February 2024: Olive Tree

Olive Tree

Volume VIII/Issue 11/February 2024

From The Editorial Desk 

What Do Muslims Want?

In the maelstrom of events in the Middle East that is tormenting the entire planet, there has surfaced a document that claims to be a letter from former al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden. It is written to Americans right after the attack on the World Trade Center towers.

In over 3000 words he lays out a worldview so foreign to the western mind that it is easily dismissed.

He immediately invokes Allah, framing the entire discussion as a religious conflict. The world is divided into two categories, “believers,” and “disbelievers” in Allah. “Believers” are granted permission, even urged, to retaliate against any perceived wrong. Anyone who does not worship Allah is a “disbeliever” and automatically categorized as a worshipper of Satan and a candidate for elimination by any means possible.

He then observes:

“Some American writers have published articles under the title ‘On what basis are we fighting?’”
His answer is simple:
“Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.”

He immediately lays his charges at the feet of the American taxpayer who he blames for financing a long list of perceived unfair attacks against the Islamic nations.

His list starts with Palestine.

He claims there have been 50 years “overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation” by the Jews with the “help and support” of America. Other places on his list include Chechnya, Kashmir, and Lebanon where Islam was “unjustly attacked.”

He then condemns the governments of other Islamic states who dare to trade with America, charging America with economic exploitation and preventing the full installation of Islamic law, the Shariah, in those countries.

The logic is perverse. It is OK if Muslims move in to murderously capture new territory. But they quickly play the victims when anyone challenges them.

Bin Laden then turns to a second question supposedly asked by the Americans:

“What are we (Muslims) calling you (the Americans) to, and what do we want from you?”

Bin laden replies:

“The first thing that we are calling you to is to Islam.”

This fits with their belief that anyone outside of Islam is of Satan and must immediately become Muslim. Those who refuse are reduced to slave status and must pay a ransom tax to be allowed to stay alive. The only option for further refusal is execution.

What much of the world does not understand is that this worldview drives a clash of cultures. Any talk of multiculturalism or social accommodation is intolerable to militant Islam. They don’t want to be accepted by Western society. They want to eliminate Western society.

One of their unifying teachings is revenge. That is coupled with a belief that Allah is the rightful owner of any geographical territory ever occupied by Islam.

Anyone else currently living on the land are “occupiers” and must be expelled by any means available. And since much of Europe and Africa was once conquered by Muslim hordes, they must be retaken. Vengeance requires it.

The barbaric viciousness of Osama bin Laden's letter completely explains the current political and cultural chaos in the Middle East. Decades of diplomacy has been futile in modifying Islam’s ideology or behavior.


Instead, the standoff allowed radical Muslim countries time to build frightful military might. Given Islam’s total commitment to convert-or-die rules of engagement, this could lead to unthinkable consequences. The brutalities of 9/11 in America and October 7 in Israel are not comforting examples.

Modern secularism has basically no defense against this barbaric religion. Europe and America have spent the last 100 years assuming that open borders would automatically lead to cultural assimilation.

In the past this has worked with populations that shared similar moral guidelines. America in particular grew strong when it welcomed like-minded Europeans and Asians.

But godlessness in the Western World has now produced a weakened and confused people, a poor match for Islam’s merciless, religious fanaticism.

Israel's decision in Gaza is to eliminate the population polluted with this ideology or at least pull its fangs. Their level of success remains to be seen. Defeating Hamas is child's play compared to the potential of armed conflict between the West and the bulk of the Muslim world.

So, where is the Church in this picture?

U.S immigration policies have brought hundreds of thousands of Muslims to our doorstep. There are over 2000 mosques in the US where many are being taught that Islamic law must replace all other governments and religions.

Guns or diplomacy cannot stop Islam’s advance. Only biblical Christianity can diffuse its murderous zeal. But time is not on our side.

As individuals, we can do little on the world stage, but we can work at winning our neighbors, one by one, some of whom are trapped in this diabolical lie.


Usual or Unusual! Normal or Abnormal! Weird or Wonderful! We are all familiar with the things we consider to be normal or regular. But something has muddied the water so severely that many people do not know which is which. They smile when they ought to frown, and they frown when they ought to smile. Remember Isaiah’s prophecy:

Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.—Isa. 5:20.

What Isaiah says is that you can’t do that without major negative consequences. Our world has literally gone that way, but you and I must heed God’s warning. We must not cave to the pressure. Strange it is, but yesterday’s normal is now branded as abnormal, and the abnormal of a generation ago is now embraced as normal. This tragic turn of events is easily detected in entertainment, education, the government and societal standards; sadly, we must admit it is also very evident in the Church.

Therefore, we believe it is vitally important that we steer clear of the nonsensical norms of 2024 and give our attention to doing “Business as Unusual.” Since the normal routines in today’s religious arena are not the “norms” of the New Testament, conducting the Lord’s “Business as Unusual” should be our “norm.”

So, what does this mean? How do we carry out the Lord’s mandates in an “unusual” fashion?

1. Unusual—but not ashamed to be who we believe the Lord would have us be!

2. Unusual—but unintimidated by criticism and other pressures.

3. Unusual—but the church has strong Biblical and Catholic convictions.

4. Unusual—but the Priest is truly a man of God.

5. Unusual—but the bishop is the leader of the Diocese.

6. Unusual—but the pulpit should be hot (not cool).

7. Unusual—but the parish has a high priority in reaching people for Christ and not be just a Catholic Social Club.

8. Unusual—but a pastor and a Parish who are unapologetic in their voiced oppositions to abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, drunkenness, pornography, the drug culture,

9. Unusual—but a ministry outside of the parish, that stays the course relentlessly and courageously through all the years.

10. Unusual—but your word is true!

11. Unusual—but you pay your debts!

12. Unusual—but you treat others as you want to be treated!

13. Unusual—but you don’t tell dirty jokes, and you don’t listen to them.

14. Unusual—but you enjoy giving to the Lord’s work.

15. Unusual—but your family has your devotion, your attention, and your full support.

16. Unusual—but you pray the rosary as a family and in your personal prayer life on a daily basis.

17. Unusual—but you stand firmly against Church and State ideology and the one world, one government and religion being pushed on us Catholics today. Even in the Church and our parishes.

18. Unusual—that your eyes on set on the Kingdom of God instead of the Kingdom of this world.

19. Unusual—but you like being associated with the crowd who is not trending with the ungodly culture.

20. Unusual—but you believe there are only two genders, male and female, and no more than two.

21. Unusual—but you believe marriage is the privilege of a man and a woman—not two men or two women.

22. Unusual—but you believe homosexuality (sodomy) is a sinful abomination in God’s sight.

23. Unusual—but you are born again, walking with the Lord, excited to serve Him and rejoice in the joy of the Lord.


The Door to Heaven

If you expect to enter Heaven someday, you must go through the right door, and Jesus Christ is the right Door, the only Door, for getting there. “I am the door.”John 10:9.

The Lord delighted to choose commonplace things of life as illustrations of His person and symbols of His power! Once He said, “I am the light” (John 8:12). How remarkable that Christ should compare Himself with things so simple yet so essential!

Here in our text, we have one of those homely illustrations. Surely, a door is a commonplace thing, and a door of a sheepfold is certainly quite matter-of-fact and yet quite necessary.

Visitors to Israel are always interested in the illustrations of the Bible to be derived from Eastern life. The land frequently sheds light on the Book and helps Western readers understand the Bible more clearly and appreciate its teachings more fully. Prominent among these sidelights on Scripture are the lives and circumstances of Eastern shepherds.

On one such occasion, some travelers noticed the usual sheepfold—a low wall made of mud and stones—but they were puzzled to know why, with the aperture for the entrance and exit of the sheep, there was no door across it to fasten the fold securely at night.

On the shepherd’s being asked the reason for this, he replied, with evident surprise, “I am the door.” It was his custom to lie down at night in the aperture, and then no sheep could get out unless he became aware of it.

The travelers at once recalled our Lord’s words, “I am the door,” and they recognized the exact correspondence between that utterance and the life of the Eastern shepherd today. 

Christ Is the Only Door

Jesus did not say, “I am a door.” He said, “I am the door.” There is a vast difference between a door and the door. There is only one door into God’s fold, and that door is Christ. He is the only Door.

Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).

Jesus said, No man cometh to the Father, but by me. (John 14:6).

Near the deathbed of a man who all his days professed infidelity, this testimony was found:

I’ve tried in vain a thousand ways,

My fears to quell,

my hopes to raise;

But what I need, the Bible says, Is ever, only Jesus.

There are many trying, as he did, a thousand ways, but we must come to the place, as he did, where we recognize and gladly confess that Christ is the only way.

So many try religion while others try respectability; some try reformation, but all these are unavailing. Christ is the only Door. Oh, that we could get men’s minds off ritual and their own deeds and vain hope and to look to Christ who died for their sins and rose again for their justification. None but Jesus can do helpless sinners good.

Christ is the only Door. 

Christ Is Also the Open Door

Christ is the entrance or the door open. He is the open Door that no man can shut. After all these years, the door is still open today. God alone knows how soon the door will shut, and no more sheep will enter the fold.

The thought of the open door gives us the picture of Christ standing with open arms and pierced hands and tenderly saying, “Come.”

There is a story of a Scotch girl who wandered away from God and her father’s instruction and mother’s counsel and went deeply into sin.

One night, in a wild frenzy in the city of Edinburgh, she concluded that she would commit suicide but that before doing so, she would go out and look once more upon the home where she was born and had spent her youth.

When in the middle of the night, she went to the neighborhood again and finally up to her mother’s gate. It was dark, so she lifted the latch and stole in. As she walked up the path, she got the scent of the old flowers, the mignonette, and the pinks. She moved on up the path until she came to the door of the cottage. To her surprise, she found the door wide open. In fear lest some harm might have come to her aged mother, she called, and Mother answered.

The girl said, “Mother, I found the door open.”

The old Scotch mother came down and said, “Maggie, it is many a long day since you went away, but always the prayer has been in my heart, ‘Lord, send her home.’ I said, ‘Whether she come by night or day, I want her to see an open door and know she is welcome!”

That night, the girl was clasped in Mother’s arms of love and forgiveness. It all suggested the divine love and possibility of divine pardon. So by the open door of Mother’s cottage she found her way back to the open door of Christ, the way into divine love and pardon and cleansing.

Yes, the door is open, inviting, appealing, entreating, enticing, welcoming, wooing and, thank God, winning.


There is a gate that stands ajar,

And through its portals gleaming,

A radiance from the cross afar,

The Saviour’s love revealing.

That gate ajar stands free for all

Who seek through it salvation;

The rich and poor, the great and small,

Of every tribe and nation.

Oh, depth of mercy! Can it be

That gate was left ajar for me?

For me…for me?

Was left ajar for me?


Christ is the open Door.

Now let us consider some of the privileges one enjoys who enters the door.


He Finds Protection

He shall be saved.”—John 10:9.

Here we are brought face-to face with the primary and fundamental need of men everywhere. The Gospel is the good news of salvation. The man who enters the door by faith will find

Protection from the Pangs of the Past

God knows, and so do we, that we need just that. The past is like a nightmare. It follows like a black shadow. It rises like a big black hand in the night to terrorize and torment. Memory haunts and threatens.

But he, who by faith, enters the door, finds the past left behind, the old gone. The blood of Christ blots out the darkest record in one stroke.

How often many a man, when thinking of his yesterdays, has said:

I wish there were some wonderful place

Called the Land of Beginning Again;

Where all our mistakes, and all our heartaches,

And all of our poor, selfish grief

Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door

And never put on anymore.

Hallelujah, there is such a place! Blessed be God! It can be done! 

The Perils of the Present

Thank God, He blots out the past, but He also stays with us in the present. He saves me now. We all need a Saviour just for today.

These are difficult days, and Christ is just the Saviour for a day like this. Storms of suffering and tempests of temptation may rage, but the door of the fold stands between these things and the sheep of the flock, and that Door is Christ Himself. 

Jesus is the open Door of salvation but a shut Door against the cold and the storm and the robber in the night. He is a daily Saviour. He saves from the perils of the present.


The Fear of the Future

He saves from the past and for the present and from the future. In more sober moments, every man wonders what is ahead. That is why so many bustle about so much. They are buried in business and plunged into pleasure in order, like the ostrich, to hide their eyes from the future.

But it’s there, it’s there. Yes! The future is there. But you need not fear it; you need not tremble at the thought of eternity if you have Christ dwelling in your heart by grace through faith. He removes the menace of the judgment.

There is no Black Friday ahead for the Christian. There is now therefore no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh. (Rom. 8:1). Hallelujah, nothing ahead to dread!

 For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord..”Rom. 8:38, 39.

But there is more than protection suggested by the text— 

There Is Also Privilege

He…shall go in and out.” —John 10:9. There is privilege and liberty in that statement. Only those who have been found by Christ and have come into the fold are really free. The sheep lost out in the mountain near the yawning gorge or the howling wolves is not free. It is the sheep of the flock that are free. In Christ there is not only life, there is abounding life. Liberty is found in Christ; life is slavery without Him. No man is really free unless Christ has shorn him of his shackles. So the text reminds us that we not only come in for salvation, but we go out for service—out into the world, the workshop, the office, for Christ. There is liberty in the Lord. The text also tells us that there is not only protection and privilege, but 

There Is Provision in Christ

“…and find pasture.”—John 10:9.

Christ looks after the sheep of His flock. They are starving sheep on the mountain wild, but the sheep of His flock are sheep of His pasture. They are satisfied sheep. He satisfies our mouths with good things. He feeds the flock.

Have you ever seen cattle trying to find grass on a yellow pasture where there is nothing but here and there a brown stalk or a weed that turns to dust in their mouths?

That is your life without Christ.

But if you know Him, you will be able to testify that He leads those who are His into the green pastures and beside still waters. Christ gives provision.

So we see that if through faith we enter this only and open Door, we have protection, privilege, provision. We also have forgiveness, freedom, food. Have you entered in? This is the question, reader. Have you? It is not enough to know a great deal about the Door or to admire it. It is not enough to get close to the Door and peep in to see some of the delights within. You must enter the Door. Some have been looking and longing but have never entered. The text says, ‘He that enters in [not looks], shall be saved.’ Will you not say before you lay this simple message aside, “Jesus, I trust in Thee?” 



…Cosmopolitan, which boasts a print and digital audience of over 50 million readers, published a piece in its November/December issue about The Satanic Temple (TST) and its New Mexico-based telehealth abortion clinic that provides “abortion medication via mail to those in New Mexico who wish to perform The Satanic Temple’s Religious Abortion Ritual.”…

According to Cosmo writer Arielle Domb, the clinic draws “inspiration” from landmark court rulings “in favor of Christian business owners denying services to [LGBT] people purely on religious grounds.” It uses this rationale as a basis for providing its abortion services.

The article goes on to call TST a “faith-based group” and states that TST—and by extension, Satanism, which is its core doctrine—“is a religion.”…




A member of the Fairfax County School Board in Virginia was sworn in [mid-December] on a stack of pornographic books that have stoked outrage among parents who object to such material being used in public schools.

Karl Frisch, a Democrat who serves as vice chair on the Fairfax County School Board and has pronouns in his X bio, opted to be sworn in…for his second term on books that…have been at the center of a political firestorm that has engulfed the largest school district in the U.S. for years….

Former White House strategic senior advisor Mercedes Schlapp called the gesture “disgusting,” adding that the “leftist goal is to sexualize…children at a young age.”

“They are more obsessed with promoting sex and gender confusion than they are in teaching them how to read,” she added. “Just disgraceful,” Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen said. “This is the Left’s new thing,” radio host Chris Stigall said. “The new Central Bucks PA School District President did the same….”




The number of transgender services performed at Planned Parenthood clinics exploded over the past few years as the transgender medical industry became increasingly lucrative, according to data published by the organization’s regional branches. Planned Parenthood first began providing hormone treatments for transgender patients in 2005, and since then 41 out of 49 regional branches have provided transgender services….




Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing an Oregon mother of five who wishes to adopt siblings under the age of 10 from foster care filed a notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit Wednesday after a lower court ruled against her. Oregon state officials categorically excluded Jessica Bates from the adoption process because she refused to speak or act against her belief that boys and girls are biologically different and should cherish that difference, not reject it….

“No state should abandon children in favor of a dangerous ideological agenda,” said ADF Legal Counsel Johannes Widmalm-Delphonse…. Because Jessica will not promote Oregon’s radical gender ideology to children under the age of 10, the state considers her an unfit parent….

Frequently Asked Questions

Question Table

Could not God at least have made life much easier, instead of making everything hard?

Everything is not hard. Some things are. The things that are difficult are made easier by the grace of which so many people deliberately deprive themselves. All difficulty cannot be removed, for God has a right to ask us to overcome at personal cost our self-inflicted bad habits, sins, and other injuries. Men's complaints are often about as reasonable as those of a man who cuts his throat, and then blames the doctor because it hurts to have it stitched up again.

For answers to more frequently asked questions, click here: https://www.vaticaninexile.com/frequently_asked_questions.php

The Pope Speaks


On Lenten Season

On Ash Wednesday, the Catholic Church commence the Lenten Season. While the priest put the ashes on the forehead, he says the formula: " Remember O, Man that you are dust and on the dust you shall return. "

Remember. Because we human being have one sin. That is, forgetfulness. We have an amnesia especially in terms of paying our dues ! And the antidote for amnesia is anamnesis. Remember. We are reminded by the Church that we are mortal. That one day we shall die. And so, we have to live each day as if this is our last day. We have to maximize every moment. We have to be productive each day and avoid laziness. " Go into my vineyard." Said the Gospel last Septuagesima Sunday. There's no room for laziness. There's no room for mediocrity. We have to give our best shot daily. If we want to distinguish ourselves in the service of Christ, we cannot remain mediocre but always with gifts of greater value.

In the seminary, one priest asked a seminarian, " Do you really want to become a priest? ", " Yes, father." replied by the seminarian. " Then, where's your book review! " ; " If you want to be a priest, where's your brain? "

Indeed. If we really want to serve the Lord, we cannot remain half - hearted. We have to give our whole self ! But the world is satisfied with mediocrity. That's why always remember our end. Begin with the end in mind. Remember that we shall die soon.

Another point for consideration, if we shall die soon, the Lord is inviting us to forgive the guilt of the past and start all over again. Begin a new life. A Christian cannot remain a victim of the chain of the past. He has to move on. We cannot go back to yesterday. What matters is today. " Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts." ( Psalm 95 ). The present moment is the moment of power.

Third point for consideration. The future is uncertain. " Who among you can prolong his life by worrying? " Asked the Lord. Let us focus on the present moment since we cannot control the future. " This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad" We are invited to be blessed by today not on yesterday and neither on Friday or the following Sunday. Today !

And so, the formula Remember O Man that you are dust and on the dust you shall return " is a very good reminder for me and for you. We shall die one day. Pedro died today, tomorrow you shall die. Prepare for your death, O Man !

Lenten Season is a season of preparation for death. By the practice of mortification we eventually practice death. But the good news is death is impermanence. Tomorrow, we shall rise again! This year, 2024 , Ash Wednesday is also Valentine's day, February 14. It's a good reminder for lovers! If you are in love, you need to die to your self-centeredness. It's a good reminder for me and for you to die in childish character.

For Lenten Season to be meaningful, let us practice dying. Die with our childish attitude. Die with our selfishness. And start to live for the Lord and for others.

Advice You Can Bank On

A Catholic Perspective On Finances 

What Does the Bible Say about Planning?

Planning is biblical.

In Proverbs God says that someone who plans well will foresee dangers and avoid them, but the foolish person (a non-planner) will rush ahead, do whatever’s convenient, and end up paying the penalty.

Just as we can’t build a home without blueprints, we can’t have solid financial structure without plans. Being a good and faithful steward means being able to live on a budget – a short-term plan. And then we are to look forward to see eventual needs and try to meet them – a long-term plan.

One of the most noble characteristics of an ant is the way they plan for the future by storing food in good times for use when times are bad. It’s an example we can all follow as well.

The Proverbs 31 woman is an example of someone whose planning is key to good stewardship. We’re told she worked hard, she spent wisely, and she planned ahead.

But God’s word advises us to be planners for reasons beyond building a savings account or avoiding indulgence. When we plan, we experience more margin and freedom in our lives – which means we are freed to further God’s work here on earth.

When you plan ahead, there is money left to give generously.

Today we often feel we can’t give because we have not been faithful stewards in planning, working or spending. Yet, we know that Jesus’ words – that “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Good stewards work as unto the Lord.

Good stewards analyze the budget to make sure the needs of the family are covered. They look ahead to anticipate future expenses. Things like new tires, car repairs, appliance replacements, insurance costs for teen drivers, and diapers should be accounted for.

Good stewards decide what to buy every month based on yearly sale trends. They plan ahead for those purchases to get the best deals in order to spend wisely.

Good stewards save and invest by researching and seeking wise counsel.

And, after all that planning, good stewards are able to give generously.

Planning takes time, but it’s a necessary ingredient to successful living. We plan our grocery lists, our vacations, and our kids’ sports schedules….so why not our finances too?

catholic-family-header.png Family Matters


In Daniel 1 we find the story of an exceptional young man. He had been chosen by the king’s own delegate because there was no blemish found in him; he was well favored, skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge. He was chosen out of the very best that Babylon had to offer, and Babylon ruled the world. He was chosen to stand in the palace of the most powerful ruler of the world. Power and prestige were within his grasp. Certainly, to those looking on, Daniel was in an enviable position. What more could his heart wish for?

Only one thing stood in the way. A small thing, as most people would see it. Yet there it was. He was to eat of the king’s meat and drink of the same wine which the king drank. The very best were to be his. Yet Daniel knew he could not partake. Exactly why Daniel refused we do not know, but one thing we do know, Daniel stood for what he knew to be right. He understood that the luxuries of Babylon would never be able to fill his life and meet his needs as the God of Israel could, so Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with a portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank. We need young men and women today who purpose in their hearts not to defile themselves, just as Daniel did.

We live in a world that is pursuing pleasure, money, fame, knowledge, etc. Today, as never before, the opportunity lies before you as a youth to indulge in these things. Circumstances look promising. You have a good job. Money is yours to spend as you choose. You have many friends. The road appears to stretch before you, holding out promises of a good life. What more could your heart wish for?

Only one thing stands in the way. A small thing as many would have you believe. Yet it stands before you. What does God think? What does the Bible say?

Certainly, it is no less important for youth today to take a serious look at what God expects and deserves from them than it was for Daniel many years ago.

In his second letter to Timothy, Paul tells him to “flee youthful lusts.” What are youthful lusts? Lust is defined as “an intense longing or craving for the forbidden.” So we are faced with the question, do youth have a longing for the forbidden? Lust for forbidden things is a problem that has existed on this earth since soon after Adam and Eve were created and certainly has not diminished in the age in which we live. What are some of these things facing youth today?

The world’s music often has a strong appeal to youth. Is there really anything wrong with listening to the same music the world listens to, especially if the words are good? We must understand that the music one enjoys expresses what is in the heart. It is no secret that the songs this world enjoys are extremely immoral. Not only are the lyrics filthy, the music appeals to the flesh in a very sensual manner. The music alone can bring upon a person feelings of hatred, rebellion, and lust. How can we take gospel words and sing it to music that still encourages these ungodly feelings? What concord hath Christ with Belial? Certainly God is looking for youth who purpose in their hearts not to defile themselves with the world’s music.

A second area in which youth may be tempted to compromise is the area of dress. It is amazing how much is conveyed about a person by the clothing they wear. While you may not dress just like the world, how easy is it to choose clothing that is as close to the world’s fads as possible? Do you stop to think what message you will send to the world by the clothing you choose to wear? While clothing alone can never make a person a Christian, it can surely be an indicator which kingdom one is a part of. Many people in the world unashamedly declare that they are a part of the kingdom of darkness by their clothing. Shouldn’t Christians also be willing to bear a clear mark of belonging to God’s kingdom? We need youth who purpose in their hearts not to defile themselves with worldly dress.

Thirdly, a youth may be lured by the world’s leisure and hobbies. We live in a fast-paced, ever changing world, and there seems to be no end to the list of new and exciting things to try. Does it really matter how much time and money we spend on these things? We must understand why the world always needs something new. Outside of Christ a person will always be searching for something to fill the void in his life. It will never be found in worldly entertainment.

Let’s consider what Solomon says.
Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Follow the inclination of your heart and the desire of your eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. Banish anxiety from your mind, and put away evil from your body; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity. Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come, and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them(Ecc 11:9-12:1).

If anyone would know if fulfillment can be found through what this world has to offer, Solomon should. Two things are made very clear in these verses. God will bring us into judgment for how we follow our heart’s desires, and remembering our Creator is important in our youth if we don’t want to live with regrets later in life.

While there may be room for leisure activities, even justifiable activities can quickly be overdone. Consider these figures. In 2011, 13.7 million hunters spent $38.3 billion on equipment, licenses, trips, and more. This averages out to $2,800 per hunter. No figure was given of the value of game that each hunter took home. Will these things bring contentment and satisfaction in old age, or will they bring emptiness?

As God’s chosen people we have a purpose to live for. Remember your Creator TODAY in the days of your youth. God is still searching for those who will choose Him above all the things this world has to offer and who will purpose in their hearts not to defile themselves with the vanity of this world.

Let us all hear together the conclusion of the discourse. Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is all man: And all things that are done, God will bring into judgment for every error, whether it be good or evil. (Ecc 12:13-14).

Lamp and Light Commentary 


"Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my paths." (Psalms 119:105) 

Genesis 37- 39 The Life Of Joseph: Part 1

Genesis 37- 39 The Life Of Joseph: Part 1

Joseph was the eleventh of Jacob's twelve sons. We see Jacob making the same mistake here that his father had made before him. He too shows partiality to one of his sons Joseph. Chapter 37:3: “Now Israel loved Joseph above all his sons, because he had him in his old age: and he made him a coat of divers colours.” The best way to destroy your children is by being partial to one of them, by giving a special gift to one of them that you don't give the others. Jacob had already seen what partiality had done in his own father's home. Ye he repeats it in his own home. The result was that the ten older sons became jealous of Joseph and almost killed him. Partiality can have very serious consequences.

When parents praise one child in the presence of the other children, what is the result?The other children become enemies of the favorite child-sometimes for life. Whose fault is it? The fault of foolish parents. There are warning for every area of our life.

In 37:18 we read how Joseph's elder brothers plotted to kill him. And we see the sovereignty of God here in making one of the brothers stop that plan and change it to selling Joseph off to some slave traders who were passing by at that time. Who sent those slave traders there at that time? God. God timed the travel of those Ishmaelite slave traders such that they would land up there exactly when Joseph was about to be killed. And those slave traders were going to Egypt, which was exactly where God wanted Joseph to go!! It is wonderful to see the sovereignty of God at work again and again in Joseph's life. God has a plan and purpose for your life too, and nobody can frustrate it, Not your jealous brothers and not your foolish father, nobody. That's what we see hear.

By the time Joseph was 17. God had already revealed to Joseph in dreams that he had a purpose for his life. It is wonderful when a young person is so sensitive to God that at an age when most teenagers have worldly or filthy dreams, he or she has dreams from God! Young people, if you sincerely submit to God, no-one can mess up God's plan for your life. The only person who can mess up God's plan for your life is you...yourself. Remember that.

God used the jealousy of Joseph's brothers to fulfill His plan for Joseph's life by getting them to sell him off to Egypt. God makes the evil that others plan against us to work for our good and for the fulfillment of His purposes. If God protected us against the evil that other people try to do to us, that itself would be a great thing. But God does something even better! He makes the very evil that others do to us to His plan for our life! Isn't that much better, when God turns the tables on Satan like that? Just think: If Joseph might never have gone to Egypt. How did Joseph go to Egypt? Step One: His brothers were jealous of him. Step Two: They sold him off to some slave-traders. Step Three: The slave traders took him to Egypt and sold him off there. Thus things that others are doing to harm you will ultimately only fulfill God's plan for your life- if you love God (Romans 8:28). You may face a few trials. Joseph had a tough time as a slave too. But it fulfilled God's plan for his life. 

A man of faith will say, “The God of Joseph is my God too. If I love God with all my heart, any number of people can plan evil against me. But they will not hinder God's plan from being fulfilled in my life."

Genesis Chapter 38 is a slight diversion from Joseph's story here we read of Judah committing adultery with his daughter-in-law, Tamar, and of Tamar giving birth to twins (38:29,30). The interesting thing here is that it was through one of those twins-Perez-that Mary the mother of Jesus was born. So Jesus descended from this line of incest and adultery! Our Lord deliberately chose that genealogical line to come through. (Matthew 1:1-3). Why did He choose such a sinful line? How many of us would have chosen an incestuous family line to come through? The Lord chose it deliberately from heaven, in order to show that He had come to call sinners-even the incestuous-to salvation. Jesus identified with the worst transgressors in His family line.

Genesis chapter 39 is a wonderful story of a young man who was faithful to God when tempted strongly by an attractive and powerful woman. There is only on way to avoid immorality- and that is to run away from it. I Corinthians 6:18 says, “Fly fornication. Every sin that a man doth, is without the body; but he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body.” And that was exactly what Joseph did. Potiphar's wife pressed him to commit adultery with her. (39:7) But Joseph refused. He refused to even be anywhere near her (verse 10). He did not just say, “No”. He ran away from the source of the exemption. As soon as that evil lady came near him, Joseph would go off somewhere else. You can not overcome temptation, if you are always hanging around people who tempt you. God is looking for such men-who will run away from temptation. One day when she was alone with him in the house, she caught him, This time he pulled himself away and left her clutching on his coat. This angered her so much that she accused Joseph of trying to rape her. Her husband was furious, and locked up Joseph in jail.

Look at the things Joseph suffered-jealousy from his brothers, false accusation from an evil woman, and jail. In those days jails were terrible dungeons with rats, worms and cockroaches crawling all over the place. But it says, in verse 21, that in addition to all theses crawling things, “the Lord was also with Joseph” and that made all the difference. It doesn't matter if you are surrounded by every type of inconvenience, if the Lord is with you. That is enough. And that was all that Joseph wanted.

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Meditations on the Passion: Compiled from Various Sources

Among the many subjects proposed by the Church to us for mental prayer, there is none more profitable than the sublime mystery of Calvary. For even where everything is supremely holy-namely, in the actions of Him Who is the way, and the truth, and the life-the Passion is the culmination of sanctity, the highest exercise of virtue, the greatest cause of merit. Hence devout meditation on it produces most abundant fruit in souls, And for this reason, Saints and Doctors of the Church-those who are specially enlightened, those who spoke from experience, those who are our best guides in the spiritual life-with one accord praise and glorify it. For instance, St. Jerome says: " In the Passion all the other mysteries are contained." St. Augustine speaks as follows: "There is nothing more advantageous, nothing better adapted to ensure our eternal salvation, than daily to contemplate the sufferings which Jesus Christ bore for our sake." And St. Leo the Great expresses himself thus: "The cross of Christ is the source of every blessing, the fountain of all merit: to the faithful it gives strength from His weakness, glory from His shame, and life from His death." If at the present day countless human beings live as thoughtlessly and carelessly as if their souls had not been redeemed, as if they had not been bought at a great price, surely it becomes our duty to make reparation for their indifference and ingratitude. In proportion to the world's forgetfulness should be our remembrance. This solemn obligation rests on us all as Catholics. We must not be heedless, we who are familiar with the words: " In the cross is salvation; in the cross is life; in the cross is protection from thy enemies. In the cross is the infusion of heavenly sweetness; in the cross is strength of mind; in the cross is joy of spirit." It is hoped that they who love to contemplate and consider what the Word Incarnate suffered for their salvation will find this work useful. Here, in passing, we may say that the Meditation now presented to all was in its first shape designed and destined for private circulation only. A Member of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who, as Mistress of Novices for about thirty years, had gained great experience in the formation of religious as well as in the varied requirements of conventual life, proposed by means of this book to impart to her Sisters the fruit of her own reflections on the Passion, which one so spiritual and enlightened was exceptionally fitted to compile. As might have been anticipated, the excellence of the work, which she had intended for the use of her Sisters, in course of time became known to several persons, in one or other way connected with the Institute of the Blessed Virgin. And among them, some are of opinion that this treasure should no longer be allowed to remain almost hidden in the cloister. They have represented that outside the convents of the Institute there are many devout souls to whom the Meditation would be most acceptable. In accordance with their suggestion, and in compliance with their wish, it is now reprinted. But in order to increase its utility, so far as persons living in the world are concerned, many passages in the work, as it appeared at first, have been omitted-those, namely, which were addressed to nuns as such, also some other incidental clauses have been either omitted or else slightly changed. This remark will suffice to explain the difference which, as any person who compares them cannot fail to observe, exists here and there between the original and the revised edition. That the book may continue to be a help to advancement in the spiritual life, and become an abundant source of blessings to a still wider circle of readers, is the earnest desire of those who have had to do with its reissue.

The Dogma of Hell

The doctrine of hell is one of the four last things. Father Schouppe gives a terrifying presentation of this doctrine that will inspire people to avoid this horrible place and to save their soul. We need to study this truth carefully so that we realize just how important it is to become a Saint. Let us consider this story: The following incident happened in 1837. A young under-lieutenant, being in Paris, entered the Church of the Assumption, near the Toilers, and saw a priest kneeling near a confessional. As he made religion the habitual subject of his jokes, he wished to go to confession to while away the time, and went into the confessional. "Monsieur l'abbé," he said, "would you be good enough to hear my confession?" "Willingly my son; confess unrestrained." "But I must first say that I am a rather unique kind of a sinner." "No matter; the sacrament of penance has been instituted for all sinners." "But I am not very much of a believer in religious matters." "You believe more than you think." "Believe? I? I am a regular scoffer." The confessor saw with whom he had to deal, and that there was some mystification. He replied, smiling: "You are a regular scoffer? Are you then making fun of me too?" The pretended penitent smiled in like manner. "Listen," the priest went on, "what you have just done here is not serious. Let us leave confession aside; and, if you please, have a little chat. I like military people greatly; and, then, you have the appearance of a good, amiable youth. Tell me, what is your rank?" "Under-lieutenant." "Will you remain an under-lieutenant long?" "Two, three, perhaps four years." "And after?" "I shall hope to become a lieutenant?" "And after?" "I hope to become a captain." "And after?" "Lieutenant-colonel?" "How old will you be then?" "Forty to forty-five years." "And after that?" "I shall become a brigadier general." "And after?" "If I rise higher, I shall be general of a division." "And after?" "After! there is nothing more except the Marshal's baton; but my pretensions do not reach so high." "Well and good. But do you intend to get married?" "Yes, when I shall be a superior officer." "Well! There you are married; a superior officer, a general, perhaps even a French marshal, who knows? And after?" "After? Upon my word, I do not know what will be after." "See, how strange it is!" said the abbé. Then, in a tone of voice that grew more sober: "You know all that shall happen up to that point, and you do not know what will be after. Well, I know, and I am going to tell you, After, you shall die, be judged, and, if you continue to live as you do, you shall be damned, you shall go and burn in hell; that is what will be after." As the under-lieutenant, dispirited at this conclusion, seemed anxious to steal away: "One moment, sir," said the abbé. "You are a man of honor. So am I. Agree that you have offended me, and owe me an apology. It will be simple. For eight days, before retiring to rest, you will say: 'One day I shall die; but I laugh at the idea. After my death I shall be judged; but I laugh at the idea. After my judgment, I shall be damned; but I laugh at the idea. I shall burn forever in hell; but I laugh at the idea!' That is all. But you are going to give me your word of honor not to neglect it, eh?" More and more wearied, and wishing, at any price, to extricate himself from this false step, the under-lieutenant made the promise. In the evening, his word being given, he began to carry out his promise. "I shall die," he says. "I shall be judged." He had not the courage to add: "I laugh at the idea." The week had not passed before he returned to the Church of the Assumption, made his confession seriously, and came out of the confessional his face bathed with tears, and with joy in his heart.

This devotion was given by Jesus to Saint Bridget so that by saying these fifteen Prayers with an Our Father and Hail Mary before each, we might honor each wound Jesus received in His scourging.

This devotion, which the author has called the 'Rosary Novenas to Our Lady,' is of comparatively recent origin. In an apparition of Our Lady of Pompeii, which occurred in 1884 at Naples, in the house of Commander Agrelli, the heavenly Mother deigned to make known the manner in which she desires to be invoked. For thirteen months Fortuna Agrelli, the daughter of the Commander, had endured dreadful sufferings and torturous cramps; she had been given up by the most celebrated physicians. On February 16, 1884, the afflicted girl and her relatives commenced a novena of Rosaries. The Queen of the Holy Rosary favored her with an apparition on March 3rd. Mary, sitting upon a high throne, surrounded by luminous figures, held the divine Child on her lap, and in her hand a Rosary. The Virgin Mother and the holy Infant were clad in gold embroidered garments. They were accompanied by St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena. The throne was profusely decorated with flowers; the beauty of Our Lady was marvelous. Mary looked upon the sufferer with maternal tenderness, and the patient saluted her with the words: 'Queen of the Holy Rosary, be gracious to me; restore me to health! I have already prayed to thee in a novena, O Mary, but have not yet experienced thy aid. I am so anxious to be cured! ''Child,' responded the Blessed Virgin, thou hast invoked me by various titles and hast always obtained favors from me. Now, since thou hast called me by that title so pleasing to me, 'Queen of the Holy Rosary,' I can no longer refuse the favor thou dost petition; for this name is most precious and dear to me. Make three novenas, and thou shalt obtain all.' Once more the Queen of the Holy Rosary appeared to her and said, 'Whoever desires to obtain favors from me should make three novenas of the prayers of the Rosary, and three novenas in thanksgiving.' “This miracle of the Rosary made a very deep impression on Pope Leo XIII, and greatly contributed to the fact that in so many circular letters he urged all Christians to love the Rosary and say it fervently.” The Novena consists of five decades of the Rosary each day for twenty seven days in petition; then immediately five decades each day for twenty seven days in thanksgiving, whether or not the request has been granted. The meditations vary from day to day. On the first day meditate on the Joyful Mysteries: on the second day the Sorrowful Mysteries: on the third day the Glorious Mysteries: on the fourth day meditate again on the Joyful Mysteries; and so on throughout the fifty four days. A laborious Novena, but a Novena of Love. You who are sincere will not find it too difficult, if you really wish to obtain your request. Should you not obtain the favor you seek, be assured that the Rosary Queen, who knows what each one stands most in need of, has heard your prayer. You will not have prayed in vain. No prayer ever went unheard. And Our Blessed Lady has never been known to fail. Look upon each Hail Mary as a rare and beautiful rose which you lay at Mary's feet. These spiritual roses, bound in a wreath with Spiritual Communions, will be a most pleasing and acceptable gift to her, and will bring down upon you special graces. If you would reach the innermost recesses of her heart, lavishly bedeck your wreath with spiritual diamonds holy communions. Then her joy will be unbounded, and she will open wide the channel of her choicest graces to you.

The Funny Pharmacy

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


Lentil Vegetable Soup with Wild Rice

A satisfying and nutritious soup that can be served on days of fast and abstinence. 

Minutes to Prepare: 15
Minutes to Cook: 45
Number of Servings: 4


3/4 cup lentils, sorted and rinsed
3/4 cup diced carrot
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup wild rice
1/4 cup converted rice (like Uncle Ben's)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
5 cups water
4 teaspoons vegetable bouillon seasoning
1 bay leaf
1 14-1/2 oz. can cut up tomatoes
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil, optional
V-8 or tomato juice or water, optional


Combine all ingredients on the list through the canned tomatoes in a large pot (do not add the Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, parsley or basil yet). Bring to a boil, then simmer until lentils and rice are tender (about 35-45 minutes). Remove the bay leaf. Scoop out about two cups of the soup and blend well in the blender. Return the blended soup to the pot. Now stir in the Worcestershire sauce, the apple cider vinegar, the fresh parsley (and the fresh basil if using). You should have about 8 cups of soup. If you don't have 8 cups, or if you prefer a thinner soup you can stir in some V-8, tomato juice, or water as you wish. Makes 4 servings, 2 cups each.

Number of Servings: 4


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Family Theater

Family Theater was a program created to promote family unity and each week saw a drama illustrating the importance of family life and prayer. The main reason for the success of this series was undoubtedly due to the numerous Hollywood stars that participated. 

Cast: Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper, James Stewart, Gregory Peck, Shirley Temple Director: Fred MacKaye, Dave Young, Joseph Mansfield, Richard Sanville, Jaime del Valle, Mel Williamson, Robert O’Sullivan, John Kelley Producer: Father Patrick Peyton, Bob Longenecker Host: Father Patrick Peyton Writer: True Boardman , Father Patrick Peyton Announcer:Tony LaFrano


Ranger Bill

Ranger Bill was a Christian radio adventure serial, and aimed at the younger generation. This turned out to be one of the most successful radio broadcasts, and with an amazing longevity of over twelve years. The very first fifteen minute episode was aired on October 2, 1950, but this later changed to a half hour episode, beginning May 14, 1954 and running right through until 1962.


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The Ave Maria Hour

The Ave Maria Hour first aired on April 26, 1935, on radio station WOR. It was presented by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement to help the humanitarian work of St. Christopher’s Inn, and during that first show, Servant of God Father Paul of Graymoor talked about the charity involved in caring for the men of the Inn. In 1937, it was estimated that nearly 1 million listeners were tuning in each week, which resulted in large pilgrimages coming to Graymoor.

The popular Ave Maria Hour continued until 1969, encouraging and entertaining listeners. It was heard on more than 350 stations as well as on the Armed Forces Radio Service. Recorded in a studio in New York City and on the grounds of Graymoor, these dramatizations of the lives of the saints, stories from the Gospel, and inspiring accounts of faith received many awards for religious radio programs sponsored by the American Exhibition of Educational Radio and Television programs of Ohio State University. It received the Golden Bell Award in 1959, presented by Ed Sullivan on live television.


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Day Two

Genesis 1:6-8

And God said: Let there be a firmament made amidst the waters: and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made a firmament, and divided the waters that were under the firmament, from those that were above the firmament, and it was so.   And God called the firmament, Heaven; and the evening and morning were the second day.

Our Goldilocks Atmosphere

Other planets in our solar system, like Venus and Jupiter, have an atmosphere – but their atmospheres are full of poisonous gases. Only the earth has exactly the right atmosphere for life. In fact, it looks like it was designed just right! That is what we would expect if God made the world. Actually, there is a word that describes the fact that the earth is just right in so many ways – just the right distance from the sn, just the right atmosphere, just the right conditions for life. This is called the “anthropic principle.”

Scientists who are evolutionists believe that if life evolved on earth, it must have evolved on other planets. The more they are able to send spacecraft to Venus, Mars, and some of the other planets in our solar system, the more they find that it is only on earth that everything is just right for life. These other planets all have poisonous gases, or they are too hot or too cold for life. God did not make life on other planets – only on the earth. We will discuss this in more detail when we look at day four. However, evolutionists continue looking for life in outer space as they believe life had to evolve elsewhere in the universe. They cannot believe live is special to earth because they reject that God is the Creator as the Bible tells us. These evolutionists believe that matter (of course, they do not ultimately explain where matter came from), somehow has this ability to form life if the right conditions exist. But matter can never, and has never been observed to, form life by itself. Such a belief is called “naturalism.” Which is, in reality, the religion of atheism. But life had to arise from an intelligent Creator, it cannot come about by natural processes. 

Just Pure Air

Now air is important for many things. Birds would not be able to fly if there was no air, as it is the air that rushes over their wings as they flap them that makes them fly. We would not be able to have airplanes if there was no air. There would be no wind to keep us cool and bring rain if there was no air. When God first made this air, it must have been perfect. The cleanest that air could ever be. Sadly, today, a lot of the air in the world is polluted from cars, factories, and other activities of man that put poisonous gases and other substances into the air. Because of the way we live, we cannot help polluting the air, but we should try to keep it as clean as possible. After all, it is God’s world, and as we will learn, God told man to look after it for Him. Now that does not mean that we should not have cars and factories, but we should do our best to keep the air pure. But actually, God setup the earth with the land, rain, air, and oceans to be a very complex system to keep conditions right for life to exist here. That is why it is so reassuring that God told Noah after the flood that, “ As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” (Genesis 8:22). 

Was day Two Not ‘Good’?

So, on day two, we now have an earth that is still a watery blob, but there is an atmosphere around the earth, but no living things yet, and outer space, but with no other planets, moons stars, or other heavenly planets, moons, stars, or other heavenly bodies.

God has completed another part of the earth as He continues getting this earth ready for plants, animals, and ultimately humans, to live on it.

Genesis 1:8 ends with, and the evening and morning were the second day.

Now notice that at the end of the second day, God doesn’t say that it was “good,” as He does for the other five creation days. One thought why this could be is because He didn’t create anything totally new on day two. He just separated what was already created, as explained earlier, and He was preparing for all that would happen on the next four days of creation. But regardless, while day two was not specifically called “good,” we know the day, and what God made at the end of the creative process was “very good.” This, of course would include day two and everything God did on that day.

Catechism Catch-Up



I. Role As Wives And Mothers In The Home.

This is a very relevant and important subject. It is and has been under attack in a very real way in our society, especially in the last forty years. I believe Satan is well aware that if we let our guards down in this area, he has gotten his foot in the door of our homes.

We want to define what the role is as wives and mothers. Starting in Genesis after God created Adam and Eve , He said in chapter 2 verse 24 :"Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh." We see the beginning of the first home. A short while later after Adam and Eve sinned, God was speaking again in chapter 3 -starting at verse 16-19. “To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband's power, and he shall have dominion over thee. And to Adam he said: Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat, cursed is the earth in thy work; with labour and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herbs of the earth. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return.”

These verses confirm the role of fathers and husbands that their responsibility is to provide for the physical needs of their wife and family. In Genesis 9:1 God said to Noah and his sons: "And God blessed Noe and his sons. And he said to them: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth." And so we've had homes down through the centuries of time which consist of a father, a mother, and children.

Proverbs 31 describes a virtuous woman- looking after her household, caring for the needs of her children and husband. Start at verse 10 to verse 27. These verses give women something to strive for. Probably few woman ever attain such lofty ideals, but they can still try to do their best. Verses 13 to 24 speak of meeting physical needs of the family and of physical work. Then in verses 25 and 26 speaks of her character and spiritual qualities.

Now, going to the New Testament Titus 2:3-5. The older woman need to teach the younger. They need to prepare them for their place in the home. We'll be referring to these verses again.

I Timothy 5:14"I will therefore that the younger women should marry, bear children, be mistresses of families, give no occasion to the adversary to speak evil.” Are we convinced that the Bible defines clearly that the womens place is in the home and this is what God expects of wives and mothers? Do the influences of our day affect us? Sadly to say they do! As a child growing up in the 1960's and attending public school, There were very very few, that I remember, of any of my classmates whose mothers worked at a job. Even all the neighbors around us none of the mothers worked outside the home that I recalled. In our church, (which was a church of about 300), to my knowledge no wives or mothers worked away. In the 1960's there was a push for getting an education going to college to prepare for a career. And then iin the 1970's the women's liberation and equal rights, which started in the '20s, revved up.

I don't know what percent of mothers work at a job, but I believe it's quite high. Why? For the most part, they want greater buying power. More money to spend. Ladies do you feel that you are just a housewife and feel intimidated when others find out, that as a catholic, you have 4,6,8,or 10 children? Or do you praise our Heavenly Father for the true liberation you have and are you thankful for your place and work at home. Even yet when you meet old friends or extended family and you start comparing your lives, they will ask you how many grandchildren you have. I know a family, who when asked this question would tell them 23. People will express amazement and many will show pity in their faces.

II. How To Experience Joy And Contentment In That Role.

Joy is a must for every Christian in our everyday lives. The word Joy is found about 170 times in the Bible and if we include joyous or joyful there are many more. Contentment is mentioned about 30 times. I went to the dictionary and Joy means to experience great pleasure or delight. Contentment is to feel satisfied with our status or situation. The fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22 reads like this: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” A couple verses that speak about contentment is Hebrews 13:15 : "Let your manners be without covetousness, contented with such things as you have; for he hath said: I will not leave thee, neither will I forsake thee." Philippians 4:11 Paul says, "I speak not as it were for want. For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content therewith." So it can be said, that the desire of the women should be to find great pleasure, (Joy) and feel satisfied with their situation in the home. I like the account of the Shunamite woman. II Kings 4:8-13. I like that phrase "I dwell in the midst of my own people." In other words, she was experiencing contentment.

Joy and contentment is an attitude, a thought pattern. Wives and mothers must choose to be thankful for their place in the home. Their joy is tested in adverse circumstance- the trial of sick children, the huge laundry piles, bushels of tomatoes to can, trying to stay within the budget, constant meal preparation, and the list could go on. You could probably name many more from your own experience. Do you choose to be cheerful and thankful? I believe if you are cheerful and thankful, you will be finding joy and contentment in home life.

III. The goal of finding Joy and contentment in home life.

Now I'd like to again refer to Titus 2:3-5 where it says older women should teach the younger. We see grandmothers are to be an example or role model to mothers and mothers have a responsibility to their daughters to teach them to enjoy homemaking, to prepare them for "guiding the house." I know not all Mothers and Wives enjoy the same things. Some prefer cooking over cleaning or some enjoy sewing more than others. But we need to do many things we don't particularly care for. And your daughters should not have to learn everything about the house when they marry. Maybe it would be best if through their teenage years they would help young mothers instead of getting jobs. I knew of some parents who had and have that goal and I believe it is a very worthwhile goal. Also, the phrase "to love their husbands, to love their children ", often the way you relate to your husband and children is the way your daughters will relate to their husbands and children. When you become a young mother, observe the older ladies in your parish and try to learn something from each of them. You will find that some you will want to be like and some you won't want to be like.

Another way to achieve your goal of finding joy and contentment is to be thankful for each child that comes into your home. Psalms 113:9 "He maketh the barren woman to keep house and to be a joyful mother of children" Psalms 127:3-4 "behold the inheritance of the Lord are children: the reward, the fruit of the womb. As arrows in the hand of the mighty, so the children of of them that have been shaken." These scriptures show us how God views children, and when they are placed in our home, we have full time work to teach and train them.

Our children know if they are loved and come before a sparkling clean house. Consider it a privilege to make a difference in the lives of each family member. The influence of a mother is immeasurable. We are molding future members of the Parish, school teachers, priest and Nuns, and members of society. Spend time with them, read to small children, talk to them, listen to them, and answer their questions. I know a mother with seven children, and each of them felt like they were special to her. When emotional needs are met when they are small, they are better prepared to face life.

Maybe another way to find Joy and Contentment in home life is to stay at home more. We live in such a fast-paced age where we go, go, go. Don't cut back on Mass. Let's keep our priorities straight. Are you going on another shopping trip? That's the second day this week. Or are you going to Tupperware parties and such like? Many of these appeal to our lustful nature and make us feel like we need things we would really be better off without.

Joy is found also in serving others. Open your home to schoolteachers, Priest, Nuns, etc as you are able. Visit the elderly in your parish. Make a meal for a new mother. Contentment is living within your budget. Don't expect to have all the material goods someone else has. That is a good place not to compare ourselves with others. I Timothy 6:6-8 "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out. But having food, and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content."

I have also listed some rewards of having Joy and Contentment in home life. Here I'd like to read the verse in Proverbs 31:28 "Her children rose up, and called her blessed: her husband, and he praised her." In the Present- If mother is happy the rest of the family will probably be too. A relaxed atmosphere- meals on time and everyone looking forward to Daddy coming home.

In the future- Having good memories of putting our all into home life. When we look back, we should have fewer regrets. We won't need to think if only I could do it over, If only I had done more of this or that. Also seeing our children prospering in their home life and seeing them making a contribution to parish life and society. We can see our labor did make a difference.

And then the eternal rewards- I John verse four"I have no greater grace than this, to hear that my children walk in truth."  Matthew 25: 21,23-the parable of the talents. We want to hear the words. "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy lord." Also Revelations 22:14 "Blessed are they that do His commandments and that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb: that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city."


Living Catholic:

The Link between Love and Obedience 

Love and obedience are closely linked throughout the Scriptures. In Deuteronomy 30:19–20, love is linked to obedience in Moses’ exhortation to the nation of Israel. I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life, that both thou and thy seed may live: And that thou mayst love the Lord thy God, and obey his voice, and adhere to him (for he is thy life, and the length of thy days,) that thou mayst dwell in the land, for which the Lord swore to thy fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that he would give it them.”.

When the Lord Jesus was in the Upper Room with His disciples on the night that He was betrayed, He linked love and obedience closely together. On that night, He washed His disciples’ feet, giving them a humble example of loving service. Afterward, Jesus exhorted His disciples with this simple, yet convicting statement: “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

Jesus never calls us to do something that He is not willing to do Himself. His entire earthly ministry was a lifelong act of loving obedience. In one of the Messianic psalms that speaks of the coming work of the Anointed One, the Messiah says in humble submission to His Father’s will, “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:7–8).

As the babe born in Bethlehem, Jesus humbled Himself and was made “like unto his brethren” (Hebrews 2:16–17). As a boy in the Temple, Jesus told His mother, “I must be about my Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). As the Lamb of God at the Jordan River, Jesus emerged from the water with the audible affirmation of His Father’s love: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).

Finally, in the Upper Room, His hour had come. His feet had traveled many dusty miles in loving obedience to His Father’s will. Jesus had finished the work that the Father had given Him to do: He had healed the lame, proclaimed liberty to the captives, opened the eyes of the blind, unstopped the ears of the deaf, cleansed the leper, and even raised the dead.

As Jesus came to the final act of obedience, He knew full well the high, painful cost that love and obedience would require. Jesus knew that He was about to experience what He had never experienced before in all the vast expanses of eternity. Christ offered His life in sacrifice out of love.  It is an atonement. He had testified to His disciples, “I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29).

But now the hour was coming when the Father would strike the shepherd (Zechariah 13:7) and pour upon His only begotten Son the full measure of His righteous wrath against sinful humanity. Christ Jesus knew full well the prophecy that He would be “wounded for our transgressions” and “bruised for our iniquities.” (See Isaiah 53:5.) And yet, in loving obedience, Jesus willingly went to the cross.

Jesus told His disciples before they went out into the night to the Garden of Gethsemane, “But that the world may know, that I love the Father: and as the Father hath given me commandment, so do I: Arise, let us go hence.” (John 14:31).

When Jesus was “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8), He was motivated by love for His Father. It was love that nailed Jesus to the cross. It was love that sustained Him during those dark hours when He cried in agony, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). In an act of loving obedience, “Jesus . . . said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And saying this, he gave up the ghost.(Luke 23:46).

Is it so unreasonable or demanding that such a loving Savior would call for loving obedience from us? When Christ has set the example of demonstrating love by His humble obedience, can we not obey His commandments from a heart of love?

If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

In the same way Jesus demonstrated to the world that He loved the Father, you and I have the privilege of demonstrating to the world that we love Jesus by our obedience to His words. These words are echoed by the Apostle John: “For this is the charity of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not heavy.” (I John 5:3).

In Greek, there are four different ways to say “if.” Here we will look at two of those ways. First, on an earlier occasion in the Upper Room, Jesus said, “If you know these things, you shall be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:17). This grammatical construction assumes the statement is true. It is almost like our English word since. In other words, “If (Since) you know these things (and you do!), happy are you if you do them.”

But this is not the same construction that is used in the later passage, John 14:15. Jesus was not assuming anything about His disciples’ love, for good or for bad. This is the true “if” of the Greek language. “If you love me” (Jesus is not assuming that the disciples love Him at this point), “keep my commandments.” He is calling upon His disciples in their generation—and upon us in our own generation—to prove our love by our obedience.

One of the most demonstrable ways that a child gives evidence of love for his mother or father is his prompt obedience to them. Obedience is also the test of discipleship. With love comes obedience, and with obedience comes a gracious promise of our Lord Jesus, delivered on that night in the Upper Room:

If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; as I also have kept my Father's commandments, and do abide in his love.” (John 15:10).

Abiding in Christ cannot be separated from loving obedience. To keep Christ’s commandments is to abide in Christ’s love. Christ has set the example of loving obedience, and He urges us to follow Him fully.

Do you love Christ? Are you proving that love by daily obedience to Christ’s commands? Have you been diligent to walk in the light by confessing secret sin and living in victory over lust and pride? Are you loving your brother as you ought to love him, by humble acts of sacrificial service? Even more difficult, are you loving your enemies and praying for them as Jesus commanded? What is your focus: enjoying temporal pleasures here in this world or laying up treasures in Heaven? Is the Kingdom of God your pursuit over every other pursuit? Obedience from the heart is not legalism. True obedience is love in action.

To Learn More Principles For Life Go To: Resources: Principles of Life

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