The Consecration of Russia and full Revelation of the 3rd part of the Secret of Fatima

Glory Dwelling in the Land

From my small domain,
A mere spot
On the face of the Earth,
Shine out!

Like a monstrance,
Held high before me,
Give light to a world
In need.

O You, my Eucharist,
Heart of Love
Rule my heart.
Soul of sanctity
Convert all peoples.
Holy Truth,
Go forth to illuminate the Nations.
Then shall the heavens witness,
Your “Glory dwelling in the land.”

Copyright Joann Nelander 2012

All rights reserved

Claimed in My Un-loveliness

Accuse me not,
But stand before me,
And claim me
As Your own.
Defend me from the Accuser of Men,
By covering me with Your mantle.

The blows I do deserve
Fall on the Son,
Who loves and protects me,
Possessing me as His own,
Directing me along the right path,
Walking before me with Shepherd’s staff,
As I learn to recognize His Voice,
And perceive the subtleties of Spirit.

Seeing You step out of the Fire,
And stand as fortress before me,
Naming me and protecting me.
I am finally possessed,
Claimed by Love,
In my un-loveliness.
I let down my guard,
Allowing embattled walls to fall at Your feet,
To rise again as bulwarks of Faith,
Against the Foe.

Succor,
Salvation,
and Sanctity,
Are now my lot,
And You, O Lord,
My own and All.

©2012 Joann Nelander

When the Twain Shall Meet

There is a delicacy of old
With which men speak to one another.
Though, approaching from the farthest ends,
Never meeting in the middle,
Yet, do they honor one another,
In their humanity.

They offer the gift of presence,
Gifting to the other
An open ear
That wills to hear.

To do the Good
For the sake of Good,
To forge the best of thought
For presentation at the gate
Is the beginning of a holy end.

Though all men be wrong
In varying degrees,
There is something right
In putting down one’s arms
To meet as warring friends,
In hope and trust
That they serve a higher call,
When men do speak of peace.

Who is honored by this respect,
If not the Maker of all Men,
Who alone can change
Hearts of stone to flesh,
Making them like unto His own.

By Joann Nelander

Mother Angelica & Deacon Bill Steltemier Receive Papal Honor

The best validation EWTN could hope for this side of Heaven!

H/T  Whispers in the Loggia:

Arguably the most significant force in shaping today’s American Catholic landscape, the celebrated, controversial foundress of Catholic media’s most prominent outlet was honored by Rome over the weekend as Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham conferred the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross on Mother Angelica and her longtime top aide in overseeing the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), Deacon Bill Steltemier . Awarded by Pope Benedict, the gong comes at the close of a decade, by turns tumultuous and triumphant, that began with 1999’s dedication of a majestic new monastery for Mother’s growing fold of cloistered Poor Clares and an apostolic visitation of the Alabama-based enterprise which led the feisty, fearless Franciscan to place her garage-born apostolate under lay oversight. Along the way, the network’s third decade saw its impact on the US church’s life and practice became ever more sizable, touching everything from priestly and religious vocations and parish liturgies to the influence of its roster of “stars” on the nation’s Catholic orbit — a clout which rivals, if not bests, all but a handful of the Stateside hierarchy — and, to top it all, the success of her authoritative 2005 biography, written by EWTN news director Raymond Arroyo, which cracked the New York Times best-seller list and was quickly followed-up by a sequel of Angelica’s words of wisdom. Now 86 and mostly confined to bed following a 2001 stroke, the unlikeliest of media moguls couldn’t attend the St Francis’ Day Vespers at which the award for her faithful and distinguished service “to the church and the pontiff” was presented. Instituted in 1889 by Pope Leo XIII, the Pro Ecclesia is the Vatican’s highest honor for religious men and women and permanent deacons. Though layfolk who’ve rendered exemplary devotion to church and community may also receive the bronze Cross suspended from a gold and white ribbon, the higher accolade of papal knighthood is reserved to the laity alone.

The Music of the Manuscripts

Metropolitan Museum of Art – wonderful exhibition

More here

Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 11

crucificionicon12Day40 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/11/09

St. Leo the Great: Sermon LXXII (On the Lord’s Resurrection): complete

Day 40Lite Version

St. Leo the Great: Sermon LXXII (On the Lord’s Resurrection): complete

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 10

crucificionicon12Day39 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/10/09

St. Leo the Great: Sermon XLIX(On Lent XI) : complete

Day 39Lite Version

St. Leo the Great: Sermon XLIX (On Lent XI) complete

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Wired for Sound & Listening

There is no doing justice to one of Fr. Jeff’s homilies, but not to try is to leave you without the tickling touch of heaven.  He usually is very personal with bits and pieces from his life, this time as a national guard chaplain.  Last week brought the realities of the motor pool to bear on his celebration of the Mass.  He went head to head with the jet sounds of an air pump.  He eventually had to scrap a “really wonderful sermon” (laughing at his humility) in the loosing battle for volume dominance.

The experience was not without its reward.  Fr. Jeff came away thinking of the noisy society that clamors with sound bites and distraction for our conscious attention, while actually driving us to distraction and semi-consciousness.

Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
And I have not rebelled,
have not turned back. (Isaiah 50:4-5)

With the words from the scripture still echoing in our ears, Fr. Jeff reminded us of the still small voice that morning after morning speaks to us and the Lord who “opens my ear that I may hear.”

All this week, we will be hearing the salvation story retold once again. Will it be received as so much noise, something we’ve heard before with no special clarity of nuance or message.  Will we “hear the subtleties of the orchestra for the life of our soul and hearts.”

Here again, Fr. Jeff got personal.  This time it was the $40 ear buds he was coaxed to buy with promises of sounds he’d never heard before. “Sure”, he thought somewhat cynically, but took the bait, none-the-less.  He sprang for the pricey thingies.

Once wired for sound, Fr. Jeff listened to his music and heard sonorous sounds he’d never heard before, nuances and subtleties, tone and clarity.  He’d paid the price, and it was worth every penny !  For us in church this morning, it was a clarion call to listen again, to incline an an open ear.  I think of the young apostle John with his ear to our Lord’s heart at the Last Supper.

Jesus’ story is the same year after year but there are subtleties and an ever newness for us this brand new day.  Be conscious, by a prayer and an act of the will! “Morning after morning, he opens my ear that I may hear; And I have not rebelled, have not turned back”

Happy Passover – Seder Primer

This is a learning experience for me, you might as well come along.

Ever since the night before the Exodus Jews have celebrated a Seder, a supper before the Lord and a story told, the Haggadah.

More Happy Passover from the Anchoress

Happy Passover!

Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 9

crucificionicon12Day38 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/9/09

St. Leo the Great: Sermon XXI (On the Feast of the Nativity I) : complete

Day 38Lite Version

St. Ambrose of Milan: Concerning the Mysteries:5-9

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Praying With The Church – Update

If you have not checked out DivineOffice.org yet, Holy Week is the perfect time to begin praying with the Church with the help of this wonderful ministry.  Divine Office is produced by Dane Falkner and some very dedicated and talented people.  It’s purpose is to promote “the tradition of praying always through these ancient treasures of the Church, not only to Catholics but to all Christians universally.”

Here are the wonder workers, Dane, Chriss, Denise and Greg:

DivineOffice.org provides daily free podcast of the Divine Office, definitely 5 star! plus iPhone App made available through iTunes (extremely affordable.)

Having a virtual community is great when you know they are real people reaching out to no less than the world.  The music, professional presentation of the daily inspirational scriptures, readings and prayers, has enriched my experience of listening to and praying the Divine Office.  As I said, Check them out!

Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 8

crucificionicon12Day37 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/8/09

St. Leo the Great: Sermon XXVIII (called the Tome”): complete

Day 37Lite Version

St. Ambrose of Milan: Concerning the Mysteries:1-4

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Hidden Grace of the Sacrament

Thomas A’ Kempis’words in My Imitation of Christ are ever new speaking to the heart. Preparations of a soul are often given little regard in the world, so let’s draw apart from the world to consider the gift, the soul and the benefits of our Faith received:

Here in the Sacrament of the altar You are wholly present, my God, the man Christ Jesus, whence is obtained the full realization of eternal salvation, as often as You are worthily and devoutly received. To this, indeed, we are not drawn by levity, or curiosity, or sensuality, but by firm faith, devout hope, and sincere love. O God, hidden Creator of the world, how wonderfully You deal with us! How sweetly and graciously You dispose of things with Your elect to whom You offer Yourself to be received in this Sacrament! This, indeed, surpasses all understanding. This in a special manner attracts the hearts of the devout and inflames their love. Your truly faithful servants, who give their whole life to amendment, often receive in Holy Communion the great grace of devotion and love of virtue. Oh, the wonderful and hidden grace of this Sacrament which only the faithful of Christ understand, which unbelievers and slaves of sin cannot experience! In it spiritual grace is conferred, lost virtue restored, and the beauty, marred by sin, repaired. At times, indeed, its grace is so great that, from the fullness of the devotion, not only the mind but also the frail body feels filled with greater strength. Nevertheless, our neglect and coldness is much to be deplored and pitied, when we are not moved to receive with greater fervor Christ in Whom is the hope and merit of all who will be saved. He is our sanctification and redemption. He is our consolation in this life and the eternal joy of the blessed in heaven. This being true, it is lamentable that many pay so little heed to the salutary Mystery which fills the heavens with joy and maintains the whole universe in being. Oh, the blindness and the hardness of the heart of man that does not show more regard for so wonderful a gift, but rather falls into carelessness from its daily use! If this most holy Sacrament were celebrated in only one place and consecrated by only one priest in the whole world, with what great desire, do you think, would men be attracted to that place, to that priest of God, in order to witness the celebration of the divine Mysteries! But now there are many priests and Mass is offered in many places, that God’s grace and love for men may appear the more clearly as the Sacred Communion is spread more widely through the world. Thanks be to You, Jesus, everlasting Good Shepherd, Who have seen fit to feed us poor exiled people with Your precious Body and Blood, and to invite us with words from Your own lips to partake of these sacred Mysteries: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you.” Book 4: chapter 1

Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 7

crucificionicon12Day36 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/7/09

St. Ambrose of Milan: Concerning the Mysteries: 5-9

Day 36 Lite Version

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXIII (12-23)

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Praying With the Church

If you have not checked out DivineOffice.org yet, Holy Week is the perfect time to begin praying with the Church with the help of this wonderful ministry.  Divine Office is produced by Dane Falkner and some very dedicated and talented people.  It’s purpose is to promote “the tradition of praying always through these ancient treasures of the Church, not only to Catholics but to all Christians universally.”

Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 6

crucificionicon12Day35 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/6/09

St. Ambrose of Milan: Concerning the Mysteries: 1-4

Day 35 Lite Version

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXIII (1-11)

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 4

crucificionicon12Day34 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/4/09

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXIII

Day 34 Lite Version

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXII

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 3

crucificionicon12Day33 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/3/09

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXII

Day 33 Lite Version

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XX

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Something Bigger Than Ourselves

I’m thinking about Fr. Jeff’s homily.  He was serious today, though he always is,so much so, it makes me laugh hearing his mental gymnastics.  Today he got straight to the point, however.  The point being: haven’t we all felt a part of something bigger than ourselves?

Some times changes in direction happen quickly, even with just one impulsive decision.  I guess all the other choices in our lives leads us to make that decision, so impulsive or not, it’s more than happenstance, it’s who we are at the moment. With that said, Fr. Jeff spoke of God breaking into the world He had created and wanting, at this moment in Time, to renew it.  He offers a Covenant, which if lived out in the lives of this people, peculiar to the Lord, His Chosen People, would cause all peoples to look on them and desire their God.

Fr.Jeff said, “God’s modus operandi has not changed. Human history is repeating this scenario day after day.” We are called to live exemplary lives.  What a dreamer God must be!  That’s the vision, though.  When Jesus faced the pharisees and said “I Am” they had a choice to make.  They could recognize Him as God, the new Moses, and follow Him…….. or stone him.  You know how it goes from here, from bad to worse.  “Stone him!” they say.” Later it becomes, “Crucify him!”

Jesus confronts us,when we least expect it, and confounds us, as he did the pharisees.  We are unprepared at many junctures in our lives and being unprepared, caught of guard, or rebellious, with the pharisees and mob, we holler, “Stone him!”  Thankfully, moments of reflection follow in our lives, changes in course, second chances.  The Jews got it wrong, but St. Paul promises a day when their blindness will end.  The Church is the New Israel, a second chance at Covenant.  We, too, have a hard time getting it right, but we have the promise made to the Church, “The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.”Matthew 16:18

The Reading from Genesis 17:3-9 was:

When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him:
“My covenant with you is this:
you are to become the father of a host of nations.
No longer shall you be called Abram;
your name shall be Abraham,
for I am making you the father of a host of nations.
I will render you exceedingly fertile;
I will make nations of you;
kings shall stem from you.
I will maintain my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
throughout the ages as an everlasting pact,
to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
I will give to you
and to your descendants after you
the land in which you are now staying,
the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession;
and I will be their God.”

must keep my covenant throughout the ages.”

God also said to Abraham:
“On your part, you and your descendants after you

The Gospel was:

Jesus said to the Jews:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death.”
So the Jews said to him,
“Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?
Or the prophets, who died?
Who do you make yourself out to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad.”
So the Jews said to him,
“You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.
John 8: 51-59


Count the Blessings? of Abortion: 50,000,000

When you think you’ve heard it all, Amy Welborn tells you that the unanimously elected a new dean, Dr. Katherine Ragsdale of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge is preaching Abortion is a Blessing!

As quoted by Chris Johnson of Midwest Conservative Journal:

And when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion – there is not a tragedy in sight — only blessing. The ability to enjoy God’s good gift of sexuality without compromising one’s education, life’s work, or ability to put to use God’s gifts and call is simply blessing.

These are the two things I want you, please, to remember – abortion is a blessing

and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.

I want to thank all of you who protect this blessing – who do this work every day: the health care providers, doctors, nurses, technicians, receptionists, who put your lives on the line to care for others (you are heroes — in my eyes, you are saints); the escorts and the activists; the lobbyists and the clinic defenders; all of you. You’re engaged in holy work.

Can there be anything sadder ? Convenience over conscience, money over morals, sex over sacredness, what are those Doctors of Divinity thinking.  Dr. Katherine Ragsdale is their unanimous choice.  I can better understand why questions of the true Presence of Christ in the Eucharist are at issue when these people cannot recognize the true presence of a child in the womb.

Pursuing Holiness has this: [UPDATE: Ms. Ragsdale deleted the sermon, but on the intarweb things have a zombie-like way of coming back to get you. Cached copy is here. And for posterity, here’s a PDF of the cached page with Our Work Is Not Done.  Why do you think she deleted it?

Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 2

crucificionicon12Day32Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/2/09

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXI

Day 32Lite Version

St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 90-94

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Desire of the Heart

God honors a person’s search for Truth.  He looks deep into the heart and knows the will.  The unpardonable sin is final rejection of  God.  God honors our will.  He is also merciful and hears the prayers of others on our behalf.           (from a homily by Fr. S.M)

“If, today, you hear His voice, harden not your heart.” Hebrews 4:7

Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 1

crucificionicon12Day31Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/1/09

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XX

Day 31 Lite Version

St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 82-89

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

An Urgent Appeal-Fr. Groeschel

Purifying the Church is a work of the Spirit in all ages.  The Church is the home of sinners working on being saints.  Like the disciples that needed Jesus to wash their feet although they had already been cleansed by Christ, Christians in contact with the world do find that the dust and dirt does stick.

Here I want to repeat a message and spread an appeal made by Fr. Benedict Groeschel, of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.  He says, some of the very liberal Catholic are calling for all kinds of changes that will leave the Catholic Church no longer the Catholic Church.  Fr. Groeschel says, that the Church has be humiliated.  It has been demoralized. We are asking what will happen.  He says, “Pray! Pray! Pray!………Pray for the Church, pray for the victims and pray for our enemies?”

In an urgent appeal Fr. Groeschel joins EWTN in asking, “What can we do as Catholics and Christians to bring something good out to these most vicious attacks on the Church in the media and society?……Otherwise, we will have what Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen calls ‘wasted suffering’.”

Fr. Groeschel calls for reform; vigilance and reform to carry us forward from this point of humiliation, betrayal and defamation. Here are some areas which need reformation:

1. Liturgy and prayer

It should be reverent devout and worthy. Worship of God is a serious business.  Prepare for it! Dress for it!

2. Eucharistic celebration and Reconciliation

Mass should be presented in a manner that supports prayer with appropriate music for all ages that lifts the heart and spirit. It should be prayerful.

3. Catholic education

Many Catholic schools of higher education should not be called Catholic. Many are simply trying to make money – greed!

4. Catholic Social Service and Hospitals

Many Catholic Hospital and Social Services are lacking in areas of Catholic sexual morality and catholic medical ethics. How do you make changes?  Write letters!…  Begin your letter to schools and hospitals the need change in these areas like this: “Before we do anything else, we thought it was only fair to contact you.”

5. Religious life

According to Fr. Benedict, Catholics can be very stupid. They don’t know how to deal with a theory. They let themselves be influenced by every passing fad. This is what has destroyed people; taking too much from psychology and not enough from the Gospel and from the Tradition of the Found. Give them a theory and they think they have to believe it.  Something comes along, call it psychology, call it the ennegram and Catholics have to pick it up and play with it.   For His part, Father Groeschel knows what he believes.  He believes in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  He doesn’t need to believe in psychology or the creations of pop-culture.  Psychology or things masquerading as modern thought have have far too much influence on Catholic thinking. Many Catholic communities are completely lacking in prayer life, in witness to the Gospel.  They are openly open disloyalty to Catholic teaching and especially to the Holy Father.

Speak up! Cause trouble! Do not accept the false and mediocre.  Resurrect the wonderful  spirit of your community’s founder or foundress.  Read the Gospel. Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Watch out for the influence of psychology. Some things are effective as tools but not as Creed.

6. Issues of Life

Finally, Fr. Groseschel says, “Speak out for Life.” We are not a loud voice.  There are millions of Catholics and so far our voice is still a whisper.  Get with it. Discover your Catholic heart and passion!

Don’t be surprised that the Church is being crucified.  The Church is the Body of Christ.  It is going to the Cross.  As you call it on it’s sinfulness, don’t exempt yourself.  Don’t be afraid of a Crucified Christ.  Turn to Christ!  Where Satan reigns; the Crucified Conquers! Christ conqueror! Christ captain! Christ command! The Church will come forth purified and one with its Lord.

The Dying of the Little Flower

From The Story of a Soul (L’Histoire d’une Ame):
The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux, by Therese Martin (of Lisieux)

At last dawned the eternal day. It was Thursday, September 30,
1897. In the morning, the sweet Victim, her eyes fixed on Our
Lady’s statue, spoke thus of her last night on earth: “Oh! with
what fervour I have prayed to her! . . . And yet it has been pure
agony, without a ray of consolation. . . . Earth’s air is failing
me: when shall I breathe the air of Heaven?”

For weeks she had been unable to raise herself in bed, but, at
half-past two in the afternoon, she sat up and exclaimed: “Dear
Mother, the chalice is full to overflowing! I could never have
believed that it was possible to suffer so intensely. . . . I can
only explain it by my extreme desire to save souls. . . .” And a
little while after: “Yes, all that I have written about my thirst
for suffering is really true! I do not regret having surrendered
myself to Love.”

She repeated these last words several times. A little later she
added: “Mother, prepare me to die well.” The good Mother Prioress
encouraged her with these words: “My child, you are quite ready to
appear before God, for you have always understood the virtue of
humility.” Then, in striking words, Therese bore witness to
herself:

“Yes, I feel it; my soul has ever sought the truth. . . . I have
understood humility of heart!”

. . . . . . .

At half-past four, her agony began–the agony of this “Victim of
Divine Love.” When the Community gathered round her, she thanked
them with the sweetest smile, and then, completely given over to
love and suffering, the Crucifix clasped in her failing hands, she
entered on the final combat. The sweat of death lay heavy on her
brow . . . she trembled . . . but, as a pilot, when close to
harbour, is not dismayed by the fury of the storm, so this soul,
strong in faith, saw close at hand the beacon-lights of Heaven,
and valiantly put forth every effort to reach the shore.

As the convent bells rang the evening Angelus, she fixed an
inexpressible look upon the statue of the Immaculate Virgin, the
Star of the Sea. Was it not the moment to repeat her beautiful
prayer:

“O thou who camest to smile on me in the morn of my life, come
once again and smile, Mother, for now it is eventide!”[15]

A few minutes after seven, turning to the Prioress, the poor
little Martyr asked: “Mother, is it not the agony? . . . am I not
going to die?” “Yes, my child, it is the agony, but Jesus perhaps
wills that it be prolonged for some hours.” In a sweet and
plaintive voice she replied: “Ah, very well then . . . very well
. . . I do not wish to suffer less!”

Then, looking at her crucifix:

“Oh! . . . I love Him! . . . My God, I . . . love . . . Thee!”

These were her last words. She had scarcely uttered them when, to
our great surprise, she sank down quite suddenly, her head
inclined a little to the right, in the attitude of the Virgin
Martyrs offering themselves to the sword; or rather, as a Victim
of Love, awaiting from the Divine Archer the fiery shaft, by which
she longs to die.

Suddenly she raised herself, as though called by a mysterious
voice; and opening her eyes, which shone with unutterable
happiness and peace, fixed her gaze a little above the statue of
Our Lady. Thus she remained for about the space of a _Credo,_ when
her blessed soul, now become the prey of the “Divine Eagle,” was
borne away to the heights of Heaven.

(From the Project Gutenberg Ebook)

Lenten Reading Plan – Mar 31

crucificionicon12Day30Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 3/31/09

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XIX

Day 30 Lite Version

St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony:74-81

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

A New Age of the Spirit

President Obama seems a man flying in the face of the Holy Spirit and not prone to  be moved the Spirit, especially in areas of life, morality and the Natural Law…unless by “natural law” we  mean survival of the most well-positioned, power-hungry and powerful.

Modern Medieval writes: “It appears that Joachim of Fiore is still around and voting for Obama.”  “From the annals of strange stuff, I ran across this Italian article that has the mayor San Giovanni of Fiore inviting Barack Obama to his town in order to become an honorary citizen. Apparently, according to this article, Obama has invoked the 12th-century mystic and theologian Joachim of Fiore on no fewer than 3 occasions.”

In a Lenten sermon by P. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFMCAP – delivered  in the presence of Benedict XVI 3-29-2009 Joachim of Fiore  comes up again with regard to Obama  and what this Presisent could possibly be doing in Joachim’s corner:

The fact that the recently elected president of the United States referenced Joachim of Fiore three times during his electoral campaign has renewed interest in medieval monk’s teachings. Few of the people who talk about him, especially on the internet, know or care to know just what exactly this author said. Every idea of church or world renewal is offhandedly attributed to him, even the idea of a new Pentecost for the Church, which was invoked by John XXIII.

One thing is certain: whether or not it should be attributed to Joachim of Fiore, the idea of a third era of the Spirit that would follow on the era of the Old Testament Father and the New Testament Christ is false and heretical because it affects the very heart of the Trinitarian dogma. St. Gregory Nazianzen’s statement is entirely different. He makes a distinction between three phases in the revelation of the Trinity: in the Old Testament the Father fully revealed himself and the Son is promised and announced; in the New Testament the Son fully revealed himself and the Holy Spirit is promised and announced; in the time of the Church, the Holy Spirit is finally fully known and we rejoice in his presence.

The Church speaks with the voice of the Holy Spirit teaching and guiding through its Magisterium. In speaking of the Holy Spirit Cantalamessa says:

St. Ignatius suggested practical means to apply these criteria. One is this: when we are faced with two possible choices, it is useful to first consider one of them, as if we must follow it, and to stay in that state for a day or more; then we should evaluate how our heart reacts to that choice: is there peace, harmony with the rest of our own decisions; is there something inside of you that encourages you in that direction, or on the contrary has it left a haze of restlessness… Then repeat the process with the second hypothesis. All this should be done in an atmosphere of prayer, abandonment to God’s will, and openness to the Holy Spirit.

And in closing he says:

When everything is reduced to just the personal, private listening to the Spirit, the path is opened to a unstoppable process of division and subdivision, because everyone believe they are right. And the very division and multiplication of denominations and sects, often contrasting each other in their essential points, demonstrates that the same Spirit of truth in speaking cannot be in all, because otherwise he would be contradicting himself.

It is well known that this is the danger to which the protestant world is most exposed, having built the “interior testimony” of the Holy Spirit as the only criteria of truth, against every exterior, ecclesial testimony, other than that of the written Word.[10] Some extreme fringes will even go as far as to separate the interior guidance of the Spirit even from word of the Scriptures. We then have the various movements of “enthusiasts” or “enlightened” who have punctuated the history of the Church, whether catholic, orthodox or protestant. The most frequent result of this tendency, which concentrates all attention on the internal testimony of the Spirit, is that the Spirit slowly looses the capital letter and comes to coincide with the simple human spirit. That is what happened with rationalism.

Our Lady of Kibeho – Continued

In a recent post, I wrote about the vengeance of Jesus.  He took Satan and Sin to task on the Cross with the shedding of His Blood, not the blood of others.  The God-Man suffered the punishment due our sins. All sin leads to lies, betrayal, murder, and war.  Sin percolates and then escalates. It is as though the force of our sins hides beneath the surface of our daily existence and when its ready to show its ugly face, it appears as a  slum, a dysfunctional society, a dysfunctional family or a war.  Sin with its pride, lust, sloth, greed,envy and the like, ultimately brings havoc in its wake. However, it can be stopped. We know and have the remedy.  Like the discovery of a vaccine or cure, it only has to be made known and available, applied and administered. There’s  the rub.  We are an  important part of the remedy.  The Good News of Jesus is here and at hand! Where are the penitents?

Monsignor recently gave a sermon in which he spoke of a conversation between a repentant prostitute and St. Francis De Sales.  The Saint heard the confession of the woman.  It was heartfelt and thorough, leaving out nothing of her past life.  Afterwards she asked the Saint, “Now that you have heard my confession, what do you call me?  Without hesitation, St. Francis de Sales said, “I call you a saint.” He went on to say that no matter how others saw her or what they called her, God saw her as she now was; as if her past sins never happened.  The woman told the story again and again throughout her life.  The Saint’s response of the mercy, love and pardon of God came back to her again and again, and strengthened her whenever she was tempted to return to her past way of life.

I tell that story because Rwanda is a nation soaked in the blood of its own people.  Finding a way into a future full of hope rests on the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Mother Mary as Our Lady of Kibeho predicted the catastrophes that would befall their nation.  She also showed them the way back to unity and wholeness. In her numerous apparitions, she showed them that the Mother of God lived with them, cared for them and prayed for them. Her healing presence among them was  constant and intimate. Her message is always the same, “Jesus.”

Jesus have mercy on me a sinner.

I Offer Myself This Day

My Imitation of Christ

by Thomas a’ Kempis

Book 4 chapter 9:


With a sincere heart I offer myself this day to You, O Lord, to Your eternal service, to Your homage, and as a sacrifice of everlasting praise. Receive me with this holy offering of Your precious Body which also I make to You this day, in the presence of angels invisibly attending, for my salvation and that of all Your people.

O Lord, upon Your altar of expiation, I offer You all the sins and offenses I have committed in Your presence and in the presence of Your holy angels, from the day when I first could sin until this hour, that You may burn and consume them all in the fire of Your love, that You may wipe away their every stain, cleanse my conscience of every fault, and restore to me Your grace which I lost in sin by granting full pardon for all and receiving me mercifully with the kiss of peace.

What can I do for all my sins but humbly confess and lament them, and implore Your mercy without ceasing? In Your mercy, I implore You, hear me when I stand before You, my God. All my sins are most displeasing to me. I wish never to commit them again. I am sorry for them and will be sorry as long as I live. I am ready to do penance and make satisfaction to the utmost of my power.

Forgive me, O God, forgive me my sins for Your Holy Name. Save my soul which You have redeemed by Your most precious Blood. See, I place myself at Your mercy. I commit myself to Your hands. Deal with me according to Your goodness, not according to my malicious and evil ways.

I offer to You also all the good I have, small and imperfect though it be, that You may make it more pure and more holy, that You may be pleased with it, render it acceptable to Yourself, and perfect it more and more, and finally that You may lead me, an indolent and worthless creature, to a good and happy end.

I offer You also all the holy desires of Your devoted servants, the needs of my parents, friends, brothers, sisters, and all who are dear to me; of all who for Your sake have been kind to me or to others; of all who have wished and asked my prayers and Masses for them and theirs, whether they yet live in the flesh or are now departed from this world, that they may all experience the help of Your grace, the strength of Your consolation, protection from dangers, deliverance from punishment to come, and that, free from all evils, they may gladly give abundant thanks to You.

I offer You also these prayers and the Sacrifice of Propitiation for those especially who have in any way injured, saddened, or slandered me, inflicted loss or pain upon me, and also for all those whom I have at any time saddened, disturbed, offended, and abused by word or deed, willfully or in ignorance. May it please You to forgive us all alike our sins and offenses against one another.

Take away from our hearts, O Lord, all suspicion, anger, wrath, contention, and whatever may injure charity and lessen brotherly love. Have mercy, O Lord, have mercy on those who ask Your mercy, give grace to those who need it, and make us such that we may be worthy to enjoy Your favor and gain eternal life.