Friday, November 30, 2007

St. Robert Bellarmine - The Call To The Priesthood

The Call Starts Small

"Brethren, a wonderful and a mysterious thing is a
young man's call to the priesthood.
From his earliest
years he is unconsciously being prepared, as an altar
boy perhaps, and the summons, at first vague
and general, may take years to become distinct and
unmistakable. Thus St. Andrew had long been a disciple
of the Baptist, and though months previous to
their present call, when John had pointed out the
Lamb of God to him and his brother Peter, they had
immediately followed Jesus, still it is only now that
their vocation takes shape definite and final.

Doubtless the immediate works of Jesus's hands,
the miraculous loaves and fishes, and the wine of Cana were
far superior to that produced by secondary causes;
and doubtless, too, some special grace was vouchsafed
those whom Jesus personally called and consecrated
to His service, but still it is the self-same
Christ that summons to-day young men to the selfsame

His voice is not heard, but just as through
fishing He caught the fishermen, and by a
star He led the astronomers or Magi, so through
some circumstance peculiar to each He draws him
naturally, sweetly, and yet mightily. Some event,
trivial it may be, but still deeply significant in the
light God sheds on it, will open up God's will to him,
even as the sight of Jesus preaching to the surging
throngs upon the strand must have recalled to the
fishermen God's promise to their father Abraham
that his seed should be as the grains of sand upon the
shore; must have made them reflect that the harvest
indeed was plentiful but the laborers few.

"Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest,"
says Holy Spirit, "to send laborers into His harvest"

for a call to the priesthood is exclusively God's doing. Mary
chooses the better part herself and Christ ratifies her
choice, but to His Apostles He says:

"It is I who choose you and not you who choose Me."

Neither Peter the fisherman, nor Peter the disowner can
turn to Christ unless Christ's glance first rest on him.
And blessed be God that in distributing His favors
Christ is impartial and no respecter of persons.
James and John, we know, were own cousins to the
Lord, yet Andrew and Peter's call preceded theirs.
That Christ began by choosing a pair of brothers recalls
God's choice of Moses and Aaron to liberate His
people and seems to indicate the bond of brotherhood
each neophyte enters into with his brotherpriests.

Again, neither wealth, nor influence, nor
great abilities count for aught with Christ in His
choice of subjects for His priesthood.
One there
was of great possessions whom He commanded to
go, give all to the poor and coming follow Him, but
that young man's countenance fell and he sadly
turned away. More frequently the call comes to the
poor and humble and by such is it more generally and
more readily accepted. The fishermen were rough
and unlettered, as unpromising, seemingly, for any
purposes of usefulness or beauty as the unhewn log
of wood or the undressed block of marble, but out
of the wood may be fashioned a thing of beauty, and
within the marble may lie hid an angel.

Julian, the apostate, was wont to sneeringly remark
that Christchose the ignorant as more gullible, and even
among alumni of Catholic colleges you will sometimes
hear the brighter men reproach the duller ones with
having studied for the priesthood because no other
path to success lay open to them. The charge is
false and blasphemous. Not all of Christ's disciples
were rude and uncultured.
Nicodemus and Gamaliel
and Nathanael were doctors of the law; Lazarus and
Joseph of Arimathea were from the Judean nobility;
Paul and Denis the Areopagite and the many Jewish
priests, who, as we read in the Acts, embraced the
faith, were all most learned men, and later history
records that the greatest minds that ever graced this
earth were priests of God. And does it not redound
to God's greater glory that men so utterly unfit as
were the fishermen should have suddenly become
masters of wisdom and of eloquence, linguists versed
in every known tongue, and stupendous wonderworkers?

That God chose such feeble means wherewith
to conquer Jewish bigotry and convert a Pagan
world served the double purpose of illustrating His
omnipotence and saving the Apostles from vanity,
for well might they say:

" Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Thy name give glory."

Aye, it served a further purpose still, viz., to
show the emptiness ofall the teachings of the
Pagan philosophies, for God chose the weak things
of the earth to overcome the strong, and the
foolish to confound the wise."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

St. Robert Bellarmine Apologetic Quote - Assumption

St. Robert Bellarmine Quote - Defending the
Virgin's Mary Assumption into Heaven

virgin mary, Saint Robert Bellarmine qoute, St. Robert Bellarmine quote, assumption of our lady

And who, I ask could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, could be reduced to ruin?

My soul is filled with horror at the thought that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought Him into the world, had nourish and carried Him, could have been turned into ashes or given over to be the food of worms?

The Blessed Virgin Mary

Saint Robert Bellarmine

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Have You Seriously Examined Your Conscience Today

Examination of Conscience -

Mortal Sins

Three conditions necessary for mortal sin…
  1. Serious Matter
  2. Reflection
  3. Full Consent of the Will

  • Involvement in cult practices like masonry, Wicca, wizardry

  • Leaving the Catholic Faith for another religion or practice

  • Receiving Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin without confession

  • Receiving Conformation or marriage in a state of mortal sin

  • Firm hatred of God and his teachings

  • Buying or selling of blessed or consecrated objects

  • Using God’s name as a purposeful curse

  • Seriously wishing death or harm upon another person

  • Serious slander about another person

  • Swearing false oaths

  • Perjury or lying under oath

  • Willful failure to fast and abstain on Ash Wednesday/Good Friday

  • Missing mass intentionally on Sunday or Holy Days

  • Willfully working at a task for more than a few hours on Sunday regularly

  • Serious failure to care for your aging parents

  • Wishing evil or death upon your parents or grandparents

  • Failure to Baptize your children and raise them in the faith

  • Murder, manslaughter, or homicide

  • Having an abortion

  • Using artificial birth control which causes spontaneous abortion

  • Endangering another while driving drunk

  • Abusing and selling illegal drugs

  • Having oneself sterilized

  • Adultery

  • Fornication

  • Self-abuse

  • Prostituting one’s body for money

  • In-vitro fertilization

  • Human Cloning

  • Co-habitation before marriage

  • Stealing a large amount of money

  • Buying or selling stolen goods

  • Excessive gambling

  • Bribery or blackmail

  • Tax evasion

  • Detraction or serious gossip

  • Internet pornography

  • Willfully lusted after another person

Examination of Conscience - Venial Sins

Monday, November 26, 2007

Have You Examined Your Conscience Lately?

Examination of Conscience - Venial Sins

  • Failure to pray regularly

  • Failure to know and study the teachings of the Catholic Church

  • Spiritual laziness

  • Not trusting God will provide

  • Failure to support the mission of the Catholic Church

  • Putting off confession

  • Giving into self-pity and selfishness

  • Using God’s name frivolously

  • Cursing thoughtlessly

  • Speaking badly about Bishops, Priests, and Deacons

  • Being immodest or irreverent in Church

  • Coming to mass late or leaving early habitually

  • Fighting with siblings

  • Disrespectful of those who have rightful authority over us

  • Neglecting our children

  • Lack of gratitude for what God has given us

  • Nagging our spouse or children

  • Meddling in others' business

  • Breaking civil laws like speeding

  • Pride

  • Arrogance

  • Vanity

  • Being stubborn or rude

  • Being prejudiced against race(s)

  • Harboring a grudge

  • Seeking revenge

  • Excessive use of TV, video games, use of cell phones or computer

  • Treating others unfairly

  • Violating trust or friendships

  • Treating others as things

  • Theft of small items

  • Failing to practice charity towards the poor

  • Failing to pay off debts or credit cards

  • Lying, gossiping, stealing another’s reputation

  • Exaggerating the Truth

  • Complaining, criticizing others, whining

And the number one venial sin

to confess this Advent? ? ?

  • Excessive blogging

Examination of Conscience - Mortal Sins

Your Sunday Catholic Homily Minute - Thirty-Fourth Sunday

From the Desk of Father Mark, Your Sunday Catholic Homily Minute - Thirty-Fourth Sunday

My Dear People,

Christ The King, Come Lord Jesus

Christ the King HomilyThe holy image of Christ the King has been impressed upon the hearts of Christians of all ages. Of the house of King David, Jesus Christ crucified, will reign over all powers and principalities until the end of time. St. Paul tells us that, "He is the beginning, the first born of the dead..." Jesus reconciles all things to Himself. He has redeemed us through His Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

All who are baptized and confess His Holy Name will be saved. We are the people of this "holy promise". We long for the return of Our Lord Jesus Christ. "Maranatha..Come Lord Jesus Come". This was the cry of the early Church. We long for the complete reign of Christ the King. Lord of all nations, come to reign over us!

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark, Your Sunday Catholic Homily Minute - 34th Sunday

What else does Father Mark have with his Catholic Homily Minute?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What I Am Thankful For . . .

Children! Children! Children!

We had 10 little ones age 3 and under at our Thanksgiving meal. We were even blessed with 2 more, but the good Lord decided to take them while still in the womb. It all started after my Mom's death. A good sign of her sanctity. I mentioned the fruits of her death here.

May Christ the King bless you.

John Michael

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Anne Marie's Godmother Enters The Covent

Here are the rest of the pictures. Notice the how the sorrow in the first set was turned to joy.

First Set Pictures Of Gloria Before Entering

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

God Is Good

Here are the pictures I promised when Gloria entered the Poor Clare Community.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Your Sunday Catholic Homily Minute - Thirty-Third Sunday

From the Desk of Father Mark, Your Sunday Catholic Homily Minute - Thirty-Third Sunday

My Dear People,

Roman Catholic Womenpriests Is A Lie

If we had to summarize the present age, it would be described as one of "entitlement". Simply put.."I am owed." Unlike our forefathers who struggled to provide the basic necessities for their families in an environment of faith and trust in Almighty God, this age places pleasures and power before everything else. When Eve was seduced in the Garden, she was given the BIG LIE, "you can have it all, right now". "You can become God, and possess it all, including have His knowledge," the Devil promised Eve. Once seduced, she convinces Adam of the lie as well, and so it goes. Today, this BIG LIE has never been so alive as it presently is. We must have it all right now, without pain or sacrifice, because "I am owed." There are no longer boundaries of reason, simply a seeking and a gaining what is owed me.

The Schismatic Group, Roman Catholic Womenpriests,
Excommunicate Themselves With Scandalise Ordination

The recent SCHISM with the "ordination" of women in the St. Louis Archdiocese, is the penultimate LIE of "I am owed." The apostates, who refer to themselves as Catholics, have been completely seduced by Eve's deception..."I am owed." Roman Catholic Womenpriests, as they call themselves, are the epitome of the lie. Unlike the hundreds of holy women saints, who submitted themselves to God's Divine Will, these women image "self-will." Like Lucifer, they boldly cry out publicly, "we will not obey our God." And so the sin is perpetuated in the name of "I am owed." We have much to atone for this present age. ONLY by God's Divine Mercy and Forgiveness will we emerge from this "present darkness." Stand in contradiction to the BIG LIE. Submit yourselves and your families in humility to Jesus' Most Sacred Heart. Ask Our Lady to cover you with Her Holy Mantle. Trust and believe in the power of God's Divine Love.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark, Your Sunday Catholic Homily Minute - Thirty-Third Sunday

What else does Father Mark have with his Catholic Homily Minute?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Family Funny - Car Ride

Driving home late Sunday night we hear Rose ask Anne Marie.
"Anne Marie, are you asleep?"
A little louder, "Anne Marie, are you asleep?"

A little bit annoyed, "Anne Marie, are you asleep?"

We finally decided to answer and let her know that Anne Marie was asleep.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

She Left Us!

Yes, she left us. Actually it is a good thing.

Gloria, Anne Marie's Godmother, enter the Poor Clares this Saturday. It was tough seeing her leave. We will only get to see her two more times. I will be updating with pictures shortly.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Family Funny - Church Bells

While leaving our church after a recent funeral I got to ring the bell. It was such a privilege, that I was a little over-zealous. While my dad was walking out, he gave me a warning, "don't pull to hard or the bell will fall out. Well, at least it did when I was a kid."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

While At The Hospital...

This was taken at the hospital when we went to visit my new nephew.

Monday, November 12, 2007

ZENIT - A Martyr's Letter to His Girlfriend

A Martyr's Letter to His Girlfriend

"Let My Memory Always Remind You There Is a Better Life"

MADRID, Spain, NOV. 9, 2007 ( Here is a translation of a letter from Bartolomé Blanco Márquez, written to his girlfriend from prison the day before he was executed during religious persecution in 1930s Spain. Márquez was beatified Oct. 28; the letter is published in the “Summarium Super Martyrio” of his beatification cause.

Bartolomé Blanco Márquez was born in Cordoba in 1914. He was arrested as a Catholic leader -- he was the secretary of Catholic Action and a delegate to the Catholic Syndicates -- on Aug. 18, 1936. He was executed on Oct. 2, 1936, at age 21, while he cried out, “Long live Christ the King!”

* * *

Provincial prison of Jaen, Oct. 1, 1936

My dearest Maruja:

Your memory will remain with me to the grave and, as long as the slightest throb stirs my heart, it will beat for love of you. God has deemed fit to sublimate these worldly affections, ennobling them when we love each other in him. Though in my final days, God is my light and what I long for, this does not mean that the recollection of the one dearest to me will not accompany me until the hour of my death.

I am assisted by many priests who -- what a sweet comfort -- pour out the treasures of grace into my soul, strengthening it. I look death in the eye and, believe my words, it does not daunt me or make me afraid.

My sentence before the court of mankind will be my soundest defense before God's court; in their effort to revile me, they have ennobled me; in trying to sentence me, they have absolved me, and by attempting to lose me, they have saved me. Do you see what I mean? Why, of course! Because in killing me, they grant me true life and in condemning me for always upholding the highest ideals of religion, country and family, they swing open before me the doors of heaven.

My body will be buried in a grave in this cemetery of Jaen; while I am left with only a few hours before that definitive repose, allow me to ask but one thing of you: that in memory of the love we shared, which at this moment is enhanced, that you would take on as your primary objective the salvation of your soul. In that way, we will procure our reuniting in heaven for all eternity, where nothing will separate us.

Goodbye, until that moment, then, dearest Maruja! Do not forget that I am looking at you from heaven, and try to be a model Christian woman, since, in the end, worldly goods and delights are of no avail if we do not manage to save our souls.

My thoughts of gratitude to all your family and, for you, all my love, sublimated in the hours of death. Do not forget me, my Maruja, and let my memory always remind you there is a better life, and that attaining it should constitute our highest aspiration.

Be strong and make a new life; you are young and kind, and you will have God's help, which I will implore upon you from his kingdom. Goodbye, until eternity, then, when we shall continue to love each other for life everlasting.

ZENIT - A Martyr's Letter to His Girlfriend

Your Sunday Catholic Homily Minute - Thirty-Second Sunday

From the Desk of Father Mark, Your Sunday Catholic Homily Minute - Thirty-Second Sunday

My Dear People,

Thankfulness As A Way of Life

Even though it may not seem that way at times, we are a people of abundance. Compared to other nations, we are still among the richest countries of the world. Just because we don't have as many things as our next door neighbor, does not mean that we are POOR in the eyes of the world. Being thankful for all that we have is truly a "way of life". Gratitude does not come overnight. Realizing how very brief life really is, and that each day is truly a gift from God, is a great grace.

So this week, decide to become a person who is grateful to Almighty God for all that you have, and all that you will become. Count your blessing, not your disappointments. Living in this LIGHT, will bring even more graces of abundance upon you and your whole family. Praise be to our God!

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark, Your Sunday Catholic Homily Minute - Thirty-Second Sunday

Don't Miss Out Get The Rest Of The Catholic Sunday Homily

Sunday, November 11, 2007

They Just Wouldn't Shut Up!

Do you battle spiritual pride? I do.

Sometimes in my actions, but mainly in my head. My thoughts were screaming spiritual pride this morning. Of course they had to yell in order to be heard. Let me explain...

Finally, We Made It To The Rosary Before Mass!

A small victory for this Bellarmine Blog family. The Rosary was started a little late this morning. You know, no big deal. Well, it started to get loud in the vestibule as more and more people were arriving. That's where my rude thoughts started kicking in. They were loud, really loud. Satan took this time to throw me some self-righteous thoughts. "Don't they know we praying?" My lips prayed. My heart belittled. It was like I was a dog and Satan was throwing me a ball and I would take it and happily run away. Of course the sin is not the thrown ball. Retrieving it is.

Then It Happened.

The Holy Spirit moved! It was a gift. One that humbled me. The third Glorious Mystery was announced. Remember we started late which meant the entire congregation was already in attendance. "The third Glorious Mystery the descent of the Holy Spirit." The second sentence was annouced the entire Church stopped talking as if they rehearsed the day before. The Holy Spirit Did Descend And Gave Us Silence. God is good.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It's Time to Make a Stand - An Open Letter to Catholic Contraceptive Users

Do You Have A Contraceptive Mentality? If So...

Read All Of This!
But First, Stop And Say A Prayer.
Fair Enough?

Bishop: Catholic Disobedience on Contraception has caused "Tremendous Harm to Society"

"In choosing to disobey, you break faith with the Church," warns Bishop Robert Vasa in the Catholic Sentinel. "In that disobedience tremendous harm has been brought to many women. Tremendous harm to marriage. Tremendous harm to family life. Tremendous harm to society."
Did you read that? Does it make sense?

These may sound like silly questions. But Bishop Robert Vasa defined the consequences of the contraceptive mentality very clearly. When the truth is given in a straight-forward manner with a charitable heart, it forces a decision to made.

Either I will serve and obey the Catholic Church, the bride of Christ, or I will not serve and obey and choose to break that relationship. This is the teaching of the Catholic Church.

So Which Master Will You Serve?
"Many Catholics have erroneously determined that the path they should follow is to disobey while trying to convince the Church that Her teaching is erroneous."

Bishop Vasa has correctly pegged the Contraceptive Mentality. How many of us have declared that "The Church needs to get with the times?" As for you and your house, who will you serve?

Yes, this is hard-hitting stuff. But, let me tell you why it is. I chose not to serve. And after repenting and doing penance for seven years it is still a thorn in my side.

"Honey, I love you, but not your fertility."

I lied to her! A straight face, bold lie. You cannot separate the woman from the fertility. The two are one, both Divine gifts. Just like Jesus and His Bride, the Catholic Church. If you take away one you get neither.

After seven years I am still paying for the consequences. Back then it almost cost me my marriage. I had to move out of the house. It was ugly and hurtful.

Now, we are still rebuilding our relationship. The consequences linger for a long time. We still battle trust issues and our frustration levels are still high after seven years. After taking a step back and evaluating the situation it is very clear to see why. Contraception is a selfish lie that tears apart relationships from your spouse and the bride of Christ, the Catholic Church.

There you have it. Your Decision Must Be Made!

Whose House Will You Serve?

Don't be fooled. Not making a decision is a decision in itself. It is hard. I've been there. Take courage! There is Joy out there waiting for you.

Your Brother In Christ,

John Michael

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Department Stores Attack Christmas!

Earlier Than Ever Department Stores
Attack Christmas Spirituality!

Did you see it? It is subtle you know.

Maybe you walked right by it and didn't even notice?

If you made a comment it probably went something like this.

"I can't believe they already have Christmas items up for sale!"
Yep, Christmas items for sale a week before Halloween. Yes, that's crazy. And don't be fooled it is a vicious attack on Christmas. Why you say?

  1. It is subtle. Lucifer knows the light because he was God's brightest angel. So he creates something with a little or a lot of light in it, to lure in new victims. Once he has an inch he can start working on his mile.
  2. Materialistic. If you want to beat a team with a good offense then you better have a good defense. Christmas is a spiritual holiday (observe that the word holiday is from "Holy Day"). What better way to attack it than by excessive materialism.
  3. It is out of season. Like scripture says, there is time for peace, a time for war. A week before Halloween is not the time for Christmas.
So What Do We Do?

Good question. Some simple suggestions will be in the next blogpost.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Your Sunday Catholic Homily Minute - Thirty-First Sunday

From the Desk of Father Mark, Your Sunday Catholic Homily Minute - Thirty-First Sunday

My Dear People,

Zacchaues Filled With Great Joy

Catholic Homily, Homily, Sunday Catholic Homily, Sunday HomilyZacchaeus is a very interesting character in the New Testament. In today's gospel, Jesus says, "this day salvation has come to your house." Jesus was not speaking of a physical dwelling. He was speaking about the temple of Zacchaeus's soul. In order for Jesus to bestow this great grace of salvation, Zacchaeus had to open his own heart and soul. Filled with great joy, Zacchaeus hurries down from his perch, and confesses his desire for complete conversion.

In Jesus' day, tax collectors were usually very wealthy men. They had very lucrative jobs. For Zacchaeus to declare publicly that he would give 1/2 of all his possessions to the poor, was a great "offering". Imagine selling your house, cars, properties, and cashing in all of your savings and giving 1/2 of your net worth to St. Vincent de Paul. That is some serious money. But he knew God's eternal mercy and love was truly worth it. Everytime we receive Holy Communion, Jesus opens the "portal way" to eternal life. It costs us NOTHING but our surrender and conversion to Him alone. Confess your total dependence upon the Lord, and know the GREAT JOY of Zacchaeus.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark, Your Sunday Catholic Homily Minute - Thirty-First Sunday

Don't Miss Out Get The Rest Of The Catholic Sunday Homily

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The White Lady

Across the Missouri River Valley from the Hermannhof Winery is the Starkenburg Lady of Sorrows Shrine to our "Blessed Virgin Mary." Built as a monastery in 1852, Starkenburg was named for its likeness to a monastery built in Germany in 1065. The Lady of Sorrows Monastery has a plain white veiled statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary carried in processions. Protestants of Rhineland, Herman and surrounding Missouri farms who came to view the Virgin Mary processions, termed the Virgin Mary statue as the "Weisse Dame- White Lady."

In 1891 a solemn, annual pilgrimage was vowed by local farmers to the "Weisse Dame - White Lady" if the rains would cease. The following day dawned bright and clear, and one beautiful day followed another. On another occasion, a drought was broken on the day after such a pilgrimage. Pilgrim processions grew into multitudes. Numerous seemingly miraculous cures have also been reported from the water of Starkenburg.

In 1897 the Holy Father, Leo XIII, decreed that henceforth, all pious Pilgrims to the Shrine wil be granted special benefits. The crutches, braces and plaques at Starkenburg bear testimony to the consolation, relief, and therapeutic benefits received from the Starkenburg Shrine.

Taken off of the wine bottle.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Family Halloween Picture

I love it.