Monday, January 31, 2011

We All Need Clarity

Dear Friend in Christ,

Part of evangelization .. a significant part .. is being clear.  It means nothing to wax eloquent on a given point if no one really "gets" what you mean.  It is also a very bad practice for Church leaders to deliberately muddy the waters with nuanced language and phrases.  What's needed is a little clarity.

Please watch this episode of The Vortex and pass it along to as many friends and family as you can.

GOD Bless you and your loved ones,

Michael Voris
~senior executive producer,

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True Refuge, True Hope

True Refuge, True Hope



WHEN Heaven promises "refuge" to us in this present Storm (seeThe Great Storm), what does that mean? For Scripture appears to be contradictory.




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From Mark Mallett: Why Religion?

Why Religion?


MANY people believe in God, but say they want nothing to do with religion. "It creates division, war, and scandal," they object. So, if I have a relationship with God, and I pray, do I need religion? In this episode, Mark looks at where religions have come from and why, in particular, we have the Catholic religion. Do we need religion after all?

To watch Why Religion? go to


*NOTE*: Dear friends, I receive and read each and every email you send. But I confess, I am overwhelmed with the volume. I will try to reply, but I cannot always. If you heart moves you, write. If I can’t reply, please understand and know that I hold you still in my prayers.



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A priest who "get's it" about how people receive Communion! | From Fr. Z's Blog : What Does The Prayer Really Say

Here is the text from his 30 January bulletin of the Cathedral of Sts. Simon and Jude in , Very Rev. Fr. Fr. John Lankeit.

While you read this, do an examination of conscience. Do you do any of the things he describes?

A Letter from Our Cathedral Rector

Dear Parishioners,

I want to thank all of you who have recently started receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, not to mention those of you who already had been. [Do I hear an "Amen!"?] This subject has generated a lot of buzz over the past few weeks, the vast majority of which has been overwhelmingly positive.

While my main objective in encouraging reception on the tongue is to deepen appreciation for the Eucharist, I also have a pastoral responsibility to eliminate abuses common to receiving in the hand. Such abuses are no doubt unintentional.

Nevertheless, what I witness troubles me. And I’m not alone.

In 2004, responding to the problem of Eucharistic profanation, the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament released an official instruction entitled REDEMPTIONIS SACRAMENTUM: On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist.

Regarding Holy Communion, the document states:

“[S]pecial care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.” (Paragraph #92).

Here are just a few examples of profanation that I see all too frequently:

• Blessing oneself with the host before consuming it. (The act of blessing with the Eucharist is called “Benediction” and is reserved to clergy).
• Receiving the host in the palm of the hand, contorting that same hand until the host is controlled by the fingers, then consuming it (resembling a one-handed “watch-the-coin-disappear” magic trick)
• Popping the host into the mouth like a piece of popcorn.
• Attempting to receive with only one hand.
• Attempting to receive with other items in the hands, like a dirty Kleenex or a Rosary.
• Receiving the host with dirty hands.
• Receiving the host, closing the hand around it, then letting the hand fall to the side (as if carrying a suitcase) while walking away and/or blessing oneself with the other hand.
• Walking away without consuming the host.
• Giving the host to someone else after receiving…yes, it happens!

We would never treat a piece of GOLD with such casualness — especially in this economy!! Yet many treat this Eucharistic “piece” of GOD with casualness at best, indifference and irreverence at worst.

Of course, much abuse is due to ignorance, owing to poor catechesis, which is precisely why I have written about this issue for four consecutive weeks. [OORAH!]

Yet we have another great incentive…

When Holy Communion is received on the tongue…every single one of these abuses is instantly eliminated! [ERGO....]

The way we treat another person says more about our relationship with that person than any words we might say. This is especially true of our relationship with the Divine Person, Jesus Christ. So let us continually seek to increase our reverence for our Eucharistic Savior, and to eliminate anything that degrades the respect He deserves. The graces we receive will surely be greater than anything we can imagine!

God’s Blessings… my prayers…

Very Rev. Fr. John Lankeit
Ss. Simon & Jude Cathedral

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The Egypt Crisis in a Global Context: A Special Report

Tribulation Times 


Activism on a Tuesday in D.C.: Foreign interes...

Image by Thiophene_Guy via Flickr

  February 1, 2011  


(Jer 6:13-14) For from the least of them even to the greatest, all are given to covetousness: and from the prophet even to the priest, all are guilty of deceit. And they healed the breach of the daughter of my people disgracefully, saying: Peace, peace: and there was no peace.

ANALYSISThe Egypt Crisis in a Global Context: A Special Report
NEWS HEADLINEReluctant peace doves refuse to leave Vatican

Doves of peace released by Pope Benedict XVI during the weekly Angelus prayer on Sunday refused to leave the Vatican and flew straight back in through the open window, an AFP photographer sa


Image by Getty Images via @daylife


Embarrassed officials only managed to catch and re-release one of the birds.

The pope was accompanied at the window of his studio in St.  Peter's square by two children from the Catholic Action of Rome who had celebrated a "Month for Peace" in January.

The amused pair joined the effort to recapture the doves.

During the Angelus, Benedict marked the International Day of Intercession for Peace in the Holy Land, calling for "concrete plans for peace," and wished serenity and prosperity for those about to celebrate the Lunar New Year in the Far East.

The pope made no reference to the ongoing tensions in Egypt.
OPINION: Victoria priests offer insight into Egypt

AMERICAN SPECTATOREgyptian Intransigence Ominous


Image by Zoriah via Flickr

BALTIMORE SUN: Maryland Copts pray for safety 

The Coptic flag created in 2005 by Coptic acti...

Image via Wikipedia

of families in Egypt amid protests

As they have done for nearly 20 years, members of the close-knit and expanding community of Coptic Christians in Maryland prayed Sunday morning at a church in Savage, the red-brick building thick with incense and echoing with the sound of religious recitations sung in Arabic and English.

On this particular Sunday, as massive protests aimed at unseating President Hosni Mubarak's authoritarian regime gripped Egypt, the congregation at St.  Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church prayed not just for the safety of family members there but also for a resolution to the unrest — one that would put in power a moderate government friendly to religious diversity.

"They say it's horrible there, a mess everywhere," said George Mekhail, a Columbia resident with family in Cairo, Egypt's capital city and the site of the largest and most violent demonstrations against Mubarak's government.  "The men are coming out to protect" their neighborhoods against looters who are taking advantage of the chaos in the country, Mekhail said.

Unable to reach family in Egypt last week on their cell phones or by e-mail after Mubarak shut down cellular and Internet connections to stop protesters from organizing, members of Maryland's Coptic diaspora said they have had to depend on landline connections to call loved ones in Egypt.  Cellular connections were recently restored by Egyptian authorities.

Their families, they said, have largely barricaded themselves in their homes, with doormen staying on guard around the clock inside apartment buildings.  Mona Gobrial, whose husband, the Rev.  Guirguis Gobrial, has served as the Savage congregation's priest since 1995, said Saturday was the first time since the large-scale protests began on Jan.  25 that her sisters in Cairo could go out to get food for their families.

"Nobody's sleeping," she said.  "They don't know how it went from peaceful to that chaotic."

Father Gobrial called for three days of fasting and extra prayer services this week at St.  Mary's in light of the protests and violence in Egypt.  As the Sunday services ended around noon and the crowd of mostly young families began to disperse, a woman told two friends animatedly in Arabic and English about the sounds of gunshots her extended family said they had heard in Cairo.


Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 27- "On holy stillness of body and soul"

60. Stillness is unceasing worship and waiting upon God.

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The civil uprisings first in countries such as Bolivia and then Greece and to a degree in France followed by the explosion in other regions such as Tunisia and Jordan and Albania and in particular Cairo lead one to ask whether the current disturbances are simply economic and Muslim or underpinned by a "spirit of revolt" that will spread globally.
Read this article here:

[MaryVitamin] more Bosco

St. John Bosco

Image by haggaret via Flickr


Mary Vitamin  


Topic: Our Lady, St. John Bosco, and the seed which fell on good soil.

(January 31st) 

Quote: "It has been estimated that about twenty-five hundred of Don Bosco's boys had listened to the higher call that led up the aisle to the altar." Neil Boyton S.J.,The Blessed Friend of Youth  Don Bosco, 210.

Meditation:"But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold." Matthew 13:23

Why did St. John Bosco's life embody this parable? 

 "Mary was the topic of [St. John Bosco's] first public sermon; her name was the last word he spoke on earth. Nothing was too small to dedicate and confide to her; no enterprise was too great for him to undertake with her help. 'He who stands alone,' he was wont to say, 'does but little; but with Mary's help he will do much. In fact, anyone can do anything with the help of Mary, can obtain anything from her. She is omnipotent in grace and we ought to call upon her every moment'."Edna Phelan, Don Bosco A Spiritual Portrait, (Doubleday) 234.


Don Bosco

Image via Wikipedia

Resolution:Today, I will allow Our Lady to make over the soil in my soul that I may become the good soil which receives the Word of Christ. I will let her be the Plow, the Rake and the Gardener.


Marian Vow:"[St. John Bosco's] daily life became a living example of the virtues of Mary: purity and humility, amiability and charity, hatred of sin and zeal for souls, all dominated by an intense and glowing love of Christ. His associates and pupils had only to observe Don Bosco performing the many tasks which his work entailed to recognize in him a true man of God. Never sparing himself, never wasting a moment, gently correcting and encouraging, meeting reverses or good fortune with unruffled good humor, he referred everything with equal fervor to the 'Madonna who loves us so much.''"Edna Phelan, Don Bosco A Spiritual Portrait, 239.

I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Thanks be to God for graces received

Related sites: Castle of the Immaculate & AirMaria


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Mary TV Daily Reflection 1/31/2011

Medieval book illustration of Christ Exorcisin...

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January 31, 2011
St. John Bosco

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children! Also today I am with you and I am looking at you and blessing you, and I am not losing hope that this world will change for the good and that peace will reign in the hearts of men. Joy will begin to reign in the world because you have opened yourselves to my call and to God's love. The Holy Spirit is changing a multitude of those who have said 'yes'. Therefore I desire to say to you: thank you for having responded to my call."  (January 25, 2011)

I don't know if I can tie this all together, but I'm going to try.  Today's gospel is Mark 5: 1-30.  It is the story of the Gerasene demoniac.  Jesus comes upon a man possessed by a legion of demons.  He is completely uncontrollable, violent and self-destructive.  The people of his village had given up on him, having tried to restrain him in every way.  Jesus speaks to the demons and sends them into two thousand pigs.  The man recovers his peace and asks Jesus to let him follow him.  But Jesus says, "Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you" (v.19).  The former demoniac goes off and proclaims his healing to the Decapolis.  He does exactly what Jesus told him to do.  In doing this, he first must have presented himself to his family, and told them of the miracle of his healing.

I think witnessing to one's family can be difficult.  Our family members know us so well.  They have seen us grow up; they know our weaknesses and failings.  They may have made judgments about us.  They can be skeptical!  So witnessing about Our Lady and Jesus, about our faith and our conversion, can be very hard.  Imagine how ashamed this man might have been, having been so completely out of control, so crazy.  His family may have been terrified of him.

fresco at the Karlskirche in vienna (by Johann...

Image via Wikipedia

But the reality was that Jesus had completely healed him.  He was free and changed.  Certainly his family would rejoice at the miracle.  But, would they?  Might they not retain some distrust, some fear?  He would have to take that chance.  The Lord had told him to go tell them all that He had done for him.  And that is what he did!

I think that it is just such witnessing that will spread God's kingdom today. "Joy will begin to reign in the world because you have opened yourselves to my call and to God's love."   As we open ourselves to Our Lady, her messages, her way of life, we will be filled with God's love and changed.  Then we will be able to witness that change to our families. (It doesn't even have to take words!)  They will see the change and rejoice, and seek the same grace in their own lives.  Then this joy will travel out in ever widening circles till the whole world will be changed.  Like the demoniac, we will find ourselves clothed and in our right mind!  And our families will rejoice!

"The Holy Spirit is changing a multitude of those who have said 'yes'." 
Already, through Medjugorje, the Holy Spirit has changed many, many people.  Thousands of vocations have arisen, thousands of happy marriages have begun, thousands of healings have happened!  It is this multitude of good fruit that will change the world!  Thank you, dear Mother, for having given us such a call! Thank you for bringing us deliverance and conversion through your Son, Jesus.  Thank you, thank you!!

In Jesus and Mary!
Cathy Nolan

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

[MaryVitamin] St. John Bosco



Mary Vitamin 

Topic: St. John Bosco & The Blessed Virgin Mary (Jan 31) 
St. John Bosco: 
"Don't be alarmed; the Madonna will see to the payments for her church. I am just the instrument 'the cashier.'"
Edna Phelan, Don Bosco A Spiritual Portrait,  242.

When Don Bosco began the building of his church (now Basilica) dedicated to Our Lady, Help of Christians, he didn't have enough money to begin such a project, let alone complete it. Moreover, the land was poor and he had all the concerns of the Oratory upon him. However, he believed he was fulfilling Our Lady's request. Convinced of Her maternal care and Her all powerful intercession before God, he began the prodigious work of building.
Today I want to practice devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the manner of St. John Bosco. He trusted  Her with his financial concerns and he trusted Her with spiritual concerns. I will hide no concern of mine from Her today. I will speak to Her about all my troubles and believe She hears me and will take them to Her Son.
Marian Vow:
Saint Dominic Savio was one of Don Bosco's boys. After the young saint's death, he appeared to Don Bosco saying,
"The most consoling thing for me at the hour of death was the thought that I was a devotee of Our Lady! Tell this to your boys and recommend with insistence devotion to Our Lady."

I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Thanks be to God for graces received.


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Standing on My Head: The Smoke of Satan

From Fr Longenecker's blog:
There are many problems in the Catholic Church that might be thought to be the 'smoke of Satan' entering the church, but for my money one thing, above all others, has been the successful work of Satan, which has undermined the church, emasculated her ministry, sabotaged the aims of the Holy Spirit and captured a multitude of souls.

It is the modernist re-interpretation of the Catholic faith.
Read more here:

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Marian Apparitions and the era of peace

Fr.Mark Bozada explains that the common theme of recent Marian apparitions leads us to the era of peace.

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Orthodox parish shows pictures of molecular 'changes' in Holy Water


The true nature of water has its destiny in the salvation of man and the world. The blessing of waters doesn’t “make bad water good”. It restores the water to its original state. The prayer at the blessing of water causes the revelation of the true 'nature' and 'destiny' of water, and thus of the world. By being restored through the blessing to its proper function water becomes again a means of communion with God. Christ in His baptism purified the nature of the waters. He came to redeem not only human beings but, through them, the entire material created world. 

Here's water from different sources usually used by people. Take a close look at the water structure.

Tap water
Tap water
Lake water
Lake water
Bottled water
Bottled water
During the blessing of Holy Water a great miracle is performed. The Holy Spirit, coming down upon the water, changes its natural properties. It again becomes incorrupt, not spoiling, remaining transparent and fresh for a long time. This Holy Water receives the grace to heal illnesses, to drive away demons and every evil power, to preserve people and their dwellings from danger, to sanctify various objects whether for church or home use. Therefore, Orthodox Christians with reverence drink Holy Water — a great Agiasma (holy thing), as the Greeks call it.

The presence of Holy Spirit invoked through reading of special prayers totally changes the water structure itself. Here's crystals of water from the same sources (as shown above) after it was blessed.

Tap water after blessing
Tap water after blessing
Lake water after blessing
Lake water after blessing
Bottled water after blessing
Bottled water after blessing

From with a hat-tip to

Every family should have Holy Water at home, and make use of it at every need: in cases of illness, leaving on a journey, whenever one is upset, students prior to examinations, etc. People who drink a little Holy Water daily, before eating any kind of food, usually do well. It strengthens the powers of our soul—if it is done with prayer and reverence, and one does not merely expect a mechanical result from it.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Father Corapi: Prepare To Do Battle This Coming Lent

So You Can More Fully Appreciate Christ’s Victory At Easter!

From Fr. John Corapi,

Another Lenten season will be upon us soon. Although Lent is a season of penance; it is a season of hope more than anything. For as surely as Easter Sunday follows Good Friday, so the hope of Lent gives way to the fulfillment of that hope which is the Resurrection.

It seems to be a law woven into creation that there must be sacrifice before there can be victory. There must be a dying to sin and self before there can be a rebirth in Christ. As we walk the path of Lent we should use this graced time to exercise discipline in the small things of life. There can be no victory in anything: sports, business, military, or life in general, without self-discipline.

Examples of this discipline are many. They can be first and foremost in the area of charity to others, and this begins at home. Perhaps there is someone in your life that rubs you the wrong way, your “hair shirt”. Deny the inclination to bicker and complain. Love the person whether you feel like it or not. Do some small act of kindness for them.

Pray the Rosary every day (or once a week, or 3 times a week, etc.) of Lent, or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. If you love chocolate, exercise discipline and don’t eat it through the days of Lent, offering your sacrifice to Jesus through Mary for the salvation of souls.

Assist at holy Mass herhaps one or more days during the week as a preparation for the great gift of the Paschal mystery which unfolds during Holy Week. Discipline yourself to be more recollected and reverent at the Eucharist, realizing that this is nothing less than the same sacrifice of Calvary offered in a sacramental manner.

The discipline of Lent always opens the door for the bright light of Easter. The pain of Good Friday is at once the joy and triumph of the holy Cross. No passion and death, no Victory. In Jesus we walk through the trials and frequent darkness of this life to the unending joy and light of heaven. It is the Cross that wins that victory we know as Easter.

May this Lent be a time of true hope for you, a time of self-discipline and spiritual battle that leads to great personal triumph in Jesus Christ at Easter. Dying He destroyed our death, rising He restored our life, come, Lord Jesus, come!


Excellent advise from Fr. Corapi!

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Friday, January 28, 2011


Genuflecting and Kneeling Reflect Spiritual Attitude

[Excerpt] Finally, we would light to highlight the gesture of kneeling at the moment of the consecration and, where this use is kept, at Communion. They are strong signs, which manifest the awareness of being before someone special. It is Christ, the Son of the living God, and before him we fall on our knees. 

In kneeling, the spiritual and physical meaning form a unity, because the bodily gesture implies a spiritual meaning and vice versa, the spiritual act calls for a manifestation, an external translation. To kneel before God is not something that "is not very modern"; on the contrary, it corresponds to the truth of our being itself. 

"One who learns to believe, also learns to kneel, and a faith and a liturgy that no longer knows about kneeling would be unhealthy in a central point. Where this gesture has been lost, we must learn it again, to remain with our prayer in the communion of the Apostles and martyrs, in the communion of the whole cosmos, in the unity with Jesus Christ himself" (J. Ratzinger, Theology of the Liturgy [Opera Omnia 11]. LEV, Vatican City 2010, p. 183).

Read the whole article here:

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How To Know When Jesus Speaks?

My Dear People,

If God is all powerful, omnipotent, and all knowing, why would He seek us? Yet that is what Jesus did as He began His mission here on Earth. Our Lord did not seek out the brightest and best.  He sought those whose hearts were open and ready. All of the Holy Apostles had sinned and were broken. None were perfect. But Jesus chose to use their imperfections to glorify His Father in heaven.

Jesus Calls Peter and Andrew

As Jesus walked along the Sea of Galilee, he called to Peter and Andrew. They were brothers who owned their own business. Matthew tells us that they immediately left their boat, and their father to follow Him. What could Jesus have said or done that would cause them to make such a radical change? We do not now for sure, but we do know that they did not hesitate to respond.

Jesus calls each of us by name at Baptism, just as He will when we die. Like the Holy Apostles we are weak and sinful. But will we hesitate when He calls? What must we do to softened our hearts that we may hear Him calling us? Pray to the Holy Spirit to know when Jesus speaks. He promised to teach us all things, until the Second Coming. Trust in your gifts and use them to glorify Our Lord.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark Bozada

May we always be ready to hear and serve the Lord as His Faithful Stewards.


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A Scientist Researches Mary Co-redemptrix by Courtenay Bartholomew, M.D.

As early as the fourth century, St. Augustine had recognized the responsibility of scientists, and in Book Five of his Confessions, he criticizes them thus:

It seems to me that the scientists were able to think clearly enough to form a clear judgment of the Universe, even though they could not penetrate through to its sovereign Lord. That is because such men fell into pride. They accurately predict the eclipse of the sun, then fall into a state of eclipse themselves. They neglect to investigate the source of the intelligence by which they conduct their research. Much of what the natural philosophers and scientists are saying about the Universe is true, but they show no interest in a devout search for the Truth who put the Universe together. So they fail to find Him, or if they do find Him, they do not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him.

Continue reading this excellent article here:

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Priest vanishes without a trace, parishioners worried

South Bend priest vanishes without a trace, parishioners worried

  • Related
  • Carboneau

    More sad news:

    SOUTH BEND — The pastor of the Holy Family Catholic Parish left a note for his assistant on January 3 that he was leaving for a few days. The 44-year-old pastor hasn't been seen since.

    Where is Father Dominique Carboneau?

    "He hasn't been here very long. I don't know where he went," said Ken Whalen, whose child attends Holy Family School.

    Carboneau’s family filed a missing persons report with St. Joseph County police on January 20.

    They say he simply vanished without a trace.

    "My daughter just tells me that a different priest comes in for the church," said Michelle Rosplock, who learned the priest is missing.

    The pastor’s assistant declined to talk to WSBT News on camera, but said the note he left her was just a few lines — He was leaving for a few days to handle a personal matter and he would need a fill-in pastor while he was gone.

    No one has seen or heard from him since.

    "The school sent home a letter about a week ago, two weeks ago," Rosplock said.

    Parents at Holy Family School were surprised to learn about the priests' disappearance.

    They say he wasn't at the parish that long.

    Carboneau was the pastor of a parish in Fort Wayne until September. He was sent to South Bend to lead the Holy Family parish.
    County police detectives are continuing to investigate. They have been unable to find Carboneau's car.

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    Two Priests Found Slain in Colombian Capital

    Sad times:

    BOGOTA – Two Catholic priests were found fatally shot Thursday inside a car in a suburb of the Colombian capital, police said.

    Officers went to the scene after residents of the Dindalito neighborhood of Ciudad Kennedy reported hearing gunshots, police Col. Jose Baquero said.

    Witnesses told cops they saw a man exit the car after the shooting and hop on a waiting motorcycle, Baquero said.

    The Colombian bishops conference identified the victims as the Revs. Rafael Reatiga Rojas, 35, and Richard Armando Piffano Laguado, 37.

    Both men were parish priests: Piffano in Ciudad Kennedy and Reatiga in the Bogota suburb of Soacha.

    Initial accounts indicated “the priest’s killer traveled with them in the car and fled after shooting them,” the bishops conference said, noting that 74 priests, eight monks and nuns and three seminarians have been murdered in Colombia since 1984.

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    Jesus on moon sparks doomsday fears in Mumbai - Mumbai - DNA

    Reports of sightings of the image of Mother Mary and infant Jesus on the moon on Thursday and Friday in Mumbai, Goa and Bihar has fuelled fears about an impending apocalypse.

    While priests asked people not to take the issue seriously, the news set off stories about the end of the world. Many saw the images as a message to prepare for doomsday.

    Those who saw the image said it was surprisingly clear for a smog-saturated winter evening. Joseph Dias, from Santa Cruz, who saw the image, said, “There was a semblance of a crown on the mother’s head. The image was very dark and it was not difficult to identify it.” In Goa, the relatively pollution-free skies meant that the sightings were more vivid. Apollo D’Souza, a resident of Candolim village, said that he was alerted about the image by a Hindu friend on Thursday night.

    “I saw the image at 9.30pm. Even my mother and 8-year-old son could see it clearly. I told neighbours and they thanked me for it,” said D’Souza who works with a firm that delivers cash at bank ATMs. While D’Souza did not think much about the sighting, many of his neighbours saw prophecies in it. “Some said the kingdom of god is near,” he added.

    Dias said, “In the cities, people do not take such things seriously. But there is a lot of fear in the villages. People think that the world will end in a few years and that the image is a message to prepare for the event.”

    “What we require is not Jesus on the moon, but Jesus in our hearts. We Christians believe that everything was created by god and he can put an image of his face wherever he wants,” said a priest.

    Father Tony Charanghat, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Bombay, said, “We do not react to such reports and in cases like this. Our advice (to church members) is not to see anything. There has to be some significance in the whole thing and anything religious has to be considered in all its aspects.”

    Scientists explained the images as the result of the sun’s light falling on the undulating surface of the moon. Dr JJ Rawal, former director of Nehru Planetarium and founder president of Indian Planetary Society, said,“The moon’s atmosphere is almost airless and meteors crash into its surface creatingcraters. Sunlight falling on the depressions creates shades. Even Galileo mistook these shaded areas and named them the Sea of Tranquility, and so on. Similarly, other shaded areas could look like images of humans or animals.”

    This would have been interesting to see, that's for sure! I like the quote of the priest: "We Christians believe that everything was created by God and He can put an image of His face wherever He wants!" Thank you Fr. for your faith! Of course the scientists always have an answer to these phenomena by their theories but they fall short when there is an unexplained miracle and then they shut up like a clam. :-)
    Deacon John

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    Video: The New Roman Missal

    Daughter of St. Paul Sister Anne Flanagan, aka the Nun Blogger, gave a talk Thursday on "What to Expect from The New Roman Missal." Watch it here:

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    The Spirituality of Fatima and Medjugorje [The Spirituality of Consecration]

    The Spirituality of
    Fatima and Medjugorje

    Fr. Edward Carter, S.J.

    [Pictures From the Book]

    Shepherds of Christ Ministries
    PO BOX 193
    Morrow, Ohio 45152-0193

    Part II

    Fatima and Medjugorje:
    The Point of Convergence



    The Spirituality of Consecration

    Before we discuss consecration to the Heart of Christ and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we should first establish what we mean by the word consecration.

    To consecrate means to make holy. Only God can make one holy. Our fundamental consecration takes place in Baptism; in Baptism we are sealed with the holiness of God. The Persons of the Trinity communicate Themselves to us in a most intimate manner. They dwell within us and give us a share in Their own holiness. Through Baptism, we truly receive a participation in the divine life, and this sharing is our life of sanctifying grace, our Christ-life.

    The reference to our life of sanctifying grace as the Christ-life reminds us that our being consecrated by God in Baptism is mediated by Christ. In fact, our act of being consecrated by God in Baptism is a participation in Christ's own consecration. A. Bossard develops the idea extremely well:

    By the Incarnation, in and of itself, the Humanity of Jesus is consecrated, so that in becoming Man, Jesus is ipso facto constituted Savior, Prophet, King, Priest and Victim of the One Sacrifice that was to save the world. He is the "Anointed" par excellence, the "Christ" totally belonging to God, His Humanity being that of the Word and indwelled by the Holy Spirit. When, by a free act of His human will, He accepts what He is, doing what He was sent to do, He can say that He consecrates "Himself." In Christ, therefore, what might be called His "subjective" consecration is a perfect response to the "objective" consecration produced in His humanity through the Incarnation.

    And what Christ does brings with it a "consecration" for His disciples, a very special belonging to God, since He imparts to them His own life precisely by making them participate in His own consecration.

    Through Baptism Christians also are consecrated and "anointed" by the power of the Spirit. They share, in their measure, in the essential consecration of Christ, in His character of King, Priest, and Prophet (cf. 1 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 1:3-4; Rev. 5:9; etc.). With Christ and through Christ, they are "ordered" to the glory of God and the salvation of the world. They do not belong to themselves. They belong to Christ the Lord, who imparts His own life to them....

    The vocation of those who have been baptized is to "live" this consecration by a voluntary adherence-and one that is as perfect as possible-to what it has made of them. Living as "children of God," they fulfill subjectively their objective consecration; like Jesus, they consecrate themselves. This is the deeper meaning of vows and baptismal promises, together with the actual way of life corresponding to them. The baptismal consecration is the fundamental one, constitutive of the Christian. All consecrations which come after it presuppose and are rooted in it...." (28)

    The above details the awesome privilege and responsibility which come to us through Baptism. In Christ, we are consecrated with the holiness of God. We do not belong to ourselves. We belong to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and through Christ, we are called to help continue the work of the redemption. We have a mission to accomplish. We are called to participate in the prophetic, kingly, and priestly mission of Jesus. We are called to give an ongoing "yes" to our objective consecration-to that which has happened to us in Baptism. This "yes" is our subjective act of consecration.

    To aid us in a special way in living our ongoing "yes"--our life of subjective consecration--God has given us devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. At the center of these devotions is a specific act of consecration. This act of consecration is a very special and attractive way to live out our baptismal consecration.

    Some may ask at this point, "Why the act of consecration to Mary? Is not the act of consecration to Christ sufficient?" Again, Bossard puts it very well:

    If, in the strict sense in question here, consecration makes one belong to God--and Christ is God--how is it possible to speak of consecrating oneself to Mary? It is possible because, by God's will, Mary has something to do with our Christian life, with our sanctification. She is certainly not, like Christ, the source of salvation, but she is maternally ordered to our life as children of God--always, however, in perfect union with her Son and subordinate to Him. ... Hence, in the full sense of the word, a consecration to Mary includes, at least implicitly, a real and essential reference to Christ and to the Baptism that binds us to Him. (29)

    Jesus Himself has told us that He wishes us to entrust--to consecrate--ourselves to Mary. We have that striking and touching scene on Calvary:

    Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother and His mother's sister, Mary, the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing His mother and the disciple He loved standing near her, Jesus said to His mother, "Woman, this is your son." Then to the disciple He said, "This is your mother" (John 19:25-26).


    Of course, the beloved disciple is John, who represents all of us. In giving Mary to John as his spiritual Mother, Jesus also gave Mary to us as our spiritual Mother. He is entrusting us to Mary. He calls attention to the fact that Mary is the Mother of our Christ-life, our life of grace. In subordination to God, she gives us this life of grace, nourishes it, brings it to full development. As she cooperates with the Holy Spirit, she assists us in living our baptismal consecration-the consecration which makes us belong entirely to God in Christ.

    Pope John Paul II has put before us the meaning of Mary's spiritual motherhood on many occasions--in his homilies, his acts of consecration, and in his writings. In his encyclical letter, "The Mother of the Redeemer" (Redemptoris Mater), he comments on the above Scripture passage:

    It can also be said that these same words fully show the reason for the Marian dimension of the life of Christ's disciples. This is true not only of John, who at that hour stood at the foot of the Cross together with his Master's Mother, but it is also true of every disciple of Christ, of every Christian. The Redeemer entrusts his mother to the disciple, and, at the same time, he gives her to him as his mother. Mary's motherhood, which becomes man's inheritance, is a gift: a gift which Christ himself makes personally to every individual. The Redeemer entrusts Mary to John because he entrusts John to Mary. At the foot of the Cross there begins that special entrusting of humanity to the Mother of Christ, which in the history of the Church has been practiced and expressed in different ways. (30)

    Yes, Jesus has given Mary to each of us as our spiritual Mother. He wants us to grow in our appreciation of this great gift by allowing Mary to be more and more Mother to us. He wants us to grow in our entrustruent to her, in our consecration to her, so that she may lead us ever closer to Himself. All this reminds us that Jesus has willed that Mary be our Mediatrix with Him. Perhaps no other devotee of Mary has emphasized this truth more than St. Louis de Montfort. In speaking of this Marian Saint, Fr. Authur Collings observes: "Perhaps, in the final analysis, the greatest contribution of this Breton saint to the theology of Marian consecration is precisely in his insistence on Mary's mediation as willed by God." (31)

    St. Louis de Montfort, himself, emphatically reminds us why we consecrate ourselves to Mary: "The more one is consecrated to Mary, the more one is consecrated to Jesus." (32)

    At both Fatima and Medjugorje Mary has asked us to consecrate ourselves to her in a particular way--consecration to her Immaculate Heart. Mary, our Mother, shows us her Heart as the symbol of her love. She tells us that she loves us with an overwhelming love and asks that we respond to this love by loving her in return, by making a total gift of ourselves--a total entrustment of ourselves--to her Immaculate Heart. She asks this of us so that she may be able to exercise her motherhood toward us as fully as possible. She wants us to imitate her own great love for Jesus, for the Father, and for the Holy Spirit. Her love for the Persons of the Trinity is symbolized by her Heart, as is her love for us.

    A great sign of our consecration to Mary the Immaculate Heart, is the wearing of the Brown Scapular. Sr. Lucia, one of the Fatima visionaries, has said that we should wear the scapular as part of living the Fatima message. She tells us that "the Rosary and the scapular are inseparable." Our Lady, when she gave the scapular to St. Simon Stock in 1251, said, "Whoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire." Only a properly authorized priest can validly enroll one in the Brown Scapular. (33)

    How can we refuse the love and the loving request of our Mother? If we respond by consecrating ourselves to her Immaculate Heart, we can experience a remarkable sense of being loved, a sense of peace and joy, a sense of security and warmth. Resting secure within the Heart of our Mother, we are strengthened in all circumstances "to be for Christ''-- to live out our baptismal consecration. Amid laughter and tears, success and failure, times of exhilaration and times of sorrowful disappointment, we can rest secure in the maternal heart of a Mother who loves us with an unfathomable love. If we can remain within the refuge of Mary's Immaculate Heart, nothing can prevent us from also growing in our consecration to the Heart of Christ. And this, indeed, is why Mary wants us to consecrate ourselves to her Immaculate Heart--so that she may lead us ever closer to the Heart of Jesus. This was emphatic at Fatima, and most certainly at Medjugorje.

    In speaking of our consecration to the Immaculate Heart, Pope John Paul II stated:

    Our act of consecration refers ultimately to the Heart of her Son, for as the Mother of Christ, she is wholly united to His redemptive mission. As at the marriage feast of Cana, when she said, "Do whatever He tells you," Mary directs all things to her Son, who answers our prayers and forgives our sins. Thus by dedicating ourselves to the Heart of Mary we discover a sure way to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, symbol of the merciful love of Our Savior. (34) (emphasis added)

    Yes, Mary the Immaculate Heart points to the Heart of Jesus and she wants us to immerse ourselves in the flames of this Heart. She wants us, in her company, to seek our refuge in Jesus' Heart. She asks us to dwell within her own Immaculate Heart more and more so that she may more and more place us deeply within the Heart of Christ. In all this, Mary cooperates with the Holy Spirit in forming Christ in us in ever greater measure. Her desire for us is that we grow in the likeness of Jesus, that we become, to an ever greater degree, Christians according to the Heart of Christ.

    Devotion to the Heart of Christ is rooted in what took place upon Calvary:

    It was Preparation Day, and to prevent the bodies remaining on the cross during the sabbath--since that sabbath was a day of special solemnity--the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. Consequently, the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Him, and then of the other. When they came to Jesus, they found He was already dead, and so, instead of breaking His legs, one of the soldiers pierced His side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water (John 19:31-34).

    It is interesting to note that St. John is the only one of the four evangelists to record this piercing of Jesus' Heart upon Calvary. How fitting! Jesus loved John with a most special love. John was the one who placed his head against Jesus' Heart at the Last Supper. John was the one to whom Jesus entrusted Mary and the one whom Christ entrusted to Mary as his spiritual Mother; John represented all of us. John, special recipient of Jesus' love, witnessed and recorded the piercing of Jesus' Heart, this heart which is symbol of Christ's love.

    St. Bonaventure, a doctor of the Church, comments on how the Church was born from the pierced Heart of Jesus:

    Then, in order that the Church might be formed out of the side of Christ sleeping on the cross... the divine plan permitted that one of the soldiers should pierce open His sacred side with a lance. While blood mixed with water flowed, the price of our salvation was poured forth, which gushing forth from the sacred fountain of the Heart, gave power to the sacraments of the Church.... (35)

    >From its roots on Calvary, devotion to the Heart of Christ has developed down through the ages. Numerous popes of recent times have highly recommended devotion to the Heart of Christ. One of the highlights of these papal affirmations has been Pope Pius XII's encyclical on devotion to the Sacred Heart, Haurietis Aquas. In speaking of the greatness of this devotion, Pius XII states:

    Indeed, if the evidence on which devotion to the wounded Heart of Jesus rests is rightly weighed, it is clear to all that we are dealing here, not with an ordinary form of piety, which anyone may, at his discretion, slight in favor of other devotions, or esteem lightly, but with a duty of religion most conducive to Christian perfection. For if devotion, according to the common theological definition which the Angelic Doctor gives, "is apparently nothing else but the will to give oneself readily to things concerning the service of God," can there be a service to God more required and necessary-and at the same time nobler and more pleasant--than that which pays homage to His love? (36)

    Pope Pius XII also speaks to us concerning Christ's Heart as symbol of love:

    Wherefore, the Heart of the Incarnate Word is rightly considered the chief index and symbol of the threefold love with which the Divine Redeemer continuously loves the Eternal Father and the whole human race. It is the symbol of that divine love which He shares with the Father and the Holy Ghost, but which in Him alone, in the Word, namely, that was made Flesh, is it manifested to us through His mortal human body, since "in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead, bodily." It is, moreover, the symbol of that most ardent love which, infused into His soul, sanctifies the human will of Christ and whose action is enlightened and directed by a twofold most perfect knowledge, namely the beatific and infused. Finally, in a more direct and natural manner, it is a symbol also of sensible love, since the body of Jesus Christ, formed through the operation of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, has a most perfect capacity for feeling and perception, much more than the bodies of all other men. (37)

    Jesus shows us His Heart as symbol of His great love for us. This love is directed at each of us in a most precious, unique way, for He knows each of us by name. He knows each of us much, much better than we know ourselves. He loves each of us in our uniqueness with an incomprehensible love. In the greatness of this love for us, He hung upon a cross, His body racked with the indescribable pain of crucifixion; a body which had already been greatly weakened by the agony in the garden, by the cruel scourging, and by the carrying of the Cross. Besides the overwhelming physical pain, there was the agonizing suffering of His Heart. Part of this anguished suffering of His Heart was the knowledge that His love would be refused by so many down through the centuries. He knew that this love would be rejected so many times, even scorned and laughed at.

    What is our response to Christ's love for us? With St.Ignatius Loyola, let us ask, "What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What am I going to do for Christ?"

    It is our privilege and duty to give ourselves to Christ. It is our privilege and duty, each day, to say "yes" to our baptismal consecration. Each day we have a renewed opportunity to realize that we do not belong to ourselves, but that we belong to God, in Christ. At Medjugorje, Our Lady reminds us of this:

    Dear Children, today I wish to place you all under my mantle to protect you from every satanic attack. Today is the day of Peace, but throughout the whole world there is much lack of peace. Therefore, I call you to build up a new world of peace together with me, by means of prayer. Without you, I cannot do that, and, therefore, I call all of you with my motherly love, and God will do the rest. Therefore, open yourselves to God's plans and purposes for you to be able to cooperate with Him for Peace and Good. And do not forget that your life does not belong to you, but is a gift with which you must bring joy to others and lead them to Eternal Life. May the tenderness of my little Jesus always accompany you. Thank you for responding to my call (December 25, 1992).

    Each day is a precious opportunity "to be for Christ and others." Each day is a precious opportunity to renew that consecration to the Heart of Christ. In renewing that consecration, we can speak to Jesus in words such as these:

    Jesus, You have loved me so much. You continue to love me with a love whose depths I cannot fully comprehend. You have given and do give Yourself completely to me. Help me give

    myself entirely to You. In myself, I am so weak and helpless. But in You, I am so strong. With Your grace, I make this gift of myself joyfully and gratefully. I make this gift of myself through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Heart of my Mother, this Mother who loves me so much, who has such a great desire for me to daily approach Your Heart. How much Mary desires that I immerse myself in the love of Your Heart! How eager she is to help me draw strength from Your Heart, in order to pour myself out anew in love for God and neighbor!

    Jesus, I love You so much, and how much I want to grow in love for You! You are my salvation, You are my reconciliation, You are my happiness, my peace, my joy. You are my perfect Friend!


    St. Margaret Mary Alacoque sheds further light on what is involved in consecration to the Heart of Jesus. St. Margaret Mary, to whom Christ revealed the secrets of His Sacred Heart, serves as a most eminent teacher for instructing us on how to live out our consecration. In a letter to a friend, the Saint says:

    ... I shall simply tell you, as a true friend in the adorable Heart of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, that when I pray to Him for you, this thought occurs to me: If you want to live wholly for Him and attain that perfection He desires of you, you must make a complete sacrifice of yourself and of all that you have, without reserve, to His Sacred Heart. You must no longer will anything, but with the will of this most loving Heart, love nothing except with His love, act only according to the lights He gives you, undertake nothing without first asking His counsel and help. All the glory must be His. You must thank Him for the ill as well as for the good success of your undertakings, always satisfied, never worrying about anything. As long as this divine Heart is satisfied, loved, and glorified, that must be enough for us. (38)

    That we should give special attention to St. Margaret Mary's teaching concerning the Sacred Heart is confirmed by the following words of Pope Pius XII:

    We mention, by way of example, the names of those who achieved special distinction in establishing and promoting devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: St. Bonaventure, St. Albert the Great, St. Gertrude, St. Catherine of Siena, Blessed Henry Suso, St. Peter Canisius, St. Francis de Sales, and St. John Eudes....

    Among those who have promoted this most excellent devotion, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque occupies the chief place of honor. (39)

    Yes, St. Margaret Mary holds a preeminent place in the history of devotion to the Heart of Jesus. I consider myself very privileged to have been able to make a recent pilgrimage to Paray-le-Monial. This is the French town where St. Margaret Mary lived out her religious life at the Convent of the Sisters of the Visitation. I was privileged to make a holy hour in the Chapel of Apparitions, the place where St. Margaret Mary received apparitions and revelations from the Sacred Heart. This was one of the most special experiences of my entire life.

    St. Margaret Mary stated that Jesus has given twelve promises to those who are devoted to His Sacred Heart:

    1. I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.

    2. I will establish peace in their homes.

    3. I will comfort them in all their afflictions.

    4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death.

    5. I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.

    6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.

    7. Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.

    8. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.

    9. I will bless every place in which an image of My Heart is exposed and honored.

    10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.

    11. Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.

    12. I promise you, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace, nor without receiving their Sacraments. My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment. (40)

    In conclusion, we restate the fundamental idea of Part II of this book: the point of convergence of the message of Fatima and that of Medjugorje is the call to conversion through consecration to the Heart of Christ and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The spirituality of Fatima and Medjugorje is a spirituality of Hearts and hearts--one which involves the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and our own hearts.

    Christ, the Sacred Heart, and Mary, the Immaculate Heart, manifest their great and unfathomable love for us. They reveal Their Hearts as symbols of this love, and They ask for our consecration in return. To say ""yes" is to live out our baptismal consecration in a most special way. To say "yes" to Their request is our salvation. To say "yes" is to find the substantial and ongoing happiness we all seek. To say ""yes" is to dwell secure in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, where we feel loved and protected, where we find peace and joy, where we are fired with the determination to pour ourselves out in love for God and neighbor. To say ""yes" is to go to the Father, with and through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, with Mary, our Mother, at our side.

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