Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Messages from Our Lady of Medjugorje - March

Latest Monthly Medjugorje Message, March 25, 2009

“Dear children! In this time of spring, when everything is awakening from the winter sleep, you also awaken your souls with prayer so that they may be ready to receive the light of the risen Jesus. Little children, may He draw you closer to His Heart so that you may become open to eternal life. I pray for you and intercede before the Most High for your sincere conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call. ”

Latest Special Medjugorje Message, March 2, 2009 - Our Lady's apparitions to Mirjana

“Dear Children, I am here among you. I am looking into your wounded and restless hearts. You have become lost, my children. Your wounds from sin are becoming greater and are distancing you all the more from the real truth. You are seeking hope and consolation in the wrong places, while I am offering to you sincere devotion which is nurtured by love, sacrifice and truth. I am giving you my son. ”

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Burial or Cremation?

For the first Christians, the resurrection after death was a strong reality. They did everything they could to be able to bury the bodies of their dead. When we visit the catacombs in Rome, we are struck by the care and the faith with which the dead were buried. They are laid out as if they were sleeping. «We look for the Resurrection of the dead and life everlasting» (The Creed) Such is the faith of Christians who believe that, just as Christ rose from the tomb with his body, so too we will rise with our body by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is why cremation had been rejected for a long time since it was seen as a refusal to believe in the Resurrection. Today the Church no longer forbids a funeral ceremony if a person chooses cremation for a GOOD REASON, and there is no danger in compromising the belief in the resurrection of the dead. In certain countries, it is sometimes a necessity, and also under certain circumstances. The same respect ought to be given to the ashes as is given to the body of the deceased. They should be deposited in an established and respectable place in a cemetery but NEVER IN ONE’s HOME. Nevertheless, the relationship between faith and practice leads us to PREFER burying the body whenever possible. This signifies more clearly the respect of the body of each person who has become a temple of the Holy Spirit through baptism and who is called to the resurrection on the last day. Nourished by the Eucharist - the Body of Christ - our mortal bodies are given the promise of immortality. Burying the dead, as the first Christians did, signifies the expectation of the Resurrection. Even in those situations where cremation seems the only possible alternative, the Church always desires that the Funeral Mass be celebrated with the body present, and then the cremation can take place afterwards.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Signs before the Day of Judgement

The Gospel of St. Matthew speaks to us about the tribulations and events that will take place before the final Judgement. This is what our Lord said:
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days,
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will fall from the sky,
and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he will send out his angels with a trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. " (Mt 24:29-31)

Our Lord spoke to St. Faustina and revealed to her some of the events that will take place before the Day of judgement. Interestingly enough the revelations to St. Faustina are in perfect agreement with Scripture, but provide a more detailed nature about the sign of the Son of Man that will appear in heaven. Jesus said to St. Faustina:
Write this: Before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort: All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day (Diary, 83).

In Akita in the third message given to Sister Agnes, our Blessed Mother revealed to her about the upcoming chastisement if people do not repent and better themselves. In that apparition, our Lady also speaks in similar terms to those given by Scripture and St. Faustina, and predicts that the only thing remaining for the faithful in those days will be the Rosary and the sign left by her Son. Although one can think that this sign (also a reality) is probably the sacrament of the Eucharist, one can also argue that perhaps another possibility would be a sign left on the sky as predicted by Matthew and St. Faustina:
"As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests."
We are living in times of Grace and Mercy and the Lord keeps reminding us of that fact. There is a sense of URGENCY in those messages coming from private revelations in which God seems to be inviting humanity to change and to repent before it is too late. Will we heed the voice of God? Will we hear the voice of the Lord while there is still time or will we harden our hearts? The choice is ours!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Aramaic still spoken in Maaloula, Syria

Aramaic has been extinct for many centuries. However in Maaloula, a small village in Syria , Aramaic is still alive. The word Maaloula means entrance in Aramaic. It's situated at an altitude of more than 1500 meters; with its little houses cling to the face of an enormous rock; making it look suspended in mid-air.
There are two important monasteries in Maaloula: Mar Sarkis and Mar Taqla. Enter Mar Sarkis Monastery, and you will find yourself in the midst of history. This monastery was built in the 4th century on remains of a heathen temple,with a simple, plain appearance. It was named after St. Sarkis, one of Syrian horsemen who fell in the reign of king Maximanus in 297. This monastery still maintains its solemn historical character.
Then visit renowned Mar Taqla Monastery, along with scores of pilgrims, both Muslim and Christian, who go there to gain blessings and to make offerings; the place holds the remains of St. Taqla; daughter of one of Selucid princes, and pupil of St. Paul.
Should you want to see more, there are the remains of numerous monasteries, convents, churches, shrines and sanctuaries some of which lie in ruins, while others continue to stand, defying age.

Aramaic was one of the languages spoken in the Middle East and by Jesus Christ during the time that He appeared on the scene about 2000 years ago. Click on the following link to see this very interesting and informative program, and to hear what Aramaic sounds like:

Apparitions of the Blessed Mother in Akita

Perhaps one of the less known approved apparitions of Our Lady are those of Akita. The three messages were given by Our Lady in 1973. The apparitions were formally approved after years of investigation by the local Bishop in 1982. And finally in June of 1988, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, at that time the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave his definitive judgement on the Akita events and messages as reliable and worthy of belief. And as we know this Cardinal is now our beloved Holy Father Benedict XVI.

The events of Akita began in June 12, 1973 when Sr. Agnes Sasagawa in Akita Japan began to see brilliant mysterious rays emanate suddenly from the Tabernacle. The same thing happened on each of the two days that followed. On June 28, 1973 a cross-shaped wound appeared on the inside left hand of Sr. Agnes. It bled profusely and caused her much pain. On July 6, Sr. Agnes heard a voice coming from the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the chapel where she was praying, and the first message was given to Sr. Agnes. The statue was carved from a single block of wood from a Katsura tree and is three feet tall. On the same day, a few of the sisters noticed drops of blood flowing from the statue's right hand. On four occasions, this act of blood flow repeated itself. The wound in the statue's hand remained until September 29, when it disappeared. On September 29, the day the wound on the statue disappeared, the sisters noticed the statue had now begun to "sweat", especially on the forehead and neck. On August 3, 1973, Sr. Agnes received a second message. Then in October 13, 1973 , Sr. Agnes received the third and final message from Our Lady. Two years later on January 4, 1975, the statue of the Blessed Virgin began to weep. It continued to weep at intervals for the next 6 years and eight months. It wept on 101 occasions. Then on September 28, 1981, Sr. 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 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 until eternity. The first "one" represents Eve and the last "one" the Virgin Mary." This the content of the three different messages:

JULY 6, 1973

"My daughter, my novice, you have obeyed me well in abandoning all to follow me. Is the infirmity of your ears painful? Your deafness will be healed, be sure. Does the wound of your hand cause you to suffer? Pray in reparation for the sins of men. Each person in this community is my irreplaceable daughter. Do you say well the prayer of the Handmaids of the Eucharist? Then, let us pray it together."

"Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, truly present in 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."

When the prayer was finished, the Heavenly Voice said:

"Pray very much for the Pope, Bishops, and Priests. Since your Baptism you have always prayed faithfully for them. Continue to pray very much...very much. Tell your superior all that passed today and obey him in everything that he will tell you. He has asked that you pray with fervor."

(Sr. Agnes was indeed healed from her deafness nine years later in 1982, attesting to the authenticity of these messages)
AUGUST 3, 1973

"My daughter, my novice, do you love the Lord? If you love the Lord, listen to what I have to say to you.""It is very important...You will convey it to your superior.""Many men in this world afflict the Lord. I desire souls to console Him to soften the anger of the Heavenly Father. I wish,with my Son, for souls who will repair by their suffering and their poverty for the sinners and ingrates."

"In order that the world might know His anger, the Heavenly Father is preparing to inflict a great chastisement on all mankind. With my Son I have intervened so many times to appease the wrath of the Father. I have prevented the coming of calamities by offering sufferings of the Son on the Cross, His Precious Blood, and beloved souls who console Him forming a cohort of victim souls. Prayer, penance and courageous sacrifices can soften the Father's anger. I desire this also from your community...that it love poverty, that it sanctify itself and pray in reparation for the ingratitude and outrages of so many men. Recite the prayer of the Handmaids of the Eucharist with awareness of its meaning; put it into practice; offer in reparation(whatever God may send) for sins. Let each one endeavor, according to capacity and position, to offer herself entirely to the Lord."

"Even in a secular institute prayer is necessary. Already souls who wish to pray are on the way to being gathered together.Without attaching to much attention to the form, be faithful and fervent in prayer to console the Master."

After a silence:

"Is what you think in your heart true? Are you truly decided to become the rejected stone? My novice, you who wish to belong without reserve to the Lord, to become the spouse worthy of the Spouse, make your vows knowing that you must be fastened to the Cross with three nails. These three nails are poverty, chastity,and obedience. Of the three, obedience is the foundation. In total abandonment, let yourself be led by your superior. He will know how to understand you and to direct you."
OCTOBER 13, 1973

"My dear daughter, listen well to what I have to say to you. You will inform your superior."

After a short silence:

"As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests."

"The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres...churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demons will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord."The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them""With courage, speak to your superior. He will know how to encourage each one of you to pray and to accomplish works of reparation."

"It is Bishop Ito, who directs your community."

And She smiled and then said:

"You have still something to ask? Today is the last time that I will speak to you in living voice. From now on you will obey the one sent to you and your superior.""Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach. Those who place their confidence in me will be saved."

It is time that all of us read and pray with these messages of urgency for our troubled times and make once and for all a decision to pray the Rosary daily for peace, and for the conversion of sinners, and to offer sacrifices and do penance in order to make reparation for the many sins of the world including our own, and choose to console the Sacred Heart of Our Lord truly present in the Eucharist but afflicted by our own ingratitude and indifference.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


The author of the following reflection based on the writings of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta does not want to be identified. I wanted to share it with you nonetheless, for it is very powerful. Spend some time to ponder it in your heart; make it available to family and friends. I hope and pray that many souls will be genuinely touched.
It is true. I stand at the door of your heart, day and night. Even when you are not listening, even when you doubt it could be Me, I am there. I await even the smallest sign of your response, even the least whispered invitation that will allow Me to enter. I want you to know that whenever you invite Me, I do come – always, without fail. Silent and unseen I come, but with infinite power and love, bringing the many gifts of My Spirit. I come with My mercy, with My desire to forgive and heal you, and with a love for you beyond your comprehension – a love every bit as great as the love I have received from the Father. “As much as the Father has loved Me, I have loved you.” (John 15:10) I come, longing to console you and give you strength, to lift you up and bind all your wounds. I bring you My light, to dispel your darkness and all your doubts. I come with My power, that I might carry you and all your burdens; with My grace, to touch your heart and transform your life; My peace I give to still your soul.
I know you through and through. I know everything about you. The very hairs of your head I have numbered. Nothing in your life is unimportant to Me. I have followed you through the years and I have always loved you – even in your wanderings. I know every one of your problems. I know your needs and your worries. Yes, I know all your sins. But I tell you again that I love you – not for what you have or haven't done – I love you for you, for the beauty and the dignity My Father gave you by creating you in His own Image. It is a dignity you have often forgotten, a beauty you tarnished by sin. But I love you as you are, and I have shed My Blood to win you back. If you only ask Me with faith, My grace will touch all that needs changing in your life and I will give you the strength to free yourself from sin and all its destructive power.
I know what is in your heart – I know your loneliness and all your hurts – the rejections, the judgments, the humiliations; I carried it all before you. I carried it all for you, so that you might share My strength and victory. I know especially your need for love - how you are thirsting to be loved and cherished. But how often have you thirsted in vain, by seeking that love selfishly, striving to fill the emptiness inside you with passing pleasures – the the even greater emptiness of sin. Do you thirst for love? “Come to Me all you who thirst ...” (John 7:37) I will satisfy you and fill you. Do you thirst to be cherished? I cherish you more than you can imagine – to the point of dying on the cross for you. I thirst for you. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe My love for you. I THIRST FOR YOU. I thirst to love you and to be loved by you – that is how precious you are to Me. I THIRST FOR YOU. Come to Me, and I will fill your heart and heal your wounds. I will make you a new creation and give you peace; even in all your trials, I THIRST FOR YOU. You must never doubt My mercy, My acceptance of you, My desire to forgive, My longing to bless you and live My life in you. I THIRST FOR YOU. If you feel unimportant in the eyes of the world, that matters not at all. For Me, there is no one any more important in the entire world than you. I THIRST FOR YOU. Open to Me; come to Me; thirst for Me; give Me your life – and I will prove to you how important you are to My Heart.
Don't you realize that My Father already has a perfect plan to transform you life, beginning from this moment? Trust in Me. Ask Me every day to enter and take charge of your life – and I will. I promise you before My Father in Heaven that I will work miracles in your life. Why would I do this? Because I THIRST FOR YOU. All I ask of you is that you entrust yourself to Me completely. I will do the rest.
Even now I behold the place My Father has prepared for you in My Kingdom. Remember that you are a pilgrim in this life, on a journey home. Sin can never satisfy you, or bring you the peace you seek. All that you have sought outside of Me has only left you more empty, so do not cling to the things of this life. Above all, do not run from Me when you fall. Come to Me without delay. When you give Me your sins, you give Me the joy of being your Saviour. There is nothing that I cannot forgive and heal; so come now, and unburden your soul.
No matter how far you may wander, no matter how often you forget Me, no matter how many crosses you may bear in this life, there is one thing that I want you to always remember, one thing that will never change. I THIRST FOR YOU – just as you are. You don't need to change to believe in My love, for it will be your belief in My love that will change you. You forget Me and yet I am seeking you every moment of the day – standing at the door of your heart and knocking. Do you find this hard to believe? Then look at the cross, look at My Heart that was pierced for you. Have you not understood My cross? Then listen again to the words I spoke there, for they tell you clearly why I endured all this for you: “I thirst ...” (John 19:28) Yes, I thirst for you – as the rest of the psalm verse I was praying says of Me: “I looked for love and I found none ...” (Psalm 69: 20) All your life I have been looking for your love – I have never stopped seeking to love you and be loved by you. You have tried many other things in your search for happiness; why not try opening your heart to Me, right now, more than you ever have before? Whenever you do open the door of your heart, whenever you come close enough, you will hear Me say to you again and again, not in mere human words, but in spirit: “No matter what you have done, I love you for your own sake. Come to Me with your misery and your sins, with your troubles and needs, and with all your longing to be loved. I stand at the door of your heart and knock. Open to Me, for I THIRST FOR YOU ...”

Saturday, March 21, 2009

St. Faustina and the Practice of the Present Moment

To practice mercy and compassion, St Faustina wrote of the importance of living in the present moment and using it to love God and others with all our hearts. In her diary, she said that
“only the present moment is precious to me, as the future may never enter my soul at all”
She aimed to use the present moment as best as she could because it is the present moment that truly belongs to a person. As a result, to ward off fears and doubts in her soul she would pray,
“Jesus, be with me each moment; and no fear will enter my heart”
By doing this, the doubts that racked her soul from the very beginning of the fulfilment of her vocation and until her death at 33 were always faced with courage and trust in God’s compassion, love and mercy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Protecting Conscience Rights in Health Care

Brothers and Sisters:
The attached video by Cardinal George (2 ½ minutes) and the 30 seconds it takes to fill in the user information/home address, is a very important step in the process of public hearings now being conducted by the US Congress with regard to legislation that could remove all conscience protections from health care personnel and institutions. It is one easy way for us to support our country and move away from despotism. Just hit this link, then the petition link in the right column:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Holy Year of Priests- 19 June 2009 to 19 June 2010

Today I am happy to celebrate my seventh anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. It is also with great joy that on this day the Holy Father has also announced the proclamation of a Holy Year for priests based on the theme: "The missionary identity of priests in the Church as an intrinsic dimension of the exercise of the 'tre munera'". " Benedict XVI highlighted the "indispensable struggle for moral perfection which must dwell in every truly priestly heart. In order to favour this tendency of priests towards spiritual perfection, upon which the effectiveness of their ministry principally depends, I have", he said, "decided to call a special 'Year for Priests' which will run from 19 June 2009 to 19 June 2010". This year marks "the 150th anniversary of the death of the saintly 'Cure of Ars', Jean Marie Vianney, a true example of a pastor at the service of Christ's flock". Benedict XVI stressed the need to "have care for the formation of candidates to the priesthood", a formation that must maintain "communion with unbroken ecclesial Tradition, without pausing or being tempted by discontinuity. In this context, it is important to encourage priests, especially the young generations, to a correct reading of the texts of Vatican Council II, interpreted in the light of all the Church's doctrinal inheritance". Priests must be "present, identifiable and recognisable - for their judgement of faith, personal virtues and attire - in the fields of culture and of charity which have always been at the heart of the Church's mission". "The centrality of Christ leads to a correct valuation of priestly ministry, without which there would be no Eucharist, no mission, not even the Church. It is necessary then, to ensure that 'new structures' or pastoral organisations are not planned for a time in which it will be possible to 'do without' ordained ministry, on the basis of an erroneous interpretation of the promotion of the laity, because this would lay the foundations for a further dilution in priestly ministry, and any supposed 'solutions' would, in fact, dramatically coincide with the real causes of the problems currently affecting the ministry".

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mary the Perfect Model of Humility

The following is an edited excerpt from some of Fr. Hardon's writings on the Eucharist. In this particular article he shows how Mary was humble because she carried God within and tries to show us that the way for us to acquire and receive this divine virtue is through the Eucharist, the real presence of Christ. Here it goes:

Mary practiced to an eminent degree the virtue of humility. At the Annunciation, she told the Angel, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord." In the Magnificat, she repeated the same term except she spoke of the lowliness of His handmaid to make sure nobody misunderstood what she meant by "handmaid." She told of how the Lord scatters the proud and exalts the lowly.
There are two kinds of exaltation: self-exaltation and divine exaltation. The greatest danger on earth is self-exaltation, because then we call down on ourselves the curse of God. But the condition for divine exaltation is lowly, Marian humility. She declared that the Lord fills the hungry (those who admit their emptiness) with good things. Hunger in the Bible means emptiness not only of the body, but a symbol of the admitted emptiness of everything. By ourselves, we are emptiness, a vacuum. But we must admit that we are a vacuum, or we shall not be filled by the goodness of God. We must admit and constantly confess our emptiness, which is another word for humility.
Mary declared how grateful she was that the Lord had done so much for Israel and His servant. Humility serves. Humility waits on others. Humility responds to the bidding of the one whom it serves. This is the mother of God, but only because she is also the lowly handmaid of the Lord. The more gifted a person, the more prone that person is to pride. Possession of anything naturally generates pride. And not only does possession generate pride, but the greater the possession the more pride it generates. Wealth of any kind inflates the human heart. The more a person has of physical or mental or moral or even spiritual riches, the harder it is for that person to be humble. How are we to be humble? How can we possess without being proud? Only through being in the presence of Jesus Christ.
We can consider the unspeakable humility of God not only in the Incarnation when He appeared as man, but also in remaining on earth in the Holy Eucharist. This is double humility: the humility of hiding His divinity as He did during His visible stay on earth and the divine humility in hiding even His humanity in the Holy Eucharist. He not only gives us the example of how humble we should be, but through Him, we receive the most fundamental grace we need in life: the grace of humility.
No matter what we possess, it tends to induce us to pride, and the more we have, the more tempted we are to be proud. But it's not just quantitative possession; it is qualitative possession that inclines to pride. And the highest possession we can have is sanctity. Dear God, how can I stay humble and grow in sanctity? This was the greatest temptation of the mystics. One does not possess the close union with God that saints like Catherine of Siena or Theresa of Avila or John of the Cross enjoyed without being tempted by pride. It's tempting to look down on "those lower mortals."
But Mary's humility is a paradox. The most gifted creature ever produced by the Creator was also the lowliest in her own eyes. That is the key to humility: seeing everything we are, everything we have, everything we hope to become, everything we hope to achieve or possess – seeing everything as a free, undeserved and totally gratuitous gift from God. But this is possible only by the grace with which the God who became man provides us. The same grace He provided Mary by His Real Presence with her, He provides by His Real Presence with us today. There's no more basic reason for the Real Presence on earth of Jesus Christ than to provide us with the humanly impossible grace of humility.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Anti-Catholic Bill 1098 Pulled today- VICTORY for the Catholic Church

I just got this great news. Notice also the association of Tom Gallagher with the National Catholic Reporter (a left wing so called "Catholic" newspaper), not to be confused with the National Catholic Register ( a truly Catholic newspaper). Praise the Lord!!

BREAKING NEWS:Connecticut Anti-Catholic Bill Pulled
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights (www.catholicleague.org/)
Chalk up a big victory for Catholics who are loyal to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and to the religious liberty provisions of the First Amendment.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal will now review the constitutionality of the bill.
HARTFORD (Catholic League) - The bill that would allow the state legislature in Connecticut to reconfigure the governing structure of the Catholic Church has been pulled. Introduced by Rep. Michael Lawlor and Sen. Andrew McDonald, the bill was withdrawn at the behest of the person who proposed it, Tom Gallagher; he is a contributor to the National Catholic Reporter, a left-wing Catholic newspaper. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal will now review the constitutionality of the bill. Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded as follows: “Every pre-law undergraduate knows that what Lawlor and McDonald tried to pull off—in stealth fashion—was flagrantly unconstitutional. For their fascist stunt, they should at least be censured by their colleagues. Ideally, they should resign or be forced out of office. “The big losers are the Catholic left-wing activists who pushed for this measure. To be specific, Voice of the Faithful, a dissident Catholic group comprised mainly of senior citizens, has been promoting a lay Catholic takeover of the Catholic Church for many years. .......................................

Excerpt taken from the following site (to read the complete article click below)

Fr. Tim Gallagher, OMV on EWTN

IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY SERIES ON EWTN. Fr. Tim Gallagher, Oblate of the Virgin Mary, will be on EWTN on Friday March 13 at 6:30 a.m. EST talking about Ignatian Prayer, on Tuesday March 17 at 6:00 p.m. EST talking about Ignatian Discernment, and on Friday March 20 at 6:30 a.m. EST talking about Ignatian Discernment. Fr. Tim's books can be purchased by clicking on the link provided in this blog on the left hand side column.

The anti-Catholic Bill in Connecticut: Bill 1098

As we know there is a proposed Bill 1098 before the Judiciary Committee which proposes to modify "corporate laws" for certain religious institutions", namely the Catholic Church. The Bill has been advanced by so called Catholics, members of the dissident group Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), that have as their real aim the destruction of the Church. The Bill oddly disregards the principle for separation of Church and State and is a meddling of the state in the affairs of the Chruch that interferes with the way the Church is administered and governed. In fact is an attempt also by the state to change the laws of Canon law within the Church that determine clearly how the temporal goods of the Church have to be administered. The saddest thing about this is that those people who are actually promoting this anti-Catholic Bill dare to call themselves Catholics. The website of the VOTF has tried to state more clearly their identity in the last couple of years, and now their site clearly state that their main objectives are " protecting children, to embrace an agenda aimed at reducing the power of the hierarchy, eliminating a celibate priesthood and introducing female priests." This comes as a no surprise to anybody who has seen what VOTF has done in the past years. Such dissident group has now been able to orchestrate a frontal attack on the Church that it is clearly of demonic origin and joins the ranks of other corporate structures that aim at destroying the Church in one way or another. The proposed legislation, S.B. 1098, aims to reorganize the internal structure of the Church, removing the bishop as the head of the board of the parishes in his diocese and requiring the pastor to report finances to a board composed of laity, instead of the bishop. Under the bill, the bishop is also relegated to being an "ex officio" member of the board, without voting rights. Anthony Picarello, General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Bishops has described the bill as “blatantly unconstitutional” since it “targets the Catholic Church explicitly and exclusively, and attempts to use the civil law to alter Church governance.” We Catholics must pray that the smoke of Satan that hovers over the Church may be dispelled, and we must also express our opinion against such blatant attack on the Church by contacting the Judiciary through the following link provided by the Family Institute:

For more information about the Bill and the Church's view about this bill check this link:
This is a link that shows how VOTF has been ivolved

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Visions of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven according to St. Faustina

The following passages are taken from the Diary of St. Faustina and they refer to her visions of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. Very interesting.
"...I saw two roads. One was broad, covered with sand and flowers, full of joy, music and all sorts of pleasures. People walked along it, dancing and enjoying themselves. They reached the end without realizing it. And at the end of the road there was a horrible precipice; that is, the abyss of hell. The souls fell blindly into it; as they walked, so they fell. And their number was so great that it was impossible to count them. And I saw the other road, or rather, a path, for it was narrow and strewn with thorns and rocks; and the people who walked along it had tears in their eyes, and all kinds of suffering befell them. Some fell down upon the rocks, but stood up immediately and went on. At the end of the road there was a magnificent garden filled with all sorts of happiness and all these souls entered there. At the very first instant they forgot all their sufferings" (Diary 153).

" Today, I was led by an Angel to the chasms of hell. It is a place of great torture; how awesomely large and extensive it is! The kinds of tortures I saw: the first torture that constitutes hell is the loss of God; the second is perpetual remorse of conscience; the third is that one’s condition will never change; the fourth is the fire that will penetrate the soul without destroying it, a terrible suffering, since it is a purely spiritual fire, lit by God’s anger; the fifth torture is conditional darkness and a terrible suffocating smell, and despite the darkness, the devils and the souls of the damned see each other and all the evil, both of others and their own; the sixth torture is the constant company of satan, the seventh torture is horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words, curses and blasphemies. These are the tortures suffered by all the damned together, but that is not the end of the sufferings. There are special tortures destined for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses. Each soul undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings, related to the manner in which it has sinned. There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. I would have died at the very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God had not supported me. Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like. I, sister Faustina, by the order of God, have visited the abysses of hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence. I cannot speak about it now; but I have received a command from God to leave it in writing. The devils were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God. What I have written is but a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell. When I came to, I could hardly recover from the fright. How terribly souls suffer there! Consequently, I pray even more fervently for the conversion of sinners. I incessantly plead God’s mercy upon them. O my Jesus, I would rather be in agony until the end of the world, amidst the greatest sufferings, then offend You by the least sin. (Diary 741).

" ...I saw my Guardian Angel, who ordered me to follow him. In a moment I was in a misty place full of fire in which there was a great crowd of suffering souls. They were praying fervently, but to no avail, for themselves; only we can come to their aid. The flames, which were burning them, did not touch me at all. My Guardian Angel did not leave me for an instant. I asked these souls what their greatest suffering was. They answered me in one voice that their greatest torment was longing for God. I saw Our Lady visiting the souls in Purgatory. The souls call Her “The Star of the Sea”. She brings them refreshment. I wanted to talk with them some more, but my Guardian Angel beckoned me to leave. We went out of that prison of suffering. [I heard an interior voice which said] ‘My mercy does not want this, but justice demands it. Since that time, I am in closer communion with the suffering souls.’” (Diary, 20)

" November 27, 1936. Today I was in heaven, in spirit, and I saw its unconceivable beauties and the happiness that awaits us after death. I saw how all creatures give ceaseless praise and glory to God. I saw how great is happiness in God, which spreads to all creatures, making them happy; and then all the glory and praise which springs from this happiness returns to its source; and they enter into the depths of God, contemplating the inner life of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, whom they will never comprehend or fathom. This source of happiness is unchanging in its essence, but it is always new, gushing forth happiness for all creatures. Now I understand Saint Paul, who said, “Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, not has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love him.” And God has given me to understand that there is but one thing that is of infinite value in His eyes, and that is love of God; love, love and once again, love; and nothing can compare with a single act of pure love of God. Oh, with what inconceivable favors God gifts a soul that loves Him sincerely! Oh, how happy is the soul who already here on earth enjoys His special favors! And of such are the little and humble souls. The sight of this great majesty of God, which I came to understand more profoundly and which is worshipped by the heavenly spirits according to their degree of grace and the hierarchies into which they are divided, did not cause my soul to be stricken with terror or fear; no, no, not at all! My soul was filled with peace and love, and the more I come to know the greatness of God, the more joyful I become that He is as He is. And I rejoice immensely in His greatness and am delighted that I am so little because, since I am little, He carries me in His arms and holds me close to His Heart. O my God, how I pity those people who do not believe in eternal life; how I pray for them that a ray of mercy would envelop them too, and that God would clasp them to His fatherly bosom... "
(Diary 777).

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

St. Teresa of Avila and Obstacles to Spritual Growth

St. Teresa speaks in her autobiography entitled “Her Life” about the main obstacles that stifled her growth during the first years of her cloistered life. The first obstacle was “carelessness about sin”, that is, Teresa in the beginning paid little attention to the harmful effects even of venial sins, this was partly due to the liberal and permissive advice of priests of her time. Teresa makes a distinction between deliberate freely chosen venial sins those venial sins that are not freely chosen. We should desire to avoid deliberate venial sins, and if necessary to die before committing even a venial sin. This is what St. Ignatius would refer to as the second degree of humility. As for those venial sins not freely chosen they will probably stay with us in some degree throughout the rest of our life but they do not impede spiritual growth in the same manner that deliberate venial sins do.
The second obstacle to growth is “not avoiding occasions of sin.” In fact many people fall into this trap, they can never overcome certain sins because they are not willing to avoid people, places, objects, circumstances, or situations, that may lead them into sin. They are not prudent in their behavior and in their associations and they keep falling. It is very difficult for them to make any progress as long as they are not willing to avoid anything or anyone who becomes an obstacle in their relationship with God. Teresa says that this is one of the most dominant mistakes beginners make and unless they are willing to cut off these occasions of sin, they will never grow spiritually.
The third obstacle is “self-reliance.” Many people get wearied and discouraged in the spiritual life because they do not see much progress, and this due in great part in the fact that they rely primarily in their own strength and not in God’s grace and power. People must learn to distrust themselves and to trust completely in God. We must certainly cooperate with God’s grace, and it is necessary that we cooperate, but we must always remember that our efforts although NECESSARY are not SUFFICIENT. Holiness comes from God and it is primarily His gift, therefore we have to be humble about it and beg constantly for God to transform us and make us holy.
The fourth obstacle is “not valuing the graces of God.” This happens when we do not respond with readiness, promptness to those interior inspirations of the Holy Spirit. The saints were prompt to respond to whatever inspirations they received without postponing the action to be carried out. We tend to postpone things, if we feel inspired by the Holy Spirit to pray now or perform some act of charity towards someone in need, but instead we say later, or tomorrow, then not only we fail to disobey, but in fact most likely we end up not doing it after all. If we cannot be found to be trustworthy in small matters how can we expect to be entrusted with greater matters?
Fr. Fernando Cuenca, OMV

Monday, March 2, 2009

St. Teresa of Avila and Spiritual Growth

St. Teresa of Avila one of the greatest mystics in the Catholic Church left us a profound treasure of spiritual heritage regarding the ways to grow in the spiritual life. For those whom Teresa considered beginners she always warned them about the necessity to grow in prayer and self-knowledge. St. Teresa likens the prayer life to tending a garden. The garden represents the heart, planted by the Lord but tended by us. Service for the Master is a great honour and delight. He walks there often and delights in the flowers which symbolize our developing virtues. Developing our prayer life is not easy, and Teresa acknowledges that the beginning stages require some hard labour, which she likens to watering a garden by drawing buckets from a well. We need to train ourselves in the ways of prayer but, just as in any discipline, rewards are sure to follow as we build upon sound instruction. With growth the required labour progressively lessens until, in the highest form of prayer, God pours out blessings as the rain falls from heaven, requiring no effort at all from the gardener.
Regarding self-knowledge she speaks about the need for humility in the First Mansion of the Interior Castle, Chapter 2, she says "(First Mansion, Chapter 2): "I do not know whether I have put this clearly; self-knowledge is of such consequence that I would not have you careless of it, though you may be lifted to heaven in prayer, because while on earth nothing is more needful than humility. Therefore, I repeat, not only a good way, but the best of all ways, is to endeavour to enter first by the room where humility is practised, which is far better than at once rushing on to the others. This is the right road;—if we know how easy and safe it is to walk by it, why ask for wings with which to fly? Let us rather try to learn how to advance quickly. I believe we shall never learn to know ourselves except by endeavouring to know God, for, beholding His greatness we are struck by our own baseness, His purity shows our foulness, and by meditating on His humility we find how very far we are from being humble."