Tuesday, July 31, 2007

From my friend, Father Onyeabor. . .

My friend, Fr. Onyeabor, from Nigeria, who's in Philly studying and preparing to be a hospital Chaplain has been in PA. for a year. We hope to see him come back to Omaha this month. He sent me this and I thought it a very nice little story.


Dear friends, I thought you would love to read this piece. Ciao and remain blessed.

The little difficulties in life are intended to make us better, not bitter.
One day I decided to quit.... I quit my job, my relationship, my
spirituality. .... I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods
to have one last talk with God.
"God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"
His answer surprised me...
"Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"
"Yes", I replied.
"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of
them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from
the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from
the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.
In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful.
And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on
the bamboo".
He said. "In the third year, there was still nothing from the bamboo seed.
But I would not quit.
In the fourth year, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed.
But I would not quit.
He said. "Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth.
Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant.
But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.
It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong
and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my
creations a challenge it could not handle." He said to me.
"Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling,
you have actually been growing roots. I would not quit on the bamboo. I
will never quit on you. Don't compare yourself to others."
He said. "The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern, yet, they
both make the forest beautiful."
"Your time will come," God said to me. " You will rise high!"
"How high should I rise?" I asked.
"How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return.
"As high as it can?" I questioned.
"Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."
I left the forest and brought back this story. I hope these words can
help you see that God will never give up on you........
Never regret a day in your life.
Good days give you Happiness.
Bad days give you Experiences.
Both are essential to life.
Keep going...
Happiness keeps you Sweet,
Trials keep you Strong,
Sorrows keep you Human,
Failures keep you Humble,
Success keeps You Glowing,
But Only God keeps You Going!
Have a great day! The Son is shining!!

This says it all . . .

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St. Ignatius recommended this prayer to penitents:

“Receive, Lord, all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. You have given me all that I have, all that I am, and I surrender all to your divine will, that you dispose of me. Give me only your love and your grace. With this I am rich enough, and I have no more to ask.”

Dashboard Confessional: Dusk and Summer
I thought this a perfect "penitent" picture.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Tau . . .

I just noticed on the post below how what I typed ended up in the shape of a Tau cross.
St. Francis and St. Clare are watching tonight...and whispering to me, I think.

"Thanks bro and thanks sis."

your little sis -
still stumbling on earth

Grace Under Spire. . .

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Grace on a Jersey street.

The neat thing about being Catholic for me to ponder lately is that no matter where you go, you'll find grace under a spire and Jesus waiting in a tabernacle. Even if you don't speak the language. From a tiny rural town to a large metropolitan city in the US or Abroad, or in a third world country...God's grace can always be found
under the spire
fueling the fire
of the Holy Spirit
to set you ablaze
through all
of your days
grace is waiting
into the quiet
The Gift

Susie's feeble sketch attempt. . .

This is, as you can surely see, a very mediocre rendition of a
New Yorker cartoon I'd mentioned in a post a while back. I thought it spoke such a poignant and powerful message. I was blown away that it was actually in a New Yorker magazine, of all places! I've not had the fortune to find the original anywhere on line in all my researching, so I finally just doodled it today at work. It's a nice "jab" at that "Love-In" philosophy/spirituality of the 70's and 80's (that makes me wanna puke.) Hardly "pro artist" quality, but for a rank amateur like me, um... ehhh ...well...it'll have to do. Onion Boy...now he'd be the one to have to sketch it!

PAX, susie

The Sequel is out. . .

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I've just written The Sequel to The Secret in my spare time. It's a quick read and will be out very soon on shelves in all the major bookstores. Or you can order it directly from me. Wait, let me rephrase that. Since it's such a quick read, (only 2 lines on one page) I'll just post it here, and save everyone a buck.


the end.

It is my hope that some who've not read The Secret and were going to buy it will now save their money by reading the sequel. Please, give the $ you would have spent on this tripe called "The Secret" to a charity in your local town or city. Help the homeless or pregnant moms. You're money will be better spent and you'll have a good feeling in your soul.

It appears even FIDO knows what The Secret is and what to do with The Secret....


Sunday, July 29, 2007

HAWKEYE. . . no, not from * M*A*S*H*


When a hawk is soaring the thermals, looking for food to feed itself, or its young, does it worry about the currents and wonder if it's wings will hold it up? Does it worry that food won't appear? Does it worry about rain or snow or wind gusts or heat or cold? No. Father Shane's homily today carried that message.

Father Shane was out in Colorado last weekend to marry a young couple. He traveled to Snowmass (where he'd been in his younger days, discerning to be a monk, but told us he likes to talk too much to have ever been a monk!) and while sitting up high in the Rockies, (where we were last weekend, too, outside of Denver, not Snowmass) he saw a hawk soaring so beautiful and free. A couple of times it came fairly close to him and he could see its head cocking from one side to the other, as it's eyes scanned the ground, searching for some tasty morsel with four legs;totally unaware of its forthright demise. The whole circle of life eh?

Father said he considered this and how it was so apropos with the readings today. Jesus was asked fervently by his disciples, "Lord, teach us to pray!" He told them to say: "Our Father...." Now to call God Father was unheard of in those days! They would no more do that than eat pork! It was abhorrent to them. But Jesus, their Lord and Rabbi, said to call God their Father!

Does a Father give his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or a scorpion when he asks for an egg? No way! We humans, being wicked give our children the best of things and try to nourish them with love and good food. We are hurt when they don't trust us. HOW MUCH MORE does OUR FATHER in Heaven care for us? We can't really begin to fathom it. We're too puny of mind to comprehend such a vast deep and wide expanse of love. Yet, we're lavished upon with that tender love and grace every single day. It boggles my mind and tugs at my heart. It makes me want to run to him, go to Adoration and just 'cuddle down' on "Daddy's lap." Just sit in silence and listen to him breathe, or hum, or talk, or just hold me.

Now back to the hawk. Let's take a moment and just look at "Hawkeye" - not Alan Alda.*
We can surely see that he's fierce, yet he's tender toward his/her young. He's looking for food to keep his young alive and himself. "Hawkeye" cares for his/her self appropriately, not vainly and cares his or her young with a devoted "parental instinct." How much more should we simply, with childlike faith, trust our God, our Abba....our DADDY?

Abba was the word Jesus spoke to his disciples who pleaded with him to know how to pray. Abba, if some of you don't know, means Daddy. So personal! So tender! Our Daddy loves us with a relentless, overwhelming and passionate love! We should now and then just take a moment in our busy day and at work to just say "Thank you, Daddy" or "Thanks Pop." Of course, not in a "too casual" sense, (like some are these days) but in our own vernacular we can call God our Daddy. We can trust him as a son or daughter with our lives, wiht our wishes and our needs. We can even trust him with our wants. He delights in just our telling him of these things! We can also trust him with our children's lives, even if it seems like they're nowhere NEAR God, or Church. We can trust him with everything! If we trust him like the birds of the air, or the lilies of the field, we'll soar like "Hawkeye." We'll be assured and safe knowing that he'll provide the thermals to keep our altitude, the keen eyesight to see our food that he provides with such care. Our trust in him is the 'wind beneath our wings.' It's our faith that gives him great joy. Like Peter when he had the faith to step out of the boat, it held him above the waves, but his doubt and fears caused him to sink like a stone.

I was just so renewed, and revived in my soul this morning listening to Father. And now I'm thinking how wonderful it is that we have priests! We have men of God, holy men we can call Father. And knowing Father Shane like I do, I might, with all respect give him a card one day that says, "Thank you Pop" for being my Father on earth. For loving me, and praying for me and absolving me of my sin. You provide the security of the confessional for me to 'let go' of fear, doubt, even the most grievous of sins. How can I thank you? By being a loving, trusting child, who's always assured of one thing: Daddy's love thatwill never, ever cease.


*i.e. any wimpy, Oprafied, blubbering, metro-sexual, hyper-sensitive, spaghetti-spined male. That's my acerbic opinion of those "alan alda" types. I don't know Alan Alda at all, so maybe it's too harsh, but if you've ever seen him cry at a pro choice rally, well....you get my drift. Unfortunately, those many tears aren't for the babies, but for "choice."

Please visit TJ's blog . . .


Not implying his blog is 'the Chick Zone' but . . .


H/T TJ.....

Paraphrasing Oliver Hardy: "This is another fine post you've gotten me into!"

Keeping with a previous theme on TJ's blog . . .

On Lust
by Saint John Vianney

Lust is the love of the pleasures that are contrary to purity.

No sins, my children, ruin and destroy a soul so quickly as this shameful sin; it snatches us out of the hands of the good God and hurls us like a stone into an abyss of mire and corruption. Once plunged in this mire, we cannot get out, we make a deeper hole in it every day, we sink lower and lower. Then we lose the faith, we laugh at the truths of religion, we no longer see Heaven, we do not fear Hell. O my children! how much are they to be pitied who give way to this passion! How wretched they are! Their soul, which was so beautiful, which attracted the eyes of the good God, over which He leant as one leans over a perfumed rose, has become like a rotten carcass, of which the pestilential door rises even to His throne. . . .

See, my children! Jesus Christ endured patiently, among His Apostles, men who were proud, ambitious, greedy--even one who betrayed Him; but He could not bear the least stain of impurity in any of them; it is of all vices that which He has most in abhorrence: "My Spirit does not dwell in you," the Lord says, "if you are nothing but flesh and corruption. " God gives up the impure to all the wicked inclinations of his heart. He lets him wallow, like the vile swine, in the mire, and does not even let him smell its offensive exhalations. . . . The immodest man is odious to everyone, and is not aware of it. God has set the mark of ignominy on his forehead, and he is not ashamed; he has a face of brass and a heart of bronze; it is in vain you talk to him of honour, of virtue; he is full of arrogance and pride. The eternal truths, death, judgment, Paradise, Hell-nothing terrifies him, nothing can move him. So, my children, of all sins, that of impurity is the most difficult to eradicate. Other sins forge for us chains of iron, but this one makes them of bull's hide, which can be neither broken nor rent; it is a fire, a furnace, which consumes even to the most advanced old age. See those two infamous old men who attempted the purity of the chaste Susannah; they had kept the fire of their youth even till they were decrepit. When the body is worn out with debauchery, when they can no longer satisfy their passions, they supply the place of it, oh, sham! by infamous desires and memories.

With one foot in the grave, they still speak the language of passion, till their last breath; they die as they have lived, impenitent; for what penance can be done by the impure, what sacrifice can be imposed on himself at his death, who during his life has always given way to his passions? Can one at the last moment expect a good confession, a good Communion, from him who has concealed one of these shameful sins, perhaps, from his earliest youth--who has heaped sacrilege on sacrilege? Will the tongue, which has been silent up to this day, be unloosed at the last moment? No, no, my children; God has abandoned him; many sheets of lead already weigh upon him; he will add another, and it will be the last . . .

There She Is Again . . .

The following account was told by Father Sineux, during a spiritual retreat given on July 29, 1964:

A Protestant pastor from
Scotland had a large number of Irish families in his parish and, consequently, some fervent Catholics. He was extremely annoyed by these people and, being fervent himself in his religion, tried to fight against their beliefs in any way he could. He went readily to children with his ideas.

One day he came across a young Irish girl of about eight years of age on the roadside. He stopped her, spoke a few nice words to her and then asked her to recite a few prayers, promising to give her two pennies if she recited them well. At once, the girl recited Our Father and the pastor congratulated her. “Do you know any others? Can you say another one?” he asked her. The child began the “Hail Mary,” but the pastor interrupted her. “That one is not a prayer, because you mustn’t pray to a woman, you should only pray to the Good Lord.” The small girl was a little embarrassed, but she continued and recited the Creed and the pastor encouraged her this time. However, when she arrived to the words “was born of the Virgin Mary”, the child sighed in annoyance and said, “There she is again! What am I to do?”

The pastor later acknowledged that he almost suffocated when he heard the words of the young Irish girl. He gave her two pennies, sent her home and returned to his own abode very upset. There she is again, that Virgin Mary, even in the Creed, which he had recited so many times without noticing the words he was pronouncing! There she is, in the center of our Christian faith! This marked the beginning of long reflections, which resulted in his own abjuration, shortly afterwards. He himself told this story many times, which was so decisive for his vocation, when he had later become... a Catholic priest.

Marian Collection #25 F.J.E.
this link

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My addition to this fine article (not necessary, obviously, but since I am the blog owner this might be a noteworthy add-on.) Just a thought, but would this Pastor in Scotland or anywhere USA, or would I, myself, being somewhat "anti-Catholic Church" only a few short years ago, have had the audacity to tell the Angel of the Lord he was wrong and not only wrong but way outta line for saying "Hail Mary?" But yet, that was his, the Angel of the Lord's "greeting" to Mary...as is plainly WRITTEN IN SCRIPTURE, right there smack dab in the New Testament...right there in the gospel of St. Luke! Would any of us, if we might be now, or if we were somewhat "anti-Catholic" dare to tell the Angel of the Lord: "Excuse me, Mr. Angel sir, but would you kindly rephrase your annunciation to Mary, please? It sounds way too Catholic. It sounds like your giving her way too much reverence and that should only be for Jesus and Jesus alone."

Something to think about.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Front Porch Theology...


This is a soothing, old-time song that takes me back to the front porch swing at my Grandparent's house. (I open the song in another tab and have it as background music. It adds a nice touch.) The photo isn't of their house, but it came as close to it as I could find on line. Of course, it wasn't 1903, but circa 1963-64. The "dog days" of summer...hazy and lazy.

With ice tea in our glasses or lemonade (homemade, as in hand squeezed lemons!) and ice cubes clinking like little bells...the air so "thick" and barely moving, we'd find our places on the "old gray porch." It was so humid the sunlight seemed to drip down the steps. The bees buzzing in the ivy behind the swing, the siren going off at noon for the little town to know it was 'time for lunch.'
Grandpa's bright red/orange geraniums in full bloom, dotted the gray wooden porch with color. Grandma telling us a story about Grandpa and Grandpa correcting it...and vice versa. A passerby would wave hello and ask: "Are ya keeping cool?" Grandpa would holler back "You betcha!" but, of course, no one was 'keeping cool' - the heat of July in Elgin Nebraska was oppressive as can be. There was no A/C and people had to sit on the porch to attempt to 'keep cool' and catch a bit of a breeze.

Back then people had time to get to know their neighbors and welcomed visitors unannounced. (Today, I have more friends on line across the country than I do across the street. Most of my friends are within driving distance, not next door. In fact, I barely know the names of most on our block. Not that I'm anti-social, but it's just "the way it is" in our transient neighborhood with backyard decks instead of front porches. The blessing and curse of technology and our individualistic "isolated" world.) In that little town, Grandpa walked to work every day, walked home for the big "noon meal" and then back to work and back home at days end. He kept trim and fit that way. He was the town dentist and lay minister of the Methodist Church. Grandma was the town librarian (hence my love for books.) I can still smell the wood and the mix of polish and old books. Many kids now, sadly, will never know the smell of old wood floors as so many are ripped up and replaced by faux wood or faux something. Not many buildings have that "worn, old, lived-in" smell.

It was not all 'sunshine and roses' and I don't want to paint it as more 'romantic' than it was either. I was from a broken home and there was a lot of pain in my heart and my brother's about that. But being at Nana's and Grandpa's was comforting, even if we did have to go to VBS (Vacation Bible School) for a week in the summer. I didn't like going to VBS that much, usually because it interrupted playing army or climbing trees (yes, I was a bit of a 'tomboy.') But once I was there, it was kind of nice. I just wasn't much for classrooms. I liked "class" outside better.

On that porch, Mom would rub my back or my head when I'd be tired and lay across her lap. Grandma would take an interest in me and my stories. Aunt Lucy would listen so patiently to my chattering. Grandpa would put his had on my knee and pat me...saying, "everything will be alright" if I was sad. That wide wooden porch, that creaked a bit here and there and seemed so much larger in my "little girl eyes," was where the best sound of all sounds happened, the sound of friendly conversation. Familiar voices that I hope to hear again in heaven. Soft at times, and then crescendo in boisterous, hearty laughter that would fill the air when Gramps or Uncle Art told a joke, or a funny story. I can almost hear them again while I type. Those dear, comforting voices are now only heard faintly in my mind.

I get nostalgic at times, and a little sad that life is no longer like that.
It will always be a very fond memory of mine, that old, big, gray front porch. That was where we learned about each other. Maybe we learned about a loving God there, too? I suppose we did, because to look back on that time, sitting on that porch, is to appreciate the love that made those days and evenings so special. And that love is what God is. I do wish we had a front porch. But it's okay. And you know what? It's going to be alright. One day it'll all be alright. One day, we'll be on a big front porch with the entire family of God, listening to familiar voices, laughter and the best voice and laughter of all, that of our Father.

Pardon me while I go make a glass of ice tea.


Create your own 'radio station' . . .

You can listen here. This is cool and fun. And it's free.

Saturday is Blessed Virgin Mary day . . .

"We ought to love the Blessed Virgin very much. If you invoke the Blessed Virgin when you are tempted, she will come at once to your help, and Satan will leave you. The Blessed Virgin is like a good mother who, not content with looking after all her children in general, watches over each one separately." ~ St. John Vianney Cure of Ars

Friday, July 27, 2007

Monument to JPII . . .

2007-07-20 13:16:00

A monument to John Paul II opened in UkraineThe image “http://www.rkc.lviv.ua/iV/eJPII9.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Kiev, July 20, Interfax - A monument to Pope John Paul II of Rome has been opened beside the Carmelite church at the Bilshivtsy village near Ivano-Frankovsk in Ukraine.

It was blessed during the celebrations devoted to the 230 anniversary of the coronation of the miracle-working Bilshivtsy Icon of the Mother of God.

Officiating at the blessing was Bishop Maryan Muchek of the Lvov diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, MIGnews.com.ua has reported.

The monument was designed by architect Jacek Wieslawovic of Krakow.

I must be tired and giddy . . . I have been awake for 20 hours.

I went here and listened to most of the songs. They totally cracked me up...but it's the comments and one in particular that made me laugh out loud and roll off my chair. Well, not quite, but almost.

Listen to them here and check out the comments...we all need to laff!

And H/t to Karen H. of San Diego for her brutally honest and quite hilarious comment. I don't feel half so bad now.


Come on, take a Chants . . .

Chant podcast

La Tunica Stracciata has put up a podcast with the sung propers (Classical Rite) for next Sunday's (Mass 9th after Pentecost). Presumably this is updated each week.

There is also a link to a pdf of the relevant pages of the Graduale Romanum which can be printed off.

My Big Sis . . .

St. Mary Magdalene
"The Penitent"

Patroness Saint of The Remnant Web Site

To some it may seem that Saint Mary Magdalene might not be the most likely choice for the patron saint of our web site; perhaps a saint better known for intellectual greatness as well as virtue would seem more fitting to the purposes of this site. We had thought of such models as St. Thomas More, St. Edmund Campion or St. Francis de Sales, but Mary Magdalene somehow seems appropriate.

Perhaps this is because she is one of those most favored souls who actually walked with Our Lord, witnessed His passion and death, and yet kept the faith after witnessing the horrors of the Crucifixion. “God is dead,” the Romans told her…but she paid no mind then even as we should pay no mind now, when so many claim the same.

In a time of discouragement and loss of faith, Magdalene emerges as the powerful patroness of hope and perseverance. She is not a doctor of the Church, but she shows what love of Christ can attain, even for poor, ignorant sinners, and how God crowns such love with His predilection. Her books were the Soul and the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and her wisdom was Eternal Wisdom Itself.

She is also the one who wept for Christ because she could not find Him. "The Angels said to her 'Woman, why are you weeping?' She said to them ‘Because they have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him'.’ ” And for the sake of her enduring, faithful love, she was chosen by Our Lord to be an Apostle to the Apostles. It fell to St. Mary Magdalene to announce the Good News of the Resurrection to the bewildered, discouraged apostles who had hidden themselves away in the upper room "for fear of the Jews...."

Today, as our churches close their doors, our families divide, our Mass disappears, our world becomes plagued by war, we, too, do not know where to find Him. And hope becomes the virtue that is the assailed the most. And so it seems most fitting to turn to those who retained Hope, even during the darkest hours in human history. Some say ours is the worst time in history, and yet what must it have been like for Magdalene at that cataclysmic moment when the Messiah breathed His last breath and gave up His spirit?

This great saint saw the physical Body of Our Lord expire on the Cross before her eyes. And, yet, far from despairing on that first Good Friday, she wept and prayed and never ceased to seek His Adorable Face. His death on the Cross did not crush her faith, her love or her hope. What cause have we, then, to despair, even as the Mystical Body of Christ seems to be expiring (in its human element) before our eyes? Easter Sunday will come…Mary knew it and so must we.

One of the most frequent barbs tradition-minded Catholics suffer these days is the accusation that we, in our arrogance, see ourselves as “more Catholic than the Church”. If there be any truth to this charge it is to be sadly lamented. But one wonders if Mary wasn’t accused of something similar, standing as she did beneath the cross after all but one of the apostles had fled. Who is she? Who does she think she is? Peter isn’t even there!

If there is a defense we could raise in our own behalf, it is this: It was love, not arrogance, that inspired Mary to stand at the foot of the Cross even when Peter was absent; so, too, it is love—love for Our Lord and His Church—that inspires Catholics today to cling to the Church of the ages, even, alas, when most of the “apostles” seem to be hiding for fear of the Jews.

And lest this be confused with illusions of grandeur or holiness, we hasten to admit that fear, too, is a motivator. We’re afraid to depart from tradition for fear that our faith will fail us. If salvation was so difficult in centuries past—back when there were still the glory of the Tridentine Masses offered daily throughout the world; devotions; countless nuns; monks; good Catholic schools; thriving, orthodox parishes, priests and seminaries—how endangered must our souls be now when only a shell of the great Catholic fortress remains standing?

Who among us is fool enough to presume that salvation is easily within our grasp when the bulwarks of the old Faith that stood strong for a thousand years have been crushed? We remain paralyzed with fear, our arms wrapped around Tradition like Mary’s around the Cross. What else can we do?

We look at the crisis within our Church and we see therein the passion of the Mystical Body of Christ unfolding before our eyes. And in the darkness that is falling again, we plead as Mary might have: Dear Jesus, we are not strong enough to be without You; we are so afraid of the Romans. Permit us to remain here with You where it is safe.

We are sinners whose only hope for salvation lies in clinging to the old ways, the traditional Mass and the pre-Vatican II teachings that safely ushered a million saints and more souls than we can count through this vale of tears.

Thomas Aquinas may have reasoned his way to the Cross; St. Teresa prayed her way there; St. Joan of Arc obeyed even unto the Cross; the Cure of Ars and St. John of the Cross rode there on the backs of their great virtue.

But sinners like we can only hope to find our way as Mary did…through Divine mercy and forgiveness. Our prayer can only be that He will see our pitiful weakness, pick us up and ask His mother to take our hands and lead us to the Cross.

In the end, Mary was so alone in the wilderness that she had to receive Communion from an Angel. She lived in a cave and was cut off from her home by a vast sea. How many abandoned Catholics today cannot return to their parishes because of the vast sea of modernism that lies between them and their beloved home? How many know not whence their next Holy Communion will come and so pray that Angels will be at their side in the stifling darkness of the cave that is the modern world. Again, Mary knows what it’s like.

Here, then, is a short account of Mary’s life. May she be with us always, and may her story remind us forever of the boundless mercy of God, without which we sinners have no chance of seeing God in paradise.

St. Mary Magdalene

St. Mary Magdalene is called "the Penitent". She was given the name 'Magdalene' because, though a Jewish girl, she lived in a Gentile town called Magdalene, in northern Galilee, and her culture and manners were those of a Gentile.

St. Luke records that she was a notorious sinner, and had seven devils removed from her. She was present at Our Lord’s Crucifixion, and with Joanna and Mary, the mother of James and Salome, she was the first at Jesus' empty tomb.

Fourteen years after Our Lord's death, St. Mary was put in a boat by the Jews without sails or oars – along with Sts. Lazarus and Martha, Maximin (who baptized her), Sidonius ("the man born blind"), her maid Sera, and the body of St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin. They were sent drifting out to sea and landed on the shores of Southern France, where St. Mary spent the rest of her life as a contemplative in a cave known as Sainte-Baume.

She was given the Holy Eucharist daily by angels as her only food, and died when she was 72. She was transported miraculously, just before she died, to the chapel of St. Maximin, where she received the last sacraments.

St. Mary Magdalene was well known as a sinner when she first saw Our Lord. She was very beautiful and very proud, but after she met Jesus, she felt great sorrow for her evil life. When Jesus went to supper at the home of a rich man named Simon, Mary came to weep at His feet. Then with her long beautiful hair, she wiped His feet dry and anointed them with expensive oils.

The Pharisees were shocked that Jesus let such a sinner touch Him, but Our Lord could see into Mary's heart, and He said: "Her sins, many as they are, shall be forgiven her, because she has loved much. But he to whom little if forgiven, loves little." Then to Mary He said kindly, "Thy faith has saved thee; go in peace."

From then on, with the other holy women, Mary humbly served Jesus and His Apostles. When Our Lord was crucified, she was there at the foot of His cross, unafraid for herself, and thinking only of His sufferings. No wonder Jesus said of her: "she has loved much." After Jesus' body had been placed in the tomb, Mary went to anoint it with spices early Easter Sunday morning. Not finding the Body, she began to weep, and seeing someone whom she thought was the gardener, she asked him if he knew where the Body of her beloved Master had been taken.

When she had said this she turned round and beheld Jesus standing there, and she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why art thou weeping? Whom dost thou seek?” She, thinking that he was the gardener, said to him, “Sir, if thou has removed him, tell me where thou hast laid him and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” Turning, she said to him, “Rabboni!” Jesus said to her, “Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father, but go to my brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene came, and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord and these things he said to me.”
John, 20: 15-18

The Gospels show that Mary, the repentant one, was chosen by Our Lord himself to announce the Good News of the Resurrection to Peter and the apostles. Hers was an honor so great that in the early centuries of the Church, Mary Magdalene's feast was celebrated with the Mass of an Apostle.

We can ask St. Mary Magdalene to give us grateful and repentant hearts. If we love Jesus as she did, nothing good will be denied us and even the greatest sins will be overcome.

St. Mary Magdalene, Pray for us!

The Remnant Website

With a little duck . . .

we can work it out.


when Catholics unite and are one in the faith
even the smallest and simplest of us can become mighty.
Just ask Ducky.

Does Ducky stop floating
In the tub when the water begins to swirl
And goes down the drain?
Ducky floats like a trooper
Or should i say, sailor
And in Ducky's heart
He's one mighty eagle
Just taking a bath
Ducky will be safe
In his master's hands
And will go back
To the corner
His corner of the world
Until the next tubfull of bubbles
Water and laughter tickle his ears
It's going to be alright
Don't be afraid of the water
In the tub or in the Tiber
Jump in and swim with the fishes
And get your duckies in a row
Because one of these days
The plug will be pulled forever
And the tub and
The Tiber
Will go dry
But if you're like Ducky
You'll be happy in your Master's hands
And in "your corner of heaven"
Prepared just for you
You'll be happy to gaze
On His Face and
Into His Eyes

i have no idea

What's your Superpower?

Your Superpower Should Be Manipulating Electricity

You're highly reactive, energetic, and super charged.

If the occasion calls for it, you can go from 0 to 60 in a split second.

But you don't harness your energy unless you truly need to.

And because of this, people are often surprised by what you are capable of.

Why you would be a good superhero: You have the stamina to fight enemies for days

Your biggest problem as a superhero: As with your normal life, people would continue to underestimate you

Here's to Author Unknown...he writes GREAT STUFF!

"The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice." ~Author Unknown



sign sign everywhere a sign . . .

submitted by Molly Bjork, WI
...thanks to signs like these that drive people away from church.

H/t this blogger for this post

Voluntary Dispossession...

Seems Mark and TJ have been going through some of the same things, maybe all of us to a certain extent have been going through this reality that's been "smacking" me in my heart of hearts. Detachment to the things ( lures/cares/lusts - either material or sexual) of this world. Please read Marks powerful post here.

Here's an excerpt of scripture from the post.

If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Matt 16:24)

Deny what?

…all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life… (I Jn 2:26)

Birth/Death, Michael D. O’Brien

"That's the reason I was created..."

The above quote is from a 23 year old man and devout Catholic who will be a priest in 2013. This is another quote of Michael Burbeck's. "I had this moment when I realized that [Jesus] would be my all-inclusive love."

Now, don't you feel better? I surely do! God bless you and keep you, Michael, as you answer the call of God and labor in His Church for souls, "lost and found." May you inspire others to do the same. ~ susie

Read entire article here from the Raleigh Observer.

Michael Burbeck, center, gets vested for the First Friday Vocations at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh with other seminarians in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh -- Ryan Elder, left, and Patrick McLaughlin. They are preparing for the priesthood.

Looking for a Latin Mass?

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Papa praying for us all before Our Lady. Thank you Papa.

There's some great stuff on this blog. Watch a video of Pope Benedict on a post (It helps if you took more than 9 weeks of German in 7th grade.) Pope Benedict and his secretary praying their rosaries.


Signs . . .

Check out the 'word on the street'

The signs they are a'talkin'

Leading loved ones to Christ . . .

Because of personal hurts and the ultrahigh stakes of eternal salvation or damnation, many followers of Jesus are brokenhearted and deeply concerned about the salvation of their children, parents, family members, or friends. If you are brokenhearted because your loved ones don't know the Lord, be thankful that you have faith enough and love enough to care. The Lord will not forsake you.

Give your life to Jesus and then give your spouses, children, family, and friends to the Lord. "Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you" (1 Pt 5:7). At the great family reunion in heaven, the Lord will gather your family members, and we have reason to hope that not one will be missing.


We usually focus on the sinfulness and stubbornness of loved ones who are not totally committed to Jesus. However, we should first remove the plank from our own eyes before taking the speck out of theirs (Mt 7:5). Let's focus on our sinfulness, go to Confession, forgive, and be forgiven. Then we should commit or recommit our lives to the Lord and ask for the Spirit to be stirred up in us (see 2 Tm 1:6-7). Also, we should surround ourselves with a cloud of witnesses (Heb 12:1) — faith-filled people who will support us in prayer.

All this prepares us to be effective ministers of God's grace for our loved ones. When our lives are in order — under His lordship, in the power of the Spirit, and in unity with Christ's body — then we may be called to pray and possibly fast for an extended time. Often the Lord calls us to a novena, nine days of prayer. In this novena, we pray not so much for other persons as for ourselves. We pray and fast to be freed from false impressions, negative feelings, condemning attitudes, and lack of faith (see Is 58:6). We want to see our family in a new way — God's way. We pray for ourselves to love our loved ones unconditionally. We probably love them in some way, but not with God's agape love. And without this kind of love, nothing we do will work (1 Cor 13:3). We begin by praying for ourselves to receive unconditional love.

We must be sure the foundation is laid, if we are to be effective ministers of God's grace. When loved ones delay in coming to Christ, it is sometimes more our fault than theirs. Often we try to mold others before we have let God mold us. This makes matters worse and delays our loved ones' conversion. But when we've let God deal with us for an extended time and have opened up to receive His unconditional love, then we're ready to be used by God in leading our loved ones to Christ.


To transform others' lives, we simply must act according to our relationship with that person. For example, if you are a wife, you will lead your husband to Christ by the hidden beauty of your life (1 Pt 3:1-4). If you are a husband, you must take spiritual leadership, call your wife to obedience, and serve her sacrificially (Eph 5:22-26). If you are a parent, give your children prime time, personal attention, and affectionate love. Teach them, pray with and for them, and call them to obedience (Eph 6:4). If you are a child, you will win your parents to Christ by honoring and obeying them (Eph 6:1-2). If you are a brother or sister, be faithful and self-sacrificing. God has created these relationships; they are the primary ways in which He works.


When we act according to our relationships, we see the Lord moving powerfully. Usually the first reaction is resistance. Things get worse before they get better. The family becomes even more divided. Jesus came "for division. From now on, a household of five will be divided three against two and two against three; father will be split against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law" (Lk 12:51-53). However, this division is part of the process of reordering the family. When something is put together wrong, it must be dismantled before it can be resembled properly.

During this time of division, we feel worse, worried, and fearful. The devil uses these circumstances to manipulate us into our taking back control of our lives and families. We are like fishermen who have thrown out our lines; but every time we're afraid, worried or resentful, we reel them in a little. Soon the cares we have "cast" on the Lord are back in our hands (see 1 Pt 5:7). Trust the Lord. Keep your family and loved ones in the nail-scarred hands of the crucified and glorified One, Jesus. He is your Savior and your family's Savior.

This article can be found at PRESENTATION MINISTRIES

When I read this a few moments ago, I knew that a Novena of love is what I'm being called to do and to pray and to fast for my family and friends. I've been very weak in the 'fasting' area. Needing to let God mold me and to be more docile to the Holy Spirit's promptings in my own life is what I must do. As stated above, I've been at times, trying to mold them, while I'm still clinging to my sinful behavior. Lord have mercy. I don't want to ever be a clanging gong...but I know at times I've been just that. I do mean well, but this was a "tough word" that I need. And I hope it will have fallen on fertile ground in my own heart and take root to accomplish what Jesus wants to do IN me so that the faults of others won't be so prominent before my eyes, but the plank in my eyes will be dealt with FIRST so that the Love of Christ in me can help to remove the remote, and tiny speck that is in the eye of my brother/sister.

Christ have mercy.


Speaking of John Martignoni's newsletter . . .

This is from John. I thought it was a superb.

I thought I would just do a short reflection on why, from a purely scriptural standpoint, Catholics believe that while salvation is a free gift of God’s grace, faith and works are both necessary responses to God’s grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God – not because of works, lest any man should boast.”

“Amen!” says the Catholic. We are saved by God’s grace and by God’s grace alone! It is not by works. It is not even by faith that we are saved. It is by God’s grace and God’s grace alone. Now, as this passage mentions, it is by God’s grace “through faith”, but it is not our faith that actually saves us. As the Council of Trent stated, nothing that comes before justification, whether faith or works, merits the grace of justification. Justification, salvation, is a free gift of God’s grace.

The fact that we believe, as Catholics, that salvation is a free gift from God and that we do absolutely nothing to merit this salvation, is nowhere better evidenced than in our practice of infant baptism. We believe that, through baptism, we receive salvation. The fact that infants can receive this gift of salvation through baptism is proof that we believe salvation is by God’s grace alone. An infant cannot perform works and cannot make a profession of faith. But, through the faith of the parents, the child, upon being baptized, receives salvation…he is saved.

1 Peter 3:21, “Baptism, which corresponds to this [Noah and his family being saved through water], now saves you…” And, in Titus 3:4-7, ”...but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which He pooured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by His grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.”

“Baptism…now saves you.” That is a direct quote from 1 Peter 3:21. Baptism saves us. Also, the passage from Titus backs up what we believe – “[God} saved us…by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit…so that we might be justified by His grace.” What is the “washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit”? Baptism. John 3:5, ”...unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Baptism. What happens in all 4 accounts of Jesus’ baptism (John 1:31-34; Luke 3:21-22; Mark 1:9-11; Matt 3:16-17)? After Jesus is baptized with water, the Holy Spirit descends upon Him. Water and the Spirit…Baptism.

So, what do we see quite clearly from Scripture? We see that Baptism involves water and the Spirit. We see that through Baptism we receive the Holy Spirit. Through baptism we are regenerated (Titus 3:5) or “born again” (John 3:3). Through Baptism we are saved. All by God’s grace alone. That is what we, as Catholics, believe.

But, salvation does not stop there. Unlike those who believe in once saved always saved, we do not believe salvation is a one-time event. We believe salvation is a process. That it is like running a race. We believe that after one’s initial justification – by God’s grace alone, through Baptism – one must continue to “abide” in Christ in order to be saved in the end. We believe one can lose their salvation by what they do or by what they don’t do. We believe that after one starts the race, they can indeed lose it.

So, we cannot earn our salvation by the works we do, or by the faith we have, but we can lose it if we do not do keep our faith and do not do the works that God requires of us. We can lose our salvation if we do not abide in Christ through our faith and works.

John 6:56, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in me, and I in him.” We must eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to abide in Him…whether you interpret that in a literal sense or in a symbolic sense, it is still something we must do…a work…in order to abide in Christ.

John 15:4-6,10, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned…If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love…”

If you do not abide in Christ…if you do not bear good fruit and do not keep His commandments, what happens? You are cut off from Christ, wither, and are thrown into the fire to be burned. In other words, you lose your salvation. But, if you do bear good fruit and you do keep His commandments, you abide in Christ and are saved. But, what does it say about producing good fruit? It says the branches(us) cannot bear good fruit by themselves, it is only by being attached to the vine (the Body of Christ) that we can bear good fruit. Which is exactly the point I labored, apparently in vain, to convey to Joe Mizzi in our debate (see Issues #28-31 on the “Newsletter” page of the website).

All that is necessary to produce good fruit comes through the vine, but, the vine doesn’t do it alone…the vine produces fruit through the branches. What, then, is the difference between the branches that produce good fruit and those that don’t? Is it the vine? No. The vine is the same. So, the difference lies with the branches. Some branches cooperate with the vine…cooperate with the grace provided by Christ…allow Christ to work through them…and some branches don’t. So, as Catholics, we are very much in tune with Scripture when we say that, as branches of the vine, our good works are necessary for salvation, but they do not earn us salvation. In other words, we are not branches of the vine because of our good works, but we will not remain branches of the vine if we do not produce good works (fruit). It’s all right there in the Bible.

1 John 2:6, ”...he who says he abides in Him, ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” We have to walk in the same way that Jesus walked in order to abide in Him. Sounds like a series of works, doesn’t it?

1 John 3:23-24, “And this is His commandment, that we should believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as He has commanded us. All who keep His commandments abide in Him, and He in them.” Believing and loving (faith and works). Keeping the commandments (works), enables us to abide in Christ. And we must abide in Christ in order to be saved.

1 John 4:15-16, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” Faith and love (works) allow us to abide in God and He is us.

2 John 9, “Any one who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who abides in the doctrine has both the Father and the Son.” Abiding in correct doctrine (which falls into the works category) allows us to abide in Christ. If we do not abide in correct doctrine, we do not have God…we are not saved.

1 Tim 4:1, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” We can depart from the faith…not abide in Christ…if we give heed to the doctrines of demons. Again, as we just saw in 2 John, believing or not believing certain doctrines causes us to “not have God.”

I guess that’s enough on “abiding” to show that the Scripture is very clear that we must abide in Christ…remain in Christ…in order to be saved, and that it is through faith and works that we abide in Christ. And, I hope I have shown, particularly from John 15 that while we do not become branches of the vine because of our works, we do, however, remain branches of the vine because of our works (fruits). In other words, we are not justified because of our good works, but we can lose our justification if we do not do the good works that God has prepared for us beforehand “that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10). But, again, we can only produce fruit…do the works…by the grace of God. It is not us working, but Christ working in us and through us for His good pleasure (Phil 2:13). We, however, have to cooperate with…we have to work with…God’s grace in order for the fruit to be produced. We can block Christ from working in us and through us and we can block Him from producing good fruit.

What I want to do now is give you a number of other Scripture verses that show the importance of works in the process of our salvation:

Heb 12:14, “Strive for peace with all men, and for the holiness whithout which no one will see the Lord.” We won’t see the Lord if we aren’t holy, and we won’t be holy unless we strive for it. And listen to what it says just a few verses earlier:

Heb 12:10-11, ”...but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” God’s discipline yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 13:4, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for God will judge the immoral and adulterous.”

James 1:22, “Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

James 2:14, “What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him?”

James 2:20, “Do you want to be shown, you foolish fellow, that faith apart from works is barren?”

James 2:24, “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

James 2:26, “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.”

1 Ptr 1:17, “And if you invoke as Father Him Who judges each one impartially according to his deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile.”

Phil 2:12, ”...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

1 Ptr 3:10-11, “He that would love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile; let him turn away from evil and do right.”

Romans 2:6-7, “For He will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life.”

1 John 3:17, ”...he who does the will of God abides for ever.”

Matthew 7:21, “Not every one who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father Who is in heaven.”

1 John 3:17, “If any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”

James 2:15-17, “If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith, by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”

1 Tim 5:8, “If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

Matt 6:14-15, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive ment their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Matt 18:23-25 ”...and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you? And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your bgrother from your heart.”

Matt 25:14-30; and 31-46. The first set of verses is the parable of the talents. The servants who have faith in their master and do something with what he has given them “enter into the joy of their master.” However, the one servant who had faith in his master but did not do anything with what his master had given him…provided no return…produced no fruit…got tossed into the outer darkness. And this parable of the talents is immediately followed up with a description of the Last Judgment. Those who feed the poor, clothe the naked, etc. inherit the kingdom. Those who do not do these things, go into the eternal fire.

Luke 9:23, “If an man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

I could go on and on and on, but I think we see a very clear connection, in Scripture, of the relationship between faith and works and salvation. God’s free gift of salvation is by His grace alone. However, we have to respond to this free gift with not just faith, but works, as well. As it says in James 2:26, both faith and works are necessary for life. God gives us the free gift, but we have to open the gift and put it to use. We do that through faith and works, not just faith alone. Or, as Galatians 5:6 puts it, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love.”

Start a revolution - or at least a conversation . . .

Great CATHOLIC apparel (not "cheesy") but powerful gear.

Thanks to John Martignoni for this website found in his latest news letter.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

"Letting go and letting God" . . . Catholics call it conversion

Another great article by Mickey Addison. A "must read" in my opinion.

Where to go to let go? . . .

The image “http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/Church/Confessional.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Latest from Stan Williams, PhD. . . .

"Finally, the clerk stubbornly sold me the NAS Bible. I used it for decades until the binding fell apart. But the incident has long reminded me of the strange ideology in some sectors of Christianity — that before his ascension Jesus supervised the writing of the KJV (in Elizabethan prose), oversaw its printing on imported India paper, and approved the first edition leather bindings, before letting the Apostles organize a book signing. From that day on, I wondered where the Bible came from."

The rest can be read at Catholic Exchange: "Trying to fly with one wing"

After today it can be found here

And be sure to visit Stan's blog

Our Parent who art in heaven? . . .

This article by Marcellino D'Ambrosio

Our Parent who art in heaven? . . .

This article by Marcellino D'Ambrosio


Please view the rest of this series on YOU TUBE.

Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger


THE LINKS ARE BACK...well, some of them anyway. . .

Yes, as you can see, my husband finally figured out how to get the link list to work again, but I've lost all the links I had, so I'm taxing my wee brain to try to remember them all. Slowly they'll appear or new ones will. If you were on the list and don't see your link, please write again when you drop by and I'll add it.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

HELP...where have all the links gone?

We finally managed to get the blog to display on Internet Explorer (which it never did) but now the link list is gone. : (

If anyone happens upon here and knows what to do, please let us know. This 'Atom' thing that is on here now seems to be the "culprit" and we're very perplexed. We don't know how it got on here and it doesn't let us add links the way we used to.....???



Walking the talk . . .

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Are we Saved by faith alone?

This young man is 19. This surely gives me much hope for the youth and the "cleansing tide" washing out the sloppy theology that I came of age in..the late 60's and 70's were tragic, but I see the Holy Spirit is busy "cleaning house" with zealous youth bold and lions and gentle as lambs.


My Journey to the Catholic Church - P1

I'm thinking Rich and I should also post a video on our return...but does the YOU TUBE camera add 10 lbs???? tizzidale looks fine, and not fat...but then he's a guy. : )

My Protestant Friend and Holy Orders

On Sola Scriptura

From Paleocrat...