Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sky View: Porn Addiction: A Passive Approach Will Not Suffice

Sky View: Porn Addiction: A Passive Approach Will Not Suffice

Sky View: Intolerance: The Foundation of all Stability

 Sky View: Intolerance: The Foundation of all Stability

Intolerance: The Foundation of all Stability

"Tolerance does not apply to truth or principles. About these things we must be intolerant, and for this kind of intolerance, so much needed to rouse us from sentimental gush, I make a plea. Intolerance of this kind is the foundation of all stability.”

-Fulton Sheen, 1931


"Intolerance: The Foundation of all Stability" is a revised and appended version of an earlier post from April of 2011. With all of the protests that are transpiring around the world, even in our country, the truths addressed by Jacques Maritain and Fulton Sheen decades ago are quite relevant today.

_____________________________________________________________________________________



It is a sad reality of fallen human nature to have an “either-or” approach to life; that is, to embrace something at the expense of something else. We forget that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to juggle opposites; to keep love and hate in their proper tension without totally doing away with one or the other. This is one of the benefits of being Christian and one of the advantages of a Christian society.

Jacques Maritain, a convert from Atheism to the Catholic Faith and one who ended up being one of the greatest philosophers in the twentieth century, had an interesting insight to how people love and hate wrongly.

Take for instance the bigot. Maritain said that the bigot gets off to a good start by hating the sin. So far so good! However, the bigot errs by taking his hatred for the sin and then transferring it to the sinner. He thus ends up hating both. This is not good because it is a sin not to love our neighbor!

The liberal, he continued to say, has the opposite problem. The liberal gets off to a good start by loving the sinner. So far so good! However, he takes his love for the sinner and ends up embracing or loving the sin. He ends up loving both. This is not good because loving the sin (or accepting it in the name of compassion) is contrary to the love our neighbor. After all, sin enslaves and then completely undermines our neighbor’s happiness. In the former case, people suffer from the wrong kind of intolerance; in the latter, the wrong kind of tolerance.

The world is riddled with these two problems. But Christ teaches us a different way: We are to love the sinner and hate the sin. In our culture, we forget that the genuineness and intensity of love is dependent upon our willingness to hate sin. A parent who is overly tolerant of his or her child’s unruly or dangerous behavior is lacking in the fundamental duty of parental and Christian love. In society, this can be expressed in “accepting people for who they are.” What this often translates into is tolerating sinful behaviors and lifestyles.

Homosexuality, for instance, began to be tolerated in society in 1973 with the DSM-R III (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association). In 1973 it was removed from the DSM-R III and no longer diagnosed as a disorder. Nearly forty years later, however, to publicly disapprove of homosexuality or same-sex marriage is to run the risk of being censured by the media or paying a price corporately by losing one's job. To be sure, many political powers that be are on the threshold of legislating that criticism of homosexuality is a hate crime.

This kind of tolerance is nothing less than confusing license (the freedom to do what we want to do) and liberty (the freedom to do what we ought to do). As Pope Leo XIII said over a century ago, what license gains, liberty loses; that is, to the degree we tolerate immoral acts, we lose the liberty to pursue justice and goodness. Why is that? Well, one thing leads to another. The social and political toleration of immoral behavior leads to its acceptance which then leads to its advocacy. With the advocacy and promotion of anything immoral there comes with it an intolerance to opposition. And this intolerance is often coercive and repressive.

It is important to remember that license is an indiscriminate or imprudent form of tolerance. In accepting immoral values, it ceases to acknowledge proper standards and boundaries. But this can work the other way too. The flipside of acceptance is rejection. And if license goes too far in accepting that which is evil, it will go too far in rejecting the good. The violation of human rights, private property rights and liberty itself proceeds from the spirit of licence. Indeed, a liberal tolerance of any kind of value or lifestyle is but the groundwork for a dictatorial intolerance.

Pope Benedict XVI called it "The Dictatorship of Relativism." It is a kind of dictatorship that masquerades as being principled but it is far from being principled or consistent. Rather, it's coercive and repressive measures are subjective in that they are based on on likes, dislikes and expediency. Vladmir Solovev, an 18th century Russian philosopher and convert to the Catholic Faith, reminded his fellow countrymen (before the onslaught of the Russian Revolution of 1917) that when government is inspired by the instinct of "I want..." then there are no limits to the political power. All boundaries are erased. Unfortunately, the Russian people learned the hard way. And it may be that Americans will learn from experience too.

As long ago as 1931, then-Monsignor Fulton Sheen, spoke about “A Plea for Intolerance.” What he addressed just 30 to 40 years before the widespread outbreak of relativism is the blind spot of our age. According to Sheen, in 1931 the world suffered from undue tolerance. Indeed, he saw the beginnings of it. Unfortunately Christians were beginning to identify love with being tolerant of sin. This is what he said:

“America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance - it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded…

Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience toward evil ... a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. Tolerance applies only to persons ... never to truth. Tolerance applies to the erring, intolerance to the error...

Tolerance does not apply to truth or principles. About these things we must be intolerant, and for this kind of intolerance, so much needed to rouse us from sentimental gush, I make a plea. Intolerance of this kind is the foundation of all stability.”

Recovering this balance between loving the sinner and hating the sin is, in part, the task that the New Evangelization will have to undergo if it is to effectively reverse the tide of Secularism. Either we passionately love souls by becoming unapologetically intolerant of sin, error and the prejudices of our century, or Secular minded people will become intolerant of us. The latter has already manifested itself and as for the former, it is never too late to try. Christ did it! The Apostles did it! The Fathers, Doctors and Martyrs of the Church did it! And the Saints did it! Therefore, we should do it!

Friday, October 28, 2011

What an exorcist can teach an evangelist :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Fr. Seelos
What an exorcist can teach an evangelist :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)
By Joe Tremblay *
The Devil may, of course, win the battles, even important battles, but he will never win the war.

-Father Gabriel Amorth, Vatican's chief excorcist

Knowing the Truth:

Evangelization and exorcisms are two kindred missions of the Church. After all, Church-approved exorcisms are but a dramatic expression of the titanic but often unperceived struggle between grace and sin in every individual. But good triumphing over evil depends on first knowing the truth about this conflict. 

Take for instance, The Rite, The Exorcist and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. These are movies that were inspired by true stories. Nevertheless, all three films were riddled with half-truths. In my opinion, none of them conveyed the clear sense that Christ won the battle. There lingered a kind of dreary overcast and a shadow at the end of each of these movies. From my vantage point, the victory of good over evil was neither decisive nor satisfying. The one rare exception to the rule is The Haunting in Connecticut; a well-done documentary by the Discovery Channel on a demon infested house that oppressed a family. These evil spirits were cast out by an Exorcism and a Mass in a convincing fashion. When the rite of exorcism was complete, it was as if light, peace and warmth permeated the house. Evil had been defeated. Christ had won just as he had in the Gospels so many times. And as for the family that had been oppressed for so many weeks, they had been finally liberated. 

The Conflict of Exorcisms:

The Discovery documentary on the exorcism in Connecticut, as with any exorcism, is instructive for Catholic evangelists and teachers. Exorcism is a microcosm of how Christ restores what belongs to him in the Church’s day to day mission. Ushering in the kingdom of heaven quite often presupposes a conflict that involves causalities. After all, purging evil is offensive to both demons and men. St. Paul reminded the Corinthians that they are the aroma of Christ for those who are being saved but the odor of death for those who are perishing. 

The exorcist, as well as the evangelist, must see through the hazards of the battle. To be sure, the reason is that with the eradication of evil there is opposition and resistance. But the failure to pull up evil from the roots is to endanger the seed of God from being firmly planted in the soil. Our Lord himself said to the Pharisees, “But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and steal his property, unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house…” Indeed, every rite of exorcism performed in his name is an act of plundering, tying up the strong man and casting him out. This must take place before the return of God’s peace and his grace either to a soul or to a house. 

I Smell God: 

This decisive victory in Connecticut reminds me of a story in what used to be my hometown. A young gentleman had attended a high school party where the Ouija Board was being played by a number of kids. It just so happened that this Ouija Board was pretty active that night. In fact, it was alleged that there was a spirit, if I remember correctly, by the name of "Sue" that they had supposedly contacted. This spirit said that she had died at age eight and began to reveal some other features of “her life on earth.” This is where the young gentlemen who told my family the story comes in. He had walked into the house and realized what was transpiring. Being well formed in the Catholic Faith he got a little concerned about the paranormal activity. He then went back into his car and retrieved his scapular (a necklace-like cloth piece which carries with it, our Lady's protection and our Lord's blessing) and put it on underneath his shirt. This, he did without telling anyone. He then proceeded back into the house. Lo and behold, the activity with the Ouija board abruptly stopped. Baffled over the abrupt silence, the teenagers petitioned the spirit why it had ceases to interact with them. The last words that were spelled out, supposedly from the once friendly spirit of “Sue,” was the following: “I smell God!” The Ouija board participants heard no more from Sue.

Prudence and the Criteria:

With every report of diabolic phenomenon, prudence must always accompany the discernment of its authenticity. It has been said that 80-90% of all cases that come before the Church have a natural explanation such as a psychological or physical disorder. But for those approved exorcisms, one or more of follow criteria must be met: bodily levitation, extraordinary strength, speaking foreign language or unfamiliar tongue or knowing things beyond the person’s natural capability, and demonstrating an aversion to sacramentals or to the name of Jesus and Mary. When a diabolic presence has been determined, an exorcist must approach the victim with a spirit of sacrifice and confidence. When the world’s leading Vatican exorcist, Fr. Gabriel Amorth, was asked if he was afraid of the devil, his response was: “Afraid of that beast? He’s the one who should be afraid of me because I work in the name of the Lord of the world. He is only an ape of God.”

The Attitude of an Exorcist:

In fact, 1952 rite of exorcism gives the following instructions: “Let the priest pronounce the exorcism in a commanding and authoritative voice, and at the same time with great confidence, humility, and fervor…with his intention fixed on God, whom he should entreat with firm faith and in all humility. And if he is all the more grievously tormented, he ought to bear this patiently, never doubting the divine assistance.” Every exorcist knows that the demons or the evil spirits will not willingly vacate. That is why the rite prescribes the following: “He [the priest] will pay attention as to what words in particular cause the evil spirits to tremble, repeating them the more frequently.” A real battle is anticipated. As such, the priest who engages in spiritual warfare of this nature cannot flinch if the victim soul is to be liberated. 

Spiritual Pacifism:

But many Catholic clergy and laity are flinching. In some cases are not fighting the war all together. For instance, Fr. Gabriel Amorth lamented that “casting out demons” and “tying up the strong man” is simply not being done in many European countries. In a 2006 interview he said, “Before this new Rite came out, the German Episcopate wrote in a letter to Cardinal Ratzinger that there was no point in a new Rite in that exorcisms should no longer be performed.” The he goes on to report the following: “We have countries completely devoid of exorcists, such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal. This is a shameful shortfall.” 


Exorcisms and Evangelization: Two Kindred Missions

What does the evangelist take away from the exorcist? The fact that exorcisms and evangelization are kindred missions is not to suggest that evangelists and teachers should go around issuing commands or put on an air of militancy. But there is a general lesson to take away from exorcisms. And the lesson is that preaching the Gospel is a kind of exorcism in that evil is purged as God’s goodness is ushered in. In practical terms, it could mean the Church calling people to repentance before admitting them to the Sacraments; or it could mean issuing a public reprimand or warning to politicians and other celebrities who publicly oppose Catholic principles; or it could mean for dioceses and parishes to get the right people on the bus (Catholics who embrace the fullness of Christ’s teachings) and getting the wrong people off of the bus (nominal Catholics). Keep in mind, the unity of minds, the uniformity of action and speaking with one voice depends on it!

With that said, many twenty-first century Catholics refuse to drive away demons and tie up the strong man both in their personal spiritual warfare and in their ministries. However, there are two problems with this: First, it is diametrically opposed to the Gospel. Second, it doesn’t work! It obviously doesn’t work with exorcisms. And it does not work with the Church’s pastoral practices and her mission to evangelize! In terms of the last five decades, the Church’s diminished influence on culture, of lower church attendance and of a fewer priestly and religious vocations seem to suggest this.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Gril cured of tumor in Medjugorje

http://www.medjugorjetoday.tv/2738/girl-was-cured-from-tumor-during-apparition/



10 year old Italian girl Chiara Zoccante suffered from a pituitary tumor when she attended visionary Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo’s apparition on January 2nd 2006. Afterwards Mirjana told Chiara’s parents that the Virgin Mary had put her hands on their girl. One month later doctors discovered that the tumor was gone.
Patrizia and Mariano, the parents of Chiara Zoccante who was healed from a pituitary tumor during an apparition in Medjugorje in January 2006
The cure must be immediate, permanent and unexplainable by medical treatments. When The Catholic Church investigates claims of miraculous healings, these three criteria must be met before a cure can be declared a miracle.
And so, when the medical experts assigned by the Vatican Commission charged with investigating the events in Medjugorje sift through the more than 400 case files of claimed healings, they might set aside the case of the Italian girl Chiara Zoccante, now in her seventh year of good health.
At age 10 Chiara was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor. She was first hospitalized on June 24th 2005, on the 24th anniversary of the apparitions in Medjugorje.

“By chance, at the hospital we met a friend who told us about the apparitions. We promised to take Chiara to Medjugorje as soon as she felt good enough physically. And we kept our word”, Chiara’s parents, Patrizia and Mariano Zoccante, told the weekly Italian magazine Oggi in June this year.
“We kept our word. On December 31th 2005 we arrived in the town of Virgin. We were excited by the grace of the place where everyone invited us to pray. Meeting with Father Jozo (Medjugorje’s parish priest by the time of the first apparition) was as a balm, but the most touching moment was the meeting with Mirjana during her monthly apparition”.
“On January 2nd 2006, Chiara was taken near the visionary. After the apparition Mirjana told us that the Virgin had put her hands on Chiara.”
“Exactly one month later, on February 2nd 2006, we went to the hospital for a routine MRI. The cancer had completely disappeared. And not only that: her hair also came back though the doctors told us that Chiara would remain bald, as a consequence of chemotherapy.”, Chiara Zoccante’s parents told Oggi.
Though Chiara’s story is only now breaking in English, it has been known for a while in Italy. On April 18th 2010 she testified before about 20,000 people gathered for a Medjugorje prayer meeting in Milan.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Blessed Mother statue being smashed in Rome riots Oct. 2011

VIDEO OF STATUE BEING SMASHED
http://www.gloria.tv/flash/player5.swf?video=205626&duration=34&autostart=false&controls=true

Photo: Occupy Rome Desecrates Statue of Our Lady

Posted by Taylor Marshall--October 16,2011
http://cantuar.blogspot.com/2011/10/photo-occupy-rome-desecrates-statue-of.html

At the recent economic "occupy" demonstration in Rome, the protesters decided to take their anger out on...our Blessed Mother! What? This is Satanic. 

Did the Virgin Mary take away their jobs? Did the Immaculate Mother ruin the Euro? Did the sweet Mother of Christ endorse the rotten assets of Euro-nation banks? No.

More and more, these rallies are revealing themselves as Marxist, and consequently, anti-Christ. Young people have tons of college school loans and no prospects. They're angry and their anger will rest first with "rich people" then to "government" then to "foreign governments" and then to "religion" and then to "God." By the looks of the photo above, Rome is ahead of the curve.

Remember what Our Lady of Fatima said to Blessed Lucia. We should attend Holy Mass, confess, pray the Rosary and meditate for 15 minutes on the Rosary every first Saturday for at least 5 first Saturdays.

When Lucia asked, "Why five first Saturdays?" our Immaculate Lady answered, "In reparation for the five offenses against her that most grieve the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
1) those that deny her as the Mother of God
2) those that deny her as the Immaculate Conception
3) those that deny her perpetual virginity
4) those that teach children to irreverence her
5) those that smash or desecrate images of her
So here we have the last offense in full view. Let us pray earnestly, and let us make reparation to the divine justice of Christ before His hand of judgment falls up on us.

Let us pray in particular for those that did this, and for those that just walked by, even taking photos of the tragedy.

Kyrie eleison (forty-fold)

A Saint for Solitude and Silence, St. Hilarion (291-371)

Today, 21 Oct 2011, the Church remembers the life of St Hilarion, one of the great Desert Fathers. He longed for silence and solitude, with which to seek the heart of God, but for much of his life it was denied him. So many miracles accompanied his life on earth that we would be wise to get to know him better and thus seek his powerful intercession from heaven.
St Hilarion was born near Gaza to pagan parents. When the time came for him to be educated, they sent him to Alexandria. Excelling at his studies in this city, he grew in ability and character. Here, as a teenager, Hilarion came into contact with Christianity and was converted. Attracted by the reports of the life of St Antony of Egypt, Hilarion set out to meet him. Still only 15 years old, Hilarion embraced St Antony’s lifestyle whole-heartedly. However far too many people were making their way to implore St Antony’s aid, so Hilarion returned to Palestine, settled his affairs, and began a hermit’s life in the wilderness of Majuma ( a locality on the coast road between Gaza and Egypt).
In this place, St Hilarion through prayer, fasting and self denial battled fierce temptations. Many of these battles were with temptations to lust, so he is someone we can turn to with confidence when we are faced with similar battles. Such a servant of God doesn’t remain hidden for long. Those who came to visit him were healed and set free from demons. Prior to St Hilarion there had been no monks in Palestine, but such were the numbers that came to him that desired to live this harsh life in their quest for God that he trained them, and monasteries sprang up all over the area.

***First Miracle--He had now spent twenty-two years in the wilderness and was the common theme in all the cities ofPalestine, though everywhere known by repute only. The first person bold enough to break into the presence of the blessed Hilarion was a certain woman of Eleutheropolis who found that she was despised by her husband on account of her sterility (for in fifteen years she had borne no fruit of wedlock). He had no expectation of her coming when she suddenly threw herself at his feet. Forgive my boldness, she said: take pity on my necessity. Why do you turn away your eyes? Why shun my entreaties? Do not think of me as a woman, but as an object of compassion. It was my sex that bore the Saviour. Luke 5:31They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick. At length, after a long time he no longer turned away, but looked at the woman and asked the cause of her coming and of her tears. On learning this he raised his eyes to heaven and bade her have faith, then wept over her as she departed. Within a year he saw her with a son.


***One of these healings contains so much wisdom that it is worthwhile reviewing. A woman who had been blind for 10 years was brought to St Hilarion. She was now penniless, having spent all she had on physicians. As she came into his presence, he told her “If you had given to the poor what you have wasted on physicians, the true Physician Jesus would have cured you.” Since she was a woman of perseverance, she cried and begged for pity. In response, just like Jesus, St Hilarion made a paste with dirt and spittle and put it on her eyes. The woman was cured instantly. 
***After the holy man had already passed 22 years of his life in this desert, God desired to make him known to the world by miracles. A noble lady of Gaza having heard of the holy hermit, came to him and begged him, with tears in her eyes, to go to her house and visit her three sons who were mortally sick. The Saint refused to comply with her request; but the mother ceased not to weep and entreat him until he had promised to come during the night, which accordingly he did. Saying a short prayer, he laid his hand upon the children, and all three rose from their beds in perfect health. Hardly had this become known in the city, when several sick were carried to him that he might cure them. The Saint, by healing all of them, converted a great many heathens to the true faith. Many also came to him who desired to live piously, and to lead, under his guidance, a solitary life. 
As with many other Desert Fathers, the Lord God underlined how pleasing these lives of radical self denial were by permitting them to live to advanced old age. When the thirst for solitude overwhelmed him, St Hlarion had quite a battle to leave Majuma since no one wanted him to leave. He set out for several lonely places around the Mediterranean, only to be discovered as a holy man time and time again. St Hilarion ended his days in Cyprus, and his faithful disciple St Hesychius managed to smuggle his remains back to Majuma. 
As death came, St Hilarion repeated over and over, “Go forth, what do you fear? Go forth, my soul, why do you hesitate? You have served Christ nearly seventy years, and do you fear death?”
No less a person than St Jerome wrote about the life of St Hilarion. You can find a translation of this document at www.newadvent.org/fathers/3003.htm, and it is so much better than my paltry words. Do yourself a favor and read in it of the miracles worked through St Hilarion and his many words of wisdom.

Prayer to Saint Hilarion


To be a Hilarion, and yet to fear death! If in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry. O glorious Saint, penetrate us with the apprehension of God's judgments. Teach us that Christian fear does not banish love, but, on the contrary, clears the way and leads to it, and then accompanies it through life as an attentive and faithful guardian. This holy fear was thy security at thy last hour; may it protect us also along the path of life, and at death introduce us immediately into heaven!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Standing on My Head: Tolerance, Decadence and Violence

Standing on My Head: Tolerance, Decadence and Violence

Exceprt---So we see our society not just drifting into decadence, but suddenly seemingly out of nowhere, we are seeing a full flowering of decadence. The decadence is at every level of society, and is exhibited in disgusting behaviors and beliefs in a multitude of different ways. Sexual immorality is everywhere--children are highly sexualized. Adultery and divorce are rampant. Homosexuality is flagrant. Promiscuity, co-habitation and pre-marital sex are everywhere accepted and open. Furthermore, it is not just among the underclass.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In God's Company 2: Virgin Mary Statue Destroyed in Rome

http://www.gloria.tv/?media=205626  video of staue being destroyed

In God's Company 2: Virgin Mary Statue Destroyed in Rome: VATICAN CITY—The Vatican has condemned Saturday’s violent clashes in central Rome including an attack by protesters on a church in which a ...


The Vatican has condemned Saturday’s violent clashes in central Rome including an attack by protesters on a church in which a crucifix and a statue of the Virgin Mary were destroyed.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said he “condemned the violence and the fact that a church was desecrated by some protesters who broke in and destroyed some images.” He referred to the clashes in Rome as “horrific.”
The 18th-century church of Santi Marcellino and Pietro is near St John Lateran square where much of Saturday’s violence occurred.
“When I came down, I saw the entrance door had been smashed in,” the church’s parish priest, Father Giuseppe Ciucci, was quoted by Italian media as saying.
“The Virgin Mary’s statue, which was at the entrance, had been taken away and I saw it had been thrown into the street and smashed,” he said.
“I went into the sacristy and I saw the door there was also destroyed. The large crucifix at the entrance had been vandalized,” he added.

Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb,Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

In God's Company 2: Medjugorje: Souha’s most beautiful confession

In God's Company 2: Medjugorje: Souha’s most beautiful confession: Souha’s most beautiful confession. A group came from the Middle East to spend a few days in Medjugorje, wanting to make a holy pilgrimage. ...

Souha had a secret that left her without peace. Soon after her arrival, she went to see a priest from her group and confided to him that she had an abortion. The child that she was expecting was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, and she and her husband did not want him. They decided together to have him removed from the womb and had an abortion performed. Her heart was still restless however and Souha asked the priest, “It’s not a sin, is it?” The priest answered, “But yes, my daughter, it is a sin! A grave sin! You must go to confession!”

Souha was not convinced and she shut herself within her denial. Yet she asked the Blessed Mother for a sign to know whether she should confess this act.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

ARTHUR BOYLE - HEALED IN MEDJUGORJE, SEPT. 2000

Stories of miraculous healings from Medjugorje are definitely one of the most mysterious happenings in the past thirty years parallel to the claims of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Over 600 cases of healings have been recorded.  The Holy See observes with caution but the documentation only increases the observer’s curiosity of the Medjugorian happenings.
Actually, nobody really talks about or announces the healings in Medjugorje, but the belief that they occur stemmed from the apparitions, blessings, prayers, trips to Apparition Hill or on the high hilltop of Cross Hill some five hundred meters away.
  
Recorded cases of the healings of people from all over the world are kept in the Information center “Mir” run by the Franciscans of the St. James parish in Medjugorje along with all the given documentation which is then forwarded to medical and theological examiners.
Among the hundreds of cases, one that definitely stands out is of Arthur Boyle, an American from Hingham near Boston.  He was diagnosed with kidney cancer which spread to his lungs. Doctors sadly predicted a speedy death.
“I was diagnosed with cancer in 1999. They removed my kidney.  I thought the operation took care of everything, but eight months later during a follow-up exam, doctors found three tumors in my right lung. They gave me a less than a 5% chance that I’ll survive.  Radiation and chemotherapy was out of the question. Only an operation to remove my right lung was possible. At that time, my best friend asked me if I’ve heard of Medjugorje.”  recollects Arthur Boyle.
“I remembered then years back how my daughter, while studying medicine, brought me a book from Medjugorje titled ‘The Messages of Medjugorje’. My wife read me the messages but I didn’t pay much attention to it.  However, after my friend asked me about Medjugorje, I went home and asked my wife: ‘What is this Medjugorje? What did you tell me about Medjugorje?’ she told me all that she knew about that place of prayer, love, peace, and healing.”


One week later in September of 2000, Arthur Boyle, emotionally crushed by the progressing illness traveled to Medjugorje. At first, he felt a great power after confession, then he had an impressive meeting with the visionary, Vicka and father Jozo Zovko at Široki Brijeg, not far from Medjugorje. That gave him the strength to attempt climbing up Cross Hill.

“It was raining. As I was climbing, I felt tired. I had a strong pain in my legs and I felt as if everything was getting worse. My chest hurt like never before, but we climbed to the top. We were the only three adult men on Cross Hill.  I prayed with all my heart and soul for God to forgive me and to help me to get well. We cried as we prayed.  After that I called my wife on my cell phone, because my friends and I had a feeling that something strange happened to me up on Cross Hill. She then told me that she scheduled an operation to remove my right lung four days upon my return from Medjugorje. I asked her if she could ask the doctors to examine me one more time before I go into surgery. I also asked her to organize everything if it was possible when I got back to America.
Shortly after that, the doctor’s secretary called me and said: “Mr. Boyle, we know that you are in Medjugorje and we know why. That is really great, but you have cancer and it’s not going to go away all by itself, believe me. I assure you that you need this operation.” Arthur Boyle told his story.

He arrived home in America convinced that he was healed.
“God healed me. I am healed in my heart. I am spiritually healed. All that was rotten and unhealthy in me, I got rid of in confession in Medjugorje.” he repeated.
He then went to his doctor who showed him the old and new CAT scans.
“He told me to wait outside for five minutes then he called me into his office. He was scratching his beard while looking stunned.  He concluded that the cancer has just disappeared, that it was gone. We called all the attending doctors who had to operate on me and told them about it.  Astonished, they all accepted the fact that I was cured,” described Arthur Boyle. That day, September 14, 2000, instead of going into surgery to remove his right lung, he went to play golf.


There were hundred of cases like this one collected throughout these past three decades in Medjugorje. Evidence is recorded and stored in the “Mir” Information center in Medjugorje awaiting further processing from medical and theological experts.
SOURCE - MINISTRY VALUES


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

BAD BEHAVIOR AND THE GOSPEL

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Romans 2:1-11, Psalm 62:2-3, 6-7, 9, Luke 11:42-46
DOCILITY, NOT HOSTILITY
"Teacher, in speaking this way You insult us too!" -Luke 11:45
Jesus speaks strongly of lifestyle changes in today's Gospel reading. He gives the Pharisees and lawyers a direct warning of the consequences of their hypocrisy and pride (Lk 11:42ff). The lawyers disregarded Jesus' loving and expert warning and claimed He was insulting them (Lk 11:45). After Jesus concluded His diagnosis and prescription, "the scribes and Pharisees began to manifest fierce hostility to Him" (Lk 11:53). His listeners did not heed His words.
St. Paul spoke strongly of lifestyle changes in his letter to the Romans. He warned of the natural and eternal consequences of the sinful lifestyles of idolatry (Rm 1:23), homosexual activity (Rm 1:24-27), and other acts of wickedness (Rm 1:29ff). St. Paul is also giving a loving diagnosis and prescription. Try reading Romans 1:18-32 in the average college classroom, corporate workplace, or other "enlightened" setting and see whether the reaction of your hearers is docility or "fierce hostility." Many would think they were being insulted (see Lk 11:45) rather than being warned in love.
If your doctor told you to change your lifestyle or die, you would probably act with docility and not think you were being insulted. Accordingly, repent of any hostility to Doctor Jesus. Repent of not being docile to Him. He is Almighty God, the ultimate authority. Let Him tell you anything. Then "do whatever He tells you" (Jn 2:5).
Prayer: Father, help me to daily sit at Your feet (Lk 10:38-42), hear Your words, and act on them (Jas 1:22).
Promise: "Do you not know that God's kindness is an invitation to you to repent?" -Rm 2:4
Praise: Rather than attend a popular girl's party where questionable activities would ensue, Marissa called upon her Lord and refused the invitation.

The wedding banquet

The wedding banquet


DEACON DOUGLAS MCMANAMAN
Our eternal salvation is not about proper etiquette or being a nice guy.
Today's gospel is rather grim, and I believe that if I were to lighten it or sweeten it up for you, I would be evading my responsibility to my bishop to proclaim and teach the difficult truths of the gospel, which I promised to do at my ordination. In fact, that was the sin of the invited guests in this gospel: they took the king's invitation "lightly", and as a result, they were found unworthy. That should be a warning to me not to take this gospel lightly.
Recently, a good friend of mine alerted me to a ten year informal study that was recently concluded in the U.S. which found that a very large percentage of Catholics believe that in order to get to heaven, it is enough for one to be a "decent" person. It is believed that since the majority of people are decent, the majority of us are probably going to heaven.
But these assumptions fly in the face of this gospel reading today, which ends: "Many are called, but few are chosen". It is also in conflict with many other passages in Scripture, and it is contrary to the consistent testimony of the great doctors of the Church. But allow me, for the moment, to focus on this gospel alone.
Jesus compares the kingdom of Heaven to a king who gave a wedding banquet in honor of his son. That's the key point in this parable: it is a banquet in honor of his son. Those who were invited refused the invitation. He sent out other servants a second time with special instructions to say: "Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast." But they took the invitation lightly. Now, it's not that they decided to rob the treasury or engage in sedition or commit adultery, etc. No, they simply had other business. One went to his farm, another to his business. These are legitimate pursuits. Their sin was their indifference to God's call to live for Him, to make Him their chief end in life, not themselves.
God communicates sufficient grace to every soul, and this interior grace is an invitation to an eternal life of union with Him, in the Person of his Son. God calls us to live for His kingdom, not the kingdom of this world: "I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear….All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides."
But the kingdom of Heaven, which must be our primary focus in life, is an eternal banquet in honour of the eternal Son of the Father.
I believe that one of the reasons that so many people think heaven is practically guaranteed is that they imagine it to be an eternal Club Med vacation. Conversely, many people regard Hell as the ultimate prison sentence, and so they conclude that since they have done nothing in this life to deserve the penultimate prison sentence – they haven't broken the law in any serious matter – it would be unthinkable that they could deserve the ultimate prison sentence.
The problem, of course, is that Hell is not the ultimate prison sentence, and heaven is not an eternal Caribbean cruise that even the most depraved would enjoy. Hell is an eternal state of alienation from the vision of God, the inevitable result of the character we've determined for ourselves by our own free choices in this life. And Heaven is an eternal banquet given in honor of Christ. And one can be an upstanding citizen, a winner of the Order of Canada, and at the same time have a profound aversion to Christ. In other words, one can be an upstanding citizen and be dead to the grace of God. Moreover, one can have a criminal record and be on death row, even, and die in the grace of God, that is, in God's friendship. There are many upstanding citizens who are repulsed by the precepts of the gospel, who despise the Church, especially for her positions on moral matters, in particular matters related to marriage and sexuality, i.e., cohabitation before marriage, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, abortion, pornography, etc., and who actively try to bring about the destruction of institutions that operate on the basis of Catholic principles. And, some of these people are very nice people. They don't break the law, they dress well, but they hate the Church and are averse to the idea of submission to the divine law.
Our eternal salvation is not about proper etiquette or being a nice guy. If I were to imply that it's as easy as being a decent guy or gal, I'd be making a mockery of the lives and deaths of the great martyrs of the Church throughout the centuries who suffered much and sacrificed their lives for the sake of the salvation of souls of future generations. All for what, when all that was required of us was to be nice?
Civil law and cultural etiquette is not the standard by which we will be judged. The standard by which all of us will be judged will the love that appears to us from the cross. Do we have an aversion to him? Was our life an evading of the cross, a continual pursuit of our own satisfaction and well-being, as it is for so many people today? Or, was our life the pursuit of that crucified love? Was every day of our life an effort to become more deeply inserted into the life of the Son of God? I cannot judge the soul of an individual human being, thank God, so I don't know who will make it and who will not. I don't even know if I am in a state of grace – I can only hope. But scripture does clearly say that the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to perdition and those who enter through it are many, but how narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to eternal life, and those who find it are few (Mt 7, 13-14).
The food that will be served at this banquet, the fattened calf that was sacrificed, is none other than the Bread of Life, Christ himself, which is the food that is given at every Mass. And that is why it is so important to spend the rest of our lives disposing ourselves towards this food. Just as it takes years to dispose ourselves to enjoy healthy foods – especially when we've been brought up on junk food – so too it takes years to dispose our souls to love the Bread of Life above all, and to hunger for it continually.
I remember a good priest friend of mine telling me early on in my life that we have to get to the point where we hunger for the Eucharist. Certainly getting to Mass every Sunday is an obligation rooted in the commandments and Church law, but he'd insist that we have to get to the point where it is not longer an obligation. What he meant is that if you are at that point where you simply cannot miss Mass because your hunger for it is so great, it's no longer an external law outside of you, but has become an interior law, compelling you from within, as hunger is an interior movement propelling you to eat in order to live.
Imagine what it would be like to be missing that hormone (ghrelin) that triggers the hunger appetite when your body needs food. We could go days without food and it wouldn't bother us, but we'd probably die of malnutrition. There is no hormone that triggers an appetite for the Eucharist. You and I have to cultivate that on our own, by our own free choice, because if we do not, heaven will not be a very enjoyable prospect. To feed forever on the Bread of Life is a supernatural act, but if all we live for are the pleasures of this world and we neglect to cultivate a rich interior life, if we're not on fire with the Holy Spirit and love only ourselves, hungering only for temporal goods, we won't be properly disposed for eternal life, and life within the communion of saints will be profoundly uncomfortable for us. If I am indifferent to holiness, to the love of God and neighbour, then I'm not going to want to be in the presence of the great saints, the heroic souls and martyrs of the Church; I'm going to feel entirely out of place. Friendships are always based on common character.
We must cloth ourselves in the wedding garment of charity, that is, pursue the love of God above everything else. The worldly preoccupations of the invited guests who took the invitation lightly are all good in and of themselves. The world of business is intriguing and wealth is a great blessing, and we need the astute of this world and the wealthy to invest, provide employment, etc., but all of it must serve an eternal purpose. This world is passing away. Business is meant to serve the ends of love, love of God and love of neighbour. Our entire life here is a preparation for the eternal banquet, and life in the Church is the gift that the Lord, with all his saints, all the virgins, martyrs and doctors, have given us to prepare for that wedding, so that it will be a coming home for us, and not a gathering of strangers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In God's Company 2: Our Lady calls us to be Joyfull witnesses

In God's Company 2: Our Lady calls us to be Joyfull witnesses: Dear children! I call you, that this time be for all of you, a time of witnessing. You, who live in the love of God and have experienced ...


Dear children!
 I call you, that this time be for all of you, a time of witnessing. You, who live in the love of God and have experienced His gifts, witness them with your words and life that they may be for the joy and encouragement to others in faith. I am with you and incessantly intercede before God for all of you that your faith may always be alive and joyful, and in the love of God. Thank you for having responded to my call." (September 27, 2011)
Comment--Our Lady calls us to be witnesses. Every one of us should become a witness. Faith provides us with strength to be witnesses of Jesus in this world. It is precisely thanks to the testimony of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the apostles and martyrs of the first Church that we have been given the legacy of faith in the Triune God.
Comment--Our Lady is asking us all to find ways to witness to our faith, to Jesus and His love, and to the love of our Mother as well. We have only to listen in our hearts and use our heads we will all find a way to witness to the love of God!
May our faith always be alive and joyful!!
In Jesus and Mary!
Cathy Nolan

MONASTERIES CLEAR CONTAMINATED AIR, SAYS POPE

Proposes Model of Society Centered on God, Brotherhood
SERRA SAN BRUNO, Italy, OCT. 10, 2011  - Benedict XVI says that monasteries still have the role of regenerating the environment, just as they did in the Middle Ages.
The Pope emphasized Sunday what he called an "indispensable" function for monasteries, as he addressed the people of Serra San Bruno in southern Italy. He was set to visit the Carthusian monastery of their city during his pastoral journey to Lamezia Terme.
"The very presence of the monastic community, with its long history that dates back to St. Bruno, is a constant call of God, an opening to heaven and an invitation to remember that we are brothers in Christ," he said.
"If in medieval times [monasteries] were centers of regeneration for swampy territories, today they serve to 'regenerate' the environment in another sense," the Holy Father reflected. At times "the climate breathed in our societies is not healthy, it is contaminated by a mentality that is not Christian, not even human, because it is dominated by economic interests concerned only about earthly things and lacking a spiritual dimension."
"In this context, not only is God marginalized but also one's neighbor, and there is no commitment to the common good," the Pontiff observed. "A monastery instead is a model of a society that puts God and fraternal relationships at the center."
Bastion of the spirit
Bruno Rosi, the mayor of Serra San Bruno, welcomed the Pope with an address in which he stressed the "inestimable spiritual patrimony" represented by the Carthusian Order. He said that the Pope's words would remain as a "beautiful support for the path that this city and [the region of] Calabria in general must follow, a path that is not always easy."
The mayor described John Paul II's visit to the city on Oct. 5, 1984, as a miracle, and Benedict XVI's visit on Sunday as a "gift of inestimable value -- another miracle."
"It's true, two close visits of the Successor of Peter are a privilege for your civil community," responded the Holy Father. "But, above all, it is a great privilege to have in your territory this 'bastion' of the spirit that is the Carthusian monastery."
The Bishop of Rome added that this privilege is also a great responsibility.
"Make a treasure of the great spiritual tradition of this place," he told the people, "and try to put it into practice in daily life."
source - www.zenit.org  www.zenit.org