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This article a great reminder of our world today, the fractured heart of the Church which St. Catherine was sent to mend.

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2012/04/27/catherine-of-siena-and-leaving-the-church/

And so it is in our time, God is sending saints, like white blood cells into the gaping wound of division. He doesn't send those whose caustic tongues spread scandal and whose words like swords dismantle the dignity of office due to all priests and bishops. Where there is a lack of charity, even in the fight for the "good", Satan's choir sings as he wins twice.

St. Catherine of Sienna recounted in her Dialogues the Lord saying:

“Never cease offering me the incense of fragrant prayers for the salvation of souls, for I want to be merciful to the world. With your prayers and sweat and tears, I will wash the face of my bride, Holy Church. I showed her to you earlier as a maiden whose face was all dirtied as if she were a leper. The clergy and the whole of Christianity are to blame for this because of their sins, though they receive their nourishment at the breast of this bride.”

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In 1969, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger gave a series of five sermons over the radio. On Christmas Day over “Hessian Rundfunk” radio, he gave out his final preaching that carried with it a distinct prophetic tone.

The full copy is reprinted at UCatholic | http://www.ucatholic.com/blog/the-lost-prophecy-of-father-joseph-ratzinger-on-the-future-of-the-church/

It is a sober reflection on the near future. Good medicine to read. There are two passages, however, that leapt from the page.

 

"We have no need of a Church that celebrates the cult of action in political prayers. It is utterly superfluous. Therefore, it will destroy itself."

And further,

"But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret."


We are today experiencing this time of "sifting" within the Church, away from layers of political faith to foundational faith in Christ. It is a necessary time, a time of stripping away layers, an examination of conscience, where we must live the creed anew, and where "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church..." will take on new meaning.

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In today's Mass Readings we hear of angels urging Lot to take his family out of Sodom on the eve of its destruction (Genesis 19:15-29) and Christ rebuking the storm on the sea (Matthew 8:23-27).  If we overlay these two accounts we have a powerful reminder for us on our nation's birthday.

Firstly, that our moral life has consequences on others and reverberates in nature (something even the ancient Greeks believed). Our sins affect our garden.

And secondly, we can build up our nation by placing ourselves, personally, under God.

If we get this 'Eucharistic relationship' right, and step inside God's boat, we become good stewards of creation and  good citizens adding to the transformation of our nation into a civilization of love and true independence from sin.

Let us hold fast to 'Christ in our boat'. Let us receive him daily in the Blessed Sacrament, and we will weather the storms and be lead out of the 'burning cities' of temptation by the angles.

 

Happy Independence Day!

 

-- The Knights.

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Most Holy Trinity,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
I adore Thee profoundly.
I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul
and Divinity of Jesus Christ,
present in all the tabernacles of the world,
in reparation for the outrages,
sacrileges and indifferences whereby He is offended.
And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart
and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.

 

Also...

Secrets of the Saints: 5 Powerful Prayers to Jesus in the Eucharist

The saints are unanimous in centering their lives on Jesus in the Eucharist. From their deep interior devotion, some of them composed prayers, left as examples for the rest of us. The five prayers below are words for us when don’t know what we ought to say.

Maybe try praying one of them today!

1) St. Ignatius of Loyola – Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.

Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.

From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me.
And bid me come to Thee.
That with Thy saints I may praise Thee.
Forever and ever. Amen.

2) St. Catherine of Siena – A Prayer to Jesus in the Eucharist

O boundless charity!
Just as you gave us yourself,
wholly God and wholly man,
so you left us all of yourself as food
so that while we are pilgrims in this life
we might not collapse in our weariness
but be strengthened by you, heavenly food.

O mercenary people!
And what has your God left you?
He has left you himself,
wholly God and wholly man,
hidden under the whiteness of this bread.

O fire of love!
Was it not enough to gift us
with creation in your image and likeness,
and to create us anew to grace in your Son’s blood,
without giving us yourself as food,
the whole of divine being,
the whole of God?

What drove you?
Nothing but your charity,
mad with love as you are!

3) St. Bonaventure – Grant that my soul may hunger after Thee

Pierce, O most sweet Lord Jesus Christ, mine inmost soul with the most joyous and healthful wound of Thy love, with true, serene, and most holy apostolic charity, that my soul may ever languish and melt with love and longing for Thee, that it may yearn for Thee and faint for Thy courts, and long to be dissolved and to be with Thee.

Grant that my soul may hunger after Thee, the bread of angels, the refreshment of holy souls, our daily and supersubstantial bread, having all sweetness and savor and every delight of taste.

Let my heart ever hunger after and feed upon Thee, whom the angels desire to look upon, and may my inmost soul be filled with the sweetness of Thy savor.

May it ever thirst after Thee, the fountain of life, the fountain of wisdom and knowledge, the fountain of eternal light, the torrent of pleasure, the richness of the house of God.

May it ever compass Thee, seek Thee, find Thee, run to Thee, attain to Thee, meditate upon Thee, speak of Thee, and do all things to the praise and glory of Thy Holy name, with humility and discretion, with love and delight, with readiness and affection, and with perseverance unto the end.

Be Thou alone ever my hope and my whole confidence, my riches, my delight, my pleasure and my joy; my rest and tranquility; my peace, my sweetness and my fragrance; my sweet savor, my food and refreshment; my refuge and my help; my wisdom, my portion, my possession and my treasure, in whom may my mind and my heart be ever fixed and firm, and rooted immovably. Amen.

4) St. Padre Pio – Prayer After Holy Communion

Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You.
Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life and without You I am without fervor.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light and without You I am in darkness.

Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.
Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.
Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much and always be in Your company.
Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.
Stay with me, Lord, as poor as my soul is I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love.

Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close and life passes, death, judgment and eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches, I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!

Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You.

Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of the bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.

Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love.

Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.

With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity.

Amen.

5) St. Alphonsus Liguori – To Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

My Lord Jesus Christ, Who, through the love which You bear toward men, does remain with them day and night in this Sacrament, full of mercy and love, awaiting, inviting and receiving all who come to visit You, I believe that You are present in the Sacrament of the Altar.

From the abyss of my nothingness, I adore You. I thank You for all the graces which You have bestowed upon me, particularly for having given me Yourself in this Sacrament, for having given my Your most holy Mother Mary for my advocate, and for having called me to visit You in this church.

I pay my homage to Your most loving Heart for these three ends: first in thanksgiving for this great Gift; second to make amends to You for all the outrages which You do receive in this Sacrament from all Your enemies; third I intend by this visit to adore You in all the places on earth in which You are present in this Sacrament and in which You are the least honored and the most abandoned.

My Jesus, I love You with my whole heart. I am sorry for having offended Your infinite goodness so many times. I purpose, with the help of Your grace, never more to offend You; and, at this moment, mniserable as I am, I consecrate my whole being to You.

I give You my entire will, all my affections and desires and all that I have. From this day forward, do what You will with me and with everything that belongs to me.

I ask and desire only Your holy love, the gift of final perseverance and the perfect fulfillment of Your will. I commend to You the souls in Purgatory, particularly those who were most devoted to the Most Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin Mary; and I also commend to You all poor sinners.

Finally, my dear Savior, I unite all my affections with the affections of Your most loving Heart; and thus united, I offer them to Your Eternal Father, and I entreat Him, in Your Name and for Your sake, to accept and answer them.

Amen.

 

https://churchpop.com/2017/06/17/5-powerful-prayers-to-jesus-in-the-eucharist-from-the-saints/

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Apart from the usual seasonal highwater of summer marriages there is certainly a lot of marching "for love" going on. And with that an increasing number of politicians clamoring to catch the love-wave for press alongside a fleshy mob or a local celebrity.

Although the subtext reads "acceptance of love" you'll not find here a parade of agape or filial love but only that of eros.  And not true eros either, which is sexual love perfected in supernatural love beyond the flesh. What we are left with then are really just city-wide marches for a pillar of the cultural revolution -- "sex alone", a kind of limited fleeting eros that left at its base without a higher love leads to endless frustration without fulfillment for the human person whose dual nature of body and soul longs for divine Eucharistic intimacy.

It may well be time for us to march to Pope Benedict XVI's masterpiece -- Deus Caritas Est, or even Dietrich or Alice von Hildebrand's great insights both of which guide us into a deeper understanding of love and authentic experience of lasting joy. 

Here are some excerpts to start off a true summer of love and a supernatural rainbow love in which God is true to his covenant by Christ Crucified.

 

"Love plays a key role in human life, for God is love. (1 John 4:8). Heaven is the place where love reigns supreme. Hell is the place where creatures refuse to love. This is why Dante was right when he wrote: Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch'entrate. (Leave all hope ye that enter), (Inferno III. 9).

Man was created in God's image and likeness: that is, with a capacity to know, to will, and to love. Original sin has crippled these gifts. It has darkened our intelligence, weakened our wills and frozen our hearts. We now have hearts of stone. The work of Redemption is to re-teach and enable us to love by imitating him who, out of love, died for us on the Cross. "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
Traditional Catholic teaching distinguishes between "natural" love and "supernatural" love, indicating clearly that the latter is much superior to the former. The former is called eros, the latter agape....

...the lover will sooner or later realize that our human capacity to love is limited. We are not "love itself" but can at best "partake" of love. This is why the noblest eros carries within itself a note of tragedy. It can never achieve by itself what the very essence of love calls for. Humanly, our love is defeated.

The longing that burns in the soul of any true lover can only find its fulfillment in being transformed in Christ, and in no way from the fact that the intentio unionis has been eliminated. One only needs to read the mystics to realize how they longed to be united with Christ, and how they joyfully embraced the Cross where it is to be found in this vale of tears."

-- Alice von Hildebrand (Eros and Agape)
https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=6565

 

"Nowadays Christianity of the past is often criticized as having been opposed to the body; and it is quite true that tendencies of this sort have always existed. Yet the contemporary way of exalting the body is deceptive. Eros, reduced to pure “sex”, has become a commodity, a mere “thing” to be bought and sold, or rather, man himself becomes a commodity. This is hardly man's great “yes” to the body. On the contrary, he now considers his body and his sexuality as the purely material part of himself, to be used and exploited at will. Nor does he see it as an arena for the exercise of his freedom, but as a mere object that he attempts, as he pleases, to make both enjoyable and harmless. Here we are actually dealing with a debasement of the human body: no longer is it integrated into our overall existential freedom; no longer is it a vital expression of our whole being, but it is more or less relegated to the purely biological sphere. The apparent exaltation of the body can quickly turn into a hatred of bodiliness. Christian faith, on the other hand, has always considered man a unity in duality, a reality in which spirit and matter compenetrate, and in which each is brought to a new nobility. True, eros tends to rise “in ecstasy” towards the Divine, to lead us beyond ourselves; yet for this very reason it calls for a path of ascent, renunciation, purification and healing.

6. Concretely, what does this path of ascent and purification entail? How might love be experienced so that it can fully realize its human and divine promise? Here we can find a first, important indication in the Song of Songs, an Old Testament book well known to the mystics. According to the interpretation generally held today, the poems contained in this book were originally love-songs, perhaps intended for a Jewish wedding feast and meant to exalt conjugal love. In this context it is highly instructive to note that in the course of the book two different Hebrew words are used to indicate “love”. First there is the word dodim, a plural form suggesting a love that is still insecure, indeterminate and searching. This comes to be replaced by the word ahabà, which the Greek version of the Old Testament translates with the similar-sounding agape, which, as we have seen, becomes the typical expression for the biblical notion of love. By contrast with an indeterminate, “searching” love, this word expresses the experience of a love which involves a real discovery of the other, moving beyond the selfish character that prevailed earlier. Love now becomes concern and care for the other. No longer is it self-seeking, a sinking in the intoxication of happiness; instead it seeks the good of the beloved: it becomes renunciation and it is ready, and even willing, for sacrifice.

It is part of love's growth towards higher levels and inward purification that it now seeks to become definitive, and it does so in a twofold sense: both in the sense of exclusivity (this particular person alone) and in the sense of being “for ever”. Love embraces the whole of existence in each of its dimensions, including the dimension of time. It could hardly be otherwise, since its promise looks towards its definitive goal: love looks to the eternal. Love is indeed “ecstasy”, not in the sense of a moment of intoxication, but rather as a journey, an ongoing exodus out of the closed inward-looking self towards its liberation through self-giving, and thus towards authentic self-discovery and indeed the discovery of God: “Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it” (Lk 17:33), as Jesus says throughout the Gospels (cf. Mt 10:39; 16:25; Mk 8:35; Lk 9:24; Jn 12:25). In these words, Jesus portrays his own path, which leads through the Cross to the Resurrection: the path of the grain of wheat that falls to the ground and dies, and in this way bears much fruit. Starting from the depths of his own sacrifice and of the love that reaches fulfilment therein, he also portrays in these words the essence of love and indeed of human life itself."

-- Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter, Deus Caritas Est

http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20051225_deus-caritas-est.html

 

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With all the unbridled web-critique of Catholics by Catholics there is a marked erosion of the respect due the 'office' of priest, bishop, and even pope; a tearing of the Eucharistic cloth of Christian unity and an 'invasion of the vulgars'.

On March 5th, 1245, Pope Innocent IV sent Dominican and Franciscan Friars to bring Christ to the Mongols whose invasions pillaged and raped central Europe. As Franciscan brothers we bring today to all of our fellow net-izens a reminder of the same appeal for respect, peace, and love that comes from gazing upon the Face of Christ.

"Seeing that not only men but even irrational animals, nay, the very elements which go to make up the world machine, are united by a certain innate law after the manner of the celestial spirits, all of which God the Creator has divided into choirs in the enduring stability of peaceful order, it is not without cause that we are driven to express in strong terms our amazement that you, as we have heard, have invaded many countries belonging both to Christians and to others and are laying them waste in a horrible desolation, and with a fury still unabated you do not cease from stretching out your destroying hand to more distant lands, but, breaking the bond of natural ties, sparing neither sex nor age, you rage against all indiscriminately with the sword of chastisement.

We, therefore, following the example of the King of Peace, and desiring that all men should live united in concord in the fear of God, do admonish, beg and earnestly beseech all of you that for the future you desist entirely from assaults of this kind and especially from the persecution of Christians, and that after so many and such grievous offenses you conciliate by a fitting penance the wrath of Divine Majesty, which without doubt you have seriously aroused by such provocation; nor should you be emboldened to commit further savagery by the fact that when the sword of your might has raged against other men Almighty God has up to the present allowed various nations to fall before your face; for sometimes He refrains from chastising the proud in this world for the moment, for this reason, that if they neglect to humble themselves of their own accord He may not only no longer put off the punishment of their wickedness in this life but may also take greater vengeance in the world to come."

"It is for this reason that we have thought fit to send to you our beloved son Friar Laurence of Portugal and his companions of the Order of Friars Minor, the bearers of this letter, men remarkable for their religious spirit, comely in their virtue and gifted with a knowledge of Holy Scripture, so that following their salutary instructions you may acknowledge Jesus Christ the very Son of God and worship His glorious name by practicing the Christian religion. We therefore admonish you all, beg and earnestly entreat you to receive these Friars kindly and to treat them in considerate fashion out of reverence for God and for us, indeed as if receiving us in their persons..."

-- Pope Innocent IV

[Translation from Christopher Dawson ed., The Mongol Mission: Narratives and Letters of the Franciscan Missionaries in Mongolia and China in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries (New York, 1955), pp. 75-76]

 

https://ballandalus.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/mongol-papal-encounter-letter-exchange-between-pope-innocent-iv-and-guyuk-khan-in-1245-1246/

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Did you know St. Damien of Molokai was a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary which grew as a spiritual response to the 'terror' of the French Revolution? The congregation's full title reads -- ...of Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Again, it is the Eucharist, and adoration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, that is the proper response to "terror", then, and today.

Join us in this counter-terror movement.

"I find consolation in the one and only friend who will never leave me, that is, our Divine Saviour in the Holy Eucharist... Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the most tender of friends with souls who seek to please Him. His goodness knows how to proportion itself to the smallest of His creatures as to the greatest of them. Be not afraid then in your solitary conversations, to tell Him of your miseries, your fears, your worries, of those who are dear to you, of your projects, and of your hopes. Do so with confidence and with an open heart."  - St. Damien of Molokai (1840 - 1889)

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A crucial observation from writer Michael Cook on the nature of mercy in Pope Francis' pontificate:

A young officer in the Gestapo has been condemned to death by the French Resistance after the Germans have evacuated Paris. L’Abbé Gaston, a wise old priest, urges him to repent of his sins of the flesh. “How can I repent?” says the soldier. “It was something that I enjoyed, and if I had the chance I would do it again, even now.” Then the priest has an inspiration, “But are you sorry that you are not sorry?” “Yes,” responds the solider, “I am sorry that I am not sorry.”

“The door was opened just a crack,” says Pope Francis in his book The Name of God is Mercy, “allowing absolution to come in.”

 

Read on... https://www.mercatornet.com/above/view/fake-news-from-the-vatican/19657

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A great reminder from Cardinal Sarah of the eternal "crisis" to remain true to Christ especially through the great gift of liturgy.

 

The Vatican's liturgy chief said 'high-ranking prelates' were affirming 'obvious doctrinal, moral and liturgical errors'

Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Vatican’s liturgical chief, has spoken of a “serious, profound crisis” in the liturgy and the Church since the Second Vatican Council.

In a message to a liturgical conference in Herzogenrath, Germany, translated for Catholic World Report by Michael J Miller, Cardinal Sarah praised Vatican II’s document on the liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium. But he said the Council had been followed by a “serious crisis of faith, not only at the level of the Christian faithful but also and especially among many priests and bishops”.

The cardinal, who is Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, said the “crisis” was particularly visible in the way the Mass has been understood and celebrated. He argued that many Catholics had neglected “sacred silence”, and gestures such as kneeling which express reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. They had also forgotten that the Eucharist is a sacrifice, “identical to the act performed once and for all by Jesus Christ, making present the Sacrifice of the Cross in a non-bloody manner”.

He added that the Church had experienced “devastation, destruction and wars” not only in the liturgy, but also in doctrine, morals and Church discipline. “More and more voices of high-ranking prelates stubbornly affirm obvious doctrinal, moral and liturgical errors that have been condemned a hundred times, and work to demolish the little faith remaining in the people of God,” he said.

The conference was on the tenth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio which called for “mutual enrichment” between the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of the Mass, and gave greater freedom to celebrate the older form.

Cardinal Sarah had originally planned to attend the conference, but had “unexpected” obligations and sent a message instead.

He quoted several times from Benedict’s writings, including his remark – when Cardinal Ratzinger – that the Church’s crisis was “to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy”.

Cardinal Sarah suggested that the crisis had followed when God was displaced from the centre of the liturgy. Instead of directing worship towards the adoration of God, the Eucharist became dominated by merely human motives such as “the community’s celebration of itself”.

--

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/04/03/the-church-and-the-liturgy-face-a-profound-crisis-says-cardinal-sarah/

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An excerpt from "Inventing the Crusades" by Dr.  Thomas F. Madden.

"One can never understand the Crusades without understanding their penitential character."

All the Crusades met the criteria of just wars. They came about in reaction attacks against Christians or their Church. The First Crusade was called in 1095 in response to the recent Turkish conquest of Christian Asia Minor, as well as the much earlier Arab conquest of the Christian-held Holy Land. The second was called in response to the Muslim conquest of Edessa in 1144. The third was called in response to the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem and most other Christian lands in the Levant in 1187.

In each case, the faithful went to war to defend Christians, to punish the attackers, and to right terrible wrongs. As Riley-Smith has written elsewhere, crusading was seen as an act of love—specifically the love of God and the love of neighbor. By pushing back Muslim aggression and restoring Eastern Christianity, the Crusaders were—at great peril to themselves—imitating the Good Samaritan. Or, as Innocent II told the Knights Templar, “You carry out in deeds the words of the gospel, ‘Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’”

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"The quality of mercy is not strained..." so begins Portia’s lines from The Merchant of Venice (Act IV, Scene 1) where Shylock is intent on taking a pound of flesh from Antonio who has defaulted on his loan. Portia, disguised as the lawyer Balthasar, tells the moneylender to be merciful.

But in an age of police states and persecution, where "some words can hide others", is that all William Shakespeare is saying?

No.

Clare Asquith, and now Joseph Pearce, drawing on earlier works of Heinrich Mutschmann and Karl Wentersdorf (Shakespeare and Catholicism, 1952) delve again into the 'Catholic code' of the playwright and mine a rich treasure for our day of Christian persecution.

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The ancient Greek, Aeschylus, (Robert F. Kennedy's favorite poet) had this to say in one of his tragedies,

So in the Libyan fable it is told
That once an eagle, stricken with an arrow,
Said, when he saw the fashion of the shaft,
"With our own feathers, not by others' hands,
Are we now smitten."

Let us pray for peace in all nations divided by strife, but especially our own.

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In the recent sci-fi film, Arrival, the story's premise pivots on language being a gateway to time. Although such films are esoteric and Gnostic, there is something very true about God who gives us his Divine Word, Jesus Christ, and allows us to see all of creation pivot, and bow, to his coming.In a sense, eternity pauses for our yes, or no, to the Divine Word.

Rick Larson's documentary, The Star of Bethlehem, gives us a lens to see just that -- God's celestial poetry, a language of love that binds together the movement and very existence of all being. A reminder in many ways that Christ came to redeem not just us, but all of creation.

http://www.bethlehemstar.com/starry-dance/coronation/

The Divine Word is the real "Arrival" that gives us a gateway to time? Eternal time.

 

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An Excerpt from 'God's Birthday' by Dr. Taylor Marshall

Dr. Taylor Marsall writes...

Secular magazines and “experts” on the History Channel love to gloat over Christians every December and “prove” how Christ was not born on December 25. Recently, the same “Christ wasn’t born on Dec 25” argument was taken up by Bill O’Reilly in his book Killing Jesus.

You can download the entire (short) book for free by clicking here. Here’s what you’ll get:

  1. How to answer the 3 most common objections against a December 25 Birthday
  2. A Biblical Argument from Luke’s Gospel locating Christ’s birth in late December
  3. An analysis of Church Fathers who defended the birth of Christ on December 25
  4. An explanation of how the Jewish historian Josephus got the dates wrong
  5. How and why Christ was born on Dec 25 in the year 1BC

It seems that the Jews were not the only ones waiting for a Savior. There is a strong tradition that even pagan seers began to prophesy of the coming Christ who would be a heavenly child and king of the world. The prophetic voice of the classical world belonged to sibyls. The word sibyl comes from the Greek word sibylla, which means “prophetess.” The sibyls were women who uttered prophetic oracles at shrines or temples throughout the classical world.

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Here is a page from history that may help us understand the attempts to re-engineer language today.

Keith Michael Baker, in his Inventing the French Revolution writes, "Yet revolutionary actors were indeed particularly conscious of the power of language. They struggled constantly to institute a new social and political order by framing, deploying, and attempting to control radically new discourse of human association... With the Revolution, the sacred center [from kingly crown] was symbolically reconfigured...

Today war is waged against the core of each person and each cell, and the foundation of a natural and biological bond between parent and child. If reality is defined by definitions, and then by mere human contracts, then those in governance have given themselves a god-power to re-engineer life, human identity, and relationships. Children become contractual property; sexual identity a mere license that can be purchased at city hall.

But all this is nothing new O Citizen of the Revolution, O Comrade of the People's Revolution.

St. Thomas Becket pray for us!

 

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On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception we are reminded of how the pure and ever Virgin Mary, the New Eve, through her humility cultivated by God in the singular grace of her conception -- puts us back within the covenantal 'garden' relationship. Adam pointed the finger at Eve; Eve passed the buck to the serpent. And we their children have been passing the buck ever since.

It is God who takes the first step, more of a constant yearning for us to come back to him, it is He who gives us new fruit -- the Immaculate Conception who will bring forth His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ and offer us Redemption.

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Did you know that the Star of Bethlehem flower, a symbol of purity and love, can be baked into bread. Truly.  So let's take a step back and take that in. Christ was born in Beth-le-hem, the house of bread, and the pure white flower resembling a star in honor of the Christ Child can be made into a floured bread.

How amazingly Eucharistic is that!

Further, it is a bread that one might assume is for human consumption only as the flower is safe to humans but toxic to animals. It may also serve as an antidote to certain diseases.  Here is a little more background...

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Prayer, like a soft spring rain can soften the most hardened hearts and obstinate wills. It encircles the globe like a golden ring, reaching those most in need of its benefits.

In his book, Guides to Holiness, Francois Mauriac writes,

"In each family, on single faithful soul is perhaps enough to draw after it all the others who are not faithful. From one generation to the next, this torrent of love carves out a bed for itself through fatal rocks of heredity. No one ever prays without all those dear to him being caught up in his prayer. The Redemption does not only mean that we are redeemed, but also that we redeem. Each faithful soul in a state of grace is involved in redemption. Whoever understands this is rescued from despair."

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"Hail and blessed be the hour and the moment
in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary,

at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold.
In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires
(here mention your requests)
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother.
Amen."

The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is often called simply the “Christmas Novena” or the “Christmas Anticipation Prayer,” because it is prayed 15 times every day from the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle (November 30) until Christmas.

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Today I stumbled, in a good way, upon this quote from Malcolm Muggeridge's daughter-in-law, Anne Roche Muggeridge.

If an angel allowed me one suggestion as to what more than anything else would most quickly restore the sense of the sacred to the Mass, it would be this: to do away with Mass facing the people. I am convinced that the position of the priest at the altar is the single most important liturgical “external” symbol, the one that carries the most doctrinal baggage. To put the priest back on our side of the altar, facing with us towards God, would at one stroke restore the Mass from an exercise in interpersonal relationship to the universal prayer of the Church to God our Father. With the priest facing God once more as leader of the people, the importance of the microphone will diminish, and the priest can stop making faces at us. He and we can go back to thinking only about what is happening in the Mystery.”  

[Anne Roche Muggeridge, The Desolate City: Revolution in the Catholic Church, rev. ed. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1990, pp. 176-77.]

---

Photo: Bishop Conley of Nebraska celebrates Holy Mass ad orientum -- that is, East towards God, with the people.

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Br. David Mary added a new event 2 weeks ago

Silent Ignatian Retreat

3 or 4 day silent Ignation retreat with Fr. Gary Coulter...

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  • Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House, 7303 N 112th St., Waverly, NE

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