Saturday, September 30, 2006
St. Jerome

Today is the Memorial of St. Jerome, who taught us to love Scripture. Please read my post on him.


"Father, you gave St. Jerome delight in his study of holy scripture. May your people find in your word the food of salvation and the fountain of life. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."
Friday, September 29, 2006
Pope St. Pius I

Simple (1954 Calendar): July 11
Commemoration (1962 Calendar): July 11

Pope St. Pius I was the tenth pope of the Holy Catholic Church from c. 140 - 154 AD. His feastday is traditionally observed on July 11th. Unfortunately, it was removed from the Novus Ordo calendar like far too many other saints after the Second Vatican Council.

St. Pius I is remembered as the pope that helped build the Church of St. Pudenziana in Rome. He is rumored to have been the brother of the author of The Shepard of Hermas, which was considered canonical (on the same level as Scripture although it was not part of the Bible).

He died in c. 154 AD and is considered a martyr, which is an unproven assertion. The papacy of Pope St. Pius I also saw the rise of one of the greatest heretics in human history - Marcion of Sinope, who said that the Old Testament God was not the same as the New Testament God. He also formed his own Bible consisting of the Gospel of St. Luke and some of St. Paul's letters, but he modified them to exclude all references to Jesus fulfilling Old Testament prophecy. The Catholic Encyclopedia says of the Marcionites: "they were perhaps the most dangerous foe Christianity has ever known."

Traditional Matins Reading:

Pius, the first of this name, a citizen of Aquileia, and son of Rufinus, was priest of the holy Roman Church. During the reign of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius he was chosen Sovereign Pontiff. In five ordinations which he held in the month of December, he ordained twelve bishops and eighteen priests. Several admirable decrees of his are still extant; in particular that which ordains that the Resurrection of our Lord is always to be celebrated on a Sunday. He changed the house of Pudens into a church, and because it surpassed the other titles in dignity, inasmuch as the Roman Pontiffs had made it their dwelling-place, he dedicated it under the title of Pastor. Here he often celebrated the holy mysteries, baptized many who had been converted to the faith, and enrolled them in the ranks of the faithful. While he was thus fulfilling the duties of a good shepherd, he shed his blood for his sheep and for Christ the Supreme Pastor, being crowned with martyrdom on the fifth of the Ides of July. He was buried in the Vatican.


O Eternal Shepherd, who appointed blessed Pius I shepherd of the whole Church, let the prayers of this martyr and supreme pontiff move You to look with favor upon Your flock and to keep it under Your continual protection. Through our Lord . . .
The Nativity - the Movie

From New Line Cinema, opening December, 2006.

The Nativity Story” chronicles the arduous journey of two people, Mary and Joseph, a miraculous pregnancy, and the history-defining birth of Jesus. This dramatic and compelling story comes to life in a major motion picture starring Keisha Castle Hughes (“Whale Rider”) as Mary, Oscar Isaac (“Guerilla”) as Joseph, and Academy Award nominee Shorch Aghdashloo (“House of Sand and Fog”) as Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. “The Nativity Story” is directed by Catherine Hardwicke (“Thirteen”, “Lords of Dogtown”) from a screenplay by Mike Rich (“The Rookie”, “Finding Forrester”). It is scheduled for a December 1 release.
Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel

First Class (1962 Calendar): September 29
Double of the I Class (1954 Calendar): September 29

Happy Michaelmas! 

September 29 was formerly dedicated to all angels since ancient times and as a result, Pope Boniface II chose this date to dedicate a church in the great circus at Rome in 530 AD to Saint Michael the Archangel. This is a separate feastday from the traditional May 8th feastday in honor of the Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel on Mount Gargano in the 6th century. Today is also the conclusion of the Franciscan custom of observing a Lent of 40 days leading up to the Feast of St. Michael. And see the full-length St. Michael the Archangel Prayer - the full-length one is one most people do not know! 

Angels are pure, created spirits. The name angel means servant or messenger of God. They are celestial or heavenly beings, on a higher order than human beings. An angel has no body and does not depend on matter for his existence or activity. They are distinct from saints, which men can become. Angels have intellect and will, and are immortal. They are a vast multitude, but each is an individual person. Archangels are one of the nine choirs of angels listed in the Bible. In ascending order, the choirs or classes are 1) Angels, 2) Archangels, 3) Principalities, 4) Powers, 5) Virtues, 6) Dominations, 7) Thrones, 8) Cherubim, and 9) Seraphim. In honor of today's Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel, see my post on An Exposition of Angels: All You Need To Know

St. Michael is regarded as the special Guardian Angel of Saint Joseph and the Guardian Angel of each one of the Popes and one of the seven great angels who stand before the throne of God.  As a result, it is taught that while we refer to St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael as “Archangels” we are not referring to their rank but rather denoting that they are a higher level than ordinary angels. It is believed that all three of them are actually seraphim – the higher-ranking angels.

Why Have A Devotion to St. Michael?

The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in a 2006 book published by Tan Books answered this question well:

According to the great St. Alphonsus Liguori, veneration of the holy Angels, and particularly of St. Michael, is an outstanding sign of predestination. St. Lawrence Justinian says: "Although we must honor all the Angels, we ought to invoke in a very special manner the glorious St. Michael, as the Prince of all the heavenly spirits, because of his sublime dignity, his pre-eminent office and his invincible power, which he proved in his conflict with Satan, as well as against the combined forces of Hell." Again, the same Saint says: "Let all acknowledge St. Michael as their protector, and be devoted to him, for he cannot despise those who pray to him . . . But he guards them through life, directs them on their way and conducts them to their eternal home."

St. Michael’s Day As A Holy Day of Obligation

The first catalog of Holy Days of Obligation comes from the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX in 1234, which listed 45 Holy Days. In 1642, His Holiness Pope Urban VIII issued the papal bull "Universa Per Orbem" which altered the required Holy Days of Obligation for the Universal Church to consist of 35 such days as well as the principal patrons of one's locality. St. Michael’s September 29th Feastday is present in both lists. While there was a divergence of holy days with no locality keeping all of them, his feast remained a day of obligation in Rome. His feast ceased being a universal day of obligation in the 18th century per the Catholic Encyclopedia. It ceased being a Holy Day in Ireland in 1778.

St. Michael is one of the principal angels; his name was the war-cry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against the enemy and his followers. Four times his name is recorded in Scripture: Daniel 10:13…Daniel 12…In the Catholic Epistle of St. Jude: ‘When Michael the Archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses’, etc. St. Jude alludes to an ancient Jewish tradition of a dispute between Michael and Satan over the body of Moses, an account of which is also found in the apocryphal book on the assumption of Moses (Origen, De Principiis III.2.2). St. Michael concealed the tomb of Moses; Satan, however, by disclosing it, tried to seduce the Jewish people to the sin of hero-worship. St. Michael also guards the body of Eve, according to the ‘Revelation of Moses’… Apocalypse 12:7, "And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon." St. John speaks of the great conflict at the end of time, which reflects also the battle in heaven at the beginning of time. According to the Fathers there is often question of St. Michael in Scripture where his name is not mentioned. They say he was the cherub who stood at the gate of paradise, ‘to keep the way of the tree of life’ (Genesis 3:24), the angel through whom God published the Decalogue to his chosen people, the angel who stood in the way against Balaam (Numbers 22:22), the angel who routed the army of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:35)…

Consequently, the Church attributes four offices to St. Michael as the Catholic Encyclopedia next summarizes:
  1. To fight against Satan.
  2. To rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of the enemy, especially at the hour of death.
  3. To be the champion of God's people, the Jews in the Old Law, the Christians in the New Testament; therefore, he was the patron of the Church, and of the orders of knights during the Middle Ages.
  4. To call away from earth and bring men's souls to judgment


O God, who wondrously directs the services of angels and men, grant that our lives on earth may be guarded by the angels who stand ever before Your face ministering to You in heaven. Through our Lord . . . 

Thursday, September 28, 2006
Matthew 6:22-23

"The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!" (RSV)

"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ" (St. Jerome). Please join me in reading the New Testament using an online guide!
Pope Benedict XVI's Message to Canadian Bishops

Back on September 8, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI met with Canadian bishops. I didn't post on the story then, so I wanted to post now:

Your Eminence,
Dear Brother Bishops,

1. "God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him" (1Jn 4:16). With fraternal affection I cordially welcome you, the Bishops of Ontario, and I thank Bishop Smith for the kind sentiments expressed on your behalf. I warmly reciprocate them and assure you, and those entrusted to your pastoral care, of my prayers and solicitude. Your visit ad Limina Apostolorum, and to the successor of Peter, is an occasion to affirm your commitment to make Christ increasingly more visible within the Church and society, through joyful witness to the Gospel that is Jesus Christ himself.

The Evangelist John's numerous exhortations to abide in the love and truth of Christ evoke an appealing image of a sure and safe dwelling place. God first loves us (1 Jn 4:10) and we, drawn towards this gift, find a resting place where we can "constantly drink anew from the original source, which is Jesus Christ, from whose pierced heart flows the love of God" (Deus Caritas Est, 7). Saint John was also compelled to urge his communities to remain in that love. Already some had been weakened by the disputes and distractions which eventually lead to division.

2. Dear Brothers, your own Diocesan communities are challenged to resonate with the living statement of faith: "we know and believe the love God has for us" (1 Jn 4:16). These words, which eloquently reveal faith as personal adherence to God and concurrent assent to the whole truth that God reveals (cf. Dominus Iesus, 7), can be credibly proclaimed only in the wake of an encounter with Christ. Drawn by his love the believer entrusts his entire self to God and so becomes one with the Lord (cf. 1 Cor 6:17). In the Eucharist this union is strengthened and renewed by entering into the very dynamic of Christ's self-giving so as to share in the divine life: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him" (Jn 6:56; cf. Deus Caritas Est, 13).

St John's admonition, however, still holds. In increasingly secularized societies such as yours, the Lord's outpouring of love to humanity can remain unnoticed or rejected. By imagining that withdrawing from this relationship is somehow a key to his own liberation, man in fact becomes a stranger to himself, since "in reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear" (Gaudium et spes, n. 22). Dismissive of the love which discloses the fullness of man's truth, many men and women continue to walk away from the Lord's abode into a wilderness of individual isolation, social fragmentation and loss of cultural identity.

3. Within this perspective, one sees that the fundamental task of the evangelization of culture is the challenge to make God visible in the human face of Jesus. In helping individuals to recognize and experience the love of Christ, you will awaken in them the desire to dwell in the house of the Lord, embracing the life of the Church. This is our mission. It expresses our ecclesial nature and ensures that every initiative of evangelization concurrently strengthens Christian identity. In this regard, we must acknowledge that any reduction of the core message of Jesus, that is, the 'Kingdom of God', to indefinite talk of 'kingdom values' weakens Christian identity and debilitates the Church's contribution to the regeneration of society. When believing is replaced by 'doing' and witness by talk of 'issues', there is an urgent need to recapture the profound joy and awe of the first disciples whose hearts, in the Lord's presence, "burned within them" impelling them to "tell their story" (cf. Lk 24:32; 35).

Today, the impediments to the spread of Christ's Kingdom are experienced most dramatically in the split between the Gospel and culture, with the exclusion of God from the public sphere. Canada has a well-earned reputation for a generous and practical commitment to justice and peace, and there is an enticing sense of vibrancy and opportunity in your multicultural cities. At the same time, however, certain values detached from their moral roots and full significance found in Christ have evolved in the most disturbing of ways. In the name of 'tolerance' your country has had to endure the folly of the redefinition of spouse, and in the name of 'freedom of choice' it is confronted with the daily destruction of unborn children. When the Creator's divine plan is ignored the truth of human nature is lost. 

False dichotomies are not unknown within the Christian community itself. They are particularly damaging when Christian civic leaders sacrifice the unity of faith and sanction the disintegration of reason and the principles of natural ethics, by yielding to ephemeral social trends and the spurious demands of opinion polls. Democracy succeeds only to the extent that it is based on truth and a correct understanding of the human person. Catholic involvement in political life cannot compromise on this principle; otherwise Christian witness to the splendour of truth in the public sphere would be silenced and an autonomy from morality proclaimed (cf. Doctrinal Note The Participation of Catholics in Political Life, 2-3; 6). In your discussions with politicians and civic leaders I encourage you to demonstrate that our Christian faith, far from being an impediment to dialogue, is a bridge, precisely because it brings together reason and culture.

4. Within the context of the evangelization of culture, I wish to mention the fine network of Catholic schools at the heart of ecclesial life in your Province. Catechesis and religious education is a taxing apostolate. I thank and encourage those many lay men and women, together with Religious, who strive to ensure that your young people become daily more appreciative of the gift of faith which they have received. More than ever this demands that witness, nourished by prayer, be the all-encompassing milieu of every Catholic school. Teachers, as witnesses, account for the hope that nourishes their own lives (cf. 1 Pt 3:15) by living the truth they propose to their pupils, always in reference to the one they have encountered and whose dependable goodness they have sampled with joy (cf. Address to Rome's Ecclesial Diocesan Convention, Living the Truth that God Loves his People, 6 June 2005). And so with Saint Augustine they say: "we who speak and you who listen acknowledge ourselves as fellow disciples of a single teacher" (St. Augustine, Sermons, 23:2).

A particularly insidious obstacle to education today, which your own reports attest, is the marked presence in society of that relativism which, recognizing nothing as definitive, leaves as the ultimate criterion only the self with its desires. Within such a relativistic horizon an eclipse of the sublime goals of life occurs with a lowering of the standards of excellence, a timidity before the category of the good, and a relentless but senseless pursuit of novelty parading as the realization of freedom. Such detrimental trends point to the particular urgency of the apostolate of 'intellectual charity' which upholds the essential unity of knowledge, guides the young towards the sublime satisfaction of exercising their freedom in relation to truth, and articulates the relationship between faith and all aspects of family and civic life. Introduced to a love of truth, I am confident that young Canadians will relish exploring the house of the Lord who "enlightens every person who comes into the world" (Jn 1:9) and satisfies every desire of humanity.

5. Dear Brothers, with affection and fraternal gratitude I offer these reflections to you and encourage you in your proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Experience his love and in this way cause the light of God to enter into the world! (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 39). Invoking upon you the intercession of Mary, Seat of Wisdom, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you and the priests, Religious, and lay faithful of your dioceses.

© Copyright 2006 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana
May Canada move from the "dictatorship of relativism" that Pope Benedict warned is growing throughout the world.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Take Out Your Bibles

In keeping with part of my Catholic Resolution for the year, I am going to be following an online guide to reading the Bible. I didn't read all of the Old Testament, but I want to read all of the New Testament. So starting today, please follow the Catholic Doors Guide along with me and read a few chapters each day. On the last day of this year, we will have read the entire New Testament.

Prayer Before Reading the Bible

Our Father, who art in heaven, sacred is your Word. Your kingdom come, your words be heard on earth as they are in heaven. Give us today your sacred Word. Forgive our neglect of it in the past as we forgive those who neglect us. Lead us toward an encounter with you each time we delve into the Scriptures. For your presence, your power, and your glory are ever present among us now and forever. Amen.

Need to Buy a Bible

Absolutely every Catholic should own a Bible. Translations like the King James Version and New World Translation are protestant and, therefore, should never be used because they do not even have all of the book of Sacred Scripture. The best Catholic Bible is the Douay-Rheims Bible, which was translated from the Vulgate. Although approved, I would definitely avoid the New American Bible [NAB] and Jerusalem Bible; the footnotes in the NAB can be difficult for converts to appropriately understand.
Reading from the Diary of St. Faustina

Then I heard the words: As you are united with Me in life, so will you be united at the moment of death. After these words, such great trust in God's great mercy was awakened in my soul that, even if I had had the sins of the whole world, as well as the sins of all the condemned souls weighing on my conscience, I would not have doubted God's goodness but, without hesitation, would have thrown myself into the abyss of the divine mercy, which is always open to us; and, with a heart crushed to dust, I would have cast myself at His feet, abandoning myself totally to His holy will, which is mercy itself. (1552)

This month I will practice the three virtues recommended to me by the Mother of God: humility, purity, and love of God, accepting with profound submission to the will of God everything that He will send me. (1624)

I began Holy Lent in the way that Jesus wanted me to, making myself totally dependent upon His holy will and accepting with love everything that He sends me. I cannot practice any greater mortifications, because I am so very weak. This long illness has sapped my strength completely. I am uniting myself with Jesus through suffering. When I meditate on His Painful Passion, my physical sufferings are lessened. (1625)

The words of Our Lord Jesus Christ are in boldface. The words of Our Lady are in italics.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Blogging will Temporarily Stop

Update: After thinking over everything, I will continue blogging

Original Post: I have just received an anonymous comment saying that this person has contacted the Archdiocese of Chicago because of my posts on this blog. Here is part of the comment: "Please be advised that I have contacted the archdiocese of Chicago and advised them to review printouts from your website regarding comments you have made pertaining to Bishop Flynn and also your manner of generally conducting yourself on the site."

O, how it distresses me that someone seeks to come to my blog to bring discord. Has everyone forgotten the teachings of Christ! Mercy not judgment is the answer.

What have I said about Archbishop Flynn? I have said, that while he remains a successor to the apostles, he is has done things I greatly disagree with, and because of that, I chose not to consider the seminary in Minnesota. Readers can read my post on Archbishop Flynn. I never encouraged disobedience! I simply, greatly disagreed with some of his actions. Mother Angelica did even more than this when she criticized Cardinal Mahony and encouraged no obedience. I simply stated my own personal opinion. Remember, this is my personal blog, where I can state my opinions because of the great liberties of this wonderful country.

Anonymous continued: "I can only suggest now that you take a deep breath and decide whether to keep fighting about these issues or simply stop what you are doing."

I ask, what have I done wrong. I have seen problems in the world and addressed them. I have sought to evangelize and save souls. I do include prayers, saint information, devotions, and my own personal feelings too. What have I done wrong???? And for that, I am being condemned. So, to any that I have offended, forgive me. In light of these comments, I plan to take a break from blogging for the next few days.

1 Peter 4:13-14:

"Dearly Beloved: Rejoice in the measures that you share Christ's sufferings. When his glory is revealed, you will rejoice exultantly. Happy are you when you are insulted for the sake of Christ, for then God's Spirit in its glory has come to rest on you"


"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Gospel of Matthew 5:3-10
Monday, September 25, 2006
Our Lady of La Salette

On September 19, 1846, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared on the mountain of La Salette in France to Melanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud, two young shepherds who had only known each other for two days. Our Blessed Mother appeared to them on this day, the feastday of Our Lady of Sorrows, and she asked them to make her message known. Mother Mary also told each of them a private secret.

The children say that Mary was in tears and her hands were folded across her chest. She spoke of how it upset her for people to swear, not go to Sunday Mass, and disobey God's laws. During this apparition, she begged us all: "be reconciled with God."

Blessed Melanie Calvat was instructed to found a new religious order, the Order of the Mother of God. Blessed Melanie was told by the Mother of God to make known her secret after the year 1858.

Blessed Melanie Calvat said that both secrets were written down and handed to Pope Pius IX in 1851. In 1888, the secret was published.

The Secret:

  1. Three quarters of France will lose the Faith
  2. A Protestant nation in the North shall repent and return to God
  3. The Church shall grow once more
  4. The peace will be destroyed by a "monster" at the end of the 19th Century or beginning of the 20th
The Blessed Virgin Mary announced:

“God is going to strike in an unprecedented manner. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! God is going to exhaust His wrath, and no one will be able to resist so many concerted woes... Many will abandon the faith, and the number of priests and religious who will dissociate themselves from the true religion will be great... Many religious institutes will lose the faith entirely and will cause the loss of many souls. The Church will pass through a frightful crisis... The Holy Father will suffer greatly. I will be with him to the end to receive his sacrifice... For a time God will not remember France or Italy because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is no longer known... [But the] prayers, penance and tears of the just will ascend to heaven, and the entire people of God will beg for pardon and mercy and will ask My assistance and My intercession. Then Jesus Christ, by an act of His justice and His great mercy toward the just [will intervene and] then there will be peace, the reconciliation of God with men... Charity will flourish everywhere.. The Gospel will be preached everywhere, and men will make great progress in the faith, because there will be unity among the workers of Jesus Christ and men will live in the fear of God.”

She also said: “Rome will lose the faith and will become the seat of Antichrist.” To call Her children to combat for God in the days of darkness and sin, the Mother of God concludes:“I address an urgent appeal to the earth: I summon the true disciples of God who lives and reigns in heaven; I summon the true imitators of Christ made man, the one true Saviour of men; I summon My children, My true devotees, those who have given themselves to Me so that I might lead them to My divine Son, those whom I carry, so to speak, in My arms, those who have lived according to My spirit; finally, I summon the Apostles of the Latter Times, the faithful disciples of Jesus Christ who have lived in scorn of the world and of themselves, in poverty and in humility, in contempt and in silence, in prayer and in mortification, in chastity and in union with God, in suffering and unknown to the world. It is time for them to arise and come forth to enlighten the earth.

“Go, and show yourselves as My cherished children; I am with you and in you, provided that your faith be the light that enlightens you in these days of woe. May your zeal cause you to be as famished for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ. Fight, children of light, you little number who see; for behold the time of times, the end of ends.”

On November 16, 1851, the Holy See officially declared the apparitions at La Salette as authentic.

Read More:
  1. Those Who Saw Her: Apparitions of Mary
  2. Our Lady of LaSalle Coloring Book
  3. The Secrets, Triumphs, and Chastisements of the Two Hearts
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Response to Comments on "TradReviews" Post

Hello, everyone.

I want to take this opportunity and state my beliefs. In response to the recent comments on the Trad Reviews post by anonymous, I feel obligated to. I am a Traditional Catholic - I want to serve the Church founded on Jesus Christ and preserved through the past two millenia. I am here to serve and teach. I am here to spread the Gospel on the Internet, and I anticipated a lot of people wouldn't like that. Surprisingly, during the past few years I learned not only computer knowledge but a wealth of information on Catholic practices, saints, etc. that I never knew before. I think that during my past year and a half blogging, I have learned probably more than I have taught my readers.

One thing I have learned better is myself. I have learned that I have a vocation - a vocation to serve God - a vocation, I believe, to the holy Catholic priesthood. And during this past year I also realized that I am a Traditionalist Catholic. I want the Church to remain true to its sacred teachings. Even over the summer when I stayed with a group of Benedictine monks, I was able to grow even closer to God in realizing that I can't do everything. I learned that I can't save souls or make people believe - only God can.

I want to point out the two recent comments on this blog - please read them under my post on TradReviews.

First off, I do think I sound mature on this blog. I am tired of continually being called "immature" by anonymous commentors in the recent months. Are you saying I am immature because I stand for the Holy Traditions of the Catholic Church and refuse to be swerved by modernism?

Secondly, I choose not to reveal my real name for my safety. Many of my fellow bloggers choose to do the same thing. In this day and age, safety on the Internet has to be a #1 priority. Please know that I do not choose to remain anonymous because I am afraid of the Church knowning my beliefs. After my ordination, I plan to not only reveal my name but place my picture online like many blogging priests do. Until that day comes, though, I choose to remain anonymous. I however am not afraid of my beliefs being "reviewed" by the Catholic Church because my beliefs are part of the Catholic Church.

My priest, bishop, and other important people in my diocese already are aware of my support for the Tridentine Rite and my Traditional views. Overall, I have received great support from them.

I am both a sinner and a servant of God. I am someone hoping to enter a seminary. That is who I am. If anonymous is demanding to know my name, he/she is being a hypocrite for not revealing his/her own name with his/her powerful statements.

To those that wish to bring discord online, I remind you of the most important thing in the world - love. Bringing discord does not foster love.

So, since this post has turned into an open post for debate, I address this to all of my readers: I want to know your comments. If you have a problem with something I do, then please let me know. And if you wish to offer support, then please do so.

To all of you, regardless, I pray that you will have peace!

God Bless!
Sara Salkahazi & Fr. Mosè Tovini Are Beatified

Sara Salkahazi was beatified on September 17, 2006, at Budapest's St. Stephen Basilica. Salkahazi was a Hungarian nun that saved the lives of dozens of Jews during World War II. She is an example of the sacrificial love that Jesus calls us to show to the whole world.

On Dec. 27, 1944, Sara Salkahazi was killed by the Arrow Cross - the Hungarian allies of the Nazis, for hiding Jews in the building used by her religious community, Sisters of Social Service.

Her beatification was the first held in Hungary since 1083, when Hungary's first king, St. Stephen, was beatified along with his son, St. Imre, and St. Gellert, an Italian bishop who helped convert Hungarians to Christianity. It was the custom for hundreds of years to celebrate beatifications in Rome. Now, canonizations will be held in Rome, but Pope Benedict XVI is allowing beatifications in other parts of the world.

She was the first Hungarian beatified that was not a member of the aristocracy or royalty.

Speaking at the Beatification Mass, Rabbi Jozsef Schweitzer said of Sister Sara, "I know from personal experience ... how dangerous and heroic it was in those times to help Jews and save them from death. Originating in her faith, she kept the commandment of love until death."

If you have information relevant to the canonization of Blessed Sara, please contact:
Szociális Testvérek Társasága
Bartók Béla út 61. III./6, 1114
Budapest, HUNGARY

Father Mosè Tovini, a priest of the Brescia diocese in Italy, was also beatified on September 17, 2006! He was beatified in the Cathedral of Brescia, Italy.

Fr. Mosè Tovini was born on December 27, 1877, and lived as a priest in the diocese of Brescia, Italy. He taught mathematics, philosophy, sociology, apologetics, and dogmatic theology at the Brescia Seminary. He is best known for his ardor in teaching the Catechism. He died on January 28, 1930 in Brescia, Italy. If you have information relevant to the canonization of Blessed Mose, please contact:

Santuario delle Grazie
Via Grazie, 13
25122 Brescia, ITALY
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Memorial of St. Padre Pio

Today the Church celebrates and remembers St. Padre Pio (1887 - 1968), one of my personal favorite saints. Please read my post on the Memorial of St. Padre Pio for today.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Words of Inspiration: September 22, 2006

"That is why Jesus made himself bread
to satisfy our hunger for God.
See the humility of God.
He also made Himself the hungry one
to satisfy our hunger for God
through our love, our service.
Let us pray that none of us will be unfaithful.
Let us pray for our poor people.
They are also hungry for God."
Support for the Holy Father



The Pope has apologized SEVERAL times and has said that he meant to "explain that religion and violence do not go together, but religion and reason do." Pope Benedict XVI has invited envoys from Muslim nations to visit him at his summer residence for talks on Islam. He is being so kind to those that insult him and burn his image in protests. Pray for the Pope!
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Pray the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin!

Please consider the resources below to pray the Traditional (pre-Vatican II) Breviary in Latin.

Print Resources:
  1. Breviarium Romanum ex decreto ss. concilii tridentini restitutum By Pars Hiemalis
  2. Breviarium Romanum Ex Decreto SS Concilii Tridentini Restitutum S. PII V Pontificis Maximi (Jussu Editum Aliorumque Pontificum Cura Recognitum PII Papae X Auctoritate Reformatum Editio II Juxta Typicam Vaticanam Amplificata I, Pars Hiemalis)
  3. Learning the New Breviary by S. J. Bernard A Hausmann.  The title word "new" is rather misleading today, as it actually refers to the new code of rubrics promulgated in July 1960 for the traditional Roman Breviary. In this handy, concise and easy-to-read book, Fr. Hausmann leads the reader step by step through each of the 8 canonical hours, their contents, special particulars, and how they are said, all the while providing important tips on how to recite the Divine Office with a correct liturgical spirit. An indispensable book for any Catholic who would like to become better acquainted with the traditional Roman Breviary, the Church's liturgical treasure that in connection with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass forms the Church's official daily prayer. 
  4. A Short Breviary for Religious and the Laity By Monks of St. John's Abbey
Electronic Resources:

  2. Divinum Officium (Latin for "Divine Office)
Words of Inspiration: September 21, 2006

"True obedience is a genuine act of love.
Obedience makes us practice the other virtues.
It likens us to martyrs,
for it is a much greater martyrdom to persevere
in obedience all through life
than to die in a moment by a stroke of the sword."
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Prayer to St. Joseph of Cupertino for Success in Examinations

This powerful prayer is very effective in examinations. It has to be said before appearing in the examination. There are two variants to this prayer. Both the prayers are equally effective. You can choose any one of these:

First Prayer

O Great St. Joseph of Cupertino who while on earth did obtain from God the grace to be asked at your examination only the questions you knew, obtain for me a like favour in the examinations for which I am now preparing. In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked.

Through Christ our Lord.

St. Joseph of Cupertino, Pray for us.


Second Prayer

O St. Joseph of Cupertino who by your prayer obtained from God to be asked at your examination, the only preposition you knew. Grant that I may like you succeed in the (here mention the name of Examination eg. History paper I ) examination.

In return, I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked.

O St. Joseph of Cupertino pray for me
O Holy Ghost enlighten me
Our Lady of Good Studies pray for me
Sacred Head of Jesus, Seat of divine wisdom, enlighten me.

Remember, when you succeed in the exams then you should thank St. Joseph of Cupertino. And if you would like a prayer card you can use and include in your books, find a great option here.
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The Miracle of St. Januarius Occurs!

From Catholic World News:
Sep. 19 ( - The familiar "miracle of St. Januarius"-- the liquefaction of the blood of the 4th-century martyr-- occurred once again in Naples on the saint's feast day, September 19.

Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, newly installed as the Archbishop of Naples presided for the first time at the celebration of the city's patron saint, who died in the persecutions under Emperor Diocletian. A vial containing the preserved blood of the martyr was brought into the sanctuary. After the Gospel was read, the cardinal told the congregation that "the blood is starting to melt." The announcement drew warm applause.

According to a popular tradition, the liquefaction is a sign of assurance that the year will be free from disasters. (One of the rare years in which the miracle did not occur was 1939, the year that saw the beginning of World War II.)
Sunday, September 17, 2006
St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata

Double (1954 Calendar): September 17
Commemoration (1962 Calendar): September 17

Today, September 17th is the Commemoration of the Impression of the Sacred Stigmata which St. Francis, received on his hands, feet, and side at Mount Alverina in Etruria while in the midst of his St. Michael's Lenten fast.

St. Bonaventure in the Life of St. Francis writes the following account:
“On a certain morning about the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross [September 14], while Francis was praying on the mountainside, he saw a Seraph with six fiery and shining wings descend from the height of heaven. And when in swift flight the Seraph had reached a spot in the air near the man of God, there appeared between the wings the figure of the a man crucified, with his hands and feet extended in the form of a cross and fastened to a cross. Two of the wings were lifted above his head, two were extended for flight and two covered his whole body"
Thomas of Celano, writing within a few years of St. Francis’ death in 1229 AD, also described what happened:
“....the marks of nails began to appear in his hands and feet, just as he had seen them slightly earlier in the crucified man above him. His wrists and feet seemed to be pierced by nails, with the heads of the nails appearing on his wrists and on the upper sides of his feet, the points appearing on the other side. The marks were round on the palm of each hand but elongated on the other side, and small pieces of flesh jutting out from the rest took on the appearance of the nail-ends, bent and driven back. In the same way the marks of nails were impressed on his feet and projected beyond the rest of the flesh. Moreover, his right side had a large wound as if it had been pierced with a spear, and it often bled so that his tunic and trousers were soaked with his sacred blood.”

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, when the world was growing cold, in order to enkindle in our hearts the fire of Thy love, didst renew the sacred makers of Thy Passion on the body of blessed Francis: mercifully grant, that with the aid of his merits and prayers we may ever bear our cross, and bring forth worthy fruits of penance: Who livest and reignest.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
Prayers Needed for the Holy Father

During Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Germany, he quoted a medival text that of Manuel II Paleologus, one of the last Christian emperors, who said - while Constantinople was under threat from Muslim forces - the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad were “evil and inhuman”. Manuel II also accused Muhammad of “spreading faith by the sword." As a result, huge demoninstrations against the Holy Father have begun. Seven churches, two this morning, in the West Bank and Gaza were burned and a nun was murdered at a children's hospital! Your prayers are desperately needed!

The Holy Father apologized for his comments causing such violence. Pray that no further death or destruction will come out of this. Pray that those who resorted to violence will repent.

The Holy Father said: “These words were in fact a quotation from a medieval text which do not in any way express my personal thought. I hope that this serves to placate souls and to clarify the true meaning of my address, which in its totality was and is an invitation to frank and sincere dialogue, with great mutual respect.”

Image Source: AFP/Daniele Colarieti
Prayer to Jesus Crucified

Behold, my beloved and good Jesus, I cast myself upon my knees in your sight, and with the most fervent desire of my soul I pray and beseech you to impress upon my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, with true repentance for my sins and a most firm desire of amendment; while with deep affection and grief of soul I consider within myself and mentally contemplate your five most precious wounds, having before my eyes that which David the prophet long ago spoke about you, my Jesus: "They have pierced my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones" (Ps 22:17-18).
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Updates on my Life

Classes are getting a little easier and I don't have so much work right now. Thanks for your prayers! Today is also my birthday so today and tomorrow I will be spending time relaxing and enjoying some time with family.

God Bless!
The Lingering Effects of Suffering

"Notice that the risen Jesus still bears his wounds. How can it be otherwise? In our own lives, times of suffering may lead to times of peace and joy, but we cannot escape the lingering effects of suffering. It permanently changes us -- we cannot pretend that it never happened. That the risen Jesus still bears his wounds is good news, for it tells us that there is a continuity between the lives we have now and the lives that we will enjoy in the Resurrection. Jesus is the same person. His wounds, though, are different: they are not a source of suffering but a source of recognition. It is only through seeing Jesus' wounds that Thomas recognizes him. In the Resurrection, we will still bear the effects of the hurts that have been done to us, but they will no longer cause us pain."
Friday, September 15, 2006
Pope St. Hyginus

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): January 11

Pope St. Hyginus was pope from c. 139 - 140 AD. He was born in Athens, Greece, and during his papacy, he determined the different prerogatives of the clergy and defined the grades of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Hyginus also started the practice of including godparents at Baptism to assist the newly born during his Christian life. He also decreed that all churches be consecrated. It is rumored that he became a martyr under the persecutions of Marcus Aurelius. 

"The Church makes commemoration, today, of the holy Pope and Martyr Hyginus. He held the Apostolic Chair under the reign of Antoninus, and closed his four years’ Pontificate by martyrdom. We have no history of his life, but we venerate in him one of the links of that grand chain of Pontiffs which unites us, by St. Peter, to our Lord Jesus Christ. The whole weight of the government of the Church was upon his shoulders, and he was courageous and faithful in the discharge of his duties; his reign was during the age of Persecution, when to be Pope was to be a victim of tortures and death. As we have already said, he soon won his Palm, and was associated in heaven with the three Magi, who had, before leaving this world, preached the Gospel in Greece, the country of our Saint. Let us ask him to bless the offerings we are making to the Divine Infant of Bethlehem, and to pray for us, that we may obey this sweet King, who asks us to give him not our blood by martyrdom, but our hearts by charity."


O Eternal Shepherd, who appointed blessed Hyginus shepherd of the whole Church, let the prayers of this martyr and supreme pontiff move You to look with favor upon Your flock and to keep it under Your continual protection. Through Our Lord . . .
Pope Benedict XVI's Final Day in Bavaria

Image Source: REUTERS/Maurizo Brambatti/Pool (Germany)

On Thursday, September 14, 2006, the Holy Father ended his journey to Bavaria in his homeland of Germany. During his final day in Bavaria, he visited priests and permanent deacons of Bavaria in the cathedral of Sts. Mary and Corbinian. During the visit, he prayed before the Shrine of the Holy Corbinian, the relics of St. Corbinian. Fifty-five years ago, Pope Benedict XVI was ordained in that cathedral.


REUTERS/Maurizo Brambatti/Pool (Germany)

REUTERS/Alexandra Beier (GERMANY)

REUTERS/Maurizo Brambatti/Pool (Germany)

REUTERS/KNA-Bild/Wolfgang Radtke/Pool (GERMANY)
"Catechism on Communion" by St. John Vianney

I hope all of my readers have enjoyed all of the posts on the writings of St. John Vianney. This is my final post on it - the 37th post. And I am very proud to end on his writting entitled "Catechism on Communion". After all, Jesus is truly and really present - body, blood, soul, and divinity - in the Holy Eucharist. We are to adore Him in the Eucharist. We are to receive Him, while in grace, in the Eucharist. And for those that deny such a beautiful gift spoken of in the Gospel of John Chapter 6 by Jesus Himself, pray for such doubters. The Eucharist is one of the two pillars of salvation.

Catechism on Communion:

To sustain the soul in the pilgrimage of life, God looked over creation, and found nothing that was worthy of it. He then turned to Himself, and resolved to give Himself. O my soul, how great thou art, since nothing less than God can satisfy thee! The food of the soul is the Body and Blood of God! Oh, admirable Food! If we considered it, it would make us lose ourselves in that abyss of love for all eternity! How happy are the pure souls that have the happiness of being united to Our Lord by Communion! They will shine like beautiful diamonds in Heaven, because God will be seen in them.

Our Lord has said, Whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you. We should never have thought of asking of God His own Son. But God has done what man could not have imagined. What man cannot express nor conceive, and what he never would have dared to desire, God in His love has said, has conceived, and has executed. Should we ever have dared to ask of God to put His Son to death for us, to give us His Flesh to eat and His Blood to drink? If all this were not true, then man might have imagined things that God cannot do; he would have gone further than God in inventions of love! That is impossible. Without the Holy Eucharist there would be no happiness in this world; life would be insupportable. When we receive Holy Communion, we receive our joy and our happiness. The good God, wishing to give Himself to us in the Sacrament of His love, gave us a vast and great desire, which He alone can satisfy. In the presence of this beautiful Sacrament, we are like a person dying of thirst by the side of a river -- he would only need to bend his head; like a person still remaining poor, close to a great treasure -- he need only stretch out his hand. He who communicates loses himself in God like a drop of water in the ocean. They can no more be separated.

At the Day of Judgment we shall see the Flesh of Our Lord shine through the glorified body of those who have received Him worthily on earth, as we see gold shine in copper, or silver in lead. When we have just communicated, if we were asked, "What are you carrying away to your home?" we might answer, "I am carrying away Heaven. " A saint said that we were Christ-bearers. It is very true; but we have not enough faith. We do not comprehend our dignity. When we leave the holy banquet, we are as happy as the Wise Men would have been, if they could have carried away the Infant Jesus. Take a vessel full of liquor, and cork it well -- you will keep the liquor as long as you please. So if you were to keep Our Lord well and recollectedly, after Communion, you would long feel that devouring fire which would inspire your heart with an inclination to good and a repugnance to evil. When we have the good God in our heart, it ought to be very burning. The heart of the disciples of Emmaus burnt within them from merely listening to His voice.

I do not like people to begin to read directly when they come from the holy table. Oh no! what is the use of the words of men when God is speaking? We must do as one who is very curious, and listens at the door. We must listen to all that God says at the door of our heart. When you have received Our Lord, you feel your soul purified, because it bathes itself in the love of God. When we go to Holy Communion, we feel something extraordinary, a comfort which pervades the whole body, and penetrates to the extremities. What is this comfort? It is Our Lord, who communicates Himself to all parts of our bodies, and makes them thrill. We are obliged to say, like Saint John, "It is the Lord!" Those who feel absolutely nothing are very much to be pitied.

Read more on St. John Vianney
Our Lady of Sorrows

Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, where we remember the pain Mary experienced in Christ's passion. How appropriate that today is Friday - the day Jesus died on the Cross.

Read my post on Our Lady of Sorrows.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Pope Benedict XVI Visits his Family Graves

Yesterday, Wednesday, September 13, 2006, the Holy Father visited his brother, Georg, and spent time in prayer at the graves of his father, mother, and sister.

Image Source: AFP/Pool/Wolfgang Radtke
Dedication of Oneself to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Dearest Mother, I desire to belong to you forever and in the most perfect manner, and through you I want to become the property of the Divine Heart of Jesus for time and eternity.

Behold I dedicate to you this day and all the days of my life, but especially at the hours of my death, my soul with its faculties,my body with its senses, in a word my whole person.

I unite this dedication with the Sacred Life, Passion and Death of Jesus, with all holy Masses, ever to be said, and with all holy communions, ever to be received. I unite it with your glorious merits, dear mother, with the merits of all the saints and elect, and with all good deeds ever to be done.

With these I unite my own prayers, labors and sufferings; also all indulgences I can gain, all merits I can acquire; I place it all into your motherly hands. Purify my gift of every stain, dispose of it, and offer it up to the Holy Trinity in accordance and in union with the infinitely holy intentions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Help me, dear Mother, to sacrifice myself for the honor of your Son and for immortal souls. Grant, not as a reward but as a favor that I may ever serve you, and that I may never - not even by purgatory be separated from your Divine Son. O clement, O pious sweet O Virgin Mary. Amen.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Pope Benedict XVI Continues Visit to Bavaria

Image: High altar at Alte Kapelle

Today the Holy Father addressed representatives of science of the University of Rosenburg. He also spent time at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Old Chapel ("Alte Kapelle"), of which his brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, was director. During his visit, he blessed the Basilica's new organ. Here is his address:
This venerable house of God, the Basilica of "Our Lady of the Old Chapel," has been splendidly refurbished and today receives a new organ, which will now be blessed and solemnly dedicated to its proper aim: the glorification of God and the strengthening of faith.

An important contribution to the renewal of sacred music in the 19th century was made by a canon of this collegiate church, Carl Joseph Proske. Gregorian chant and classic choral polyphony were integrated into the liturgy. The attention given to liturgical sacred music in the "Old Chapel" was so significant that it reached far beyond the confines of the region, making Regensburg a center for the reform of sacred music, and its influence has continued to the present time.

In the constitution on sacred liturgy of the Second Vatican Council ("Sacrosanctum Concilium"), it is emphasized that the "combination of sacred music and words … forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy" (No. 112). This means that music and song are more than an embellishment of worship; they are themselves part of the liturgical action.

Solemn sacred music, with choir, organ, orchestra and the singing of the people, is not an addition of sorts that frames the liturgy and makes it more pleasing, but an important means of active participation in worship. The organ has always been considered, and rightly so, the king of musical instruments, because it takes up all the sounds of creation and gives resonance to the fullness of human sentiments. By transcending the merely human sphere, as all music of quality does, it evokes the divine.

The organ's great range of timbre, from "piano" through to a thundering "fortissimo," makes it an instrument superior to all others. It is capable of echoing and expressing all the experiences of human life. The manifold possibilities of the organ in some way remind us of the immensity and the magnificence of God.

Psalm 150 speaks of trumpets and flutes, of harps and zithers, cymbals and drums; all these musical instruments are called to contribute to the praise of the triune God. In an organ, the many pipes and voices must form a unity. If here or there something becomes blocked, if one pipe is out of tune, this may at first be perceptible only to a trained ear. But if more pipes are out of tune, dissonance ensues and the result is unbearable.

Also, the pipes of this organ are exposed to variations of temperature and subject to wear. Now, this is an image of our community. Just as in an organ an expert hand must constantly bring disharmony back to consonance, so we in the Church, in the variety of our gifts and charisms, always need to find anew, through our communion in faith, harmony in the praise of God and in fraternal love. The more we allow ourselves, through the liturgy, to be transformed in Christ, the more we will be capable of transforming the world, radiating Christ's goodness, his mercy and his love for others.

The great composers, each in his own way, ultimately sought to glorify God by their music. Johann Sebastian Bach wrote above the title of many of his musical compositions the letters S.D.G., "Soli Deo Gloria" -- to God alone be glory. Anton Bruckner also prefaced his compositions with the words: "Dem lieben Gott gewidmet" -- dedicated to the good God. May all those who enter this splendid basilica, experiencing the magnificence of its architecture and its liturgy, enriched by solemn song and the harmony of this new organ, be brought to the joy of faith.

[Translation issued by the Holy See; adapted]

© Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Photos from this beautiful place!

(AP Photo/Maurizio Brambatti, pool)
(AP Photo/Maurizio Brambatti, pool)

(AP Photo/Maurizio Brambatti, pool)
The Value of the Rosary by Fr. Gabriel Amorth

The Hail Mary - The Value of the Rosary

Father Gabriel Amorth, chief exorcist of the Vatican writes:

One day a colleague of mine heard the devil say during an exorcism: "Every Hail Mary is like a blow on my head. If Christians knew how powerful the Rosary was, it would be my end." The secret that makes this prayer so effective is that the Rosary is both prayer and meditation. It is addressed to the Father, to the Blessed Virgin, and to the Holy Trinity, and is a meditation centered on Christ.
I write in addition to the above: Please enunciate each word of the Rosary clearly and distinctly. Do not trample on the heels' of the words of anyone with your words. Do not speak over the leader, if you are following, or the responders if you are leading the Rosary. Remember that they also are having a conversation with Mary Our Mother and it is not polite to speak when someone else is speaking.

In the case of the public Rosary there are only two people speaking, the Leader and the Responders. Each are speaking to their Mother and listening carefully to her response within their hearts as they meditate on the scene before them in their consideration of the mystery being spoken of and interpreted and translated into their lives. Spread this powerful prayer of exorcism, The Rosary which contains the Our Father, the Perfect Prayer, prayed five times in the recitation of each set of the Rosary's Mysteries, backed up by the powerful prayers of Our Mother who prays with us as we pray 53 Hail Marys. The Eternal Father described to a group of us, through a Visionary Friend of mine, what happens when we pray the Rosary, saying, "When you pray Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now....., the Blessed Mother comes instantly to your side to pray with you. And she does not come alone. She brings angels with her. And not just one or two for she is the Queen of Angels, so choirs of angels come with her. And she and Jesus are joined at the heart and cannot be separated so shebrings Jesus with her. And Jesus cannot be separated from the Trinity so He brings the Father and the Holy Spirit with Him.

And where the Holy Trinity is all of creation is and you are surrounded by such beauty and light as you cannot imagine in this life. Your Mother comes as Our Lady of Grace with her hands out-stretched. Rays of light emit from her hands piercing your body, healing you and filling you with graces.

This is your inheritance which was poured out from the heart of Jesus on the Cross, when the centurion pierced His Heart with the spear, into the only pure vessel ready to receive such graces at that time,Your Mother.

Now as you pray the Rosary, or even just recite one Hail Mary, you receive your portion of these graces."He also said at this time, "Anyone who goes to Mary and prays the Rosary cannot be touched by Satan." Is it any wonder that anyone who prays the Rosary from the heart is so blessed and protected and powerful in their prayers for others?"
Ember Days

Ember Days are set aside to pray and/or offer thanksgiving for a good harvest and God's blessings. If you are in good health, please at least fast during these three days and pray the additional prayers. Remember the words from the Gospel: "Unless you do penance, you shall likewise perish" (Luke 13:5)

From New Advent:

Ember days (corruption from Lat. Quatuor Tempora, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after 13 December (S. Lucia), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. The immediate occasion was the practice of the heathens of Rome. The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class.

At the beginning of the time for seeding and harvesting religious ceremonies were performed to implore the help of their deities: in June for a bountiful harvest, in September for a rich vintage, and in December for the seeding; hence their feriae sementivae, feriae messis, and feri vindimiales. The Church, when converting heathen nations, has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilized for a good purpose. At first the Church in Rome had fasts in June, September, and December; the exact days were not fixed but were announced by the priests. The "Liber Pontificalis" ascribes to Pope Callistus (217-222) a law ordering: the fast, but probably it is older. Leo the Great (440-461) considers it an Apostolic institution. When the fourth season was added cannot be ascertained, but Gelasius (492-496) speaks of all four. This pope also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of ember week--these were formerly given only at Easter.

Before Gelasius the ember days were known only in Rome, but after his time their observance spread. They were brought into England by St. Augustine; into Gaul and Germany by the Carlovingians. Spain adopted them with the Roman Liturgy in the eleventh century. They were introduced by St. Charles Borromeo into Milan. The Eastern Church does not know them. The present Roman Missal, in the formulary for the Ember days, retains in part the old practice of lessons from Scripture in addition to the ordinary two: for the Wednesdays three, for the Saturdays six, and seven for the Saturday in December. Some of these lessons contain promises of a bountiful harvest for those that serve God.

From Catholic Culture:

Since man is both a spiritual and physical being, the Church provides for the needs of man in his everyday life. The Church's liturgy and feasts in many areas reflect the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, fall and winter). The months of August, September, October and November are part of the harvest season, and as Christians we recall God's constant protection over his people and give thanksgiving for the year's harvest.

The September Ember Days were particularly focused on the end of the harvest season and thanksgiving to God for the season. Ember Days were three days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) set aside by the Church for prayer, fasting and almsgiving at the beginning of each of the four seasons of the year. The ember days fell after December 13, the feast of St. Lucy (winter), after the First Sunday of Lent (spring), after Pentecost Sunday (summer), and after September 14 , the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (fall). These weeks are known as the quattor tempora, the "four seasons."

Since the late 5th century, the Ember Days were also the preferred dates for ordination of priests. So during these times the Church had a threefold focus: (1) sanctifying each new season by turning to God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving; (2) giving thanks to God for the various harvests of each season; and (3) praying for the newly ordained and for future vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
St. John Chrysostom

Double (1954 Calendar): January 27
Memorial (1969 Calendar): September 13

St. John Chrysostom (c. 347 - 407), called the Greatest of the Greek Fathers and the Golden-Mouth Saint, is not only venerated in Roman Catholicism but also in the Orthodox churches.

In c. 347 AD, St. John Chrysostom was born in Antioch. St. John's father died soon after John's birth, so St. John was raised by his pious mother, Anthusa. St. John became a monk as well as a priest and a preacher for a dozen years in Syria. He developed a stomach ailment there that remained with him for the rest of his life. At first, though, as a monk, he lived as a hermit studying under Hesychius.

It was because of his sermons that he earned the title "Chrysostom" meaning "golden mouth". St. John was made bishop of Constantinople in 398 AD. As bishop, he criticized the rich for not sharing their wealth, fought to reform the clergy, prevented the sale of ecclesiastical offices, called for fidelity in marriage, and encouraged practices of justice and charity. Because of his work to force the rich to help the poor, he was exiled from his diocese twice. He was banished to Pythius and died on the way in 407 AD. As he was traveling to Pythius, exhausted and dying, his final words were "Glory to God for all things."

He is a Doctor of the Church. The body of St. John Chrysostom is in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. He is also the patron saint of Constantinople, epilepsy, orators, and preachers.

His Writings To Read Today:

O God, Who didst give blessed John to Thy people as a minister of eternal salvation: grant, we bessech Thee, that we, who have had him for our teacher on earth, may deserve to have him for our advocate in heaven. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Pope Benedict XVI at Ecumenical Vespers Service

Image Source: REUTERS/KNA-Bild/Wolfgang Radtke/Pool

Today, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, ended another day in Germany by attending an ecumenical Vespers service. I hope and pray that there will one day be reunion with protestants and the Orthodox Community. However, I do not EVER want us to have to abandon the smallest of our beliefs to achieve such a thing. The others, I pray, will simply just return to the truth faith and stop believing in heretical ideas. All of us have common ground in our beliefs, but some groups like protestants also believe in heretical ideas like sola-scriptura, sola-fide, consubstantiation, etc.
From Catholic News Agency:

At the conclusion of his fourth day in Bavaria, Pope Benedict XVI prayed with members of Germany’s Orthodox and Protestant community. Leading a Vesper service at Regensburg’s Cathedral, the Pontiff told those gathered that they must not loose track of what is central to their dialogue - their common belief in Christ - and that they should bear witness to their common faith “in such a way that it shines forth as the power of love.”

The liturgy, which was punctuated by German hymns, common to all traditions, also included traditional Orthodox chant and a response from leaders of all three Christian groups.

Pope Benedict began his reflection by welcoming the religious leaders and noting that at the heart of the liturgy is the praying of the Psalms, which connects the Christian church with Jewish believers as well.

Benedict next noted the ongoing dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, especially the conversations which are taking place in Germany itself. “I hope and pray that these discussions will be fruitful and that the communion with the living God which unites us, like our own communion in the faith transmitted by the Apostles, will grow in depth and maturity towards that full unity.”

“’So that the world may believe,’” the Pope emphasized, “we must become one: the seriousness of this commitment must spur on our dialogue.”

The Pope then turned to welcome “the various traditions stemming from the Reformation.” While he noted the particular work being done in the attempt to reach a consensus on justification, the Pope also pointed to a problem arising in society at large. “Our modern consciousness, in general, is no longer aware of the fact that we stand as debtors before God and that sin is a reality which can be overcome only by God’s initiative. Behind this weakening of the theme of justification and of the forgiveness of sins is ultimately a weakening of our relation with God. In this sense, our first task will perhaps be to rediscover in a new way the living God present in our lives.”

Turning to the liturgy’s reading from the Gospel of St. John, the Pope noted that what ultimately sets Christians apart is the belief that “Jesus is the Son of God who has come in the flesh.” This, he said, must be the starting point of any dialogue. “In this common confession, and in this common task, there is no division between us. And we pray that this shared foundation will grow ever stronger.”

From this starting point, Benedict continued, we must become witnesses. And not just empty witnesses, but witnesses in love. As the reading points out, he concluded, “’We know and believe the love God has for us’. Yes, man can believe in love. Let us bear witness to our faith in such a way that it shines forth as the power of love, ‘so that the world may believe (Jn 17:21).’”
Image Source: AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle

"On the Last Judgment" by St. John Vianney

Our catechism tells us, my children, that all men will undergo a particular judgment on the day of their death. No sooner shall we have breathed our last sigh than our soul, without leaving the place where it has expired, will be presented before the tribunal of God. Wherever we may die, God is there to exercise His justice. The good God, my children, has measured out our years, and of those years that He has resolved to leave us on this earth, He has marked out one which shall be our last; one day which we shall not see succeeded by other days; one hour after which there will be for us no more time. What distance is there between that moment and this -the space of an instant. Life, my children, is a smoke, a light vapour; it disappears more quickly than a bird that darts through the air, or a ship that sails on the sea, and leaves no trace of its course!
When shall we die? Alas! will it be in a year, in a month? Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps today!

May not that happen to us which happens to so many others? It may be that at a moment when you are thinking of nothing but amusing yourself, you may be summoned to the judgment of God, like the impious Baltassar. What will then be the astonishment of that soul entering on its eternity? Surprised, bewildered, separated thenceforth from its relations and friends, and, as it were, surrounded with Divine light, it will find in its Creator no longer a merciful Father, but an inflexible Judge. Imagine to yourselves, my children, a soul at its departure from this life. It is going to appear before the tribunal of its Judge, alone with God; there is Heaven on one side, Hell on the other. What object presents itself before it? The picture of its whole life! All its thoughts, all its words, all its actions, are examined.

This examination will be terrible, my children, because nothing is hidden from God. His infinite wisdom knows our most inmost thoughts; it penetrates to the bottom of our hearts, and lays open their innermost folds. In vain sinners avoid the light of day that they may sin more freely; they spare themselves a little sham in the eyes of men, but it will be of no advantage to them at the day of judgment; God will make light the darkness under cover of which they thought to sin with impunity. The Holy Ghost, my children, says that we shall be examined on our words, our thoughts, our actions; we shall be examined even on the good we ought to have done, and have not done, on the sins of others of which we have been the cause. Alas! so many thoughts to which we abandon ourselves -- to which the mind gives itself up; how many in one day! in a week! in a month! in a year! How many in the whole course of our life! Not one of this infinite number will escape the knowledge of our Judge.

The proud man must give an account of all his thoughts of presumption, of vanity, of ambition; the impure of all his evil thoughts, and of the criminal desires with which he has fed his imagination. Those young people who are incessantly occupied with their dress, who are seeking to please, to distinguish themselves, to attract attention and praise, and who dare not make themselves known in the tribunal of Penance, will they be able still to hide themselves at the day of the judgment of God? No, no! They will appear there such as they have been during their life, before Him who makes known all that is most secret in the heart of man.

We shall give an account, my children, of our oaths, of our imprecations, of our curses. God hears our slanders, our calumnies, our free conversations, our worldly and licentious songs; He hears also the discourse of the impious. This is not all, my children; God will also examine our actions. He will bring to light all our unfaithfulness in His service, our forgetfulness of His Commandments, our transgression of His law, the profanation of His churches, the attachment to the world, the ill-regulated love of pleasure and of the perishable goods of earth. All, my children, will be unveiled; those thefts, that injustice, that usury, that intemperance, that anger, those disputes, that tyranny, that revenge, those criminal liberties, those abominations that cannot be named without blushes...

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Prayer for Faith in God's Truths

MERCIFUL Lord, hear my prayer.
May I who have received Your gift of faith
share forever in the new life of Christ.
May the continuing work of our Redeemer
bring me eternal joy.
You have freed us from the darkness
of error and sin.
Help me to believe in Your truths faithfully.
Grant that everything I do
be led by the knowledge of Your truth.
May the Eucharist give me Your grace
and bring me to a new life in You.
Words of Inspiration: September 12, 2006

St. Padre Pio:

"Be cheerful. Jesus will take care of everything. Let us pay no attention to people who do not know what they are saying. Let us trust in Jesus and our heavenly Mother; and everything will work out well."
Monday, September 11, 2006
Pope Benedict XVI visits Altotting and Markt am Inn

Today the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, continued his journey through his native homeland of Bavaria, Germany. He visited the town of Altotting and his birthplace of Marktl am Inn along with the parish church of St. Oswald. In Altotting, the Holy Father celebrated Mass with approximately 70,000 pilgrims. He also took part in Marian vespers with religious and seminarians of Bavaria in the basilica of St. Ann.

Here is part of his homily from the Marian Vespers:

To be with Christ -- how does this come about? Well, the first and most important thing for the priest is his daily Mass, always celebrated with deep interior participation. If we celebrate Mass truly as men of prayer, if we unite our words and our activities to the Word that precedes us and let them be shaped by the Eucharistic celebration, if in Communion we let ourselves truly be embraced by him and receive him -- then we are being with him.

The Liturgy of the Hours is another fundamental way of being with Christ: Here we pray as people conscious of our need to speak with God, while lifting up all those others who have neither the time nor the ability to pray in this way.

If our Eucharistic celebration and the Liturgy of the Hours are to remain meaningful, we need to devote ourselves constantly anew to the spiritual reading of sacred Scripture; not only to be able to decipher and explain words from the distant past, but to discover the word that the Lord is speaking to me, personally, here and now. Only in this way will we be capable of bringing the inspired Word to others as a contemporary and living Word of God.

Eucharistic adoration is an essential way of being with the Lord. Thanks to Bishop Schraml, Altoetting now has a new treasury. Where once the treasures of the past were kept, precious historical and religious items, there is now a place for the Church's true treasure: the permanent presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

In one of his parables the Lord speaks of a treasure hidden in the field; the man who finds it sells all he has in order to buy that field, because the hidden treasure is more valuable than anything else. The hidden treasure, the good greater than any other good, is the Kingdom of God -- it is Jesus himself, the Kingdom in person.

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Here is his complete homily from Mass in Altotting:

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

In today's First Reading, Responsorial Psalm and Gospel, three times and in three different ways, we see Mary, the Mother of the Lord, as a woman of prayer. In the Book of Acts we find her in the midst of the community of the apostles gathered in the Upper Room, praying that the Lord, now ascended to the Father, will fulfill his promise: Within a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit (1:5).

Mary leads the nascent Church in prayer; she is, as it were in person, the Church at prayer. And thus, along with the great community of the saints and at their center, she stands even today before God interceding for us, asking her Son to send his Spirit once more upon the Church and to renew the face of the earth.

Our response to this reading is to sing with Mary the great hymn of praise which she raises after Elizabeth calls her blessed because of her faith. It is a prayer of thanksgiving, of joy in God, of blessing for his mighty works. The tenor of this hymn is clear from its very first words: My soul magnifies -- makes great -- the Lord. Making the Lord great means giving him a place in the world, in our lives, and letting him enter into our time and our activity: Ultimately this is the essence of true prayer. Where God is made great, men and women are not made small: There too men and women become great and the world is filled with light.

In the Gospel passage, Mary makes a request of her Son on behalf of some friends in need. At first sight, this could appear to be an entirely human conversation between a Mother and her Son and it is indeed a dialogue rich in humanity. Yet Mary does not speak to Jesus as if he were a mere man on whose ability and helpfulness she can count. She entrusts a human need to his power -- to a power which is more than skill and human ability.

In this dialogue with Jesus, we actually see her as a Mother who asks, one who intercedes. As we listen to this Gospel passage, it is worth going a little deeper, not only to understand Jesus and Mary better, but also to learn from Mary the right way to pray. Mary does not really ask something of Jesus: She simply says to him: They have no wine (John 2:3).

Weddings in the Holy Land were celebrated for a whole week; the entire town took part, and consequently much wine was consumed. Now the wedding couple find themselves in trouble, and Mary simply says this to Jesus. She doesn't tell Jesus what to do. She doesn't ask for anything in particular, and she certainly doesn't ask him to perform a miracle to make wine. She simply hands the matter over to Jesus and leaves him to decide what to do.

In the straightforward words of the Mother of Jesus, then, we can see two things: on the one hand her affectionate concern for people, that maternal affection which makes her aware of the problems of others. We see her heartfelt goodness and her willingness to help. This is the Mother that generations of people have come here to Altoetting to visit. To her we entrust our cares, our needs and our troubles. Her maternal readiness to help, in which we trust, appears here for the first time in the holy Scriptures.

But in addition to this first aspect, with which we are all familiar, there is another, which we could easily overlook: Mary leaves everything to the Lord's judgment. At Nazareth she gave over her will, immersing it in the will of God: Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word (Luke 1:38). And this continues to be her fundamental attitude.

This is how she teaches us to pray: not by seeking to affirm our own will and our own desires before God, but by letting him decide what he wants to do. From Mary we learn graciousness and readiness to help, but we also learn humility and generosity in accepting God's will, in the confident conviction that whatever he says in response will be best for us.

If all this helps us to understand Mary's attitude and her words, we still find it hard to understand Jesus' answer. In the first place, we don't like the way he addresses her: Woman. Why doesn't he say: Mother? But this title really expresses Mary's place in salvation history. It points to the future, to the hour of the crucifixion, when Jesus will say to her: Woman, behold your son -- Son, behold your mother (cf. John 19:26-27). It anticipates the hour when he will make the woman, his Mother, the Mother of all his disciples.

On the other hand, the title Woman recalls the account of the creation of Eve: Adam, surrounded by creation in all its magnificence, experiences loneliness as a human being. Then Eve is created, and in her Adam finds the companion whom he longed for; and he gives her the name woman. In the Gospel of John, then, Mary represents the new, the definitive woman, the companion of the Redeemer, our Mother: The name, which seemed so lacking in affection, actually expresses the grandeur of Mary's mission.

Yet we like even less the other part of Jesus' answer to Mary at Cana: Woman, what have I to do with you? My hour has not yet come (John 2:4). We want to object: You have a lot to do with her! It was Mary who gave you flesh and blood, who gave you your body, and not only your body: With the yes which rose from the depths of her heart she bore you in her womb and with a mother's love she gave you life and introduced you to the community of the people of Israel.

If this is our response to Jesus, then we are already well along the way toward understanding his answer. Because all this should remind us that in holy Scripture we find a parallelism between Mary's dialogue with the Archangel Gabriel, where she says: Let it be with me according to your word (Luke 1:38), and the passage of the Letter to the Hebrews which cites the words of Psalm 40 about the dialogue between Father and Son -- the dialogue which results in the Incarnation. The Eternal Son says to the Father: Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me. ... See, I have come to do your will, O God (Hebrews 10:5-7; cf. Psalm 40:6-8).

The yes of the Son: I have come to do your will, and the yes of Mary: Let it be with me according to your word -- this double yes becomes a single yes, and thus the Word becomes flesh in Mary. In this double yes the obedience of the Son is embodied, and Mary gives him that body. Woman, what have I to do with you? Ultimately, what each has to do with the other is found in this double yes which resulted in the Incarnation.

It is to this point of profound unity that the Lord is referring. Here, in this common yes to the will of the Father, an answer is found. We too need to progress toward this point; and there we will find the answer to our questions.

If we take this as our starting point, we can also understand the second part of Jesus' answer: My hour has not yet come. Jesus never acts completely alone, and never for the sake of pleasing others. The Father is always the starting point of his actions, and this is what unites him to Mary, because she wished to make her request in this same unity of will with the Father.

And so, surprisingly, after hearing Jesus' answer, which apparently refuses her request, she can simply say to the servants: Do whatever he tells you (John 2:5). Jesus is not a wonder-worker, he does not play games with his power in what is, after all, a private affair. He gives a sign, in which he proclaims his hour, the hour of the wedding feast, the hour of union between God and man.

He does not merely make wine, but transforms the human wedding feast into an image of the divine wedding feast, to which the Father invites us through the Son and in which he gives us every good thing. The wedding feast becomes an image of the Cross, where God showed his love to the end, giving himself in his Son in flesh and blood -- in the Son who instituted the sacrament in which he gives himself to us for all time. Thus a human problem is solved in a way that is truly divine and the initial request is superabundantly granted. Jesus' hour has not yet arrived, but in the sign of the water changed into wine, in the sign of the festive gift, he even now anticipates that hour.

Jesus' definitive hour will be his return at the end of time. Yet he continually anticipates this hour in the Eucharist, in which, even now, he always comes to us. And he does this ever anew through the intercession of his Mother, through the intercession of the Church, which cries out to him in the Eucharistic prayers: Come, Lord Jesus!

In the Canon of the Mass, the Church constantly prays for this hour to be anticipated, asking that he may come even now and be given to us. And so we want to let ourselves be guided by Mary, by the Mother of Graces of Altoetting, by the Mother of all the faithful, toward the hour of Jesus.

Let us ask him for the gift of a deeper knowledge and understanding of him. And may our reception of him not be reduced to the moment of communion alone. Jesus remains present in the sacred Host and he awaits us constantly. Here in Altoetting, the adoration of the Lord in the Eucharist has found a new location in the old treasury. Mary and Jesus go together.

Through Mary we want to continue our converse with the Lord and to learn how to receive him better. Holy Mother of God, pray for us, just as at Cana you prayed for the bride and the bridegroom! Guide us toward Jesus -- ever anew! Amen!

[Translation of German original issued by the Holy See; adapted]

© Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Georg Ratzinger is present; Source: AP Photo/Michaela Rehle, Pool

Celebrates Mass in the Basilica in Altotting; Source: AP Photo/Michaela Rehle, pool
Celebrates Mass in Altotting; Source: AP Photo/Maurizio Brambatti, Pool

Nuns pray at Mass in Altotting; Source: REUTERS/Michaela Rehle (GERMANY)

Greeted in Marktl am Inn; Source: AFP/Joe Klamar

Prays in Church of St. Oswald; Source: AP Photo/Giancarlo Giuliani, Pool

Visits Church of St. Oswald; Source: AP Photo/Giancarlo Giuliani, Pool

Stands before the font he was baptized from in the Church of St. Oswald;

Source: REUTERS/Andreas Gebert /POOL (GERMANY)

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