Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Video games promote a culture of violence but abortion doesn't?

Flipping through the news channels just the other day, I overheard a news-anchor assert that anyone who suggests there is a link between abortion and the killing spree which just took place in Newtown, Connecticut is "crazy."


This same woman, like so many others in the mainstream media who believe that their views are somehow more relevant because they reach beyond the end of a bar, declared that there is a connection between violent video games and the tragedy which occurred at Sandy Hook elementary.  In other words, killing imaginary figures in a video game is part of the problem but killing actual children in the womb has absolutely nothing to do with societal violence.


Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, said that, "...we are confronted by...a veritable structure of sin."  And the most significant part of this structure of sin is the abortion movement, which President Barack Obama fully supports.  John Paul continues, "This reality is characterized by the emergence of a culture which denies solidarity and in many cases takes the form of a veritable 'culture of death.'  This culture is actively fostered by powerful cultural, economic and political currents which encourage an idea of society excessively concerned with efficiency.  Looking at the situation from this point of view, it is possible to speak in a certain sense of a war of the powerful against the weak: a life which would require greater acceptance, love and care is considered useless or held to be an intolerable burden, and is therefore rejected in one way or another.  A person who, because of illness, handicap or, more simply, just by existing, compromises the well-being or life-style of those who are more favored tends to be looked upon as an enemy to be resisted or eliminated.  This conspiracy involves not only individuals in their personal, family or group relationships, but goes far beyond, to the point of damaging and distorting at the international level relations between peoples and States." (Evangelium Vitae, No. 12).

Those who, like the confused news anchor in question, dismiss the link between this "war of the powerful against the weak" and incidents of violence such as the Sandy Hook tragedy, are either living in denial or are simply stupid.  Hatred of the truth is the root of all criminal violence.  Violence entered creation with the rebellion of Lucifer.  And his rebellion arose from pride.  And pride is the offspring of the vice which is known as hatred of truth.

As Fr. Miceli reminded us, "Hatred of truth is the result of the creature's attempt to rearrange God's hierarchy of beings and values into an order which the creature prefers to the plan of God.  This attempt immediately produces the violence of disorder, the chaos of falsity and immorality.  For hatred of truth is really hatred of God who creates all things wisely and governs them lovingly." (Essay entitled The Taproot of Violence).

The President has asked what we're doing as a society to protect all children.  The answer is: nothing, as long as abortion continues in this land.  If only he could understand this.  But then, hatred of truth is at the root of all criminal violence.  And President Obama has shown his hatred for truth with his demonic support of abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The "Social Gospel" is more concerned about an earthly future than eternity

Standing before a statue of Mary near the Spanish Steps on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Benedict XVI reminded his listeners that the Gospel is the good news of freedom from sin, that it is "the proclamation of the victory of grace over sin, of life over death."  Proponents of the "social gospel" have forgotten this.  The mission of the Church is not to eradicate poverty or social injustice.  As Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand explains, while "a deep interest in the earthly welfare of our neighbor is a central duty of the Christian and an essential demand of the love of neighbor," still, "it is definitely no part of the message of Christ that there is to be no more poverty, no more war, that the earth is to become a natural paradise."

Proponents of the "social gospel" fail to understand, as Dr. Hildebrand reminds us, that "..the primary task of the Church is the proclamation of the divine Revelation, the protection of it against all heresies, the the sanctification of the soul of the individual, the securing of his eternal salvation - this is the spreading of the kingdom of God on earth, and not the attempt to build up an earthly paradise." (Essay entitled This-Worldliness).

Dr. Hildebrand explains that, "...the motive of many for eliminating poverty (which itself is not morally wicked, but only a morally relevant evil) is not rooted in the spirit of Christ or His Gospel, but in a humanitarian ideal.  The widespread tendency today to demand everything as a right and to refuse to accept any gifts is surely no manifestation of a Christian spirit.  There is in reality a clear, sharply delineated difference between justice and love.  Justice can and should be protected and demanded by state law; but love of neighbor could never be demanded by any law.  For it is a duty before God, and no state law could or should prescribe it or enforce it.  Love of neighbor presupposes the fulfillment of the claims of justice, but it goes far beyond this.  The words of the Gospel, 'if someone asks you to go one mile, go two miles with him,' clearly go far beyond the sphere of justice.  Of course, it is a pharisaical hypocrisy to the demands of justice as if one were giving alms.  But it is a terrible pride not to want to accept any alms, and to demand that which comes as a gift.  The true Christian should be happier to receive alms and to be grateful for them, than simply to receive what he has a right to.  When he receives a gift he is happy not only over the good which is the gift, but also over the goodness of the giver; and he experiences it as a great source of happiness that he can and should be grateful."

Priests and deacons who have succumbed to the distortions of the "social gospel" seldom, if ever, preach against sin or remind their listeners of the reality of Hell.  Dr. Hildebrand addresses this fact saying that, "this-worldly tendency can be detected in various pastoral letters, and above all in countless sermons.  One speaks more about the fight against poverty and for social justice and world peace - in a word, more about improving the world - than about offending God by our sins, sanctifying the individual, about heaven and hell, eternity and the hope of eternal union with God in the beatific vision.  The this-worldly tendency emphasizes the earthly future more than eternity..." (This-Worldliness).

The true Christian, in the Creed, proclaims: Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi - 'We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come."  But proponents of the "social gospel" have largely abandoned such a hope and prefer instead to embrace a humanitarian religion and to work for an earthly "utopia."  Robert Hugh Benson, in his classic work entitled The Lord of the World, describes this humanitarian religion:

" becoming an actual religion itself; though anti-supernatural.  It is a pantheism.  Pantheism deifies all nature, God is the world, but naturally, man above all is God since he is the highest expression of nature.  It is a religion devoid of the 'super' natural, because since God is nature itself, there is no longer a distinction between Creator and creature.  The creature is God and hence arbitrator of his own destiny and establishes the moral law for himself....Humanitarianism is a religion devoid of the supernatural.  It is developing a ritual under Freemasonry; it has a creed, 'God is man'; and the rest.  It has, therefore, a real food of a sort to offer religious cravings: it idealizes and yet makes no demands upon the spiritual faculties..." (Introduction, p. xvii).

The Church's mission is not to solve poverty.  In fact, Jesus said that we would always have the poor with us (Mark 14: 7).  The Church's mission is the salvation of souls.  When a crowd of people went searching for Jesus and found Him on the other side of the Sea of Galilee, they said to Him, 'Rabbi, when did you come here?'  And Jesus answered them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.  Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you; for on Him has God the Father set His seal."  The crowd said to Him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?"  And Jesus answered them: "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him who He has sent." (John 6: 25-29).

The work of God is believing in Him whom the Father has sent.  Jesus reveals Himself as the Bread of Life.  He reveals in the synagogue who He is, where He comes from and the good things He has in store for those who believe in Him: faith, the Eucharist and eternal life.

Proponents of the 'social gospel" have forgotten that "man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4: 4).  Crippled by distorted humanitarian ideals, such confused souls forget Our Lord's injunction to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (food, drink, clothing etc) shall be yours as well." (Matthew 6: 33).

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mr. President....Do you really respect human life or were your tears simply an act?

"… If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?…Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion." - Mother Teresa of Calcutta

It's not gun control we need Mr. President.  It's respect for the sanctity of all human life - from the first moment of conception through the final moments of natural death.  When Pope Benedict XVI attempted to discuss abortion with you just after the 2008 presidential election, you told His Holiness that you disagree with him.  What is the nature of your disagreement with the Vicar of Christ?  Where are your tears for the innocent children who are murdered in the womb and even during birth (partial-birth abortion) which is nothing less than infanticide?

Do you really respect human life or were you simply playing to the cameras to politicize this tragedy and to advance gun-control?

Mr. President?

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Broader participation of the laity in the apostolic life of the Church?

In an essay entitled, “The Case for the Latin Mass,” Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand explains that, “Those who rhapsodize on the new liturgy make much of the point that over the years the Mass had lost its communal character and had become an occasion for individualistic worship.  The new vernacular Mass, they insist, restores the sense of community by replacing private devotions with community participation.  Yet they forget that there are different levels and kinds of communion with other persons.  The level and nature of a community experience is determined by the theme of the communion, the name or cause in which men are gathered.  The higher the good which the theme represents, and which binds men together, the more sublime and deeper is the communion.  The ethos and nature of a community experience in the case of a great national emergency is obviously radically different from the community experience of a cocktail party.  And of course the most striking differences in communities will be found between the community whose theme is supernatural and the one whose theme is merely natural.  The actualization of the souls of men who are truly touched by Christ is the basis of a unique community, a sacred communion, one whose quality is incomparably more sublime than that of any natural community.  The authentic we-communion of the faithful, which the liturgy of Holy Thursday expresses so well in the words congregavit nos in unum Christi amor, is possible only as a fruit of the I-Thou communion with Christ Himself.  Only a direct relation to the God-man can actualize this sacred union among the faithful.  The communion of Christ has nothing of the self-assertion found in natural communities.  It breathes of the Redemption.  It liberates men from all self-centeredness.  Yet such a communion emphatically does not depersonalize the individual.  Far from dissolving the person into the cosmic, pantheistic swoon so often commended to us these days, it actualizes the person’s true self in a unique way.  In the community of Christ the conflict between person and community that is present in all natural communities cannot exist. 
So this sacred community experience is really at war with the depersonalizing ‘we-experience’ found in mass assemblies and popular gatherings which tend to absorb and evaporate the individual.  This communion in Christ that was so fully alive in the early Christian centuries, that all the saints entered into, that found a matchless expression in the liturgy now under attack - this communion has never regarded the individual person as a mere segment of the community, or as an instrument to serve it.  In this connection it is worth noting that totalitarian ideology is not alone in sacrificing the individual to the collective; some of Teilhard de Chardin’s cosmic ideas, for instance, imply the same collectivistic sacrifice.  Teilhard subordinates the individual and his sanctification to the supposed development of humanity.  At a time when this perverse theory of community is embraced even by many Catholics, there are plainly urgent reasons for vigorously insisting on the sacred character of the true communion in Christ.

I submit that the new liturgy must be judged by this test: Does it contribute to the authentic sacred community?  Granted that it strives for a community character; but is this the character desired?  Is it a communion grounded in recollection, contemplation and reverence? Which of the two - the new Mass, or the Latin Mass with the Gregorian chant - evokes these attitudes of soul more effectively, and thus permits the deeper and true communion?  Is it not plain that frequently the community character of the new Mass purely profane, that, as with other social gatherings, its blend of casual relaxation and bustling activity precludes a reverent, contemplative confrontation with Christ and with the ineffable mystery of the Eucharist?...our epoch is pervaded by a spirit of irreverence.  It is seen in a distorted notion of freedom that demands rights while refusing obligations, that exalts self-indulgence, that counsels ‘let yourself go.’  The habitare secum of St. Gregory’s Dialogues - the dwelling in the presence of God - which presupposes reverence, is considered today to be unnatural, pompous, or servile.
But is not the new liturgy a compromise with this modern spirit?  Whence comes the disparagement of kneeling?  Why should the Eucharist be received standing?  Is not kneeling, in our culture, the classic expression of adoring reverence?  The argument that at a meal we should stand rather than kneel is hardly convincing.  For one thing, this is not the natural posture for eating: we sit, and in Christ’s time some reclined.  But more important, it is a specifically irreverent conception of the Eucharist to stress its character as a meal at the cost of its unique character as a holy mystery.  Stressing the meal at the expense of the sacrament surely betrays a tendency to obscure the sacredness of the sacrifice.  This tendency is apparently traceable to the unfortunate belief that religious life will become more vivid, more existential, if it is immersed in our everyday life.  But this is to run the danger of absorbing the religious in the mundane, of effacing the difference between the supernatural and the natural.  I fear that it represents an unconscious intrusion of the naturalistic spirit, of the spirit more fully expressed in Teilhard de Chardin’s immanentism....
Those who idolize our epoch, who thrill at what is modern simply because it is modern, who believe that in our day man has finally ‘come of age,’ lack pietas.  The pride of these ‘temporal nationalists’ is not only irreverent, it is incompatible with real faith.  A Catholic should regard his liturgy with pietas.  He should revere, and therefore fear to abandon the prayers and postures and music that have been approved by so many saints throughout the Christian era and delivered to us a precious heritage..”
An article written by Marcellino D’Ambrosio for the Catholic News Service and carried on the front page of The Catholic Free Press and entitled “A ‘student’ of Vatican II,” displays such an irreverence for the Mass which made saints like Padre Pio and the Cure of Ars.  In his article, Mr. D’Ambrosio repeats the tired mantra: “Before the council, laity were passive spectators in the liturgy, often praying devotional prayers while they were ‘hearing’ Mass since the readings were in Latin...The goal of the council was to promote the conscious, active participation of the laity in the liturgy, but also to restore a much broader and richer participation of the laity in the apostolic life of the church as reflected in the Acts of the Apostles and the epistles.”
Such an attitude betrays a hateful irreverence toward the Mass which made such great saints as Padre Pio and the holy Cure of Ars, Saint Jean Vianney.  In “Salt of the Earth,” then Cardinal Ratzinger and now Pope Benedict XVI declared that, “A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent.” 
How much more so when that same liturgy is disparaged?

Mr. D’Ambrosio’s article is an exercise in chronolatry and nothing more.  Let’s examine the fruits of this attempt to “promote the conscious, active participation of the laity in the liturgy” while restoring a “much broader and richer participation of the laity in the apostolic life of the Church.”  Patrick Buchanan writes, “The 1950s were America’s Catholic moment.  The moral authority of the Pope and America’s bishops was never higher.  Long lines formed outside confessionals on Saturdays.  It was standing room only at Sunday Mass [the same Mass now disparaged by the progressives today].  Fr. Patrick Peyton’s Rosary Crusade (‘The family that prays together stays together’) drew huge crowds.  The most visible prelate was Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen, whose television ratings bested those of Milton Berle.  ‘He’s got better writers than I do,’ quipped Berle.  Notre Dame’s legendary gridiron teams had millions of ‘subway alumni.’  Four out of five Catholics cast their votes in 1960 for John F. Kennedy, who became our first Catholic president...Half a century on [since Vatican II], the disaster is manifest.  The robust and confident Church of 1958 no longer exists.  Catholic colleges and universities remain Catholic in name only.  Parochial schools are closing as rapidly as they opened in the 1950s.  The number of nuns, priests, and seminarians have fallen dramatically.  Mass attendance is a third of what it was [broader participation?].  From the former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to vice president Joe Biden, Catholic politicians openly support abortion on demand...
Four decades after Vatican II, a quarter century into the pontificate of John Paul II, Kenneth C. Jones of St. Louis pulled together a slim volume of statistics demonstrating that the fears traditionalists who warned that the council was courting catastrophe had been justified.  And they exposed as naive those who insisted that the council would revitalize the faith, reconcile Catholicism with modernity, and make the Church more appealing to our secular world.  Here are Jones statistics on the decline and fall:
Clergy.  While the number of priests in the United States more than doubled to 58,000 between 1930 and 1965, between 1965 and 2002 that number fell to 45,000 and is on course to sink to 31,000 in 2020, when more than half of all Catholic priests will be over the age of seventy.
Ordinations.  In 1965, 1,575 priests were ordained.  In 2002, the figure was 450.
Parishes.  In 1965, only 1 percent of parishes were without a priest.  In 2002, 15 percent, or 3,000 parishes, were without priests.
Seminarians.  Between 1965 and 2002, the number of seminarians fell from 49,000 to 4,700, a decline of more than 90 percent.  Two-thirds of the 600 seminaries operating at the end of Vatican II have closed.
Nuns.  In 1965, there were 180,000 Catholic nuns.  By 2002, that number was down to 75,000 and their average age was 68.  By 2009, their numbers had fallen to 60,000, a loss of two-thirds in four and a half decades.
Teaching Nuns.  In 1965, there were 104,000 teaching nuns.  Today, there are 8,200.
Jesuits.  In 1965, 3,559 young men were studying to become Jesuit priests.  In 2,000, the figure was 389.

Christian Brothers.  The situation here is even more dire.  Their ranks have shrunk by two-thirds, while the number of seminarians has fallen by 99 percent.  In 1965, there were 912 seminarians in the Christian Brothers.  In 2,000, there were seven.
Religious Orders.  The number of young men studying to become Franciscan and Redemptorist priests fell from 3,379 in 1965 to 84 in 2000.  For many religious orders in America the end is in sight.
Diocesan High Schools.  Almost half of these high schools operating in the United States in 1965 had closed by 2002, and student enrollment had fallen from 700,000 to 386,000.
Parochial Schools.  In 1965, there were 4.5 million children in parish grammar schools.  By 2000, the number had plunged to 1.9 million.  In the first decade of this century, the number dropped again, to 1.5 million, a loss of two-thirds of Catholic parochial school enrollment since Vatican II - in a country whose population grew in that period by over 100 million.
In 2007, after interviewing 35,000 people for its U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, the Pew Forum confirmed what Jones had reported.  Since Vatican II, the Catholic Church in America had undergone a decline to rival what happened in some northern European countries during the Reformation.  By 2007:
One in three Catholics reared in the faith had left the Church.
One in ten American adults was a fallen-away Catholic.
Catholics remained 24 percent of the U.S. population only because of immigration.  Forty-six percent of all immigrants are Catholics.  As Irish, German, Italian, and Polish Catholics leave the Church or die, the pews fill up with Mexicans, Central Americans, Filipinos, and Vietnamese.  Were it not for immigrants, Catholics would have fallen from a fourth of the population to 18.4 percent, or less than one fifth...
Catholic losses have been ‘staggering,’ writes Fr. Joseph Sirba, ‘if one excludes immigrants and converts from the calculations, the Catholic Church has lost to other religions or to no religion at all 35.4 percent - or more than one-third - of the 64,131,750 of its native-born members....
The Catholics who remain in the Church are not nearly as firm in the faith or devout as their parents were.  The institutional shrinkage mirrors a spreading disbelief in doctrines that define the faith....Where a 1958 Gallup poll revealed that three of every four Catholics attended Mass on Sundays, a recent study by the University of Notre Dame found that one in four Catholics attend Sunday Mass today.”
Is this the “broader and richer participation of the laity in the apostolic life of the Church” which  Mr. D’Ambrosio refers to?  If so, he can keep it.

Buchanan continues: “Only 10 percent of lay teachers accept church teaching on contraception.  Fifty-three percent of lay teachers believe a woman can have an abortion and remain a good Catholic, even though participation in an abortion means automatic excommunication.  Sixty-five percent of lay teachers believe Catholics may divorce and remarry.  Seventy-seven percent believe one can be a good Catholic without going to Sunday Mass.  Millions of Catholic children are being taught their faith by heretics.....According to one New York Times poll, 70 percent of all Catholics 18-44 believed the Eucharist is but a ‘symbolic reminder’ of Jesus, and nearly two-thirds of all Catholics agreed.  Through the papacy of Pius XII, Catholicism remained the Church of the deeply traditionalist Council of Trent...refusing to modify its teachings to accommodate the age.  After Vatican II, the Church came out to meet the world.  The statistics give us the results of the encounter.” (Suicide of a Superpower, pp. 88-94).


The Mass which is popularly known as the Tridentine Mass informed the spiritual lives of so many saints.  Even while accepting its validity, can we honestly say the same about the new Mass?


Can we?

Photograph is of the Office Manager for Saint Joseph's Parish in Fitchburg.

Monday, December 03, 2012

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."


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."


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."


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..."


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!"


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..."


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."


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...'"


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."


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

Site Meter