Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Happy Feast Day Pope Benedict XVI

St. Peter, the first Pope and Benedict XVI, the 265th Pope

Happy Feast Day to the Holy Father! Celebrating the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Benedict continues to asks for our prayers!

"Speaking on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Pope said: 'The memory of those patron saints makes me feel particularly close to you, dear borthers of the Rome diocese.' He continued: 'Divine Providence has called me to be your pastor. I thank you for the affection with which you have welcomed me, and ask you to pray that Sts. Peter and Paul will grant me the grace to carry out faithfully the pastoral ministry that has been confided to me'.

In a reference to ecumenical affairs, the Pope prayed 'that the Virgin Mary will grant us that the Petrine ministry of the Bishop of Rome will not be considered a stumbing block but an aid on the path to unity.' After the Angelus audience, the Pontiff went to the St. Martha residence, where he shared a midday meal with the members of the Orthodox delegation". (Catholic Culture)

Thanks to Amy Welborn's Open Book for her post on his Angelus message.

The Pope's homily on the feast day is found here.

Sixty Years Later

Here's a bit of history from a man who is grateful he helped to save a young German soldier who later became the Pope.

Read more Historic Encounter Recalled. (Tribune Review)

Martyrs Saints Peter and Paul

Lord our God, encourage us through the prayers of Saints Peter and Paul. May the apostles who strengthened the faith of the infant Church help us on our way of salvation. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

St. Augustine writes (Sermon 295):
Both apostles share the same feast day, for these two were one; and even though they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first, and Paul followed. And so we celebrate this day made holy for us by the apostles' blood. Let us embrace what they believed, their life, their labors, their sufferings, their preaching, and their confession of faith.

Read more on Saints Peter and Paul, Martyrs (Catholic Culture)

The Biographies of Two Future Saints

We've been blessed with so many saints in our lifetime and we continue to be inspired by faithful disciples like Pope Benedict XVI and Mother Angelica who will become the great saints of the future. Don't miss reading their biographies.

The autobiography of Pope Benedict XVI is called MILESTONES: MEMOIRS 1927-1977, authored by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and published by Igantius Press.

This book also recounts Joseph Ratzinger’s calling and ordination to the priesthood, the intellectual and spiritual formation he received, his early days as a parish priest, his role as an expert at the Second Vatican Council, his experience as a popular university professor and theologian, and his appointment as Archbishop of Munich-Freising in Germany. Joseph Ratzinger would go on to serve for over two decades as the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith under John Paul II, before being elected pope himself in 2005.

Watch out for Raymond Arroyo's book on Mother Angelica which will be released in September 2005. To pre-order your copy, go to the EWTN religious catalogue and look for MOTHER ANGELICA:The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles by Raymond Arroyo

Here's EWTN's short synopsis of the book:

In this intimate and inspiring biography, Raymond Arroyo unveils the true Mother Angelica: abandoned by her father at age 5, plagued by illness and self doubt, Rita Rizzo experienced a miraculous healing in 1943 that drew her to the cloistered life at the age of 21. There she discovered a love that would forever alter her life and the lives of countless others around the globe. With unprecedented access to Mother Angelica's letters, diaries, medical records, family, friends and foes, Arroyo vividly retraces her tortured and sublime path from the tough streets of Canton, Ohio to the buckle of the Bible belt in Alabama, to the perilous heights of television fame.

From this definitive work, a fully human portrait emerges of a woman willing to risk everything to follow the inspirations of Divine Providence. It is a story of
survival, and the power of faith to overcome incredible obstacles. Mother Angelica talked with the author, granting him hours of candid, sassy, revealing interviews over a three-year period. Only weeks after completing the final interview for this biography, Mother Angelica suffered a stroke that stole her speech. Within are her reflections, her powerful life lessons, and thoughts on her remarkable life. For anyone in dire straights, anyone who has ever been overlooked or told, “You can't”-- here is Mother Angelica in all her tenacious and faithful glory.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

John Paul II's Beatification Process Begins Today

Visit the official website and save under your favorites! The Cause of Beatification of John Paul II

Pray to John Paul II for his intercession: Healing of the Sick; Conversion of a family member; Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life; Financial Assistance;
Peace in the family and More!

Trust in God's Mercy and ask for the Impossible!

Boycott Harry Potter Books

Finally, here's the Pope's take on Harry Potter books!

RIMSTING, Germany, June 27, 2005 (
As the sixth issue of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - is about to be released, the news that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prior to his elevation to the Pontificate, had denounced the wildly popular series has resurfaced. In 2003, a month after the English press throughout the world falsely proclaimed that Pope John Paul II approved of Harry Potter, the man who was to become his successor sent a letter to a Catholic German critic of Harry Potter outlining his agreement with her opposition to Rowling's offerings.

As Amazon books touted over a million pre-orders for the newest in the Potter series,, a Catholic news website with the flair of the DrudgeReport, recalled a German magazine article speaking of a letter from Cardinal Ratzinger to German Potter critic Gabriele Kuby.

The main thrust of Kuby's objection to Potter is that the books corrupt the hearts of the young, preventing them from developing a properly ordered sense of good and evil, thus harming their relationship with God while that relationship is still in its infancy.

In the Zenit interview, Kuby quotes from the letter she received from Cardinal Ratzinger. In the letter, then-Cardinal Ratzinger specifically pointed to the fact that the danger in the Potter books is hidden was greatly concerning. "It is good that you shed light and inform us on the Harry Potter matter, for these are subtle seductions that are barely noticeable and precisely because of that deeply affect (children) and corrupt the Christian faith in souls even before it (the Faith) could properly grow and mature," said Cardinal Ratzinger.

Kuby's Potter criticism also received recognition in Germany from the city of Munich's office of Youth affairs, which at the time made headlines for indicating that the Potter books were not fit for children.

The entire article is found here.

Report Any Miracles of John Paul II

The Rome diocese has already announced that anyone having specific testimony to present regarding the life and virtue of Pope John Paul, or miracles attributed to his intercession, should write to the Rome vicariate. Testimony can be sent by email to:

JP2 Bridges Gaps In America

Here's an article from The Hill published on April 12, 2005 testifies to John Paul's intercession immediately after his death.

Two miracles for John Paul II

By Albert Eisele and Jeff Dufour

Now that large numbers of Catholic clergy and laity are clamoring for sainthood to be bestowed on the late Pope John Paul II, the church will need to start verifying miracles he’s performed.Two of them involving members of Congress who attended the pope’s funeral can now be verified.First, the late pontiff can take credit for bringing together two of the most bitter antagonists in Congress, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Not only did the pair issue a joint statement while leading a delegation of House members to the pope’s funeral last week, praising the pontiff as “a saint, a hero and a friend of the American people,” but Pelosi actually presented DeLay with a cake for his 58th birthday on the plane on the way home.

Fourteen senators also attended the funeral.DeLay and Pelosi were pressed into service to lead the delegation after Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) was hospitalized for kidney stones. That caused the 23 other members on the trip to wonder if “this could be prove to be an early test of John Paul’s miraculous powers,” Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), wrote in the Sunday New York Post.The fact that the two got along so well made the delegation realize “we were part of something that dwarfed us all,” wrote King, who was relegated, along with his colleagues, to a Holiday Inn 25 miles from Vatican City.

King was also involved in the other “miracle,” when he and Reps. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) appeared on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” which was filmed at the Vatican immediately after the pope’s funeral.“Even the usually hyperkinetic Matthews was subdued,” King said.If the pope can bring bridge the differences between arch foes DeLay and Pelosi and keep Matthews from shouting, he really is ready for sainthood.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Prayer For John Paul II's Intercession

The Diocese of Rome published the written prayer to implore favors from John Paul the Great. John Paul's process for beatification officially begins June 28, 2005. (EWTN)

O Blessed Trinity,
We thank you for having graced the Church
with Pope John Paul II and for allowing
the tenderness of your Fatherly care,
the glory of the cross of Christ, and
the splendor of the Holy Spirit,
to shine through him.
Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy
and in the maternal intercession of Mary,
he has given us a living image of Jesus
the Good Shepherd, and has shown us
that holiness is the necessary measure of
ordinary Christian life and is the way
of achieving eternal communion with you.
Grant us, by his intercession, and according
to Your will, the graces we implore,
hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints.

Summer In Rome with Benedict?

I have had the privilege of going twice on pilgrimage to Rome. I consider this a great blessing from God and I cannot but encourage Catholics and non-Catholics to visit the Eternal City at least once in their lifetime.

So, if you are still unsure of where to go on vacation this summer, how about considering a Roman holiday?

For the faithful who wish to go on a pilgrimage to Rome,
the Church of Santa Susanna run by Paulist priests provides a home-away-from-home for English-speaking people living in Rome. Their website offers information from historic tours to public transportation to hotel accomodations.

One piece of advice - do not leave Rome without attending an audience with the Pope! The general audience is held every Wednesday (this is subject to change according to the Holy Father's summer holiday schedule) and if you want some tips on how to get a good seat close to the front, click on
Papal Events.

Fighting Absent-Mindedness and Superficiality

During his Sunday Angelus, the Holy Father reminded the faithful to take extra precaution on the freeways and highways as they begin their summer holidays. Citing the frequency of freeway accidents at the beginning of summer, he urged motorists to fight "absent-mindedness and superficiality" which can lead to the ruin of one's life and of others. More on The Pope Urges Motorists To Be Careful.

What are examples of absent-mindedness? It may be forgetting what we went into a room for, or misplace our car keys, or not remember to pick up the milk on the way home from work.

According to Dr. Rich Bayer...

"the problem of absent-mindedness has more to do with attention than memory. To solve absent-mindedness, we need to be more attentive to the task at hand. If we put our car keys down at a moment when we’re having an intense conversation with someone, the memory of putting the keys down may be disrupted by the memory of the conversation. Then, when we go to find our keys, we can’t remember where they are because we never really stored the key location in memory. Even our own, ongoing thoughts can be a distraction that can disrupt attentiveness and cause absent-mindedness".

What does it mean to be superficial? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, superficial means shallow, lacking depth and thoroughness, neglect of detail. Therefore, being superficial implies the absence of deeper reasoning and a concern only of the obvious.

The Pope reminds motorists to be careful, alert and lucid on the road. Absent-mindedness and superficiality on the freeways can be fatal and often lead to major injuries and deaths. Would this have any direct corollary with the state of the human mind and soul in today's world?

Perhaps the fast pace of life forces us to be careless, even apathetic in the little things that really matter. Perhaps people's expectations of summer holidays have been compromised in such a way that there lacks today a deeper meaning, a deeper purpose of going away on holiday. Where do people go on holiday? On a cruise? To exotic resorts? To theme parks? Or to the mountains? What does it mean to go on holiday, to take a vacation? Is there a deeper meaning, a spirituality behind summer vacation? Are we called to be more attentive to the presence of the Lord during our vacation by spending time with family, appreciating nature, nurturing relationships with loved ones? Are we called to rise above the superficiality of today's concept of rest and relaxation which often tempts us to excite our senses instead of subdue them?

Perhaps this is something we can reflect on during the summer holidays.

Friday, June 24, 2005

A Soldier Salutes His General

The Swiss Guards in full array
salute and stand at attention
when any Cardinal passes by.

More on The Swiss Guards

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Summer Vacation

Summer is finally here!

Yesterday officially marked the first day of summer. What does summer really mean for us? Is it a time for planning family picnics, camping, going to the beach, perhaps a pilgrimage? Whatever it may be, summer is a time for taking a break from the routine of daily life. It means resting the mind, the body and the soul.

John Paul II stressed the importance of vacation and would fill his summer days with leisurely strolls along mountain trails in the Italian Alps. The Pope said vacation can provide a chance for spiritual reflection. On one of his trips to Les Combes, he said "Here amid pleasant woods and valleys, the body is restored and the spirit can devote itself more to reflection and contemplation. The Pope invited people to make their vacations a "time of inner enrichment" and family togetherness. He also recalled those people unable to take vacations, especially the "sick, the elderly, the imprisoned and those who are alone." (Catholic News Services)

In July 2005, Benedict XVI will continue John Paul's tradition of spending the summer holidays in the village of Les Combes, in Val d'Aosta, Italy.

Pope John Paul II rests during his vacation in the Italian Alps, in this picture released by the Vatican on Tuesday, August 1, 2000. The Pope spent 12 days in a resort near Les Combes in the northern Val d'Aosta region of Italy from July 10 through July 22. (AP Photo/Arturo Mari)


CASTEL GANDOLFO, JULY 23, 2000 ( To enjoy a few days of holiday is more necessary than ever in "present day society, which is so frenetic and competitive, in which the logic of production and profit predominate, not infrequently to the detriment of the person," John Paul II said at noon today, when he met several thousand pilgrims and residents of Castel Gandolfo, his summer residence, some 20 miles outside Rome, where he will reside for the rest of the summer.

Children's joy and laughter accompanied the Pope as he left the Aosta Valley yesterday, where he spent 12 days of rest, in the heart of the Italian Alps. "Now I am here again among you, Brothers and Sisters of Castel Gandolfo, whom I am always so happy to see again," the suntanned and happy Holy Father said, before praying the "Angelus" with all those present.
The Pope will now continue his ordinary activities in Castel Gandolfo. However, because of the Jubilee and his numerous engagements, his stay will be shorter than other years. Therefore, he said with a smile that he had "greater reason to appreciate these weeks that the Lord is granting me to spend among you."

Recovery of Interior Balance
The Bishop of Rome dedicated his meeting with pilgrims to talk, specifically, about vacations, "adequate periods of rest, in which to recover energy and, at the same time, rediscover the right internal balance." Holidays must be used wisely, because "they are beneficial to the individual and family, thanks to contact with nature, tranquility, the greater opportunity to cultivate family harmony, good reading, and healthy recreational activity; and, above all, thanks to the possibility to dedicate yourself primarily to prayer, contemplation, and listening to God."

Gospel Value
Although a papal encyclical has not been written on vacations, Christ himself spoke about the importance of rest in the Gospel. The Holy Father recalled that when the Apostles had returned from their first mission, Jesus told them, "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while." "Exhausted from their incessant activity in the midst of the people, every so often, Jesus and the disciples felt the need for a time of rest." Although the evangelist says that the crowds interrupted that "need for a time of rest," the Pontiff said that, nevertheless, "the value of rest remains and the need to use free time for healthy physical and especially spiritual relaxation."

Therefore, before bidding farewell, the Pope wished "all those on holiday a good and profitable vacation," and he prayed for those "who, for various reasons, do not have the opportunity to leave their usual occupations and ordinary routine."

Monday, June 20, 2005

A Defense for Terri

A supposedly Catholic friend challenged me on my opposition to the euthanasia of Terri Shiavo. I was shocked when I discovered that he supported the killing of Terri. Here is part of his argument:

"If we truly believe in the promise of the resurrection, then why are the faithful so afraid to let her receive that promise? If the ultimate goal is to reach heaven, why are people so intent on keeping her on earth? I'd rather pray for her soul, not her body."

Catholics must avoid these kinds of weak arguments - definitely if one is to make a defense for life. The above statement is tantamount to saying that God promised resurrection so that we can have the freedom to take our own life. Recently, Terri Shiavo's autopsy reports were made public. Again, the faithful ought to bear in mind the real issue - that of the evil of euthanasia. Below is an article by Dr. Paul Chaim Benedicta Schenck.

Terry's Autopsy makes no difference.

Two Months

It's been two months since the election of Pope Benedict XVI on April 19, 2005. Happy Father's Day Holy Father on your second month anniversary!

The Holy Spirit really has him on the move! Reflecting on the past two months, let's look at some top stories of the day which characterize Benedict's pontificate.



Defender of Life


Mary Mother of the Eucharist

Thanks to Curt Jester's plug, the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are really getting the exposure they need. This community of Dominican nuns is working for what is most needed in our world today - the rebuilding of Catholic education! May God truly bless them with an abundance of vocations. Read the Jester's comments here.

Here's an excerpt on a reflection, titled Mary, Mother of the Eucharist by Fr. Edward T. Oakes, S.J. :

For who knew the Real Presence of Jesus throughout His life better than Mary? She, and she alone, knew he was Really Present when he was growing in her womb; she, along with St. Joseph, knew his Real Presence when He was growing up as a boy; she, with the eyes of faith, knew his Real Presence when He changed water into wine at the wedding at Cana; she, with Mary Magdalene and St. John the Beloved Disciple, knew the Real Presence of Jesus when His Body was being poured out for us (Eucharistically!) on the Cross, when His Precious Blood flowed forth from His right side just before His death; she, with the other grieving mourners, knew His Real Presence when He was taken down from the Cross; she was the first, as St. Ignatius Loyola teaches us, to see Him after He rose from the dead; and finally she was there, with the other disciples in the Upper Room, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the assembled faithful, transforming the Church into the Body of Christ

The whole reflection can be found in its entirety on their website here. Just look under Reflections.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Night Prayer

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared

in the sight of every people:
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

World Events

International meeting on the care of street women.

International meeting on the care of street women. A special meeting to discuss ways in which the Church can help women living on the streets around the world begins in Rome next Monday. About 50 representatives of religious congregations, church associations and institutions from 24 countries will attend the First International Meeting for the Pastoral Care of Women on the Streets, organised by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants.
More here.

Spain gears up for pro-family demonstration.

Spanish Catholics are gearing up for a large demonstration in Madrid tomorrow, against proposed changes in the law including gay marriage and easier divorce. In most parishes in Spain last Sunday, leaflets were distributed urging parishioners to join the march. More here.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Youth Rejects Darkness In Prepartion for WYD

World Youth Day Rejects Big Brother's Offer

COLOGNE (Cathnews) - World Youth Day organizers have rejected an “offer” by the producers of a German television program called “Big Brother” to house pilgrims on the set of the popular reality show.

In a report from the Catholic News Agency, a spokesman for WYD 2005, Matthias Kopp, said organizers refused the proposal made by Edemol, the producer of the program, which offered to let young people sleep on the set of the show in exchange for allowing some of them to appear on the program.

“A format such as that of Big Brother, which shows disrespect for people, is not appropriate for conveying the ideas and objectives of World Youth Day,” said Kopp.

World Youth Day will be held August 16-21 in Cologne.

(Vatican Radio)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

St. John Francis Regis (1597-1640)

Feast day: June 16

Although his work and fame are local, St. John Francis Regis is one of the great figures of the counter-Reformation. Born in Languedoc, at Fontcouverte on January 1st, 1597, he was admitted to the Society of Jesus at Toulouse on November 8th, 1616. He spent almost all his short life preaching the faith in the wild, mountainous country of the Velay and Vivarais. This region, in common with the area further to the south, had suffered much in the wars of religion, and there had been many conversions to protestantism.

John Francis, a man of great austerity of life, adapted his apostolate to the needs of his time. In the words of Goyau, he preached 'from farm to farm ... to souls one by one when he could not gather them into groups.' Like his great compatriot, St. Vincent de Paul, he was not content with verbal preaching alone. He practised the corporal works of mercy to a heroic degree. His room was always full of clothes, furniture, odds and ends of all kinds which he had collected for the poor. One of the causes dearest to his heart and for which he worked unceasingly was the reclamation of prostitutes.

His forthrightness, intrepedity and courage inevitably raised up enemies against him. There were those who took scandal at his unusual methods; there were those of evil life who resented his condemnation of their ways. Even among the clergy of the Vivarais, those whom he reproached for infidelity to their vocation, banded together to impede his apostolate. He was delated to the bishop of Viviers and for a time he was 'under a cloud.'
But this trial was only temporary. In obedience to his religious superiors before whom he had laid plans for a great extension of his work--at one time he wished to join his fellow Jesuits of the Canadian mission--he continued his evangelization of the Vivarais. He never spared himself. During the last four months of his life, he heard ten thousand confessions. Exhausted by such labours, he died at La Louvesc on December 12th, 1640. He was beatified by Clement XI in 1716 and canonized by Clement XII in 1737.
A basilica was built above his tomb, which soon became and has ever since remained one of the great French centers of pilgrimage. Among the thousands who have come to this church high up in the mountains of the Ardèche, none is so well-known as St. John Vianney, who at the grave of St. John Francis prayed during a period of crisis in his own life.
The burning apostolic spirit of this great Jesuit still broods over the mountains and scattered villages of the land he reclaimed for the church. His work has endured, and the faith remains firm and secure in the Ardèche. His spirit lives on also in religious institutes which, although not founded by him, are inspired by his ideals and methods. Mention should be made in particular of the Nuns of the Cenacle, whose mother-house is at La Louvesc, and whose work for the instruction and education of the laity is so well known.
The problems of the apostolate in our own time are not dissimilar to those John Francis faced, and his combination of preaching and the corporal and spiritual works of mercy is as essential in the twentieth century as it was in the seventeenth.

Courtesy of Catholic Information Network (CIN)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

How Do I Address Thee? Let Me Count The Ways

I wondered how I would formally address a friend who is being ordained a Permanent Deacon this Saturday. So I put Google to work...

Titles of Address of Roman Catholic Clerics

The Gift of Music

~From a German opera house~

"God is ever before my eyes. I realize His omnipotence and I fear His anger, but I also recognize His love, His compassion and His tenderness toward His creatures. He will never forsake His own. If it is according to His will, so let it be according to mine. Thus all will be well, and I must be happy and contented." (Mozart's letter to his father in 1777:)

Mozart's Mass in C minor, though never completed, is generally held with Bach’s B Minor Mass and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis as one of the greatest settings of the Ordinary ever composed. (The Bach Choir of Bethlehem)

Sample some of the music in Passion: The Sacred Music of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart .

(A word of acknowledgement and thanks to my voice teacher Mila who owns a framed print of the above poem)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Celebrate Good Times!

Paving The Road to Sainthood in Catholic Education

Be Perfect As Your Heavenly Father Is Perfect -Matthew 5:48

This is the universal call for every Catholic and therefore the mission of every Christian to attain this end. It has often been said that the best gift we can give to a child is education. The best gift we can give then to a Catholic child is catechism and the opportunity to become a saint.

Here's a powerful and thought-provoking article on primary education by Leon J. Suprenant, Jr., editor-in-chief of Emmaus Publishing.

"...The Church has always taught that the primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children. This traditional formulation dates back at least as far as St. Isidore of Seville, a seventh-century Doctor of the Church.

In 1944, the Holy See unequivocally affirmed in response to a formal question (dubium) that the procreation and education of children is the one and only primary end of marriage.It is true, nonetheless, that over the past 50 years the Church has used slightly different terminology that gives greater attention to the unitive dimension of marriage. Yet the Church still affirms that marriage “is by its nature ordered toward...the procreation and education of offspring” (Catechism, no. 1601). This teaching can be traced to the first command given by God to man: “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gn 1:22). With regard to the phrase, “the procreation and education of children,” the first part of this formulation gets most of the attention. After all, “procreation” conjures up a host of issues, from Humanae Vitae and women’s “liberation” to the complementarity of the sexes and the intrinsic value of motherhood. It’s the second part of the formulation — the “education of offspring” — that is sometimes overlooked. What does the Church mean when she says that an objective “end” or purpose of marriage entails the education of offspring?

The Church does not simply mean raising the next generation of Harvard, Yale, or even Notre Dame graduates. Rather, the Church has always understood “education” in the sense of preparing children for the worship of God — in other words, helping them discover and fulfill their vocation as children of God. As Popes Paul VI and John Paul II have affirmed in recent decades, the Church is by her nature missionary, sent by Christ to make disciples of all the nations. The Church’s mission, then, is to extend Christ through space and time. Great missionaries like St. Francis Xavier, who brought thousands to the faith, have the particular vocation of extending Christ through space — indeed to the four corners of the world. Catholic parents, on the other hand, have the challenging vocation of extending Christ through time, by raising up the next generation of disciples. How parents are to fulfill this vocation is beautifully summarized in the Catechism, nos. 2221-33. I think this perspective helps us to keep sight of the big picture when we examine Catholic education."

Wait!... there's more here.

Free Lectures

Anyone for freebies? Check out Peter Kreeft's website here. It contains a treasure of free written and audio lectures. God bless you Dr. Kreeft.

Here's a sample on Joy:

Joy is more than happiness, just as happiness is more than pleasure. Pleasure is in the body. Happiness is in the mind and feelings. Joy is deep in the heart, the spirit, the center of the self.

The way to pleasure is power and prudence. The way to happiness is moral goodness. The way to joy is sanctity, loving God with your whole heart and your neighbor as yourself.
Everyone wants pleasure. More deeply, everyone wants happiness. Most deeply, everyone wants joy.

Freud says that spiritual joy is a substitute for physical pleasure. People become saints out of sexual frustrations.

This is exactly the opposite of the truth. St. Thomas Aquinas says, "No man can live without joy. That is why one deprived of spiritual joy goes over to carnal pleasures." Sanctity is never a substitute for sex, but sex is often a substitute for sanctity.

The simplest, most unanswerable proof that Aquinas is right and Freud is wrong, is experience. It is not a matter of faith alone. It has been proved by experience by many, many people, many, many times. You can repeat the experiment and prove it to yourself. You can be absolutely certain that it is true, just as you can be certain that fire is hot and ice is cold.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Countdown to Cologne

Youth in Cologne celebrating the election of Pope Benedict XVI, April 2005

Imagine the three magi searching for the Infant King, guided by the star of Bethlehem. They travel from their far distant lands to find their King. This is the very first pilgrimage. It is not very different from any other pilgrimage. In our journey, we search for Christ the King and we are guided by Mary, Star of the Sea. The youth are also searching - they search for a reason, a purpose to live. They travel far and wide to search for their King and they are guided by a star, the Holy Father. When they find Jesus, their Master, they rejoice! Their hearts will never be the same again!
Prayer in Preparation of WYD 2005
Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour of the World,
You became man, to give us a life in abundance.
You promised to remain with us
in Your Church until the end of time.
Then Your Kingdom will come: a new heaven
and earth full of love, justice and peace.
This is our hope, our foundation. Thanks be to You.
Lord, we pray: Bless the young people around the world.
Reveal Yourself to those who are searching for You.
Awake those who do not believe in You.
Strengthen the faith of those who confess You.
Let them continuously set out to You
like the three Wise Men from the East.
Make them architects of a new civilisation of love
and witnesses of hope for the whole world.
Through them be close to those who suffer
from hunger, war and violence.
Inspire by Your Holy Spirit those who are contributing
the preparations of World Youth Day 2005.
Make them serve Your kingdom
with the power of their faith and their love
and let them welcome their brothers and sisters
from all over the world with open hearts.
Lord, You gave us Mary as our mother.
Let Her be our advocate for World Youth Day
so that it becomes a celebration of faith.
Bless Your Church with new strength these days,
so that She can become a credible witness for You.
We ask this through You, our Lord and God,
living in the unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
reigning forever and ever. Amen.
(Source: Official website of WYD 2005)

Calling all young people of the world! There is still time to participate in the 20th World Youth Day, August 15 - 21, 2005. Join the Holy Father in Cologne, Germany. You will not regret this experience of a lifetime. Find out from your parish if there is a contingent from your diocese going to Cologne in August. Check out the official WYD website here.

Miracle Saint and Wonder Worker

St. Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Church
The image above originates from a story about the visit of St. Anthony to the Lord of Chatenauneuf. Anthony was praying far into the night when suddenly the room was filled with light more brilliant than the sun. Jesus then appeared to St. Anthony under the form of a little child. Chatenauneuf, attracted by the brilliant light that filled his house, was drawn to witness the vision but promised to tell no one of it until after St. Anthony's death. St. Anthony’s tomb is in the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy where the relic of his tongue is found incorrupt as a result of his holy preaching.
Prayer: O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, thy love for God and Charity for His creatures, made thee worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought, I implore thee to obtain for me (request). O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, Who didst love to be folded in thine arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be thine. Amen.

Things to do:
1. Pray to Saint Anthony for someone who has lost his or her faith.
2. Make a Novena to St. Anthony (13 Tuesdays).
2. Make a pilgrimage to The Basilica of St. Anthony.
3. Imitate St. Anthony's holiness through speech. He was known to preach with kindess and gentleness.
Sources: (Image Courtesy of The Basilica of St. Anthony); St. Anthony's Messenger

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Pray For Vocations

Matthew 9: 36 - 38

36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."

The Many Forms of Penance In Christian Life

Interior Penance

The interior penance of the Christian can be expressed in many and various ways. Scripture and the Fathers insist above all on three forms, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving (Cf. Tob 12:8; Mt 6:1-18), which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others. Alongside the radical purification brought about by Baptism or martyrdom they cite as means of obtaining forgiveness of sins: effort at reconciliation with one's neighbor, tears of repentance, concern for the salvation of one's neighbor, the intercession of the saints, and the practice of charity "which covers a multitude of sins."(1 Pet 4:8; Cf. Jas 5:20)

Gestures of Reconciliation

Conversion is accomplished in daily life by gestures of reconciliation, concern for the poor, the exercise and defense of justice and right (Cf. Am 5:24; Isa 1:17), by the admission of faults to one's brethren, fraternal correction, revision of life, examination of conscience, spiritual direction, acceptance of suffering, endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness. Taking up one's cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance (Cf. Lk 9:23).

Eucharist and Penance

Daily conversion and penance find their source and nourishment in the Eucharist, for in it is made present the sacrifice of Christ which has reconciled us with God. Through the Eucharist those who live from the life of Christ are fed and strengthened. "It is a remedy to free us from our daily faults and to preserve us from mortal sins." (Council Of Trent (1551) DS 1638)

Scripture and Prayer

Reading Sacred Scripture, praying the Liturgy of the Hours and the Our Father - every sincere act of worship or devotion revives the spirit of conversion and repentance within us and contributes to the forgiveness of our sins.

Occasions of Penitential Practices

The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church's penitential practice (Cf. SC 109-110; CIC, cann. 1249-1253; CCEO, Cann. 880-883). These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works).

The Unfathomable Mercy of God

The process of conversion and repentance was described by Jesus in the parable of the prodigal son, the center of which is the merciful father: (Cf. Lk 15:11-24) the fascination of illusory freedom, the abandonment of the father's house; the extreme misery in which the son finds himself after squandering his fortune; his deep humiliation at finding himself obliged to feed swine, and still worse, at wanting to feed on the husks the pigs ate; his reflection on all he has lost; his repentance and decision to declare himself guilty before his father; the journey back; the father's generous welcome; the father's joy - all these are characteristic of the process of conversion. The beautiful robe, the ring, and the festive banquet are symbols of that new life - pure worthy, and joyful - of anyone who returns to God and to the bosom of his family, which is the Church. Only the heart Of Christ Who knows the depths of his Father's love could reveal to us the abyss of his mercy in so simple and beautiful a way.

(Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1434-1439)

Friday, June 10, 2005

A Blob Or Not A Blob: That Is The Question

Meet Bloborange

"If you believe you are just a blob of cellular tissue, please raise your right protoplasm" the teaser from this article Doctors Doubt Darwinism by Drs. Michael A. Glueck and Robert J. Cihak.

(You mean I'm not a Bloborange?)

Source: Catholic Educators Resource

Prayer For Priests

It probably has come to many people's attention about two recent violent incidents against priests. One was during a mock gay wedding at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, which led to the physical injury of Msgr Patrick Jacquin. Read here. Another was the stabbing of Father John Okoro Egbulefu near the Vatican. Read more.

It's time for battle, so let's gear up in armor and start praying for our priests.
O Jesus, Eternal Priest; keep all Your priests
within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart,
where none may harm them.
Keep unstained their anointed hands
which daily touch Your Sacred Body.
Keep unsullied their lips purpled
with Your Precious Blood.
Keep pure and unearthly their hearts
sealed with the sublime marks
of Your glorious priesthood.
Let Your holy love surround them
and shield them from the world's contagion.
Bless their labors with abundant fruit,
and may the souls to whom they have ministered
to be their joy and consolation and in Heaven
their beautiful and everlasting crown.
O Mary, Queen of the clergy, pray for us;
obtain for us many holy priests. Amen.
(Source: Our Lady's Warriors)

Bishops At Work

Two bishops from the Philippines have recently been featured separately in Catholic Culture and Vatican Radio because of their blogsites. They are certainly doing their part in evangelization!

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz from the Diocese of Lingayen-Dagupan is bringing his cause against illegal numbers gambling to his blogsite called
Viewpoints. His exposé has led to death threats but this 70-year old prelate says he will continue to speak out. You can download his interview called Dicing With Death on Vatican Radio. Let us pray that the Lord grant him protection.

Bishop Leonardo Medroso from the Diocese of Borongan writes an article in defense of the family, found here. His blogsite is called Tidbits.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Jewish-Vatican joint project on Aids

Jewish communal leaders plan to discuss a joint project with the Vatican to combat AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa when they hold their first meeting with the new pontiff in Rome in the coming days.

World Jewish Congress President Edgar Bronfman and governing board chairman Israel Singer will visit newly installed Pope Benedict XVI after participating in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe conference on anti-Semitism in Cordoba and the WJC governing board meeting, also in Cordoba, at which the AIDS initiative was discussed.

"It's part of the general principle of alliance with non-Jews, [since the Jews] cannot be a people of 12 million people and live alone," Singer told The Jerusalem Post following the Tuesday governing board meeting.

He said that at the meeting with Benedict XVI, he will encourage a continuation of the same relationship his organization and the Vatican have of late enjoyed, noting that before he became the pope, Joseph Ratzinger "wrote all the basis of the theology against anti-Semitism for the last pope."

Singer also indicated that he would press Benedict XVI to push bishops throughout the world to join those of France and Germany in making public statements against anti-Semitism.

(by Hilary Leila Krieger, The Jerusalem Post, June 8, 2005)

Benedict Instructs

On Thanksgiving to God's Work
The Pope explained how "this hymn of praise and thanksgiving contains many terms defining God's attributes and His work of salvation. Words are used such as: 'gracious,' 'merciful,' 'power,' 'faithful,' 'uprightness,' 'trustworthy,' 'covenant,' 'wonderful works,' and even 'food'." (EWTN)

On Holy Fear
The Psalmist invites us to respond to this covenant by contemplating God's holy name with the fear which is the first stage of wisdom. The term fear does not mean terror, but sincere respect for the Lord and genuine assent to the ways of God. Let us too raise our hearts to the Lord in thanks and praise! Listen to General Audience, June 8, 2005.

On the Eucharist as God's maternal love.
“'Graciousness' is the divine grace that envelops and transfigures the faithful, while 'mercifulness' is expressed in the Hebrew original with a characteristic term evoking the Lord's maternal 'womb,' even more merciful than that of a mother," the Holy Father explained. Benedict XVI said that "this bond of love includes the fundamental gift of food, and hence of life, which in the Christian interpretation will be identified with the Eucharist."

On marriage and family as the first source of a person's formation:
The Pope recalled that "biblical revelation, in fact, is above all the expression of a story of love, the story of the covenant of God with man; therefore the story of the love and union between a man and a woman in the covenant of marriage was able to be assumed by God as a symbol of the history of salvation." More here.

Evangelization: The Mission of Catholic Blogging

VATICAN CITY, JUN 7, 2005 (VIS) - Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, yesterday addressed the Information Office of the Italian Episcopal Conference on the topic "Internet and the Catholic Church in Europe."

He defined the Internet as a "present and pressing reality that cannot be ignored," and noted that the Internet had been the subject of both John Paul II's Message for World Communications Day in 2002 and two documents from the pontifical council, The Church and Internet and Ethics in the Internet.

EWTN reports further here.

Here's an excerpt of the Vatican documents relating to the Internet:

"...there also are benefits more or less peculiar to the Internet. It offers people direct and immediate access to important religious and spiritual resources—great libraries and museums and places of worship, the teaching documents of the Magisterium, the writings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church and the religious wisdom of the ages. It has a remarkable capacity to overcome distance and isolation, bringing people into contact with like-minded persons of good will who join in virtual communities of faith to encourage and support one another. The Church can perform an important service to Catholics and non-Catholics alike by the selection and transmission of useful data in this medium.

The Internet is relevant to many activities and programs of the Church— evangelization, including both re-evangelization and new evangelization and the traditional missionary work ad gentes, catechesis and other kinds of education, news and information, apologetics, governance and administration, and some forms of pastoral counseling and spiritual direction."

St. Isidore of Seville is the unofficial patron saint of the Internet. Does anyone know if there's a patron saint for bloggers? Or Any suggestions?

The Humility of Benedict

The imposition of the Pallium on Pope Benedict XVI. In his homily, he says, "...This ancient sign, which the Bishops of Rome have worn since the fourth century, may be considered an image of the yoke of Christ, which the Bishop of this City, the Servant of the Servants of God, takes upon his shoulders. God’s yoke is God’s will, which we accept."

Pope Benedict's humility comes from an intimate relationship with the Lord in which he subjects himself to God and to others. This relationship calls for a life-long struggle toward self-knowledge and ultimately the abandonment of one's will to be in union with the will of God.

In a self reflection on his appointment as Archbishop of Munich and Freising, he says "So many people were welcoming my unknown person with a heartfelt warmth and joy that could not possibly have to do with me personally, but that once again showed me what a sacrament is: I was being greeted as bishop, as bearer of the Mystery of Christ. . . . The joy of the day was something very different from the acceptance of a particular person, whose capacities had still to be demonstrated. It was joy over the fact that this office, this service, was again present in a person who does not act and live for himself but for Him and therefore for all."

In one of his articles, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus emphasizes Joseph Ratzinger's choice in forfeiting the recognition he deserves, saying "As everybody knows, he is a master theologian and, I think, might have been recognized as one of the theological giants of the last 100 years if he had not offered the prime of his life to serving John Paul the Great as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”.

In his memoirs Milestones, the Pope calls himself Christ's donkey and concludes with a prayer, "I have carried my load to Rome and have now been wandering the streets of the Eternal City for a long time. I do not know when I will be released, but one thing I do know: ‘I have become your donkey, and in just this way am I with you.’"

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Two Hearts and John Paul II

Fr. Reginald Martin, OP of The Rosary Confraternity writes this insightful reflection on the Two Hearts and John Paul II.

Pope On The Two Hearts and the Priesthood

The Holy Father commemorated the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the World Day for Priests, with the following message:

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Last Friday we celebrated the solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, devotion profoundly rooted in the Christian people. In biblical language, "heart" indicates a person's center, seat of his feelings and intentions. In the heart of the Redeemer we adore God's love of humanity, his will of universal salvation, his infinite mercy. Worship of the Sacred Heart of Christ means, therefore, worship of that heart which, after having loved us to the end, was pierced by the spear, and from the cross on high, shed blood and water, inexhaustible source of new life.

The feast of the Sacred Heart has also been the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests, propitious occasion to pray so that presbyters will prefer nothing to the love of Christ. Profoundly devoted to the Sacred Heart of Christ was Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, bishop and patron of immigrants, the centenary of whose death we observed on June 1. He founded the men and women Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, known as the "Scalabrini," to proclaim the Gospel among Italian immigrants.

Recalling this great bishop, my thoughts go to those who are far from their homeland and often also from their families; I hope that they will always meet receptive friends and hearts on their path who are capable of supporting them in the difficulties of every day.

Undoubtedly, the heart that is most like Christ's is the heart of Mary, his Immaculate Mother, and precisely for this reason, the liturgy introduces her for our veneration. Responding to the invitation addressed by the Virgin of Fatima, let us commend to her Immaculate Heart, which we contemplated in a particular way yesterday, the whole world so that it will experience the merciful love of God and true peace.

Recommended Readings:

The Sacred Heart and the Priesthood by Mother Louise Margaret Claret de la Touche. It tells of her lifetime conversations with Our Lord; written to strengthen priests in the love of their sublime vocation and unite them more closely to the "Eternal Priest."

John Paul II Prays the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus published by Our Sunday Visitor

The Virgin Mary and the Priesthood by Pierre Cardinal Philippe

John Paul's Legacies To Be Preserved

John Paul's great legacies will be preserved and perpetuated. First, it will be through his former secretary, Bishop Stanislaw Dziwisz who was the confidant of the late Pontiff and now the new Archbishop of Krakow and second, it will be through his personal notes which we hope will be published in the near future.

WARSAW, Poland, JUNE 5, 2005 ( Pope John Paul II's longtime personal secretary said he did not burn the late Pontiff's notes as his will demanded, arguing that the papers contain "great riches" that should be preserved.

"Nothing has been burned," said Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow to Polish state radio on Saturday, reported the Associated Press.

The archbishop, who worked with the Pope from 1966 until his death earlier this year, said that "nothing is fit for burning, everything should be preserved and kept for history, for the future generations -- every single sentence."

"These are great riches that should gradually be made available to the public," he said.


Saturday, June 04, 2005

Immaculate Mary

Today is First Saturday
The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for us!

Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

I, (name), a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands, O Immaculate Mother, the vows of my Baptism. I renounce Satan, his pomps and works, and I give myself to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to him than I have ever been before.

In the presence of all the Heavenly court, I choose thee this day as my Loving Mother. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy child, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God, in time and eternity. Amen.
-St. Louis Marie de Montfort

Friday, June 03, 2005

O Sacred Heart, O Love Divine!

Today is First Friday, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Heart of Jesus Meek and Mild

Behold this Heart, which has so loved men,
and is so little loved in return.
Do you at least console Me....”
— Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary

The Son Himself became man, and as such He had a human heart, with which He loved and responded to love - first of all to the Father's love. Therefore on this Heart, on the Heart of Jesus, the Father's pleasure is concentrated. It is a salvific pleasure. Through it, the Father embraces in the Heart of His son everyone for whom this Son became man; everyone for whom He has a Heart; everyone for whom He died and rose. In the Heart of Jesus mankind and the world rediscovers the Father's pleasure. This is the Heart of our Redeemer; it is the Heart of the Redeemer of the world. - Pope John Paul II

Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.
V. 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.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mother's womb, .. [etc]
Heart of Jesus, substantially united to the Word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, King and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father was well pleased,
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy,
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who call upon You,
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our offenses,
Heart of Jesus, overwhelmed with reproaches,
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our iniquities,
Heart of Jesus, obedient even unto death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection,
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in You,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in You,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints,

V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. spare us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. graciously hear us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. have mercy on us.

V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart,
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray.

Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Your most beloved Son and upon the praise and satisfaction He offers You in the name of sinners, and forgive those who beg Your mercy in the name of the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and is reigns with You for ever and ever. R. Amen.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Ready for publication!

Having read some of Pope Benedict's books I can attest to the following description of the Holy Father's delivery of the spoken word.

A professor of moral theology at the Pontifical University, St. Patrick's College, in Maynooth, Ireland, Twomey said that a Ratzinger lecture stood out for "its clarity, its logical progression and the quality of its expression."

"When he speaks, the Germans have a word for it — `Druckreif' — it's ready for publication," he said.

Twomey said it wasn't surprising Benedict would write his own speeches. "He's an original thinker. He's not dependent on other people's thoughts," said Twomey, who studied under the theologian in the 1970s at the University of Regensburg. (Read more here)

Furthermore, Peter Seewald who interviewed the Pope when he was Cardinal Prefect to write the book "Salt of the Earth", makes this observation - "...He didn't want to look at any of the questions before hand, nor did he request that anything be omitted or added...once he interrupted the conversation to retire for a meditation..."

Ergo, the man is simply brilliant! And not for brilliance's sake but for the sake of the Heavenly Kingdom.

Daily Tidbit

Check out the new Pope stamps .

A Little Help For JP2

If you are a product of John Paul II's papacy like I am, you might want to consider helping out our late Holy Father on an ongoing petition to proclaim him "the Great", organized by the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Here's how: John Paul II the Great, pray for us!

(Thanks to a posting by Pope Benedict XVI Fan Club)

June: The Month of the Sacred Heart

In the apparitions to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Jesus gives these twelve promises for those who are devoted to His Sacred :

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.

2. I will give peace in their families.

3. I will console them in all their troubles.

4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.

5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.

6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.

7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.

8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.

9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honoured.

10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.

11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.

12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

And He showed me that it was His great desire of being loved by men and of withdrawing them from the path of ruin into which Satan hurls such crowds of them, that made Him form the design of manifesting His Heart to men, with all the treasures of love, of mercy, of grace, of sanctification and salvation which it contains, in order that those who desire to render Him and procure for Him all the honour and love possible, might themselves be abundantly enriched with those divine treasures of which this Heart is the source. He should be honoured under the figure of this Heart of flesh, and its image should be exposed.... He promised me that wherever this image should be exposed with a view to showing it special honour, He would pour forth His blessings and graces. This devotion was the last effort of His love that He would grant to men in these latter ages, in order to withdraw from the empire of Satan which He desired to destroy, and thus to introduce them into the sweet liberty of the rule of His love, which He wished to restore in the hearts of all those who should embrace this devotion. -- St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The First Eucharistic Procession: Mary's Visitation

Vatican, Jun. 01 ( - The Vatican closed the month of May with a traditional procession through the Vatican gardens on Tuesday evening.

Archbishop Angelo Comastri, the vicar general for the Vatican city-state, led the procession on its way from the Church of St. Stephen of the Abyssinians, near St. Peter's basilica, to the Lourdes grotto in the Vatican gardens. There the participants were addressed by Pope Benedict XVI.

Calling attention to the Year of the Eucharist, the Holy Father observed that "Mary helps us to discover" the mystery of Communion. Noting that the day was the feast of the Visitation, he added that Mary's trip to see her cousin Elizabeth was, in a sense, "the first Eucharistic procession in history." Now the faithful perform the same role, he said, as the Church "unceasingly welcomes Jesus in the holy Eucharist and carries him to the world."

-Catholic Culture

New Publisher for Benedict


The Holy Father has entrusted the Vatican Publishing House with the exercise and protection of the copyright and of all exclusive rights to economic utilization of the acts, works and writings written by him prior to his elevation to the Chair of Peter.

A communique made public today, and signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, also states that, "without prejudicing the rights acquired by third parties concerning contacts already concluded with the author, from now on the Vatican Publishing House is also entrusted with the exercise and protection of the copyright concerning contracts still in force".

Wednesday General Audience

Wednesday General Audience with the Holy Father can be heard from the Vatican Radio site (you must have audio player). When you enter the site, click on 105-Live, then click on the Pope's page.

The Pope's Prayer Intentions For June 2005

General Intention: That our society should, with concrete acts of Christian and brotherly love, come to the aid of the millions of refugees who live in extreme need and abandonment.

Missionary Intention: That the sacrament of the Eucharist be more and more recognized as the beating heart of the life of the Church.
+ Consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary + Click to play "REGINA CAELI"

Apostolic Blessing by Pope Benedict XVI

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