Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Apostles by Pope Benedict XVI

From March 15, 2006 to February 14, 2007, His Holiness gave a catecheses during his weekly General Audiences. These have been gathered together and placed in book form. I found this slim volume at my local library and snatched it up. I am so very glad I did.
The more I read Pope Benedict the more I love him. He writes clearly and beautifully. I'm only in the middle of Chapter 5, but he wrote some amazing things I want to share with you. (Both of you).
In Chapter 3 he writes about Communion in Time: Tradition. He writes that that by being in Communion with Christ and His Church "all believers of the past and of the future form with us a single great Communion". It made me reflect on the vastness of what we call the Catholic Church, that it is bigger than just here and now. Much, much bigger.

About Tradition itself he writes:
"Apostolic Tradition is not a collection of things or words, like a box of dead things. Tradition is the river of new life that flows from the origins, from Christ down to us, and makes us participate in God's history with humanity"
What an excellent image of Tradition: a living river flowing down to us to make the past present in a sense.
In his Chapter on the Apostle Peter he makes an interesting point. Peter wanted the Messiah to "impose His power and transform the world instantly." But Jesus took another way, one of suffering and humility. This spoke to me very loudly. We want God to change the world NOW! But that's not His way. He writes
"This is the great alternative that we must learn over and over again; to give priority to our own expectations, rejecting Jesus, or to accept Jesus in the truth of His mission and set aside all of our too human expectations."
How true! See, I just love this Pope!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Fifth Joyful Mystery: The Finding of Jesus at the Temple

Today is the 4th Sunday of Advent and Christmas is only 2 days away! I finally made it to the Traditional Latin Mass today, Deo Gratias! I just couldn't stand one more Novus Ordo Mass. I honestly think going to that Rite (or whatever you want to call it) was part of my problems in actually getting to Sunday Mass. It was also the first time I took the new car too. Okay last Joyful Mystery.

41 And his parents went every year to Jerusalem, at the solemn day of the pasch, 42 And when he was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast, 43 And having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not. 44 And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day's journey, and sought him among their kinsfolks and acquaintance. 45 And not finding him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking him.

46 And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers. 48 And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father's business? 50 And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them.

51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart. 52 And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men. Luke 2:52

This is a joyful mystery, the joy of finding Jesus. Unfortunately, I concentrate too much on Mary and Joseph searching for Him. Any one who is a parent knows the panicky feeling they must have felt; mostly like multiplied a hundredfold. He wasn't just their Son, he was the Messiah. St. Alphonsus de Liguori says that Mary loves Jesus more than all the love of Mothers in the history of the world. For some reason, I focus way too much on this part of the mystery instead of the joy they felt at finding Him alive and well, and on top of that, He was astonishing all those smart guys in the Temple. Notice also, He was gone three days. The fruit of this mystery is, obviously, the Joy of Finding Jesus.

All the Bible quotations were taken from the Douay-Rheims version of the Holy Bible.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation

21 And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel, before he was conceived in the womb. 22 And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: 23 As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord: 24 And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons: 25 And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was in him.26 And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. 27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, 28 He also took him into his arms, and blessed God, and said: 29 Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; 30 Because my eyes have seen thy salvation,31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: 32 A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. 33 And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him. 34 And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; 35 And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser; she was far advanced in years, and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity. 37 And she was a widow until fourscore and four years; who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving night and day. 38 Now she, at the same hour, coming in, confessed to the Lord; and spoke of him to all that looked for the redemption of Israel. 39 And after they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their city Nazareth.

Luke 2:21-39

This mystery is probably the one out of all 15 that gives me the most trouble. Most likely because my meditations on it are so short. I imagine Mary and Joseph bringing the Baby Jesus to the temple. Then the old man, Simeon takes the Baby and recognizes Him as the Messiah. The the old lady, Anna who does the same. These just keep going over in my mind (if I'm lucky and don't start thinking about something else, like fixing dinner or what I need to clean etc). The fruit of this mystery is Obedience. Mary and Joseph were obedient to the Law. Now we must be obedient to Him Who surpasses the Old Law.

Third Joyful Mystery: The Birth of Christ

I know I've been slacking. I'm way behind on my Rosary meditations. Christmas is only 6 days away. I have no excuse other than I'm a lazy git. So on with it.

1 And it came to pass, that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. 2 This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, 5 To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. 6 And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock. 9 And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear. 10 And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: 11 For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying: 14 Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will. 15 And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath shewed to us. 16 And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. 17 And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child. 18 And all that heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. Luke 2:1-20

Sometimes, I have trouble with this mystery. I don't know whether to focus on Mary and Joseph, adoring their Child, or the shepherds who come to adore Him, or even the journey Mary and Joseph make and trying to find a room. Eventually, I realize that I've said all 10 Ave's. I do try to imagine, as in the picture, that Our Lord is the Light of the world; the Source of all Light. It's hard to fathom that the Second Person of the Holy Trinity became a tiny baby, just like us. I look at my kids and marvel that Our Lord was once that age. (Although much better behaved, of course). And to be born is such a place. Not a warm cozy room but a cold cave where the animals are kept. The fruit of this mystery is Love of Poverty.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation

And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.

And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.

And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.
He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy: As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever. And Mary abode with her about three months; and she returned to her own house. (Luke 1, 39-56)

If I haven't fallen asleep by now, I have a fairly easy time imagining this Mystery. Mary, having been told by the Archangel Gabriel about the pregnancy of her elderly kinswoman, immediately gets up and sets out to her house. She knows Elizabeth will need assistance in the last few months. The Bible doesn't say if Joseph went with her or not; I always imagine her alone on the journey. What was she thinking as she traveled? Practical things perhaps; or maybe wondering how she was going to tell Elizabeth about the Angel. No doubt she prayed too. And then she sees Elizabeth and calls out to her. That's when all the interesting things happen: Elizabeth's child (St. John the Baptist) leaps in her womb and being filled with the Holy Spirit calls Our Lady the "Mother of my Lord" and praises her for believing. Mary in turn praises God in her beautiful Magnificat for all the wonderful things He has done for her (and us). Her prophecy that the world shall call her Blessed has indeed come spectacularly true. has a great page about the Visitation. I particularly like the parallel between Luke and II Kings; that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant.

The fruit of this mystery is charity towards our neighbor.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Computer Problems

I'm experiencing some computer troubles at the moment. I will try to post my meditation on the second Joyful Mystery tomorrow or Wednesday.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Pope's New Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has issued his second encyclical entitled "Spe Salvi" which I'm not sure what it means, maybe "In hope we are saved" One can read the whole thing here.

I'm looking forward to reading it even if a little apprehensive about understanding it. Although my experience with Pope Benedict is that he is much, much easier to understand than Pope John Paul II.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What Holiday am I?

You Are Easter

You are an optimistic, hopeful, and genuinely sweet person.
Sensitive and affectionate, you are easily touched.
You love nature, animals, and anything cute or cuddly.
For you, every day is a new chance - no matter what happened yesterday.

What makes you celebrate: Almost anything. You love most holidays and celebrations.

At holiday get togethers, you do best as: The peacemaker. You can prevent any squabbles that might break out.

On a holiday, you're the one most likely to: Remember to include everyone

1st Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation

And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth,
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin's name was Mary.
And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.
And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.
Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus.
He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.
And of his kingdom there shall be no end.
And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?
And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren.
Because no word shall be impossible with God.
And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38 Douay Rheims)

I've always loved this picture of the Annunciation. It's almost as if someone had gone back in time and snapped a photo of the Event. The film only picks up the Archangel Gabriel as a source of Light, but undoubtedly, Our Lady sees him as he really is. (I did some background and discovered it was painted by Henry Ossawa Tanner, in 1898.)

So, I've always wondered what Our Lady was doing right before St. Gabriel appeared to her. Was she doing some household chore? Baking or preparing to bake? Cleaning? Perhaps she was thinking about Joseph and how kind and gentle he was. No matter. But no doubt she was startled to find an Angel right there in the room with her! Then he addresses her as "Full of Grace", and now she is confused as well. He puts her at ease and tells her the reason for his visit. Now she is even more confused. "How can this be?" He assures her that her vow of Virginity will not be compromised. Mary, whose will is most intimately united to the Will of God, humbly responds that she is a "handmaid of the Lord" and to "let it be done". Her trust in God is complete and absolute.
The virtue or fruit of this Mystery is Humility.

The Joyful Mysteries: My wandering meditations

Christmas is only 5 weeks away, and I thought, for the edification of my readers (both of you) I would, each Sunday leading up to Christmas, explain a bit my meditations on the 5 Joyful Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary. These are merely what I try to meditate upon when praying the Rosary. I don't always succeed as my mind tends to wander greatly; or I fall asleep. Some come easily, some come rather reluctantly. So, next up: The Annunciation.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Daily Pilgrimage to Purgatory

Holy Souls in Purgatory, is there anything you regret when you think of your life on earth?
I deeply regret the little amount of charity I have shown towards the Poor Souls during my life on earth... I could have been of such great service to them, bring them so much light and peace. I could have helped them by my prayers, mortification's, alms, good works, holy Communions. I could have had Masses said for the Poor Souls or attended them, especially those celebrated in honor of the Sacred Heart. I would have obtained numerous graces which would have made it easier for me to avoid sin. Moreover, I would have deserved a much shorter and less painful Purgatory and now I would receive a much greater share in the prayers which are said for us.
Oh, could I but return to the world to help the Poor Souls! I certainly would interest myself in their plight! What devout prayers would I say for them! How solicitous I would be to awaken in the faithful the most tender sympathy and pity for them!
from "Daily Pilgrimage to Purgatory"
published by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

Friday, November 23, 2007

Daily Pilgrimage to Purgatory

Holy Souls in Purgatory, is there anything you regret when you think of your life on earth?
I deeply regret my neglect of acts of mortification. How easy they would have been on earth, but how difficult they are now in Purgatory. Here the smallest suffering is more poignant than the most cruel torments on earth. In the world it meant only patience and resignation in the hardships and adversities of my life; it meant only giving from my surplus to the poor, and devoting myself to works of mercy. Nothing could have been easier, and my Purgatory would have been shortened considerably.
If God would but grant me the grace to exchange the years during which I must still remain in this place of sorrow for as many years of life on earth! No commands would be too severe for me; no pains could frighten me; the most difficult works of penance would seem easy and give me comfort.
You who now suffer under the trials and hardships of life! You who now earn your daily bread by the sweat of your brow, rejoice! The smallest suffering endured in the spirit of atonement and offered to the Sacred Heart, will save you from a long and painful Purgatory.
from "Daily Pilgrimage to Purgatory"
published by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Daily Pilgrimage to Purgatory

Holy Souls in Purgatory, is there anything you regret when you think of your life on earth?
I deeply regret the scandal which I have given! If only I would have prevented the disastrous consequences of the scandal which I caused. If only I could warn the many souls that followed my example and listened to me! Through my fault the evil goes on. And now I have to give an account of all the sins for which I am to blame! Oh, were I but able to let my words resound unto the ends of the earth and to wander through the world as a preacher of penance! With what untiring zeal would I labor among people to turn them from evil and return them to virtue.
O you my friends on earth, who come to visit me in this darkness in order to let a ray of light shine upon me: you will find in the Sacred Heart the surest way of bringing back to God as many people as I have led into sin by bad example! Tell them that He invites them: "Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest ... learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your souls" (Matt. 11, 28-29)
from "Daily Pilgrimage to Purgatory"
published by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Daily Pilgrimage to Purgatory

Holy Souls in Purgatory, is there anything you regret when you think of your life on earth?
I deeply regret the evil which I have done. Evil seemed so easy, pleasant; and I silenced the voice of conscience. Today my faults weigh me down; their bitterness and memory torment me. Mortal sins, forgiven, but not atoned, venial sins, imperfections. Too late to detest you now. Punishment must take its course.
Oh, if I could return to life again! No promise, be it ever so tempting, no riches, no flattery, could induce me to sin.
My friends, you who are still free to choose between God and the world, gaze on the crown of thorns, the cross, all the sufferings which your sins have brought. Think of the sorrow which these sins and faults will cause you in Purgatory, and you will be able to avoid them.
If you long for the grace to resist Satan when he tempts you , consider what St. Margaret Mary says: "I cannot believe that persons consecrated to this divine Heart will ever be lost; neither do I believe that they will fall into the hands of Satan by committing a mortal sin, after having given themselves entirely to Him. For they will make every effort to honor, love and glorify this divine Heart, and to follow His designs."

from "Daily Pilgrimage to Purgatory:
published by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Daily Pilgrimage to Purgatory

Holy Souls in Purgatory, is there anything you regret when you think of your life on earth?
I deeply regret my neglect of so many splendid graces! They have been offered to me in such abundance, at every moment of my life and with such loving admonitions... Spiritual regeneration, vocation and sacraments; word of God, holy inspirations and good examples; graces to protect me in danger, to help me in temptations; the grace of forgiveness for my sins. Some of them I have refused; others I have accepted with coldness; unfortunately, I have misused so many of them. I preferred earthly possessions to the eternal. How I have deceived myself!
Oh, could I but for one moment quench my thirst at the fountains of mercy, flowing from the Heart of Christ. You, you behold the inexhaustible stream of graces flow by, why do you not draw from it a few drops for yourself?
Consider what St. Margaret Mary says: "It is certain that everyone on earth could obtain salutary graces without number, if they but had a grateful love for Jesus Christ, such as is seen in those who love and venerate His Sacred Heart."
from "Daily Pilgrimage to Purgatory"
published by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Daily Pilgrimage to Purgatory

Holy Souls in Purgatory, is there anything you regret when you think of your life on earth?
I deeply regret my extravagance in the use of earthly possessions... My fortune, my health, my talent, my position in the world, the influence I had, my relatives, in a word, everything could have been of spiritual benefit to me if only I had known how to use it for the greater honor of the Sacred Heart. How many graces could I have drawn upon myself! This I neglected to do and at the hour of my death, all my possessions have come to naught.
Oh, were I but rich today in these my form possessions! Would that I could use them to hasten, even for one moment, the hour of my deliverance; to increase, even by one degree, the glory which God has in store for me; to awaken, if only in one soul now living in the world, the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
My friends, whose earthly goods are still at your disposal, use them for the support of your neighbour by generously giving alms to the poor. Use them for the greater honor of God and help promote response to God's love.
from "Daily Pilgrimage to Purgatory"
published by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

Daily Pilgrimage to Purgatory

Holy Souls in Purgatory, is there anything you regret when you think of your life on earth?
I deeply regret wasted time!... Purchased with the Blood of Christ, you were given to me for the purpose of loving God and others. But I abused you by committing sin; I craved vanity, pleasures and trifles. How it grieves me to have lost you through my own fault! Fleeting time!... Time which passes so quickly on earth, but which drags so slowly in this purification! How long shall my exile last? Hours now seem like years, days like centuries. I must now redeem the wasted time. Irretrievable time!... On earth I relied on my last years to do penance; but my life was ended when I expected it least! The time given to acquire treasures and graces without number, are now lost forever.
You, living on earth, do not waste the gift of time; do not imitate our carelessness.
Through devotion to the Sacred Heart, who has revealed to the world His love in its fullness intercede for us that we may obtain the merits of His grace so freely and abundantly offered.
from "Daily Pilgrimage to Purgatory"
published by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Chaplet for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Prayed on a regular Rosary.

Make the "Sign Of The Cross" on the Cross. Then say the Apostle's Creed.

On the 5 beads between the Cross and the medal, say,

1 Our Father...
3 Hail Mary...
1 Glory Be...

For each decade, proceed as follows:

On the large bead prior to 10 small beads, say:

"O Holy Souls
draw the fire of God's love into my soul,
to reveal Jesus Crucified in me here on earth,
rather than hereafter in Purgatory."

On each of the small beads, say:

"Crucified Lord Jesus,
have mercy on the souls in Purgatory."

When you have completed all 5 decades, say 3 times the Glory Be...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sins Against Charity Are Severly Punished in Purgatory

True Charity is humble and indulgent towards others, respecting them as though they were their superiors. Her words are always friendly, and full of consideration for others, having nothing of bitterness nor coldness, nothing savoring of contempt, because she is born of a heart that is meek and humble like that of Jesus. She also takes every means, makes every sacrifice to effect a reconciliation, according to the words of our Divine Master, If thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath anything against thee,leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother, and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift. (Matt. 5:23)
A Religious having wounded Charity in regard to St. Louis Bertrand, received a terrible chastisement after death. He was plunged into the fire of Purgatory, which he had to endure until he had made satisfaction to Divine Justice; nay, more, he could not be admitted into the abode of the elect until he had accomplished an act of exterior reparation, which should serve as an example to the living.
When St. Louis Bertrand, of the Order of St. Dominic, resided at the convent of Valencia, there was a young Religious in the community who attached too much importance to profane science. Doubtless letters and erudition have their value, but, as the Holy Ghost declares, they should yield to the fear of God and the science of the saints. Non super timenten Dominum--There is non above him that feareth the Lord (Ecclus. 25:13)
This science of the saints, which Eternal Wisdom came to teach us, consists in Humility and Charity. The young Religious of whom we speak, while but little advanced in Divine science, allowed himself to reproach Father Bertrand with his little knowledge, and said to him "One can see, Father, that you are not very learned!" "Brother," replied the saint with meek firmness, "Lucifer was very learned, and yet he was damned."
The brother who had committed this fault did not think of repairing it. Nevertheless, he was not a bad Religious, and some time after, falling dangerously sick, he received the last Sacrament in very good dispositions, and expired peacefully in the Lord. A considerable time elapsed, and meanwhile Louis was nominated Prior. One day, having remained in choir after Matins, the deceased appeared to him enveloped in flames, and prostrating humbly before him said "Father, pardon me the offensive words which I formerly addressed to you. God will not permit me to see His face until you shall have pardoned my fault and offered Holy Mass for me." The saint willingly forgave him, and the next morning celebrated Mass for the repose of his soul. The following night, being again in choir, he saw the deceased brother reappear, but radiant with glory and going up to Heaven (Acta Sanctor., Oct.10)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Update on University of Delaware

The University of Delaware has dropped its "diversity" program, not because they find anything wrong with it but because of "questions about its practices".

Read the whole article here.

For some reason, I'm reminded of cockroaches. When the light comes on, they scurry away.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

November: Dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory

November is the month dedicated to those souls who are currently suffering in Purgatory. I love this time of year because there are so many things we can do to help them. They need our help since they cannot help themselves. Not only is it a great act of charity but the souls you help will be powerful intercessors on your behalf when they enter Heaven. "Ingratitude is unknown in Heaven!"
From November 1st through November 8th we can gain a plenary (that is, full remission) indulgence each day (applicable only to the Holy Souls) if we visit a cemetery and pray for the souls. We can also gain one November 2nd by visiting a church.
There are many, many ways we can gain indulgences for those in the Church Suffering, and it really isn't all that difficult. A Rosary prayed in public (this would include the Family Rosary), one can gain a plenary indulgence (partial in other circumstances).
Making the Stations of the Cross will gain a plenary indulgence as will 30 minutes of Eucharistic Adoration or 30 minutes of pious reading of Holy Scriptures. Even gaining partial indulgences helps them more than we realize. But of course the most efficacious means is having Mass said for them; or at least hearing Mass for them. It's such a shame we don't hear much about Purgatory (except in traditional circles). Some Catholics have been lead to believe that it doesn't even exist anymore! Belief in Purgatory is now and has always been an article of faith which every Catholic must believe to remain Catholic.
I will be trying to post a little something every day for the month, mostly different prayers that are applicable to the Holy Souls. The following is one of my favorites, which Our Lord told St. Gertrude the Great would release 1,000 souls from Purgatory each time it is said. 1,000 souls! We could easily say this simple prayer 10, 20, 50 or 100 times a day.
"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

All Whites Are Racist?

This is a story from with my comments in green, A la Father Z.

A mandatory University of Delaware program requires residence hall students to acknowledge that "all whites are racist" and offers them "treatment" for any incorrect attitudes regarding class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality they might hold upon entering the school, according to a civil rights group.

"Somehow, the University of Delaware seems terrifyingly unaware that a state-sponsored institution of higher education in the United States does not have the legal right to engage in a program of systematic thought reform. The First Amendment protects the right to freedom of conscience – the right to keep our innermost thoughts free from governmental intrusion. It also protects the right to be free from compelled speech," said a letter from Samantha Harris, director of legal and public advocacy for The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education to university President Patrick Harker.

The organization cited excerpts from the university's Office of Residence Life Diversity Education Training documents, including the statement:

"A RACIST: A racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. 'The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality. By this definition, people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system, they do not have the power to back up their prejudices, hostilities, or acts of discrimination….'" {And just you never mind about Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Clarence Thomas, Senator Barack Obama, they have no power.}

The education program also notes that "reverse racism" is "a term created and used by white people to deny their white privilege." And "a non-racist" is called "a non-term," because, the program explains, "The term was created by whites to deny responsibility for systemic racism, to maintain an aura of innocence in the face of racial oppression, and to shift the responsibility for that oppression from whites to people of color (called 'blaming the victim')."

The "education" regarding racism is just one of the subjects that students are required to adopt as part of their University of Delaware experience, too, FIRE noted.

The "shocking program of ideological reeducation," which the school itself defines as a "treatment" for students' incorrect attitudes and beliefs, is nothing less than "Orwellian," FIRE said.

The school requires its approximately 7,000 residence hall students "to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues ranging from politics to race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy and environmentalism."

"FIRE is calling for the total dismantling of the program, which is a flagrant violation of students' rights to freedom of conscience and freedom from compelled speech," the organization said.

On a foundation blog, a student noted that one residence assistant told students, "Not to scare anyone or anything, but these are MANDATORY!!" And the training program for those who indoctrinate students includes the order: "A researcher must document that the treatment/intervention was faithfully applied (ex: specific lesson plans were delivered to every student, etc.)."

Further, the school requires "a systemic change" as a result of the program, FIRE noted. As one RA told students: "Like it or not, you all are the future Leaders, and the world is Diverse, so learning to Embrace and Appreciate that diversity is ESSENTIAL." {We must all think the exact same way to be diverse?}

"The University of Delaware's residence life education program is a grave intrusion into students' private beliefs," FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. "The university has decided that it is not enough to expose its students to the values it considers important; instead, it must coerce its students into accepting those values as their own. At a public university like Delaware, this is both unconscionable and unconstitutional."

According to university materials, RAs are instructed to ask students during one-on-one sessions questions such as: "When did you discover your sexual identity?" "When were you first made aware of your race?" and "Who taught you a lesson in regard to some sort of diversity awareness? What was the lesson?" {These have to be the most inane questions I've ever come across. How could anybody answer these? It's like asking "When were you first made aware of your toe?"}

"Students who express discomfort with this type of questioning often meet with disapproval from their RAs, who write reports on these one-on-one sessions and deliver these reports to their superiors. One student identified in a write-up as an RA's 'worst' one-on-one session was a young woman who stated that she was tired of having 'diversity shoved down her throat,'" FIRE said.

This particular student responded to the question, "When did you discover your sexual identity?" with the terse: "That is none of your damn business," FIRE said.

Requirements for students include: "Students will recognize that systemic oppression exists in our society," "Students will recognize the benefits of dismantling systems of oppression," {And replace them with New Systems of Oppression} and "Students will be able to utilize their knowledge of sustainability to change their daily habits and consumer mentality," FIRE said.

The foundation said students even are "pressured or even required" to make social statements that meet with the school's approval.

"The fact that the university views its students as patients in need of treatment for some sort of moral sickness betrays a total lack of respect not only for students' basic rights, but for students themselves," Lukianoff said. "The University of Delaware has both a legal and a moral obligation to immediately dismantle this program, and FIRE will not rest until it has."

A spokesman for the school, contacted by WND, said he was not ready to make a statement about the situation right away. {Why not?}

But the foundation's letter to Harker noted, "we have never encountered a more systematic assault upon the individual liberty, dignity, privacy, and autonomy of university students than this program," which "requires students to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues."

"Such utter contempt for the autonomy and free agency of others is the hallmark of totalitarianism and has no place in any free society, let alone at a public university in the state of Delaware," the letter said.

Especially alarming, Harris told WND, is that the school defines learning specifically as "attitudinal or behavioral changes," not acquiring any sort of knowledge and ability. They're paying over $18,000 for tuition and "not acquiring any sort of knowledge and ability"? What a rip-off!

Such thinking "represents a distorted idea of 'education' that one would more easily associate with a Soviet prison camp than with an American institution of higher education," FIRE said. "As another example, after an investigation showed that males demonstrated 'a higher degree of resistance to educational efforts,' {that is, resistance to attitudinal and behavioral changes} the Rodney complex chose to hire 'strong male RAs.' Each such RA 'combats male residents' concepts of traditional male identity,' in order to 'ensure the delivery of the curriculum at the same level as in the female floors.' This language is disturbingly reminiscent of a pivotal scene from George Orwell's '1984,' in which the protagonist's captors tell him that 'The Party is not interested in the overt act: the thought is all we care about. We do not merely destroy our enemies, we change them.'"

No small danger, FIRE noted, is being presented to the university through such apparent constitutional violations. "Simply put, the residence life education program is a legal minefield," the group said.

So, if I want to attend U of D I'd have to:

  • admit I'm racist (I'm white and all whites are inherently racist... wait, isn't that racist?)
  • receive "treatment" for said racism and other "incorrect attitudes"
  • pay $18K, not to learn a skill or acquire knowledge but to change my attitude and behavior

Did I forget anything? I'll happily retract this post if the information turns out to be misleading or incorrect (because a small part is saying they wouldn't be so blatant about their agenda). But it's sad that it's entirely believable.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

How Nerdy Am I?

Overall, you scored as follows:

44% scored higher (more nerdy),
1% scored the same, and
55% scored lower (less nerdy).

What does this mean? Your nerdiness is:

Somewhat nerdy. I mean face it, you are nerdier than about half the test takers.

I am nerdier than 55% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lay Involvement and Vatican II

Father Ray Blake has an interesting post about the roles of the laity since the Second Vatican Council. Well worth the read. A snippet:

The priest facing the people creates a smug little huddle that looks in on itself. If the image people are presented with day after day, Sunday after Sunday is the priest looking at the people over the altar and most especially prays to God whilst directing his gaze at the congregation, one might be led to suspect that God is to found there rather than elsewhere, beyond and above the immediate community.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Hell in a handbasket people. Hell in a handbasket. Don't believe me? Then check out this story of firefighters, having shined their flashlights on 4 men having sex outside behind a bush who were fined and demoted.
The quote that has me gobsmacked is:
After embarrassing the men by pointing their torches at them, the crew continued on their way to their fire station.
No, we wouldn't want to embarrass anybody having sex with strangers outside in public now, would we?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Review: The Good Guy by Dean Koontz

I started reading this book last night, and finished it not 15 minutes ago. It's the type of book where one says to himself "Just one more chapter" about a hundred times.
It starts off quickly. The main male character, Tim Carrier, is a typical Dean Koontz lead man, only a little more mysterious. The same goes for the female character, Linda Paquette. You want to know more about them and why they are in the situation they are in. Unfortunately, the answers are a bit disappointing. Despite it's strong start, the conclusion leaves you feeling a little let down. It all seems so pointless. But maybe that's intentional.
The dialogue is witty as usual. Overall, it was a good read.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

St Therese of Lisieux

Today (in the old missal) is the Feast day of my Confirmation saint, Therese of Lisieux also known as "The Little Flower".But she is officially known as Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. She is quite popular and rather than go into her life story (which can be read at The Society of the Little Flower) I'll go on to why I chose her (or she chose me rather) to be my patron. But the thing is, I don't really know why. There are many photographs of St. Therese. Right away I thought she looked like a relative of mine in a vague way. (Although my grandmother claimed to be French, I'm not 100% sure I have any French ancestry). Reading some of her words, one quote in particular stood out to me: "After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth. I will raise up a mighty host of little saints. My mission is to make God loved..." She has very often kept this promise quite literally. A Jesuit priest was praying a novena to her in December of 1925. On the fourth day, a Sister brought him a white rose saying "Saint Therese sent you this". Amazed, the priest asked her where she got it. She replied: "I was in the chapel, and as I was leaving I passed the altar above which hangs the beautiful picture of Saint Therese. This rose fell at my feet. I wanted to put it back into the bouquet, but a thought came to me that I should bring it to you."
But more important than roses are the graces she obtains for us. I think that's one of the reason she is so popular, her powerful intercession.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Summer's over. Good riddance

Today was the 1st day of school. Thank God. I really hate summer. I hate the heat. I hate the sun beating down on me. I hate having to run the A/C. I hate how when it's over, summer always makes you feel guilty for not doing enough. No, we didn't go to a baseball game, to the lake or even to the park. It was too freaking hot. If it wasn't hot, it was storming. Or both. So summer is over and it couldn't leave fast enough.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Update on "God is Near Us'

After a lot of major disruptions including but not limited to the death of my grandfather, I finally found (well, O.K. Travis found it) the Pope Benedict book "God Is Near Us". It's extremely overdue but I didn't want to just return it without reading a little more. I'm glad I did. One little gem in this book that I've been turning over in my mind is this: everything we offer to God, He Himself has given it to us. "He gives so that we may give". I love this Pope. Viva Il Papa!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

St. Maximilian Kolbe

Today is the feast day of one of my most favorite saints, Maximilian Kolbe. Founder of the Militia Immaculata, he was killed in Auschwitz in 1941. Before that he started the largest religious community in the world "Niepokalanow: City of the Immaculata". He traveled to Japan to start a similar community. He was a man of stunning intellect, yet possessed the utmost humility. Suffering from tuberculosis, the Franciscan brothers gave him a fur coat. He asked "Do the other Brothers have such fur coats?" But they did not give up: they made a warm, leather-lined jacket. When he asked they told him that they had made similar jackets for all the sick, and so he had to accept it. An excellent book about St. Maximilian called "A Man for Others" by Patricia Treece. It consists mainly of reminisces of those who knew him. His holiness and goodness just leaps off the page. He wanted to win all souls for Christ through Mary Immaculate. He considered the Miraculous Medal to be a "bullet" against the enemy of souls. His death was the same as his life, giving to others. When a prisoner of his cellblock had escaped, the guards chose 10 men to die in the starvation bunker. One of those chosen began to weep for his wife and children. St Maximilian stepped forward and offered himself to replace that man. It was accepted. After two weeks in the death bunker, only 4 men were still alive, St. Maximilian was one of them. He was injected with carbolic acid on August 14th, the Vigil of the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady.
I could go on and on about how much I love St. Maximilian. And it gives me such joy to know that he is in Heaven now, praying for me. St. Maximilian Kolbe. ora pro nobis!

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I've been a little busy lately, got bit with the cleaning bug after watching "How Clean Is Your House?" on YouTube. While my apartment isn't quite as bad as some of those homes, it definitely needed (needs) a good scrub; the "after" segments motivated me somewhat. I think I'm going to do some rearranging of the furniture in the LR and my room. And then I got sidetracked reading a little biography about St. Therese of Lisieux who is my confirmation saint. It was "okay". And now I've seem to have misplaced Pope Benedict's book, but I know it's around here somewhere (it better be, since it's a library book). Oh and I took Travis to the museum for a special "space thing" they had there, which was a lot of fun.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

God Is Near Us

I just got "God Is Near Us" by Pope Benedict XVI. It's about the Eucharist. I'm excited about reading it but a little nervous too. I'm afraid it might be beyond my levels of comprehension. From what I understand, the Holy Father is uber-smart. Will post more later.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Scapularinator

My Brown Scapular had been Missing-In-Action for about a month now. Undoubtedly, little hands were to blame. I found it this morning in (where else) the boy's bedroom. They somehow managed to get it under the leg of their dresser (?). But Sweet Baby James worked it out and proclaimed "I got your Scapularinator Mommy!" That sounded like a perfect name for a Scapular/Terminator parody. The Scapularinator could roam "Catholic Communities" throughout the world, destroying such things as this ... statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary(?!), felt banners and other dubious religious art. It could have a heterodox sensor that would spray Holy Water at a priest delivering a "luv-is-all-you-need" homily. Or infuse a church with blessed incense if Sister WitchyWomyn was delivering the homily. It would show no mercy towards LegoTruck Crosses.