O, let us not waste our time! – St. Therese of Lisieux

“We have only short moments of this life to work for God.  The devil knows this and that is why he tries to make us waste time in useless things.  O, let us not waste our time!  Let us save souls!  Souls are falling into hell innumerable as the flakes of snow on a winter day.  Jesus weeps!  Instead of consoling Him we are brooding over our own sorrows . . . There is only one thing to do during the brief day, or rather, night of this life:  Love Jesus with all the strength of your heart and save souls for Him, so that He may be loved!”

-St. Therese of Lisieux

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Proclamation of the superiority of Catholicism

Please read the outstanding article below about the need to reclaim our Catholic heritage and pride.  We need to get our dignity back.  The only way to do this is through masculine leadership.  We need Catholic men to put down their porn, put down their remote, pick up your bible and your Aquinas, etc. and proclaim the truth to all.

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http://www.onepeterfive.com/no-more-scraps-regaining-rightful-catholic-pride/

No More Scraps: Regaining Rightful Catholic Pride

Eric Sammons
November 24, 2015

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The movie Braveheart dramatizes the heroic struggle, led by the commoner William Wallace, for Scottish independence. In one scene, the Scottish nobles gather after some initial victories by William Wallace over the English. The nobles begin bickering over how best to negotiate with the English King, Edward Longshanks, for they fear losing their lands and moneys if they push Longshanks too hard. Disgusted, Wallace begins to walk out of the room when he is stopped and asked his plans:

Wallace: I will invade England and defeat the English on their own ground.

Lord Craig: Invade? That’s impossible.

Wallace: Why? Why is that impossible? You’re so concerned with squabbling for the scraps from Longshanks’ table that you’ve missed your God-given right to something better. There is a difference between us. You think the people of this country exist to provide you with possession. I think your possession exists to provide those people with freedom. And I go to make sure that they have it.

I’m often reminded of this scene when I see how Catholic leaders today – clerical or lay – act in relation to the world. Although the Catholic Church has been given the words of everlasting life, most Catholic leaders seem content to squabble over the scraps from the world’s table – working to make Catholicism palatable to polite society, simply satisfied with the continued existence of the Church and doing nothing to expand her footprint. When anyone suggests that perhaps we should “invade England,” i.e., resist the world’s lies completely and work for its total conversion to Catholicism, these same leaders are quick to say, “That’s impossible,” for all sorts of timid reasons – “No one will listen to us,” “We have to meet people where they are,” and “We can’t be triumphalistic.” But it is fear of rejection – and fear of losing their current comfortable positions – that is driving their timidity. All the while faithful Catholics are denied their God-given right to something better – a full and unadulterated proclamation and practice of Catholicism.

What would such a proclamation and practice look like? Here are some starters:

Full-throated defense of the Church’s moral teaching. No more tepid justifications for why we should go along with the death march that is our modern culture: “We must accompany people on their journey.” “We are just making a pastoral, not a doctrinal, change.” Instead we need a robust defense and explanation for why the Church’s moral teachings are the only sane ones in an insane world, and an exhortation to follow them, that we may find true joy and peace.

Condemnation of error and those that promote it. No more acting as if orthodoxy is an option, while souls are falling deeper and deeper into sin and error. Leaders need to treat theological error for the serious danger it is: something that can separate us from God for all eternity. Further, those who promote error need to be publicly and strongly resisted, not given tenured positions at “Catholic” universities (or promoted to Cardinalate dioceses).

A liturgy that reflects the grandeur of what it is celebrating. No more insipid, uninspiring liturgies that either would be more at home in a Gilbert & Sullivan show or reflect a deep-seated apathy toward the Faith. We need liturgical celebrations to be reverent, serious, and awe-inspiring. Did I mention reverent?

Proclamation of the superiority of Catholicism. No more acting as if every Tom, Dick and Martin Luther has more religious wisdom than Thomas Aquinas and Augustine put together. We need to start proclaiming that the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Jesus Christ, and that eternal salvation comes through her. Souls are depending on it.

A concern for the next life more than this life. No more treating recycling campaigns and government social programs as if they are more important than the eternal destination of souls. Our sights have been set so low over the past few decades that we forget that it is only the Church that has the means to solve the greatest problems in existence: sin and death. The guiding principle of every action of a Church leader must be “Will this help or hinder souls getting to Heaven?”

For far too long Church leaders – again, lay as well as clerical – have thought that their positions exist to provide them with prestige, invitations to dine with the Important People, and as a means to book deals, TV shows, and speaking engagements. In reality their positions exist to provide people with the path to eternal life. Only if they stop squabbling for the world’s scraps and instead “invade England” –  i.e., confront the world head-on and work for its complete conversion – can the Church fulfill her mandate, given to her by Christ, to “make disciples of all nations” and thus conquer, instead of conform to, the world.

Momento Mori!

Catholics should venerate relics because it is a great reminder that we all will die.  We always need to keep our eyes on the cross as we trudge towards the end and remember that we will have to account for all we do on this earth before God.  Our purpose here on earth is to get to heaven.  Venerating the relics of saints helps keep our gaze focused on our most important mission of salvation.  Please read the article below on the author’s perspective of venerating relics of saints.

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http://www.ignitumtoday.com/2015/10/28/why-do-catholics-venerate-relics/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ignitumtoday%2FsKWO+%28IgnitumToday%29

Why Do Catholics Venerate Relics?

Saint-Thomas-de-Courceriers_relique_Sainte-Anne

I’ve heard several people express the sentiment that of all Catholic traditions, the veneration of relics is the one they least understand, and they are maybe even a little creeped out by it. In a way, I get it—it seems a little weird and morbid to take the earthly remains of a saint and wear them in a locket. But relics have played a major role in Catholic tradition and prayer through the centuries, and many people make pilgrimages to visit relics of powerful saints. So why, exactly, do we venerate relics? What is the meaning of this practice, and how can it affect our own prayer lives?

Catholicism is not purely a conceptual or emotional religion; it is also an earthy religion. It incorporates all five of our senses into the liturgy, with candles and incense and Rosaries, music and bells and the Blessed Sacrament in Bread and Wine. It takes into account the reality of the created world, and it resists the heresy of Gnosticism—the idea that our bodies are corrupt and that we ought to reject the material world in order to engage in the spiritual world. Our earthly bodies are not just outer shells that house our true selves; they are part of our very being. We are made up of mind, body, and soul, and all three of those elements combine to make us who we are. What we do with our physical bodies matters on a spiritual level.

JPII

There is no saint that illustrates this idea better than St. Maria Goretti, a martyr who died refusing to act in a way that would have defiled the physical body, while imploring her killer to do the same. Last month, I was able to venerate the relics of St. Maria Goretti during the Pilgrimage of Mercy tour, which is still going on now. I was particularly moved by the priest’s homily, which mentioned many of the miracles that have taken place through Maria’s intercession. Many people have experienced powerful healings, inexplicable through scientific means, after placing a relic of St. Maria by their injuries. It is fitting that God would use Maria’s relics as a means of bringing physical healing. The Pilgrimage of Mercy website explains how relics do not have power in and of themselves, but that God frequently chooses use them to bring about His healing:

In each of these instances God has brought about a healing using a material object.  The vehicle for the healing was the touching of that object.  It is very important to note, however, that the cause of the healing is God; the relics are a means through which He acts.  In other words, relics are not magic.  They do not contain a power that is their own; a power separate from God.  Any good that comes about through a relic is God’s doing.  But the fact that God chooses to use the relics of saints to work healing and miracles tells us that He wants to draw our attention to the saints as “models and intercessors” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 828).  It also reveals His intention to use relics to foreshadow the general resurrection of mankind: that one day God’s faithful children, the members of His Body, will reign with him in glory, and through whom, even now on earth, He works mightily.

Sint-Gabriel_Hekendorp_07_RelicsIs the veneration of relics morbid? Maybe. But then again, Catholicism has always had the tendency to be a bit morbid. Think of the monks who greet each other by saying “Memento mori”—“Remember you must die.” Every November we celebrate All Souls’ Day, often by visiting graveyards. And every time we enter a church, we look up at a crucifix that depicts Jesus being brutally tortured and killed. Why do we give so much attention to these things? The reason is summed up in 1 Corinthians 15:55: “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” Things that seem morbid on a purely earthly level take on a whole new meaning when we consider the victory that Jesus has won for us in Heaven. We know that there is a world beyond this one waiting for us, and that gives us a confidence in the face of death. We can be brave amidst the difficult trials of this world. We hold on to physical relics as reminders that this world is passing, that another world awaits us, and that what we do in this physical world has implications in the next.

Bernadette

God has glorified Himself through the physical body of St. Maria Goretti, and He continues to reveal His tender care for our earthly lives through the presence of His saints. We can remain aware of how He works through creation by taking care of our own physical bodies and by incorporating our senses in prayer—perhaps by taking a walk to a beautiful church to pray, visiting a place where a saint once walked, using a favorite Rosary, lighting a candle, wearing holy medals that have been blessed, or venerating relics of a special saint.

If the Pilgrimage of Mercy tour is headed to your city in the next month, I would highly recommend taking the time to visit. Check out the schedule here!


1. Simon de l’Ouest / CC BY-SA 4.0
2. Treasures of the Church, Pilgrimage of Mercy
3. Onderwijsgek / CC BY-SA 3.0 NL
4. Marina Genger / Public domain

Erin Cain is a twenty-something writer and editor living in New York City, drinking lots of Earl Grey tea, and attempting to grow in virtue and love. She writes at Work in Progress.

St. Thomas Aquinas on Marriage

In the Commentary on John, St. Thomas Aquinas writes the following about marriage:

In the mystical sense, marriage signifies the union of Christ with his Church, because as the Apostle says: “This is a great mystery: I am speaking of Christ and his Church” (Eph 5:32). And this marriage was begun in the womb of the Virgin, when God the Father united a human nature to his Son in a unity of person. So, the chamber of this union was the womb of the Virgin: “He established a chamber for the sun” (Ps 18:6). Of this marriage it is said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who married his son” (Mt 22:2), that is, when God the Father joined a human nature to his Word in the womb of the Virgin. It was made public when the Church was joined to him by faith: “I will bind you to myself in faith” (Hos 2:20). We read of this marriage: “Blessed are they who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rv 19:9). It will be consummated when the bride, i.e., the Church, is led into the resting place of the groom, i.e., into the glory of heaven.[3]

A Message From The Repentant Murderer of St. Maria Goretti

Last weekend in Michigan, we saw the relics of St. Maria Goretti and we were moved to tears to be in the presence of the body of a saint.  Words can’t describe the emotions that come when one is near the body that used to house a soul that is now with our father in heaven.  St. Maria Goretti is just a sweet sweet person that will help you if you seek her assistance with our dear lord.

Below is a great post from the Catholic Gentlemen that contains a letter from Alessandro Serenelli the man that murdered St. Maria in her own kitchen when she refused his sexual advances.  The letter is very powerful.  Please note the reference to pornography and the role it played in leading Alessandro to murder St. Maria.  Please do not let your children watch porn!  Be mindful of their souls!

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http://www.catholicgentleman.net/2015/10/choose-the-right-path-a-message-from-a-repentant-murderer/

Choose the Right Path: A Message From a Repentant Murderer

by Sam Guzman (aka The Catholic Gentlemen)

Yesterday, I had the privilege of venerating the first class relics of St. Maria Goretti, the youngest canonized saint in the Catholic Church. While the time with her relics was brief due to the crowds, it was still a powerful experience to see the body of this young girl who had more virtue at the age of 12 than most of us will ever have.

If you don’t know St. Maria’s story, she was a young Italian girl born in October of 1890. She lost her father at a young age and had to mature quickly to help take care of her siblings while her mother earned a living. Due to their extreme poverty, the Goretti family had to move in with another family, the Sarenelli’s.

While Maria was only 12 at the time, Alessandro Sarenelli, who was 22, began making sexual advances toward Maria, threatening her if she told anyone. On July 5, 1902, while the rest of the family was away, Alessandro approached Maria with a 10 inch knife, threatening to kill her if she did not do what he said. He intended to rape her, and it came out later that he had tried twice before. Maria refused and began to fight him off. In a rage, Alessandro stabbed her 14 times. Eventually, Maria died from her wounds, but not before completely forgiving her attacker and stating that she wanted him to be with her in heaven.

A Repentant Killer

While Maria’s short life was a beautiful testimony to God’s grace, what struck me especially was the conversion of her killer, Alessandro Sarenelli. His story, too, is a witness to the power of conversion, and that no one is beyond hope.

Six years into his 30 year prison sentence, Alessandro was at the brink of despair. How he could he go on knowing what he had done, and knowing the best years of his life would be spent rotting in prison? Then, something extraordinary happened. Maria appeared to him holding a bouquet of lilies and lovingly handed them to Alessandro one by one. This gesture of forgiveness from the girl he murdered transformed Alessandro completely. For the first time since the crime, he was truly repentant. As he later said, “Maria’s forgiveness saved me.”

Once freed from prison, Alessandro began a life of penance. He met with Maria’s mother and begged her forgiveness. He also accompanied Mrs. Serenelli to Christmas Mass in the parish church where he spoke before the stunned congregation, acknowledging his sin and asking God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of the community. He eventually joined the Capuchin Franciscans as a lay brother, working as a gardener and general laborer. In 1970, he died peacefully in Christ, loved by all who knew him.

After his death, the Franciscans found a spiritual testament among his belongings, written in the form of an open letter to the world. Here is what the one-time murderer and attempted rapist wanted to say to the world—and to you.

I’m nearly 80 years old. I’m about to depart.

Looking back at my past, I can see that in my early youth, I chose a bad path which led me to ruin myself.

My behavior was influenced by print, mass-media and bad examples which are followed by the majority of young people without even thinking. And I did the same. I was not worried.

There were a lot of generous and devoted people who surrounded me, but I paid no attention to them because a violent force blinded me and pushed me toward a wrong way of life.

When I was 20 years-old, I committed a crime of passion. Now, that memory represents something horrible for me. Maria Goretti, now a Saint, was my good Angel, sent to me through Providence to guide and save me. I still have impressed upon my heart her words of rebuke and of pardon. She prayed for me, she interceded for her murderer. Thirty years of prison followed.

If I had been of age, I would have spent all my life in prison. I accepted to be condemned because it was my own fault.

Little Maria was really my light, my protectress; with her help, I behaved well during the 27 years of prison and tried to live honestly when I was again accepted among the members of society. The Brothers of St. Francis, Capuchins from Marche, welcomed me with angelic charity into their monastery as a brother, not as a servant. I’ve been living with their community for 24 years, and now I am serenely waiting to witness the vision of God, to hug my loved ones again, and to be next to my Guardian Angel and her dear mother, Assunta.

I hope this letter that I wrote can teach others the happy lesson of avoiding evil and of always following the right path, like little children. I feel that religion with its precepts is not something we can live without, but rather it is the real comfort, the real strength in life and the only safe way in every circumstance, even the most painful ones of life.

Signature, Alessandro Serenelli

St. Peter Of Alcantara Miracle at Mass

St. Peter Of Alcantara Miracle at Mass

In Petrossa, where St. Peter Of Alcantara lived for a time in a monastery, the Feast of Easter was to be celebrated with the greatest ceremony and splendor. The mayor of the town, therefore, entreated the Saint to celebrate Mass out of regard for the people, who came from all parts of the surrounding country. The news spread rapidly that Peter was to say the High Mass. The crowd that gathered was so large that the church proved too small for the congregation, and an altar had to be erected in open air. Satan, who had grown exceedingly jealous of this Saint, resolved on this occasion to use every means to distract the people in their prayers and devotion. Hardly had the choir begun to sing the Credo when a storm arose, threatening at every moment to destroy the altar. Although the people were alarmed, Father Peter remained calm and peaceful. In the midst of this commotion he sang the Preface and continued until he came to the Memento, which he offered to God with a gentle sigh. Thereupon a second storm arose, the thunder rolled on all sides and lightning zigzagged through the clouds, whilst floods of rain poured down upon the fields. The Saint quieted the people. Although the rain flooded the whole surrounding country, not a single drop fell upon the altar nor upon the faithful, neither did the wind extinguish any of the candles. In fact, over the entire spot where they were assembled, it remained as quiet as the interior of the church. After the Holy Sacrifice was over a great song of thanksgiving rose to Heaven from the faithful for this fresh proof of the sanctity of the servant which God vouchsafed to display by this miracle!