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How Do You See God in Me?
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June 1, 1994
R. He is calling us to cheerfulness. If I saw myself through some other person’s eyes, would I see God or would I see a perplexed person without peace?
Lord, let me see myself as You see me. Do I display the peace of Christ in my soul or do I display the uneasiness that Satan tries to produce inside me?
Oh, Lord, how am I preaching Your gospel to my children? Do I complain before prayer and in the car or am I cheerful and showing them how anxious I am to be with You? What do I teach my children about my love of You?
Lord, where I am blind, open my eyes. Oh, Spirit of God, impart to me Your gifts: wisdom, understanding, knowledge to know You more, my sweet and precious God, to realize the immense love of God and be filled by it, to let go of the perishable things of the world and see, with eyes as never before, what is so important to You-my love poured out to my children, my love for all, which is Your love deep within me, Your love that is too powerful to be contained and is given to all those I am with.
- New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2009
Dear Friends of Life,
As the tumultuous year 2009 winds this evening to a close and the New Year of 2010 is upon us, I am reminded of the famous words of Thomas Paine, penned in December of 1776, as our nation struggled desperately for its Independence. His words could not be more applicable to our current situation if they had been written today.
These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.
Yes, these are the times that try men’s souls. Today, we are faced with a radically pro-abortion President and Congress, which are trying to force the tyranny of socialized medicine upon an unwilling nation and along with it, taxpayer-funded abortions.
When the fetters of oppressive government force men and women of conscience to fund the taking of innocent human life, the extinguishing of other liberties is not far behind.
But what is freedom without life?
The fight to restore life and freedom to pre-born Americans is adifficult one that Operation Rescue could not hope to engage in without the prayers and support of people like you.
As we face a new year with faith and hope, we pray that you will consider making a generous end-of-the-year gift to Operation Rescue to keep us in the fray in defense of those who cannot defend themselves. This year has been financially difficult for us, and your gifts will help us to move forward into 2010 with the resources we need to press on to victory with our life-saving work. (Click to donate now.)
May you cherish and enjoy all the blessings of Life and Liberty in the coming year,
PS. Please click here now to donate easily online. God bless you!
St. Bridget receiving a revelation
from Our Lord Jesus Christ and Our Lady
14th century manuscript
"There is not on earth a sinner, however devoid he may be of the love of God, from whom the devil is not obliged immediately to fly, if he invokes Mary’s holy name with a determination to repent."
A voice did not boom from the sky…. it was not a flash of lightning, an earthquake, or a vision of the heavens opening with a revelation that God loves man. Rather, God descended into the womb of a woman, and Love itself became incarnate. Love became flesh. The message of God became living, breathing, visible.
LOOKING FOR LOVE
Perhaps this is the crisis of our age. Not the lack of a message. Heavens no! Everywhere one turns, one can find the "message" of the good news. Cable television, radio, the internet… the message is blaring like a trumpet. But what is missing is often the demonstration of that message: of souls who have met Love itself, and then become vessels of that Love. Where can we find this message incarnated today?
If Christianity appears as merely a collection of laws and prohibitions, a series of demands and fulfillments as a means to get to heaven, then no wonder it has little appeal to the modern mind. People are drawn to love, not its theology; that is, they are drawn to the face of love. Where do people find it today? Because surely they are looking. Yes, they are clamoring to their internet social networks, video websites, and instant messaging devices, looking to be noticed, remembered, and loved. Can the longing for love be fully realized through a video screen? No. In fact, never have the means of communication been so widely available, and yet never has modern man been so lonely! He is looking for love and more often than not cannot find it!
Do we Christians recognize this? Or are we too busy forwarding nice stories through our email? Are we too concerned with reading the news headlines to see how close the world is to falling off the precipice, or are we running to its edge to become the face of love to those who are ready to jump off it? Are we transfixed with the signs of the times, with ourselves, or are we becoming a sign of the times—the sign and sacrament of Love?
God is love, and love became flesh. He lived and dwelt among us, but more importantly, He served and gave His very life. The meaning of this is astounding, and it carries with it a way for every baptized Christian. The Way of Love.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do. (John 13:14-15)
God’s love was not expressed in an impersonal pronouncement; it did not end with the Angel Gabriel. It became a visible message one could "taste and see." It is not enough for us to talk about the Gospel; our family and friends must see it in us. They must see the face of love, otherwise, our "preaching," our fervent devotional prayer, eloquent apologetics, scriptural quotations, etc…. risk becoming sterile, and possibly serve to diminish and even discredit what we preach.
You are now members of the body of Christ, and Jesus wishes to live His supernatural life through you. How? Without Him, Jesus said, you can do nothing. And so you must daily pick up your cross, deny yourself, and follow Him. Follow Him every day to Golgotha, sometimes every moment, laying down your will, self-love—the great "I"—upon the cross. Bring it to death so that a new Love can rise within you. This is not an elimination of your personality such that you become a divinized zombie. It is a kenosis, an emptying of everything that is not of God that in fact dehumanizes and distortswho you truly are: a son or daughter made in God’s image. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God wants to raise you to a new life, a new creation, in which the true self, created in the image of God, becomes a reality. Not just a spiritual, mystical reality, but a living, breathing, visible reality—one with a face that the world can see. In this sense, you and I are to become alter Christus, "another Christ." We become for Him the face that others are thirsting for. And when they find Him in us, we can point toward the source of living water.
LIVING THE GOSPEL
As you meet with family and friends over these final feast days of the Christmas Octave, let them see your love more than hear it. Let them see your service, your patience, your docility; let them not only hear your words of forgiveness but see it in your mannerisms, your facial expressions, and your genuine interest in them. Listen, don’t just speak. Let others see your eagerness to put them first, their desires, their wishes, even when contrary to your own. Let the martyrdom of your self-love be evident to all, not so much by what you say, but by what you do.
Then your words will be the echo of love, rather than the trumpet of ego. Then you will begin to heal the terrible loneliness in your brother when he begins to hear that echo too.
Incarnate love, as Christ became incarnate in the flesh. Give love a skin. Become the face of Christ.
My brothers, Christ made love the stairway that would enable all Christians to climb to heaven. Hold fast to it, therefore, in all sincerity, give one another practical proof of it. —St. Fulgentius of Ruspe, Liturgy of the Hours Vol. 1, p.1256
"May the Lord grant all your prayers!" (Psalm 20)
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You Need the Holy Spirit
May 31, 1994 3:00a.m.
My child, I love you so much. I want you to be alone with Me at night. Jump from your bed and be with Me. Receive Me in the early hours. I love to be alone with you.
Your life is so short, sweet one. You will soon see how you are preparing yourself for the days ahead. No preparation is enough. Times will be hard times. Such a false peace exists. Children will be guarded. I am a just God. I love My little ones. Parents will be led back to God and His world. Where they were blind, they now see.
Pray constantly for souls. Do not think that you can be at rest. You need to be constantly about preaching My word and praying for your brothers’ souls. Their souls are at stake!
The Eucharist is the center to draw men’s hearts back to God. Promote the Real Presence. Tell everyone how I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and I truly give Myself to them in the Eucharist.
Tell them to pray to the Holy Spirit. Tell children about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is full of gifts. You will know God through Him. His fire and life He gives to you and the life of God is alive in your soul. Pray to Him. Tell all about the Spirit. He must be alive in your hearts to know God. Tell all to pray to Him. It is through His gifts your eyes will be opened and you will see things only God can show you.
R. Such simplicity! Take the wisdom of God-so simple, but so profound. Where I was blind, I now can see. Enkindle in me Your gifts, Spirit of God. Where I once was dead, I have become filled with Your life. You breathed Your life deep into my soul and I could see clearly as never before.
Such wisdom! Such profound truths! You reveal to me with such simplicity! Oh,man of himself is so blind and the Spirit is so alive! Enkindle in me Your life. The deaf hear, the blind see. The life of God is enkindled in our hearts and we know the fire that burns deep in our breast, a fire of love for our precious God, three in one, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Such love for You, my God! You are one with Jesus. Such immense love I have for You and You have for us. Where I was blind, I now can see. Your word I love, Your Mass I love, You I love. My God, three in one, and holy, holy is Your name! I bow before You with such reverence at Your might. You are mighty and worthy of all honor and praise and holy, holy is Your name, one triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit! I bow low and reverence You in Your might. I kiss the ground and give You homage. You are holy and holy is Your name. I praise You. I worship You. I bow before You, God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
"Where I was blind, I now see." For quite a while I have been getting this, constantly, all day long. "Where I was blind, now I see." What do I see? I see God as never before through the Holy Spirit. There is burning and life in my breast for I love God, three in one, so dearly. The Holy Spirit removes the blinders from our eyes. We see the word of God as never before. Our hearts know God. We read His word and participate at the Mass with such joy and love, to participate in every word, to know as we did not know before, to read the word. To go to Mass and love God, we need the wisdom, understanding and knowledge of the Holy Spirit. It is His Spirit alive in our hearts that makes the Mass come alive in such color and it grows daily in our hearts.
Spirit, pour Yourself into me. Give me Your life. I am on fire with the love of God. The more You give me, the more I see. Where I was blind, I now can see! See with the eyes of God. Take my blinders from my eyes, impart to me wisdom to know as only God knows, knowledge to know God, understanding to grasp the meaning of Your truths, love, enkindled and burning so brightly deep within my breast. You are the one, true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Give me the life and love of God that flows from the Spirit alive in me. Enkindle in me fire for my God!
I ardently love my beloved Jesus and I know more His love for me. I know more fully the love of Jesus through the spirit alive in my breast. Jesus is one with the Father. The love He has for me comes from the Father. The Father created us. He loves us so. He willed His only Son to die that we might have eternal life. All the love I have for Jesus and He has for me is enkindled in my heart for my dear, loving Father. What a Father to behold! I can scarcely speak, realizing a little of His great love for me. This I realize through my love of Jesus. Oh, how I love my beloved Jesus. My heart burns inside, but to magnify this love with the love of the Father and the Holy Spirit, I can scarcely speak.
I receive Jesus in Communion. I receive God! The one, triune God is present. Where Jesus is, so is His beloved mother. She loves us so. She suffered for us. She is the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is through her sinless Heart I learn to love my God. My love is so imperfect. Her love is so pure. She is the daughter of the Father, the mother of the Son, the spouse of the Holy Spirit. Such love she has for God. Through her pure Heart, I can give love to my beloved God more abundantly.
The road is not visible to some, only to those who see with the eyes of faith, for you never trod alone.
To see as You want us to see and not as we want to see, give us Godly vision, Lord. I am grasping for the love of God and Mary. I pray to know God more fully and love Him through my beloved mother. Oh, how I am in awe and my heart is burning for this love of God.
I am given such life through the Holy Spirit. This growth is constant. I love the Mass, I love the word of God! I am so excited for this life I feel within me. Give me Your eyes to see. Where I was blind, I now see and what do I behold when the blinders are removed? The one, true, magnificent God, holy and true and in our midst this very day through Jesus in the Eucharist.
Bow down, bend low, behold it is God among us. Where I was blind, I now can see. Praise You, Spirit, for Your life within my soul. May Your fire ever grow within me and radiate Your love to this world.
Alleluia. Praise the one, true God! What I am seeing is not with eyes. It is in my heart. A blind man can see more in his heart than his faithful ones see with their eyes.
according to the likeness of Jesus Christ." Traccia Mariana
I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
On December 30, 2009, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave a powerful, lengthy talk at St. James Church in Medjugorje.
Schönborn’s talk revolved around the theme of God’s mercy, and he did not hesitate to praise Medjugorje.
His first words as he stepped to the podium were "Hvaljen Isus i Marija," a Croatian phrase that means "Praised be Jesus and Mary." This is a common greeting among the visionaries and Medjugorje villagers. The Cardinal repeated it several times and urged the crowd to repeat it with him.
He went on to say "When you look at a place like Medjugorje, you can see a superpower of mercy. Many merciful deeds were born here or they were supported here."
During one poignant moment of his talk, Cardinal Schonborn urged the crowd to stand and join him in singing the well-known Medjugorje song Gospa Majka Moja. He smiled warmly as he sang along.
Delving further into the topic of mercy, Cardinal Schönborn said, "What a deep feeling of compassion there is in Jesus. Many deeds of mercy in the Church were born exactly in this way, like Mother Teresa, who couldn’t accept people dying in the street. Or Mother Elvira, here in Medjugorje, the founder of Cenacalo Community rehab center: she couldn’t stand to see young people on drugs, destroying their lives with drugs. What is this deep, profound emotion that we call compassion?"
While concluding his talk in Medjugorje, Cardinal Schönborn said, "I believe that many experiences in the Church demonstrate something that is impossible from a human point of view."
Cardinal Schönborn has been in Medjugorje since December 28. He will celebrate New Year’s Eve Mass at St. James Church. The visit and implied endorsement from such a prominent Vatican cardinal is seen by many as a very positive indication of the Church’s stance on the apparitions.
While some had expected Cardinal Schönborn’s visit to Medjugorje to be private, he has instead surprised the town by being very visible. He has spent his time concelebrating Mass at St. James Church, climbing Apparition Hill with visionary Marija Lunetti, hearing confessions, praying in silence at Adoration, and, perhaps most notably, giving his talk today in the parish church with the Franciscan friars at his side.
Will Oct. 20 be remembered as the day when the Berlin Wall of religious separation began to crumble? [I like that image.]
From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail
Last updated on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009 2:04AM EST
With year’s end fast approaching, columnists and pundits will hold forth on what was the most significant news story of 2009. The story I nominate is unlikely to bulk large in their consideration, unlikely even to be mentioned, but I suggest that the most important story was Pope Benedict XVI’s overture to disaffected Anglicans. [Certainly the big story in religion.]
The story really begins a couple of years earlier, when a group of breakaway Anglicans (most had left the church after 1977 over Anglican ordination of female priests) who call themselves the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) petitioned Rome en masse through their primate, Archbishop John Hepworth.
The TAC, whose size is estimated at 300,000 to 500,000 souls worldwide, asked for full communion with Rome without preconditions or demands, while expressing the hope that it might be possible to retain traditional Anglican liturgy and hymnody. Their petition was cordially received at the Vatican, but for many months, there was only silence.
Then, [TA DA!] on Oct. 20, the response of Pope Benedict XVI was a decisive, magnanimous “Yes.” The subsequently published Apostolic Constitution (Anglicanorum Coetibus) confirmed that TAC members will be permitted to join collectively and will be allowed to retain the liturgies and traditions “that are precious to them and consistent with the Catholic faith.” Small wonder that Archbishop Hepworth called the Pope’s offer “generous at every turn … very pastoral” and “a beautiful document.”
TAC bishops and congregations will consider and vote on the Vatican’s offer in a series of national and regional synods to be held early next year.
This means, in practice, that a place will be made within Catholic liturgy for Thomas Cranmer’s 1662 Book of Common Prayer – considered by many torival William Shakespeare’s plays as the apotheosis of the English language.[Meanwhile, we are still using the lame-duckICEL versions… "O God, you are so big. Help us to be big like you."] Also to be welcomed is the rich treasure of Anglican hymnody. All of this is (to paraphrase Hamlet) “a consummation devoutly to be wished,” and it was greeted as such by many thoughtful Catholics and Anglicans of my acquaintance. [As the incoming Anglicans raise the liturgical level, everyone’s standard will be shifted upwards. As the tide rises, all boats rise.]
The immediate benefits are obvious:  First, the Catholic Church will be strengthened by an influx (no one can yet say exactly how many) of committed, orthodox Christians. The priests who arrive with them will be men following Christ’s instruction to leave everything behind – job security, income, pensions and, in some cases, families – to follow Him. [Do I hear an "Amen!"?]These priests may help to alleviate, to some extent at least, what is in danger of becoming a chronic shortage of Catholic vocations.
Until 2006, I was an Anglican. By the time I left, I had grown sick of hearing colleagues whimper about the growing apostasy within Anglicanism but doing nothing about it. Well, now they can do something. Pope Benedict XVIhas called their bluff. The destination was always there; now, there is a bridge to cross over. [And the Pope is the "great bridge builder". He unites. He is the Pope of Christian Unity.] No one need jump; no one need swim. It will be fascinating to see who crosses and who stays put; those who stay put should be heard from no more. [Do I hear an "Amen!"?]
Yet I also have reservations.
First, I worry that the liberal element within Catholicism, particularly in North America, will do all it can (which could be considerable) to frustrate this welcome initiative. There are some Catholics who would rather move the church in the direction of Anglicanism, even Anglicanism in its death throes, than to see orthodoxy strengthened. [And they are welcome to leave at any time.]
Second, it is unclear how Rome will reconcile its traditional teaching (e.g. on the invalidity of Anglican orders) with this new initiative. [I think that will be fairly easy to resolve. Will there really be any Anglican clergy who object to being ordained by a Catholic bishop?]
Finally, it is unclear whether this rapprochement with Anglicanism is only the first step of an initiative to all orthodox Protestants; in other words, [watch this!] is Pope Benedict XVI signalling that the ecumenism of the 21st century is not more pointless dialogue with the decaying husks of old-line Protestantism, but rather a new beginning with any ecclesial community willing to engage with Rome on historic Christendom? [Well said.]
I hope this is so. If it is, then the Pope’s Oct. 20 announcement will be remembered as the day when the Berlin Wall of religious separation began to crumble; the wall erected five centuries ago – on Oct. 31, 1517 – when Martin Luther affixed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. If we have lived to see that breach healed, to witness the Christian church finally taking seriously Jesus’s prayer that “they may be one, as I and the Father am one,” then this is the most important story of 2009.
Ian Hunter is professor emeritus in the faculty of law at the University of Western Ontario.
STATEN ISLAND, NY, Dec. 30 /Christian Newswire/ — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, the Catholic Church’s largest pro-life ministry, commented today on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statement that because God gives humans free will, women should be able to exercise free will with regard to abortion.
"I would think someone in Speaker Pelosi’s position would realize that women do not get abortions because of freedom of choice; they get them precisely because they feel they have no freedom and no choice. Moreover, I doubt the Speaker would argue that because God grants us free will that the government should allow us to choose whether to pay taxes," said Fr. Pavone.
"It’s time to listen to the voices of those who have had abortions, like the women in the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. The pro-life movement is not about taking away their freedom. It’s about taking away their despair," Fr. Pavone concluded.
Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro- life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.
December 30, 2009
Pickle — a difficult situation; a sour solution
Several years ago, in one her most important scientific papers,
Professor Dianne Irving discussed the nature of the pluripotent stem
cell, which when taken from the human embryo, can itself become a human
embryo. In her analysis, entitled Stem
Cells That Become Embryos: Implications for the NIH Guidelines on Stem
Cell Research, the NIH Stem Cell Report, Informed Consent, and Patient
Safety in Clinical Trials. Analysis: Parts I and II, she wrote, http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_39anlystemcel1.html
The purpose of this scientific analysis is to demonstrate
empirically, scientifically, and beyond any shadow of a doubt, that
indeed, once separated from the whole intact human embryo, human
embryonic and fetal "pluripotent" stem cells can become new living
human embryos themselves, new living human beings — as we already know
happens even naturally in monozygotic twinning.