Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Video games promote a culture of violence but abortion doesn't?

Flipping through the news channels just the other day, I overheard a news-anchor assert that anyone who suggests there is a link between abortion and the killing spree which just took place in Newtown, Connecticut is "crazy."


This same woman, like so many others in the mainstream media who believe that their views are somehow more relevant because they reach beyond the end of a bar, declared that there is a connection between violent video games and the tragedy which occurred at Sandy Hook elementary.  In other words, killing imaginary figures in a video game is part of the problem but killing actual children in the womb has absolutely nothing to do with societal violence.


Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, said that, "...we are confronted by...a veritable structure of sin."  And the most significant part of this structure of sin is the abortion movement, which President Barack Obama fully supports.  John Paul continues, "This reality is characterized by the emergence of a culture which denies solidarity and in many cases takes the form of a veritable 'culture of death.'  This culture is actively fostered by powerful cultural, economic and political currents which encourage an idea of society excessively concerned with efficiency.  Looking at the situation from this point of view, it is possible to speak in a certain sense of a war of the powerful against the weak: a life which would require greater acceptance, love and care is considered useless or held to be an intolerable burden, and is therefore rejected in one way or another.  A person who, because of illness, handicap or, more simply, just by existing, compromises the well-being or life-style of those who are more favored tends to be looked upon as an enemy to be resisted or eliminated.  This conspiracy involves not only individuals in their personal, family or group relationships, but goes far beyond, to the point of damaging and distorting at the international level relations between peoples and States." (Evangelium Vitae, No. 12).

Those who, like the confused news anchor in question, dismiss the link between this "war of the powerful against the weak" and incidents of violence such as the Sandy Hook tragedy, are either living in denial or are simply stupid.  Hatred of the truth is the root of all criminal violence.  Violence entered creation with the rebellion of Lucifer.  And his rebellion arose from pride.  And pride is the offspring of the vice which is known as hatred of truth.

As Fr. Miceli reminded us, "Hatred of truth is the result of the creature's attempt to rearrange God's hierarchy of beings and values into an order which the creature prefers to the plan of God.  This attempt immediately produces the violence of disorder, the chaos of falsity and immorality.  For hatred of truth is really hatred of God who creates all things wisely and governs them lovingly." (Essay entitled The Taproot of Violence).

The President has asked what we're doing as a society to protect all children.  The answer is: nothing, as long as abortion continues in this land.  If only he could understand this.  But then, hatred of truth is at the root of all criminal violence.  And President Obama has shown his hatred for truth with his demonic support of abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The "Social Gospel" is more concerned about an earthly future than eternity

Standing before a statue of Mary near the Spanish Steps on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Benedict XVI reminded his listeners that the Gospel is the good news of freedom from sin, that it is "the proclamation of the victory of grace over sin, of life over death."  Proponents of the "social gospel" have forgotten this.  The mission of the Church is not to eradicate poverty or social injustice.  As Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand explains, while "a deep interest in the earthly welfare of our neighbor is a central duty of the Christian and an essential demand of the love of neighbor," still, "it is definitely no part of the message of Christ that there is to be no more poverty, no more war, that the earth is to become a natural paradise."

Proponents of the "social gospel" fail to understand, as Dr. Hildebrand reminds us, that "..the primary task of the Church is the proclamation of the divine Revelation, the protection of it against all heresies, the the sanctification of the soul of the individual, the securing of his eternal salvation - this is the spreading of the kingdom of God on earth, and not the attempt to build up an earthly paradise." (Essay entitled This-Worldliness).

Dr. Hildebrand explains that, "...the motive of many for eliminating poverty (which itself is not morally wicked, but only a morally relevant evil) is not rooted in the spirit of Christ or His Gospel, but in a humanitarian ideal.  The widespread tendency today to demand everything as a right and to refuse to accept any gifts is surely no manifestation of a Christian spirit.  There is in reality a clear, sharply delineated difference between justice and love.  Justice can and should be protected and demanded by state law; but love of neighbor could never be demanded by any law.  For it is a duty before God, and no state law could or should prescribe it or enforce it.  Love of neighbor presupposes the fulfillment of the claims of justice, but it goes far beyond this.  The words of the Gospel, 'if someone asks you to go one mile, go two miles with him,' clearly go far beyond the sphere of justice.  Of course, it is a pharisaical hypocrisy to the demands of justice as if one were giving alms.  But it is a terrible pride not to want to accept any alms, and to demand that which comes as a gift.  The true Christian should be happier to receive alms and to be grateful for them, than simply to receive what he has a right to.  When he receives a gift he is happy not only over the good which is the gift, but also over the goodness of the giver; and he experiences it as a great source of happiness that he can and should be grateful."

Priests and deacons who have succumbed to the distortions of the "social gospel" seldom, if ever, preach against sin or remind their listeners of the reality of Hell.  Dr. Hildebrand addresses this fact saying that, "this-worldly tendency can be detected in various pastoral letters, and above all in countless sermons.  One speaks more about the fight against poverty and for social justice and world peace - in a word, more about improving the world - than about offending God by our sins, sanctifying the individual, about heaven and hell, eternity and the hope of eternal union with God in the beatific vision.  The this-worldly tendency emphasizes the earthly future more than eternity..." (This-Worldliness).

The true Christian, in the Creed, proclaims: Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi - 'We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come."  But proponents of the "social gospel" have largely abandoned such a hope and prefer instead to embrace a humanitarian religion and to work for an earthly "utopia."  Robert Hugh Benson, in his classic work entitled The Lord of the World, describes this humanitarian religion:

" becoming an actual religion itself; though anti-supernatural.  It is a pantheism.  Pantheism deifies all nature, God is the world, but naturally, man above all is God since he is the highest expression of nature.  It is a religion devoid of the 'super' natural, because since God is nature itself, there is no longer a distinction between Creator and creature.  The creature is God and hence arbitrator of his own destiny and establishes the moral law for himself....Humanitarianism is a religion devoid of the supernatural.  It is developing a ritual under Freemasonry; it has a creed, 'God is man'; and the rest.  It has, therefore, a real food of a sort to offer religious cravings: it idealizes and yet makes no demands upon the spiritual faculties..." (Introduction, p. xvii).

The Church's mission is not to solve poverty.  In fact, Jesus said that we would always have the poor with us (Mark 14: 7).  The Church's mission is the salvation of souls.  When a crowd of people went searching for Jesus and found Him on the other side of the Sea of Galilee, they said to Him, 'Rabbi, when did you come here?'  And Jesus answered them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.  Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you; for on Him has God the Father set His seal."  The crowd said to Him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?"  And Jesus answered them: "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him who He has sent." (John 6: 25-29).

The work of God is believing in Him whom the Father has sent.  Jesus reveals Himself as the Bread of Life.  He reveals in the synagogue who He is, where He comes from and the good things He has in store for those who believe in Him: faith, the Eucharist and eternal life.

Proponents of the 'social gospel" have forgotten that "man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4: 4).  Crippled by distorted humanitarian ideals, such confused souls forget Our Lord's injunction to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (food, drink, clothing etc) shall be yours as well." (Matthew 6: 33).

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mr. President....Do you really respect human life or were your tears simply an act?

"… If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?…Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion." - Mother Teresa of Calcutta

It's not gun control we need Mr. President.  It's respect for the sanctity of all human life - from the first moment of conception through the final moments of natural death.  When Pope Benedict XVI attempted to discuss abortion with you just after the 2008 presidential election, you told His Holiness that you disagree with him.  What is the nature of your disagreement with the Vicar of Christ?  Where are your tears for the innocent children who are murdered in the womb and even during birth (partial-birth abortion) which is nothing less than infanticide?

Do you really respect human life or were you simply playing to the cameras to politicize this tragedy and to advance gun-control?

Mr. President?

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Broader participation of the laity in the apostolic life of the Church?

In an essay entitled, “The Case for the Latin Mass,” Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand explains that, “Those who rhapsodize on the new liturgy make much of the point that over the years the Mass had lost its communal character and had become an occasion for individualistic worship.  The new vernacular Mass, they insist, restores the sense of community by replacing private devotions with community participation.  Yet they forget that there are different levels and kinds of communion with other persons.  The level and nature of a community experience is determined by the theme of the communion, the name or cause in which men are gathered.  The higher the good which the theme represents, and which binds men together, the more sublime and deeper is the communion.  The ethos and nature of a community experience in the case of a great national emergency is obviously radically different from the community experience of a cocktail party.  And of course the most striking differences in communities will be found between the community whose theme is supernatural and the one whose theme is merely natural.  The actualization of the souls of men who are truly touched by Christ is the basis of a unique community, a sacred communion, one whose quality is incomparably more sublime than that of any natural community.  The authentic we-communion of the faithful, which the liturgy of Holy Thursday expresses so well in the words congregavit nos in unum Christi amor, is possible only as a fruit of the I-Thou communion with Christ Himself.  Only a direct relation to the God-man can actualize this sacred union among the faithful.  The communion of Christ has nothing of the self-assertion found in natural communities.  It breathes of the Redemption.  It liberates men from all self-centeredness.  Yet such a communion emphatically does not depersonalize the individual.  Far from dissolving the person into the cosmic, pantheistic swoon so often commended to us these days, it actualizes the person’s true self in a unique way.  In the community of Christ the conflict between person and community that is present in all natural communities cannot exist. 
So this sacred community experience is really at war with the depersonalizing ‘we-experience’ found in mass assemblies and popular gatherings which tend to absorb and evaporate the individual.  This communion in Christ that was so fully alive in the early Christian centuries, that all the saints entered into, that found a matchless expression in the liturgy now under attack - this communion has never regarded the individual person as a mere segment of the community, or as an instrument to serve it.  In this connection it is worth noting that totalitarian ideology is not alone in sacrificing the individual to the collective; some of Teilhard de Chardin’s cosmic ideas, for instance, imply the same collectivistic sacrifice.  Teilhard subordinates the individual and his sanctification to the supposed development of humanity.  At a time when this perverse theory of community is embraced even by many Catholics, there are plainly urgent reasons for vigorously insisting on the sacred character of the true communion in Christ.

I submit that the new liturgy must be judged by this test: Does it contribute to the authentic sacred community?  Granted that it strives for a community character; but is this the character desired?  Is it a communion grounded in recollection, contemplation and reverence? Which of the two - the new Mass, or the Latin Mass with the Gregorian chant - evokes these attitudes of soul more effectively, and thus permits the deeper and true communion?  Is it not plain that frequently the community character of the new Mass purely profane, that, as with other social gatherings, its blend of casual relaxation and bustling activity precludes a reverent, contemplative confrontation with Christ and with the ineffable mystery of the Eucharist?...our epoch is pervaded by a spirit of irreverence.  It is seen in a distorted notion of freedom that demands rights while refusing obligations, that exalts self-indulgence, that counsels ‘let yourself go.’  The habitare secum of St. Gregory’s Dialogues - the dwelling in the presence of God - which presupposes reverence, is considered today to be unnatural, pompous, or servile.
But is not the new liturgy a compromise with this modern spirit?  Whence comes the disparagement of kneeling?  Why should the Eucharist be received standing?  Is not kneeling, in our culture, the classic expression of adoring reverence?  The argument that at a meal we should stand rather than kneel is hardly convincing.  For one thing, this is not the natural posture for eating: we sit, and in Christ’s time some reclined.  But more important, it is a specifically irreverent conception of the Eucharist to stress its character as a meal at the cost of its unique character as a holy mystery.  Stressing the meal at the expense of the sacrament surely betrays a tendency to obscure the sacredness of the sacrifice.  This tendency is apparently traceable to the unfortunate belief that religious life will become more vivid, more existential, if it is immersed in our everyday life.  But this is to run the danger of absorbing the religious in the mundane, of effacing the difference between the supernatural and the natural.  I fear that it represents an unconscious intrusion of the naturalistic spirit, of the spirit more fully expressed in Teilhard de Chardin’s immanentism....
Those who idolize our epoch, who thrill at what is modern simply because it is modern, who believe that in our day man has finally ‘come of age,’ lack pietas.  The pride of these ‘temporal nationalists’ is not only irreverent, it is incompatible with real faith.  A Catholic should regard his liturgy with pietas.  He should revere, and therefore fear to abandon the prayers and postures and music that have been approved by so many saints throughout the Christian era and delivered to us a precious heritage..”
An article written by Marcellino D’Ambrosio for the Catholic News Service and carried on the front page of The Catholic Free Press and entitled “A ‘student’ of Vatican II,” displays such an irreverence for the Mass which made saints like Padre Pio and the Cure of Ars.  In his article, Mr. D’Ambrosio repeats the tired mantra: “Before the council, laity were passive spectators in the liturgy, often praying devotional prayers while they were ‘hearing’ Mass since the readings were in Latin...The goal of the council was to promote the conscious, active participation of the laity in the liturgy, but also to restore a much broader and richer participation of the laity in the apostolic life of the church as reflected in the Acts of the Apostles and the epistles.”
Such an attitude betrays a hateful irreverence toward the Mass which made such great saints as Padre Pio and the holy Cure of Ars, Saint Jean Vianney.  In “Salt of the Earth,” then Cardinal Ratzinger and now Pope Benedict XVI declared that, “A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent.” 
How much more so when that same liturgy is disparaged?

Mr. D’Ambrosio’s article is an exercise in chronolatry and nothing more.  Let’s examine the fruits of this attempt to “promote the conscious, active participation of the laity in the liturgy” while restoring a “much broader and richer participation of the laity in the apostolic life of the Church.”  Patrick Buchanan writes, “The 1950s were America’s Catholic moment.  The moral authority of the Pope and America’s bishops was never higher.  Long lines formed outside confessionals on Saturdays.  It was standing room only at Sunday Mass [the same Mass now disparaged by the progressives today].  Fr. Patrick Peyton’s Rosary Crusade (‘The family that prays together stays together’) drew huge crowds.  The most visible prelate was Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen, whose television ratings bested those of Milton Berle.  ‘He’s got better writers than I do,’ quipped Berle.  Notre Dame’s legendary gridiron teams had millions of ‘subway alumni.’  Four out of five Catholics cast their votes in 1960 for John F. Kennedy, who became our first Catholic president...Half a century on [since Vatican II], the disaster is manifest.  The robust and confident Church of 1958 no longer exists.  Catholic colleges and universities remain Catholic in name only.  Parochial schools are closing as rapidly as they opened in the 1950s.  The number of nuns, priests, and seminarians have fallen dramatically.  Mass attendance is a third of what it was [broader participation?].  From the former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to vice president Joe Biden, Catholic politicians openly support abortion on demand...
Four decades after Vatican II, a quarter century into the pontificate of John Paul II, Kenneth C. Jones of St. Louis pulled together a slim volume of statistics demonstrating that the fears traditionalists who warned that the council was courting catastrophe had been justified.  And they exposed as naive those who insisted that the council would revitalize the faith, reconcile Catholicism with modernity, and make the Church more appealing to our secular world.  Here are Jones statistics on the decline and fall:
Clergy.  While the number of priests in the United States more than doubled to 58,000 between 1930 and 1965, between 1965 and 2002 that number fell to 45,000 and is on course to sink to 31,000 in 2020, when more than half of all Catholic priests will be over the age of seventy.
Ordinations.  In 1965, 1,575 priests were ordained.  In 2002, the figure was 450.
Parishes.  In 1965, only 1 percent of parishes were without a priest.  In 2002, 15 percent, or 3,000 parishes, were without priests.
Seminarians.  Between 1965 and 2002, the number of seminarians fell from 49,000 to 4,700, a decline of more than 90 percent.  Two-thirds of the 600 seminaries operating at the end of Vatican II have closed.
Nuns.  In 1965, there were 180,000 Catholic nuns.  By 2002, that number was down to 75,000 and their average age was 68.  By 2009, their numbers had fallen to 60,000, a loss of two-thirds in four and a half decades.
Teaching Nuns.  In 1965, there were 104,000 teaching nuns.  Today, there are 8,200.
Jesuits.  In 1965, 3,559 young men were studying to become Jesuit priests.  In 2,000, the figure was 389.

Christian Brothers.  The situation here is even more dire.  Their ranks have shrunk by two-thirds, while the number of seminarians has fallen by 99 percent.  In 1965, there were 912 seminarians in the Christian Brothers.  In 2,000, there were seven.
Religious Orders.  The number of young men studying to become Franciscan and Redemptorist priests fell from 3,379 in 1965 to 84 in 2000.  For many religious orders in America the end is in sight.
Diocesan High Schools.  Almost half of these high schools operating in the United States in 1965 had closed by 2002, and student enrollment had fallen from 700,000 to 386,000.
Parochial Schools.  In 1965, there were 4.5 million children in parish grammar schools.  By 2000, the number had plunged to 1.9 million.  In the first decade of this century, the number dropped again, to 1.5 million, a loss of two-thirds of Catholic parochial school enrollment since Vatican II - in a country whose population grew in that period by over 100 million.
In 2007, after interviewing 35,000 people for its U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, the Pew Forum confirmed what Jones had reported.  Since Vatican II, the Catholic Church in America had undergone a decline to rival what happened in some northern European countries during the Reformation.  By 2007:
One in three Catholics reared in the faith had left the Church.
One in ten American adults was a fallen-away Catholic.
Catholics remained 24 percent of the U.S. population only because of immigration.  Forty-six percent of all immigrants are Catholics.  As Irish, German, Italian, and Polish Catholics leave the Church or die, the pews fill up with Mexicans, Central Americans, Filipinos, and Vietnamese.  Were it not for immigrants, Catholics would have fallen from a fourth of the population to 18.4 percent, or less than one fifth...
Catholic losses have been ‘staggering,’ writes Fr. Joseph Sirba, ‘if one excludes immigrants and converts from the calculations, the Catholic Church has lost to other religions or to no religion at all 35.4 percent - or more than one-third - of the 64,131,750 of its native-born members....
The Catholics who remain in the Church are not nearly as firm in the faith or devout as their parents were.  The institutional shrinkage mirrors a spreading disbelief in doctrines that define the faith....Where a 1958 Gallup poll revealed that three of every four Catholics attended Mass on Sundays, a recent study by the University of Notre Dame found that one in four Catholics attend Sunday Mass today.”
Is this the “broader and richer participation of the laity in the apostolic life of the Church” which  Mr. D’Ambrosio refers to?  If so, he can keep it.

Buchanan continues: “Only 10 percent of lay teachers accept church teaching on contraception.  Fifty-three percent of lay teachers believe a woman can have an abortion and remain a good Catholic, even though participation in an abortion means automatic excommunication.  Sixty-five percent of lay teachers believe Catholics may divorce and remarry.  Seventy-seven percent believe one can be a good Catholic without going to Sunday Mass.  Millions of Catholic children are being taught their faith by heretics.....According to one New York Times poll, 70 percent of all Catholics 18-44 believed the Eucharist is but a ‘symbolic reminder’ of Jesus, and nearly two-thirds of all Catholics agreed.  Through the papacy of Pius XII, Catholicism remained the Church of the deeply traditionalist Council of Trent...refusing to modify its teachings to accommodate the age.  After Vatican II, the Church came out to meet the world.  The statistics give us the results of the encounter.” (Suicide of a Superpower, pp. 88-94).


The Mass which is popularly known as the Tridentine Mass informed the spiritual lives of so many saints.  Even while accepting its validity, can we honestly say the same about the new Mass?


Can we?

Photograph is of the Office Manager for Saint Joseph's Parish in Fitchburg.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Nine Day Novena to Our Lady of La Salette

The Nine Day Novena To Our Lady of LaSalette

Day One

Theme: Welcome

Scripture Says: "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light." (Mt. 11: 28, 30)

Mary Said: "Come near, my children."


What a wonderful invitation! In all simplicity Mary at La Salette calls the two children to come near. Her words echo her Son's invitation to come to him that we may find rest from our burdens and refreshment for our spirits. This too is Mary's desire: that her children-meaning us as well- should feel welcomed and loved.

Mary wishes us to come nearer to God who desires only good for us. We must approach and listen to her words, spoken with the love and concern of Jesus. She and her Son wish that during this La Salette Novena of prayer we may "have life and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) This is a wonderful outcome from this special time of prayer-that we would feel at home and sense the fullness of life God wishes for us. (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Virgin Mother of La Salette, we approach your loving Son with confidence. We place before our Savior our labors and burdens, our thoughts and feelings, words and actions, during these days of prayer and reflection. May Christ ease our burdens, and fill us with his presence. With faith, we ask for his blessings on us and on those whom we hold close to our hearts. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Day Two:

Theme: Freedom from Fear

Scripture Says: "Do not fear, Mary, for you have found favor with God." (Luke 1: 30)

Mary Said: "Do not be afraid."


At her Annunciation, Mary's initial response to the presence and words of the angel was anxious fear. She could easily sympathize with the reaction of fear which overcame the two children at her sudden appearance on the Holy Mountain of La Salette. Her words, like those of the angel, were most welcome and reassuring.

Mary, who was relieved of her fears, now relieves us of our own. She who "found favor with God," in turn finds favor for us. Mary who knew the God of her ancestors as a God of power and might now encounters God in a personal and intimate way. At La Salette she speaks from that privileged relationship with God to teach us that we too are "beloved of the Father."

Saint John declares "perfect love drives out fear." (1 John 4: 18) Mary came to know that "perfect love" as her own Son. May he cast out our fear as well, and perfect his love in us. (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Remember, Mother of Sorrows, how often fear keeps us from God. Lovingly guide us to Jesus, the source of grace. As we take comfort in your invitation to draw ever closer to your Son, may your words melt our hearts, dispel our fears, and increase his peace within us. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Day Three:

Theme: Joy

Scripture Says: "The angel of the Lord appeared to (the shepherds) and said, 'Behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.'" (Luke 2: 10)

Mary Said: "I am here to tell you great news."


The good news spoken to Mary at her Annunciation brought forth a prayer of praise. This prayer, the Magnificat, not only expresses her deep joy and the conviction of her strong faith; it also recounts how God cares for and helps the needy, the downtrodden, the lost.

Like the Gospel, the message of Mary at La Salette is one of good news. Her words announce great joy-the joy of our salvation: sin is forgiven, death is destroyed, a broken world has been renewed.

The angels announced the Good News of Jesus' birth-God breaking forth into our world. Mary at La Salette reminds us that God continues to break into our world, restoring and renewing the face of the earth. This is the Good News! This is the source of our joy! (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Gentle Virgin of La Salette, you urge us to find joy in God our Savior. Gladly we hear your words and pledge to spread this good news. May our lives give glory to your Son and be filled with joy in serving Christ, now and forever. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Day Four:

Theme: Rest

Scripture Says: "Six days you may labor and do all your work; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord, your God... For remember that you too were once slaves in Egypt, and the Lord, your God, brought you from there with his strong hand and outstretched arm. That is why the Lord, your God, has commanded you to observe the sabbath day." (Deuteronomy 5: 13, 14a, 15)

Mary Said: "I gave you six days to work; I kept the seventh for myself..."


Yes, the seventh day belongs to God and God shares this gift with us. This consecrated time is meant to free us from the vicious cycle of production and consumerism. It points us to the greater reality of God's presence and our life of grace. We are restored to the divine image.

The One who made the heavens and the earth has reserved this day for himself to remind us that we are "[God's] children in Christ". (Romans 8:16) This day, then, is also meant to restore our community. In sharing the Body of Christ we are called to be the Body of Christ. We are given into one another's care as were Jesus' mother and disciple at the foot of his cross. (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Faithful Virgin of La Salette, you uphold our dignity as free people and as children of God. May the Day of the Lord shine on us and give meaning to our work and our relationships so that in Jesus Christ we may give thanks to God. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Day Five:

Theme: True Fasting

Scripture Says: "This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own." (Isaiah 58: 6-7)

Mary Said: "If the harvest is ruined, it is only on account of yourselves. I warned you last year. You paid no heed! Instead, you swore. The rest will do penance through the famine!"


Mary's message startles us to an awareness of the evils of our world and to our own indifference. Today two-thirds of the world suffers or dies from hunger. Human rights are ignored across the face of the earth and injustice lies on our very doorstep. These signs cry out for our response.

If we listen to and act upon her words and those of her Son, she promises that one day Jesus will say to us: "Come, you who are blessed by my Father. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me whatever you did for one of these least...of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25: 34a, 35-36, 40b) (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Mother of Compassion, open our eyes to the sufferings of our sisters and brothers. Open our hearts and hands to share with these most needy of your children the plenteous blessings of this earth. Inspired by your words, Mary, may your people continue to nourish and heal, to love and forgive, to build the world our God desires. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Day Six:

Theme: Promised Blessings

Scripture Says: "The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God." (Isaiah 35: 1-2)

Mary Said: "If (my people) are converted, rocks and stones will turn into heaps of wheat..."


Jesus who opens the eyes of the blind and makes the lame dance, comes to restore us to life. The constant temptation is to harden our hearts and narrow our vision, so that we miss his very presence.

Let us come to Jesus, who is the Way to follow, the Truth to be discovered, the Life to be enjoyed and shared. He is the One who can make the desert of our heart-and of our world-bloom and bear abundant fruit.

Mary's apparition on the barren slope of La Salette has unleashed a stream of life-giving water, bearing the promise of refreshment and renewal. Heeding Mary's call to conversion makes our own lives rich and fruitful. (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Virgin Reconciler, may your unceasing prayer and loving concern for us bear fruit in the constant conversion of our minds and hearts. May our lives burst forth anew with love for your Son. May we obtain the blessings you and your Son have promised and faithfully give him thanks as our Savior and Lord. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Day Seven:

Theme: Prayer

Scripture Says: "Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus." (I Thessalonians 5: 16-18)

Mary Said: "Do you say your prayers well, my children? You should say them well, at night and in the morning...(people) go to Mass just to make fun of religion. In Lent they go to the butcher shops like dogs."


The Virgin at La Salette questions us on the quality of those gestures of faith which link us to God, and serve as the source of our ongoing conversion. Each day, we are invited to express in prayer our free and constant dialogue with God. We remember the words of Jesus' own prayer: "Father...not my will but yours be done." (Luke 22: 42) Each week, we are called to celebrate the Eucharist, the central memorial of the death and resurrection of Christ. The presence of the Risen Lord in our gathering revives our faith, and helps us wait in hope until he comes again. Each year, our Lenten penance, prayer and sharing strengthens our faith. With renewed vigor, we give our lives to God daily in service to our sisters and brothers. (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Mary, first disciple of Jesus, make our lives a living prayer. May we always be ready to pray, to celebrate God's presence and to follow Jesus faithfully every day. Hold us close beside you in the heart of the Church, ready to share the struggles and sufferings of all your people. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Day Eight:

Theme: Bread of Life

Scripture Says: Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." (John 6: 35)

Mary Said: "But you, (Maximin), surely you must have seen some (spoiled wheat) once, at (the field of) Coin...your father gave you a piece of bread and said to you: 'Here, my child, eat some bread while we still have it this year...'"


The fear of a future evil, the carefree attitude of a child, the concern of parents for their family, the sharing of bread-all details of life held in the memory and heart of the Virgin Mary at La Salette. Her solicitude invites us to trust in her concern for our welfare.

Her loving Son, Jesus, also reminded people how much our Heavenly Father watches out for our welfare. "If you, then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him." (Matthew 7:11)

The promise of shared bread and good gifts is a consoling message. This pledge reminds us that the Bread of Life willingly broke and gave himself to satisfy our deepest hunger for God. He continues to do so, and invites us to do the same. (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Mother, ever attentive to our needs, awaken in us compassion for the hungry and the needy. Help us to share our Creator's concern for all human hungers-of body, heart, or spirit. Give us always a yearning for the Bread of Life, Jesus, your Son and our Lord. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Day Nine:

Theme: Our Mission

Scripture Says: Then Jesus said to them, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of (time)." (Matthew 28: 18-20)

Mary Said: "Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people."


As Mary challenges and encourages us to follow her Son, she reminds us of our mission. We are to bring to the whole world the Good News of Jesus Christ. Marked by his Spirit and consecrated in truth and love, the followers of Jesus work together to advance the Kingdom of God.

The "great news" of Mary is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Like Mary, as we hear and bear the Word of God, we carry on the mission of Jesus, the mission entrusted to his apostles and to all the baptized. Such is our mission, so plain and simple that it was entrusted to two young children on the mountain of La Salette.

With maternal concern, the Virgin encourages us one final time: "Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people." (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Mother of the Church, watch over us, your people. Help us who have heard the Word of God to proclaim it in word and deed. As you were filled with the Spirit and gave birth to the Savior, may we, filled with that same Spirit, advance the kingdom of unity and peace for which Jesus gave his life on the cross. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Nihil Obstat: Very Rev. Timothy J. Shea, V.F. Imprimatur: Bernard Cardinal Law, Cardinal Archbishop of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., September 19, 1989

Monday, November 26, 2012

Stephen Kent, in an essay entitled “A need for pro-active ethics,” writes, “Ethics are based on values. Values arise from foundational beliefs, the primary ones being the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of life as God’s creation. What advances this ideal is good, what hinders it is wrong.”

Which is why it is most unfortunate that the Worcester Diocese [Massachusetts] continues to raise monies for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, an umbrella organization which funnels monies to various groups promoting abortion, contraception and even sodomy and same-sex “marriage.” Any diocese which claims to be committed toward defending the sanctity of human life while raising monies for CCHD is not being honest.

Writing for The Recorder, Father Robert Markovitch of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit in South Deerfield, Massachusetts notes that liberalism is a religion with two sacraments: sex and death. And the over-arching belief system of this religion is evolution. Fr. Writes, “This belief system has consequences. They are: that the most intimate moment of a man and a woman becomes, as a norm, a place for two people to use each other as things; that deep in a woman is a womb, a chamber where death may be dealt; that the best sport for most is sex; that the heart is wasted sentiment worthy of no attention; where the full openness to the sex act closes off human friendships; that all pain can be avoided by substances and higher volume stimulation; and last, but not least, when the existence sport sacrament is exhausted, the answer is gift of a hundred pills from a government-imposed affordable ‘health care’ plan - the final sacrament and solution.”

And there are many within the Church who secretly yearn for such a religion. This should not really surprise us. One of the most important signs of the latter days is the great number of Catholics who will abandon the true faith. Numerous seers have indicated that along with the general indifference toward religion which will prevail just prior to the arrival of Antichrist, there will be a complete degeneration of morals, a degeneration which will resemble that of the pagans before the dawn of Christianity. Reverend Gerald Culleton explains that, “After the birth of Antichrist...the false doctrines were to multiply and spread to such an extent that even Catholics would doubt many of the articles of faith, resulting in their perversion, this to apply not only to the laity but even to many priests and some of the hierarchy. The zeal of these latter will be greatly affected by this lack of faith. There will be dissentions among the clergy. Many will be proud, selfish, unjust, covetous, and even forgetful of vows made at ordination regarding chastity. Many will even offer Mass and confer the sacraments sacrilegiously. When the zeal of the clergy fails they will see the faithful leaving the churches and turning to the world....Because of these defections Catholics will be severely punished, for only by chastisements can God bring back to the minds of His people a realization of their dependence upon Him. As a consequence, widespread persecution of priests and people will come upon the Church in order that faith and love of God may be revived, for as surely as night follows day, so will civilization crumble and the world become steeped in the darkness of ignorance, hatred, misery and vice when God, who is the Light of the World, will no longer rule in the hearts of His people.”

Fr. Culleton notes that, “..many people will seem to honor God but this will be chiefly lip service and not based on real faith and love.” Such people will be unwilling to recognize evil because they will have succumbed to the love of pleasure. Truth will be deserted and replaced with false doctrines (what Saint Paul refers to as “Doctrines of Demons”) which the multitudes will fully embrace.

And that time is now. Today, more than in any other period of human history, people actually want to be deluded. And this satanic delusion is leading us toward open - and very soon even physically violent - persecution. Which is why Fr. Markovitch asserts, in the essay referred to above, that: “We have a changing situation in America, where people who once had freedom of religion and association must now pay for contraception for everyone as if it were a right, even when consciences are violated. Priests and Religious Brothers and Sisters must now use their financial means to fund something condemned by the 2,000-year-old Catholic faith. This is a state of oppression worthy of a socialist dictator.”

And I might add: a Universal Dictator. One the Sacred Scriptures refer to as the Man of Sin. He who is about to reveal himself to the world.

Monday, November 19, 2012

"Only a robustly, unapologetically evangelical Catholicism..."

It was Jacques Maritain who said, “Christianity must inform or, rather, transpenetrate the world; not that this is its principal aim (although it is an indispensable secondary end), and not in order that the world become right now the kingdom of God, but in order that grace may be more and more effective in it, and in order that man may better live there his temporal life.”

If grace is to be more and more effective in the world, if a new Christendom is to arise from the ashes of our morally-bankrupt, sin-sick society which subjects mankind to constant and ever-growing threats of degradation and destruction, then saints will have to arise in the midst of our broken world. These saints will be, according to St. Louis de Montfort in his classic treatise True Devotion to Mary, “ thunder-clouds flying through the air at the slightest breath of the Holy Spirit. Attached to nothing, surprised at nothing, troubled at nothing, they will shower down the rain of God’s word and of eternal life. They will thunder against sin, they will storm against the world, they will strike down the devil and his followers and for life and for death, they will pierce through and through with the two-edged sword of God’s word all those against whom they are sent by almighty God.” (True Devotion, 57).

Such disciples will not be “part-time Catholics” or “Chicken-Catholics,” devoting only one hour a week to their Creator and Redeemer while retreating in fear from any and all conflict during the spiritual battles ahead. St. Montfort insists that, “..we know they will be true disciples of Jesus Christ, imitating his poverty, his humility, his contempt of the world and his love. They will point out the narrow way to God in pure truth according to the holy Gospel, and not according to the maxims of the world. Their hearts will not be troubled, nor will they show favor to anyone; they will not spare or heed or fear any man, however powerful he may be. They will have the two-edged sword of the Word of God in their mouths and the blood-stained standard of the Cross on their shoulders. They will carry the crucifix in their right hand and the rosary in their left, and the holy names of Jesus and Mary on their heart. The simplicity and self-sacrifice of Jesus will be reflected in their whole behavior.” (True Devotion, 59).

George Weigel, weighing in on the supreme crisis which faces the Catholic Church in the United States in the wake of President Obama’s re-election, asserts (correctly) that: “..the opportunity embedded in this nothing less than to be the Church of the New Evangelization, full-throttle. Shallow, tribal, institutional-maintenance Catholicism is utterly incapable of meeting the challenges that will now come at the Catholic Church from the most aggressively secular administration in American history. Only a robustly, unapologetically evangelical Catholicism, winsomely proposing and nobly living the truths about the human condition the Church teaches, will see us through the next four years. Radically converted Christian disciples, not one-hour-a-week Catholics whipsawed by an ever more toxic culture, are what this hour of crisis..demands.” (The crisis of a second Obama administration).

Sadly, the militant evangelical Catholicism described by George Weigel is not encouraged - or even tolerated - in some corners of the Catholic Church here in the United States. In some dioceses, the Cult of Softness has all but crippled an authentic, militant evangelization and replaced it with a sacharrin-spirituality which sugar-coats sin while leaving Zebulun and Naphtali in the shadow of death.  As part of the Ecclesia Militans, I am persona non grata in my own diocese - the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts.  New Age advocates, dissidents who rail against the Magisterium and those who engage in radical homosexual agitprop are welcome.  But an orthodox Catholic who vigorously promotes and defends the teaching of the Magisterium is deemed "rigid" and "too pre-Vatican II."

This is our moment as Catholics: We can choose to take a courageous stand for the Faith of our Fathers, witnessing to Gospel truths with the whole of our lives and even unto death; or we can fall back into the shadows and thereby cooperate in the spiritual destruction of a once-great nation.

Along with the Church’s other martyrs, St. Thomas More was confronted with the same choice. While remaining a loyal servant of the King, he chose to be God’s servant first. Will we?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bishop Robert McManus, poor catechesis and the re-election of Barack Obama

An Associated Press article written by Rachel Zoll and entitled "Catholic Bishops stay course on gay marriage fight" notes that, "Obama won the overall Catholic vote, 50 percent to 48 percent...White Catholics supported Romney, 59 percent to 40 percent.  However, Latino Catholics went for Obama, 75 percent to 21 percent."  Which only serves to highlight the fact that the Republican Party needs to reach out to Hispanic voters and that the Catholic Church in the United States has done a very poor job of catechizing the faithful.

In a speech given on March 21, 2009 in Detroit, Archbishop Charles Chaput, having been asked to examine what the November 2008 election and its aftermath can teach Catholics about American culture, the state of American Catholicism and the kind of Pauline discipleship necessary today, said that, "November showed us that 40 years of American Catholic complacency and poor formation are bearing exactly the fruit we should have expected. Or to put it more discreetly, the November elections confirmed a trend, rather than created a new moment, in American culture."

Nowhere is this poor formation in more evidence than in the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts.  A couple of weeks ago I wrote Bishop Robert J. McManus about his promotion of New Age advocate and noted dissident Sister Joyce Rupp.  I asked His Excellency if he truly believes that it is appropriate to promote the writings of an angry feminist who rails against the Church's hierarchy and the Magisterial teaching of the Church while advancing idolatry.  I also asked why Joyce Rupp is welcome within the Diocese when I am not. I received absolutely no response whatsoever even though my tone was highly respectful.  Obviously charity is a strong suit in the Bishop's brand of Catholicism.

In this week's "Catholic" Free Press (a sort of peekaboo Catholicism if you will), His Excellency is once again promoting the "Catholic" Campaign for Human Development - CCHD.  In a message published on page 6 of this sad publication, the Bishop writes, "Through CCHD the Catholic Church is working to continue its tradition of care for the poor.  Please help the efforts of CCHD to break the cycle of poverty.  Fight poverty in America.  Defend human dignity.  Support CCHD in our diocesan collection on Novermber 17 & 18..."

The problem? CCHD is an organization which was inspired by radical agitator Saul Alinsky, a Marxist who dedicated his Rules for Radicals to Lucifer, whom he called "the first radical." It  is an umbrella organization and/or a front for various groups which dissent from the Church's authentic teaching. Especially in the area of sexual morality.

According to American Life League's Michael Hichborn, " less than fifty organizations (one-fifth of all CCHD grantees from 2009) are, in some capacity, engaged in pro-abortion or pro-homosexual causes."

For a number of years, there has been concern with the grants that CCHD distributes. There have been specific complaints that a significant portion of the grants have been given to organizations working in direct contradiction to Church teaching.

In 2009, American Life League joined with several other concerned organizations to form the Reform CCHD Now Coalition. In March of 2010, the coalition sent a report on CCHD to each bishop, showing that, in 2009–2010, 51 out of 237 groups receiving CCHD funding either directly or through coalition membership promoted abortion, birth control, homosexuality, and/or Marxism. Thus, 21% of the groups funded by CCHD were involved in such work.

As a result of this activity, CCHD conducted an internal effort to revamp its grant process and ensure that all grantees adhered to strict guidelines. The results were published in a CCHD Renewal Document.

2010–2011 Grantees

In January, 2011, CCHD published its list of 2010-2011 grantees. At that time, American Life League reviewed the list and was disappointed to see that many of the offending organizations were still on the list and, in fact, others have been added.

The attached report documents that, of the 218 organizations funded by CCHD, 14 are directly involved in activities contrary to Church teaching and 40 are actively involved in coalitions with such activities. Thus, 54 groups (24%) funded by CCHD are involved in anti-Catholic work.

The number, and percentage, of offending organizations has actually INCREASED in the last year —from 51 to 54 groups and from 21% to 24%.

These 54 organizations received a total of $1,863,000 of the $7,608,000 distributed in CCHD grants in 2010-2011."

The number and percentage of offending/dissenting organizations receiving CCHD monies has actually increased since 2009. In 2011, 14 organizations funded by CCHD are directly involved in activities which are contrary to Catholic teaching and another 40 are actively involved and associated with coalitions in support of such activities.

Small wonder that same-sex "marriage" has been most warmly received in New England.  Not only has there been poor catechesis but groups which actively undermine the Church's moral teaching have been funded by CCHD.  Things have gotten so bad that Barry Kosnin of the American Religious Identification Survey (2008) said that, "The decline of Catholicism in the Northeast is nothing short of stunning."

Because so many of our priests have failed to preach the faith and to take a courageous stand against the Culture of Death and the Cult of Softness, Barack Obama - champion of both - has been re-elected and can continue to wage his war against Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular.

And there will be judgment.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Americans choose the Way of Death...

The Didache, also known as The Teaching of the Lord to the Gentiles, tells us that, "There are two Ways: a Way of Life and a Way of Death, and the difference between these two Ways is great.  The Way of Life is this: Thou shalt love first the Lord thy Creator, and secondly thy neighbor as thyself; and thou shalt do nothing to any man that thou wouldst not wish to be done to thyself...Commit no murder, adultery, sodomy, fornication, or theft.  Practise no magic, sorcery, abortion, or infanticide..."

Once again, a majority of Americans (including sadly a large number of those who are so morally blind that they still consider themselves to be Catholic or Christian) have voted for a president who fully embraces the Culture of Death promoting abortion through all nine months of pregnancy up to and including what is known as "partial-birth abortion" - which is really infanticide.  A president who has also embraced the Cult of Softness with its agenda to promote sodomy and to re-define marriage.  A president who is committed toward attacking the religious freedom of the Catholic Church with his contraceptive mandate.

Americans have voted for self-destruction.  It was Abraham Lincoln, in a speech given on January 27, 1837, who forewarned: "At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide."

The spirit of Antichrist is rising everywhere.  A new television program entitled "666 Park Avenue" is currently enjoying popularity.  Last week, I stood in line at the bank behind a young man sporting a baseball cap which read 666.  Just this morning a car with a Rhode Island license plate passed me on Route 2 from Athol to Gardner, Massachusetts.  The number?  6664RI!

Last night, around 11 PM, I was awakened with the knowledge that Mitt Romney had lost the election (I didn't follow the results at all).  And I was given a Word of Knowledge:  America has opted for sin and the Way of Death.  As a result, severe chastisements are coming upon this sin-sick nation.  California will soon be stricken with massive earthquakes and the weather is about to turn even more violent than anyone is prepared for.

Remain in the faith my friends.  Pray every day to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Destruction is coming upon this nation which has forsaken God.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Diocese of Worcester, Constructive Criticism and New Age Spirituality

In his Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis, No. 4, Pope John Paul II emphasized that the Church, “...should have a critical sense with regard to all that goes to make up her human character and activity and..should always be very demanding on herself.” Reminding the faithful that constructive criticism has a role within the Church, John Paul says in this same paragraph that such criticism “should have its just limits...otherwise it ceases to be constructive and does not reveal truth.”

But the critical sense called for by Pope John Paul II is not welcome within the Diocese of Worcester. Recently, Stacy Trasancos, a columnist for The “Catholic” Free Press, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Worcester, advanced an erroneous concept of loyalty to the Church’s hierarchy when she asserted that a Bishop should never be criticized . It’s not surprising that Trasancos’ view was published in The “Catholic” Free Press while my rebuttal was censored. For years, diocesan officials have promoted and tolerated dissent from the Magisterial teaching of the Church while welcoming those who advance New Age spirituality.

And these same officials obviously believe that they are “above criticism” or any need for a critical sense.

Pride goeth before a fall.

A few weeks ago, Sister Joyce Rupp, a Servite Sister who promotes New Age spirituality, was once again received by the Diocese with open arms. An article in The “Catholic” Free Press (October 5th edition, p. 8), makes mention of the fact that Joyce Rupp’s books are available at the diocesan book store at the Chancery. This is what happens without the critical sense. No one at the Chancery is concerned over Sister Rupp’s New Age background or the fact that respected Catholic personalities such as Johnette Benkovic have expressed concerns over her troubling views and New Age spirituality.

New Agers will freely admit that Jesus Christ is God but insist that He is no more God than anyone else. They believe that the “Christ” is a divine principle, a “Christ consciousness” attainable by all people. New Age guru Benjamin Creme, in his work entitled “The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom,” writes that, “Christ is not God, he is not coming as God. He is an embodiment of an aspect of God, the love aspect of God. He is the embodied soul of all creation. He embodies the energy which is a consciousness aspect of the Being we call God.” (P. 135).

Catholics and other Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, True God and True Man Who came to Redeem us from our sins and to deliver us from the prince of this world. New Agers hold that Christ is merely an energy force - the basic evolutionary force within creation.

The Bishop of Worcester, The Most Rev. Robert McManus, is deserving of criticism for his decision to carry Sister Rupp’s books at his Chancery. Her writings will only serve to confuse some of the faithful. Even if the specific books being carried by the Chancery bookstore are not objectionable, readers will nevertheless be introduced to a woman whose ideas regarding spirituality (not to mention her attitude toward the Church’s hierarchy) are gravely disturbing.

If only the Diocese of Worcester could learn to be more demanding of itself. Without the critical sense, this is unlikely. It’s far more easy to deflect any criticism, no matter how constructive it may be, and to embrace complacency and a smug, self-satisfied attitude. But just as individual Catholics are required to be honest with themselves when preparing for the Sacrament of Penance, so too it is necessary for the spiritual health of a diocese for its leaders to embrace honesty and the spirit of self-examination.

The darkness spreads.  The Man of Sin approaches.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Social "Gospel" spreads: Preparation for the Reign of Antichrist.

I've said it many times over the past twenty years, as we move toward one world government, the new humanitarian religion will become more and more aggressive. Catholicism, its greatest enemy, must be overcome at all cost. To this end, ecclesiastical masonry (see here and here) has inflitrated the Church.

Through one of the characters in his book The Lord of the World, Robert Hugh Benson describes this humanitarian religion which is to overcome the Catholic Church: " becoming an actual religion itself, though anti-supernatural. It is a Pantheism. Pantheism deifies all nature, God is the world, but naturally, man above all is God since he is the highest expression of nature. It is a religion devoid of the 'super' natural, because since God is nature itself, there is no longer a distinction between Creator and creature. The creature is God and hence arbitrator of his own destiny and establishes the moral law for himself. Nature, and man is its highest expression, has all the divine attributes. Humanitarianism is a religion devoid of the supernatural. It is developing a ritual under Freemasonry; it has a creed, 'God is man'; and the rest. It has, therefore, a real food of a sort to offer religious cravings: it idealizes, and yet makes no demands upon the spiritual faculties. Then, they have the use of all the churches except ours, and of all the Cathedrals; and they are beginning at last to encourage sentiment. Then they may display their symbols and we may not..."

The new humanitarian religion, which is anti-supernatural, must absorb Christianity as it prepares for the entrance of the Man of Sin. Catholics who maintain a devotion to the Holy Eucharist and Our Lady must be first ostracized and later eliminated as incompatible with the New Order.

The Man of Sin will soon reveal himself.  There is preparation for this event.  There is a new television series entitled "666 Park Avenue."  Children are being tagged with RFID technology and soon the entire populace will be subjected to mandatory microchipping.  Here in the Worcester Diocese [Massachusetts], the Chancery is selling books written by New Age advocate/Pantheist and dissident Servite Sister Joyce Rupp who has publically denounced the Church's hierarchy while agitating for a change in Catholic teaching. 

Seldom is a sermon heard in local parishes which deals with sin, heaven, hell or purgatory.  The justice which Christ came to establish for men is the interior justification which makes them children of God in grace.  And the kingdom which Christ came to establish is a spiritual kingdom  of interior holiness.  But  many (if not most) of our local clergy no longer preach the Gospel of Christ and have succumbed to what Dietrich von Hildebrand referred to as "this-worldliness" - a transfer of the center of gravity from eternity to this world.

Dr. Hildebrand writes, "The this-worldly tendency can be detected in various pastoral letters, and above all in countless sermons.  One speaks more about the fight against poverty and for social justice and world peace - in a word, more about improving the world - than about offending God by our sins, sanctifying the individual, about heaven and hell, eternity and the hope of eternal union with God in the beatific vision.  The this-worldly tendency emphasizes the earthly future more than eternity, and this is an unfortunate heritage of the evolutionism of [Pere] Teilhard de Chardin.  The sancitification of the individual soul and the eternal salvation of the individual is pushed aside to make room for the evolution of mankind on earth, for progress in what concerns man's earthly existence." (The Devastated Vineyard, pp. 128-129).

I witness this phenomenon on a regular basis at my parish.  The "pastor" there is more concerned with raising monies for Food for the Poor (a most worthy charity to be sure) than he is with saving souls.  During last Sunday's homily he told a story about a man sentenced to hell for only giving a quarter to the poor.  But never has this priest told a story about someone going to hell for having an abortion, for having contracepted, for engaging in fornication, adultery or sodomy.  It would seem that, for this priest, the only sin which merits hell is a failure to practice the corporal works of mercy.

Which is not to say, of course, that we will not be judged on such works.  Even a cursory read of Matthew 25 by even the most intellectually-challenged amongst us will quickly reveal the necessity of sharing the good things which God has provided us.  But, having succumbed to a false social "gospel," clerics who have fallen into this-worldliness fail to understand that temporal justice is not an essential message of the Gospel and, as Father Vincent Miceli reminded us, "...has nothing to do directly with God's economy of salvation as revealed in the life and teachings of Jesus.  Christ Himself stressed this truth when He urged His listeners to act as follows concerning their natural needs: 'Therefore I say to you, do not be anxious for your life...for your Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the Kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be given you besides.'" (Essay entitled "St. Thomas, Justice and Marxism," citing Matthew 6: 25, 32-33).

As the false humanitarian "gospel," the "social gospel," continues to spread, we will witness more and more hostility toward supernatural faith and those who still have a sense of sin. 

Prepare.  For soon persecution will overcome the Church for a time.  The day is fast-approaching when those who kill us will believe that they are serving God in truth.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Letter submitted to the Editor of The Catholic Free Press

To the Editor:

In his important work entitled The Devastated Vineyard, Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand examines three false responses to the devastation within the Catholic Church while emphasizing that, "the most dangerous one would be to imagine that there is no devastation of the vineyard of the Lord" and that "our task as laymen is simply to adhere with complete loyalty to whatever our bishop says." Dr. von Hildebrand warns that, "the basis of this attitude is a false idea of loyalty to the hierarchy." (p. 246).

The Church's pastoral authority is not totalitarian. Her authority is subordinate to the theological virtues of faith and love, both of which redeem and perfect persons instead of merely subjecting them to a particular ideology. There are some who believe that the laith should never criticize a bishop because "it is impossible for a lay person to know all that goes into his decision-making process" and because "it just seems backwards to mistrust a man who authoritatively speaks in the name of Christ."

But a bishop only teaches authoritatively if he offers a teaching which conforms to that of the Church's Magisterium. And while the laity may not always be privy to all the factors that go into a bishop's decision-making process, they still are able to see the results of a particular decision and "have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church." (Canon 212).Dr. Germain Grisez reminds us, "That the Church is a communion of faith and love does not mean popes and other bishops may ignore the conditions necessary for the just use of authority in any human community. Like any community's leaders, the Church's pastoral leaders can make wise decisions only if they deliberate well. The other members of the community should contribute to their deliberation by responsibly expressing their opinions on matters concerning the Church's good."

Pope John Paul II said that there is room in the Church for constructive criticism. Sometimes such criticism must be directed toward a bishop. Especially when he sets himself against the Church's teaching or fails to protect the faithful entrusted to his care.

Paul Anthony Melanson

This letter may or not be published.  But many today, including sadly many Catholics, equate criticism with condemnation.  Dr. Montague Brown explains the difference between the two nicely: “Criticism is the honest appraisal of the value of ideas or actions…Pursued in the right spirit, it is a positive undertaking whose purpose is to gain an accurate understanding for the sake of growing in wisdom and virtue….Condemnation goes beyond evaluation of an idea or action to a declaration of the worthlessness of a human being. It is never fair and is a wholly negative judgment, referring only to weaknesses. Because condemnation is unreasonable, it serves no purpose in our quest for wisdom and virtue.” (The One-Minute Philosopher, pp. 28,29).

“We invite you to criticize our institutions without reserve. One is not insulted by being informed of something amiss, but rather gets an opportunity for amendment, if the information is taken in good part, without resentment.” – Plato, Laws, Bk. 1, 635a

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Father John Franck contradicts the Word of God in The Catholic Free Press

St. Alphonsus De Liguori, a Doctor of the Church and a moral theologian, explains that, "The Lord ordained in Leviticus that for the sin of a single priest a calf should be offered, as well as for the sins of the entire people. From this Innocent III concludes that the sin of a priest is as grievous as the sins of the whole people. The reason is, says the Pontiff, that by his sin the priest leads the entire people into sin ('Unde conjicitur quod peccatum Sacerdotis totius multitudinis peccato coaequatur, quia Sacerdos in suo peccato totam fecit delinquere multitudinem' - In Consecr. Pont. s. I.)

And, long before, the Lord himself said the same: 'If the priest that is anointed shall sin, he maketh the people to offend.' Hence, St. Augustine, addressing priests, says, 'Do not close heaven: but this you do if you give to others a bad example to lead a wicked life.' Our Lord said one day to St. Bridget, that when sinners see the bad example of the priest, they are encouraged to commit sin, and even begin to glory in the vices of which they were before ashamed. Hence our Lord added that worse maledictions shall fall on the priest than on others, because by his sinful life he brings himself and others to perdition.'...says St. John Chrysostom, the life of the priest is the root from which the people, who are the branches, receive nutriment.

St. Ambrose also says that priests are the head from which virtue flows to the members, that is, to seculars. The whole head is sick, says the Prophet Isaias;...from the sole of the foot unto the top of the head there is no soundness therein. St. Isidore explains this passage in the following words: 'This languishing head is the priest that commits sin, and that communicates his sin to the whole body.' St. Leo weeps over this evil, saying, 'How can health be found in the body if the head be not sound?' Who, says St. Bernard, shall seek in a sink the limpid water of the spring? Shall I, adds the saint, seek counsel from the man that knows not how to give counsel to himself? Speaking of the bad example of princes, Plutarch says, that it poisons not a single cup, but the public fountain; and thus, because all draw from the fountain, all are poisoned. This may be said with greater truth of the bad example of priests; hence Eugene III has said that bad Superiors are the principal causes of the sins of inferiors...St. Bernardine of Sienna writes that many, seeing the bad example of the scandalous ecclesiastic, begin even to waver in faith, and thus abandon themselves to vice, despising the sacraments, hell, and heaven." (St. Alphonsus De Liguori, Dignity and Duties of the Priest, pp. 142-144, 149).

Father John Franck, Assumptionist assistant general in Rome, acknowledges that "we need good shepherds."  But, anxious to assign the blame for a lack of such good shepherds on the laity - the People of God - Fr. Franck has been quoted in The Catholic Free Press as having said that, "Unless the laity begins to be mindful of the demands of their own Christian commitments, of their radical other-worldliness, there is no hope that the clergy will find the strength to do so.  Only a Church of mystics can realistically expect their clergy to be saints." (CFP, August 3rd edition).

The Word of God, however,  resounds throughout the ages: "But let no one protest, let no one complain; with you is my grievance, O priests!  You shall stumble in the day, and the prophets shall stumble with you at night...My people perish for want of knowledge!  Since you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from my priesthood; since you have ignored the law of your God.." (Hosea 4: 4-6).

For years the Church in the United States (and other corners of the Church throughout the world) have succumbed to the disease of modernism and the leaven of infidelity which is dissent from the Magisterium.  This spiritual dry rot, according to Our Lady in her messages to Father Stefano Gobbi of the Marian Movement of Priests, is the direct result of unfaithful priests who have failed to offer the wheat of sound doctrine and have instead offered the chaff of theological dissent.

Our Lady has referred to such issenting and apostate clerics as "mute dogs."  God's Holy Word, which these unfaithful priests have largely abandoned, is most clear:

"Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture, says the Lord.  Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, against the shepherds who shepherd my people: You have scattered my sheep and driven them away.  You have not cared for them, but I will will take care to punish your evil deeds.  I myself will gather the remnant of my flock...Both prophet and priest are godless!  In my very house I find their wickedness, says the Lord.  Hence their way shall become for them slippery ground.  In the darkness they shall lose their footing, and fall headlong; Evil I will bring upon them: the year of their punishment, says the Lord." (Jeremiah 23: 1-2; 10-12).

The languishing head communicates his sin to the whole body.  Not the other way around.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Calling all Catholics throughout North Central Massachusetts: Won't you spend one hour with Our Eucharistic Jesus?

Catechism on the Real Presence

Exhortation to Promote the Cult of the Eucharist
Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

…104. Against what does Pope Paul VI especially warn the bishops?

He warns them to be perfectly loyal to the teaching of Christ on the Real Presence and to promote tirelessly the worship of Jesus Christ who is living among us in the Blessed Sacrament. (MF 75)

105. What is the Holy Father's great hope for the faithful?

His hope is that we may come to realize and experience the truth of St. Augustine's teaching about the Real Presence. According to St. Augustine: "He who desires life finds here a place to live in and the means to live by. Let him approach, let him believe, let him be incorporated so that he may receive life. Let him not refuse union with the members, let him not be a corrupt member, deserving to be cut off, nor a disfigured member to be ashamed of. Let him be a grateful, fitting and healthy member. Let him cleave to the body, let him live by God and for God. Let him now labor here on earth, that he may afterwards reign in heaven." All of this is assured those who profess and practice their faith in Christ's eucharistic presence now on earth. (MF 76)

106. To what will this devotion to the Real Presence lead?

It will lead to daily participation in the Sacrifice of the Mass and daily reception of Holy Communion. (MF 77)

107. What are the spiritual benefits which this faith in the Blessed Sacrament will produce?

It will obtain for us the strength to master our passions to purify ourselves of our daily venial sins, and to avoid the grave sins to which our human weakness is constantly exposed. (MF 77)

108. What does Pope Paul VI encourage the faithful to do every day?

He encourages them to make a daily visit to the Blessed Sacrament. He reminds the bishops that the Holy Eucharist is to be kept in a most honorable location in every Church. He declares that such visits are at once a proof of our gratitude, and expression of our love, and a profession of our faith in Christ's presence now on earth. (MF 78)

…110. Is Christ in the Eucharist also to be imitated?

Yes, there are especially two virtues that the Eucharistic Christ wants us to imitate. They are humility and love. When God became man, He humiliated Himself by becoming like one of us who are His creatures. But when He dwells in the Holy Eucharist, He reveals a humility that is beyond human description.

So Too, God showed the sublimity of His love by becoming man, so that He could suffer and die on the cross out of love for us. Now, He shows His love for us in the Eucharist by allowing Himself to be ignored, desecrated, received by brazen sinners, and brought down on the altar even by priests who may be steeped in sin.

111. How valuable is conversation with Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist?

Pope Paul VI assures us that "there is nothing more consoling on earth, nothing more efficacious for advancing along the road of holiness." The reason is obvious. Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is the same Jesus who gave courage to His contemporaries during His visible life in Palestine. He is the same Jesus who performed miracles, not only in healing human bodies, and even raising people from the dead. He performs miracles of moral conversion and sanctification now through the Holy Eucharist, provided we believe. (MF 80)

112. How is the Eucharist the spiritual center of the Catholic Church

The Holy Eucharist reserved in the Churches and oratories is the spiritual center of a parish, a diocese, a religious community, of the Universal Church, and of the whole human race. Why? Because under the appearance of what looks like bread is contained Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world, "by whom all things are and by whom we exist." (MF 81)

…114. What is the single most important means for reuniting a dismembered Christianity?

The single most important means is the restoration of faith in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. One reason for the tragic separation of so many people from the Catholic Church in the 16th Century was the widespread loss of faith in the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. Present-day Catholics should do everything possible to reunite a sadly divided Christianity. (MF 83)

115. What was the main theme of Christ's long prayerful discourse at the Last Supper?

He prayed especially for unity among His followers. This unity is to be maintained, fostered, and, when lost, restored through the Eucharist as Sacrifice-Sacrament, Communion-Sacrament, and Presence-Sacrament. That is why the Holy Eucharist has been especially identified as the Sacrament of unity. It is mainly through the Eucharist that the Church over the centuries has been united as the One, Holy, Catholic Church founded on Calvary. Christ remains the Church's foundation even as He was the Church's Founder by His death on the cross. (M F 86)

…117. What Is Mary's role in the Holy Eucharist?

Without the Blessed Virgin Mary, there would have been no Incarnation. It was she who gave her divine Son the flesh and blood which Christ her Son now possesses in the Holy Eucharist. We should especially invoke Our Lady to restore unity among Christians where it has been lost, and strengthen his unity among the followers of Christ who believe that, in the Eucharist, "the flesh of Jesus is the flesh of Mary," as expressed by St. Augustine in speaking of the Real Presence. (MF 88)

The Holy Rosary Convent's Blessed Marie Rivier Oratory, which offers Perpetual Eucaristic Adoration, could use more adorers.  Won't you consider spending one hour or more every week with Jesus Our Eucharistic Love? 

If you would be interested, please contact the Oratory directly or send me an email at: and I will forward your name to the person who coordinates the schedule.  There is a special need for Wednesday mornings.  But adorers are needed throughout the week. 

Thank you & God bless you!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Elizabeth Scalia believes that Pope Benedict XVI is wrong about homosexuality being incompatible with the priesthood

Pope Benedict XVI has stated it clearly: homosexuality is incompatible with the priesthood.  But Elizabeth Scalia, a writer/blogger for First Things and The Anchoress on Patheos, disagrees.  In a blog post which may be found here, Ms. Scalia cites Joshua Gonnerman, "If Christians have any interest in reaching out to the gay community, if we have any hope to speak a message which can touch their hearts as well, we absolutely must be willing to live as their family. Behind his blundering obscenity, behind his facile attempts to explain Scripture away, behind the blatant hypocrisy of his behavior toward those who disagree with him, what Dan Savage means to tell us is, 'The church has far too often, and for the most wrong-headed reasons, failed to be family to gay people." And then she writes:

I completely agree. And I really believe that the way to begin to do that is for our bishops and the curia to stop turning a blind eye to a simple truth, that numbered among our priests are faithful, celibate, joyful priests who are homosexual. As I wrote [previously]...

I wonder if [the Church's] bishops and religious leaders will, for example, have to acknowledge with loving support the numerous celibate homosexual priests who, throughout history and still today, serve her faithfully, courageously, and with great joy. Such an acknowledgment could go a long way repairing that disconnect that keeps everyone talking about tolerance while walking away from it.

It would speak to the value of the human person as he is created; it would reinforce the church’s own teaching that the homosexual inclination is not in-and-of-itself sinful; in a sex-saturated culture where 'gay' has become in some minds synonymous with 'promiscuous' [gee, I wonder where that notion came from?] and both heterosexual and homosexual couples see no particular value in chastity, it would present the radical counter-narrative.

Most importantly, such an acknowledgment would be call of olly-olly-oxen free for the church herself. Battered by the revelations of the past decade, poorly served by past psychological studies suggesting that child abusers could be 'cured' and therefore distrustful of more recent findings that homosexuals are no more inclined to pedophilia than heterosexuals*, the church has reflexively pulled the curtains over a number of her priests, and in doing so, she has hidden the idea of  'acceptable otherness' from a flock that is sorely in need to see some of it.

I love our priests, and honor them, but it’s hard to argue that an unfaithful straight priest is better than a faithful gay one. I would rather see a homosexually-inclined happy, celibate priest be able to live in honesty about who he is, than learn about a hetero priest living a lie. A faithful priest is a faithful priest. A happy, joy-filled priest serves the body of Christ in a powerful way.

Allow me to anticipate the argument that the priesthood cannot be open to people the Eastern religions call 'imbalanced' and our church calls 'disordered.' Find me a priest who doesn’t have some sort of disorder, whether it’s an eating disorder, or an attention-seeking disorder, or a disorder of social ineptness, a hearing disorder, or even a learning disorder. Our priests are human, imperfect, faulty and sometimes broken, just like the rest of us.."

What Ms. Scalia refuses to acknowledge is that before entering into any state of life, a divine vocation is necessary. This because without such a vocation, it is difficult if not impossible to fulfil the obligations which pertain to that state and to obtain salvation. This is particularly true for the ministerial priesthood or any other ecclesiastical state. After all, it was Our Lord Who said: "He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber" (John 10:1).

Consequently, the man who takes holy orders without a call from God is convicted of theft in taking by force a dignity which God has not called him to and does not desire to bestow upon him. This is the teaching of Saint Paul: "Neither doth any man take the honor to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was. So Christ also did not glorify Himself that He might be made a high priest; but he that said unto Him: Thou art My Son; this day I have begotten Thee." (Hebrews 5:4,5).

It matters not then how learned or prudent or holy a man may be. No man may place himself into the holy sanctuary unless he is first called and introduced to the same by Almighty God. Jesus Our Lord was certainly the most learned and holy among all men, full of grace and truth (John 1:14), the Son of Man in Whom were (and are) hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3). And yet, Jesus required a divine call to assume the dignity of the priesthood. This is the teaching of the Council of Trent; that the Church regards the man who assumes the priesthood without a vocation not as a minister but as a robber: "Decernit sancta Synodus eos qui ea (ministeria) propria temeritate sibi sumunt, omnes, non Ecclesiae ministros, sed fures et latrones per ostium non ingressos habendos esse" (Session 23, cap. 4).

Those who seize the priesthood without a vocation may labor and toil exhaustively. But their labors will profit them very little before God. In fact, the very works which would be considered of much merit when performed by others will deserve chastisement for such souls. Because such men are not in conformity with the divine will, not having a vocation to the state of life which they have usurped, the Lord Jesus will not accept their toils: "I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will not receive a gift of your hand" (Malachi 1:10).

Not only will God refuse the gifts of their hand, He will punish the works of the minister who has entered the sanctuary without being called; without a vocation: "What stranger soever cometh to it (the Tabernacle) shall be slain." (Numbers 1:51). Bearing all of this in mind, please read the following which first appeared in The Wanderer [I submitted it back in 2001] and may be found at the website:

"On October 1, 1986, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published an instruction entitled, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Pastoral Service for Homosexual Persons, signed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and approved by Pope John Paul II. In this Instruction, Cardinal Ratzinger writes, 'It is necessary to point out that the particular inclination of a homosexual person, though not a sin in itself, nevertheless constitutes a more or less strong tendency to an intrinsically evil behavior from the moral standpoint. For this reason, the very inclination should be considered as objectively disordered.' (No. 3).

This would appear to be especially significant since Canon 1040 of the Code of Canon Law states that: 'Persons who are affected by a perpetual impediment, which is called an irregularity, or a simple impediment, are prevented from receiving orders.' Now, irregularities arise either from defect (ex defectu) or from crime (ex delicto). It seems clear to me that a homosexual inclination, which Cardinal Ratzinger has referred to as 'objectively disordered,' constitutes an irregularity ex defectu.

In fact, when asked by a Bishop if it is licit to confer priestly ordination to men with manifest homosexual tendencies, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments replied with a letter signed by Jorge Cardinal Medina Estevez which stated that, 'Ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood of homosexual men or men with homosexual tendencies is absolutely inadvisable and imprudent and, from the pastoral point of view, very risky. A homosexual person, or one with a homosexual tendency is not, therefore, fit to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders.'"

Ms. Scalia should exercise some humility and submit her mind and will to the teaching authority of the Church.  I recommend that she reflect very carefully on what Lumen Gentium No. 25 of the Second Vatican Council has to say in this regard.

*  See here.

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