Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Rosary Miracle at Hiroshima

On August 6, 1945 the first nuclear bomb ever used was detonated over Hiroshima, Japan, killing 140,000 people. Everything within a mile of the blast was annihilated with nothing left standing, no survivors.

Yet, just eight blocks from ground zero (to be exact 1 kilometer or 6/10 of a mile) there was a two story house left standing intact with no damage to it, not even the windows were broken. When inquiry was made as to what was different about the building it was discovered that there was a community of eight Jesuit priests living there who said the Rosary each day.

Fr. Hubert Schiffer who headed the community was virtually untouched by the nuclear blast with no radiation found in his body, and he publicly testified to this miracle at the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia in 1976. In an interview with Fr. Paul Ruge he describes the horrific nightmare of August 6, 1945:

"Suddenly, a terrific explosion filled the air with one bursting thunder stroke. An invisible force lifted me from the chair, hurled me through the air, shook me, battered me, whirled me 'round and round' like a leaf in a gust of autumn wind."

Fr. Ruge relates that the next thing he remembered was that he opened his eyes and found himself laying on the ground. He looked around and there was NOTHING in any direction: the railroad station and buildings in all directions were leveled to the ground. The only physical harm to himself was that he could feel a few pieces of glass in the back of his neck. As far as he could tell, there was nothing else physically wrong with himself.

Shortly thereafter Fr. Schiffer was told by medical authorities that he would eventually die of cancer because of all the radiation exposure, yet he lived another 30 years in full health with no cancer or effects from the radiation. The same is said of the other seven survivors of the priestly community. Aside from some slight surface abrasions or scratches they all lived out their days in full health with no cancer or side effects from radiation.

According to Dr. Stephen Rinehart, a nuclear physicist with the U.S. Department of Defense who had studied this phenomenon intently, they should have been dead in a flash. In his commentary on the Hiroshima blast he states:

"Their residence should still have been utterly destroyed (temp; 2000 F and air blast pressures; 100 psi). In contrast, unreinforced masonry or brick walls (representative of commercial construction) are destroyed at 3 psi, which will also cause car damage and burst windows. At 10 psi, a human will experience severe lung and heart damage, burst eardrums and at 20 psi your limbs can be blown off. Your head will be blown off by 40 psi and no residential or unreinforced commercial construction would be left standing. At 80 psi even reinforced concrete is heavily damaged and no human would be alive because your skull would be crushed. All the cotton clothes would be on fire at 350 F (probably at 275 F) and your lungs would be inoperative within a minute breathing air (even for a few seconds) at these temperatures.

"There are no physical laws to explain why the Jesuits were untouched in the Hiroshima air blast. There is no other actual or test data where a structure such as this was not totally destroyed at this standoff distance by an atomic weapon. All who were at this range from the epicenter should have received enough radiation to be dead within at most a matter of minutes if nothing else happened to them. There is no known way to design a uranium-235 atomic bomb, which could leave such a large discrete area intact while destroying everything around it immediately outside the fireball...

"From a scientific viewpoint, what happened to those Jesuits at Hiroshima still defies all human logic from the laws of physics as understood today (or at any time in the future). It must be concluded that some other (external) force was present whose power and/or capability to transform energy and matter as it relates to humans is beyond current comprehension."

THE ROSARY MIRACLE that occurred at Hiroshima is well known and well documented and has been published in various journals since the war, and can be read today on several websites. Yet, to date no one has ever been able to offer a scientific explanation for this phenomenon. The best they can do is hold their peace and remain bamboozled.

There is one exception though. There are those of rational thought (e.g. Dr. Rinehart) who recognize the hand of God in this. This miracle was intended as a lesson for the world, especially the people of the last times who would be subject to increasing calamities and the effects of war, nuclear accidents, etc.

"We believe that we survived because we were living the Message of Fatima. We lived and prayed the Rosary daily in that home." - the Jesuit priests

The Rosary then assumes more importance today than in any time of history since we are living in the age of Antichrist when the Blessed Virgin is lifting up her heel in a final, dramatic move to obliterate the forces of evil from our world. (Genesis 3:15) Those who arm themselves with the Rosary share in this victory over evil and come under Mary's special protection.

The Rosary goes back to the very first centuries when the early Christians recited the 150 consecutive Hail Marys to the Blessed Virgin, though it was done without the beads that we use today. This devotion was known in the early Church as the 150 psalms to Jesus and Mary, prefigured by the 150 Psalms of the Old Testament.

In 1214 the Blessed Virgin actually appeared to St. Dominic in his chapel and handed him the beads of the Rosary with the commission that he spread this age old devotion throughout the world. Through the power of the Rosary he went about preaching and converting thousands everywhere, as he cast out devils, cured the sick, and even raised the dead to life on three occasions. And to think that we have these pearls of grace at our disposal today. With the Rosary we hold the power of God in our hands.

The Rosary can be said by anyone, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, so when the days get rough and the calamities increase we should remember that we always have recourse to the Rosary. It doesn't necessarily mean we'll get the same miracle as those eight priests at Hiroshima (but it doesn't mean we won't either), but what it does mean is that we'll be under the special protection of Heaven which is something we will all need in the coming days.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Gregorian Chant: Requiem from Jade Music

I recently had the opportunity to receive an advance copy of Gregorian Chant: Requiem from Jade Music. I have posted in the past about fine music produced by Jade Music and this soon-to-be released item is no exception! Jade Music has put together an inspiring collection of chants from the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael's Abbey.

Rating: Highly recommended

Visit Amazon for previews of the songs.  Some of the items on the CD include
  • Introit: Requiem
  • Kyrie
  • Gradual: Requiem
  • Gradual: Si Ambulem
  • Prose: Dies Irae
  • Tract: De Profundis
  • Offertory: Domine Jesus Christe
  • Preface
  • Sanctus
  • ...and others!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
2011 Liturgical Calendars for Free Download

I recently came across a fantastic resource.  Available for easy downloading and printing from Google Docs is a 2011 Liturgical Calendar.  This Calendar follows the Traditional 1955 Calendar of Pope Pius XII.  You can print off each month of the year.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
"Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week" Excerpt by Pope Benedict XVI

The excerpt comes from Chapter 7, Section 3, titled "Jesus Before Pilate."  With Lent nearly upon us, now is an appropriate time to read of our Lord's trial before Pilate.  Ignatius Press is the publisher of the volume in English.

Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week follows the book Jesus of Nazareth, which follows our Lord's journey from his Baptism in the Jordan through His Transfiguration.

* * *

In addition to the clear delimitation of his concept of kingdom (no fighting, earthly powerlessness), Jesus had introduced a positive idea, in order to explain the nature and particular character of the power of this kingship: namely, truth. Pilate brought another idea into play as the dialogue proceeded, one that came from his own world and was normally connected with "kingdom": namely, power—authority (exousia). Dominion demands power; it even defines it. Jesus, however, defines as the essence of his kingship witness to the truth. Is truth a political category? Or has Jesus’ "kingdom" nothing to do with politics? To which order does it belong? If Jesus bases his concept of kingship and kingdom on truth as the fundamental category, then it is entirely understandable that the pragmatic Pilate asks him: "What is truth?" (18:38).

It is the question that is also asked by modern political theory: Can politics accept truth as a structural category? Or must truth, as something unattainable, be relegated to the subjective sphere, its place taken by an attempt to build peace and justice using whatever instruments are available to power? By relying on truth, does not politics, in view of the impossibility of attaining consensus on truth, make itself a tool of particular traditions that in reality are merely forms of holding on to power? And yet, on the other hand, what happens when truth counts for nothing? What kind of justice is then possible? Must there not be common criteria that guarantee real justice for all—criteria that are independent of the arbitrariness of changing opinions and powerful lobbies? Is it not true that the great dictatorships were fed by the power of the ideological lie and that only truth was capable of bringing freedom?

What is truth? The pragmatist’s question, tossed off with a degree of scepticism, is a very serious question, bound up with the fate of mankind. What, then, is truth? Are we able to recognize it? Can it serve as a criterion for our intellect and will, both in individual choices and in the life of the community?

The classic definition from scholastic philosophy designates truth as "adaequatio intellectus et rei" (conformity between the intellect and reality; Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae I, q. 21, a. 2c). If a man’s intellect reflects a thing as it is in itself, then he has found truth: but only a small fragment of reality—not truth in its grandeur and integrity. We come closer to what Jesus meant with another of Saint Thomas’ teachings: "Truth is in God’s intellect properly and firstly (proprie et primo); in human intellect it is present properly and derivatively (proprie quidem et secundario)" (De Verit., q. 1, a. 4c). And in conclusion we arrive at the succinct formula: God is "ipsa summa et prima veritas" (truth itself, the sovereign and first truth; Summa Theologiae I, q. 16, a. 5c).

This formula brings us close to what Jesus means when he speaks of the truth, when he says that his purpose in coming into the world was to "bear witness to the truth". Again and again in the world, truth and error, truth and untruth, are almost inseparably mixed together. The truth in all its grandeur and purity does not appear. The world is "true" to the extent that it reflects God: the creative logic, the eternal reason that brought it to birth. And it becomes more and more true the closer it draws to God. Man becomes true, he becomes himself, when he grows in God’s likeness. Then he attains to his proper nature. God is the reality that gives being and

"Bearing witness to the truth" means giving priority to God and to his will over against the interests of the world and its powers. God is the criterion of being. In this sense, truth is the real "king" that confers light and greatness upon all things. We may also say that bearing witness to the truth means making creation intelligible and its truth accessible from God’s perspective—the perspective of creative reason—in such a way that it can serve as a criterion and a signpost in this world of ours, in such a way that the great and the mighty are exposed to the power of truth, the common law, the law of truth.

Let us say plainly: the unredeemed state of the world consists precisely in the failure to understand the meaning of creation, in the failure to recognize truth; as a result, the rule of pragmatism is imposed, by which the strong arm of the powerful becomes the god of this world. At this point, modern man is tempted to say: Creation has become intelligible to us through science. Indeed, Francis S. Collins, for example, who led the Human Genome Project, says with joyful astonishment: "The language of God was revealed" (The Language of God, p. 122). Indeed, in the magnificent mathematics of creation, which today we can read in the human genetic code, we recognize the language of God. But unfortunately not the whole language. The functional truth about man has been discovered. But the truth about man himself—who he is, where he comes from, what he should do, what is right, what is wrong—this unfortunately cannot be read in the same way. Hand in hand with growing knowledge of functional truth there seems to be an increasing blindness toward "truth" itself—toward the question of our real identity and purpose.

What is truth? Pilate was not alone in dismissing this question as unanswerable and irrelevant for his purposes. Today too, in political argument and in discussion of the foundations of law, it is generally experienced as disturbing. Yet if man lives without truth, life passes him by; ultimately he surrenders the field to whoever is the stronger. "Redemption" in the fullest sense can only consist in the truth becoming recognizable. And it becomes recognizable when God becomes recognizable. He becomes recognizable in Jesus Christ. In Christ, God entered the world and set up the criterion of truth in the midst of history.

Truth is outwardly powerless in the world, just as Christ is powerless by the world’s standards: he has no legions; he is crucified. Yet in his very powerlessness, he is powerful: only thus, again and again, does truth become power. In the dialogue between Jesus and Pilate, the subject matter is Jesus’ kingship and, hence, the kingship, the "kingdom", of God. In the course of this same conversation it becomes abundantly clear that there is no discontinuity between Jesus’ Galilean teaching—the proclamation of the kingdom of God—and his Jerusalem teaching. The center of the message, all the way to the Cross—all the way to the inscription above the Cross—is the kingdom of God, the new kingship represented by Jesus. And this kingship is centered on truth. The kingship proclaimed by Jesus, at first in parables and then at the end quite openly before the earthly judge, is none other than the kingship of truth. The inauguration of this kingship is man’s true liberation.

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