Friday, August 29, 2008

Bible Stumper Game


Can you find the names of 25 books of the Bible in this paragraph? This is a most remarkable puzzle. Someone found it in the seat pocket on a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu, keeping himself occupied for hours. One man from Illinois worked on this while fishing from his john boat. Roy Clark studied it while playing his banjo. Elaine Victs mentioned it in her column once. One woman judges the job to be so involving, she brews a cup of tea to help calm her nerves. There will be some names that are really easy to spot… that’s a fact. Some people will soon find themselves in a jam, especially since the book names are not necessarily capitalized.

The truth is, from answers we get, we are forced to admit it usually takes a minister or scholar to see some of them at the worst. Something in our genes is responsible for the difficulty we have. Those able to find all of them will hear great lamentations from those who have to be shown. One revelation may help, books like Timothy and Samuel may occur without their numbers. And punctuation or spaces in the middle are normal. A chipper attitude will help you compete. Remember, there are 25 books of the Bible lurking somewhere in this paragraph!

Blogger Note: Share this with a friend. We found 24 and are too sleepy to crack the code.

Why Do Prayers Go Unaswered?

So God Is Not Answering Your Prayers?

ST. AUGUSTINE says there are three kinds of people who pray and are not heard and three ways in which they pray.

First, those who pray in a bad state of mind — that is, a state of mortal sin.
There is nothing which turns God from man so much as sin. Man, after being regenerated by baptism, should always have his soul in a state of purity, instead of which he very often has it in a state of sin, thus compelling Almighty God to leave him and go far from him. Therefore, when we pray we should always be in a state of grace.

Secondly, those who pray in an unfit manner — with a heart full of distractions and a mind overwhelmed with the turmoils and affairs of this wicked world.
They may be on their knees — they may be in the temple of the Almighty, but their heart is not there. When this is the case they cannot be heard, neither can God grant them their prayers.

Lastly, those who ask for things which they should not — like things of the world or those which would be injurious to us.
God, Who is all love, has created man for everlasting glory, therefore, how is it possible that He could grant us a petition which would only conduce to our own confusion and injury?

Here is what St. Robert Bellarmine Reveals About Unanswered Prayer

Feel Free To Email This To Friend

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sacrilege, Justice & Mercy; A Old Story About 3 Soldiers


WE have many instances in the history of the Church of the signal way in which God has punished acts of sacrilege and blasphemy, not only when directed immediately against Himself, but also those that have been perpetrated against His Saints and Angels, and above all against His Blessed Mother.

Napoleon Attacks Spain

The following example, which happened in the time of the first Napoleon, is one in which the retributive justice of God was in a special way manifested. It was at the commencement of that disastrous expedition against Spain, which Napoleon undertook for the purpose of setting a member of his own family on the throne.

Three Soldiers Committed Sacrilege

Three French conscripts on their way to join the Emperor's army happened one day to be passing a small country Church in the South of France. Over the door of this Church was an image of the Blessed Mother of God. Such was the depth of irreligion in the hearts of these Napoleon's soldiers, that one of these three proposed they should each have a shot at the holy image. Another of them who was less wicked than the other two, shrinking from such a sacrilegious proposal, tried to dissuade them from their purpose. They, however, only laughed at him for his scruples.

They Shot Our Mother

The first soldier raising his musket, fired, and the ball struck the forehead of the image. The second following his example also fired ; and the ball struck the breast. The third not wishing to fire, but being overcome by human respect and the continued bantering of his comrades, fired with an unsteady hand and turning aside his head as he did so; and his ball struck the image below the knee.

As they continued their journey they expressed their misgivings about their impious exploit. These three men went through the whole of that campaign without a wound: and they were making the best of their way back to France with other stragglers, and were within three days march of their own country, the Guerilla bands hanging in their rear picking off all they could.

Justice Is Mine Says The Lord

That evening, as they were seated around their bivouac fire, a ball whizzed through the air — no one saw from whence it came, and struck the soldier, who had fired first at our Lady's Image in the forehead and killed him on the spot. This caused the other two soldiers to exchange silent but significant looks. That evening, a ball from an invisible hand struck the soldier who had fired second at the Image on his breast and pierced his heart. On the third day, just before arriving at the frontier, a stray ball struck the third soldier who had fired unwillingly at the Image on his leg.

It Was Only A Flesh Wound?

The surgeon on dressing it, pronounced it only a slight flesh wound; but three days after on removing the bandage expecting to find it well-nigh healed, to his surprise found it a terrible wound full of worms. The wounded man reached his own home, and lived for some years after, but the wound in his leg could never be healed ; it was always a frightful running sore which bred worms. Skillful surgeons tried in vain to heal it, and the sufferer visited the different famous mineral springs in France to try to obtain a cure, but equally in vain.

Mercy Prevails

The good Mother of Mercy, however, had pity on him and he became converted, and henceforth lived a Christian life; but be went down to his grave with this mark of God's just, though to him, merciful vengeance for the blasphemous act perpetrated against the Image of His ever Blessed Mother.

Blogger Note: Remember Professor Meyers, "Our Lord Has Been Desecrated!"? Let's pray for God's Mercy.

Sacraments! Gods Generous Life & Grace

From the Desk of Father Mark, 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

My Dear People,

Sacraments! Gods Generous Life & Grace

Summer is quickly drawing to a close. Time seems to going by more quickly these days. Our Gospel reminds us that God's time is on our side. We share sacred time with God everytime we encounter Him in one of the seven sacraments. A SACRAMENT is a sign instituted by Christ to give us His Divine Life and Grace. How generous God is to us. There are "7" sacraments, all mitigate sin and strengthen our Faith.

Holy Eucharist is the sacrament that we all encounter most frequently. Jesus comes to us in His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity each Eucharist. Frequent confession prepares us to receive Him worthily. We have the confirmation in Matthew's Gospel today. Peter received the KEYS to the Kingdom, that unlock the grace for us. "Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven them..." The Catholic Church is the only Apostolic Church who still practices this belief. If it has been since Christmas or Easter since you have gone to Holy Confession, take some time to do so soon. Jesus waits for us in His Confessional.

May we joyfully return to Our Lord a fair and grateful portion of the many gifts God has given to us.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,
Fr. Mark

Saturday, August 23, 2008

St. Rose of Lima

St. Rose of Lima

Writings of St. Rose of Lima

The Beauty of Suffering and Divine Grace:

Our Lord and Savior lifted up his voice and said with incomparable majesty: “Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation. Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase. Let men take care not to stray and be deceived. This is the only true stairway to paradise, and without the cross they can find no road to climb to heaven”.

When I heard these words, a strong force came upon me and seemed to place me in the middle of a street, so that I might say in a loud voice to people of every age, sex and status: “Hear, O people; hear, O nations. I am warning you about the commandment of Christ by using words that came from his own lips: We cannot obtain grace unless we suffer afflictions.

We must heap trouble upon trouble to attain a deep participation in the divine nature, the glory of the sons of God and perfect happiness of soul”.

That same force strongly urged me to proclaim the beauty of divine grace. It pressed me so that my breath came slow and forced me to sweat and pant. I felt as if my soul could no longer be kept in the prison of the body, but that it had burst its chains and was free and alone and was going very swiftly through the whole world saying:

“If only mortals would learn how great it is to possess divine grace, how beautiful, how noble, how precious. How many riches it hides within itself, how many joys and delights! Without doubt they would devote all their care and concern to winning for themselves pains and afflictions. All men throughout the world would seek trouble, infirmities and torments, instead of good fortune, in order to attain the unfathomable treasure of grace. This is the reward and the final gain of patience. No one would complain about his cross or about troubles that may happen to him, if he would come to know the scales on which they are weighed when they are distributed to men”.

St. Rose of Lima, pray for us.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

4 Things The Modesty Priest Did Right

Shocking Bulletin Post Warns Women About The Dangers of Dressing Immodestly

Imagine the surprise! You're reading the Church bulletin, hoping for donuts after Mass, when you see Fr. John Lyons's weekly address to his parish.

Dear Parishioners,

At this time we most especially need to remind girls and women to not wear immodest low-cut dresses or blouses. Women and girls should be careful that their dress is not revealing at all, even when they bend over or kneel down. Maybe some women do not know that revealing clothing is a source of temptation for most men. If you doubt this, ask a man. If a woman knows that such is the case, and still she would wear such clothing, then she would be committing the sin of scandal.

The full immodesty post is a must read to get the full context. "Immodest Dress; A Priest Cries For Modesty!" This is unheard of in today's age of political correctness. Yet, what breath of fresh air. Upon reviewing Father's immodesty reprimand you see four absolutely must haves when one is called to admonish a sinner.

4 Things Fr. Lyons Did Right To Combat Immodesty

  1. He Publicly Took The Light To The Darkness.
    "At this time we most especially need to remind girls and women to not wear immodest low-cut dresses or blouses." When a coach sees a team makes a grave mistake, does he overlook it? Does he pretend the grave mistake is not there? Does he say, "Well, they don't know it is a mistake, so lets focus on something else." No, he doesn't.

    This next statement cannot be emphasized enough; a sin in the darkness will always stay in the darkness until light is shed upon it. Until the immodesty issue is publicly addressed this sin of immodesty will thrive in the darkness devouring poor little souls.
  2. He Used Charity.
    In no way was Father condescending. He eased his is way into the reprimand, relating how similar his role as a Priest is to parenting. Father put us all on common ground. Did you know it is an act of mercy to correct the sinner? Think about it, to admonish a sinner is one of the most charitable things you can do for your neighbor. Did you know being "nice," when rooted in fear, can be a sin?
  3. He Clearly Defined The Sin.
    Satan hates clear definitions. Don't believe it? Ask a pro-lifer or faithful politician if Satan uses vague words to his advantage. Fr. Lyons simply stated immodesty is anything "revealing at all, even when you bend over or kneel down." That is a clear, simple definition Satan can't tolerate.

  4. He Clearly Defined The Why.
    "As Christians, we are not to be followers of society's standards, but the standards of Christ." Have you ever heard the line, similar to "Why are you being such a prude?" That's Satan's line and his worldly standard. God calls us to love and defend modesty and purity. Why? Because Purity is not a something, it is a somebody! God is Purity. To reject purity and accept immodesty is to reject Jesus and accept scandal. Remember, as a temple of the Holy Spirit, you are called to be "perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect."

So there it is. One Priest, took courage and formally told his flock to stop mocking our Eucharistic Lord with scandalous immodest dress. In a world longing for courage, Father John Lyons, Oblates of the Virgin Mary, put his foot down and called his faithful to holiness. May God bless Fr. Lyons, the Modesty Priest.

Related Post On Immodesty

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Demons Are Real - Your Catholic Sunday Homily Minute

From the Desk of Father Mark, Your Catholic Sunday Homily Minute - 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

My Dear People,

Demons Are Real

Since the end of the Vatican Council ll, the office of exorcism was eliminated from the Ordination Rite of Priests. Before that time, all priests were able to deliver their flock from harmful demons. Now, a priest must go through the local bishop to find an exorcist. Most diocese do not have a resident exorcist. Pope Benedict has called for all diocese to have access to exorcists. This is for the protection of the priests and his people. All diocese are now scrambling to look for an "official exorcist".

In today's Gospel, Jesus was teaching His Holy Apostles that they would be delivering souls from the clutches of the devil. It was essential to have all of the Apostles aware of the reality of the devil. When Jesus encountered a mother who's daughter was possessed with the demons, He approached her with great compassion. The young girl was delivered form all evil at a distance, simply through intercession. It was the strength of her mother's faith that healed her daughter. Never underestimate the power of your prayer. Pray always!!

For all those who make great sacrifices to bring generous contributions to God's Altar.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,
Fr. Mark

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy 474 Birthday Jesuits

On August 15, in 1534, St. Ignatius and his First Companions; Peter Faber, Francis Xavier, James Lainez, Alonso Salmerón, Nicolas Bobadilla, Simon Rodriquez, Claude Le Jay, Jean Codure, and Paschase Brouet with a desire to dwell in the Holy Land imitating the life of Christ, they first made vows of poverty and chastity in the lower chapel, of the Chapelle des Matrye (Chapel of St. Denis), Montmartre, Paris. Designated by St. Ignatius of Loyola as "The Company of Jesus" translated into Latin as "Societas Jesu", hence the name "The Society of Jesus".

The Jesuits are religious order of Catholic priests, brothers, scholastics and novices. Today, 474 years later, 20,000 men through out the world continue the work started by their founder St. Ignatius of Loyola, they are a member of a Society founded chiefly for this purpose: to strive especially for the defense and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine, by means of public preaching, lectures, and any other ministration whatsoever of the word of God and further by means of the Spiritual Exercises, the education of children and unlettered persons in Christianity and the spiritual consolation of Christ's faithful through hearing confessions and administering the other sacraments.... (From the Formula of the Institute)

Recommended Jesuit Book

Ignatius of Loyola

Ignatius of Loyola

Post attributed to Joseph Fromm - Good Jesuit; Bad Jesuit

Monday, August 11, 2008

Your Catholic Sunday Homily Minute - Your Perfect Mother

From the Desk of Father Mark, 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

My Dear People,

Mary, Untouched By Corruption

Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, was assumed body and soul into Heaven upon Her death. Unlike her sinful children, whose bodies corrupt after death; She remained untouched by corruption. This is a mystical gift. It was bestowed upon Her by God the Father Himself. As the New Ark of the Covenant, She became the first "tabernacle" of the Word made Flesh. What a great gift we have in Our Lady.

When we honor Her Assumption into Heaven, we honor God the Father Himself. He is the giver of all that is good and holy. God points to Her as the incorrupt vessel of grace, the THEOTOKOS, our God bearer. What great LOVE the Father shows to us through our Mother in Heaven. Come honor the Father this Holy Day. Pray in thanksgiving for all the graces poured forth through the merciful and maternal heart of Mary, our Mother in Heaven. May God the Father always be praised!

May we always give thanks to God, Our Father, for Mary our Mother in Heaven...God be Praised!!

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,
Fr. Mark

Saturday, August 9, 2008

To Admonish A Sinner - A Spiritual Work of Mercy

Admonishing A Sinner;
The Forgotten Act of Mercy

Admonishing the sinner mean's the admonishing of one's neighbor by a private individual with the purpose of reforming him or, if possible, preventing his sinful indulgence. This is clearly distinguishable from an official disciplining, whose mouthpiece is a judge or other like superior, whose object is the punishment of one found to be guilty, and whose motive is not so directly the individual advantage of the offender as the furtherance of the common good. That there is, upon occasion and with due regard to circumstances, an obligation to administer fraternal correction there can be no doubt. This is a conclusion not only deducible from the natural law binding us to love and to assist one another, but also explicitly contained in positive precept such as the inculcation of Christ: "If thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother" (Matthew 18:15). Given a sufficiently grave condition of spiritual distress calling for succour in this way, this commandment may exact fulfilment under pain of mortal sin. This is reckoned to be so only when

  • The delinquency to be corrected or prevented is a grievous one
  • There is no good reason to believe that the sinner will adequately provide for himself
  • There is a well-founded expectation that the admonition will be heeded
  • There is no one else just as well fitted for this work of Christian charity and likely to undertake it
  • There is no special trouble or disadvantage accruing to the reformer as a result of his zeal.

Practically, however, individuals without any official capacity are seldom impeachable as having seriously transgressed the law in this matter because it is but rarely one finds the coalition of circumstances just enumerated.

Of course the reproof is to be administered privately, i.e. directly to the delinquent and not in the presence of others. This is plainly the method appointed by Christ in the words just cited and only as a remedy for obduracy is any other contemplated by Him. Still there are occasions upon which one might lawfully proceed in a different way. For instance
  • When the offense is a public one
  • When it makes for the prejudice of a third party or perhaps even the entire community
  • When it can only be condignly dealt with by the authority of a superior paternally exercised
  • When a public rebuke is necessary to preclude scandal: witness the withstanding of Peter by Paul mentioned in the Epistle to the Galatians (2:11-14);
  • When the offender has already in advance relinquished whatever right he possessed to have his good name safeguarded, as is the custom in some religious bodies.

The obligation of admonishing the sinner , so far as private persons go, does not obtain, generally speaking, for the case of one who violates a law through invincible ignorance. The obvious reason is that there is then no immunity for it is their duty to instruct their subordinates. Every one, however, whether having an official competency or not, is bound to give the admonition when the sin, committed though it be from ignorance, is hurtful to the offender or a third party or is the occasion of scandal.

Admonishing the Sinner; J. Delaney from the Catholic Encyclopedia, edited by John Michael

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Confessions From An Immodest Mother

Immodestly Dressed Mother Comes Out Of The Closet To Reveal All!

A Mother Is Shocked To Realize The Hidden Evils Attached To Immodesty! Read Her Amazing Story As She Charitably Relates The Struggles Of Overcoming Immodesty...

Dear John Michael,

I think you are right modesty is the lost virtue. But speaking as a woman who did not see this problem until a few years ago in regards to myself and my adolescent girls, I must tell you that women and girls simply do not see it most of the time.

Sometimes We Dress Immodesty Because Of Convenience

We wear what we are told looks good, what is comfortable, what is available on the racks and what our friends are wearing. From experience I know it helps to have "rules"...the neckline no lower than x; the hemline no higher than y; the straps no thinner than w (if straps are allowed at all, or if sleeves of three-quarter length only, or if cap sleeves are allowed, or short sleeves.....I tell you. People have many different criteria for what is modest.

Teaching What Is Immodest Is The Key

It seems silly, but the knowledge of such things is just not widely taught anymore. And when you start to figure things out (for me, it was my husband's insistence and most women will not listen to their husband on these matters in this feminist society) it was still a process and took some time to develop sensibilities, learning from loving, caring and not harsh, judgmental women, who wanted to help and knew that it could be a struggle.

Remember To Praise To The Lord

Please don't think women are doing this intentionally, at least most of the time. Forgive us for our bad judgement. When all else seems to fail, follow Archbishop Fulton Sheen and praise God for the beauty and dignity of women. We have been conditioned (and created too) to be pleasing to the eye, and we can be still beautiful when modest, actually we are the most beautiful then, of course. But the line gets fuzzy between modest and immodest dress sometimes, especially when we are in the learning stage.


The Post That Started It All

Here She Is, Gianna Clare!

God Is Good

[5] Happy is the man who has
his quiver full of them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Immodest Dress, "A Priest Cries For Modesty!"

Priest Known To Refuse
Holy Communion To Immodestly
Dressed Women

"When I showed the article to the Pastor, he told me to be more charitable. So, you are getting the friendly version." Father John Lyons, OMV

Parents are often obliged to correct their children over
and over again - about the same thing. They would
really prefer not to have to do it, but if they didn’t they
would be guilty of sinning by omission. Priests feel the
same way. One of the things that we often have to
correct people about is the use of immodest clothing.

Dressing Immodestly Is A Sin

At this time we most especially need to remind girls
and women to not wear immodest low-cut dresses or blouses.
Women and girls should be careful that their dress is
not revealing at all, even when they bend over or kneel
down. Maybe some women do not know that revealing
clothing is a source of temptation for most men. If you
doubt this, ask a man. If a woman knows that such is
the case, and still she would wear such clothing, then she
would be committing the sin of scandal.

Immodesty Is Wrong At All Ages

Unfortunately, even some older women of otherwise
upright character, even daily communicants, sometimes
wear such revealing clothing. Maybe they think that
they’re beyond the age of posing a temptation (and
maybe they are). However, they are giving bad
example to others - most notably their own daughters
and grandchildren. They, too, are committing scandal.
Those who see them will think: “She’s a good Catholic,
and she wears revealing clothing. It must be okay.”

Immodesty Does Not Fit God's Standards

Someone might argue that the wearing of revealing
clothing now meets with society's standards. It may
indeed meet with society's standards; however, we can
safely say that it does not meet with God’s. As
Christians, we are not to be followers of society's
standards, but the standards of Christ. We urge every
woman to examine her wardrobe (and that of her minor
children if she has any), and get rid of all clothing that
is immodest unless it can be adapted to be worn

What Would Mary Do?

If a woman has doubts about the modest use of a
particular article of clothing, it may be helpful to ask
herself if our Blessed Mother would wear such clothing
if she lived in this day and age. Or, to ask herself if our
Blessed Mother would be pleased with her wearing the
article of clothing in question.

Let It Be Known

We suggest that you cut out this bulletin article, make
copies of it, and give it to women and girls who need to
hear this message. Even give or send the article
anonymously, if necessary. Those who desire to do
what is right will take the correction to heart and put it
into practice.

"Immodestly Dressing"

By Father John Lyons
Headlines by John Michael
St. Peter Chanel Church Bulletin, California

Related Post on Immodest Dress

What are the four things Fr. Lyons did right when addressing the immodesty issue.

Enter Your Email Address:

Get Your Free St. Bellarmine's Blog News Letter

Monday, August 4, 2008

Your Catholic Sunday Homily Minute - 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

From the Desk of Father Mark, Your Catholic Sunday Homily Minute - 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

My Dear People,

He Feeds Us Body & Soul

Satisfaction is often equated with being filled up. But today's Gospel addresses a different kind of satisfaction. When Jesus multiplied the "loaves and the fish", He did so to manifest the Power of God the Father in Him. All power, all glory, all satisfaction comes from the hand of the Father in Heaven. Jesus understood this, His Apostles did not. They had yet to come to know the "divinity" of our Lord. Even after the Transfiguration, the Apostles struggled with the mystery of the Divine Godhead. Those fed with the loaves and the fishes had been satiated in body.

Jesus longed to satisfy both body and soul. Since God created us both in the flesh, and in the spirit, He desires to feed both as well. Each day He gives us our "daily bread"; on our tables at home, and on the sacred altars in our Churches. Jesus continues to multiply Himself daily to feed us. We may not have been with the thousands when they witnessed the multiplication of the loaves and fish; but each day we can witness the miracle of Jesus making Himself manifest on all of the Catholic altars of the world. Jesus pours Himself out for us Body and Blood, soul and divinity daily...Thanks be to God!

May we learn to know the difference between what is necessary and what is not necessary in our life.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,
Fr. Mark

Saturday, August 2, 2008

It's A Girl

We have a baby!

Introducing Gianna Clare
July 31st, feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola
9:01 A.M.
Ps.9:1 "I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will tell of all thy wonderful deeds."
7 pounds 12 ounces
19 inches long
Thick dark hair, already starting to curl
Momma & Baby are doing great.

Stay tuned for pictures.