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Sunday 17 November 2013


Here I am saying goodbye to Mundelein Seminary. Today, the song for the Introit was a hopeful message for me and all of us.

God proclaims for all to hear: "Listen to my wisdom: I  consider peace for you and not your affliction. When you call upon my name I will hear and help you, I will bring you home from lands When your captors held you. Lord, you favored once your land, Brought back Jacob's fortunes and for gave your people's sins, Pardoned their transgressions. You withdrew from them your wrath, Turned from your hot anger. Now restore us, saving God, Let your rage not linger. Mercy , love and faithfulness Have met in God's presence; Peace and justice have embraced, Have become one essence. Faithfulness springs from the earth; Justice rains profusely And shall walk before your God; Peace shall follow closely. Glory to the Triune God: Praises to the Father; Praises also to the Son, Who became our brother; Sing the Holy Spirit's praise, Peaceful dove descending; As at first it was is now, And will soon be unending.

I last sang this in England.

Pray for Net Protection

Here I am still at Mundelein and my computer has been compromised by a porn site. How do these things happen? I sincerely hope it has nothing to do with the conference attendees here, as we all have open wifi.

Very odd...

Where are the vocations?

St. John Bosco claimed that one out of every four men is called to the priesthood.

I am standing in a place where in all dioceses there is no longer any pretense of replacement rate for the next five to ten years for retiring and dying priests.

The Archdiocese of Chicago is below replacement rate, and so is the Davenport Diocese and the Dubuque Diocese. These are only three of many which will not have enough priests to minister to Catholics either in urban or rural areas. I have spoken with many young men this weekend who said their dioceses are way below replacement rate.

Why are not young men answering the call of God? I blame families for not passing on the Faith.

I blame parents who are not forming their children in the virtues-many articles on this blog help parents to do this.

I blame parents for not disciplining or inculcating the Ten Commandments, for not praying with their children.

In the Faith, there can be no compromises. Either one is a Catholic and practicing, or one is not.

If lay people complain about the lack of priests, I say, "How many of your grandchildren are in the seminary?"

To sacrifice a child to God is a joy. Hannah sacrificed Samuel. Elizabeth sacrificed John. Our Lady Mary sacrificed her Son.

Churches will be closing and sold, even heritage ones.

Those beautiful, empty churches built by our ancestors will be destroyed.

Remember, all those Churches in Revelation no longer exist. All those dioceses up and down the Levant in the early days of the Church are gone. All those great basilicas and cathedrals which served the huge Catholic communities in Northern Africa are long gone.

Still in this movie

Prayers requested, please, while I make my way back west of the Mississippi. Anywhere else is "The East".


I saw Star Trek Into Darkness with a deacon and a seminarian. Now, I really like Benedict Cumberbatch as an actor, but to portray Khan as an Englishman rather than an Indian is political correctness gone crazy, and I absolutely prefer the casting of Ricardo Montalban as Khan.

He was a great actor and the part is his despite Cumberbatch's great talent.

Rejoicing in Suffering-Ten Reasons

Yes, it is possible to rejoice in suffering. Why?

Several reasons come to mind when I think of suffering as a cause for joy.

Here are a few:

One, God is asking one to be purified so that He can come and dwell within a person as the Holy Trinity. Therefore, suffering is a sign of the elect.

Two, suffering purifies one from sin and concupiscence.

Three, suffering causes one to prioritize one's life and focus on what is important-Jesus and one's relationship with Him.

Four, suffering is an invitation to share in the Passion of Christ-what a gift.

Five, suffering frees up the virtues and gifts of the Holy Spirit so that these can flow and build up the Church.

Six, suffering can be added to intercessory prayer. Add the suffering of arthritis, for example, to those prayers for someone in the family who has fallen away.

I offer my horrible foot pain today, for example, for a certain seminarian here at Mundelein.

Seven, suffering can be offered for the release of a holy soul in purgatory.

Eight, suffering causes humility. One is not in control, God is.

Nine, suffering joins one with others who are suffering as well in compassion and empathy. One can join a little bit with Mary at the foot of the Cross, and others who are suffering today.

Ten, suffering is salutary for others in the Church is one is joyful, teaching others to, likewise, be grateful and rejoice.

Please join me in prayer

Please pray to Mother Frances Cabrini for me, the patron of immigrants. She said the following to her nuns:

“Pray, pray always, and ask unceasingly for the spirit of prayer. What is the sprit of prayer? It means praying according to the Spirit of Jesus, in Jesus and with Jesus. The spirit of prayer means praying in accordance with the divine good pleasure, willing only what God wills. It means that we have our minds fixed on prayer at all times, in all places, working, walking, eating, speaking, suffering; habitually and always.”

Seeing Politics as Religion

I have spoken with a young man who has a degree in Political Science. He is also studying to be a priest. We had a discussion on the Kingdom of God and it was clear to me that he had fallen into a confusion concerning what exactly God's Kingdom is and has been.

This young man is believer in utopia, an optimist who thinks that the Kingdom of God is some sort of millenialistic paradise. This idea is actually a heresy, and as we talked, he began to see that he was looking towards politics as the solution to spiritual problems.

Too many priests and bishops see solutions to spiritual problems in terms of the material. For example, if the right politicians are voted in, everything will change. If certain bills and court decisions are rescinded, people would become more centered on God. And so on.

The opposite is true. Only the change of the heart can create material and political changes. Only the repentance of a nation can save a nation from self-destructing. Only proclaiming Christ as Lord of both History can history be changed.

Again, priorities cause one to work or not to work. And, to make the political realm one's entire focus is to forget that the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Too many Catholics believe that if poverty is eradicated there will no longer be sin.

Poverty does not cause sin. Concupiscence and choices against God cause sin.

Unemployment does not cause sin. Doubt and despair, which are spiritual realities for the person who lacks faith cause sin.

This attitude is a result of the infiltration of Liberation Theology in the Church, as this false teaching emphasizes the City of Man over the City of God and makes the Kingdom of God material. Christ becomes a material messiah, not a spiritual one.

Sin has nothing to do with government  decisions on health care or taxes or immigration. Sin has everything to do with the corruption of the human heart.

Voting will not change the world, but spreading the Gospel message will.

This young man had a little epiphany and realized that he was looking for politics to do what only faith in Christ can do-purify the human and make one holy.

To be continued....

To share pain is a virtue; to avoid pain is a vice

One of the things those of us learn when going through very hard times is the fact that one loses friends.

Pain and hardship are seen by some Catholics as the measles-something they will catch if they are around these. One discovers, sadly, and in some grief, who one's real friends are or are not in calamities.

Fair-weather friends tend to be those who only want to be friends if they can gain something from the relationship, or think that what they are gaining are material benefits.

I have found out recently that I have been dropped by middle-class minded people who are not interested in understanding or sharing pain and suffering.

Ironically, always, it is the poor who reach out, most commonly, although I have one friend, who is wealthy, who helps her friends consistently when there are needs and actually supports a poor friend almost totally in California. This good woman is not a Christian.

So why do Christians bail ship in hardship? When I was sick with cancer, my only visitors were one of my non-Christian neighbors, one woman from work, and some lovely seminarians.

Catholics need to reach out to those who are ill, in trouble, poor. We have no choice but to see and treat all like Christ.

Today, I met two humble Mexican nuns who work in the kitchen here, belonging to an order which serves working in manual labor in seminaries. They work here and in Rome. These nuns radiate the love and grace of God, and shine like little, hidden saints.

They promised to pray for me. I was very touched by their real compassion. They are poor. They trust in God.

So, too, one who goes through any type of suffering must trust in God. But, a few hugs would be nice as well. But, the pain of losing people in one's life who one thought were friends is sharing in the Passion of Christ, who lost all his apostles on the day of His Death, except for John.

Some of us are invited to share in the Pain of Christ-how can we say no?

Consolation in A Sermon

Saturday morning at Mass, which followed Lauds with the seminarians and some of the priestly staff at Mundelein, the sermon could have been one of my blogs and twitters from the last two weeks.

First of all, the Gospel was the unjust judge ignoring the widow at the door. I have been identifying with this widow after experiencing a huge injustice in my life. I am banging at the doors to have redress from God.

Second of all, the priest said in his sermon that many people in the Church are SLEEPING.

Wow, he was speaking my language. He said that right now in these difficult times, many Catholics were not paying attention to building the Kingdom of God, but asleep, busy about other, less important things.

Like the unjust judge, they were ignoring not only the poor and helpless, but God Himself, Who was trying to get their attention.

His final point was the quotation of Christ Himself,

Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

This has been the Gospel I have been meditating on for over sixteen days. This is the message to the readers of my blog-not to be asleep to the signs of the times. God is calling for a building of the Kingdom now, and not our little kingdoms, but His.

UPDATE: Yes, I did meet Father Barron on Sunday, but we talked about my seminarian son, as he was interested in a Midwest Mum having a son in England. I did shake his hand and said I would pray for his ministries. Now, I shall have to do that, won't I?