Keep your eyes open!...


October 29, 2010 


(Heb 12:1-2) And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us: Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who, having joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and now sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God.

NEWS ARTICLE: A holier 'ween: Some stress saints over sinners at holiday

LINK: Night of Light Campaign

VIA Father Corapi:
Angels and Demons: Facts, NOT Fiction an excerpt from the book, "Ever Ancient Ever New" by Father John Corapi

There have been a number of television shows, movies and various articles on the subject of angels and the demonic in recent years.  Most of this material is pure fiction, yet the part that is not fiction is an acknowledgment that they both exist.

As part of the Church's catechesis on creation it is necessary to speak of both the angels and the devil, Satan, or the demonic.  "The Apostles' Creed professes that God is the 'Creator of heaven and earth.' The Nicene Creed makes it explicit that this profession includes 'all that is, seen and unseen" (Catechism #325).

The profession of faith of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) affirms that God from the beginning of time made at once (simul) out of nothing both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal, that is, the angelic and the earthly, and then (deinde) the human creature who as it were shares in both orders, being composed of spirit and body." (#327)

The Catechism clearly asserts that "the existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls 'angels' is a truth of the faith" (#328), the witness of Scripture being as unanimous as tradition.  In other words, there is no question about it: the angels are real, not the figment of someone's medieval imagination.  It is a truth of the faith.  This quite simply means that for a Catholic, one must accept this as part of God's revelation.  One may not understand it, but one must accept it on faith, and then seek the understanding that faith can ultimately bring.  Although, it being understood, that we'll never understand in this life God and all his mighty works perfectly.  We would have o be God to understand him perfectly.

The angels are creatures, pure spiritual beings whose mission or office is to be messengers and servants of God (#329).  "As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, [with the exception of the Mother of God] as the splendor of their glory bears witness." (#330)

The Lord Jesus Christ is the author, center, and end of all creation including the angelic world.  They are "his angels." As the Catechism teaches, "they belong to him because they were created through and for him...They belong to him still more because he has made them messengers of his saving plan." (#331)

The existence and activity of the angels is more than obvious in both the Old and New Testaments.  To say, by the way, that they are mere "literary figures" in Scripture in the name of so-called biblical scholarship is an affront to and an attack upon true scholarship.  All Scripture has to be read as a totality, in the light of tradition, and applying the analogy of faith.  When this is done it is clear that the Church's teaching s constant in that angels are really beings, not mere literary devices.  They have played a key role in salvation history.

...[E]ach and every person benefits from the ministry of the angels.  The Church has long taught that we have a "guardian angel" to guide and protect us through life.  "From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their (the angels') watchful care and intercession.  Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life." Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.

The existence and malevolent activity of the devil or Satan and the fallen angels or demons is likewise a teaching of the church that must be accepted by all.  "The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing." (#391)

Through the misuse of the gifts of intellect and free will the devil (Lucifer) and those who went his way chose irrevocably to reject God and his reign.  Their choice is irrevocable because of their higher nature.  Men get a second chance, and many more than that, but the angels clearly saw what they were doing.  Hence, "There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death." (#393)

Christ came to cast out the evil one and his works of lying and death and did so through the humble obedience which led him always to accept the Father's will, even unto the death of the cross.  The essence of the diabolic is that pride and arrogance which leads to disobedience.  This leads to fracturing and division.  Stepping outside of the truth who is God himself results in this division.

Those who are most powerful in christ through his Church, which is called to fight against "the liar and father of lies, the murderer from the beginning" (cf..  Jn 8:2f) (the devil), are those who are most humbly obedient to God's authority working through the church.  The devil can do nothing when he comes up against those who obey most humbly Christ's church and her teachings.  On the other hand, he is most powerful and untiringly active working through those who imagine themselves to be above the Church's teaching authority.  Humility leads to obedience, which leads to life.  Pride leads to disobedience, which leads to death.  This is the lesson of the book of Genesis.  It is the lesson of the cross.

With the angels of the Lord we humbly and obediently praise and give thanks to the Father through Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit for all that God's creative and redemptive power has wrought.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

32. As mere hearsay does not provoke violent desire to taste what the eye has not seen, so those who are chaste in body get great relief through their ignorance.

October 28, 2010 

(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.

TIDINGS ONLINE: What Makes Catholic Morality Work?

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "The Sacrament of Penance is also important. It teaches me to see myself as God sees me, and it forces me to be honest with myself. … Even when we have to struggle continually with the same failings, it is important to resist the coarsening of our souls and the indifference which would simply accept that this is the way we are. … Moreover, by letting myself be forgiven, I learn to forgive others. In recognising my own weakness, I grow more tolerant and understanding of the failings of my neighbour."

REFLECTION by Father Ted – October 26, 2010

My dearest Lord Jesus, thank You for allowing me to be at the Medjugorje Peace conference this past weekend – especially for allowing me to hear the confessions of so many of Your beloved children.

You have always been desirous of us to take advantage of this great sacrament.

And yet You know how few actually do.

You also know why they do not.

I too have learned why so few take advantage of this great gift of mercy.

We, Your clergy, have not taught them the blessings of confessions.

We, Your clergy, have not exhorted them to accept these blessings.

And, of course, our adversary, Satan and his associates, have discouraged Your wounded children from seeking this gift of mercy.

Like Daniel, I want to ask You, dearest Jesus, to forgive me and my brother priests for not teaching Your chosen ones the marvelous truths of our faith.

We have failed to teach them how to experience Your incredible love.  We have not shown them how to know You personally.

We have failed to teach them not only the Ten Commandments but also the Six Precepts of Your Holy Roman Catholic Church.

We have failed to show them the blessings of a deep prayer life – by not becoming the men of prayer that You and Your Holy Fathers have urged us to be.

How many of us, Your priests, take advantage of the privilege that You give to us of offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass daily?  How many of us, Your priests, take advantage of the privilege that You give to us of spending time in adoration of You – truly present in the Holy Eucharist, daily?

How many of us, Your priests, take advantage of the privilege that You give to us of praying the Rosary daily – which Your Mother pleaded with us to do through the children of Fatima?  How many of us, Your priests, take advantage of the privilege and the obligation that You give to us of praying the Divine Office daily?  How many have bought the lie that we only need to pray Lauds and Vespers?

Because we have not been the men of prayer that You have called us to be, many of us have given into the temptations of the devil and have not only sinned, but have caused scandal to our other brothers and sisters by giving into these weaknesses.

Help us, Jesus, to change, to become those holy men that You want us to be.  Help us to inspire our other brothers and sisters to become holy too.  Help us to evangelize the world.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

31. As winds stir the deep, so, more than all other things, bad temper disturbs the mind.

October 27, 2010 

(Php 1:27-28) Only let your conversation be worthy of the gospel of Christ: that, whether I come and see you, or, being absent, may hear of you, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind labouring together for the faith of the gospel. And in nothing be ye terrified by the adversaries: which to them is a cause of perdition, but to you of salvation, and this from God.

HEADLINE: Iran Begins Loading Fuel into Core of Bushehr Nuclear Plant

Iranian media report workers have begun loading fuel into the core of the country's first nuclear power plant in the southern city of Bushehr. The process began in August, but was delayed due to a leak in a storage pool.

Top Iranian officials watched as fuel began being loaded into the Bushehr nuclear power plant Tuesday.

Repeated delays in completing the plant, followed by delays in putting it online have created embarrassment for the Iranian government.

The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency Ali Akbar Salehi spoke to Iranian TV says that today, Tuesday, marks the final stage in the start up process, as fuel is loaded into the reactor's core. He notes that the process is not finished, however, and that it could take two or three months to inject the full 163 fuel rods into the reactor.

Salehi also indicated that the plant probably won't be connected to Iran's national power grid until mid February. He claimed at the plant's inauguration in August that it would produce electricity by November.

Russia, which built the plant, is providing it with nuclear fuel and will take back all spent fuel rods. Iran has also agreed to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor the process.

The U.S. and other Western states have given Russia the green light to launch Bushehr but oppose Iran's illicit enrichment of uranium at a plant in Natanz. Tehran insists Natanz is part of a civilian nuclear program, but the West fears it is part of a covert project to build nuclear weapons.

STRATFOR COMMENTARY: Obama, the Elections, and Iran

DEBKAFILE: War preparations advance around and in Iran

RELATED: If Iran Gets the Bomb

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

30. As the sun makes gold glitter, so virtue makes manifest the man who possesses it (cf. Mat 5:14).

October 26, 2010

(Gal 3:28-29) There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ's, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise.

HEADLINEPope Ends Synod on Middle East with Strong Call for Peace

Pope Benedict held mass at Saint Peter's Basilica Sunday to mark the closing of a two-week special synod of bishops on the Middle East.  He used the occasion to issue a strong call for peace in the region.

The pope said one must never resign oneself to the lack of peace.  Peace is possible, it is urgent and it is the indispensable condition for a life worthy of the human person and of society.

The pope addressed participants to the special synod for the Middle East, who have been meeting in the Vatican for two weeks.  He said in recent days they shared the joys, pains, concerns and hopes of Christians in the region.

In his homily, the pope called for dialogue, saying that persistent conflicts, wars, violence and terrorism have plagued the Middle East.

The pope said Christians can help promote authentic religious freedom, a fundamental right that every state should respect.  He said that in many Middle Eastern countries the space for religious freedom is often very limited.

Pope Benedict added that widening this space of freedom is necessary to guarantee to members of the various religious communities true freedom to live and profess their faith.  And this, he said, could become the subject of dialogue between Christians and Muslims, a dialogue whose urgency and usefulness was stressed by the synod participants.

MORE: Vatican rejects "chosen people" claim, calls on Israel to end "occupation"

A high-ranking Israeli official on Sunday slammed a statement from Catholic bishops, who called for international organizations to lead the cause of Palestinian statehood.

Greek-Melchite Archbishop Cyrille Bustros sparked an interreligious firestorm when he suggested that Israel was “using Scripture” to continue its occupation of Palestinian territory.

"The Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians,” Bustros said at the close of a two-week conference in Rome, Italy, “to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands.” The Archbishop then questioned the biblical idea of a “promised land” set aside by a specific group of people.

"We Christians cannot speak of the promised land as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people,” Bustros continued.  "This promise was nullified by Christ.  There is no longer a chosen people – all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people."

Bustros led the group that drafted the synod's concluding statement on Israel and the Palestinians.

The controversial comments came at the conclusion of a two-week Vatican conference assembled to discuss the plight of Christians in the Middle East.

Pope Benedict XVI was in attendance at the synod and celebrated Mass in St.  Peter's Cathedral on Sunday with the bishops.

RELATED: Middle East synod wraps up with call to action

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

29. As he who wears perfumes makes his presence felt by the fragrance whether he wants to or not, so he who has the Spirit of the Lord is known by his words and his humility.

October 22, 2010


(Heb 11:1-2) Now, faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not. For by this the ancients obtained a testimony.


Who Can Read the Gospel During a Liturgy
Relationships with non-Catholics
Praying Posture
Jehovah Witness Doctrine

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

REFLECTION by Father Ted – October 18, 2010

My dearest Lord Jesus, the ending words of Your gospel yesterday for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Times – year C, were rather shocking? For You asked us – "But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

I know that when You brought judgment on Jerusalem in 70 AD, You did not find that faith among the people of Juda and Israel.

If You were to come back at this time, 2010, would You find faith on earth?

I would like to say “Yes.” But wouldn’t I be deceiving myself?

If there were faith on earth, wouldn’t we be living that faith daily?

Wouldn’t there be many, many more Catholics worshipping the Father with You each Sunday at Holy Mass?

Wouldn’t there be many, many more Catholics taking advantage of daily Mass?

Wouldn’t there be many, many more Catholics praying the Rosary daily – like our Lady exhorted us during her apparitions at Fatima in 1917?

Wouldn’t there be many, many more Catholics taking advantage of frequent confession?

Wouldn’t there be many, many more Catholics taking part in Eucharistic Adoration – not only weekly, but even daily?

Wouldn’t there be many, many more young Catholic couples getting married in the Catholic Church?

Wouldn’t there be many, many more young men responding to Your call to the Priesthood and to the religious life?

Wouldn’t there be many, many more young men and women who know the importance and beauty of the virtue of purity?

If we were living that faith that You offer to us, would we be tolerating the rampant practices of co-habitation, of abortion, of promiscuity, of pornography?

If we were living that faith that You offer to us, would we be experiencing the rampant violence within our communities?

If we were living that faith that You offer to us, would there be such extensive poverty and hunger among the poor?

If we were living that faith would not more of our brothers and sisters know and accept the awesome call that You offer to everyone to become holy – just as You are holy?

Lord Jesus, help us to seek that faith that we need, as You want to give to us.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

28. As water in a strait often rises, so the soul that is straitened by dangers ascends to God by repentance and is saved.

October 21, 2010 

(2Ti 2:1-3) Thou therefore, my son, be strong in Christ Jesus: And the things which thou hast heard of me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men who shall be fit to teach others also. Labour as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

HEADLINE: Pope Names Archbishop Raymond Burke, Critic of Obama and Pro-Choice Pols, a Cardinal

Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday said he would elevate two dozen churchmen to the influential rank of cardinal, a rank that for 20 of them includes the power to vote on a successor to the 83-year-old pontiff after his death. Among those tapped is an American archbishop who has become one of the harshest critics of President Obama and pro-choice politicians -- and of bishops he feels are not sufficiently hard line.

The pope's appointment of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, formerly head of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and currently the top judge on the Vatican's supreme court, was balanced by the nomination of Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl, a churchman of moderate temperament who has resisted calls by conservatives to police the altar rail by denying communion to pro-choice Catholic public figures in the capital.

Burke is just 62 and will have a long run as an elector if he lives to 80. He was also promoted ahead of other American candidates, such as New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

Burke is also one of the most controversial Catholic bishops, even among an increasingly conservative hierarchy.

While heading the St. Louis archdiocese for several years, he pushed hard to use the denial of communion -- the central Catholic sacrament -- as a means to discipline Catholic politicians with whom he disagrees, and he has continued to press that position since his appointment to the Vatican in 2008.

And earlier this month, in an impassioned speech to an anti-abortion conference in Rome, Burke again said that Catholic politicians who support abortion rights or same-sex marriage should not only be denied communion but also a Catholic funeral when they die. And he added that he didn't think the American bishops were doing a good job of imposing penalties.

"When shepherds of the flock are obedient to the magisterium [church teaching] entrusted to their exercise, then surely the numbers of the flock grow in obedience," Burke told members of Human Life International. "If the shepherd isn't obedient, the flock easily gives way to confusion and error."

Quoting the Prophet Zechariah, he said the shepherd -- meaning bishops -- can be "especially tempted" by the assaults of Satan who, "if he can strike him, the work of scattering the flock is made easy."


"It is clear that we are presently experiencing a period of intense and critical struggle in the advancement of the culture of life in the world. Many governments and international organizations openly and aggressively follow a secularist, anti-life and anti-family agenda. Even though religious language may be used and the name of God invoked, programs and policies are proposed for the people without respect for God and His Law, in the words of the Venerable Pope John Paul II, as if God did not exist (Pope John Paul II, Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles laici, On the Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World, 30 December 1988, no. 34).

Now more than ever, the world needs the consistent witness to the truth, expressed in the Sacred Scriptures and in Tradition, which is the condition of the possibility of a culture which respects fully the gift of human life and its origin in procreation, that is, in the cooperation of man and woman with God through the conjugal union and through education in the home which they have formed by marriage."

ST. LOUIS REVIEW: Cardinal-designate Burke's biography

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

27. As oil tames the sea even against its will, so fasting quenches the involuntary burnings of the body.

October 15, 2010


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

POPE BENEDICT XVI: Pray rosary as "spiritual weapon"

VIA MANILLA: A Prayer of Miracles

VIA Bread of Heaven International Prayer Group: *The Value of the Rosary*

Father Gabriel Amorth, chief exorcist of the Vatican writes:

One day a colleague of mine heard the devil say during an exorcism:

"Every Hail Mary is like a blow on my head.  If Christians knew how powerful the Rosary was, it would be my end." The secret that makes this prayer so effective is that the Rosary is both prayer and meditation.  It is addressed to the Father, to the Blessed Virgin, and to the Holy Trinity, and is a meditation centered on Christ.

I write in addition to the above: Please enunciate each word of the Rosary clearly and distinctly.  Do not trample on the heels' of the words of anyone with your words.  Do not speak over the leader, if you are following, or the responders if you are leading the Rosary.  Remember that they also are having a conversation with Mary Our Mother and it is not polite to speak when someone else is speaking.

In the case of the public Rosary there are only two people speaking, the Leader and the Responders.  Each are speaking to their Mother and listening carefully to her response within their hearts as they meditate on the scene before them in their consideration of the mystery being spoken of and interpreted and translated into their lives.  Spread this powerful prayer of exorcism, The Rosary which contains the Our Father, the Perfect Prayer, prayed five times in the recitation of each set of the Rosary's Mysteries, backed up by the powerful prayers of Our Mother who prays with us as we pray 53 Hail Mary's.  The Eternal Father described to a group of us, through a Visionary Friend of mine, what happens when we pray the Rosary, saying, "When you pray Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now....., the Blessed Mother comes instantly to your side to pray with you.  And she does not come alone.  She brings angels with her.  And not just one or two for she is the Queen of Angels, so choirs of angels come with her.  And she and Jesus are joined at the heart and cannot be separated so she brings Jesus with her.  And Jesus cannot be separated from the Trinity so He brings the Father and the Holy Spirit with Him.

And where the Holy Trinity is all of creation is and you are surrounded by such beauty and light as you cannot imagine in this life.  Your Mother comes as Our Lady of Grace with her hands out-stretched.  Rays of light emit from her hands piercing your body, healing you and filling you with graces.

This is your inheritance which was poured out from the heart of Jesus on the Cross, when the centurion pierced His Heart with the spear, into the only pure vessel ready to receive such graces at that time,Your Mother.

Now as you pray the Rosary, or even just recite one Hail Mary, you receive your portion of these graces."He also said at this time, "Anyone who goes to our Blessed Mother Mary and prays the Rosary cannot be touched by Satan." Is it any wonder that anyone who prays the Rosary from the heart is so blessed and protected and powerful in their prayers for others?" Learn the Rosary!

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

26. As steel is attracted to the magnet even against its will, for it is drawn by an inexplicable force of nature, so he who has contracted sinful habits is tyrannized by them.

October 14, 2010 

(Jud 1:9) When Michael the archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses, he durst not bring against him the judgment of railing speech, but said: The Lord command thee.

Mario Sepulveda, rescued Chilean miner: ""I think I had extraordinary luck.  I was with God and with the devil.  And I reached out for God."

CNS: As miners are rescued, Chileans unite in prayer

: It was surely praying at their 'makeshift shrine' that kept the Chilean miners sane

Consider the following CNA report from Santiago, which appeared on August 27: “The 33 miners trapped in the San Jose mine in Atacama, Chile, have requested that statues and religious pictures be sent down to them as they wait to be rescued… Chilean officials say the rescue could take months but that they hope to reach the miners by Christmas… A small passageway has already been put in place so messages and supplies can be sent to the trapped miners.

“Although a crucifix has already been sent down, the miners are continuing to request more statues of Mary and the saints… to construct a makeshift chapel.  ‘The miners want to set up a section of the chamber they are in as a shrine,’ Chilean’s Minister of Health, Jaime Manalich, told CNN.

“This week, President Sebastian Pinera spoke with the miners by phone and then placed a statue of St Lorenzo, the patron of miners, in the presidential palace together with 32 Chilean flags and one Bolivian flag to represent each of the miners trapped since August 5.” One of the first things the miners’ relatives did at the pithead, while it still looked as though they must be all dead, was to set up a statue of St Lawrence, patron saint of miners (see above), who in statues of him in this role movingly wears a miner’s hat and carries a miner’s lamp.  And the whole rescue mission was placed under his patronage: it was called simply Operation San Lorenzo.

The rescue, as I post this, is not complete; not everyone is out.  But whatever the final outcome, there has already been one vastly moving outcome among the miners themselves: the whole thing has been a massive spiritual triumph, a glorious victory against despair and loss of hope, against the quarrelling and division which naturally and inevitably break out, so the psychologists tell us, whenever men are confined together for prolonged periods of time.  And surely even the Guardian can hardly argue that this great human achievement had nothing to do with that beacon of hope, the shrine set up in a corner of that unspeakable underground hell.

THE INDEPENDENT: The strokes of "luck" that saved the 33

Caspar Quintana, Catholic bishop of Copiapo: "God has heard our prayers. I have received comments of encouragement from all over the world. Let us give thanks."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

25. When poor men see the royal treasury, they are still more conscious of their poverty; and so too when the soul reads about the virtues of the Fathers, it at least comes to a more humble frame of mind.

October 13, 2010 

(Rev 12:15-17) And the serpent cast out of his mouth, after the woman, water, as it were a river: that he might cause her to be carried away by the river. And the earth helped the woman: and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

VATICAN RADIO: Pope Urges Simple Faith of True Wisdom

Taking into account this connection between Theotokos and Mother of the Church, the Pope recalled Apocalypse. And thus stated that Christ must always be born to the world, with the fall of the gods, of the "great powers of history today". Those false gods, summarised the Pope, include anonymous capitalism, forms of life that have trivialized immorality, terrorist ideologies carried out in the name of God, drugs.

Anonymous capitalism, he said is "one of the great powers of our history", a contemporary form of slavery. "The anonymous capital makes a slave of man", he said, adding that "they are no longer things of man but have become an anonymous power that man serves, and for which he suffers and dies." "This is a destructive power that threatens the world."

Likewise the "power of terrorist ideologies, promoted in the name of God" which must be "unmasked ". "It is apparently in the name of God that these acts of violence are carried out, but it has nothing to do with God and instead everything to do with false gods that must be exposed". "Drugs, this power that like a voracious beast puts its hands on the earth and destroys it." Finally, "forms of life touted by the public opinion today for which values like marriage count for nothing anymore, chastity is no longer a virtue and so on."

The Pope continued, "these ideologies that dominate, so much so they forcibly impose themselves, and become gods. And in the sorrow of the saints, in the pain of believers, the Mother Church of which we are part, these gods must fall".

Like "in time of the early Church, even today there is need for the" blood of martyrs "to transform the world". Pope Benedict then referred to Chapter 12 of Revelation, where the dragon unleashed a stream of water against the Mother. It seems, the Pope says, "that the woman has drowned in this river. But the good earth absorbs this river and it can not bring harm".

"I think the river can easily be interpreted: these are the currents that dominate everything and that want to wipe out the faith of the Church, which no longer seems to have a place before the strength of these currents which are imposed as the only rationality, as the only way of life. And the land which absorbs these currents is the faith of simple people, who can not be carried away by these rivers and so save the Mother and save the Son. "

MORE FROM POPE BENEDICT XVI: Church in the Middle East, An Instrument of Reconciliation

John and Gloria (Israeli Catholics): The conflict here in the Middle East is now becoming critical. The increasing influence of Iran and radical Islam in the region signals the end of political compromise and peacemaking for the foreseeable future (Islamic radicals have opposed the ‘peace process’ from its very inception).

Furthermore, this radical Islamic alliance openly seeks the elimination of the State of Israel and promotes the hatred and murder of Jews. It is estimated that within a few years the Iranians will have the nuclear weapons needed to realize these genocidal aims. Since they refuse to halt their nuclear weapons project in response to international demands, it is inevitable that this project will come under attack before it reaches fruition. This attack will certainly provoke an extensive and painful war in the Middle East region, as well as Islamic insurgency and economic instability throughout the Western world. Western military force can be expected to prevail and the radical Islamic alliance will be militarily crushed. What happens next depends very much on how a Western victory in this war is interpreted, and this is where different religious traditions and convictions play a crucial role. In Israel and among the Jews, the sense of deliverance from a nuclear holocaust will reach messianic proportions. With the crushing of militant Islamic power, the Jews will wish to express their victory by removing the Islamic presence from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and rebuilding their temple in its former place. According to Jewish religious law, the leader who accomplishes this is their messiah, whose reign inaugurates their messianic age. The same leader will be compelled to enforce a radical programme for restoring order among the religiously mixed populations under his control.

Among Muslims, the crushing defeat will signal the need to rebuild their military power, reinforce their alliances in the East and prepare for a final attack against the now dominant and unrivalled Western power.

Among Christians, the prophecy of the Book of Revelation, which will have been announced previously by the two witnesses, will enable Christians to identify the messianic reign of the Jews with the brief, 42-month, reign of the Beast (Rev 11,7; ch.13). They will also be able to identify the final attack launched by the rulers of the East as the eschatological Battle of Armageddon (Rev 16,12-16; 19,11-21). So by reading the signs of the times, they will prepare themselves for an intense. though brief, period of persecution, in which they may be called to witness their faith in Jesus, up to death.

By calling the meeting "Communion and Witness", the Synod currently being held in Rome, on the plight and flight of Christians in the Middle East, seems also to be anticipating a period of persecution and martyrdom. According to the Zenit newsletter (01/10/10): <<Jesuit Father Samir Khalil Samir, who will be a general rapporteur at the Synod, said Christians should prepare themselves for potential martyrdom -- a possibility that he sees growing as Middle East governments increasingly appease the extremists. But he stressed: “I cannot tell people: ‘You have to remain and our vocation is to be martyrs.’ No, this is not our vocation; our vocation is to try to make peace.”>>. It is significant that Fr. Samir is based in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, which is looking more and more like the next place to fall under the brutal and oppressive domination of fundamentalist Islam.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

24. As the man under sentence who is going to execution will not talk about theatres, so he who truly weeps for himself will never gratify his stomach.

October 12, 2010 

(Mar 13:32-33) But of that day or hour no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray. For ye know not when the time is.

RECENT HEADLINE: Ahmadinejad Asks Allah To Hasten Coming Of The Twelfth Imam And Bring Islamic "Victory": How Should We Respond?
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made yet another inflammatory speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday (September 23, 2010). He began by praying, “O God, hasten the arrival of Imam al-Mahdi and grant him good health and victory and make us his followers and those who attest to his righteousness.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking at the U.N. on Thursday.

Rosenberg said, “Imam al-Mahdi is another name for the ‘Twelfth Imam’ or the ‘Hidden Imam.’ Shia Muslims believe this Islamic messiah will come at the End of Days to destroy Judeo-Christian civilization as we have known it, force infidels to convert or be executed, and will set up a one-world Islamic government known as the ‘caliphate.’ Ahmadinejad believes the way to ‘hasten’ the Twelfth Imam’s coming is to annihilate the U.S. and Israel. This would bring about the ‘victory’ that Ahmadinejad prayed for on American soil.”

Rosenberg went on to say, “The speech went downhill from there. Ahmadinejad accused the U.S. government of masterminding the 9/11 attacks in order to save Israel. Few in the West, including our leaders, understand what Ahmadinejad and his colleagues in the Iranian government believe. And that’s the problem. Unless the leaders and the people of the world wake up, war is coming. The leaders of Iran, including the Ayatollah Khamenei, believe it is their job to hasten the the apocalypse and the end of the world.


South Lebanon eager to see Ahmadinejad at Israel's doorstep
Ahmadinejad warns nobody dares aggression against Iran
Iranian Revolutionary Guards take charge of South Lebanon
Ahmadinejad set to appear with Nasrallah at Al-Raya rally


One thing is certain. The view of possible war in the Middle East looks very different for those of us sitting here in Israel than it does for those watching from elsewhere. Ahmadinejad's upcoming visit to Lebanon next week has caused quite a stir in Israel. One thing we do know is that the south of Lebanon is nearly covered with Iranian flags to welcome Ahmadinejad. That's not a good sign.

We are also being informed that he has ordered Hezbollah to take over the Lebanese government [much as Hamas did in Gaza], once he has departed Lebanon. But the last attack from the Lebanon border was by Lebanese soldiers, not Hezbollah, and they killed one of our officers and wounded others. It is no surprise to us that Lebanon has, for all intents and purposes, already been taken over by Hezbollah. It is also well known that the Lebanese Army has been heavily infiltrated by Hezbollah and recruitment goes on daily in the military ranks.

Additionally, Syria has signed a pact with Iran agreeing to go to war if either country is attacked by Israel and they have made it known that it is them who are behind the takeover of Lebanon by Hezbollah.

I am aware that I am simplifying the situation somewhat so that it may be more easily understood. Nevertheless, I will say this the fire keeps getting hotter and the war drums are beating louder. However, that is a component of terrorism isn't it?

We keep believing that war could begin any day now, yet somehow it doesn't. Don't misunderstand me. It will, and soon. And the world will be greatly changed as a result. The economy, communications, and global politics will change in such a way that for the average citizen it will be 'survival' only which will occupy their minds. Those World Leaders who feel they can make a better world after it all falls apart, believing themselves to be god's will simply be setting the stage for the rise of antichrist and his 'mark'.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

23. Just as clouds hide the sun, so evil thoughts darken and ruin the mind.

October 8, 2010 

(John 15:18-20) If the world hate you, know ye that it hath hated me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept my word, they will keep yours also.

HEADLINE: Vatican synod mulls Middle East Christian exodus

With Christianity dwindling in its Middle Eastern birthplace, Pope Benedict has convened Catholic bishops from the region to debate how to save its minority communities and promote harmony with their Muslim neighbours.

For two weeks starting on Sunday, the bishops will discuss problems for the faithful ranging from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and strife in Iraq to radical Islamism, economic crisis and the divisions among the region's many Christian churches.

They come from local churches affiliated with the Vatican, but the relentless exodus of all Christians -- Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants -- has prompted them to take a broad look at the challenges facing all followers of Jesus there.

While conditions for Christians vary from country to country, the overall picture is dramatic.  Christians made up around 20 percent of the region's population a century ago, but now account for about five percent and falling.

"If this phenomenon continues, Christianity in the Middle East will disappear," said Rev.  Samir Khalil Samir, a Beirut-based Egyptian Jesuit who helped draw up the working documents for the October 10-24 synod at the Vatican.

"This is not an unreal hypothesis -- Turkey went from 20 percent Christian in the early 20th century to 0.2 percent now," he told journalists in Paris.  The Christian exodus since the U.S.-led 2003 invasion "could bleed the Church in Iraq dry."

INTERVIEW FRANCISCAN FATHER JAEGER: Christians in Middle East much more than a numbers game

Christian communities in Middle East

Truly Catholic


Urgent Synod to renew besieged believers
Iraqi Christians flee homeland even as war fades
Christianity is the most persecuted religion, say European bishops

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

22. As galloping horses race one another, so a good community excites mutual fervour.

October 7, 2010 

(1Th 5:17) Pray without ceasing.

POPE BENEDICT XVI: Holy Father prays that rosary might fortify faithful in theological virtues

October is Holy Rosary Month

Catholics celebrate this month the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In the Philippines, Holy Rosary Month is marked with novenas, processions, and recitations of the Holy Rosary. The liturgical feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated every October 7.

At the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary on Quezon Avenue in Quezon City, also known as the Sto. Domingo Church, novena masses will be held to pay homage to Mama Mary for answered prayers, and petitions.

Historians say the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary was instituted by Pope Pius V after the Christian victory over the Turks in 1571 and celebrates the intercession and protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary to those devoted to praying the Rosary and meditating on the mysteries of the life of Christ, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) said.

In the 1570s, Pope Pius V called on all of Europe to pray the Rosary for the Christian armies who had been battling the Turks who were invading Europe from the east.

The faithful were ordered to recite the Rosary and go on a 40-hour devotion in Rome at the height of the battle.

The Christian fleet, outnumbered by the Turks, inflicted an impossible defeat on the Turkish Navy, demolishing the entire fleet in the battle of Lepanto on Oct. 7, 1571.

In memory of the triumph, he declared that day as the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary because of her intercession in answering the mass recitation of the Rosary and obtaining the victory.

Because of this, Pope Pius V has also been called "the Pope of the Rosary."

Legend also shows that the Rosary as a form of prayer was given to St. Dominic (1170- 1221) by Mary, the Mother of Our Lord, who entrusted it to him as an aid in the conflicts with the Albigensians.

In the Philippines, the second Sunday of October marks the feast of the Spanish naval fleet victory over the Dutch in 1636 off Bataan. The Spanish-Filipino forces traced their victory to ptayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, calling the naval triumph "La Naval." To celebrate the victory, a long Marian procession was started in Intramuros.

The La Naval procession has been drawing thousands of the faithful to Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City and is now one of the highlights of October.

Pope John Paul II has called the Rosary his favorite prayer, in which we meditate with Mary upon the mysteries which she as a mother meditated on in her heart.

The Rosary is prayed by meditating the mysteries of the life and death of Jesus Christ. These mysteries are Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and Luminous."


The Rosary
Parishioner can't imagine a day without praying rosary
Focus on the Rosary

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

21. As hens' eggs that are warmed in dung hatch out, so thoughts that are not confessed hatch out and proceed to action.

October 6, 2010

(Mar 4:23-25) If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And he said to them: Take heed what you hear. In what measure you shall mete, it shall be measured to you again, and more shall be given to you. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, that also which he hath shall be taken away from him.

MARK MALLET: The Popes, and The Dawning Era

EXCERPT: The Mystery of Evil by Fr. James Farfaglia

“An enemy has done this”. Satan has destroyed the modern world through sexual sin. The world is sexually out of control. The modern world has become obsessed with sexual sin and through sexual sin modern man is telling God: Non serviam; I will not serve. Do not tell me what to do about anything. I will do what I want to do.

Because of this total rejection of God, man has become dehumanized. Man kills his own children through abortion and has become obsessed with sexual perversion, especially homosexuality.

Moreover, the smoke of Satan that Pope Paul VI warned us about has made its way especially through the ranks of the Catholic priesthood. Thankfully we see signs of renewal. Newly appointed bishops are cleaning house and the refreshing waves of younger priests are noticeably reverent, obedient, orthodox and pro-life. However, we have a long way to go.

False prophets and charlatans, even seemingly orthodox ones, continue to scandalize the faithful by their immature and incoherent lives. Pray for us priests, because we are the prime targets of Satan. We are engaged in a gigantic battle against evil. What are the weapons that we must use?

First of all, we must be completely convinced of the ultimate victory of our Savior, Jesus Christ. "Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father." The judgments of time will be corrected by the judgments of eternity.

Secondly, we must persevere. Do not allow discouragement to overcome you.

Thirdly, we must stay connected with Jesus. Left to our own resources, our fallen human nature cannot resist evil. Daily, structured organized moments of prayer are essential if we are to survive. As our physical immune system needs to be well nourished in order to resist disease, so too does our spiritual immune system need daily sustenance. "The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings" (Romans 8:26). Daily Mass, daily meditation on the Scriptures, daily recitation of the Rosary, frequent Confession and the solitude of Eucharistic Adoration are the preferred moments that provide health and strength to anyone who desires to continue the good fight.

Fourthly, your family life needs to be strong. Get back to basics: order, discipline, have dinner together, limit all the crazy activities, build up a healthy emotional life by building up a healthy social life. If there is peace and happiness in your family life, it will be very difficult for Satan to attack your home.

Fifthly, be very, very careful about the use of the TV and the Internet. Pornography is a very serious and common addiction.

Let us recall the words that I quoted from Pope Paul VI: “He is the malign, clever seducer who knows how to make his way into us through the senses, the imagination and the libido, through utopian logic, or through disordered social contacts in the give and take of our activities. He can bring about in us deviations that are all the more harmful because they seem to conform to our physical or mental makeup, or to our profound, instinctive aspirations."

Finally, get back to the regular use of the Sacrament of Confession. This is your greatest weapon against Satan. Satan has convinced the world that he does not exist. He has lied to the world that there is no sin. He continues to dupe everyone into believing that everyone is going to Heaven. When our Blessed Mother appeared to the three children of Fatima in 1917, they were allowed to see a vision of Hell. Thousands of poor souls were falling into Hell, and our Blessed Mother told the children that more souls were being lost because of sexual sin than any other sin.

“An enemy has done this”. Use these proven methods against the attack of Satan in order to gain the eternal salvation of your soul. “Whoever has ears out to hear”.

RELATED: The Culture of Contraception

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

20. As tempered iron can sharpen untempered, so a fervent brother has often saved an indolent one.

October 1, 2010

(Eph 4:17-19) This then I say and testify in the Lord: That henceforward you walk not as also the Gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind: Having their understanding darkened: being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts. Who despairing have given themselves up to lasciviousness, unto the working of all uncleanness, unto covetousness.

EDITORIAL: Life in the Late Republic: The Catholic Role in America After Virtue by Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

REFLECTION by Father Ted – September 30, 2010

My dearest Lord Jesus, when will we begin to teach Your beloved children, Your beloved youth how to become holy, how to become more like You?

You want them to become holy. You want them to experience the deep passionate love that You have for each one of them. You want them to see in You all the virtues that You want to see in them. You want to teach them.

If we bring them to You, You will teach them.

One of the great virtues that You want them to have is purity. You want them to be pure in mind, in heart and in body. When they truly get to know You, they will want to be pure in mind, in heart and in their bodies.

You know the struggles that they are experiencing right now. You know how to resolve these difficulties.

Oh Jesus, help us to bring these children to You so that You can teach them.

Recently I have become more aware of how the evil one, Lucifer and his associates have been seducing them through pornography – even before they become adolescents – even before they experience the challenges and struggles of puberty.

How can they deal with these challenges and become victorious over these struggles of puberty without Your help, without Your strength?

Seeing what is portrayed on the Internet through pornography is now one of the great temptations of our young boys and girls. It is attractive and it is definitely addictive. It distorts for them, as it does for many young adults and older adults the truth about Your gift of sex. For You created sex as one of Your greatest and most sacred of gifts to mankind.

Through the intimacy of sex You have given to us the ability to co-create with You the image of our human love for each other – as man and woman. That is why You have restricted the use of this gift to married couples only.

You want us to learn how to use this extraordinary gift as a true expression of love. You want us to know how to experience the true delights of sexual pleasure in the right way.

Sadly, the evil one, through our society has distorted the use of this sacred gift for us. Our society has focused on only the pleasure aspect.

And so through pornography our society has been exposing our youth to images that arouse them and entice them to act out what they have seen – pictures and even videos – either by themselves or with others.

We have not protected these children of Yours from this.

Nor have we taught them how to deal with their normal sexual inclinations so that they can remain pure and chaste and become wholesome and prepared for the joys and the responsibilities of married life.

You tell us that only with Your help can we deal realistically with our sexual inclinations. That is one of the reasons why You, especially through Mary, Your Mother, have exhorted us to pray so often.

Prayer, besides enabling us to become closer to You and Your Father and Your Holy Spirit, gives to us the strength to resist all the temptations that we experience – including our sexual ones.

The greatest of the prayers that You have offered to us, our course, is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. That is why You exhort us to take part in the Mass every Sunday. And that is why Satan has conned so many not to take part in the Mass every Sunday.

When we give into our sexual inclinations, You exhort us to take advantage of Your Sacrament of Penance – not only to confess our sin and to receive forgiveness, but also to obtain the graces to resist future temptations. And that is why Satan has conned so many not to go to confession.

Jesus, help us, help Your children and youth to know the true meaning of our sexuality. Help us and them to know how to become pure and to become holy. Help us and them to become more like You.
CATHOLIC ONLINE: Prayer for Purity

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

19. As a blind man is an unskilled archer, so a contradictory disciple is lost.

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