Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Slave To The Blessed Mother?

Most people outside of the Catholic church - and unfortunately, even a good number of actual Catholics - are completely mystified by this "Mary thing" that Catholics have.  Many people think that some Catholics are more devoted to Mary than to Jesus.  After all, you pray ten Hail Mary's to one Our Father on the Rosary, right?  This is nothing less than idolatry! Or so many people believe.

I was recently talking to a Third Order Dominican.  Third Orders are groups of lay people who belong to different orders:  Franciscan, Carmelite, Dominican, etc.  The Domonicans, of course, were founded by St. Dominic, who was given the Rosary by our Blessed Mother herself to fight heresy.  So Marian devotion plays a very important part in the life of a Dominican, as it actually does for all the different orders.  Having just done the Total Consecration to Mary, I asked this person if she had done the consecration.  The Total Consecration to Mary comes from St. Louis Marie de Montfort (a Catholic priest who lived from 1673 to 1716, and who was one of the Church's greatest, if not the greatest, teacher of Marian devotion).  St. Louis de Montfort defines Total Consecration to Mary as "surrendering oneself in the manner of a slave to Mary, and to Jesus through her, and then performing all our actions with Mary, in Mary, through Mary, and for Mary."  My Dominican friend replied that she had never done this, and when I asked why, she said she didn't like the idea of being a slave to Mary.  When I asked why that bothered her, she replied forthrightly and honestly:  "I'm an American," implying in a rather humorous way, I think, that Americans are free and not enslaved to anyone or anything.  But is it really possible for a human being, even an American, to be so free as not to be enslaved to anything?

As Bob Dylan once sang:

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

The reality of life is that human beings are either serving the devil and on their way to hell, or serving the Lord and on their way to heaven.  There really isn't anything in between (Purgatory is just a stopping point to heaven).  Whatever we do, say or think, we have to put it in terms of:  is this serving God and the way of Life, or am I serving the devil and the way of death and destruction.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Blessed Elena Aiello

Be not silent, my daughter, because the hours of darkness, of abandonment, are near. ‘I am bending over the world, holding in suspension the justice of God. OTHERWISE THESE THINGS WOULD ALREADY HAVE NOW COME TO PASS. Prayers and penances are necessary because men MUST RETURN TO GOD and to My Immaculate Heart—the Mediatrix of men to God, and thus THE WORLD WILL BE AT LEAST IN PART SAVED’.
The Mother of God to Blessed Elena Aiello

Here is a quote from a blog I found about the beatification of Elena Aiello:
Saturday, September 10, 2011
For fourth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, Pope draws
attention to little known prophecies of Venerable Elena Aiello
By Brian Kopp

Very interesting timing on the part of Pope Benedict XVI for the beatification of
Venerable Elena Aiello. September 14 is not only the Feast of the Triumph of
the Holy Cross and the fourth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, it is also
the day the Vatican has called the leaders of the SSPX to Rome for one-on-one

The body of prophecy attributed to Venerable Elena Aiello correlates well with both conjecture about the part of the Third Secret of Fatima that may not yet have been revealed, as well as the known messages of Our Lady of Akita. Note the parallel between warnings of global fire in these prophecies and that of
Our Lady of Akita (see, which stated:  

Why Do Catholics Go To Church?

 I have mentioned here, I was away from the church for 38 years, and when I came back there were definitely some new practices that I had never seen before in the Catholic Church.  Among the things I had not seen in the Catholic Church when I was a child was people talking before and after Mass as if the church building was nothing more than any other meeting hall. There no longer seems to be a lot of awareness or concern that Jesus Christ - the King of the Universe, our Creator and Savior who poured out his blood on the cross for us - is present in the Tabernacle.  A few weeks ago I was trying to pray the Rosary after Mass, and two people were having a very loud conversation a few pews ahead of me.  I went up to them and asked if they could take it outside.  One of the people gave me a very dirty look as if I was being rude for interrupting their conversation.

I think it is safe to say that for almost all other religions, getting together for worship is also a time to "fellowship" with each other.  I belonged to a small Protestant cult for many years.  "Fellowship" was basically a doctrine of this group.  We were expected to meet and talk with each other after worship services.  It was the Christian thing to do.   This is not so in the Catholic Church.

I think one of the biggest reasons why people no longer seem to have reverence for the Real Presence is because He is basically ignored in the Novus Ordo Mass.  We are suppose to be praying to Christ, but instead our concentration is on the priest, the "eucharistic ministers", the lecturers, maybe dancers, singers, etc., etc.  We are no longer praying.  We're just being entertained.  Before he became Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said that Mass had become a "closed circle" between priest and congregation.  By just staring at each other instead of entering into prayer with the angels and saints, we forget who is really there.  This is only intensified right after the Consecration when instead of being in deep communion with our Lord, we take our focus completely off of him and turn to each other, shaking hands, waving, kissing, etc.  It is only natural to continue this after Mass.  And it is killing us spiritually.

We need to be reminded that when Catholics go to church - be it for Mass, adoration or just general prayer - we are not going there to meet other people. We are going, or at least should be going, to literally be with Christ. Catholic Churches are not empty buildings like other church buildings, they are not meeting halls. They are not "worship centers." They are a place where we on earth can go to the entrance of heaven - where our Savior, surrounded by angels and saints and the Blessed Mother, is there waiting to meet with us one on one. A Catholic Church is a place unlike any other on this earth. Our Lord is present in the Tabernacle, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, under the presence of bread.

From Tan Books, "The Blessed Sacrament, God With Us"

Jesus dwells continually in our midst in the Blessed Sacrament. Day and night He abides among us under the lowly species of bread, in the narrow Tabernacles of our churches. Here He is not only our infinitely great God, but also our merciful Saviour and our most faithful friend. The same miracles He wrought for the corporally sick during His earthly life, He performs in our days from the Tabernacle for those spiritually ill. He gives sight to the "blind" by granting them light to see the evil of sin, the value of things eternal, the value of Crosses and sufferings, the value of resignation to the will of God. He gives power of movement to the "lame" by prompting their sluggish will to resolve and act for His love alone. He raises the "dead" to life by calling souls from the death of sin to the life of grace.
For every spiritual ailment His love holds a remedy in readiness. Are you abandoned and sorrowful? On the altar you will find the heavenly Comforter. Are you poor in virtue? In the Tabernacle He who is infinitely rich is waiting to share His treasures with you. Are you troubled on account of your sins, and do you sigh for pardon? Go to the altar! Jesus, the all-merciful God, will receive you with open arms. He will help you to do everything necessary for true repentance. With His own Heart's Blood He will purify your soul and impart to you a strength which will sustain you until you have reached the "Mountain of God," the celestial paradise.
In your temporal needs and your physical ailments, Jesus in the Tabernacle will also be your Friend, your Father and your Physician. Countless is the number of those who, burdened with anxiety and care, have found help and relief before the Tabernacle. Many, too, are the bodily cures wrought through the Blessed Sacrament. At the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, where countless miracles are wrought each year, it is usually at the time the sick are blessed with the Most Blessed Sacrament that the miraculous cures are effected.

Catholics do not go to Church looking to meet other people.  We go because that is where Our Lord and Savior is.  The Catholic Church has monastaries where the monks or nuns never talk to each other at any time.  Their entire focus is on the Lord.  That is how we are to be when we are in front of the Tabernacle.  If you want to visit with people, go somewhere else, or at least wait until you get outside.  A Catholic Church is literally the House of God.  Show him the reverence he so richly deserves.  The next time you are in a Catholic Church, remember who is in the Tabernacle, and act accordingly.

Epiphany - Salvation Is Given to the Gentiles

Today is the Epiphany of Our Lord, the day salvation was given to the Gentiles.  It is the day the Gentile Kings came bearing gifts for our Lord, and our Lord gave them salvation. It is a day of great rejoicing. As John 1:11-13 says:
He came unto his own [the Jews], and his own received him not. But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name.   Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  [Salvation is given to the Gentiles] 
This day is filled with tremendous meaning.  Below is an article that shows the many faceted meanings of this wonderful Feast day.


The Spirituality of the Epiphany
Why the Epiphany?The Epiphany

Gifts, the gifts of the Three Kings, are an important element of the Epiphany. But the Epiphany is bursting with treasures that surpass the Magi’s coffers of gold, incense, and myrrh. Here are just some of the riches of the Epiphany from Sacred Scripture, the Liturgy of the Church, saints, and scholars...

The Epiphany is the Original, Most Ancient Solemnity of the Christmas Season, Celebrated Since the Second Century. Christmas, on the other hand, has been celebrated as a separate feast only since the fourth century. Epiphany (a transliteration of the Greek word for “manifestation”) is a threefold commemoration of the first manifestations of Jesus: at His birth when He is revered by angels and men, at His baptism in the Jordan when the voice from heaven identifies Him as The Son (cf. Mt. 3:16,17, Mk. 1:9-11, Lk. 3:21,22), and at the “first of the signs that Jesus worked, at [the marriage feast at] Cana in Galilee; and He manifested His glory.” (cf. Jn. 2:11) We tend to especially use the word “Epiphany” for the first of these mysteries—that unexpected visit of three noble but mysterious figures from far-off pagan lands.

First Friday Devotion

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
It's the beginning of January, the first month of the year and a time to make life changing resolutions.  Today is the First Friday of month.  Now is the time to make a great resolution, one that will be life changing. 

The following is from

The Nine First Fridays

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, received the unique favor of being visited by Our Lord Himself, who asked her to spread devotion to His Most Sacred Heart. This she most humbly did, once she had received the permission and approbation of her superiors, especially her spiritual director and confessor, St. Claude La Columbiere.

For all Catholic men and women, families and young people troubled by the many afflictions of modern life here is the greatest source of spiritual and temporal help, graces and blessings for those who truly love the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and practice His requested Devotion with the essential prayers and acts including the "First Friday's". The Nine "First Fridays" must be made in honor of His Sacred Heart on nine consecutive months, and communion must be received.

The Great Promise of Jesus to Saint Margaret M. Alacoque

To all those who, during nine months on end, will receive Holy Communion on the first Fridays of every month,

I promise the Grace of final perseverance. They will not die in My disgrace, but will receive the Sacraments (if necessary), and My Heart will be sure shelter for them in that extreme moment.

The nine Friday promises of our Lord to St. Margaret Mary

1. I will give them all of the graces necessary for their state of life.

2. I will establish peace in their houses.

3. I will comfort them in all their afflictions.

4. I will be their strength during life and above all during death.

5. I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings.

6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.

7. Tepid souls shall grow fervent.

8. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.

9. I will bless every place where a picture of my heart shall be set up and honored.

10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.

11. Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.

12. I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant all to those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Reflections of St. Augustine on the Birth of The Christ

As I walk down the streets of New York City, I see discarded Christmas trees on the curbs, signaling the fact that for most of the world, Christmas is over.  The supervisor in my apartment building took down all the Christmas decorations on January 3, making it quite clear that Christmas 2011 was history.

But Christmas is not over in the Catholic Church.  Walk into any Catholic Church, and you will see a manger.  The readings of the Mass are still very much focused on the birth of the Christ Child.  And certainly the Traditional Breviary is still centered on the Birth of our Lord.  There is a magnificent reading today from St. Augustine (you can never go wrong with him).  This reading could only be written by a Catholic and understood in its entirety with the Catholic mind.  It contrasts the sinfulness of man with the glory of God, and how Christ gave up his glory in heaven to take on the form of lowly man in order to bring man to God.  It also emphasizes Mary's virginity and more importantly, her perpetual virginity - "ever sealed".  A truly beautiful reading.

The Lesson is taken from a Sermon by St. Augustine the Bishop

Our Lord Jesus Christ, dearest brethren, who in eternity is the Creator of all things, was as at this time born of a mother and became our Saviour. It was as at this time that he willed to be born for us in earthly time, so as to lead us to the Father's eternity. God is made man, that man may be made as God. That man may eat the bread of Angels, the Lord of Angels was as on this day made man. 

Now is fulfilled that prophecy : Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness : let the earth open, and bring forth a Saviour. He who made all things is therefore himself made, that those who are lost may be found. It is even as man is made to testify of himself in the Psalms : Before I was humbled, I went wrong. Man sinned and became guilty. God is born man, that the guilty may be delivered. Man fell, but God descended. Man fell miserably, God descended mercifully. Man fell by pride, God descended with grace.

R. The Maiden's heart was established in God, when the Angel declared unto her the mystery of God and she conceived : then did she receive in her pure womb him that is fairer than the children of men : * And she that is blessed for ever, brought forth for us God and man.
V. The mansion of the modest breast becometh a shrine where God shall rest : the pure and undefiled one within her womb conceived the Son.
R. And she that is blessed for ever, brought forth for us God and man.

O my brethren, what a miracle! what a wonder! The laws of nature are changed concerning man : God is born, a Virgin conceiveth without an husband ; the Word of God is wedded to one who knoweth no man ; she is at once Mother and Virgin. A Mother, yet ínviolate : a Virgin having a Son ; knowing no man, ever sealed, yet not unfruitful. For he alone was born without sin. He alone was born without human embrace, begotten not of the will of the flesh, but of the obedience of the mind.

R. Blessed and worshipful art thou, O Virgin Mary, from thee, still maiden undefiled, the Saviour came, a little Child : * He whose glory filled the heavens lay in a manger.
V. O Lord, I have heard the report concerning thee and am afraid ; I have considered thy wondrous works and am overcome with awe : O thou that dwellest between the two beasts.
R. He whose glory filled the heavens lay in a manger.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. He whose glory filled the heavens lay in a manger.

Big Brother Is Watching You

 I live in New York City, which is supposedly the #1 target of terrorists, and as a result, there is no privacy in this city at all.  There are cameras everywhere and it is not uncommon to see the military walking around with guns.  It was a little disconcerting right after 9/11/01, but it's over 10 years now, and now I just find it annoying and intrusive.  We all accept the fact that we can be stopped at anytime and illegally searched, and there is nothing we can do about it, just as the rest of America seems to willingly submit to this at their airports. 

But why is this happening in the little town of Leesburg, Florida?  I have actually passed through this town, and it is hardly a terrorist target.  As of 2005, the population was 19,086. Here in New York City, we have office buildings that have more people than that working in them.  I think there are probably more people living in the few square blocks of my little neighborhood in Brooklyn than in all of Leesburg, Florida.  So what's the deal?  Wake up, America.  This is not about security.  This is about reducing you to mindless slavery. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rick Santorum - The Flavor of the Week or More?

So Rick Santorum basically tied with Mitt Romney last night, Santorum losing by only 8 votes to Romney.  It's pretty amazing since only two weeks ago no one was paying any attention to Senator Santorum, and he was polling in single digits.   But he kept going, and now has the national spotlight.  Certainly there can be no one stronger than Santorum when it comes to life issues.  He is one candidate who opposes abortion even in instances of rape or incest, saying that we don't execute the perpetrators of these crimes, so why should the innocent baby have to pay the ultimate price by being murdered?  He also is not afraid to to say that same sex marriage is wrong, and does not even seem to think there should be civil unions.  He is a strong Catholic, even attending the Traditional Latin Mass with his family. 

I am concerned about his pro-war stance.  He ready to attack Iran if he feels it is necessary, he still feels going to war in Iraq was the right thing to do.  I'm afraid he will play into the hands of the military industrial complex.  He was a senator for 12 years, so he should be even more aware of how Washington works, much more so than I am.  So why is he seemingly so trusting of them?  That does concern me.  And why did he play the game of supporting pro abortion and very liberal Arlen Specter?  He now says he made a mistake in doing so, but that is an awfully big and naive mistake. 

Outside of Ron Paul, Rick Santorum is the only other GOP candidate I could possibly support, mainly because of his strong stand on life issues.  I believe he is one person who can be trusted in that regard.  But like Bush, I think he will  continue to spend us into oblivion.  He supported all of  Bush's big government programs.  And he is a little too ready to go to war. 

Again, there is no politician who can save us. Keep praying the Rosary. 

Planned Parenthood Annual Report - A Shameful Legacy for the US

January 22, 2012 will mark 39 years since the passage of Roe v. Wade, legalizing the killing of unborn children in the United States.  There have been approximately 60,000,000 (that's 60 million)  babies killed in surgical abortions since that time.  There are countless more millions killed in chemical abortions known as artificial birth control.  (Most birth control does not prevent abortion but rather prevents the fertilized egg from being implanted in the womb and instead aborts it.)  Our land is awash in the blood of these babies, and it is only because of the mercy of God that he has not destroyed us for this unspeakable crime. 

We now have the annual report of Planned Parenthood - the largest supplier of abortions in our land.  It is a shameful report.  It shows that our governmental is completely complicit in the operations of Planned Parenthood, supplying them with hundreds of millions of dollars, despite the fact that Planned Parenthood is a billion dollar operation.  And where are all those pro-life Republicans saying anything about it?  I hear a lot of rhetoric, but in 39 years, what have they done?  Why is Roe v. Wade still the law of land?

 Below is an article from regarding the report.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Devil's Work: Feminism and the Elite Depopulation Agenda

  Blessed Jacinta Marto, Lúcia dos Santos
and Blessed Francisco Marto,
the three visionaries of Fatima
I have family members who have always been what is termed as "conspiracy nuts."  They were always telling me that there is an elite group who is attempting to take control of the entire world and basically make all the rest of us their slaves.  Like most people, I thought they were just plain nuts.  Earlier this year I started looking closer at the visions of Fatima.  This is considered by some (including me) the most significant event of the 20th Century.  I have since had some major second thoughts about what my family members have told me over the years.

Fatima involved the appearance of our Blessed Mother to three little children in Fatima, Portugal.  She gave some very significant pronouncements to the children, which they couldn't begin to understand, but which have become very clear in the almost 100 years since these apparitions.  It was 1917, and Our Lady told them that the Great War (which we know as WWI) would soon be over, but there would be another greater war during the reign of Pope Pius XI (there was prior to his reign).  She said that:
"To prevent it [the war], I will come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays. If they listen to my requests, Russia will convert and there will be peace; if not, it [Russia] will spread its errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and several nations will be annihilated."
Our Lady made these pronouncements just a few months before the Communist revolution in 1917 when the Czar was overthrown in Russia and the Communists took over, creating the Soviet empire.  Communism is entirely atheistic, and promotes man in place of God.  It is Masonic.  Masonry is that form of belief which denies salvation in God and looks to man for our salvation.  It is completely condemned by the Catholic church, and if a Catholic becomes a Mason, he is automatically excommunicated.

Communism has spread her errors in many different ways.   One of these ways can be seen in feminism.  Henry Makow, who is Jewish by birth, has devoted the last couple of decades of his life to exposing errors such as feminism.  He says feminism is one of the tools created by the Illuminati used to destroy the family.   The Illuminati are that elite group of people who quite literally worship Satan and whose goal it is to take complete control of the world through a New World Order and enslave mankind.  It may sound crazy, but when you look around and see all of the horrendous evil in the world, including the hundreds of millions, maybe billions of deaths (when you consider birth control) that have resulted from abortion alone, it's not so hard to believe.  Who else but Satan, whose goal is to destroy mankind, could be behind such a terrible evil.

Below is an article written by Dr. Makow back in 2002.  I cetainly do not agree with all of his theological points.  He is not Catholic and is not writing from a Catholic viewpoint.  But I believe that his message about the New World Order, which amounts to the "errors of Russia" as prophecied by Our Lady, is of vital importance.  As Catholics, we know that the only way to defeat these "errors" is through Mary and Her Immaculate Heart.  Keep this in mind as you read the article.

The Day the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights Died

On December 31, 2011, New Year's Eve, while most Americans were partying and/or getting drunk, and certainly not paying attention to anything in the news, President Barack Obama quietly and out of view of the cameras, signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law and thus put the final stranglehold on our constitutional freedoms.  It is now safe to say that the nation of America as we have known it no longer exists. 

The MSM, for the most part, has ignored this story, and when they have reported on it in a very offhand way, they assure us that no one is trying to take away our freedoms despite what this bill says, and which even President Obama acknowledged.  In fact, Obama said that he did not want to sign the bill because it legalized the military to detain American citizens without charge, trial or conviction.  So to appease us, he published a signing statement which says that he will never use this bill to illegally detain Americans, but which signing statement leaves these provisions completely intact. We'll just forget about the promise of Obama never to use signing statements.    

While the MSM will continue to lie to you about this and every other important story, the alternative media on the internet is all over it.  Here is one article which I believe describes this matter very well:

Goodbye Bill of Rights, Obama Signs NDAA

To no one’s surprise, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) tonight–a great way to start off the new year! Immediately after the House of Representatives passed it on a vote of 283-136, Obama signaled that the bill would be signed in the coming weeks. This deplorable act of treason only serves to cement the fact that Obama is a serial liar who has no respect for the basic rights of American citizens.

Adam Serwer over at MotherJones explains it clearly,
The administration had said that the military detention provisions of an earlier version of the NDAA were “inconsistent with the fundamental American principle that our military does not patrol our streets.”

The revised NDAA is still inconsistent with that fundamental American principle. But the administration has decided that fundamental American principles aren’t actually worth vetoing the bill over.
On one hand the administration claims that it’s opposed to the bill to keep it’s progressive constituency at bay all the while planning to sign it anyway.

It should be noted that the Obama administration’s attacks on the civil liberties of Americans far outweigh those of the Bush administration’s. While George W. Bush only took away your 4th Amendment rights via the USA PATRIOT Act, the Obama administration has extended the USA PATRIOT Act and now repealed your 5th and 6th Amendment rights through the NDAA. You can also say goodbye to The Posse Comitatus Act, which makes it illegal for the military to stroll around the streets of suburbia and arrest people at will.

Civil rights organizations like the ACLU have come to the realization that Obama’s actions are historically some of the most dangerous and tyrannical. Laura W. Murphy of the ACLU’s Washington office, in a press release stated,
If President Obama signs this bill, it will damage both his legacy and American’s reputation for upholding the rule of law. The last time Congress passed indefinite detention legislation was during the McCarthy era and President Truman had the courage to veto that bill. We hope that the president will consider the long view of history before codifying indefinite detention without charge or trial.
Consider this, President Truman vetoed an indefinite detention bill when the largest threat to the national defense of the United States had an arsenal of thousands of nuclear weapons and when domestic spies were rampant. Now, the major threat to our national security emanates from third world countries with enemies living in caves [or so they tell us], who have countlessly failed, not because of the PATRIOT Act, but because of their own incompetence. The NDAA is an abomination that is more of a threat to our freedom and our rights than any foreign terrorist ever was [and who is to say that this wasn't the intention all along?]

Feast of The Most Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Today in the Traditional Roman Calendar it is is the Feast of The Most Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Like the Feast of The Circumcision of Christ, this day was also dropped after Vatican II.  These two feasts are actually very closely connected to each other and that is probably why they were both dropped. 

Why would the Church dedicate an entire feast to the Name of Jesus.  In the traditional breviary, a passage from chapter 3 of the Acts of the Apostles is included in which a lame beggar asks Peter and John for alms.  Peter's answer is:
"Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk."
With this, the beggar is healed.  Naturally the people wondered at this great healing, and Peter says to them: 

"And in the faith of his name, this man, whom you have seen and known, hath his name strengthened; and the faith which is by him, hath given this perfect soundness in the sight of you all."

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Help Yourself to Jesus - Part II

A couple of weeks ago I posted about my visit to a church in which two lay people came in, walked up to the Tabernacle and removed consecrated hosts.  I was completely shocked by this, and also by the fact that the key was left in the Tabernacle, which leaves it wide open to anyone who may want to take hosts. 

Well, I was back at that church today.  As I reported previously, the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in a side altar.  There is an altar railing in front of that altar, so I took advantage of that to pray there.  As I was kneeling there, one of those same people from a couple of weeks ago came in, opened up the Tabernacle, took some hosts and proceeded to leave.  I stopped him on his way out and asked why the key was left in the Tabernacle.  His response was that I was talking to the wrong person, I needed to ask the priest.  He said he assumed so that everyone would not need their own key!  I wanted to ask why lay people were allowed to go into the Tabernacle, but instead said, there are black masses you know, and anyone can come in and take these hosts . He responded, "I know."

Is there doubt in anyone's mind that reverence for the Blessed Sacrament in the Catholic Church has reached an all time low?   I really wonder how many actually believe in the Real Presence.  I have seen polls that say as little as 30% of Catholics believe in the Real Presence.  I have to say I have grave doubts about whomever is the pastor of the Church I was at today.  Why does he leave this Tabernacle and the Blessed Sacrament completely exposed, with no protection whatsoever? Does he care so little of this greatest gift we have been given - the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread?

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us all. 

Feast of the Circumcision

  Since the debt incurred by the sin of Adam
cannot be met by Adam's insolvent progeny
and since Christ's blood pays the ransom his
 Circumcision becomes, as it were, a first
installment, a down payment on behalf of mankind.
It is because Christ was circumcised that the Christian
no longer needs circumcision. In the words of
St. Ambrose: "Since the price has been paid for all
after Christ . . . suffered, there is no longer need
 for the blood of each individual to be shed by circumcision."

For most of the world, and this unfortunately includes most who call themselves Catholic, January 1 means New Year's Day, and that's about it.  The Novus Ordo calendar has named January 1 the Feast of Mary, Mother of God .  But for most of Church history, it was the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ.  From Wikipedia:

The feast was celebrated in the East before it was in the West, but by the 5th century it was celebrated in France and Spain on the Sunday before Christmas. In Rome, even before the 7th century, 1 January was used as a celebration of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ had come to replace the Marian feast on 1 January. The celebration of the Feast of the Circumcision on 1 January was expanded to the entire Roman Catholic Church in 1570 when Pope Pius V promulgated the Roman Missal. In 1914, the feast of the "Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary" was established in Portugal, occurring on 11 October. In 1931, this feast was extended to the entire Roman Catholic Church by Pope Pius XI and maintained on 11 October. Following the Second Vatican Council in 1974, Pope Paul VI removed the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ from the liturgical calendar, and replaced it with the feast of the "Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God."  In the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, Catholics continue to celebrate this feast day with the old name "The Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary" on 11 October, and 1 January is the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord.
As you can see, once again following Vatican II, Holy Mother Church lost more of her great tradition.  But there were always those who refused to let go of these traditions, and so even though they are not officially recognized by the Church, we are allowed to observe them.  We quite literally thank God for that.

I can't speak for Pope Paul VI in removing this feast from the calendar, but I can speak to why it is an important feast.  This is the first time Christ sheds his blood for us.  I feel that the picture I have used here, by Peter Paul Rubens done around 1605, is especially poignant because it shows our Blessed Mother, with great pain on her face, turning away, unable to watch the cutting of her Son, but just as she did at the cross, staying by his side. 

A Review of the "New" Novus Ordo Mass

I must admit up front that I try to avoid the Novus Ordo Mass at all costs. When I came back to the Church in 2007 after being gone for 38 years, I did not recognize this Mass at all. But I became a daily communicant and did my best to love the Novus Ordo Mass, although I secretly wished that we had a daily TLM in the city. In 2009, in response to Pope Benedict XVI's Summorum Pontificum, we in New York City received a great gift when a wonderful group of people instituted a daily Traditional Latin Mass at Holy Innoncents Church in Manhattan. I started attending in September 2010 and have never looked back. 

Our Holy Father has continued to try to turn the Catholic Church towards greater spirituality and traditional Catholic teaching, and at the start of Advent this year, major corrections were made to the English translation of the Novus Ordo Mass. There was, of course, great resistence on the part of some - mostly clergy. But most Churches have followed through. I have been to a couple Novus Ordo Masses since then, and I have to honestly say that although I am very grateful for these much needed corrections, it doesn't really help in making the NO Mass more reverent. Here is a review on the correction to the NO Mass from Catholic Family News.

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