Friday, June 21, 2019

Spiritual Warfare: Know your enemy

The following comes from Aggie Catholics:

There is a spiritual battle that rages in places we cannot see with our eyes or hear with our ears. It rages in our hearts, our culture, and in our world.

In the Sacred Scriptures God continually warns His people to prepare for war. Yes, He is The victorious King who has entered the fray, but he calls you and I to take up our weapons and fight with Him against the enemy - Satan.

All of hell knows there is no hope of final victory, but out of spite, they fight to ruin whatever souls they can. The rest of creation cries out for salvation.

Our war will not be fought with weapons made of our own hands, but of the grace of God.


How have you prepared for war this day?
What are you doing to help others survive it?
Are you prepared to go into battle?
Whether you are or not, war is upon you.

Now is the time to fight. Now is the time to put on the armor of God and take up the sword.

If we fail to pick a side in the war, it means we have already chosen - "he who is not with me is against me."

Can you not hear the bombs falling and the guns firing? Pick up your cross - it is your weapon against the enemy - and follow The King of All into battle.

He will come again, but until that day - it is up to you and me to take up His cause and fight the enemy.

If you want to fight - here are a 9 strategies in fighting the war: 9 Ways to Overcome Temptation: 


1. Avoid and/or flee from it. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.
“She caught him by his cloak and said, "Come to bed with me!" But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.” -Gen 39:12

2. Submit your thoughts to God. He knows better than we do what is good.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” -Phil 4:8

3. Overcome your selfishness. True Love doesn’t know selfishness. Because, if you love Jesus you don’t belong to yourself

“and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” -1 Cor 3:23

4. Expect and be ready for temptation. We need to be prepared for Spiritual battle.

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” -Eph 6:13

5. Remind yourself of the consequences of sin.

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” -Gal5:19-21

6. Memorize God’s Word. Filling our minds with the thoughts of God and having them readily available to us is very wise.

“He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” -Luke 11:28

7. Cultivate a sense of God’s presence But don’t just listen – obey.

“Go near and listen to all that the LORD our God says. Then tell us whatever the LORD our God tells you. We will listen and obey.” -Deut 5:27

8. Frequent confession heals us and we start over spiritually healthy.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” -James 5:16

9. Accountability helps us avoid sin. When we are accountable to both man and God it helps us overcome temptation.

“Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?" The LORD said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground.” -Genesis 4:9-10


Thursday, June 13, 2019

Psalm 23


The LORD is my shepherd,
         I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures;
         He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul;
         He guides me in the paths of righteousness
         For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
         I fear no evil, for You are with me;
         Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
         You have anointed my head with oil;
         My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me 
all the days of my life,
         And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Pope Francis and Benedict XVI

The following comes from Crux:

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE - While aboard a return flight to Rome from Romania, Pope Francis said Pope emeritus Benedict XVI gives him strength and reinvigorates him with the roots of tradition, which are legacies he wishes a polarized Europe would keep in mind.
“Every time I go to [Benedict XVI] to visit him, I take his hand and I let him speak,” the pope told reporters aboard the papal plane June 2. “He doesn’t speak a lot, and he speaks slowly, but with the same depth as always, because Benedict’s problem is his knees, not his head.”

Pope Benedict makes me strong

The comments were made in response to a question by Vatican reporters asking whether he still viewed his predecessor as a “grandfather,” especially given the emphasis that Francis put on the family and intergenerational dialogue during his May 31 to June 2 visit to the Eastern European country of Romania.
The pope emeritus, Francis continued, “has a great lucidity. When I hear him, he makes me strong and I feel the sap of our roots come to me so I can go forward.”
The pope added that the tradition of the Catholic Church is not “a museum,” but a heritage that allows people to be mindful of where they come from as they go toward the future.
Ever since Benedict resigned, shocking the Church and the world, some observers have sought to read division between the two pontiffs living inside the Vatican walls.
“Tradition doesn’t carry ashes, or the nostalgia of the integralists,” Francis said, but “the roots that allow the tree to grow and bear fruit.”
Read the rest here.

Saints of the day: Charles Lwanga and Companions


The following comes from the Savior.org site:

St. Charles was one of 22 Ugandan martyrs who converted from paganism. Though he was baptized the night before being put to death, he became a moral leader. He was the chief of the royal pages and was considered the strongest athlete of the court. He was also known as "the most handsome man of the Kingdom of the Uganda." He instructed his friends in the Catholic Faith and he personally baptized boy pages. He inspired and encouraged his companions to remain chaste and faithful. He protected his companions, ages 13-30, from the immoral acts and homosexual demands of the Babandan ruler, Mwanga.


Mwanga was a superstitious pagan king who originally was tolerant of Catholicism. However, his chief assistant, Katikiro, slowly convinced him that Christians were a threat to his rule. The premise was if these Christians would not bow to him, nor make sacrifices to their pagan god, nor pillage, massacre, nor make war, what would happen if his whole kingdom converted to Catholicism?


When Charles was sentenced to death, he seemed very peaceful, one might even say, cheerful. He was to be executed by being burnt to death. While the pyre was being prepared, he asked to be untied so that he could arrange the sticks. He then lay down upon them. When the executioner said that Charles would be burned slowly so death, Charles replied by saying that he was very glad to be dying for the True Faith. He made no cry of pain but just twisted and moaned, "Kotanda! (O my God!)." He was burned to death by Mwanga's order on June 3, 1886. Pope Paul VI canonized Charles Lwanga and his companions on June 22,1964.


Most of the twenty-two Uganda martyrs who have been proclaimed saints were killed on June 3, 1886. They were forced to walk thirty-seven miles to the execution site. After a few days in prison, they were thrown into a huge fire. Seventeen of the martyrs were royal pages, One of the martyred boys was St. Mbaga. His own father was the executioner that day. Another of the martyrs, St. Andrew Kagwa, died on January 27, 1887. He was among the twenty-two proclaimed saints in 1964 by Pope Paul VI.


St. Charles Lwanga is the patron of black African young people. He and his companions greatly appreciated their gift of faith. They were heroes! We all can pray to St. Charles and these African martyrs. We can ask them to show us how to witness to Jesus and the Church as they did.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

God’s Holiness Makes Us Uncomfortable

The following comes from the Catholic Exchange:
There is a third human reaction to God’s holiness. It is an evil reaction; it rises from man’s contradictory nature and consists of a feeling of discomfort, irritation, and rebelliousness. A strange manifestation! One is inclined to ask how this can come about if God is the moving Spirit and essence of the universe, and man is His creature — “For in Him we live, and move, and are.”
It is indeed difficult to understand; it springs from the mystery of evil. Sin, ultimately, is resistance to the holiness of God. It would be a mistake to think of this resistance merely as an open rebellion against, or as a denial of, God.
Potentially it is present in all of us — sometimes stronger, sometimes weaker; sometimes quite openly, sometimes in the guise of self-sufficient (rational) culture, or healthy common sense. When resistance, open or otherwise, gains the upper hand, prayer becomes impossible.
We must watch out for signs of it in ourselves; we must face it, try to resolve or still it, or overcome it with firm determination, whichever may be for us the most effective way of dealing with it. Let us leave this and return to the two fundamental motives of prayer already referred to.

Prayer’s first motive: a sense of our own sinfulness

The first motive for prayer springs from man’s awareness of his own unworthiness before the holiness of God. Man recognizes that he is selfish, unjust, deficient, and impure. He acknowledges his own wrongdoings and tries to assess them: not merely those of today or of yesterday, but of the whole of his life. Beyond this he tries to visualize the whole of the human condition with its shortcomings. He realizes sin as it is understood by the Scriptures, sin as it is active in himself. He recognizes that sin is transgression of the moral law and of the natural law.
But even more, he recognizes that sin is contumacy before God’s holiness, that it is, therefore, not only wicked but unholy. He admits it and sides with God against himself; he says, in the words of the Psalm: “For I know my iniquity, and my sin is always before me. Against Thee only have I sinned, and have done evil before Thee: that Thou mayst be justified in Thy words, and mayst overcome when Thou art judged.”

We sometimes despair

A third form of evasion is caused by lack of courage. When man sees that he is constantly transgressing and that evil is deeply rooted in him, when he begins to feel that all is confusion and that there is no way out, he runs the risk of despairing of himself, especially when he is a person wanting in willpower and, perhaps, in logic. To hold out in these circumstances is most difficult because the mind seems to answer to all good intentions, “You’re not going to carry this through; you will do again what you have always done before.” There is only one remedy: to put aside all inner searchings and recriminations, to have done with all hesita­tions, and to put one’s absolute trust in God who “quickeneth the dead; and calleth those things that are not, as those that are.”
From this act of surrender to the Absolute, above and within us, will spring new resolve and new strength. We shall be able to say, “I will and shall, for God the omnipotent wills it.”

God’s forgiveness makes repentance possible

There is another mysterious aspect of God’s power which makes it possible for man to acknowledge his wrong and to admit and confess his sins. Man knows this intuitively, and the Scriptures have revealed it to us. God is not only the prime cause of the good and the fount of all justice; He is the all-renewer. He can give a new beginning to what appears final and He can undo all deeds. The words of St. Paul quoted above point to this mystery. God who is the supreme holiness, which by definition excludes all evil, is willing and able to forgive and to renew.
True forgiveness, the forgiveness which we are seeking and which alone is of benefit to us, is a great mystery. It implies not only that God decides to overlook what has happened and turns lovingly toward the sinner; this would not be sufficient. God’s forgiveness is creative: it makes him who has become guilty free of all guilt. God gathers the guilty man into His holiness, makes him partake of it, and gives him a new beginning. It is to this mystery that man appeals when he acknowledges his sins, repents of them, and seeks forgiveness. This is the first of those two motives of prayer which come into being before God’s holiness.
Editor’s note: This article has been adapted from Romano Guardini’s The Art of Praying, available from Sophia Institute Press. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Brother Roger: Kindness builds you up

Kindness builds you up from Taize on Vimeo.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Thomas Merton on Priesthood

If you are afraid to love, never become a priest, never say Mass.  The Mass will draw you down upon your soul a torrent of interior suffering which has only one function:  to break you wide open and let everybody in the world into your heart.  For when you begin to say Mass, the Spirit of God awakens like a giant inside you and bursts the locks of  your private sanctuary.  If you say Mass, you condemn your soul to the torrent of a love that is so vast and insatiable that you will never be able to bear it alone.  That love is the love of the Heart of Jesus, burning within your own heart and bringing down upon you the huge weight of His compassion for all the sinners of the world.