Feast of the Holy Family."Jesus, Mary and Joseph, living in exile in Egypt to escape the fury of an evil king, are, for all times and all places, the models and protectors of every migrant, alien and refugee of whatever kind who, whether compelled by fear of persecution or by want, is forced to leave his native land, his beloved parents and relatives, his close friends, and to seek a foreign soil." - (From Pope Pius XII, in his apostolic constitution “Exsul Familia”)
Sunday, December 27, 2020
Saturday, December 26, 2020
The Feast of Stephen.
I should write something - especially after the last post. I don't know what to write however. I also don't feel like it.
At one point I stopped really preparing for Christmas. I sent out some cards, but didn't finish. I think a lot of people didn't send cards. Word must have gotten around that Darold died, because he didn't receive any cards. A couple of his friends were my friends too, and they never even acknowledged his death when I sent them notice, much less responded with a Christmas card. That was a good lesson for me - I believed they were my friends - but they were simply being polite. The Imitation of Christ has some things to say about that - which helped me very much. It is better for me. It's a lesson I always need repeating - those who flatter you deceive you. Likewise, it's could to have people recognize our faults and failings, As St. Philip Neri admonished: "He who cannot put up with the loss of his honour, can never make any advance in spiritual things."
There you have it, and I'm quite content to accept my outcast state.
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings. - Sonnet 29
In conclusion, one excellent gift has been the reconnecting with my family, especially my sister and nieces and relatives. For much of my life I thought of friends - many of whom are no longer in touch with me - as family. While my real family felt alienated without understanding why. Our Lady Undoer of Knots took care of that!
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
This is my first Christmas alone since I was a 'pilgrim' living in Boston. This time it is different of course.
Years ago - many years ago, I spent Christmas kind of alone. The year I turned eighteen, I had already left home and was living on my own. Months later, I moved in with my boss, David. He was the display director at the store, and I was certain I had fallen in love with him.
That first Christmas together was anticipated with parties, a department/office party, a party with designers in the apartment complex we lived, and finally a party with his closest gay friends in his apartment. That year, I bought David an expensive gold cigarette lighter, he bought me a Tiffany key chain with my initials engraved on it. I was so touched, because he used the unique initials I always used on my artwork. A monogram with the stem of the T acting as the vertical bar of the N - a lot of people felt the script appeared as TV. Ha! I liked it, and it was the most romantic thing ever. Trouble was, I didn't know how to act in front of his friends, I was so scared to be around older gay men and professional adults - I had no social skills at all. (David was twelve years older.)
He was from Duluth originally, and went home for the holidays - if his mother came to Minneapolis, I had to clear out; whenever he went home, I was alone. All the parties and gift exchange happened before he left.
As I mentioned, the next time I spent Christmas alone would have been while I lived in Boston. After Mass on Christmas Eve, I wandered Beacon Hill, looking into the windows as I passed by apartments and townhomes, admiring the wonderful decorations and families celebrating. It was like a movie.
This year, it's entirely different - perhaps the most contemplative of my life. I know, due to the pandemic, many are alone this year as well - so I have nothing to complain about. Actually, 'symptoms of loneliness and heartache' have never been strange for me - I've learned how to live with such things.
This morning I came across something consoling from Medjugorje. I'm not a follower of the apparitions, but neither am I so concerned about them as many others seem to be. If the Holy See isn't worried, neither am I. That said, and early message is comforting for me this Christmas.
December 21, 2020Anyway, that's a consoling thought. Some people find consolation in the alignment of planets and call it the Christmas star. Whatever works.
Pray a Holy Soul home for Christmas
• Not everyone will be be able to enjoy this Christmas at home with loved ones because of travel restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection. However, on a more positive note the Medjugorje seer Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo said in 1983 Our Lady had informed her that many souls are released from Purgatory on All Saints Day, but most souls are taken into Heaven on Christmas Day.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
O Maternal Refuge, Queen of the universe, Mediatrix of men to God, Refuge of all our hopes, have mercy on us.
“Come, and I will show thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
I was going to write on the issues of the day and the past week, but decided it is unnecessary for me to do so.
Instead I will share something from The Mystical City of God, by Ven M. Maria Agreda, on Our Lady, our refuge - read it quietly and your heart will burn within you.
Monday, September 28, 2020
“Holy Spirit, inspire me. Love of God consume me. Along the true road, lead me. Mary, my good mother, look down upon me. With Jesus, bless me. From all evil, all illusion, all danger, preserve me.”- St. Mary of Jesus Crucified, OCD
Letter includes MN Health Department refutation, resources on ethical vaccination development
Priests should not use homilies to “present medical or scientific speculation,” Archbishop Bernard Hebda wrote in a Sept. 22 letter to Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, responding to a homily Father Robert Altier gave at St. Raphael in Crystal Sept. 6.
UPDATE: Fr. Altier was interviewed here: LifesiteNews Bishop Rebukes Priest. Even a couple of experts defending him say Fr. A got some things wrong, and there is a subtle criticism that Hebda consulted the Minnesota Health Department, because some of their policies contradict Catholic teaching. What can I say?
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Light on blindness pour;
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.
Our Lady of Ransom
I first became acquainted with the devotion to OL of Ransom in 5th grade. My dad ran into some difficulties and was in trouble a lot. I understood Our Lady of Ransom was the patroness of those imprisoned, and had recourse to her. My devotion to her has remained constant, praying in our day for help against Islamic radicals, and so on.
Today, I look to her to delivery the souls in purgatory, especially those closest to me. In fact, the Carthusian cycle of Gregorian Masses for my friend Darold, begins today - her feast day. I may be mistaken, but after the Conventual Mass, the Fathers say their private Mass, and it is usually a Mass of the BVM. The cycle of Masses ends on the feast of OL of Comfort. I'm consoled to think my friend is in the arms of Our Lady.
A brief history of Our Lady of Ransom
To my knowledge, this is the only title of the Virgin or devotion to Our Lady directly related to Islam:
The Blessed Virgin appeared to Saint Peter Nolassco, to his confessor, Raymond of Pennafort, and to the king, and through these three men established a work of the redemption of captives. She desired the establishment of the Mercedarian religious order. (derives from the Spanish word for mercy - merced) Its members would seek to free Christian captives from the Moors and offer themselves, if necessary, as an exchange. The complete name of this order is: Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Ransom of Captives (OdeM).*
The Order was legally constituted at Barcelona by King James of Aragon was established in Spain and later approved by Gregory IX under the name of Our Lady of Mercy. St. Peter was the first superior, with the title of Commander-General; he also filled the office of Ransomer, a title given to the monk sent into the lands subject to the Moors to arrange for the ransom of prisoners.
Requests of Our Lady to St. Peter Nolasco - August 1, 1218:.
The Blessed Virgin Mary:
“Find for Me other men like yourself, an army of brave, generous, unselfish men, and send them into the lands where the children of the Faith are suffering.”
St. Peter Nolasco:
"Who am I that God should honor me like this? And who are you, who knows so well, the secrets of my heart?'
The Blessed Virgin Mary:
"I am Mary, the Mother of God. My son, the Redeemer of the world,
who came to give liberty to the captive, has many people bound in captivity, and wishes the order to be established." - Source
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Some people were upset that the Holy Father met with a group of Italian parents of gay/LGBTQ children. Pope Francis assured them, “God loves your children as they are” and “the church loves your children as they are because they are children of God.”
Why would anyone be upset with that? Because the encounter triggered memories of another encounter, when Pope Francis spoke privately with Juan Carlos Cruz, assuring him he is accepted just as he is, that God made him that way...
Juan Carlos Cruz, the man who said that Pope Francis told him during a recent private meeting that God made him gay and that God loves him the way he is, says that his meeting with the pope is a model of how church leaders should welcome L.G.B.T. Catholics, even if he believes church teaching on homosexuality should change. “He said, ‘Look Juan Carlos, the pope loves you this way. God made you like this and he loves you,’” - America, 05/22/2018
That statement contradicted a lifetime of twisting and squirming on my part - trying to explain how I couldn't be born gay, while attempting to conform to rules regarding language and friendship. Go over my blog archives, and you can read for yourself. So why would the Pope say this - rather than reciting CDF rules and CCC teaching on the unknown genesis of homosexual inclination, while pointing out how disordered and sinful homosexual acts are? Because these parents, along with gay men like Juan Carlos Cruz, as well as Diego Neria Lejarraga, the Spanish transsexual man and his wife, who were received in a private audience with the Pope - have been regarded as outcasts, dissenters, heretics and therefore rejected and condemned - unless they repent. In an interview, the Holy Father - who is against gender ideology and teaching it in schools, explained the encounter with Lejarraga and his wife:
Diego "got married, he changed his civil identity, got married and wrote me a letter saying that for him it would be a consolation to come with his wife, he who was she, but him! I received them: they were happy and in the neighborhood where he lived there was an elderly priest in his 80s, an elderly pastor who left the parish and helped the sisters in the parish. And there was the new (priest). When the new one he would yell from the sidewalk: 'you'll go to hell!' When he (CNA suggests this refers to the new priest but CNS and NCR suggest it refers to the woman) came across the old one, he would say: 'How long has it been since you confessed? Come, come, let's to so that I can confess you and you can receive communion.' Understood?
Life is life and things must be taken as they come. Sin is sin. And tendencies or hormonal imbalances have many problems and we must be careful not to say that everything is the same." - Source
The Holy Father accepts people where they are at, in the moment, in the reality they live. At the end of his interview, discussing the encounter with Diego and his wife, Pope Francis assures the interviewer:
"Life is life and things must be taken as they come. Sin is sin. And tendencies or hormonal imbalances have many problems and we must be careful not to say that everything is the same. Let's go party. No, that no, but in every case I accept it, I accompany it, I study it, I discern it and I integrate it. This is what Jesus would do today! Please don't say: 'the Pope sanctifies transgenders.' Please, eh! Because I see the covers of the papers. Is there any doubt as to what I said? I want to be clear! It's moral problem. It's a human problem and it must be resolved always can be with the mercy of God. - Source
“The Church must always be like God, always going out."
I'm so grateful to the Holy Father, for making the Church more accessible, especially to those who have been told over and over, they aren't welcome. Those who have been told by Catholics, that although we love the sinner, we hate the sin, and you can't be Catholic if you identify as this or that.
Just today, 20 September, the Holy Father continued to speak on going out, to invite, to welcome the outsider, like the landowner in Today's Gospel (who represents God) "who calls everyone and calls always.”
“This means being open to horizons that offer hope to those stationed on the existential peripheries,” the Pope said, people “who have not yet experienced, or who have lost, the strength and light that comes with meeting Christ.”
He added, “The Church must always be like God, always going out. And when the Church is not going out, she gets sick.” Pope Francis said it is better for the Church to be “going out” announcing the Gospel, despite the dangers, than to grow sick by remaining closed in on herself. “God always goes out, because He’s a Father Who loves – and the Church always needs to do the same thing, always going out.” - Pope at Angelus
This is what the Pope does. "This way of acting, said Pope Francis, “is more than just, in the sense that it goes beyond justice and is manifested in Grace.” Adding, "Those who rely on their own merits “find themselves last,” the Pope explained, while “those who humbly entrust themselves to the Father’s mercy, from being last, find themselves first.”"
The Holy Father is not changing Catholic teaching - rather, I think he is making it more accessible and understandable rather than forbidding and intimidating.
“For gay people, we’ve always told ourselves that when the AIDS epidemic was over we’d be fine. Then it was, when we can get married we’ll be fine. Now it’s, when the bullying stops we’ll be fine. We keep waiting for the moment when we feel like we’re not different from other people. But the fact is, we are different. It’s about time we accept that and work with it.” - The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness
LGBTQ persons are different.
Having said all of that, this post is too long. I intended the above only as a preface to another point, discussing an article I came across, The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness, by Michael Hobbs. It was an eyeopener. to read Although not surprising, I found it very helpful as it applies to this discussion on the subject of 'born that way', or 'God made you that way.' Personally, I can accept born that way better. God created us - yet after the fall, though redeemed by Christ, sons by adoption through Baptism, there remain defects - leading to the question of nature or nurture? That can be discerned perhaps - when we understand the reality of our 'fallen nature and fallen nurture.'
Immediately, many raise objections to the thought of born this way, citing all the Church documents and so many scholarly and clinical studies pointing to how that can't be. There is no gay gene, and so on. Contrast that with the experience and self awareness of most of the gay people I have ever met. I'm not here to solve that problem, I just want to point out that human beings are born with all sorts of conditions, physical and mental - so it isn't that far out to assume someone could be gay since birth - or at least have the disposition or temperament to develop same sex attraction. So many people I've known said they can't remember a time when they didn't feel gay - albeit at such an early age they didn't know there was a term for it. Admitting that doesn't mean one is seeking to change Catholic teaching or sanction/sanctify homosexual acts.
On the other hand, many people believe conversion therapy is the answer, to change an unwanted sexual attraction. That may work for some who choose that route, if they are willing to put in the hard work, the psychological testing and so on. Yet conversion therapy is pretty much there to tell the subject they were not born this way. Reparative therapy is there to convince people they can be straight, normal - heal that 'father wound' and all that good stuff. Maybe for some? Not for me. (I have no problem with Catholic teaching - it works for me.)
"My grace is sufficient for you."
That is what Christ told St. Paul. He also told him, “Take courage." I am convinced the Church and the sacraments are sufficient to heal, sanctify and save all who approach in humility and faith. The monastic notion of repentance and conversion of manners is a great remedy. Rather than relegating gay people to therapy to change their sexuality, or insisting they join this group or that group, to use this term or that term of identification, I think the sort of acceptance and love the Holy Father is talking about is more 'holistic' and healing, opening the door to Christ.
I still would like to discuss 'The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness', especially since, despite all the gains and acceptance LGBTQ persons have experienced, many continue to feel that sense of being an 'outsider'. Which suggests to me, that gay people may be born with 'something' which makes us feel so different. Maybe I can discuss that in my writing - because writing helps me think.
“The defining feature of gay men used to be the loneliness of the closet. But now you’ve got millions of gay men who have come out of the closet and they still feel the same isolation.” - The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness
Sunday, September 13, 2020
"The hue of the atmosphere surrounding the place of the apparitions changed to a yellowish gold."
The description of the day at Fatima in 1917, made me think of how the skies on the West Coast are glowing because of the fires, so widespread at this time. No, I'm not connecting the fires to the Fatima apparitions, or the message of Fatima. Many photos and videos simply remind me of supernatural events. For instance, the fire tornadoes remind me of the Book of Exodus and the pillar of fire. Our minds are 'programmed' to see 'signs' which remind us of biblical phenomena. I'm not sure if there is another name for it, but it is similar to pareidolia.
Pareidolia is the tendency for incorrect perception of a stimulus as an object, pattern or meaning known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds, seeing faces in inanimate objects or abstract patterns, or hearing hidden messages in music. - Google
September 13, 1917One month before the great miracle, Our Lady of the Rosary seemed to grant 'signal graces' to those who were at the Cova that day.
“The sun suddenly lost its splendor. The hue of the surrounding atmosphere changed to a yellowish gold. Then a delightful cry went up from the multitude: ‘She comes! Look! There!! There! How beautiful!’”
“A small luminous global cloud was recognized immediately as the footstool of the invisible Lady. It moved in from the East toward the West slowly and majestically. Slowly it descended to rest, hovering above the holm oak, the tree of wonders.”
Something similar happened on August 13 when the children were whisked off to jail while up to 18,000 people waited in the Cova for them. Learning the children were imprisoned, the crowd grew angry but were quickly calmed by heaven. Many described hearing what they thought was an explosion or thunder coming from the cloudless blue sky, and after it, a flash of brilliant light. Then the “sun paled,” the atmosphere turned “a yellowish gold, and a small cloud, most beautiful in its ethereal form, came and hovered over the forlorn looking holm oak…’Look! Look! It is a sign from Our Lady’” the August crowd shouted. Now they again saw the phenomenon.
On September 13, present again, “The kneeling, ecstatic figures of the children were transfigured in a light that seemed to change the spot into a Holy of Holies, filled with the majesty of God.”
Of course, only the three children saw Our Lady. - Joseph Pronechen
The September message:
“Continue to pray the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war. In October Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Dolors [Sorrows] and Our Lady of Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world.” - OL of Fatima. Read more here.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Fr. Marianus Marck.
I first met Fr. Marinus when I stayed at the Charterhouse in Vermont for a month in the Spring of 1976. I was there as an observer, hoping to enter. I've mentioned before that the Prior Raphael Diamond explained to me that a certain tendency in my temperament would be unsuitable for the solitary life. I was kindly told I couldn't enter. Afterwards, I continued my pilgrimage and went to Rome, like my patron, St. Benedict Joseph Labre. I wasn't exactly suited to the life of a mendicant either.
Those who read me know I had a relapse into an old way of life, and left Boston, thinking I would be safe from temptation back in Minneapolis. Then I met my friend Darold. Many know the story now, how I couldn't live in a sexual friendship and still receive the sacraments. My friend Darold said he would rather live celibately - separate beds, no sex, etc., than live alone.
I prayed to St. Joseph for a remedy, and things worked out. That is not to say things were easy, and I kept thinking I could still leave and enter a monastery and Darold would be free. The sadness my restlessness must have caused Darold had to have been painful, if not annoying, yet he never said very much. He allowed me space - what he put up with though - the only thing he would tell me is not to lay my guilt on him, as well as pointing out there was nothing wrong with our friendship. (He really helped me.)
I mention this because I believed the Carthusians would accept me after I had 'successfully' lived two years, chaste and celibate, albeit with Darold. (I was so clueless - after all, it was Darold's support and stability which allowed me to grow up, to live chastely and celibately, and return to the prayer and the sacraments. Together we were able to help others.) That said, I came upon the final rejection letter today while going through papers, which I'll post here, along with the Facebook piece I did in remembrance of Fr. Marianus. (I was surprised to learn, only a week or so ago, that he had died, and even more surprised to find out he was a German Prince.)
Back to Fr. Marianus.
From time to time, around the feast of St. Bruno, I lament that I was not able to enter the Carthusians. I would even try to blame 'them' for not admitting me. I would try to fault them. Over time, and more recently, I discerned that my criticism of monastics and monastic observance, as well as new groups attempting to establish a religious life, was the result of envy. I was envious of those who were able to live a religious life. A section from a letter of St. Bruno always caused me sorrow, little did I know - as I applied it to myself - that it fed the envy and resentment I tried to suppress. I was in denial and went to extremes to justify the critical spirit I harbored when assessing the religious life of monastics. I genuinely think Fr. Marianus' prayers have finally freed me from that vice - at least I hope so.
"Many wish to come into this port, and many make great efforts to do so, yet do not achieve it. Indeed many, after reaching it, have been thrust out, since it was not granted to them from above.
Therefore, my brothers, you should consider it certain and well established that whoever partakes of this desirable good, should he in any way lose it, will grieve to his death, if he has any concern for the salvation of his soul." -Letters of St. Bruno. Office of Readings.
For those unfamiliar with Roman Catholic tradition and devotion...
A feast originally celebrated on the first Sunday after the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorating the triumph of the Holy Rosary over militant Islam.
Permission to celebrate the feast was given to various religious orders in a prudent manner as has been the custom throughout Church history regarding feast-days, their dates, offices, liturgical expression, etc. However, this Feast of the Holy Name of Mary would one day be joyfully extended to the Universal Church, and this on account of rather dramatic circumstances involving one of Poland's great military heroes, John Sobieski [1629-1696].
While acting as field-marshal under King John Casimir, Sobieski had raised a force of 8,000 men and enough provisions to withstand a siege of Cossacks and Tartars, who were forced to retire unsuccessfully and at a loss. In 1672, under the reign of Michael Wisniowiecki, Sobieski engaged and defeated the Turkish army, who lost 20,000 men at Chocim.
'When King Michael died, Sobieski, a beloved hero at that point, was crowned King of Poland. But, even before his coronation could take place, he would again engage and drive back the Turkish hordes in separate battles including the raising of the siege at Trembowla. Once crowned, he advanced to the Ruthenian provinces, where, having too few soldiers to attack the Turks, who outnumbered his men ten to one, he literally wore out the enemy, garrisoning his troops at Zurawno. Because of this heroic effort, he was able to regain, by treaty, a good portion of the Ukraine.
With both Turks and Poles weary from battle, peace reigned for a time . . . until the Turks set their sights on Austria, setting out through Hungary with an army of approximately 300,000 men. Fleeing from Austria, Emperor Leopold asked for Sobieski's assistance, a plea which was seconded by the Papal Nuncio. In July 1683, the Grand Vizier Kara Mustapha had reached Vienna and laid siege to the city, which was being defended by only 15,000 men. Sobieski set out for Vienna in August, his forces marching behind the banner of the Blessed Virgin. Passing by the Sanctuary of Mary in Czestochowa, they implored Our Lady's help and blessing. Writing centuries later to the bishops of Poland, Pope Pius XII recalled the supplications of Sobieski to Mary at the Sanctuary on Jasna Gora [i.e., "Bright Hill"], the site of the Shrine.
Battle was engaged before the walls of Vienna on September 12, 1683, with Sobieski seemingly put to flight by "the fierce Turkish forces. However, this retreat was a minor setback only. The Hussars renewed their assault and charged the Turks, this time sending the enemy into a retreat. The combat raged on, until Sobieski finally stormed the enemy camp. The Turkish forces were routed, Vienna was saved, and Sobieski sent the "Standard of the Prophet" to Pope Innocent XI along with the good news. In a letter to the Pontiff, Sobieski summed up his victory in these words: Veni, vidi, Deus vicit -----"I came, I saw, God conquered!" To commemorate this glorious victory, and render thanksgiving to God and honor to Our Lady for their solicitude in the struggle, Pope Innocent XI extended "The Feast of the Holy Name of Mary" to the Universal Church. Although the feast was originally celebrated on the Sunday after the Nativity of Mary, Pope St. Pius X [+1914] decreed that it be celebrated on September 12, in honor of the victory of the Catholic forces under John Sobieski.
The history of this feast reminds us in some ways of that of "Our Lady of the Rosary," which was instituted to celebrate and commemorate the victory of the Catholic forces over the Turkish navy at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571: "And thus Christ's faithful warriors, prepared to sacrifice their life and blood for the welfare of their Faith and their country, proceeded undauntedly to meet their foe near the Gulf of Corinth; while those who were unable to join them formed a band of pious supplicants, who called on Mary and, as one, saluted Her again and again in the words of the Rosary, imploring Her to grant victory to their companions engaged in battle. Our sovereign Lady did grant Her aid." [Pope Leo XIII, Supremi Apostolatus, 1883] - Source
Interestingly, Blessed Pope John Paul II restored the feast of the Holy Name of Mary one year after the events of 9/11 in 2002.
Monday, September 07, 2020
Sunday, September 06, 2020
September 6: Archangel Michael's miracle at Chonae.
13When the dragon saw that it had been thrown down to the earth, it pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.14But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle,* so that she could fly to her place in the desert, where, far from the serpent, she was taken care of for a year, two years, and a half-year.15The serpent,* however, spewed a torrent of water out of his mouth after the woman to sweep her away with the current.16But the earth helped the woman and opened its mouth and swallowed the flood that the dragon spewed out of its mouth.17Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus." - USCCB
"In Phrygia, not far from the city of Hieropolis, in a place called Cheretopos, there was a church named for the Archangel Michael, built over a miraculous spring.At this church of the holy Chief Commander Michael, a certain pious man by the name of Archippus served for sixty years as church custodian. By his preaching and by the example of his saintly life he brought many pagans to faith in Christ. With the general malice of that time towards Christians, and especially against Archippus, the pagans thought to destroy the church in order to prevent people from coming to that holy place of healing, and at the same time kill Archippus.Toward this end they made a confluence of the Lykokaperos and Kufos Rivers and directed its combined flow against the church. Saint Archippus prayed fervently to the Chief Commander Michael to ward off the danger. Through his prayer the Archangel Michael appeared at the temple, and with a blow of his staff, opened a wide fissure in a rock and commanded the rushing torrents of water to flow into it. The temple remained unharmed. Seeing such an awesome miracle, the pagans fled in terror. Archippus and the Christians gathered in church glorified God and gave thanks to the holy Archangel Michael for the help. The place where the rivers plunged into the fissure received the name “Chonae”, which means “plunging.” - OCA
Prayer to St. Michael.
Monday, August 31, 2020
A friend of mine posted a story of how she was attracted back to the Church, in and through the example of Corrie ten Boom, the 'tramp for the Lord' as she referred to herself. Corrie and Betsy ten Boom are special patron saints of mine, albeit they were not Catholic - they are united to the Church in and through a sort of “ecumenism of blood” - in my humble opinion.
After reading a couple of unsatisfactory books by Catholics, the author of the blog post Inspired by Corrie ten Boom, shares how Corrie's book became for her an inspiration to deepen her faith as 'she returned to the Church'. I'll let her tell it:
"I also came across the books of Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch woman who had been active in the resistance during World War II. She belonged to the Christian Reformed church but I was intrigued by the blurb on her book, The Hiding Place, as I was very interested in the experiences of those who had lived through the war, especially in Holland.
I read the entire book by the former Catholic priest. I was not impressed with his story and his abandonment of his vows. I read part of the book by the other Catholic author, whose name I am purposely withholding. Even with my lack of Catholic knowledge and experience, I could recognize the falsehoods he was perpetrating. I was disgusted.
The book by Corrie ten Boom was the complete opposite. It completely captivated me in my search for truth. She wrote about Jesus like he was her personal friend, which he was. He led her in her daily decisions and how she treated people. The bible was not a list of optional suggestions and platitudes, it was her life. She lived and breathed the word of God. I could trust her. She kept her eyes on Jesus, I needed to do the same." - Read the rest here.
Sunday, August 30, 2020
How We Are Known
"The divine knowledge of a soul is always a merciful knowledge. We can never be in a true relationship with God until we discover that we are only known mercifully. Not just loved with intermittent mercy after sinning and repenting once again, but that we cannot be looked at, that we cannot be known by God or drawn to him except as a soul in need, poor and destitute, incapable of avoiding collapse and ruin without divine intervention.
A profound mercy, in other words, permeates God’s vision of our soul. On our part, faithfulness to this mercy is to keep an awareness of the divine gaze upon our soul. It is to know ourselves as known by God in mercy. The soul conscious of mercy enters into prayer in poverty and need, but it also knows God’s presence as a gaze of love upon its poverty. And its confidence in mercy becomes an implicit wonder and admiration directed toward God’s attraction for the poverty at the heart of our soul."
- Father Donald Haggerty
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
O Mary, by thy Holy and Immaculate Conception!
Many, many thanks to Our Lady today for the most extraordinary favors, she has truly shown herself as our Mother. Blessed be the Holy and Immaculate Conception.V. As the lily among the thorns,