Keep your eyes open!...


October 31, 2006 

MUST READ EDITORIAL: Oh, Those Mischievous Muslims!


US Catholic bishops want “specific measures” in favour of Iraqi Christians and other religious minorities. Their “rapidly deteriorating situation” is causing “deep concern and growing alarm,” writes Mgr Thomas G. Wenski, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Policy in a letter to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The letter stresses that the Christian community continues to decline from a pre-war population of over 1.2 million to a current estimate of about 600,000.

It points out that, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, approximately 44 per cent of Iraqi refugees are Christian, even though they represent only about 4 per cent of the total population of Iraq.

“The growing and deliberate targeting of Christians,” the letter says, “is an ominous sign of the breakdown in Iraqi society of civil order and inter-religious respect and represents a grave violation of human rights and religious liberty.” The recent beheading of a Syriac Orthodox priest in Mosul and the abduction and rape of Christian women and teenage girls explain why Christians are fleeing, Mgr Wenski said.

“The vulnerability of Christians and other religious minorities is dramatic evidence of the serious and growing security challenges facing the entire nation of Iraq.”


Iraq's Christian Minority Seeks Haven From Violence
15-year old Christian boy beheaded in Iraq
Beheading Nations: The Islamization of Europe’s Cities

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

80. A hermit said, 'All chatter is unnecessary. Nowadays everyone talks but what is needed is action. That is what God wants, not useless talking.'

October 26, 2006 

(John 20:22-23) When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

LINK: The Journey to Freedom: Reconciliation

By the late Father Kilian McGowan, C.P.

Previously we treated of the necessity of having a right attitude towards that tribunal of mercy we call Confession. Perhaps it might be well to repeat here that if the Sacrament of Penance made God appear as an exacting tyrant, it would be out of place in Christ's "Gospel of Mercy." It appears as such only to the poorly instructed or the unreasonably fearful.

Here, we consider some of the more common fears concerning this sacrament. Some of them may seem rather insignificant to our readers, but they loom large indeed in the minds of others. These fears may plague the souls of even the more intelligent and well-instructed.

Many people are afraid of what the priest will think of them after they have relieved their consciences of their burden of guilt. Let us remind these that they have the freedom of going to any priest they select. They go in secret and the confessional is dark. The priest rarely recognizes them or their voices. All he really thinks is that another sincere and humble penitent has come in contact with the merciful Heart of our Blessed Savior.

Surprisingly, some stay away from confession because they feel they have too little to confess, just as others do because they have too much. These should know that the priest is neither shocked by grave sins, nor disappointed when there are none to mention. Even though your confession  may sound like a broken record, you may avail yourselves of the many graces of this sacrament.

There are those who are afraid that the priest will not understand their particular problem -- especially if it involves some shameful sin. This is complimentary neither to the priest's training nor experience. The confessor is not only trained in theology and the laws of God; he is also well aware of every weakness of the human heart. He is trained to be kindly and understanding, and shortly becomes skilled in handling every possible case.

Some are fearful for the simple reason that their last good confession was much too long ago, and their sins are much too numerous. Let these be reassured that every priest shares the joy of Christ who said that there is more joy in heaven over one sinner doing penance than over ninety-nine who have no need of it. Don't be afraid to challenge His patience and compassion. He'll appreciate the opportunity to reconcile you to your God.

Even if you hardly know where to start, just enter the confessional and start talking. You should examine your conscience and stir up your sorrow, of course. But if you get confused, don't let it scare you away from this Sacrament of mercy and relief... just go into the confessional and ask for help. That's what the priest is there for.

Occasionally, we find those who are afraid of taking too much time -- perhaps those in line will think that they are big sinners. Well, the amount of time in the confessional is never a gauge of the amount of sins confessed. Perhaps the confessor may be encouraging the penitent to lead an even more generous life, or explaining means of growing in the love of God.

What should be done for those who constantly worry about their confessions? These must remember that confession was never intended to be a straining, worrying affair. All theologians teach that only a sincere effort is needed for a good confession, not a super-effort. God doesn't want us to scour our consciences like an overwashed floor.

Our Lord considers it very uncomplimentary to His Mercy to put any human limits upon a mercy that knows no limits.

Probably the most common complaint is that many feel as though they haven't made a good confession. They say that they don't experience any perceptible feeling of relief. We remind these that this is a question of faith, and not of feeling. We go to confession to have our sins forgiven, to expose ourselves to the mercy of Christ, to receive the sacramental graces, and not to feel good! If you have done your best, you have received all of these spiritual benefits, regardless of your feelings.

Once again, Confession is an encounter with the merciful and compassionate Savior, through His representative, the priest. Let us be careful not to make a bugbear of what He intends to be a balm!

RELATED: Speakers encourage men to reflect, react, repent

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

78. Hyperichius said, 'He who teaches others by his life and not his speech is truly wise.'

October 25, 2006

(1Th 5:19-21) Extinguish not the spirit. Despise not prophecies. But prove all things: hold fast that which is good.

REMINDER: The Church and Medjugorje by EWTN


In Medjugorje, 'people are turning to God' by Archbishop Harry J. Flynn
Statue of Medjugorje Madonna in Italy weeping again

VIA Loretta: October 7, 2006 English Homily in St. James Church, Medjugorje Priest from Ireland

I am here with a group of pilgrims from many different parts of Ireland, but we are all pilgrims. We are all brothers and sisters here. We are all Mary’s children, and thank God for that. I’ve jotted down a few thoughts that were coming to me during the week.

There is an old custom and an effort is being made to revive it in this present time and it’s the custom of saying the Three Hail Mary’s. And if you go back in Ireland and I’m sure other countries, maybe 20 years ago, when you went to confession, unless you had something very bad to tell, the priest would usually let you get away with three Hail Mary’s for penance. At home when we were maybe in need or trying to do something, our parents or somebody else would say to us, say three Hail Mary’s. And there is an effort being made now to revive that. I feel that it’s something worth considering and its not to replace our regular prayer, it’s to increase the prayer that’s already there and to enhance it. Simply before or during the day when you find things difficult, stop for a moment and say the three Hail Mary’s, and that will lead you into more prayer. You might say, well three Hail Mary’s, what can that do? Very early here, Our Lady reminded us that even one Hail Mary is a great consolation to Her. We will never know how much good Our Blessed Mother can do with one Hail Mary that we would say, one prayer, well said. It can be the start of a great grace or great blessing. It’s like the young man who had the few loaves and fishes. He was keeping them for himself, for his own use, but when he gave them to the Lord, the Lord blessed them and multiplied them and it became the great miracle of the loaves and fishes. The little we have when we give it to the Almighty can become something very special, very great indeed.

It reminds me of a lovely, little humorous story of St. John Vianney, the Cure of Ars, who was once asked why he became a priest. So he said, “I was reading the Scripture, in the Bible, where God through Samson, that Samson, with God’s hand, slew several thousand Philistines with a jawbone of an ass. So I thought to myself if God can do that with a jawbone of an ass, how much more would he be able to do with a whole ass.” So, he decided to become a priest and a very good priest he was. He was put away into a small place, in Ars in France and he transformed it with very little, simple efforts of prayer, kindness and devotion to the Mass and the Sacraments. And maybe it’s something that we can do as well.

What’s happening here in this Church of St. James is something out of this world. And we all are feeling uplifted during the Mass, the Adoration is an experience not to be missed.

The confessions outside are another great blessing. And we all think, “Oh, if we could only take this home, wouldn’t it be great. If there was something like this in our own churches on Saturday evenings or Sunday mornings wouldn’t we uplift people?” How do we do it we wonder? I feel that the way we might be able to do it is just to move out from here. What I feel is happening here is because of what is happening outside around the village in the fields. People like ourselves unashamedly praying, carrying their Rosary beads. There’s nothing different in what is happening here (in St. James Church) and outside of here (in the village streets and fields). Of course when we go back to our parishes there is the church. We have our churches, we have our faith but when we leave our churches we seem to leave everything else as well, including God. And we’ve drifted a way a little bit in our prayer and as we fall off in prayer, we fall away from God. We have distanced ourselves from God. Our problems have become big because our God has become small. So we need to once again to begin to take the Mass and what is happening in our churches, out into our daily life.

I’m very impressed by people moving among the streets and fields praying in groups. I’m particularly impressed with our young people, turning their Rosary beads and unashamedly being part of all of the spiritual exercises. I’d like to say to all of us when we go back home, let’s not be ashamed of carrying the Rosary beads and let them be seen. There’s nothing wrong going inside a church to visit the Blessed Sacrament, to light a candle, to say a prayer.

Pope Paul VI said people will be more impressed by witness than anything else. And take the late great Pope John Paul II. Was there anyone in the last 50 years that stood out more than he did? Why? Because first of all he was a man of prayer with a deep devotion to Our Blessed Mother. Remember the last time he was in Lourdes, down at the grotto, crippled with pain. When the prayers were finished he asked his helpers, his aides, to take him out of his wheelchair and he was stooped over to one side. They said, “Your Holiness, you won’t be able to do it.” He said, no I want to do it. And they placed him on the kneeler and he spent a considerable amount of time in prayer to the Blessed Mother. What prayer he said, we will never know. He knew that this would be his last time. When he got up he turned to the people who were in wheelchairs, and to people who were suffering a great deal. He said, “I’m here as one of you. Walk with Mary.” And that’s the point of being here in Medjugorje.  We’re walking with Mary and we need to do it when we go back home also. Our own Rosary priest from Ireland, Fr. Peyton, coined the phrase, “the family that prays together, stays together.” Who could not be impressed by Vicka yesterday morning in particular her prayer, her deep prayer, her reverence in prayer, her life in prayer. And this morning we got another beautiful message from Jakov. And one of the very first things he said was the graces of Medjugorje are not just for Medjugorje. They’re for all of us and all our parishes and that should help us go home feeling we’re not alone in trying to bring this message of Our Blessed Mother to a hungry world.

This should be a very precious item for all of us. Have your Rosary beads in your possession. It will protect us. But it’s no good just having it on us. We need to be using it. And when we start using our Rosary beads, in our hands it is the Blessed Mother’s hand in our hand. And just try to remember that as we pray. As we pray the Rosary, Our Lady is praying with us. She is holding our hands as we hold the Rosary beads. When we start to pray like that we will then be led into Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and Mass. We won’t just be bumping into Jesus, we will be letting him touch us and when we let Jesus touch us, our lives will be transformed and then people will begin to see Jesus living in us and our faith will come alive in church and out of church.

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

77. Sarah also said, 'If I asked God that everyone should see good in me, I should be doing penance at the door of each one. I pray rather that my heart should be pure in all things.'

October 24, 2006


The scientists of today ought to pay close attention to "the lessons learned from a much deeper vision". Otherwise, according to Benedict XVI, "they could easily fall into the tragedy of the ancient Greek myth. Here, the young Icarus, overwhelmed by the joy of flying towards absolute liberty and paying no attention to warnings from the elderly father, Dedalus, got ever closer to the sun, forgetting that the wings that were taking him so high in the sky were made of wax. His tragic fall and death are the price he paid for this illusion. The antique myth has an everlasting value as its main lesson. In life there are other illusions in which we cannot place our trust, without risking disastrous consequences for our own and other people's existence".

RELATED: Embryonic stem cells may cause tumours: US study

REVIEW: A statement from the Australian Catholic Bishops on human embryo cloning and destructive embryo experimentation

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "If there has been resistance (from the Church) — and if there still is — it was and is to those forms of research that provide for the planned suppression of human beings who already exist, even if they have not yet been born. Research, in such cases, irrespective of efficacious therapeutic results is not truly at the service of humanity.

"In fact, this research advances through the suppression of human lives that are equal in dignity to the lives of other human individuals and the lives of the researchers themselves," the pope told the scientists at the recent meeting.

"History itself has condemned such a science in the past and will condemn it in the future, not only because it lacks the light of God but also because it lacks humanity," the pope said.

"Here there is a problem that we cannot get around; no one can dispose of human life. An insurmountable limit to our possibilities of doing and of experimenting must be established. The human being is not a disposable object, but every single individual represents God’s presence in the world." 

MORE: Pope endorses adult stem-cell research

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

73. She said, '"Let not the sun go down upon your wrath" (Eph. 4:26). Likewise, if you wait until the sun is going down on your life, you will not know how to say, "Sufficient unto the day is the evil therof" (Matt. 6:34). Why do you hate the man who has harmed you? It is not he who has harmed you but the devil. You ought to hate the sickness, not the sick man.'

October 20, 2006


(Mat 11:28-30) Come to me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: And you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.

LINK: "Jesus": The Shortest, Simplest, and Most Powerful Prayer in the World

VIA Nadine: Request For Transfer 

TO: Commander-in-Chief Spiritual Armed Forces, Jesus Christ

Dear Lord:

I am writing this to You to request a transfer to a desk job. I herewith present my reasons: I began my career as a private, but because of the intensity of the battle You have quickly moved me up in the ranks. You have made me an officer and given me a tremendous amount of responsibility. There are many soldiers and recruits under my charge. I am constantly being called upon to dispense wisdom, make judgments, and find solutions to complex problems. You have placed me in a position to function as an officer, when in my heart I know I have only the skills of a private.
I realize that You have promised to supply all I would need for the battle. But Sir, I must present You a realistic picture of my situation.

My uniform, once so crisp and starched, is now stained with tears and blood of those I have tried to assist. The soles of my boots are cracked and worn from the miles I have walked trying to enlist, encourage, and instruct the troops. My weapons are marred, tarnished and chipped from constant battle against the enemy. Even the Book of Regulations I was issued has been torn and tattered from endless use. The words are now smeared.

You have promised You would be with me throughout, but when the noise of the battle is so loud and the confusion is so great, I can neither see nor hear You. I feel so alone. I'm tired. I'm discouraged. I have Battle Fatigue.

I would never ask You for a discharge. I love being in Your service. But I humbly request a demotion and transfer. I'll file papers or clean latrines.

Just get me out of the battle -- please, Sir.

Your Faithful, but tired, Warrior.

TO: Faithful, but tired, Soldier, Spiritual Armed Forces
LOCATION: The Battlefield
SUBJECT: Transfer

Dear Soldier:

Your request for transfer has been denied. I herewith present My reasons: You are needed in this battle. I have selected you, and I will keep My Word to supply your needs. You do not need a demotion and transfer. Besides, you'd never cut it on latrine duty anyway. You need a period of "R & R" (Renewal and Rekindling). I am setting aside a place on the battlefield that is insulated and fully protected from the enemy. I will meet you there and I will give you rest. I will remove your old equipment and "make all things new."

You have been wounded in the battle, My soldier. Your wounds are not visible, but you have received grave internal injuries. You need to be healed. I will heal you. Also, you have been weakened in the battle. You need to be strengthened. I will strengthen you and be your strength. I will instill in you confidence and ability. My Words will be rekindled within you, giving you renewed love, zeal and enthusiasm. Report to Me tattered and empty. I will replenish you.

Compassionately, Your Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ

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

72. She also said, 'It is good not to be angry. If it happens, do not give way to it for as much as one day.'

October 19, 2006  

(Dan 12:10) Many shall be chosen, and made white, and shall be tried as fire: and the wicked shall deal wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand, but the learned shall understand.


Priest on trial for sex abuse takes plea deal
Sexual abuse survivors demand church defrock convicted priests
Davenport Diocese files for bankruptcy
Miami Archdiocese: Sex-abuse claim 'credible'
Foley will release name of priest who allegedly abused him

FOOD FOR THOUGHT AND PRAYERFUL CONSIDERATION: 'Diabolic Disorientation' in the Church

: One must be reminded when reading the New Oxford Review article that Blessed Pope John XXIII has been beatified by the church and is one of only three popes who are in glass coffins for public viewing in the Vatican (


On Tuesday night, October 17th, 2006, St. Michael the Archangel came and woke me up and instructed me to pray. He began by saying:

“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time; but at that time your people shall be delivered, every one whose name shall be found written in the book.” (’Daniel 12: 1)

God’s love for His people demands that He chastise the word in these “End Times”. Every nation is about to be purged accordingly. All God’s faithful must pray regardless of how serious these ‘end times’ become. You’ve been told through the warnings of the Blessed Virgin that prayer, penance and fasting can lessen the severity of these upcoming chastisements. Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand: but those who are wise shall understand,” (Dan. 12:10)

Offer up to God all that you can. Pray and sacrifice all that you can. Avail yourself of the Sacrament of Reconciliation as often as necessary and receive Christ in the Holy Eucharist as often as possible. Do not be content with attending the Holy Sacrifice of The Mass only on Sundays; but strive to attend daily Mass. Refresh your soul before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Detach yourself of worldly things that may prevent you from focusing on the Lord, your God. Remember that it’s not important how you die; but how you live! Live the Gospels. Love God above all things, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Listen to and obey the spiritual direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Put your trust in God only, never in man. Keep God’s Commandments. In all that you do, glorify God the Father through His Son, Jesus. Behold your Mother; stay very close to your Heavenly Queen. Allow Her to lead you to Her Son, Jesus. The world needs Her more now than ever. Make time to pray a twenty decade Rosary daily. Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy asking God’s mercy for the world. Pray through Me, I am the Prince of the Heavenly Host; I will come to your aid whenever you call on me. I leave you on your knees, and in the peace of Christ, Jesus. Pray, Pray, Pray!!!

: I have no idea who Juanito is, whether he is a false visionary, or whether the preceding message is from Saint Michael or from Juanito's imagination.  Regardless, the message is a timely exhortation for these trying days.

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

71. She also said, 'There is a useful sorrow, and a destructive sorrow. Sorrow is useful when we weep for our sins, and for our neighbour's ignorance, and so that we may not relax our purpose to attain to true goodness, these are the real kinds of sorrow. Our enemy adds something to this. For he sends sorrow without reason, which is something called lethargy. We ought always to drive out a sadness like that with prayers and psalms.'

October 18, 2006 

(Mat 10:7-8) And going, preach, saying: The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils: freely have you received, freely give.


In St. Peter's Square Saturday, Benedict XVI met with 30,000 people from Italy and other countries who had come together to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the foundation, by St. Pio of Pietrelcina, of the hospital, "Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza" (House for Relief of Suffering).

Among those present were the Capuchin Fathers of the Shrine of St. Mary of Grace and of the new church dedicated to St. Pio, located in San Giovanni Rotondo in southern Italy, as well as directors, doctors and nurses of the hospital, and members of various prayer groups.

In his address to them, the Pope called on the Capuchin Fathers, "spurred on and supported by the example of Padre Pio and by his intercession," to make every effort "to imitate him and help everyone to live a profound spiritual experience focussed on the contemplation of the Crucified Christ, Who reveals and mediates the merciful love of the heavenly Father.

"From the heart of Padre Pio, which burned with charity, arose the House for Relief of Suffering," he added. The saint "chose to call it 'house' so that sick people, especially the poor, might feel at ease there, ... and might find 'relief' from their suffering ... thanks to two converging forces: prayer and science. ... Faith in God and scientific research work together towards the same aim, that can best be expressed in Jesus' own words: 'that they may have life, and have it abundantly.' Yes, God is life, and wants man to be healed from all of the evils of the body and of the spirit." 

The Holy Father then went on to recall how the prayer groups came into being following a call to pray for peace made by Pope Pius XII in 1942 during World War II. "Padre Pio," he said, "encouraged his spiritual children to give a prompt response to the appeal of the Vicar of Christ."

"The prayer groups have spread to parishes, convents and hospitals, and today number more than 3,000 with a presence on all the continents. ... Your prayer, as it says in your Statutes, is 'with the Church, through the Church and in the Church,' to be experienced always in full accordance with the Magisterium, with ready obedience to the Pope and the bishops, under the guidance of a priest appointed by the bishop. The Statues also prescribe another vital commitment of the prayer groups: 'effective and assiduous charity to bring relief to the suffering and the needy as a practical demonstration of charity towards God.' Here again is the combination prayer and charity, God and our fellow man."

VIA Frank Rega: You are cordially invited to listen to and also call in to a radio show about Padre Pio and my book "Padre Pio and America." The show will be broadcast on internet radio everywhere, and also on WTMR 800 AM, in the greater Philly area. The time is from 5 to 6 pm Eastern Time, on Wednesday October 18. I will be interviewed by Dominic Lettieri on his show "Putting it on the Line."

Call-in phone numbers are 1-888-343-2484, and 1-610-527-2906. The show can be heard on the internet at (you can still call in).

Share your devotion to Padre Pio....let's light up the phone banks!


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

70. Syncletica said, 'Merchants toil in search of riches and are in danger of their lives from shipwreck; the more wealth they win, the more they want; and they think what they have already is of no worth but bend their whole mind to what they have not yet got. But we have nothing, not even that which we ought to seek; we do not even want to possess what we need, because we fear God.'

October 17, 2006 

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "May the Eternal One, our Father in heaven, bless every effort to eliminate from our world any misuse of religion as an excuse for hatred or violence."


The powerful spectacle of Iran’s be-turbaned supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei clutching an automatic rifle, displayed exclusively by DEBKAfile, drew on the belligerent imagery of Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein. The Iranian media suppressed this particular shot in its coverage of his sermon at Tehran University Oct. 13, the third Friday of Ramadan. But the AK 47 toted by the ruler of the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism was not missed by the political and military leaders in his audience and accentuated his war message.

DEBKAfile’s Tehran sources reveal that the Iran’s leaders took three fateful steps ahead of Khamenei’s performance:

1. They pointed up the tradition initiated by the father of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of marking the last Friday of Ramadan as International al Qods Day - “Jerusalem Liberation Day.”
2. Khamenei’s aides leaked word that his decision to hold the sermon of Oct. 13 was prompted by his discovery that the USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group was heading for the Persian Gulf and would be deployed in operational mode opposite Iran’s shores by Oct. 21.
3. In Beirut, Iran’s surrogate Hizballah announced the cancellation of its annual military parade on al Qods day, i.e. Oct. 20.

Military circles in the United States and Israel interpret these steps as meaning that Iran will be standing by in battle positions the day before the Eisenhower reaches its destination.

The Iranian ruler laid great stress on "International Qods Day” as the day of “resistance” for the entire Islamic Umma against “the oppression and injustice observed by the Zionists and their supporters."

DEBKAfile’s Iran and Islamic sources note that the Kalashnikov in the supreme ruler’s hand spoke louder than his bellicose rhetoric.


2nd warning for Muslims to leave U.S. before attack
Orthodox Priest Beheaded In Iraq
86 Iraqis Die in 2-Day Spree of Violence

ON RAMADAN: Ramadan ends with the festival of Eid al-Fitr, which in 2006 occurs on Oct. 24.

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

68. A brother said to Sisois, 'Why do my passions not leave me?' He said to him, 'Because the vessels that fill those passions are within you. Empty them and the passions they cause will go away.'

October 13, 2006 


(1Pe 1:14-16) As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."

LINK: The Children of Fatima


Forged through hardship
The life of Venerable Mother Margarita de Maturana
A prelude to a miracle
Pope defends traditional family values

Reflection by Father Ted – for October 09, 2006

My dearest Lord Jesus, thank You once again for reminding me today of what is most important in life – how to enter into heaven.

You gave to me the answer through the response of the lawyer who declared that we are to love the Lord with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our strength and with all our will.

He also added that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.

And You confirmed his answer.

When he asked You about who his neighbor is, You told him the story about the victim of a robbery and the one who assisted him. The one who took care of the man in need was the neighbor.

Then You told the lawyer to behave in like manner.

We too are to show such concern – such compassion.

We too are to take care of our brothers and sisters in their needs.

But as I was reflecting on this – which I talked about in my homily today – I pondered about the needs of our brothers and sisters.

You have allowed me to take care of the some of the physical needs of the poor through my missionary ministry.

You have allowed me to take care of some of their spiritual needs through this same ministry and through my regular activities as a priest.

You are exhorting me to be faithful to the full teachings that come to us through Your Roman Catholic Church.

And You have reminded me how some of us, in the past – and even now – have withheld teaching portions of Your Gospel.

How many today have been deprived of the truth of Your love because of our failure to teach even the basic ten commandments.

I have seen the effects of this – how many no longer come to Mass on Sundays because of our failure to teach the importance of the Mass.

I have seen the effects of this – how many no longer believe in Purgatory and the needs of the holy souls because no one has taught them these truths.

I have seen the effect of this – how many no longer go to confession because no one has taught them about sin and the importance of this sacrament.

But You want us to teach these truths. For You want all to experience the fullness of Your love.

Jesus, give to us Your Heart so that we will proclaim all that You want Your people to know so that they will be able to live the holy lives that You want.

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

67. Palladius said, 'The soul which is being trained according to the will of Christ should either be earnest in learning what it does not know, or should publicly teach what it does know. If it wants to do neither, though it could, it is mad. The first step on the road away from God is contempt for teaching, that is not to want to give food to the soul that truly wants it.'

October 11, 2006

EXCERPT POPE BENEDICT XVI (09/2000)- On the traditional celebration of the sacred liturgy facing liturgical East ("ad orientem"):

"A common turning to the East during the Eucharistic Prayer remains essential. This is not a case of something accidental, but of what is essential. Looking at the priest has no importance. What matters is looking together at the Lord. It is not now a question of dialogue, but of common worship, of setting off towards the One who is to come. What corresponds with the reality of what is happening is not the closed circle, but the common movement forward expressed in a common direction for prayer."


The Pope is taking steps to revive the ancient tradition of the Latin Tridentine Mass in Catholic churches worldwide, according to sources in Rome.

Pope Benedict XVI is understood to have signed a universal indult — or permission — for priests to celebrate again the Mass used throughout the Church for nearly 1,500 years. The indult could be published in the next few weeks, sources told The Times.

The new indult would permit any priest to introduce the Tridentine Mass to his church, anywhere in the world, unless his bishop has explicitly forbidden it in writing.

Use of the Tridentine Mass, parts of which date from the time of St Gregory in the 6th century and which takes its name from the 16th-century Council of Trent, was restricted by most bishops after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). The Tridentine Mass, the name of the old Latin Mass, can now only be celebrated with permission of the local bishop. In addition to the use of Latin, the priest faces the altar - away from the worshippers - and there are no lay readers as in the modern Mass.

The issue of the Mass will only be one of the points in the papal document that will reach out to the ultraconservatives, according to Vatican sources.

RELATED: Stepping Closer to the Reform of the Reform

VIA Sue Cifelli: The Healing Power of Gregorian Chant

If you happen to be a consistent viewer of Fr. John Corapi's Saturday night broadcasts on EWTN, then you may already be aware of the connection between Gregorian Chant and healing.

If not, allow me to share with you the anecdote he relayed not too long ago during one of his broadcasts.

Fr. Corapi was on a retreat at a Benedictine Monastery when one of his well known mega-migraine headaches came on. He was completely disabled by it and went to his room to lay down. While lying there, suddenly, the beautiful sound of Gregorian Chant made its way to his room. Apparently it was the time of day when the resident monks would offer their praise and thanks to God by way of the chant. As he listened, the migraine completely left him and he was astounded.

He got up, left his room, and found the head of the monastery (I don't recall the title he used for him) to share what had transpired. The monk with whom he spoke confirmed that they have witnessed many healings as a result of the afflicted listening to Gregorian Chant.

I took just a few minutes in the days following that broadcast to do a search for online Gregorian Chant and found quite a few links. My favorite has become the Alma Redemptoris posted at I find I am much more productive and focused while listening to it. In addition, even if it plays for hours, it doesn't sound as if it repeating, even though it is, over and over again. It is utterly beautiful.

VIA CHELSIA: Gregorian Chant: The Secret Thoughts of Joseph Ratzinger

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

66. A brother asked Pambo, 'Why does the enemy prevent me doing good to my neighbour?' He said, 'Do not talk like that, or you will make God a liar. Say, "I is I myself do not want to be kind to others." For God came down to us and said, "I have given you the power of treading upon scorpions and snakes" (Luke 10:19), and so you are beyond the power of the enemy. Why then do you not tread down these evil spirits?'

October 10, 2006

(Rev 12:12) Rejoice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!"


After North Korea announced it had conducted a nuclear test, religious leaders in South Korea expressed their deep concern but recommended that economic and military sanctions would not be a good response.

Father Paul Han Jung-kwan, executive secretary of the Committee for the Reconciliation of Korean People of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, told UCA News on Oct. 10 that the nuclear test had shocked him. He called it "an act that destroys world peace and order, and is against the Gospel."

Noting that anti-North Korea sentiment may spread within the Church, Father Han said he believes the Church in South Korea will face difficulties in its humanitarian work for North Koreans. He also said he expects North Koreans to become more isolated from the international community and suffer from a lack of food and basic goods. For this reason, he added, the Church needs to establish a long-term plan to help the North Koreans.

Father Simon Chun Jong-hun, president of the Catholic Priests' Association for Justice, considers the test a "big mistake." He told UCA News on Oct. 10 he is deeply concerned that North Korea has broken an agreement on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. In 1991, North and South Korea agreed on a joint declaration on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Even so, Father Chun said the United States should not take military action against North Korea but instead try to dialogue directly with the communist country, with the help of neighbors such as China and Japan.

"Direct dialogue is the only way to solve the nuclear problem this time," Father Chun explained. "This nuclear test is a crisis for sure, but we should take this chance to make progress in the peace effort."

RELATED: Seoul- South Korean bishops meet to discuss aid for North after atomic test


Iran's hardline leaders said Tuesday their country would not retreat from its controversial nuclear program — a day after North Korea said it conducted a nuclear weapons test. 

"Our policy is clear: Progress, offering transparent logic and insisting on the rights of the nation without retreat," Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, according to state-run television.

Khamenei said Iran would continue to pursue its program and not bow to international demands that it suspend uranium enrichment.

The supreme leader said because Iran previously had voluntarily suspended enrichment, it would not consider doing so again. "If we had not experienced that path perhaps we would have criticized ourselves today. But now, we will pursue with a strong heart," Khamenei said.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also affirmed that Iran would continue its nuclear program, which it says is for peaceful purposes. "The Iranian nation will continue its path of dignity based on resistance, wisdom and without fear," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

MORE: Will Iran follow N. Korea's lead?

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

62. Abraham, who was a disciple of Agatho, once asked Poemen, 'Why do the demons attack me?' Poemen said to him, 'Is it the demons who attack you? It is not the demons who attack me. When we follow our self-will then our wills seem like demons and it is they who urge us to obey them. If you want to know the kind of people with whom the demons fight, it is Moses and those like him.'

October 9, 2006


North Korea's claim that it has successfully tested a nuclear weapon has sparked international condemnation. The White House called for a swift response from the UN Security Council, calling Pyongyang's move "provocative". Japan and South Korea also condemned the test and even Pyongyang's closest ally China expressed its "resolute opposition", calling the move "brazen".

North Korean state media said the underground test had brought "happiness to our people". When it announced the test, the North's KCNA media agency described it as an "historic event that brought happiness to our military and people". It said the test would maintain "peace and stability" in the region and was "a great leap forward in the building of a great prosperous, powerful socialist nation". There was no radiation leak, it said.

The development comes three days after the UN Security Council agreed on a formal statement urging North Korea to cancel any planned nuclear test and return to disarmament talks. Pyongyang pulled out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003 and has refused for a year to attend talks aimed at ending its nuclear ambitions.

RELATED: Earthquake Hazards Program link- Magnitude 4.2 - NORTH KOREA


North Korea test a sign of weakness
North Korea have played the ultimate card
Will Israel Wake up One Morning to a Nuclear-Armed Iran?


Vatican Calls For New Push Towards Nuclear Disarmament
Vatican Urges North Korea to Sign up to Nuclear Treaty

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

60. He also said, 'The will of man is a wall of brass, and a stone barrier between himself and God. If he puts it aside, he can say the words of the psalm, "By the help of my God I shall leap over the wall" and, "as for my God his way is undefiled" (Ps. 18:29-30). If good conduct helps the will, then a man will do good.'

October 6, 2006


EXCERPT: Benedict’s Lepanto

Our Lady of Victory, pray for us.

October is upon us, a whole month dedicated to the Rosary. Soon we will be celebrating Our Lady of the Rosary, which is the new name given to the feast previously called Our Lady of Victory. It may seem incongruous, harking back to Our Lady of Victory as Pope Benedict XVI takes remarkable steps to show his respect for Islam and rebuild bridges with Muslims. After all, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on Oct. 7 — the anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto.

But there are clear parallels to our day — parallels that we should take to heart.

As Ottoman invaders threatened to round the Gulf of Corinth into the western Mediterranean and threaten Europe, Pope Pius V (1504-1572) called for two kinds of action. One was a military defense, but just as important was his call for Christians to reform themselves. On the day of the decisive Battle of Lepanto, the Holy Father led a Rosary procession in Rome, and called for all Christendom to pray.

It worked — the would-be invaders turned back in defeat.

Today, a new Pope is calling for two a two pronged action of his own. Just like Pius V, he wants us to pray — and he wants us to join a battle every bit as difficult as the one Pius V called the Church to in his day. Only for Pope Benedict, love and reason are the weapons of choice.

RELATED: Pope Invites Families to Pray the Rosary

SEE ALSO: Feast of the Holy Rosary

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "It is as if every year Our Lady invited us to rediscover the beauty of this prayer, so simple and profound," said the Pope, referring to the feast of the Virgin of the Rosary, observed on Oct. 7.

The rosary, a "contemplative and Christocentric prayer, inseparable from the meditation of sacred Scripture," is "the prayer of the Christian who advances in the pilgrimage of faith, in the following of Jesus, preceded by Mary," continued the Pontiff.

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

59. Poemen related a saying of Ammon, 'One man kept an axe with him all his life but did not know how to cut down a tree; another knew how to use an axe, and could cut down a tree with a few strokes. 'He used to say that the axe was discretion.'

October 5, 2006 

(Isa 1:16-18) Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your devices from my eyes, cease to do perversely, Learn to do well: seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge for the fatherless, defend the widow. And then come, and accuse me, saith the Lord: if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool.

LINK: Examination of conscience is healthy for the body and soul

Reflection by Father Ted – for October 02, 2006 

My dearest Lord Jesus, once again You surprise me by the wisdom of others. I did not expect to be so well taught this afternoon by You and by one of Your priests.

Again You have reminded me of the incredible love that You have for me – as You do for each person.

On this feast day of the Guardian Angels You have reemphasized that it was because of Your love that You entrusted me at the moment of my conception to one of Your angelic beings.

You gave to him the awesome responsibility to watch over me – to protect me – to enlighten me – to correct me.

That he has done for the past 73 years since I was conceived sometime in November of 1933.

He has helped me to become the man that You created me to be.

He has guided me – enlightening my conscience and sometimes even warning me what to avoid.

When I listened to him, I was protected from many harms. When I did not, I suffered the consequences – and hopefully learned from my stubbornness of heart.

He has told me many times what I needed to do. When I listened to him, I was blessed – and others were too.

Thank You, Jesus, for this companion.

May he continue to watch over me and to guide me and to enlighten and correct me.

This afternoon You also taught me to know myself better.

You have been teaching me to accept myself as Your beloved child and to know myself as a sinner – one who has not done everything that You have wanted me to do.

I have given into my sinful inclinations.

I have not avoided occasions of sin.

I have resisted Your graces.

I have needed Your forgiveness – which You have so generously offered to me through Your sacramental gift of Penance. And through a brother priest I have been forgiven my sins.

You have also been teaching me not to be so serious. Just as You were playful as You were growing up, so do I need to be.

And I thank You for this ability to be as playful as I am.

Jesus, may I always focus on You – doing what You want me to do. May I love You and others as You do.

Thank You Jesus for giving me life. Thank You for loving me to life. Thank You for enabling me to love others as You do.

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

58. A brother said to Poemen, 'If I see something wrong do you want me to tell you about it? 'He said to him, 'It is written, "If a man answers before he has heard, it is foolishness to him and discredit" (Ecclesiasticus 11:8). If you are asked, speak; if not, say nothing.'

October 4, 2006 

(Pro 24:11-12) Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, "Behold, we did not know this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not requite man according to his work?

OPINION: Abortion is ultimate form of child abuse but no law protects unborn

The headline of the Indianapolis Star Monday morning, Sept. 18, read "2 babies at Methodist Hospital die of overdose." This was truly a sad story. The wrong amount of medication was accidentally delivered to these little ones resulting in their deaths.

The families were devastated; the hospital staff mourned; the hospital chaplain was called in to console the mothers. Yet these same mothers could have aborted these babies at any time during their pregnancy for any reason and nothing would have been said. No one would mourn.

The headlines every morning could read "34 babies died yesterday at Indianapolis abortion clinic" or "3,472 babies died yesterday at abortion clinics across the nation." Abortion is the ultimate form of child abuse and yet no law protects the rights of the unborn baby.

And so I pray. I pray for the mothers who have chosen to have an abortion -- that they will seek God's forgiveness and grace. I pray for an effective means of educating people in our community that abortion kills children. I pray that those considering an abortion would recognize that adoption is a loving option. And I pray that every baby will have a chance to live.

RELATED: Faithful pray for unborn during pro-life rosary walk

THE DARK SIDE: Women Sign 'We Had Abortions' Petition

VIA C-FAM: UN Compliance Committees New Front Line in UN Abortion Debate

Leading scholars on both sides of the abortion debate agree that the push to make abortion an international human right has shifted from the UN General Assembly, where treaties are negotiated, to the inner-workings of UN compliance committees, where treaties are monitored.

In an article in Human Rights Quarterly, “Feminist Influences on the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies,” law professor Rachael Lorna Johnstone found that the committees responsible for monitoring human rights treaties have successfully adopted the feminist agenda. Countries that have ratified human rights treaties are required to report to the treaty bodies every few years. While the bodies have no power to enforce their recommendations, the format of the process is like that found in a court in which the country is judged by the committee and their “recommendations” and comments are handed down like decisions.

RELATED: Abortion on the Rise In Latin America

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

57. Poemen also said, 'If a thought about your bodily needs comes to you, and you put it aside; and then it comes again, and you put it aside, what will happen? If it comes a third time, you will not notice it, and it will do you no harm.'

October 3, 2006


A Vatican conference on bioethics has reaffirmed that human embryos are endowed with an “inviolable character” from the moment they are first created.

The conference, which was conducted over the Internet, saw some of the Church's leading theologians including Bishop Elio Sgreccia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life conclude that God loves every human embryos from the moment of creation.

The discussion was opened and closed by Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy.

He presented the mystery and dignity of the human embryo with the words of Psalm 139:13-14: "You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew," he said.

"These words on the transcendent nature of the human person and his very high dignity acquire a richness of particular significance when we enter the new horizons opened by biology, genetics and molecular medicine.

"They are scientific horizons that open astonishing knowledge on man's biological life and delicate ethical questions for human freedom."

He added: "we have heard the reaffirmation of the inviolable character of the biological nature of every man, as he forms a constitutive part of the individual's personal identity in the course of the whole of his existence."

The conference closed with a condemnation of the “arbitrary” search for a genetic process to clone humans.

"The project of human cloning represents a terrible deviation which a science without values has reached," said Cardinal Hoyos.

"To halt the project of human cloning is a moral imperative which must be translated into cultural, social and legislative terms," he affirmed.


Priest: Church OKs non-embryonic stem cell research
Life does begin at conception
Catholic Ethics Experts Refute New Stem Cell Claims
EU approves human stem cell research

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

55. A brother came to Poemen and said to him, 'Many thoughts come into my mind and put me in danger.' He sent him out into the open air, and said, 'Open your lungs and do not breathe.' He replied, 'I can't do that.' Then he said to him: 'Just as you can't stop air coming into your lungs, so you can't stop thoughts coming into your mind. Your part is to resist them.'

September 29, 2006


(Mat 19:14) but Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."



October 1 - October 10 An Invitation to Prayer and Fasting

This year the Week (actually 10 days) takes place from Sunday, October 1 through Monday, October 10, 2006. The goals of the International Week of Prayer and Fasting are the conversion of nations, an end to abortion, and to build a culture of Life . We ask people to participate by doing the following:

* Fasting
* Daily Masses
* Holy Hours of Eucharistic Adoration
* Daily Rosary
* Divine Mercy Chaplet
* Attend Mass
* Promote Eucharistic Adoration


Priests for Life: Observing Respect Life Sunday New Website Details Thousands of Violent Crimes by Abortion Supporters
See also: Life Chain 2006

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

54. He also said, ' A grumbler is not a monk. Anyone who gives evil for evil is not a monk. An irritable man is not a monk.'

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