Archive for August, 2012

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.  This will make you children of your heavenly father.  - Mt 5:44-45

Reflection.  Hatred is the enemy of happiness.  Avoid as much as possible anyone who persecutes you, but do not descend into hatred.  Jesus said, “I have told you these things so that … your joy may be complete” (Jn 15:11).

Prayer.  Lord of life, bless me with the strength to at least strive for the impossible, namely to love my enemy.  

For you have been my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.  - Ps 59:17

Reflection.  Which is your real enemy?  Is it Satan, or are your own sins your greatest enemy?  Be aware of the opponent within, and ask God to protect you from your own inordinate desires.

Prayer.  Lord, cleanse me of my sins and shield me from temptation.  

Spirituality for Today                                                    

 August 29, 2012 

 The War on Women                                                       

 by Father John Catoir

 

      I love women, and would never be associated with any kind of war against them. However, I am at war with the outrageous lie, which claims it is morally permissible, during the birthing process, to stab little infants in the heart, as long as they still have one foot in the vagina.

      This evil idea comes straight from the bowels of hell.

      I love women, and want to save them. In fact I have recently joined an alliance of women who believe with me that the Golden Rule is a genuine expression of God’s will: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

      Our alliance is made up of Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, and an array of other smaller religions, all of whom have joined to condemn President Obama for supporting for partial-birth abortion.

      Those are a lot of votes.

      After he declared his support for partial birth abortion, thus implying, that the practice is not against God’s will, he went on to accuse Catholic bishops of waging a war on women, another colossal lie. Jesus came “that our joy may be full.” The Church exists to oppose everything that destroys joy.

      Millions of women in the past have had abortions, very often against their better judgment. Many felt powerless at the time to muster the strength to carry the child to birth. The Church was there to offer them forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and urged them to trust in God’s mercy. The bishops and priests care about women more than women realize.

      President Obama took an oath to uphold everyone’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and yet he had the “audacity to hope” that he could get away with a political campaign of lies designed to get him elected.

      Abraham Lincoln said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” Those who falsely claim that the Church is “waging war on women” are deceivers.

      I was a Democrat all my life, a bleeding heart liberal, who marched and prayed with Martin Luther King in Selma. Ministers of all faiths had gathered there to help the black community obtain the right to vote, without fear and intimidation from redneck bullies.

      Nothing would have pleased me more than to see a black man succeed as President of the United States. I voted against Senator Obama in 2008 because I realized that his political agenda of printing money to extend deficit spending would destroy Medicare for the very people who depended on it the most, namely, the poorest of the poor. Nearly all the good he did in his first four years was done with money he borrowed from China.

       I was an inner-city pastor in Paterson, NJ. It was there I discovered that the holiest people in my parish were the black grandmothers who were raising the children of their sons and daughters, who had lost their way due to alcohol and drug addiction.

      These good women were absolutely dependent on Medicare and Social Security. I knew those programs would collapse sooner rather than later if Senator Obama was elected. He was untested and had no real comprehension of the science of economics.

      Barack Obama still lacks the necessary credentials to be President of the United States of America.

 

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.  - Isa 43:1

Reflection.  Don’t let yourself believe that you are a poor helpless creature, alone against the world.  Not so!  The Lord claims you as His own; He will not let you go.

Prayer.  Heavenly Father, I am under the shadow of Your wings; You alone give me peace.  

Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!  For He … blesses your children within you.  - Ps 147:12-13

Reflection.  St. Augustine said, “We are an Easter People, and Alleluia is our song.”  When the going gets rough, think of God’s constant blessings.  This eternal truth will lift your drooping spirit.  It is all in the mind.

Prayer.  Jesus, teach me how to control my thoughts with the truth of our faith.  Help me to reject fear.  

An honorable name is more to be desired than great riches.  - Prov 22:1

Reflection.  Being a crowd pleaser is no way to build a good reputation.  But standing up for the truth against public opinion is.  Stay focused and do the right thing.

Prayer.  Lord, I want to do Your Will.  I leave my reputation to the history books.  

Have mercy on me, O God, in accord with Your kindness.  - Ps 51:3

Reflection.  The Book of Psalms is a spiritual treasure.  Jesus told a parable about a tax collector who stood off at a distance and prayed, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner” (Lk 18:13).  Jesus praised him for his humility, and the tax collector “returned to his home justified” (Lk 18:14).

Prayer.  Dear Lord, give me a humble heart, that I may win Your blessing.  

Spirituality For Today                                                                       

The Survival of the Church                                                    

 

by Father John Catoir – 2012

 

           The Second Vatican Council defined the Church as, The Sinful People of God. However, this human weakness doesn’t shock those who can distinguish between the human and divine elements of the Church. We are all sinners. The real mystery is how the Church has managed to survive through more than 2000 years of sin, mismanagement and scandal?

            Civilizations have disintegrated over the centuries, but our wounded Church is still alive because it mysteriously renews itself daily. This is clearly a moral miracle, a phenomenon that requires a supernatural explanation.

            I wrote a book about this miracle, entitled Joy, The Gigantic Secret of The Church’s Survival, (ALBA HOUSE PUBLISHING, NY). In it, I asked my readers, ‘Why they have remained a Catholic, in spite of all the scandals in the Church?’ Their answers were interesting. 

           The Lord promised to be with us all days even until the end of time. Our intimate relationship with Our Divine Savior gives us access to the inner life of the Blessed Trinity. When we delve deeply into this mystery, millions find a life of Joy and Peace.

           Those who have ceased to believe in the Divinity of Christ have no clue about how this wonderful gift operates. In Europe, many Catholics have lost their faith in the Divinity of Christ, as a result their lives have been derailed. 

           Faithful Catholics somehow grasp the indescribable splendor of the Divine element of the Church. For them this truth towers over all of the human scandals. We don’t stay in the Church because human beings, who happen to be Catholic, commit sins of weakness. We do however, find deep contentment in the Lord, and understand the Church is a port in the storm of life. Like St. Peter, we say, “To whom shall we go Lord, You have the words of eternal life.”   

          The Church in Europe is in decline because so many have lost faith in the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Nevertheless, the Universal Church is actually growing stronger in many parts of the world. We are the oldest, pan-national organization in human history. The Church is a unique and extraordinary force for good, notwithstanding the centuries of notorious scandals in high places and low. 

          The Church is Jesus Christ, who promised to be with us always. It is always drawing to herself an endless flow of devoted followers in search of truth, salvation and healing.

           Outsiders try to conquer the Church by dividing us, turning against one another. In today’s political climate there are brothers and sisters who are angry with one another over politics. They say to one another, “My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts.” They’re all good people, but some refuse to believe that bankruptcy is possible in both the State and the Church. Survival is the essential issue.

          Both modern politics, and all the medieval baggage of the Church conspire to make the Church’s survival even more amazing. Those who do not see that this survival is a moral miracle  are blinded by controversy. They have no explanation for how to the Church has managed to retain the loyalty of so many millions of devout followers. 

          For more than 2000 years, the Church manages to carry on, giving succor and solace to millions of good and holy human beings because of Jesus Christ who said,, “Come to me Blessed of my Father, and I will give you rest.” The truth will make you free, and give you a joyful heart.

 

He would feed [you] with the finest of wheat and … honey from the rock.  - Ps 81:17

Reflection.  No one can describe the indescribable.  The word ineffable refers to profound mystery.  We know that Jesus is present in the Eucharist, but we can’t explain how.  It doesn’t matter.  Enjoy the mystery.

Prayer.  Dear God, thank You for coming to us and for blessing us with Your presence.  

The Lord is in His sacred temple; silence before Him, all the earth.  - Hab 2:20

Reflection.  Step out of the world every once in a while.  Enter the silence of your local church.  Smell the candles, and rest before the Lord in the tabernacle.  Be still and know that He is God.

Prayer.  Dear Jesus, deepen my sense of reverence for the Holy Eucharist.