Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2011

Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for January 2011 is: "That young people may learn to use modern means of social communication for their personal growth and to better prepare themselves to serve society".

His mission intention is: "That every believer in Christ may be conscious that unity among all Christians is a condition for more effective proclamation of the Gospel".

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

You Might Want To Take This Quiz Just For Fun

So, here I was, just minding my own business. Making sure that all the blogs listed under "My Favorite Catholic Blogs" are working properly.

I clicked the link for "The Way of the Fathers" and patiently waited for the page to load. I noticed something at the top of their sidebar that I had somehow missed before. It is a link for a quiz on their blog. The quiz is "Which Church Father Are You?"

Now I am someone who loves the Church Fathers and I read quite a bit of their writings when I can. I could not resist taking this quiz, and got the following result:

You’re St. Melito of Sardis!
You have a great love of history and liturgy. You’re attached to the traditions of the ancients, yet you recognize that the old world — great as it was — is passing away. You are loyal to the customs of your family, though you do not hesitate to call family members to account for their sins.

I am not going to tell you what my answers were except for the first one. The question was "When you hear the co-worker in the next cubicle utter heresy, you instinctively…" I chose "b"..."hit him with a mallet and then question his masculinity".

I suppose I chose that because of something a former contributor...Marie in fact... once said to me. She said "Steve, when you believe strongly in something, you don't try to whitewash it, or beat around the bush. You hit them right between the eyes with a hammer, and more or less say, 'this is the way it is, take it or leave it'." Which is true when it comes to the Church. You either follow the Magisterium and teachings of the Church and the Holy Father or you don't. In my opinion there is no "middle road". 

The middle road is for CINO's.

If you'd like some information on Saint Melito of Sardis, just click on his name for a post I wrote about him on "The Early Church Fathers" back in December of 2005.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Season's Greetings!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vigil of the Nativity or Christmas Eve

O Christian, for the love of Christ, and for thine own salvation, occupy thy mind, during this holy night, with holy thoughts and aspirations, in order to make thyself worthy of all the graces which Christ will grant thee on His coming. Consider how St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary, in obedience to the edict of Caesar, and in perfect submission to the will of God, went to Bethlehem, and, finding no room there, at last entered an open stable, where they were content to stay. Does not the Son of God deserve all our love when He thus humbled Himself for us? Tender Him your heart as an abode, in the following.

Prayer of the Church.

O God, Who givest us joy by the annual expectation of our
redemption, grant that we may securely see Him coming as our
Judge Whom we joyfully receive as our Redeemer, Our Lord
Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who livest and reignest with Thee for
ever. Amen.

--Goffine's Devout Instructions

Monday, December 20, 2010

Warning: The Advent Virus

The Advent Virus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anonymous via email


Be on the alert for symptoms of inner Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to this virus and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Some signs and symptoms of The Advent Virus:
  • A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.
  • An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
  • A loss of interest in judging other people.
  • A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
  • A loss of interest in conflict.
  • A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)
  • Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
  • Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
  • Frequent attacks of smiling.
  • An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
  • An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.
Please send this warning out to all your friends. This virus can and has affected many systems. Some systems have been completely cleaned out because of it.

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Thanks to Father Brian Cavanaugh, TOR, of the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio for his kind permission to use "The Advent Virus" which appears on his website "Apple Seeds"®.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pay For Prayer ? Not On My Blogs!

Today, I shared a post from Father Zuhlsdorf's blog, "What Does The Prayer Really Say?" I received a comment on the shared post from a man who asked that I look at a "prayer exchange website", and here is what the comment said:

Hey Steve, my name is John. I read a lot of blogs on religion and prayer and I've i feel like I've ended up here once before. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this prayer exchange website, (I removed the website name). I thought it was an interesting idea and would be curious to hear what you (or other Christians) think about it

I'll check back here in the next day or two, thanks & God bless
John W.

So I went to the website, primarily because I thought a "prayer exchange website" an interesting idea. It was an interesting idea that is, until I went to the website. When I went there, I found something that is rather disturbing to me.

Now when you first go to the website underneath the title at top you read:

Exchange Prayers With the World”. Then, as you read on down you see that you earn “tokens” for reading prayers. You can “buy” tokens or “earn” tokens when you pray for others. The website even tells you that you can earn money praying for others. The site says that you can have members video record readings of your prayers for $1 each.

What? Pay to pray? You have got to be kidding me!

This reminds me of a particular scandal some years back. It seems that a certain televangelist was offering viewers a “prayer cloth” he had prayed over for their particular needs. All they had to do was send in a letter with their prayer needs, and their donation, and he would send them the “prayer cloth”. The trouble is, no prayer requests were read, let alone prayed over. The checks were taken out, the letters discarded, and a “prayer cloth” that the televangelist never even saw, looked at, or touched was sent back to the donor.

I suppose that the creators of this “Pray for Pay” site think that as long as they can be checked up on by using videos, people can be assured that their prayers are “read”.

If someone is hurting, if they are suffering, if they are in need, how could anyone ever ask to be paid to pray for them?

Anyway, here is the response I intended to put back (but decided to post on this instead) into my comments section:


I looked at this website, and thought a prayer exchange website among Christians an interesting idea. That is, until I saw one of the boxes there entitled "Get Paid to Pray". So, prayer is now "for sale"? I find this unconscionable and I am amazed at the concept of "pay for prayer". My blogs have had prayer requests posted for many people from around the world, and at no time have these blogs asked for payment for prayer, nor would we ask anyone to pray for any reason other than to pray from the heart for someone in need of prayer. Our "payment" is when those whom we have prayed for contacts us, and let's us know that God answered their prayers, their needs. Prayer that was freely offered up through the intercessory prayers of the Blessed Virgin, the saints, the angels, and the prayers of these blogs creators and readers. At no time would I ever promote or condone any prayer for pay website.

This in fact reminds me of Saint Luke's account in the Acts of the Apostles regarding a certain man offering to pay for the gift of the Holy Spirit:

Acts 8: 9 - 24 .... Now there was a certain man named Simon, who before had been a magician in that city, seducing the people of Samaria, giving out that he was some great one: To whom they all gave ear, from the least to the greatest, saying: This man is the power of God, which is called great. And they were attentive to him, because, for a long time, he had bewitched them with his magical practices. But when they had believed Philip preaching of the kingdom of God, in the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also; and being baptized, he adhered to Philip. And being astonished, wondered to see the signs and exceeding great miracles which were done. Now when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. Who, when they were come, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For he was not as yet come upon any of them; but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw, that by the imposition of the hands of the apostles, the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying: Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I shall lay my hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said to him: Keep thy money to thyself, to perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast no part nor lot in this matter. For thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Do penance therefore for this thy wickedness; and pray to God, that perhaps this thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee. For I see thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity. Then Simon answering, said: Pray you for me to the Lord, that none of these things which you have spoken may come upon me.

So, in essence, this is the first time, that I will pray for a site to fail. No one should be asking to receive money for prayer, or seek to be paid for praying.

No one!

Your thoughts?

A report on my urgent appeal to help with a crisis pregnancy | Fr. Z's Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say?

A report on my urgent appeal to help with a crisis pregnancy | Fr. Z's Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say?

"Due to the generosity of your bloggers and a few other benefactors who donated prams, cots etc we were able to kit her out with absolutely everything she needs for when the baby arrives (she is due tomorrow!)"

Read more by clicking the link above!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Some Book Suggestions for Advent and Christmas

Here are seven book suggestions you might enjoy during the Advent and Christmas seasons. All are available at Barnes & Noble.

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Liturgy of the Hours: Advent and Christmas Season, Vol. 1

This first volume of the official English edition of the Divine Office, for use during the Advent and Christmas Seasons, contains the translation approved by the International Committee on English in the Liturgy.

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Christmastide: Prayers for Advent Through Epiphany from The Divine Hours 

The Divine Hours is the first major literary and liturgical reworking of the sixth-century Benedictine Rule of fixed-hour prayer. Making primary use of the Book of Common Prayer and the writings of the Church Fathers, The Divine Hours is also a companion to the New Jerusalem Bible, from which it draws its Scripture readings.

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Advent and Christmas Wisdom from St. Francis of Assisi

Advent and Christmas Wisdom from St. Francis of Assisi gives readers a momentary cease in the holiday chaos, allowing daily meditation. It is essential in today's postmodern culture to remember the true purpose of Advent--the preparation for and celebration of the coming of Jesus.

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Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Pope John Paul II: Daily Scripture and Prayers Together with Pope John Paul II's Own Words

Who better to guide us through Advent and Christmas than the beloved Pope Hohn Paul II!

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Advent and Christmas with the Saints

The Advent and Christmas season is a time of anticipation and preparation, celebration and joy. Beginning with the first day of Advent and continuing through the twelve days of Christmas, Advent and Christmas With the Saints guides readers to an experience of closeness with God. Words of devotion and excitement fill each page, from the pens of such luminaries as Francis of Assisi, Therese of Lisieux, and many, many others.

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Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Padre Pio: Daily Scripture and Prayers Together with Saint Pio of Pietrelcinas Own Words

Scripture, prayers, and the words of one of the most beloved priests and saints of the twentieth century.

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Advent of the Heart: Seasonal Sermons and Prison Writings, 1941-1944

Fr. Alfred Delp was a German Jesuit priest who was imprisoned in Berlin.  At the time of his arrest, he was the Rector of St. Georg Church in Munich. Accused of conspiring against the Nazi government, he was arrested in 1944, tortured, imprisoned, and executed on Feb 2, 1945. While in prison, Fr. Delp was able to write a few meditations found in this book, which also includes his powerful reflections from prison during the Advent season about the profound spiritual meaning and lessons of Advent, as well as his sermons he gave on the season of Advent at his parish in Munich. These meditations were smuggled out of Berlin and read by friends and parishioners of St. Georg in Munich.

Monday, December 13, 2010

HELP ALERT! Practical charity needed now! BLOGGERS! HELP! | Fr. Z's Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say?

HELP ALERT! Practical charity needed now! BLOGGERS! HELP! | Fr. Z's Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say?

"...This young girl’s baby is due in 3 days time and she has not yet got any of the essentials she needs for when he arrives. This girl previously had booked an appointment for abortion but changed her mind and has faced a really difficult pregnancy and has shown incredible courage to keep her baby despite immense pressure to have an abortion....."

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Archdiocese of Atlanta and Diocese of Savannah Undertake New Initiative

The Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah are partnering in a new undertaking called "Catholics Come Home". The campaign which will run from December 16 through January 29 will be using television commercials, the Internet, and social media among other efforts to bring the once-faithful back into the fold. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a story on this effort available online which you can read by clicking here.

One item in the story gives this information : "According to a recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, those who have left Catholicism outnumber those who have joined the Catholic church by a nearly 4-1 margin" ( source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

So here are some experiences, statements, and opinion from yours truly in regard to this effort (an effort which falls in line with  Pope John Paul II's call for a new evangelization). An effort in which I hope and pray for great success.

I think this effort by the Archdiocese of Atlanta is a great idea, and one that is long overdue. Some of those fallen away Catholics sadly enough are "new" converts.

As a convert myself, I know that some of the folks whom I went to RCIA with are no longer seen at Mass. A good friend of mine, who converted several years before I did noticed the same thing. She decided to go see one couple whom she knew that had converted and then stopped going to Mass, and ask them why.

The husband told her that when they were in RCIA, attending Mass regularly, and participating in the rites, people were "making a fuss" over them, always offering suggestions and encouragement. Then after coming into full communion with the Church, all the friendliness, suggestions, and encouragement stopped. People would gather in their own little groups (as happens at all parishes, and I am sure without any intent to slight anyone), and this couple was not included. The priest and the parish seemed to have little time for them after they entered into the Church. The husband even said, "they seemed to forget all about us once we entered the Church. Since we stopped going to Mass, we haven't heard anything from them, except the letters we get that ask for donations for various reasons. When they want or need money, they always remember us then."

I have to admit, that I also stopped going to Mass for quite awhile myself. And it wasn't because I became "just another face" in a pew. I ended up being very disappointed in the whole parish.

Just shortly before my 51st birthday, I had a heart attack. I was fortunate that it wasn't a "major" heart attack, but was what the doctors call a "light" (they call it light because they weren't the one who had it) heart attack. Upon my first day in a regular hospital room, I called the parish to inform them myself of my situation. I was there in the hospital for 4 days, and then was recuperating at home for the next 6 weeks.

In that whole time, I never saw or heard from anyone at the parish. Now granted, our priest had been chosen by the bishop to head the planning for the Eucharistic Congress that was taking place in Asheville at the time, but I was never contacted by anyone. Even my doctor (who is Catholic) couldn't understand why no one came by or called.

For a long time after I didn't attend Mass. Then I realized I was only hurting myself by not going to Mass. So, I began going again when I could. I don't get to go every Sunday, usually just one Sunday a month because of the job I have (in retail), and I really would like to find employment that would allow me to go every Sunday. That is a problem though. When you only have a high school education those Monday through Friday jobs are hard to come by.

I will say this, and it pains me to say it.

There is one area where Protestant churches have "one up" on the Catholic parishes. If one goes to a Protestant church, and then doesn't go as much, or stops going altogether, the Protestant churches will come knocking on your door. They want to know why you aren't in church. They come to encourage you to return to church, and to let you know that you are wanted, and are missed. They will come to your home.... whether it is the minister, a deacon, or someone from the membership of that church... they will come.

I think that the Catholic parishes tend to think, that once one has converted, been confirmed, and/or baptised, that is that, and it all ends. Not so. One must never forget, that conversion is not a one time event. One's conversion, like all of one's salvation, is a lifetime process that never ends until we draw our last breath. We must always be learning, always be converting, always be working out our salvation "with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2,12) as Saint Paul said.

We must be ever vigilant and mindful of our souls and our salvation, and not just our salvation and our souls, but we must also be vigilant and mindful of the souls and the salvation of all of our brothers and sisters. We must all help to feed and nourish those hungry souls with caring, with encouragement, and with love. Caring, encouragement and love not for just a day, but for all days.

© Copyright 2010 Steve Smith. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Voting for The 2010 CINO Awards Is Underway

It is time to vote for the 2010 CINO (Catholic In Name Only) Awards at Serviam. The nominees for this year are:

Nancy Pelosi 
Doug Kmeic 
Joe Biden 
National Catholic Reporter 
America Magazine 

You may go cast your vote here.

Catholic bloggers, be sure to link!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bishop Requests Novena for Seminarian Philip Johnson

Bishop Requests Novena for Seminarian Philip Johnson

Please Read the above, and join in this Novena for this seminarian.

About "Goffine's Devout Instructions"

As many readers of Faith of the Fathers blogs know, I try to incorporate "Goffine's Devout Instructions" whenever possible for  a Feast, Solemnity or Memorial of the Church. Some have asked who Goffine is, or rather was, and so I did a little research, and found this information primarily from the Catholic Encyclopedia.

I condensed the article down somewhat, but if you want to read it in it's entirety just click  the link above.

Here is what I have:

Leonard Goffiné was German Catholic priest born December 6, 1648 in Cologne (some sources say Broich).

At the age of 19 he entered the Norbertine Abbey of Steinfield. and he began his two year novitiate in July 1667. He was then sent to the Norbertine College in Cologne for his courses of philosophy and theology. He was ordained a priest on Ember Saturday before Christmas in 1667.

He was sent to Dunwald to assist the priests who were in charge of the direction of the parishand the convent of the Norbetine canonesses. Afterwards, in the same duty, he was sent to Ellen where there was also a convent od Norbertine nuns. He was in each of these places for 4 years until he was recalled by the abbott to fill the office of novitiate master on February 26, 1680. He was later given charge of the parish of Clairholz.

Goffine remained at Clarholz five years (1680–85), and was sent to Niederehe, a priory which the Abbey of Steinfeld possessed in the Archdiocese of Trier. He remained in Niederehe only a  short time, being sent in 1685 to assist the clergy of St. Lambert's at Coesfield, in the Diocese of Munster. He left Coesfeld in 1691, where he undertook the charge of the parishes, first of Wehr, then of Rheinböllen, and afterwards of Idar-Oberstein, from December, 1696, until his death on August 11, 1719.

While he was at Coesfeld he wrote his best-known work, Handpostille oder Christkatholische Unterrichtungen auf alle Sonn und Feyer-tagen des ganzen Jahrs (brief commentaries in the form of question and answer on the Proper of the mass, principally on the Epistle and gospel of the day). This book (which is primarily known in english as "Goffine's Devout Instructions") was ready in 1687, and in 1688 it received the imprimatur of the Vicar-General of Münster, and in 1690 the approbation of Rev. William Heimbach, Norbertine prior of Meer, and of Rev. John Dirking, Rector of the Jesuit college of Hildesheim. The first edition, printed in 1690, was soon exhausted, and a second edition was printed in Cologne in 1692. Translations have been made into Moravian, Bohemian, Hungarian, English, French, Italian, and Flemish.

If you'd like, you can download a free version of "Goffines Devout Instructions" by clicking here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

An Interesting DVD: "The Real Face of Jesus?"

In the Spring of this year, from April 10 to May 23, 2010, The Shroud of Turin was on public display (for the 18th time in its history) at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, northern Italy. More than 2 million people came to see the Shroud according to Church officials.

The History Channel produced a remarkable program entitled "The Real Face of Jesus?". Using principles of physics, digital technology, and CGI (computer generated imaging), they produced a remarkable representation of a 3-D image of what many believe to be the Face of Jesus Christ.

The program is about 2 hours long, and is an interesting watch regardless of one's opinion about the Shroud of Turin.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Personal Prayer Request

I would appreciate your prayers right now for a personal intention for myself. Thank you all, and May God Bless you all, and Our Lady keep you in her care!


President Barack Obama Announces Presidential Delegation to the Holy See to Attend a Ceremony Elevating Two American Archbishops to Cardinals | The White House

President Barack Obama Announces Presidential Delegation to the Holy See to Attend a Ceremony Elevating Two American Archbishops to Cardinals | The White House: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

From The Vatican Information Service

"At the same time, States have the right to regulate migration flows and to defend their own frontiers, always guaranteeing the respect due to the dignity of each and every human person. Immigrants, moreover, have the duty to integrate into the host country, respecting its laws and its national identity".

Read more from the Vatican Information Service on Pope Benedict XVI.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

POLL: Halloween costumes in church next Sunday at Mass

POLL: Halloween costumes in church next Sunday at Mass

Please take just a moment to vote in this poll on Father Z's blog, "What Does The Prayer Really Say?"

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Saudi Arabia: Islamic Religious Police arrest Catholics for attending a Mass | Fr. Z's Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say?

Saudi Arabia: Islamic Religious Police arrest Catholics for attending a Mass | Fr. Z's Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say?

This is from Father Z's blog, "What Does The Prayer Really Say".

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Just A Word Or Two...Or Three

I work hard at trying to make my blogs relevant and informative. Some days I do a better job than on others. Many days, I get the feeling no one is reading or paying attention, and then sometimes, I discover that they are paying attention. 

Especially when I get an email or a comment asking a question about a saint, a feast day, or someone points out that a post I made is on the wrong day.

When you see the posts on "Daily Mass Readings" for instance, you will no doubt notice that they are a day ahead of the actual date here in the U.S.A. The same holds true for Feast Days posts (these are sometimes on Favorite Prayers and Scripture, Our Lady, or Saints of the Faith), saint quotations and more. The reason being, I have a large number of readers who live on the side of the world that has them one day ahead of us here. Some have sent emails in the past indicating that "Daily Mass Readings" is the only site they can access from their country where they can get the readings. I don't know if this is due to a lack of knowledge of other sites being available, or if perhaps, their country has a block on those other better known sites. So, I try to keep the readings, feast days and more posted in advance so that it will be relevant to them.

I suppose my postings being in advance, is one reason I don't get too many "hits" on those posts when that Feast Day or saint memorial occurs, and that's OK, because I know that they are being utilized in places outside of the U.S.A. I would however, like to make one small request.

If there is something on these blogs that you like well enough to share with your readers and you repost the entire piece along with the related picture(s), would you be so kind as to mention that you found it on my blogs and give me a link back? That's all I ask.


Virginia Ironside on child suffering.

People need to be aware of the horrendous mindset of those misguided people who support abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and other forms of legalized murder.

Have we so easily forgotten what the world said after the Nazi horrors perpetrated upon the vast numbers of innocent human beings? Human beings who's only crime (in The Nazi mindset) was that they were born Jewish, Gypsy, mentally retarded, or physically disabled?

The world said "Never Again", yet many have forgotten that solemn oath or thrown it to the curb, and have pledged themselves to the continuance of Nazi-like atrocities against the unborn, the elderly and the physically or mentally handicapped.

What the world once condemned as horrendous crimes against humanity it now embraces, promotes, supports and encourages without a shred of humanity, decency, or concern for their fellow man.

If these things, euthanasia, abortion, assisted suicide, or any "mercy killings" were evil under the Nazi regime, they are still evil today, and anyone who condones and supports these atrocities are just as evil, sick, and twisted as Adolph Hitler and the Nazi regime.

Look at this video below. Listen to this woman and listen how nonchalant, cold, and callous she is. God help us all!

Watch the video below, and then go read the following articles, and notice the ideas and events in Nazi Germany and see the similarities in thought:

Isaiah 5:20-24 : Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Woe to you that rue wise in your own eyes, and prudent in your own conceits. Woe to you that are mighty to drink wine, and stout men at drunkenness. That justify the wicked for gifts, and take away the justice of the just from him. Therefore as the tongue of the fire devours the stubble, and the heat of the flame consumes it: so shall their root be as ashes, and their bud shall go up as dust: for they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and have blasphemed the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Luke 17:1-3: He said to his disciples, "Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

Romans 16:17-18: I urge you brothers to watch out for those who create dissensions and obstacles, in opposition to the teaching that you learned; avoid them. For such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the innocent.

2 Timothy 4: 1-4: I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be vigilant, labor in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. Be sober.

1 Peter 3:17: For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Roman Catholics Cannot Vote For Abortion-On-Demand Candidates / Video

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Poor Performance By Catholics On U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey

The Pew Research Center has the results of a telephone survey, “U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey”. The results don't look too good to me regarding the average American's knowledge of not only their faith, but a lack of knowledge about other faiths as well.

The amazing result of this survey is, that Agnostics and Atheists scored a higher number of correct answers than did those who identified themselves as Protestant, Catholic, or “Nothing in particular”. Of the 32 questions asked on this survey, people who identified themselves as: Atheist/Agnostics averaged 20.9 correct answers; Jewish 20.5 correct answers; Mormon 20.3 correct answers; White Evangelical Protestant 17.6 correct answers; White Catholic 16.0 correct answers; White Mainline Protestant 15.8 correct answers; Nothing in particular 15.2 correct answers; Black Protestant 13.4 correct answers; and Hispanic Catholic 11.6 correct answers.

What disturbs me the most is the less than acceptable (IMHO) per cent-age of Catholics who answered correctly the question regarding the Catholic teaching about the bread and wine used for Communion. The question was answered correctly by 59% of White Catholics and 47% of Hispanic Catholics. This means that too many Catholics either do not understand or do not know the teaching about the Holy Eucharist. If this is not a blatant example of poor catechesis in the United States today, I don't know what else is!

I am a convert, as many of you who read this blog regularly already know. Awhile back, I wrote a post here regarding a “cradle Catholic” who had written on his blog how much he disliked converts to Catholicism. In that post I wrote where he said “we are overzealous, far too eager to discuss our faith, and even far too eager to share it. He more or less said that he did not need any convert to tell him how to be Catholic and that we need to realize that we don't know everything about Catholicism.”

True, I don't know everything about Catholicism, and I certainly have never claimed to. I am always trying to learn and to grow in my faith. There is a great danger however, when people have complacency in their faith, think they have learned all there is to learn, and actually dwell in blissful ignorance of what Catholicism is, and teaches.

Perhaps it is not such a bad thing when converts to Catholicism are “overzealous, far too eager to discuss our faith, and even far too eager to share it”.

Catholics who took the survey did a little bit better on questions about who Moses is and about the Ten Commandments, but did very poorly on the question of what Bible figure is most closely associated with remaining obedient to God despite suffering.

There is an online version of the survey that you can take, and then see how your answers compare to the survey participants. The online version has 15 questions instead of all 32 that are in the original survey.

I took the online version, and I won't say what my score was. I'll just say it was better than the majority who participated in the original survey, and I am not bragging, just stating the fact.

If you want, you may share your score here by using the comments from Disqus at the bottom of this post.

You can also see the report from Pew Research by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ave Maria Radio Fall Membership Drive

At this time Ave Maria Radio is holding their Fall Membership Drive.

We have a link to Ave Maria Radio on the sidebar of all of our blogs, and we also have Ave Maria Radio as one of the default radio stations for the radio player on Faith of the Fathers Community toolbar.

The station is one of the great sources and voices for the New Evanglization. To keep offering fine Catholic faith programming, they are in need of financial support from their loyal listeners. As they reminded me in their email to me:

  • "Ave Maria Radio has touched thousands of lives is dedicated to making more and better Catholics by proclaiming that Jesus is Lord over all areas of life. So please do what you can to keep Ave Maria Radio going and growing."
The Fall Membership Drive ends on Friday, so you can make your donation by Calling 1-877-288-1077 or go to .

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI Beatifies Cardinal John Henry Newman


VATICAN CITY, 19 SEP 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI left the apostolic nunciature in London this morning and, at 8.30 a.m., boarded a helicopter which took him to Birmingham for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman.

  John Henry Newman, one of the great Christian intellectuals of the nineteenth century, was born in London in 1801. His spiritual quest having begun in adolescence, he later went on to study theology at Oxford University. Subsequently he became an Anglican pastor, a fellow of Oriel College, and leader of the Oxford Movement which studied the Catholic roots of the faith in England. In 1842, while writing his "Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine", he began to mature his conversion to Catholicism. He was admitted into the Catholic Church in 1845 and ordained a Catholic priest in Rome on 1 June 1847. Following his ordination, and with the encouragement of Pope Pius IX, he founded the first Oratory of St. Philip Neri in England. In 1852 he was appointed rector of the Catholic University of Dublin, Ireland, a post he held until 1854. Pope Leo XIII made him a cardinal in 1879 and he died in 1890 at the Oratory of Edgbaston. The process for his beatification began in 1958. Newman's miraculous intercession in the cure of dean Jack Sullivan, who suffered a serious complaint of the spinal column, was officially recognised and approved by Benedict XVI in July 2009.

  The Pope's helicopter landed in Birmingham at 9.30 a.m. He then travelled by car to Cofton Park in the city's Rednal district, very near Cardinal Newman's tomb. Having travelled round the area by popemobile, greeting the 70,000 people present, the Holy Father listened to a greeting from Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham then celebrated Mass for the beatification of John Henry Newman.

  In his homily, before turning his attention to the new blessed, the Pope recalled how "this particular Sunday also marks a significant moment in the life of the British nation, as it is the day chosen to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of Britain. For me as one who lived and suffered through the dark days of the Nazi regime in Germany, it is deeply moving to be here with you on this occasion, and to recall how many of your fellow citizens sacrificed their lives, courageously resisting the forces of that evil ideology. ... Seventy years later, we recall with shame and horror the dreadful toll of death and destruction that war brings in its wake, and we renew our resolve to work for peace and reconciliation wherever the threat of conflict looms.

  "Yet there is another, more joyful reason why this is an auspicious day for Great Britain, for the Midlands, for Birmingham", he added. "It is the day that sees Cardinal John Henry Newman formally raised to the altars and declared blessed".

  "England has a long tradition of martyr saints, whose courageous witness has sustained and inspired the Catholic community here for centuries. Yet it is right and fitting that we should recognise today the holiness of a confessor, a son of this nation who, while not called to shed his blood for the Lord, nevertheless bore eloquent witness to Him in the course of a long life devoted to the priestly ministry, and especially to preaching, teaching, and writing. He is worthy to take his place in a long line of saints and scholars from these islands, St. Bede, St. Hilda, St. Aelred, Blessed Duns Scotus, to name but a few".

  "Cardinal Newman's motto, 'Cor ad cor loquitur', or Heart speaks unto heart, gives us an insight into his understanding of the Christian life as a call to holiness, experienced as the profound desire of the human heart to enter into intimate communion with the Heart of God. He reminds us that faithfulness to prayer gradually transforms us into the divine likeness".

  "Today's Gospel tells us that no one can be the servant of two masters, and Blessed John Henry's teaching on prayer explains how the faithful Christian is definitively taken into the service of the one true Master, Who alone has a claim to our unconditional devotion. Newman helps us to understand what this means for our daily lives: he tells us that our divine Master has assigned a specific task to each one of us, a 'definite service', committed uniquely to every single person".

  "The definite service to which Blessed John Henry was called involved applying his keen intellect and his prolific pen to many of the most pressing 'subjects of the day'. His insights into the relationship between faith and reason, into the vital place of revealed religion in civilised society, and into the need for a broadly-based and wide-ranging approach to education were not only of profound importance for Victorian England, but continue today to inspire and enlighten many all over the world".

  The Holy Father continued his homily by paying "particular tribute" to Cardinal Newman's "vision for education, which has done so much to shape the ethos that is the driving force behind Catholic schools and colleges today. Firmly opposed to any reductive or utilitarian approach, he sought to achieve an educational environment in which intellectual training, moral discipline and religious commitment would come together. The project to found a Catholic University in Ireland provided him with an opportunity to develop his ideas on the subject, and the collection of discourses that he published as 'The Idea of a University' holds up an ideal from which all those engaged in academic formation can continue to learn. ... On this day, ... I pray that, through his intercession and example, all who are engaged in the task of teaching and catechesis will be inspired to greater effort by the vision he so clearly sets before us".

  Finally, Benedict XVI mentioned the "warmth and humanity underlying" the new blessed's "appreciation of the pastoral ministry. ... He lived out that profoundly human vision of priestly ministry in his devoted care for the people of Birmingham during the years that he spent at the Oratory he founded, visiting the sick and the poor, comforting the bereaved, caring for those in prison.

  "No wonder that on his death so many thousands of people lined the local streets as his body was taken to its place of burial not half a mile from here. One hundred and twenty years later, great crowds have assembled once again to rejoice in the Church's solemn recognition of the outstanding holiness of this much-loved father of souls".

  Following Mass the Pope prayed the Angelus, expressing a special greeting to "the people of Seville, Spain, where, just yesterday, Madre Maria de la Purisima de la Cruz was beatified". May she, he said, "be an inspiration to young women to follow her example of single-minded love of God and neighbour".

  He continued: "When Blessed John Henry Newman came to live in Birmingham, he gave the name 'Maryvale' to his first home here. The Oratory that he founded is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. And the Catholic University of Ireland he placed under the patronage of Mary, 'Sedes Sapientiae'. In so many ways, he lived his priestly ministry in a spirit of filial devotion to the Mother of God".

  At 12.40 the Pope left Cofton Park and travelled by car to the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Birmingham, where the cardinal lived from his conversion until his death on 11 August 1890. There Benedict XVI visited the blessed's room, which has now been transformed into a museum. He then went on to Birmingham's Oscott College where he had lunch.
PV-UNITED KINGDOM/                             VIS 20100919 (1280)

You can find more information at:

The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City

Friday, September 17, 2010

What Does The Prayer Really Say?»Blog Archive » PRAYER REQUEST for seminarian with inoperable brain tumor

What Does The Prayer Really Say?»Blog Archive » PRAYER REQUEST for seminarian with inoperable brain tumor: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Also you can read this young man's most recent medical update here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Reverend Death" Coming to North Carolina?

 If You Think It Can't Happen In Your State...Think Again!

There is a news story from The Charlotte Observer, regarding a Unitarian Universalist “minister”, who purchased a piece of property in Gastonia, NC in 2007.

The headline for the story reads as follows: "Reverend wants to open assisted suicide facility in Gastonia".

Reverend George Exoo said at first, he wanted to use the property as a rental property, but then said he always envisioned using the smaller house on the back of the property as a "hospice" for terminally ill people.

It seems according to Jon Ronson, in regard to his documentary, Reverend Death (that was shown on Channel 4 a British public-service television broadcaster), that many, if not most of Exoo's clients seem to be suffering from depression and are not terminally ill. Exoo claims to have assisted over 100 people in committing suicide.

In January 2002, it was reported in the Irish news that a woman's body was found in a house in Dublin, Ireland. The police said that the woman had been suffering from depression. The suicide might have gone unnoticed except that she had been seen the day before at Dublin Airport picking up two Americans at arrivals. The three were later seen drinking Jack Daniels and coke at a hotel in County Mayo. Other drinkers said that when the woman got up to go to the restroom she danced a little jig at the table. The next day she was dead, and that night the two Americans left Dublin.

The next day, the Irish police released the names of their suspects, the Reverend George Exoo and his partner Thomas McGurrin of Beckley, West Virginia. The Irish police were seeking the arrest and extradition of Exoo and his partner for the crime of assisting a suicide which carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years under Irish law.

In 2004 the Irish police formally instigated extradition proceedings against Exoo, and asked the FBI to arrest him, which they did in 2007. On October 25, 2007, a federal judge in Charleston, West Virginia freed Exoo on the grounds that he could not allow an Irish prosecutor to try Exoo in Dublin, since assisted suicide is not a crime in 25 of the 50 states.

The thing is, here in North Carolina there is in reality, not much in the way of the local governments having any authority or power. They receive their authority and power from the state. If the state so chooses, it can render a local government totally impotent over any or all particular city or county affairs. So, with that in mind, what happens in one community, can in theory, and many times in practice within North Carolina, happen in all.

One of the reasons Exoo said he was considering Gastonia, North Carolina is that he likes the location of the property because "of its proximity to Charlotte Douglas International Airport and laws in North Carolina". Exoo said he thinks renovating the house and turning it into a "hospice" where terminally ill patients can end their lives is only a year away, and that is only if he gets enough "funding" for his "project".

You can  read what Jon Ronson wrote about his meetings with Reverend Death, as well as see a short  video clip from the piece, by clicking here, and you can read The Charlotte Observer story here.

Assisted suicide or euthanasia, just as abortion in all of its forms are grave mortal sins that should never be condoned or assisted by anyone for any reason.

In February 2009 in regard to euthanasia, Pope Benedict XVI said, “The true answer cannot be putting someone to death, however 'kindly,' but to bear witness to the love that helps us to face pain and agony in a human way. We are certain: No tear, whether it be of those who suffer or those who stand by them, goes unnoticed before God.”

In May 2005 Pope Benedict also stated, "Freedom to kill is not a true freedom but a tyranny that reduces the human being into slavery."

The Catholic Catechism states in the following excerpts from paragraphs 2277–2279 on euthanasia and paragraphs 2280–2281 on suicide:

#2277 ...Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator....

#2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over–zealous" treatment....

#2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable. Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.

#2280....It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.

#2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Suit Threatens Planned Parenthood Funds « Liveshots

Suit Threatens Planned Parenthood Funds « Liveshots

And you are shocked that Planned Parenthood would overbill the government? Not me. I would only be shocked if the government actually did anything about it. Not going to hold my breath on that one. I don't look good in blue.

Thursday, September 09, 2010 - Under Heavy Pressure, Florida Pastor Calls Off Koran Burning on 9/11 - Under Heavy Pressure, Florida Pastor Calls Off Koran Burning on 9/11

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Pastor and Church Plans to Burn Koran

Pastor Terry Jones of the 50-member Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, plans to burn the Koran, the Muslim holy book, on September 11, 2010.

The rumors of this plan to burn the Koran --considered a major offense in the Islamic community-- has already sparked protests in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Indonesia. General David Petraeus has warned that any plans to burn the Koran would jeopardize U.S. military efforts, and he said further "images of the burning of a Koran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan -- and around the world -- to inflame public opinion and incite violence. Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult."

So here is my take on this, in the form of an open letter to Pastor Jones and his church members.

To Pastor Terry Jones and members of Dove World Outreach Center,

On September 11, 2010, you plan to “protest” radical Islam and the terror attacks of 9/11 by burning the Koran.

I have to agree with General Petraeus‘ statement that this would only serve to put our soldiers and civilians in jeopardy. This can only lead to more violence, more death, and more mistrust on all sides concerned.

As Christians we must remember that any act of violence, bloodshed, or hatred committed in God’s name is to take God’s name in vain. Whether those acts are committed by Muslims, Christians, or anyone else, it is taking God’s name in vain and is blasphemy in the first degree.

God is a God of love not hate. Throughout the Holy Scriptures we see the love of God, and especially in the actions of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Nowhere in any of the four Gospels or in any of the other books of the New Testament does Jesus Christ or any of the Apostles speak of, or encourage hatred or the killing of others. In fact we are told time and again to love and not hate as in 1 John 2: 9 - 11--He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother, abideth in the light, and there is no scandal in him. But he that hateth his brother, is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth; because the darkness hath blinded his eyes.

This act of burning the Koran actually is pouring gasoline on an already burning fire, and will only lead to an increase in the number of recruits to the army of radical Islam. Pastor Jones, you stated that America must stand up, and you asked, “how long are we going to be controlled by radical Islam?”

Pastor Jones, you already are being controlled and manipulated by radical Islam. You can rest assured that radical Islam has an “ear” to events and happenings in this country. You can also rest assured that they will make sure that there are more protests to come, and more violence, especially if the burning takes place. Radical Islam has already attempted, and in some cases has succeeded in convincing Muslims that the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan are not wars against radical Islam, but are wars against Islam in general. They preach that America and all Christians seek to destroy Islam, and that the wars are those ideals being carried out. The action of burning the Koran will only serve to prove them right. So, they hope that you do burn the Koran. It would truly be to their benefit.

I recall several years ago a conversation I had with a young woman from Saudi Arabia. She told me about a “movie made in America that shows American soldiers desecrating a mosque and the Koran”. She told me it was very popular in America and that the movie goers stood up and cheered the desecrations. I told her I had never heard of such a movie and asked her the title. She couldn’t remember the name of the movie but assured me she had seen it.

I doubt the existence of such a movie, and I really do not think she had actually seen it. I think that she and others had been told there was such a movie and were ready and willing to believe it, because they are convinced that America and all Christians are bent on the destruction of Islam.

Also, please do keep in mind that in many of the Islamic countries there are minority populations of Christians living in those countries. They include the Palestinian Territory, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Jordan just to name a few.

In many of these countries there have been riots, murders, persecutions, wars, and oppression of Christians by Muslims. There is an intense hatred, and suspicion of Christians and Christianity. To the Islamic radicals, the terms “American” and “Christian” are synonymous with “infidel“ and “enemy”. It is the “infidel”, the “enemy” that radical Islam claims to be fighting against. Burning the Koran will increase those Christians suffering many times over.

Muslims who have not taken part in any of the violence, in any of the propaganda, or in any steps of hatred against America and Christians, will be inclined to do so if Dove World Outreach Center proceeds with plans to burn copies of the Koran.

We know that the main stream media won’t be able to control itself and will cover your Koran burning event. That coverage will only serve to be a recruiting poster for radical Islam. Many Muslims who have been quiet and peaceful will no longer be so.

Let me give you and your members an example of the kind of company you are in with burning the Koran. That company is, Nazi Germany.

On May 10, 1933, across Germany in 34 university towns, occurred the planned burning of books called "Action Against the Un-German Spirit". This burning of books was excused by the German students who organized it, as a literary purge or "cleansing" by fire. This was one of the many beginnings of the madness that was Nazi Germany.

Among the works burned were the writings of the nineteenth century German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine. He had written in his play of 1820-1821 a famous warning: "Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people".

People will burn. In roadside bombings, suicide bombings, direct attacks, murders, assassinations, and persecutions.

You stated that you and the 50 members of your church have received death threats and are taking them seriously. You say that if something happened, it would not be your fault. You also said, “we will not be responsible. We are only reacting to the violence that is already there in that religion.”

If you do carry out the burning of the Koran, are you and your members prepared for the responsibility of your irresponsibility? For it is your actions in carrying out this plan that will show to the world your irresponsibility to God, to your fellow Americans, and to your fellow Christians.

Are you prepared for the responsibility and the possibility of hundreds, and maybe even thousands of deaths and injuries?

I pray to God you aren’t prepared for that responsibility and stop this plan to burn the Koran now.

The Vatican has issued the following statement regarding the plans to burn the Koran. Below is taken from the Vatican Information Service News for 09/08/2010:


VATICAN CITY, 8 SEP 2010 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue today released an English-language communique describing its "great concern at the news of the proposed 'Koran Burning Day' on the occasion of the anniversary of the 11 September tragic terrorist attacks in 2001 which resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and considerable material damage.

  "These deplorable acts of violence, in fact, cannot be counteracted by an outrageous and grave gesture against a book considered sacred by a religious community. Each religion, with its respective sacred books, places of worship and symbols, has the right to respect and protection. We are speaking about the respect to be accorded the dignity of the person who is an adherent of that religion and his/her free choice in religious matters.

  "The reflection which necessarily should be fostered on the occasion of the remembrance of 11 September would be, first of all, to offer our deep sentiments of solidarity with those who were struck by these horrendous terrorist attacks. To this feeling of solidarity we join our prayers for them and their loved ones who lost their lives.

  "Each religious leader and believer is also called to renew the firm condemnation of all forms of violence, in particular those committed in the name of religion. Pope John Paul II affirmed: 'Recourse to violence in the name of religious belief is a perversion of the very teachings of the major religions' (address to the new ambassador of Pakistan, 16 December 1999). His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI similarly expressed, 'violence as a response to offences can never be justified, for this type of response is incompatible with the sacred principles of religion' (address of His Holiness Benedict XVI, to the new ambassador of Morocco, 6 February 2006)".
CON-DIR/                                                                                        VIS 20100908 (300)


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