Friday, August 30, 2013

Can Catholic culture be restored?


Rarely does a book come along that so succinctly
explains the decline of modern culture, articulates a
defense of the Church's teachings, and offers a hope-filled
path for building a civilization grounded in Catholic truth.

In these pages, Dr. Ryan Topping does all three, pulling
back the curtain on the false philosophies of the secularists
and showing that in the West today the most formidable threat
to freedom is not failing economies or Islam, but secularism.

Our best defense, he claims, is a vibrant
Catholic culture, and our best hope for creating it lies
in the principles found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Rebuilding Catholic Culture takes you on a masterful journey
through the relevant portions of the Catechism, distilling sophisticated
theological concepts into words that are simple, clear, and direct while
unpacking its core teachings on faith and morals that nurture true civilizations.

In these remarkable pages, you'll also discover sensible ways to
begin restoring Catholic culture—right now—in your own life and
family, and in our larger communities as well: in the theater, in the
classroom, in our hospitals, and even in the public square.

This profoundly accessible work will renew your
confidence in the world-transforming character of our Creed
and in the potency of our Faith to redefine the culture of the West.

"This book deserves to take its place
among the Catholic Classics."
Fr. Aidan Nichols, OP
Prior of Blackfriars, Cambridge

"This extraordinary book should be read by every Catholic
parent, pastor, educator, politician—in fact, everyone."
Michael O'Brien
author of A Father's Tale

"Ryan Topping wields the Catechism as a weapon of wisdom
with which he demolishes the nonsense of the worldly philosophies
and the sophistries they espouse."
Joseph Pearce
author of The Quest for Shakespeare

Rebuilding Catholic Culture
by Dr. Ryan Topping
304 Pages - $19.95
Available in paperback and 

Order online

Save 30% when you order the set:

Order the set at this link
for only $26.99!

If you’re looking for solid Catholic answers to common Protestant challenges, but don’t have lots of time, then reach for The One-Minute Apologist.
Here renowned Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong has assembled over sixty of the claims and arguments that Protestants of all stripes most frequently level against the Church. Drawing on a lifetime of study — in Scripture, history, and the works of Catholic and Protestant theologians — he delivers the essential Catholic replies to each claim, packaged for you in a compact and uniquely usable format.
And since he’s a convert from Evangelicalism, Armstrong presents these anti-Catholic claims with an insider’s accuracy — using the special terms, references, and follow-up arguments that you’re mostly likely to hear in real-world encounters — and responds to them in a way Protestants can understand and appreciate.
The One-Minute Apologist is concise, but never superficial. It cites or quotes more than a thousand Scripture verses, along with the words of scores of saints and scholars — including many respected Protestant sources. Packing centuries of learning and wisdom into just a few tightly structured pages, The One-Minute Apologist decisively refutes common Protestant claims such as:
  • “The Bible is the only infallible source of theological truth.”
  • “Peter is not the ‘rock’ to which Jesus referred.”
  • “Celibacy for priests is unnatural and unbiblical.”
  • “The Catholic Mass is an abomination.”
  • “True Christians cannot fall away from salvation.”
  • “Mary had other children besides Jesus.”
  • “Indulgences allow Catholics to ‘indulge’ in sin.”
  • “Venerating the saints is a form of idolatry.”
  • “The Catholic ban on contraception has no scriptural basis.”
  • And over 50 other pervasive Protestant objections to Catholic doctrine and practice!
More accessible than thick theological tomes, more substantial than tracts, and better organized than other “quick answer” books, The One-Minute Apologist is the one source you’ll find yourself turning to whenever you have the need to defend the Catholic Faith quickly, credibly, and well.

Save 30%
when you order the set


Order online above, or call

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

August 28 - Today is the feast of St. Augustine

SAINT AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (354-430)

St. Augustine was born in 354, at Tagaste in Africa. He was brought up in the Christian faith, but without receiving baptism. An ambitious school-boy of brilliant talents and violent passions, he early lost both his faith and his innocence. He persisted in his irregular life until he was thirty-two. Being then at Milan professing rhetoric, he tells us that the faith of his childhood had regained possession of his intellect, but that he could not as yet resolve to break the chains of evil habit.

One day, a however, stung to the heart by the account of some sudden conversions, be cried out, "The unlearned rise and storm heaven, and we, with all our learning, for lack of heart lie wallowing here." He then withdrew into a garden, when a long and terrible conflict ensued. Suddenly a young fresh voice (he knows not whose) breaks in upon his strife with the words, "Take and read;" and he lights upon the passage beginning, "Walk honestly as in the day." The battle was won. He received baptism, returned home, and gave all to the poor.

At Hippo, where he settled, he was consecrated bishop in 395. For thirty-five years he was the centre of ecclesiastical life in Africa, and the Church's mightiest champion against heresy; whilst his writings have been everywhere accepted as one of the principal sources of devotional thought and theological speculation.

He died in 430.

Think about....

Jesus doesn't empower you because
you are a commodity to HIM.
He empowers you because He loves
you and He wants to give the best life...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Recognizing sin, accepting mercy is key to salvation, pope says

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Jesus told his disciples that the entrance to heaven is like a "narrow gate," not because God has made salvation so difficult, but because people find it difficult to recognize their sinfulness and accept God's mercy, Pope Francis said.

Jesus is "the gateway to salvation," the pope said Aug. 26 before reciting the Angelus with visitors in St. Peter's Square. "The gate that is Jesus is never closed; this gate is never closed, it is always open and open to everyone, without distinction, without exclusions, without privileges."

The pope said he knew some people would be skeptical and say, "But Father, surely I am excluded, because I am a great sinner. I have done so many things in my life."

But the pope insisted, "No, you are not excluded."

"Jesus prefers the sinner, always, in order to pardon him, to love him," Pope Francis said. "Jesus is waiting for you, to embrace you, to pardon you. Don't be afraid: He's waiting for you."

Commenting on the day's Gospel reading, Luke 13:22-30, the pope said the narrow gate that is Jesus is not the entrance to "a torture chamber."

But Jesus asks "us to open our hearts to him, to recognize ourselves as sinners, in need of his salvation, his forgiveness, his love, needing the humility to accept his mercy and to be renewed by him."

Being a Christian does take some effort, he said. It is "not having a 'label,'" but living and witnessing to the faith "in prayer, in works of charity, in promoting justice, in doing good. For the narrow gate which is Christ must pass into our whole life."

Pope Francis urged the tens of thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square not to be afraid "to pass through the gate of faith in Jesus, to let him enter more and more into our lives, to go out of our selfishness, our being closed in, our indifference toward others."

Jesus, he said, can light up a person's life with "a light that never goes out." The light of faith is not flashy or momentary like fireworks, he said. "No, it is a soft light that always endures and that gives us peace. That is the light that we meet if we enter through the gate of Jesus."


Copyright (c) 2013 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, August 25, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Isaiah 66:18-21
18 Thus says the Lord: I know their works and their thoughts, and I come to gather nations of every language; they shall come and see my glory. 19 I will set a sign among them; from them I will send fugitives to the nations to Tarshish, Put and Lud, Mosoch, Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory; and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations. 20 They shall bring all your brothers and sisters from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots, in carts, upon mules and dromedaries, to Jerusalem, my holy mountain, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring their offering to the house of the Lord in clean vessels. 21 Some of these I will take as priests and Levites, says the Lord.
P S A L M - Psalm 117:1, 2
R: Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
1 Praise the Lord, all you nations; glorify him, all you peoples! (R) 2 For steadfast is his kindness toward us, and the fidelity of the Lord endures forever. (R)
2ND READING - Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13
5 Brothers and sisters, You have forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children: “My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; 6 for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.” 7 Endure your trials as “discipline;” God treats you as sons. For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline? 11 At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for  pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it. 12 So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. 13 Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed.
I am the way, the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father, except through me.
Luke 13:22-30
22 Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. 25 After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ 26 And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ 27 Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. 29 And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. 30 For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”



“Are you saved?” This is a question that other sects often ask. I do not know how people usually answer the question. These sects believe that guaranteeing salvation is their foremost concern. And they are on the right track. However, in the Gospel today, Jesus was asked a different question. On His way to Jerusalem, someone asked Him, “Lord, is it true that few people will be saved?”

       I encourage you to reflect on this question. The concern is more on one’s chances of attaining salvation. So what if many or few will be saved? If many will be saved, would it change the situation? If few will be saved, how much change will there be? The problem with the question is its focus on chance. If the Lord said that many will be saved, we are more confident of attaining it. If our chances are slim, then we have a lot to worry about.

       If you notice, Jesus did not answer the question; rather, He ignored it. He stressed the need to do everything in our capacity to attain it. He said that many will try to enter God’s Kingdom but will not be able to or will find great difficulty in doing so. The key here is not about chances or the stringent requirements of the Kingdom. If we know God, He wants us all to be saved. It was Jesus’ marching order. Jesus said that Himself, “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given me; and I guarded them and not one perished, but the son of perdition; that Scripture might be fulfilled” (John 17:12).

       But Jesus was being honest in that it would not be easy to be saved. We have to contend with a lot of temptations and challenges in life and faith. The teachings of Jesus will lead us to the Way, the Truth and the Life. Outside and against Jesus’ Word, salvation cannot be attained, no matter how many or few will be saved. Therefore, the right question is not about whether a few or many will be saved, but how one can be saved. Knowing that, and having the will to apply them, and actually doing them, guarantee one’s salvation. This is the sure way to salvation. Fr. Benny Tuazon
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Are you still more concerned if you’ll be saved? Why not focus on doing what Jesus said will lead you to heaven?
Lord Jesus, help me to have a perfect change of heart so that I will focus only on things that will make me attain heaven.

 St. Louis of France, pray for us.

Do you want to receive this in your email. To get Bo Sanchez to send it to you personally, register and log-on to

Lots of surprises await.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Prayer (in Tagalog)

Lord, umpisa sa oras na ito, isinusuko ko sa IYO ang lahat ng mabigat kong pasanin sa buhay at inaangkin ko ang kapayapaan at tagumpay magpakailanman.

Tinatanggap kita na sarili kong Tagapagligtas.  Ang biyayang ibinuhos MO sa akin at sa aking pamilya at ang walang sukat na kaligayahan, pagmamahal, tagumpay at kapayapaan ay mananatili habang buhay. Amen.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Today's Mass Reading - Sunday, August 18, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10
In those days, the princes said to the king: “Jeremiah ought to be put to death; he is demoralizing the soldiers who are left in this city, and all the people, by speaking such things to them; he is not interested in the welfare of our people, but in their ruin.” King Zedekiah answered, “He is in your power;” for the king could do nothing with them. And so they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Prince Malchiah, which was in the quarters of the guard, letting him down with ropes. There was no water in the cistern, only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud. Ebed-melech, a court official, went there from the palace and said to him: “My lord king, these men have been at fault in all they have done to the prophet Jeremiah, casting him into the cistern. He will die of famine on the spot, for there is no more food in the city.” 10 Then the king ordered Ebed-melech the Cushite to take three men along with him, and draw the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before he should die.
P S A L M - Psalm 40:2, 3, 4, 18
R: Lord, come to my aid!
1 [2] I have waited, waited for the Lord, and he stooped toward me. (R) The Lord heard my cry. 2 [3] He drew me out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud of the swamp; he set my feet upon a crag; he made firm my steps. (R) 3 [4] And he put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God. Many shall look on in awe and trust in the Lord. (R) 17 [18] Though I am afflicted and poor, yet the Lord thinks of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, hold not back! (R)
2nd READING - Hebrews 12:1-4
Brothers and sisters: Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us andpersevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. 3Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.
Luke 12:49-53
49 Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! 50 There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53 a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”


The Gospel today introduces Jesus as an ambassador of division. Very un-Jesus like. What happened to His mission to bring peace on earth? Incarnation was meant to bring peace on earth. Instead, we now hear Him say, “I have come to bring fire upon the earth and how I wish it were already kindled.” He openly declared His intention to destroy and even stressed Hisimpatience for its coming. Later He even added, “Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.”
       We should, however, put His statements in context. Jesus, who knew human nature perfectly, was also talking about the effect of His presence. He knew that among members of the family, friends and all other groups, He will be a cause for differences, disputes, fights and division. The commandments of Jesus would affect even the closest of ties. We have heard of members of families going their own way, choosing their own faith. Choosing a religion is a very important and necessary conviction for a person. Even our Constitution guarantees that. Indeed, if we fail to respect and understand each other’s beliefs, we will separate.
       But division is not Jesus’ ultimate goal. He meant it as a stage before, hopefully, unity in Him. Paul professed that, “All will be united in Christ!”Because that is how it is meant to be. Division, if it comes, should serve as a challenge and a transition. Let Jesus’ words be a test of fire. And let Jesus’ actions be a disturbing witness of His person.
       A priest-friend had a sister who belonged to a different faith. Rather thanfight or vigorously discuss with her the differences of their faith, he dwelt onwhat they had in common. He did not force his faith on her. He respected her and her faith sincerely. He showed Christian love. He did not raise religion as the main issue. For so long, they worshipped in different churches. But the time came when his sister recognized the beauty and truth of his faith. Now, they worship together. Division was there in the beginning, but unity had the final say. And so it will be for all of us on Judgment Day. Fr. Benny Tuazon
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: How do you handle differences in beliefs among your friends and family members? Do you insist on your own or do you let them be?
 Lord Jesus, may I have Your patience to understand that people can be different, with varying beliefs, and yet still be united with You.

St. Jane Frances de Chantal, pray for us.

Angelo Gene Kapunan, pray for us.

Do you want to receive this in your email. To get Bo Sanchez to send it to you personally, register and log-on to

Lots of surprises await.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Truth about St. Therese Revealed

"Sentimental hogwash!"
That's what some Catholic still think about
St. Thérèse of Lisieux


Author Henri Gheon was once
among those put off by St. Thérèse's sweet

reputation and by 
sugary devotions to her.

Then, he discovered how many
good Catholics, at home with simple
devotions, were soon freed from the 

distractions and temptations that led them on.

He found the real 
Thérèse beneath the 
sugar roses and puffy clouds, behind the platitudes and
pet-names that took all the salt out of her heroic story.

Scores of books have been written about Thérèse,
but none have taken an unflinching look at
her life, sufferings, and sacrifices . . . 

. . . until now.

The Truth About Thérèse 
reveals the real 
Thérèse of Lisieux—
an intense soul living a 
life of heroic grandeur
amidst dull and all-too-worldly associates.

In these pages you'll discover a
soul driven by a burning love of God even as she
wrestled privately with great emotional and physical pain.

This remarkable book will show you what lay beyond
her smile, why she was canonized, and why 
Thérèse is the 
saint most fitted for our day—a model for those of us
whom, whether we like it or not, God has called
to hidden lives of quiet drama, desire, and sacrifice.

The Truth About Therese:
An Unflinching Look at Lisieux, The Little Flower, and the Little Way

by Henri Gheon
168 Pages - $18.95
Paperback and eBook

Order The Truth About Thérèse

Save 30% when you
order the set:

Order the set at this link
for only $23.99!

Whether you’ve just begun to pray or have been faithfully praying for years, the wisdom in The Basic Book of Catholic Prayer will help you pray better. It will rescue your prayers from distraction and superficiality and transform them into real occasions for communion with God.
Fr. Lawrence Lovasik here clears away misunderstandings that many people have about prayer — and shows you innumerable ways you can avoid common obstacles and deepen your prayer life, no matter how much or how little you may have prayed before.
You’ll learn what prayer is, why it’s necessary, and how to practice the essential forms of Catholic prayer. You’ll discover how the Church’s sacraments fortify your prayer — and how prayer, in turn, enhances your reception of the sacraments. You’ll find out how to bring to your own prayers the qualities that make prayer effective. Your prayers will become more heartfelt, more focused, and more full of love for God.
Soon your prayer will fill you with a divine peace and joy that no one will be able to take from you. You’ll achieve the glorious aim of all prayer: union with God!
You’ll grow in prayer and in the graces it brings you as you learn:
  • Why true prayer is not necessarily a matter of words
  • Liturgical prayer: why you must pray with the Church
  • Four things you must bear in mind in order to pray better
  • Why prayer is essential for your salvation even though God knows all that you need
  • Two essential ingredients that transform thinking about God into genuine prayer
  • Swamped with earthly cares or selfish interests? Why prayer at such moments makes such a difference, hard as it may be
  • Temptations: practical ways prayer helps you resist even the strongest of them
  • Distractions in prayer: four ways you can keep them from disturbing you

Save 30%
when you order the set




Order online above, or call

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August 14 - Today is the feast of Saint Maximilian Kolbe

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe (1894-1941) was born at Pabiance, in Russian Occupied Poland. He was baptized Raymond at the Parish Church. Already proficient in virtue, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him in 1906 A. D., about the time of his first communion.
She offered him the graces of virginity and martyrdom and asked him which he wanted. Filled with zeal, he begged for both, and was filled thereafter with the most ardent desire to love and serve this Immaculate Queen.

He joined the Order of Friars Minor Conventual at Lvov in Austrian Occupied Poland, where he took the name Maximilian, and after finishing preliminary studies he was sent to the International Seraphic College in Rome to pursue doctorates in philosophy and theology.

In 1917 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the conversion of Alphonse Ratisbon, renowned anti-Catholic and agnostic of Jewish lineage, St. Maximilian was moved by divine grace to found a pious association of the faithful known as the Militia of the Immaculate .

The Militia was to be a loosely organized tool in the hands of the Immaculate Mediatrix for the conversion and sanctification of non-Catholics, especially those inimical to the Church. Its members consecrated themselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary, invoked Her daily for the conversion of sinners, and strove by every licit means to build up the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart throughout the world.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1918, St. Maximilian returned to Poland to teach Church History in Cracow, where he organized the first group of the Militia outside of Italy. Because of ill health he was freed to devote his time exclusively to the promotion of the Militia, whereupon he founded the "Knight of the Immaculate," a monthly Roman Catholic Magazine promoting the knowledge, love and service of the Immaculate Virgin, in the conversion of all souls to Christ Our Lord.

The phenomenal growth of this apostolate led to the foundation of the first city of the Immaculate, Niepokalanow in 1929. This was a friary of Franciscan priests and brothers engaged in the use of all kinds of modern equipment so as to promote via the mass media the Militia through all parts of Poland.

Two years later St. Maximilian, heeding the call of the Holy Father to all religious, to come to the aid of the missionary efforts of the universal Church, volunteered to go to the Orient to found another city of the Immaculate, Mugenzai No Sono .

St. Maximilian returned to Niepokalanow, as it spiritual father, in 1936 and under his able direction the number of the friars there grew above 900 in the months preceding World War II. Publishing apostolate was producing 1,000,000 magazines monthly as well all 125,000 copies of a daily paper for the 1,000,000 members of the Militia worldwide.

After the invasion of Poland by the German Wermacht in September of 1939, the friars dispersed and Niepokalanow was ransacked. St. Maximilian and about 40 others were taken to holding camps, first in Germany, and later in Poland. By the mercy of the Immaculate they were released and allow to return home on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the same year.

During the war the friars turned to caring for about 5,000 Jewish refugees of the Poznan district as well as providing a repair shop for the farming machinery of the locale.

To incriminate St. Maximilian, the Gestapo permitted one final printing of the "Knight of the Immaculte" in December of 1940. In February of 1941, they came to Niepokalanow and arrested St. Maximlian. He was taken to Pawiak Prision in German Occupied Warsaw, Poland, and later was transferred to Auschwitz.

Over the entrance gate of this concentration camp was a sign in German, "Work makes free!". In reality, upon entering the prisoners were told that all Jews had the right to live only two weeks, Roman Catholic priests 1 month.

At Auschwitz several million Roman Catholics were put to death along with another several million persons of Jewish lineage. The objective of Hitler, in his hatred for Jesus Christ, was both to remove all witness to the truth of the original revelation of the God of Israel (the Jewish nation), as well as all who came to believe in Him in His Incarnation by Mary (Roman Catholics).

Thus, St. Maximilian, Knight of the Immaculate Virgin, was placed by Divine Providence at the very center of the ideologic and spiritual conflict of the century, and was destined by God to be the sign of contradiction to a nation given over to diabolic hatred of God and His people.

St. Maximilian, in response to the vicious hatred and brutality of the prison guards, was ever obedient, meek, and forgiving. He gave counsel to all his fellow prisoners "Trust in the Immaculate!" "Forgive!" "Love your enemies and pray for your persecutors!" He was noted for his generosity in surrendering his food despite the ravages of starvation that he suffered, for always going to the end of the line of the infirmary, despite the acute tuberculosis afflicting him.

In the end, by the maternal mediation of the Virgin Mary, he received the grace to be intimately conformed to Christ in death. For on the night of August 3, 1941 a prisoner successfully escaped from the same section of the came in which St. Maximilian was detained. In reprisal, the commandant ordered death by starvation for 10 men chosen at random from the same section.

One of the condemned, Seargent Franciszek Gajowniczek, shouted out, lamenting that he would never see his wife and children again. In his stead, St. Maximilian Mary, who had remained standing all night long during the selection of the condemned, stepped forward and offered his own life in exchange for this man. Ten days later, having led the other 9 in prayers and hymns, St. Maximilian was given a lethal injection of carbolic acid, and passed into eternal glory.

Pope Paul VI beatified St. Maximilian in 1973 and Pope John Paul II canonized him in 1982 as a martyr of charity.

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe's life and work continues today in the religious institutes of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, at the Academy of the Immaculate, and in the movement known as the Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Saint of the Day

St. Pontian, pope, and Hippolytus, priest, martyrs, pray for us.

“Christ, like a skillful physician, understands the weakness of men. He loves to teach the ignorant and the erring he turns again to his own true way. He is easily found by those who live by faith; and to those of pure eye and holy heart, who desire to knock at the door, he opens immediately. He does not disdain the barbarian, nor does he set the eunuch aside as no man. He does not hate the female on account of the woman’s act of disobedience in the beginning, nor does he reject the male on account of the man’s transgression. But he seeks all, and desires to save all, wishing to make all the children of God, and calling all the saints unto one perfect man” (Hippolytus, Treatise on Christ and Antichrist).

Inspirational Lines

Mornings are the first blessings we receive from GOD..

So enjoy and forget all the pains and worries of yesterday.  For today is a new day, new experience, and even new works and happenings.

Enjoy the overflowing blessing of the Lord!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, August 11, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Wisdom 18:6-9
The night of the Passover was known beforehand to our fathers, that, with sure knowledge of the oaths in which they put their faith, they might have courage. Your people awaited the salvation of the just and the destruction of their foes. For when you punished our adversaries, in this you glorified us whom you had summoned. For in secret the holy children of the good were offering sacrifice and putting into effect with one accord the divine institution.
P S A L M - Psalm 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20, 22
R: Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be His own.
Exult, you just, in the Lord; praise from the upright is fitting.12 Blessed the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance. (R) 18 See, the eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, 19 to deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. (R) 20 Our soul waits for the Lord, who is our help and our shield. 22 May your kindness, O Lord, be upon us who have put our hope in you. (R)
2ND READING - Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19
Brothers and sisters: Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Because of it the ancients were well attested. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go. By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and maker is God. 11 By faith he received power to generate, even though he was past the normal age — and Sarah herself was sterile — for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy. 12 So it was that there came forth from one man, himself as good as dead, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore. 13 All these died in faith. They did not receive what had been promised but saw it and greeted it from afar and acknowledged themselves to be strangers and aliens on earth, 14 for those who speak thus show that they are seekinga homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of the land from which they had come, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better homeland, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. 17 By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name.” 19 He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead, and he received Isaac back as a symbol.
Stay awake and be ready! For you do not know on what day the Son of Man will come. 

Luke 12:32-48 
32 Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. 34 For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. 35 Gird your loins and light your lamps 36 and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. 37Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to  wait on them. 38 And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants. 39 Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” 41 Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” 42 And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. 44Truly, I say to you, the master will put him in charge of all his property. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. 47 That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; 48 and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”


“Be prepared!” This attitude was made popular by the Boy Scouts. But it was a constant call of Jesus in the Gospels, including this Sunday’s Gospel. This prevalent theme during the Advent and Lenten seasons finds itself at a time way past Lent and way before Advent. The placing of the reading at this time only stresses the importance of the message. Vigilance is in season and out of season. Being a prepared Christian is a daily concern of every Christian.

       I would admit that it is hard to fathom the heart and enter through the mind of Jesus to know why His coming has an element of surprise. He used very vivid descriptions of this element: dressed for service, wide awake, be ready, and an unexpected hour, to name a few. All of these ask every Christian to take heed of His warning and not be found unprepared. But again, why? Would it not have been better if Jesus announced the exact time?
       When we were children, our father would always tell us to keep every part of the house clean. We would clean it in the morning before we go to school, and again when we arrived from school. My father would always inspect our work. However, at times, he would arrive earlier than usual and he would catch us still playing, with our house cleaning chore still undone. And we would be punished because of that. The saying “When the cat is away, the mouse will play!” seemed to apply perfectly to us at that time.

       What is usually missing is our sincere attitude to do the work. Our houses must be kept clean. Employees must do the work expected of them. I believe this is part of the reason of Jesus for not giving a definite time for His coming. People have a tendency to live according to the deadline and not according to the will of God. Cramming may even come in. In that case, establishing a good relationship with God is dictated by time and not by a true, authentic and real love for Him. The setup taken by Jesus challenges us to be real Christians all the time. Knowing that judgment may come anytime, living according to the will of God all the time is the proper and apt response. In other words, “Be prepared!” Fr. Benny Tuazon
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Do you tend to “play when the cat is away”? How can you be more ready to face Jesus when He comes again?

Lord Jesus, may my love for You be in season and out of season.

Do you want to receive this in your email. To get Bo Sanchez to send it to you personally, register and log-on to

Lots of surprises await.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What Jesus Really Said About The End of the World

by David B. Currie - published by Catholic Answers, 2012

A Book Review by Father John McCloskey

Have you ever met a serious Christian who was not at least somewhat interested in the end of the world? I have not.
And fascination with this topic is not reserved to Christians, as witnessed by the recent brouhaha over the supposed prediction of the Mayan calendar of the end of the world in December of last year.
But here we still are — all but those who have already exited this world in the traditional way to meet their Maker.
Now, David B. Currie, author of Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic and popular speaker on Catholic radio and television, tackles this much misunderstood topic in his book What Jesus Really Said About 'The End of the World,' published by Catholic Answers.
Currie's aim is not only to properly interpret Jesus' mysterious words about the end times (which he does with almost excruciating investigation), but also to refute the notion that Jesus falsely predicted when they would occur.
That Jesus was mistaken was the opinion of both the well-known mathematician and atheist Bertrand Russell and the German Lutheran minister, musician and medical missionary Albert Schweitzer. Both believed that Jesus was just a very good man.
Somewhat surprising is a third doubter of Christ's prophecy, though not of his divinity. Christian apologist C.S. Lewis also thought that Christ had been mistaken — resembling in that opinion, as Currie notes, "millions of other Christians who live with a contradiction. They keep their faith and morals mostly intact, yet accept the claims that Jesus was wrong."
Since any well-formed Catholic knows that Jesus, being God, could not be mistaken in anything, there clearly has been and continues to be confusion about the meaning of Jesus' words about the end times.
Currie lists some 25 different failed prophets, from the second century to our own time, including Luther and other Protestant figures, the Mormons, the Darbyites and various crackpots clearly out to make a buck or find a following by preying on ignorant people.
As Currie puts it, "Predicting the end of the world doesn't seem like the smartest strategy for building a following. Eventually, the deadline comes, and something better happen!" And it never does. Remember the expected Y2K catastrophe at the dawn of the year 2000, which in some circles was conflated with the end of the world?
This book combines elements of Church history, Scripture study, detective fiction and a challenging crossword puzzle. It also features many quotations from the Church Fathers and, of course, St. Thomas Aquinas.
I will not reveal the ending, in which Currie wraps up with great neatness. However, in this Year of Faith that, in part, celebrates the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Church, perhaps a quotation is appropriate:
"Before Christ's second coming, the Church must pass through a final trial. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the 'mystery of iniquity.' The Church will enter the glory of the Kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and resurrection. The Kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive triumph of the Church, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing of evil." (296)
What Jesus Really Said About 'The End of the World' is a book worth the read. And I can hardly wait for the movie!
First appeared on National Catholic Register in August, 2013.