3/01/2015

A LENTEN MEDITATION

"The Christ of the University Brotherhood of Cordoba"

The result of the work of a team of scientists who are researchers of the Shroud of Turin. It is the only Shroud-based Crucifix in the world. In it, the wounds of Jesus Christ are reproduced exactly.

Shroud-Based Art of Juan Manuel Miñarro Lopez
 
O Sacred Head surrounded
By crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding Head so wounded,
Reviled and put to scorn!
Death's pallid hue comes o'er Thee,
The glow of life decays,
Yet angel hosts adore Thee,
And tremble as they gaze.
 
In this, Thy bitter passion,
Good shepherd, think of me,
With Thy most sweet compassion,
Unworthy though I be:
Beneath Thy cross abiding,
Forever would I rest;
In Thy dear love confiding,
And with Thy presence blest.
  

2/19/2015

40 DAYS FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN

An International Campaign to End Abortion
Spring 2015

 
Dear Friends of LIFE,

The Spring 40 DAYS FOR LIFE Campaign started yesterday, FEBRUARY 18. It will conclude on MARCH 29.

This is what God has accomplished through past campaigns since 2007: 650,000 people have participated; 3,336 individual, local campaigns; 559 cities have taken part; 27 nations have hosted campaigns; 9,699 babies have been saved from abortion; 107 abortion workers have quit their jobs; and, 60 abortion centers have closed...

Please JOIN THE CAMPAIGN -- PRAY AND FAST TO END ABORTION -- JOIN A VIGIL AT THE ABORTION CLINIC (One Hour, One Day a Week). SAVE WOMEN AND BABIES' LIVES!

Check out the website: www.40daysforlife.com/allentown.

Add your name to be part of the campaign, and get the daily prayers and updates.

Send your name and email address to: schedule40dfl@gmail.com along with your specified day & hour. You will be sent a daily list of hours that need people to pray.
 
PLEASE FORWARD THIS NOTICE TO FAMILY AND PRO-LIFE FRIENDS. TAKE A STAND FOR LIFE!


 
RESPONDING TO PRO-CHOICE RANTS
 

From February 18 to March 29, our community in Allentown, PA will take part in 40 Days for Life -- a groundbreaking, coordinated, international mobilization. We pray that, with God’s help, this will mark the beginning of the end of abortion in our city -- and beyond.

_______________

2/03/2015

ON THE FUTURE OF THE FAMILY


Holy Father,

In view of the Synod on the family to be held in October 2015, we filially address Your Holiness to express our fears and hopes regarding the future of the family.

Our fears arise from witnessing a decades-long sexual revolution promoted by an alliance of powerful organizations, political forces and the mass media that consistently work against the very existence of the family as the basic unit of society. Ever since the so-called May 1968 Sorbonne Revolution, a morality opposed to both Divine and natural law has been gradually and systematically imposed on us so implacably as to make it possible, for example, to teach the abhorrent "gender theory" to young children in many countries.

Catholic teaching on the Sixth Commandment of the Law of God shines like a beacon in face of this ominous ideological objective. This beacon attracts many people -- overwhelmed by this hedonistic propaganda -- to the chaste and fecund family model taught by the Gospel and in accordance with natural law.

Your Holiness, in light of information published on the last Synod, we note with anguish that, for millions of faithful Catholics, the beacon seems to have dimmed in face of the onslaught of lifestyles spread by anti-Christian lobbies. In fact we see widespread confusion arising from the possibility that a breach has been opened within the Church that would accept adultery -- by permitting divorced and then civilly remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion -- and would virtually accept even homosexual unions when such practices are categorically condemned as being contrary to Divine and natural law.

Paradoxically, our hope stems from this confusion.

Truly, in these circumstances, a word from Your Holiness is the only way to clarify the growing confusion amongst the faithful. It would prevent the very teaching of Jesus Christ from being watered-down and would dispel the darkness looming over our children’s future should that beacon no longer light their way.

Holy Father, we implore You to say this word. We do so with a heart devoted to all that You are and represent. We do so with the certainty that Your word will never disassociate pastoral practice from the teaching bequeathed by Jesus Christ and his vicars -- as this would only add to the confusion. Indeed Jesus taught us very clearly that there must be coherence between life and truth (cf. John 14:6-7); and He also warned us that the only way not to fall is to practice His doctrine. (cf. Matt. 7:24-27)

Asking for Your apostolic blessing, we assure You of our prayers to the Holy Family -- Jesus, Mary and Joseph -- to enlighten Your Holiness in these crucially important circumstances.


You can support this urgent Filial Appeal to Pope Francis by completing the petition signature box at: http://www.filialappeal.org/.

_______________

2/01/2015

GOD OF MUSLIMS, CHRISTIANS AND JEWS

Before Islam existed, the name “Allah” was used by Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews to refer to the One True God. The names “Allah” and “God” are used interchangeably in the Middle East.

Arabic-speaking Muslims who convert to Christianity often refer to the One True God as “Allah” -- despite the fact that they recognize the differences between the nature and revelation of God as described in the Bible and the nature and revelation of God as described in the Qu’ran. [For example, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity (Matthew 28:19.)]


 
NOSTRA AETATE,
“Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions”

#3. _ The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems (Muslims). They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems (Muslims), this sacred synod (sancta synodus)* urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom. _ Pope Paul VI (October 28, 1965).

*[When the Bishops of the whole world are congregated under the presidency of the Pope, the synod (council) is denominated ecumenical or general. It is only to such an assembly that it is lawful to apply the term “sancta synodus” (sacred synod) _ New Advent, The Catholic Encyclopedia ]

~ * * * ~

“Unless they (people of other faiths) specifically and consciously worship a demon through Satanism or particular forms of paganism, we (Catholics) say they are worshipping the one, true God. The further away they are from the fullness of the Catholic faith, the more their understanding of God will be defective and at times some people with a severely defective understanding of God may cross over into the worship of idols and demons.

Therefore, we assume that most non-Catholics worship the one true God but they do so with a defective, partial and distorted understanding of him. The more they reject Jesus Christ the fullness of the revelation of God, the more defective their relationship with God will be.

That is why the Catholic Church recognizes the goodness, truth and beauty in other religions and recognizes the search for truth in other religions, but because they are partial, defective and distorted we are called to engage in sympathetic, pro-active and compassionate missionary activity.” _ Fr. Dwight Longenecker

~ * * * ~

Muhammad, the founder of Islam, believed Jesus had come “only as a prophet,” to begin the work which he (Muhammad) was destined to complete -- that is, the restoration of the monotheistic faith of Abraham to its original purity, a design he believed to be corrupted by “People of the Book” (that is, Jews and Christians).

THE DICTATION OF THE QUR’AN

600 years after The Annunciation, the Archangel Gabriel was allegedly sent by God to the prophet Muhammad to dictate the Qur’an -- The Final Testament of Restored Truth. But this alleged revelation of the One True God denies the Divinity of Jesus Christ -- the second Person of the Holy Trinity, sent into the world by the Father to become man and save us from our sins.

After appearing to the Blessed Virgin Mary to announce that she would give birth to the Son of God (Luke 1:26-38), could the Archangel Gabriel later deny the Divinity of Jesus Christ? Of course not.

The defective revelation of the One True God as described in the Qu’ran gives one a partial and distorted understanding of Him. And the further away Muslims are from the fullness of the revelation of God found in the Catholic Church, the more defective their relationship with the One True God will be.

~ * * * ~

Was it truly an angel that appeared to Muhammad? Was Muhammad an egomaniac... a liar? Was Muhammad mentally ill? Was he hearing voices? Or could this have been a diabolical locution (a form of private revelation, similar to an apparition, that is received internally)?

[In the Diocese of Arlington, VA (October 2010) I ministered to a devout Catholic woman believed to be a “locutionist.” The locutions (private revelations) were convincing -- but diabolical. The woman was possessed... and the locutions were eventially burned.]

So... There is no god but Allah. (“Allah” is the Arabic word for “God.”) But, Muhammad is a false prophet!

~ * * * ~

Father Zakaria Botros

From an interview with the Coptic Orthodox Priest with a 60 million dollar bounty on his head from al Qaeda.

Question: "In your view, who was Muhammad?"

Fr. Botros: "Well, I have received the answer from Islam's own books. Ironically, Ibn Taymiyya, who happens to be the hero of the modern mujahid movement, explained the prerequisites of prophet-hood very well. One of the things he stressed is that, in order to know if a prophet is in fact from God, we must study his sira, or his biography, much like the Christ's statement that 'You shall know them from their fruits.' So, taking Ibn Taymiyya's advice, I recently devoted a number of (teachings) analyzing the biography of Muhammad, which unequivocally proves that he was not a prophet, that his only fruits were death, destruction, and lust. Indeed, he himself confessed and believed that he was being visited and tormented by a jinn, or basically a demon, until his wife Khadija convinced him that it was the angel Gabriel which, of course is ironic, since Muhammad himself later went on to say that the testimony of a woman is half that of a man. Maybe over time he realized she was wrong, and that his first assumption was right."

_______________

1/14/2015

THE THREE HEAVENS

THREE ORDERS OF REALITY

There are three orders of reality. There is the divine existence. Just below that is the preternatural world, the world of spirits. Then there’s the natural world, where we live. But human beings also participate in the preternatural. Some people are more attuned to the preternatural world. “They kind of sense things better. Things like demons.” _ Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

FIRST HEAVEN _ The Earth (and Atmosphere)

For then the anger of the LORD will flare up against you and he will close up the heavens, so that no rain will fall, and the soil will not yield its crops, and you will soon perish from the good land the LORD is giving you. (Deuteronomy 11:17)

First heaven is the natural world -- where human beings live, and also participate in the preternatural world.

Sword And Spirit - Spiritual Warfare
 
First heaven is where we fight against “the world rulers of this present darkness” (Ephesians 6:12). This is where we fight against the Devil and the fallen angels (demons) that were “thrown down to earth” (Revelation 12:9).


SECOND HEAVEN _ Between Earth (Natural World) and Paradise (Divine Existence)

Second heaven is the preternatural world -- the world of spirits (angels and demons).

“Daniel, beloved,” he (Archangel Gabriel) said to me, “understand the words which I am speaking to you; stand up, for my mission now is to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up trembling.

Archangel Gabriel Visits Daniel

“Do not fear, Daniel,” he continued; “from the first day you made up your mind to acquire understanding and humble yourself before God, your prayer was heard. Because of it I started out (from third heaven, God's dwelling place), but (while passing through second heaven) the (angelic) prince of the kingdom of Persia stood in my way for twenty-one days, until finally (Archangel) Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia, and came (to first heaven, man's dwelling place) to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the last days; for there is yet a vision concerning those days.”

... Soon (returning to third heaven) I must fight the (angelic) prince of Persia again (while passing through second heaven). When I leave, the (angelic) prince of Greece will come... No one supports me (in my battles) against these (angelic princes of Persia and Greece) except Michael, your prince (guardian angel of Israel; and, guardian and defender of the Church of Jesus Christ). (Daniel 10:11-14;20-21)

~ * * * ~

First, St. Michael and his angels cast Archangel Lucifer and the rebellious angels out of third heaven (Paradise).

Lucifer is Cast Out of Paradise

God did not spare the angels when they sinned (against Him), but condemned them to the chains of Tartarus (the infernal regions) and handed them over to be kept for judgment. (2 Peter 2:4)

Then, St. Michael and his angels cast Satan (Fallen Lucifer) and the fallen angels (demons) out of second heaven.

Satan is Thrown Down to Earth

Then war broke out in (second) heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth (first heaven), and its angels were thrown down with it. (Revelation 12:7-9)

Revelation 12 does not refer to “the fall of the angels” before the creation of man (when these created spirits radically and irrevocably rejected God and His reign). We are now living the 12th chapter of Revelation.

Therefore, rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them. But woe to you, earth and sea, for the Devil has come down to you in great fury, for he knows he has but a short time. (Revelation 12:12)


THIRD HEAVEN _ Paradise (Highest Heaven)

Third heaven is the divine existence -- God's dwelling place (the highest heaven, the place of God's enthronement).

The Throne of God

Listen to the petition of your servant and of your people Israel which they offer toward this place. Listen, from the place of your enthronement, heaven, listen and forgive. (1 Kings 8:30)

Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights. Praise him, all you his angels; give praise, all you his hosts. Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all shining stars. Praise him, highest heavens, you waters above the heavens. (Psalm 148:1-4)

So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. (Mark 16:19)

I know someone in Christ who, fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows), was caught up to the third heaven. And I know that this person (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows) was caught up into Paradise and heard ineffable things, which no one may utter. (2 Corinthians 2-4)

_______________

1/06/2015

HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS


Published: August 6, 2014

"A Meditation on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass" is not meant to be a mere inspirational drama, but a heartfelt prayer, a Catholic meditation. It should be viewed as such: Focused. Silent. Penitent. My sincere hope is that you will grow in your love for God, and your Faith will be strengthened. _ Michael Sestak

A TRADITIONAL ROMAN CATHOLIC MASS
The Church's Sacred Liturgy and Tradition
 

A Traditional Roman Catholic Mass (Pontifical Solemn High Mass) on the 5th anniversary of the inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI. Celebrated at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. on April 24, 2010
 
Looking for a Traditional Latin Mass?
 
Saint Stephen of Hungary
Roman Catholic Parish
510 West Union Street
Allentown, PA 18101
610-439-0111

_______________

12/19/2014

BINDING EVIL SPIRITS

Pope Francis recently visited the gypsy community in Rome and celebrated Mass at San Giuseppe all’Aurelio. The Holy Father spoke about babies crying in church: “...Children cry, they are noisy, they don’t stop moving. But it really irritates me when I see a child crying in church and someone says they must go out. God’s voice is in a child’s tears: they must never be kicked out of church.” _ Catholic World News

Pope Francis was speaking to parents of children (babies) baptized in the last year. He called children’s tears “the best sermon” -- but when babies cry in church, they often scream as well... And when this happens, sensitive mothers usually remove their children of their own accord -- they are not kicked out of church. Are they?

Why do babies cry during Mass? Of course, there are many reasons -- but I want to focus on their “spiritual sensitivity”...

We know that babies are very sensitive and can be “over-stimulated” by the world around them. They can have difficulty processing it all -- people crowded together, the many voices, the music, the noise, the lights, the movement (standing, sitting, kneeling...) -- all too much to take in, especially while teething...

If we had eyes to see what is unseen, we would see a multitude of angels present at every Mass. But can evil spirits also be present in the church during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

Babies are “spiritually” sensitive.

During a 3-year mission in the Miles Platting area of Manchester, England (1993-1995), I attended Mass at the Basilica of Corpus Christi, a Norbertine Priory. One day during Mass, I was unusually distracted. The babies in the church were crying -- all of them!

I received an inspiration and said, “Evil spirits in this church, I BIND you in Jesus’ Name.” Immediately, the babies in the church stopped crying -- all of them!


Yes. Evil spirits can be present in the church during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The people bring them in with them. And babies react to an evil presence. (In the Traditional Latin Mass, the priest sprinkles the people with holy water before the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass begins. Holy water drives out evil spirits.)

Have you ever been unusually distracted by thoughts during Mass -- even while trying to focus your attention on the readings and prayers?

Whenever your “inner peace” is disturbed, realize that something is disturbing it! And one way to restore peace is to BIND evil spirits: “Evil spirits, I BIND you in Jesus’ Name.”

_______________