your eyes open!...
May 20, 2013
(Act 1:8) But
you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you
shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria,
and even to the uttermost part of the earth.
AMERICAN CATHOLIC: Pentecost: Why Was the Holy Spirit Sent?
EXCERPT: Come, Holy Spirit! by Fr. Jerry M. Orbos SVD
We need a new Pentecost in our present day and time. We need the Holy
Spirit in our lives to guide, to heal, to comfort, and to counsel us.
May we be liberated from our fears, ignorance, pride, and hunger for
worldly riches and power. We all need transformation and renewal.
“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful and enkindle in
them the fire of your love. Send forth thy spirit and they shall be
created, and you will renew the face of the earth.”
* * *
I am writing this column in Lisieux, France, the home of St. Therese
whom Pope Pius X called “The Greatest Saint of Modern Times.” Her
humility and littleness are what made this saint great. There is no
greater power than gentleness and humility. The world, of course, will
laugh at this, but the Holy Spirit will teach and remind us what our
Lord and Master has taught us. “The advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the
Father will send in My name, will teach you everything, and remind you
of all that I told you.”
* * *
St. Therese’s “little way” is all about being simple, humble, and
childlike. It is being deeply confident in God’s love and providence.
She reminds us that we do not need to do great things to love God, but
to do whatever we do with much love. She is also the Patroness of the
Missions, offering prayers and sacrifices for missionaries “out there”
within the walls of the Carmelite convent in Lisieux. If Pentecost must
happen again, we all must be a part of it in our own “little way.”
* * *
Pope Francis, who chose to be named after St. Francis of Assisi, is an
agent of Pentecost, filled with simplicity, sincerity, humility,
poverty, and trust in God’s providence. Today, let us ask ourselves: Am
I an agent of Pentecost, or an agent of Babel?
EXCERPT NEWS.VA: Pope at Pentecost: Newness, harmony and mission
1. Newness always makes us a bit fearful, because we
feel more secure if we have everything under control, if we are the
ones who build, programme and plan our lives in accordance with our own
ideas, our own comfort, our own preferences. This is also the case when
it comes to God. Often we follow him, we accept him, but only up to a
certain point. It is hard to abandon ourselves to him with complete
trust, allowing the Holy Spirit to be the soul and guide of our lives
in our every decision. We fear that God may force us to strike out on
new paths and leave behind our all too narrow, closed and selfish
horizons in order to become open to his own. Yet throughout the history
of salvation, whenever God reveals himself, he brings newness and
change, and demands our complete trust: Noah, mocked by all, builds an
ark and is saved; Abram leaves his land with only a promise in hand;
Moses stands up to the might of Pharaoh and leads his people to
freedom; the apostles, huddled fearfully in the Upper Room, go forth
with courage to proclaim the Gospel. This is not a question of novelty
for novelty’s sake, the search for something new to relieve our
boredom, as is so often the case in our own day. The newness which God
brings into our life is something that actually brings fulfilment, that
gives true joy, true serenity, because God loves us and desires only
our good. Let us ask ourselves: Are we open to “God’s surprises”? Or
are we closed and fearful before the newness of the Holy Spirit? Do we
have the courage to strike out along the new paths which God’s newness
sets before us, or do we resist, barricaded in transient structures
which have lost their capacity for openness to what is new?
2. A second thought: the Holy Spirit would appear to
create disorder in the Church, since he brings the diversity of
charisms and gifts; yet all this, by his working, is a great source of
wealth, for the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of unity, which does not mean
uniformity, but which leads everything back to harmony. In the Church,
it is the Holy Spirit who creates harmony. One of Fathers of the Church
has an expression which I love: the Holy Spirit himself is harmony –
“Ipse harmonia est”. Only the Spirit can awaken diversity, plurality
and multiplicity, while at the same time building unity. Here too, when
we are the ones who try to create diversity and close ourselves up in
what makes us different and other, we bring division. When we are the
ones who want to build unity in accordance with our human plans, we end
up creating uniformity, standardization. But if instead we let ourselve
be guided by the Spirit, richness, variety and diversity never become a
source of conflict, because he impels us to experience variety within
the communion of the Church. Journeying together in the Church, under
the guidance of her pastors who possess a special charism and ministry,
is a sign of the working of the Holy Spirit. Having a sense of the
Church is something fundamental for every Christian, every community
and every movement. It is the Church which brings Christ to me, and me
to Christ; parallel journeys are dangerous! When we venture beyond
(proagon) the Church’s teaching and community, and do not remain in
them, we are not one with the God of Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Jn 9). So let
us ask ourselves: Am I open to the harmony of the Holy Spirit,
overcoming every form of exclusivity? Do I let myself be guided by him,
living in the Church and with the Church?
3. A final point. The older theologians used to say
that the soul is a kind of sailboat, the Holy Spirit is the wind which
fills its sails and drives it forward, and the gusts of wind are the
gifts of the Spirit. Lacking his impulse and his grace, we do not go
forward. The Holy Spirit draws us into the mystery of the living God
and saves us from the threat of a Church which is gnostic and
self-referential, closed in on herself; he impels us to open the doors
and go forth to proclaim and bear witness to the good news of the
Gospel, to communicate the joy of faith, the encounter with Christ. The
Holy Spirit is the soul of mission. The events that took place in
Jerusalem almost two thousand years ago are not something far removed
from us; they are events which affect us and become a lived experience
in each of us. The Pentecost of the Upper Room in Jerusalem is the
beginning, a beginning which endures. The Holy Spirit is the supreme
gift of the risen Christ to his apostles, yet he wants that gift to
reach everyone. As we heard in the Gospel, Jesus says: “I will ask the
Father, and he will give you another Advocate to remain with you
forever” (Jn 14:16). It is the Paraclete Spirit, the “Comforter”, who
grants us the courage to take to the streets of the world, bringing the
Gospel! The Holy Spirit makes us look to the horizon and drive us to
the very outskirts of existence in order to proclaim life in Jesus
Christ. Let us ask ourselves: do we tend to stay closed in on
ourselves, on our group, or do we let the Holy Spirit open us to
and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and
3. Crosses, contempt, sorrows and afflictions are
the real treasures of the lovers of Jesus Christ crucified.
May 16, 2013
(1Th 5:20-21) Despise not prophecies. But prove all things: hold fast that which is good.
UNVEILING THE APOCALYPSE: Prophecy of Pope Leo XIII: Update
AMERICAN CATHOLIC: Pope Leo and Saint Michael the Archangel (includes YouTube Video voice recording of Pope Leo XIII)
CRITCAL COMMENTARY by Graehame Thorne:
Thank you for the interesting article on the prophecy of Pope Leo XIII (ED: refers to Unveiling the Apocalyse link above) .
While I was of course familiar with many of its elements, it did offer
a somewhat different perspective.
For example, I knew that the prophecy couldn't be traced back prior to
c. 1933. I didn't regard this as a serious objection-- & I still
don't-- for 2 reasons.
1st, b/c it's an established historical fact that Pope Leo wrote the
Prayer to St. Michael in 1884 & had it distributed thruout the
Church with instructions that it be said at every Low Mass. The Prayer
specifically calls upon the archangel to protect the Church against
Satan, & it contains one startling element, in that it refers to
Satan being-- not in Hell-- but "prowling the world".
The Prayer calls upon God to thrust him back into Hell. Aside from the
Prophecy, no other event can be pointed to that seems sufficient to
motivate either the Prayer & its accompanying instruction to be
said worldwide at every Low Mass, or this startling theological
change-- that Satan isn't in Hell, but is "prowling the world".
...and 2d, b/c the Prophecy accurately predicted events that took place
in the 1958-72 timeframe. Whether dated to 1884 or c. 1933, its
prediction & precise dating of the decline of the Church seems
compelling. And that prediction makes sense only if the Prophecy
actually took place as described in 1884, not if it was fabricated c. 1933.
For these reasons, I regard the 1934 conclusion of Fr. Bers, "that the prophecy was a later invention that was 'spreading like a virus'",
as untenable. The fact that an eyewitness later surfaced-- Fr. Domenico
Pechenino, a priest who worked at the Vatican during the time of Leo
XIII-- adequately demonstrates my point. And Fr. Pechenino's account,
although vague in other details, links the Prophecy firmly to the
Prayer to St. Michael. Also, the fact that Fr. Pechenino's account is
vague in some of its details is convincing ervidence of his veracity,
as he said only what he personally witnessed. In fact, even the author
of your article, Emmett O'Regan, concludes, "The
fact that Fr. Pechenino's account confirms the later 1933 version can
be used to establish that the prophecy of the 100 years of Satan's
greater power is in fact genuine."
Where I part company with Mr. O'Regan is when he says, "But
when should this 100 year period be calculated from? ...there are only
two real options-- either the year the vision was first received
(1884)...or the turn of the century. It seems the latter position is
the most likely..."
Where does Mr. O'Regan get the idea that there's a 100-year period at
all? Or that it should be calculated from the turn of the century? He--
along with the "most interpreters"
whom he doesn't bother to name-- doesn't say. Surely in a vision received in 1884, the
most likely starting point for its fulfillment is in 1884.
...but the Prophecy doesn't mention a "100 year period"
at all. If it did then that might lend marginal credibility to the
notion that the period might begin in 1901. But what it actually says
is "a period of 75 to 100 years". Mr. O'Regan & the "most interpreters" whom he doesn't name don't mention this b/c a period of 75 years wouldn't logically begin in 1901.
Furthermore, there's a curious chain of reasoning which I've alluded to
before that links the year 1884 to the Prophecy of La Salette. In 1846,
the year that the Apparitions of La Salette took place, the Church had
no systematic means of establishing & recording the details of a
vision; and when Melanie Calvat & Maximin Giraud sent the secrets
they'd been told to the pope, Rome never made them public (an example that the Vatican would later follow in the case of the 3d Secret of Fatima).
So 33 years after the vision, when Melanie published her recollections,
it is possible that she erred in certain details (eg. demons released from hell in 1864 vs. 1884). The Vatican claimed
as much when it condemned her book, but Rome never made public the
information which she & Maximin had previously sent.
Furthermore, the key element in the Prophecy of Pope Leo was that Satan
would endeavor to destroy the Church within 75 to 100 years. It makes
no sense to date this period of time from the turn of the century b/c
he was evidently given the power & the time in which to use it in 1884, not 1901.
...so if we add 75 years to 1884 we get 1959, the year that Pope John
XXIII both refused to release the 3d Secret of Fatima & convened
the 2d Vatican Council. That Council that began the formal decline
of the Church. I believe these 2 things to be closely related b/c the
3d Secret speculatively may have contained a warning not
to convene an ecumenical council. Disregarding the 3d Secret of Fatima
& convening the 2d Vatican Council are the 2 key events that are
most intimately involved in the deterioration of the Church and the inexorable rise of relativism. The
fact that the Prophecy of Pope Leo accurately predicted that this would
take place "in 75 to 100 years" is further convincing proof of the genuineness of the Prophecy.
What all this means is that the 75 to 100 year period has to be dated from 1884,
& not from 1901. The fact that Pope Leo XIII consecrated the world
to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on 11 Jun 1899 does absolutely nothing to
refute this view, since following his vision of 1884 & for the rest
of his pontificate Pope Leo did many
things to strengthen the Church against Satan. Writing a longer &
more explicit Prayer to St. Michael, for example. The date of the
consecration is simply coincidence, nothing more.
When Mr. O'Regan alludes to the 20th century being framed by 2 rare
planetary alignments, I have no problem with this b/c nothing that he
says about it has anything whatsoever to do with the Prophecy of Pope
...but when he "...suggests that the opening of the abyss...is marked by just such an event," I have to take issue.
The opening of the Abyss occurs at the beginning of Ch. 9. But the very
last thing that happens in Ch. 8 is the eagle flying in mid-heaven, "...crying out 'Woe! Woe! Woe!' to the inhabitants of the earth."
St. Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419) identified himself as this eagle, he
raised people from the dead to testify to the truth of his claim, &
his claim was endorsed by the Church in its Bull of Canonization. So if
St. Vincent Ferrer was the eagle of the Apocalypse in the early 15th
Century, then we should expect the events of Ch. 9 to be interpretable
in terms of something that happened not too long afterward. But Mr.
O'Regan would have us believe that the next 500+ years passed with
nothing in the Apocalypse to show for them.
I believe that Fr. Herman Kramer ("The Book of Destiny" (© 1955, published by Beuchler Press) made much better sense of these
passages when he said that the star which fell from heaven to earth at
the beginning of Ch. 9 was Martin Luther, to whom was given the key to
the Abyss to loose the Protestant Reformation on Mankind. The locusts
released by Martin Luther would not therefore signify combat aircraft,
as supposed by O'Regan, but were in fact the preachers of the
Reformation, to whom was given "...power to torture them for 5 months".
According to Kramer those 5 months are 500 years, which began within
~100 years of St. Vincent Ferrer & neatly bridges the gap between
1517 & c. 2017.
Kramer's chronology also strongly implies that the war of the 200
million horsemen in Ch. 9 should be taken to refer to the world wars of
the 20th Century, which is entirely different from the great war of Gog
& Magog referred to-- by O'Regan-- in Ch. 20. The war of the 200
million horsemen in Ch. 9 takes place before
the advent of the AntiChrist & in preparation for it, while the
great war of Gog & Magog related in Ch. 20 occurs at the end of the reign of the AntiChrist & brings him down.
BTW, I believe the amillennial interpretation of the Apocalypse is correct. "...the
millennium is not a literal thousand year period, but rather it
represents a very long period of time during which the power of Satan
is restricted, in order to allow the spread of the Gospel." This period ended c. 1884, & Satan now has the ability "to deceive the inhabitants of the earth, and gather the nations together for war." O'Regan agrees with this view when he writes, "...given
that this is exactly the situation we are faced with today in the
fulfilment of the prophecies of the Great Apostasy, we can only be left
to conclude that the 'millennium', or age of the Church has already
came to end, and that the forces of Satan have already been unbound."
With these sentiments I am in full agreement, except when O'Regan links
them to the events of Ch. 20, when in reality they are part of the
chronology of Chs. 8-13.
Sr. Lucy of Fatima supported this view when she was asked about the 3d Secret & she answered, "It's in the Bible. Read Chapters 8 thru 13 of the Book of the Apocalypse."
When O'Regan writes, "...we are left
with the inescapable conclusion that the unbinding of Satan described
in the Apocalypse is directly related to the two world wars"; I
have no problem with that either, except as pointed out above. The 2
world wars occurred within the 75-year period of the Prophecy of Pope
...however, when he writes, "...we
find an earlier parallel reference to Satan being unbound from his
prison in Rev 20, which is to be directly equated with the opening of
the abyss in Rev 9. These two passages undoubtedly refer to the exact
same event..."; I have literally no idea what he's talking about. Ch. 20 refers to Satan being bound with a chain & being thrown into the Abyss-- the lake of fire, but Ch. 9 refers to him being let out. These 2 events are bookends, not the same event at all.
When O'Regan writes, "...I argue that the three 'woes' described in chapters 9-11 of the Book of Revelation correspond to three world wars...", once again I'm lost. There haven't been
3 world wars, but only 2. He's alluding here to a war that hasn't
happened yet (ED: perhaps at the doorstep see: http://tinyurl.com/am3an7k). And once again he's allowing 500+ years to pass between
St. Vincent Ferrer & the present with not a word in the Apocalypse
to account for them. And furthermore, the 3 woes obviously correspond
to the blowing of the last 3 trumpets-- not to 3 world wars. The 5th
trumpet is the opening of the Abyss, the 6th is the war of the 200
million horsemen, & the 7th is the opening of the temple, the
lightning & thunder, and the earthquake & hailstorm. All this
happens in Chs. 9-11-- not Ch. 20, to which he constantly refers.
When O'Regan writes, "...it is noteworthy that calculating 75 years from 1914 brings us to the year 1989-- the year of the fall of Communism";
I have to wonder where he gets 1914 from? A minute ago we were
calculating a 100-year period from 1901-- but now we're calculating 75 years from 1914? In reality the period is 75 to 100 years,
so it should be calculated from the same start-point.
I was unaware of the visionary element of the Prophecy of Pope Leo
recorded by Card. di Corneliano-- the army of demons converging on
Rome-- & I'm grateful to you & Emmett O'Regan for familiarizing
me with it. If I'm able to substantiate it, then the testimony of Card.
di Corneliano should constitute further evidence that the Prophecy of
Pope Leo is absolutely genuine.
and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment
29. Let us beg this lovable Heart to establish
this devotion firmly and to fill with the unction of Its grace and of Its
ardent charity all whom It will send us. I would willingly die that He
May 15, 2013
(Eph 6:11-12) Put
you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the
deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood;
but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world
of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.
POPE FRANCIS: “And, we must say, with Satan the payback is rotten. He always rips us off, always!”
ESSAY: When Men Forsake God, Tyranny Always Follows
CHIESA: HOW THE SCRIPTURES SPEAK OF THE DEVIL by Inos Biffi
After the appearance of man, the work of the sixth day of creation,
there is felt the presence of something mysterious and disquieting,
that of the serpent. That which he undertakes with regard to the
progenitors and sets out to obtain from them is astonishing and
disturbing: he intends to plant within them suspicion about God; that
is, to persuade them that the prohibitions that he has established
arise from jealousy, from fear of being equaled by them. The serpent
embodies, precisely at the beginning of the world and its history, the
presence of an envious being: "Through the envy of the devil death
entered the world” (Wisdom 2:24).
In the New Testament there are frequent references to that serpent.
Jesus refers to him declaring that the devil is “a murderer from the
beginning”; in him "there is no truth”; “when he speaks falsehood, he
speaks from what is his own, because he is a liar and the father of
lies” (John 8:44). And again Jesus calls him “the prince of this world”
(John 12:31; 16:11).
Paul affirms that "with his cunning the serpent seduced Eve" (2
Corinthians 11:3): and he refers to those who become lost "following
Satan" (1 Timothy 5:14). The same apostle speaks of the worldly way of
life by which one follows "the prince of the powers of the air, that
spirit who works in rebellious men" (Ephesians 2:2); he makes mention
of the “snares of the devil” and of our battle “against the
principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of
darkness, against the spirits of evil” (Ephesians 6:12).
The first letter of Peter names the “enemy,” “the devil,” or “the
accuser,” who “like a roaring lion goes prowling around seeking whom he
may devour” (5:8). And in the letters of John is recalled “the
antichrist” who must come (1 John 2:18); the “liar” who denies that
Jesus is the Christ; the “antichrist” who “denies the Father and the
Son” (2:22). In Revelation it is written: “A great war broke out in
heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon
fought together with his angels, but he did not prevail and there was
no place for them in heaven. And the great dragon, the ancient serpent,
the one who is called devil and Satan and who seduces all of the
inhabited earth, was thrown to earth and together with him his angels”
Between these texts and the exegesis of Jesus on the devil, murder and
liar from the beginning, the agreement is perfect: this is a matter of
a being hostile to God, whose Word he aims to throw into confusion, and
at the same time hostile to man, whom he intends to seduce and induce
to rebel against the divine plan. He is the evil one. In particular,
the exegetical agreement concerns the one for whom the devil reserves
his aversion, Jesus Christ.
This creates an antithesis between two royalties: that of Jesus and
that of the prince of this world. The devil cannot tolerate Jesus
Christ and seeks in every way to disrupt the divine plan conceived
concerning him. As in the desert.
But Jesus proclaims himself victor over this prince: “The prince of
this world is coming,” he says, “against me he can do nothing" (John
14:30); specifically, it is at the arrival of the hour of Jesus, that
of his being lifted up on the cross and at the right hand of the
Father, that that prince is struck down: “Now is the judgment of this
world; now shall the prince of this world will be cast down." With the
pouring out of the Spirit by the glorified Lord, that prince meets his
condemnation (John 16:11). Paul in particular remarks upon the lordship
of the Risen One: in him the Father “has freed us from the power of
darkness” (Colossians 1:13) and “has deprived of their strength the
principalities and powers," and "has made them a public spectacle,
triumphing over them in Christ" (2:15).
The Christian has become a sharer in the lordship of Jesus over the
devil: “when we were dead through our faults, he brought us back to
life with Christ. With him he also raised us and made us sit in heaven,
in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5-6).
Although definitively defeated by the Lord, the devil still tries to
ensnare and bring down redeemed man. Peter spoke of his roaring and of
his unspent will to harm; Paul urges the taking up of the shield of
faith, in order to quench the “fiery arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians
6:16). And Jesus himself had taught his followers to pray by asking the
Father to deliver us from the evil one (Matthew 5:13).
The multiple exegeses on the serpent that appears at the beginning lead us to a few considerations.
The first is on the “history" consummated and decided before the
creation of man, and consisting in the outbreak of the “great war in
heaven” (Revelation 12:7), or rather in an agreement or rebellion that
took place in the angelic world: not a generic agreement or rebellion,
but aimed at the concrete and internal divine plan, which in personal
terms is Jesus Christ.
The prideful unacceptance of the rebel angels has as its object Jesus,
“preeminent over all things," and therefore preeminent over them as
well. This explains why the life of Jesus was never hindered by the
presence and machinations of the devil; and on the contrary - from the
announcement of his birth until the ascension - was accompanied,
served, and consoled by the presence of the angels, who rejoice in him
and with him are victors over the great dragon and his satellites, cast
out of heaven and thrown down, as Revelation states. Jesus himself
affirmed that he had seen “Satan fall from heaven like lightning" (Luke
10:18) and spoke of the “eternal fire prepared for the devil and his
angels” (Matthew 25:41).
We have spoken of the history that precedes the visible one of man:
that which we know is what emerges as from a hidden panorama, which
exceeds and eludes us and which now we can only presume and intuit.
The second consideration concerns the stunning power of Satan: this is
so strong and tenacious that only the power of the Son of God can
defeat and overcome it; moreover, the power of the Son of God nailed to
the cross, and therefore in a condition of extreme human weakness,
which paradoxically becomes, without strain, absolute power. The devil
is able to draw in everything and everyone, but before Jesus he becomes
completely yielding. The crucified and risen one re-creates a
victorious humanity, removed from the perverse influence of the evil
one. The attraction of the devil is replaced by the attraction of
Christ, who declares: “When I am raised up from the earth, I will draw
everyone to myself” (John 12:32). Only by sharing in the vigor of the
slain and glorified Christ are we able to resist the flattery of the
serpent from the beginning.
There could still remain one question: without a doubt the fall of
angel and of man depends solely on the free will of the creature; not
only that, but the forgiveness of man was included in the merciful love
of the Father, who predestined his Son Jesus to be the redeemer; but
why does the concrete order chosen by God include that fall and
therefore the reality of sin? To this we are not able to reply: it
belongs to the “thought of the Lord,” to his unfathomable judgments”
and to his “inscrutable ways” (Romans 11:32-34).
A third consideration is to manifest surprise in the face of the
absence in preaching and catechesis of the truth concerning the devil.
Not to speak of those theologians who, on the one hand, applaud the
fact that Vatican II declared Scripture to be the “soul of sacred
theology” (Dei Verbum, 24), and, on the other, do not hesitate - if not
to decide on his nonexistence (as they do for the angels) - in any case
to overlook as marginal a fact that is so clear and widely attested to
in Scripture itself as is that concerning the devil, maintaining him to
be the personification of an obscure and primordial idea of evil, now
demystified and unacceptable.
Such a conception is a masterpiece of ideology, and above all is
equivalent to trivializing the very work of Christ and his redemption.
This is why those references to the devil which we find in the discourses of Pope Francis seem to us anything but secondary.
and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment
28. Our Lord continues to give me many graces,
unworthy though I be; that which I prize the most is conformity to His
life of suffering and humiliation. He keeps me in such a state of entire
submission to His good pleasure, that I am indifferent to all else.
May 13, 2013
(John 16:33) These
things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the
world you shall have distress. But have confidence. I have overcome the
ARCHIVED ROME REPORTS: Pope Francis's Pontificate to be consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima on May 13th
Just hours after being elected, Pope Francis asked Portuguese Cardinal
José Policarpo for a special request. The Pope asked the patriarch of
Lisbon to consecrate his pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima. The
celebration will held on May 13th and it will be led by Cardinal
Policarpo, who also serves as the president of Portugal's Episcopal
Conference. The bishops have also invited pilgrims to take part in the
ceremony to honor the 'Pope's pastoral service.'
FATIMA: Cardinal-Patriarch consecrates pontificate Francisco and anticipates 'trials'
Cardinal-Patriarch of Lisbon, D. José Policarpo, consecrated today at
Fatima the pontificate of the Virgin Mary, responding to a request of
the same, and said that Francisco will face "trials" in his ministry.
"Give her the gift of discernment
to know how to identify the ways of renewal of the Church; give him the
courage not to hesitate to follow the ways suggested by the Holy
Spirit; Amparai it in hard hours of suffering, to win, the charity, the
trials that the renewal of the Church will bring ", referring to prayer
addressed by the President of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference (CEP)
of Fatima, at the end of the pilgrimage Anniversary International May.
D. José Policarpo, one of the
cardinals who participated in the election of the successor of Francis
recalled that three of the last popes (Paul VI, John Paul II and
Benedict XVI) visited the Cova da Iria.
"Only you, Madam, in your motherly
love to the whole Church can put Francisco in the heart of the Pope's
desire to be a pilgrim this Shrine. It is not something that you can
ask for other reasons, "he said.
The Patriarch of Lisbon stressed
that "only the silent complicity" between the Virgin Mary and the Pope
can do what they feel "attracted to this pilgrimage in the certainty
that it will be joined by millions of believers."
"Here at this altar of the world,
he may bless mankind, to impress on the world today that God loves all
men and women of our time, the Church loves them and that you, Mother
of the Redeemer, tenderly to lead into the ways of salvation, "he added.
The president stressed that the CEP
ways of renewing the Church lead to "rediscover the relevance" of the
message of Fatima, "the requirement of conversion to God who has been
so offended, why so forgetful."
"Contemporary humanity needs to
feel loved by God and the Church. Just feeling loved overcome the
temptation to violence, materialism, of God's forgetfulness, loss of
direction that will lead to a new world, where love reigns, "needed.
In this context D. José Policarpo
maintained that the Church has to assert itself as a "place of
conversion and forgiveness, because it expresses the truth always in
"So you consecrate Lady, you who
are the Mother of the Church, the ministry of the new Pope: fill your
heart the tenderness of God, that you have experienced as anyone, so
that it can embrace all men and women of this time with the love of
your Son Jesus Christ, "he said.
Cardinal-Patriarch recalled the
late Pope, Benedict XVI, "who chose the way of silent prayer,
challenging the church to the ways of prayer."
The gesture was highlighted with a clap of pilgrims at the Cova da Iria.
After the moment of consecration of
the pontificate, at the end of Mass, the bishop of Leiria-Fatima, D.
António Marto, read a message sent by the Apostolic Nunciature in
"The Holy Father expressed his
satisfaction for the initiative and deep appreciation for the
satisfaction of his desire in union of prayer with all the pilgrims of
Fatima, which, at heart, gives apostolic blessing as a pledge of all
goods," referring text.
A MOMENT WITH MARY: God's Grace Will be Your Strength!
NCR REVIEW: 9 things to know and share about Fatima
MORE: Pilgrims To Fatima Include Many Devoted Popes
and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment
27. Now I shall die happy, since the Sacred Heart
of my Saviour is beginning to be known; for it seems to me that, through
His mercy, I am almost wholly stripped and divested of esteem and reputation
in the minds of others, which consoles me more than I can say.
May 9, 2013
(Luke 24:49) And I send the promise of my Father upon you: but stay you in the city till you be endued with power from on high.
POPE FRANCIS: "The
Holy Spirit teaches us to look with the eyes of Christ, to live life as
Christ lived it, to understand life as Christ understood it," he said.
"That's why the living water that is the Holy Spirit quenches the
thirst of our lives, because it tells us that we are loved by God as
children, that we can love God as his children and by his grace we can
live as children of God, like Jesus.
VIDEO PRESENTATION: Novena to the Seven Gifts Of The Holy Spirit
TEXT: Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts
The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas
since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He
sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy
Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially
prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed
Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so
sorely needed by every Christian.
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
To be recited daily during the Novena
On my knees I before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer
myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the
brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and
the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In
You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by
unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from
the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and
grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice,
and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself
to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness.
Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and
trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken
Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep
me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy
Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and
everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
To be recited daily during the Novena
O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to
send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles
and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may
perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the
Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world
and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of
Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth,
the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing
God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my
cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the
obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may
know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints,
the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and
amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving
reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark
me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples, and animate me in
all things with Your Spirit. Amen.
The Novena begins on the day after the Solemnity of the Ascension,
Friday of the 6th Week of Easter, even if the Solemnity of the
Ascension is transferred to the 7th Sunday.
FIRST DAY (Friday after Ascension or Friday of 6th Week of Easter)
Holy Spirit! Lord of Light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure beaming radiance give!
The Holy Spirit
Only one thing is important -- eternal salvation. Only one thing,
therefore, is to be feared--sin? Sin is the result of ignorance,
weakness, and indifference The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of
Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind,
strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To
ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for
"The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for
as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us."
Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water
and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness all sins, vouchsafe
to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of
Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and fortitude, the
Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy
Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts
LINK TO REMAINDER OF THE NOVENA: http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/pentecost/seven_tx.htm
and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment
23. Love to be looked upon as a mere nothing in
the house of God.
May 9, 2013
(Jas 4:7) Be subject therefore to God. But resist the devil: and he will fly from you.
VIDEO: Tell Satan to Go to Hell
THE MOYNIHAN LETTERS: Letter #69: Mary, and the Deceiver
VATICAN RADIO: Pope Francis at Mass: fighting evil with meekness and humility
Humility and meekness are the weapons we have to defend ourselves from
the hatred of the world. This was the focus of Pope Francis during his
homily, which centered on the struggle between the love of Christ and
the hatred of the prince of this world. The Lord, he said, tells us to
be not afraid when the world hates us as it hated Him:
“The way of the
Christians is the way of Jesus,” he said. “If we want to be followers
of Jesus, there is no other way: none other than that, which He
indicated to us - and one of the consequences of this is hatred – it is
the hatred of the world, and also the prince of this world. The world
would love that which belongs to it. [But Jesus tells us], ‘I have
chosen you, from the world’: it was precisely He, who rescued us from
the world, who chose us - pure grace! With His death, His resurrection,
He redeemed us from the power of the world, from the power of the
devil, from the power of the prince of this world. The origin of the
hate [we experience], then is this: that we are saved. It is that
prince who does not want that we should have been saved, who hates.”
Here then is the reason that the hatred and persecution continue from
the early days of the Church even unto the present day. There are,
“Many persecuted Christian communities in the world,” said Pope
Francis, noting with bitterness, “indeed there are more persecuted
communities in this time than in the early days: today, right now, in
this day and in this hour.” Asking himself why this is the case, the
Pope said, “Because the spirit of the world hates.” From this comes a
perennially valid admonishment:
"There can be no
dialogue with the prince of this world: let this be clear! Today,
dialogue is necessary among us humans, it is necessary for peace.
Dialogue is a habit, it is an attitude that we must have among us to
feel and understand each other…and that [dialogue] must be maintained
forever. Dialogue comes from charity, from love. But with that prince,
it is impossible to dialogue: one can only respond with the Word of God
who defends us, for the world hates us – and just as he did with Jesus,
so will he do with us. ‘Only look,’ he will say, ‘just do this one
small little scam…it is a small matter, nothing really – and so he
begins to lead us on a road that is slightly off. This is a pious lie:
‘Do it, do it, do it: there is no problem,' and it begins little by
little, always, no? Then [he says]: ‘But ... you're good, you're a good
person: You [get away with] it.’ It is flattering – and he softens us
by flattery: and then, we fall into the trap.”
Pope Francis went on to say that the Lord asks us to remain sheep,
because if one decides to quit the fold, then he does not have, “a
shepherd to defend him and he falls into the clutches of these wolves.”
“You may ask the question,” continued Pope Francis, ‘Father, what is
the weapon to defend against these seductions, from these
blandishments, these enticements that the prince of this world
offers?’. The weapon is the same weapon of Jesus, the Word of God - not
dialogue - but always the Word of God, and then humility and meekness.
We think of Jesus, when they give that slap: what humility! What
meekness! He could have insulted him, no? One question, meek and
humble. We think of Jesus in His Passion. His Prophet says: ‘As a sheep
going to the slaughter.’ He does not cry out, not at all: humility.
Humility and meekness. These are the weapons that the prince and spirit
of this world does not tolerate, for his proposals are proposals for
worldly power, proposals of vanity, proposals for ill-gotten riches.”
CATHOLIC CULTURE: Sin, the Devil, and Pope Francis
and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment
22. You must offer yourself to God as a mere nothing
to its Creator Who, finding no resistance, will give it such being as pleases
May 7, 2013
(Php 4:6-7) Have
no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God
that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in
NEWS REPORT: Tensions Rise After Israel Strikes Syria
Israel is rushing to beef up its rocket defenses on its northern border
to shield against possible retaliation after carrying out two
airstrikes in Syria over 48 hours.
On Sunday, Israel deployed two batteries of its Iron Dome rocket defense system in the north
A senior Israeli official says the recent airstrikes targeted
precision-guided missiles Israel believes were being shipped to
Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.
Syria and its patron Iran have hinted at possible retribution, though
the rhetoric in official statements appeared relatively muted.
Damascus is warning that it will "defend its people by all available
means." It calls the Israeli attacks a "flagrant violation of
international law" that has made the Middle East "more dangerous."
In a letter sent to the U.N., Syria says the attacks aim "to give
direct military support to terrorist groups" fighting the government
Despite new concerns about a regional war, Israeli officials signaled
they will keep trying to block what they see as an effort by Iran to
send sophisticated weapons to Lebanon's Hezbollah militia ahead of a
possible collapse of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.
DEBKAFILE ANALYSIS: IDF on war alert. Iran-Syrian-Hizballah war of attrition threatened. US set to act on Syria
Report: Assad Gives U.S. 24 Hours to Respond to Letter Threatening Action Against Any Further Israeli Strikes
Crushing response awaits Israel for aggression against Syria: Iran
Haifa mayor orders preparations for possible Syrian retaliation
REVIEW: Islamist Rebels Create Dilemma on Syria Policy
MORE: UN's Del Ponte says evidence Syria rebels 'used sarin'
and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment
21. The soul that is the humblest and most despised
will be most loved by His adorable Heart. The most despoiled and
stripped of all things will possess It more fully.
May 3, 2013
(1Co 2:9) But,
as it is written: That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard: neither hath
it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for
them that love him.
"Man Fully Alive is the Glory of God" - St. Irenaeus
FROM THE MAILBAG
VIA Jim J. McCrae: God's Grace
What is the grace of God?
We can answer this by looking at the nature of life.
Each living being in existence has its own type of life pertinent to its own level of being.
Plant's have plant life, animals have animal life, and humans have
human life - God has His own type of life, unique to Him, which is
Now, sanctifying grace is God's divine life given to a soul by God as
pure gift from Him, raising a person above his natural level to partake
in the very activity of God.
This activity is a share in God's way of knowing and loving Himself,
which is infinitely superior to the way of knowing or loving of a
merely natural being.
We can think of paradise - that which we think will make us most happy.
In giving us sanctifying grace (for those who are truly open to God and
not opposed to Him because of unbelief or unrepentant mortal sin), God
wishes to give us supernatural happiness. This is infinitely superior
to the greatest natural happiness imaginable (that is, it is infinitely
superior to the most sublime paradise the natural man can imagine).
This will be fully realized in heaven for those found worthy.
We will see the divine essence directly and be immersed in God's infinite love.
This infinitely exceeds the most passionate joy of two people joined in spousal love.
The beauty of God infinitely exceeds all the greatest beauties of nature.
Delight in the essence of God infinitely exceeds all the other delights
of heaven, and it is the vision of God that brings delight in all these
This supernatural happiness in God in heaven will only be possible
because we have been made supernaturalized ourselves in being made like
Him in nature by a gift of God that infinitely exceeds what is due to
the natural nature of man, which again is the essence of sanctifying
VIA A Moment with Mary: The Death of Saint Joseph
Joseph passed away... No one has ever mentioned how he died...
He came without making any noise; he struggled without glory;
He was the silent actor of a sublime story,
One day he disappeared, never to return.
We watched him fade into the background,
The Child-God walked in his foot prints next to the Virgin Mary;
During the day he planed off the rough edges on wooden boards;
And at night, the angels made him aware of hateful plots.
When Jesus left home, Joseph's role ended;
Thereafter the Gospel speaks of him no more.
One evening, he probably left aside his planer
And just went to bed, with Mary at his bedside.
The night fell no differently than that night long ago
When the Angel of the Lord came to awaken him and tell him to flee...
The Angel returned that night to help him die;
And Joseph heard his soft and soothing voice.
The Angel said: "Joseph, son of David, It is I again.
Rest peacefully, for the Child and his mother
No longer need to fear dangers on this earth.
Now they are ready to live and die without you."
But Joseph was reluctant to fall asleep. Perhaps
He was waiting for someone he wished to see again,
For he was attentive to the noises outside
With a glimmer of hope in his eyes.
He sat up suddenly... Footsteps broke the silence;
The door of the house opened to the darkness outside,
And Jesus, crossing the threshold of his youth,
Hurried to his father's side and leaned over him.
How far he must have walked to come! Dust
Covered his bare feet and accentuated his features;
But a bright light shone from his eyes
And filled Joseph's eyes forever more...
Mary whispered: "It is you, my Son!" And the Angel bowed down.
Jesus, bending over Joseph's bed, embraced his father;
No words were exchanged between them,
As Jesus fought his first battle against death!
And in the shadows lingered death, powerless...
But the old worker did not expect his Son to make his heart
Young and strong again: he looked into the divine face
And died with that vision set apart.
Ah! Blessed is the one who, with a trusting soul,
Having prayed, suffered and worked,
One evening, waiting, can lie down his fatigue,
And then, in a divine embrace, depart!
and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment
20. The Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ gives you
these holy aspirations through the ardent love He bears you, which makes
Him desire to possess your heart whole and entire.
May 2, 2013
(Mat 5:11-12) Blessed
are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all
that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice for
your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the
prophets that were before you.
NCR: Peres Tells Pope: Middle East is "Disintegrating"
BBC: Syria's beleaguered Christians
EXCERPT SPECIAL ACN REPORT: Plight of the Christians of the Middle East
Data and numbers:
A. No official reliable census has been made in all
the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries, figures below are
given on estimate basis and from relevant sources in respective
• The Holy Land, birth place of Jesus Christ and
Christianity has only few thousand Christians left there; many of whom
are looking for a better life condition elsewhere to relocate. The last
estimate given by a church official in Jerusalem is around 50,000
• Egypt: No one can tell the exact figure of Egyptian
Christians, especially Copts, even their Church can’t. Copts say it is
up to 15 million while sources in the Egyptian government say it is
only 6 million…. Copts have no role in public life, and are generally
treated as 2nd class citizens.
• Iraq has lost the majority of its Christians since
2003, only an estimated 500,000 are left as per the Assyrian
International News Agency (AINA) many of whom has escaped to the
northern part of the country or are awaiting resettlement into western
• Lebanon, due to repeated wars and political
instability, and although it is the only Arab country where Christians
have enough freedom and could be high positioned in the government, has
lost well over half a million of its Christians during the last 30
years. They make up, based on official statistics, around 33% of the
• Syria’s Christian population is estimated at around
10% of the 22 million. Although they have known a relative stability
during the Assad regime, many of them have already fled the country.
What will happen next???
• Iran pretends allowing the Christian minority a
certain freedom, but the mostly Armenian community that has lost its
2/3 continues to live on a borrowed time not knowing what tomorrow will
• In Jordan an estimated 300,000 Christians live freely till now.
RELATED: Religious leaders push for kidnapped bishops’ release
STRATFOR: Redlines and the Problems of Intervention in Syria
and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment
19. As for the ardent desire which urges you to
become a saint, I hope this will be so, with the grace of the Sacred Heart
of our Lord Who will make you a great saint, but I think He will sanctify
you in His own way and not in yours. Therefore you must leave it to Him,
and have no other end in view than to glorify Him by self-effacement; He
in His turn will look upon you to purify and sanctify you.
Dr. Zambrano Home
2000: Bringing the World to Jesus
Tribulation Times Archives:
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