Keep your eyes open!...


November 27, 2009  


(Luk 12:39-40) But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour."


FATHER CORAPI EXCERPT: Advent Is Coming: Preparation for "the Preparation"

Preparation is of great importance in almost anything you do in life. Much of the chaos and incompetence we see in various spheres of influence today is due to lack of preparation. Everyone that takes any pride in their work, their sport, their profession, etc. has to be prepared. To go into battle unprepared is to invite disaster. To go into a football game, or any other sports contest, unprepared is to invite defeat.

One of the not so edifying facts that I've seen in my lifetime, the last 30 years of it anyhow, is that large numbers of people have lost the will for excellence, and that's why we have so little of it: in education, in politics, in service, in products, etc. The great American institution of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts contributed very materially to the greatness of our nation by "preparing" our young people for life. "BE PREPARED!" was surely the Boy Scouts' motto that we learned and were schooled in.

Lower things can prepare us for higher things. The natural order is a good teacher of things more moral and spiritual. We can learn much from nature. This Advent we should make an effort to truly prepare for the coming of the Lord Jesus at Christmas. Prepare for the preparation, now. How will you spend Advent? How will you prepare for this Christmas? Now is the time to plan it out.

CATHOLIC REVIEW: Advent is time of preparation

: Advent: Presence, not presents


LINK: Mary Page Advent Calendar -A Collection of Resources: Hebrew Testament Reflections, O'Antiphons, and Masses for Advent

Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman:

"They watch for Christ who are sensitive, eager, apprehensive in mind,
Who are awake, alive, quick-sighted, zealous in honoring him,
Who look for him in all that happens,
And who would not be surprised,
Who would not be over-agitated or overwhelmed,
If they found that he was coming at once.

"This then is to watch: to be detached from what is present,
And to live in what is unseen;
To live in the thought of Christ as he came once,
And as he will come again; to desire his second coming,
From our affectionate and grateful remembrance of his first."

Catechism of the Catholic Church Paragraph 524:

When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior's first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating the Precursor's birth and martyrdom [St. John the Baptist], the Church unites herself to his desire: "He must increase, but I must decrease (Jn 3:30).

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 24- "On meekness, simplicity and guilelessness"

13. An angry man and a sarcastic man met one another, and it was impossible to find a true word in their conversation. Unveiling the heart of the former, you will find frenzy; looking into the soul of the other, you see knavery.

November 25, 2009  

(Php 4:6-7) Be nothing solicitous: but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

CATHOLIC SAN FRANCISCO: Archbishop's Journal: Thanksgiving message: Saved, blessed, inspired by Faith

HOMILY ARCHIVES: Thursday November 24, 2005 (Thanksgiving Day) by Fr. Robert Altier 

Reading I (Sirach 50:22-24) Reading II (1 Corinthians 1:3-9) Gospel (St. Luke 17:11-19)

In the second reading today from Saint Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul tells the Corinthians that he gives thanks to God the Father always in his prayers for them, and then goes on to explain to them why they need to be so grateful to God; that among them there are no spiritual gifts that are lacking, that God has provided for them in all ways. So too it is with us. God provides for His Church everything we need, but the problem most of us have is that we do not recognize the spiritual gifts. We live in this very materialistic and scientific age; consequently, we miss the things that are spiritual. Yet, at the same time, what we have to be able to see is that even if we are perhaps overlooking some of the particular gifts that God has given, we still need to be able to see the greater gift, which is obviously what you are recognizing because of your very presence here today. The greatest gift that God has given to each one of us, beyond life itself, is faith, faith in Him in this society which does not recognize God or does not think it needs God, the fact that the Lord has placed into our hearts the faith to be able to recognize our dependence upon Him and the grace to be able to recognize that we need to come before Him like this leper from the Gospel reading and say, "Thank You."

If we go back some two hundred and thirty years, we recognize that the early pilgrims were people fleeing religious persecution, people who were fleeing a society that had become exceedingly decadent and very immoral, and they were looking to be able to practice their faith. Among these early pilgrims, recall, were many Catholics, those who founded, for instance, the states of Maryland and Virginia–both named after our Blessed Lady by Catholics who came to America. The first religious who came to America came in 1776. It was a community of Carmelite nuns who came to the New World to be able to lay a spiritual foundation. The very essence of what our founding fathers came for was to practice their faith, and it is that faith that we have to be so grateful to God for because now it is we who in fact live in a society that is similar to the one they were trying to flee. We live in a society where they are trying to push God out of society, but how grateful we must be that the Lord has given to us the grace to recognize Him, to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him.

We also need to be grateful even for the society in which we live, not because it is so decadent but because there has never been a better time to be a saint. There has never been an easier time to be a saint. This is what we need to be grateful for. If we can simply maintain our faith–which is not so simple–but if we can maintain our faith in the midst of this society, we can become saints. We can become great saints, lights shining in the darkness of this world.

Saint Paul tells us that we are to give thanks to God the Father in everything we do. That is something we all need to look at. Do we recognize that in everything we need to be grateful? There are so many things we do that we think we can do all by ourselves: "I really don't need God to do this thing or that thing because I can handle it myself." Remember that even the talents and abilities you have are God-given. Certainly, we have had to work at developing those abilities, but God is the One Who gave them in the first place. So to say, "I can do this all by myself," no we cannot. We cannot do it unless we have the ability which is given by God, so we still need to thank God even for those abilities. We need to thank Him for every breath that we can take, because if He did not provide for us to be able to have the oxygen, we would not even be alive! Again, we begin to see why Jesus says, Without Me you can do nothing. We could not even take a breath without Him.

Everything is a gift, even the things that do not look to us like the gifts we would give to somebody we love, because sometimes they are not very pleasant. Things happen in our lives which, in fact, are pretty rotten. When was the last time we thanked God for those? Most of us probably look up at Him and have some things to say that are not very prayerful, are they? But we are supposed to give thanks to God just the way Jesus did before He suffered and during His suffering.

Again, we see how God is providing for each one of us to become saints. That is what we need to be most grateful for because the faith by itself, excellent as it is, is not an end in itself. Heaven is the end. Union with God is the end. If we have been able to recognize this gift then we need to be able to come to Him and to thank Him, which of course we are doing right here and now in the most profound and perfect way. The word Eucharist, remember, is the Greek word that means "thanksgiving." So we are here offering the sacrifice of thanks to God, offering the perfect sacrifice which brings the grace of God to us and gives Him the greatest honor and glory. But it is not just here in church that we are to do this; this is to be the pattern for every single aspect of our lives so that in all we do we give thanks to God the Father through Jesus Christ Our Lord. That is the direction Saint Paul gives us. That is to be what our lives are all about. In everything, no matter what it is that happens in our day-to-day lives, we need to say "Thank You," and we need to recognize that absolutely everything that happens in our lives, no matter how good or bad they may seem at the time, are all gifts from God and they are all designed to help us grow in holiness and become great saints.

If we can keep our focus on God, it will help to put a perspective onto everything else and then we can do exactly what we have been told to do, to come back to Him, to thank Him, and then even at the moment in absolutely everything to give thanks to God the Father through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 24- "On meekness, simplicity and guilelessness"

12. The souls of the meek are filled with knowledge, but an angry mind is a denizen of darkness and ignorance.

November 21, 2009  


(Mar 13:31-33) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my word shall not pass away. But of that day or hour no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray. For ye know not when the time is.

ZENIT.ORG: On the End Times and God's Kingdom- "Behold the Power of the Word of Christ"

FATHER CORAPI: Thoughts on the "Last Things"

SAINT FAUSTINA: The Origin of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

MANILLA BULLETIN: Only tragedy, not to be a saint

As regards becoming a saint, when you tell that to someone, chances are he will look at you oddly and say, "To be a saint? That's not for me. I'm too worldly for that."

But the truth is our ultimate goal is and should be to become a saint. In short, to attain heaven. If you don't aspire to reach heaven, where will you be in the next life?

Someone quipped, "There are only two places in the next life: the smoking (hell) and non-smoking (heaven) area. Will you spend your eternity - in the smoking or non-smoking area?"

Are you doing every means to achieve that goal? As the French novelist Leon Bloy rightly puts it: "The only tragedy in life is not to be a saint."

By the way, saints in heaven are not only those canonized, those with capital S, but also those with small S who are already there but were not officially declared saints by the Church.

Becoming a saint does not mean imitating the extraordinary feats of someone like the martyrs who died for their faith. If you can do it, great. In fact, today we need more heroes of the Church.

Becoming a saint in our modern times means more of imitating people who fell down and kept trying to rise.

They may have committed mistakes in their marriage or religious life, but kept coming back, faithfully following the Lord. Remember such saints like St. Peter who denied the Lord, St. Paul, formerly the fierce persecutor of Jesus' disciples, Matthew, the hated tax collector, the adulterous woman?

If such people have anything extraordinary about them, it is that they never stopped trying to live the will of God in their day-to-day lives. They were ordinary people with extraordinary faith and determination.

Frank Rega: Below are some spicy excerpts from my new, forthcoming book about Luisa Piccarreta.   

On the coming era:
The world is doing everything it can to banish Jesus from society, from schools, from conversations – from everything.  But while the world is plotting to destroy His Church and to kill his ministers, Jesus is preparing an Era of Love – the era of the third Fiat.  He will confound the world by means of love.  Wherever He has been banished, He will raise His throne, and reign in an astonishing way, such that man will fall at the foot of His throne as though bound by the power of His love.  His love will be shown in a marvelous and unheard of way.  Therefore Luisa must be attentive because He wants her to be with Him, so they can work together in preparing this celestial and divine Era of Love.
If they want to make war, so be it.  When they get tired, Jesus will make His war . . . of love.  Their tiredness in evil, their disenchantment and disillusionment, will dispose them to receive His war.   All of the acts of Luisa and those of others done in His Volition will wage war – but not a war of blood.   It will be waged with weapons of love, giving forth graces, gifts, and peace, such as to astonish ungrateful man.  The acts done in His Will, carrying the creative power within themselves, and descending from heaven, will bring all goods upon earth.

EWTN: Luisa Piccarreta - Status of her Cause

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 24- "On meekness, simplicity and guilelessness"

11. An upright soul is a fellow lodger with humility, but an evil one is a daughter of pride.

November 20, 2009  

(1Ma 2:19-22) Then Mathathias answered, and said with a loud voice: Although all nations obey king Antiochus, so as to depart every man from the service of the law of his fathers, and consent to his commandments: I and my sons, and my brethren will obey the law of our fathers. God be merciful unto us: it is not profitable for us to forsake the law, and the justices of God: We will not hearken to the words of king Antiochus, neither will we sacrifice and transgress the commandments of our law, to go another way. 

THEMOYNIHANREPORT EXCERPT: Russia is not Russia. Or at least, not the Russia I imagined. I imagined "Holy Russia," filled with silent, holy monks and splendid, divine liturgies. But it is a very human and very secularized Russia, especially in Moscow, its streets crowded with cars, its churches often empty, its clubs crowded with pleasure-seekers, its leaders intent, for the most part, I am told, on lining their own pockets and vacationing in the Crimea, or Switzerland, or Miami, or Italy, or Egypt, or the Maldives -- any place warm -- and the nation be damned.

But then, America is no longer America, and Italy no longer Italy. We have all been changed by the industrial, scientific, information and communications revolutions — changed utterly.

The news on CNN on the television as I leave my room in the Danilovsky Hotel is that the Catholic Church in Washington D.C. is protesting a likely ruling of the Washington D.C. city council that will require the Catholic Church's social agencies to place orphaned children with homosexual couples. Obviously, America is no longer the simple America of "Mom and apple pie."

And in Italy, once Catholic, the European Union has ordered that crucifixes no longer be displayed in public places. And so the Constantinian revolution is reversed after 1,700 years.

In the modern West, virtues once honored are honored no longer, and vices, like greed, once denounced as harmful to the person and his or her eternal soul, are now defended as "rights" and even praised as new virtues.


Axelrod Signals Obama Will Try to Strip Abortion Language From Health Care Bill
ACLJ Represents 44 Members of Congress in Asking Court to Uphold National Motto and Pledge of Allegiance Displays at Capitol Visitor Center

US Supreme Court Refuses Suit from Valedictorian Prevented from Sharing Her Faith

Joseph: After reading the Population Research Institute's comments on the bizarre Optimum Population Trust ( , I just had to reflect on the current times.


We have politicians, both Republican and Democratic misleading us to extinction.
A birthrate must be at least 2.1 per couple or else you begin to decrease to nothing.
Europe is disappearing.We do not trust in 'God's Go forth and multiply'.

Natural Law is ignored.

Marriage can be between a man and a frog.
Man and Woman, well, that's old fashioned.

If we object to bizarre life styles we are accused of Hate Crimes.

We believe that man affects the weather and that fewer of us is better.
We believe that we are creating global warming when the evidence is clear that eons ago there were farms in Iceland and Greenland and Glaciers in Ohio.

We believe we can manipulate God given seeds to become disease resistant and at the same time sterile for future use. Look at the poor farmers in India that can no longer save their seeds for next year (because of Monsanto and Dow Chemicals GMO death seeds) and the farmers can not afford to buy more.

Man now believes that he controls Life, Health, and Death.
Abortion! Cancer, Heart Disease, Big Drug, Big Farm, Big Gov.

We want a treaty on climate change so that we may have One World Government.

It is clear to me that our health is a function of what we eat, Not the medicines we take that more often do not cure, but, leave us with side effects more severe than if we did not take them.

There are cures and preventatives for Heart Disease and Cancer.
And there are M.D.s , Dr. Weir, Dr. Whitaker, as well as Natural Practitioners that do not always need Big Drug to cure.

So please pray that there is a return to God, before He tires of our shenanigans and brings us back to our knees or cave man days.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 24- "On meekness, simplicity and guilelessness"

10. A gentle soul retains words of wisdom, for the Lord will guide the meek in judgment (Ps. 24:9), or rather, in discretion.

November 19, 2009  

(1Co 11:1) Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ. 

HEADLINE: John Paul II hailed by Vatican commission

Cardinals and bishops have voted to recognise the "heroic virtues" of the late pope John Paul II, moving him a step closer on the path to sainthood, Vatican sources said on Tuesday.

The 15-strong commission of cardinals and bishops that studied the case are not allowed to speak on their deliberations, but the sources said their vote was in favour of John Paul II, who was pope from 1978-2005.

Current Pope Benedict XVI must validate the commission's decision before Karol Wojtyla can be proclaimed as "venerable".

The final stage before beatification is the examination of the "miracle" attributed to John Paul II for the unexplained healing in 2005 of a French nun who suffered from Parkinson's disease.

Medical and theological panels will look at the case, which will then be considered by the bishops and cardinals commission before Benedict XVI again has to authorise their decisions.

If all these stages are met, John Paul II's beatification will follow, which could take place in October 2010 to mark the anniversary of the Polish pope's election on October 16, 1978.

REVIEW: Countdown to freedom: John Paul II's place in history

WEBLINK: Cause for Beatification and Canonization of The Servant of God John Paul II

CATHOLIC REVIEW: Masses worldwide to recall Archbishop Sheen's life, promote sainthood

A worldwide celebration of Masses Dec. 9 will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of famed author, lecturer and television evangelizer Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, as well as promote his cause for canonization.

Two women from the Paterson Diocese launched the program: Lo Anne Mayer, a parishioner of Christ the King Church in New Vernon, and La Verne Washburne, a parishioner of Corpus Christi Church in Chatham Township.

Mayer, who is a board member of the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation in Peoria, Ill., and president of its advisory council, credits her friend Washburne with conceiving the worldwide Mass idea.

Washburne said it just struck her after hearing the foundation advise that Rome would like to witness an outpouring of support for Archbishop Sheen "from a lot of people!"

"The Mass is our greatest prayer," she said, "and I can't think of a better way to dramatize his worthiness for sainthood than big turnouts of people around the globe attending Mass in his memory, all on the same day. That's public support on a grand scale; hopefully, it will impress Rome."

WEBLINK: Official Website for the Canonization Cause of the Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 24- "On meekness, simplicity and guilelessness"

9. A meek soul is a throne of simplicity, but an angry mind is a creator of evil.

November 18, 2009  

(Psa 139:13-16) For thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well; my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance; in thy book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

LINK: An intercessor for all who would defend life by George Weigel


Bishops meet to discuss health care reform
USCCB efforts on health care reform measure seen as lesson for future
Leader of US Catholic bishops says church has duty to speak out in health care debate

EDITORIAL: How to convert a nation despite our human frailty by Judie Brown

Austin Ruse: UN Pro-Life Petition Grows to Over 600,000, One Million Needed!

You may or may not have signed the UN Petition for the Unborn Child and the Family. I am being a pest and sending this to you again because if you haven't helped this campaign, I am asking you to do so now. If you have helped this campaign by signing the petition, I am asking you to send an appeal to all your friends and family to help this campaign. If you have already done that, please do it again!??

The only way these types of internet campaigns work is by millions of people working together and sending repeated calls for help!??

We intend to deliver one million names to the UN in support of the unborn child. I run C-FAM. We have been doing UN pro-life work full time for 12 years. You can check us out at to see that we are legitimate. We are in a unique position to run this campaign and to deliver one million names to our friends at the UN and to the UN Secretary General.

Read the petition HERE in one of 18 languages and then sign it, if you have not already. And then, I implore you to send a notice about this campaign to all of your friends and family, to your whole address book! We have gathered 611,998 as of 1:32 pm November 15. We have gathered 126,404 new names in the last six weeks. We need to move faster than that!??

Please go HERE. Read the petition, sign it if you have not already and send the petition with your note to all of your family and friends. Do it now. Do not wait!??

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 24- "On meekness, simplicity and guilelessness"

8. The meek shall inherit the earth (Matt 5:5), or rather shall exercise dominion over it, but bad-tempered men will be harried out of their land.

November 13, 2009  


(Luk 18:6-8) And the Lord said: Hear what the unjust judge saith. And will not God revenge his elect who cry to him day and night? And will he have patience in their regard? I say to you that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?

ESSAYTime by Peter Kreeft
LINK: -An online video Rosary for participation in worldwide or individual prayer.


Reflection by Father Ted –  – November 09, 2009

My dearest Jesus, earlier tonight You reminded me, through the writing of Pope Benedict XVI that the reason You created our universe was that You could become one of us to reveal Your love to all of my brothers and sisters and to me and to enable us to return that love.

Isn’t that why Saint Augustine many, many years ago expressed in his confessions this simple truth - “Our hearts are restless, until they rest in Thee, O Lord.” As I have been writing recently in these reflections – You made me to know, to love and to serve You and to be with You forever in Your home.

When You created the universe, You made it “good”. And in the beginning of the Book of Genesis, You expressed this truth.

When You created our first parents, You declared that this was “very good”. For You made them in Your image, in Your likeness.

You gave to them the ability to know and to love – for You wanted them to know You and so to love You.

You gave them the ability to express their love by obeying You.

Their ability to express their love was tested – as all love must be tested.

They were tested by the evil one. They gave into his temptation by refusing to reflect their love through their obedience.

As You made Adam and Eve to know You and to love You, so have You made me to know You and to love You.

As You tested their love for You, so You likewise test me, You do so often, as it must be.

And so You allow me to be tested also by the evil one.

He challenges me, as he did Adam and Eve, not to listen to You – that is not to obey You.

When I yield to his persuasion, I sin.

But You, in Your profound love for me, offer to me the opportunity, the grace to repent of my expression of un-love.

This is why You so often offer to me the opportunity to confess my sin(s) to Your ordained priest in that awesome sacrament of Penance.

Lord, continue to offer to me Your gifts of love. Continue to help me to love You with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength.

May I love You as You love me – forever.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 24- "On meekness, simplicity and guilelessness"

7. In the heart of the meek the Lord finds rest, but a turbulent soul is a seat of the devil.

November 12, 2009  

(Rev 6:9-11) And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying: How long, O Lord (Holy and True), dost thou not judge and revenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given to every one of them one; And it was said to them that they should rest for a little time till their fellow servants and their brethren, who are to be slain even as they, should be filled up.

NEWSLINK: Victim of Stalinist Church Persecutions Beatified

VATICAN: Pope Pays Tribute to Persecuted Priests

INDIAN CATHOLIC: Church not afraid to preach Gospel, declares mission congress

EDITORIAL: Prayer over persecution of Christians 

On this past Sunday, Nov. 8, Christians around the world participated in the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Some half million Christians in 150 countries remembered the plight of believers who are suffering persecution because of their faith. Some may be astonished to hear that such a day was set aside for this purpose for they have the notion that persecution of Christians ended with the passing of the ancient Roman era. Alas, that is not the case.

In a recent situation in Pakistan 37-year old Asia Bibi was accused of blaspheming Mohammed for allegedly saying, "Jesus is alive. Mohammed is dead." She was imprisoned for four months before her first meeting with a judge in Sheikhupura. She has been charged under section 295-C of the Pakistani Criminal code that says in part, "Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet . . . shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine." According to International Christian Concern's Pakistan analyst, Jonathan Racho, the penal code is extreme. It in fact penalizes Christians from holding to their most basic beliefs as Christians and threatens them with death if they express those beliefs.

Though not often reported in the media, persecution is a daily fact of life for many Christians around the world. Italian journalist, Antonio Socci, in his book, The New Persecuted: Inquiries into Anti-Christian Intolerance in the New Century of Martyrs, estimates that more Christians (about 45 million) were killed in the 20th century than in all previous centuries combined. The estimates are taken from sources such as Oxford's World Christian Encyclopedia. Many of those murdered died in places like the former Soviet Union, and Nazi Germany. But the slaughter of some 1.5 million Armenian Christians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 must never be forgotten as well.

Persecution does not always involve martyrdom. Christians in different parts of the world are denied justice, discriminated against in their work, are in danger of losing their lives because they have converted, are captured and sold as slaves, and are forbidden to preach the truths of the Bible on penalty of fines or imprisonment. Indeed discrimination and maltreatment have a thousand and one different faces for those believers who find themselves out of favour with certain governments, and local citizens as well.

Though persecution takes place every day in countries far away it is also beginning to happen in Canada. Many are ignorant of this fact for news media, apart from a few exceptions, simply has not covered the stories. Who knows for example that a diminutive, 60-year-old grandmother, Linda Gibbons, has been imprisoned in a Canadian penitentiary for seven out of the last fourteen years for the crime of quietly praying in front of an abortion facility? Who has heard about Father Alfphonse de Valk, the Catholic priest, who was subjected to a human rights investigation that cost his monthly magazine expenses to the tune of some $20,000? His crime — defending traditional marriage and the biblical view of sexuality. Who has heard of Chris Kempling, of Quesnel, B.C., and the persecution he has experienced at the hands of his own school district and teachers union? Kempling's crime was to write a few letters to his local newspaper on the subject of homosexuality. For this he has been suspended from his work without pay for several months, and has been forced to pay out thousands and thousands of dollars to defend himself before the courts.

Some may question whether the above examples qualify as religious persecution. Are they not simply examples of persons who find themselves politically out of sync with present cultural values? I would disagree with that assessment for I maintain that the church defines morality, not the state. And when the state upends Christian values and teaching and says that wrong is right and right is wrong, and then punishes the believer when they continue to speak and practice their faith—that appears like religious persecution to me.

On the recent International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church Christians did well to pray for suffering believers in far off countries. After all Jesus warned that persecution was to be expected. I suspect however that most of us thought that Jesus was referring to Christians in far off places. Who knew? Who could possibly have known that one day we would be praying for persecuted believers in our own country of Canada?

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 24- "On meekness, simplicity and guilelessness"

6. Meekness is the fellow-worker of obedience, the guide of the brotherhood, a bridle for the enraged, a check to the irritable, a minister of joy, the imitation of Christ, something proper to angels, shackles for demons, a shield against bitterness.

November 11, 2009  

(1Ti 6:11-12) But thou, O man of God, fly these things: and pursue justice, godliness, faith, charity, patience, mildness. Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called and be it confessed a good confession before many witnesses.


Spreading faith in a violent land
For priest, move to accept Fort Hood post was calling
Vietnam's Holy Jubilee: Pass on the living Faith, cardinal exhorts 

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT: A promise was made; now it needs to be kept

FATHER CORAPI: Veterans' Day Message from Fr. Corapi

Every year in the United States of America we celebrate "Veterans' Day" on November 11th, which historically marked the armistice (originally Armistice Day) ending World War I. If you are interested in the history of this American holiday, you can easily find it using Google, or any web search engine.

We should all be very thankful for the service of our veterans. Our country and the freedoms we sometimes take for granted were won by, and constantly protected by, the veterans of our Armed Forces. My grandfather served in the US Army during World War I; my father in the Navy Seabees in the South Pacific, some of my uncles served in the Marines, the Navy, and the Air Force during the Korean War. I enlisted in the Army in the late 1960s myself.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, "a sure norm for teaching the faith," as Pope John Paul II asserted, says this about military service in paragraph #2310, quoting "Gaudium et Spes":
"Those who are sworn to serve their country in the armed forces are servants of the security and freedom of nations. If they carry out their duty honorably, they truly contribute to the common good of the nation and the maintenance of peace."

It is the obligation of all of us, individuals and governments alike, to work assiduously for peace. As my Grandmother often said to me, "war is hell." She knew as she had a husband and son that fought in both world wars, had nephews and a grandson go off to faraway places. She prayed, worried, and suffered because of war. Nonetheless, she knew, like so many of us do, that without the sacrifices of themselves and their loved ones, there would be no enduring freedom.

There is always something to be learned from the natural order that can be applied to the spiritual and moral life. One of the most common underlying misconceptions and fallacious presuppositions is that there is no evil in the world, that no one will hurt you if you just don't hurt them. Wrong! There is evil in the world, there has been since darkness entered into Eden, and there will be until Jesus comes again in glory.

There is good and there is evil; there is truth and there are lies; there is life and there is death. Being neutral is a myth. Sitting on a fence is an accident waiting to happen. In the end you will be "for me or against me," as Jesus says.

We are at war and "our battle is not against flesh and blood," as St. Paul asserts in his letter to the Ephesians. A good soldier is ready to shed his blood, sweat, and tears for the cause of freedom. Jesus tells us, "I've come to set the captives free." The servant is no better, no different, than his Master. The bottom line of war is victory, and this war is for an eternal prize.

We honor our veterans this week, and rightly so. Let their sacrifices for our country inspire you to even higher things. You and I are called to fight the good fight and run the race to the finish line. Performing our mission as good Catholics and Christians affects countless other souls, some we know, some we don't. So, as St. Paul cautions us, "Don't shadow box. Fight so as to win." Don't imagine there is not a moral and spiritual war either. This fight results in victory or defeat, Heaven or hell, forever.

God bless you, Fr. John Corapi

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 24- "On meekness, simplicity and guilelessness"

5. Meekness is the buttress of patience, the door, or rather, the mother of love, and the foundation of discernment, for it is said: The Lord will teach the meek His ways (Ps. 29:9). It prepares us for the forgiveness of sins; it is boldness in prayer; an abode of the Holy Spirit. But to whom shall I look? Even to him that is meek and quiet (Isa. 66:2).

November 10, 2009  

(Gen 11:4-5) And they said: Come, let us make a city and a tower, the top whereof may reach to heaven; and let us make our name famous before we be scattered abroad into all lands. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of Adam were building.

HEADLINE: Large Hadron Collider ready to roll again ... unless God stops it first

NEWS REPORT: Crumbs! Bird and baguette trip up atom smasher

The Large Hadron Collider – the massive "Big Bang" machine on the Franco-Swiss border – hit a small snag last week after a bird dropped bread into the power supply.

"There was no shutdown for the machine," a spokeswoman from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern) told on Monday. "The bread caused a very small short-circuit and that was it."

A passing bird last week dropped a baguette morsel into a portion of the machine's power system that sits above ground. That caused the collider's immensely complex cooling system to malfunction, warming a three-kilometre stretch of the 27-km-long machine from -271-degrees Celsius to -268 degrees.

"The bird escaped unharmed but lost its bread," Cern said. "The incident was similar in effect to a standard power cut, for which the machine protection systems are very well prepared."

Workers managed to fix the problem within a few hours. Operations were back to normal a few days later. There was no damage to the collider.

The planet's biggest machine is designed to recreate what happened when the universe was just one trillionth of a second old by smashing protons into each other at nearly the speed of light. To do it, the machine must be kept colder than outer space.

THEORY: Large Hadron Collider 'Being Sabotaged from the Future'

OF RELATED INTEREST: Vatican Astronomer Says Church & Science Go Hand in Hand

Many people believe that science and religion have historically been at odds, but Brother Guy Cosolmango will tell you otherwise.

The Vatican astronomer was the keynote speaker at "Astrofeast," an annual fundraiser for Kopernik Observatory.

His lecture titled "The Heavens Proclaim" aimed to debunk myths about the church and science and he says that the two go hand in hand.

"Science is a fantastic way of getting to know Creation and to get to know the Creator. So I'm here to encourage people to look at the stars, look through a telescope, and to find out what's going on with astronomy," said Vatican Astronomer Brother Guy Cosolmango.


Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 24- "On meekness, simplicity and guilelessness"

4. Meekness is a rock overlooking the sea of anger, which breaks all the waves that dash against it, yet remains completely unmoved.

November 5, 2009  


POPE BENEDICT XVI: "We are never alone. We are part of a spiritual fellowship in which a deep solidarity reigns through the prayers of the living for the eternal repose of the dead and through the intercession of the holy deceased on behalf of those still living".

REVIEW: Life everlasting

Reflection by Father Ted – November 03, 2009:  

My dearest Lord Jesus, as we begin this sacred month of November, You remind me not only of Your tremendous love for us, but also of our need to respond to Your call to holiness.

On last Sunday, You enabled us to focus on the ultimate goal that You offer to me and to all of Your children. For You pointed out to us that heaven is our true goal and that we can only get there by responding to Your gifts of love – Your graces.

On last Sunday we celebrated “All Saints’ Day”. We focused on the myriads of men, women, boys, and girls who are enjoying eternal bliss with You, with Your and their Father, and with Your Holy Spirit. They not only see You as You are, they experience the fullness of the love that You have for them and for all of us who are still struggling on earth.

And because of this tremendous love experience, they also pray for us, here on earth, so that we will not merely desire to be with You and with them in heaven, but that we cooperate with all the graces that You offer to us to achieve sanctity.

Yesterday, You allowed us to celebrate “All Souls’ Day” when we were permitted to focus on the needs of our deceased brothers and sisters who are being purified in Purgatory. You not only allow us to pray for them, You want us to pray for them.

Because of this desire of Your’s – namely, to pray for the Souls in Purgatory, You permitted Pope Benedict XV to allow us priests to offer three Masses on this day, just like we can do on Christmas Day.

You want us to help these brothers and sisters who have died and have not yet entered into Heaven.

This is the way we can show to them our love.

We help them by offering Masses for them, by praying the Rosary for them, by praying such prayers as the Litany of the Holy Souls for them, by praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for them – especially at the 3’o clock hour.

In fact, because of Your desire for us to assist them on the journey to heaven, You have set aside for us this whole month – to pray for our deceased brothers and sisters.

Today, You also reminded me of the importance of praying for the living as well – that during our life on earth we focus on doing Your Will each day.

Today, You allowed me to be present at the funeral of a young man, only 19 years old, who died in a car accident last week. I didn’t know him, but I knew his younger sister who used to serve some of my Masses.

Was he ready to die – I don’t know. I only hope so.

Did he receive a merciful judgment? I hope so.

Does he need my prayers, and the prayers of others? Most likely.

If he doesn’t, then others will benefit for these prayers – especially for the Masses offered for the repose of his soul.

Jesus, teach us to live each day as if today will be our last day on earth. Teach us to love You with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all of our strength. May we love You most of all.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 24- "On meekness, simplicity and guilelessness"

3. Meekness consists in praying calmly and sincerely for a neighbour when he causes many turmoils.

November 4, 2009  

(Rev 12:7-10) And there was a great battle in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels. And they prevailed not: neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world. And he was cast unto the earth: and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: Now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ: because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them before our God day and night.


Vatican's fury as court bans crucifixes in Italian classrooms because they 'breach religious rights of children'
Nun reprimanded for escorting women to abortion clinic
Vatican Newspaper Denounces Swiss Theologian

EDITORIAL: A plague of atheists has descended, and Catholics are the target

FIRST THINGS: Rome's Talks With the Lefebvrists Begin

Dave: My wife Peg and I visited Knock in September 2008. It was nice and quiet as their big celebration is in August. Unlike Medjugorje which can be a bit loud and have a lot of distractions, we found Knock to be very quiet and very reverent. It seem to attract the "Old type Catholics" of the west of Ireland who came for quiet devotion rather than any hoopla.

Our Lady's appearance in August of 1879 was very special to the Irish people. They were just starting to get back on their feet from the devastation of the potato famine and it was a sign from God that He had not abandoned them. The final push for national independence began close by to Knock with the National Land League. Within forty two years ( a biblical generation), the majority of Ireland would be on its way to full independence after centuries of oppression and occupation. It was as if Our Lady lit the torch of freedom at Knock to guide the Irish people to their destiny.

So, for your readers, if they want to visit a nice quiet place where devotion to Our Lady has been approved, then I would recommend Knock. If they are able, St Patrick's Mountain, Croagh Patrick is a 1/2 hour's drive away. I climbed it while my wife prayed for my safe return while shopping in the gift shop at the foot of the mountain......

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 24- "On meekness, simplicity and guilelessness"

2. Meekness is an unchangeable state of mind, which remains the same in honour and dishonour.

November 3, 2009  

(1Jn 4:1) Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

IRISH CENTRAL: 10,000 faithful disappointed as Virgin Mary fails to show at Knock

More than 10,000 people were left disappointed in Ireland Saturday as the Virgin Mary failed to appear as predicted at Knock Basilica. By 3 p.m. Irish time (10 a.m. EST) about 7,000 people had crammed into the Basilica with a further 3,000 people outside.

Dubliner Joe Coleman, the man who had predicted the apparition left the Basilica at about 4 p.m. saying he had seen Our Lady as anticipated. Coleman, who says he is "a visionary of our Blessed Mother" said he had also received communication from the Virgin Mary. However, he said he was unwilling to reveal the message. Speaking earlier this week Coleman had he warned that the visitation would only be visible "to people who come with an open heart".

Earlier this month an estimated 5,000 gathered at Knock Shrine with some people claiming to have seen the sun dancing in the sky. Mr Coleman said the Virgin Mary had asked him to recite the Rosary with a priest in the Basilica and he said he was disappointed that the Catholic Church had declined to make one available. 


STATEMENT by Archbishop Michael Nearyon: On the Shrine of Knock

The Meaning of Knock

Knock is a much loved place of pilgrimage and prayer. Ever since the apparition in 1879, believers from home and abroad have made the pilgrimage there in increasing numbers. The most renowned of all pilgrims to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock was his Holiness, Pope John Paul II, who came for the centenary of the shrine in 1979, thus reaching 'the goal of his journey to Ireland' where he was able to 'make yet another pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Mother of Christ, the Mother of the Church, the Queen of Peace.' (Homily at Mass in Knock, 30 September 1979).

The great gift of Knock consists in a particular way in prayer and the celebration of the sacraments, in penance and the conversion of life. 'All those who have come to Knock have received blessings through the intercession of Mary…The sick and suffering, people handicapped in body and in mind, troubled in their faith or their conscience, all have been healed, comforted and confirmed in their faith because they trusted that the Mother of God would lead them to her Son Jesus' (Pope John Paul II).  It is this trust in the Mother of God, this turning to her divine Son borne out in the practical care of the sick, and in the celebration of the sacraments of reconciliation, anointing and Eucharist that lie at the core of the Knock pilgrimage.

For one hundred and thirty years now the pilgrims to Knock have been pilgrims in faith.  They 'walk by faith and not by sight' to quote the words of St Paul (II Cor 5:7).  This is their great blessing, the blessing in fact that Jesus mentions to the doubting Thomas: they have not seen and still they believe (Jn 20:29). 

The Authentic Identity of the Shrine

Such faith makes Knock pilgrims firm in hope and active in love for the sick and suffering. They do not expect visions or seek further apparitions. God has manifested Himself in Jesus Christ and His people have responded ever since.  It is not healthy, does not give glory to God and certainly is not good witness to the faith to be looking for extraordinary phenomena.

The apparition of 1879 was neither sought nor expected by the humble, honest people who were its astonished witnesses.  Their faith reveals the patience and humility that characterises true belief.  The Shrine of Knock is living witness to that faith.

Unfortunately, recent events at the Shrine obscure this essential message.  They risk misleading God's people and undermining faith.  For this reason such events are to be regretted rather than encouraged.


Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 24- "On meekness, simplicity and guilelessness"

1. The morning light precedes the sun, and the precursor of all humility is meekness.

November 2, 2009

(II Maccabees 12:43-46) And making a gathering, he [Judas] sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection, (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.


Purgatory Project
Litany for the Souls in Purgatory
Indulgences for the Poor Souls

PIA: Mercy for the Dead: Remembering the Dead on All Souls Day

One great act of mercy that we should perform is to pray for the dead. The Church observes All Souls Day today as the living remember their dearly departed.

The Lord asks us, the living, to continuously offer prayers, masses and sacrifices, drawing from the treasury of the Church, for departed souls. "Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice," Jesus told St Faustina. In fact, the Lord encouraged St Faustina, the Apostle of Divine Mercy, remember the souls in purgatory. He told her: "Enter into purgatory often, because (souls) need you there (from the Diary of St Faustina, entry 1738).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: "All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven."

We, the living, can assist the dead by imploring God's infinite mercy for them. Not just during this day, but always - as we receive the holy sacraments, pray, perform sacrifices - we must be in communion with the suffering souls.

St Faustina once saw in a vision the souls in purgatory, and she saw their great need for our assistance. She wrote in her diary (entry 20):

"I saw my Guardian Angel, who ordered me to follow him. In a moment I was in a misty place full of fire in which there was a great crowd of suffering souls. They were praying fervently, but to no avail, for themselves; only we can come to their aid. The flames which were burning them did not touch me at all. My Guardian Angel did not leave me for an instant. I asked these souls what their greatest suffering was. They answered me in one voice that their greatest torment was longing for God. I saw Our Lady visiting the souls in purgatory. The souls call her 'The Star of the Sea.' She brings them refreshment. I wanted to talk to talk with them some more, but my Guardian Angel beckoned me to leave. We went out of that prison of suffering. (I heard an interior voice) which said, 'My mercy does not want this, but Justice demands it.' Since that time, I am in closer communion with the suffering souls."

REFLECTION by Father Ted – October 27, 2009: My dearest Lord Jesus, on this day, 79 years ago, my brother was born. He was the 2nd child born to our mother. I am the 3rd.

We are not only her beloved children and the beloved children of our father. We are Your beloved children.

As You have so frequently reminded me we are all Your beloved children whom You created through our human parents to experience Your eternal love.

Both of my siblings have died. Both, I believe, have received Your Merciful judgment.

I am the only one who is still struggling to live on earth – awaiting also Your Merciful judgment.

I still have to seek to do Your Will.

I still have to deal with my weaknesses. I still have to resist temptations. I still have to experience the seductions of the devil – even daily.

Although he is cunning, although he is brighter than me, with Your Merciful help, I can resist his strategies and resist giving into his evil enticements.

I can succeed only if I take advantage of all the graces that You offer to me – which are available through my daily prayers, through my various acts of self-denial, through my reception frequently of the sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and of Penance.

I have learned – sometimes the hard way, that the evil one strives to persuade me, as he does to others, not to pray as often as You prompt me to do. I know that he strives to urge me not to celebrate Holy Mass as often as I do. I know that he does not want me to visit You and to adore You in the Blessed Sacrament as frequently as I do. I know that he does not want me to confess my sins as often as You want me to do.

When I listen to him, and do not take advantage of the helps that You offer to me, I lack the spiritual strength that I need in order to resist his temptations.

I sin, because I have not accepted the graces that You provide me with; because I lack the spiritual strength that You provide me through prayer, sacrifices, the Holy Eucharist and Penance.

Lord, may I do all that You ask of me – so that I will not only resist the temptations of the devil, but above all, so that I will become the holy man, the holy priest that You desire me to be; so that I will be able to assist my other brothers and sisters in being able to resist the devil’s temptations and becoming the saints that You want them to be as well.

Jesus, send us Your Spirit. Enkindle in us the fire of Your Divine Love.

May we come to know You, to love You, to serve You each day so that we may be with You and my family in Your heavenly home.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 23- "On mad pride and unclean, blasphemous thought"

31. A proud monk has no need of a devil; he has become a devil and enemy to himself.
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