Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum; habemus Papam:
Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Josephum Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Ratzingerqui sibi nomen imposuit Benedictum XVI

Praise God, who's Holy Spirit has worked through the 115 Cardinals at the Vatican conclave, for the gift of our new Pope, Benedetto XVI.

This has been an exciting day & I truly believe that God has been glorified in all that has happenned. God has some great surprizes in store for us as he works through Il Papa.

Right now, I am too excited to fully reflect on this event beyond what I have said.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Sede Vacante

Now that Pope John Paul the Great is buried the media is focusing in on who will be the next Pope. While this is understandable, IT IS ALSO AN EXERCISE IN FUTILITY. The reason I say this is simple. Most of the media doesn't get the way it works any more than they got the Pope himself. & I wonder if they really want to. The reason for my thinking that is that if they did understand, then they wouldn't be able to take the ravings of all these so called experts seriously.

Lets face it, despite the size of the egos of the pro-choice, pro-women's ordination, etc alledged Catholics, they aren't as important as they think they are. The Catholic Church in the USA makes up only about 6% of the total Catholic population. & that only by allowing for those who claim to be Catholic, but are so only in name, to be counted. They think they are the ones annointed by God (if He, oops they would never use that word, it exists) to be the infallible spokesman here on earth. They claim that the Church, to be relevant, has to mold itself to the world's way of doing things. If what the Church is doing goes against the latest fad, theory etc, then the Church is wrong.

Well, I've got news for them, that isn't how it works. I think we better go back & look at what Jesus had to say about how the Church is supposed to operate. Jesus said that we are to be in the world, but not of it. If the world hates me, it will hate you. This world will pass away. It doesn't exactly sound like Jesus is calling us to conform to the world's standards. Rather we are called to challenge the world to conform to God's way. & to expect persecution when we do so. Much of the world will clearly reject the message, just as it always has.

Pope John Paul II did just that. & in doing so, he made people on all sides of the political spectrum uncomfortable. He did this in a loving way, without betraying the God he was called to serve by leading the Church. As I've said before, he was a true shepherd. He was a true prophet who boldly proclaimed the Word of God. The Old & New tetament prophets were persecuted & criticized. They were told not to proclaim the truth, to be quiet. So was the Pope. But, like the prophets, he spoke out all the more. The prophets were often killed to silence them, there was an attempt to kill the Pope to do the same.

If these people who claim that the only way the Church will survive is by changing to their way of thinking are right, why are the facts showing something different. The dioceses in the USA that are growing, that are heving an increase in vocations are the ones where the Bishops are faithful & speak out the teachings of the Church, who proclaim the truth in a bold & powerful way. Elsewhere, the same can be seen. The Church is growing in the 3rd world. There they want the moral leadership like Pope John Paul. They want these truths proclaimed & they are. Where the Church is doing this it is growing.

Hmmm! Maybe the truth is they don't want the Church to really grow. They want it to die & are doing their best to try & hasten the day that will never come.

So, who will be the next pope? I have no idea, but I am looking forward to the surprize the Holy Spirit has in store for us. He may not have the charisma of Pope John Paul. But, he will have the Charisms needed to lead the Church where God wants it to go. Not where the world wants it to go.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Giovanni Paolo II

Saturday evening, 2 Apr 2005 at 9:37 pm Vatican time, Pope John Paul II passed from this world to eternity. His loss will be greatly felt by us here on Earth. I know it is a bit trite & corny, but our loss IS Heaven's gain.

I'd like to share some of the thoughts that have passed through my mind as I watched the news coverage of his death. These are in no particular order. They reflect my love & respect for him as well as my gratitude for all he did.

As I watched the biographical reports of the work he did in serving Jesus as the Vicar of Christ, the following scripture kept enterring into my thoughts: "Well done good & faithful servant." That is truly what he was, a servant. & this view of him comes from how he viewed himself. 1st & foremost he saw himself as a priest, called & ordained to serve the flock that was given into his care. This was true when he was a parish priest, when he was bishop , archbishop, & cardinal in Krakow, Poland, & just as true when he was Pope. Everything he did was because of the call he received from Christ & done out of love for Jesus & those people who were put into his care.

His was true Christian humanism. He saw worth in every human being, from the newly conceived to the weakest most helpless person such as Terri Schiavo. Even the worst murderer had value in his eyes. That was because each person was created by God & had a soul worth saving. He was able to forgive those who tried to kill him, esp Mehmet Ali Agca, the gunman with whom he met in prison after his recovery. He was the Vicar of Christ & could do no less than Jesus.

He was 1 of the greatest philosophers of the 20th Century. His writings covered a wide variety of topics. Perhaps, what is still greatly underappreciated, but will someday be seen as 1 of his greatest contributions to Catholic theology & phlosophy are his writings on human sexuality. Few people realize the infuence his writings had on Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae. In my humble opinion, some day after he is declared a saint he will also be declared a Doctor of the Church.

He was a man of very deep prayer, spending several hours a day, no matter his schedule, with his Lord & God. He had a deep love & appreciation for the gift of the Eucharist. Again this goes back to how he saw himself, as a priest. His calls for greater adherance to liturgical norms was not out of a sense of legalism. It was because he Knew that the liturgy wasn't about us, rather it was there for us. It was there for us the worship God, to teach us & remind us of the basic truths of the faith (which is why accurate translation & faithful adherance is important, & to provide us with the spiritual nourishment we need that can only be found in the Eucharist & Scripture.

He never fit into a box with a nice neat label. He was neither liberal or conservative, progressive, tradtionalist or middle of the road. Hewas orthodox in his beliefs & how he put them into practice. He operated in the true spirit of Vatican II, the Holy Spirit. Many people after the council tried to hijack it with their own agenda using the term in the spirit of Vatican II. He was at Vatican II & knew that the true spirit was found in the words of Vatican II. This was something those who criticized his actions conveniently ignored both ebefore & during his pontificate. People will look back & see that jhe knew what Vatican II intended & did hid best as pastor to impliment it.

He loved the whole Catholic Church. He was concerned with every part of it, all of the over 20 sui iuris Churches (& their various rites) Eastern & Western that he was responsible for. He called the Church to be fully Catholic & breath with both lungs in Orientale lumen. He was saddenned by the divisions in the Body of Christ & worked to heal them reaching out to the Ortodox Churches as well as the Protestant Churches. He never backed away from what was unchangable in Catholic doctrine, while reaching out to help both sides understand the other.

As Chief Shepherd of the flock he went where the flock was, to encourage, to teach to strengthen & even correct when needed, something that is just a much a part of the job & 1 of the harder parts. He knew that his correction wouldn't always be welcome & it wasn't. But, that never stopped him, whether he was correcting an errant theologian or a president of the United States of America. The beauty of the man was that it was all done in love, never out of a desire for power or revenge. He was never afraid to speak the truth, Jesus was the truth & that was what he proclaimed.

It was very appropriate that he died after the 1st Vespers of Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast he implimented. As priest it was his duty to proclaim the Mercy of Jesus. Jesus' death & resurrection is what allows God to extend mercy towards us & enables us to avoid the justice we so richly deserve by our sins. Divine Mercy is the sign of God's love for each of us. He proclaimed this Mercy so we might accept it & live forever with God in heaven.

Some people have already started to refer to him as Pope John Paul the Great. I wish to add my name to the list of those doing so. He will be only the 3rd Pope so designated after Leo the Great & Gregory the Great.

Thank You, Lord for the gift of John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla! You have truly blessed us through him.

Born: 18 May 1920
Pope: 16 Oct 1978 - 2 April 2005

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord! And let perpetual light shine upon him!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Pope John Paul II's last message

This is the text of the final message prepared by Pope John Paul II to be given at the Regina Caeli for Sun 3 Apr 2005, Divine Mercy Sunday. It was read by Archbishop Leonardo Sandri.

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

1. The joyful Easter Alleluia resounds also today. Today's Gospel page of St. John underlines that the Risen One, on the night of that day, appeared to the Apostles and "showed them his hands and his side" (John 20:20), that is, the signs of the painful Passion printed indelibly on his body also after his Resurrection. Those glorious wounds, which eight days later he made the incredulous Thomas touch, reveal the mercy of God "for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son" (John 3:16).

This mystery of love is at the heart of today's liturgy, Sunday "in Albis," dedicated to the worship of Divine Mercy.

2. To humanity, which at times seems to be lost and dominated by the power of evil, egoism and fear, the risen Lord offers as a gift his love that forgives, reconciles and reopens the spirit to hope. It is love that converts hearts and gives peace. How much need the world has to understand and accept Divine Mercy!

Lord, who with [your] Death and Resurrection reveal the love of the Father, we believe in you and with confidence repeat to you today: Jesus, I trust in you, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

3. The liturgical solemnity of the Annunciation, which we celebrate tomorrow, leads us to contemplate with Mary's eyes the enormous mystery of this merciful love that arises from Christ's heart. With her help, we can understand the true meaning of paschal joy, which is based on this certainty: The One whom the Virgin carried in her womb, who suffered and died for us, has truly risen. Alleluia!

[Translation by ZENIT]

Friday, April 01, 2005

Terri Schiavo RIP

Terri Schiavo died Thurs 31 Mar at about 9 am EST after 13 days of dehydration & starvation. She is now finally at rest. Sadly she became a victim of those who were using her to further their pro euthenasia agenda. & much of the mailine media is complicite in this.

Let's look at the terms that were used by those supporting her being starved & dehydrated. (OOPS!, those words were a no-no to them as they told the truth of what was going on.) & the facts of her condition.

1st of all she was nowhere near death, nor was she brain dead. If she was brain dead her bodily functions would have ceased without artificial means like a resperator or heart-lung machine. She was on neither. There was no "life support" involved. Her body was fully functioning & could have gone on for years with simple nourishment.

Secondly Mr. Schiavo's lawyer, George Felos, is a huge proponant of euthenasia, so his descriptions of Terri's last days are hardly reliable. He was anything but impartial. & his descriptions used to dehumanize her rival those used by Nazis in WWII Germany to dehumanize the Jews, Christians, Gypsies, etc. they slaughtered & justify their killing them.

Michael Schiavo did a 180 degree turn from loving husband who would stand by her & do whatever it took, including any therapy needed, after he won his settlement. Would a loving husband deny her that therapy, basic care &, as many witnesses said, even abuse her? & would a loving husband have a live-in girlfriend by which he had 2 children? Hardly the loving husband he tried to portray himself as.

Then where was the ACLU, who should have been screaming for her rights to be protected by her having her own lawyer? Nat Hentoff, in a recent column, called it judicial murder. He said: "For all the world to see, a 41-year-old woman, who has committed no crime, will die of dehydration and starvation in the longest public execution in American history. " His article points out the shameful behavior of the judiciary, ACLU, Michael Schiavo, George Felos & much of the media.

To read the entire article:,hentoff,62489,6.html

Another fact most of the media covered up & Nat Hentoff points out in this column was "that nearly every major disability rights organization in the country has filed a legal brief in support of Terri's right to live."

& it wasn't just "pro-lifers" who were crying out for Terri to be protected. People like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton & Ralph Nader also spoke out because quite simply it was a matter of defending basic human rights.

Cardinal Renato Martino, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said many of the same things as Nat Hentoff.

& many US Bishops have spoken out:

This country has done a grave injustice to Terri Schiavo. But, it is not to late to prevent this tragedy from happenning again. Let us pray for a return to sanity in our legal system & a total respect for life from conception to natural death. Please don't let Terri's death have been the door that opens the floodgates.

Hymn in Honor of the Sacred Cross

The regal dark mysterious cross
In song is lifted high,
The wood on which our God was raised
As Man against the sky.

Upon this wood his body bore
The nails, the taunts, the spear,
Till water flowed with blood to wash
The whole world free of fear.

At last the song that David sang
Is heard and understood:
"Before the nations God as king
Reigns from his throne of wood."

This wood now spread with purple wears
The pageantry of kings;
Of chosen stock it dares to hold
On high his tortured limbs.

O blessed Tree, upon whose arms
The world's own ransom hung;
His body pays our debt and life
From Satan's grasp is wrung.

O sacred Cross, our steadfast hope
In this our Passiontide,
Through you the Son obtained for all
Forgiveness as he died.

May every living creature praise
Our God both one and three,
Who rules in everlasting peace
All whom his cross makes free.

St. Venantius Fortunatus (c 540 - c 600)
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