Keep your eyes open!...






 

May 27, 2016  

(Psa 127:3-5) Behold the inheritance of the Lord are children: the reward, the fruit of the womb. As arrows in the hand of the mighty, so the children of them that have been shaken. Blessed is the man that hath filled the desire with them; he shall not be confounded when he shall speak to his enemies in the gate.

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Priests for Life

ANALYSIS: Behind the Scenes in Abortion Clinics

FROM THE MAILBAG

VIA
Anne Lastman: ABORTION & SUICIDE In My View by Bec Clark (not her real name)

I am a recovering post abortive mother. Not a professional, but a living example. I have had four (4) abortions in my time and have experienced subsequent severe mental health issues. I have been in locked ward facilities in psychiatric hospitals under the mental health Act. I have been labelled as being psychotic, manic, depressed, anxious, and delusional and many many more things.

Before my first abortion at age 18 and half I had suffered depression, but mildly. Within hours of waking up in that abortion clinic, anxiety had set in to the max. Within weeks I was so clinically depressed I wasn’t talking, eating, or sleeping hardly at all. Within six months I had attempted suicide three times in the space of three weeks and was hospitalised. I was put on one of the strongest anti?psychotic medications ever made and underwent 7 treatments of ECT Electro Convulsive Therapy treatments. That friends, was only the very beginning of a very long journey.

It occurred to me many years later that I had crossed that line with my first abortion.. Once you are on the other side of that line it is so easy to be swayed into further abortions. “I am a murderer anyway” “killed one, why not this one” “I’m going to hell anyway”

Progressing from there, I feel, in retrospect that killing myself was the ultimate solution to my constant pain. “I KILLED MY BABY THEREFORE I CHOOSE TO KILL MYSELF” “I will do God’s work for Him” “An eye for an eye.”

But, attempting suicide puts you over yet another line you can’t return from. Once you have faced death so intimately your mind never lets you forget.
Something trivial may happen and your immediate thought is “may as well kill myself.” So intricately linked are abortion, mental illness and suicide in my life that I was coerced into my second abortion as I tried killing myself while I was pregnant but didn’t know it. I had overdosed on pills and was told that the baby would be deformed. They also played the mental health card “IT will be taken away OFF you at birth”

So intimately linked in me are pregnancy and mental health that with each subsequent pregnancies (I have had five in total) I have become psychotic almost immediately. Twice I have been hospitalised for psychosis, only to find out that I was pregnant. With my youngest daughter I knew I was psychotic so I took a home pregnancy test and my gut instinct was correct.

I have attempted suicide over 10 times and I believe without the abortions in my story there would have been no attempts. Abortion is death. Suicide is death. Perhaps if we stop allowing abortion the suicide rate would also go down.

Submitting to the death of my own flesh and blood sets me up for suicidal ideation and attempts. It set me up because I had already been complicit in a death. I considered myself a murderer. My life had no meaning or value (“I have killed my baby”) A violent act has taken place against my body?why not another one (suicide). Once done that will alleviate all my heartache and constant misery.

I was so traumatised by my abortions that I, in total, tried killing myself 10 plus times. But it’s not just the attempts. It’s the suicidal thoughts, ideas, thinking. The amount of times I have planned to kill myself, written the suicides notes, agonised over the details and then presented at psych wards to be admitted.

I have dreamt of suicide. I have longed for suicide attempts to work. I have woken up in intensive care angry as hell that I had been saved. Then comes the shame. Which is all pervasive.
“I am a piece of sh…t I can’t even kill myself!” “I’m even useless at this. I can’t even accomplish this...”

Having crossed that initial line (my first abortion) having suffered severe pain and grief that I crossed yet another line, (first suicide attempt) I concluded that in my experience that my first experience of death lead to my next experience of death.

Abortion is strongly tied to my suicide ideation and attempts and sadly at times maybe even completed suicides. Looking back with a clearer perspective and having had much work with counselling and healing, I know that I was “longing for the release of death, yet yearning for the bounty of life”

Dear friends I have not edited or changed any of Bec’s words- I have left her story as she gave it to me. I know it will be difficult to read but whenever I speak publicly the issue of abortion for mental health issues is always raised and I must admit people are not convinced when I try and explain that this is one of the highest risk factors. The one time when abortion should not be entertained or considered. This will exacerbate the mental health condition.

Mental health conditions are a deep crisis of meaning and adding a death of one’s own child and asking someone with such a deep crisis to process such an event is asking too much of an already taxed spiritual and psychological being. Those imposing such a procedure believe that they are doing the best thing for the client in front of them but they haven’t taken into account the very deep bond of a mother and her child written into her being, into her DNA, into her femininity, into her essence. Something that even her mental health condition cannot annul.

Bec is coming along really well but there is much work to be done but with her desire to be well I have great hope that the day will come when all will be well for her. Rebecca now mostly looks forward rather than backward this is important. This is the important step.

SEE ALSO: Project Rachel Ministry

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

30. Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who guards you will honour your patience. While a wound is still fresh and warm, it is easy to heal; but old, neglected and festering ones are hard to cure, and require for their care much treatment, cutting, plastering and cauterization. Many from long neglect become incurable, but with God all things are possible.


May 25, 2016
 

(2Ti 4:3-4) For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.

CATHOLIC HERALD: Christian Culture is Collapsing, Warns Dr. Ralph Martin


MARK MALLET BLOG: The Death of Logic Part 1 and Part 2

EXCERPT CRUX: Cardinal Burke warns of ‘betrayal of truth,’ even by bishops

Quoting a late Jesuit catechetical writer, American Cardinal Raymond Burke said that Catholicism is facing “the worst crisis in its entire history,” due in part to a “betrayal of truth by those who claim to follow Christ and to be members of the Church,” and has warned faithful Catholics to prepare for “martyrdom.”

Burke, 67, a former head of the Vatican’s supreme court and the current patron of the Order of Malta, centered his remarks around the work of the late Father John Hardon, a Jesuit known for his works on catechesis and evangelization.

Burke approvingly quoted from Hardon’s last book, for which the cardinal contributed the preface:

“Catholicism is in the throes of the worst crisis in its entire history,” Hardon wrote. “Unless true and loyal Catholics have the zeal and the spirit of the early Christians, unless they are willing to do what they did and to pay the price that they paid, the days of America are numbered.”

Burke added that the same is true of any nation “subject to the virulent secularization of society, a secularization which has also entered into the Church.”

Burke listed a series of indices of what he said Hardon recognized as growing secularization within the Church.
He warned, however, that doing so will engender opposition, which, once again following Hardon, he described in terms of three forms of martyrdom: blood, persecution and witness.

“The follower of the truth written by God on every human heart will suffer persecution at the hands of those who prefer the immediate convenience and pleasure of lies, even the grossest of lies,” Burke said.

“The suffering is greatly increased by the betrayal of the truth by those who claim to follow Christ and to be members of his Church, even bishops, priests and consecrated religious,” the cardinal added.

OPINION: Notre Shame

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

29 (cont.). Previous habit often tyrannizes even over him that mourns. And no wonder! The account of the judgments of God and our falls is shrouded in darkness, and it is impossible to know which are the falls that come from carelessness, and which from providential abandonment, and which from God's turning away from us. But someone told me that, in the case of falls which come to us by Divine providence, we acquire a swift revulsion from them, because He who delivers us does not allow us to be held for long. And let us who fall wrestle above all with the demon of grief. For he stands by us at the time of our prayer, and by reminding us of our former boldness before God, he tries to devastate our prayer.


May 23, 2016
 

(2Ti 3:1) But understand this: there will be terrifying times in the last days.

NEWS: EgyptAir 804 plane crash fire "may have been sparked by a terrorist device" and spread throughout plane

REVIEW: EgyptAir Crash Brings Disaster Fatigue to Troubled Country


FASCINATING
: Islamic Terrorism Was Born on This Mountain 1,000 Years Ago

STRATFOR ANALYSIS: The Meaning of Jihadist Silence on the EgyptAir Crash

As the investigation into the crash of EgyptAir Flight 804 continues and searchers begin to find evidence, the jihadist world has been strangely silent. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft early May 19 and we are now nearly outside the timeframe in which jihadist groups have ordinarily taken credit for attacks. The one obvious explanation for this is that a catastrophic mechanical or electrical failure brought down the aircraft rather than a bomb, but given all of the indications that point to an attack, it is worth exploring the lack of a claim of responsibility and what that means for attributing the cause of the crash.

The primary jihadist actors with the capability and willingness to bring down Flight 804, the Islamic State and al Qaeda, both have sophisticated public relations and media outlets that they can use to quickly claim responsibility for attacks. Looking back to the last air disaster, Russian MetroJet Flight 9268, which went down over the Sinai Peninsula in 2015, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for that attack the same day. Islamic State also claimed other recent attacks in Brussels, Jakarta and Paris within a day. Similarly, al Qaeda affiliates behind the series of attacks against West African hotels claimed those the same or the following day. The San Bernardino attackers attributed their actions to Islamic State just before carrying them out, but it took the group's central media arm three days to praise the attack — likely because it was conducted by a grassroots jihadist acting in their name.

Judging by the pattern of previous claims, if the Islamic State, al Qaeda or a regional affiliate were behind this attack, we would have expected to see a claim of responsibility by now. The lack of a claim, however, does not rule out terrorism in the EgyptAir incident. The Islamic State and al Qaeda are most powerful when it comes to their ideology and their propaganda is more useful at inspiring grassroots jihadists to conduct their own attacks than in providing quality instruction on how to carry out an attack. If this were a grassroots attack, carried out independently by a cell in France, Tunisia or Eritrea (all locations where the aircraft had been over the 24-hour period before it crashed), then jihadist leaders and their media wings would be scrambling along with the rest of us to figure out what happened. As in the San Bernardino attack, it might take a few days for the jihadist propaganda arms to formulate a response.

The more sinister but less likely explanation is that a terrorist group has figured out a novel way to attack aircraft and is concealing its involvement in order to replicate the attack elsewhere. We saw this kind of covert activity in the 1995 Bojinka plot. The bombing of Philippines Airlines Flight 434 in December 1994 was not claimed because the planners hoped to use an improved version of the same device in a larger attack targeting 10 trans-Pacific airliners.

While authorities were quick to respond to the 2001 shoe bomb and the 2009 underwear bombs, if those devices had functioned as designed and destroyed the aircraft (especially over water), it may have taken months or years for investigators to determine the cause. This would have given the bombers a large window to replicate it. In a worst-case scenario, we may have a competent bombmaker on the loose with knowledge of how to get a bomb onto a plane, and the authorities have no idea what method he is using.

The fact that Egypt Air Flight 804 went down over water makes the investigation much more difficult than past investigations over land — some of which took years to solve, like Pan Am Flight 103. It has been over two years since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared and investigators have only recently even recovered portions of the aircraft — much less determined the cause. Air France Flight 447 similarly crashed over the Atlantic in 2009. It took over three years to determine that technical problems caused that crash, plenty of time for terrorist to replicate tactics had it been an attack. Flight 804's crash site is much closer to land and not subject to the same currents that have wreaked havoc on the MH370 investigation. Still, the crash occurred in waters that can be up to a mile deep, making recovery of debris or the black box on the seafloor very complicated.

Judging by recent air disasters that have occurred over water, we will not likely have conclusive forensic results on what downed Flight 804 for months or years to come — if ever — leaving the all-important "how" question unanswered. Land-based investigations into ground crew, cabin crew, passengers and satellite reconnaissance are more likely to yield results before evidence from the crash site, but will not necessarily provide the full story of what happened. Complicating the already herculean task is the cooperation required between Egypt, Greece, France and any other countries that get involved in the investigation. International turf battles can cause delays over who is in charge, including the thorough and timely processing of evidence. The absence of claims of responsibility might alleviate fears of a terrorist attack, but in a worst-case scenario, it could also be a sign of more attacks to come.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

29. The sorrowful humility of the mourning is one thing; the condemnation of the conscience of those who are still living in sin is another; and the blessed wealth of humility, which the perfect attain by the action of God, is yet another. Let us not be in a hurry to find words to describe this third kind of humility, for our effort will be in vain. But a sign of the second is the perfect bearing of indignity.


May 19, 2016
 

(1Jn 4:1-3) Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. By this is the spirit of God known. Every spirit which confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that dissolveth Jesus is not of God. And this is Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he cometh: and he is now already in the world.

FROM THE ARCHIVES:
Has Russia Been Consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? by Rev. J.L. Iannuzzi, STD, Ph.D. (original PDF version link)

MORE VIA FR. IANNUZZI: On the 1984 Russia Consecration, who is right Sr. Lucia or Fr. Gobbi?

I was asked to reply to the following question:

If the consecration of Russia was accomplished, why did Fr. Gobbi say it was not ? Here are some passages from his locutions.

287. I ask for consecration from everyone March 25, 1984 — The Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lady
Yes, I myself made my will known at Fatima, when I appeared in 1917. I asked it many times of my daughter Lucia, who is on earth to fulfil this mission which I entrusted to her. In these years I have insistently asked for it, through the message entrusted to my Movement of Priests. Today I ask it anew, I ask once more for consecration to my Immaculate Heart by all men. I ask it, first of all, of Pope John Paul II, the first of my beloved sons, who is carrying it out in a solemn way on the occasion of this feast, after writing to the Bishops of the world to do this in union with him. Sadly, the invitation has not been welcomed by all the Bishops. Particular circumstances have not yet allowed the express consecration to me of Russia, which I have asked for many times. As I have already told you, this consecration will be made to me, when the bloody events are already in train.

298. My Urgent Invitation November 14, 1984 — Seagrass (Yugoslavia)
If the human race does not welcome My motherly invitation to come back to the Lord, it will be inevitably lost. For this reason I repeat to you again, with this My heartfelt message: “Walk along the road of your return to the Lord. Be converted because, still for a little while, this is the favourable time of conversion. Be converted and return to your God.
From here, through you, I bless all My children who live in these Nations, so loved and protected by Me because they have to bear great trials and sufferings: those of Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Poland, Russia and the whole world, which I wish to enclose as soon as possible within the sure refuge of my Immaculate Heart. (...)”

351. What an abyss you have fallen into! May 13, 1987 — Milan
My request that Russia be consecrated to me by the Pope, together with all the bishops has not been accepted and thus she has spread her errors in every part of the world.

356. This Marian Year June 10, 1987 — Ottawa (Canada)
This request of mine finds its practical fulfilment in My Marian Movement of Priests, which I myself am making and spreading to every part of the World, in order to call everyone to the consecration desired and requested by Me. It is My motherly and earnest desire that, during the Marian Year, the work of my Priestly Movement be officially accepted with joy and gratitude by the Church. Then it has a particular importance for the unfolding of the great events which were foretold to you by Me if during this year, My request, made to My daughter Sister Lucia of Fatima, for Russia to be consecrated to Me by the Pope with all the Bishops of the world, is satisfied at last. During this year, I am calling on all My children for a general intercession for My motherly help in My numerous sanctuaries scattered in every part of the earth. Let this be accompanied also by personal and community works of penance and reparation for the grave individual and social sins which are increasingly being committed. Then I promise that, in this Marian Year, I myself will intervene to fulfil part of what I have foretold and which, for the moment, is still kept in secret and in silence.

425. I am Coming Down from Heaven Fatima (Portugal), May 13, 1990
Russia has not been consecrated to me by the Pope together with all the bishops and thus has not received the grace of conversion, and has spread her errors throughout all parts of the world, provoking wars, violence, bloody revolutions and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.

In response, consider the following locution (received on several occasions and in varied ways) of Fr. Gobbi (Message 532): "I [Mary] confirm to you that, by the great jubilee of the year two thousand, there will take place the triumph of my Immaculate Heart, of which I foretold you at Fatima, and this will come to pass with the return of Jesus in glory, to establish his Reign in the world. Thus you will at last be able to see with your own eyes the new heavens and the new earth" (To The Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons, U.S. National Headquarters of the MMP [1995], 893).

This prophecy did not occur. Does that make Fr. Gobbi a fake? By no means. Having devoted much of my life to the writings of the mystics, one sobering truth that emerges is that nearly all mystics make mistakes in their writings (many formal - grammar - and few substantial - doctrine). This includes Catherine of Siena, Luisa Piccarreta, Fr. Gobbi, etc. The question is why? I wrote an article in answer to this question some time ago (see attachment #1).

Point is, I believe Fr. Gobbi was mistaken about the consecration of Russia not being accomplished because, a) The primary source personally entrusted by Mary with the task of having the Pope consecrate Russia was not Fr. Gobbi, but Sr. Lucia who, with her own hand and free of any constraints, affirmed that the consecration was indeed done and she affirmed this more than once (see attachment #2). Second, unlike Sr. Lucia, Fr. Gobbi did had enjoy any supernatural visions or apparitions, but locutions (in which no supernatural entity is present) and which, he affirmed, must be discerned with time. The determination of whether a locution is from a supernatural source of from one's own personal meditation is a very delicate matter and the subject of the locution may sometimes confuse the two. For more info. on how God reveals himself through visions, locutions, etc. I refer you to Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's article on the 3rd secret of Fatima (cf. https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/media/articles/third-secret-fatima-joseph-cardinal-ratzinger/).

In sum, I believe it is correct to affirm that the "fruits" of the March 25, 1984 consecration of Russia, which Sr. Lucia affirms was "made" and "accomplished" as requested by Mary whom she personally saw, touched and heard, were not manifest until years later (see attachment #2). It is in this sense that I understand Fr. Gobbi's affirmations of the consecration not being done. I believe he was an authentic locutionist, but, as noted above, not all of his locutions were properly expressed by him and this for reason noted in the attached article #1.

ADDENDUM TO YESTERDAY'S POSTING: In the last two emails sent out re. the articles whose authors I do not know and that I was asked to comment on, I wish to add, out of respect for their passion for defending the truth, that I respect their passion and integrity. Sometimes when sending out an email in haste, as is evident from the typo's it contained, this truth I her express is not always conveyed. My sincere apologies to whomever the authors are whom again I respect. All who seek the truth will find it, despite the different paths we take.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

28. It is impossible for us who have fallen into the pit of iniquities ever to be drawn out of it, unless we sink into the abyss of the humility of the repentant.


May 18, 2016
 

(Joh 20:21-23) He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

REV. JOSEPH LEO IANNUZZIThe Power of the Sacrament of Confession

BLOG: Cardinal Ratzinger: We Have Not Published the Whole Third Secret of Fatima

FR. IANNUZZI COMMENTS:  Since the release of the 3rd Secret of Fatima by Cardinal A. Sodano, the market is filled with a plethora of claimants contending not all was revealed. Unfortunately, no documentation has forth come to authenticate this claim. One must bear in mind the words of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who affirmed that the third secret was “published in its entirety” (see footnote to link).[1] If there is to exist the “possibility” of the 3rd secret not being fully disclosed, one would therefore have to argue that either the Pope flat out lied – a baseless claim – or that the text containing the third secret was modified before it reached the Pontiff’s hands.

While I am not against the possibility of the latter, let us call it as such, a “possibility”, and not try to deceive the readers with undocumented claims. Those who know and have asked my opinion on the matter have always received from me the same response, i.e., Jesus said, “I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!” (Lk. 19:40). Therefore, inasmuch as I consider the contents of the Akita messages and of the Medjugorje secrets a reiteration and much broader and detailed articulation of 3rd secret of Fatima, it is my opinion (not a fact, as no documents are yet forth coming) that it is “possible” that not all the details contained in the 3rd secret of Fatima were fully disclosed.

In response to the assertion that Pope Benedict XVI contradicted himself when he affirmed on the one hand, “We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete”, while affirming on the other hand in June 2000, “… the events to which the third part of the ‘secret’ of Fatima refers now seem part of the past”, no contradiction exists. Put simply, the former statement indicates that the “prophetic mission of Fatima” is not “complete” until Mary’s predictions come to pass, e.g., the “annihilation of many nations, the “era of peace”, etc. This nowise contradicts the latter statement where he affirms that “… the events to which the third part of the ‘secret’ of Fatima refers now seem part of the past”, as the former – “Fatima’s prophetic mission” - is distinct from and encompasses much more than the latter – only “the third part of the secret of Fatima”.

[1] https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/media/articles/third-secret-fatima-joseph-cardinal-ratzinger/

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

27. I am fully aware, my good friends, that the struggles I have described will seem to some incredible, to others hard to believe, and will seem to some to breed despair. But to the courageous soul they will serve as a spur, and a shaft of fire; and he will go away carrying zeal in his heart. He who is not up to this will realize his infirmity, and having easily obtained humility by self-reproach, he will run after the former; and I do not know whether or not even overtake him. But the careless man should leave my stories alone, lest he despair and squander even the little he has accomplished, and thus correspond to the man of whom it was said: 'But from him that hath no desire or eagerness, even what he hath will be taken away from him.


May 15, 2016
 

(Act 2:38-39) But Peter said to them: Do penance: and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins. And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.

FR. BROOM'S BLOG: SWEET GUEST OF THE SOUL: THE HOLY SPIRIT

EXCERPT MSGR. POPE: The Spirit of the Lord Filled the Earth – A Homily for Pentecost

What a wondrous and challenging feast we celebrate at Pentecost! A feast like this challenges us because it puts to the lie a lazy, sleepy, hidden, and tepid Christian life. The Lord Jesus said to Apostles, and still says to us, I have come to cast a fire on the earth (Luke 12:49). This is a feast about fire, a transformative, refining, purifying fire that the Lord wants to kindle in us and in this world. It is about a necessary fire. For as the Lord first judged the world by fire, the present heavens and the earth are reserved for fire. Because it is going to be the fire next time, we need the tongues of Pentecost fire to fall on us to set us on fire and bring us up to the temperature of glory.

YOUTUBE: Pentecost - Dum complerentur dies Pentecostes

MARK MALLET BLOG: The Gift of Tongues Part 1 and Part 2

EXCERPT
: THE PENTECOST STORY

Pope Francis taught about what happened on Pentecost:

"But what happened on that day, so distant from us and yet so close as to touch the very depths of our hearts? Luke gives us the answer in the passage of the Acts of the Apostles which we have heard (2:1-11). The evangelist brings us back to Jerusalem, to the Upper Room where the apostles were gathered. The first element which draws our attention is the sound which suddenly came from heaven like the rush of a violent wind, and filled the house; then the tongues as of fire which divided and came to rest on each of the apostles. Sound and tongues of fire: these are clear, concrete signs which touch the apostles not only from without but also within: deep in their minds and hearts. As a result, all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, who unleashed his irresistible power with amazing consequences: they all began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. A completely unexpected scene opens up before our eyes: a great crowd gathers, astonished because each one heard the apostles speaking in his own language." - Pope Francis, homily at Pentecost Mass, May 19, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI taught about what happened on Pentecost:

"The Church throughout the world relives to today the Solemnity of Pentecost, the mystery of her own birth, of her own "baptism" in the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:5), which took place in Jerusalem, 50 days after Easter, precisely on the Jewish feast of Pentecost. The risen Jesus told his disciples: "Remain in the city until you are given power from on high" (Luke 24:49). This happened in a perceptible way in the Cenacle, while they were gathered together with Mary, the Virgin Mother, in prayer. As we read in the Acts of the Apostles, suddenly that place was invaded by a strong driving wind, and tongues like fire came to rest on the heads of all those present. The Apostles went out then and began to proclaim in different languages that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, dead and risen (cf. Acts 2:1-4). The Holy Spirit, who with the Father and the Son created the universe, guided the history of the people of Israel and spoke through the prophets, who in the fullness of time cooperated in our redemption, who at Pentecost descended upon the nascent Church and made it missionary, sending it to proclaim to all peoples the victory of divine love over sin and death." - Pope Benedict XVI, May 31, 2009

Mary's Role on Pentecost

The Bible singles out the Virgin Mary as having a special role on Pentecost because it specifically names her and the Apostles, the leaders of the Church, in Acts 1:13-14 as being united in prayer for the Holy Spirit.

Pope Benedixt XVI taught us to be like the early Church, open to receive the benefit of her prayers which she lifts up to God in Heaven. He taught the significance of this on Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2007 in Rome, saying, "Dear brothers and sisters, the first Pentecost took place when Mary Most Holy was present amid the disciples in the Upper Room in Jerusalem and prayed. Today, too, let us entrust ourselves to her maternal intercession, so that the Holy Spirit may descend in abundance upon the Church in our day, fill the hearts of all the faithful and enkindle in them the fire of his love."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

9. Others were continually beating their breasts, and recalling their past life and state of soul. Some of them watered the ground with their tears; others, incapable of tears, struck themselves. Some loudly lamented over their souls as over the dead, not having the strength to bear the anguish of their heart. Others groaned in their heart, but stifled all sound of their lamentations. But sometimes they could control themselves no longer, and would suddenly cry out.


May 13, 2016  

(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.

SHRINE OF FATIMA: Celebration in the Chapel of the Apparitions Live Streaming Feed

VATICAN RADIO
: Saint John Paul II and Our Lady of Fatima

EXCERPT
The Church Under Attack by  Diane Moczar:  FATIMA

What follows concerning this most important event, the greatest apparition of our Lady in modern times and, according to Sister Lucia, the last, is a very brief summary, because the whole story of these visits of our Lady, her messages, and the lives of the three children who saw her would require volumes. The best account, in fact, is the multivolume work The Whole Truth about Fatima, by Brother Michel de la Sainte Trinité and Brother François des Anges. Here we are going to look at some key themes of the messages and, in particular, their intimate connection with historical events — unprecedented in the history of Marian apparitions. According to some theologians, in fact, the phenomena of Fatima do not strictly belong to the category of “private revelation” because of the nature of the messages and the spectacular and public miracle by which they were validated.

Our Lady’s Response to the War and the Revolution

As events in twentieth-century Europe, and indeed the world, spiraled out of control over the edge of an abyss of suffering, the Blessed Virgin Mary entered the fray in the most spectacular series of heavenly visitations in history. As Sister Lucia would tell Father Augustine Fuentes in a conversation in 1957: “In the plans of Divine Providence, God always, before he is about to chastise the world, exhausts all the other remedies. Now, when he sees that the world has not heeded any of them, then, as we say in our imperfect manner of speaking, he offers us with a certain trepidation, the last means of salvation, his most holy Mother.”

The terrible chastisements we have briefly considered were thus accompanied by extraordinary visits of our Lady to a small Portuguese town with a message for the world and for the popes. In 1916, prior to the appearance of our Lady herself, an angel calling himself the Angel of Peace and the Angel of Portugal — identified with St. Michael — came several times to three young Portuguese shepherd children: Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco. He taught the children prayers of reparation and urged them to make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners, with particular emphasis on the “outrages, sacrileges, and indifferences” by which our Lord is offended. He referred to the Holy Eucharist as “horribly outraged by ungrateful men.” Then on May 13, 1917, Mary herself appeared to the children for the first time, promising to return on the thirteenth day of the next five months.


The Messages and the Miracle


The child-seers of Fatima knew that a war had begun in 1914, although they were unaware of developments in Russia and probably did not even know where and what it was. Their lives now centered on their monthly rendezvous with the Blessed Mother. In the first apparition, on May 13, 1917, she taught them a prayer and asked them to say the Rosary and sacrifice for sinners and to pray for the end of the war. In June, during her second visit, she announced that God wanted to establish on earth the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The third apparition, in July, included the famous vision of hell and the mysterious “Third Secret” that the children were not to reveal until much later. It also included a promise that the war was going to end, but that if men did not stop offending God,
 
another and worse war will break out in the reign of Pius XI. When you see the night illumined by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign that God gives you that He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, hunger, persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father. To forestall this, I shall come to ask the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the first Saturdays. If they heed my request, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she shall spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecutions of the Church; the good will be martyred and the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated; in the end, my Immaculate Heart shall triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, which will be converted, and some time of peace will be given to the world.


Our Lady further promised that in October she would tell the children her name and what she wanted and would perform a miracle that all would see. In the following two months, our Lady repeated some of her earlier instructions, continued to urge prayer and penance, and mentioned again what she would do on October 13. When that day came, she referred to herself specifically as the Lady of the Rosary and promised that the war would end and the soldiers would soon be home. She also spoke again of how much our Lord was offended by sin and the need for people to reform their lives and recite the Rosary daily.

On October 13, 1917, the children alone saw our Lady. In addition, however, they saw a marvelous series of tableaux in which St. Joseph also appeared. Suddenly, in full view of between fifty thousand and seventy thousand witnesses, who had come from Portugal as well as all of Europe, the famous Miracle of the Sun took place. The sun seemed to spin in the sky, emitting colored rays, and then plunged toward the earth, terrifying the spectators, before returning to its normal place and state. We have the report of an agnostic reporter for a Socialist newspaper who had gone prepared to write an account of a fraud and had to admit that he had seen a miracle. With commendable honesty, he described it in detail in his article. The testimony of this skeptical witness, added to the fact that people miles away from the site also witnessed it, rules out mass hallucination. Our Lady had provided spectacular proof of the genuineness of her message.

Aftermath

The people of Fatima did take our Lady’s message to heart, at least for a time, and she kept her promise. Portugal had been neutral at the outbreak of the Great War, but in 1916 she had complied with a British request to seize German ships in Portuguese ports and sell them to Great Britain. This brought a declaration of war against Portugal from Germany and Austria-Hungary, so the small country was now obliged to send its soldiers to fight the Germans on two fronts: in its East African colonies and in France. The first Portuguese casualty in France occurred in April 1917, the month before the Blessed Virgin’s first visit to the children. The war ended the following year.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

8. Others sat on the ground in sackcloth and ashes, hiding their faces between their knees, and they struck the earth with their foreheads.


May 12, 2016  

(Psa 139:13-14) You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know.

CNA: The Miracle of Life

ALL: Abortion Is Always Deadly

CFAM: UN Radicals are Gearing Up for a Huge Push

NCR: Catholics Grapple With a Trump Candidacy

FROM THE MAILBAG

VIA Priests for Life:
Priests for Life is awaiting word from the Supreme Court on its case, Priests for Life vs. HHS, challenging the HHS mandate. Our case illustrates the importance of the 2016 elections.

With the Supreme Court evenly divided along ideological lines, it becomes clear that how Americans vote in November will not only impact the next four years, but the next 40 years as well. The president and the Senate together shape the Supreme Court and the other federal courts. Depending on what party controls each branch of government, the court will move solidly to the right or to the left. The differences between the two parties on fundamental issues could not be more clear, more stark, or more extreme.

I have recorded a series of short videos to explain more about Priests for Life vs. HHS, the Supreme Court case in which Priests for Life is a petitioner along with 36 others. The videos can be found at MandateMinutes.com. Please share them with your contacts in email and on social media.

Please also read and share a list of talking points about the case found at IStandwithPFL.com.

Voters who find themselves dissatisfied with the likely Democratic and Republican candidates have to look beyond the nominees themselves and understand the impact of a party, and its prevailing philosophies, not only on the next four years but on the next 40 years. Among other things, do we want to protect the unborn or do we want to continue to be a nation that sanctions the murder of its most vulnerable citizens?

You can find information on voting in your state at PoliticalResponsibility.com/States. Be sure to vote in your state’s primary election and take advantage of early voting, if your state offers it, in the General Election.

Finally, please pray for the outcome of the election by joining us in saying a Prayer for our Nation as we Prepare to Elect our Leaders from now until Election Day.

Blessings,

Fr. Frank Pavone National Director, Priests for Life

P.S. Priests for Life is pleased to announce that we are distributing, free of charge, prayer cards in honor of Pope St. John Paul II. These cards are Third Class Relics, because they have been touched to the First Class Relic of his blood, which we have in our chapel here at Priests for Life. Order as many as you want at PriestsForLife.org/relic and spread the word.

P.P.S. Please tune in to our TV and Radio shows this week:

The Gospel of Life: Come Holy Spirit: Father Frank Pavone and Janet Morana will discuss the significance of Pentecost, and check in on the Vote for Life campaign. Airs on Radio Maria, Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET. Each show re-airs on Thursdays at 2am and Mondays at 12 midnight. Ask questions on the live show at 866-333-6279 (MARY) or email us ahead of time at [email protected]. Tune in at http://radiomaria.us.

Defending Life: Always a dad: Two men share how the loss from abortion has personally affected them; Fr. Stephen Imbarrato retells how he found healing and went on to become a priest. Airs on EWTN Wednesday, May 11 at 3:00 am and Thursday, May 12 at 11:00 pm. Listen on EWTN Radio and EWTN shortwave on Sunday at 5am and 1pm. Also on EWTN shortwave every Saturday at 6:30pm. On EWTN RadioPlus Sunday at 9am and Saturday at 7:30pm. (All times Eastern) You can also stream EWTN online by going to EWTN.com and clicking on the "television" tab.

The Catholic View for Women: Finding my vocation: Guests Mother Agnes Donovan of the Sisters of Life and inspirational speaker Jackie Francois Angel offer practical advice for women trying to discern between marriage or religious life. Airs on EWTN Wednesday, May 11 at 11:00 pm and Friday, May 13 at 10:30 am . Hear us on EWTN radio on Catholic Connection with Teresa Tomeo. Fr. Frank will be on with Teresa on Tuesday, May 10 at 8:45 am. Call-in to the live show with questions at 877-573-7825. For more information and to listen to the live show on the internet, go to AveMariaRadio.net/hosts/teresa-tomeo.

Father Frank Pavone will talk about his new book, Proclaiming the Message of Life, on Redeemer Radio at 7:15 a.m. May 11. Listen online at RedeemerRadio.com.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

7. Others stood in prayer with their hands tied behind their backs like criminals; their faces, darkened by sorrow, bent to the earth. They regarded themselves as unworthy to look up to Heaven. Overwhelmed by the embarrassment of their thoughts and conscience, they could not find anything to say or pray about to God, how or with what to begin their prayers. But filled with darkness and a blank despair, they offered to God nothing but a speechless soul and a voiceless mind.


May 10, 2016  

(Mat 10:34) Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword.

YOUTUBE: Islam Rising

NEWS: Russian Patriarch Kirill Proclaims 'Holy War'

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has called the fight against terrorism a “holy war” and urged international unity and an abandoning of double standards to defeat this global evil.

“Today, when our warriors take part in combat operations in the Middle East, we know that this is not an aggression, occupation or an attempt to impose some ideology on other people, this has nothing to do with supporting certain governments,” Patriarch Kirill said as he held the Friday mass at the major Moscow memorial to those who fought in World War II. “This is a fight against the fearsome foe that is currently not only spreading evil through the Middle East but also threatening the whole of mankind.”

He added: “Today, we call this evil terrorism.”

The Patriarch also said that terrorists were targeting innocent civilians to intimidate their opponents and to crush any resistance to their doctrines, causing a great number of casualties and human suffering.

“This is why the war on terrorism today is the holy war today. I pray to God that people all over the world understand this and stop dividing terrorists into good and bad ones as well as connecting the war on terror with their own goals, that are often non-declared yet strongly present on the political agenda,” the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church said.

He also told Orthodox believers to pray for the Russian military to remain faithful to the spiritual course that only allows the use of armed forces against evil, for justice and to save human lives.

In February this year, the chief foreign spokesman of the Russian Orthodox Church said in a press interview that global leaders should overcome political dissent and unite in fighting international terrorism as the challenge to mankind at large.

“We expect the message of peace to be heard. That instead of creating various anti-terrorist coalitions, alienated with deep-rooted contradictions and fraught with unpredictable consequences, there would be only one such alliance,” Metropolitan Hilarion said as he commented on the meeting between the Russian Orthodox Patriarch and Pope Francis in Havana, Cuba.

REVIEW: CHRISTIAN FREEDOM AMIDST PERSECUTION

SURVEY: Christian women suffer worse persecution than men

FIDES.ORG: Christian couple burned alive for blasphemy: impunity of perpetrators

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

6. Others lifted up their eyes to Heaven, and with wailings and outcries, implored help from there.


May 6, 2016  

(2Ki 2:19-22) And the men of the city, said to Eliseus . Behold the situation of this city is very good, as thou, my lord, seest: but the waters are very bad, and the ground barren. And he said: Bring me a new vessel, and put salt into it. And when they had brought it, He went out to the spring of the waters, and cast the salt into it, and said: Thus saith the Lord: I have healed these waters, and there shall be no more in them death or barrenness. And the waters were healed unto this day, according to the word of Eliseus, which he spoke.

EWTN: SACRAMENTALS: WHAT ARE THEY?

FROM THE MAILBAG

VIA
Ron Smith: As the world scene is collapsing around us, the enclosed report should be useful to you for spiritual protection for your home. You do not have to be Catholic to have these items blessed by a priest or to use them. If you have any questions please e-mail me. A simple use story: A few years ago someone on my e-mail list was experiencing a wild fire in California approaching their rear property line. She and her sister prayed and sprinkled holy water around the rear lot boundary. The fire stopped at the holy water and burned around their property but not theirs'!

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

Blessings and Uses of Blessed Water, Salt & Oil

The three following blessings are the words used by Holy Church to bless each item. I suggest that you take this sheet when you go to have water, salt or oil blessed for the convenience of the priest. These blessings are footnoted to identify the church sources

Blessing for Holy Water

BLESSING: “Dear Brethren, Let us humbly beseech the Lord our God to + bless this water He has created, which will be sprinkled on us as a memorial of our Baptism. May He help us with His grace to remain faithful to the Spirit we have received.

Brief period of silence-

Almighty ever-living God, who willed that through water, the fountain of life and the source of purification, even souls should be cleansed and receive the gift of eternal life; be pleased we pray to + bless this water, by which we seek protection on this your day, O Lord. Renew the living spring of your grace within us and grant by this water we may be defended from all ills of spirit and body, and so approach you with hearts made clean and worthily receive Your salvation. Through Christ our Lord - Amen.”[1]

Blessing for Salt

BLESSING: “We humbly ask you, almighty God: be pleased in your faithful love to + bless this salt you have created, for it was you who commanded the prophet Elisha to cast salt into water, that impure water may be purified. Grant, O Lord, we pray, that, wherever this mixture of salt and water is sprinkled, every attack of the enemy may be repulsed and your Holy Spirit may be present to keep us safe at all times. Through Christ our Lord - Amen.”[2]

Blessing for Oil for Laity Use

BLESSING: “God of compassion, mercy, and love, in the midst of the pain and suffering of the world your Son came among us to heal our infirmities and soothe our wounds. May all who use this oil be blessed with health of mind and body. Grant this through Christ our Lord - Amen.”[3]

How To Use Holy Water: You can liberally or sparsely sprinkle holy water throughout your home and property while asking God to bless it and protect it. It is a good practice to sprinkle some in each occupied bedroom before retiring each night or day. Many Catholics place holy water in fonts inside their main home entry doors and encourage everyone to bless themselves with it by the sign of the cross. You can bless your gardens and animals with holy water. When staying in motels or hotels it is a good idea to bless the room(s) for protection. I also recommend sprinkling a few drops in your car each time you drive it. I keep a small bottle of holy water within our cars. These are just a few good uses for this sacramental. Remember, it remits venial sin when used piously.

How to use Blessed Salt:
Walk the circumference of your property on your side of the property line and sparsely sprinkle a few grains of blessed salt as you go. Next, walk the foundation of your home and each out-building on your property, including animal homes and cages, sprinkling a few grains of  blessed salt sparsely as you go. Lastly, do the same around your well, city water intake cover and main septic tank(s). As you do this you should ask God to bless and protect your property and the other structures you are placing blessed salt around. If you choose, you can have a family member with you instructing them to sprinkle holy water as you walk. Include your food garden circumference being sprinkled with blessed salt and holy water. If you live in an apartment or condo you can do a similar sprinkling of blessed salt by placing the grains between each exterior wall and the carpet.

How to use Blessed Oil: If you are praying over a person for healing or deliverance, make the sign of the cross with your finger, which you have touched to holy oil, on their forehead as you say your healing prayer(s). In your home make the sign of the cross with holy oil on each door and window frame. I use the upper right corner of each in my home. As you do this ask God to bless and protect your home and not allow any evil spirits to enter it.

Generally speaking, holy oil and blessed salt will last a very long time because of the physical properties from which they are made. I repeat the procedure for salt and oil about once a year.


[1] Book - The Roman Missal, ISBN: 978-0-8146-3375-5, (2010), Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN., P. 1453

[2] Book - The Roman Missal, ISBN: 978-0-8146-3375-5, (2010), Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN., P. 1455

[3] Book -  Book of Blessings, ISBN: 0-8146-289-2, (1992), Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN., P.P. 530-531

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

5. I saw some of those guilty yet guiltless men standing in the open air all night till morning, and never moving their feet; by force of nature pitifully dazed by sleep, yet they allowed themselves no rest, but reproached themselves, and drove away sleep with dishonours and insults.


May 4, 2016  

(1Jn 3:1) Behold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called and should be the sons of God.

POPE FRANCIS: “May the Risen Lord bring to our brothers of the Eastern Churches all the gifts of His light and His peace. Christos anesti!”

VIA RUSSIA: 
Paschal Message of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow And All Russia to the Archpastors, Pastors, Deacons, Monks and Nuns and All the Faithful Children of the Russian Orthodox Church

CHRIST IS RISEN!

With these joyous and life-affirming words I greet you, my beloved, from the depths of my heart and congratulate you all on the great and saving feast of Pascha.

The Church calls this day ‘the feast of feasts and the festival of festivals’ through the lips of one of her great ecumenical teachers, St. Gregory the Theologian. Herein is contained a profound spiritual meaning, for ‘Pascha is as far exalted above all – not only those which are merely human and crawl on the ground but also those which are of Christ himself and are celebrated in for him – as the sun is exalted above the stars’ (Oration 45: On Holy Pascha). The glorious resurrection of the Lord Jesus, which has become the most important event in the history of the salvation of the human race, contains the very meaning and profound essence of our faith, the heart and mighty power of the Christian message to the world. In these days what we preach may be encapsulated in these three words: Christ is risen! ‘In saying this, what more can I say? All has been said!’ proclaims St. Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow (Homily for Holy Pascha, 18 April 1826).

The history of humanity after the fall of Adam is the history of the unceasing struggle of good with evil. Having shown disobedience to the Creator, people embarked upon their own life and sin came into the world, and with it suffering and disease, corruption and death. Yet, most importantly, sin separated people from God who did not create evil and who does not know any falsehood. No righteous man has ever been able to overcome this tragic division, this great spiritual abyss, as it is impossible to do so purely through human endeavour. And so it was that, as St. Gregory the Theologian says, ‘there arose within us a need for a God made flesh and made dead, that we might live’ (Oration 45: On Holy Pascha).

In other words, Christ’s resurrection has become the breach into eternity thanks to which human limitation has been overcome and the thirst to be united with God has been satisfied. Pascha is the triumph of the Maker’s boundless love for people, ‘for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ (Jn 3:16).

And yet what does it mean to celebrate Pascha in a world weighed down by pain and suffering, exhausted from war and conflict, replete with hatred and enmity? What does it mean to sing ‘trampling down death by death and to those in the tombs he has given life,’ when death remains the evident culmination of the earthly life of each one of us? Undoubtedly, Pascha does not abolish the real presence of death in the cosmos, but now human pain and the tragedy of our earthly life are surmounted by the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, who has granted to us, his disciples and followers, unconquerable hope in attainment of eternal life. Death is henceforth for us Christians no longer a parting but the joyful encounter and longed for reunification with God.

Christ, ‘the first fruits of them that slept’ (1 Cor 15:20), has shown us the only possible way of overcoming sin and death. This is the way of love. And it is to this love that we are called to bear witness before the whole world. And we are called in the first instance by the example of our own lives, for ‘by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another’ (Jn 13:35).

Love, which according to the apostle Paul, ‘is the bond of perfectness’ (Col 3:14), is the loftiest and greatest of Christian virtues. When we enter eternity and are enabled to see the Lord, our faith will be transformed into knowledge, and our hope in salvation with be turned into reality by God’s mercy. And yet, ‘charity never faileth’ (1 Cor 13:8) and does not know change.

As St. Ignatius Bryanchaninov so wonderfully writes, ‘the perfection of Christianity lies in the perfect love of one’s neighbour’ (Ascetic Essays: On Love of One’s Neighbour). What does ‘perfect love’ mean? It is a love that extends to a love for strangers, for ill-wishers and even for enemies. It is a sacrificial love which transcends all human reasoning as it cannot be contained by the framework of everyday worldly logic. We can attain it only through great spiritual endeavours which evoke the grace of God that grants to us the chance to respond to hatred with love and to evil with virtue.

It is precisely this love which Christ has shown to us when for our salvation he endured terrible humiliation, suffering on the cross and the agonizing death. By his all-conquering love, which fills all things, hades was destroyed to its foundation and finally the gates of paradise were opened to all humanity. In all of life’s circumstances we are called upon to remember that the powers of evil are indeed illusory and not so great, for they stand no comparison with the powers of love and virtue, the sole fount of which is God. Let us recall, too, that the best response to and the most effective means of resisting sin and falsehood is our sincere prayer that is lifted up from the depths of our heart, and first of all prayer which is communal, offered up in church in worship, and even more so communion of the Body and Blood of the Saviour in the mystery of the Eucharist.

In experiencing today great Paschal joy and contemplating with reverence and awe Christ the Giver of Life who has risen from the tomb, let us share this saving message with our neighbours and those far from us, so that they too may see the ineffable radiance of Divine Love and together with us ‘bless and glorify the all-honorable and majestic name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit’.

May the saving light of Christ’s resurrection, which surpasses all human comprehension, immutably illumine our way through life, enlightening and comforting us in making us participants and heirs of the kingdom of heaven.

MEDITATION: Thoughts by St Theophan (1815-1894)

The Bright Resurrection of Christ. [Acts 1:1–8; John 1:1–17]

Pascha, the Lord's Pascha! The Lord has led us from death to life by means of His resurrection. And this resurrection “the angels hymn in the heavens,” having seen the brightness of the deified human nature in the glory foreordained for it, in the countenance of the Lord and Redeemer. All Who truly believe in Him and cleave to Him with all their soul are changed into His image by the power of His resurrection. Glory, O Lord, to Thy most glorious resurrection! The angels hymn, rejoicing with us and foreseeing the filling of their assembly. Vouchsafe us also with pure heart, O Lord, to glorify Thee resurrected; seeing in Thy resurrection the severing of our consuming decay, the sowing of a most bright new life, and the dawn of future eternal glory, into which Thou hast gone before us by Thy Resurrection for our sake. The tongues not only of men but also of angels are have insufficient strength to express Thine unspeakable mercy toward us, O most gloriously resurrected Lord!

CHRISTIAN TODAY: Miracle in Chicago? Pilgrims flock to see Orthodox icon weeping drops of oil

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

4. And so, coming to this abode of penitents and to this true land of mourners, I actually saw (if it is not audacious to say so) what in most cases the eye of a careless person never saw, and what the ear of a slothful person never heard, and what never entered the heart of an indolent person- that is, I saw such deeds and words as can incline God to mercy; such activities and postures as speedily attract His love for men.


May 1, 2016  

(2Th 3:8-13) Neither did we eat any man's bread for nothing: but in labour and in toil we worked night and day, lest we should be chargeable to any of you. Not as if we had not power: but that we might give ourselves a pattern unto you, to imitate us. For also, when we were with you, this we declared to you: that, if any man will not work, neither let him eat. For we have heard there are some among you who walk disorderly: working not at all, but curiously meddling. Now we charge them that are such and beseech them by the Lord Jesus Christ that, working with silence, they would eat their own bread. But you, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

SAINT POPE JOHN PAUL II: “Work is not only good in the sense that it is something to enjoy; it is also good in the sense of being something worthy…. Work is a good thing for man—a good thing for humanity—because through work not only transforms nature, adapting it to his own needs, but he also achieves fulfillment as a human being and, indeed, becomes more a human being.”

LINK: The Chivalry of Saint Joseph

DADS.ORG: Go to Joseph: Six Reflections on St. Joseph by Fr. Francis Peffley

FROM THE MAILBAG
VIA JOSEPH SARACENO
:  St. Joseph the Workman

1. On May 1, 1955, Pope Pius XII delivered a significant address before an assembly of representatives of the Catholic Association of Italian Workers. Toward the end of his speech, the Holy Father said: “We are happy to announce to you Our determination to institute—as we do now in fact institute –the liturgical feast of St. Joseph the Workman, assigning to it precisely the first day of May.” He had previously stated: “The world of labor has claimed [May 1] for, itself as its own proper feastday.” Now, he is instituting this feast, not as “a stimulus for discord, hate and violence,” but, to be “a recurring invitation to modern society to accomplish that which is still lacking for social peace. A Christian feast, therefore; that is, a day of rejoicing for the concrete and progressive triumph of the Christian ideals of the great family of labor” (cf. The Catholic Mind for Sept., 1955).

2. “. . . Jesus journeyed on, and came to his own countryside, where he taught them in their synagogue; so that they said in astonishment, How did he come by this wisdom, and these strange powers? Is not this the carpenter’s son?” (Matt. 13:53-54). St. Joseph was a carpenter in Nazareth, a man of the working-class. True, he was a descendant of the royal family of David; but this royalty no longer connoted glamor; its former magnificence and wealth were gone. Joseph was obliged to live by the labor of his hands. Far away from the royal palace in Jerusalem, he dwelt in the hidden, despised town of Nazareth in Galilee, and plied his trade there. The houses he knew were certainly unpretentious, even primitive, being mere mud huts with roofs supported by beams, and floors of packed clay. Carpenters fashioned the entire structure, as well as its furnishings. Tools and implements for home and farm came from local shops. Such was Joseph’s trade, his whole life long, in this community of simple, rural Galileans, and it brought him neither riches nor honors. Consequently, when the young carpenter married the Virgin Mary, he could have offered her only a very modest home, probably a house that he himself had built.

“It happened that a decree went out at this time from the emperor Augustus, enjoining that the whole world should be registered . . . and Joseph, being of David’s clan and family, came up . . . to David’s city, . . . the city called Bethlehem, to give in his name there. With him was his espoused wife Mary, who was then in her pregnancy . . . there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:1-7). Here, Joseph was made painfully aware of the fact that he belonged to the poorer class, for he was compelled to house his bride in a stable. The months in Bethlehem were difficult ones, but it must have been even more difficult to live as a refugee and support a family in Egypt. Only after the death of Herod was it safe to return, and then, not to Bethlehem, as he would have desired, but to Nazareth, since the even more cruel Archelaus was now ruler of Judea. In Nazareth, Joseph was once more the humble carpenter.

“. . . Joseph, the husband of Mary; it was of her that Jesus was born, who is called Christ” (Matt 1:16). Thus did God honor the lowly worker, selecting him to become the husband of Mary, the Mother of God. Joseph knew the secret of his betrothed: an angel had enlightened him. The child in her womb was “of the Holy Spirit.” So Joseph took his wife to himself and became the Virgin-Protector of the Virgin-Mother. Indeed, he became in a true sense the father of the Child whom the Virgin conceived and later brought forth in Bethlehem. By virtue of the matrimonial bond, Mary’s Child is his child, too. He exercises paternal power and authority over the incarnate Son of God. The Lord of heaven and earth is subject to him (cf. Luke 2:51). He owes and renders obedience to Joseph “as His earthly father. Thus, again, does God honor the poor carpenter, making him head of the Holy Family. Mary, Mother of God, radiant with grace, virtue, and holiness, wants to be dependent on and directed by the will of St. Joseph in all matters. She serves him, loves him, entrusts herself and all her interests to him. He lives, night and day, under the same roof with her and Jesus in an intimate union of hearts, a close fellowship of interests in home and shop. With what greatness and dignity God honors Joseph the Workman! “The humble workman of Nazareth not only personifies before God and the Church the dignity of the manual laborer, but also he is always the provident guardian of you and your families” (Pius XII).

For centuries, St. Joseph succeeded in remaining in the background, just as he had done during his earthly life. Little by little, however, God brought him out of darkness into light, so that now one frequently sees pictures of him and altars or churches dedicated to his honor. Numerous religious institutions, monasteries, and convents have entrusted themselves to his fatherly care, bear his name, and honor him as their protector and their advocate at the throne of God. Indeed, at a time of great oppression, in the year 1870, Pope Pius IX named St. Joseph “Protector of the Universal Church” and approved the application of verses 20 and 21 of psalm 32 to him: “The Lord is our strength and our shield: in him our hearts will find refreshment, in his holy name we trust” (Introit of the former Mass of the Solemnity). And how many of the faithful, having taken refuge under his protection in time of distress and need, have experienced his help and the power of his intercession! In this way, again, the humble Workman of Nazareth personifies, in the eyes of the Church, the dignity of those who labor with their hands.

“Do not forget,” says our Holy Father to the Catholic Association of Italian Workers, “that your first care is to preserve and foster Christian living among workers. To this end it is not enough for you to fulfill, and urge others to fulfill, your religious duties; you must deepen your knowledge of the teachings of the Faith.”

Go to Joseph! He asserts that “no worker was ever more completely and profoundly penetrated by the spirit of Christ than the foster father of Jesus. . . . If you wish to be close to Christ, We again today repeat: ‘Ite ad Joseph’—Go to Joseph” (Gen. 41:55).

Collect: O God, Creator of the universe, by whose decree toil has become the common lot of mankind, grant us this boon, that by the example of St. Joseph, and under his protection, we may carry out the works which Thou dost command, and gain the rewards which Thou dost promise. Amen.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

3. Weak as I am, I heard that there was a certain powerful and strange way of life and humility for those living in a separate monastic establishment called 'The Prison' which was under the authority of the above-mentioned man, that light of lights. So when I was still staying there, I asked the good man to allow me to visit it. And the great man, never wishing to grieve a soul in any way, agreed to my request.
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