Keep your eyes open!...


September 30, 2005



VIA Jim McCrea:

I always felt that the Divine Will revelations were true.

I always felt a tremendous peace in reading those revelations, and the reading of them bore nothing but positive fruit for me.

I too have read the theological objections against those revelations and deemed that they did not hold water.

There exists certain subtleties and profundities in the spiritual life that have escaped theologians until now.

One objection against the Divine Will revelations states that if you are living in the Divine will, you do not have a will of your own which is a form of the heresy of monothelitism (the heresy of monothelitism states that Christ had a divine will only and not a human will in addition to His divine will as the Catholic Church teaches).

However, two levels of the human will have to be distinguished - the *empirical* level and the *absolute* level. The empirical level of the will is that which God controls either directly Himself or indirectly through natural causes. It concerns the details of how one thinks, speaks, and acts. The absolute level of the will is the deepest point of the will. That deepest point, and only that deepest point is yours and yours alone to give to God or refuse to give to God. Everything in the soul above that, God controls either directly Himself or indirectly through secondary agents.

Now with living in the Divine Will, God controls the empirical level of the will directly, rather than it being moved by natural forces. In an ideal state of living in the Divine Will (and it is never ideal for anyone in this life), God directly determines what the individual thinks, says, or does. He does this to the finest details of these actions, determining things such as the exact choice of words in speech, exact body language, exact action, exact thoughts, etc. It is much more profound than the union with God that involves generally knowing what God wants you to do and then doing it with the details left up to you.

But the absolute level of the will - the deepest point of the will - is still yours to give to God or refuse to give to God. As a result, anyone living in the Divine Will can choose to step outside of it. That is what happened with Adam and Eve who were living in the Divine Will prior to their fall.

One might object that one gives up liberty and freedom in living in the Divine Will. It might seem that one becomes a mere puppet. But a profound paradox is involved here. As one enters the "tomb" of the Divine Will, one attains to a supreme liberty and freedom. The sense of freedom, joy, and power that one experiences is transcendental. This is because, the God that you are in union with, is not a finite empirical object in competition with other objects within your field of vision. He is not a cosmic Jupiter. You do not contain Him as you would contain an object in front of you with your mind. He contains you. He is the ground of being who is immanent (infinitely close to creation) and transcendent (infinitely other than creation) at the same time. He sustains all things in being instant by instant with His power and is prime mover for all processes that act. He is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. His infinite power is expressed in the fact that He maintains the true identity of things - as they are - without distortion. Not a shadow of error exists in the application of His power. He executes His will with an infinite degree of precision. Because of this, He is in perfect harmony with the true nature of things. There cannot be a shadow of friction or competition with what He has made. As a result, anything in union with God is in complete harmony, peace, and happiness.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

30. The reason why I am not permitted to speak of the rewards which He promises to those whom He will employ in this holy work, is that they may act without any other motive than that of His glory and for love of Him alone.

September 29, 2005

(Rev 12:7-9) And there was a great battle in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels. And they prevailed not: neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world. And he was cast unto the earth: and his angels were thrown down with him.




Bishop Ito's Approval of Akita In his pastoral letter approving the events of Akita as supernatural, the Bishop John Shojiro Ito of Niigata said: "After the inquires conducted up to the present day, one cannot deny the supernatural character of a series of unexplainable events relative to the statue of the Virgin honored at Akita (Diocese of Niigata). Consequently, I authorize that all of the diocese entrusted to me venerate the Holy Mother of Akita."Concerning the messages, His Excellency said, "As for the content of the messages received, it is in no way contrary to Catholic doctrine or to good morals. When one thinks of the actual state of the world, the warning seems to correspond to it in many points."His Excellency explained that he had taken eight years to give this judgment because of the importance and the responsibility in question. The Bishop said, "that only the bishop of the diocese in question has the power to recognize an event of this kind."In June of 1988, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) approved the Akita events as 'Reliable and Worthy of Belief'.This was the first approval of a Marian apparition in over 50 years!

There were five wonders at Akita:

1.) Tears flowed from the statue of Our Lady 101 times, from January 4, 1975 to September 15, 1981 (Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows). [On September 28, 1981, Sister Agnes suddenly felt the presence of the Angel at her side during the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. She did not see the Angel in person, but a Bible appeared open before her eyes and she was invited to read a passage (Genesis 3:15) . . . the voice of the Angel was heard explaining in sort of a preamble that the passage had relationship with the tears of Mary, then continued: "There is a meaning to the figure one hundred and one. This signifies that sin came into the world by a woman and it is also by a woman that salvation came to the world. The zero between the two signifies the Eternal God Who is from all eternity to eternity. The first one represents Eve, the last the Virgin Mary."

2.) A cross-shaped wound on the left hand of Sister Agnes (main seer) bled profusely, causing great pain.

3.) An identical wound appeared on the right hand of Our Lady's statue, from which blood flowed three times.

4.) Sister Agnes, who had been declared to be incurably deaf, was completely cured at a time predicted by Our Lady.

5.) In the midst of these wonders, the angel and Our Lady appeared and spoke . . . giving messages of world-shaking importance. Our Lady has already told us at Fatima and Garabandal what we must do. we can believe that when a sufficient number are responding, there will be miracles of Grace in the world turning back the tide of evil and issuing in the "era of peace for mankind" promised by Our Lady.

Bishop Ito of Niigata, Japan, said that Akita is an update of Fatima . . . and its promise.

Eucharistic Prayer of Akita

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, TRULY present in the Holy Eucharist, I consecrate my body and soul to be entirely one with Your Heart, being sacrificed at every instant on all the altars of the world and giving praise to the Father, pleading for the coming of His Kingdom. Please receive this humble offering of myself. Use me as You will for the glory of the Father and the salvation of souls. Most Holy Mother of God, never let me be separated from Your Divine Son. Please defend and protect me as Your special child. Amen.

Our Response to the Message of Akita

1.) Insert the Fatima Prayer after each decade of the Rosary. (O my Jesus . . .)
2.) Say the Eucharistic Prayer (above).
3.) "Pray with fervor, not only because of your own sins, but in reparation for the sins of all men."
4.) "Pray very much for the Pope, priests and Bishops."
5.) "With devotion to the Sacred Heart, apply yourself to devotion to the Most Precious Blood."
6.) The Heavenly Father is preparing to inflict a great chastisement on all mankind.
7.) "Prayer, penance, and courageous sacrifice can soften the Father's anger."
8.) "Without attaching too much importance to form, be faithful and fervent in prayer."
9.) For Religious: The importance of the three vows, especially obedience.
10.) A chastisement, worse than the deluge, is at hand.
11.) "Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary."
12.) "With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and the priests."
13.) Problems within the Church: the demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God.
14.) "Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I am still able to save you from the calamities which approach."
15). Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not taken seriously. "Speak to the greatest number in order to console the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Spread this devotion with courage for Their greater glory."
16.) "Those who place their confidence in me will be saved."
17.) "Believe, trust, pray!"
18.) Devotion to St. Joseph is very pleasing to Jesus and Mary. He should be publicly honored.
19.) Attach great importance to the First Saturdays. There will be sufferings and obstacles. Do not fear. In bearing them and offering them you will be protected.
20.) In addition to the above is the graphic message of tears and blood and of Our Lady's use of a secular institute . . . a group of catechists . . . involved through the blood and tears as a community, a prayer group.

At Fatima Our Lady used a group of three. They prayed together, they sustained each other in trial (even that of dry martyrdom), and they helped each other to persevere.

At Akita Our Lady again emphasizes the value of prayer groups, of community. She even says that She Herself is gathering such groups now to prevent the chastisement . . . to soften the wrath of God. If the chastisement is averted, we shall have the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart and an "era of peace."

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

29. Let us beg this lovable Heart to establish this devotion firmly and to fill with the unction of Its grace and of Its ardent charity all whom It will send us. I would willingly die that He might reign!

September 28, 2005

(Luke 17:1-2) And he said to his disciples, "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.

COMMENTARY BY ST. JEROME: When it is said, "It is better for him that a mill stone be hanged about his neck," He speaks according to the custom of the province; for among the Jews this was the punishment of the greater criminals, to drown them by a stone tied to them. It is better for him, because it is far better to receive a brief punishment for a fault, than to be reserved for eternal torments (Catena Aurea).



They are among the Catholic Church's most devout: regular Mass-goers, generous givers, people who have made religion a centerpiece in their family lives.

And this week, they learned that some of the people who led Masses have admitted to molesting children, that their families may not have been safe within hallowed walls.

The 418-page grand jury report says the sexual abuse of hundreds of children was covered up by church leaders, including Cardinals John Krol and Anthony J. Bevilacqua. It details the acts of perversion allegedly executed by certain priests. Even a confessional was not a safe place for child, according to the report.

If an institution is only as strong as the people who support it, just how will the priest-abuse grand jury's findings of institutionalized misdeeds affect Catholicism in the Philadelphia Archdiocese?

Among the area's 1.5 million faithful, there was a range of emotions this week, including sorrow and anger, disgust, and a feeling of betrayal. Some say they are lost forever.

And that saddens people like Rita Ungaro-Schiavone.

Ungaro-Schiavone, 70, works with many churches and priests through her organization, Aid for Friends, which provides free meals and companionship to the housebound. A parishioner of St. Jerome's Roman Catholic Church, near her home in the city's Winchester Park section, she is personally acquainted with some of the priests accused of sex crimes. She has decided not to contact them to ask them about the allegations.

But she also knows "that the majority of our priests are good priests, moral, compassionate, caring," she said.

"If someone decides to not go to Mass anymore, that's like cutting off your nose to spite your face," she said. "We go to Mass to worship God, not to make a statement.

RELATED: Letter from Cardinal Justin Rigali to Parishioners


Michigan Priests Removed Over Child Sex Abuse Allegations
Vatican agrees to remove 11 priests from ministry in Chicago
Two More Philadelphia Priests Removed from Duties

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

28. Our Lord continues to give me many graces, unworthy though I be; that which I prize the most is conformity to His life of suffering and humiliation. He keeps me in such a state of entire submission to His good pleasure, that I am indifferent to all else.

September 27, 2005

(Gal 1:8-9) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.

LINK: Authorized Divine Will Website

LINK: Luisa Piccarreta: A Compilation

VIA Frank Rega:

Fr. Iannuzzi has just completed an essay (about 10 pages) that is a good defense of Divine Will; it answers many of the common objections by clarifying the errors in interpretation.


Proper Catholic Perspectives on the Teachings of Luisa Piccarreta
Norms for Divine Will Cenacles

Editor's Note: The above PDF documents were converted from the original Word documents utilizing the free online utility at


The Triumph of God's Kingdom in the Millennium and End Times
The Splendor Of Creation

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

27. Now I shall die happy, since the Sacred Heart of my Saviour is beginning to be known; for it seems to me that, through His mercy, I am almost wholly stripped and divested of esteem and reputation in the minds of others, which consoles me more than I can say.

September 23, 2005


(James 1:2-4) Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

HEADLINE: Hurricane Katrina brings out the best of America


In S.F., blindly by the bay
Anticipating the big one
San Francisco should prepare to survive three days without help

REFLECTION By Father Ted: My Lord Jesus, every day You want us to call out to You. You do so because You want us to realize that You are so close to us - even though many times we cannot sense Your presence.

Many times You allow us to be tempted by the evil one - just as You were tempted by him.

You allow us to be tempted so that we will call out to You to help us - to help us with the power of Your Holy Spirit.

Every time that we are tempted, You offer to us the grace to resist.

You know how weak each one of us is.

You made us that way.

Oftentimes I, like so many others, have asked - why? Why are we so weak?

Is it really because of the sin of our first parents?

I know now - that the answer to this question is - “No!” You made us weak so that we would call out to You for that help - so that You would give to us that help - so that we, not only, would be able to resist, but would be able to overcome the attack of the evil one - and - above all, grow in virtue.

How else could we grow in virtue?

And that is precisely what You want for us.

For when we grow in virtue, we become the saints that You created us to be.

As we grow up, mainly through the example of our parents, do we learn - not only about our marvellous talents, but we learn about our weaknesses.

It is their responsibility to teach us about both.

For both are gifts from You.

Both enable us to honor the Father and allow us to help others and to receive help from others.

For You made us, as I have so often mentioned to others, to know You, to love You, and to serve You - by serving others, and to be with You and with others in Your heavenly home.

Thank You Jesus for having made me the way I am - with all my abilities and weaknesses.

Thank You also for allowing me to be tempted - so that I can call out to You for Your help.

Thank You for loving me so much.

Now may I show You my love by calling out to You for Your help and also by helping others in their needs.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

23. Love to be looked upon as a mere nothing in the house of God.

September 22, 2005


Hurricane Rita- 3rd most intense hurricane on record
Rita's oil punch could hit harder than Katrina
1900 hurricane still haunts Galveston
Houston-area refineries say they're prepared
Nuclear plant to shut down for Rita

VIA SAR: I sense this storm will destroy our remaining oil and gas production/refining facilities in the Western Gulf - we are facing 500+ billion in damages from Rita and probably many large insurance companies going bankrupt in US as well as utilities defaulting on bonds (such as Entergy in LA and MISS) - causing coming major problems in Bond Markets and ETFs. This may well be the tipping point when the magnitude of the damage from Katrina/Rita is realized by Congress and the world in coming months. We are about to lose 30% of our refining capacity and hundreds of large petro-chemical plants (i.e., many near the water). In 70+ hours our lives (and those worldwide) may change forever as regards energy consumption and costs of food and this is just the beginning of events.

The impact of these two Hurricanes (Katrina/Rita) is going to cause "Generational Changes" in our life styles and we need to come together as a people of God to help each other. The US Government is going to run out of resources with the magnitude of these events - do not depend on FEMA or other Agencies to help you in an Emergency. Have an evacuation plan (cellphone numbers and back-up contact points) and carry canned/dried food - try and keep gas tanks full if storm approaches (not lower than 1/2 tank before refilling). We cannot restore 80 years of oil & gas infrastructure by throwing money at the problem - it will take 15+ years to build new refineries. We must take responsibility for our lives and loved ones - be prepared for coming price shocks in commodities and possible start of economic chaos (this is the End Times). I have been involved (for over 30+ years) with modeling vortex flows from large storms and there is no "warm water" theory that explains the sudden and exponential-type growth of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It maybe possible these storms are coupling with solar energy output (flares) from the Sun - nobody can explain what is happening. We know very little about this planet's weather patterns and storm behavior but this is definitely new business.

Please pray the Rosary for all those in the path of Hurricane Rita.

CATHOLIC ONLINE SAINTS: St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)

A LOOK BACK: Padre Pio's remarkable transformation

Ordinary Saints live an ordinary life in an extraordinary Christian way

VIA Cabio: Padre Pio's Prayer After Holy Communion

Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You.
You know how easily I abandon You.

Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life and without You I am without fervor.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light and without You I am in darkness.

Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.

Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.

Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much and alway be in Your company.

Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.

Stay with me, Lord, as poor as my soul is I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love.

Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close and life passes, death, judgment and eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches, I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!

Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You.

Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of the bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.

Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love.

Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.

With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

22. You must offer yourself to God as a mere nothing to its Creator Who, finding no resistance, will give it such being as pleases Him.

September 21, 2005

(John 8:31-32) Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed him: If you continue in my word, you shall be my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth: and the truth shall make you free.


VIA Jim McCrea: Discerning the Truth - or the supernatural sense of the Faith

People of the world have a very false conception of Catholicism.

They think of it as dry old dogmas which are not connected to real life and arbitrary moral rules that stand in the way of our true freedom. The mainstream media presents the Catholic Church this way. However, there is an infinite distance between the caricature and the reality.

In reality, Catholicism expresses the deepest dynamism and nature of life and reality. It is the perfect expression of the true, the good, and the beautiful.

The world that is in opposition to it is an expression of extreme ugliness. Take the example of the modern "progressive" immodestly dressed woman or girl. Here, both modesty and femininity have been departed from. We have a specter of round fleshy bodies with faces as hard and sharp as nails. The modern world is imbalanced one way or the other, while avoiding the mean where the true good is found - where Jesus Christ is found.

Many are of the impression that Catholicism is for stupid people. This misconception is held also by many evangelical Protestants with their too-bright and too-much-on-the-surface joy.

However, as far as truth goes, nothing is deeper or more profound than the intellectual tradition of the Catholic Church.

It says in the "Imitation of Christ"

"The more a man is united within himself, and interiorly simple, the more and higher things doth he understand without labor; because he receiveth the light of understanding from above."

The more pure a person is, the subtler, profounder, and higher realities he is able to grasp with his mind.

In heaven, as we ascend through the nine choirs of angels, which are the nine grades of being in heaven, the knowledge there becomes subtler, deeper, and more profound.

But as it becomes subtler, deeper, and more profound, it also becomes simpler, easier, more obvious, and more intelligible - and there is an increasing delectability in that knowledge.

There exists infinite potential grades of depth and profundity of knowledge (outside of what has actually been created) going higher and higher, leading right to the abode of the Blessed Trinity. In the abode of the Blessed Trinity there is infinite profundity and infinite simplicity at the same time. Only God is capable of understanding all truth absolutely simply and comprehensively. The rest of us are given more or less a share of that.

But it is all important to point out that our love must grow in proportion to the truth that we have; for the knowledge that we have is only there for the sake of our expressions of love or agape.

Catholicism has all truth and all love contained within it, which is incarnated in Jesus Christ. It is our life's journey to unpack that more and more.

ANGELUS: On Holiness and the Blessed Sacrament

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

21. The soul that is the humblest and most despised will be most loved by His adorable Heart.  The most despoiled and stripped of all things will possess It more fully.

September 20, 2005


Catholic Archbishop George Pell is pushing to wind back stem cell research laws, warning the destruction of embryos for science has created "a class of human life which is statutorily expendable".

In his submission to a Government inquiry into laws covering cloning and the use of embryos for research, Australia's most senior Catholic leader said the scientific justification for using embryos had diminished since the laws were passed in 2002.

But scientists are pushing for laws to be extended to allow somatic cell nuclear transfer or "therapeutic cloning", in which embryos are created specifically for their stem cells and then destroyed when they are a few days old.

Stem cells, which can grow into different types of tissue, offer hope for treating a range of diseases from Parkinson's to diabetes.

Under the existing laws, scientists can use embryos left over from IVF treatment — which would be destroyed anyway — for research, including the creation of embryonic stem cell lines.

The National Health and Medical Research Council has granted licences allowing research on 1731 spare IVF embryos since the 2002 laws were passed.

A panel headed by former Federal Court Judge John Lockhart, QC, is now reviewing the laws and will recommend to state and federal governments whether changes are needed.

Cardinal Pell, who will today address the National Press Club in Canberra, called for a ban on all research that involves destroying embryos or, at least, no extension to the laws.

He said access to spare IVF embryos for the past two years had not "led to a significant advance in knowledge".


Adult Stem Cells May Help Spine-Injured Mice
Adult Stem Cell Research Shows Good Long-Term Results, Study Says
Israeli stem cell research shows umbilical cord blood can rejuvenate damaged heart tissue
Adult stem cells show potential as post heart attack therapy


Vatican condemns British plans for 'dual mother' embryo
'Virgin conception' first for UK
Someone, Somewhere is Trying to Clone a Human Now

COMMENTARY: Human Cloning Comes to Africa

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

20. The Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ gives you these holy aspirations through the ardent love He bears you, which makes Him desire to possess your heart whole and entire.

September 19, 2005



Thousands of people packed into this city's cathedral Monday morning to watch the blood of patron saint San Gennaro liquefy in the repetition of a centuries-old 'miracle.' The miracle officially took place at 09.56 (07.56gmt) and was announced by the archbishop of Naples, Cardinal Michele Giordano, who held up a phial containing the blood while a white handkerchief was waved from the altar to the applause of the crowd. This year the miracle took on special importance because it marked 1,700 years from the martyrdom of San Gennaro (St. Januarius) in 305 AD .

Naples Mayor Rosa Russo Jervolino said the liquefaction was "a sign that San Gennaro is still protecting our city. It was also a strong sign of hope and, I'd say, encouragement for everyone to work for the common good." Cardinal Giordano expressed a similar view in his sermon in which he said that "solidarity should be considered as a new civic virtue." The dried blood of the saint is preserved in two glass phials and traditionally liquefies three times a year, allegedly thanks to the devotion and prayers of the faithful .

Aside from the anniversary of the saint's beheading, the miracle also takes place on December 16, to commemorate the 1631 eruption of Mt. Vesuvius believed to have been halted by the saint's intervention, and again on the Saturday before the first Sunday in May .

Disaster has struck on at least five occasions when the blood failed to liquefy, including in 1527 when tens of thousands of people died from the plague and in 1980 when 3,000 people were killed in an earthquake which devastated much of southern Italy .

The phials will remain on view in the cathedral for eight days before being returned to a vault in the chapel of the Treasury .

The first historical reference to the liquefaction of the martyr's blood is dated 1389 .

Although now a headline-making saint, little is known about San Gennaro except that he was bishop of Benevento to the south of Naples and was martyred during the persecution of Christians spearheaded by the Roman Emperor Diocletian .

The bishop was beheaded for refusing to bow down to his 'pagan' persecutors. According to legend, his body and head, still dripping blood, were gathered up by an old man and taken to a safe place while a local woman filled a phial with his spilt blood .

A group of Italian scientists has analysed the contents of the phials, establishing that they do contain blood, but have been unable to explain the phenomenon .


VIA Jean Marie: The Miracle Staircase of Santa Fe, New Mexico

True stories regarding the intercession of St. Joseph abound. One that has become known to the general public is "the miracle staircase".

In 1872 the bishop of Santa Fe, New Mexico commissioned the building of a convent chapel, Our Lady of Light Chapel in the care of the Sisters of Loretto. During the course of its construction the architect died suddenly and only afterwards did the builders discover an error in the plans. There was no staircase to the choir loft. But worse, at that point of construction, any stairwell would take up much needed space and disfigure the design.

The nuns began nine days of prayer in honor of St. Joseph, for he was a carpenter. On the day after their novena ended, a shabbily dressed man appeared at the door. The Sisters showed him their choir loft and the limited space available to erect a staircase. He assured them he would be able to build one, and so they let him undertake the task. With him was a burro carrying the toolbox. He offered to begin at once, if they would allow him total privacy while he worked. They hired him and he locked himself in. For three months he permitted no visitors, then he opened the doors.

When the Mother Superior entered, she stared in amazement, there in the corner was a beautiful freestanding staircase rising in a double spiral to the choir loft that may be seen today by visitors to Santa Fe. Each section is perfectly fitted in a groove--not a nail being used in its construction. There is no central pole, no wall attachment, no sign of a nail or screw--just a few wooden pegs. Moreover, the wood he used was unlike any the Mother had ever seen. Yet the carpenter had brought no wood with him. Architects from all sections of the country go to inspect this unique and marvelous piece of craftsmanship. When the work was completed and the Mother Superior of the convent wished to pay the man for his service, he was nowhere to be found. No one had seen him come or go. A reward was offered; no one ever claimed it. It is thought that the unknown carpenter was none other than St. Joseph, in whose honor the Sisters had received Communion every Wednesday that he might assist them in building a staircase. There is no doubt that the prayers of those nuns were answered in a most remarkable way.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

19. As for the ardent desire which urges you to become a saint, I hope this will be so, with the grace of the Sacred Heart of our Lord Who will make you a great saint, but I think He will sanctify you in His own way and not in yours. Therefore you must leave it to Him, and have no other end in view than to glorify Him by self-effacement; He in His turn will look upon you to purify and sanctify you.

September 16, 2005


(Jude 1:17-19) But you, my dearly beloved, be mindful of the words which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who told you that in the last time there should come mockers, walking according to their own desires in ungodlinesses. These are they who separate themselves, sensual men, having not the Spirit.


Archbishop says gays should be banned from seminaries
St. Louis Seminary to be among first to be inspected
Governor to veto same-sex marriage bill
Cardinal Keith O’Brien: Why Catholic church is against gay adoption

REACTION FROM A GAY PRIEST: "Flying in the face of reality and scientific evidence, rather than dealing with the real issue of psychic immaturity in priests who are either gay or straight -- which is clearly the problem for pedophiles . . . -- they are going on a witch hunt to get rid of all the gays," said the priest, who requested anonymity. "It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

"Why stop at seminaries? Why not deacons, priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals? Are they going to be asked if they are homosexuals and if they are, be forced to resign their positions?" he said. "If that happens, there will be many empty offices, many empty parishes and many empty sees."

VIA Ronald Smith: Homosexual Priests

Q: If a man is a practicing homosexual, knows it contrary to Church teaching, and continues practicing homosexuality after ordination, is he a validly ordained priest?

A: Holy Church tells her bishops: "The bishop is warned that he should confer Sacred Orders on no one unless he is morally certain, by positive arguments, of the candidate's canonical fitness; otherwise, he not only sins most grievously himself but exposes himself to the danger of sharing in the sins of others. Consequently, in case of doubt as to fitness, it is certainly unlawful to proceed further". "If a student in a minor seminary has sinned gravely against the sixth commandment with a person of the same or the other sex, or has been the occasion of grave scandal in the matter of chastity, he is to be dismissed immediately. For these reasons, clerics who in their diocese or religious who in another community have sinned gravely against chastity with another person are not to be admitted with a view to the priesthood, even on a trial basis, unless there be clear evidence of excusing causes or of circumstances which can at least notably diminish responsibility in conscience. Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers."

"§1.Outside the case mentioned in can. 1394, a cleric who lives in concubinage or a cleric who remains in another external sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue which produces scandal is to be punished with a suspension; and if such a cleric persists in such an offense after having been admonished, other penalties can be added gradually including dismissal from the clerical state. §2.If a cleric has otherwise committed an offense against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue with force or threats or publicly or with a minor below the age of sixteen, the cleric is to be punished with just penalties, including dismissal from the clerical state if the case warrants it."

There is ample Church law and disciplinary documents written regarding priests becoming involved in homosexuality. However, nowhere does it say that an ordination can be removed for any reason. Once ordained, they are ordained forever. The Church does allow a priest to be returned to the 'lay state' for just cause. This does not remove their ordination but prohibits them from performing the functions of a priest, using a priestly title, dressing in clerical garb, etc. The Vatican is currently working on a disciplinary document to be released soon that prohibits a homosexual from being ordained. (References available upon request)

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

16. No longer heed the feelings of immortified nature, nor the suggestions of self-love, which clamors to have, to pssess, to keep and to hoard up. Let it cry out as much as it likes; we belong to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and we must have only what He wishes us to have, and be glad to be like Him, stripped of all things.

September 15, 2005

(2Ch 7:14) If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

September 16th- National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of Hurricane Katrina


Worship offers peace, stability amid chaos
Florida Dioceses Adopt Mississippi Dioceses to Provide Relief Dealing With Katrina
Storm victims rely on faith to help them through crisis
Speak Out: In the face of the devastation of Katrina, God was not silent
Vatican official sees destruction, recovery firsthand


Catholic Charities agencies from across the country are already working to meet the immediate needs of evacuees that have come into their communities, as well as planning to provide assistance for the long-term needs of the victims. Catholic Charities USA is collecting financial donations to fund these local Catholic Charities agencies' emergency and long-term disaster recovery efforts.

"Catholic Charities USA is consistently ranked among the highest and most efficient networks in the country. Based on our experiences with past disasters, about 96 to 97 percent of the donations will go directly to victim assistance. We are only covering the cost to administer the fund," said John Keightley, senior vice president for Catholic Charities USA. "We appreciate the generosity of our donors and are respectful of their wishes to provide direct aid to the victims."

Catholic Charities USA's disaster funds operate out of a special account that enables Catholic Charities USA to efficiently and effectively direct donations to where they are needed the most.

Learn more about Catholic Charities' Katrina recovery efforts across the country at

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

15. Frankly, I do not think the favors which our Lord promises you, to consist in an abundance of temporal things: for He says that these often deprive us of His grace and of His love, whereas it is with these latter gifts that He wishes to enrich your soul.

September 14, 2005

EXCERPT NOSTRA AETATE: God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues-such is the witness of the Apostle. In company with the Prophets and the same Apostle, the Church awaits that day, known to God alone, on which all peoples will address the Lord in a single voice and "serve him shoulder to shoulder" (Soph. 3:9).


A dispute between Israel and the Vatican over Pope Benedict XVI's comments on terrorism appears to have been resolved, after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sent a letter calling the pontiff "a true friend of Israel," Israel's ambassador said recently.

Israel's top diplomat at the Holy See, Oded Ben Hur, brought the letter Tuesday to the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, in what the envoy called an "amicable and intimate" meeting that signaled that "we definitely see this thing behind us and are looking forward to improving our relationship."

In his letter, Sharon said Benedict's efforts to promote dialogue with Jews and Israel made him "a true friend of Israel, genuinely committed to advancing tolerance, understanding and reconciliation," Ben Hur said in a phone interview, reading from the letter.

Israel's two chief rabbis will meet with the Pope Sept. 15. Ben Hur said the meeting has been in the works for some time and was scheduled to coincide with commemorations marking the 40th anniversary of the Vatican's Nostra Aetate declaration that revolutionized its relations with Jews.

JEWISH PERSPECTIVE: An Antidote To Anti-Semitism


The Custody Must Be Doubled in the Holy Land by Sandro Magister
It's hard to be a Christian (in the Holy Land) By Daniel Pipes
Islamic terrorism: a result of what is being taught at madrassas

EXCERPT Martyrs and Suicide Bombers by Fr. James V. Schall, S.J.:

"The test of Pius XII was Nazism. The test of John Paul II was Communism and absolutist liberalism. The test of Benedict XVI, for better or for worse, is Islam – and this in the context whether or not the absolutist liberal theory can tame it."


Egypt vows to work for full Palestinian 'liberation'
Hamas: Gaza pullout beginning of Israel’s end
Reveling and destruction in Gaza
Assad Meets With Palestinian Militants
U.S. Envoy Warns Syria To Change Pro-Terrorist Policies on Iraq

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

14. Our Lord would fain be your sole Support, Friend and Delight, provided you seek neither support nor delight in creatures. Nevertheless, you must not be ill at ease or constrained in your intercourse with your neighbor, but always humble, bright, kind and gracious in your manner.

September 13, 2005

LINK: Triumphal Notes - Mary's Holy Name!

REFLECTION By Father Ted: My dearest Lord Jesus, as I sit before You this night, I need to thank You for the gift of Your Mother.

You, Yourself, as the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, chose her to be Your Mother.

You created her as the most perfect of all creatures - possessing all the qualities that a woman, a wife, a mother was ordained to have.

Her capacity to know and to love are beyond my imagining.

Such an exquisite being!

At the moment of her conception - through the chaste union of Joachim and Anne, her parents, You filled her with Your divine life.

At that moment, she became truly the daughter of the Most High, Your Father.

At that moment, she was truly “full of grace”, which truth the Archangel Gabriel declared at the “Annunciation”.

When she was born, all the angelic beings in heaven rejoiced.

They rejoiced because she was the reflection of You, You who would soon become her son, her only-begotten son.

They saw in her the ultimate reflection of beauty.

They saw in her the perfect reflection of love.

Except for You, there was never a baby born as beautiful and as lovely as she.

She was created - she was born to be Your Mother.

She was created - she was born to be the Mother of God.

And You created her.

Thank You for having created her so beautiful and so lovely.

Yet in Your love, You made her to be not only Your Mother, but to be my mother as well.

For You wanted me to experience the incredible love and nurturing that You received from her as You were growing up.

Although I had the natural love and nurturing of my own mother, You wanted me to enjoy the love and the nurturing of Your Mother.

And so, on that holy day, on which You offered Yourself totally to the Father, in that perfect sacrifice, on the Cross, You gave her to me, through the beloved disciple, to be my mother as well as Yours.

And so it came to be.

Mary, my mother, help me to love as you love me. Help me to live like your only-begotten Son, Jesus.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

13. We must be content with and conformed to His most holy Will, stripped and destitute of pleasure, friends, consolation, talents, and aware of our lack of virtue.

September 12, 2005

(Mat 18:21) Then came Peter unto him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

REFLECTION BY Rev. Craig Boly, S.J.


"Nothing can come between us and God's love" (Romans 8:38-39)

I want to begin this reflection on forgiveness with a riddle. "What is more powerful than God, more evil than Satan, the poor have it, the rich need it, and if you eat it, you will die?" Trying to solve this conundrum is a little like trying to figure out the meaning of forgiveness.

When we think of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, people of good will everywhere still try to figure out how to fulfill the Lord's prayer to "forgive those who trespass against us." Forgiveness is difficult enough when someone who has hurt you apologizes. How are you supposed to forgive when someone else still wants to harm you?

Religion that urges forgiveness can seem impossibly idealistic when confronted with the horrific memory of violence that claims a family member. Think of the families of those killed at the World Trade Center or at the Pentagon or on United Flight 93. They will always grieve the loss of their loved ones. They will never forget their violation and outrage. It just seems impossible to forgive and forget.

How can you forgive an evil that continues to spread? The impact of Sept. 11 reverberates far beyond the horror of that dreadful Tuesday morning. Consider how terrorism still strikes the innocent. Consider how the response to terrorism polarizes our households, divides our communities, increases fear.

As the Sept. 11 anniversary comes around, it is clear that terrorists still see violence as a legitimate tool. The dream of a world free from greed and respectful of everyone's human rights will probably always remain a dream. In light of the continued intractability of the human heart, what can be done? It seems that forgiveness is impossible from either side.

What did Christ mean when he urged forgiveness?

When someone has really hurt you, deeply damaged your trust, the reasonable thing to do is keep yourself out of harm's way. God gave us intelligence to assess danger and to plan cautious strategies to avoid further hurt. So when trust is shattered between people, why does Christ teach that the response of the disciple is to forgive, to offer to re-establish trust? The Gospel seems to urge disciples to swim upstream against the river of reason.

Actually, forgiveness only seems to contradict reason. True, the reasonable response to broken trust is to protect oneself from further harm. But reason can also see that paradoxically, the only remedy for broken trust is to risk trusting another again. Reason can agree that if you do not re-establish trust, a broken relationship can continue to fester like an untreated infection until it destroys the infected ones.

The question is not whether re-establishing trust (forgiveness) is good. It is only a question whether it is possible.

Christ seems to think so. With his dying breath, he uttered a prayer of forgiveness. It did not prolong his life on earth. It did not immediately change the hearts of his enemies. But it did fulfill his mission --to bring about the possibility of reconciliation. By practicing his teaching on forgiveness, he showed it is possible. But this brings us to the heart of the matter. How was Christ able to forgive?

Christ was able to forgive because he was amazingly free. He was free from fear -- that this life is all there is. He was free from worry -- whether there is enough for everyone to have their fill and still have more left over. He was free from competition -- that his worth derived from getting his way. He was astonishingly free from jealousy because he knew that God is the giver of all good gifts. Christ was joyously free because he knew who champions the widow, the orphan, the stranger. Christ understood that God is the ultimate arbiter of justice.

Christ offers his followers this same freedom. The maturity to love friends is difficult enough. Yet Christ wants more. By keeping in touch with Christ through prayer and community, forgiving enemies who still want to inflict harm is possible. Not easy. Not simple. Not once and for all. But forgiveness is possible if it means loving as Jesus loved.

St. Paul in the Letter to Romans says, "Nothing can come between us and God's love" (Romans 8:38-39). No matter how horrible the crime, nothing is so awful that it can destroy our capacity to forgive. No evil is greater than forgiveness. Even the lynching of God's innocent son has been forgiven. No desire for vengeance need occupy space in a free heart. Nothing is beyond forgiveness. And that is why "nothing" is the solution to the opening riddle.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

12. May He teach you what He desires of you, and may He give you the strength to accomplish it perfectly! If I am not mistaken this, in a few words, is what I think He chiefly requires of you: He wishes that you should learn to live withut support- without a friend- and without satisfaction. In proportion as you ponder over these words, He will help you to understand them.

September 9, 2005


(1John 4:18) There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love.

PETER KREEFT: What is God's Answer to Human Suffering?

HOMILY BY FATHER ALTIER: Are We Willing to Suffer With Christ?

VIA Elaine, International Internet Prayer Group, Queen of Peace:

I have been without internet since the hurricane hit and my e-mail overflows. As this is week two of the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, there is a state of calmness this day. I live an hour away from New Oreans in Denham Springs Louisiana and can say the emotions, feelings of all in this town have been very high. The affects of all that has happened are very simular to 9/11.

Our town has experienced major growth as the evacuees were transported to various places...Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Zachary...this was so unexpected and so unprepared for the influx of so many people at one time. We have several red cross shelters in Denham Springs with many small shelters that have formed by Baptist Churches that open their doors by picking up evacuees off the side of the streets, running into those who have no clue to where they were at and offered shelter to them.

Many miracles to be told as I visited two shelters and offered my love and prayers to them. I went there to lift them up, in turn they lifted me! The ones we spoke to were so filled with faith that it humbled me and blessed me forever more. As they told their stories of escape from the flood waters of New Orleans, they were so grateful to God to be alive with only the clothes on their backs. It has opened their eyes to how important family is and how important their lives are. There is much to write and my heart overflows with emotions as I come so close to the broken hearted but one message I hear througout this day is the ultimate trust in Jesus, whispering to my soul "All Is Well" and this sustains my dispair for the displaced citizens of New Orleans. Their diocese is now in ours as we share the faithful displaced with our communities of faith. Right now, the priests who are also displaced are searching for their flock to shepherd so at all masses this weekend, we will have a sign-up sheet for those who are in our parish to let us know what parish church they came from. It is like finding the lost sheep among the wolves as they have been shattered all over, even as far as other states.

It is so amazing what is taking place in such a short amount of time. It seems like months since the hurrican hit but in reality, it has been only ONE WEEK. I work in the Church Office of our parish so all has been disrupted as our concern is to do all we can to welcome the displaced with open arms as a welcome visitor, a welcome family member who has been away for a long time. Love thy neighbor has thy self has been so real for all of us. I am without further words at this moment and there is a sense of things looking better, a sense of much hope for their dispair, not a mass confusion as it was last week. Even the lines at the gas pump have disappeared. Yesterday all the gas stations were out of gas. Today, you could easily ride up to the pump without waiting so this was much hope and brought peace to my heart. School even resumed today for the first time in a week.

Much prayer is needed as the long term affects are witnessed and those that are still homeless, become aware of what has happened. A nightmare, to say the least and the weeks ahead will tell the story of endurance, perseverance and much needed prayer as a death to their life has taken place, now it is time for the healing of feelings to begin. Thank you for your prayers again, and may we continue to ask Our Lady to wrap her mantle of overflowing love around the victims, especially the poorest of the poor.


Pope sends Vatican aid to Katrina victims
Hurricane Katrina: Catholic Charities Respond
In Katrina's Wake, Working as "One Human Family"

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

9. He will raise you to union with Himself in proportion as He finds you lowered in your own estimation. Do everything, therefore, through love and from a motive of humility.

September 8, 2005


VIA Ma. Evelyn Ambrosio: Just a short note to inform that it is the Blessed Mother's birthday on September 8. I had been writing her . I learned about this through an article in the papers by Fr. James Reuter. He wrote that at the Grotto in Lourdes, France, thousands of letters are received, and that these are placed at the foot of her image. After mass, these are burned, so the prayers in the letters are literally raised to the heavens.

So far, the Blessed Mother had answered all my prayers. But I don't pray only to ask, but to thank her as well. You might want to do the same, in time for her birthday. Thank her for the many blessings or implore her help for a special intention, write to :

The Blessed Mother
Monsieur L' Econome de L'oeuvre
65100 Lourdes.cedes
Lourdes, France

VIA Richard: Thought that you, as I did, would enjoy reading from the real life stories sent in by list members and people who visit the holy souls web site.

Just posted two real life stories (one from Larry and one from Romy) regarding the Rosary:

Just posted Wendy's real life story regarding St Anthony:

Just posted two real stories (one from Rachel and one from Liji) regarding St Joseph:

There are also lots more real life stories posted at those links, in fact, you can probably get immersed in them and easily read for an hour - they are fascinating - praise God !!

Please do feel free to send me your real life stories, so I can post them here, about how the Rosary, or St Joseph or St Anthony gave *you* a miracle or helped you out of a tough spot.

Many people read these stories, some just surf through of course, but many others search in places like Google for real life stories about how prayer
*worked* for someone and they end up here reading about real miracles happening to real people.

We can only know in eternity the hope and the courage that these real stories give to these desparate searching souls. They have a real impact because they are taken from the very fabric of our lives from those of us who have kept and nourished the great *gift* of faith.

Pass along *your* real life story and maybe save a soul, especially as the great disaster of Hurricane Katrina continues to unfold and impact lives and immortal souls.

VIA Nadine: A Gift That Anyone Can Give . . . A Smile

It costs nothing, but saves much.
It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give.
It happens in a flash, and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None is so rich that he can get along without it; none so poor that he is not enriched by it.
It creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in business, and is the countersign of friends.
It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sick, and Nature's best antidote for trouble.
It cannot be bought, borrowed, or stolen, for it is no earthly good to anyone until it is given away.
If you meet someone too burdened with grief or worry to smile, just give him one of yours.
For nobody needs a smile so much as he who has none left to give. [ Author unknown ]

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

8. Be despoiled of everything and the Sacred Heart of Jesus will enrich you. Empty your heart of everything and He will compensate you. Forget and abandon yourself.

September 7, 2005


A leading Roman Catholic cardinal has urged Britain to help remove a clause from Iraq's draft constitution he says would deny Christians and other minorities their basic rights as citizens.

Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, who is Archbishop of Westminster, warned British Foreign Minister Jack Straw last week the clause could have 'devastating consequences' for Iraq's Christian minority. His office gave some details of his letter on Monday.

Determining the role of Islam in Iraq has been one factor stalling the drafting of a new constitution. A draft submitted last month will now be put to a referendum in October although some fine tuning is still taking place.

One clause in the draft states that 'no law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam', according to the statement from the cardinal's office.

In recent years, the Vatican has stressed the issue of religious liberty in Muslim countries and has raised in the United Nations the question of persecution of Christians and other minorities in some societies with Islamic majorities.

While church leaders recognise that Iraq will be an Islamic state and that Islam will be a source for legislation, they are 'most alarmed' by the article and consider it 'a real threat to religious freedom', Murphy-O'Connor told Straw.

ZENIT REVIEW: Islam's Hard Brand of Law- Rise of Shariah Is Raising Concerns


Following the threats against the Vatican faxed to a Spanish TV station and newspaper last week, the Catholic Church remains the target of Islamic extremists, this time in a report posted on an Islamic Internet forum under the heading "The Pope of the Vatican goes to War". The message, signed under the name D. Abdouh, discusses the Vatican's entry in the war between al-Qaeda and the Western world, with a speech Pope Benedict XV! gave during his recent trip to Cologne in Germany.

After this, the document directly quotes the Vatican, claiming that after years of neutrality the Vatican, with the ascent of Joseph Ratzinger to the pontificate, has decided to come out in defence of the West, against the Islamic world.

It is the first time the Vatican and the Pope have been identified as an integral part of the Western coalition fighting Islamic terrorism in a forum close to the al-Qaeda network. The message appears to put the Catholic Church and Vatican City firmly among the potential targets of the Jihadists.

MORE: Pope met anti-Islam author Fallaci


Persecution of Kosovo Christians Said to Reveal Larger Threat
Islamic extremists forcibly shut down Catholic chapel in West Java
Pakistani Christians Protest "Persecution" and "Social Injustice"
Turkey’s Mistreatment of Christians Becoming More Brazen

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

7. I wish to learn in the Sacred Heart of Jesus to suffer all things in silence, and never to complain of what may be done to me, since dust deserves but to be trodden underfoot.

September 6, 2005



by Desmond Birch

I have been receiving email after email with opinions expressed that Katrina is a wakeup Call to the U.S.

While I don't deny that for a minute, there is another aspect to this. The U.S., and Canada, and other well-to-do Western Nations have been receiving Wake-Up Calls FOR YEARS. But they have for the most part not been noticed - or ignored I'LL GIVE YOU ONE INCREDIBLE EXAMPLE. A LARGE PORTION OF OUR CATHOLIC BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN SUDAN HAVE BEEN LIVING IN SQUALOR IN REGUGEE CAMPS - FOR 10 TO FIFTEEN YEARS.




We get many wake-up calls. For years I got a whole host of them, which I ignored. Then I received one which I couldn't ignore. That was twenty five years ago.

By the grace of God, I finally listened to that one, and I admitted to myself that I had a serious drinking problem. By that same grace, I was able to obtain sobriety. So this year is my twenty-fifth anniversity of sobriety - thanks be to God.

911 was a wakeup call. No, the United Stated is not invulnurable. And yes, any of us can die on any given day. The Churches were much fuller for about 6 to 8 weeks. Some of the people who had 'gone back to Church' stayed in Church. Others drifted back to their old lives.

In my experience, it is the postivive wake-up calls which - on average - have the most lasting affects. I think that is why the wake-up call of the Holy death of Pope John Paul II has not suffered much recidivism.

My daughter Felicia got a bigtime wakeup call this past spring. She is a very serious young Catholic lady. But as she later told her mother and I, she needed a wakeup call. It was her last year in Med School in February. And she opted to do a charitable 'rotation' for thirty days in the Dominican Republic. There, her assignment was to help care for, and to help deliver, babies for the poor in the Dominican Republic. She discovered that 'the poor' meant about 80% of the Dominican Republic.

She called us about 2 days after she got there, and told us that the biggest clinic for the poor in the Capitol - didn't even have sanitary/surgical gloves. They didn't have anesthetic. They didn't have power which they could rely on during surgeries. They had to have someone ready with flashlights to switch on when the power goes off during deliveries or surgeries. The power evidently goes off and on unpredictably there. The hospital for the wealthy has its own generator.. She said, "Daddy, they've got nothing. Can you and mommy send us some money to help us buy surgical gloves and antiseptic. All of us are calling our family and relatives to get some money to help buy some basics. We don't even have enough clean bandages and dressings.

For Felicia, that was her wakeup call. She told me on the phone the other night that; 'MANY OF THE POOR IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC LIVE IN CONDITIONS WHICH ARE ALMOST AS BAD AS THOSE IN NEW ORLEANS A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO. THE ONLY THING MISSING IS THE SNIPERS.' AND IT IS THEIR NORMAL WAY OF LIFE. Learning the reality of the suffering of others around us, and the kind of compassion and charity it takes to do something about it was her wakeup call. She is now absolutely committed - after she completes her initial year and then her Residency in Anesthesiology to put in as much free work for the poor whereever she finds them - for the rest of her life.


By the standards of much of the rest of the world, Americans have been protected and coddled for a very long time. We haven't known this kind of suffering on our own soil since the American Civil War.

I am hoping our reaction will be like my daughter Felicia's - when she saw that kind of suffering in the Dominican Republic.

A very good priest-friend of mine has told me that he has seen much evidence that the very holiness of the death of Pope John Paul II was a wakeup call for many fallen-away Catholics - in Europe, and in the New World. And he has told me that that 'wake-up-call' (unlike 911) has not had a lot of ricidivism.

And that is very understandable - human nature being what it is. Fear, is the shortest lived of all human motivators. Powerful for a while, but short-lived. Why? Because fear is painful. So - people want to get that fear out of their minds.

It's true that almost everyone except Saints fears death. So there is a fear factor somewhat invlved here in the Holy Death example given to us by God's grace and John Paul II's cooperation in his death agony - I realize that. But there was also the heavy influence of the peace of his death. Desire for inner peace is a postive motivation. Everyone wants that peace - which we know is only found in Christ - which John Paul II had in such abundance.

We have received another wake up call. I am seeing signs that 'compassion for others' is blooming as a result in many people. Let us hope it is longlasting.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

6. I assure you I possess naught but my Saviour Jesus Christ. Therefore He often says to me: "What wouldst thou do without Me? Thou wouldst be poor indeed!"

September 3, 2005


Reading (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11)  Gospel (St. Luke 4:31-37)

In the Gospel today, we hear that very familiar point that even the demons are subject to the Word of God, and that He speaks with authority and even the demons have to obey. It is an interesting point because the Lord speaks with the exact same authority to us and the real question is: Do we obey? If even the demons have to obey the Word of God, why not us? Now there are lots of reasons why they have no choice but to obey. We have that free will that we have to make a choice, but He speaks with the exact same authority. The demons recognize the authority of His Word and of His holy Name, and they are obedient. We who have made a choice to follow Jesus Christ ought to be far more obedient. What a tragic day it will be if we stand before God and He looks at us and says, “You know what, the demons were more obedient than you were.” What is that going to say? It does not sound too good, does it?

But if we couple that with what Saint Paul reminds us of (and he is simply quoting the words of Our Lord Himself), he told us that the day will come like a thief in the night. Saint Paul reminds us then that we cannot be asleep but we have to remain sober, awake, and alert. All too many have been lulled into this false sense of security that our society has provided. As long as we have money, as long as we have entertainment, as long as we have our pleasure, we really do not need anything else. What is happening is the devil has us pulled right into his web and we are just being lulled into sleep. The day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night. The question is: Are we going to be prepared? The day is at hand, and if we are not ready, we are in trouble. The Lord has spoken with authority; are we listening? We have been warned; do we care? What is on the line is our souls and the souls of other people.

If we look at what is going on over the last year, we see the increase in natural disasters – increasing in number, increasing in intensity. That is going to continue. We can try to find excuses for all kinds of other things: “Well, it’s the terrorists who did that,” and, “These people did this other thing,” and so on. There is not any other excuse when it comes to the weather and other natural things. Last year, the number of volcanoes in the world was ten times more than normal. The number of earthquakes has skyrocketed. The number of tornadoes and hurricanes is unprecedented. Scientists cannot explain what is going on; they do not understand. We are going to continue to see that increase.

But it is not just that. There are other things that are going on as well, and we have to be able to recognize the signs of the times. This is what the Second Vatican Council told us we have to do. It is exactly what Jesus Himself told us we have to do. He said, “If you can look at the fig tree and you know by its fruit that it is time, then so be it. You can look at the sky and you know that there is rain coming. If you can understand the signs of nature, why can you not understand what else is going on, the spiritual signs that are present?” It is because of the stupid TV set. It is because of the trash we are listening to on the radio. It is because of the entertainment and the pleasure that we are seeking. If all we are doing is focusing on our own self, we are clearly not focusing on God. If all we are caught up into is sensual things then we cannot be caught up into spiritual things. If we are caught up in the senses and we are caught up in the self then the day of the Lord is going to catch us off guard like a thief in the night and there will be no escape.

We have been warned time and time and time again. Maybe we are just sitting back because Our Lady has told us how many times. Maybe we think she is crying wolf. Maybe we think that because she has been warning us for so long and nothing has happened that nothing is going to. It is coming. All you have to do is look around and realize that people are not prepared. They have been lulled into a spiritual slumber. Satan has them right in the palm of his hand. It is not just about ourselves that we have to be worried; there are lots and lots of people out there who need prayer. So we are the ones who have to do that. If we have been warned and we understand, in charity we need to pray for others and do our part so that their souls will be spared.

We need to take Our Lady’s warning seriously. We need to hear what Saint Paul said and what Jesus said. We need to be able to read the signs of the times. The day of the Lord is upon us. If the householder knew the day and the hour that the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. For most people, the day of the Lord is coming like a thief in the night. They are sound asleep spiritually, they are lulled into a false sense of security, and they are all saying, “Peace and security, nothing to worry about.” The day of the Lord will catch them unprepared.

We have to be prepared. We do not know when things are going to happen and we do not know how things are going to happen. It does not matter. If we are prepared, we are going to be fine. And if we are prepared then we can help others to be prepared. The best way to help them is through prayer, through offering penance. That is something that would be required by charity. So we need to be prepared now because the day of the Lord is at hand like a thief in the night of the American slumber.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

3. I must efface and annihilate myself and live poor, unknown, forgotten and despised by creatures and hidden in the Sacred Heart of my divine Master, so that He may found His Kingdom on my nothingness.

September 2, 2005

(Luke 21:28) But when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand.


"Once, several years after the destruction of the Holy Temple, Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Eliezer ben Azarya, Rabbi Yehoshua and Rabbi Akiva were going up to Jerusalem.  When they reached Mt.  Scopus, the site of the Temple came into view, and they tore their garments.  When they reached the Temple Mount, they saw a fox dart out from the spot where the Holy of Holies had stood in the Holy Temple.  The other rabbis began to weep, but Rabbi Akiva laughed.  They said to him: "Akiva, you never cease to amaze us.  We are crying, and you laugh!" But Rabbi Akiva said, "And you, why are you crying?"

The rabbis responded: "What?  Shall we not weep?  The place about which Scripture states (Numbers 1:51), 'And the stranger who draws close shall die,' has become a den of foxes?  Indeed, this is a fulfillment of the verse, 'For Mt. Zion which lies desolate, foxes prowl over it.' (Lamentations 5:18)

Rabbi Akiva answered them: 'This is exactly why I laugh.  For just as we have seen the prophecies of Jerusalem's destruction have come to pass, so too, know that the prophecies of her future consolation shall also be fulfilled.  I laughed because I remembered the verses (Zachariah 8:4-5), 'Old men and old women will once again sit in the streeets of Jerusalem, each with his staff in his hand because of advanced age; and the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.' The Holy One, blessed be He, has declared that just as the first prophecies have been fulfilled, so shall the latter.  I am joyous that the first have already come to pass, for the latter shall be fulfilled in the future.' Said the rabbis, 'You have comforted us, Akiva, you have comforted us.  May you be comforted by the footsteps of the messenger.'"


Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion --- inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.


Bishop William S.  Skylstad, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has announced that a National Collection for Hurricane Relief will be taken up in the 195 Catholic dioceses throughout the United States.

Bishop Skylstad said the USCCB has not been able to reach most of the bishops in the affected area because the power and communications are out, but that a request for a national collection had been received.

“The devastation and destruction by Hurricane Katrina is being felt in many dioceses of the United States, but most especially in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama,” the bishop said in a message sent today (August 30) to all Catholic bishops.  “As the storm proceeds north through Tennessee and Kentucky even more people will be affected,” he continued.  “Millions of people are in need of assistance and Catholic Charities will be among the primary responders.  Catholic Charities USA, working with the local diocesan Catholic Charities, has a professional and well developed system of reviewing the needs and providing help where it can accomplish the most good.”

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

2. As all things find rest only in their center and are irresistibly drawn to what is natural to them, even so my heart, wholly absorbed in its center, the humble Heart of Jesus, has an unquenchable thirst for humiliations, contempt and oblivion on the part of creatures, and thus I never feel happier than when I am conformed to my crucified Spouse.

September 1, 2005


Governor Kathleen Blanco: "As we face the devastation wrought by Katrina, as we search for those in need, as we comfort those in pain and as we begin the long task of rebuilding, we turn to God for strength, hope and comfort.

I have declared August 31, 2005, a Day of Prayer in the State of Louisiana. I am asking that all of Louisiana take some time Wednesday to pray. Pray for the victims and the rescuers. Please pray that God give us all the physical and spiritual strength to work through this crisis and rebuild.

Please pray for patience for those anxiously waiting to hear from family members or to get word about their homes. Pray for the safety of our hard-working rescuers and those they are bringing to safety.

I know, by praying together on Wednesday, that we can pull together and draw strength we need; strength, that only God can give us. In my prayers, I will also thank God for the strong and resilient people of this state and how they are working to meet this challenge."


Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday he was praying for victims of the "tragic" hurricane that has devastated parts of the southern United States and urged rescue workers to persevere in bringing comfort to survivors.

In a telegram of condolences, Benedict said he was "deeply saddened" to learn of the wrath of Hurricane Katrina, which slammed into the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Monday, the AP reports.

The telegram, sent by the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, said Benedict was praying for the victims and offered consolation to their families.

"His Holiness likewise prays for the rescue workers and all involved in providing assistance to the victims of this disaster, encouraging them to persevere in their efforts to bring relief and support," the telegram said.

VIA MissionMoments: Please help spread the word that a good source of information is radio AM 870. In most areas you may only be able to access at night, but you can receive it at great distances. New Orleans and the metro area are uninhabitable. Please try to make arrangements for long term stays 30 + days. Wish I had better news.

Blog website by the New Orleans TV Station:


The day one of our cities disappeared
Katrina's Staggering Blow
Engulfed: New Orleans torn apart by Katrina, America's 'greatest natural disaster'
Misery and Water Keep Rising

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

1. Behold, O my soul, the means by which you cn honor your God, viz., by renouncing and humbling yourself with Jesus Christ and for the love of Jesus Christ. Thus you will find life in death, sweetness in bitterness, and God in self-effacement: for you must leave all in order to find Him.

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