Thursday, April 30, 2015

Prayer for Help Against Spiritual Enemies

Glorious St. Michael, Prince of the heavenly hosts, who standest always ready to give assistance to the people of God; who didst fight with the dragon, the old serpent, and didst cast him out of heaven, and now valiantly defendest the Church of God that the gates of hell may never prevail against her, I earnestly entreat thee to assist me also, in the painful and dangerous conflict which I have to sustain against the same formidable foe.

Be with me, O mighty Prince! that I may courageously fight and wholly vanquish that proud spirit, whom thou hast by the Divine Power, so gloriously overthrown, and whom our powerful King, Jesus Christ, has, in our nature, so completely overcome; to the end that having triumphed over the enemy of my salvation, I may with thee and the holy angels, praise the clemency of God who, having refused mercy to the rebellious angels after their fall, has granted repentance and forgiveness to fallen man. 


Wednesday, April 29, 2015


1. Matthew
Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, Killed by a sword wound.

2. Mark
Died in Alexandria, Egypt , after being dragged by Horses through the streets until he was dead.

3. Luke
Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous Preaching to the lost.

4. John
Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge Basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution In Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered From death.
John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison Island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos . The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve As Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey . He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully

5. Peter
He was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross.
According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die In the same way that Jesus Christ had died.

6. James
The leader of the church in Jerusalem , was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his
enemies beat James to death with a fuller's club.
* This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.

7. James the Son of Zebedee,
was a fisherman by trade when Jesus Called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer Walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and Knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

8. Bartholomew
Also known as Nathaniel Was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

9. Andrew
Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: 'I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.' He continued to preach to his tormentors For two days until he expired.

10. Thomas
Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the Sub-continent.

11. Jude
Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.

12. Matthias
The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.

13. Paul
Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many
epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational Doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

Perhaps this is a reminder to us that our sufferings here are indeed minor compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty faced by the apostles and disciples during their times For the sake of the Faith. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: But he that endureth to the end shall be saved..

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony

“Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints”

O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. 

Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request). 

O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours.


Monday, April 27, 2015

My Battle Against Hitler: Faith, Truth and Defiance in the Shadow of the Third Reich

by Dietrich von Hildebrand - Image, 2014

A Book Review by Father John McCloskey
Wow, what a book! You may have thought you've read everything about the persecution of Catholics by the Third Reich before and during the Second World War.
However, you are likely to be surprised by the memoirs of one of the great philosophers of the last century, Dietrich von Hildebrand.
Von Hildebrand, who emigrated to the United States in the 1940s, died in the late 1970s. He was one of St. John Paul II's favorite authors. His writing has in recent years been reintroduced to a new generation through the efforts of von Hildebrand's second wife, Alice von Hildebrand (a well-known philosopher herself), and by theDietrich von Hildebrand Legacy Project, spearheaded by John Henry Crosby, who co-edited this translation.
This book is particularly accessible to a wide audience of readers, since it provides the inside story of one man's struggle at the risk of his life to combat Adolph Hitler and his Godless Nazi party.
Although many Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, convinced themselves or allowed themselves to be convinced that it was possible to practice their faith without courting the kind of persecution that could deprive them of their jobs, land them in prison or work camps or cost them their lives, how wrong they were! Large numbers who bravely drew back from the line of accommodation they could not in conscience cross lost their lives like the Jewish victims of genocide in the concentration camps.
This book takes the reader on a voyage with von Hildebrand from 1921 through the annexation of Austria in 1938 and then his escape from Vienna. The second part of the book is filled with his writing against Nazi ideology.
Hitler himself was very aware of von Hildebrand and his opposition to Nazi ideology. His ambassador to Austria wrote in Der Fuhrer, "The union for German liberation recently established here … seeks to overthrow the Nazi regime. … The mastermind behind these plots is well-known professor Dietrich von Hildebrand!"
When von Hildebrand finally escaped from Austria with his family — with forged French passports — and made his way safely to New York City by way of Portugal and Brazil, even the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover knew of his anti-Hitler activities — not only in Italy, Germany and Austria, but also after his arrival in New York.
This is a must-read; in my opinion, it would make a fine film about a truly great man who was called by Pius XII "the 20th-century doctor of the Church."
And Pope Benedict XVI said of him, "When, at some time in the future, the intellectual history of the Catholic Church in the 20th century is written, the name of Dietrich von Hildebrand will be most prominent among the figures of our time."
In addition, St. John Paul II called von Hildebrand "one of the great ethicists of the last century."
The only question I have is: Why has this great man's cause for beatification not been started?
First appeared on National Catholic Register in March, 2015.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, April 26, 2015 with Reflection

1ST READING - Acts 4:8-12
Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said: “Leaders of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, 10 then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed. 11 He is the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”

P S A L M - Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29
R: The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. (R) 21 I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me and have been my savior. 22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 23 By the Lord has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. (R) 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; we bless you from the house of the Lord. 28 I give thanks to you, for you have answered me and have been my savior. 29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his kindness endures forever. (R)

2ND READING - 1 John 3:1-2
Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me.
John 10:11-18
11 Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. 13 This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.”



In my more than 30 years as a priest, I have ministered to terminally ill patients, some of whom were close to me. Though hovering close to dying, they lived life to the full, and everything legit that earthly life could offer. Despite being ravaged and debilitated by a cruel disease, they always showed their joie de vivre, as only people of faith knew how.

       A number of them had very clear requests, as they planned carefully for the day that most people would not even hear of. But people of faith are also people of hope. They love as much as they believe and, precisely on account of their faith and charity, nurture every remaining moment of their short lives on earth with the hope of everlasting life.

       My elder sister was one such woman of hope. In her dying days, she asked us not to cry or be sad. She requested us not to take pictures of her as she lay on her deathbed. But she did ask us to pray with her, to pray by ourselves when she could no longer join us, and while still in her lucid moments, she remained for all of us, her younger siblings, the epitome of an excited child, looking forward to going home to the Father.

       I have been blessed by this and many other similar scenarios of loving, faithful and hopeful individuals proclaiming in life — as in their death — the powerful words of John: “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.”

       Just two days before Christmas 2013, I witnessed another enviable death of a former student. Tired, sleepy and weary of one Simbang Gabi Mass too many, I was told that he was dying. I didn’t plan to go as the hospital was far from where I was, but I eventually went. And I was glad I did, as I was once again blessed by a faith experience. He taught me in his beautiful death what it means to declare in faith: “We shall see him as he is!” Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTION: Imagine that you are on your deathbed. Listen to your feelings and thoughts. What dominates them — joy or fear?

I long to see Your face, Lord, not just when my life is over but right here, right now.

St. Pedro de San Jose Betancur, pray for us.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Fulton Sheen's defense of Christianity

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Miracles of the Rosary; The Rosary stops a serial killer 1978

At 3: 00 am on January 15 Bundy entered the Chi Omega sorority house at Florida State University and murdered two girls before heading off to search for more victims. When he entered a third girl’s room with a bat for a weapon, he saw a rosary clutched in her hand, dropped the bat and fled.

Later the girl told authorities that before she left for college she had promised her grandmother that she would pray the rosary every night for protection, even if she fell asleep in the process. This is what she had done that night, and she was still holding the rosary when the murderer entered her room. Bundy later confessed to over thirty murders.

Father Joseph M. Esper says in his book With Mary to Jesus, “Ironically, when Ted Bundy was on death row, awaiting execution for his crimes, he asked Monsignor Kerr to serve as a spiritual counselor, and the priest took the opportunity to ask about that terrible night. Bundy explained that when he entered the girl’s room, he had fully intended on murdering her; some mysterious power was preventing him.”

Father Esper adds, “And not only does it (the rosary) aid our own spiritual growth — it also undermines the kingdom of Satan. The famous Vatican exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth testified, ‘One day a colleague of mine heard the devil say during an exorcism, “Every Hail Mary is like a blow on my head. If Christians knew how powerful the Rosary was, it would be my end.”‘

Pray the rosary daily for protection and to defeat the forces of Satan!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Marcus C. Grodi – What Is Truth?

Marcus Grodi - Founder of CHN

What Is Truth?

Marcus C. Grodi, former Presbyterian minister

I am a former Protestant minister. Like so many others who have trodden the path that leads to Rome by way of that country known as Protestantism, I never imagined I would one day convert to Catholicism.
By temperament and training, I’m more of a pastor than a scholar, so the story of my conversion to the Catholic Church may lack the technical details in which theologians traffic and in which some readers delight. But I hope I will accurately explain why I did what I did, and why I believe with all my heart that all Protestants should do likewise.
I won’t dwell on the details of my early years, except to say that I was raised by two loving parents in a nominally Protestant home. I went through most of the experiences that make up the childhood and adolescence of the typical American baby-boomer.
I was taught to love Jesus and go to church on Sunday. I also managed to blunder into most of the dumb mistakes that other kids in my generation made. But after a season of teenage rebellion, when I was twenty years old, I experienced a radical reconversion to Jesus Christ. I turned away from the lures of the world and became serious about prayer and Bible study.
As a young adult, I made a recommitment to Christ, accepting Him as my Lord and Savior, praying that He would help me fulfill the mission in life He had chosen for me.
The more I sought through prayer and study to follow Jesus and conform my life to His will, the more I felt an aching sense of longing to devote my life entirely to serving Him. Gradually, just as dawn’s first faint rays peek over a dark horizon, the conviction began to grow that the Lord was calling me to be a minister.
That conviction grew steadily stronger while I was in college and then afterward during my job as an engineer. Eventually I couldn’t ignore the call. I was convinced the Lord wanted me to become a minister, so I quit my job and enrolled in Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in suburban Boston. I acquired a Master of Divinity degree and was shortly thereafter ordained to the Protestant ministry.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


O Lord, hear my cry pouring out from a troubled heart. The sorrow which clutches at my soul has driven me to You my protector, my True Friend in time of need. You know, my God, all my failings, my faults and my sins as well as the torment gripping my soul. My greatest sorrow should be for my disregard of Your holy commandments in the past, and I sincerely hope that you will grant me the grace of true contrition.

O my Savior, hide not Your Face from me in this tribulation, let the light of Your Countenance shine upon me that I may be illuminated by Its love. If it be Your will, lighten this burden from me, yet should it be a means of my salvation, help me, help me O Lord, to carry this cross, for alone I can do nothing. 

Radiate Your love upon Your prodigal child O Lord, this beggar who knocks at Your door seeking shelter in Your Sacred Heart; this once proud earthen vessel made of clay seeks You, O Christ, and in a newly found faith, firmly believes that you will receive him in Your limitless Love and Mercy. Amen

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Traditional Case for Capital Punishment

by Father John McCloskey
A group of Catholic publishers recently issued a joint statement urging an end to capital punishment. I have great respect for all of them – I have written for all of them at one point or another. I disagree with them on this issue, however. And it may be good to give some background about why I and many others disagree.
Most importantly, the Catholic Church's Magisterium does not and never has advocated unqualified abolition of the death penalty. The U.S. bishops have conceded that Catholic teaching has accepted the principle that the state has the right to take the life of a person guilty of an extremely serious crime. Even the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin – hardly a conservative – never stated that every criminal has a right to continue living, nor did he deny that the state has the right in some cases to execute the guilty. St. John Paul II, although opposed to most applications of the death penalty, thought the same.
Let's hear what St. Augustine had to say on this topic: " . . . there are some exceptions made by the divine authority to its own law, that men may not be put to death. These exceptions are of two kinds, being justified either by a general law, or by a special commission granted for a time to some individual. And in this latter case, he to whom authority is delegated, and who is but the sword in the hand of him who uses it, is not himself responsible for the death he deals. And, accordingly, they who have waged war in obedience to the divine command, or in conformity with His laws, have represented in their persons the public justice or the wisdom of government, and in this capacity have put to death wicked men; such persons have by no means violated the commandment, You shall not kill." (City of God, Bk I, 21)
Augustine also said that capital punishment protects those who are undergoing it from further sinning, which might continue if their life went on.
If this is not enough, consider the thoughts of the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, on this topic. Citing Exodus 22, which specifies that certain categories of wrongdoers shall not be permitted to live, Aquinas unequivocally states that civil rulers can execute justly to protect the peace of the state. St. Thomas finds frivolous the argument that murderers should be allowed to live in hopes of their repentance, questioning how many innocent people should have to suffer death while waiting for the guilty to repent. While capital punishment is not justifiable as an act of vengeance, according to Aquinas it is justifiable to help secure the safety of the community by removing a dangerous wrongdoer and deterring others from his example; in addition, it is an act of justice, allowing expiation for the wrongdoer's sin.
St. Paul in his hearing before Festus says, "If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death." (Acts 25:11) Very clearly this constitutes an acknowledgment on the part of the apostle to the gentiles that the state continues to have the power of life and death in the administration of justice. And of course when we first encounter Paul (Saul at that point), he is cooperating in the stoning to death of St. Stephen for the crime of blasphemy.
Pope Pius XII said, "In the case of the death penalty the State does not dispose of the individual's right to life. Rather public authority limits itself to depriving the offender of the good of life in expiation for his guilt, after he, through his crime, deprived himself of his own right to life."
The Catechism of the Council of Trent, composed under the supervision of St. Charles Borromeo, stated: "Far from being guilty of breaking this commandment [Thou shall not kill], such an execution of justice is precisely an act of obedience to it. For the purpose of the law is to protect and foster human life. This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of the State is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have taken innocent lives."
None of the figures mentioned above were bloodthirsty individuals. All probably would have agreed with several modern popes that great care be used in modern conditions in applying the death penalty. But it's doubtful they would have supported abolishing it.
Indeed, for any son or daughter of God, it is a great grace to know the time of one's death, as it gives us the opportunity to get right with the Lord who will judge us at our death. Perhaps many people have been saved in this way by the death penalty. Who knows what would have happened if they had been allowed to linger in this life, one day possibly killing other people?
And there are other, utterly unexpected effects. The great Catholic convert and evangelist Frank Sheed wrote a book called The Map of Life. In one edition of the book, he tells of a man sentenced to death for murder. After reading Sheed's book, the man wrote Sheed that, if what he had put down in that book about heaven and forgiveness was true, though he was offered clemency by the State, he decided to allow the execution, because he would be going to heaven now as a Catholic convert.
First appeared on The Catholic Thing in March, 2015.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, April 19, 2015 with Reflection

1ST READING - Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
13 Peter said to the people: “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our father, has glorified his  servant Jesus whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence, when he had decided to release him. 14 You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses. 17 Now I know, brothers, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did; 18 but God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer. 19 Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.”

P S A L M - Psalm 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9
R: Lord, let your face shine on us.
1 [2] When I call, answer me, O my just God, you who relieve me when I am in distress; have pity on me, and hear my prayer! (R) 3 [4] Know that the Lord does wonders for his faithful one; the Lord will hear me when I call upon him. (R) 6 [7] O Lord, let the light of your countenance shine upon us! 7 [8] You put gladness into my heart. (R) 8 [9] As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep, for you alone, O Lord, bring security to my dwelling. (R)

2ND READING - 1 John 2:1-5
My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world. 3The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Those who say, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments are liars, and the truth is not in them. 5But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him.

Lord Jesus, open the Scriptures to us; make our hearts burn while you speak to us.

Luke 24:35-48
35 The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of the bread. 36 While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” 40 And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of baked fish; 43 he took it and ate it in front of them. 44 He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day 47 and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.”



There was a time when footprints only had to do with real feet. As kids, we traced our foot in mud, on sand, or on the newly waxed wooden floor smudged by one’s dusty bare feet. After doing what every kid in the boonies used to do on Saturday mornings — that is, wax and polish the floor — we knew whose feet were the first to spoil our Saturday morning masterpiece. Footprints pointed to the careless and insensitive culprit in the household.

       Today, we talk of carbon footprints, collective signs of humanity’s careless use and abuse of nature. As a certified  “provinciano” (from the province), I have seen the footprints that point to the progressive degradation of the environment in the name of ubiquitous development.

       We also talk now of digital footprints. Our identities are embedded in cyberspace visible to digital sleuths. Our digital footprints are not only our trademarks. They are also the benchmark of who we are in cyberspace, and our impact on the digital natives. Our digital imprints are unique.
       Footprints, whether real or virtual, show who we are and manifest our unique selves. Those in the know, those closest to us, those who belong to the right crowd, can tell easily if it is us or someone else masquerading as us, just by looking at our footprints.

       The two disciples on the way to Emmaus suffered from a memory lapse. Grief, sorrow and disappointment may have blinded them for a while. The Lord did His trademark preaching and explaining, using texts from Scripture. But it was when He did His benchmark act of memorial that everything made sense to the grieving disciples. “Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.” This was the Risen Lord at His trademark and benchmark best! This was the Savior in His unique spiritual, Eucharistic and unmistakable imprint. “It is the Lord!” Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Whose footprints are you following in your life? Is it safe for others to follow the footsteps you leave behind?

Lord, how good it is that You have left us Your footprints — the Eucharist — to forever nourish us and guide us in our journey.

Blessed Luchesio and Buonadonna, pray for us.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

What we must do to fill the pews

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at this link
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In arguments both lucid and thorough, Benedictine Abbott Basil Christopher Butler shows why the Bible can never be the sole criterion of faith nor serve as a sufficient foundation for the full Christian life to which Jesus calls us.

Butler reminds us that Jesus did not reveal Himself to us by means of any written document whatsoever (the first inspired written texts  all the books of the New Testament — were penned decades after Jesus died).

Jesus Himself was the final word of God's revelation: the living Jesus who walked among men and spoke to them — the Jesus who, before He returned to the Father, established His Church, endowed it with authority, and implemented the Sacraments as the continuation of His living presence among men . . . a living presence that He has sustained down through the ages even unto today.

There is only one source, shows Butler, where Christians can turn for the full truth of Jesus and the means of salvation He gave us: the Catholic Church, which He Himself established 2,000 years ago.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015


Good Saint Dymphna, 

Great wonder-worker in every affliction of mind and body, I humbly implore your powerful intercession with Jesus through Mary, the Health of the Sick, in my present need. (Mention it.) 

Saint Dymphna, martyr of purity, patroness of those who suffer with nervous and mental afflictions, beloved child of Jesus and Mary, pray to Them for me and obtain my request.

(Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be.)

Saint Dymphna, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Dear Lord,
Help me find firm ground in this shaky economy.
As I seek work and assistance,
Give me strength not to be anxious when I seem to be going nowhere;
Give me patience not to despair when things look bleak;
Give me serenity to know you are here with me, helping me to carry my crosses each day;
So that I may do Your will,
For the salvation of souls
And my Eternal Life.

This one is slightly longer, but expresses a similar sentiment:

Dear Lord,
In this time of uncertainty,
Be my rock in a world built on sand;
Be my oasis of grace and peace in a world of tension and turmoil;
Help me to carry my cross gracefully, as you did in Your Passion;
Help me to follow Your beam of light in the midst of this darkness;
Help me to see Your will in all things
And show others Your comfort and strength.
Keep me calm when tempers flare up;
Keep me sane in a crazy world;
Keep me focused on the houses in Heaven
rather than the houses of cards collapsing around me;
Keep my eyes focused on the prize of Heaven
and not lose hope in You in this world or in the world to come;
Make me compassionate in dealing with others;
Let me see my travails as carrying my cross and sharing in Your Passion, for the love of You and for the salvation of souls, including mine.
And may all my difficulties be ultimately for my good and Your glory. Amen.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Dearest Jesus, tenderly loving us, Your greatest joy is to dwell among us and to bestow Your blessing upon us. Though I am not worthy that You should behold me with love, I feel myself drawn to You, O dear Infant Jesus, because You gladly pardon me and exercise Your almighty power over me. 

So many who turned with confidence to You have received graces and had their petitions granted. Behold me,in spirit I kneel before Your miraculous image on Your altar in Prague, and lay open my heart to You, with its prayers, petitions and hopes. Especially (mention your intentions here)…

I enclose in Your loving Heart. Govern me and do with me and mine according to Your holy Will, for I know that in Your Divine wisdom and love You will ordain everything for the best. Almighty gracious Infant Jesus, do not withdraw Your hand from us, but protect and bless us forever. I pray You, sweetest Infant, in the name of Your Blessed Mother Mary who cared for You with such tenderness, and by the great reverence with which St. Joseph carried You in his arms, comfort me and make me happy that I may bless and thank You forever from all my heart. Amen

Jesus, unto Thee I flee,
Through Thy Mother praying Thee
In my need to succor me.
Truly, I believe of Thee
God Thou art with strength to shield me;
Full of trust, I hope of Thee
Thou Thy grace wilt give to me.
All my heart I give to Thee,
Therefore, do my sins repent me;
From them breaking, I beseech Thee,
Jesus, from their bonds to free me.
Firm my purpose is to mend me;
Never more will I offend Thee.
Wholly unto Thee I give me,
Patiently to suffer for Thee,
Thee to serve eternally.
And my neighbor like to me
I will love for love of Thee.
Little Jesus, I beseech Thee,
In my need to succor me,
That with Joseph and Mary
And the angels, I may Thee
Once enjoy eternally. Amen.

Monday, April 13, 2015


by Whittaker Chambers - reprint published by Regnery History, 2014
A Book Review by Father John McCloskey
"A man is not primarily a witness against something. That is only incidental to the fact that he is a witness for something." — Whittaker Chambers, Witness, 1952
Witness, by Whittaker Chambers, is one of the most important books of the last century, and I predict it's a book that will never go out of print or at least prove unavailable in one way or another to anybody using the new technologies!
Why is that? Because it is a great true story of conversion from a false god to the true God of the Bible, set against a backdrop of the mid-20th century battle between good and evil.
I first read Witness as a high school student and then again at Columbia University, where Chambers also studied under still-famous professors such as Mark Van Doren.
Evidently it was in his time at Columbia that he was attracted to communism. Without telling the whole story, which really must be read in solitude, he fell for the great line of communism as the savior of humanity.
Unlike the many armchair communists among intellectuals of his time, Chambers from the start joined as someone actually wanting to effect change, identifying deeply with those suffering poverty and injustice (reading Les Miserables was a groundbreaking experience in this regard). Within a few years he went underground as a communist spy.
His break with communism came in stages. At one point in his journey he realized, "Economics is not the central problem of this century. It is a relative problem which can be solved in relative ways. Faith is the central problem of this age." Interestingly enough, when Chambers finally broke completely with communism he did not immediately denounce the agents with whom he had worked, the best-known being Harvard blueblood Alger Hiss, a lawyer who worked for the State Department and was a member of the circle advising President Roosevelt on foreign affairs.
Would that Hiss had likewise seen the light and confessed, but evidently he never repented. After the collapse of the Soviet empire, government records unearthed there showed clearly that Hiss had, indeed, functioned as a communist spy for many years, receiving orders ultimately from Moscow.
However, perhaps more important than the role Chambers played in revealing the communist underground in the U.S. of the '30s and '40s is his expose of the unsatisfactory character of all the 20th century's attempts to derive an explanation for life apart from God. As Chambers put it, "The communist vision is the vision of man without God."
Chambers was one of the best prose writers of his time and was also fluent in several European languages. As a writer for TIME and later for Bill Buckley'sNational Review, he was recognized as one of the best journalists of his time. Chambers had the unique gift of being able to write about truth in a simple, direct, and memorable way:
"Communism is the central experience of the first half of the 20th century and may be its final experience—will be, unless the free world in the agony of its struggle with communism overcomes its crises by discovering, in suffering and pain, a power of faith which will provide man's mind, at the same time intensity, with the same two certainties: a reason to live and a reason to die."
Though most of his major journalistic writing has been anthologized, Witness, without question, was his masterpiece, an autobiography on a par with Thomas Merton's The Seven Storey Mountain, written just a few years before Witness. Both men experienced religious conversions: Merton converted to Catholicism and Chambers became a Quaker, though not the kind that substitutes causes for God. Both saw that the West was in decline and only an earnestly lived Christianity could save it. "The crisis of the Western world exists to the degree in which it is indifferent to God," Chambers wrote in Witness.
Even though Chambers thought he was on the losing side of history in the battle against communist materialism, nonetheless he continued the fight. Melancholy in temperament and psychologically scarred by a very difficult childhood and his younger brother's suicide in his 20s, Chambers himself considered suicide, although when one of his children came looking for him, crying "Papa, Papa, don't ever go away," he replied, "No, I won't ever go away."
Share this book with your friends and pray that someday the story of this man will be put on the big screen. What a great impact it could have on our declining country. Our nation needs to hear Chamber's unique and persuasive voice reminding us, "Religion and freedom are indivisible. Without freedom the soul dies. Without the soul there is no justification for freedom."
First appeared on National Catholic Register in Februrary, 2015.