Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Fedit Sea in Which They Swim

The Fetid Sea in Which They Swim

The gaying of the Church is perhaps the most diabolical attack the Devil has ever launched against the Catholic Faith.
First, there is the massive damage done to the Church: the thousands of victims, the hundreds of millions in payouts, the bankruptcy of dioceses, and the cratering of ecclesial credibility.
And yet, in our society is there a more sympathetic group than gays? Is there a more favored group? So sympathetic are they, so eager are we to cover their sins and cower before them, that when the long Lent came and more than 80 percent of the victims were young men, we were eager to claim these homosexual assaults weren’t homosexual at all but pedophile, which we were quickly told has nothing to do with homosexuality.
Then consider that in order for the Church to regain her moral authority, in order to fight this terrible scourge, made even worse by recent revelations, the Church must turn on this most favored group and receive even more hatred and scorn for it.
Cardinal McCarrick’s crimes are at least something of a gift since no one can claim this was merely pedophilia. It was homosexual predation like practically all the others.
If you wonder how a Prince of the Church spent decades sexually assaulting boys and young men not only with impunity but with high honors and acclaim, look no further than this gaying of the Church. An authority on this is one Joseph Sciambra who has painstakingly chronicled this fetid sea in which the likes of Cardinal McCarrick swim.
When he was just beginning his gay life many years ago, Sciambra went to Catholic priests who did not try to dissuade him but rather confirmed him in his disordered desires. This helped to set Sciambra on a years-long path of sexual degradation. Nothing has changed since those days. In fact, according to Sciambra, it has gotten worse. There are now priests openly promoting the gay lifestyle, usually under the guise of gay-friendly outreach at the parish level.
Sciambra ranks the gay-friendliest dioceses: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Newark, Atlanta, Lexington, and Memphis. He gives “dishonorable mention” to Baltimore, Boston, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle.
A few months ago, Sciambra reported on a drag performer named Jay Malsky who for the past five years has run the homo/trans ministry at St. Francis de Sales Church in New York City. Sciambra posted a picture of the guy, wearing red sparkly shoes, handing out Communion during Mass. Sciambra ran a second picture of him all dolled up.
Sciambra quotes Malsky’s Facebook timeline that featured a crude drawing of an erect penis, “This is my boyfriend’s fat di*k. Ever since I was in middle school, kids teased me about loving fat di*k but I’m like whatever what I do with these fat di*ks is my biz not yours. #bodypositive #sexpositive.”
Everyone knows.
Then there is the homo/trans ministry called “Out at St. Paul,” which is located at the Paulist Father’s motherhouse, St. Paul the Apostle Parish in New York City. Sciambra reports this “ministry” hosted its “Winter Social” at a notorious gay bar called Rise in Hell’s Kitchen that is regularly listed as being among the best gay bars in New York and hosts “elaborate weekly drag shows” where the bartenders “wear nothing except jock-straps.” In March of last year, this same group held their “Spring Social” at a bar called “Bottom’s Up,” and they don’t mean their glasses.
Yet another homo/trans outreach, this one located at St. Francis of Assisi Church near Penn Station in New York, hosted its Mardi Gras party at Rise.
Jesuit priest James Martin has spoken many times at “Out at St. Paul” events and considers it an example of a “vibrant” homo/trans outreach.
Sciambra says there are several gay-friendly parishes in New York including my old parish, Blessed Sacrament on the Upper West Side. Blessed Sacrament hosted a Halloween dance party that featured heretical gay speakers including Carl Siciliano of the Ali Forney Center who says the Catechism is “homophobic” and who has spoken in favor of homosexual sex acts. The homo/trans ministry at Blessed Sacrament is headed by a man named John Gasdaska who “married” his boyfriend two years ago.
Everyone knows.
Scimabra reported on a homo/trans ministry leader named John Huân Vû in San Jose, California whose as an LGBT Ministry Leader, Young Adult Ministry Leader, Mass Coordinator, Eucharistic Minister, and Lector at St. Julie Billart Catholic Church. Vû married his boyfriend, Greg Ripa, in 2014. Vû also appeared in the movie “Owning Your Faith” produced by the gay-enthusiastic St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York.
Everyone knows.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta has allowed the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to march in the upcoming “Pride” parade that will inevitably feature naked or near-naked men feigning anal and oral sex. The Shrine also hosts a regular potluck dinner for homo/trans couples.
These stories can be told from coast to coast, and from border to border, and it has all happened with the express support and even encouragement of pastors and bishops. Think back to when Cardinal McCarrick started his craven life of crime. There were very few, if any, gay-affirming parishes. Maybe in San Francisco. However, even there they were probably sotto voce. These days, they shout it from the rooftops. How much easier it is now for gay priests and bishops to practice their predilections. How much easier it is now to ensnare young men into such a life.
There is talk of investigations. I suggest they be run only by laymen and only by laymen with no connections to the hierarchical Church. The investigations must be staffed by professional investigators, former FBI agents, or former detectives.
They must be ruthless and fearless. They must cast a wide net. Any pastor of a gay-affirming parish must be scrutinized, as well as any bishop who allows such places in his diocese. This fetid sea, i.e.,these places, did not come about by accident. They are prima facie evidence not of building bridges, but of the kind of moral corruption that has brought us to this moment.
What we need is a New Inquisition. Nothing less will do. Souls hang in the balance.
Editor’s note: Pictured above is a rainbow flag held by “gay pride” marchers walking passed the York Cathedral on June 9, 2018 in England. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Adventure of Obedience

The Adventure of Obedience

God writes the best adventures. From Abraham to the Apostles, God draws unsuspecting men out of their routines and sets them on unexpected journeys. Moses was tending his father-in-law’s flock, but after meeting a burning bush, he eventually found himself leading a whole nation out of slavery. Peter was fishing in a remote corner of the world, but after encountering an exceptional man, he ended his life in Rome, leading God’s people.
These journeys were entirely unexpected, and often undesired, at least at first. Moses said he wasn’t eloquent enough, and Jeremiah objected that he was too young. In each case, God answered their objection and redoubled his offer. He still respected their freedom. They had to take the first step willingly. Thus, the secret ingredient of these adventures was obedience. Their adventures only began when they obeyed, leaving their routine and following God.
Without obedience, there’s no adventure. The Gospel records various would-be followers of Jesus. They try to write their own adventures, but without obedience, their attempts fail. In one case, a man tells Jesus: “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” But Jesus answers: “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Lk 9:61ff.). Or remember the rich man, who refused the adventure of poverty, choosing rather to depart in sadness.
To us, this connection between adventure and obedience may seem a bit strange. Our culture prizes the former and disdains the latter. Yet the real thrill in an adventure is the unplanned moment or the unscripted wrinkle, even if it is a hardship that must be overcome or simply endured. If we want a truly thrilling adventure, we cannot plan it ourselves. Another author must take up the pen. The better the author, the better the adventure.
What does this look like in our lives? We probably won’t encounter burning bushes or receive angelic visitors. Rather, God often speaks to us in more subtle ways. Sometimes it’s the exceptional moment that inspires us. Or perhaps it’s the everyday obedience to a parent or a spouse, or the obedience in accepting one’s personality or even one’s body, with their limits and weaknesses. With due prudence—and sometimes a helpful friend or spiritual director—we can discern God’s hand in these circumstances.
Obedience doesn’t always feel like an adventure. For the most part, it’s only in the rearview mirror that we glimpse how far God has brought us and the wonders he has done. Remembering these wonders prepares us for the daily adventure of obedience.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Dominicana and is reprinted here with kind permission. 
Br. Joseph Martin Hagan, O.P.


Br. Joseph Martin Hagan graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2009. The following year, he spent trekking around Ireland, serving with N.E.T. Ministries. Then, he returned to Notre Dame's Echo program and completed an M.A. in theology, while serving in the Diocese of Wilmington, DE. Br. Joseph entered the Order of Preachers in 2012.

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For the “Sake of the Church”

For the “Sake of the Church”

A prediction: The McCarrick revelations will turn out to be a good thing. How so? Well, a part of the priest sex-abuse fairy tale is the cover-up.  We know this – and that the cover-up always magnifies the crime.
When a good priest has discovered the homosexual sins of a bad priest (let alone of a bishop), and if that good priest has gone to his pastor or to a bishop (let alone an archbishop), it’s likely that he will hear a version of this:
Thank you, Father. We must do something about this, and we will! But, for the sake of the Church, you must tell no one else. The media will pounce on such a story to discredit Catholicism itself. You’re brave to come forward. But I wouldn’t want you to risk your career by becoming the focus of an ongoing and sensational investigation.
That’s a high hurdle to jump in a Church that values hierarchy and discipline. But my prediction is that a great many priests who know of homosexual (and instances, too, of heterosexual) sins by priests (let alone bishops) will now begin to come forward.
I hope they will – every last one of them. Because the drip, drip, drip of scandal is really hurting the Church. If there’s a levee that needs bursting, we should welcome that: a torrent to cleanse the swamp.
Let the flood come: of resignations and laicizations – perhaps hundreds of them. It will be destabilizing, and as a conservative I shudder at the prospect. But the miasma is now intolerable. The stench of suspicion is falling on every bishop, if not also every priest.
It must also be recognized that clergy engaging in sex-abuse is just a part of the problem. The 2004 John Jay College of Criminal Justice report to the USCCB [2] contains some good data on the crisis. But its purview was limited to the abuse of kids, 17 and under. No research was done about the sexual escapades of priests with men, 18 and older.
Those data would likely reveal a much, much larger scandal – one that would explode a key conclusion of the John Jay researchers as well as the Spotlight team at the Boston Globe and the likes of Fr. James Martin, S.J., namely that the scandals “have nothing whatsoever to do with homosexuality.” This simply cannot be true.
I’ll now tell a tale I’ve alluded to before at TCT. But first I’ll repeat what I’ve said to close friends, some of whom contribute to this website. Had I known in 1973 when I was about to enter the Catholic Church what we all know now about the extent of predatory homosexuality in the priesthood and the numbers of, by definition, sinful homosexual encounters among priests, boys, teens, and men, I would not have become Catholic. Thank God I didn’t know, because – despite these scandals – I cannot imagine any other spiritual home.

Former Vatican official Krzysztof Charamsa “came out” and was fired and defrocked

So . . .
Shortly after I made my profession of faith (I can’t recall the season because it was in California), I came home late from work and missed the 5 PM Mass at the church I attended. The celebrant, shaking hands outside, told me there was a 6 PM at a church a few miles away, so I drove there.
At the end of that Mass, a priest approached me in the parking lot. He said he’d never seen me at Mass before. I explained, and he said:
“I want to ask you something, but I don’t want to shake your faith.”
“How would you do that?”
“It’s something private.”
I held up my hands: Huh?
Short story shorter, he said he wanted to have sex with me.
“You’re under a vow of chastity,” I said.
“No, no. You’re a new Catholic. My vow is celibacy – not to marry – not chastity, yes?”
I went on to my car.
A few months later, back home in Ohio where I grew up, I went again to an evening Mass, and as I was receiving Communion, the priest whispered: “Come see me in the sacristy, okay?”
I’m embarrassed to admit the alarm bells didn’t go off. This guy was subtler. He asked if I’d come with him to say the blessing before a high-school basketball game a few days on.
At the end of the first quarter, he said, “Thanks for the company. I owe you a drink.” So we drove to a bar I’d never seen or heard of in the middle of downtown Columbus. When we got out of the car, he opened the trunk, took off his clerical collar, and put on a jacket that matched exactly the one I was wearing.
I got that sinking feeling. And, yes, the bar was a gay hangout.
“What’ll you have?” he asked.
“Any old beer,” I said, and he went to fetch it.
The bar was five miles from where I lived. I quickly exited, jogged a couple of blocks, and then walked the rest of the way home.
Then I visited a seminary, still considering a vocation to the priesthood. (I’d also visited another seminary and two monasteries.) The vocations director took me to dinner, and it happened again. I won’t repeat now what I said to him then.
At this point, I’d been a Roman Catholic for less than six months. The upshot was: I steered clear of priests for the next fifteen years, pretty much until I met Fathers Neuhaus, Rutler, and Schall.
This anecdotal evidence proves nothing. And I would qualify the meme in L’Affaire McCarrick that, “Everybody knew.” Lots did, but most people had no clue. Unless you were party to the rumor mill, you knew nothing about it.
But I’m not the only adult who was “hit on” by priests. I’m probably not the only guy to whom it happened thrice.
Let’s drain the swamp – for the sake of the Church.
Brad Miner is senior editor of The Catholic Thing, senior fellow of the Faith & Reason Institute, and Board Secretary of Aid to the Church In Need USA. He is a former Literary Editor of National Review. His new book, Sons of St. Patrick, written with George J. Marlin, is now on sale. The Compleat Gentleman, is available on audio.

Friday, July 27, 2018

LGBT-ism versus Christianity

LGBT-ism versus Christianity

In the old days you had to be rather literate if you wished to be an anti-Christian.  That is, you had to read a few books.  You had to be able to follow an argument.  Two centuries ago you would read Voltaire or Tom Paine.  And in the late 1800s you’d read Herbert Spencer or Thomas Henry Huxley. And in the first half of the 20th century you would read Freud or Bertrand Russell or John Dewey. (Dewey never explicitly attacked Christianity.  He simply took it for granted that we are already living in a post-Christian world.)

Since then, however, most people don’t have much of an appetite for reading theoretical attacks on Christianity, the anti-Christianity population of the United States was never more than a relatively small thing.  This is not to say that the majority of people who claimed to be Christians were enthusiastic in their Christianity.  No, many were indifferent.  But being indifferent is one thing.  Being opposed is something else.

When about three-fifths of the 20thcentury had passed, anti-Christianity in the 
United States suddenly expanded tremendously, especially among the younger generation.  America went through a great cultural revolution in the 1960s, and perhaps the most important subdivision of that revolution was the so-called sexual revolution.

All of a sudden, almost overnight it seemed, rules of sexual morality that had been virtually unquestioned for centuries were tossed out the window.  Premarital sex was okay, casual sex was okay, unmarried cohabitation was okay, out-of-wedlock motherhood was okay, abortion was okay, divorce for whimsical reasons was okay, and soon homosexuality was okay too.

I don’t mean that these things had not happened before.  They had been happening from time immemorial.  But when they happened prior to the 
revolution almost everybody said, “These things are not right.”  Even the people who did these things agreed.  They said, “What I’m doing is naughty, but I rather like doing it, so I’ll do it anyway.”  The rules were violated, but they weren’t rejected.

In the sexual revolution, the rules were rejected.  Young people said, “My parents think this is wrong, but they are mistaken. It is not wrong at all.  Just the opposite.  When I violate Christian rules of sexual morality, I am giving proof that I am brave and free and enlightened.”
now-rejected rules of Christian sexual morality were not simply incidental or ornamental features of Christianity.  No, they lay near the very heart of the religion. Therefore, whoever rejected Christian sexual morality also rejected Christianity itself.

And so, thanks to the sexual revolution, you could join the crusade against Christianity without having to read any books. All you had to do was go to bed with your girlfriend or boyfriend, avoid having a guilty conscience about this, and then congratulate yourself for having risen above ancient prejudices. Any idiot could do this. Anti-Christianity, which had never been more than a minority persuasion, was suddenly a majority persuasion.

Of course, many nominal Christians denied what I have just asserted, that an embrace of the morality (or immorality if you prefer) of sexual freedom entails a rejection of Christianity.  To this day liberal Protestantism continues to deny it. It winks at a wide variety of sexual sins; it condones abortion; it ordains openly gay or lesbian ministers.

And while it does all this, it asserts that Jesus (that amiable Palestinian rabbi from the first century CE) would approve. This is of course absurd.  Liberal Protestantism is pursuing a course of self-destruction, a course of institutional suicide.

If the sexual revolution has been the most effective weapon against Christianity, the homosexualist movement (nowadays usually called the LGBT movement) has been the most important weapon in the sexual revolution.  At first glance this seems awfully strange, since not many people wish to be free to engage in homosexual or bisexual activity, and fewer still wish to alter their gender. So why has the LGBT movement been effective – and it has been very effective – in persuading Christians that Christianity has been wrong for centuries in condemning homosexual sodomy?

For two reasons.  First, the LGBT movement has for many years now been absolutely brilliant at the art of propaganda.  It has dominated the three “command posts” (if I may call them that) of American popular culture – the news media, the entertainment industry, and our best colleges and universities.  For decades it has used these institutions to spread the word that “gay is good” and that homosexuals are “born that way” and that if you’re of a different opinion you’re a hater.  More recently, and very suddenly, it has persuaded much of the nation that there is no necessary connection between one’s biological sex (male or female) and one’s gender identity (male, female, and God only knows what else).

Second, it has utilized a great Christian moral principle, namely love of neighbor, to destroy Christianity.  True Christians will abstain from causing pain to their homosexual or transgender neighbors.  But you cause grievous pain to the feelings of these neighbors whenever you affirm that humans come in two sexes, male and female, and whenever you adhere to the ancient Christian teaching on sodomy.  For a Christian to approve, for instance, of St. Paul’s words against homosexuality found in the opening chapter of his Letter to the Romans, is tantamount to telling gays and lesbians that they are worthless human beings.
“But I’m telling you no such thing,” replies the Christian.
“You are a fake Christian,” answers the LGBT propagandist.  “For you are doing precisely that.”
It used to be that homosexuality was “the love that dare not speak its name.”  Today the Christian view of homosexuality is the censure that dare not utter itself.

And so liberal Protestant churches celebrate what used to be a great sin, while liberal Catholics, many of them priests and bishops, maintain a discreet silence, never openly approving of sodomy, but never openly disapproving either.


Friday, July 20, 2018

Is Chicken Really A Food?

Hippocrates TV

Is Chicken Really A Food?

Learn from Brian Clement the reasons why chicken and poultry in general should not be a staple in your diet (or even in your diet at all). WATCH......

Growing & Sprouting Living Foods

Growing & Sprouting Living Foods

What’s all the fuss about “raw vegan” these days? Why should food be living?

Medicinally and nutritionally, sprouts have a long history as a “health food.” Sprouts are 10 to 30 times more nutritious than the best vegetables because they are baby plants in their prime. At this stage of their growth they have the greatest concentration of nutrients than at any other point in their life. Sprouts are highly digestible and release their nutrients easily due to their delicate cell walls and abundance of enzymes.

When you apply water to seeds, they come to life. By the natural process of transmutation, the vitamin, mineral, enzyme, phytonutrient, and amino acid (protein) content of germinated (sprouted) foods skyrocket! This phenomenon is most pronounced during the first twelve days of growth. This makes sprouts a true “super food.” They are also biogenic and alive. Biogenic foods are foods that create new life when planted. Sprouts are alive and this life-force energy is capable of transferring their life energy to your body. Germination releases dormant vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that make them, on average, ten to thirty times more nutritious than even the best raw, organically grown vegetables. The enzyme content in sprouts is up to 100 times higher than raw vegetables. Certain B vitamins increase 1200% during the germination process. Because of this super concentration of natural enzymes, sprouts are more easily digestible and the nutrients are more bio-available. Full of antioxidants and a full profile of enzymes, vitamins and minerals, sprouts make the perfect living food.

Because sprouts also contain an abundance of highly active antioxidants that prevent DNA destruction that protect us from the ongoing effects of aging and cellular breakdown, recent research shows they can also have an important curative ability, as well.

Sprouts like alfalfa, radish, broccoli, clover and mung bean contain concentrated amounts of phytochemicals that can protect against disease. Johns Hopkins found that broccoli sprouts contain a substance called sulforaphane, a compound that helps mobilize the body’s natural cancer fighting resources and reduces risk of developing cancer. In fact, their research determined that broccoli sprouts are the most powerful anti-cancer substance ever discovered – either natural or man-made. Sprouts also contain a high source of fiber, are easily digestible and contain a high concentration of enzymes facilitating the digestive process. Many sprouts also contain plant estrogens, which have been shown to help increase bone formation and density, prevent bone breakdown or osteoporosis, and can be helpful in controlling hot flashes, menopause, PMS symptoms and fibrocystic breast tumors.

Likewise, studies on canavanine – an amino acid found in alfalfa – have shown that it fights certain types of cancers, including pancreatic, colon and leukemia cancers. Alfalfa sprouts are also a good source of another compound, saponins. Saponins lower the bad cholesterol and fat but not the good HDL fats, and also stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of natural killer cells such as T- lymphocytes and interferon. Here’s the most important part: the saponin content of alfalfa sprouts is more than 400% over that of an un-sprouted seed.

Praying & Learning With the Angels

Praying & Learning With the Angels

Praying & Learning With the Angels
Studying the nature of the spiritual beings can help us to purify the aspect of our nature that corresponds to theirs: the soul. The soul is usually thought of as having three faculties: (1) memory, the sum total of the experiences of our lives with which we construct our identity; (2) intellect or mind, by which we reason and understand and grow in knowledge; and (3) will, by which we love and choose what is good and true and beautiful. These spiritual faculties are “who we are” after we die; when we come into the Lord’s presence for the particular judgment, they are flooded with His light. When we enter Paradise, we experience the Beatific Vision and the Communion of Saints through them.

Here on earth, we can be attracted to and choose what is sinful because our intellect is clouded and our will is weak. As part of the spiritual life, we must progress in purifying our memory, our will, and our intellect so that Christ may reign in us, ruling all these powers of our soul. That is how we become holy.

The angels can help us in this task by leading us to and teaching us about prayer and adoration. Further, they lead us to see comprehensively God’s plan for us. The example and prayers of the angels can help us to cease cultivating the memory of past sins and nursing past hurts; to direct our mind to the truth of God; and to strengthen our will so that we might choose what is good and right day after day.
Cardinal Newman points out the difference between the way human beings and angels think and understand. This is his description of human learning:
We know, not by a direct and simple vision, not at a glance, but, as it were, by piecemeal and accumulation, by a mental process, by going round an object, by the comparison, the combination, the mutual correction, the continual adaptation, of many partial notions, by the employment, concentration, and joint action of many faculties and exercises of mind.

This article is from His Angels at Our Side. Click image to preview other chapters.
Angels don’t do any of these things. An angel’s intellectual knowledge starts about where ours leaves off. His knowledge of the world is part of his very nature; it is innate and total. He starts off with the complete picture that you and I, with time and hard work, have to piece together. The turn-of-the-century theologian Cardinal Alexis-Henri-Marie Lépicier wrote this about the angelic intellect:
Although an angel’s intellect is not his own substance, just as our intellects are not our own substances, yet he possesses such penetration, that he is able, by a single glance, to take in the whole field of science lying open to his perception, just as we, at a glance, can take in the entire field of vision lying exposed to our view.
Now, angels do grow in knowledge because they have participated in the history of salvation and in the revelation of Christ. As Christ has progressively disclosed Himself through the course of salvation history, the angels, too, have added to their understanding and experience of God. We might say, too, that an angel grows in knowledge and understanding through his ministry on our behalf. As an angel accompanies a man or woman as guardian and sees how the grace of God grows in that person, and how he or she experiences fulfillment through the love of God and the life of the sacraments, the angel comes to know the ways of God in a new and powerful way.

And what does that knowledge serve in the angels? What is its purpose? Well, it must be for the increase of their love and adoration because, as we have said, the angels were created for adoration. They constantly behold the face of God in Heaven (Matt. 18:10). They live to proclaim His glory. Their entire being, all of their activities, and all that they experience in their relationship with us contributes to this praise and magnifies in them a happiness that is beyond the comprehension of anyone who has not experienced it.

Even while they are watching over us, even while they are de­claring their dominion over all creation as servants of the Lord, they are at the same time gazing on the face of God in Heaven. It is this loving and adoring union with God that is the source, not only of their praise, but also of all the help and clarity they offer to us — that is, the grace they communicate to us that flows from God Himself.

Praying with the Angels

If we want to benefit from the companionship and guardianship of the angels — if we want our minds, our hearts, and our memories to be purified and sanctified — we must look to the angelic way of adoration. Remember: Mankind, too, was created to adore and to love God above all else. We can adore Him here with these bodies on this earth, but we can view Him only with the eyes of faith; as St. Paul wrote, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12). Even so, our worship is, by the grace of God, true and good and worthy.

The angels, though, can amplify our praise by reflecting it directly to God, “face to face.” This is what we call upon them to do in every Mass when we pray the Gloria, adapted from the angelic praise the Shepherds heard on Christmas night and found again in the book of Revelation: “Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever!” (Rev. 7:12).

It is precisely because the angels never turn their faces from the Lord that they can carry out His missions for them on earth. In the same way, if we want to grow in the spiritual life; if we want to become holy; if we want to be divinized, as the Fathers of the Church describe the life of grace, then we should ask the angels to help us never to turn our faces away from the face of God and to be mindful of Him always and in everything, just as they are. In loving our neighbor, we love God; in loving our God, we learn to love our neighbor. Let us ask the angels, therefore, for three gifts: First, to pray always; second, never to withdraw our face from the face of God; and third, to live, to act, to move, and to choose always in the presence of God. Whenever we pray the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy), we can remember these three angelic characteristics and order our prayer of petition in union with their praise.

We learn how to pray always by remaining united to the will of God, by asking that the Lord’s will be done in us and through us in our every action. One way to make this possible is to offer up short prayers throughout the day. Every time we finish something — whether it’s writing a work memo, finishing class preparations, correcting a law brief, washing the dishes, or changing a diaper — we can offer up our efforts to the Lord with a little prayer: “For the love of You, my God.” Or: “Jesus, I offer You this work for Your glory and that I may be transformed and changed.” And when we have this spirit of prayer, addressing the Lord with little aspirations throughout the day, we will also learn to offer up to the Lord the crosses and the hardships of daily life.

One of the most powerful and thought-provoking prayers that we can say is the very simple, “Jesus, I want what You want for me.” It is a prayer that little children can learn in just a moment and that we can pray until the very last moment of our lives. To say these words means that we believe and trust that Jesus not only wills what is the best for us but that He knows better than we do what is best for us. It is a prayer that expresses dogmatic faith and personal loving trust.

Of course, in a very real sense it is no different from repeating the words of the Our Father, “Thy will be done,” or the Blessed Mother’s reply to St. Gabriel, “Behold the handmaid (or, for a man, servant) of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word.” However, sometimes we need to take the words of Scripture or the formal prayers of others and make them our own by repeating them in simple, short, and direct language that is adapted to our needs and our stage in the spiritual life. Even the saints did this; for example, one holy Italian priest and famous spiritual writer, Father Dolindo Ruotolo (1882–1970), used to say in moments of anxiety or frustration, “O Jesus, I surrender myself to you; take care of everything!”

“I want” is an expression that we hear our children say constantly; but if we are honest, it is even more often repeated, even if silently or subtly, by adults. We grown-ups also mistake wants for needs and are thus drawn to things that may satisfy us for a moment but soon leave us empty and hurting. Overcoming our selfishness, bending our pride, submitting our will to that of another out of love — these are lessons that we must learn and live in our family life, in our human loves, and in our friendships as well as in our relationship with Almighty God. Yet, because we do not always realize the full consequences of our actions for ourselves and others and because our previous sins (even if they are forgiven) and our unexamined emotions often influence our decisions, such learning may take an entire lifetime.

The holy angels, unlike ourselves, have an intelligence and a way of understanding that sees a decision in all its dimensions, as well as the potential consequences of each possible choice. They are not influenced by past sins, since they remained faithful to the Lord in their moment of trial, and they are not subject to emotions as we experience them. If we turn to them in our moments of choice and decision, asking for their clarity, strength of purpose, and obedience to the will of God, our minds will become ever clearer and our wills shall become ever freer as we pray, “Jesus, I want what You want for me.”

There will be times when it will be difficult to say this little prayer because it is not always easy to let go and to let God act. And there may be moments when we clearly know that what we want is not what Jesus wants for us or from us. Love and obedience begin in the will before they are expressed in our actions. If we do our best to will what He wills and to ask for His grace with humble and trusting hearts, He will not refuse us. And our little prayer, however weak, will be magnified by our angel’s presence and his joyful shout, “Here I am Lord, I come to do Your will.”

The angels will always watch over us with wonder and awe if we give ourselves to Our Lord, remaining in His presence and uniting our daily crosses to His. As we do so, we’ll find that we will make Him present to others. Other people will find in us a magnetically attractive beauty — the beauty of holiness, the beauty of Christ shining through us. And we will find that the Lord makes use of us to be messengers to others, to collaborate with His holy angels, and to bring our brothers and sisters closer to Him, the Source of love and life.

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from a chapter in Fr. Horgan’s His Angels at Our Side: Understanding Their Power in Our Souls and the Worldwhich is available from Sophia Institute Press

This grieving girl witnessed her father travel from purgatory to heaven

This grieving girl witnessed her father travel from purgatory to heaven


All because she had three Masses said for the repose of his soul.

During the 17th century, a grieving young girl approached Benedictine Abbot Millán de Mirando at the monastery of Our Lady of Montserrat. She begged the abbot to say three Masses for her deceased father.

The young girl was totally convinced that these Masses would speed her father on his way to heaven, releasing him from the pains of purgatory. Moved by the girl’s child-like faith, the abbot said the first Mass the next day.

During the Mass the young girl was kneeling and as she looked up she saw her father near the altar where the priest was saying the Mass. She described her father as “kneeling, surrounded by frightening flames” and located at the bottom step of the altar. The priest was alerted to this miraculous phenomenon and he instructed the girl to place a piece of tissue where her father was kneeling. The tissue immediately started on fire for all to see, though the priest could not see the child’s father. This represented her father being purified by the flames of purgatory.

A second Mass was said for the repose of her father’s soul and again the little girl saw her father. This time he was up a step standing next to the deacon and was “dressed in a vibrantly colored suit.” At this stage her father was still in purgatory, but no longer touched by its flames.

At the third Mass she saw her father for the last time. During the Eucharistic celebration he was “dressed in a snow-white suit,” but then something extraordinary happened at the conclusion of Mass. The little girl exclaimed, “There is my father going away and rising into the sky!” She no longer had to worry about the soul of her father as she knew with confidence that he had reached the gates of heaven.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Cdl. Müller: "We are experiencing conversion to the world, instead of to God"

Cdl. Müller: "We are experiencing conversion to the world, instead of to God"

muller5Cardinal Gerhard Müller is the former prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and the former bishop of Regensburg, Germany.  A noted professor of theology, he is president of both the Pontifical Biblical Commission and the International Theological Commission. 
Cardinal Müller recently responded to some questions from Catholic World Report about the situation in Germany, tensions over the proposed reception of Holy Communion by certain Protestants, continued conflicts over the Church's teaching about why woman cannot be ordained as priests, and homosexuality.
CWR:  Since 2014 there has been within the Church a steady stream of conflicts and tensions that involve many of the bishops of Germany.  What is some of the background for this phenomenon?  What is the source of these various conflicts over ecclesiology, Holy Communion, and related matters?

Cardinal Gerhard Müller:  One group of German bishops, with their president [i.e., of the German Bishops' Conference] in the lead, see themselves as trendsetters of the Catholic Church on the march into modernity.  They consider the secularization and de-Christianization of Europe as an irreversible development.  For this reason the New Evangelization — the program of John Paul II and Benedict XVI — is in their view a battle against the objective course of history, resembling Don Quixote's battle against the windmills.  They are seeking for the Church a niche where it can survive in peace.  Therefore all the doctrines of the faith that are opposed to the "mainstream," the societal consensus, must be reformed.

One consequence of this is the demand for Holy Communion even for people without the Catholic faith and also for those Catholics who are not in a state of sanctifying grace.  Also on the agenda are: a blessing for homosexual couples, intercommunion with Protestants, relativizing the indissolubility of sacramental marriage, the introduction of viri probati and with it the abolition of priestly celibacy, approval for sexual relations before and outside of marriage.  These are their goals, and to reach them they are willing to accept even the division of the bishops' conference.

The faithful who take Catholic doctrine seriously are branded as conservative and pushed out of the Church, and exposed to the defamation campaign of the liberal and anti-Catholic media.

To many bishops, the truth of revelation and of the Catholic profession of faith is just one more variable in intra-ecclesial power politics.  Some of them cite individual agreements with Pope Francis and think that his statements in interviews with journalists and public figures who are far from Catholic offer justification even for "watering down" defined, infallible truths of the faith (= dogmas).  All told, we are dealing with a blatant process of Protestantizing.

One group of German bishops, with their president in the lead, see themselves as trendsetters of the Catholic Church on the march into modernity.
Ecumenism, in contrast, has as its goal the full unity of all Christians, which is already sacramentally realized in the Catholic Church.  The worldliness of the episcopate and clergy in the 16th century was the cause of the division of Christianity, which is diametrically opposed to the will of Christ, the founder of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.  The disease of that era is now supposedly the medicine with which the division is to be overcome.  The ignorance of the Catholic faith at that time was catastrophic, especially among the bishops and popes, who devoted themselves more to politics and power than to witnessing to the truth of Christ.

Today, for many people, being accepted by the media is more important than the truth, for which we must also suffer.  Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom for Christ in Rome, the center of power in their day.  They were not celebrated by the rulers of this world as heroes, but rather mocked like Christ on the cross.  We must never forget the martyrological dimension of the Petrine ministry  and of the episcopal office.
CWR:  Why, specifically, do some German bishops wish to allow Holy Communion to be given to various Protestants on a regular or common basis?
Cardinal Müller:  No bishop has the authority to administer Holy Communion to Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church.  Only in a situation where there is a danger of death may a Protestant request sacramental absolution and Holy Communion as viaticum, if he shares the whole Catholic faith and thereby enters into full communion with the Catholic Church, even though he has not yet declared his conversion officially.

Unfortunately even bishops today no longer know the Catholic belief in the unity of sacramental and ecclesial communion, and they justify their infidelity to the Catholic faith with allegedly pastoral concern or with theological explanations, which, however, contradict the principles of the Catholic faith.  All doctrine and praxis must be founded on Sacred Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition, and must not contradict the previous dogmatic pronouncements of the Church's Magisterium.  This is the case with permission for non-Catholic Christians to receive Communion during Holy Mass — apart from the emergency situation described above.
CWR:  How would you assess, first, the health of the Catholic faith in Germany and then, secondly, in Europe overall?  Do you think Europe can or will recover a sense of its previous Christian identity?

Cardinal Müller:  There are a great many people who live out their faith, love Christ and his Church, and set all their hope on God in life and in death.  But among them there are quite a few who feel abandoned and betrayed by their shepherds.  Being popular in public opinion is nowadays the criterion for a supposedly good bishop or priest.  We are experiencing conversion to the world, instead of to God, contrary to the statements of the Apostle Paul: "Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God?  Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of God" (Gal 1:10).
We need priests and bishops who are filled with zeal for God's house, who dedicate themselves entirely to the salvation of human beings on the pilgrimage of faith to our eternal home.  There is no future at all for "Christianity Lite." We need Christians with a missionary spirit.
CWR:  The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith recently reiterated the Church's perennial teaching that women cannot be ordained priests.  Why do you think this teaching, which has been reiterated several times in recent years, continues to be contested by many in the Church?

Cardinal Müller:  Unfortunately right now the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is not particularly well esteemed, and its significance for the Petrine primacy is not recognized.  The Secretariat of State and the diplomatic service of the Holy See are very important for the relation of the Church to the various States, but the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is more important for the relation of the Church to her Head from whom all grace proceeds.
Being popular in public opinion is nowadays the criterion for a supposedly good bishop or priest. We are experiencing conversion to the world, instead of to God, contrary to the statements of the Apostle Paul…
Faith is necessary for salvation; papal diplomacy can accomplish a lot of good in the world.  But the proclamation of the faith and doctrine must not be subordinated to the requirements and conditions of earthly power plays.  Supernatural faith does not depend on earthly power.  In faith it is quite clear that the sacrament of Holy Orders in the three degrees of bishop, priest, and deacon can be received validly only by a baptized Catholic man, because only he can symbolize and sacramentally represent Christ as the Bridegroom of the Church.  If priestly ministry is understood as a position of power, then this doctrine of the reservation of Holy Orders to Catholics of the male sex is a form of discrimination against women.

But this perspective of power and of social prestige is false.  Only if we see all the doctrines of the faith and the sacraments with theological eyes, instead of in terms of power, will the doctrine of the faith regarding the natural prerequisites for the sacraments of Holy Orders and of marriage be evident to us also.  Only a man can symbolize Christ the Bridegroom of the Church.  Only one man and one woman can symbolically represent the relation of Christ to the Church.

CWR:  You recently introduced the Italian edition of Daniel Mattson's book Why I Don't Call Myself Gay.  What impressed you about the book and its approach?  How does it differ from some of the "pro-gay" approaches or stances adopted by some Catholics?  What can be done to explain, in positive terms, the Church's teaching about sexuality, marriage, and related matters?

Cardinal Müller:  Daniel Mattson's book is written from a personal perspective.  It is founded on a deep intellectual reflection about sexuality and marriage, which makes it different from any sort of ideology.  Therefore it helps people with a same-sex attraction to recognize their dignity and to follow a beneficial path in the development of their personality, and not to let themselves be used as pawns in the ideologues' demand for power.  A human being is an interior unity of spiritual and material organizational principles, and consequently a person and the freely acting subject of a nature that is spiritual, corporeal, and social.

Man is created for woman and woman for man.  The goal of marital communion is not the power of one over the other, but rather unity in self-giving love, in which they both grow and together reach the goal in God.  Sexual ideology that reduces a human being to sexual pleasure is in fact hostile to sexuality, because it denies that the goal of sex and eros is agape.  A human being cannot let himself be degraded to the status of a more highly developed animal.  He is called to love.  Only if I love the other for his own sake do I come into my own; only then am I set free from the prison of my primitive egotism.  One cannot fulfill oneself at the expense of others.

The logic of the Gospel is revolutionary in a world of consumerism and narcissism.  For only the grain of wheat that falls into the ground and dies does not remain alone but produces much fruit.  "He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life" (Jn 12:25).

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Why Do the Liberal Activists Rage?

Why Do the Liberal Activists Rage?

Why Do the Liberal Activists Rage?
Why Do the Liberal Activists Rage?
So many of the moral issues that polarize the nation are now having legal consequences. Liberal activists insist upon forcing acceptance down the throats of countless Americans who disagree.

The violence of this forced acceptance is something unseen in American history.
Photographers, florists, bed & breakfast owners, and bakers who refused to service same-sex weddings are being fined and put out of business for simply following their consciences. Schools are being sued by angry plaintiffs who insist upon using bathrooms of the opposite sex.

Employers who use the wrong pronoun for someone who self-identifies as something else than the sex given them by God face crippling fines. Satanists insist upon holding a sidewalk ceremony blaspheming and committing sacrilege in front of a Catholic Church.

In face of these acts, one has to ask: Why do these activists and their corresponding base rage over these cases? Why do they insist upon publicly forcing their opinions upon others?

After all, although morally wrong, one has to admit that all of the behaviors in question are legally permitted. In the case of the weddings, alternatives are plentiful. Indeed, there was nothing to stop “transgender” people from acting out their fantasies in the privacy of their home. Why do these activists resort to such intimidation tactics? Why do they not adopt a live-and-let-live attitude toward those who disagree?

It would certainly make all lives easier if they would abandon their rage. It hardly seems proportional that all society must change to accommodate someone’s demand to publicly sin.

The answer lies in that little word: sin. The nature of sin calls forth this rage. It also lies in the word “public.” The social nature of man will not allow a live-and-let-live attitude.

Of course, liberal activsts will not admit this. The very concept of sin “sins” against their worldview. Indeed, the only real sin for them is to affirm the existence of sin … and sinners.

This however does not change reality. Aristotle claims man is a social being made for society, which exists to facilitate virtuous life in common. The social nature of man craves a unity around this purpose. That is where the problem begins.

When one sins, one commits an anti-social act that breaks the bonds that unite the individual to society. A liar, for example, breaks the bonds of trust that must exist in relationships for society to function well. Persistence in lying causes others to avoid the person. The individual must repent and ask forgiveness to restore a social unity.

When a person is vitiated to sin, publicly manifests this vice, and will not change or repent, it has the effect of severing these bonds. It also awakens a sense of guilt that results in loneliness. By man’s social nature, this isolation creates an urgent and furious need for reconciliation to feel whole again. Hence, the rage. 
Why Do the Liberal Activists Rage?
When one sins, one commits an anti-social act that breaks the bonds that unite the individual to society.
As Prof. J. Budziszewski explains in his masterful book, What We Can’t Not Know, the frantic need for reconciliation explains why activists “cannot be satisfied with toleration, but must propagandize, recruit, and convert.”

Their rage is not centered on the acts they insist upon practicing since there is now nothing to stop them from doing so. Rather it is caused by the social stigma that these acts trigger. They desire to belong to society but do not wish to change. The only way to resolve the problem is to force their position upon the whole society, which must “reconcile” to accommodate their fancies.

In the case of sexuality, Prof. Budziszewski explains, “the shape of human life must be transformed. All of the assumptions of normal sexuality must be dissolved: marriage, family, innocence, purity, childhood—all must be called into question, even if it means pulling down the world around their ears.”

Indeed, these activists now seek to unleash social ostracism against those who affirm natural law and an objective morality. These nonconforming absolutist adversaries must be crushed. The media and liberal establishment are recruited to isolate, intimidate, and socially and legally browbeat opponents (including Little Sisters of the Poor) into compliance.

That is why there can be no peace in the Culture War. That is why the liberals rage.