Tuesday, November 5, 2019

A Post-Halloween, All Souls Day Reality Check: Mediums/Psychics Deceive About Where The Souls Of The Righteous Are After Death


Death collecting and escorting the soul of a young woman upon her demise.
Our LORD Jesus and His Apostles and their Successors (Bishops and Priests) taught the Church that each individual will appear before GOD immediately after death.
This experience of judgment has been popularly called 
the Particular Judgment 
(the Individual or one-on-one judgment involving GOD and the individual soul ONLY).

When we die, we will find ourselves standing before GOD immediately after death.

This will not be the first time nor the only time we will have encountered our Creator! 

GOD has been present to us throughout
 our whole life.  
But, immediately after our deaths, GOD will confirm 
the persons we have freely chosen to develop and present to Him.

Let's take a look in Sacred Scripture concerning The Particular Judgement:

WISDOM 3:1
"The souls of the righteous are in the Hand of GOD, and no torment will ever touch them."
ECCLESIASTES 9:1
"Follow the ways of your heart, the vision of your eyes;  Yet understand regarding all this that GOD will bring you to judgment."
SIRACH 11:26-28
"For it is easy for the LORD on the day of death to repay mortals according to their conduct." 
LUKE 16:19–31
The Parable of Lazarus and The Rich Man. (Lazarus' soul, upon death, is taken lovingly into the bosom of Abraham and finds peace in the afterlife. The Rich Man finds only torment and pain, as he is punished for his selfish egocentricity and neglect of Lazarus.)
LUKE 23:43
Christ promises the penitent thief that his soul - instantly on leaving his body - would be in the state of the blessed: “This day you shall be with me in Paradise.”

The bare-boned, speedy synopsis of the Doctrine of The Particular Judgement is the following: The Particular Judgement was defined by the Early Church's...
+ Scriptural Teachings
+ Doctrinal Teachings
+ Catechetical Teachings and Homilies of the early Fathers of the Church
+ Decrees of the early Popes. 

The Catholic Doctrine of 
The Particular Judgement is this: 
That immediately after death, the eternal destiny of each separated soul is decided by the just judgment of GOD. 
FROM THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH:
III. The Final Purification, or Purgatory
§1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.
§1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.604 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire. 605  As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.606
§1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: “Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.” 607 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.608 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:
Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them. 609

     604 - Cf. Council of Florence (1439): DS 1304; Council of Trent (1563): DS 1820; (1547): 1580; 
                      see also Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000. 
     605 - Cf. 1 Cor 3:15; 1 Pet 1:7. 
     606 - St. Gregory the Great, Dial. 4, 39: PL 77, 396; cf. Mt 12:31. 
     607 - 2 Macc 12:46. 
     608 - Cf. Council of Lyons II (1274): DS 856. 
     609 - St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in 1 Cor. 41, 5: PG 61, 361; cf. Job 1:5.


  • Souls that are most Christ-like, perfectly pure, are at once admitted to the beatific vision of the GODHEAD. 
  • Souls who depart in actual mortal sin are at once consigned to eternal punishment, the quality of which corresponds to their sin.
  • Souls leaving their bodies in an insufficient state of grace, not Christ-like enough - because they are spiritually wounded, soiled by minor/venial sins, and underdeveloped in their knowledge and love of GOD - receive "first aid" (healing and cleansing) in Purgatory.
The souls of the righteous, having been purified and perfected by
the love of the Holy Spirit, and assisted with prayers and Masses offered for them,
depart from their Purgation and ascend to their true homeland in Heaven.
And, so, after our death, GOD will confirm the persons you and I have freely chosen to develop and present to Him.
  • The souls of deceased human beings appear before GOD immediately after death: 
  • They encounter GOD Face-to-Face.
  • They are judged individually.
  • They are dispatched to Hell,
Purgatory, or Heaven until the
 Last Judgment comes when all the dead and those still alive at that time will stand before GOD to have their eternal destination made known to every human person created since Adam and Eve.

So, in regard to Mediums and Psychics and Ouija Boards telling you that your deceased loved ones are down at Starbucks, enjoying a double frou-frou latte, remember:

If human souls are not roaming the earth causing scary paranormal experiences, then there's only one agency which can create these activities: Evil Spirits -- Demons masquerading as the souls of deceased human persons.

The error most people make about what is really happening when they become involved with Mediums/Psychics/Ouija Boards, is in their explanation about the origin and purpose of the occult activities they experience.

If these experiences are not being caused by human souls, then it is a “no brainer” as to who, or what, manufactures these phenomena: Evil Spirits: Demons, trying to deceive us, to mislead us away from Christ and from the Church's Teachings, to destroy us.

Your deceased righteous loved ones are not moving the planchette around on the Ouija Board, nor speaking through Mediums. 


Based on my encounters with haunted places and haunting spirits, I assert that it is a very rare situation in which the disembodied soul of a deceased human person is the source of haunting activities. Does God permit such things? From our Catholic traditions and teachings concerning the souls of deceased persons, yes: In very rare occasions God has committed a human soul to haunt, to manifest itself to the living frequently in a particular location. 
Why and for how long will a human soul be consigned to a specific location?  That is God's business, not ours. We must avoid the temptation to create reasons or explanations for God's decision to encompass a particular human soul within some locale.  

"The souls of the righteous are in the hand of GOD, and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace." (Wisdom 3:1-9)

The souls of deceased virtuous, moral, holy human beings - whom GOD refers to as righteous - who lived faithfully the teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ: 
  • Are not roaming the earth as if they are independent of GOD's Will;
  • Are not communicating through Psychics, Mediums and Ouija Boards.

So, the souls of the righteous are not haunting houses, are not giving interviews to Mediums or Psychics, and are not self-publishing through Ouija Boards. 

Because, as The Book Of Wisdom tells us, "The souls of the righteous are in the Hand of GOD" - not in some creepy old house in your neighborhood.

F.Y.I.:
CONSULTING WITH A PSYCHIC OR MEDIUM OR CHANNELER, 
USING A OUIJA BOARD OR TAROT CARDS ARE
 MORTAL SINS 

AGAINST THE 
1st COMMANDMENT OF GOD: 

MORTAL SINS WHICH CAN CONDEMN PEOPLE TO HELL.

If you have been there and done that, 
you better stop it a.s.a.p. and head to Confession.

Friday, February 1, 2019

In The present Mess Our World Is In, We Must Never Allow Ourselves To Be Overcome By Tribulations and Difficulties

The other day, I was reflecting on the present state of the world.
Whoa! What a mess we are in!
Clergy sexual abuse scandals that seem never-ending. Lying Bishops and Cardinals. And Priests and Deacons, too. All of these happening the world over!
Legally aborting full-term babies as they are delivered through the birth canal.
Legalized, publicly retailed Marijuana.
Extreme weather events and major natural disasters.
Man-made environmental damage and disasters causing large-scale involuntary migration due to water crises and famine crises.
Large scale cyber attacks and massive incidents of personal identity theft and data fraud.
Fake news.
Major economic and political confrontations/frictions between major powers.

Then, while searching for a document on my computer, I stumbled upon an article about our Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI. The article related Benedict's teaching concerning prayer and tribulations. 
I thanked God The Holy Spirit for leading me to it (and for preventing me from deleting it from my hard drive).

Way back, in May of 2012, then Pope Benedict XVI was teaching the nature of Christian prayer according to St. Paul.

Pope Benedict saw St. Paul's prayer experiences as true  individual encounters with God the Father, in Christ, through the Holy Spirit.

These encounters, these two-way dialogues, teach us the reality of the faithful "yes" on the part of God and the trusting "amen" of the faithful.

In his explanation of this relationship, Pope Benedict concentrated on the Second Letter to the Corinthians  
[1:3-4 New International Version NIV], where the Apostle writes:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Comfort, the Pope explained, is not to be understood as mere consolation, but as an exhortation not to allow ourselves to be overcome by tribulations and difficulties.

We are invited to experience every situation in unity with Christ, Who takes all the suffering and sin of the world upon Himself in order to bring light, hope and redemption.

Thus, Our Lord Jesus enables us, in our turn, to console those who are afflicted by any kind of suffering. Profound union with Christ in prayer, and confidence in His presence, predispose us to share the sufferings of our brothers and sisters.

Pope Benedict explained that "our life and our Christian journey are often marked by difficulty, misunderstandings and pain. In a faithful relationship with the Lord, in constant daily prayer, we are able to feel the consolation that comes from God. This strengthens our faith, because it means that we enjoy a concrete experience of God's 'yes' to man ... in Christ, the faithfulness of His love which went so far as to give His Son on the cross."

Our faith -- our personal faith and the Faith of our Holy Catholic Church -- is a gratuitous gift of God. It is rooted in His fidelity to us, in His "yes," which leads us to understand how to live our lives while loving Him and our neighbor. The entire history of salvation is a progressive revelation of God's fidelity to us, despite our own infidelity and our constant denials.

Pope Benedict pointed out that God's way of acting is quite different from that of man. "Faced with conflicts in human relationships, often even within the family, we tend not to persevere in gratuitous love, which requires commitment and sacrifice. However, God never loses patience with us and, in His immense mercy, precedes us always and comes out to meet us. ... On the cross He offers us the measure of His love, which is not calculated and has no limit. Such faithful love can wait even for those who reject it. God always seeks man and wishes to welcome him into His communion, to give him fullness of life, hope and peace."

On to the"yes"of God is grafted the"amen" of the Church, the response of faith with which we conclude our prayers.  Our "amen" expresses our own "yes" to God's initiative.

"In our prayers, we are called to say 'yes' to God, to respond with an 'amen' which is an expression of adherence, of faithfulness to Him with all of our lives.
"But we can never achieve such faithfulness by our own powers.  It is not only the result of our daily efforts; it comes from God and is founded on the 'yes' of Christ. ... We must enter into Christ's 'yes' by following God's will so that, with St. Paul, we too can affirm that it is not we who live, but Christ Himself Who lives in us. Then the 'amen' of our individual and community prayers will embrace and transform all of our lives."


Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.  If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.  And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
New International Version NIV

 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Immaculate Conception: Being Heroically Holy

In 1854, with the Papal Bull, Ineffabilis, Pope Pius IX solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception: "We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which asserts that the Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, was preserved free from every stain of original sin is a doctrine revealed by God and, for this reason, must be firmly and constantly believed by all the faithful."


God asks for extreme courage in trusting Him and in loving others.  For someone to be united fully to the Holy Spirit,  a person must respond with strength that seems to be almost like God’s strength.  As impossible as it may seem,  the Blessed Virgin Mary did this!

You know,  it would have been a lot easier for our Blessed Mother, if she had been asked to bring forth Christ in secluded, cloistered security somewhere.

It would have been so much easier for our Blessed Mother had she received from the Angel Gabriel at least a guarantee of safety for herself and for the Precious Burden -- Jesus -- growing within her.

But our Blessed Mother did not have it easy just because she said “Yes” to God.

Our Blessed Mother consented to bear her own Child, Jesus, only!

When our Blessed Mother said "Yes" to the angel Gabriel,  she agreed to bear Jesus Christ into her own lifeBut she also agreed to bear Jesus Christ into all lives,  into all times,  in every human being: Not only into secure, protected lives, but into the lives of people troubled by poverty, by fears and temptations; people subject to disease, to persecutions, to chance, to misfortunes.

And while Mary, our Blessed Mother, consented to give birth to Christ, Christ Himself  consented to become completely dependent on Mary during His advent into our human lives.   Christ was absolutely helpless.  He could only go wherever Mary chose to carry Him.  Her breathing supplied His breath.  His heartbeat was enveloped within her heartbeat.

Today and in the future,  Christ is still dependent on human beings.   
Christ depends on us, like the Blessed Mother, to bring Him forth -- to carry Him into our world as it is right now!  Christ dwells within us  through the same Holy Spirit who dwells in the Blessed Mother.

Christ’s dependence on us  shows that He places a great deal of trust in us.  
We must carry Christ in our hearts  to wherever He desires to go -- and there are many places Christ may never go ... unless you and I take Him.

That calls for courage. Courage like Mary’s. Courage to be heroic. To be heroically holy!

Many, many people have the idea that  they can attain heroic holiness only if God sends them a special revelation,  perhaps through an angel;  a revelation from God for them to do something awesome. They can imagine themselves going cheerfully to be thrown to the lions,  or to be burned at the stake,  or to be drawn and quartered! 

But if God doesn’t send that mystical revelation to them, they think that God has not called and chosen them to be heroically holy and to bear witness to their faith in Christ to others.

And so, 

  • If God seems to let us go on ...   working at our usual jobs ... or doing our household chores day after day;   
  • Or if God asks us to continue being patient and gentle towards a cranky spouse or uncooperative children;   
  • Or if God asks us to just continue with our daily lives ...   and to face the anxieties and perplexities of living in the third millennium --     
Then,  we are not willing to become heroically holy and carry Christ within us to others.  We will not trust God to know His Own Will for us!

At times, it may seem to us that there is no glorious, Divine purpose to our going to work every day, or working around the home year after year.  
But it may be that God has placed us right where we are -- because, if it were not for us being there, then Christ would not be there!  If our being there means Christ is there,  that alone makes everything worthwhile.

The Blessed Mother’s Visitation to Elizabeth shows us this is true!   Mary -- carrying the Son of God within her --  set out to Elizabeth’s,  proceeding in haste.

If you and I go “in haste” and with eager wills to wherever our life’s circumstances compel us  -- because of our faith that Christ desires to be in that locale, with these people, in that situation  -- Then, we will find that we are driven more and more to act on the impulse of Christ’s love within us. And to act as the Blessed Mother acted all her life,  saying over and over again to God, ‘Yes -- let it done as YOU say.  I am the servant of the Lord!'

Mary’s “Yes” was her consent to become a living tabernacle,  carrying Jesus Christ,  allowing Him to take flesh, and to grow -- in silence, in humility -- within her.

It takes courage to bear Christ to others.  
It takes courage to trust in God’s word.
It takes courage to be holy in today’s world.   
God asks you and me for extreme courage in trusting Him and in loving others.
For us to united fully to the Holy Spirit, we must respond with strength that seems to be almost like God’s strength. Mary did this!

That’s why we pray with our Blessed Mother on this Feast day of her Immaculate Conception. 

May her example  help us to realize that we  are  carrying Christ within us amid all of the troubles,  anxieties, uncertainties, and sufferings that we face courageously -- day by ordinary day.

Holy Mary,  Mother of God,  prays for us sinners and teaches us how we have been consecrated by God as living vessels for the Lord Jesus,  carrying Him everywhere He desires to be found.

Monday, December 7, 2015

BustedHalo.com's Wonderful "Advent In 2 Minutes" Video Is Great! A Catholic "Must See"!

Greetings, Academicians, and Happy Advent!

Here's a great video --  Advent In 2 Minutes from Busted Halo (http://bustedhalo.com/) --  that succinctly explains all the salient facts about the Catholic Church's celebration of the Advent Season.  And its animated graphics and the catchy version of Tchaikovsky's "The Dance Of The Prince & The Sugar Plum Fairy," from his Nutcracker Suite, make it fun to watch.

Here's the byline from Busted Halo: 
Not quite sure about the relationship between Advent and Christmas? 
Check out Busted Halo's two-minute video that describes why we celebrate Advent and wait to celebrate Christmas.

I found the video to be right on target.  I hope you find it helpful.


The "Assistant Headmaster"




Friday, October 30, 2015

How To Make "Soul Cakes" For All Saints Day and All Souls Day

On All Souls Day, November 2nd,  in many Central European countries - Germany, Belgium, France, Austria, Spain, Italy, Hungary, and Slavic countries - Catholics will attend All Souls Day Mass, and then visit the graves of dear departed ones.  Visiting the gravesites of deceased loved ones is considered a duty of such importance, that many people will travel great distances to their home towns to perform this obligation of love and piety.

It is also an ancient All Souls Day custom in Catholic sections of central Europe to ring the church bells at the approach of dusk on All Saints' Day, to remind the people to pray for the souls in Purgatory. 

When the pealing of these bells is heard, the families gather in one room of their home, extinguish all other lights except a blessed candle (kept from Candlemas Day) which is put on the table. 
Kneeling around it, they say the rosary for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. 
Ancient All Souls Day Chasuble

The boys and men lead the prayer by reciting the first part of the "Hail Mary" while the girls and women respond with the second part.

Along with these pious customs came the baking of special breads - "Soul Cakes" - in honor of the Holy Souls.  

The Soul Cakes are handed out to children and the poor.  The cakes are made of braided strands of sweet dough.

The recipe below is gratefully duplicated from the Catholic Cuisine blog via the Catholic Missionary Family blog. 

It was submitted by Lisa at Catholic Missionary Family, found at
http://www.catholicmissionaryfamily.com/
and posted by Jessica on October 26, 2011 on the Catholic Cuisine Blog, at 
http://catholiccuisine.blogspot.com/2011/10/soul-cakes-original-halloween-treat.html



A RECIPE FOR "SOUL CAKES" FOR ALL SAINTS DAY AND
ALL SOULS DAY

Ingredients:


1 cup butter
3 3/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
6 tablespoons milk
powdered sugar, to sprinkle on top

Directions:

1. Using a pastry blender cut 1 c. of butter into 3 3/4 cups of flour. I bought my first pastry blender just for this occasion.


2. Blend in the sugar, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and allspice. Allspice smells like Christmas.


3. In a separate bowl beat eggs, vinegar and milk together. I would like to add a little shout out here to my amazing mother-in-law, who is always gifting me with amazing things for my kitchen, like these awesome Pyrex measuring cups, Thanks!


4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix.


5. Kneed thoroughly to form a stiff dough. You really have to work this dough, I thought there was no way it was moist enough, but once I mashed it all up it was just right.


6. Roll out to a 1/4 inch thickness and cut out 3 inch circles with a cookie cutter or glass.


7. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.


8. Sprinkle with powdered sugar while still warm. I use a slotted spoon for this.


9. Eat, yummy.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Beginning Friday, July 31, 2015, Radio Maria USA Will Feature Topics Found In The Catholic X-Files.

Beginning Friday, July 31st, we invite you to listen to and phone in to Radio Maria USA, which is offering a new program featuring the "Academy's" Father James Reynolds.

The program will elaborate on many of the topics you have read here, on The Catholic Jedi Academy / The Catholic X-Files.  

The program is entitled Occult and the New Age.



See You On The Radio!

To listen to a live feed from Radio Maria USA click on this URL:

To listen to podcasts of previous programs in Radio Maria USA's archives click on this URL:  

To see Radio Maria USA's Program Schedule click on this URL:

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Glorious Majesty Of The Commonplace

Ordaining Of The Twelve Apostles (1886-1894) by James Tissot

From the Holy Gospel according to Saint Mark [6:7-13]
   Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
   He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick -- no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.
   He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them."
   So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Familiarity breeds contempt”, the old proverb says.  Familiarity causes us to see things according to our prejudices. 
   The result is, that we do not see things as they really are. We fail to see things as GOD sees them. We overlook the majesty of the commonplace!
   Our Lord Jesus sent the Apostles out as messengers. He sent them out without anything to lean on or to help "sell" the message of His Gospel. That's because Our Lord Jesus wants the Gospel to "sell" itself. 
   The appearance, the clothing, the packaging of the messengers must never interfere with the proclamation of the message! The truth of the Gospel is what will persuade the hearers.
   And that is why, for over 2000 years, GOD has revealed His power and glory through the glorious majesty of the commonplace!

   GOD saved the world through a commonplace Carpenter from a commonplace town called Nazareth. To make sure that the messengers of His Gospel would not lose their closeness with His Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus sent them out with nothing — nothing but the message of the Gospel. That way, His messengers could remain dependent only upon GOD for their success. The central focus of their lives would remain Christ and His Gospel message — NOT their clothes or jewelry or luggage.
GOD has repeated this pattern of using the commonplace, the familiar, the ordinary throughout the history of salvation. 
   For example: In The Book of the Prophet Amos [7:12-15]:
Amaziah, priest of Bethel, said to Amos, "Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah! There earn your bread by prophesying, but never again prophesy in Bethel; for it is the king's sanctuary and a royal temple."
Amos answered Amaziah, "I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'"

 Amos was from the poverty-stricken Southern part of Israel. He was a shepherd and a gardener. Amos looked, dressed, and conducted himself like a poor and simple shepherd and gardener. 
   Yet, GOD sent Amos to prophesy to the wealthy, decadent people in the North of Israel.  Because, GOD's Word — not the appearance of the messenger- is all-important!

   The Gospel passage above reveals that Our Lord Jesus does not call superwomen and supermen to be His messengers, His disciples. 
   The Lord called 12 ordinary people to do extraordinary things: to cast out demons and heal the sick. Our Lord Jesus was not very interested in powerful, exceptionally beautiful, or well-educated people to spread GOD's Word. He called the commonplace: the fearful, the weak, the timid, the ordinary.

   Our Lord Jesus is calling you and me to the same discipleship that existed 2000 years ago. His call is an invitation and a challenge to deliver His message to the people/the evils/and the injustice in the world of our time.
   Once we realize the enormity of GOD's love for us, we ordinary people can be empowered by Our Lord Jesus to cast out the demons of our times -- to work with Jesus and for Jesus in redeeming the miseries of the world.

   However: Our Lord also expects US to recognize and accept His Presence and His Message of Salvation being delivered to US in the glorious ordinariness of the people around US — even people we think could not possibly be messengers of Christ's Gospel. He is sending the messages all the time; but are we receiving them?

   For instance, messengers who are attractive, appealing, popular - may complicate or hinder the message of the Gospel. That's why we must ask ourselves: 
✠   Do I ignore someone who could be Christ's messenger challenging me to 
     live the Gospel? 
✠   Am I withholding my attention because of the messenger's appearance? 
     Clothes? Lack of sophistication?
✠   Do I "tune out" the messenger because the messenger happens to be flawed, 
     scarred, or unhealthy? 
✠   Do I fail to notice Christ's messenger to me — because the messenger speaks with 
     an accent? Or is of a different race or culture than my own? Or because the messenger
     is elderly? — or a teenager? — or a little child?

   Remember: throughout the history of salvation, GOD has repeatedly employed the ordinary, the commonplace, to achieve His saving plan for each one of us. GOD sent Someone who seemed to be just a Carpenter to save us from our sins and evil. That Carpenter sent uneducated fishermen and farmers to spread His message that we can be redeemed by becoming completely dependent on GOD.

   The prophet Amos; the 12 apostles — all heard GOD calling them to discipleship - to be His messengers. They labored to fulfill their mission as perfectly as they could. WE also have heard the call. Are we truly trying to fulfill our mission?

   Familiarity breeds contempt, the old proverb says. Familiarity causes us to see things according to our prejudices. The result is, that we do not see things as they really are.
   That is why we must constantly pray for 20-20 spiritual vision to recognize Christ's Body and Blood present in the Holy Eucharist and coming to us in what seem to be ordinary bread and wine.  Christ is offering His Body and Blood, His Divine Life, to be received by imperfect, unlikely, yet nonetheless redeemed people: You and me!

   Thanks be to GOD for revealing His love, and power, and glory — through the glorious majesty of the commonplace! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Should Churches Allow Politicians to Speak at Mass?

Yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, was invited to speak at St. Jude parish in Canarsie, Brooklyn.  The issue was tax credits for students attending private schools, including parochial schools.  The New York State Catholic Conference is understandably supportive of legislation providing these tax credits; but, at what expense?  At the expense of virtue and credibility in my opinion.

While politicians are always eager to garner support from the electorate, the Church should be circumspect about being willing pawns in the political game; even if the results appear to be beneficial.  Does anyone truly believe that Governor Cuomo cares a whit how education tax credits will help the Church?  He didn't seem to care about the Church's position when he was "muscling" same sex "marriage" through the legislature without permitting a popular vote on the issue.  He has tried year after year to expand abortion in New York, a State that is already known as the abortion capital of the U.S.  His pro-abortion agenda includes making any attempt at parental notification laws and informed consent laws illegal.  He wants to permit non-physicians to perform first trimester abortions and remove any sanctions for abortions after 24 weeks (see this article).  Is this the kind of person Catholics want to give a photo op on Church property?

And, the most upsetting aspect of Cuomo's use of the Church in his political strategy, was that we gave him the forum to speak AT HOLY MASS!!  Honestly, this fact is so disturbing as to be almost unbelievable.  So many courageous people in this diocese pour themselves out praying and counseling at the abortuaries that plague our area.  The decimation of the minority population of Brooklyn and Queens through the slaughter of the unborn truly cries out to heaven for justice.

So, when our local Church cooperates with the politician who is hard at work expanding the slaughter of the innocents, it is disheartening to say the least.  To paraphrase the words of St. Thomas More in the classic A Man for All Seasons,  "Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world...but for a tax credit?"




Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Joys And Fruits Of Frightening Love



From The Holy Gospel According To John  [15:9-17]
 Jesus said to his disciples:
 “As the Father loves me, so I also love you.  Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,         just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing.  I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.  It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.  This I command you: love one another.”
                                     ✠
Once upon a time, a priest received an emergency sick call to go to a hospital's Intensive Care Unit.  

An elderly woman was near death.  She wanted to talk to a priest.  When the priest got to I.C.U., he discovered that the woman was 102 years old.  Her mouth was gaping open, and she was drooling out the side of her mouth.   

The priest spoke gently to her, heard her confession, and assured her that he and the parishioners would be remembering her during Mass.  Then he asked, "Mrs. Kelly, before I leave, is there anything you would like me to do?"  She requested that he pray for her: pray right then.  The priest said, “Yes, of course,” and asked if there was something specific she would like him to pray for.   She answered, "I'd like you to pray for me to be healed, right now."  "Right now?," he asked.  "Yes, Father, right away."

Realizing the hopelessness of her situation, the priest thought to himself, "Uh Oh!"  But, reluctantly, he offered a beautiful prayer: "Loving Father, if it is Your will,  please heal Mrs. Kelly;  and if it is not Your will, then to help her and her loved ones adjust to the situation and place their hope in You. Amen."

Suddenly, 102-year-old Mrs. Kelly sat up in bed and exclaimed, "Wow!"  She threw her feet over the side of the bed, stood up, flexed her muscles, and cried, "This is unbelievable!  I feel wonderful!"    Then she walked down to the nurses station, announcing, "I think I'm well!  Hey, everyone, I think I'm well!"

The priest left the hospital, walked to the parking lot, got into his car, and offered his own words to God: "Lord...  don't You ever do that to me again!"
The priest had been frightened by the intensity of love for Mrs. Kelly that GOD 
revealed through the priest.  The priest had never realized how much God loved him 
and listened to him -- until that incident.

To love as Christ loves us means, first of all,  to put aside our own hesitation, our own fears in order to relieve the fears of others.  

To love as Christ loves us means to let go of our own hopes and wants, and instead seek the hopes and wants of others.  

To love as Christ loves us means  to care for and care about others, regardless of the sacrifices demanded of us.

To love as Christ loves us means to be ready always to make the first move to forgive and to heal.

That kind of love can be so overwhelmingly demanding that we may sneak away 
from the prospect. This kind of love frightens people!

Do you and I really believe that our love toward another person can heal that person? Restore that person? Give hope and bring peace to that person?

I think that most of us know at least one incident, wherein, we were able to love someone like Our Lord Jesus loves that person.   

I think that most of us know at least one time when someone had loved us like the Lord Jesus does.

To experience Christ’s divine love is an incredible joy!   His Divine Love reaffirms our gut-feeling that we do have a purpose in our lives.  

Christ’s Divine Love penetrates our being, and we experience completeness, wholeness, from giving and receiving pure, unadulterated love, the love Our Lord Jesus Christ has for you and me.

So, we must not forget:  It was not you and I who chose Christ, but Christ who chose us -- to go forth and bear much fruit.

And our fruit must endure,  so that all we ask the Father in Christ's name He will give us.
The command the Lord Jesus gave us is that we love one another -- first ... last ... always! 

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
Take a moment and visit the MOSJ website.