Friday, July 31, 2009

Ivan's Prayer Group July 31, 2009

Medjugorje Headlines

It was a beautiful night on Apparition Mountain with Our Lady tonight. The Youth Festival begins tomorrow evening, on August 1st, and thousands of youth are streaming into the village to participate in it. The enthusiasm and joy that the youth bring to Medjugorje is always looked forward to each year by the whole village. Thousands of youth along with pilgrims from around the world also present in Medjugorje climbed Apparition Mountain for Our Lady’s apparition to Ivan tonight. Large groups of youth could be seen making their way through the fields of Medjugorje towards Apparition Mountain, even in the early evening hours, even though Our Lady would not be appearing until 10:00 p.m. Following is Ivan’s description of the apparition tonight.

Tonight Our Lady came very happy and joyful. She greeted us, as always, with Her motherly greeting, “Praised be Jesus, my dear children.” She especially prayed for a longer time over the youth present here and all the young people who are coming to Medjugorje. She blessed us all with Her motherly blessing, especially the youth.

Then Ivan recommended all of us, all of our intentions and especially the sick to Her. Ivan then prayed one Our Father and Glory Be with Our Lady. Our Lady then left in an illuminated Sign of the Cross saying, “Go in peace my dear children.” Ivan, at the end of explaining what had happened in the apparition tonight re- emphasized that tonight Our Lady especially prayed for all the youth.

There were some youth who climbed the mountain tonight barefoot to give this little sacrifice to Our Lady. Coming down from the mountain after the apparition, it is a beautiful sight to see so many young people, happy, laughing, and full of life. It is quite a contrast to think of what most youth are doing around the world on a Friday night in the name of fun and entertainment—but none of them coming close to experiencing the real joy that the youth here have just experienced in being with Our Lady in prayer on Her mountain.

It’s remarkable to think about the many years Our Lady has prayed especially for the youth in Medjugorje. Many pilgrims from around the world first went to Medjugorje as youth and were among the large crowds gathered on Apparition Mountain when Our Lady prayed over the youth in a particular way in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Now many of them are married with children of their own. Some of these children are now coming to Medjugorje in the footsteps of their parents or grandparents and Our Lady is blessing a whole new generation of youth.

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Ivan's Prayer Group

Tonight on Apparition Mountain, July 31, 2009. Many of the youth and pilgrims skipped dinner at their hotels in order to be as close to Our Lady in the apparition as they could be, near to the statue. Though they had to wait for hours, it was worth the sacrifice. Our Lady did not disappoint them tonight as Her attention was fully on the youth, praying for all of those present.



As the sun lowered tonight, July 31, 2009, every available space in and around Our Lady’s statue began to be taken up by the ever increasing amount of pilgrims who climbed the Hill of Apparitions to be with Our Lady. One of the most beautiful sights in Medjugorje is actually watching from a distance the stream of pilgrims coming down after the apparition has ended like two rivers on either side of the mountain.  


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The Fire of My Love "I Will Teach You Mighty Lessons" by Rita Ring, March 28, 1994

I Will Teach You Mighty Lessons

God's Blue Book II Cover

March 28, 1994

Jesus: What comes forth is a sinner or a saint. You are being tested in fire. I am allowing what you are experiencing so that you will grow in your love of Me. As you struggle, you surrender more of those things around you and choose only Me.

Saints of the Roman Catholic church.

Image via Wikipedia

You will be tested to the highest degree. You are suffering, you must stay rooted only in the love of Jesus! I am God. I know all the lessons you need to learn to do My work.

Do not make others wrong and yourself right. Seek only to love God. Pray for those who cause you discomfort. Remain silent and steadfast in My love. I will take care of your needs. Do not act. I am there and I will handle all your problems. I have spoken in these letters.

I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I want every letter to be heeded. This is doing My will. Take care of yourself. Do My will. Play with your children. Do everything I tell you. I accept you as you are, with the faults you have, and I teach you My lessons ever so gently. If you do not respond, I must increase My lessons. I use whatever measure I need to teach you the lesson you need to learn. I want faith in Me. I want your openness to Me. I want your surrender. I want you to do the will of God in all things.

I obeyed My Father's will to My death. Mary obeyed always the will of The Father. I am kind and gentle in heart, but stern in My ways to move you. How do I move My resistant children? I teach, you learn. If you do not listen to My teachings, I continue to teach the same lesson in proportion to how you will respond. I am forever teaching you just what you need to do My work. If you listen and accept all I send you and learn the lesson, your life is easier. If you do your will, I continue to teach you the lessons you need to learn. I will give you those lessons until you learn them. I am dealing with you directly every minute of every day. My hand is in all you experience. I allow all that happens to you. You are My beloved ones.

I am the teacher. You are My pupil. You go to My school to learn your lessons. I give you the tests you need to learn the lessons. I am Jesus. I love you so sweetly. You do not even comprehend a little of My love.

Trust in Me and Me alone. I am with you at this moment. Come and sit with Me in front of the tabernacle and after Communion.

I am Jesus, Son of the Living God.

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Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Madhu being prepared,with special prayers for peace


Colombo (Agenzia Fides) – With special prayers for peace in all the dioceses, the Church in Sri Lanka is preparing the customary annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu (Diocese of Mannar), which will be held this August 15, for the Solemnity of the Assumption, according to an over 400-year-old tradition.
The pilgrimage will focus on the theme of peace and national reconciliation, which will be the main prayer intentions during these days leading up to the event and during the pilgrimage (which many make on foot), as well as in the celebrations at the Shrine.
Following an accord between the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka and the government, the pilgrimage was no longer postponed or cancelled as had been previously thought, for security reasons. The Shrine has been affected in recent months by the fighting between national forces and the Tamil rebels. The statue of the Virgin Mary had to be moved for safety reasons.
The government authorities are working to restore safety in the Shrine area, clearing it of anti-personnel mines and explosives that have been spread throughout the area. Also, the path leading up to the church will no longer have road blocks and other security measures that have made the path of the pilgrims more difficult.
This year, a great number of pilgrims are expected to come, in comparison to last year when bombing and fighting were still taking place and only 500 faithful were able to make the visit to the Shrine of Madhu. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 30/7/2009)

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Arcbishop Eterovic visits Bronx-based sisters serving the sick (Video)

They are called 
Servants of Mary, Ministers to the Sick and one of their convents in the United States can be found in the Bronx.

On July 29th, these Sisters received a visit from Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. H2onews accompanied the Archbishop to the Eucharist he celebrated with these religious who welcomed him to their home.

The Servants of Mary were founded in Madrid, Spain in 1851 by St. Maria Soledad Torres Acosta. Today they are 2,000 Sisters with 128 convents spread throughout the world, who minister to the sick physically and spiritually. Their dedication to the sick and suffering is inspired by Jesus' phrase: "I was sick and you visited me" (Matthew 25:36). Their work, many times carried out throughout the night, is to accompany sick people and their families, seeing this service as a mission of love.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Medjugorje, Fr. Vlasic, What are we to think?


Medjugorje, Fr. Vlasic, Pope Takes Action


An Important Writing is Waiting for You on titled
"Medjugorje, Making Sense of the Fr. Tomislav Vlasic Episode"

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FROM MARK MALLETT: - Spritual Food For Thought -

Weeds Among the Wheat



DURING prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, I was given a strong impression of a necessary and painful purification coming for the Church.

The time is at hand for the separation of the weeds that have grown among the wheat. (This meditation was first published August 15th, 2007.)



I saw in my heart the image of a bishop’s staff lying in the mud. The shepherd’s staff, which is used to guide and protect the sheep—yet lying in the mud—is symbolic of the silence of the bishops, particularly over the past 40 years since the false interpretations of Vatican II began, and the rejection of Humanae Vitae—the Church’s teaching on artificial contraception. Because of these and the resulting virulent spread of error and sin, the enemy has been able to enter the pastures of the Church to sow weeds among the wheat (see Trumpets of Warning–Part I).

‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, "First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn." (Matt 13:27-30)

…through some cracks in the wall the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.  —Pope Paul VI, Homily during the Mass for Sts. Peter & Paul, June 29, 1972,

As any good farmer knows, weeds left unattended will at times overwhelm portions of a crop, leaving but a remnant of wheat. It is not that Christ intends to save only a few—He desires to save everyone! But man is created with free will, and until the end he will remain free to reject Christ’s invitation of love and mercy. The Lord warns us that not all will be saved—indeed they may be few in number.

When the Son of Man returns, will He find any faith left on the earth? (Luke 18:8 )



The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. (Matt 13:39)

Jesus indicates that a harvest comes, not at the end of time, but at the end of the age

The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Matt 13:41-43) 

Evil will be permitted to grow among the good seed who are "the children of the kingdom." But there will come a time when this evil will be sifted out by the angels of the Lord in the form of a series of chastisements (the sealstrumpets, and bowls of Revelation.)

For see, I have given the command to sift the house of Israel among all the nations, as one sifts with a sieve, letting no pebble fall to the ground. By the sword shall all sinners among my people die, those who say, "Evil will not reach or overtake us." (Amos 9:9)

These chastisements will include, as Christ warns in the Gospels, apersecution of His followers.

It will be a Great Purification of the Church.  





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The Fire of My Love "Strip Yourself of You" by Rita Ring, March 27, 1994

Strip Yourself of You

God's Blue Book II Cover

March 27, 1994

Jesus on the wall of the senior Home

Image by freestone via Flickr

R. God is truly here. Jesus is in our midst. He numbers the hairs on our heads and knows whence they came. He wants to catch us in His loving arms. When we fall, He is there. He is truly here with me at this moment. I do not want to let go. I want to hold on to that which gives me pleasure. It is only in surrendering that God is all that is left. Then I can be about my job of loving and living for Him alone.

This is perfectly clear to me, but I feel I cannot express it any better in words. I am so attached to so many things and people, but it is only in total surrender that the things of God are all there is. Tea was a big thing for me and has been for many years. I rewarded myself at different times during the day. I got such gratification from it that when He asked me to give it up, I said, "Oh, God, I love it!" And He said, "That is what keeps you from increased union with Me."

Guatemala: handsy Jesus

Image by xeni via Flickr

I see that every time I let go of something very precious to me I jump into His arms. The world becomes less appealing and He is so much more alive and here for me. He is all that our craving soul desires. The more I feed my soul with Him, the more I am in harmony with the purpose of my creation.

All that He says is so simple, yet so hard to do. Who wants to let go of their most precious things? The reward is closer union with God!

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The power of God is mercy!

VATICAN - Ave Maria by Mgr. Luciano Alimandi - 

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - “A Roman oration, connected with the text of the Book of Wisdom, says: ‘In forgiveness and mercy you show your almighty power, o Lord'. The apex of God's power is mercy, forgiveness. In our present day worldly idea of power, we think of someone who owns properties, in economics has something to say, who has large capital at his disposal with which to influence the world market. We think of someone with military power, someone who can threaten. Stalin's question: ‘How many divisions does the Pope have?’ still characterises the average idea of power. A powerful person is one who can be dangerous, who can threaten, destroy, who has many worldly things in his hands. However Revelation tells us: ‘This is not true; real power, is the power of grace and mercy. In mercy, God shows real power ” (Benedict XVI, homily Aosta, 25 July 2009).

VATICAN CITY - APRIL 6:  Pope Benedict XVI hol...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The Holy Father, Benedict XVI with these words spoken off the cuff, during his recent homily at Vespers in the Cathedral of Aosta, opens a “window” on the wondrous truth of divine mercy, which, he says, is the “real power” of God! 
Our times would appear to be in great need of divine mercy in terms of “power”, since every epoch is marked by an uncontrollable race for power, involving both individuals and communities. 

Since the moment of original sin, power has always exercised an irresistible influence on the heart of man, on the hearts of those who willingly let themselves be attracted, gripped by a desire not for 'littleness' but for greatness. Greatness to be reached with any means and at any cost.

God created man for great things, giving him extraordinary dignity, but at the same time he planned for him a path to glory which passes through humility in order to make room for God. Instead the world “preaches” human greatness to reach by means of “power”, power which “swells” playing on pride which “crushes” the weak. 

The Gospel announces, as the Holy Father recalls, a “power” which draws its energy not from below, from the things of this earth, but from above, from God, who sent his Son Jesus to us to teach us and to give us mercy! 

If man wishes to encounter God, if he wishes to find out where God lives and how he acts, then there is only one road and this road is Jesus, because Jesus is the mercy of the Father who made himself visible to man: from his birth in Bethlehem to his death and resurrection in Jerusalem! 

Divine Mercy

Image by jangelo via Flickr

The whole life of Jesus is revelation of this infinite love of God, who allowed himself be crucified in order to defeat the greatest of all earthly powers, the power of the Evil One, whom Jesus calls the “prince of this world” (Jn 12, 31). 
In this regard we do well to return to the words of the Holy Father in the above mentioned homily: “the event of the Cross: from that moment onwards, against the ocean of evil, there exists a river which is infinite and therefore far greater than the greatest injustices in the world, a river of goodness, truth, love. God forgives by transforming the world and by entering our world so that there can exist a power, a river of goodness greater than all the evil which could ever exist. God call us to be on his side, to abandon the ocean of evil, hatred, violence, selfishness to enter and to identify ourselves with the river of his love ” (Benedict XVI, 25 July 2009).

Mercy is love which accepts to be wounded by man's sin in order to heal him, it is God's infinite capacity for forgiving the rebellion of his creatures because he loves them with a Love which is stronger than all evil, all death. 

God wishes to give to us this "power of grace and mercy” through authentic communion of life with his Son Jesus. In Him we too become “powerful”, we are “raised” above the power of evil and the accomplices of this evil whom the Lord calls, referring to the darnel present in the world, “ the subjects of the Evil One ” (cfr. Mt 13, 38). With the power of his grace Jesus frees us from the web tirelessly woven by evil and wraps us in his mercy which protects us from our selfishness. Jesus exercises this power, especially though the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist and Reconciliation. We can draw continually from these two inexhaustible sources of grace which lie at the heart of the Church and are always open. The Prophet Isaiah foretold that which has been accomplished in Jesus Christ: “ All you who thirst, come you to the waters, and he who has no money come you, buy, and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which doesn't satisfy? listen diligently to me, and eat you that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Turn your ear, and come to me; hear, and your soul shall live. ” (Is 55, 1-3)

Mother Mercy

Image by Grammu via Flickr

The Blessed Virgin Mary reminds us that there exists a power of grace and mercy which is freely given to every believer in Christ. We need only to go to Him with confidence of heart, the same confidence which Our Lady, more than anyone else, can and desires to teach us. She lived this confidence perfectly and God allows her to lavish it on his children. The confidence that Our Mother wishes to give us opens wide the doors of mercy, because it is confidence which is humble, simple, confidence learned at the best school! (Agenzia Fides 29/7/2009)

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Fire of My Love "I Have All You Need" by Rita Ring, March 26, 1994

I Have All You Need

God's Blue Book II Cover

March 26, 1994

Jesus: I see this suffering world. I feel your pain. I suffer with the souls who are hurting. I have all you need. I am God. I have all the power. You were created to know, love and serve Me. I have all you need.

To My death on the cross I showed you how to love. Your brothers are hurting. They are blind. Do not respond to them with hatred and anger. Respond with My love. You are My light to this world. You are My voice. You I call to deliver My message of love. Will you answer My call?

{{pt|Cerimônia de canonização do frade brasile...

"My Lord and my God!" Image via Wikipedia

My mother suffers so for love of you! She is My beautiful mother of love. She loves you as she loves Me. She is always with Me. When you receive Me in the Eucharist she is there. She is by Me when you come to the tabernacle. We are always with you. Do not fret and fume and despair. This is from Satan. He wants you bowed down. I cannot operate if you are giving in to Satan. He hates Me and wants you to hate your brothers, to be divided. I want you, united, to light up My city. You are the lights that shine in this dark world.

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"You Cannot Serve God and Mammon"

Tribulation Times


July 30, 2009  

(Mat 6:24) No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

HEADLINE: Vatican Slams ‘Greed Is Good’ Wall Street Mantra

Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone said free-market economics legitimized greed, citing the 1987 Oliver Stone movie "Wall Street" and its protagonist, the corporate raider Gordon Gekko.

"Greed market has substituted free market," Bertone said today in a speech to Italian senators in Rome. "Greed is good, greed is right," Bertone said, citing one of Gekko's famous lines from the film, in outlining the contents of Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical calling for

a new financial order.

The 82-year-old pontiff on July 7 published the 150-page "Caritas in Veritate," Latin for "Charity in Truth." The pope's reflections on capitalism were two years in the making and publication was held up by the credit crunch. The text also examines ways out of the worst recession since World War II.

"Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty," Benedict wrote in

The Wall Street Crash of 1929, the beginning o...

The Wall Street Crash of 1929. Image via Wikipedia

 the encyclical.

FATHER CORAPI: The Pope's New Encyclical-Caritas in Veritate

The Holy Father has recently released a much anticipated encyclical entitled Caritas in Veritate. I have frequently preached and taught on the indissoluble and absolute integrity of love and truth. Ther

e is no authentic charity without it being rooted in truth. If love is not in fact rooted in truth, then it is not authentic love. Charity in truth is the driving force behind the authentic development of every person, as the Holy Father points out.
The contemporary disintegration of societies and economies has at its root a failure or denial of this essential reality. When individuals fail or refuse to live charity in truth, then this is reflected in societies and economies. Love and truth are names for God. Jesus, the Lord (the God that is Love and Truth) is the Vine. We and all of society are the branches. If we refuse to live in Christ, then there is no life, either in societies or economies. This follows ultimately as surely as morning follows night.

The Holy Father points out the indispensable link between life ethics and social ethics. If a person or nation fails or refuses to respect the right to life, then it is folly to imagine that they will respect anyone or anything ultimately. If you don't respect an individual's right to life, how will you ever ultimately respect a worker's right to work? You won't.

We are on a collision course with social and economic chaos unless we begin to live charity in truth. This happens one person at a

Wolves of Wall Street

Image via Wikipedia

 time. Make sure that you are one person that is living charity in truth.

EDITORIAL: Can The Economy Recover? by Paul Craig Roberts


The economy's littlest victims- Emergency Infant Services program hard hit during recession
Local Catholic schools hit by budget crunch
O'Malley decries immigrant health care cut
Catholic Charities finishes shy of goal

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 22- "On the many forms of vainglory"

2. With regard to its form, vainglory is a change of nature, a perversion of character, a note of blame. And with regard to its quality, it is a dissipation of labours, a waste of sweat, a betrayal of treasure, a child of unbelief, the precursor of pride, shipwreck in harbour, an ant on the threshing-floor which, though small, has designs upon all one's labour and fruit. The ant waits for the gathering of the wheat, and vainglory for the gathering of the riches of virtue; for the one loves to steal and the other to squander.   

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Ave Maria Students Respond to News about Fr. Fessio: Video

Ave Maria Students Respond

To News about Father Fessio

On July 21, one day after Father Joseph Fessio was fired by Ave Maria University, Ave Maria University student government president Monty Montgomery made an 8-minute, 37-second YouTube response to the final dismissal 

Montgomery told of the students’ debt to Fessio: “Fr. Fessio spoke with the students, studied with the students, played music with the students, shared a beer with those of age…. Ave Maria would not have been possible without Father Fessio.” 

“But,” said Montgomery, “This university transcends any one man… myself, Fr. Fessio… Tom Monaghan.” 

To see the video: click here.

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Navy Removes Restrictions on Navy Moms' Religious Speech

As a former Naval Petty Officer, who served during the Korean War, I want to post this story. Thank you Navy!
Deacon John 

WASHINGTON, July 29 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Navy has announced new Community Guidelines, removing its restrictions on religious speech on its Navy for Moms website. This change is in response to a letter Liberty Counsel sent to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, demanding an end to religious discrimination and reinstatement of users' free speech rights on the website. In its response letter to Liberty Counsel, Navy Admiral J. F. Kilkenny wrote, "I have instructed my staff to remove the current restrictions on religious and political debate. The goal of the revised guidelines is to allow for more open discussion with

Seal of the United States Navy. The seal is de...

Image via Wikipedia

out compromising the purpose of the website...." was set up by the United States Navy to provide support and a means of communication for mothers and other loved ones of current and potential sailors. 

A group called "Christian Chat" was established on the Navy for Moms website. A website administrator informed the group that it could not use the name "Christian Chat." The administrator said the group's name had to be changed, because such blatantly religious speech is too divisive for a public forum. The Navy for Moms Community Guidelines had also been revised to prohibit the posting of religious discussions except for prayers offered for sailors. Those restrictions have now been removed, and the Christian Chat group is free to retain its name. 

Avoiding controversy is not a valid reason for restricting speech in a public forum. These kinds of restrictions on private speakers using a government- sponsored forum are not required in order to avoid a violation of the 

A Vice Admiral returns salute from enlisted sa...

Image via Wikipedia

Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. 

In announcing the revised rules to its members, Rear Admiral Robin Braun said that "personal freedoms are extremely important to the Navy and my hope is that these updated Guidelines provide the best possible balance between the defense of those liberties and the integrity of the website." 

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: "We applaud the Navy for responding by removing restrictions on religious speech. To forbid 'Christian Chat' as a chat forum for Navy Moms, under the notion that the name is too divisive for a public forum, was absurd. About 90 percent of Americans profess belief in God, and the majority of them are Christian. Of all places, religious freedom must be respected in our armed services. To remove the word 'Christian' from a chat forum is like banning hot dogs in a baseball stadium. It is simply unthinkable."

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tribulation Times


July 29, 2009

(Joh 15:20) Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.

BISHOP FULTON J. SHEEN: Mary and the Muslims

: Middle East Christians Hit the Road

Attacks on six churches in Iraq early this month and the targeting of Christians across the country have served as a microcosm of the difficulties facing Christians in the Middle East today. Migration, whether forced or to pursue a better life and employment opportunities elsewhere, has seen Christian numbers in the Middle East drop dramatically.

in 1948 Jerusalem was about one-fifth Christian but today that number stands at 2%, the New York Times reported in May. In Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, Christians now account for about 30% of the population, where they once made up around 80% of its inhabitants. In Lebanon, where Christians continue to hold significant political and social sway, their numbers are considerably higher than elsewhere in the region but are believed to be falling. A region that a century ago was 20% Christian is about 5% today, with the figures still dropping fast.

Uneasy existence for Christians The rise of political Islam and conservative thought across the region has been regarded as a refutation of an all-encroaching and consuming globalization. Radical Islam has also been identified as a political body with which to oppose a West whose interests in the Middle East have led it to be perceived as an exploiter and as responsible for the damage brought to Iraq and the Palestinian territories and for the siphoning off of oil.

Religion has become more politicized, and with divisions between Islam and the West gaining currency across the world, Christians in the Middle East increasingly feel caught in the middle. Identity has become a major issue for Muslims as a sense of inferiority (in terms of technology and popular culture) and attack reverberate around a region where foreign powers have attempted to conquer and collude for centuries. As a consequence of being a minority and as their numbers continue to shrink, Christians often feel vulnerable in a region that gave birth to the faith of 33% of the entire world.

During his visit to the Holy Land in May this year, Pope Benedict XVI lamented, "While understandable reasons lead many, especially the young, to emigrate ... the departure of so many members of the Christian community in recent years" is a "tragic reality".

RELATED EDITORIAL: Saving the Islamic World's Christians


Jihad Watch Reports Persecution of Christians Increasing in Iraq
Young Christian Arrested for Blasphemy in Pakistan
Religious Cleansing in Iran

CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE: Lone priest shepherds tiny flock of Catholics in Afghanistan

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 21- "On unmanly and puerile cowardice"

6. Although all cowardly people are vainglorious, yet not all who are unafraid are humble, since even robbers and grave-plunderers may be without fear.

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The Fire of My Love "Forgive" by Rita Ring, March 26, 1994


God's Blue Book II Cover

March 26, 1994

Jesus: I want you to love when they persecute you. I want you to surrender and turn your heart into a heart fixed only in love. Let go and let Me In. I will fill you with forgiveness and love!

You must dismiss all fear and realize you live for love of Me and Me alone. I am catching you in My loving arms when you let go.

It is hard to love when someone has hurt you. I tell you to forgive 70 times 7 times. Forgive, My little one. Let go and I will embrace you in My loving arms. You have no room in your heart for any hatred or anger.

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

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

You are tender from My love. Now that you know a little how My heart hurts so badly, your heart becomes more tender!

My heart is full of love, love of you. You need no person's approval. You love Me with all your heart! I love you with a heart on fire for love of you. You can love the unloving because I loved you first. I am Jesus Christ. Mine is the tenderest of all hearts. I come to you with the deepest love.

Suffer My Passion with Me. My heart was full of love and they whipped Me and beat Me, the tenderest of all hearts, full of love for them who beat Me!

I love you, sweet one, with My Godly love. I am all you need. I never change. I love you unconditionally. I love you the same each day. You learn such lessons in your trials. I am Jesus. I am here and I am your Savior.


Image by Lochinvar1 via Flickr

When they persecute you and yell anything against you, they did it to Me first and they do it to Me again when they mistreat you. You are never alone. My mother is with you. She walked My walk on Calvary. Even though we did not touch, our hearts were joined in such union! She walks with you the streets of this cold, self-centered world. She walks with you as you walk toward heaven. She is your loving mother. You are her beloved child. Oh, child, let go and fall into the arms of Him Who loves you. They are the only arms that will sustain you, and My mother is by My side.

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Some Australian/New Zealand Deacon News

More than 50 deacons from across Australia and New Zealand will gather in Pennant Hills, NSW for a National Deacons' Conference from August 6-9, focusing on a theme of "Word, Worship, Service". Among scheduled speakers are Liberal MP Tony Abbott and national living treasure, Fr Frank Brennan.

"The theme really encapsulates the vocation of the permanent deacon and will serve as a great focal point for our distinguished speakers and for our working sessions," said Deacon Peter Olsen, the Chairman of the National Committee of Deacons.

"The ministry of the deacon goes back to the earliest Church communities and we read in the Acts of the Apostles how the Apostles chose seven men as deacons to help them in their ministry of service," he said in a statement.

"The need arose because a certain group of people in the community were being neglected. Today, deacons are called to continue these ministries of service, to meet people where they are, and especially on the margins."

Among those scheduled to address the conference include Bishop David Walker, who will open the conference and give a presentation on the Word; Bishop Anthony Fisher, who will speak on "Service Ministry of a Deacon"; Bishop Michael Malone, who will give his views on "The Diaconate in Australia - Past, Present and Future". Tony Abbott will deliver a speech on "The Church in Australia".

Other speakers include Fr Frank Devoy, the Director of the Office of Clergy Life and Ministry; Fr Gerard Kelly; Deacon Jim Curtain from Melbourne; Sr Kristen Johnston rsj, who will share some thoughts on Mary Mackillop; and Fr Frank Brennan SJ, who will be the guest speaker at the conference dinner.

Delegates also plan to commemorate the 100 years anniversary of the death of Blessed Mary Mackillop on August 8, Deacon Olsen said in a statement.

"This conference will be a wonderful opportunity for permanent deacons and their wives across Australia to gather together and really tap into the spirituality, theology and practical issues that underpin their vocation, so they can return to their diocese with fresh inspiration and vigour," Deacon Olsen said.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Priests Bring Light of Christ Into Our Hearts

Tribulation Times


July 28, 2009  

(Luk 10:2) And he said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he send labourers into his harvest. 

And example of two priests wearing clerical cl...

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POPE BENEDICT XVI: Priests are ‘instruments of salvation’ for all

During the Year for Priests, the Holy Father explained, "we priests especially can turn again to this text of John, where the Apostles say: Where will we be able to find bread for all these people? Reading of this anonymous boy who has five loaves and two fish, we too come to say spontaneously: But, what is this for such a crowd?"

"Who am I? How can I, with my limitations, help Jesus in His mission?" He continued: "The Lord's response is that by placing in his 'holy and venerable' hands the little that they are, priests become instruments of salvation for many, for all!"


COMMENTARY: Priests Bring Light of Christ Into Our Hearts

It is so easy to criticize priests. This one delivers dull sermons. That one is always asking for money. The other one sings off-key.

And of course many lay people think they know the perfect cure for whatever ails any particular priest. “Oh, if the Church would just let them get married,” they say, “everything would be fine.” These folks forget, obviously, that marriage isn’t a cure-all for anyone’s pro

Georgian Orthodox priest, in Mtskheta, Georgia

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blems, judging from the rate of divorce in our nation.

Still, it is quite true that one of the great sacrifices of the priesthood is giving up a wife and a family. But the very fact that so many men continue to be called to the priesthood reveals the deep supernatural stream that runs beneath the vocation.

How else to explain the attraction to a job that pays very little money, requires impossibly long hours and demands that you give up the comforts of marriage?

From the secular perspective, it makes no sense at all. But from the secular perspective, the love of Jesus Christ also makes no sense. And it is this love that sustains priests: not only their longing for Christ, but his tender heartfelt compassion toward them.

Many years ago, Southern writer Flannery O’Connor pointed out how easy it is to criticize priests. In fact, she said, any child could find fault with a sermon on his way home from Sunday Mass.

But it was impossible, she said, for that same child to see the bigger picture: to understand the “hidden love that makes a man, in spite of his intellectual limitations, his neuroticism, his own lack of strength, give up his life to the service of God’s people, however bumblingly he may go about it.” In fact, even the most “bumbling” priest can make a deeper difference in a person’s life than an investor, a surgeon or a professor. A professor can open the door to knowledge, an investor may show the way to huge wealth and a surgeon may cure a disease.

But a priest can gently lead a person in darkness to the light of Christ. He can nudge one who might otherwise end up in hell onto the road to heaven. And given that our earthly lives may equal 80 years at best, while the after-life has no end, it would seem the conclusion 

A Roman Catholic priest, Saint Josemaría Escri...

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is obvious.

The work of a priest is the most important in the world.

This was brought home to me recently when my brother-in-law was hospitalized for a very long time at a Catholic hospital in Oklahoma City.

Although he is Catholic, my brother-in-law is the type of guy who finds fault with organized religion. You probably know people like him. Somehow, the fact that the local priest isn’t perfect or the local congregation harbors sinners is enough to make these folks bitter, and keep them from going to Mass.

But the great thing about hospital chaplains is they bring Christ to the very bedside of the patient.

Now the disgruntled Catholic can no longer complain that the Church demands too much money in the collection basket, because the chaplain asks for no money at all. The disgruntled Catholic can’t rail about Church hierarchy, because this one humble and smiling chaplain sits at the bedside, listening compassionately to the patient.

My brother-in-law received holy Communion daily when he was hospitalized repeatedly over a series of months, as he battled cancer. The priest who really broke through to him was 82 years old and retired.

And my niece described this priest very well: “He lights up the room when he walks in.” And that, of course, is the essence of being a good priest. A good priest brings the light and love of Christ into every room, into every house and into every heart.

Pope Benedict XVI has launched a “Year for Priests,” a special time to encourage priests as they strive to improve spiritually.

It would be wonderful over the summer to attend Mass and offer our Communion for the priests who have touched our lives.

They have given up wealth, family and prestige to serve us. They don’t expect awards, accolades, bonuses or benefits. But I have never known a priest who would turn down a prayer.

IN THE NEWS: Call from God changes plans

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 21- "On unmanly and puerile cowardice"

5. Those who mourn and those who are insensitive are not subject to fear, but the cowardly often have become deranged. And this is natural. For the Lord rightly forsakes the proud that the resut of us may learn not to be puffed up.   

Prayer request?  Send an email to:

This month's archive can be found at:

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The Fire of My Love "I Need You United" by Rita Ring, March 26, 1994

I Need You United

God's Blue Book II Cover

March 26, 1994

R. I realize more now how Mary's hand is always with us. She is present after Communion. I feel her presence all day. Wherever Jesus is, Mary is also. She is our loving mother. What love! Who are we to be so lucky to have such a loving mother and loving Father? The Father loved us so much He gave us His only Son. Oh, Father, you are so good to us. My beautiful Father and mother!

Ave Maria

Image by Lawrence OP via Flickr

Mary herself suffered at the beginning of Your conception. She was not accepted but she said "yes". Do I say, "Yes, Lord", even when the road is tough? You, Jesus, said "yes" to The Father. Mary said "yes". Doing Your will is saying "yes". It is doing what you want, not what we decide is a good work. Doing Your will is not doing what I want to do. It is doing Your will, whether I want to do it or don't want to do it!

The more I love Jesus, the more I am compelled to do the will of God by such love. I aim to please My God and not offend Him. I love Him so much. What does He ask you to surrender to? Will you say "yes" or "no"?

Jesus: I am calling you to do My work. I am calling you to love. I am calling you to stay united. I am calling you not to give in to Satan's tauntings to divide you. Satan's grip is paralyzing and crippling. He lurks about and seeks to trip you up in your weakness. You must pray constantly to ward off his attacks to divide you. I need you united to do this work. I need you to stay rooted in love, always to love your brother. If he attacks you, be silent, offer it up, pray. See him suffering and needing your love. Do not respond in anger. To act as others act is not to spread My love. I call you to love of God, love of one another!

I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Will you say "yes" to love? Love is that by which this world will be healed. You are preaching about the ardent on-fire love of Jesus Christ. I call you to love one another, not to have anger. I call you to an ardent love of your brothers. I call you to love all of your brothers. You cannot be angry at one person and serve Me properly. Will you say "yes"?

I am Jesus Christ. I am the tenderest of all hearts. I come to you with deepest love. Suffer My Passion with Me. My heart was full of love and they whipped Me and beat Me, tenderest of all hearts, full of love for them who beat Me! It hurts to have those you love hurt you. I love you, sweet one, with My Godly love. I am all you need. I never change. I love you unconditionally. I love you the same each day. You learn such lessons in yo

Crown of Thorns

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ur trials! I am Jesus. I am here and I am your Savior.

R. Alleluia. Praise Him who ministers to our wounded hearts as no human can. He is God. He is Almighty. He is our all, world without end. Alleluia.

Jesus: When they persecute you and yell anything against you, they did it to Me first and they do it to Me again when they mistreat you. You are never alone. My mother is with you. She walked My walk on Calvary. Though we did not touch, our hearts were joined in such union. She walks with you the streets of this cold, self-centered world. She walks with you in your walk toward heaven. She is your loving mother. You are her beloved child.

Oh, child, let go and fall into the arms of Him Who loves you. They are the only arms that will sustain you and My mother is by My side.

R. Alleluia. Such love poured out on us!

Jesus: The more you strip yourself of you, the more you feel My touch.

R. Jesus is the tenderest of all hearts. He suffered so from our indifference.

Jesus: You write what I tell you to write. If "they" have a problem with it, it is their problem. That is like telling the interpreters in Medjugorje that you don't like the message!

R. Surrender. All through the Passion, surrender! Tied to a pole, beaten, led away, He sat without any comment and they put a dirty robe on Him. He sat in surrender while they hammered the crown of thorns into His head, surrendered while they taunted Him and laughed at Him. Surrender. They gave Him a cross, hit Him, kicked Him, spat on Him, struck Him with a stick to get up, treated Him awfully! Surrender. They led Him away, with Jesus totally complying to His death on the cross. How He hung in total surrender!

Jesus: When they persecute you for My sake, great will be your reward! Stand your trials. I was as the innocent lamb led to the slaughter. In the act of total submission to the will of The Father, I gave My life for His will. Say the Our Father. Thy will be done, Father. This, doing of His will, is worth more than a thousand prayers. This pleases Me, Him and the Holy Spirit.

Surrender your lives. Make your lives an act of total submission to God. Be as the little lamb being led to the slaughter. You will suffer persecution for My sake. My way is not to take up the sword. My way is in submission.

Do you see Me hanging in the act of total submission? Follow Me. This is My way for you. You want your own way. Follow My will. This weighs far more than any mortification. This pleases Me. I call you to total surrender. See Me dying on the cross in compliance with The Father's will. You surrender your lives to The Father's will. This is your guide, your inner promptings on what tells you His will.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

'Come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while'

Augustine of Hippo wrote that original sin is ...

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VATICAN - Ave Maria by Mgr. Luciano Alimandi -

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - Part of the Summer season is generally, if possible, devoted to holidays. A period particularly suitable not only for well earned rest and relaxation for the body, but also for restoring the truths of the spirit, I mean, those great truths which nourish the soul. In fact the soul, created by the Supreme Truth and Supreme Good, rests – as Saint Augustine says so wonderfully – only in God: “you have made us for yourself, o Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You” (Confessions I, 1,1). 

The Lord made us for Himself. It is not man who gives himself his being or the reason for his existence. Our being, that is our soul, and our purpose, that is our vocation, are given by God, the Creator and Lord of all creation.
We human beings are free to choose whether or not to correspond to the Father's plan for our sanctification, as we are taught in a magisterial manner by Saint Paul: “Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ. Thus he chose us in Christ before the world was made to be holy and faultless before him in love, marking us out for himself beforehand, to be adopted sons, through Jesus Christ.” (Eph 1, 3-6).

For Christians therefore the calling and the commitment for holiness never goes on holiday. Tension towards conversion of heart should never take time off, Winter or Summer. In fact true repose consists in becoming increasingly aware the presence of God within us.
We can say that holiday time is particularly suitable for rediscovering the call to holiness, because the holiday rhythm, also for those of us who are priests, is an opportunity for reflection and meditation, silence and prayer, absolutely necessary in order to re-concentrate the mind, the light and the guide of the will, on the essential truths of the faith and of all human existence which does not end with death, instead it leads to eternity! We can only reflect deeply on our call to holiness, renew our spiritual life, if we are united with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth who sanctifies us in Christ Jesus.

Happy Pentecost

Image by Eustaquio Santimano via Flickr

In the Sequence of Pentecost we invoke the coming of the Paraclete with words rich in significance, firmly based on Revelation and Church Tradition, and therefore unchanging. Words which underline the role of the Holy Spirit, rightly called “sweet relief”, bringing calm to the soul, “in fatigue, repose” (from the Sequence of Pentecost).
If we pray this sequence, not only at Pentecost, but every day, we receive a special gave, because we are addressing the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity, calling him to come: “Come, Father of the poor, come, Giver of gifts, come, Light of hearts”.
If we were to pray this sequence more frequently and with faith we would experience more keenly the wondrous presence of the Holy Spirit in our life. In the Gospel Jesus promises that the Father will give us all that we ask for with confidence, but especially the gift of gifts, the Holy Spirit: “ If you then, evil as you are, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!' ” (Lk 11, 13).

Since we are body and soul, if we rest only the body, our rest is incomplete. Just like the body, the soul too needs to restore lost energies. We all experience this.
When a new week begins we realise how much spiritual energy will be necessary in order to live it well and when Sunday, the Lord's Day, comes at last we breath a sigh of relief because this is the day of complete rest for soul and body, a time to recharge spiritual and physical energies.
The soul rests when it finds its vital core, which is communion with God, made possible by Jesus who gives us His Spirit: “…he breathed on them and said: "Receive the Holy Spirit. ” (Jn 20, 22). Jesus came down to earth that we might ascend to Heaven thanks to the working of the Holy Spirit who


Image by Lawrence OP via Flickr

 “lifts us ever higher”! 

Man “rests” completely when he rediscovers the essential bond of his being, communion with God, with the Holy Spirit who is Love. The soul is calm when it rests in the hands of God, which are the hands of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He urged the apostles to rest when they returned from their apostolic work: “ 'Come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while' ” (Mk 6, 31), as if to say: remain in me, because in communion with Me everything assumes true and lasting value!
These words of the Lord, “come to a lonely place”, are especially addressed to priests, who, as the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, has so often taught, are called to a life of intense communion with God: “ no one can give what he does not personally possess; in other words we cannot pass on the Holy Spirit effectively or make him perceptible to others unless we ourselves are close to him. This is why I think that the most important thing is that we ourselves remain, so to speak, within the radius of the Holy Spirit's breath, in contact with him. Only if we are continually touched within by the Holy Spirit, if he dwells in us, will it be possible for us to pass him on to others. ” (Benedict XVI, meeting with the clergy of the diocese of Bolzano-Brixen, 6 August 2008). 

(Agenzia Fides 24/7/2009; righe 65, parole 932)

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Our Companion: "Cum" & "Panis"

I just learned something new about something I knew already! I know that Jesus is our Companion through life, especially when we are in a state of grace and when we receive Him in Holy Communion! Today's Gospel reading is the story of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves. This beautiful story of Jesus` compassion on the crowds gives us hope that He will continually feed us with His love and grace. And yes, it takes another human to act for the Lord, i. e., the priest, who consecrates the bread into Christ's Body and then dis
Roman Catholic Eucharist

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tributes It to us at Mass. The Bread of Life!

But here's what I just learned after reading a meditation in Magnificat Magazine:
The word companion comes from two Latin words, cum, meaning "with," and panis, meaning "bread." Bread with us! So each time we Christians say that Jesus is our Companion, we can remember that He is truly Present in the Holy Eucharist! 

Did you know that some Saints had the special grace of Our Lord's Presenc
== Summary == Painting of Saint Antonio Maria ...

Saint Antony Mary Claret. Image via Wikipedia

e staying in their hearts from one Communion to the next? St. Faustina of the Divine Mercy had this Gift, so did St. Anthony Mary Claret among others. but especially did Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, have this grace. Imagine that, Jesus never leaving them as their Companion! I pray for this grace too, so could you. We may not be worthy but God works His miracles when and where He wants. Fiat voluntas tua! Pope Benedict XVI said somewhere: "True joy is found in recognizing that the Lord is still with us, our faithful Companion along the way!" What joy would we have in knowing the Lord dwelt in our hearts at all times! 

"May the Lord grant all your prayers!" (Psalm 20)
Deacon John

Sent from Mt Dora, Florida, United States

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Holy Father gives special blessing to grandparents on feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne

Pope Benedict XVI

.- Following the Angelus, Pope Benedict spoke about today’s feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and grandparents of Jesus.

The Pope then asked the faithful to pray for grandparents, "who in families are often the witnesses of the fundamental values of life."

"The educational role of grandparents is always very important and becomes even more so when, for various reasons, parents are unable to dedicate an adequate amount of time to their children. I entrust to the protection of St. Anne and St. Joachim all grandparents of the world, imparting a special blessing."

Thank you, Holy Father!

Deacon John

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Medjugorje Message of July 25, 2009" target="_blank">

Message of July 25, 2009
“Dear children! May this time be a time of prayer for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.”


"Perhaps you have already visited the link from our July newsetter, but I wish to remind each 'child of Medjugorje' of the worldwide Novena to be offered to Our Lady for her 2025th birthday. This Novena is organized by all the Radio Maria of the world, therefore thousands of people will particpate in it!  Be one of them!  Doing so will bring so much joy to our dearly Mother, who today has urged us once again to turn our hearts to prayer!  Of course we are free to imagine any kind of prayer for each day, as what counts is the heart.  However, a pattern has been proposed to those who wish to have one to unite the world together in prayer!"

Sr Emmanuel +

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