Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pentecost Feast-The Gifts and Charisms of The Holy Spirit

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio - Gifts and Charisms of the Holy Spirit - Pentecost  The Feast of Pentecost:
The Gifts and Charisms
 of The Holy Spirit
Ten Commandments, Catholic Church, Confirmation, Teen
A reflection on the meaning of the Feast of Pentecost and the person, gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit.  The Feast of Pentecost, originally the Jewish Feast of weeks commemorating the gift of the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai 50 days after the Exodus, was the day when the Holy Spirit was poured out in the Upper Room upon the apostles and other disciples in the form of tongues of fire and a strong wind, fifty days after Easter Sunday, the day marking the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.  Pentecost is seen as the birthday of the Church.

As a teen, I thought the clergy were supposed to do everything.   We laity were just called to pray, pay, and obey.  Oh yes, and keep the commandments, of course.  The original 10 seemed overwhelming enough.  Then I discovered the Sermon on the Mount and nearly passed out.

Perhaps this is why many inactive Catholics are so resentful of their upbringing in the Church.   For them, religion means frustration, failure, and guilt.

Somehow they, and I, missed the good news about Pentecost.  OK, we Catholics celebrate the feast every year and mention it in Confirmation class, but lots of us evidently didn’t “get it.”
Because if we “got it,” we’d be different.  Bold instead of timid, energetic instead of anemic, fascinated instead of bored.   Compare the apostles before and after Pentecost and you’ll see the difference the Spirit makes.
Pentecost, Confirmation, Sacrament of Confirmation

The gospel is Good News not just because we’re going to heaven, but because we’ve been empowered to become new people, here and now.  Vatican II insisted that each of us is called to the heights of holiness (Lumen Gentium, chapter V).  Not by will-power, mind you.  But by Holy Spirit power. Holiness consists in faith, hope, and especially divine love.  These are “virtues,” literally “powers,” given by the Spirit.  To top it off, the Spirit gives us seven further gifts which perfect faith, hope, and love, making it possible for us to live a supernatural, charismatic life.  Some think this is only for the chosen few, “the mystics.”  Thomas Aquinas taught to the contrary that the gifts of Is 11:1-3 (wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, piety, fortitude, and fear of the Lord) are standard equipment given in baptism, that all are called to be “mystics.”

Vatican II also taught that every Christian has a vocation to serve.  We need power for this too.  And so the Spirit distributes other gifts, called “charisms.”  These, teaches St. Thomas, are not so much for our own sanctification as for service to others.  There is no exhaustive list of charisms, though St. Paul mentions a few (I Corinthians 12:7-10, Ro 12:6-8) ranging from tongues to Christian marriage (1 Cor 7: 7).  Charisms are not doled out by the pastors; but are given directly by the Spirit through baptism and confirmation, even sometimes outside of the sacraments (Acts 10:44-48).
Pentecost, Confirmation, Sacrament of Confirmation
Do I sound Pentecostal?  That’s because I belong to the largest Pentecostal Church in the world.  Correcting the mistaken notion that the charisms were just for the apostolic church, Vatican II had this to say: "Allotting His gifts “to everyone according as he will” (1 Cor. 12:11), He [the Holy Spirit] distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank. . . . These charismatic gifts, whether they be the most outstanding or the more simple and widely diffused, are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation, for they are exceedingly suitable and useful for the needs of the Church" (LG12).

Powerful gifts, freely given to all.  Sounds like a recipe for chaos.  But the Lord also imparted to the apostles and their successors a unifying charism of headship.  The role of the ordained is not to do everything themselves.  Rather, they are to discern, shepherd, and coordinate the charims of the laity so that they mature and work together for the greater glory of God (LG 30).
Sacrament of Champions, Confirmation, Catholic Church

So what if you, like me, did not quite “get it” when you were confirmed?   I’ve got good news for you.  You actually did get the Spirit and his gifts.   Have you ever received a new credit card with a sticker saying “Must call to activate before using?”  The Spirit and his gifts are the same way.  You have to call in and activate them.   Do it today and every day, and especially every time you attend Mass.  Because every sacramental celebration is a New Pentecost where the Spirit and his gifts are poured out anew (CCC 739, 1106).

That’s why the Christian Life is an adventure.  There will always be new surprises of the Spirit!

This article originally appeared in Our Sunday Visitor as a reflection upon the Scripture readings for the Feast of Pentecost Sunday.

Mary Speaks to Families to Mediate Graces

Mother Mary & Young Jesus

Image by S.Raj via Flickr

Written by "Anne, a Lay Apostle"   

The messages from "Anne, a Lay Apostle," from the international spiritual movement "Lay Apostles of Jesus Christ the Returning King" have been released for international distribution with the permission of Bishop Leo O'Reilly of the Diocese of Kilmore, Ireland, the diocese in which Anne and the international headquarters of the Lay apostolate reside. They have also been submitted by Bishop O'Reilly to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome .

The following message comes from Volume VI, entitled Heaven Speaks to Families.

Mary, Our Blessed Mother, Speaks to Children

June 29, 2004

How happy I am to be talking to you in this way! God is very good to allow me to do so. You see, dear children, usually God does not allow people in heaven to communicate with people on earth. God is allowing it now because this is a special time. During this time, your time on earth, heaven is doing special work. There are many souls on earth who do not understand that God is the One who is in charge of everything. These people think they are in charge and they are trying to be better than God. This is a mis­take for them and they must change. All people must understand that God created the world and each person in the world. God allows the sun to shine, God allows the rain to fall. If God did not allow these things to happen, these things would stop. We must always thank God for making the world so beautiful for us. When you thank God for making the world and making you, He is happy and He sends even more graces down to the world. Graces are good things that come from heaven. So you must join me, Mary, your mother in heaven, and ask God for more graces from heaven for the world. Will you do that? Will you help me? Together we will say, "God in heaven, you are the Creator of all things. Please send your graces down upon our world." I thank you, dear children. I love you very much. I will help you in everything. Like Jesus, I can always hear you, so talk to me often. I will always be close to you.


For further information regarding the Lay Apostolate of Jesus Christ the Returning King, or to purchase Heaven Speaks booklets, please contact Direction for Our Times on the Web at, or mail inquiries to the following address: 9000 West 81st St., Justice, IL 60458, U.S.A.

Pentecost: The activity of every Christian community

The Descent of the Holy Spirit in a 15th centu...

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VATICAN - AVE MARIA: Mgr. Luciano Alimandi -

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - Saint Cyril, in his teaching, with regard to the working of the Holy Spirit in the souls of believers who welcome Him: "Meek and gentle is his coming, fragrant and sweet his presence, light his yoke. His arrival is preceded by splendid rays of light and of knowledge. He comes as a brother and as a defender. He comes in fact to save, to heal, to teach, the exhort, to strengthen and to console. First he illuminates the mind of the receiver then, through this person, the minds of others. Like when a person is in the dark and then, when the sun suddenly appears, the person receives light in is bodily eye and what before he could not see, he now sees clearly. So too, he who is judged worthy of the gift of the Holy Spirit, is illuminated in the soul and, lifted above man, sees things of which before he had no knowledge" (From the Teachings of St Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop).

The great solemnity of Pentecost concludes the Season of Easter. Every day is an occasion to encounter the Risen Lord, especially when we live with faith the daily celebration of Mass and we adore Him in present and living in the Eucharist. Like the disciples at Emmaus we too "recognize Him in the breaking of the bread " (cfr. Lk 24, 31), thanks to the working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

The Holy Spirit, as St Basil says, "manifests himself only to those who are worthy. Although he does not give himself to all in equal measure, but only in relation to the intensity of the faith " (Saint Basil the Great, Treatise on the Holy Spirit). The more we believe in Jesus the more the Spirit takes possession of our lives, inspires our thoughts, pushes us with love to take action. Without the Holy Spirit we can do nothing supernatural, we cannot even pray, since only He can lift the mind and the heart to God.

Everything authentic in the life of the Church, in each individual soul, can be traced to the working of the Spirit. A soul can do nothing good in the name of Jesus without the assistance of the Holy Spirit. We might apply to the Holy Spirit, what Jesus said to his disciple: "without me you can do nothing " (Jn 15, 5). Perhaps we fail to reflect enough on the necessity of the Holy Spirit for Christian life. Perhaps we only remember him at certain times, when really we should invoke him throughout the day, like children seeking the closeness of parents in order to feel reassured by their presence. For children who are close to their parents nothing is impossible because they know they are in safe hands.
Very often we hear a child say confidently: My dad is the strongest! My mum is the best! We too must learn from children and become like them in order to 'enter the kingdom' of the Holy Spirit. We should nourish in our heart profound respect and deep devotion for the Holy Spirit, so that we turn to him spontaneously, with the trust of a child who feels totally safe in the hands of his parents. In the well known sequence of Pentecost, do we not invoke the Holy Spirit as "Father"? "Come, Father of the poor, come, Giver of gifts, come, Light of hearts"! Are we not all so poor, even though we are rich in ourselves, that we have immense need of the Spirit?

To help his disciples realize the importance of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, the Lord Jesus uses these powerful words: "it is for your own good that I am going, because unless I go, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you" (Jn 16, 7).

Certainly it was only after Pentecost that the Apostles fully understood the Lord's words; before they could never have imagined the courage of witness that the Holy Spirit infuses in a soul which opens to Him in faith in Jesus. Pentecost marked the beginning of the great witness of the first Christian community, gathered in prayer with Mary in the Upper Room (cfr. Acts 1, 14). The Lord Jesus, before ascending into heaven, promised he would send his disciples "power from on high", on the condition that they stayed in the town: "And now I am sending upon you what the Father has promised. Stay in the city, then, until you are clothed with the power from on high." (Lk 24, 49).

The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, stressing the importance of this "being together" (cfr. Acts 1, 4-5) as Jesus requested of his disciples in order to prepare for the coming of the Spirit, said: "To stay together was the condition laid down by Jesus in order to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit; the premise of their harmony was prolonged prayer. In this way we are offered a formidable lesson for every Christian community. Some think at times that missionary effectiveness depends primarily on careful programming and its subsequent intelligent application through a concrete commitment. The Lord certainly does ask for our collaboration, but before any other response his initiative is necessary: his Spirit is the true protagonist of the Church. The roots of our being and of our action are in the wise and provident silence of God." (Benedict XVI, homily on Pentecost Sunday, 4 June 2006).

Celebrating Pentecost in our communities, as the Lord demands, united with the Blessed Virgin Mary, let us open our hearts and minds, and pray together for the coming of the Holy Spirit, consecrating our life to his almighty Love.

(Agenzia Fides 27/5/2009; righe 64, parole 947)

The fallout from Padre Alberto's decision to join the Episcopal Church has begun.

Bishop David Álvarez

El Nuevo Día reports that five priests from the Diocese of San Juan, Puerto Rico, plan to join the exodus -- all because of celibacy issues. 

By Sandra Caquías Cruz 
El Nuevo Día 
May 30, 2009 

Not one, not two. Now five Puerto Rican Catholic priests are following in the footsteps of Alberto Cutié in the decision to abandon the priesthood in the Catholic Church to enter the ranks of the Episcopal Church. 

All have a common denominator: they are in love with a woman. 

Five priests, most from the Diocese of San Juan, knocked on the door of the Episcopal Church to tell Bishop David Álvarez that they were failing to live their celibacy vow and preferred to join his denomination that would allow them to marry. 

The five priests took the step, Álvarez explains, after the photos of Cutié were publicized, where the now ex-Catholic priest appears with his girlfriend in romantic scenes on a Miami beach. 

"The Diocese of Puerto Rico, specifically five Roman Catholic priests, also primarily because of the mandatory celibacy impediment, are interested in continuing to be priests, so as to be able to marry in the Episcopal Diocese of Puerto Rico. They are in the process," Bishop Alvarez confirmed during a telephone interview from New York with this newspaper. 

He explained that of those five priests, two have already completed their entrance into the ranks of the Episcopal Church, but they are not yet working as preists. 

"The other three are still in the Catholic Church because they have not yet officially left, but some have already resigned. They are not working [as priests]," Alvarez said. 

Where are they from? "Most are from the Archdiocese of San Juan," he answered. 

Bishop Alvarez declined to reveal the names of the priests, but he stated that it is not the first time that this has happened.

Archbishop Roberto González Nieves, leader of the Archdiocese of San Juan, did not answer calls from 
El Nuevo Día.


And one of those robbers who were hanged blasphemed him, saying: "If thou be Christ, save thyself and us." But the other answering, rebuked him, saying: "Neither dost thou fear God, seeing; thou art under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly: for we receive the due reward of our deeds. But this man hath done no evil." And he said to Jesus: "Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom." And Jesus said to him: "Amen I say to thee: This day thou shalt be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:39-43)

THE SOUL OF JESUS CHRIST, immediately after His Death, went to Limbo, to announce to the spirits of the just the glad tidings that the work of Redemption was accomplished, and that they would soon ascend with Him to heaven. It was for this reason that our Lord said to the penitent thief: "This day shalt thou be with Me in paradise." Our Lord's Divinity was inseparably joined to His Soul.

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

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Christ appears to Paul in prisonSt. Paul in prison. Image by Lawrence OP via Flickr


Priests In Crisis

“Kill the priest!” “Kill the priest!” “Kill the priest!” This rousing foot-stomping chant greeted me as I was led down the tier of a prison cell block nearly 15 years ago. It was maddening.
Today the eve of Pentecost 2009, I have been in prison for 5,333 days and nights for a crime that never took place. My fellow prisoners do not organize chants for my demise any longer. I have a pretty good rapport with them, though even after 15 years it’s clear that I don’t quite fit in.
I live daily with the irony that I would not today be in prison if I did not maintain my innocence. Under a deal offered by the state I would have left prison over 13 years ago had I been guilty and willing to say so.
Today I am prisoner number 67546 in the Hancock Unit of the New Hampshire State Prison. I live in a prison block reserved primarily for men serving long, long sentences, most of them for murder. I taught college courses to prisoners for several years and now work in the prison library.
The case against me was a fraud brought for the guarantee of hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlement money. I have come to know that there is far more fraud in the claims against American Catholic priests than most people know or want to believe.
Some would have us believe that no one – certainly no young man – would falsely accuse a priest just for money. My fellow prisoners laugh at such naïve beliefs. Some of them have reminded me that they have taken lives for far less money than what was gained by those who took my reputation and freedom 15 yrs. ago.
A few years ago a contingency lawyer representing dozens of claimants seeking five million dollars in new settlements from my diocese was quoted in a local newspaper: “Church officials didn’t even ask for details for the claims, such as location and date and the abuse alleged. I’ve never seen anything like it.” That same lawyer is now in his fifth round of mediated settlements.
The names of the accused priests have been released to the public despite the contingency lawyer’s statement that the church sought no corroboration for the claims whatsoever before handing over millions of dollars. The names of the accusers, many of them now men in their 30s, 40s and 50s, remain shielded from public view.
Fifteen years in prison for a crime that never took place is no small affair. In 2005 the late Cardinal Avery Dulles, in the first of a series of letters between us, salvaged the spiritual life of my priesthood. He placed my unjust imprisonment in a context that in my anger and hurt I had not previously considered. Cardinal Dulles wrote:
God does not intend that your life be futile. Much of the finest Christian literature comes from believers who were Unjustly imprisoned. Do you believe, Fr. MacRae? Someday your story and that of your fellow sufferers will come to light and be instrumental in a reform.
I am sure that in the plan of Divine Providence your ministry of suffering is part of your priestly vocation, filling up for the Church what is wanting in the suffering of Christ. Your writing which is clear, eloquent and spiritually sound will one day be monument to your trials.
I hope and pray that this is so. Cardinal Dulles gave meaning and purpose to something that is otherwise meaningless, as anyone who has ever served an unjust imprisonment will attest. On his suggestion, I now offer each day in prison as a share in the suffering of Christ for the spiritual support of another.
I will always be grateful to Cardinal Dulles. I am also grateful to Suzanne Sadler and “Priests in Crisis.” It takes a singular courage to speak against any unjust tide.
Please do not be ready to always believe the worst of any priest who is accused in the current climate.
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Embracing Hope TV

Embracing Hopepntng-1.jpg
Embracing Hope, by Lea Mallett
WHEN the Lord put a vision in my heart of a webcast to speak His "now word," I had a sense it would be at a time when major events were unfolding, or about to unfold in the world. Wow…
And so, finally the time has come for the second phase of this mysterious apostolate: to prepare the Church for the times which are here and coming through an internet webcast. You can imagine my surprise when the Holy Father made the following appeal last week:
Young people in particular, I appeal to you: bear witness to your faith through the digital world! Employ these new technologies to make the Gospel known, so that the Good News of God’s infinite love for all people, will resound in new ways across our increasingly technological world. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Vatican City, May 20th, 2009
To view the first of this weekly webcast as well as the introductory video, go to Please take a moment to pray for this endeavor. May Christ fill you with His grace, hope, and peace.
We cannot hide the fact that many threatening clouds are
gathering on the horizon. We must not, however,
lose heart, rather we must keep the flame of hope
alive in our hearts…
Catholic News Agency, January 15th, 2009

The Fire of My Love "Embrace The Cross" by Rita Ring, February 14, 1994

MEIXIAN COUNTY, CHINA - MAY 2:  Catholics pray...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Embrace The Cross

God's Blue Book II Cover

February 14, 1994

R. Dear Father, help me to be strong as Your son was strong to His death on the cross. He carried His cross, walked the road to Calvary and submitted, to the last beat of His heart, to His death. He was so strong!

He calls us to sainthood. Being a saint means that we carry our cross. We do not put it down. We say, "Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord, I will carry mine as You carried Yours."

Jesus: Do you have a cross? Could you find a way to put it down and not do what He is asking you to do? Don't do that. Accept all I send you as coming from Him Who died for you. It is in your cross you will learn the lessons you need to do My work. The sun shines after the blustery rain. You will see the light at th

MEIXIAN COUNTY, CHINA - MAY 2:  A Catholic kis...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

e end of the tunnel, but you must carry this one as I carried Mine for love of you.

Do you question My ways, My child? The very hairs of your head are numbered. I am giving you exactly what you need today. Will you accept it and grow into sainthood? My ways are hard. Your crosses are not easy. Embrace the cross and love the pain. It is in the cross that you are taught the mightiest lessons.

You must come to Me to be taught. You must surrender as I did to the will of The Father. You must have faith. You are given these messages from Me to share with the world. You must come and be taught. You must surrender to every lesson as one given directly from God.

Medjugorje Headline
Friday May 29, 2009

Our Lady Asks Us to Pray for Priests and Vocations Tonight

Ivan's Prayer group May 29, 2009
Millions of pilgrims have climbed Apparition Mountain over the years to attend Ivan’s prayer group apparitions. The prayer group started July 4, 1982, celebrating its 27th year this coming July. Ivan has said in speaking about the formation of the prayer group that, “It is only in this way that we will be in a position to help Her to accomplish Her plans for the world.” Though the pilgrims are not members of the group, their prayers combined with the prayer group at these mountain apparitions, help Our Lady to accomplish Her plans. Your prayers, said in union with Ivan and those on the mountain, help do the same.

Today, May 29, 2009, was a sunny cool day in Medjugorje. Later clouds drifted in and drops of rain fell as pilgrims finished the praying of the Rosary and the singing of the Litany of Mary at St. James Church.

Pilgrims gathered around the statue of Our Lady on Apparition Mountain in anticipation of the apparition of the Virgin Mary to Ivan at his Friday night prayer group. They met tonight at the top of Apparition Mountain.

Small groups of people quietly prayed and sang together as early evening began. The sun finally left its trace as the horizon began to turn a dull red color.

As darkness arrived on this starless night, more people came as the singing grew louder and the praying of the Sorrowful Mysteries at the Rosary was begun by the prayer group.

Our Lady appeared to Ivan just before 10:00 p.m., and the apparition lasted approximately 8 minutes. After the apparition to Ivan on Apparition Mountain at 10:00p.m., Ivan said:

“The most important from the meeting with Our Lady tonight is that Our Lady came happy and joyful and at the beginning She greeted us all with Her usual Motherly greeting, ‘Praised be Jesus, my dear children.’

Afterwards Our Lady, especially for a time, with Her arms extended, prayed over all of us here. She especially prayed for the sick.

She then blessed us all with Her Motherly blessing and She blessed all that you brought to be blessed.

Ivan's Prayer group May 29, 2009
Apparition Mountain in Medjugorje at 7:30 p.m. As night begins to fall in Medjugorje, hearts begin to prepare for Our Lady’s coming. The crowds will increasingly fill up the empty spaces as the time approaches Rosary and apparition time.
Then I recommended to Her all of you and all of your needs, your intentions, your families and especially the sick.

After that, for a longer time, Our Lady especially prayed for priests and for vocations in the Church.

Then I prayed an Our Father and a Glory Be with Our Lady and Our Lady left in prayer in an illuminated sign of the cross with a greeting, ‘Go in peace my dear children.’

As you know, four days ago Our Lady gave a message for the entire world. That is the most recent message to which Our Lady calls us, and additionally today She especially calls us to pray for priests and for vocations in the Church.”

Community members are working long hours to meet the deadline date of June 1st for the launching of the new site at 12:00 noon, CST, this Monday. Though only 1/5th of the site will be completed, there still will be much to see, and we are excited seeing it coming together. We will continue to move forward to complete each section until its completion, adding to the new site several major sections per week.

In Our Lady’s Love,
A Friend of Medjugorje

Ivan's Prayer group May 29, 2009
Heaven opens up a window through a blanket of clouds tonight, as pilgrims began gathering for Our Lady’s apparition on Apparition Mountain for Ivan’s Prayer Group. This picture was taken at 7:30 p.m. Many of these pilgrims made the climb even hours before that—though the apparition would not take place until 10:00 p.m.

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And so Pilate being willing to satisfy the people, released to them Barabbas: and delivered up Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. And the soldiers led him away into the court of the palace: and they called together the whole band. And they clothed him with purple: and, platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon him. And they began to salute him: "Hail, king of the Jews." And they struck his head with a reed: and they did spit on him. And bowing their knees, they adored him. And after they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him and put his own garments on him: and they led him out to crucify him. And they bring him into the place called Golgotha, which being interpreted is, The place of Calvary. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh. But he took it not. And crucifying him, they divided his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. And it was the third hour: and they crucified him. And the inscription of his cause was written over: THE KING OF THE JEWS. And they that passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads and saying: "Vah, thou that destroyest the temple of God and in three days buildest it up again: Save thyself, coming down from the cross." In like manner also the chief priests, mocking, said with the scribes one to another: "He saved others; himself he cannot save. Let Christ the king of Israel come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe." And they that were crucified with him, reviled him. And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole earth until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: "Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani?" Which is, being interpreted: "My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?" And Jesus, having cried out with a loud voice, gave up the ghost.  (Mark 15:15-37)
A SUMMARY OF THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: The sufferings of our Blessed Lord were caused by men, Jews, Gentiles and even His own apostles (Peter and Judas); by the light which revealed His nakedness; and by the air which inflamed His wounds. He suffered in His honor, by false accusations, insults, and unjust judgment; in His liberty, by being seized, bound and fastened with nails. His Soul suffered from fear, sadness and complete desolation, and from the scorn, mockery and ignominy that were heaped upon Him; His whole Body was tortured by the innumerable bruises and wounds of the scourging; His Head by the crown of thorns; His Face by the blows and spittle; His Hands and Feet by being pierced with nails; His Knees by being wounded and torn by His falls; and His Neck by the halter laid round it. His Eyes were wounded by the looks of His enemies who hated Him, as well as by the sight of His sorrowful Mother; His Ears were lacerated by the curses, cries of execration and blasphemy of His tormentors. Truly "from the sole of His Foot unto the top of His Head, there was no soundness therein" (Isa. 1:6). Added to all these sufferings we must remember this, that the Body of our Blessed Lord, conceived by the Holy Ghost in a wonderful and perfect manner, was much more sensitive to paun than our bodies; and that the more innocent, holy and noble a person is, the more intolerable to him is ingratitude, injustice, and malice. The sufferings of Jesus were, therefore, inconceivably great. All this ought to serve to fill us with a horror of sin, on account of which our dear and blessed Lord suffered so much, and impress us with the greatness of His love, which made Him endure all this for us! 

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

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Fire of My Love "His Kingdom Waits for You" by Rita Ring, November 24, 1993

His Kingdom Waits for You

God's Blue Book II Cover

November 24, 1993 (Blue Book Vol. 1)

R. Jesus, Jesus, my beautiful Jesus! I come on bended knee in the night. He has a kingdom to surpass all others and it is not of this world. Entry is not dependent on gold or silver, but on our deeds of love to Him and to each other. How does He love us? With the love of God. He loved us to the point of death and He loves us like that this day. We are unworthy of all His gifts for us but He stands and waits for us at His gates.

[MaryVitamin] Preparing for Pentecost

Mary Vitamin for May 29th
Topic: Preparing for Pentecost with Our Lady in the Upper Room
Venerable Mary of Agreda
"The words of the Holy Virgin were mild, fervent and efficacious in touching the hearts of the primitive faithful and in leading them to the practice of what was
Rubens Assumption of the Virgin, 17th century

The Assumption by Ruben. Image via Wikipedia

most fervent and heroic in virtue."
TheDivine Life of the Most Holy Virgin, (Tan Books), 222.
Venerable Mary of Agreda
"She incited them to mental prayer, teaching them its excellence and necessity, because the noblest occupation of the reasonable creature is to raise his mind above created things to meditate on the divine, and that nothing should be preferred to this holy exercise."
TheDivine Life of the Most Holy Virgin, (Tan Books), 221.
I will pause to reflect upon the presence of Our Lady in the upper room. I will think about her stabilizing influence, her calm demeanor, her words full of wisdom and love for Her Son. I will see her strong yet gentle guidance that she provided to the apostles during this difficult transition for them. Only yesterday, they saw the Lord ascend into Heaven and they were fearfully waiting the unknown the arrival of the Holy Spirit. Not knowing what to expect, the apostles turned to Our Lady. I will do the same thing. I will place my future in her capable hands when I place my flower on my May altar.
Marian Vow:
Mental Prayer from Marian Seraphic Pathways
"If possible each day the tertiaries should dedicate about an hour to meditation and spiritual reading. In particular the tertiaries should meditate in depth on the Gospel so as to faithfully practice 'moving from the Gospel to life and from life to the Gospel' (RT 4). They should read and diligently reflect on the Franciscan Sources, on the writings and lives of the saints, in particular St. Maximilian, his writings on Marian and Franciscan spirituality, and on the documents of the Supreme Pontiff. Let each Franciscan Tertiary of the Immaculate firmly resolve to make a daily Marian meditation, even if short and simple."
Traccia of Marian Seraphic Pathways, #30
I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.


Deacon John

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Biblical Reflection for Solemnity of Pentecost

Tribulation Times


May 29, 2009    

Saint Peter Preaching at Pentecost, painting b...

St. Peter preaching on Pentecost Day. Image via Wikipedia


(Act 2:1-4) And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming: and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues, as it were of fire: and it sat upon every one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost: and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak.

CATHOLIC PRWIRE: Celebration of the Solemnity of Pentecost From the Vatican on


Biblical Reflection for Solemnity of Pentecost
We must keep lamp of missionary spirit burning brightly
Reader Question: Why Holy Ghost?

CATHOLIC PRWIRE: Theologian Writes New Book with Imprimatur on Marian Prophecy

A new book on apocalyptic times, The Secrets, Chastisement, and Triumph of the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary, written by theologian and Southern Catholic College professor, Dr. Kelly Bowring, has just been released through Two Hearts Press, LLC (

The new book, The Secrets, Chastisement, and Triumph of the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary, has just received the official recognition of the Catholic Church in the form of an imprimatur, affirming that nothing in the book contradicts Catholic faith and teaching. Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal of the Philippines has just granted Dr. Bowring's new book on biblical and modern heavenly prophecy the Church's official imprimatur. His secretary, Rev. Fr. Mhar Vincent Balili, expressed his hope for the success of the new book, stating, "May this book reach as many people as possible that they may deepen their devotions to the two hearts of Jesus and Mary."

Covering prophecies of the latter times, a topic of increasing interest to Christians in recent years, Professor Bowring's new book seems likely to become popular and far-reaching. Bowring's book shows with mounting evidence that we are living in biblically important times, unprecedented times of apparitions, visions, and messages from Heaven, which include Lourdes, Fatima, Garabandal, and Medjugorje. Dr. Bowring says they all point to one central warning concerning the times we are quickly approaching.

Dr. Bowring's book addresses God's call to repentance and to make reparation for the sins of humanity while there is still time. Finally, he says the book also calls for hope, because God declares through His prophecies that in the end He will intervene, He will conquer, and He will bring to humanity a great era of peace for a thousand years. "God is giving us hope in the midst of our times and of those apocalyptic times to come, to help us to see that He will be with us if we remain faithful to Him," explains Dr. Bowring.

"In the end, all will work out well for the children of God and for the future of humanity, as God is always in control. This book assures us of God's mercy for our times, and that all these things to come are within His divine Providence. Thus, this is a book of warning and of hope that offers a clear and detailed heaven-revealed perspective of the time we are living in and of those to come in our times."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 17- "On non-possessiveness"

10. Waves never leave the sea, nor do anger and grief leave the avaricious.   

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The Crucifixion

And Jesus again crying with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom: and the earth quaked and the rocks were rent. And the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose, And coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, came into the holy city and appeared to many. (Matt. 27:50-53)

HOLY WEEK: Good Friday is a day of mourning and penance, for on that day sin caused the death of the Incarnate Son of God. On the sixth day of Creation God made man; and on the sixth day of the week, God Incarnate redeemed fallen man.

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

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Fire of My Love "Do You Truly Want Union With Me?" by Rita Ring, February 14, 1994

Do You Truly Want Union With Me?

God's Blue Book II Cover

February 14, 1994 5:00 a.m.

Jesus: Will you be My light to the world? Will you open up entirely and be only of Me? Will you put aside your selfish desires and think of Me? I am calling you to union with Me. This takes denial of self. To be involved in yourself is to be void of God. Selfishness is not godliness. You must choose between yourself and God.

I am He Who loves you intently. Love gives to the other. Love does not seek its own way. This is not love. Do you love Me enough to give yourself entirely to Me or do you want to give some of yourself and hold on to some of yourself?

I died in complete surrender for you, to the last beat of My heart. I gave you this much love. Do you love Me? Then you can put aside what you want. If one thing becomes more important than I, you are violating the First Commandment. You must be selfless and have Me as your top priority. Everything in your life has meaning only as it brings you closer to Me.

What do you need? What do you spend your thoughts on? Train your will to turn your thoughts to Me. See Me in total surrender, dying for love of you on the cross.

You want love. What of your brothers? Would they lay down their lives for you? If they had a choice, would they choose to give you the last drop of blood and the last beat of their heart?

What do I do now to wake you to My love? My heart is on fire with love of you but to know Me more you must reach with your soul. The more you die to yourself, the greater your union with Me. To the last beat of My heart, I loved you.

Do you truly want union with Me? Then do not hold back any of yourself. You give yourself in all things that you want so badly. Surrender those things to Me. When you are attached to anything, a job, a person, a service, when anything you do becomes more important than Me, you are attached to it! If you are too busy for anything and do not have time to be alone with Me, then you are attached to too many things. Union with Me must come first.

Take up your cross and follow Me. To lay down your cross is the way of the world. I ask you to constant surrender of your will to the will of The Father.

I am He Who comes before you. I showed you the way by My life. I completely surrendered to the will of The Father. I gave My life for love of you. The Father loved you so much He gave His only Son for love of you. The Holy Spirit is the love between The Father and the Son. Such love in God! You, My child, are loved beyond all comprehension.

You wander aimlessly while your soul craves this love. It can be found in front of the tabernacle. My love is personified there. I am there, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. I am truly present in your midst. I long to shower you with the love of God. We are three in one. When you come to Me you are receiving love from God. I, God, am present in the tabernacle and the Eucharist. You have communion with God in Holy Communion. What love, to fill your aching heart on Valentine's Day!

Reach with a heart of God. Let Him bathe you in His love. Come to His altar and worship Him, My child. You are loved beyond all comprehension and your soul craves this love.

You cannot have all you seek. You will not be satisfied on this earth. I give you glimpses. I give you little moments, but most are just spent ardently adoring Me. You do not need to feel Me to know you are receiving the greatest gift of all, God-made-man dwelling in your midst.


The way to Me is the Way of the Cross. I give you a cross to bring you closer to Me. Take up your cross and follow Me. The way to Me is through the cross you carry today. Do as I want you to do. Accept your cross and carry it for Me. Did I do any less for you? I loved you to My death. I call you to this love for Me and your brothers. Love your brothers with the heart of God. You are Me to this dark world. You are My hands, My heart. You are Me, dwelling in your being. Die to yourself and follow Me.

VATICAN - Year of the Priest: The Church is Proud of Her Priests, loves, honors & admires them!

VATICAN - Year of the Priest "must be a year that is both positive and forward looking in which the Church says to her priests above all, but also to all the Faithful and to wider society by means of the mass media, that she is proud of her priests, loves them, honors them, admires them." Letter from Cardinal Hummes.

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - "The Year for Priests, announced by our beloved

John Vianney

Image via Wikipedia

Pope Benedict XVI to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the death of the saintly Curé of Ars, St. John Mary Vianney, is drawing near. It will be inaugurated by the Holy Father on the 19th June, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests." This is the opening of the letter written by the Prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, addressed to the priests of the world, asking for their common effort "so that it may be a year amply celebrated in the whole world – in the Dioceses, parishes and in every local community – with the warm participation of our Catholic people who undoubtedly love their priests and want to see them happy, holy and joyous in their daily apostolic labors."

The Cardinal continues: "It must be a year that is both positive and forward looking in which the Church says to her priests above all, but also to all the Faithful and to wider society by means of the mass media, that she is proud of her priests, loves them, honours them, admires them and that she recognizes with gratitude their pastoral work and the witness of the their life." While the priests "are important not only for what they do but also for who they are," the Cardinal mentions that "some priests have been shown to have been involved in gravely problematic and unfortunate situations," and obviously, "it is necessary to investigate these matters, pursue judicial processes and impose penalties accordingly. However, it is also important to keep in mind that these pertain to a very small portion of the clergy. The overwhelming majority of priests are people of great personal integrity, dedicated to the sacred ministry; men of prayer and of pastoral charity."
Among the objectives of this Year, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy mentions "intense appreciation of the priestly identity, of the theology of the Catholic priesthood, and of the extraordinary meaning of the vocation and mission of priests within the Church and in society." He also expresses the hope that it will be a "year in which the concrete circumstances and the material sustenance of the clergy will be considered, since they live, at times, in situations of great poverty and hardship ," and "a year as well of religious and of public celebration which will bring the people – the local Catholic community – to pray, to reflect, to celebrate, and justly to give honor to their priests."

The Letter concludes with an invitation to all the Bishops' Conferences, dioceses, parishes, and local communities, to prepare a program for this special Year. "The local Churches are invited on the 19th June next, the same day on which the Holy Father will inaugurate the Year for Priests in Rome, to participate in the opening of the Year, ideally by some particular liturgical act and festivity. Let those who are able most surely come to Rome for the inauguration, to manifest their own participation in this happy initiative of the Pope."

The cardinal Cláudio Hummes, new prefect of th...

Cardinal Claudio Hummes. Image via Wikipedia

(SL) (Agenzia Fides 28/5/2009)

Complete text of the Letter, in various languages

[MaryVitamin] Giving all to Mary

Mary Vitamin for May 28th
Saint-Louis de Montfort

Modern statue of St. Louis de Monfort. Image by racineur via Flickr

Topic: Giving All to Mary
St. Louis de Montfort
The seventh effect of True Devotion to Mary
"By this practice, faithfully observed, you will give Jesus more glory in a month, than by any other practice, however difficult, in many years."
St. Alphonsus di Liguori explains why this devotion to Mary is truly efficacious.
"Let us then, in the words of St. Bernard, 'endeavor to venerate this divine Mother with the whole affection of our hearts; for such is the will of God, who is pleased that we should receive every good thing from her hand. And therefore the saint exhorts us, whenever we desire or ask for any grace, to recommend ourselves to Mary, and to be assured that we shall receive it by her means; for he says, if thou dost not deserve the favor from God, Mary, who will ask it for thee, will deserve to receive it; 'because thou was unworthy of the gift, it was bestowed on Mary, that through her thou mightest receive all that thou hast.' The saint then advises us to recommend all that we offer to God to the care of Mary, be they good works or prayers, if we wish our Lord to accept them. 'Whatever thou mayest offer to God, be sure to recommend it to Mary, in order not to meet with a repulse.'"
The Glories of Mary, (Tan Books), 174-5.
Today, I will make my Morning offering with renewed vigor recalling the great graces which exist when I turn everything over to Mary.
Marian Vow:
From the Marian Seraphic Pathways
"The Lord has said: 'No one who sets his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of heaven' (Lk. 9,62). Therefore, let the tertiaries strengthen themselves in fidelity to their consecration to God and the Immaculate by renewing each day their Profession with the Marian Vow, using the formula found in the manual of prayer."
Constitutions, #21
I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.



Deacon John

Sent from Mt Dora, Florida, United States
 May Feelings II

Created by 23-year old Spainish filmmaker Santiago Requejo, May Feelings II is a unique take on the rosary that has attracted hundreds of thousands of Internet viewers.

Many people do not understand me
They say it is boring
That I always say the same thing
That I do not help anyone
That it is old-fashioned
That nobody does it
That it is useless
That it makes no sense
That I am wasting my time

A good friend
Once told me
Do not be afraid
And always remember
You are not alone

I pray the Rosary
50 people
50 hopes
50 lives
50 hearts
50 souls
50 dreams
50 sons

50 Hail Mary's

Do you pray the Rosary?
Mary's Month

{Trib Times} May 28, Some Good Pope Links

Tribulation Times


May 28, 2009     

Pope Benedict XVI during visit to São Paulo, B...

Image via Wikipedia

(Mat 28:19-20) Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

NEWSLINK: Pope calls for cyberspace evangelists

Pope Benedict XVI is calling upon young people to evangelize using the Internet as the Church prepares to celebrate the World Day for Social Communications.

At the end of his Wednesday general audience last week, the Holy Father launched an appeal asking that cyberspace be a place that promotes a "culture of respect, dialogue and authentic friendship where the values of truth, harmony and understanding can flourish."

Speaking English, the Holy Father recalled how in his message for this year's celebrations, "I am inviting all those who make use of the new technologies of communication, especially the young, to utilize them in a positive way and to realize the great potential of these means to build up bonds of friendship and solidarity that can contribute to a better world.

"Young people in particular, I appeal to you: bear witness to your faith through the digital world!" the Pope urged.

"Employ these new technologies to make the Gospel known, so that the Good News of God's infinite love for all people, will resound in new ways across our increasingly technological world!"

The World Day for Social Communications was held on Sunday, May 24 this year.


The Pope On iPhone
Pope Benedict Youtube Page

Susan: This was shot in Israel during the Pope's visit. It was never shown on US Television. The video is of an event held at the House of the President, where the Pope was "entertained" by a choir singing a song for PEACE in Hebrew, English and Arabic.

The presentation of the song of peace is very moving, enjoy it!


MORE ON SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Spritual Warfare by Fr Clement Machado

A very powerful talk all Catholics should hear!  The speaker is exorcist priest Fr. Clement Machado and the topic is on Spritual Warfare.  In this eye-opening speech Fr. Machado talks at length about how the battle between Heaven and Hell is raging on around us, and how Satan is winning in our country right now.  Between the genocide of the unborn, and the election of Barack Obama, we have grown weak and need to rise up as prayer warriors, trusting in the powerful name of Jesus, our Blessed Mother, and St Michael.  This talk was given on November 22, 2008 in Chicago Heights.  Fr Machado is a true warrior for Heaven who isn't afraid to speak the truth.  The talk concludes with a very powerful prayer of exorcism and healing.


Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 17- "On non-possessiveness"

8. Let us monks, then, be as trustful as the birds are; for they have no cares, neither do they gather into barns.   

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