Life is a journey; the choices you make now will determine your eternal destination.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Journey, Continued

There is no doubt that we are affected by the world around us. Or should I say, infected? How difficult it is to remain steadfast in our faith, when the fabric of society is designed to lead us away from God, and how easily we fall prey to its manipulations. I read with sorrow the story of a young girl, barely twenty, full of life and promise, who found out that she had a debilitating disease, and took her own life. How sad that our youth are being molded into a generation believing that if you are imperfect you don't deserve to live! Enter euthanasia, suicide, and abortion.
That is the death of the body. Then there is the death of the soul. Rejecting God is the surest way to damnation of your eternal soul, and so many people have set God aside and made their own pleasures the focal point of their life. The saddest is when this is a deliberate action, knowing full well the consequences, but abandoning God anyway for the fleeting enjoyment they can find in this life.
The closer I draw to the end of my life, the more I long for eternal life in Heaven, and the stronger my resolve to stay free from sin. I pray for the strength I need to fight the weakness of my humanity.

From Thomas A Kempis, The Imitation of Christ:

Acquiring Patience in the Fight Against Concupiscence
The Disciple
PATIENCE, O Lord God, is very necessary for me, I see, because there are many adversities in this life. No matter what plans I make for my own peace, my life cannot be free from struggle and sorrow.
The Voice of Christ
My child, you are right, yet My wish is not that you seek that peace which is free from temptations or meets with no opposition, but rather that you consider yourself as having found peace when you have been tormented with many tribulations and tried with many adversities.
If you say that you cannot suffer much, how will you endure the fire of purgatory? Of two evils, the lesser is always to be chosen. Therefore, in order that you may escape the everlasting punishments to come, try to bear present evils patiently for the sake of God.
Do you think that men of the world have no suffering, or perhaps but little? Ask even those who enjoy the most delights and you will learn otherwise. "But," you will say, "they enjoy many pleasures and follow their own wishes; therefore they do not feel their troubles very much." Granted that they do have whatever they wish, how long do you think it will last? Behold, they who prosper in the world shall perish as smoke, and there shall be no memory of their past joys. Even in this life they do not find rest in these pleasures without bitterness, weariness, and fear. For they often receive the penalty of sorrow from the very thing whence they believe their happiness comes. And it is just. Since they seek and follow after pleasures without reason, they should not enjoy them without shame and bitterness.
How brief, how false, how unreasonable and shameful all these pleasures are! Yet in their drunken blindness men do not understand this, but like brute beasts incur death of soul for the miserly enjoyment of a corruptible life.
Therefore, My child, do not pursue your lusts, but turn away from your own will. "Seek thy pleasure in the Lord and He will give thee thy heart's desires."
[10] If you wish to be truly delighted and more abundantly comforted by Me, behold, in contempt of all worldly things and in the cutting off of all base pleasures shall your blessing be, and great consolation shall be given you. Further, the more you withdraw yourself from any solace of creatures, the sweeter and stronger comfort will you find in Me.
At first you will not gain these blessings without sadness and toil and conflict. Habit already formed will resist you, but it shall be overcome by a better habit. The flesh will murmur against you, but it will be bridled by fervor of spirit. The old serpent will sting and trouble you, but prayer will put him to flight and by steadfast, useful toil the way will be closed to him.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Prayer for the week

Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help

O Mother of Jesus and my Mother, let me dwell with you,
cling to you, and love you with ever increasing love.
I promise the honour, love and trust of a child.
Give me a mother's protection, for I need your watchful care.
You know better than any other the thoughts and desires of the Sacred Heart.
Keep constantly before my mind the same thoughts, the same desires,
that my heart may be filled with zeal for the interests of the Sacred Heart of your Divine Son.
Instill in me a love of all that is noble, that I may no longer be easily roused to resentment, easily led to anger, easily turned to selfishness.
Help me, dearest Mother, to acquire the virtues that God wants of me:
to forget myself always,to work solely for Him,without fear of sacrifice.
I shall always rely on your help to be what Jesus wants me to be.
I am His; I am yours, my good Mother!
Give me each day your holy and maternal blessing
until my last evening on earth, when your Immaculate Heart will present me to the Heart of Jesus in heaven,
there to love and bless you and your Divine Son for all eternity.
Cardinal Newman

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New link to the Vatican

I have a new link on my sidebar under Catholic Media to the Vatican's You Tube channel. I think it would be a good thing for all Catholic bloggers to add this link to help our Pope to use this resource to evangelize our faith. And God knows, we need all the help we can get right now. The morals and values of this world are falling into the cesspool at an alarming rate. Please pray for our Pope and all the Church Militant to resist the evil being perpetrated by the media and the governments under the guise of freedom and equality, because, in the end, our freedom and equality as Christians will be the victims unless we fight for our religous freedom.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Newsletter from Fr. Corapi

Fr. Corapi calls us to pray and do penance to stop abortion in his latest newsletter:

We have passed the threshold into one of the most important weeks in American history, and a convergence of three very important celebrations reminds us of it. Monday we celebrate the remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, who worked so heroically and tirelessly to insure that all men and women might share in the American dream equally. Tuesday we celebrate the inauguration of the first African American president, Barack Obama. That an African American can be so elected is indeed a cause to celebrate. However, thursday we pray and do penance on the anniversary of the most infamous court decision in United States history, Roe v. Wade. All three are related.
Dr. King fought long and hard and suffered many things that all men and women in the United States of America might enjoy those truths that we hold to be self evident: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. He was an American hero for so doing. This week we should rightly celebrate the fact that an African American can be and has been elected President of the United States. This is surely progress, both political and moral.
This all being said, it has to plague the conscience of any thinking person that in this country there is yet the most immoral and deadly form of prejudice and persecution imaginable against the most innocent and vulnerable class of human beings—the unwanted unborn. No matter what advances this country makes, moral, economic, social, or technological, so long as that blight on our national identity remains, all else will ultimately pale into relative insignificance.
God is not a disinterested spectator in the affairs of man. He knows every child by name from all eternity. He loves each one with His infinite love. God’s holy Catholic Church teaches that abortion in a single case is homicide. I assert that if this is the case, and it is, then the 50,000,000 homicides through abortion that have taken place in the United States since Roe v. Wade constitute genocide. God will not favor such a country, regardless of any other progress. Unless this outrage against God and humanity is stopped very soon, the United States of America, and in turn all of the Western world, will realize the death wish that it has manifest for several decades.
Every Catholic, Christian, Jew, and all people of good will and right reason must pray and do penance rigorously and daily from now on for the defeat of this heinous evil we call abortion. If we fail, then Western society as we know it will soon collide with a disaster it will not survive.
May God have mercy on us.

Fr. John Corapi

Saturday, January 17, 2009

End of an Era

Tomorrow is my birthday, and it is also, thanks to George W. Bush, Sanctity of Life day. Great birthday gift!
John Jalsevac from Life Site News has some interesting comments in his editorial which looks back on the Bush administration, and a lot of what he says echos what Fr. Corapi said in his last newsletter. Here are some snippets for you:

For eight years we had a pro-life president; why, then, isn’t the U.S. a pro-life country? It is effortless to respond, “Because George Bush didn’t do as much as he could or should have, as much as we expected him to do.” It’s a lot harder to say, “Because we haven’t done as much as we could or ought to have.” And as with many other things, you will find that the hard answer strikes at the heart of things, while the easier is mere evasion.
We sometimes like to think that our politicians have unlimited power to do as they please. In other words we like to think that we have a dictator rather than a president. This gives us the comfort of feeling that once we’ve put “our man” in power, we’ve done all that we can: “Good ol' George’ll take care of things from here.” But of course that is the whole point of the elegant U.S. political structure – that no one has that power.
Bush himself was clearly aware of his own limitations, and the limitations of his fellow politicians. In his 2007 address to the March for Life, he observed: “As we move forward, we've all got to remember that a true culture of life cannot be built by changing laws alone. We've all got to work hard to change hearts. We will find areas where we can agree and, at the same time, work to persuade more of our fellow citizens to join this great cause.”

As Bush said earlier today, in his final address before Inauguration Day: “I have often spoken to you about good and evil. This has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise. Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere.”
Can you get any clearer than that? It’s not every day you hear that sort of talk from a politician. But we heard it day in and day out for eight years. It didn’t make him popular. Indeed, people hated him for it. But Bush never backed down. As Mark Steyn put it earlier this week, “George W Bush is who he is, and he never pretended to be anything but. Do you know how rare that is? If you don’t, you surely will after six months of Barack Obama’s enigmatic cool.”

To despair about Obama is to give him too much credit, to overestimate his power. The true response to Obama is the Christian response, and that is to shoulder the weight of the responsibility ourselves instead of looking to another fallen human being to save us; it is to step up our efforts to change the world within the limited sphere that has been given to us. And it is to labor under the knowledge that the final victory has already been won by Christ, and all we’re doing is somehow tying up the loose ends. In this way only will the United States, and the whole world, be transformed; in this way only will a true Culture of Life triumph.

United, we stand. Divided, we fall. It's time for Catholics and all Christians to fight evil by living our faith. Walk the walk. George Bush stood up for his beliefs; and it is the least that we can do.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Newsletter from Fr. Corapi

I love getting Fr. Corapi's newsletter; he always has timely advice and is my favourite Faith Freedom Fighter.

News Flash: WE WIN!
As we prepare to enter a new era in politics and perhaps society in general, keep something in mind: WE WIN! No matter what political party is in power at a given point in time, in the end those that remain faithful to Jesus Christ win the war. We may have to fight many battles outnumbered and even despised and looked upon as criminals and outcasts by a society that is unraveling and degenerating into something no one could have imagined.

What matters is that we run the race to the finish line and fight the good fight. Don’t “go with the flow,” for as the great Archbishop Fulton Sheen reminds us, “Dead bodies float downstream.” More than ever we shall have to be strong in the faith. Regular and worthy reception of the sacraments, constant prayer, and rigorous study of the faith is now essential, not merely a luxury. The front line and primary battle is going to be the fight for life: the dignity of every human life from the moment of conception to the last moment of natural life. If we lose that one, every other battle space will be compromised. If the government succeeds in establishing abortion as an inalienable “right”, then the elderly and sick will be next. It will then be a short and slippery step to the government deciding who lives and dies regardless of their inherent human dignity.
If you don’t already pray the Rosary every day, please start at once. The prayer of the holy Rosary is the prayer of the holy Gospel, and that means it is the prayer of the Good News Who is Jesus Christ, the LIFE of the world. Many saints will be forged in the crucible of the coming years. Make sure you are among them.
God bless you,
Fr. John Corapi

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Boycott Pepsi!

Do you, good Catholics, want to continue to buy products from, and thereby financially support a company that says this:

PepsiCo has refused a request by AFA to remain neutral in the culture war," said AFA Chairman Donald Wildmon in an Action Alert. "The company indicated that it will continue major financial support of homosexual organizations," adding that "Pepsi refuses to give money to any pro-family organization that opposes the homosexual agenda."

Read the rest of this news article here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Prayer for the week

In conjunction with the rosary to stop FOCA, my prayer for the week is the prayer to Our Lady Of Guadalupe for the unborn.

A Prayer for Abortion Victims
Prayer for all victims of abortion. May those involved in abortions be reconciled to God and may the innocent dead be saved. Hat tip to the website, Sancta.

Holy Mother of God and of the Church, our Lady of Guadalupe, you were chosen by the Father for the Son through the Holy Spirit.
You are the Woman clothed with the sun who labors to give birth to Christ while Satan, the Red Dragon, waits to voraciously devour your child.
So too did Herod seek to destroy your Son, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and massacred many innocent children in the process.
So today does abortion killing many innocent unborn children and exploiting many mothers in its attack upon human life and upon the Church, the Body of Christ.
Mother of the Innocents, we praise God in you for His gifts to you of your Immaculate Conception, your freedom from actual sin; your fullness of grace, your Motherhood of God and the Church, your Perpetual Virginity and your Assumption in body and soul into heaven.
O Help of Christians, we beg you to protect all mothers of the unborn and the children within their wombs. We plead with you for your help to end the holocaust of abortion. Melt hearts so that life may be revered!
Holy Mother, we pray to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart for all mothers and all unborn children that they may have life here on earth and by the most Precious Blood shed by your Son that they may have eternal life with Him in heaven. We also pray to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart for all abortionists and all abortion supporters that they may be converted and accept your Son, Jesus Christ, as their Lord and Savior. Defend all of your children in the battle against Satan and all of the evil spirits in this present darkness.
We desire that the innocent unborn children who die without Baptism should be baptized and saved. We ask that you obtain this grace for them and repentance, reconciliation and pardon from God for their parents and their killers.
Let there be revealed, once more, in the history of the world the infinite power of merciful love. May it put an end to evil. May it transform consciences. May your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of hope. May Christ the King reign over us, our families, cities, states, nations and the whole of humanity.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary, hear our pleas and accept this cry from our hearts!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Protectress of the Unborn, Pray for us!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Rosary novena

My sister over at Salve Regina has received call for a rosary novena to stop the FOCA act in the US. Please stop by her blog , read the letter, and use the power of prayer, united with thousands of others, to stop this evil act from becoming law.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Goals old and new

Did you attain the spiritual goals you set for yourself last year? One of mine was to have a greater devotion to Our Blessed Mother, and while it is a work in progress, I have a greater understanding of her through the books I read last year. The two books called The Imitation of Mary, one by Thomas A Kempis and one by Alexander De Rouville are a wonderful resource; also The Glories of Mary, and From the Rose Garden of Our Lady. This year I intend to focus my Marian devotion on Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, for the assistance I will need in this year's goal of penance and fasting. I intend to do the Lenten fast, all 40 days, and also to fast on Fridays throughout this year. And for the penance, I want to do one act of penance every day; perhaps following St. Therese's example of offering up small sacrifices as penance. There are many ways of doing penance. A simple one in these days of cold weather is to endure the cold without complaint, or to give to a charity that gives warm clothing to the homeless. My little book, Purgatorian Manual, has this to say:
Although great works of penance and mortification are not expected of everyone, yet there is no one who could not occasionally deny himself a part of some favourite dish or some amusement, mortify his eyes, ears or tongue, observe silence for a short time, bear in patience the pain of sickness, heat or cold, or any other adversity, or curb his self-will and evil inclinations; in fact, bear with submission and gratitude to God everything that causes pain and distress.
O Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
I also wished to increase my devotion to St. Joseph, whom I have taken as my patron saint for this year. What an easy devotion this has proved to be! Several things happened last year that I attribute to St. Joseph hearing and answering my prayers, and I continue to pray daily to him and to pray the "to thee O blessed Joseph" prayer after my daily rosary. The little prayer book from Tan, Favorite Prayers To St. Joseph, contains wonderful and simple prayers and devotions. This saint is powerful in his assistance, and I urge you to pray to him with confidence.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hayley Westenra

Here is another beautiful version of Ave Maria, this time done by New Zealander, Hayley Westenra. I think her voice beautiful but the accompanying music a little overpowering.

And here she does a lovely version of one of my all-time favourites, Danny Boy; and this time the music is not overpowering.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Prayer for the week

Prayer for priests

O illustrious patriarch, St. Joseph, who carried the infant Jesus in thy blessed arms, and who, during the space of thirty years, lived in the most intimate familiarity with Him, take under thy powerful protection those whom He has cloaked with His authority and honoured with the dignity of His priesthood, whom He has charged to continue His mission, to preach His gospel, and to dispense everywhere His graces and blessings.

Sustain them in their fatigues and labours, console them in their pains, fortify them in their combats; but above all, keep far from them all the evils of sin.

Obtain for them the humility of St. John the Baptist, the faith of St. Peter, the purity of St. John, and the spirit of prayer and recollection of which thou, my dear Saint, art the model, so that, after having been on earth the faithful dispensers of the Mysteries of thy foster Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, they may in heaven receive the recompense promised to pastors according to the Heart of God. Amen.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Journey, Continued

Many people make New Years resolutions, some people just make goals for the upcoming year; to others it's just another day. I like to look back on the year, think about what I can improve on, and set goals for myself. So after some reflection and prayer, I have decided that this year I will focus on penance and fasting. Whoa! you might say; why so severe? Well, the older I get, the more I see the moral degradation of this world, reflect on the errors of my past that I may need to atone for temporally, and realise that my penance and fasting can help the souls of others. Now, I am rather a self indulgent creature, so this is going to take some work on my behalf. I have taken St. Joseph as my patron saint for the year, and hope to follow his perfect obedience to the inspirations of grace. This does not mean that I am going to go about all woeful and sad, but rather that I intend to be as joyful as possible, for the end that I am working towards, my journey through life, is the salvation of my soul. Who would not go joyfully along the path that leads to heaven?
Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light. Matthew 11.29-30