankind. The locusts released by Martin Luther would not therefore signify combat aircraft, as supposed by O'Regan, but were in fact the preachers of the Reformation, to whom was given "...power to torture them for 5 months". According to Kramer those 5 months are 500 years, which began within ~100 years of St. Vincent Ferrer & neatly bridges the gap between 1517 & c. 2017.

Kramer's chronology also strongly implies that the war of the 200 million horsemen in Ch. 9 should be taken to refer to the world wars of the 20th Century, which is entirely different from the great war of Gog & Magog referred to-- by O'Regan-- in Ch. 20. The war of the 200 million horsemen in Ch. 9 takes place before the advent of the AntiChrist & in preparation for it, while the great war of Gog & Magog related in Ch. 20 occurs at the end of the reign of the AntiChrist & brings him down.

BTW, I believe the amillennial interpretation of the Apocalypse is correct. "...the millennium is not a literal thousand year period, but rather it represents a very long period of time during which the power of Satan is restricted, in order to allow the spread of the Gospel." This period ended c. 1884, & Satan now has the ability "to deceive the inhabitants of the earth, and gather the nations together for war." O'Regan agrees with this view when he writes, "...given that this is exactly the situation we are faced with today in the fulfilment of the prophecies of the Great Apostasy, we can only be left to conclude that the 'millennium', or age of the Church has already came to end, and that the forces of Satan have already been unbound." With these sentiments I am in full agreement, except when O'Regan links them to the events of Ch. 20, when in reality they are part of the chronology of Chs. 8-13.

Sr. Lucy of Fatima supported this view when she was asked about the 3d Secret & she answered, "It's in the Bible. Read Chapters 8 thru 13 of the Book of the Apocalypse."

When O'Regan writes, "...we are left with the inescapable conclusion that the unbinding of Satan described in the Apocalypse is directly related to the two world wars"; I have no problem with that either, except as pointed out above. The 2 world wars occurred within the 75-year period of the Prophecy of Pope Leo.

...however, when he writes, "...we find an earlier parallel reference to Satan being unbound from his prison in Rev 20, which is to be directly equated with the opening of the abyss in Rev 9. These two passages undoubtedly refer to the exact same event..."; I have literally no idea what he's talking about. Ch. 20 refers to Satan being bound with a chain & being thrown into the Abyss-- the lake of fire, but Ch. 9 refers to him being let out. These 2 events are bookends, not the same event at all.

When O'Regan writes, "...I argue that the three 'woes' described in chapters 9-11 of the Book of Revelation correspond to three world wars...", once again I'm lost. There haven't been 3 world wars, but only 2. He's alluding here to a war that hasn't happened yet (ED: perhaps at the doorstep see: And once again he's allowing 500+ years to pass between St. Vincent Ferrer & the present with not a word in the Apocalypse to account for them. And furthermore, the 3 woes obviously correspond to the blowing of the last 3 trumpets-- not to 3 world wars. The 5th trumpet is the opening of the Abyss, the 6th is the war of the 200 million horsemen, & the 7th is the opening of the temple, the lightning & thunder, and the earthquake & hailstorm. All this happens in Chs. 9-11-- not Ch. 20, to which he constantly refers.

When O'Regan writes, " is noteworthy that calculating 75 years from 1914 brings us to the year 1989-- the year of the fall of Communism"; I have to wonder where he gets 1914 from? A minute ago we were calculating a 100-year period from 1901-- but now we're calculating 75 years from 1914? In reality the period is 75 to 100 years, so it should be calculated from the same start-point.

I was unaware of the visionary element of the Prophecy of Pope Leo recorded by Card. di Corneliano-- the army of demons converging on Rome-- & I'm grateful to you & Emmett O'Regan for familiarizing me with it. If I'm able to substantiate it, then the testimony of Card. di Corneliano should constitute further evidence that the Prophecy of Pope Leo is absolutely genuine.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

29. Let us beg this lovable Heart to establish this devotion firmly and to fill with the unction of Its grace and of Its ardent charity all whom It will send us. I would willingly die that He might reign!

May 15, 2013  

(Eph 6:11-12) 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.

POPE FRANCIS: “And, we must say, with Satan the payback is rotten. He always rips us off, always!”

ESSAY: When Men Forsake God, Tyranny Always Follows

by Inos Biffi

After the appearance of man, the work of the sixth day of creation, there is felt the presence of something mysterious and disquieting, that of the serpent. That which he undertakes with regard to the progenitors and sets out to obtain from them is astonishing and disturbing: he intends to plant within them suspicion about God; that is, to persuade them that the prohibitions that he has established arise from jealousy, from fear of being equaled by them. The serpent embodies, precisely at the beginning of the world and its history, the presence of an envious being: "Through the envy of the devil death entered the world” (Wisdom 2:24).

In the New Testament there are frequent references to that serpent. Jesus refers to him declaring that the devil is “a murderer from the beginning”; in him "there is no truth”; “when he speaks falsehood, he speaks from what is his own, because he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). And again Jesus calls him “the prince of this world” (John 12:31; 16:11).

Paul affirms that "with his cunning the serpent seduced Eve" (2 Corinthians 11:3): and he refers to those who become lost "following Satan" (1 Timothy 5:14). The same apostle speaks of the worldly way of life by which one follows "the prince of the powers of the air, that spirit who works in rebellious men" (Ephesians 2:2); he makes mention of the “snares of the devil” and of our battle “against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the spirits of evil” (Ephesians 6:12).

The first letter of Peter names the “enemy,” “the devil,” or “the accuser,” who “like a roaring lion goes prowling around seeking whom he may devour” (5:8). And in the letters of John is recalled “the antichrist” who must come (1 John 2:18); the “liar” who denies that Jesus is the Christ; the “antichrist” who “denies the Father and the Son” (2:22). In Revelation it is written: “A great war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon fought together with his angels, but he did not prevail and there was no place for them in heaven. And the great dragon, the ancient serpent, the one who is called devil and Satan and who seduces all of the inhabited earth, was thrown to earth and together with him his angels” (12:7-9).


Between these texts and the exegesis of Jesus on the devil, murder and liar from the beginning, the agreement is perfect: this is a matter of a being hostile to God, whose Word he aims to throw into confusion, and at the same time hostile to man, whom he intends to seduce and induce to rebel against the divine plan. He is the evil one. In particular, the exegetical agreement concerns the one for whom the devil reserves his aversion, Jesus Christ.

This creates an antithesis between two royalties: that of Jesus and that of the prince of this world. The devil cannot tolerate Jesus Christ and seeks in every way to disrupt the divine plan conceived concerning him. As in the desert.

But Jesus proclaims himself victor over this prince: “The prince of this world is coming,” he says, “against me he can do nothing" (John 14:30); specifically, it is at the arrival of the hour of Jesus, that of his being lifted up on the cross and at the right hand of the Father, that that prince is struck down: “Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world will be cast down." With the pouring out of the Spirit by the glorified Lord, that prince meets his condemnation (John 16:11). Paul in particular remarks upon the lordship of the Risen One: in him the Father “has freed us from the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13) and “has deprived of their strength the principalities and powers," and "has made them a public spectacle, triumphing over them in Christ" (2:15).

The Christian has become a sharer in the lordship of Jesus over the devil: “when we were dead through our faults, he brought us back to life with Christ. With him he also raised us and made us sit in heaven, in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5-6).

Although definitively defeated by the Lord, the devil still tries to ensnare and bring down redeemed man. Peter spoke of his roaring and of his unspent will to harm; Paul urges the taking up of the shield of faith, in order to quench the “fiery arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16). And Jesus himself had taught his followers to pray by asking the Father to deliver us from the evil one (Matthew 5:13).


The multiple exegeses on the serpent that appears at the beginning lead us to a few considerations.

The first is on the “history" consummated and decided before the creation of man, and consisting in the outbreak of the “great war in heaven” (Revelation 12:7), or rather in an agreement or rebellion that took place in the angelic world: not a generic agreement or rebellion, but aimed at the concrete and internal divine plan, which in personal terms is Jesus Christ.

The prideful unacceptance of the rebel angels has as its object Jesus, “preeminent over all things," and therefore preeminent over them as well. This explains why the life of Jesus was never hindered by the presence and machinations of the devil; and on the contrary - from the announcement of his birth until the ascension - was accompanied, served, and consoled by the presence of the angels, who rejoice in him and with him are victors over the great dragon and his satellites, cast out of heaven and thrown down, as Revelation states. Jesus himself affirmed that he had seen “Satan fall from heaven like lightning" (Luke 10:18) and spoke of the “eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).

We have spoken of the history that precedes the visible one of man: that which we know is what emerges as from a hidden panorama, which exceeds and eludes us and which now we can only presume and intuit.


The second consideration concerns the stunning power of Satan: this is so strong and tenacious that only the power of the Son of God can defeat and overcome it; moreover, the power of the Son of God nailed to the cross, and therefore in a condition of extreme human weakness, which paradoxically becomes, without strain, absolute power. The devil is able to draw in everything and everyone, but before Jesus he becomes completely yielding. The crucified and risen one re-creates a victorious humanity, removed from the perverse influence of the evil one. The attraction of the devil is replaced by the attraction of Christ, who declares: “When I am raised up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself” (John 12:32). Only by sharing in the vigor of the slain and glorified Christ are we able to resist the flattery of the serpent from the beginning.

There could still remain one question: without a doubt the fall of angel and of man depends solely on the free will of the creature; not only that, but the forgiveness of man was included in the merciful love of the Father, who predestined his Son Jesus to be the redeemer; but why does the concrete order chosen by God include that fall and therefore the reality of sin? To this we are not able to reply: it belongs to the “thought of the Lord,” to his unfathomable judgments” and to his “inscrutable ways” (Romans 11:32-34).


A third consideration is to manifest surprise in the face of the absence in preaching and catechesis of the truth concerning the devil. Not to speak of those theologians who, on the one hand, applaud the fact that Vatican II declared Scripture to be the “soul of sacred theology” (Dei Verbum, 24), and, on the other, do not hesitate - if not to decide on his nonexistence (as they do for the angels) - in any case to overlook as marginal a fact that is so clear and widely attested to in Scripture itself as is that concerning the devil, maintaining him to be the personification of an obscure and primordial idea of evil, now demystified and unacceptable.

Such a conception is a masterpiece of ideology, and above all is equivalent to trivializing the very work of Christ and his redemption.

This is why those references to the devil which we find in the discourses of Pope Francis seem to us anything but secondary.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

28. Our Lord continues to give me many graces, unworthy though I be; that which I prize the most is conformity to His life of suffering and humiliation. He keeps me in such a state of entire submission to His good pleasure, that I am indifferent to all else.

May 13, 2013  

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

: Pope Francis's Pontificate to be consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima on May 13th

Just hours after being elected, Pope Francis asked Portuguese Cardinal José Policarpo for a special request. The Pope asked the patriarch of Lisbon to consecrate his pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima.  The celebration will held on May 13th and it will be led by Cardinal Policarpo, who also serves as the president of Portugal's Episcopal Conference. The bishops have also invited pilgrims to take part in the ceremony to honor the 'Pope's pastoral service.'

FATIMA: Cardinal-Patriarch consecrates pontificate Francisco and anticipates 'trials'

Cardinal-Patriarch of Lisbon, D. José Policarpo, consecrated today at Fatima the pontificate of the Virgin Mary, responding to a request of the same, and said that Francisco will face "trials" in his ministry.

"Give her the gift of discernment to know how to identify the ways of renewal of the Church; give him the courage not to hesitate to follow the ways suggested by the Holy Spirit; Amparai it in hard hours of suffering, to win, the charity, the trials that the renewal of the Church will bring ", referring to prayer addressed by the President of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference (CEP) of Fatima, at the end of the pilgrimage Anniversary International May.

D. José Policarpo, one of the cardinals who participated in the election of the successor of Francis recalled that three of the last popes (Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI) visited the Cova da Iria.

"Only you, Madam, in your motherly love to the whole Church can put Francisco in the heart of the Pope's desire to be a pilgrim this Shrine. It is not something that you can ask for other reasons, "he said.

The Patriarch of Lisbon stressed that "only the silent complicity" between the Virgin Mary and the Pope can do what they feel "attracted to this pilgrimage in the certainty that it will be joined by millions of believers."

"Here at this altar of the world, he may bless mankind, to impress on the world today that God loves all men and women of our time, the Church loves them and that you, Mother of the Redeemer, tenderly to lead into the ways of salvation, "he added.

The president stressed that the CEP ways of renewing the Church lead to "rediscover the relevance" of the message of Fatima, "the requirement of conversion to God who has been so offended, why so forgetful."

"Contemporary humanity needs to feel loved by God and the Church. Just feeling loved overcome the temptation to violence, materialism, of God's forgetfulness, loss of direction that will lead to a new world, where love reigns, "needed.

In this context D. José Policarpo maintained that the Church has to assert itself as a "place of conversion and forgiveness, because it expresses the truth always in charity."

"So you consecrate Lady, you who are the Mother of the Church, the ministry of the new Pope: fill your heart the tenderness of God, that you have experienced as anyone, so that it can embrace all men and women of this time with the love of your Son Jesus Christ, "he said.

Cardinal-Patriarch recalled the late Pope, Benedict XVI, "who chose the way of silent prayer, challenging the church to the ways of prayer."

The gesture was highlighted with a clap of pilgrims at the Cova da Iria.

After the moment of consecration of the pontificate, at the end of Mass, the bishop of Leiria-Fatima, D. António Marto, read a message sent by the Apostolic Nunciature in Portugal.

"The Holy Father expressed his satisfaction for the initiative and deep appreciation for the satisfaction of his desire in union of prayer with all the pilgrims of Fatima, which, at heart, gives apostolic blessing as a pledge of all goods," referring text.

A MOMENT WITH MARY:  God's Grace Will be Your Strength!

9 things to know and share about Fatima

Pilgrims To Fatima Include Many Devoted Popes

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

27. Now I shall die happy, since the Sacred Heart of my Saviour is beginning to be known; for it seems to me that, through His mercy, I am almost wholly stripped and divested of esteem and reputation in the minds of others, which consoles me more than I can say.

May 9, 2013  

(Luke 24:49) And I send the promise of my Father upon you: but stay you in the city till you be endued with power from on high.

POPE FRANCIS: "The Holy Spirit teaches us to look with the eyes of Christ, to live life as Christ lived it, to understand life as Christ understood it," he said. "That's why the living water that is the Holy Spirit quenches the thirst of our lives, because it tells us that we are loved by God as children, that we can love God as his children and by his grace we can live as children of God, like Jesus.

VIDEO PRESENTATION: Novena to the Seven Gifts Of The Holy Spirit

TEXT: Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts

The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian.


To be recited daily during the Novena

On my knees I before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.


To be recited daily during the Novena

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You  and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples, and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

The Novena begins on the day after the Solemnity of the Ascension, Friday of the 6th Week of Easter, even if the Solemnity of the Ascension is transferred to the 7th Sunday.

FIRST DAY (Friday after Ascension or Friday of 6th Week of Easter)

Holy Spirit! Lord of Light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure beaming radiance give!

The Holy Spirit

Only one thing is important -- eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared--sin? Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for "The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us."


Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts


Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

23. Love to be looked upon as a mere nothing in the house of God.

May 9, 2013  

(Jas 4:7) Be subject therefore to God. But resist the devil: and he will fly from you.

VIDEO: Tell Satan to Go to Hell

THE MOYNIHAN LETTERS: Letter #69: Mary, and the Deceiver

VATICAN RADIO: Pope Francis at Mass: fighting evil with meekness and humility

Humility and meekness are the weapons we have to defend ourselves from the hatred of the world. This was the focus of Pope Francis during his homily, which centered on the struggle between the love of Christ and the hatred of the prince of this world. The Lord, he said, tells us to be not afraid when the world hates us as it hated Him:

“The way of the Christians is the way of Jesus,” he said. “If we want to be followers of Jesus, there is no other way: none other than that, which He indicated to us - and one of the consequences of this is hatred – it is the hatred of the world, and also the prince of this world. The world would love that which belongs to it. [But Jesus tells us], ‘I have chosen you, from the world’: it was precisely He, who rescued us from the world, who chose us - pure grace! With His death, His resurrection, He redeemed us from the power of the world, from the power of the devil, from the power of the prince of this world. The origin of the hate [we experience], then is this: that we are saved. It is that prince who does not want that we should have been saved, who hates.”

Here then is the reason that the hatred and persecution continue from the early days of the Church even unto the present day. There are, “Many persecuted Christian communities in the world,” said Pope Francis, noting with bitterness, “indeed there are more persecuted communities in this time than in the early days: today, right now, in this day and in this hour.” Asking himself why this is the case, the Pope said, “Because the spirit of the world hates.” From this comes a perennially valid admonishment:

"There can be no dialogue with the prince of this world: let this be clear! Today, dialogue is necessary among us humans, it is necessary for peace. Dialogue is a habit, it is an attitude that we must have among us to feel and understand each other…and that [dialogue] must be maintained forever. Dialogue comes from charity, from love. But with that prince, it is impossible to dialogue: one can only respond with the Word of God who defends us, for the world hates us – and just as he did with Jesus, so will he do with us. ‘Only look,’ he will say, ‘just do this one small little scam…it is a small matter, nothing really – and so he begins to lead us on a road that is slightly off. This is a pious lie: ‘Do it, do it, do it: there is no problem,' and it begins little by little, always, no? Then [he says]: ‘But ... you're good, you're a good person: You [get away with] it.’ It is flattering – and he softens us by flattery: and then, we fall into the trap.”

Pope Francis went on to say that the Lord asks us to remain sheep, because if one decides to quit the fold, then he does not have, “a shepherd to defend him and he falls into the clutches of these wolves.”   “You may ask the question,” continued Pope Francis, ‘Father, what is the weapon to defend against these seductions, from these blandishments, these enticements that the prince of this world offers?’. The weapon is the same weapon of Jesus, the Word of God - not dialogue - but always the Word of God, and then humility and meekness. We think of Jesus, when they give that slap: what humility! What meekness! He could have insulted him, no? One question, meek and humble. We think of Jesus in His Passion. His Prophet says: ‘As a sheep going to the slaughter.’ He does not cry out, not at all: humility. Humility and meekness. These are the weapons that the prince and spirit of this world does not tolerate, for his proposals are proposals for worldly power, proposals of vanity, proposals for ill-gotten riches.”

CATHOLIC CULTURE: Sin, the Devil, and Pope Francis

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

22. You must offer yourself to God as a mere nothing to its Creator Who, finding no resistance, will give it such being as pleases Him.

May 7, 2013  

(Php 4:6-7) Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus..

NEWS REPORT: Tensions Rise After Israel Strikes Syria

Israel is rushing to beef up its rocket defenses on its northern border to shield against possible retaliation after carrying out two airstrikes in Syria over 48 hours.

On Sunday, Israel deployed two batteries of its Iron Dome rocket defense system in the north

A senior Israeli official says the recent airstrikes targeted precision-guided missiles Israel believes were being shipped to Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.

Syria and its patron Iran have hinted at possible retribution, though the rhetoric in official statements appeared relatively muted.

Damascus is warning that it will "defend its people by all available means." It calls the Israeli attacks a "flagrant violation of international law" that has made the Middle East "more dangerous."

In a letter sent to the U.N., Syria says the attacks aim "to give direct military support to terrorist groups" fighting the government

Despite new concerns about a regional war, Israeli officials signaled they will keep trying to block what they see as an effort by Iran to send sophisticated weapons to Lebanon's Hezbollah militia ahead of a possible collapse of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

DEBKAFILE ANALYSIS: IDF on war alert. Iran-Syrian-Hizballah war of attrition threatened. US set to act on Syria


Report: Assad Gives U.S. 24 Hours to Respond to Letter Threatening Action Against Any Further Israeli Strikes
Crushing response awaits Israel for aggression against Syria: Iran
Haifa mayor orders preparations for possible Syrian retaliation

REVIEW: Islamist Rebels Create Dilemma on Syria Policy

MORE: UN's Del Ponte says evidence Syria rebels 'used sarin'

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

21. The soul that is the humblest and most despised will be most loved by His adorable Heart.  The most despoiled and stripped of all things will possess It more fully.

May 3, 2013  

(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.

"Man Fully Alive is the Glory of God" - St. Irenaeus

Jim J. McCrae: God's Grace

What is the grace of God?

We can answer this by looking at the nature of life.

Each living being in existence has its own type of life pertinent to its own level of being.

Plant's have plant life, animals have animal life, and humans have human life - God has His own type of life, unique to Him, which is divine life.

Now, sanctifying grace is God's divine life given to a soul by God as pure gift from Him, raising a person above his natural level to partake in the very activity of God.

This activity is a share in God's way of knowing and loving Himself, which is infinitely superior to the way of knowing or loving of a merely natural being.

We can think of paradise - that which we think will make us most happy.

In giving us sanctifying grace (for those who are truly open to God and not opposed to Him because of unbelief or unrepentant mortal sin), God wishes to give us supernatural happiness. This is infinitely superior to the greatest natural happiness imaginable (that is, it is infinitely superior to the most sublime paradise the natural man can imagine).

This will be fully realized in heaven for those found worthy.

We will see the divine essence directly and be immersed in God's infinite love.

This infinitely exceeds the most passionate joy of two people joined in spousal love.

The beauty of God infinitely exceeds all the greatest beauties of nature.

Delight in the essence of God infinitely exceeds all the other delights of heaven, and it is the vision of God that brings delight in all these lesser goods.

This supernatural happiness in God in heaven will only be possible because we have been made supernaturalized ourselves in being made like Him in nature by a gift of God that infinitely exceeds what is due to the natural nature of man, which again is the essence of sanctifying grace.

VIA A Moment with Mary: The Death of Saint Joseph
Joseph passed away... No one has ever mentioned how he died...
He came without making any noise; he struggled without glory;
He was the silent actor of a sublime story,
One day he disappeared, never to return.
We watched him fade into the background,
The Child-God walked in his foot prints next to the Virgin Mary;
During the day he planed off the rough edges on wooden boards;
And at night, the angels made him aware of hateful plots.
When Jesus left home, Joseph's role ended;
Thereafter the Gospel speaks of him no more.
One evening, he probably left aside his planer
And just went to bed, with Mary at his bedside.
The night fell no differently than that night long ago
When the Angel of the Lord came to awaken him and tell him to flee...
The Angel returned that night to help him die;
And Joseph heard his soft and soothing voice.
The Angel said: "Joseph, son of David, It is I again.
Rest peacefully, for the Child and his mother
No longer need to fear dangers on this earth.
Now they are ready to live and die without you."
But Joseph was reluctant to fall asleep. Perhaps
He was waiting for someone he wished to see again,
For he was attentive to the noises outside
With a glimmer of hope in his eyes.
He sat up suddenly... Footsteps broke the silence;
The door of the house opened to the darkness outside,
And Jesus, crossing the threshold of his youth,
Hurried to his father's side and leaned over him.
How far he must have walked to come! Dust
Covered his bare feet and accentuated his features;
But a bright light shone from his eyes
And filled Joseph's eyes forever more...
Mary whispered: "It is you, my Son!" And the Angel bowed down.
Jesus, bending over Joseph's bed, embraced his father;
No words were exchanged between them,
As Jesus fought his first battle against death!
And in the shadows lingered death, powerless...
But the old worker did not expect his Son to make his heart
Young and strong again: he looked into the divine face
And died with that vision set apart.
Ah! Blessed is the one who, with a trusting soul,
Having prayed, suffered and worked,
One evening, waiting, can lie down his fatigue,
And then, in a divine embrace, depart!
Georges D'Aurac

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

20. The Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ gives you these holy aspirations through the ardent love He bears you, which makes Him desire to possess your heart whole and entire.

May 2, 2013  

(Mat 5:11-12) Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.

NCR: Peres Tells Pope: Middle East is "Disintegrating"

BBC: Syria's beleaguered Christians

EXCERPT SPECIAL ACN REPORT: Plight of the Christians of the Middle East

Data and numbers:

A.    No official reliable census has been made in all the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries, figures below are given on estimate basis and from relevant sources in respective churches.

•    The Holy Land, birth place of Jesus Christ and Christianity has only few thousand Christians left there; many of whom are looking for a better life condition elsewhere to relocate. The last estimate given by a church official in Jerusalem is around 50,000 faithful.

•    Egypt: No one can tell the exact figure of Egyptian Christians, especially Copts, even their Church can’t. Copts say it is up to 15 million while sources in the Egyptian government say it is only 6 million…. Copts have no role in public life, and are generally treated as 2nd class citizens.

•    Iraq has lost the majority of its Christians since 2003, only an estimated 500,000 are left as per the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) many of whom has escaped to the northern part of the country or are awaiting resettlement into western countries.

•    Lebanon, due to repeated wars and political instability, and although it is the only Arab country where Christians have enough freedom and could be high positioned in the government, has lost well over half a million of its Christians during the last 30 years. They make up, based on official statistics, around 33% of the population.

•    Syria’s Christian population is estimated at around 10% of the 22 million. Although they have known a relative stability during the Assad regime, many of them have already fled the country. What will happen next???

•    Iran pretends allowing the Christian minority a certain freedom, but the mostly Armenian community that has lost its 2/3 continues to live on a borrowed time not knowing what tomorrow will bring along.

•    In Jordan an estimated 300,000 Christians live freely till now.

RELATED: Religious leaders push for kidnapped bishops’ release

STRATFOR: Redlines and the Problems of Intervention in Syria

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

19. As for the ardent desire which urges you to become a saint, I hope this will be so, with the grace of the Sacred Heart of our Lord Who will make you a great saint, but I think He will sanctify you in His own way and not in yours. Therefore you must leave it to Him, and have no other end in view than to glorify Him by self-effacement; He in His turn will look upon you to purify and sanctify you.
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