Friday, September 30, 2011

[MaryVitamin] St. Therese



Mary Vitamin 
Topic: The Last poem of St. Therese (October 1)
The Last poem written by St. Therese
Soon, soon, to heaven that waits for us, my soul shall swiftly fly.
O Thou who cam'st to smile on me at dawn of life's beginning!
Come once again to smile on me.... Mother! the night is nigh.
I fear no more thy majesty, so far, so far above me,
For, I have suffered sore with thee; now hear my heart's deep cry!
Oh! let me tell thee face to face, dear Virgin! how I love thee;
And say to thee forevermore:
thy little child am I.
St. Therese
“Sometimes I find my self saying to the Holy Virgin: “Do you know, O cherished Mother, that I think myself more fortunate than you? I have you for Mother and you have not, like me, the blessed Virgin to love … You are, it is true, the Mother of Jesus but you have given Him to me, and He, from the Cross gave you to us as our Mother, so we are richer than you. Of old it was your desire that you might be the little handmaiden of the Mother of God; and I, poor little creature, I am, not your servant, but your child: you are the Mother of Jesus and you are my Mother.”
Thoughts of Saint Therese, 154-5
(Tan publishers)
Today I will ask St. Therese to teach me her devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
I will say:
thy little child am I.

Marian Vow:
St. Therese
“O Mary, if I were Queen of heaven and thou wert Therese, I fain would be Therese to see thee Queen of Heaven!”
September 8, 1897
I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.


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[MaryVitamin] Our Lady of the Smile



Mary Vitamin for September 30th
: St. Therese and Our Lady of the Smile
St. Therese of Lisieux
"All of a sudden the Blessed Virgin appeared beautiful to me, so beautiful that never had I seen anything so attractive; her face was suffused with an ineffable benevolence and tenderness, but what penetrated to the very depths of my soul was the ravishing smile of the Blessed Virgin."
Throughout the following excerpt from Fr. Irala's book, Achieving Peace of Heart, one can also see the wisdom of St. Therese's "Little Way" which was full of small mortifications.  St. Therese tried to behave in a way opposite to the way she felt.
"In fear or anger the eyes become hard, staring, and blink scarcely at all. The road to victory in moments of irritation is to relax the eyes deliberately, blink often and try to smile with the eyes. In a state of emotion the voice tends to be hard and trembling. So, in a moment of wrath, you should keep quiet or answer very softly. Speak in a stronger tone of confidence when you feel fear, and in moments of sadness use a more animated tone of voice.  The Japanese have a more poetical expression: 'When the face smiles, the sun come out in the heart.' We should, then, relax and soften the lines of facial expression and unclench tense hands in emotional moments."
Father Narciso Irala, S.J, Achieving Peace of Heart, (Roman Catholic Books), 93.
Today I will try to keep the thought of Our Lady's appearance to St. Therese in my mind. I will try to smile more and while doing this I will think of Our Lady's smile and how it had the curing effect upon St. Therese and penetrated to the depths of her soul. In this small way, I can try to bring the Immaculate to those around me.
Marian Vow:
Mother Teresa
Make an effort to radiate joy, which is the fruit of the Spirit and a characteristic mark of the kingdom of God. God is joy. We have no reason to be unhappy. Christ, wanting to share his joy with the disciples, prayed that 'my joy may be in you and your joy be complete.' Jesus must have radiated joy and you should do the same, in your eyes, attitude, the way you walk, the way you listen, and your whole being.
Thirsting for God, (Servant Publications: 2000), 152.
I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.


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A Shower of Roses


Falsely Accused Priest, Gordon MacRae, Shower of Roses, Therese of Lisieux

In the mid-1980’s, I spent a lot of time with Michelle, a seventeen year-old parishioner who suffered from a terminal brain tumor. In the last weeks of her life on Earth, I visited with her every day. It’s difficult to declare God’s love to a dying teenager and her family.

It was a humbling way to learn that I cannot give away what I do not have. I had no answers to explain their suffering, and could not pretend otherwise. For weeks, Michelle and I together drew closer to the precipice between life and death. I could be but a fellow pilgrim on that path, not a guide.

Michelle’s room was decorated by her loving family and scores of high school friends. It was filled with flowers, stuffed bears, and balloons that reflected their love for Michelle, and their broken hearts over what was happening to her. It was difficult to reconcile that room, with its flowers and gifts that screamed life, with the image of a young girl rapidly departing from it.

On the night before Michelle died, I was with her in that room. After Anointing and Viaticum, she held my hand as I grasped for something that would ease her fear, and give her hope. I don’t know what made me think of it, but I told her of the life of St. Therese of Lisieux, The Little Flower.


I told Michelle all that I knew of Therese, which wasn’t much. She entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux at fifteen, and left this world on September 30, 1891 at just twenty-four years old.


Her Journal of a Soul became one of the most widely read spiritual biographies of all time. I struggled against tears as I spoke of Therese’s “little way,” and asked Michelle to practice it now by surrendering herself to God. By this time, Michelle had lost her ability to speak. She fought against the drugs meant to buffer her pain, seeming to drift in and out of consciousness as she tried hard to listen to the story of St. Therese.

I spoke of St. Therese’s cryptic promise, “After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses.” I told Michelle that I believed the young Therese will meet her on this path, take her hand from mine, and walk with her so she would not be alone. I asked her not to be afraid.

Michelle had not opened her eyes for some time. I wondered if she could even hear me. I told her that some people believe they will receive a rose as a sign that St. Therese has heard their prayer for her intercession. Perhaps I was trying to find hope for myself as much as instill it in Michelle. I looked around her room for a rose among the flowers sent by friends, but there was not one rose to be found there.

When I looked back, I was startled. Michelle was staring at me intently. Too weak to raise her arm, she rested it at her side, her index finger pointing upward at the ceiling as she continued to stare at me. There was an urgency to her stare that seemed to take all the strength she had left. I looked up. Among the several helium balloons tied to her bedposts, one had broken free and drifted to the ceiling. It was one of those silver foil balloons.

Emblazoned upon it was a large, brilliant, vibrant rose.

The balloon had arrived that afternoon, her mother later told me. As soon as Michelle could see that I noticed the rose, she closed her eyes. She never opened them again. The next morning, I was with Michelle as she surrendered her life.

In the days after celebrating the Mass of Christian Burial for Michelle and her family, I was haunted by the memory of the rose balloon. The sheer miracle of it felt so vivid, so alive at the moment it occurred. I had an overwhelming sense of awe, a sense that St. Therese really took Michelle’s hand from mine and walked with her soul the remaining distance. I never spoke of this to anyone until now.

The rose balloon can be easily dismissed now as coincidence, but it didn’t feel that way at first. I could feel what Michelle was feeling as she pointed to it. “Stop looking around my room. It’s right there! Hope is right there!” At that very moment, I felt Michelle’s fear give way to hope.

The days to follow stretched into weeks and months and years. My own trials became many, and heavy. They distorted that moment with Michelle, and hid it in clouds of doubt. In time, my own tribulations drove Michelle’s rose from conscious awareness. I didn’t forget it so much as it just didn’t seem to matter anymore.


Years later, my life and priesthood imploded under the devastating weight of false witness. I spent the eighteen months before my trial living with the Servants of the Paraclete, a community of priests and brothers in New Mexico. One of my housemates was Brother Bernard. He still writes to me. Well into his 70’s now, his Irish wit has not diminished at all, and age has only intensified his simple, trusting – and sometimes irritating – Irish piety. We who serve the Church with advanced degrees in theology and the sciences at times find the combination of sharp wit and simple piety to be, well, humbling. That’s the irritating part.

Brother Bernard has a sort of comic book-like league of spiritual super heroes who, in the simplicity of his faith, will always come to our aid. Clearly, the Wonder Woman of his team of saintly rescuers is Saint Therese of Lisieux, the “Little Flower” and a Doctor of the Church.

When Brother Bernard writes to me, he doesn’t miss a chance to proclaim that he prays to St. Therese for me. When I lived with him, he loved to take out his collection of St. Therese holy cards and other memorabilia.Now every one of his letters contains one of those cards.

We of haughty mind and proud heart have trouble wrapping our brains around the spiritual arena inhabited by Saint Therese. Her “little way” of transforming every moment into a prayer of union with God is hard to relate to when faced with painful and weighty issues – like an unjust imprisonment.

In one of his letters a few years ago, Brother Bernard reminded me of that cryptic promise: “After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses.” He told me that I should look for a rose as a sign that St. Therese hears his prayer.

I thought of the now distant memory of Michelle and the rose balloon. Whatever it had evoked in my own soul then was gone. I scoffed and mocked Brother Bernard’s letter. I am in prison in the harshness of steel and concrete. Roses do not exist here. In all these years in prison, I have never seen a rose. I put Brother Bernard’s letter aside, and put this pious nonsense out of my mind.

Two days later, well before dawn on the morning on October 1st, I emerged from my cell, cup of instant coffee in hand. The cell block was quiet and empty except for one young man sitting alone at a table. As I approached, he complained to me that he had been up all night with an attack of ADHD. A promising artist, the troubled young man had spent the night drawing a card with his treasured colored pencils.

“I’ll trade you this for a cup of coffee,” he said as he handed me the card. I sat down. I had to! On the morning of the feast of St. Therese, I was holding in my hand a stunning three-dimensional sketch of a magnificent, brilliant rose.
Editor’s Note: Several of you have expressed a desire to join Fr. MacRae in a Spiritual Communion. He celebrates a private Mass in his prison cell on Sunday evenings between 11 pm and midnight. You’re invited to join in a Holy Hour during that time if you’re able.


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The Pope, has cited "We Are Church" in a public address.


"We Are Church," Signed Ratzinger

For the first time since he became pope, Benedict XVI has cited and criticized in public the movement of ecclesial opposition most widespread and active in German-speaking countries. He did so in an off-the-cuff speech to seminarians in Freiburg. Here are his words 

by Sandro Magister

"We can only ever believe within the 'we'. I sometimes say that Saint Paul wrote: 'Faith comes from hearing' – not from reading. It needs reading as well, but it comes from hearing, that is to say from the living word, addressed to me by the other, whom I can hear, addressed to me by the Church throughout the ages, from her contemporary word, spoken to me the priests, bishops and my fellow believers. Faith must include a 'you' and it must include a 'we'. And it is very important to practise this mutual support, to learn how to accept the other as the other in his otherness, and to learn that he has to support me in my otherness, in order to become 'we', so that we can also build community in the parish, calling people into the community of the word, and journeying with one another towards the living God. This requires the very particular 'we' that is the seminary, and also the parish, but it also requires us always to look beyond the particular, limited 'we' towards the great 'we' that is the Church of all times and places: it requires that we do not make ourselves the sole criterion. When we say: 'We are Church' – well, it is true: that is what we are, we are not just anybody. But the “we” is more extensive than the group that asserts those words. The 'we' is the whole community of believers, today and in all times and places. And so I always say: within the community of believers, yes, there is as it were the voice of the valid majority, but there can never be a majority against the apostles or against the saints: that would be a false majority. We are Church: let us be Church, let us be Church precisely by opening ourselves and stepping outside ourselves and being Church with others."

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Updated Info on Visionary Marija Visiting Miami:

Current Information

Visionary Marija Visiting 3 Countries Update


Sign-up for mejList, the FREE Medjugorje Newsletter

September 28, 2011 A.D.

Updated Information for Miami, Florida USA

Public Event Monday October 24, 2011 A.D.

Saint Agnes Church
100 Harbor Drive
Key Biscayne, FL 33149

*All times are Eastern Time USA

3:00 PM - Chaplet of Divine Mercy - From the beginning the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed, through the Rosary and Apparition time, up until Holy Mass begins
5:00 PM - Rosary will begin
6:40 PM - Appariton of Our Lady to Marija followed by Procession of Blessed Sacrament back to the Tabernacle
7:00 PM -  Holy Mass

Holy Mass will be followed by a talk from Medjugorje Visionary Marija

For More Information you can call Caritas at: 205-672-2000

**Updated schedule and information for Guayaquil, Ecuador and the 3rd Country will be posted soon.

View A Larger Map to Saint Agnes Church


Copyright SJP Lic. Caritas of Birmingham. Used with permission. All information contained on this site including all text, images, sound tracks, logos, including all matter which may not be viewable to the user, and all matter which, may not be, or is downloadable and/or printable, are protected under international copyright and cannot be used without permission from Caritas of Birmingham, other than non-commercial personal use and/or for positive personal promotional purposes of said material.


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VATICAN CITY, 30 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for October is: "That the terminally ill may be supported by their faith in God and the love of their brothers and sisters".


  His mission intention is: "That the celebration of World Mission Day may foster in the People of God a passion for evangelisation with the willingness to support the missions with prayer and economic aid for the poorest Churches".

BXVI-PRAYER INTENTIONS/                                                       VIS 20110930 (80)


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Msgr. Charles Pope:On Distinguishing Healthy Guilt,From Harmful Guilt.

“Godly Sorrow Brings Repentance and Salvation,But Worldly Sorrow Brings Death.”

From:The Light Is On For You

Monsignor Charles Pope-One of the trickier terrains to navigate in the moral world is the experience of guilt. Guilt is understood here as a kind of sorrow for sin.

On the one hand there is an appropriate sorrow for sin we ought to experience. Yet  there are also types of guilt that can set up,either from our flesh or from the devil which are self destructive and inauthentic. Some forms of morbid or harmful guilt can cause great harm and actually increase the frequency of sin due to the way they render a person discouraged and self disparaging rather,rather than chastened but confident of mercy,healing and help. It may be of some value to make some distinctions so that we can discern what sort of guilt is healthy,and what is not.

St. Paul makes an important initial distinction for us to consider in the Second Letter to the Corinthians. Paul had rebuked the Corinthians in an earlier letter (esp. 1 Cor 5) for sinning,and tolerating sin their midst. Evidently his rebuke stung many of them significantly with sorrow. Paul writes:

Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter,I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you,but only for a little while—yet now I am happy,not because you were made sorry,but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret,but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you:what earnestness,what eagerness to clear yourselves,what indignation,what alarm,what longing,what concern,what readiness to see justice done. (2 Cor 7:8-11)

Notice how Paul distinguishes between “Godly sorrow” and “worldly sorrow.” And the way we can distinguish them,according to Paul is by their fruits.

For Godly sorrow has for it fruits:

  1. A repentance
  2. An earnestness to do what is right. The Greek word is σπουδή (spoude) which refers also a kind of swiftness rooted in enthusiasm.
  3. A longing for what is right. The Greek text speaks of how this Godly sorrow gave them ἐπιπόθησις (epipothesis):not just an eager longing but also understood as a strong affection for what is good and just.
  4. It also produced in them a kind of indignation for sin,
  5. And a kind of holy fear of it.

So,not a bad harvest,to be sure. Godly sorrow brings forth good things and will be known by its fruits. Paul goes on to say that Godly sorrow is a sorrow that God intends and that it does not harm us in any way. Further it leaves no regrets.

We might also add that Godly sorrow is rooted in love,our love for God and others,and our experience of God’s love for us. The sorrow is real and often quite sharp,but since it is rooted in love,it makes us run to the beloved we have offended,rather than from Him,as we sulk.

“Godly sorrow” would also seem to be related to the perfect contrition, which we refer to in the traditional Act of Contrition when we say,I detest all my sins,not only because I fear the loss of heaven and the pains of Hell,but most of all ,because I have offended you,my God,who art all good and deserving of all my love. Perfect contrition regards love,whereas imperfect contrition regards fear of punishment. Hence Godly sorrow would also seem to assist and increasingly perfect contrition.

I think I once experienced something close to Godly sorrow,approaching perfect contrition,as a child,but somewhat in relation to a human person,my mother. It was my 8th birthday,and Mom knew I loved tall buildings. So she took me to the top of the new John Hancock building in Chicago where we lived and I was thrilled to look out from the 100th floor visitors’ center. Then we had a nice lunch and returned home. I remember going to the cookie jar and reaching for one,but mom said,“Not now,you’ll spoil your birthday dinner.” I must have been tired from the long day for I looked at her and said,“You’re mean and I hate you!” As I ran from the room I realized what I had done,and was deeply sorry. I was not afraid she would punish me,I just knew I had said something terrible to my mother,something I didn’t mean. In my love and sorrow I cried and went back to tell her how sorry I felt. But love,made my sorrow a Godly sorrow and it drew me back to my mother in a way that increased my love and made me adverse to ever speaking to her like that again. I eagerly helped her set the table and told her I really loved her.

What of “worldly sorrow” as Paul puts it? He says only it “brings death.” Here we must surmise that,whereas Godly sorrow gives live,restores relationship and love,worldly sorrow and guilt sever these things. When we have this kind of guilt or “worldly sorrow” it is not our sins we hate,so much as our self that we hate.

In worldly sorrow,Satan has us where he wants us. Indeed,worldly sorrow is most often a fraud. For,though it masquerades as humility it often pride wherein a person may think,in effect,“How could I have done such a thing?”

If we can know something by its fruits,then we also do well to observe that worldly sorrow will often make us run from God in avoidance,rather than to him in love. Further it will often provoke anger in us making us resentful of God’s law,and that we should have to seek mercy and humble ourselves to God,or to another person we have offended. Rather than make us eager to repent,we will often delay repentance out of embarrassment or resentment. Further,these sorts of attitudes can lead us to rationalizing sin and minimizing its significance.

Others go in a very different direction of self-loathing and despair. They may hyper-magnify what they have done or over-correct by descending into an unhealthy scrupulosity,rooted in fear of punishment,more than love of God.

All of these negative fruits,though they often masquerade as something pious,tend only to make sin even more frequent. For if one is self-loathing and despairing of one’s capacity to live in God’s love,and experience his correction,then there is little strength for them to draw on. They see only weakness and guilt,but miss love and the splendor of grace. Perceiving no basis out of which to get better,they descend deeper into sin,run further from God in unholy fear,and the cycle gets deeper and darker. Thus St. Paul describes worldly sorrow as bringing death.

When one starts to see “fruits” of this sort,it is increasingly certain we are dealing with worldly sorrow which produces all these death-directed drives. A confessor or spiritual director will often have to work long and hard to break some of these negative cycles and help a person find and experience Godly sorrow which brings with it real progress. Godly sorrow is a sorrow to be sure,but one rooted in love.

Discernment in regard to guilt,to sorrow for sin,is essential. Thankfully we are given some good principles by St. Paul and encouraged to distinguish these very different sorrows (Godly and worldly) by their fruits. Satan loves cheap imitations. He,wolf that he is,loves to masquerade in sheep’s clothing. But learn to know his cheap “imitation sorrow” by its fruits,which are death-directed,rather than God-directed.


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Mary TV Daily Reflection 9/30/2011


September 30, 2011

St. Jerome


Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children! I call you, that this time be for all of you, a time of witnessing. You, who live in the love of God and have experienced His gifts, witness them with your words and life that they may be for the joy and encouragement to others in faith. I am with you and incessantly intercede before God for all of you that your faith may always be alive and joyful, and in the love of God. Thank you for having responded to my call." (September 25, 2011


For over twenty years now, people have gathered at Notre Dame for the Medjugorje Conference. Countless people have witnessed to the love of God and His wonderful Gifts, received through Our Lady of Medjugorje at that conference! We have a wonderful talk given at the ND Conference in 1991by Bishop Nicholas D'Antonio, O.F.M. posted on our website. Bishop D'Antonio died in 2009, and it is a treat to be able to see him on this video. Here is a short transcription from his talk which you can watch in full at in the Featured Video box at the top of the home page. Bishop Nick shares about his pilgrimage to Medjugorje and what he experienced there:



On the vigil of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, several priests, laity, an elderly nun, and I agreed to begin the climb to the top of the hill of the Cross at 11:30 pm. It was pitch dark. We prayed the Way of the Cross which gave us a chance to catch our breath. With us was a heavy set female pilgrim whom we tried to dissuade from climbing the hill. She ignored our pleas, and asked me to assist her by pushing her forward. So with my left hand on her ample posterior....all of us finally made it to the top.


Once there the good lady, whom I assisted, suddenly prostrated herself at the base of the huge cement cross, and cried and prayed in the following manner: "Thank you Jesus. I praise you! I love you! You got me up here! I will be forever grateful."


I was miffed by her words! [The crowd laughed heartily] Notice how human bishops are! Without me she never could have made it! Anyway, once back in New Orleans, this good woman showed me her appreciation with a gift of freshly baked Italian cookies.


It is 2:00 in the morning. We are still at the top of the mountain. On the summit there are rocks everywhere....and no toilet facilities. The area is small and all available spaces were occupied by other pilgrims. The heat was stifling. And so we prayed Rosary after Rosary and rested the best we could.


At dawn the priests and I began to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. Our backs faced the rising sun. After a while, I turned my head to look at the sun and got the surprise of my life. I saw huge concentric circles spread outwards from the center of the fire ball in all directions. And on the face of the sun I could appreciate that there were revolving crystal balls of all colors, green, red, gold, purple. I motioned to the others to come, look, and see. We compared what we saw, and agreed that we were witnessing the same phenomenon. Greatly excited, we watched the sun dance and spin for approximately 15 minutes, yet without hurting our eyes. Refreshed, we returned to our prayers. We consulted Fr. Tomaslav Pervan about this, and he only laughed it off as an illusion. But one of the visionaries explained it as a sign of grace. That made more sense to me!


As the sun rose higher, pilgrims began to pour in from all directions, singing and praying with great devotion and faith. The summit was already overcrowded, yet the pilgrims pressed forward and sat where ever they could. I was exhausted from sitting. I stood up for a brief moment and lost my piece of the rock!! [More laughter!] The new neighbor simply looked up and smiled. (Bishop Nicholas D 'Antonio, O.F.M. speaking at the Medjugorje Conference at Notre Dame in May 1991)



As you can see, Bishop Nick had a wonderful sense of humor! Wasn't he amazing, climbing Mount Krisevac in the middle of the night and praying Rosary after Rosary as he waited for Holy Mass with the parish for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross! The miracle of the sun was a gift to him for his courage! If you listen to the whole talk, you can see how careful Bishop Nick was to analyze the events of Medjugorje, making certain that he looked at it from all sides and discerned the truth. He believed completely in the authenticity of Medjugorje and witnessed to it powerfully that day.


May we all find our voices now, witnessing to the great gifts we have received through Medjugorje! The world needs to know that Our Lady is with us!


In Jesus and Mary!

Cathy Nolan


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News of Archbishop Philip Hannan's death from Anne, a lay apostle

Dear lay apostles,

It was with profound sadness that we received the news of Archbishop Philip Hannan's death.


I could not help but think of one of the last times we were together, in Rome at the office of Cardinal Andrzej Deskur who has also recently died. In that meeting, through a linguistic soup of Italian, French, Polish and English, these men discussed God's plans for the Volumes and the Archbishop's desire to use his television network to introduce the apostolate. We, the Lay Apostolate of Jesus Christ the Returning King, owe a debt of great gratitude to both of these men for many reasons. So please, dear apostles, join me in praying for the happy repose of their souls.

We at Direction for Our Times extend our sympathy to their families and also to the Focus Worldwide Television Network who must certainly be feeling deep sadness and loss at the death of the Archbishop.

With love and prayers,

Anne, a lay apostle 

Direction for Our Times

Direction For Our Times relies on donations to supplement the cost of publishing the messages. Currently, only 40% of the publishing cost is covered by the sale of the books. Thank you for your prayerful consideration. 


Direction for Our Times (DFOT) is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to spreading God's messages as revealed in the Volumes.

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Holy Father Send Rosh Hashanah Greetings to Chief Rabbi: [Video]

He took the steps to a 'spiritual awakening'


Father Charles Becker incenses the Eucharist during eucharistic adoration at one of the parishes where he holds holy hours and hosts prayer groups. Darrell Harmon / Catholic New World

By Dolores Madlener

He is: Father Charles Becker, ordained in 1986 at Mundelein. As part of the Marian Movement of Priests he helps lead Prayer Cenacles in the diocese. His other current ministries are: Calix, outreach to recovering alcoholics to rediscover their Catholic faith; Courage, a spiritual support for laity aspiring to live a chaste life in accord with the Church's teachings on homosexuality; and Cenacolo, assisting those with addictions and other adult adjustment difficulties to find healing through living a Catholic Christian community life.
Youth: He’s the oldest of five and went to St. James Parish School, Arlington Heights. “In high school the kids in our family were involved with symphonic and marching band. It was kind of our thing.”
Both my parents were public school teachers. “Dad was principal of a junior high in the 1970s. Then he took early retirement and went into sales. Mom was a teacher at District 25 in Arlington Heights. There was alcoholism in my home. I grew up with Alateen. My dad became sober about my sophomore year in high school.”
Path to priesthood: “I was a junior at Arlington High School when I received my vocation. There was an experience I had of a presence like the peace of God. It made me think of ‘the priesthood?’ My parents suggested I speak to one of our parish priests who recommended I go to Niles Seminary after graduation. I was pretty excited because I had a plan. But when I got to Niles my own drinking began. I missed the practical 12-Step kind of spirituality. I had difficulties with school, and with just everything, I ended up quitting before Thanksgiving.”
Finding his way: “I worked for over a year in an alcoholic treatment center, like a junior counselor, because of my background. Yet my vocation never left me. I did my first full college year at Eastern Illinois University with high school friends. That was a big drinking year. I came back home and spent two and a half years in formation with the Viatorians.” Then before the fall of 1982, he applied, and was accepted into Mundelein.
“I got sober in April 1983, a graced moment. I again had the 12-Steps and I wanted to live them humbly, not like I knew it all. I let that be my basic formation through seminary.”
Discovery: “My first assignment after ordination was at St. Francis de Sales in Lake Zurich. There was a devout family at St. Francis that asked if I would like to go to Medjugorje. The husband was persistent and I finally travelled with the family to the shrine in Bosnia-Hercegovina.”
“I was skeptical like anyone is. At that point I was still in my blue jeans, kind of long hair to be cool with the kids, smoking cigarettes, and all that.”
[Catholics can visit Medjugorje and pray. Father has accompanied 60 pilgrimages there since 1990. His Marian website is In 2010 the Vatican established a commission to investigate the claims of the six young people who say Mary has appeared to them at Medjugorje daily since 1981.]
Moved by several perplexing experiences at the shrine, he returned six months later. He came home with a conversion and “a desire within me to pray the rosary.” With the parishioner friend they started a prayer group in his living room, based on the Marian Movement of Priests.


“The MMP is a Movement of the Blessed Mother given to the late Father Stefano Gobbi of Italy at the shrine of Fatima in 1972. It outlines a spirituality of littleness and trust in Our Lady in order to make us faithful priests.
“I stopped smoking, I only wear my blacks now. I don’t have a TV. Part of the Movement is to get the priest back to a more austere life.”
Leisure: “My Irish roots settled in Door County, so that’s our family vacation spot. I enjoy camping and canoeing and ice cream visits with the friars of EWTN.”
Scripture: “My favorite is the last part of the Canticle of Zachariah: ‘…In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness …’ I always felt it had so much to do with my own recovery from alcoholism, coming out of darkness. I find the most joy today in helping people move out of a walk in the world that’s a dead end, to something more grace-filled and a new life.”


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Saint Jerome [Video]

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Could you please explain what is the proper role of a deacon in a parish setting?

TCA Question & Answer of the Day

The Catholic Answer MagazineEach weekday, you'll find a new question and answer.  Let us know what you think - - or question! -- by emailing us at

For the Week of Sept. 26-30, 2011

Question of the Day for Thursday, September 29, 2011

Deacons in Parishes

Q. Could you please explain what is the proper role of a deacon in a parish setting?

A. Here’s a reply from Father Reginald Martin:


The Acts of the Apostles describes how certain men were chosen to assist the apostles in the early Church’s charitable efforts (see 6:6). Two thousand years later, the deacon’s job description has been expanded, but deacons continue to serve as bishops’ administrative and liturgical ministers. For this reason, the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out, only the bishop lays hands on a candidate for ordination to the diaconate (see No. 1569). Although a deacon will serve in a parish, he is a special assistant to the bishop.


The Catechism states, “It is the task of deacons to assist the bishop and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries, above all the Eucharist, in the distribution of Holy Communion, in assisting at and blessing marriages, in the proclamation of the Gospel and preaching, in presiding over funerals, and in dedicating themselves to the various ministries of charity” (No. 1570).

Deacons do not preside at Mass, offer absolution or confer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, but their liturgical ministry is large and varied, and a deacon’s services to a parish’s charitable outreach are as vital as they were in the first century. Parish communities may consider themselves fortunate to have the assistance of dedicated deacons.


That's me in 1987, proclaiming the  Gospel at Mass.

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It doesn't get much more dramatic:

Above is a photograph of what investigators first saw upon reaching what is now widely believed (including by the official Church) to be the last home of the Blessed Mother, in Ephesus, Turkey.

It came about through the mystical writings of Anne Catherine Emmerich -- whose diaries contained an extremely detailed description of where Mary spent her last days and led two different teams of searchers to the same spot. (If there is interest, we may lead a pilgrimage here next summer; for time and again, those who visit say they felt a grace there like no other. There is even a replica now of the House of Ephesus in New England.) We have written of this before.

Let's focus on how one team -- led by a Father Eugene Poulin of Smyrna -- located a truly incomparable treasure.
Read the article here:


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Shocking Video: Papal Cold Shoulder?

This is outrageous! Watch these bishops totally ignore the Holy Father but bow to the secular leader . . .

I wonder what they will do on the Day of Christ's Return? Will they ignore Him too? 

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World Communications Day and World Mission Sunday [Video]




VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Given below is the text of an English-language note released today by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, concerning the publication of the theme for World Communications Day Message 2012.


  "The extraordinarily varied nature of the contribution of modern communications to society highlights the need for a value which, on first consideration, might seem to stand in contradistinction to it. Silence, in fact, is the central theme for the next World Communications Day Message: 'Silence and Word: path of evangelisation'. In the thought of Pope Benedict XVI, silence is not presented simply as an antidote to the constant and unstoppable flow of information that characterises society today but rather as a factor that is necessary for its integration. Silence, precisely because it favours habits of discernment and reflection, can in fact be seen primarily as a means of welcoming the word. We ought not to think in terms of a dualism, but of the complementary nature of two elements which when they are held in balance serve to enrich the value of communication and which make it a key factor that can serve the new evangelisation. It is clearly the desire of the Holy Father to associate the theme of the next World Communications Day with the celebration of the forthcoming Synod of Bishops which will have as its own theme: 'The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith'.


  "World Communications Day, the only worldwide celebration called for by Vatican Council II ('Inter Mirifica' 1963), is celebrated in most countries, on the recommendation of the bishops of the world, on the Sunday before Pentecost (in 2012, 20 May).


  "The Holy Father's message for World Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers (January 24)".

PCCS/                                                                                  VIS 20110929 (310)

Fr. Kubicki reflects on Pope Benedict's mission intention for October 2011. More

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[Video] The Archangels

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Europe & the Eucharist


Dear Friend in Christ,

The financial and cultural troubles running rampant across Europe can be traced back to a lack of belief and reverence for the True Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Please watch this episode of The Vortex and share it with as many friends and family as you can.

GOD Bless you and your loved ones,

Michael Voris
~senior executive producer at

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Reflection by Fr. Ted: "Lord, You have told us . . ."

Sunday Mass at Madonna della Strada

Image by Taekwonweirdo via Flickr

Tribulation Times

September 29, 2011  

(Col 1:9-10) Therefore we also, from the day that we heard it, cease not to pray for you and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding: That you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing; being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God


Blessed Elena Aiello -Mystic, Stigmatic,& Foundress


FROM THE MAILBAG: Reflection by Father Ted – September 27, 2011 

My dearest Lord Jesus, You remind me frequently why we have the problems and difficulties at this time.  When we do not listen to You and are not willing to follow Your directions that You give to us either directly, or through Your Mother or through Our Holy Father, the Vicar of Your Holy Roman Catholic Church, we experience these difficulties.

As You strove to remind many of us a couple of weeks ago there are many signs indicating to us that we are not doing the Will of Your and our Father in heaven.

So many of us have failed to recognize our purpose in life – which is ultimately to be with You in heaven.  You have been teaching us that You want us to know You personally and intimately.  And when we get to know You, we will want to love You – who loves us so intensely.  And then we will want to serve You by doing Your Will – which is identical with the Will of our heavenly Father.

Unless we make time for You, unless we talk with You, unless we listen to You – which we can doing as we read or listen to Your words as given to us by You in the Holy Bible, we will not be able to get to know You.

You have told us many times that You want us to pray – just like You did frequently to the Father.

Prayer is meant to be a very important part of our lives.  Yet how much time do most of us spend in prayer?

Unless we pray, we will not sense the depth of Your love.  Nor will we want to follow Your directions on how to live.

You have emphasized how important the keeping of Your Commandments is in showing You that we truly love You.

Through Your Mother in her various apparitions to us You have reminded us how important daily prayer is, how important reading the Bible is; how important going to confession is, how important fasting is, how important going to Mass and receiving Holy Communion is.

If possible, You want us to participate in Holy Mass not only on Sundays but even more often.  For when we take part in Holy Mass we join You in worshipping the Father.  And when we receive You in Holy Communion You offer to us the strength we need each day to live as Christians – including to withstand the frequent assaults of the devils, whom You allow to test us.

How many times have You exhorted us to pray the Rosary daily – not merely say it?

How many times have You exhorted us to visit You in the Most Blessed Sacrament?

How many times have You exhorted us to go to confession frequently?

How many times have You exhorted us to avoid the occasions of sin?  If we had done what You have asked us to do, individually and as a community, would we be experiencing the difficulties, the problems, the crises, the calamities that we have?

You know the answers to these questions.  And so do many of us.

Lord, help us to want to do what You have asked of us – so that we may truly experience Your peace.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 30- "Concerning the Supreme Trinity Among the Virtues"

28. The power of love is hope, because by it we await the reward of love.

Prayer request?  Send an email to:

This month's archive can be found at:

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

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