Keep your eyes open!...


November 30, 2005


ZENIT.ORG: Father Cantalamessa, Papal Household Preacher, on Advent's Wake-up Call

FATHER ALTIER: Homily- First Sunday of Advent


Before we can receive divine mercy, we must know why we need it. Jesus is telling us to recognize who God is and who we are. The time is short.

You and I may not have turned away from God in dramatic ways. We may not have committed adultery or abortion. We may not have denied Jesus or renounced our faith. We may not have dishonored our parents. Still, we have done smaller things. If carried to their logical conclusion, they would result in a denial of God. During Advent we need to alert ourselves to apparently small matters which can have enormous consequences: the little lies, the resentments which fester, the unchecked temper, the failure to control impulses, a certain laziness, a lack of courage. These small things can lead to a terrible end.

Remember Bobby Leach. He was the gutsy Englishman who went over Niagara Falls in a steel cylinder. He took quite a beating, but he survived. A few years later, however, he was walking down a street in New Zealand. He was not watching his way and he slipped on an orange peel. He wound up in a hospital and the complications eventually brought his death.

We can overcome major challenges, but small things can bring us down. A man can resist difficult temptations at work, but come home and start shouting at his family. Once a guy, after years of sobriety, thought he could handle one small drink. The taste stayed in his mind and he could not resist. He wound up on First Avenue. He had lost his home, his money, his family. Small missteps can have devastating consequences. For that reason Jesus tells us, Be watchful, be alert. Not that we become neurotics worried about every misstep. No, we are confident that Jesus will care for us, even carry us. But we want to avoid the path which leads away from him. The time is short. This could be your last Advent. His coming should fill us with a healthy sense of awe:

May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: Watch! (Mk 13:37)


Online Advent Calender
Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas
Celebrating Advent as a Family
Family Advent Customs
Significance of Advent Wreath
How Did Advent Come About? by Fr. William Saunders

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

30. I have no pleasure in this miserable life except in what concerns the interests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Who often fastens me, stripped of all, to the Cross.

November 29, 2005

(Mar 13:35-37) Watch therefore--for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning-- lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Watch."


IN THE NEWS: Pope declares plenary indulgence for December 8

MORE FROM POPE BENEDICT: A Time "Full of Hope and Spiritual Expectation"


Advent teaches we’re not in control — God’s light can help
By Archbishop John Vlazny

Advent is as long as it can possibly be this year — four full weeks. It all begins on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 27. Advent, that wonderful season of hope, provides us with a time to celebrate quietly and purposefully the coming of the Lord Jesus among his people. Advent is a time of great expectation. It is a time when the prophets speak to us in Scripture about the one who comes with justice and peace. Parents see expectation in the faces of their children. We all long to teach them about the birth of Jesus as they wait for the coming of Santa Claus.

Last year in Advent I heard about the situation in Ireland back in the 17th century when the English armies were occupying the country. The King’s army had been sent to suppress the “Roman” religion of the Irish peasants. Priests were outlaws. They were all forced to minister on the run and celebrate the sacraments in secret.

But the Irish were not easily intimidated. When Christmas came, they placed burning candles in their windows and left their doors unlocked. The occupation troops were suspicious and wanted to know what this was all about. The people explained that the candles were lighted and the doors left open so that Mary and Joseph, looking for a place to stay on Christmas Eve, would find their way to their homes where they would be welcome. Of course the English thought this was just another silly “superstition” and they let it go. But the lighted candles were really a signal to any priest in hiding that this was a “safe” house where he could come in and offer Mass on that most holy night.

Lights in windows, on doorposts and Christmas trees continue to mark the holy season of Advent. At Portland’s National Shrine of Our Sorrowful Mother, more commonly referred to as “The Grotto,” Father Jack Topper and his coworkers will begin a month-long Festival of Lights right after Thanksgiving. All these lights celebrate the dawning of the Christ, the light of the world who shatters the darkness of our long night of sin and alienation.

In so many ways our lives are a constant Advent. Our time here on earth, from the perspective of eternity, is precious and limited. The darkness of December parallels the darkness of our lives in which we have so much to do before the morning of eternity dawns. The liturgy in the early days of Advent reminds us that we all will be called to account for the use of our time, our treasure and our talents at the daybreak of eternity. We want to make good use of our time and our opportunities so that we will not be judged adversely at the end.

The Gospel of the first Sunday of Advent this year cautions us to be on guard. Life holds some very sober truths. Evil is real. Death comes when least expected. We shall all face a final reckoning. But we need not worry because the Holy Spirit gives us the gift of grace for whatever the day brings. It is the Holy Spirit who empowers us to hear and attend to one another’s needs.

On the first Wednesday of Advent, Nov. 30, we shall be observing our first Ember Day of the new liturgical year. This is a time I have asked all the Catholics of western Oregon to set aside for prayer and fasting. Our intention once again is for the healing of the victims of child sexual abuse by clergy and their eventual reconciliation with the church. We pray too for our perseverance in continuing the evangelizing mission of the church, in spite of all the obstacles and distractions.

The unremitting anxiety, unexpected longevity and mounting frustration that have accompanied the scandal have made life challenging for all of us. We like to be in control. Clearly we are not in control this time. When you stop to think about it, a major problem of the human family right from the very beginning was its desire to be in control, to be like gods. That’s what led to the downfall of Adam and Eve. It can lead to our downfall as well.

My friends, during this holy season we come to grips with the fact that we are simply not in control. We can curse the darkness but we cannot overcome it on our own. We all need God’s help. Eventually, we too unite our Advent prayer with that of Isaiah the prophet: “Oh Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay and you are the potter: we are all the work of your hands.” In addition to the Ember Day observance, which reminds us of the penitential character of this season, early in Advent we shall also have the privilege of celebrating the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8, the patronal feast of this archdiocese, and also the holiest of days for our Mexican-American neighbors, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 12. Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Lord’s first disciple, is a marvelous model for us during this special season. Her trust in God’s care when she received the unexpected message from the angel, her loving care of her holy child, her fidelity and perseverance throughout his public life and suffering, and her joyful sharing in the mission of Jesus entrusted to his apostles after the resurrection serve as models for all of us on our own personal journey of faith.

Advent is also a time of reconciliation. Many of our parishes have opportunities for special penance services as well as the regular weekly confessions. Please do take advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation to acknowledge your dependence upon God for His grace, mercy and peace. As I often remind the youngsters at Confirmation, the admission of our personal sinfulness goes hand in hand with our call of holiness. We may be reluctant to forgive those who offend us. Fortunately God’s heart is bigger and much more generous.

You will be in my prayers during these precious Advent days. It is my very favorite liturgical season, bar none. After all, it was in Advent eight years ago that I became your archbishop. I thank God for that grace each day and I pray that together we shall overcome the darkness of the present moment and delight in the brightness of God’s glory forever.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

29. I am attacked on all sides, yet I will not fear, for I keep myself strongly entrenched in my secure fortress-- the Sacred Heart of my divine Master. Like a wise leader He deals out to me just strength sufficient for each occasion.

November 22, 2005


(2Co 9:9-12) As it is written, "He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures for ever." He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for great generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God; for the rendering of this service not only supplies the wants of the saints but also overflows in many thanksgivings to God.


How to Avoid Seasonal Hazards of Advent
By Bishop Paul S. Loverde

HEADLINE: Catholic students learn lessons of charity

Happy Thanksgiving
By Father Chester Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church

Imagine living in a country where every day a person can be thankful for their God given freedom to worship the Lord God, each in his or her own way. And then gather together on one special day each year to join with their families, neighbors and friends to say Thank You, Our Father in Heaven, for the United States of America and for granting us the privilege of living here. On behalf of the parishioners of Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, I extend Love and Blessings to you All on this Thanksgiving.


Pakistan Christians in a precarious position Violence rocks churches as Muslims invoke anti-blasphemy law
Archbishop Saldahna Tells of Attacks Against Facilities
Families of Beheaded Indonesian Girls Forgive Killers
Bush's Visit to Beijing Church Emphasizes Religious Freedom
Sri Lanka Christians Concerned as Uncertainty Overshadows Presidential Poll
The Church Breaks its Silence over the Islam of the Ayatollahs


Virgin Mary Statue Seen Crying Tears Of Blood

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

22. We should always look to God as in ourselves, no matter in what manner we meditate upon Him, so as to accustom ourselves to dwell in His divine presence.  For when we behold Him within our souls, all our powers and faculties, and even our senses, are recollected within us.  If we look at God apart from ourselves we are easily distracted by exterior objects.

November 21, 2005

(Luke 21:1-4) And looking on, he saw the rich men cast their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in two brass mites. And he said: Verily, I say to you that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all. For all these have of their abundance cast into the offerings of God: but she of her want hath cast in all the living that she had.

HOMILY BY FATHER ALTIER Reading (Daniel 1:1-6, 8-20) Gospel (St. Luke 21:1-4)

In the Gospel reading today, we hear about this poor widow who puts just a couple of small coins into the treasury. The Lord says to us that she has put in more than everyone else because she did not give of her surplus but she gave of her very livelihood. Now that certainly is true with regard to any kind of financial situation, but we can also look at it from a spiritual point of view. We have to ask ourselves again: What is it that God is looking for from each one of us, and do we give to Him out of our surplus or do we give to Him out of our necessity? Not merely the sense of recognizing that we are absolutely dependent upon Him–because we are–but what we oftentimes do is to limit what we are going to give to God, or sometimes when we go to prayer it is all about the self. What we do give to God tends to be only when we do not want to pray about ourselves, which is pretty rare. If that is the case, how much are we really giving to the Lord?

Obviously, when we go to prayer there is a great deal that we gain from it. Yet it is not a matter of what we are getting; prayer is a matter of what we are giving. That is the necessity of it. And so we are to go to God with absolute trust and confidence that He will provide everything we need. We also need to be there with the complete charity that we are going to give to God whatever He would desire. When we look around and we realize that this world is in such grave necessity, we have a need to pray. And while there is need to look at some of the issues in our own lives, we need to make sure that we are looking at what the world needs as well, what the people around us need. We have to make sure that we are really, truly practicing charity, that while we might prefer to go to prayer and be selfish in the way we do things, out of our necessity we can pray for others. That kind of prayer is going to be exceedingly pleasing to the Lord.

It is a delicate balance sometimes. We have to try to discern what it is God wants us to pray about because sometimes there are things that are going to be in the way, things that stand between God and us. Obviously, that is what we need to pray about, to discern what the problem is and get rid of it. But beyond that, for the most part we need to make sure that our focus is simply on God. Even on those occasions when we are trying to discern what is in the way, it is so that we can focus more on God. It is not to be self-focused, but it is about the Lord. If we are focused on Him then we can be completely confident in what He is going to do for us because we are not just going to be giving to Him a little bit here or there when we do not want to think about ourselves–or when we are so generous that we actually do not think about ourselves for a few seconds!–but the very essence of what we are about is focusing on the Lord and giving of our very necessity. That may seem to us something exceedingly small, just like this widow who put in only two copper coins when the wealthy people were putting in lots of money, but when we look at it from God’s perspective, we realize that if we are truly trying our best to give Him the praise and honor and glory that is due to His Holy Name, if we out of charity are truly seeking the good of others in our prayer as well as in our works, then we are giving out of our necessity.

That is what He is looking for: true charity, digging in deep. When Mother Teresa was once asked, “How much should I give,” (Somebody was asking that in a financial sense) she said, “Give until it hurts.” Do not just give from your surplus; give until it hurts. How about prayer? How much more important is that than money? God does not care about the money. God cares about charity. That is what we have to be about. Whether that is charity with regard to time, whether that is charity with regard to finance, or whether that is charity with regard to prayer, that is what it is all about. The focus of our lives has to be charity. If we are focused on charity, that is, truly loving the way we are supposed to, then God will handle everything else and we can have complete confidence in that. Like the widow in the Gospel, it does not mean God is going to make us rich and make everything easy. She was poor. Yet look at the wealth she had, the wealth of love that she could give more than everyone else even though it was only two little copper coins. That is what God is looking for: true generosity, true charity of heart, not to give just of what we have left over, but to give from our heart from the very necessity of our lives.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

21. Having once made an entire donation of ourselves, let us not retract it: our Lord will employ every means to sanctify us, in proportion as we make use of every opportunity to glorify Him.

November 18, 2005


(1Th 5:4-6) But you are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.


Each and every one of us, no matter what our state in life might be, no matter what our circumstances might be, if we are called to be children of the light and of the day, it means we need to walk in the light. And what does that mean? It means, number one and first and foremost, we need to pray. Now I have tried to tell you this hundreds and hundreds of times: It is absolutely essential; it is not an option for us; WE MUST PRAY. And I am not talking about saying prayers (those are also exceedingly important); I am talking about coming before the Lord and spending time with Him. How are we going to know His Will unless we ask Him? He is the Light that came into the darkness. If we are going to be children of the light, we have to be united with the Light. In fact, He has told us that we are the light of the world. How can we be the light of the world unless the light is shining in us and through us? The only way that light will shine in us and through us is if we are rooted in prayer. So that must be our priority.

Inevitably, as we look in our lives, we are going to say, “I don’t have time.” The devil is very shrewd and he has gotten us all exceedingly busy with all kinds of pursuits that really are not all that important. But there is a principle that you can apply: If you are too busy to pray, you are too busy. Busy is not going to save anybody’s soul. Busy is the work of Satan, and Satan will busy us about many things in order to keep us from what is most important. What is most important is prayer. Following from prayer, then, comes the work that we have to do. Prayer will keep things balanced. The spiritual life tends toward balance. If your life is out of balance one way or the other, too much busyness or too much leisure, the prayer is going to help you get it balanced properly. It is a constant struggle in the prayer life to find where that balance belongs, but we need to make sure that we are putting God first; and following from that, that we are doing what God wants us to do.

That is what is very important for us to understand. It is what God wants us to do, not what we prefer to do. All of us, I think, would much more prefer to be immersed in some hobby or some inane sort of thing that does not require anything on our part, rather than what we really ought to be doing. But we need to be about the work of God.

But again, if you look at it and say, “There isn’t any time; I’m too busy,” then let me challenge you to do one thing. Take a little bit of time, go to prayer, and ask God, “What can go? What am I doing in my life that really is peripheral, that really is pretty much worthless, that I’m busying myself with and is not Your Will?” Then get rid of it. You might enjoy it, it may well be (and hopefully is) that there is nothing sinful about it, but if it is filling up your time so that you cannot pray then it is not good. That is what we have to understand. We need to determine what our priorities are going to be. If you have time to sit in front of the TV but not in front of the tabernacle, the priorities are kind of mixed up. If we have time to follow all kinds of trivial pursuits but not follow what is most important, our priorities are mixed up. The devil then has us by the tail, and we are walking according to the darkness rather than the light.

The Lord is expecting that what He has given to us is going to be returned to Him at least double. We cannot bury it in the ground. We cannot ignore it. We need to do the works of God. That means we must pray and we must seek the Will of the Lord, and then we must carry out His Will. If we are praying and if we are doing the Will of God, when the Lord comes like a thief in the night, we will not be caught off guard because we will not be living as children of the night but rather we will be there with open hearts and open arms, awake and alert, ready for the return of the Lord, because we have truly been living as children of light and of the day.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

18. I cannot but admire the goodness and liberality of the Sacred Heart towards you. Our Lord seems to take pleasure in unfolding all Its treasures for your benefit.

November 17, 2005

(2Ma 7:23) But the Creator of the world, that formed the nativity of man, and that found out the origin of all, he will restore to you again, in his mercy, both breath and life, as now you despise yourselves for the sake of his laws.


VIA Dom McCandless: Are you all aware that Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has taken her people to task over their complacency towards Islam? She says the result is a resurgence of Islam threatening Danish culture and values. As Denmark has no imperial Muslim connections, I can only suppose they have emigrated there through their membership of other EU countries whose possessions from Empire days included countries that now have large Muslim numbers. These countries would mostly be the UK and France. Spain, of course, was overrun by the Moors centuries back - and their successful fight against the invaders is depicted in the film El Cid.

We are in a battle for the souls of men. We must all wake up and recognise that Jesus alone is the way to the Father, the only Name given under heaven by which we must be saved. Whilst other religions have their own sound principles and morality, they do not and can never lead to salvation - although, as St Paul teaches, they know of God and we can hope they will "feel after Him and find Him". We have been complacent, all of us, as members of Christ's flock and must now work very hard indeed to bring in the harvest. We need to heed Our Saviour's words and pray the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the harvest fields.


Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto wrote "Reconciliation and the Beauty of God," which describes sin as "love turned in on itself."

It denies itself to God, "ingratitude of the one who responds to love with indifference and rejection," but above all a real evil that does harm, contends the prelate, who is also on the International Theological Commission.

This leads him to broach the question: "Why must one confess one's sins to a priest and not do so directly to God?"

"Of course, one always addresses God when confessing one's sins," begins the archbishop. "That it is necessary to do so before a priest is something that God himself makes us understand."

"When sending his Son in our flesh," the prelate continues, "he shows that he wants to meet with us through direct contact, which passes through the signs and language of our human condition."

"As he came out of himself for love of us and came to 'touch' us with his flesh," he adds, "so we are called to come out of ourselves, out of love for him, and to go with humility and faith to the one who can give us forgiveness in his name, with word and gesture," namely, "to whom the Lord has chosen and sent as minister of forgiveness."

"Confession is therefore an encounter with divine forgiveness, which Jesus offers us and is transmitted to us through the ministry of the Church," writes Archbishop Forte, 56.

"Approach confession with a humble and contrite heart and live it with faith," he urges. "It will change your life and give you peace of heart."

RELATED: How to Make a Good Confession

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

17. In all your needs, trustfully have recourse to the divine Heart, and I am confident that our Lord will provide for your wants; but above all be very grateful for the many benefits He has bestowed on you.

November 16, 2005

(Mat 24:12-13) And because wickedness is multiplied, most men's love will grow cold. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

HEADLINE: Spanish Government warns of cuts to Catholic Church funding

VIA Jim McCrea: The Abhorrence of Liberalism

*Liberalism,* whether religious or secular, is based upon *self,* in the satisfaction of one's own pride and concupiscence, regardless of the consequences to others, to the Church, or to society. That is why liberalism as an ideology is so abhorrent.

Liberalism is fundamentally an atomizing principle in which the unholy Trinity of "me, myself, and I" are at the center of reality.

In an "idea" liberal society, there would be as many gods as there are individuals. No common good is recognized to provide cohesion, harmony, and peace.

As we can know by merely logical principles, atomization is the disintegration of a thing. Liberalism causes both Church and society to disintegrate (If liberals get along with respect to some project, it is only a manifestation of what is known as *compatible egotisms.* The principle of compatible egotisms states that "I will let your pride go so far, if you let my pride go so far." It involved a barter of various types of intellectual and psychological "goods." There is no true love involved)

Orthodoxy (right thinking) and traditional values, on the other hand, rest on the primacy of the fundamental metaphysical moment of the "other." Self is transcended to serve that which is other than the self and higher than the self.

We can see this in the old style Western ethic where one fulfilled oneself by serving family, neighbor, country, Church, and God. Getting out of oneself in that way made one happy, and made for peace and goodness in society.

But the old style ethic has been replaced by a new ethic in which *self* is the center. We can see this on mainstream TV, secular magazines, and men's and woman's magazines. Those are all about satisfying one's appetites and actualizing oneself. The "other" is only a means to that end and not an end it itself.

Such a thing is also bolstered in academia in disciplines such as psychology, sociology, and anthropology. In the modern secular variants of these disciplines, human action is reduced to fulfilling self (or to serving the species through autonomous instinctive mechanisms brought about by "natural selection"). There is no recognition of the virtue of *integrity* where one does what is good or right, simply because it is good or right.

This has resulting in all the terrible problems that have developed in society and the Church over the past 40 years. A total coldness towards neighbor, widespread psychological violence as one tries to build one's ego on the carcasses of another's (which sometimes degenerates into physical violence), is now the norm. It accounts for all the meaninglessness and emptiness that people experience today in a land of material plenty.

People today mistakenly believe that they can find happiness where it cannot be found - by having a fundamental self centered orientation (which our culture encourages right now).

Only by getting back to the older style values, in getting out of oneself to serve the "other," will happiness, peace, and prosperity return to society.

One who looks for their "rights" in the Church, precisely, by bucking Church teaching and discipline, or one who looks for their "rights" in society by demanding contraception, abortion, euthanasia, divorce (outside of real necessity), fornication, alternate sexualities, can only create a hell for themselves in this world which will turn into eternal hell at death (if unrepentant).
It is simply *impossible* for happiness to emerge with such a selfist ethical orientation.

That is not because of arbitrary religious dogma or because of some decree that God has decided on, but because the very laws and design of human nature, when violated, brings of itself disastrous results.

It is simply a matter of natural cause and effect.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

16. When you praise yourself, you become an object of horror and contempt before God and His angels. When you wish to make excuses, say to yourself: "Jesus Who was innocent kept silence when He was accused, and shall I who am guilty justify myself?" Keep silence then, and suffer out of love.

November 15, 2005


Reading I  (2Ma 6:18-31)

Eleazar one of the chief of the scribes, a man advanced in years, and of a comely countenance, was pressed to open his mouth to eat swine's flesh. But he, choosing rather a most glorious death than a hateful life, went forward voluntarily to the torment. And considering in what manner he was to come to it, patiently bearing, he determined not to do any unlawful things for the love of life. But they that stood by, being moved with wicked pity, for the old friendship they had with the man, taking him aside, desired that flesh might be brought which it was lawful for him to eat, that he might make as if he had eaten, as the king had commanded, of the flesh of the sacrifice: That by so doing he might be delivered from death; and for the sake of their old friendship with the man, they did him this courtesy. But he began to consider the dignity of his age, and his ancient years, and the inbred honour of his grey head, and his good life and conversation from a child; and he answered without delay, according to the ordinances of the holy law made by God, saying, that he would rather be sent into the other world.

For it doth not become our age, said he, to dissemble: whereby many young persons might think that Eleazar, at the age of fourscore and ten years, was gone over to the life of the heathens: And so they, through my dissimulation, and for a little time of a corruptible life, should be deceived, and hereby I should bring a stain and a curse upon my old age. For though, for the present time, I should be delivered from the punishments of men, yet should I not escape the hand of the Almighty neither alive nor dead. Wherefore, by departing manfully out of this life, I shall shew myself worthy of my old age: And I shall leave an example of fortitude to young men, if with a ready mind and constancy I suffer an honourable death, for thc most venerable and most holy laws.

And having spoken thus, he was forthwith carried to execution. And they that led him, and had been a little before more mild, were changed to wrath for the words he had spoken, which they thought were uttered out of arrogancy. But when be was now ready to die with the stripes, he groaned: and said: O Lord, who hast the holy knowledge, thou knowest manifestly that whereas I might be delivered from death, I suffer grievous pains in body: but in soul am well content to suffer these things, because I fear thee. Thus did this man die, leaving not only to young men, but also to the whole nation, the memory of his death, for an example of virtue and fortitude.

EXCERPT COMMENTARY BY FATHER ALTIER: But for all of us, whether we are young or whether we are old, it matters not; we all have to make the same decision. Are we going to stand for the law of God, or are we going to stand for our own selves? If we are going to look out for ourselves, we are going to have to answer for it to God anyway. If we are going to seek the Will of God then we need to be firm in living it out, not only in this theoretical generic way of saying, “Oh, if I were in that situation, here’s what I would do,” but to make sure that we are preparing ourselves in case such a situation should ever arise so that we are so committed to living the life of God, to living the Catholic life, that we are not going to budge for a minute if somebody wants us to violate the law of God.

That means we have to be striving now to live a life of virtue, to be rejecting sin in our lives and seeking to uproot every bit of sin that clings to us, not giving ourselves rationalizations and excuses for why it is okay for us to leave this sin in our life: “After all, I’m doing pretty well. I just have this one and I kind of like it anyway. I know I shouldn’t do it, but…” That is nonsense. If it is a sin, it is a sin. And if it is a sin, it is selfish and it is a violation of God’s law. What would happen if somebody were to say to you, “Commit a sin or die”? Well, if we are already justifying why it is okay for us to sin, we are going to justify it once again. But if now we are not trying to justify why it is okay to sin but we are seeking to get rid of sin and to grow in holiness, if the day comes where we have to put our faith on the line, we are going to stand firm because we have chosen the Lord and in our day-to-day lives we have lived that faith.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

15. He loves you and would not have you attach yourself to what is perishable, but to Himself Who alone can satisfy your heart, and He will do so and fill it in the measure in which you empty it of creatures.

November 11, 2005


(Rev 2:10) Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Michael D. O'Brien: “Are We Living in Apocalyptic Times?” Part 2

PREFACE: "See the young people scattered throughout this crowd tonight. They are genuine heroes and heroines. They are the Church, they are the future, and we must feed them good food. They are the Body of Christ coming alive again in this dead zone, and if we neglect to nurture them we will be accountable for it on Judgment Day.

We choose now. Not to choose is a choice. The kind of Church we will soon have in this country depends very much on how we choose. Unless we begin to see the nature of the problem accurately, and truly repent of our part in it, the Church is finished here. Unless there is an extraordinary change of heart, it is over. Throughout its long history the Church has died out in many regions of the world. Think of North Africa, which was once the glory of Christendom, think of other particular churches—they are gone!

Why do we suppose that Our Lord has a huge investment in preserving a culture such as ours, in making this deathly civilization last a bit longer? He may do so, if there are “ten just men” still among us. And he may do so, if there is a widespread return to his holy will. Or he may not. It is not our task to weigh this matter, which is comprehensible only to God alone. Our task is to be faithful".


VIA Stephen: The son (his name is Anthony) of one of our dear friends passed away at age 27 on Sunday. He was baby-sitting his daughter and apparently went to lie down on the bed......
The cause of death is unknown at this point. He had no health problems and was an interior home painter who has been very busy for the past several years with the housing boom at Seaside (near Panama City, FL).

We do not know the hour and day when we will be called. Please pray for Anthony and for each other. This is the second young person I have known who has died suddenly in the past month. May Our Blessed Mother intercede for each of them and all of us. Lord please grant everyone we know and pray for the Grace of Final Penitence.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

11. Above all, I beg of you to be always gay, joyful and happy, for this is the true mark of the Spirit of God, Who wishes that we should serve Him in peace and contentment; do not be uneasy or anxious, but do all things with liberty of mind and in the presence of God.

November 10, 2005

(Rev 3:14-17) "And to the angel of the church in La-odice'a write: 'The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. "'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.


Richard John Neuhaus writes: The intifida in France no doubt supplies some Americans with satisfaction in seeing the haughty French government taken down several notches. The temptation to indulge in Schadenfreude should be firmly resisted. What is happening in France and other parts of Europe is a tragedy of historic proportions. As I wrote in “The New Europes” (FIRST THINGS, October), we are witnessing the death of a continent. George Weigel addressed the many factors involved in “Europe’s Problem—and Ours” (FIRST THINGS, February, 2004), which he later developed in his bracing little book, The Cube and the Cathedral.

We have over the years received flak for paying close attention to Bat Y’eor’s writings on Islam and dhimmitude—the system by which Muslims, both of the past and present, subjugate Christians and Jews. In her most recent book, Eurabia, Bat Y’eor describes the longstanding European policies that feed the dreams of Muslim conquest.

What is happening in France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and elsewhere was not inevitable. The sage warnings of Bernard Lewis have gone largely unheeded. Samuel Huntington’s depiction of “the clash of civilizations” is not the last word, but to dismiss it as alarmist is certain folly. John Paul the Great persistently called for the re-Christianization of Europe, and Pope Benedict is no less committed to that goal. Europe, in the fine phrase of David Hart, is dying of “metaphysical boredom.” In the absence of a reason for being beyond the satisfaction of creature comforts, Europeans will continue to acquiesce in their own destruction. Call it Muslim-assisted suicide.


Intifada Spreads to Brussels and Berlin
Al-Qaeda linked to bomb attacks on Jordan hotels


"Podcasting, already a popular innovation at Vatican Radio, offers an important new way for pastors to reach contemporary Christians through their digital jukeboxes, an influential Jesuit magazine said," says the Catholic News Service, going on:

"The church should not pass up the opportunity to make liturgies and prayers available via podcast, as well as downloadable sermons by 'podpreachers,' said the magazine, La Civilta Cattolica, in its Nov. 5 issue.

Now there's a genre called Godcasting which, "refers to efforts by churches, preachers and religious media to tap into the digital communications boom," says the story, ."so it was no surprise that Vatican Radio began offering podcasting in July, the Jesuit magazine said.

"The response was overwhelming, it said; the highest number of downloads so far has been for Pope Benedict XVI's interview with the radio in August."

Podcasting should be examined with "extreme attention" by church communicators and seems to offer a real pastoral opportunity, says the Catholic News Service, quoting La Civilta Cattolica.


VIA Michael Lambert- Meditation Podcast:

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

10. Provided He is pleased we ought to be satisfied, and ought not to be troubled about our feelings of dissatisfaction or annoyance; these arise within us only because we are not sufficiently mortified and simple-hearted to cut off the windings and reflections of self-love.

November 9, 2005



VIA Ed Working: I keep referring to Desmond Birch's book, "Trial, Tribulation & Triumph", which seems to be one of the most solid sources. One of the key indicators that he mentions on the chastisement events is the erruption of war and riots in France (particularly Paris). News reports appear to indicate that this is starting to happen. Do you have some thoughts on this?

DESMOND BIRCH replies: In reviewing the prophecies in my mind, which I myself have been doing lately due to the same observable events which Ed describes, I have wondered if this could be the time of the foretold Chastisement. The conclusion I have come to is this: I don't know yet where we are in the prophesied events. I'll give details below as to why I don't know.

First, I have to remember that almost all of these prophecies are nuanced - in one form or another - as 'conditional' prophecies of a future chastisement - 'conditional' as to whether it occurs at all - and if it does, actually how severe it will be.

I kept trying to throw that caveat in in "Trial, Tribulation & Triumph", for just that reason.

But, if it erupts in its fullest intensity (due to a lack of a sufficient number of Catholics going through a sincere inner conversion followed by substantial amounts of prayer, sacrifice, and penance) I think the odds are it will begin with the outbreak of Civil War more or less concomitantly in France and Italy.

I don't think France is yet on the verge of a full scale civil war. But the social and political infrastructure IS coming apart at the seams in France. There isn't any question about that. The current problems arise out of essentially Moslem suburbs in the NorthEast section of Paris - and now other major cities in France. There is no question the Muslims are marginalized there.

But that marginalization is not primarily due to their predominant religious faith. It is due to the lack of love in the hearts of the French - particularly the Parisians - for anyone who is different than them.

Forty years ago, the previously Catholic Parisians derisively referred to these Muslims as 'Wogs'. The attitude even of the gendarmes when a 'Wog' got killed by a car while crossing the street. 'Oh well, he was just a Wog' tells the story of just how far back the roots of the present social crisis in Paris and other major French cities is.

As the French have dropped their Catholicism in larger numbers, their hearts have grown cold. As a result, what could have been 'neighbors', have been brought up in a climate of hatred for them. In this particular case, it is the Muslims who are the victims of the hate of the majority of the rank and file Parisians (and other major French cities) around them. Those Parisians cannot even imagine the Christian love in the heart of St. Francis of Assisi - which melted the brutal heart of a Muslim Caliph.

Since they are no longer Catholic, the love of Christ for the suffering, no matter who they are, that love no longer penetrates the heart of the majority of the French living in the large cities. In the rural areas of France, you can still find substantial numbers of serious traditionally minded Catholic Frenchmen. But they are in a small minority compared with the France of even 100 years ago when Hillaire Belloc made his pilgrimage to Rome through the countryside of Central and Southern France.

But there is a revival of the Faith beginning in France. Several European friends have spoken to me of it.

There is no question that the faith is reviving with great speed in Spain. I am well connected there. The massive demonstrations over the last 14 months by faithful lay Catholics against the policies of the anti-religious Socialist Government of Spain in the last couple of years - the sheer size of those lay Catholic demonstrations has stunned the Spanish Bishops. I happen to know that.

Leading up to and after the death of Generalissimo Franco in Spain, the practice of the faith fell very low indeed in Spain. But a concomitant rebirth began around the same time. That began through what Pope John Paul II called 'The New Movements'. He was speaking of 'Opus Dei', 'Focolare', the NewCatechumanal Way, 'Communion and Liberation', etc. THESE WERE PRIMARILY LAY MOVEMENTS. And this new breed of Catholic coming up in Spain - which includes VERY large numbers of young people - it reminds me of the kind of Catholics who reconquered Spain, took it back from the Muslims between the 8th and 15th centuries. This new breed of Spanish Catholic is not your typical go to Mass on Sunday Catholic. Their whole life revolves around the Church and their Catholic Communities with which they attend Mass, Liturgy of the Word, prayer groups, etc. This new breed is breathing the fire of the Holy Spirit.

Not many months ago, the secular Spanish press reported that somewhere between 1/4 million to 1/2 million lay Catholics turned out several times in the streets of Madrid to protest new laws passed by the Socialist and very anti-Catholic government. The real numbers were close to 750,000 people.

Even the most traditional Spanish Bishops were almost in a state of shock. They themselves had NO IDEA how deeply these New Momements had penetrated with their zeal into the Body of Christ in Spain. We have to remember this, compared with say, the U.S., Spain is a tiny country, both geographically and in regards to its population. THERE ARE ONLY ABOUT 40 MILLION SPANIARDS. For them to turn out 750,000 Catholics in one city and the surrounding countryside for one demonstration is incredible.

I am really heartened by what I see happening in Spain. I would never have predicted it for this time in history. Neither, BTW, would the Spanish Bishops :-) - who are in a virtual state of shock over the resurgence of the Catholic Faith which has arisen amongst the laity there.

In Sicily, the same thing has happened over the last thirty years. The Sicilian Bishops have watched a revitalization of the Church in Sicily which has not occured in over a thousand years. The Churches there are now packed even for daily Mass.

In the last 15 years, that revitalized and re-Catechized Catholic laity has laid the wood to the Mafia. For those of you who don't know this, the Mafia no longer runs Sicily. Large demonstrations of lay Catholics openly defying the Mafia began about 15 years ago. They let the Mafia know several things - with placards - and in their speeches:

1. We who oppose you are Catholics first, Sicilians second.
2. We are not afraid of you any more. Our strength is in Jesus Christ
3. We pray to His Mother to intercede for us, and we trust in Him.
4. Murder us, and all of us will come for you. We will not wait for the police and crooked judges you control to protect us. But we won't start anything. You leave us alone, and we will leave you alone.

Sicily is now for the most part, back in the hands of the average Catholic Sicilian. If I had time, I would tell you the story of an American Priest, a good friend of mine, who is of Sicilian extraction. He is here in the Diocese of Denver. He met the Sicilian Bishops during world youth day in 1993. He had been assigned to be the liason with the Bishops from Sicily, because he is fluent in the Sicilian dialect which they speak - having grown up in a home of Sicilian immigrants.

The Sicilian Bishops invited him a number of years later to come to Sicily to speak at a series of Eucharistic Conferences. That is where he got his first hand knowledge, and he's been back to Sicily several times since.

Much of what I know about the Sicilian situation, I know from personal conversations with him.

Who knows what is going on in Europe right now - really going on? Is there a strong resurgence of the Church in more countries than I am aware of? I don't know. Time will tell.

But my assessment is that at this time, there are not enough serious Catholics in France or Italy to hold up their end of a Civil War. :-) :-) But there sure are in Spain and Sicily, and in Poland, etc.

What I'm really saying above is that the foretold Civil Wars in France and Italy are supposed to be between Catholics and those who are opposed to Christ and His Church. A war requires two sides. I don't see there being enough serious Catholics today in either France or Italy to put up a good enough fight to form one half of a civil war.

But, that could change fast. The Holy Spirit is changing parts of Europe very rapidly as we speak.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

9. Let us take refuge in the Wound of the Sacred Side like a poor traveller, who seeks a safe harbor in which to shelter from the rocks and tempests of the stormy sea of this life, for here below we are continually exposed to shipwreck, unless we have the help of our all-wise Pilot.

November 8, 2005





The French government Monday announced measures to stem a nationwide rampage by youths that showed no sign of abating, and several other European nations with large immigrant communities watched with concern that the violence could spread across their borders as cars were torched in Belgium and Germany.

The violence claimed its first fatality — a 61-year-old retired autoworker who died Monday of injuries suffered in an attack last week outside Paris.Since the riots began Oct. 27 in a Paris suburb, they have spread to nearly 300 towns in what is largely perceived as a demand for attention from a neglected and embittered ethnic underclass.

Premier Dominique de Villepin announced curfews and called up police reservists. He promised that the government would take "the necessary measures to re-establish order very quickly."

Carried out largely by French-born children of Arab and black African immigrants, the rioting began after the deaths of two teenagers of North African descent who thought police were chasing them. They were electrocuted after hiding in a power station.

Many, but not all, of the rioters are young Muslims, members of a group that is disproportionately unemployed and feels marginalized by French society. Islam is the second-largest religion in mostly Catholic France. Muslims make up as much as 10 percent of the population, the largest such proportion in western Europe.

"Most of the young generation doesn't have jobs," said Nadim Younas, 39, a Parisian sign painter of Pakistani descent. "They are standing around here. They have drugs. When they are not busy, the devil is always there."

That devil apparently is also making its presence felt outside France: Five cars were torched Monday outside the main train station in Brussels, Belgium, and cars were also burned in Berlin and Bremen, Germany, in what authorities feared was copycat violence.

"This is something that should concern all European cities," said Dick Leurdijk, an expert on Europe at the Clingendael Institute of foreign policy in the Netherlands.

The U.S. Embassy in Paris on Sunday issued a warning to Americans traveling in France to be cautious. Australia, Austria, Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Denmark, Slovakia and the Czech Republic on Monday issued warnings of their own.


COMMENTARY by Pat Buchanan-  Paris Burning: How Empires End

ZENIT.ORG: French Violence Prompts an Appeal From Bishops


France declares state of emergency
Muslim Insurrections in France and Denmark
Paris Rioters Set Woman Afire as Violence Spreads
Radical Islam blamed for French rioting

QUOTE: "The sweet dream of universal cultural compatibility has been replaced, in a single day, by the nightmare of permanent conflict".

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

8. Strive ever to have a loving and filial fear, which will lead you to do good and avoid evil, rejecting all other fears, for they only come from the spirit of darkness.

November 4, 2005


(Psa 103:11-12) For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

Monday October 31, 2005  Reading (Romans 11:29-36) Gospel (St. Luke 14:12-14)

When we hear the line at the beginning of the first reading today, that God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable, this gives all of us great hope and can be a great consolation because we can all look back in our own lives and we can see what it is that God has called us to and, of course, our own disobedience. Sometimes we fall into the trap of saying, “Well, look at what I’ve done. God can’t be asking me to do (whatever it is) anymore.” That is completely false; even more is the idea that “Because my sins are so great, God can’t have mercy on me. I can’t be forgiven. I can’t go to heaven.” That, again, is completely false.

God has called us to Himself. He has made us His own children in Baptism. For those of you who are parents, you understand more than anybody exactly the desire of a parent. Even if your children do stupid things, even if in a point of rebellion they walk away from the family, there is nothing a parent would want more than to have that child restored and reconciled with the family. No matter what kind of foolishness the kid got himself into, the door is always open and the kid will be received back if he is willing to repent. That is the way a parent is on a natural level, how much more will our heavenly Father be like that on the supernatural level. If a parent who loves finitely is able to do something like that for their children, why do we limit God, Who loves us infinitely?

More than that, we can look at the examples, as Saint Paul points them out, looking at the disobedience of the Gentiles so that the Jews would recognize the mercy of God, and now Saint Paul is talking about the disobedience of the Jewish people so that the Gentiles could recognize God’s mercy. But we can simply look at a variety of examples. There are many of them all around us, whether we start with somebody from two thousand years ago like Saint Mary Magdalene or Saint Paul himself, or whether we look at so many examples throughout history and into our own day of people who have done things far, far worse perhaps than we have, and yet we see the mercy that God has extended to them. All that we can say is “If God can be merciful to those people, He certainly can be merciful to me because if they have done far worse than I have and they have received God’s mercy why would I limit that when it comes to myself?” What we have to be willing to do is to open our hearts to receive the mercy of God. The problem for those of us who are trying to live the faith is that in our heads we know that God is merciful, we know that if we go to Confession our sins are forgiven, yet down in our hearts we still do not believe that He is really merciful and loving, that He has really removed our sins and restored us to full union with Himself. That is where our problem comes in. We still run around kicking ourselves and calling ourselves names and tearing ourselves down when God has forgiven us. Why? The devil doesn’t even have to try; we’re doing his work for him. We need to accept God’s mercy and His forgiveness.

Again, those of you who are married, imagine if you did something that was pretty stupid to your spouse and you reconciled with your spouse then day after day after day you came up to your spouse and talked about how stupid it was (whatever it is that you did). They would get pretty frustrated with you very quickly because you were already forgiven, because things had already been reconciled. They put it behind; they do not want to think about it and talk about it because it is over. But if we do not let go of it, then it becomes an obstacle in the relationship.

If God has forgiven us, we have to forgive ourselves. To forgive does not mean to say it was okay. To forgive means “Let’s put it behind and let’s look forward.” That is what God is looking for from us. Then consider the call that He has given to you. Look at Him–that is a much more pleasant thing than looking at ourselves anyway–and then look at the call God has given to you as His own son or daughter. Look at what He is asking of you in calling you to holiness regardless of what it is that you have done (or failed to do, as the case might be) and simply rejoice in what He has done for you and continues to do for you. That is what we have to look at. When we look at our foolishness and our sinfulness, look at it only in order to give glory to God for His mercy rather than to feel sorry for ourselves and beat ourselves up. If we see what God has forgiven, it should make us that much more grateful and that much more confident in the love that God has for us and in the call and the gifts of God which, thanks be to Him, are irrevocable.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

4. I am very glad that our divine Master has shown you that these trials add to the burden of your office; for He wishes them to be the cause of your having more frequent recourse to His Goodness, which will turn all these things to His glory and to your advantage, if you second His designs.

November 3, 2005

(Eph 6:11-12) Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.


Priest battled with Satan
How the devil did Satan take over Halloween?
Exorcist: Filipinos prone to possession by evil spirits

REVIEW: The Reality of Satan and the Victory of Jesus and Mary by Fr. Gabriele Amorth

ZENIT: Humility Defeats Power of Devil, Says Vatican's Vicar

VIA Nadine: The path of humility

Jesus is the path, since He is the incarnation of humility. But for us mortals, humility must be found in the things we do, in the humiliations we accept and in the littleness we embrace just as Jesus did.

Humility is not about being poor and wearing humble clothes, is not about staying away from riches or power or things of the world since we must live in the world and for some, riches and possession can coexist with humility of heart. However a humble rich man would not count too much on his riches, he would share his riches with the poor in order to follow Jesus.

King David was a very rich man, yet he was humble of heart, even though he committed great sins, he confessed his sins to God and had them always before him, he obtained his forgiveness and lived to love Him. He pleased the Lord by having a humble and contrite heart. The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord (Psalm 111:10) . Not fear of His punishment but rather fear of offending Him, of losing Him or separating from Him. Sin separates man from God therefore man becomes proud and ignores the law of his maker. God does not force His commandments upon us but allows us to fall into sin so that in our humiliation we can come to our senses, discover our pride and repent. Humility of the heart consists in becoming like Jesus in all our thoughts, words and actions. We must think humbly, always remembering that God is watching our thoughts (Psalm 44:21), so we must avoid thoughts of impurity, envy and hatred since we may offend Him. Our words must be filled with charity and understanding, so that we don't offend anyone, remembering that we shall be judged for every careless word that we say (Matthew 12:36)

Our actions must be conducted in the Will of God; in a way we must seek permission from God for everything we do and we should seek his blessing for all our undertakings. We must exercise our free will with humility to avoid doing something offensive in His sight.

The path of humility is a path of self discovery, it involves being over critical of any little thing that may threaten our relationship with God. Humility involves a desire to be like Christ, leaving behind the burden of pride to be free to carry the yoke and the burden of the cross. Humility is submission to Christ which can only come if we love his commandments. The humble man does not get offended by the pride of others who offend him, he will forgive them and resist the temptation of being hurt.

Humility is not so much made up of external actions to obtain praise of other religious people, it is a personal secret surrender to God, a very profound annihilation in the sight of God because we are nothing and God is everything (Matthew 6:6).

In order to be justified by humility, we must acknowledge that we are proud. After all this is the first of all sins, since all sins are committed in our pride (Proverbs 11:2). Pride is the sin that made Lucifer loose his place of honor in Heaven, it is also the poison that destroys all the good we may have gained through humility.

To be truly humble we must need God above all things, we must feel totally dependant on Him, we must be afraid of losing Him, because without him we are nothing.

We, human beings, are so far from God as darkness is from light, in fact our natures would repel each other if we didn't have a bridge between us which is Jesus Christ our Savior. Therefore we must spend the rest of our lives considering how to be humble. And to say it once again, if we think we are humble, that in itself is a proud thought, because there is only one who is humble, Christ himself who said learn from me because I am meek and humble of heart (Matthew 11:29). It would make us humble to meditate on how little charity we have for others, on how we have harbored thoughts of impurity in our souls to offend the purity of God, on how cruel we have been by crucifying our Savior with our sins or on how much we have loved ourselves depriving God of our love.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

3. Do not think that to work for the salvation of the souls He has entrusted to you is an obstacle to your own salvation. On the contrary, by this means you will oblige His Goodness to give you greater help to work it out with less danger. Watch carefully, therefore, over your little flock.

November 2, 2005

(Phi 4:6-7) Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

A Separate Peace -America is in trouble--and our elites are merely resigned

The Art of the Painless Coup

Trib Times subscribers will receive commentary as a PDF attachment via email.


Pope Benedict offered his deepest sympathies to the families of three Christian girls beheaded in Indonesia as they walked to school near a Muslim town.

The Vatican called Saturday's killings ''barbaric'' and said in a statement that the Pope would pray for ''the return of peace among the people'' of the region, long plagued by sectarian violence.

Six machete-wielding men dressed in black attacked the 16 to 19-year-old students near the Muslim town of Poso on Saturday, leaving the girls' headless bodies, dressed in brown uniforms, at the site of the killings.

Their heads were found at separate locations two hours later by residents.

''The Holy Father entrusted the Bishop of Manado, Mons. Joseph Theodorus Suwatan, to relay to the victims' families and the diocese his deepest condolences,'' the Vatican said in a statement.

Muslim-Christian clashes in the Poso area killed 2,000 people from 1998 through 2001, when a peace deal was agreed.

While the worst violence abated after the deal, there have been sporadic outbreaks since.  Bombings in May in the Christian town of Tentena killed 22 people.

About 85 per cent of Indonesia's 220 million people are Muslim.


Vatican Denounces Iran Remarks on Israel
St Peter role prompts death threat to Egyptian actor Omar Sharif
Fat Iranian Cash Contracts for Terrorists to Hit American Troops and Israeli Civilians

RAMADAN UPDATE: In 2005, Ramadan began at sundown Oct. 5 and ends with Eid al-Fitr, beginning at sundown Nov. 3 with celebrations continuing through Nov. 4.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

2. In a word, let us be all to God, all for God and all in God; and remember that He wills you to lead an exemplary life, wholly pure and angelic.

November 1, 2005

(Heb 12:1-2) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

November 1, All Saints Day, is the 59th anniversary of Karol Wojtyla's ordination as a priest in Krakow.

Pope John Paul II - Address Before Angelus on All Saints Day - 1 November 2001

Dearest Brothers and Sisters!

1.  Today we celebrate the solemnity of All Saints.  In the light of God we remember all those who witnessed to Christ during their earthly life, who were determined to put his teachings into practice.  We rejoice with these brothers and sisters of ours who have preceded us, journeying on our same path and who now enjoy their merited reward in the glory of heaven.

These are they who, according to the expression of the Apocalypse, "have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Revelation 7:14).  They went against the current, accepting the Sermon on the Mount as the inspirational norm of their life: poverty of spirit and simplicity of life; meekness, not violence; repentance for their own sins and expiation for those of others; hunger and thirst for justice; mercy and compassion; purity of heart; commitment to peace; and sacrifice for justice (see Matthew 5:3-10).

Every Christian is called to holiness, namely, to live the beatitudes.  The Church points out, as an example for all, the brothers and sisters who have been outstanding in virtues and instruments of divine grace.  Today we celebrate all of them together, so that, with their help, we will grow in the love of God and be "salt of the earth and light of the world" (Matthew 5:13-14).

2.  The Communion of Saints goes beyond the threshold of death.  It is a communion that is centered on God, the God of the living (see Matthew 22:32).  In the Book of the Apocalypse we read: "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord" (Revelation 14:13).  Specifically, the feast of All Saints illuminates the meaning of the commemoration of All Souls, which we celebrate tomorrow.  This is a day of prayer and profound reflection on the mystery of life and death.  "God did not make death" -- the Scriptures affirm -- "for he fashioned all things that they might have being" (Wisdom 1:13-14).  "By the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are in his possession experience it" (Wisdom 2:24).

The Gospel reveals how Jesus Christ had absolute power over physical death, which he regards as falling asleep (see Matthew 9:24-25; Luke 7:14-15; John 11:11).  Jesus says that we must fear another death: that of the soul, which because of sin loses the divine life of grace, remaining forever excluded from life and happiness.

3.  On the contrary, God wishes all men to be saved (see 1 Timothy 2:4).  This is why he sent his Son on earth (see John 3:16), so that all men would have life "in abundance" (see John 10:10).  The heavenly Father is not resigned to lose a single one of his children; rather he wants all to be with him, holy and immaculate in love (see Ephesians 1:4).

Holy and immaculate as the Virgin Mary, eminent model of the new humanity.  Her happiness is full, in the glory of God.  In her shines the end to which we all tend.  We will entrust our deceased brothers to her, in the hope of meeting them in the Father´s house.

This afternoon I will go down to the Vatican crypt to pray before the tombs of my predecessors, who are buried there.  I will go spiritually on pilgrimage to all the cemeteries of the world, where those rest who preceded us in the sign of faith and await the Day of Resurrection.

In particular, I will pray for the eternal repose of the numerous victims of violence, especially of these recent times, and I will also remember, in a special way, all those who sacrificed their lives to remain faithful to Christ to the end.  To my prayer for them I add an invocation to the Lord so that he will grant consolation and relief to all those who suffer because of the tragic death of loved ones.  May God´s blessing be upon all.

VIA Frank Rega, author of "The Holy Man on the Mountain: Padre Pio and the Americans who Discovered Him":

The following excerpt from Lucia Fiorentino's diary in "The Voice of Padre Pio" (Vol.  XV, No.5,1985)-p.10: Lucia Fiorentino was a mystic and one of Padre Pio's earliest spiritual daughters. She received this locution about Padre Pio from Jesus.

8 December 1923: "Today, the feast of our beautiful Immaculate Mother, my heart was dry and I meditated with difficulty.  Jesus said to me: "If you only knew who directs you, no one appreciates him, one day you will know him." I replied: "Lord, who is this Father?  Perhaps a prophet, a great one?"

And Jesus answered: "It is I who act in that soul. I found all the necessary dispositions in him and I came down. I could stand it no longer, the world is so corrupt; I have made the last attempt to save it and through my faithful servant I call souls from all over the world.  And everything that this Father does is permitted by Me. Whoever judges him badly and slanders him harms his own soul and on the contrary they do well who recommend themselves to him and ask him for graces and venerate him.  Oh, my beloved, model yourself on your Father.  This son of mine, who does my will perfectly, even at the cost of atrocious pains and suffering and hard work, I will make very great.  And I give him complete authority to grant spiritual and temporal graces."

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

1. I hope all from the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ Who is so filled with love for you that, cost what it may, He will you should become a saint. (To her brother, the priest.)

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