your eyes open!...
May 30, 2017
(Heb 4:14-16) Having
therefore a great high priest that hath passed into the heavens, Jesus
the Son of God: let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high
priest who cannot have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted
in all things like as we are, without sin. Let us go therefore with
confidence to the throne of grace: that we may obtain mercy and find
grace in seasonable aid.
ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT: Mary, the Mother of God, the humble and the sane
EXCERPT FATHER JOSEPH ESPER: Fuzzy Thinking and Misguided Beliefs
Genuine religion is never a “do-it-yourself” project, in which we
pick-and-choose, or even create, our religious beliefs based on our own
preferences and opinions. Because there is only one God, there
can only be one truth—and it’s our duty to strive to discover it, and
then live our lives accordingly. However, we are not on our own;
Jesus gives us His Spirit to enlighten us and His Church to guide
us. If we humble ourselves and express our love for Him through
obedience, we have the assurance that we’re going in the right
direction and that we’ll reach our goal of eternal life.
As our Creator, God understands our human limitations and
needs—including the need for leaders with the authority to guide us,
direct us, and, when necessary, correct us. That’s why Jesus
established the Church. We see in the Acts of the Apostles
(8:5-8, 14-17) that even though the deacon Philip accomplished
miraculous things in Christ’s Name—preaching the Gospel, healing the
infirm, and freeing the possessed—he remained subject to the authority
of the apostles; Peter and John came and confirmed, or completed, what
Philip had begun. A religious community without
divinely-appointed leaders will sooner or later succumb to error or
division; that’s an inevitable by-product of our sinful human
nature. When Jesus spoke to the apostles, promising to send
them the Holy Spirit, He wasn’t speaking to them as individual
believers, but as leaders of His Church, through whom His teachings and
commandments would be made known to the world—and He said it’s by
obeying these commandments that we express our love for Him. St.
Peter (1 Pt 3:15-18) tells us that we may have to suffer for doing
good, and many Catholics throughout the world—even today—suffer
criticism, discrimination, or persecution because of their commitment
to Christ and their allegiance to His vicar on earth, the Holy
Father. We must pray for these fellow believers, even as we
admire their courage and strive to imitate their religious common
sense. No other religion has the magisterium, or teaching
authority, of the Catholic Church; no other religion has the absolute,
divinely-guaranteed assurance of unity and doctrinal truth found in
St. John Vianney once said, “Those who are led by the Holy Spirit have
true ideas; that’s why so many ignorant people are wiser than the
learned.” I have no doubt that the misguided minister who six
years ago predicted the rapture and the end of the world is a learned
and intelligent man, but without submitting to the authority of the one
true Church, he and others like him have no assurance that they’re
actually being led by the Holy Spirit. There are also many highly
intelligent and talented non-believers who are quite successful and
important in the world—but in terms of what really matters, they know
and understand far less than humble, ordinary Catholics who attend Mass
every weekend. Jesus promises us in the Gospel that He will not
leave us orphans; He will come to us and lead us into eternal life—but
in the time and manner He chooses, and not one that’s subject to our
own predictions and preferences. If we want to be true to Him, we
need only love Him by keeping His commandments, and if we want to know
exactly what this means, we need only be faithful members of His
Church. He is the way, the truth, and the life, and as long as
our faith is rooted in Him, our salvation is assured.
by St Theophan (1815-1894)
[Acts 21:8–14; John 14:27–15:7]
The Lord Jesus Christ is the vine,
a grape tree; Christians are branches and shoots. We cleave to Him
through faith and bear fruit through a life according to faith. The
Heavenly Father is the husbandman who watches over this tree. Any
branch which does not bring forth fruit — that is, whoever believes and
does not live according to faith — the Lord cuts off. But He cleanses
those which bring forth fruit — that is, those who not only believe,
but are also zealous to live according to faith. These the Lord helps
in every way to become rich in good deeds, which are the fruits of
Let each person arrange his life
according to this law of God's action upon us, firmly remembering that
without the Lord one can do nothing. Run to Him with every need. May
His most holy and sweetest name be ever impressed upon your mind,
heart, and tongue.
of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 14- "On that clamorous mistress, the stomach"
1. As we are about to speak concerning the stomach,
as in everything else, we propose to philosophize against ourselves.
For I wonder if anyone has been liberated of this mistress before settling
in the grave.
May 24, 2017
(2Ki 13:20-21) And
Eliseus died, and they buried him. And the rovers from Moab came into
the land the same year. And some that were burying a man, saw the
rovers, and cast the body into the sepulchre of Eliseus. And when it
had touched the bones of Eliseus, the man came to life and stood upon
VATICAN RADIO: Major relics of St Nicholas visit Russia
FIRST THINGS: THE CHALLENGE OF FATIMA by William Doino Jr.
MEDITATION: Keeping Focus on the Essentials by Ted Flynn
VIA EMAIL FR. IANNUZZI: In the link below you will read Card. Burke's statement that requires necessary clarification that I hope to provide below.
First the Cardinals' recent statement:
“Certainly, Pope Saint John Paul II consecrated the world, including
Russia, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984,” said
Cardinal Burke. “But, today, once again, we hear the call of Our Lady
of Fatima to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, in accord with
her explicit instruction.”
While Card. Burke wisely affirms that the 1982 consecration of Russia
to the IHM was indeed done, as one cannot rebut Sr. Lucia's words of it
having been done and accepted by Mary, as well as the many good fruits
in Russia pursuant to it, the good cardinal does might consider the
following distinction, i.e.,
A person consecrating someone "for the purpose of converting that
person to the Christian faith" is one thing (which was requested by Our
Lady of Fatima re. Russia to her Immaculate Heart which, as Card. Burke
admits, was accomplished in 1984); to re-consecrate that person "after
they have converted" (which Card. Burke is calling for "again") is
quite another matter, as it does not have as its purpose that person's
conversion, but rather ongoing growth in the faith.
link: Cardinal Burke calls for Consecration of Russia to Immaculate Heart of Mary
MORE: Has Russia Been Consecrated To Mary?
of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 13- "On despondency"
7. Despondency reminds those standing at prayer
of necessary duties. And brutish as she is, she leaves no stone unturned
to find some plausible pretext to drag us from prayer as with a kind of
May 22, 2017
(Act 17:30-31) And
God indeed having winked at the times of this ignorance, now declareth
unto men that all should every where do penance. Because he hath
appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in equity, by the man
whom he hath appointed: giving faith to all, by raising him up from the
“As religious leaders, we are called, therefore, to unmask the violence
that masquerades as purported sanctity. We have an obligation to
denounce violations of human dignity and human rights, to expose
attempts to justify every form of hatred in the name of religion, and
to condemn these attempts as idolatrous caricatures of God.”
DAILY WIRE: Trump Delivers Powerful Speech to Arab Leaders, Demands They 'Drive Out' Islamic Terrorists
Before President Trump delivered his first big international speech, an
address in Saudi Arabia to dozens of Arab leaders, reports swirled that
he would not utter the words "radical Islamic terror."
Of course he said the words -- repeatedly -- and much more. He lectured
the Saudis on human rights, including the nation's long repression of
women. And most of all, he laid out -- in simple black and white terms
-- the real battle that is has been raging for two decades.
"This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or
different civilizations," Trump told some 50 Muslim leaders
gathered in an ornate conference center in Riyadh. "This is a
battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life,
and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it. This is a
battle between good and evil."
And Trump said the Muslim world has an obligation -- even a moral
imperative -- to squelch terror emanating from the Muslim
faith. "Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and
falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person
of faith," Trump said. "That means honestly confronting the crisis of
Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires."
And Trump appeared to give the Muslim leaders a direct order about the
terrorists who declare their Muslim faith demands they kill infidels.
"Drive them out!" Trump said. "Drive them out of your places of
worship, drive them out of your communities, drive them out of your
Holy Land, and drive them out of this Earth!"
Unlike former president Barack Obama, who drew a red line in
Syria and then did nothing when Islamic extremists crossed it,
Trump said, "There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no
excusing it, and no ignoring it."
He added, "If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing,
then we not only will be judged by our people, not only will be judged
by history, but we will be judged by God."
Trump said that moving toward peace "means honestly confronting the
crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it
inspires. And it means standing together against the murder of innocent
Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the
slaughter of Christians.
"Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will
deliver you no glory – piety to evil will bring you no dignity.
If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life
will be brief, and your soul will be condemned," Trump said.
"And if the world doesn't unite to fight ISIS, al-Qaeda,
Hezbollah, Hamas and other groups, he said, 'not only will we be judged
by our people, not only will we be judged by history, we will be judged
RELATED: Trump Says He Looks Forward to Speaking With Pope About How Christian Teachings Lead to Freedom
of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 13- "On despondency"
6. Despondency is a pretext for hospitality. She
insists that by means of manual labour, alms could be given; and she urges
us eagerly to visit the sick, recalling Him who said, I was sick and ye
visited Me (Mat 25:36). She puts it into our heads to go out visiting the
dejected and faint-hearted, and sets one faintheart to comfort another.
May 19, 2017
(Mat 5:13-16) You
are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith
shall it be salted? It is good for nothing anymore but to be cast out,
and to be trodden on by men. You are the light of the world. A city
seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and
put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all
that are in the house. So let your light shine before men, that they
may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
BLOG: What is the Benedict Option?
UNIVERSALIS: From a letter to Diognetus- The Christian in the world
Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality,
language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own,
or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life.
Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of
men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine.
With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow
the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is
Greek or foreign.
And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives.
They live in their own countries as though they were only passing
through. They play their full role as citizens, but labour under all
the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for
them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like
others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They
share their meals, but not their wives. They live in the flesh, but
they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days
upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they
yet live on a level that transcends the law.
Christians love all men, but all men persecute them.
Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but
raised to life again. They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are
totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer
dishonour, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A
blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult.
For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but
even then they rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. They are
attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet
no one can explain the reason for this hatred.
To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is
to the world what the soul is to the body. As the soul is present in
every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians
are found in all the cities of the world, but cannot be identified with
the world. As the visible body contains the invisible soul, so
Christians are seen living in the world, but their religious life
remains unseen. The body hates the soul and wars against it, not
because of any injury the soul has done it, but because of the
restriction the soul places on its pleasures. Similarly, the world
hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong, but
because they are opposed to its enjoyments.
Christians love those who hate them just as the soul loves
the body and all its members despite the body’s hatred. It is by the
soul, enclosed within the body, that the body is held together, and
similarly, it is by the Christians, detained in the world as in a
prison, that the world is held together. The soul, though immortal, has
a mortal dwelling place; and Christians also live for a time amidst
perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay
that will be theirs in heaven. As the soul benefits from the
deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under
persecution. Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed
function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself.
of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 13- "On despondency"
5. A doctor visits the sick in the morning, but
despondency visits the ascetics about noonday (Ps 90:6).
May 17, 2017
(Mat 5:10-12) Blessed
are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and
persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my
sake: Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For
so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.
RUSSIAN PATRIARCH TIKHON (1918):
“In our troubled times the Lord has revealed a host of new sufferers.
If the Lord sends us the trials of persecution, bonds, torments and
even death, then we will endure all of this with patience, believing
that nothing happens to us if it is not the will of God and that our
spiritual exploit will not remain without fruit in the same way as the
sufferings of the Christian martyrs conquered the world for Christ’s
REPORT: In RESPONSE to PERSECUTION Findings of the Under Caesar’s Sword Project on Global Christian Communities
Christian persecution focus of global summit
International Religious Freedom Worsening in Both 'Depth and Breadth'
ACTION ALERT: Host a screening Christian Persecution "Faithkeepers" - the Movie
CBN: A Christian Exodus Sweeps the Middle East
A senior U.S. official says the battle to retake control of Iraq's
second largest city of Mosul from ISIS terrorists is approaching its
"It's really just a matter of time," Brett McGurk, the special
presidential envoy for the global coalition against ISIS told reporters
while visiting the outskirts of the Iraqi city.
"I'm not going to put timelines on it, this has been a long and very
difficult campaign but ISIS is down to its last stronghold in the
western part of the city," McGurk said. "Anyone left in there, they
either have to surrender or they're going to die."
But as Iraqi forces, backed by U.S. and coalition troops, prepare for
their final assault on the besieged city, many Iraqis, especially
Christians, are worried about what their country will look like after
the fall of the terror group.
The heads of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches are asking authorities
to establish a safe haven for the country's persecuted Christians in
the ethnically diverse and volatile Nineveh province where various
religious groups have often fought each other over territory.
Late last week, leaders of Iraq's three main churches, the Syriac
Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Chaldean Catholic
Church issued a joint statement urging their government leaders to set
up a safeguards for beleaguered Christians.
"The security and protection of Christian localities in Nineveh Plain,
a free zone, and international protection, under United Nations, away
from conflicts and rivalries," the heads of the churches wrote.
The statement comes on the heels of a dire warning from one of the
country's top Islamic leaders who described Iraq's Christians as
"infidels" and warned that those who decide not to convert to Islam
must pay a religious tax or leave town.
"Jihad should be implemented in regard to the Christians in order for
them to convert to Islam, either they will become Muslims or we must
fight them, or they ought to pay jizzya," Ali Mousavi, head of the
Shiite Waqf bureau, recently told his followers.
of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 13- "On despondency"
4. Community life is opposed to despondency. But
she is a constant companion of the hermit. She will never leave him till
his death, and wrestles with him daily till his end. Seeing an anchorite's
cell, she smiles, and creeps up and camps near by.
May 15, 2017
(Jas 1:5-7) But
if any of you want wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all men
abundantly and upbraideth not. And it shall be given him. But let him
ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of
the sea, which is moved and carried about by the wind. Therefore let
not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
In the midst of great concern and uncertainty about the future, what
does Fatima ask of us? Perseverance in the consecration to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary, shown daily by the recitation of the Rosary.
And what if, despite our prayers, wars continue? Even though immediate
results may not be evident, let us persevere in prayer. Prayer is never
useless. Sooner or later, it will bear fruit. Prayer is capital in the
hands of God; he turns it to good account in his own times and ways,
which are very different from our own.
VIDEO: Fr. Don Calloway, MIC: The Rosary: Spiritual Sword of Our Lady
FATIMA: 500,000 attend pope’s canonisation of child shepherds
VATICAN RADIO: Regina Coeli: Pope reflects on pilgrimage to Fatima
“Let us greet the Virgin of Fatima!”
Following his pilgrimage to Fatima, Pope Francis said the Regina Coeli
on Sunday, took on “a particular significance, imbued with memory and
prophecy for those who view history with the eyes of faith.” Reflecting
on his journey, the Pope said, “At Fatima I was immersed in the prayer
of the faithful holy People, prayer that for one hundred years has
flowed there like a river, for the maternal protection of Mary for the
The Holy Father focused on the “recollected and contemplative climate”
during his pilgrimage. “And at the centre of everything,” he said, “was
and is the Risen Lord, present in the midst of His People in the Word
and in the Eucharist; present in the midst of the many sick people, who
are the protagonists of the liturgical and pastoral life of Fatima, as
of every Marian sanctuary.”
One of the highlights of Pope Francis pilgrimage was the Solemn Mass on
Saturday, when he canonized two of the visionaries of Fatima, Francisco
and Jacinta Marto. With the canonization, the Pope said, “I wanted to
propose to the whole Church their example of adhesion to Christ and to
evangelical witness… And I also want to propose to the whole Church to
have the heart of children.” He said their sanctity is not “a
consequence of the apparitions, but of the fidelity and ardour with
which they corresponded to the privilege they had received of being
able to see the Virgin Mary.”
He pointed out that the visionaries, after having seen Mary, frequently
said the Rosary, did penance, and offered sacrifices for an end to the
war [World War I, which was raging at the time], and for the souls most
in need of divine mercy. “In our day, too,” the Pope said, “there is
great need of prayer and of penance to implore the grace of
conversion,” and an end to the many wars and conflicts in the world
today, “which disfigure the face of humanity.”
“Let us allow ourselves to be guided by the light that comes from
Fatima,” Pope Francis said, before concluding his reflection with a
prayer: “May the Immaculate Heart of Mary always be our refuge, our
consolation, and the way that leads to Christ.”
CNA: Pope Francis: Fatima reminds us to care for the faith of children
HLI: Why Fatima Matters in the Battle for Life and Family by Fr. Shenan J. Boquet
of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 13- "On despondency"
3. A man in obedience does not know despondency,
having achieved spiritual things by means of sensory things.
May 12, 2017
(Joh 19:26-27) When
Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he
loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he
saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the
disciple took her to his own.
"Look to her and let her look upon you, because she is your Mother and
loves you greatly; let her look upon you, to learn how to be more
humble and also more courageous in following the Word of God; to
welcome the embrace of her Son Jesus and, strengthened by this
friendship, to love every person following the example and the measure
of the Heart of Christ, to which the College is consecrated, finding
love, hope and peace in Him. Let us look, brothers and sisters, at our
Mother, who is in God’s heart. The mystery of this girl from Nazareth
is not extraneous to us. It is not a question of “She is there and we
are here”. No, we are connected. In effect, God turns His loving gaze
(cf. Lk, 1:48) also to every man and every woman, calling them by name
and surname! His gaze of love rests upon each one of us."
SHORT VIDEO: The Message of Fatima
CATHOLIC HERALD: Vatican releases Pope’s schedule for Fatima visit
CATHOLIC.ORG: Pope Francis' visit makes perfect ending for Our Lady of Fatima anniversary celebration
After a whirlwind trip to Egypt last week, Pope Francis in just 10 days
will head to Portugal for the centenary celebration of the Marian
apparitions of Fatima, where anticipation is building for the visit of
the "bishop in white."
"The centenary is a memorable, unforgettable date to give thanks to God
for all the gifts that the message of Fatima has scattered throughout
Portugal, but also in the whole world," Bishop Antonio dos Santos Marto
of Leiria-Fatima told CNA in an interview.
And the centenary celebrations "wouldn't be complete without the
presence of the Pope," he said, explaining that the Pope "is part of
the message of Fatima."
Pointing to the third "secret" of Our Lady of Fatima, which presents a
pilgrim Church that is persecuted and led by a "bishop in white," Marto
said this figure can be understood to be the Pope, who is present in
Our Lady's message.
In her apparitions, Mary also asked for people to pray for the Pope,
"so the Pope is part of the message of Fatima," he said, adding that
the fact that several Popes have visited Fatima shows the
"catholicity," or "universality" of Our Lady's message.
"It's not only for Portugal, it's not only for the Church in Portugal,
it's for the entire Church and, I would say, the entire world," he
said. "So people who work here preparing for the Pope's visit are
working with a lot of commitment and a lot of enthusiasm."
Bishop Marto has overseen the diocese of Leiria-Fatima since 2006, and
is in charge of preparing not only for the 100th anniversary of the
apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, but also for the May 12-13 visit of
Pope Francis to Fatima for the celebrations.
Ultimately, the Pope's visit to Fatima for the centenary of the
apparitions will help "to rediscover the richness and beauty of this
message for our time," the bishop said.
The message of Fatima, he said, refers to "the greatest, most tragic
events of the 20th century." Namely, the two World Wars, "with their
genocides, millions of innocent victims," and the persecution at the
hands of atheist and totalitarian regimes, which threatened to destroy
the Church from view.
"So it was a message of grace, to say that God is with us, he doesn't
abandon us, the mercy of God has a higher limit than the power of evil,
and a message of peace," Marto said. "These three words are the gift
Our Lady brings: grace, mercy and peace."
Our Lady's appeals for conversion, prayer and reparation are also very
timely, he said, noting that even in contemporary society, at times we
forget "to make reparation for what was spoiled."
Using new technologies as an example, he said that today if something
we own breaks, we toss it and get a new one, "but you can't repair the
heart like this, throwing it out of the chest."
"The heart, relationships with others and among people, need
reparation, need renewal in the sense of rebuilding, renewing; of
re-making even the relationships with God and others," he said, warning
that "sometimes in front of evil, we feel powerless, and there's a
sense of resignation."
Mary, the bishop said, came "to look for collaborators in the merciful
design of God before the power of evil," which makes her message
extremally relevant today, because while there might not be as much
persecution from atheist regimes, "there's the danger of something, in
my view, that's worse: religious indifference."
"To live as if God didn't exist. To live with your back to God. The
sense of God is lost, and when one loses the sense of God, they also
lose the sense of humanity," he said, explaining that because of this,
"the message (of Fatima) is always relevant."
CNA: A personal look at Fatima's saintly Sister Lucia
ST. LOUIS REVIEW: Fatima visionaries will be canonized May 13 in Portugal
EXCERPT The Blessedness of Jacintha and Francisco:
“Francisco, which do you like better: to console Our Lord, or to
convert sinners, so that no more souls go to hell?” Lucia dos Santos,
then 10, asked her younger cousin and fellow Fatima visionary. Francisco,
9, replied: “I would rather console Our Lord. Didn’t you notice how sad
Our Lady was that last month when she said that people must not offend
Our Lord anymore, for He is already too much offended? I would like to
console Our Lord, and after that, convert sinners, so they won’t offend
of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 13- "On despondency"
2. Despondency is a paralysis of soul, an enervation
of the mind, neglect of asceticism, hatred of the vow made. It calls those
who are in the world blessed. It accuses God of being merciless and without
love for men. It is being languid in singing psalms, weak in prayer, like
iron in service, resolute in manual labour, reliable in obedience.
May 11, 2017
(Joh 2:3-5) And
the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine.
And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour
is not yet come. His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall
say to you, do ye.
REV. JOSEPH LEO IANNUZZI: Has Russia Been Consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
LIFESITE COMMENTARY: Russia. Why was Our Lady of Fatima so concerned about Russia?
INSIDE THE VATICAN EXCERPT: Interview with German Catholic scholar Dr. Michael Hesemann
Q: What is the key to change the course of history according to Fatima?
Hesemann: Prayer, Reparation, Consecration! In her message, given to
the shepherd children on July 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima made it very
clear that all wars and catastrophies are the results of our sins: “if
people do not cease offending God,” a new war would break out, bringing
“war, famine and persecution of the Church and the Holy Father. To
prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my
Immaculate Heart … If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted,
and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout
the world, causing wars and persecution of the Church.”
This means that God in His mercy gave the fate of the world in our hands.
And indeed it came as it was predicted. After World War I, mankind
continued to live as if God would not exist, they did not cease to
offend Him. And indeed in Russia, Spain and Mexico bolshevism caused
the most severe persecution of the Church.
Then World War II broke out – as predicted by Our Lady of Fatima after
a “light in the sky”, an immense Aurora borealis, visible even in
Portugal, “during the Pontificate of Pius XI” obviously referring to
Hitler’s annexation of Austria.
In the middle of this war, on October 31, 1942, Pope Pius XII, in his
Radio message to the Portuguese Nation, indeed consecrated Russia to
Her Immaculate Heart, although not, as requested, in union with all
bishops. And indeed a miracle happened.
Within three days, the battle of el-Alamein began and turned out to be
the first defeat of Hitler’s victorious army in World War II. As
Winston Churchill said: “Before Alamein we never had a victory. After
Alamein we never had a defeat.”
The battle of Stalingrad began three weeks later.
The war ended the most severe persecution of the Church in Russia, but not communism.
Only in 1984, after he had survived the assassination attempt on St.
Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981, the 74th anniversary of the first
apparition, Pope John Paul II consecrated Russia and the World in union
with all the bishops, as requested by Our Lady.
At that time, one of the three shepherd children of Fatima, Lucia was
still alive; she died in 2005. She became a nun, entered the Carmel in
1948 and had several visions and received messages of Our Lady.
She believed, based on those messages, that the Third World War, a
devastating nuclear war, would have broken out in 1985, if the request
of Our Lady wouldn’t have been fulfilled before.
But instead in 1985, one year after the solemn consecration, Michail Gorbachev came in power and started his perestroika.
In 1988, all liberties of the Church were restored, in 1991 the communist Soviet Union collapsed.
What followed was the greatest miracle of our times. The atheist, materialist Soviet Russia converted and became orthodox again!
Q: But there are those who doubt that the consecration was valid and that Russia indeed converted…
Hesemann: Well, indeed there are some crazy
Fatima-conspiracy-theorists. They believe that Sister Lucia was killed
and replaced by a double and indeed her teeth look different on photos
from the 1930s and the 1960s or 1990s. But this has a simple reason.
In 1947 she had a dental inflammation and her dentist had to remove all
her teeth and replace them with artificial teeth. All her relatives,
who were allowed to visit Sr. Lucia for all her life, testify that she
was still the shepherd girl from Fatima.
The same conspiracy theorists claim that the consecration was invalid,
although Sr. Lucia stated the opposite several times in writing, in
person and even on camera, filmed by her interpreter Carlos Evaristo.
I personally asked her niece, who visited her regularly, and she
confirmed to me that Sr. Lucia always said: “Our Lady has promised that
Russia would convert and see, what happened? It converted!”
Indeed it is the most impressive conversion in history. They built or
reopened 29,000 churches in only 28 years, three every day! (Editor’s
Note: 28 years times 365 days equals 10,220 days; therefore, to open
29,000 churches over those 28 years meas that about three churches a
day have been opened every day for 28 years).
The number of monasteries grew from 15 to 788, the number of faithful
from below 50 Million in 1990 to over 113 million today. And today, 82%
of all Russians follow Orthodox Christianity. The Russian state spends
more than $100 million every year for the restoration of churches
destroyed or misused by the Communists. The 500 theological seminaries
are full of young men who follow their vocation.
I can testify to this immense conversion, since I visited St.
Petersburg and Moscow last year. I heard Orthodox chants right on the
Red Square. They rebuilt the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, destroyed
by the communists, and transmit all liturgies and prayers with
loudspeakers on the square five times a day. Lenin surely is rolling
over in his mausoleum — it’s an exorcism!
of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 13- "On despondency"
1. As we have already frequently said, this- we
mean despondency- is very often one of the branches of talkativeness, and
its first child. And so we have given it its appropriate place in this
chain of vices.
May 10, 2017
(Luk 1:46-48) And
Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced
in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his
handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me
FATIMA AND THE POPES
Interview with Monsignor Mario Senigaglia Secretary of Alberto Luciani Patriarch of Venice and future Pope John Paul I
Q:A moment... let’s make sure we understand the facts from the
beginning. Where does this noblewoman come from? And why did Luciani go
to Fatima? Was there a reason, an anniversary…
Senigaglia: No. No particular reason. He went to Fatima simply on a
pilgrimage. Every year, here in Venice, the Jesuit Father Leandro
Tiveron, who was also Luciani’s confessor, organized a pilgrimage to
some Marian shrine. And that year he decided on Fatima. Luciani had
been to Lourdes on different occasions. Instead he had never been to
Fatima. Father Tiveron suggested going and he agreeed. So the Patriarch
joined the party of pilgrims. Around fifty of them. On 10 July (1977)
they visited the shrine and took part in the Eucharistic celebration in
Fatima. And the following day they moved to Coimbra to attend mass in
the convent of the Carmelite nuns. The Marquise de Cadaval had links
with the convent and she herself proposed and organized the stop-over
at the cloistered convent of Coimbra.
Q: And how come this noblewoman was so familiar with the convent of Coimbra as to have access even to the cloister?
Senigaglia: The Marquise de Cadaval had married a Portuguese, a
landowner from the south. She was a woman of high culture and
sensibility but also of deep compassion, and during her stays in
Portugal worked for the Red Cross at the sanctuary of Fatima, very soon
becoming benefactress of the convent of Coimbra. There she had the
opportunity to meet Sister Lucia, with whom she established a close
relationship of trust. For years she was her collaborator. She helped
Sister Lucia with the translations of her correspondence. During the
war she even had the task of taking messages, often memorized, to Pius
XII and messages from him to Sister Lucia. Pacelli had known the
marquise since the time of her youth. Marquise de Cadaval, in fact, had
attended the university in Rome and was in good relations with the
family of the future Pontiff. Thus she found herself also performing
the role of ‘go-between’ for Sister Lucia and the Pope. In 1977 she was
elderly, she’d have been over seventy years old.
Q: And how did the meeting go?
Senigaglia: The Marquise de Cadaval was already in the convent when the
pilgrims arrived and had informed Sister Lucia of the presence of
Patriarch Luciani. Come the moment, at the end of the Eucharistic
celebration, she told the Patriarch that Sister Lucia would like to
greet him. Along with the prioress of the convent they went into the
cloister. The Marquise de Cadaval accompanied him to Sister Lucia and
stayed with them. Seeing then that Luciani was able to understand
Portuguese fairly well, she withdrew, and when the meeting was over
accompanied him again to where his secretary Don Diego Lorenzi was
waiting for him to go to lunch with the others.
Q: You met Luciani on his return from Fatima. What did he say to you?
Senigaglia: I remember going into his study and him saying: «Sit
down». That meant he was in a mood to talk. He told me about the trip,
of the atmosphere of genuine prayer and moving acts of penitence he’d
witnessed in Fatima. Of the pilgrims who had joined in a long barefoot
walk on the stones in the spianada, under the sun, and of the pious
women who tended the feet of the pilgrims who needed it upon arrival.
We spoke then of the difference from Lourdes and then again of these
different forms of piety, and as the conversation went on, at a certain
point, I asked him about Coimbra: «I know you were there and had
occasion to meet Sister Lucia… ». And he: « Yes, yes I saw her … Ah!
that blessed nun», he said, «she took my hands in hers and began to
talk…». Then he remained in thought a little with hands joined, then
continued: «… these blessed nuns when they begin to talk they never
stop …». He told me however that she had not spoken about the
apparitions and that he only asked her something about the famous “sun
POPE JOHN PAUL II (1982):
“And so, today, I am here. I have come in order to thank Divine
Providence in this place which the Mother of God seems to have chosen
in a particular way. … The mystery of the spiritual motherhood of Mary
has been actualized boundlessly in history. The Lady of the message [of
Fatima] seems to have read with special insight the ‘signs of the
times,’ the signs of our time.”
ECHOES: St. John Paul II visited Fatima three times, each on May 13, in 1982, 1991, and 2000.
His first pilgrimage happened on the first anniversary of Mehmet Ali
Agca's attempt on his life and he pondered the "mysterious coincidence"
that it occurred on Mary's feast day, knowing as he did the content of
the then-still-secret third part of the Message of Fatima, describing
that a bishop in white would be shot and killed. John Paul II believed
that Mary's hand and Jacinta's prayers and sacrifices for the "poor
holy father" saved his life from certain death after Agca's bullet
pierced five vital organs. In his visit, he sought to help the Church
and world grasp the "basic nucleus" of the Fatima message, Mary's
solicitous, strong, decisive, loving, maternal call to repentance
through prayer -- especially of the Rosary -- for the conversion and
salvation of sinners. Consecrating ourselves to Mary, he stressed,
means to accept her help and prayers as we entrust ourselves to the
pierced heart of her Son. In the 65 years since Mary appeared, he said
with concern, rather than heeding Mary's summons, many have gone in the
opposite direction, allowing sin to make a home in their hearts and
world. For that reason, Mary's call to conversion, he emphasized, was
even "more relevant and urgent" than in 1917.
In 1991, he called Fatima a constant reference point for living the
Gospel. He thanked Mary for "having guided with maternal tenderness
peoples to freedom," a reference to the liberation of those in the
former Soviet bloc from communism after Russia and the world were
consecrated to her. He said that Mary's "palpable, penetrating call" is
for us to adjust ourselves to God's ways so that she may give us and
the world Christ, her Son, our peace. He exhorted all of us to
"persevere in devotion to Mary."
In the Great Jubilee of 2000, St. John Paul came to beatify Francisco
and Jacinta in the presence of their cousin and fellow seer, now
Servant of God Sr. Lucia dos Santos. He focused on the totality with
which they responded to the Mother of God, offering themselves as
victims of reparation to console Jesus and atone for sins. He urged us
to follow them in enrolling in Mary's "school," the sacred academy that
helped them become "saints so quickly."
MORE: St John Paul II and Our Lady of Fatima
POPE BENEDICT XVI: "A
stern warning has been launched from that place … a summons to the
seriousness of life, of history, to the perils that threaten humanity."
The fifth Papal visit was in 2010, when Pope Benedict came as a pilgrim
to initiate seven years of preparation for the centenary. Fatima, he
said, isn't a footnote in history but rather has "imposed itself on the
Church." Its forceful message involves not merely "particular
devotions," but a "fundamental response" that involves ongoing
conversion, penance, prayer, faith, hope and charity. Mary, he
stressed, wants to help the Church "relearn" penance, purification,
forgiveness and justice.
He added that "Fatima and the Rosary are practically synonymous," and
urged us in praying the Rosary to imitate the "amazing" entrustment of
the shepherd children and like them allow the mysteries of Christ
attract us by fixing the gaze of our hearts on Jesus like Mary did.
"In seven years you will return here to celebrate the centenary of the
first visit made by the Lady 'come from heaven,'" he told us in words
that will be fulfilled in a week, and he urged us not to think that
"Fatima's prophetic mission is complete," but to live these years of
preparation by loving Jesus like the shepherds and hastening through
Marian consecration the fulfillment of the prophecy of the triumph of
Mary's immaculate heart.
Speaking about his pilgrimage six days later during his general
audience in Rome, Pope Benedict commented on the connection between
Fatima and heaven. "Fatima shows us," he said, that "earth is a place
where we make pilgrimage to our definitive homeland and we need a
mother to guide us.
of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 12- "On lying"
9. One lies for sheer wantonness, another for amusement;
one, to make the bystanders laugh; and another, to trap his brother and
do him injury.
May 9, 2017
(Gen 3:15) I
will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her
seed: she shall cursh thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.
ROMAN CATHOLIC MAN: OUR LADY OF FATIMA, 1917-2017 – WHY 100 YEARS MATTERS
EXCERPT CATHOLIC HERALD: Fatima at 100: a history of the Marian apparitions
hile conversion and prayer are at the heart of Mary’s messages at
Fatima, Portugal, the miracles and unexplained phenomenon that
accompanied the events 100 years ago continue to intrigue believers and
The apparitions of Mary at Fatima in 1917 were not the first
supernatural events reported there – two years before Mary appeared to
the three shepherd children – Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Jacinta
and Francisco Marto – they saw a strange sight while praying the rosary
in the field, according to the memoirs of Sister Lucia, who had become
a Carmelite nun.
“We had hardly begun when, there before our eyes, we saw a figure
poised in the air above the trees; it looked like a statue made of
snow, rendered almost transparent by the rays of the sun,” she wrote,
describing what they saw in 1915.
The next year, Francisco and Jacinta received permission to tend their
family’s flocks and Lucia decided to join her cousins in a field owned
by their families. It was 1916 when the mysterious figure appeared
again, this time approaching close enough “to distinguish its features.”
“Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me,” Sister Lucia recalled the angel saying.
The three told no one about the angel’s visit and received no more
heavenly visits until May 13, 1917. While the children tended their
sheep and played, they were startled by two flashes of lightning.
As they made their way down a slope, the children saw a “lady all
dressed in white” standing on a small tree. It was the first of six
apparitions of Mary, who gave a particular message or revelation each
– May 13, 1917. When asked by the children who she was and where she
came from, the lady said she was “from heaven” and that she would
reveal her identity later. She asked the children to come back to the
Cova da Iria on the 13th day of the month for the next six months, and
she asked them to pray the rosary every day “in order to obtain peace
for the world” and the end of World War I.
– June 13, 1917. The lady said she would take Francisco and Jacinta to
heaven soon while Lucia would remain on earth for “some time longer” to
establish devotion to the Immaculate Heart.
– July 13, 1917. The lady said she would reveal her identity in October
and “perform a miracle for all to see and believe.” After telling the
children to make sacrifices for sinners, she revealed three secrets;
two of the secrets were not shared publicly until 1941 and the third
secret, written down by Sister Lucia and sent to the Vatican, was not
released until 2000.
VIDEO: Fatima Portugal 1917
VIDEO: Paul VI: the first visit of a Pope to Fatima
of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 12- "On lying"
8. We notice various degrees of harm in all the
passions, and this is certainly the case with lying. There is one judgment
for him who lies through fear of punishment, and another for him who lies
when no danger is at hand.
May 8, 2017
(Rev 12:1) And
a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the
moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
FATIMA: Approvals by the Popes
In 1917, as the First World War was being fought across Europe and
showing no signs of concluding peacefully, Pope Benedict XV turned in
petition to the Blessed Virgin Mary, through Whom all graces are
dispensed. The Pope urgently asked all of the Christian people to beg
the Virgin Mary to obtain the peace of the world, and to solemnly
entrust the task to Her alone.
He wished the world to "have recourse to the Heart of Jesus, throne of
graces, and to this throne to have recourse through the intermediary of
Mary", and he ordered that the invocation ‘Queen of Peace, pray for us’
be permanently added to the Litany of Loreto. Then, confidently placing
the peace of the world in Her hands, the Pope made another appeal:
To Mary, then, who is the Mother of Mercy and omnipotent by grace, let
loving and devout appeal go up from every corner of the earth – from
noble temples and tiniest chapels, from royal palaces and mansions of
the rich as from the poorest hut – from blood-drenched plains and seas.
Let it bear to Her the anguished cry of mothers and wives, the wailing
of innocent little ones, the sighs of every generous heart: that Her
most tender and benign solicitude may be moved and the peace we ask for
be obtained for our agitated world.
The gracious Virgin responded quickly to the urgent pleas of the Pope:
only eight days later She appeared at Fatima and gave to the Pope and
humanity a plan for peace. However, this plan first required the
obedience of the people and especially of Christ’s Vicar on earth, the
Pope. God and the Blessed Virgin agreed to give the world peace, but
since it was the Pope who asked to be shown the way to peace, his
cooperation in the designs of Heaven became requisite.
Thus, from the beginning the Holy Father has had a specific role in the
Message of Fatima: because of his insistence God sent His holy Mother
to Fatima; and when the Pope fulfills God’s demands, the Blessed Virgin
will bring peace to the world. Therefore, because their role in the
Fatima Message is so primary, let us examine how the Popes have
approved of and promoted Fatima.
BLOG: Pope Pius XII and Fatima
Pope Pius XII is not generally singled out as a “Fatima Pope”, and yet
certain important biographical dates in his life have an interesting
coincidence with events that occurred at Fatima. For instance: “On 13th
May 1917, while the Mother of God was appearing in Fatima, announcing
to the world her message of peace and conversion and warning humanity
about the terrible crises of the 20th century, in the Sistine Chapel in
Rome from which he would emerge years later as the Successor of Peter,
the Nuncio Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pius XII, was being consecrated
Archbishop by Pope Benedict XV.
In the perspective of Faith, as we know, nothing happens by chance, and
some apparently chance occurrences are indicative signs of a
providential course of events. Nor, we believe, was it a chance
occurrence that the burial of Eugenio Pacelli took place on 13th
October 1958, the anniversary of the last apparition in Fatima. A
further, clear confirmation of Mary’s desire to accompany that faithful
son of hers to the threshold of eternity.” (Quoted by Emilia Paola Pacelli)
According to Pope Pius XII’s own testimony in a handwritten,
unpublished note (later discovered in the Pacelli family archives), the
Pope who declared the dogma of the Assumption, saw the “miracle of the
sun” four times! Pius XII’s note describes the miracle and stated: “I
have seen the ‘miracle of the sun’, this is the pure truth”. These
visions took place in the year he was to proclaim the dogma of the
Assumption, 1950, while he walked in the Vatican Gardens, “the 31st of
October and Nov. 1, the day of the definition of the dogma of the
Assumption, and then again Nov. 8, and after that, no more”
[…] considering it a confirmation of his plan to declare the dogma.
The Pope acknowledged that on other days at about the same hour, he
tried to see if the phenomenon would be repeated, “but in vain – I
couldn’t fix my gaze [on the sun] for even an instant; my eyes would be
Pius XII spoke about the incident with a few cardinals and close
collaborators, such that Sister Pascalina Lehnert, the nun in charge of
the papal apartments, declared that “Pius XII was very convinced of the
reality of the extraordinary phenomenon, which he had seen on four
As Pope, in 1940, he approved the Fatima apparitions, and in 1942, consecrated the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
As well, Pius XII often spoke with Sister Lucia, the visionary of
Fatima, and he asked her to transcribe the messages she received from
the Virgin. He thus became the first Pope to know the “third secret of
Fatima,” which Pope John Paul II would later make public. (Adapted from
an article in Zenit, Nov. 2008.)
VIA FATHER HARDON, S.J.: Fatima and the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Fatima owes its present popularity in the Church very largely to the
interest and encouragement of Pope Pius XII. Although the bishops of
Portugal had authorized the cultus of Our Lady of Fatima in 1930, and
Pius XI made an implicit reference to the "extra-ordinary benefits with
which the Blessed Virgin recently favored" Portugal, it was Pius XII
among the Popes who first explicitly referred to Fatima in a formal
papal document. Pleading for more vocations to the missions, he wrote
in 1940, "Let the faithful, when reciting the Rosary so strongly
recommended by Our Lady of Fatima, not omit to address an invocation to
the Blessed Virgin in favor of missionary vocations" (L’Osservatore,
June 29, 1940). This was so significant that the Portuguese Hierarchy
in 1942 were able to say, "We are happy to see the Supreme Authority of
the Vicar of Jesus Christ evoke thus the testimony of Fatima, and
proclaim Urbi et orbi the name of Our Lady of Fatima in an Apostolic
Letter addressed to the Portuguese Bishops, but published for the whole
world" (Da Cruz, Fatima, 1949, 99).
On October 31, 1942, the Holy Father associated himself with the
closing celebrations of the Jubilee of Fatima, by consecrating the
world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as Our Lady of Fatima had
requested. And in the same year he extended the Office and Mass of the
Immaculate Heart to the Universal Church, appointing the 22nd of August
as the feast day. More recently Pope Pius XII sent, for the second
time, an official delegate to Fatima, to represent, as he said, "Our
own person at the shrine of the Virgin of Fatima, to act in Our own
name, and to preside with Our authority" (A.A.S., 43, 781). Cardinal
Tedeschini, archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica, was the papal legate
who assisted at the Fatima celebration on October 13, 1951, when more
than a million pilgrims came to the Portuguese shrine.
In his own radio message to the pilgrims, the Holy Father emphasized
one practical aspect of the message of Fatima which deserves to be
better known: the Family Rosary. "The Virgin Mother's insistence on the
recitation of the family Rosary," he said, "was meant to teach us that
the secret of peace in family life lies in imitating the virtues of the
Holy Family" (A.A.S., 43, 801).
of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 12- "On lying"
7. He who has obtained the fear of the Lord has
forsaken lying, having within himself an incorruptible judge- his own conscience.
May 5, 2017
(1Co 15:17-22) And
if Christ be not risen again, your faith is vain: for you are yet in
your sins. Then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ are
perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all
men most miserable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, the
firstfruits of them that sleep: For by a man came death: and by a man
the resurrection of the dead. And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ
all shall be made alive.
“The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter
Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin,
sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly
ORTHODOX LOOK AT PASCHAL JOY
MEDITATION: Bypassing Paschal Joy or Why Are We Never Happy?
EXCERPT HOMILY: Paschal Joy
...Christ's Resurrection is the foundation of our entire life, of all
of our hopes and our common faith in Him, and it is the foundation of
hope for all mankind. For, as the Apostle said, "…if Christ
be not Risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also
vain." All that we say regarding the Lord, all that we affirm
about him, all in which we hope, all about which we pray, all is in
vain if Christ be not Risen.
The fact of Christ's Resurrection from the dead is of course an unusual
event, a miracle, but it is not in that fact that lies its greatness,
and it is not that miracle that is the reason for our rejoicing.
God is ever capable of working incredible miracles. The cause of
our rejoicing and hope lies in the fact that Christ the Only-begotten
rose from the dead, Christ was Risen so that we might have life
eternal. Christ was Risen so that after their corruption and
death people might also be risen into life eternal.
That joy, that gladness should be exemplary joy and gladness. As
we say, Christianity is love, not love in general, not some illusory,
sentimental, love towards all. When we say that God is Love, we
thereby affirm that He loves the human race. When we say that we
must have love, we thereby affirm that our love must be concrete and
specific, exemplary, and must be actively expressed in our human
interactions. The Apostle said, "If a man say that I love
God, and hateth his brother (i.e. not only his brother by blood, but
any other person), he is a liar. " How can you love God, Whom
you do not see, and not love your brother, whom you can see?
Thus, love is an active, and absolutely concrete and specific
love. We must have love for all who are near to us, those whom we
encounter, those who have dealings with us; we cannot have love for
something remote and incomprehensible e.g. we cannot say "I love
God, the human race, people, but I hate this particular
person." That is not love.
The same applies to joy. Joy is not merely the rejoicing and
gladness in a person's soul, exultation for the sake of exultation,
rejoicing for the sake of rejoicing, rejoicing for its own sake.
No. Joy and gladness, jubilation, is the expression of our joy
over and on account of Christ's Resurrection. However, it is an
expression that is outwardly displayed, for when someone is glad and
rejoices, he is incapable of containing that joy. If you really rejoice
over something, just try to suppress it, to keep it within and not show
it. That is impossible. It is easier to suppress our enmity and
keep it to ourselves. Joy is revealed and displayed, jubilation
pours out of us, and is directed at something. Joy cannot be a
selfish or jealous, egotistical joy. To say "I rejoice that I feel
good, I rejoice because Christ is Risen and I will be resurrected and
be saved,"is not true rejoicing. Rather, I rejoice because all of
us, all of you, all of my relatives and friends, all of my neighbors,
all of my enemies, all who do not love me, all will benefit.
Christ suffered and died for everyone, Christ was Risen for everyone,
and the joy I experience in His Resurrection is not something to do
with me alone, to my personal salvation, to my benefit and
success, but is pertinent to the joy, salvation, and happiness of all
people, even those whom I perhaps do not like. Thus, Paschal joy, joy
over the Resurrection of Christ, Christian joy, is always an active
joy, a communal joy, and is always joy not for oneself but for
all of us.
MORE: Five Rules of Paschal Joy
of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 12- "On lying"
7. He who has obtained the fear of the Lord has
forsaken lying, having within himself an incorruptible judge- his own conscience.
May 3, 2017
(1Pe 3:15-16) But
sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy
every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you. But
with modesty and fear, having a good conscience: that whereas they
speak evil of you, they may be ashamed who falsely accuse your good
conversation in Christ.
CATHOLIC TESTIMONY EXCERPTS
ACN: Priest was ISIS captive: 'I am journeying towards freedom'
On Aug. 4 2015, ISIS took control of Karyatayn and then the next
morning, at dawn, took a group of Christians hostage, some 250 people,
brought from a region close to Palmyra. Obviously, we didn’t know
anything about what was going on, since we had been cut off from the
world. On Aug. 11 a Saudi sheik came into our cell. He spoke to me,
saying, “You are Baba Jacques? Come with me! They’ve been battering our
ears talking about you!”
We drove through the desert for about four hours. When we arrived in a
compound enclosed by a huge iron gate, the Christians of Karyatayn were
around me, astonished to see me. It was a moment of unspeakable
suffering for me, and for them an extraordinary moment of joy and pain.
Of joy because they never expected to see me survive, and of pain
because of the conditions in which we had met again.
20 days later, on Sept. 1, they brought us back to Karyatayn, free
again, but forbidden to leave the town. To put it another way, it was a
return to life, but not yet to liberty. But already a return to
life—what a miracle! I could not help but marvel at it!
We were even allowed to celebrate our religious rites, on condition we
did not advertise the fact. A few days later, when one of my
parishioners died of cancer, we went to the cemetery, close to the
monastery of Mar Elian. It was only then that I discovered it had been
destroyed. Strangely, I felt no reaction. On Sept. 9, the feast of Mar
Elian (Saint Julian of Edessa), I realized that Mar Elian had
sacrificed his monastery and his tomb in order to save us.
CNA: Jim Caviezel takes on wide slate of topics in fascinating new interview
Q: You were 33 years old, your initials were J.C. and you played Jesus.
A: Don’t you tell me
it was a coincidence! There are no coincidences. I keep hearing about
“accidents” and “strokes of luck.” Secularization affects the entire
world, including the USA. Only atheists believe in coincidence. There
are no coincidences for God. Even when God resurrects the dead, they
will say it happened by accident.
Q: When one doesn’t believe in God, one believes in anything. G.K. Chesterton claimed that.
A: At the same time,
one doesn’t have the right to do what they like and decide about
everything. Live without morality? Without goodness? Where is love in
all of this?
Q: Maybe that is the reason why they killed God, like Nietzsche. When there is no God, they can do what they want.
A: We can see that in America every day.
Q: It’s even more
visible in Europe. The founding fathers of America could not imagine it
without God. The French Revolution started with killing the priests and
spitting on Jesus. But let’s go back to Hollywood and your work. Mel
Gibson warned you, when you took the role in his film, “You will not
work here (in Hollywood) anymore.” To what extent was he right?
A: All of the sudden
I stopped being one of five most popular actors in the studio, and I
hadn’t done anything wrong. I just played Jesus. Was I personally
affected by this rejection? Well, everyone has their cross to bear. The
world changes…but I will not be in this world forever. Neither will the
producers from Hollywood. At some point, everyone will have to answer
for what they have done.
WASHINGTONIAN: Antonin Scalia’s Catholic Priest Son Doesn’t Like Being Called a Conservative
Q: The Diocese of Arlington has a reputation of being rather conservative. Was that true as long as you can remember?
A: I don’t like
the term conservative. That’s a political category. I guess you could
say traditional, but then every Catholic is traditional, or ought to
be, because we have to be rooted in the tradition of the Church. So I
don’t like those categories, because it sounds like tradition is an
option. It feeds into stereotypes. The fact of the matter is that if
you’re adhering to the Church’s teachings, there’s always going to be
someone who thinks you are too traditional or not traditional enough.
Q: This has been a discussion since the ’80s—how much to bring religion into the public square.
A: This has been
a discussion since the Pharisees, since Our Lord said, “Give to Caesar
what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s.” Saint Ambrose
addressed this with the emperor; Thomas More addressed this with Henry
VIII. What are the lines, and what are the limits? The role of
the Church is to inform the conscience, not to draft legislation. But
we have a right to live out our faith publicly. It can’t be confined to
the Church or school—thus far, no further. That doesn’t comport with
our human freedom.
Q: Whether or
not you feel the need, do you think eyes are upon you? Do you think
there’s an expectation that you’ll speak out on the topics that Father
Neuhaus did? Even your father started to talk more openly toward the
end of his life about faith and the country.
A: I don’t feel
that. My purpose is for the care of souls. My concern is for the care
of souls as a priest. That may step into the national conversation, but
that’s only in pursuit of the care of souls. That’s not an end in
itself. There are plenty of people who do that, and it’s fine, but as a
priest my concern is not to be a cultural commentator or an observer of
the national scene.
CATHOLIC CULTURE: Personal testimonies: Effective ways to deepen faith
POST YOUR CATHOLIC TESTIMONY TODAY!: CATHOLIC TESTIMONIES: BRINGING THE WORLD TO JESUS
of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 12- "On lying"
4. I have seen some who, priding themselves on
their skill in lying, and exciting laughter by their jests and twaddle,
have pitiably destroyed in their hearers the habit of mourning.
May 1, 2017
(Joh 13:34-35) A
new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have
loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know
that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.
POPE FRANCIS: "God
is pleased only by a faith that is proclaimed by our lives, for the
only fanaticism believers can have is that of charity. Any other
fanaticism does not come from God and is not pleasing to him."
HEADLINE: Pope leads open-air Mass in Egypt, urges tolerance
EGYPTIAN STREETS: Violence Cannot be Committed in Name of God: Pope Francis
Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, delivered a speech on
Friday at Al-Azhar International Peace Conference saying that violence
cannot be committed in the name of god.
He added that all acts of violence that oppose peace only fuel
radicalism and lead to violence. The pope said, “The future principally
relies on the dialogue between all religions”.
He further continued that peace can only be achieved when the role of
religions is acknowledged and people start to differentiate between
religions and politics.
The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb welcomed Pope Francis to
Egypt and started his speech by paying tribute to all the victims of
terrorism all around the world, regardless their religions and
Al-Tayeb said the absence of religion is the reason behind the
deterioration of human rights and dignity of people in a world that
is full of human rights and security councils.
“People have ignored religions. However, the principles of religions
that call for respect, dignity, peace and love are constants,” Al-Tayeb
The Grand Imam went on to say that Islam cannot be judged because a
small group of people who believe in the religion is committing acts of
“We can’t say Christianity is a bad religion based on wars that erupted
in the name of the holy cross. We can’t say Judaism is a bad religion
because some of its followers chose to invade and kill. The same goes
to European and American civilizations that witnessed world wars and
the nuclear bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These acts are not an
indicator of how great these civilizations are,” Al-Tayeb concluded.
Pope in Egypt: Catholics and Copts recognise shared baptism
Egyptians filled with hope by Pope Francis' message of peace
Pope Francis sends video message ahead of Egypt visit
of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 12- "On lying"
3. Let no one who thinks rightly suppose that the
sin of lying is a small matter, for the All Holy Spirit pronounced the
most awful sentence of all against it, above all sins. If Thou wilt destroy
all that speak a lie, as David says to God (Psalm 5:4), what will they
suffer who stitch an oath on to a lie?
Dr. Zambrano Home
2000: Bringing the World to Jesus
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