IN all the controversies that unfolded in the wake of the recent Synod in Rome, the reason for the gathering seemed to have been lost altogether. It was convened under the theme: “Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization.” How do we evangelize families given the pastoral challenges we face due to high divorce rates, single mothers, secularization, and so forth?
What we learned very quickly (as proposals of some Cardinals were made known to the public) is that there is a a thin line between mercy and heresy.
The following three part series is intended to not only get back to the heart of the matter—evangelizing families in our times—but to do so by bringing to the forefront the man who is really at the center of the controversies: Jesus Christ. Because no one walked that thin line more than Him—and Pope Francis seems to be pointing that path to us once again.
We need to blow away the “smoke of satan” so we can clearly identify this narrow red line, drawn in Christ’s blood… because we are called to walk it ourselves.
(1Co 12:24-27) But our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, giving to that which wanted the more abundant honour. That there might be no schism in the body: but the members might be mutually careful one for another. And if one member suffer any thing, all the members suffer with it: or if one member glory, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ and members of member.
FR. BROOM’S BLOG SERIES
EXCERPT ST. LOUIS REVIEW: Halloween: Another secularization of a Catholic tradition
Communion of saints
Since the dawn of Christianity with Christ’s death and resurrection around 33 A.D., the Church has commemorated its martyrs, and the feasts of All Saints Day and All Souls Day have grown out of that.
“It seems that it comes from the Eastern part of the Roman Empire a little before 400 A.D., and then spread to the West,” Msgr. Witt said. “By this time, we had gone through three centuries of martyrdom, but in the fourth century, Emperor Constantine ended that with a needing of tolerance and then a little later Theodosius made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire so there were no more persecutions for the most part.”
But there had been many before, and hence the need to recognize them en masse. Martyrs had been commemorated on the anniversary of their martyrdom but with so many of them in so many areas, that became unwieldy.
“This was a time to begin commemorating all of them,” Msgr. Witt said. “Beside the ones we know about, there were thousands of others who had given their lives for Christ, so this put them all in together.”
The commemoration initially was called the Feast of All Martyrs and celebrated in May. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III renamed it All Saints and moved the date to Nov. 1, according to the Original Catholic Encyclopedia. It was a regional celebration until Pope Gregory IV in the ninth century made it a universal feast day for the universal Church.
The vigil — All Hallows Eve, Hallowe’en, then Halloween — was celebrated as early as the Feast of All Saints, according to the encyclopedia.
Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day are such a big deal because they represent the hat trick of souls in heaven, purgatory and earth as well as the links between them — aka the communion of saints.
“They talk in terms of the Church having three categories,” Msgr. Witt said. “The saints are the Church Triumphant. They’re victorious; they’ve arrived (in heaven). Those in purgatory are the Church Suffering; they haven’t gotten there yet. For those of us who are living, they used to use the term ‘Church Militant.'”
In other words, we have a ways to go.
“We don’t use that terminology anymore, but it’s still all there,” Msgr. Witt said. “It’s wrapped up in the feasts on November first and second.”
The Church Triumphant and the Church Militant offer prayers for the Church Suffering, that they may be cleansed and join the saints in heaven. The Church Militant also venerates the Church Triumphant, asking the saints to intercede with God on their behalf so that they may join them one day in heaven.
EXCERPT: All Souls Plenary Indulgence
During November Holy Church promotes prayers for the souls in purgatory. The souls in Purgatory are members of the Church just like we are but of the Church “Suffering”. We are members of the Church “Militant”, and we are like soldiers on the march through the world on the way with our Great Captain towards our heavenly home to join the members of the Church “Triumphant”. We can help the souls in Purgatory through our good works as assigned by the Church, who has the authority from Christ to apply to them the merits of His Passion and death, and the merits of the saints.
A plenary (“full”) indulgence, which is applicable only to the souls in Purgatory is granted to the Christian faithful who devoutly visit a church or an oratory on (November 2nd) All Souls Day.
Requirements for Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence on All Souls Day (Nov. 2nd)
- Visit a church and pray for souls in Purgatory
- Say one “Our Father” and the “Creed” in the visit to the church
- Say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the Holy Father’s intentions
- Worthily receive Holy Communion (ideally on the same day if you can get to Mass)
- Make a sacramental confession within a week of All Souls Day
- For a plenary indulgence one must be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin (otherwise, the indulgence is partial, not plenary, “full”).
To obtain a Plenary Indulgence for a soul in Purgatory on each of the days from 1-8 November
- make a good Confession within a week of before or after All Souls Day
- be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin, for a plenary indulgence
- visit a cemetery and pray for the dead
- say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the monthly intentions set by the Pope
- receive Holy Communion worthily on the same day or soon after
Several indulgences may be gained on the basis of a single confession but only one may be gained after a single good reception Communion and prayer for the Pope’s intentions.
If you are not correctly disposed or if you don’t fulfill the prescribed works and/or the three conditions the indulgence will be partial and not plenary.
103. A hermit said,”If some distracting dispute arises between you and another, and the other denies it and says, “I said no such thing,” do not argue with him or say, “You did say it.” For he will be exaperated, and will say, “Very well, and I meant it.”‘
Prayer request? Send an email to: PrayerRequest3@aol.com
This month’s archive can be found at: http://www.catholicprophecy.info/news2.html.
“We encourage all citizens, particularly Catholics, to embrace their citizenship not merely as a duty and privilege, but as an opportunity meaningfully to participate in building the Culture of Life. Every voice matters in the public forum. Every vote counts. Every act of responsible citizenship is an exercise of significant individual power.” - United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics, #34
It is with great urgency that I ask you to vote this coming election day. We need moral and ethical leaders who will fully support the protection of traditional marriage and family instituted by God, uphold the inviolable dignity of every person from conception to natural death and heroically stand against the aggressive assault on our religious freedoms.
To simply cast a vote for civic duty’s sake isn’t enough. Voting for individuals and laws must always be based on Catholic moral teaching and natural law. Having a well-formed conscience means holding to permanent, non-negotiable moral and ethical principles that affirm a Culture of Life. Essentially, preserving and establishing the right to life supersedes all other rights; all other natural rights depend upon the existence of life and do not take precedence as explained by Pope Saint John Paul II:“The inviolability of the person, which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God, finds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights — for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture — is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition of all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination . . .” (The Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World, Christifideles laici, #38).
We are called as citizens to vote by the light of Faith, making sound judgments regarding each candidate’s stance on key moral issues. Although a heavy responsibility, your vote – cast with a well-formed Catholic conscience – can have an impact on the direction of our country, and even how we deal with other countries. We must exercise our right to vote, otherwise we become part of the complacent majority that allow the sin of legalized abortion to continue robbing the most basic of human rights from our nation’s most innocent and vulnerable of citizens.
Granted, we must do more than vote in accordance with Church teaching, we must also take every possible opportunity to defend life and family in our own communities, and in whatever sphere we have influence. But we must vote, and we must use our vote well.
“A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or individual law that contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals” (Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith: Doctrinal Notes on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, #4).
Therefore, I propose three actions leading up to this coming election day, November 4.
Pray for the election of leaders.
For weeks now, our staff members have prayed after every Mass for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the defense of life and family during this election. Our internal prayer campaign asks for the conversion of all members of Congress and those working in the U.S. government, who are promoting the Culture of Death here in our country and around the world. Please pray in unity with Our Lady, the patroness of the unborn and HLI, for the election of leaders who will humbly and justly serve our great nation. I encourage you to share our campaign prayer in English and Spanish with your friends and family.
Be informed about the candidates and their positions.
To know the candidates and their positions, take full advantage of Catholic voter guides, an essential tool for casting informed votes that advocate for moral and ethical candidates or legislation. I highly recommend purchasing and sharing the Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics, published by our friends at Catholic Answers. Here is an online version which should be read and shared with as many voters as possible before election day.
Vote with a well-formed conscience that is unconditionally pro-life.
We are responsible for the formation of our consciences and for choosing as wisely as possible from among the laws and candidates on our ballots. Whenever possible, we must vote for candidates who stand with the Church on ending abortion, defending traditional marriage, and opposing euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research and human cloning.
Some choices will be tough to make, but a voter with a well-formed Christian conscience will choose wisely in order to limit the potential harm caused by laws and candidates who support destructive anti-life policies. A person’s well-formed conscience is “ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1776).
This is exactly why our country’s upcoming elections are too crucial to dismiss. I encourage you to go to the polls next Tuesday, November 4, and cast your vote based on the “non-negotiable ethical principles, which are the underpinning of life in society” (Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith’s Doctrinal Notes on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, #3).May God bless our nation and bless the results from this important election – and give us the courage, as a nation, to authentically live the Gospel of Life.Sincerely yours in Christ,Father Shenan J. Boquet
President, Human Life International
by Marlene Gillette-Ibern, Esq.
Article 68 of the Puerto Rico Civil Code states that ‘marriage is between a man and a woman that mutually agree to become husband and wife’, and that ‘no recognition will be given to marriages between persons of the same sex contracted in other jurisdictions’.
In the case Conde-Vidal and others v Garcia-Padilla and others, a complaint that was filed before the United States District Court of Puerto Rico on 25 March 2014, Solemnity of the Annunciation, the plaintiffs requested that the marriage between two women from Puerto Rico, obtained in Massachusetts in 2004, be given recognition in Puerto Rico. The case was filed against the Government of Puerto Rico, with present Governor Alejandro Garcia-Padilla among the added defendants. -more-From Ocean to Ocean
The Pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa has reached the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in her From Ocean to Ocean Pilgrimage in Defense of Life. The Closing Ceremony for the USA is November 1 at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in Phoenix, Arizona.Father Shenan J. Boquet
HLI PresidentBuild a Culture of Life
October 31, 2014
Dear Family of Mary!
“Dear children! Pray in this time of grace and seek the intercession of all the saints who are already in the light. From day to day may they be an example and encouragement to you on the way of your conversion. Little children, be aware that your life is short and passing. Therefore, yearn for eternity and keep preparing your hearts in prayer. I am with you and intercede before my Son for each of you, especially for those who have consecrated themselves to me and to my Son. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (October 25, 2014)
The last interior practice in St. Louis de Montfort’s list is really his total consecration to Jesus through Mary:
§ 8. To begin, to continue, and to finish all our actions by her, in her, and with her, in order that we may do them by Jesus Christ, in Jesus Christ, with Jesus Christ, and for Jesus Christ our Last End. We will presently explain this last practice.
St. Louis de Montfort discovered that the way to live for, with and in Christ was by way of living by, with and in Mary. His way of Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary was a gift to the Church in these later days. Truly it was prophetic, for it provided the theological understanding we need to respond to Our Lady’s call.
And another true prophet and teacher of our time, St. John Paul II, learned from St. Louis de Montfort this way of consecration and taught it to us eloquently. Here is an excerpt from St. John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter “On the Most Holy Rosary” which captures the power of living Totus Tuus, especially through prayer of the Rosary:
In this process of being conformed to Christ in the Rosary, we entrust ourselves in a special way to the maternal care of the Blessed Virgin…
The Rosary mystically transports us to Mary’s side as she is busy watching over the human growth of Christ in the home of Nazareth. This enables her to train us and to mold us with the same care, until Christ is “fully formed” in us (cf. Gal 4:19). This role of Mary, totally grounded in that of Christ and radically subordinated to it, “in no way obscures or diminishes the unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power”. This is the luminous principle expressed by the Second Vatican Council which I have so powerfully experienced in my own life and have made the basis of my episcopal motto: Totus Tuus. The motto is of course inspired by the teaching of Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, who explained in the following words Mary’s role in the process of our configuration to Christ: “Our entire perfection consists in being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus Christ. Hence the most perfect of all devotions is undoubtedly that which conforms, unites and consecrates us most perfectly to Jesus Christ. Now, since Mary is of all creatures the one most conformed to Jesus Christ, it follows that among all devotions that which most consecrates and conforms a soul to our Lord is devotion to Mary, his Holy Mother, and that the more a soul is consecrated to her the more will it be consecrated to Jesus Christ”.(22) Never as in the Rosary do the life of Jesus and that of Mary appear so deeply joined. Mary lives only in Christ and for Christ!
This entire Apostolic Letter is well worth reading. Pope John Paul II truly understood the school of Mary, and desired to pass on his understanding to the Church, much like St. Louis de Montfort and St. Maximilian Kolbe before him. It seems that understanding Our Lady’s role is a mystery, and it is grasped only after much prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit. And once it is understood, it lights a fire in one’s heart that can’t be quenched. These three saints in particular show that fire in a powerful way. It is the fire of love!
Let’s pray St. Louis de Montfort’s consecration prayer today, as we prepare for All Saints Day and All Souls Day. We want to take the saints as an example, and we want to be prepared for eternal life. There is no better way than by taking Mary as our Mother and guide. She will lead us to live our lives here on earth as a preparation for heaven.
O Eternal and Incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most adorable Jesus! True God and True Man, only Son of the Eternal Father, and of Mary ever Virgin! I adore Thee profoundly in the bosom and glory of Thy Father during eternity; and I adore Thee also in the virginal bosom of Mary, Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of Thine Incarnation.
I give Thee thanks, that Thou hast annihilated Thyself taking the form of a slave, in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee, that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through her. But alas! Ungrateful and faithless as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my baptism; I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child nor yet Thy slave; and as there is nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy repulse, I dare no more come by myself before Thy Most Holy and August Majesty. It is on this account that I have recourse to the Intercession of Thy most holy Mother, whom Thou hast given me for a Mediatrix with Thee. It is by her means that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, and the pardon of my sins, the acquisition and the preservation of wisdom. I salute Thee, then, O Immaculate Mary living tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by Angels and by men. I hail thee, O Queen of heaven and earth to whose empire everything is subject which is under God.
I. N. [Name], a faithless sinner-I renew and ratify to-day in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce for ever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.
In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee as Thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past present and future; leaving to you the entire and full right of disposing of me, and of all that belongs to me, without exception, according to Thy good pleasure to the greatest glory of God, in time and in eternity.
Receive O gracious Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honour of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have thy Maternity, in homage to the power which both of you have over this little worm and miserable sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity hath favoured thee. I protest, that I wish, henceforth, as thy true slave, to seek thy honour, and to obey thee in all things.
O admirable Mother, present me to thy Dear Son, as His eternal slave, so that as He hath redeemed me by thee, by thee He may receive me.
O Mother of mercy, get me the grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God, and for that end place me in the number of those whom thou lovest, whom thou teachest, whom thou leadest, and whom thou nourishest and protectest, as thy children and thy slaves. O Faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that I may attain, by thy intercession and by thy example, to the fullness of His age on earth, and of His glory in heaven. Amen.
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2014
PS. Mary TV will stream the November 2, 2014 Apparition to Mirjana, live from Medjugorje! Here are the details:
Sunday November 2, 2014
(Saturday night and early Sunday morning in USA)
Our Lady’s apparition to Mirjana in Medjugorje
will be streamed LIVE at http://www.marytv.tv
8:00 am Medjugorje time (2:00 am EST) – Live streaming begins
8:45 am Medjugorje time (2:45 am EST) – Apparition to Mirjana (approx)
9:30 am Medjugorje time (3:30 am EST) – Live streaming ends
Remember that the time will change in the USA on November 2 starting at 2:00 am. We move to Standard time in most of the USA. Europe changed last weekend. Don’t forget to change your clocks!!
Mirjana encounters Our Lady
“Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world.”
Saint John Paul II
North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions – a Welcome Win, Despite “Splintered” OpinionsOctober 30, 2014
North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions – a Welcome Win, Despite “Splintered” Opinions
Thomas More Society’s “friend of the court” brief opposed abortion plaintiffs’ claim that the state’s constitution negated its chemical abortion restrictions
(October 30, 2014 – Bismarck, North Dakota) – Just two days ago, nearly on the eve of next Tuesday’s Election Day when North Dakota voters are due to vote on a proposed “human life” amendment to their state constitution (called “Measure 1”), North Dakota’s Supreme Court finally handed down its decision, rejecting a long-pending constitutional challenge, based on the state constitution rather than on federal abortion law, targeting a 2011 state law regulating so-called “chemical” abortions. In this case, MKB Management Corp. vs. Burdick, which was orally argued in Bismarck almost a year ago, in December, 2013, an abortion provider and others sued to bar enforcement of this state abortion regulation on the sole stated ground that the law violated North Dakota’s state constitution. Acting on behalf of North Dakota’s Catholic Conference, the Chicago-based Thomas More Society filed a friend-of-the-court brief last October, 2013, arguing that there was no state constitutional right to abortion, and therefore, that the plaintiffs’ entire lawsuit was devoid of any legal basis.
While the five Justices of the North Dakota Supreme Court issued a variety of opinions, the bottom line is that a majority of Justices reversed the lower court’s injunction ruling by which it had barred enforcement of the state law, which mandated that “chemical abortions” be administered and used only as approved (and limited) by the federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
The district court’s ruling against the law had been premised on its underlying recognition that a fundamental right to abortion existed under various provisions in the state constitution. Thus the court’s ruling, if upheld on appeal, threatened a wide range of abortion regulations that North Dakota had enacted, including legally mandated parental consent, informed consent, and waiting periods, as well as public funding restrictions, all of which could also be held unconstitutional in violation of the North Dakota Constitution. But now the North Dakota Supreme Court’s reversal of the lower court’s decision leaves intact not only the chemical abortion measure specifically targeted by the MKB Management lawsuit, but also all of North Dakota’s other abortion restrictions.
While the case’s outcome in the Supreme Court must be counted as a very welcome development, the confusing array of multiple opinions on the part of the five Justices leaves uncertainties to be resolved in later cases or on any further appeal in MKB itself. Thus two Justices wrote opinions stating (or strongly implying) that the North Dakota Constitution does not confer a right to abortion, but two other Justices said otherwise. The fifth Justice said it was unnecessary to rule on the state constitutional issue because the law at issue violated the federal constitution. Thus whether the state constitution does, or does not, confer a right to abortion remains to be resolved at a later date.
Moreover, the two Justices who said that the state constitution confers a right to abortion also said that the laws violated the federal constitution. Ordinarily, that would have created a decisive majority (3/5) on the question whether the state law violated the federal constitution. But North Dakota’s state constitution incorporates a peculiar provision, to the effect that no law may be held unconstitutional unless four of the five Justices concur. Thus lack of an extraordinary “super-majority” proved fatal to the pro-abortionists’ claim that the state law violated the federal constitution.
Finally, one of the two Justices who agreed that there is no right to abortion under the North Dakota Constitution expressed the view – as Thomas More Society contended in its amicus brief – that the plaintiffs never raised any distinct federal challenges but rather sued solely on grounds that the law was unconstitutional under the state constitution. Therefore, the Society argued, no Justice should even address, let alone opine on, any federal constitutional challenge. This issue would complicate, as indeed it should block, any effort by plaintiffs to press a further appeal, by petitioning for review before the U.S. Supreme Court as they would be asking our highest Court to pass on issues they never even bothered to raise when they first filed their lawsuit a few years ago.
Paul Linton, who was the principal author of the Society’s amicus curiae brief while serving as its special counsel, had argued that “nothing in the text, history or interpretation of the North Dakota Constitution requires such a radical inclusion of abortion.” The brief also urged: “The North Dakota Constitution ‘must be interpreted in light of the rights and liberties it was created to uphold, and not the philosophical viewpoints of the judiciary who hold the responsibility of interpretation.’ Nothing in the state constitution was intended to create or recognize a right to abortion.”
Linton, a constitutional scholar, is author of the widely acclaimed state-by-state analysis of state constitutions with respect to abortion rights claims, Abortion Under State Constitutions (2d ed. 2012, North Carolina Academic Press), underwritten by the Society.
Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of Thomas More Society, noted that the Society’s client, the Catholic Conference, was urging North Dakotans that their Supreme Court’s “split opinion [in the MKB case] demonstrates more than ever why North Dakotans must pass Measure 1 on November 4,” as “[t]he people of North Dakota have a right to decide this question before the abortion lobby comes back into the state to try again to strike down laws that even the U.S. Supreme Court has said we can pass.”
The Society’s friend-of-the-court (amicus curiae) brief is available here.
The North Dakota Supreme Court’s decision is available here.
The Thomas More Society is a not-for-profit, national public interest law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty. Based in Chicago, the Thomas More Society defends and fosters support for these causes by providing high quality pro bono legal services from local trial courts all the way to the United States Supreme Court. www.thomasmoresociety.org.
TC Public Relations
One N. LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60602