Monday, November 27, 2006

Vatican has Come up With New Plan!

According to an anonymous source, the Vatican has decided for security reasons to send Pope Benedict's decoy (who is known normally in the Vatican only as Dr. Petrus) to Turkey. He has been practicing the part as pope the last couple of days including this photo period taken on Sunday before the Angelus. Pope Benedict sends his apostolic blessing to his decoy and prays for his protection before the big trip. There is only one problem everyone is crossing their fingers about---he doesn't know a word of German.

Habemus (alter) Papam!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Prayer Request

I would like to request that anyone reading this now would take a moment and pray for a deacon (The name is Deacon Denny) at my parish who is suffering from what I believe are blood clots in his lungs. I don't believe that this is the first time for this to occur, and it can be very dangerous. Pray for him and his wife as they go through this difficult time, and pray that he would be ready to meet Christ when the time comes. "Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of the night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come." (Matthew 24:43-44)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Interview Involving a Success Story!
Last month I published this article about a liturgical abuse in my parish that I believe is very wrong. This abuse is commonly called "Fractioning". This means that at mass when the wine is received in the flagons it is not immediately poured into separate chalices but is consecrated in the flagons and then poured into separate chalices. However, after consecration the wine is no longer wine, but is our Lord's Precious Blood. Therefore there is danger of spilling the Precious Blood. In fact, the Church a few years ago put out a document called Redemptionis Sacramentum which stated: "[106.] However, the pouring of the Blood of Christ after the consecration from one vessel to another is completely to be avoided, lest anything should happen that would be to the detriment of so great a mystery. Never to be used for containing the Blood of the Lord are flagons, bowls, or other vessels that are not fully in accord with the established norms." Anyway, the author of Mysterium-Fidei has recently stated that his parish used to do this but has now stopped. I have interviewed him and he has provided the following answers:

Q. 1. Your article on Mysterium-Fidei on how a liturgical abuse at your parish stopped is very exciting! Please explain to your knowledge how this abuse started, in your parish.

A. About 6 months ago, our bishop sent a seminarian to Delta to assist our pastor during the Holy Week Liturgies. Now, our pastor did not want the seminarian to feel like he had nothing to do, so he allowed him to fraction the wine [Precious Blood], thinking this was just one more thing. (Please understand, our pastor did not mean bad by this.) Prior to this event our pastor did not fraction.

Q. 2. Why do you think this abuse continued even after Rome put out Redemptionis Sacramentum stating that fractioning was to come to an end?

A. Rome put this document out, because it knew that the Precious Blood was being spilled often. So, they figured that if the wine was poured during the Offertory, than if it was spilt, "O well, it's just wine!" Now, before our pastor started fractioning, the Precious Blood had not been spilled, but after he started, it has been spilled 7 times.

Q. 3. What happened that caused the fractioning to come to an end?

A. Well, after much controversy in the parish, the priest was notified by about 10 people, urging him to stop this act which was a sin against the Precious Blood. The priest felt pressured and decided to change his mind. The secondary thing that changed his mind was that it was less time consuming to do it the correct way.

Q. 4. What advice would you give to others who have similar abuses in their parishes that want to do something?

A. Please, I beg you, don't run in like a lion. Charity above all. First pray, and then talk to your liturgist, and if that doesn't work, talk to the priest himself. Give him the reasons, and show him the document. Be persistent, but not pushy! If this doesn't work, than you can always go to your local ordinary. While the Congregation for Divine Worship is another step, it is unlikely they will take this matter as a "gravatori delictica." If nothing happens, go back to step one: pray. Pray for conversion of heart.

Just as an update as to the situation in my parish: I have written my liturgist and I am going to be talking to her next week. Please pray all goes well!

Copyright 2006 Our Lady of Sorrows inc.

Caption Contest

Please post any funny and clean comments below about this picture. The best caption will be posted alongside the picture.

"Santa Dies in Sleigh Accident. Report says Rudolph's nose finally went out and in the middle of a blizzard in New York."
And so far Anonymous wins the award for funniest caption: "I guess that's what he gets for kissing mama."

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I just want to post a reminder of what we should be truly thankful for everyday, and that is Our Lord Jesus' death on the cross. It was through this terrible death that He brought a possibility of everlasting life to each and everyone of us. Do not ever think that it was easy for Jesus to die for us. It wasn't. We should in thankfulness return some gratitude to Christ. Remember we are also all called to live this life of holiness: "and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matthew11:38-39)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

New Book Coming soon by.... And no, thank goodness, it's not Dan Brown....

It's the Pope!


VATICAN CITY, NOV 21, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today released a communique stating: "The Holy Father Benedict XVI has completed writing the first part of a book, the title of which is 'Gesu di Nazareth. Dal Battesimo nel Giordano alla Trasfigurazione' (Jesus of Nazareth, From His Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration) and, within the last few days, has consigned it to the Vatican Publishing House. The book will be published in spring 2007"

Well, this should be interesting. This Pope's first book written while he is Pope. I should very much enjoy to see the insights he will be putting in it. I know what my mom will think when she hears about this... "Will it have pictures?"

VATICAN CITY, NOV 22, 2006 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., has written a note concerning a forthcoming book by Benedict XVI, scheduled for publication in the spring of 2007. The title of the volume is: "Gesu di Nazareth. Dal Battesimo nel Giordano alla Trasfigurazione" (Jesus of Nazareth, From His Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration).

The Vatican Publishing House, which holds the copyright on all the Pope's writings, has ceded the world rights for the translation, distribution and marketing of this book to the Rizzoli Publishing House.

"The fact that Benedict XVI has managed to complete the first part of his great book on Jesus, and that within a few months we will have it in our hands, is wonderful news," writes Fr. Lombardi in his note. "I find it extraordinary that despite the duties and concerns of the pontificate, he has managed to complete a work of such great academic and spiritual depth. He says he dedicated all his free time to the project; and this itself is a very significant indication of the importance and urgency the book has for him.

"With his habitual simplicity and humility, the Pope explains that this is not a 'work of Magisterium' but the fruit of his own research, and as such it can be freely discussed and criticized. This is a very important observation, because it makes clear that what he writes in the book in no way binds the research of exegetes and theologians. It is not a long encyclical on Jesus, but a personal presentation of the figure of Jesus by the theologian Joseph Ratzinger, who has been elected as Bishop of Rome."

In the book's preface, Fr. Lombardi's note says, the Holy Father "explains that in modern culture, and in many presentations of the figure of Jesus, the gap between the 'historical Jesus' and the 'Christ of the faith' has become ever wider. ... Joseph Ratzinger, taking into consideration all the achievements of modern research, aims to present the Jesus of the Gospels as the real 'historical Jesus,' as a sensible and convincing figure to Whom we can and must trustingly refer, and upon Whom we have good reason to base our faith and our Christian life. With his book, then, the Pope aims to offer a fundamental service to support the faith of his brothers and sisters, and he does so from the central element of the faith: Jesus Christ."

In the introduction to the book, Fr. Lombardi continues, "Jesus is presented to us as the new Moses, the new prophet who speaks with 'God face to face,' ... the Son, deeply united to the Father. If this essential aspect is overlooked, the figure of Jesus become contradictory and incomprehensible. With passion, Joseph Ratzinger speaks to us of Jesus' intimate union with the Father, and wishes to ensure that Jesus' disciples participate in this communion. It is, then, a great work of exegesis and theology, but also a great work of spirituality."

Fr. Lombardi concludes: "Recalling the profound impression and the spiritual fruits that, as a young man, I drew from reading Joseph Ratzinger's first work - 'Introduction to Christianity' - I am sure that this time too we will not be disappointed, but that both believers and all people truly disposed to understand more fully the figure of Jesus, will be immensely grateful to the Pope for his great witness as a thinker, scholar and man of faith, on the most essential point of the entire Christian faith."
That means we'll be seeing this book soon!!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Making the Sign of the Cross
Do you pray before meals? It is a very good and wholesome practice to pray before meals to thank God for His blessings that He has given us. In 1 Corinthians 10:31. it says: "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever else you do, do all to the glory of God." The traditional prayer that Catholics do before meals is the following: "Bless us O Lord and these Thy gifts, that we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen." Every time we pray, it is a reminder to ourselves that we are Catholic. However, can you go beyond just reminding yourself that you are a Christian to not being ashamed to tell others that you are? Do you ever pray in public before eating? It's not about showing off, but it is a simple way to show that we are un-ashamed to be Christians. In Matthew 10:32 it says: "Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father." Please, take one more step to make our culture a more Christian one. PRAY before eating and make the sign of cross, even in public. Do not be ashamed to be a follower of Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Gospel Reflection (Luke 14:15-24)
A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Luke:
One of those at table with Jesus said to him, "Blessed is the one who will dine in the Kingdom of God." He replied to him, "A man gave a great dinner to which he invited many. When the time for the dinner came, he dispatched his servant to say to those invited, 'Come, everything is now ready.' But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves. The first said to him, 'I have purchased a field and must go to examine it; I ask you, consider me excused.' And another said, 'I have purchased five yoke of oxen and am on my way to evaluate them; I ask you , consider me excused.' And another said, 'I have just married a woman, and therefore I cannot come.' The servant went and reported this to his master. Then the master of the house in a rage commanded his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in here the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame.' The servant reported, 'Sir, your orders have been carried out and still there is room.' The master then ordered the servant, 'Go out to the highways and hedgerows and make people come in that my home may be filled. For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner.'" The Gospel of the Lord.
The invitation to the feast in now. The feast is Heaven. The invitation has already been delivered, and now, Christ is only waiting to see if we will come. There is room for everyone in Heaven, and we must make the journey here on earth to get there. It is not a physical journey but a spiritual one. We do it through repentance and acceptance of what Christ has told us. The people that were originally invited are those who hear Christ's invitation but are too busy with their worldly affairs to bother coming. So many people today are so caught up in their worldly tasks that they do not bother to live a Christian life or even to care. Their life is about money and fun. Unfortunately, those things do not last very long, and they only leave emptiness. When we follow Christ we will have that peace that this world does not understand. Yes, we will suffer hardships, but we will be truly at peace, because we know who we are and where were going. The master in the house invited all people, even the crippled and blind and lame, because Christ loves us all. He has enabled each and every one of us to be able to eat at the Heavenly feast one day. But we must strive to live as Christians in a very un-Christian world. Are we up to the invitation, the calling, the mission? Because in the end we will end up in one of two places: Heaven or Hell. "Lord help us to follow Your call! Help me to be strong in this un-godly world. Mary, Help of Christians, Pray for us!"

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Secret Society... A Spirit.... And a Catastrophe....
(Author's note: This article is humorous but is meant to show a point. I am not bashing the Church, Vatican II, or any women that are dedicated to God. I know that many of these women may be very holy, but I only want to address a point that I think is important.)
Introducing: SSSVII---The Secret Society of the Spirit of Vatican II
SSSVII is a recent order that has been established in many countries. Its numbers have increased greatly over the past 30 some years. This new order includes nuns, priests, and religious. The founder of SSSVII has not acknowledged himself, most likely because this is a secret organization. Here's what they do. The society first of all has a very strict secrecy code. They must not wear their habits or clerics except on very rare occasions. The cassock is to be completely avoided. Then this order must in secret attend mass and parish activities (remember they are dressed like everyone else) and therefore as to not arouse attention and so religious can see what their parishioners are really like. You see, if a parishioner sees Sister Clara dressed in full habit, it will remind him to act especially good. However, if Sister Clara is dressed just like everyone else, then the parishioner will be clueless and will reveal his true self. Sister Clara will take notes in her big black book, so she can report all findings to headquarters. Beware Catholics, SSSVII is out there.... Although sometimes hard to identify, I have done research on my computer to bring you this picture of an authentic SSSVII member. Watch as the man on the left, cluelessly shakes hands with an SSSVII nun. Under that overcoat of hers, she stores her big black book. However there is only one problem with this large order. Although it has grown rapidly, it is now dying out. You see, most of the members came from previous orders where the habit was worn. Many decided to join SSSVII, but not many new members have been coming in. They are desperate for vocations...........................Ok....... You can breath now!!!! Thank goodness that was a joke, but unfortunately it has more truth to it than not. Namely, the wonderful habit of a nun, the cassocks and clerics of priests, and the religious habit of various orders are being thrown away. I can find many many nuns on the internet in various orders (Not to mention the many nuns I have seen in person) that do not wear the religious habit. You would not know that they were nuns unless they told you. Why am I concerned about this? Because, when we threw out the habit, (which was a sign of throwing out the Divine Vocation, I think) we threw out many vocations. What girl would not see it as a privilege to wear the habit as a sign of her dedication to Christ? And how attractive is it to dress as someone ordinary? The habit is an outward sign to show that this person has dedicated their life to Christ. It is a beautiful witness to all of those people that see it. It almost appears to me that the nun is ashamed she is a nun when she hides it by not dressing like one. It is an honor to have one's life dedicated to Christ. It is stuff like this that seems to be kicking God out of society. We wonder why our country is so corrupt? Wake up Catholics! It should be us that come to conversion first, so that we may bring others with us. I am not wondering why orders are decreasing when there is such lack of Faith. I heard once a conversation among some Catholic young people who were saying that they thought nuns were pointless and that the Church should no longer have them. I am not surprised by these statements when all young people see a nun as is a strange woman who isn't married because she has a 'job' at the church. However, thankfully, not all is gone. Some orders have preserved the habit and the Faith that used to be more common among nuns. These orders are prospering. They are growing. Let us pray that God will instill Faith among all Catholics today.

These habit filled nuns are increasing in numbers.

Here is a good article in defense of the habit.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Pope's trip to Turkey to take place one week after Thanksgiving...
It's now official. We now know the complete schedule of his holiness Pope Benedict as he travels to Turkey. The dates are from the end of November to the beginning of December. (Specific dates I'm not giving out yet.) Pray very, very, very, very, very hard for his protection, and for his success in bringing about the message of Christ. I think that Pope Benedict wants to show Muslims that he intends to bring peace and that this example of his will show them that they are not forgotten. Think of all of the few Catholics that live in Turkey that hunger for Christ. I think this visit will mean a lot for them too. Pray for the conversion of Muslims and for an end to terrorism!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Passing on the Faith

I have just recently finished helping teach at our church in our First Reconciliation Class. I feel confident that some of the students are ready to make their First Confession. And yes, I said some. Unfortunately, some of the students do not know much at all. They come to class, and although the class may be good, it is only 1 hour each week. If the children have not had proper religious education at home, they will suffer in their faith, and a First Confession class will only confuse them. For example, if they don't know who God is, they can't possibly understand His mercy and why we need forgiveness. Religious education at home is what is essential. The local parish may be able to provide some education, but it should only be supplementary. I can tell the difference between the children whose parents at home have gone over the "homework" (the terms and ideas of Reconciliation), and those kids whose parents bring them but do not teach their children.
Maybe, the parents do not teach their children because they themselves do not know their Faith. You can not give what you do not have. It is our responsibility to study our Faith so as to not only help ourselves but to be able to give it to others. The Bible says in Matthew 28:19-20: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you". Please learn you Faith so you can grow closer to Christ and bring others closer to Him. A good sign to know if you know your Faith is to see if you can successfully teach it someone else. Maybe practicing in the bathroom a few times would help....

Homosexual parade cancelled. Now they'll just do a demonstration.....

Get the story here.
The "homosexual community" in Israel are going to be doing a demonstration in a stadium, instead of their original "gay parade" in Jerusalem. Together, Christians, Muslims, and Jews were outraged at the proposed parade. What I find astonishing is that Israel was planning on having 8,500-12,000 police officers give security to this parade. (Boy, they sure go out of their way for such a sick event.) Ok, so just recently the "gay community" called off the parade to just have this demonstration, because of the threats of violence. Talk about stupid. How far do people have to go to try to convince us and themselves that they are not living in sin? Pray for these poor souls who have listened to the lies of Satan, and are now living lives of fear and anxiety. Pray that they may one day come to Jesus and find true peace and happiness.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Good Job Colorado! (Well, mostly!)
Although Coloradans unfortunately voted for a Democratic Senator, we did good with Amendments 43 and 44 and with Referendum I. Amendment 43 on banning Same-sex marriage was accepted. Amendment 44 on legalizing 1 ounce or less of marijuana possession was voted no on. And Referendum I just barely did not pass! Thank you Jesus! I have gotten these results off of CNN News and I am not sure if all of the votes have been counted in yet, but I think it's accurate. I hope I'm not jumping the gun! Well, let's pray that America will wake up! It's time for conversion in this Country!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

November is All about Souls month!
November is officially dedicated to the Faithful Departed. This month then is dedicated to praying and doing works for those who have died, that they may spend less time in Purgatory. Now, I am posting this kinda late, but here is a remarkable way in which to help the poor souls.
An idulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed. The indulgence is plenary each day from the 1st to 8th of November; on other days of the year it is partial.
Now, I guess I should explain what exactly an indulgence is.......
"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints" (Indulgentarium Doctrina norm 1).
"An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin" (ibid. norm 2, norm 3).
What that means is that an indulgence will remove either partially or completely your temporal punishment from sin. So what is temporal punishment? Temporal punishment is the punishment acquired even though our sins may have been forgiven in whole. It is like if you broke your neighbor's window when you were a kid playing baseball. Even though you would tell them your sorry, and they forgive you, you will still have to pay for the broken window. Temporal punishment is that. Namely, we still have punishment- not that it will send us to Hell-but that it must be paid for because of the very fact we have sinned. It's called making reparation for your sin.
So, how do I gain an indulgence? There are certain requirements that must be followed in order to gain an indulgence.
1. First of all you must be in a state of sanctifying grace. That is, you have no mortal sin on your soul.
2. You must be Catholic
3. You must have the intention of gaining the particular indulgence.
For partial indulgences:
You have to carry out the action with a contrite heart.
For Plenary indulgences:
Same as partial, plus you must go to confession within 8 days before or after the act is done, receive Holy Communion, pray for the pope's intentions, (1 Our Father and Hail Mary are enough, but substitutions are allowed.), and you must be free from all attachment to all sin including venial sin.
So, to gain the Plenary Indulgence for a soul in Purgatory you must go to confession, receive Holy Communion, Pray for the pope's intentions, be free from all attachment to all sin (no matter how small!), and visit a cemetery and pray for the souls in Purgatory! Wowsers! I hope you got all of that! Really it is not that difficult to fulfil, except for perhaps the condition that requires one to be free from all attachment to sin. I know that only God can know if we truly are, and not many of us are anywhere close.
One final note: Indulgences are not a means to earn one's salvation. To receive an indulgence, one must already be a in a state of Sanctifying Grace (the grace needed for Heaven). As I said before, indulgences only remove temporal punishment-not eternal punishment. Also, indulgences can not be bought over e-bay, or sent in the mail. They are something that God bestows on us through His Holy Catholic Church. The Pope cannot just wave his hand and put an indulgence on you. They are not magic. It is only a gift from God, to help us grow closer to Him, and it is a sign of His infinite Mercy!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Colorado Voting issues 2006
I am writing here in summary two Amendments and one Referendum that effect our Catholic Faith. Please read these carefully, but remember, as Catholics there is no gray area as to what to vote for on these three issues.
Amendment 43: Defines marriage in Colorado as a union between one man and one woman. This would stop so called "marriages" between same-sex couples. Voting YES on Amendment 43 is the Catholic position.
Amendment 44: Makes legal the possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana for anyone 21 & up. Marijuana is a drug that always leads one to intoxication. The argument is that marijuana is safer than alcohol, and therefore should be legal in some instances. However, when one is drinking beer, you do not have to become intoxicated. Intoxication is clearly condemned in the Bible. Although drunkenness with alcohol may be more dangerous than intoxication with marijuana, marijuana is always wrong, while alcohol can be used without abuse. Voting NO on Amendment 44 is the Catholic position.
Referendum I: Allows legal "Domestic partnerships" (Same-sex relationships) in the state of Colorado to have the same rights as marriage. All that is happening here is that this would allow same -sex couples to have marriage without calling it that. The commercials that have been running on TV have been misleading, but it is clearly an agenda for the same-sex movement going on here. Voting NO on Referendum I would be the Catholic position.
Please realize to be in communion with the Catholic Church requires one to believe in ALL that the Catholic Church teaches to be revealed by God. To not vote in line with the Catholic Church would be serious matter, and considered a mortal sin if followed with the 3 normal conditions. However, it is our duty to make a voice as Catholics! Please go and vote, and don't let the Devil take over our Country!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy All Saints Day!!!
Here is a list of some saints who I thought fit in the appropriate categories. Feel free to copy/paste this onto your blog with your answers. Have a wonderful All Saints Day, and remember to go to Mass!
#1 Favorite saint: Blessed virgin Mary! Because she was conceived without sin, she stayed closest to God, and also is my Heavenly Mother, constantly caring for me and protecting me.
#1 Most courageous saint: St. Joan of Arc
#1 Most outspoken saint: St. Francis De Sales
#1 Hardest Martyrdom: St. Lawrence martyr
#1 Saint I know most about: St. Isaac Jogues

#1 Most joyful saint: St. Francis of Assisi
#1 Most forgiving saint: St. Maria Goretti
My patron saint: St. Francis of Assisi