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Thursday 31 July 2014

Anti-Semitism is alive and growing....a snippet

And, if you are reading Disinformation, as I asked you all to do, you will find that the Russians used the fake book mentioned in the third paragraph here.

Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and a friend of Husseini, was also impressed with the Nazis, and during the war he worked to establish a formal alliance with Hitler and Mussolini. Moreover, under directions from al-Banna, the Brotherhood Intelligence Service shared information with the Germans on the movements of the British Army.
Islamists and Nazis also shared an interest in anti-Semitic literature. According to Dalin and Rothmann:

Mein Kampf … remains a perennial best-seller in several Islamic countries. After the Six-Day War in 1967, Israeli soldiers discovered that many Egyptian prisoners carried small paperback editions of Mein Kampf, translated into Arabic… (Icon of Evil, p. 113)

 Like the Nazis, the Arabs also shared a firm belief in the authenticity of the viciously anti-Semitic tract The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The first of many Arabic editions was published in 1921. It has been a best-seller in Islamic capitals ever since and remains required reading in many Arab universities. King Faisal was so enamored of the book that he ordered all Saudi hotels to put a copy in every room—presumably right alongside the Gideon Koran.


STS Vocation Day Tomorrow, And Today's Preview

Tomorrow, again, I am highlighting possible vocations in our Church. I cannot re-post all the things I have written, but some will be on the blog again tomorrow.

Here are some links and there will be re-posts. This first link caused controversy, but I stand by this.


Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Vocation of The Priest's Wife and The Three Marys

Because for many months, I was close to some Ordinariate priests and met and talked with some of the wives when I was in England, even briefly, I observed a key to the mystery of the married Ordinariate priest which I would like to share. I have also met other women in the role of  "priest wives".

The Catholic people on the whole are not accustomed to the vicar's wife. Indeed, when we lived in Petersfield years ago, it took the parish several months to accept a married ex-Anglican, now Catholic priest for a pastor. The objections were all based on ignorance and prejudice and in the end, the priest and his wife were not only happily accepted, but greatly loved.

The problem with the normal person in the pew is that these Catholics do not understand that if the husband, who is a Catholic priest has a vocation, his wife has a vocation as well. I understand this vocation of the priest's wife, which is more than being the wife of a man who happens to be a priest, and a mother to his children.

The vocation of the priest's wife consists of the greatest sacrifice a woman can give to the Church, her husband to take on another Bride, the Bride of Christ, which is the Church

The priest's wife is not the first woman in the priest's life She is the third woman in the priest's life, and yet, a great support to his ministry, a point to which I shall return.

The First Woman in the heart of the married priest is the Bride of Christ, the one, true, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. He is her protector, her guide, her spouse as he is alter Christus.

The Second Woman in the heart of the married priest is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, the Mother of us all. The priest takes her guidance and love and honors her above all women.

The Third Woman is his wife. And, this wife is the servant of the servant. If she is a stay-at-home mom, she organizes the life of the priest so that he can maximize his day of service to the Church. She is not first, ever, and must be scheduled, and disciplined.

If the Third Woman has a job out of necessity, in order to help support the priest and family, as so many now must after losing their pensions, houses, and other goods by converting to the Catholic Church, even having to go back to work to make ends meet, this job is the gift she gives to not only the family, but to the Church, easing the financial burden of a diocese or the Ordinariate.

If the Third Woman is called to be active in the daily workings of the Church, especially if the children are grown and gone, her relationship with the parish will demand her time and gifts, and she will support the work of her husband as he sees fit. I know one priest's wife who does so many things that she is just as busy as he is.

A priest's wife has been called by God to give her husband to the Church, and to the world. She knows that she is called to serve, and to sacrifice the normal comforts of married life.

She will not be rich, or have the normal aspirations of a married woman in the world of the laity, because even though she is lay, she has a vocation to be in the world, and not of the world in a direct manner.

Her world is one like the women who served Christ and His apostles, so that they could live out the vocation of the apostolic call.

I greatly honor the wives of the priests of the Ordinariate and other priest's wives who have come in via different manners into the Catholic Church. May we honor them as we would honor those women at the foot of the Cross.

Like the married women, a mother of a priest sacrifices the time and attention of a son, grandchildren and all the protection and love a son would give to a mother is he were not married to the Bride of Christ. Mothers of priests should understand priest's wives from the perspective of giving up a natural relationship for a supernatural one, as these sons and these husbands do not belong to us, but to God.

 "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary [the wife] of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene." We call these women, Mary Salome, Mary wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene, the Three Marys, or the Three Maries. Mary Salome, wife of  Zebedee and mother of the "Sons of Thunder," James and John, aided Christ and His apostles and stood watching the horror of the Passion and Death of Our Lord. Like Mary the Mother of God, she is one of my models

These women ministered to Christ, set aside their own status, their own resources, their own lives for the sake of the Gospel.

So, too, do our sisters who are the wives of our Catholic priests.

Monday, 24 February 2014

On Josephite Marriages, Again

I have written about this before and have recently re-posted my original article on Josephite Marriages. Almost monthly, I am meeting couples who have chosen this way of holiness, as I noted in the first article I wrote two years ago.

Some saintly couples already noted on this blog chose Josephite Marriages, and I mentioned a fictional couple in my novella, who chose such a lifestyle.

As times become more perilous, couples may consider this path of holiness. Most of the couples I know who have chosen this path are just beyond child-bearing age. In other words, they made the decision to be completely chaste. As they had given God children, as expected from good Catholics, and as one of the huge reasons for marital relations no longer was possible, these couples prayed and spoke with spiritual directors about their decision.

The couples prayed first, of course, and came to the decision together, first.

As is most obvious, a Josephite Marriage is named after St. Joseph, who did not have marital relations with the Blessed Virgin Mary. This marriage was completely celibate, and some Josephite marriages are so.

There is a confusion among some modern people on the validity of a Josephite, or non-consummated marriages, unlike the ones described above. If a couple is married in the Church and has been living together for a length of time, the marriage is assumed consummated. A Josephite Marriage is called ratum tantum in Canon Law. Note, that when a couple are married in the Nuptial Mass, or with the Nuptial Blessing, they are "married".  In the Church today, a non-consummated marriage must still be the subject of an annulment if a party decides to leave the marriage, divorce, and re-marry.

One may reference this post and others under the tag, "marriage" on this blog for more information.

Monday, 16 January 2012

An Unusual, Controversial Catholic Subject-Celibacy in Marriage

Now, I am not married, but I live a celibate life-style. However, I have an increasing number of friends, traditional Catholics, who have opted for celibacy in their marriages. This is not a new ideal in the Church, and although Christ wants most married couples to be fruitful and multiply, that is, to have the wonderful children God desires them to have, there have been and are couples, who for the sake of the kingdom, have chosen a different way. Of course, the norm, having children as God gives, creates saints, such as Blessed Louis and  Blessed Zelie Martin, Blessed Karl and Empress Zita, SS. Joachim and Anna, SS. Isidore and Maria (who vowed abstinence later in their marriage), and so on. This is not an exhaustive list.

However, the emphasis on celibacy should be rare, but seen as a call within a call. I also think there has to be good reason for not having children. The grand example are two of my favorite Catholics, Jacques and Raissa Maritain, who on the Isle of Wight, as Benedictine Oblates, took a vow of celibacy "for the sake of the Kingdom". Raissa writes in her diary, which I practically have memorized, that it was difficult for her, but she could see that Jacques was called to be in the world and she was his prayer backup, companion in holiness, and confidant, as well as best-friend. They shared philosophy, theology, and the dedication to bringing the Gospel into the workplace in the extreme. God called them to this.

I first met celibate married couples about twenty-five years ago. The first couple I met were in their forties and had a close relationship with the Church and the priest who was the pastor. They were very active in the Church, but did not have normal marital relations. They had chosen that way and had married later in life. The man had been in the Jesuit seminary for years, but left, as he did not think he had a priestly vocation. He found a wife who would support him in his spiritual walk. The second couple I met were in their early sixties. They had decided that past child-bearing age, they would make a celibate commitment. Since then, I have met another couple who have decided the same thing. Their "extra" time is spent in good works, praying and fasting. Obviously, these couples have spiritual directors. This call within a call is, also, obviously, by mutual consent.

Those with a worldly mindset and even some good Catholics may find this call repelling or unnatural. I would say that this call is rare, but not unnatural. I think that those who decide to live in the world, or are called so by God to remain among the laity, can exhibit a variety of calls "for the sake of the Kingdom". And, to be in a relationship which is celibate may be a sign of contradiction to the world as well as giving two people the necessary, daily support a brother and sister in Christ may give to each other. Intimacy has many faces, and the physical side of intimacy is only one aspect of relationship. I have written this to support my friends who have chosen this way and to encourage those who feel the need for companionship without sex to be comforted in that they are not alone. We are all called to be saints, and there are many ways, in Christ, through Mary, to be saints.

In addition, God did not intend people to live all alone. The fact that there are so many single, lonely individuals needs to be addressed by the Church. Those who for whatever reason cannot be a priest or nun or sister, have some options, but loneliness should not be the norm. Church communities have failed, especially in America, to support their singles. Many Catholics are singles for many reasons. There exists a judgmental attitude, which excludes those singles from the larger interaction in the Church. And, for those who desire celibacy in the world, that is an option, but it does not have to equal loneliness. I am very fortunate, as I do not experience the gnawing type of loneliness some do. I may miss my dear friends when apart from them, but that is different than the vague experience of loneliness many feel. We all need to reach out to those who feel this need, pray for them, and include them in our busy lives. To do otherwise is not to be Christian.


I do not want this blog to turn into a book review center, but I shall share the rest of my reading list in the next two months or so.

Re-reading The Mystical Theology of St. Bernard by Etienne Gilson, and about to start, finally, as I gave away my first copy to a new cleric, The Fulfillment of All Desire by Ralph Martin.

If a reader would like to send me Henry Cardinal Manning's book, The Eternal Priesthood, please let me know.

After the above, I shall go back to the writings of the Pope Emeritus. He is a genius.

From Our Own Government Pages

Be careful which sources you choose

Go to Drudge for news. I read it but do not have time to share it here. Overseas, I can no longer trust RT since the Ukraine war started. I use online commentators. I suggest signing up for Newsmax. France 24 seems to show more and more pro-Christian comments and dicussions.

None of the television news is reliable in America. 

Sad days, but not surprising. Read Disinformation. Great book. One link from Drudge this morning-

Need Prayers

Dear Readers, 

Please pray for me, as I have had the worst all-day and night attack of asthma since the winter months. Needless to say, I am exhausted. Pray to St. Ignatius for me today on his day of entrance into heaven. He was exactly my age when he died on July 31, 1556 (aged 65). However, I am not ready to go yet and want to finish my purgatory on earth, and some unfinished service, God willing. Also. of course, I want to see my son ordained.
I was so fortunate to have excellent guides in my relative youth as to the spirituality of this great saint.

Ta muchly for prayers, however.

Manning Against The Modernists

For some time, I have thought that Henry Cardinal Manning should be canonized. He championed the papacy and the Church in difficult times, and almost single-handedly caused the Church to grow to great numbers through his teaching, personal pastoral care, and even fighting with the powers of evil in politics, as well as the Modernists in the Church.

He foresaw all the crumbling of British society we now see because of the watering down of religion in the school system. He prophesied what would happen to an increasingly secular society chasing after entertainment and status.

He rebuked the old guard Catholics who ignored the new Catholic teaching on social justice.

He saw that loyalty to Rome kept the Church united against the growing powers of nationalism.

He stood up for the working class, the poor, the sick.

Against the heresies of national churches separating themselves from Rome, he stood firm.

What has destroyed the status of the Church in both America and in Great Britain has been the heresies of Americanism and Anglicanism.

Without an independent, universal Catholic Church, bishops and priests fall into a parochialism which denies the authority of the pope, and, therefore, the authority of Christ Himself.

Manning saw this clearly.

To me, he is a great leader in the Church against Modernism.

I wish a real Catholic who understands the path of perfection, which Manning sought, would write a definitive biography.

Many one of the young trads would consider doing this.....

Transformation II

Our transformation through the Eucharist is one of becoming Christ for the world. Cardinal Burke, St. John Paul II and the Pope Emeritus all ponder the humility of the priest before the Eucharist.

If the priest allows himself to become transformed, truly living his role as alter Christus, then the people of God will see Christ clearly.

From the Pope Emeritus' "Letter Proclaiming a Year for Priests on the 150th Anniversary of the 'Dies Natalis' of the Cure of Ars," June 16, 2009.

Saint John Mary Vianney taught his parishoners primarily by the witness of his life. It was from his example that they learned to pray, halting frequently before the tabernacle for a visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament....This way of educating the faithful to the Eucharistic presence and to communion proved most effective when they saw him celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Those present said that 'it was not possible to find a finer example of worship...He gazed upon the Host with immense love.'"

Transformation I

I think this is the second to the last posting on Cardinal Burke's excellent book. I want to move on to other things.

There are so many excellent ideas in it, I suggest you buy it.

One point I want to share concerns the transforming power of the Eucharist in our lives. Cardinal Burke, again referring to Sacramentum Caritatis, notes that Christ in Holy Communion transforms our entire life, every nook and cranny.

He writes, "Through our participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, we come to understand that we cannot compartmentalize any aspect of our life, in order to keep it from the transforming grace of Christ's Real Presence."

The persons who take Communion begin to think like Christ and act like Christ. As every person is transformed, all human activity may be transformed and finally, the transformation of the world.

Is this not what we all desire, deep down inside, to be changed in every way, to be purified, to become perfect, in union with the Beloved, Jesus Christ?

We Become What We Eat

One of the most profound ideas in Cardinal Burke's book is found in St. Augustine's Confessions. Cardinal Burke is quoting the Pope Emeritus in Sacramentum Caritatis. Cardinal Burke paraphrases Augustine. "Earthly food is assimilated into our very being; it becomes part of us. The Body of Christ, the Heavenly Food of our earthly pilgrimage, on the contrary, transforms us into the Food we consume, that is, Christ Whom we receive in Holy Communion."

The more one places one's self in the position of adoring and being with Christ in Adoration, the more one realizes that it is Christ Who is taking us into Himself. If we give ourselves totally, body and soul, to Christ in the Eucharist, we are offering up ourselves, as Cardinal Burke reminds us by referring to the Pope Emeritus, who is referring to St. Paul in Romans 12:1. We present Christ with "our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God."

As we offer up ourselves, we become one with Christ, and in doing so, we join with the Church as well, the Mystical Body of Christ. Instead of normal food becoming us, we become Christ, when we partake in Holy Communion.

This section of the book is truly beautiful and one can meditate on such paragraphs.

On Mortification

It has been almost one year since I gave up chocolate, desserts and ales/beer for penance for three people who are agnostics. I share this with you to give you ideas on mortification.

Can you believe I have not lost any weight, and have actually gained weight while eating considerably less?

Well, when one chooses mortifications, the side-effects are up to God. I did not give up these things to lose weight.

I was talking to a friend about mortification recently. This is a misunderstood term. Mortification are things done over and above suffering. These must be voluntary and freely-chosen to gain merit.

Without mortification, we do not enter into the purgation of the senses or the spirit. We always will make an excuse for indulging in something.

Indulging one's self could be sin, or it could be an opportunity to stop and say "no".

One type of mortification could be not saying something in defense of one's self when one is in the right and the other person in the wrong. Another type of mortification could be serving someone one does not like. That irritable person at work? Buy them a cuppa.

Think about mortifications.


Read, if you have the chance, the Pope Emeritus, when he was Pope, Address to the Tribunal of the Roman Rota for the Inauguration of the Judicial Year (January 28, 2006): Acta Apostolicae Sedis 98 (2006), 138, in Sacramentum Caritatis, n. 29.

I always read footnotes. From Burke's book, p.102, footnote 7 to reference in text.

From Sacramentum Caritatis

A long time ago, I referred to this document, the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation of then Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis.

Raymond Cardinal Burke reminded me of these sections to which I referred so long ago. Read especially carefully the last one quoted on the priest shortage. This document also refers to the refusal of Communion for those out of communion with the Church-that is, those who are divorced and married without annulments. One can find this section at the link.

The order of the sacraments of initiation
18. In this regard, attention needs to be paid to the order of the sacraments of initiation. Different traditions exist within the Church. There is a clear variation between, on the one hand, the ecclesial customs of the East (50) and the practice of the West regarding the initiation of adults, (51) and, on the other hand, the procedure adopted for children. (52) Yet these variations are not properly of the dogmatic order, but are pastoral in character. Concretely, it needs to be seen which practice better enables the faithful to put the sacrament of the Eucharist at the centre, as the goal of the whole process of initiation. In close collaboration with the competent offices of the Roman Curia, Bishops' Conferences should examine the effectiveness of current approaches to Christian initiation, so that the faithful can be helped both to mature through the formation received in our communities and to give their lives an authentically eucharistic direction, so that they can offer a reason for the hope within them in a way suited to our times (cf. 1 Pet 3:15).
Initiation, the ecclesial community and the family
19. It should be kept in mind that the whole of Christian initiation is a process of conversion undertaken with God's help and with constant reference to the ecclesial community, both when an adult is seeking entry into the Church, as happens in places of first evangelization and in many secularized regions, and when parents request the sacraments for their children. In this regard, I would like to call particular attention to the relationship between Christian initiation and the family. In pastoral work it is always important to make Christian families part of the process of initiation. Receiving Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion are key moments not only for the individual receiving them but also for the entire family, which should be supported in its educational role by the various elements of the ecclesial community. (53) Here I would emphasize the importance of First Holy Communion. For many of the faithful, this day continues to be memorable as the moment when, even if in a rudimentary way, they first came to understand the importance of a personal encounter with Jesus. Parish pastoral programmes should make the most of this highly significant moment.
II. The Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Their intrinsic relationship
20. The Synod Fathers rightly stated that a love for the Eucharist leads to a growing appreciation of the sacrament of Reconciliation. (54) Given the connection between these sacraments, an authentic catechesis on the meaning of the Eucharist must include the call to pursue the path of penance (cf. 1 Cor 11:27-29). We know that the faithful are surrounded by a culture that tends to eliminate the sense of sin (55) and to promote a superficial approach that overlooks the need to be in a state of grace in order to approach sacramental communion worthily. (56) The loss of a consciousness of sin always entails a certain superficiality in the understanding of God's love. Bringing out the elements within the rite of Mass that express consciousness of personal sin and, at the same time, of God's mercy, can prove most helpful to the faithful.(57) Furthermore, the relationship between the Eucharist and the sacrament of Reconciliation reminds us that sin is never a purely individual affair; it always damages the ecclesial communion that we have entered through Baptism. For this reason, Reconciliation, as the Fathers of the Church would say, is laboriosus quidam baptismus; (58) they thus emphasized that the outcome of the process of conversion is also the restoration of full ecclesial communion, expressed in a return to the Eucharist. (59)
Some pastoral concerns
21. The Synod recalled that Bishops have the pastoral duty of promoting within their Dioceses a reinvigorated catechesis on the conversion born of the Eucharist, and of encouraging frequent confession among the faithful. All priests should dedicate themselves with generosity, commitment and competency to administering the sacrament of Reconciliation. (60) In this regard, it is important that the confessionals in our churches should be clearly visible expressions of the importance of this sacrament. I ask pastors to be vigilant with regard to the celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation, and to limit the practice of general absolution exclusively to the cases permitted, (61) since individual absolution is the only form intended for ordinary use. (62) Given the need to rediscover sacramental forgiveness, there ought to be a Penitentiary in every Diocese. (63) Finally, a balanced and sound practice of gaining indulgences, whether for oneself or for the dead, can be helpful for a renewed appreciation of the relationship between the Eucharist and Reconciliation. By this means the faithful obtain "remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven." (64) The use of indulgences helps us to understand that by our efforts alone we would be incapable of making reparation for the wrong we have done, and that the sins of each individual harm the whole community. Furthermore, the practice of indulgences, which involves not only the doctrine of Christ's infinite merits, but also that of the communion of the saints, reminds us "how closely we are united to each other in Christ ... and how the supernatural life of each can help others." (65) Since the conditions for gaining an indulgence include going to confession and receiving sacramental communion, this practice can effectively sustain the faithful on their journey of conversion and in rediscovering the centrality of the Eucharist in the Christian life.
III. The Eucharist and the Anointing of the sick
22. Jesus did not only send his disciples forth to heal the sick (cf. Mt 10:8; Lk 9:2, 10:9); he also instituted a specific sacrament for them: the Anointing of the Sick.(66) The Letter of James attests to the presence of this sacramental sign in the early Christian community (cf. 5:14-16). If the Eucharist shows how Christ's sufferings and death have been transformed into love, the Anointing of the Sick, for its part, unites the sick with Christ's self-offering for the salvation of all, so that they too, within the mystery of the communion of saints, can participate in the redemption of the world. The relationship between these two sacraments becomes clear in situations of serious illness: "In addition to the Anointing of the Sick, the Church offers those who are about to leave this life the Eucharist as viaticum." (67) On their journey to the Father, communion in the Body and Blood of Christ appears as the seed of eternal life and the power of resurrection: "Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up on the last day" (Jn 6:54). Since viaticum gives the sick a glimpse of the fullness of the Paschal Mystery, its administration should be readily provided for. (68) Attentive pastoral care shown to those who are ill brings great spiritual benefit to the entire community, since whatever we do to one of the least of our brothers and sisters, we do to Jesus himself (cf. Mt 25:40).
IV. The Eucharist and the Sacrament of Holy Orders
In persona Christi capitis
23. The intrinsic relationship between the Eucharist and the sacrament of Holy Orders clearly emerges from Jesus' own words in the Upper Room: "Do this in memory of me" (Lk 22:19). On the night before he died, Jesus instituted the Eucharist and at the same time established the priesthood of the New Covenant. He is priest, victim and altar: the mediator between God the Father and his people (cf. Heb 5:5-10), the victim of atonement (cf. 1 Jn 2:2, 4:10) who offers himself on the altar of the Cross. No one can say "this is my body" and "this is the cup of my blood" except in the name and in the person of Christ, the one high priest of the new and eternal Covenant (cf. Heb 8-9). Earlier meetings of the Synod of Bishops had considered the question of the ordained priesthood, both with regard to the nature of the ministry (69) and the formation of candidates.(70) Here, in the light of the discussion that took place during the last Synod, I consider it important to recall several important points about the relationship between the sacrament of the Eucharist and Holy Orders. First of all, we need to stress once again that the connection between Holy Orders and the Eucharist is seen most clearly at Mass, when the Bishop or priest presides in the person of Christ the Head.
The Church teaches that priestly ordination is the indispensable condition for the valid celebration of the Eucharist.(71) Indeed, "in the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, High Priest of the redemptive sacrifice." (72) Certainly the ordained minister also acts "in the name of the whole Church, when presenting to God the prayer of the Church, and above all when offering the eucharistic sacrifice." (73) As a result, priests should be conscious of the fact that in their ministry they must never put themselves or their personal opinions in first place, but Jesus Christ. Any attempt to make themselves the centre of the liturgical action contradicts their very identity as priests. The priest is above all a servant of others, and he must continually work at being a sign pointing to Christ, a docile instrument in the Lord's hands. This is seen particularly in his humility in leading the liturgical assembly, in obedience to the rite, uniting himself to it in mind and heart, and avoiding anything that might give the impression of an inordinate emphasis on his own personality. I encourage the clergy always to see their eucharistic ministry as a humble service offered to Christ and his Church. The priesthood, as Saint Augustine said, is amoris officium, (74) it is the office of the good shepherd, who offers his life for his sheep (cf. Jn 10:14-15).
The Eucharist and priestly celibacy
24. The Synod Fathers wished to emphasize that the ministerial priesthood, through ordination, calls for complete configuration to Christ. While respecting the different practice and tradition of the Eastern Churches, there is a need to reaffirm the profound meaning of priestly celibacy, which is rightly considered a priceless treasure, and is also confirmed by the Eastern practice of choosing Bishops only from the ranks of the celibate. These Churches also greatly esteem the decision of many priests to embrace celibacy. This choice on the part of the priest expresses in a special way the dedication which conforms him to Christ and his exclusive offering of himself for the Kingdom of God. (75) The fact that Christ himself, the eternal priest, lived his mission even to the sacrifice of the Cross in the state of virginity constitutes the sure point of reference for understanding the meaning of the tradition of the Latin Church. It is not sufficient to understand priestly celibacy in purely functional terms. Celibacy is really a special way of conforming oneself to Christ's own way of life. This choice has first and foremost a nuptial meaning; it is a profound identification with the heart of Christ the Bridegroom who gives his life for his Bride. In continuity with the great ecclesial tradition, with the Second Vatican Council (76) and with my predecessors in the papacy, (77) I reaffirm the beauty and the importance of a priestly life lived in celibacy as a sign expressing total and exclusive devotion to Christ, to the Church and to the Kingdom of God, and I therefore confirm that it remains obligatory in the Latin tradition. Priestly celibacy lived with maturity, joy and dedication is an immense blessing for the Church and for society itself.
The clergy shortage and the pastoral care of vocations
25. In the light of the connection between the sacrament of Holy Orders and the Eucharist, the Synod considered the difficult situation that has arisen in various Dioceses which face a shortage of priests. This happens not only in some areas of first evangelization, but also in many countries of long-standing Christian tradition. Certainly a more equitable distribution of clergy would help to solve the problem. Efforts need to be made to encourage a greater awareness of this situation at every level. Bishops should involve Institutes of Consecrated Life and the new ecclesial groups in their pastoral needs, while respecting their particular charisms, and they should invite the clergy to become more open to serving the Church wherever there is need, even if this calls for sacrifice. (78) The Synod also discussed pastoral initiatives aimed at promoting, especially among the young, an attitude of interior openness to a priestly calling. The situation cannot be resolved by purely practical decisions. On no account should Bishops react to real and understandable concerns about the shortage of priests by failing to carry out adequate vocational discernment, or by admitting to seminary formation and ordination candidates who lack the necessary qualities for priestly ministry (79). An insufficiently formed clergy, admitted to ordination without the necessary discernment, will not easily be able to offer a witness capable of evoking in others the desire to respond generously to Christ's call. The pastoral care of vocations needs to involve the entire Christian community in every area of its life. (80) Obviously, this pastoral work on all levels also includes exploring the matter with families, which are often indifferent or even opposed to the idea of a priestly vocation. Families should generously embrace the gift of life and bring up their children to be open to doing God's will. In a word, they must have the courage to set before young people the radical decision to follow Christ, showing them how deeply rewarding it is.

Want A Gift for A New Priest?

I would recommend Raymond Cardinal Burke's book I have been sharing, Divine Love Made Flesh,  as a beautiful gift for a seminarian, a new transitional deacon, or a new priest. The sections on the priesthood and the Eucharist are truly beautiful.

The section on priestly celibacy includes this idea, that celibacy is not merely to be understood in functional terms, as the Cardinal points out, "...but rather in terms of the union of the heart of the priest with the glorious pierced heart of Jesus in love of the flock."

Worthy of meditation... and there are more such profound ideas.

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Important Apostolic Letter, 1998

So many families do not understand that the entire day of Sunday is for worship, not merely the time the members attend Mass. Cardinal Burke reminds us of the holiness of Sunday in his book.

Sigh, I Remember

A time before phone-trees....and automated calling. People need jobs, not robots.

What Is A Synod of Bishops?

Raymond Cardinal Burke in his book on the Eucharist, which I have been sharing this week, nicely explains what a synod of bishops is in the Church.

Here are his words:

"The Synod of Bishops is a solemn meeting of the Roman Pontiff with representative bishops from throughout the world to receive their consultation on questions of concern for the Church. The Synod of Bishops takes one of three forms: ordinary, extraordinary and special...An 'ordinary' assembly of the Synod of Bishops is convoked by the Holy Father 'to foster closer unity between the Roman Pontiff and the bishops, to assist the Roman Pontiff with their counsel in the preservation and growth of faith and morals and in the observance and strengthening of ecclesiastical discipline, and to consider questions pertaining to the activity of the Church in the world.'"

Cardinal Burke continues, "A meeting of the Synod of Bishops is  'extraordinary'  when it is called 'to treat affairs which require a speedy solution.'"

"A meeting of the Synod of Bishops is 'special,' if it is made up of members of a particular portion of the church.'"

The upcoming meeting in Rome of the assembly of bishops, in October, is an "extraordinary" Synod.

We should all be praying and fasting for the success of this Synod.


There is a popular Catholic website with "deliverance" prayers posted on one of the links. Having spoken with three exorcists, I want to warn readers about several things.

One, only a priest exorcist can get rid of possessions. One should get an exorcist's advice about obsessions and oppressions.

Two, lay people should not be praying over each other for so-called deliverance unless they are on a team with an appointed diocesan priest exorcist.

Three, one can pray for one's own family, but should not be praying for others unless one gets advice from an appointed exorcist, if there is indications of demonic influence. The Auxilium prayers include prayers for friends.

If one want to pray for the family members or family tree issues, become a member of the Auxilium Christianorum, but only after asking your spiritual director if this is OK.

Four, Protestants do not have authority to exoricize. Exorcist-priests know this.

Five, the long prayer of St. Michael from Pope Leo XIII is not to be said by the laity publicly or privately. This is a prayer for priest exorcists. Some priests are warning Catholics about this long prayer.

Six, the demons recognize real authority and beat up fake authority.

Seven, exorcists live a life of intense prayer and fasting. This is not the call of the ordinary lay person, unless they have been asked to work with a priest exorcist.

Eight, do not say the prayers you find online except for the ones on the Auxilium Christianorum site after you join the group. The group protects you and is under appointed exorcist priests, as it is under ecclesiastical authority.

Nine, avoid charismatic healing Masses which operate outside the authority of the Bishop or which involve Protestant ministry. Too many actually do more harm than good. Most are actually spiritually dangerous.

Ten, never, never let anyone pray over you, unless that person is one or both of your parents, an appointed priest in the diocese, or one with permission from another bishop if the priest is visiting. Parents have authority to pray over their children. And, as Father Chad Ripperger notes in several of his talks, demons respect real authority and are legalistic. They will laugh at false authority.

What Is Real Prayer?

A friend of mine thousands of miles away lamented to me that some of her friends, a group I know, do not want to hear anything "bad" about the world, or sin, or death.

These friends of hers go to retreats regularly, say the rosary at least once a week, go to Sunday Mass, and attend conferences run by various Catholic groups. And, yet, these people do not want to discuss what we all have been reading in the news as it if could happen here.

Another friend of mine has told me that her friends are stuck in the same mode of wanting to pretend the world is the same as it was in 1980. And, a third friend just told me the women in her life do not want to discuss the future of the Church and the reality of persecution.

This is a serious trend. I cannot but think that what my three lady friends are experiencing is not more widespread. I have written about Catholic "ostriches" on this blog for years. I am beginning to wonder why these ladies, (all are women, which is interesting), avoid reality. As I know some of the groupings, I can say that one who does not want "to talk about unpleasant things" is a TLM goer.


I have only heard one priest in all my life in America preach on persecution from the pulpit.

Why are not more priests preparing their people for the trials which are now obvious?

Why are so many women hiding in shopping, entertainment, family and not wanting to pray about the times? My friend of nine years and my friend of four years lament this blindness.

Why are some people "awake" and some not?

I have two theories. One is that people do not know how to pray. This may surprise you as a topic connected to being an ostrich, but if a person really prays for truth, God will answer her prayers.

Are we praying for a complete lack of deceit in our souls, minds, imaginations? Are we praying to be purified? When one begins to face the evil in one's self, one realizes the evil one is capable of doing. Humility leads to reality. No longer does sin surprise one, as one sees the world as God sees us all.

If prayer if not sincerely about repentance and not centered on the love, justice and mercy of God, one is missing the point of prayer.

When we turn our minds and hearts to God in prayer, we face Him and He in turn looks at us. Suddenly, we face our own inadequacies and failings in the Light of Truth. Christ explained to us a deep reality:

John 14:6 Douay-Rheims

Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.

There is only one way to God the Father and that is through Jesus Christ. He is the Truth.

The second reason why these women in these groups, (some are prayer groups), do not want to hear the Truth is the fear of death. Now, we should fear our particular judgment and not be in the sin of presumption. We should fear God in a good and holy way. But, to fear death means that one is not preparing for death. 

Avoiding unpleasant subjects reveals a soul running away from God and the final end of each one of us. 

I believe these women in these prayer groups and in my friends' lives do sense that they are hiding. But, how does one stop running away from the Truth, Who Is a Person? There is only one way-real prayer.

Christ taught us the Our Father. The very first words present us with an act of faith. We proclaim God as Father, my Father and yours. Then, we state that He is Spirit, that He is in Glory, in heaven. We follow that with praise-His Name is Holy.

By this time, we are in the Presence of God, by addressing Him. We then proclaim that His Kingdom is to come and that His Will is to be done-not ours, not a group's, not a nation's. At this point, we have given our wills to God, and are asking Him to manifest His Will, not ours.

This is the beginning of all real prayer. We pray for God's Will, not our own, daily, constantly. Only after doing this, do we petition.

Real prayer is wanting, asking for God's Will to be done, not ours. Those who hide, hide from God's Will.

Real prayer is not only the "lifting of the mind and heart to God" but the placing of one's will on the altar of sacrifice.

Those who hide and run away from the truth have not given up their wills to God and cannot, therefore, see the signs of the times.

This passage below reminds us that Christ gave us warnings of being ready. I am not predicting the eminent coming of Christ, but I can predict that we shall all die and meet God. Our particular judgment is our encounter with the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Can we afford to be ostriches?

Matthew 24:37-39 Douay-Rheims

37 And as in the days of Noe, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, even till that day in which Noe entered into the ark,

39 And they knew not till the flood came, and took them all away; so also shall the coming of the Son of man be.

In some illustrations of Noah and the Ark, people are depicted as laughing at Noah and indicating that he is crazy. He was absolutely sane and he listened to God. Real prayer is listening.


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New Stonewall CEO in logic fail: claims to be "practising Catholic"


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

New Stonewall CEO in logic fail: claims to be "practising Catholic"

I had to smile when I read that Ruth Hunt, the new chief executive of Stonewall, the homosexual lobby-group, claims to be a "practising Catholic". Perhaps she is also a meat-eating vegetarian? A liberal conservative? A champagne socialist? Or all of the above?

Of course, I will immediately stop smiling if she begins to be taken seriously as a "practising Catholic" by Catholic officials. Needless to say, the policies of Stonewall are radically opposed to the infallible doctrines of the Catholic Church on sexual ethics, to the natural moral law and the common good.

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" wall can shut us out from the good God"

Cardinal Burke in his book mentioned below, refers to a saint we honor this week, St. Alphonsus Ligouri.

The context is "Spiritual Communion". Now, I for one, needed to be reminded about the value of "Spiritual Communion". The Cardinal notes that St. John Paul II quotes St. Teresa of Jesus as to the grace of making a Spiritual Communion. This practice "impresses" the love of God upon us, she states.

Cardinal Burke reminds us of the prayer of St. Alphonsus, which I reproduce here:

My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You have already come, and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Here is Deacon Guillermo with Cardinal Burke last year in Rome. God bless our clergy. And, another clergyman, the great patron of secular priests, St. John Vianney, whose feast is next Monday, wrote this about Spiritual Communion:

 “...when we feel the love of God growing cold, let us instantly make a Spiritual Communion. When we cannot go to the church, let us turn towards the tabernacle; no wall can shut us out from the good God.

Divine Love Made Flesh

I highly recommend Raymond Cardinal Burke's book Divine Love Made Flesh.  I believe it is an excellent book for old and new Catholics, catechumens, and high school students about age 14. This is a basic book which covers most of the solid teaching on the Eucharist. Although the Cardinal concentrates on St. John Paul II's Ecclesia de Eucharistia and on the Pope Emeritus' Sacramentum Caritatis, he covers other authors as well. He also examines Deus Caritas Est, mostly likely my favorite of the Pope Emeritus' writings.

Two of the sections which struck me at this time, (as this is a book one can return to and find new insights), was the one on the priesthood in relationship to the Eucharist, which I found particularly profound and moving.

The second was the section on the communal aspect of the Sacrament, a topic important at this time with all the confusion on the reception of Communion by those outside the laws of the Church. The Cardinal's review on the meaning of "communion" is timely.

I think all Catholics would find this book consoling as well. That the Eucharist is the center of our faith makes this book important. May I add that the Cardinal's style is concise and clear.


Salve, Regína, mater misericórdiæ;
vita, dulcédo et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamámus, éxsules, filii Evæ.
Ad te suspirámus, geméntes et flentes
in hac lacrimárum valle.
Eia ergo, advocáta nostra,
illos tuos misericórdes óculos
ad nos convérte.
Et Iesum, benedíctum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsílium osténde.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo María.

The Cloud of Witnesses

In this late week in July and throughout August, we celebrate many holy men and women. This week alone, we celebrated the feast day for Martha, Mary of Bethany and Lazarus. Today is Peter Chrysologus. Then, we acknowledge Ignatius of Loyola, Alphonsus Ligouri, Eusebius of Vercelli. Monday, we hold the feast day of John Vianney, followed by the day honoring one of the great churches in Rome, St. Mary Maggiore, followed by Dominic, Edith Stein, Lawrence, Frances de Chantal, Rose of Lima and Bernard of Clairvaux, among others. I suggest, if you have children, you take advantage of these days to remind the young ones of the real heroes who walked on this small planet.

Remind them of St. Paul's passage:

Hebrews 12:1 Douay-Rheims

12 And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us

My family in about 1912

Father Josef Dostal, missionary and first person on the maternal side of my family to come to the States died in 1903. so this must be another priest in the family, another Fr. Dostal, who was a novelist as well as a priest, or Fr. Benedict, a monk and priest from Lisle; Dr. Hynek Dostal, Knight of St. Gregory, Aunt Jara, My Grandmother Ludmila, Aunt Stanislasia, and Aunt Vasha. My mother identified this group, except for the priest.

Why Doctors of the Church

My long Doctors of the Church series, posted over the past year, created a question in one reader. Why do we have Doctors of the Church? A second question logically follows. Why are some saints "Doctors" and some not.

The answer is rather simple. First of all, to be called a Doctor of the Church, the saint must have shown an extraordinary degree of holiness. Now, if you have read my perfection series, you would have learned that not all saints are equal, nor are all people. We have all been called to a certain level of holiness.

Those who have been given the title of Doctor of the Church reveals great holiness. One only needs to think of SS. Bernard of Clairvaux and Therese of Lisieux as examples.

The second criteria is that the person must reveal a high degree of learning, through writings, such as sermons or treatises, or other books. SS. Thomas Aquinas and Teresa of Avila give us good examples, as do all the Doctors, such as Augustine, Ambrose, and today's saint, Peter Chrysologus.

The third category is rather simple. The Church, through the authority of the Pope, must declare the saint a Doctor of the Church. For example, The Pope Emeitus declared two saints as Doctors on October 7th, 2012: SS John of Ávila  Hildegard of Bingen.

St. John Paul II declared St. Therese, the Little Flower, as a Doctor of the Church in 1997. Doctors are not declared very often.

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Some Americans have been unemployed for a long time

Dear Readers

Good News--I now am getting a computer thanks to H. Many blessings today.

It is one which will be much lighter than the one I have been using.

God is good.

So are my readers.

Blogging will continue.

Repeat Link,%20F.S.S.P.%29.pdf

From Today's Guardian Online

Politics Do Not Save Us

Years ago, I had an interesting conversation with a seminarian in America who kept bringing the solutions of Church problems to politics. Finally, I said to him (he was one of my students), "You are looking to politics to save us instead of Christ, the Gospel, the Church."

He stopped talking. He admitted that many seminarians were caught up in politics, even leftist politics, instead of looking to Chris on the Cross. He changed.

One reason why so many Catholics vote socialist is that they think the governments will save society and their particular culture. Not so.

Without a moral framework, without religion, all governments fail to protect their own people. Such governments pass immoral laws, as we have seen here.

Politics and governments must serve God first and then man.

From the saintly Pope Leo XII in Immortale Dei:

 Man's natural instinct moves him to live in civil society, for he cannot, if dwelling apart, provide himself with the necessary requirements of life, nor procure the means of developing his mental and moral faculties. Hence, it is divinely ordained that he should lead his life-be it family, or civil-with his fellow men, amongst whom alone his several wants can be adequately supplied. But, as no society can hold together unless some one be over all, directing all to strive earnestly for the common good, every body politic must have a ruling authority, and this authority, no less than society itself, has its source in nature, and has, consequently, God for its Author. Hence, it follows that all public power must proceed from God. For God alone is the true and supreme Lord of the world. Everything, without exception, must be subject to Him, and must serve him, so that whosoever holds the right to govern holds it from one sole and single source, namely, God, the sovereign Ruler of all. "There is no power but from God."(1)


As a consequence, the State, constituted as it is, is clearly bound to act up to the manifold and weighty duties linking it to God, by the public profession of religion. Nature and reason, which command every individual devoutly to worship God in holiness, because we belong to Him and must return to Him, since from Him we came, bind also the civil community by a like law. For, men living together in society are under the power of God no less than individuals are, and society, no less than individuals, owes gratitude to God who gave it being and maintains it and whose ever-bounteous goodness enriches it with countless blessings. Since, then, no one is allowed to be remiss in the service due to God, and since the chief duty of all men is to cling to religion in both its reaching and practice-not such religion as they may have a preference for, but the religion which God enjoins, and which certain and most clear marks show to be the only one true religion -it is a public crime to act as though there were no God. So, too, is it a sin for the State not to have care for religion as a something beyond its scope, or as of no practical benefit; or out of many forms of religion to adopt that one which chimes in with the fancy; for we are bound absolutely to worship God in that way which He has shown to be His will. All who rule, therefore, would hold in honour the holy name of God, and one of their chief duties must be to favour religion, to protect it, to shield it under the credit and sanction of the laws, and neither to organize nor enact any measure that may compromise its safety. This is the bounden duty of rulers to the people over whom they rule. For one and all are we destined by our birth and adoption to enjoy, when this frail and fleeting life is ended, a supreme and final good in heaven, and to the attainment of this every endeavour should be directed. Since, then, upon this depends the full and perfect happiness of mankind, the securing of this end should be of all imaginable interests the most urgent. Hence, civil society, established for the common welfare, should not only safeguard the well-being of the community, but have also at heart the interests of its individual members, in such mode as not in any way to hinder, but in every manner to render as easy as may be, the possession of that highest and unchangeable good for which all should seek. Wherefore, for this purpose, care must especially be taken to preserve unharmed and unimpeded the religion whereof the practice is the link connecting man with God.

More here:

Shipwrecked Two

2 Corinthians 11:30 Douay-Rheims

30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my infirmity.

What does St. Paul mean? He means that he was almost killed several times, scourged, in several shipwrecks, stoned, tossed out of cities, and endured a physical disability.

Many Catholics today would pass by St. Paul. They would say, "Why is he not a bishop? Why is he not the head of a theology department at the University of.....? Why do all these bad things happen to him? He must be a great sinner."

That Protestantism and the Gospel of Success, both heresies, have infected the Church means that those who can boast of their infirmities are ignored.

God is all. And the power of God is all. What happens to us individually does not matter. Our infirmities do not matter. The only thing that matters is that we allow God to work through our infirmities (not sin, of course, that is not what Paul means). Remember, because Paul was shipwrecked, all Malta became Catholic at one time.

God is in control, if, and that is a big if, you let Him be.



Peter Chrysologus: Doctor of the Church Series, Part 221

Offer your soul to God, make him an oblation of your fasting, so that your soul may be a pure offering

In one of his sermons, St. Peter Chrysologus reminds us that we have to become pure. Most of us are not yet pure, but this is the goal of prayer, fasting, almsgiving, mercy. Those who want to avoid purification simply will not see God without purgatory. Many complain online and in private that the Church is weak. It is weak because few want to be perfect, pure, without ego.

St. Peter Chrysologus knew his audience. Like us, his people were weary, Christ had not come as soon as people anticipated. They were slipping back into paganism, and those who were faithful were overcome by the evils of the ending of the Roman empire and chaos.

Sound familiar?

We are at the end of the American greatness and Europe as a culture and unit, which could only stand firm against evil if those EU nations kept the Catholic Faith. The Pope Emeritus stated this more than once.

No Catholicism, no Europe. No Catholicism, no America. Too many are seeking escapes. Peter Chrysologus states this:

"Those who divert themselves with the devil on earth, cannot rejoice with Christ in heaven.

If you are weary, ask God for strength. As St. Paul writes: 

Hebrews 12 Douay-Rheims

12 And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us:

Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who having joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and now sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God.

For think diligently upon him that endured such opposition from sinners against himself; that you be not wearied, fainting in your minds.

For you have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin:

And you have forgotten the consolation, which speaketh to you, as unto children, saying: My son, neglect not the discipline of the Lord; neither be thou wearied whilst thou art rebuked by him.

For whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth; and he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Persevere under discipline. God dealeth with you as with his sons; for what son is there, whom the father doth not correct?

But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are made partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons.

Moreover we have had fathers of our flesh, for instructors, and we reverenced them: shall we not much more obey the Father of spirits, and live?

10 And they indeed for a few days, according to their own pleasure, instructed us: but he, for our profit, that we might receive his sanctification.

11 Now all chastisement for the present indeed seemeth not to bring with it joy, but sorrow: but afterwards it will yield, to them that are exercised by it, the most peaceable fruit of justice.

12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,

13 And make straight steps with your feet: that no one, halting, may go out of the way; but rather be healed.

14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness: without which no man shall see God.

15 Looking diligently, lest any man be wanting to the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up do hinder, and by it many be defiled.

16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau; who for one mess, sold his first birthright.

17 For know ye that afterwards, when he desired to inherit the benediction, he was rejected; for he found no place of repentance, although with tears he had sought it.

18 For you are not come to a mountain that might be touched, and a burning fire, and a whirlwind, and darkness, and storm,

19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words, which they that heard excused themselves, that the word might not be spoken to them:

20 For they did not endure that which was said: And if so much as a beast shall touch the mount, it shall be stoned.

21 And so terrible was that which was seen, Moses said: I am frighted, and tremble.

22 But you are come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the company of many thousands of angels,

 If you think we are not going into a time of tribulation, you have read my blog.

 If you think we are not going to be persecuted, you are willingly ignorant.

 We are all responsible for our own souls, and part of my salvation is to remind you that we are in a battle. St. Peter Chrysologus exhorted his own people to become perfect.

 We cannot settle for less, or we injure our chances for heaven, as well as weakening the Church.