Olive Tree

Volume II/Issue 34/February 2019

From The Editorial Desk:

I Am Never Eating In A Restaurant Again

A few years ago I was eating in one my favorite Mexican restaurant. I was sitting there minding my own business when the waitress came by carrying a huge margarita for another table. She dropped off a glass of water for me and when she leaned over to set the water down she spilled the entire margarita on the front of my shirt. I was soaked. It was sticky and cold. What was to follow only added insult to injury.

I ran home to change my shirt because there was no way I could enjoy a meal soaking wet. When I returned I discovered that no one had come to the table to apologize. Not a single person said they were sorry.

The manager made no attempt to come to the table to make amends for what happened. Clearly they had done something to hurt me but no one came to apologize.

When we finished the meal the check came and there was no adjustment made in the price of our meals. Bear in mind I had to leave and go home and return in order to enjoy the meal yet nothing was done to make amends.

When I went to the cash register to pay for the meal I commented on the fact that I was going to have to have my shirt dry cleaned. It was a non-washable shirt. I asked to see the manager. The lady said the manager was busy and couldn't come. I said I would wait. She told me the manager was too busy to talk to me.

When I got home I went online to the website of the restaurant and wrote a long complaint about the entire situation. Days went by, then weeks and no response. I wrote a second message and again received no response. I was hurt by the restaurant. Let me make it very clear that I had the right to feel hurt. So I decided to give up on restaurants because I was hurt by a restaurant. From that date till this I have refused to eat in restaurants because of that bad experience.

Now, everything in my story is true except the last part. I know that the last part of the story probably sounds ridiculous to any sensible person. How could I refuse to eat in any restaurant because one restaurant gave me a bad experience? I guess for the same reason people excuse themselves for not going to any church because they got hurt in one church.

Let me take it a step further. I have had bad experiences in other restaurants. My multiple bad experiences in restaurants have not made me determine that all restaurants are bad. Yet that is the logic that some Catholics use regarding the church. They have demonized all churches because they have had a bad experience. The truth is, if you have never had a bad experience in a restaurant you have probably not eaten in very many restaurants. Likewise if you have not had a bad experience in a church you probably have not attended many churches. I am a little tired of hearing someone condemn churches because they had a bad experience in one church.

Let me take this a step further. That restaurant continued having great success and doing good business. How could all those people be so stupid? The reason is because not all of them had a bad experience with that restaurant. That bad experience was exclusive to me and perhaps a few other people at sometime. It is one of the most successful Mexican restaurants in that area. There is a reason for that. My bad experience did not speak to everyone’s experience, just mine. 

I did not start a blog to try to hurt that restaurant. I did not make that restaurant my cause. I did not try to stop everyone else from going there. I did not get a sign and stand outside trying to stop people from going there to eat. I did not behave like some Catholics behave when they have a bad experience in a church.

Eventually I did something I didn't expect I would ever do. A few months later I returned to that restaurant to eat. Guess what. I had a good experience. I remembered the reason why we liked that restaurant so much. My bad experience was just that. It was a bad experience. I had condemned the restaurant for one bad experience. The time I returned the service was great. They went out of the way to take care of us. When everything was finished I had forgotten why I had not gone to the restaurant and remembered why I had enjoyed it so much before. I almost ruined many future good experiences for one bad past experience.

That is what far too many Catholics do with churches. They turn a bad experience into a reason to condemn and become better. I did not like having that giant margarita spilled on my shirt. I did not like the way I was treated in that situation. The truth is, they were having a bad day or perhaps just a busy one and I was the victim of carelessness.

We must stop condemning churches because of a bad experience. As silly as the story I told might seem, the story people tell about bad experiences with churches are also silly and usually quite petty. Christ is not pleased with us when we behave that way. Give people some room to make mistakes. Stop being so sensitive. Love God's law more than you love yourself and you will stop being offended. Perhaps the most important advice is this; Grow up and act like a mature Christian.


Ite Missa Est

At the end of Mass the celebrant or deacon at a High Mass turns to the people and says Ite Missa Est. This is usually translated as “Go the Mass is ended.” However, a better translation is “Go you are sent.” When we leave Mass we are sent by God into the world to bring the Gospel (good news) of salvation to the world. Rather than considering that the Mass is over with and we can be done with spiritual things, we should rather consider we have been fed with the Word of God and then with the Flesh of Jesus Christ Himself, and are now strengthened to go out into the vineyard and bring the good news of salvation to the world.

Jesus said: “You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

We come to Mass to be fed spiritually and prepared to put our candle on a candlestick. However, many leave Mass unchanged. They go home and put their candle under a bushel basket, which is a spiritual fire hazard.

Jesus tells us that we are the salt of the earth. (Matthew 5:13) Let us remember that and go from Mass out to be that salt. Let us remember that we preach more by how we live, than by what we say. And we preach in the little services we do to help others. Jesus also tells us: “Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:21) And so let us be faithful in the little things.


 

The Love of God the Whole Year Long

"On February Fourteenth of every year we celebrate St. Valentine's Day. But the majority of the world seems to leave off the "Saint" part of it and simply celebrates "Valentine's Day." As soon as the Christmas displays come down in the stores, the "Valentine's Day" displays goes up and the shelves are filled with candies, heart-shaped boxes, balloons, stuffed animals, etc. The stores would have us believe that we show off our love by spending the most money. But, truth be known, they also have this attitude when it comes to Christmas as well: . . . if you REALLY love that person, spend LOTS and LOTS of money on the most expensive gifts. Commercialism has ruined most holidays, it would seem. Let me go out and buy flowers, . . . candy, . . . jewelry, . . . a meal at an expensive restaurant, . . . . a Hallmark card, . . . . etc, etc, etc. I don't think there is necessarily anything wrong with buying someone you love a nice gift but love should be measured by more than how much money we spend on a gift. It is good to love. It is good to show love. But the point I am trying to make is that love is not shown solely and exclusively by purchasing the most expensive gifts. Additionally, love is something that we should work on doing all year long and not just around the Fourteenth of February.

If we read the Thirteenth Chapter of St. Paul's Letter to the Romans, we hear the following: " OWE no man any thing, but to love one another . . . ." Then St. Paul goes on to say that if we love one another we have fulfilled the law (Chapter 13:8) This advice seems pretty simple but it also sounds pretty difficult at the same time. In other words, it is really easy for me to show love to those who are good to me. It is really difficult, on the other hand, to love those who really tick me off. And yet as Christians we know that Our Blessed Saviour did not make a distinction between the two: those that are easy to love and those who are difficult to love. It's easy to love those that are good to us, that treat us well, that are fun and naturally happy. It's easy to love those who do nice things for us and treat us nicely. It's very easy to love people like that. But as I say, St. Paul never made a distinction between how to treat nice people as opposed to how to treat not-so-nice people. And I am not aware of Our Lord making a distinction, either. In fact, in the sixth chapter of St. Luke's Gospel, we hear Our Lord speaking: "But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you." (St. Luke 6: 27-28) And then He goes on to say: "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same." (vv 31-32) And, finally, Our Lord states plainly: "But love ye your enemies, and do good and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest . . . " (v. 35)


We are indeed children of the Highest if we follow His commandments in our lives. And following the commandments of God is sometimes pretty easy and straightforward. But other times, following Our Lord can be a bit trickier like showing love to those whom we admittedly do not like very much. But going back to what we were saying earlier: we are commanded by Our Blessed Lord . . . . again, He does not suggest . . . He does not recommend . . . He does not state to only do when we feel like it . . . . He commands us to love one another: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." (St. John 13:34) Certainly, Our Blessed Saviour, as I like to say, "talked the talk and walked the walk." In other words, Our Lord preached not only through His words but also, first and foremost, by His actions. And He wants us to do the same as faithful, committed Christians. He wants us to love not only those who love us but to also love those who do not love us in return. Again, He wants us to love our enemies. Isn't this what He did? He showed love to those who were His enemies. In fact, once again, He told us to do likewise: "But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you . . . " (St. Matthew 5:44) Certainly, this is not easy to do and it is something we will often fail at. But if we want to grow in our Christian fidelity . . . . if we want to grow in our faithfulness . . . if we want to be more Christ-like . . . then we should be willing not only to follow Our Lord's advice, His commandment, and His example: to love those who love us . . . . to love those who hate us . . . to love those who do not love themself. And by doing this we are showing the world a reflection of God's love found in us. February Fourteenth, Saint Valentine's Day, is a good reminder that we should love and that we should show love all year around. We should show the love of God the whole year long to everyone we come in contact with."

 


The Funny Pharmacy

A joyful mind maketh age flourishing: a sorrowful spirit drieth up the bones. - Proverbs 17:22 

 

 


Question Table

Why Aren't the names of the last Bishops in your lineage not found on the Internet?

Some bishops and jurisdictions 1 do not publish online, preferring to keep their ministry on the local level. Other bishops have gone into retirement, and they have not consecrated another bishop who has an online presence. Pope Michael has had personal contact with several such bishops:

Bishop Webster, Thuc line.

Bishop Michael, Duarte-Costa

Bishop Robinson, Old Catholic

Also there are other bishops, who are not online, but known to Pope Michael.

1 Knowing that a bishop should have authority of jurisdiction, Old Catholics and Duarte-Costa bishops set up jurisdictions and then claim authority over them.   

 

 

The Pope Speaks: February 2019

Basic Catholic Reading List

On Facebook, someone posted a picture with the following message: “"Ideally, keep fewer than 30 books." Marie Kondo 1 And an anonymous man replies: "No one needs that kind of negativity." We shared the picture and someone asked me to draw up a basic Catholic reading list. We asked for some suggestions, and got a lot of replies.

As we were preparing our list and watching the discussion, We realized that what we read shows what we truly hold to be important. Several replied with a list of authors, including Saint Thomas Aquinas. We replied back that we believe it should be a list of specific books. Not many should be reading the Summa Theologica, although some quotes from there are useful for many. Also the sheer volume of his works among others, require us to narrow things down.

Sacred Scripture

Reading the Bible should be at the top of our list of books to read. Saint John Eudes recommends reading a chapter from the Gospels every day. We believe this may be too much at one sitting. Take and read slowly, taking to heart what you read. The idea here is quality, not quantity. Some of the Fathers of the Church recommend reading the Sapiential books, Wisdom, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Ecclesiasticus. A friend has the habit of reading a chapter of Proverbs a day, first chapter on the first of the month, second on the second, etc. We mentioned a quote from Proverbs (12:21): “Whatsoever shall befall the just man. it shall not make him sad:” He did not recognize the quote. That specific verse had never struck him, until we qouted it. This shows how reading a whole chapter may be too much. Also something may not strike us, until it comes from a different direction than we normally get it.

Sacred Scripture. https://amzn.to/2AJ1Uyo

Sanctification And Spiritual Life

Examination of Conscience for Adults: A Comprehensive Examination Of Conscience Based On Twelve Virtues For The Twelve Months Of The Year Rev. Donald Miller CSSR. https://amzn.to/2DkgnCw

At the entry into the spiritual life, we must get real about how great sinners we truly are, and an examination of conscience it an excellent place to start, but it is only a start.

Charity by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri https://amzn.to/2D9K2y3

When we compiled this from The Holy Eucharist of Saint Alphonsus Ligouri, we realized that it touches on the basic of the spiritual life.

The Art of Prayer by Martial Lekeux https://amzn.to/2CtA1dB

Although there are many works touching on prayer, we were looking for a single work that might speak to us, and we believe this comes closest.

Uniformity with God's Will Saint Alphonsus https://amzn.to/2WaciIk

Uniformity with the will of God is our way of life, so this should be the main focus of our spiritual life, especially our prayer and meditation.

Our Own Will And How to Detect It in Our Actions Rev. J Allen DD https://amzn.to/2U3p2il

Heliotropium

https://amzn.to/2DrAVZH

Saint Bernard said that if there was no self-will on earth, there would be no hell.

Spiritual Combat by Scupoli https://amzn.to/2W5DTdC

Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales. https://amzn.to/2RTFS6H

Soul of the Apostolate John Baptist Chautard https://amzn.to/2S78kkQ

Saint Pius X recommended Soul of the Apostolate as well.

The Road to Heaven https://amzn.to/2DjgFcC

The Art of Dying Well Saint Robert Bellarmine https://amzn.to/2CMgjtA

Spiritual Maxims by Father Nicholas Grou https://amzn.to/2S0iCTJ

The Lausiac History of Palladius https://amzn.to/2CykEki

More Advanced Spiritual Works

Love of Eternal Wisdom.

This actually consists of two books.

The Writings of Saint Louis de Montfort https://amzn.to/2FGwlIO

And True Devotion to Mary https://amzn.to/2RPYweP

Saint Louis de Montfort intended True Devotion to Mary to be a part of a larger project, called Love of Eternal Wisdom. This work needs to be taken in context. Also most editions of True Devotion to Mary omit parts of the original book. We have found only the Faber edition to be faithful, while every other edition we have in our library is incomplete. We recommend the exercises of Total Consecration to Mary, which are briefly outlined. (Saint Louis did not provide any readings or meditations, only a brief outline.)

Directorium Asceticum

Volume 1 https://amzn.to/2T7OAe7

Volume 2 https://amzn.to/2CFYRHs

Volume 3 https://amzn.to/2S0YBfE

Volume 4 https://amzn.to/2W7FgIR

This is not light reading, but for someone who wants a deeper understanding of the spiritual life.

The True Spouse of Jesus Christ by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri https://amzn.to/2MDswpc

One might comment, "but I am not called to be a nun!". You do not have to be called to be a nun to get something out of this book. When we acquired Preparation for Death by Saint Alphonsus in 1995, we found that many of his works had been translated into English and were available. We acquired those we could, including this one, but did not read this one. Two different lay people read this one and found it quite useful for their own spiritual life. And so we can learn even from works that are not necessarily aimed at us. Let us not set aside a piece of advice as: "that is only meant for monks or nuns....". We should apply it to our own self, if it applies, and often it does.

Knowing Our Faith

Saint John Vianney tells us that the majority of those who lose their souls, do so because they don't know their own faith.

Catechism of the Catholic Church: Trent Edition https://amzn.to/2Ma5G8f

Biblical Treasury of the Catechism by Thomas Cox https://amzn.to/2W0GvJY

This work links the Catechism with the Bible, which will help us gain a deeper insight into Sacred Scripture.

I Believe in the Catholic Church https://amzn.to/2W2cBF2

This work was adapted by me from a four volume catechism published in the late 1800's. Basically I brought it up to speed adding quotes from Encyclicals and other Church teaching that bear on the subject. Today there is much confusion about just what the Catholic Church is and where the Catholic Church is. And the best way to dispel confusion is with the truth.

Catechism: Lessons on the Sacraments and the Ten Commandments by Saint Alphonsus Ligourihttps://amzn.to/2FUSuDn

This is an excellent work on this subject drawn from Saint Alphonsus' works.

Liturgy

Sermons for All the Sundays in the Year Saint Alphonsus Ligouri https://amzn.to/2AY9i9f

Saint Alphonsus tells us to hear all of the sermons we can. With that in mind, we should also read all of the sermons we can in addition to those we hear.

Sermons of the Cure of Ars https://amzn.to/2Mt8de8

There are actually two different books by the same name. Although I like both, I recommend this one.

Sunday Sermons from Father Leonard Goffine https://amzn.to/2AWJPwK

Lives of the Saints From the Roman Breviary https://amzn.to/2VVeXpc

Breviary Lessons from the Roman Breviary https://amzn.to/2RTUfqx

Lives of the Saints

Butler's Lives of the Saints

Volume 1: https://amzn.to/2U3p2il

Volume 2: https://amzn.to/2RTJNzl

Volume 3: https://amzn.to/2TZnE08

Volume 4: https://amzn.to/2RWDyLd

We should have a collection of favorite saints and get to know about them. We should study those, who deal with the same temptation we do.

Understanding Current Events

Much time is wasted on sorting out current events, and debating the various issues. Many subjects are simply a waste of our time and energy, which should be spent in the one thing important, becoming a saint. However, We believe that some may wish to consider a few points, so we will list some resources here. Before coming here, be sure you are well grounded in the spiritual life and have completed the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Trent Edition. Let us be sure to keep our priorities straight.

The Sources of Catholic Dogma https://amzn.to/2RVCY0j

This is a good resource for looking up the actual decrees of the Church on various subjects.

I Want the World Plus 5%

https://www.scribd.com/document/205819533/I-Want-the-Earth-Plus-5-Percent-English

This is a book is on the current economy, and mirrors our own research. If we wrote on the subject, we would be able to add to the information here, but consider this project as not worth the time, because there is something already available.

Missing Books

There are some areas, which we believe are underserved, but which should be on the basic list.

There is nothing available on conversion, whether it be from outside to inside the Church or the Second Conversion of the spiritual life, when those baptized as infants get real about becoming saints.

You Left a Lot of Books Out

And this is intentional. In fact, listing thirty may be too many for a basic reading list. We have given priority to some things over others, although We would recommend many other things, if asked. We hope these books will help you get your feet on the ground and walking towards heaven. And this is where Divine Providence helps.

We recommend going to used book stores, book sales and even yard sales. You never know what you might find. God sometimes leads you to what He wants you to read. It has happened in our own case. One recommendation above came from a yard sale. The Art of Prayer by Martial Lekeux https://amzn.to/2CtA1dB In 1995 we found Preparation For Death by Saint Alphonsus Ligourihttps://amzn.to/2CvPTwg which introduced Us to many of his other books, which We have acquired and read over the years.

My Books

In compiling this list, we included works, which we have worked on. We have not included our works on the current crisis. We will list some of those below with some considerations.

Sanctification And Spiritual Life

The Road to Heaven https://amzn.to/2DjgFcC

This began with a compilation of the most ignored section of the Vatican in Exile website way back. And so it is Our work with the work of others on the spiritual life mixed in.

Knowing Our Faith

I Believe in the Catholic Church https://amzn.to/2W2cBF2

This begins with an excerpt from a four volume catechism from a century and a half ago. This set is no longer available in reprint. We scanned this section, and they expanded it to address those issues that cloud people's minds and continues the confusion Jesus foretold in the Gospels. “For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24)

Miscellaneous

Lives of the Saints From the Roman Breviary https://amzn.to/2VVeXpc

Breviary Lessons from the Roman Breviary https://amzn.to/2RTUfqx

When we had put up our question on which books to include, someone replied with the first one above. We compiled these from the Breviary, because there are some excellent instructions as well as stories of the Saints. Why shouldn't all Catholics have access to these wonderful resources?

Our Own Books

Truth Is One, 2005. https://amzn.to/2B9Ace2

Our views on prophecy have changed over the years, although the basic factual material remains the same. This book was downloaded over a thousand times. It asked for corrections and two minor corrections were made. One a missing phrase in a prayer; the other an error in a foot note. No other corrections were ever offered.

Upon This Rock, 2011 https://amzn.to/2WpDTFC

One main problem, which is addressed in great depth in I Believe in the Catholic Church, is a misunderstanding of the doctrine of the Papacy. In fact, there are several major errors circulating, that tend to add to the confusion. These are addressed here and in I Believe in the Catholic Church

54 Years That Changed the Catholic Church, 2012. https://amzn.to/2RTzKeu

Our opinion on prophecy has changed from the one presented here. This contains more information discovered between 2005 and 2012.

Passion of the Mystical Body of Christ, 2016 https://amzn.to/2MIBxNO

This is our most recent work, although an update is in the works, which will exclude prophecy. Although the prophetic ideas are substantially different from previous works in this one, We have come to believe that much of prophecy is simply wrong. People rely too much on faulty private prophecy. We are now restricting our self to Sacred Scripture and praying on matters. The factual information is updated from the previous work in 2012.

In determining where the Catholic Church is, we need to reduce things to the basic questions and then seek the answers in the teachings of the Church. We provide Our own works as an aid to this process. Above all, we must be working on becoming saints, because only spiritual people will understand. (II Corinthians 2:11-16) Read the Douay footnote: “[14] "The sensual man": The sensual man is either he who is taken up with sensual pleasures, with carnal and worldly affections; or he who measureth divine mysteries by natural reason, sense, and human wisdom only. Now such a man has little or no notion of the things of God. Whereas the spiritual man is he who, in the mysteries of religion, takes not human sense for his guide: but submits his judgment to the decisions of the Church, which he is commanded to hear and obey. For Christ hath promised to remain to the end of the world with his Church, and to direct her in all things by the Spirit of truth.”

1 Marie Kondo has written four books on organizing, which have collectively sold millions of copies and have been translated from Japanese into languages including Korean, Chinese, Spanish, Indonesian,[3] French, German, Swedish, Portuguese and English.[2] In particular, her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (2011) has been published in more than 30 countries.[4] It was a best-seller in Japan and in Europe, and was published in the United States in 201


Dear soul, it is a joy to write to you again.

This month we return to some sobering and important counsels from Evagrius. These counsels, dear soul, I will largely let speak for themselves. More than some of the previous decades of counsels, you should return to these counsels often, even daily over the next month. They will stand you on solid ground and will help you in the genuine struggle of the life of prayer. They are a needed remedy for the spiritual delusion which can take hold of even those of good will who attempt to undertake the spiritual life. So let us hear Evagrius...

91. If you cultivate prayer, be ready for the attacks of demons and endure them resolutely; for they will come at you like wild beasts and maltreat your whole body.

We ought never to be surprised that the enemy will attempt to cause difficulties for us when we resolve to live the life of grace. Be always ready for attacks from within and without, dear soul. God allows this that our resolve may be strengthened.

92. Prepare yourself like an experienced fighter, and even if you see a sudden apparition do not be shaken; and should you see a sword drawn against you, or a torch thrust into your face, do not be alarmed. Should you see even some loathsome and bloody figure, do not panic; but stand fast, boldly affirming your faith, and you will be more resolute in confronting your enemies.

Conerning this counsel, it is best simply to let it be a word to the wise. An entire excursus could – and should – be taken to warn the soul in the modern world against the dangers of apparitions and the like. Be on guard, dear soul, and pay no heed to such appearances, messages, and the like. Hear rather the voice of the Church, which is the pillar and ground of the truth. In this, you will stand firm.

At some time soon, dear soul, we will take up the topic of the danger of visions, et cetera, at length. For now, let us pray! And let us bear any distress, for Evagrius says...

93. He who bears distress patiently will attain joy, and he who endures the repulsive will know delight.

94. Take care that the crafty demons do not deceive you with some vision; be on your guard, turn to prayer and ask God to show you if the intellection comes from Him and, if it does not, to dispel the illusion at once. Do not be afraid, for if you pray fervently to God, the demons will retreat, lashed by His unseen power.

95. You should be aware of this trick: at times the demons split into two groups; and when you call for help against one group, the other will come in the guise of angels and drive away the first, so that you are deceived into believing that they are truly angels.

Again, keep these words in your mind and return to them often this month, dear soul. Be wary of the craftiness of the enemy. Pay no heed to such manifestations. Hear the Church, and pray in and with the Church, most especially at the sacred Liturgy. In doing so, we cultivate genuine humility...

96. Cultivate great humility and courage, and you will escape the power of the demons; 'no plague shall come near your dwelling, for He shall give His angels charge over you' (Ps. 91:10-1 1). And they will invisibly repel all the energy of the enemy.

97. He who practices pure prayer will hear the demons crashing and banging, shouting and cursing; yet he will not be overwhelmed or go out of his mind. But he will say to God: 'I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me' (Ps. 23 :4), and other words of this kind.

98. At the time of such trials, use a brief but intense prayer.

It is good, dear soul, to get in the habit of offering such prayer. The exact form of words which may be employed can be varied, as Evagrius says. Your own spiritual father will be able to instruct you in this. If any case of necessity, the words of the prayer of the heart can be profitably employed: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. Thus we are armed in the time of trials.

99. If the demons suddenly threaten to appear out of the air, to make you panic and to take possession of your intellect, do not be frightened and pay no attention to their threats. For they are trying to terrify you, to see if you take notice of them or scorn them utterly.

Here you given a rather tall order, dear soul: not to be afraid in the face of the demons. For some – for many, in fact – this takes time to learn well. Remember that it is far less a matter of simply feeling a sense of boldness within you than it is holding fast to the divine gift of the virtue of fortitude.

100. When you stand in prayer before God the Almighty, who created all things and takes thought for all, why are you so foolish as to forget the fear of God and to be scared of mosquitoes and cockroaches? Have you not heard it said, 'You shall fear the Lord your God' (Deut. 6:13); or again 'Fear and dread shall fall upon them' (Exod. 15:16)?

And here we have our final counsel, which is none other than Evagrius reminding us of the necessity to receive and cultivate the divine gift of the Fear of the Lord, a gift of the Holy Ghost. These gifts are received through sanctifying grace. The gifts are utilized and cultivated each and every time we pray, each time that we correspond with the will of God, each time that we do good works in His Name.

And there, dear soul, we have this month's counsels. As I had said, they are simple and sobering. Let us take them with us on our journey. Let us return to them often this month, so that we might be reminded of these fundamental considerations as we grow in the life of prayer. And let us pray for each other.


Saints from East and West

Saints whose feasts are celebrated this month

February 14 (Byzantine) - St. Michael of Chernigov and St. Theodore, Martyrs


The Church in Russia had no martyrs, properly speaking, before the Tartar invasions of the thirteenth century. The number who then gave their lives for Christ was very large, and the first to receive both popular and liturgical veneration were those among them who were also nobles and military leaders against the barbarian invaders. Thus was reinforced the regard already felt for these men, not as aggressive "crusaders against the infidels," but as selfless warriors who were ready to give their lives in defense of their people: the palm of martyrdom for Christ was added to the halo of self-sacrifice for others. Outstanding in popularity among these was Michael, Duke of Chernigov.

The first we hear of him is unpromising. He showed cowardice in face of the enemy and fled from Kiev, abandoning the city to the Tartars. But then, hoping to attract their violence to himself and distract it from the people, he returned of his own will and made his way into the camp of the Horde. Their leader, Bati, tried to persuade Michael to treachery, making great promises if he would only make an act of idolatrous worship. But Michael refused: he was not willing to be a Christian only in name. His friends then formed a plan for his escape from the camp, but this also he refused, lest they should suffer Bati's reprisals. So the Tartars tortured and then beheaded him, and there suffered with him one of his nobles, the boyar Saint Theodore.

The Russians looked on such martyrs as their special representatives before the throne of God at a time when all the people were crushed by the most hideous sufferings. St Michael and St Theodore of Chernigov and others responded by anticipation to the challenge of another martyred prince, St Michael of Tver, seventy-five years later: "It is not a matter of giving one's life for one friend or for two, but for a whole enslaved people. Many of them are murdered, their wives and daughters are outraged by the foul heathen-and nobody offers his life for them."

Saints Michael and Theodore are named in the proskomedia (preparatory liturgy) of the Russian Rite.

 


February 12 - The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order

It was between the years 1225 and 1227 that seven young Florentines joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin-popularly known as the "Laudesi" or "Praisers." It was at a period when the prosperous city of Florence was being rent by political factions and distracted by the heresy of the Cathari: it was also a time of general relaxation of morals even where devotional practices were retained. These young men, members of the most prominent families of the city, had from their childhood been occupied more with spiritual than with temporal affairs and had taken no part in local feuds. Whether they were all friends before they joined the Laudesi is not clear, but in that confraternity they became closely allied, and all seven grew daily more detached from the world and more devoted to the service of the Blessed Virgin. The eldest of them was Buonfiglio Monaldo, who became their leader, and the others were Alexis Falconieri, Benedict dell'Antella, Bartholomew Amidei, Ricovero Uguccione, Gerardino Sostegni, and John Buonagiunta. They had as their spiritual director James of Poggibonsi, who was chaplain of the Laudesi, a man of great holiness and spiritual insight. All of them came to realize the call to a life of renunciation, and they determined to have recourse to our Lady in their perplexity.

On the feast of the Assumption, as they were absorbed in prayer, they saw her in a vision, and were inspired by her to withdraw from the world into a solitary place and to live for God alone. There were difficulties, because, though three of them were celibates, four had been married and had ties, although two had become widowers. It was necessary to make suitable provision for their dependents; but that was arranged, and with the approval of the bishop they withdrew from the world and betook themselves to a house called La Carmarzia, outside the gates of Florence, twenty-three days after they had received their call. Their aim was to lead a life of penance and prayer, but before long they found themselves so much disturbed by constant visitors from Florence that they decided to withdraw to the wild and deserted slopes of Monte Senario, where they built a simple church and hermitage and lived a life of almost incredible austerity.

In spite of difficulties, visitors sometimes found their way to the hermits and many wished to join them, but they refused to accept recruits. So they continued to live for several years, until they were visited by their bishop, Ardingo, and Cardinal Castiglione, who had heard much about their sanctity. He was greatly edified, but he made one adverse criticism. "Your mode of life," he said, "is too much like that of the wild creatures of the woods, so far as the care of the body is concerned. You treat yourselves in a manner bordering on barbarity: and you seem more desirous of dying to time than of living for eternity. Take heed: the enemy of souls often hides himself under the appearance of an angel of light... Hearken to the counsels of your superiors." The seven were deeply impressed by these words and hastened to ask their bishop for a rule of life. He replied that the matter was one that called for prayer, and he entreated them not to continue to refuse admittance to those who sought to join them. Again the solitaries gave themselves up to prayer for light, and again they had a vision of our Lady, who bore in her hand a black habit while an angel held a scroll inscribed with the title of Servants of Mary. She addressed them and said she had chosen them to be her servants, that she wished them to wear the black habit, and to follow the Rule of St Augustine. From that date, April 13, 1240, they were known as the Servants of Mary, or Servites. In accepting this rule, the Seven Founders found themselves called upon to adopt a different kind of life - much to the satisfaction of their old friend the Bishop of Florence. James of Poggibonsi, who had followed them, resolved to join them, and they were clothed by the bishop himself, Buonfiglio being elected their superior. According to custom they selected names by which they should thenceforth be known, and became Brothers Bonfilius, Alexis, Amadeus, Hugh, Sostenes, Manettus and Buonagiunta. By the wish of the bishop, all except St Alexis, who in his humility begged to be excused, prepared to receive holy orders, and in due time they were fully professed and ordained priests. The new order, which took a form more like that of the mendicant friars than that of the monastic orders, increased amazingly, and it soon became necessary to form fresh houses.

Siena, Pistoia, and Arezzo were the first places chosen, and afterwards the houses at Carfaggio, the convent and church of the Santissima Annunziata in Florence, and the convent at Lucca were established. Meanwhile, although the Servites had the approval of their immediate superiors, they had not been recognized by the Holy See. Again and again efforts were made to obtain recognition for them, but difficulties were raised by those who desired to see the new order abolished or absorbed in another. The Council of the Lateran had declared that no new orders should be founded, and later on the Council of Lyons had added further limitations, and therefore each time the petition of the Servites came before the pope it was set aside or ignored. It was only in 1259 that the order was practically recognized by Alexander IV, and not till 1304 - over sixty years after its foundation - that it received the explicit and formal approbation of Bd Benedict XI. St Bonfilius had remained as prior general until 1256, when he begged to be relieved owing to old age. He died a beautiful death in the midst of a conference of his brethren on new year's night, 1261. St Buonagiunta, the youngest of the seven, was the second prior general, but not long after his election he breathed his last in chapel while the gospel of the Passion was being read. St Amadeus ruled over the important convent of Carfaggio, but returned to Monte Senario to end his days. St Manettus became fourth prior general and sent missionaries to Asia, but he retired to make way for St Philip Benizi, upon whose breast he died. St Hugh and St Sostenes went abroad - Sostenes to Paris and Hugh to found convents in Gernlany. They were recalled in 1276, and, being attacked by illness, they passed away side by side the same night. St Alexis, the humble lay-brother, outlived them all, and he was the only one who survived to see the order fully and finally recognized. He is reported to have died at the age of one hundred and ten.


Catholic Books in Exile

Books to feed your faith!


Saint Alphonsus Ligouri -Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (I Corinthians 13:4-7) Saint Paul wrote wonderfully about charity in the 13th chapter of First Corinthians. Saint Alphonsus takes these words and gives a simple view of the Catholic way of life and an excellent introduction into the spiritual life. This is excerpted from his work, The Holy Eucharist, which has been excerpted from The Complete Works of Saint Alphonsus, which was compiled and translated by Father Eugene Grimm. (1835-1891)


 

 

 

How Christ Said the First Mass
By James L. Meagher
$19.95

Anyone who truly wishes to appreciate the Latin Mass and its origin in the Mass Jesus said at the Last Supper should read this book. It also becomes clear that the Jews of Jesus' time had every reason to convert, when one sees how the Mass fulfills prophecy so well. We are extremely happy to bring this excellent book back into print.


The Practice of the Presence of God: With the Maxims of Brother Lawrence 
$4.99

Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the kingdom of God here on earth. It is the art of "practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end. " He often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our soul. We must merely open our hearts to receive Him and His loving presence. For nearly 300 years this unparalleled classic has given both blessing and instruction to those who can be content with nothing less than knowing God in all His majesty and feeling His loving presence throughout each simple day.

 


For More Good Traditional Catholic Books:


Mother Harper's Prize Winning Beef Stew
The original favourite!

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Ready In: 2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients
2 pounds cubed beef stew meat
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cubes beef bouillon, crumbled
4 cups water
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cold water
Directions

1. In a large pot or dutch oven, cook beef in oil over medium heat until brown. Dissolve bouillon in water and pour into pot. Stir in rosemary, parsley and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour.

2. Stir potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion into the pot. Dissolve cornstarch in 2 teaspoons cold water and stir into stew. Cover and simmer 1 hour more.

 

Melba's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
A satisfying sweet for those who enjoy the juxtaposition of chocolate and peanut butter.

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
40 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.

2. Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well. Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.

3. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan.


Video

Video sermons and instructions: Timeless timely truths for living the Faith


Let Us Pray


Sinners Are Unhappy
 


Conversion
 


 
VIE Catholic Radio

VIE CATHOLIC RADIO EVENTS FOR FEBRUARY

This Month in February

The month of February is dedicated to the Holy Family. In this day and age when the family is under such great attack, we need to pray to Jesus, Mary and Joseph and ask them for protection for our own families and the family in general.

So with this theme in mind we have some great programming that I think you will find to be wonderful tools that will help your family to be the Catholic family that it can and should be.

Bishop Sheen's Family Retreat

Bishop Sheen gives Twelve Conferences to an

Audience of all ages on the following topics:

  • Confession

  • The Devil

  • Love

  • The Mass

  • Choice

  • The Our Father

  • Youth and Sex

  • "Wasting Your Life for Christ"

  • Our Lady,

  • Kenosis,

  • "Old Pots"

  • The Cross

One of his best retreats, preached before a live audience in a church toward the end of Fulton Sheen's active life. The church was filled with people of all ages: young children, teenagers, and their parents. In this moving presentation, Fulton Sheen speaks about topics that apply to everyone.

Listen to him as he treats, in his usual thorough, articulate and humorous manner, each of these topics, and more! It begins Sunday the 13th! And runs throughout the week.

Valentines Day:

Valentine is a very special day for couples and every couple wants to make this day memorable. So get out the candles, and your best table ware, and then be sure to have flowers candy, and a bottle of wine. Then turn down the lights, and have yourself a candle night dinner. But the most important things is the music in the background. For Valentines day we will provide you the romantic music that will set the atmosphere for your special meal together. Romantic music that does not go against your Catholic faith nor would you be embarrassed to have your children hear. Look at the radio program for times.

The Angelus and The Rosary:

Everyday the Angelus, which commemorates the Incarnation of Jesus, and the Rosary, which is a devotion in honor of the Virgin Mary, is said morning, noon and night. Follow along with us in prayer everyday!

Lamp and Light:

Lamp and Light Bible study takes the listener through the entire Bible, threading back and forth between the Old and New Testaments. Be sure to tune in so that you will not miss any part of the Bible study.

Sacred Moments:

It has been said that “The higher goal of spiritual living is not to amass a wealth of information, but to face sacred moments.” and that is what our desire is for you. To experience through our weekly devotion, a sacred moment. One that you can savor through out the day. One that reminds you that God is alive and active in your live.

Sunday Sermon:

You can listen to four Sunday Sermons, including one by Saint Alphonsus, each day that could cause permanent life changes by stepping on your toes!

Life Is Worth Living:

Fulton Sheen's renowned and inspiring television series was watched by millions of viewers from all walks of life and every religious belief. His timeless insights give wise, personal and inspiring guidance on the problems affecting our lives in today’s world. His talks cover an amazing variety of subjects, from the character of the Irish to the handling of teenagers. He discusses education, Christianity, relativity, and world affairs. He speaks about love, conscience, fear, motherhood, work. He tells amusing anecdotes, recites poetry, and ponders the fate of the free world as well as America’s destiny.

Fulton Sheen's Catechism:

...is a 50 part series on the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church recorded in 1965 in the privacy of his own study. This Catechism program is truly priceless! Fulton Sheen's captivating voice and message comes through loud and clear, even for today.

Catechism Corner:

Catechism Corner discuss our Catholic faith in an easy to understand manner each week. The talks are given by our own in House Priest from the Rectory of the St. Helen Catholic Mission. You won't want to miss a lesson!

Family Theater:

Family Theater is a dramatic radio show which was produced by Family Theater Productions, a film and radio studio extension of the Family Rosary Crusade founded by the Holy Cross Priest, Father Patrick Peyton, CSC, as a way to promote family prayer. The motto of Holy Cross Family Ministries is "The family that prays together stays together."

Your Story Hour/The Bible Comes Alive:

Your Story Hour produces family-friendly radio dramas based on the Bible, historical heroes, and true-to-life adventures. Our stories--brought to life by talented voice actors, descriptive sound effects and compelling music--teach Christian values, positive character traits and principles for good decision-making.

Ranger Bill:

Ranger Bill is a Christian radio program from the 1950s. Ranger Bill stars Miron Canaday as the title character and Stumpy Jenkins. And Ed Ronne Sr. as Grey Wolf. The main character, Ranger Bill, is a forest ranger located in the town of Knotty Pine along the Rocky Mountains. The show describes the various tales of the adventures of Ranger Bill and his friends

Plus More!:

Paul Harveys' The Rest of The Story- The Rest of the Story consists of stories presented as little-known or forgotten facts on a variety of subjects with some key element of the story (usually the name of some well-known person) held back until the end

Jelly Telly- A 5 Minute Family Devotional featuring Clive & Ian's Character Quest! 12 short devotionals that will teach your kids all about important character traits from the Bible - from generosity to courage to compassion and more!

Creation Moments- presenting scientific evidence for the Bible and its literal truths. Each short program provides accurate, up-to-date information about new discoveries in God's creation.

Life Line- Short programs that communicates Biblical Truths in a humorous, thought-provoking way

No Apologies- is basic apologetic of the Catholic Church, that defends the faith, with a Marian emphasis.

*NEW*

Live of the Saints- Short Audio clips through out the day and week that gives you a brief biography of the Saints who have feast days during the week.

These are just some of the little jewels you can hear through out the week.

Music To Tickle Your Ears:

We have a whole genre of musical programs. Such as Friday Night Gospel BluegrassSaturday Night Alive-Praise and Worship, and Sounds of Joy-Sacred Music. That doesn't count the Gregorian Chant heard every day four times a day!

Check your program guide to see times and days for each program.

 

 

Saint Basil the Great: On Creation

The Germination of the Earth.

1. "And God said Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself." It was deep wisdom that commanded the earth, when it rested after discharging the weight of the waters, first to bring forth grass, then wood as we see it doing still at this time. For the voice that was then heard and this command were aS a natural and permanent law for it; it gave fertility and the power to produce fruit for all ages to come; "Let the earth bring forth." The production of vegetables shows first germination. When the germs begin to sprout they form grass; this develops and becomes a plant, which insensibly receives its different articulations, and reaches its maturity in the seed. Thus all things which sprout and are green are developed. "Let the earth bring forth green grass." Let the earth bring forth by itself without having any need of help from without. Some consider the sun as the source of all productiveness on the earth. It is, they say, the action of the sun's heat which attracts the vital force from the centre of the earth to the surface. The reason why the adornment of the earth was before the sun is the following; that those who worship the sun, as the source of life, may renounce their error. If they be well persuaded that the earth was adorned before the genesis of the sun, they will retract their unbounded admiration for it, because they see grass and plants vegetate before it rose. If then the food for the flocks was prepared, did our race appear less worthy of a like solicitude? He, who provided pasture for horses and cattle, thought before all of your riches and pleasures. If he fed your cattle, it was to provide for all the needs of your life. And what object was there in the bringing forth of grain, if not for your subsistence? Moreover, many grasses and vegetables serve for the food of man.

2. "Let the earth bring forth grass yielding seed after his kind." So that although some kind of grass is of service to animals, even their gain is our gain too, and seeds are especially designed for our use. Such is the true meaning of the words that I have i quoted. "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed after his kind." this manner we can re-establish the order of the words, of which the construction seems faulty in the actual version, and the economy of nature will be rigorously observed. In fact, first comes germination, then verdure, then the growth of the plant, which alter having attained its full growth arrives at perfection in seed.

How then, they say, can Scripture describe all the plants of the earth as seed-bearing, when the reed, couch-grass, mint, crocus, garlic, and the flowering rush and countless other species, produce no seed? To this we reply that many vegetables have their seminal virtue in the lower part and in the roots. The need, for example, after its annual growth sends forth a protuberance from its roots, which takes the place of seed for future trees. Numbers of other vegetables are the same and all over the earth reproduce by the roots. Nothing then is truer than that each plant produces its seed or contains some seminal virtue; this is what is meant by "after its kind." So that the shoot of a reed does not produce an olive tree, but from a reed grows another reed, and from one sort of seed a plant of the same sort always germinates. Thus, all which sprang from the earth, in its first bringing forth, is kept the same to our time, thanks to the constant reproduction of kind.

"Let the earth bring forth." See how, at this short word, at this brief command, the cold and sterile earth travailed and hastened to bring forth its fruit, as it east away its sad and dismal covering to clothe itself in a more brilliant robe, proud of its proper adornment and displaying the infinite variety of plants.

I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that everywhere, wherever you may be, the least plant may bring to yon the clear remembrance of the Creator. If you see the grass of the fields, think of human nature, and remember the comparison of the wise Isaiah. "All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field." Truly the rapid flow of life, the short gratification and pleasure that an instant of happiness gives a man, all wonderfully suit the comparison of the prophet. To-day he is vigorous in body, fattened by luxury, and in the prime of life, with complexion fair like the flowers, strong and powerful and of irresistible energy; tomorrow and he will be an object of pity, withered by age or exhausted by sickness. Another shines in all the splendour of a brilliant fortune. and around him are a multitude of flatterers, an escort of false friends on the track of his good graces; a crowd of kinsfolk, but of no true kin; a swarm Of servants who crowd after him to provide for his food and for all his needs; and in his comings and goings this innumerable suite, which he drags after him, excites the envy of all whom he meets. To fortune may be added power in the State, honours bestowed by the imperial throne, the government of a province, or the command of armies; a herald who precedes him is crying in a loud voice; lictors right and left also fill his subjects with awe, blows, confiscations, banishments, imprisonments, and all the means by which he strikes intolerable terror into all whom he has to rule. And what then? One night, a fever, a pleurisy, or an inflammation of the lungs, snatches away this man from the midst of men, stripped in a moment of all his stage accessories, and all this, his glory, is proved a mere dream. Therefore the Prophet has compared human glory to the weakest flower.

3. Up to this point, the order in which plants shoot bears witness to their first arrangement. Every herb, every plant proceeds from a germ. If, like the couch-grass and the crocus, it throws out a shoot from its root and from this lower protuberance, it must always germinate and start outwards. If it proceeds from a seed, there is still, by necessity, first a germ, then the sprout, theft green foliage, and finally the fruit which ripens upon a stalk hitherto dry and thick. "Let the earth bring forth grass." When the seed falls into the earth, which contains the right combination of heat and moisture, it swells and becomes porous, and, grasping the surrounding earth, attracts to itself all that is suitable for it and that has affinity to it. These particles of earth, however small they may be, as they fall and insinuate themselves into all the pores of the seed, broaden its bulk and make it send forth roots below, and shoot upwards, sending forth stalks no less numerous than the roots. As the germ is always growing warm, the moisture, pumped up through the roots, and helped by the attraction of heat, draws a proper amount of nourishment from the soil, and distributes it to the stem, to the bark, to the husk, to the steel itself and to the beards with which it is armed. It is owing to these successive accretions that each plant attains its natural development, as well corn as vegetables, herbs or brushwood. A single plant, a blade of grass is sufficient to occupy all your intelligence in the contemplation of the skill which produced it. Why is the wheat stalk better with joints? Are they not like fastenings, which help it to bear easily the weight of the ear, when it is swollen with fruit and bends towards the earth? Thus, whilst oats, which have no weight to bear at the top, are without these supports, nature has provided them for wheat. It has hidden the grain in a case, so that it may not be exposed to birds' pillage, and has furnished it with a rampart of barbs, which, like darts, protect it against the attacks of tiny creatures.

4. What shall I say? What shall I leave unsaid? In the rich treasures of creation it is difficult to select what is most precious; the loss of what is omitted is too severe. "Let the earth bring forth grass;" and instantly, with useful plants, appear noxious plants; with corn, hemlock; with the other nutritious plants, hellebore, monkshood, mandrake and the juice of the poppy. What then? Shall we show no gratitude for so many beneficial gifts, and reproach the Creator for those which may be harmful to our life? And shall we not reflect that all has not been created in view of the wants of our bellies? The nourishing plants, which are destined for our use, are close at hand, and known by all the world. But in creation nothing exists without a reason. The blood of the bull is a poison: ought this animal then, whose strength is so serviceable to man, not to have been created, or, if created, to have been bloodless? But you have sense enough in yourself to keep you free froth deadly things. What! Sheep and goats know how to turn away from what threatens their life, discerning danger by instinct alone: and you, who have reason and the art of medicine to supply what you need, and the experience of your forebears to tell you to avoid all that is dangerous, you tell me that you find it difficult to keep yourself from poisons! But not a single thing has been created without reason, not a single thing is useless. One serves as food to some animal; medicine has found in another a relief for one of our maladies. Thus the starling eats hemlock, its constitution rendering it insusceptible to the action of the poison.

Thanks to the tenuity of the pores of its heart, the malignant juice is on sooner swallowed than it is digested, before its chill can attack the vital parts. The quail, thanks to its peculiar temperament, whereby it escapes the dangerous effects, feeds on hellebore. There are even circumstances where poisons are useful to men; with mandrake doctors give us sleep; with opium they lull violent pain. Hemlock has ere now been used to appease the rage of unruly diseases; and many times hellebore has taken away long standing disease. These plants, then, instead of making you accuse the Creator, give you a new subject for gratitude.

5. "Let the earth bring forth grass." What spontaneous provision is included in these words,--that which is present in the root, in the plant itself, and in the fruit, as well as that which our labour and husbandry add! God did not command the earth immediately to give forth seed and fruit, but to produce germs, to grow green, and to arrive at maturity in the seed; so that this first command teaches nature what she has to do in the course of ages. But, they ask, is it true that the earth produces seed after his kind, when often, after having sown wheat, we gather black grain? This is not a change of kind, but an alteration, a disease of the grain. It has not ceased to be wheat; it is on account of having been burnt that it is black, as one can learn from its name. If a severe frost had burnt it, it would have had another colour and a different flavour. They even pretend that, if it could find suitable earth and moderate temperature, it might return to its first form. Thus, you find nothing in nature contrary to the divine command. As to the darnel and all those bastard grains which mix themselves with the harvest, the tares of Scripture, far from being a variety of corn, have their own origin and their own kind; image of those who alter the doctrine of the Lord and, not being rightly instructed in the word, but, corrupted by the teaching of the evil one, mix themselves with the sound body of the Church to spread their pernicious errors secretly among purer souls. The Lord thus compares the perfection of those who believe in Him to the growth of seed, "as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep and rise, night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." "Let the earth bring forth grass." In a moment earth began by germination to obey the laws of the Creator, completed every stage of growth, and brought germs to perfection. The meadows were covered with deep grass, the fertile plains quivered with harvests, and the movement of the corn was like the waving of the sea. Every plant, every herb, the smallest shrub, the least vegetable, arose from the earth in all its luxuriance. There was no failure in this first vegetation: no husbandman's inexperience, no inclemency of the weather, nothing could injure it; then the sentence of condemnation was not fettering the earth's fertility. All this was before the sin which condemned us to eat our bread by the sweat of our brow.

6. "Let the earth," the Creator adds, "bring forth the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself."

At this command every copse was thickly planted; all the trees, fir, cedar, cypress, pine, rose to their greatest height, the shrubs were straightway clothed with thick foliage. The plants called crown-plants, roses, myrtles, laurels, did not exist; in one moment they came into being, each one with its distinctive peculiarities. Most marked differences separated them from other plants, and each one was distinguished by a character of its own. But then the rose was without thorns; since then the thorn has been added to its beauty, to make us feel that sorrow is very near to pleasure, and to remind us of our sin, which condemned the earth to produce thorns and caltrops. But, they say, the earth has received the command to produce trees "yielding fruit whose seed was in itself," and we see many trees which have neither fruit, nor seed. What shall we reply? First, that only the more important trees are mentioned; and then, that a careful examination will show us that every tree has seed, or some property which takes the place of it. The black poplar, the willow, the elm, the white poplar, all the trees of this family, do not produce any apparent fruit; however, an attentive observer finds seed in each of them. This grain which is at the base of the leaf, and which those who busy themselves with inventing words call mischos, has the property of seed. And there are trees which reproduce by their branches, throwing out roots from them. Perhaps we ought even to consider as seeds the saplings which spring from the roots of a tree: for cultivators tear them out to multiply the species. But, we have already said, it is chiefly a question of the trees which contribute most to out life; which offer their various fruits to man and provide him with plentiful nourishment. Such is the vine, which produces wine to make glad the heart of man; such is the olive tree, whose fruit brightens his face with oil. How many things in nature are combined in the same plant! In a vine, roots, green and flexible branches, which spread themselves far over the earth, buds, tendrils, bunches of sour grapes and ripe grapes. The sight of a vine, when observed by an intelligent eye, serves to remind you of your nature. Without doubt you remember the parable where the Lord calls Himself a vine and His Father the husbandman, and every one of us who are grafted by faith into the Church the branches. He invites us to produce fruits in abundance, for fear lest our sterility should condemn us to the fire. He constantly compares our souls to vines. "My well beloved," says He, "hath a vineyard in a very fruitfull hill," and elsewhere, I have "planted a vineyard and hedged it round about." Evidently He calls human souls His vine, those souls whom He has surrounded with the authority of His precepts and a guard of angels. "The angel of the Lord encampeth round shout them that fear him." And further: He has planted for us, so to say, props, in establishing in His Church apostles, prophets, teachers; and raising our thoughts by the example of the blessed in olden times, He has not allowed them to drag on the earth and be crushed under foot. He wishes that the claspings of love, like the tendrils of the vine, should attach us to our neighbours and make us rest on them, so that, in our continual aspirations towards heaven, we may imitate these vines, which raise themselves to the tops of the tallest trees. He also asks us to allow ourselves to be dug about; and that is what the soul does when it disembarrasses itself from the cares of the world, which are a weight on our hearts. He, then, who is freed from carnal affections and from the love of riches, and, far from being dazzled by them, disdains and despises this miserable vain glory, is, so to say, dug about and at length breathes, free from the useless weight of earthly thoughts. Nor must we, in the spirit of the parable, put forth too much wood, that is to say, live with ostentation, and gain the applause of the world; we must bring forth fruits, keeping the proof of our works for the husbandman. Be "like a green olive tree in the house of God," never destitute of hope, but decked through faith with the bloom of salvation. Thus you will resemble the eternal verdure of this plant and will rival it in fruitfulness, if each clay sees you giving abundantly in alms.

7. But let us return to the examination of the ingenious contrivances of creation. How many trees then arose, some to give us their fruits, others to roof our houses, others to build our ships, others to feed our fires! What a variety in the disposition of their several parts! And yet, how difficult is it to find the distinctive property of each of them, and to grasp the difference which separates them from other species. Some strike deep roots, others do not; some shoot straight up and have only one stem, others appear to love the earth and, from their root upwards, divide into several shoots. Those whose long branches stretch up afar into the air, have also deep roots which spread within a large circumference, a true foundation placed by nature to support the weight of the tree. What variety there is in bark! Some plants have smooth bark, others rough, some have only one layer, others several. What a marvellous thing! You may find in the youth and age of plants resemblances to those of man. Young and vigorous, their bark is distended; when they grow old, it is rough and wrinkled. Cut one, it sends forth new buds; the other remains henceforward sterile and as if struck with a mortal wound. But further, it has been observed that pines, cut down, or even submitted to the action of fire, are changed into a forest of oaks. We know besides that the industry of agriculturists remedies the natural defects of certain trees. Thus the sharp pomegranate and bitter almonds, if the trunk of the tree is pierced near the root to introduce into the middle of the pith a fat plug of pine, lose the acidity of their juice, and become delicious fruits. Let not the sinner then despair of himself, when he thinks, if agriculture can change the juices of plants, the efforts of the soul to arrive at virtue, can certainly triumph over all infirmities.

Now there is such a variety of fruits in fruit trees that it is beyond all expression; a variety not only in the fruits of trees of different families, but even in those of the same species, if it be true, as gardeners say, that the sex of a tree influences the character of its fruits. They distinguish male from female in palms; sometimes we see those which they call female lower their branches, as though with passionate desire. and invite the embraces of the male. Then, those who take care of these plants shake over these palms the fertilizing dust from the male palm-tree, the psen as they call it: the tree appears to share the pleasures of enjoyment; then it raises its branches, and its foliage resumes its usual form. The same is said of the fig tree. Some plant wild fig trees near cultivated fig trees, and there are others who, to remedy the weakness of the productive fig tree of our gardens, attach to the branches unripe figs and so retain the fruit which had already begun to drop and to be lost. What lesson does nature here give us? That we must often borrow, even from those who are strangers to the faith, a certain vigour to show forth good works. If you see outside the Church, in pagan life, or in the midst of a pernicious heresy, the example of virtue and fidelity to moral laws, redouble your efforts to resemble the productive fig tree, who by the side of the wild fig tree, gains strength, prevents the fruit from being shed, and nourishes it with more care.

8. Plants reproduce themselves in so many different ways, that we can only touch upon the chief among them. As to fruits themselves, who could review their varieties, their forms, their colours, the peculiar flavour, and the use of each of them? Why do some fruits ripen when exposed bare to the rays of the sun, while others fill out while encased in shells? Trees of which the fruit is tender have, like the fig tree, a thick shade of leaves; those, on the contrary, of which the fruits are stouter, like the nut, are only covered by a light shade. The delicacy of the first requires more care; if the latter had a thicker case, the shade of the leaves would be harmful. Why is the vine leaf serrated, if not that the bunches of grapes may at the same time resist the injuries of the air and receive through the openings all the rays of the sun? Nothing has been done without motive, nothing by chance. All shows ineffable wisdom.

What discourse can touch all? Can the human mind make an exact review, remark every distinctive property, exhibit all the differences, unveil with certainty so many mysterious causes? The same water, pumped up through the root, nourishes in a different way the root itself, the bark of the trunk, the wood and the pith. It becomes leaf, it distributes itself among the branches and twigs and makes the fruits swell -- it gives to the plant its gum and its sap. Who will explain to us the difference between all these? There is a difference between the gum of the mastich and the juice of the balsam, a difference between that which distils in Egypt arid Libya from the fennel. Amber is, they say, the crystallized sap of plants. And for a proof, see the bits of straws and little insects which have been caught in the sap while still liquid and imprisoned there. In one word, no one without long experience could find terms to express the virtue of it. How, again, does this water become wine in the vine, and oil in the olive tree? Yet what is marvellous is, not to see it become sweet in one fruit, fat and unctuous in another, but to see in sweet fruits an inexpressible variety of flavour. There is one sweetness of the grape, another of the apple, another of the fig, another of the date. I shall willingly give you the gratification of continuing this research. How is it that this same water has sometimes a sweet taste, softened by its remaining in certain plants, and at other times stings the palate because it has become acid by passing through others? How is it, again, that it attains extreme bitterness, and makes the mouth rough when it is found in wormwood and in scammony? That it has in acorns and dogwood a sharp and rough flavour? That in the turpentine tree and the walnut tree it is changed into a soft and oily matter?

9. But what need is there to continue. when in the same fig tree we have the most opposite flavours, as bitter in the sap as it is sweet in the fruit? And in the vine, is it not as sweet in the grapes as it is astringent in the branches? And what a variety of colour! Look how in a meadow this same water becomes red in one flower, purple in another, blue in this one, white in that. And this diversity of colours, is it to be compared to that of scents? But I perceive that an insatiable curiosity is drawing out my discourse beyond its limits. If I do not stop and recall it to the law of creation, day will fail me whilst making you see great wisdom in small things.

"Let the earth bring forth the fruit tree yielding fruit." Immediately the tops of the mountains were covered with foliage: paradises were artfully laid out, and an infinitude of plants embellished the banks of the rivers. Some were for the adornment of man's table; some to nourish animals with their fruits and their leaves; some to provide medicinal help by giving us their sap, their juice, their chips, their bark or their fruit. In a word, the experience of ages, profiting from every chance, has not been able to discover anything useful, which the penetrating foresight of the Creator did not first perceive and call into existence. Therefore, when you see the trees in our gardens, or those of the forest, those which love the water or the land, those which bear flowers, or those which do not flower, I should like to see you recognising grandeur even in small objects, adding incessantly to your admiration of, and redoubling your love for the Creator. Ask yourself why He has made some trees evergreen and others deciduous; why, among the first, some lose their leaves, and others always keep them. Thus the olive and the pine shed their leaves, although they renew them insensibly and never appear to be despoiled of their verdure. The palm tree, on the contrary, from its birth to its death, is always adorned with the same foliage. Think again of the double life of the tamarisk; it is an aquatic plant, and yet it covers the desert. Thus, Jeremiah compares it to the worst of characters -- the double character.

10. "Let the earth bring forth." This short command was in a moment a vast nature, an elaborate system. Swifter than thought it produced the countless qualities of plants. It is this command which, still at this day, is imposed on the earth, and in the course of each year displays all the strength of its power to produce herbs, seeds and trees. Like tops, which after the first impulse, continue their evolutions, turning upon themselves when once fixed in their centre; thus nature, receiving the impulse of this first command, follows without interruption the course of ages, until the consummation of all things. Let us all hasten to attain to it, full of fruit and of good works; and thus, planted in the house of the Lord we shall flourish in the court of our God, in our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

Catechism Catch-Up  


Church Triumphant

church militant

There are Three States of the Church.

There is the Militant Church, The Suffering Church, and the Triumphant Church.

In past Catechism classes we have talked about the Militant Church and the Suffering Church.

For more information see:
Catechism Lesson 17: The Suffering Souls in Purgatory
Catechism Lesson 16: The Militant Church and the Armour of God
Catechism 15: Communion of The Saints
Catechism 14: A Description of the Church; The Bride of Christ, Part 2
Catechism 14: A Description of the Church; The Bride of Christ, Part 1
Catechism 13: A Description of the Church; The Sheep of God
Catechism 12: Description of the Church; The House of God
Catechism 11: On the Church Part I

In this lesson we will discuss the Church Triumphant.

And one of the Elders answered, and said to me: These that are clothed in white robes, who are they? and whence came they? And I said to him: My Lord, thou knowest. And he said to me: These are they who are come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.Therefore they are before the throne of God, and they serve him day and night in his temple: and he, that sitteth on the throne, shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them and shall lead them to the fountains of the waters of life, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.(Revelation 7:13-17)

What is the Church Triumphant?

The church triumphant describes the Church in heaven. The realm in which the holy Trinity, the angels and saints who have reached the fullness of salvation in Christ, abide. But it will have its fullest being at the end of time, when all of creation and all the Church whether the Church Militant, the Church Suffering, or the Church Triumphant, will be conformed to Christ and all reality will be one of divine praise and glory.

The term "church triumphant" underlines the truth that in the glory of heaven all human sin will have been transformed, death and suffering will be no more, and the glory of God will have triumphed over all the imperfections of human history.
What is the state of the Church Triumphant in Heaven?
They are in a state of UNSPOTTED PURITY.

The Triumphant Church is said to be "arrayed in white robes, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb!" These kind of terms, when used in Scripture, are used to denote purity and the favor of God.

Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow. (Psalms 50:9 DRB Psalms 51:7)
If your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
White linen is said to be the justification of the saints.

And it is granted to her that she should clothe herself with fine linen, glittering and white. For the fine linen are the justifications of saints. (Revelation 19:8)

This is the Justification in which they stand before the throne. It is a Justification that is done for them and in them, by the merits of a Redeemer's blood, and the power of his Spirit. Their purity is now spotless, being without sin.

"Now to him who is able to preserve you without sin, and to present you spotless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy!(Jude 1:24)

That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: (Ephesians 5:26)

Heaven is a state of TRIUMPHANT JOY.

They appear there with triumphant honor, as those who have overcome, and are now wearing the robes of victory.

There is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love his coming. (2 Timothy 4:8)

White robes were always allotted to conquerors, to which Christ himself refers when addressing the Churches. (see Revelation 3:4,5, 18; 4:4; 7:9,13,14)

They are victorious over sin, Satan, and the world — they have overcome! They have been made more than conquerors through Christ that loves them! (Romans 8:37) They have therefore received the fulfillment of those precious promises. "To him that overcomes,(Revelations 3:21) They "eat of the tree of life," (Revelation 2:7) and of "the hidden manna."(Revelation 2:17) Each has received the "white counter," and the "new name." (Revelation 2:17) They have received the "palm" of victory, and the "crown of life," (Revelation 2:10) and have been made "pillars in the temple of God, and shall no more go out." (Revelation 3:12)

No demon can tempt their holy souls again. They are forever free from . . .

sinful allurements.
worldly fascinations.
Satanic influence.

Heaven is residence in the presence of the exalted Christ.

They "are before the throne," a term expressive of the peculiar favor with which they are received by the King of glory. The glory of this throne is described,

And above the firmament that was over their heads, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of the sapphire stone, and upon the likeness of the throne, was a likeness as of the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as it were the resemblance of amber as the appearance of fire within it round about: from his loins and upward, and from his loins downward, I saw as it were the resemblance of fire shining round about. As the appearance of the rainbow when it is in a cloud on a rainy day: this was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake. (Ezekiel 1:26-28)

I beheld till thrones were placed, and the Ancient of days sat: his garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like clean wool: his throne like flames of fire: the wheels of it like a burning fire. (Daniel 7:9)

Above it stood the seraphims: the one had six wings, and the other had six wings: with two they covered his face, and with two they covered his feet, and with two they did fly. (Isaiah 6:2)

What must be the honor to stand before that majestic throne of the King of kings, and Lord of lords! The ransomed spirits in bliss are not paying a mere passing visit to the royal court — they have entered the king's palace as their abiding place — for what is their posture? "They stand before the throne," full of wonder, delight, and adoration. (Revelation 7:15-17)

"To him that shall overcome, I will give to sit with me in my throne: as I also have overcome, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (Revelation 3:21)

Heaven is a state of delightful, unceasing, and unwearying service.. "And His servants shall serve him" (Revelations 22:3) The Levitical priests were consecrated to their office by being first washed and purified in the sacred laver, (Exodus 40:12, 13) In allusion to this, it is said that his sanctified ones are made priests in his holy temple above, where they serve him without intermission or repose.

"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth, who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us a kingdom, and priests to God and his Father, to him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen." (Revelation 1:5-6)

And there shall be no curse any more; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him (Revelation 22:3)

They serve him by acts of grateful praise, (Revelation 9-11), where saints and angels adore together, making but one congregation,

"many thousands of angels , and the Church of the first-born." (Hebrews 12:22-23)

Heaven is a state of communion with Christ.

Often did he promise that his disciples would be "with him" in Heaven; and so it shall come to pass; for "he who sits on the throne shall dwell among them," verse 15. "Behold the tabernacle of God with men, and he will dwell with them. And they shall be his people; and God himself with them shall be their God." (Revelation 21:3)

They shall behold him in all his transcendent glory!
They shall hear him speak infinite things with infinite heavenly eloquence!
They shall feel him as his love warms and enraptures their expanded hearts!
They shall speak to him in the language of reverend praise, and humble inquiry!
They shall follow him wherever he leads the way to the tree of life, or the pure river of the water of life, or to the remotest parts of his empire!
They shall constantly receive from him new understanding, new proofs of his wisdom, his power, and his love.

Heaven is a state of perfect and eternal exemption from all distress.

It must be so, since they serve him without interruption, and since he dwells among them. Hence,
(Revelation 7:16)"They shall hunger no more or thirst " "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes," (Revelation 7:17) Poverty has often been the lot of the pious on earth; they have hungered and thirsted; they have toiled and been weary; have been destitute, tormented, and afflicted; but this shall be known no more."neither shall the sun fall on them, nor any heat. "(Revelations 7:16)

Like Jacob, who said that while shepherding the flock of Laban, "In the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night;" (Genesis 31:40) so these pilgrims had often been weary and faint in their course, and subject to many hardships. But in Heaven, they will be forever delivered from these calamities — neither the fire of persecution, nor the frost of adversity, shall annoy them any more.

"God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes!" Numerous are the sources of sorrow here on earth — but God will dry them all up in Heaven. They wear no funeral attire, no sackcloth there; for God shall wipe away all tears, and the days of their mourning will be ended.

There will be no prodigal, no penitent, no mourning Christian to drop tears there; "for all sorrow and sighing shall flee away." There is no night there, there is no sin there, there is no ignorance there, there is no affliction there, there is no death there.

All is daylight there, created by God and the Lamb, who are the light of the holy city. There is nothing in that happy residence to distress or annoy.

Jeremiah will utter no plaintive language there. Bartimaeus is the poor blind beggar no more. Lazarus's sores have been replaced by immortal beauty.

The weeping widow is no longer crushed to the dust by the heavy hand of poverty. The orphan child is no longer forsaken and homeless.

There is nothing in that happy residence to distress or annoy. Pinching poverty and wasting disease are unknown.

The distressing complaint will never accost the ear, "I am sick." The sting of death and the terrors of the grave will never present themselves there. There are no graves in the land of eternal life. There is no death of friends there. Martha and Mary go to no beloved brother's grave to weep. No deceitful heart, no secret foe, no fascinating world, no artful Satan, yonder.

The former things have passed away, and the dispensation of immortality has arrived.

The white-robed multitude, the congregated hosts of the Church Triumphant, sing a new song...a song which none can sing but the redeemed from among men!

Such bliss is enough to make the Church Militant and the Church suffering say, "But I am straitened between two: having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, a thing by far the better.!"(Philippians 1:23)
Heaven is a state of participation in all that bliss which God has promised to his redeemed people.

"For the Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall rule them, and shall lead them to the fountains of the waters of life, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." (Revelation 7:17)

He shall give them everything calculated to secure, continue, and increase their happiness.
"He will lead them to fountains of living water," which shall never be exhausted. A fountain or spring in the Hebrew phraseology, is termed living water, because it is constantly bubbling up, and running on. These "fountains of living water" indicate endless sources of happiness, which Christ will supply to his redeemed people from his own infinite plenitude.

These eternal fountains will make an infinite variety for the enjoyments of the blessed. There will be no sameness, and therefore no weariness to the spirit. Every moment will open a new source of pleasure. They shall make eternal progression into the fullness of God. And as God is infinite, so his attributes are infinite, and throughout infinity more and more of those attributes will be unveiled; and the discovery of each will be a new fountain of enjoyment. These sources must be opening through all eternity — and yet, through all eternity, there will still remain, in the absolute perfections of the Godhead, an infinity of them still to be opened!

[taken from a text by William Nicholson, 1862 and edited for use for a Catholic Catechism lesson]

Living Catholic: 

depressed woman

 

Depressed People Do Not Usually Look Depressed

Whose path have you crossed in the past week who smiled at you and spoke kind words to you, yet who inside is struggling with deep dark depression? Who will you come across this week who shows an outward countenance of everything being fine, yet who deep inside their heart are entertaining thoughts of suicide? The mistake we often make is thinking that depressed people look depressed. That is not the case. Most depressed people have become good actors and actresses. They have learned how to play the role of joyful husband, a happy wife, an encouraged friend, a cheerful son , a contented Daughter, but it's just an act. Deep inside they are dying and don't know what to do.

What can we do to help these people who look so normal but who are hurting so deeply? May I offer a few suggestions?

Stop spreading bad news.

We are to spread the gospel which is good news so why do we spread so much bad news? Stop telling people the bad things that are happening. Stop telling them what is wrong with other people. You don't know who is already on the edge because of depression and your words of bad news might just push them over that edge.

Stop assuming that everyone who acts like things are perfect has it all together.

People are hurting around you. Your Priest faces stresses you know nothing of. The employ you work with, the one that you think has everything together may be falling apart. Be more aware of the reality of hurting people.

Pray more for those you love.

Most of us pray very little, if at all, and when we pray we say so few meaningful things to God in prayer. Pray for people as if they are hurting because everybody is to a degree. That said...

Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes the Spirit of God will tell you to pray for someone who at that moment desperately needs your prayers. If you are listening to gossip on the Internet you won't hear the Holy Spirit. You can't be sensitive to gossip and the holy spirit at the same time. The Holy Spirit often would tell us to pray for someone who really needs our prayers if we were paying attention to the Holy Ghost and not to the unholy gossip.

"Be good to everybody because everybody's having a tough time". These are words my one of my Bible Professors use to say and they are true. Believe it. You have no idea what one act of kindness could do to change the course of a person’s life, maybe even save it. We are to bear each other's burdens to fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2). Love is not words, it is deeds.

Stop being so self absorbed.

I wonder whose path I have crossed who needed me desperately but I was so absorbed in my own problems that I did not give them the time and the attention they needed. God help me for being so selfish far too often.

Stop looking for signs of depression and realize that sometimes there are no signs.

There are times when the person in the deepest darkest depression is the one who seems most fine. In fact it is usually not the person who is complaining the most who is suffering the most. That is why we must be good to the person who seems to be okay. The one who's always smiling and happy may need us more than the one who is always frowning and complaining.


 

Prayer

Pray for the Holy Father! Pray with the Holy Father!

  • Some of you may know that we operate a virtual book store online in order to support ourselves and the work of the Catholic Church. Our book store is being shifted from one company to another, which has different payment policies. The new company pays a month later than the old company. Very little was received at the end of December in order to continue our work. We ask prayers that God will help us find a way to make up this short fall of about $2,000. 
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  • Your prayers are asked this month and every month for the intentions of the Holy Father, Pope Michael. 

  • Be sure to keep the new foundation of St. Helen Catholic Mission in your prayers. Why not go on over to the site now and see what they have to offer and how you might be able to help!
  • Your prayers are asked for the newly-ordained Father Francis Dominic as he embarks upon the important work entrusted to him within the Church. 

  • Please pray for Brother Stephen's wife who is having health issues. May God grant the swift grace of His healing!

  • Pray for those outside the Church and those who do not know God, that they may see the light of grace and be led safely home to the refuge of the Holy Catholic Church. 
  • As always, we also ask that you pray for yourself! Never forget your own state of soul. God is calling you to His service in His love. We know that our Lord can count on you to answer. 
  • We are all praying especially for you, too. May you correspond with every grace of God! 
  • In what other needs or intentions may we pray for you? Let us know!

 

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So as we say every month we are very close with our budget. It takes money to be available to people in other areas as well as having supplies like rosaries, bibles, pamphlets, Catechisms etc. for sharing with Non-Catholics. At this time to stay comfortably out of the red we need $700.00 a month. Please read the message Giving to God's Work and then decide how you can give. Everyone should give something. It does not have to be much. To Donate online go to:

Donations

Mail

To Donate by Mail:

Our address is 

Vatican in Exile
829 NE Chester
Topeka, Kansas 66616

Make Checks payable to:

Vatican in Exile



Donation Amounts

Christ the King Library