Thursday, December 31, 2009



In the silence of my heart
I come to love You
Oh My Lord
To praise and worship You
My Master and My Savior
No words are spoken between us
Only so soft a whisper
And in my soul
An outpouring of so much
Undeserved love and grace
How often do I desert You
Thinking You don't love me
Forgetting about You
Oh, how stupid and ungrateful
Then I am
Without You I'm nothing
But a trembling reed
A creature full of fear
Your creature sure I am
For this immensely grateful
Oh You, fullness of my soul
Reason for my existence
Sole purpose of my life
Object of my deepest thoughts
My God and my Almighty
I will serve You and obey
Surrender to Your Will divine
Embrace me with Your burning warmth
Cradle me in Your Fatherly arms
Oh, my well-beloved
Let me borrow from Your Love
Let Your Mercy shine upon me,
Your poor and littlest child
So, that with Your Grace
I will proclaim
Your Greatness,
Your Goodness and
Your Name
Through my work and being !!
Rita B. 7-27-1999

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Cartoon: The last da

from HelloTxtCartoon: The last day of the Year:

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Love God, Love One Another: "How Do You See God in Me?" by Rita Ring, June 1, 1994


Image by tuppus via Flickr

How Do You See God in Me?

Your Courage Your Cheerfulness Your Resolution...

Image by Joan Thewlis via Flickr

God's Blue Book III Cover

June 1, 1994

R. He is calling us to cheerfulness. If I saw myself through some other person's eyes, would I see God or would I see a perplexed person without peace?

Lord, let me see myself as You see me. Do I display the peace of Christ in my soul or do I display the uneasiness that Satan tries to produce inside me?

Oh, Lord, how am I preaching Your gospel to my children? Do I complain before prayer and in the car or am I cheerful and showing them how anxious I am to be with You? What do I teach my children about my love of You?

Lord, where I am blind, open my eyes. Oh, Spirit of God, impart to me Your gifts: wisdom, understanding, knowledge to know You more, my sweet and precious God, to realize the immense love of God and be filled by it, to let go of the perishable things of the world and see, with eyes as never before, what is so important to You-my love poured out to my children, my love for all, which is Your love deep within me, Your love that is too powerful to be contained and is given to all those I am with.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

FROM MARK MALLETT: - Spritual Food For Thought -

Become the Face of Christ



A voice did not boom from the sky…. it was not a flash of lightning, an earthquake, or a vision of the heavens opening with a revelation that God loves man. Rather, God descended into the womb of a woman, and Love itself became incarnate. Love became flesh. The message of God became living, breathing, visible.



Perhaps this is the crisis of our age. Not the lack of a message. Heavens no! Everywhere one turns, one can find the "message" of the good news. Cable television, radio, the internet… the message is blaring like a trumpet. But what is missing is often the demonstration of that message: of souls who have met Love itself, and then become vessels of that Love. Where can we find this message incarnated today?

If Christianity appears as merely a collection of laws and prohibitions, a series of demands and fulfillments as a means to get to heaven, then no wonder it has little appeal to the modern mind. People are drawn to love, not its theology; that is, they are drawn to the face of love. Where do people find it today? Because surely they are looking. Yes, they are clamoring to their internet social networks, video websites, and instant messaging devices, looking to be noticed, remembered, and loved. Can the longing for love be fully realized through a video screen? No. In fact, never have the means of communication been so widely available, and yet never has modern man been so lonely! He is looking for love and more often than not cannot find it!

Do we Christians recognize this? Or are we too busy forwarding nice stories through our email? Are we too concerned with reading the news headlines to see how close the world is to falling off the precipice, or are we running to its edge to become the face of love to those who are ready to jump off it? Are we transfixed with the signs of the times, with ourselves, or are we becoming a sign of the times—the sign and sacrament of Love?


God is love, and love became flesh. He lived and dwelt among us, but more importantly, He served and gave His very life. The meaning of this is astounding, and it carries with it a way for every baptized Christian. The Way of Love.

If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do. (John 13:14-15)

God’s love was not expressed in an impersonal pronouncement; it did not end with the Angel Gabriel. It became a visible message one could "taste and see." It is not enough for us to talk about the Gospel; our family and friends must see it in us. They must see the face of love, otherwise, our "preaching," our fervent devotional prayer, eloquent apologetics, scriptural quotations, etc…. risk becoming sterile, and possibly serve to diminish and even discredit what we preach.

You are now members of the body of Christ, and Jesus wishes to live His supernatural life through you. How? Without Him, Jesus said, you can do nothing. And so you must daily pick up your cross, deny yourself, and follow Him. Follow Him every day to Golgotha, sometimes every moment, laying down your will, self-love—the great "I"—upon the cross. Bring it to death so that a new Love can rise within you. This is not an elimination of your personality such that you become a divinized zombie. It is a kenosis, an emptying of everything that is not of God that in fact dehumanizes and distortswho you truly are: a son or daughter made in God’s image. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God wants to raise you to a new life, a new creation, in which the true self, created in the image of God, becomes a reality. Not just a spiritual, mystical reality, but a living, breathing, visible reality—one with a face that the world can see. In this sense, you and I are to become alter Christus, "another Christ." We become for Him the face that others are thirsting for. And when they find Him in us, we can point toward the source of living water.



As you meet with family and friends over these final feast days of the Christmas Octave, let them see your love more than hear it. Let them see your service, your patience, your docility; let them not only hear your words of forgiveness but see it in your mannerisms, your facial expressions, and your genuine interest in them. Listen, don’t just speak. Let others see your eagerness to put them first, their desires, their wishes, even when contrary to your own. Let the martyrdom of your self-love be evident to all, not so much by what you say, but by what you do.

Then your words will be the echo of love, rather than the trumpet of ego. Then you will begin to heal the terrible loneliness in your brother when he begins to hear that echo too.

Incarnate love, as Christ became incarnate in the flesh. Give love a skin. Become the face of Christ.

My brothers, Christ made love the stairway that would enable all Christians to climb to heaven. Hold fast to it, therefore, in all sincerity, give one another practical proof of it. —St. Fulgentius of Ruspe, Liturgy of the Hours Vol. 1, p.1256




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Love God, Love One Another: "You Need the Holy Spirit" by Rita Ring, May 31, 1994

Luca Rossetti da Orta, The Holy Trinity', fres...

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You Need the Holy Spirit

God's Blue Book III Cover

May 31, 1994 3:00a.m.

My child, I love you so much. I want you to be alone with Me at night. Jump from your bed and be with Me. Receive Me in the early hours. I love to be alone with you.

Your life is so short, sweet one. You will soon see how you are preparing yourself for the days ahead. No preparation is enough. Times will be hard times. Such a false peace exists. Children will be guarded. I am a just God. I love My little ones. Parents will be led back to God and His world. Where they were blind, they now see.

Pray constantly for souls. Do not think that you can be at rest. You need to be constantly about preaching My word and praying for your brothers' souls. Their souls are at stake!

The Eucharist is the center to draw men's hearts back to God. Promote the Real Presence. Tell everyone how I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and I truly give Myself to them in the Eucharist.

Tell them to pray to the Holy Spirit. Tell children about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is full of gifts. You will know God through Him. His fire and life He gives to you and the life of God is alive in your soul. Pray to Him. Tell all about the Spirit. He must be alive in your hearts to know God. Tell all to pray to Him. It is through His gifts your eyes will be opened and you will see things only God can show you.

R. Such simplicity! Take the wisdom of God-so simple, but so profound. Where I was blind, I now can see. Enkindle in me Your gifts, Spirit of God. Where I once was dead, I have become filled with Your life. You breathed Your life deep into my soul and I could see clearly as never before.

Such wisdom! Such profound truths! You reveal to me with such simplicity! Oh,man of himself is so blind and the Spirit is so alive! Enkindle in me Your life. The deaf hear, the blind see. The life of God is enkindled in our hearts and we know the fire that burns deep in our breast, a fire of love for our precious God, three in one, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Such love for You, my God! You are one with Jesus. Such immense love I have for You and You have for us. Where I was blind, I now can see. Your word I love, Your Mass I love, You I love. My God, three in one, and holy, holy is Your name! I bow before You with such reverence at Your might. You are mighty and worthy of all honor and praise and holy, holy is Your name, one triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit! I bow low and reverence You in Your might. I kiss the ground and give You homage. You are holy and holy is Your name. I praise You. I worship You. I bow before You, God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

"Where I was blind, I now see." For quite a while I have been getting this, constantly, all day long. "Where I was blind, now I see." What do I see? I see God as never before through the Holy Spirit. There is burning and life in my breast for I love God, three in one, so dearly. The Holy Spirit removes the blinders from our eyes. We see the word of God as never before. Our hearts know God. We read His word and participate at the Mass with such joy and love, to participate in every word, to know as we did not know before, to read the word. To go to Mass and love God, we need the wisdom, understanding and knowledge of the Holy Spirit. It is His Spirit alive in our hearts that makes the Mass come alive in such color and it grows daily in our hearts.

Spirit, pour Yourself into me. Give me Your life. I am on fire with the love of God. The more You give me, the more I see. Where I was blind, I now can see! See with the eyes of God. Take my blinders from my eyes, impart to me wisdom to know as only God knows, knowledge to know God, understanding to grasp the meaning of Your truths, love, enkindled and burning so brightly deep within my breast. You are the one, true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Give me the life and love of God that flows from the Spirit alive in me. Enkindle in me fire for my God!

I ardently love my beloved Jesus and I know more His love for me. I know more fully the love of Jesus through the spirit alive in my breast. Jesus is one with the Father. The love He has for me comes from the Father. The Father created us. He loves us so. He willed His only Son to die that we might have eternal life. All the love I have for Jesus and He has for me is enkindled in my heart for my dear, loving Father. What a Father to behold! I can scarcely speak, realizing a little of His great love for me. This I realize through my love of Jesus. Oh, how I love my beloved Jesus. My heart burns inside, but to magnify this love with the love of the Father and the Holy Spirit, I can scarcely speak.

I receive Jesus in Communion. I receive God! The one, triune God is present. Where Jesus is, so is His beloved mother. She loves us so. She suffered for us. She is the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is through her sinless Heart I learn to love my God. My love is so imperfect. Her love is so pure. She is the daughter of the Father, the mother of the Son, the spouse of the Holy Spirit. Such love she has for God. Through her pure Heart, I can give love to my beloved God more abundantly.

The road is not visible to some, only to those who see with the eyes of faith, for you never trod alone.

To see as You want us to see and not as we want to see, give us Godly vision, Lord. I am grasping for the love of God and Mary. I pray to know God more fully and love Him through my beloved mother. Oh, how I am in awe and my heart is burning for this love of God.

I am given such life through the Holy Spirit. This growth is constant. I love the Mass, I love the word of God! I am so excited for this life I feel within me. Give me Your eyes to see. Where I was blind, I now see and what do I behold when the blinders are removed? The one, true, magnificent God, holy and true and in our midst this very day through Jesus in the Eucharist.

Bow down, bend low, behold it is God among us. Where I was blind, I now can see. Praise You, Spirit, for Your life within my soul. May Your fire ever grow within me and radiate Your love to this world.

Alleluia. Praise the one, true God! What I am seeing is not with eyes. It is in my heart. A blind man can see more in his heart than his faithful ones see with their eyes.

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[MaryVitamin] star of the magi


Mary Vitamin for December 30th
Topic: The Star of the Magi

Abbot Marmion, O.S.B.
"The marvellous star leads them to the place where they were at last to find Him Whom they had so long sought. And what do they find? A palace, a royal cradle, a long train of attentive servants? No, but a poor dwelling. They seek a king, a God, and they see only a Babe on His Mother's knee; not a Babe transfigured by Divine rays as the Apostles were later to see the God-Man, but a little Child, a poor weak little Child."

Abbot Marmion, O.S.B.
 "A wondrous star appears to them. Its extraordinary brightness attracting their gaze, awakens their attention at the same time that an inward grace of illumination enlightens their souls. [...] The Magi's fidelity to the inspiration of grace is wonderful. Doubt takes no hold upon their minds; without staying to reason, they immediately begin to carry out their design. Neither the indifference nor the scepticism of those who surround them, nor the disappearance of the star, nor the difficulties inherent to an expedition of this kind, nor the length and dangers of the way stop them. They obey the divine call without delay or hesitation. 'We have seen His star in the East and are come.' (Mt 2:2)" 
 Blessed Virgin, I look to the sky and I see no star to guide me to your Son. I can only look to you and see you in my mind's eye, in my heart, in my devotional pictures, and in my prayers. Please lead me with your bright example, as a marvellous star in the sky that I might not give up, that I might persevere to the end and to find Jesus, humble and vulnerable, the way the Blessed Magi found Him with You, that first night, so many years ago.

Marian Vow: 
St. Maximilian"In the bosom of the Immaculate the soul is reborn
according to the likeness 
 of Jesus Christ." Traccia Mariana
I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.


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Cardinal Schönborn speaks in Medjugorje:

Cardinal Schönborn speaks at St. James Church in Medjugorje.On December 30, 2009, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and a member of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave a powerful, lengthy talk at St. James Church in Medjugorje.

Schönborn's talk revolved around the theme of God's mercy, and he did not hesitate to praise Medjugorje.

His first words as he stepped to the podium were "Hvaljen Isus i Marija," a Croatian phrase that means "Praised be Jesus and Mary." This is a common greeting among the visionaries and Medjugorje villagers. The Cardinal repeated it several times and urged the crowd to repeat it with him.

He went on to say "When you look at a place like Medjugorje, you can see a superpower of mercy. Many merciful deeds were born here or they were supported here."

During one poignant moment of his talk, Cardinal Schonborn urged the crowd to stand and join him in singing the well-known Medjugorje song Gospa Majka Moja. He smiled warmly as he sang along.

Delving further into the topic of mercy, Cardinal Schönborn said, "What a deep feeling of compassion there is in Jesus. Many deeds of mercy in the Church were born exactly in this way, like Mother Teresa, who couldn't accept people dying in the street. Or Mother Elvira, here in Medjugorje, the founder of Cenacalo Community rehab center: she couldn't stand to see young people on drugs, destroying their lives with drugs. What is this deep, profound emotion that we call compassion?"

While concluding his talk in Medjugorje, Cardinal Schönborn said, "I believe that many experiences in the Church demonstrate something that is impossible from a human point of view."

Cardinal Schönborn has been in Medjugorje since December 28. He will celebrate New Year's Eve Mass at St. James Church. The visit and implied endorsement from such a prominent Vatican cardinal is seen by many as a very positive indication of the Church's stance on the apparitions.

While some had expected Cardinal Schönborn's visit to Medjugorje to be private, he has instead surprised the town by being very visible. He has spent his time concelebrating Mass at St. James Church, climbing Apparition Hill with visionary Marija Lunetti, hearing confessions, praying in silence at Adoration, and, perhaps most notably, giving his talk today in the parish church with the Franciscan friars at his side.

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The big news of 2009: The Pope welcomes disaffected Anglicans

 I clipped this from Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog and I thought you might like to read this. The [red quotes] are from Fr. Z.

Will Oct. 20 be remembered as the day when the Berlin Wall of religious separation began to crumble? [I like that image.]

Ian Hunter

From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail 
Last updated on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009 2:04AM EST

With year’s end fast approaching, columnists and pundits will hold forth on what was the most significant news story of 2009. The story I nominate is unlikely to bulk large in their consideration, unlikely even to be mentioned, but I suggest that the most important story was Pope Benedict XVI’s overture to disaffected Anglicans[Certainly the big story in religion.]

The story really begins a couple of years earlier, when a group of breakaway Anglicans (most had left the church after 1977 over Anglican ordination of female priests) who call themselves the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) petitioned Rome en masse through their primate, Archbishop John Hepworth.

The TAC, whose size is estimated at 300,000 to 500,000 souls worldwide, asked for full communion with Rome without preconditions or demands, while expressing the hope that it might be possible to retain traditional Anglican liturgy and hymnody. Their petition was cordially received at the Vatican, but for many months, there was only silence.

Then[TA DA!] on Oct. 20, the response of Pope Benedict XVI was a decisive, magnanimous “Yes.” The subsequently published Apostolic Constitution (Anglicanorum Coetibus) confirmed that TAC members will be permitted to join collectively and will be allowed to retain the liturgies and traditions “that are precious to them and consistent with the Catholic faith.” Small wonder that Archbishop Hepworth called the Pope’s offer “generous at every turn … very pastoral” and “a beautiful document.

TAC bishops and congregations will consider and vote on the Vatican’s offer in a series of national and regional synods to be held early next year.

This means, in practice, that a place will be made within Catholic liturgy for Thomas Cranmer’s 1662 Book of Common Prayer – considered by many torival William Shakespeare’s plays as the apotheosis of the English language.[Meanwhile, we are still using the lame-duckICEL versions… "O God, you are so big.  Help us to be big like you."]  Also to be welcomed is the rich treasure of Anglican hymnody. All of this is (to paraphrase Hamlet) “a consummation devoutly to be wished,” and it was greeted as such by many thoughtful Catholics and Anglicans of my acquaintance.  [As the incoming Anglicans raise the liturgical level, everyone’s standard will be shifted upwards.  As the tide rises, all boats rise.]

The immediate benefits are obvious[1] First, the Catholic Church will be strengthened by an influx (no one can yet say exactly how many) of committed, orthodox Christians. The priests who arrive with them will be men following Christ’s instruction to leave everything behind – job security, income, pensions and, in some cases, families – to follow Him. [Do I hear an "Amen!"?]These priests may help to alleviate, to some extent at least, what is in danger of becoming a chronic shortage of Catholic vocations.

Until 2006, I was an Anglican. By the time I left, I had grown sick of hearing colleagues whimper about the growing apostasy within Anglicanism but doing nothing about it. Well, now they can do somethingPope Benedict XVIhas called their bluff. The destination was always there; now, there is a bridge to cross over[And the Pope is the "great bridge builder".  He unites.  He is the Pope of Christian Unity.] No one need jump; no one need swim. It will be fascinating to see who crosses and who stays put; those who stay put should be heard from no more.  [Do I hear an "Amen!"?]

Yet I also have reservations.

First, I worry that the liberal element within Catholicism, particularly in North America, will do all it can (which could be considerable) to frustrate this welcome initiative. There are some Catholics who would rather move the church in the direction of Anglicanism, even Anglicanism in its death throes, than to see orthodoxy strengthened.  [And they are welcome to leave at any time.]

Second, it is unclear how Rome will reconcile its traditional teaching (e.g. on the invalidity of Anglican orders) with this new initiative[I think that will be fairly easy to resolve.  Will there really be any Anglican clergy who object to being ordained by a Catholic bishop?]

Finally, it is unclear whether this rapprochement with Anglicanism is only the first step of an initiative to all orthodox Protestants; in other words, [watch this!] is Pope Benedict XVI signalling that the ecumenism of the 21st century is not more pointless dialogue with the decaying husks of old-line Protestantism, but rather a new beginning with any ecclesial community willing to engage with Rome on historic Christendom[Well said.]

I hope this is so. If it is, then the Pope’s Oct. 20 announcement will be remembered as the day when the Berlin Wall of religious separation began to crumble; the wall erected five centuries ago – on Oct. 31, 1517 – when Martin Luther affixed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. If we have lived to see that breach healed, to witness the Christian church finally taking seriously Jesus’s prayer that “they may be one, as I and the Father am one,” then this is the most important story of 2009.

Ian Hunter is professor emeritus in the faculty of law at the University of Western Ontario.

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In Holland, There's No More Room for the Child Jesus. Or Then Again, There Is

[Coolvest, Rotterdam, Holland] (LOC)

Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

Churches that are no longer churches, but condominiums, stores, or mosques. A Catholicism in danger of disappearing. A reportage from Amsterdam with an interview with Cardinal Simonis: "We have to start over from the beginning"

by Sandro Magister

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2 lesser known Bishop Saints Feast Day today: Anysius & Sabinus

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009


The Dark Night of a Priestly Soul by Fr. Gordon J. MacRae 

My final post of 2009 is a day earlier than my usual Wednesday posting day. I think you will see why as you read it. It was written for Priests in Crisis. I think it is the most important post of the year.

Please click this link to find Dark Night of a Priestly Soul on Priests in Crisis.

As we prepare to begin a new year, I will offer Mass on the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God for the readers of These Stone Walls. Thank you for your presence here, your support and encouragement, and most especially for the gift of your prayers and prayerful witness.

May the Lord bless you and keep you in 2010.

Fr. Gordon J. MacRae

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[MaryVitamin] swaddling clothes


Mary Vitamin for December 29th
Topic: Swaddling Clothes
"She wrapped him in swaddling clothes"
Luke 2:7
 One could describe swaddling clothes as restrictive pieces of cloth which bind an infant's arms and legs so that the child is unable to move. (The purpose is to make the child feel secure.)  The child can only cry out to his mother. He can not move without the assistance from his mother.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph #515
The Gospels were written by men who were among the first to have the faith and wanted to share it with others. Having known in faith who Jesus is, they could see and make others see the traces of his mystery in all his earthly life. From the swaddling clothes of his birth to the vinegar of his Passion and the shroud of his Resurrection, everything in Jesus' life was a sign of his mystery. His deeds, miracles and words all revealed that "in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily." His humanity appeared as "sacrament", that is, the sign and instrument, of his divinity and of the salvation he brings: what was visible in his earthly life leads to the invisible mystery of his divine sonship and redemptive mission.
 I will imitate Our Lord today who allowed His Mother, my mother, to bind Him tightly in swaddling clothes. As an Infant, He was unable to move, only to cry out to Her. When He wanted to receive the homage of the Three Kings, He was helpless, completely relying upon the Blessed Virgin Mary to move Him to Her lap so that He could receive their adoration and their gifts. Today, I will offer all my prayers, even my prayers for others, as though I can do nothing unless She hears my cry. I will imitate the humble and vulnerable Christ child.
Marian Vow:
 Is the Marian Vow anything less than my swaddling clothes? I have voluntarily bound myself to Her, as the Lord did. All my actions, my prayers, belong to Her.
I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.


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Love God, Love One Another: "Jump for Joy That Jesus Calls You" by Rita Ring, May 30, 1994

Jump for Joy That Jesus Calls You

God's Blue Book III Cover

May 30, 1994

My precious one, I called in the night. You did not answer My call. You must obey Me. This displeases Me. I call, you come. You must not give into yourself. Once you are awake, you are not tired. Jump from your bed and run to My arms, My beloved. Do not ever not answer My knocking. Jump, child, jump for joy that Jesus calls you in the night. I want you in the night, you sleep, you miss My time with you. Forget your sleep. You are tired from sleeping. When I call, I want you to come now!

I am your God. Harken to My pleading to be close to you. I want you to let go of your distractions and be totally alone with Me. The past is over, the future is to come. Surrender your present moments to Me. I will care for all your needs. Do not belabor the past. Come to Me with your sorrow. I am God and I want to love you.

I will fill you. I will comfort you. I will love you. Deepen this dependence on Me. I never change. I am steadfast in My love and I wait for you to come to Me. I wait for you like a doting mother. I am God, child. All the love you crave I have to give and pour out to you. I want to shower you with love.

Love others no matter what they say and do. They need My love through you. They need My love freely given from you.

I pour Myself out to you. Love your fellows if they love you or if they hate you. Love them as I love you. To My death I loved you.

It is good to exchange love with your beloved ones, but give your love freely. Do not love to expect love back. Love to love your brothers. If they love you in return, you are receiving My love through them. This is good for you but do not expect their love in return. Give freely to your brother. To give love, My love is unconditional. There are no strings on My love. It is given freely to all. All My people are My beloved ones. I would die for each soul this very day. Love all your brothers for Me.

My beloved one, pray for this love. You cannot of yourself love the way I call you to. You must spend time with Me, when I pour My love out to you, so you have it to give. You need silence with Me. This is the key to your life, to spend time alone with God. You are restored and refueled in these quiet moments.

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Ten Tips for Pius New Years Resolutions

For more accurate and deeply spiritual New Year Resolutions, please see below:

December 29, 2009

Since you are a deeply religious person, you are probably thinking about New Year resolutions that will help you improve spiritually. To strengthen your good sides. To combat your bad ones.

Well, in that case, please ponder below:

If you find these tips helpful, thank God!

If not, please say a prayer for me and consider sending me a word about why they did you no good. I promise to keep your considerations in mind. They will be of much value to me. And greatly appreciated.

Finally, if nothing else, please try to draw closer to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the New Year. Devotion to the Mother of God is a panacea. The key to heaven.

Saint Louis de Montfort said that devotion to Holy Mary is the easiest, safest, fastest, most secure, and surest path to Jesus and to our own salvation.

With that in mind, I pray you have a very blessed and happy New Year!

Sincerely in Jesu et Maria
Robert Ritchie Robert E. Ritchie
America Needs Fatima

PS - If you think the work of America Needs Fatima is worthy of support, please consider giving a small tax-deductible gift to help Our Lady's men start the New Year with extra zeal to save souls and defend the honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from the terrible onslaught of blasphemy, insult and mockery.

  1. Be honest. Know yourself.  What is your strongest virtue?  What is your worst vice?  Therefore, tailor your resolution so it strengthens your good side and fights your bad one.  A one-size fits all resolution is useless.
  2. Be specific. Don’t use generalities.  They don’t work.  For example, if you need to be more humble, just saying “I am going to be more humble,” is useless.  You need to zero in on one situation where you need to practice humility and resolve to improve in that one situation.
  3. Be simple. Don’t make it complicated.  Focus on something you can see and measure easily and that does not overwhelm you each time you try to obtain it.  Otherwise, you will become distracted and your energy will be dispersed and misdirected.
  4. Be reasonable. Don’t try to do too much at once.  You won’t become a saint in one day.  Remember: every soul has one MAJOR point upon which is hinged his or her entire fidelity to God and His Holy Laws.  Find out and work on improving that key point. You’ll see how everything else will improve if you improve on that one major point.
  5. Be consistent. It’s far better to do something small everyday to improve on that one key point in your soul than to make a big resolution that you cannot keep for more than a week or two.  Slow and steady wins the race!
  6. Be humble. Recognize that you cannot do any good action which has value in the supernatural order without God’s grace and the intercessory help of the Blessed Mother.  Beg God’s grace through Our Lady’s intercession constantly in all your thoughts, desires and actions
  7. Be disinterested. Remember that God wants us to defend His rights and interests, and to share His thoughts and ways.  And therefore, to focus on things, happening and events that are very close to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary that are not necessarily linked to our own personal interests.
  8. Write it down. It’s important to write down your resolution so you can refer back to it often during the year.  Also, by writing it down, you will be able to review it when the year is over, and to evaluate your progress since the time the resolution was made.
  9. Public expressions of faith. Don’t hide your faith.  That’s just what the devil wants.  He knows when you express your faith publicly, others see you and are encouraged to follow your good example.  Say grace openly and proudly before meals in a restaurant so people can see.  You’ll be surprised with the good reactions you will get.
  10. Devotion to Our Lady. Have more devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Devotion to the Mother of God is a panacea.  Saint Louis de Montfort said that devotion to Holy Mary is the easiest, safest, fastest, most secure, and surest path to Jesus and to our own salvation. If you can nothing else, resolve to say the Rosary everyday.  Saint Louis de Montfort wrote:

“If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins 'you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory.' Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practice black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and will save your soul, if-- and mark well what I say-- if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins."

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Monday, December 28, 2009

[MaryVitamin] Bethlehem

Mary Vitamin for December 28th
  The Poverty of Bethlehem
St. Alphonsus di Liguori
 "The gifts received from the holy Magi cannot certainly have been of small value; but we are assured by Saint Bernard that she distributed them to the poor through the hands of Saint Joseph'. Mary herself said to Saint Bridget, 'All that I could get I gave to the poor and only reserved a little food and clothing for myself.'"
St. Alphonsus di Liguori, The Glories of Mary, (Tan Books: 1978), 491.
St. Francis de Sales
“The more one mortifies his natural inclinations, the more he becomes capable of receiving the divine inspirations, and the more he gains in virtue.”
St. Vincent de Paul
"Whoever makes little account of exterior mortifications, alleging that the interior are more perfect, shows clearly that he is not mortified at all, either exteriorly or interiorly."
A Year with the Saints (Tan Books)
Today, while I am working, I will reflect on the voluntary poverty that Our Lord and Our Lady lived. Poverty indicates a life of strenuous and never ending hard work. I will remember Our Lady's hard work. She chose it and accepted it without complaining. In fact, she loved it because the Blessed Virgin Mary was conformed to God's Will. This is the lesson taught in the cave at Bethlehem.
Marian Vow:
St. Maximilian Kolbe
"One who is consecrated knows that in the Immaculate Virgin and through the Immaculate Virgin one will, in the quickest and easiest possible way, become one with Jesus, one with God.  He knows that in and through him She will love Jesus in a matchless, perfect manner, in whatever one may seek to do, whatever be the way... He knows that this is the only way to that sanctity which is the easiest and most sublime, tending to God's greatest glory"
I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.


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FROM MARK MALLETT: - Spritual Food For Thought -

Jesus “the myth”

Crown of Thorns, by Mark Cannon


A sign in the State Capitol building in Illinois, USA, displayed prominently in front of the Christmas display, reads:

At the time of the winter solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is just myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds., December 23rd, 2009

Some liberal minds would have us believe that the Christmas narrative is merely a story. That the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, His ascension into Heaven, and His eventual second coming are merely a myth. That the Church is a human institution, erected by men, to enslave the minds of weaker men, and impose a system of beliefs that control and deny mankind of true freedom.

Say, then, that the author of this sign is correct. That Christ is a lie, Catholicism is a fiction, and the hope of Christianity is a tale. Then let me say this:

I would sooner follow Jesus "the myth"… than I would the god of this "enlightened" age: the ego.

I would sooner follow the "fabricated" tenets of my world religion that have set me free… than I would the "reason" of modern minds that enslaves one to a troubled conscience.

I would sooner follow the "thin air" of my faith and it’s "fairy-tale" promises that have restored my hope and healed my soul… than the cold, empty doctrines of atheism’s high priests that steal joy and harden the heart.

I would sooner obey in all servility the "sham" of the Commandments, which have brought peace and enlightened my mind… than the moral relativism and shifting "truths," which confuse and contradict.

I would sooner give away everything I own, and embrace the blessedness of poverty in the footsteps of my "imaginary" Lord… than sell my soul to high-tech salvation and invite the curse of restlessness and greed.

I would sooner follow my "phony" pope and priests, who measure a man by his love and sacrifice… than the suits and ties who measure man by his economic contribution and carbon footprint.

I would sooner embrace the power of this "prank," which has transformed entire cultures into civilized nations through the law of love… than the poison of a new world order that suppresses, bribes, and intimidates nations into conformity.

I would sooner be labeled a fundamentalist, radical, and terrorist… than deny the Name above all names.

You offer a whore’s bed of technology, but I would rather lie on the rugged Cross of salvation. You offer painkillers and drugs, but I prefer the thorns and nails of sanctification. You offer rationalizations and theories, but I choose the evidence of God in all of creation, even if it draws your mockery and spittle. I would sooner shed my blood, every last drop, for the "fraud" who has loved me unto death, than the reality you offer, which loves itself unto death. I have walked the wide and easy path you offer, a path that has broken hearts, destroyed families, and shattered souls. I would sooner walk the narrow road of the Father’s will, even should it lead to nothing as you say. For even now, in the "Faith of folklore," the "Man of myth," the "Lord of legend," I truly live. I was lost, but now I am found… and I would rather die than be lost again to the trinity remade in your own image: the "god of reason," "lord of logic", and "prince of the natural world."

Yes, I would sooner follow Jesus "the myth."



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Love God, Love One Another: "Trinity Sunday" by Rita Ring, May 29, 1994

Trinity Sunday

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Image by Lawrence OP via Flickr

Fridolin Leiber - The Holy Trinity. Note that ...

Image via Wikipedia

God's Blue Book III Cover

May 29, 1994 Before Mass

I am with you, My precious one. I am God. Today is the Feast of the Trinity. God is here, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Praise Us, worship Us, hono

r Us. We are truly present and ready to take your prayers to Our heavenly court.

After Communion:

The more you know and love Me, the more you know and love the Father, for He is one in Me and I am one in Him. The Father has sent Me to be one in you. Reach with love in your heart for the one, triune God. To know Me is to love the Father. He is your Father. He created you. He loves you. You are His precious creation.

The Holy Spirit is the love that exists between the Father and Son. It is through the Spirit you are given the knowing power to see God. God is one, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three equal persons in one God. Go to the Spirit. Beg for His gifts to see God, one, holy, true. Go to the Spirit. Ask Him to remove the blinders from your eyes. Where you were blind, you now see. You see with such clarity, you hear with such wisdom, only through the Spirit. You of yourself would not know such things. Beg to be opened to the Spirit. Beg Him to give you His life within you.

Love your Savior Jesus Christ and know how He loves you through the Eucharist. Know that all the love you have for Jesus and He has for you is extended to the Father for they are one with each other.

If you could behold the sight of God, your eyes could not see. You do not reach with your hearts to know God. Pray to the Spirit to open up your hearts and give you the eyes to see. You of yourself are blind and deaf. This is the gift of the Spi

rit, to know God. Such love pours out to you. Pray to Mary to love through her sinless Heart.

R. God in His magnificence is truly present. How do I love Him? How do I, a mere creature, love God? Only through the Immaculate Heart of Mary can I love with such great love. My precious God, I am so imperfect. Through her sinless Heart, through her ardent love for God, I can love Him more deeply.

Spirit, open my eyes. Fill me. Open my heart. Give me Your life that the life and love of God might dwell within my breast. I beg for Your gifts. I implore You to help me unite more fully with God through Mary.

Jesus: And I came unto you and you were filled with My love, and the power of the Lord shone upon you, the power of the the one, triune God.

R. He is mighty and worthy of all praise. Fall to your knees. Fall and adore Him. Alleluia. Alleluia.

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Even before they learn to speak, the Holy Innocents proclaim Christ:

A sermon of St Quodvultdeus

A tiny child is born, who is a great king. Wise men are led to him from afar. They come to adore one who lies in a manger and yet reigns in heaven and on earth. When they tell of one who is born a king, Herod is disturbed. To save his kingdom he resolves to kill him, though if he would have faith in the child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and for ever in the life to come.
  Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king? He does not come to drive you out, but to conquer the devil. But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage, and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.
  You are not restrained by the love of weeping mothers or fathers mourning the deaths of their sons, nor by the cries and sobs of the children. You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart. You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong your own life, though you are seeking to kill Life himself.
  Yet your throne is threatened by the source of grace, so small, yet so great, who is lying in the manger. He is using you, all unaware of it, to work out his own purposes freeing souls from captivity to the devil. He has taken up the sons of the enemy into the ranks of God’s adopted children.
  The children die for Christ, though they do not know it. The parents mourn for the death of martyrs. The child makes of those as yet unable to speak fit witnesses to himself. See the kind of kingdom that is his, coming as he did in order to be this kind of king. See how the deliverer is already working deliverance, the saviour already working salvation.
  But you, Herod, do not know this and are disturbed and furious. While you vent your fury against the child, you are already paying him homage, and do not know it.
  How great a gift of grace is here! To what merits of their own do the children owe this kind of victory? They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ. They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory.

From the Office of Readings for Dec. 28

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I received this from my friend Grace: Oh how true!!

Observations on Growing Older


~Your kids are becoming you...and you don't like them

...but your grandchildren are perfect!


~Going out is good.

Coming home is better!


~When people say you look "Great"...

they add "for your age!"


~When you needed the discount you paid full price.

Now you get discounts on everything ...

movies, hotels, flights, but you're too tired to use them.


~You forget names ... but it's OK

because other people forgot

they even knew you!!!


~The 5 pounds you wanted to lose

is now 15 and you have a better chance

of losing your keys than the 15 pounds.


~You realize you're never going

to be really good at anything .... especially golf.


~Your wife is counting on you

to remember things you don't remember.


~The things you used to care to do,

you no longer care to do,

but you really do care that you

don't care to do them anymore.


~Your husband sleeps better on a lounge chair

with the TV blaring than he does in bed.

It's called his "pre-sleep".


~Remember when your mother said

"Wear clean underwear in case you GET in an accident"?

Now you bring clean underwear in case you HAVE an accident!


~You used to say,

"I hope my kids GET married ...

Now, "I hope they STAY married!"


~You miss the days when everything worked

with just an "ON" and "OFF" switch..


~When GOOGLE, ipod, email, modem ...

were unheard of, and a mouse was something

that made you climb on a table.


~You used to use more 4 letter words ...

"what?"..."when?"  ???


~Now that you can afford

expensive jewelry, it's not safe to wear it anywhere.


~Your husband has a night out with the guys

but he's home by 9:00 P.M. week it will be 8:30 P.M.


~You read 100 pages into a book before you realize you've read it.


~Notice everything they sell in stores is "sleeveless"?!!!


~What used to be freckles are now liver spots.


~Everybody whispers.

~Now that your husband has retired ...

you'd give anything if he'd find a job!


~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet ....

2 of which you will never wear.


~~~~But old is good in some things:

old songs

old movies

And best of all OLD FRIENDS!!

Love you, "OLD FRIEND!"


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