Monthly Archives: November 2012

St. Teresa of Avila on Trying to Meet With Officials on Earth

I realize I am a lowly 4th Degree Knight of Columbus.  I am humbled by my more active brother Knights because the work they do is so much.  My spiritual director tells me that, at the age of 51, I am still young.  Being so young I pray that I will be more active in the local activities of the Knights, although I am helping with promoting Golf tournaments to pay for mobile ultra-sound machines of which I have spent several weeks of work and significant money out of pocket.

Friends for Life Golf

Even so, when I joined the Knights it was with the open agenda that I wanted to help make the Knights be the true CHAMPIONS of Eucharistic Adoration around the world but especially in my beloved United States of America.  And with the Knights support I would spend my life doing so. Continue reading

Pope Benedict XVI on Eucharistic Adoration from 2009

http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2009/03/pope-benedict-on-eucharistic-adoration.html

The End of Prolife Politics

http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/articles.cfm?id=556

This article by Dr Jeff Mirus is one of the most important written in a long time, certainly since our last election. It supports what Adoration Servants has been saying about the need for a change of culture that can only be accomplished through prayer, sacrifice, and living a Christian life.

Some highlights:
It is no longer satisfactory—in fact I would say it is disingenuous—to stress (for example, in response to the Obama juggernaut) that we simply need to go back to the trenches and mobilize more people and more resources in the same political effort next time around.

I would suggest that the reality before us in the “Christian” West is far more like the reality of pagan Rome than we have heretofore thought.

the culture to go so far wrong, a great many Christians over long generations had to give up the substance of their religious commitment while retaining only its deceptive shadow.

But we are now seeing—or at least we ought to be able to see—the tremendous tide of paganism which has risen all around us

This misreading of the signs has unfortunately caused us to waste enormous amounts of energy fighting not so much for Christ as for political outcomes which cannot be sustained without Christ.

But it does mean that we ought to expend our greatest energies elsewhere, in widespread efforts to strengthen the Church, to develop our own Christian subculture complete with vibrant intermediary institutions, to evangelize our neighbors, and to offer practical service to any and all who, increasingly ill-served by a bureaucratic pagan State, may turn to us in their need.

. This is not the time to place the emphasis on politics, any more than it was time for politics when Karol Wojtyla was growing up in Poland. This is the time for Faith and family, evangelization and the formation of Christian culture.

Knights Encouraged to do More for Church and Charity

Pondering Knights Championing Eucharistic AdorationThe Knights of Columbus supreme knight Carl Anderson encouraged the state leadership to be “the strong right arm of the Church” and to react quickly when bishops need or request the Order’s assistance.
View Knights Article Here

This “strong arm” statement is not new.  In fact, it is included it on the Adoration Servants page dedicated to helping the Knights become the champions of Eucharistic. http://john15-5.adorationservants.org/KnightsOfColumbus  The letters written to Carl Anderson both reference this quote and a number of others.  These quotes are sincere and are not the platitudes a former Knight State chaplain once told me they were.  I am sure Carl Anderson has never seen my letters and I am sure that once I can present my ideas to him, he will make it a main task of the Knights to fullfill the desire of John Paul II that Perpetual Adoration be established in every parish.

I also think my enlistment of St Frances Xavier Cabrini as my patron in this endeavor and my subsequence ignoring of her patronage these years is a factor.  I have already issued my public prayer of apology on that.

Read 2007 proposal here: http://john15-5.adorationservants.org/knightsproposal2007.htm
Read 2008 proposal here: http://john15-5.adorationservants.org/knightsproposal2008.htm

A Second Formal Apology to St. Frances Xavier Cabrini on her Feast Day

ImageI am sorry Mother Cabrini on this your feast day, five years after with some fanfare (at least on my part) I took you as the special patron saint of Adoration Servants in its quest to help the Knights of Columbus become the champions and heroes of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration especially here in the United States.  As you well know, this is my second formal apology to you regarding this matter.  The first coming some 3 or 4 years ago when your feast day came up and I realized that I had ignored your patronage and given you only
over-the-shoulder prayers of petition.

As you also know, I joined the Knights after helping with the Chicago event.  I was, and still am, so impressed with the words of Carl Anderson regarding the importance of Eucharistic Adoration and role he felt the Knight’s should play in its growth.

I promised to pray your chaplet each day and then almost immediately I gave up praying to you.  After my first prayer of apology, you blessed me with a bit of progress, which I have since squandered.

Now on this feast so soon after my country’s elections where multiple states voted against sacramental marriage, and as our country remains at war, and our morals are falling into depravity, I apologize and ask your help once again.

Help me to make contact with my fellow Knights of Columbus to let them know we can champion adoration, which is definitely in decline at this time.  This great goal of Blessed Pope John Paul II has not been fulfilled and if it was so much good could come of it.

So on this, your feast day, I begin again by making this public prayer of apology to you, as well as making available copies of the proposals I wrote to the Knights on your feast day in 2007 and 2008. I placed those proposals at this link:
(http://john15-5.adorationservants.org/knightsofcolumbus).  I pray this time that I do not abandon your powerful intercession but daily remind you of our quest. I ask also, that as I make this public prayer, you may let other Knights find it and come to the rescue as true Knights in shining armour.

Amen

Were Our Election Prayers Answered and What Should We Do Now?

Two things to address:
First, is a prosperous America going to lead people to heaven?
Second, is our manner of prayer as pleasing to God as it should be?  Well three.  What does this hideous statue of Mary Magdalene have to do with anything?

Is a Prosperous America Going to Lead People to Heaven? 

Our country is in a decline from Christian values into total depravity.  Truly Roman  1:18-28 is true.  We as a nation have very much rejected God and it is reasonable that God has given us up to the lusts in our hearts. We have exchanged God for various modern idols. Claiming to be wise we have become fools and not only do we do such things that we deserve punishment but we encourage others to do these things as well.  If Romney had been elected for example, and turned the country around, would the immorality, greed, and depravity stop?  No way.  It would likely increase because the affluent often think they do not need God.  So a prosperous America can be a wide road to hell for many.

This is not new.  In the early third century Origen complained about the lukewarmness of the faithful  He suggested that the end of persecution caused this terrible problem and that maybe persecution is more necessary than anyone would like. Pope St Pius V also blamed lukewarm Catholics as the cause of evil.

Cardinal George of Chicago recently verified the accuracy of the quote where he said “I will likely die in bed. My successor will die in prison.  His successor will die a martyr.”  He went on to say that the quote was incomplete in that his successor’s successor’s successor would help rebuild a Christian civilization.

So if we are in for economic decline, and persecution for Christian moral values such as the Sacrament of Marriage then so be it.  That will be my fiat.  Like Mary (Luke 1) I will turn my fear into fiat. So rather than pray for a politicians to be elected that will magically make everything right we need to pray for the conversion of our population back to the Christian faith and Christian moral principles. Remember that the right and left are not good and evil.  The Democrats really wanted to remove God from their platform.  Anyone who watched the convention knows that.  Abortion has almost sacramental status on the left.  Godless utopian solutions are on the left.  But the right has the evil of Ayn Rand that has yet to rear its ugly head, among other things.

So we need what Jesus told his apostles to pull off right before he ascended into heaven, that is that disciples be made of “all nations.”  Not all people.  All nations.  We need to work and pray towards that.  That leads to prayer.

Is Our Manner of Prayer as Pleasing to God as it Should Be?

From the 1967 New Catholic Encyclopedia entry on Prayer:
“Efficacy in Prayer.  To the prayer of petition alone Our Lord has added the promise of infallible efficacy. ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, if you ask the Father anything in my name, he will give it to you. Hitherto you have not asked in my name. Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.’(Jn 16:24; Mt 7:7, 21-22).

Theologians agree that this promise is infallibly fulfilled not only for the just man but even for the sinner, provided that the person prays for himself with the proper disposition listed below and direct the prayers to an object that will be advantageous to his eternal salvation.  Prayer for another is not always infallibly heard because resistance to the grace of God on the part of others is not under the control of the one who prays.”

Chapter One of the Prophet Malachi also seems appropriate regarding proper disposition in prayer.  Prior to the prophecy of the Catholic Mass in 1:11 the first ten verses are condemnation of the poor way the priests were conducting the sacrifices.  I have always felt sorry for those priests.  I cannot imagine the hard work of slaughtering animal after animal after animal.  Then God tells them they did a terrible job.  I can, however, certainly understand the fact that God was angry for their use of sub-standard animals in the sacrifice.

I feel our modern prayers are the same way.  I call it “over-the-shoulder prayer.”  We pray over the shoulder when we feel like it and often in a manner that would irritate any human being if you gave them the same kind of attention as you do to who you are praying to.  In Malachi 1, the prophet asks what the governor would do if you gave him the poor sacrifices you gave to God.

I am guilty of everything I am complaining about but that does not change the fact that these are likely major problems with our prayers.  First, there is a sacrificial nature of prayer.  We should pray especially when we do not want to.  We should pray on a regularly scheduled basis.  Think of Sunday Mass.  Yes, we must all go to Mass but we have so many options.  We can go Saturday night, multiple times on Sunday morning, often in the afternoon, and Sunday evening as well.   So, if the San Diego Chargers are on at 10AM Sunday I can go to Mass Saturday night or Sunday night, whenever it is convenient.  If I am out of town, I can go to Mass where ever I am.

I pray the rosary daily but when it is convenient.  I fast quite often.  I just stop the fast once I get hungry.

This is why a scheduled holy hour is so important especially within a Perpetual Adoration environment. First the discipline and sacrifice of having to be in a specific place at a specific time tames our disobedient nature.  It is also why saints tell us to schedule our prayers, and work hard on prayer.  Give it all we have.

As I was discussing with another priest this week the results of Occupy Adoration Election Day and the premise behind it his opinion was the premise was right on, i.e., that we have a tangible, united prayer effort that required visible effort.  He went on to state his thought that most internet based prayer drives were just so many chain letters.  I don’t entirely agree but when you can sign up to pray up to 1,000 Memorares, hey, really?  Too easy to say, much harder to do it.

So the point of this rant is that Eucharistic Adoration is the solution to our country’s present and near-future woes.  Blessed John Paul II says so and Blessed Mother Teresa says so.  If you are actually reading this, Adoration Servants can help you make Eucharistic Adoration easier in your parish.  So keep that in mind but more importantly, find a way to pray until it hurts.

Another priest tells the story of a parent who came to him about getting his son back into the Church.  “What can I do Father?”
“Do you really want to know?  Are you willing to do anything?
“Oh yes Father, anything.”
“Really?  Anything?”
“Yes Father. Absolutely anything.  Whatever it takes.”
“OK here is what you need to do.  Go to Holy Mass every single day.  Prayer 20 decades of the rosary every single day.  Fast on bread and water one day a week.  And finally spend several hours a week in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.”
“Oh Father, that is too much!!!!!”

Do you love your country?  Are you willing to do anything?  See above and to the left.

Mary Magdalene, a patron saint of Adoration Servants, is said to have made herself ugly in the eyes of the world through extreme prayer and fasting. Donatello’s famous statue captures this along with her meditation on Christ’s passion.  May we all look so ugly and we will be beautiful in the sight of God, and get souls to heaven.

Final Presidential Election Comment

Email from a Priest:

Peace of Christ to you, Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

In the aftermath of the elections, one can be sad. Afterall, it is a sad outcome to see that, reportedly, the Catholic vote secured Obama’s second term as president. It is almost incomprehensible. Yet, do not think that all your prayers and sacrifices were ineffective. Impossible. They bear fruit we cannot yet see, or at least recognize as such. And they will continue to bear fruit. That’s just how good God is.

Yes, we can be saddened, but not discouraged. We must move on. We have work to do! As our Holy Father, Pope Benedict reminded us last year in Madrid (August 20, 2011):
“Dear friends, may no adversity paralyze you. Be afraid neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weakness.
The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith,
his name will continue to resound throughout the world.”
So, now let us be happy. Our Father is God. The readings of yesterday’s Mass were most opportune: St. Paul reminded us to “be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world, as you hold on to the word of life, so that my boast for the day of Christ may be that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. But, even if I am poured out as a libation upon the sacrificial service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with all of you.
In the same way you also should rejoice and share your joy with me.”

Someone is quoted as saying that with this election “God has lifted His blessing” from our land. That may be true in a sense, but it is also true, very true, that He has offered us another blessing: the blessing of suffering and sacrifice. And with this we can cooperate in the very work of Christ through redemptive love. He Himself lamented that a time would come when “because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold.” (Mt.24,14) And He also asked if “When the Son of Man comes again, will there be faith on the earth?” Let us assure Him, “Yes, Lord Jesus, there will be faith! We will be faithful! We want Your love! And we will spend ourselves in the New Evangelization! ”

Let us be grateful that we have been given popes in our time who are equal to the challenges set before us. These popes are veritable gifts of God’s unfathomable Mercy. John Paul II began his pontificate reminding us to “Be not afraid!” And he told us the secret: “Open your hearts to Christ.” And Pope Benedict has most recently given us this Year of Faith, obviously knowing that we would need it. Wise and noble patriarch that he is, he reminded us that:
“What the world is in particular need of today is the credible witness of people enlightened in mind and heart by the word of the Lord, and capable of opening the hearts and minds of many to the desire for God and for true life, life without end…” (Porta Fidei)