Friday, January 19, 2007

Priests Need Solid Formation

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 19, 2007 ( The Church today needs priests with a sound human, cultural and spiritual formation, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope made that assessment today at an audience with priests, deacons and seminarians of various countries studying at the Capranica College, the seminary of the Diocese of Rome.

Popes Benedict XV and Pius XII received formation at the seminary, which was founded in 1457.

"The quality of the clergy depends on the soundness of their formation," said the Pope in his address to the seminarians.

In addition to studies, seminarians should receive an "integral formation, centered on the spiritual dimension," whose "pillars are the daily sacrament of the Eucharist and the sacrament of confession."

Benedict XVI said the Church has opted for "a sound human, cultural and spiritual formation, open to the needs proper to times and places."

The Duties of the Sacrament of Marriage

Sacrament of Matrimony
From Michael's Journal.

"There has never been so much confusion today as regards morals, marriage, and the family. Important truths are totally ignored, which brings about the downfall of society: Parliaments are talking about recognizing “same-sex” unions; abortion has become acceptable; sex before marriage is considered to be normal and natural, etc. People are so ignorant about the teachings of the Church that there are even many people who claim to be good Christians, and still think that there is nothing wrong with the acts mentioned above. Here are excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the sacrament of Matrimony and the Sixth Commandment of God, which reminds us of eternal truths that no Catholic should ignore, if one wants society to have any future."
The article is broken up in the following categories:

Marriage in God's plan

The grace of the sacrament

The indissolubility of marriage


The importance of the family

The fecundity of marriage

The gift of a child

Offenses against the dignity of marriage

Hawaii Bishop Silva's Homily at Annual Red Mass

Bishop Silva
Yesterday was the annual Red Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace. It is a tradition here in Hawaii for the Bishop of the Honolulu Diocese to invite the local politicians of all faiths and to have a Mass celebrated for them as they start the new legislative season. The following are excerpts of the Homily by Bishop Larry Silva where he spoke of bloodless violence:

..."In the sixteenth century, St. Ignatius of
Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, wrote his Spiritual Exercises. He emphasized the importance of discernment of spirits, and in speaking of how the
enemy of our souls sometimes acts, Ignatius said this: “The enemy is accustomed to propose apparent pleasure.... He thus causes them to imagine sensual delights and pleasure in order to hold them more and more easily and to increase their vices and sins.” (Rules for Discernment, First Week #1) “It is characteristic of the evil one to transform himself into an angel of light, to work for the soul in the beginning but in the end to work for himself.” (Rules for Discernment, Second Week #4)

It is this portrait of Satan that Ignatius presents that is even more frightening – and even more destructive – than the portrayal wrought by Hollywood. In the movie {Note: The Bishop is referring to The Exorcist}, Satan’s evil was clear and unmistakable, and anyone witnessing it would be repulsed by it. But in real life, it is subtle, appearing at first to be good and pleasing, but in the end leading to

..."When we speak of violence, very clear images come to
mind: stabbings, rape, shootings, beatings... Society has found them so repulsive that we have created laws to protect people from these forms of violence and sanctions against those found guilty of perpetrating them. It is our constant challenge to find ever more effective ways to defend society against such obvious violence.

Yet I believe there are forms of violence that can be just as devastating as the acts for which we have laws to protect us. And these forms of violence are perfectly legal, and may even, at first
sight, appear to be good. But in the end, they drain the life from all of us and work against the common good. Let me give a few examples"...

Click above title for the complete Homily and to find out what forms of bloodless violence is being inflicted on the people in Hawaii and other places.

Italian priests join the war on Satanic crime

Jesus Wounded by Our Sins
H/T to Sue

..."We estimate that there are at least 8,000 Satanic sects across the country with more than 600,000 members and the numbers are growing. That is why the Church is more than happy to help."...

Click title above for entire article.

Words of Wisdom by Blessed Mother Teresa

Blessed Mother Teresa
Thank you Sue.

Mother Teresa reportedly gave her Sisters the following rules to follow in order to practice humility:

1. Speak as little as possible about yourself;

2. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others;

3. Avoid curiosity;

4. Do not interfere in the affairs of others;

5. Accept small irritations with good humor;

6. Do not dwell on the faults of others;

7. Accept censures even if unmerited;

8. Give in to the will of others;

9. Accept insults and injuries;

10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded;

11. Accept injuries and insults;

12. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone;

13. Do not seek to be admired and loved;

14. Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity;

15. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right;

16. Choose always the more difficult task.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Blog Highlight and Communion in the Hand

Jesus Giving Communion
Please be sure to check out Mount Carmel Bloggers, Inc.. You may recognize some of the contributers. It is the offical blog for the Year of Authentic Liturgical Renewal in the Roman Liturgy, for 2007

It was there that I found the following article.

Just a side note: I may have mentioned in the past that I am an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and must receive in my hand. However, when I am not scheduled, I receive on the tongue. You will read in the article about fragments of the Sacred Host.

I remember my mom once telling us that a fragment of the Sacred Host is much like when happens to a mirror when it breaks...even the smallest piece of the mirror will still reflects a person's entire reflection. Food for thought. My mom also shared with me something that happened at the Children's Mass yesterday. A girl went up to Communion. The Host fell from her hand onto the floor. She left it there and went back on the Communion line to receive again. The first chance my mom got, she went over the the principal, a sister, and asked her if she had seen the Host. Sister told my mom is had consumed it.

With apologies to the bloggers at Mt. Carmel, I am posting the article in its entirety because I couldn't find a direct link to it:

I believe that renewal must begin by giving due respect and reverence to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. It's only when Our Lord is in the center of our lives, will all things fall back in place.

I am not sure whether faithful Catholics as well as Church authorities are aware about the problem (or rather danger) of receiving communion on the hand.

A FSSP seminarian brought this matter to my attention last year and I decided to check it out for myself. Thus, over the course of the past two weeks, I received communion on my hand. The results were shocking! 5 out of the 14 times I received communion on my hand, I noticed sacred fragments of the consecrated host left behind. I
consumed the fragments by licking my palm.

The truth is that many people do not realize this grave matter and simply rub their palms together or on their clothing after the reception of our Lord’s sacred body. I’m sure that they cannot be held accountable for sacrilege. However, we should respond by rectifying this problem. If we do not do something, our Eucharistic Lord will continue to be trampled on each day at mass.

One dogma of the Church comes immediately to mind when examining the reception of the Sacred Host on hand:

The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the
consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1377) [Note 205: Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1641.]

Therefore, very great reverence, respect and care is to be taken of these fragments. Since this is the case, why would we multiply immensely the number of persons who are handling the Sacred Host?

Also, St. Augustine tells us that:
“Each receives Christ the Lord, and He is entire in each portion. He is not diminished by being given to many, but gives Himself whole and entire to each.... the body of our Lord is contained whole and entire under the least particle of the bread."

If this is so, what about the Fragments that are being left on the
hands of the faithful? Very great reverence, respect and care are to be taken of these fragments.

The sure way to solve this problem is to encourage every Catholic to receive communion on the tongue. Pope Paul VI tells us in Memoriale Domini that this method of reception is also more conducive to faith,
reverence and humility, affirming that, "This method, on the tongue, must be retained”. So, we can see that the Second Vatican II Council never abolished communion on tongue.

To this must be added three points:
The increased danger of dropping the Sacred Host on the ground,
The increased ease of stealing the Body of the Lord for superstitious or horrible purposes.
Perhaps the decline in the belief of the Real Presence could be attributed to the less reverent way Communion is now distributed.

The Eucharist is Core to our Faith.
Let us give it the reverence it deserves.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Catholics in UK Carrying ID Cards Asking Not to be Starved to Death in Hospitals

H/T to Patty

The Observer in the UK reported Sunday that Catholics in the UK have taken to carrying special ID cards informing doctors that they do not wish to be deprived of food and fluids in the case of admission to hospital.

Click title above for the entire article.

A Mother's Prayer to the Guardian Angels of her children

Guardian Angel
Thank you Cathy.

I humbly salute you, O you faithful, heavenly Friends of my children! I give you heartfelt thanks for all the love and goodness you show them. At some future day I shall, with thanks more worthy than I can now give, repay your care for them, and before the whole heavenly court acknowledge their indebtedness to your guidance and protection. Continue to watch over them. Provide for all their needs of body and soul. Pray, likewise, for me, for my husband, and my whole family, that we may all one day rejoice in your blessed company.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Homeschooling - We Will Survive!

Pulling HairPicture courtesy of Inegria Greetings

I don't know about Joey, but I am feeling the pressure that half the school year is passed and we are still not finished with the 2nd quarter. Yikes!! I am actually losing sleep because we need to be done by mid-May.

So thanks to my friend
Denise's, post Surviving the Homeschool Panic, I think we will survive.

"It hits every year right around now. Getting cranked up in January after Christmas is hard enough, and once you do get going again, suddenly, the end of the school year, which way back in the fall seemed a mere speck on a distant horizon, rushes toward you, filling your field of vision with catastrophe".
Some excerpts:

I know what it is. This year was going to be different. This year you were going to be perfectly ORGANIZED. This year every form was going to be turned in on time. This year you were going to plan well ahead for all kinds of wonderful, enriching field trips. This year you would do lesson planning weeks in advance and you would have all your supplies on time. This year you were going have a schedule that ran like a well-oiled machine and you would not spend entire quarters of hours searching for lost sneakers.
Well, actually for us, I think it was too many field trips that put us behind. We unofficially belong to four groups of homeschoolers. Three Catholic and one honor society group. What can I say, they offer great field trip opportunities.

And it wasn’t just the external things that were all going to go right. This year you were going to be perfectly patient and never raise your voice. This year you were going to calmly ferry the children from place to place while you played classical music CDs in the car. This year you were going to go to bed each night knowing that you had spent the day in the most productive manner possible — and your husband was going to find you in a good mood. Not like last year when he asked you if you were going to bed soon and, surrounded by stacks of paper, you gritted out through clenched teeth holding a pencil, “Do I look like I am anywhere near being ready for bed?”
This is a day-to-day struggle when someone you know and love is an opininated young lad.

January is when we really have to get a grip. Might as well, you know. It is too late to turn back now. In for a semester, in for a year.

So don’t panic. You still have nearly half the year to go. You will adjust and reassess. You really are doing a great job. And as for the perfection that eluded you — hey, there’s always next year.

Good advice!

© Copyright 2006 Catholic Exchange

Mary Kochan, Senior Editor of Catholic Exchange, was raised as a third-generation Jehovah’s Witness. She is a member of St. Theresa parish in Douglasville, Georgia, and she is homeschooling two of her grandchildren. Her tapes are available from Saint Joseph Communications.

Being Scrupulous

St. Therese

UPDATE: Catholic Warrior has a very helpful tips based on personal experience.

Many saints were scrupulous. One that comes to mind is St. Therese, the Little Flower. She struggled with scrupulosity in her younger years. I believe it was with the help of her dear father, that she was able to overcome it.

Recently, a few friends and I were discussing the topic of scrupulosity. It was therefore, very providential that I found a homily by the late Cardinal O'Connor regarding this subject.

Are You Scrupulous?

The following are excerpts from the homily. To read the homily in its entirety, click above:

..."If you think in terms of such an obsessive-compulsive disorder but add to it a spiritual and, most particularly, a moral component then you have what we call 'scrupulosity'."

..."Scrupulosity is so-called because the Latin word scrupulus means a sharp little stone. Everyone knows what it is like to have a little sharp stone in a shoe. It can be the most expensive pair of shoes in the
world, but that little stone ruins everything. You might be able to walk for miles, but it is killing you all the time. It is like having a tiny little speck in your eye. It's a scrupulus, a tiny, little, sharp stone. Those who experience scrupulosity experience this tiny, little, sharp stone, as it were, in their consciences, in their very beings, which keeps them constantly anxious, constantly concerned and, above all, constantly afraid..."

..."Those of us caught up in scrupulosity honestly believe that forgiveness is impossible for us; God himself can not forgive us despite the crucifixion of his Son. It is quite conceivable that not one single person in this cathedral, at this moment, needs a reflection on scrupulosity. If so, count your blessings because as any
confessor, any clinical psychologist, any psychiatrist can tell us, there are a huge number of people in our culture, even in this highly permissive, highly promiscuous culture, who suffer the terrible burden of scrupulosity. It is quite possible that there is someone here who knows instantly what I am talking about..."

..."Scrupulosity always involves fear: fear of dying without
being able to get to confession, fear of not being forgiven by Almighty God, fear of going to hell. If anyone needs an awareness of the mercy, the gentleness, the love, the forgiveness of Almighty God it is a scrupulous person..."

The following are what some scrupulous people experience:

" 'I worry excessively about breaking the Communion fast. When I receive Communion, I worry about particles of the Host remaining on my hand. I worry about bad thoughts. I worry about breaking the Church law about the Sabbath. These concerns take the joy out of my life.' "

" 'When I go to Mass, I must be perfect. There must be no rips in my clothes. I worry if the priest or deacon does his job right. Is it a valid Mass? The dismissal prayers cause me concern. I worry that the deacon forgot to say "The Mass is ended" or said the words in the wrong order.' " [To some perhaps these might sound like foolish fears. To others, as the title of the book says, these are "frightening fantasies."

As I wrote in the beginning, many saints were scrupulous:

..."This is not limited to those of us who are ordinary people. A number of the saints had problems with scrupulosity: the great St. Catherine, St. Alphonsus of Liguori, even St. Ignatius who founded the Jesuits..."

The Cardinal concludes his homily by speaking about the Gospel story of the Samaritan woman at the well:

...This story is the great reminder that God is love, that love drives out fear. If there be any here who are afraid, whether victims of the spiritual disease of scrupulosity or not, if there are any here who are afraid, it is our Divine Lord himself who says to us as, in essence, he would say to the Samaritan woman, "Be not afraid. God is love. God drives out fear. Come to me for my mercy. Come to me to be bathed in my love."

Note: For more help, subscribe to Scrupulous Anonymous offered free by Liguori Publications.

Mass Clock

Thanks Sue

If you are unable to attend daily Mass, refer to the

For those on the East Coast (New York), add one hour.
For those on the West Coast, deduct two hours.
You may use this reference to convert the time if need be:

Monday, January 15, 2007

Padre Pio: Modesty in Dress and the Confessional

Padre Pio

Thanks Sue!

The following is from Michael's Journal

"Padre Pio requested people to be dressed modestly to enter the Church of St. Mary of All Graces in San Giovanni Rotondo. During the last years of his life, he became even more severe, as fashions became more immodest. He drove away from his confessional, without respite, all the ladies he deemed to be dressed improperly, even before they entered the confessional box. So they had to put up on the door of the church this notice:

“The church is God's house. It is forbidden for men to enter here with bare arms and wearing shorts. It is forbidden for women to enter wearing trousers, bare headed, with short, low-necked or sleeveless dresses. It is forbidden to borrow dresses in the church to be able to go to confession.”

The last line of the notice was not superfluous. In the church, a few minutes before entering the confessional box, many ladies made a rapid change of clothes — dresses, smocks, rain coats — to make up for what was lacking. As soon as Padre Pio saw them, he muttered: “Go and get dressed, jokers!”

Padre Pio had the gift of knowing what was in a person's heart. The following is a story from the Confessional of Padre Pio:

Padre Pio of Pietrelcina will be remembered in history as “a great apostle of the confessional,” said Cardinal Martins, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Like Saint John Mary Vianney, the holy CurĂ© of Ars, Padre Pio spent over twelve hours per day in the confessional box, to hear confessions, and he often told the penitents in advance all the sins they had committed. Padre Pio could read into consciences. Here is one case:

The man who, one day, came to Padre Pio, was of that type of hard, cold criminals who will stop at nothing. This individual wanted to get rid of his wife but in such a way that his crime would be cloaked with a motive of piety. Under the pretext of going to see Padre Pio, he brought his wife with him to San Giovanni Rotondo where he planned to kill her in a most diabolical way. On arriving at the monastery, he went through the Capuchins' church to the sacristy. Padre Pio was
there, talking to some people. When he saw the man, he left abruptly, went to the man, and began to push him violently towards the door, shouting at the top of his voice: “Get out! Get out! Don't you know it is forbidden to stain your hands with blood? Get out!”

The unfortunate man was dumbfounded and, livid with rage, bolted out of the church, to the astonishment of everyone there. However, the strong words and behaviour of Padre Pio made such an impression on him that he could not get a wink of sleep all night. He began to
understand the horror of what he was planning and, touched by grace, was a different man in the morning.

He went to the monastery, and this time Padre Pio received him with great tenderness, heard his confession, and gave him absolution. To crown everything, Padre Pio asked him before he left: “You have
always wanted children, haven't you? Do not offend God anymore, and you will have a son.” A year later, the man returned to Padre Pio to celebrate his son's baptism and the confirmation of his conversion.

What is Purgatory?


The January/February issue of The Friends of the Poor Souls defines Purgatory.

The following are excerpts. Please click above for the entire article on Purgatory.


"Purgatory exists as a result of God's mercy. The requirements for entering Heaven are very high because "nothing unclean will enter it" (Revelation 21:27) must have fully paid the penalty for all of your sins, and you can have no attachments to the world that take you away from God (i.e. materialism, jealousy, hatred, etc.)..."


"There have been many debates on where Purgatory is. Some say that it is by the gates of Heaven, others say that it is located in an area of Hell. Still, others say that Purgatory is not a physical place but a mental state of purification. The fact is that no one really knows if it is the latter or the former, the Church has not made any infallible declarations on this. All that we know is that it does exist. This is what the Church has been teaching from the time of the Apostles."


"The purification process in Purgatory is painful. The souls there see how their sins have separated them from God and deeply regret what they have done. Even venial sin causes them suffering because although it is a minor sin, it does offend God since it is disobedience to His will..."


..."Praying for the dead is one of the seven spiritual works of mercy. There are many devotions to help the holy souls. The greatest one is the Mass. This is the most powerful prayer we can participate in and if we only have one devotion to the holy souls, this should be it. More souls are freed through the Mass than by any other prayer. Please remember to pray for the holy souls during each Mass you attend."

The second most powerful prayer is the rosary. The repetitive simplicity of this devotion hides its greatness. We will cover the various prayers for the holy souls in future issues of this newsletter. This month, we present the prayer given to St. Gertrude the Great that releases 1000 souls from Purgatory each time it is said. This would be a good prayer to memorize.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Thy divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family.


..."Mary's intercession to God can provide relief for the holy souls in Purgatory. At times, she will go to Purgatory as a result of our prayers to comfort the people there. If we cooperate with Mary, we can release many souls and give them eternal joy in Heaven...."


"Purgatory is meant for Catholics and non-Catholics who are destined for Heaven but cannot enter due to the stain of sin in their soul. A Catholic may be fortunate to have loved ones offer prayers for them while in Purgatory to shorten their time there. Non-Catholics most likely have no one to pray for them due to a lack of belief in Purgatory..."We as individuals must not forget those who have no one to pray for them..."


Please visit the Friends blog by clicking above and sign up your dearly departed in the Book of Life.


Mahalo Sue.

My Jesus, Thou alone art sufficient for me.

Lord, who am I, that Thou shouldst desire so much to be loved by me?

Make me all Thine before I die.

Eternal Father, for the love of Jesus Christ have pity on me.

When I see Thee for the first time, my Jesus, may it be with a look of mercy.

May I die rather than ever offend Thee again.

I should be too ungrateful, O my Jesus, if I loved Thee but little, after so many graces.

Thou didst give Thyself all to me; I give myself all to Thee.

Accept the love of a soul which has offended Thee so deeply

I give Thee my will, my liberty; dispose of me as Thou pleasest.

May my only happiness be to please Thee, O Infinite Goodness.

O my God! I rejoice in that Thou art infinitely happy.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Tongue

A Catholic Life shares a chapter from a book, on the care of the tongue. The entire post is worthwhile reading. In fact, this book is now on my must read list.

As I was reading the post, one of my mom's Spanish cliches came to mind:

En boca cerrada no entran moscss. In other words, flies don't enter a closed mouth.

One of my resolutions this year has been to think before speaking. It is only the 14th day of the year and so many times I have failed. I know this will help me and I hope it helps others too.

The following are excerpts from the chapter:

...He who cannot govern his tongue is like a city without walls, which is exposed on all sides. Without the grace of God, however, it is next to an impossibility to tame it...

...Be prudent in every conversation, suppressing that immoderate inclination which rashly hurries most people on to pass sentence upon their neighbor without due examination and deference to the case in question...

...Before you speak, consult your conscience—as to whether you be influenced by any evil passion—nor should you permit your tongue to say a word until that influence cease; otherwise, you shall say many things of which you shall afterwards have to repent...

...Your conversation ought not to be of an idle nature. You ought to be as particular in the choice of your words as you are in that of your food...

...Accustom yourself to speak much with yourself and little with others...

...Many have fallen into great disputes because they revealed their secrets to imprudent persons to whom they ought not to have confided them. Usually, to tell a thing to one person is the same as telling it to many. A word easily flies from one to another, and from these to all...

...You ought to say nothing of which it would be better to keep a profound silence. Stinginess in words is more praiseworthy than that in money...

...Christ Himself, when living among men, did not escape the scourge of the tongue. Imitate Jesus and the Saints in their example of patience...

Source: Chapter XI, CARE OF THE TONGUE

[Extracted from The Hand that Leads to Heaven by Cardinal Giovanni Bona, 1881. republished by TAN Books under the title Guidance to Heaven.]

Choose Death?

Choose Death
Ric reports that in order to show both sides of an issue, a pro-abortion license plate may be an option in more states. So far, the pro-choice license plate is available in Montana and Hawaii!

The following is a description of the plate:

The "award winning" license plate design is a half way honest but creepy depiction of a blood-red mother star with her patriotic blue star baby apparently floating upward into the sky after being aborted-- all against a pure snow white background. I supposed you have to think long and hard about how to come up with a user friendly way to depict the grizzly surgical procedure of an abortion.
Choose Life

All I can do is suggest that more people, especially in Hawaii and Montana, use the
Choose Life license plate on your vehicles.