Saturday, July 30, 2011

Clergy to Preach on Sins of Abortion and Homosexuality Marriage!

Cardinal Robert Sarah: Divine Justice Will Fall…Posted: 30 Jul 2011 08:19 AM PDT

On Clergy Who Fail To Preach Against Abortion And “Homosexual Marriage!”
From         By:  Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

Cardinal Robert Sarah is warning that priests who fail in their duty to oppose the breakdown of morality in modern society, particularly pro-abortion and anti-family policies, will receive the condemnation of God.

In a sermon delivered on June 25 to seminarians of the Community of St. Martin, whom he was about to ordain to the priesthood and diaconate, Sarah admonished his listeners, “if we have fear of proclaiming the truth of the Gospel, if we are ashamed of denouncing the grave deviations in the area of morality, if we accommodate ourselves to this world of moral laxity and religious and ethical relativism, if we are afraid to energetically denounce the abominable laws regarding the new global ethos, regarding marriage, the family in all of its forms, abortion, laws in total opposition to the laws of nature and of God, and that the western nations and cultures are promoting and imposing thanks to the mass media and their economic power, then the prophetic words of Ezechiel will fall on us as a grave divine reproach.” 
Sarah quoted the prophesy of Ezechiel found in chapter 34:2-4: “‘Son of man, prophesy against the pastors of Israel to pastor themselves.  Should not the pastors feed the flock? You have been fed with milk, you have dressed yourselves with wool.  You have not strengthened the weak lambs, cared for those who were sick, healed those who were injured.  You have not restored those who have strayed, searched for those who were lost.  But you have governed them with violence and hardness.’ (Ez. 34: 2-4)”

“These reproaches are serious, but more important is the offense that we have committed against God when, having received the responsibility of caring for the spiritual good of all, we mistreat souls by depriving them of the true teaching of the doctrine of regarding God, regarding man, and the fundamental values of human existence,” the cardinal added.
Cardinal Sarah, who was appointed to the presidency of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum in 2010, is overseeing a radical restructuring of the Catholic Church’s international development aid programs. These have been criticized for a secular mentality that ignores the spiritual needs of recipients, often promoting values that are opposed to Catholicism, including the legalization of abortion and homosexual unions.

In late May, Sarah gave an address to the Church’s largest coalition of aid organizations, Caritas Internationalis, in which he noted a “serious moral regression and gradual ‘silent apostasy’” in the western world. He also noted that foreign aid for Catholics “is not merely philanthropic and humanitarian assistance aimed at relieving a certain kind of distress, but also and above all it entails giving back to human persons all their dignity as children of God, and promoting an anthropology that also encompasses the religious dimension of human persons, namely their encounter with God.”

In his June 25 address, Sarah notes that in modern society “we no longer know what is evil and what is good. There are a multitude of points of view.  Today, we call white what we once called black, and vice versa.  What is serious, and make no mistake about it, is the transformation of error into a rule of life.

“In this context, as priests, pastors and guides of the People of God, you should be continuously focused on being always loyal to the doctrine of Christ.  It is necessary for you to constantly strive to acquire the sensitivity of conscience, the faithful respect for dogma and morality, which constitute the deposit of faith and the common patrimony of the Church of Christ.”
click here to read entire sermon 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Marshall McLuhan - conversion testimony

Note from the Managing Editor: of CERC
Many years ago – long before I was a Catholic – I was presented with an opportunity to sit down and have a discussion with Marshall McLuhan and his wife at their home in Toronto. It could only have been the intimidation factor that led me to decline that invitation. I certainly now regret not having taken advantage of it.
Aside from his stature as the preeminent prophet of media culture at the time, McLuhan was a devout and intellectually convicted Catholic who understood both how very true the Church's teaching is and how very counter-cultural Catholicism is.
McLuhan was converted to the faith in 1937 while studying at Cambridge and as a result of reading G.K. Chesterton. In 1935 he wrote his mother: "Had I not encountered Chesterton, I would have remained agnostic for many years at least". At the news of his intended conversion, his mother was inconsolable, convinced that it would damage his career.
McLuhan's faith was quite a private matter for most of his life, though on occasion he revealed to intimates that the Virgin Mary had provided intellectual guidance for him.
On one occasion during a retreat I was on, Father John Hardon, S.J. quoted McLuhan as having said that: "The modern media is involved in a Luciferian conspiracy against the truth."
All this is leading up to telling you that July 21st was the centenary of Marshall McLuhan's birth and Father de Souza has a fitting tribute to that great Catholic Canadian below.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Love and Healing

Love and Healing click to read entire article

1.  Healing is rooted in love insofar as love desires the other to be restored to wholeness, and this restoration process presupposes the primary and primal significance of wholeness. Disease, depression, sin, and alienation are all impediments that compromise wholeness. Healing involves the removal of these impediments.

Plato regarded all impediments to wholeness as "alien" factors that do not belong to the human in which they have lodged themselves. In the third book of his Republic,[1] he refers to all such impediments as "evil" and specifies such evil as "an alien thing in alien souls". Evil is that which does not belong in a person and inhibits his proper functioning. Consequently, it should be removed so that the person can be truly himself again.

The process of healing for Plato, therefore, is the removal of that which is alien to a person in the interest of restoring him to wholeness. Plato's conception of personal wholeness is evident throughout his many writings. In his dialogue, Charmides,[2] he insists that healing must always begin in the soul. Accordingly, he writes as follows:

2.  In considering another of the Deadly Sins, lust, we find the same transition from self to non-self taking place. A person who is driven by lust may welcome this potentially ruinous disposition because it is convenient or because it promises pleasure. But lust fractures the personality, allowing one part to dominate or even displace the whole. Temperance, on the other hand, is the moral virtue that holds the self together. It ensures that various desires and inclinations are brought into harmony with each other. It honors the value of human wholeness.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Prayer and the Grace of God

Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.   

The popular understanding of prayer as asking for God's help is correct. Most of the prayers in the Scriptures are petitions. Most of the prayers of the liturgy are the same. Even the acts of adoration or love are always implicit petitions. Why is this so? Why do we need to ask for God's help? The reason is the obvious one: because we need that help. However, since we are talking about God and God is not obvious, this cannot be all that obvious as it may seem.

We need God's help because we are creatures; because we have a fallen human nature and because we are constantly being besieged by the evil spirit.
The first reason then that we must pray for help is because we are creatures whom God has raised to an "above-creaturely" destiny. Sometimes I think we should more often use the expression "supercreaturely" or "supercreated" instead of the by now prosaic "supernatural." We have been destined for heaven but heaven is not natural to anyone – except God!
Consequently, although having been destined for heaven – and what could be clearer – we are not there yet and cannot get there by merely human or created means. We need what we callgrace which could be described as what we need but do not of ourselves possess in order to reach the heavenly beatitude for which we were made. What we have is nature; where we are going is heaven; what we need is grace.

Judie Brown Exposes 'Criminal Minds' in the Field of Bio-Ethics - U.s. - Catholic Online

Judie Brown Exposes 'Criminal Minds' in the Field of Bio-Ethics - U.s. - Catholic Online 

The field of bioethics, which is a fairly recent phenomenon in the history of mankind, has always been a slippery slope, as there is a huge difference between the natural law and the bioethical framework of committees or individuals making up the rules as they move along. 

In analyzing "Which Medical Ethics for the 21st Century?" Professor Dianne Irving, an expert in this field, has written, "[I]f the natural law is naturally known, why is it that so many people don't seem to know it, act against it, even deny it? This is a good question, and does indeed point to the limits of using just the natural law as a moral guide in the 21st century. Many people have lost their sense of the natural law within them by habitually acting against their true good, by seeking only things that feel good, or by succumbing to the myriad of temptations constantly surrounding us that seem good."



  • Cardinal Timothy Manning, Los Angeles, CA
  • Archbishop Sablan Apuron, Guam
  • Archbishop Patrick Flores, San Antonio, TX (USA)
  • Archbishop Philip M. Hannan, (retired) New Orleans, LA
  • Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, United States Armed Forces
  • Bishop Nicholas D’Antonio, New Orleans, LA
  • Bishop Carl A. Fisher, Los Angeles, CA
  • Bishop Michael Pfeifer, San Angelo, TX
  • Bishop Francis A. Quinn, Sacramento, CA
  • Bishop Sylvester Treinen, (retired) Boise, ID
  • Bishop Stanley Ott, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Bishop Patrick Zeisman, Los Angeles, CA
  • Bishop Thomas O’Connel, Los Angeles, CA
  • Bishop George Speltz, St. Cloud, Minnesota
  • Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, La Cruces, NM
  • Bishop Armando Ochoa, Los Angeles, CA
  • Bishop Thomas Connolly, Baker, CA
  • Bishop Richard Parime, Orange, CA
  • Bishop Tom O’Connell, Los Angeles, CA
  • Bishop Michael Wiwchar, Byzantine Eparchy of Chicago
  • Bishop Donald Montrose, Stockton, CA
  • Bishop Franco Hillary, NY
  • Bishop Pierre Dumaine, San Jose, CA
  • Auxiliary Bishop Kenneth Steiner, Portland, Oreon



EXCERPT ---In recent years, Mirjana has stayed almost completely away from discussing her secrets, as do the other visionaries. In fact, she has stated that a supernatural "block" about them has allowed her to go about life without thinking or even readily recalling most of them. She brushes aside questions about them.
But back in 1985 -- when the alleged revelations were fresh -- she said about the first secret, “To the people of this world who pray it will be a gift.” Other parts of the interview were even more revealing:
Father Ljubicic: How would you assess the current situation around the world? How would you personally view all these things?
Mirjana: There never was an age such as this one, never before was God honored and respected less than now, never before have so few prayed to Him; everything seems to be more important than God. This is the reason why she cries so much. The number of unbelievers is becoming greater and greater. As they endeavor for a better life, to such people, God Himself is superfluous and dispensable. This is why I feel deeply sorry for them and for the world. They have no idea what awaits them. If they could only take a tiny peek at these secrets, they would convert in time. Certainly, God always forgives all those who genuinely convert.
Father Ljubicic: Did she perhaps alert us to other things we must do, in addition to praying and preparing for that time? Perhaps something concrete?
Mirjana: Yes, she told me it is necessary to pray a great deal until the first secret is revealed. But in addition to that, it is necessary to make sacrifices as much as possible, to help others as much as it is within our abilities, to fast – especially now, before the first secret. She stated that we are obliged to prepare ourselves.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Relief of the Holy Souls

Taken from the book "Purgatory Explained" by Fr. Schouppe, S.J. -
Part II, Chapter XXXIII (TAN Books).
Father Ravignan, an illustrious and holy preacher of the Society of Jesus, also cherished great hope for the welfare of sinners carried away by a sudden death, when otherwise they had borne no hatred in the heart for the things of God. He lived to speak of the supreme moment, and it seems to have been his opinion that many sinners are converted in their last moments, and are reconciled to God without being able to give any exterior sign thereof. In certain deaths there are mysteries of Mercy where the eye of man sees nothing but strokes
of Justice. As a last glimmer of light, God sometimes reveals Himself to those souls whose greatest misfortune has been to ignore Him ; and the last sigh, understood by Him who penetrates hearts, may be a
groan that calls for pardon ; that is to say, an act of perfect contrition. General Exelmans, a relative of this good father, was suddenly carried to the tomb by an accident, and unfortunately he had not been faithful in the practice of his religion. He had promised that he would one day make his confession, but had not had the
opportunity to do so. Father Ravignan, who, for a long time had prayed and procured prayers for him, was filled with consternation when he heard of such a death. The same day, a person accustomed to receive supernatural communications thought he heard an interior voice, which said to him, "Who then knows the extent of God's mercy?
Who knows the depth of the ocean, or how much water is contained therein? Much will be forgiven to those who have sinned through ignorance."
The biographer from whom we borrow this incident, Father de Ponlevoy, goes on to say, "Christians, placed under the law of Hope no less than under the law of Faith and Charity, we must continually lift ourselves up from the depths of our sufferings to the thought of the infinite goodness of God. No limit to the grace of God is placed here below ; while there remains a spark of life there is nothing which it cannot effect in the soul. Therefore we must ever hope and petition God with humble persistency. We know not to what a degree we may be heard. Great saints and doctors have gone to great lengths in extolling the powerful efficacy of prayer for the dear departed, how unhappy soever their end may have been. We shall one day know the unspeakable marvels of Divine Mercy. We should never cease to implore it with the greatest confidence."

The following is an incident which our readers may have seen in the Petit Messager du Coeur de Marie, November 1880. A Religious, preaching a mission to the ladies at Nancy, had reminded them in a conference that we must never despair of the salvation of a soul, and that sometimes actions of the least importance in the eyes of man are rewarded by God at the hour of death. When he was about to leave the church, a lady dressed in mourning approached him and said, "Father, you just recommended to us confidence and hope ; what has just
happened to me fully justifies your words. I had a husband who was most kind and affectionate, and who although otherwise leading an irreproachable life, entirely neglected the practice of his religion.
My prayers and exhortations remained without effect. During the month of May which preceded his death, I had erected in my room, as I was accustomed to do, a little altar of the Blessed virgin, and decorated it with flowers, which I renewed from time to time. My husband passed the Sunday in the country, and each time he returned he brought me some flowers, which he himself had plucked, and with these I used to adorn my oratory. Did he notice this? Did he do this to give me pleasure, or was it through a sentiment of piety towards the Blessed
Virgin? I know not, but he never failed to bring me the flowers.
"In the beginning of the following month he died suddenly, without having had time to receive the consolations of religion. I was inconsolable, especially as I say all my hopes of his return to God vanish. In consequence of my grief, my health became completely shattered, and my family urged me to make a tour in the south. As I had to pass through Lyons, I desired to see the Cure` d' Ars. I therefore wrote to him asking an audience, and recommending to his prayers my husband, who had died suddenly. I gave him no further details.
"Arrived at Ars, scarcely had I entered the venerable Cure's room than, to my great astonishment, he addressed me in these words : 'Madame, you are disconsolate ; but have you forgotten those bouquets of flowers which were brought to you each Sunday of the month of May?' It is impossible to express my astonishment on hearing M. Vianney remind me of a circumstance that I had not mentioned to any one, and which he could know only by revelation. He continued, 'God has had mercy on him who honoured His Holy Mother. At the moment of his death your husband repented ; his soul is in purgatory ; our prayers and good works will obtain his deliverance.'"
We read in the Life of a holy Religious, Sister Catherine of St. Augustine, that in the place where she lived there was a woman named Mary, who in her youth had given herself up to a very disorderly life, and as age brought no amendment, but, on the contrary, she grew more obstinate in vice, the inhabitants, no longer willing to tolerate the scandal she gave, drove her from the city. She found no other asylum than a grotto in the forest, where, after a few months, she died without the assistance of the Sacraments. Her body was interred in a field, as though it were something contagious.
Sister Catherine, who was accustomed to recommend to God the souls of all those of whose death she heard, thought not of praying for this one, judging, as did every one else, that she was surely damned.
Four months later the servant of God heard a voice saying, "Sister Catherine, how unfortunate I am! You recommend to God the souls of all ; I am the only one upon whom you take no pity!" "Who then are
you?" replied the sister. "I am poor Mary, who died in the grotto." "What! Mary, are you saved?" "Yes, by the Divine Mercy I am. At the point of death, terrified by the remembrance of my crimes, and seeing myself abandoned by all, I called upon the Blessed Virgin. In her tender goodness she heard me, and obtained for me the grace of perfect contrition, with a desire of confessing, had it been in my power to do so. I thus recovered the grace of God and escaped Hell.
But I was obliged to go to Purgatory, where I suffer terribly. My time will be shortened, and I shall soon be liberated, if a few Masses are offered for me. Oh! have them celebrated for me, dear sister, and I shall ever remember you before Jesus and Mary."
Sister Catherine hastened to fulfill this request, and after a few days the soul again appeared, brilliant as a star, and returning thanks for her charity.

Archbishop Gomez: Mary Magdalene is counter to culture of condemnation :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

 Archbishop Gomez: Mary Magdalene is counter to culture of condemnation :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

.- The July 22 Memorial of St. Mary Magdalene is a time to recall the holy woman’s life and her “beautiful story” of God’s life-changing love and mercy for everyone, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles said. He contrasted her life with an American culture that is “quick to condemn.”
“God is kind and merciful. There is no one who is beyond the pale of his redemption. There is no one whom God cannot redeem and use for his purposes,” the archbishop wrote in his July 22 column for the archdiocesan paper The Tidings.
“I worry sometimes that we might be forgetting that in society,” he added.
The archbishop cited people who seem “so angry and judgmental” on the Internet, the radio and television.
“Everywhere in our culture, people seem so quick to condemn. It is very hard to find words of mercy or understanding for someone who has done something wrong,” he said, noting that there are “many good people out there saying things they know they shouldn’t be saying.”
He recounted Mary Magdalene’s life and how she was possessed by seven demons until Jesus set her free.
She believed Jesus’ promises that “no matter what sins we have in our lives, God is ready to forgive.”
God turned her into “a great witness of his love.” Though the apostles and other followers of Jesus ran away when he was arrested, she did not run and stood by him during his trials and sufferings, and execution.
She helped take Jesus’ body from the cross and readied it for burial. She was the first witness to his resurrection from the dead.
Mary Magdalene, the Los Angeles archbishop observed, experienced in her own life the “healing power of Christ’s tender mercy.”
At the same time, he acknowledged that it is hard for people to believe that God can love everyone. “But he does! God cares for you very deeply. And he cares for the greatest sinner just as deeply,” he said.
“People make mistakes. They sin. Some people do evil that causes scandal and grave harm. We can condemn the offense and work for justice — without trying to destroy the person who committed the sin,” the archbishop added.
“We need to reject every temptation to shame or condemn people. Let us never be the cause of turning someone away from seeking God’s forgiveness and redemption.”
Christians’ job is to help sinners find Jesus Christ, who alone can set them free from their demons.
“Let us pray for one another this week,” the archbishop concluded, saying we should ask the Virgin Mary to “give us a faith like Mary Magdalene and hearts to forgive.”

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Mystery of Evil

The Mystery of Evil

“An enemy has done this.” Let us recall these powerful words from this Sunday’s Gospel passage. Satan has destroyed the modern world through sexual sin. The world is sexually out of control. The modern world has become obsessed with sexual sin and through sexual sin modern man is telling God: Non serviam. I will not serve. Do not tell me what to do about anything. I will do what I want to do.
Because of this total rejection of God, man has become dehumanized. Man kills his own children through abortion and has become obsessed with sexual perversion, especially homosexuality.

Thursday, July 21, 2011



By Susan Tassone

St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-July 23, 1373) was a mystic and saint and founder of the Bridgettine Order after the death of her husband of twenty years.  She was also the mother of Saint Catherine of Sweden.  She began to have visions beginning at the age of ten. These included the Nativity, the Risen Christ, and the Passion of Our Lord; she wrote the popular fifteen prayers based on Our Lord’s Passion and death. 
Her visions of purgatory are also well known.  
Stated the saint, who received extraordinary revelations from God: 
“If, by our help, a soul is freed from the pains of purgatory, Jesus accepts this as if we had freed Himself, and He will reward us in due time as if we had helped Him.” 
In a vision she saw the souls of the faithful departed being purified.
During those visions, the saint heard the voice of an angel.
“Blessed are those who dwell upon the earth, and who, by their prayers and other good works hasten to the relief of the souls in purgatory," it said. "For the justice of God demands that their sins be atoned for either by their sufferings or else by the prayers and good works of their friends on earth.” 
click on link about the finish reading

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Medjugorje “Miracle Mysteries” that the ABC Nightline special didn’t tell you about

The Medjugorje “Miracle Mysteries” that the ABC Nightline special didn’t tell you about

If you missed the ABC show on Mary, click here to see if it’s still posted.

Flerida Gutierrez had little idea that her pilgrimage to Medjugorje in June, with Trinity Pilgrimages and Michael Brown of Spirit Daily, would mean revealing to approximately eight million viewers across the nation that she was a woman of faith, and that she was a woman with stage four cancer.
On this pilgrimage, ABC News producer, Jenna Millman, and Nightline co-anchor, Bill Weir, along with a camera man, accompanied the pilgrimage to film the Medjugorje portion of their special on the Virgin Mary, which aired Wednesday, July 13th. The diminutive, humble, yet vocal Philippina woman, affectionately known as Flerida, was filmed being prayed over by the Medjugorje visionary, Vicka, who placed her loving hand on Flerida’s bowed head. Flerida was “slain in the Spirit” and rested peacefully on her side for a full half hour. So what happened to her during that time?
Here is Flerida’s full story, in her own words . . .
In November of 2010, I received test results showing that I had three cancerous nodules in my liver. I traveled to Medjugorje, to ask the Blessed Mother to pray for my healing, but I also completely surrendered to the idea of death. None of us are going to stay here on earth forever. We’re going to go back home.
On the day of the pilgrimage, when we went to see Vicka give her talk, on the steps of her parents’ small Medjugorje home, I was hoping to be one of the three hundred pilgrims in the crowd to receive prayer from Vicka, who individually laid her hands on every pilgrim present. I felt like I needed her prayers, but since our group arrived later than other pilgrims, some of whom had been waiting now for an hour or two to hear Vicka speak, I assumed I wouldn’t be able to get close to her. “But even if she doesn’t pray over me,” I said in my heart, “I know, Mother Mary, that you will pray to Jesus for me.”
Then our pilgrimage guide, Miki Musa, suddenly whisked me away from where I was standing. My husband, Max, standing next to me, turned around, and I was gone. Miki didn’t tell me where we were going, and I assumed he was bringing me closer to Vicka. “How can we get through these crowds?” I asked.
“Just trust me,” he said, and proceeded to press forward, holding my hand, parting waves in the crowd, saying, “Excuse me, excuse me.”

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cop becomes Priest.

Badge and a gun traded for a crucifixNewly ordained Catholic priest Anthony F. Cardone comes to the job with plenty of experience in the study of diplomacy, security and sin.
A former law enforcement officer who handled all three, he's also known the emotional upheaval of divorce and is thrilled to be stationed near the ocean so he can indulge his passion for surfing.
Not your average 20-something novice.
Cardone was one of three men ordained by Bishop Francis Malooly last month at the Cathedral of Saint Peter, in Wilmington. At 58, he was by far the oldest to take his vows this year in the Diocese of Wilmington. (The two other new priests, the Rev. Joseph W. McQuaide IV of Elkton, Md., and the Rev. John T. Solomon of Wilmington are both 25.)
In his first career -- 25 years in law enforcement -- he went undercover to buy handguns and confiscate counterfeit money for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
As a special agent with the State Department, he made sure diplomacy at home and abroad was conducted safely, coming into contact with a wide range of political and religious figures, including the Dalai Lama, Pope John Paul II, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, President Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat, the late Palestinian leader.
Earlier, as a New York City police officer, Treasury officer and a Nassau County probation officer, Cardone dealt with murderers, thieves and liars.
He was well aware that these folks needed to be arrested. At the same time he's often felt criminals could use his compassion, and he's found himself praying for those he booked.
"If you have the right attitude, you'll do your job but do it in a loving way," he says.
Steve Liantonio, one of his first partners on the New York City police force, says, "He's a person that cares out of his heart and takes an interest in you."
More than half of the 275 priests joining American dioceses this year are between 25 and 34, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University.
Several years ago Father Joseph Cocucci, director of vocations for the Diocese of Wilmington, met Cardone, who was then in his early 50s, and was impressed with his faith.
As a policy, the diocese considers candidates 18 to 50, but then Bishop Michael Saltarelli had encouraged Cocucci to use his discretion when older men applied.
"I felt Anthony had a great sincerity and enough things had happened in his life that it seemed to me that the priesthood is where he was being led," Cocucci says.
He also fit another trend: men coming to the priesthood as a second career.
Since 1964, Blessed John XXIII National Seminary, near Boston, has trained such men and there are 600 alumni serving. A few are now bishops.
Cocucci attended the seminary, as did Cardone, who found an interesting mix of students. Cardone studied with a former microbiologist, eye doctor, anesthesiologist, federal judge, airline pilot, rocket scientist, veterinarian and military officers.
"That our church needs people of any age is undeniable," says Father Allan Fitzgerald, director of Villanova University's Augustinian Institute.
Older priests bring a life experience that is valuable to parishes, though some may resist being molded to seminary theology, Fitzgerald says. Still age is seldom an impediment to acceptance, given that the average age of the 27,000 diocesan priests is 60, according to CARA.
The path to the priesthood wasn't clear to Cardone, who is now serving St. Luke-St. Andrew Churches in Ocean City, Md. At age 9, Cardone was an altar boy. He also attended Catholic schools and always found mystery and beauty in the Mass.
He says if he'd had more courage as a young man he might have entered the priesthood in his 20s, but he did have the courage to face criminals and guns.
He's had numerous secular jobs, managing buildings and serving as a flight attendant. He also married and has a daughter, Kate, who is 24. However, his marriage was not a sacramental one in the eyes of the church and it was annulled in the 1990s.
Today he is in the rare position for a priest of having lived through the grief of divorce.
"I know life is painful and people suffer and there's human weakness," he says. "But Jesus wants people to trust in God and seek forgiveness. With God's mercy all things are possible."
His divorce was one of the most difficult periods of his life and he found "Divine Mercy in My Soul," a book by Saint Maria Faustian Kowalska, a comfort.
"Through the diary you can see God relating with love to his creation," he says.
Liantonio, his former partner, says Cardone is much the same as when he was as a New York cop. Even then he had a knack for getting things done peacefully.
"I used to joke that he was connected," Liantonio says. "It was amazing how things just happened for him."
Cardone says he often saw people's longing to be better people when they sinned. That's why, while serving in diplomatic security, he once gave a holy medal blessed by Pope John Paul II to a war criminal.
"This man, who had murdered many, welled up with tears," Cardone says.
Often, Cardone has felt God's response to his spiritual needs. In the 1990s on assignment in Beirut, he was confined to a compound, unable to leave for Mass.
"I went to my supervisor and he said it was too dangerous to leave and go to church," says Cardone.
Still, he longed for Communion, and from the compound he could see a statue of the Holy Mother. In prayer he cried out for her intercession, and one day a Capuchin priest from Nazareth, home of the Holy Mother, came looking for Cardone. The priest began to hold Mass on a regular basis.
Cardone is grateful to Mary. Prior to becoming a priest, he thought he would have to give up three favorite hobbies -- fishing, boating and surfing.
But he was wrong. He now finds himself in a parish on the Atlantic coast where there is plenty of fishing, boating and surfing.
"Sometimes I feel like a spoiled child of the Blessed Mother," he says.


A Testimony at the Grave

A Testimony at the Grave

We were privileged to hear the story of a Polish lady named Wieslawa Kowalska who had aborted four of her children and with prayer and penance and the assistance of the Holy Spirit came to devote her life to the promotion of spiritual adoption for the conceived child. The address devoted to this aim is
Wieslawa Kowalska
Synow Pulku 9/47
01-354 WARSAW
Tel 048-22 664-19-37

'An Enemy Has Done This': The Happy Priest on The Mystery of Evil - Living Faith - Home & Family - Catholic Online

'An Enemy Has Done This': The Happy Priest on The Mystery of Evil - Living Faith - Home & Family - Catholic Online
--by Fr. Farfaglia

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - Chapter Thirteen of Saint Mathew's Gospel is comprised of seven different parables.  For this reason this chapter is usually called the parable discourse.  Because the subject matter and themes are similar, the parables are called the kingdom parables.

Jesus' parables are very effective.  By drawing on the ordinary routines of daily life, he sheds light on the deepest supernatural mysteries. Thus by reflecting upon the parables we may get a  glimpse at the humanity of Jesus and his kindness toward those crowded about  him, eager to hear his message of truth.  Jesus taught the seven parables on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, sometimes called Lake Gennesaret or Lake Tiberius.

Last week we focused on man's response to God.  We have been given the gift of free will and we all respond to God differently.  This Sunday, let us focus our attention on the mystery of evil.

Pope Paul VI often commented that this Sunday's gospel passage had proven the most difficult for him to understand. Why does God allow the weeds and the wheat to grow together? Why does God allow evil to co-exist with good?

The Second Vatican Council (1962 - 1965) ushered in an era of excitement and hope for the Catholic Church. Two world wars, the Korean conflict, the global tensions of the Cold War and the Cuban missile crisis which had brought North America to the brink of destruction, were countered with a time of euphoria.

Shortly after the close of Vatican II, Pope Paul VI was overwhelmed by the universal rejection of many of the Council's teachings.  The true teachings of the Council were hijacked and the post-conciliar crisis ravaged the Church causing massive apostasy.

Throughout the remainder of his pontificate, the Holy Father lived a daily martyrdom.  His secretary kept the morning newspapers away from the Pope until later in the day.  At one point during the crisis, Paul VI delivered his famous Wednesday General Audience on the smoke of Satan entering through the cracks of the Church. His teaching was met with abundant ridicule, mostly from the clergy.
Pope Paul VI speaking to another General Audience said in 1972: "So we know that this dark disturbing being exists and that he is still at work with his treacherous cunning; he is the hidden enemy who sows errors and misfortunes in human history. It is worth recalling the revealing Gospel parable of the good seed and the cockle, for it synthesizes and explains the lack of logic that seems to preside over our contradictory experiences:

'An enemy has done this.' He is 'a murderer from the beginning, and the father of lies,' as Christ defines him.  He undermines man's moral equilibrium with his sophistry. He is the malign, clever seducer who knows how to make his way into us through the senses, the imagination and the libido, through utopian logic, or through disordered social contacts in the give and take of our activities. He can bring about in us deviations that are all the more harmful because they seem to conform to our physical or mental makeup, or to our profound, instinctive aspirations."

However, prior to these teachings on the evil one, let us recall an important moment in the Pontificate of Pope Paul VI.  On July 25, 1968, the Pope published the encyclical letter Humanae Vitae.

My dear friends, back in 1968 Pope Paul VI warned the world what would happen if contraceptives were to be made available:

"Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings-and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation-need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection" (Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, 17).

"An enemy has done this."  Let us recall these powerful words from this Sunday's Gospel passage.  Satan has destroyed the modern world through sexual sin.  The world is sexually out of control.  The modern world has become obsessed with sexual sin and through sexual sin modern man is telling God: Non serviam.  I will not serve.  Do not tell me what to do about anything.  I will do what I want to do.

Because of this total rejection of God, man has become ...

dehumanized.  Man kills his own children through abortion and has become obsessed with sexual perversion, especially homosexuality.  

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