Jesus answered: ‘Will you lay down your life for me?’ - John 13:38

Support the Holy Father and pray with him!

"Young people in particular, I appeal to you: bear witness to your faith through the digital world!"

-Pope Benedict XVI

Pray for Pope Benedict's prayer intentions for this month. Find out more here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

God bless, Ferninda!

28.11.08 - Ferninda takes the Promise

Legionaries are already full of the love of their Queen and Mother. If they join it to a definite devotion to the Holy Spirit, they will enter most fully into the Divine plan, which has required the union of the Holy Spirit and Mary in the work of regenerating the world. As a consequence, their legionary efforts cannot fail to be attended by a great addition of force and success.

Legion Handbook, Chapter 15

Pope Benedict on Triune Love

Andrei Rublev's Trinity

Triune Love

God is three, and God is one: he is not eternal solitude but the eternal love that is the basis of the relationships between the three Persons and the foundation of all being and life. The unity that this love creates—the Trinitarian unity—is a higher unity than the unity of the building blocks of matter that are indivisible on their lowest level. There is nothing rigid in the highest unity: it is love. The most beautiful picture of this mystery was given us by Andrei Rublev in the fifteenth century in his celebrated icon of the Trinity. It does not portray the eternal mystery of God in his own self, for who would dare do that? It shows this mystery mirrored in a historical event, the visit of three men to Abraham near the oaks of Mamre (Gen. 18:1-33). Abraham soon realizes that these are not ordinary men and that in them God himself is visiting him. Even in the Old Testament text, the number three forms a mysterious bridge into the oneness of God: there are three of them, in whom Abraham adores the One, and this enabled Christians to see this narrative as a mirror of the Trinity from an early date. Rublev’s icon makes the many dimension of this mysterious event wonderfully clear but preserves its mysterious character while doing so.

I should like to mention only one trait in this rich icon, namely, the surroundings of the event, which also help express the mystery of the Persons. First, we see the oaks of Mamre, which Rublev gathers into one single tree, which now portrays the tree of life—the tree of life that consists in nothing other than the triune love that created the world, sustains it and redeems it, and is the source of all life. Then we see the tent, Abraham’s house, which reminds us of John 1”14 “The Word became flesh and dwelt [set up his tent] among us…” The body of the incarnate God has itself become the tent, the house, in which God dwells and in which God becomes our dwelling, our resting place. Lastly, we see Abraham’s gift: the “calf, tender and good” of Genesis is replaced here by the chalice, the sign of the Eucharist, the sign of the gift in which God bestows himself: “Love, sacrifice, immolation precede the act of the creation of the world, and are the source of this act.” The tree—the tent—the chalice. They show us the mystery of God; they allow us as it were to look into his heart, into the triune love. It is this God that we celebrate. It is in this God that we rejoice. He is the true hope of our world. Amen.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

On Choice

Oh my! This is one powerful movie. Please watch it. Watch it!

Volition (n)- The act of making a choice. Sometimes the choice of inaction has consequences stronger than we could ever imagine. Throughout history, men have been faced with difficult choices in a world that makes it easy for them to conform. This film explores the hope that lies behind every decision made in the face of adversity; the hope that is buried in the heart of those that look beyond themselves and see something bigger worth fighting for.

Via the AmericanPapist

"I just hope the day comes when we can see this for what it really is"

I do!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Up Close and Personal with the Daughters of St. Paul

Here's an email I received from Sr. Jocelyn from Daughters of St. Paul:

Dear Carina,
I am Sr. Jocelyn from the Daughters of St. Paul, an international women religious called to proclaim the Gospel through the means of communications.  We are organizing an event for young women below the age of 30 and would like to invite your members to participate.  This is an informal gathering on 10 January, where we would like to share with young women our mission and spirituality. The aim is to give awareness to them of our presence here in Singapore and at the same time, we hope for future collaboration in any way.  I hope you will be able to collaborate with us by making this known to your legionaries.  Attached is a little ad for it.  please feel free to write to me if you have any enquiries.  Thank you very much.

God bless you and all you good works, 
Sr. Jocelyn Veritas Kwek, FSP
Daughters of St. Paul 
47 Jurong West  St 42  Singapore 649 368
Tel: 6560 8003 Mobile: 90396332

And here's the ad for the event:

Fr. Z’s 20 Tips For Making A Good Confession o{]:¬)

From Fr Z

We should…

1) ...examine our consciences regularly and thoroughly;
2) ...wait our turn in line patiently;
3) ...come at the time confessions are scheduled, not a few minutes before they are to end;
4) ...speak distinctly but never so loudly that we might be overheard;
5) ...state our sins clearly and briefly without rambling;
6) ...confess all mortal sins in number and kind;
7) ...listen carefully to the advice the priest gives;
8) ...confess our own sins and not someone else’s;
9) ...carefully listen to and remember the penance and be sure to understand it;
10) ...use a regular formula for confession so that it is familiar and comfortable;
11) ...never be afraid to say something "embarrassing"... just say it;
12) ...never worry that the priest thinks we are jerks…. he is usually impressed by our courage;
13) ...never fear that the priest will not keep our confession secret… he is bound by the Seal;
14) ...never confess "tendencies" or "struggles"... just sins;
15) ...never leave the confessional before the priest has finished giving absolution;
16) ...memorize an Act of Contrition;
17) ...answer the priest’s questions briefly if he asks for a clarification;
18) ...ask questions if we can’t understand what he means when he tells us something;
19) ...keep in mind that sometimes priests can have bad days just like we do;
20) ...remember that priests must go to confession too … they know what we are going through.

All Things Bright and Beautiful

Sunday, November 23, 2008

O Dulcis, Virgo Maria

Madonna and Child, 1907-1908,
by Marianne Preindelsberger Stokes (1855-1927)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lessons in Progressive Politics by Michael Cook

Something unexpected happened when Uruguayan politicians tried to liberalise their country's archaic abortion laws. 

Tabaré VázquezIt's a familiar  scenario: a tall, photogenic, charismatic left-leaning President who outsmarted traditional political forces to win office with 51.7 percent of the national vote. His platform is social justice, tax reform, human rights, better health coverage, and banning smoking in public. His party controls both houses of the legislature. Elected in the midst of an economic crisis, the pundits described his campaign of hope as "the most profound political rupture in recent history".

And despite diplomatic rows, environmental controversies and a bitter dispute over free trade, perhaps the most controversial decision of his term is a Congressional proposal to dramatically liberalise abortion.

So what did President Tabaré Vázquez, do about a bill to give Uruguay the most progressive abortion law in Latin America?He vetoed it.

Continue Reading >>

Here's an excerpt from his speech on why he vetoed the bill:

The true degree of civilisation of a nation is measured by how the neediest are protected. Therefore we must protect the weakest amongst us. Because the criterion is not the value of the subject with respect to how others respond to him, or his usefulness, but the value which exists due to his mere existence...

Continue Reading >>

Friday, November 21, 2008

Every door opens to the humble and respectful Legionary

The legionary promise

Regina Coeli allocutio for 989th meeting
by Sister Immaculata:

Legionary Promise

Talking about promising, what kind of Promise do we, Legionaries, made? What are the significances beyond the Promise each of us has made or are going to make?

When one is promising it means that one assures somebody that something will certainly be done or happen, a promise is a pledge. Usually it requires certain degree of loyalty and fortitude to fulfill the promise, especially when we promise to someone that we highly respected or love.

As Legionaries, The Promise that we make is the definite ceremony to mark our formal entry to the ranks of Mary’s Legion and it is especially pointed out that the Promise was addressed to the Third person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit., not to our Lady. “Most Holy Spirit.. we say in the Promise…’

About this, our founder said, “Well, we’ve got to put first things first. You weren’t rejecting Our Blessed Lady in favour of something bigger. No! You were seeing more clearly into Mary and what emerged from it was tremendous awareness that the Holy Spirit was in her”.

After understanding to whom we addressed the Promise. Now, what are we promising? Fr. Joachim O’ Brien commented that the Promise is an expression of our personal wish to continue serve the Lord and his Mother as legionaries faithfully. But who are we, to so daringly render a faithful service to our Lord through His Blessed Mother? Precisely we acknowledge this unworthiness by humbly yet, very daring, we are telling the Holy Spirit in our Promise to come upon us and fill us with His power. In the promise, we – personally-, express our desire by promising, precisely not less than our very whole self, out strength, talents, including our weakness, and surely our whole love, to be turned into His instruments, on the service of our Lord faithfully in our Lady’s army.

Then, what are the significances of the Legionary promise for us? Cardinal Suenens in his commentary mentioned, “ The Legionary of Mary too, knows the joy and emotions in pledging his words. The Promise that he makes among his brethren, with the Vexilium in hands, is a contract linking him to his Mother and consecrating to her service whatever he is or he possesses. It is an alliance which places him wholly at her disposal (we said in the Promise: That it is by her, and to whom she pleases, when she pleases, and in the quantity and manner she pleases)”. Later on he continues on whom can live this Promise: they are those who are unafraid to live the love of God.

So, words can remain just words. But he who accepts the contracts of alliance and live it through the years will understand it from within. The Legionary then, must test the Promise by living and thus penetrate it even more deeply. The words of the Promise doesn’t stop when we finished pledging it, but we should re and re read it, not only for our personal devotion which is highly recommended, but also to keep the fire, which is the Holy Spirit in our heart, to whom we offer our soul as a torch, so that its flame may set other souls ablaze.

As keeping a promise and living it is never easy, let us ask our Blessed Mother who has called us to be in Her army, to help us keeping this pledge. In the same time, let us be grateful for the grace that we have received to be in Her army. Let us also pray for one another, especially for those who just took his promise and is going to take her promise, so that we can carry this promise faithfully. Through this fuller part in her army, may we grow in the spirit of the Legion which is Mary’s spirit, and inspired by this love and faith of Mary, her legion essays any and every work, and complains not of impossibility, because it conceives that it may and can do all things.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


"Have you seen the dead leaves fall in the sad autumn twilight? So fall souls each day into eternity. One day, the falling leaf will be you."
~ St Josemaria Escriva, The Way, 736

Autumn leaves falling by beesparkle.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Good deed

Would you go HERE, and vote for Thomas Peters, the AmericanPapist, who's in the running for a scholarship for student bloggers. He provides us so much important news and insights into Catholic matters.

Go help a fellow Papist!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Euthanasia and Murder by G.K. Chesterton

Extremely witty and funny and to the point...

Euthanasia and Murder

There is no law against a man biting off his own nose, unless it be a law of nature; nor even any police regulation against his hanging himself up by the hair or whiskers to talk to his friends and family in greater discomfort. There are penalties for suicide but, though I have no suicidal habits myself, I fancy they must be rather hard to apply; since they could only be sharpened into the legal and logical paradox of hanging a man to cure him of wanting to be hanged.

Continue reading >>

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Culture of Life

Deacon Keith in the earlier post by Dom said the following:
"Our position concerning the humanity of children in the womb is revealed in the Natural Law and confirmed by medical science. It is true. It will be recognized and prevail as certainly as the truth concerning the intrinsic evil of slavery came to be recognized and prevailed in this Nation.."

The essence of winning a battle is Love, Courage and Perseverance. And this is the same esssence to win a supposedly losing battle. The triumphant victory of Obama did not and will not silence the voices for life. Rather, let it escalate the culture of life! As what Deacon Keith mentioned, our work begins now!

Because His Love and Courage will emerge victorious, let us then assist Him with our perseverance and hope!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Let the work begin

What is clear is that Barack Obama will now be my President as well as the President of all those who voted for him. I will pray for him and respect his office. I will do all that I can to influence him and his administration concerning the truth of this fundamental human right to life. I will also do something else. I will join with others in building a new movement which recognizes the failures of both major political parties and seeks to build a new alliance of Americans. This alliance will insist upon the primacy of the fundamental human right to life - not as a single issue - but as the very framework and foundation of a truly just society.

The movement to end legal abortion and recognize the right to life, at every age and stage, will not go away. In fact, I predict that the election of this new President with such an extreme approach to this fundamental human rights issue assures a new birth of a new movement unlike this Nation has ever seen.

So to my fellow Pro-life Americans who are tired, disappointed, distraught and dismayed, I say never lose hope. Our position concerning the humanity of children in the womb is revealed in the Natural Law and confirmed by medical science. It is true. It will be recognized and prevail as certainly as the truth concerning the intrinsic evil of slavery came to be recognized and prevailed in this Nation...

As for this evening, President Elect Barack Obama Makes History. Tomorrow let the work to build a true Culture of Life begin again.

- By Deacon Keith A. Fournier

Thanks Justin for the tip.

My thoughts at the end of a long campaign

I knew John McCain's run for the White House was a long shot. But I'm awfully disappointed nonetheless.

As a political scientist, as a university student, as a Catholic, and I believe, just as a rational human being, I detest the deceit that Barack Obama represents.

I believe that the leader of any civilized nation, and especially one who claims to be the leader of the free world, must be committed to defending every human being, whether they are able to articulate their views or not; whether they have the ability to make their fellow human beings aware of the injustices done against them or not.

In the 1860s, despite the very real danger of tearing a great country apart and destroying it, President Lincoln, a Republican, decided to stand up for what was good and right - and stood for the emancipation of the African American slaves of the US.
A century after that, in the 1960s, racism was rampant; African Americans were treated as second class citizens. But courageous Democrats, led by Presidents JFK and LBJ, despite opposition from bigoted lawmakers and leaders, despite the danger of losing the support of their traditional bases, stood up for what was right - and championed racial equality. America today is reaping the benefits of these.

Today, a horror worse than slavery and racism is taking place in the US. 1.6 million unborn babies are killed in their mothers womb every year.
The victims of this holocaust cannot cry out in protest. The media, human rights groups do not see the crime being committed. And so we are silent.

But a grievous injustice is being committed nonetheless. An unborn baby is a human being. Logically it's impossible to deny this.
The leaders of the US have sworn to preserve the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
The Democrats call themselves pro-choice (what a sick euphemism that is)
But to them, the only people who's life matters are those who can vote. The only choice that they consider are those that can boost them to office.

Barack Obama goes further. He's an extremist even among Democrats. He's rabidly pro-abortion, denying medical attention even for infants who, are born alive despite an attempted abortion. The child is to be left to die.
He has vowed that one of his first acts as President would be to sign the (again, euphemistically-named) Freedom of Choice Act which would force states to make abortion available. That is so un-American. The convention is that federal government intervenes as little as possible, and issues are left to the state to decide.
He actually wants no discussion on the issue - he says the culture war is "so 90s". He seems to want to stamp out dissent and debate. And this is the man who is going to lead what is considered the greatest democracy in the world.

Culturally and ideologically, the Democrats' positions on many issues seem so appealing. I would love to support them. I'm against the death penalty. Many of their ideas on poverty are so in line with the Church's teaching on social justice (and in fact, Democrat Senator Chris Dodd mentioned that many of the Democratic principles could be traced to Pope Leo XIII's social encyclicals, especially Rerum Novarum). No wonder they appeal to Catholics: social justice and the common good are very much part of our world-view. This was the party that allowed a Catholic to run for the Presidency. This is the party that has done the historic thing of successfully putting forward an African-American into the White House, less that 50 years after the evil days of segregation.
And yet, they support the murder of defenceless children: infanticide. This wipes out all the potential good that they might espouse. Because it is such a horror, such an injustice.

It's a huge disappointment that Obama has won. It's a blow to the pro-life movement. But we'll keep on championing for the little ones.

Perhaps some greater good will come from this. A LOT is expected from Obama. Perhaps he will fail to deliver his promises so spectacularly that this huge dissatisfaction with the Republicans (for which we can credit George Bush, the neo-cons and the Iraq War) will be a short one. I hope people will realise that empty rhetoric and charisma are no substitutes for love, compassion and decency.

At least these elections have made the bishops of the United States bolder in exercising their teaching authority. Great leaders like Archbishop Chaput have let their voice be heard. More Catholics than before know that abortion is evil and, I hope, this has strengthened the pro-life movement.

I certainly became a more adamant defender of life because I got to read arguments and explanations that proved how illogical and inhumane the pro-abortion camp was.

These elections have given me the chance to explain to a few people why I supported John McCain, a candidate who is considered unpopular my almost everyone I know.

It also forced me not to be afraid of people's opinions. At first I kept my support for McCain rather silent, to avoid confrontation, and because I didn't think I could substantiate my stance. But that didn't seem sensible. I wrote about my support for McCain on my Facebook status, hoping people would question me. And they did. And some were Catholic. I had the wonderful experience of discussing the issue with them. One conversation heightened my respect for a friend immensely because of his willingness to reason and to refine his stances. He claims to not like politics - but his views on politics are so much sharper than many who think they know a lot. Another Catholic went from thinking that abortion is a human right and that it was necessary to prevent over-population and climate change (a stance i was shocked to hear) to an acceptance that Obama's pro-abortion stance was a blotch on his credentials. I thank God for these experiences. It certainly wasn't any eloquence on my part, I was just sharing what I had read from the dear bishops of the US Church.

With Obama in power, we continue to have the opportunity now to say why abortion is such an atrocity, even from a non-religious point of view. And we must!

Remember, the Almighty God has those little ones in His arms. Obama might be able to sanction the destruction of their little bodies, but their souls are with God. And that's eventually a great comfort.

The Church in America might be in for a hard time. Am sure the Democrats are very annoyed with the bishops. But persecution always strengthens the Holy Catholic Church.

Faithful American Catholics and their bishops might be face to face with the gates of hell. But know that the gates of hell shall never prevail against Christ's Church.

America has voted

....and it has voted for abortion. Call me out for making hasty generalizations. "They did not vote for abortion; they just cared more about healthcare, the economy, blah, blah..." But it doesn't change anything. America has voted for the most pro-abortion candidate in the history of the US elections.

When I heard the news from Dom today, I was deeply saddened. 48,000,000 babies dead since 1973 and counting. At least 1,000,000 dead per year; 3800 killed per day. And the holocaust will continue. I am not big on superstition, but when the news broke out this afternoon, the sunny sky quickly turned dark and gloomy, the rain pounded heavily on the rooftops, and thunder roared from above. I wonder if this was the lament of these innocent victims.

This morning, something big was happening.

The value of life was weighed and measured, and it was found wanting.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Prayer of St Gertrude the Great

A Prayer which would release 1000 Souls from Purgatory each time it is said.

Our Lord told Saint Gertrude the Great that the folliwng prayer would release 1000 souls from Purgatory each time it is said. The prayer was extended to include living sinners we well:

"Eternal Father, I offer You the most precious blood of Your Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and my family. Amen."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fr Richards on Purgatory

Fr Richard's homily today was inspired! He was on fire!! He defended the Church's teaching on purgatory, praying for the dead, asking saints for intercession and faith and works. But he also was not afraid to explicitly say that Protestants who attack the Church's stance on these matters of faith are wrong, that their reasoning is illogical and that they use scripture out of context.

We need more apologists like him.

I've been thinking the Catholics today are too often on the defensive - putting out fires caused by critics but not faulting them for being wrong and misleading. We need more people like St Augustine and St Dominic, not afraid to tell people that they're illogical and wrong.

Sola Fidei?
"What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him? And if a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food:

And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit? So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself. But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without works; and I will show thee, by works, my faith. Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou, that faith did co-operate with his works; and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled, saying: Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him to justice, and he was called the friend of God. Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only? And in like manner also Rahab the harlot, was not she justified by works, receiving the messengers, and sending them out another way?

For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead."

James 2:14-26

No intercession from the saints?
Protestants use St Paul's words that there is one mediator between God and man: Jesus Christ. As usual they take it out of context.

I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men: For kings, and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus
1 Timothy 2:1-5

So St Paul is encouraging us to offer supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving for all men. We all do that. We ask our friends to pray for our exams, for our sick loved ones, protestants asks their pastors to pray for them - sending piles and piles of prayer intentions to some of them.
Well, they ask people (who, according to Father might be "idiots or part-time crooks" :p) to pray. Why can't we ask our friends in Heaven? There is still only one mediator - Christ. All graces are bestowed through Him...

One of his explanations on why we believe in purgatory.
"Therefore I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come."
Matthew 12:31-32

In the world to come? Hell? No. People in hell aren't forgiven their sins. Heaven? No. There is nothing unclean in Heaven. There is no sin in Heaven to be forgotten. Then? Purgatory.

"And that servant who knew the will of his lord, and prepared not himself, and did not according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes."
Luke 12:47-48

Many and few stripes. Different levels of punishment - implies purgatory...
Also it occurred to me it seems like a Biblical basis for explaining why even people who aren't baptized may attait Heaven - through the goodness and mercy of God. For indeed, they "knew not"...

Both Protestants and Catholicism when they talk about someone's death, say "may his soul rest in peace." Graves are inscribed with this.
But, Fr Richards says, only Catholics mean what they say...

Purgatory is not named in the Bible. Well, neither is the doctrine of the Trinity. Protestants believe in that don't they? Catholics arrived at BOTH the doctrine of the Trinity AND the doctrine of purgatory through a similar process, using the Word of God, the teaching authority given to the Church and through logic .

Thanks Fr Richards for reminding us that to reason and to know history is to cease to be protestant.

Don't forget to pray for those in purgatory. Especially those who do not have anyone to pray for them.