Monday, October 31, 2011

The Star of the New Evangelization


Dear Friend in Christ,

The New Evangelization will go nowhere fast WITHOUT preaching about the Mother of God. She is the Star of the New Evangelization. Please watch this episode of The Vortex and share it with as many friends and family as you can.

Check out the talks on Mary here;

GOD Bless you and your loved ones,

Michael Voris

~senior executive producer at

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There are times and periods when the "veil" between the natural and the supernatural seems especially thin. They say it's like a partition that scrolls and opens unto itself (at least as viewed from the "other side"). There's an intersection.

There are times of day:

At three p.m. -- the Mercy Hour -- many prayers seem to be answered. It is a special time.

There is the antithesis of that: three a.m.:

Many wake up precisely at that moment with the urge to pray -- either because they experience a heavenly presence or an evil one. Different spirits seem to move (including the deceased).

Some claim it's because three a.m. is when occultists, having initiated rituals at midnight, conclude them and release dark spirits. Many things seem to occur at the hour: healings, attacks, deaths (holy and otherwise). Others say it gets back to the night-time version of Mercy. Whatever the case, the middle of the night seems when we can best pray.

There are also -- obviously -- times of the year when the veil seems thin -- and Halloween, along with All Souls' Day, is among them.

Occultists may thin the veil with their rituals, but let's concentrate on the help we can offer the departed -- who can see us (Mary once said) when we pray.

Read the whole article here:

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One Year Ago in Iraq


insidethevatican's avatar

insidethevatican - Oct 31, 2011
One year ago today in Iraq
, 42 Iraqi Christians, two of them priests, were shot to death by terrorist gunmen in Our Lady of Salvation Cathedral in Baghdad.

A commemorative Mass was celebrated yesterday here in Rome in memory of those killed.

The Mass was celebrated at the Santa Maria della Concezione church, a Syrian-Catholic church in Rome, by Monsignor Mikael Al Jameel, representative to the Holy See of the Syrian-Catholic Patriarchate.

The homily was delivered by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the head of the Vatican's Congregation for Eastern Churches.

"Peace and forgiveness"

“The Church and the world cannot and must not forget," Cardinal Sandri said in his homily. "We must remember, yes, certainly, but to offer forgiveness and to pray fervently for peace for the living and for the dead."

Also present were Cardinal Ignace Moussa Daoud, ex-Prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Churches, and Habib Al Sadr, the Iraqi ambassador to the Holy See, as well as many priests, nuns and students.

Sandri said he was united with the Patriarchs of the Oriental Churches, Syrian-Catholic, Maronite and Chaldean, who were today in Baghdad to attend a Mass of remembrance celebrated by Bishop Jean Benjamin Sleiman.

"May Christ's love conquer death"

Coming three days after the day of dialogue for peace held in Assisi on October 27, Sandri invoked the gift of peace: “All the Syrian-Catholic communities," he said, "are united with us and with many other communities. Together let us pray that the love of Christ may always conquer death."

Sandri recalled that Pope Benedict XVI, in his Angelus message of November 1 last year, the day after the massacre, denounced "this absurd violence, all the more ferocious in that it struck helpless people, gathered in a house of God, which is a house of love and reconciliation."

“Let us pray that the sacrifice of these our brotehrs and sisters may be a seed of peace and of true rebirth and may all those who have at heart reconciliation, fraternity and peaceful living together find motive and strength in ithis to do good."

At the end of the Mass, Father Mukhlis Shasha, friend of the two martyred priests, Thair Saad Allah and Waseem Sabeeh, spoke about the way they died.

He also said that the Christians in Iraq are still the objects of attack, and that this has led many to leave the country.

Here below is another report on the Mass by Alan Holdren of Catholic News Agency, who works here in Rome.

On anniversary of cathedral massacre, 42 Iraqis remembered as martyrs

By Alan Holdren

Oct. 30 Mass at Santa Maria della Concezione

Rome, Italy, Oct 30, 2011 / 04:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On the first anniversary of the massacre at Baghdad’s Our Lady of Salvation Cathedral, the 42 worshipers killed were remembered as martyrs and their intercession was sought on behalf of Iraq’s still besieged Christian community.

Three children, two priests and a pregnant woman were among those killed when five Islamic militants linked to the terrorist group al-Qaida scaled an outer wall, entered the church and opened fire on Oct. 31, 2010.

Today, in an intimate memorial Mass held at Rome's Santa Maria della Concezione Church, Catholics prayed for the living — the “persecuted Iraqi Christians … that they never cease to give testimony to the truth, though it may cost their lives.”

Despite the sadness of the anniversary, the tone was hopeful.

During his homily, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the Vatican official in charge of Eastern Catholic Churches, spoke of the sacrifice of the deceased. “Our brothers by a mysterious way passed us in the chase for the award and the goal of our path, Christ himself,” he said.

The Mass was celebrated in the Syro-Catholic rite, but Iraqi Chaldean as well as Egyptian and Israeli priests came to show support.

Cardinal Ignace Moussa I Daoud, patriarch emeritus of the Syro-Catholic Church, and Archbishop Mikael Al-Jamil, the Syro-Catholic procurator in Rome, led the celebration.

Later, worshipers remembered the horrible events and spoke of their hope for an end to the persecution of Christians in Iraq.

An Iraqi priest, Father Mukhlis Shisha told CNA that his two best friends — both priests — were killed in the attack.

“Their martyrdom was more valuable for having taken place within the church. It is more beautiful to be killed within the church than outside it,” he said.

Large posters emblazoned with the images of the two priests adorned either side of the altar during the celebration.

“Fr. Thair Sa’adallah was just beginning his homily after having read the Gospel," Fr. Shisha remembered. "When he saw the terrorists enter, he took the Gospel in hand and held it up, saying, 'In the name of the Gospel, leave them and take me. Me for them!"

The attackers quickly killed Fr. Sa’adallah before turning on the rest of the congregation. Witnesses say they aimed particularly to kill the young men of the parish. In addition to the dead, more than 100 people were wounded.

Fr. Wasseem Sabb'ieh was hearing confessions at the time of the attack. He managed to rush two families to safety through a secret door before turning back to face the attackers.

“Before he closed the door, one of the people he helped said to him, ‘Father, leave them and come with us and you will be saved,’” Fr. Shisha recounted. “He answered, ‘I won't leave them like this,’ and he locked the door.”

Fr. Sabb’ieh proceeded directly to the attackers, shouting: “What do you want from us?”

He was killed with a bullet to the head while at the same time one of the attackers detonated a suicide bomb beside him.

Fr. Shisha is very aware of how close he himself was to death. He would have been at the Mass had he not been called back to his hometown in northern Baghdad to speak at a conference that day.

Stories of those saved are remarkable.

A little girl –- Fr. Sa’adallah's niece –- survived the attacks in a cupboard, where she was hidden during the more than four hours of terror. Many took refuge in the sacristy. Another 80 were saved as they packed themselves into a tiny side room that measured just 9 feet by 12 feet.

The memory of the dead is still graphically present in the cathedral. The bloody handprint of a pregnant woman who was killed has been conserved as a reminder of her martyrdom.

“There are too many stories to tell,” Fr. Shisha told CNA. “Essentially, those who died, who lost their lives in the church gave themselves for the cause of the others.”

"My life is Christ"

In some ways, he said, his priest friends were prepared for the moment.

Just one day before the attack, Fr. Sa’adallah sent a text message to all of his friends which read simply: “My life is Christ.” Fr. Sabb’ieh was known to say out loud to God, “My heart beats with your love. May my tongue speak your glory.”

Their lives were taken by five radical Muslims, two from Syria and one each from Yemen, Libya and Iraq.

The Islamic State of Iraq, a reported al-Qaida associate, claimed responsibility for the massacre.

During the attack, Fr. Shisha received cell phone calls from people trapped in the cathedral. They said the attackers told them they were “infidels” and that they “had to be killed.”

The terrorists killed themselves, but others who planned the attacks were later detained. Fr. Shisha was given the chance to speak with them, and he asked them simply, "(w)hy did you do this?"

“Their response,” he said, “was that you (Christians) are all ‘kafara,’ that is, ‘infidels,’ and we (Muslims) cannot coexist with you."

According to the Vatican's representative to Eastern Catholics, the attack should not be forgotten.

“The memory of the past is very important for the future of the Church in the Middle East,” Cardinal Sandri told CNA.

“This situation in the Church is difficult — being a minority and being the object of terrorist attacks and violent acts even within the very church walls. But, it has also brought with it, on the other hand, the fact that the blood of those who have died will certainly be the seed of hope and life for the future.”

Today’s Mass, Cardinal Sandri said, honors the memory of the victims and expresses hope for better days.

“Today's reflection is to pray for them but at the same time to ask that they – through their death, with their oblation – intercede for the Church in Iraq, so that there might be peace in Iraq and all the Middle East and that there might be greater awareness to security,” he said.

“In the future, we cannot forget the blood of the martyrs which has to give us a feeling of hope, hope against everything. Christ will conquer all,” he added.

The cause for the beatification of the martyrs is now being pursued in Rome.


Open Questions

Certain facts about the attacks have never been made clear.

The number of gunmen involved is not certain; different accounts put the figure as low as six and as high as 15 gunmen.

Who the gunmen were is not certain; an eyewitness said the attackers shouted at them saying "All of you are infidels. We are here to avenge the burning of the Qur'ans and the jailing of Muslim women in Egypt."

The US military said it suspected the attackers were al-Qaeda operatives because of their "tactics, techniques and procedures."

An official from the church later said: "The men who carried out the attack were very organized: the way they entered... how well-prepared and armed with machine guns, explosive belts, and everything they could need... how they quickly closed the doors and shut in the faithful."

Lieutenant-Colonel Eric Bloom of the US Army said the raid was a "robbery gone wrong. We've seen them resort to robbery to get financed. It has been very challenging for them to get outside financing, so they are resorting to small, petty crimes to try to finance themselves."

Abdul Qader al-Obeidi, Iraq's defence minister, said one of the attackers' phone calls were "fully intercepted" and that he believed he and his fellow gunmen were not Iraqis because he spoke classical Arabic "perhaps in an attempt to conceal his identity."

Hussain Nahidh, a police officer, reported that the suicide vests brought in by the attackers were filled with ball bearings, designed to kill as many people as possible when they exploded. Many people went to the hospitals "without legs and hands."

A security spokesman in Baghdad, Major General Qassim al-Moussawi, said the attackers were dressed like guards working for a private security firm and also had fake IDs.

One of the questions about the attack was how such a large number of terrorists managed to reach a church in the heart of Baghdad without being stopped.

According to the SITE Institute (SITE stands for The Search for International Terrorist Entities; it is an organization that tracks the online activity of terrorist organizations), the Al-Qaida group called "The Islamic State of Iraq" claimed responsibility for the attack. The group's claim of responsibility also said, "Let these idolaters, and at their forefront, the hallucinating tyrant of the Vatican, know that the killing sword will not be lifted from the necks of their followers until they declare their innocence from what the dog of the Egyptian Church is doing," referring to calls for the Egyptian Coptic Church to release two wives of priests who were detained after they allegedly converted to Islam.

However, there is no evidence confirming this claim of responsibility.

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Supreme Court Undercuts Religious Liberty

CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Darin Miller, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866) 372-6397

FRC Blasts Supreme Court for Allowing Decision to Stand that Removes Roadside Crosses in Six States

SCOTUS Lets Stand One of Worst Religious Liberty Assaults in American History

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Family Research Council (FRC) strongly criticized the U.S. Supreme Court's decision today to let stand one of the worst religious assaults in all of American history. The Supreme Court's refusal to hear Davenport vs. American Atheists will now result in the removal of 14 crosses bearing the names of fallen Utah state troopers that have been placed at roadside locations. In addition to Utah, the cross removal order will affect five other states including Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Wyoming.

The Supreme Court's refusal to hear the case could have significant implications for national memorials and monuments across the nation, including, but not limited to, the crosses on headstones in Arlington Cemetery.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins responded with these comments:

"The Supreme Court has failed to recognize that religious liberty is a fundamental right given to us by God and protected in the Constitution. I find it tragic that our freedoms are now at greater risk from our own courts than from the foreign or domestic enemies we've faced," concluded Perkins.

Director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council Ken Klukowski co-authored FRC's brief in the case with Professor Nelson Lund. Of the case, Klukowski said:

"The U.S. Supreme Court decided today to let stand one of the worst court decisions on religious liberty in American history. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered removal of roadside crosses in six states is the worst example yet of the Establishment Clause being turned on its head to sterilize the public square of references to faith.

"Freedom of religion means, in part, that no government should discriminate against those who, using their own funds, wish to erect a non-invasive religious display on public property," concluded Klukowski.

To read FRC's amicus brief, click here:



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The Catholic Church Breathes with Two Lungs, East and West [Video]

Sunday, October 30, 2011

TAKE FIVE FOR FAITH: Daily renewal for busy Catholics 10/30/2011

Citing of the Week

"We have to offer interpretative resources of symbol and story, of action, to nudge our culture, and ourselves, ever more toward transformation in light of the gospel."

--© Bryan Froehle, 2011, Pastoral Trends,

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Woe to you, Pharisees!
We know the Pharisees as one of the arch-villains of the gospels, but it’s surprising that these enemies of Jesus actually had some things in common with him. Both wanted to reform their religion, and both saw personal faithfulness to be the way to that renewal. For the Pharisees, though, this effort meant zealous observance of Israelite religious law, while for Jesus it meant rethinking that law in a whole new way. The Pharisees allied themselves with those in political power. Jesus, on the other hand, was a victim of politics, and his authority was a means of God’s healing, merciful, and forgiving love, not of control. How can you exercise your authority for good?

TODAY’S READINGS: Malachi 1:14b-2:2b, 8-10; 1 Thessalonians 2:7b-9, 13; Matthew 23:1-12 (151)
“Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah.”

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From The Friars eLetter: Autumn Leaves

A Collection of prayers: III.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 16: A woman reads ...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The leaves, once so strong and independent, have changed colors as they prepare for their end.

And here am I, watching the restlessness of my

youth fade away.  Only You my God know
when my end will be.  Like these autumn
leaves all I can do is surrender to Your providence.  It is a simple act of faith in Your

God bless you,

Fr. Jeremiah Myriam Shryock, CFR
St. Felix Friary, Yonkers, New York 

Zemanta helped me add links & pictures to this email. It can do it for you too.

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Week of October 30th: Daily Reflections on Scripture Readings:


Oct 30, Daily Reflections On Scripture Readings That Will Nourish Your Soul


Short daily reflections have been posted for this week. Read these daily Catholic reflections on scripture readings, much like a devotional.

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Your Weekly Reflection in Prayer 10/30/2011

Weekly Prayer Reflection for Autumn
“Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”
October 30, 2011
All Souls Day
Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
Dear John,
We believe in the Communion of Saints – the communion between the Saints triumphant in Heaven, the holy ones laboring on earth, and those suffering in purgatory but assured of eternal life. So in preparation for Commemoration of All Souls Day, we remember and pray for those who have gone before us, and we also pray that their good example stirs us on to follow more closely the way of Jesus Christ, the way that leads to God’s Kingdom in Heaven.
O God, King of Saints, we praise and glorify Your Holy Name for all Your servants who have finished their course in Your faith and fear. We pray that, encouraged by their example, aided by their prayers, and strengthened by their fellowship, we may also be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in light, through the merits of Your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rev. Peter Schineller, S.J., CMMB Board of Directors

Memory Loved One All Souls
 Donate to Weekly Prayer Reflection for Autumn  100 Years Seal Alone

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Truth about Halloween


The Real Story!
Father Augustine Thompson, O.P.,

We’ve all heard the allegations. Halloween is a pagan rite dating back to some pre-Christian festival among the Celtic Druids that escaped Church suppression. Even today modern pagans and witches continue to celebrate this ancient festival. If you let your kids go trick-or-treating, they will be worshiping the devil and pagan gods.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The origins of Halloween are, in fact, very Christian and rather American. Halloween falls on October 31 because of a pope, and its observances are the result of medieval Catholic piety.
It’s true that the ancient Celts of Ireland and Britain celebrated a minor festival on Oct. 31 — as they did on the last day of most other months of the year. However, Halloween falls on the last day of October because the Feast of All Saints or "All Hallows" falls on Nov. 1. The feast in honor of all the saints in heaven used to be celebrated on May 13, but Pope Gregory III (d. 741) moved it to Nov. 1, the dedication day of All Saints Chapel in St. Peter’s at Rome. Later, in the 840s, Pope Gregory IV commanded that All Saints be observed everywhere. And so the holy day spread to Ireland. The day before was the feast’s evening vigil, "All Hallows Even" or "Hallowe’en." In those days, Halloween didn’t have any special significance for Christians or for long-dead Celtic pagans.
In 998, St. Odilo, the abbot of the powerful monastery of Cluny in Southern France, added a celebration on Nov. 2. This was a day of prayer for the souls of all the faithful departed. This feast, called All Souls Day, spread from France to the rest of Europe.
So now the Church had feasts for all those in heaven and all those in purgatory? What about those in the other place? It seems Irish Catholic peasants wondered about the unfortunate souls in hell. After all, if the souls in hell are left out when we celebrate those in heaven and purgatory, they might be unhappy enough to cause trouble. So it became customary to bang pots and pans on All Hallows Even to let the damned know they were not forgotten. Thus, in Ireland, at least, all the dead came to be remembered — even if the clergy were not terribly sympathetic to Halloween and never allowed All Damned Day into the Church calendar.
But that still isn’t our celebration of Halloween. Our traditions on this holiday centers around dressing up in fanciful costumes, which isn’t Irish at all. Rather, this custom arose in France during the 14th and 15th centuries. Late medieval Europe was hit by repeated outbreaks of the bubonic plague — the Black Death — and she lost about half her population. It is not surprising that Catholics became more concerned about the afterlife. More Masses were said on All Souls’ Day, and artistic representations were devised to remind everyone of their own mortality.
We know these representations as the "Dance Macabre" or "Dance of Death," which was commonly painted on the walls of cemeteries and shows the devil leading a daisy chain of people — popes, kings, ladies, knights, monks, peasants, lepers, etc. — into the tomb. Sometimes the dance was presented on All Souls’ Day itself as a living tableau with people dressed up in the garb of various states of life. But the French dressed up on All Souls, not Halloween; and the Irish, who had Halloween, did not dress up. How the two became mingled probably happened first in the British colonies of North America during the 1700s when Irish and French Catholics began to intermarry. The Irish focus on hell gave the French masquerades and even more macabre twist.
But, as every young ghoul knows, dressing up isn’t the point; the point is getting as many goodies as possible. Where on earth did "trick or treat" come in?
"Trick or treat" is perhaps the oddest and most American addition to Halloween, and is the unwilling contribution of English Catholics.
During the penal period of the 1500s to the 1700s in England, Catholics had no legal rights. They could not hold office and were subject to fines, jail and heavy taxes. It was a capital offense to say Mass, and hundreds of priests were martyred.
Occasionally, English Catholics resisted, sometimes foolishly. One of the most foolish acts of resistance was a plot to blow up the Protestant King James I and his Parliament with gunpowder. This was supposed to trigger a Catholic uprising against their oppressors. The ill-conceived Gunpowder Plot was foiled on Nov. 5, 1605, when the man guarding the gunpowder, a reckless convert named Guy Fawkes, was captured and arrested. He was hanged; the plot fizzled.
Nov. 5, Guy Fawkes’ Day, became a great celebration in England, and so it remains. During the penal periods, bands of revelers would put on masks and visit local Catholics in the dead of night, demanding beer and cakes for their celebration: trick or treat!
Guy Fawkes’ Day arrived in the American colonies with the first English settlers. But, buy the time of the American Revolution, old King James and Guy Fawkes had pretty much been forgotten. Trick or treat, though, was too much fun to give up, so eventually it moved to Oct. 31, the day of the Irish-French masquerade. And in America, trick or treat wasn’t limited to Catholics.
The mixture of various immigrant traditions we know as Halloween had become a fixture in the Unites States by the early 1800s. To this day, it remains unknown in Europe, even in the countries from which some of the customs originated.
But what about witches? Well, they are one of the last additions. The greeting card industry added them in the late 1800s. Halloween was already "ghoulish," so why not give witches a place on greeting cards? The Halloween card failed (although it has seen a recent resurgence in popularity), but the witches stayed. So, too, in the late 1800s, ill-informed folklorists introduced the jack-o’-lantern. They thought that Halloween was druidic and pagan in origin. Lamps made from turnips (not pumpkins) had been part of ancient Celtic harvest festivals, so they were translated to the American Halloween celebration.
The next time someone claims that Halloween is a cruel trick to lure your children into devil worship, I suggest you tell them the real origin of All Hallows Even and invite them to discover its Christian significance, along with the two greater and more important Catholic festivals that follow it.
Be sure to check out -

This article is written by Father Augustine Thompson, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia and reprinted here with his permission. 
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St. Paul's Commitment [Video]

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Worship sites around NYC rush to comply with city rules to avoid fines


The Rev. Skip L'Heureux at Queen of Peace, which spent $45,000 to meet city regulations.

Beneath stained-glass windows of God, Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary glows the latest addition to Queen of Peace, a tiny Catholic parish in Kew Gardens Hills.

At a recent Mass, the Rev. James Tighe shocked his flock by describing why the exit sign had been installed seven decades after the church opened.

To come into compliance with city laws for places of assembly, the Queens church spent $45,000 on exit signs, pushbars on its doors and fees for an architect, he said.

Tighe admitted the price tag was hard to stomach. But he said the cash-strapped city is cracking down on churches without place of assembly permits, and his church could ill afford hefty fines.

Read more:

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From Mark Mallett: Missing the Message… of a Papal Prophet


THE Holy Father has been greatly misunderstood not only by the secular press, but by some of the flock as well.1 Some have written me suggesting that perhaps this pontiff is an "anti-pope" in kahootz with the Antichrist!2 How quickly some run from the Garden!

Pope Benedict XVI is not calling for a central all-powerful "global government"—something he and popes before him have outright condemned (ie. Socialism)3 —but a global family that places the human person and their inviolable rights and dignity at the center of all human development in society. Let us be absolutely clear on this:

The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person—every person—needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. … In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live ‘by bread alone’ (Mt 4:4; cf. Dt 8:3) – a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter, Deus Caritas Est, n. 28, December 2005

Individual nations cannot function orderly without governance. So too, a global family of nations cannot function and interact healthily without a global body (such as a reformed United Nations) that upholds both the physical and spiritual dignity of man, thus fostering a more just world rather than the grotesque inequalities we see now.

In order not to produce a dangerous universal power of a tyrannical nature, the governance of globalization must be marked by subsidiarity, articulated into several layers and involving different levels that can work together. Globalization certainly requires authority, insofar as it poses the problem of a global common good that needs to be pursued. This authority, however, must be organized in a subsidiary and stratified way, if it is not to infringe upon freedom... —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n.57

But bureaucracy alone cannot achieve this.

The earthly city is promoted not merely by relationships of rights and duties, but to an even greater and more fundamental extent by relationships of gratuitousness, mercy and communion. Charity always manifests God’s love in human relationships as well, it gives theological and salvific value to all commitment for justice in the world.

Another important consideration is the common good. To love someone is to desire that person’s good and to take effective steps to secure it. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 6-7

As we glance across the horizon of human civilization, we see a world devoid of these principles. We see a torn landscape buckling under economic corruption, materialistic societies, weak and spineless politicians, greed, violence, and a rapidly growing gulf between the rich and poor. At the same time, there is a veritable…

…explosion of worldwide interdependence, commonly known as globalization. Paul VI had partially foreseen it, but the ferocious pace at which it has evolved could not have been anticipated. —ibid. n. 33

The concurrence of these trends have brought the entire world to a precarious precipice.

…without the guidance of charity in truth, this global force could cause unprecedented damage and create new divisions within the human family. —ibid. n. 33

The Pope’s most recent encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth) in response to this global crisis, is perhaps more than anything else a final call of repentance to the nations—an invitation into the Heart of Christ to create a "civilization of love"—or to follow its current path into the heart of a beast whereby…

…humanity runs new risks of enslavement and manipulation. —ibid n. 26

Some say the Pope is naive to promote a global body to support the phenomenon of globalization, that such a body will inevitably be evil given human nature. Was Jesus naive when he said, "Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar,"4 or when St. Paul said, "Obey your leaders and be submissive to them"?5 or "Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities…"?6 Our duty as a Church is to present the Gospel ideal, not shrink away in fear from those who would abuse it. Alas, we are the naive one’s who underestimate the power of the Gospel!

But all this said, I believe the main point has been mostly missed. And that is that Pope Benedict is speaking prophetically to the Church and the world in much the same way the prophet Jonah visited Nineveh to issue a last warning that its current path would lead to destruction. But is anyone listening?



In the Gospel, we hear Christ cry out:

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused! So be it! Your house will be left to you. (Luke 13:34)

Our house will be left to us, that is, we will reap what we sow if we refuse to be gathered under Christ’s wing to let Him pacify and unite the nations, not into a global conformity, but a global family. You see, the Antichrist is nothing less than the culmination, the incarnation of our collective rejection of God into the singular person of the "lawless one", thus reaping his terrible reign which is the complete fruition of a "culture of death."

If one reads Benedict XVI’s encyclical to the end (something it seems few commentators have bothered to do), we hear the Holy Father—after a comprehensive Christian vision of human development is laid out—placing hope completely, not in a "reformed United Nations," but in the hands of God through the intercession of the Church:

Development needs Christians with their arms raised towards God in prayer, Christians moved by the knowledge that truth-filled love, caritas in veritate, from which authentic development proceeds, is not produced by us, but given to us. For this reason, even in the most difficult and complex times, besides recognizing what is happening, we must above all else turn to God’s love. Development requires attention to the spiritual life, a serious consideration of the experiences of trust in God, spiritual fellowship in Christ, reliance upon God’s providence and mercy, love and forgiveness, self-denial, acceptance of others, justice and peace. All this is essential if “hearts of stone” are to be transformed into “hearts of flesh” (Ezek 36:26), rendering life on earth “divine” and thus more worthy of humanity. —ibid. n. 79

Nothing naive there. While the secular media is in a frenzy (again) over the misunderstood meaning of this Encyclical and other related statements, few have grasped its spiritual significance. It is God’s appeal to the human family to become a family, for He has heard "the cry of the poor" that thus far is falling upon "hearts of stone."7 How long can God watch their tears overflow from the cup of His merciful justice?8


The real problem at this moment of our history is that God is disappearing from the human horizon, and, with the dimming of the light which comes from God, humanity is losing its bearings, with increasingly evident destructive effects. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Letter… to All the Bishops of the World, March 10, 2009; Catholic Online

Only if there is such a consensus on the essentials can constitutions and law function. This fundamental consensus derived from the Christian heritage is at risk… In reality, this makes reason blind to what is essential. To resist this eclipse of reason and to preserve its capacity for seeing the essential, for seeing God and man, for seeing what is good and what is true, is the common interest that must unite all people of good will. The very future of the world is at stake. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Address to the Roman Curia, December 20th, 2010

If technical progress is not matched by corresponding progress in man’s ethical formation, in man’s inner growth (cf. Eph 3:16; 2 Cor 4:16), then it is not progress at all, but a threat for man and for the world. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter, Spe Salvi, n. 22

Science can contribute greatly to making the world and mankind more human. Yet it can also destroy mankind and the world unless it is steered by forces that lie outside it. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter, Spe Salvi, n. 25

…the tyranny of mammon [...] perverts mankind. No pleasure is ever enough, and the excess of deceiving intoxication becomes a violence that tears whole regions apart – and all this in the name of a fatal misunderstanding of freedom which actually undermines man’s freedom and ultimately destroys it. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Address to the Roman Curia, December 20th, 2010

Whoever wants to eliminate love is preparing to eliminate man as such. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter, Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), n. 28b

We cannot hide the fact that many threatening clouds are gathering on the horizon. We must not, however, lose heart, rather we must keep the flame of hope alive in our hearts… —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Catholic News Agency,
January 15th, 2009

Be prepared to put your life on the line in order to enlighten the world with the truth of Christ; to respond with love to hatred and disregard for life; to proclaim the hope of the risen Christ in every corner of the earth. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Message to the Young People of the World, World Youth Day, 2008

The Church will be reduced in its dimensions, it will be necessary to start again. However, from this test a Church would emerge that will have been strengthened by the process of simplification it experienced, by its renewed capacity to look within itself… the Church will be numerically reduced. —Cardinal Ratzinger (POPE BENEDICT XVI), God and the World, 2001; interview with Peter Seewald


cf. Benedict and the New World Order [↩]
cf. A Black Pope? [↩]
For other quotes from popes on Socialism, cf. and [↩]
cf. Mk 12:17 [↩]
cf. Heb 13:17 [↩]
cf. Rom 13:1 [↩]
cf. Does He Hear the Cry of the Poor? [↩]
cf. Fullness of Sin [↩]

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TAKE FIVE FOR FAITH: Daily renewal for busy Catholics 10/29/2011

Citing of the Week

"The key for all charged with religious teaching might not really be a ‘content-full’ but a ‘content-smart’ approach: identifying the one or two key things that are truly central."

--© Bryan Froehle, 2011, Pastoral Trends,

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Saturday, October 29

Mary, updated
Traditional images of Mary show her “meek and mild”: eyes downcast, arms enfolding her son, or hands pressed together in prayer. She stood or sat with the stillness of eternity wrapped around her. If she extended herself at all, it was in arms held downward and outward to her children throughout history calling for her intercession. Recently, new artists are portraying a more active woman—the Walking Madonna by Elizabeth Frink, for example: elderly, striding, purposeful, like the many grey-haired ladies who are the backbones of their parishes. Mary still has places to go and things to do. Care to come along?


TODAY’S READINGS: Romans 11:1-2a, 11-12, 25-29; Luke 14:1, 7-11 (484)
“For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.”

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We can be Missionaries [Video]

Friday, October 28, 2011

Just how bad is bad?


Dear Friend in Christ,

In this classic Vortex we ask; Do you have to be Adolph Hitler to go Hell? That's what you might think after attending many 'Catholic' funerals these days. Please watch this episode of The Vortex and share it with as many friends and family as you can.

Also, check out this hour-long talk I gave in Florida!

GOD Bless you and your loved ones,

Michael Voris
~senior executive producer at

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Mary TV Daily Reflection 10/28/2011


October 28, 2011

Saints Simon and Jude


Dear Family of Mary!


"Dear children! I am looking at you and in your hearts I do not see joy. Today I desire to give you the joy of the Risen One, that He may lead you and embrace you with His love and tenderness. I love you and I am praying for your conversion without ceasing before my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call." 

(October 25, 2011)


Our Lady wants to give us the joy of the Risen One. She wants us to be filled with the new life that Jesus offers us through His death and resurrection, the new life of freedom from our sins. Jesus Himself waits in the confessional to embrace us with His love and tenderness. This is where we can meet Him and receive His joy! Denis and I just watched a video on the Mary TV website that captures this process of Our Lady leading someone to Jesus for this tender embrace. It is the testimony of Fr. Rick Wendell, given at the Notre Dame Conference a few years ago.


Fr. Rick describes his encounter with joy during his talk. I will quote a bit now. But I highly recommend that you all go to our website and watch his testimony. It is found on the home page right at the top, in the featured videos box.


Fr. Rick talks about his confession, penance and healing in Medjugorje:


So I met this guy [a priest in Medjugorje] and I immediately knew that he would understand the gravity of the things that I had done. So I went to look for confession. And I went down [to the church] and it was kind of raining out so there wasn't anyone outside. And I thought ..."Lord I really would like to go to confession with Fr. Mike, and he walked right into my peripheral vision, just right there, with an umbrella! He sat down and he heard many hours of my confession. And he had those gifts of the confessional for when we get to the really difficult things that we have said and done that are so humiliating that we don't even want to go there in our mind. But Father Mike would say, "This is what you were doing, but this is what you were thinking." For hours [he heard my confession]...When he laid his hand on my head for absolution, heat came out of his hands. I didn't know what it was; I just knew that it was.


Then he gave me a non-standard penance. I had tried to go to confession before about the same stuff but the priest would say, "For your penance say 5 Hail Mary's..." Now, that's not the priest's problem, but it just didn't seem enough...5 Hail Mary's....maybe for the first bad thought I ever had, but not the rest...Then he said, I want you to go to Krizevac and take your shoes off ...and that's not penance, that's just to equalize you to the people who come here who are older, infirm, incapable of doing it. You are young and strong. You take off your shoes and then you are to pray for every person you have hurt.


The next morning I got up and I walked across the fields. It was early dawn, because I didn't want anybody to see what I was doing, right... did not want anybody to see what I was doing. I was looking to the stray dogs for company. I was dreading it. I got to Krizevac, took off my shoes and I left them at the bottom...the thing was, that when I went up and started praying, I could remember the names [of everyone I had hurt]. I could remember the lies, the seductions, the bad business deals, all the things I had done. I could remember the people's names. So I sobbed all the way up. I knew the gravity of what I had done. All the way up and all the way down. There was a crucifix at the bottom, and I threw myself at the foot of the cross and I begged for my life, because I knew that I could live a perfect life from then on and never make up for it all [my sins]. There were people who died because of me. I could never make it up. But somehow I really felt forgiven. Really!


I put my shoes on. And I walked down to the church. I got down there and ran into Fr. Mike Canary and he said, "Come with me." He took me into one of the class rooms and there were 20 people there that I didn't know. They were praying...the never ending "amen" song etc. He said it was a healing service and he put on a little mini stole, the traveling purple stole, and he prayed over people. Nothing happened to anyone. I walked up, I wasn't thinking, and I get about 3 feet away from him and out of my mouth came, involuntarily, "I have many scars on my heart and what I want is the Holy Spirit." I thought to myself: "That's pretty weird!!" I wasn't expecting to say anything, let alone that...


He didn't say anything. He took some blessed oil and made the Sign of the Cross on my forehead. He put one hand on my head and the other on my heart, and the Holy Spirit came down with power!!! It was so powerful that I got frightened, not in the scared sense, but in the awesome sense, like "OH MY"!! For me it was like, for those who know Star Trek, if you ever stuck your head in the "anti-matter". It was a regular field of power. And it stopped above my heart. And then he spoke directly to it, and said, "Let there be no more doubt, let there be no more fear." And it was like the biggest breath of air I ever took, all of a sudden, right down to the bottoms of my feet, filled beyond my imagination, an ecstatic experience. More fun than any drug experience, by a long shot...It was better than Christmas magnified. It was like way out there...And the more I opened my heart the more He filled me, the more I opened myself, the more He filled me, the more I opened myself, the more He filled me until I really couldn't even make a distinction between God and myself. It was just union...I didn't know how long you could stay there. Again, a timeless experience.


Then I kind of relaxed away from it, and as I did I realized I was lying on the floor, my body was stiff. It was so stiff it was like you got plugged into a bazillion volts and my toes were straight out, and I was so stiff you could have put me on the back of two chairs like magicians use with their dummies...I was really that stiff. Fr. Mike was on one side with his hand on my chest, and Bill Curry (18 years old, six months before had been an absolute drunk and God had delivered him from being face down in the gutter) was praying on the other side, and into this relaxation came this warmth. I had known winning the big game, falling in love, all those kinds of things, but in my life, I had never known JOY! It was sappy, Father Mike said I nearly broke his back I hugged him so hard. I loved everybody! I ended up walking around in a tee shirt because I was emanating heat all the time. (Fr. Rick Wendell - Notre Dame Conference. 2008. View it at )


What a great description of the joy of union with God, through redemption! Fr. Rick Wendell was given a foretaste of heaven that day in Medjugorje. He was forgiven, did penance, and received the Holy Spirit in power! Union with God is JOY!! This is what Our Lady wants for all of us. Oh, come Holy Spirit, come!!


In Jesus and Mary!
Cathy Nolan



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TAKE FIVE FOR FAITH: Daily renewal for busy Catholics 10/28/2011

Friday, October 28

Do as they did
Except for Peter, Andrew, James, and John, we know almost nothing about the apostles other than their names, and even some of these are disputed (“Nathaneal” or “Bartholomew”?). Various traditions have Simon preaching to the Berbers in North Africa and martyred in Samaria—or Edessa in Macedonia, or even England. Likewise tradition places Jude in Idumaea (in the Holy Land), Mesopotamia, and Beirut, and one medieval writer claims he was the bridegroom at the wedding feast at Cana! Yet the genuine legacy of these apostles is the faith that you live by today. If you could plot out a genealogy of faith backward through multiple generations, you would have to come to Simon and Jude—or to other barely known pioneers like them who, when Jesus once said, “Come and see,” went and saw and believed.

TODAY’S READINGS: Ephesians 2:19-22; Luke 6:12-16 (666)
“You are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets.”


Alice Camille, Daniel Grippo, Father Larry Janowski, O.F.M., Ann O'Connor, Joel Schorn, Patrice J. Tuohy, and Sister Julie Vieira, I.H.M.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

From the Heart:


Dear Friend in Christ,

In this classic Vortex we learn why we should be so militant and passionate about defending the Church. Why is it that people say we go too far in what we say about the Church? Perhaps it is because they have failed to fully understand the Who the Church is. Please watch this episode of The Vortex and share it with as many friends and family as you can.

Also, check out this hour-long talk I gave in Chicago!

GOD Bless you and your loved ones,

Michael Voris
~senior executive producer at

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Pope Benedict XVI: It Is Not The Sword That Builds Peace, But Those Who Are Willing to Suffer And Give Up Their Own Lives.

“Jesus Is The Good King Who Reigns With Humility And Gentleness.”

From EWTN news.

By:  DavidKerr

One day before the gathering of religious leaders from around the world in the town of Assisi, Pope Benedict XVI declared that the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus ushered in a new kingdom of peace of which Christ is king.

“The Cross is the new arch of peace, a sign and instrument of reconciliation, of forgiveness, of understanding, a sign that love is stronger than all violence and all oppression, is stronger than death: the evil is overcome with good, with love,” the Pope said to pilgrims gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall on Oct. 26.

“This new reign of peace in which Christ is the king, is a kingdom that extends over the whole earth.”

The Pope’s comments came at his weekly general audience which also served as a prayer vigil ahead of tomorrow’s “Day of Reflection and Prayer for Peace” with other world religious leaders in the Italian town of Assisi.

Today’s vigil was due to take place in St. Peter’s Square but inclement weather forced a change of venue. This resulted in the majority of pilgrims being sent to the Paul VI Hall and the overflow being shepherded into St. Peter’s Basilica.

Pope Benedict briefly greeted those in the basilica and imparted his apostolic blessing upon them. He then proceeded to the audience hall where Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General of the Diocese Rome, read several passages from sacred scripture, to which the Pope responded with his speech.

The incarnation of Jesus Christ as king of peace, said the Pope, was foreshadowed in the Old Testament reading from the Book of Zechariah. “Behold, your king comes to you. He is just and victorious,” the Old Testament prophet said to the Jewish people.

“But the announcement does not refer to a king with human powers and force of arms,” said the Pope, “this is a gentle king who reigns with humility and gentleness before God and man, a king quite different from the great sovereigns of the earth.”

The unfolding of Zechariah’s prophecy first becames apparent at the time of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem, Pope Benedict said, recalling how the angels proclaimed “Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.” Thus, he said, “the birth of that baby, who is Jesus, brings a proclamation of peace throughout the world.”

Similarly, the apostles would have recalled Zechariah’s words after “Christ’s passion, death and resurrection,” when “with the eyes of faith, they reconsidered their Master’s joyful entry into the Holy City.”

“He did not enter Jerusalem accompanied by a mighty army of chariots and horsemen. He is a poor king, the king of the poor of God,” said the Pope, “he is a king who will make the chariots and steeds of battle disappear, who will break the weapons of war, a king who brought peace on the Cross, uniting heaven and earth and building a bridge between all mankind.”

And the kingdom of Jesus, the Pope noted, is universal. Its horizon is not “the territorial horizon of a State,” but “the confines of the world,” and wherever Christ is to be found “in the great network of Eucharistic communities covering the earth, wherein the prophecy of Zecheriah re-emerges in splendor.”

Christians can help expand the bounds of this kingdom of peace “not with the might of war or force of power,” but “with the giving of self, with love carried to its extreme consequences, even towards our enemies,” said the Pope.

He then turned the pilgrims’ attention to a physical reminder of that attitude, pointing to a statue of St. Paul with a sword in hand—the means by which he was executed in Rome—located on the front of St. Peter’s Basilica.

St. Paul’s strength “lay in the fact that he did not seek a quiet life,” said the Pope, but rather in the fact that “he was consumed by the Gospel” and “gave all of himself without reserve.” This led to him becoming the “great messenger of peace and reconciliation in Christ.”

Similarly, he said, Catholics today must be willing “to pay in person,” even if that means suffering “misunderstanding, rejection and persecution.”

“It is not the sword of the conqueror that builds peace, but the sword of those who suffer and give up their own lives.”

The Holy Father concluded by asking everybody to pray that “tomorrow’s meeting in Assisi might favor dialogue between people from different religions,” so that “rancor may give way to forgiveness, division to reconciliation, hatred to love, violence to humility, and that peace may reign in the world.”

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an odd & unusual request

Would you please sponsor
a tank of gas for
Fatima Custodian Nicholas Mak?

Dear Deacon 

Because of your deep love for Our Lady of Fatima, please consider helping Fatima Custodian Nicholas Mak with a tank of gas so he can take the beautiful pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima into homes all across America.

See, when you donate a tank of gas, you become Nicholas’ long-distance traveling partner. And you participate in his apostolate and share the merits of his work and prayers.

Nicholas is consecrated to Our Lady for his whole life.

Like all of our Custodians, he has a tremendous level of dedication – he is a full-time volunteer and does NOT receive a salary!

He does not receive a vacation with pay!

Instead, he depends entirely on support from you, and other good people like you.

Donate a tank of gas to Fatima Custodian Nicholas Mak

Actually, sometimes, if he can’t find a friendly place to lay his head, he sleeps in his van. And if he isn’t invited for a meal, he puts his meager dollars together to buy a sandwich.

So please believe me when I tell you that he is totally dedicated to his task, but he needs a special friend like you so that he can stay on the road, and continue to take the Fatima message into people’s homes.

In fact, when you donate a tank of gas and help Nicholas, you can be right there with him, day and night.

With your support right now, Nicholas will be able to take the Pilgrim Virgin Statue into home, which is sometimes the only way many families have to learn the Rosary, and hear the Fatima message, and start on the path to conversion.

John, you and Nicholas will make a great team for Our Lady!

Donate a tank of gas to Fatima Custodian Nicholas Mak

Thank you!

Gratefully, in Jesus and Mary,

  Robert E. Ritchie
  Robert E. Ritchie
America Needs Fatima
P.S. – When you donate a tank of gas to Fatima Custodian Nicholas Mak, you will establish a spiritual partnership with him, and will share in his prayer, sacrifices and supernatural merits." title="" target="_blank">Donate a tank of gas to Fatima Custodian Nicholas Mak" target="_blank">

© 2010 - America Needs Fatima - 1358 Jefferson Road Spring Grove, PA 17362 - (888) 317-5571

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