Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI'S Prayer Intentions For March

Vatican City, 28 February 2013 (VIS) – Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for March is: "That respect for nature may grow with the awareness that all creation is God's work entrusted to human responsibility."

His mission intention is: "That bishops, priests, and deacons may be tireless messengers of the Gospel to the ends of the earth."

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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

John Henry Newman on Christian Holiness

In this video, Father Juan R. Velez author of "Passion for Truth: The Life of John Henry Newman" tells us how "Cardinal Newman was not only a scholar and a theologian; he was a man of prayer who lived the Christian virtues. He taught that holiness, which is attained through grace and the practice of the virtues, is necessary for future blessedness in Heaven."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Urgent Help Needed For A Catholic Blogger And Friend

One of my good blogging friends, Lisa Graas, is in great need of your prayers and a financial boost if you will.

Lisa is the author of  the blog "Catholic Bandita", and is on twitter as @CatholicLisa. She always reminds us in her blog posts that our identity as Christians is, and should be in Christ, and nothing else.

Lisa and her children have been going through some difficult times...physically, financially... and I am sure the emotional strain is not easy either. I have been there myself. 

Some other blogging pals, including Sofia Guerra of the blog "Always Catholic", George Vogt of the blog "A Talking Donkey", and Father Z of "Fr. Z's Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say?" have all posted about Lisa's situation here... here... and here.

You can go to Lisa's blog here, and scrolling down, look on the left side for a PayPal Donate button similar to mine. It will say "Hit The Tip Jar".

We all are asking you to give of both your prayers and money to help out Lisa and her family at this time. Please.

May God Bless you and Our Lady keep you in her care!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stop Your Worrying And Start Your Praying

I keep reading blog posts... posts and comments on Facebook...tweets on twitter....and I have never seen so many worried, concerned and scared people regarding a new Pope for the Catholic Church.

They are even more worried and afraid regarding a new Pope for the Church than they were after Pope Blessed John Paul II passed away back in 2005.

Yes, I know change is hard for some people. Yes, I am sure we are all concerned about what kind of leader we are going to get. One who is more more "open to change" outgoing "people's Pope"....a shy, reserved scholarly Pope.

Why do I feel like I am one of the very few, who is not afraid?

First of all, people need to remember these words of Christ, and take them to heart:

"And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).

"You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last" (John 15:16). 

"When therefore they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep" (John 21:15-17).

Therefore, we can know that Our Lord will provide for His Church, a leader to feed His sheep, a leader who will bear fruit that will last, and a leader who will be the rock of His Church.

All we need to do, should have been doing, and can do is to pray for the Church...for Pope Benedict XVI...for our new Holy Father....and for the guidance of the College of Cardinals by the Holy Spirit.

So stop wringing your hands and get on your knees.

Trust in God!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Too Smart For The Church?

There are many traps, dangers, and pitfalls that we as Christians must face in our daily lives. Events happen to us that are often out of our control. Sickness, accidents, natural catastrophes, even financial difficulties or hardship are often beyond our control, or not due to a self-inflicted cause. Yet, there is one trap that we must be on guard for, and that we must not allow ourselves to fall into our spiritual growth. That trap is, when we begin to think that we have all the answers regarding our faith, and that there is nothing more that we can learn.

We have all seen those individuals or groups of individuals, who think that there is nothing more for them to learn about our faith, that they have grown spiritually as far as it is humanly possible for them to grow. These self-assured people think nothing more can be acquired by them from the study of Holy Scripture, the writings of the Saints, nor from the instruction and guidance of the Church. We have even seen some proclaim themselves the only “true Christians”, the only “true Catholics”. They have fooled themselves into thinking that they have all the answers, that they have all the truth, and that anything other than what they know, what they believe is inherently wrong or ill conceived. As a very holy priest I know says, “some think themselves more Catholic than the Church”.

We should remember, that there is always something new for us to learn. It is not from our own understanding, our own intelligence that we learn, but, what we learn is what is revealed to us through Holy Scripture, the writings of the Saints, and from the Church by the actions and teaching of the Holy Spirit. No one man or woman has had all revealed to him or her by the Holy Spirit, but, each has had some revealed unto them by the Holy Spirit.

Now we all know that the fullness of revelation is in Christ,and He has revealed all. Yet there are aspects of the Faith, and of God that we do not fully understand or comprehend, because as a creation of God we are limited as to our ability to comprehend and understand God. For God is infinite, He cannot be contained or limited by space or time, we on the other hand, are finite, confined by both space and time. In Romans 11:33-35 we are told, “O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counselor? Or who hath first given to him, and recompense shall be made him?”

Further, there are aspects of God and the Faith He has given us, that have been revealed to us, but, because of our limits, we do not fully grasp those aspects. These are what we call the Mysteries of Faith. In “The Pocket Catholic Dictionary” by Father John A. Hardon, S.J., we are given this explanation for mystery, “a divinely revealed truth whose very possibility cannot be rationally conceived before it is revealed and, after revelation, whose inner essence cannot be fully understood by the finite mind. The incomprehensibility of revealed mysteries derives from the fact that they are manifestations of God, who is infinite and therefore beyond the complete grasp of a created intellect. Nevertheless, though incomprehensible, mysteries are intelligible. One of the primary duties of a believer is, through prayer, study, and experience, to grow in faith, i.e., to develop an understanding of what God has revealed”.

That last sentence within that definition is by far the most important instruction to all believers “the primary duties of a believer is, through prayer, study, and experience, to grow in faith,” and to “develop an understanding of what God has revealed”. We should therefore always strive to learn and grow in our faith and belief, and we should always remember that when we pray, when we study, and when we experience growth in our faith, it is because God, through the Holy Spirit has been our teacher, our instructor.

If we fall into the snare set for us by the enemy, into the wrong thinking that we can grow no more, that we have learned all there is to know of God, then we endanger ourselves, we endanger our faith, and we endanger those around us and their faith as well. Many is the man or woman who have followed the teachings of one who gives the appearance and assurance of having found all the truth and been led astray into the errors of heresy, apostasy, and schism. When we think there is nothing more to be revealed to us, through scripture, the Saints, or through the Church, then we are in effect saying that God through the Holy Spirit cannot teach us or guide us, as we need no teaching or guidance from Him who has all Knowledge.

Now we all know that when Saint Paul was known as Saul of Tarsus, that he was a Pharisee, and that he himself had been trained in the Law of Moses. He had been a great persecutor of Christians, and was converted by Christ Himself on the road to Damascus. Yet, Paul who was an intelligent and well educated man, had to be instructed on the “Way” by Peter. Of Paul's instruction after his conversion we read in Galatians 1:17-18, “Neither went I to Jerusalem, to the apostles who were before me: but I went into Arabia, and again I returned to Damascus. Then, after three years, I went to Jerusalem, to see Peter, and I tarried with him fifteen days.”

We know that when Peter and John were brought before the Sanhedrin, and when they gave testimony to the Sanhedrin regarding Christ, we realize that they were taught and led by the Holy Spirit, as Acts 4:13 says, “Now seeing the constancy of Peter and of John, understanding that they were illiterate and ignorant men, they wondered; and they knew them that they had been with Jesus”.

Do not allow yourself to be led astray into thinking that you know all there is to know of God and His Son. We are all always learning. Something may be revealed to you, that I have not yet understood. As well, something may be revealed to me, that you have not yet understood. There are things that have been revealed to the Church, and things yet to be revealed to the Church by the Holy Spirit for the knowledge and understanding of all. We dare not think, we dare not believe that we have reached the pinnacle of spiritual maturity, for there is still much growing we must all do. The Holy Spirit is not stagnant, the Holy Spirit is always moving, always teaching, always enlightening.

The seed of faith is planted in our hearts. Do we water and feed that seed, or do we let it wither and die? Do we let it grow a little, and then turn all attention from it, allowing it to grow for awhile, then wither before it can bear fruit? Do we allow it to grow, then let our pride fill us up with our falsely perceived “perfect knowledge”, and kill that faith after only a little fruit was born from it? Would you who are parents want your child to be raised with no instruction, no correction, no guidance, no discipline? No? Then why do you think God would want His children to do so?

Some who are parents of teenagers get exasperated, when those teenagers try to grow up too fast, and begin to think they know more about what is best for them than their parents do. What I like to call the “13 going on 30 Syndrome”. That is the same thing that happens to us, when we begin to think that we know more about faith and God than the Church, or anyone can teach us. We know what is better for us than they do. Well, we don't. The bottom line is, no matter where you, I, or anyone else is on our path of Faith, we are still immature children that should always seek, always search for, that truth, that maturity, that is God.

Copyright © 2006 - 2013 Steve Smith. All rights reserved.

Some quotations below to reflect on:

"The Word of God is in your heart. The Word digs in this soil so that the spring may gush out."--Origen

"You are reading? No. Your betrothed is talking to you. It is your betrothed, that is, Christ, who is united with you. He tears you away from the solitude of the desert and brings you into his home, saying to you, "Enter into the joy of your Master."--Saint Jerome

"If one carefully reads the Scriptures, he will find there the word on the subject of Christ -- de Christo sermonem -- and the prefiguration of the new calling. He is indeed the hidden treasure in the field -- the field in fact is the world -- but in truth, the hidden treasure in the Scriptures is Christ. Because he is designed by types and words that humanly are not possible to understand before the accomplishment of all things, that is, Christ's parousia (coming)." -- Saint Irenaeus of Lyons

You recall that one and the same Word of God extends throughout Scripture, that it is one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers, since he who was in the beginning God with God has no need of separate syllables; for he is not subject to time.” -- Saint Augustine of Hippo

The Scriptures are in fact, in any passage you care to choose, singing of Christ, provided we have ears that are capable of picking out the tune. The Lord opened the minds of the Apostles so that they understood the Scriptures. That he will open our minds too is our prayer.” --Saint Augustine of Hippo

"Anyone who wants to be always united to God must pray often and read the Bible often. For in prayer it is we who are speaking to God, but in the readings it is God speaking to us.”--Saint Isidore of Seville

"Let us study while we are on earth that Reality which will stay in our minds also when we are in heaven".--Saint Jerome

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cataracts And No Insurance

Just a question for anyone who might know.

Are there any programs offering assistance for cataract surgery for people who have no insurance? Particularly in North Carolina (I live in western N.C.).I have cataracts in both eyes, and the left one is the worst of the two.

My eyesight is getting so bad, that I am afraid that in another year, I won't be able to drive any longer. And, if I can't drive, I can't work.

Leave any suggestions or ideas in the comments area, or send me an email at


Monday, February 11, 2013

Bishop Jugis discusses Pope Benedict XVI's resignation

Bishop Peter Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte discusses the resignation of the Holy Father on Feb. 11, 2013


Vatican City, 11 February 2013 (VIS) - Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, on hearing the news of the Pope's resignation from the Petrine ministry, expressed his nearness, and that of all the cardinals, to Benedict XVI.

"We have heard you," he said, "with a sense of loss and almost disbelief. In your words we see the great affection that you have always had for God's Holy Church, for this Church that you have loved so much. Now, let me say, on behalf of this apostolic cenacle?the College of Cardinals?on behalf of your beloved collaborators, allow me to say that we are closer than ever to you, as we have been during these almost eight luminous years of your pontificate. On 19 April 2005, if I remember correctly, at the end of the conclave I asked ? 'Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?' And you did not hesitate, although moved with emotion, to answer that you accepted, trusting in the Lord's grace and the maternal intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church. Like Mary on that day she gave her 'yes', and your luminous pontificate began, following in the wake of continuity, in that continuity with your 265 predecessors in the Chair of Peter, over two thousand years of history from the Apostle Peter, the humble Galilean fisherman, to the great popes of the last century from St. Pius X to Blessed John Paul II."

"Holy Father, before 28 February, the day that, as you have said, you wish to place the word 'end' to your pontifical service, conducted with so much love and so humbly, before 28 February, we will be able to better express our feelings. So too will the many pastors and faithful throughout the world, so too all those of good will together with the authorities of many countries. ? Also, still this month, we will have the joy of listening to your voice as pastor: Ash Wednesday, Thursday with the clergy of Rome, in the Sunday Angelus, and the Wednesday general audiences, we will still have many occasions to hear your paternal voice. ? Your mission, however, will continue. You have said that you will always be near us with your witness and your prayer. Of course, the stars always continue to shine and so will the star of your pontificate always shine among us. We are near to you, Holy Father, and we ask you to bless us."

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

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Biography of John Henry Newman

In this video Father Juan R. Velez author of "Passion for Truth: The Life of John Henry Newman" speaks about his biography of Blessed John Cardinal Henry Newman.

Passion for Truth The Life of John Henry Newman by Fr. Juan Velez

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI'S Prayer Intentions For February

Vatican City, 6 February 2013 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for February is: "That migrant families, especially the mothers, may be supported and accompanied in their difficulties".

His mission intention is: "That the peoples at war and in conflict may lead the way in building a peaceful future"..

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

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Warning sounded to UK as Oregon assisted suicide deaths hit record high |

The following excerpts are from
  • Lord Falconer has just announced that he is about to introduce a new bill into the House of Lords to legalise assisted suicide along the lines of the Oregon model – assisted suicide for mentally competent adults who have less than six months to live.
  • Members of the House of Lords should note that statistics released just last month (full report here) show that the number of assisted suicide prescriptions and deaths in Oregon, once again, increased in 2012 and has now reached an all-time high. 
  • Falconer’s bill, however, only requires a twelve month life expectancy and so is thereby even more liberal than Oregon’s. 
Read more by clicking below:

Chinese Family Planning Officials Run Over 13-Month Old Baby |

The following excerpts are from
  • Chinese family planning officials ran over a 13-month old baby with a small bus after they feuded with a Chinese resident over fines related to the birth of the child, born outside China’s one-child policy.
  • The China Daily publication indicates police in East China’s Zhejiang province are investigating the death of the baby.
Read more by clicking below:

British Parliament approves same-sex marriage : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • The British House of Commons has voted to give legal recognition to same-sex marriages.
  • By a vote of 400- 175, the House of Commons approved the measure that had been enthusiastically championed by Prime Minister David Cameron. The bill will now go to the House of Lords. 
Read more by clicking below:

New Archbishop of Canterbury affirms opposition to same-sex marriage : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, a father of six and onetime oil company executive who became an Anglican priest in 1992 and Bishop of Durham in 2011, was confirmed as Archbishop of Canterbury on February 4.
Read more by clicking below:

Monday, February 04, 2013

North Carolina abortion clinic shuts down: baby saved |

The following excerpts are from
  • Local pro-life activists reported on Facebook over the weekend that they have confirmed that A Woman’s Choice, an abortion clinic in Greensboro, North Carolina, has closed.
  • While the reason for the closure remains unclear, a call to the police confirmed that the clinic had indeed permanently closed. Pro-life activists arrived at the clinic on Saturday to discover that the doors were locked and that the furnishings had been removed from the office.
  • As a result, one woman who tried to go to the clinic on Saturday for an abortion spoke instead to pro-life sidewalk counselors. The mother took the closure as a divine sign and decided to keep her baby.
Read more by clicking below:
North Carolina abortion clinic shuts down: baby saved |


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