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.

Friday, December 25, 2009

"Let us go there!"

In all kinds of ways, God has to prod us and reach out to us again and again, so that we can manage to escape from the muddle of our thoughts and activities and discover the way that leads to him. But a path exists for all of us. The Lord provides everyone with tailor-made signals. He calls each one of us, so that we too can say: "Come on, ‘let us go over’ to Bethlehem – to the God who has come to meet us. Yes indeed, God has set out towards us. Left to ourselves we could not reach him. The path is too much for our strength. But God has come down. He comes towards us. He has travelled the longer part of the journey. Now he invites us: come and see how much I love you. Come and see that I am here. Transeamus usque Bethlehem, the Latin Bible says. Let us go there!

- from Pope Benedict's 2009 Christmas sermon

The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh

The Eighth day before the first of January, eighth day of the lunar month.

Innumerable ages having passed since the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created Heaven and earth and formed man in his own image;

many more centuries after the flood, when the Most High placed his rainbow in the heavens as a sign of the covenant and of peace;

from the migration of Abraham, our father in faith, from Ur of the Chaldeans, twenty- one centuries;

from the exodus of the people of Israel out of Egypt, led by Moses, thirteen centuries;

from the anointing of David as King, about one thousand years;

in the sixty-fifth week according to Daniel’s prophecy;

in the year of the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad; from the founding of the city of Rome,

seven hundred and fifty-two years; in the rule of Caesar Octavian Augustus, the forty- second year;

the whole world being at peace: Jesus Christ, eternal God, the eternal Father’s Son, being pleased by His coming to consecrate the world, by the Holy Spirit conceived, nine months having passed since His conception, in Bethlehem of Judah was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. [KNEEL]

The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

The above is via NLM.

The Proclamation from the USCCB, as compared with the Vatican edition, has left many people dissatisfied. John Burchfield of the St. Theresa's Gregorian Schola made this English version as a more literal rendering of notes and text.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception!

From Fr. Marin's allocutio last week:

Mary's Immaculate Conception was not declared as dogma until 1854, when Pope Pius IX declared it in his Papal Bull.

"We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful...."

- Pope Pius IX

However, for many many years, it was already in the life of the Church. Mary was blessed more than any other creature. The Greek Fathers believed that she was free from the stain of sin. Only one other woman was born without original sin: Eve. But there is a world of difference between Eve's choice and Mary's choice. Mary is the New Eve, the woman promised in the Book of Genesis. God said that "I will put enmity between you and the woman," and we now know that 'woman' refers to the Virgin Mary. The word 'enmity' in a way means that the serpent will have no power over Mary. It was as if God was already telling us in a vague way that Mary will be preserved from sin. Let us take the opportunity on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception to honor her--God's masterpiece, to do something special for her.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

And that is dying.

I am standing upon that foreshore, a ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, "there! she's gone!"
"Gone where?" "Gone from my sight, that's all", she is just as large in mast and spar and hull as ever she was when she left my side; just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of her destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at that moment when someone at my side says, "there! she's gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, "here she comes!"
And that is dying.

Victor Hugo

Ship at the horizon

by Thriol

Remember the Holy Souls

P. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
P. May their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
R. Amen.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mary's Notebook - November Issue

Legion of Mary, Tidewater, produces a monthly Newsletter called Mary's Notebook. Do subscribe.

Here are some excerpts from this month's issue

It is private dedication, and deep trust in Mary that inspires the Legionary to spend countless hours writing the minutes, practicing saying them, and seeking to do his best. It is my opinion that the secretary who takes the time to do his best, will find that God does the rest and uses these minutes as an amazing tool for evangelization and for recruiting and growth of the Legion of Mary. It is also my opinion that it is exactly when it is the hardest to prepare the minutes well that it counts the most that they are well prepared.

- Christopher Miller, "Order of the Praesidium Meeting"


So even in Heaven Mary is living the Rosary in all its richness and profundity. She looks with joy and thanksgiving on every mystery of Jesus down to the last detail. Everything about Jesus is unforgettable to Mary. She sees with the greatest clarity that the Almighty has done great things for her. She sees that everything that is true, and good and beautiful in her is the unique fruit of the redemptive love of her Son. In her mind and heart resides the totality of the Gospel. In the Rosary Mary wants to share with us her experience of Jesus and with Him to enter into the heart life of the Trinity. No wonder Our Lady invites us again and again to pray the Rosary as a gentle but sure way of opening our lives to the Gospel and the Persons of the Trinity. No wonder the Rosary is at the heart of the spirituality of the Legionary because the spirit of the Legion is the spirit of Mary and she is the Lady of the Rosary.

- Fr Bede McGregor O.P., "The Role of the Rosary in the Life of the Legionary"

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009



From the Baltimore Catechism

On the Feast Day of the Holy Rosary

I came across this in the Opus Dei website :)
Happy feast day everyone!
“Don’t those who are in love always say the same things to each other?”
The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you will be amazed at the results. (The Way, 558)

The beginning of the way, at the end of which you will find yourself completely carried away with love for Jesus, is a confident love for Mary.

—Do you want to love Our Lady? —Well, get to know her. How? —By praying her Rosary well.

But, in the Rosary... we always say the same things! —Always the same? And don’t those who are in love always say the same things to each other?... Could it not be that there is monotony in your Rosary because, instead of pronouncing words like a man, you emit sounds like an animal, while your mind is very far from God? —Moreover, listen: before each decade we are told the mystery to be contemplated. —Have you... ever contemplated these mysteries?

Become little. Come with me and —this is the essence of what I have to confide— we will live the life of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Each day we will render them a new service. We will hear their family conversations. We will see the Messiah grow up. We will admire His thirty years of hidden life... We will be present at His Passion and Death... We will be awed by the Glory of His Resurrection... In a word: we will contemplate, carried away with Love (the only real love is Love), each and every instant of Christ Jesus. (Holy Rosary, Introduction)

Allocutio by Fr. Marin on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 6, 2009)

***Paraphrased version only***

Many people don't like praying the rosary. Some people say it is only boring, vain repetition. Consider this: when you like a new song and you want to remember it, you usually repeat it again and again. And even the songs that you sing probably repeat the same things again and again. Are these vain repetitions? The rosary is a very beautiful prayer. In it, we repeat the words of an angel and a saint. And in the end is added a very beautiful and interesting request, "Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death." Every word of the Hail Mary is filled with so much meaning. And although it may seem that we are giving too much attention to Mary, by repeating the Ave Maria more times than the Lord's Prayer and the Glory Be, we mention the Most Holy Name of Jesus just as often, if not more. For at the center of each Ave Maria is Jesus. When the mystery of each decade is announced, it is not just a phrase that we announce. It leads us to a meditation on the life of Our Lord like Mary, who kept the words of Jesus in her heart and contemplated on them.

Now, it is true that we sometimes find difficulty in praying the rosary. Oftentimes, we get distracted. We start praying the first decade and before we know it, we've reached the fourth decade, and realize that in between, we have spaced out. Our minds had fluttered to other things again. But we should not despair. St. Therese used to confess in her letters that she prayed the rosary so badly. She would always be distracted or feel sleepy. But still, she tried to pray it well everyday. I'm sure that Our Lady is not standing beside you, criticizing you everytime you pray the rosary distractedly. Of course, we should give it our best effort and say it as lovingly as we can. But I'm sure the effort you put in praying the rosary, although you may get distracted, will make Our Lady very happy.

In this month of the Rosary, it would be good for us if we can say the rosary daily. Not only do we make Our Lady happy, we also attain many graces for ourselves. We should also encourage our family and friends to pray this prayer. The Rosary is a prayer that has been loved by all the saints, endorsed by the Church for hundreds of years, and endorsed by Mary herself in the apparitions approved by the Church. What more recommendations do we need?

"Blessed be that monotony of Hail Marys which purifies the monotony of your sins!"
- St. Josemaria Escriva

Monday, September 21, 2009

The True Face of Heroism

"It must always be remembered that the work of the Lord will bear the Lord's own mark, the mark of the Cross."

“My real crime? I joined the Legion of Mary.”

Outlaw: One Priest in the Underground Chinese Church

By Theresa Marie Moreau

First Published in Crisis Magazine

“Chu lai! Chu lai!”
Guang-Zhong Gu awoke in the pre-dawn hours, bathed in the sweat of a balmy Shanghai September.

Unfamiliar voices barked, “Come out! Come out!”

Lights overhead flashed on. The cold steel snap of ammo clicked into machine guns. Fists pounded at the doors lining the long corridors of the Xujiahui Seminary, normally bustling with the quiet sweep of long, black robes.

Gu, a 23-year-old third-year seminary student, leapt out of bed. Already dressed in shorts and a shirt, he stuffed his feet into a pair of shoes. No time for socks. He stumbled through the door without looking back. He’d never see the room again.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Legion of Mary: it's global mission

This is so wonderful!!! :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Butterfly Circus

At the height of the Great Depression, the showman of a renowned circus leads his troupe through the devastated American landscape, lifting the spirits of audiences along the way. During their travels they discover a man without limbs at a carnival sideshow, but after an intriguing encounter with the showman he becomes driven to hope against everything he has ever believed. Starring Eduardo Verástegui (Bella), Doug Jones (Pan's Labyrinth, Fantastic Four) and featuring the debut performance of Nick Vujicic.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Our General

Villancico VI for the Feast of the Assumption, 1676 (excerpt)

Clear the way for the entrance
of the bold adventuress
who undoes injustice,
who smashes insults.

The sun's rays are her
resplendent armor
the stars her helmet,
the moon her boots.

On her shining shield
with which she dazzles hell,
a mountain is emblazoned
and golden letters: Tota Pulchra.

Celebrated for her beauty,
feared for her ferocity
she is jaunty and valiant,
and angelic is her beauty...

She dispelled the charms
of the ancient serpent
whose conspiracy
sets us under slavery's yoke.

She avenges wrongs
and annuls unjust laws,
gives refuge to orphans
and shelter to widows.

She liberated prisoners
from that prison where,
were it not for her daring spirit,
still they'd await their release.

All hell trembles at the mere
mention of her name.
And they say its very kings
fast on her vigil...

She is the one, whose tread
no demon can endure.
When he sees her feet,
he takes to his heels.

Crowned with glory and honor,
the deeds that brought her fame,
since they cannot be contained on earth,
send her riding out of this world.

As knight errant of the spheres
on a new adventure,
she finds hidden treasure
sought by so many.

--Sor Juana Inésde la Cruz (1648-1695)

Via the Shrine of the Holy Whapping

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Feast of the Queenship of Mary

El Lucero de la Grada, Monastery of Carmel, Cuenca de los Andes, Ecuador

Collect: Father, you have given us the mother of your Son to be our queen and mother. With the support of her prayers may we come to share the glory of your children in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer to Our Lady, Queen of Heaven

Beautiful prayer to Our Lady, Queen of Heaven written by St. Lomman, Abbot

O Mary, when our eyes close in our last sleep, and open to behold thy Son, the Just Judge, and the Angel opens the Book, and the Enemy accuses us; in that terrible hour, come to our aid. Be with us. When death came to Joseph, you and your Son were with him: Thy Son to judge, thou to console. O Happy Joseph! When death comes for us, be near us. O Mary, when we are held captive in the place of atonement; plead for us, and visit us, that we may find consolation in thy presence. Stretch forth thy hand to help us; deliver us from our bondage. We are thy children: Thou art our Mother. As little children we come to thee; we know no fear. O Mary, He changed water into wine for thee, even as He said: My hour has not yet come. Now He will not refuse thee, when you plead for us thy children. O Mary, come quickly to our aid. Do not let us stray from the Fold. The wolf is waiting to destroy us. There shall be neither night nor day to thy praises. Adoration to the Father Who created thee! Adoration to the Son, Who took flesh from thee! Adoration to the Holy Spirit, Thy Divine Spouse! Three in One, One in Three. Equal in all things. To Him be glory for ever. For ever. For ever. Amen.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

"By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory."

- Pope Pius XII


The Assumption and the World by Bishop Fulton Sheen


Love in its nature is an Ascension in Christ and an Assumption in Mary. So closely are Love and the Assumption related that a few years ago the writer, when instructing a Chinese lady, found that the one truth in Christianity which was easiest for her to believe was the Assumption. She personally knew a saintly soul who lived on a mat in the woods, whom thousands of people visited to receive her blessing. One day, according to the belief of all who knew the saint, she was "assumed" into heaven. The explanation the convert from Confucianism gave was: "Her love was so great that her body followed her soul." One thing is certain: the Assumption is easy to understand if one loves God deeply, but it is hard to understand if one loves not.


Since the imperfection of life comes from remoteness to the source of life and because of sin, it follows that the creature who is preserved from Original Sin is immune from that psychological division which sin begets. The Immaculate Conception guarantees a highly integrated and unified life. The purity of such a life is threefold: a physical purity which is integrity of body; a mental purity without any desire for a division of love, which love of creatures apart from God would imply; and finally, a psychological purity which is immunity from the uprising of concupiscence, the sign and symbol of our weakness and diversity. This triple purity is the essence of the most highly unified creature whom this world has ever seen.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Facere et docere

Some advice from Orbis Catholicus:

Jesus "set out to do and to teach" (Acts 1:1).

We are to do the same: facere et docere.

"All were astonished at the gracious words which came from his mouth" (Luke 4:22).

Use gracious word.

And Fr. Pat Lannan once taught us kids: "You will win them over more with honey than with vinegar."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

If you follow Her

Ipsam sequens non devias

-If you follow Her, you will not stray-

"Many will not let devotion
to the Blessed Virgin even take root in their hearts. But blessed is the person
who accepts this grace and keeps it.
Such a devotion dwells in all
who are the Lord's heritage--
in all who will praise Him eternally in heaven."

St. Alphonsus Liguori

French words:
"Mary, your name itself is a prayer,
a sign of peace and of pardon,
of mercy and of hope."

Pictures: Holy Cards

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sub Tuum Praesidium

An ancient prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the oldest known version of which is found on an Egyptian papyrus from the 3rd century. This prayer is used in Litanies to the Blessed Mother and as a concluding prayer to Compline. A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite it.

SUB tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix. Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus1, sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, Virgo gloriosa et benedicta. Amen. WE fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.

Still Gregorian chant:

The earliest text of this hymn was found in a Coptic Orthodox Christmas liturgy of the third century. It is written in Greek and dates to approximately 250. It is used in the Coptic liturgy to this day, as well as in the Byzantine, Ambrosian, and Roman liturgies.

Two more versions:

Bl. Herman Joseph (boy holding apples), St. Stephen of Hungary (King),
St. Charles Borromeo (Kneeling Cardinal), St. Dominic (holding lily),
St. Anselm (Standing Bishop), St. Nothburga (Sickle over her head).

Picture from Holy Cards

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Legion Picture

- From an allocutio by the Very Rev. Francis J. Canon Ripley taken from Talks to Legionaries

The Legion picture is meant to be an inspiration and to teach all who study it the Legion’s devotional outlook.

The general design reproduces the outline of the Vexilium or Standard. Then the picture depicts the Legion prayers. The invocation and collect of the Holy Spirit and the Rosary are pictured by the dove overshadowing Mary and filling her with supernatural light and divine fire. In this way we are reminded of that moment toward which all time before it moved and from which all time after it has fallen. It lied at the centre of time, the moment when a young maiden at Nazareth consented that the infinite God should take flesh within her and so became the mother of God and the channel of his grace to all men. Active and auxiliary Legionaries everywhere are bound to this glorious mother by her Rosary. They try to render effective the words of Pope Pius IX: "I could conquer the world if I had an army to say the Rosary."

The presence of the Holy Spirit on our picture reminds us of His visible coming on Mary and the Apostles. It was, we might say, the Church’s Confirmation and can we doubt that Mary was the channel of it, that it was brought about through Mary’s prayers? On that day the Church was born. The Holy Spirit filled it with the apostolic fire which was to renew the face of the earth. As Pope Pius XII wrote: “"It was her most powerful intercession that obtained for the new-born Church that prodigious outpouring of the Spirit of the divine redeemer" As it was then, so it is now. The task of the Church is to enkindle that fire in the hearts of men. The lighting of it is a grace and like every other it comes through Mary’s prayers.

Look at the border of the picture and you see a representation of the Catena for the letters of the Latin texts are each in the links of the chain. Now look at the portrait of Mary herself. She is depicted as he antiphon of the Catena proclaims her, as “She that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array.” She is the Morning Star, heralding the dawn of the Sun of Justice. So the artist has adorned her brow in the picture with a brilliant.

The principal item in our Catena is Mary’s own canticle, the song of the triumph of her humility, so the first verse of the Magnificat is inscribed over Mary’s head. Was not this a thought which was ever present in her mind? Was not her spirit always raised to the praising of God? But do not overlook that the letters are letters of fire. The zeal of Mary’s followers must be as a burning fire, consuming every obstacle to the apostolate. All the time it must be saturated with the spirit of Mary’s humility. Otherwise it will radiate self instead of Christ God wills still to depend on His humble Mother for His conquests. He continues to accomplish great things for His glory by the agency of those who are united with her.

The Versicle and Response of the Catena are those of the Immaculate Conception, which is one of the primary devotions of the Legion. The words set in the chain border also refer to it. They come from God’s promise of redemption to the serpent in the third chapter of the Book of Genesis: “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head.” In the picture we see this warfare. Between Christ and Satan enmity is complete. Likewise it is complete between Mary and Satan. All those who are consecrated to her share in this enmity. So the picture shows the conflict between the Legion and the powers of evil which are falling back scattered in defeat.

Glance at the picture again and you will see the significance of its arrangement. Between the Holy Ghost at the top and the globe below (which is surrounded by the good and bad who are embraced in the world of souls) is the bond of Mary, the Channel of all Graces, who is depicted as aflame with charity. Those who love her most will be most enriched. Typical of them is the Beloved Disciple who rests on the heart of Christ and lovingly accepted Mary as his mother. That is why, in the chain border, are included Our Lord’s words from the Cross: “Woman, behold thy son: behold thy Mother.”

Every line of the picture mirrors our concluding prayers. See the Legion there advancing in battle array, led by its Queen, bearing her standard, “the Crucifix in their right hand, the Rosary in their left, the Sacred names of Jesus and Mary in their hearts and the modest and mortification of Jesus Christ in their behaviour. “ (St. Louis-Marie de Montfort). We pray that our faith will be our Legion’s Pillar of Fire and so it is represented in the picture, as the fire which melts all Legionary hearts into one and guides them on to victory. St. Elizabeth proclaimed that Mary was blessed because she believed; the words of that proclamation are also in the border: “Blessed art thou that hast believed.” The pillar is Mary who saved the world by her faith. Through encircling gloom she still leads on without a possibility of error all those who call her blessed.

At the end of our prayer is a reminder of eternity: “So that the battle of life over, our Legion may reassemble without the loss of anyone in the Kingdom of Thy love and glory.” What a wonderful roll call that will be, when the faithful Legionaries will muster shoulder to shoulder to receive the incorruptible crown of their membership.

As we say our Rosary we might as well gaze upon out picture, which is also reproduced on the Tessera. In Roman times, the Tessera was like a tally or token which was divided amongst friends so that they and their descendants might always recognize each other. The Roman Legion understood by the Tessera a square tablet on which their watchwords was written and circulated to all.

These ideas are followed by Mary’s Legion. Every member should have a Tessera. It contains the watchword, our prayers. It is the bond of unity and brotherhood between all Legionaries anywhere in the world.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rosa Mystica

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

'The Rose is a mystery' - where is it found?
Is it anything true? Does it grow on the ground?
It was made of the earth's mould, but it went from men's eyes,
And its place is a secret, and shut in the skies.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
Find me a place by thee, Mother of mine.

But where was it formerly? Which is the spot
That was blest in it once, though now it is not?
It is Galilee's growth; it grew at God's will
and broke into bloom upon Nazareth Hill.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
I shall look on thy loveliness, Mother of mine.

What was its season, then? How long ago?
When was the summer that saw the Bud blow?
Two thousands of years are near upon past
Since its birth, and its bloom, and its breathing its last.
I shall keep time with thee, Mother of mine.
Tell me the name now, tell me its name:

The heart guesses easily, is it the same?
Mary, the Virgin, well the heart knows,
She is the Mystery, she is that Rose.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
I shall come home to thee, Mother of mine.

Is Mary that Rose then? Mary, the tree?
But the Blossom, the Blossom there, who can it be?
Who can her Rose be? It could be but One:
Christ Jesus, our Lord - her God and her Son.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
Shew me thy son, Mother, Mother of mine.

What was the color of that Blossom bright?
White to begin with, immaculate white.
But what a wild flush on the flakes of it stood,
When the Rose ran in crimsoning down the Cross wood.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
I shall worship the Wounds with thee, Mother of mine.

How many leaves had it? Five they were then,
Five like the senses, and members of men;
Five is the number by nature, but now
They multiply, multiply, who can tell how.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
Make me a leaf in thee, Mother of mine.

Does it smell sweet, too, in that holy place?
Sweet unto God, and the sweetness is grace;
The breath of it bathes the great heaven above,
In grace that is charity, grace that is love.
To thy breast, to thy rest, to thy glory divine
Draw me by charity, Mother of mine.

Caritas in Veritate--in small doses

Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom (cf. Jn 8:32) and of the possibility of integral human development. For this reason the Church searches for truth, proclaims it tirelessly and recognizes it wherever it is manifested. This mission of truth is something that the Church can never renounce. Her social doctrine is a particular dimension of this proclamation: it is a service to the truth which sets us free. Open to the truth, from whichever branch of knowledge it comes, the Church's social doctrine receives it, assembles into a unity the fragments in which it is often found, and mediates it within the constantly changing life-patterns of the society of peoples and nations.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

On active participation

Important too for any participation in the liturgy is the elevation of the spirit of the worshipper. Ultimately, liturgy is prayer, the supreme prayer of adoration, thanksgiving, petition and reparation. Prayer is the raising of the heart and the mind to God as Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. The means to achieve such elevation of the spirit in prayer onvolve all the activities of the human person, both spirit and body. Such means produce true actuosa participatio. Thus beauty, whether it appeals to the sight, the ear, the imagination or any of the senses, is an important element in achieving participation. The architectural splendor of a great church or the sound of great music, or the solemnity of ceremonial movement by ministers clothed in precious vestments, or the beauty of the proclaimed word - all can effect a true and salutary participation in one who himself has not sung a note or taken a step. But he is not a mere spectator as some would say; he is actively participating because of his baptismal character and the grace stirred up in him by what he is seeing and hearing, thinking and praying.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pope Benedict's new encyclical: Caritas in Veritate

The Pope's new encyclical has finally been released!



1. Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness by his earthly life and especially by his death and resurrection, is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity. Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth. Each person finds his good by adherence to God's plan for him, in order to realize it fully: in this plan, he finds his truth, and through adherence to this truth he becomes free (cf. Jn 8:22). To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity.

"The Prime Minister of China who became a Benedictine Abbot"

CHRISTIANITY HAS A LONG and varied history in China stretching over at least one-and-a-half millenia. The ancient country has even had Christian leaders, such as the Congregationalist founder of the Chinese Republic, Sun Yat-sen, and his Methodist successor, Gen. Chiang Kai-shek (head of the Kuomintang for nearly forty years). Still, until I read this fascinating story in the Catholic Herald I had no idea that there was a Prime Minister of China, Lou Tseng-tsiang (陸徵祥), who ended his days as a Benedictine monk by the name of Dom Pierre-Célestin.

From the New Liturgical Movement

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stunning new technology allows parents to hold a life-size model of their unborn child

Commercial break for this really awesome new technology

It's a defining moment in a parent's life: Seeing their unborn child's image on an ultrasound for the first time. Now pregnant women could have the chance to hold a life-size model of their unborn baby.

The startling new medical technology is the result of a Royal College of Art design student's PhD.
'I don’t know whether I am looking at science or I am looking at art', commented an external examiner reviewing the student's PhD viva.

Continue reading and see more pictures here.

One common thread of thinking among Christians is that science is discovering what God has already done. And I think each day, God is so great that He lets us take a closer look at His creations, revealing to us a mere hint of His majesty. Some people in favor of legalization of abortion try to whitewash it by claiming that the baby is only a blob of tissue . But once again, God uses science to give us a chance to take a second look and really see that this little one is not just a blob of tissue or a lump of cells.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul!

O blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul, I, N.N., take you this day for my special protectors and advocates with God. In all humility I rejoice with thee, blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, because thou art the rock whereon God built His Church; and I rejoice with thee, too, blessed Paul, because thou wast chosen of God for a vessel of election, and preacher of the truth throughout the world. Ask for me, I pray you both, a lively faith, firm hope, and perfect charity, entire detachment from myself, contempt of the world, patience in adversity, humility in prosperity, attention in prayer, purity of heart, right intention in my works, diligence in the fulfilment of all duties of my state of life, constancy in my good resolutions, resignation to the holy will of God, perseverance in His grace even unto death; that by your joint intercession and your glorious merits, I may overcome the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and be made worthy to stand before the face of the chief and eternal Bishop of Souls, Jesus Christ our Lord, to enjoy Him and to love Him for all eternity, Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth ever, world without end, Amen.

Pater. Ave. Gloria.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Obedience- the antidote to Relativism (allocutio by Sr. Carina, June 23, 2009)

Matthew 7

"Enter through the narrow gate;for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction,and those who enter through it are many.How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.And those who find it are few."

Obedience- the antidote to Relativism

These days, you will frequently hear people say that everything is relative. In some cases, this may be true, such as when a person falls in love with another person. He or she may find qualities in the other person that nobody else can see, and that is for him to cherish. But modern man would extend this even further as to say that “There is no objective right or objective wrong.” After all, if there is no absolute truth, no absolute morality, anything goes. This is exactly the antithesis of what the Catholic Church teaches. As the Holy Father once said, “Truth cannot be decided by a majority vote.” Morality is not decided by numbers.

This is why the Church is consistently mocked and derided today. For her steadfastness to the truth, the Church is showered with ridicule. When the Holy Father affirmed that condoms can never the solve the AIDS problem in Africa, he was pronouncing the truth that the Church has always maintained, and the truth which science can verify. But relativists do not believe this. For them, the Church is just a backward institution that is behind the times. However, the fruits of relativism clearly show that it is gravely flawed. Because of it, we have mothers legally killing their children, and children legally killing their parents. The line that draws what is morally right from what is morally wrong is always being shifted around, for the convenience of personal opinion.

This week, we celebrate the lives of great saints who firmly believed that truth is not up for a vote. St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, two great English Martyrs, refused to budge as so many of their fellow countrymen did, when King Henry VIII of England sought to divorce his wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon. You see, he was besotted with the Queen’s maid, Anne Boleyn. Anne, who refused to be just another one of the King’s mistresses, refused the King until he offers her a betrothal ring. Moreover, Queen Catherine, while she bore him a daughter, had still not given Henry a boy to be the heir to the throne. So the King wanted to divorce his wife. But Rome spoke, and Rome said no. Jesus had said, “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” Failing to acquire a divorce or an annulment, King Henry VIII finally broke away from Rome, divorced Queen Catherine, married Anne Boleyn, and declared himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England. But St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More would have none of it. When they refused to acknowledge the King’s authority over spiritual matters, they were accused of high treason and were sentenced to die by beheading. They remained steadfast to the Faith and they paid dearly for it. Those who were one of the few men to keep their heads were the first ones to lose it.

These two men, faithful to the Church, show us Legionaries the way to fight back against relativism. That is with perfect obedience to the Church, perfect obedience to the One God. For obedience implies that there is an ideal that we all aspire to. We know that there is Him and only Him. Obedience presupposes that we are obeying Someone, and that this Someone has set firmly the line that marks what is right and what is wrong. There is an absolute standard. Our standard is Jesus Christ—The Way, The Truth, and The Life. The Legion handbook says that the Legionary is measured not by the greatness of his works or by the vastness of his knowledge, but by his obedience to the Legion system—nothing more and nothing less. We are called to this heroic docility, to die to our own pride.

Let us go back to the Story of the Fall. What was the original sin? Disobedience. Adam and Eve, seduced by Satan, disobeyed God’s command. By that, they were taken out of God’s presence, and would pass on this original sin to us all. But when Jesus came, he reversed everything that Adam did and became the New Adam. As Adam was born of the virgin earth, Jesus was born of a Virgin mother. Jesus also went through all stages of life, so that whatever was fallen in our natures because of Adam’s sin, was made new in Christ. Mary also reversed what Eve did—while Eve was seduced by the serpent, Mary was seduced by the Words of the Angel. Eve’s No to God was countered with Mary’s Yes. There’s a tradition in the Church that the tree from which the cross of Jesus was made, came from the seed of the Tree of Life in the Garden Eden. When Adam lay dying, he begged his son Seth to go to the Archangel Michael and beg for a seed from the Tree of Life. As he died, the seed was placed in Adam's mouth and was buried with him. The seed grew into a tree and emerged from his mouth. Tradition also holds that the place where Jesus was crucified, Golgotha, the Place of the Skull, was the burial place of Adam and Eve. Out of disobedience, Adam and Eve plucked the apple from the tree and Man fell. But out of obedience, perfect and complete obedience, Jesus hung himself onto a cross, and Man was redeemed.

Let us be reminded of this when our courage seems to fail us and we find it hard to do our allocated works and duties. St. Thomas Aquinas said, “Obedience unites us so closely to God that in a way transforms us into Him, so that we have no other will but His. If obedience is lacking, even prayer cannot be pleasing to God.”

Let us pray then that we may always model our lives according to Our Lord and Our Lady, that we may always be obedient to God, to the promptings of His Holy Spirit, so that we may have all the courage we need to resist the temptations from the devil.

“The Devil doesn’t fear austerity but holy obedience.” – St. Francis de Sales

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

St. Thomas More - A Man for All Seasons

Happy Feast of St. Thomas More!

“Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.”

“The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.”

Happy Feast of St. John Fisher and St. Paulinus of Nola, too!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Blessed be the Most Loving Heart and Sweet Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the most glorious Virgin Mary, His Mother, in eternity and forever. Amen.

To love Mary through the Sacred Heart of Jesus...

Friday, June 19, 2009

O Sacred Heart! O Love Divine!

14 O Sacred Heart, O Love Divine.mp3 -

O Sacred Heart! O Love Divine!
Do keep us near to Thee;
And make our love so like to Thine
That we may holy be.

Heart of Jesus hear!
O heart of Love Divine!
Listen to our Prayer;
Make us alway Thine.

O Temple pure! O House of gold!
Our heaven here below
What sweet delight, what wealth untold,
From Thee do ever flow.

Heart of Jesus hear!
O heart of Love Divine!
Listen to our Prayer;
Make us alway Thine.

O Wounded Heart, O Font of tears!
O Throne of grief and pain!
Whereon for the eternal years,
Thy love for man does reign.

Heart of Jesus hear!
O heart of Love Divine!
Listen to our Prayer;
Make us alway Thine.

Ungrateful hearts, forgetful hearts,
The hearts of man have been,
To wound Thy side with cruel darts
Which they have made by sin.

Heart of Jesus hear!
O heart of Love Divine!
Listen to our Prayer;
Make us alway Thine.

To love Mary through the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Happy Feast of Corpus Christi!

First, go and read Frank Duff's excellent defense against the heresy that the Eucharist is merely a symbol: Capharnaum and the Eucharist.

Pray this beautiful prayer:

"I love You, O my God, and my only desire is to love You until the last breath of my life. I love You, O my infinitely lovable God, and I would rather die loving You, than live without loving You. I love You, Lord and the only grace I ask is to love You eternally....My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You, I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath."

- Saint John Vianney.

And then watch these beautiful videos of this most precious gift that we Catholics are so blessed to receive from Our Lord.