St. James, Apostle: Feast 25th July

stjames

St. James, brother of St. John, and son of Zebedee, was a native of Bethsaida in Galilee. He is surnamed the Greater, i.e. the elder.

One day his mother, approaching the Saviour, asked of Him “the favour for her two sons to be seated, one at His right hand and the other at His left, in His kingdom” (Gospel). Christ then foretold their martyrdom. St. James “shall sit on a throne to judge the twelve tribes of Israel” (Communion), but he will first have to mix his blood with that of Jesus (Gospel) and undergo, like all the apostles, a life of suffering and persecution, such as the Epistle describes. After the Ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven, says the office of to-day, James preached His divinity in Judea and Samaria. He soon betook himself to Spain. When he returned to Jerusalem, Herod Agrippa, desiring to please the Jews, condemned him to death and he was beheaded towards the year 42, a short time before the feast of Easter.

It would seem, that for fear of the Arabs who were masters of Jerusalem, the body of the Saint was later carried to Compostella, in Spain, where he is greatly honoured. July 25 recalls the date of this translation. His name is inscribed in the Canon of the Mass with that of St. John, his brother.

Introit: Ps. cxxxviii. 17

Mihi autem nimis honorati sunt amici tui, Deus: nimis confortatus est principatus eorum. * Domine, probasti me, et cognovisti me: tu cognovisti sessionem meam, et resurrectionem meam.

To me, Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honourable: their principality is exceedingly strengthened. * Lord, Thou hast proved me, and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down, and my rising up.

Collect:

Esto, Domine, plebi tuae sanctificator et custos: ut, Apostoli tui Jacobi munita praesidiis, et conversatione tibi placeat, et secura mente deserviat.

We beseech Thee, O Lord, keep and sanctify Thy people; that strengthened by the help of Thine apostle James, they may please Thee by their conduct and serve Thee with a quiet mind.

Epistle: 1 Corinthians iv. 9-15

Gospel: Matthew xx. 20-23

(The Traditional Latin Mass readings from ‘Saint Andrew Daily Missal’)


Homily from Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is Francis a Willing Dupe of Radical Islam?

by Christopher A. Ferrara
July 22, 2016

Readers may recall that Francis recently had a tête-à-tête at the Vatican with the “moderate” Muslim Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb, the “Grand Imam” of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, and perhaps the world’s most authoritative scholar of Sunni Islam who at one time served as no less than the “Grand Mufti” of Egypt.

I remember thinking at the time “Moderate my foot!”  I would have wagered that old Ahmed could be found to have called for death to infidels in one of his writings or speeches, as this would only be in keeping with Egypt’s “moderate” Islamic legal code and that of other “moderate” Islamic states.  But I let the matter go, as no one can keep up with all the events in the Bergoglian circus.

Someone has done the work for us, however.  Raymond Ibrahim, born of Coptic Christian parents in Egypt, an authority on Islam, and fluent in both English and Arabic, has revealed the following on his website:

Last week on his daily televised show running throughout Ramadan, Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb — who was recently invited to the Vatican and warmly embraced by Pope Francis and is described in Western media as a “moderate” — said that “Contemporary apostasy presents itself in the guise of crimes, assaults, and grand treason, so we deal with it now as a crime that must be opposed and punished.”

While his main point was that those who do not follow Islam are prone to being criminals, he especially emphasized those whose apostasy is apparent as being a “great danger to Islamic society. And that’s because his apostasy is a result of his hatred for Islam and a reflection of his opposition to it. In my opinion, this is grand treason.”

Sheikh al-Tayeb added what all Muslims know: “Those learned in Islam [al-fuqaha] and the imams of the four schools of jurisprudence consider apostasy a crime and agree that the apostate must either renounce his apostasy or else be killed.”

Finally, for good measure, he cited a hadith, or tradition, of Islam’s prophet permitting the killing of fellow Muslims under three circumstances: adultery, murder, and apostasy.

The anti-radical Islam website Mahound’s Paradise notes that the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies demanded that el-Tayeb retract his statements, but received no response.  The Institute further notes a fact of which Francis, in the exercise of reasonable prudence regarding “moderate” Muslims, should have been aware: that the university of which al-Tayeb is Grand Imam “adopts two contradictory speeches: one is open and directed externally, while the other supports violent extremism, and is directed internally.”

The author of Mahound’s Paradise surmises that “the Pope has no idea what el-Tayeb really believes or more to the point, doesn’t really care.” I opt for the later alternative, as it would explain a lot, including the Bergoglian demand to allow a veritable Islamic invasion of Europe and his curiously muted reaction to the ongoing genocide of Christians at Muslim hands throughout the world today.

Then there is Francis’ quite incredible declaration that “I don’t like it when [some] speak of a Christian genocide in the Middle East: It’s a reductionism.” For Heaven’s sake, even the United States government calls it genocide!

Is Francis a willing dupe of radical Islam?  Would you bet any substantial sum of money that he isn’t?

How far the human element of the Church has fallen from the days when a captured Muslim woman named Fátima converted to the Faith during the reconquest of Portugal and its liberation from the tyranny of Islam, married her own captor, who had fallen in love with her, and became the Princess Oureana (her Christian name). It is for her that the village of Fatima is named.

Today, however, the Pope himself kowtows to Imams and Muftis as Islam resurges in Europe to the applause of the Vatican, whose representatives attended the opening of the first mosque in Rome back in 1989.

It would appear that only direct divine intervention can bring an end to this madness.  Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Sex education: an holistic approach

Louise_with_book_2-200x300Louise Kirk has been UK Co-ordinator for the Alive to the World values education program since 2007, working closely with its creator Christine Vollmer. The programme gives children aspiration to marriage and productive citizenship. She wrote Sexuality Explained: a guide for parents and children to complement it, encouraging parents to teach their own children through the use of stories and the latest science. The book is being translated into Spanish, Polish, Romanian, and French and is designed to be promoted by schools and parishes. Louise speaks widely in the UK and abroad on topics related to the family and the reform of sex education. She sits on Shrewsbury Diocese’s Commission for Marriage & Family Life and is a member of various ecumenical groups promoting strong family values.

In this essay, Louise explains why an urgent reform of sex education is long overdue:

Sex education: an holistic approach

In April this year the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) held a high-level conference in London to review sex education. The reason for bringing stakeholders together “from across the education and health sectors, including charities, government and frontline professionals, as well as young people” is that there is a crisis. Young people are emerging in England from years of sex education without understanding the basics of their own fertility. They are postponing childbearing unrealistically, and the infertility industry can no longer cope with the demand for its services.

This conference makes a statement. It in effect admits that the Comprehensive Sex Education which has been pushed at children not only in England but internationally is not actually comprehensive at all. In fact, it is failing to explain the basics of sexuality, which revolve around fertility and the potential to give life to the next generation.

What is especially interesting about this conference is its authorship. It was the RCOG which paved the way for sex education in the UK[1] and it is they who now find it wanting.

The reason is not hard to find. Sex education was introduced in the UK with a specific target in mind: to reduce unplanned pregnancy among teenagers. The method was to get the children thinking contraception, which would also be used against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Sum it up and its purpose was to get young people through their teenage and young adult years unscathed by sexual mishaps. Sex education was never designed to prepare them for the whole cycle of their sexual lives, from birth until death.

A further element which was also there from the beginning complicated the stated target, because children were also to be encouraged to “enjoy their sexuality” without feeling guilty. Over the years, understanding sexual relationships has expanded into teaching consent, eliminating homophobic bullying, “discerning” good and bad pornography, understanding gender issues and teaching safety on the internet. The topics are familiar in many countries, because they are the same ones that are promoted internationally through such documents as the IPPF Framework for Comprehensive Sexuality Education and the World Health Organisation’s Standards for Sex Education in Europe.

The “enjoyment” of sexuality of course takes young people on a collision course with the first target of reducing unplanned pregnancy. This is because the whole policy hinges on the use of contraception and there is no such thing as a fail-safe method, especially when used by youngsters. Even the RCOG admitted as much in their 1991 report. It pleaded the need for “special resources both to develop existing and to innovate new methods of preventing conception”, a plea regularly made by family planning providers. Despite this, the government duly complied with the RCOG’s main recommendations and injected increased money into contraceptive provision and sex education programs. The UK’s record for teenage pregnancy did not improve. It remained the highest in Europe. A new review was carried out in 1999, this time with a Foreword from the Prime Minister Tony Blair. Yet more, and more explicit, sex education was provided, and teenage pregnancy, though dipping in recent years because of changed sexual behaviors, has remained a concern ever since.

Recently it has been some of these other behaviors, such as sexting, use of pornography and gender-related bullying, which have led to a whirl of words demanding compulsory Comprehensive Sex Education from primary school upwards. Perhaps this ever new agitation for a decades old solution is to distract from sex education’s core failure.

The RCOG’s April conference is early indication of a crisis which promises to be larger and more intractable than teenage pregnancy. I am talking about the problem of adult loneliness. There are not one but two stages in life’s cycle when human beings are especially vulnerable and demand the attention of others: when they are born and grow into children but also when they are old (or ill or handicapped). The normal sexual pattern for human beings sanctioned by society since time out of mind caters for both stages. Human beings commonly marry, have children, and in turn are confident of being cared for as they grow old. Thus the family remains to a large measure self-sufficient, to the benefit of society which can then afford to provide a safety-net for the less fortunate, through charity or the state.

There is now irrefutable evidence from many countries that children born into married families are those who thrive most easily. Less is made of the fact that married people live longer, healthier, and also more prosperous lives than those who are unattached. The difference becomes stark in old age. It is not just that the elderly need help with the shopping, or being propped up in bed. They want the warmth and interest of having family round them, of feeling useful, and of having the daily company until death of the spouse who loved them in the strength of their youth. A married couple are also more likely to have built up a strong network of relationships across the generations.

The trouble is that the younger generation are now delaying pregnancy in such a way that some will never have a baby and the family cycle is breaking down. It is not just that the young are waiting to conceive. The contraceptives they use in the interim damage fertility, and so do the abortions and sexually transmitted diseases which a contraceptive lifestyle encourages. The younger a person embarks upon sexual activity, the more partners he or she is likely to have and the greater the possibilities of future damage.

This is not just to fertility but also to long-term bonding. Since the 1990s, brainscan technology has been able to show that sex does not just appear to bind people together, but it does so in a physical way through sexual imaging and the release of hormones. Sex is intended for permanence, but if it is embarked on casually its sticking power begins to fail. Existing relationships may fall apart, stripping men in particular of the children they have fathered, while desired long-term relationships and marriages may never materialize at all. This happens also with the regular use of pornography. In his seminars “Laugh your way to a better marriage” Pastor Mark Gungor describes how some people are unable to make love to their wives without an open pornographic magazine[2].

One can’t expect children to think like this[3]. But adults can and should. So strong is the evidence that marriage is good for individuals and good for society that every school should be helping to guide children towards it in addition to a career. Those who need help most are those at the bottom of society who are currently least likely to marry or to have the future resources to look after themselves when they are old.

Can the situation be turned round? Yes, and the RCOG themselves have indicated how. Teach children fertility, and the mysterious intricacy of our human sexuality comes alive in all its aspects, physical, emotional, rational and spiritual, and it commands respect. A child looking at a diagram of a baby in the womb doesn’t think: “Those are the inconvenient products of conception.” It thinks: “That was me!” and it realizes that sex is serious and is created for love and is no plaything. It further realizes that the female cycle has been designed to achieve or avoid conception without the intrusion of doctors and drugs.

In sex education how you teach is part of what you teach. To teach for the long-term you need long-term guides: the children’s own parents and guardians. These can communicate sensitive information individually, with love and in the right measure for each child. Speaking in private upholds children’s modesty, which is a natural component of chaste living. Sex educationalists already acknowledge the parents’ role and their influence for good over children’s behavior[4]. What parents sometimes lack is confidence, and this can be given to them in parent workshops and in written materials. My own book Sexuality Explained: a Guide for Parents and Children[5] is designed as a tool to give parents the latest science of sexuality while supporting their teaching role to the degree they wish.

Older children look to their peers and mentors for confirmation of what they learn at home. At secondary school level, a full program of sex education should include the biology of fertility, the sexual chemistry of the brain and the capacity to bond, and the economics of marriage and family life. It should also appraise contraception, show how it works, its true failure rates when used by unattached young people, and the risks it poses to health and future fertility. Young women have a right to know this and young men to respect their sexual partners. Both should be educated for the complementary roles that women and men play in the home, in the workplace, and in wider society[6].

Sexual education has languished in thought patterns devised in the last century and out of kilter with current concerns for respecting nature and the environment. Change is always resisted by vested interests and in the case of sex education and the contraceptive industry there are many. It will take determination to adopt a new holistic approach but where the health and prosperity of individuals and of society are both at stake we can afford to do nothing less.

LOUISE KIRK

10 June 2016

[1] The RCOG produced two well publicised reports on Unplanned Pregnancy, in 1972 and in 1991. Both recommended easy access to contraception and sex education and both were acted on by the UK Government. The 1991 report’s first recommendation says: “A flexible curriculum for sex education in schools is necessary. This would be developed and monitored on a national level and would be similar to those which exist in many other countries in Europe and in some parts of the US and Australia. Such curricula should stress the importance of responsible and caring relationships.” This makes clear the international character of the initiative.

[2] See Mark Gungor “Laugh your way to a better marriage”, available on YouTube.

[3] Brain studies also reveal that the physical ability to make mature decisions only develops at age 22-25.

[4] The UK Government’s official guidance on sex education calls parents key to their children’s effective sex education but suggests that they need help (see Sex and Relationship Education Guidance Ref DfEE 0116/2000). A study by the Guttmacher Institute of February 2015 found that even less confident parents could be effectively trained to support their children. https://www.guttmacher.org/about/journals/psrh/2015/02/parent-based-adolescent-sexual-health-interventions-and-effect

[5] Sexuality Explained: a Guide for Parents and Children (Gracewing), 2013. For details see: www.alivetotheworld.co.uk. The book is being translated into Spanish, Polish and Romanian with other editions proposed.

[6] See also the work by Christine Vollmer on educating the young in the values and virtues which make for healthy living and counter the influences of an oversexualised society.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

The Vatican’s ‘Greatest Supporter’ and Collaborator

 

Written by   for The Remnant:

sachs

Pro-Abort Papal Advisor, Jeff Sachs

Be forewarned. This photo speaks volumes about this papacy and its collaborators. Know them by the radical company they keep.

Clout affords him heightened access to the Pope, as he sits prominently at the speaker’s dais when Pope Francis addresses the Pontifical Academy’s Human Trafficking Judicial Conference in early June 2016.

He smiles and listens as Francis acknowledges and thanks “a number of prestigious external collaborators—to whom I offer my heartfelt thanks—have engaged in important activities in defense of human dignity and freedom in our day.”

He nods knowingly because he ranks foremost as the Pope’s ‘prestigious external collaborators.’

As the Pope’s address continues, Francis identifies these ‘collaborators.’ “We can also count an important and decisive collaboration with the United Nations. I am grateful for the fact that the representatives of the 193 UN member states unanimously approved the new Sustainable Development Goals.”

After three years of intense geopolitical chicanery, Francis unabashedly concedes that the Vatican’s ‘important collaborators’ are none other than the United Nations and its pro-abortion Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Despite the outcry from The Remnant, The Lepanto InstituteVoice of the Family and LifesiteNews and, many others, who repeatedly warned of the anti-life, anti-Catholic goals and tactics of the gender-bender, contraceptive ridden, and abortion laden UN/ SDGs, Francis is not backing down of his SDG support. Since his election, his papacy quickly embraced the eco agenda of the secular global elite by collaborating with the United Nations, as the bureaucratic global savior of the environment.

In three short years, the unthinkable envelops the seat of Peter, a radical secular agenda which undermines the deposit of faith. How did it happen so quickly? The answer lies in the man seated at the papal dais. His name is Jeffrey Sachs and he is the UN/SDG mastermind behind the papal eco doctrine of faith. Make no mistake. He operates with impunity and with the explicit blessing of Francis.

Sachs dominates the Vatican as its prominent eco-mouthpiece who has racked up over 9 appearances and speeches at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy in the last 3 years.

Sachs serves as the United Nations jack-of-all-trades expert propounding on everything from rising seas to rising population.

Sachs squires around fellow secularists, Ban Ki Moon and Bernie Sanders throughout the halls of the Vatican.

Sachs drafts Vatican documents on climate change.

Jeffrey Sachs far surpasses the mere role of Vatican collaborator. He is described by Pontifical Academy President Margaret Archer as one of its “greatest supporters.”

Who is Jeffrey Sachs, this greatest supporter of the Vatican? He is Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and director of the UN Millennial Development Goals Network, a special advisor to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and author of (what else) The Age of Sustainable Development.

More troubling, Sachs perches as a permanent fixture within the Vatican walls of the Francis papacy, acting as a one-man climate change curia, incessantly promoting the UN global warming agenda. He is the self-appointed expert on all things global and his troubling influence continues to grow in the Vatican.

This “greatest supporter” functions as the Vatican’s most frequent invited speaker and climate global advisor. In the last 3 years, Sachs opines from human trafficking, to climate change to income redistribution. Sachs poses as an expert on an array of subjects insisting that they all lead to the sustainable green brick road of his precious UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This greatest supporter of the Vatican wrote that abortion is a “lower-risk and lower-cost option” (that’s an economist talking) than bringing a child into the world.

This greatest supporter of the Vatican believes that “high fertility rates are deleterious to economic development.”

This greatest supporter of the Vatican forcefully argues “legalization of abortion reduces a country’s total fertility rate significantly, by as much as half a child on average.” That’s a good thing for Sachs.

This greatest supporter of the Vatican has advocated for 20 years a UN global reproductive health policy, which is flush with abortion and contraceptives.

This greatest supporter of the Vatican promotes the new UN Sustainable Development Goals which are replete with the promotion of sexual and reproductive health resources, including abortifacients, contraceptives and abortion services.

Can you hear the collective gasp of horror from the tombs of popes beneath St. Peter’s Basilica?

The Plot Thickens

Two weeks ago at the Vatican Judicial Human Trafficking Summit, Sachs spoke again (although he’s certainly not a judge) and seized the opportunity to again further the implementation of his pet project, the new UN Sustainable Development Goals. In his revealing opening statement, Sachs underscored the close collaboration and scheme between the UN and the Pope’s Eco Exhortation, Laudato Si.

Jeffrey Sachs acknowledged that Pope Francis and his encyclical “Laudato Si made the adoption of both the passage of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Sept. 2015 and the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015  possible.” 

You heard that right. The collaboration worked masterfully! Sachs’ unrelenting Vatican presence provided assurance and coordination that the UN agenda of climate change and sustainable development would be fortified and championed by Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Laudato Si. How clever and political of them all.

The highly controversial and scientifically challenged climate change manifesto, Laudato Si released on June 18, 2015, paved the way for the passage of the abortion and contraception-infused UN Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015. To further guarantee SDGs victory at the UN, Pope Francis sealed the deal and addressed to the UN General Assembly on September 25th and urged that:

“The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the World Summit, which opens today, is an important sign of hope. I am similarly confident that the Paris Conference on Climatic Change will secure fundamental and effective agreements.”

Presto, following the release of Laudato Si and the papal UN Address, the SDGs were passed by the UN General Assembly followed by the passage of the Paris Climate Treaty in December of 2015. Those secular milestones signal quite a political accomplishment for the Vicar of Christ!

After three years of intense coordination and delicate timing, the plot hatched at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences reveals an ongoing radical, secular, political, and global partnership under this pontificate.

Jeffrey Sachs is now comfortably embedded as the Pope’s point man orchestrating the UN/Vatican/Obama administration collaboration and partnership to promote population control, masking as global climate change. As a willing stooge in this globalist movement to build one world order through population control, decarbonization, climate taxation, deindustrialization, and redistribution of wealth, the Vatican dispatches all its precious resources, including summits, pontifical academies, slick papal videos, St. Peter’s animal laser shows, and yes, a papal exhortation to lend its moral voice to an immoral global strategy.

If only the millions of threatened unborn children and persecuted Christians could be afforded those vast Vatican resources.

Further reading: popes-climate-encyclical-made-possible-passage-of-pro-abortion-sdgs-un-lead

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Cardinal Sarah reflects on new feast of Saint Mary Magdalene

From Aleteia:

To coincide with the feast of Mary Magdalene instituted by Pope Francis on June 3, 2016, Cardinal Robert Sarah has written an essay which shall appear in the Friday, July 22 Italian edition of the Vatican newspaper L’ Osservatore Romano.

In his reflection, the Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has said Mary Magdalene reminds us of the need to “recover the primacy of God and the primacy of adoration in the life of the Church and in liturgical celebration,” and he highlights two attitudes of this great female saint which are at the heart of the preface and texts of the Mass: adoration and mission.

Here below we offer our readers an English translation of Cardinal Sarah’s essay.

Photo courtesy of Sacra Liturgia
Photo courtesy of Sacra Liturgia 

The first liturgical feast of Saint Mary Magdalene

Witness of Divine Mercy

by Cardinal Robert Sarah

On July 22, by the decision of Pope Francis and in the Year of Mercy, we celebrate St. Mary Magdalene as a liturgical feast. The new preface, entitled De apostolorum apostola (“apostle of the apostles”), following Rabanus Mauro and Saint Thomas Aquinas, presents the beloved saint of the Lord as the testis divinae misericordiae (“witness of divine mercy”), the first messenger who announced the Lord’s Resurrection to the apostles (cf. John Paul II, Mulieris dignitatem, n. 16). I wish to reflect on two attitudes of the saint which are the heart of the new preface and the texts of the Mass, and which can help all Christians, men and women, to deepen our commitment as followers of Christ: adoration and mission.

The new preface presents the Magdalene, who passionately loved Christ while he was alive, saw him dying on the Cross, sought him as he lay in the tomb, and was the first to adore him newly risen from the dead. The text then highlights that the saint, honored with the mission of being an apostle of the apostles, announces the good news of the living Christ to the apostles who in turn would spread this news to the ends of the earth.

Love is what characterizes the life of Mary Magdalene. Passionate love, as the two possible readings of the Mass recall: “I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him but found him not. I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves” (Song of Songs 3:1-2), for “the love of Christ possesses us” (2 Corinthians 5:14). A love that leads to seeking the Lord, as the responsorial psalm and the preface of the feast sing: “O God, thou art my God, at dawn I seek thee, my soul thirsts for thee; my flesh faints for thee, as in a dry and weary land where no water is” (Psalm 63:2). Therefore, dilexerat viventem e quaesierat in sepulcro iacentem (“she had loved him while he was alive” and “sought him as he lay in the tomb”). Indeed, “she came to the tomb early, while it was still dark” (John 20:1).

It is love which must characterize our lives as Christians, as true friends of Jesus. A love that leads to seek the Lord. This is the only valid program for the Church, as John Paul II reminded us: “The program already exists: it is the plan found in the Gospel and in the living Tradition, it is the same as ever. Ultimately, it has its center in Christ himself, who is to be known, loved and imitated, so that in him we may live the life of the Trinity, and with him transform history until its fulfilment in the heavenly Jerusalem. This is a program which does not change with shifts of times and cultures, even though it takes account of time and culture for the sake of true dialogue and effective communication. This program for all times is our program for the Third Millennium (Novo millenio ineunte, n. 29).

To seek Christ in order to love him, as Mary Magdalene did. Pope Francis’s words help us in this, when he tells us: “How good it is to stand before a crucifix, or on our knees before the Blessed Sacrament, and simply to be in his presence! How much good it does us when he once more touches our lives and impels us to share his new life! What then happens is that ‘we speak of what we have seen and heard” (1 Jn 1:3).’” (Evangelii gaudium, n. 264). To seek Christ in order to love him and give him to others. This is the program for the Church and for each of her children.

St. Mary Magdalene seeks the Lord, and when she finds him, she adores him. She is the first to adore the Lord, as the preface sings: quaesierat in sepulcro iacentem, ac prima adoraverat a mortuis resurgentem [she sought him as he lay in the tomb, and was the first to adore him newly risen from the dead].

Adoration takes first place. Mary Magdalene reminds us of the need to recover the primacy of God and the primacy of adoration in the life of the Church and in the liturgical celebration. This was a fundamental goal of the Second Vatican Council and continues to be so now. God must occupy the first place, but this cannot be taken for granted. John Paul II, on the 25th anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium, recalled: “Nothing of what we do in the Liturgy can appear more important than what in an unseen but real manner Christ accomplishes by the power of his Spirit. A faith alive in charity, adoration, praise of the Father and silent contemplation will always be the prime objective of liturgical and pastoral care.” (Vicesimus Quintus Annus, n. 10).

To adore God, as the Bishop of Rome states, in “every liturgical ceremony”; “what is most important is adoration” and not “the songs and rites,” as beautiful as they are: “The whole community together looks at the altar where the sacrifice is celebrated and adores. But I believe, I say it humbly, that perhaps we Christians have lost somewhat the sense of adoration. Let us consider: we go to the temple, we gather as brethren, and it is good, it is beautiful. But the center is where God is. And we adore God” (November 22, 2013). The pope asks us: “You, I, do we worship the Lord? Do we turn to God only to ask him for things, to thank him, or do we also turn to him to adore him? What does it mean, then, to adore God? It means learning to be with him, to stop to talk with him, sensing that his presence is the truest, the best, the most important thing of all.” (April 14, 2013).

Half a century after Sacrosanctum Concilium, the pope reminds us of the need to put God first: “To get diverted by many secondary or superfluous things does not help; what helps is to focus on the fundamental reality, which is the encounter with Christ, with his mercy and with his love, and to love our brothers and sisters as he has loved us. An encounter with Christ is also adoration, a little used word: to adore Christ.” (October 14, 2013).

Mary Magdalene is the first witness of this twofold attitude: to adore Christ and to make him known. As the preface goes on to say, following the Gospel of the day: prima adoraverat a mortuis resurgentem, et eam apostolatus officio coram apostolis honoravit ut bonum novae vitae nuntium ad mundi fines perveniret. [She was the first to adore him newly risen from the dead. He honored her with the task of being Apostle to the Apostles, so that the good news of new life might reach the ends of the earth.] “Go to my brethren and say to them: ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples: ‘I have seen the Lord’: and she told them that he had said these things to her” (John 20:17-18).

Ultimately, we must focus our lives on Christ and his Gospel, on the will of God, stripping ourselves of our plans, to be able to say with St. Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). As the apostle of the apostles, Mary Magdalene goes out of herself in order to go to Christ with adoration and mission. Along the same lines, Pope Francis states: “This ‘exodus’ from ourselves means setting out on a path of adoration and service. The exodus leads us on a journey of adoring the Lord and of serving him in our brothers and sisters. To adore and to serve: two attitudes that cannot be separated, but must always go hand in hand. To adore the Lord and to serve others, keeping nothing for oneself” (May 8, 2013).

(Translation by Diane Montagna of Aleteia’s English edition.)

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Coup In Turkey And Why It Failed

CP&S Comment: President Erdoğan’s  widespread purges on the army, state institutions and the education sector that began after last week’s failed coup, has now run into tens of thousands affected by his implacable clampdown. Many have had their licenses to work withdrawn whilst a vast number have been handcuffed and taken to detention centres. One report has stated: “The space for academic freedom in Turkey has by many accounts been shrinking in recent years against what observers describe as increasing authoritarianism and a drift away from secularism under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a member of what the Times describes as the “conservative Islamist” Justice and Development (AKP) party. But the scale of Tuesday’s purges shocked many. One noted expert on global higher education, Jamil Salmi, tweeted that the Turkish government’s actions against the deans were “unprecedented since [the] disaster of the Cultural Revolution of China.””

erdoganottoman

Posted on July 20, 2016 by Baron Bodissey on Gates of Vienna

The following analysis from Joshua Pundit examines the political context of the recent failed military coup in Turkey. Whether deliberately engineered by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, or merely exploited, the incident seems to be evolving into a wholesale purge of unprecedented proportions.

This essay was first posted a couple of days ago. Bear in mind that since it was written, fifteen or twenty thousand more people have been detained or dismissed, including all of the country’s university deans:

The Coup In Turkey And Why It Failed

Friday afternoon local time I began getting e-mails from acquaintances and correspondents in Turkey and elsewhere in the Middle East. They told of violence in the streets and military activity in the capitol of Ankara and in Istanbul, the city that sprawls between the Asian Turkey of Anatolia and the small piece of European Turkey on the other side of the Bosporus, the narrow strait that divides the Black Sea and the Aegean.

Was it some kind of ISIS or PKK attack?

As more time passed there were reports of an Army coup in Turkey underway. Had the Army finally tired of its neo-Ottoman Sultan Erdoğan?

As the news outlets in Turkey and the Middle East began filing reports, I noticed a few details that told me something had likely gone wrong. The first clue was that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was reported to be ‘in a secure location’ and inciting people to go into the streets and attack the soldiers attempting to pull off the coup… which they did.

This is very odd behavior for a coup. The very first rule of a military takeover is to get the leader you want to depose under your control and either dead or locked away. It’s the first thing al-Sissi did in Egypt when he deposed Erdoğan’s fellow Islamist Mohammed Morsi, and it’s pretty much job one in any military coup. Among other things, it confuses the military players whom aren’t involved as they wait to see what’s happening or to receive orders.

The next odd note was for Erdoğan to call for civilians to attack elements of the Turkish military, and for them to comply eagerly. With the downward spiral of the Turkish economy, multiple instances of political corruption involving Erdoğan and with Erdoğan’s increasingly authoritarian ways, he’s not the most popular leader, especially in more cosmopolitan Istanbul. And the normal human behavior would be to lay low and let the military factions sort it out, not attack trained, armed troops. Yet, they did, and while much has been made of some civilians who were shot, many of the soldiers involved in the coup seem to have reacted by simply retreating. One tank commander was even pulled out of his own tank by the mob and beheaded right on the spot while trying to do just that. (I’ve seen the footage. Trust me, you don’t want to.)

The coup also was unusual in that it did not involve any senior officers and was not widespread. It mainly consisted of a few junior officers and enlisted men whom were primarily from Erdoğan’s First Army. They were easily overpowered by troops loyal to Erdoğan and his AKP Party.

There are a number of stories out now claiming that Erdoğan staged his own coup. I highly doubt it. But what does seem obvious to me is that he had advance inside knowledge of it, that the men who attempted the coup believed that they were going to get more support from others in the military whom then either sat on their hands or decided to support Erdoğan, and that Erdoğan allowed the coup attempt to occur because it was beneficial to him.

As a result of the coup, a lot of elements Erdoğan considered disloyal have been flushed out, along with a number of others who simply oppose him politically or whom he finds convenient to lock up. Thus far, 2,745 judges and prosecutors whose loyalty to the Erdoğan regime has been questioned — especially those involved in the investigation and/or prosecution of the corruption surrounding Erdoğan — have been thrown in jail. Something like 2,839 soldiers have been arrested as well. Erdoğan is openly referring to the attempted coup as ‘a gift from Allah’ which pretty much gives the game away. Erdoğan will use it to quash any investigation of corruption and take out whatever remaining opposition there is to him. He’s already calling for the reinstatement of Turkey’s death penalty. Think of this as Erdoğan’s ‘Night of the Long Knives.’

Another benefit for Erdoğan is that it gives him an excuse to demand the extradition to Turkey of a major political opponent, Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. Gulen is whom Erdoğan is blaming for the attempted coup.

[…]

In any event, Erdoğan is going to remain in power for now, and Turkey will become even less free and democratic and a lot more Islamist, exactly the opposite of what the Turkish Republic’s Founder, Kemal Ataturk created after World War One.

This kind of development in a country with the largest conventional army in Europe is not something to ignore.

Read the rest at Joshua Pundit. The original post also has all the embedded links.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

De Mattei – Nice: The war of religion continues

Roberto de Mattei 
Il Tempo
July 16, 2016

Pope Francis was right when he said more than a year ago that “a third world war was already in progress”, fought “bit by bit”, but it’s necessary to add that it’s a war of religion, given that the motives are religious by those who have declared it, and even the homicides perpetrated in its name are ritualistic.

Francis called the Nice massacre an act of “blind violence” but the homicidal fury that pushed the driver of a truck to disseminate death along the Nice promenade isn’t an act of irrational madness: it is born of a religion which incites hate and instigates violence. The same religious motives caused the massacres at the Bataclan in Paris, at the airport in Brussels and Istanbul and in the restaurant in Dacca. All of these acts, however barbarous, are not “blind” but are part of a plan lucidly exposed by ISIS in its documents.

Abu al Adnani, spokesman for ISIS, in an audio diffused at the end of May on Twitter, urged killing in the name of Allah with these words “smash their heads with stones, butcher them with knives,  run them over with cars, throw them from high places, suffocate or poison them.” The Koran does not say any differently with regard to the infidels. By continuing to ignore this, it is indeed, a sign of blind madness.

We deceive ourselves that the war in progress is not war declared by Islam on the West, but a war that is being fought internally in the Muslim world and the only way to save ourselves is to help moderate Islam to defeat fundamentalist Islam. Except that, moderate Islam is a contradiction, in so far as Muslims become secularized or integrate themselves into modern society, they cease to be Muslims, or become non-practicing Muslims or bad Muslims. A real Muslim can renounce violence for opportune motives, but always considers it legitimate against the infidel, as this is what Mohamed teaches.

The war in progress is a war against the West, but also a war against Christianity, since Islam wants to replace Christ’s religion with that of Mohamed. For this the final objective is not Paris or New York, but the city of Rome, centre of the only religion that Islam, since its very beginning, has wanted to wipe out. The war on Rome goes back to Islam’s birth in the eighth century.  The Arabs had Rome as their objective in 830 and 846 AD, when they occupied, sacked and were eventually constrained to abandon the Eternal City. They had Rome as their target the Muslims that decapitated 800 Christians in Otranto in 1480 and those who butchered our fellow-countrymen and women in Dacca in 2016.

It’s is a religious war Isis has declared against the irreligion of the West and against its religion, which is Christianity. In so far as Christianity is secularized, it smoothes the way for its adversary, which can only be overcome by a society with a strong religious and cultural identity. As the English  historian Christopher Dawson notes, it is the religious impetus that supplies the strength of cohesion to a society and its culture.

The great civilizations do not express from within the great religions as a species of  cultural by-product; the great religions are the base upon which the great civilizations rest. A society that has lost its religion is destined sooner or later to lose its culture.”

This religious war is now a European civil war given that it is being fought inside the nations and cities of a continent invaded by millions of immigrants. We hear repeatedly that faced with this invasion we must build bridges rather than erect walls, but a fortress attacked is defended only by raising the drawbridge and not lowering it.

Someone is beginning to understand this. The French government has foreseen the outburst of a civil war destined to take place primarily inside the great urban centres, where multiculturalism has imposed the impossible cohabitation of diverse ethnic and religious groups. On June 1st 2016, a communiqué from the High Command officially announced the creation of a conventional force of the army. “A Control Command for the National Territory” (COM TN), destined to combat the jihad on French territory. The new strategic model, baptized “Au contact”, includes two divisions, under one command, for a total of 77,000 men destined to confront the threat of an Islamic insurrection.

Against this threat, physical arms which are used in every conflict to destroy the enemy are necessary, but most of all we need cultural and moral arms, which consist in the awareness of being heirs of a great Civilization, which precisely in its combating Islam, has defined its identity throughout the course of the centuries.

Respectfully and urgently, we ask Pope Francis, Vicar of Christ, to be the voice of our history and our Christian tradition against the danger which threatens us.

Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Balloon-Mass Cardinal Schönborn to take over CDF ? Heaven help us.

schoenborn_ballonAccording to Kath.net Pope Francis intends to remove Cardinal Müller as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and replace him with the Modernist, Cardinal Schönborn, of notorious fame for his sacrilegious ‘Balloon Masses’ and pro-homosexual views.

The Eponymous Flower has also reported on this and other surprising changes in Curia appointments.

All this comes in the wake of last week’s bombshell: the appointment of the “ecclesiastical vandal”, Archbishop Cupich, to the Congregation of Bishops.

2013-01-30-WolfSheep1This is a tremendous lack of judgement on the part of the pope. These bishops do not defend the Church’s magisterial teachings. They are wolves in sheep clothing. They should not have been allowed to continue preaching heresies, much less promoted to positions where they can wreak even more damage.

Pope Benedict XVI managed to steer clear of the wolves by stepping down from the Papacy. Instead they are now being fed to us, the flock. May Heaven help us.

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Building a cathedral by hand

For 53 years, Justo Gallego has been building a cathedral by hand on the outskirts of Madrid almost entirely by himself. Gallego has no formal architecture or construction training, but that hasn’t stopped him from toiling on this herculean task. At 90 years old, Gallego knows that he will not be able to finish the project in his lifetime. But he keeps at it anyway, day after day, driven by his faith.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Our Lady of the Miracle and Ratisbonne’s Conversion

From ‘Ratisbonne to Reflections’ – by Peter W. Miller

The image of Our Lady of the Miracle that is over the altar of the side chapel in the  Basilica San Andrea delle Fratte, and the one that appeared there to Alphonse Ratisbonne

The image of Our Lady of the Miracle that is over the altar of the side chapel in the
Basilica San Andrea delle Fratte, and the one that appeared there to Alphonse Ratisbonne

Contrasting approaches towards the conversion of Jews

With Reflections on Covenant and Mission, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops [USCCB] has submitted its contribution to an increasingly disturbing pattern of statements aimed at facilitating “interreligious unity.” Exhibiting a rare display of honesty, the now infamous document goes beyond the previously uncontroversial claims that Judaism represents a still valid and potentially salvific covenant with God, and directly challenges the Church’s mission towards the Jewish people.

To truly appreciate how far those presenting such views have strayed in recent decades, it’s useful to revisit the inspiring story of Fr. Alphonse Ratisbonne, a wealthy Jewish man who would undergo perhaps the most dramatic conversion since St. Paul.

Alphonse Ratisbonne (1814-1884)

Alphonse Ratisbonne (1814-1884)

Ratisbonne’s Conversion

Alphonse Ratisbonne was born a Jew in the Alsace region of Eastern France and would, over the years, develop a particular disdain for the Catholic Faith. Fully embracing the wave of new philosophic trends and scientific advancements, he looked upon Catholics as naive, superstitious, unintelligent and foolish.
This prejudice would grow to outright hatred when his older brother converted to Catholicism and became a Jesuit priest, essentially “betraying” his family and heritage.

In 1842, on a journey for pleasure undertaken before he was to marry, Ratisbonne made the decision to take a slight detour and pay a visit to Rome. It was there he met a priest, a brother of an acquaintance, who would dedicate himself to the cause of this unlikely candidate’s conversion. In an effort to demonstrate the frivolity of Catholicism, Ratisbonne agreed to wear a Miraculous Medal and recite the Memorare daily. Additionally, for his own entertainment and prideful appetite, Ratisbonne would accompany his new acquaintance around Rome, never missing an opportunity to ridicule and blaspheme all he would hear and see.

Our Lady of the Miracle

240px-Alphonse_Ratisbonne,_ErscheinungAll that would change on January 20th, when he visited the Church of Sant Andrea delle Fratte. It was within the walls of this historic church where Ratisbonne would be instantaneously converted by the Mother of God Herself.

“At the moment when the Blessed Virgin made a sign with her hand, the veil fell from my eyes; not one veil only, but all the veils that were wrapped around me disappeared, just as snow melts beneath the rays of the sun.”

The Mother of God would present to him the glories of the Faith and instantly educate him in its sacred truths.

“It is well known that I never opened a religious book and had never read a page of the Bible, and that the dogma of Original Sin, which it is either denied or forgotten by modern Jews, had never for a single moment occupied my thoughts—indeed, I doubt I had ever heard its name. How did I arrive at a knowledge of it? I know not. All I know is that when I entered that church I was profoundly ignorant of everything, and that when I came out I saw everything clearly and distinctly.”

After a thorough inquiry and investigation, Pope Gregory XVI declared the event a true miracle. There was no natural explanation to what happened on that particular day. As Ratisbonne’s Roman companion recounts:

“Even if we imagine an illusion in the case of a person of Ratisbonne’s character and education, with prejudices so violent, and with such interest both of affection and of position, it could not have been induced or augmented by any outward representation; for in the chapel that was the scene of the miracle, there is no statue, or picture, or image of the Blessed Virgin of any kind.”

Alphonse Ratisbonne was Baptized, ordained and joined the very Society of Jesus he had so violently despised. As he predicted, his family disowned him and revoked his partnership in the bank which was to be his inheritance. He would later receive permission to leave the Jesuits to start the Sisterhood of Our Lady of Sion, which dedicated itself to the conversion of Jews. The sisterhood soon moved to Jerusalem where it established two convents, two schools, three orphanages and a church. The priests assisting Ratisbonne, known as the Peres de Notre Dame de Sion later returned to Europe to establish additional foundations. Less than a century later, during the Nazi persecutions, these holy priests were among the most active rescuers of Jews.

Conversion to Catholicism through Our Blessed Mother Mary

As was the case when She appeared to St. Juan Diego three centuries earlier, Our Lady demonstrated the same “simplistic” outlook towards Catholicism and conversion that many Catholics today are mocked for maintaining. She did not fill Ratisbonne with a newfound respect for Judaism or encourage him to follow his conscience and “be the best Jew he could be.” She clearly showed him the error of his ways and the true light of the Catholic Faith. She did not enlighten him as to the permanence of the Old Covenant, suggest that conversion may not be necessary for his eternal salvation or apologize for past actions of Catholics. Following Our Blessed Mother’s heavenly example, Ratisbonne would take this holy gift and make it his mission to provide it to as many other Jews as possible.

The story of Ratisbonne’s conversion is not ancient history. This wasn’t a Roman centurion or even a medieval prince; he was a modern man in every sense of the term. He was well-educated in the ways of science and modern philosophy, had a prestigious position as a wealthy banker, was betrothed to a beautiful young girl and had every reason in the world to remain in his current state of worldly pleasures. The unlikelihood of the miraculous occurrence was not lost of the recent convert:

“O my God. . . . I who only a half hour before was still blaspheming! I who felt such a deadly hatred of the Catholic religion! And all who know me well enough that, humanly speaking, I have the strongest reasons for remaining a Jew. My family is Jewish; my bride is Jewish; my uncle is a Jew. In becoming a Catholic, I sacrifice all the interests and all the hopes I have on earth; and yet I am not mad. Everyone knows that I am not mad, that I have never been mad. Surely they must receive my testimony . . .”
“A man has a claim to be believed, when he sacrifices everything to a conviction that must have come from Heaven. If all that I have said is not rigorously true, I commit a crime, not only the most daring, but the most senseless and motiveless.”

Men in Alphonse Ratisbonne’s pre-conversion condition are anything but a rarity; millions could easily be found today. However, the nature of priest the Blessed Virgin called him to become is becoming increasingly scarce. Her clear example provided by the conversion of this “modern man” has fallen into the dustbin of history as bishops come up with new ways to obscure the Truth from those who need it most.

A Transparent Set of Reflections

On August 12 (2002), the USCCB’s Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs under the direction of Baltimore’s Cardinal Keeler released the document Reflections on Covenant and Mission which asserts, as most by now are aware, “campaigns that target Jews for conversion to Christianity are no longer theologically acceptable in the Catholic Church.”*

(* This lie is still being erroneaously propagated by many in the Church today.)

Far from being a selective citation or a misrepresentation of the document’s “real message,” this statement is featured prominently in the actual document’s preface as the key “conclusion.” Additionally, it is repeated twice in the brief story that accompanied the document on the USCCB’s own Web site and even in its headline. Since the obvious and numerous errors of such a conclusion have been enumerated elsewhere, they won’t be repeated here.

As can now be unfortunately expected whenever something of this nature comes out, a number of individuals rushed to defend the document as either being “well in line” with previous post-Conciliar statements, representing “nothing really new” or being somehow defensible as not directly and specifically repudiating Church teaching.

But there was another side that was to be heard before the dust settled. A number of Catholics decided that this was entirely unacceptable and stood up to proclaim that this statement was erroneous and even a sign of apostasy. No, this time it wasn’t the pessimistic and disgruntled traditionalists ‘who never seem to like anything’, but the very same neo-conservative apologists who can usually be counted on for excuses or misplaced optimism and typically plead with others to give such obviously scandalous teaching the “benefit of the doubt.” Gradually, as more and more liberal apologists came forward with their own condemnation of these Reflections, others felt secure in being able to do the same without being labeled “schismatic” and joined in.

[…]

A long line of Popes, Saints, Church Fathers, Doctors, Ecumenical Councils and even the Mother of God herself have, through teaching and example, shown us the Truth of the Catholic Faith and the necessity of converting non-Catholics. It’s now more necessary than ever to consider whether those promoting “ecumenical dialogue” and “interreligious unity” are seeking that same conversion in the same sense. Despite the excuses and disclaimers, documents like Reflections on Covenant and Mission would say they are not.

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Best prayer at the point of death?

Posted by Fr Z on his blog:

strigils smFrom a reader…

QUAERITUR:

Forgive the morbid nature of my query, but with the nature of the world today (and the mindset of an undertaker) a question has been on my mind. If one were to know death was imminent, what would be the very best prayer to recite with one’s final breath? Thank you for the daily edification you provide!

That is a good question.

I think that whatever prayer was uttered with sincerity and hope would be treated well.

However, for my part, I – a poor sinner – would beg for God’s mercy.

My Jesus, mercy!

Save me, O Lord!

Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

Holy Mary, pray for me.

Saint Joseph, pray for me.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, help me.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, assist me in my last agony.

That said, I think many of us die the way we live.  Just as soldiers and athletes drill and drill and drill so that actions and reactions are nearly automatic in times of extreme stress, we all have to have habits of prayer which will kick in even in that solemn moment, when we may be in pain, afraid, in duress.

The soldier’s lot and the athlete’s striving are images of the Christian life.  We strive for the crown of glory at the of the struggle, Greek agon, the final “agony” we must all face.  Praying often short intense prayers during the day, every day, in little nooks and corners of our day or in the midst of even boring or of strenuous activities will help us to pray in the same way in the moments before we take our last breath, our hearts stop, our souls separate from our bodies, and we go to God, Christ the Just Judge, King of Fearful Majesty.

last rites extreme unction anointing viaticum 02Oro supplex et acclinis,
cor contritum quasi cinis:
gere curam mei finis.

I meekly and humbly pray,
[my] heart is as crushed as the ashes:
perform the healing of mine end.

Lacrimosa dies illa,
Qua resurget ex favilla,
Judicandus homo reus.
Huic ergo parce, Deus:

Tearful will be that day,
on which from the ash arises
the guilty man who is to be judged.
Spare him therefore, God.

Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona eis requiem. Amen.

Merciful Lord Jesus,
grant them rest. Amen.

Dona mihi requiem!

If we develop these habits of prayer, it could be that, when the time comes, we won’t be so afraid and passing into the next life will bring longing and relief.

Dear readers… GO TO CONFESSION.

My Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Prayers to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

 

mtcarmelPrayers to Our Lady of Mount Carmel 

Thou who, with special mercy, look upon those clothed in thy beloved Habit, cast a glance of pity upon me. Fortify my weakness with thy strength; enlighten the darkness of my mind with thy wisdom; increase my faith, hope and charity. Assist me during life, console me by thy presence at my death, and present me to the August trinity as thy devoted child, that I may bless thee for all eternity in Paradise. Amen.

This is the prayer of St. Simon Stock, to whom the Scapular devotion with its promise was given. It has for seven centuries been called prayer to the Blessed Mother which has never been known to fail in obtaining her powerful help: 

Flos Carmeli

O beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful Vine,
Splendor of Heaven, holy and singular, who
brought forth the Son of God, still ever remaining
a Pure Virgin, assist me in this necessity. 

O Star of the Sea, help and protect me!
Show me that thou art my Mother. 

O Mary, Conceived without sin,
Pray for us who have recourse to thee! 

Mother and Ornament of Carmel, Pray for us!
Virgin, Flower of Carmel, Pray for us!
Patroness of all who wear the Scapular, Pray for us!
Hope of all who die wearing the Scapular, Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Friend of the Sacred Heart, Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Chaste Spouse of Mary, Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Our Patron, Pray for us!
O sweet Heart of Mary, be my Salvation!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Once again: Islamic Terrorism strikes ‘the eldest daughter of the Church’

13668998_10154624762890769_8930305166767023560_n

We pray for the 84 innocent victims of the vile terrorist attack in Nice last night, ten of whom were children, cruelly mowed down by an enormous lorry driven by a crazed murderer hungry for blood, whilst they were joyfully celebrating ‘Bastille Day’, a national feast day. We implore Our Lord Jesus Christ to have mercy on their souls and to bring them speedily home to Heaven. We pray for the wounded, many of them in a critical condition in hospital, and we beg Our Loving Saviour to comfort their distraught and grieving families.

Aftermath of the terrorist attack on Promenade des Anglais

Aftermath of the terrorist attack on Promenade des Anglais July 14, 2016

 But let’s speak clearly with no more beating around the bush, insisting that the murderer, whose name was (significantly) Mohammad, was no more than a petty criminal, not an Islamic terrorist, simply because he was not a “religious” Muslim. Let’s not pretend that Islam has nothing to do with this heinous crime. It has everything to do with it. The mass murderer may not have practiced his religion in the mosque, but we now know that he had been pumping his brain with the inflamed Islamic jihadist propaganda he’d been watching on the internet!

Islam is not a religion that preaches ‘peace’. This is the lie we are often fed by weak and malformed leaders. This heretical creed was embraced by the violent followers of a murdering tyrant, and spread around the world in subsequent centuries not by the word, or by holy witness, but by ‘the sword’. Islam has, and does, preach death to every non-Muslim who it calls “the infidel”.

ISIS, or Da’esh, is the real Islam; these are the ones that obey the teachings of their false prophet and the Koran to the letter, and they are growing in Islamic sympathisers. These vicious killers despise and even persecute their own co-religionists (those whom they say do not adhere to the commandments written in their ‘holy’ book). ISIS will not be overcome by the UN’s ineffectual and inadequate military attempts to combat them. A powerful, supernatural, Satanical force spurs the Islamists on, and will keep on doing so, until they have managed to subdue* (or exterminated) all men to the heretical ideology taught by false-prophet, Mohammad. *[N.B. ‘Islam’ signifies ‘submission’] 

St-Michael-and-the-Dragon-RaphaelWe are seeing it already. Atrocities, like yesterday’s massacre in Nice, are on the uprise in Europe and everywhere. Islam has grown vastly in numbers in our Christian lands – partly through breeding (for the purpose of conquering us by sheer numbers) and now also through a massive influx of Muslim immigrants, mainly from the Middle East and North Africa. For they aim to take over – that’s it in a nutshell.

WAKE UP WESTERNERS! Wake up before they leave us defenceless as they gleefully behead our children before our very eyes.

A clash of civilisations is just around the corner. We shall only withstand if we “put on the armour of Christ” once more.

“St Michael the Archangel, defend us in this day of battle…. ” 

Posted in Uncategorized | 40 Comments

Procrastination

Saint Augustine of Hippo from a 19th-century engraving

Saint Augustine of Hippo from a 19th-century engraving

“I was sure that it was better for me to give myself up to your love than to give in to my own desires. However, although the one way appealed to me and was gaining mastery, the other still afforded me pleasure and kept me victim. I had no answer to give to you when you said to me, ‘Rise, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you.’ When on all sides you showed me that your words were true, and I was overcome by your truth, I had no answer whatsoever to make, but only those slow and drowsy words, ‘Right away. Yes, right away.’ ‘Let me be for a little while.’ But ‘Right away—right away’ was never right now, and ‘Let me be for a little while’ stretched out for a long time.” – (St. Augustine, Confessions.)

———-

Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins – (Matthew 25: 1-13) 1

tenvirg2“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;[a] go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

——-

To procrastinate over repentance, amending our lives and turning to God is playing with fire. In our short time on Earth, each day we have been blessed with is a gift. We have Free Will and can choose how to use this gift. St Augustine of Hippo knew how hard it can be to leave behind a sinful life of self-indulgence and sexual immorality. But through prayer and willpower he found the grace to straighten out his life and embrace the Faith. Once made, he never looked back. His conversion brought him immense peace of heart and great joy, leading him on to become one of the Church’s greatest saints. Now, with loving care, he advises us:

“God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.”  

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Plea to the pope: Life and family leaders call on pope to ‘end the confusion’

CP&S Comment: This post will come as no surprise to the majority of faithful Catholics the world over. The growing concern at the reigning confusion caused by uncertainty at the real meaning behind the pope’s words in his interviews, homilies, and above all in his recent exhortation on the family ‘Amoris Laetitia’ has reached breaking point. A formal, once-and-for-all clarification without ambiguities is being pleaded for by the Church’s bishops and leaders.

ROME, July 13, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — In a spirit of love, humility, and faithfulness, 16 international life and family advocates are asking Pope Francis in a powerful new video to unambiguously speak the truth of the Catholic faith, to end doctrinal confusion, to restore clarity, and to be the Holy Father that Catholics need.

“We are living in a very special time of a deep crisis of faith inside the Church,” said Bishop Athanasius Schneider, the Auxiliary in the diocese of Maria Santissima in Kazakhstan, who opens the video, produced by LifeSiteNews.

“It is not a secret. It is very evident. A lot of people, the simple faithful, are suffering because of the situation of confusion,” he added.

The 30-minute film, titled Plea to the Pope, comes in the wake of confusion caused by the pope’s April release of his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, in which he made a number of concerning statements about marriage, divorce, sin, reception of Holy Communion, and sex education for children. The Exhortation has generated numerous contradictory interpretations from various theologians as well as cardinals and bishops.

Bishop Schneider called it “very urgent” that the pope “states more clearly, in a very unambiguous manner — in such a manner which will not leave any space for misinterpretations — [on] the issues of family and the sacredness of marriage.”

The film contains an impressive lineup of international life and family advocates who decided that the time had come to voice their concerns for the good of the Church, of souls, and of nations.

Some of those featured in the video are:

– John Smeaton – President, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children Co-founder, Voice of the Family

– Colleen Bayer – Papal Dame in the Order of St. Gregory the Great President, Family Life International New Zealand

– John-Henry Westen – Editor-in-chief, LifeSiteNews, Co-founder, Voice of the Family

– Prof. Thomas Stark – Benedict XVI Academy of Philosophy and Theology University of St. Polten, Austria

– Christine Vollmer – Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, Founding member, Founder, Latin American Alliance for Life

– Preston Noell – Director, American Society for Tradition, Family, and Property

– Molly Smith – President, Cleveland Right to Life

– Prof. Roberto de Mattei – Professor, European University of Rome Founder, Lepanto Foundation

– Dr. Thomas Ward – Founder & President, National Association of Catholic Families, Corresponding Member, Pontifical Academy for Life

FULL-LENGTH VIDEO:

Many of the supplicants begin their concerns with a statement of love and fidelity to the divinely instituted Office of Peter and its current holder. They assure the Holy Father of their love and their prayers.

“I love the Holy Father. I pray for him every day,” says LifeSiteNews’ Editor-in-Chief John Henry Westen in the film. “And I [raise these concerns] out of great love for the Church. But we need to work for Christ and his truth. And I need to defend my own family, and [statements he has made are] a threat to the faith of my children.”

Westen says that there has been too much “purposeful ambiguity” in the pope’s interviews and documents.

“There’s been a lot of ambiguity, purposeful ambiguity, leaving things open so that there is confusion. And I think that it does a great deal of harm. You have this scenario where people start to wonder what exactly the teaching is. This is a horror – that Catholics, who believe and love the faith, are now confused on the fundamentals of the faith in these areas where the teaching means life or death, and I don’t mean only physical life or death; it means eternal life or death.”

John Smeaton, President of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, begins his plea by expressing his “reverence” for the pope and ends by stating that he prays for the pope “every day.”

“I say this with huge reverence for the Holy Father and with attention to common advantage. What he has written is justifying adulterous acts. We are already hearing of couples who, on the basis of what you have written, Holy Father, have decided to give up their heroic virtue and fall into objective mortal sin, and to come forward to receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ.”

“How is it possible to reconcile what you have written with the teaching of the Church, with a tradition of the Church?” he said in the film.

In response to Pope Francis’ February tacit approval of contraception in response to concerns about the Zika virus, Christine Vollmer — a founding member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life and fonder of Latin American’s Alliance for Life — stated that the Catholic Church “will be destroyed” if it accepts contraception.

“Contraception has destroyed a number of churches already. Today, the Anglican Church is empty. They have few vocations. And it’s because this vital connection between the love of a husband and wife and the love of the Church — the love of God and trust in his providence — was broken in the Anglican Church. And now it would seem that it is being broken in the Catholic Church, in spite of Paul VI’s agonized, but inspired, encyclical Humanae Vitae.”

“I just implore [the Pope] to speak about the importance of the numerous family and the dangers of the contraceptive mentality. Teach our bishops that they must stand strong and they must explain that the contraceptive mentality destroys families, it destroys countries, and it will destroy our Christian civilization,” she said.

One supplicant expressed concern that the recent Synods on the Family and the Exhortation that came from them, rather than helping the family that is “under attack” instead had the effect of “gasoline being thrown on the fire.”

“We see that the family is under attack. It is in a state of crisis,” said Preston Noell, the Director of American Society for Tradition, Family, and Property.

“The situation only becomes worse, however, when added to the fact that the family is crumbling, some people — including some Catholics, maybe even a large number of Catholics — come to think or believe that marriage can be dissolved – which of course, it cannot be.” Speaking of Amoris Laetitia he said, “Instead of receiving what we would hope to find, a buttressing and strengthening of the sacred institutions of holy matrimony and marriage-and-the-family, we see something like gasoline being thrown on the fire.”

“This is very troubling to us. What we would really hope to see is that this would be turned around. We need to pray to the Holy Ghost to inspire the Church, to inspire our leaders, to inspire the Holy Father — as I mentioned, for whom I pray every single day — to help turn the situation around, to strengthen the family. Because if not, I fear we perish,” he said in the film.

Historian Roberto de Mattei, a professor in the European University of Rome and the founder of the Lepanto Foundation, called Amoris Laetitia a document of “catastrophic consequences.”

“The terrible impact of this document is that many souls are today in a deep crisis of conscience. There is the possibility that a great number of souls will lose their eternal life. In my view, the true life is, above all, the spiritual life. More than the physical life, the spiritual life of souls is today in great danger. We have to react against this,” he said.

Bishop Schneider concluded the film with an appeal to the faithful for prayers for the Holy Father.

“And so, let us pray for our Holy Father, whom we love, that he may have the courage to speak with the same clarity and with the same courage as Christ spoke, as Peter spoke,” he said.

URGENT: Sign the pledge to pray for Pope Francis every day. Click here.

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments