The Saint's tomb.
Scapular of St. Alphonsus.
St. Alphonsus, pray for us.
I'm starting to get sick to my stomach with the non-stop slew of posts with gloomy-themed comments regarding Pope Francis. Why are so many Catholics, especially among traditionalists, so worried about Pope Francis? Ever since the election of Francis a storm of radically disappointed gloom-filled traditionalists has surged, and it's really soured my experience at certain blogs. Now before I go onto make any further comments, I don't want people fallaciously accusing me of blindly supporting anything and everything the Pope does and treat it as pure gold. I don't do that, but more importantly, that's not the point. The point is that people are blowing things way out of proportion, and I fear it's leading them to the brink of apostasy. That's what's more concerning, and I'm surprised more people aren't alarmed by that eminent danger. (I'm alarmed.)
I'm just going to say what my gut is telling me the real problem is here. Coinciding with the rise of traditionalism was the death of Bl. John Paul II and the election of Benedict in 2005. The election of Benedict was a huge sigh of relief for the traditionalist blogosphere, since he had a well known track record of wanting to clean things up in the Church, despite whatever flaws he also had.
Of course, things completely were shaken up with Benedict's sudden "resignation," and traditionalists were terrified that all the progress made through Benedict could be undone in an instant, sending us right back to the nightmarish 1970s. And their "fears" were "confirmed" when Francis walked out on the Papal balcony. From that instant, a very ugly and gloomy raincloud came over the traditionalist movement and just parked itself there. The most slanderous things I've heard were spewed in comment boxes; people assumed the absolute worst. After a day or so I couldn't take it and basically stopped following many big name traditionalist blogs. It was just strange the way all the hope and overall good direction the Church was going were eclipsed by folks assuming the worst. (I think this is where what some jokingly referred to as 'evil-trads' manifested.)
[T]he Catholic blogosphere as a whole missed an excellent opportunity to take some real gems out of the Pope's words. Again, this isn't to say everything he said was pleasant to hear, but he actually provided some badly-needed insight into serious problems in the world. (Yes! Yes! Yes!) - Read more here.
The late medieval mural of Santa Maria della Strada was on an external wall of the small chapel of Our Lady of the Way in Rome. It was here that Ignatius prayed and eventually set up the headquarters of his new Society. Ignatius would have known the image well and, throughout his life, has a particular devotion to Our Lady under whose patronage he placed the Society of Jesus. - Source
The Holy Family Latin Church in Gaza has just received an evacuation order warning them that Israei is planning to bomb their neighbourhood tonight. In a message, a priest writes: " The church of Gaza has received an order to evacuate.. they will bomb the Zeitun area and the people are already fleeing. The problem is that the priest Fr George and the three nuns of Mother Teresa have 29 handicapped children and nine old ladies who can't move.
"How will they manage to leave?? If anyone can intercede with someone in power, and pray, please do it. We are trying.. may our impotence be taken up by his Omnipotence!!"
The House of Christ in Gaza, is a care home dedicated to looking after disabled children. The disabled children were removed from the care home into the Holy Family Church recently because Israel was targeting the area.
The parish appeal for prayers.
Dear readers, there are some things that we sinners get ourselves into which have no easy fixes. Some things, as a matter of fact, can’t be fixed at all. We have to accept the consequences of our actions and then get on as best we can, even suffering and asking for grace to bear the burden. Some people have heavy crosses indeed. God is with them. He works with them. We must be willing to bear crosses and ask God’s help and mercy, sometimes for the remainder of our earthly lives. I have a doctor friend who once has a dissatisfied patient lament, “Do I have to take these pills forever?” ”No,” came the answer, “Just until you die.” This is how it goes for some people. - Fr. ZI agree.
THE LOVE OF A FIRM AND PRUDENT MOTHER
“ALL THE MISERIES OF POOR HUMANITY.” Since June 13, when sixty of the faithful came to attend the apparition, until this day of October 13, when there were perhaps sixty thousand – a little more or less, we are not sure – Lucy arrived at the feet of the Most Holy Virgin entrusted with an impressive list of requests: On this last day, she relates, «there were so many of them, so many! I was anxious to remember the innumerable graces that I had to ask of Our Lady...»
AN EXTRAORDINARY FIRMNESS. What strikes us at the outset, if we consider the replies of Our Lady to all these requests, is their tone of extraordinary firmness. In all these responses, there is not an ounce of sentimentalism.
Our Lady here speaks the language of a mother who knows her children and what their true good is, while they themselves, poor and blind as they are, very often delude themselves, mostly desiring what would contribute to their ruin: material favours, the suppression of all crosses, and in short, the immediate satisfaction of all their desires.
On June 13: «I asked for the healing of a sick person», Lucy recalls. «If he is converted, he will be healed during the year.» On July 13: Maria Carreira, this exemplary Christian, animated by such a great love for the Most Holy Virgin, asked for the healing of John, her crippled son. «He will not be healed and he will remain poor. But he must recite the Rosary every day with his family and he will be able to make a living.» And so John Carreira kept his infirmities, but he nevertheless became sacristan of the “Capelinha”, and thus spent the whole of his long life in the shadow of Our Lady’s sanctuary. Rather than healing him, Our Lady had chosen for him a life full of suffering, prayer and service.On August 19: «I would like to ask You for the healing of some sick people.» «Yes, I will heal some of them during the year.» And on September 13: «I will heal some, but others, no, because Our Lord does not trust Himself to them.» These words may seem harsh, but their tonality is so much in line with the Gospel: «Many believed in His name, seeing His signs which He did; but Jesus did not trust Himself unto them, for that He knew all men, and because He needed not that any should give testimony of man; for He knew what was in man.» (Jn. 2:23-25) No, Our Lady of Fatima does not have “confidence in men” any more than Her Divine Son! And if She said, «Our Lord does not trust Himself to them», of those who prayed to Her with their lips, but whose heart was far from Her, what would She say, a fortiori, of Her declared enemies who glory in their impiety?
“THEY MUST AMEND THEIR LIVES...” Finally, on October 13, Our Lady made the same response, full of sadness. Certainly, sickness is an evil, but She insists so that we finally understand: sin is a much greater evil of a completely different order, since it leads souls to eternal ruin! And just as Jesus said to the sick people that He healed, «Go, and sin no more», His Mother wishes us to be much more concerned with eternal salvation than the mere healing of the body: «I have many things to ask You: to heal some sick people and to convert some sinners, etc.» «Some, yes; others, no. They must amend their lives and ask pardon of their sins.» And taking on a sadder expression: «They must no longer offend God, Our Lord, for He is already too much offended!» - SourceI like this too:
“The image of the field hospital is very beautiful. Nonetheless we cannot manipulate the pope by reducing the whole reality of the Church to this image. The Church in itself is not a hospital: the Church is also the house of the Father.” - Cardinal Müller
The Department of Defense has spent millions of dollars in recent years on research aimed at harnessing the power of social media to direct human behavior on a large scale.
[S]maller groups of influential individuals can be used to sway much larger populations, and social media can be manipulated to leverage their influence even further. - Read more.
Hundreds of years of history and tradition disappeared in a matter of seconds. ISIS militants in northern Iraq blew up the Mosque of the Prophet Jonah.
The building guarded his reported burial site, venerated for centuries by both Muslims and Christians alike. But on Thursday, it became the latest casualty in the war ravaged by extremists proclaiming an Islamic State.
Video from local residents captured the aftermath of the mosque's destruction. Entire sections of the structure collapsed. Others remained standing, but clearly damaged.
Another clip making its rounds on social media allegedly shows militants using a hammer to destroy the tombstone of the ancient, sacred site.
In late June, militants captured the city of Mosul, Iraq's second largest. The rebels have targeted Christian and Shia Muslim sites, destroying both mosques and churches. They also drove out the city's large Christian community. - Source
Apple iPhone’s Siri function is saying that July 27, 2014, will be the “Opening [the] Gates of Hades,” or the Greek term for Hell, leading many to question why.
Jose Planas Moreno has brought parishioners flocking back to the Nuestra Señora del Carmen church in Campanilla, a district of Malaga, with his unusual style of worship.
Unlike across the rest of Spain where the Catholic Church has struggled with falling numbers, the priest, who is known as Father Pepe, celebrates mass to a packed congregation with queues regularly forming outside his church.
The 66-year-old curate delights the faithful by dancing the sevillanas – a traditional dance linked to flamenco – in the aisle of the church during mass.
Female worshippers leap from their pews to take a turn dancing with Father Pepe as he hitches up his white cassock, raises his arms above his head and kicks his heels. - Story here.
[T]he autonomous personal conscience sometimes lays claim to a false discernment when it sets private revelation and presumed personal graces against the magisterium. The desire for union with God sometimes leads individuals to attach themselves to extraordinary manifestations of the “spirit,” but in such a way that weakens their attachment to the Church. Thus, Catholics continue to embrace New Age spirituality, or some dubious private revelation, or a personal insight even though they know that their conviction runs contrary to Church teaching or discipline.
The discernment of spirits is so important today because there are many voices competing for our attention, and it is all so easy to assume that that what we hear, or even what we think and say comes from God. - Fr. Geiger
A mysterious ‘do-gooder’ sparked a police investigation after leaving creepy porcelain dolls outside several homes in California.
Spooked families, living in a gated residential community in the city of San Clemente, told police the dolls resembled their daughters.
Orange County detectives investigating the bizarre case made a public appeal for information after the disturbing dolls began appearing on July 16.
They were left on the doorsteps of 11 different families, who all have ten-year-old daughters.
“It's really creepy and disturbing. As a mum with a daughter, it freaks me out," one concerned resident told NBC San Diego.
“Investigators made contact with the female adult who admitted to placing the porcelain dolls on the porch of the various residences in the community,” said the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
“Investigators have concluded that her motivation was out of goodwill and that she intended it as a kind gesture.
“There will be no further investigation of this case.”
Police initially thought the unwanted gifts may have been part of a twisted prank, but it appears the woman was just trying to get rid of her creepy collection.
The woman, who went to the same church as many of the families, admitted she tried to match up the dolls with each of the girls. - Source
Unfortunately, it is not only the progressives who have adopted this individualistic spirit. Even in the name of Tradition, some today speak of a pre- and post-conciliar Church, thus creating a rupture between the past and the present. In this way, they submit everything the magisterium has to say to a test that ultimately sets the Church against itself.I've often said we cannot be holier than the Church - I think Fr. Geiger explains what that means here:
I begin this series on Mysticism and Magisterium with the notion of “thinking with the Church” because discernment is so basic to the spiritual life. For a Catholic, every authentic spirit is characterized by its “ecclesiality,” which means that the Holy Spirit works in and through the Church and always leads to communion with the Church.I think I write in vain - I have no credentials and I'm not a blog many people read, so I am very happy Fr. Geiger is writing this series. It is very much needed, especially for those of us who are confused by so many factions and opinions in Catholic media - especially online. Several of my posts had me searching for authoritative teaching to address the strange notions being generated online through Catholic news portals and blogs. Fr. Geiger sums it up quite succinctly here:
Finally, the autonomous personal conscience sometimes lays claim to a false discernment when it sets private revelation and presumed personal graces against the magisterium. The desire for union with God sometimes leads individuals to attach themselves to extraordinary manifestations of the “spirit,” but in such a way that weakens their attachment to the Church. Thus, Catholics continue to embrace New Age spirituality, or some dubious private revelation, or a personal insight even though they know that their conviction runs contrary to Church teaching or discipline.
"The Church is the solution not the problem."
The discernment of spirits is so important today because there are many voices competing for our attention, and it is all so easy to assume that that what we hear, or even what we think and say comes from God. We need to be careful, especially when we are tempted to think differently than the Church—to disregard or disparage her doctrine or choose a path that sets us at odds with the sacred magisterium. - Spiritual Direction Blog
In many passages of his works, St. Thomas upholds the principle that the faithful can question and admonish Prelates. For example:
“There being an imminent danger for the Faith, Prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects. Thus, St. Paul, who was a subject of St. Peter, questioned him publicly on account of an imminent danger of scandal in a matter of Faith. And, as the Glosa of St. Augustine puts it (Ad Galatas 2,14), ‘St. Peter himself gave the example to those who govern so that if they should stray from the right way, they will not reject a correction as unworthy even if it comes from their subjects’” (Summa Theologiae, Turin/Rome: Marietti, 1948, II-II, q.33, a.4).
St. Paul resisted St. Peter “to his face,” St. Thomas teaches:
“The reprehension was just and useful, and the reason for it was not light: There was a danger for the preservation of evangelical truth. ... The way it took place was appropriate, since it was public and manifest. For this reason, St. Paul writes: ‘I spoke to Cephas,’ that is, Peter, ‘before everyone,’ since the simulation practiced by St. Peter was fraught with danger to everyone. In 1 Tim. 5:20, we read: ‘Admonish those who sin before everyone.’ This should be understood to refer to manifest sins, not hidden ones, since in the latter cases one should proceed according to the rules proper to fraternal correction” (Super Epistulas S. Pauli, Ad Galatas, 2, 11-14, lec. III, Turin/Rome: Marietti, 1953, nn. 83-84). - Source
The problems with the story connecting the institution of the St. Michael prayer and a supposed vision of Leo XIII may be summarized as follows:
• Writings which promote the story give no references to sources.
• The various accounts contradict each other as to where the vision supposedly took place — after Mass at the foot of the altar, or in a conference with cardinals.
• The various accounts are inconsistent about the date of the vision.
• The dates the accounts give for the alleged vision (1880, 1884 and 1888) do not correspond with the date when the St. Michael prayer was actually instituted (1886).
• There appears to be no corroboration for the story in a contemporary account which one would expect to have mentioned the event, had it indeed taken place.
These considerations all tend to support the conclusion Father Bers arrived at in the 1930s: “that the ‘vision’ had been invented in later times for some reason,” and that the story was simply feeding upon itself. - Source
France says it will go ahead with the sale of a warship to Russia despite calls for an arms embargo against the country, highlighting how Europe's strong business ties are hindering its ability to punish Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.Western powers say Russia is supporting the insurgents in eastern Ukraine who allegedly shot down a Malaysian Airliner last week, killing all 298 people on board.European Union foreign ministers met Tuesday to consider more sanctions against Russia but agreed only to impose more asset freezes on individuals, leaving economic relations untouched.Some countries, like Britain, argue the plane crash has raised the stakes and Europe should not go soft on Russia.But other countries are more cautious, mindful of the potential costs of harming business relations. Among other things, Germany imports a third of its oil and natural gas from Russia. France's commercial deals include the delivery of two warships, the biggest ever sale by a NATO country of military equipment to Moscow.German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said an arms embargo on Russia was discussed Tuesday, pushed for by the UK and others, but that EU members only agreed to restrictions on "future contracts" — meaning France would get to go ahead with its sales of warships. - AP
"We are in a world economic system that is not good," Pope Francis said. "A system that in order to survive must make war, as great empires have always done. But since you cannot have a Third World War, you have regional wars. And what does this mean? That arms are made and sold, and in this way the idolatrous economies, the great world economies that sacrifice man at the feet of the idol of money, obviously keep their balance sheets in the black." - CNW
That Mary obtains for us and distributes to us all graces is a certain doctrine, according to what we have just said about the mother of all men. As mother, she is interested in their salvation, prays for them, and obtains for them the graces they receive. - Garrigou-Lagrange
"One should never order one's life according to visions, especially according to the visions of others. In material things we must use common sense, too. We must be careful of mysticism. The devil stands behind the Mother of God: If you let her pass by you will find the devil." - Pere Lamy
(Vatican Radio) “We need more than words now, we need concrete actions, we need the solidarity of Christians worldwide, not to be afraid to talk about this tragedy”, says Archbishop Amel Nona of Mosul speaking to Vatican Radio over the phone from Nineveh province, Northern Iraq. - Read more here.