Saturday, September 13, 2008

An Assurance of Ultimate Victory

Pope Pius XI
"The enemies of the Church, who think that their time has come, will see that their joy was premature, and that they may close the grave they have dug"
(Mit Brennender Sorge, 19 [1937]).

Shared by Sue

Where can I find praying for the dead/Purgatory in Holy Scripture?

2 Macc. 12: 43-46: "It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins."

1 Cor. 3: 13-14 "Every man’s work shall be manifest; for the Day of the Lord shall declare it, because it shall be revealed in fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work, of what sort it is. ... If any man’s work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, as yet by fire."

Matt 12:32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come"

Jesus refers to a place of purgation again in this passage: Luke 12: 58-59 "If you are to go with your opponent before the magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny."

The Church teaches us that the Holy Souls in Purgatory are officially known as "The Church Suffering" because they are undergoing purification before entering into Heaven. There may be said to be a sort of joy in Purgatory, though, despite the suffering which largely results from an absence of God.

This joy is because the Poor Souls in Purgatory are assured of their salvation. They have made it to Purgatory, so they cannot be damned to hell. They are confident that after their stay in Purgatory, they will be permitted to enter into everlasting bliss in Heaven and will never have to undergo the permanent fires of hell.

The second branch of the Church after "The Church Suffering" is "The Church Militant". We who still are working out our daily salvation are considered to be members of this group.

The third branch is "The Church Triumphant", the full company of the Communion of Saints in Heaven.

These three branches of the Church are intermingled - we pray and work together to form the body of Christ. This means that the Poor Souls in Purgatory can pray for us on earth, and we can and should do the same for them. The Poor Souls are waiting for our prayers on their behalf, as they cannot pray for themselves. That is why developing an awareness of Purgatory in your children and a devotion of praying on their behalf is so important.
Thanks to: Poor Souls

H/T Sue


Immaculate Heart of Mary Picture Source
My most pure Mother, my soul so poor, all stained with wretchedness and sin cries out to your maternal heart. In your goodness deign, I beseech you, to pour out on me at least a little of the grace that flowed into you with such infinite profusion from the Heart of God....

Have pity on me! May one compassionate look of yours revive me, purify me and lift me up to God; raising me from the filth of this world that I may go to him who created me, who regenerated me in holy Baptism, giving me back my white stole of innocence that original sin had so defiled.

Dear mother, make me love him! Pour into my heart that love that burned in yours for him. Even though I be clothed in misery, I revere the mystery of your Immaculate Conception, and I ardently wish that through it you may purify my heart so that I may love your God and my God.

Cleanse my mind that it may reach up to him and contemplate him and adore him in spirit and in truth. Purify my body that I, too, may be a tabernacle for him and be less unworthy of possessing him when he deigns to come to me in Holy Communion. Amen.
Excerpted from: Meditation on the Immaculate Conception,

by Padre Pio, O.F.M. Cap.

Thanks to Sue

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fine Art Friday - Salvador Dali and Hell

Hell DaliNote: in the 2007 Issue of Soul Magazine, Issue 3, I found the following with regard to the above painting:

"In the 1960's, the co-founders (Msgr. Colgan and John Haffert) were instrumental in viting Padre Pio to become the spiritual father of the Apostolate. They also commissioned Salvador Dali to paint the "Vision of Hell" which expresses his vision of Sister Lucia's description of what she saw at the 3rd. apparition by Our Lady..."

The first time I realized that artist Salvador Dali was a devout Catholic was when my family and I visited the World Apostolate of Fatima (formerly known as the Blue Army Shrine) in Washington, NJ. The above painting of Hell hangs at the Shrine.
...his old style, surrealism,dominates these[sic] portrayal of hell (the left side of the painting), while his newer style of "Religious Mysticism" is used on the right side of the painting in the portrayal of Our Lady of Fatima. A close look at Our Lady of Fatima shows that an experimental technique was used around the upper body of Our Lady. The paint has texture. It is interesting to note that Dali does not use his wife Gala as the subject for his portrayal of Mary, as he had in previous portrayals of Our Lady (The Madonna of Port Lligat (1949,1950)); however, in vision of hell Our Lady of Fatima does hold her hands open in a similar way as the Madonna of Port Lligat.

HB Hell...Dali, as well as other surrealist painters, were greatly influenced by the Dutch painter, Hieronymous Bosch (1450-1516). Vision of Hell actually copies a part of Hieronymous Bosch's Hell, portrayed in the right hand panel of the Garden of Earthly Delights (triptych). The burning buildings shown in the top left if Dali's painting closely resemble Bosch's burning building in hell, and, interestingly, Dali also picks up from Bosch's inferno the image of the tattered flag, as well as a rectangular structure from which emanate four rays of light...

...Salvador Dali often hides images and faces within his paintings, and many of his works are self-portraits. There are three places in this painting where it seems Dali is portraying himself. First, in the polymorphic body. Second, in a whimsical face which appears in a puff of smoke in the lower left center part of the painting. However, there is another face, hidden face, composed of an eye and a nose, that dominates the painting...
Source here

Can you find the third self-portrait? Dali

If you are interested in Dali's subject of hell, you may like to few his works depicting Dante's Inferno. You can find it here

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Election Prayer

Fr. Hardon

Lord Jesus Christ, You told us to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.

Enlighten the minds of our people in America. May we choose a President of the United States and other government officials according to Your Divine Will.

Give our citizens the courage to choose leaders of our nation who respect the sanctity of unborn human life, the sanctity of marriage, the sanctity of marital relations, the sanctity of the family and the sanctity of the aging.

Grant us the wisdom to give You what belongs to You, our God. If we do this as a nation, we are confident You will give us an abundance of Your blessings through our elected leaders. Amen.

Servant of God + Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Thanks to Andrea for emailing it.

BTW, while you're at it, please remember to pray for Fr. Hardon's beatification. See side bar.


Mother and Child
The world is full of riches, but none of them can compare with the treasures that lie within a mother's heart.
Author Unknown
Shared by Sue

Blessed Mother Teresa's Quotes - Abortion

Mother Teresa

In Memory of Mother Teresa: Her Quotes About Abortion

"America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men.

It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father's role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts -- a child -- as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters"

And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners.

Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being's entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign." (Mother Theresa -- "Notable and Quotable," Wall Street Journal, 2/25/94, p. A14)

"But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?

How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts.

Jesus gave even his life to love us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love - that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world.

That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want.

That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. " "Please don't kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted, and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child, and be loved by the child.

From our children's home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3,000 children from abortions. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents, and have grown up so full of love and joy!"

February 1997 - National Prayer Breakfast in Washington attended by the President and the First Lady. "What is taking place in America," she said, "is a war against the child. And if we accept that the mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another."

"Any country that accepts abortion, is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants." "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."
Shared bySue

The Catholic Vote

The following movie will hopefully, guide your heart before you enter the polling booth.

H/T American Papist

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Fly The Flag

Let Freedom Ring
This was shared by two friends via email.

On Thursday, September 11th, 2008, an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office, and store in the United States. Every individual should make it their duty to display an American flag on this seventh anniversary of one our country's worst tragedies.

We do this honor of those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and those who
today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms.

In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, our country was bathed in American flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism.. Sadly, those flags have all but disappeared. Our patriotism pulled us through some tough times and it shouldn't take another attack to galvanize us in solidarity. Our American flag is the fabric of our country and together we can prevail over terrorism of all kinds.
Action Plan: So, here's what we need you to do .

(1) Forward this email to everyone you know (at least 11 people). Take a moment to think back to how you felt on 9/11 and let those sentiments guide you.

(2) Fly an American flag of any size on 9/11. Honestly, Americans should fly the flag year-round, but if you don't, then at least make it a priority on this day.
Thank you for your participation. God Bless You and God Bless America!

If you don't know how to fly the flag properly get the information here:

Flag Etiquette
or here

God bless

Just Do Something

Bear Halo
I once stopped behind several cars in an intersection. The winter weather was icy cold and a strong arctic wind blew relentlessly. Ahead
of me a young woman stood alongside the street rubbing her bare hands together and dancing in place to keep warm. Beside her rested a sign that read, "I have a baby and no food." She was obviously crying, likely from the pain of the cold wind.

Homeless and unemployed people are a common sight in many of our larger cities, and most motorists drive by without offering
assistance. They have no doubt been taught that giving money fosters a dependent lifestyle, or the ready cash may be used to purchase
alcohol or another substance rather than the food it was intended for. Like me, they may have been taught that one should give to a
local charity or through one's church, as these institutions can help those in need far more effectively.

This, of course, is true, but I am reminded of the college students who encountered a homeless man on the sidewalk. One of the students took a couple of dollars from his wallet and handed it to the unfortunate stranger. His friend commented, "Why did you do that? He's just going to spend it on booze or drugs." The student answered, " we're not!"

As I waited for the light to turn, I felt conflicted about that young woman. Whether or not I should give money, she was obviously in need. And whether or not she actually had a baby really didn't seem to matter. I gave up guessing people's motives and analyzing their
stories long ago. It was cold. She was cold. And she obviously felt she had to be there.

What should I do? Give her money? What was best? As I wrestled with these questions, the window rolled down from the car in front of me and a hand shot out holding a warm pair of gloves. The driver took her own gloves off and gave them to the shivering woman. I saw the young woman mouth the words "Thank you" as a broad smile lit up her face.

As I debated, somebody else helped. As I hesitated, somebody else acted. As I tried to decide the BEST way to assist, somebody else
just did what she could. As I did nothing, she did something. I made myself a pledge that day to always do SOMETHING.

Whether it is big or small, just do something. Something is almost always better than nothing!
Inspired Unknown Author

Prayer - Abandonment to God's Holy Will

God is Love
Dear Lord,

Right now things seem too much for me to bear alone. My mind is cluttered with thoughts, my heart overwhelmed by what I am facing, and I need You. I offer myself and my present circumstance to You alone. For in You there is Light and Consolation. Oh Lord, my poor and desolate heart cries out to you in this moment of abandonment, and I abandon myself to Your Holy Will.

May I be Your instrument of Light to all those who oppose You, and in all the circumstances I face. May Your Light shine through me and into all the dark places of my life, overflowing to others through me and covering my being through and through, cleansing and purifying me to the depth of my weary soul.

May You alone be glorified through me, and may Your Holy will be accomplished in my life. I unite my cross to Yours and abandon myself to You completely. Amen

Shared by Sue

Monday, September 08, 2008

Feast - Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Family Prayer to Maria Bambina

Maria, given us by God, in the sweetness of the face of a child, look upon this family that is your very own and in your motherliness, grant perennial youth to our hearts.

May there arise in us a renewed commitment in our vocation to follow Jesus and may our charity be more joyful from this day.

Teach us that love can stand with steadfastness at the foot of the cross.

Litany in Honor of the Holy Infancy of the Blessed Virgin
- St. John Eudes

Lord, have mercy on us,...Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us,...Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us,...Lord, have mercy on us.

Infant Jesus, hear us,...Have mercy on us.

Infant Jesus, graciously hear us,...Have mercy on us.

God the Father of heaven,...Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the World,...Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Ghost,...Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God,...Have mercy on us.

Holy Infant Mary,...Pray for us.

Infant Daughter of the Father,...Pray for us.

Infant, Mother of the Son,...Pray for us.

Infant, Spouse of the Holy Ghost,...Pray for us.

Infant, Sanctuary of the Holy Trinity,...Pray for us.

Infant, fruit of the prayers of thy parents,...Pray for us.

Infant, riches of thy father,...Pray for us.

Infant, delight of thy mother,...Pray for us.

Infant, honor of thy father,...Pray for us.

Infant, honor of thy mother,...Pray for us.

Infant, miracle of nature,...Pray for us.

Infant, prodigy of grace,...Pray for us.

Immaculate in thy Conception,...Pray for us.

Most holy in thy Nativity,...Pray for us.

Most devout in thy Presentation,...Pray for us.

Masterpiece of God's grace,...Pray for us.

Aurora of the Sun of Justice,...Pray for us.

Beginning of our joy,...Pray for us.

End of our evils,...Pray for us.

Infant, joy of earth,...Pray for us.

Infant, joy of heaven,....Pray for us.

Pattern of our charity,...Pray for us.

Model of our humility,...Pray for us.

Infant, most powerful,...Pray for us.

Infant, most mild,....Pray for us.

Infant, most pure,...Pray for us.

Infant, most obedient,...Pray for us.

Infant, most poor,...Pray for us.

Infant, most meek,...Pray for us.

Infant, most amiable,...Pray for us.

Infant, most admirable,...Pray for us.

Infant, incomparable,...Pray for us.

Infant, health of the sick,...Pray for us.

Comfortess of the afflicted,...Pray for us.

Refuge of Sinners,...Pray for us.

Hope of Christians,...Pray for us.

Lady of the Angels,...Pray for us.

Daughter of the Patriarchs,...Pray for us.

Desire of the Prophets,...Pray for us.

Mistress of the Apostles,...Pray for us.

Strength of Martyrs,...Pray for us.

Glory of the Priesthood,...Pray for us.

Joy of Confessors,...Pray for us.

Purity of Virgins,...Pray for us.

Queen of all Saints,...Pray for us.

Infant, our Mother,...Pray for us.

Infant, Queen of our hearts,...Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,.....Spare us, Infant Jesus.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,.....Graciously hear us, Infant Jesus.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,....Have mercy on us, Infant Jesus.

Infant Jesus,...Hear us.

Infant Jesus,...Graciously hear us.


O almighty and merciful God, Who through the cooperation of the Holy Ghost, didst prepare the body and soul of the Immaculate Infant Mary that she might be the worthy Mother of Thy Son, and didst preserve her from all stain, grant that we who venerate with all our hearts her most holy childhood, may be freed, through her merits and intercession, from all uncleanness of mind and body, and be able to imitate her perfect humility, obedience and charity. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Source Maria Bambina

For other more information on the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, check out St. Michael's Center for the Blessed Virgin Mary