Sunday, July 31, 2011

Homily: Feed them Yourselves - Jesus Calls us to Trinitarian Participation in the Holy Eucharist

Jesus tells us "Feed them yourselves." Here is audio mp3 homily for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time. If you have trouble playing it click here.

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Homily at the Wedding of Joanna and Daniel Lott

I had the wonderful privilege of witnessing the wedding vows of this happy couple. Here is my audio mp3 homily for the occasion. Their readings showed the different kinds of human love : romance, friendship, and self-sacrificing agape.

If you have trouble listening click here.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Glorious Hope in Christ Crucified and Risen

I am always amazed at the novelty of Christian hope. On one hand, the weight and sheer intensity of human sufferings that we must face seem to crush us to the ground: broken family relationships, scandals and hypocrisy, physical ailments, emotional pains, isolation, fear, anxiety, and the heaviest of all, the weight of our very own weakness. YET, in the midst of all of this, the Lamb of God calls out to us, as if the first cries of suffering must be penetrated, probed, searched, and then if we listen deeper, if we can touch the bone marrow, the inmost heart of human suffering, we find...GOD! We find that Christ suffers in us. Love suffers. Love suffers for want of love, and seems to still cry out from the Cross, as if those "loud cries" (Hebrews 5:7) of Jesus can be heard in the depths of human misery.

Yet it doesn't go away. I am still afflicted, pained, crushed. What now? Prayer. Only in prayer can we stop and wait, and in the silence of stopping to listen to the voice of Christ, the voice of suffering Love, we are permitted to focus in on the inmost heart of human suffering and perceive the heart of Christian Hope, that Jesus suffers with me, knows me intimately, hears my cries, hears my hearts deepest longings and pains. When we pray we discover the meaning of St Paul's words, the God's "power is perfected in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). We hear the sound of hope itself. We hear God, who says,
"HOPE! Hope that I am good. Hope that
my plans are for your highest good, to bring you peace and fulfillment, not despair, loneliness, or the trauma that you may now be feeling."
Christ is HOPE. He is the cause of amazing and enduring joy even amidst terrible difficulties. And since she was able to perceive the plan of God, the goodness of God, his most hidden purpose even amidst the trauma and abandonment of the Cross, Mary is always called and continues to be SPES NOSTRA, OUR HOPE. She makes the difficult transition from encountering the pains and aches of human life to the purpose and plan of God a gracious and even pleasant experience. It is the sheer tenderness of her love, her maternal embrace, her hand on our shoulder that allows us to suffer the worst of pains in the gentlest of ways.

Mary Our Lady, Mother of holy Hope, pray for us and obtain the firmness of heart to never waiver from the Cross and its divine purpose to bring us to unwavering joy and delight in God's eternal presence.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why I am Proud to Be Catholic - A Talk to Catholic Youth

If you said you were proud to be Catholic or you thought the Catholic religion was the correct religion, the true Church, certainly people, even some catholics, would accuse you of being proud or arrogant, or not seeing the “whole picture.”

If you said that you though Muslims were right, or that atheists had the proper view, this is certainly more en vouge in popular circles.Ifanybody says anything against Jews, Muslims, or any ethnic group it would surely be the end of their career and their respectability. Yet if someone says something against the Catholic Church it is considered normal, social acceptable, or even intelligent.

Anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice.
(From non-catholic author Philip Jenkins) which is why it is easy for Catholics to falsely believe ourselves as second class. Things that try brainwash us into thinking this:

-Bullying at School, even Catholic School to make one think it is not “cool” or popular to be Catholic

-Media exposurethat mocks Catholic beliefs - not mostly doctrine (yet this is not left out) but morals

-Culture of Lust where sex before marriage and living together is thought of as “normal” though this actually destroys marriage

-Mockery of Christ-centered life & Catholic Values especially with regard to marriage and family

Christ said, “If the world hates you realize that it hated me first”It is Christ himself who is persecuted in his Body the Church. “Why do you persecute me?” Jesus to Saul after he’d killed Christians.


How does Jesus defend you? Through the Sacraments, he gives you grace, peace, joy, and the inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit, who is given to those who ask in faith with prayer. He gives you the graced-friendships of the Church here on earth to strengthen you.

Yet, he also asks you also to use your wits he gave you.


How? Understand most of the attacks are not mostly on what the Church believes (although these are present too) but on the identity and dignity of Catholicism to try to attack its moral authority.

For example: Constantly bashing the Church for sex abuse scandals

REALITY: The safest statistical place in the world right now is in Catholic Churches, and it always has been! It has always been statistically safer than schools, the workplace, or even the family.


-there are far more cases reported against married protestant clergy USA: 6% catholic priests 13% protestants Germany: least of all professions (this is from insurance claims and criminological studies)

-The Catholic Church has the harshest possible laws and policies against abuse than any other institution (juridical profession has noted this).

-There should be 0% abuse from priests and the fact that they are the most discussed is a subconscious acknowledgment of its moral authority. In other words, the fact that the media is more upset by priests committing these terrible crimes shows that they respect the authority of the priesthood.

Another Attack is History: there are terrible sinners in Catholic history. People would hold them up to be the official Catholic view when they were in fact against the mind of Christ:
atrocities committed in the name of the Crusades, misconstruing Galileo...

Yet saints stand right along side of them - weeds and wheat together.


We are called to be confident - proud to be Catholic.

At this point in English History a shift is taking place. Many people are realizing that in order to be human, to be noble, to be upright, to be a good Englishman, one must become a good Catholic. Only the stability and the faithfulness of the Catholic Church can preserve the best and most noble part of England, its very soul - its faith.

The signs of that reveal this are the following:

-The Holy Father’s Visit revealed that England, while it is very secular, still has the desire to be a Christian nation

-The many thousands of conversions that are happening at this time

-Catholics are becoming less afraid of witnessing publicly their faith.-The bishops are taking a firm stand on public moral issues like abortion, same sex unions, and embryonic stem cell research whilst promoting a clear catholic identity (abstinence from meat on Fridays)


HOLY EUCHARIST: Walk into any Catholic Church in any country for the
past 2000 years and you will find Jesus Christ truly present in his Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist. You will find the very same ritual given to us by Jesus himself, the holy mass, where Jesus himself, in the person of the priest says to you personally, “This is my Body...This is my Blood...given up for you”

The true presence is different than any other reality. It is the fact that he is reserved in all the tabernacles of the world. Everywhere in the world you can look around and say, “God is here.” Only in heaven and only in the Eucharistic Host can you say, “THIS IS GOD!”

CONFESSION: Every Catholic priest in the world has been given the power by Christ to completely obliterate sin out of your life in the Sacrament of Confession. Jesus gave this power to priests when he breathed on his first priests, the apostles, and said “Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven.”

Think about it, if you ever experience any fear, worry, anxiety, depression, loneliness, if you ever do anything wrong, any sin or evil, when you repent by confessing your sins to God’s representative he says to you, “I Absolve you” and frees you from all of this! Most of the emotional difficulties people struggle with are from sin or from the terrible vacuum of love caused by it. Confession heals. Just do it!

ANOINTING OF THE SICK: a priest can come to you when you are dying, forgive your sins, anoint you with the strengthening oil of the sick, give you the apostolic pardon freeing you from all punishment even in the next life, and hold your hand as you pass from this life to the next handing you off to Jesus who will embrace you with the Father.

MOTHER MARY: You have a beloved Mother who always pleads your cause, waits for you, hears your prayers and intercedes for you before her divine Son. She never draws us to herself but only to God. Every time we say, “Hail Mary!” she says “Hail Jesus!” Every time

POPE, SUCCESSOR OF ST PETER: The simple fact is that the
Catholic Church is the one Church that Jesus Christ founded when he told St Peter, “You are Rock and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Mt 16:18). Pope Benedict XVI is the 266 of St Peter.

NO OTHER christian community claims this, that they belong to the very Church founded by Jesus Christ, that he is their head. They claim to have the teachings of some particular man but not Christ himself.

There are over 200,000 Christian denominations. When was your Church founded?






Jesus Christ

33 AD

Orthodox (schism)

Michael Cerularius



Martin Luther



Ulrich Zwingli



King Henry VIII



Jean Calvin



John Knox



John Smyth



John Wesley



(No longer Christian)

Joseph Smith



William Miller


7th Day Adventists

Ellen Gould White


Salvation Army

William Booth


Jehovah’s Witnesses

(No longer Christian)

Charles Taze Russel



Charles Fox Parham


Assembly of God

Council of Hot Springs, AR


Be proud to be be Catholic! BE NOT AFRAID! God will be with you to show you how to proclaim the Gospel to the people of our time with wisdom, courage, and that noble dignity of Christ to which you are called.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Happy are your eyes because they want to see Jesus MP3 HOMILY

Here is my audio homily for the day today.

If you have trouble listening click here.

Gospel for today Mt 13:10-17

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?”
He said to them in reply,
“Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven
has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.
To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich;
from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
This is why I speak to them in parables, because
they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.
Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

You shall indeed hear but not understand,
you shall indeed look but never see.
Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their hearts and be converted
and I heal them.

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see,
and your ears, because they hear.
Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people
longed to see what you see but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Priests Need Confession

A sure sign of faith and Christian fervor is the frequency and intensity with which the Christian people approach the font of mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Conversely a sign of a crisis of faith is the lack of it's celebration.

If this is true for the faithful, how much more true it is for priests, for their priesthood must exemplify the Christian life of faith and the Sacraments.

Recently, the Congregation of Clergy produced a document entitled, "The Priest, Minister of Divine Mercy: an Aid for Confessors and Spiritual Directors." Quoting Blessed Pope John Paul II, it says,
The priest's spiritual and pastoral life, like that of his brothers and sisters, lay and religious, depends for it's quality and fervor, on the frequent and personal practice of the Sacrament of Penance. The priest's celebration of the Eucharist and administration of the other sacraments, his pastoral zeal, his relationship with the faithful, his communion with his brother priests, his collaboration with the bishop, his life of prayer - in a word, the whole of his priestly existence, suffers an inexorable decline if by negligence or for some other reason he fails to receive the Sacrament of Penance at regular intervals and in a spirit of genuine faith and devotion.

The moments in my short priestly life where I have felt the closest to God, most penetrated with his divine and unrelenting love, were those days where I spent most of my time hearing confessions. It seems here that the Levitical priesthood of animal sacrifice is a type or shadow of Christian priesthood, whereas the priests of old received the choicest portions of the sacrifices of bulls and goats, now he receives the choicest graces of mercy and reconciliation with God. It as if the priest, holding up to heaven in the eucharistic chalice, the Sacramental representation of the Blood of the Immaculate Lamb, it must first spill over onto his own head, into his own life, touching first and transforming his own humanity before it flows out to touch others in a veritable river of Mercy that soon becomes an ocean. So it is with the sacrament of confession. To put it plainly, at times I feel confession is like the abyss of divine Mercy floods a penitent's soul after having passed through the soul of the priest. Let me attempt to express this in words with an image. It is as if an endless and infinite ocean of God's grace had to first pass through the garden hose of a priest's very frail humanity in a few brief moments. For this reason, there have been times while in the midst of celebrating or dispensing this sacrament, I have felt as if I were to die of love, of having to channel too much infinite goodness through the wretchedness of my own poor heart.

Personally, I find it necessary to approach this sacrament every few days, for it is not just as some mistakenly claim, merely a "sin-washing machine" but an encounter with my Father, my Abba, who loves me so much that he desires to free me of even the slightest sin or obstacle to his love.

May Our Lady, Mother of Mercy and Queen of the clergy, obtain for us the renewal of the celebration of the sacrament of divine Mercy, especially among priests.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

On the Third Anniversary of my Sacerdotal Ordination

Words cannot describe the supreme gratitude, thanksgiving, praise, adoration, and awe, I feel towards God as I celebrate the third anniversary of my ordination to the Sacred Priesthood.

On one hand I feel that I was ordained yesterday. It seems like I am still in the honey moon of being a priest, for every mass, every confession, every session of spiritual direction feels as if it were the first time. On the other hand, because of the sheer density and wide spectrum of emotional and psychological experience of a priest, I feel that I have been ordained for time immemorial. I do not remember what it was like to not be a priest, even though in human terms it was only 1095 days ago I was ordained.

This is who God has called me to be, for I was born to do this, to be a living offering, an oblation, a living sign that men and women may know that God is fully alive and that he loves them vigorously with great joy, and that he will continue to call men to the altar to lay down their lives in union with the Eucharistic Victim for the salvation of all mankind.

Even if I had a thousand lives to live, I would live every single one of them as a priest. How glorious is God, how vast and incomprehensible is his great love, that he would fashion on earth the sublime masterpiece of his Sacred Heart, the wonder of his presence, his Fatherhood, his love, alive in his priests!

Please pray for me, for although I am a clay vessel, a poor and humble instrument of his grace, he has entrusted me with dispensing his mysteries and graces to his people. May God pardon me for my sins and failings, excesses and defects, imperfections and faults, and may Mary, Mother of Priests, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death, Amen!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Gratitude that is Real, Consistent, and the Flows from the Heart of Christ

God the Father is a burst of Joyful Generosity, for he eternally brings forth the Son and Holy Spirit. God the Son is a burst of Joyful Gratitude, for he eternally receives his being from the Father and gives him thanks in the gift of the Holy Spirit. God the Holy Spirit is a burst of Joyful Love, for he eternally is the very Love between the Father and the Son.

Since we have been baptized into the eternal Love of the Son, the greatest, most fruitful, most healthy and rewarding disposition of the Christian is one of gratitude. To be a disciple of Chist is to be grateful, or to enter into that eternal thanksgiving of Jesus Christ to the Living Abba and Father for all creation, all people, for every moment of human history, especially for the life that we live here and now.

The Most Holy Eucharist is the place where we enter into this gratitude, par excellence. For it the Eucharist itself means in Greek, Thanksgiving (from εὐχαριστία or eucharistia), which is to present to the Father the thanksgiving of Christ crucified and risen present in our burning hearts as we hear the living Word of God proclaimed to us and receive the undeserved gift of his most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the Holy Eucharist.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Prayer of the Angels to Remember Christ: May you Forget me and Remember Jesus

Not infrequently do I think it necessary to pray for the invisibility of the angels:
May you forget my name, my face, my presence and may you be filled with the memory of the Name of Christ, his holy Face, and his divine Presence.
This is important for any kind of sacred ministry. Whether it is for those serving at the altar, those teaching the doctrine of Christ, or serving the poor and needy. It is especially valuable when people find in us some good which they might attribute to us rather than the good Lord who gave it to us. It is also healthy to have this kind of self-abasement before God and man.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Encouragement - Holy Spirit gives us Courage flowing from Love - so do his Friends

Most of the time we are not aware of how we effect other people. We do not know how much a word, a smile, a friendly, "You can do it!" means until someone does it for us when we need it, and it seems that encouragement comes to us just at the very moment when we need it the most.

When we pray for others, it is a way of exercising fraternal charity. Cloistered nuns and monks, who have consecrated their lives for the service of praying for their neighbor, reveal that the highest service of charity is actually intercession. St Catherine of Sienna said that the prayers we offer here on earth for one another will appear in heaven as bonds that resemble the eternal bond of love of the Most Holy Trinity. We ought to take very seriously the charge to love one another by praying for one another.

We simply cannot know the supreme benefit that prayer for each other has. Could it be a matter of eternal salvation of souls? Of course! The most perfect prayer we can offer for each other is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and those prayers that are a kind of living extension of the Mass where we offer the blood of Jesus on another's behalf - the Liturgy of the Hours, the holy Rosary, the divine Mercy chaplet, and others.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary is a never ending storehouse of this charity, encouragement and intercession for all. Please turn with me to her in praying a hail mary for all those who are most in need of God's mercy. Hail Mary...

St Benedict Renewed Europe of Old - Today we Need Another Benedict for Renewal - the Pope

There have been different times when it has looked like mankind would collapse in on itself. God's plan in times like these is to send us saints. One of these times was in the 4th century, when bands of roving hoards of pagan tribes were attacking what was left of a corrupt and crumbling Roman empire. God's reply was to send St Benedict, who renewed the entire Church and sanctified the world with the Ora et Labora of Christ, the prayer and work of Jesus. He presented a whole new way of living the Christian life, and from the stability of monastic communities there emerged a new balanced way of living that was fundamentally Catholic. The arts, sciences, music, agriculture, and all were developed as man worshiped God in a whole new way of being human that was offered to the Lord in the beauty of the Sacred Liturgy - a whole civilization that flowed from Eucharistic worship.

What is necessary today is a similar kind of renewal, this time from another
Benedict, the Pope. Our Holy Father presents a blue print of a new civilization, a new humanity, a new way of living out the Catholic faith that is deeply in touch with that same glorious patrimony of Catholic tradition to which St Benedict had both passed on and contributed. The Pontiff inherited much of this work in our day from the great Blessed Pope John Paul II, who had given the Church a new way of presenting the ancient Catholic faith to people of our times. This is in fact what a saint does. They present Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to our time in a completely new way.

It is up to us to keep pace with the Holy Father. To know his teachings, to understand why he insists on the reform of the reform of the Sacred Liturgy, that we may live once again a Eucharistic civilization, where all things flow from and are ordered to the only place on earth where what is human can truly be divinized and offered to God.

The Immaculate Virgin Mary helps us first and foremost to offer our hearts on the altar, and allow the sacrifice of the Lamb to transform us, and allow his blessing to send us into the same world by which he spoke of the Eucharistic fruitfulness, "I give my flesh for the life of the world" (Jn 6:51). May the prayers of St Benedict, patron of Europe, and the intercession of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, inspire us to follow the Lamb of God into the renewal of all mankind.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Do Not Be Discouraged. Be Not Afraid. Jesus has Overcome the World (Medley Minute).

There is never any reason to be discouraged, to fear, or to waiver in our trust of God the Father, for he has marvelously provided the hope that is poured fourth into our hearts by the Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus through the Immaculate and pure Heart of Mary our Mother.

To view video, click here.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

God is the Gardener and You are His Garden - Ask Mary for an Immaculate Soil Transplant

In the Mass Readings for Today, Jesus tells us that we must cultivate our souls like a garden for the seed of the Word of God.

Listen to the mp3 Audio file:

If you have trouble listening click here.

There was an old German farmer who lived down the road from us. I used to go and listen to him tell stories. One time we were talking by his garden and he stopped in the middle of a sentence with a look of vengeance he walked far into the garden and picked up a very tiny weed that the average eye would have missed. He was constantly doting on his garden, working fresh manure into the soil. He had little tolerance for weeds and didn't allow even the tiniest to grow. For this reason, he had very few weeds growing and some of the richest and blackest soil I have ever seen.

Our souls ought to be like his garden. Yet some of us are thorny, our hearts hardened, or simply we bear little fruit. It is necessary for certain trials to burn away the thorns, to soften the rigid hardness and ingratitude of our hearts, and to mulch in the difficult, smelly, and messy gift of humiliations to make our souls fertile for God.

We must remember that God is the gardener and when we permit him to act in us through the sacraments and the life of prayer, our souls slowly become more pleasing to him and more fruitful. The Most Holy Eucharist is the imperishable and eternal seed of He who is himself the Word of God. Frequent and devout reception of holy communion is the greatest and best way to be transformed in spiritual fruitfulness. Also, the sacrament of Confession is a way of weeding the garden of our lives in a very thorough way. When we confess each sin in kind and number it is as if we grab the sin by the root and remove it from our soul. When I wanted to go hastily through the garden, I used to grabe the tops of the weeds, but this would just remove their appearance, while the roots would still be present deep in the soil. In confession it is not enough to make a general reference to a sin, without mentioning the kind and number. Why? Because the proximate matter, or stuff, that makes this sacrament is our confession and the thorough honesty of our self-accusation allows the grace of God to work deeper into the roots of sin. Another sacrament that helps weed the garden is holy matrimony. In obedience to Jesus hiding in your spouse and in the sacred bond contracted therein you crush selfish and willful vices, especially pride, while growing in real charity.

The most pleasing fruit a soul can have is Jesus Christ. Mary bore the fruit of Jesus and she continues to do so. It is important for us to ask Mary for a "soil transplant" from the Immaculate garden of her heart. She also makes the process of tilling, weeding, and mulching more pleasant, even enjoyable.

May the fervent celebration of the sacraments of the Church, consistent prayer, and the joyful acceptance of this life's trials help us through Mary's intercession to bear a thousand-fold fruitfulness in Christ.

Beautiful Rendition of the the Beatification Hymn for Blessed Pope John Paul

Fr Jason Worthley of the Archdiocese of Boston has organized another beautiful hymn and posted it on his podcast. Follow his blog here. He was responsible for recording the hymn to Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity that can be played on the SOLT Website. The same family in his parish has recorded this hymn that was written for the Beatification of Blessed Pope John Paul II by the Italian priest, Monsignore Marco Frisina.

Aprite le Pore a Cristo
(Open the Doors to Christ)

If you have trouble listening click here.

Aprite le porte a Cristo
Non abbiate paura
spalancate il vostro cuore
al l’amore di dio

Open the doors to Christ
Do not be afraid
Open wide your hearts
to the love of God

1. testimone di speranza
per chi attende la salvezza
pellegrino per amore
sulle strade del mondo

1. Witness to hope
for those who await salvation
pilgrim of love
on the roads of the world

2. vero padre per i giovani
che inviasti per il mondo
sentinelle del mattino
segno vivo di speranza

2. father to the young
You sent it to the world
sentinels of the morning
living sign of hope

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Providence of God Reaches from End to End Mightily and Orders All things Sweetly

Let's face it. The discipleship of following the Lord Jesus can be at times grueling training. Yet Jesus himself did not do it alone. His coach was always with him to be the inspiration of his soul and the cause of his joy - his Father.

When we base our Christian life on God the Father with Christ, we don't measure the providential things in our life by ourselves. We notice that people who base their life events on how they feel about it will eventually lapse into the health and wealth Gospel - if I am healthy and rich God must be blessing me, but if it rains on my day, he has departed. A real disciple never measures their following of Christ by their own ego or satisfaction, but sees every event in their life, whether it is a joyful, sorrowful, luminous, or glorious mystery, as a means of relationship with God the Father.

I find that unless people have this relationship with God the Father in his providence, they will easily get puffed up by success or easily discouraged by failure. In today's readings for Mass, we see that Joseph's brothers doubted this relationship. When? After their father died. They suddenly found themselves like a ship without an anchor and they panicked. Jesus reminds us in the Gospel today that "Even the hairs of your head are counted," meaning that God cares for the tiniest bit of you. This kind of trust, however, where you begin to see the Father caring for you in the tiniest things, only can come about when you enter into intimacy with him, so that you see him in the tiniest corners of your heart, knowing that he will care for every drop of rain or ray of the sun that hits your forehead.

The Most Holy Eucharist is the place where we become perfected in the relationship with God the Father because it is our supersubstantial daily bread, the grace given for this day, the very relationship with the Father that we experience here and now. Let every Eucharistic communion be an embrace with God the Father, whose providence "reaches from end to end mightily and orders all things sweetly" (Wisdom 8:1).

Friday, July 8, 2011

How to Face Sin and Scandal in the Church (Video)

Do not be crushed by sin. Let it be the very thing that inspires repentance and humbles you before God. Continually ask him for mercy through the intercession of Our Lady.

There is a Famine in the World for the Love of God

Rereading the Old Testament patriarchs in the lens of Christ helps us not only to see the marvelous way God prefigured his redemption in the lives of the holy ones of ancient times, but also to see the work of redemption in our lives. In today's readings for Mass, we hear about a favored son who was sold to the powers of the world for 30 pieces of silver, and how through this act of betrayal mankind was saved from famine. The Lord Jesus saved the world from a spiritual famine by feeding us withthe supersubstantial bread of his own flesh, after being sold by his friends to this world's powers.

Going into shops, schools, workplaces and even
our own homes, we can find a kind of famine for divine love. It seems at every encounter in the different sectors of the world, that many are
absolutely starving for the kind of infinite and unconditional love that only God can give them. Encountering this vast storehouse of the divine grain of charity in the Eucharist as the only place that can feed a starving world makes us deeply identify with Joseph of Egypt, who was charged with feeding the world. It can seem a bit overwhelming at times, and the sheer hunger of the crowds can seem staggering, yet we must continue to invite people to make pilgrimage to the Eucharistic banquent that they may discover the love they may not even know they are starving for.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hope is Constantly Being Renewed in Every New Moment Christ Unites Himself to Us Newly

Because Jesus Christ, true God and true man, has united himself to our humanity in everything except sin, there is cause for us to always live in HOPE. With every beat of our hearts, with every breath, with every sunrise, every new day, every new moment is another occasion to discover once again the novelty ever new that Christ unites himself to us in each new moment. Working as a priest in a parish meeting people who may have suffered something terrible but then discover this hope is a cause for daily-renewed priestly joy, anchored in hope eternal. May Our Lady inspire in us the heartbeat of hope the newness of each moment in Christ.

I am deeply saddened at the news of my brother priest Fr Corapi

"What do you think? He is your brother priest and part of your order?" people ask me this about the sad news that the sexual allegations against John Corapi were found to be true.

I am very sad, very crushed. My first reaction to this as all scandals was to turn to Jesus, his heart so generous and innocent and to tell him:

I am most sorry. Please forgive us, please have mercy on us, your very poor priests. For you have entrusted to us the inestimable treasury of graces to these earthen vessels of flesh to dispense the holy mysteries of God and we have once again failed you.

Yet Jesus has chosen from the beginning the poorest of humanity to be his priests. Does not the Gospel reveal this? I am not just talking about Judas, the betrayer, but of Peter, Saint Peter, who himself denied the Lord. Why Jesus? Why do you choose the poorest to bestow the richest of blessings on man. It is like finding the most wretched and leprous, the most depraved and unworthy person and then giving him your most precious golden treasure. Why Jesus? Why? This question is so important. Ask it. Ask it when you look yourself in the mirror and you look at one of the sons of Adam or daughters of Eve and seeing this poverty before you ask, why do you give the blessed Son of God, the Immaculate Lamb to me, to this poverty? Why?

Because the authentic and eternal love of God can only be revealed when the scandalous gratuitousness of it's generosity shames those who undeservedly receive it. And the only real answer is something that has been revealed to the saints throughout the ages, to those who have discovered God as MERCY ITSELF. This lesson is so painful yet so necessary, and it is the only foundation of authentic sanctity.

Holiness for man, for the saints, if it is at all authentic and real, is the realization of the tender Mercy of God in the reflection of our own misery. Yes God elevates our nature, transforms it, makes what was unholy holy. Yet we remember that it is God only who does this, and only when a person becomes fully and truly convinced of his own incapacity to transform himself is sincere "permission" granted to God by man to change himself.

I thanked God today, as I, the SOLT webmaster, had to press the send button in the publication of the news of John Corapi, that he was reminding us of this painful yet freeing mystery. Don't get me wrong. I weep with Jesus at the terrible effect this will have on so many millions of good people that will hurt yet I recognize once again why it is necessary to be reminded of our frailty as man- because it is the only foundation of living well, of authentic sanctity. "Not to us Lord not to us but to your name give the glory."

We must also remember here that grace does transform, and there are many wonderful priests, and yes, many wonderful SOLT priests too, who are living very holy lives, yet living this as a response to God's mercy, not rather, as some kind of superstar, who is infallible and untouchable but as men always in need of conversion and prayer.

There are soooo many good things God can teach us through this absolutely horrible and crushing lesson:

1. Follow canon law- it is the balance between the grace of redemption and human weakness. If it were followed none of this would have happened. I remember when I was asked years ago by my superiors if John Corapi could come and work in the community life of the media apostolate I was running at the time. YES, I cried! Please bring him back to community life! Canon law tells us that no one from a community should live outside for an extended period of time. This would have also meant the regulation of his bank account and other violations would have been remedied. Sadly this didn't happen.

2. Live the Charism, or gift of God that God has given you. This whole Corapi conundrum would have never happened if we would have been faithful to our SOLT Charism of ecclesial teams- communion. This is not only true for communities but applies to the vocation of each Christian. Are you married? Than find your sanctity as a married person and don't go chasing outside your marital bond for sanctity. "Family, be who you are!". This is the battle cry for the sanctification of families by Blessed Pope John Paul. Live the grace God has given you.

3. The grace of certain charisma must always be subject to hierarchical grace of the Church. I used to tell my nieces and nephews when they tried to impress their mother with good deeds that nothing they could do would ever compare with obedience. Obedience will always be the mark of holiness, as rebellion, even by a gifted genius, will always be a mark of the devil. Obey. "If you love me, you will keep my commandments.". What is implied is if you don't love me, don't keep them. If someone stops obeying the legitimate authority of the Church, it is at that moment that I stop following them.

4. BE NOT AFRAID! "Blessed is the just man. An evil report he does not fear, but trusting he steadfastly hopes in the Lord" (Psalm 112:7). I never forget that St John was the only one who could bear the scandal of Judas. Why? Because John could bear all things? Or because John was close to God, leaning upon his very breast, close to Charity itself and "Charity bears all things" (1 Cor 13:7) as St Paul tells us. Love and love alone is the means of bearing such heavy burdens. If you find yourself burdened by this, turn it over to God in prayer. Turn it over to charity. You are not meant to bear the terrible weight of this burden on your shoulders. Not even Jesus himself carried our sins apart from the charity of the Father which bore the terrible weight of the sins of all mankind.

5. Pray, pray, pray, and then pray some more...then pray all the more. This is the Lord's own response in the Garden. "And being in agony, he prayed all the longer" (Lk 22:42).

6. Learn from your mistakes. Right now the SOLT General Chapter is meeting. Do you think these events will not effect the way they make their decisions about ecclesiastical governance and discipline? Why did they choose as a theme for deliberation, "the creation and formulation of administrative policies on Governance and Administration, on Ecclesial Teams and on our Missionary Endeavors"? The entire Church at this time is tightening things up, cleaning house, making their administration better - SOLT included.

7. Be at Peace. I don't know. When I pray I feel God is saying this to me about it all. Be at peace. God is God. He will sort this all out in the end. Be at Peace. Sleep well at night because it isn't going to help you, God, or the Church if you are all fragmented, worried, and distressed about something you have absolutely no control. Be at peace.

God love you and Our Lady keep you,

Fr Sam Medley
SOLT Webmaster

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Winning! - How to Wrestle with God and Angels

In the first reading for today, Jacob wrestled with an angel and then was named Isra-el, or he who wrestles with God. How do you wrestle with angels? How do you wrestle with God? You strive to humble your whole being before him. This is the power of St Michael in casting out the devil - humility, the recognition that God is God and that we are not.

Struggle to humble all of your being before God, your thoughts, words, actions, all your relationships and interactions today and every day. A pleasing way to him to do this well is by consecrating yourself wholeheartedly to him through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In this way, you renounce all of your pride and ask her to clothe you with her humility, adoration, and praise of the living God. She who is higher than the angels because she humbled herself beneath them all will bestow upon you the gift of communion with God.

Then in the regal humility of the sons of God, he may not refuse you anything, yet because of being lowly before him you would not ask anything disagreeable to his inmost heart.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Jacob's Ladder: House of God and Gate of Heaven where Prayers Rise and Grace Falls

On the doorway of old churches there is usually an inscription which reads, Hic Domus Dei Est et Porta Coeli (here is the house of God and the gate of heaven). This is what Jacob said in one of today's readings for mass about Bethel after having the vision of the ladder upon which angels where ascending and descending from earth to heaven.

The Holy Eucharist is this ladder from which ascends to heaven the pleasing sacrifice of the Lamb of God and from which descends from the Father the grace of our redemption. In this mystery the faithful unite to the offering their own prayers and sacrifices, and they receive the grace to faithful to their calling. The Eucharist makes the Church. The faithful who receive him are transformed into the Body of Christ which they receive.

In Christ the faithful are given all sorts of blessings and graces, one of which is healing. Most of the miraculous healings that we hear about are in some way associated with the Eucharist. Yet each of the faithful is called to not only experience the healing of Christ but also be an instrument of his healing.

I knew a priest who had this gift and also had actually raised people from the dead, and this was documented. He told me that every baptized person has a gift of healing - like singing. Most everyone can sing, at least poorly, and there are some who are finely gifted with operatic voices while most can at least squeak out a few notes. Also he said that it is divine love that heals. How true this is when a group of individuals start to resemble the Most Holy Trinity, living in a communion where they may love and be loved, that there starts to be the presence of restorative, reparative, healing love. The holy sacrament of matrimony for many, not just the spouses, is a place of healing and growth. A kind of Christian greenhouse is created in the sacramental bond between man and woman where anyone may feel the warmth of love that heals. Not only families that live their vocation but also communities can become healed and healing communities. This is most especially true in the lives of the saints, for out of the bond between a person and God there is a kind of communion which is superabundant in healing grace for mankind.

Our Lady's Immaculate Heart is also a kind of Jacob's Ladder, from which ascend mighty intercession and descends from God graces for all mankind. In her Heart is the motherly love and tenderness that heals. May she obtain for us the grace to be sources of healing for others.

American Independence must Come to Maturity in Freedom from Sin and Self-Destruction

America the Beautiful, God shed his grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from see to shining see.
The 4th of July is a time when Americans celebrate their independence, and this is something to celebrate, for in this land it is clear that it is not just a mere idea, but a real way of living for many people - that even the poorest may find opportunity, freedom to practice their religion without coercion from government, and to be surrounded by many from every ethnicity on earth who have come to this place for this ideal.

Yet, it must be remembered that the founding fathers of this great nation had founded it upon the freedom that was purchased the Blood of the Lamb who was slain so that we may no longer live in slavery, but in freedom. It was founded in the shadow of the tree of freedom, the Cross, there to be refreshed and to give hope to the nations that such freedom is truly possible.

This freedom is threatened by sin, by evil, in particular the evil that has recently taken the form in an absolute ideology that has compromised freedom for license, permissiveness, and the dangerous intolerance of any authentic morality that the relativist agenda engenders and its commandment: "Whatever feels good do it."

In response to this the Holy Spirit has began to sanctify the People of God. He gives us saints. Sanctity must be germinated and fostered in the greenhouse of human freedom. For this reason, I am convinced that the American Catholics have a special grace to be holy, to develop their freedom in the maturity of charity, in the confidence of doing the right thing and knowing that others may see this and be awoken by the gentle force of truth in their conscience. I am not alone. Pope Benedict has also spoken about this for American catholics:

"What I find fascinating in the United States is that they began with a positive concept of secularity, because this new people was composed of communities and individuals who had fled from the State Church and wanted to have a lay, a secular State that would give access and opportunities to all denominations, to all forms of religious practice. Thus, an intentionally secular new State was born; they were opposed to a State Church. But the State itself had to be secular precisely out of love for religion in its authenticity, which can only be lived freely. And thus, we find this situation of a State deliberately and decidedly secular but precisely through a religious will in order to give authenticity to religion. And we know that in studying America, Alexis de Toqueville noticed that secular institutions live with a de facto moral consensus that exists among the citizens. This seems to me to be a fundamental and positive model." (Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the USA)

It is important to see that freedom in America has always meant, THE FREEDOM TO WORSHIP GOD!!! It is in this environment of freedom that sanctity must take place, and only in the maturity of a person freely choosing God can one become truly holy and therefore truly free. May Americans come to see the nobility to which they are called - the call to holiness in the freedom of the sons of God. Enjoy this video:

Audio Homily: The Only Yoke Christ Asks for is Charity

If you have trouble listening click here.

Love Bears All Things. Live therefore always in the love of Christ. This may seem at times to be a heavy burden, but Charity bears within it the consolation and strength needed to carry the load it brings.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Only Yoke Jesus Asks us to Carry is Charity, which Bears All Things

In the Gospel for today, the 14th Sunday in ordinary time, we hear Jesus say to us:

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

What is this yoke but to "love one another as I have loved you"? This is what he commands of us. The endless Charity of Christ is that refreshment of which he speaks, that gives rest to the weary. It must be remembered here too that it is not we who bear all things. It must also be remembered what charity is: "It is not that we have loved God, but that he has loved us."

Man today has the experience of trying to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders, chasing after this appointment and that schedule, attempting to find a good life in filling up his day with one thing after another, and the result is a terrible weariness that drains the human spirit and deflates the heart. Yet it is only "Charity bears all things." We cannot bear much. We exhaust ourselves this way. Our life will not be measured by anything but how well we love. And not our love for others, but the love of Christ that is constantly being held out to us through the Holy Spirit.

When we see each person every day, our work then isn't to try to reach down somewhere in our hearts and find love for them. This is like looking for water in a dry well. It is rather to discover Christ's love for them and follow him in this work. "Where the master is, there the servant shall be."

The Immaculate Heart of Mary is a great source of love for Jesus and for souls. In this cradle where the Son of man was placed we find it is the point in the universe where divine love and human love intersected and continue to intersect. For this reason, it is the place where that awkward process becomes gracious - of emptying ourselves of our own capacity to love and allowing rather the capacity and potentiality of God's love to consume us and overflow into the lives of all we meet.

Priestly Vocation Born from the Immaculate Heart of Mary

On October 18, 1992, my mother knelt down near Red Square in Moscow, Russia. Three years later on that same day was the first time in my mind I had the very clear awareness that I was born to be a Catholic priest.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary is an abyss of mercy for those who have greatest need. It is a gift from the infinite and endless fountain of God's divine Mercy. It is that last line of defense, the last hope for those who have no hope, the most unwarranted, unmerited, and undeserved gift of the Most Holy Trinity.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Fires of Love may burn us if we reject it

Do not think that Jesus' All-Merciful Heart has any false compassion. The sanctuary of God's love is protected by a holy hatred for sin and evil. Love must remain a free act, and it would not remain love were there not the free rejection of it that for some may result in an eternal banishment from it's sanctuary - hell.

Yet some say they do not believe in hell or that a loving God could allow hell. It must again be repeated that if love were not free and capable of rejection it would no longer be love and could not become perfected. If you claim Jesus never taught about hell you are either ignorant because he spoke about it 27 times in the new testament OR you are not following the real Jesus. You have fabricated another religion than the one Jesus teaches, and you mock the very reason he suffered and died - to save you from hell. Here the Sacred Heart of Christ truly is revealed as the treasury of Salvation and hope of sinners. Here we see the saving Mercy of God.

Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Nine First Fridays

The Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

1. "I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life."
2. "I will establish peace in their homes."
3. "I will comfort them in their afflictions."
4. "I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death."
5. "I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings."
6. "Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy."
7. "Tepid souls shall grow fervent."
8. "Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection."
9. "I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored."
10. "I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts."
11. "Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out."
12. "I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."

The Two Hearts are THE Exception, the way out, the loophole, the way to cheat heaven

The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are THE great exception to the rule. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a gift of God's gratuitous and unmerited love to man, undeserved, unwarranted, completely and totally, scandalously merciful gift of superabundant MERCY. The Immaculate Heart of Mary is the backdoor to heaven, where those who have no right to enter may steel their passage. It is the most mysterious and utterly indefensible of God's mercies, where his mercy appears excessive and without any limit. This is because these Hearts whose kindnesses are without measure to men are the mystery and gift of God's infinite LOVE, and are closest to who he is in is most pure essence - LOVE.

When I try to discern any rationality in my vocation as being chosen as a priest and there comes before my eyes multitudes of men who are more worthy than I, the only reason I can perceive of why I was chosen is because of the unwarranted, gratuitous and overindulgent LOVE of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. When I try to understand the great love I feel for souls in wanting to be spent for their sake, the terrible and ineffable tenderness I feel toward them in confession, any gift whatsoever of service, of love, of generosity my, the poorest and most miserable of hearts feels for souls, and most especially why I would be ever chosen to hold in my poor hands the living and beating Heart of the Eucharistic Jesus, I am undone with God's generosity to his poorest and miserable of servants. Here I can only deduce that it is because of the LOVE of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary that I am anything at all, that my vocation exists, and my heart is beating within me. May every beat of my heart beat for their regal Hearts the treasure and reward of all who hope for God's eternal freedom.