Friday, April 30, 2010


To see so many young women joyfully proclaiming their faith in Christ! This is a work of the Holy Spirit and give me hope. If it can happen there it can happen here. Things may seem bleak in the Church at the moment but as Hopkins wrote "the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast |&| with ah! bright wings." (God's Grandeur)

I met Fra. Cantalamessa some years ago when he came to Ireland for a break. A holy and humble man and a great preacher.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI Reflects on True Freedom, Grace of Penance

(15 Apr 10 - RV) At 7:30 Thursday morning Rome Time in the Pauline Chapel of the Apostolic Palace, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass with the members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. He delivered a homily in which he spoke of true freedom as rooted in knowledge of and loving obedience to God, as well as the grace of true penitence, the need for pardon, renewal and transformation. We have this report...

The Members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission are holding their Plenary Assembly this week at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

The meeting opened Monday, and the 5 days of reflection are focusing on the theme of “Inspiration and Truth in the Bible.”

At Mass with the members Thursday morning, Pope Benedict XVI delivered a homily on the relationship of truth and freedom in the context of God’s relationship to human being and human society.

Speaking without a prepared text, the Holy Father said that in modern times we have seen theorized an idea of man according to which human being would be, “free, autonomous, and nothing else.”

This supposed freedom from everything, including freedom from the duty of obedience to God, “Is a lie,” said Pope Benedict, a falsehood regarding the basic structure of human being – about the way women and men are made to be, “because,” he continued, “human being does not exist on its own, nor does it exist for itself.”

The Pope said it is a political and practical falsehood, as well, because cooperation and sharing of freedoms is a necessary part of social life – and if God does not exist – if He is not a point of reference really accessible to human being, then only prevailing opinion remains and it becomes the final arbiter of all things.

Citing the Nazi and Communist regimes of the 20th century as examples, Pope Benedict said such dictatorships can never accept the notion of a God who is above ideological power – and he also stressed that in the present, there are subtle forms of dictatorship like that of a radical conformism, which can lead to subtle and not-so subtle aggression toward the Church.

The Holy Father also stressed that for Christians, true obedience to God depends on our truly knowing Him, and he warned against the danger of using “obedience to God” as a pretext for following our own desires.
“We have,” he said, “a certain fear of speaking about eternal life.”

“We talk of things that are useful to the world,” continued Pope Benedict, “we show that Christianity can help make the world a better place, but we do not dare say that the end of the world and the goal of Christianity is eternal life – and that the criteria of life in this world come from the goal – this we dare not say.”

We must rather have the courage, the joy, the great hope that there is eternal life, that eternal life is real life and that from this real life comes the light that illuminates this world as well.

The Pope noted that, when we look at things this way, penitence is a grace – even though of late we have sought to avoid this word, too.

Now, under the attacks of the world, which speak to us of our sins, we see that to be able to do penance is a grace – and we see how necessary it is to do penance, that is, to recognize what is wrong in our lives: to recognize one’s sin, to open oneself to forgiveness, to prepare for pardon, to allow oneself to be transformed.

The pain of penance, the pain of purification and transformation – this pain is grace, because it is renewal – it is the work of the Divine Mercy.

Pope Benedict concluded his homily with a prayer that our lives might become true life, eternal life, love and truth.

The Plenary Meeting of the Pontifical Biblical Commission is underway through the end of the week.

from here.


The Irish Catholic has an exclusive this week on a case taken against an Irish Doctor because he refused to treat an unmarried couple for infertility. Dr. Phil Boyle runs an infertility clinic in Galway that offers Napro treatment which is acceptable to the Church and much cheaper than In Vitro Fertilization. He claims to have helped the conception of over 750 children. After refusing to treat an unmarried couple because it would be against his beliefs as a Catholic he was reported and summoned before the Fitness to Practice Committee last week on a professional misconduct charge. He won the case on a technicality in that they were not his patients and he did not get the chance to offer a referral to someone else. The case could go further to the Equality Authority and even as far as the Supreme Court since Irish equality legislation does not allow for freedom of religion and conscience (recognized in article 44 of the Constitution). Is this the beginning of the persecution of Catholics and other believers because they will not compromise their consciences?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010



MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE (April 6th, 2010) - People from 26 nations have registered more than 7,000 Rosaries for the May 7th - 9th ONE MILLION ROSARIES FOR UNBORN BABIES prayer event. During the three days of prayer(Friday - Sunday), those participating will pray at least one Rosary for an end to the surgical and non-surgical killing of unborn human persons. The prayer event is being coordinated by the Saint Michael the Archangel Organization of Memphis, Tennessee.

"It is great to see people registering who are from Ireland, Vietnam, Latvia, India, Canada, Chile, South Africa, Belgium and many other nations," said Patrick Benedict, President of the Saint Michael the Archangel Organization. "Pro-lifers can meet and even exceed the goal of one million Rosaries, if we choose to do so.

"The Rosary is a powerful spiritual weapon. On May 7th, 8th, and 9th, I hope a huge multitude of people will use this spiritual weapon to pray for the protection of the innocent unborn babies," continued Benedict.

A selection of some of the communications received by the Saint Michael the Archangel Organization about the prayer event reveals the following:

• 300 students and parishioners are to pray the Rosary in the Philippines.

• A youth group in Lithuania will be praying 200 Rosaries.

• Many members of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas will be participating.

• In a diocese in Oklahoma, more than one person has made an effort to have the
Rosary prayed in all of the diocesan schools on the Friday, May 7th date.

• Over 100 Rosaries are scheduled to be prayed at a high school in Mississippi,
and 100 Rosaries will be prayed by staff and students at a school in the
Diocese of Pittsburgh.

• Nuns and novitiates from a monastery in Wisconsin will be participants.

"I do not know exactly how these Rosaries will be answered, but I do know this much: 'Prayer does not go unanswered.' We have to have faith, and we have to persevere. To each person who loves the unborn babies and wants to stop this killing, I urge you: Unite your Rosary(or Rosaries) with people throughout the world by participating in the ONE MILLION ROSARIES FOR UNBORN BABIES prayer event.

"The Culture of Death's war against unborn babies is the deadliest war in the history of mankind. This ongoing massacre is a working definition of 'raw evil.' Unborn babies need us to do what they can not do for themselves; namely, pray the Rosary," concluded Benedict.

A person may go to to register for the May 7th - 9th ONE MILLION ROSARIES FOR UNBORN BABIES prayer event. The same website has information about ways one may promote this pro-life prayer event. Persons without access to a computer may write to: P.O. Box 41257; Memphis, Tennessee 38174; U.S.A.

Friday, April 2, 2010


The above is the Crucifixion, by Giovanni di Baronzio (Rimini, 1310-1362) a wing of a triptych, 75x24cm, (other wing is of Stigmatization of St. Francis.

Today, although it is not generally customary, I preached (briefly) at the afternoon Celebration of the Lord's Passion. I hung our little relic of the True Cross around the large, rough wooden cross we use and having laboured it up our mercifully short aisle I managed to get it into its stand. It left me a little breathless (I was also singing).

At that point I preached, trusting the Holy Spirit to help the few thoughts I had put together previously and make them minister. I told our little congregation that St. Peter calls the Cross a tree. Why? I suggested that he wants us to hear not only the Tree of Good and Evil from the Garden of Eden but more importantly the Tree of Life whose fruit our first parents were prevented from eating. He wants us to hear the Tree of Mamre under whose branches Abraham and Sarah ate with the Holy Trinity and heard the news of the end of their infertility. He wants us too to hear the Tree of Paradise whose fruit is born in all seasons and heals the nations. Too we can the Vine that is pruned by the Father. Upon this Tree Christ the Son, the Word made flesh, perfect Image of His Invisible Father offers to His Father a perfect act of worship, in His obedient, humble and self-emptying embracing of suffering and death. On the Tree of the Cross Christ reveals the Trinity and eternal mutual self-emptying of the Three Persons. He reveals how utterly 'loveable', how worthy of obedience and how humble is the Father. He offers in His humanity the worship of His Divine Person and becomes the only means to salvation for man. This Tree Christ changes by His Sacrifice into the Altar, the Throne and the Gates of Heaven.

I reminded them of what I had said last year how the Saints say that the greatest suffering Christ endured, that outweighed all others, was that a single soul might be lost. The cup He asked might pass Him by was the cup of rejection and the loss of just a single soul. Christ has opened the Gates of Heaven and He invites all of us in.

I invited them then to come forward at the veneration to kiss the wood of the Cross and with their lips to 'knock' upon the gates of Heaven and find them held open by Christ. I urged them to beseech Christ to plant the Tree of the Cross in their hearts that it's root might dig down and break the rock of sin and hardness of heart we all carry within so that the wells of the Spirit's living water might well up in us and we might bring forth the fruit God asks of us.

That, to the best of my memory, is what I said. I hope it will be of some help to you.


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