Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fabio's Three Gifts To Jesus

In a Christmas letter I received from the Superior of the Missionaries of Charity, there is a wonderful story about a little boy named Fabio. Fabio learns that Jesus thirsts for us. Jesus wants to take all our problems and pains to Himself - and set us free. This freedom is our Christian hope. We await that glorious reality. Because of this knowing, our lives are forever changed.

Here is Fabio's story...

Fabio, 8 years old, is sitting in front of the crib and gazing at Baby Jesus. After some time he falls asleep and in his dream Baby Jesus becomes alive and looks at him with loving eyes and gently smiles at him. Jesus moves his lips, saying: "Fabio, will you give me three gifts?" He loved Baby Jesus very much and he thinks that maybe Jesus will ask him for his new bicycle, the new picture book and his new sweater. Seeing Jesus' expecting eyes, Fabio answers bravely: "Yes, Jesus, whatever you ask from me, I will give it to you."

"Fabio, will you give me the last composition you wrote at school?" Fabio holds his breath: "But Jesus, that one with the teacher's remark "failed"?" "Fabio, that one I want you to give to me and promise me that everything that fails in your life, you will always give to me." Fabio is relieved: "Yes, Jesus, I promise to do that."

"The second gift I want you to give me is your milk glass." Fabio feels very bad. "Jesus, it is broken." "I want it, and promise me that you will give me all that is broken in your life. Will you do that?" Fabio promised it willingly.

"The third gift I ask from you is the answer you gave your mother, when she asked you, how your milk glass got broken." Now Fabio breaks into tears, and cries bitterly: "This I cannot give you, Jesus. I told a lie, saying it dropped from my hand, but in reality I had smashed it on the floor in anger." "I want you to give me this lie, and all the lies in your life. Will you do that?" Fabio's eyes are downcast, slowly he lifts his head and he looks at Jesus' loving eyes and his gentle smile. Hope and trust fill his heart as he promises: "Yes, Jesus, I will always give you my lies."

Then Fabio wakes up and his heart is filled with deep peace and a new joy. He knows: "Jesus, my Saviour, is born in my heart today."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary And Joseph

Consecration to the Holy Family

O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Thy teaching and example, didst will to pass the greater part of Thy life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to Thee this day. Do Thou protect us, guard us and establish amongst us Thy holy fear, true peace and concord in Christian love: in order that by living according to the divine pattern of Thy family we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness.

Mary, dear Mother of Jesus and Mother of us, by the kindly intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of Jesus, and obtain for us His graces and blessings.

O Saint Joseph, most holy Guardian of Jesus and Mary, help us by thy prayers in all our spiritual and temporal needs; that so we may be enabled to praise our divine Savior Jesus, together with Mary and thee, for all eternity.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be (3X). Amen.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

St. Stephen's Day

At that time, as the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenist (Greek-speaking) Christians complained about the Hebrew-speaking Christians, saying that their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word. The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit.... (Acts 6:1-5)

Today is St. Stephen's Day. St. Stephen, the protomartyr and archdeacon, gave his life for Christ. St. Stephen is a most special saint for all deacons today, especially the permanent deacon. The permanent deacon is a unique sign and instrument of what Jesus Christ is for the Church, and of what the Church must be for the sake of Christ. The permanent deacon serves the bishop. He serves in two worlds, the secular and the Church, although these worlds are closely intertwined. Most permanent deacons are married with children, they work full time jobs, they minister to the poor and downtrodden - and also serve at the altar. Please pray for deacons and for diaconal vocations.

Friday, December 25, 2009

It’s Christmas time in New Jersey! Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas time in New Jersey

“It’s Christmas time in New Jersey, come see and hear,
all the sights, sounds and the glow and sparkle of lights so pretty,
that comprise the heartbeat, rhythm and sparkle of our great,
big wonderful welcoming state and cities.

It’s Christmas time in New Jersey our cities, towns and villages,
are now all adorned in their most glorious dress,
as church elders prepare the baby Jesus creche.

Christmas trees on town halls, stores, homes, lawns and malls are all shining bright.
Gaily decorated in colored bells, tinsel, garlands, angels and lights, that glow and sparkle day and night,
boy oh boy what a magnificent and inspirational sight.

As Santa Clause makes out his Christmas list, making sure no girl or boys requested
toy will be forgot or missed. as Santa Claus extends his warm and welcoming Christmas
greeting to everyone throughout our great state.

” Merry,Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to one and all.
”For, it’s Christmas time in New Jersey.”

©Joseph P. Martino – Poet, Writer Millburn

above Photo "Cristmas Trees in Brookdale Park©bjm

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Alma Redemptoris Mater

Revered mother of our Redeemer,
the way to heaven for us, now and always,
come to our help as we fall and strive to rise.

All nature stood still in wonder
when you gave flesh
to your own flesh’s Creator.
Virgin at Gabriel’s greeting,
Virgin now and always –
take pity on us sinners.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Tis Love That's Born Tonight!

Last year I received as a gift the James Taylor Christmas CD. One of the songs on the CD is "Some Children See Him." I don't know why, but I had never heard this song before. It was written by Wihla Hutson & Alfred S. Burt in 1951. I sat down and listened - the marriage of the words and music were overwhelming. It is one of the finest songs I have ever heard. It touched my heart. And it is an important song - especially today.

Some children see Him lily white,
the baby Jesus born this night.
Some children see Him lily white,
with tresses soft and fair.
Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
The Lord of heav'n to earth come down.
Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
with dark and heavy hair.

Some children see Him almond-eyed,
this Savior whom we kneel beside.
some children see Him almond-eyed,
with skin of yellow hue.
Some children see Him dark as they,
sweet Mary's Son to whom we pray.
Some children see him dark as they,
and, ah! they love Him, too!

The children in each different place
will see the baby Jesus' face
like theirs, but bright with heavenly grace,
and filled with holy light.
O lay aside each earthly thing
and with thy heart as offering,
come worship now the infant King.
'Tis love that's born tonight!

Wihla Hutson & Alfred S. Burt 1951

Sunday, December 20, 2009

St. Dominic of Silos, 4th Sunday of Advent

Saint Dominic of Silos

(Santo Domingo de Silos) (1000—December 20, 1073) is a Spanish saint, to whom the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos is dedicated.Dominic was a saint who loved solitude. Christians are called to spend time in solitude, most especially now in this Advent season. Today is the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Very soon our Saviour will be born to us. Are we ready? Maybe today is that time to spend in quiet reflection, on the meaning of this season, on the meaning of the Incarnation, of "God with us."

Last evening we experienced our first snowstorm here in New Jersey.

I love the snow - it makes everything quiet. Maybe today's weather is a gift from God, it tells us to slow down, listen to His words, and dream of heavenly things.

In the words of Thomas Merton:

"Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it."

* Image B-R, My Backyard

Friday, December 18, 2009

World Day of Peace Message 2010

The Holy See has released Pope Benedict's "World Day of Peace" message for January 1st, 2010. Here is an excerpt...

At the beginning of this New Year, I wish to offer heartfelt greetings of peace to all Christian communities, international leaders, and people of good will throughout the world. For this XLIII World Day of Peace I have chosen the theme: If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation. Respect for creation is of immense consequence, not least because “creation is the beginning and the foundation of all God’s works”,and its preservation has now become essential for the pacific coexistence of mankind. Man’s inhumanity to man has given rise to numerous threats to peace and to authentic and integral human development – wars, international and regional conflicts, acts of terrorism, and violations of human rights. Yet no less troubling are the threats arising from the neglect – if not downright misuse – of the earth and the natural goods that God has given us. For this reason, it is imperative that mankind renew and strengthen “that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and towards whom we are journeying”.

You can click
HERE to read the whole message or print it.

God bless!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Words By Blessed Mother Teresa

When I was now in Oslo, they told me I had disturbed the Parliament because I spoke very strongly against abortion. I said that abortion is nothing but murder, a mother murdering her own child. I asked also: “Who was the first person to receive Christ, to acknowledge His presence? It was the unborn child” When Mary came with haste into Elizabeth’s house, the little child in the womb of his mother leaped with joy acknowledging the presence of Jesus. So he was the first human being, besides Our Lady, the first human being to recognize the presence of Christ. So I want you to pray very specially that we bring this more and more: that we really preserve the life of God in the unborn child….

I was surprised the other day, after I had spoken, everybody, even the king, came up said: “Thank you for speaking, nobody could have spoken as you spoke.” I prayed to God before I spoke. Afterwards this priest came to me and said: “Show a little mercy on those mothers that are doing that, don’t be so hard on that.” I said: “Father, I need to tell the truth and Jesus said: “I am the truth”, and we have to tell the truth and it is for them to use it or leave it.” …

* photo- mc

Monday, December 14, 2009

Diaconal Spirituality By Deacon Bob Yerhot

I grabbed this thoughtful reflection off Deacon Bob Yerhot's website. Deacon Bob, I hope you don't mind.

The Trinitarian Dimension of Diaconal Spirituality

December 13th, 2009

Much is written about diaconal kenosis, that is, radical self-emptying, self-donation for the sake of the other in the manner of Jesus who emptied himself of all trappings of his divinity in taking on our flesh for our salvation. This kenotic outpouring of a deacon’s life then is a reflection of the Trinitarian life of God Himself. God is so giving of himself, Father to Son and Son to Father that the Holy Spirit is present and the Triune God is revealed.

The thought that a deacon’s spirituality draws him into divine Trinitarian life reminds us of the dignity and depth of diaconal life. We share in the priesthood of Jesus Christ by our self-sacrifice, our self-effacement for the sake of others.

It demands we develop a spirit of humility and authority that are profound but without imposition. We seek not honors or titles or grand placement. We must put aside our egos. We become Icons of Jesus the Servant.

A deacon is kenotic in his service at the Eucharistic altar but most especially in the hidden moments of service to the poor and the forgotten. A deacon is truly deacon when he ministers in the background.

Our authority comes from our bishop. And we need speak boldly when proclaiming the Gospel in the liturgical assembly and when we preach the Word in homily. No time for timidness here. Our bishop sends us forth to preach and teach. But we must remember that we are merely the sound, the voice, not the Word. Our voices must evaporate after we have proclaimed the Word who takes up residence in the hearer.

We diminish as Jesus grows.

The Holy Spirit renders our lives effective if we are attuned to the Word of the Father, and as bearers of that Word, we revere the Father who sends us forth. Our spirituality gives witness in this way to the life of the Trinity.

God help us in this wonderful vocation.

Catholic Faith and Reflections

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gaudete Sunday

"A Prophetic Proclamation Destined for the Whole of Humanity"

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On this Third Sunday of Advent, the liturgy invites us to the joy of the spirit. It does so with the famous antiphon as part of an exhortation of the Apostle Paul: "Gaudete in Domino", "Rejoice in the Lord always... the Lord is at hand" (cf. Phil 4:4, 5).

The first Reading of Mass is also an invitation to joy. The Prophet Zephaniah at the end of the seventh century B.C. spoke to the city of Jerusalem and its people with these words: "Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem...! [T]he Lord your God is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory" (Zep 3:14, 17).

God himself is portrayed with similar sentiments, as the prophet says: "The Lord... will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love... as on a day of festival" (Zep 3: 17-18). This promise was fully brought about in the mystery of Christmas, which we shall be celebrating in a week and which asks to be renewed in the "today" of our lives and of history.

The joy that the liturgy reawakens in the hearts of Christians is not reserved for us alone: it is a prophetic proclamation destined for all humanity and for the poorest of the poor in particular, in this case, those poorest in joy!

Let us think of our brothers and sisters who, especially in the Middle East, in several regions of Africa and other parts of the world, are experiencing the drama of war: what joy can they live? What will their Christmas be like?

Let us think of all the sick and lonely people who, in addition to being tried in their body, are also sorely tried in their soul because they often feel abandoned: how can we share joy with them without disrespecting their suffering?

But let us also think of those people, especially the young, who have lost their sense of true joy and seek it in vain where it is impossible to find it: in the exasperated race to self-affirmation and success, in false amusements, in consumerism, in moments of drunkenness, in the artificial paradise of drugs and every form of alienation. We must obviously face the liturgy today and its "Rejoice" with these tragic realities.

As in the times of the Prophet Zephaniah, it is particularly to those being tested and to "life's wounded and orphans of joy" that God's Word is being addressed in a special way.

The invitation to rejoice is not an alienating message nor a sterile palliative, but on the contrary, it is a salvific prophecy, an appeal for rescue that starts with inner renewal.

To transform the world, God chose a humble young girl from a village in Galilee, Mary of Nazareth, and challenged her with this greeting: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you". In these words lies the secret of an authentic Christmas. God repeats them to the Church, to each one of us: Rejoice, the Lord is close! With Mary's help, let us offer ourselves with humility and courage so that the world may accept Christ, who is the source of true joy.

Pope Benedict XVI, 2006

Friday, December 11, 2009

Louie, Louie - A Great Blog

Hello Friends,

For those of you who have a keen interest in Thomas Merton (Fr. Louis), his writing, poetry, photography, contemplative activism - you will not find a better blog than Louie, Louie.

Check this great blog out HERE

The English Welsh Equality Bill

English, Welsh bishops say Equality Bill redefines who can be priest

I grabbed this story out of CNS. Could this happen here in the USA? Sure could. Better keep alert,

By Simon Caldwell Catholic News Service

LONDON (CNS) -- The Catholic bishops of England and Wales said they could be at risk of prosecution under a proposed law unless they accept women, sexually active gays and transsexuals as candidates to the priesthood.

They made their claims in a briefing for Catholic members of the House of Lords, Britain's upper political chamber, ahead of a scheduled Dec. 15 debate on the Equality Bill, which aims to stamp out discrimination in the workplace.

The bishops said the bill defines priests as employees rather than officeholders. Under the terms of the bill, the church would be immune from prosecution only if priests spend more than 51 percent of their time in worship or explaining doctrine.

According to the briefing, a copy of which was obtained by Catholic News Service Dec. 8, the government definition will, in effect, make it "unlawful to require a Catholic priest to be male, unmarried or not in a civil partnership, etc., since no priest would be able to demonstrate that their time was wholly or mainly spent either leading liturgy or promoting and explaining doctrine."

"The bill fails to reflect the time priests spend in pastoral work, private prayer and study, administration, building maintenance, etc.," the briefing said.

"This contentious definition was drafted without consultation and has been maintained by the government despite the concerns of the bishops' conference and representations made by most religious bodies in the U.K.," the briefing added.

The bishops asked Catholic lords to try to either strike out the contentious definition or widen it to protect priests and lay employees "whose credibility ... would be fatally compromised if their personal lives were openly at variance with the church's teaching."

In a Dec. 8 statement given to CNS, a government spokesman rejected the claims of the bishops, saying that an exemption "covers ministers of religion such as Catholic priests."

An amendment to the bill to protect the liberty of the churches was voted down in the House of Commons in November. The bill is likely to become law early next year.

Richard Kornicki, the bishops' parliamentary coordinator, told CNS in a Dec. 8 telephone interview that the bishops believe it is not possible to meet the criteria of the government definition of a priest.

According to legal advice received by the bishops, he said, this could lead to legal actions for sex discrimination if the church rejected women, married men, gays in civil partnerships or transsexuals who asked to join the priesthood.

"The government is saying that the church cannot maintain its own beliefs in respect of its own priests," he said.

Neil Addison, a Catholic lawyer who heads the Thomas More Legal Centre, which specializes in religious discrimination law, said that in the worst-case scenario the church could not only be sued but bishops could face imprisonment and unlimited fines and church assets could be sequestered. He said the bill would have the effect of making it impossible for the bishops to discipline clergy who wanted to live "alternative lifestyles."

Earlier, the bishops said the bill could force Catholic schools and health care institutions to remove crucifixes from their walls in case they offend non-Christian employees.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Senate Defeats Nelson Amendment, How Sad

I am appalled, saddened and disgusted. Health care? How can you call a bill health care if it mandates the killing of children? And what about this president - the president of change. Didn't Mr. Obama say there would not be federal funding for abortion in this "health care" bill?
I hesitated to say it - but the truth must be heard. This president is a "LIAR." Politicians who vote yes to a bill that funds abortion are nothing but EVIL. I am called to pray for them, but it won't be easy.

The Senate Vote on Motion to Table (Kill) Nelson Amendment HERE

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, prepared a worthy dwelling place for thy Son, we beseech thee that, as by the foreseen death of this, thy Son, you preserved her from all stain, so too you would permit us, purified through her intercession, to come unto thee. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Above image > Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1618-1682) Immaculate Conception

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kevin Jennings Must Go !!!!

Click HERE for Jennifer Hartline's article "An Open Letter to Obama."

It is important for you to read!

Friday, December 4, 2009

God Always Listens

A first essential setting for learning hope is prayer. When no one listens to me any more, God still listens to me. When I can no longer talk to anyone or call upon anyone, I can always talk to God. When there is no longer anyone to help me deal with a need or expectation that goes beyond the human capacity for hope, he can help me. When I have been plunged into complete solitude ...;
if I pray I am never totally alone. The late Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, a prisoner for thirteen years, nine of them spent in solitary confinement, has left us a precious little book: Prayers of Hope. During thirteen years in jail, in a situation of seemingly utter hopelessness, the fact that he could listen and speak to God became for him an increasing power of hope, which enabled him, after his release, to become for people all over the world a witness to hope—to that great hope which does not wane even in the nights of solitude.

* excerpt from "Spe Salvi"

* forest image solitude©bjm

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Nice Christmas Present

Alma Mater: Featuring The Voice of Pope Benedict XVI

This CD will be a nice Christmas present!

Alma Mater, the album with prayers by the Pope, dedicated to Our Lady can be heard worldwide as of November 30th. It includes 6 prayers and meditations accompanied by the Philharmonic Academy in Rome and classical hits by the U.Ks Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Advent Poem by Thomas Merton


Charm with your stainlessness these winter nights,
Skies, and be perfect! Fly, vivider in the fiery dark, you quiet meteors,
And disappear.
You moon, be slow to go down,
This is your full!

The four white roads make off in silence
Towards the four parts of the starry universe.
Time falls like manna at the corners of the wintry earth.
We have become more humble than the rocks,
More wakeful than the patient hills.

Charm with your stainlessness these nights in Advent,
holy spheres,
While minds, as meek as beasts,
Stay close at home in the sweet hay;
And intellects are quieter than the flocks that feed by starlight.

Oh pour your darkness and your brightness over all our
solemn valleys,
You skies: and travel like the gentle Virgin,
Toward the planets' stately setting,
Oh white full moon as quiet as Bethlehem!

Thomas Merton 1946

* Above image by Thomas Merton

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent Sunday

"Jesus is the Hope of the World"

Like foolish folk of old I would not be, Who had no room that night for Him and thee. See, Mother Mary, here within my heart I've made a little shrine for Him apart; Swept it of sin, and cleansed it with all care; Warmed it with love and scented it with prayer. So, Mother, when the Christmas anthems start, Please let me hold your baby--in my heart.

Advent Prayer - Sr. Maryanna, O.P.University of Dayton

Image "First Day of Advent" by ©bjm

Friday, November 27, 2009

The 'Manhattan Declaration'

I pray that all of you had a blessed Thanksgiving day, spending time with your family and friends - now rested and rejuvenated. It is time now to get back to work for the cause of life. Have you heard about the "Manhattan Project"? It is a manifesto endorsed by Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox leaders who are united in defending life and the family.

Among the religious leaders who presented the appeal to the public on Friday, November 20, at the National Press Club in Washington (in the photo), were the archbishop of Philadelphia, Cardinal Justin Rigali, the archbishop of Washington, Donald W. Wuerl, and the bishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput.

From ManhattanDeclaration.org...

A Call of Christian Conscience

Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.

We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are:

the sanctity of human life
the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
the rights of conscience and religious liberty.

Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Read about the Manhattan Declaration

You can sign the Declaration

Good artice out of Chiesa.expressonline.it

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Blessed Thanksgiving

Father in Heaven, Creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude in this time of giving thanks.

Thank you for all the graces and blessings you have bestowed upon us, spiritual and temporal, our faith and religious heritage, our food and shelter, our health, the love we have for one another, our family and friends.

Dear Father, in Your infinite generosity, please grant us continued graces and blessings throughout the coming year.

This we ask in the Name of Jesus, Your Son, Amen.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Everyone Against Abortion, Please Raise Your Hand!"

Thanksgiving is almost here. Many of us will be out shopping tomorrow, purchasing all the goods we need to prepare for the big feast. On Thursday we will gather round the table, surrounded by family and friends. Let us give thanks for all the Good Lord has blessed us with. And let us not forget the poor, and those who are alone. Let us not forget the suffering - especially our neighbors who have no voice. When you pray before your meal, pray for the unborn - and pray for God's strength to defend them.

"Everyone Against Abortion, Please Raise Your Hand!"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christ The King

Reading From a discourse of Origen on prayer
Thy kingdom come

The coming of the kingdom of God, says our Lord and Saviour, does not admit of observation, and there will be no-one to say “Look here! Look there!” For the kingdom of God is within us and in our hearts. And so it is beyond doubt that whoever prays for the coming of the kingdom of God within himself is praying rightly, praying for the kingdom to dawn in him, bear fruit and reach perfection. For God reigns in every saint, and every saint obeys God’s spiritual laws — God, who dwells in him just as he dwells in any well-ordered city. The Father is present in him and in his soul Christ reigns alongside the Father, as it is said: We will come to him and make our dwelling with him.

Therefore, as we continue to move forward without ceasing, the kingdom of God within us will reach its perfection in us at that moment when the saying in the Apostle is fulfilled, that Christ, His enemies all made subject to Him, shall deliver the kingdom to God the Father that God may be All in All.

For this reason let us pray without ceasing, our souls filled by a desire made divine by the Word Himself. Let us pray to our Father in heaven: hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come.

There is something important that we need to understand about the kingdom of God: just as righteousness has no partnership with lawlessness, just as light has nothing in common with darkness and Christ has no agreement with Belial, so the kingdom of God and a kingdom of sin cannot co-exist.

So if we want God to reign within us, on no account may sin rule in our mortal body but let us mortify our earthly bodies and let us be made fruitful by the Spirit. Then we will be a spiritual garden of Eden for God to walk in. God will rule in us with Christ who will be seated in us on the right hand of God — God, the spiritual power that we pray to receive — until he makes his enemies (who are within us) into his footstool and pours out on us all authority, all power, all strength.

This can happen to any one of us and death, the last enemy may be destroyed, so that in us Christ says Death, where is your sting? Death, where is your victory? So let our corruptibility be clothed today with holiness and incorruption. With Death dead, let our mortality be cloaked in the Father’s immortality. With God ruling in us, let us be immersed in the blessings of regeneration and resurrection.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Feast of the Presentation of Mary

"Hail, holy throne of God, divine sanctuary, house of glory, jewel most fair, chosen treasure house, and mercy seat for the whole world, heaven showing forth the glory of God. Purest Virgin, worthy of all praise, sanctuary dedicated to God and raised above all human condition, virgin soil, unplowed field, flourishing vine, fountain pouring out waters, virgin bearing a child, mother without knowing man, hidden treasure of innocence, ornament of sanctity, by your most acceptable prayers, strong with the authority of motherhood, to our Lord and God, Creator of all, your Son who was born of you without a father, steer the ship of the Church and bring it to a quiet harbor"

(adapted from a homily by St. Germanus on the Presentation of the Mother of God).

Friday, November 20, 2009

God Save The American States

Let us not forget the sacrifice of our founders.
Know that a tyrant is unfit to be a ruler of free people.
God save our American States

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Reading Souls

An e-letter from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal

Reading Souls

Throughout history there have been prophets who were given the grace to read souls. The Old Testament is full of examples, one of which is the scene when the prophet Nathan confronted King David for his adultery with Bathsheba and subsequent killing of her husband. This grace to read souls is always ordered to inviting the sinner to repent of sin. David wrote Psalm 51 in repentance for his sin.

Saints John Vianney and Padre Pio are modern day examples of this grace. They could tell you your sins when you knelt in their confessional! The effect was beautiful: people who were hard of heart and unrepentant, ended up converting and repenting. Yet, the absolution which these two saints offered is no different than the absolution one can receive from any Catholic Priest. You had to wait in line for days to make a confession to those two saints. Many priests sit alone for half an hour on Saturdays in the confessional. If we only knew the graces which are available things would be different ... In all of her modern day apparitions, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been encouraging us to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a month.

Pray for the grace of a well formed conscience and true contrition for your sins.

God bless,
Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR
St. Joseph Friary
New York, NY

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Johnny Mercer's Moon River

I know, this post is a bit out of the ordinary. This afternoon, while driving in my car, I was listening to The Sunday Show with Jonathan Schwartz on FM radio. Mr. Schwartz is always very interesting. He not only plays some great music i.e. Carly Simon to Sinatra, but he knows the history behind all the songs. Lately he has been playing a lot of Johnny Mercer music. Mr. Mercer was one of the best lyricists this country ever produced. I am sure you have heard and know many of his songs. This year of 2009 is the 100th year of Mr. Mercer's birth. One of his most popular songs is "Moon River." Music by Henry Mancini. Andy Williams had a BIG hit with this song back in 1961. My parents were big fans of Andy Williams - and I remember my dad playing "Moon River" over and over again. (When you only own a few records, you tend to play them - over and over...) I know you are all familiar with this song.

Have you ever really listened to the lyrics? They are simple - yet - very powerful. Listen to Andy Williams - and listen to the words. I printed them below.

Moon River, wider than a mile,
I'm crossing you in style some day.
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker,
wherever you're going I'm going your way.
Two drifters off to see the world.
There's such a lot of world to see.
We're after the same rainbow's end--
waiting 'round the bend,
my huckleberry friend,
Moon River and me.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Father Benedict Groeschel's 50th Anniversary

My dear friend Diana, a Lay Associate of the Friars of the Renewal, brought this wonderful video to my attention today. It commemorates Father Benedict Groeschel's 50th anniversary as a holy priest. God bless this holy man and all the Franciscan Friars (and sisters!) of the Renewal. They are a gift from God, sorely needed in these trying times.

Enjoy the video!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

My Dad and Friends

The 38th Street Boys

"God we thank you for commissioning men and women in the defense of freedom. We honor those who honor and protect us, in many cases laying down their lives that we might live free to pursue our own destiny. Every soldier takes their oath knowing they may be called upon to pay the ultimate sacrifice. Lord, we cannot repay this gift they give us. For those who have suffered as a result of their sacrifice, we ask for supernatural healing, favor, peace, and in some cases, forgetfulness. Lift from them the cares and burdens of violence. When they return home, give them opportunities to fulfill their own potentials and dreams. Open doors for them, even when some doors are closed. God, Bless our veterans. We pray this in Jesus."

Rep. Kennedy is in ‘flawed communion’ with the Church

Rep. Patrick Kennedy - "The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.”

I grabbed this article out of Catholicnewsagency.com. Bishop Thomas Tobin, Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, is a good and brave teacher of the faith. Here is his exchange with Representative Patrick Kennedy.

Providence, R.I., Nov 11, 2009 - Bishop of Providence Thomas J. Tobin has responded to Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s contention that his dissent from Catholic teaching on abortion does not make him “less of a Catholic.” Saying that such dissent renders the lawmaker's communion “flawed,” he urged Kennedy to become a “profile in courage” and to defend the unborn.

Rep. Kennedy (D-R.I.), the son of the late U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, had accused the Catholic Church of fanning “the flames of dissent and discord” because of the Catholic bishops’ opposition to proposed health care reform that does not explicitly prohibit funding of abortion.

Bishop Tobin responded critically to the congressman and asked for an apology.

A meeting had been scheduled between the prelate and the politician, but a Tuesday statement from the Diocese of Providence said it had been postponed.

“Bishop Tobin remains hopeful the he can meet with Congressman Kennedy in a personal and pastoral setting in the very near future,” the diocese reported.

Responding to Rep. Kennedy in his Nov. 12 diocesan newspaper column, Bishop Tobin said he usually does not speak about someone’s faith in a public setting but it has become an issue in his exchange with Rep. Kennedy.

The bishop focused on Rep. Kennedy’s comment in an Oct. 29 letter in which the Congressman said:

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.”

Bishop Tobin said the statement could not go unchallenged because it raises an important question about what it means to be a Catholic.

Read the rest of the article HERE

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thoughts from Blessed Teresa

Take time to think
Take time to pray
Take time to laugh

It is the source of power
It is the greatest power on earth
It is the music of the soul

Take time to play
Take time to love and be loved
Take time to give

It is the secret of perpetual youth
It is God’s given privilege
It is too short a day to be selfish

Take time to read
Take time to be friendly
Take time to work

It is the fountain of wisdom
It is the road to happiness
It is the price of success

Take time to do charity
It is the key to heaven

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Stoning of Stephen

“Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man
standing at the right hand of God.”
But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears,
and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him."

This drawing, The Stoning of Stephen by Edward Knippers, is intriguing. It is a good tool for meditation and some deep self questioning. Who am I, what do I believe? Think of Stephen - our first deacon and martyr. An amazing man, a brave man, certainly a deep thinking man. Most of all, a man of great faith. I too need to have that faith. I need to empty myself everyday of all iniquities. Let God fill up that space. For what shall I say when they come to me and ask "who is Jesus Christ" ?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

At Nancy Pelosi's Office

Nancy Pelosi's Office sit-in and demonstration -

God bless those Pro-Lifers !!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Speaker Pelosi’s Government-Run Health Plan Will Require a Monthly Abortion Premium

Here is the latest from the Office of Republican John Boehner's office. What is happening to our country?

Speaker Pelosi’s Government-Run Health Plan Will Require a Monthly Abortion Premium

Health care reform should not be used as an opportunity to use federal funds to pay for elective abortions. Health reform should be an opportunity to protect human life - not end it.

Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi’s 2,032-page government takeover of health care does just that. On line 17, p. 110, section 222 under “Abortions for which Public Funding is Allowed” the Health and Human Services Secretary is given the authority to determine when abortion is allowed under the government-run plan. The Speaker’s plan also requires that at least one insurance plan offered in the Exchange covers abortions.

What is even more alarming is that a monthly abortion premium will be charged of all enrollees in the government-run plan. It’s right there on line 16, page 96, section 213, under “Insurance Rating Rules.” The premium will be paid into a U.S. Treasury account - and these federal funds will be used to pay for the abortion services.

Section 213 describes the process in which the Health Benefits Commissioner is to assess the monthly premiums that will be used to pay for elective abortions under the government-run plan. The Commissioner must charge at a minimum $1 per enrollee per month.

A majority of Americans believe that health care plans should not be mandated to provide elective abortion coverage, and a majority of Americans do not believe government health care plans should include abortion coverage. Currently, federal appropriations bills include language known as the Hyde Amendment that prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions under the Medicare and Medicaid programs, while another provision, known as the Smith Amendment, prohibits federal funding of abortion under the federal employees’ health benefits plan.

Speaker Pelosi’s 2,032-page health care monstrosity is an affront to the American people and drastically moves away from current policy. The American people deserve more from their government than being forced to pay for abortion.

House Republicans are offering a common-sense, responsible solution that would reduce health care costs and expand access while protecting the dignity of all human life.

The Republican plan, available at HealthCare.GOP.gov, would codify the Hyde Amendment and prohibit all authorized and appropriated federal funds from being used to pay for abortion. And under the Republican plan, any health plan that includes abortion coverage may not receive federal funds.”


An American Tune

Here is one of my favorite artists, Paul Simon, performing "An American Tune." It is song of hope.

Many's the time I've been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and I've often felt forsaken
And certainly misused
Oh, but I'm all right, I'm all right
I'm just weary to my bones
Still, you don't expect to be
Bright and bon vivant
So far away from home, so far away from home

And I don't know a soul who's not been battered
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered
or driven to its knees
but it's all right, it's all right
for we lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the
road we're traveling on
I wonder what's gone wrong
I can't help it, I wonder what's gone wrong

And I dreamed I was dying
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying
And high up above my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was crying

We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age's most uncertain hours
and sing an American tune
Oh, and it's alright, it's all right, it's all right
You can't be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow's going to be another working day
And I'm trying to get some rest
That's all I'm trying to get some rest

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Saint Martin de Porres

Saint Martín de Porres (December 9, 1579 – November 3, 1639) was a Dominican cooperator brother who was beatified in the year 1837 by Pope Gregory XVI and canonized in 1962 by Pope John XXIII.

He was noted for tireless work on behalf of the poor, establishing an orphanage and a children's hospital. He maintained an austere lifestyle, which included fasting and abstaining from meat. His devotion to prayer was notable even by the pious standards of the age. Among the many miracles attributed to him were those of levitation, bilocation, miraculous knowledge, instantaneous cures and an ability to communicate with animals.

Martin de Porres is an awesome saint. And he is very special to us who minister to the poor. At our small mission church in New Jersey, there was a doctor named Frank who attended Holy Mass every Sunday. I would always try to spend a few minutes speaking with him before Mass as he was very interesting, likable, and smart. He was also very devout. Dr. Frank had a special love and interest in Martin de Porres - so much so that he sought and received permission from a Bishop to visit and enter Martin's home in Peru. It is not easy to gain access to such a holy place.

In our small church, which is named after St. Augustine, there was an old statue of St. Martin on a side altar. The statue was very old. It not only needed painting, but pieces of clay were falling off. Dr. Frank was very disturbed about this. Nancy, a good friend of the Missionaries of Charity, a sculptor and painter (you can see Nancy's painting of Thérèse de Lisieux on my sidebar) volunteered to take the statue home and repair it. God was certainly working through Nancy's hands - as the statue looks better than new. We placed the statue back in its rightful place in the church. Here was the problem, a new Catholic movement was was asked to take care of our church by the local Bishop. The members of this new movement did not take a liking to the statue and relegated it to the rear of the church. We decided to take the statue out of the church and place it in the Missionary of Charity soup kitchen. How wonderfully appropriate. I am sure St. Martin would be very happy and also Dr. Frank. Dr. Frank went home to God last year. When I think of him, I always think of his dear St. Martin.

To you Saint Martin de Porres we prayerfully lift up our hearts filled with serene confidence and devotion. Mindful of your unbounded and helpful charity to all levels of society and also of your meekness and humility of heart, we offer our petitions to you. Pour out upon our families the precious gifts of your solicitous and generous intercession; show to the people of every race and every color the paths of unity and of justice; implore from our Father in heaven the coming of his kingdom, so that through mutual benevolence in God men may increase the fruits of grace and merit the rewards of eternal life. Amen.

Monday, November 2, 2009

All Souls' Day

On All Souls' Day, Roman Catholics commemorate and pray for the holy souls in Purgatory, undergoing purification of their sins before entering heaven.

The theological basis for this feast is the doctrine that the souls which, on departing from the body, are not perfectly cleansed from venial sins, or have not fully atoned for past transgressions, cannot not yet attain the Beatific Vision, and that the faithful on earth can help them by prayers, alms, deeds and especially by the sacrifice of the Mass.

O Almighty God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, who by a voice from heaven proclaimed, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord: Multiply, we pray, to those who rest in Jesus the abundant blessings of your love, that the good work which you have begun in them may be made perfect unto the day of Jesus Christ. And of your mercy, O heavenly Father, grant that we, who now serve you on earth, may at last, together with them, be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

* above painting - "All Souls' Day" by William Bouguereau

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Saints Day

All Saints Day - A Sermon by St. Bernard, Abbot. - Let us make haste to our brethren who are awaiting us

Why should our praise and glorification, or even the celebration of this feast day mean anything to the saints? What do they care about earthly honours when their heavenly Father honours them by fulfilling the faithful promise of the Son? What does our commendation mean to them? The saints have no need of honour from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs. Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning.

Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself. We long to share in the citizenship of heaven, to dwell with the spirits of the blessed, to join the assembly of patriarchs, the ranks of the prophets, the council of apostles, the great host of martyrs, the noble company of confessors and the choir of virgins. In short, we long to be united in happiness with all the saints. But our dispositions change. The Church of all the first followers of Christ awaits us, but we do nothing about it. The saints want us to be with them, and we are indifferent. The souls of the just await us, and we ignore them.

Come, brothers, let us at length spur ourselves on. We must rise again with Christ, we must seek the world which is above and set our mind on the things of heaven. Let us long for those who are longing for us, hasten to those who are waiting for us, and ask those who look for our coming to intercede for us. We should not only want to be with the saints, we should also hope to possess their happiness. While we desire to be in their company, we must also earnestly seek to share in their glory. Do not imagine that there is anything harmful in such an ambition as this; there is no danger in setting our hearts on such glory.

When we commemorate the saints we are inflamed with another yearning: that Christ our life may also appear to us as he appeared to them and that we may one day share in his glory. Until then we see him, not as he is, but as he became for our sake. He is our head, crowned, not with glory, but with the thorns of our sins. As members of that head, crowned with thorns, we should be ashamed to live in luxury; his purple robes are a mockery rather than an honour. When Christ comes again, his death shall no longer be proclaimed, and we shall know that we also have died, and that our life is hidden with him. The glorious head of the Church will appear and his glorified members will shine in splendour with him, when he forms this lowly body anew into such glory as belongs to himself, its head.

Therefore, we should aim at attaining this glory with a wholehearted and prudent desire. That we may rightly hope and strive for such blessedness, we must above all seek the prayers of the saints. Thus, what is beyond our own powers to obtain will be granted through their intercession.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Quote for Today

The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I am a devoutly religious man.

Albert Einstein

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Abortion and the ‘Great Disconnect’: A Call to Action for the People of Life by Jennifer Hartline

It is imperative that you read the following article by Jennifer Hartline. This madness, this relentless killing of babies has to stop.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) – On Tuesday evening, Oct. 27, 2009, I had the great privilege of attending – along with 1,200 other people – a fundraising banquet for the Tidewater Crisis Pregnancy Center in Chesapeake. I went as a reporter for "Catholic Online" as well as a supporter. The featured guest speaker was pro-life hero and Nurse Jill Stanek. She was every bit as powerful in person as she is on her blog – even more so. We all need to take a cue from her as we engage the fundamental human rights issue of our age.

She spoke to us about her years spent working as a nurse at Christ Hospital in Illinois, and her struggle to shed light on the dirty little secret happening in hospitals all over the country – Christian hospitals, no less. Babies are being aborted alive (that means they survived the initial attempt on their lives) and then left alone to die, often discarded and thrown away as “medical waste”. Their deaths are blamed on “extreme prematurity” when in fact their cause of death is deliberate, forced eviction from their rightful home.

She spoke to us about what she calls “the great disconnect.” How can it be that if 51% of Americans now say they are pro-life we are still struggling to win the battle against abortion? Why is it that people will say they think it is wrong to kill a baby in the womb, and yet that belief is not evidenced in their actions? It certainly seems to have no influence on their votes. Can we truly say we believe abortion is wrong if we are not willing to stop it? Can we truly say we believe abortion is wrong if we are willing to elect lawmakers, even Presidents, who are intent on enshrining abortion “rights” into law?

This is the great disconnect. Americans will say they believe something, yet be unmotivated to defend that belief. Worst of all, Christians will say they believe something, yet be weak-willed and silent in the face of opposition to that belief. That is pathetic. Satan is mocking us and the horrors caused by abortion on demand continue.

Please - read the rest HERE !

If every American who claims to be pro-life actually connected their beliefs to their actions, we could win the battle against abortion.

Jennifer Hartline is a Catholic Army wife and stay-at-home mother of three precious kids who writes frequently on topics of Catholic faith and daily living. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A New Apparition at Knock?

Archbishop Michael Neary is an Irish clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the current Archbishop of Tuam. The Archbishop has warned against reports that the Virgin Mary will soon appear at the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, the site of a reported apparition in 1879. A Mr Coleman. a Ballyfermot man, claims he has had regular visions of Our Lady since 1986.

A few years ago my wife Mary and I visited the "Our Lady of Knock" Shrine at Knock Ireland. It is an enchanting place and certainly a shrine where you can expect to receive many graces. There had to be a thousand people all together reciting the rosary.

I also gave an unsuccessful try at climbing nearby Croagh Patrick (Cruach Phádraig), Ireland's holy mountain, where St. Patrick is said to have fasted forty days on the summit. I guess my asthma got the best of me.

Here is an interesting article out of the Mayo News, written by Michael Commins and Anton McNulty, concerning Archbishop Michael Neary - and possible new?apparitions at Knock.

THE Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary has criticised those who are encouraging people to believe that apparitions will take place at Knock Shrine.
Earlier this month, thousands of people were in Knock after Dublin faith healer, Joe Coleman claimed that Our Lady would appear at the Shrine. However, in a statement released yesterday (Monday) Archbishop Neary criticised these predictions saying that events at the Shrine risk misleading God's people and undermining faith. He added that the Shrine would be best served by maintaining its ‘authentic identity’ and such events are to be regretted rather than be encouraged.

“Knock is a much loved place of pilgrimage and prayer. Ever since the apparition in 1879, believers from home and abroad have made the pilgrimage there in increasing numbers. Such faith makes Knock pilgrims firm in hope and active in love for the sick and suffering. They do not expect visions or seek further apparitions.
“God has manifested Himself in Jesus Christ and His people have responded ever since. It is not healthy, does not give glory to God and certainly is not good witness to the faith to be looking for extraordinary phenomena. The apparition of 1879 was neither sought nor expected by the humble, honest people who were its astonished witnesses. Their faith reveals the patience and humility that characterises true belief. The Shrine of Knock is living witness to that faith.

“Unfortunately, recent events at the Shrine obscure this essential message. They risk misleading God’s people and undermining faith. For this reason such events are to be regretted rather than encouraged. The Shrine of Knock will be best served by retaining its authentic identity,” he said. Archbishop Neary released the statement after claims that several thousand people are expected in Knock on next Saturday, October 31, for the second predicted ‘happening’ by Mr Coleman. The Ballyfermot man, who claims he has regular visions of Our Lady since,1986, says another ‘spiritual awakening’ will take place at the Shrine this coming Saturday afternoon.

The rest of the article is HERE.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Archbishop Timothy Dolan Says Todays Most Life Pressing Issue is "Abortion."

Here is another important article by Deacon Keith Fournier, The Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, says the most pressing life issue today is "Abortion." We should all follow the example of this holy bishop. We must not relent - we must be willing to suffer all persecutions to protect our most vulnerable neighbors. God bless Archbishop Dolan.

The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus' message. Lovingly received day after day by the Church, it is to be preached with dauntless fidelity as "good news" to the people of every age and culture. Evangelium vitae

NEW YORK, NY – At his installation Mass Archbishop Timothy Dolan signaled his intention to defend human life with these words: "As the Servant of God Terrence Cardinal Cooke wrote, 'Human life is no less sacred or worthy of respect because it is tiny, pre-born, poor, sick, fragile, or handicapped.' Yes, the Church is a loving mother who has a zest for life and serves life everywhere, but she can become a protective 'mamma bear' when the life of her innocent, helpless cubs is threatened… Everyone in this mega-community is a somebody with an extraordinary destiny…. Everyone is a somebody in whom God has invested an infinite love. That is why the Church reaches out to the unborn, the suffering, the poor, our elders, the physically and emotionally challenged, those caught in the web of addictions."

Read the rest of the article HERE

Sunday, October 25, 2009

30th Sunday of the year

Pope Saint Clement I, also known as Saint Clement of Rome (in Latin, Clemens Romanus), is listed from an early date as a Bishop of Rome. He was the first Apostolic Father of the early Christian church.

From todays Office of Readings:

A letter to the Corinthians by Pope St Clement I

In his goodness to all, God gives order and harmony to the world
Let us fix our gaze on the Father and Creator of the whole world, and let us hold on to his peace and blessings, his splendid and surpassing gifts. Let us contemplate him in our thoughts and with our mind’s eye reflect upon the peaceful and restrained unfolding of his plan; let us consider the care with which he provides for the whole of his creation.

By his direction the heavens are in motion, and they are subject to him in peace. Day and night fulfil the course he has established without interfering with each other. The sun, the moon and the choirs of stars revolve in harmony at his command in their appointed paths without deviation. By his will the earth blossoms in the proper seasons and produces abundant food for men and animals and all the living things on it without reluctance and without any violation of what he has arranged.

Yet unexplored regions of the abysses and inexpressible realms of the deep are subject to his laws. The mass of the boundless sea, joined together by his ordinance in a single expanse, does not overflow its prescribed limits but flows as he commanded it. For he said: Thus far shall you come, and your waves will be halted here. The ocean, impassable for men, and the worlds beyond it are governed by the same edicts of the Lord.

The seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter, follow one another in harmony. The quarters from which the winds blow function in due season without the least deviation. And the ever-flowing springs, created for our health as well as our enjoyment, unfailingly offer their breasts to sustain human life. The tiniest of living creatures meet together in harmony and peace. The great Creator and Lord of the universe commanded all these things to be established in peace and harmony, in his goodness to all, and in overflowing measure to us who seek refuge in his mercies through our Lord Jesus Christ; to him be glory and majesty for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fr. Benedict Groeschel CFR celebrates the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood

I grabbed this article out of the "Bronx Life House."

Sunday October the 18th Fr. Benedict Groeschel CFR celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ, with a beautiful Mass at Holy Family Church in Nutley, NJ! The mass was concelebrated by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio to the United Nations and Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, New Jersey, Diocesan priests and many Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Three EMC Interns, myself included, were given the opportunity to attending the Mass.

Fr. Groeschel is well known for his work as the host of popular television show, "Sunday Night Live with Fr. Benedict Groeshel' on EWTN and as a prolific author of books like 'Why Do We Believe' and 'There Are No Accidents'. He is also the co-founder of Good Counsel Homes. "Good Counsel is a private Catholic agency whose primary mission is to help homeless pregnant women by providing a loving family environment in a safe and secure shelter. Begun in 1985 by Fr. Benedict Groeschel and Chris Bell, both leaders in the pro-life movement, Good Counsel has grown to five homes in the New York greater metropolitan area." says their website.

* Fr. Groeschel is a founding member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal