Friday, May 31, 2013

[Video] Pope Francis leads the recitation of the Holy Rosary ending the Marian Month of May in San Peter's Square.


End of the Marian Month of May

Pope Francis leads the recitation of the Holy Rosary ending the Marian Month of May in San Peter's Square.

Mary TV Daily Reflection 5/31/2013

 Apparition Hill Statue
(c)Mary TV 2013
Our Lady is with us!


May 31, 2013
The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children! Today I call you to be strong and resolute in faith and prayer, until your prayers are so strong so as to open the Heart of my beloved Son Jesus. Pray little children, pray without ceasing until your heart opens to God's love. I am with you and I intercede for all of you and I pray for your conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call." (May 25, 2013)

Our Lady tells us, "I am with you and I intercede for all of you and I pray for your conversion." She often tells us that she is with us. It may seem inconsequential. She says it so often. But I think we need to stop and think about her statement more carefully. "I am with you..." Especially on this beautiful feast day, The Visitation.

"Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth." (Luke 1:39-40) 

St. Luke tells us that Our Lady set out. She made a decision when she heard about the pregnancy of Elizabeth, her cousin. She decided she needed to make the trip to visit her. It was a long trip. She was poor, and had to make her way by foot, probably. But she went in haste, because she wanted to help Elizabeth, who was older and pregnant for the first time. Our Lady went to help.

Our Lady now visits us. She makes the decision to come to us and to help us. We need her help, because we are all weak, suffering, confused, wounded, and at risk in this world. She comes to us in haste, whenever we call for her help. She comes to help us.

"When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"  (Luke 1:41-43)

At Mary's coming, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit! She recognized Mary as the mother of the Messiah. And her son, John, was filled with the Spirit as well. When Our Lady comes to us, she brings the Holy Spirit to us. She is always accompanied by the Holy Spirit, because she is united to Him so closely. We can be filled with the Spirit at Mary's coming to us, if we open our hearts to Him. If Our Lady is with us, the Holy Spirit is with us too!

It seems that we should be as surprised at Mary's coming as Elizabeth was. "And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" We deserve to have Mary visit us much less than Elizabeth did. They were cousins, and the Angel Gabriel had told Our Lady about Elizabeth's pregnancy. Good reasons for coming. But we, well we are undeserving sinners who do not merit such a visit. But Our Lady comes because she loves us. She comes to draw us close to herself, to comfort us, to pray for us and to intercede for our conversion. She comes to rescue us in these days.

"And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Whenever we hear Our Lady say that she is with us, this exclamation should flow from our lips. How can it be??? How can Mary, the Mother of Jesus, come to me?? Incredible!

And Our Lady replies every time with these incredible words:

And Mary said:
"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever."  (Luke 1: 46-55)

Our Lady came to Elizabeth because she was sent by God. He chose her and favored her with His love. He sent her to help Him give His mercy to those who fear him, to lift up the lowly, feed the hungry, and help His people according to His promises. He sent her to Elizabeth, and He sends her to us, to raise us up, heal us, and show us the way. She comes to bring us Jesus, as she brought Jesus to Elizabeth and John, and to fill us with the Holy Spirit. She comes because she love us.

On this Visitation Day, we thank you, Mother Mary, for coming to us. Stay with us. Never leave us. We love you.

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2013

PS.  We will stream the apparition to Mirjana, live from Medjugorje on June 2, 2013.  Streaming will begin at 8:00 am (2:00 am EDT) and the apparition will happen around 8:45 am (2:45 am EDT).  May the graces of this Visitation of Our Lady be a moment of joy for all of us!


 "Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world!"   
Blessed John Paul II  -
Be connected! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pope Francis Calls All Catholics to Evangelize

Tribulation Times

May 31, 2013  

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

CRISIS MAGAZINE: Pope Francis Calls All Catholics to Evangelize by Regis Martin

ROME REPORTS: Vatican invites Catholics around the world, to join the Pope in prayer

MEDITATION: Thoughts by St Theophan (1815-1894)

[Acts 14:6–18; John 7:14–30]

On Mid-Pentecost a cry is heard from the Lord: If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink (John 7:37). If so, then let us all go to Him. Whoever thirsts for anything, as long as it is not contrary to the spirit of the Lord, will find satisfaction without fail. Whoever thirsts for knowledge, go to the Lord, for He is the only light truly enlightening every man. Whoever thirsts for cleansing from sins and to soothe the burning of his conscience, go to the Lord, for He lifted up the sins of the whole world onto the tree (cf. I Pet. 2:24) and tore up their handwriting (cf. Col. 2:14). Whoever thirsts for peace of heart, go to the Lord, for He is the treasure, the possession of which will force you to forget all deprivations and despise all goods in order to possess Him alone. Whoever needs strength — He has every strength. Glory — He has glory on high. Freedom — He is the giver of true freedom. He will resolve all of our uncertainties, will break the bonds of the passions, will disperse all sorrows and grieving, will enable us to overcome all impediments, all temptations and snares of the enemy, and will smooth out the path of our spiritual life. Let us all go to the Lord!

VATICAN RADIO: Pope to lead millions in global hour of Adoration

From the Cook Islands to Chile, Burkina Faso, Taiwan, Iraq, Bangladesh, the United States, and the Philippines, people will unite in prayer with Pope Francis this weekend before One Lord and in One faith, for an hour of Eucharistic Adoration.

The Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration, will be broadcast from St. Peter’s Basilica next Sunday, 2 June from 5:00pm-6:00pm local time. Its theme is: “One Lord, One Faith”, which was chosen to testify to the deep unity that characterizes it in this Year of Faith.

“It will be an event,” Archbishop Fisichella president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, explained, “occurring for the first time in the history of the Church, which is why we can describe it as ‘historical’. The cathedrals of the world will be synchronized with Rome and will, for an hour, be in communion with the Pope in Eucharistic adoration. There has been an incredible response to this initiative, going beyond the cathedrals and involving episcopal conferences, parishes, lay associations, and religious congregations, especially cloistered ones.”

Dioceses worldwide will be synchronized with St. Peter’s and will pray for the intentions proposed by the Pope. The first is: “For the Church spread throughout the world and united today in the adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist as a sign of unity. May the Lord make her ever more obedient to hearing his Word in order to stand before the world ‘ever more beautiful, without stain or blemish, but holy and blameless.’ That through her faithful announcement, the Word that saves may still resonate as the bearer of mercy and may increase love to give full meaning to pain and suffering, giving back joy and serenity.”

Pope Francis’ second intention is: “For those around the world who still suffer slavery and who are victims of war, human trafficking, drug running, and slave labour. For the children and women who are suffering from every type of violence. May their silent scream for help be heard by a vigilant Church so that, gazing upon the crucified Christ, she may not forget the many brothers and sisters who are left at the mercy of violence. Also, for all those who find themselves in economically precarious situations, above all for the unemployed, the elderly, migrants, the homeless, prisoners, and those who experience marginalization. That the Church’s prayer and its active nearness give them comfort and assistance in hope and strength and courage in defending human dignity.”


100,000 Christians Die For Faith Every Year
Religious Freedom and the Need to Wake Up by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Austria's Archbishop: We Pray for Middle East Christians in Their Plight

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering
11. What should I do, had I not a cross to bear? ...It is my whole treasure in the adorable Heart of Jesus Christ, and there it is the cause of all my happiness, my delight and my joy.

Prayer request?  Send an email to:
This month's archive can be found at:

Medjugorje visionary: We must witness with our lives | MEDJUGORJE TODAY

Medjugorje visionary: We must witness with our lives | MEDJUGORJE TODAY

By Jakob Marschner

It is easier to preach than to live the Virgin Mary’s messages – but what works is the latter, as Christians are called to lead by example, says visionary Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti who points to the Pope for inspiration. To warn of the opposite she says the world offers a highway of perdition.

medjugorje visionary seer veggente marija pavlovic lunetti radio maria comments message messagio may maggio 25 2013 interviewMarija Pavlovic-Lunetti
Witnessing the Christian faith only works when it is being lived, not merely talked about, Medjugorje visionary Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti said on May 25, on the air on Radio Maria. She had just received the Virgin Mary’s new message which reads:
“Dear children! Today I call you to be strong and resolute in faith and prayer, until your prayers are so strong so as to open the Heart of my beloved Son Jesus. Pray little children, pray without ceasing until your heart opens to God’s love. I am with you and I intercede for all of you and I pray for your conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
medjugorje visionary seer veggente vicka ivankovic mijatovic radio maria director fr father padre livio fanzagaGiving witness by their life and example: Medjugorje visionary Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic with the interviewer, Radio Maria director Fr. Livio Fanzaga
“We Christians speak with the witnessing of our lives. So many times we profess the faith but then, in practice, we are not being consistent. From the beginning, the Madonna said: “Live my messages and put them into practice” Marija commented.
“So many times we speak of fasting, but do not fast. No! With our lives we must lead by example. Even though it is difficult, and so it is easier to preach. There is no word as effective as life, as we have seen with so many priests, with many people who have gone to Heaven before us.”
pope francisPope Francis
Marija mentioned “a generation of priests” in Medjugorje as examples, then pointed to Rome for a recent and even more well-known one:
“Pope Francis is responding with his life one hundred percent. With his life and with little and simple messages he is giving a very strong example of simplicity, humility, devotion, and love. That is what we should be doing all of us” Marija said before drawing up two clear alternatives:
medjugorje visionary seer veggente marija pavlovic lunetti apparition apparizione pavia italy italia january gennaio 27 2013Marija during her public apparition on January 27 in Pavia, Italy
“Of course we know it is not easy to be holy because, to go to Heaven, we must take the narrow path, not the broad one, but today the world offers us the highway of perdition” the visionary said.
Marija further told that, even after almost 32 years of apparitions, the Medjugorje visionaries can also still ask themselves why God acts in certain ways and permits certain things:
“When faced with certain crosses, so much suffering, hunger, poverty and many other things in the world, we (the visionaries) also wonder: why does God allow these things? That is why Our Lady calls us to be strong in faith, attached to God, because if we have God, we have everything, as Saint Augustine said.”
virgin mary our lady gospa madonna medjugorjeMarija: “Our Lady calls us to be strong in faith, attached to God, because if we have God, we have everything.”
“Faced with these questions, Our Lady tells us to pray and to offer up our suffering, so that our suffering has meaning” Marija said.
“I always say that our prayer has no limits, no boundaries, no walls. Sometimes we can only pray, then the Lord gives, the Lord sees our good will, sees our request, our desire, our suffering, our pain. When we are more concerned, we should pray. Our Lady asks us to pray hard and relentlessly. And to those who struggle in faith, who loses it and walk away, she is asking us to give them an example with our lives.”

[ video ] Saint Joan of Arc


St. Joan of Arc


Mary TV Daily Reflection 5/30/2013

 open to God's love
(c)Mary TV 2013


May 30, 2013

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children! Today I call you to be strong and resolute in faith and prayer, until your prayers are so strong so as to open the Heart of my beloved Son Jesus. Pray little children, pray without ceasing until your heart opens to God's love. I am with you and I intercede for all of you and I pray for your conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call." (May 25, 2013)

"Pray little children, pray without ceasing until your heart opens to God's love." I checked in the concordance of the messages of Our Lady to see how many times she has called us to be open. The word "open" occurs at least 107 times in Our Lady's messages. She has used this word regularly and with great emphasis. In context, it can mean several things. Here are a few examples:

"Dear children! Today I wish to tell you to open your hearts to God like the spring flowers which crave for the sun..." (January 31, 1985)

Spring flowers open to the sun because they need the warm rays. The warmth attracts bees and other pollinating insects, who then carry away the pollen to inseminate other flowers and produce fruit. This kind of openness is based on need. The flower needs the sun, we need God. To open to God in prayer is to recognize our need for Him and allow Him to enter into our lives. This is basic and yet for many of us, it is strange. We have not become used to needing God!

"Dear children! Today I call you to open yourselves more to God, so that He can work through you. The more you open yourselves, the more you receive the fruits. I wish to call you again to prayer. Thank you for having responded to my call." (March 6, 1986)

Our Lady tells us that if we open ourselves to God, He will work through us. The more we open to God the more we will receive from Him and the more He will be able to do through us. So openness to God makes us fruitful for others! Very flower-like! We are able to help others more if we are open to God working through us.

"Open yourselves to God and surrender to him all your difficulties and crosses so, God may turn everything into joy. Little children, you cannot open yourselves to God if you do not pray. Therefore, from today, decide to consecrate a time in the day only for an encounter with God in silence...." (July 25, 1989)

If we are open to God, surrendered to Him, He will be able to help and heal us. Through prayer we can open ourselves to God. This kind of openness is based on the recognition that we are wounded and needy and that only if God comes into our wounded-ness will we be healed. God comes as we invite Him in, and that is the essence of openness. Opening to God is inviting Him in.

"Each one of you shall become in the simplicity, similar to a child which is open to the love of the Father." (July 25, 1996)

Children are open because they are so dependent. They long for love from their parents, because they have no other source for their lives. They are open to their parents because they need them. We need God in the same way. But we don't know it. We long for God's love, we depend on God for everything, when we are open to Him. This openness is the most fruitful of all. Childlike dependence is openness. "Unless you become like this little child, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."

I could continue for pages, quoting Our Lady on openness, and letting her teach us what it means to be open to God. But in the May 25, 2013 message she tells us the greatest reason to be open to God. "Pray little children, pray without ceasing until your heart opens to God's love." Opening to God through constant prayer will allow us to receive God's love. God's love is always present, waiting for us, surrounding us, blessing us and keeping us alive, but it is only when we open our hearts to Him that God can fill us with that love. To be filled with God's love is to finally be alive! It is what we are made for. To be filled with God's love is heaven! God intends for us to be so filled. This is His great desire. He only waits for us to open.

May we respond to Our Lady's call and open our hearts through prayer to the awesome love of God. May we be filled with His love, satiated by it, inundated in it, engulfed by it! May we become so filled that we can only thank Him and praise Him and love Him and cling to Him for ever more!!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2013


 "Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world!"   
Blessed John Paul II  -
Be connected! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Are the End Times Near?

Tribulation Times

May 29, 2013  

(1Th 5:6) Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do: but let us watch, and be sober.

SERIES: Opening the Book of Revelation

VIA Stephen Walford: My name is Stephen Walford, a Catholic from Southampton, England. I am writing to you to ask if you would consider publicizing a book that I have recently had published called Heralds of the Second Coming. The book has an apocalyptic Foreword by Cardinal Ivan Dias (see link below), an Imprimatur from my local Bishop, and is a study of the prophetic teachings of the Popes from Bl Pius IX to Benedict XVI concerning the approaching second coming of Jesus. The book gives a new angle on the end times because until now , there has been no real research of the great popes- and the results prove they have warned of the gradual fulfilment of the eschatological signs Jesus gave in the Gospels.

COMMENTS VIA GRAEHAME THORNE: Excerpts from the book on the InterNet, some of which follow...

"The 2003 publication of the post-synodal exhortation 'Ecclesia in Europa' showed Pope John Paul’s view that Europe is also living what he called a 'silent apostasy'."
(Good but sadly obvious point.)

"In tandem with this falling away of belief in the central tenets of Catholic doctrine, the Church has been plagued by a continuous stream of dissenting voices and organizations in the past few decades. The 'We are Church' movement espouses women priests, artificial contraception, and married priests, while the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States has continually peddled an anti-magisterial agenda, advocating among other things a homosexual lifestyle and new age fads, while neglecting the authentic development of charisms associated with its Orders."
(Better, but also painfully obvious.)

"Obedience to legitimate authority within the Church has been questioned ever more frequently in recent years and the teachings of the Church no longer adhered to even by many priests. The liturgical abuses...stem from this culture of autonomy from Rome..."
(An excellent point, that many of the problems in today's Church "stem from a culture of autonomy from Rome..." And to many, this is not obvious.)

"The sexual abuse scandals of recent times confirm a demonic infiltration in the heart of the Church in what could be seen as a strategic attempt by the Devil to destroy the reputation of the priesthood. By targeting innocence and purity among the little ones (cf. Matt. 18:6), the revering of the priest as an alter Christus (another Christ) is turned on its head; the absolute antithesis of Jesus Christ the High Priest."
[Truly superb. The author targets what many only whisper-- that "the sexual abuse scandals confirm a (very conscious & deliberate-- my addition) demonic infiltration in the heart of the Church." This I believe is a key element of Satanic strategy in preparing for the End Times & the advent of the AntiChrist-- to debase the Catholic clergy, destroy peoples' confidence in it, & completely undermine the efforts of apologists. And in so doing, to offer a Satanic counter-sacrament that weakens the Church while it profoundly strengthens the Adversary.)


Forward of 'Heralds of the Second Coming' by Cardinal Ivan Dias as compiled by Matt C. Abbott
Stephen Walford’s ‘Heralds of the Second Coming’ will help you read the signs of the time with a watchfulness for the coming of the Lord
Catholic Culture: Are the End Times Near?
Unveiling the Apocalypse Review: Heralds of the Second Coming

'Portsmouth People', the Diocese of Portsmouth Catholic Magazine, has this to say : "Stephen Walford has produced a striking book. His main theme is the central importance to Christian faith, hope and charity of the doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ. He shows how this has been prophesied not only in the various apparitions of what he calls ‘the Marian era’ but also in the utterances quite literally of one Pope after another in the last century and a half. The book is very well produced, eloquent and well researched. It...introduces the reader to a range of powerful material that is not well known in the Church. The author writes from what most surely be regarded as a conservative perspective... Individual readers may have their points of disagreement with some of the views expressed but no one can fail to learn from this book or to have their faith in the coming Christ strengthened."

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of the Cross, Contempt and Suffering
6. I think He intends to try you like gold in the crucible, so as to number you amongst His most faithful servants.  Therefore you must lovingly embrace all occasions of suffering, considering them as precious tokens of His love.  To suffer in silence and without complaint is what He asks of you.

Prayer request?  Send an email to:
This month's archive can be found at:

Butterflies Are Free, and that Dreaded Robin is Back! By Fr. Gordon J. MacRae


“Saint Michael, Defend us in battle.” I do not write that in jest, but it’s Memorial Day weekend in the U.S., and I need all the help I can get. For readers unfamiliar with why this is such a dreaded event in prison, I wrote about the scourge of holiday weekends in “These Stone Walls’ Second Annual Stuck Inside Literary Award.” A three-day holiday weekend in prison means that all activities, classes, work, and access to the outside are suspended, and prisoners are, for the most part, locked up.
I try to plan ahead with lots to read and write, but I live in a world of men with varying degrees of chronic ADHD. Within a day or so of round-the-clock confinement, madness sets in. The 60 denizens of this cell block range in age from 18 to 82, with the vast majority in their 20s and 30s. Younger prisoners tend to have little in the way of coping skills, so long weekends are usually stressful and tense. Adding to the sense of oppression, the 5:00 PM “mail call” – the high point of every day in prison – is eliminated on holiday weekends since there’s no mail service.
I get a lot of snail mail from TSW readers. I welcome it – as any prisoner would – but I also have some dismay at my inability to answer all of it. I wrote about this in a recent post, “When the Caged Bird Just Can’t Sing: The Limits of Prison Writing.” Answering mail from abroad is especially difficult because the prison commissary sells only one denomination for postage stamps. That means three stamps are required for a letter outside the U.S. That really cuts into my weekly postage purchase allotment. Prisoners can earn only one to two dollars per day in prison jobs, so for many prisoners, the cost of a letter abroad can exceed a full day’s pay and postage stamps cannot be sent to prisoners from outside.
Ellen, a TSW reader in Fort Worth, Texas, asked in a recent letter if I would write something about my daily life in prison. She has been looking through past posts trying to learn more of what life in here is like, but the titles themselves may not make that easy. So I’ll help a little with a guided tour of a few posts about the forces that impact and drive prison life from day to day.
If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, then you might want to have a look at my post, “Downton Abbey’s Prison Drama: A TSW Masterpiece Classic.” When I wrote it, I was not aware that Australia was one season behind the U.S. in receiving Downton Abbey, so that post was an unintended plot spoiler. I must point out, however, that the same Australians who chastised me for giving away the fate of Sibyl Crawley in Season Two, prodded me for an advance hint about the fate of Matthew Crawley in Season Three. So much for resilience Down Under! Anyway, that post was really about comparing day-to-day life in Mr. Bates’ prison with my own.
For another glimpse of prison life, you might also want to read (or re-read) “In Sin and Error Pining: Christmas in an Unholy Land.” It was about one young father in prison, and his meltdown at my cell door at Christmas. Many people perceive prisoners as wasted lives living entirely outside the bounds of decency and honor and family that are the pillars of our culture. That is indeed true of some, but not all or even most. Prisons everywhere are built and operated to contain their amoral and sociopathic, but relatively small, minority.
Two weeks ago, TSW editors were asked by board members of a group called “Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform” for permission to re-print a few of TSW’s posts about prison life. They were especially interested in “Why You Must Never Give Up Hope for Another Human Being” which was about this year’s graduating class in the prison high school program. They wanted to use it, and other similar posts, for a segment on their site subtitled, “Notes from the Land of Oz” about prisoner experiences.
There are a few other “prison posts” on TSW that I can recommend to those who want an honest glimpse of prison life. For a humorous side, see “Looking for Lunch in All the Wrong Places,” about prisoner recipes for cell-created cuisine. I wouldn’t try some of them at home, however. For the darker side of prisons and prisoners, I suggest, “In the Year of the Priest, the Tale of a Prisoner” about my friend, Skooter. For those who remember Skooter, I heard from him this week. He is out of prison, working full time, living in a rooming house, and doing well despite his past challenges and obstacles. Skooter is another example of why we must never give up hope.
But if you want to be uplifted by the immeasurable power of grace even in the darkest of places, then I suggest leaving These Stone Walls for a visit to Holy Soul’s Hermitage and Pornchai Moontri’s masterpiece post, “Divine Mercy and the Doors of My Prisons.” It’s a journey “to the lowest possible place my soul could go,” and then on to a life of Divine Mercy, a life in Christ. By the way, that story made its way around the Globe, and TSW editors were contacted last week by a group of Catholics in Bangkok, Thailand who want to assist and welcome Pornchai upon his eventual return. For that reason alone, Divine Mercy has revealed its presence behind These Stone Walls.
My oId friend, David, was for two decades chair of the English department at a prestigious and venerable New England prep school. I mentioned him once in a post entitled, “A Prisoner, A Professor, A Prelate, Two Priests and a Poet!” – David being the “Professor” in that title. I wrote it in May, 2010, though it’s hard to believe it’s now three years old. I just re-read it, and it begins with a very funny story about homonyms, and ends with a tale about a robin outside my prison cell window. That robin returned a few weeks ago. It’s a post worth revisiting as May gives way to June this week, and you might find therein the roots of a few recent posts on These Stone Walls.
David and I have had many long conversations about literature over the years, but he is retired now and spends his days drawing. He’s a very accomplished artist, able to do spectacular things with a mere ball point pen. I received a letter from David this week, written inside one of his incredibly beautiful hand drawn cards. This one depicts a butterfly and I’m sending it along to see if it can be scanned for publication in this post.

David wrote because he read that May 11 WSJ article by Dorothy Rabinowitz, “The Trials of Father MacRae.” His note, as is typical for David, was filled with literary references that sent me scurrying to the prison library. Even in his short note I learned a thing or two about literature that I had not previously known. Here’s the note:

“I am ecstatic about recent developments! I’ll ‘reinforce my joy’ – as Proust wrote – ‘with prayers.’ While we’re in a literary mode, it was Dickens, of course, who has a character named Skimpole in Bleak House (1852) who says, ‘I only ask to be free . . . Mankind will surely not deny to Harold Skimpole [or Gordon MacRae] what it concedes to the butterflies!’  He had already mused that ‘The Butterflies are Free,’ and of course Leonard Gershe swiped from that line the title of his 1969 play, used again for a popular 1972 film. I never tire of alluding to it or of pontificating about it. Thanks for providing me with my best excuse ever . . . and thanks for your wonderful writing!”

Of course, all of this is just an excuse for me to call your attention to that very last line which, coming from a renowned professor of prose, is high praise indeed. And as though right on cue as I write this, a butterfly – a free one – just visited my cell window. I wrote about that view once in “The Birds and the Bees Behind These Stone Walls,” and I’ll apologize in advance to those drawn in by the title, expecting something a bit less platonic.
Whenever I take on a literary topic on These Stone Walls, I’m aware of David lurking out there somewhere, red pen in hand. I just sent him a snail mail letter to ask what he thought of my interpretation of the great Robert Frost poem, “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” in “Mother’s Day Promises to Keep, and Miles to Go Before I Sleep.” I’m on David’s turf here, and it’s intimidating!
Ellen’s letter from Fort Worth also commented on some more recent posts about affairs in Rome. Between February 27 and April 10, I wrote six posts about developments in the Holy See and the historic transition from Popes Benedict to Francis. The last of that series, “Strike the Shepherd! Behind the Campaign to Smear the Pope,” is one I recommend reading again and sharing.
Ellen and many other readers have commended me for these posts, and for some “clear and concise support of the Holy Father.” That a priest -  even one in prison – would be commended for such a thing is entirely foreign to me, but I’ll have more to say of it next week, God willing.  June 5, TSW’s next post date, is my thirty-first anniversary of priesthood ordination, more than half those years spent in prison. And when I say “spent,” I really mean just that. More on that story next week.
Meanwhile, I had one other strong literary reference in a controversial post that would likely make my friend, David, grimace. I think British novelist, George Orwell would have approved of “Electile Dysfunction: Accommodations and the Advent of 1984.” I recommend it again in light of recent news events, though I know I risk a nasty I.R.S. audit by doing so.
Prison places me in a tax bracket more akin to one of Dickens’ plots than one of Orwell’s, however. The I.R.S. is the very least of my worries.  I might be a prisoner, but as a writer, I’m as free as a butterfly.

Pope Francis: Worldly Spirit “Reduces Christian Activity to Doing Social Good”

“When a Christian has no difficulties in life . . .
something is wrong.”

Vatican City, May 28, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News).- Faithful Christians will always face difficulties, said Pope Francis on Tuesday, warning that a worldly, career-based approach to faith avoids the suffering and persecution inherent in following Christ.
Pope FrancisPope Francis
“Many Christians, tempted by the spirit of the world, think that following Jesus is good because it can become a career, they can get ahead,” the Pope said.
“When a Christian has no difficulties in life – when everything is fine, everything is beautiful – something is wrong.”
He suggested this temptation is common for a Christian who is “a great friend of the spirit of the world, of worldliness.”
“You cannot remove the cross from the path of Jesus, it is always there,” he added.
Pope Francis delivered his homily at morning Mass at the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta residence. Archbishop Rino Fisichella and Monsignor José Octavio Ruiz Arenas, respectively the president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, concelebrated Mass.
“Think of Mother Teresa: what does the spirit of the world say of Mother Teresa? ‘Ah, Blessed Teresa is a beautiful woman, she did a lot of good things for others.’ The spirit of the world never says that the Blessed Teresa spent, every day, many hours in adoration … Never!” the Pope said.
He explained that the worldly spirit “reduces Christian activity to doing social good.”
“As if Christian life was a gloss, a veneer of Christianity,” he said. “The proclamation of Jesus is not a veneer: the proclamation of Jesus goes straight to the bones, heart, goes deep within and changes us. And the spirit of the world does not tolerate it, will not tolerate it, and therefore, there is persecution.” 
Just as Pope Francis criticized career-based Christianity, he also warned about a solely culture-based approach to the faith.
He criticized the attitude of following Jesus because one was born in a Christian culture. He said this ignores “the necessity of true discipleship of Jesus, the necessity to travel his road.”
“If you follow Jesus as a cultural proposal, then you are using this road to get higher up, to have more power. And the history of the Church is full of this, starting with some emperors and then many rulers and many people, no?” the Pope observed.
The Holy Father said that this attitude is present even among some priests and bishops.
He concluded with an exhortation to follow Jesus Christ truly.
“Following Jesus is just that: going with him out of love, behind him: on the same journey, the same path. And the spirit of the world will not tolerate this and what will make us suffer, but suffering as Jesus did,” he said.
“Let us ask for this grace: to follow Jesus in the way that he has revealed to us and that he has taught us. This is beautiful, because he never leaves us alone. Never! He is always with us. So be it.”

 from Courageous Priest

Mark Mallett » The Last Hour

Mark Mallett » The Last Hour

The Last Hour

Italian Earthquake, May 20th, 2012, Associated Press

LIKE it’s happened in the past, I felt called by Our Lord to go and pray before the Blessed Sacrament. It was intense, deep, sorrowful… I sensed the Lord had a word this time, not for me, but for you… for the Church. After giving it to my spiritual director, I share it now with you…

Published in: | on May 27th, 2013 | 

Our Lady, Untier of Knots [Video]


Untier of Knots

Reflection for 5/29/13

Photos by Casa Rosada, saint freak, Havang (nl), Catholic Church (England & Wales)

Mary TV Daily Reflection 5/29/2013

 Strong prayer
(c)Mary TV 2013


May 29, 2013

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children! Today I call you to be strong and resolute in faith and prayer, until your prayers are so strong so as to open the Heart of my beloved Son Jesus. Pray little children, pray without ceasing until your heart opens to God's love. I am with you and I intercede for all of you and I pray for your conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call." (May 25, 2013)

"Pray little children, pray without ceasing..."
Our Lady has urged us to constant prayer many times. She longs for us to live in a perpetual state of longing for the Lord. Constant prayer is the expression of fervent love for God, a love that cannot be quenched, a love that turns us always towards Him. The holy Evangelists expressed this same urging in the Scriptures. I have assembled only a few passages that express the need for prayer without ceasing. I will include some beautiful pictures taken in Medjugorje this week, in which pilgrims are praying in Our Lady's little village. Their prayer is inspiring. May we all deepen in our desire to pray and grow in our fervent love for God!  

prayer in the rocks  
(c)Mary TV 2013  

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thes 5:16-18)

(c)Mary TV 2013  
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Rom 12:12)

the rosary   
(c)Mary TV 2013 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Phil 4:6)

rejoice always 
(c)Mary TV 2013   

Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, (Eph 6:18)

(c)Mary TV 2013  

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Mt 7:7)

(c)Mary TV 2013   

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (Col 4:2)

constant prayer 
(c) Mary TV 2013
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, 'Give me justice against my adversary.' For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, 'Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'" (Lk 18:1-8)

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2013

PS. This week's Tea with Rosie is posted on our webpage. It is very moving! Don't miss it!   



 "Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world!"   
Blessed John Paul II  -
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