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Wednesday 9 April 2014


And if you love them that love you, what thanks are to you? for sinners also love those that love them. Luke 6:32 DR

I have been staying with dear, dear friends and tutoring, but because the farmers surrounding the house are beginning to start the annual burning of the brush, I have to leave the area. Two fires this past week have caused me to be very ill with asthma.

Sadly, I have to leave. Prayers for my travels would be appreciated. I shall keep you all posted.

This is not a report of the same fires, but gives you an idea of the drought we are experiencing here.

Brush Fires Blaze In Scott County

  • Source: KWQC-TV Davenport
  • Published: 03/23/2014 09:35 PM
VIDEO: There was fire after fire today in northern Scott County, first in Long Grove and then in McCausland. Firefighters said this is just the beginning. Not one, but two in the same day. Making these the first two of the season for Chief Keith Louck of the Long Grove Fire Department. "This was the first one we've had and obviously now McCausland's got the second one right now," said Chief Louck. He had just put out 30 acres worth of fire on a cut corn field in Long Grove with help from McCausland, Eldridge and Donahue when his team was quickly sent to another in McCausland. Tall grass in a marsh wildlife refuge caught on fire when a neighbor was burning brush. "Unless we get a lot of spring rain, unless the greenery comes through then we don't have to worry about it as much," said Chief Louck. "But, until then this is what we have to deal with." Today's brush fire in Long Grove started with someone burning, then the winds quickly changed and caught a corn field on fire. "It's nothing we can get away from and we never will," said Chief Louck. In McCausland crews could only get to the fire by four-wheeler or by foot. They had to pull over 1,000 feet of hose through muddy marshland to get water...

The month of five planets

Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus and Saturn are visible this month.

Last night I saw Mars and this morning, before dawn, a bright Venus in the eastern sky.

I find this first site the easiest to navigate for sky charts. If your skies are clear, take advantage of the celestial show.

In addition, the meteor shower of the Lyrids starts about April 21 for our viewing. The last time I saw this was in Kent in 2012 and the shower was spectacular. One may have to stand outside in the cold, however.

Here is the chart for the meteor showers.

And here is information on Venus, which I saw in brilliance in the summer of 2012 in London and am now seeing in the east in Iowa, rising about two hours before dawn.

One has to be up earlier to see Venus at "her" best.

Here is yet one more great site for info.

OK Break Time

Almost forty posts in two days...taking a break....

See you later.

Persecution Watch

Someone from England sent me this today--sigh, sniff, burble

Perfection Series II: lxix

SELF-WILL from St. Alphonsus
There is no obstacle more harmful in striving after perfection than the gratification of self-will. “If,” says St. Bernard, “you can induce men to give up their self-will, there is no Hell for them to fear.” According to St. Peter Damian, self-will destroys all the virtues. “As the will of God is the source of all good,” says St. Anselm, “the will of man is the origin of all evil.” “He,” says St. Bernard, “who constitutes himself a master and follows the suggestions of self-will subjects himself to a veritable fool.”
The devil, as St. Augustine remarks, became what he is by self-will. Therefore, in his war against pious souls, his most effective and deadly weapon is their self-will. Cassian relates that the Abbot Achilles, when asked by a disciple what weapons the devil employed in attacking the souls that are consecrated to God, replied: Against the great ones of this world, he uses pride; against men of business, avarice; against the young, incontinence; but against those who are given to piety, his principal weapon is self-will. The Abbot Pastor expresses the same idea in different words: “When we follow our own will, the devil has no need of assailing us, for our self-will then takes the place of the devil, and indeed of the worst that there is.” The Holy Ghost admonishes us: “Turn away from thy own will. If thou give to thy soul her desires, she will make thee a joy to thy enemies.” (Ecclus. 18:30–31). An action has its greatest value from the obedience through which it is performed. The worst feature of any action is when it is prompted by self-will.
Consequently, says Trithemius, the devil hates nothing more than obedience, for, in the words of St. Teresa, “The devil well knows that on obedience the salvation of our souls depends. This is why he tries so hard to prevent it.” It was the custom of St. Philip Neri to exhort all his penitents to practice renunciation of their own will, for in this, he used to say, true sanctity consists. “The more you take away from your self-will, the more you add to virtue,” says St. Jerome. “In the sight of God,” says St. Coletta, “the renunciation of self-will is more meritorious than the sacrifice of all the riches of the world.”

I wish for very little,” says St. Francis de Sales, “and for this little I have but feeble desire.” He meant to say that in his desires his own will was never considered, but simply the Will of God; so that he was prepared to give up everything as soon as he saw that it was not in conformity with the divine Will. “O what sweetness,” says St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, “there is in the words ‘The Will of God.’”
If you, Christian soul, desire to become holy and enjoy uninterrupted peace, strive as often as you can to mortify your will. Do nothing for your own satisfaction, but everything to please God. To this end renounce all vain desires and inordinate inclinations. Worldly-minded people are intent upon following their own will as much as they possibly can; it is the constant aim of the Saints to mortify their will, and they seek opportunities for doing so. St. Andrew Avellino made a vow always to oppose his own will. Make it a practice at least every day to perform a few acts of self-denial.
Let us conclude with the words which Father Torres wrote to a devout person to encourage her in the practice of self-denial: “As God has given you an opportunity to suffer and endure abandonment, endeavor to increase His love in your heart, a love that is as strong as death. May this love detach you from all creatures and from your very self in order that nothing may hinder you in clinging to your Lord with all your thoughts, desires and inclinations. Do all for Him and in union with Him. Before your crucified Saviour make a daily renunciation of all the inclinations and attachments you find within your soul. Protest that you desire no other honor but the shame of Jesus Christ; no other treasure but His love; no other comforts but His Cross; no other object but Himself, your Lord and God.”

Perfection Series II: lxix: Detachment

TRUE DETACHMENT from St. Alphonsus Ligouri
Our detachment from the things of this earth is proved by our resignation to the Will of God in temporal disasters, such as financial loss by accident or theft. Faith teaches us that nothing happens without the permission of God. If, therefore, we suffer the loss of our good name or our temporal possessions, God does not of course will the sin that is thereby committed, but He wills or permits the suffering that falls to our lot and He wills it for our good. When a messenger came to the pious Job and announced that the Sabeans had stolen all his belongings and murdered his children, the holy man replied: “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.” He did not say: “The Lord gave and the Sabeans have taken away,” but: “The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away: as it hath pleased the Lord, so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21). Finally, we prove to evidence that we possess the spirit of detachment when we are ready to sacrifice everything we have—riches, honors, dignities, position—in short, every temporal advantage, rather than offend God.
Such were the sentiments of the holy martyrs. Dacian, the Governor of the Province of Tanigma, addressed the young deacon Vincent in the following words: “My boy, you are still young; the smiles and favors of fortune await you. To possess them, all you need do is to renounce your religion; obey the Emperor and escape an ignominious death.” Vincent turned to Bishop Valerius, who with him stood before the Governor, and said: “My Father, if you wish, I shall answer for you too.” The holy Bishop, who stood prepared to suffer everything for the love of Jesus Christ, replied: “Yes, my son; as I have already commissioned you to preach the word of God, now I commission you to confess our faith.” Hereupon Vincent declared to the Governor that both Valerius and himself adored but one God and that they could not and would not adore devils, for such were the gods of the Roman empire. “Moreover,” he said, “do not imagine you will influence us by threats or promises. There is nothing in this world to compare with the honor and the happiness of dying for Jesus Christ.” Enraged at this fearlessness of the holy deacon, the Governor cried out: “Either sacrifice to the gods or your contempt will cost you your lives.” The holy deacon replied with a loud voice: “I have already told you that you could do us no greater favor than to put us to death for Jesus Christ, and you may rest assured that you will grow weary torturing us before we are tired of being tormented.”
Let us now consider some of the means that are necessary for acquiring this detachment from the things of earth. In the first place, to remove all inordinate attachment from the heart it is necessary to dwell on the thought of death. The day of death is called “the day of loss” because on this day the riches and honors and pleasures of earth are lost. On this account, says St. Ambrose, we should not really call these things our own because we cannot bring them with us into the next world, where only virtue can accompany us. That man was right therefore who, when realizing the vanity of the world, wrote on a skull the following words: “To one who thinks, everything here below seems deserving of contempt.” But why are there so many unhappy lovers of this earth? Because there are so few who think of death.
Poor children of Adam, says the Holy Ghost, why do you not banish from your hearts all earthly attachment? “Why do you love vanity and seek after lying?” (Ps.4:3). What happened to your forefathers will happen to you. They too loved the dwelling that is now yours; now they are no more; they have gone into eternity, and you shall follow them.

Update on Military Rosary Project

Haitian eating mudcakes
 Dear Military Rosary benefactor or      Rosary maker:                                     

 Spring 2014 

 “Update on Haiti Rosary Factory“    
   In the last couple of years our Iowa parishes have made thousands of Holy Land Military Rosaries.  The olive wood crucifix for these Rosaries is purchased from the Catholic families living in Bethlehem, this being their sole means of livelihood. These rosaries continue to be a great source of blessing as a prayer aid for military personnel, parishioners of all ages, patients in hospitals and hospice wards. I believe that the Holy Land Crucifix is a connection to Christ in the Garden of Olive and a reminder to us of the land where Jesus walked.  For anyone praying the Rosary, I encourage you to ask the grace to ‘pray with the heart’—which involves the special grace of praying the Rosary while contemplating the Scriptures, with devotion and Divine love. Also I believe that the Scripture from Isaiah 2:2 applies, which states that 'Swords will be turned into plowshares...”, so my loose translation of this is, "Parachute cords will be turned into Rosary cords...".
Baking mudcakes to eat

   With our parishes having a sister parish in Haiti, we are establishing a ‘Rosary Factory’ in Haiti.  An opportunity to begin this project came recently when Liz McDermott, the rep from ServeHaiti, recently visited Haiti.  Here is her report after I gave her rosary supplies to take with her on her Haiti trip:
Liz said she worked with the local chapter of the Vincent DePaul Society in Haiti to train workers there to assemble the Holy Land Military Rosary.  She paid the workers a working wage for each Rosary made, and the Haitian workers were delighted to have some work in a country where the unemployment rate is about 70%.   Liz took 1000 Rosary materials, and cloth cases for her February, 2014 trip down to the sister parish in Haiti, who assembled the Rosaries and cases. Then Liz and the ServeHaiti volunteers brought the finished Rosaries and cases. I mail the majority of the Rosaries   to the Catholic Chaplains in Afghanistan and around the world.  I also give samples to Rosary groups in parishes to promote the praying of the family Rosary.   Our quantities of assembled Rosaries will dramatically increase this year as we have a donor who will match the first $15,000 worth of donations for this project in 2014.
P.S.   Any donations for the Rosary Factory should be addressed to “SS Philip & James”, with a notation: ‘Special Haiti Project’.
P.S.S.  —our new website is now up:

Fr Bill Kneemiller
 SS Philip & James Church                                                                                                                 
606 Fulton St, PO Box 7                                                                                                                            
Grand Mound, IA  52751    (563)321-0124

 The Holy Land Military Rosary

eating mud cakes in Haiti


# 1 reason for the need to create jobs in Haiti:

There are sections of Haiti where the poverty is so severe that the people are eating clay cakes made with salt and a little vegetable oil to have something to put in their stomach.  We can do better than this!

Dear Military Rosary supporter:                                                                            26 Jan 2014

“Inverted Jenny Biplane Stamp Project”

Recently I read that the Post Office issued a commemorative stamp of the ‘Inverted Jenny’ biplane stamp a few months ago. This stamp is a commemoration of the famous error of the biplane flying upside down.   The post office Commissioner approved issuing 6 pages of these stamps nation-wide with the biplane flying right side up.  This means that anyone who buys one of these pages of six, $2 stamps will have an instantly rare stamp, with an estimated worth at least $25,000 for the page.

The reason I’m mentioning this to the Rosary supporter folk is that I’m inviting folks around the state of Iowa to buy a page of these stamps. If by a 100,000 to one chance you get a page of stamps of the ‘Inverted Jenny’ flying right side up, please consider donating part of your good fortune to our Rosary Factory in Haiti. If you know anyone who has a business mailing packages please encourage them to buy these stamps while they are still available.
Thanks, Fr Bill Kneemiller
PS: Our Rosary Factory in Haiti is beginning in earnest this year.  Also, at the end of July I am sponsoring a trip down to Branson, MO for a ‘Rosary Factory Convention’—my favorite vacation place.  I can get rooms down in Branson for $55/ a night for a double, up until the month of July, 2014.

Go Look at Mars

Americans, go outside right now and look at Mars. The closest this planet will be is on April 14th, but tonight it lines up with the sun and the earth.

I just came in from a spectacular view. Wish I had my glasses, as things are still blurry.

What God has made gives Him glory.

The Joy of Teaching

It is humbling to teach a child more intelligent than one's self. One learns constantly from the young, anyway, and to be teaching a very bright young person is a joy.

Teaching is not merely a profession, but a vocation. One must have gifts for teaching, such as the ability to organize and be self-motivated. One must be able to think on one's feet and change the curricula as needed to suit the students.

One must know context, history, religion, philosophy, art, music, and the other humanities in order to do a decent job.

I cannot explain how a highly analytical person like myself manages to teach. I consider it a gift, a gift for the Church, for the upbuilding of the Kingdom of God.

The work of the child, writes Montessori, is to create the adult God wants them to be. We teachers join in that creation. If a teacher is not teaching the whole child, body and soul, that person is not a good teacher.

The job of the teacher is to clear away the mind for Truth, and then, to present the Truth.

In this way, the teacher imitates, in the act of mimesis, God. The parents begin the creation process and the teacher can only help the parents in the formation of the child.

Do not give authority to teachers who do not understand that each child is body and soul. Do not give authority to a teacher who does not know and follow God.

You will lose your child to the darkness of errors. A good teacher earns and then, keeps the trust of the parents and the child. One who is not trustworthy cannot be a good teacher.

A teacher must have discernment and know what a young person can learn. One learns discernment and uses the virtues and gifts of the Spirit in teaching.

One thing a teacher must have is objectivity. And, the teacher must be able to teach objectivity.

Here is Aristotle:

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” 


If the teachers of your children only know relativism and subjectivity, take them out of the classroom.

The teacher is the servant to the intellect and to the soul and she directs the children in God's Ways.

Perfection Series II:xvii--Mortification continued...

St. Bernard, after Our Lady, is the saint I love the most. His words have guided me most of my life.

He notes that the passions are like weeds, which keep reappearing even after we weed the garden.

Venerable Louis of Granada notes that St. Bernard tells us that there would be no need for hell if the passions did not exist in men and women. But, these do. The passions are connected to self-love.

Here is Louis' short reference found here.

Hence St. Bernard says that if we take away self-love, by which he understands all the movements of the sensitive appetite, there will be no longer any reason for the existence of Hell. (De Resurrectione Dni., Serm. 3).

Things which we consider "normal" and "good" many be hidden passions to be purged in the Dark Night.

Mortification, writes St. Alphonsus, who also refers to St. Bernard, rids us of the passions, the weeds of our souls. We are not animals, which live in passion, as our passions get in the way of purity of heart. St. Gregory compares the passions, found in a quotation used by St. Alphonsus, to raging beasts.

Do not confuse temptation with the passions which still rage in our souls. God gives us discernment to know the difference.

Pray for discernment daily.

Here is more "good stuff" from Venerable Louis Granada: his works on this website listed above is like a short version of Garrigou-Lagrange.

The Reformation of the Will

One of the most efficacious means of effecting this reformation is to strengthen and adorn the superior will that is, the rational appetite with humility of heart, poverty of spirit, and a holy hatred of self. If we possess these, the labor of mortification is easily accomplished. Humility, according to the definition of St. Bernard, is contempt of self founded on a true knowledge of our baseness. The effect of this virtue is to pluck from our heart all the roots of pride as well as all love of earthly honors and dignities. It inspires us to seek the lowest place, persuading us that had another received the graces we enjoy he would have been more grateful and would have used them more profitably for the glory of God. It is not sufficient that man cherish these sentiments in his heart; they should also be evident in his deportment and surroundings, which, regardless of the world's opinion, should be as humble and simple as his position will admit. And while he maintains the dignity due to his station his heart should ever be ready to submit not only to superiors and equals, but even to inferiors for the love of God.
The second disposition required to strengthen and adorn the will is poverty of spirit, which consists in a voluntary contempt for the things of this world, and in a perfect contentment in the position in which God has placed us, however poor and lowly it may be. This virtue effectually destroys cupidity, and affords us so great a peace and contentment that Seneca did not hesitate to affirm that he who closed his heart to the claims of unruly desires was not inferior in wealth or happiness to Jupiter himself. By this he signified that as man's misery springs from unfulfilled desires, he may be said to be very near the summit of happiness who has learned to subdue his desires so that they cannot disturb him.
The third disposition is a holy hatred of ourselves. "He that loveth his life shall lose it," says Our Saviour, "and he that hateth his life in this world keepeth it unto life eternal." (Jn. 12:25). By this hatred of self Our Lord did not mean that wicked hatred in which they indulge who yield to despair, but that aversion which the saints experienced for their flesh, which they regarded as the source of many evils and as a great obstacle to good. Hence they subjected it to the empire of reason, and denied its inordinate desires, that it might continue a humble servant and willing helper of the soul.
If we treat it otherwise we shall realize these words of the Wise Man: "He that nourisheth his servant delicately from his childhood, afterwards shall find him stubborn." (Prov. 29:21 ). This hatred of self is our chief instrument in the work of salvation. It enables us to uproot and cast from us all our evil inclinations, however much nature may rebel. Without it how could we strike rude blows, penetrate to the quick with the knife of mortification, and tear from our hearts objects upon which our affections are centered? Yes, the arm of mortification, which draws its force as much from hatred of self as from love of God, enables us to treat our failings with the firmness of a skillful physician, and relentlessly to cut and burn with no other thought than to rid the soul of every evil tendency. Having developed this subject in the Memorial of a Christian Life, we shall not here speak of it at greater length.

Perfection Series II: lxvi

Reading both SS. Alphonsus and Francis de Sales, one sees the reaffirmation for the need for physical mortifications.

As the saints tell us, without external mortifications, interior ones simply will not occur. We all can lie to ourselves in thinking we are holy by not eating chocolate in Lent and even fall into a spiritual pride. But, to deny ourselves sleep or even the common pleasures or even needs of daily life seem "over-the-top" for many.

I have prayed for a long time this year to be freed from asthma, which interferes with my sleep and my ability to work. I have prayed novenas, and a friend of mine is praying another novena at this time to St. Bernadette, who suffered from asthma.

Perhaps, I must admit, I shall not be healed. Purgatory on earth is a choice we can all make. I asked for my purgatory on earth a few years ago. Being homeless and without a stable place to live or a job may be part of that purgatory. Being looked down on by fellow Catholics because I am living out of suitcases may be part of that purgatory. I do not know, but I am resigned to this suffering.

One can decide to make up mortifications and one can decide to accept those which God in His Mercy sends to us.

St. Alphonsus quotes the Great Teresa: "Souls that truly love God have no desire for bodily rest and indulgence."

That I still would like a full night's rest means I simply do not love God enough. As I am a sinner, and have been a great sinner in my past, I accept such illness as part of my purgatory.

That I find myself alone, and derided by so many is also part of my purgatory. But, there is a sweetness in this suffering which brings a quiet joy. I know God loves me if He is bothering to chastise me.

But, I can accept such trials with a full will and say "yes". And, if some do not understand mortification, or judge those who find themselves publicly following such, proceed anyway.

Such is the Mercy of God in your life. A long time ago, I hear God say this, "The crown of glory is the crown of thorns". That was at a time that I was complaining to God that I had only a few of my plays, poems, short stories, essays published. I gave up trying to publish. Then, many years later, on this blog, I realized that God had a plan for my writing-for His work and His glory, not mine.

When we give up our thoughts on how to choose life, God comes up with something much more original and better.

Mortification helps us to focus on God, instead of ourselves.

Mega Posts Week and a HUGE Request

And, if you want to read another month of good posts, just flip through October, 2013, and a request,

I have written hundreds of poems. Can anyone out there among my readers help me get these published?

Of course, most are religious and many, many are in storage.

Thanks for thinking about this.....

Another thanks and blessing

I want to stop my blog sometimes, but my readers encourage me daily. Thank you, Dear Readers, and I shall continue...pray for me, however, as blogging is dangerous work. Pray for all orthodox Catholic bloggers.

And, interesting, most of my new friends (and becoming more and more dear to me in the last three years), are my regular, young bloggers, who have chosen Christ and His Church.

God bless you all.

Perfection Series II: lxviii: The Hidden Life

A HIDDEN LIFE from St. Alphonsus Ligouri's The School of Christian Perfection
A hidden and obscure life affords great security to those who sincerely desire to love God. Our Divine Master Himself deigned to teach us this by His own example, for He spent 30 years in the obscurity of Nazareth and the workshop of a humble carpenter. In imitation of their Divine Model, many saints withdrew into the desert and lived in remote caves to escape the esteem of men. The desire to put ourselves forward and merit the plaudits of men, to be regarded as very successful in our undertakings, is, according to St. Vincent de Paul, an evil which causes us to forget our God; it vitiates our holiest actions and more than anything else impedes our progress in the spiritual life.
To be pleasing and acceptable in the sight of God, we must therefore banish from our hearts the desire to appear before men to win their approval and applause, and especially the desire to rule over others. “Inordinate ambition,” writes Peter of Blois, “imitates charity but in a perverse manner. Charity endureth all things, but only for the sake of eternal goods; ambition endureth all things, but only for the wretched honors of this world. Charity is full of gentleness, especially towards the poor and despised; ambition is full of gentleness, but only towards the influential of this world who are in a position to satisfy its cravings. Charity believeth and hopeth all that pertains to eternal glory; ambition believes and hopes in everything that leads to the vain honor and glory of this world.”
And granted that we attain the supposed honor for which we strive, what have we gained? What else but a little smoke that usually, instead of raising us, lowers us in the eyes of others. Honor vanishes, says St. Teresa, in consequence of the desire we have had to attain it. The greater the honor we receive, the greater the disgrace for having striven for it. St. Jane Chantal says: “The more worthy we think ourselves of some office or employment, the less worthy we are to have it, for we show that we are lacking in humility, which would be our best qualification.” When St. Vincent Carafa of the Society of Jesus visited a sick friend who had just been appointed to a very important but dangerous office, the sick man begged him to pray for his recovery. St. Vincent replied: “No, my friend, I will not be unfaithful to my love for you. Now that you are in the state of grace, God calls you into the next world because He desires your salvation. Did He permit you to live, I know not whether you would save your soul in your new office.” Hereupon the sick man quietly accepted death from the hand of God and died with perfect resignation.

Another Poem for April-Lady Rowan

The lady loved her garden.
Daily, she walked among
the flowers and edges full
of roses, iris, herbaceous

plants which swished in the
wind despite the walls on the
high hill. Created out of her
own memory and will, the

plants beckoned to the past,
to her lost loves, to her children
gone far away. She reveled in
the colors and the scents.

But, a dream disturbed her
rest, showing her black and
grey plants of ugliness, sticks
with misshapen bulbous blooms

hardly the things of beauty she
made so carefully. These choking
plants grew in her heart, like
loves which concealed power

keeping her from the One, the
Bridegroom, Who was lost in
memory and imagination. She
cried in her deep dream.

When she awoke, tears dried,
she rose and looked out the
long window to the windy hills,
the blue hills of a starker beauty,

hills of the west. and she knew
her garden tied her to the earth,
just as her imagination tied her
wrapped in living signs and symbols

to old loves and old days of joy.
She waited, and at the end of
August, she summoned her
helpers to burn every bit of

plant, but to save three trees
in the corner, trees of Rowan.
The smoke tore through the
paths and hexagonal herbal

glories, licking up the lavender
and destroying even the tall rose
borders, clinging to the walls. Her
favorite blue poppy glowed in the

dust of the smoke, succumbed, fell.
The willow shook, berry bushes choked.
All was gone, but the three, guarded by
the new centurions. She wept but not

for sadness, but for joy, as her past
died in the ashes. She had killed her
imagination in one great act of denial.
The gardeners walked away to

their homes, saddened, now without
positions, and complained to their
wives of such folly as they had
done that day. But, the lady knew

something more than they, that her
imagination was free to think on one
thing, the symmetry of the three trees
waiting for winter, then spring, when

the whispers of enchantment had faded
into forgotten memory with new red
berries reminding her of the one thing
necessary. Years later, her sons came

upon the three trees and knelt by the
lichen-ed stone of her grave, grace
from grace, the old ways gone and
a new faith reached out to the new.

Hello to Readers from Luxembourg

YOU Must Get Into Media

Catholics, the laity must be involved in the media. There are too many Catholics who do not know the enemy and the enemy is twofold in the media. The first enemy is the main-stream media. The second enemy is the mediocre Catholic media. One reason why most of the Catholic media are mediocre is that the powers that be are not admitting the real problems in the Church.

As the Pope Emeritus noted two years ago, the enemy is within. This means that the media is full of the enemy within. If you are watching television, STOP. You are not getting Catholic news as it really is.

If you are reading La Stampa or L'Osservatore Romano, read these cum grano salis. 

Do not listen to the mediocre. Be wise, be prudent.

Realize that you are responsible for your own appropriation of news, even Catholic news.

This above is good.....

Being An Disciple Means Real Love

In this diocese, there has been no Catholic Charities for a long time. Those who have run the major parishes have supported socialism and big government. The concept of natural virtue, the ideal of people in the pew helping those who are in need around them is not preached.

Many Catholics no longer trust the use of money by dioceses. This has happened primarily because some dioceses have mismanage money and because many dioceses sent money to liberal, even immoral causes, such as pro-contraception, pro-abortion "charities".

What is missing is the idea that each person should reaching out to the poor daily. This is not the job of the government, but the job of every baptize Catholic.

Why do Catholics believe that they do not have to help individual poor people, those in the parishes with faces, the faces of those who are suffering?

Why has the Calvinist idea of the "worth poor" or the "undeserving poor" infected Catholic minds.

I have come up with some reasons why people have turned away from caring for others, and have ignored real need right underneath their noses?

First of all, the falsity of the American Dream has created a huge lie that all Americans believe to a certain degree. That people can find work on their own merits is simply no longer true. That people have lost jobs for reasons beyond their control is also true. Grants may be discontinued, schools may close, departments may be made redundant.

The American Dream assumes that anyone who has education can find work, and that anyone with experience will be valued.

I know one person who was told by the Illinois school system that they would never be hired as they would be at the top of their grade and the system could hire two teachers for the price of that one highly experienced teacher.

Second, many Catholics do not want to face suffering of any kind, as if suffering, like the measles, was something one could catch. Indeed, those who suffer loss have told me that the worse thing is being shunned by Catholics who do not want to look at the real faces of suffering.

Third, the real reason for not helping the poor is pride. Pride keeps people fun admitting that they have to help, that God calls them to love and get down and dirty, sacrificing for another person or persons.

Pride keeps families in denial about real needs. Pride keeps people in fear and in arrogance, sometimes simultaneously.

A friend of mine told me days ago that the only way one gets a job now in the States is if someone knows someone. No longer is America a meritocracy. So, the poor frequently are out of the loop, do not know rich and influential people. Ergo, they do not get jobs.

Catholics must change their points of view. God will judge those who had enough or even more than enough goods of this world and have done nothing to help those who cannot help themselves for whatever reason.

God does help those who help themselves, but He also calls each one of us to help those who cannot.

How rich do you think you have to be before you reach out to one or two of the millions of poverty-stricken people in the States? God's idea of being rich may not be the same as yours.

Four, many Americans think they "deserve" certain things, such as two vacations a year, or a steady stream of new cars, or new clothes, or a certain preoccupation with fine food. Again, living simply is not considered a virtue anymore by those who say, "I worked for this, and I deserve this....!"

None of us deserve anything, as even our wealth is a pure gift from God.

Luke 16:19-31

19 There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen; and feasted sumptuously every day.
20 And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores,
21 Desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table, and no one did give him; moreover the dogs came, and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell.
23 And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom:
24 And he cried, and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, to cool my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame.
25 And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazareth evil things, but now he is comforted; and thou art tormented.
26 And besides all this, between us and you, there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you, cannot, nor from thence come hither.
27 And he said: Then, father, I beseech thee, that thou wouldst send him to my father's house, for I have five brethren,
28 That he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments.
29 And Abraham said to him: They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 But he said: No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance.
31 And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, if one rise again from the dead.