Keep your eyes open!...


October 30, 2012  

(Mar 10:51-52) And Jesus answering, said to him: What wilt thou that I should do to thee? And the blind man said to him: Rabboni. That I may see. And Jesus saith to him: Go thy way. Thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he saw and followed him in the way.

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT: Catholic teaching trumps party loyalty on abortion

BISHOP DAVID RICKEN: An Important Moment           
CATHOLIC MORALITY BLOG: Fr. Edward J. Richard, Catholic Priest and moral theologian: Blindness to Moral Truth Is Bankrupting Us

"Master, I want to see."

In the dialogue between Jesus and the blind man, Bartimaeus (Mk 10:46-52)  we are able to learn that God can do something for us that we cannot do for ourselves.  He can restore us to wholeness.  The blind man is completely without any power to save himself from this condition.  No one can help him. Yet, he believes that Jesus Christ can restore his sight.

This work of God is prompted, in this case, by a plea for mercy. “Son of David, have pity on me.”  God’s mercy is infinite.  Each of us is keenly aware of this even if we lose sight of it, at times.  Sometimes we feel as though we are completely without hope.  How odd that this man, with no sight, could still “see” and understand that the one passing before him had the quality of one who was a true Son of David and a dispenser of God’s mercy.

As we are all too aware, the time is near for us to go once again to the polls to pick our representatives in government.  If you are like me, you feel something like the blind man begging for God’s mercy.  Our nation is in deep debt financially and already spiritually bankrupt. According to the data issued by US Treasury and the Census Bureau, the amount of national foreign debt per US household is almost 50,000 dollars ($47,495). I cannot see how we can expect to continue as we are going in the spiritual area.  God’s patience with us is truly beyond all human comprehension.

Before we think about the outcome of the elections, though, we need to consider our condition and who it is that is passing along this way. Whether it is our own spiritual health, or our nation’s spiritual health, we need to grasp our blindness.  We need to admit our nation’s blindness regarding some fundamental moral issues.

It is certainly true that there is room for legitimate discussion on the various positions on the economy and taxes and helping those in need.  It is a good thing to support programs which give a priority to helping the poor.  Political parties have their programs for dealing with these issues and one is free to discern which is best.  However, no political program has any moral claim to continue to incur debt to be assumed by future generations.  (Think of your own children and grandchildren).  Such debt, even for the support of programs that aid those in need must be reduced by economic development that is characteristic of authentic human development.  Economic development that is authentically human does not permit us to unjustly deny anyone the fundamental right to life or violate the natural law right to privately owned property by confiscation of that property without a just cause and just compensation.  This means that we must not choose lightly to incur debt to be paid by someone else.

At the same time, there are some issues that are not negotiable and so fundamental that they take precedence even over giving financial aid to the poor. If Jesus were passing by today, it looks like many in our nation would not know what he would require of us in our blindness.  Many of us need to open ourselves up to God’s mercy.  But we are so confused through a blindness to moral goodness.  Will we refuse to call upon Jesus for fear that he might, indeed, help us to see that the right to life and the sanctity of marriage are not to be violated?

As reported on, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Il, recently wrote, “a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.”  The bishop criticized the political support for the so-called right to abortion and the right to have it paid for by taxpayers.

He also said, “Moreover, the [current] Democratic Party Platform also supports same-sex marriage, recognizes that "gay rights are human rights," and calls for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law signed by President Clinton in 1996 that defined marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.”

Also, the Bishop of Green Bay Wisconsin, Bishop David Ricken has said that the church has a responsibility to “speak out regarding moral issues, especially on those issues that impact the ‘common good.’” He points to principles to keep in mind in the voting booth on Nov. 6, regarding abortion, euthanasia, … and gay marriage. “A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program that contradicts fundamental contents of faith and morals,” Ricken wrote. “Some candidates and one party have even chosen some of these as their party’s or their personal political platform. To vote for someone in favor of these positions means that you could be morally ‘complicit’ with [or share responsibility for] these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy.”

If one cannot see the possible spiritual dangers in supporting those who promote these evils, that person is like the blind man who is in danger of falling into a deep chasm that lies ahead.

I do not wish to influence anyone’s vote in any way.  I know that what I say here will not affect the outcome of any election.  About that, I am not too concerned. Most people have already decided, anyway. As a pastor, however, I want people to know that there are consequences to their choices. Voting in such a way that one promotes tax-payer funded abortion or same-sex marriage is an action that, in the present circumstances, is impossible to justify from a moral point of view.

“Master, I want to see.” You and I are on the roadside begging for the Lord’s compassion.  May we hear Jesus say to each of us, "Go your way; your faith has saved you."

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

12. Grant, O my God, that throughout my life, I may love Thee with true, ardent and persevering love.

October 29, 2012 

(Luk 21:25-26) And there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea, and of the waves: Men withering away for fear and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved.

SPIRITDAILY: Random Thoughts on Storms and Little Quakes and the Ignored Sins of Idolatry


ANN BARNHARDT BLOG: Maximum Culpability: Why God's Wrath is Certain

: Catholic Charities USA and Local Agencies Prepare for Hurricane Sandy

 As the East coast prepares for the impact of Hurricane Sandy, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) one of the country's leaders in disaster response, is working with its network of local agencies to ensure they have provisions in place to any possible needs the Hurricane may create in their communities.

Rev. Larry Snyder, President of CCUSA says, "Since Hurricane Katrina, we have focused on being prepared for future disasters. He adds, "Not only are we early responders, but our presence in the community also puts us in a position to be able to quickly assess and provide support in the long-term."

In a call with CCUSA's disaster response team with agencies along the east coast that may be impacted by the storm, it was clear that the most difficult part of the preparedness process is the uncertainty that exists from not knowing exactly what the impact will be.

"One of the biggest mistakes people make is taking these types of weather warnings lightly," says Samuel Chambers, Senior Vice President of CCUSA's Disaster Operations. "Reports from the National Weather Service make it clear that many of our agencies on the East coast--from New York all the way down to Florida--will be feeling some impact from Hurricane Sandy and we stand ready to provide whatever support necessary to meet the needs of those affected."

RELATED: Tips on preparing for East Coast superstorm

HURRICAMS:  Watch these webcams as Hurricane Sandy hits the US East Coast


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Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

12. Grant, O my God, that throughout my life, I may love Thee with true, ardent and persevering love.

October 26, 2012 


(2Ma 12:43-46) And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection. (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

PURGATORY PROJECT: Perpetual Masses are said for "All souls in the Purgatory Project"

SERAPHIC MASS ASSOCIATION: Include the names of your loved ones in our All Souls' Novena

: 'Prayers, Promises, and Devotions for the Holy Souls in Purgatory'

BHLA: 12 Steps to Avoid Purgatory excerpts from "How to Avoid Purgatory", By Fr. Paul O'Sullivan

*1.* In every prayer you say, every Mass you hear, every Communion you receive, every good work you perform have the express intention of imploring God to grant you a holy and happy death and no Purgatory. Surely God will hear a prayer said with such confidence and perseverance.

*(Note: Read about the tremendous value of the Mass, here: (

*2.* Always wish to do God's will. It is in every sense the best for you.  When you do or seek anything that is not God's will, you are sure to suffer. Say, therefore, fervently each time you recite the Our Father: Thy will be done.

*3.* Accept all the sufferings, sorrows, pains and disappointments of life, be they great or small, ill health, loss of goods, the death of your dear ones, heat or cold, rain or sunshine as coming from God. Bear them calmly and patiently for love of Him and in penance for your sins. Of course, one may use all his efforts to ward off trouble and pain, but when one cannot avoid it let him bear it patiently. Impatience and revolt make sufferings vastly greater and more difficult to bear.

*4.* The greatest act in Christ's life was His Passion. As He had a Passion so each one of us has a Passion. Our Passion consists in the sufferings and labors of every day. Therefore, let us do our work, accept its disappointments and hardships and bear our pains in union with the Passion of Christ. We gain more merit by a little pain than by years of pleasure.

*5.* Forgive all injuries and offences for in proportion, as we forgive others, God forgives us. Go to confession. This sacrament does more than "just" rid us of our sins; it gives us a tremendous increase in sanctifying grace. It wins for us a higher place in Heaven, with increased union with God. Each time we go to confession, we are preserved from many dangers and misfortunes which might otherwise have befallen us. A devout confession helps us to hear the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, and to hear and follow the advice of our guardian angels.

*6.* Avoid mortal sins, deliberate venial sins and break off bad habits.  Then it will be relatively easy to satisfy God's justice for sins of frailty. Above all avoid sins against charity and chastity in thought, word and deed for these sins are the reason why many souls are detained in Purgatory for a long time.

*7. *If afraid of doing too much work, do many little things, acts of kindness and charity, give the alms you can, don't grumble or complain when things are not as you please, don't complain of others, never refuse to do a favor for others when possible. These and such acts are a splendid penance.

*8.* Do all in your power for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Pray for them constantly, get others to do so, join the Friends of the Poor Souls and ask all those you know to do likewise. The Holy Souls will repay you most generously.

*9.* There is no more powerful way of obtaining from God a most holy and happy death than by weekly confession, daily Mass and daily communion.
Masses may be arranged after or before someone's death to expedite their time in Purgatory.

*10.* A daily visit to the Blessed Sacrament – if only for three or four minutes – is an easy way of obtaining the same grace. Kneel in the presence of Jesus with eyes fixed on the Tabernacle or Monstrance, sure that He is looking at you, then repeat little prayers like these: My Jesus, Mercy. My Jesus, have pity on me a sinner. My Jesus, I love you. My Jesus, give me a happy death.

*11.* Wear the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. "Whosoever dies clothed in this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire." This is the Blessed Virgin Mary's Promise, made July 16, 1251 to St. Simon Stock. The Sabbatine Privilege is Mary's promise to release from Purgatory soon after death, all those who: 1) wear the brown scapular 2) observe chastity according to their state in life and 3) say the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary every day. To be eligible for this scapular promise, one must be enrolled.

*12.* Use holy water to remit venial sin. Because of the blessing attached to it, Holy Mother Church strongly encourages its use upon her children, especially when danger threatens, such as fire, storms, sickness and other calamities. Every Catholic home should have a supply of holy water.  Sprinkle some holy water on the ground, then make the Sign of the Cross and pray: "By this holy water and by Thy Precious Blood, wash away all my sins and the sins of the Poor Souls in Purgatory, O Lord".

CATHOLIC DOORS: Prayer for the Holy Souls

Immortal God, holy Lord, Father and Protector of all You have created, we raise our hearts to You today for those who have passed out of this mortal life.

In Your loving mercy, Father, be pleased to receive them in Your heavenly company, and forgive the failings and faults they may have done from human frailty.

Your only Son, Christ, our Savior, suffered so cruelly that He might deliver them from the second death. By His merits may they share in the glory of His victory over sin and death.

For all the faithful who have died we pray, but in particular for those dear to us, parents, relatives, and friends. Nor do we forget all who did good to us while on earth, who helped us by their prayers, sacrifices, and example. We pray also for any who may have done us harm, and stand in special need of Your forgiveness.

May the merits and prayers of our Virgin Mother, Mary, and those of all Your angels and saints, speak for us and assist them now. We ask this in Christ's name. Amen.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

9. You ask me for some short prayer by which to testify your love for God.  I know of and consider nothing more efficacious than this same love, for when one loves, everything speaks of love, even our most absorbing occupations can be a proof of our love.  Love then- as St. Augustine says- and do what you will.

October 25, 2012 

(Jos 24:14-16) Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him with a perfect and most sincere heart: and put away the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve thee Lord, And the people answered, and said, God forbid we should leave the Lord, and serve strange gods.

MEDITATIONS: Thoughts by St Theophan (1815-1894)

[Col. 3:17-4:1; Luke 9:44-50]

Whosoever shall receive Me, receiveth Him that sent Me, said the Lord, while He that sent Him is God. Consequently, whosoever confesses the Lord, confesses God; whereas whosoever does not confess Him, does not confess God. You will say: I confess Christ to be a great, most wise, universal teacher. No, confess Him as He Himself speaks of Himself, that He and the Father are one, persons of one Divine nature, separate, but one in honour and coreigning. If one does not confess thus, no matter how much he has honoured the Lord, it is the same as if he does not confess Him; while not being His confessor, he does not confess the Father either, he does not confess God. That is why, no matter what displays you make of honouring God, you do not honour Him if you do not confess the Lord Jesus Christ as the Only-Begotten Son of God, incarnate for our sake, and Who saved us through His death on the cross.

It is not all the same which God one confesses as long as one confesses: those who worship the sun and stars, or invented creatures, are not called honourers of God, because they did not consider as God what is God. Thus, whosoever does not confess the Lord is not an honourer of God, because he does not confess the God who is the true God. The true God does not exist without the Son co-eternal and co-unoriginate. Therefore, once you cease to confess the Son, you no longer confess the true God. Only God will discern what your confession is worth; but since for us God is revealed as the true God, apart from this revelation one cannot have the true God.

EXCERPT CNA: Cardinal George warns US secularization is more serious than elections

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago has said that the “secularizing” of American culture is a “much larger issue” than political causes or the outcome of the presidential elections, warning against a rise of anti-religious sentiment and restating his fears of a future persecution in the United States.

“The world divorced from the God who created and redeemed it inevitably comes to a bad end. It’s on the wrong side of the only history that finally matters,” Cardinal George said in his Oct. 21 column for the Catholic New World.

He said the 2012 political campaigns have brought to the surface “anti-religious sentiment, much of it explicitly anti-Catholic, that has been growing in this country for several decades.” Secularism, he said, is just “communism’s better-scrubbed bedfellow.”

Cardinal George also touched on reports that he believes a successor of his will be martyred. Those stories came from his remarks to a group of priests several years ago.

“I am (correctly) quoted as saying that I expected to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square,” the cardinal wrote.

However, he said the reports left out his last phrase about the bishop who succeeds a possible martyr: “His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.”

The cardinal said he was trying to express “in overly dramatic fashion” what the “complete secularization” of society could bring.

“What I said is not ‘prophetic’ but a way to force people to think outside of the usual categories that limit and sometimes poison both private and public discourse.”

Cardinal George said his predecessor Cardinal George Mundelein acted similarly in his 1937 criticisms of Adolph Hitler, whose Nazi government had dissolved Catholic youth groups, silenced the German bishops in the media and tried to discredit the Church’s work through putting on trial priests, monks and sisters accused of immorality.

Cardinal Mundelein had warned that there is no guarantee “that the battlefront may not stretch some day into our own land.” American Catholics’ silence could mean that “we too will be fighting alone.”


Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

8. As it is love alone which produces in us the desire of conformity with our Sovereign Master, we can only attain to this conformity by loving Him supremely.

October 23, 2012 

(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.

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "May the witness of these new saints, and their lives generously spent for love of Christ, speak today to the whole Church, and may their intercession strengthen and sustain her in her mission to proclaim the Gospel to the whole world. "

NEWS: Pope Benedict XVI canonized 7 new saints

Thousands of pilgrims from around the world gathered on St. Peter’s Square to witness the ceremony distinguishing the saints.

The Vatican held a ceremony to name 7 new saints. Pope Benedict XVI led the special mass that marks the start of a new beginning by the Catholic Church to deepen the spirituality of followers in a “Year Of Faith”.

In order to qualify for sainthood, a nominee must be recognized as responsible for a miracle.

The pope delivered a homily praising all 7 new saints, saying they “lived their lives in total consecration to God and in generous service to their brothers”.

Thousands of people, including American Indians, gathered on the square outside St. Peter’s Basilica which was decked with portraits of those being canonized.

One of the 7 new saints is Pedro Calungsod, a 17th century Filipino teenage martyr, who drew the biggest crowd of all the saints, with Rome’s massive Filipino expat community turning out in flag-waving droves to welcome the country’s second saint.

Two of the new 7 saints are Americans: Kateri Tekakwitha, the 1st Native American saint from the U.S. and Mother Marianne Cope, a 19th century Franciscan nun who took care of lepers in Hawaii.

FULL TEXT: Pope Benedict XVI: Canonization Homily

PHOTOS: The Vatican's 7 new saints

PROFILES: The 7 new Catholic saints


Lily Of The Mohawks: Long journey to sainthood
Saint for youth, OFWs
Hawaii twice blessed

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

7. If we wish to have the love of the divine Heart as our guest, we must empty and detach our heart from its affection for creatures and for ourselves.

October 19, 2012 


(Luk 12:4-5) And I say to you, my friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will shew you whom you shall fear: Fear ye him who, after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you: Fear him.

VATICAN RADIO: Cardinal Tauran: Solidarity with Syrians

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is one of the Synod Fathers who will form part of a delegation that is expected to travel to Syria next week. Making the announcement of the visit on Tuesday, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State said the group was being sent by the Holy Father in order to express solidarity with the Syrian population.

Speaking from the Synod on Wednesday Cardinal Tauran said the delegation’s trip to Damascus will have three dimensions. First of all there will be an expression of “human solidarity towards people who are suffering, we think for example the elderly… the sick, the poor.” The second dimension is spiritual solidarity which the Cardinal says is for the families “and those who are suffering and we rejoice with those who are rejoicing in this moment of great trial for the Catholic and the Christians in general in Syria.

Cardinal Tauran adds that the delegation will also be there to offer encouragement to those who are trying to help find a solution to the conflict. “We must help those who are in charge of society and the general political landscape.”


Dear brothers and sisters,

We cannot be mere spectators of a tragedy like the one that is unfolding in Syria: some of the interventions we have heard in the hall bear witness to this. Certain that the solution to the crisis cannot be but political and thinking of the immense suffering of the population, the fate of the evacuees as well as the future of that nation, some of us suggested that our synodal assembly might express its solidarity. 

The Holy Father has thus arranged for a delegation to make its way in the next few days to Damascus with the aim of expressing, in his name and in all our names:
our fraternal solidarity to the whole population, with a personal offering from the Synodal Fathers as well as from the Holy See;our spiritual closeness to our Christian brothers and sisters; our encouragement to all those who are involved in the search for an agreement that respects the rights and duties of all with particular attention to what is demanded by humanitarian law.

The delegation will be made up of Synodal Fathers:
- His Em. Card. Laurent Mosengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa;
- His Em. Card. Jean-Louis Tauran, President of Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue;
- His Em. Card. Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York;
- His Exc. Mons. Fabio Suescun Mutis, Military Ordinary of Colombia;
- His Exc. Mons. Joseph Nguyen Nang, Bishop of Phat Diem;

In addition to the Synodal Fathers quoted above, the following persons are part of the delegation:
- His Exc. Mons. Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State;- Mons. Alberto Ortega, Official of the Secretariat of State.


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Syria crisis: 28,000 disappeared, say rights groups
Christians before the conflicts in the Middle East

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

6. Never forget Him Who died for love of you. You will only love Him in so far as you know how to suffer in silence, preferring Him to creatures and eternity to time.

October 18, 2012 

(Eph 6:10-13) Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord and in the might of his power. Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore, take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day and to stand in all things perfect.

LINK: The Catholic Warrior: Spiritual Warfare Prayers

MEDITATIONS: Thoughts by St Theophan (1815-1894)

[Eph. 5:25-33; Luke 4:1-15]

The devil approaches the God-man with temptations. Who among men is free of them? He who goes according to the will of the evil one does not experience attacks, but is simply turned more and more toward evil. As soon as one begins to come to himself and intends to begin a new life according to God's will, immediately the entire satanic realm enters into action: they hasten to scatter good thoughts and the intentions of the repentant one in any way they can. If they do not manage to turn him aside, they attempt to hinder his good repentance and confession; if they do not manage to do that, they contrive to sow tares amidst the fruits of repentance and disrupt his labours of cleansing the heart. If they do not succeed in suggesting evil they attempt to distort the truth; if they are repulsed inwardly they attack outwardly, and so on until the end of one's life. They do not even let one die in peace; even after death they pursue the soul, until it escapes the aerial space where they hover and congregate.

You ask, “What should we do? It is hopeless and terrifying!” For a believer there is nothing terrifying here, because near a God-fearing man demons only busy themselves, but they do not have any power over him. A sober man of prayer shoots arrows against them, and they stay far away from him, not daring to approach, and fearing the defeat which they have already experienced. If they succeed in something, it is due to our blundering. We slacken our attention, or allow ourselves to be distracted by their phantoms, and they immediately come and disturb us more boldly. If you do not come to your senses in time they will whirl you about; but if a soul does come to its senses they again recoil and spy from afar to see whether it is possible to approach again somehow. So be sober, watch, and pray — and the enemies will do nothing to you.

[Col. 1:18-23; Luke 8:22-25]

When they got in the ship to sail to the other side of the lake, did the apostles think that they would meet with a tempest and expose their lives to danger? Meanwhile, a tempest suddenly arose and they did not expect to remain alive. Such is the path of our life! You do not know how or from where misfortune will sweep in, capable of destroying us. Air, water, fire, beasts, man, bird, house, in a word — everything around us could suddenly be transformed into a weapon for our death.

From this comes a law: live in such a way that every minute you are ready to meet with death and fearlessly enter into its realm. This minute you are alive, but who knows whether you will be alive the next? Keep yourself according to this thought. Do everything you have to, according to the routines of your life, but in no way forget that you could immediately move to a country from which there is no return. Forgetting this will not postpone the determined hour, and intentional expulsion of this decisive upheaval from your thoughts will not lessen the eternal meaning of what will happen after it. Commit your life and all into the hands of God; spend hour after hour with the thought that each hour is the last. From this the number of empty pleasures will decrease; while at death this deprivation will be immeasurably recompensed with a joy to which there is nothing equal in the joys of life.

VIA A MOMENT WITH MARY: In the Silence of God

The Prince of this world was ignorant of Mary's virginity and of her giving birth, and even of the death of the Lord: three resounding mysteries which were accomplished in the silence of God.

St Ignatius of Antioch (+107)
Letter to the Christians of Ephesus 18, 2-19, 2

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

1. On awakening, enter in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and consecrate to It your body, your soul, your heart and your whole being, so as to live but for Its love and glory alone.

October 16, 2012 

(Rev 6:4) And there went out another horse that was red. And to him that sat thereon, it was given that he should take peace from the earth: and that they should kill one another. And a great sword was given to him.

FIDES - SYRIACaritas: The Humanitarian Emergency Widens

As the conflict continues, "humanitarian crisis increases more nad more: although we do our best we are not able to meet all the needs of refugees. We urgently need other humanitarian aid ": is what the lay Catholic Pascal Kateb, Secretary General of Caritas Syria, who coordinates the work of the organization in Damascus says to Fides.

"We are present in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs and other areas affected by the conflict. We work in very difficult conditions - continues Kateb - But there are thousands of displaced who need assistance and Caritas is among the few organizations that has reached remote or dangerous areas by virtue of its neutrality, recognized in all the contexts where it works in the world. But the situation gets heavier every day."

The Director told Fides: "In Damascus alone Caritas assists 1,500 families who need everything, and many displaced come from the area of Homs . We are not asking refugees the ethnic group or religion they belong to: they are from all communities and religions. In Aleppo, currently, Bishop Antoine Audo, our President, is having to operate in difficult conditions, while we know that in some areas there is intense fighting. In Homs we work together with the Jesuits of the Jesuit Refugee Service, and we are very close to the people who suffer. "

MORE: "In Aleppo the population is completely worn out because for three months insecurity, unemployment, poverty has reigned, and schools are closed and in hospitals doctors and medicines are lacking. However, we see a high degree of solidarity among families and we see that young people are mobilized to serve the poor ", this is what His Exc. Mgr. Antoine Audo, Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo and President of Caritas Syria, tells Fides Agency with regards to the situation in the city of Aleppo.

The suffering of the Syrian population was yesterday at the center of the prayer raised by the participants in the Synod on the New Evangelization, in progress in the Vatican. "Concerned about the tragic situation of the Syrian people - said Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, Secretary General - the Pope and the synodal fathers assure their closeness to the people of this troubled land, shaken by so much violence. They ensure their constant prayer for the victims of such barbarity, who are mostly poor people and children. They ask the Lord for war and violence to stop and that a fair solution is found."


HEADLINE: Turkish Military Chief Warns Against Further Syrian Shelling

The head of Turkey's armed forces says the military will respond with greater force if shelling from Syria continues to spill across the border.

General Necdet Ozel gave the warning Wednesday during a visit to the Turkish border village of Akcakale, where cross-border shelling killed five people last week. Turkey responded with six days of retaliatory artillery fire into Syria.

At an Organization of Islamic Cooperation meeting in Istanbul, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the Syrian government, saying its actions are “hurting the heart of humanity and the whole Islamic world.”

Mr. Erdogan said there are 99,000 Syrian refugees in his country now, and he expects more to cross into Turkey to flee the violence between Syrian government and rebel forces.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials say the U.S. military has sent 150 planners and specialists to Jordan to help with a surge of Syrian refugees. The team is also preparing for other possible developments, including a widening of the conflict and the potential that Syria will lose control of its chemical weapons.

YOUTUBE: Breaking!! Leaked Video of the FSA Terrorists Behind False Flag Attack on Turkey


Ready for war: Turkey tanks and battleships at ready over Syria threat
Syria and Turkey impose airspace ban on each other

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

30. This Feast [of the Sacred Heart] is a day of salvation and of eternal blessing for all who honor It with a humble and sincere heart.  Let us, then, love this divine Heart and in all things try to conform ourselves to It.

October 11, 2012 

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

ROME REPORTS: Pope names two new Doctors of the Church: St. Hildegard of Bingen and St. John of Avila

FIRST THINGS: St. Hildegard of Bingen, Doctor of the Church

: The Apocalyptic Prophecies of Hildegard of Bingen, the next Doctor of the Church by Brian Kopp

Earlier this fall, Pope Benedict XVI beatified Venerable Elena Aiello, bringing to light her little known prophecies, which have strong parallels to those of both Our Lady of Akita as well as statements Pope JPII and Cardinal Ratzinger made in the past regarding the Third Secret of Fatima. See this earlier blog post for a summary of the parallels.

Now, Pope Benedict XVI is drawing attention to St. Hildegard of Bingen, by declaring her a Doctor of the Church.

In addition to her many accomplishments, St. Hildegard is also known for a number of apocalyptic prophecies:


"The time is coming when princes and peoples will reject the authority of the Pope. Some countries will prefer their own Church rulers to the Pope. The German Empire will be divided.  Church property will be secularised. Priests will be persecuted. After the birth of Antichrist heretics will preach their false doctrines undisturbed, resulting in Christians having doubts about their holy Catholic faith."

"At that period when antichrist shall be born, there will be many wars and right order shall be destroyed on earth. Heresy will be rampant and the heretics will preach their errors openly without restraint. Even among Christians doubt and scepticism will be entertained concerning the beliefs of Catholicism."

"Toward the end of the world, mankind will be purified through sufferings. This will be true especially of the clergy, who will be robbed of all property. When the clergy has adopted a simple manner of living, conditions will improve.

"At this time as a punishment for their sins Christians especially will attempt armed resistance to those who at that time are persecuting them, sensing no concern for the death of their bodies".  CONTINUED:

SPIRITDAILY LINK: Prophecies of St. Hildegard

Saint Hildegard of Bingen

Various female figures stand out for the holiness of their lives and the wealth of their teaching even in those centuries of history that we usually call the Middle Ages. Today I would like to begin to present one of them to you: St Hildegard of Bingen, who lived in Germany in the 12th century. She was born in 1098, probably at Bermersheim, Rhineland, not far from Alzey, and died in 1179 at the age of 81, in spite of having always been in poor health. Hildegard belonged to a large noble family and her parents dedicated her to God from birth for his service. At the age of eight she was offered for the religious state (in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, chapter 59), and, to ensure that she received an appropriate human and Christian formation, she was entrusted to the care of the consecrated widow Uda of Gölklheim and then to Jutta of Spanheim who had taken the veil at the Benedictine Monastery of St Disibodenberg. A small cloistered women's monastery was developing there that followed the Rule of St Benedict. Hildegard was clothed by Bishop Otto of Bamberg and in 1136, upon the death of Mother Jutta who had become the community magistra (Prioress), the sisters chose Hildegard to succeed her. She fulfilled this office making the most of her gifts as a woman of culture and of lofty spirituality, capable of dealing competently with the organizational aspects of cloistered life. A few years later, partly because of the increasing number of young women who were knocking at the monastery door, Hildegard broke away from the dominating male monastery of St Disibodenburg with her community, taking it to Bingen, calling it after St Rupert and here she spent the rest of her days. Her manner of exercising the ministry of authority is an example for every religious community: she inspired holy emulation in the practice of good to such an extent that, as time was to tell, both the mother and her daughters competed in mutual esteem and in serving each other.

During the years when she was superior of the Monastery of St Disibodenberg, Hildegard began to dictate the mystical visions that she had been receiving for some time to the monk Volmar, her spiritual director, and to Richardis di Strade, her secretary, a sister of whom she was very fond. As always happens in the life of true mystics, Hildegard too wanted to put herself under the authority of wise people to discern the origin of her visions, fearing that they were the product of illusions and did not come from God. She thus turned to a person who was most highly esteemed in the Church in those times: St Bernard of Clairvaux, of whom I have already spoken in several Catecheses. He calmed and encouraged Hildegard. However, in 1147 she received a further, very important approval. Pope Eugene iii, who was presiding at a Synod in Trier, read a text dictated by Hildegard presented to him by Archbishop Henry of Mainz. The Pope authorized the mystic to write down her visions and to speak in public. From that moment Hildegard's spiritual prestige continued to grow so that her contemporaries called her the "Teutonic prophetess". This, dear friends, is the seal of an authentic experience of the Holy Spirit, the source of every charism: the person endowed with supernatural gifts never boasts of them, never flaunts them and, above all, shows complete obedience to the ecclesial authority. Every gift bestowed by the Holy Spirit, is in fact intended for the edification of the Church and the Church, through her Pastors, recognizes its authenticity.

I shall speak again next Wednesday about this great woman, this "prophetess" who also speaks with great timeliness to us today, with her courageous ability to discern the signs of the times, her love for creation, her medicine, her poetry, her music, which today has been reconstructed, her love for Christ and for his Church which was suffering in that period too, wounded also in that time by the sins of both priests and lay people, and far better loved as the Body of Christ.

Saint Hildegard of Bingen (PART 2)

BLOG: The Fire of St. Hildegard

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

29. Let us not be grieved if our desires for the glory of the divine Heart are not at once fulfilled.  This delay is only permitted because He takes pleasure in seeing the increase of our zeal and eagerness for His glory.

October 9, 2012 

(Joh 2:4-5) And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.

POPE BENEDICT XVI: Angelus: Rediscovering the Rosary in the Year of Faith

Dear Brothers and Sisters, we now turn in prayer to Mary, whom we venerate today as Queen of the Holy Rosary. At this time, at the Shrine of Pompeii, the traditional "Supplication" is being elevated to which countless people throughout the world are joined. While we associate ourselves spiritually in this choral prayer, I would like to suggest to everyone to renew the prayer of the Rosary in the upcoming Year of Faith. With the Rosary, we allow ourselves to be guided by Mary, model of faith, in meditating on the mysteries of Christ, and day after day we are helped to assimilate the Gospel, so that it shapes all our lives. Therefore, in the wake of my predecessors, especially the Blessed John Paul II, who ten years ago gave us the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, I invite you to pray the Rosary personally, in the family and in the community, learning at the school of Mary, which leads us to Christ, the living centre of our faith.

VIA A MOMENT WITH MARY: Act of Entrustment to Mary by Pope John Paul II           
We Entrust to You the New Millennium

Today we wish to entrust to you the future that awaits us, and we ask you to be with us on our way. We are the men and women of an extraordinary time, exhilarating yet full of contradictions.

Humanity now has instruments of unprecedented power:
we can turn this world into a garden,
or reduce it to a pile of rubble.
We have devised the astounding capacity
to intervene in the very well-springs of life:
man can use this power for good, within the bounds of the moral law,
or he can succumb to the short-sighted pride
of a science which accepts no limits,
but tramples on the respect due to every human being.

Today as never before in the past,
humanity stands at a crossroads.
And once again, O Virgin Most Holy,
salvation lies fully and uniquely in Jesus, your Son. 
Pope John Paul II in the presence of 1,500 bishops in Rome, on October 8, 2000

VIA A MOMENT WITH MARY: The Word Rosary Means Crown of Roses (I)

In ancient times, the Romans and the Greeks used to crown with roses the statues that represented their gods as a symbol of the offering of their hearts.
Following this tradition, the Christian women who were taken to martyrdom by the Romans, marched through the Coliseum dressed in their full-color clothing and their heads adorned with crowns of roses, as symbols of joy and giving their hearts to God as they were about to encounter him. At night, the other Christians gathered their crowns, and for each rose they recited a prayer or a psalm for the eternal rest of the soul of the martyrs.

The Church recommended praying the rosary, which consisted of reciting the 150 psalms of David, because it was considered to be a prayer extremely pleasant to God and a source of immeasurable graces for whom it was prayed. Nevertheless, this recommendation was followed only by literate and learned people, but not by all Christians. For this reason, the Church suggested that the illiterate replace the 150 psalms by 150 Hail Marys divided in fifteen decades. This abbreviated form was called the Psalter of the Blessed Virgin.
BHLA2 (Yahoo Groups):  Special on the Rosary!

The following was shared from the Marian Helpers Bulletin:

"The Rosary promotes faith, hope, and love. It promotes faith by bidding us to contemplate the Resurrection, by which Jesus proved His divinity. The Rosary promotes hope by showing how anxious Jesus is to help us, even to the point of dying on the Cross for our salvation. The Rosary promotes love, because the events shown in the Most Holy Rosary are those events of Jesus's life that show His love most clearly".

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

28. If you would live entirely for Him, and reach the perfection which He desires of you, you  must sacrifice yourself unreservedly with all that depends on you.  You must no longer will anything but by the will of this loving Heart, and no longer love anything but by Its affections.  You must act only by Its light; never undertake anything without first asking for Its counsel and help; give It all the glory thereof; return It thanks, both for failure and for success in your undertakings, and without worrying be equally satsified with all; for, provided that this divine Heart is pleased, loved and glorfied, nothing else matters.

October 5, 2012 

(Heb 11:1) Now, faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not.

POPE BENEDICT XVI: “May this Year of Faith make our relationship with Christ the Lord increasingly firm, since only in Him is there the certitude for looking to the future and the guarantee of an authentic and lasting love.”

LINK: A Message from the Bishop - Questions, answers about the Year of Faith

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT: Human beings make history, not the other way around. This is why each of our lives matters.  God is love; a God of life and deliverance and joy. He made us to be happy with him; to be loved by him; and to bring others to know his love. That’s the glory of being alive. That’s the grandeur of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

The task of preaching and teaching, growing and living the Catholic faith in our time, in this country, belongs to you and me. No one else can do it. The future depends on God, but he builds it with the living stones we give him by the example of our lives.

So today, tomorrow, and in the coming Year of Faith — which begins in just a few weeks — we need to remember the words of the Epistle of James: “Be doers of [God’s] word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (Jas. 1:22).

We live for the glory of God, and we prove it in the love we show to each other.


According to a decree made public today and signed by Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro and Bishop Krzysztof Nykiel, respectively penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Benedict XVI will grant faithful Plenary Indulgence for the occasion of the Year of Faith. The indulgence will be valid from the opening of the Year on 11 October 2012 until its end on 24 November 2013.

"The day of the fiftieth anniversary of the solemn opening of Vatican Council II", the text reads, "the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI has decreed the beginning of a Year especially dedicated to the profession of the true faith and its correct interpretation, through the reading of - or better still the pious meditation upon - the Acts of the Council and the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church".

"Since the primary objective is to develop sanctity of life to the highest degree possible on this earth, and thus to attain the most sublime level of pureness of soul, immense benefit may be derived from the great gift of Indulgences which, by virtue of the power conferred upon her by Christ, the Church offers to everyone who, following the due norms, undertakes the special prescripts to obtain them".

"During the Year of Faith, which will last from 11 October 2012 to 24 November 2013, Plenary Indulgence for the temporal punishment of sins, imparted by the mercy of God and applicable also to the souls of deceased faithful, may be obtained by all faithful who, truly penitent, take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

"(A) Each time they attend at least three sermons during the Holy Missions, or at least three lessons on the Acts of the Council or the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in church or any other suitable location.

"(B) Each time they visit, in the course of a pilgrimage, a papal basilica, a Christian catacomb, a cathedral church or a holy site designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith (for example, minor basilicas and shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Apostles or patron saints), and there participate in a sacred celebration, or at least remain for a congruous period of time in prayer and pious meditation, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, depending on the circumstances, to the Holy Apostles and patron saints.

"(C) Each time that, on the days designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith, ... in any sacred place, they participate in a solemn celebration of the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the Hours, adding thereto the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form.

"(D) On any day they chose, during the Year of Faith, if they make a pious visit to the baptistery, or other place in which they received the Sacrament of Baptism, and there renew their baptismal promises in any legitimate form.

"Diocesan or eparchal bishops, and those who enjoy the same status in law, on the most appropriate day during that period or on the occasion of the main celebrations, ... may impart the papal blessing with the Plenary Indulgence".

The document concludes by recalling how faithful who, due to illness or other legitimate cause, are unable to leave their place of adobe, may still obtain Plenary Indulgence "if, united in spirit and thought with other faithful, and especially at the times when the words of the Supreme Pontiff and diocesan bishops are transmitted by television or radio, they recite ... the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and other prayers that concord with the objectives of the Year of Faith, offering up the suffering and discomfort of their lives".

AGGIE CATHOLICS: What You Need To Know About Indulgences

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

17. He has assured me that the pleasure He takes in being loved, known and honored by His creatures, is so great that, if I am not mistaken, He has promised me that all those who are devoted and consecrated to Him shall never perish.

October 4, 2012 

(Mat 10:38-39) And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it.

LINK:  To Be Rich in Love is to be Truly Wealthy

CRISIS MAGAZINE: Francis of Assisi: Pattern for Lay Holiness


HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!: St. Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims by Frank M. Rega, S.F.O.

"The most important book on St. Francis in English, in recent years." Brother Alexis Bugnolo, Editor, the Franciscan Archive,

"This is a rare and daring approach to the life of St. Francis and one that is so necessary in our world at this time." From the Preface by Father Angelus M. Shaughnessy, O.F.M. Capuchin and EWTN Priest.

". . . ecumenical revisionists are now seeking to deconstruct the great Franciscan and refashion him into a multi-cultural icon, as forewarned in this . . . forthcoming book, which concentrates on his Islamic encounters during the 5th Crusade." Rod Pead - Editor, "Christian Order"

EXCERPT (with permission): (Sultan) Al-Kamil made another attempt to test St. Francis, this time in the matter of the Gospel teachings of Christ. This incident shows that he had some familiarity with Christian doctrine, perhaps based on what had already been preached to him by Francis. The Sultan confronted the friar with the words from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, recounted in the Gospel of St. Matthew:

But I say to you not to resist evil: but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other: And if a man will contend with thee in judgment, and take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him. (Matthew 5: 39-40).

The sultan asked Francis why, in the light of this teaching of Jesus, should Crusaders be invading the lands of the Muslims? Since the passage teaches “turning the other cheek” and repaying evil with good, the sultan was contending that there was no justification for the Crusader invasions, even though he knew that the Muslims had taken the land by force from the Christians centuries earlier.

Once again the response of Francis surprised al-Kamil. He declared that the sultan had not completely studied the Gospel, and pointed out to the king the words Jesus had spoken earlier in the same discourse:

And if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell. And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell. (Matthew 5: 29-30).

Francis then proceeded to impart a distinctive interpretation to these lines, by referring them to those who attempt to turn Christians away from their faith and love of God. The sultan was as dear to him as his own eye, he admitted to the potentate.  But, explaining Our Lord’s words that a person should pluck out his own eye if it leading him astray, Francis continued.

Here He wanted to teach us that every man, however dear and close he is to us, and even if he is a precious to us as the apple of our eye, must be repulsed, pulled out, expelled if he seeks to turn us aside from the faith and love of our God. That is why it is just that Christians invade the land you inhabit, for you blaspheme the name of Christ and alienate everyone you can from His worship. But if you were to recognize, confess, and adore the Creator and Redeemer, Christians would love you as themselves. . . .”

When Francis had finished addressing the sultan, “All the spectators were in admiration at his answers.”

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

16. I can hardly express my joy at seeing the increase of devotion to the Sacred Heart of my Saviour.  I seem to live for that alone.  Sometimes such an ardent desire to make It reign in all hearts is kindled within me that there is nothing I would not do and suffer to bring this about.

October 2, 2012 

(Php 3:17-20) For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their “shame.” Their minds are occupied with earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ

POPE BENEDICT XVI (01/12):“It is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres.”

: Freedom Is Worth a Prayer

The public prayer for freedom in the United States continues this fall, with a Catholic prayer rich in catechesis: The “Novena to the Mother of God for the Nation,” written by Father Frederick L. Miller, chair of the Department of Systematic Theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, begins this Saturday morning at 8 A.M. (ET) after Mass celebrated by Bishop James D. Conley.

In “2012 we turn to Our Lady for help,” at a “time of need,” the introduction of the prayer, hosted and distributed by EWTN, the global Catholic channel, explains. “Many of the values that shaped our Country from the beginning seem to be at risk. Pope Benedict XVI and the American Bishops have noted the erosion of religious freedom in the United States, the first value guaranteed by the Constitution,” it continues. “The proximity of the Novena to the 2012 Presidential Election will also offer an opportunity to pray for all of our government officials and seek Divine Assistance in the elections.”

Bishop Conley, a Kansas native who was raised Presbyterian, is the incoming bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska; he talks about the reason for the prayers, and other Church and state matters with National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez. 


VIDEO: Bishop Paprocki: On Voting in the Upcoming Elections

DIOCESE OF SAINT AUGUSTINE: Bishop Felipe J. Estévez Calls on Catholics to Register and Vote!

BLOG: Voting Principles for Catholics

NPR: What Winning The 'Catholic Vote' Means Today

: 2016: Obama's America

Immersed in exotic locales across four continents, best selling author Dinesh D'Souza races against time to find answers to Obama's past and reveal where America will be in 2016. During this journey he discovers how Hope and Change became radically misunderstood, and identifies new flashpoints for hot wars in mankind's greatest struggle. The journey moves quickly over the arc of the old colonial empires, into America's empire of liberty, and we see the unfolding realignment of nations and the shape of the global future.

Here's a link to watch the movie online free:


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America 's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies.

Increasing America 's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, "the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."

~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006

REPORT: Americans would pay $536 billion more in taxes if Congress doesn’t act on fiscal cliff

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Holy Eucharist

15. I feel entirely lost in this divine Heart.  It is as though I were in a fathomless abyss, in which He discloses to me treasures of love and of grace for those who consecrate and sacrifice themselves to give and procure for Him all the honor, love, and glory in their power.
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Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus

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