Saturday, July 30, 2005

New National Holiday In Poland

A new national holiday has been declared in Poland. It is called John Paul II day.

Baseless Pretext And Invented Contention

Vatican says the recent accusations by Israel foreign minister official, Nimrod Barkan is baseless. Entire story from Asia News.

“The indefensible accusation against Pope Benedict XVI according to which he failed to mention the July 12 terror attack in Netanya after last Sunday’s Angelus could not but be seen by who made it for what it was: a pretext. Perhaps, this is also the reason why attention shifted to John Paul II’s alleged silence over attacks against Israel in years past, inventing the contention that the Israeli government made numerous protests to the Holy See, and that, under the new Pontificate, the Holy See change its attitude [towards Israel].

For this reason, it is important to point out that:

a) the interventions of John Paul II against every form of terrorism and against every single act of terrorism against Israel have been many and public, as the statement makes clear;

b) it’s not always possible to immediately follow every attack against Israel with a public statement of condemnation and [that is] for various reasons, among them the fact that the attacks against Israel sometimes were followed by immediate Israeli reactions not always compatible with the rules of international law. It would thus be impossible to condemn the first (the terror strikes) and let the second (Israeli retaliation) pass in silence;

c) just as the Israeli government understandably doesn’t allow itself to be told by others what it should say, neither can the Holy See accept teachings and directives by some other authority regarding the leaning and content of its own statement.”

Hindu Villagers Drawn To Christianity

Allegations of Christian proselytising in the Indian district of Jhabua has been found to be false. In fact, many of the tribals are drawn to Christianity not because of "forced conversions" but by the virtue of Christian charity. Asian News reports...

Most of the people panel members met denied the allegations made by Hindu extremists to the effect that Tribals are subject to forced conversions

Even Shri Mahesh Agarwal, a member of several Hindu organisations involved in the anti-conversion campaign, had to admit that in Jhabua many Tribals are drawn to Christianity because of the care and aid they receive from the missionaries and not because they are in any way forced or coerced.

Pintoo Jaiswal, the young vice chairman of the Alirajpur Municipal Corporation and a local leader in the Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), agreed.

Mr Jaiswal said there was absolutely no basis for the allegations of forced conversions. Instead, he said missionaries readily “embraced” and served Tribals in every way, whereas Hindus were hesitant to “even touch” them.

The missionaries also play a key role in providing education to the Tribals, so much so that Mr Jaiswal said that even his children were studying in Christian missionary schools.

“My children have never complained that any attempt was ever made to convert either them or any of their friends to Christianity”, he said.

In the district of Jhabua, Fr Thomas P.T., from St. Michael’s Parish Church, was arrested on July 21 on false accusations that he tried to induce some local Tribals, who wanted to send their children to the school he manages, to convert. He has since been released on bail.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Q&A With The Pope

Thanks to Ignatius Insight, we hear that in his meeting with priests during his vacation, the Pope had a Q&A session and attempted to answer many difficult questions on state of the Western Church, Christianity in Africa, parishes without priests, communion for divorced and remarried persons.

Chiesa reports.

St. Martha, Sister Of Mary And Lazarus

St. Martha, patron of cooks

Saint Martha has always been identified as the sister who was so worried with domestic duties that it distracted her from listening to Jesus. Yet, as we can see in Scripture, Jesus loved her so much that He consoled her in her anxiety. He told her to set aside her worries and choose only one thing - to be more present to Him. To this, she listened and wholeheartedly absorbed these Words in her heart.

With the Words of the Lord in her heart, she became a model of courage when at Lazarus' death she instinctively ran to the Lord (while this time Mary stayed home) and said, "Lord,"if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."

Then we see her total trust and faith in Jesus when our Lord asked her if she believed that He is the Ressurection and the Life, "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world." (John 11:21 21-27 )

Dorothy Day once said: "If everyone were holy and handsome, it would be easy to see Christ in everyone. But was not Christ's way for himself. Ask honestly what you would do when a beggar asked at your house for food. Would you give it on an old cracked plate, thinking that was good enough? Do you think that Martha and Mary thought that the old and chipped dish was good enough for their guest? It is not a duty to help Christ -- it is a privilege."

Like Martha, may we be single-minded on the Lord, listen to him attentively, putting our trust in Him so we can serve Him wholeheartedly.

your Son honored St. Martha
by coming to her home as a guest.
By her prayers
may we serve Christ in our brothers and sisters
and be welcomed by you into heaven, our true home.
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. Amen.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

On The Eve Of St. Martha's Feast

Here's a beautiful reflection by Brother William Webster found in

Now as they were traveling along, Jesus entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. And she had a sister called Mary, who moreover was listening to the Lord's word, seated at his feet. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to him, and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” ~Luke 10: 38-42

Several saints of the Church received the special grace to be able to live on the daily Eucharist, eating nothing else for years. Of course, this is out of the ordinary, but it reminds us that truly one thing is necessary: Christ Jesus. In Pope John Paul II’s encyclical on the Eucharist, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, he urged the faithful never to fear excess in our devotion and worship of Christ in the Eucharist. It is Jesus himself – body, blood, soul and divinity – as the Council of Trent affirmed. How is it possible that we can be so overburdened in a day that we cannot take half an hour to be with him in the Eucharist? It is a joy for him when we make those sacrifices which require dropping everything and going to him. It is a joy for us to know that going to him in the Eucharist is the surest and quickest means to grow in holiness

Prayer: Jesus, I believe that you really are in the Blessed Sacrament. Strengthen me to help others know about this source of happiness and peace. Challenge: Today I will invite someone – be he a friend, family member, or stranger – to accompany me in a visit to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. There is no harm in asking: if he says yes, blessed will he be. If he says no, pray that one day he will.

(Source:Got Thirty Minutes? by Brother William Webster, LC)

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

Perhaps what was lost in relations with Israel was gained in China. For the second time, a Vatican-approved Chinese archbishop has been installed. Let us continue to pray for these two countries. The Lord watches over all his children.

Read more

Pope's Alpine Holiday Ends

The Holy Father ended his vacation at Valle d'Aosta today and left for his summer papal residence at Castel Gandolfo. It seems his Holiness thoroughly enjoyed his Alpine holiday with afternoon hikes and playing the piano delighting his companions with Mozart in the evenings. He made impromptu visits to the local museum and chatted with the locals and reporters. It was also reported that he was finishing a book he had been working on for the last three years. Zenit reports that on the day prior to his departure, the Holy Father took a walk in the mountains with his private secretary Msgr. Gaenswein and Alpine guide Albert Cerise, and at one point the guide pointed out a mountain peak where an avalanche wiped out a whole village, to which the Pope replied: "A whole village? 'Mamma mia!'"

The Pope kept a low profile all throughout his stay except for his Sunday Angelus and a meeting with the clergy. He was said to have joked with the local pastor, "Don't worry; I will be an obedient parishioner." Read more here.

Nun Portrayals

Here are some of my favorite portrayals of nuns. Although certainly not accurate depictions of nuns but nevertheless entertaining.

Sally Field as Sister Bertrille in "The Flying Nun"
Listen to The Flying Nun Theme Song

Debbie Reynolds in "The Singing Nun"
Listen to Dominique

Audrey Hepburn in "The Nun's Story"

Diana Rigg in "In This House Of Brede"

Rosalind Russell in "The Trouble With Angels"


... and the real nun, former Hollywood actress turned Benedictine nun, Mother Prioress Dolores Hart, OSB

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Highlights Of The First 100 Days

The First Test After 100 Days

The Laity's Distinct Dignity and Mission

"There is urgent need for a comprehensive catechesis on the lay apostolate which will necessarily highlight the importance of a properly formed conscience, the intrinsic relationship between freedom and moral truth, and the grave duty incumbent upon each Christian to work to renew and perfect the temporal order in accordance with the values of God's Kingdom. While fully respecting the legitimate separation of Church and State in American life, such a catechesis must also make clear that for the faithful Christian there can be no separation between the faith which is to be believed and put into practice and a commitment to full and responsible participation in professional, political and cultural life." ~Pope John Paul II's address to US Bishops

St. Pantaleon

A celebrated "fee-less physician" from Nicomedia who placed his skill in the service of God's kingdom! According to legend he was the emperor's ordinary physician. He is said to have strayed from the faith because of the voluptuous life at the court, but the zealous priest Hermolaus, by pointing out the example of his virtuous mother, effected such a change that Pantaleon distributed his goods among the poor and devoted his talents for healing to the most wretched and poor among the sick.
Because of his Christian faith he was seized by order of Emperor Maximian, tied to the rack and scorched with torches. But in these tortures Christ appeared, granting him further strength. Finally a stroke of the sword ended his sufferings (Martyrology). He is the patron of physicians and belongs to the "Fourteen Holy Helpers." (from Catholic Culture)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

St. Anne and St. Joachim, Grandparents of Our Lord


Great and glorious patriarch, St Joachim, and good St Anne, what joy is mine when I consider that you were chosen among all God’s holy ones to assist in the fulfillment of the mysteries of God, and to enrich our earth with the great Mother of God, Mary most holy. By this singular privilege, you have become most powerful with both the Mother and her Son, so as to be able to obtain for us the graces that are needful to us.

With great confidence I have recourse to your mighty protection, and I commend to you all my needs, both spiritual and temporal, and those of my family. Especially do I entrust to your keeping the particular favour that I desire and look for from your intercession.

And since you were a perfect pattern of the interior life, obtain for me the grace to pray earnestly, and never to set m heart on the passing goods of this life. Give me a lively and enduring love for Jesus and Mary. Obtain for me also a sincere devotion and obedience to Holy church and the sovereign pontiff who rules over her, in order that I may live an die in faith and hope and perfect charity. Let me ever invoke the holy Names of Jesus and Mary. And may I thus be saved. Amen.
(Source: Living Water Community)

Take an online tour of St. Anne de Beaupré Baslica in Quebec, Canada.

Israel Criticizes Pope

Israel has criticized the Pope for "deliberately failing" to condemn a terrorist attack in Netanya which killed five Israelis last week, during his Angelus message.

Give me a break! The Pope is the only person who is telling the whole truth about terrorism and is brave enough to beg God to intervene and stop the "murderous" hands of terrorists. He is the only one who has spoken out and called on to the enemy to renounce their acts of violence. He is the only one who has defended the Islamic religion saying that the terrorist attacks are not works of true Islam but are from small groups of "fanatics".

The Vatican spokesman says "It is surprising that someone has wanted to willingly deform the intentions of the Holy Father, when one knows about the numerous interventions of the Church, its hierarchy and finally of Pope Benedict XVI to condemn all forms of terrorism, wherever it comes from and whoever it is against."

I am, quite honestly, irked!

Culture War

Here's an excerpt of this interview with Rene Girard, Catholic author and Stanford Professor.

Q: Just as there is clash within Islam between tradition and modernity, doesn't Pope Benedict's crusade against relativism also announce a clash within the West? But the issue in the West is not about accommodating faith with reason. It is about resisting a culture of materialism and disbelief by insisting on values, as the Pope has put it, beyond "egoism and desire." Figuratively, the conflict is between the Pope and Madonna (the pop singer).

Girard: It is a culture war, yes. I agree. But it is not Ratzinger who has somehow changed and suddenly become reactionary and conservative. It is the secular culture that has drifted beyond the pale.

(Just as an aside, it's interesting that the interviewer posed pop star Madonna as the antithesis of Benedict. I've read that Madonna is now "growing up and admits to a past that was meaningless" and I've seen that she's wearing more conservative clothes. I bet Benedict was praying for her! There is hope to win the culture war by promoting the culture of life. I hope the next thing she realizes is that she's missing out on the treasures of her Catholic roots).

Monday, July 25, 2005

St. James, the Apostle

Hat tip to Recta Ratio for posting a photo of the gigantic thurible found at Santiago de Compostela.

Last year, Spain celebrated the Holy Year of St. James. Take a look at the History of Santiago Pilgrimage.

Continued Prayers For Benedict XVI

By the grace of God and continued prayers and support, the Holy Father is sustained in his Petrine Ministry.

LES COMBES, ITALY - Being pope isn't easy, Benedict XVI admitted to reporters Monday during a break from his holiday in the Italian Alps.

Elected pontiff on April 19, German-born Benedict celebrates 100 days in office this week.

Asked whether being the spiritual leader of the world's one billion Catholics was a difficult task, he said: "In a way yes. I had never thought about this ministry, but the people are very good to me and support me." Read more in Expatica and Catholic Exchange.

Prayer for the Holy Father Benedict XVI

God our Father, shepherd and guide,
look with love on Benedict
your servant, the pastor of your Church.
May his word and example inspire
and guide the Church, and
may he, and all those entrusted
to his care, come to the joy of
everlasting life.

Grant this through our Lord
Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Potential For Priesthood

Are the chances of these young boys becoming priests higher?

The Abuse of Vatican II

One of Pope Benedict's vision is the correct implementation of Vatican II. After the publication of "Gaudium et Spes" immediately after the Second Vatican Council, there began a misinterpretation of the document that has led to a harmful modernity in the Church says theologian Tracey Rowland.

The popular interpretation of this document was that it represented an ackno Spirit that Catholics accommodate their practices and culture, including liturgical culture, to modernity's spirit as quickly as possible. This had the effect of generating a cultural revolution within the Church such that anything that was characteristically pre-conciliar became suspect. Modes of liturgical dress, forms of prayer, different devotions, hymns that had been a part of the Church's cultural treasury for centuries, were not just dumped, but actively suppressed. To be a practicing Catholic in many parishes, one had to buy into the pop culture of the 1960s and 1970s. Against this, Ratzinger has been critical of what he calls "claptrap and pastoral infantilism" -- "the degradation of liturgy to the level of a parish tea party and the intelligibility of the popular newspaper."

More Benedict XVI, Vatican II and Modernity (Part 1)

3D"">Benedict XVI, Vatican II and Modernity (Part 1)

Same Theology on Vacation

The two Popes on their holidays at the Italian Alps

John Paul II: "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."

Benedict XVI: "Holidays are, moreover, days in which more time can be dedicated to prayer, reading and meditation on the profound meaning of life, in the peaceful context of one's family and loved ones. "

Never Underestimate The Hearing Impaired

An elderly gentleman had serious hearing problems for a number of years. He went to the doctor and the doctor was able to have him fitted for a set of hearing aids that allowed the gentleman to hear 100%. The elderly gentleman went back in a month to the doctor and the doctor said, "Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again." The gentleman replied, "Oh I haven't told my family yet. I just sit around and listen to the conversations. I've changed my will three times!"

Laughter In The Church

"Did you wake up grumpy this morning?" "No, I just let him sleep in." That's just one of Deacon Lowe's jokes in his newly published joke book called Deacon Jokes That a Pastor Can Tell -- Possibly Even a Bishop.

He also gives some tips on how to tell jokes:

-- Keep it clean.
-- Be relaxed and sensitive to your audience.
-- Always smile.
-- Take your time and exaggerate using body language.
-- Never make any racial or sexist slurs.
-- Give the punch line everything you have. Pause for anticipation and deliver it with a slightly raised voice.

Read more here.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Spend Time Before The Eucharistic Lord

Photo: Courtesy of

Take Tough Decisions to Christ in the Eucharist

Interview With Spokesman of the Sacred Monastery of St. Francis of Assisi

ROME, JULY 22, 2005 ( St. Francis would urge everyone to make life decisions in prayer before the Eucharist, says the spokesman of the Sacred Monastery of St. Francis, in Assisi.

In this interview with ZENIT, Father Enzo Fortunato, who is also a professor at the Pontifical Faculty of St. Bonaventure in Rome, explains that the saint, known for ecology, peace and poverty, was also a great promoter of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Q: What was the meaning of the Eucharist for St. Francis?

Father Fortunato: In Franciscan spirituality, discernment is very important, which St. Francis presented in relation with the Eucharist.

Discernment affects man's most important appointments before God, when he must make decisions. In Francis' writings, in the testament, in the letter he addressed to the whole order, and in the letter to all the faithful, the word discernment appears in relation with the Eucharist.

Francis presented the Eucharist as central for the life of each one, in his relationship with God, in his relationships with other brothers.

To encourage discernment before the Eucharist, it is as if St. Francis was saying to each one of us: When there are significant moments in your life and you must make decisions, stay before the Eucharist, and try to reason with faith, as faith leads us to discern and to see in the piece of bread and in the wine the presence of Christ. Francis wanted this reasoning, suffused with faith, to be applied to all decisions.

Q: What do the "Admonitions" say about the Eucharist?

Father Fortunato: Francis wrote the "Admonitions," exhortations for the different circumstances of life, all of them very brief.

The first one, however, is longer, and is dedicated almost entirely to the Eucharist. The text says: "Sublime humility and humble sublimity! That the lord of the universe, God and the Son of God, should humble himself to the point of hiding for our salvation in a piece of bread."

This passage of the admonition shows us that Francis is emotionally involved before the Eucharistic mystery. In this language we perceive a relevant aspect of our identity as Friars Minor. The central character of the Eucharist in the action of discernment gives value to decisions of minority and fraternity that characterizes St. Francis and the Franciscans.

Q: Francis' most famous writing is perhaps the Canticle of the Creatures. How is this Eucharistic vision of life present in that composition?

Father Fortunato: The Eucharist is the source of that thanksgiving that Francis gives vent to in the Canticle of the Creatures, as element of praise of existence.

In the canticle is perceived all God's goodness for man. Animate and inanimate nature is a gift of the Lord, and Francis matures his first gratitude before the Eucharist.

Source: Zenit

Friday, July 22, 2005

UK Looking for Vatican Diplomat

Wanted: UK diplomat for Vatican

The job of UK ambassador to the Vatican is being advertised in a newspaper in a break with diplomatic convention. It is the first time an ambassadorial post has been put out to open competition in an advert.

The job comes with a basic salary of between £42,640 and £60,405 - as well as a fully furnished residence and a £6,000 a year entertainment budget.

A Foreign Office spokesman said career diplomats could apply for the job but it could go to somebody outside.

The present ambassador, Kathryn Colvin, leaves the post in September after completing three years in the Holy See.

Source: BBC News

Church Bells

Pope Paul VI made it an option to ring bells during Mass. Should they be revived again? Father William Saunders explains that it was never meant to discontinue.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2000, No. 150) stipulates that a bell may be rung regularly at two places during the Mass: First, "a little before the consecration, the minister may ring a bell as a signal to the people." Here the bell is normally rung at the time of the epiclesis in the Eucharistic Prayer. At this point, the priest joins his hands and places them over the bread and wine to be consecrated. He prays for the Holy Spirit to come down upon the gifts so that they may become the Body and Blood of our Lord. The ringing of the bell alerts the congregation to the calling down of the Holy Spirit and prepares them for the consecration that immediately follows.

Second, "according to local custom, a minister also rings the bell at the showing of both the Eucharistic Bread and the chalice." After the priest says the words of consecration, he elevates the Sacred Host or the chalice of Precious Blood. The ringing of the bell again alerts the faithful that transubstantiation has taken place and that the Body and Blood of our Lord is truly present on the altar.

Keep in mind that the rubrics leave to the discretion of the pastor whether a bell should be used or not. Nevertheless, the use of a bell at Mass is a longstanding tradition in our Church and no one should ever think that their use has been suppressed. Actually, the common practice in the basilicas of Rome is for the bell to be rung at each elevation and then in a prolonged way when the priest genuflects after the elevation of the chalice.

More here.

God's Plan Against Relativism

Monaghan Scales Back His Dream

Mary of Magdala

I thought I woud share some things to do today in her honor.

Pray the Litany of St. Mary Magdalen.

Trace the steps of Mary Magdalen.

Bake some Madeleines.

Prayer In Honor of Magdalen

The feast of St. Mary Magdalen is a date close to my heart because it is my sister's feast day (what a beautiful name to be called Maria Magdalena!) and my late mother's birthday. For them, I pray to the Lord in honor of St. Mary Magdalen:

your Son first entrusted Mary Magdalene
the joyful news of His resurrection.
By her prayers and example
may we proclaim Christ as our living Lord
and one day see him in glory,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.

-Morning Prayer in the Divine Office, Memorial of St. Mary Magdalen

Santa Maria Magdalena


Piero della Francesco's St. Mary Magdalen with Alabaster Jar.

Fourteen years after Our Lord's death, St. Mary was put in a boat by the Jews without sails or oars - along with Sts. Lazarus and Martha, St. Maximin (who baptized her), St. Sidonius ("the man born blind"), her maid Sera, and the body of St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin. They were sent drifting out to sea and landed on the shores of Southern France, where St. Mary spent the rest of her life as a contemplative in a cave known as Sainte-Baume. She was given the Holy Eucharist daily by angels as her only food, and died when she was 72. St. Mary was transported miraculously, just before she died, to the chapel of St. Maximin, where she received the last sacraments.

Gerard Seghers, Repentant Magdalene

In a homily of Saint Pope Gregory the Great, he writes...

When Mary Magdalen came to the tomb and did not find the Lord's body, she thought it had been taken away and so informed the disciples. After they came and saw the tomb, they too believed what Mary had told them. The text then says: "The disciples went back home," and it adds: "but Mary wept and remained standing outside the tomb." We should reflect on Mary's attitude and the great love she felt for Christ; for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. She was still seeking the one she had not found, and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tell us: "Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved." (Source: Living Water Community)

Correggio, Noli Me Tangere

I think I've caught the sacred art bug from the wonderful world of Recta Ratio which has beautiful images of Donatello's Penitent Magdalen and Carlo Dolci's portrait of Mary Magdalen with Alabaster Jar. Check them out!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Let Us Keep London In Our Prayers

Behind The Pope Is His Secretary

Don Giorgio, as he is called in Italian has been quite visible these days. Although one might think that all he does is adjust the microphone for the Pope, the Monsignor is an accomplished scholar of canon law. Here's a short biography.

Reverend Monsignor Georg Gänswein, J.C.D. (born 1957 in Riedern am Wald, Baden-Württemberg) is a priest of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany. He has been a Chaplain of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II since 2000. Though a scholar of canon law, he is mostly known for his service as private secretary to Pope Benedict XVI.

Known by Italians as Don Giorgio, Gänswein was born in a small town of Germany and ordained to its presbyterium in 1984. Upon his ordination, Gänswein dedicated himself to rigorous academic activities. He received his doctorate in canon law at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich in 1993 and arrived in Rome, Italy as private secretary to Josef Cardinal Clemens in 1995.

In 1996, Gänswein was invited by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to join the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He eventually became the prefect's private secretary. After being appointed to Cardinal Ratzinger's staff, Gänswein became professor of canon law at at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. In 2000, Gänswein was elevated by Pope John Paul II to Chaplain of His Holiness.

In his private life, Gänswein devotes his time to playing tennis and flying airplanes. (Source: Wikipedia)

The relationship between Pope and his private secretary is one that is perhaps unique, somewhat a cross between a father-son relationship and a fraternal relationship. In any case, I would assume the key elements that bring about any good relationship would be that of trust and intellectual compatability and we see that the duo of Benedetto and Giorgio is not any different.

Twenty Seven Days

... til the Holy Father meets with the youth in Cologne. Let's look at his itinerary for WYD:

Thursday, August 18:

Pope arrives in Cologne, lands in Bonn International Airport by noon. Then rides the boat down the Rhine river to be welcomed by the first group of young people. He attends a welcome ceremony before traveling by car to the archbishopric of Cologne.

Friday, August 19:

Short visit with Horst Kohler, president of the Federal Republic of Germany at the Villa Hammerschmidt in Bonn, where the Pope formerly taught theology.

Return to Cologne to visit synagogue, then to meet a group of young people for lunch at 1pm. At 5 pm, he will meet with seminarians at the Church of St. Pantaleon in Cologne. Then he meets with the archbishopric to participate in an ecumenical meeting.

Saturday, August 20:

Pope will celebrate private Mass in the archbishopric, followed by audiences with various political and civil leaders.

At 6pm he will meet with representatives of Muslim communities. Then he will travel by car to the large open grounds of Marienfeld where he will join young people in a vigil scheduled to last until 10:30 pm.

Sunday, August 21:

The Pope will celebrate Mass at Marienfeld at 10:00 am and will pray the Angelus. After lunch in the archbishopric, he will go to "Piussaal" of the seminary of Cologne where he will meet the bishops of the German Episcopal Conference.

Late afternoon, he will greet members of the organizing committee of WYD 2005. Then he will depart for the airport where the departure ceremony will be held at 6:45 pm.

From there, the Pope returns to Rome.

New Hawaiian Bishop

The new prefect of the CDF, Bishop William Levada will be witnessing a mixture of culture and traditional Roman Catholic rite as he celebrates Mass for the installation of Hawaii's new bishop, Rev. Larry Silva.

Father Silva is a native of Hawaii and is the first Honolulu-born priest to be named bishop since 1941. More on this in With a hula and a Hawiaan chant, Bishop will be ordained in a public arena.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

St. Therese: A Model of Humility

Today I happened to run across a disturbing headline (one that's always running rampant nowadays) that made me think of St. Therese of Lisieux. She had many yearnings in her soul. She felt called to be a priest and a missionary. Yet, with these powerful stirrings in her soul, she remained a simple cloistered Carmelite. Her humility and trust in God made her the contemplative that she was. She listened to God's call to be his bride in the desert of Carmel. She knew God had a special mission for her and so she listened intently. Never once did she deny anything He asked of her and there, within the solitude of Carmel did she find her vocation - to be love in the heart of the Church! Her "little way" was born.

So now... what is wrong with this picture? ==>Watsonville woman to be ordained.

Papst Bier

...and perhaps bring home some Papst Bier from your trip?

Sabine Goldhan, employee of the Bavarian brewery Weideneder, shows a two-liter bottle, left, a crate with four half-liter bottles of 'Papst-Bier' (papal beer), right, and two glasses with the image of pope Benedict XVI at the brewery's headquarters in Tann, southern Germany, Wednesday, July 20, 2005, close to the pope's birth place Marktl. The beer is a hit with locals and tourists, who come to the area to look for the roots of the pope.(AP Photo/Diether Endlicher)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

In The Footsteps of Benedict XVI Tour

For those of us who are still undecided where to go for summer vacation, there's still time to consider a visit to the Pope's hometown of Bavaria.

If anyone is interested, I found an itinerary of a tour called In the Footsteps of Benedict XVI provided by Bayern.

Happy Third Month Anniversary Holy Father!

To celebrate the first three months of Pope Benedict XVI's pontificate, let's look at some interesting facts and quotes that give shape to Benedict as scholar, priest and pope.

1. The Holy Father had an impact on Germans. More on Pope was on bestseller list in Germany during May.

2. He is listed as Honorary Professor in the School of Catholic Theology at the
University of Regensburg and appears in German as follows:
Dr. Joseph Ratzinger
Papst Benedikt XVI.
Systematische Theologie - Dogmatik und Dogmengeschichte
I - 00120 Città del Vaticano

3. The Pope's great-uncle was a Father Georg Ratzinger - "he was a great uncle of mine, my father's uncle. He was a priest and had a doctorate in theology. As a representative in the state and national assemblies, he was really a champion of the rights of the peasants and of the simple people in general. His achievments and his political standing also made everyone proud of him." (Joseph Ratzinger in Salt of the Earth)

4. “I think he [Benedict] will overwhelm you with his brilliance. You’re going to see how well-organized and well-ordered he is, and his goodness will come across too. This is an extraordinary human being.” -University of Scranton theology professor James Brian Benestad who has studied Ratzinger's work for decades.

5. "Despite the Hitler years, his was a happy Bavarian childhood, an early discernment and fulfillment of a priestly vocation, a very successful career as theologian, followed by elevation to cardinal archbishop and then on to Rome. And now he is Pope. It is a life within the Church for the Church. In the quiet warmth of his personality, the excitement is in the vibrancy of his faith and the profundity of his thought. I mentioned at the outset his gentleness of manner and serenity of soul. Those are not bad qualities to have at the center in a time when gentleness and serenity are in short supply. I need only add that it would be a serious mistake to think gentleness and serenity mean weakness or lack of firm resolve". - Father Richard John Neuhaus on Benedict XVI

Monday, July 18, 2005

Pope Benedict's Mountaintop Angelus

Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his first Sunday prayer outside his summer residence in Les Combes, at the Valle d'Aosta in northern Italy, July 17, 2005. The pope told pilgrims on Sunday that vacation has become a necessity to escape the frenetic pace of day-to-day life, especially for city dwellers. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito

It seems that the Spanish speaking pilgrims cheer the most when Benedict greets them in Espanol. He also greeted the pilgrims in English, Deutsch, Francais and Italiano.

What a beautiful backdrop for an Angelus!

Surrounded with flowers and nature.

Giving his mountaintop blessing.

The Holy Father looking rested and relaxed.

His spokesman said the 78-year-old pope is taking a "true vacation," although the pontiff is getting in some work. The pope writes all morning but then walks in the mountains in the afternoon, said Joaquin Navarro-Valls.

The pope was particularly surprised to find a piano installed at the Les Combes retreat, which had been used for many years by Pope John Paul II. Since he had come without music, Mozart scores were delivered from Aosta, the major city in the region.

Navarro-Valls said Benedict wasn't expecting the true privacy that he's found. "It was unimaginable for me to be able to walk so calmly," he quoted the pope as saying. (Associated Press) -Photos courtesy of Reuters and Associated Press.

More on Pope Delivers Blessing From Retreat

I would love to hear the Holy Father play Mozart and Beethoven on the piano.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us!

On the Brown Scapular to Saint Simon Stock, Our Lady said: "Receive, My beloved son, this habit of thy order: this shall be to thee and to all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire."


Let's look inside a Carmelite Monastery...

Have you ever worn a scapular handmade by a Carmelite?

The artists we never see behind the work of art.

The hidden life - a life filled with spiritual treasures.

Solemn vows for Christ's bride!

Source: Photos courtesy of the Carmelites from the Carmelite Monsatery of the Sacred Heart.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Seraphic Doctor, St. Bonaventure

Pope Benedict's doctoral thesis was on St. Bonaventure, one of the greatest Catholic thinkers of all time. Here's an excerpt on the saint's theology of Revelation.

"The seraphic doctor would have it that all human knowledge is profoundly religious. He admits the role of the senses and of the intellect in the process of knowing. He recognises their necessity and their value, but he considers that intellect and sense are by themselves insufficient if we are to know with a knowledge that is absolutely sure, perfect and certain. That is why he strengthens their value by this ray of divine light which burns in our mind and which comes to us from Christ the Word, the God-man."

(Source: The Triumph of the Catholic Intelligence: St. Bonventure, St. Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas by Philip Hughes)

More on Bonaventure.

St. Henry, Holy Roman Emperor

Another saint who is indirectly connected to Pope Benedict XVI and whose feast day was celebrated on July 15 in the old calendar is Saint Henry. He was the King of Germany and the Duke of Bavaria (the Pope's homeland).

One interesting fact about St. Henry (972-1024) is that he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Benedict VIII in 1014. Who would have known that a Bavarian Pope would have the same name as a pontiff who had crowned a Bavarian saint?

"When the Faith was secure in Germany, Henry passed into Italy, drove out an antipope and brought Benedict VIII back to Rome. He was crowned in Saint Peter’s Basilica by that Pontiff, in 1014. It was Henry’s custom, on arriving in any town, to spend his first night in prayer, in some church dedicated to our Blessed Lady. As he was praying in Saint Mary Major’s, during the first night of his arrival in Rome, he saw “the Sovereign and Eternal Priest-Child Jesus” enter to say Mass. Saints Lawrence and Vincent assisted, as deacon and sub-deacon. Countless Saints filled the church, and Angels sang in the choir. After the Gospel, an Angel was sent by Our Lady to give Henry the sacred book to kiss. Touching him lightly on the thigh, he said, “Accept this sign of God’s love for your chastity and your justice,” and from that time on, the emperor always limped."

He was called St. Henry, the pious or the lame.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Pope Warns The Philippines Against Partisan Politics

The Catholic Bishops of the Philippines received a stern admonition from Pope Benedict of their involvement with partisan politics.

More on Vatican cautioned Philippines against partisan politics.

Prayer Corner

I've included a prayer corner located at the right side of the blog. Please feel free to e-mail me your general intentions. One Hail Mary is requested for all prayer intentions combined. Thank you and God bless.

Basic Latin Prayers

Thanks to a post by Against The Grain, we learn of the Pope's urgings to memorize Latin prayers in this article.

He was quoted as saying that learning the prayers in Latin as well as in one's own language "will help Christian faithful of different languages pray together, especially when they gather for special circumstances".

Funny how some of us have started doing this since Benedict's election! It's a good way of praying with him especially during his Angelus.

For those of us who just missed learning the Latin prayers due to the shift to Novus Ordo, here's a link to
Treasury of Latin Prayers. Also check out Adoremus.

The Our Father

PATER noster, qui es in coelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum: adveniat regnum tuum: fiat voluntas tua, sicut in croelo, et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis bodie: et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem: sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

The Hail Mary

AVE, Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum; benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

The Apostle's Creed

CREDO in Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem coeli et terrae; et in Jesum Christum, Filium ejus unicum, Dominum nostrum: qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus. Descendit ad inferos; tertia die resurrexit a mortuis; ascendit ad ce!os, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis; inde venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, Sanctam Ecciesiam Catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aternam. Amen.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Prayer of Humility

Lord, allow me not
To think that I am great
For when I pursue this thought
I place myself at the end!
Rather let me be the least
Among Thy servants
For when I desire this thought
I become Thy vessel
And may act according to Thy Will
Then at least I gain the chance

Of being worthy of Heaven.


Pope Tells Terrorists To Stop

Thanks to a post from Pope Benedict XVI Blog, we learn of the Holy Father's message in "Pope to London Terrorists: Stop in the Name of God".

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Pope Believes Islamic Terrorism Anti-Human Anti-Christian

There's no mincing words with Pope Benedict!

Pope Deplores London Attack.

The Powerful St. Benedict Medal

July 11 is the feast day of St. Benedict of Nursia, patron saint of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI and one of the patron saints of this weblog.

St. Benedict was the father of Western Monasticism. He was born in Nursia, Italy, in 480. Beginning in 520, he founded twelve monasteries in the region of Subiaco. The foundation at Monte Cassino (529) became the cradle of his Order. His twin sister was St. Scholastica. Benedict died march 21, 542.

St. Benedict had a profound veneration for the Holy Cross and for our Saviour Crucified. In virtue of the Sign of the Cross he wrought many miracles and exercised great power over the spirits of darkness.

In consequence of the great veneration in which St. Benedict was held from the early middle ages, it followed that a medal was struck. His medal has exceptional powers against the demons of Hell.

The Medal of Saint Benedict is one of the Sacramentals of the Church. The value and power of the Medal must be ascribed to the merits of Christ Crucified, to the efficacious prayers of St. Benedict, to the blessing of the Church, and specially to the faith and holy disposition of the person using the Medal. (Source:
Our Lady of Guadalupe

Things to do:

~ Attach a St. Benedict medal to your Rosary to remind yourself to pray for the Holy Father ~

~ Make a Novena to St. Benedict for the intentions of the Holy Father ~

~ Visit a Benedictine Monk's blog ~

There's Just No End To Defiance

Rent-a-priest? You've got to be kidding! More about this in Fathers, Husbands and Rebels.

Oh, what is to become of man if he insists on his fallen nature?

Mercy, O Lord.

Friday, July 08, 2005

What is Peter's Pence?

Peter's Pence is the name given to the financial support offered by the faithful to the Holy Father as a sign of their sharing in the concern of Successor of Peter for the many different needs of the Universal Church and for the relief of those most in need. (Source: Vatican)

Here's a bit of history of Peter's Pence from the Vatican website.

The practice of providing material support to those charged with preaching the Gospel, thus enabling them to devote themselves completely to their apostolic mission and to care for those in greatest need, is as old as Christianity itself (cf. Acts 4:34, 11:29).

By the end of the eighth century the Anglo-Saxons felt so closely linked to the Bishop of Rome that they decided to send a regular annual contribution to the Holy Father. It was thus that the Denarius Sancti Petri (Alms of Saint Peter) originated and spread throughout Europe.

Like other practices of its kind, this custom underwent many changes in the course of the centuries, until in 1871 Pope Pius IX gave it his approval in the Encyclical Letter Saepe Venerabilis (5 August 1871).

At the beginning of his papacy Pope John Paul II indicated the general rule and underlying inspiration for this offering:

“The primary source of support for the Apostolic See should be in offerings freely given by Catholics throughout the whole world, along with any other people of good will. This is in harmony with a tradition dating back to the Gospel (cf. Lk 10:7) and the teaching of the Apostles (cf. 1 Cor 11:14)”.

At present the collection is taken up throughout the Catholic world either on 29 June, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, or on the Sunday closest to this Solemnity.

On July 7, 2005, Pope Benedict addressed the Circolo San Pietro (better known as Peter's Pence) as he was presented for the very first time, with the annual Peter's Pence funds.

"This is the first time I have met you since God called me to undertake the Petrine ministry in the Church," said the Pope, "but I have long known of your service, animated by convinced faithfulness and acquiescence to Peter's Successor."

"The mission you carry out with such admirable commitment is vital. Apart from liturgical service, you concern yourselves with going out to meet the poor and with bringing relief to the sick and suffering. In so doing you imitate the Good Samaritan and provide concrete witness of the missionary zeal and evangelical love that should distinguish all true disciples of Christ. You have come here today, as you do every year, to present the Peter's Pence fund to the Pope; this is a further sign of your generous openness to your brethren in difficulty. At the same time, it represents a significant participation in the efforts of the Holy See to respond to the growing needs of the Church, especially in the poorest countries." (Source: EWTN)

The Holy Rosary: The Weapon To Use

The Holy Rosary is the weapon to use against all forces of evil! Remember the great battle of Lepanto?

On October 7, 1571, a great victory over the mighty Turkish fleet was won by Catholic naval forces primarily from Spain, Venice, and Genoa under the command of Don Juan of Austria. It was the last battle at sea between "oared" ships, which featured the most powerful navy in the world, a Moslem force with between 12,000 to 15,000 Christian slaves as rowers. The patchwork team of Catholic ships was powered by the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Knowing that the Christian forces were at a distinct material disadvantage, the holy pontiff, St. Pope Pius V called for all of Europe to pray the Rosary for victory. We know today that the victory was decisive, prevented the Islamic invasion of Europe, and evidenced the Hand of God working through Our Lady. At the hour of victory, St. Pope Pius V, who was hundreds of miles away at the Vatican, is said to have gotten up from a meeting, went over to a window, and exclaimed with supernatural radiance: "The Christian fleet is victorious!" and shed tears of thanksgiving to God.

What you may not know is that one of three admirals commanding the Catholic forces at Lepanto was Andrea Doria. He carried a small copy of Mexico's Our Lady of Guadalupe into battle. This image is now enshrined in the Church of San Stefano in Aveto, Italy. Not many know that at the Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Spain, one can view a huge warship lantern that was captured from the Moslems in the Battle of Lepanto.

In Rome, look up to the ceiling of S. Maria in Aracoeli and behold decorations in gold taken from the Turkish galleys. In the Doges' Palace in Venice, Italy, one can witness a giant Islamic flag that is now a trophy from a vanquished Turkish ship from the Victory.

At Saint Mary Major Basilica in Rome, close to the tomb of the great St. Pope Pius V, one was once able to view yet another Islamic flag from the Battle, until 1965, when it was returned to Istanbul in an intended friendly token of concord.

At Lepanto, the Victory over the Moslems was won by the faithful praying the Rosary. Even though they had superior numbers, the Turks really were overmatched. Blessed Padre Pio, the Spiritual Father of the Blue Army, said: "The Rosary is the weapon," and how right he was!

The Battle of Lepanto was at first celebrated liturgically as "Our Lady of Victory." Later, the feast of October 7th was renamed "Our Lady of the Rosary" and extended throughout the Universal Church by Pope Clement XI in 1716 (who canonized Pope Pius V in 1712).

And with that we are back to Fatima, Portugal where Our Lady, when asked her name, said: "I am the Lady of the Rosary." At Fatima, Our Lady taught us to pray the Rosary every day. Heaven presented its peace plan at Fatima and truly gave us hope for the world. Conversions were promised at Fatima: the conversion of sinners; the conversion of Russia; and what also appears to be the conversion of Islam.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

(Source: EWTN)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Fight Off Evil Of Terrorism

What do we do when evil lashes out and when innocent human lives are taken so tragically? It is a time for Catholics to gather and fight evil. The terrorist attack in London today brings back memories of the attack on September 11. It changed the nation and the world in many ways, hopefully for the better.

I found below an article from St. Anthony's Messenger in light of the 911 attack. It offers the Christian community the essential tasks of faith in response to terrorism.

A time for prayer.
We pray for the victims and their families; for our president and national leaders; for police and fire fighters; postal, health care and relief workers; and for military men and women. We pray for an end to terror and violence. We also pray for our adversaries. We call on Catholics to join in a community prayer for peace.

A time for fasting.
As long as this struggle continues, we urge Catholics to fast one day a week. This fast is a sacrifice for justice, peace and for the protection of innocent human life.

A time for teaching.
Many Catholics know the Church's teaching on war and peace. Many do not. This is a time to share our principles and values, to invite discussion and continuing dialogue within our Catholic community. Catholic universities and colleges, schools and parishes should seek opportunities to share the Sacred Scripture and Church teaching on human life, justice and peace more broadly and completely. In a special way we should seek to help our children feel secure and safe in these difficult days.

A time for dialogue.
This is a time to engage in dialogue with Muslims, Jews, fellow Christians and other faith communities. We need to know more about and understand better other faiths, especially Islam. We also need to support our interfaith partners in clearly repudiating terrorism and violence, whatever its source. (See Joint Statement of Catholic Bishops and Muslim Leaders, September 14, 2001). As the Holy Father recently said, dialogue is essential for ensuring that "the name of the one God become increasingly what it is: a name for peace and a summons to peace." (Remarks to Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, November 6, 2001).

A time for witness.
In our work and communities, we should live our values of mutual respect, human dignity and respect for life. We should seek security without embracing discrimination. We should use our voices to protect human life, to seek greater justice, and to pursue peace as participants in a powerful democracy.

A time for service.
Catholic Charities throughout the United States is providing assistance to families, parishes, neighborhoods and communities directly affected by the attacks on September 11. Catholic hospitals in these cities are also in the forefront in caring for those injured in these attacks. Catholic Relief Services is providing critical aid to Afghan refugees and doing invaluable work throughout Central Asia and the Middle East. This is a time for generous and sacrificial giving.

American Catholic servicemen and women and their chaplains are likewise called conscientiously to fulfill their duty to defend the common good. To risk their own lives in this defense is a great
service to our nation and an act of Christian virtue.

A time for solidarity.
We are not the first to experience such horrors. We now understand better the daily lot of millions around the world who have long lived under the threat of violence and uncertainty and have refused to give in to fear or despair. As we stand in solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attacks and their families, we must also stand with those who are suffering in the Middle East. We stand with all those whose lives are at risk and whose dignity is denied in this dangerous world.

A time for hope.
Above all, we need to turn to God and to one another in hope. Hope assures us that, with God's grace, we will see our way through what now seems such a daunting challenge. For believers, hope is not a matter of optimism, but a source for strength and action in demanding times. For peacemakers, hope is the indispensable virtue. This hope, together with our response to the call to conversion, must be rooted in God's promise and nourished by prayer, penance, and acts of charity and solidarity.

Our nation and the Church are being tested in fundamental ways. Our nation has a right and duty to respond and must do so in right ways, seeking to defend the common good and build a more just and peaceful world. Our community of faith has the responsibility to live out in our time the challenges of Jesus in the Beatitudes – to comfort those who mourn, to seek justice, to become peacemakers. We face these tasks with faith and hope, asking God to protect and guide us as we seek to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ in these days of trial.

Pope Deeply Saddened by Deplorable Act in London

The Pope is deeply saddened by the terrorist attack in London. Below is the Holy Father's message taken from EWTN:

VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2005 (VIS) - Given below is the text of the telegram sent by Benedict XVI through Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano to Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, archbishop of Westminster, Great Britain, after hearing news of this morning's terrorist attacks in London:

"Deeply saddened by the news of the terrorist attacks in central London the Holy Father offers fervent prayers for the victims and for all those who mourn. While he deplores these barbaric acts against humanity he asks you to convey to the families of the injured his spiritual closeness at this time of grief. Upon the people of Great Britain he invokes the consolation that only God can give in such circumstances."

Thanks to a post from Recta Ratio, here's news on US Alert raises level for transit system.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Model of Purity: St. Maria Goretti

A young Italian girl was killed on July 6, 1902, three months shy of her twelfth birthday. Her assailant, a 20-year old man who was her neighbor frequently harrassed her with sexual advances. After she rebuffed him each time, he finally released his evil deed and stabbed her fourteen times. She forgave him and prayed for him during 20 hours of suffering. She died from her mortal wounds.

According to historical accounts, it is said that "Even as she struggled with her attacker, she was to repeat, 'Alessandro...I forgive you.' When the priest at her deathbed inquired, 'Maria, Jesus died while forgiving the penitent thief at his side; do you forgive with all your heart your attacker and murderer?' she answered, 'Yes! Yes! For the love of Jesus, I forgive him, and I want him to be with me in Heaven."

Why does this sound familiar? It is because, the evil of perversion, of sexual violence is very much a reality until now. It is because Maria's murderer was led to unleash a crime of passion influenced by bad print and mass media which draws a parallel to the influence of today's print and mass media.

Our print and mass media today uncovers human sexuality to no limit (no pun intended). It is no wonder that the temptation to sexual sins become more and more difficult to resist. We hear of some daily account of young people being abducted and abused and unfortunately it has become too often a disturbing reality in today's world.

Yet, what makes Maria Goretti's story so heroic? She was a simple peasant girl, living an ordinary life. Yet, at eleven, she already demonstrated a lively faith and wisdom beyond her young age. Perhaps this was attributed to the way she was brought up in the faith and how she was fortified by the teachings of the Church. Her life was centered on God and when she was threatened by the evil of her time, she was ready to shed her blood for love of God.

Ought not our children be brought up the same way? St. Maria Goretti, the Patroness of Modern Youth is a model not only to the youth but to all of us who love God and hate sin!

Prayer Before a Dance or Party

Dear Saint Maria Goretti!

The world teaches that we must please others in order to be popular. Conscience demands that I please God more than one who asks an evil thing in the name of false love. Teach me by your example to instill into others a real respect for modesty and purity. Through your powerful intercession, help me to make of this evening an occasion for helping others to become spiritually stronger. Grant that others may see in me reason to change their ways, if that be necessary, and that I may have the courage to resist any temptation to sinful conduct. Let others be led closer to Jesus and Mary by my example.

Oh Little Saint who wanted to be popular only with your Divine Master and His Blessed Mother, help me to imitate you. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father, etc.

St. Maria Goretti, pray for us!

Prayer Before a Date

Dear Little Saint Maria Goretti!

Teach me that God must be my first love and that all other love is based on Him and Him alone. Obtain for me the grace to cease toying with the occasions of sin and to remember that my body and the bodies of all in grace are temples of the Holy Spirit, destined someday for a glorious resurrection.

Through your beautiful example, teach me the value and dignity of Christian modesty. Grant that I may never be the occasion of dragging others into Hell, by suggestive words or evil deeds of any kind. Through the merits of your Martyrdom, obtain for me the grace to turn aside from sin, no matter what the cost, so that one day I may enjoy Heaven with you and all the other saints. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father, etc.

St. Maria Goretti, pray for us!

Source: St. Maria Goretti

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Participate in the Giant John Paul II Mosaic!

This is so cool!

Calling all John Paul II fans! Here's a chance to participate in the 2005 World Youth Day right from your own home computer!

A giant mosaic of the great John Paul II is going to be displayed in front of the Cathedral in Cologne in August. By donating your photo as part of the mosaic, you will honor the memory of the great John Paul during the World Youth Day.

It's simple - just upload your portrait photograph to their website

You have to go the real site and check it out!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

John Paul's Humor Also Great

John Paul II was once asked what he considered were the most important values for a person today to live by. He is reported to have replied, ‘A belief in Jesus; and a sense of humour’. Then he gave a wry smile and said, ‘Actually, I’d reverse the order’. (Madonna Magazine)

Here are just some of John Paul's humor which came from a deep trust in God's humor:

The Pope was praying before the Blessed Sacrament, and was being interrupted by his secretary. There was a call from the president of "a very important country," as the secretary told journalists sometime later. They assumed it was George Bush. The Pope did not answer. He continued to pray as though he had not heard a thing. An hour later the North American president called again and the secretary went back to the chapel, alerting the Pope that it must be a very important matter. "If it is an important matter, I must pray some more," John Paul II responded. (Miguel Angel Velasco, Vatican Correspondent)


John Paul greeting Archbishop Wilton Gregory, the head of the bishops conference with, “Ah, Bishop Gregory, president of the United States,” then laughing richly. (John Blake of Atlanta Journal Constitution)


It was the Pope’s custom, after Mass was over, to meet his congregation and have a word with each person. When he came to one fellow named Paul, he asked him what he was doing in Rome. Paul replied, ‘I am working, with your Holiness’ approval, for the canonisation of our first Australian saint, Mother Mary McKillop’. Whereupon the Pope gave Paul an encouraging smile, and whispered, ‘You know, Father, your work would be so much easier if she were Polish or Italian’. (Madonna Magazine)

Judaism and Catholicism Unite For Life

Where there is life, there is unity. Where there is unity, there is life. Jewish Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe reacts to the murder of Terri Schiavo.

Judaism teaches that we don’t own our own lives and that our body is not our property, but is entrusted to us by God, and therefore we cannot destroy it, he said.

The Talmud forbids hastening death. “You are not even to close the person’s eyes before they have drawn their last breath,” he said.

“At the same time, you are not obliged to impede the dying process,” where there is “no chance of some semblance of functionality or relief of pain or suffering,” by, for example. placing the person on a respirator or trying experimental surgery.

That, however, does not extend to nourishment, which traditional Judaism views as providing the basic necessity of life.

“The fact that there was no tube-feeding in biblical times is irrelevant. We are obliged to feed those who are respirating autonomously,” Rabbi Yaffe said.

“We are obliged to provide nutrition. It’s an absolute right, and to remove it is extraordinarily problematic, just as removing a respirator is. You are literally taking life away.”

That remains true even if the person is in a persistent vegetative state, or brain dead, the rabbi said.

The only exception are those cases where feeding would “poison the system,” and then feeding must be stopped because it would only extend suffering, he added.

More on Schiavo death was ‘murder,’ rabbi says By Janice Arnold

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