Thursday, July 24, 2014

Medjugorje priest legend Fr. Jozo Zovko breaks long silence | MEDJUGORJE TODAY

Medjugorje priest legend Fr. Jozo Zovko breaks long silence | MEDJUGORJE TODAY

Fr. Jozo Zovko is back at writing commentaries to the Virgin
Mary’s monthly message. Medjugorje’s charismatic parish priest by the
time the apparitions began has been away from public spotlight for more
than five years, asked to stay silent until the Vatican Commission had

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[Video] Saint Sharbel Makhluf

   St. Sharbel Makhluf


Reflection for 7/24/14

Photos by eternalsleeper, Mhamed Kleit, Enrique López-Tamayo Biosca

Pope meets with Sudanese woman who faced death penalty for being Christian

  Pope meets with Sudanese woman who faced death penalty for being Christian

romereports The Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis met with the Sudanese woman who faced the death penalty for being Christian. Upon her arrival, Meriam Ibrahim was welcomed by Italian authorities and eventually she met with Pope Francis.

Mary TV Daily Reflection 7/24/2014

 (c) Mary TV 2014 

July 24, 2014
St. Sharbel Makhluf

Dear Family of Mary!
 "Dear children! The Most High is giving me the grace that I can still be with you and to lead you in prayer towards the way of peace. Your heart and soul thirst for peace and love, for God and His joy. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray and in prayer you will discover the wisdom of living. I bless you all and intercede for each of you before my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call."(June 25, 2014)

Tomorrow we will receive a new message for the 25th. It is a great practice to review the message we were given the month before, to prepare for Our Lady's new message. We can ask if we have really allowed her message to permeate us. Have we let this message be a seed that is planted in good ground? Has it been able to bear fruit?

Our Lady asked us to "pray, pray ,pray", so that we could discover the wisdom of living. What a beautiful gift, the wisdom of living! May we all be closer to attaining this wisdom, for it is in living that we can love and serve the Lord. Only in living our lives to the full can we give glory to the Father who made us.

Here is a beautiful prayer that was prayed during the homily at English Mass on July 23. It may help us to prepare for tomorrow!

Prayer to Mary, the Bride of the Holy Spirit

Mary, our Mother, the Bride of the Holy Spirit, protect us.
Implore love for us, the true love of God and the Holy Spirit.
Implore wisdom for us, the true wisdom of your Groom.
Mary, may we not go astray,
May we not lose hope,
May we not extinguish our faith.
Help us to persevere on the path to salvation.
Help us to win the battle against the enemy.
Oh Bride of the Holy Spirit,
Stretch your protective mantle over us and our families,
And bring us safely to eternity, amen.

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2014

"Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world."
Saint John Paul II
Be connected! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

These Stone Walls: Cleaning up the Neighborhood

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum s
When posting a comment at The Wall Street Journal’s new forum for digital subscribers, Fr Gordon MacRae found something rare in online comments: total civility.

There's a new media sheriff in town, and he's cleaning up one corner of the online world.  Catholic bloggers take notice!  Please read and share "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the WSJ.COM Forum."
Sent on behalf of 
These Stone Walls

Where’s Waldo for Catholics

Ex-Unitarian artist makes leap unexpectedly
From the book
From the book
The following comes from a July 4 story in Catholic San Francisco.
Readers who pick up a copy of Catholic Churches, Big and Small may spot their own parish among the 40 archdiocesan churches that make cameo appearances in a new children’s picture book written and illustrated by San Francisco visual artist Stefan Salinas.
The first page of the colorfully illustrated, 48-page book asks children of any age, “Have you ever been inside a Catholic church?” Readers follow the fictional journey of a father, his two children and a nun as they explore the Catholic churches of a single city in a Pope Francis-inspired vintage Renault.
“I visited a lot of parishes to learn about this faith I was entering,” said Salinas, who was raised Unitarian and converted to Catholicism three years ago after completing the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program at St. Vincent de Paul Parish. He is now a parishioner at Most Holy Redeemer Parish.
A fine artist with a degree from the University of Houston, Salinas said he created the book as much for himself as he did Catholic children.
The making of the book was a big part of his Catholic education, he said. He spent more than a year visiting parishes in San Francisco, talking to pastors and parishioners, taking photographs and learning about the history of each church.
In his story, Sister Barbara acts as tour guide to the family and readers. She describes what happens inside a church and why, as the family visits big and small, simple and ornate churches. The children learn about religious art and architecture that exists within their city – not identified as San Francisco but clear at least to adult readers – through church floor plans, artwork and furnishings.
“I consider this book for adults too,” he said. “I’ve had many adult Catholics tell me they learned something they didn’t know.
Salinas talked with Catholic San Francisco at St. Philip the Apostle Church on June 11, a little over a month after the release of his self-published book, with his friend and “technical advisor,” pastor Father Tony La Torre, at his side. The pair sat in the small parish chapel under a large stained-glass depiction of St. Francis and the wolf of Gubbio. Salinas designed and donated the window artwork to the parish last year.
Salinas and Father La Torre leafed through the book, pointing to familiar, unnamed faces that appear throughout, such as that of Auxiliary Bishop William Justice, St. Vincent de Paul pastor Father Kenneth Westray or Church of the Visitacion pastor Father Thuan Hoang. On a spread that shows the Cathedral of St. Mary on Geary Boulevard, Father La Torre is seen walking his dog Tennessee.
“It’s kind of like ‘Where’s Waldo’ for Catholics,” joked Father La Torre, who also identified his parish’s distinctive paschal candle on the page about church furnishings.
After moving to San Francisco 14 years ago, Salinas began attending Mass with Catholic friends on occasion and volunteered with Catholic organizations. He was drawn to the church, he said, but had no real intention of converting. The process of making the book helped change his mind.
“Before I became a Christian, the art and architecture of churches, particularly Catholic ones, drew me in,” he said. “That’s how the spirit started working.
“I unexpectedly became Catholic,” he laughed.
Catholic Churches, Big and Small is available at Books Inc.,, Barnes & Noble, the St. Mary’s Cathedral gift shop and Kaufer’s Religious Supplies. Visit


[Video] Saint Bridget of Sweden

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mary TV Daily Reflection 7/23/2014

Fra Filippo Lippi - Madonna of Humility (Trivu...
Fra Filippo Lippi - Madonna of Humility (Trivulzio Madonna) - WGA13165 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 (c) Mary TV 2014 

July 23, 2014
St. Bridget

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children, I, the mother of all of you gathered here and the mother of the entire world, am blessing you with a motherly blessing and call you to set out on the way of humility. That way leads to the coming to know the love of my Son. My Son is almighty, He is in everything. If you, my children, do not become cognizant of this, then darkness/blindness rule in your soul. Only humility can heal you. My children, I always lived humbly, courageously and in hope. I knew, I became cognizant that God is in us and we are in God. I am asking the same of you. I desire for all of you to be with me in eternity, because you are a part of me. I will help you on your way. My love will envelop you like a mantle and make of you apostles of my light - of God's light. With the love that comes forth from humility you will bring light to where darkness/blindness rule. You will be bringing my Son who is the light of the world. I am always alongside your shepherds and I pray that they may always be an example of humility for you. Thank you." (July 2, 2014)
"With the love that comes forth from humility you will bring light to where darkness/blindness rule."

One last time, I want to address the theme of humility in this message. I believe it is foundational for the plan Our Lady has for all of us as her apostles. She needs humble, childlike apostles. She needs us to have our feet firmly planted on the ground.

I am reading a wonderful book by Fr. Jacques Philippe called "The Way of Trust and Love - A Retreat Guided by St. Therese of Lisieux." Fr. Philippe is an experienced spiritual director, and has invaluable advice for souls seeking God. Here is what he says about humility:

Now, very often what prevents God's grace from acting in depth in our lives, and is therefore a kind of sin, is the failure or refusal to accept ourselves as we are: our past, our mistakes, our physique, what we are on the human level, our psychological make-up, our weaknesses, and all the rest.

It isn't easy. I do a lot of listening and spiritual accompanying, and I have heard hundreds of people say, "Father, I just can't accept myself, I can't bear the way I am." Often I have even heard: "I hate myself!"

This is the opposite of humility, of spiritual childhood. Being a child means accepting ourselves as we are. We know we have plenty of limitations and imperfections, but we don't make a production of it and we don't turn it into a major problem. First, we know that God loves us as we are. He doesn't love us for our achievements and successes, but because he has chosen to adopt us, each of us, as his children, and that's that. His love is unconditional. Second, we are sure that out of our weaknesses, our limitations, and even our sins, God, in his astonishing wisdom, can draw some good. We believe in this truth experienced by St. Paul: the power of God is shown forth in human weakness. We don't get upset about our weaknesses, but accept them in all simplicity. That attitude is an extremely powerful way of attracting God's grace....  

[Fr. Philippe goes on to describe St. Paul's "thorn in the flesh" which God refused to take from him, found in 2 Corinthians. This is an example of a saint having a weakness that he had to accept, no matter how it limited him. St. Paul rose above this weakness by the power of God in him.]...

There are weaknesses God frees us from, but others he leaves with us, precisely so that we stay small and poor, dependent on his grace, compelled to keep calling out to him all the time. Blessed weaknesses that impel us to call on God! For God hears the prayer of the poor, and comes to help them. Sometimes he heals our weaknesses, but sometimes he gives us the grace to live with them trustingly, to accept them peacefully, and accept ourselves as weak and limited.

That is real humility: to accept ourselves as we are, to love ourselves as we are. And it attracts God's grace very powerfully.  (Fr. Jacques Philippe. "The Way of Trust and Love") 

We are all imperfect. We all have weaknesses and failings. As Our Lady says, "Only humility can heal you." It is our acceptance of ourselves and our dependence on God and His strength that will bring wholeness to our lives. We can live holy lives, even in our weaknesses, if we cling to God with peace and trust. This is the little way that Our Lady wants us to follow her upon.

Thanks be to God for such a Mother!!

In Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2014

PS. "The Way of Trust and Love - A Retreat Guided by St. Therese of Lisieux" is available from Scepter Publishers. or ask your local Catholic Book Store to order it for you!

"Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world."
Saint John Paul II
Be connected! 

Celibate Like Christ

Tribulation Times
July 22, 2014  

(1Co 6:19-20) Or know you not that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God: and you are not your own? For you are bought with a great price. Glorify and bear God in your body.

CHIESA: We Priests, Celibate Like Christ by Walter Brandmüller

Dear Mr. Scalfari,

Although I have not enjoyed the privilege of meeting you in person, I would like to revisit your statements concerning celibacy contained in the account of your conversation with Pope Francis, published on July 13, 2014 and immediately disputed in their authenticity by the director of the Vatican press office. As an “old professor” who for thirty years taught Church history at the university, I would like to bring to your attention the current state of the research in this field.

In particular, it must be emphasized in the first place that celibacy by no means dates back to a law invented 900 years after the death of Christ. It is instead the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke that report the words of Jesus in this regard.

Matthew writes (19:29): "And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life."

What Mark writes (10:29) is very similar: “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold."

Luke (18:29ff.) is even more precise: "Truly, I say to you, there is no man who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive manifold more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life."

Jesus does not address these words to the masses, but rather to those whom he sends out to spread his Gospel and proclaim the coming of the kingdom of God.

In order to fulfill this mission it is necessary to free oneself from any earthly and human attachment. And seeing that this separation signifies the loss of what is taken for granted, Jesus promises a "recompense" that is more than appropriate.

At this point it is often highlighted that “leaving everything” referred only to the duration of the voyage of proclaiming his Gospel, and that once they had finished their task the disciples would return to their families. But there is no trace of this. The text of the Gospels, in referring to eternal life, are speaking of something definitive.

Now, seeing that the Gospels were written between 40 and 70 A.D., their redactors would have been brought into a bad light if they had attributed to Jesus words that did not correspond to their conduct of life. Jesus, in fact, demands that those who have been made participants in his mission must also adopt his way of life.

But what does Paul mean, when in the first letter to the Corinthians (9:1, 4-6) he writes: "Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? . . . Do we not have the right to our food and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brethren of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living?" Do not these questions and statements take it for granted that the apostles were accompanied by their wives?

One must proceed with caution here. The apostle's rhetorical questions referred to the right of the one who proclaims the Gospel to live at the expense of the community, and this also applies to the one who accompanies him.

And this obviously brings up the question of who this companion may be. The Greek expression "adelphén gynaìka" requires an explanation. "Adelphe" means sister. And here sister in the faith means a Christian, while "gyne" indicates - more generically - a woman, whether virgin or wife. In short, a female person. This makes it impossible to demonstrate that the apostles were accompanied by wives. Because if this were a case one would be unable to understand why an "adelphe" is distinctly spoken of as a sister, and therefore a Christian. As for the wife, it must be understood that the apostle left her at the time when he became part of the circle of disciples.

Chapter 8 of the Gospel of Luke helps to clarify this. It states: "The twelve were with [Jesus], and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means." From this description it seems logical to deduce that the apostles followed the example of Jesus.

Attention must also be called to the stirring appeal for celibacy or conjugal abstinence made by the apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 7:29ff.): " I mean, brethren, the appointed time has grown very short; from now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none." And again: "The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided." It is clear that Paul is addressing these words in the first place to bishops and priests. And he himself would have adhered to this ideal.

In order to prove that Paul or the Church of apostolic times did not acknowledge celibacy, the letters to Timothy and Titus, the “pastoral letters,” are sometimes brought out as evidence. And in effect, in the first letter to Timothy (3:2) a married bishop is mentioned. And the original Greek text is repeatedly translated in the following way: “Let the bishop be the husband of a woman," which is taken to be a precept. But one needs only a rudimentary knowledge of Greek to translate this correctly: "For this the bishop must be above reproach, married only once (and he must be the husband of a woman!), sober and judicious." And also in the letter to Titus we read: "An elder (meaning a priest or bishop) must be blameless and married only once."

These are indications that tend to rule out the possibility that a priest or bishop should be ordained who has remarried after the death of his wife (successive bigamy). Because apart from the fact that at that time a remarried widower was not looked upon kindly, for the Church there was also the consideration that in this way a man could never give any guarantee to respect abstinence, to which a bishop or priest would have to devote himself.


The original form of celibacy therefore allowed the priest or bishop to continue his family life, but not his conjugal life. For this reason as well the preference was to ordain men who had reached an advanced age.

The fact that all of this can be traced back to ancient and sacred apostolic traditions is testified to by the works of ecclesiastical writers like Clement of Alexandria and the north African Tertullian, who lived in the 2nd-3rd century after Christ. Another witness of the high consideration bestowed on abstinence among Christians is a series of edifying tales of the apostles, the apocryphal 'Acts of the Apostles' composed in the 2nd century and widely read.

In the 3rd century the literary documentation on the abstinence of the clergy multiplied and became increasingly explicit, especially in the East. For example, here is a passage from the Syrian 'Didascalia': "The bishop, before he is ordained, must be put to the test to establish if he is chaste and has raised his children in the fear of God." The great theologian Origen of Alexandria (3rd century) also recognized the celibacy of abstinence as binding; a celibacy that he explains and explores theologically in various works. And obviously there are other documents that could be brought forward in support, something that obviously is not possible here.


It was the Council of Elvira in 305-306 that put this practice of apostolic origin into the form of a law. With canon 33, the Council prohibited bishops, priests, deacons, and all other clergy from having conjugal relations with their wives, and likewise prohibited them from having children. At the time it was therefore thought that conjugal abstinence was compatible with family life. Thus even the sainted pope Leo I, called Leo the Great, wrote around 450 that ordained men did not have to repudiate their wives. They were to remain together with them, but as if "they did not have them," as Paul writes in the first letter to the Corinthians (7:29).

With the passing of time there was an increasing tendency to ordain only celibate men. The codification would come in the Middle Ages, an era in which it was taken for granted that the priest and bishop would be celibate. It was another matter that the canonical discipline was not always followed to the letter, but this should not come as a surprise. And, as is in the nature of things, the observance of celibacy has seen highs and lows over the course of the centuries.

There is, for example, the famous and fiery dispute in the 11th century, at the time of what is called the Gregorian reform. At that juncture one witnessed a split that was so stark - especially in the German and French churches - as to lead the German prelates who were contrary to celibacy to forcibly expel from his diocese the bishop Altmann of Passau. In France, the pope's emissaries who were charged with insisting on the discipline of celibacy were threatened with death, and at a synod held in Paris the sainted abbot Walter of Pontoise was beaten by bishops opposed to celibacy and was thrown in prison. In spite of this the reform succeeded and a renewed religious springtime took place.

It is interesting to note that the contestation of the precept of celibacy has always coincided with signs of decadence in the Church, while in times of renewed faith and cultural blossoming one has noted a strengthened observance of celibacy. 

And it is certainly not difficult to draw historical parallels with the current crisis from these observations.


 Two questions that are frequently posed still remain open. There is the one concerning the practice of celibacy on the part of the Catholic Church of the Byzantine empire and of the Eastern rite, which does not admit marriage for bishops and monks but grants it for priests on the condition that they be married before they receive the sacrament. And taking precisely this practice as their example, there are some who ask if it could not be adopted by the Latin West as well.

In this regard must be emphasized in the first place that it was precisely in the East that the practice of abstinent celibacy was held to be binding. And it was only during the Council of 691, called "Quinisextum" or "Trullanum," when the religious and cultural decadence of the Byzantine empire was evident, that the rupture with the apostolic patrimony was reached. This Council, influenced to a great extent by the emperor, who wanted new legislation to restore order in relations, was never recognized by the popes. It was precisely then that the Church of the East adopted its practice. When later, beginning in the 16th and 17th centuries, and afterward, various Orthodox Churches returned to the Church of the West, the problem was posed in Rome about how to deal with the married clergy of those Churches. The various popes decided, for the good and unity of the Church, not to require any modification in their way of life for priests who had returned to the mother Church.


There is a similar motivation behind the papal dispensation from celibacy granted - beginning with Pius XII - to the Protestant pastors who convert to the Catholic Church and want to be ordained priests. This rule was recently applied by Benedict XVI to the numerous Anglican prelates who wanted to unite, in conformity with the apostolic constitution “Anglicanorum Coetibus," with the Catholic mother Church. With this extraordinary concession, the Church recognizes the long and sometimes painful religious journey of these men of faith who have reached their destination with conversion. A destination that in the name of truth leads those directly concerned to renounce even the financial support realized until that moment. It is the unity of the Church, a good of immense value, that justifies these exceptions.


But apart from these exceptions, the other fundamental question is raised, and that is: can the Church be authorized to renounce an evident apostolic patrimony?

This is an option that is continually taken into consideration. Some think that this decision could not be taken only by a part of the Church, but by a general Council. In this way it is thought that in spite of not involving all the ecclesiastical ranks, at least for some the obligation of celibacy could be relaxed if not abolished outright. And what appears inopportune today could be the reality tomorrow. But if there were the desire to do this one would have to bring back to the forefront the binding element of the apostolic traditions. And one could also ask if, with a decision made in the assembly of a Council, it would be possible to abolish the celebration of Sunday, which, if one wished to be meticulous, has fewer biblical foundations than celibacy.

To conclude, allow me to advance a consideration projected into the future: if it is still valid to contend that every ecclesiastical reform worthy of this definition must emerge from a profound understanding of the ecclesiastical faith, then the current dispute over celibacy would be overcome through a deepened understanding of what it means to be a priest. And if it were understood and taught that the priesthood is not a function of service exercised in the name of the community, but that the priest - by virtue of the sacrament received - teachers, guides, and sanctifies “in persona Christi," all the more so would it be understood that it is precisely for this reason that he also takes on Christ's way of life. And a priesthood understood and lived in this way would once again exercise a power of attraction over the finest of the young.

As for the rest, it must be taken into account that celibacy, just like virginity in the name of the Kingdom of Heaven, will always be troublesome for those who have a secularized conception of life. But as Jesus said in this regard: “He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.”

RELATED: 10 Reasons for Priestly Celibacy

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Discretion

34. Macarius said, 'If we remember the evil that men have done us, we close our minds to the power of remembering God. But if we remember the evil which the devils cause, we shall be undisturbed.'

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Mary TV Daily Reflection 7/22/2014

Madonna of humility by Fra Angelico, c. 1430.
Madonna of humility by Fra Angelico, c. 1430. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 (c) Mary TV 2014 


July 22, 2014
St. Mary Magdalene

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children, I, the mother of all of you gathered here and the mother of the entire world, am blessing you with a motherly blessing and call you to set out on the way of humility. That way leads to the coming to know the love of my Son. My Son is almighty, He is in everything. If you, my children, do not become cognizant of this, then darkness/blindness rule in your soul. Only humility can heal you. My children, I always lived humbly, courageously and in hope. I knew, I became cognizant that God is in us and we are in God. I am asking the same of you. I desire for all of you to be with me in eternity, because you are a part of me. I will help you on your way. My love will envelop you like a mantle and make of you apostles of my light - of God's light. With the love that comes forth from humility you will bring light to where darkness/blindness rule. You will be bringing my Son who is the light of the world. I am always alongside your shepherds and I pray that they may always be an example of humility for you. Thank you." (July 2, 2014)

Today I want to share an excerpt from "True Devotion to Mary" by St. Louis de Montfort. St. Louis describes how devotion to Jesus through Mary is a humble way, and that is why it is good for us. It reminded me so much of this message of July 2, 2014, in which Our Lady recommends the humble way to us. I am always blessed when I read St. Louis de Montfort and compare what he says to Our Lady's messages. They confirm each other!!

True Devotion to Mary: Paragraphs 83-86:

IT [True Devotion to Mary] IS more perfect, because it is more humble, not to approach God of ourselves, without taking a mediator. The very foundation of our nature, as I have just shown, is so corrupted, that if we lean on our own works, industries, and preparations, in order to reach God and to please Him, it is certain that our justices will be defiled, or be of little weight before God, to engage Him to unite Himself to us, and to hear us. It is not without reason that God has given us mediators with His Majesty. He has seen our unworthiness and incapacity. He has had pity upon us; and, in order to give us access to His mercies, He has provided us with powerful intercessors with His grandeur, insomuch that to neglect these mediators, and to draw near to His holiness directly, and without any recommendation, is to fail in humility. It is to fail in respect towards God, so high and so holy. It is to make less account of that King of kings than we should make of a king or prince of earth, whom we should not willingly approach without some friend to speak for us.

Our Lord is our Advocate and Mediator of redemption with God the Father. It is by Him that we ought to pray, in union with the whole Church triumphant and militant. It is by Him that we have access to the Majesty of the Father, before whom we ought never to appear except leaning on the merits, and indeed clothed with the merits, of His Son; just as the young Jacob came before his father Isaac in the skins of the kids to receive his benediction.

But have we not need of a mediator with the Mediator Himself? Is our purity great enough to unite us directly to Him, and by ourselves? Is He not God, in all things equal to His Father, and by consequence the Holy of Holies, as worthy of respect as His Father? If, by His infinite charity, He has made Himself our bail and our Mediator with God His Father, in order to appease Him and to pay Him what we owed Him, are we on that account to have less respect and less fear for His Majesty and His Sanctity?

Let us say boldly with St. Bernard, that we have need of a mediator with the Mediator Himself, and that it is the divine Mary who is the most capable of filling that charitable office. It is by her that Jesus Christ came, and it is by her that we must go to Him. If we fear to go directly to Jesus Christ our God, whether because of His infinite greatness, or because of our vileness, or because of our sins, let us boldly implore the aid and intercession of Mary our Mother. She is good, she is tender, she has nothing in her austere or repulsive, nothing too sublime and too brilliant. In seeing her, we see our pure nature. She is not the sun, who, by the vivacity of his rays, blinds us because of our weakness; but she is fair and gentle as the moon, which receives the light of the sun, and tempers it to render it more suitable to our capacity. She is so charitable that she repels none of those who ask her intercession, no matter how great sinners they have been; for, as the Saints say, never has it been heard since the world was the world, that anyone has confidently and perseveringly had recourse to our Blessed Lady, and yet has been repelled. She is so powerful that never have any of her petitions been refused. She has but to show herself before her Son to pray to Him, and straightway He grants her desires, straightway He receives her prayers. He is always lovingly vanquished by the breasts, the yearnings, and the prayers of His dearest Mother.

All this is drawn from St. Bernard and from St. Bonaventure, so that, according to them, we have three steps to mount to go to God: the first, which is the nearest to us, and the most suited to our capacity, is Mary; the second is Jesus Christ; and the third is God the Father. To go to Jesus, we must go to Mary; she is our mediatrix of intercession. To go to God the Father, we must go to Jesus; for He is our Mediator of redemption. Now it is by the devotion which I am about to bring forward, that this order is guarded perfectly.

"I, the mother of all of you gathered here and the mother of the entire world, am blessing you with a motherly blessing and call you to set out on the way of humility. That way leads to the coming to know the love of my Son."

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2014

"Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world."
Saint John Paul II
Be connected!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Christian Holocaust Underway in Iraq, USA and World Look on

Tribulation Times
July 21, 2014  

(Mat 5:11-12) Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.

NEWS.VA: “Today our brothers are persecuted” – the Pope said – "they are banished from their homes and forced to flee without even being able to take their belongings!”  And, assured them of his closeness and constant prayer he said: “My dear brothers and sisters who are persecuted, I know how much you suffer; I know that you are deprived of all. I am with you in faith in He who conquered evil”.  The Pope then appealed to all – to those present in the Square and far beyond – to persevere in praying for peace in all situations of tension and conflict in the world, and he especially mentioned the Middle East and Ukraine.  “May the God of peace” – Francis said – “arouse in all an authentic desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence cannot be overcome with violence. Violence is overcome with peace!”
BREITBART NEWS: Christian Holocaust Underway in Iraq, USA and World Look on

ALETEIA: Kristallnacht in Iraq

AINA NEWS: ISIS Statement Ordering Christians to Convert or Die

Praise be to God and glory to Islam in its victory, humiliation to the polytheist in their subjugation, and renderer of his righteousness, and peace and blessings on whoever God lifted the illumination of Islam with his sword, and hereafter:

And when a community among them said: "Why do you preach to a people whom Allah is about to destroy or to punish with a severe torment?" (The preachers) said: "In order to be free from guilt before your Lord (Allah), and perhaps they may fear Allah." al-Araf (163) [sic].

After the heads of Christians and their followers were notified of the date to be present to demonstrate their presence in the Khalifate state in the Wilaya (State) of Nineveh they turned away and failed to come at the appointed time and of which were notified in advance, and it was decided to offer them one of the three:
  1. Islam (to become Muslim).
  2. Pay Jizya (which is taking tribute for being Christians).
  3. If they refuse, there is nothing for them but the sword.
The Prince of the Faithful Caliph Ibrahim -- God Glorify him -- will allow them to evacuate themselves only from the borders of the state Alkhalafah by Saturday, Ramadan 21, 1435 [July 19, 2014] noon hour, and after this date, the only thing between us and them is the sword.

Glory to God, his Prophet and the believers that the hypocrites do not know.

FIDES.ORGThe last Christian families leave Mosul

EXCERPT REUTERS: Iraqi bishop urges world to act after Mosul's Christians forced to flee

"The world must act, speak out, consider human rights," Chaldean Catholic Bishop Shlemon Warduni said on Sunday, a day after a deadline expired for Christians in Mosul to submit to the rule of the radical Islamic State or die.

Hundreds of Christian families left the city ahead of the ultimatum, many of them stripped of their possessions as they fled for safety, the remnants of a community which once numbered in the tens of thousands.

"Gunmen lurking like thieves took everything from them - even women's rings, cars, cell phones... because they are fanatics," Warduni told Reuters by telephone from the city of Arbil, 50 miles (80 km) away in the autonomous Kurdish region.

The bishop said the solution to the crisis should be in Iraq's own hands but the state was weak and divided, and Muslim leaders had failed to speak out.

"We haven't heard from clerics from all sects or from the government," he said. "The Christians are sacrificed for Iraq".

BISHOP EDWARD J. BURNS: A Bishop's Perspective: The cry of Christians in Iraq

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Discretion

31. A brother asked Joseph, 'What shall I do? I cannot bear to be tempted, nor to work, nor to give alms'. He said to him, 'If you cannot do any of these, at least keep your conscience clear from every sin against your neighbour, and you will be saved, for God looks for the soul that does not sin.'

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Mary TV Daily Reflection 7/21/2014

 (c) Mary TV 2014 


July 21, 2014
Saint Lawrence of Brandisi

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. Little children, believe that by simple prayer miracles can be worked. Through your prayer you open your heart to God and He works miracles in your life. By looking at the fruits, your heart fills with joy and gratitude to God for everything He does in your life and, through you, also to others. Pray and believe little children, God gives you graces and you do not see them. Pray and you will see them. May your day be filled with prayer and thanksgiving for everything that God gives you. Thank you for having responded to my call." October 25, 2002

Yesterday (July 20, 2014) a remarkable homily was given by a Dominican priest in Medjugorje on the Gospel reading, Matthew 13:24-43. I just couldn't let this one slip away. If it is too much to read, watch the archive of the mass for that day. What a joy to hear the Word of God proclaimed so well:

One of the supreme mortifications of my misspent youth was being charged with the maintenance of our lawn and it never occurred to me as a young man to blame an enemy for the preponderance of dandelions that had overtaken our garden. The Lord today opens His mouth in parables and announces mysteries hidden from the foundation of the world.

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, and there He put the man that He had formed. The Lord at the beginning reveals Himself as a gardener who sows a Paradise. And the man is the good seed that He plants, the finest of all His fruit. When He has adorned everything, and prepared the earth, this living spirit which He creates is His finest fruit from the Tree of Life, a living fruit that He plants in His garden. And it is the fruit of the man, the fruit of this living spirit which He wishes to enjoy and taste, the love of this man which the Lord Himself wishes to come and find, perfuming and irradiating His garden.

And yet when the Lord plants this garden in the beginning, an enemy comes at night. He comes at night, we hear in the parable. This is a beautiful ...that resonates down through all the Scriptures. Those who perform works of light, live in the light. Those who perform works of darkness, hide themselves in the darkness. The serpent comes, the evil one comes, bringing the works of darkness, these works that hide themselves. These works that wear a mask. These works of darkness come and spoil the garden that the Lord has made. 1 John says that anyone who says that he lives in the light and yet hates his brother remains in the darkness. Anyone who says that he lives in the light but does not bear the love of God that is the Holy Spirit that is poured into our hearts, the light that is the Spirit, the light that radiates down from heaven, remains in the darkness and becomes a week within this garden that the Lord has planted. And these weeds that sprout and overwhelm the garden are the works of darkness that St. Paul speaks about. These are the works of darkness: cursing and anger, gossip and slander, calumny and judgment, enmity and strife, jealousy and dissension, divorce and fornication, pornography and licentiousness, drunkenness and carousing...all the works of darkness that bring a shadow upon our hearts and smother the light and love of God which lives within us. All these works of darkness spoil the garden that the Lord has made.

They spoil the garden of our own soul, and in another image that fills all of the Scriptures, this Promised Land, this land that was meant to flow with milk and honey, with all the grace that pours out from the heart of God, is overrun with briars and brambles. And the paradise itself becomes a thicket, overrun with the foul deeds of our own fallen hearts.

What happens at the foundations of creation is renewed and remade and redone, when the Son of Man comes and plants a new seed, plants a new garden which is the seed of His own life. When the corn falls to the earth and dies so that it can bear much fruit, the Lord creates a new creation. And the Lord in His first appearance after His resurrection is mistaken for nothing other than a gardener. He dies and He is buried in a garden, in an unused tomb, and Mary Magdalene takes Him for the gardener.

The Lord remakes His garden, He remakes His garden in the second creation where a New Adam is planted in the heart of the earth, as a true living tree of life that bears much fruit, a hundredfold, and a hundred hundredfold. And it pours forth fruit, and in this fruit is found the seed of the Word, the seed of the Word is planted in the heart of every Christian. So every Christian participates and expands this field in which was planted the one good seed, and so all of us become living seeds.

By the Word of God a living seed is planted in each of our hearts. By the gift of Baptism the seed of the Word of God is planted in our heart as a down payment, the first fruits of the Holy Spirit and we become trees in the garden of God. And we are to bear more fruit, and to scatter the seed of the Word of God throughout the World.

And so the garden has become again a place where a new Seed has been planted, but again the enemy comes and plants evil seeds. And this theme of old recurs, the enemy, the serpent, the dragon, comes again to plant his darkness, these seeds. And yet the message that the Lord gives us today in this parable, is the message above all that the Lord wishes to save us. The Lord wishes to save us who are in the new creation but crowded in, pressed in, hemmed in by the plants of the world, by the weeds of the world. By the foul and rotten fruits that are produced by the devil and the world. Because we know very well that even within the new creation we yet find the works of Satan. Even in the world that the Lord has come to redeem.

And so the parable that the Lord gives us, this mystery that the Lord gives us, reveals three very simple things. It reveals first that we have an enemy. I never thought to blame an enemy for the mismanagement of our own garden, it would have been clever...But what the Lord reveals today is a sadly forgotten truth that the devil exists. That the evil one exists, and that the evil one wishes to destroy the garden that the Lord has planted, which is the garden of the Church, which is the garden of our own soul. And so we fight the world, and the flesh, and the devil. And he comes to attack us and to assail us. The evil one is clever and powerful and he sleeps not and he comes at night, when we pay no attention. When my mind doses for a second because the preacher preaches too long. When I fail to pay attention when the Gospel is read, and the Word is lost to me and the seed drops by the wayside and is lost forever. These seeds that fall upon the rocky soil. They never touch the good soil of my heart. When I sleep in the presence of the Lord, the evil one comes and step by step, though I never notice, I wander away from the Lord. And I wake up one morning and I find that my garden is overgrown with weeds. And I ask "How has this happened? Who has made this happen?"

The evil one, who is the prince of this world, the prince of darkness, the evil one to whom all the power of all the kingdoms has been given. The prince of this world rules this world, not the world to come. He rules our televisions and he rules our radios, and he rules all the voices that we hear that are also planting seeds. Through my ears and through my eyes they are planting seeds within my heart. The evil one is planting his weeds in my heart. And in my passions, and in my affections and in my mind. He is planting these weeds in order to destroy the fruit that the Lord would bear there.

And so we have this enemy that pressed in upon us from the world, and yet comes with a strategy, it is not a mindless chance. We have an enemy who knows us and watches us, who St. Peter says is prowling like a roaring lion waiting to find someone to devour. If we would be wise, as the Lord says, we who have ears should hear. WE should know. He has even planted in our flesh, in our fallen flesh, which wars against the spirit. St. Paul says, within myself I feel a war, within my members, and the good I would do I do not do. There is a weakness in me and I see the good and it lies beyond my grasp. This is the enemy, these are the weeds of the enemy that would overwhelm the Church.

This leads us to the second point, very important point, that there are imposters among us. I might even be an imposter. Even in the garden of the Church, St. Paul is remarkably strong on this point and even coins interesting new words, the "pseudo-apostoloi" - false apostles - and pseudo-adelphoi - false brethren. There are those who look like Christians, those among us who look very much like wheat, and we cannot tell what is what. They come to mass, they come to confession. They stand in the confession line. I tell you, I have sat in the confessional many, many times and heard horrible confessions. These people come and give the sense that their hearts are clean, pure, and they do what they should do. And yet the fruits of the Spirit, these 12 fruits of the Spirit that John says will come every month for the healing of the nations, and yet these 12 fruits (one for each month) are not being born in my life. And so Pope Paul VI said, even the smoke of Satan has entered the Church. Here among us, John in all three of his epistles speaks of these antichrists among us. And this is remarkable, St Paul when he speaks of these false brethren says that it is no wonder that they masquerade, it is no wonder when the ministers of Satan masquerade because Satan himself can appear as an angel of light. I only heard this morning that that happened in an apparition here. Satan dressed up like Our Lady. He found a second hand shop somewhere and got Our Lady dresses and showed up. And the visionaries recognized him. There are stories of this in the lives of the saints. There are stories of this in the Dominican Order. Satan came neatly disguised (with the mustache and glasses) as Our Lady and the Friar said "Command me to do something against obedience." And "She" did and immediately "puff!" He was gone. The evil one dresses like an angel of light. And so we find ourselves in a state of great confusion. We find ourselves in a world confused, mingled with words that "sound" like the words of the Gospel, and which come to us as the words of salvation and everlasting life and abundant life, and they promise abundant life, and yet they are rotten within. White washed tombs, the Lord said, filled with dead men's bones.

So, third point, we find ourselves with the enemy and also with an enemy within. Solzhenitsyn, the great prisoner in the Soviet gulags, said it is a very important point to realize, I do not draw the line between good and evil as a line between us and them. The line between good and evil is a line that cuts straight through the center of my heart. So even here, in the garden of my heart there is an imposter. Even here in the garden of my heart I am bearing forth sour fruit. So this must be uprooted. This is the good news of the Gospel today. The Lord would not lose a single fruit that He would have of us. I am a great fan of the Blueberry. I was picking blueberries six years ago, and I nearly destroyed myself, trying to get every last berry. This is the way that the Lord is. He does not wish to leave a single fruit untouched in our hearts, He wishes to have them all. And so He is patient with us and He does not bring the judgment upon us before the time. The Lord says in John 15, that He would have us bear fruit, but He would have us bear more fruit. This is the message that He gives us.

We have this beautiful word in the first reading from the Book of Wisdom, "Though you are the master of might, you judge with clemency. With much lenience you govern us. You gave your children good ground for hope." We hear of the fire, we hear that the weeds will be gathered into bundles to be burned. And there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. We must remember the judgment. WE must hear that the works of darkness cannot survive in heaven. Believe me, people, it would not be heaven if we all went there as we currently are. It would just be a very, very long family reunion. It would be miserable. We have to be different. We have to be perfected, we have to be divinized. We have to be holy. This means everything foul within us must be burned. And we must be saved as if through fire, as St. Paul says. So all of the foul fruit within us must be bundled and burned. And burned in the confessional. We bundle it ourselves, we cooperate with the angels, and we bundle our sins and we give them to the priest, who with the power of the Holy Spirit burns them to ash. WE are made clean, we are made new, and we are made citizens of heaven.

And so we pray that in this way we may not be sterile. We might not be these thistles in the heart of Church that prick those around us, but that we might be this new fruit, this new Adam who is meant to bear fruit with abundance. The Lord sees us, he sees the good within us, He sees the Holy Spirit He has given to us, and He sees us as He sees the Bride. From the Canticle of Canticles, "She is as a Lily among the brambles." The Lord has the eyes to see even among the nations of the world, and even within the heart of the Church, He sees that the heart of the Church is immaculate, flawless, sinless and beautiful. And He sees this within our souls, He sees the Holy Spirit in our souls, the Holy Spirit He has given. He sees us as something beautiful, as a flower in the midst of thorns. He wishes to pluck it, to save it, the Lord wishes to see that everything in us that can die will die so that only that which cannot die remains. That is the flower of the Spirit, the flower and the fruits of the Holy Spirit, the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit.

So what the Lord begs of us today is what He has begged from the moment that John the Baptist announced His coming, "Show forth the fruits worthy of repentance." Bring forth the fruit of the garden which the Lord has planted from the foundation of the world. WE will see in the Lord the face of a father delighting in his children. And the child's heart will spring with joy to see the joy on the face of the Father. This is the beatitude that the Lord calls us to from all eternity.

Finally we are called to be leaven in the world, in three measures of flour, we are the good leaven to bring forth nourishment for the world. So we thank the Lord for His Word, for this place of pilgrimage where we can open our hearts anew, and we pray that the Spirit would descend upon our hearts and fill our minds with light so that our lives might bring forth this fruit for the healing of the nations. Amen.

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2014

PS. Fruit of Medjugorje!!! Tonight! 8:00 pm EDT

"Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world."
Saint John Paul II
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