Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Chronicals of Narnia: Prince Caspian


I have posted the trailer below:

In addition, I found an interesting article regarding the theological differences between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien here. Please feel free to leave thoughts or comments.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Saint Catherine of Sienna and respect for the Holy Father


April 29th is the feast of St. Catherine of Sienna. I believe that her feast is of great significance, considering the recent visit from Pope Bendict XVI! I wonder what the general reaction among Catholics in the US to him now.

At any rate, I found some useful food for thought on this great saint and her fidelity to the pope from
In Conversation with God.

Saint Catherine Benincasa of Sienna was born in 1347 and entered the Third Order Dominicans at a young age. She was known for her prayerful, penitential life and loved the pope dearly. During the captiviy in Avignon, she worked for peace by trying to convince Pope Gregory XI to return to the See of Rome, where the pope was meant to be. Her love for the Holy Father could be recognized by her title for him, "the sweet Christ on Earth, and said, "Anyone who refuses to obey the Christ on earth, who is in the place of Christ in heaven, does not participate in the fruit of the blood of the Son of God." She also begged the bishops and cardinals to reform the Church. She truly has given us an example of offering sacrifices for this cause, which is needed badly in this time of dissention from Rome by so many. Specifically, the recent popes have begged us to take a stand when the media misrepresents our Church. This must continue, for the more silent we are in the face of error, the fewer souls will see the truth and beauty of the Holy Faith. How many souls can be drawn home to Holy Mother Church by our daily example? Let us make it our goal to attract people to, rather than repel people from the one, true Church!

Monday, April 28, 2008

St. Louis de Montfort

+JMJ+ As I mentioned in my March 25th post, I am consecrated to Jesus through Mary via St. Lousi de Montfort's formula. In doing so, I recite the Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin on a daily basis. Therefore, I have decided to post that here today.

A devotion to Our Lady recommended by Saint Louis Marie de Montfort. The Our Father is prayed three times and the Hail Mary twelve times honoring her twelve privileges. Because she is the Mother of God she received incomparable gifts. Saint John the Evangelist saw a woman with a crown of twelve stars, clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet. Included as a star are the Immaculate Conception, Mary's birth, her marriage, the Incarnation, Christ's birth, his upbringingby Mary, his revelation to her of the Redemption mystery, Mary as virgin yet mother, Mary as the living temple of God.


(To honor the divine maternity of the Blessed Virgin, her ineffable virginity, her purity without stain, and her innumerable virutes)

Our Father

1. Hail Mary

Blessed art thou, O Virgin Mary, who didst bear the Lord, the Creator of the world; thou didst give birth to Him Who made thee and remainest a Virgin forever.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary,
Rejoice a thousand times!

2. Hail Mary

O holy and immaculate Virgin, I know not with what praise to extoll thee, since thou didst bear in thy womb the very One Whom the heavens cannot contain.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary,
Rejoice a thousand times!

3. Hail Mary

Thou art all fair, O Virgin Mary, and there is no stain in thee.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary,
Rejoice a thousand times!

4. Hail Mary

Thy virtues, O Virgin, surpass the stars in number.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary,
Rejoice a thousand times!

Glory Be to the Father


( To honor the royalty of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her magnificence, her universal mediation and the strength of her rule.)


5. Hail Mary

Glory be to thee, O empress of the world! Bring us with thee to the joys of Heaven.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary,
Rejoice a thousand times!

6. Hail Mary

Glory be to thee, O treasure, house of the Lord's graces! Grant us a share in thy riches.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary,
Rejoice a thousand times!

7. Hail Mary

Glory be to thee, O Mediatrix between God and man! Through thee may the Almighty be favorable to us.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary,
Rejoice a thousand times!

8. Hail Mary

Glory be to thee who destroyest heresies and crushest demons! Be thou our loving guide.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary,
Rejoice a thousand times!

Glory be to the Father

III. Crown of Goodness

(To honor the mercy of the Blessed Virgin toward sinners, the poor, the just and the dying.)


9. Hail Mary

Glory be to thee, O refuge of sinners! Intercede for us with God.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary,
Rejoice a thousand times!

10. Hail Mary

Glory be to thee, O Mother of orphans! Render the Almighty favorable to us.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary,
Rejoice a thousand times!

11. Hail Mary

Glory be to thee, O joy of the just! Lead us with thee to the joys of Heaven.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary,
Rejoice a thousand times!

12. Hail Mary

Glory be to thee who art ever ready to assist us in life and in death! Lead us with thee to the kingdom of Heaven!

Glory be to the Father


Hail, Mary, Daughter of God the Father; Hail, Mary, daughter of God the Son; Hail, Mary, Spouse of the Holy Ghost; Hail, Mary, Temple of the most Holy Trinity; Hail, Mary, my mistress, my treasure, my joy, Queen of my heart; my Mother, my life, my sweetness, my dearest hope, yea, my heart and my soul! I am all thine and all that I have is thine, O Virgin blessed above all things! Let thy soul be in me to magnify the Lord; let thy spirit be in me to rejoice in God. Set thyself, O faithfulVirgin, as a seal upon my heart, that in thee and through thee I may be found faithful to God. Receive me, O gracious Virgin, among those whom thou lovest and teachest, whom .thou leadest, nourishest, and protectest as thy children. Grant that for love of thee I may despise all earthly consolations and ever cling to those of Heaven; until through the Holy Ghost, thy faithful Spouse, and through thee, His faithful Spouse, Jesus Christ, thy Son be formed in me for the glory of God the Father. Amen.

NB: St. Louis de Montfort Academy is a great all-boys school that is 100% faithful to the Magisterium and uses the Seton curriculum. They have a deep Montfortian spirituality and try to instill in their students the concept of being the Church Militiant. Check them out!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

First Communion

Today, some of the children in my parish are celebrating their First Holy Communion. Therefore, I thought a post on this sacrament would be most fitting. The following comes from Maria Von Trapp's Around the Year with the Trapp Family Singers:


Then comes the great day when the young soul is for the first time invited to the heavenly banquet--the day of the first Holy Communion. It is a pity that this sacred day so often degenerates into a show, the child being showered with gifts and distracted with amusements, so that this solemn, holy feast turns into a day of much outward excitement. Again, there is much we Christian parents have to learn to do better. The preparation for this day, the first Holy Communion of our children, should be a holy rite and duty for every mother. We can learn from the family of St. Therese of Lisieux how the older sisters saw to it that the younger ones were prepared sufficiently for their great day. Of course, the whole family should join the child at the Communion Mass, everybody wearing his Sunday dress. Not only the table, but the house or apartment should be decorated. For the rest of his life the child will remember this day. Instead of many worthless trinkets, one might buy one real gift, either a beautiful medal or little cross to wear around the child's neck, or a picture for his room, a reproduction of the old masters, or a beautiful statue. These are formative years, and it is our privilege to school the taste of our children, directing them away from the sweetish, coy plaster art, toward genuine art

Friday, April 25, 2008

Saint Mark

+JMJ+ ST. MARK was converted to the Faith by the Prince of the Apostles, whom he afterwards accompanied to Rome, acting there as his secretary or interpreter. When St. Peter was writing his first epistle to the churches of Asia, he affectionately joins with his own salutation that of his faithful companion, whom he calls "my son Mark." The Roman people entreated St. Mark to put in writing for them the substance of St. Peter's frequent discourses on Our Lord's life. This the Evangelist did under the eye and with the express sanction of the apostle, and every page of his brief but graphic gospel so bore the impress of St. Peter's character, that the Fathers used to name it "Peter's Gospel" St. Mark was now sent to Egypt to found the Church of Alexandria. Here his disciples became the wonder of the world for their piety and asceticism, so that St. Jerome speaks of St. Mark as the father of the anchorites, who at a later time thronged the Egyptian deserts. Here, too, he set up the first Christian school, the fruitful mother of many illustrious doctors and bishops. After governing his see for many years, St. Mark was one day seized by the heathen, dragged by ropes over stones, and thrown into prison. On the morrow the torture was repeated, and having been consoled by a vision of angels and the voice of Jesus, St. Mark went to his reward.

It is to St. Mark that we owe the many slight touches which often give such vivid coloring to the Gospel scenes, and help us to picture to ourselves the very gestures and looks of our blessed Lord. It is he alone who notes that in the temptation Jesus was "with the beasts;" that He slept in the boat "on a pillow;" that He "embraced" the little children. He alone preserves for us the commanding words "Peace, be still!" by which the storm was quelled; or even the very sounds of His voice, the "Ephpheta" and "Talitha cumi," by which the dumb were made to speak and the dead to rise. So, too, the "looking round about with anger," and the "sighing deeply," long treasured in the memory of the penitent apostle, who was himself

p. 158

converted by his Saviour's look, are here recorded by his faithful interpreter.

Reflection.—Learn from St. Mark to keep the image of the Son of man ever before your mind, and to ponder every syllable which fell from His lips.

Taken from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894], at

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Commedy of Errors?

This was found at

New Rite of Exorcism

I have received a copy of a proposal for a new rite of exorcism currently being considered by the by the Congregation for Divine Worship. This is not a revision to the Rite of Exorcism issued in 1999, but a brand new document for an especially pernicious spirit. The new document is called The Rite of Exorcism for the Spirit of Vatican II. The Spirit of Vatican II Exorcists will be designated as one of the minor orders and these priests will be drawn from those who have already been designated to the Exorcistate and are experienced in expelling demons. The reason behind this I assume that expelling demons is a breeze compared to expelling the spirit of Vatican II from subjects. I will posts parts of this new document with some commentary.

The Bestowal of the Office. The candidates now come up to the bishop, and each touches the book and the actual documents of Vatican II which he presents to them, saying:

Receive, and commit to memory the documents of Vatican II, and have the power to lay your hands upon those possessed by a modern spirit and another gospel, be they baptized or catechumens.

Prayer. The bishop rises and prays for the candidates kneeling before him:

Let us, dearly beloved brethren, humbly beseech God, the Father Almighty, that He may graciously bless these His servants for the office of Spirit of Vatican II exorcist. May they be spiritual commanders, to cast out of the false ideas and heresies that have lead them and others astray. Through His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with Him in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. R. Amen.

The rite speaks of exorcists as spiritual physicians endowed with the power of healing. This may also refer to bodily afflictions caused by the devil; once the influence of the devil is broken by the exorcism, the affliction ceases.

One of the discussions in the new document, which is definitely in the draft phase, is what to do when the bishop themselves are possessed with the spirit of Vatican II? Some of the drafters have considered an Episcopal intervention done by other bishops or perhaps a single bishop designated for these cases. Some of the drafters expressed concerns about collegiality, but other put forth the example of St. Paul. Whatever the solutions posed it must be better than waiting for a bishop to turn 75.

As with a normal exorcism an investigation is required first. The investigation is required to determine if a person is actually possessed by the sprit of the age instead of mental illness or an attachment to a liberal political party. Mental illness might be a charitable prognoses, but the investigator should take care to find the actual root of a possible possessed persons outbursts.

There are specific signs to look for in discerning Spirit of Vatican II possession. This is not an exhaustive list and a possessed person may or may not hold one or more of the following:

Advocacy for women priests. If they spell women as womyn proceed to the exorcism immediately.
If the subject has vocal outbursts in a foreign language they do not speak. The exception is if they speak Latin. Latin is a sure sign that they are not possessed by this specific spirit.
Denial of the supernatural. If they refer to the miracle of the bread and fish being multiplied as the miracle of sharing do not delay in starting the rite.
Advocacy of homosexual acts or same-sex marriage. Outright advocacy is an easy case for this rite. Though normally the exorcist will have to discern for themselves when the subject crouches their underlying belief by concentrating on respect for the homosexual person or their anger at the document on not admitting those with deep-seated homosexual tendencies to the seminary. Asking them straight-forward whether they believe that homosexual acts are intrinsically immoral can cut through the obfuscation.
Advocacy of abortion and/or contraception. Appealing to the "seamless garment" is not a certain test for possession, though it is a indicator to dive deeper.
If they believe that the document Environment and Art in Catholic Worship which was never approved by the Bishops conference must be held de fidei, but Humanae Vitae and Ordinatio Sacerdotalis can be safely ignored.
If when making the sign of the cross they repeat Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier.
Has subscriptions to the National Catholic Reporter, Commonweal, America, and St. Anthony's Messenger.
Can not say obedience, male hierarchy, Pope Benedict XVI without grimacing
Rite of Exorcism of the Spirit of Vatican II

The priest delegated by the Ordinary to perform this office should first go to confession or at least elicit an act of contrition, and, if convenient, offer the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and implore God's help in other fervent prayers. He vests in surplice and purple stole. Having before him the person possessed (who should be bound if there is any danger), he traces the sign of the cross over him, over himself, and the bystanders, and then sprinkles all of them with holy water. After this he kneels and says the Litany of the Saints, exclusive of the prayers which follow it. All present are to make the responses. Do not be surprised if during the Litany of the Saints if the subject becomes uncomfortable with so many pre-Vatican II names. The person might try ot interject other names like for example Gandhi.

It might also be necessary to gag the possessed person. The possessed will often appeal to dialoguing and will attempt to do it for countless hours and then days on end. This faux dialoguing in not an attempt to get to the truth, but to wear you down in sophist arguments. Appealing to Holy Scripture, Apostolic Tradition, and reason are fruitful avenues in most situation, but only the most patient exorcist should try to employ them in this situation since the possesed are normally immune to them.

The next step in the exorcism has been known to produce especially strong reactions from the possessed person. Even if the person is bound it is suggested that a minimum of two people be on hand to hold them down and to assist you. The exorcist after appealing to the Holy Spirit begins to read the actual texts of the documents of Vatican II. As mentioned above be prepared for a violent reaction especially while reading Sacrosanctum Concilium. If the possessed person is not gagged be prepared for obscene outbursts like "Your mother is a homophobe." Rainbow colored projectile vomiting has also been known to occur. While the text is read the bystanders chant "The power of the text compels you." Make sure that a medical team is on hand in case the possessed person goes into shock during the reading. They will no be spinning of their head or displaying supernatural phenomenon, but the logic they will use in defending the spirit of Vatican II might make your own head spin.

The following invocation is then chanted:

From all evil, Deliver us, 0 Lord.
From the spirit which denies the text, Deliver us, 0 Lord.
From modernist interpretations, Deliver us, 0 Lord.
From inclusive language, Deliver us, 0 Lord.
From the pride of independence, Deliver us, 0 Lord.
From liturgical abuses, Deliver us, 0 Lord.
From disobedience to the magisterium, Deliver us, 0 Lord.
From an unformed conscience, Deliver us, 0 Lord.
From the spirit of the age, Deliver us, 0 Lord.

The exorcist than commands the spirit of Vatican II to come out

Therefore, I adjure you every modern spirit, every specter from academia, every dissident power, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who was led into the desert after His baptism by John to vanquish you in your citadel, to cease your assaults against the creature whom He has, formed from the slime of the earth for His own honor and glory that you leave this soul. I command you moreover that you leave immediately so that this person can not only come to enjoy the actual documents of Vatican II, but that he (she) may appreciate and accept in obedience all of the Church's councils and magisterial teachings of Holy Mother Church. That he (she) may see the Second Vatican Council as an organic growth and not a starting point of a new church.

Depart, then, impious one, depart, accursed one, depart with all your deceits, for God has willed that man should be His temple. Why do you still linger here? Give honor to God the Father almighty, before whom every knee must bow. Give place to the Lord Jesus Christ, who shed His most precious blood for man. Give place to the Holy Spirit, who by His blessed apostle Peter openly struck you down in the person of Simon Magus; who cursed your lies in Annas and Saphira; who smote you in King Herod because he had not given honor to God. Depart you mischievous spirit that denies sin and calls right wrong and wrong right. I order you depart deceitful spirit to leave and to never return.

All the above may be repeated as long as necessary, until the one possessed has been fully freed.

It will also help to say devoutly and often over the afflicted person the Our Father, Hail Mary, and the Creed, as well as any of the prayers given below.

The Canticle of our Lady, with the doxology; the Canticle of Zachary, with the doxology.

The exorcist then looks for signs that the evil spirit of modernity has truly departed. Have the subject read from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and VII documents and observe their demeanor. If they look comfortable doing this let the person read some scriptural texts. If they can do this without injecting inclusive language for references to God, then this is a further sign of healing. As a final test have the person as a test of obedience recite the Affirmation of Personal Faith. If they can read this without breaking a sweat, screaming in terror, or any sign of discomfort then this is a very good sign indeed. "The devil can imitate humility but he cannot imitate obedience." St. Faustina

The new rite looks pretty interesting and I certainly hope they approve it soon and make it broadly available. Of course there will be a problem getting the large number of these exorcists considering the extremely large demand. I also heard that they are considering a similar rite for schismatic traditionalists, though they might combine the two since they are just two sides of the same coin of disobedience and misunderstanding of Vatican II.

Posted by Jeff Miller at February 13, 2006 12:08 AM

Sunday, April 20, 2008

BXVI visits Ground Zero


I thought this event made his visit truly "American." May the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

First Papal Mass at St. Patrick's Catherdral


by Karin Zeitvogel
Sat Apr 19, 10:35 AM ET

NEW YORK (AFP) - Pope Benedict XVI on the third anniversary of his pontificate Saturday became the first leader of the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics to celebrate mass in St Patrick's cathedral in New York.

Members of the Roman Catholic clergy rose from the pews and leaned over barriers to kiss the pope's ring as he walked slowly down the central aisle of the cathedral to the altar.

A crowd of hundreds pressing against metal barriers outside the 150-year-old cathedral had erupted in a cheer as Benedict descended from a black stretch limousine on Fifth Avenue minutes earlier and climbed the few steps to the entrance of the church.

There, beneath the Gothic spires, he was welcomed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, before turning to raise both hands in greeting to the cheering crowd.

The mayor had told the hundreds of members of the clergy and religious orders inside the cathedral that, only in New York, "which has long stood as a beacon of tolerance ... could a middle-class kid named Bloomberg grow up and be asked to welcome the pope."

Bloomberg is Jewish, a community to which Benedict has made a special effort to reach out to during his six-day US visit, holding private meetings with Jewish leaders and becoming the first pope to set foot in a synagogue on US soil.

A choir sang and the congregation rose and applauded as the pope entered the cathedral, walking down the center aisle toward the altar, bathed in sunlight streaming in through stained glass windows.

Benedict was on the penultimate day of his US visit, his first since he was elected pope three years ago.

Addressing the UN General Assembly Friday, the 81-year-old pontiff reminded all 192 UN member states of their duty to protect their people from human rights abuses.

"Every state has the primary duty to protect its own population from grave and sustained violations of human rights," he told a packed assembly on his first visit to UN headquarters since becoming pope three years ago.

"If states are unable to guarantee such protection, the international community must intervene with the juridical means provided in the United Nations Charter," he said.

In his remarks, the pontiff extolled the virtue of "multilateral consensus" which he said "continues to be in crisis because it is still subordinated to the decisions of a few, whereas the world's problems call for interventions in the form of collective action."

Benedict also underscored the need to foster dialogue between cultures and religions at a time of tension between the West and the Islamic world.

"The United Nations can count on the results of dialogue between religions and can draw fruit from the willingness of believers to place their experiences at the service of the common good," the pope said.

He later entered the sanctuary of the Park East synagogue in New York, as the first leader of the Roman Catholic church to visit a Jewish place of worship in the United States.

The pontiff also held an unprecedented meeting with several sex abuse victims from the Boston area at the Vatican Embassy in Washington on Thursday.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pope on Education in America


Your Eminences,
Dear Brother Bishops,
Distinguished Professors, Teachers and Educators,

“How beautiful are the footsteps of those who bring good news” (Rom 10:15-17). With these words of Isaiah quoted by Saint Paul, I warmly greet each of you – bearers of wisdom – and through you the staff, students and families of the many and varied institutions of learning that you represent. It is my great pleasure to meet you and to share with you some thoughts regarding the nature and identity of Catholic education today. I especially wish to thank Father David O’Connell, President and Rector of the Catholic University of America. Your kind words of welcome are much appreciated. Please extend my heartfelt gratitude to the entire community – faculty, staff and students – of this University.
Education is integral to the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News. First and foremost every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth (cf. Spe Salvi, 4). This relationship elicits a desire to grow in the knowledge and understanding of Christ and his teaching. In this way those who meet him are drawn by the very power of the Gospel to lead a new life characterized by all that is beautiful, good, and true; a life of Christian witness nurtured and strengthened within the community of our Lord’s disciples, the Church.
The dynamic between personal encounter, knowledge and Christian witness is integral to the diakonia of truth which the Church exercises in the midst of humanity. God’s revelation offers every generation the opportunity to discover the ultimate truth about its own life and the goal of history. This task is never easy; it involves the entire Christian community and motivates each generation of Christian educators to ensure that the power of God’s truth permeates every dimension of the institutions they serve. In this way, Christ’s Good News is set to work, guiding both teacher and student towards the objective truth which, in transcending the particular and the subjective, points to the universal and absolute that enables us to proclaim with confidence the hope which does not disappoint (cf. Rom 5:5). Set against personal struggles, moral confusion and fragmentation of knowledge, the noble goals of scholarship and education, founded on the unity of truth and in service of the person and the community, become an especially powerful instrument of hope.
Dear friends, the history of this nation includes many examples of the Church’s commitment in this regard. The Catholic community here has in fact made education one of its highest priorities. This undertaking has not come without great sacrifice. Towering figures, like Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and other founders and foundresses, with great tenacity and foresight, laid the foundations of what is today a remarkable network of parochial schools contributing to the spiritual well-being of the Church and the nation. Some, like Saint Katharine Drexel, devoted their lives to educating those whom others had neglected – in her case, African Americans and Native Americans. Countless dedicated Religious Sisters, Brothers, and Priests together with selfless parents have, through Catholic schools, helped generations of immigrants to rise from poverty and take their place in mainstream society.
This sacrifice continues today. It is an outstanding apostolate of hope, seeking to address the material, intellectual and spiritual needs of over three million children and students. It also provides a highly commendable opportunity for the entire Catholic community to contribute generously to the financial needs of our institutions. Their long-term sustainability must be assured. Indeed, everything possible must be done, in cooperation with the wider community, to ensure that they are accessible to people of all social and economic strata. No child should be denied his or her right to an education in faith, which in turn nurtures the soul of a nation.
Some today question the Church’s involvement in education, wondering whether her resources might be better placed elsewhere. Certainly in a nation such as this, the State provides ample opportunities for education and attracts committed and generous men and women to this honorable profession. It is timely, then, to reflect on what is particular to our Catholic institutions. How do they contribute to the good of society through the Church’s primary mission of evangelization?
All the Church’s activities stem from her awareness that she is the bearer of a message which has its origin in God himself: in his goodness and wisdom, God chose to reveal himself and to make known the hidden purpose of his will (cf. Eph 1:9; Dei Verbum, 2). God’s desire to make himself known, and the innate desire of all human beings to know the truth, provide the context for human inquiry into the meaning of life. This unique encounter is sustained within our Christian community: the one who seeks the truth becomes the one who lives by faith (cf. Fides et Ratio, 31). It can be described as a move from “I” to “we”, leading the individual to be numbered among God’s people.
This same dynamic of communal identity – to whom do I belong? – vivifies the ethos of our Catholic institutions. A university or school’s Catholic identity is not simply a question of the number of Catholic students. It is a question of conviction – do we really believe that only in the mystery of the Word made flesh does the mystery of man truly become clear (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 22)? Are we ready to commit our entire self – intellect and will, mind and heart – to God? Do we accept the truth Christ reveals? Is the faith tangible in our universities and schools? Is it given fervent expression liturgically, sacramentally, through prayer, acts of charity, a concern for justice, and respect for God’s creation? Only in this way do we really bear witness to the meaning of who we are and what we uphold.
From this perspective one can recognize that the contemporary “crisis of truth” is rooted in a “crisis of faith”. Only through faith can we freely give our assent to God’s testimony and acknowledge him as the transcendent guarantor of the truth he reveals. Again, we see why fostering personal intimacy with Jesus Christ and communal witness to his loving truth is indispensable in Catholic institutions of learning. Yet we all know, and observe with concern, the difficulty or reluctance many people have today in entrusting themselves to God. It is a complex phenomenon and one which I ponder continually. While we have sought diligently to engage the intellect of our young, perhaps we have neglected the will. Subsequently we observe, with distress, the notion of freedom being distorted. Freedom is not an opting out. It is an opting in – a participation in Being itself. Hence authentic freedom can never be attained by turning away from God. Such a choice would ultimately disregard the very truth we need in order to understand ourselves. A particular responsibility therefore for each of you, and your colleagues, is to evoke among the young the desire for the act of faith, encouraging them to commit themselves to the ecclesial life that follows from this belief. It is here that freedom reaches the certainty of truth. In choosing to live by that truth, we embrace the fullness of the life of faith which is given to us in the Church.
Clearly, then, Catholic identity is not dependent upon statistics. Neither can it be equated simply with orthodoxy of course content. It demands and inspires much more: namely that each and every aspect of your learning communities reverberates within the ecclesial life of faith. Only in faith can truth become incarnate and reason truly human, capable of directing the will along the path of freedom (cf. Spe Salvi, 23). In this way our institutions make a vital contribution to the mission of the Church and truly serve society. They become places in which God’s active presence in human affairs is recognized and in which every young person discovers the joy of entering into Christ’s “being for others” (cf. ibid., 28).
The Church’s primary mission of evangelization, in which educational institutions play a crucial role, is consonant with a nation’s fundamental aspiration to develop a society truly worthy of the human person’s dignity. At times, however, the value of the Church’s contribution to the public forum is questioned. It is important therefore to recall that the truths of faith and of reason never contradict one another (cf. First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith Dei Filius, IV: DS 3017; St. Augustine, Contra Academicos, III, 20, 43). The Church’s mission, in fact, involves her in humanity’s struggle to arrive at truth. In articulating revealed truth she serves all members of society by purifying reason, ensuring that it remains open to the consideration of ultimate truths. Drawing upon divine wisdom, she sheds light on the foundation of human morality and ethics, and reminds all groups in society that it is not praxis that creates truth but truth that should serve as the basis of praxis. Far from undermining the tolerance of legitimate diversity, such a contribution illuminates the very truth which makes consensus attainable, and helps to keep public debate rational, honest and accountable. Similarly the Church never tires of upholding the essential moral categories of right and wrong, without which hope could only wither, giving way to cold pragmatic calculations of utility which render the person little more than a pawn on some ideological chess-board.
With regard to the educational forum, the diakonia of truth takes on a heightened significance in societies where secularist ideology drives a wedge between truth and faith. This division has led to a tendency to equate truth with knowledge and to adopt a positivistic mentality which, in rejecting metaphysics, denies the foundations of faith and rejects the need for a moral vision. Truth means more than knowledge: knowing the truth leads us to discover the good. Truth speaks to the individual in his or her the entirety, inviting us to respond with our whole being. This optimistic vision is found in our Christian faith because such faith has been granted the vision of the Logos, God’s creative Reason, which in the Incarnation, is revealed as Goodness itself. Far from being just a communication of factual data – “informative” – the loving truth of the Gospel is creative and life-changing – “performative” (cf. Spe Salvi, 2). With confidence, Christian educators can liberate the young from the limits of positivism and awaken receptivity to the truth, to God and his goodness. In this way you will also help to form their conscience which, enriched by faith, opens a sure path to inner peace and to respect for others.
It comes as no surprise, then, that not just our own ecclesial communities but society in general has high expectations of Catholic educators. This places upon you a responsibility and offers an opportunity. More and more people – parents in particular – recognize the need for excellence in the human formation of their children. As Mater et Magistra, the Church shares their concern. When nothing beyond the individual is recognized as definitive, the ultimate criterion of judgment becomes the self and the satisfaction of the individual’s immediate wishes. The objectivity and perspective, which can only come through a recognition of the essential transcendent dimension of the human person, can be lost. Within such a relativistic horizon the goals of education are inevitably curtailed. Slowly, a lowering of standards occurs. We observe today a timidity in the face of the category of the good and an aimless pursuit of novelty parading as the realization of freedom. We witness an assumption that every experience is of equal worth and a reluctance to admit imperfection and mistakes. And particularly disturbing, is the reduction of the precious and delicate area of education in sexuality to management of ‘risk’, bereft of any reference to the beauty of conjugal love.
How might Christian educators respond? These harmful developments point to the particular urgency of what we might call “intellectual charity”. This aspect of charity calls the educator to recognize that the profound responsibility to lead the young to truth is nothing less than an act of love. Indeed, the dignity of education lies in fostering the true perfection and happiness of those to be educated. In practice “intellectual charity” upholds the essential unity of knowledge against the fragmentation which ensues when reason is detached from the pursuit of truth. It guides the young towards the deep satisfaction of exercising freedom in relation to truth, and it strives to articulate the relationship between faith and all aspects of family and civic life. Once their passion for the fullness and unity of truth has been awakened, young people will surely relish the discovery that the question of what they can know opens up the vast adventure of what they ought to do. Here they will experience “in what” and “in whom” it is possible to hope, and be inspired to contribute to society in a way that engenders hope in others.
Dear friends, I wish to conclude by focusing our attention specifically on the paramount importance of your own professionalism and witness within our Catholic universities and schools. First, let me thank you for your dedication and generosity. I know from my own days as a professor, and I have heard from your Bishops and officials of the Congregation for Catholic Education, that the reputation of Catholic institutes of learning in this country is largely due to yourselves and your predecessors. Your selfless contributions – from outstanding research to the dedication of those working in inner-city schools – serve both your country and the Church. For this I express my profound gratitude.
In regard to faculty members at Catholic colleges universities, I wish to reaffirm the great value of academic freedom. In virtue of this freedom you are called to search for the truth wherever careful analysis of evidence leads you. Yet it is also the case that any appeal to the principle of academic freedom in order to justify positions that contradict the faith and the teaching of the Church would obstruct or even betray the university=s identity and mission; a mission at the heart of the Church’s munus docendi and not somehow autonomous or independent of it.
Teachers and administrators, whether in universities or schools, have the duty and privilege to ensure that students receive instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice. This requires that public witness to the way of Christ, as found in the Gospel and upheld by the Church=s Magisterium, shapes all aspects of an institution’s life, both inside and outside the classroom. Divergence from this vision weakens Catholic identity and, far from advancing freedom, inevitably leads to confusion, whether moral, intellectual or spiritual.
I wish also to express a particular word of encouragement to both lay and Religious teachers of catechesis who strive to ensure that young people become daily more appreciative of the gift of faith. Religious education is a challenging apostolate, yet there are many signs of a desire among young people to learn about the faith and practice it with vigor. If this awakening is to grow, teachers require a clear and precise understanding of the specific nature and role of Catholic education. They must also be ready to lead the commitment made by the entire school community to assist our young people, and their families, to experience the harmony between faith, life and culture.
Here I wish to make a special appeal to Religious Brothers, Sisters and Priests: do not abandon the school apostolate; indeed, renew your commitment to schools especially those in poorer areas. In places where there are many hollow promises which lure young people away from the path of truth and genuine freedom, the consecrated person’s witness to the evangelical counsels is an irreplaceable gift. I encourage the Religious present to bring renewed enthusiasm to the promotion of vocations. Know that your witness to the ideal of consecration and mission among the young is a source of great inspiration in faith for them and their families.
To all of you I say: bear witness to hope. Nourish your witness with prayer. Account for the hope that characterizes your lives (cf. 1 Pet 3:15) by living the truth which you propose to your students. Help them to know and love the One you have encountered, whose truth and goodness you have experienced with joy. With Saint Augustine, let us say: “we who speak and you who listen acknowledge ourselves as fellow disciples of a single teacher” (Sermons, 23:2). With these sentiments of communion, I gladly impart to you, your colleagues and students, and to your families, my Apostolic Blessing.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pope in the USA


I found a VERY upbeat (hope nobody minds) video that just says it all...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Papal Vespers

+JMJ+ I am happy to say that I got to watch Vesper's and the Holy Father's address to the bishops live via EWTN!

The Pope Presides over Vespers
By Deacon Keith Fournier
Catholic Online (

The Liturgy of Vespers over which he then presided reflected “treasures old and new” in the words of the Holy Gospel.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - Shortly after his trip through the Streets of down town Washington, DC where he was greeted by massive crowds, the Pope arrived to an enthusiastic welcome at the Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on the Campus of the Catholic University of America.

Inside the Crypt Church of the Shrine,Pope Benedict XVI presided over a Vespers Prayer Service with all of the Bishops of the United States.

The choir of the Shrine led the Service with the beauty of Gregorian chant and stunningly beautiful musical choral renditions. His Holiness entered with his gold Cope held by two Deacons, accompanied by acolytes and vested clergy.

The Liturgy of Vespers over which he then presided reflected “treasures old and new” in the words of the Holy Gospel. It also reflected the Holy Father’s deep and abiding commitment to re-presenting the ancient worship of the Church as both ancient and ever fresh, with no discontinuity at all.

In contrast to some who have tried to wrongfully present the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council as a rupture or a break with the ancient liturgical traditions, this Pope is dedicated to this principle of continuity.

He is a master liturgist and a theologian who understands that the words of the ancient maxim “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi” provide the heart of a Catholic vision of worship.

Loosely translated the principle proclaims that “As we worship, so we will believe and so we will live.”

So the Nation, and a watching world, were taken into the ancient beauty of Vespers, accompanied in the experience by a heavenly choir and led by Pope Benedict XVI.

It was a profound experience of Catholic worship and a fitting preparation for what was to come. Moments after prayer, the Holy father gave his major address to all of the Bishops, and to all of the faithful.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pope Arrives in U.S.


He has ARRIVED!!! Welcome to America, Your Holiness. May you ignite a sense of return to orthodoxy in America! We need it so badly.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

World Day of Vocations


Today is World Day of Vocations. This day is very important to me. Some years ago, as I was discerning God's will for my life, I began traveling around the country visiting convents and going to vocation retreats. One of my favorites, mentioned a few weeks ago, was the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.

After finding that the convent may not be for me, I began looking at a call to the single Consecrated life. I have a dear friend who is a consecrated virgin. She is NOT a nun, but she is still a Bride of Christ! Pope Paul VI re-instituted this vocation. It is one in which the woman lives alone or with other female roommates, but she is not in a community. She wears no habit, just a ring to symbolize her consecration to Christ. She also must pray Morning and Evening prayer. More information can be found at the United States Association of Consecrated Virgins website. I am also a member of the Institute on Religious Life, which has many resources available to those who are discerning.

Below are are two videos on vocations -- one for priests and one for nuns:

If you have any links to add to my vocation section, please let me know!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Defending the Faith

I just found out about a new movie that was released in February, called "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" (Ok, so I am slow to find things out sometimes :) ). Anyway, this movie seems to have a similar theme to thst of today's saint--St. Stanislaus. This is what the USSCB has to say about him:

"...Saint Stanislaus, bishop and martyr, a most constant defender of humane conduct and Christian morals in the midst of the injustices of his times, who governed the Church of Cracow as a good pastor, aided the poor, visited the clergy annually, and was finally slain as he celebrated the divine mysteries by Boleslaw, king of Poland, whom he had censured."

Below is the trailer for the movie:

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pope Sends Advance Message to US


In honor of the Holy Father's upcoming visit to America, I have decided to post this article:

Vatican, Apr. 8, 2008 ( - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) has released a message to the people of the United States, in preparation for his trip to America next week.

In his message the Holy Father says that he is coming to the US to proclaim that "Jesus Christ is hope for men and women of every language, race, culture, and social condition." The Pontiff also confirms that in his address to the UN he will emphasize the importance of natural law, "the law written on the human heart."

The papal message, released by the Vatican press office on April 8, came in the form of a video. The message was released one week before the Pope is scheduled to arrive in the US. The Pope spoke mostly in English, with a brief portion in Spanish.

The full text of the Pope's message follows:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the United States of America,

The grace and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you! In just a few days from now, I shall begin my apostolic visit to your beloved country. Before setting off, I would like to offer you a heartfelt greeting and an invitation to prayer. As you know, I shall only be able to visit two cities: Washington and New York. The intention behind my visit, though, is to reach out spiritually to all Catholics in the United States. At the same time, I earnestly hope that my presence among you will be seen as a fraternal gesture towards every ecclesial community, and a sign of friendship for members of other religious traditions and all men and women of good will. The risen Lord entrusted the apostles and the Church with his Gospel of love and peace, and his intention in doing so was that the message should be passed on to all peoples.

At this point I should like to add some words of thanks, because I am conscious that many people have been working hard for a long time, both in Church circles and in the public services, to prepare for my journey. I am especially grateful to all who have been praying for the success of the visit, since prayer is the most important element of all. Dear friends, I say this because I am convinced that without the power of prayer, without that intimate union with the Lord, our human endeavors would achieve very little. Indeed this is what our faith teaches us. It is God who saves us, he saves the world, and all of history. He is the shepherd of his people. I am coming, sent by Jesus Christ, to bring you his word of life.

Together with your bishops, I have chosen as the theme of my journey three simple but essential words: "Christ our hope." Following in the footsteps of my venerable predecessors, Paul VI and John Paul II, I shall come to United States of America as Pope for the first time, to proclaim this great truth: Jesus Christ is hope for men and women of every language, race, culture, and social condition. Yes, Christ is the face of God present among us. Through him, our lives reach fullness, and together, both as individuals and peoples, we can become a family united by fraternal love, according to the eternal plan of God the Father.

I know how deeply rooted this Gospel message is in your country. I am coming to share it with you, in a series of celebrations and gatherings. I shall also bring the message of Christian hope to the great assembly of the United Nations, to the representatives of all the peoples of the world. Indeed, the world has greater need of hope than ever: hope for peace, for justice, and for freedom; but this hope can never be fulfilled without obedience to the law of God, which Christ brought to fulfillment in the commandment to love one another. Do to others as you would have them do to you, and avoid doing what you would not want them to do. This "golden rule" is given in the Bible, but it is valid for all people, including non-believers. It is the law written on the human heart; on this we can all agree, so that when we come to address other matters we can do so in a positive and constructive manner for the entire human community.

Dirijo un cordial saludo a los católicos de lengua española y les manifiesto mi cercanía espiritual, en particular a los jóvenes, a los enfermos, a los ancianos y a los que pasan por dificultades o se sienten más necesitados. Les expreso mi vivo deseo de poder estar pronto con Ustedes en esa querida Nación. Mientras tanto, les aliento a orar intensamente por los frutos pastorales de mi inminente Viaje Apostólico y a mantener en alto la llama de la esperanza en Cristo Resucitado.

Dear brothers and sisters, dear friends in the United States, I am very much looking forward to being with you. I want you to know that, even if my itinerary is short, with just a few engagements, my heart is close to all of you, especially to the sick, the weak, and the lonely. I thank you once again for your prayerful support of my mission. I reach out to every one of you with affection, and I invoke upon you the maternal protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Que la Virgen María les acompañe y proteja. Que Dios les bendiga.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ave Verum Corpus


This week, the Gospel at Mass is the discourse on the Bread of Life. Therefore, I have decided to post yet another Eucharist hymn, "Ave Verum Corpus."


Ave verum Corpus natum
de Maria Virgine:
Vere passum, immolatum
in Cruce pro homine.

Cuius latus perforatum
fluxit aqua et sanguine:
Esto nobis praegustatum
mortis in examine.

O Iesu dulcis!
O Iesu pie!
O Iesu fili Mariae.


Hail, true body,
born of the Virgin Mary:
Truly suffered,
died on the cross for mankind:

From who pierced side
flowed water and blood!
Be for us a foretaste
of death in the last hour!

O gentle Jesus!
O holy Jesus!
O Jesus, Son of Mary!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Saint John Baptist de la Salle


Born of a rich family in Rhemes, France, Saint John Baptist de la Salle was the oldest of ten children. After studying in Paris, he became a priest in 1678. He is known for working with the poor and for founding the Institue of the Brothers of Christian Schools. He stressed classroom learning instead of individual instruction. He also taught his students in their own language, instead of in Latin. He died on April 7th.
Saint John Baptist de la Salle, ora pro nobis!


Sunday, April 6, 2008

At the Lamb's High Feast


As mentioned in yesterday's post, April is the Month of the Holy Eucharist. And since we are in the Easter Season, I thought I'd post another hymn mentioned earlier that our choir sings. I thought it was very appropriate for today, considering the second reading we hear at Mass:

At The Lamb's High Feast

At the Lamb’s high feast we sing,
Praise to our victorious King,
Who hath washed us in the tide
Flowing from his piercèd side;
Praise we Him, whose love divine
Gives His sacred blood for wine,
Gives His body for the feast,
Christ the Victim, Christ the Priest.

Where the Paschal blood is poured,
Death’s dark angel sheathes his sword;
Israel’s hosts triumphant go
Through the wave that drowns the foe.
Praise we Christ, whose blood was shed,
Paschal Victim, paschal Bread;
With sincerity and love
Eat we Manna from above.

Mighty Victim from the sky,
Hell’s fierce powers beneath Thee lie;
Thou hast conquered in the fight,
Thou hast brought us life and light;
Now no more can death appall,
Now no more the grave enthrall;
Thou hast opened Paradise,
And in Thee Thy saints shall rise.

Paschal triumph, Easter joy,
Only sin can this destroy;
From sin’s death do Thou set free
Souls reborn, O Lord, in Thee.
Hymns of glory and of praise,
Father, to Thee we raise;
Risen Lord, all praise to Thee,
Ever with the Spirit be.

Words: Un­known au­thor, prob­ab­ly 6th Cen­tu­ry (Ad re­gi­as Ag­ni da­pes); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to En­glish by Ro­bert Camp­bell, 1849.

Music: Salz­burg (Hintze), Ja­kob Hintze, 1678

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist


April is the month dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament. Since today is also Saturday, I have decided to do a post on this order.

Some years ago, as I was discerning my vocation, I traveled the country visiting many convents. While I found that I was not called to any of them, I must admit that this was my favorite! They are 100% loyal to the Magisterium and operate several NAPCIS schools. Please see their website, as they are growing by leaps and bounds with new vocations.

Friday, April 4, 2008



Tonight, my parish is going to be celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation for its high school students. Therefore, I have decided to post my thoughts on this sacrament. First, I hear a lot of people say that this sacrament is usually given around eighth grade, instead of our high school policy. I tend to think that giving younger kids an opportunity to receive this sacrament is better. Why? Well, first off, eighth graders are in a stage in life when peer pressure begins. Why not give them extra graces early so that they might better fight temptations to use drugs, have pre-marital sex, etc? In addition, it seems that many juniors in high school have a notion that once they are confirmed, there is no need for further religious instruction. To them, confirmation=graduation from religion classes, which may why many youth leave the Church soon after. Obviously, these problems are not much of a concern for homeschooled kids. I am just talking about your typical kid, here.

Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the "sacraments of Christian initiation," whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace...For "by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed."
CCC Paragraph 1285

The Baltimore Catechims also has a good definiotion for this sacrament:

Q. 670. What is Confirmation?

A. Confirmation is a Sacrament through which we receive the Holy Ghost to make us strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ.

When I was prepariong for this sacrament, my parish wanted to de-emphsize the concept of being "Soldiers of Christ." However, I find this problematic, especially since the Church on earth is called "The Church Militant." In fact, I have a link to a very orthodox Catholic school who aims at teaching students that they are the Church Militant. The school is Montfort Academy. They use Seton's high school curriculum for all subjects...check it out!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Friend in Pain


Would you all mind praying for a dear friend of mine who has a bad knee. She is in a lot of pain and has to do therapy and excercises that seem to hurt more than help right now. Thank you!

St. Raphael and Our Lady of Good Remedy, ora pro nobis!

Sursum Corda

Saint Cecilia, ora pro nobis.


I belong to a local parish choir whose goal it is to teach the congregation traditional music. You see, our parish is used to praise and worship music, and songs from the St Louis Jesuits. While I think these songs are ok, I also enjoy the more traditional pieces. Some of the hymns our choir sings include English Hymns, such as "O Sacrament Most Holy," "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name," and the Heritage Mass. For Easter, we sang "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" and "At the Lamb's High Feast."

We also are trying to introduce the congregation to Latin hymns, such as "Adoro Te Devote." When I first learned this song, the tune reminded me of "Humbly Lord, We Worship You." Since this hymn has been so popular throught the history of the Catholic Church, I have decided to post the lyrics below:

Adoro te devote, latens Deitas,
Quæ sub his figuris vere latitas;
Tibi se cor meum totum subjicit,
Quia te contemplans totum deficit.

Visus, tactus, gustus in te fallitur,
Sed auditu solo tuto creditur.
Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius;
Nil hoc verbo veritátis verius.

In cruce latebat sola Deitas,
At hic latet simul et Humanitas,
Ambo tamen credens atque confitens,
Peto quod petivit latro pœnitens.

Plagas, sicut Thomas, non intueor:
Deum tamen meum te confiteor.
Fac me tibi semper magis credere,
In te spem habere, te diligere.

O memoriale mortis Domini!
Panis vivus, vitam præstans homini!
Præsta meæ menti de te vívere,
Et te illi semper dulce sapere.

Pie Pelicane, Jesu Domine,
Me immundum munda tuo sanguine:
Cujus una stilla salvum facere
Totum mundum quit ab omni scelere.

Jesu, quem velatum nunc aspicio,
Oro, fiat illud quod tam sitio:
Ut te revelata cernens facie,
Visu sim beátus tuæ gloriæ. Amen

Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at Thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.

Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth Himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.

On the cross Thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here Thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.

I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.

O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.

Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what Thy bosom ran
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.

Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
And be blest for ever with Thy glory's sight. Amen.

Our choir, likewise, has learned how to read Gregorian Chant. At first, I thought this would be a daunting task, but actually, it came to me relatively easy. We mainly use the Chant for some Mass parts. Hopefully, this will increase as time goes on.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Benedict XVI's Homily at Mass for John Paul II


I am still new to this whole blogging business. I have been reading various Catholic blogs in order to think of what ideas to incorporate into this one. Since many have note-worthy news articles, I thought of posting one today. (I know I did this yesterday also). I felt this was most appropriate, since it fits well with the video below on the tribute to John Paul the Great!

"Death Was the Seal of an Existence Totally Given to Christ"

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 2, 2008 ( Here is a translation of the homily Benedict XVI gave today when he celebrated Mass on the third anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II.

* * *

Dear brothers and sisters,

The date of April 2 has been imprinted in the Church's memory as the day the Servant of God Pope John Paul II [said] good-bye to this world. Let us again live with emotion the hours of that Saturday afternoon, when the news of his passing away was received by a great multitude of people in prayer who filled St. Peter's Square. For a few days, the Vatican Basilica and this Square truly became the heart of the world. An uninterrupted river of pilgrims paid homage to the remains of the venerated Pontiff and his funeral was a last testament of the esteem and the affection that he had won in the spirit of so many believers and people from all the corners of the earth.

Just like three years ago, today as well, just a short time has passed since Easter. The heart of the Church finds itself still submerged in the mystery of the resurrection of the Lord. In truth, we can interpret the entire life of my beloved predecessor, particularly his Petrine ministry, according to the sign of Christ resurrected. He felt an extraordinary faith in Him, and with Him, he maintained an intimate, unique, uninterrupted conversation. Among his many human and supernatural qualities, he had an exceptional spiritual and mystical sensitivity.

It was enough to see him praying: He literally submerged himself in God and it seemed that everything else during those moments was left outside. During the liturgical celebrations, he was attentive to the mystery being carried out, with a keen capacity to perceive the eloquence of God's word in the development of history, penetrating deeply into God's plan. Holy Mass, as he often repeated, was for him the center of the day and all his existence -- the "living and holy" reality of the Eucharist that gave him spiritual energy to guide the people of God on the path of history.

John Paul II died on the vigil of the Second Sunday of Easter, "the day the Lord made." The throes of death happened on this "day," in the new time-space that is the "eighth day," desired by the Holy Trinity through the work of the incarnate Word, dead and risen. Pope John Paul II showed on various occasions that already from before, during his life, and especially in the fulfilling of his mission as Supreme Pontiff, he was in some way submerged in this spiritual dimension

His pontificate, taken together and in many specific moments, presents itself to us as a sign and testimony of the resurrection of Christ. This paschal dynamism, which made of John Paul II's existence a total responding to the call of the Lord, could not be expressed except without a participation in the sufferings and the death of the divine Master and Redeemer. "This saying is trustworthy," the Apostle Paul says, "If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him" (2 Timothy 2:11-12).

Since childhood, Karol Wojtyla had experienced the truth of these words, finding the cross on his path, in his family, with his people. Very soon he decided to carry it beside Jesus, following in his footsteps. He wanted to be his faithful servant to the point of welcoming the call to the priesthood as a gift and a commitment for all of his life. With Him, he lived, and with Him, he wanted to die. And all of this by way of the unique mediation of most holy Mary, mother of the Church, mother of the Redeemer, intimately and truly associated with the salvific mystery of his death and resurrection.

In this evocative reflection, the biblical readings just proclaimed guide us: "Be not afraid!" (Matthew 28:5). The words of the angel of the Resurrection, addressed to the women before the empty tomb, which we just heard, became a type of motto on the lips of Pope John Paul II, since the solemn beginnings of his Petrine ministry. He repeated them on various occasions to the Church and to the world on the journey toward the year 2000, and after having passed that historical time, as well as afterward, in the dawn of the third millennium. He always pronounced them with inflexible firmness, first raising up [his] crosier predominated by the cross, and later, when his physical energies were weakening, nearly clinging to it, until that last Good Friday, in which he participated in the Way of the Cross from his private chapel, embracing within his arms the cross.

We cannot forget that last and silent testimony of love for Jesus. That eloquent scene of human suffering and faith, in that last Good Friday, also indicated to believers and to the world the secret of every Christian life. That "be not afraid" was not based on human strength, nor on successes accomplished, but rather, only on the word of God, on the cross and resurrection of Christ. In the degree in which he was being stripped of everything, at the end, even of his very words, this total surrender to Christ manifested itself with increasing clarity. As it happened to Jesus, also in the case of John Paul II, words gave way at the end to the ultimate sacrifice, to the gift of self. And death was the seal of an existence totally given to Christ, conformed to him even physically with the traits of suffering and trusting abandonment to the arms of the heavenly Father. "Let me go to the house of the Father," these words -- report those who were at his side -- were his last words, the fulfillment of a life totally oriented to knowing and contemplating the face of the Lord.

Venerated and dear brothers: I give thanks to all of you for having united yourselves to me in this Mass for the soul of the beloved John Paul II. I address a particular thought to the participants in the first world congress on Divine Mercy, which begins precisely today, and which aims to go deeper in his rich magisterium on this theme. The mercy of God, he himself said, is a privileged key for interpreting his pontificate. He wanted the message of the merciful love of God to reach all men and women and he exhorted the faithful to be its witnesses. (Cf. Homily at the dedication of the Shrine of Divine Mercy, Aug. 17, 2002.)

For this reason, he wanted to elevate to the altars Sister Faustina Kowalska, a humble religious converted by the mysterious divine design into the prophetic messenger of divine mercy. The Servant of God John Paul II had known and personally lived the terrible tragedies of the 20th century, and he asked himself during a long time what could stop the advance of evil. The answer could only be found in the love of God. Only divine mercy, in fact, is capable of putting limits on evil; only the omnipotent love of God can topple the dominance of the evil ones and the destructive power of egotism and hate. For this reason, during his last visit to Poland, upon returning to his native land, he said, "Apart from the mercy of God there is no other source of hope for mankind."

Let us give thanks to God because he has given the Church this faithful and courageous servant. Let us praise and bless the Virgin Mary for having ceaselessly watched over his person and his ministry for the benefit of the Christian people and all of humanity. And while we are offering for his chosen soul the redeeming Sacrifice, we ask him to continue interceding from heaven for each one of us, for me in a special way, who Providence has called to take up his inestimable spiritual heritage. May the Church, following his teaching and example, faithfully continue its evangelizing mission without compromises, spreading tirelessly the merciful love of Christ, fount of true peace for the entire world.

[Translated by Kathleen Naab]

Happy Birthday, Julia


I want to wish happy birthday to a FOCUS friend, Julia! May God bless you now and always!!!

In Memoriam: Pope John Paul the Great


Servant of God, John Paul II, ora pro nobis!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008



PBXVI from The Catholic Warrior blog has tagged me with this meme.

The rules are:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What I was doing 10 years ago: I was a senior in high school getting ready for college.

Five things on my To Do List today:

1. Mass
2. McDonald's (Tuesdays are McDonald's days with Legion of Mary Friends.)
3. Blog
4. Legion of Mary
5. Get medicine from doctor

Five Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Go to the Vatican.
2. Start an NAPCIS School.
3. Give to convent/seminaries that are orthodox, but most in need.
4. Invent a self-driving car (I don't drive).
5. Pay a priest's salary if he were willing to offer a Tridentine Mass in my local parish.

Three of my bad habits:
1. Talking about myself too much.
2. Dwelling on negative things from the past.
3. Not finding productive ways to occupy my free time.

Five jobs I’ve had:
1. Babysitting.
2. Working at a library.
3. Working at a disability office.
4. Working in a computer lab.
5. Cleaning tables in the dining hall.

5 people I tag: The first five people to read this! (If you're not sure if you are one of the first five just assume you are!)

National Atheist Day


This is a common piece of wisdom that has be circulating for some time. This came from a Protestant site, but I think that is beside the point for the topic at hand. Being that today is April Fool's Day, I decided to post it here:

Driving around town I often slow down so I can read church signs. Some of them are just plain, just giving schedule of services and name of the preacher. But some of them having wise and witty sayings. On one in town is this sentence, "April 1st -National Atheists Day."

I think that all of us are aware of what April 1st is in our country. It is called "April Fools Day." It is where people "fool you" about something and then yell, "April Fools." How many of us have not been tricked this way with a "your shoes are untied" or other such funny tricks? Most of it is done in good humor.

The Bible tells us that we should be careful about calling another person a fool (Matthew 5:22). While the text in Matthew seems to deal with being angry with a brother and not a harmless joke like April Fools Day it is true that we should be careful about attributing to another the descriptive term fool.

But what better day could one pick for National Atheists Day than April 1st, April Fools Day? The Bible makes this clear. "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good" (Psalm 14:1). The Bible says that anyone who denies God is a fool!

Why is the person who denies God a fool? The Bible clearly tells us. In Romans 1:18-22.

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools,"

While this refers specifically to the Gentiles of Paul's day who had departed from God and had worshiped idols instead of the living God, it clearly fits our present day atheists as well. Paul says that there is no excuse for not believing in a personal God who created the universe. God has simply left too many "hand prints" all over His creation for man to not be able to see Him. One need only look at the world and everything in it to see that there must be a God. Paul says that there is simply no excuse for a person denying the existence of an intelligent creator. He concludes by stating the obvious concerning all the great thinkers who deny the existence of God, "professing to be wise, they became fools"

Come to think of it, April 1st might be the perfect day to celebrate "National Atheists Day." Nothing in life is more foolish than denying the existence of God, since He has left indisputable proof!

Taken from: