Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why This is So Important!

Father Robert Barron speaks in the following video about trends in religion in our country. The "category" with the most increase in numbers is not atheists, not Catholics or Protestants. The "category" that has increased from 8% to 15 % of Americans is the category of "none". That is that these people believe in God or Jesus Christ but do not associate themselves with a specific church. Where are these numbers coming from? Main stream Protestants. Why? Because if you choose to accept into your faith-practices everything the secular world throws at you, you in essence become the secular world. So if immorality, homosexuality, gay marriage, abortion, euthanasia, anything goes, let's feel good, make the congregation happy type of church evolves, we get a church that it means nothing to belong to it. We as Catholics, especially we in the laity, have a responsibility to point out to the world and especially the youth of the world what the truth of the Church is. We should not be in the business of making the Catholic Church a "feel good" church. One thing that bothers me immensely is this prevalent attitude that young people can miss Mass, ignore their Sunday obligation and no one seems to care about it. Shrugging one's shoulder and saying "yea we have a problem" is not standing for the truth of the Catholic Church. It is surrendering to the secular world and will lead Catholics to becoming members of the "none" category. We must stand in the gap and be a voice against the immoral, godless, relativism of the secular world or we will lose those young people. See what Father Barron says at about the 5:45 mark.

"The Bread That I Will Give"

When the primitive Church and Paul can, from the fact of Jesus' Resurrection, draw the conclusion that the cross meant salvation for all ( this remained unrecognized during the event itself) - "He was given up for our sins and raised for our justification" (Romans 4:25) - truth, as a "sacred open secret" is already manifest in the gesture with which Jesus offers his flesh and blood at table as "given" and "poured out". Chronologically, the gesture of self-giving precedes the violent passion event and thus shows that his free self- surrender is also the essential reason and pre-requisite for the fact that the subsequent horrible event can acquire its meaning of universal salvation. His free self-giving wants to go "to the end" (John 13:1); and the end is that self-disposition passes over into pure letting oneself be disposed of and being disposed of. The passivity of the passion, with its fetters, scourging, crucifixion, and piercing, is the expression of a supremely active will to surrender which for the very reason transcends the limits of self-determination into the limitlessness of letting oneself be determined. On the other hand, such a will to surrender , which gives itself - in the Eucharistic gesture of self-distribution - beyond all bounds of human finitude would have to be regarded as promethean arrogance, were it not of itself the expression of a prior state of being determined and being disposed of. Paul and John perceive this clearly in portraying the complete self giving of Jesus to his own and to the world as the concretizied self-giving of the Father, who, out of love for the world he created and in fidelity to his covenant with it, gives up what is most precious to him, his Son.
Father Hans Von Balthasar

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Saint Catherine of Sienna

These pictures to are from the Chiesa de Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Roma, Italy. My wife and I had the opportunity to visit there last April. It is a most magnificent place. It was formerly a temple to Roman goddess Isis, but mistakenly understood as being Minerva's. There is the Bernini's Elephant sculpture, Michelangelo's Christ the Redeemer, The tombs of the Popes Leo X and Clement VII. The tomb of Fra Angelico and the tomb of today's Saint Catherine of Sienna. Her head rests in Sienna but the rest of her is here. She is one of the greatest saints and a Doctor of the Church.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sister Eugenia Bonetti and the Fight Against Sex Trafficking

Last night I had the opportunity to hear Sister Eugenia Bonetti speak at Immaculate Conception Church. There are literally millions of people throughout the world that are sold into slavery for sex, labor, and even for body parts. This is a global epidemic. Children and young women are trapped in this horrible life with no means of escape. Sr. Eugenia began helping women trapped in slavery. She established safe houses throughout Italy and has saved over 5000 women and children. Sr Eugenia was named one of the Top Ten People of 2007 by Inside the Vatican; recognized as an Anti-Trafficking Heroine by the U.S. Department of State, a key leader in the foundation of the 1st interdenominational religious anti-trafficking network. How can we help? First off spread the story and increase the awareness of this incredible evil. You can hear Sister Eugenia @ Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church at 445 Marquette Street in Baton Rouge on Wednesday at 6:30 pm at the Parish Activity Center. Call 225-928-6216 for info. Father Jeff Bayhi is having two fund raisers. For Women on Saturday morning May 2nd 9 am a@ St. John the Baptist in Zachary see flyer For Men -Thursday night at 6:30 at Zachary High School see flyer

Monday, April 27, 2009

No Greater Love

Charles Schulze, 70 years old died this past Saturday after rescuing two boys 9 and 12 years old, who were being carried away by the riptide off the waters of Pompano Beach. God Bless you Mr. Schulze - Requiem in Pacem. see link here

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Seeing the Face of Christ in the Poor.

You know when there is an economic global recession the ones who are really hurt are not those whose 401k's have been reduced, no, it is the those living in poverty, real poverty...CFCA is working with the poor and making a real difference. See the face of Christ in the poor. Make a donation here: CLICK HERE or consider sponsoring a child: CLICK HERE Can you help?
Notes from the Field: El Salvador from CFCA on Vimeo.

Friday, April 24, 2009

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen was a martyr of the Counter-Reformation in Switzerland. Born in Sigmaringen, Hohenzollern, Germany, in 1577; died at Grüsch, Grisons, Switzerland, on April 24, 1622; canonized by Pope Benedict XIV in 1746. In 1604, Mark Rey was teaching philosophy at the University of Freiburg-in-Breisgau, when he was appointed tutor to a small party of noble Swabian men who wanted to finish their education with supplementary studies in the chief cities of western Europe. During the six-year tour, Rey became greatly esteemed by his companions. He set them an example of religious devotion and goodness to the poor, to whom he sometimes literally gave the clothes off his back.

When he returned to Germany, he took his doctorate in law and began to practice as an advocate at Ensisheim in Upper Alsace. He gained a reputation for honesty and his refusal to use the vituperative language often then employed to level an opponent. His support of the poor led to the moniker "the Poor Man's Lawyer."

Repulsed by the unscrupulous measures used by his colleagues in practicing law, in 1612, he decided to enter the reformed Capuchin branch of the Franciscan Order, which his brother George had already joined. Mark Rey donated his wealth to the poor and to needy seminarians. After receiving holy orders, he took the name Fidelis. Upon completion of his theological course, he preached and heard confessions. Fidelis was successively appointed superior of Rheinfelden, Frieburg, and Feldkirch. During this last appointment, he reformed the town and outlying districts, and converted many Protestants. He also wrote a book of spiritual exercises that was translated into several languages.

His reputation grew due to his devotion to the sick, many of whom he cured during an epidemic. The bishop of Chur requested that his superiors send him, with eight other Capuchins, to preach among the Zwinglian Protestants in the Grisons of Switzerland. This was the first attempt since the Reformation to recover the area from heresy. Fidelis courageously pretended to disregard threats of violence. From the very beginning, the mission made inroads, and the newly established Congregation for the Spreading of the Faith formally appointed him leader of the Grison enterprise.

So great were his powers of preaching that he enjoyed tremendous success, which enraged his adversaries. They then worked to turn the peasants against him by representing him as an agent of the Austrian emperor, and avowing to him an intention to balk their national aspirations for independence. Forewarned, Fidelis spent several nights in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament preparing for death.

On April 24, 1622, he preached at Grüsch. He then travelled to Sewis, where, in the middle of a sermon on "One Lord, one faith, one baptism," a Protestant fired his musket at Fidelis. The bullet missed and lodged in a wall. In the following confusion the Austrian soldiers who were in the vicinity were attacked. When a Protestant offered to harbor Fidelis, the saint replied that his life was in God's hands. Fidelis attempted to return to Grüsch but was beset by opponents who demanded that he repudiate his faith. He refused, and as his murderers stabbed him with their weapons he called out to God to forgive them. (Another source says that one assassin's bullet missed him, but a second killed him.) A Zwinglian minister who was present was converted. The body of Fidelis now rests in Coira cathedral (Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Walsh, White). (courtesy of Catholic Matters)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

War with Him Against the Foolhardy

We, then, have strayed from the way of truth, and the light of justice did not shine for us, and the sun did not rise for us.
We had our fill of the ways of mischief and of ruin; we journeyed through impassable deserts, but the way of the Lord we knew not.
What did our pride avail us? What have wealth and its boastfulness afforded us?
All of them passed like a shadow and like a fleeting rumor;
Like a ship traversing the heaving water, of which, when it has passed, no trace can be found, no path of its keel in the waves.
Or like a bird flying through the air; no evidence of its course is to be found- But the fluid air, lashed by the beat of pinions, and cleft by the rushing force Of speeding wings, is traversed: and afterward no mark of passage can be found in it.
Or as, when an arrow has been shot at a mark, the parted air straightway flows together again so that none discerns the way it went through-Even so we, once born, abruptly came to naught and held no sign of virtue to display, but were consumed in our wickedness."
Yes, the hope of the wicked is like thistledown borne on the wind, and like fine, tempest-driven foam; Like smoke scattered by the wind, and like the passing memory of the nomad camping for a single day.
But the just live forever, and in the Lord is their recompense, and the thought of them is with the Most High.
Therefore shall they receive the splendid crown, the beauteous diadem, from the hand of the Lord - For he shall shelter them with his right hand, and protect them with his arm.
He shall take his zeal for armor and he shall arm creation to requite the enemy; He shall don justice for a breastplate and shall wear sure judgment for a helmet;
He shall take invincible rectitude as a shield and whet his sudden anger for a sword, And the universe shall war with him against the foolhardy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Do Not Grow Weary and Lose Heart

Let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. Hebrews 1-4
In the readings after the Resurrection, we see the struggling, fledgling church and those believers who were on a path never under taken before. These readings have purpose for us today. We are really very much like the early Christians, Christ has been taken away from us in a physical sense. The secular world would like to stamp out His existence like the Sanhedrin and the Romans of His time. St. Paul likens this struggle to a race. In having been a runner for many years I know what a struggle it can be at times. Endurance takes focus (eyes fixed on Jesus), there are times when you are uncomfortable or in pain, or tired. Endurance takes practice and daily gains, a little at first, greater as time goes on. That is why to be truly Christian is a daily conversion. Some days I am a terrible sinner, but St. Paul exhorts us to rid ourselves of the burden of sin. Not by ignoring it or by dismissing it, but by seeking His forgiveness and repenting and truly working on it. Christ endured the cross, and despite the fact that as look around we see a godless society, devoid of faith and truth, we must ask ourselves "what have we endured"?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Irena Sendler Tribute

When I watch & the hear the story of people like Irena Sendler my prayer is that God would give 1/100th the courage that she had.

Holocaust Remembrance

Amy Welborn alerted us to the story of Irena Sendler that played Sunday night on CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame. There was some information about Irena that was provided at the end of the show. First, it was a group of Indiana high school students who discovered her story and brought it to the world some 60 years later. She saved over 2,500 Jewish children smuggling them out of the ghettos risking her life each and every moment. She was caught and tortured, the Germans broke both her feet. She escaped the Germans and after the war dug up a jar she had hid by the apple tree in her yard that had all the names of the children, so they could be returned. Of course most of the parents were murdered by the Nazi's but she still managed to place a majority with surviving relatives. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 at 97 years old. What they didn't mention was of course she was a devout Catholic (as all Poles were and still are) and that she, who saved the lives of over 2,500 children, with the Nazi's watching her every move, lost the Nobel Peace prize to Al Gore. (which makes that prize as useless and meaningless as it could possibly be.)
Here is Glen Beck talking about Irena:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Walking By Faith

In John, the Evangelist's account of Our Risen Lord and His returning to visit His disciples, we find that universal characteristic that is a part of anybody who relies on faith; doubt. Our faith calls us to the edge of the chasm, to a point where we cannot hide. We can turn around but we cannot hide. That is what makes faith so genuine, so freeing, because it comes down to you and one thing. Thomas poses the conditions by which he will believe, in John 20:25: "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe" There are those who say in essence similar words today; "unless the church conforms to whatever belief I desire, I will not believe" The beliefs professed by the Church for nearly 2000 years are dissected and put in the in/out basket of life. A sin is a sin under my conditions, I go to Mass, when it is convenient or if I don't have something else to do. Each and every time we walk up to the chasm and look down, do we have the courage to cross it? Or is our faith something that is comfortable like an old pair of shoes? Thomas is able to cross, when Jesus appears to him in person. Can we possibly walk by faith without Him?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

United by God's Mercy

Jesus, I Trust in You

The picture to the left is the Church of Divine Mercy in Krakow Poland. The Triduum of Holy Week, along with the entire Easter season, focuses on various aspects of the paschal mystery. Holy Thursday celebrates the Mass of the Chrism and the evening Mass of the Mandatum - the washing of the feet of the disciples, ordination to the priesthood, the institution of the Eucharist, and the last discourse of Our Lord promising the sending of the Holy Spirit. Good Friday commemorates the passion and death of Jesus on the cross. The Easter vigil, the pinnacle of the paschal mystery, celebrates the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Redeemer who is our light and salvation, bringing us new life by water and the Holy Spirit. The Easter season continues this celebration, leading to the Ascension of the Lord and to Pentecost - the fulfillment of the promise to send the Holy Spirit.

The Feast of Mercy focuses on God's mercy as an event! It focuses on God's continuing action of mercy throughout salvation history as we see it recorded in the letter to the Romans, chapters 9, 10,11, culminating in His loving plan to have mercy on all! (See Rom 11:32.) This Feast is a summation of the event to His mercy active in our lives now. It is because of His mercy that we have forgiveness of sin and new life as children of God. This needs to be celebrated!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Embracing the Possibility

One of the most difficult things that confronts me is dealing with those of whom God plays no part in their life. I am at the point in my life that hearing the message of a Godless life is akin to hearing a language I have never heard before. It is strange and cold, metallic, without any organic nature to it. For me God is everything and His absence would be dreadful. So, as I have written in previous blogs how can we best develop the framework for someone who does not know Jesus or has chosen to ignore Him for the untruths of the secular world? I am not sure if I have the answer. Sometimes it is a tug of war, acknowledging that perhaps for many the work is too difficult and too time consuming. That perhaps the next generation of children is whom we should target. The other argument waged inside me is a true what would Jesus do question. I know that many saints have changed the hearts and minds and souls of people who were at first totally opposed to them. The truth of Christ is a message that has to be lived. There are the teachings, there is the liturgy and the Mass, and the sacraments, and the Church, but as Paul says without love I am a "resounding gong". Can we do more to get to the heart of just one person who may be able to witness Christ in action in the life you lead? Can we walk just a tad closer to embracing the possibility that love does prevail? Pray for the strength to evangelize as true Christians recognized by our love.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spurn the Lusts of the World and Be Lifted to the Wisdom Which is Above

A nd so, dearly-beloved, if we unhesitatingly believe with the heart what we profess with the mouth, in Christ we are crucified, we are dead, we are buried; on the very third day, too, we are raised. Hence the Apostle said, "If you have risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting on God's right hand: set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. For as when Christ appeared, then shall you also appear with Him in glory." But that the hearts of the faithful may know that they have that whereby to spurn the lusts of the world and be lifted to the wisdom that is above, the Lord promises us His presence, saying, "Lo ! I am with you all the days, even till the end of the age." For not in vain had the Holy Spirit said by Isaiah: "Behold ! a virgin shall conceive and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which is, being interpreted, God wire us." Jesus, therefore, fulfills the proper meaning of His name, and in ascending into the heavens does not forsake His adopted brethren, though "He sits at the right hand of the Father," yet dwells in the whole body, and Himself from above strengthens them for patient waiting while He summons them upwards to His glory. Leo the Great

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Pope Bendict XVI

Today is Pope Benedict XVI's 82nd birthday. The Holy Pontiff is a brilliant man. If you have not read any of his books or encyclicals, do yourself a favor and go to Ignatius Press and find any of a number of his works either as Cardinal Ratzinger or as Pope. The secular world hates the Pope as they hated Jesus. He speaks the the truth of the Church's teachings which of course denounces immorality and sin. The secular world is paving a pathway to hell and with Satan as its chief engineer, and has many followers. That is why the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict are despised. He is ridiculed and called every name including the antichrist by people who are intellectual midgets, who don't know what Christianity is and who Christ is. God Bless you, Our Holy Father. Today is also a very special day for me, 32 years ago on this day in Raleigh, North Carolina, my wife and I were married. I knew then that she was a special human being. I just didn't know how special. She embodies everything that is, what you would call good about a person. She is kind, generous, thoughtful, forgiving (she would have to be married to me), loving, and caring. She has been a wonderful friend, lover, wife, mother and truly a gift from God each and every day from the time I met her. Happy Anniversary My Love!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Your Presence is Fullness of Joy

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11
Following the path of Truth requires us to become Christ centered. The Apostles give testimony as eye witnesses to the Risen Christ. In God's plan the incarnation of the Son, his taking on human nature in the person of Jesus, was not intended as a temporary phase that ended with the end of Our Lord's life on earth. On the contrary, the incarnation took place once and for all, and was intended to do so. The human nature of the incarnate Son remains forever united with his divine nature. The Gospels bear striking witness to this when they tell us how the risen Jesus behaved; when he appeared to his disciples, he made them touch the wounds of his Passion, and he shared a meal with them (cf. Luke 24:28-30; John 20:19-20, 26-27; John 21:9-14) Out of his infinite love for us, who are unable to discover him fully by the use of our intelligence and our will, God wished to come closer to us, to become more accessible. It is for this reason (the Church reminds us) that God revealed himself to humanity through his incarnation.We can turn to Jesus, who is both God and man, with confidence that he has shared our experiences and our feelings, and our hopes and our disappointments. Jesus, who is not only human, but an exemplary human being, remains a model of how we should live our life; he inspires our relationships with ourselves, with nature, with other people, and with God. Jesus, who is God and saviour, wants to be a brotherly companion on our journey and a guide through our earthly life.

The Seeking of God Never Ceases

Remember that the passion of Christ ends always in the joy of the Resurrection, so when you feel in your own heart the suffering of Christ, remember the Resurrection has to come, the joy of Easter has to dawn. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Risen Christ! Mother Theresa.
On Easter Monday, I was feeling somewhat melancholic. The long struggle of the inner pursuit which occurred during during Lent was over, Christ's Resurrection left death in it's wake and the joy of Easter had come, yet I was feeling empty and dry. As I reflected on it, I realized that this feeling wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Ignatius teaches that there are times when you experience desolation that is a "descent into the desert", preparing you for an upcoming consolation. And if think about it this cycle of emptiness, darkness, dreariness, followed by lightness, color, sweetness, melodic, fullness happens fairly regularly and best witnessed in nature. Winter is dreary, cold, brownish, gray, quiet, nothing growing. Springtime follows and each day brings us new buds, new flowers, green growth, brighter and longer days, sounds of birds, squirrels, dogs barking, warmth, color, and life! The Resurrection is the sun breaking through the darkness, it is the dawn of a new day, a new life, a new springtime. We always pursuing it. In a quote from the book The God Who Won't Let Go by Peter van Breemen, S.J. we see that the search for God in never ending: "In our lives, too, seeking and finding God plays a vital role. It never comes to an end. ……the seeking of God never ceases, because God is always greater and more surprising than we expect" You and I may find ourselves having an off day from time to time. We may find it necessary to take some time to reflect on a Psalm or scripture passage. We may need a jump start but we must continue the pursuit.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

There is Always Someone Who Makes a Difference

Archbishop Timothy Dolan and the Nun who made a difference.

Variations on a Theme by Erik Satie

Psalm 33

The LORD foils the plan of nations, frustrates the designs of peoples.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever, wise designs through all generations.
Happy the nation whose God is the LORD, the people chosen as his very own.
From heaven the LORD looks down and observes the whole human race,
Surveying from the royal throne all who dwell on earth.
The one who fashioned the hearts of them all knows all their works.
A king is not saved by a mighty army, nor a warrior delivered by great strength.
Useless is the horse for safety; its great strength, no sure escape.
But the LORD'S eyes are upon the reverent, upon those who hope for his gracious help,
Delivering them from death, keeping them alive in times of famine.
Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and shield.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ok So I'm Crazy About the Marx Brothers - This is Really Classic

Pope Benedict's Urbi et Orbi

Monday with Rufus T. Firefly

Do Not Be Afraid

Then Jesus said to them " do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee and there they will see me." What we read about Jesus after the Resurrection has always intrigued me. The encounter with His disciples in the upper room is a mirror of the encounter we too should have with Him. Again Jesus confounds us all... In our culture the story should have played out like one of the oldest archetypes known by many and witnessed in many books and movies..that of the revengeful ghost. The story is always the same. A group of people are responsible for someone's death. The person is innocent and wrongly accused. In some cases by chance he escapes death, but in other cases he is put to death and his ghostly self returns to extract revenge on those who did this to him. Jesus does no such thing. He tells those who first encounter Him to "be not afraid" and later when He appears in the upper room, the first words He says is "peace be with you". Christ is Risen and among us today and though we sin and did our part in nailing Him to the cross, it is the peace of Christ we must carry inside of us. The peace of forgiveness, the peace that allows our hearts to bring the love of Christ to those who need it. Peace be with you. Then Jesus said to them " do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee and there they will see me."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is Risen!

Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right." "You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.""We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Worthy is The Lamb

Handel's Messiah although more often than not is played at Christmas time was really written for Easter. More than any composer who ever lived Handel comes as close as to what the angels in heaven will sound like when we stand before Jesus on His Heavenly Throne.

Worthy is the Lamb

Revelation 5: 12, 13

Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.


Tomb Day

St. Ignatius asks us on this Holy Saturday to feel what it was like for Mary and the Apostles to have experienced Jesus death and now his absence. Ignatius believed that in order to fully appreciate the significance of Jesus’ rising for us, we have to appreciate what his death really means. This is that time between Jesus being removed from the cross and His glorious resurrection. Today when there is no Mass, spend some time thinking about a world without His love and presence.

Tenebrae for Holy Saturday

Here beginneth the Prayer of Jeremiah the Prophet

Remember, O Lord, what is come upon us: consider, and behold our reproach. Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens. We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows. We have drunken our water for money; our wood is sold unto us. Our necks are under persecution: we labour, and have no rest. We have given the hand to the Egyptians, and to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread. Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities. Servants have ruled over us: there is none that doth deliver us out of their hand. We gat our bread with the peril of our lives because of the sword of the wilderness. Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine. They ravished the women in Zion, and the maids in the cities of Judah.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return unto the Lord thy God.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday Tenebrae

Dominican Friars from Oxford sing two responsories during Matins, and the Benedictus at Lauds. The candles are gradually extinguished throughout the service, leaving the church in relative darkness, hence the name of the service: 'Tenebrae' (darkness).

It Is Finished

When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, "It is finished." And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pope Declares Year of the Priests

Yesterday I attended the Diocese of Baton Rouge "Chrism Mass". The Mass of Chrism comes once a year to your cathedral. If you've never celebrated it, you're missing one of the most solemn and significant liturgies of our church. During the Mass, ther bishop will bless the oil of catechumens, the oil of the sick, and the oil of chrism. We use the first for adult catechumens and infants, the second for anointing the sick, and the sacred oil of chrism for baptism, confirmation, the ordination of priests, and the consecration of altars. All three are basically an olive oil; chrism spices the air with the scent of a perfume, traditionally balsam. Bishop Robert Muench, along with the two deacons, Deacon Mark Beard and Deacon Paul Gros, both whom will be ordained in May, and with almost every Diocesesan priest and deacon, and those seminarians in formation, joined together in this beautiful liturgy. In looking across the altar and sacristy, it gives me great joy to tell you that my life has been personally effected by a vast majority of these men. God has truly blessed our diocese with these outstanding men whose life and dedication to building and serving God's Kingdom is admirable and perhaps under appreciated. To Bishop Muench and all those serving through the priesthood and diaconnate, God bless and thank you. Bishop Muench spoke in his homily that Pope Benedict XVI had just declared this the year of the priests, with special attention to St. Jean Vianney, the patron saint of priests. Let us do all we can to assist them in their service.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Passion of Christ Prayer

Passion of Christ, strengthen me! Strengthen me under the pressure of temptation. Strengthen me when principle is at stake. Strengthen me to do Your Will, My God. Strengthen me in moments of suffering, in times of loneliness, in periods of depression. Strengthen me that I may never swerve from You, dear Christ, nor weaken through human respect, through a desire to be popular, through hope of social distinction. Strengthen me to accept my cross and carry it generously to the end. On the battlefield of life, stand by me that I may never prove a traitor in the ranks. Stand by me that I may not be dazzled by the glitter and glow of the enemy camp.
(courtesy of

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

St. Peter - The Rock & The Denier

We have grown accustomed to make a clear distinction between Peter the rock and Peter the denier of Christ- the denier of Christ: that is the Peter as he was before Easter; the rock; that is the Peter as he was after the Pentecost, the Peter of whom we have constructed a singularly idealistic image. But, in reality, he was a both times both of these...Has it not been thus throughout the history of the Church that the Pope, the successor of Peter has been at once Petra and Skandalon - both the rock of God and a stumbling-block? In fact the faithful will always have to reckon with this paradox of the divine dispensation that shames their pride again and again.
(Pope Benedict XVI)

The Holy One

We call this week Holy Week to describe the Passion & Death of Our Lord. It is Holy for one and only one reason; the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We do not add anything to that Holiness. Just as Judas betrayed Our Lord we too betray Him, when we say yes to the distractions of the world."What we gave away, first for evil and then for good, we receive back from God the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit in the Holy Eucharist, but in changed(resurrected) form. For a demonstration of what it means to sacrifice "for good" we must look at Mary beneath the Cross. In allowing what, to her, is the most appalling thing imaginable, she is one with her Son's sacrificial spirit: and here Mary stands for the whole loving Church, saying "yes" and allowing the triune God to perfect the mystery of redemption, the mysterium fidei." Hans Urs von Balthasar Does Jesus Know Us? Do We Know Him?

Monday, April 6, 2009


This is an urgent request that any person out there be they Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Muslim, or non-believer. The current administration is looking to ease the restrictions, through the Department of Health & Human Services regulations for those who object to performing abortions or other acts that are against the teachings of their faith. This would in essence eliminate the "conscience clause" and force good religious peoples of all faiths to refer, perform, and assist in abortions against their will. This goes against the very principles that this country was founded on. We need to burn up those phone lines to the White House and voice our opinions against this action. Even though we are slipping away to socialism, this is still a democracy and we have the right to express our opinions. CALL 202-456-1111 AND TELL THEM THAT YOU WISH THE PRESIDENT TO SUPPORT THE RIGHTS OF HEALTH WORKERS TO CONSCIENTIOUSLY OBJECT TO REVERING, ASSISTING AND PERFORMING ABORTIONS AGAINST THEIR WILL AND THE TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH.

Psalm 116

I trusted even when I said,
"I am sorely afflicted."
I said in my alarm,
"No man can be trusted."
How can I repay the LORD
For His goodness toward me?
I shall lift up the cup of salvation
And call upon the name of the LORD.
I shall pay my vows to the LORD,
Oh may it be in the presence of all His people.
Precious in the sight of the LORD
Is the death of His godly ones.
O LORD, surely I am Your servant,
I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid,
You have loosed my bonds.
To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And call upon the name of the LORD.
I shall pay my vows to the LORD,
Oh may it be in the presence of all His people,
n the courts of the LORD'S house,
In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Marked by A Personal Encounter with Jesus

Holy Week is upon us. The pilgrimage that we are to embark on must be marked by a personal encounter with Jesus. The Apostles who shared their lives with Him, who walked the paths with Him, who washed themsleves in the River Jordan, who were present at His healings, at His miracles, at the Sermon on the Mount and at the Last Supper scattered like sheep when He, the Shepard was struck. On our encounter, although we may desire to run away from him because of our sinfulness and our daily failings, let us follow Him all the way to the mystery of the Cross. In that time such a horrible and evil thing happened; that the Creator was put to death by those He created, yet from the torment of the cross came the morning after and an empty tomb. In this time when the torment of immorality, war, violence, sinfulness, abortion, and an empty and spirtually devoid society, is our daily encounter, let us remember to stay with Him . In this encounter we share the cross but also rise with Him. Christ lifts us up from the sinful world and brings us to the Father. In deep repentance we come to Him, seeking His mercy and the hope for eternal life. Who is this King of Glory?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Lenten Reflection for Palm Sunday

Be Joined With Him This Holy week

Our journey has come to this point. We take respite for Christ's hosanna on Palm Sunday, before entering in to the darkest and deepest part of the walk. Drop what your doing and join in, witness the Passion in it's fullest, follow His footsteps from Lazarus to Pontius Pilate. See the Crown of Thorns and hear those that mock Him. Feel the pain of the nails driven into His hands. Feel the pain of those who watched and followed Him. Feel the pain of His Blessed Mother whose heart was pierced. Make His journey your journey, see what His eyes saw and perhaps that will help in understanding the price that Jesus paid for you and me and all mankind. Prepare yourself for the Holiest of Holy Weeks. Let the world have the rest of the year, let your heart belong with Christ joined in His Passion and Death.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Do Not Conform Yourselves To This Age

I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.
Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.
For by the grace given to me I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think, but to think soberly, each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned.

For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another.

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them: if prophecy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a teacher, in teaching;if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality.
Bless those who persecute (you), bless and do not curse them
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil; be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all.
If possible, on your part, live at peace with all.
Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
Rather, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head."
Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good.
Paul's Letter to the Romans, Chapter 12:1-21

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Anti- Catholicism is rampant in America and most of the mainstream media hates the Church. Here is a video of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen on YouTube. Just watch how he is treated on this game show.It's hard to believe that there was a time that a Catholic bishop was afforded such respect on American television. Can you imagine what his reception would be today?

Can You Help This Guy?

This from Toby at Astonished, Yet at Home!

Many of you may remember the story of the Pentecostal considering Catholicism having a "prophet" visit his church and echo the words of St. John Bosco to confirm the rightness of his journey home.

Peter Youngblood is that young man, and he was on his former church's staff still when he began inquiring at Our Lady of Wisdom in Lafayette, Louisiana. Peter asked to discuss doctrine with the ministers at his church, but the pastor forbade it, did some digging and discovered a secret Catholic. Peter was asked to swear allegiance to his old church or lose his job and the place he was staying. He refused and is now out of work, and soon he and his wife will be without place to stay.

Peter is sending out this e-mail to prospective employers.

I'm Peter Youngblood, a motion graphics artist from Lafayette. I have 3 years experience in creating original 2D and 3D motion graphics (including logo animations and splash screens) and special effects. I am most efficient in Adobe After Effects and Maxon Cinema 4D. I also have experience modeling, texturing, rendering, and composting 3D elements with live action footage. Below is a link to my Demo Reel, and if you would like to set up a meeting, you can contact me by e-mail or phone at 337-764-6593.

Download Demo Reel
Demo on YouTube


You can reach Peter and offer him your prayers, support, and hopefully a job at .

Another of Peter's co-workers is in the same dilemma Peter is in, but I have not obtained permission to tell his story. Regardless, please pray for all of our separated brethren, especially those who have the courage to make the journey home.

Thanks, Toby for sharing this story. Jesus said "the truth will set you free..." Peter and his friend have great courage in choosing the truth.

Ioannes Paulus PP. II Karol Wojtyla Requiem In Pacem

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

More Of the Sign Of the Times

Mary Sue Merchant died of natural causes in a tightly locked house on 25 acres in this small community, with only a dog for company. Now her small town is reflecting on why no one noticed for 18 months. See: South Carolina Woman Dead goes unnoticed for 18 months.

75th Anniversary of the Canonization of St. John (Don) Bosco

On this date in 1934, St. John (Don) Bosco was canonized a saint by Pope Pius XI 75 years ago today.
t. John Bosco educated the whole person—body and soul united. He believed that Christ’s love and our faith in that love should pervade everything we do—work, study, play. For John Bosco, being a Christian was a full-time effort, not a once-a-week, Mass-on-Sunday experience. It is searching and finding God and Jesus in everything we do, letting their love lead us. Yet, John realized the importance of job-training and the self-worth and pride that comes with talent and ability so he trained his students in the trade crafts, too.

“Every education teaches a philosophy; if not by dogma then by suggestion, by implication, by atmosphere. Every part of that education has a connection with every other part. If it does not all combine to convey some general view of life, it is not education at all” (G.K. Chesterton, The Common Man).

What Chesterton says is so true. There is no such thing as a neutral position. So much garbvage is taught to young people today without any moral or ethical thinking behind it. The secular world preaches this form of neutrality, but there exists no such thing. Pray for a return to men like St. John Bosco. (thanks to

We Too, Mock Christ

Some began to spit at Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, Prophesy" And the officers received Him with slaps in the face Mark 14:65
nd they blindfolded him, and asked him, saying, Prophesy: who is he that struck thee? Luke 22:64

Each and every time we live as the world would like us to and not as imitators of Christ, we mock Him. Each and every time we begin to look at our piety as something more than it is, we mock Him. Each and every time we count our blessings and disregard our brothers we mock Him. We may desire to throw a blindfold over Christ but He sees all. He knows what is in our hearts. St. Paul reminds us that it is only through the Love of Christ in us that we are truly living as He would want us. This despite all what we perceive as being good. He wrote in his Letter to the Corinthians:
If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Let us not throw a blindfold over Jesus, but resolve to be the Light of the World.