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Pope Pius XII on August 15, 1954 delegated Cardinal Ciriaci to issue a letter on modesty. It is worth recounting this little gem.


"Everyone knows that during the summer months particularly, things are seen here and there which are certain to prove offensive to anyone who has retained some respect and regard for Christian virtue and human modesty . On the beaches, in country resorts, almost everywhere, on the streets of cities and towns, in private and public places, and, indeed, often in buildings dedicated to God, an unworthy and indecent mode of dress has prevailed. Because of this, the young particularly, whose minds are easily bent towards vice, are exposed to the extreme danger of losing their innocence, which is, by far, the most beautiful adornment of mind and body.

Feminine adornment, if it can be called adornment, feminine clothing, 'if that can be called clothing which contains nothing to protect either the body or modesty.' (Seneca) are at times of such a nature that they seem to serve lewdness rather than modesty.

What we are discussing here is obviously most serious, since it vitally concerns not only Christian virtue but also the health and vigor of human society.

Well did not the ancient poet say of this matter: 'Vice necessarily follows upon public nudity' (Ennius)."

 

Dorothy Gaudiose notes in her book, "Prophet of the People" that...

"Padre Pio wouldn't tolerate low-necked dresses or short, tight skirts, and he forbade his spiritual daughters to wear transparent stockings. (nylons) Each year his severity increased. He stubbornly dismissed them from his confessional, even before they set foot inside, if he judged them to be improperly dressed.

His brothers observed these drastic purges with uneasiness and...fasten(ed) a sign on the church door:

'By Padre Pio's explicit wish, women must enter his confessional wearing skirts at least eight inches below the knees. It is forbidden to borrow longer dresses in church and to wear them for the confessional.' "

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Excerpts from Cardinal Sarah's book, 'God or Nothing'...

“While Christians are dying for their faith and their fidelity to Jesus, in the West, men of the Church are trying to reduce the requirements of the Gospel to a minimum.”

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Pope Pius XII on August 15, 1954 delegated Cardinal Ciriaci to issue a letter on modesty. It is worth recounting this little gem. "Everyone knows that during the summer months particularly, things ...

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