Friday, November 17, 2017

Norbert Schackmann: Saint Paul suffered from "verbal diarrhea" and Saint John from "spiritual arrogance"...

This morning on Facebook, an individual by the name of Norbert Schackmann insulted both Saint Paul and Saint John, accusing the former of "verbal diarrhea" and the latter of "spiritual arrogance."

An unhappy soul with a very strange and unscriptural view of these two great Apostles.

Mr. Schackmann asserted that the Apostle John was spiritually arrogant because He referred to himself as, "The disciple whom Jesus loved."  But, as this EWTN article explains:


"Our divine Redeemer had a particular affection for him above the rest of the apostles; insomuch that when St. John speaks of himself, he saith that he was 'The disciple whom Jesus loved*'; and frequently he mentions himself by this only characteristic; which he did not out of pride to distinguish himself, but out of gratitude and tender love for his blessed Master."

Father Vincent Miceli, S.J., in a wonderful essay on zeal, reminds us that, "Christian zeal is an essential qualification in the very notion of a servant of God.  It is the source of holy action in religious services that manifest love of God and of neighbor.  Christian zeal signifies that a person loves God above all things, above all men, above one's dearest, most intimate beloved ones.  And Christian zeal partakes of a priestly quality, for it signifies the consecration of God's servants to the office of rendering sacrifice and adoration to God....Consumed by zeal Himself, is it any wonder that Christ chose His Apostles, those with whom He would share His divine Priesthood forever, from among the zealous?...Extraordinary is the example of St. Paul.  He is perhaps the most zealous of the Apostles...The new Paul, no longer lived his own life but Christ lived in him..."

Mr. Schackmann doesn't see it this way. Referring to the time Saint Paul preached all night long and into the next day, Mr. Schackmann asserts that Saint Paul suffered from verbal diarrhea, thereby implying that the Good News he was bringing, which comes from Christ Jesus Himself, Who personally chose Paul, is mere excrement.

In a General Audience given by Pope Benedict XVI, His Holiness said, "... in this brief list of Paul's journeys it suffices to note how dedicated he was to proclaiming the Gospel, sparing no energy, confronting a series of grave trials, of which he left us a list in the Second Letter to the Corinthians (cf. 11: 21-28). Moreover, it is he who writes: "I do it all for the sake of the Gospel" (1 Cor 9: 23), exercising with unreserved generosity what he called "anxiety for the Churches" (2 Cor 11: 28). We see a commitment that can only be explained by a soul truly fascinated by the light of the Gospel, in love with Christ, a soul sustained by profound conviction; it is necessary to bring Christ's light to the world, to proclaim the Gospel to all of us. This seems to me to be what remains for us from this brief review of St Paul's journeys: to see his passion for the Gospel and thereby grasp the greatness, the beauty, indeed the deep need of the Gospel for all of us. Let us pray the Lord who caused St Paul to see his light, who made him hear his word and profoundly moved his heart, that we may also see his light, so that our hearts too may be moved by his Word and thus that we too may give the light of the Gospel and the truth of Christ to today's world which thirsts for it."

Amen!

*"According to tradition, John is the 'disciple whom Jesus loved', who in the Fourth Gospel laid his head against the Teacher's breast at the Last Supper (cf. Jn 13: 23), stood at the foot of the Cross together with the Mother of Jesus (cf. Jn 19: 25) and lastly, witnessed both the empty tomb and the presence of the Risen One himself (cf. Jn 20: 2; 21: 7)." (Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience).


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Athol Daily News publishes an offensive anti-Christian cartoon...

The Athol Daily News, a local newspaper which is published and written by leftist ideologues, today published a political cartoon from Kevin Siers of The Charlotte Observer showing Roy Moore reading the Scripture where Jesus says, “Suffer the little children to come unto me."

The implication of this cartoon is obvious. For this same cartoon shows Moore asserting that, "The media are just trying to destroy those who follow God's Word."

If indeed Roy Moore has accosted underage females (something not yet established), this anti-Christian cartoon is insinuating that he receives his marching orders from Christ Jesus.

When "comedian" George Carlin used this same Scripture in a blasphemous way, the Catholic League addressed that instance of Catholic bashing.  See here.

It is perhaps unrealistic to expect the far-left propagandists at The Athol Daily News to strive for anything even remotely resembling objectivity.  Like most fanatics, nothing will produce the slightest crack in their wall of conviction.

It would be nice if they could at least refrain from insulting Christians and their deeply-held beliefs.

I won't be holding my breath.


Men are being ignored by the Church and Mass attendance is in free-fall as a result...

Catholic author Michael Brown writes:

"Recently, as members of our bishop’s council on culture, we attended a Mass con-celebrated by all the bishops in Florida (eight of them, main celebrant, Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami); about thirty priests; and more than a dozen deacons who were honoring the anniversary death of a local prelate. It was a very formal Mass, replete with beautiful singing and organ and incense — an hour and a half, and a truly holy experience. The sanctity was palpable.

There is no question that when done the right way, with elan as well as solemnity, the liturgy, even as formulated since Vatican II, can be profound.

But herein — what occurs elsewhere, during Mass — is the problem.

While the United States bishops, gathering for an annual conference, discuss political issues such as immigration, far more urgent matters concerning the Church itself — particularly in the U.S. — press in from all sides.

None is more so than that of the liturgy and church attendance, which is some dioceses is in free-fall.

One example: Pittsburgh — for decades a Catholic stronghold — has seen a forty percent drop in attendance since 2000.

In many parishes, youth are an endangered species — all but gone save for small scattered pockets on Saturday or Sunday, most seduced by weekend sports events or turned off by what they hear as long, dry homilies and uninspiring music, as well as unnecessary prolongations contrary to the flow of Mass. A modern, sterile interior does not help in the feeling of holiness — and without any feeling, without a sense of the Holy Spirit personally touching them, pews empty..."

What Mr. Brown neglects to mention is that the war on masculinity within the Catholic Church is a major factor in the emptying of pews.

As this article explains:

"Though the New Evangelization has been a major effort in the Catholic Church for over forty years, it has failed to stem the disastrous losses of the faithful in the U.S. The New Evangelization is faltering: since 2000, 14 million Catholics have left the faith, parish religious education participation of children has dropped by 24%, Catholic school attendance has dropped by 19%, baptisms of infants has dropped by 28%, baptism of adults has dropped by 31% and sacramental Catholic marriages have dropped by 41%. Something is desperately wrong with the Church’s approach to the New Evangelization.

The New Emangelization Project has documented that a key driver of the collapse of Catholicism in the U. S. is a serious and growing Catholic “man-crisis”. One third of baptized Catholic men have left the faith and the majority of those who remain “Catholic” neither know nor practice the faith and are not committed to pass the faith along to their children. Recent research shows that large numbers of young Catholic men are leaving the faith to become “Nones”, men who have no religious affiliation. The growing losses of young Catholic men will have a devastating impact on the U.S. Catholic Church in the coming decades, as older Catholic men pass away and young men fail to remain and marry in the Church, accelerating the devastating losses that have already occurred.

While there are massive cultural forces outside of the Church (e.g. secularism, pluralism, anti-Christian bias, radical feminism, pornography, media saturation, etc.) and missteps within the Church (e.g. failure to make men a priority, sex abuse scandals, homosexuality in the priesthood, etc.) that have contributed to the Catholic “man-crisis”, the New Emangelization Project has conducted dozens of interviews with top Catholic men’s evangelists that suggest that a core reason for the “man-crisis” is that bishops and priests have not yet made the evangelization and catechesis of men a clear priority. Men are being ignored by the Church."

_________________

Addicted to homosexuality and effeminism, the Cult of Softness has a deep and abiding hatred of real men and anything even remotely resembling masculinity.  I've addressed this truth often at this Blog-  see here for example.

In the New Church, which will accept the Man of Sin, the Cult of Softness will be the New dogma.  Already there is preparation on so very many levels.

The Latin Vulgate (see the Douay-Rheims Bible) indicates that the effeminate will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:10). But the New American Bible, which is used by the USCCB, omits the word effeminate:


1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (Latin Vulgate):

Verse 9: "Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: Neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers:

an nescitis quia iniqui regnum Dei non possidebunt nolite errare neque fornicarii neque idolis servientes neque adulteri

Verse 10: Nor the effeminate nor liers with mankind nor thieves nor covetous nor drunkards nor railers nor extortioners shall possess the kingdom of God.

neque molles neque masculorum concubitores neque fures neque avari neque ebriosi neque maledici neque rapaces regnum Dei possidebunt."


1Corinthians 6: 9-10 (New American Bible) posted online by the USCCB:

Verse 9: "Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites

Verse 10: nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God."

Why do you think this is so?  The Latin Vulgate, which we have obtained from the great St. Jerome, is the most precise translation of the Sacred Scriptures available.  There are many other problems with recent translations of the Scriptures.  But my focus here is on this passage.  Why has the word "effeminate" been dropped from 1 Corinthians 6?

Dr. Leon Podles writes, "Walter Ong, having been formed in a masculine, Jesuit, clerical milieu does not seem to be aware of how feminized Christianity had become even before the 1960s, but he saw a rapid shift in the Catholic Church in the 1960s toward even greater feminization...The contrasts of Christianity, grace and sin, life and death, have been toned down with a considerable loss of emotional power.  Without this power, the popular appeal of the liturgy has declined (even with a more accessible language) and church attendance has plummeted...Even the change from Latin to the vernacular was also a symptom of feminization, according to Ong.  Latin had been a means of maintaining a Latin culture in the Roman Catholic clergy.  A language restricted to men is common; it is a sign of masculine separation from the feminine world.  After it became a learned language, Latin was learned almost exclusively by men.  The system of education that used Latin and centered around Latin literature was centered around contest and disputation and was confined almost entirely to men.  The disappearance of Latin was part of the demasculinization of the clergy.." (The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity, pp. 133-135).

So crippled by radical feminism and effeminate clergy, the Church often finds herself incapable of either giving or receiving fraternal correction.  The Cotton-Candy "Church of Nice" (not the Church founded by Christ Jesus to deliver hard truths and thereby save souls), is the Church of "Who am I to judge?", the Church of empty, bland New Age homilies-  Chicken Soup for the Chicken Catholic. Because I had the audacity to stand up to several women at a parish in Baldwinville, Massachusetts who were disrespecting Our Eucharistic Lord by talking loudly and laughing before the tabernacle as people attempted to prepare for Holy Mass, I was told by the priest that I am a "large man" who is scary and that I would be "ostracized."

This is a favorite tactic of liberals to silence authentic men who are not sissified and who actually possess backbone.

The Cult of Softness permeates the entire Church.  It is passive aggressive and desires total control of everything it comes into contact with.

But it cannot fight head on or on solid ground. That is its weakness.  And it is there we must take the fight.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Francis, Mueller and the so-called internal forum solution approach...

The AP is reporting that:

"Pope Francis on Saturday reaffirmed the 'primacy' of using one's conscience to navigate tough moral questions in his first comments since he was publicly accused of spreading heresy by emphasizing conscience over hard and fast Catholic rules.

Francis issued a video message to a conference organized by Italian bishops on his controversial 2016 document on family life, 'The Joy of Love.' The document has badly divided the Catholic Church, with some commentators warning that it risked creating a schism given its opening to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

Francis told the conference that priests must inform Catholic consciences 'but not replace them.' And he stressed the distinction between one's conscience — where God reveals himself — and one's ego that thinks it can do as it pleases.


'The contemporary world risks confusing the primacy of conscience, which must always be respected, with the exclusive autonomy of an individual with respect to his or her relations,' Francis said.

Francis reaffirmed the centrality of 'The Joy of Love' as the church's guide to Catholic couples today trying to navigate the ups and downs of complicated family situations.

When it was released in April 2016, 'The Joy of Love' immediately sparked controversy because it cautiously opened the door to letting civilly remarried Catholics receive Communion.

Church teaching holds that unless these Catholics obtain an annulment — a church decree declaring their first marriage invalid — they cannot receive the sacraments since they are seen as committing adultery in the eyes of the church.

Francis didn't give these Catholics an automatic pass, but suggested that bishops and priests could do so on a case-by-case basis, with the couples' 'well-formed' consciences as the guide.

Conservatives accused the pope of sowing confusion and undermining the church's teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. Four prominent cardinals formally asked for a clarification to five "dubia," or doubts, they said had been spawned by the document.

More recently, a group of traditionalist and conservative priests and scholars formally accused Francis of spreading heresy.

Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, whom Francis recently removed as the Vatican's chief doctrinal watchdog, didn't join the four 'dubia' cardinals or the heresy accusers. But he warned in a recent book preface that 'schismatic temptations and dogmatic confusion' had been sown as a result of the debate over the document. He said such confusion was 'dangerous for the unity of the church.'

Mueller sought to offer his own interpretation — that 'The Joy of Love' can only be read as a continuity of the church's traditional teaching on marriage — offering what he said was his own 'contribution to re-establishing peace in the church.'"

Holy Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics on a case-by-case basis with the couples "well-formed consciences" as the guide represents "a continuity of the Church's traditional teaching on marriage"?

How so Your Eminence?  The Church has already addressed the so-called "internal forum solution" proposed by Francis.  Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith, explained that:

"By the way, as far as the 'internal forum solution' is concerned as a means for resolving the question of the validity of a prior marriage, the magisterium has not sanctioned its use for a number of reasons, among which is the inherent contradiction of resolving something in the internal forum which by nature also pertains to and has such important consequences for the external forum. Marriage , not a private act, has deep implications of course for both of the spouses and resulting children and also for Christian and civil society.  Only the external forum can give real assurance to the petitioner, himself not a disinterested party, that he is not guilty of rationalisation.  Likewise, only the external forum can address the rights or claims of the other partner of the former union, and, in the case of the tribunal's issuance of a judgment of nullity, make possible entering into a canonically valid, sacramental marriage." (Ratzinger, "Church, Pope and Gospel").

The problem with letting couples using their consciences as a guide is that there is often a tendency to rationalize sin. Likewise, couples committing adultery will often be tempted to rationalize their situation when considering whether or not to approach Holy Eucharist which is properly the sacrament of those who are in full communion with the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1395).

As Dr. Germain Grisez explains, "The practice of the so-called internal forum approach lies in trying to reduce a problem about the validity of a marriage (or one's right to receive Holy Eucharist, my note) to a private problem of individual conscience, even though marriage is ineluctably social as a human reality and ineluctably ecclesial as a saving mystery.  The practice of so-called internal forum solutions also is pastorally disastrous. Even though someone whose problem has been dealt with in this way may really believe he or she is not living in sin (such as receiving Holy Eucharist unworthily because one is living in adultery, my note), the practice itself cannot reasonably be expected to being about that state of conscience.  For it invites self-deception and rationalization, and peace of conscience attained by such means is not a reliable sign of freedom from the guilt of grave sin (See CMP, 3.C).

As I explained in a previous post:

"For all too many people today (including sadly, many Catholics) the conscience has become a "mighty fortress" built so as to shelter one from the exacting demands of truth. In the words of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, "In the Psalms we meet from time to time the prayer that God should free man from his hidden sins. The Psalmist sees as his greatest danger the fact that he no longer recognizes them as sins and thus falls into them in apparently good conscience. Not being able to have a guilty conscience is a sickness...And thus one cannot aprove the maxim that everyone may always do what his conscience allows him to do: In that case the person without a conscience would be permitted to do anything. In truth it is his fault that his conscience is so broken that he no longer sees what he as a man should see. In other words, included in the concept of conscience is an obligation, namely, the obligation to care for it, to form it and educate it. Conscience has a right to respect and obedience in the measure in which the person himself respects it and gives it the care which its dignity deserves. The right of conscience is the obligation of the formation of conscience. Just as we try to develop our use of language and we try to rule our use of rules, so must we also seek the true measure of conscience so that finally the inner word of conscience can arrive at its validity.


For us this means that the Church's magisterium bears the responsibility for correct formation. It makes an appeal, one can say, to the inner vibrations its word causes in the process of the maturing of conscience. It is thus an oversimplification to put a statement of the magisterium in opposition to conscience. In such a case I must ask myself much more. What is it in me that contradicts this word of the magisterium? Is it perhaps only my comfort? My obstinacy? Or is it an estrangement through some way of life that allows me something which the magisterium forbids and that appears to me to be better motivated or more suitable simply because society considers it reasonable? It is only in the context of this kind of struggle that the conscience can be trained, and the magisterium has the right to expect that the conscience will be open to it in a manner befitting the seriousness of the matter. If I believe that the Church has its origins in the Lord, then the teaching office in the Church has a right to expect that it, as it authentically develops, will be accepted as a priority factor in the formation of conscience."

Cardinal Mueller apparently has not considered these truths.  Nor has Francis.

What a shame!


Friday, November 10, 2017

Vittorio Messori's concerns regarding Francis...

From Lifesite News:

MILAN, Italy, November 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A best-selling Italian writer has broken his silence on the current papacy to voice concerns over Pope Francis’ attitude toward doctrine.

Vittorio Messori, 76, is best-known in the English-speaking world for his book-length interviews with then-Cardinal Ratzinger in The Ratzinger Report (1987) and with Pope John Paul II in Threshold of Hope. The journalist has now published an essay in an Italian Catholic magazine, Il Timore, outlining his fears that Pope Francis is turning the Catholic Church into a kind of “liquid society” in which the only certainty is uncertainty and the only constant is change.

The article, which is not available online, was first brought to the attention of the English-speaking world by Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register.

In his essay, Messori draws on the work of Zygmunt Bauman (1925-2017), the Jewish-Polish philosopher who introduced the concept of “liquid modernity” to sociology. “Liquid modernity” represents a change from what Bauman called “solid modernity.” Bauman wrote that the “liquid” modern man values individualism over social ties. He “flows through his own life like a tourist, changing places, jobs, spouses, values and even sexual orientation and gender.”

Bauman observed that such a man excludes himself from traditional networks of support, freeing himself from their restrictions or requirements. This extreme individualism has created societies in which, Messori writes, “everything is unstable and changeable.” Today it is acceptable to believe that change is “the only permanent thing” and that uncertainty is the “only certainty.”

Messori is troubled that these ideas have begun to influence religious faith. He writes that believers are becoming “disturbed by the fact that even the Catholic Church — which was an age-old example of stability — seems to want to become ‘liquid’ as well.”

Francis is engaging in chronological snobbery or what the French philosopher Jacques Maritain referred to as"chronolatry" in his work "Le paysan de la Garonne" - The Peasant of the Garonne.

Maritain defines chronolatry as the idolatry of what is newest or latest in time. This is the characteristic flaw of today's "progressive" who looks upon the wisdom of the ages and dismisses it as nothing more than "theories" which belong to the past.

Is there really any doubt that Francis views the Catholic Church as "outdated" and "stagnant."  recall what his niece had to say about the Church and his "mission" here.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

A Cupich of nonsense...

Cardinal Blade Cupich is touting heretical priest Father James Martin, S.J., as a shining example of evangelization to youth.  See here.

In an essay on the meaning of evangelization, Father Vincent Miceli, S.J. wrote, "Being the work of God and man in cooperation, it must ever be a thrilling and awesome adventure.  We can say, however, that this sanctifying activity proclaims Christ to those who do not know Him, preaches the Gospel to them through catechesis and missionary sermons, confers Baptism and other sacraments and tirelessly exhorts converts to scale the heights of sanctity.  Jesus Christ, Himself, the Good News of God, was the very first and greatest evangelizer.  He proclaimed an absolute Kingdom of God, making everything else relative.  He proclaimed salvation, namely liberation from sin, Satan, death, a liberation that bestowed upon sinners returned to God grace, resurrection in immortality and glorification in the triune God.  He proclaimed the price man must pay for his salvation, namely that men must gain Heaven by violence, i.e., through a life of penance, toil, and suffering accepted in the spirit of the Suffering Servant of God.  And above all He proclaimed that man must undergo that interior renewal which the Gospel calls metanoia, that is the radical change of heart and mind which destroys 'the old man of sin' and creates 'the new man of grace.'"

Fr. Miceli then explains that there are obstacles to evangelization.  He writes, "St Thomas Aquinas teaches that three things are necessary for a soul to find, follow and embrace Christ.  First, a person must know what he ought to believe.  Second, he must know what he ought to desire.  Third, he must know what he ought to do.  Now ignorance is the first great obstacle to evangelization.  Catholics, therefore, should grow in a profound knowledge of their Faith through a constant reading and reflection on the Gospels and a faithful following of the teachings of the Magisterium.  Only thus will they come to appreciate the Catholic Faith as a gift of God that is true, good and beautiful.  They then will be moved by the Holy Spirit to bring non-Catholics to share this gift from God with them..."

Finally, surveying the Catholic Church in the United States, Fr. Miceli writes, "Unfortunately, the fact is that the Church in the United States, instead of being the crusading, courageous, evangelizing society Christ founded it to be, has become a cream-puff chaplaincy to the converted - and because of this attitude is failing to hold on even to these...How are we to stir up again the spirit of evangelization?  Pope Paul VI in Evangelii Nuntiandi gives us our marching orders:

'On us particularly, the pastors of the Church, rests the responsibility for reshaping with boldness and wisdom, but in complete fidelity to the content of evangelization, the means that are most suitable and effective for communicating the Gospel message to the men and women of our times.'" (Fr. Vincent P. Miceli, citing Pope Paul VI in Evangelii Nuntiandi, No. 40).

Note this passage.  What does Pope Paul VI mean by "complete fidelity to the content of evangelization"?  The Holy Father means that pastors of the Church must offer the men and women of our times what Pope Benedict XVI has said is the entire plan of God. See here.  That is to say, the full content of Catholic teaching - including, and especially, those hard truths which the world does not want to hear but which faithful Catholics must share with hurting souls who wander about without a shepherd.

This is what evangelization is all about!

Perhaps Cardinal Cupich would be so kind as to regale us with his stunning intellect and explain how Father James Martin offers the faithful an evangelization which reflects the entire plan of God?

I won't be holding my breath.  Liberals believe in slogans, not substance.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Texas shooter Devin Patrick Kelley: Avowed atheist and Dishonorably-Discharged veteran

The Daily Beast is reporting that Devin Patrick Kelley, the Texas shooter who killed at least 26 people who were at worship, was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force and was an avowed atheist.

This comes as no surprise.  The atheist is crippled by an intellectual insecurity. He must strive continually to convince others - and even himself - that God does not exist. But he is always haunted by the fear that he has not really banished the presence or power of the Divine Other. This canker of insecurity, which gnaws at his heart unceasingly, manifests itself in the incessant need to propagandize against belief in God.

For example Richard Dawkins, an atheist who authored "The God Delusion," devotes much if not most of his time attempting to convince others that belief in God is even dangerous This charge is most ironic since, as Fr. Vincent Miceli, S.J., reminds us, "When man becomes his own absolute center, then God becomes his hell, because God sets limits to man's greatness. But once having attained autoerotic sovereignty, a monstrous metamorphosis takes place in atheist man. He begins to feed on his fellow men, for they now are his hell, threatening to rob him of his freedom. When God is rejected because he is seen as man's hell, then man, whom God loves, suffers the same fate and for the same reason. There is a frightening resemblance between the atheist humanist as a cell of society and a malignantly cancerous cell in the human body. Both cells have thrown off any service of subordination to the health of the communities in which they thrive. They act and grow according to their own uncontrolled ravenous appetites feeding parasitically on the whole organism. As runaway cells they invade and destroy every healthy cell in the body until they extinguish life and speed to completion the total disintegration of the unity of the body. Atheistic humanism is a psychic cancer. It shares two major characteristics with physical cancer. Both these human cancers arise from the arbitrary rebellion of a subordinate cell against the established social harmony of the whole. Secondly, both these cancerous rebellions are metastatic and messianic in their aggression to the death against organism and community." (The Gods of Atheism, pp. 463-464).

Gilbert Keith Chesterton reminded us that when man denies God he does not believe in nothing. Rather he will believe in anything. Moreover, he will not do nothing but as a fanatic he will do anything:

"There are men who will ruin themselves and ruin their civilization if they may ruin also this old fantastic tale. This is the last and most astounding fact about this faith; that its enemies will use any weapon against it, the sword that cuts their own fingers, and the firebrands that burn their own homes...He [the atheist fanatic who is crippled by his own insecurity] sacrifices the very existence of humanity to the non-existence of God. He offers his victims not to the altar, but merely to assert the idleness of the altar and the emptiness of the throne. He is ready to ruin even that primary ethic by which all things live, for his strange and eternal vengeance upon some one who never lived at all." (Orthodoxy, pp. 238-239).

Atheistic fanatics have a long history of unmatched violence. Today, fanatical rhetoric from atheist fanatics has resulted in actual violence against the Church as well as calls for such violence.

God is not the delusion. The myth of the atheistic humanist who truly values reason is the real delusion.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Nine day novena to Our Lady of La Salette


The Nine Day Novena To Our Lady of LaSalette


Day One

Theme: Welcome

Scripture Says: "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light." (Mt. 11: 28, 30)



Mary Said: "Come near, my children."



Meditation:



What a wonderful invitation! In all simplicity Mary at La Salette calls the two children to come near. Her words echo her Son's invitation to come to him that we may find rest from our burdens and refreshment for our spirits. This too is Mary's desire: that her children-meaning us as well- should feel welcomed and loved.

Mary wishes us to come nearer to God who desires only good for us. We must approach and listen to her words, spoken with the love and concern of Jesus. She and her Son wish that during this La Salette Novena of prayer we may "have life and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) This is a wonderful outcome from this special time of prayer-that we would feel at home and sense the fullness of life God wishes for us. (Quiet Reflection)



Our Prayer: Virgin Mother of La Salette, we approach your loving Son with confidence. We place before our Savior our labors and burdens, our thoughts and feelings, words and actions, during these days of prayer and reflection. May Christ ease our burdens, and fill us with his presence. With faith, we ask for his blessings on us and on those whom we hold close to our hearts. (mention your request)



Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary



Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)



Day Two:



Theme: Freedom from Fear



Scripture Says: "Do not fear, Mary, for you have found favor with God." (Luke 1: 30)



Mary Said: "Do not be afraid."



Meditation:



At her Annunciation, Mary's initial response to the presence and words of the angel was anxious fear. She could easily sympathize with the reaction of fear which overcame the two children at her sudden appearance on the Holy Mountain of La Salette. Her words, like those of the angel, were most welcome and reassuring.



Mary, who was relieved of her fears, now relieves us of our own. She who "found favor with God," in turn finds favor for us. Mary who knew the God of her ancestors as a God of power and might now encounters God in a personal and intimate way. At La Salette she speaks from that privileged relationship with God to teach us that we too are "beloved of the Father."



Saint John declares "perfect love drives out fear." (1 John 4: 18) Mary came to know that "perfect love" as her own Son. May he cast out our fear as well, and perfect his love in us. (Quiet Reflection)



Our Prayer: Remember, Mother of Sorrows, how often fear keeps us from God. Lovingly guide us to Jesus, the source of grace. As we take comfort in your invitation to draw ever closer to your Son, may your words melt our hearts, dispel our fears, and increase his peace within us. (mention your request)



Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary



Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)



Day Three:



Theme: Joy



Scripture Says: "The angel of the Lord appeared to (the shepherds) and said, 'Behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.'" (Luke 2: 10)



Mary Said: "I am here to tell you great news."



Meditation:



The good news spoken to Mary at her Annunciation brought forth a prayer of praise. This prayer, the Magnificat, not only expresses her deep joy and the conviction of her strong faith; it also recounts how God cares for and helps the needy, the downtrodden, the lost.



Like the Gospel, the message of Mary at La Salette is one of good news. Her words announce great joy-the joy of our salvation: sin is forgiven, death is destroyed, a broken world has been renewed.



The angels announced the Good News of Jesus' birth-God breaking forth into our world. Mary at La Salette reminds us that God continues to break into our world, restoring and renewing the face of the earth. This is the Good News! This is the source of our joy! (Quiet Reflection)



Our Prayer: Gentle Virgin of La Salette, you urge us to find joy in God our Savior. Gladly we hear your words and pledge to spread this good news. May our lives give glory to your Son and be filled with joy in serving Christ, now and forever. (mention your request)



Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary



Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)



Day Four:


Theme: Rest



Scripture Says: "Six days you may labor and do all your work; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord, your God... For remember that you too were once slaves in Egypt, and the Lord, your God, brought you from there with his strong hand and outstretched arm. That is why the Lord, your God, has commanded you to observe the sabbath day." (Deuteronomy 5: 13, 14a, 15)



Mary Said: "I gave you six days to work; I kept the seventh for myself..."



Meditation:



Yes, the seventh day belongs to God and God shares this gift with us. This consecrated time is meant to free us from the vicious cycle of production and consumerism. It points us to the greater reality of God's presence and our life of grace. We are restored to the divine image.



The One who made the heavens and the earth has reserved this day for himself to remind us that we are "[God's] children in Christ". (Romans 8:16) This day, then, is also meant to restore our community. In sharing the Body of Christ we are called to be the Body of Christ. We are given into one another's care as were Jesus' mother and disciple at the foot of his cross. (Quiet Reflection)



Our Prayer: Faithful Virgin of La Salette, you uphold our dignity as free people and as children of God. May the Day of the Lord shine on us and give meaning to our work and our relationships so that in Jesus Christ we may give thanks to God. (mention your request)



Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary



Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)



Day Five:


Theme: True Fasting



Scripture Says: "This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own." (Isaiah 58: 6-7)



Mary Said: "If the harvest is ruined, it is only on account of yourselves. I warned you last year. You paid no heed! Instead, you swore. The rest will do penance through the famine!"



Meditation:



Mary's message startles us to an awareness of the evils of our world and to our own indifference. Today two-thirds of the world suffers or dies from hunger. Human rights are ignored across the face of the earth and injustice lies on our very doorstep. These signs cry out for our response.



If we listen to and act upon her words and those of her Son, she promises that one day Jesus will say to us: "Come, you who are blessed by my Father. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me whatever you did for one of these least...of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25: 34a, 35-36, 40b) (Quiet Reflection)



Our Prayer: Mother of Compassion, open our eyes to the sufferings of our sisters and brothers. Open our hearts and hands to share with these most needy of your children the plenteous blessings of this earth. Inspired by your words, Mary, may your people continue to nourish and heal, to love and forgive, to build the world our God desires. (mention your request)



Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary



Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)



Day Six:


Theme: Promised Blessings



Scripture Says: "The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God." (Isaiah 35: 1-2)



Mary Said: "If (my people) are converted, rocks and stones will turn into heaps of wheat..."



Meditation:



Jesus who opens the eyes of the blind and makes the lame dance, comes to restore us to life. The constant temptation is to harden our hearts and narrow our vision, so that we miss his very presence.



Let us come to Jesus, who is the Way to follow, the Truth to be discovered, the Life to be enjoyed and shared. He is the One who can make the desert of our heart-and of our world-bloom and bear abundant fruit.



Mary's apparition on the barren slope of La Salette has unleashed a stream of life-giving water, bearing the promise of refreshment and renewal. Heeding Mary's call to conversion makes our own lives rich and fruitful. (Quiet Reflection)



Our Prayer: Virgin Reconciler, may your unceasing prayer and loving concern for us bear fruit in the constant conversion of our minds and hearts. May our lives burst forth anew with love for your Son. May we obtain the blessings you and your Son have promised and faithfully give him thanks as our Savior and Lord. (mention your request)



Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary



Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)


Day Seven:


Theme: Prayer



Scripture Says: "Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus." (I Thessalonians 5: 16-18)



Mary Said: "Do you say your prayers well, my children? You should say them well, at night and in the morning...(people) go to Mass just to make fun of religion. In Lent they go to the butcher shops like dogs."



Meditation:



The Virgin at La Salette questions us on the quality of those gestures of faith which link us to God, and serve as the source of our ongoing conversion. Each day, we are invited to express in prayer our free and constant dialogue with God. We remember the words of Jesus' own prayer: "Father...not my will but yours be done." (Luke 22: 42) Each week, we are called to celebrate the Eucharist, the central memorial of the death and resurrection of Christ. The presence of the Risen Lord in our gathering revives our faith, and helps us wait in hope until he comes again. Each year, our Lenten penance, prayer and sharing strengthens our faith. With renewed vigor, we give our lives to God daily in service to our sisters and brothers. (Quiet Reflection)



Our Prayer: Mary, first disciple of Jesus, make our lives a living prayer. May we always be ready to pray, to celebrate God's presence and to follow Jesus faithfully every day. Hold us close beside you in the heart of the Church, ready to share the struggles and sufferings of all your people. (mention your request)



Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary



Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)


Day Eight:


Theme: Bread of Life



Scripture Says: Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." (John 6: 35)



Mary Said: "But you, (Maximin), surely you must have seen some (spoiled wheat) once, at (the field of) Coin...your father gave you a piece of bread and said to you: 'Here, my child, eat some bread while we still have it this year...'"



Meditation:



The fear of a future evil, the carefree attitude of a child, the concern of parents for their family, the sharing of bread-all details of life held in the memory and heart of the Virgin Mary at La Salette. Her solicitude invites us to trust in her concern for our welfare.



Her loving Son, Jesus, also reminded people how much our Heavenly Father watches out for our welfare. "If you, then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him." (Matthew 7:11)



The promise of shared bread and good gifts is a consoling message. This pledge reminds us that the Bread of Life willingly broke and gave himself to satisfy our deepest hunger for God. He continues to do so, and invites us to do the same. (Quiet Reflection)



Our Prayer: Mother, ever attentive to our needs, awaken in us compassion for the hungry and the needy. Help us to share our Creator's concern for all human hungers-of body, heart, or spirit. Give us always a yearning for the Bread of Life, Jesus, your Son and our Lord. (mention your request)



Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary



Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)


Day Nine:


Theme: Our Mission



Scripture Says: Then Jesus said to them, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of (time)." (Matthew 28: 18-20)



Mary Said: "Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people."



Meditation:



As Mary challenges and encourages us to follow her Son, she reminds us of our mission. We are to bring to the whole world the Good News of Jesus Christ. Marked by his Spirit and consecrated in truth and love, the followers of Jesus work together to advance the Kingdom of God.



The "great news" of Mary is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Like Mary, as we hear and bear the Word of God, we carry on the mission of Jesus, the mission entrusted to his apostles and to all the baptized. Such is our mission, so plain and simple that it was entrusted to two young children on the mountain of La Salette.



With maternal concern, the Virgin encourages us one final time: "Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people." (Quiet Reflection)



Our Prayer: Mother of the Church, watch over us, your people. Help us who have heard the Word of God to proclaim it in word and deed. As you were filled with the Spirit and gave birth to the Savior, may we, filled with that same Spirit, advance the kingdom of unity and peace for which Jesus gave his life on the cross. (mention your request)



Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary



Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)



Nihil Obstat: Very Rev. Timothy J. Shea, V.F. Imprimatur: Bernard Cardinal Law, Cardinal Archbishop of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., September 19, 1989
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