Sunday, July 31, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
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."HOPE! Hope that I am good. Hope thatmy plans are for your highest good, to bring you peace and fulfillment, not despair, loneliness, or the trauma that you may now be feeling."
Sunday, July 24, 2011
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.
-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.
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.
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:
Yet saints stand right along side of them - weeds and wheat together.
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)
WHY IT IS SO AWESOME TO BE A CATHOLIC:
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
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?
King Henry VIII
(No longer Christian)
7th Day Adventists
Ellen Gould White
(No longer Christian)
Charles Taze Russel
Charles Fox Parham
Assembly of God
Council of Hot Springs, AR
Thursday, July 21, 2011
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
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
Friday, July 15, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
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.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Aprite le porte a Cristo
Open the doors to Christ
1. testimone di speranza
1. Witness to hope
2. vero padre per i giovani
2. father to the young
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
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
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
America the Beautiful, God shed his grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from see to shining see.
"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:
Sunday, July 3, 2011
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.”
Friday, July 1, 2011
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.
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."