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Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The Differences Between the Old and New Testaments
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Any practicing Catholic knows that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior of the world. To put it in a nutshell, the Old Testament prophesied the coming of the Messiah and provided the signs by which he could be identified, and the New Testament identified Jesus as the messiah and spoke of his life among the people and his disciples. They’re both books of the bible, but the way they teach Christians is completely different.
  • In the Old Testament, we see the vengeful side of God as He seeks to deliver the people from evil. When they disobey his orders and worship idols, he teaches them a lesson and then gives them the Ten Commandments by which they should live. In the New Testament, Jesus seeks to make people change for the better by preaching non-violence and forgiveness.
  • The Old Testament lists the laws and the rules that Christians have to observe. In the New Testament, Jesus practices these laws and rules as a way of setting an example for his followers.
  • The Old Testament speaks of promises, the New Testament delivers on those promises that God made to Abraham – that a Messiah would be born to save the world and deliver his people from all evil.
  • While the Old Testament details God’s interaction with his chosen people who he led out of bondage under the leadership of Moses, the New Testament records the fulfillment of the prophesy of a Messiah being born, and the life and teachings of this savior, Jesus Christ.
  • For Catholics, the Old Testament prepares the people for the coming of Jesus Christ and the New Testament fulfills the prophesies that were written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the Psalms – that a savior would come and shed his blood for many for the remission of sins.
  • The Old Testament shows God’s love for Israel and his anger when his chosen people take to the ways of sin. In the New Testament, God proves his continued love for his people by sending his only son to die for these sins.
In most ways, the New Testament offers a way of redemption for the sins committed by the chosen people of God. In his infinite wisdom, God knows that no matter his wrath, people will be sinners because that is their nature – after all, ever since Eve ate the forbidden apple, sin was a part of humankind. And this is why he decides to sacrifice his only son, Jesus Christ, as the only way to offer redemption to mankind. Every true Catholic knows and realizes this, and by believing in one true God and his son Jesus Christ, they allow themselves to be saved of all their sins. 

By-line: 

This guest post is contributed by Karen Anderson, who writes on the topic of online bible college.  She welcomes your comments at her email id : karen.anderson441@gmail.com
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Monday, March 29, 2010
Seven Recognized as Venerable, Six Miracles Recognized, Three Martyrs Recognized
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Zenit reports the following noteworthy news:


Sister Henriette Delille, founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family, is one of seven to be recognized as venerable with decrees authorized by Benedict XVI on Saturday.

Henriette Delille (1812-1862) was of African descent and lived in Louisiana but she was not a slave. She founded her congregation of black sisters in 1842.

In addition to the proclamation regarding Venerable Henriette, the Pope also authorized proclamations noting the heroic virtue of two Germans, two Italians, a Paraguayan and a Slovenian. The new venerables are:

-- Maria Felicia de Jesús Sacramentado (born Maria Felicia Guggiari Echeverría), a Paraguayan professed sister of the Order of Discalced Carmelites (1925-1959);

-- Maria Frances of the Cross (born Franziska Amalia Streitel), German founder of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows (1844-1911);

-- Maria Theresia (born Regina Christine Wilhelmine Bonzel), German founder of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration (1830-1905);

-- Ivan Franjo Gnidovec, Slovenian bishop of Skopje-Prizren (1873-1939);

-- Luigi Novarese, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Silent Workers of the Cross (1914-1984);

-- Francesco Antonio Marcucci, Italian archbishop-bishop of Montalto (1717-1798).

Martyrs and miracles

The Holy Father also approved recognition of miracles obtained through the intercession of six people. They are:

-- Blessed Bonifacia Rodríguez de Castro, Spanish founder of the Servants of St. Joseph (1837-1905);

-- Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, Spanish bishop of Osma (1600-1659);

-- Maria Barbara of the Blessed Trinity (born Barbara Maix), Austrian founder of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (1818-1873);

-- Anna Maria Adorni, Italian founder of the Congregation of Handmaidens of Blessed Mary Immaculate and of the Institute of the Good Shepherd of Parma (1805-1893);

-- María de la Inmaculada Concepción (born María Isabel Salvat y Romero), Spanish superior-general of the Sisters of the Company of the Cross (1926-1998);

-- Stephen Nehme (born Joseph), Lebanese professed religious of the Order of Maronites (1889-1938).

The Pontiff recognized three martyrs:

-- Szilard Bogdanffy, Romanian bishop of Oradea Mare of the Latins, died in prison in Nagyenyed, Romania (1911-1953).

-- Gerhard Hirschfelder, German diocesan priest, died in the Dachau concentration camp (1907-1942).

-- Luigi Grozde, Slovenian layman and member of Catholic Action, killed at Mirna in hatred of the faith (1923-1943).
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Pope Benedict XVI: Palm Sunday 2010 Homily
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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Dear Young People!



The Gospel for the blessing of the palms that we have listened to together here in St. Peter's Square begins with the phrase: "Jesus went ahead of everyone going up to Jerusalem" (Luke 19:28). Immediately at the beginning of the liturgy this day, the Church anticipates her response to the Gospel, saying, "Let us follow the Lord." With that the theme of Palm Sunday is clearly expressed. It is about following. Being Christian means seeing the way of Jesus Christ as the right way of being human -- as that way that leads to the goal, to a humanity that is fully realized and authentic. In a special way, I would like to repeat to all the young men and women, on this 25th World Youth Day, that being Christian is a journey, or better: It is a pilgrimage, it is a going with Jesus Christ. A going in that direction that he has pointed out to us and is pointing out to us.

But what direction are we talking about? How do we find it? The line from our Gospel offers two indications in this connection. In the first place it says that it is a matter of an ascent. This has in the first place a very literal meaning. Jericho, where the last stage of Jesus's pilgrimage began, is 250 meters below sea-level while Jerusalem -- the goal of the journey -- is 740-780 meters above sea level: an ascent of almost 1,000 meters. But this external rout is above all an image of the interior movement of existence, which occurs in the following of Christ: It is an ascent to the true height of being human. Man can choose an easy path and avoid all toil. He can also descend to what is lower. He can sink into lies and dishonesty. Jesus goes ahead of us, and he goes up to what is above. He leads us to what is great, pure, he leads us to the healthy air of the heights: to life according to truth; to the courage that does not let itself be intimidated by the gossip of dominant opinions; to the patience that stands up for and supports the other. He leads us to availability to the suffering, to the abandoned; to the loyalty that stands with the other even when the situation makes it difficult.

He leads us to availability to bring help; to the goodness that does not let itself be disarmed not even by ingratitude. He leads us to love -- he leads us to God.

"Jesus went ahead of everyone going up to Jerusalem." If we read these words of the Gospel in the context of Jesus' way as a whole -- a way that, in fact, he travels to the end of time -- we can discover different meanings in the indication of "Jerusalem" as the goal. Naturally, first of all it must be simply understood as the place "Jerusalem:" It is the city in which one found God's Temple, the oneness of which was supposed to allude to the oneness of God himself. This place thus announces in the first place two things: On the one hand it says that there is only one God in all the world, who is completely beyond all our places and times; he is that God to whom all creation belongs. He is the God whom deep down all men seek and whom they all have knowledge of in some way. But this God has given himself a name. He has made himself known to us, he has launched a history with men; he chose a man -- Abram -- as the beginning of this history. The infinite God is at the same time the God who is near. He, who cannot be enclosed in any building, nevertheless wants to live among us, be completely with us.



If Jesus goes up to Jerusalem together with Israel on pilgrimage, he goes there to celebrate the Passover with Israel: the memorial of Israel's liberation -- a memorial that is always at the same time hope for the definitive liberation that God will give. And Jesus goes to this feast with the awareness that he himself is the Lamb spoken of in the Book of Exodus: a male lamb without blemish, which at twilight will be slaughtered before all of Israel "as a perpetual institution" (cf. Exodus 12:5-6, 14). And in the end Jesus knows that his way goes beyond this: It will not end in the cross. He knows that his way will tear away the veil between this world and God's world; that he will ascend to the throne of God and reconcile God and man in his body. He knows that his risen body will be the new sacrifice and the new Temple; that around him in the ranks of the angels and saints there will be formed the new Jerusalem that is in heaven and nevertheless also on earth. His way leads beyond the summit of the Temple mount to the height of God himself: This is the great ascent to which he calls all of us. He always remains with us on earth and has always already arrived [in heaven] with God; he leads us on earth and beyond the earth.

Thus in the breadth of Jesus' ascent the dimensions of our following of him become visible -- the goal to which he wants to lead us: to the heights of God, to communion with God, to being-with-God. This is the true goal, and communion with him is the way. Communion with Christ is being on a journey, a permanent ascent to the true height of our calling. Journeying together with Jesus is always at the same time a traveling together in the "we" of those who want to follow him. It brings us into this community. Because this journey to true life, to being men conformed to the model of the Son of God Jesus Christ is beyond our powers, this journeying is also always a state of being carried. We find ourselves, so to speak, in a "roped party" [1] with Jesus Christ -- together with him in the ascent to the heights of God. He pulls us and supports us. Letting oneself be part of a roped party is part of following Christ; we accept that we cannot do it on our own. The humble act of entering into the "we" of the Church is part of it -- holding on to the roped party, the responsibility of communion, not letting go of the rope because of our bullheadedness and conceit.

Humbly believing with the Church, like being bound together in a roped party ascending to God, is an essential condition for following Christ. Not acting as the owners of the Word of God, not chasing after a mistaken idea of emancipation -- this is also part of being together in the roped party. The humility of "being-with" is essential to the ascent. Letting the Lord take us by the hand through the sacraments is another part of it. We let ourselves be purified and strengthened by him, we let ourselves accept the discipline of the ascent, even if we are tired.

Finally, we must again say that the cross is part of the ascent toward the height of Jesus Christ, the ascent to the height of God. Just as in the affairs of this world great things cannot be done without renunciation and hard work (joy in great discoveries and joy in a true capacity for activity are linked to discipline, indeed, to the effort of learning) so also the way to life itself, to the realization of one's own humanity is linked to him who climbed to the height of God through the cross. In the final analysis, the cross is the expression of that which is meant by love: Only he who loses himself will find himself.

Let us summarize: Following Christ demands as a first step the reawakening of the nostalgia for being authentically human and thus the reawakening for God. It then demands that one enter into the roped party of those who climb, into the communion of the Church. In the "we" of the Church we enter into the communion with the "Thou" of Jesus Christ and therefore reach the way to God. Moreover, listening to and living Jesus Christ's word in faith, hope and love is also required. We are thus on the way to the definitive Jerusalem and already, from this point forward, we already find ourselves there in the communion of all God's saints.

Our pilgrimage in following Christ, then, is not directed toward any earthly city, but toward the new City of God that grows in the midst of this world. The pilgrimage to the earthly Jerusalem, nevertheless, can be something useful for us Christians for that greater voyage. I myself linked three meanings to my pilgrimage to the Holy Land last year. First, I thought that what St. John says at the beginning of his first letter could happen to us: That which we have heard, we can, in a certain way see and touch with our hands (cf. 1 John 1:1). Faith in Jesus Christ is not the invention of a fairy tale. It is founded on something that actually happened. We can, so to speak, contemplate and touch this historical event. It is moving to find oneself in Nazareth in the place where the angel appeared to Mary and transmitted the task of becoming Mother of the Redeemer to her. It is moving to be in Bethlehem in the place where the Word, made flesh, came to live among us; to put one's foot upon the holy ground where God wanted to make himself man and child.

It is moving to climb the steps up to Calvary to the place where Jesus died on the cross. And then standing before the empty tomb, praying there where his holy corpse lay and where on the third day the Resurrection occurred. Following the material paths of Jesus should help us to walk more joyously and with a new certainty along the interior paths that Jesus himself points out to us.

When we go to the Holy Land as pilgrims, we go there, however -- and this is the second aspect -- as messengers of peace too, with prayer for peace; with the firm invitation that everyone in that place (which bears the word "peace" in name), has everything possible so that it truly become a place of peace. Thus this pilgrimage is at the same time -- as the third aspect -- an encouragement to Christians to remain in the country of their origin and to commit themselves in an intense way to peace.



Let us return once more to the liturgy of Palm Sunday. The prayer with which the palms are blessed we pray so that in communion with Christ we can bear the fruit of good works. Following a mistaken interpretation of St. Paul, there has repeatedly developed over the course of history and today too, the opinion that good works are not part of being Christian, in any case they would not be significant for man's salvation. But if Paul says that works cannot justify man, he does not intend by this to oppose the importance of right action and, if he speaks of the end of the Law, he does not declare the Ten Commandments obsolete and irrelevant. It is not necessary at the moment to reflect on the whole question that the Apostle was concerned with. It is important to stress that by the term "Law" he does not mean the Ten Commandments, but the complex way of life by which Israel had to protect itself against paganism. Now, however, Christ has brought God to the pagans. This form of distinction was not to be imposed upon them.

Christ alone was given to them as Law. But this means the love of God and neighbor and all that pertains to it. The Ten Commandments read in a new and deeper way beginning with Christ are part of this love. These commandments are nothing other than the basic rules of true love: first of all and as fundamental principle, the worship of God, the primacy of God, which the first three commandments express. They tell us: Without God nothing comes out right. Who this God is and how he is, we know from the person of Jesus Christ. The sanctity of the family follows (fourth commandment), holiness of life (fifth commandment), the ordering of matrimony (sixth commandment), the regulation of society (seventh commandment) and finally the inviolability of the truth (eighth commandment). All of this is of maximum relevance today and precisely also in St. Paul's sense -- if we read all of his letters. "Bear fruit with good works:" At the beginning of Holy Week we pray to the Lord to grant all of us this fruit more and more.

At the end of the Gospel for the blessing of the palms we hear the acclamation with which the pilgrims greet Jesus at the gates of Jerusalem. They are the words of Psalm 118 (117), that originally the priests proclaimed to the pilgrims from the Holy City but that, after a period, became an expression of messianic hope: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" (Psalm 118[117]:26; Luke 19:38). The pilgrims see in Jesus the one whom they have waited for, who comes in the name of the Lord, indeed, according to the St. Luke's Gospel, they insert another word: "Blessed is he who comes, the king, in the name of the Lord."

And they follow this with an acclamation that recalls the message of the angels at Christmas, but they modify it in a way that gives pause. The angels had spoken of the glory of God in the highest heavens and of peace on earth for men of divine goodwill. The pilgrims at the entrance to the Holy City say: "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heavens!" They know well that there is no peace on earth. And they know that the place of peace is in heaven. Thus this acclamation is an expression of a profound suffering and it is also a prayer of hope: May he who comes in the name of the Lord bring to earth what is in heaven. The Church, before the Eucharistic consecration, sings the words of the Psalm with which Jesus is greeted before his entrance into the Holy City: It greets Jesus as the King who, coming from God, enters in our midst in God's name.

Today too this joyous greeting is always supplication and hope. Let us pray to the Lord that he bring heaven to us: God's glory and peace among men. We understand such a greeting in the spirit of the request of the Our Father: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!" We know that heaven is heaven, a place of glory and peace, because there the will of God rules completely. And we know that earth is not heaven until the will of God is accomplished on it. So we greet Jesus, who comes from heaven and we pray to him to help us know and do God's will. May the royalty of God enter into the world and in this way it be filled with the splendor of peace. Amen.

[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

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Translator's Note:

[1] The Pope is using a mountaineering metaphor here. Groups of climbers often rope themselves together when they scale mountainsides. This is the meaning of a "roped party." The Italian word is "cordata."
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Saturday, March 27, 2010
Itinerary: May 11-14, 2010 Papal Visit to Portugal
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The following schedule is provided by Zenit.  This page will be updated with links and other information as the visit takes place since A Catholic Life has traditionally blogged extensively on papal visits.  Check back on May 11-14, 2010, as this page will change with additional information, links, videos, etc.

May 11:
 May 12:
  • 10 AM: Meeting with representatives of the world of culture
  •  Noon: Meeting with the Portuguese prime minister
  • Afternoon: The Pope will travel by helicopter to Fatima
  • 5:30 PM: The Pope is due to visit the Chapel of the Apparitions. He will then preside at vespers with priests, religious, seminarians and deacons in the Church of the Blessed Trinity.
  • Night: The Pope will bless a torchlight procession on the esplanade in front of the Fatima shrine, and end the day with the rosary in the Chapel of the Apparitions
May 13 (10th anniversary of the beatification of Francisco and Jacinta Marto)
  • 10 AM: Mass in Fatima
  • Following Mass: Meeting with the national's bishops
  • Afternoon: Pope will meet representatives of charity organizations and then with the Portuguese episcopate.
May 14
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Thursday, March 25, 2010
Anniversary of the Death of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
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In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem. Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere æternam habeas requiem.

May angels lead you into Paradise; may the martyrs receive you at your coming and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem. May a choir of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, who once was poor, may you have eternal rest.






"Amen, amen I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy" (John 16:20)

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Virtual Tour of Sistine Chapel
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I definitely recommend following this link. The site reveals the beauty of the Sistine Chapel in great detail.

Posted on March 19, 2010 by John Thavis on Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — You have to check this out.

The virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel, a joint project of Villanova University and the Vatican, has been launched here on the Vatican Web site:

http://www.vatican.va/various/cappelle/index_en.htm

We’ve written about the university’s filming team, who have already assembled a virtual tour of the Basilica of St. John Lateran are working on one for St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Sistine Chapel is stunning, in floor-to-ceiling detail. You can crawl up and down Michelangelo’s frescoes with the mouse — just don’t spin it too quickly or you’ll get dizzy.
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Chiara Badano to be Beatified on September 25, 2010
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The Catholic lay Focolare movement will soon have its first beatified member. Chiara Badano, who died just 20 years ago while still a teenager, will be beatified Sept. 25.

Bishop Pier Giorgio Micchiardi of Acqui, Italy, announced Friday the beatification, which will take place in Rome. Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, will preside over the ceremony.

Young people of the Focolare movement will that evening celebrate Badano's beatification in Paul VI Hall. The next day, Sept. 26, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Pope's secretary of state, will preside over a thanksgiving Mass in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

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Badano became extremely active in the Focolares' Gen Movement (New Generation). She liked sports, dancing and singing. At age 16, she decided to consecrate herself to God.

Just a year later, while playing tennis, Badano experienced sharp pain. Doctors soon discovered bone cancer. As the disease progressed, Badano faced repeated hospitalizations and increasing pain. She often repeated, "For you, Jesus. If you wish it, so do I!"

Soon Badano had to endure one of her harshest trials: She lost the use of her legs. However, she confided to one of her friends: "If I had to choose between walking and going to Paradise, I'd have no doubt, I would choose Paradise. Now I'm only interested in that."

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Monday, March 22, 2010
Veiling of Images in Churches during Passiontide
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As stated by the National Secretariat for the Liturgy of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference:
Before the liturgical reforms of Vatican II was required to cover, with purple veils, all the crosses and images displayed to the church service. In the Roman Missal of S. Pius V, after the Mass on Saturday preceding the Sunday of the Passion (now Fifth Sunday of Lent), was the heading: "Before the Vespers, cover up their crosses and images which are in the church. The crosses remain covered until the end of the worship of the Cross on Good Friday, and Images to the Hymn of the Angels (Glory to God in Heaven) on Holy Saturday. " See that it was the custom on the last two weeks of Lent, through which it wished to focus the attention of the faithful in the mystery of Christ's Passion. All that could cut into it, as were the images of Saints, was covered.

Such a practice is highly encouraged even in modern Catholic Churches.  Traditionalist Catholics and Anglo-Catholics still observe the ancient practice of Passiontide.  Quoting from "The Catholic Source Book":
Traditionally, the Fifth Sunday of Lent, one week before Palm Sunday, was called Passion Sunday or Judica Sunday after the first word of the Introit: "Judge me, O Lord..." (see Psalm 43). The veiling referred to the closing words of the Sunday's Gospel, "They picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple" (John 8:59). The Lenten veil expressed the sorrow of the Church at this time.
CatechismClass.com offers an integrative catechism lesson for this Sunday for only $2.  It is available here.
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Sunday, March 21, 2010
Bishop Guimarães to Host June 17-19 "Summorum Pontificum" Study
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Some great news from the blog Dominus Vobiscum which I translate below. Please pray for His Excellency Bishop Guimarães (pictured above) for his courage!

Finally good news for all who love the Sacred Liturgy! The Honorable and Most Reverend Lord Bishop of Olinda, Dom Fernando Guimarães, in a gesture of great courage, will be holding a meeting in his diocese, between 17 and 19 June, for the priests to study the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum" . The most interesting is scheduled to celebrate Mass prayed in the extraordinary rite, by the diocesan bishop, in place of the meeting, the St. Joseph Seminary The next day, Sun Rifan, the Apostolic Administration of St. John Vianney celebrates pontifical the Cathedral, with the assistance of Don Fernando Guimarães (pity that the modernists demolished the beautiful altar of the Cathedral of Olinda, where often celebrated martyr bishop Dom Expedito Lopes).
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Homily For Passion Sunday by Bishop Antoine Godeau
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A Homily of the Bishop of Vence, Antoine Godeau (1605-1672) on Passion Sunday.

Which of you shall convince Me of sin? (John 8)

At that time Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews: Which of you shall convince Me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe me? He that is of God, heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not because you are not of God. The Jews therefore answered, and said to Him: Do not we say well, that Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered: I have not a devil: but I honor My Father, and you have dishonored Me. But I seek not My own glory: there is One that seeketh and judgeth. Amen, amen, I say to you: If any man keep My word, he shall not see death for ever. The Jews therefore said: Now we know that Thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets: and Thou sayest: if any man keep My word, he shall not taste death for ever. Art Thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the Prophets are dead. Whom dost Thou make Thyself? Jesus answered: If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing: it is My Father that glorifieth Me, of Whom you say that He is your God, and you have not known Him: but I know Him: and if I shall say that I know Him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know Him, and do keep His word. Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see My day: he saw it and was glad. The Jews therefore said to Him: Thou are not yet fifty years old: and hast Thou seen Abraham? Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am. They took up stones therefore to cast at Him: but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple.

Thus are the words of today's Holy Gospel

Not a single person on the Earth can be found who can not be accused of sin. Jesus is the only one who is without sin, and who for several reasons is not capable of sin. First because of His supernatural union, in which His humanity was united with the deity in the person of the Word. He was the son of God, and therefore the Holy One of God, as even the devil named Him in the first chapter of Mark. I know that thou art the Holy One of God. Second because of the beatific vision of God, which His soul enjoyed from the first moment of His conception: for it is impossible to enjoy God, to see Him from face to face, and thereafter sin. Saint Augustine asserts that the first freedom was granted man, so that he may sin, the second freedom will consist thereof, that man can sin no more. Third because of the fullness of the actual grace that was in him. We, says John in the first chapter, saw Him full of grace and truth. Fourth, as the Head of the Church, He must be incapable of sin. Jesus Christ was the head of His mystical body, namely the Church, thus was He also provided with all graces necessary worthily to fulfill this office: since, as head, He must sanctify His Church, so could He not be subject to the least sin. So also are we instructed by the apostle in the seventh chapter to the Hebrews. For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners. The life of our Savior on Earth was irreproachable, that he could not be accused of a single rash word or dubious deed. Boldly, He can say: Which of you shall convince Me of sin? But we, my brothers, we do not wish to wait until we are charged with sin and given over to judgment; let us in advance accuse ourselves of our sins before God and man. If this our confession is without guile, then are we assured by Saint John, that we have an advocate before God, namely Our Lord Jesus Christ, who can plead before God for the forgiveness of our sins and for the cleansing therefrom. Nothing can be more useful to us, than this consideration and this insight; we deceive ourselves, and generally rely too much on our imagined virtue, our supposedly good qualities, and never think of the uncountable sins with which we are stained, we are not even willing to examine ourselves when they are brought to our attention: we fly instead into a fury, as if we had been slandered. And how is it possible, my brothers, that you regard yourselves as anything other than great sinners? Examine your life, which is nothing more than a chain of sins and vices. Observe how men live in this city: one finds nothing other than blasphemers, fornicators, extortioners, slanderers, freethinkers, drunkards, and godless men. (Ps. 54:12)

 Dead Christ Mourned by the Angels, Boston Museum

And nevertheless for some time already, the preachers in their pulpits have cried: stop sinning, do penance, the day of the Lord is near. This day will be a dreadful day, where the good works, and thus all the more the sinful works, will be most carefully examined and judged. But what is that? The preachers are wasting their time and their words? They are telling the truth, but you do not believe them. Or is it perhaps not true that you are sinners? That God hates vice? That will not leave it unpunished? That through sin you separate yourselves from God, who is the highest good? That you bring down eternal death onto yourselves? is perhaps this sort of talk a fable or a hoax? a bunch of hot air or empty threats meant to scare you? Are these perhaps unimportant or irrelevant truths? or do they concern only a minimal advantage or a insignificant punishment? What? This is about the loss of God, the loss of Heaven, the loss of your souls; it is about deserving Hell, deserving eternal fire, while your only desire is to enjoy yourselves. If you should hear news from India, you believe it, regardless of its improbability. And why do you not believe me? If you hear gossip from the palaces of royalty, you accept it without question: and you hear these things from men, men who can deceive, and who even intentionally abuse your gullibility. And Jesus Christ, who is the eternal truth, and his servants, who preach the Gospel in His name, you refuse to believe. If only these things had not already so long been presented to you, if only you had not been sufficiently instructed. John, in chapter 15: If I had not come, and spoken to them, they would not have sin. But these things have been presented to you, you have been warned, judged, punished; no effort has been spared in your instruction, and still you refuse to believe. You have opened your ears but closed your hearts; With greatest justice you will be damned. I will accuse you before the judgement seat of God, that my hands are innocent of your blood, that I neglected no opportunity to instruct you, or to teach you what was necessary for your salvation. I myself will demand vengeance for your neglect and disobediance of the commandments of God.

Do you then know my brothers, why you do not listen to the Word of God? Because you are not children of God. Children listen to the voice of their father, and in the same way nature has established a link between the voice of the father and the ear of the son. God is not your father, therefore you do not hear his voice; the devil is your father, and he is the one you follow by your hatred, by your envy, by your lust for revenge, by your unchaste lives; and therefore you obey him the instant he calls: but with respect to the voice of the Lord, you are stubbornly deaf, because you are not of God. Could you possibly encounter a greater misfortune than this, that you are not children of God? You call yourselves by His Name, He adopted you as children in baptism; but you have lost this glorious characteristic through sin, and you have nothing left but the name, the reputation, and still a bit of the appearance of piety, in all of which, however, Christianity does not consist. You may not pride yourself, therefore, in your going to church, hearing holy Mass, receiving the sacraments; instead ask your heart, consider whether it obeys God's Word, which obligates us to deny ourselves. (Mt. 16:24). Observe whether you aren't full of self love. God's Word commands you to mortify your members to the Colossians in the third chapter. How do you mortify yourselves? tame your fleshly desires? God's Word obligates you to strive for eternal life: do you ever think about that? It requires you to love your neighbor as yourself. Do you love him truly, and with your whole heart? Each one of you examine yourselves, whether you have taken to heart the voice of God, and then you will know whether you are of God, are the words of one Saint Gregory. But it is not enough to listen to this voice for a few days, and afterwords to close your heart. You must listen continuously, since this voice speaks the truth for all eternity. One may not listen only occasionally, as that would be just the same as not listening at all. Furthermore, continues the previously named father of the Church, to listen, and yet refuse to practice what is commanded, is just the same as not listening.

But what should I say about those who mock the preachers who are declaring the truth to them; who falsely accuse them of imperfections that they do not possess, or blow out of proportion those they actually do possess? They follow the example of the Jews, who said that Jesus was possessed by the devil. You yourselves have the devil on your tongues and in your hearts: through him your hearts have been hardened, that you cannot hear the Word of God. He entices you to such defamatory words. The preacher brings you God's Word: he is a Samaritan, I would say, the true shepherd of your soul. Though he wants to protect them against the attacks of the devil, wants to raise their defenses against the assaults of the devil, yet in defiance of his care and support, you deliver your heart and soul to the dominion of the devil.

Therefore my brothers, grant your ear to the one who speaks through my mouth, and know, that he who listens to Him will never die. If any man keep my word, he shall not taste death for ever. However one must not merely hear, but also live by His words, and digest them. Then at the beginning it seems to us that God's word is bitter, unplesant, and very hard to follow. You you hear it said: Render not evil for evil, but good; Bless them that curse you, and pray for them that persecute you, and it seems impossible to you: yet when you understand this with the light of faith, when you practice it, then you find it to be pleasant, sweet, and easy. You will then be astonished by the your original perception and you will curse the error in which you had been immersed, and afterwards you will find only allure where you previously expected only bitterness and difficulty. From that time you will lead a true life, and not a half-dead life as you now do. A true life consists not of seeing, hearing, moving, eating, and drinking, or in any other animalistic activities. No, it consists of love and service of God, longing for Heaven, and doing good works: and those who lead such a life, shall not taste death, and shall not taste its bitterness, for them shall death be sweet. They shall have a happy and holy death, which is the passage to that eternal happiness and eternal life, which God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost desires to give. Amen.
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100 Traditionalist Anglican Parishes to Convert to Catholicism!
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They have voted to take up the offer made by Pope Benedict XVI in November that permits vicars and their entire congregations to defect to Rome while keeping many of their Anglican traditions, including married priests.

By issuing the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus (on groups of Anglicans) the Pope was accused of attempting to poach Anglicans unhappy about decisions taken in their Church to ordain women and sexually-active homosexuals as priests and bishops.

But the Vatican insisted that the move to create self-governing "personal ordinariates", which resemble dioceses in structure, came as a result of requests from at least 30 disaffected Anglican bishops around the world for "corporate reunion" with the Catholic Church.

The Anglican Church in America (ACA) will now enter the Catholic Church as a block, bringing in thousands of converts along with their own bishops, buildings and even a cathedral.

They will worship according to Anglican rubrics, and use the Book of Common Prayer, but they will be in communion with the Pope, recognising him as their leader.

Continue Reading from The Telegraph
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Saturday, March 20, 2010
France: Warning Call from the Society of St. Pius X’s District Superior
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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fr. Régis de Cacqueray, Superior of the Society of St. Pius X’s district of France, published an letter entitled: “The Bishops: Guardians of the Faith or Proselytes Protecting Other Cults?”

Fr. de Cacqueray reflects on the role of the bishop, guardian of the flock and preacher of the faith, “successor of the Apostles and martyrs”. Doubtless there have always been good and bad bishops, “there have been heroic bishops and there have been weak bishops. There have been Hilaries of Poitier and Bossuets. There have been Cauchons and Talleyrands. But never before has a nation, formerly so Christian, seen such a confusion touching so closely the Faith. Today, our bishops stand by silent while Christ is attacked. They keep the churches closed to us. And at the very same time they open mosques. They concelebrate with Protestant pastors. They grant diplomas to imams and invite rabbis to preach in their cathedrals. In a word, they comfort souls in their remoteness from Christ and from the Church He founded.”

Continue Reading...

Image: In this photo from October 2009 in which His Excellency Bishop Tissier de Mallerais offered a Pontifical High Mass in the Basilica of St. Pius X at Lourdes in front of 10,000 priests, religious, and faithful, the Superior of France is visible.  Exiting the Sacristy, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais passes before several members of the Italian episcopate. He is preceded by Father Regis de Cacqueray, assistant priest, and Father Jacques Laguérie, deacon.
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Retirement of "The People's Altar"
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Good news to report from St. Mary's Catholic Church in Salen, South Dakota, whose glorious altar is pictured above. According the "The Salem Sanctuary":

After over two years of catechesis and gradual implementation, our parish now celebrates the Liturgy of the Eucharist ad orientem - in solidarity with the liturgical reforms promoted by our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. The 1970’s ”People’s Altar” (made from parts of the original Communion Rail) is in safe storage, and a much smaller altar for Masses “versus populum” has been made (to accommodate elderly priests who cannot make the three steps to the altar, etc.).
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Pope Benedict XVI to Beatify John Henry Cardinal Newman in September 2010
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It's official! In an extraordinary move, Pope Benedict XVI himself will beatify John Henry Cardinal Newman this September in England.

This puts Newman one step away from sainthood!

This is immensely important for anyone who is concerned about the state of the culture and the Catholic Church in America. Cardinal Newman would be the perfect saint for our time.

He can be a powerful patron for the renewal of Catholic identity in Catholic education . . . the embrace of authentic Catholic theology . . . and the exciting reunification with Anglican Christians.

In prayer, God allows us to cooperate with His plans for the Church and the world. For this reason it is so important that you join our Prayer Campaign for Newman's Canonization!

Source: Cardinal Newman Society
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Thursday, March 18, 2010
Institute of Christ the King: Video of 2007 Ordinations
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Priestly Ordinations For Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest By His Grace, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis June 15 2007.

I am pleased to report that the Institute of Christ the King finally put together a short video of their ordinations at Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest from 2007 and posted them to YouTube.
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Monday, March 15, 2010
Video: Novus Ordo Missal Changes
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Sunday, March 14, 2010
First Sunday in Lent: Toronto
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Editor Note: The original photo is no longer available.
Originally uploaded by SSPX-Toronto. Several photographs from the First Sunday in Lent (2010) are available now from the SSPX chapel in Toronto. Check out these images.

INTROIT
Psalm 90: 15, 16

He shall cry to me, and I will hear him: I will deliver him, and I will glorify him: I will fill him with length of days. -- (Ps. 90. 1). He that dwelleth in the aid of the Most High: shall abide under the protection of the God of Heaven. V.: Glory to the Father . . . -- He shall cry to me . . .
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Sunday, March 7, 2010
Storkie Express
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Baptism and Communion InvitationsI just wanted to take a minute and point out the advertisement in the sidebar for Storkie Express, which is especially relevant at this time of year.  As the Solemnity of Easter draws closer, we draw closer to First Communions and the celebrations of the Sacrament of Baptism.

Please consider Storkie Express for both Baptism and Communion invitations.  I have found their products to be truly special - a perfect invitation for a once-in-a lifetime occassion.
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Babies and Limbo
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I received this question from a friend of mine and I was hoping that others could offer their input on this issue in the comments section.  I have written on the Limbo of the Infants previously which I highly recommend reading [read it now]!

I was listening to Traditional Catholic Radio and they said that unbaptized babies go to Limbo and if we didn't believe that then the consequences would be accepting ecumenism because if unbaptized babies go to heaven so also could unbaptized Muslims. I have a problem with this in that these babies committed no sins whereas these other people have committed sins and are therefore punished for the sins that they commit. Can you perhaps shed some light on this? I am trying to reason through it and right now it doesn't make sense.

God Bless
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Friday, March 5, 2010
Gifts for Communion and Confirmation
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With the Easter Vigil approaching, I am always reminded of my entrance into the Church at the Vigil in 2004. It was one of the most memorable nights in my life.

I wanted to make everyone aware of these excellent gift ideas if you know of someone that is receiving the Holy Sacraments of First Communion or Confirmation.  Please feel free to share your ideas as well, since it can be difficult to find high-quality and authentically Catholic items for sale.

Confirmation Gift Bible: Douay Rheims Version
First Communion Gift Bibles: Douay Rheims Version


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Thursday, March 4, 2010
American Abbeys that Record Their Own Chant?
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Hello there,

I am reaching out to you with a completely different matter - not to announce the release of an album or to share the latest news of a current success.

I am reaching out to see if you know of the next project we should be working on. Jade Music has created a reputation for producing and releasing high-quality Gregorian Chant albums. Now we are looking for the next Gregorian Chant album to produce and release.

A couple of years ago, we established a relationship with the Norbertine Fathers of Orange County, CA, when we heard that they had made private recordings in their church for archival purposes. The recordings were of such high quality and beauty that we decided to re-master them in the studio and distribute them domestically and abroad.

If you know of an American abbey that has recorded its own chant without making it available to a larger audience, I look forward to hearing from you; and don't hesitate to spread the word among family and friends.

Warm regards,
Stefan

Stefan Karrer
Head of Jade Music U.S.
Jade Music / Milan Entertainment, Inc.
3630 Tacoma Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90065
Phone: (818) 849-3349
Fax: (818) 849-3341
stefan[at]jade-music.com
http://www.jade-music.com/
www.youtube.com/jademusic54
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Wednesday, March 3, 2010
FSSP Consecrates New Chapel of Sts. Peter and Paul at FSSP Seminary in Denton
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On 3rd March 2010, the new church of Sts. Peter and Paul was consecrated at the FSSP seminary of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Denton Nebraska. Below are some photos of the consecration. Please click on them for larger images.

Update: View the videos here!

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