January 2019: Olive Tree

Olive Tree

Volume II/Issue 33/January 2019

From The Editorial Desk:

Except for last month I have been putting articles in my editorial about “The Christian and His Emotions” (Check out the editorial page from September – November).

This month we will continue with the a discussion on:

Envy, Jealousy and Covetousness

Perhaps the question could be raised, “Should a study on the emotions look at envy, jealousy and covetousness as feelings?” Aren’t these attitudes, classified as sins of the spirit? Envy, jealousy and covetousness are sins of the spirit, but because they are thought processes that produce feelings we will study them with emotions. These traits can become so intertwined in the human spirit that a person may hardly know when the thoughts ended and the strong overpowering emotions have begun to take over. Even the dictionary defines each one as a feeling. Envy is a feeling of discontent over the achievements or possessions of another whereas jealousy is a feeling of resentment experienced when one feels someone else has received what they themselves deserve to possess. Covetousness relates more to a feeling of desire- what another person possesses, although strictly speaking, in the Bible text, it means a constant desire for more, a lack of satisfaction for what one possesses. Like our other emotions first there are thoughts. Overpowering emotions come later.

Examples of Envious, Jealous, or Covetous Attitudes

The Sacred Record abounds in examples of those who allowed their spirits to be vexed because they wished for the goods or position of someone else. As we study their example, we can see the futility of not accepting where God has placed us in life.

For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him. (Genesis 26:14)

And Rachel, seeing herself without children, envied her sister, and said to her husband: Give me children, otherwise I shall die. (Genesis 30:1)

His brethren therefore envied him: but his father considered the thing with himself. (Genesis 37:11)

And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? O that all the people might prophesy, and that the Lord would give them his spirit! (Numbers 11:29)

For I saw among the spoils a scarlet garment exceeding good, and two hundred sides of silver, and a golden rule of fifty sides: and I coveted them, and I took them away, and hid them in the ground is the midst of my tent, and the silver I covered with the earth that I dug up. (Joshua 7:21)

For I was envious of the wicked, seeing the prosperity of sinners. (Psalm 73:3)

For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. (Matthew 27:18)

And the Jews seeing the multitudes, were filled with envy, and contradicted those things which were said by Paul, blaspheming. (Acts 13:45)

Envy, Jealousy and Covetousness are Forbidden

Sometimes it is easy for us to feel that it doesn’t matter what we tell ourselves about others, as long as we act right. God’s Word makes it clear it is wrong for us to think unkind thoughts toward others. We are responsible for what we tell ourselves about others, and we may only think loving and complimentary thoughts about them.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house: neither shalt thou desire his wife, nor his servant, nor his handmaid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is his. (Exodus 20:17)

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, nor envy them that work iniquity. (Psalm 37:1)

Envy not the unjust man, and do not follow his ways. (Proverbs 3:31)

Let not thy heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long. (Proverbs 23:17)

Seek not to be like evil men, neither desire to be with them. (Proverbs 24:1)

Let us not be made desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying on another. (Galatians 5:26)

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings. (1 Peter 2:1)

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints:...For know you this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (who is an idolater), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. (Ephesians 5:3,5)

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, lust, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is the which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5)

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. (Hebrews 13:5)

The Results of Envy, Jealousy and Covetousness

Soundness of heart is the life of the flesh: but envy is the rottenness of the bones. (Proverbs 14:30)

Anger hath no mercy, nor fury when it breaketh forth: but who is able to stand before envy? (Proverbs 27:4)

Envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21)

Because the jealousy and rage of the husband will not spare in the day of revenge. (Proverbs 6:34)

Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy as hard as hell, the lamps thereof are fire and flames. (Song of Solomon 8:6)

Desires kill the slothful: for his hands have refused to work at all. He coveteth greedily all the day long: but he that is just, will give, and will not cease. (Proverbs 21:25-26)

Woe to you that devise that which is unprofitable, and work evil in your beds: in the morning light they execute it, because their hand is against God. And they have coveted fields, and taken them by violence, and houses they have forcibly taken away: and oppressed a man and his house, a man and his inheritance. Therefore thus saith the Lord: Behold, I devise an evil against this family: from which you shall not withdraw your necks, and you shall not walk haughtily, for this is a very evil time. (Micah 2:1-3)

Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:10)

For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows. (1 Timothy 6:10)

For where envying and contention is, there is confusion and every evil work. (James 3:16)

Finding an Answer to Envy, Jealousy and Covetousness

And he said to them: Take heed and beware of all covetousness; for a man's life doth not consist in the abundance of things which he possesseth. (Luke 12:15)

Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscences. (Romans 13:13-14)

For we ourselves also were some time unwise, incredulous, erring, slaves to divers desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But when the goodness and kindness of God our Saviour appeared: Not by the works of justice, which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laver of regeneration, and renovation of the Holy Ghost. (Titus 3:3-5)


Which Is More Important, the Mass or Hearing the Word of God?

Let us take this question and look into our hearts for an answer. What answer would you give right now before reading the rest of this article?

The Prophet Osee (6:6) tells us that God has said: “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice: and the knowledge of God more than holocausts.” Saint John Vianney tells us that the preaching of the Word of God is more important than the Mass, because we cannot be properly prepared to assist at Mass or to receive the Sacraments without this preaching.

And so the simple answer is this, hearing the Word of God is more important than the Mass. Is this the answer you gave? Many have focused on the Mass, because of the attacks upon the Mass in the Spirit of Vatican II and we have lost sight of what is truly important. We are not paying attention to the Word of God, but only a few select parts of this word.

What is required for the Word of God to be fruitful in our own life, heart and soul? First as a hearer, we should focus on the Word of God as it comes to us, whether by preaching, teaching or reading. Jesus said: “Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.” (Luke 11:17) He also said: “When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand.” (Matthew 24:15) And so we read and hear the Word of God, so that we can live by the principles being taught to us. And this is so important, because Christianity is not a mere religion, it is a way of life. Modernism attempts to separate us as we see in another article in this issue of the Olive Tree. We place religion in one part of our life, science in another, philosophy in yet another, etc. This is why we should not call Christianity a mere religion. Christianity must permeate every part of our life. This is why we say: “I am a Christian.” The verb am means that the subject, I, and the predicate, Christian are the same. This is not like the house is blue, where the predicate is merely one attribute of the subject.

When we are hearing or reading the Word of God, we need to take what is said and find a way to remember the important points. Mark up your books, and make notes in the back.

There are certain qualities required in a preacher of the Word of God. Our press has reprinted a book on this, compiled from the works of Saint Alphonsus Ligouri, Instructions for Preachers: Getting Your Message From the Pulpit to the Pew. 

There is a quality required in preachers, that is not normally discussed. Saint Paul reminds the Romans (10:15): “And how shall they preach unless they be sent, as it is written: How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, of them that bring glad tidings of good things!” God the Father sent His Son Jesus Christ to us, Who in turn sent the Apostles and their successors to “go and teach all nations...” (Matthew 28:19) If we do not have this authority from Almighty God through His Church, God will not bless our words, and we cannot teach in His Name, but only in our own name. Now this authority is possessed by the Pope for the whole world, by the Bishops for their own diocese and by Pastors for their own parishes. The Pope can grant this authority to others, who are at least deacons. Normally, though, the Bishop grants this authority to deacons and priests in his own diocese. If a priest wishes to come and preach in a certain place, he must go to the Bishop of that place and ask permission.

Writers also must have permission to publish books from their own Bishop, that is the Bishop of their diocese. Without this permission, God will not bless their work. Other types of publishing are not so regulated, but they should at least be working with their own Pastor on editing their work.


 

New Year 2019

"I don't know if you have ever had the occasion to watch crabs in a boiling pot. Obviously the crabs are trying to climb out of the pot. I mean I would want to get out of a boiling pot also. Wouldn't you? Well, that's certainly true but here's the part that is interesting. Once a crab gets up to the top and is working on climbing out the crabs below it will grab it and pull it back into the pot. In other words, instead of working on climbing out of the pot, the crabs are spending their time making sure nobody else gets out. They just keep pulling each other down. It is truly a shame to say but have you ever noticed that human beings just love to tear each other down as well? It is even worse when this behavior is demonstrated in the work place. There are certain people who think they will get ahead by tearing you down. Sort of like the crabs in the pot, I suppose. They love to find things wrong and write you up . . . . report you to the supervisor . . . . bad-mouth you behind your back. I suppose they do this for two main reasons: 1) When they focus on what YOU have done wrong, they do not have to focus on what they have done wrong; 2) They think they will succeed when you fail. Even St. James writes about this in his epistle: "For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice." (St. James 3:16)


The World Is Full Of Tribulation, Trials, And Trouble


Let's face it, the world can be a scary place. Look at all the hatred, the jealousy that goes on. Look at all the crime and the shootings, the killings that seem to take place on a daily basis. Look at the unemployment, poverty and hunger which seem to plague every city. And human beings seem to focus on the negative. Just turn on the nightly news to prove my point. Out of a thirty minute news broadcast, twenty-eight minutes of it seems to be focused on the negative: murders; crime; unemployment; sickness; hunger; war; scandal . . . . And once all of the negative items are reported on, then they leave two minutes for a "positive" story. Now, the world is not all bad. The world is not totally corrupt. There are many beautiful things in the world. The are many amazing people out there in the world. We can find many wonderful people if we just take the time to look for them. But that being said, the world is stained by sin . . . stained by corruption . . . stained by hatred. God understands this. This is why He sent His Son into the world to save us from our sins. This is why God the Father sent His Son into the world. He sent His Son into the world to save us from ourselves.


We Are Called To Encourage And Edify One Another


In my secular job, I work as a counselor for troubled youth. It seems that whenever they get in trouble: disrespecting staff; throwing chairs; getting into fights . . . . I will question them why they did whatever they did that got them in trouble and the answer seems to be the same 98% of the time. They will tell me: "Oh, I was angry." And I always tell them the same thing: "Anger is an emotion. Nothing more and nothing less." We all have emotions. In regards to anger, we all get angry at various points in our life but it is what we do with the anger that usually gets us in trouble. "Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly." (Proverbs 14:29) Anger does get us into lots of trouble in life, doesn't it? We do things which normally we would not do. We say things that we are sorry for later. When we act out of anger, we may cause hurt to others but we also hurt ourselves. When we hang on to anger and bitterness, we really only hurt ourself, quite frankly. "A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot." (Proverbs 14:30) Anger and jealousy and bitterness eat us up inside. These emotions seem to eat us up from the inside. But as I say, hatred and anger do not benefit us. Anger is like a cancer that eats us alive. "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:31-32)


As members of the Church, Christ has given each one of us a job. Our Blessed Saviour invites us to continue on the work which He began. Christ came to earth to save us from our sins. But He also came to earth to tell the world of God the Father. He came to show the world that Our Heavenly Father loves us and cares for us. We should show this love to one another. How can we have hatred in our heart for our brother or sister when they were created by God just like we were? Our Blessed Saviour invites us . . . . . . actually, no . . . 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) Human beings are different. In other words, we are not all the same. Thus, we may not always "like" another person but was are still called to "love" that person.

All of us have unique strengths and skills. One person may be very talented when it comes to the area of music. Perhaps they are gifted in playing a musical instrument. While someone such as myself is barely able to tune a radio. Other people may be gifted when it comes to preaching or teaching. Some may have the gift of listening and understanding. The bottom line is that each one of us has special gifts and abilities that no-one else possesses. We are called to use our talents. But each one of us, no matter what other gift we possess, can show God's love to our brothers and sisters. St. Paul writes: "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." (I Thessalonians 5:11) We can all show love and encouragement to people. In other words, I do not need a college degree in order to encourage someone around me. This is a skill that each one of us possesses. But we have to make the point to lift others up with our encouragement.

In this new year, let us make a resolution to show God's love to those around us. Let God make us His instrument in the world in which we live. Let our prayer be in 2019 that those around us will be able to see God in what we say . . . how we treat one another . . . and how we live our lives.


"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace" (I St. Peter 4:8-10)"

 


The Funny Pharmacy

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

 

 


Question Table

Why Weren't Three Bishops Employed in the Consecration of Pope Michael ?

First of all, no independent bishop, such as the Old Catholics, Duarte Costa, Thucite, or Lefebvrite wish truly to submit to ecclesiastical authority or the Pope. Recall that three of the four went into schism immediately: the Old Catholics, Duarte Costa, and the Lefebvrites. The Thucites began with the idea of ending the vacancy, which idea would give them justification for consecrating a bishop or two until an election could be organized. However, when they abandoned the election of a Pope, they all went into schism, save Bishop Ngo-Dihn Thuc himself. We have no certainty about his intentions at the end of his life.

Another Pope, Pelagius I (AD 555), was consecrated by only two bishops, being unable to find a third bishop to consecrate him, and this in Rome itself. The Church has always held that a single bishop can validly consecrate another. Three is the traditional requirement, that has sometimes been dispensed with. 


The Pope Speaks: January 2019 

Moral Modernism

Father Sylvany in his book, What Is Liberalism, describes the liberal: “He may even go to Church and, stranger still, sometimes approach the Sacraments; but his maxim is, in the Church to live as a Christian, outside of the Church to live as the world lives, according to the times in which one is born and not obstinately to swim against the stream. He dies with the priest on one side, his infidel literature on the other and imagines that his Creator will applaud his breadth of mind.”

We are worse than the liberal. Liberalism has become a part of the very fiber of our being, as a priest warned in the 1950's: “Look at your past and present life. Since childhood you have been brought up in this paganism from which you now suffer. You were taught to give God an hour a day (perhaps) and the remainder of the day to your studies and relaxation — in other words, to get along without Him. For you, God became some far-off, nebulous being, in some way unreal, outside of life, whereas visible things took on an ever more intense reality. Thus, there was implanted in your soul, almost unconsciously, the practical idea that the earth was much more interesting than heaven. When you consider that you have lived this way for twenty, forty, sixty years, giving your best thoughts and efforts to your business, to your projects, to your daily life, forgetting God, limiting your relationships with Him to a strict minimum; when you remember that repeated acts inevitably produce a more and more marked attitude of soul, that these pagan days have followed one another thousands of times and without interruption, you will understand that this mental twist must have necessarily assumed in you the strength and rigidity of a gnarled old oak tree.” (The Art of Prayer)

Another priest in the 1940's called this schizophrenia. Scripture tells us: “A double minded man is inconstant in all his ways.” (James 1:8)

And another book expands on this from the last century: “Hence even among Catholics the strange phenomenon of a double conscience often repeats itself-one conscience for private life, another for public life; religious at home and in church, unreligious (if not anti-religious) in public offices, and political and social life. The chief cause of this melancholy phenomenon was certainly liberal doctrine, which turned religion into a private affair, creating a double morality, and again, political and economic amoralism.” (A Manual of Catholic Action, pages 26-7)

This should be called moral modernism.

The worship of God has been relegated to an hour on Sunday and possibly a few minutes each other day, then we forget God and anything He has to say. How many of us spend an hour a day in prayer and spiritual pursuits? In fact several people, including a priest, have told me that asking people for an hour a day of prayer is asking too much. It may not be asking enough! But the only time we go to God in prayer is when we need something or are in trouble.

The liberal moral modernist lives a double life. On Sunday morning he can listen to a sermon about the six days of Creation and on Monday he can teach a class on evolution. (This is best pronoucned evilution.) Or he might hear a sermon on the evils of usury, but go to manage a check cashing place that lends money at a hundred percent usury the next day. He wants to have one foot in the Church and the other in the world. He wants the best of both worlds, pleasures here but eternal happiness in the next.

Christianity is not a part time job, but a way of life that we live 24/7.

We cannot set aside our Christianity and make any compromise with the world.

The holy Cure of Ars, Saint John Vianney described this in the mid 19th century: “It consists of three classes: the first is composed of those who are entirely for the world; the second are those who are entirely for God; and the last consists of those people who would like to belong to the world without ceasing to belong to God.” We must ask our self, which class are we in? Obviously those in the first class are not even good Catholics. The last class are also not even good Catholics, for they want to be as worldly as they can and avoid mortal sin. Walking this tightrope with the world is dangerous to say the least. The Cure of Ars says later: “No, my friend; you either belong wholly to God or wholly to the world.” 1

What has happened in moral modernism is that we compartmentalize our life. We have a compartment for God. We have another one for our own entertainments, to which we devote a notable amount of our time and are not careful to keep these within moral bounds. And then we have a compartment for our business affairs, which is ruled by the maxims of the modern world, not by Sacred Scripture. We relegate Scripture to God's compartment and give it no place elsewhere in our lives. There is a compartment for science and another for philosophy. God only is allowed to rule the compartment we have given Him and nothing else. Everything else is ruled by the maxims of the world and its beliefs.

We must ask God to come out of His compartment and take possession of our whole lives.

Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. (Matthew 22:36-37)

Let us listen to Dom Gueranger, who warned: “But there is a second paganism, which has taken deep root among us. It is the source of that corruption which now pervades every rank of society, and its own two sources are indifference, which chills the heart, and sensuality, which induces cowardice.”

Let us consider these two sources, indifference and sensuality. Aren't we indifferent to others? Don't we act as if one religion is as good as another? We may claim not to believe this, but do we preach by the way we live that we believe that Christianity is the only true religion? Then let us consider our sensuality. In the past I recommended that we all keep track of how we use our time for a week. Analyzing that we will find out just how sensual we are. We find out that we spend most of our time indulging our pleasures after our work.

It is time for us to turn our lives completely over to God. To do this, we need to spend an hour a day in spiritual pursuits, prayer, meditation, reading Sacred Scripture and spiritual reading. We need to ask God in our prayer to help us make concrete resolutions to live our whole life as He wishes us to live it. Let us ask God to help us stop compromising with the world as we have been doing.

And let us consider the evil of indifference. In Apocalypse (3:16) we read: “But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.” It is easier for an actively evil person to convert than the lukewarm. The lukewarm believe their tiny efforts for God are sufficient for salvation. The Holy Ghost compares the lukewarm to vomit. It is indifference, which is keeping us from doing God's will fully and completely. We are happy with the name of Christian, while by our actions we deny the power thereof. (II Timothy 3:5)

Jesus prophesied of these times: “And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12) When charity grows cold, it leaves us at best lukewarm and basically worthless. We are of no good to ourselves or to others. We are actually iniquitous, although, like the Pharisee, we believe we are quite religious. We are proud of being Traditional Catholics, when in actual fact, we are worse than those we so easily condemn.

We need to be on fire with the love of God and ready to make any sacrifice, no matter how difficult it is. The truth may be a hard saying. (John 6:61) In accepting the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, we may lose all of our 'friends', but a true friend will also want the whole truth. Saint John (I John 2:19) tells us: “They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us; but that they may be manifest, that they are not all of us.”

My friends, it is time to make THE DECISION to be one hundred percent for Almighty God. There is a line that we must be on the right side of, and many of us are simply on the wrong side, compromising with the world. And so I ask you, will you join with us to bring the Gospel to all nations, or will you remain in your state of indifference and walk blindly into hell?

 

1. Sermons of the Cure of Ars, page 14 


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

Before returning next month to the counsels of Evagrius of Pontus, I thought it opportune to hear a quick instruction regarding the Lord's Prayer. 

Our Lord Himself teaches us to pray with these words, and in them we find a sure guide and instruction for all prayer. 

Let us, dear soul, now hear the words of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem as he briefly considers the Lord's Prayer, and let us so prepare our hearts that they might be good ground upon which the word of the Lord may fall. And let us pray for each other!

From Catechetical Lecture 23, Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (+386 AD)

1. By the loving-kindness of God you have heard sufficiently at our former meetings concerning Baptism, and Chrism, and partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ; and now it is necessary to pass on to what is next in order, meaning today to set the crown on the spiritual building of your edification.

2. You have seen then the Deacon who gives to the Priest water to wash , and to the Presbyters who stand round God's altar. He gave it not at all because of bodily defilement; it is not that; for we did not enter the Church at first with defiled bodies. But the washing of hands is a symbol that you ought to be pure from all sinful and unlawful deeds; for since the hands are a symbol of action, by washing them, it is evident, we represent the purity and blamelessness of our conduct. Did you not hear the blessed David opening this very mystery, and saying, I will wash my hands in innocency, and so will compass Your Altar, O Lord ? The washing therefore of hands is a symbol of immunity from sin.

3. Then the Deacon cries aloud, Receive ye one another; and let us kiss one another. Think not that this kiss is of the same character with those given in public by common friends. It is not such: but this kiss blends souls one with another, and courts entire forgiveness for them. The kiss therefore is the sign that our souls are mingled together, and banish all remembrance of wrongs. For this cause Christ said, If you are offering your gift at the altar, and there rememberest that your brother has anything against time, leave there your gift upon the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. The kiss therefore is reconciliation, and for this reason holy: as the blessed Paul somewhere cried, saying, Greet ye one another with a holy kiss 1 Corinthians 16:20; and Peter, with a kiss of charity 1 Peter 5:14 .

4. After this the Priest cries aloud, Lift up your hearts. For truly ought we in that most awful hour to have our heart on high with God, and not below, thinking of earth and earthly things. In effect therefore the Priest bids all in that hour to dismiss all cares of this life, or household anxieties, and to have their heart in heaven with the merciful God. Then ye answer, We lift them up unto the Lord: assenting to it, by your avowal. But let no one come here, who could say with his mouth, We lift up our hearts unto the Lord, but in his thoughts have his mind concerned with the cares of this life. At all times, rather, God should be in our memory but if this is impossible by reason of human infirmity, in that hour above all this should be our earnest endeavour.

5. Then the Priest says, Let us give thanks unto the Lord. For verily we are bound to give thanks, that He called us, unworthy as we were, to so great grace; that He reconciled us when we were His foes; that He vouchsafed to us the Spirit of adoption. Then ye say, It is meet and right: for in giving thanks we do a meet thing and a right; but He did not right, but more than right, in doing us good, and counting us meet for such great benefits.

6. After this, we make mention of heaven, and earth, and sea ; of sun and moon; of stars and all the creation, rational and irrational, visible and invisible; of Angels, Archangels, Virtues, Dominions, Principalities, Powers, Thrones; of the Cherubim with many faces: in effect repeating that call of David's Magnify the Lord with me. We make mention also of the Seraphim, whom Esaias in the Holy Spirit saw standing around the throne of God, and with two of their wings veiling their face, and with two their feet, while with two they did fly, crying Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Sabaoth. Isaiah 6:2-3 For the reason of our reciting this confession of God , delivered down to us from the Seraphim, is this, that so we may be partakers with the hosts of the world above in their Hymn of praise.

7. Then having sanctified ourselves by these spiritual Hymns, we beseech the merciful God to send forth His Holy Spirit upon the gifts lying before Him; that He may make the Bread the Body of Christ, and the Wine the Blood of Christ ; for whatsoever the Holy Ghost has touched, is surely sanctified and changed.

8. Then, after the spiritual sacrifice, the bloodless service, is completed, over that sacrifice of propitiation we entreat God for the common peace of the Churches, for the welfare of the world ; for kings; for soldiers and allies; for the sick; for the afflicted; and, in a word, for all who stand in need of succour we all pray and offer this sacrifice.

9. Then we commemorate also those who have fallen asleep before us, first Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, that at their prayers and intercessions God would receive our petition. Then on behalf also of the Holy Fathers and Bishops who have fallen asleep before us, and in a word of all who in past years have fallen asleep among us, believing that it will be a very great benefit to the souls , for whom the supplication is put up, while that holy and most awful sacrifice is set forth.

10. And I wish to persuade you by an illustration. For I know that many say, what is a soul profited, which departs from this world either with sins, or without sins, if it be commemorated in the prayer? For if a king were to banish certain who had given him offense, and then those who belong to them should weave a crown and offer it to him on behalf of those under punishment, would he not grant a remission of their penalties? In the same way we, when we offer to Him our supplications for those who have fallen asleep, though they be sinners, weave no crown, but offer up Christ sacrificed for our sins , propitiating our merciful God for them as well as for ourselves.

11. Then, after these things, we say that Prayer which the Saviour delivered to His own disciples, with a pure conscience entitling God our Father, and saying, Our Father, which art in heaven. O most surpassing loving-kindness of God! On them who revolted from Him and were in the very extreme of misery has He bestowed such a complete forgiveness of evil deeds, and so great participation of grace, as that they should even call Him Father. Our Father, which art in heaven; and they also are a heaven who bear the image of the heavenly 1 Corinthians 15:49, in whom is God, dwelling and walking in them 2 Corinthians 6:16 .

12. Hallowed be Your Name. The Name of God is in its nature holy, whether we say so or not; but since it is sometimes profaned among sinners, according to the words, Through you My Name is continually blasphemed among the Gentiles , we pray that in us God's Name may be hallowed; not that it comes to be holy from not being holy, but because it becomes holy in us, when we are made holy, and do things worthy of holiness.

13. Your kingdom come. A pure soul can say with boldness, Your kingdom come; for he who has heard Paul saying, Let not therefore sin reign in your mortal body Romans 6:12, and has cleansed himself in deed, and thought, and word, will say to God, Your kingdom come.

14. Your will be done as in heaven so on earth. God's divine and blessed Angels do the will of God, as David said in the Psalm, Bless the Lord, all you Angels of His, mighty in strength, that do His pleasure. So then in effect you mean this by your prayer, as in the Angels Your will is done, so likewise be it done on earth in me, O Lord.

15. Give us this day our substantial bread. This common bread is not substantial bread, but this Holy Bread is substantial, that is, appointed for the substance of the soul. For this Bread goes not into the belly and is cast out into the draught Matthew 15:17, but is distributed into your whole system for the benefit of body and soul. But by this day, he means, each day, as also Paul said, While it is called today Hebrews 3:15 .

16. And forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors. For we have many sins. For we offend both in word and in thought, and very many things we do worthy of condemnation; and if we say that we have no sin, we lie, as John says. And we make a covenant with God, entreating Him to forgive us our sins, as we also forgive our neighbours their debts. Considering then what we receive and in return for what, let us not put off nor delay to forgive one another. The offenses committed against us are slight and trivial, and easily settled; but those which we have committed against God are great, and need such mercy as His only is. Take heed therefore, lest for the slight and trivial sins against you, you shut out for yourself forgiveness from God for your very grievous sins.

17. And lead us not into temptation, O Lord. Is this then what the Lord teaches us to pray, that we may not be tempted at all? How then is it said elsewhere, a man untempted, is a man unproved ; and again, My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various temptations James 1:2? But does perchance the entering into temptation mean the being overwhelmed by the temptation? For temptation is, as it were, like a winter torrent difficult to cross. Those therefore who are not overwhelmed in temptations, pass through, showing themselves excellent swimmers, and not being swept away by them at all; while those who are not such, enter into them and are overwhelmed. As for example, Judas having entered into the temptation of the love of money, swam not through it, but was overwhelmed and was strangled both in body and spirit. Peter entered into the temptation of the denial; but having entered, he was not overwhelmed by it, but manfully swam through it, and was delivered from the temptation. Listen again, in another place, to a company of unscathed saints, giving thanks for deliverance from temptation, You, O God hast proved us; You have tried us by fire like as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; You layed afflictions upon our loins. You have caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and water; and you brought us out into a place of rest. You see them speaking boldly in regard to their having passed through and not been pierced. But You brought us out into a place of rest; now their coming into a place of rest is their being delivered from temptation.

18. But deliver us from the evil. If Lead us not into temptation implied the not being tempted at all, He would not have said, But deliver us from the evil. Now evil is our adversary the devil, from whom we pray to be delivered. Then after completing the prayer you say Amen ; by this Amen, which means So be it, setting your seal to the petitions of the divinely-taught prayer.

19. After this the Priest says, Holy things to holy men. Holy are the gifts presented, having received the visitation of the Holy Ghost; holy are you also, having been deemed worthy of the Holy Ghost; the holy things therefore correspond to the holy persons. Then ye say, One is Holy, One is the Lord, Jesus Christ. For One is truly holy, by nature holy; we too are holy, but not by nature, only by participation, and discipline, and prayer.

20. After this ye hear the chanter inviting you with a sacred melody to the communion of the Holy Mysteries, and saying, O taste and see that the Lord is good. Trust not the judgment to your bodily palate no, but to faith unfaltering; for they who taste are bidden to taste, not bread and wine, but the anti-typical Body and Blood of Christ.

21. In approaching therefore, come not with your wrists extended, or your fingers spread; but make your left hand a throne for the right, as for that which is to receive a King. And having hollowed your palm, receive the Body of Christ, saying over it, Amen. So then after having carefully hallowed your eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, partake of it; giving heed lest you lose any portion thereof ; for whatever you lose, is evidently a loss to you as it were from one of your own members. For tell me, if any one gave you grains of gold, would you not hold them with all carefulness, being on your guard against losing any of them, and suffering loss? Will you not then much more carefully keep watch, that not a crumb fall from you of what is more precious than gold and precious stones?

22. Then after you have partaken of the Body of Christ, draw near also to the Cup of His Blood; not stretching forth your hands, but bending , and saying with an air of worship and reverence, Amen , hallow yourself by partaking also of the Blood of Christ. And while the moisture is still upon your lips, touch it with your hands, and hallow your eyes and brow and the other organs of sense. Then wait for the prayer, and give thanks unto God, who has accounted you worthy of so great mysteries.

23. Hold fast these traditions undefiled and, keep yourselves free from offense. Sever not yourselves from the Communion; deprive not yourselves, through the pollution of sins, of these Holy and Spiritual Mysteries. And the God of peace sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit, and soul, and body be preserved entire without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ 1 Thessalonians 5:23:— To whom be glory and honour and might, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and world without end. Amen.

 


Saints from East and West

Saints whose feasts are celebrated this month

January 12 (Byzantine) - Holy Martyress Tatiana of Rome.

The Holy Martyress Tatiana was born into an illustrious Roman family - her father was thrice elected consul. He was secretly a Christian and raised his daughter devoted to God and the Church. Having reached the age of maturity, Tatiana did not enter into marriage but with all her strength devoted herself to the Church. She was made deaconess in one of the Roman churches and served God, in fasting and prayer tending the sick and helping the needy. By her righteousness Tatiana gained in future to be crowned with the crown of martyrdom.

When Rome came to be ruled by the sixteen year old Alexander Severus (222‑235), all power was concentrated in the hands of the evil enemy and persecutor of christians Ulpian. Christian blood flowed like streams. Deaconess Tatiana was also arrested. When they brought her into the temple of Apollo so as to force her to offer sacrifice to the idol, the saint began praying - and suddenly there occurred an earthquake - the idol was smashed into pieces, and part of the temple collapsed and fell down on the pagan priests and many pagans. The demon inhabiting the idol ran out with an howl from that place, in front of which all saw it flying through the air like a ghost. They then began to beat the holy virgin about the eyes, but she bravely endured everything, praying for her tormentors that the Lord would open for them their spiritual eyes. And the Lord heard the prayer of His servant. The executioners came to see that four Angels encircled the saint and fended off from the blows; they heard a Voice from the heavens addressed to the holy martyress. All of them, eight men, believed in Christ and fell on their knees to Saint Tatiana, begging forgiveness for their wrongs against her. For confessing themselves Christians they were subjected to tortures and execution, receiving Baptism by blood.

Saint Tatiana was again given over to tortures on another day: they uncovered her and beat her, they cut at her body with razors, and from her wounds then there permeated a fragrance in the air. The torturers became exhausted and said that someone invisible was beating at them with iron staffs, and nine of them fell dead. They then threw the saint in prison, where she prayed all night and with the Angels sang praise to the Lord.

A new morning began, and they again took Saint Tatiana to the court. The torturers beheld with astonishment that after such terrible torments she appeared completely healthy and even more radiant and beautiful than before. They began to urge her to offer sacrifice to the goddess Diana. The saint seemed to appear agreeable, and they took her to the heathen temple. Saint Tatiana made the Sign of the Cross and began to pray - and suddenly there sounded a crash of deafening thunder, and lightning struck the idol, the sacrificial offerings, and the pagan priests.

They again fiercely tortured the martyress, and at night they again threw her in prison, and again there appeared Angels and healed her wounds. On the following day they took Saint Tatiana to the circus and let loose at her an hungry lion; the beast did not touch the saint but only lay meekly at her feet. They wanted to pen up the lion back in its cage, and here instead it clawed up one of the torturers. They threw Tatiana into a fire, but the fire did not harm the martyress. The pagans, thinking that she was a sorceress, cut her hair to deprive her of magical powers, and locked her up in the temple of Zeus. But it was impossible to take away the power of God.

On the third day pagan priests came with an encircling throng, preparing to offer sacrifice. Opening the temple, they beheld the idol thrown down into the dust and the holy martyress Tatiana joyously invoking the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. All the instruments of torture were worn out, and they carried out a sentence of death: the valiant sufferer was beheaded with a sword. Also executed as a Christian together with her was her father, for having shewn her the true faith of Christ.




January 14 - Saint Hilary of Poitiers

Saint Augustine, who often urges the authority of 5t Hilary against the Pelagians, styles him "the illustrious doctor of the churches." Sain Jerome says that he was a "most eloquent man, and the trumpet of the Latins against the Arians;" and in another place that "in Saint Cyprian and Saint Hilary, God had transplanted two fair cedars out of the world into His Church."

Saint Hilary was born at Poitiers, and his family was illustrious in Gaul. He himself testifies that he was brought up in idolatry, and gives us a detailed account of the steps by which God conducted him to a knowledge of the faith. He considered, by the light of reason, that man, a moral and free agent, is placed in this world for the exercise of patience, temperance, and other virtues, which he saw must receive a recompense after this life. He ardently set about learning what God is, and quickly discovered the absurdity of polytheism, or a plurality of gods: he was convinced that there can be only one God, and that He must be eternal, unchangeable, all-powerful, the first cause and author of all things. Full of these reflections, he met with the Christian scriptures, and was deeply impressed by that sublime description Moses gives of God in those words, so expressive of His self-existence, I AM WHO AM: and was no less struck with the idea of His supreme dominion, illustrated by the inspired language of the prophets. The reading of the New Testament completed his inquiries; and he learned from the first chapter of Saint John that the Divine Word, God the Son, is coeternal and consubstantial with the Father. Being thus brought to the knowledge of the faith, he received baptism when somewhat advanced in years.

Hilary had been married before his conversion, and his wife, by whom he had a daughter named Apra, was yet living when he was chosen bishop of Poitiers, about the year 350. He did all in his power to escape this promotion; but his humility only made the people more earnest in their choice; and, indeed, their expectations were not disappointed, for his eminent qualities shone forth so brilliantly as to attract the attention not only of Gaul, but of the whole Church. Soon after he was raised to the episcopal dignity he composed, before his exile, a commentary on the Gospel of St Matthew, which is still extant. That on the psalms he compiled after his banishment. From that time the Arian controversy chiefly employed his pen. He was an orator and poet. His style is lofty and noble, with much rhetorical ornament, somewhat studied; and the length of his periods renders him sometimes obscure: Saint Jerome complains of his long and involved sentences and tragic manner - the old rhetorical tradition was not yet dead. Saint Hilary solemnly appeals to God that he accounted it the great work of his life to employ all his faculties to announce Him to the world, and to excite all men to the love of Him. He earnestly recommends beginning every action and discourse by prayer. He breathes a sincere and ardent desire of martyrdom, and discovers a soul fearless of death. He had the greatest veneration for truth, sparing no pains in its pursuit and dreading no dangers in its defence.

The Emperor Constantius and a synod at Milan in 355 required all bishops to sign the condemnation of Saint Athanasius. Such as refused to comply were banished, among whom were Saints Eusebius of Vercelli, Lucifer of Cagliari, and Dionysius of Milan. Saint Hilary wrote on that occasion his "First Book to Constantius," in which he entreated him to restore peace to the Church. He separated himself from the three Arian bishops in the West: Ursacius, Valens, and Saturninus, and the emperor sent an order to Julian, surnamed afterwards the Apostate, who at that time commanded in Gaul, to enforce Saint Hilary's immediate banishment into Phrygia. Saint Hilary went into exile about the middle of the year 356, as cheerfully as another would take a pleasure trip, and recked nothing of hardships, dangers or enemies, having a soul above the smiles and frowns of the world and his thoughts fixed only on God. He remained in exile for some three years, which time he employed in composing several learned works. The principal and most esteemed
of these is that On the Trinity. The earliest Latin hymn-writing is associated with the name of Hilary of Poitiers.

The emperor, again interfering in the affairs of the Church, assembled a council of Arians, at Seleucia in Isauria, to neutralize the decrees of the Council of Nicaea. Saint Hilary, who had then passed three years in Phrygia, was invited thither by the semi-Arians, who hoped that he would be useful to their party in crushing those who adhered strictly to the doctrine of Arius. But no human considerations could daunt his courage. He boldly defended the decrees of Nicaea, till at last, tired out with controversy, he withdrew to Constantinople and presented to the emperor a request, called his "Second Book to Constantius," begging permission to hold a public disputation about religion with Saturninus, the author of his banishment. The issue of this challenge was that the Arians, dreading such a trial, persuaded the emperor to rid the East of a man who never ceased to disturb its peace. Constantius accordingly sent him back into Gaul in 360.

Saint Hilary returned through Illyricum and Italy to confirm the weak. He was received at Poitiers with great demonstrations of joy, and there his old disciple, Saint Martin, ere long rejoined him. A synod in Gaul, convoked at the instance of Hilary, condemned that of Rimini in 359; and Saturninus, proving obstinate, was excommunicated and desposed. Scandals were removed, discipline, peace and purity of faith were restored. The death of Constantius in 361 put an end to the Arian persecution. Saint Hilary was by nature the gentlest of men, full of courtesy and friendliness to all: yet seeing this behaviour ineffectual, he composed an invective against Constantius in which he employed the severest language, probably for good reasons not now known to us. This piece was not circulated till after the death of the emperor. Hilary undertook a journey to Milan in 364 to confute Auxentius, the Arian usurper of that see, and in a public disputation obliged him to confess Christ to be the true God, of the same substance and divinity with the Father. Saint Hilary, indeed, saw through his hypocrisy; but Auxentius so far imposed on the Emperor Valentinian as to pass for orthodox. Hilary died at Poitiers, probably in the year 368.


Catholic Books in Exile

Books to feed your faith!


Instructions For Preachers: Getting Your Message From the Pulpit to the Pew

$9.95

Saint Alphonsus Marie de Ligouri presents the proper method of preaching, that will move hearts to repentance and encourage people to live a virtuous way of life. The first chapter is devoted to this method of preaching, which is opposed to the showy method of many preachers of his day and even ours. Many seek to gain the praise of their listeners, rather than to bring them to repentance and educate them in the way of salvation. Saint Alphonsus, following the example of Saints Francis de Sales and Vincent de Paul sought to teach priests how to make saints and save souls rather than impress audiences. The second chapter refutes a critis. Saint Alphonsus begins by explaining the criticism: “My critic, you say, maintains that, though sacred orators should preach in a clear and orderly manner, they should never condescend to speak in a popular style; because, according to him, such a style is unworthy of the dignity of the pulpit and degrading to the word of God.” He then proceeds to defend his position and give further useful instructions to preachers. The third chapter is the refutation of a book On Preaching by the Author of the Philosophical Dictionary, whose name is unknown. Saint Alphonsus describes this book as follows: “Moreover, on seeing the title of the work, On Preaching, one would have thought that it treated of the utility and even of the necessity there is in this world of preaching to the people in order to enlighten them, because in consequence of sin and the corruption of their nature they are enveloped in darkness, and naturally inclined, not to what is good and virtuous, as the author wishes, but to evil and to vices. Now this is not the case: the end of the work is to discredit preaching, by representing it as entirely useless for the reformation of morals.” He then proceeds to outline the author's case and then present his case. Contained here are more useful recommendations to preachers. Finally, we close with a chapter on the usefulness of missions. This has been excerpted from The Complete Works of Saint Alphonsus, which was compiled and translated by Father Eugene Grimm. (1835-1891) All is excerpted from a much larger work on Preaching, and serves as an excellent guide for anyone who enters the pulpit.



Commentary on the Book of Psalms 
By Saint Robert Bellarmine
$24.95

The print of this edition is 12 point, larger than an earlier edition in print. In these days the Psalms are little used in the private devotions of lay Catholics; and forms of prayer, which have no authoritative sanction, and which are often little recommendable, either for sentiment or expression, are used, instead of those which have been dictated by the Holy Ghost. The reason of this notable change in the practice of the faithful must be that they do not understand the Psalms. This work was prepared for the use of the laity, but clergy and religious will find it very useful in understanding the psalms they pray in the Divine Office.


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)


For More Good Traditional Catholic Books:

 


Jarvis Tanko's Roasted Winter Root Vegetables
A Wintertime Favourite!

Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour 30 minutes

Really one of the simplest of the recipes that dear Jarvis Tanko passed on to his friends, it is also a truly delightful way in which to prepare those humble root vegetables you invariably have sitting around in your root cellar at this time. Why not enjoy them with this Sunday's roast?

Ingredients
5 pounds rutabaga, peeled and cut into 2 x 1/2 inch pieces
5 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 x 1/2 inch pieces
5 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 2 x 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1/4 cup dried basil
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 1/4 cups chopped fresh parsley

Directions
1. Place the rutabaga in a pan and cover with water. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes. Drain well, and cool completely. Repeat steps to cook the parsnips and carrots.
2. Place completely cooled vegetables in resealable freezer bags. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 days, or freeze up to 1 month. To thaw the vegetables, refrigerate overnight and drain.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
4. Pour the vegetable oil into a rimmed baking dish. Place the vegetables into a large mixing bowl and toss with the basil, salt, and pepper. Place the pan in preheated oven to heat for 5 minutes. Add the vegetables and toss to coat with the oil.
5. Roast vegetables in preheated oven, turning every 10 minutes, until tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

 

 

Grandma von Hacker's Molasses Sugar Cookies
Often imitated, never duplicated.

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Ready In: 3 hours 40 minutes

These are the very selfsame molasses sugar cookies that you remember from Grandma von Hacker her own self. Yes. Grandma von Hacker invariably used southwestern Missouri sorghum molasses in her cookies, and we suggest the same for that time-tested, outstanding taste. You can also try blackstrap molasses for a cookie assuredly never to be forgotten!

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups shortening
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt

Directions
1. Melt the shortening in a large pan on the stove, and cool.
2. Add sugar, eggs, and molasses, beat well.
3. In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together and add to the pan. Mix well and chill 3 hours or overnight.
4. Form into walnut-size balls. Roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 8-10 minutes.
6. Store in an airtight container to keep from getting overly crisp. If they do lose their softness, an easy way to restore it is to place one slice of fresh bread in the container with the cookies for a couple of hours or overnight and they will be soft again!

Video

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


Holy Name of Jesus 2011

 


Circumcision 2013

 


Epiphany 2013

 


 
VIE Catholic Radio

VIE CATHOLIC RADIO EVENTS FOR JANUARY

January

 

It's January! And you're going to love what you hear!

Sermons on Christmas, The Holy Family, and More:

Each week we will have a different sermon by different preachers, on the subject of Christmas, The Holy Family, and More!

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.

The Angelus and The Rosary:

Every day 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 every day!

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!:

Such as Paul Harveys' The Rest of The Story, Keys For Kids, Creation Moments, Life Line, and a new program called “No Apologies”!- No Apologies is a Basic apologetics of the Catholic Church, that defends the faith, with a Marian emphasis.

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 Bluegrass, Saturday 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.

 

 

Nurseries Among the Stars?

 

Psalm 19:1

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”

If I have commented on problems with the Big Bang Theory, I have sometimes been told that we have witnessed stars being born. Deep-time astrophysicists often point to so-called stellar nurseries to make their point. One such nursery can be seen in the constellation known as Cepheus. Evolutionary astrophysicists point to a molecular cloud, visible in the constellation, using the Hubble Space Telescope. Within this cloud can be seen a number of stars, referred to as protostars. According to their model, this cloud is collapsing under gravitational collapse, and the resulting energy has to be dissipated by energy, resulting in the ignition of a protostar. Therefore, what we are seeing is a snapshot of the birth of a star.

However, in order to demonstrate that this really is the birth of stars, we would have to observe the stars develop into fully fledged stars. But the models would suggest that this takes millions of years. This subtle point, therefore, needs to be made – in this cloud in Cepheus, we are not witnessing the process of stellar birth. Instead, we are looking at an interesting image of something which is certainly there, but which is being interpreted as stellar birth by scientists who accept that model. Offering this snapshot as evidence of stellar evolution requires the prior acceptance of the stellar evolutionary model. This can be recognized as circular reasoning – which is a logical fallacy. It makes more sense to accept the eyewitness account, given to us in Genesis 1 by God Himself.

Catechism Catch-Up  


The Suffering Souls in Purgatory

Purgatory

Such is the efficacy [effectiveness] of this Sacrifice (of the Mass), that its benefits extend not only to the celebrant and communicant, but to all the faithful, whether living with us on earth, or already numbered with those who are dead in the Lord, but whose sins have not yet been fully expiated [atoned for]. It is not less available when offered for them, than when offered for the sins of the living, their punishments, satisfactions, calamities and difficulties of every sort. (see Council of Trent session 22 cap. 2 and Can. 3)

We should pray for the dead, that they may be liberated from the fire of Purgatory, are derived from Apostolic teaching. Summa Theology, Suppl. lxxiii (73)

In II Maccabees 12:39-46, we discover Judas Maccabeus and members of his Jewish military forces collecting the bodies of some fallen comrades who had been killed in battle. When they discovered what these men were carrying “And they found under the coats of the slain some of the donaries of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbiddeth to the Jews: so that all plainly saw, that for this cause they were slain." (vs. 40), Judas and his companions discerned they had died as a punishment for sin. Therefore, Judas and his men “And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten.… And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice ... to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection," In doing this "he acted very well and honorably… that they may be loosed from sins."

Judas hoped that these men who died fighting for the cause of God and religion, might find mercy: either because they might be excused from mortal sin by ignorance; or might have repented of their sin, at least at their death. Here is an evident and undeniable proof of the practice of praying for the dead under the old law, which was then strictly observed by the Jews, and consequently could not be introduced at that time by Judas, their chief and high priest, if it had not been always their custom. (1)

Jews believe in a purification (a purgation) which takes place after death.

When a Jewish person's loved one dies, it is customary to pray on his behalf for eleven months using a prayer known as the mourner's Qaddish (derived from the Hebrew word meaning "holy"). This prayer is used to ask God to hasten the purification of the loved one's soul. The Qaddish is prayed for only eleven months because it is thought to be an insult to imply that the loved one's sins were so severe that he would require a full year of purification.

The practice of praying for the dead has been part of the Jewish faith since before Christ. Remember that 2 Maccabees 12:39-46, on which Catholics base their observance of this practice, shows that, a century and a half before Christ, prayer for the dead was taken for granted. Unlike Protestantism, Catholicism has preserved this authentic element of Judeo-Christian faith. (2)

In the Trent Catechism it says that some of the faithful who are not living on earth but have died, their sins have not yet been fully expiated [atoned for].

Now your average Protestant Would have a big problem with that:

Jesus bore our sins in His body, paid the penalty for them, and died. He said, "It is finished." In Greek, the phrase, 'It is finished' is one word, tetelestai. In ancient Greek papyri texts that were receipts for taxes, when a debt was paid in full, the word tetelestai was written on the document. This meant that the debt had been paid in full. In other words, Jesus had finished the work of atonement. But not only atonement (to make amends, to make right), but also of propitiation (turning away God's wrath). He had fully paid the debt invoked by the sinner. There was nothing more to be done... It was finished. They would go on to say... "When Jesus said, 'It is finished,' all that was necessary in the atonement was concluded and all in Christ were justified." (3) https://carm.org/does-purgatory-deny-sufficiency-christs-sa…

Even though Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin, even though the debt was paid in full, there is still the principle of sowing and reaping.

Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. (Galatians 6:7)

This principle is irrevocable; there is no escape, either for the believer or for the unbeliever. It is a law of life.

We reap what we sow.

The fact that we reap what we sow is good news for those who sow good, but a frightening thought for those currently involved in ungodly activities such as promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse, neglect of family, or mistreatment of others. We cannot sow crabgrass and expect to reap pineapples. We cannot sow disobedience to God and expect to reap His blessing. What we sow, we reap. Let us not deceive ourselves: We will reap the harvest of our lives.

We reap more than we sow.

Why do farmers plant their seed? Because they expect to harvest a great deal more than they sow. A single seed that sprouts can yield dozens, scores, even hundreds of seeds. It is the same way with both sin and righteousness—a small decision to do either good or bad reaps a much bigger crop, for either joy or sorrow.

We reap later than we sow.

Some are deceived because their present seed does not appear to be producing an immediate crop. So they continue down their course, mistakenly believing that there will never be a harvest. But unlike the crops of the field, which get harvested at approximately the same time each year, there is no regular timetable for the harvest of life. Some crops we reap quickly; others take a long time. But do not be deceived—their season will come. (4)

This is where Purgatory comes in. As it was said, "Some crops we reap quickly; others take a long time." and if we have not fully harvested the consequences of our sowing we have purgatory to go through to help fulfill the law of Sowing and Reaping to its end.
If you commit a crime of murder and realized you were wrong and except the atonement that Christ did on the cross. You still have to reap what you have sown. You are going to jail!

If you commit Adultery and ask God for forgiveness and through his atonement He forgives you. There is still a reaping and sowing law that must happen. You are right with God now. You have peace in your heart that you never had before but because of your sins you loose your children, your wife, your family. They are wounded by your sins. Your children will more then likely grow up not having an example of what a father should be. Your wife is now having to take on responsibilities that God never intended for her to have on her own. Your sins, have consequence that go far beyond you. When you sowed that sin of Adultery you affected several generations. Your children can grow up not knowing how to be a father to their children because you were not there for them. The children's children grow up in rebellion because of it. etc etc. Do you see the picture?

Scripture calls it "The sins of the Father visited on the their sons:"

The Lord is patient and full of mercy, taking away iniquity and wickedness, and leaving no man clear, who visitest the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. (Numbers 14:18)

Here is a more modern way of saying it:

The LORD is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. But he does not excuse the guilty. He lays the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected--even children in the third and fourth generations.

Once you die, even though you die in the Grace of God, your sins that you committed in this life are still going to have an affect on others long after you are dead. And all those affects will not be revealed until the last Judgment of God when time ceases to exist.

That thought should make us tremble. We should fear sin instead of playing with it. Oh how much damage we do when we sin!

St. Paul gives us an example of what Purgatory will be like:

I have planted, Apollo watered, but God gave the increase. Therefore, neither he that planteth is any thing, nor he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth, and he that watereth, are one. And every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labour. For we are God's coadjutors [ones who works together with God]: you are God's husbandry; you are God's building. According to the grace of God that is given to me, as a wise architect, I have laid the foundation; and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid; which is Christ Jesus. Now if any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble: Every man's work shall be manifest; for the day of the Lord shall declare it, because it shall be revealed in fire; and the fire shall try every man' s work, of what sort it is. If any man's work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. (I Corinthians 3:6-15)

The Church of Corinth has been bickering and saying, I am of Paul and I am of Apollo. When in reality both Apollo and St. Paul were working together for the good of the parishioners in the Parish. The difference, between him and Apollo was that they had ministered in different ways. "I [St. Paul] planted, Apollo watered" but they were "God's coadjutors". In other words they were working together with God.

As an examples of this he use the ideal of farming:
Paul- planted
Apollo- watered

The people that they ministered to -the husbandry: husbandry means the cultivation or production of plants. In other words, the people were like a field of plants that St. Paul and Apollo was responsible to take care of. They had a large responsibility for helping to form Christ in to the lives of these people in the Corinth Church.

"My little children, of whom I am in labour again, until Christ be formed in you." (Galatians 4:19)

Not only does he use farming as an illustration, but then he move on to a building, a structure.

The People - were the building in this illustration. (vs. 9)

Jesus Christ- is the foundation on which St. Paul and Apollo built on. That is the teachings of Jesus Christ. (vs. 11)

The individuals lives- were the material of the building. (gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble)

St. Paul says that if "any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble: Every man's work shall be manifest; for the day of the Lord shall declare it." (vs 13)

Now this is where purgatory comes in to play.

What is the day of the Lord?

There are two judgements that we as Catholic will appear before.

1. A "particular" judgment at the time of death.

The Catholic doctrine of the particular judgment is this: that immediately after death the eternal destiny of each separated soul is decided by the just judgment of God. Although there has been no formal definition on this point, the dogma is clearly implied in the Union Decree of Eugene IV (1439), which declares that souls leaving their bodies in a state of grace, but in need of purification are cleansed in Purgatory, whereas souls that are perfectly pure are at once admitted to the beatific vision of the Godhead (ipsum Deum unum et trinum) and those who depart in actual mortal sin, or merely with original sin, are at once consigned to eternal punishment, the quality of which corresponds to their sin (paenis tamen disparibus). The doctrine is also in the profession of faith of Michael Palaeologus in 1274, in the Bull "Benedictus Deus" of Benedict XII, in 1336, and in the professions of faith of Gregory XIII and Benedict XIV. (5) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08550a.htm

2. A "general judgment" at the end of the ages when the deeds of all will be known by all and nothing will be hidden.

And I saw a great white throne, and one sitting upon it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away, and there was no place found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing in the presence of the throne, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hell gave up their dead that were in them; and they were judged every one according to their works. And hell and death were cast into the pool of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the pool of fire.(Apocalypse / Revelation 20:11-15)

The "day" that St. Paul is referring to is the particular judgement, the day at the time of our death when we will stand before God and the eternal destiny of each separated soul will be decided by His just judgment.

The Works (or the kind of lives the clergy built on Christ the Foundation) Shall Be Manifested and Revealed.

The word manifested means: to Make plain, to open, clearly visible to the eye or obvious to the understanding; apparent; not obscure or difficult to be seen or understood.

The word revealed means: To disclose; to discover; to show; to make known something before unknown or concealed; as, to reveal secrets.

God Uses Fire to Manifest, to Make Clearly Visible, the Works We as Clergy Did in the Lives of People and to Reveal and Disclose and to Show What Kind of Works They Were.

Fire can do two things, Fire can refine- It removes the impurities which would make the precious metal LESS than it should be. But then also fire burns away things like wood, hay and stubble.

Although St. Paul's illustration is concerning the Religious. All of us who have been converted to Christ and have been baptized will be judged for our influence on people who God has brought into our lives. Will your life be a testimony to Christ and His Church? Will people begin to live there life more like Silver and Gold because of their knowing you or will there lives become more like wood hay and stubble?

The way we live out our life effects those around you, either for good or for bad. And it is in the fires of purgatory that it will be revealed and manifested and then purification will be accomplished through that same fire.

How long is purgatory for each individual?

The simple answer is, the fire refines and or burns away anything that should not be there. And it could be a small period of time to all the way to Christ's Return. The time is based on two things. 
One, how far did our lives affect others? First generations? Second generations? etc. etc. Two,The time in purgatory is based on the prayers of the Militant Saints.

Remember our last catechism lesson (Lesson 16)? ...

All Prayer

"The last of the armaments was really an attitude. Any general knows that victory almost always depends on which army has the element of surprise. In the story of Gideon, the soldiers were chosen based upon their watchfulness, and they caught the enemy sleeping and won through surprise. (See Judges 7) Even the best of armor is almost useless if the soldiers are found dozing. We are commanded to be "watching with all instance (all perseverance)”

The prayer mentioned here is not just any prayer. No, it is more specific then that. St.Paul says, "watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints" We are to be praying for our fellow Christians, our fellow Saints.

St. Paul lived what he preached!

"Therefore we also, from the day that we heard it, cease not to pray for you" (Colossians 1:9)

"Wherefore I also, hearing of your faith that is in the Lord Jesus, and of your love towards all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making commemoration of you [remembering you] in my prayers." (Ephesians 1:15-16)

Listen to this:

'Your battle Buddies are always together and that allows them to never feel like they're alone,' 'The idea is to let Soldiers feel like someone's always got their back.'- Sgt. 1st Class Casey Vanzant, A Company, 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment platoon sergeant.

That's how we as the Militant Saints should be. We should always have each others back in prayer. But not only should we be praying for each other but also for the Suffering Saints in Purgatory. For they are just as much as part of the "for all saints" as the Militant are. (see II Maccabees 12:39-46)"

When we pray for those in purgatory or for that souls Son here on earth, or that Souls grandson here on earth etc. We are asking God to purge the things that were sown in that Souls life that affected the Son or the Grandson in some negative way.

May we always realize how our lives makes a difference in others.

May we always remember that there is a natural law of sowing and reaping.

May we always be praying for the suffering souls in purgatory. Having always on our lips and heart the prayer...."May the souls of the faithful departed through the Mercy's of God rest in peace."

(1) (Douay Rheims Chandlor notes)
(2) http://www.catholic.com/…/do-devout-jews-believe-in-purgato…
(3) https://carm.org/does-purgatory-deny-sufficiency-christs-sa…
(4) https://www.intouch.org/…/life-principle-6-the-principle-of… [adapted for Catholic Teaching}
(5) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08550a.htm

 
 
 

Living Catholic: 

family reading

 

Suggestions for Having Family Devotions

Tailor Devotional Routines to Meet Your Family’s Needs.

Many parents wonder what they should do during family devotional times. There are no simple answers, since endless options allow each family to customize their time together.

Consider the ages of your children, how much time you have together, when you can meet, and the areas in which your family needs to grow. With these factors in mind, come up with a plan that meets the current needs of your family. Periodically consider making adjustments to accommodate your schedule or needs.
Below you’ll find ideas you can incorporate into your family worship times. Be sure to pray with your spouse as you decide what to do. Seek to be creative and to discern God’s direction for this season in your family’s life.

Read the Bible and the Catechism

Deciding to read the Bible and the Catechism as a family is an excellent choice. Some families choose to read through both of them entirely, while others focus on smaller sections to gain specific insights:

The Catechism provides essentially, a summary of the official teachings of Catholic beliefs including creeds, sacraments, commandments, and prayer. It is a very needed tool in keeping our faith in line with catholic teaching.

The Gospels provide eye-witness accounts of the life of Jesus Christ.

The New Testament epistles discuss God’s work of redemption and give instructions for walking worthy of God’s calling on our lives.

The law, histories, and prophecies of the Old Testament offer valuable lessons that we can apply today.

The Books of Psalms and Proverbs (which can be read on a monthly schedule) will help you deepen your prayer life and gain wisdom.

Work on making this time interactive for each member of the family. Take turns reading aloud, encouraging the children to participate. Address any questions that arise, and allow time for discussion. (Small children may color or play quietly during family devotions.) Your appreciation for God’s Written Word will deepen as you discover insights that apply to situations you are currently facing.

Read-aloud options are as varied as the special interests of your family! If there is a main area in which you all would like to mature, such as prayer or evangelism, consider reading a book on the topic. Christian classics and biographies are also excellent selections that families can enjoy together. If you have older children, ask them for book suggestions. If you have younger children, look for Bible story and devotional books that may be helpful in your family worship times.

Become the “Answer Man”

Parents with young children have enjoyed using this technique, because it builds a fun, trusting bond with the father. Dads can set a time when they become the “answer man.” During that time the children ask any questions they have, and the father will do his best to answer them. If he doesn’t know the answer, he’ll find the answer.
Be creative in how you plan for this time. You might incorporate it into family devotions, or you could designate a separate time for it, such as after dinner or just before the children lie down for the night. Have the children take turns asking questions so that each child has a chance to get in on the discussion.

This is a great way to encourage curiosity and to find out what your little ones are thinking about. If a question requires extra time for research, let your children know that you’ll work on it and share the answer later on. Follow through on these questions and enjoy the time with your children.

Sing Worship Songs

One of the special things you can do together is to sing songs of praise and worship. Sing hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs. Many families enjoy learning to harmonize with one another. If any of your family members play musical instruments, encourage them to learn to accompany you as you worship together.

Do Topical Studies

Think about the current needs of your family. Do you want to learn about a particular issue? What problems are you facing in this season of life? Are you struggling with conflicts in the family, church, workplace, or community?
Your devotional time may provide the perfect opportunity for doing a topical study that will address these needs. You can incorporate Scripture passages, research, books, and activities to design a study that will increase your family’s understanding in specific areas.

Pray Together

When you gather for devotions, be sure to pray together. Praying the rosary together every night or morning as a family.
Ask for prayer intentions each one has, are there intentions for friends friends, church, or your community? Pray about national and international concerns. Pray for the Church around the world, remembering the work of missionaries and the needs of the persecuted Church. Be alert to needs you can pray about, and keep a journal of your prayer requests and praise reports (answers to specific prayer requests).

Be Creative With Feast Days and Vacations

Make the most of each feast days spiritual and historical significance as your family develops and enjoys meaningful, Christ-centered and Catholic centered traditions.

During family vacations, blend your recreational activities with time for spiritual discussion and reflection. Spend time in worship around the campfire or at a midway point on a hike. While traveling in the car, talk over Catholic and Biblical topics or sing together. After tours or special activities, share what you learned and discuss how it helps you see God and His work from a fresh perspective. Pray about any needs that arise and for the people you meet along the way. Watch to see how God answers your prayers and blesses your trip, and then record the results in your prayer journal.

Enjoy Your Time Together

Parents are familiar with the adage that “more is caught than taught,” because they experience its truth each day. Your children will closely observe your attitudes toward family devotions, and by your actions, they will know whether or not these times are a priority in your life.

God entrusts parents with the primary responsibility for training their children in His ways—what more sacred and exciting calling can you imagine? You are able to lay the foundations for future generations and to share with your children the most precious realities of God and His love for His children.


 

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. The money earned in November will be paid to us at the end of January not December. Therefore 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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