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Sunday 21 September 2014

Belgium Attack Thwarted

Pope News

more on the link above
Pope Francis called Sunday for Muslims and all religious leaders to condemn Islamic extremists who "pervert" religion to justify violence, as he visited Albania and held up the Balkan nation as a model for interfaith harmony for the rest of the world.
"To kill in the name of God is a grave sacrilege. To discriminate in the name of God is inhuman," Francis told representatives of Albania's Muslim, Orthodox and Catholic communities during a half-day visit to Tirana in which he recalled the brutal persecution people of all faiths suffered under communism.
Francis wept when he heard the testimony of one priest, the Rev. Ernest Troshani, 84, who for 28 years was imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to forced labor for refusing to speak out against the Catholic Church as his captors wanted.
"Today I touched the martyrs," Francis said after embracing the man.
Security was unusually tight for the pope's first trip to a majority Muslim country since the Islamic State group began its crackdown on Christians in Iraq and announced its aim to extend its self-styled caliphate to Rome. The trip was preceded by reports that militants who trained in Iraq and Syria had returned and might pose a threat.
The Vatican insisted it had no reports of specific threats against the pope and that no special security measures were taken. But Francis' interactions with the crowds were much reduced compared to his previous foreign trips. His open-topped vehicle sped down Tirana's main boulevard, not stopping once for Francis to greet the faithful as is his norm.
He only kissed a few babies at the very end of the route, and then left quickly after his Mass ended. Snipers dotted rooftops along the route, military helicopters flew overhead and uniformed Albanian police formed human chains to keep the crowds at bay behind barricades. Francis' own bodyguards stood guard on the back of his car or jogged alongside....

Francis has said it was legitimate to use force to stop the Islamic extremists, but that the international community should be consulted on how to do so. Last month, the Vatican's office with relations with Muslims issued a strong statement condemning the Islamic State's atrocities and calling on religious leaders, particularly Muslims, to use their influence to stop them. The extremists' advance is of particular concern to the Vatican given the exodus of faithful from lands where Christian communities have existed for 2,000 years.
The Albanian capital's main Boulevard Martyrs of the Nation was decorated for the visit with Albanian and Vatican flags — as well as giant portraits of 40 Catholic priests who were persecuted or executed under Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha, who declared Albania the world's first atheist state in 1967. Hundreds of priests and imams were jailed and scores executed before the regime fell in 1990.
One of those who was imprisoned was Troshani, the 84-year-old priest who said he nearly died from the torture inflicted on him by his jailers, who took him on Christmas Eve, 1963 and slated him for execution. He said he was only spared because Hoxha learned that he had forgiven his captors.

Reminder of Some Items on The Permanent Diaconate


11. Older men, whether single or married, can be called to the diaconate. The latter, however, are not to be admitted unless there is certainty not only about the wife's consent, but also about her blameless Christian life and those qualities which will neither impede nor bring dishonor on the husband's ministry.
12. The older age in this case is reached at the completion of the thirty-fifth year. Nevertheless, the age requirement is to be understood in this sense, namely, that no one can be called to the diaconate unless he has gained the high regard of the clergy and the faithful by a long example of truly Christian life, by his unexceptionable conduct, and by his ready disposition to be of service.
13. In the case of married men care must be taken that only those are promoted to the diaconate who while living many years in matrimony have shown that they are ruling well their own household and who have a wife and children leading a truly Christian life and noted for their good reputation.(7)
14. It is to be desired that such deacons be possessed of no small learning about which we have spoken in numbers 8, 9, 10 above, or that they at least be endowed with that knowledge which in the judgment of the episcopal conference is necessary for them to carry out their specific functions. Consequently they are to be admitted for a time in a special school where they are to learn all that is necessary for worthily fulfilling the diaconal ministry.
15. Should this be impossible, let the candidate be entrusted for his education to an outstanding priest who will direct him, and instruct him and be able to testify to his prudence and maturity. Care must always and emphatically be taken that only suitable and skilled men may be admitted to the sacred order.

25. Let the deacons, as those who serve the mysteries of Christ and of the Church, abstain from all vice and endeavor to be always pleasing to God, "ready for every good work"(9) for the salvation of men. By reason, therefore, of the order received they must surpass by far all the others in the practice of liturgical life, in the love for prayer, in the divine service, in obedience, in charity, in chastity.
26. It will be the task of the episcopal conference to establish more efficacious norms to nourish the spiritual life of the deacons, both celibate and married. Let the local Ordinaries, however, see to it that all the deacons:
1) devote themselves assiduously to reading and meditating on the word of God;
2) frequently, and if possible every day, participate actively in the sacrifice of the Mass, receive the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist and devoutly visit the Sacrament;
3) purify their souls frequently with the sacrament of Penance and, for the purpose of receiving it worthily, examine their conscience each day;
4) venerate and love the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God with fervent devotion.
27. It is a supremely fitting thing that permanent deacons recite every day at least part of the Divine Office, to be determined by the episcopal conference.
28. Diocesan deacons must, at least every third year, attend spiritual exercises in a religious house or pious institution designated by the Ordinary.
29. Deacons are not to neglect studies, particularly the sacred ones; let them read assiduously the sacred books of the Scripture; let them devote themselves to ecclesiastical studies in such a way that they can correctly explain Catholic teaching to the rest and become daily more capable of instructing and strengthening the minds of the faithful.
For this purpose, let the deacons be called to meetings to be held at specified times at which problems regarding their life and the sacred ministry are treated.
30. Because of the special character of the ministry entrusted to them they are bound to show reverence and obedience to the bishop; the bishops, however, should in the Lord highly esteem these ministers of the people of God and love them with the love of a father. If for a just cause a deacon lives for a time outside his own diocese he should willingly submit to the supervision and authority of the local Ordinary in those matters which pertain to the duties and functions of the diaconal state.
31. In the matter of wearing apparel the local custom will have to be observed according to the norms set down by the episcopal conference.

32. The institution of the permanent diaconate among the Religious is a right reserved to the Holy See, which is exclusively competent to examine and approve the recommendations of the general chapters in the matter.
33. Let the Religious deacons exercise the diaconal ministry under the authority of the bishop and of their own superiors, according to the norms in force for Religious priests; they are also bound by the laws to which the members of the same Religious family are obliged.
34. A Religious deacon who lives either permanently or for a specified time in a region which lacks a permanent diaconate may not exercise diaconal functions except with the consent of the local Ordinary.
35. The provisions in nos. 32-34 regarding the Religious must be regarded as applying likewise to members of other institutes who profess the evangelical counsels.

On Today's Novus Ordo Gospel

We all know the parable of the complaining workers, who did not think it was fair that they only received a day's wage, while others who worked less got the same.

I have never heard a priest talk about my thoughts on this passage. Here goes..

Those who work all day should be happy to be working, should be thrilled that people come into the Church with death-bed conversions.

To work all one's life in the Church Militant is a joy, a blessing. One shares work with wonderful people, even saints. I would prefer to work the entire day, as heaven begins on earth, even though it is work.

Those who complain do not love Christ or His Church enough to realize the great honor and joy of working hard for the Kingdom all one's life.

There are saints who suffered and worked for God's Kingdom from little on, or from youth, such as the great Padre Pio, whose feast day is coming up in two days.

He received the visible stigmata at the age of twenty-eight or so, the first priest to receive this grace of suffering. (St. Francis, remember, was never ordained.)

One could consider Padre Pio a saint who worked the entire day for eternal life with God, which is the day's wage.

Other saints came in later on in life, such as St. Ignatius, who was thirty-one when he converted, or St. Augustine, who was baptized at the age of thirty-three.

A word of caution. I have never found a life of a saint with a death-bed conversion. There are many martyrs who were converted watching others being martyred, but martyrdom is instant purification.

Those who die right after after conversion have had no time to live the saintly life.

But, they do get eternal life after purgatory. And, we all should rejoice at their salvation

Some Sound Advice from St. Francis de Sales

I am not going to write more on this great saint for a while, but I wanted to share with you
these past few days some of the excellence of his thought. Those of you
who have read the perfection series, and who also know that one
of the themes of this blog is reason--how to think like a Catholic, will
recognize the importance here of a clear, Catholic mind.
Follow the tags for more posts connected to this theme. 
CHAPTER XXXVI. Of a Well-Balanced, Reasonable Mind.

   REASON is the special characteristic of man, and yet it is a rare thing
   to find really reasonable men, all the more that self-love hinders
   reason, and beguiles us insensibly into all manner of trifling, but yet
   dangerous acts of injustice and untruth, which, like the little foxes
   in the Canticles, [158] spoil our vines, while, just because they are
   trifling, people pay no attention to them, and because they are
   numerous, they do infinite harm. Let me give some instances of what I

   We find fault with our neighbour very readily for a small matter, while
   we pass over great things in ourselves. We strive to sell dear and buy
   cheap. We are eager to deal out strict justice to others, but to obtain
   indulgence for ourselves. We expect a good construction to be put on
   all we say, but we are sensitive and critical as to our neighbour's
   words. We expect him to let us have whatever we want for money, when it
   would be more reasonable to let him keep that which is his, if he
   desires to do so, and leave us to keep our gold. We are vexed with him
   because he will not accommodate us, while perhaps he has better reason
   to be vexed with us for wanting to disturb him. If we have a liking for
   any one particular thing, we despise all else, and reject whatever does
   not precisely suit our taste. If some inferior is unacceptable to us,
   or we have once caught him in error, he is sure to be wrong in our eyes
   whatever he may do, and we are for ever thwarting, or looking coldly on
   him, while, on the other hand, some one who happens to please us is
   sure to be right. Sometimes even parents show unfair preference for a
   child endowed with personal gifts over one afflicted with some physical
   imperfection. We put the rich before the poor, although they may have
   less claim, and be less worthy; we even give preference to well-dressed
   people. We are strict in exacting our own rights, but expect others to
   be yielding as to theirs;--we complain freely of our neighbours, but we
   do not like them to make any complaints of us. Whatever we do for them
   appears very great in our sight, but what they do for us counts as
   nothing. In a word, we are like the Paphlagonian partridge, which has
   two hearts; for we have a very tender, pitiful, easy heart towards
   ourselves, and one which is hard, harsh and strict towards our
   neighbour. We have two scales, one wherein to measure our own goods to
   the best advantage, and the other to weigh our neighbours' to the
   worst. Holy Scripture tells us that lying lips are an abomination unto
   the Lord, [159] and the double heart, with one measure whereby to
   receive, and another to give, is also abominable in His Sight.

   Be just and fair in all you do. Always put yourself in your neighbour's
   place, and put him into yours, and then you will judge fairly. Sell as
   you would buy, and buy as you would sell, and your buying and selling
   will alike be honest. These little dishonesties seem unimportant,
   because we are not obliged to make restitution, and we have, after all,
   only taken that which we might demand according to the strict letter of
   the law; but, nevertheless, they are sins against right and charity,
   and are mere trickery, greatly needing correction--nor does any one
   ever lose by being generous, noble-hearted and courteous. Be sure then
   often to examine your dealings with your neighbour, whether your heart
   is right towards him, as you would have his towards you, were things
   reversed--this is the true test of reason. When Trajan was blamed by
   his confidential friends for making the Imperial presence too
   accessible, he replied, "Does it not behove me to strive to be such an
   emperor towards my subjects as I should wish to meet with were I a

   [158] Cant. ii. 15.

   [159] Prov. xii. 22.

Honesty Time

Since I had my new computer, and because of the number of viruses entering from Internet Explorer, even with AVG, I switched to Firefox. I did not realize until today why I was being blocked from Michael Voris on certain topics, Catholic Bandita, who has excellent posts on homosexuality, and other Catholics sites.

Mozilla block all sites, blogs, etc, which are against gay identity and ssm.

In other words, this company censors free speech and the Teaching Magisterium of the Church on these topics.

It took me a while to figure this out.

I must have missed postings on this. No one told me directly.

If you are not getting certain sites or Michael Voris on certain topics, and have Firefox, this is why.


Muzzling of the Truth.

Will spread.

I switched to Google.

On Pelicans And That Cell Again

     I have written many times on St. Catherine's instruction to create a little cell within the mind 
       to which to go when in the world. Here, St.Francis de Sales refers to this wonderful advice
       and image. He also refers to the symbol of the Pelican, frequently found in churches, in
       mosaics, in tiles, in paintings and so on.

      Let your heart withdraw and read this in solitude.
There are few social duties of sufficient importance to prevent an
   occasional retirement of the heart into this sacred solitude. When S.
   Catherine of Sienna was deprived by her parents of any place or time
   for prayer and meditation, Our Lord inspired her with the thought of
   making a little interior oratory in her mind, into which she could
   retire in heart, and so enjoy a holy solitude amid her outward duties.
   And henceforward, when the world assaulted her, she was able to be
   indifferent, because, so she said, she could retire within her secret
   oratory, and find comfort with her Heavenly Bridegroom. So she
   counselled her spiritual daughters to make a retirement within their
   heart, in which to dwell. Do you in like manner let your heart withdraw
   to such an inward retirement, where, apart from all men, you can lay it
   bare, and treat face to face with God, even as David says that he
   watched like a "pelican in the wilderness, or an owl in the desert, or
   a sparrow sitting alone upon the housetop." [34] These words have a
   sense beyond their literal meaning, or King David's habit of retirement
   for contemplation;--and we may find in them three excellent kinds of
   retreats in which to seek solitude after the Saviour's Example, Who is
   symbolised as He hung upon Mount Calvary by the pelican of the
   wilderness, feeding her young ones with her blood. [35] So again His
   Nativity in a lonely stable might find a foreshadowing in the owl of
   the desert, bemoaning and lamenting: and in His Ascension He was like
   the sparrow rising high above the dwellings of men. Thus in each of
   these ways we can make a retreat amid the daily cares of life and its
When the blessed Elzear, Count of Arian-enProvence, had been long separated from his pious and beloved wife Delphine, she sent a messenger to inquire after him, and he returned answer, "I am well, dear wife, and if you would see me, seek me in the Wounded Side of our Dear Lord Jesus; that is my sure dwelling-place, and elsewhere you will seek me in vain." Surely he was a true Christian knight who spoke thus. __________________________________________________________________ [34] Ps. cii. 6, 7. [35] The Egyptians used the pelican as a symbol of parental devotion; and among the early Christians, as may be seen in the Catacombs, it was employed to shadow forth the deep mysteries of Christ's love. On many a monumental brass, church window, or chalice of old time, occurs this device, with the motto, "Sic Christus dilexit nos." "Thus hath Christ loved us." And so Saint Thomas in his Eucharistic Hymn "Adoro Te devote,"--"Pie Pelicane, Jesu Domine, Me immundum munda, Tuo sausguine!"

More on Venial Sin

"As you well know, venerable brethren, it is true that venial sins may be expiated in many ways that are to be highly commended. But to ensure more rapid progress day by day in the path of virtue, we will that the pious practice of frequent confession, which was introduced into the Church by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, should be earnestly advocated. By it genuine self-knowledge is increased, Christian humility grows, bad habits are corrected, spiritual neglect and tepidity are resisted, the conscience is purified, the will strengthened, a salutary self-control is attained, and grace is increased in virtue of the sacrament itself" (Mystici Corporis 88 1943, Pope Pius XII).

There is a huge misunderstanding which grew up in the 1970s, as to the need for confession regarding venial sins.

Venial sin weakens the will and opens one up to more temptation. Venial sins usually arise out of the predominant fault, which must be overcome in order to achieve perfection.

The Church is weakened as well by those who daily commit venial sins.

Frequent confession makes one aware of one's self, one's venial sins, and one's predominant faults.

To only go to confession when one commits a mortal sin is not a good habit.

Remember, self-knowledge is humility and humility is absolutely necessary for perfection.

Time To Think And Pray

I shall be back later on Sunday. As this is the first day American time and second day English time for the World Fast, I am behind in my prayers.

Please join me and see you later today.

Hope you saw this, however. An interesting discussion....

 Grounds for an annulment which must meet the "proof" test of witnesses to include the former spouses would be 1) lack of due discretion at the time of the wedding; 2) lack of belief or understanding of the Catholic meaning of the Sacrament of Matrimony; 3) reserving the right to be unfaithful to the vows at the time the vows are made; 4) refusal to have children; 5) mental illness at the time of the wedding; 6) undue pressure to get married especially from parents or a desire to escape parents through marriage. There are many other grounds that must be proven too!

More from St. Francis de Sales

These two parts may be the most important chapter in The Introduction. 
We know that the Eucharist is the center of our Faith.
Good words for meditation today. 
  CHAPTER XIV. Of Holy Communion, and how to join in it.

   1. SO far I have said nothing concerning the Sun of all spiritual
   exercises, even the most holy, sacred and Sovereign Sacrifice and
   Sacrament of the Eucharist,--the very centre point of our Christian
   religion, the heart of all devotion, the soul of piety;--that Ineffable
   Mystery which embraces the whole depth of Divine Love, by which God,
   giving Himself really to us, conveys all His Graces and favours to men
   with royal magnificence.

   2. Prayer made in union with this Divine Sacrifice has untold power;
   through which, indeed, the soul overflows with heavenly grace, and
   leaning on her Beloved, becomes so filled with spiritual sweetness and
   perfume, that we may ask in the words of the Canticles: "Who is this
   that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with
   myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant? " [40]

   3. Strive then to your utmost to be present every day at this holy
   Celebration, in order that with the priest you may offer the Sacrifice
   of your Redeemer on behalf of yourself and the whole Church to God the
   Father. Saint Chrysostom says that the Angels crowd around it in
   adoration, and if we are found together with them, united in one
   intention, we cannot but be most favourably influenced by such society.
   Moreover, all the heavenly choirs of the Church triumphant, as well as
   those of the Church militant, are joined to our Dear Lord in this
   divine act, so that with Him, in Him, and by Him, they may win the
   favour of God the Father, and obtain His Mercy for us. How great the
   blessing to my soul to contribute its share towards the attainment of
   so gracious a gift!

   4. If any imperative hindrance prevents your presence at this sovereign
   sacrifice of Christ's most true Presence, at least be sure to take part
   in it spiritually. If you cannot go to Church, choose some morning hour
   in which to unite your intention to that of the whole Christian world,
   and make the same interior acts of devotion wherever you are that you
   would make if you were really present at the Celebration of the Holy
   Eucharist in Church.

   5. In order to join in this rightly, whether actually or mentally, you
   must give heed to several things: (1) In the beginning, and before the
   priest goes up to the Altar, make your preparation with his--placing
   yourself in God's Presence, confessing your unworthiness, and asking
   forgiveness. (2) Until the Gospel, dwell simply and generally upon the
   Coming and the Life of our Lord in this world. (3) From the Gospel to
   the end of the Creed, dwell upon our Dear Lord's teaching, and renew
   your resolution to live and die in the faith of the Holy Catholic
   Church. (4) From thence, fix your heart on the mysteries of the Word,
   and unite yourself to the Death and Passion of our Redeemer, now
   actually and essentially set forth in this holy Sacrifice, which,
   together with the priest and all the congregation, you offer to God the
   Father, to His Glory and your own salvation. (5) Up to the moment of
   communicating, offer all the longings and desires of your heart, above
   all desiring most earnestly to be united for ever to our Saviour by His
   Eternal Love. (6) From the time of Communion to the end, thank His
   Gracious Majesty for His Incarnation, His Life, Death, Passion, and the
   Love which He sets forth in this holy Sacrifice, intreating through it
   His favour for yourself, your relations and friends, and the whole
   Church; and humbling yourself sincerely, devoutly receive the blessing
   which our Dear Lord gives you through the channel of His minister. If,
   however, you wish to follow your daily course of meditation on special
   mysteries during the Sacrifice, it is not necessary that you should
   interrupt yourself by making these several acts but it will suffice
   that at the beginning you dispose your intention to worship and to
   offer the holy Sacrifice in your meditation and prayer; since every
   meditation includes all the abovenamed acts either explicitly or

   [40] Cant. iii. 6.

CHAPTER XV. Of the other Public Offices of the Church.

   FURTHERMORE, my daughter, you should endeavour to assist at the
   Offices, Hours, Vespers, etc., as far as you are able, especially on
   Sundays and Festivals, days which are dedicated to God, wherein we
   ought to strive to do more for His Honour and Glory than on others. You
   will greatly increase the fervour of your devotion by so doing, even as
   did S. Augustine, who tells us in his Confessions, that in the early
   days of his conversion he was touched to the quick, and his heart
   overflowed in happy tears, when he took part in the Offices of the
   Church. [41] Moreover (let me say it here once for all), there is
   always more profit and more consolation in the public Offices of the
   Church than in private acts of devotion, God having willed to give the
   preference to communion in prayer over all individual action. Be ready
   to take part in any confraternities and associations you may find in
   the place where you are called to dwell, especially such as are most
   fruitful and edifying. This will be pleasing to God; for although
   confraternities are not ordained, they are recommended by the Church,
   which grants various privileges to those who are united thereby. And it
   is always a work of love to join with others and take part in their
   good works. And although it may be possible that you can use equally
   profitable devotions by yourself as in common with others,--perhaps
   even you may like doing so best,--nevertheless God is more glorified
   when we unite with our brethren and neighbours and join our offerings
   to theirs.

   I say the same concerning all public services and prayers, in which, as
   far as possible, each one of us is bound to contribute the best example
   we can for our neighbour's edification, and our hearty desire for God's
   Glory and the general good of all men.

   [41] "Nor was I sated in those days with the wondrous sweetness of
   considering the depth of Thy counsels concerning the salvation of
   mankind. How did I weep, in Thy hymns and canticles, touched to the
   quick by the voices of Thy sweet-attuned church The voices flowed into
   mine ears, and the truth distilled into my heart, whence the affections
   of my devotion overflowed, and tears ran down, and happy was I
   therein."--conf. bk. ix. 14.

St. Frances de Sales on Paying Attention

St Francis shares several anecdotes from the lives of several saints about paying attention to things
around us for inspiration and prayer. We are too busy, to distracted, and miss the small voice of God in things.

These are lovely stories but meaningful in our times.

  St. Gregory Nazianzen tells his flock, how, walking along the seashore, he watched the waves as they washed up shells and sea weeds, and all manner of small substances, which seemed, as it were, rejected by the sea, until a return wave would often wash part thereof back again; while the rocks remained firm and immoveable, let the waves beat against them never so fiercely. And then the Saint went on to reflect that feeble hearts let themselves be carried hither and thither by the varying waves of sorrow or consolation, as the case might be, like the shells upon the seashore, while those of a nobler mould abide firm and immoveable amid every storm;--whence he breaks out into David's cry, "Lord, save me, for the waters are gone over my soul; deliver me from the great deep, all Thy waves and storms are gone over me;" for he was himself then in trouble by reason of the ungodly usurpation of his See by Maximus.
   St. Basil the Great says that the
   rose amid its thorns preaches a lesson to men. "All that is pleasant in
   this life" (so it tells us mortals) "is mingled with sadness--no joy is
   altogether pure--all enjoyment is liable to be marred by regrets,
   marriage is saddened by widowhood, children bring anxiety, glory often
   turns to shame, neglect follows upon honour, weariness on pleasure,
   sickness on health. Truly the rose is a lovely flower," the Saint goes
   on to say, "but it moves me to sadness, reminding me as it does that
   for my sin the earth was condemned to bring forth thorns."


I am beginning a new project today which I am not free to share at this time.

Please pray for this special intention. It is huge.

Thanks, STM