Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tomorrow, May 1st. is a special day for all of us! First it's the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord!
Second, it is the Feast of Saint Joseph the Workman, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary!
Third, it is the National Day of Prayer in the United States of America!
Below is a message regarding this Day of Prayer:

Fr. Pavone on National Day of Prayer: Let Us Pray for an End to Abortion

STATEN ISLAND, Ny., April 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today urged Christians to participate in tomorrow's 57th Annual National Day of Prayer, and to include the unborn in their prayers.

"On this National Day of Prayer, we turn to God in Jesus' Name, and His blessing on our nation, our leaders, and our fellow citizens. Moreover, we pray for an end to the most pervasive form of violence, that which occurs against children in the womb."

Fr. Pavone praised Shirley Dobson and her entire team for the work they put into this annual effort. "It is an inspiration to see all that the Dobsons have done for our nation and for the Body of Christ."

Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro- life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit

In South Dakota

M A R K  M A L L E T T

–––S P I R I T U A L  F O O D  F O R  T H O U G H T–––

In South Dakota


DEAR friends… just a quick note from a rest stop as we enter South Dakota. Tonight and tomorrow, my wife and I will be presenting our final Encounters With Jesus here in the United States. Please see our schedule here.

I have much to write you, but have struggled to find time for ministry, prayer, writing and driving the bus! (However, when I repost an older writing, it is because I feel it is the "word" we need to hear again.)

Please keep my family and I in your prayers for our safety and spiritual protection. Regarding our bus, we hear a vibration coming from the drive-train, so it sounds like we need to head to the repair shop once again. Perhaps I will finally have a moment to write! By the way, we are so grateful to those who on their own initiative have sent us donations to help cover the costly repairs we have faced. As we depend entirely upon you and our CD sales to not only continue our ministry but buy diapers, we want to deeply thank you!

Remember, you are loved! Christ is our hope and our life and is as near to you as your breath. We are not orphaned. We are not abandoned. Be not afraid!

Read: Be Not Afraid of the Future

You are loved!

For those inquiring about donations, see this page or click on "DONATIONS" in the menu bar to the right on the web page.

All Mark's writings can be found at:  Spiritual Food For Thought

Listen to Mark's music on his official website:


And he strictly charged him and forthwith sent him away. And he saith to him: "See thou tell no one; but go, shew thyself to the high priest and offer for thy cleansing the things that Moses commanded, for a testimony to them." (Mark 1:43-44)

THE COMMAND OF JESUS TO SUBMIT TO GOD'S PRIESTS: As Christ would not have cured the leper, if he had refused to show himself to the priest, so now no one obtains forgiveness of his sins, unless he reveals them to the priest in confession.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.] (1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The body of St. Padre Pio exhumed last week

September 25, 2006

“…Imitate the lives of saints and may they be an example for you…”

October 25, 1994

“…I invite you to open yourselves and to live, taking the saints as an example. Mother Church has chosen them, that they may be an impulse for your daily life…”

October 25, 2004

“…Imitate the lives of saints so that they may be an incentive and teachers on the way of holiness…”

Body of St. Padre Pio

The body of Padre Pio exhumed last week. Archbishop Domenico D’Ambrosio, who led the service to exhume the body of St. Padre Pio, said, “We could clearly make out the beard. The top part of the skull is partly skeletal but the chin is perfect and the rest of the body is well preserved. The knees, hands and nails were all clearly visible.” Part of St. Padre Pio’s face has been treated by a mortician

This picture witnesses a real live miracle ongoing, that the body of a saint after 40 years of death looks not even dead but only asleep. Many who have gone to Medjugorje have had devotion to Padre Pio. Marija once said, “Once you have converted but do not regularly read about the saints, you will have a hard time keeping converted.” Why would this be? Because the trials and difficulties that come with conversion must be navigated through. The saints have cut the trail and their lives are the map. Thank Our Lady so that She will thank God for the miracles occurring in our midst, directly before our eyes. Stare at the picture. Mediate upon the miracle, an active super-natural grace where after 40 years, St. Padre Pio’s body has been well preserved. Archbishop D’Ambrosio said upon exhuming the body, “If Padre Pio allows me, I might say he looks as though he just had a manicure.” What a grace for those who went face to face with this saint in Confession and now over 40 years in the grave, look again face to face.

March 25, 1992

“…pray, live my messages and then you will see the miracles of God’s love in your every day life…”

In the life of Our Lady
-A Friend of Medjugorje

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And there came a leper to him, beseeching him and kneeling down, said to him: "If thou wilt thou canst make me clean." And Jesus, having compassion on him, stretched forth his hand and touching him saith to him: "I will. Be thou made clean." And when he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him: and he was made clean. (Mark 1:40-42)

THE GOODNESS AND COMPASSION OF JESUS: Our Lord did not drive the leper from Him, but "had compassion on him," and touched him who was counted as unclean. And now also, Jesus drives no sinner from Him, however foul and unclean he may be, if only he will believe and do penance. Our Lord was quite ready to go to visit and help the centurion's sick servant; but in our case He condescends not merely to come into our house, but into our very hearts, in Holy Communion, so as to strengthen us, His feeble servants, and keep us in His grace.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.] (1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Coming Pentecost

Coptic icon of Pentecost

First published June 6th, 2007, the content of this writing comes back to me with a new sense of immediacy. Are we drawing nearer to this moment than we realize? (I have updated this writing, inserting recent comments from Pope Benedict.)

WHILE the meditations of late are somber and call us to deeper repentance and trust in God, they are not a message of doom. They are the herald of the end of a season, the "fall" of mankind, so to speak, when the purifying winds of Heaven will blow away the dead leaves of sin and rebellion. They speak of a winter in which those things of the flesh which are not of God will be brought to death, and those things which are rooted in Him will bloom in a glorious "new springtime" of joy and life!


The age of ministries is ending…

These words entered my heart sometime last year, and have grown in intensity. It is the sense that the worldly structures and models of ministries as we know them are coming to an end. Ministry, however, will not. Rather, the Body of Christ will begin to move truly as a body, with a supernatural unity, power, and authority unparalleled since the first Pentecost.

God is forming a new wineskin in which He is going to pour forth New Wine.

The new wineskin will be a new unity within the Body of Christ marked by humility, docility, and obedience to the will of God.

If we are to be true forces of unity, let us be the first to seek inner reconciliation through penance. Let us forgive the wrongs we have suffered and put aside all anger and contention. Let us be the first to demonstrate the humility and purity of heart which are required to approach the splendor of God’s truth. In fidelity to the deposit of faith entrusted to the Apostles, let us be joyful witnesses of the transforming power of the Gospel! …In this way, the Church in America will know a new springtime in the Spirit… —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Homily, New York City, April 19th, 2008

In a word, the new wineskin is the Heart of Mary being formed in her apostles. The consecration to, and devotion of her children to her Heart is the means by which the Holy Spirit forms her heart within us, and through her, Jesus. Just as 2000 years ago the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary when she was ready to conceive, so too now, Mary is helping to prepare this "new wineskin" so that the Spirit of Jesus may be manifest in us. The Church will then say with one voice,

It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. (Gal 2:20)


How can we not see the extraordinary presence of Mary in our times as a sign for us? She has gathered us into the upper room of her heart. And just as she was present for the first Pentecost, so too her intercession and presence will help bring about a "new" Pentecost.

The Holy Spirit, finding his dear Spouse present again in souls, will come down into them with great power. He will fill them with his gifts, especially wisdom, by which they will produce wonders of grace… that age of Mary, when many souls, chosen by Mary and given her by the the most High God, will hide themselves completely in the depths of her soul, becoming living copies of her, loving and glorifying Jesus. —St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, n.217, Montfort Publications

My sense is that a fresh Pentecost will begin with the "warning" or "illumination of conscience" spoken of by the mystics and saints (see The Eye of the Storm). It will be a glorious time of strengthening, healing, and other miracles. Many of those for whom we have been presently offering prayers and supplications for God’s Mercy will have an opportunity to repent. Yes, pray, hope, and pray some more! And be prepared by remaining in a state of grace (not in mortal sin).

Those who have hardened their hearts and remain obstinate, however, will be subject to God’s judgment. That is, the illumination will also serve to further separate the weeds from the wheat. After this period of evangelization, prior to when Christ establishes a "thousand year" period of "rest", there may arise the "Beast and the False Prophet" (Rev 13:1-18) who will work great "signs and wonders" so as to distort the truth and reality of what the "illumination" was, and deceive those who have fallen away in this present season of "great apostasy" and who refuse to repent. As Jesus said, "he who does not believe is condemned already" (John 3:18).

Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thess 2:11:)


I pray now that we comprehend the urgency of our days. I pray we perceive why Mary begs us to intercede for souls. May we understand more deeply the tears which freely flow from her eyes in her images and statues throughout the world. There are many souls yet to be saved, and she counts upon us. Through our prayers and fasting, perhaps the days will be shortened as we pray, "Thy Kingdom come."

But there is also much joy in this beloved Mother! Mary is preparing us for the coming of the Kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit, in a new outpouring, and for the end of this season of fall and the arrival of the Great Harvest. My heart is filled with great anticipation and joy! I sense already, like the first heat of morning, the graces and power and love of God which will flow through these earthen vessels of ours. It will be like an "Indian Summer" before the winter comes, and the door of the Ark is shut.

It is the anticipation of the Triumph of Mary… the Triumph of the Church.

Glory and praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, my King, My God, and my All!! Praise Him brothers! Praise Him sisters! Praise Him all creation! These are the days of Elijah!

…let us implore from God the grace of a new Pentecost… May tongues of fire, combining burning love of God and neighbor with zeal for the spread of Christ’s Kingdom, descend on all present! —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Homily, New York City, April 19th, 2008

God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. (2 Tim 1:7)

Be open to Christ, welcome the Spirit, so that a new Pentecost may take place in every community! A new humanity, a joyful one, will arise from your midst; you will experience again the saving power of the Lord. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, "Address to Bishops of Latin America," L’Osservatore Romano (English language edition), October 21, 1992, p.10, sec.30.

Come, Holy Spirit,
come by means of the powerful Intercession of
the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
your well beloved spouse.

Mary Vitamin for April 28th
Topic: Feast Day of St. Louis de Montfort
“The Angelic Salutation is a most concise summary of all that Catholic theology teaches about the Blessed Virgin.”
St. Louis De Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary, The Fifteenth Rose.
St. Louis de Montfort
“In the Angelic Salutation can be seen the faith and hope of the patriarchs, the prophets and the apostles. Furthermore it gives to martyrs their unswerving constancy and strength, it is the wisdom of the doctors of the Church, the perseverance of holy confessors and the life of all religious. It is also the new hymn of the law of grace, the joy of angels and men, and the hymn which terrifies devils and put them to shame. […] Finally, the Angelic Salutation is a rainbow in the heavens, a sign of the mercy and grace which God has given to the world.
St. Louis De Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary, The Fifteenth Rose.
Today when I need to see a rainbow of hope, I will turn to the Hail Mary as my sign of hope, like the rainbow of Noah, the sign of God’s promise.
Today, I will try to keep the Hail Mary as my constant companion.
Marian Vow:
St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi, a Carmelite, never went on missions but she had the missionary spirit:
“Let us ask for as many souls as the number of steps we take in the convent, and as many as the number of words we chant in the Divine Office.”
The Autobiography of St. Anthony Mary Claret, (Tan Books), 74.
(St. Anthony Mary Claret, a great missionary and Marian saint, admired St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi.)
I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for grace received.

Visit This Group

And the centurion, making answer, said: "Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this, Go, and he goeth, and to another Come, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it." And Jesus hearing this, marvelled; and said to them that followed him. "Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven: But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." And Jesus said to the centurion: "Go, and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee." And the servant was healed at the same hour. (Matt. 8:8-13)

OUR LORD'S PROPHECY about the extension of His Church is another proof of His Divinity. The heathen centurion believed, whereas the Pharisees and their many adherents would not believe. Our Lord made this the occasion of uttering the significant and striking prophecy that many heathens, all over the world, would believe in Him, becoming thereby the spiritual children of Abraham, and would possess the kingdom of heaven promised to him; whilst, on the other hand, the Israelites, the real descendants of Abraham, who were called into the kingdom of heaven before any one else, would not, as a body, believe and be saved, but would be lost by reason of their unbelief. This prophecy of the spread of His Church among the Gentiles has been completely fulfilled, and proves the Omniscience of our Lord.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.] (1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Tablet had this article yesterday . . .
Church in the World
26 April 2008

Cardinal bans Communion in hand

A Peruvian cardinal has banned the practice of receiving Communion in the hand in his diocese to guard against devaluing the Eucharist, an Italian website has reported.

Opus Dei Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne told Petrus: "I maintain that the best way to administer Communion is on the tongue, so much so that in my diocese I have forbidden the host in the hand."

The cardinal, who is Archbishop of Lima and a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said that "the relaxed attitude of many priests" was to blame for a decline in reverence for the Eucharist among the faithful. "In Masses with great attendance, in the past we even found hosts thrown on to the pavement of the church," he added.

A missionary priest working in Lima told The Tablet the ban "would only apply to his jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Lima". "The remainder of the dioceses around Lima would not go for such a practice," he said.

The Cardinal is right about the sacrilege of Hosts being discarded here and there. As a sacristan, I've found Hosts in the pews, sometimes stuck to the pages of the missalette, sometimes on the floor. A number of times I had to chase a person down the aisle because they didn't place the Eucharist in their mouth. One man, when I asked him to consume the Host, said he wanted to show It to his kids! Whether we kneel or stand, I believe everyone should receive on the tongue!


Homily for the sixth Sunday of Easter - Year A
Acts 8:5-8, 14-17 - 1 Pt 3:15-18 - Jn 14:15-21
by Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen

Life in the Spirit

Acts 8:5-8, 14-17

Acts 8:5, Philip went down to a city of Samaria, and proclaimed to
them the Christ. 6, And the multitudes with one accord gave heed to
what was said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs which
he did. 7, For unclean spirits came out of many who were possessed,
crying with a loud voice; and many who were paralyzed or lame were
healed. 8, So there was much joy in that city. 14, Now when the
apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of
God, they sent to them Peter and John, 15, who came down and prayed
for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; 16, for it had not
yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the
name of the Lord Jesus. 17, Then they laid their hands on them and
they received the Holy Spirit.

Shortly after Pentecost, the Apostles chose coworkers for themselves
by instituting deacons "to serve tables" (Acts 6:2). We spoke about
this last Sunday. But this is but one aspect of the function of the
deacon. Like all ministers of the Lord, and moreover like all the
faithful (although in a different way), the deacon is destined,
through his ministry, to proclaim the Word of God: in the holy
liturgy, he proclaims the gospel of the Lord, and he may be called to
preach and to teach the People of God. As Saint Luke says in the Acts
of the Apostles we read today, the deacon Philip "went down to a city
of Samaria, and proclaimed to them the Christ." (Acts 8:5)

Through the hands of the Apostles, Philip, like his companions who
were chosen along with him, had received the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts
6:6). He had received the "power from on high" (Lk 24:49). He had
received the Gift of the Holy Spirit for the Salvation of the People
of God. For he who becomes a minister of the Lord receives particular
gifts destined for the sanctification and the salvation of the
faithful who are entrusted to him. This was true of the deacon Philip
who, thanks to the Gift of the Holy Spirit, the "power of the Most
High" (Lk 1:35), performed great miracles, manifest signs of the
coming of the Kingdom of God among men! "And the multitudes with one
accord gave heed to what was said by Philip, when they heard him and
saw the signs which he did. For unclean spirits came out of many who
were possessed, crying with a loud voice; and many who were paralyzed
or lame were healed." (Acts 8:6-7)

Every minister of the Lord, and thus every deacon, is also a believer
among believers. So, in the measure that he is attentive to the Gift
of God he received for his ministry, the deacon, and every minister
of the Lord, can benefit from this Gift himself. Let us recall what
Saint Paul says to Timothy: "I remind you to rekindle the gift of God
that is within you through the laying on of my hands." (2 Tim 1:6;
cf. 1 Tim 4:14) Moreover, the Apostles did not choose the deacons at
random. Far from it! They chose the deacons on the basis of their
life in the Holy Spirit: "Brethren, pick out from among you seven men
of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom." (Acts 6:3) And it
is said of Stephen, the first of the martyrs of the New Covenant,
that he was "a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 6:5).
Whether ministers or believers, all are called to live in the Spirit!

1 Pt 3:15-18

1 Pt 3:14, Have no fear of [those who would harm you], nor be
troubled, 15, but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be
prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for
the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence; 16,
and keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those
who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17, For
it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God's will,
than for doing wrong. 18, For Christ also died for sins once for all,
the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God,
being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.

Saint Peter, in today's second reading, reassures us, saying: "Have no
fear of those who would harm you, nor be troubled." (1 Pt 3:15) Saint
Peter reassures us, for the Holy Spirit is there, he dwells in us, he
is there to defend us! If we take care to live in sanctity, having a
"clear conscience" (1 Pt 3:16), and being ever conscious of our
destiny, which is eternal Life, then, we will not fear the threats of
men and we will not be troubled! If we are always ready to witness to
our hope in Eternal life, then He who prays in us and who already
begins to satisfy this blessed hope, He whom Jesus left as our
Defender, the Holy Spirit, will make us as firm and solid as the
Rock, who is Christ! Let us live in the Holy Spirit!

Jn 14:15-21

Jn 14:15, Jesus said to his disciples, «If you love me, you will keep
my commandments. 16, And I will pray the Father, and he will give you
another Counselor, to be with you for ever, 17, even the Spirit of
truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor
knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.
18, I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you. 19, Yet a
little while, and the world will see me no more, but you will see me;
because I live, you will live also. 20, In that day you will know
that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21, He who has
my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who
loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest
myself to him.»

These words of Jesus in this Sunday's gospel are taken from the
discourse of the Master during the last Passover meal. Jesus invites
his disciples, and us, to live in Love, which is nothing other than
the Holy Spirit. This Love, which is God, is a Gift-Love, a Love that
gives itself. The Holy Spirit gives himself to us, in Jesus, in order
that we too might give ourselves to the Father, in Jesus, through
Mary! How could we hesitate to give ourselves wholly to God? The Lord
waits for us! The Lord expects us to play an active part in the
Mission of the Church, notably by consecrating ourselves to his
service as ordained ministers, in Love!

Jesus has done everything for us, for me! What would I do for Christ?
Let us ask the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to help us understand how
great God's Love is!

Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen

More homilies on the same Gospel:

And behold a leper came and adored him, saying: "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus stretching forth his hand, touched him, saying: "I will, be thou made clean." And forthwith his leprosy was cleansed.
And Jesus said to the centurion:
"Go, and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee." And the servant was healed at the same hour. (Matt. 8:2-3; 13)

THE DIVINITY OF OUR LORD was proved by two astounding miracles. The leper believed in our Lord's Divinity. He did not say to Him: "Pray to God that I may be clean," but he entreated Him as God, and, full of faith, said: "If Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean," i. e. it only depends on Thy will to cure me, for Thou canst do it, if Thou wilt. And Jesus confirmed his faith by saying: "i will: be thou clean." Our Lord said: "I will!" to show that He could make the sick well by His mere will, or, in other words, that He was Omnipotent. He manifested the same Omnipotence by curing the centurion's servant without even seeing him.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.] (1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Back in the 90's, one of the parishes I served at was Our Lady of Good Counsel, in Brooklyn, New York. It was a Black and Hispanic parish in a poor neighborhood and I really loved serving the people there. Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel and here is a short story about this miraculous Image.

On the Feast of Saint Mark, April 25 1467, the people of Genazzano, Italy witnessed a marvellous sight. A cloud descended upon an ancient church dedicated to Our Lady of Good Counsel. When the cloud disappeared, an image of Our Lady and the Child Jesus was revealed which had not been there before. The image, on a paper-thin sheet, was suspended miraculously.

Soon after the image's appearance many miracles were attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Good Counsel. Because of this, Pope Paul II ordered an investigation and the results have been preserved.

It was later discovered that the very same image had been seen in a church dedicated to the Annunciation in Scutari, Albania. The image in this church was said to have arrived there in a miraculous manner. Now, the image had been transported from Albania miraculously to avoid sacrilege from Moslem invasion.

A commission of enquiry determined that a portrait from the church was indeed missing. An empty space the same size as the portrait was displayed for all to see.

Many miracles continue to be attributed to Our Lady of Good Counsel. Pope Saint Pius V, for example, credited victory in the Battle of Lepanto to Her intercession.

Several Popes have approved the miraculous image. In 1682 Pope Innocent XI had the portrait crowned with gold. On July 2 1753 Pope Benedict XIV approved the Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel, and was the first to wear it. In 1884 a special Mass and Office of the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel was approved by Pope Leo XIII.

For more than 500 years the image has continued to attract countless pilgrims.

Although much of the church was destroyed during World War II, the image has remained intact - and continues to be suspended miraculously.

Prayer to Mary Most Holy of Good Counsel to Implore Her Protection:

"O Mary of Good Counsel, inflame the hearts of all Thy devotees, so that all of
them have recourse to Thee, O great Mother of God. Deign, O most worthy Lady, that everyone choose Thee as teacher and wise counselor of their souls, since Thou art, as St. Augustine says, - the counsel of the Apostles and counsel of all peoples. Amen"

World Youth Day Cross and Icon of
Our Blessed Mother Mary draws thousands!


And Jesus saith to him: "See thou tell no man: but go, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them." (Matt. 8:4)

NO MAN: Take care not to forestall the sentence of the priest, who alone, according to the law, has the right to decide whether you are clean, but go straight to Jerusalem.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.] (1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Our Lady's Message of
April 25, 2008

Our Lady Queen of Peace of Medjugorje’s April 25, 2008 Monthly Message

“Dear children! Also today, I call all of you to grow in God’s love as a flower which feels the warm rays of spring. In this way, also you, little children, grow in God’s love and carry it to all those who are far from God. Seek God’s will and do good to those whom God has put on your way, and be light and joy. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Don't miss tonight's Radio WAVE, broadcast with A Friend of Medjugorje. See below for your local time.

Click here to open the Radio WAVE player…

Your Time ZoneOnline Air Time

Eastern Time8:00 PM - Friday (April 25)

Central Time7:00 PM - Friday

Mountain Time6:00 PM - Friday

Pacific Time5:00 PM - Friday

Hawaii Time3:00 PM - Friday

Brazil Time10:00 PM - Friday

Sydney, Australia12:00 PM - Saturday(April 26)

Seoul9:00 AM - Saturday

Beijing, Singapore8:00 AM - Saturday

Calcutta7:30 AM - Saturday

Baghdad, Moscow4:00 AM - Saturday

Jerusalem, Athens, Cairo3:00 AM - Saturday

Warsaw, Paris, Prague, Rome, Berlin, Medjugorje2:00 AM - Saturday

London, Dublin1:00 AM - Saturday

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©SJP Lic. • This may be reproduced and redistributed provided that the content is copied in its entirety, including graphics, pictures, captions, etc. and credit given to and Caritas of Birmingham. Also, permission is granted to quote from blogs, news sources, or other websites as long as it is referenced to of Birmingham.

Tribulation Times


April 25, 2008


(Luke 1:28) And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Father Gabriele Amorth, Chief Exorcist of Rome, April 11, 2008,

On one occasion an exorcist friend of mine asked the devil what most hurts him about Our Lady, what most annoys him. He responded, 'That she is the purest of all creatures and that I am the filthiest; that she is the most obedient of all creatures and that I am the most rebellious; that she is the one who committed no sin and thus always conquers me.'

LINK: On Mary Immaculate by Padre Pio

BREAKING: New Pictures of Padre Pio Straight from Italy


Every day, O my soul, pay your respects to Mary,
Make her feasts solemn and celebrate her brilliant virtues;
Contemplate and admire her elevation;
Proclaim her blessedness both as Mother and Virgin;
Honor her so that she delivers you from the weight of your sins;
Invoke her so as not to be driven by the torrent of passion;
I do know if anybody can honor Our Lady worthily
Yet he who keeps silent in her praises is senseless;
Everyone should exalt and love her in a special way,
And never cease to cherish and pray to her;
O Mary, the honor and glory of all women,
You who God has raised above all creatures;
O Virgin of Mercy, hear the prayers of those who never stop praising you;
Purify those who are guilty and make them worthy of heaven;
Hail, O holy Virgin, through whom the gates of heaven were opened to undeserving souls
You, who, the old serpent's snares never managed to seduce;
You repair and console despairing souls
Preserve us from the evils that will fall on the wicked;
Obtain perpetual peace for me,
And save me from the misfortune of the flames of Gehenna;
Obtain for me to be chaste and modest, gentle, kind, sober, pious, prudent, upright and the enemy of all falsehood;
Grant me meekness, love of harmony and purity;
Make me strong and constant on the path of righteousness.

Mary is a Woman Who Loves (III)

Finally, Mary is a woman who loves. How could it be otherwise? As a believer who in faith thinks with God's thoughts and wills with God's will, she cannot fail to be a woman who loves. We sense this in her quiet gestures, as recounted by the infancy narratives in the Gospel. We see it in the delicacy with which she recognizes the need of the spouses at Cana and makes it known to Jesus. We see it in the humility with which she recedes into the background during Jesus' public life, knowing that the Son must establish a new family and that the Mother's hour will come only with the Cross, which will be Jesus' true hour (cf. Jn 2:4; 13:1). When the disciples flee, Mary remains beneath the Cross (cf. Jn 19:25-27); later, at the hour of Pentecost, it will be they who gather around her as they wait for the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14).

Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter, Deus Caritas Est #41 (2005)

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

29. The sorrowful humility of the mourning is one thing; the condemnation of the conscience of those who are still living in sin is another; and the blessed wealth of humility, which the perfect attain by the action of God, is yet another. Let us not be in a hurry to find words to describe this third kind of humility, for our effort will be in vain. But a sign of the second is the perfect bearing of indignity.

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In the year 47, the young John Mark aided St. Paul and St. Barnabas (Mark's cousin) in the evangelization of the island of Cyprus. Later Mark became the beloved companion and secretary of Pope Peter in Rome. He set down in writing Peter's sermons about the sayings and the public ministry of Jesus, and so composed the second Gospel of the New Testament. Its terse, picturesque language must have been very close to the words of the former fisherman of Galilee. The writings of both St. Peter and St. Paul show that John Mark evangelized many districts of Asia Minor. Tradition claims also that St. Mark was founder of the Church of Alexandria and won the glory of martyrdom in that Egyptian city.

INTROIT Ps. 63:3
You have protected me, O God, from the throng of the evildoers, alleluia! from the multitude of malefactors, alleluia, alleluia!
Ps. 63:2. Hear, O God, my prayer of supplication; deliver me from the fear of the enemy.
V. Glory be . . .

O God, Your grace raised up the blessed evangelist Mark to preach the Gospel. May we always profit by his teaching and find refuge in his intercession. through Our Lord . . .

Today, April 25, being the Feast of Saint Mark, is also the 21st anniversary of my ordination to the diaconate! On this day in 1987, after 4 years of formation (I never missed a class), Bishop Francis John Mugavero of the Brooklyn Diocese laid his hands on me and my classmates; we became deacons for all eternity!

I served in a number of parishes in Brooklyn and Queens, the last one was St. Margaret's in Middle Village, before moving to Florida. Now I'm spending my time blogging and taking care of my wife, Marianne, who has severe renal failure. Believe me, that's a full-time job, with shopping, cooking, doctor visits, blood tests, etc.

The reason we moved to Florida was because we couldn't afford to live in New York anymore and we needed a home we could call our own, a place were we could spend our last years without being worried of getting thrown out by a money hungry landlord! My daughter, son, sister-in-law and other relatives lived here already and helped us find a lovely condo which was in our meager budget.

I'm still incardinated in the Brooklyn Diocese (The diocese of Orlando does not incardinate deacons who move here) and my obedience is to the Ordinary of the Diocese of Brooklyn, Bishop Nicolas Anthony DiMarzio. Here's a few funny words from an article in the NY POST:



AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: Pope Benedict XVI steps off his Shepherd One jet yesterday to begin his first papal visit to the United States, where he will celebrate his 81st birthday today.
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: Pope Benedict XVI steps off his Shepherd One jet yesterday to begin his first papal visit to the United States, where he will celebrate his 81st birthday today.

April 16, 2008 -- Every time Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio is greeted by Pope Benedict XVI at Vatican events, the pontiff asks - "Where are you from?"

"When I say Brooklyn, his face lights up with a big smile," said DiMarzio, who heads the Brooklyn Diocese, which also encompasses Queens.

DiMarzio himself has been smiling a lot lately, after being given the high-profile job of welcoming Benedict to JFK Airport in Queens during a ceremony Friday morning, and seeing the pontiff off there two days later with dignitaries including Vice President Dick Cheney. [End of insert.]

I don't know the future but if we ever return to New York City, I would love to serve as a active deacon again. I'm not dead yet! Actually, I'm pretty healthy for an old man of 71!

One last note, I was in Queens, working at Transfiguration Parish on 9/11. I will never forget that day and the days that followed. Many people were affected at the parish that day, including my pastor, Fr. Ted, whose brother was missing for a few days (he was found in a hospital, OK). Twenty six firemen from the local firehouse were lost that day! We had a special memorial Mass for them the next day and I read off their names. It was very emotional. May they rest in peace!


And behold a leper came and adored him, saying: Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus stretching forth his hand, touched him, saying: "I will, be thou made clean." And forthwith his leprosy was cleansed. (Matt. 8:2-3)

FORTHWITH: How happy the poor man must have been when he both saw and felt that he had been instantaneously cured, and delivered from his horrible sufferings.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.] (1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Will Keep You Safe!

The Rescuer by Michael D. O’Brien

Because you have kept my message of endurance, I will keep you safe in the time of trial that is going to come to the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming quickly. Hold fast to what you have, so that no one may take your crown. (Rev 3:10-11)

BEFORE the Day of Justice, Jesus promises us a "Day of Mercy". But is this mercy not available to us each second of the day right now? It is, but the world, particularly the West, has fallen into a deathly coma… a hypnotic trance, fixated upon the material, the tangible, the sexual; upon reason alone, and science and technology and all the dazzling innovations and false light it brings. It is:

A society which seems to have forgotten God and to resent even the most elementary demands of Christian morality. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, U.S. visit, BBC News, April 20th,2008

In just the past 10 years alone, we have seen a proliferation of temples for these gods erected all over North America: a veritable explosion of casinos, box stores, and "adult" shops.

Heaven is telling us to prepare for a Great Shaking. It is coming. It will be a grace from the merciful heart of Jesus. It will be spiritual, but it will also be physical. That is, we need our comfort and security and pride to be shaken so that the spiritual is awakened. For many, it is has already begun. Does it not appear to be the only way to get the attention of this generation?


An American friend of mine whom I have quoted here before had another vision recently:

I sat down to pray the Rosary and as I finished the Creed, a powerful image came to me… I saw Jesus standing in the middle of a wheat field. His Hands were stretched out over the field. As He stood in the field, a breeze began to blow and I watched the wheat swaying in the breeze but then the breeze became stronger and stronger and turned into a powerful wind blowing with a tornado like force… uprooting large trees, destroying homes…. then it got completely dark. I could see nothing at all. As the darkness lifted I saw destruction all around… but the wheat field was unscathed, it stood strong and upright and He was still right there in the middle and then I heard the words, "Do not be afraid for I am in the midst of thee."

As I finished reading this vision the other morning, my daughter suddenly woke up and said, "Dad, I just dreamed of a tornado!"

And from a Canadian reader:

Last week after Communion, I asked the Lord to reveal to me anything I need to see so I can cooperate with Him and His graces. I then saw a tornado, like a great storm or "shaking" as you say. I said, "Lord, give me an understanding of this…" I then had Psalm 66 come to me. As I read this psalm about a song of praise and thanksgiving, I was filled with a peace. It is about God’s wonderful mercy and love for his people. He has put us to the test, placed heavy burdens upon us, taken us through fire and flood, but has brought us to a place of safety.

Yes! This is a summary of the present and coming pilgrimage of the People of God. Is it a coincidence that I began writing this from New Orleans? How many are the families that, though they lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, were kept safe from the storm!


During the coming harvest—The Time of the Two Witnesses—and the outright persecution which follows, God will protect His Bride. It is foremost a spiritual protection, for some will be called to martyrdom (not forgetting that there have already been more martyrs this past century than all the centuries combined since the time of Christ). But they will be given the supernatural graces for their glorious calling. All of us will experience increased trials, but we too will be given extraordinary graces.

Though an army encamp against me my heart would not fear. Though war break out against me even then would I trust. (Psalm 27)

And again,

He keeps me safe in his tent in the day of evil. He hides me in the shelter of his tent, on a rock he sets me safe. (Psalm 27)

The rock He has set us upon is the rock of Peter, the Church. The tent He has established is Mary, the Ark. The safety He promises is the Holy Spirit, given to us as our advocate and helper. Whom or what, then, shall we fear?

The Lord protects all who love him; but the wicked he will utterly destroy. (Psalm 145)


We must hold fast to the "message of endurance" the Lord has given us. This message of endurance consists above all in trusting in His Divine Mercy, in the free gift of salvation Christ won for us. This is the hope which the Holy Father is proclaiming to the world. The message is also a call to pray the Rosary faithfully, to go to Confession frequently, and to spend time before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament so as to gird ourselves for the coming battle.

But we have a distinct advantage. We already know that we will triumph! We must hold fast then, setting our eyes upon the crown which awaits us. For though the Church will become small again, she will be more beautiful than ever. She will be restored, renewed, transformed, and prepared as a Bride about to meet her Groom. This preparation has already begun in souls.

You will arise and have mercy on Zion: for this is the time of mercy. (Psalm 102)

The Church will be vindicated. The Truth, which in this time of tribulation she fights and dies and is mocked for, will be revealed as the Way and the Life for the whole world, confounding the "wise" and vindicating the children of the Most High. What a glorious period awaits the Bride of Christ!

For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her vindication shines forth like the dawn and her victory like a burning torch. Nations shall behold your vindication, and all kings your glory; you shall be called by a new name pronounced by the mouth of the Lord. You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the Lord, a royal diadem held by your God. (Isaiah 62:1-3)

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it. (Rev 2:17)

Will the name we bear not be the Name above all names to which every knee shall bow and every tongue confess? Oh Jesus! Your Name! Your Name! We love and adore your Holy Name!

Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. (Rev 14:1)

Published in: DAILY JOURNAL, PARALYZED BY FEAR | on April 24th, 2008 |

VATICAN - AVE MARIA by Mgr Luciano Alimandi - “We are made for heaven”

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father's house there are many places to live in; otherwise I would have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you to myself, so that you may be with me where I am” (Jn 14, 2-3).

In this passage of the Gospel of Saint John, the Lord Jesus, after telling his disciples not to be anxious, but to have faith in God and in Him (cfr. Jn 14, 1), speaks of heaven as a “home”! It is good and consoling to know that He himself will come to fetch us and take us up to heaven when our place is ready, as he promised to the Apostles, and to all those who in the future will believe in his name.

Sad to say, we hardly ever think of heaven as the Father's House where we are expected, a safe and wonderful home, where we will live forever with the angels and saints. The desire for heaven requires in fact "unswerving" faith on the part of the disciple; unswerving faith in Jesus' promises which leaves no room for hesitation or doubt, but instead gives the believer a truly supernatural vision.

A supernatural vision does not stop at what is visible, it goes beyond the earthly reality and penetrates into the invisible reality of the next life, of which the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spoke in his memorable homily at the funeral of John Paul II, offering the whole world the example of a vision which reaches Heaven: “None of us can ever forget how in that last Easter Sunday of his life, the Holy Father, marked by suffering, came once more to the window of the Apostolic Palace and one last time gave his blessing "urbi et orbi." We can be sure that our beloved Pope is standing today at the window of the Father’s house, that he sees us and blesses us. Yes, bless us, Holy Father. We entrust your dear soul to the Mother of God, your Mother, who guided you each day and who will guide you now to the eternal glory of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen” (8 April 2005). Faith which is "unswerving" enables the Lord's disciple to say with firm conviction: an eternal homes awaits us!

Yes, the House of the Father, the heaven of the blessed, is invisible to a natural vision, but not to the eyes of the spirit illuminated by the Word of God.

Faith which is weak, “feeble”, cannot see beyond earthly horizons to heaven, because it remains a prisoner of the immanent, of itself, unable to open to the transcendent , to God. Faith which is “uncertain" cannot reach heaven, it falls back to earth, conquered by the “force of gravity” of earthly reality. It tries to overcome these realities, but is unable to renounce worldly logic. In the earthly logic, time and space are the only co-ordinates whereas in the non-earthly logic, reason opens to faith, and the infinite and eternity become “heavenly coordinates ” which show man, created in the image and likeness of God, his final destination: Heaven!

Only in those who make themselves small before God and realize that they cannot live alone, does faith find space and frees from the prison of immanence. The true believer, according to Saint Paul, becomes a “heavenly person”, who orients his or her life towards eternity and recognizes in Christ the measure for all reality: including behavior and decisions.

At the school of Most Holy Mary, day by day we learn to become ever more convincing witnesses of the resurrection, filled with Easter faith which enables us to see, even though in the distance, the Father's House and in it our home. Therefore, together with St Paul, we too can say: “For we are well aware that when the tent that houses us on earth is folded up, there is a house for us from God, not made by human hands but everlasting, in the heavens. And in this earthly state we do indeed groan, longing to put on our heavenly home over the present one; if indeed we are to be found clothed rather than stripped bare. Yes, indeed, in this present tent, we groan under the burden, not that we want to be stripped of our covering, but because we want to be covered with a second garment on top, so that what is mortal in us may be swallowed up by life. It is God who designed us for this very purpose, and he has given us the Spirit as a pledge. We are always full of confidence, then, realising that as long as we are at home in the body we are exiled from the Lord, guided by faith and not yet by sight” (2 Cor 5, 1-7).

(Agenzia Fides 23/4/2008; righe 50, parole 765)

EUROPE/FRANCE - Lourdes, city of peace

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to a girl named Bernadette, the small French village of Lourdes is organizing a series of events, in hopes of becoming “the city of peace and dialogue.”

In the month of Mary, on May 22-25, Lourdes will host for the first time the “Universities of peace” and the International Military Pilgrimage.

During the double-event’s presentation in Rome, on April 22, at Vatican Radio’s headquarters, Mr. Michel Azot, Vice-Mayor of Lourdes and founder of the “Universities of peace,” explained that since 2000, the idea existed for making Lourdes into a city of special encounters, a “laboratory” of dialogue and peace, with the conviction that a there is a path to reconciliation that must pass through knowledge, recognition, and dialogue, beginning with the relations among religions.

The “Universities of peace,” for eight years now have witnessed encounters of academics, politicians, diplomats, and world-renowned figures, with the goal of making dialogue, a means of prevention of conflicts and peace, the driving force in the development of all nations. The struggle for peace and dialogue, Mr. Azot said, is the struggle of our century. This year, the group will organize an event in the Ukraine and in the Balkan states.

The International Military Pilgrimage is an event that, for over 50 years, has hosted the visit of members of the military from all over the world. This year’s event has a registration of 22,000 soldiers from 40 countries. Italy will send 6,000. Fr. Jean Louis Theron, Director of the Pilgrimage, explained the paradox of linking the theme of peace to the pilgrimage of soldiers, saying that no one knows the misery of war and the blessing of peace, better than a soldier. The Pilgrimage will include many events, with the focus on the importance of communal prayer, in order to show the world that peace is possible.

Can the armed forces be an instrument of peace? This was the question posed by General Domenico Rossi, Chief Commander of the Central Military Region and President of the Cocer Interforze. The armed forces are certainly a resource at the service of the governments to whom they pledge allegiance, and of themselves, cannot bring peace. They need to enter into dialogue, especially diplomatic dialogue, within their setting. General Rossi’s hope is that, through the armed forces, a universal and lasting peace can be reached. During the month of May, Lourdes will also host cultural activities: on May 22, there is a theater/dance rendition of “The Jeweler’s Shop,” by Karol Wojtyla, promoted by the “Mondi Vicini” Association, and sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Vicariate of Rome, and the Province of Rome. (PC) (Agenzia Fides 23/4/2008; righe 36, parole 452)