Keep your eyes open!...






 

November 21, 2014  

(Rev 11:19) And the temple of God was opened in heaven: and the ark of his testament was seen in his temple. And there were lightnings and voices and an earthquake and great hail. (Rev 12:1) And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

UDAYTON: A Meditation on the Feast of the Presentation of Mary by Rev. Matthew R. Mauriello

ALETEIA: When the Virgin Mary Appeared in France

VIA A MOMENT WITH MARY: Catholics are not Inventing Anything New in Venerating Mary

The oldest prayer addressed directly to the Virgin Mary, Sub tuum praesidium, was found near Alexandria on an Egyptian Coptic papyrus, which, according to many scholars, dates back to the 3rd century AD. This prayer is older than the Ave Maria by several centuries.

This prayer, written in Greek, is a request for intercession, an urgent appeal to the Virgin Mary, from an early Christian community that lived in a time of great danger:

"We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen."

History attests that Catholics, in venerating Mary and seeking to imitate her, are not inventing anything new, but are simply continuing to do what Christians have always done.

VIA A MOMENT WITH MARY: A Woman of Superhuman Majesty

One night when Saint Gregory the Wonderworker was pondering the doctrine of the faith, an old man appeared before him. Startled, Gregory stood up and asked: "Who are you and what do you want?" The stranger told him that he had been sent by God to enlighten his doubts and reveal the truth of faith to him.

Gregory hesitated, torn between joy and fear, until the apparition outstretched his hand as if pointing in the opposite direction. Gregory turned and saw a woman of superhuman majesty. Unable to stand the light that emanated from her, he lowered his eyes. Then he heard the two visitors discuss the question that had been preoccupying him.

From this conversation, Gregory gained a true knowledge of the faith, but was also able to identify his two heavenly visitors: he heard the woman pressing John the Evangelist to disclose to him the mystery of faith, and John answered that he was ready to do so, since this was the pleasure of the Mother of God.

When the Virgin Mary and Saint John had left, Gregory rushed off to write down the teaching from Heaven. This testimony is the oldest that has been documented and dates back to the third century.

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

111. Another hermit said, 'A man ought always to be working at something in his cell. If he is busy with the psalms, the devil comes to him day after day but finds no resting-place there; even if he succeeds in conquering him and taking him prisoner, God's spirit often comes to him again. But if we are sinners and do not let God's spirit come to us, he will leave us alone.'


November 20, 2014  

(Mat 24:12-13) And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold. But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved.

POPE FRANCIS: “I am following with concern the alarming increase in tension in Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land, with unacceptable episodes of violence that do not spare even the places of worship. I assure a special prayer for all the victims of this dramatic situation and for those who suffer most as a result. From the bottom of my heart, I make an appeal to the parties involved to put an end to the spiral of hatred and violence and to make courageous decisions for reconciliation and peace. Building peace is difficult, but living without peace is a torment!”

WASHINGTON POST: How Jerusalem’s synagogue attacks introduced a dangerous new enemy: Lone-wolf terrorism

On Tuesday afternoon, hours after axe-wielding assailants inflicted a terrible carnage on a Jerusalem synagogue, the Israeli Government Press Office released a series of photographs, each more grisly than the last. They documented a moment of profound violence: blood-slicked floors, blood-splattered walls and lifeless limbs. Even in a city accustomed to death, the scene was difficult to absorb.

“I’ve seen many, many incidents here and abroad, but I don’t ever remember the sight of something like this,” Yehuda Meshi Zahav, head of Israel’s ZAKA emergency service, told Haaretz. “Like pictures we’ve seen of the Holocaust — seeing Jews wrapped in prayer shawls, phylacteries on their arms and heads, lying in an enormous pool of blood on the floor of a synagogue.” Another onlooker told Foreign Policy: “It looked like a pogrom.”

Without any group to blame, analysts agreed the killings underscored a chilling new reality for Jerusalem: entrenched terrorist networks such as Hamas or Islamic Jihad may no longer be the greatest concern when diffuse Palestinian fury can quickly solidify into violence. Such hatred explodes spontaneously, unencumbered by an organization. While Israeli politicians heaved accusations at Palestinian leaders, Yoarm Cohen, chief of the Israeli security force Shin Bet, said Abbas wasn’t inciting acts of terror, overtly or covertly. These attacks were driven by subtler forces.

JERUSALEM POST: Palestinians in Gaza celebrate terror attack at Jerusalem synagogue

Two Palestinians armed with a meat cleaver and a gun carried out the attack at the synagogue before being shot dead by police.

Gazan revelers in Rafah handed out sweets and brandished axes and posters of the said perpetrators in praise of the deadly attack. Palestinian radio reports described the attackers as "martyrs" and Hamas praised the attack. Loudspeakers at mosques in Gaza called out congratulations. However, there was no direct claim of responsibility.

Palestinian media named the attackers as Ghassan and Udai Abu Jamal, cousins from the Jerusalem district of Jabal Mukaber, and said they were members of a small militant group. Clashes broke out in Jabal Mukaber as Israeli security forces moved into the area to make arrests.

"Hamas calls for the continuation of revenge operations and stresses that the Israeli occupation bears responsibility for tension in Jerusalem," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

FIDES.ORG: Representatives of all religions visit the synagogue attacked

The leaders and representatives of the religious communities in the Holy Land went to visit the synagogue in Jerusalem, which yesterday was the scene of a bloody terrorist attack, to express solidarity with the affected community and condemn all together acts of violence that do not spare places of worship. The visit was attended by Christian, Muslim, Druze and Jew leaders and representatives.

Among the various speeches held, the Christian Churches was represented by Greek Orthodox Patriarch Thephilos III, while for the Muslims, the Mufti of Akko. "Speeches – says to Agenzia Fides the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, who took part in the visit - repeated emphatically that no reason and no political intention can justify violence against people praying and attacks in places dedicated to prayer and silence. He recalled that all people of responsibility, politicians and religious leaders, must do their best to condemn this violence and avoid as much as possible the causes which lead other people to violence.

The very act of gathering together in that place of sorrow, hit by violence - adds His Beatitude Twal - is a sign of hope. It means that in Jerusalem the different religions share the will to live together in peace and mutual respect, and that conflict and violence cannot prevail and disfigure the face of the Holy City. In this spirit, we Christians prepare ourselves for Advent, hoping to be able to welcome pilgrims from all over the world".

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

110. He also said, 'Because we have come to live in the desert we need to work hard praising God. If we are not going to undertake hard bodily labour, we must labour all the more praising God.
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November 18, 2014  

(2Th 2:1-4) And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and of our gathering together unto him: That you be not easily moved from your sense nor be terrified, neither by spirit nor by word nor by epistle. as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition Who opposeth and is lifted up above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God.

ARCHDIOCESE OF WASHINGTON: Are These the “Outer Bands” of a Coming Judgment? by Msgr. Charles Pope

FATHER BROOMS' BLOG: Remember the Last Things As Important Things

EXCERPT THE AMERCIAN CONSERVATIVE: The Blessing of a Wrathful God

There was (and still is) some good discussion on the weekend thread about the decline of Catholicism and the rise of Protestantism in Latin America. One thing that keeps coming out, both in the commentary and in the Pew study that sparked it is that many Latin Americans who leave Catholicism for Protestantism do so because Protestantism, at least in the forms they are receiving, demands something of them. It expects the men to stop being drunks and womanizers. It expects them to stop beating their wives, and to work hard and support their families. It gives them help in doing so. It changes lives in practical ways.

It’s not that Catholicism endorses drunkenness, womanizing, and the rest; it’s that for whatever reason or reasons, Latin American Catholics feel little or no pressure from their church to live by a Christian moral code in this way, and no inspiration to do so either. Why this is I cannot say. But I see that Kevin O’Brien, the Catholic writer in St. Louis, walked out of mass yesterday and wrote a jeremiad about this same thing in American Catholic churches. He calls it The Heresy of Inconsequentialism. Excerpt:

So what is this weird thing that is happening all over the country, and apparently all over the world? What is this weird religion that calls itself Catholic?

This is the religion of antichrist, of Christ without the cross.

Others have called it Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, but that phrase is not only awkward, it’s a misnomer. For this heresy is neither Moralistic, Therapeutic, or Deist.

There is nothing Moralistic about the Suburban Parish Mass at all. Universal salvation is offered to everyone, regardless of your ethical beliefs or practices. There’s nothing Therapeutic going on there, either. Any good therapist challenges his patient to get better, and not to continue wallowing in his addictions and bad choices; I’ve never heard any homily or modern hymn do anything like that; we are always affirmed right where we are. And this whole thing isn’t exactly Deism, for there is a personal God in the mix and we do more or less pray to Him, or at least we try to if the music isn’t too loud.

So what is this sick and bizarre heresy that we find in the vast majority of Catholic parishes, especially in the suburbs, that we find in Mainline Protestant churches and that the “Progressives” at the Synod on the Family are pushing? If it’s not really Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, what is it?

Belloc called it Modernism, but even he acknowledged that it seemed to be a mixture of all heresies and that it was hard to pin down or define.

I think the best name for it is Inconsequentialism. It is the belief that the Consequential does not exist. None of our choices or actions matters. Nothing we do will lead to heaven or hell. Our lives are works of fiction written entirely by our own selves. God stands back and applauds whatever choice we make, like an indulgent public school Kindergarten teacher. And since nothing leads to anything (which is what "inconsequential" means), the culture of this heresy is a kind of parody of the Kingdom of heaven: it's hell on earth, a place that is above all else Unreal. It is a place where we can choose our own genders, our own doctrines, our own way, our own truth, our own life. It is a place lacking all judgment, for judgment is the Consequential - and by judgment I mean both the Last Judgment as well as personal judgment or discernment: both God's judgment of us and our own judgment-in-practice, our own decision making day in and day out, our own "tough choices", none of which (we are assured) matters in the least, all of which are Inconsequential.

T. S. Eliot described the effects of what I call Inconsequentialism. "Hell is a place where nothing connects with nothing," he said. Inconsequentialism is isolating, fragmenting, and atomizing. But Inconsequentialists gladly pay that price, for their entire goal is to deny the Cross and everything that the Cross implies: sacrifice, suffering, discipline, decision, death, shame, and sin. To have Christ without the Cross is their goal. This, according to Bishop Sheen, was the hallmark of the spirit of antichrist: the denial of the cross in all its forms.

The whole thing is here. I sense that O’Brien is frustrated with this idea going around that the problem with the Catholic Church is that too many trads and conservatives are behaving too judgmentally, keeping folks away. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, of course, but in my own 13 years as a Catholic, the absolutely opposite was true. I can only think of one parish I was part of where the priest ever preached anything of substance. Ever. It was almost always mush. If I didn’t educate myself about the faith on my own, I never would have learned anything about the Catholic faith and what it meant to be a Catholic, aside from the fact that God loves me just like I am, and the only thing I need to do is accept my wonderful self as it already is.

I’m actually not exaggerating. If your experience in your parish is different, good for you. I mean that: good for you. You don’t know how rare that experience is.

I was so grateful when I was on my way into the Catholic Church for the strong, clear teachings of the Church on morality, which I received from reading Catholic books and magazines, and papal encyclicals. I was something of a mess when I sought out the Catholic faith. I needed what it had to offer me: a way out of the mess I had made and was continuing to make of my life.

And it worked. It required years of prayer, repentance, and receiving the sacraments. But it worked.

Here’s the thing: it worked in spite of parish life and pastoral guidance. I mean, it worked because I educated myself in the faith, and dedicated myself to living it out in spite of the fact that there was little or no support in the parishes I searched out.

RELATED: Sorry, Pope Francis: Protestants Are Converting Catholics Across Latin America

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

109. Another of the hermits said, 'If our inner self behaves soberly, it can control the outer self: but if the inner self does not do this, what other means is there of controlling the tongue?
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November 14, 2014  

(Mat 19:4-6) Who answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, made them male and female? And he said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.

EXCERPT VATICAN.VA (2003): CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS

The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.

CATHOLIC SAN FRANCISCO: Ruling sets up possible Supreme Court round

Although the Supreme Court just a few weeks ago declined to accept any of several challenges to rulings making same-sex marriage legal in various states, a 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision Nov. 6 could lead to another shot at the high court weighing in on a nationwide approach to such unions.

It is the first federal appeals court ruling to uphold states’ rights to decide that marriage may be restricted to only heterosexual couples. Four federal appellate courts – the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th – have said such bans are unconstitutional.

In a 2-1 ruling, the panel of the 6th Circuit said that although the question is no longer whether same-sex marriage will be allowed in the United States, but when and how, the two judges said it is better “to allow change through the customary political processes,” than through court rulings.

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, praised the 6th Circuit panel’s majority ruling for upholding citizens’ rights “to protect and defend marriage as the unique relationship of a man and a woman.” He said the court had acknowledged “the reasonable arguments for preserving the true definition of marriage” and respecting “the self-determination of states on this issue.” “It is not society’s laws or for that matter any one religion’s laws, but nature’s laws – that men and women complement each other biologically – that created the policy imperative,” Archbishop Cordileone said in a statement.

The Michigan Catholic Conference, which supports upholding the state’s 2004 voter-approved amendment defining marriage as limited to between a man and a woman, called the court’s ruling “a joyous occasion for many communities and families across the state that have sought to protect the traditional definition of marriage.”

Catholic teaching upholds the traditional definition of marriage and holds that any sexual activity outside of marriage is sinful. The church also teaches that homosexual attraction itself is not sinful and that homosexual people “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity.”

PETER KREEFT: Do Squares Have Three Sides Because We Say So? An Argument about Same-Sex Marriage

EDITORIAL: Pope has affirmed that only male-female marriage is real marriage

FIRST THINGS: Catholic Capitulation on Marriage

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

108. One of the hermits said, 'When first we used to meet each other in the assembly and talk of what was helpful to our souls, we were always withdrawn more from the things of senses and we ascended to the heavenly places. But now when we meet we spend our time in gossip, and so we drag each other down.
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November 12, 2014  

(Psa 122:6) Pray ye for the things that are for the peace of Jerusalem: and abundance for them that love thee.

CATHOLIC SENTINEL: Religious leaders call for calm at holy site in Jerusalem

Attachments to holy places should not be a cause of bloodshed, hatred or violence, said the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land.

Council members, who include Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders, said in a statement Nov. 9 that they were concerned about increased violence around the site in the Old City known as Haram al-Sharif by Muslims and that Jews refer to as the Temple Mount.

"(We) lament that the site ... has become a major focus of the conflict in the Holy Land," the statement said. "Holy places must remain dedicated to prayer and worship only."

"Holy places are there for believers to draw inspiration to strengthen their acceptance and love of the Almighty and all his creatures, from all religions and all nationalities," it said.

The site is considered holy by Muslims as the location of Muhammad's journey to Jerusalem and the site of his ascent into heaven, and by Jews as the place where two biblical temples once stood. It is also revered by Christians as the site where Jesus surprised Jewish rabbis with his theological knowledge and the place where he confronted the corruption of those who used the temple as a place of commerce.

Tensions have risen since late October at the site. Israel in a rare moved closed the Al Aqsa Mosque for one day after the police shooting of a Palestinian suspected of having shot a rabbi who espoused more Jewish rights at the site, where Jews currently can gather but not pray.

"The integrity and current status quo of each holy place needs to be respected. Each religious community should treat the Holy Sites of the other faiths in a manner that respects their independence," the religious leaders said. "Any act of desecration, aggression or harm against holy sites must be halted and strongly condemned."

The religious leaders expressed deep concern that the political conflict would turn into a violent religious conflict.

"In that case, all of us are losers -- except extremists on all sides," they said.

"We work to secure open access to the Old City of Jerusalem for all communities. All believers should have safe and free access to the holy sites of their religious traditions," the statement said.

The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land consists of the heads of the Catholic, Orthodox and Christian churches, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Ministry of Islamic Waqf at the Palestinian Authority.

ICEJ
: Chief Rabbi Asks Pope to Condemn Violence in Jerusalem

Israeli Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef made an official request on Monday to the papal ambassador to Israel, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, to appeal to Pope Francis and the Catholic Church to help ease the high levels of tension and violence in Israel. “Jerusalem was given by God to the Jewish people thousands of years ago and we do not need to concede our sovereignty over it, but at the same time the Bible says ‘My house will be a house of prayer for all peoples,’” Yosef told Lazzarotto. “Therefore we must allow people from all faiths to pray there if they so wish, while our utmost desire is to prevent bloodshed and to reduce the tensions, [because] the purpose of faith is to bring good and peace to all, and not the opposite, God forbid.”

“We cannot as a people allow a situation in which through the Temple Mount and under the guise of a war in the name of religion, murderous terror is deployed against the citizens of Israel. We expect that the pope and the Vatican will demonstrate a clear voice of condemnation to these violent actions and not stand back.”

ICN: Jerusalem: Bishop tells pilgrims 'your presence gives us strength'

ROME REPORTS: A pilgrimage to the Holy Land for peace...and to help Christians in the Middle East

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: Jerusalem

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

107. A hermit said, 'Sometimes a brother thinks of something when he is sitting in his cell, and meditating in his heart about it, he cannot understand its meaning and is not given true understanding by God. Then the demons come to his help, and they show him whatever meaning suits them.
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November 11, 2014  

(Rev 2:2-5) I know thy works and thy labour and thy patience and how thou canst not bear them that are evil. And thou hast tried them who say they are apostles and are not: and hast found them liars: And thou hast patience and hast endured for my name and hast not fainted. But I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first charity. Be mindful therefore from whence thou art fallen: and do penance and do the first works. Or else I come to thee and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou do penance.

CATHOLIC SENTINAL: Chicago church documents detail clergy sex abuse cases

FROM THE MAILBAG
VIA
Father Ted: Roots of abuse crisis in loss of prayer discipline

For many many months now we have heard and read about the sexual abuse problems among the clergy. We have been offered diverse reasons for this situation. Many have been blamed for this situation.

  What has amazed me – and this for many years now – is that no one, to my knowledge – or very few – have mentioned who has been the cause of this situation, how he has caused this, and why he has caused this.

  Of course, one of the reasons why he has not been mentioned is because it is not politically correct to mention him influencing us today.

  For many years now, very very few people talk or even write about him and how he has been striving to destroy the Church – since the very beginning.

  We have, almost deliberately ignored the fact that the devil, like a roaring lion, as saint Peter declares in his first letter, goes about seeking those whom he can destroy.

  I remember many years ago, hearing about the mystical experience of Pope Leo XIII had after he had celebrated Holy Mass – overhearing the dialogue between Lucifer and Jesus; and how, as a result of this experience the Holy Father composed the powerful prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel – which prayer he exhorted us to pray at the end of each Mass, with the exception of the Solemn High Mass on Sunday.

  No one has declared that Satan has been behind this scandal. No one has declared how he did this; nor why.

  I became aware of how he was working nearly 40 years ago. I realized what he was doing and how he was doing this activity – because I, like many of my brothers who were priests, was duped by him.

  What he was doing was simply attempting to destroy the Church of Jesus Christ.

  How he began to do it was also quite simple.

  For he is quite subtle and quite sneaky.

  I was brought up by the Benedictines during my high school years – during the late 40s and the early 50s.

  I was taught the motto of St. Benedict – “To Pray and to work”. I learned that both work and prayer are important. But prayer is more important.

  When I looked back on my upbringing, I observed that in the late 1940s and in the early
1950s, this motto of St. Benedict had been altered. What was being emphasized during that time was work – work being more important than prayer.

  Shortly after I was ordained to the priesthood in June of 1961, while I was beginning my work as a priest who was assigned to teach in a Catholic high school, I was informed that “work was my prayer."

  I recall that I and many of my confreres were delighted to accept this new teaching that had filtered down to us within the Church. We thought “Wow – my work is my prayer.” Now my classroom preparations were my prayers.

  When we bought this teaching, we dropped one of the mandatory prayers that we had promised to fulfill when we were ordained to Major Orders.

  We believed that we were justified in doing so. But it was that justification that was part of the blindness that Lucifer had given us.

  We did not abandon prayer. But we diminished our prayer life.

  The result was imperceptible, and yet significant.

  For in 1968, when the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI published his encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” we rejected it – as many others had done. We believed that he was wrong.

  But that was due to our blindness caused by Satan.

  As I later learned, when one reduces his/her prayer life, one is not able to discern truth easily.

   For me, it took several years, to recognize my blindness. This occurred because of the prayers of others for me.

  Spiritual blindness was the first effect of my diminishing my prayer life.

  What also happened was that I, and my other brothers, who had dropped praying the Divine Office, were not able to resist our temptations.

  I know now that I need a strong prayer life to overcome my temptations. I know now that many of my temptations are activated by the devil. He knows me; he knows my weaknesses. He prods me to giving into these weaknesses.

   Those of my brothers, who had sexual weaknesses, were tempted by him. And, without the deep prayer life, they were not able to resist.

  What Lucifer was doing, of course, was striving to destroy the Church by weakening the priests within the Church and injuring members of their flocks.

  The third effect of a diminished prayer life is that we began to see the flaws and imperfections within the Church magnified immensely. With the result being that we want to leave such an imperfect – corrupt – Church.

  Many of my brothers did. I almost did too. But there were profoundly holy lay people that I knew, who prayed for me – though I did not realize this at that time. And their prayers, their powerful and merciful prayer, kept me from leaving.

  Their prayers enabled me to see the light of truth.

  And as a result I was able to confess my blindness. I was able to admit my wrong-doings. I was able to profess my faith in the teachings of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. I was able to recognize once again the importance of a deep fervent prayer life.

  I admit, like Pope Benedict XVI has declared, that “Prayer is the number one responsibility of the priest."

  But isn’t this just what our first pope declared in dealing with the first recording ecclesial problem in the Jerusalem Church? We read about this during the Mass on the 2nd Saturday of Easter.

  Satan is still trying to weaken and to destroy our Church.

  And isn’t that why we have not taken seriously the call that our Holy Father Pope John Paul II gave to a group of American bishops in May of 1998 when he exhorted them to encourage their priests to offer Mass daily, whether there is a congregation present or not?

  Isn’t that why we have not taken seriously the call that our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI gave to the American Bishops two years ago in Washington, DC when he exhorted them to daily visit our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, to pray the rosary daily, and to daily pray the Divine Office.

  Like in the early Church we need to become men filled with the Holy Spirit and endowed with wisdom, as was the requirement for the first deacons. Like in the early Church we need to become men whose primary tasks are prayer and proclaiming the Gospel.

   We are called to become saints. We are called to encourage our lay brothers and sisters to become saints. We are called to evangelize the world.

   Lord help us.
 
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Discretion 

106. A hermit said, 'Do not be pleased at everything that is said, and do not agree with everything that is said. Be slow to believe, and quick to say what is true.
'


November 5, 2014  

THE TRIB TIMES WILL RETURN NEXT WEEK, GOD WILLING (James 4:15).

(Luk 1:28-29) And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.

REVIEW: Saturday Devotions in Honor of Our Lady

VIA WORKOFGOD.ORG
: First Saturday Devotion to Our Lady

This is a devotion of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, done to honour Our Lady's sorrows as suggested by Our Lord in an apparition to Sister Lucia a visionary from Fatima in 1925 and as requested by Our Lady.

Background The First Saturday Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was first mentioned by Our Lady of Fatima on July 13, 1917. After showing the three children a vision of hell she said, "You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace... I shall come to ask for... the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays..."

Eight years later, on December 10, 1925, Mary and the Child Jesus appeared to Lucia, (already postulant at that time in the Dorothean house at Pontevedra, Spain) the only surviving Fatima visionary. Our Lady rested her hand on Lucia's shoulder, revealing a heart encircled by thorns.

The Child Jesus said: "Have compassion on the heart of your most holy Mother, covered with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation..."

Our Lady's conditions for this devotion Our Lady spoke next, saying: "Look, my daughter, at my heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me."

Why Five Saturdays?

Christians have always honored the Blessed Virgin on Saturday because of her constant faith in Jesus on that first Holy Saturday before the Resurrection.

Five first Saturdays of reparation were requested to atone for the five ways in which people offend the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

1.attacks upon Mary's Immaculate Conception
2.attacks against her Perpetual Virginity
3.attacks upon her Divine Maternity and the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all mankind
4.for those who try to publicly implant in children's hearts indifference, comtempt and even hatred of this Immaculate Mother
5.for those who insult her directly in her sacred images.

Letter of Sister Lucia explaining this devotion:

1 November, 1927, letter to Dona Maria de Miranda, her godmother, Sister Lucia wrote:

"I don't know if you already know about the reparatory devotion of the five Saturdays to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As it is still recent, I would like to inspire you to practice it, because it is requested by Our dear Heavenly Mother and Jesus has manifested a desire that it be practiced. Also, it seems to me that you would be fortunate, dear godmother, not only to know it and to give Jesus the consolation of practicing it, but also to make it known and embraced by many other persons.

"It consists in this: During five months on the first Saturday, to receive Jesus in Communion, recite a Rosary, keep Our Lady company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, and make a confession. The confession can be made a few days earlier, and if in this previous confession you have forgotten the (required) intention the following intention can be offered, provided that on the first Saturday one receives Holy Communion in a state of grace, with the intention of repairing for offenses against the Most Holy Virgin and which afflict Her Immaculate Heart.

"It seems to me, my dear godmother, that we are fortunate to be able to give Our dear Heavenly Mother this proof of love, for we know that She desires it to be offered to Her. As for myself, I avow that I am never so happy as when first Saturday arrives. Isn't it true that our greatest happiness is to belong entirely to Jesus and Mary and to love Them and Them alone, without reserve? We see this so clearly in the lives of the saints...They were happy because they loved, and we, my dear godmother, we must seek to love as they did, not only to enjoy Jesus, which is the least important -- because if we do not enjoy Him here below, we will enjoy Him up above -- but to give Jesus and Mary the consolation for being loved...and that in exchange for this love they might be able to save many souls."

EWTN: Our Lady Requested First Saturday Devotions – EWTN Makes It Easy!

VIA A Moment With Mary: Our Lady of Suffrage

Traditionally, on the Saturday after the Feast of All Saints, the Church invites us to intensify our prayers on this day of the week dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, by invoking her especially under the title of "Our Lady of Suffrage."

To help our deceased who are currently in Purgatory, the Church invites us to earnestly seek the aid of suffrage (from the Latin suffragium, recommendation). The most valuable petition we can do is to offer the suffrage of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the "holy souls in Purgatory."

We can also, through our prayers, acts of charity, sacrifices, intercessory prayers, self-denials and the use of indulgences of the Church, relieve the suffering souls in Purgatory… Those who have the desire to help the souls in Purgatory, will be told on the Last Day by Jesus Himself: I was in prison and you visited me!

This practice of "suffrage" is an application of the dogma of the Communion of Saints, according to which we are members of one another and we can atone for one another.

SAINT POPE JOHN PAUL II: "The first and highest form of love for our brothers and sisters is the burning desire for their eternal salvation."


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

105. A hermit said, 'A monk ought not to listen to disparagement; he ought not to be disparaging, and he ought not to be scornful.
'


November 3, 2014  

(Rom 13:1-3) Let every soul be subject to higher powers. For there is no power but from God: and those that are ordained of God. Therefore, he that resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist purchase to themselves damnation. For princes are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good: and thou shalt have praise from the same.

RHODE ISLAND CATHOLIC: Dear Bishop Tobin: For Whom Do I Vote?

BISHOP CONLEY: Our Brothers and Sisters

HLI: A Catholic Obligation to Vote November 4

"We encourage all citizens, particularly Catholics, to embrace their citizenship not merely as a duty and privilege, but as an opportunity meaningfully to participate in building the Culture of Life. Every voice matters in the public forum. Every vote counts. Every act of responsible citizenship is an exercise of significant individual power." - United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics, #34 It is with great urgency that I ask you to vote this coming election day. We need moral and ethical leaders who will fully support the protection of traditional marriage and family instituted by God, uphold the inviolable dignity of every person from conception to natural death and heroically stand against the aggressive assault on our religious freedoms.

To simply cast a vote for civic duty's sake isn't enough. Voting for individuals and laws must always be based on Catholic moral teaching and natural law. Having a well-formed conscience means holding to permanent, non-negotiable moral and ethical principles that affirm a Culture of Life. Essentially, preserving and establishing the right to life supersedes all other rights; all other natural rights depend upon the existence of life and do not take precedence as explained by Pope Saint John Paul II:

"The inviolability of the person, which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God, finds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition of all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination . . ." (The Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World, Christifideles laici, #38).

We are called as citizens to vote by the light of Faith, making sound judgments regarding each candidate's stance on key moral issues. Although a heavy responsibility, your vote - cast with a well-formed Catholic conscience - can have an impact on the direction of our country, and even how we deal with other countries. We must exercise our right to vote, otherwise we become part of the complacent majority that allow the sin of legalized abortion to continue robbing the most basic of human rights from our nation's most innocent and vulnerable of citizens.

Granted, we must do more than vote in accordance with Church teaching, we must also take every possible opportunity to defend life and family in our own communities, and in whatever sphere we have influence. But we must vote, and we must use our vote well.

"A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or individual law that contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals" (Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith: Doctrinal Notes on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, #4).

Therefore, I propose three actions leading up to this coming election day, November 4.

Pray for the election of leaders.
For weeks now, our staff members have prayed after every Mass for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the defense of life and family during this election. Our internal prayer campaign asks for the conversion of all members of Congress and those working in the U.S. government, who are promoting the Culture of Death here in our country and around the world. Please pray in unity with Our Lady, the patroness of the unborn and HLI, for the election of leaders who will humbly and justly serve our great nation. I encourage you to share our campaign prayer in English and Spanish with your friends and family.

Be informed about the candidates and their positions.
To know the candidates and their positions, take full advantage of Catholic voter guides, an essential tool for casting informed votes that advocate for moral and ethical candidates or legislation. I highly recommend purchasing and sharing the Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics, published by our friends at Catholic Answers. Here is an online version which should be read and shared with as many voters as possible before election day.

Vote with a well-formed conscience that is unconditionally pro-life.
We are responsible for the formation of our consciences and for choosing as wisely as possible from among the laws and candidates on our ballots. Whenever possible, we must vote for candidates who stand with the Church on ending abortion, defending traditional marriage, and opposing euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research and human cloning.

Some choices will be tough to make, but a voter with a well-formed Christian conscience will choose wisely in order to limit the potential harm caused by laws and candidates who support destructive anti-life policies. A person's well-formed conscience is "ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1776).

This is exactly why our country's upcoming elections are too crucial to dismiss. I encourage you to go to the polls next Tuesday, November 4, and cast your vote based on the "non-negotiable ethical principles, which are the underpinning of life in society" (Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith's Doctrinal Notes on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, #3).

May God bless our nation and bless the results from this important election - and give us the courage, as a nation, to authentically live the Gospel of Life.

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

104. A brother asked a hermit, 'My sister is poor. If I give her alms, am I giving alms to the poor?' He said, 'No.' The brother said, 'Why is that, abba?' He replied, 'Because your relationship draws you to prefer her.
'
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