Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Pope Prays For Katrina Victims

The Holy Father's message on the Katrina disaster.

The Pope is praying fervently for the victims of the hurricane. Please read more here.

St. Raymond Nonnatus

Prayer to Saint Raymond Nonnatus
to obtain a special favor

Glorious St. Raymond filled with compassion for those
who invoke thee and with love for those who suffer,
heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I cast
myself at thy feet and humbly beg of thee to take
the present affair which I recommend to thee under
thy special protection. Vouchsafe to recommend it
to the Blessed Virgin Mary and lay it before the
Throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a
happy issue. Cease not to intercede for me
until my request is granted. Above all, obtain
for me the grace of one day beholding my God
face to Face, and with thee and Mary and the
Saints praising and blessing for all eternity. Amen
Good St. Raymond pray for us and obtain our request (3 x)
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.
(Catholic Tradition)

Join the St. Raymond's Guild

Check out The Mercedarian Order (Order of Mercy)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Keep Spiritually Awake

Today's first reading is taken from 1 Thessalonians 5: 1 - 6, 9 - 11. Something to ponder about during this difficult time.

1 But as to the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need to have anything written to you.
2 For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
3 When people say, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them as travail comes upon a woman with child, and there will be no escape.
4 But you are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you like a thief.
5 For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness.
6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.
9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 who died for us so that whether we wake or sleep we might live with him.
11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

How To Help Victims of Katrina

To make a contribution,
call (225) 242-0100, ext. 144,
or mail a check to:
Archdiocese of New Orleans
Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund
1800 S. Acadian Thruway
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Mail Checks To:
Hurricane Katrina
PO Box 25168
Alexandria, VA 22313-9788
Call: (800) 919-9338

Catholic Relief Services

Black Or White

When it comes to life issues, one is either pro-life or anti-life. It's either Black or White.

In short, the bottom line is, as Father Frank Pavone points out, "There are many painless ways to kill both born and unborn,” he said. “That doesn't make it right."


In the linked articles above, one says " assessment of already-existing research, suggests that unborn babies younger than 29 weeks cannot feel pain and therefore do not require anesthesia during abortions. The study poses a direct challenge to certain proposed federal and state laws which would require abortion doctors to tell mothers that their babies can feel pain and offer anesthesia specifically for the fetus."

The other article conversely says "A new study has revealed that unborn babies cry within the womb. Ultrasound videos taken of infants within the womb revealed 28-week-old babies crying in response to a noise stimulus. Scientists played a 90-decibel noise to the unborn child, roughly the equivalent of a tummy rumbling, and recorded the effect the noise had via ultrasound. “It was strikingly like an infant crying,” said New Zealand pediatrician Ed Mitchell, who contributed to the US study, according to New Zealand's The Age. “Even the bottom lip quivers.” Up until now, it was known that infants born very prematurely at 28 weeks could cry, but it was believed that the infant only cried when air had entered the lungs after birth. The findings, published in the journal, Archives of Disease in Childhood – Fetal and Neonatal Edition, reinforce the fact that babies experience pain and discomfort well before many abortionists claim. “We actually still do things to babies without anaesthesia,” professor Mitchell added. “Maybe this is a wake-up call to obstetricians and neonatologists.”

A Long Life Is A Blessing

World's oldest person dies at 115.

Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper of Netherlands died in her sleep on Tuesday, August 29, 2005. She said "It's been nice, but the man upstairs says it's time to go."

A long life is a blessing. It reminds me of the promise of the Lord in the fourth commandment: "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you".

The Apostle teaches: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother,' (This is the first commandment with a promise.) 'that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth).

Observing the fourth commandment brings its reward: "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you". Respecting this commandment provides, along with spiritual fruits, temporal fruits of peace and prosperity. Conversely, failure to observe it brings great harm to communities and to individuals. (Catechism of the Catholic Church).

Taking A Look At Sin And Confession

Good articles by Barbara Kralis and catechesis by Bishop Fulton Sheen.

Denying Our Sins - Part One

Frequent Confession - Part Two

New Book On Raising Catholic Children

Please Don't Drink The Holy Water by Susie Lloyd offers a look on the author's "trials of Family Rosary and tangles with snide education experts, gruff confessors, and relatives who tell her it’s time to wake up and join the 'real world'".

Read an interview with the author here.

World Will Pray For Sanctity Of Life

September 1, 2005 – Washington, NJ – As American troops and their allies fight for democracy and freedom around the world, citizens of all faiths will gather to pray for the sanctity of life. It is expected that at least 100 million people will answer this call for prayer on October 2nd, 2005.

The World Apostolate of Fatima / Blue Army has, for over 50 years, rallied people of faith from around the world to pray for solutions to war, abortion, terrorism, genocide, child slavery, assisted suicide, and other situations.

Catholic Online reports more

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Philippines Under Attack

The last Christian country in Asia is under attack. There is presently a move to legislate a two-child policy under The Responsible Parenthood and Population Management Act of 2005 (HB 3773).

Eileen Macapanas Cosby, founder of Filipino Family Fund is rallying all Filipino-Americans to oppose this bill. "I'm trying to put together a group in the United States of Filipino-Americans to support leaders in the Philippines organizing grassroots efforts against this bill. In the Philippines, "the Catholic Church is the biggest voice against this," she said. Read more here.

Time is short and prayers are needed. Also, for more information about the fight in the Philippines, contact Eileen Macapanas Cosby at the Filipino Family Fund via or 703-314-3020 in Washington, D.C.

Contributions may be sent to:
Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal
c/o Population Research Institute
1190 Progress Drive, Suite 2D
P.O. Box 1559
Front Royal, Va. 22630

The Temptation To Avoid The Cross

Interesting perspectives on the temptation of Jesus by Satan through Peter in Away From Me Satan by Father Jack Peterson and Peter As Satan by Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio.

Schismatic Leader To Meet With Pope

The Superior of the schismatic group of Society of St. Pius X, Bernard Fellay, will meet Pope Benedict today. Sources say that Fellay will present two demands "in order to return to full communion with the Church: the withdrawal of the excommunication and the possibility to celebrate the Saint Pius V mass in Latin in any part of the world without having to ask for permission of local ecclesiastical authorities, as it is currently required by Church norms".

The rest of the article found here. Another related article found here.

A background of the Society of Saint Pius X can be found here. The group that broke away from SSPX in order to be union with Rome was Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

The Martyrdom of Saint John The Baptist

by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

“So they came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.’ John answered and said, ‘No one can receive anything except what has been given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said [that] I am not the Messiah, but that I was sent before him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase; I must decrease’” (John 3:26–30).

To endure temporal agonies for the sake of the truth was not a heavy burden for such men as John; rather it was easily borne and even desirable, for he knew eternal joy would be his reward.

Since death was ever near at hand, such men considered it a blessing to embrace it and thus gain the reward of eternal life by acknowledging Christ's name. Hence the apostle Paul rightly says: "You have been granted the privilege not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for his sake." He tells us why it is Christ's gift that his chosen ones should suffer for him: "The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us." — Saint Bede the Venerable

(Catholic Culture)

Good Books On The Defense Of The Faith

When someone who is not Catholic comes up to me and confronts me with serious questions about the Catholic faith or even Christianity in general, I often fall short of my Christian duty to instruct because I am not prepared to give an answer that is adequate.

Stephen Weisbach has recommended a number of
good books on Catholic apologetics which include the following:

Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli SJ

And this three part series by Patrick Madrid:

Where Is That in the Bible?

Why Is That In Tradition

Answer Me This!

A Disturbing Irony

Jill Stanek spoke out against live-birth abortions which led to the the Born Alive Infants Protection Act legislation.

Now she writes about a disturbing irony of how humans can sometimes act like animals. Here it is in The March of the Penguines vs. Pro-Abortion March of Women.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Today Is Orphan Day

India honors Blessed Mother Teresa by celebrating August 26 as Orphan Day.

Israel Makes Peace With Vatican

The Seeds Sown By Pope Benedict

With the excitement and euphoria of the WYD over, the spiritual dust is now settling in the hearts of all people. Now Benedict is quickly making his mark as the wise and humble shepherd of the Universal Church and the Vicar of Christ. In his homily at the mass of his inauguration, he said "Feeding means loving, and loving also means being ready to suffer. Loving means giving the sheep what is truly good, the nourishment of God’s truth, of God’s word, the nourishment of his presence, which he gives us in the Blessed Sacrament".

During the 20th World Youth Day, Pope Benedict XVI, the humble worker in God's vineyard, sowed the special seeds of Love. He boldly proclaimed the Good News and faithfully fed the people God has entrusted to him, hoping that the seeds planted will bear fruits that will last. Let us look at some of these seeds which are contained in some of the most essential parts of the Holy Father's messages.

The Seed of Love for The Eucharist

Dear young people, the happiness you are seeking, the happiness you have a right to enjoy has a name and a face: it is Jesus of Nazareth, hidden in the Eucharist. Only he gives the fullness of life to humanity! With Mary, say your own "yes" to God, for he wishes to give himself to you.

Be completely convinced of this: Christ takes from you nothing that is beautiful and great, but brings everything to perfection for the glory of God, the happiness of men and women, and the salvation of the world.

We all eat the one bread, and this means that we ourselves become one. In this way, adoration, as we said earlier, becomes union. God no longer simply stands before us as the One who is totally Other. He is within us, and we are in him. His dynamic enters into us and then seeks to spread outwards to others until it fills the world, so that his love can truly become the dominant measure of the world.

I like to illustrate this new step urged upon us by the Last Supper by drawing out the different nuances of the word "adoration" in Greek and in Latin. The Greek word is proskynesis. It refers to the gesture of submission, the recognition of God as our true measure, supplying the norm that we choose to follow. It means that freedom is not simply about enjoying life in total autonomy, but rather about living by the measure of truth and goodness, so that we ourselves can become true and good. This gesture is necessary even if initially our yearning for freedom makes us inclined to resist it.

We can only fully accept it when we take the second step that the Last Supper proposes to us. The Latin word for adoration is ad-oratio - mouth to mouth contact, a kiss, an embrace, and hence, ultimately love. Submission becomes union, because he to whom we submit is Love. In this way submission acquires a meaning, because it does not impose anything on us from the outside, but liberates us deep within.

The Seed of Conversion

Through your love for the Eucharist you will also rediscover the Sacrament of Reconciliation, in which the merciful goodness of God always allows us to make a fresh start in our lives.

The Seed of Unity and Peace

(Before this occasion in Cologne, no pope had ever been so explicit and hard-hitting in facing the question of terrorism on a personal level with representatives of the Islamic community).

Terrorist activity is continually recurring in various parts of the world, plunging people into grief and despair. Those who instigate and plan these attacks evidently wish to poison our relations and destroy trust, making use of all means, including religion, to oppose every attempt to build a peaceful and serene life together.

Christians and Muslims, we must face together the many challenges of our time. There is no room for apathy and disengagement, and even less for partiality and sectarianism. We must not yield to fear or pessimism. Rather, we must cultivate optimism and hope.

Dear friends, I am profoundly convinced that we must not yield to the negative pressures in our midst, but must affirm the values of mutual respect, solidarity and peace. The life of every human being is sacred, both for Christians and for Muslims. There is plenty of scope for us to act together in the service of fundamental moral values.

You, my esteemed friends, represent some Muslim communities from this Country where I was born, where I studied and where I lived for a good part of my life. That is why I wanted to meet you. You guide Muslim believers and train them in the Islamic faith.

Interreligious and intercultural dialogue between Christians and Muslims cannot be reduced to an optional extra. It is in fact a vital necessity, on which in large measure our future depends.

The Seed of Love for Mary and the Priesthood

May the Virgin Mary, who presented the Child Jesus to the Magi when they arrived in Bethlehem to worship the Saviour, continue to intercede for us, just as for centuries she has kept watch over the German People from her many shrines throughout the German Länder.

It is Mary who shows him (the seminarian),Jesus her Son; she introduces him and in a sense enables him to see and touch Jesus, and to take him into his arms. Mary teaches the seminarian to contemplate Jesus with the eyes of the heart and to make Jesus his very life.

Each moment of seminary life can be an opportunity for loving experience of the presence of Our Lady, who introduces everyone to an encounter with Christ in the silence of meditation, prayer and fraternity. Mary helps us to meet the Lord above all in the celebration of the Eucharist, when, in the Word and in the consecrated Bread, he becomes our daily spiritual nourishment.

Here is the secret of your vocation and your mission! It is kept in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who watches over each one of you with a mother's love. Have recourse to Mary, often and with confidence.

The Seed of Truth, Justice and Love

Like the Magi, all believers - and young people in particular - have been called to set out on the journey of life in search of truth, justice and love. We must seek this star, we must follow it. The ultimate goal of the journey can only be found through an encounter with Christ, an encounter which cannot take place without faith.

The Seed of Vocation and Holiness

Dear friends, this is the mystery of God's call, the mystery of vocation. It is part of the life of every Christian, but it is particularly evident in those whom Christ asks to leave everything in order to follow him more closely. The seminarian experiences the beauty of that call in a moment of grace which could be defined as "falling in love". His soul is filled with amazement, which makes him ask in prayer: "Lord, why me?". But love knows no "why"; it is a free gift to which one responds with the gift of self.

The secret of holiness is friendship with Christ and faithful obedience to his will. St Ambrose said: "Christ is everything for us"; and St Benedict warned against putting anything before the love of Christ. May Christ be everything for you.

Dear seminarians, be the first to offer him what is most precious to you, as Pope John Paul II suggested in his Message for this World Youth Day: the gold of your freedom, the incense of your ardent prayer, the myrrh of your most profound affection (cf. n. 4). The seminary years are a time of preparing for mission. The Magi "departed for their own country" and most certainly bore witness to their encounter with the King of the Jews.

You too, after your long, necessary programme of seminary formation, will be sent forth as ministers of Christ; indeed, each of you will return as an alter Christus.

The Seed of Love for Human Dignity

On the basis of our shared human dignity the Catholic Church "condemns as foreign to the mind of Christ any kind of discrimination whatsoever between people, or harassment of them, done by reason of race or colour, class or religion" (n. 5).

The Church is conscious of her duty to transmit this teaching, in her catechesis for young people and in every aspect of her life, to the younger generations which did not witness the terrible events that took place before and during the Second World War.

It is a particularly important task, since today, sadly, we are witnessing the rise of new signs of anti-Semitism and various forms of a general hostility towards foreigners. How can we fail to see in this a reason for concern and vigilance?

The Catholic Church is committed - I reaffirm this again today - to tolerance, respect, friendship and peace between all peoples, cultures and religions.

The Seed of Love for the Sabbath Day

If the Church tells us that the Eucharist is an essential part of Sunday, this is no mere positivism or thirst for power. On Easter morning, first the women and then the disciples had the grace of seeing the Lord. From that moment on, they knew that the first day of the week, Sunday, would be his day, the day of Christ the Lord. The day when creation began became the day when creation was renewed. Creation and redemption belong together. That is why Sunday is so important.

It is good that today, in many cultures, Sunday is a free day, and is often combined with Saturday so as to constitute a "week-end" of free time. Yet this free time is empty if God is not present.

Dear friends! Sometimes, our initial impression is that having to include time for Mass on a Sunday is rather inconvenient. But if you make the effort, you will realize that this is what gives a proper focus to your free time.

Do not be deterred from taking part in Sunday Mass, and help others to discover it too. This is because the Eucharist releases the joy that we need so much, and we must learn to grasp it ever more deeply, we must learn to love it.

Let us pledge ourselves to do this - it is worth the effort! Let us discover the intimate riches of the Church's liturgy and its true greatness: it is not we who are celebrating for ourselves, but it is the living God himself who is preparing a banquet for us.

Crackdown on U.S. Seminaries Begins

The Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education will conduct visitations to U.S. seminaries beginning this fall. The Holy Father doesn't waste time.

Zenit reports...

The Congregation aims to examine the criteria for admission of candidates and the programs of human formation and spiritual formation aimed at ensuring that they can faithfully live in celibacy. The Vatican congregation also hopes to examine other aspects of priestly formation in the United States.

Particular attention will be paid to the intellectual formation of seminarians, to examine fidelity to the magisterium, especially in the field of moral theology.


The Pope's Cousin

Divine Providence truly has a hand in this. Hat tip to Against The Grain, it has come to my attention that the Pope has a cousin in Australia, which is the venue for the next World Youth Day in 2008.

God willing, the Pope will be able to visit with his cousin, Erika Kopp, who recalls her cousin Joseph to be a humble and intellectually gifted person.

At one point, she said “What would I say to a Pope?” she said. “I would say ‘Joseph, I am so proud of you. I hope God helps you carry this hard mission.”

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Pope Benedict Reflects On His WYD Trip

Proper Norms For Eucharistic Adoration

Zenit posts Father Edward McNamara's responses to questions regarding the tabernacle, eucharistic adoration and proper reverence.

Some readers asked if, after adoration, it were sufficient to place a cloth over the monstrance or draw a wooden screen before the altar in order to reserve the Blessed Sacrament.

For example, an English reader writes: "I was told that it was OK for the door to the Blessed Sacrament chapel to be left ajar as no one is in room, when others are still in the building even if they are not aware of the Presence in chapel. Is it OK for a cloth to be placed over the monstrance while alone and the next person to uncover it when the building is empty? I myself am not happy with these ideas and would like some advice and, if I am right, a document or suchlike that I can show so this will not happen."

According to "Redemptionis Sacramentum," No. 131:

"Apart from the prescriptions of canon 934 §§ 1, it is forbidden to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in a place that is not subject in a secure way to the authority of the diocesan Bishop, or where there is a danger of profanation. Where such is the case, the diocesan Bishop should immediately revoke any permission for reservation of the Eucharist that may already have been granted."

Note this norm refers to the security of the tabernacle, which is generally locked and bolted or otherwise fixed in place so that even if thieves were to enter the building they could not easily access the tabernacle or remove it entirely.

If this is true of the tabernacle, it should be clear that it is totally insufficient to simply cover or hide the monstrance. Once adoration is over, the Blessed Sacrament should be reserved in a secure tabernacle.

Regarding leaving the Blessed Sacrament alone during exposition, once more "Redemptionis Sacramentum" is clear, in No. 138:

"Still, the Most Holy Sacrament, when exposed, must never be left unattended even for the briefest space of time. It should therefore be arranged that at least some of the faithful always be present at fixed times, even if they take alternating turns."

Another question concerned the number of candles to be used during adoration.

Four or six candles may be used although widespread custom allows for more. There are no special norms, such as the proportion of wax, regarding the makeup of candles for adoration. Those candles should follow the name general requirements as for altar candles.

Finally, a California reader poses the following question: "We have just begun perpetual adoration in our parish and are extremely grateful to our pastor for allowing us the opportunity to adore Our Lord 24 hours a day, seven days a week. My only concern was the presence of a locked tabernacle that contains consecrated hosts off to the side, but inside the small room where Jesus is exposed on the altar in the monstrance. The extraordinary ministers of Communion are now being instructed to enter into the small chapel for consecrated hosts to bring to their homebound. I was just wondering if the disturbance of them coming in to retrieve the Sacred Hosts somehow takes away from our focus on Jesus on the altar and if this is allowable according to the Church's specifications? I am more concerned with the respect and reverence given to the Blessed Sacrament ... and not so much for the convenience of the homebound ministers. Any direction would be greatly appreciated and humbly accepted."

Brother Roger Is Laid To Rest

Brother Roger is laid to rest in a Catholic funeral. Cardinal Walter Kasper presided at the funeral mass and thousands came to pay their last respects. Among them were German President Horst Köhler and French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.

De Profundis

Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my, voice! Let Your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication:If You, O Lord, mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand? But with You is forgiveness, that You may be revered. I trust in the Lord; my soul trusts in His word. My soul waits for the Lord more than sentinels wait for the dawn. More than sentinels wait for the dawn, let Israel wait for the Lord,For with the Lord is kindness and with Him is plenteous redemption;And He will redeem Israel from all their iniquities.

St. Bartholomew

The martyrdom of St. Bartholomew

St. John's Gospel, Bartholomew is known by the name Nathaniel (the liturgy does not always seem aware of this identity). He hailed from Cana in Galilee, was one of the first disciples called by the Lord. On that initial meeting Jesus uttered the glorious compliment: "Behold, an Israelite indeed in whom there is no guile!" After the resurrection he was favored by becoming one of the few apostles who witnessed the appearance of the risen Savior on the sea of Galilee (John 21:2).

Following the ascension he is said to have preached in Greater Armenia and to have been martyred there. While still alive, his skin was torn from his body. The Armenians honor him as the apostle of their nation. Concerning the fate of his relics, the Martyrology says: "His holy body was first taken to the island of Lipari (north of Sicily), then to Benevento, and finally to Rome on an island in the Tiber where it is honored by the faithful with pious devotion."

The Church of Armenia has a national tradition that St. Jude Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew visited the Armenians early in the first century and introduced Christianity among the worshippers of the god Ahura Mazda. The new faith spread throughout the land, and in 302 A.D., St. Gregory the Illuminator baptized the king of Armenia, Dertad the Great, along with many of his followers. Since Dertad was probably the first ruler to embrace Christianity for his nation, the Armenians proudly claim they were the first Christian State.

(Source: Catholic Culture)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

In Honor Of Saint Rose Of Lima

Someone once told me that there are more saints who were Third Order Dominicans than there were religious or clergy. Of course, one of the greatest among them was St. Catherine of Sienna. Among these tertiaries was another humble saint, St. Rose of Lima from Peru.

Dymphna's Well has a wonderful image of the first South American Saint. More on her in Catholic Culture.

Check out a nice bean recipe over at Disputations in memory of this great Dominican Saint.

WYD Statistics And A Video Clip

Here's a video clip of the Pope ending his WYD visit.

The estimated number of people who attended the 20th WYD in Cologne was approximately 1,000,000. Among the clergy were 600 bishops and 7,000 priests.

From the WYD website, here is the official World Youth Day facts and figures (as of: 17.08.2005)


415,178 registered pilgrims
of which 280,404 are aged between 18 and 27.

Where do the pilgrims come from?

from 197 countries
including: Ivory Coast, Georgia, Haiti, Palestine, and Taiwan

Registered pilgrims (breakdown according to continent)
Europe: 79.2 per cent, of which 20.7 per cent are from Germany
Asia: 3.0 per cent
Africa: 2.3 per cent
North America: 8.9 per cent
Central America: 1.8 per cent
South America: 3.4 per cent
Oceania: 0.8 per cent

More official statistics.

Pope's WYD Homily

The Holy Father on his way home.

Thanks be to God for a successful World Youth Day. There is much treasure left behind by the Holy Father. One of them was his homily at the closing mass. I recommend slow reading so one can absorb the richness of his words.

Deo Gratias!

Pope Benedict's homily on the WYD mass.

Here is what he says on the Eucharist...

What is happening? How can Jesus distribute his Body and his Blood? By making the bread into his Body and the wine into his Blood, he anticipates his death, he accepts it in his heart and he transforms it into an action of love. What on the outside is simply brutal violence, from within becomes an act of total self-giving love. This is the substantial transformation which was accomplished at the Last Supper and was destined to set in motion a series of transformations leading ultimately to the transformation of the world when God will be all in all (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:28). In their hearts, people always and everywhere have somehow expected a change, a transformation of the world. Here now is the central act of transformation that alone can truly renew the world: Violence is transformed into love, and death into life.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Queenship of Mary

The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth

Collect: Father, you have given us the mother of your Son to be our queen and mother. With the support of her prayers may we come to share the glory of your children in the kingdom of heaven. 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.


Assuredly, she who played the part of the Creator's servant and mother is in all strictness and truth in reality God's mother and lady and queen over all created things. . . .

To serve Mary and to be her courier is the greatest honor one can possibly possess, for to serve the Queen of Heaven is already to reign there, and to live under her commands is more than to govern. --St. John of Damascus


Just as Mary surpassed in grace all others on earth, so also in heaven is her glory unique. If eye has not seen or ear heard or the human heart conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9), who can express what He has prepared for the woman who gave Him birth and who loved Him, as everyone knows, more than anyone else? --St. Bernard of Clairvaux

She has surpassed the riches of the virgins, the confessors, the martyrs, the apostles, the prophets, the patriarchs, and the angels, for she herself is the first-fruit of the virgins, the mirror of confessors, the rose of martyrs, the ruler of apostles, the oracle of prophets, the daughter of patriarchs, the queen of angels. --St. Bonaventure

(Confraternity of Penitents)

Sidney To Host Next WYD 2008

20th WYD Closing Mass

More than one million meet the Pope!

Photos courtesy of AP and EWTN

20th WYD: A Night Of Grace

Photo courtesy of Associated Press

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Short Video Clips # 2

True Revolution Is Turning To God

Powerful words by the Holy Father in his message to the youth in Marienfeld.

The saints, as we said, are the true reformers. Now I want to express this in an even more radical way: only from the saints, only from God does true revolution come, the definitive way to change the world. In the last century we experienced revolutions with a common programme – expecting nothing more from God, they assumed total responsibility for the cause of the world in order to change it. And this, as we saw, meant that a human and partial point of view was always taken as an absolute guiding principle. Absolutizing what is not absolute but relative is called totalitarianism. It does not liberate man, but takes away his dignity and enslaves him. It is not ideologies that save the world, but only a return to the living God, our Creator, the guarantor of our freedom, the guarantor of what is really good and true. True revolution consists in simply turning to God who is the measure of what is right and who at the same time is everlasting love. And what could ever save us apart from love?

More Photos On Vigil

Here are more photos on the Saturday Vigil, courtesy of Associated Press.

World Youth Day Guided By Our Lady

“We have come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:2)

As I reflect upon this holy feast of the Epiphany, I realize that the very first pilgrimage ever made was by the three kings, Melchior, Balthasar and Gaspar. They came from afar to seek Jesus and when they did paid Him Homage and brought Him treasures. We must imitate this, striving to seek Jesus daily in our lives and bringing Him all the treasures in our hearts, desiring to love and serve Him always. ~ Journal, January 2000

20th WYD Photos # 11: Vigil at Marienfeld

Photos courtesy of EWTN.

+ Consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary + Click to play "REGINA CAELI"

Apostolic Blessing by Pope Benedict XVI

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John Paul II
You are Pope John Paul II. You are a force to be
reckoned with.

Which Twentieth Century Pope Are You?
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