Friday, November 11, 2011

11:11 Seen With New Eyes

Discovering A Deeper Meaning of 11:11, Complete With
Every 11:11 Verse from the Bible

11:11 has been a number that I personally have noticed for a long time now, long before I ever realized that so many people consider it a doomsday number.

Ironically, my first connection to 11:11 comes from my sister, Mary. My uncle Chris loved Mary very much and would chauffeur her around town. One day, the clock in his car stopped at 11: 11, and he never fixed it. For some peculiar reason, Mary would get all excited when she saw the number, because of her experience with uncle Chris. She would excitedly say, "11:11 make a wish!"

Her tragic car accident some 13 years ago turned out to be the biggest blessing I could have ever been given.


Because without her dying, I still would be hopping and skipping my way straight to hell. Her death forced me to evaluate my life and admit that I was living in mortal sin. This was not easy for me. After all, I went to Mass every Sunday, most Holy Days and confession during Lent and Advent. I considered myself part of the choir.

My deep, paralyzing depression remained with me until my conversion and my healing came mainly through the sacrament of penance and living a sacramental life.

During this healing process (and to this day) the number 11:11 would pop up frequently. As God gave me new, holier friends, they too noticed the number 11:11 frequently. They directed me to Michael Brown's writings on the number 11:11. I was blown away.

Today, the number 11:11 brings me great joy. It reminds me to pray for Mary's soul, whose death brought this prideful man to his knees. Now I am teaching my children a joyful slogan that I have adapted from my sister.

"11: 11, say a prayer!"

One should never allow the doom of the number 11:11 to overshadow them. Remember the doom of the crucifixion is always followed by the resurrection.

Review the following Scripture passages. They contain every verse in Scripture that has a Chapter 11 and verse 11. You will notice doom in some of the Scripture passages, while others contain hope.

Yes, I truly believe the number 11:11 has a very strong message connected to it. Let's focus on the very last 11:11 passage in the Bible. It comes from the book of Revelation.

Rev 11:11 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.

Every Scripture Verse Containing
Chapter 11 and Verse 11


    [11] and Shem lived after the birth of Arpach'shad five hundred years, and had other sons and daughters.


    [11] They shall remain an abomination to you; of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall have in abomination.


    [11] Moses said to the LORD, "Why hast thou dealt ill with thy servant? And why have I not found favor in thy sight, that thou dost lay the burden of all this people upon me?


    [11] but the land which you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven,


    [11] And they put to the sword all who were in it, utterly destroying them; there was none left that breathed, and he burned Hazor with fire.


    [11] So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and leader over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the LORD at Mizpah.


    [11] And on the morrow Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and cut down the Ammonites until the heat of the day; and those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.


    [11] Uri'ah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths; and my lord Jo'ab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field; shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing."

1Kgs.11 Note: this is the 11th book of the bible

    [11] Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, "Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant.


    [11] and the guards stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the south side of the house to the north side of the house, around the altar and the house.


    [11] This is an account of David's mighty men: Jasho'be-am, a Hach'monite, was chief of the three; he wielded his spear against three hundred whom he slew at one time.


    [11] He made the fortresses strong, and put commanders in them, and stores of food, oil, and wine.


    [11] Serai'ah the son of Hilki'ah, son of Meshul'lam, son of Zadok, son of Merai'oth, son of Ahi'tub, ruler of the house of God,


    [11] For he knows worthless men; when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?


    [11] By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
    but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.


    [11] In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant which is left of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Ethiopia, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.


    [11] Therefore, thus says the LORD, Behold, I am bringing evil upon them which they cannot escape; though they cry to me, I will not listen to them.


    [11] This city shall not be your caldron, nor shall you be the flesh in the midst of it; I will judge you at the border of Israel;


    [11] Then the king of the south, moved with anger, shall come out and fight with the king of the north; and he shall raise a great multitude, but it shall be given into his hand.


    [11] they shall come trembling like birds from Egypt,
    and like doves from the land of Assyria;
    and I will return them to their homes, says the LORD.


    [11] So it was annulled on that day, and the traffickers in the sheep, who were watching me, knew that it was the word of the LORD.
11:11 In the New Testament


    [11] Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.


    [11] And he entered Jerusalem, and went into the temple; and when he had looked round at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.


    [11] What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent;


    [11] Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, "Our friend Laz'arus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep."


    [11] At that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesare'a.


    [11] So I ask, have they stumbled so as to fall? By no means! But through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.


    [11] (Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman;


    [11] And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!


    [11] By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.


    [11] But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

News Release: Plan Now for Up-coming Plenary Indulgences

Written by Fr. Z: During November Holy Church promotes prayers for the souls in purgatory. The souls in Purgatory are members of the Church just like we are but of the Church “Suffering”. We are members of the Church “Militant”, and we are like soldiers on the march through the world on the way with our Great Captain towards our heavenly home to join the members of the Church “Triumphant”. We can help the souls in Purgatory through our good works as assigned by the Church, who has the authority from Christ to apply to them the merits of His Passion and death, and the merits of the saints.

Here is how you can obtaining a Plenary Indulgence on 2 November 2, All Souls:

  • make a good confession within a week before or after All Souls
  • be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin, for a plenary indulgence
  • visit a church to pray for the faithful departed
  • say one “Our Father” and the “Creed” during a visit to the church
  • say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the Pope’s monthly intentions
  • receive Holy Communion, on the same day or soon after

To obtain a Plenary Indulgence from 1-8 November

  • make a good Confession within a week of before or after All Souls Day
  • be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin, for a plenary indulgence
  • visit a cemetery and pray for the dead
  • say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the monthly intentions set by the Pope
  • receive Holy Communion worthily on the same day or soon after

Several indulgences may be gained on the basis of a single confession but only one may be gained after a single good reception Communion and prayer for the Pope’s intentions.

If you are not correctly disposed or if you don’t fulfill the prescribed works and/or the three conditions the indulgence will be partial and not plenary.

Anyway, have a plan for gaining your indulgences for the poor souls.

Monday, September 19, 2011

St. Januarius Feast Day Miracle

This is one you need to show the kids and forward to your friends.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thank You St. Robert Bellarmine!

Two Unexpected Answered Prayers on St. Robert Bellarmine's Feast Day

We were very pleasantly surprised to have two long-standing electrical issues resolved today. The first was the clicking noise in the car, which finally stopped clicking and made a loud boom! When we located the area of the problem, our neighbor comes running up to help us. He fixed it in under 15 minutes! It would have taken me all day to not figure out the problem, much less how to fix it....

The next solution involved my asking my brother-in-law about how to install an electrical outlet on our back porch. Next thing I know, he asks a few questions and says he'll be over shortly. The bonus is that he just so happened to have all of the necessary supplies on hand. This sort of saddens me, I was becoming accustomed to the orange extension cord run under the back door and into our kitchen.

The best part of the day was being able to share our son's Name Day brownies and ice cream with my sister, brother-in-law and their children! And a picture of our little Robert, who is all-too-rapidly approaching his first birthday!

These are my two St. Ignatius babies. Gianna was born on St. Ignatius' Feast Day and... well, you can probably figure out where we came up with Robert's name.

God bless you all and may St. Robert Bellarmine's intercession keep us all plugged in to the Divine Light.

God bless you!
John Michael

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Warning: No Hooters Shirts During Mass

By TERRY MATTINGLY: Scripps Howard News Service

Blogger Note: I was trying to decide what picture to use, but had to scrap that idea for obvious reasons.

Deacon Greg Kandra was well aware that modern Americans were getting more casual and that these laid-back attitudes were filtering into Catholic pews.

Still, was that woman who was approaching the altar to receive Holy Communion really wearing a Hooters shirt?

Yes, she was.

When did Catholics, he thought to himself, start coming to Mass dressed for a Britney Spears concert? Had he missed a memo or something?

"Somewhere along the way, we went from neckties to tank tops, and from fasting to fast food. And it's getting worse," noted Kandra, a former CBS News writer with 26 years, two Emmys and two Peabody Awards to his credit. He is now a deacon assigned to Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, a 3,000-member parish in Forest Hills, just north of New York City.

"I recently had to tell a couple that no, they could not have their Chihuahua in a tuxedo as part of their wedding party,"he added, in a commentary. "An auxiliary bishop in Indianapolis recently complained about people who tweet during funerals. Casual Catholics, it seems, have taken 'casual' to a new level."

After the Hooters incident, he decided it was time to stop whining about the rising tide of irreverence and immodesty and to start griping about it right out in the open. Thus, Kandra and the parish's other clergy have resorted to appealing — in the parish bulletin and in public remarks — for a hint of sanity or even some old-fashioned decorum.

One bulletin item proclaimed, with a gag headline: "PLANS FOR PARISH SWIMMING POOL SCRAPPED! After much study, our finance committee has determined it would not be feasible to construct an indoor swimming pool in our church. ... As a result, we can now announce with certainty that those who have been arriving for Mass as if dressed for the pool need not do so. Also, we hope to keep the air conditioning cranking all summer long. So you do not need to wear shorts, halter tops or bikinis to Mass."

Other missives in this series warned that late-arriving parishioners with allegedly faulty alarm clocks might be injured during their attempts to "find a seat by climbing over the rope strung across the aisle. This can result in falls or — in some cases — embarrassing displays of underwear."

And about the many active cellphones: "New research indicates that people who bring cellphones to church are more likely to suffer serious head trauma, usually caused by the priest throwing the lectionary at them. Such people are also more likely to be wounded by hurled umbrellas and rolled-up missals."

It's easy to determine what is going on in his parish and elsewhere, said 74-year-old Monsignor Joseph Funaro. Decades ago, worshippers would dress up to go to church and then would return home to change into more casual clothing before heading to picnics, baseball games, the pool or away to the coast.

Today, the sprawl of suburban life and omnipresent traffic jams — especially close to Labor Day and beach-friendly weekends — have tempted Catholics to abandon the old church-first schedule. The clothes symbolize larger changes.

"We have reached the point that just about anything goes,"said Funaro. "We keep making appeals to our people, but it doesn't seem that anyone is paying much attention. ... Some of the ladies, well, you just have to wonder if they looked in a mirror before coming to church."

The key, he said, is not that formal attire has evolved into casual attire. That change took place several decades ago for most baby boomer adults and their children. Now, more and more Catholics have moved past casual clothing and have started wearing clothing that is distracting, at best, or is often aggressively immodest.

As a priest, Funaro said that he now worries that some of his parishioners are not really focusing on the Mass at all. Instead, they are stopping by the church while on their way to other activities they consider more important than Mass.

"I often ask people this question: 'Would you dress like that if you were going to meet the queen of England?' Of course, they always say, 'No, of course not.' Then I remind them that they are coming to Mass in order to meet someone more special than the queen. They are coming to meet their king."

(Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Contact him at or

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

10 Reasons Why Men Should Practice Custody of their Eyes

Top 10 Reasons Men Should Practice Custody of the Eyes

Written by Marcel of Aggie Catholic

As a follow-up to Top 10 Reasons Women Should Dress Modestly, I give you the following:
Thanks to The Ironic Catholic for the suggestion.

Top 10 Reasons Men Should Practice Custody of the Eyes

10 - It helps teach discipline.
Men should discipline themselves to be in control of their passions and not allow passions to control them.

9 - It avoids the near occasion of sin.
To avert your eyes when you feel tempted to use a woman lustfully is a good thing.
“But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” -Matt 5:19.

8 - Custody of the eyes builds up chastity.
Chastity helps us to properly order our sexuality. If we do not have custody of the eyes, it means our sexuality is dis-ordered toward objectification - not love - and needs to be healed.

7 - It is what every gentleman should do.
No woman who respects herself wants to be lusted after or looked up and down. No real gentleman would dishonor a woman by doing so.

6 - It helps a man to see the whole woman, not just parts of her body.
When most men see an immodestly-dressed woman, their brains automatically start to objectify her. Thus, men need to be able to see the truth about who a woman is - not just to break her down into objects he can use for his selfish pleasure.

5 - It avoids scandal.
Think of King David. If he would have practiced custody of the eyes he might have been able to avoid much worse sins - adultery and murder. Now think of what happens when a man is caught in a lustful look toward a woman.

4 - It helps fight off temptation.
Men suffer from sexual temptation frequently. To have custody of the eyes helps a man to fight off an even stronger temptation of lusting after a woman after he ogles her.

3 - It helps our sisters not feel objectified.
If for no other reason, we should witness to the dignity of a woman by controlling our passions.

2 - It is a virtue we should chase after.
It is related to chastity, modesty, and temperance.

1 - It focuses us back on more important things.
"Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides." - Matt 6:33

Christ should be our first priority. Honoring the height of his creation (our sisters) should be the second. We should be third.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

10 Reasons Why Women Should Dress Modestly

Top 10 Reasons Women Should Dress Modestly

Top 10 Reasons Women Should Dress Modestly

by Marcel - Aggie Catholics

10 - Modesty reflects an understanding of who a woman truly is.
Modesty starts inside a person's heart and mind. Who am I? Why do I exist? If a woman answers she is a beautiful daughter of God, then modesty will naturally follow.

9 - Modesty isn't about dressing in unattractive clothes as some think it is.
There are too many options in clothing to not give modesty a try. Yes, it might not be the first thing on the rack you go shopping for, but it is worth finding clothing that brings out a woman's beauty without revealing too much.

8 - Modesty attracts the kind of guys you ought to want to attract.
If a woman is afraid that she must turn a man's eye by dressing immodestly, then she should ask herself just what kind of guy does she want to attract?

7 - Mary dressed modestly.
Truly there is no more beautiful woman who ever lived than Mary. Why wouldn't any woman want to be more like her?

6 - It helps protect women.
A woman can still dress to be beautiful, but the mystery of a woman's body is protected from being used. Modesty provides a needed defense against usage.

5 - It sets a good example for others.
Young girls and teens need good examples of beautiful women who are modest. The attacks of immodest are Legion and we need a good counter-example.

4 - Women are worthy of respect.
Respect can be easily lost when a woman tries to promote herself by being immodest.

3 - It helps your brothers to avoid lust.
Women would be shocked if they were to enter the head of the average modern young man in a crowded room of immodest women. This isn't to blame an immodestly dressed woman for a man's sin of lust. But, men today need all the help they can get to fight lust and sin. Won't you help them?

2 - It shows true beauty.
A woman't true beauty comes from her dignity of being made in God's image. If any woman wants to truly reflect God's beauty, it starts with modesty.

1 - It is a virtue.
Modesty is a virtue that helps control behavior so we do not excite the sexuality of another. It is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit. All of us could use more virtue in our lives.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Divine Mercy Novena Starts Today

The Divine Mercy Novena

Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday. He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said:

"These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: 'My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.' The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy."

In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:

"On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy ... On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls."

The different souls prayed for on each day of the novena are:

DAY 1 (Good Friday) - All mankind, especially sinners

DAY 2 (Holy Saturday) - The souls of priests and religious

DAY 3 (Easter Sunday) - All devout and faithful souls

DAY 4 (Easter Monday) - Those who do not believe in Jesus and those who do not yet know Him

DAY 5 (Easter Tuesday) - The souls of separated brethren

DAY 6 (Easter Wednesday) - The meek and humble souls and the souls of children

DAY 7 (Easter Thursday)- The souls who especially venerate and glorify Jesus' mercy

DAY 8 (Easter Friday) - The souls who are detained in purgatory;

DAY 9 (Easter Saturday) - The souls who have become lukewarm.

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy may also be offered each day for the day's intention, but is not strictly necessary to the Novena.

First Day
"Today bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners,

and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me."

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.

Second Day
"Today bring to Me the Souls of Priests and Religious,

and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind."

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service,* that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard -- upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.

* In the original text, Saint Faustina uses the pronoun "us" since she was offering this prayer as a consecrated religious sister. The wording adapted here is intended to make the prayer suitable for universal use.

Third Day
"Today bring to Me all Devout and Faithful Souls,

and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were a drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness."

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.

Fourth Day
"Today bring to Me those who do not believe in God and those who do not know Me,

I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy."

Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

*Our Lord's original words here were "the pagans." Since the pontificate of Pope John XXIII, the Church has seen fit to replace this term with clearer and more appropriate terminology.

Fifth Day
"Today bring to Me the Souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church*,

and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion."

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son's Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.

*Our Lord's original words here were "heretics and schismatics," since He spoke to Saint Faustina within the context of her times. As of the Second Vatican Council, Church authorities have seen fit not to use those designations in accordance with the explanation given in the Council's Decree on Ecumenism (n.3). Every pope since the Council has reaffirmed that usage. Saint Faustina herself, her heart always in harmony with the mind of the Church, most certainly would have agreed. When at one time, because of the decisions of her superiors and father confessor, she was not able to execute Our Lord's inspirations and orders, she declared: "I will follow Your will insofar as You will permit me to do so through Your representative. O my Jesus " I give priority to the voice of the Church over the voice with which You speak to me" (497). The Lord confirmed her action and praised her for it.

Sixth Day
Today bring to Me the Meek and Humble Souls and the Souls of Little Children,

and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.

Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

Seventh Day
Today bring to Me the Souls who especially venerate and glorify My Mercy*,

and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my Passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.

Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God:

Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He, Himself, will defend as His glory. Amen.

*The text leads one to conclude that in the first prayer directed to Jesus, Who is the Redeemer, it is "victim" souls and contemplatives that are being prayed for; those persons, that is, that voluntarily offered themselves to God for the salvation of their neighbor (see Col 1:24; 2 Cor 4:12). This explains their close union with the Savior and the extraordinary efficacy that their invisible activity has for others. In the second prayer, directed to the Father from whom comes "every worthwhile gift and every genuine benefit,"we recommend the "active" souls, who promote devotion to The Divine Mercy and exercise with it all the other works that lend themselves to the spiritual and material uplifting of their brethren.

Eighth Day
"Today bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory,

and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice."

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.

Ninth Day
"Today bring to Me the Souls who have become Lukewarm,

and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: 'Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.' For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy."

Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love, let these tepid souls who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.

Diary, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul (c) 1987 Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception, Stockbridge, MA 01263. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Everything Hinges on the Resurrerction, By St. Bellarmine

Brethren, Christ's Resurrection is the
Fundamental Truth of Christianity.

Prove to me that Christ arose not, and in a moment I am an infidel; prove to me that Christ arose, and in that instant I conceive a faith broad enough to accept all the teachings of Christ and Christ's Church.

A hope that stops not short of everlasting life for my soul and for my body too and a charity for God and my fellowman which, God willing, will procure me a happy and a blessed immortality. For if Christ rose again, then beyond all peradventure, He was God, and every word He uttered and every truth taught by the one true Church wherein He promised to abide forever, must be infallible beyond all doubt.

For Christ had said: " I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it up again."
Words, which, if justified by the event, proclaim the speaker to have been a God. Lazarus, and other few before and since, have been recalled to life, but always, mind you, by a power other than their own, but only God, the Arbiter of life and death, could say:
"I die at pleasure and at pleasure do I rise again."
In fact on this one truth that He should rise again, Christ staked His reputation as a man and His claim as God upon the world's credence and fidelity. All His other miracles had a distinct purpose immediately in view, whether it was that He pitied the widow of Nairn, or had compassion on His famished followers or rescued them from shipwreck And invariably He enjoined silence concerning such evidences of His Godhead, until He should be risen from the dead. Nay, when pressed by His enemies for a proof of His divinity, He refused the sign they asked, saying:
"No other proof shall be given you but that of Jonas the prophet, who after three days came forth from the whale even as I shall from the tomb, for if you destroy this temple, My body, in three days I shall raise it up again."
His position, therefore, was that His Resurrection was to be the crowning proof of His divinity and that without His Resurrection He and all His teaching and wonder-working would have come to naught. Not only Christianity, but all religion from the beginning, would have been discredited had not God's promise to our fallen parents that their seed should conquer sin and death been fulfilled in the person of the risen Saviour.

Everything Hinges on the Resurrection!

This supreme importance of the Resurrection as an historic fact was recognized by Christ's enemies and friends alike. The Jewish nation's honor was at stake, for if Christ rose again they were forever branded as the murderers of the Messias, but if He failed to rise they could take credit to themselves for having justly punished an impostor. Hence they sought by every means to prove His promise unfulfilled. The Apostles, on the other hand, seem to have preached at first as though the Resurrection was the only dogma of our faith, styling themselves the witnesses thereof and taking care to elect as Judas's successor an eye-witness of the Lord's arising.
"For," says St. Paul, " if Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain and our faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God and we are yet in our sins, and they who have died in the Lord have perished and we are of all men the most miserable."
Whereas, I repeat, and repeat and repeat again, if Christ did rise from the dead we are bound by inexorable logic to admit His divinity, to accept all His teachings and all the teachings of His Church, and to conform our lives thereto—we are bound to fall at the Saviour's feet with St. Thomas, and repeat Thomas's all-embracing profession of faith:

"My Lord and my God."

By St. Robert Bellarmine