Friday, July 25, 2014

St. Madeline Of Nagasaki, Pray for Persecuted Christians Everywhere

Last night I had dinner with a friend who recently returned from a trip to the Holy Land.  In Jerusalem, she was cursed and screamed at for quietly praying her Rosary at the Wailing Wall.  She was asked to leave a restaurant when the host spotted her bag, which is adorned with a beautiful Marian image, and told to go the dining room upstairs.  She was also told to return the cup of coffee she got at the counter before leaving and was advised not to return.  This was starkly different than the trips she had taken previously.

While making the Stations of the Cross, she saw that an ad for jeans had been disrespectfully posted right above the 9th station - Christ's third fall beneath the weight of the cross.  She was dismayed but wondered who she could complain to about such a blatant disregard. 

We talked at length about the events happening in our world and how everything, even the Holy Land, now feels different.  We may be at the point of no return.

My friend had not heard of St. Madeline of Nagasaki before, so I gave her a brief history, which you can find elsewhere on this blog.  Madeline was only 24 years old when she was put to death for the crime of being a Christian.  She was hung upside down over a pit of animal entrails and other garbage for two weeks before she finally died.  I pray but don't know that I would demonstrate similar conviction of my faith should the same choice be posed to me.

 I pray to St. Madeline each day for Christians who are persecuted everywhere, but especially in the Middle East.  The lovely jihadists at ISIS apparently blew up Jonah's tomb.  They've been on a destructive rampage that, in the end, will make the Taliban look like choir boys.  Apparently, alQaeda isn't radical enough for these folks.  Boko Haram, ISIS, al Qaeda - all spawned by the same father.

The gates of Hell will not prevail, but the trials are coming just the same and we can't say we don't deserve it.  Some folks are wearing or posting the Arabic symbol for N in solidarity with Christians in Mosul, who have been told to get out or die by the sword.   ISIS terrorists have marked Christian homes with the N symbol to stand for Nazarene.  Chilling, isn't it?

We cling to the Cross.  

We each carry our own, and one day, it will carry us.





Sunday, July 20, 2014

Prayers for Gaza and Malayasia Crash Victims (and everyone else who needs it)

The priest who offers the Saturday morning Mass I regularly attend has been preaching for some weeks his belief that we are in the end times. According to Father Gene, we are at the foothills of the great trial many of us Catholics anticipate.  He said he is finding it increasingly difficult to offer words of hope to those experiencing economic ruin.  The only thing we can do at this point he says is stay close to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  I agree with him.

Father cited the speed with which events are happening as indicators that we are in for some very difficult times. I try to make it a habit to pray for those about to die each day, either suddenly or from illness.  One minute you're kicking around a ball in the beach with your pals and the next, you are gone, your young life stolen by a trigger-happy apartheid government.  One minute you're on a jet, flying to a conference with other researchers committed to ending HIV, the next you're gone, your life and promise stolen by thugs funded by a former KGB agent who can't change his stripes.

Meanwhile,  the Folly of the Neo-cons who thought a war in Iraq was a good idea is manifesting itself in a group called Isis, who have a penchant for crucifixion.  There has been no mention of this in the media but I have heard about it in at least 2 homilies this past week.

I saw on the news today that the bodies of the dead are being held for ransom by the terrorists who shot down their plane. Over 100 Palestinians lost their lives today.  The Israeli propaganda machine was hard at work spinning its usual lies on the Sunday talk shows.  Repeating the same garbage does not lend truth where none existed in the first place.

Despite what the "death to all Arabs" crowd believes, not all Palestinians are Muslim.  Israeli bombs do not differentiate between Muslims and Christians,  just as they don't discriminate against women and children.  The extremists who burned a Palestinian teenager while he was still alive are becoming more of the norm in Israel.  Moderates are realizing there is no longer a place for them.

The death toll in Gaza has already surpassed that of the plane crash. And incidentall it is reported that pro-Russia separatists didn't mean to target a passenger jet but mistakenly thought they were aiming for a military jet.  As if that excuses their wanton disregard for life.  How about they don't shoot anything down that will result in the loss of human life.

At any rate, please pray for all the innocent life taken this week and offer your Rosary that the suffering of the oppressed everywhere will be eased.

I saw a very fitting quote today.  We are not all guilty, but we are all responsible.

NOTE: Thanks to all for your prayers.  My mother, thank God, does not have a serious illness. Just a painful rheumatoid condition that will take some time to get under control.  In your charity, please pray for my youngest.  We were at the cardiologist on Friday and while it is not immediately going to happen, surgery is inevitable.  We're hoping we can get through the school year without having to get it done.  Thanks and God bless you.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Still Standing

Sorry once again for the dearth of posts but life is busy these days.  My mother has been debilitated by an as yet unidentified illness and I've been running back and forth after work and on weekends to look in on her and my dad.  We're seeing a specialist on Tuesday who will hopefully get us on the right track.  My mother is unable to sleep at night because of the pain but she doesn't complain very much at all.

The Rosary I carry with me is one she gave me.  The beads are white pearls and the medallion contains a black and white photo of St Therese.  It occurred to me that if my bag is ever stolen the Rosary will go with it so I traded it out with the one I keep on my night table which is a Carmelite Rosary with brown beads.  I bought if because it reminded me of the kind a nun might carry.  Anyway that simple little  St Therese Rosary was always very dear to me but even more so now as the reality that my mother will not always be with me on this earth sinks in with a sudden closeness. 

Complicating the matter is the fact that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia pulled the rug out from under my parents' parish.  Despite the fact that theirs is a thriving parish in very good financial standing, Archbishop Chaput is reducing it to a worship site.  That church was my mother's life and with no warning it will cease to be as she knew it. The pastor was also caught off guard by the news and went so far as to say that the decision "cries out to Heaven for justice."  The appeal to the Archbishop was denied. 

I know  Bishop Chaput was left with a financial mess but it is nonetheless disheartening to see politics rear its ugly head in the Catholic Church.  I can understand why people become disillusioned and lose their religion. 

The deterioration at my own Novus Ordo parish could also make one lose their religion.  Our reverent and holy pastor was replaced last summer with a pot-stirring priest whose Masses have struck some who are less orthodox than me as invalid.  His sermons never mention the Sacraments and they end with a rock and roll trivia question. He turned the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass into a free-for-all by substituting his homily with a gripe session about previous pastors and their spending habits.  The recently restored pipe organ sits idle, the rubrics are ignored and anyone who questions or criticizes is mocked to scorn. He has turned the parish bulletin into a battleground for warring factions - those who favor a secular Mass where the people are the center of attention and those who want an orthodox Mass with music appropriate for the Holy Sacrifice.  The latter are ridiculed and even challenged to meet on the steps of the church for a fight. 

While this priest works very hard to keep the financial aspect of the parish afloat, he has deprived the faithful of much-needed graces.  Many of them are too ignorant of their own faith to know it. I do not want to see a Catholic Church close but what's happening at this parish is anything but Catholic.  I can only thank God I also belong to a TLM parish. 

I placed a matter of practical importance entirely in God's hands.  It was something I very much wanted and was lead to believe was going to be mine with just a little inconvenience and perseverance.  Imagine my bitter disappointment when the person who strung me along delivered the blow on Monday.  I asked God to let His Will be done and when He did, I was still bitterly disappointed.  He gave me two gifts - the sadness of being refused and the humiliation that comes with being betrayed. After I got over the sting, the graces of these gifts started to sink in and brought with them even more graces.  

The priest who celebrates the Mass I attend on Saturday mornings is entirely devoted to the Blessed Mother. He gives long sermons and I love them. Today I swore he must have been reading my mind. 

I have little to discuss with the people I work with and am often patronized by them because of my faith.   Yesterday I thought I would lose my mind listening to a never-ending stream of chatter about clothes, shoes, cars, restaurants and vacation destinations.  Father said during his homily that these topics are all some people care about and that preoccupation with such materialistic interests are devoid of God.  I wish he gave some advice on what to do when one is held captive in such situations. 

Last week my nighttime reading was a little booklet I got at the Carmel written by St Alphonse Liguori.  I knew from Our Lady's words to Sister Lucia that St Joseph practiced an austere life of personal poverty. What I learned from St Liguori is that the Virgin Mary did as well. He wrote that all she had at the time of her dormition were two old gowns that she left to the woman who became her care-taker.  She saw poverty as a necessary means to keep God as the center of attention and the focus of devotion.   So between her embrace of poverty and humility and the example of St Therese in making every aspect of her life a sacrifice, I feel I can't go wrong if I try with all of my will to emulate them. Like everything else in my spiritual life this is a work in progress. 

On a more shallow note, I really got into the World Cup. I love that the finale has papal overtones. Truth be told, while I wish B16 was still Christ's Vicar on earth. I will be rooting for Argentina.  Sorry Germany!  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Night Litany for a City

I found this on the website of Philadelphia's Carmel.  I can't reproduce it as beautifully here so click on the link.  This is very timely.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

St.Michael and The Old Testament

The following is taken from the booklet from Tan called "St. Michael the Archangel"

1. According to St. Ambrose, it was St. Michael the Archangel who lead Adam into the Garden of Eden.  After the fall of Adam and Eve, it was Michael who stood at the gate of Paradise with a flaming sword, "to keep the way of the tree of life." (Genesis 3:24).

2. Tradition holds that it was Michael who warned Noah of the flood.

3. Tradition further holds that it was Michael who appeared to Moses in the burning bush, and it was him who made possible the departure of the Israelites from Egypt by performing the wonders which overtook Pharoah's armies.

4. To this day, the Jewish people invoke the Archangel Michael as the defender of the synagogues.  On the Feast of the Atonement, "they conclude their prayers with this invocation:"


                   "Michael, Prince of Mercy, pray for Israel, that it may reign in Heaven, in that light
                    which  streams forth from the face of the King Who sits upon the Throne of Mercy."







Saturday, June 21, 2014

Guardian of the Blessed Sacrament


One of the more beautiful aspects of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form is the prominence of the Archangel Michael.  At the beginning of the Mass, his name is invoked in the Confiteor.  At the offertory the priest asks, through the intercession of St. Michael, that God grant His blessing upon the "spotless oblation."   It is Michael who is referred to as the incense bearer "standing at the right hand of the altar of Incense." And during the Canon (The Roman Canon that is also used by orthodox priests in  the Ordinary Form) the priest prays that God will  command His angel to bring the Consecrated oblation to His Holy Throne in Heaven.  

According to tradition, it is St. Michael the Archangel who collects all the particles that fall from the Host during Holy Communion and watches over them with such care that none can be lost or desecrated.

Perhaps in this time of heightened concern about the protection and safety of the Blessed Sacrament in our Tabernacles, we might invoke St. Michael's help that what happened in Milan might never be repeated again.

Supported by the intercession of blessed Michael, Thine Archangel, we humbly entreat Thee, O Lord, that the service we pay with our lips, we may lay hold of with our minds.  Through Our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever, Amen.

(From the Mass for the Dedication of St Michael in the Traditional Latin Liturgy)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Quis ut Deus?

Those are the words inscribed on the shield of St. Michael.  Translated, they ask: Who is like unto God?

St. Francis de Sales wrote: "Veneration of St. Michael is the great remedy against despising the rights of God, against insubordination, skepticism, infidelity and vices."

St. Michael is known as the Guardian Angel of the People of God in both the Old and New Testaments.  But he also plays an important role in history.  St. Michael  came to the assistance of Constantine the Great in the 4th century in the great victory over the pagan Emperor Maxentius.  The Archangel himself revealed his identity to Constantine, who later erected a beautiful basilica in his honor.  He told him:

" I am Michael, the chief of the angelic legions of the Lord of Hosts, the protector of the Christian religion, who while you were battling against godless tyrants, placed the weapons in your hands."

The Greek Emperor Justinian I erected six basilicas in Michael's honor in grateful appreciation for his protection against the invasion of pagan intruders.  St. Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans, was visited 3 times by St Micheal, who advised her that it was she who God appointed to deliver her people from the British.  And it was Michael, at the command of the Queen of the Angels, Mary ever virgin,  who helped gain the glorious victory over the Muslims at Lepanto in 1571.

Today, Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere live in perilous times, under constant threat of persecution and death at the hands of Muslim infidels.  It would be most efficacious to invoke St Michael's assistance in protecting our Christian brothers and sisters throughout the world.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Do You Pray to St. Michael?

Now more than ever, in addition to the daily Rosary, prayer to this great warrior of the Church is much needed in our world.  I invoke his assistance every day.  Along with Our Lady, entrust yourself and your loved one to his protection.   As soon as I work out my latest computer challenge, I will begin a series of short posts on St. Michael to inspire you to have greater devotion to him.

St. Michael the Archangel Defeats Satan

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Children, Heed Her Warnings

If I didn't see this on Terry's blog, I would never have known it happened.  I haven't heard a word about it elsewhere.  I don't know why.  Perhaps it's because there is concern about inviting copycats - I don't know. I invite all of you to make acts of reparation and pray the Litany of Reparation to the Blessed Sacrament.

The apparitions of Our Lady of Akita as well as the messages she conveyed were formally recognized by the Church by then-Cardinal Ratzinger.  I can only imagine how much more she weeps as the world has decayed since those apparitions at an alarming rate.   The punishment she foretold will cause the living to envy the dead.  I don't know about you but there are people in my immediate family who are in serious jeopardy of not even making it to Purgatory.   Thus what frightens me most is not that I won't survive this punishment but that it will occur before loved ones have asked for forgiveness and merited a chance for salvation.  The signs are all around that the hand of the Heavenly Father is more and more difficult for Our Lady to contain and that even she will soon be unable to prevent Him from inflicting a punishment "worse than the deluge."

More and more weather events will take the good along with the bad and wreak havoc on the economy.  Americans will continue to yawn as yet another school shooting breaks out.  Perversion is not only legalized but encouraged and disguised as love.  Abortion continues to be viewed as healthcare.  The fruits of abortion on demand will continue to be seen in countries like India, where baby girls have been aborted to the point where  the men outnumber the women in such alarming numbers that depraved animals gang-rape and mutilate women.  And the satanists will be further emboldened to desecrate Jesus in His Sacrament of Love.  
Changes in my own life point to a more difficult future.   We're much better off than some, but still a broken hip or a cancer diagnosis away from financial ruin.   Our parish church is in danger of being closed and there is little that can be done short of a miracle to save it.  The people moving into the neighborhood have no time for God, let alone Mass.  When the old people succumb to the "biological solution" that none of us can avoid, there will not be enough people left to keep the parish afloat.  We bury more people than we christen.

That is, unless some event happens to leave them so desperate, they will finally turn to God and beg Him for mercy.  We saw this happen a bit after 9/11.  For a time, people went back to church and everywhere you looked,  billboards implored God to bless America. But then we got fat and content again and decided we didn't need God's help after all.

In my own head, I hear voices constantly.  I had a vision of someone with very cold eyes following me, and popping out from behind every corner, intent to devour me in whatever way he could.  Trials happen with such frequency that it is as if the Voice of God has been scrambled and I can no longer hear Him, except to constantly remind me what an utter disappointment I am, and I know full well that voice is not His.

I plow ahead the best I can.  Through the grace of  Jesus Christ, I pray the Rosary with more attention than I ever could before.  But I have to beg for His help every time, or I wind up just saying the words and dwelling on my problems instead of the Gospel mysteries.  I also have faith in Our Lady and her promises, so even if I feel nothing, I know I'm doing something that pleases her, though it may not necessarily impress her.

I entreat you to commit to your daily Rosary with a greater fervor than ever.  Make every sacrifice you are able to make and offer it up in reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of  Mary. Ignore every voice that doesn't echo our Master's.  Remember that our shepherds, especially the Pope, don't need a daily critique.  They need our prayers.  We're beyond the point of discussion and debate.  Don't waste your time writing and/or reading anyone who calls themselves Catholic but spends more time tearing down than they do building up.  There is no time to waste.

Awhile back my dear friend Richard suggested that a reason I might not be progressing spiritually is because of the weak Novus Ordo Masses I attended daily.  This is not a jab at the Novus Ordo.  It is an admonition to steer clear of bad liturgy and if that means going to the Traditional Latin Mass, stop making excuses and find one.

I want to save souls, but of more urgency right now is making reparation to Our Lord.  Mass, Confession and Adoration.  If you won't do it for Him, who will?


Litany in Reparation to Our Lord in the Eucharist
For private use only.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, offered for the salvation of sinners,
Have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, annihilated on the altar for us and by us,
 Have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, despised by lukewarm Christians, etc.
Sacred Host, mark of contradiction,
Sacred Host, delivered over to heretics,
Sacred Host, insulted by blasphemers,
Sacred Host, Bread of angels, given to animals,
Sacred Host, flung into the mud and trampled underfoot,
Sacred Host, dishonored by unfaithful priests,
Sacred Host, forgotten and abandoned in Thy churches,
Be merciful unto us,
Pardon us, O Lord.
Be merciful unto us,
Hear us, O Lord.
For the outrageous contempt of this most wonderful Sacrament,
We offer Thee our reparation.
For Thine extreme humiliation in Thine admirable Sacrament,
We offer Thee our reparation.
For all unworthy Communions, etc.
For the irreverences of wicked Christians,
For the profanation of Thy sanctuaries,
For the holy ciboriums dishonored and carried away by force,
For the continual blasphemies of impious men,
For the obduracy and treachery of heretics,
For the unworthy conversations carried on in Thy holy temples,
For the profaners of Thy churches which they have 
desecrated by their sacrileges,
That it may please Thee to increase in all Christians 
the reverence due to this adorable Mystery,
we beseech Thee, hear us.
That it may please Thee to manifest the Sacrament 
of Thy Love to heretics,
we beseech Thee, hear us.
That it may please Thee to grant us the grace to atone for their hatred by our burning love for Thee, etc.
That it may please Thee that the insults of those who outrage
Thee may rather be directed against ourselves,
That it may please Thee graciously to receive this our humble reparation,
That it may please Thee to make our adoration acceptable to Thee,
Pure Host, hear our prayer.
Holy Host, hear our prayer.
Immaculate Host, hear our prayer.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
V. See, O Lord, our affliction,
R. And give glory to Thy Holy Name.
Let Us Pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Who dost deign to remain with us in
Thy wonderful Sacrament to the end of the world, in order to
give to Thy Father, by the memory of Thy Passion, eternal glory,
 and to give to us the Bread of life everlasting: Grant
us the grace to mourn, with a heart full of sorrow, over the
injuries which Thou hast received in this adorable Mystery,
and over the many sacrileges which are committed by the impious, by heretics and by bad Catholics.
Inflame us with an ardent zeal to repair all these insults to which,
in Thine infinite mercy, Thou hast preferred to expose Thyself 
rather than deprive us of Thy Presence on our altars, Who with God
the Father and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest one God,
world without end. R. Amen. 



Sunday, June 1, 2014

As Eastertide Nears Its End...

I saw this on The Institute of Christ The King Sovereign Priest's Facebook page and I thought I would share it with you.  This is why we don't take The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for granted and why we accord the Mass our utmost respect and devotion.

"Holy Mass is an event in God’s Sight, as well as for us; it is an event which directly touches His Glory. ... it is His own Son Himself, the Eternal Word, Jesus Christ, who is there offering Himself as victim, and who there prays for us to His Father." Dom Gueranger

I love the hymn 'Alleluia, Sing to Jesus" but I could not find a suitable version to post here.  So instead I will simply leave you with the final verse of this hymn, which gives me the chills every time I read or sing it.

Alleluia! King eternal,
Lord omnipotent we own;
Alleluia! born of Mary,
earth your footstool, heaven your throne.
As within the veil you entered,
robed in flesh, our great high priest;
here on earth both priest and victim
in the Eucharistic feast.




Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tumbling Toward Ruin

I haven't heard or read one news pundit ask the question that's been on my mind since a disturbed individual went on a murderous rampage because he felt he'd been rejected by the young ladies.

I'm sure devout Catholics and maybe even some folks of different faiths have asked themselves: Why is virginity something to be ashamed of instead of a desired state of purity?

How many of the Church's feasts and commemorations celebrate virgins?  And yet our society is so warped that, based on the most common reactions to this horror, it is apparent that a 20-year-old virgin is an oddity who should be advised on how to get *#%+ rather than taught to treasure his status.

Sickening doesn't even begin to describe this tragedy and the MSM reaction to a very disturbed and depraved person whose actions may have put him beyond the reach of salvation.

How much lower can we sink before we plunge this country into the depths of Hell?


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Extraordinary Things Happening in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Around this time last year, there was legitimate concern for the Traditional Latin Mass in Philadelphia.  The pastor at St Paul's church was being transferred and replaced by a priest who does not offer the TLM.  The Archdiocese, if it did have a plan, was not immediately forthcoming about what was going to happen to our little congregation. Then the Archbishop sent an envoy to let us know we would be given the use of a beautiful but seldom-used worship site about a mile away from St Paul's.  The chaplain assigned to our church is a young, orthodox and pious priest who is well-versed in the Extraordinary Form. 

Our first Mass in our new parish fell on the hottest Sunday in July, which drove home the reality that the church lacked air conditioning.  Attendance was good but not great.  But we kept our heads down and kept the faith and plowed onward.  For the first time since Vatican II changes were implemented, the sacred liturgies of the Easter Triduum were celebrated in the Extraordinary Form in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Attendance was wonderful and the liturgies beautiful. 

Not only does the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have its first Extraordinary Form parish but other churches are offering TLM's for First Friday and First Saturday and other feasts. On the Feast of the Sacred Heart a Solemn High Mass will be offered at a parish that hasn't seen a TLM since the 60's.  And there's even more promising news. 

On Holy Trinity Sunday, June 15 a newly-ordained priest of the FSSP will celebrate his first public Mass in the Extraordinary Form.   This will take place at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts Peter and Paul on the Ben Franklin Parkway in Center City Philadelphia.  

God bless Archbishop Chaput for facilitating the TLM and thank God for those priests who, while they may not have an interest in offering the TLM, have been friendly toward this growing movement, particularly the pastors who have made some of these feast day Masses possible. And through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, may those priests who exhibit animus towards the TLM cease from their obstructionist ways and come to the realization that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is never to be held hostage to politics and personal bias. 




Saturday, May 24, 2014

Within Your Wounds, Hide Me

Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from the side of Christ, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O Good Jesus, hear me
With Your Wounds, hide me
Separated from You, let me never be
From the malignant enemy, defend me and at the hour of my death 
Bid me come unto Thee that 
With Your saints and angels I may be
Praising You forever and ever
Amen. 
 
Why do we want to be hidden in His wounds? Because they are the marks of the victory over sin and death and they are repugnant to the devil.  If we allow ourselves to be hidden by these wounds we can be assured we are on the path of Christian perfection and that we are protected from the vile assaults of satan. There is no other way. 

I was very much reminded of this during the past week when Pennsylvania fell and those held captive to sins of the flesh proclaimed victory and attacked the Archbishop and the Catholic Church for witnessing to Christ.  

Up is down, down is up, and abomination is the new normal in America. 

They know not what they do. Worse still, they don't care. 


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Overheard in the Italian Market Today

Elsewhere on this blog I think I have a post on the Procession of Saints that occurs at my Novus Ordo parish.  Today this annual rite-of-Spring took place and as has been our custom, Rebecca and I were there, escorting St Therese.  The venue for the procession is the 9th Street Italian Market Bacchanal, er uh Festival, where The Godfather meets the Sopranos with a sprinkling of goth, God-less and gaudy in between. ( If you don't believe me, YouTube "godfather Italian percession" in those exact words and spelling and see what I mean). 

Anyway, we PROcess with statues of the saints which are adorned with strands of ribbon. People make donations to their favorite saint in exchange for a holy card and the money is pinned to the statue. As we pass by a group of cigar-chomping wise guys, one of them comes forward with a donation, and apparently asks St Therese to intercede on his behalf for God only knows what intention. As he walks away he calls over to the statue, "Thanks Chi-ree" which, in case you don't know, is the South Philly nickname for any girl or woman named Theresa. I thought I would die!

To further amuse us, a gang of new-comers in their 50's had the honor of escorting Saint Lucy, who is much beloved in these parts. Disappointed in their take so far, the group began to good-naturedly chide their buddies in the crowd to cough up some greenbacks for their saint's sparsely-decorated ribbons. One of them asked "Why, whaddya got?"

"What  I got?" an escort indignantly asked in a mocking goodfellas tone. " I got a saint with 2 eyeballs, whaddya think I got?"  

Only in South Philly. 

As amusing as all of this may be, what wasn't funny was how few people were willing to make a donation, and how little interest much of the crowd had in the saints. There were a group of guys in black with tattoos who apparently sprung for a holy card of St Joseph but had no idea who he was. At first I thought they were joking but they were not. They were clearly symbolic of those who are raised without any knowledge of Jesus and the saints. 

Talk about a lost generation.  Very sad. 


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Easier For a Camel To Pass Through The Eye of a Needle

My dear Terry has a somewhat tongue-in- cheek exposé on strollers as status symbols. His timing is perfect because I spent 90 minutes traversing "The Hill", a tony section of Philadelphia where old money meets nouveau riche and a lot of pretentiousness in between. The reason for the visit was to pick up the prom gown that had undergone alterations in the hands of a very capable seamstress. She was entrusted with many wedding gowns in the family and is well worth the trip. She was running a bit behind and asked us very kindly if we could return later.  It was a beautiful day so we really didn't mind.

Watching The Beautiful People is a sometimes fascinating, sometimes nauseating exercise.  I do not begrudge people who are wealthy one bit.  I think what probably leaves me unsettled is that I don't see how one can flaunt their wealth and serve The Lord all at the sane time.  I am fairly certain that most Catholics I see eye- to-eye with are inclined to a more penitential life-style.  Life centers on the Eucharist.  Vacations, if taken, occur at religious destinations.  Clothing is modest and never ostentatious.  Children are never deprived but not over-indulged either.  Heaven is our homeland, earth is our exile and all of our pursuits are fueled by the innate desire to go home one day. We have no desire to keep up with Joneses, unless the Joneses are modeled on the Martin Family, which gave five faithful daughters to The Lord.

When I see people who are incredibly fit, perfectly coifed and transported in vehicles that cost more than my house, I struggle to see Christ. I am tempted to think such a person's world revolves around them.  My theory is confirmed in how they walk, drive and relate to others. If you hold a door open for them,  their arm never reaches out to take it from you.   They saunter through the door as if they are entitled to having it held open for them and the word thank you never crosses their mind.  I assume lowly a position as I can and pretend I'm a nun in the convent of Sister Luke, taught to walk close to walls like a servant to all.  I pity people who behave this way.

If people want to amass possessions they don't need, who am I to judge?  But I certainly don't think it's a Christ-like way to live. The three evils are the devil, the flesh and the world.  I'm going to continue to steer clear of all three and look forward to the day when there is an hour's wait in the confessional line and nobody waiting to be seated at the "hottest" restaurant in town.  Because people finally managed to get their priorities straight.

Friday, May 16, 2014

What Thorn Have You Been Given?

I was waiting for Mass to begin and thought of St Rita, in whose honor the Mass and novena were being held.  I wondered what her reaction was to the wound inflicted on her forehead on Good Friday. Did knowing that this wound came directly from Our Lord make it any easier to bear?  I delude myself at times with the notion that if I knew my sufferings came directly from God I might more happily bear them. Yeah, right. Of course they come from God! 

In this life, the gifts we are sent emerge solely from the Passion of Christ.  He will gladly spare a thorn from the brutal crown forced upon His sacred head. We may not bear it physically or if we do, it's not obvious to anyone else.  The crown of His glory cannot be shared in this lifetime and cannot be earned if the instrument of suffering is rejected.  

I have at times offered to trade in my thorns for ones I think I would rather endure.  This is, of course, playing the coward.  God knows best and does not engage in conditional plea bargaining. ( If You give me this, I will gladly do that).  

At some point after realizing that Jesus answered her prayer to allow her a share in His suffering, St Rita further understood what this remarkable gift entailed.  The pain, infection, and unpleasant odor that accompanied her stigmata often left the saint spurned by others in her community. When the congregation planned to go on a pilgrimage, Rita was told she could not come along because of the wound. Tradition holds that the sore miraculously healed so that she could make the journey and that upon returning to Cascia it appeared again.  This lead to uncharitable speculation on the point of some that her wound was self-inflicted. But Rita was consumed with love for Christ Crucified and concerned solely with comforting Him however she could. If gossip, lack of charity and perhaps even jealousy wounded her, she did not let on. 

Very few are chosen to bear the physical signs of His Passion but whether we realize it or not, He constantly offers us the intangible ones. Humiliation, mortification, rejection, loneliness and betrayal were no strangers to Our Lord. Will we accept them as precious gifts or throw them away?   The former cannot happen without His help. 

My prayer to St Rita for myself is that God continues to supply the help needed to accept His graces.  Be assured I am praying to her for all of our children, that He will grant them the graces necessary for salvation. 



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Love Prevails

The last- minute cancellation of the black mass was a triumph of Divine Love over diabolical hate.  I got to the perpetual adoration chapel by the skin of my teeth last night and was joined about 30 minutes later by two gentlemen. While I was there alone I did my utmost to make it an hour of adoration for One Who is so often neglected.  I did my best to blot out any thought of the heinous acts scheduled to take place.  It wasn't until I arrived home that I learned the mockery of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass did not take place. As happy as I was to learn this, I also knew that this was a sacrilege we knew about.  How many more take place that are not public knowledge?

One way to make this kind of thing more difficult is to BAN once and for all the reception of Holy Communion in the hand.  The methods used to desecrate a Sacred Host are the works of sub-humans. Not even an un-housebroken dog would resort to such depravity.  It occurred to me today that satanists are not going to attend Mass wearing pentagrams and other symbols of evil. They are not going to reveal their true nature lest someone stop them from their intended mission. They are going to attempt to fit in by acting the picture of piety, save for one thing: how they receive Our Lord.  No more EM's and Holy Communion on the tongue only or not at all.  Enough is enough.

Last night when I was tempted to think of all the evil swirling about the world, I remembered that where the Body and Blood of Christ are, so are His holy angels.  Go to adoration and you never know which members of the celestial court are going to show up and keep you company.

I have seen well- meaning people on Catholic sites address the devil directly while denouncing him. NEVER do this. Invoke Jesus, Mary and Joseph and of course St Michael but do not ever address the liar of all liars directly.  And please give serious thought to praying the Chaplet of St Michael daily.

One more thing - I have had my differences with Carol McKinley and will likely disagree with her again, but her commentary on this was spot-on, particularly her observation about children who grow up without the protection of the sacraments.  Like the dope driving the pentagram-mobile looking for attention a few weeks back, these starved souls need our prayers.

Remember that the second secret of Fatima was the vision of hell Our Lady showed the children. It's a fate I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy and I will do everything in my power through the grace of God to keep it from happening to anyone.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

All Hell Breaking Loose

The minions of satan seem to be more brazen than ever. I told you about the despicable sight I saw while driving to work a few weeks back. I see more and more "New Age" spirituality displayed than ever before. Now the foremost Ivy League university in America will permit a Black mass to take place in the name of academic freedom.

At 8pm on Monday you are urged to pray and make reparation for the sacrilege that is scheduled to take place.  If you have a perpetual Adoration chapel you can get to at that time, do so and make a Holy Hour.  

My last Catholic bumper magnet got lost in the car wash. It has been replaced by one featuring St Michael.  If the devil worshipers want to get in our faces, let's return the favor. Remember that one of the many titles of St Joseph is terror of demons.  Perhaps invoking his assistance in quelling this hellacious uprising will be most efficacious.

Remember that only this week a young woman released a video of herself about to undergo an abortion as if such an atrocity was a cause for celebration. Abomination is the new normal in America and it is now advancing with alarming speed.  The Harvard mess is just one that we know about.  There are others but worse than this is the defilement of the human body as the Temple of The Lord with every sin imaginable.

Last week I was leaving church and encountered a man I have seen at Mass and Adoration on a few occasions.  He said he had seen me before and was hoping to meet me so he could share some things with me.  Our Lady of Akita was mentioned as well as some other apparitions.  He believes some chastisement is coming soon and he promised to pray for me and my family. I had been suffering with a headache so bad that day I came close to passing out.  After speaking to this man, the headache left me, although it returned the following day.  A few months before hurricane Sandy I met a man outside the Adoration chapel down the street from me.  He handed me a note. It said punishment was coming to the East Coast because of the abortion rate in New York.  Now I know even a stopped clock is right twice a day so while I take such warnings with precaution I never dismiss them outright.

I am grateful for my own conversion. But like Our Lady, I am saddened at the prospect of so many souls lost.  Do whatever you can.  Our friend Kelly recommends a day a week of fasting, prayer and sacrifice to uphold our children, an idea well worth imitating. Pray for those children who have no one else to pray for them including those who will be permitted to mock the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Worse Than A Sewer Religion

So the intelligence' of Harvard University want to hold a Black mass on campus. Permission has been granted based on fostering "academic freedom".  Satanists don't deserve any freedoms.  If it were up to me, I would declare satanic worship a hate crime and its perpetrators terrorists.   Think about it. 

Their leader attained his position out of sheer hatred for God. He desires nothing but the destruction of our bodies and souls. He has created nothing that is good. He promotes perversion, hatred, corruption, violence.  He is the master of every evil madman who has ever walked the face of the earth.  He is the father of terrorism, pornography, drug addiction, murder, prostitution and every vice.  He has not one redeeming quality.  He is lower than those we ban from entering our country or boarding our airplanes.  He is more vile than anyone locked up at Guantanamo. Yet we are expected to tolerate worship of him in the name of freedom? 

Worship of the father of lies is nothing but an attempt to make a mockery of Jesus Christ and His Mystical Body, the Church.  It must not be permitted. 

If people don't want to believe in God or the devil, it's one thing. But they should not be permitted to defile or denigrate our faith.  A "religion" that is based on filth is not a religion at all.  And we shouldn't tolerate its existence in any public forum or display. 

Pray and make reparation for the offense to God and for the peril of souls.  Hell is no joking matter.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Overwhelming

While waiting for one of my children who has a standing appointment one evening a week, I take a leisurely stroll around one of the more beautiful sections of the city. In the course of 45 minutes I see a monastery, an oratory and a cathedral. I walk past museums full of priceless art and a sprawling library that pays notable homage to The Bard. I also see the hidden people who come out at night - the homeless in various stages of destitute. It occurred to me I might come across the young man who broke my heart a few weeks back. This was a miscalculation on my part.

There are so many people who fit his description that it is simply overwhelming. And if you give to one you are quickly surrounded by a mob that at times borders on threatening. So all I do is smile and acknowledge there is a human being underneath the grime and possibly the lice.

A few weeks ago I saw on ABC News an experiment where people volunteered to appear homeless and sit on a sidewalk where a member of their family were going to pass by where they could see them. None of them did.  One man even walked past his own wife, failing to recognize her in the distressing disguise of the poor.

There are people who have made their life's work tending to the needs of the lowliest members of our society. Every week I see a large white van pull up on the parkway and become quickly surrounded by homeless. Meals and clothing are handed out. The Good Samaritans remain as anonymous as those they serve. One gentleman uses his own money, of which he does not have much, to prepare home-cooked meals that he delivers each week. He doesn't go on vacation or eat in expensive restaurants. In fact he doesnt eat out at all. Every cent he has is spent on his little mission.   He didn't wait to win the lottery to take care of perfect strangers.  He gives out of his own, here and now.

Lord, when did we see You hungry or poor or naked or ill?

Just open your eyes and see Him everywhere, in every stage of human misery where just one kind word might be all it takes to save someone from the brink.