7 Steps to a Holier Life by Mother Theresa

7 Steps to a Holier Life – by Mother Teresa

When we are stressed or feel overly burdened in life it’s usually because we’ve gotten our priorities out of order. Here are 7 of my favorite Mother Teresa quotes that will help. When read in this order, they are guaranteed to bring order and peace back to your life. Give them a try.

Step 1: Slow down.

“I think the world today is upside down. Everybody seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater development and greater riches and so on. There is much suffering because there is so very little love in homes and in family life. We have no time for our children, we have no time for each other; there is no time to enjoy each other. In the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world.”

Step 2: Make some room.

“If you are discouraged it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own power. Your self-sufficiency, your selfishness and your intellectual pride will inhibit His coming to live in your heart because God cannot fill what is already full. It is as simple as that.”

Step 3: Open your eyes.

“Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.”

Step 4: Put great love into the small things.

“In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.”

Step 5: Do not tire.

“Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.”

Step 6: Remember – it’s faithfulness, not success.

“God doesn’t ask that we succeed in everything, but that we are faithful. However beautiful our work may be, let us not become attached to it. Always remain prepared to give it up, without losing your peace.”

Step 7: Leave the rest to Jesus.

“Be humble and you will never be disturbed. It is very difficult in practice because we all want to see the result of our work. Leave it to Jesus.”


– Radical tip: Give yourself 5 minutes each morning to re-read these again. It will change your life.


“Turn the other cheek”

Turn the Other Cheek?

7th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycles A & C

 by: Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio 

 “Love your enemies.”  “Turn the other cheek.”  (Mat 5:38-40). This sounds admirable to some, but preposterous to others.  The 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche thought such talk promotes a society of weaklings.  Karl Marx thought these words keep the oppressed under the thumbs of the capitalists. 

 Does Jesus want us to be doormats, suckers who allow ourselves to be taken advantage of by every bully, dictator and gangster that comes down the pike?

 Let’s look at a few examples.  David did not kill Saul, the Lord’s anointed (1 Sam 26).  But neither did he give himself up.  He resisted the injustice of his insecure king even while he respected the king’s sacred office.  When the citizens of Nazareth tried to throw Jesus over the brow of the hill, he slipped through the crowds and escaped (Lk 4:29-30).  His time had not yet come.   When Henry VIII divorced his wife, married another, and declared himself head of the Church, his Chancellor, Thomas More, did everything he could ethically do to avoid execution (see the movie A Man for All Seasons).

 But when false testimony finally led to the death sentence for Jesus and his 16th century disciple, Thomas, it was time to give witness to the truth with their blood.  It was time to turn the other cheek.  Notice the attitude of our Lord towards his persecutors – “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do (Lk 23:34).”  And Thomas More’s words to the executioner, after giving him a few coins as a tip: “Do not hesitate to do your duty, for you send me to God.”

 Tough love sometimes demands we say tough words.  Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites and publicly exposed their sophistry (Mark 7).  After sentence was pronounced, Thomas More loudly proclaimed to the packed courtroom that the King had no right to make himself head of the Church of England.

 But wait a minute.  Isn’t that judging?  Didn’t Jesus say not to judge (see Luke 6:37ff)?

 What no human being can or should do is judge the ultimate standing of another person before God based on the hidden motivations of the heart.  People can do some abominable things based on fear, hurt, or misinformation. Recall the words of Jesus: “they know not what they do.”  But what they do is abominable, nonetheless.  Though God alone is competent to judge the heart, we can and must judge whether objective behavior is bad or good, right or wrong.  Sometimes it is even our duty to tell people that it is wrong and condemn it. 

 Abortion is wrong.  But that does not mean that a particular woman and her abortionist are alienated from God, bound certainly for hell.  And it does not mean that I am better than the particular woman or physician who is a party to an abortion. Jesus said “from those to whom much has been given, much will be expected.” Maybe the woman and the abortionist have done more with what they’ve been given than I.  That’s not for me to figure out.  That’s God’s call.  My responsibility is to care enough about them to tell them the truth and help them get the support they need to live according to that truth.

 Dr. Bernard Nathanson, notorious abortionist, and Norma McCorvey, the “Roe” of Roe vs. Wade, ultimately became prolife activists .  Why?  Because they met Christians who, while hating the sin, truly loved the sinner.

 Such love of enemies is supernatural.  It is possible only for God and for those who let His love work through them.  Will such love change everyone?  The example of Judas and the Pharisees would argue not.  Yet Norma McCorvey and Dr. Nathanson demonstrate that, for those whose hearts are the least bit open, such love is often irresistible

 This article originally appeared in Our Sunday Visitor as a reflection on the lectionary readings for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time, cycle C (1Samuel 26: 2-23; Psalm 103; 1Corinthians 45-49; Luke 6:27-38) and cycle A (Lev 19:1-18; Ps 1-103; I Cor 3, 16-23; and Mt 5:38-48).  It is reproduced here by permission of the author.


How is man “like God”? Gen. 1:26-27

[quote]I had many similar problems when I was a young Christian. Many Christian jargons need to have some practical understanding so our faith will become real.

 For example, God loves me. It bothered me for a few decades. Why should God love me so much? Frankly, in my Christian community, NONE gives a satisfactory answer to me. God helps me to figure it out. Now I fully understand why.[/quote]

 My dear friend in Christ,

 Please consider the following explanation as PART of the REASONS that Gods Loved YOU sooooo very much.

 Genesis 1:26-27 Informs us that God with  “Perfect Wisdom”; for reasons that only He can FULLY understand, decided that He would Create man “in His Own Image and Likeness.” How did He do this, seems a reasonable question?

 Consider the following FACTS

 The Universe that God Created consist of BILLIONS of stars, galaxies and planets; BUT only One; only Planet earth can be proved to support the life forms we know of. Consider the importance and significance of the Sun and moon for example.

 Planet Earth holds Hundreds of Thousands of Living things; BUT Only One; Only man can rationalize, and can freely choose to love or to hate. How and WHY is this?

 First the “HOW”

In order to rationalize, to be enabled to build complex things like the computer I’m using; to be able to freely choose to Love or to Hate, ALL Require the following:

 A mind [not meaning our brain here]

 An Intellect [not meaning ones “I.Q”]

 A Freewill; All and each of which are permanently attached to mans “SOUL,” which for our discussion we will describe as the “source of life itself”. So every living thing has a “soul.” But man’s is FAR and Away the most complex in the hierarchy. This makes man not only “unique” BUT also factually superior to every other life-form. WHY?

 God wants us to know and understand this; and doing so is essential to answering your GREAT question. The Bible in its entirety is inspired by our God, the very one who too Created us. And therefore it is to be used judiciously, prudently and in its totality of Teachings.

We ALONE, can and DO emulate our God who is “Spirit and Truth.”  take note of the fact that God NEVER makes Himself visible in the Entire Old Testament. Even to Moses he appears “Spiritually Only” as a burning bush, a cloud, a fire or a “voice from above.” yes God did send angels that assumed a human form FOR God as God’s messenger’s; but humanity would not come face to face with God until the Incarnation of Jesus.

 EACH of the attributes I shared are SIMILAR to our God; Spiritual Realities. yet each of them can be demonstrated to exist.  Yet like God’s “essence” these things too are Spiritual realities. Only a fool would [and does] try to disprove this; BUT, take for example our freewill. Try to quantify it: what is its shape, weight, color and size? Can’t be done yet every person has one. ALSO, like God Himself, these attributes are EMORTAL; they can neither die or be killed. It is this part of us that spends Eternity in the location OF OUR OWN CHOICE: Heaven or hell.

 Matthew 4:4Who answered and said: It is written, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God

 So we now go back to the bible itself for the answer to this all-important question.

 In Isaiah [a Great Prophet who foretold the coming Messiah] and lived about 500 years before Christ was born, we find the answer to our question.

 Isaiah 43: 7 & 21 “And every one that calleth upon my name, I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, and made him & This people have I formed for myself, they shall shew forth my praise

 So now we know WHY we exist. Because man alone of ALL Created things can freely choose to Know; to Love, to Obey [fully] and to serve our God. That then is the purpose of our existence, our lives REAL goal; which must be FREELY chosen by us.

 So dear friend God loves us because:

 We; me and you and all humanity ALONE can and does emulate our God

 We ALONE can know Of god, and then come to know God [through Grace]. In fact the entire Universe exist to enable man to know “god” as The First Cause and the as the Source of every Created thing. From this one can then come to KNOW GOD.

 God Created us so that we Could and we WOULD choose to Know HIM; and only man has what it takes to make this a possibility.

 God loves US soooo, because we TRULY are His Children!

Is “Hope” FAITH?

“When God takes something from your grasp, he’s not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence. “The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.” Something good will happen to you today, something that you have been waiting to hear.  Just 27 Words, ‘God our Father, walk through my house and take away all my worries and illnesses and please watch over and heal my family in your name, Amen.’ This prayer is powerful.  A blessing is coming to you and your family by the trust and faith you put in him and his Son Jesus Christ. Does God come first in your life? If so, remember those you love and trust and forward this that they may share the 27 seven words of our only hope”



I cam across this many years ago and don’t know who to thank and credit the work too? 

The Catholic doctrine of the papacy is biblically-based, and is derived from the evident primacy of St. Peter among the apostles. Like all Christian doctrines, it has undergone development through the centuries, but it hasn’t departed from the essential components already existing in the leadership and prerogatives of St. Peter. These were given to him by our Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledged by his contemporaries, and accepted by the early Church. The biblical Petrine data is quite strong, and is inescapably compelling by virtue of its cumulative weight. This is especially made clear with the assistance of biblical commentaries. The evidence of Holy Scripture (RSV) follows:

 1. Matthew 16:18: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.”

 The rock (Greek, petra) referred to here is St. Peter himself, not his faith or Jesus Christ. Christ appears here not as the foundation, but as the architect who “builds.” The Church is built, not on confessions, but on confessors – living men (see, e.g., 1 Pet 2:5). Today, the overwhelming consensus of the great majority of all biblical scholars and commentators is in favor of the traditional Catholic understanding. Here St. Peter is spoken of as the foundation-stone of the Church, making him head and superior of the family of God (i.e., the seed of the doctrine of the papacy). Moreover, Rock embodies a metaphor applied to him by Christ in a sense analogous to the suffering and despised Messiah (1 Pet 2:4-8; cf. Mt 21:42).Without a solid foundation a house falls. St. Peter is the foundation, but not founder of the Church, administrator, but not Lord of the Church. The Good Shepherd (John 10:11) gives us other shepherds as well (Eph 4:11).

 2. Matthew 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . .”

 The “power of the keys” has to do with ecclesiastical discipline and administrative authority with regard to the requirements of the faith, as in Isaiah 22:22 (cf. Is 9:6; Job 12:14; Rev 3:7). From this power flows the use of censures, excommunication, absolution, baptismal discipline, the imposition of penances, and legislative powers. In the Old Testament a steward, or prime minister is a man who is “over a house” (Gen 41:40; 43:19; 44:4; 1 Ki 4:6; 16:9; 18:3; 2 Ki 10:5; 15:5; 18:18; Is 22:15,20-21).

3. Matthew 16:19 “. . . whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

 “Binding” and “loosing” were technical rabbinical terms, which meant to “forbid” and “permit” with reference to the interpretation of the law, and secondarily to “condemn” or “place under the ban” or “acquit.” Thus, St. Peter and the popes are given the authority to determine the rules for doctrine and life, by virtue of revelation and the Spirit’s leading (Jn 16:13), and to demand obedience from the Church. “Binding and loosing” represent the legislative and judicial powers of the papacy and the bishops (Mt 18:17-18; Jn 20:23). St. Peter, however, is the only apostle who receives these powers by name and in the singular, making him preeminent.

 4. Peter’s name occurs first in all lists of apostles (Mt 10:2; Mk 3:16; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13). Matthew even calls him the “first” (10:2). Judas Iscariot is invariably mentioned last.

 5. Peter is almost without exception named first whenever he appears with anyone else. In one (only?) example to the contrary, Galatians 2:9, where he (“Cephas”) is listed after James and before John, he is clearly preeminent in the entire context (e.g., 1:18-19; 2:7-8).

 6. Peter alone among the apostles receives a new name, Rock, solemnly conferred (Jn 1:42; Mt 16:18).

 7. Likewise, Peter is regarded by Jesus as the Chief Shepherd after Himself (Jn 21:15-17), singularly by name, and over the universal Church, even though others have a similar but subordinate role (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:2).

 8. Peter alone among the apostles is mentioned by name as having been prayed for by Jesus Christ in order that his “faith may not fail” (Lk 22:32).

9. Peter alone among the apostles is exhorted by Jesus to “strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22:32).

 10. Peter first confesses Christ’s divinity (Mt 16:16).

 11. Peter alone is told that he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation (Mt 16:17).

 12. Peter is regarded by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13) as the leader and spokesman of Christianity.

 13. Peter is regarded by the common people in the same way (Acts 2:37-41; 5:15).

 14. Jesus Christ uniquely associates Himself and Peter in the miracle of the tribute-money (Mt 17:24-27).

 15. Christ teaches from Peter’s boat, and the miraculous catch of fish follows (Lk 5:1-11): perhaps a metaphor for the pope as a “fisher of men” (cf. Mt 4:19).

 16. Peter was the first apostle to set out for, and enter the empty tomb (Lk 24:12; Jn 20:6).

 17. Peter is specified by an angel as the leader and representative of the apostles (Mk 16:7).

 18. Peter leads the apostles in fishing (Jn 21:2-3,11). The “bark” (boat) of Peter has been regarded by Catholics as a figure of the Church, with Peter at the helm.

 19. Peter alone casts himself into the sea to come to Jesus (Jn 21:7).

 20. Peter’s words are the first recorded and most important in the upper room before Pentecost (Acts 1:15-22).

 21. Peter takes the lead in calling for a replacement for Judas (Acts 1:22).

 22. Peter is the first person to speak (and only one recorded) after Pentecost, so he was the first Christian to “preach the gospel” in the Church era (Acts 2:14-36).

 23. Peter works the first miracle of the Church Age, healing a lame man (Acts 3:6-12).

 24. Peter utters the first anathema (Ananias and Sapphira) emphatically affirmed by God (Acts 5:2-11)!

 25. Peter’s shadow works miracles (Acts 5:15).

 26. Peter is the first person after Christ to raise the dead (Acts 9:40).

 27. Cornelius is told by an angel to seek out Peter for instruction in Christianity (Acts 10:1-6).

28. Peter is the first to receive the Gentiles, after a revelation from God (Acts 10:9-48).

 29. Peter instructs the other apostles on the catholicity (universality) of the Church (Acts 11:5-17).

 30. Peter is the object of the first divine interposition on behalf of an individual in the Church Age (an angel delivers him from prison – Acts 12:1-17).

 31. The whole Church (strongly implied) offers “earnest prayer” for Peter when he is imprisoned (Acts 12:5).

 32. Peter presides over and opens the first Council of Christianity, and lays down principles afterwards accepted by it (Acts 15:7-11).

 33. Paul distinguishes the Lord’s post-Resurrection appearances to Peter from those to other apostles (1 Cor 15:4-8). The two disciples on the road to Emmaus make the same distinction (Lk 24:34), in this instance mentioning only Peter (“Simon”), even though they themselves had just seen the risen Jesus within the previous hour (Lk 24:33).

 34. Peter is often spoken of as distinct among apostles (Mk 1:36; Lk 9:28,32; Acts 2:37; 5:29; 1 Cor 9:5).

35. Peter is often spokesman for the other apostles, especially at climactic moments (Mk 8:29; Mt 18:21; Lk 9:5; 12:41; Jn 6:67 ff.).

 36. Peter’s name is always the first listed of the “inner circle” of the disciples (Peter, James and John – Mt 17:1; 26:37,40; Mk 5:37; 14:37).

 37. Peter is often the central figure relating to Jesus in dramatic gospel scenes such as walking on the water (Mt 14:28-32; Lk 5:1 ff., Mk 10:28; Mt 17:24 ff.).

 38. Peter is the first to recognize and refute heresy, in Simon Magus (Acts 8:14-24).

 39. Peter’s name is mentioned more often than all the other disciples put together: 191 times (162 as Peter or Simon Peter, 23 as Simon, and 6 as Cephas). John is next in frequency with only 48 appearances, and Peter is present 50% of the time we find John in the Bible! Archbishop Fulton Sheen reckoned that all the other disciples combined were mentioned 130 times. If this is correct, Peter is named a remarkable 60% of the time any disciple is referred to!

 40. Peter’s proclamation at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41) contains a fully authoritative interpretation of Scripture, a doctrinal decision and a disciplinary decree concerning members of the “House of Israel” (2:36) – an example of “binding and loosing.”

41. Peter was the first “charismatic”, having judged authoritatively the first instance of the gift of tongues as genuine (Acts 2:14-21).

 42. Peter is the first to preach Christian repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38).

 43. Peter (presumably) takes the lead in the first recorded mass baptism (Acts 2:41).

 44. Peter commanded the first Gentile Christians to be baptized (Acts 10:44-48).

 45. Peter was the first traveling missionary, and first exercised what would now be called “visitation of the churches” (Acts 9:32-38,43). Paul preached at Damascus immediately after his conversion (Acts 9:20), but hadn’t traveled there for that purpose (God changed his plans!). His missionary journeys begin in Acts 13:2.

 46. Paul went to Jerusalem specifically to see Peter for fifteen days in the beginning of his ministry (Gal 1:18), and was commissioned by Peter, James and John (Gal 2:9) to preach to the Gentiles.

 47. Peter acts, by strong implication, as the chief bishop/shepherd of the Church (1 Pet

5:1), since he exhorts all the other bishops, or “elders.”

 48. Peter interprets prophecy (2 Pet 1:16-21).

 49. Peter corrects those who misuse Paul’s writings (2 Pet 3:15-16).

 50. Peter wrote his first epistle from Rome, according to most scholars, as its bishop, and as the universal bishop (or, pope) of the early Church. “Babylon” (1 Pet 5:13) is regarded as code for Rome.

 In conclusion, it strains credulity to think that God would present St. Peter with such prominence in the Bible, without some meaning and import for later Christian history; in particular, Church government. The papacy is the most plausible (we believe actual) fulfillment of this



“One”: can that be right?

“ One Only” … Bible arguments prove it

 One God… One Set of Faith – beliefs … and only One Church “I’m Catholic” document by Pat Miron

Ezeckiel 34:30 “And they shall know that I the Lord their God am with them, and that they are my people the house of Israel: saith the Lord God. … Exodus 16:12 “I have heard the murmuring of the children of Israel: say to them: In the evening you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread: and you shall know that I am the Lord your God

Atheist, agnostics, lukewarm -“catholics,” “catholics” who have abandoned completely their Faith, and a plentitude of Protestant communions seem presently to “be in charge.” And perhaps they are for the present? But is that God’s Will and desired Plan, or the direct result of men’s deviations and gross disobedience? Time shall tell.

From humanities very inception God seemed clearly to have selected only One “Chosen people” as “His own.” … Abram. Noah, Moses, David, Jacob, and the Prophets; the entire Jewish Nation, and in the New Testament; The Apostles, and through Direct Apostolic Succession [Commanded and Demanded by Christ in Mt. 28:19-20]; today’s Catholic Church fills that same role. The bible by itself provides indisputable evidence of this singular and stunning fact. Why this is shall perhaps not be fully understood until the Final Judgment? What is important to the present discussion is simply acknowledging this reality as God’s Divine and Perfect Provincial Will. Only One God, Faith and Church. … “ One Only”


 Having been active in the teaching arena for many years; I at time hear confusion about “the Old Testament God” as a “mean and vengeful God”, compared to Jesus in the New Testament who is seen most often portrayed as a “God of Love and Mercy”.  How can these divergent views be only “One and the same God?” And yet; that is precisely what they are.

 The reason for “both being correct images” of only One God, stem from God’s Own perspective of His requirement for “Perfect Justice”.  Here is God’s perspective: Matthew 25:19 For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” … It’s the idea that “Divine Judgment” is based not on what we know or choose only to accept; rather it will be, as “Perfect Justice” must be, based on what God makes possible for us to know.

Yahweh’s task was significantly different than was Christ on many levels. Education standards, stability verses being Nomadic, availability of writing material; awareness OF God as their Sovereignty and Only One God, took a long time to be comprehended and accepted. It is the normal “ups and downs” of the inevitable educational process; with obedience and severe blatant disobedience requiring reward and punishment that was swift and highly-notable. By the time of the Incarnation, many more cities had been established, resulting in greater stabilization, better education, trade was broader and more sophisticated, and systems of Governance were better and more firmly established. At last God’s Chosen People were sufficiently prepared for the often predicted Messiah.

 4Ezra.7: 19 -29 “And he said to me, “You are not a better judge than God, or wiser than the Most High! Let many perish who are now living, rather than that the law of God which is set before them be disregarded! For God strictly commanded those who came into the world, when they came, what they should do to live, and what they should observe to avoid punishment. Nevertheless they were not obedient, and spoke against him; they devised for themselves vain thoughts, and proposed to themselves wicked frauds; they even declared that the Most High does not exist, and they ignored his ways! They scorned his law, and denied his covenants; they have been unfaithful to his statutes, and have not performed his works. “Therefore, Ezra, empty things are for the empty, and full things are for the full. …  For my son the Messiah shall be revealed with those who are with him, and those who remain shall rejoice four hundred years. And after these years my son the Messiah shall die, and all who draw human breath.”

4Ezra.12: 32  “this is the Messiah whom the Most High has kept until the end of days, who will arise from the posterity of David, and will come and speak to them; he will denounce them for their ungodliness and for their wickedness, and will cast up before them their contemptuous dealings.”

John.1:41 “He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ).  … John.4; 25 “The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things.”

 1Cor.8: 6 “yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.”

 So for all of time; the concept of Only One God has been pressed, taught, expected and accepted, although at times with great difficulty.

 The premise then for a single set of Faith beliefs is founded on and flows directly from this first reality of Only One God.

 Because all of Christianity agrees on Only “One God” that their can and indeed must be but One, and Only One set of Faith beliefs. A Perfect God simply cannot hold contradictory views of a single truth.

 This then leads us to the foundational issue; one widely disputed, widely and incorrectly understood; and one seldom accepted outside of the Catholic Church which is that “Only One Church” is also this same One-God’s Will and the reality of biblical teaching. I will endeavor to provide and explain the biblical evidence that just as clearly as the other two “One Only realities“, is evident if one is candid and a seeker of “the Way, the Truth and the Life.” All notably singular tense. [John 14:6] … John 8:32And you shall [CAN] know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

 I will proceed by sharing various passages from the Douay Rheims Catholic Bible; because I am a Catholic. However, I think one will find little or no differences in the selected passages in the King James Bible.  So the issue then is not what the bible say’s; rather what does the actual Teaching mean. And yes, I intend to prove that this exclusive right, this mandate belongs only to today’s Catholic Church. Indeed, that is the precise challenge that lies before us.

 There is only One “Infallible rule” for right understanding of the Bible. It is this: Never-ever; may, can or does one verse, passage or teaching, make void, invalidate, override, or contradict; when rightly understood, another part of the Bible. The reason is obvious. Were this even the slightest possibility [its not], then the Bible would be worthless to learn or teach the Faith of Jesus Christ, and the Blessed Trinity. Amen!

 Argument Number  [1]  NOTE: I’m using the Gospel of Matthew as it’s the First Gospel written, which explains why some of it’s content is not directly repeated in the other Gospels. The Information was known, undisputed and fully accepted by the other bible authors.

Matthew 4: 18-22 “As he [Jesus] walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter [1] and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” [2] Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zeb’edee and John his brother, in the boat with Zeb’edee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him“.

John.15: 16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you [3] and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you”

The evident meaning of these two passages is that “God is in charge.”  It is God who selects those He wants for Service. Yes, everyone is to have a role in evangelization; BUT only when given the opportunity to do so by God, and then limited to the opportunity He has given to us. This is not something one presumes or assumes, which is the condition of some hidden [to me at least]; “right” found in all of the Protestant communions.  And yes, I fully agree that anyone “with Me”; can’t be at the same time, be against me. Yet that is clearly the case of the Protestant Faiths. The Catholic Church has a 2,000 year history, dating back to Christ; Peter and the Apostles. No other religion has both the total truth and the fullness of that truth  which God desires to share with each of us.

 Matthew:12:30 He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth.”  It is highly significant the extensive use of “singular tense” found as a commons thread in these passages. And that dear friend is a highly signifient point.

 Explanation:[1] Notice ought be taken here that Simon [Peter] is the First Apostle selected by Christ. With God; coincidence, happenstance or luck, simply do not exist. Words have meanings, and the economy of words is further critical because of the cost and availability of writing materials at the time of authorship. [2] Already Christ has made evident that His choosing is with a specific purpose in mind, and at least to this point, limited to those He has already chosen. [3] God remains, and must remain in charge. God’s “job” is to call whom He chooses; our task is to accept; obey and follow.

 Argument Number  [2] Matthew 10:1-8 “And [Jesus] having called his twelve disciples [Apostles] together, he gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases, and all manner of infirmities. And the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the publican, and James the son of Alpheus, and Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. [1] These twelve Jesus sent: commanding them, saying:[2] Go ye not into the way of the Gentiles, and into the city of the Samaritans enter ye not. [3] But go ye rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And going, preach, saying: The kingdom of heaven is at hand.[4] Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils”

 Explanation:[1] No greater evidence exist than what is evident in the fact that Christ clearly extends and transfers His own Godly Powers and Authority to this select group of 12 men who He called “His Apostles” [2] In the beginning Christ attempts to fulfill the Old Testament promises to His One Chosen people. Because of their hardness of hearts; Christ later extends this call to ALL of humanity; thus making necessary Succession of these Powers and Authority. [3] The message they are to share in nothing less than an affirmation that the long awaited Messiah is now in your midst. [4] Christ understands that in order for His Ministry to completed; He must delegate and empower those He has chosen with ‘”Godly” attributes, because the task; the challenge given to them can only be accomplished through, with and by God Himself.

 Argument Number  [3] Matthew 16:15 -19 “Jesus saith to them: But whom do you [1] say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.[2] And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. [3] And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock [4] I will build my church, [5] and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [6] And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.[7] And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven”

 Explanation:The reason this is the most widely disputed set of verses in the entire bible is that there is, nor can there be any grounds for any religion other than Catholism; if it is true. [1] Here Jesus is asking the Apostles as a group a question. But it is Peter alone; Divinely Inspired who makes reply on behalf of all of them. A clear indication that already some degree of his leadership is evident. [2] Jesus confirms Peter in the Holy Spirit by clarifying that he was speaking through and for God [the Father.. Though the Holy Spirit] what The Father wanted him to proclaim. A Divinely Inspired proclamation! [3] Jesus now changes the name of “Simon” to “Peter” [which is the framework for present Tradition of Popes-new name practice]. When ever God changes the name of a person it is indicative of great grace and expectations of God for that person. [Abram to Abraham for example] [4] It is no accident that “Peter alone” is mentioned. Just as there was a High Priest heading the hierarchy of the Jews; so too would there be One Only in Charge and empowered in this new “church” founded on the New Covenant; which voided the one in existence up to that moment. [Jer.31:31, Lk. 22:20, Heb. 8:8 & 13] …[5] Highly significant are the next words of Christ: “I [God] will build [He alone is the architect] of “My church” [singular: one and only One] desired, wanted or needed to accomplish Christ mandated Mission. The term “church” is invented here by Christ to clarify and make exceedingly clear that what He is doing is Founding a New, Separate, Different and overriding religion. The choice of location God selected was no accident and indeed is a critical part of right understanding. Caesarea Philippi [verse 13] was the site of the areas largest Pagan Temple; so clearly implied here is the task of Peter to overcome this Pagan-faith-practice, and supplant it with God’s own truth. There were Pagan Temples and Jewish Synagogues in existence at the time; but NO “church.” [6] How the handing on the Keys essential for entry into Heaven itself by God directly to Peter is ignored, overlooked and by intent denied is astounding! How can anyone honestly doubt the intent of God is doing this? [7] The terms chosen by Christ when rightly understood in the context of “binding and loosing” which were very common Rabbinical terms of Power and freedom of Governance; fully enforceable at Law. Cites were then often walled and fortified as was Jerusalem itself; with real gates, real doors and a real “gate-keeper” who unlocked them in the morning for commerce and locked them at night for security. This “holder of the Key’s” was most often the “Prime Minister” who answered directly and only to the King. This is the precise role Christ envisioned and implemented through the selection of Peter.

 Argument Number  [4] Matthew 16:18 “And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand.  And if he will not hear them: tell the church. [1] And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. [2] Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.

Explanation:[1] Affirmation of Christ intent for a totally new Religion and form of Governance is here cited to make clear the above passages. Disputes that had it the past been taken to the High Priest or Sanhedrin, are now to be taken to Peter and the other Apostles: “The Church.” [singular][2] The Powers and Authority granted to Peter ALONE; is now extended through Peter to include all of the Apostles.

Argument Number  [5] [Post Resurrection] Matthew 28: 16, 18-20 “And the eleven [remaining] disciples [“Apostles only“: see Mt. 10: above] went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them.[1] And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. [2] Going therefore, teach ye all nations; [3] baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. [4] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you [5] and behold I [Jesus: Personally] am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world [6].

Explanation:[1] This conversation too is critical to right understanding. Here Jesus is addressing only the remaining Apostles. Judas having hung himself in despair. This fulfills the pre-Death promise of Jesus, to afterwards meet them [the Apostles] in Galilee, [Mt. 26-32] [2] Next Then we see evidence of God’s Own Powers and Authority being passed on [again] by absolute necessity to these very [and exclusively to them]; Apostles. [3] “to ALL NATIONS” means the entire world. By absolute necessity then, in order to fulfill this “Command” issued by our Perfect God; Succession of Powers and Authority HAD to continue beyond the life’s and deaths of the Apostles. Certainly Christ did not intend for this new religion to end with the demise of the Apostles who are foundational with Christ as the Corner Stone; of a New Covenant; but not its competition. If not, the fulfillment of the mandate is impossible and God‘s Plan and Will would be left uncompleted; a simply impossible to accept position.[4] … The form Christ desires the Sacrament of Baptism to take is clearly articulated as Christ Institutes this First of His Seven Sacraments. Highly notable is that it does NOT exclude Infant Baptism; for it is God’s desire that “all men” participate in His salvation [conditionally]. Babies too have Souls! [1st. Tim. 2:4] [5] Take note again of the fact that Christ is addressing directly and exclusively; only His Apostles and issues directly “to them alone” the “Command” to teach “all nations”. [see also: Eph. 2:20; 3:9-10 & 4:1-7]. [6] This final promise [post-Resurrection] affirms Christ Real Presence in the Eucharist. Another Sacrament Instituted By Christ. The Promise here specifies Himself to remain “with them.”; not only the Holy Spirit as  separately promised elsewhere. [John 14:16-17].

 Argument Number  [6] Having established Only One God; Faith and Church we now proceed to the evidence for the practice of Succession.

 First from the perspective of the Apostles: Acts 1:24-26 “And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, To take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place. And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” [1] From the hands of God directly:  … Acts 24:16 “And when we were all fallen down on the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me in the Hebrew tongue: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the goad” [2]

Explanation:[1] Here is evidence of both Peter and the Apostles recognition of the absolute need for Succession [2] and also God’s continued direct involvement in the choosing of these men.

 Argument Number  [7] Deals with the God protected and guided Authority of “His One Church[1] John 14:16-17 “And I [Jesus /God] will ask the [My] Father, [1] and he shall give you another Paraclete, [2] [Person in the Blessed Trinity: the Holy Spirit] that he may abide with you for ever. [3] The spirit of truth, [4] whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him [5]: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you.”

 Explanation:[1] This conversation takes place between Jesus in BOTH His humanity and His Divinity and His Father and is expressly on behalf of only His Apostles. [2] Christ makes evident that “truth” is a “singular thing.” [3] And that this “Truth-warranty” is never-ending: “forever.” [4] The world’s reality seems “naturally” to “ kick against the goad of God’s singular truth [s].” This is a direct effect of Lost Grace and willing complicity in falsehoods. [Perhaps not fully known or understood because of the lack of Grace?] [5] But you; My Apostles and those whom I choose; shall be protected from teaching in error on all matters of Faith and Morals; because the holy Spirit will Guide you, protect you and lead you; AND even reside in you!

 Argument Number  [8] John 20: 19- 23 “Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples [Apostles] were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. [1] And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.[2]  When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. [3] Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.” [4]

 Explanation: [1] Twice in these brief passages Jesus tells them [and us… My] “Peace be with you” Thus we can know that is God’s desire for us, and in a most special way to those He calls to Ministry to have “peaceful hearts founded on belief, obedience and right  and full-understanding of Him. [2]Using precise terms Christ, once again passes His Godly Powers and Authority on to His Apostles, and THROUGH them by absolute necessity, to their Successors. …“As God did send Me; so too I God now send you” [addressing once again, only Peter and the other Apostles]. [3] Here Christ fulfills His Promise to the Apostles made earlier in [John 14] and is seen sending as promised the Holy Spirit to actually reside within the Apostles. [4] Yes, now that the Apostles are empowered as was Christ Himself; now that they are “filled with the Holy Spirit”; Jesus further empowers and commands them to in His name; with His authority to determine whose sins shall be forgiven and whose shall not. It remains Christ who does the  actual forgiving; but ONLY after being given the essential permission  of His Priest to do so. It is the priest again as “the [“Persona Christi”] “person of Christ”; just as in the instant of Transubstanuation that is transformed and performs this act as Christ Himself.  Once again we witness Christ Instituting yet another Sacrament. The Sacrament of Confession; the only KNOWN forgiveness of sin. As a FYI; Priest were used for this function in the Old Testament too; but not with the same degree of authority and Power. SEE: Lev. 5:13 & 6:7.

 Argument Number  [9]  It seems reasonable that some might ask a “YES-BUT.”  … Were these teaches understood, accepted and applied in the early Church? It seems prudent to reference the “Last Apostle”; Paul, to see what He taught and what has been Divinely Inspired Teaching handed on to us.

 John 1:42 “And he brought him to Jesus. And Jesus looking upon him, said: Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is interpreted Peter.”

 Paul’s Testimony speaks for itself. Amen!  One 1 Corinthians 1:12 “Now this I say, that every one of you saith: I indeed am of Paul; and I am of Apollo; and I am of Cephas; and I of Christ.”

Two 1 Corinthians 15:5 “And that he [The Risen Christ] was seen by Cephas; and after that by the eleven”

Three Eph. 5: 23  “Christ is the head of the church [singular] , his body“, [singular]

Four Eph. 2:19-20 “Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners; but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and the domestics of God,  Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone

Five Romans 13: 1-4 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

Six Romans 16: 17-19 “ I appeal to you, brethren, to take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded. For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I would have you wise as to what is good and guileless as to what is evil”

Seven 1Tim. 3: 15 “if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church [SINGULAR] of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth”

Eight Romans 15: 4-6 “that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,  that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”

Nine 2nd. Cor. 9: 13 “Under the test of this service, you will glorify God by your obedience in acknowledging the gospel [singular] of Christ,”

Ten Eph. 4: 1-7 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body [WHICH MEANS ONE CHURCH] and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, [ONLY ONE SET OF BELEFS] one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Eleven 2 Tim. 4: 1-4 ”I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.”

Twelve Eph. 3: 9-10  “And to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in  God who created all things;  that through the church [singular] the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,

John 1: 16 And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.

Acts.20: 28 “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God  [SINGULAR] which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.”

May God please grant us His Wisdom and Understanding; and make it possible for ALL to come to HIS TRUTH! Amen

 Pat Miron


Luke.10: 16 He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” Mt. 7:21, 24-27 “Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but [ONLY] he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven…Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock, And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock. And every one that heareth these my words, and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man that built his house upon the sand, And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof.” AMEN!

You’re KIDDING right? Cut IT OFF!


Radio talk show hosts make a living on it.  Show after show, they bring before our eyes stupid, unjust and wasteful situations in order to produce outrage.  We love to listen and get ourselves all worked up. Our indignation keeps us tuned in and the show’s ratings high.

 It’s easy to focus on the outrageous things that others do.  It’s easy to clamor that this intolerable situation must come to an end now.  For to say this requires little or nothing from us–our demand is that others do something about it, that others mobilize and take action, that others be set straight.

 This is “holiness of the Pharisees” mentioned by Jesus in Mat 5:20 that he says we must go beyond.  They were so preoccupied in removing the splinter from the eye of others that they missed the log in their own.

 When it comes to confronting our own sinfulness and foolishness, we, like the Pharisees, tend to lose the sense of urgency.  We procrastinate, rationalize, and change the subject. That’s the very points of one of hardest sayings of this Sunday’s gospel.  “If your hand is your difficulty, cut it off!  Better for you to enter life maimed than to keep both hands and enter Gehenna” (Mat 5:30).

 The Lord is not encouraging self-mutilation here.  He is rather calling for aggressive action, even action that hurts.  Of course, our hands, feet, and eyes are just bodily organs. Of themselves, they can’t cause us to sin.  But some places that our feet take us, some things we do with our hands, some things we focus our eyes upon damage our relationship with God.  Going to a particular club may not be in itself sinful, but for me, it may be a near occasion of sin.  Every person is a child of God.  But hanging around with certain children of God may present an occasion of sin to me.

 We tend to try to manage it.   “I’ll keep my cable subscription, but just not watch that channel.”  “I’ll keep surfing the web, but just won’t visit that site.”  “I’ll go the club, but stop after two drinks.”

 If it works, great.  But when it doesn’t, many of us go on fooling ourselves that it will–the next time.  We keep trying half-measures, avoiding the necessary treatment because it will sting too much, cost too much.

 Jesus says to wake up, get real, and take aggressive action.  If the internet is your problem, shut it down.  If TV is your problem, turn it off.  Better you go through life unplugged and offline than spend eternity in Satan’s chat room.

 However, to avoid taking aggressive action against our own personal compromises with the devil, we frequently change the subject and point out the sins of the liberals, the right-wingers, the Muslims, the politicians.

 Persistently, the Lord brings us back to the real issue, the issue we want to avoid.  He bids us to forget about others’ issues and attend to our own . . . our own divided hearts, our own hidden hypocrisy, our own little compromises.

 Fortitude, one of the four Cardinal Virtues, is not just about enduring evil and hardship for the sake of doing good.  It is also about taking aggressive action against evil.  If we see evil in our lives, we mustn’t tolerate it, make excuses for it, and procrastinate.  We must pounce on it.

 Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio writes from Texas.   For info on his resources and his pilgrimages to Rome and the Holy Land, visitwww.crossroadsinitiative.com or call 800.803.0118.


This article is offered as a reflection on the Scriptures readings for the 6th Sunday in Ordinary time, cycle A (Sirach 15: 15-20; Ps 119; I Cor 2:6-10; Mat 5:17-37).


What happened?

What happened?


Up until the 20th century, mankind was trekking along pretty OK. Yes, there were hardships, yes there was fighting, but in general mankind was doing OK… at least in terms of 100 year increments.

Then something happened.

Something in mankind broke, and the 20th century was witness to it. No other century had shown such mass destruction as the 20th, and the century wasn’t even over yet! At the time of the Second Vatican Council opening, the 20th century had witnessed two world wars, the Holocaust, the worldwide Influenza Pandemic, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Great Depression, the introduction of the pill and the contraceptive mindset, the rise of Marxism, Socialism, Communism, Fascism, all the evil “isms,” and the rise of the sexual revolution. By the turn of the next century, the Iraq war, legalization of abortion, the Rwandan Genocide, skyrocketing divorce rates, the decline of the family, the loss of stay-at-home mothers, and the death of large families would be added on top of that.

What happened?

Cardinal Wojtyla’s answer was simple: Mankind had forgotten. He had forgotten his status as a beloved child of God. Mankind had forgotten the love the Father had for us. Mankind had forgotten the relationship he has to the Father and the role that every other human has in relation to the Father as beloved children of Him.

Indeed, this complete spiritual amnesia, Wojtyla held, was the reason behind the destruction of the 20th century. The loss of relationship with the Father leads man to a state of fear, sin, spiritual death, and ultimately a loss hope… a loss of hope that prevents him from seeing that he is worth more than the simple, base lies of the evil one. Thus, Wojtyla’s whole approach to Vatican II and to his papacy was to remind man of his relationship with God; to affirm for man that God is real, that He loves them, that mankind is not random, he is not merely another animal, and he is most certainly not an accident. Rather, man has a God who knows us, who has a plan for us, who knit us together purposefully in our mother’s womb. Wojtyla focused solely on reminding man who he is, for in reaffirming his status as beloved, man would accept the one who is peace.

The Pope’s mission did not end with his death because we must still be reminded who we are; man must continually be reminded of the love of the Father and of his status as beloved to the Father. Indeed, no one more needs this message than those trapped in the confines and lies of the pro-choice movement. Those who participate in such travesty have not only forgotten their status as beloved, but are in so much pain that when reminded of that status, they then deny it. How can we end abortion if we continue to perpetuate the idea that some are not beloved by the Father? How can we end abortion when we tell those in doubt and darkness that they are horrible people, that God cannot love them? Even if we don’t use those precise words, how are our actions promoting the lies they continue to tell themselves? The lie that says they are not beloved of the Father. The lie that shows itself in the pained, twisted actions of abortion-minded women, men, and doctors.

Does snarky-ness really show them that they are beloved children of God? Does lying to them in undercover operations show them the love of the Father? Does berating them with simple facts, statistics, and numbers reveal to them their position as beloved by the Creator of the world? How are pro-lifers witnessing to God’s message of hope? Redemption? Unconditional love? Healing? How are we as pro-lifers going to reconcile our actions when we stand before the Lord on judgment day? When Christ says “I needed someone in the world to tell these people that I love them. Did you do that?” Will we be able to say “Yes. I loved them as you love them.”? I don’t know. But I do know that we as pro-lifers face a beautiful and difficult calling. We are lucky enough to know our God, to recognize His love for us. We cannot waste that knowledge, nor can we perpetuate a culture that hardens hearts toward that knowledge. Rather, because we have that knowledge, we are called to demonstrate it to people. We are called to remind people that God made them, He saw them, and He saw that “it was good.”

We in the pro-life movement have a unique opportunity. We must not be focused on ending abortion. Rather, we must be focused on bringing about a culture of Life. A culture that celebrates the life the Father breathed into each and every one of us. That will involve ending abortion, but it will not stop there. For even after abortion is eradicated, decades after the last abortion mill closes, the Evil One will still prowl the world, whispering to people that they are forgotten. That they are not beloved. That they are only an accident. And for as long as the world exists, for as long as God the Creator deigns to hold the world in His hand out of love, we will be called to witness to that love. To affirm that love. To remind those who have forgotten, to remind the Devil, that we are beloved children of God. That in the loneliest places, in the places of doubt and darkness, when man no longer knows who he is, no longer understands what grace is, in those places where the Devil plants despair, God will always say, “You are my beloved son.”

This is the final part of a 3 part series on pro-life/pro-”choice” dialogue. Please read part one here and part tw

Jesus Transforms our Suffering


Archbishop Aquila

The Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila is the eighth bishop of Denver and its fifth archbishop. His episcopal motto is, “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5).


Jesus did not take away suffering, he transformed it

February 11, 2014

 “Physically I suffer a lot, but my soul sings,” 18-year-old Chiara Badano told her mom as she battled one of the most aggressive and painful forms of bone cancer. I recall the story of this saintly teenager because her life offers deep insights into suffering and because the Church observed the World Day of the Sick on Feb. 11.

You may not have heard about this saintly Italian girl, who died in 1990 at the age of 19, but she is truly a model of Christian suffering.

How many of us can repeat her words when we are suffering from far less serious things? The truth is that many of us, including Christians, avoid suffering. Blessed Chiara did not seek it out, but her attitude was, “If you want it, Jesus, so do I.”

Visitors to Chiara’s hospital room arrived expecting to cheer her up, but when they walked in they saw that she was filled with peace and confidence, so much so that the founder of the Italian Church movement Focolare gave her the name Chiara, meaning “Luce” or “Light.”

This kind of transformation of suffering is impossible without God and a profound relationship of love with him. In his message for the 2014 World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis points out that Jesus “did not remove illness and suffering from human experience but by taking them upon himself he transformed them and gave them new meaning.”

Because of his passion, death and resurrection, our suffering and even death can serve as a vehicle and gateway to everlasting happiness. Blessed Chiara knew this reality and expressed it to her mother, saying, “When you’re getting me ready, Mom, you must not cry, you have to keep on saying to yourself: ‘Chiara Luce is now seeing Jesus.’”

Thank God most of the pain we experience on a daily basis is not caused by a terminal illness. But regardless of the kind of suffering we are going through, allowing Christ to purify and convert us, to increase our trust in him, is an opportunity that we should not miss.

Moments or periods of trial are also an opportunity for those of us who are not experiencing 

ur actions, we give way to the heart of Christ and bask in its warmth, and thus contribute to the coming of God’s kingdom.”

Pope Benedict XVI also described this mission of mercy in his 2012 message for the Day of the Sick, “More than mere words, what sick people need is human warmth and sincere closeness.” This is a chance to love Christ in the sick and suffering that we should not miss.

We have the perfect model of being Christians who bring this tender love to the sick and the poor in the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Pope Francis’ description of why Mary is the “mother of all the sick and suffering” is so beautiful and compelling that I must quote it for you here.

“Mary, impelled by God’s mercy which took flesh within her, selflessly hastened from Galilee to Judea to find and help her kinswoman Elizabeth. She interceded with her Son at the wedding feast of Cana when she saw that there was a shortage of wine. She bore in her heart, throughout the pilgrimage of her life, the words of the elderly Simeon who foretold that a sword would pierce her soul, and with persevering strength she stood at the foot of the cross of Jesus. She knows the way, and for this reason she is the mother of all of the sick and suffering.”

As you encounter suffering in your life or in the lives of others, I urge you to turn to Mary for inspiration and intercession. She is able to stand with us beside our crosses and accompany us on the journey toward the resurrection. Mary can help us turn to Christ, who “destroyed the solitude of suffering and illuminated its darkness.” Mary, mother of the sick and suffering, pray for us!

A Lesson to be learned by Pope Francis

Pope Francis: Mass is a “theophany”, not a mere prayer gathering; “sense of the sacred” should be recovered


” The liturgical celebration is not a social act, a good social act; it is not a gathering of believers to pray together It is another thing. In the liturgy, God is present”, but it is a closer presence. At Mass, “the presence of the Lord is real, very real”. Rediscovering the “sense of the sacred”, “entering into the mystery of God, allowing ourselves to be part of the mystery”, was the focus of Pope Francis at Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta, during which he also joked that going to Mass with the Pope is not a “tourist attraction”.