Marian Brother JL
Sunday, November 30, 2003
 
December 1 is the feast day of St. Edmund Campion.
 
If I don't have much to say, I can always quote the St. Faustina Diary (or maybe she would have called it a "blog" if such things had existed then).

"O my Jesus, You know that there are times when I have neither lofty thoughts nor a soaring spirit. I bear with myself patiently and admit that that is just what I am, because all that is beautiful is a grace from God. And so I humble myself profoundly and cry out for Your help; and the grace of visitation is not slow in coming to the humble heart." (1734)

Ok, so she probably would not have published this on the Internet. That's what we are here for! Maybe I'll try writing a prayer online one of these days...
 
Today is Terri Schindler-Schiavo day. Good prayer on the And Then? blog.
Saturday, November 29, 2003
 
Advent is upon us! O come, O come Emmanuel...

 
Can you imagine the Pope saying to you...
“The information that I receive about the situation of the Church in your country,” said the pope, “is particularly troubling to me."

Yikes. Well, that's what he said to the bishops of Belgium. You can read his statements here.

Papers, papers, papers... I continue to work on them.
Friday, November 28, 2003
 
If you've never heard the story of Cindy Speltz and her daughter Jennifer, you can listen to an interview on Relevant Radio. I remember Jennifer in one of my classes at Franciscan U. I think she got the highest grade on the tests everytime--really smart. It's an important story.
Thursday, November 27, 2003
 
A Happy Thanksgiving to the blogosphere.

An article on Thanksgiving at Catholic Exchange.
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
 
Hey. The Catholic Youth Ministry in Melbourne, Australia, has developed a series of articles on many common questions about Catholicism. I'm quite impressed.
 
My friends Dave and Joan Maroney were on the Morning Air radio show with Jeff Cavins. You can listen to the interview. Their website: Mother of Mercy Messengers.
Monday, November 24, 2003
 
This article about how teenagers tend to be pro-life is nothing new, but the statistics still tend to change--sometimes drastically--by the time the same group is seniors in college. Still, there does seem to be a trend of more and more teens going pro-life. The March for Life is becoming the Youth Rally and March for Life.
Sunday, November 23, 2003
 
Quotes from a great book: This Tremendous Lover by Fr. Eugene Boylan at the Compass website.
 
From the Diary of St. Maria Faustina:

O humility, lovely flower, I see how few souls possess you. Is it because you are so beautiful and at the same time so difficult to attain? O yes, it is both the one and the other. Even God takes great pleasure in her. The floodgates of heaven are open to a humble soul, and a sea of graces flows down upon her. O how beautiful is a humble soul! From her heart, as from a censer, rises a varied and most pleasing fragrance which breaks through the skies and reaches God himself, filling His Most Sacred Heart with joy. God refuses nothing to such a soul; she is all-powerful and influences the destiny of the whole world. God raises such a soul up to His very throne, and the more she humbles herself, the more God stoops down to her, pursuing her with His graces and accompanying her at every moment with His omnipotence. Such a soul is most deeply united with God. O humility, strike deep roots in my whole being. O Virgin most pure, but also most humble, help me to attain deep humility. Now I understand why there are so few saints; it is because so few souls are deeply humble. (1306)

Notice--to be all-powerful, you must be truely humble. If you are truely humble, you are totally dependent upon God, which of course means you do not rely on your own power. It appears to be a contradiction, but the more you realize you are not God, the more of God's power is given to you. St. Faustina is changing the world by changing souls, and in this she is more powerful than the most powerful world leaders. You can't deny the lady has some serious power, but it isn't her own limited human power or even the power of fallen angels. Instead, it's God's infinite power.
 
It's time to pray....
Happy Solemnity of Christ the King!

Prayer of consecration to the Sacred Heart

Lord Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us as we kneel before your altar.

We are yours and desire always to belong to you;

but to be more surely united with you, we freely consecrate ourselves today to your most Sacred Heart.

Many indeed have never known you; many too, have despised your teaching and rejected you.

Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to your Sacred Heart.

Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you,

but also of the prodigal sons and daughters who have abandoned you;

grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house lest they suffer the eternal sorrow of being separated from you.

Be King, O Lord, of those who are deceived by false teachings, or separated by discord,

and call them back to the community of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

Grant to your Church, O Lord, assurance of freedom and immunity from harm;

give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound with one acclamation:

Praise to the divine Heart that won our salvation; to It be glory and honour for ever and ever. Amen.

Pius XI said:
Therefore by Our Apostolic Authority We institute the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ to be observed yearly throughout the whole world on the last Sunday of the month of October—the Sunday, that is, which immediately precedes the Feast of All Saints [It has changed since Vatican II]. We further ordain that the dedication of mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which Our predecessor of saintly memory, Pope Pius X, commanded to be renewed yearly, be made annually on that day.

Saturday, November 22, 2003
 
Contemporary Catholic Music? It's here at New Heart, New Voices.

Continuing to progress on the Sirach paper...

How to not get vocations....

Have the following as part of a statement from a meeting of your religious community (I will not say who, and I think I am doing this community of sisters a service by not giving them credit.)

We weep when we experience in ourselves and in our Church
fear of change, a hierarchical worldview, patriarchy,
clericalism, and ministerial restrictions which, sometimes,
limit and deny the ever-fluid movement of the Spirit
and the rich diversity and giftedness of all people of God.

This statement, which seemed to be based on the problem of abuse-of-power, basically takes away any form of obedience to the Church founded by Christ. Since women who are called to religious life are called by Christ, it seems unlikely they will be attracted to a group that does not wish to follow the teachings of His Spouse, the Church--and in fact this appears to be the case, based on those women that I have met who either are considering religious life or have already entered. (If you have comments, go to the guestbook at the bottom of the page...)

How to get vocations...

Yes, it's from the Nashville Dominicans...

We draw on the wisdom of the ages and with a deep awareness of our identity as women religious we:
•Love the Church and seek to serve her in fidelity;
•Treasure our vows, particularly obedience, which is the source of our liberty;
•Foster a reverence for the priesthood and the Church’s Magisterium;
•Live in fidelity to the gifts we have been given, understanding that we are bound by charity to lead others to know the truth and to love the good;
•Acknowledge the importance of religious witness by the wearing of a distinctive habit;
•Look to the Virgin Mary as our model and mother, recognizing both the power of humility and a true sense of what it means to be a woman.

Thursday, November 20, 2003
 
Got to work on a research paper... due in two weeks (among other things), so blogging will be more sporatic. The paper is about the Book of Sirach AKA the Wisdom of Ben Sira AKA Ecclesiasticus. It's one of those books that are canonical in the Catholic and Orthodox churches but not among Protestants or Jews. Why is this? Catholic Answers provides something of an apologetic explanation.

Here is a passage from the Douay Rheims Version of Ecclesiasticus that appears to be a testimoney of Sirach to the worship at the temple in Jerusalem around 200 B.C. Simon, the High Priest at the time, is being extolled:

50:18 Then the sons of Aaron shouted, they sounded with beaten trumpets, and made a great noise to be heard for a remembrance before God.
19 Then all the people together made haste, and fell down to the earth upon their faces, to adore the Lord their God, and to pray to the Almighty God the most High.
20 And the singers lifted up their voices, and in the great house the sound of sweet melody was increased.
21 And the people in prayer besought the Lord the most High, until the worship of the Lord was perfected, and they had finished their office.
22 Then coming down, he lifted up his hands over all the congregation of the children of Israel, to give glory to God with his lips, and to glory in his name:
23 And he repeated his prayer, willing to shew the power of God.
24 And now pray ye to the God of all, who hath done great things in all the earth, who hath increased our days from our mother's womb, and hath done with us according to his mercy.
25 May he grant us joyfulness of heart, and that there be peace in our days in Israel for ever:
26 That Israel may believe that the mercy of God is with us, to deliver us in his days.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003
 
Saw a Fr. Stan Fortuna music video on Brazilian Catholic TV. Fairly decent production. A different music video of his can be viewed on demand (Everybody Got 2 Suffer) obviously filmed in Brazil.

Direct link to the live Catholic TV from Brazil here.
Monday, November 17, 2003
 
There's such a variety of Catholic TV programming that can be viewed over the Internet. Ok, so a lot of it isn't in English. Well, occasionally I'll check what RAI (Italian TV) has to offer. They have a page called Religione Cattolica that has lots of clips, and from this page you can guarda (watch) A Sua Immagine (In His Image) in broadband. It's a weekly program from Rome.
Sunday, November 16, 2003
 
I like to read the New Testament in Greek, and I've found a Greek New Testament reader's dream site! Biblon lets you look, not just at the text with a critical apparatus, but at actual graphics of Codex Sinaiticus and synchronize them! Ok, this may sound like gibberish to some out there, but trust me, it's great.

I'm afraid the blog is getting too eclectic.
 
Hearing too much bad news? Read something from a sermon by the Cure of Ars: Words of a saint.
Saturday, November 15, 2003
 
Ok, please pardon a bit of not-so-religious blogging here. I must admit that I am having a "nostalgic" moment (at age 33) and thinking back to a TV series produced by South Carolina Education TV called "Six Gun Heroes." It was a daily (M-F) show which I probably watched at age 10 or 11 in the summer (1980 or 81) on Wisconsin Public TV. It took old B-westerns, trimmed them down to fit in an hour, and had B-western star Sunset Carson give some comments on the movie. I've got a few B-westerns here in D.C. and watching them reminded me of that old show. Ok, so I like B-westerns. It's certainly a whole different world from most movies made today. Some of the movies shown on "Six Gun Heroes" bored me from the start, but sometimes the movie grabbed me and I was glued to the set for the hour. Ah, simple, uncomplicated entertainment...
 
Speaking of martyrs... you can find out about the persecution of Christians (particularly Catholics) in the year 2002 at Aid to the Church in Need. Yep, persecution is really real. We don't know how easy we've got it here.
 
The Angel Dean website continues to get more advanced... now it has a built in mp3 player at the bottom of the menu screen--only plays 4 songs now. Apparently he's going to release a DVD too, but there's no video clips on the site yet.
 
There are two martyrs of my congregation--beatified in 1999.

Meanwhile, the Spiritual Diary of our renovator, Blessed George Matulaitis, has been published in English in a complete version (finally!) There were previous publications of parts of his diaries, but this has all of the diaries in one book.
Thursday, November 13, 2003
 
It just so happens I'm in the St. Stanislaus Kostka province of the Marians, and today is his feastday. Here's a link with a little info.
 
Some kinda Catholic Youth concert/song competition just happened in Sydney, Australia. Sounds kinda like Hillsongs... Listen to a Vatican Radio report from their "Oh Zone" program.

Speaking of Australia, there's a beautiful website about Eucharistic Adoration from the land down-under, including testimonies of young people.
 
A favorite book of mine is in print! It's a real classic. While it is not the most historically accurate (St. Sebastian and St. Agnes probably weren't contemporaries), it's very inspiring. It's been made into a movie 4 times. I've only seen the latest version (1961) and that was very disappointing.
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
 
I gave a presentation at an R.C.I.A. group tonight on the Blessed Virgin Mary. I am not sure I did the best job, but hopefully Mary will work with it. It's not that I don't know many things about her, but I should have had a more focused presentation. I was rather scattered in my topic selection. Perhaps I was working from the way I learned about her, which, incidentally, is rather scattered.

Speaking of Our Lady, a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case more than that.
 
The All Saints Vigil, which I was unfortunately not able to attend (studying for a big exam), has a good site of pictures from it.
Monday, November 10, 2003
 
Are you a teen who regularly goes to Eucharistic Adoration? This guy wants to hear from you.
Sunday, November 09, 2003
 
I must say, this Introduction to the Order of the Mass really is a good read, and an important one in light of all the liturgical trends around the U.S.
 
A somewhat pessimistic entry from Amy Welbourn. This should be balanced with rereading the New Faithful and realizing that people mentioned in that book are in many cases even more "movers and shakers" than they were when the book was written.
Saturday, November 08, 2003
 
Many images of Our Lady from an Italian website. There are a few bigger images, but mostly smaller ones. If you're looking for an image of the Blessed Mother, check here.

As I continue to find Catholic TV that can be viewed live online around the world, here is Blu Sat 2000 in Italian.

Cool article on habits.
 
Immaculate Mediatrix Online is quite the cool website. The audio library has some great talks, mostly about Kolbe.
Thursday, November 06, 2003
 
Have you seen the Mother Teresa Film Festival website? Ok, so it's in Calcutta. Well, at least you can see what's playing.
 
From the Diary of St. Maria Faustina:

Jesus told me that I please Him best by meditating on His sorrowful Passion, and by such meditation much light falls upon my soul. He who wants to learn true humility should reflect upon the Passion of Jesus. When I meditate upon the Passion of Jesus, I get a clear understanding of many things I could not comprehend before. I want to resemble You, O Jesus,-You crucified, tortured and humiliated. Jesus, imprint upon my heart and soul Your own humility. I love You, Jesus, to the point of madness, You who were crushed with suffering as described by the prophet [cf. Isaiah 53:2-9], as if he could not see the human form in You because of Your great suffering. It is in this condition, Jesus, that I love You to the point of madness. O eternal and infinite God, what has love done to You?... (267)
Tuesday, November 04, 2003
 
From JP II's Apostolic Letter to the Youth of the World.

Here, he discusses the rich young man and his going away because he had many possessions... He has been talking about the treasure of youth itself.

"But we must ask the question: does this treasure of youth necessarily alienate man from Christ? The Evangelist certainly does not say this: rather, an examination of the text leads us to a different conclusion. The decision to go away from Christ was definitively influenced only by external riches, what the young man possessed ('possessions'). Not by what he was! What he was, as precisely a young man—the interior treasure hidden in youth—had led him to Jesus. And it had also impelled him to ask those questions which in the clearest way concern the plan for the whole of life. What must I do? 'What must I do to inherit eternal life?'. What must I do so that my life may have full value and full meaning?

"The youth of each one of you, dear friends, is a treasure that is manifested precisely in these questions. Man asks himself these questions throughout his life. But in the time of youth they are particularly urgent, indeed insistent. And it is good that this is so. These questions precisely show the dynamism of the development of the human personality, the dynamism which is proper to your age. You ask yourselves these questions sometimes with impatience, and at the same time you yourselves understand that the reply to them cannot be hurried or superficial the reply must have a specific and definitive weight. It is a question here of a reply that concerns the whole of life, that embraces the whole of human existence."

The questions have to be asked...
Monday, November 03, 2003
 
A write-up about an event I attended recently.

Went to the Passion Experience Tour concert here in D.C. Quite good. Louie mentioned Phos Hilarion (note my entry from July) and we recited the hymn in English, and indeed a candle was brought out representing Christ and put on the stage for the rest of the event.
Sunday, November 02, 2003
 
Time to think about all the souls in Purgatory. It's a good idea to say some prayers (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be) for the souls suffering there--anytime, not just today.
Saturday, November 01, 2003
 
It's the feast of All Saints, of course, and I could mention a bunch of saints that have been important in my life, that I have had devotion to, etc. But I do that throughout the year anyhow.

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