Keep your eyes open!...



 

October 31, 2005

LINK: NIGHT OF LIGHT

FROM THE MAILBAG
VIA Richard: May the grace and may the peace of Jesus Our Lord, Who is our Savior, our Brother, our Protector, our Friend, and our Consoler, be with you and all those you love and pray for !!

I am writing you today while on pilgrimage for the poor souls, who are your loved ones and mine.  At the moment, I am 1200 miles from my home in RI, and am sitting in the Towns County library located in Hiawassee, Georgia which is where my parents have their home.  Have just come back from a few days spent with friends in Biloxi, MS which was devastated by hurricane Katrina on Sept 2nd.

Please do take this opportunity to join in with this pilgrimage for the poor souls and get your souls registered right away at:

http://www.holysouls.com/enter.htm

It is my sincere desire and prayer that in addition to the perpetual Masses that you and your souls receive all the graces from this pilgrimage as well as from all the Masses I attend while on pilgrimage.

Tomorrow, God willing, I plan to be at the battlefield in Gettysburg, Pa and will ask Our Lord to include all the souls from that terrible Civil War battle - which was the most bloody battle ever fought by Americans in which over 50,000 were killed in three days.  We include also, all those who have died in the recent violence in Iraq and with hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, etc.

So please do sign up yourself and all your souls right away so they can participate as much as possible in this ongoing pilgrimage and offering for the holy souls.

If you happpen to wish to join your prayers, works, joys and sufferings for the next week - including All Souls Day - with mine - we can do more working together to help our brothers and sisters in purgatory.

Each and every one of you are very dear to me and I give you a holy hug.

VIA DAVID J SHEEHAN: Peter Robson of Jabeye.com has again done an outstanding work of updating the St David's website.  This is a labor of love as Peter went through the scads of photos that we have and selected those best to tell the story of this year's workcamp.

The writeup was a combined effort of the volunteers with their own stories and pictures being thrown into the mix.

Please go to the website at http://www.stdavids.org/workcamp2005.htm when you can and give kudos to Peter (email: peter@jabeye.com)

P.S. Also, folks, if you have a chance, get the DVD "Call to Fatima" .  It just came out recently and it wraps up all the happenings of Fatima from 1916 to the deaths this year of Sister Lucia and Pope John Paul II.

It can be purchased at: http://www.ignatius.com/ViewProduct.aspx?SID=1&Product_ID=2628&Category_ID=75&SKU=CTF-m&

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

31. There can be no consolation for me but to see the reign of the Heart of my adorable Saviour. Whenever this devotion makes some progress, He always favors me with some unusual suffering.

October 24, 2005

THE TRIB TIMES WILL RETURN NEXT WEEK, GOD WILLING (James 4:15).
CLEANING UP AFTER HURRICANE WILMA.  ALL IS WELL EXCEPT NO ELECTRICAL POWER ANYWHERE IN SOUTH FLORIDA.

HOMILY BY FATHER ALTIER:

Friday October 21, 2005 Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading (Romans 7:18-25a) Gospel (St.  Luke 12:54-59)

In the Gospel reading today, Our Lord asks us why it is that we are not able to interpret the signs of the times.  When we see the things that are happening in the world, as we see things continuing to increase in intensity as well as in number, all these various tragedies that are occurring throughout the world, why is it that we sit back and continue to try to explain it away?  Why is it that we refuse to acknowledge what is happening in the world?  It is a very simple principle: Because we do not want to deal with it, we do not want to change.

That is the mystery Saint Paul is talking about.  He says, I want to do what is right and yet I do the evil that I do not want to do.  And he talks about the sin that is in his members.  Even though in his inner being he is absolutely enthralled with the law of God and wants to do what is right, he continually does what is wrong because of the sinfulness that is there.  We see in ourselves the exact same problem.  We want to do the Will of God, we want to do what is right, we want to be holy, but when it comes right down to actually doing it then we balk at it because we do not really want to change, or because the temptations that are there are such that we are afraid.  So we wind up doing what we do not want to do, and we fail to do what we really would prefer to do.

What we need to do is to get down on our knees before the Lord and beg Him for the grace that we need to be able to do what is right, to be able to have the eyes of our souls opened so we can see clearly the things that are going on, so we will be able to interpret the signs of the present time.  Our Lord told the people of His time that because they refused to see what was going on in His day they were going to be handed over to the judge, and the judge would hand them over to the jailer, and the jailer would put them into jail until they paid the last penny.  In other words, we have a real opportunity right now to be able to reduce our Purgatory, to be able to grow in holiness, to be able to do the Will of God–but we have to be willing to acknowledge what is happening.  If we refuse to acknowledge the reality that is going on right in our midst, and in our own lives sometimes, then we have completely missed the point.  What Our Lord is making very clear to us is that we are going to be held responsible for it.  Why else would we be thrown into jail if we were not responsible?  He could not make it too much more clear that we have to learn to read the signs of the times.

The Second Vatican Council told us the exact same thing: that we have to read the signs of the times.  The signs of the times, it seems to me, are becoming more and more clear.  And so the only reason why we would not be able to interpret properly the signs of the times is because we do not want to, because we are afraid of what it means.  Well, whether we are willing to accept it or not, it is happening and it is going to continue to happen.  There is no sense in burying our heads in the sand and acting like it is not happening, or trying to suggest that somehow what is going on really has nothing to do with sin and that it is not because things are so bad that things are happening in the world.  We need to learn to interpret the signs of the times.  We need to open our eyes, we need to open our hearts and our minds, and we need to acknowledge the truth.  We need to make the changes in our lives to be able to take that sin Saint Paul talks about that is in our members and overcome it, that sin that does not want us to change, that sin that blinds us to truth and does not want us to acknowledge the reality of things because if we acknowledged it we would have to live our lives differently; we would have to make some serious changes and that is where our fear comes in.

So look around at what is going on and recognize that the Day of the Lord is at hand. Acknowledge the truth and make the change so that you will overcome whatever stands in the way, and that you, through the grace of God, will be able to do the good that you desire to do.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

24. When you have anything to suffer, rejoice and unite it to that which the Sacred Heart has suffered and still suffers in the Blessed Sacrament.

October 21, 2005

THE TRIB TIMES WILL RETURN NEXT WEEK, GOD WILLING (James 4:15).
PLEASE JOIN ME IN PRAYING FOR ALL WHO WILL BE AFFECTED BY HURRICANE WILMA.

(1Pe 5:8-10) Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls, your brethren who are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you and confirm you and establish you.

LINK: Three Secret Strategies of Satan to Destroy our Children, our Families, our Culture, and our Church

RELATED: Archbishop Buechlein: Doctrinal Deficiencies Caused by Desire Not to Offend, Judge or Exclude

SPIRITUAL WARFARE IN THE HEADLINES

Humility Defeats Power of Devil, Says Vatican's Vicar
Leave exorcism to the experts, warns Church
First day of school for aspiring Vatican exorcists
Guardsmen Sense Ghostly Presence In New Orleans
Halloween, Harry Potter, prompt concern from occult experts
Rome's Chief Exorcist Warns Parents Against Harry Potter

Urbi et Orbi Communications, March 1999: Exorcism Rite Reformed

CREATION GROANING

Wilma Is 12th Atlantic Hurricane, Tying 1969 Record
Wilma Grows into Most Intense Atlantic Storm Ever Recorded
Three strong earthquakes hit Turkey
Pair of late-night quakes rattle valley
UN: Nightmare situation in earthquake-hit Kashmir
Western Greece rattled by earthquake
Earthquake rocks southern Peru
Magnitude 6.5 earthquake jolts eastern Japan
Minor earthquake hits San Francisco region
San Francisco Earthquake Planners Prepare for the 'Big One'

PLEASE JOIN ME IN PRAYING FOR THE CONVERSION OF AS MANY SOULS AS POSSIBLE IN CALIFORNIA PRIOR TO THE "BIG ONE".

(Rom 8:22-23) We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

21. Our Lord will delight in making you conformable to Him, and will show you that He is not less worthy of being loved when your soul is filled with the bitterness of Calvary, than when it is enjoying the delights of Thabor.

October 20, 2005

(Mat 5:44) But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you:

PLEASE JOIN ME IN PRAYING FOR THE CONVERSION OF MUSLIMS TO THE TRUE FAITH.
OUR PRAYERS WILL BE ANSWERED AS GOD'S ETERNAL PLAN UNFOLDS.

HEADLINE: Muslim countries denying Christians religious freedom

VIA CATHOLIC ONLINE:

Islam and the Message of Fatima by Matt Abbott

As the old saying goes, "Nothing from Heaven happens by accident" - or something like that.  So, it certainly was no "accident" that Our Lady chose to appear at Fatima, Portugal.  But what, then, was/is the significance of her appearing at that obscure little village back in 1917?  The answer, of course, is a matter of speculation; but it would seem that there is an aspect of the Fatima message that we have yet to fully realize.  And current events indicate that such an aspect has to do with the scourge of militant Islam in the world.

For decades, faithful Catholics have been debating - sometimes fiercely -about the message of Fatima as it pertains to the consecration of Russia.  It is as though when Russia would be consecrated to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart, we could just breathe a collective sigh of relief and say, "It's over," and then go home.  Heaven on earth would be upon us.  A misguided interpretation, indeed.

So just what is the connection between Our Lady of Fatima and Islam?  Francis Johnston, in his book, Fatima: The Great Sign, gives a cogent explanation: "The Muslims, who have a certain devotion to Our Lady and recognize her Virgin Birth and Immaculate Conception, were intrigued by the fact that Mary had appeared at Fatima, which was the name of Mohammed's favorite daughter and regarded by the prophet as the highest woman in Heaven after our Lady.  In Zanzibar, the Muslim sultan placed a wreath of flowers at the [Fatima]statue's feet, while the Muslim chief of the Ismaeli tribe in Mozambique placed a golden necklace about the statue's neck saying: 'Thank you, Our Lady of Fatima for the work of love you are accomplishing in Africa' " (p.  126).

What faithful Catholic could doubt that Our Lady will play a central role in the conversion of Muslims to the one, true faith: the Catholic faith.  It almost certainly will not happen overnight, and, sadly, it may even require much bloodshed.  (Consider the Battle of Lepanto.) But it will take place, for we know that in the end, Our Lady's Immaculate Heart will triumph - once and for all.

MORE: Our Lady And Islam: Heaven's Peace Plan

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

20. Take up your abode in the lovable Heart of Jesus, and you will find therein imperturbable peace and the strength to carry out the good desires He gives you.  Bring to this divine Heart all your troubles and afflictions, for whatever emanates from the Sacred Heart is sweet: It changes everything into love.

October 19, 2005

(1Jo 2:15-17) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.

FROM THE MAILBAG
VIA LIFESITENEWS.COM:

Vatican Correspondent John Allen Notes Pope Using "Apocalyptic" Language

One of the leading English-language Vatican correspondents, John Allen of National Catholic Reporter, has noted that Pope Benedict has used "apocalyptic" language.  In his October 3 column, Allen covers the homily given by the Pope at the opening mass of the synod of bishops.  "Speaking in somewhat apocalyptic tones," wrote Allen, "the pope warned: 'The judgment announced by the Lord Jesus referred above all to the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70.  But the threat of judgment also regards us, the church of Europe, Europe and the West in general.'" (see Allen's piece here http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/word/sb100305.htm )

The excerpt from the Pope's homily used by Allen is not taken out of context to exaggerate.  In fact, the sentence following the excerpt used by Allen reads, "With this Gospel, the Lord is also crying out to our ears the words that in the Book of Revelation he addresses to the Church of Ephesus: 'If you do not repent I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place' (2: 5).  Light can also be taken away from us and we do well to let this warning ring out with its full seriousness in our hearts." (see the full homily here http://www.vatican.va/.http://www.catholicprophecy.info/ )

Apocalyptic talk is not uncommon from Popes, especially recently.  Michael D.  O'Brien in a recent essay on "Are we living in apocalyptic times", notes that while some recoil from any mention of an estimation of our current times as apocalyptic, great thinkers of recent history and recent popes have taken the consideration seriously.

O'Brien points out that Pope Saint Pius X, in his 1903 encyclical, Suprema Apostolatus, wrote, "There is room to fear that we are experiencing the foretaste of the evils that are to come at the end of time.  And that the Son of Perdition of whom the apostles speak has already arrived on the earth."

Further Pope John Paul II, two years prior to his elevation to the papacy gave an address in the United States wherein he stated, "We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through.  I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully.  We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel.  This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence.  It is a trial which the whole Church .  .  .  must take up." O'Brien recalls that the address was widely disseminated after Wotyla's election to the papacy, when it was republished in the November 9, 1978, issue of The Wall Street Journal.

In his thought provoking piece, O'Brien says beyond the fact that the end - death - will certainly come for each individual and we must thus be spiritually prepared, "At some point in history, however, a generation is going to go through the final stage of the apocalypse, yet to them it will appear to be a normal world."

O'Brien, best known for his internationally acclaimed novel "Fr.  Elijah, an Apocalypse", suggests that global enslavement of such a nature could be "accomplished by increasing the voltage of state power combined with a gradual decreasing of civil rights, the lifting of burdensome responsibilities from our shoulders combined with the increase of pleasurable rewards, the growth of a power class of 'knowers', who enshrine a multi-faceted gnosticism in organs of institutional governance." He adds, "If at the same time, man's ability to exercise his healthy critical and analytical faculties has been limited by corrupt education, by media indoctrination, and by a generalized loss of the sense of human identity, the new world order can be achieved-and achieved most effectively, it should be noted, to the degree that it is understood as a 'moral' cause, a great leap forward in the name of humanity."

Importantly O'Brien concludes, "If we are living in definitive stages of the Apocalypse, our path through this radical darkness will not depend on the "greatness" of human status or strengths, nor on maps, blueprints, and survival gear.  It can never depend on any attempt to save ourselves.  Our salvation in the time of the ultimate assault on the Body of Christ will depend on our union with Jesus."

See O'Brien's full essay here:
http://studiobrien.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=127&Itemid=77

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

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

19. Suffer bravely, and be content that the divine good pleasure be accomplished in you. You must ever be immolated and sacrificed to it with unshaken trust that the Sacred Heart will not forsake you: It is closer to you in suffering than in consolation.

October 18, 2005

RESPECT LIFE MONTH

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT: What does the Church teach on the death penalty?

In the News: Tennessee's use of 3 drugs for lethal injection upheld

EUTHANASIA IN THE HEADLINES

La. looks into 215 Katrina deaths
Next up in the Netherlands: euthanasia for babies
Ireland: Euthanasia must not become "slippery slope"

VATICAN RADIO: Euthanasia in the UK

IRISH WOMAN SUES OVER ABORTION RIGHTS

An Irish woman who felt compelled to “secretly transport her fetus” back to Ireland after an abortion in England has begun suing the Irish state.

On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights held a preliminary hearing in the case which, if successful, will have major implications for the state.

The woman who is in her 30s is known only as “D” to protect her identity.  She claims that her inability to obtain an abortion in Ireland was a breach of her human rights.

“D” traveled to Britain for an abortion three years ago after she discovered she was pregnant with twins, both of whom were expected to die.

One fetus stopped developing at eight weeks, and the second had a chromosomal abnormality known as Edward’s Syndrome, which she was told was fatal.

After having the abortion, she felt obliged to tell her local hospital and family doctor that she had had a miscarriage.

The court was told on Tuesday that she felt compelled to “secretly transport her fetus” to Ireland in a small coffin for burial because of restrictions on abortion here.

The “devastating impact” of the diagnosis was exacerbated by restrictions on provision of information and by the necessity to travel abroad for a therapeutic abortion.

Seven judges yesterday began the hearing on the “admissibility and merits” of her case to sue the state.

Her lawyers say that the state is in breach of six articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, including the obligation to respect human rights, the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment and the right to respect for private and family life.

The government is defending the claim on the basis that there is no conflict between the state’s constitutional ban on abortion, except in the case of a threat to a woman’s life, and the European Convention on Human Rights, which does not refer to abortion.

VATICAN RADIO: Challenging the Right to Life in Ireland

IN THE NEWS: Five Pro-Abortion Catholic Democrats Defy Church

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

18. I know of no other happiness in life than to remain ever hidden in our nothingess- to suffer and love in silence- to embrace our crosses, praising and thanking Him Who gives them to us.

October 15, 2005

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

(Phi 4:13) I can do all things in him who strengtheneth me.

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT: Reflections on the anniversary of Second Vatican Council’s close

EXCERPT HOMILY FATHER ALTIER
Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

When we look at what it is that we get all upset about, it usually winds up being just a couple of things. It is all about fear. And fear is from a lack of trust, that we are afraid we are going to be lacking something. It is usually money, which is really about the idea that we might lose our home or we might not have the food or whatever it might be. It is, ultimately, a fear of death. If you just look forward, it is the fear of death. So what is God providing for us? He is providing a banquet for our souls and He is guaranteeing us life. He will destroy death forever. If we are afraid then we are not trusting God. If we are afraid to die, you have to ask yourself why. If we profess our faith in Jesus Christ and eternal life, then why would we be afraid to die? If you are in the state of grace when you die, you will go to heaven. There is no alternative. Every single person who dies in the state of grace goes to heaven. You may have to stop off in Purgatory for a while, but in Purgatory you cannot go backwards. If you die in the state of grace, you will go to heaven. The alternative is also true. If you are not in the state of grace when you die, you cannot go to heaven. Every single person who dies in the state of mortal sin goes to hell. Every single person who dies in the state of grace goes to heaven. It is just that simple.

So if you are in the state of grace, you have nothing to fear. Have you been to Confession? Have you confessed all the mortal sins that you are aware of? Are you trying to live a good life? Are you praying everyday? Then why be afraid? The only reason to be afraid is if any of those things I just mentioned are not present in your life. If you are not praying, if you are not following the Ten Commandments, if you are not in the state of grace, then you have reason to be afraid. But if we are in the state of grace and we are trying to live a truly Christian life, we have nothing at all to fear because God has destroyed death in our soul forever. Mortal sin is gone. Remember, every single thing that you have confessed in Confession is gone; it will never, ever, ever be heard of again–ever. You do not have to fear the past. God is not going to bring it up to you as long as you have brought it up to Him. The only thing you need to fear is if you have not brought it up to Him.

We need to learn to trust. It is one of the hardest things in the spiritual life. We do not trust God, and we know that we have no reason to not trust Him. We know in our heads that God is perfectly trustworthy and all of His promises are complete and perfect. So why don’t we trust? It is not because anything is lacking on God’s part; it is because there is something lacking on our part. That is what we need to face: our own self. Look at your dignity. You are a member of Jesus Christ, which means all of the glorious riches in Christ are yours. Your soul is the bride of Jesus Christ, which is exactly what you celebrate every time you receive Holy Communion. Right before receiving Communion, what does the priest say? Blessed are they who are called to the banquet of the Lamb. It is the wedding banquet. Jesus is the Bridegroom of your soul, but He is also the banquet upon which we feast. Every time we receive Communion, we celebrate the marriage of Christ and our souls, the union that we have with Jesus. That is why we have to be in the state of grace. We cannot celebrate that union if we are not in union with Him.

But if you are in the state of grace and you are united with Christ and you are a member of Christ, do you think God is going to abandon you? Do you think He is not going to take care of you? God sent His Son into this world and He had nowhere to lay His head. He did not know where the next meal was going to come from; He was wandering the countryside and preaching; He did not have a forty-hour-a-week job with a paycheck. And He did not go hungry. God took care of His every need. You are a member of Jesus Christ; you are God’s own son or daughter. He will take care of your needs as well–not your wants, necessarily, but your needs. Look at the saints, not one of them ever died of starvation. God provided for what they needed. He will provide for us as well everything that we need. Look at what He gives us in the Eucharist: His own Son. Do we think He is going to fail to provide anything else that we need? If He is willing to give us the greatest gift, why would He not be willing to give us all the other things that we need? We have no reason to doubt; we have every reason to believe and every reason to trust. And if we are in the state of grace, if we are trusting, if we are doing what we are supposed to, then, with Saint Paul, we can be confident that not only will God provide for us all of our needs from the glorious riches of Jesus Christ, but even more wonderfully we can say with the greatest confidence: I know that I can do all things in Him Who strengthens me.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

15. Trust to the goodness of our Lord in the crosses which He sends you; He will never abandon you, for He knows how to draw good from our ills and His glory from our trials.

October 14, 2005

LINK: PROPER CATHOLIC PERSPECTIVES ON THE TEACHINGS OF LUISA PICCARRETA
by Father Joseph Iannuzzi- recently updated to include two additional errors.

FROM THE MAILBAG
VIA  Bill Allen: The following is printed from the October 6, 2005 issue of The Catholic Times:

GOD WILL OVERCOME THE EVIL OF ABORTION
by Samuel Martin

"Pietro, I was already over there and do you know what I saw? Someday I will tell you. But because we were so happy, we were too comfortable with our marvelous babies, full of health and grace, with all the blessings of heaven, they sent me down here, to suffer still, because it is not right to come to the Lord without enough suffering."

--St. Gianna Beretta Molla to her husband on her deathbed.

Ten years ago I failed Church History. Nevertheless, as I've grown older I've become more and more fascinated by the history of Christ's Bride, the Church. Personally I believe Warren Carroll does the finest job of conveying the drama of salvation history in his mangum opus, "A History of Christendom."

Erudite and eloquent, Carroll's work revolves around a fundamental theme, namely holiness. Carroll accurately depicts the evils that have plagued the Church (many self-inflicted)since the first Pentecost. While the simple fact of the Church's survival is indeed compelling, it is God's consistent response to each crisis that provides the greatest consolation.

For every evil, God responds with greater holiness. For example, when Arius attacked the very divinity of Christ, God raised up St. Athanasius and St. Antony of the Desert. Later on, when the papacy became a pawn of France, God sent St. Catherine of Siena to make things right. And when the Nazis brought to frightful fruition two centuries of bad ideas (for example, eugenics and nihilism), God responded with the martyrdom of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross and St. Maximilian Kolbe.

While Jesus certainly warned us of tribulation (see John 16:33). He also promised final victory. The annals of church history record that for many, that victory cost them everything.

Having just witnessed the bloodiest of all centuries (which produced more martyrs than the previous 19 centuries combined), we find ourselves confronted yet again with evil, this time most despicably in the form of legalized abortion. However, lest we fall prey to despair, God true to His form, has sent us a saint for our time. Her name is Gianna Beretta Molla.

In 1961 Gianna became pregnant with her fourth child. Early in the pregnancy doctors discovered a fibroid tumor that threatened the life of both mother and child. Gianna vehemently refused the idea of terminating the pregnancy so that she might live; she never wavered from this conviction.

Just days before she was to deliver, Gianna told her husband Pietro. "If you have to decide between me and baby there is to be no hesitation. Choose the baby, I demand it. Save it!"
On April 21, 1962, Gianna gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Just one week later, Gianna's soul went to God, and she died in the midst of great suffering. These are the facts of her life. What made her a saint is even more beautiful.

On the surface Gianna's decision appears at odds with her God-given maternal instincts. How could she fail to think of her three living children and what life might be like for them without their mother? How could she so selfishly choose a sacrifice that would leave her family bereft of her presence? In a world steeped in Darwinian "survival of the fittest" ideology, Gianna's sacrifice appears as simply self-aggrandizement. And yet, in the eyes of faith, Gianna's life takes on a much more glorious hue.

The sixth Beatitude succinctly captures Gianna's legacy: "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they see God" (Matthew 5:8). Because she was pure of heart, life was always sacred to her. And this, in a nutshell, is God's answer to the culture of death: purity!

For those who remain pure of heart and soul, life's sacrifices and sufferings are to be embraced, not avoided. It was Gianna's purity that inspired the last words she ever spoke to her husband, quoted above. Because she allowed the Holy Trinity to purify her and dwell within her (as sanctifying grace), Gianna understood profoundly the joy and beauty of suffering. To a world sullied by selfishness and sin, this message must appear once again as a stumbling block and mere foolishness.

St. Gianna's life is God's response to abortion, contraception, pornography, immodest - indeed, to any affront to the dignity of the human person. While I am not a Church historian, this much I know: God's response to the evils of our time is consonant with His response to evil for all time: "In the world you will have tribulation, but do not fear, for I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

14. You must constantly carry the cross which He lays on you, be it interior or exterior, without growing weary or complaining of its length or weight. Does it not suffice that it has been given you by the hands of a Friend Whose all-loving Heart had destined it for you from all eternity?

October 13, 2005

(Rev 12:1-2) And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. And being with child, she cried travailing in birth: and was in pain to be delivered.

LINK: The Miracle of the Sun

LINK: Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God

ENCORE PRESENTATION

A CALL TO FATIMA (90:00) Thursday October 13, 2005 1:00 PM

Keeping the focus on the history of the events related to the Marian apparitions of Fatima, the prophetic messages given by Our Lady, and the effect Fatima continues to have on pilgrims today, this program stresses the importance and value of praying the Rosary.

The story begins from the early part of the 20th century and takes you through worldwide events and links the significance of the passing of both Sister Lucia and Pope John Paul II and our new Pope Benedict XVI. This film explains more fully this troubled 21st century. The Call to Fatima was filmed on location in Fatima- Portugal, Lourdes -France, Knock/Dublin-Ireland, and Rome-Italy. It has received the full approval of the Fatima Shrine, Bishop Boyce among others. Early versions of the script were given to Sr Lucia in August 2004 for her prayers for its success. Sadly she passed away on the 13th February 2005. Both the Rector of the Shrine of Fatima, Monsignor Luciano Guerra and the Vatican Secretariat of State, Monsignor Valentino Di Cerbo have given a warm welcome to this work. The film is primarily aimed towards the youth, who will be the first to admit they do not know or understand the significance of the entire story of Fatima. The story narration is simply told by the much loved and well-known Irish priest Fr Michael Maher and Lauri Duffy. The film is based on Sister Lucia’s books, the only surviving seer of the apparitions in 1917 and includes a rare interview with a message from a Carmelite sister, who resided with Sister Lucia in Portugal.

It will leave the viewer to come away after watching this film with much to ponder and in no doubt what the message of Fatima means for our time and what we have to do if we desire peace in this new century.

FROM THE MAILBAG
VIA http://www.holysouls.com/rosarystories.htm:

As we enter the month of October which is dedicated to the Rosary of our Blessed Mother, let us make it a point to pray the rosary daily with our families, as this is the most powerful weapon that will destroy the evil in the world.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

13. Nothing unites us so closely to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ as the cross which is the most precious pledge of his love.

October 12, 2005

(John 17:20-21) And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me. That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

CARDINAL HUSAR WANTS SYNOD WITH ORTHODOX CHURCH

A senior Ukrainian cardinal said Monday there was little dividing the Catholic and Orthodox Christian faiths and suggested that the pope call a meeting of the world's bishops to discuss the Eastern rite within the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, head of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine, made the suggestion in a speech to a three-week meeting of the world's bishops that is designed to give the pope recommendations on running the church.

Eastern rite Catholic churches share many Orthodox rituals but are loyal to the pope.

The Catholic and Orthodox churches split in 1054 over several questions, including the issue of the primacy of the pope. Relations now between the two sides have been made tense by Orthodox charges of aggressive Catholic missionary work in Eastern Europe and by property disputes.

Pope Benedict XVI has made unifying all Christians a fundamental priority of his pontificate, and he invited a record number of ecumenical representatives to take part in the Oct. 2-23 meeting, known as a synod, including one from the Russian Orthodox Church.

In his speech, Husar noted that the Catholic and Orthodox churches share fundamental beliefs about the Eucharist, which is the topic of the synod.

The Catholic Church also recognizes as valid Orthodox ordinations of priests, and both churches recognize the apostolic succession of their bishops, meaning both trace the ordination of their bishops back to Christ's 12 apostles, Husar said.

"If the mutual recognition of the apostolic succession of bishops is recognized, and consequently that of the priests who celebrate it, my question is: what else do we need for unity?" according to a summary of his remarks released by the Vatican.

Husar then suggested that the pope call a new synod of the world's Catholic bishops to discuss the role of the Eastern rite church, saying there was a lack of understanding among other Catholics about its role. He suggested Orthodox clerics be included in the meeting.

In an interview with The Associated Press after his speech, Husar noted that the late Pope John Paul II had frequently said the Catholic Church "breathes with two lungs" - a reference to the Eastern and Western halves of the church.

"At the moment we do not feel that the church is breathing with these two lungs," he told the AP.

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Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

12. This is the thought He wishes me to dwell upon:
"The cross do I glory to bear,
 And love to it leadeth me e'er;
 Love divine my entire being doth own,
 And for me, love sufficeth alone".

October 11, 2005

(Rom 8:19-23) For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

POPE CALLS FOR 'SWIFT, GENEROUS' AID FOR THE QUAKE-HIT

Pope Benedict XVI today appealed for "swift and generous" aid for those stricken by the South Asia earthquake that killed 19,500 people.

"It was with deep sadness that I learned of yesterday's earthquake, which caused such great damage and loss of life in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan," Benedict told the crowd in St. Peter's Square during his usual Sunday appearance.

He said he was entrusting the dead "to God's loving mercy" and expressed condolences to the injured and bereaved.

"I pray that the international community will be swift and generous in its response to the disaster, and I ask the Lord to grant courage and strength to those involved in the task of rescue work and reconstruction," the pontiff said.

RELATED: Earthquake left millions without homes, UN says

CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES: South Asian Earthquake

CREATION GROANING

Flooding in East Kills at Least Seven
Flooding mudslides wrack Central America
Storm Drops 18 Inches of Snow in Colorado
In Eastern Atlantic, a Rare Hurricane

REVIEW: SECOND BUSIEST HURRICANE SEASON ON RECORD NEARS END OF NAME LIST

SPIRITDAILY LINK: WITH UPROARS IN NATURE COME ALSO SIGNS SIMILAR TO THOSE OF THE MIDDLE AGES, ACCOMPANIED IN U.S. BY A STRANGE MIASMA

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

11. What should I do, had I not a cross to bear? ...It is my whole treasure in the adorable Heart of Jesus Christ, and there it is the cause of all my happiness, my delight and my joy.

October 6, 2005

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

(1Pe 3:15) But sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you.

LINK: Catholic Apologetics on the Internet

LINK: How I led Catholics Out of the Church

FROM THE MAILBAG
VIA Jim McCrea: The Threshold

Purgatory is a teaching of the Catholic Faith. Any sins that are not purified in this life must be purged in the next life in an abode called purgatory.

It is not true that purgatory is necessarily all flames. But it is true that a more painful and rigorous purgation is in order for souls who are very far from perfection and have gross chunks of sin attached to them.

For souls that are relatively pure, there is a region of purgatory called the "threshold." The threshold is the upper level of purgatory. Purgatory has a vast number of levels, the lowest adjacent to hell and the highest adjacent to heaven.

Souls (in the state of grace) enter the level of purgatory appropriate to their condition of soul at the point of death. Then as their purification transpires, they rise through the levels until they graduate to the beatific vision in heaven.

The threshold is the highest general level of purgatory. That is where very holy people go when they die. Of course there are no flames or any other gross torments. It can be best described as paradise with some suffering involved. The pleasures, happiness, and joys there are beyond our comprehension and are vastly beyond anything of this earth. But transcendental pains are involved as well. They exceed all the suffering of this earth, but the souls there would not exchange them for all the pleasures of this world. They are sufferings of such an exquisitely pure kind that they themselves add to the joy of what the souls there are experiencing.

I believe that the threshold is divided into seven different levels - the bottom touching the "unpleasant" level of purgatory and the top level touching heaven proper.

Each level of the threshold is purer, subtler, and more exquisite in the joys experienced than the level below. Higher and more profound things are understood in a given level relative to a lower one.

Why does this division within the threshold exist?

Many people are of the mistaken notion that if someone was "good" they went straight to heaven when they died. This mistaken notion causes their loved ones to neglect the sacrifices, prayers, and Masses that might be done and said to assist that soul in their journey to the absolute fullness of joy which exists in heaven proper.

Why are such good and holy people not admitted to heaven right away?

This is because no one has the faintest idea how pure a soul must be to enter heaven proper which is the abode of the beatific vision or the vision of God face to face.

God is infinite purity and we must be pure in an absolute sense to see His face. The most insignificant speck cannot enter heaven.

The journey to heaven is much steeper and more arduous than anyone imagines.

But the souls in the threshold understand that, and they have the most inconceivable joy because they know that they are on a fantastic voyage.

Once they are fully purified and enter the heaven of the beatific vision they swim in an ocean of infinite purity. When they have achieved that, the pleasure, happiness, and joy they experience are then infinite.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

6. I think He intends to try you like gold in the crucible, so as to number you amongst His most faithful servants.  Therefore you must lovingly embrace all occasions of suffering, considering them as precious tokens of His love.  To suffer in silence and without complaint is what He asks of you.

October 5, 2005

(Luke 13:2-5) And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Silo'am fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."

RAMADAN'S DARK SIDE

Al Qaida calls for Ramadan attacks
Terror Days of Ramadan
'American Hiroshima'?

"OIL SHOCKS in the USA?"
-by Andrew Strom

On Monday I returned from a third-world country named Southern Mississippi. At least, that is how it felt down there - like a 3rd world country had come to America. It gave a chilling preview of what life here could be like if just a few of the luxuries we take for granted were disrupted.

The primary one of course being OIL or GASOLINE.

The United States is terribly vulnerable to any kind of severe Oil Shock. And I want to describe to you what happenswhen even a rich state loses its access to basics like electricity,transport and gas. I believe that these two hurricanes have played out before our eyes the fragility of a system that is so utterly reliant on oil. Those semi-trucks that we see roaring down the highways everyday - they are like a lifeline to this country. If they stop delivering supplies to the stores and supermarkets for even a few days or a week, then the whole system will fall over.

It is the same with the electrical grid. It too is heavily reliant on oil for power generation. And all of our communications, computers, lights, businesses, appliances,TVs, radios, etc - all need electricity to run. It gives me the chills to see how easily America could be shut down. A civilized nationat the height of her powers - utterly reliant on a black liquid, mostly imported from the volatile Middle East. Unbelievable. What happens when the gas stations run dry? We saw this in Texas. People are trapped. They get stuck on the highways,unable to get out. And when basic transportation fails, then business fails also. Without regular supplies by truck, most businesses would fall apart within a week.

All it took was ONE emergency, and the system could not cope.

What happens ift here are MANY emergencies all over the nation?

When I first got to Southern Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, it did not take me long to realize what a basic issue this was down there. I remember talking to a lady who was working gutting out ruined homes. She told me that she was UNABLEto leave the area - even though she wanted to. Her car had filledwith water during the storm - and would never run again.

Her bank (if she had any money in it) was closed - in fact, no businesses were open at all in the entire area. All the gas stations were either wrecked or shut down. She was working so she could save upsome money to get out. -And there were MANY people in this kind of situation. A neighbor up the road from our base lost THREE CARS that are now parked useless across the street - they had been submerged and would not run. And thus, people get TRAPPED.When people lose "civilized" transport, they have only one option.- They turn to "Third World" transportation. You see them walking everywhere on foot, or riding bicycles. And this is exactly what happened. It is the same with electrical appliances.

Our home base in Mississippi had been flooded with water 5 feet deep. There is still a 5-foot water-mark in all the rooms. The place was full of mud when we arrived. There was water sloshing around in the oven.The washing machine made funny "sparking" noises - full of water. The electricity was off and the generator was little help. So what do you do? -You return to "Third World" ways. You wash your clothes by hand in the tub or in a bucket. You cook with a portable gas stove. You sit around at night talking in the dark - or with some kind of lantern. There are no televisions, no DVD's or stereos (blessed peace!) There is no hot water, no air conditioning, nothing. It is just like being in a 3rd world country.There is little of "modern civilization" left. In fact, like a lot of people we even slept outdoors for awhile. Many people slept in tents because their house was unliveable. We slept in a park across the street - joining some others that we had met there. The mosquitoes were terrible, but it was OK.

So let me summarize this "Third World" American scenario for you. Without gasoline, electricity or transportation, you lose just about everything. I can tell you this for a fact, because I have seen it.You return to the status of a peasant with a bicycle. None of your modern conveniences will work. Nothing at all.

If the gasoline is gone, you cannot even charge your cellphone in the car. And notice that all it takes to make this scenario happen is LOSING THE OIL. Every one of our modern conveniences is ultimately reliant on that one commodity. Makes you think, does it not? So are you ready for your REAL "Oil Shock", America?

I am convinced that God was bringing a wake-up call to this nation through the recent hurricanes. You will notice that BOTH hurricanes targeted three basic things. Sin and hedonism had everything to do with it. In both hurricanes, the CASINOS and also"SIN CITY" itself - New Orleans - took a major hit. (Katrina wipedout the Casinos on one side and Rita wiped out those on the other).Surely this cannot be mere coincidence? And both hurricanes filled New Orleans with water. It really was staggering. Surely God was saying something through this? But the third thing we have to take note of is that both hurricanes targeted the OIL - and showed up the terrible fragility that the United States has in this area.

It does not bode well for the futureif America fails to heed these wake-up calls.

She is terribly vulnerable in this area - far more fragile than we have seen in the past. And God is looking for this nation to REPENT of her hedonism, her materialism and her "worship of pleasures" before much worse comes upon her. This was clearly the message ofthe hurricanes, to my mind. God was showing how easily America can be "taken out".

Do you think this message will be heeded?

ARCHBISHOP HANNAN VIA SPIRITDAILY: "I've been speaking at local parishes, and here's what I kept telling the people," he says. "I say, look, we are responsible not only for our individual actions to God, but in addition to that we are also citizens of a nation and in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, it says that a nation has a destiny and we are responsible whether we cause it or not for the course of morality in that nation. We are responsible as citizens for the sexual attitude, disregard of family rights, drug addiction, the killing of 45 million unborn babies, the scandalous behavior of some priests -- so we have to understand that certainly the Lord has a right to chastisement. If you ask me if the Lord knew of this, this was the greatest storm in the history of the nation. He is the creator. He certainly permitted this. It would be as silly as asking if Henry Ford knew how a car worked."

According to Hannan, people who experienced it "are beginning to react according to that concept of morality." He says that when he preached on the topic last Sunday in the devastated area of Mandeville, where 1,000 attended Mass, "people loudly applauded. They want to be told the truth."

"We have reached a depth of immorality that we have never reached before," he says. "And the chastisement was Katrina as well as Rita.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

5. In God's sight, our cross is as a precious balm which loses its aroma on exposure to the air; therefore we must make every effort to hide our cross and carry it in silence.

October 4, 2005

(Rom 11:30-32) Just as you were once disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may receive mercy. For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all.

FROM THE MAILBAG
VIA Rose Mary: I am sending out our website for our Conference in January. It is put on by the HEBREW/CATHOLIC CONNECTION. Our website is www.lighttothegentiles.org. A flyer and a bulletin announcement can be downloaded.

'OCTOBER SURPRISE' SEES CONCURRENT HOLIDAYS FOR JEWISH, ISLAMIC FAITHS

October is a time of shared sacred seasons this year. Religious observances of many faiths coincide this month, as they do the next two years, before the Jewish calendar adds its leap month and diverges from the Muslim observance of Ramadan.

For now, a national group called the Tent of Abraham, Hagar and Sarah, has issued a call to celebrate what it is calling the “October Surprise” of 2005.

“During October, a confluence of sacred moments in many different traditions invites us to eat together, walk together, learn together, pray alongside each other, listen to each other and work together for peace, justice, human rights and the healing of our wounded earth,” the group writes.

The Tent of Abraham, Hagar and Sarah is a gathering of Jews, Christians and Muslims who promote a shared spiritual concern for peace, justice and healing of the earth.

The call is for all people of faith to observe a nationwide Fast for Reflection, Repentance, Reconciliation and Renewal from sunrise to sunset on Oct. 13. That day, for Muslims, is one of the fast days of Ramadan. For Jews, it’s the fast day of Yom Kippur.

This call has been endorsed by the National Council of Churches, the Islamic Society of North America, Pax Christi, the Shalom Center, the Jewish Committee for Isaiah’s Vision and other groups.

The religious events that come together include:

• Ramadan: The sacred lunar month for Muslims during which they fast and pray. It begins with the new moon on Monday and Tuesday.

• Tishri: The Jewish lunar month that includes the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. They begin at sundown on Monday.

• The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi: On Tuesday, Catholics note the feast of the saint who worked for peace and founded the religious community that gave Franciscan orders their start.

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Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

4. Prostating myself at the foot of my Crucifix I said: "How happy should I be, O my loving Savior, if Thou wouldst imprint on me the likeness of Thy sufferings."  To which He replied: "This is what I intend to do, provided thou dost not resist Me and on thy side dost contribute thereto."

October 3, 2005

SUNDAY HOMILY BY FATHER ALTIER
Reading I (Isaiah 5:1-7)    Reading II (Philippians 4:6-9)    Gospel (St. Matthew 21:33-43)

In the first reading this morning from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, we hear about the Lord who planted a vineyard. He cleared the ground, put up a hedge, put in a tower, planted the very best of the vines He could find, and when He came to find His produce, He found wild grapes instead of good grapes. He goes on to tell us that the vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel, and that the people of Israel are the choicest vines. But because they did not bear good fruit, the Lord goes on to tell us that He allowed the hedge to be torn down and the vineyard to be trampled, the weeds to grow, and the beasts of the field to walk upon it. In the Gospel reading, Our Lord even goes a step further and tells us that because the people of Israel did not do what they were supposed to do the kingdom is taken away from them and given to someone else.

Well, we are the New Israel. We are the choice vines that God has planted in His vineyard. Now the question is, when the Master comes looking for His produce, are we giving Him good fruit? If the kingdom has been taken from the people of Israel and given to the New Israel, which is the Church, where is the fruit? There is certainly nothing lacking in the Church’s sacrifice because it is the sacrifice of Christ. The official prayer of the Church is perfect; it is the Psalms, it is the Word of God. There is nothing lacking in that. But it is the people who are taking part in the sacrifice, those who are offering it and those who are part of it, those who are supposed to be praying the prayers of the Church, that is where there is something lacking. And so if God allowed His vineyard to be destroyed in the past because the people were not bearing good fruit then He is going to allow it to happen again. The vineyard needs to be pruned in a pretty serious manner.

It does not take a genius to be able to see that over the last couple of years the world has been undergoing a purification. I pointed it out numerous times and point it out again, things are going to continue to get worse. But Saint Peter tells us we should not be surprised that there is a fiery ordeal going on in our midst, and then goes on to tell us that the purification begins in the household of God. If we read in the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel, when Jerusalem is purified, the Lord tells the destroying angels to begin at the temple, and even goes so far as to say, Fill it with the dead bodies and defile it. It was the temple of the Lord. So we see that if God is going to do something it is going to begin with the Church, and that is because every single thing that happens in the Church begins at the altar of God. Everything. All of the good that you can see in the world begins at the altar, and all of the evil that you see in the world begins at the altar of God. If the priests were doing what they were supposed to do, the mess in the world would not be happening right now.

Do we need purification? I do not think we even need to answer that question; it is too self-obvious. The Church needs to be purified of the homosexual filth that has been going on for years and children have been being violated. The Church needs to be purified of the political correctness that the bishops have decided is more important than preaching the truth. The Church needs to be purified of self-seeking shepherds that are shepherding themselves and not the sheep. The Church needs to be purified of people who do not want the truth but want to live worldly and pagan lives. The Church needs to be purified of the smoke of Satan that has entered into the Church because this is the vineyard of God and good fruit is not being borne in many parts of the Church.

We have seen the beginning of the purification, and that too is going to continue. As things continue forward, the line is going to be drawn in the sand, and we are going to have to make a decision of whether we are going to remain Catholic or whether we are not. Are we going to remain faithful to Jesus Christ or are we not? It is not going to be a popular thing to be Catholic. It already isn’t, but it is going to be a whole lot less popular pretty soon. Are you willing to suffer with Christ? Are you willing to be persecuted with Him? What is happening in the world is going to continue, and it is going to get worse because the world needs to be purified. When it is over, there is going to be a remnant that is going to be beautiful, faithful, and bearing good fruit for the Lord.

I have been told in the past by other people that when I preach this kind of message people get kind of upset, they get afraid. So look at the second reading today. What does Saint Paul tell us? Do not be anxious about anything. Do not be anxious. If we just heard that the Church is going to be persecuted, there are going to be martyrs – many of them, the world is going to continue to get squished, why would we not be anxious? Saint Paul tells us exactly how to deal with that: Prayer. Pray, he says, then the peace of God which is beyond all understanding will fill your hearts and your minds. He goes on to say to the people: Live the example that you have seen, and then the peace of God will be yours. So there are those two points. If we are praying and if we are living the life, we will be at peace. And he tells us that anything that is good, anything that is beautiful, anything that is honorable, anything that is excellent, lovely, and so on, keep your eyes on that. Is there anything in our midst that is good and pure and beautiful and lovely and excellent? He is right there in the Blessed Sacrament. Saint Paul says to keep your eyes on that and the peace of God will be yours. We should be rejoicing that these things are happening, not being afraid.

It is a very simple proposition. Saint Therese, whose feast we celebrated yesterday, made the point so clearly and so simply when she was talking about the apostles when they were in the boat with Jesus, and Our Lord was sleeping in the bough. The water was sloshing over the top and the boat was being pushed about by the winds and the waves. The apostles, many of whom were fishermen, were afraid that the boat was going to sink. And she said simply, Do you really think the boat is going to sink if Jesus is in it? There is no way the boat is going to sink if the Lord is in it. As long as you are in the boat, you have nothing to fear! As long as you are with Jesus, you are just fine. Do not try to showboat it and walk on the water or do something cute because you are going to be in trouble, but stay in the boat with Jesus. Keep your eye on Him. Do not worry about the winds and the waves; let it happen. It is not our problem. Let the Lord take care of that. Our task is to keep our eyes on Him, to pray, to live the life, to keep our focus on what is good and beautiful and excellent – and that is Jesus. If it seems like He is not answering and He is a million miles away when you come to pray then just let Him sleep and keep your eyes on Him.

For those of you who are parents, you understand how that works. You have this beautiful little baby, and the baby is lying there in the crib. What are the parents doing? Staring at the baby, just simply loving that child even though the child is sound asleep in bed. You just stay with the child, you stare at the child, and you love the child. So as long as you are in the boat with Jesus, it does not matter whether He is sleeping or whether He is up and talking with you, just keep your eye on Jesus and remain with Him. Be guaranteed that as long as you are in the boat with Jesus you have nothing to fear.

Now we need to look at our own souls and ask ourselves, “Am I in the boat with Jesus?” Number one, are you in the state of grace? Have you been to confession? Number two, are you living the live that you profess? Saint Paul says that we are to live from his example. We have seen in our day the example of some very holy people, Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa, and others who have been good and holy people and good examples for us. Are we living a virtuous life or are we trying to play footsie with the world? Are we trying to see how worldly we can be while still remaining kind of in the Church sort of? We need to make that decision to get into the boat. As I said, do not try to showboat it; there is enough water sloshing over the side, you do not have to put your hand even over the side to see what the water is like. Stay in the boat. Are you praying? That is the key. Are we praying? Jesus is right here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, how much time do we spend with Jesus? Oh, it’s nice to be able to tell people we are Catholic, but are we living it? How much time are we spending with the Lord?

If we cannot even keep our focus on Jesus when things are not too terribly chaotic, what are we going to do when it becomes really chaotic? Stay in the boat. As long as you are in the boat, you have nothing to fear because Jesus is in the boat; and as long as Jesus is in the boat, it is not going to sink. We have nothing to fear. As long as we are praying and as long as we are living the life that we profess to live then the peace of God which is beyond all understanding will fill our hearts and our minds, and then we will be able to recognize what is God’s Will, what is true and perfect and good. We will rejoice in that rather than be afraid of it, and we can remain at peace in the midst of the wild chaos that whips around us. That is what it comes to. The purification is going to happen whether we want it to or not, whether we like it or not. Whether we are going to be at peace or filled with fear, it is going to happen. So Saint Paul gives us the way to stay at peace, and the way is very simple: pray, live the life of virtue, stick close to the sacraments, stay in the boat, and keep your eye on Jesus. As long as you are in the boat with Jesus you are safe, because as long as Jesus is in the boat, the boat will not sink.

OF INTEREST: French Quarter Cathedral Holds Sunday Mass

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering

3. Crosses, contempt, sorrows and afflictions are the real treasures of the lovers of Jesus Christ crucified.

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Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus

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