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Friday 30 November 2012

From today's L'Osservatore Romano dated tomorrow

I have been verbally trying to deal with catechists and members of the new evangelization who keep making excuses for the ignorance of Irish adults (or American or British adults, for that matter). I am very concerned and have written on this blog and elsewhere that ignorance is no excuse. The Pope spoke about this today, and I am very grateful he did. If few listen to me, maybe they will listen to him. Young evangelists, stop making excuses for your parents and friends. Parents and Grandparents, stop making excuses for those younger. Stop. The link is on the first title.
Benedict XVI to the French bishops

The ignorance of the faith

The ignorance of the content of the faith is one of the most serious problems of our time and is an obstacle for the mission of the Church. Speaking to the third and final group of French bishops on their “ad limina” visit this morning, 30 November, the Pope explained that this ignorance mainly concerns the lack of understanding of the person of Jesus Christ and of the sublime and universal value of his teachings.
It is a problem which concerns many men and women “including many Catholic faithful”. For this reason, Benedict XVI added that the new evangelization “presents itself with particular urgency”. Above all because this kind of dual ignorance “causes in the new generations an inability to understand history” and to feel that they are heirs of a tradition, the Christian tradition, that “shaped European life, society, art and culture”. But the situation is such that if they want to reach the desired fruits of the new mission of evangelization it will be necessary to deeply involve the communities and parishes. And underlining the formation of the youth the Pope said “the Church in Europe and in France must not remain indifferent to the decline in vocations and priestly ordinations and other types of callings that God draws forth from the Church”. We must urgently “mobilize all available energies so that the youth may listen to the voice of the Lord”. Institutes of Catholic teaching are fundamentally important in this context so that “they are first in the great discussion between faith and culture”.
December 1, 2012

The Faces of Perfection-Youth

God has called all baptized Catholics to the life of perfection. As most of us are baptized when babies, this means that the grace given in baptism allows children to begin the life of virtue at a young age.

Why do we not urge children or adolescents to use the graces of the sacraments? 

There are too many child or adolescent saints to mention here but I want to highlight one. In October of 2007, when I was writing my first blog, Pope Benedict XVI beatified the 498 Spanish Martyrs.

Among those martyrs who died for their faith was 17. His name is Luis Abia Melendro and here are his details from
  • Nacido el 28/02/1919, en Abia de las Torres (Palencia), diócesis de Palencia
  • Sufrió el martirio el 30/11/1936 en Paracuellos de Jarama (Madrid), diócesis de Madrid-Alcalá, en la actualidad diócesis de Alcalá de Henares
  • Fecha beatificación: 28/10/2007
  • Lugar de la sepultura: Camposanto de Paracuellos de Jarama, diócesis de Alcalá de Henares
  • Fiesta: 6 noviembre
Look at the list of these young men, all Augustians, who are beatfied. The list is incomplete...They look like the seminarians I posted last night.......They all died in 1936, so you can figure out their ages.

Victor Cuesta Villalba                
Nemesio Díez FernándezBernardino Calle Franco


Nemesio García Rubio
                                             RAMIRO ALONSO LÓPEZ 

Dámaso Arconada Merino
                professed cleric, Augustinians born: 28 March 1915


                professed priest, Augustinians
                born: 17 August 1904 

                 professed cleric, Augustinians
                                               born: 17 May 1916 

                                             PEDRO CARVAJAL PEREDA 
                                                  professed cleric, Augustinians
                                             born: 01 August 1912 

                                           VICTOR CUESTA VILLALBA 
                                          professed cleric, Augustinians
                                           born: 13 May 1917 


                professed cleric, Augustinians

                born: 20 February 1913 


                professed cleric, Augustinians
                born: 17 June 1910 


                professed cleric, Augustinians
                born: 17 April 1912 

Now, some people say saints are born. I believe that we all can become saints, and therefore, sainthood is arrived by different paths. Martyrdom is one path. From one website on the Spanish martyrs is this quotation,

"Martyrdom" originally meant witness, the "martyr" is therefore a witness. The precise meaning from  the Second Century should be understood in light of the testimony of Jesus himself and for Him the Christian martyr is a witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh (cf. Jn 1 14).

Martyrdom is a "test" of the truth of Christianity if, we can say, like a quality control. Martyrs mark with their lives the reality of what we believe and hope, unmasking the temptation to turn the realities believed into mere words, interpretations, ideas, symbols or projections.

Love is tested in the ability to suffer for the beloved, and that true love is tested with real suffering.

In the words of the Gospel: "No one has greater love than to lay down his life for his friends" (Jn 15:13).The believer shows his seriousness to the extent that he is willing to bear the cross and persecution, because faith is the acceptance of God not only by the assent of the mind or the feelings of the heart, but above all with the fidelity in the thick of life (cf. 1 Pet 1.6 to 9). 

The Christian awaits eternal life as well, the martyrs bet their existence radically therefore
(awaiting)  the expected, based on the promise of God. The martyr certifies with their blood the truth and value of the divine commandments pointing to eternal life, without falling into indifference, subterfuges, interest or cynicism. The same Church witnesses the mystery that sustains the martyrdom of Her children. Martyrdom is a well tested and  a crucible of Christian authenticity and consistency of the actuality of Jesus Christ. 
Blázquez Pérez, Ricardo: "Who is a Christian martyr?"
In González Rodríguez, María Encarnación (Ed.), Christian martyrdom .
EDICE, Madrid 2007. pp. 33-60. p. 35-36

Christmas in Coming


In less than four weeks, we shall celebrate the Birth of the Incarnate God. I pray that all Christians this year remember the great poverty Christ endured for us. Too often, we forget He is God.

Be generous with yourselves in giving to others. Do not take anything or anyone for granted. Make a good Advent by corporal and spiritual works of mercy, as well as fasting and prayer. Get together with those who support your Faith. We do not know the time or the hour....Can you imagine Joseph's amazement at the coming of the Messiah in utter rejection by His Own People? The heir to the fallen House of David had much to think about, and how he must have suffered in his inability to provide warmth and a safe place for Mary. He must have known that somehow, this suffering was God's Will.

Prayer for Priest Day--for Blogger-Priests

and, of course

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer for Priests

eternal High Priest, you offered yourself to the
Father on the altar of the Cross and through the
outpouring of the Holy Spirit gave your priestly
people a share in your redeeming sacrifice.
Hear our prayer for the sanctification of our priests.
Grant that all who are ordained to the ministerial
priesthood may be ever more conformed to you,
the divine Master. May they preach the
Gospel with pure heart and clear conscience.
Let them be shepherds according to your own Heart,
single- minded in service to you and to the Church
and shining examples of a holy,simple and joyful life.
Through the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
your Mother and ours,draw all priests and the flocks
entrusted to their care to the fullness of eternal life where
you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.