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Monday 25 February 2013

Syrian Papal Nunciature in Bomb Area

Well, Potus got a mandate and he is running with it...

On Friday, the Obama administration filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act:
DOMA, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman, has been found unconstitutional by lower courts. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal in one of those cases, U.S. v. Windsor. Oral arguments are scheduled for March 27.
The administration argues that the court may consider a higher level of rational-basis review. The brief states that the increased consideration would be valid in order to “guard against giving effect to a desire to harm an ‘unpopular group.’

more here

Not The Shoes of the Fisherman: An Interesting Interview with Weigel on the Upcoming Conclave and More

Here is just a snippet: on an answer about the choice of a pope.

LOPEZ: These are men in the conclave. What if they don’t listen to what He says?
WEIGEL: Well, it’s been known to happen before. Cardinal Ratzinger himself once said that the role of the Holy Spirit in a conclave is to prevent the cardinals from electing a pope who would completely wreck the Church. That’s a kind of negative boundary, but, looking back over the relevant history, it has the ring of realism to it.
In the apostolic constitution that will govern this conclave, John Paul II suppressed the methods of electing a pope by “inspiration” ( a cardinal or cardinals gets up in the Sistine Chapel and proclaims his belief that Cardinal X has already been chosen by God, and at least two-thirds of the others agree — the scenario in Morris West’s novel, The Shoes of the Fisherman) and by “delegation” (the cardinals agree to choose a committee who will choose the new pope). John Paul’s view, I think, was that the conclave is a drama of discernment in which every elector ought to feel the full weight of his religious and moral responsibility. That they will do this under the gaze of the Christ of the Last Judgment, in the Sistine Chapel, rather underscores that point. 

Look to the Future

Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist Come and See Discernment Weekend

thanks to Amy Welborne

Conclave Information from Radio Vaticana

and from the article

Returning to the Motu Proprio, it has been established that once Conclave has started a two-third majority votes is required for a valid election, “calculated on the basis of the electors present and voting" and that if after three days the votes do not come to a result, "one day should be dedicated to prayer, reflection and dialogue". In subsequent rounds of voting, "only the two names which in the previous election had the highest number of votes will be considered, and the provision of a two third majority of the Cardinals present and voting for a valid election will remain”. Finally, the Motu proprio states that the two candidates who receive the most votes cannot vote in the final run-off election. 

Stop Speculating, Please

The enemy like the dragon roams the world seeking the ruin of souls; do not add to his lies

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI  from this site

Vatican Spokesperson 

“The Holy Father has decided that the contents of this report which are known only by His Holiness, will remain at the disposition of the new pontiff.” 

The commission is composed by Spanish Cardinal Julian Herranz, Slovak Jozef Tomko, and Italian Salvatorre De Giorgi, all over the age of 80. 

It was created in April, after the theft and release of private papal documents. The findings took several months to compile and were handed to the Pope in two reports, one completed in July and the other in December. 

The audience with the Pope on Monday was the end of the commission's work on the matter. 

Blessed Gerard Tonque, Founder of the Knights of Malta

The founder of the Order of John is another Saint of Malta, although he was not Maltese. Here is a bit about him and the Charter from Rome for the Order's recognition. He died on September 3, 1120.

It is not certain whether Gerard came from present-day Italy or France. He went to Jerusalem and there, towards the end of the eleventh century, he established a hospice for pilgrims and the sick next to the Church of St. John. To maintain this work he founded a religious community, which he governed in accordance with the Rule of St. Augustine. On 15 February 1113, Pope Paschal II solemnly approved the new Order, which had been established even before the first Crusaders went to Palestine to recover the Holy Sepulchre. The Pope's Letters Apostolic, Piae postulatio voluntatis, were addressed to 'Gerard, Founder and Warden of the hospice at Jerusalem and to his lawful successors.' Gerard died at Jerusalem in 1120. This is also the day on which, in 1993, the Grandmaster decreed the Restoration of the Grand Priory of England.


O God, who exalted blessed Gérard because of his care for the poor and the sick, and through him founded in Jerusalem the Order of St. John the Baptist, give us the grace of seeing, as he did, the image of your Son in our brothers and sisters. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit One God, for ever and ever. Amen.(From: The Missal with readings of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes, & of Malta, London 1997)

The fifth saint of Malta is, of course, St. Publius.

The first bishop and convert of St. Paul.

I am looking at other media sources as well for this

And it is on France 24 television as well.

All over Europe.

He had sent in his resignation before the story broke.

The acceptance of his resignation was accepted by the Pope before this knowledge.

Great Britain needs to clean up the old boy system here. Big time....

The Five Saints of Malta, one of two posts

Blessed Maria Adeodata Pisani , OSB has a feast February 25th. I have been thinking of her today; pray to her today for Malta, which is slipping into  secularism very quickly. I pray for my dear friends in Malta, who suffer the prohibition of the Tridentine Mass there. I pray for an increase in vocations to the religioife and to the traditional Mass priesthood. Please join me in prayer for this troubled country. 

George Preca, (12 February 1880 - 26 July 1962), pray for us as well. He is another saint of Malta. I shall cover five, three here and two later. 

St Cajetan Parish Church of Ħamrun is the church where George Preca spent hours in the Confessional. He is one of three Maltese saints and was canonized in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI. Here is the beatification speech by Bl. John Paul II when he visited the island, referring to all the saints of that small place.  I left the EWTN links on the other two saints, Blessed Ignatius Falzon, whose tomb I visited in January, and Sister Adeodata, whose feast is today. May they look over Malta and all of us today and always. I left the links on the names so that you can look at their biographies.


"Granaries" of Floriana, 9 May 2001

"Let us give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds" (Ps 107: 15).

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. With great joy I have returned to this island dear to Saint Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, and always dear to the Successor of Peter. This visit concludes my Jubilee Pilgrimage following in spirit the history of salvation, from the homeland of Abraham, to Sinai where God gave the Ten Commandments, to the Holy Land where the great events of our redemption took place. And now in the footsteps of Saint Paul, I have come back to you, dear people of Malta.

The Apostle’s arrival on your shores was dramatic. Saint Luke has told us of the stormy voyage and the helplessness of the crew and passengers as the ship went aground and began to break up (cf. Acts 27:39-44). And we have heard of their deliverance: "Once we had come safely through, we discovered that the island was called Malta" (Acts 28:1). In God’s providence, Malta was to receive the Gospel in the earliest days of Christianity. "Let us give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds" (Ps 107: 15).

2. Gathered at the Floriana Granaries, around the Altar of the Lord’s Sacrifice, the Bishop of Rome joins you in praising the Most Holy Trinity for your witness to the Gospel down the centuries. True to your father in faith, the Apostle Paul, you are known throughout the Church for your devotion and missionary zeal. Malta has a magnificent Christian heritage of which you are rightly proud, but that heritage is also a gift which implies great responsibility (cf. Lk 12:48).

In his Second Letter to Timothy, Saint Paul reminds his co-worker to "remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead . . . if we endure with him we shall reign with him" (2 Tim 2:8,12). These words were taken to heart by the two sons and the adopted daughter of Malta whom I have beatified today.
The whole Church rejoices with you that, among the host of holy men and women from all walks of life in Maltese history, these three have been chosen for special veneration and imitation. From heaven they accompany us on our pilgrim way on earth, and through their prayers before the throne of God they help us to scale the heights of holiness which they attained by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

3. Since his death in 1962, shortly before the opening of the Second Vatican Council, Blessed George Preca has been renowned for his holiness both in Malta and wherever the Maltese have settled. Dun Gorg was a pioneer in the field of catechetics and in promoting the role of the laity in the apostolate, which the Council was to stress in a particular way. Thus he became as it were Malta’s second father in faith. Embracing meekness and humility, and using to the full his God-given talents of mind and heart, Dun Gorg made his own the words of Paul to Timothy: "You have heard everything that I teach in public; hand it on to reliable people so that they in turn will be able to teach others" (2 Tim 2: 2). The Society of Christian Doctrine which he founded continues his work of witness and evangelization in these islands and elsewhere.

Not far from here the young seminarian Gorg Preca heard the prophetic words of a priestly mentor:
"Gorg, when you grow up many who fear God will gather around you. You will be a blessing for them and they for you". Today the Church in Malta calls Gorg Preca "Blessed", for she knows that he is for her a native source of light and strength. In his writings on meekness – his book L-Iskola tal-Manswetudni and his Letter – Dun Gorg urges his fellow Christians to follow the example of the Crucified Lord in forgiving every offence (cf. Lk 23:34). Is not this message of mutual respect and forgiveness especially needed today in Malta and in the world? Yes indeed, the meekness of the Beatitudes has the power to transform the family, the workplace and schools, the towns and villages, politics and culture. It can change the world! "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Mt 5:5).

Magister, utinam sequatur evangelium universus mundus (Divine Teacher, may the whole world follow the Gospel): the prayer of Blessed Dun Gorg perfectly mirrors the missionary mandate of the Lord: "Go therefore and make disciples ... teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you"! (Mt 28:19-20). During the year of the Great Jubilee the whole Church experienced anew the eternal freshness of the loving mercy of the Father who sent his only Son for our salvation. Was it not Dun Gorg’s ability to communicate the freshness of the Christian message that made him the great apostle that he was? Is this not what Malta needs today: clergy, religious, catechists, teachers who passionately proclaim the Good News of what the Father has done for us in Christ? At the dawn of a new millennium, the Church looks to you, Malta, to be still more ardent in living your apostolic and missionary vocation! The whole Church looks to you!

4. The Servant of God Ignatius Falzon (now a Blessed, note) also had a great passion for preaching the Gospel and teaching the Catholic faith. He too put his many talents and his intellectual training at the service of catechetical work. The Apostle Paul wrote that "each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor 9:7). Blessed Nazju was one who gave abundantly and cheerfully; and people saw in him not only boundless energy but also deep peace and joy. He renounced the worldly success for which his background had prepared him, in order to serve the spiritual good of others, including the many British soldiers and sailors stationed in Malta at the time. In his approach to them, few of whom were Catholic, he anticipated the ecumenical spirit of respect and dialogue, which is familiar to us today but which was not always prevalent at that time.

Ignatius Falzon drew his strength and inspiration from the Eucharist, prayer before the Tabernacle, devotion to Mary and the Rosary, and imitation of Saint Joseph. These are fountains of grace from which all Christians may drink. Holiness and zeal for God’s Kingdom flourish especially where parishes and communities encourage prayer and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. I urge you therefore to cherish your Maltese traditions of piety, purifying them where necessary and strengthening them with sound instruction and catechesis. There would be no better way of honoring the memory of Blessed Nazju Falzon.

5. Born in Italy of a Maltese father, Sister Maria Adeodata Pisani came here at the age of nineteen, and spent most of her life as a splendid figure of Benedictine religious consecration in the Monastery of Saint Peter. I know that some of the Sisters of the Monastery were not able to come here, but are following this ceremony on television. To you, dear Sisters, I send a very special blessing on this happy day.

Prayer, obedience, service of her Sisters and maturity in performing her assigned tasks: these were the elements of Maria Adeodata’s silent, holy life. Hidden in the heart of the Church, she sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching (cf. Lk 10:39), savoring the things that last for ever (cf.  Col 3:2). Through her prayer, work and love, she became a well-spring of that spiritual and missionary fruitfulness without which the Church cannot preach the Gospel as Christ commands, for mission and contemplation require each other absolutely (cf. Novo Millennio Ineunte, 16).

Sister Adeodata’s holy example certainly helped to promote the renewal of religious life in her own Monastery. I therefore wish to commend to her intercession a special intention of my heart. Much has been done in recent times to adapt religious life to the changed circumstances of today, and the benefit of this can be seen in the lives of very many men and women religious. But there is need for a renewed appreciation of the deeper theological reasons for this special form of consecration.
We still await a full flowering of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council on the transcendent value of that special love of God and others which leads to the vowed life of poverty, chastity and obedience. I commend to all consecrated men and women the example of personal maturity and responsibility which was wonderfully evident in the life of Blessed Adeodata.

6. On the Vigil of Pentecost the Archdiocese of Malta will inaugurate its Synod Assembly and in Gozo Bishop Cauchi has begun a new pastoral visitation. It is my fervent hope that these and other initiatives will help to foster the Second Vatican Council’s vision of the Church as a communion of the whole People of God, a vision which the "new evangelization" demands of Maltese Catholics.
Within this communion there are different roles and ministries, but all are called to work together to advance Christ’s reign of justice, peace and love. Through the intercession of the new Beati, may the Church in Malta move confidently into a new era of unity and shared responsibility between clergy, religious and laity. This will give Maltese Catholics the fresh start which will enable them confidently to enter the new millennium, harvesting the rich spiritual fruits of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.

Malta, Malta! You have received so much through the ministry of Saint Paul and the witness of Blessed Dun Gorg, Blessed Nazju Falzon and Blessed Adeodata. As you move into the future, be faithful to the legacy they have left! Follow Christ with undivided heart, and never be afraid to speak up for the truth that saves and the values that lead to life! May the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Word Incarnate, accompany and protect you always, so that you will never fail to "give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds" (Ps 107:15).

Viva l-Beatu Gorg Preca!
Viva l-Beatu Nazju Falzon!
Viva l-Beata Adeodata Pisani!


Here is a painting of Bl. Adeodata. Dear Blessed, pray for us, for all Benedictines, for Malta and for all my readers. Here is today's Gospel.

Luke 6:36-38 
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’


Two Members of the Church Militant,0,5476234.story

DoC and Perfection: Bernard of Claivaux-Part 55

St. Bernard tells us,

"What folly is this that we have have left great things should now cling with such detriment to small ones."

Little things get in the way of perfection.

The monks give up status, money, success, sex, houses, families, their wills...

and maybe, cling to their favourite bench...

One's favourite seat in the church..... one's favourite silver spoon, a picture, a book, a candle, anything can become a distraction, an obsession, a matter of pride.

A room with a view, a quilt, a chair, a space heater, a mug...can cause disruption in a community  in a family, in a relationship.

And, any small thing in a family, community or relationship which is "mine" and no one else can use it is a danger to one's soul.




Any desire, no matter how small plugs up the heart.

The heart must be empty to accept the simple things.

The heart must be empty to receive the big things.

The big thing for which the heart should be emptied is Love.

And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:3 DR

Thank you, St. Bernard. To be continued....

Part 54: On the Humility of St. Bernard; Doc and Perfection

St. Bernard wrote a small thought which I repeat in my own words here. The idea is simple, yet profound.

He noted that he learned about love and humility, saintliness and peace, by being in choir. What he noticed was a very old monk in the choir. The old monk was silent and hardly noticeable.  He prayed and did his work. St. Bernard said he learned more about holiness by looking at this monk in the choir next to him than from any other person or event or book.

How simple, how human, how natural....

You may not know how you are affecting another person. You may not know who is watching your walk with God.

This is a mark of perfection: the complete absence of self-absorption.

St. Bernard said the old monk's ways brought tears of compunction to his eyes.


St. Bernard and the old monk...

Nostalgia Two

And, I know the young ones will not believe this, but those of us in the post-war generation had tin toys.

 Yes, tin. Some were tin and plastic.

Tin tea sets, tin doll houses, tin trucks..tin watering doll house and my watering can looked just like these. One of my brothers had a pop truck, or soda truck, as some called it.

I had baby toys made out of tin-rattles and other things which would be frowned upon today. Tin soldiers were still being made. Are they now?

My earliest memory of a special toy was my tin tea set, red with dogs, cats, girls, boys and red tulips on the pieces. My brother had a tin turtle and the head moved.

Even better, I had a tin motel, complete with rooms and plastic furniture, and a center with the foyer and desk. Trendy. If anyone can find a photo of the tin motel, let me know. Mine had two more rooms than this one seen on the box, but was similar. The funiture was white and green and like this set EXACTLY.  Wow!

Toddlers had tin tops which made noises, like a hum.

I had a little tin cooking stove like this one with small pots and pans. It was in much better shape than the one for sale above.

We survived. We have brains. No nanny states then.

Simpler days. Do any readers remember these toys?

Umm, we also had toy gun and holster sets. Cap guns were especially cool. My two were red handled in red holsters and a belt for me to wear with my red cowgirl outfit, which looked almost identical to this one above. I lived in it in the summer. I particularly liked the hat and vest. And, yes, I had cowgirl boots as well, in red, of course.

My  brother's was brown but similar to this one below, fancier than the one above.

If you were "shot", you had to count to ten before you could get up off the grass again.

Happier days.....but, by the time my youngest two brothers came along, these things were far in the past. They grew up in the 1960s, and the space age was in full-swing. Cowboys and cowgirls became distinctly passée.


Looking for a mug photo for a post for today, I was reminded of two special mugs in our house in the 1950s.

My brother had the frog at the bottom of the well mug, and I had the kitty at the bottom of the cup mug.

They resembled these and were made to encourage children to drink up all their milk.

(My cat was white with orange stripes and sitting upright.)

There was a little ditty on the outside of the mugs, which went something like this

"If you drink up all your milk, you will find what's at the bottom of the well."

Now, what is interesting is that my brother, who is one year younger than myself, and I never had trouble drinking our milk. And, of course, after the first try, we always knew what animal was at the bottom of the well.

Simpler times.....

Any readers have a mug like this or similar?

Out of pure nostalgia, I got my son a porridge bowl when he was tiny with a picture at the bottom-much in the same theme of eating all your brekkie.....It is similar to this one, only with a more complicated picture of children playing is autumn leaves. Of course, it is NOT plastic, says the Montessori Mum.

Part 53: St. Bernard and Perfection and DoC Series

Some saints have written on the Unitive State: Ss. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila are the most familiar to us of those who reached this stage of perfection.

So, too, did St. Bernard.

Bernard states this:

When sin is wiped out, creatures and creator become one in spirit, each can behold the other, each can love the other. When this perfect state has been attained, the partial dissimilarity will disappear and the soul will be limited to God by perfect love; man and his maker will have full knowledge of each other; will see each other. They will become one and undivided and again man will resemble God. Then the soul will know God as God knows her; she will love him as he love her."

Now, this is an astounding statement.

We in the lay life rarely think in such terms in our relationship with God. This insight is from experience.

Here is Bernard, again:

From the Cross which thou are raised, look at me, my Beloved; draw me to thyself and say to me: 'I have cured thee, thou are forgiven!' Whilst I embrace thee in a transport of love, I am conscious of my unworthiness."

These are the words of a man who has reached the Unitive State.

To be continued....