Keep your eyes open!...



November 29, 2012

(Mat 24:9-13) Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted and shall put you to death: and you shall be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be scandalized and shall betray one another and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise and shall seduce many. And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold. But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved.


MEDITATIONS: Thoughts by St Theophan (1815-1894)

[I Tim. 5:1-10; Luke 17:20-25]

Having said that the Son of Man will appear in his day like lightning, instantly illuminating everything under heaven, the Lord added: But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. The word order here makes it apparent that this “must suffer” should precede Lord's appearance in glory. Thus, the whole time until that day is the time of the Lord's suffering. He suffered in His person at one known time; after that His sufferings continue in believers — suffering as they are born, their upbringing in the spirit and protection from actions of the enemy, both inner and outer — for the Lord's union with His own is not just mental or moral, but living. Everything that touches them is accepted by Him as well, as the head. Therefore, it is impossible not to see that the Lord indeed suffers much.

The most painful sorrows are the falls of believers; even more painful for Him is when they fall away from the faith. But these are the final wounds; as continuously wounding arrows are the sorrows, temptations, and wavering faith of unbelief. Words and writings that exude unbelief are kindled arrows of the evil one. Nowadays, the evil one has led many blacksmiths to forge such arrows. The hearts of believers ache when they are struck by them and see others being struck. The Lord aches too. But the day of the Lord's glory will appear — then all the secret darkness will be revealed, and those who have suffered will rejoice with the Lord. Until that time we must endure and pray.


We are living in a time of great contradictions! On a corporate level, the Church—whom Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against—seems utterly despoiled by scandal, weak leadership, lukewarmness, and fear. Externally, one can literally see the anger and intolerance rising against her all over the world. So too, in our personal lives, I hear everywhere I go how there is great suffering among the brethren. Financial disaster, sickness, unemployment, marital strife, family divisions… it would seem as if Christ has forgotten us!

Far from it. Rather, Jesus is preparing his Bride for the Passion. But not only the Passion of the Church, but her Resurrection. The words from that prophecy given in Rome1  in Pope Paul VI’s presence are becoming more alive to me by the hour. Note especially the parts underlined below:

Because I love you, I want to show you what I am doing in the world today. I want to prepare you for what is to come. Days of darkness are coming on the world, days of tribulation… Buildings that are now standing will not be standing. Supports that are there for my people now will not be there. I want you to be prepared, my people, to know only me and to cleave to me and to have me in a way deeper than ever before. I will lead you into the desert… I will strip you of everything that you are depending on now, so you depend just on me. A time of darkness is coming on the world, but a time of glory is coming for my Church, a time of glory is coming for my people. I will pour out on you all the gifts of my Spirit. I will prepare you for spiritual combat; I will prepare you for a time of evangelism that the world has never seen…. And when you have nothing but me, you will have everything: land, fields, homes, and brothers and sisters and love and joy and peace more than ever before. Be ready, my people, I want to prepare you… —St. Peter’s Square, May, 1975, Pentecost Monday (given by Ralph Martin)

Jesus is stripping us of our worldly comforts and our deadly self-reliance that has become idolatry for many in the Church, especially in the wealthy Western nations. But this painful process often feels as though He is in fact abandoning us! The truth is, He does not remove these stones of contradiction because it will destroy the integrity of what He is building in your soul. You need this present suffering so as to become more reliant and abandoned to Him. The time is coming when we in the Church will have nothing but Him, in nearly every way imaginable. Yes, Satan will whisper to you, “You see, it’s as if God does not exist! Everything is random. Good and bad, they happen to everyone alike. Give up this silly religion because it does you no good. Wouldn’t you be better off following your instincts rather than your faith?!”

Is it not providence that the Pope declared this current year, “The Year of Faith?” It’s because the faith of so many is being attacked at its very foundations…

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

30. Take for your motto: Love has conquered me, it alone shall possess my heart.

November 28, 2012  

(Mat 6:9-10) Thus therefore shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

LINK: Prayer of Consecration to the Divine Will

Frank Rega: His Eminence Archbishop Pichierri, who is responsible for Luisa Piccarreta's cause, rejects the claim that there are doctrinal errors in her writings. Further, not only is it not prohibited to spread the knowledge of her life and of her writings, but it is desirable to do so.

Please click on this link for communication for details.

BOOK EXCERPT: Chastisements, Purges, Destruction - and a Remedy

VIA Rev. Joseph Leo Iannuzzi

Hello friends,

As many of you know, In November 2012 at the Vatican Pontifical University, and for the first time, a doctoral dissertation on the writings of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta was successfully defended and approved unanimously. This marks the beginning of a beautiful chapter in the annals of the Church. It is noteworthy that this work will be published and distributed far and wide.

To those who have supported this undertaking that took no less than ten years of assiduous study and consultation with the very best Vatican professors of dogmatic and mystical theology, your prayers and sacrifices near and far have made this all possible. As for the doctoral defense of Rome, in all honesty, it could not have gone better. In attendance were several monks and the rector of the college in Rome where I live, university dottorandi, as well friends from Rome. After a 1 hour and 40 minute doctoral presentation that included questions from Vatican professors of various disciplines on the doctrines in Luisa's "original text", and the doctrines of Tradition and the Magisterium, the professors asked all to kindly exit the aula so that the professors may deliberate and come to an official verdict. After a few minutes, the president of the theological team of Vatican professors invited back into the aula those in attendance. The Vatican professors then pronounced their unanimous approval of my dissertation on the collected writings of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, and conferred upon me the title, "Sacrae Theologiae Doctor", which reads in English, "Doctor of Sacred Theology" (S.T.D.). To my unawares, the entire defense of the doctoral dissertation was recorded and photographed by one of the monks, who informed me so after the defense. I am in the process of obtaining this recording.

I wish to emphasize that this dissertation is not my effort only, but that of all those who, through their prayers and support, have assisted in this undertaking for the greater glory of God. Having said this, I wish to share with those of you who have indeed contributed to this dissertation the following, as it is an applause not to me, but to all of you. During the defense, one of the Vatican professors applauded what was referred to as, my "courageous effort in the daunting task of having translated in this dissertation into English Luisa's works even before the critical edition has come out", and for having "successfully demonstrated a link between Luisa's writings and the early ecumenical councils, and patristic, scholastic and contemporary theology".

May God bless you and may the Holy Spirit breathe forth upon this generation the gift of Living in the Divine Will, for the time of the reign of the Kingdom of the Supreme Fiat is upon us.

In Domino, + Rev. Joseph Leo Iannuzzi

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

29. Love Him with all your strength, think always of Him, let Him do with you, in you and for you, whatever He wills, and do not be anxious about anything else.

November 27, 2012  

(Mat 28:19-20) Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

VATICAN RADIO: Pope Benedict celebrates Mass for the feast of Christ the King

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION PARISH: Fr. Joseph Esper Homily-18-Nov-2012

: Indefectibility of the Church

What is meant by the indefectibility of the Catholic Church? --By the indefectibility of the Catholic Church is meant that the Church, as Christ founded it, will last until the end of time.

The Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that Christ "shall be king over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:32-33)

Christ meant His Church to endure to the end of the world. It is to be indestructible and unchanging,-to possess indefectibility. Christ, God Himself, could scarcely have come, and with such incredible pain and labor have founded a Church which would die with the Apostles.

He came to save all men. Those to live in future ages needed salvation as much as the people of Apostolic times.

Christ said to Peter: "Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). By the "gates of hell", He meant all the power of the devil-all kinds of attacks, physical violence as well as false teaching.

Christ promises here that the Church would be assailed always, but never overcome. This promise of Our Lord has been proved for almost 2000 years by the facts of history. Not one of the persecutors of the Church has prevailed over it. On the contrary, many of them have come to a fearful end. There will always be Popes, bishops, and laity, to Compose the Church; the truths taught by Our Lord will always be found in His Church.

After telling His Apostles to teach, all nations, Christ said: "Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world" (Matt. 28:20).

As the Apostles were not to live to the end of the world, Christ must have been addressing them as representatives of a perpetual Church.

The Apostles themselves understood Christ to mean that His Church should endure. After organizing Christian communities, they appointed successors in their place, to live after them and carry on the Church.

The Apostles instructed these successors to ordain in turn other bishops and priests. All these acts were to assure the perpetuity of the Church.

Christ intended the Church to remain as He founded it, to preserve the whole of what He taught, and the shining marks which He gave it in the beginning. If the Church lost any of the qualities that God gave it, it could not be said to be indefectible, because it would not be the same institution. Indefectibility implies unchangeability.

Our Lord promised to abide by the Church, to assist it, and to send the Holy Ghost to remain in it. God does not change: "Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world" (Matt. 28:20).

Because of its indefectibility the truths revealed by God will always be taught in the Catholic Church. St. Ambrose said: "The Church is like the moon; it may wane, but never be destroyed; it may be darkened, but it can never disappear."

St. Anselm said that the bark of the Church may be swept by the waves, but it can never sink, because Christ is there. When the Church is in greatest need, Christ comes to its help by miracles, or by raising up saintly men to strengthen and purify it. It is the bark of Peter; when the storm threatens to sink it, the Lord awakens from His sleep, and commands the winds and the waves into calm: "Peace; be still!"

Has the Catholic Church actually proved itself indefectible? --The Catholic Church has, throughout its long history, proved itself indefectible, against all kinds of attack from within and without, against every persecution and every heresy and schism.

As its Founder was persecuted, so the Catholic Church has been and ever will be persecuted. "You will be brought before governors and kings for my sake" (Matt. 10:18). "And you will be hated by all for my name's sake" (Matt. 10:22). "No disciple is above his teacher, nor is the servant above his master" (Matt. 10:24).

"They will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues" (Mark 13:9). "They will arrest you, and persecute you" (Luke 21:12).

The Church survived three hundred years of incredible persecution under pagan Rome. Of the 33 Popes that ruled before the Edict of Milan, 30 died as martyrs. That mighty Empire, with its colossal strength, before whose standard the nations quailed, could not kill the infant Church or stop its progress. In a short time the Popes were ruling where the imperial Caesars had issued edicts against the Christian Church.

The Roman Empire waged ten fierce persecutions against the Church, but could not destroy it. In the year 313 the Emperor Constantine was converted, and granted the Church freedom by the Edict of Milan.

Then for two centuries hordes of barbarians swept upon civilized Europe, destroying the old Roman Empire. The Church not only survived, but converted and civilized the barbarians.
God's ever-watchful providence brought about the conversion of the Frankish king Clovis, with a great number of his warriors. This was the beginning of the firm establishment of the Church in the Frankish kingdom, although missionaries had gone there from the first century. In the eighth century St. Boniface converted Middle and Northern Germany, until then the home of violent paganism.

For nine centuries Mohammedanism threatened Christian civilization. It was the Church under the Popes that urged the nations to league against Mohammedanism.  In the sixteenth century the Mohammedan menace was removed.

Not only non-Christians, but its own rebellious children have persecuted the Church. From the beginning heresy has attacked it from within. And still the Church lives, greater than ever, changeless, indefectible.

The long history of the Catholic Church is attended by schism and heresy, but each attack has only strengthened it. It has continued to live and spread in spite of everything and everybody.

The Church is the Bride of Christ, cast into prison, starved, thrown to the beasts, trampled underfoot, hacked, tortured, crucified, and burned. But this fair Bride emerges from it all in the bloom and freshness of youth, serene, calm, immortal.

RON SMITH REPORT:  Sedevacanists and the Church of Rome

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

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

28. Your love for God must be so great that grace may triumph over your heart and over all human respect. No more self-introspection. Provided that the good pleasure of the Sacred Heart is accomplished, suffering or enjoyment must be a matter of indifference to you.

November 26, 2012  

(Mat 7:13-14) Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!

TRACT: The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved by St. Leonard of Port Maurice

FEAST DAY: Saint Leonardo de Porto Maurizio, Priest Porto Maurizio, Imperia, 1676 – Rome, November 26, 1751

It is this saint to whom we owe the credit for having conceived the Via Crucis. Ligure (1676-1751), was the son of a sea captain. Born in Porto Maurizio, Imperia today, he studied in Rome at the Collegio Romano, then entered the retirement of St. Bonaventure, on the Palatine Hill, where he would wear the Franciscan habit. Posted in Corsica by the Pope to restore harmony among the citizens, he was able to obtain, despite the serious divisions among the inhabitants, an unthinkable embrace. The theme of the Cross was at the center of his preaching drew crowds to repentance and Christian piety. Alfonso Maria de Liguori called him “the greatest missionary of our century.” Roman Martyrology: In Rome in the convent of Saint Bonaventura on the Palatine Hill, St. Leonard of Port Maurice, Priest of the Order of Friars Minor, who, full of love for souls, engaged all his life in preaching, in publishing books of devotion and to visit in over three hundred missions in Rome, Corsica and Northern Italy.

Young Franciscan Leonardo had asked to be a missionary in China. Cardinal Colloredo had replied: “Your China will be Italy.” And at the end of the seventeenth century, Italy had enough misery and misfortune enough to be considered mission territory.

Leonardo was a student in Rome, when a friend suggested going to hear a sermon. A few steps, they found that a hanged man dangling from the gallows. “This is the sermon,” said the two young men.  A few days later, the son of a sea captain of Porto Maurizio, Liguria, followed by two figures of monks who climbed to the convent of San Bonaventura on the Palatine Hill, where he donned the habit of the Franciscans called “the riformella” or “displaced” .

Devoting himself to preaching, perhaps remembering that torture hanging from the gallows, including Leonardo was always in mind the other execution, hanging on the Cross. Therefore, his favorite theme was that of the Via Crucis, typically Franciscan devotion to which he gave the largest spread.

His preaching had something dramatic and tragic, often by torchlight and voluntary torture, which underwent between Leonardo, now placing his hand on the torch lit, now scourging blood.

Immense crowds flocked to hear him and be impressed by his fiery speech, which re-called to repentance and Christian piety. “He is the greatest missionary of our century,”said St. Alphonsus de Liguori. Often, the entire audience, during his sermons, burst into sobs.

He preached throughout Italy, but the region of Tuscany was beaten because of the cold Jansenism, he wanted to fight first of all with the fervor of his heart, then with his themes more effective, namely the Name of Jesus, the Madonna and the Via Crucis.

In a visit to Corsica, the island’s troubled robbers fired their muskets into the air, shouting: “Viva friar Leonardo, long live peace.” Back in Liguria, was launching a galley, named in his honor, San Leonardo. But he was gravely ill, the sailors said: “The boat is water.” Consumed by the missionary labors, he was finally recalled to Rome, where, with his impassioned sermons, which also assisted the Pope, he prepared the spiritual climate for the Jubilee of 1750. On that occasion, he planted the Via Crucis at the Colosseum, declaring that place sacred to the martyrs.

Historians have also demonstrated that the Colosseum was never martyred Christians, but the preaching ~ in good faith – of San Leonardo prevented the further destruction of the monument, hitherto regarded as a quarry of good stone.

It was his last effort. He died the following year, and San Bonaventura al Palatino it took the soldiers to hold back the crowd who wanted to see the Holy priest and take away his relics. “We lose a friend on earth – the Pope Lambertini said – but we gain a protector in heaven.” It was he who suggested the definition of the Marian dogma of the Immaculate Conception, through consultation letters with all the pastors of the Church.

QUOTATION: Saint Leonard of Port Maurice On Our Blessed Mother:

“She has had a decisive influence on our lives. Each of us has his own experience. Looking back we see her intervention behind every problem, driving us forward and with the definitive push making us begin anew. Whenever I get down to thinking about the numerous graces I have received from Mary, I feel like one of those Marian Shrines on the walls of which, covered with 'offerings', there is inscribed only: 'Through grace received from Mary'. In this way, it seems that I am written all over: Through grace received from Mary'.

Every good thought, every good act of will, every movement of my heart: 'Through grace received from Mary'.”

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

27. The love of creatures is as poison in your heart and destroys the love of Jesus Christ. If you seek the esteem of creatures and try to insinuate yourself into their good graces, you will lose those of the Sacred Heart. You will be deprived of Its treasures in proportion as you enrich yourself with created things.

November 21, 2012  

(Mat 22:36-38) Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.

RON SMITH REPORT:  Working on Sunday

CATHOLIC.ORG: Back to Basics - Living the Sabbath

: The Importance Of Sunday-  The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation

Recovering the theological significance of Sunday is fundamental to rebalancing our lives. As Orthodox and Catholics, we share a theological view of Sunday and so our purpose in this statement is four-fold: to offer a caring response to what is not just a human, but also a theological question; to add a little more volume to the growing chorus of Christian voices trying to be heard in the din of our non-stop worklife; to offer brief reflections in hopes of drawing attention to the fuller expositions elsewhere; and to reinforce the ecumenical consensus by speaking as Orthodox and Catholics with one voice.

For Christians, Sunday, the Lord’s Day, is a special day consecrated to the service and worship of God.  It is a unique Christian festival.  It is “the day the Lord has made” (Ps. 117 (118):24). Its nature is holy and joyful. Sunday is the day on which we believe God acted decisively to liberate the world from the tyranny of sin, death, and corruption through the Holy Resurrection of Jesus.

 The primacy of Sunday is affirmed by the liturgical practice of the early church. St. Justin the Martyr writing around 150 AD notes that “it is on Sunday that we assemble because Sunday is the first day, the day on which God transformed darkness and matter and created the world and the day that Jesus Christ rose from the dead (First Apology, 67).” Sunday has always had a privileged position in the life of the church as a day of worship and celebration. On Sunday the Church assembles to realize her eschatological fullness in the Eucharist by which the Kingdom and the endless Day of the Lord are revealed in time.  It is the perpetual first day of the new creation, a day of rejoicing.  It is a day for community, feasting and family gatherings.

 As we look at our fellow Christians and our society, we observe that everyone is short of time and stressed. One reason is that many of us have forgotten the meaning of Sunday, and with it the practices that regularly renewed our relationships and lives.  More and more Christian leaders see the effects of a 24/7 worklife and ask “Where is the time of rest?”  As members of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation, gathered October 25-27, 2012, we add our combined voice to their call.

 Our purpose here is not to replace or replicate their message; it is to underscore and point to it.  Anyone who looks at the 1998 Apostolic Letter Dies Domini (The Lord’s Day) of Pope John Paul II and its cascade of patristic quotations will see there is already a feast of food for thought on the meaning of Sunday.  Anyone who reads the recent book Sunday, Sabbath, and the Weekend (2010, Edward O’Flaherty, ed.) will see there is also strong ecumenical consensus on the need to recover the meaning of Sunday-- not just for our souls, but for our bodies, our hearts, and our minds as well.   

 Sadly Sunday has become less of a day of worship and family and more like an ordinary work day. Shopping, sports, and work squeeze out the chance for a day of worship or rest in the Christian sense.  By abandoning Sunday worship we lose out on the regenerative powers that flow out of the liturgical assembly.  And when Sunday becomes detached from its theological significance, it becomes just part of a weekend and people can lose the chance to see transcendent meaning for themselves and their lives (The Lord’s Day, 4).

 Sunday is more than just the first day of the week.  In our faith we see how it is the ultimate day of new beginnings: “It is Easter which returns week by week, celebrating Christ's victory over sin and death, the fulfillment in him of the first creation and the dawn of "the new creation" (cf. 2 Cor 5:17). It is the day which recalls in grateful adoration the world's first day and looks forward in active hope to "the last day", when Christ will come in glory (cf. Acts 1:11; 1 Th 4:13-17) and all things will be made new (cf. Rev 21:5. The Lord’s Day, 1).”

 Sunday even unlocks the mystery of time itself, for “…in commemorating the day of Christ's Resurrection not just once a year but every Sunday, the Church seeks to indicate to every generation the true fulcrum of history, to which the mystery of the world's origin and its final destiny leads (The Lord’s Day, 2).”  The Lord’s Day is the day after the last day of the week and so it symbolizes eternity as well: what St. Augustine calls “a peace with no evening (Confessions 13:50).”  St. Basil the Great in his Treatise on the Holy Spirit writes, “Sunday seems to be an image of the age to come… This day foreshadows the state which is to follow the present age: a day without sunset, nightfall or successor, an age which does not grow old or come to an end (On the Holy Spirit 26:77).”

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

22. Our Lord loves you and wishes to see you advance with great speed in the way of His love, however crucifying to nature.  Therefore, do not bargain with Him, but give Him all, and you will find all in His divine Heart.

November 20, 2012  

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

VATICAN RADIO: English bishops call for day of prayer for peace in Middle East

The Catholic bishops of England and Wales concluded a meeting in the northern city of Leeds on Thursday with a call for a special day of prayer for peace in the Middle East. In a statement issued at the end of their four day plenary meeting, the bishops say “Conscious of the civil war in Syria and its impact on neighbouring countries, as well as the continuing conflict in the Holy Land,” they are calling on Catholics to pray especially for peace in the region on December 4th, the feast of St John Damascene.

MORE FROM VATICAN RADIO: Caritas Jerusalem appeals for aid for Gaza

EDITORIAL: A plea for the children caught in the crossfire

FIDES.ORG: Patriarch Emeritus Sabbah: in front of the massacres in Gaza, the UN recognizes the Palestinian State as a permanent observer

Gaza crisis: statement by Christian leaders in Holy Land

: ‘Bold believers’ need prayer in Gaza, Israel

The serrated smoke trails of rockets make jagged cuts through the cloudless sky over Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

And Stephen Johnson*, a Christian worker among Palestinians, said he feels just as rough around the edges.

Just after arriving in the West Bank on Nov. 16, he fell asleep and awoke to find that a rocket had hit not too far from the house where he was. “We are fine — a little jittery, but OK,” he said.

He’s not the only one who’s jittery — a phone call to friends who are believers in the Gaza Strip confirmed that.

Gaza and Israel have a history of conflict. Hundreds of intermittent rockets have been fired from Gaza in recent years, and in the winter of 2008-2009, Israelis’ Operation Cast Lead killed more than 1,000 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.

With the current fighting, a friend of Johnson’s in Gaza told him it’s dangerous to be in the street, and there’s very little movement outside. Grocery stores are empty.

“People have bought up supplies in case the situation gets worse,” Johnson said.

And they pray that “worse” won’t mean “closer” — the Palestinian Ministry of Interior office, about 200 yards from Johnson’s friends, was hit by Israeli rockets, he said.

Since Israel launched its Operation Pillar of Defense on Nov. 14, it has bombed 1,350 “terror targets” in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. More than 90 Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed, according to BBC News. At least 23 of those happened on the fifth day of fighting Nov. 18, making it the deadliest so far.

Where Ben Martin* is, people aren’t as worried about the rockets as they are about the possibility of others getting involved, such as Egypt or Hezbollah, the Shia resistance group based in Lebanon. Egypt’s president stated early in the conflict that it would not leave Gaza on its own, according to BBC.

“The main concern is the secondary threat,” said Martin, a Christian worker among Jews. “In these days, what do we do? We’re told to be sober minded so that we may be able to pray.” Pray for the Jews in Israel and for people under fire in both Israel and Gaza, he said. “We don’t just sit with our hands folded — we look for opportunities.” One believer in Israel whom Martin knows has already had the chance to share with a family when he was taking cover with them as rockets approached.

“What we need is people who will pray for the believers in Israel and for the believers in Gaza to be bold to share in the midst of hard times,” Martin said.

He, Johnson and others in the region say there is a ready harvest among the Middle Eastern peoples.

“Pray for safety but also that they would have opportunities to share the hope that they have,” Johnson said.

He and Martin challenged Christians to “pray the news.” “As you watch the news, write down the names and places, then turn the TV off and pray the news,” he said. “It’s not a political statement or a stand, but asking the God of heaven to invoke His will in the situation and to bring true and lasting peace. With that, He is well pleased.”

*Names have been changed

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

21. It is attachment to creatures and to self-satisfaction that weakens the blessing of love in your heart.  You must die to all that, if you wish the pure love of God to reign therein.

November 16, 2012  


(John 16:33) These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have distress. But have confidence. I have overcome the world.

VATICAN RADIO: Gaza: attacks continue against Israel despite airstrikes

Palestinian militants barraged Israel with nearly 150 rockets on Thursday, killing at least three people and striking the southern outskirts of Tel Aviv, as Israel pressed its campaign of air and naval strikes on militant targets across the Gaza Strip. A rocket attack on the city of Rishon Lezion was by far the deepest target reached by Gaza militants so far.

Israeli Defense officials say their country is prepared to launch a ground invasion into Gaza if necessary, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is saying the army is prepared for a ``significant widening'' of its Gaza offensive. “No government would tolerate a situation where nearly a fifth of its people live under a constant barrage of rockets and missile fire, and Israel will not tolerate this situation,” he said.

The fighting is the heaviest in four years.  It has brought life to a standstill on both sides of the border, with schools canceled and people huddled indoors.

The auxiliary bishop and vicar-general of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, William Shomali, appealed on Vatican Radio for an immediate end to the violence. “What is happening in Gaza now is a vicious circle of violence,” he said, adding a call for prayer and concrete solidarity with the innocent victims of the violence.

Listen to our report from regional correspondent Mark Weiss, followed by bishop William Shomali of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem: LINK.

THE TELEGRAPH:  Israeli airstrikes on Gaza: latest updates

: Israel: Tel Aviv Targeted by Rockets

Two projectiles, which Stratfor believes to be Fajr-5 rockets due to their range, landed near Tel Aviv -- one just south of the municipal line and one in the water just outside of the southern suburb of Bat Yam. No injuries have been reported. A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces denied that a rocket had landed in Tel Aviv, although this statement conflicts with eyewitness reports and may reflect the fact that projectiles have landed in areas just south of the actual Tel Aviv municipal boundary.

Both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have claimed responsibility for the attack. This strike is the furthest Hamas has ever struck into Israeli territory and signals a major escalation. Hamas has moved beyond retaliation for yesterday's airstrikes or provocative bombings and instead is engaged in war. An Israeli ground offensive is now almost assured.

Central Israel is now under rocket fire for the first time since Saddam Hussein launched Scud missiles into Tel Aviv during the first Gulf War. This escalation follows a spike in Israeli airstrikes over the Gaza Strip in the last 12 hours. The Israeli air force has hit more than 200 targets and Palestinian casualty numbers have risen to 15 fatalities and dozens injured.

The targeting of Israel's largest population center raises the specter of a ground operation. While limited rocket fire directed at small towns in the areas surrounding the Gaza Strip have been tolerated by the Israelis for the better part of the last decade, Stratfor expects rocket fire into the area where nearly 40 percent of the country's population resides -- and extending rocket fire to an area that now includes over half of the country -- to result in firmer action taken by the Israeli military to remove this threat.

Regardless of where the missile hit, the incident indicates that Gaza still has Fajr-5 rockets despite Israel's efforts yesterday to eliminate those stockpiles. The revelation that Gaza militants still have Fajr-5 missiles in their arsenals means that the airstrikes yesterday were incomplete. As Israeli intelligence continues to collect information on missile sites in Gaza, we can expect to see more airstrikes to eliminate them.

The IDF's official website and multiple media sources have already reported that paratroopers and soldiers from the IDF's Givati infantry brigade are beginning to prepare staging areas on the Gaza border for a ground offensive.

While this alone does not make a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip imminent, the fire on central Israel now makes this possibility all the more likely. However, if airstrikes do not prove sufficient to eliminate the long-range missile threat, Israel will need to be more methodical in finding and destroying those missile sites. That increases the likelihood of an Israeli ground operation, as that is the only way to secure the missile sites and prevent their further deployment.


Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

20. Taking your heart, as it were, in your hands, offer and consecrate it to our Lord, that He may be forever the sole Owner thereof, that He may reign therein absolutely and may teach you to love Him perfectly.

November 9, 2012 


(Php 2:12-15)  Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only but much more now in my absence) with fear and trembling work out your salvation. For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to his good will. And do ye all things without murmurings and hesitations: That you may be blameless and sincere children of God, without reproof, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation: among whom you shine as lights in the world.

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT: ‘The only thing that matters is to be a saint’

CRISIS MAGAZINE: Christian Valor Amidst Pagan Persecution

MSGR. CHARLES POPE: Difficult Days Ahead for the Church?

EDITORIAL: America Has Sown the Seeds Of Its Own Demise

Chastisement Group: The End Times Pt. #1

There's been a lot of anti-Obama rhetoric posted in this forum thru the current election cycle, with almost all of which I happen to fervently believe. But I hope that I've made it clear that I never believed there was the slightest chance of defeating him. My reasons are simple.

The very reasons for which we believe that it was imperative to defeat Obama-- liberalized abortion, socialized medicine, the use of the latter to attact religious freedoms, & so forth-- are actively embraced by over 50% of the country. In other words over half of the voters of the US worship Obama for the very reasons that we despise him. I hope that this election has made that much, at least, clear to all of us.

...but there's something else that needs to become clear, & that's that it's gonna get worse. Lots worse.

The NorthEast down thru NY has always been reliably liberal. Not merely Democrat country-- but actively liberal. This cycle PA & VA both went in that direction too.

The Old NorthWest Territory (MI, OH, IN, IL, & WI) has usually been reliably liberal. This cycle Obama lost IN, but he picked up MN & IA.

...& the 3 West Coast States have always been reliably liberal. This cycle Obama also picked up NV, which has often been conservative.

This block of votes-- including NY & CA, the States with the largest (55) & 3d largest blocks (29) of electoral votes-- has often been enough to throw an election to the Democrat candidate. Of the other large States, only TX, with the 2d largest block of electoral votes (38), has been reliably conservative. FL, tied for 3d place (29) has been a swing State. it's fair to say that TX-- the only large State that's been reliably conservative-- has for many years represented the only Republican chance of gaining the White House. But as immigration-- both legal & illegal-- changes the demographic balance of TX, TX is inevitably growing less conservative & more liberal. Within another 5 to 10 years or so, as the "anchor babies" of illegal immigrants grow to adulthood & begin to vote, this will tip the scales powerfully in favor of liberal Democrat candidates.

In other words, my friends, we may have already seen the last successful conservative Republican president. In the future, sociopolitical realities will force Republican candidates to cater to the liberal vote, & the two political parties will become even more indistinguishable than they are now.

It's possible that in 2016 a reaction against Obama will form that propels a Republican-- probably a moderate Republican-- into national office. Being probably a moderate, he'll be useless to us. By 2020, however, demographic changes in TX will make it very difficult for that President to retain his office. By 2024 it will be impossible. This will also affect the balance of power in Congress, where Democrat majorities are likely in both houses.

The advent of an assured Democrat electoral majority will propel this country very forcibly in a liberal direction.

It is a difficult thing for all of us to realize, who love our country-- many of whom have offered up our very lives in its defense-- but this is no longer the country in which we were born, that we grew up in. Satan is very active in the world today. He has undermined the US electorate, as he has largely undermined the Catholic Church, and our public officials-- like the Catholic hierarchy-- have become his puppets, doing his will. That is what I meant earlier when I wrote that God had no horse in this race. (EDITOR'S NOTE:  THOUGH PERHAPS TRUE IN THE LAST GENERATION OF CATHOLIC HIERARCHY, THERE ARE IN THESE TIMES EMERGING SHINING EXAMPLES OF CATHOLIC TRUTH IN LEADERSHIP, e.g. ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT).

The United States is no longer God's country. It is Satan's country. Wailing about it, asking how in the world this came to pass, or closing our eyes & refusing to see it are not very good responses to the situation. What we need to do is first recognize it. Understand what has happened, & that it's pretty much irreversible, & take the necessary next step.

If you want to reverse it, then prayer may make you feel better, but it won't work. It won't work because what's happening is an aspect of God's permissive Will. It's part of a punishment that He decided on long ago, as the world turned away from Him. All the prayer in the world won't deflect His decision on this matter, because we deserve it.

If you want to reverse it, then armed rebellion is our only logical course of action. Giving a monopoly of force to the powers of evil only guarantees that they can do whatever they want. Unfortunately armed rebellion isn't likely to work either, because all the people who feel strongly about this are very definitely in the minority, & the armed forces of the United States far outclass anything that we could muster to oppose them.

The reality is, we can't reverse it. All we can do is get out of its way, because what's coming is gonna crush anything that gets in its way.

I'm gonna follow this message with another to offer my detailed perspective on what's been going on from a religious, prophetic point of view to bring us to this point.


Israel gladly listened to the powerful preaching of the prophet Isaiah yet they continually justified their sins, calling evil good and good evil. So God instructed Isaiah: "Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed" (Isaiah 6:9-10).

God knew the Israelites were not willing to lay down their besetting sins. They loved their fleshly pleasures and ungodly companions too much. So the Lord told Isaiah, "These people are never going to change their hearts and from now on, I will not speak a word to them. Instead, I want you to hurry them into their hardness, Isaiah. That way, perhaps some will listen before it's too late!"

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

19. Do everything through love and for love, making good use of the present moment, and do not be anxious about the future.

November 8, 2012 

(1Sa 8:4-7) Then all the ancients of Israel being assembled came to Samuel to Ramatha. And they said to him: Behold thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: make us a king, to judge us, as all nations have. And the word was displeasing in the eyes of Samuel, that they should say: Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel: Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to thee. For they have not rejected thee, but me, that I should not reign over them.

CATHOLIC SENTINEL: Obama wins Catholic vote; same-sex marriage approved in three states

ON THIS ROCK:  Election Reflection for Warrior Catholics

: How Little We Have Lost

And yet, I began by saying that we have lost little. And I believe this to be true. We already were well on our way to European style social democracy. After four more years of Obama, we simply will be in a position to accept the facts as they are: Americans no longer are a people committed to self-reliance, community values, and love of God above all else. And it is time for those of us who continue to cherish these permanent goods to come to grips with the fact that we cannot “take back” America by electing this or that politician. Since the Reagan years, an increasing number of conservative Americans have sought to recapture the moment when we seriously believed we could reverse decades of moral atrophy and fiscal irresponsibility by calling on the better angels of Americans’ nature.

It never happened, even under Reagan. And if one looks at the institutions our “leaders” have built, they come to very, very little beyond comfortable incomes for the mouthpieces of the Republican party.

And here is my point: none of this is a reason for despair. Indeed, knowledge of the dead-end that politics so obviously has become should be liberating for conservatives. It is far beyond time for conservative Americans—and Christians in particular—to put aside the distractions of mass politics for the tactile realities involved in building a decent life. We still need to vote and otherwise get involved, of course, but we need to remember what we are doing: hoping to prevent or mitigate the damage being done to us, not “taking back” a state apparatus that has long been used to reshape our society in unwholesome ways. We must come to recognize that the federal government, to its very core, has become hostile to our very way of life, not a violent oppressor, but nonetheless our adversary as we seek to raise our children, educating them in our faith, our morals, and our traditions. We must build neighborhoods, parishes and other religious and secular communities in which spiritual, intellectual and fundamentally moral lives are possible.

Perhaps, having taught in a university setting for many years, I am more comfortable than most with the realization that mine will be a voice that is little valued or noticed, save for occasional scolding. But there is little lost and much gained by giving up the empty hope of some “revolution” (from a new Reagan or otherwise) anywhere but in the hearts and minds of the people with whom we share our lives. We can and must hope that Americans will rediscover their traditions and the moral core of their character. We must work to make this possible. But we must stop thinking that the rather abstract act of voting for one of two sets of personalities and policies at the national level will make that happen. It is past time to concentrate on reinvigorating the culture that made this nation, and its people, great.

We have lost little save our illusions. And we should be thankful for that.

MEDITATIONS: Thoughts by St Theophan (1815-1894)

[I Thess. 2:1-8; Luke 11:9-13]

The Lord convinces us to pray with the promise of His hearing, explaining this promise as the soft-heartedness of a natural father, favourably disposed to the petitions of his children. But here He hints at the reason why sometimes our prayers and petitions are not heard or are not fulfilled. A father will not give His children a stone instead of bread, or a serpent instead of a fish. If a natural father does not do this, how much more will the Heavenly Father not do it? And yet our petitions not infrequently are similar to petitions for a serpent and a stone. It seems to us that we are asking for bread and fish; while the Heavenly Father sees that what is requested will be for us a serpent and a stone — and does not give us what we ask for.

A father and mother pour out before God heartfelt prayers for their son, that He arrange for him what is best, but in addition they express what they consider to be better for their son, that is, that he be alive, healthy and happy. The Lord hears their prayer and arranges for their son what is best, not according to the understanding of those asking, but as it is in reality for their son: He sends a disease from which their son dies. Those who think that everything ends with the present life will feel that the Lord has not heard them, but rather did the opposite of what they asked, or left the person about whom they pray to his own fate. But those who believe that the current life is only a preparation for the other life have no doubt that the son for whom they prayed fell sick and died precisely because their prayer was heard and because it was better for him to leave here than to remain here.

You will say: then why pray? No, you must pray; but in prayers for specific things you must always keep in mind the condition: “if, O Lord, Thou Thyself deem this to be saving.” Saint Isaac the Syrian advises to shorten all prayer to this: “Thou knowest, O Lord, what is needful for me: do unto me according to Thy will.”

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

15. If we love this sovereign Good and forget ourselves, all will be well.

November 7, 2012 

(1Th 3:2-4) And we sent Timothy, our brother and the minister of God in the gospel of Christ, to confirm you and exhort you concerning your faith: That no man should be moved in these tribulations: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For even when we were with you, we foretold you that we should suffer tribulations: as also it is come to pass, and you know.

MEDITATIONS: Thoughts by St Theophan (1815-1894)

[I Thess. 2:20-3:8; Luke 11:29-33]

The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgement with the men of this generation, and condemn them. For what? For indifference to the work accomplished by the Lord before their eyes. That queen, upon hearing about Solomon's wisdom, came from afar to hear him, but these men, having before their face the Lord Himself, did not heed Him, although it was obvious that He was higher than Solomon, as the sky is higher than the earth.

And the queen of the south condemns everyone who is indifferent to God's works, because the Lord always, even among us, is as obviously present in the Gospel accounts as He was then. Reading the Gospels we have before our eyes the Lord with all of His marvellous works, for they are as doubtless as the testimony of one's own eyes. Meanwhile, what is more attentive to the Lord as that which is impressed upon our souls? We have closed our eyes or turned them the other way; this is why we do not see; and not seeing, we do not devote ourselves to works of the Lord. However, this is no excuse, but rather the reason behind our unheedfulness, which is as criminal as what comes from it. The work of the Lord is our top priority — that is, the salvation of the soul. Furthermore, we should heed what comes from the Lord even if it is not directly related to us; ever more so should we heed what is directed at us for the accomplishment of our essential work, the significance of which extends throughout eternity. Judge for yourselves how criminal it is to disregard such a matter!

FIDES.ORG: An Archbishop calls for "prayers and practical help to avoid the destruction of Syria"

"The Church and the Monastery of Santa Maria in Deir Ezzor, on the banks of the Euphrates River, were destroyed by an explosion on Saturday, October 27. It is an event that shocked us and so we ask for your prayers and your help for Syria": This is what His Exc. Mgr. Eustathius Matta roham wrote in a heartfelt message sent to Fides Agency, Metropolitan Syro-Orthodox Archbishop of the Archdiocese of "Jazirah and Euphrates," in Eastern Syria, after the attack against the only Syro-Orthodox church in the town of Deir Ezzor (see Fides 27/10/2012).

The Archbishop told Fides: "The Christian community of Deir Ezzor had already escaped, almost entirely in the summer, due to heavy fighting in the city. Many displaced Christians have fled to Hassake, where there is a center of our Archdiocese. The Christian community had worked tirelessly and with great sacrifices, for ten years, from 1994 to 2004, to build the church and the Christian school of 'Al-wahda'. Criminals destroyed this beautiful work in less than a minute. We ask ourselves: Are these the fruits of the Arab Spring? ". The message sent to Fides ends with an invitation to all Christians and all people of good will: the Archbishop calls for "prayers and concrete action to stop the relentless destruction of God's creation in Syria."

ALARMING REVIEW: Russian Orthodox Bishop: Syrian Christians Facing ‘Extermination’


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Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

14. Assuredly there is no one in the world who would not receive every kind of help from Heaven, if he had a truly grateful love for Jesus Christ, such as that which is shown by devotion to His Sacred Heart.

 November 1, 2012 

(Deu 30:19) I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

VIDEO: The Miracle of Life

BLOG: Is a Fetus a Person?

Reader: The Empty Chair by Dr. Rebecca Peck, MD, Marquette NFP Instructor

At a recent Stand Up for Freedom rally, I placed an empty chair by my podium as I spoke to the energized crowd. Perhaps they thought I was referring to Clint Eastwood's skit during the RNC. I explained that I had a story to tell and we travelled back in time to 1965, when a young college student was raped by a man she barely knew. Her doctor was Catholic too and instead of recommending an abortion, he thankfully directed her to Catholic Charities, which found a loving, older couple to adopt the child. The baby grew up with much love, went on to medical school where she met her husband. They now operate a pro-life family practice and are blessed to have 6 beautiful children.

I then asked the crowd to imagine what would happen if this story occurred in the year 2014, when “ObamaCare” was fully implemented. The young woman would probably be strongly encouraged to take one of the morning after pills, provided to her at no cost. If that did not kill the new young life, she would be offered an elective abortion, also free, paid for by insurance premiums of participating members (i.e. us). If somehow the young woman resisted the morning-after pills and the free elective abortion, she would be hard pressed to find a Catholic Charities that was still operating. You see, the HHS mandate by this point would have forced Catholic Charities out of business.

 I then reminded the gathering about the empty chair. If this Culture of Death, which typifies the new health care law was in effect when this young woman was raped, you would be looking at that empty chair, for her story is MY story - the story of my conception. And I asked the crowd how many empty chairs are among us today? How many lives have been extinguished by the horror of abortion? How many husbands would not have their wives, how many children would not have their mothers, how many patients would not have their doctors. Let us not tolerate this Culture of Death any longer. Let us vote to uphold the sanctity of each and every life.

Dr. Rebecca Peck, MD, CCD, ABFM, Marquette NFP Instructor
Pecks Family Practice, PLC
1688 W Granada Blvd, Ste 2A Ormond Beach, FL 32174

MORE FROM DR. PECK: Catholic Physicians Don’t Prescribe Birth Control For Patients--Now Must Provide Birth Control to Employees

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

13. Why do we not burn with the divine fire which He has come to enkindle on earth! We ought ot be consumed therein. To love and be consumed by this sacred fire will be my constant endeavor.
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Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus

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