20 October 2011

The True Spirit of Assisi May Surprise

Let us consider the following words of St. Francis of Assisi in light of the false ecumenism that is overshadowing the Church in these our days:

"Also those are doomed who see the
Sacrament of the Body of Christ, which is consecrated with the words of
the Lord on the altar and by the hand of the priest in the form of
bread and wine, but do not see in it the Spirit and Divinity and have
not believed that it really is Our Lord Jesus Christ’s most holy Body
and Blood” (Admonitio prima de Corpore Christi (Quaracchi edition, p. 4))

Saint Francis of Assisi was firmly committed to the truth that “outside the Catholic Church, there is no salvation.” He was not an apostle of Gaudium et spes dialogue. He was an apostle of Christ who preached the Gospel,

1. for the salvation of those souls who were already Catholic, but had fallen away from the Gospel ideal, and

2. for the salvation of infidels and non-believers, whom he knew would be lost if they did not embrace Christ and His one true Catholic Church.
His biographer, Fr. Cuthbert, OSFC, wrote in 1916 that Saint Francis was “apt to be impatient with meddlers and heretics to the end” (Cuthbert, Life of Saint Francis of Assisi )

In fact, Saint Francis spoke harsh words about those who do not accept Catholic truth. He did not speak in vague terms about the “seeds of truth found in all religions" or as “an invitation to dialogue between the great monotheistic religions in the service of the human family”* (*This is a direct quote from Pope John Paul II. See “On Pilgrimage to Mt. Sinai,” 
Origins, March 9, 2000. Regarding John Paul II’s disappointing commitment to ecumenical novelties, Fr. Joseph de Sainte Marie, who was a theologian and loyal son of the Pope, emitted the broken-hearted lament and warning: “In our day, and it is one of the most obvious signs of the extraordinarily abnormal character of the current state of the Church, it is very often the case that the acts of the Holy See demand of us prudence and discernment” -- from A propos, Isle of Skye, Scotland)

Saint Francis vs. Islam

Around 1219, after a General Chapter of the Order, Saint Francis decided to undertake a mission to the Muhammadans in Egypt, where also there was a Crusade being fought.

During this time, Francis stayed with the Christian army, and then crossed over to the Moslem lines. Once outside the Christian lines, he was seized by Moslem soldiers. Francis told the soldiers that he wanted to preach Christ to the Sultan, who allowed him into the camp.

When brought to the Sultan, Francis said, “I am sent by the Most High God, to show you and your people the way of salvation by announcing to you the truths of the Gospel” (
Lives of Saints, “Saint Francis of Assisi” ). And when Saint Francis preached, the Sultan felt himself very much drawn to Francis and to the power of his words. So much so, that he invited Francis to stay with him. 

“Willingly,” Francis replied, “if you and your people will be converted to Christ.” (Cuthbert, 
Life of St. Francis )
Francis then proposed his famous challenge. He said:

“If you yet waver between Christ and Mohammed, order a fire kindled and I will go into it with your priests that you may see which is the true Faith”
(Lives of Saints, John J. Crawley & Co. ).

The Sultan was not willing to permit this trial by fire, so Francis requested permission to leave. And the Sultan gave orders that Francis be conducted back to his camp with courtesy.

While this was going on in Egypt, there were five firebrand Franciscan Friars kicking up so much dust in Muslim Morocco that all five of them would be put to death. Their names were Brothers Berardo, Ortho, Pietro, Accurso and Aduto.

First they went to Spain, to Moslem Seville. And because they tried to preach the Gospel there, they were scourged, imprisoned and expelled from that kingdom. Then they went over to Muslim Morocco in an attempt to convert the infidels. When they arrived, these Friars did more than just preach in the streets. They marched right into a mosque and denounced Mohammed from inside the mosque (Cuthbert, Life,).

The Friars were seized, imprisoned and scourged, but that did not temper their zeal. While in prison, they tried repeatedly to convert the jailers.

The rulers of Morocco were trying to find a diplomatic way out of this, so they arranged that these imperious Friars be sent out of the country.

And how did the five Franciscans respond?

Father Cuthbert relates:
“But the five Friars knew nothing of diplomacy and had not the temper to live and let live. Mohammed was, in their eyes, the enemy of Christ, and the souls of this people were rightful spoils for their Divine Redeemer. To go back upon their mission would be a traitorous backsliding from their fealty to their Savior.”  

At the first opportunity, these wiry Franciscans gave their jail-keepers the slip. Immediately, they returned to the city, and there they were again, in front of the mosque appealing to the infidels to renounce Mohammed and accept Christ.

They were seized, cast into jail and tortured. While they were on the rack, the jailers promised the Friars that their lives would be spared and they would be given gifts, if they would deny Christ and accept Mohammed.

The Friars responded by uttering the praises of Our Lord, and urged the torturers to renounce Mohammed and accept Jesus Christ.

The Muhammadans answered by beheading each Friar, and casting their bodies outside the walls to be the food of dogs. A Portuguese dignitary arranged a stealth operation to have their bodies rescued. They were taken to Portugal, and with great reverence they were laid in the Church of the Canons Regular (Augustinian) in Coimbra.

Among all the people who flocked to pray to and honor the martyred Franciscans, there was a young Augustinian Canon who was enraptured by the zeal and love of Christ that burned in these Friars. He sought out the local Franciscans and begged to be admitted to the Order.

That young Augustinian, who became Franciscan, is now known to us as Saint Anthony of Padua, the Miracle Worker, whom Catholics honor with the title the Hammer of Heretics.

And as for Saint Francis: What did he think of these five Friars who marched into a mosque and denounced Mohammed from within the Muslim’s own holy place? Who urged Moslems for their own salvation not to follow the false prophet, Mohammed? Did Saint Francis organize on the following March 12 a grand apology for the insensitivity of his friars for not understanding that the “Moslems, together with us, worship the same God”?

No! Francis cried out in a transport of gratitude to Heaven, “Now I can truly say I have five brothers”.

This is the true spirit of Assisi!

07 October 2011

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary / Battle of Lepanto

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary / Our Lady Help of Christians

5-Part Documentary:
Battle of Lepanto - Part I
Battle of Lepanto - Part II
Battle of Lepanto - Part III
Battle of Lepanto - Part IV

Litany of Loreto

V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Christ have mercy.
V. Lord have mercy. Christ hear us.
R. Christ graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of Virgins, pray for us.
Mother of Christ, pray for us.
Mother of divine grace, pray for us.
Mother most pure, pray for us.
Mother most chaste, pray for us.
Mother inviolate, pray for us.
Mother undefiled, pray for us.
Mother most amiable, pray for us.
Mother most admirable, pray for us.
Mother of good Counsel, pray for us.
Mother of our Creator, pray for us.
Mother of our Savior, pray for us.
Virgin most prudent, pray for us.
Virgin most venerable, pray for us.
Virgin most renowned, pray for us.
Virgin most powerful, pray for us.
Virgin most merciful, pray for us.
Virgin most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of justice, pray for us.
Seat of wisdom, pray for us.
Cause of our joy, pray for us.
Spiritual vessel, pray for us.
Vessel of honor, pray for us.
Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us.
Mystical rose, pray for us.
Tower of David, pray for us.
Tower of ivory, pray for us.
House of gold, pray for us.
Ark of the covenant, pray for us.
Gate of heaven, pray for us.
Morning star, pray for us.
Health of the sick, pray for us.
Refuge of sinners, pray for us.
Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us.
Help of Christians, pray for us.
Queen of Angels, pray for us.
Queen of Patriarchs, pray for us.
Queen of Prophets, pray for us.
Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
Queen of Martyrs, pray for us.
Queen of Confessors, pray for us.
Queen of Virgins, pray for us.
Queen of all Saints, pray for us.
Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us.
Queen assumed into heaven, pray for us.
Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us.
Queen of peace, pray for us.

V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Spare us, O Lord.

V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Graciously hear us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Have mercy on us. V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we thy servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary, ever Virgin, may we be freed from present sorrow, and rejoice in eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

26 June 2011

Lauda Sion (Translated)

Laua Sion Salvatorem,
lauda ducem et pastorem,
in hymnis et canticis.
Quantum potes, tantum aude:
quia maior omni laude,
nec laudare sufficis.
Zion, to thy Savior sing,
to Thy Shepherd and Thy King!
Let the air with praises ring!
All thou canst, proclaim with mirth,
far higher is His worth
than the glory words may wing.

Laudis thema specialis,
panis vivus et vitalis
hodie proponitur.
Quem in sacrae mensa cenae,
turbae fratrum duodenae
datum non ambigitur.

Lo! before our eyes and living
is the Sacred Bread life-giving,
theme of canticle and hymn.
We profess this Bread from heaven
to the Twelve by Christ was given,
for our faith rest firm in Him.

Sit laus plena, sit sonora,
sit iucunda, sit decora
mentis iubilatio.
Dies enim solemnis agitur,
in qua mensae prima recolitur
huius institutio.

Let us form a joyful chorus,
may our lauds ascend sonorous,
bursting from each loving breast.
For we solemnly record
how the Table of the Lord
with the Lamb's own gift was blest.

In hac mensa novi Regis,
novum Pascha novae legis,
phase vetus terminat.
Vetustatem novitas,
umbram fugat veritas,
noctem lux eliminat.

On this altar of the King
this new Paschal Offering
brings an end to ancient rite.
Shadows flee that truth may stay,
oldness to the new gives way,
and the night's darkness to the light.

Quod in coena Christus gessit,
faciendum hoc expressit
in sui memoriam.
Docti sacris institutis,
panem, vinum in salutis
consecramus hostiam.

What at Supper Christ completed
He ordained to be repeated,
in His memory Divine.
Wherefore now, with adoration,
we, the Host of our salvation,
consecrate from bread and wine.

Dogma datur christianis,
quod in carnem transit panis,
et vinum in sanguinem.
Quod non capis, quod non vides,
animosa firmat fides,
praeter rerum ordinem.

Words a nature's course derange,
that in Flesh the bread may change
and the wine in Christ's own Blood.
Does it pass thy comprehending?
Faith, the law of light transcending,
leaps to things not understood.

Sub diversis speciebus,
signis tantum, et non rebus,
latent res eximiae.
Caro cibus, sanguis potus:
manet tamen Christus totus
sub utraque specie.

Here beneath these signs are hidden
priceless things, to sense forbidden;
signs, not things, are all we see.
Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine,
yet is Christ in either sign,
all entire confessed to be.

A sumente non concisus,
non confractus, non divisus:
integer accipitur.
Sumit unus, sumunt mille:
quantum isti, tantum ille:
nec sumptus consumitur.

And whoe'er of Him partakes,
severs not, nor rends, nor breaks:
all entire, their Lord receive.
Whether one or thousand eat,
all receive the selfsame meat,
nor do less for others leave.

Sumunt boni, sumunt mali:
sorte tamen inaequali,
vitae vel interitus.
Mors est malis, vita bonis:
vide paris sumptionis
quam sit dispar exitus.

Both the wicked and the good
eat of this celestial Food:
but with ends how opposite!
With this most substantial Bread,
unto life or death they're fed,
in a difference infinite.

Fracto demum sacramento,
ne vacilles, sed memento
tantum esse sub fragmento,
quantum toto tegitur.
Nulla rei fit scissura:
signi tantum fit fractura,
qua nec status, nec statura
signati minuitur.

Nor a single doubt retain,
when they break the Host in twain,
but that in each part remain
what was in the whole before;
For the outward sign alone
may some change have undergone,
while the Signified stays one,
and the same forevermore.

Ecce Panis Angelorum,
factus cibus viatorum:
vere panis filiorum,
non mittendus canibus.
In figuris praesignatur,
cum Isaac immolatur,
agnus Paschae deputatur,
datur manna patribus.

Hail! Bread of the Angels, broken,
for us pilgrims food, and token
of the promise by Christ spoken,
children's meat, to dogs denied!
Shown in Isaac's dedication,
in the Manna's preparation,
in the Paschal immolation,
in old types pre-signified.

Bone pastor, panis vere,
Iesu, nostri miserere:
Tu nos pasce, nos tuere,
Tu nos bona fac videre
in terra viventium.
Tu qui cuncta scis et vales,
qui nos pascis hic mortales:
tuos ibi commensales,
coheredes et sodales
fac sanctorum civium.
Amen. Alleluia.

Jesus, Shepherd mild and meek,
shield the poor, support the weak;
help all who Thy pardon sue,
placing all their trust in You:
fill them with Your healing grace!
Source of all we have or know,
feed and lead us here below.
grant that with Your Saints above,
sitting at the feast of love
we may see You face to face.
Amen. Alleluia.

24 June 2011


An excerpt from,
Sins of the Tongue: The Backbiting Tongue
by Father Belet, of the Diocese of Basle
Translated from the French, 1870 ed.

"There are eight specific ways in which a man can backbite his neighbor:

1. When he gets carried away by vanity and imputes things against his neighbor that never happened, or when he adds to the truth imaginary circumstances that constitute either a lie or detraction.

2. When he brings a hidden or unknown fault to light. What he says is true, but he should not say it. He backbites, not by saying something untrue, but by wounding his neighbor's reputation. This is a very common sin among us.Now you might object, "Do you mean to say I can't tell the truth ?" No, my friend. It is not permitted, unless you can do so without harming your neighbor. What you say is true, I admit, but it is hidden. The sinner has wounded his conscience in God's sight, but he has not lost his reputation before men; therefore, you may not weaken or destroy it with your tongue. And even if the sin you reveal is not altogether secret but known only to a few, as long as it is not public knowledge, you are backbiting if you reveal it to someone who was unaware of it And thus you are harming your neighbor.

3. When he exaggerates a crime, be it true, or false. This is a danger to which we readily expose ourselves when we talk about the vices of others.

4. When he relates something about another person that is not evil in any way, but speaks as though his neighbor had done it for evil reasons and adds various explanations such as, "Yes, he did that, but not with God in mind... He's not so pious as all that; he seeks to please men, he wants to stand out… You should know him, he's a hypocrite."

5. When a backbiter declares nothing but is happy to say, "I've heard it said that…" or, "There's a rumor going around..." or when he relates something as if it were doubtful: "So-and-so might not be exactly what you think, I don't think he is deserving of confidence. His neighbors never heard anything about his holiness, except that only since yesterday has he been rated among the devout." Or again, when he praises with coldness and reticence. Aulu-Gelle says, "It is more shameful to be coldly and reservedly praised than harshly and bitterly accused." All these ways of acting must be avoided with the greatest care, for people always seek evil more than good.

6. Backbiting is so subtle that anyone can defame another person with a simple gesture. He hears someone being praised for his integrity, piety or generosity, and he says, "Oh. you don't know that fellow? I see right through him. Ask me anything about him, I know him inside out." Or he raises an eyebrow and remains silent; he shakes his head; he turns his eyes so as to have it understood that the person being praised does not deserve it Sometimes a backbiter may keep his mouth shut and just turn his hand two or three times to indicate that the person in question is lightheaded and changes from hour to hour.

7. He can backbite not only with body language but also with silence. He may wickedly say nothing about the integrity or morals of his neighbor, especially when he is questioned about them or when his neighbor is accused of some crime.

8. Finally, a person is guilty of backbiting if he is publicly blamed for something he did, and he denies his guilt, thereby making his accuser pass for a liar. It is surely not an obligation to publicly admit a fault committed in secret. However, one should justify himself in some other way, saying, for instance, "Those are only words, they don't prove anything. Whoever heard them may have been mistaken. Don't believe everything you hear." This way of speaking is far more acceptable than the first.II.That is how backbiting does its diabolical work. It changes costume so slickly, we can hardly recognize it. Malice is ingenious: It spots a beam where there is only a wisp of straw, an elephant where there is only a fly, a mountain high as the Alps where there is only a molehill. It turns dream into reality and taints the virtues of others so skilfully with its own colors that we mistake them for vices."

12 June 2011

Scandal Involving a Priest

Whenever you learn any scandal about a priest, remember this: Even the Blessed Virgin Mother of God the Son would bow to any priest. It's never right to commit evil that good may come of it --- gossip is always wrong.

I should add: gossip is always evil, but when it comes from a priest it is more so. He is still a priest, therefore, you are all the more obliged to pray for his soul.  I've heard the excuse that it is gossip only when the sin is not otherwise known publicly, but sometimes the sins that are 'known' publicly are spread maliciously and may even be false. Guard your tongue if you wish to not offend God. If you are tempted, offer it up to God, Who is never out done in charity and will promptly reward you in merit and graces. When you honor a priest, you honor He Who made the man a priest. If the gossip is of true account, remember it is still gossip, and unless your discussion has at it's heart some immediate and objective moral value to the hearer, then you do no good in such conversation. The matter can only be rectified by the proper authority.  

Shun conversation of those that take perverse delight in the scandals involving priests --- no mater how pious they otherwise seem. Very few things are as poisonous to the soul.

If you are the one seriously wronged by a priest, remember you honor God by honoring the office of the priest, as it was not given to him by man but by God.  See it as a sign of warning to you and to all as to how one can still fall far from God's grace, even when much is given.  God never gives anyone more than they can withstand, as with priests, whom He gives all the graces they need to fulfill their office.  The soul of the priest is at greater risk.  Do not be scandalized as the Church is always the Bride of Christ, although some members that are merely visible members may be dead to mortal sin, pray that they come back to supernatural life.  When reporting the issue, make sure you go straight to the person who is his next superior, and insist on not reporting to anyone else but his superior.   Sometimes even well-intended persons may get involved in things that should not be their jurisdiction.  

Few things are more hurtful to the heart and emotional stability of a person who has been seriously wronged by their priest.   Just always remember that no matter what anyone does to you, God is always the same, and His Bride always contains the deposit of truth that will never change.  God will always be with one who is true to Him and He will shower you with grace in your time of trial as far as you continue in the faith Jesus Christ won for you by the Cross.  Remember this when you pray the "Our Father", and in thanksgiving for God's mercy towards you, use your sufferings to gain help for the priest that has otherwise hurt you.  No one can take away your faith.+

19 April 2011

Occasions of Sin --- Not a New or Out-of-Date Concept

Occasions of Sin

Occasions of Sin are external circumstances--whether of things or persons--which either because of their special nature or because of the frailty common to humanity or peculiar to some individual, incite or entice one to sin.

It is important to remember that there is a wide difference between the cause and the occasion of sin. The cause of sin in the last analysis is the perverse human will and is intrinsic to the human composite. The occasion is something extrinsic and, given the freedom of the will, cannot, properly speaking, stand in causal relation to the act or vicious habit which we call sin. There can be no doubt that in general the same obligation which binds us to refrain from sin requires us to shun its occasion. Qui tenetur ad finem, tenetur ad media (he who is bound to reach a certain end is bound to employ the means to attain it).

Theologians distinguish between the proximate and the remote occasion. They are not altogether at one as to the precise value to be attributed to the terms. De Lugo defines proximate occasion (De poenit. disp. 14, n. 149) as one in which men of like calibre for the most part fall into mortal sin, or one in which experience points to the same result from the special weakness of a particular person. The remote occasion lacks these elements. All theologians are agreed that there is no obligation to avoid the remote occasions of sin both because this would, practically speaking, be impossible and because they do not involve serious danger of sin.

As to the proximate occasion, it may be of the sort that is described as necessary, that is, such as a person cannot abandon or get rid of. Whether this impossibility be physical or moral does not matter for the determination of the principles hereinafter to be laid down. Or it may be voluntary, that is within the competency of one to remove. Moralists distinguish between a proximate occasion which is continuous and one which, whilst it is unquestionably proximate, yet confronts a person only at intervals. It is certain that one who is in the presence of a proximate occasion at once voluntary and continuous is bound to remove it. A refusal on the part of a penitent to do so would make it imperative for the confessor to deny absolution. It is not always necessary for the confessor to await the actual performance of this duty before giving absolution; he may be content with a sincere promise, which is the minimum to be required. Theologians agree that one is not obliged to shun the proximate but necessary occasions. Nemo tenetur ad impossibile (no one is bound to do what is impossible). There is no question here of freely casting oneself into the danger of sin. The assumption is that stress of unavoidable circumstances has imposed this unhappy situation. All that can then be required is the employment of such means as will make the peril of sin remote. The difficulty is to determine when a proximate occasion is to be regarded as not physically (that is plain enough) but morally necessary. Much has been written by theologians in the attempt to find a rule for the measurement of this moral necessity and a formula for its expression, but not successfully. It seems to be quite clear that a proximate occasion may be deemed necessary when it cannot be given up without grave scandal or loss of good name or without notable temporal or spiritual damage.

About this page

APA citation. Delany, J. (1911). Occasions of Sin. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved April 19, 2011 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11196a.htm

MLA citation. Delany, Joseph. "Occasions of Sin." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 19 Apr. 2011 .

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Tomas Hancil.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Here is a link on the subject:
Occasions of Sin and Company Keeping

16 April 2011

Holy Week Pamphet

Click the first button to the left to view in "fullscreen".  Also, you can zoom in and out using the "+" and "-".  Change pages by using the arrow keys and/or scroll bar to the right.Holy Week Pamphlet                                                                                           

08 April 2011

April 12 - St. Teresa of the Andes

St. Teresa of the Andes, pray for us!

Saint Teresa of the AndesTeresa de Jesús "de los Andes," (July 13, 1900 – April 12, 1920) was a Chilean nun canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.
She was born Juana Fernández del Solar in Santiago, Chile: her nickname was "Juanita". She was the daughter of an upper class family. Early in her life she read an autobiography of the French Saint Thérèse de Lisieux; the experience had a profound effect on Juanita's already pious character, coming to the realization she wanted to serve God.
Juanita was inspired after having read about St. Therese of Lisiuex, the French saint who died young, and who is also known as St. Therese of the Child Jesus, or "The Little Flower".  Juanita wanted so much to love and serve and please God, that she wished for no one else to take hold of her heart ever in her life but Jesus.  Before her first Holy Communion, she strived to perfectly love Jesus and his Holy Will because she wanted to be worthy to receive him.  Juanita was given the mystical gift by God of locutions* (*one must never ask for such a gift, as the saints warn, because when we are not humble and ask for such a gift, as God can give us graces without such charisms and mystical experiences, we will be opening ourselves up to be deceived by an evil spirit. Even the saints say it is easy to be tricked even for the most pious soul).  Locutions are when Jesus speaks to a soul by sets of ideas, thoughts or visions from God.  These she started receiving after having received her first Holy Communion.  She soon realized that she wanted to become a religious after being so inspired to live for and love only Jesus.  Also, very early on, she understood that she would die young.
In 1919, at age 19, Juanita became a Discalced Carmelite novice and took the name Teresa. Toward the end of her short life, Teresa began an apostolate of letter-writing, sharing her thoughts on the spiritual life with many people. Still aged 19 she contracted typhus and made her religious profession. She died April 12, 1920 during Holy Week. She was three months short of her 20th birthday, and had yet 6 months to complete her canonical novitiate and to be legally able to make her religious vows, nevertheless she was allowed to profess the vows 'in articulo mortis'. She died as a Discalced Carmelite nun.
Teresa remains popular with the estimated 100,000 pilgrims who visit each year the shrine where her remains are venerated in the Sanctuary of Auco-Rinconada in the township of Los Andes; 60 miles from Santiago. She is Chile's first saint, and is specially popular among females and younger people.
During the early 90's, the popular telenovela actress Paulina Urrutia (Culture Minister in Chile since 2006), played Teresa in a television miniseries for the TVN Chile network. This became one of her most popular roles, to the point that people asked her in the streets to bless them.
Teresa was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Santiago de Chile on April 3, 1987. Luis, one of her siblings, was present at her beatification. He was the last direct relative of hers still alive in those years.
She is the first Discalced Carmelite Nun to become a Saint outside the boundaries of Europe and the fifth "Saint Teresa", together with Saints Teresa of AvilaFlorenceBenedicta of the Cross and Therese of Lisieux.

Some of the above comments were taken from Wikipedia.


I would also like to add that there is a wonderful letter on this blog here:
The Carmelite Blogger

This is by a young girl who I saw on YouTube about a year or so ago, and felt she had a Carmelite vocation.  I wrote to her and she immediately wrote back.  We wrote for a little bit because I was easily convinced that she had a charism for this order and would be happy in a traditional Carmelite convent that prayed the Latin Carmelite liturgy.  Good news!  She's finding her way to Carmel!   I just hope she remembers me in her prayers!  Something tells me that she will remember all her "YouTube friends".  :-)  

Please pray that she will always seek to do the Holy Will of God, and that in this she becomes a saint.

03 April 2011

O Sacred Head Surrounded

I can't imagine that it is too early to hear this, although in this point of the liturgical year, Christ is yet to even teach the significance of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.

Since, however, we know the significance, let us meditate on his sacrifice, to become "Bread from Heaven" to us, even at every Mass,
and thus prepare our hearts to better try to know, love and serve him
in all that we do.
May our hearts cry tears of true sorrow for our sins, like that of the poor sinner turned saint, St. Mary Magdalene, and in true supplications, have the disposition to kneel at his feet when we next see him
at his holy Sacrifice.

O sacred head, surrounded
by crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding head, so wounded,
reviled and put to scorn!
Our sins have marred the glory
of thy most holy face,
yet angel hosts adore thee
and tremble as they gaze

I see thy strength and vigor
all fading in the strife,
and death with cruel rigor,
bereaving thee of life;
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesus, all grace supplying,
O turn thy face on me.

In this thy bitter passion,
Good Shepherd, think of me
with thy most sweet compassion,
unworthy though I be:
beneath thy cross abiding
for ever would I rest,
in thy dear love confiding,
and with thy presence blest.

Words: Henry Williams Baker (1821-1877), 1861;
after Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153);
and Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676)

Thoughts on The 4th Sunday of Lent


There is an old, and always valid axiom in the Catholic church that says, "the law of how you pray (as) the law of your faith (as) the law of how you live", and in Latin, "Lex Orandi.  Lex Credendi.  Lex Vivendi."   In other words, how you live, the things you accept and do not accept, show what you truly believe, and then this shows how you truly pray.  Prayer, of course, includes liturgical worship.

There is a school of thought that although is considerably popular among Catholics but is seriously flawed.  That thought is a modernistic manner of worship in general.  People attend the Mass in shorts, and even with the opportunity to change before attending, people will dress for comfort first with no thought to modesty, much less solemnity.  Quite often, their Mass celebration is focused in the error of immanentism, as if the highest good was our charity to our neighbor and not God Himself.  This article is not to demean the people who do this, but to help those who will read this examine the philosophies behind this type of casual attitude towards the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and its consequences on souls.

Schnorr Von Carolsfeld
In today's Gospel, we see Jesus's multiplication of the loaves and fishes, and commands that the fragments be gathered, lest they be lost.    This miracle* (*and yes, it most certainly was a miracle, and not merely an exaggeration, or a lessen in human prudence  --- as some in grave error like to suggest) impresses the people so much, since they were given something their bodies most needed.  Jesus, knowing that they would want to make him king so that they would always be fed, literally, ran off into a mountain, alone, to pray.

Jesus fed the people because they were hungry but not merely as an end to itself, but as a miracle to point to the Heavenly Food.  He did not wish to be made king of these people who wished first and foremost for their bellies to be satisfied.  They weren't ready for the lesson, that he came to feed their souls --- with his own flesh, requiring that he would be sacrificed for their sins.

Too often we think of our own experience of worship, and think that the greater the experience, the better the worship.  Whenever we do this, and to the degree that we do this, we are like the followers of Christ who were satisfied only with a meal. 

But Christ will later say to those followers, "[26] Jesus answered them, and said: Amen, amen I say to you, you seek me, not because you have seen miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled. [27] Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto life everlasting, which the Son of man will give you. For him hath God, the Father, sealed. [28] They said therefore unto him: What shall we do, that we may work the works of God? [29] Jesus answered, and said to them: This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he hath sent. [30] They said therefore to him: What sign therefore dost thou shew, that we may see, and may believe thee? What dost thou work?
[31] Our fathers did eat manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat. [32]Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you; Moses gave you not bread from heaven, but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. [33] For the bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life to the world. [34] They said therefore unto him: Lord, give us always this bread.[35] And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger: and he that believeth in me shall never thirst.
[36] But I said unto you, that you also have seen me, and you believe not. [37] All that the Father giveth to me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me, I will not cast out. [38] Because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.
 The Jews, as you recall, then MURMURED, that is to say, they gossiped about Jesus and made all sorts of presumptions, assumptions, rash judgments and the like.  All they saw was this MAN who seemed to be fulfilling the prophecies for their Messiah, and this greatly upset them.  Why did it upset them?  This upset them because many of the Jews had hoped for a Messiah that would make the land THEIRS in THIS LIFE, and not that they would have to first DIE to have their holy inheritance.  Instead, many of them had become greedy and developed great attachments to their wealth, and authority, and in all of this they started to become proud, with an attitude that God would come and gave them all their hearts desires.  They were wrapped so much in the material world, that they wished for these things not to glorify God, but in God's name, glorify themselves and fill only their desires even in the name of worship.

[51] I am the living bread which came down from heaven. [52] If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. [53] The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? [54] Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.

But getting back to the Gospel today, we see at the end of the passage John 6:1:15 ends:

[14] Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: This is of a truth the prophet, that is to come into the world. [15] Jesus therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force, and make him king, fled again into the mountain himself alone.

We as Catholics are reminded that Jesus is a DIVINE PERSON, God the Son, 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity (1 God = 3 Persons), and Jesus has two natures:  one fully divine, the other one --- fully human.  These two natures of Jesus Christ are what we call hypostatically united, meaning, every action done by Jesus is done with both of his natures fully present and united at the same time, and at all times.

So why did he flee into the mountain?  Why did he have to run?   As a man, he had a reason to flee from these people who wanted to force him to be king.   Jesus, knowing their minds, knew he had to get away from them to pray, because they were wanting a king to give them the goods of this earth and he knew that they wanted to take him by force.  He didn't create a miracle of vanishing into the crowd, but rather, he ran to show them and to show us some things about what's important to him.   He fled to a mountain to be alone.

Standing on a mountain gives a person a vantage point of the things below, but this is also an allegory for the spiritual view.  God wants us to see what should be important to us.  Jesus, himself, goes to pray.    He doesn't look to give the people what they want in the temporal sense, except when it points them to the higher gifts of the supernatural life of grace, that we may be united to him eventually in heaven.  He runs from those that are seeking only happiness in this life, and even those that wish to make him king, but only in the sense that their earthly senses are fulfilled.  And still, food for the body is not an extravagance, but even the necessities are given by Christ to point to the greater hunger, which is that of the soul to be united to God.

Christ's answer to those who wish to make him king, but only a mere earthly king in the sense of fulfilling their temporal desires is to flee to a mountain and pray.

This is one of the reasons that the tabernacle has, for most of the Church's history, been on an elevated altar, where even the priest must walk up stairs to reach our Lord (another allegory).  

Too often, today, however, Christ, at least in modern tabernacles, is on the level of people sitting down.  When they stand, they often peer over Christ in the Holy Eucharist, or near the level of even when the Sacred Eucharist is elevated.  They will hold or shake hands even after the consecration --- when our Lord is brought down from heaven.  There is so much focus on the "experience" of community, that people regard the Mass as little more than entertainment that gives them spiritual benefits.  The concept of worship has been lost, by far, in many communities and parishes.

God the Son took on human flesh; He took on the human condition.  How can one be casual when approaching his Sacrifice?

This casualness, when it is really considered, is not only lacking solemnity, that is to say, it is lacking due consideration and measure of decorum (dress, demeanor and interior disposition) but it is also inhumane even on a temporal level.  Did not Christ ask his Father that this cup, the price that you might be saved, might be passed from him?   Yes, it is true, that God looks to our hearts, and while we may enter the church for Mass as quiet as a "church mouse", with pious decorum, our hearts may carry with them 1000 distractions and temptations, and attachments.  Jesus 'hears' all of these clashing cymbals of hearts lacking preparation for his Holy Sacrifice.  

Everything we think willfully, do or say will either bring us closer to Jesus and more disposed to worship and receive him in Holy Communion, or it will bring us further away.  We are either moving with the grace of God or against it.  The prayer of quiet, when we go flee to our 'mountain' and pray alone to God, we gain the graces needed to cooperate with God's grace in our thoughts, words and actions, and thereby prepare us to receive our Heavenly Food, the "Bread of (Supernatural) Life."* (*Note:  also frequent Confession helps us gain these graces needed to combat venial sins -- whether fully deliberate or semi-deliberate --- and even our faults, so do not wait until you commit mortal sin!!!)

We cannot afford to be casual when presenting ourselves to God.  Think of how Jesus spoke to Simon who, after preparing a meal for Jesus, expected special consideration and attention of Jesus, while the pious St. Mary Magdalene had the disposition to wash Jesus's feet with her tears and anoint them with costly oil.  She gave Christ the greatest expense she could afford, both materially and spiritually, and this disposition pleased him, and he rewarded her with the grace of his mercy!

Lenten Mission (part 1): The Importance of Praying Well

1 of 3 talks for Audio Sancto's 2011 Lenten Mission: 
St. Gemma Galgani in ecstasy.

Lenten Mission (part 2): Examining Sin, Its Consequences, and Remedy

Part 2 of 3 mission talks for 2011:

Lenten Mission (part 2): Examining Sin, Its Consequences, and Remedy

Lenten Mission (part 3): The Importance of Preparing for Death

Lenten Mission (part 3): The Importance of Preparing for Death

This is the 3rd mission talk of 3 that were posted this year on Audio Sancto.

29 March 2011

St. Peter of Verona

St. Peter Martyr enjoins the onlooker to silence. by Fra Angelico

The following is a New Advent entry on St. Peter of Verona:
Born at Verona, 1206; died near Milan, 6 April, 1252. His parents were adherents of the Manichæan heresy, which still survived in northern Italy in the thirteenth century. Sent to a Catholic school, and later to the University of Bologna, he there met St. Dominic, and entered the Order of the Friars Preachers. Such were his virtues, severity of life and doctrine, talent for preaching, and zeal for the Faith, that Gregory IX made him general inquisitor, and his superiors destined him to combat the Manichæanerrors. In that capacity he evangelized nearly the whole of Italy, preaching in RomeFlorence, Bologna, Genoa, and Como.Crowds came to meet him and followed him wherever he went; and conversions were numerous. He never failed to denounce the vices and errors of Catholics who confessed the Faith by words, but in deeds denied it. The Manichæans did all they could to compel the inquisitor to cease from preaching against their errors and propaganda. Persecutions, calumnies, threats, nothing was left untried.
When returning from Como to Milan, he met a certain Carino who with some other Manichæans had plotted to murder him. The assassin struck him with an axe on the head with such violence, that the holy man fell half dead. Rising to his knees he recited the first article of the Symbol of the Apostles, and offering his blood as a sacrifice to God he dipped his fingers in it and wrote on the ground the words: "Credo in Deum". The murderer then pierced his heart. The body was carried to Milan and laid in thechurch of St. Eustorgio, where a magnificent mausoleum, the work of Balduccio Pisano, was erected to his memory. He wrought many miracles when living, but they were even more numerous after his martyrdom, so that Innocent IV canonized him on 25 March, 1253.

Saint Peter Martyr, pray for us.+
I wanted to just add that on his feast day, priests can bestow blessings on water invoking St. Peter Martyr, although, I am not sure of the particular form for this blessing, and it may involve also a relic of his.  The holy water is then referred to as, "St. Peter Martyr Water".  Also, there is a traditional blessing on small wooden crosses that one could make from all natural materials even just found outside, such as small twigs and twine.  Again, however, I am unaware of the form and rubrics and it may also require a St. Peter Martyr relic.  These are used for protection around the home, very much like palm crosses or St. Benedict medals, placed at the furthest corners of a residence (either/or both inside and outside).  This blessing can also be in addition to something with another but different blessing, such as to palm crosses.