Archive for January 2nd, 2009

Fr. Wm Most- Mental Prayer- Christendom College Press

Posted on January 2, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

MOSTPRAY.ZIP – Mental Prayer; Mystical Rose; Spouse of the Holy Spirit Fr. William MostChapters 21, 22, and 23 of ‘Our Father’s Plan’ published by Christendom College Press. These 3 chapters deal with the different forms of prayer and
also discuss dangers to be avoided.
MOST PRAYER CONTEMPLATION CENTERING PRAYER UNION

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Abandonment to Divine Providence Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Posted on January 2, 2009. Filed under: Catholicism, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Obedience, Trinity |

SECTION VIII.—Self-guidance a Mistake.

God imparts to the soul in the state of abandonment by means which seem more likely to
destroy it. There is a time when God would be the life of the soul, and Himself accomplish its perfection in secret and unknown ways. Then all its own ideas, lights, industries, examinations, and reasonings become sources of illusion. After many experiences of the sad consequences of self-guidance, the soul recognising its uselessness, and finding that God has hidden and confused all the issues, is forced to fly to Him to find life. Then, convinced of its nothingness and of the harmfulness of all that it derives from itself, it abandons itself to God to gain all from Him. It is then that God becomes the source of its life, not by means of ideas, lights, or reflexions, for all this is no longer anything to it but a source of illusion; but in reality, and by His grace, which is hidden under the strangest appearances.

The divine operation, unknown to the soul, communicates its virtue and substance by many
circumstances that the soul believes will be its destruction. There is no cure for this ignorance, it
must be allowed its course. God gives Himself therein, and with Himself, he gives all things in the
obscurity of faith. The soul is but a blind subject, or, in other words, it is like a sick person who
knows nothing of the properties of remedies and tastes only their bitterness. He often imagines that what is given him will be his death; the pain and weakness which result seem to justify his fears; nevertheless it is under the semblance of death that his health is restored, and he takes the medicines on the word of the physician. In the same way the submissive soul is in no way pre-occupied about its infirmities, except as regards obvious maladies which by their nature compel it to rest; and to
take suitable remedies. The languor and weakness of souls in the state of abandonment are only
illusory appearances which they ought to defy with confidence. God sends them, or permits them in order to give opportunities for the exercise of faith and abandonment which are the true remedies. Without paying the least attention to them, these souls should generously pursue their way, following by their actions and sufferings the order of God, making use without hesitation of the body as though it were a horse on hire, which is intended to be driven until it is worn out. This is better than thinking of health so much as to harm the soul.
A courageous spirit does much to maintain a feeble body, and one year of a life spent in so
noble and generous a manner is of more value than would be a century of care-taking and nervous fears. One ought to be able to show outwardly that one is in a state of grace and goodwill.
What is there to be afraid of in fulfilling the divine will?
The conduct of one who is upheld and sustained by it should show nothing exteriorly but what is heroic.
The terrifying experiences that have to be encountered are really nothing. They are only sent that life may be adorned with more glorious victories. T
he divine will involves the soul in troubles of every kind, where human prudence can
neither see nor imagine any outlet.
It then feels all its weakness, and, finding out its shortcomings,
is confounded.
The divine will then asserts itself in all its power to those who give themselves to
it without reserve.
It succours them more marvellously than the writers of fiction, in the fertility of
their imagination, unravel the intrigues and perils of their imaginary heroes, and bring them to a
happy end.

With a much more admirable skill, and much more happily, does the divine will guide
the soul through deadly perils and monsters,
even through the fires of hell with their demons and sufferings.

It raises souls to the heights of heaven, and makes them the subjects of histories both
real and mystical, more beautiful, and more extraordinary than any invented by the vain imagination of man.

On then, my soul, through perils and monsters, guided and sustained by that mighty invisible
hand of divine Providence.
On, without fear, to the end, in peace and joy, and make all the incidents
of life occasions of fresh victories.
We march under His Standard, to fight and to conquer; “exivit
vincens ut vinceret”; “He went forth conquering that he might conquer” (Apocal. vi, 2).
As many steps as we take under His command will be the triumphs we gain.
The Holy Spirit of God writes in an open book this sacred history which is not yet finished, nor will be till the end of the world.
This history contains an account of the guidance and designs of God with regard to
men.
It remains for us to figure in this history, and to continue the thread of it by the union of our
actions and sufferings with His will.
No! It is not to cause the loss of our souls that we have so
much to do, and to suffer; but that we may furnish matter for that holy writing
which is added to
day by day.
***
SECTION X.—We Must see God in all His Creatures.

In the state of abandonment the soul finds more light and strength, through submission to
the divine action, than all those possess who resist it through pride.
Of what use are the most sublime illuminations, the most divine revelations, if one has no love
for the will of God? It was because of this that Lucifer fell. The ruling of the divine action revealed to him by God, in showing him the mystery of the Incarnation, produced in him nothing but envy. On the other hand a simple soul, enlightened only by faith, can never tire of admiring, praising, and loving the order of God; of finding it not only in holy creatures, but even in the most irregular confusion and disorder. One grain of pure faith will give more light to a simple soul than Lucifer eceived in his highest intelligence. The devotion of the faithful soul to its obligations; its quiet submission to the intimate promptings of grace; its gentleness and humility towards everyone; are
of more value than the most profound insight into mysteries. If one regarded only the divine action
in all the pride and harshness of creatures, one would never treat them with anything but sweetness
and respect. Their roughness would never disturb the divine order, whatever course it might take.
One must only see in it the divine action, given and taken, as long as one is faithful in the practice
of sweetness and humility. It is best not to observe their way of proceeding, but always to walk
with firm steps in our own path. It is thus that by bending gently, cedars are broken, and rocks
overthrown. Who amongst creatures can resist a faithful, gentle, and humble soul? These are the
only arms to be taken if we wish to conquer all our enemies. Jesus Christ has placed them in our
hands that we may defend ourselves; there is nothing to fear if we know how to use them.
We must not be cowardly, but generous. This is the only disposition suitable to the instruments
of God.
All the works of God are sublime and marvellous; while one’s own actions, when they war
against God, cannot resist the divine action in one who is united to it by sweetness and humility.
Who is Lucifer? He is a pure spirit, and was the most enlightened of all pure spirits, but is now
at war with God and with His rule. The mystery of sin is merely the result of this conflict, which
manifests itself in every possible way. Lucifer, as much as in him lies, will leave no stone upturned
to destroy what God has made and ordered. Wherever he enters, there is the work of God defaced.
The more light, science, and capacity a person has, the more he is to be feared if he does not possess
a foundation of piety, which consists in being satisfied with God and His will. It is by a well-regulated
heart that one is united to the divine action; without this everything is purely natural, and generally,
in direct opposition to the divine order. God makes use only of the humble as His instruments.
Always contradicted by the proud, He yet makes use of them, like slaves, for the accomplishment
of His designs.
When I find a soul which does all for God alone, and in submission to His order, however
want ing it may be in all things else, I say “This is a soul with a great aptitude for serving God.”
The holy Virgin and St. Joseph were like this. All else without these qualities makes me fear. I amafraid to see in it the action of Lucifer. I remain on my guard, and shut myself up in my foundation of simplicity, in opposition to all this outward glitter which, by itself, is nothing to me but a bit of broken glass.
___
source:
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/decaussade/abandonment.pdf

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Review of David Kupelian’s "The Marketing of Evil"

Posted on January 2, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

The Marketing of Evil
Sunday March 5, 2006
“As Americans we’ve come to tolerate, embrace, and even champion many things that would have horrified our parent’s generation. Things like abortion-on-demand virtually up to the moment of birth, judges banning the Ten Commandments from public places, a national explosion of middle-school sex, the slow starvation of the disabled, thousands of homosexuals openly flouting the law and getting “married,” and online porn creating late-night sex addicts in millions of middle-class homes.”
What has happened to America? What has happened to Western culture? How did it come to be that what was once—and not in the distant past but only a generation or two ago—regarded as self-destructive and immoral is now regarded as free choice and tolerance? “The plain truth,” writes David Kupelian, “is, within the space of our lifetimes, much of what Americans once almost universally abhorred has been packaged, perfumed, gift-wrapped, and sold to us as though it has great value. By skillfully playing on our deeply felt national values of fairness, generosity, and tolerance, these marketers have persuaded us to embrace as enlightened and noble that which all previous generations since America’s founding regarded as grossly self-destructive—in a word, evil.
Kupelian’s book, The Marketing of Evil was written to expose the fact that the moral decay which surrounds us is not mere happenstance and is not merely a product of the evolution of a higher society. Rather, evil and immorality have been carefully, deliberately and often brilliantly marketed to us. “Radicals, elitists, and pseudo-experts” have sold us corruption disguised as freedom. Through ten chapters, he exposes ten different areas of moral decay and the deliberate actions that have foisted them upon us.
He begins with gay-rights, discussing the “war conference” that was held in 1998 by prominent homosexuals in Warrenton, Virginia, where they mapped out the future of the gay-rights movement. “Shortly thereafter, activists Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen put into book form the comprehensive public relations plan they had been advocating with their gay-rights peers for several years.” These men, both brilliant researchers, depended, in their own words “centrally upon a program of unabashed propaganda, firmly grounded in long-established principles of psychology and advertising.” Their strategy was followed with great success and has advanced the gay cause to what it is today. It has made homosexuality not merely accepted, but celebrated.
Following gay-rights, Kupelian turns to several other hot issues. He discusses the myth of church-state separation, the culture of sex and rebellion in today’s youth, multiculturalism, the meltdown of the family, our culture’s obsession with sexuality, the education system, media and abortion. He concludes by suggesting that the church of Jesus Christ is the last, best hope for America.
It’s often said that the Christian church in America needs revival. But this doesn’t necessarily mean ever-bigger tents with tens of thousands of us swaying back and forth, singing songs, giving speeches, and getting pumped up—and then going home and watching television. America’s real revival and genuine rebirth will be much less dramatic in the beginning. We might never even realize exactly how it came about. But it can happen, and we must pray that it will.
How will it come to pass? It’ll happen, dear friends, when we all simply go to our rooms, close the door, take a deep breath, and take a good, long, hard, honest look at ourselves. And then, quietly and humbly and fervently, we ask the living God for help, for insight, for direction—for salvation.
And I think he is right. At this point, nothing but a miraculous intervention of God can reverse the dangerous, depressing trend in our society. But I firmly believe, as does Kupelian, that the church of Jesus Christ is the hope for the world. Nothing but the church, Christ’s body, can bring hope and meaning and peace to a society bent on destroying itself.
The Marketing of Evil is a book that will make you wince. It will make you angry. It will make you appreciate or understand the brilliance of the evil one who is engaged in an all-out war against the biblical foundation upon which America was founded. And hopefully, it will serve as a wake-up call that evil is not merely an abstract concept, but is a force, a strategy, that is cunningly marketed and brilliantly deployed against all that is good.

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Atheism’s moment?

Posted on January 2, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

source:
http://patrickmadrid.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-atheism-is-being-sold-to-your.html

December 31, 2008
How atheism is being sold to America

Posted: October 11, 2007 1:00 am Eastern
By David Kupelian
Religion – including Christianity and Judaism – is “violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children.” At least that’s according to the No. 1 New York Times bestseller “God is Not Great: Why Religion Poisons Everything” by journalist Christopher Hitchens.
In the news business, we often cite a nation’s current top-selling books – for example, the popularity of anti-Semitic titles in Arab countries – as evidence of the mindset of the people.
Well, in the United States of America right now, some of the most-bought, most-read and most-discussed books are angry, in-your-face atheist manifestos.
Besides Hitchens’ book, which has dominated nonfiction bestseller charts for months, there’s the popular “Letter to a Christian Nation” by atheist author Sam Harris, sequel to his earlier tome “The End of Faith,” and Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” – all New York Times bestsellers.
Then there are other hot titles: “God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist” by Victor J. Stenger. “Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon” by Daniel C. Dennett. “Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism” by David Mills. And so on.
“This is atheism’s moment,” crowed David Steinberger, CEO of Perseus Books in a Wall Street Journal interview. “Mr. Hitchens has written the category killer, and we’re excited about having the next book.” That’s right – this fall the publishing world will further cash in on the anti-God juggernaut with “The Pocket Atheist,” featuring the writings of famous atheists, edited by Hitchens.
“How can this be?,” you might wonder. “Hasn’t America always been a Christian nation?”
No question about it. America was founded by Christians. Its very purpose for being was the furtherance of biblical Christianity, according to the Pilgrims and succeeding generations. Our first school system was created expressly to propagate the Christian faith. Almost all the Founding Fathers who drafted and signed the Constitution were believers. Even Supreme Court Justice David Josiah Brewer, in the high court’s 1892 “Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States” decision, proclaimed the obvious: “This is a Christian nation.”
Today, however, many of us are infatuated with outright, outraged, full-bore atheism. Almost half of Americans – 45 percent according to a recent Gallup poll – say they’d be willing to vote for an atheist for president of the United States. Dawkins, the charismatic evolutionist-author, is even selling young people “Scarlet Letter” tee-shirts with a giant “A” – for “Atheist” – on his website (and bumper stickers too). Somehow, atheism – just like homosexuality, which used to be considered shameful and something to hide – is now becoming hip, sophisticated, even a badge of honor.
What is responsible for this blooming of atheism in America today?
Dennis Prager, the brilliant Jewish radio talker and columnist, ferrets out some key reasons.
“First and most significant,” he points out, “is the amount of evil coming from within Islam.” He explains:
Whether Islamists (or jihadists, Islamo-fascists or whatever else Muslims who slaughter innocents in the name of Islam are called) represent a small sliver of Muslims or considerably more than that, they have brought religious faith into terrible disrepute.
How could they not? The one recognized genocide in the world today is being carried out by religious Muslims in Sudan; liberty is exceedingly rare in any of the dozens of nations with Muslim majorities; treatment of women is frequently awful; and tolerance of people with different religious beliefs is largely nonexistent when Muslims dominate a society.
If the same were true of vegetarians – if mass murder and violent intolerance were carried out by vegetarians – there would be a backlash against vegetarianism even among people who previously had no strong feelings about the doctrine.
Remember, to atheists, Christianity, Judaism and Islam are all pretty much the same – dangerous monotheistic fairy tales that induce people to oppress and kill each other – the only difference being the particular myths, superstitions and rules they impose on followers based on each religion’s traditions and supposed “holy books.”
Thus, the pathological fanaticism and hair-trigger violence exhibited by brainwashed jihadists around the world today are easily associated by atheists with all religions, especially when they call to mind abuses committed in past centuries – say, the Inquisition or the Salem witch trials – in the name of Christianity.
Another major, if more long-term, factor contributing to the popularity of atheist books, Prager notes, is the “secular indoctrination of a generation,” thanks to our de facto atheistic public school system:
Unless one receives a strong religious grounding in a religious school and/or religious home, the average young person in the Western world is immersed in a secular cocoon. From elementary school through graduate school, only one way of looking at the world – the secular – is presented. The typical individual in the Western world receives as secular an indoctrination as the typical European received a religious one in the Middle Ages. I have taught college students and have found that their ignorance not only of the Bible but of the most elementary religious arguments and concepts – such as the truism that if there is no God, morality is subjective – is total.
So the generation that has been secularly brainwashed is now buying books that reconfirm that brainwash – especially now, given the evil coming from religious people.
Finally, observes Prager, Christianity and Judaism have, with some notable exceptions, failed to effectively counter the ever-rising tide of atheistic secularism in the Western world. Pointing out that “it is virtually impossible to distinguish between a liberal Christian or Jew and a liberal secularist,” he notes that all three “regard the human fetus as morally worthless; regard the man-woman definition of marriage as a form of bigotry; and come close to holding pacifist beliefs, to cite but a few examples.”
Thus, with religious evil increasing in the world – thanks to Islam – and fewer and fewer people willing and able to confront it, Prager concludes “the case for atheism will seem even more compelling.”
‘Feigned knowing and a sneer’
Well, not that compelling. Even secular media bastion the Washington Post couldn’t miss the fatal flaws in “God Is Not Great.”
“Hitchens claims that some of his best friends are believers,” says Post reviewer and confessed Hitchens fan Stephen Prothero. “If so, he doesn’t know much about his best friends. He writes about religious people the way northern racists used to talk about ‘Negroes’ – with feigned knowing and a sneer. ‘God Is Not Great’ assumes a childish definition of religion and then criticizes religious people for believing such foolery.”
Noting that Hitchens “is a brilliant man” and even that “there is no living journalist I more enjoy reading,” the Post reviewer nevertheless goes for the throat: “But I have never encountered a book whose author is so fundamentally unacquainted with its subject. In the end, this maddeningly dogmatic book does little more than illustrate one of Hitchens’s pet themes – the ability of dogma to put reason to sleep.”
So, why then is Hitchens’ book so mesmerizing to so many?
Partly because he has a huge intellect, and most of us are impressed and frankly intimidated by superior intellect and knowledge – even if the bearer of those gifts is profoundly misguided. And partly because he’s a superb writer, and inherent in skilled and passionate writing is the power to persuade, to shake up, even convert. It’s a bit of magic, the way words strung together perfectly can play and dance on the brain, stimulating emotions and pulling on the strings of the mind in one direction or another.
And yet, upon close examination, what first appear to be powerfully logical atheist arguments turn out to be dust.
For instance, Hitchens boasts in Vanity Fair that on his nationwide book tour he says to his audiences: “My challenge: Name an ethical statement or action, made or performed by a person of faith, that could not have been made or performed by a nonbeliever. I have since asked this question at every stop and haven’t had a reply yet.”
Sam Harris makes the same argument, forcefully pointing out that human beings are born with an ethical sense of right and wrong – even if they don’t believe in God. And the atheist standard-bearers cite this as evidence no God exists.
Do they never pause to wonder whether God puts this moral sense, or conscience, into each person whether or not that person is aware of his Creator?
A little child innately knows it’s wrong to steal even though he’s too young to have any knowledge or belief about God. For most people, their inborn sense of justice and injustice operates as intended – just as their arms and legs and heart and lungs do – even if they’re not mindful of their Creator’s existence. When atheists see an old woman fall down in the middle of a street, they stop to help her as readily as anyone else. It’s called common decency.
Thus the very evidence of God – in the form of a mysterious moral sense of right and wrong that transcends time, place, culture and conditioning, a trait shared by no other animal – becomes for the atheist proof of just the opposite, that there is no God.
Here’s a funny one: If atheism is inherently so progressive and tolerant, and religion so ignorant and violent, as we’re told, how then do our atheist Pied Pipers explain the 100 million-plus innocent men, women and children slaughtered by their own atheist governments during communism’s 20th century reign of terror?
Simple. Hitchens simply declares atheistic communist dictatorships to be “religious.” Quoting his hero George Orwell, Hitchens says “a totalitarian state is in effect a theocracy,” thus making Stalin’s mass murders of tens of millions of his countrymen not the work of an atheist, but of religion! In North Korea today, the problem is not communism, but out-of-control Confucianism, insists Hitchens.
Uh-huh. And what about Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., whom Hitchens admires? How does he square the leader of the ’60s historic Civil Rights Movement with his having been a Christian minister? Well you see, explains Hitchens, whatever good King accomplished was due to his humanism, not Christianity. “In fact,” notes the Post, “King was not actually a Christian at all, argues Hitchens, since he rejected the sadism that characterizes the teachings of Jesus.”
So, the millions of innocents murdered by atheistic communists during the last century don’t count against atheism in Hitchens’ book, since communism isn’t really atheistic – its atheist leaders being so delusional that they’re sort of, you know, religious. But Rev. King, whom Hitchens likes, wasn’t really a Christian at all, since he didn’t embrace the “sadism” of the most compassionate, virtuous and self-sacrificial being ever to walk the earth.
And this passes for brilliant analysis?
Evolution, of course, is a key battleground for all of atheism’s champions. Dawkins, the Oxford evolutionary biologist often nicknamed “Darwin’s Rottweiler,” condemns people who believe in creationism as “evil.” (Strong, absolutist words for someone who doesn’t believe in God.) Hitchens mockingly catalogues various parts of the human body, taking witty pot shots at their “poor design.” And Harris – with stunning chutzpah – writes in “Letter to a Christian Nation” that “nature offers no compelling evidence for an intelligent designer and countless examples of unintelligent design.”
Sam, what are you thinking?
A single dandelion, considered from a strictly scientific, analytical perspective, contains more unimaginable complexity and spellbinding design brilliance – from its atomic and molecular design to its cellular and plant structure – than all the manmade supercomputers in the entire world combined.
“No compelling evidence for an intelligent designer”? Sounds like Harris has uncritically accepted a religious teaching that doesn’t square with reality.
That’s right, evolution is a religion, full of incredible and unproven beliefs about man’s origin, and by logical extension his destiny, and even his very nature. Any theory/philosophy – especially an unprovable one – having to do with explaining the origin, destiny and nature of man is, by definition, religious. If you don’t get that, you’re not thinking.
Ironically, many of the same human weaknesses and pressures that induce people to accept their religion unthinkingly also lead atheists to embrace evolution’s belief system just as mindlessly. Within the current science establishment there are overwhelming academic and professional pressures to embrace evolution – and persecution if one does not. No room for honest inquiry or, Heaven forbid, a good-faith challenge to current orthodoxy.
When Harris and other atheist-evolutionists protest there’s just no evidence of intelligent design, one has to laugh – just as history’s greatest scientists, from Galileo to Newton, would also laugh incredulously at today’s atheists for their conceit, arrogance and monumental blindness. In “The Marketing of Evil” I briefly explore this point:
From the beginning of human life until Darwin came along in the mid-19th century, human beings would step outside their homes and survey with their eyes and minds the wonders of nature. They’d see majestic 400-year-old redwood trees, hummingbirds that were able to hover, and honeybees that somehow knew how to do a special figure-eight dance that would communicate to all of the other worker bees the precise location of the dancer’s newly discovered nectar source.
Looking in every direction, we humans beheld not only fantastic complexity, diversity and order, but also the supreme intelligence behind creation, as brashly evident as the noonday sun.
This ubiquitous natural wonderland caused man to acknowledge and honor the Creator of creation, as Copernicus did when he wrote, “[The world] has been built for us by the Best and Most Orderly Workman of all.” Or as Galileo wrote, “God is known … by Nature in His works and by doctrine in His revealed word.” Or as Pasteur confessed, “The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator.” Or Isaac Newton: “When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.”
Did not happen by chance?
Ever since Darwin and his successors succeeded in selling us on evolution – a fantastic theory for which there is no proof, and many serious problems – when we now walk outside and look at the created universe, what do many of us see? Chance!
Although our eyes survey the same wonders of God’s creation that inspired faith in our predecessors, in our minds today we see only the meaningless result of millions of years of random, chance mutation. That’s what our minds “see” – the eternal dance of purposeless recombination of ever-more-complex forms, but all without meaning, without spirit, without love. And by direct implication we also “see” that man is not a fallen being needful of God’s saving grace, but merely the cleverest, most evolved animal of all. Since evolution by definition always results in improvement and advancement, man and all of his violent and lustful and selfish drives are perfectly normal and natural and … advanced. There is no good and evil, no Heaven and Hell – and man, as a highly evolved monkey, has no sin and no guilt – as these are logical impossibilities from the evolutionary point of view.
In short, whatever else evolution may be, the driving force behind it today is the same as it has always been – a way to deny God’s existence.
I conducted a little thought experiment a while back, while looking out over the Pacific from the Oregon coast. Drinking in the vast expanse of the ocean, the pounding surf, the seagulls, the salt air – ultimate serenity and ultimate power all in one timeless moment – I asked myself: How can one experience all this magnificence without believing in a Creator?
So I tried, just as an experiment mind you, to conceptualize the existence of the fantastic creation I was beholding, yet without a Creator. I consciously tried to adopt an atheistic worldview, even for just a minute, to see what it was like.
What I got was a headache, a psychic shock, a momentary taste of another realm – an empty, prideful, appalling dimension of hell-on-earth, masquerading as enlightenment and freedom.
That’s why the conflict between theism and atheism is not just a philosophical topic for polite debate over tea. It’s a spiritual war of the worlds. That high anxiety I felt momentarily, as I tasted the “other dimension” that animates those who reject the very idea of God, was minor and passing. But I’m quite sure hard-core atheists feel agony when the opposite happens to them – that is, when they chance to experience a fleeting moment of realization that God exists, and that they are accountable ultimately to Him.
This would account for the near-explosive emotion that always seems to surround this “objective, scientific” subject. Underneath all the scientific pretension, it’s all about man being master of his own destiny, about freedom from accountability to God, about being released from Judeo-Christian sexual morality, about making up your own rules, about sustaining the life of pride and individual will.
In a very real sense, it’s about being your own god.
Rebelling against father
Another giant flaw in atheist thinking is plastered right on the cover of Hitchens’ book. His title is “God Is Not Great,” with the subtitle “How Religion Poisons Everything.” Hitchens is equating “God” with “religion.” Big mistake! God is God, but even true religion is full of imperfect people – often confused, and sometimes corrupt or even crazy.
So, are atheists rebelling against God – or against religion? Good question.
If genuinely against God, they have an unsolvable problem – unless they come to realize their error, as many do at some point in their lives. But if they’re rebelling against religion, then clearly they deserve a little sympathy.
After all, religion in the modern world is a mess. And I’m not talking just about the cancerous jihad movement metastasizing within Islam. Even within Christianity – an authentic “religion of peace” – you have major scandals like the Roman Catholic Church’s 10,000-plus cases (since 1950) of alleged child sexual abuse at the hands of predatory priests, as well as the Protestant world’s abundance of high-profile scandals, sexual and otherwise. Then you have the absurdly unbiblical, leftist agenda of many so-called “mainline” Protestant denominations, including their idiotic attacks on Israel, the ordination of homosexuals and lesbians as church leaders and so on.
But even more troubling than all of this is the shallowness and superficiality in far too much of the modern Christian church.
On a recent Saturday afternoon I was channel-surfing and ended up watching the notorious 2004 film “Saved,” a satire that mercilessly skewers evangelical Christianity and features in the lead role a vain, duplicitous and occasionally downright mean adolescent Christian girl. The movie has been understandably condemned by many Christians.
Just for a lark, during commercials I flipped over to some of the Christian television networks to catch a little “real” Christian programming. It was eerie, almost surreal, how similar the “real” Christian preachers, fund-raisers and sidekicks were to the “caricatures” of the same types portrayed mockingly in the film.
Nothing in this world will more readily turn even decent people away from God (at least for a time) than religious leaders who are phonies. Unfortunately, it’s easy for guilty, denial-steeped people, those who aren’t yet ready to genuinely face themselves, to clothe themselves with the appearance of religiosity, while secretly – perhaps unconsciously – preserving their selfish, sinful nature. This is what we call hypocrisy. And it’s very confusing to people who are looking up to such prideful leaders for guidance and example.
In the same way, when parents are religious hypocrites, or emotionally “high” on their religion, or pretentious, or impatient and willful, or just confidently parroting “truth” they’ve heard but don’t really understand – their kids can sense something wrong, at first anyway. But because children are not yet mature and are easily influenced, they almost always end up either conforming (out of intimidation) to their parents’ mold and becoming just like them, or (eventually) rejecting religion altogether. Of course, the more such confusing parents try to “help” their rebel children, the more their kids resent them and become even more rebellious.
I know these are tough words, but if we’re ever going to understand why so many people are turning not only to atheism, but to Wicca and paganism and New Age religions and myriad other strange spiritual philosophies and practices – then we need to face the sad state of the modern church. Many thoughtful analysts say the church today is more in need of overhaul than it was at the time of the Protestant Reformation.
Yelling at God
Let’s move on now and focus on the No. 1 argument, not only today but throughout history, against the existence of God: “If there’s a loving and all-powerful God, how can He allow the human race – His children, made in His image – to suffer so terribly?” This question has often been called “the rock of atheism.”
In “Letter to a Christian Nation,” atheist scientist Sam Harris hammers this point into the ground:
“At this very moment,” he writes, “millions of sentient people are suffering unimaginable physical and mental afflictions, in circumstances where the compassion of God is nowhere to be seen, and the compassion of human beings is often hobbled by preposterous ideas about sin and salvation.”
Attempting to rub the reader’s nose in the age-old mystery of suffering, Harris goes on: “Somewhere in the world, a man has abducted a little girl. Soon he will rape, torture, and kill her. If an atrocity of this kind is not occurring at precisely this moment, it will happen in a few hours, or days at most. Such is the confidence we can draw from the statistical laws that govern the lives of six billion human beings. The same statistics also suggest that this girl’s parents believe – as you believe – that an all-powerful and all-loving God is watching over them and their family. Are they right to believe this. Is it good that they believe this?”
“No,” answers Harris, who adds, cryptically: “The entirety of atheism is contained in this response.”
From the day’s news, Harris calls forth still more examples of great suffering as evidence that God doesn’t exist: “The city of New Orleans, for instance, was recently destroyed by a hurricane. More than a thousand people died; tens of thousands lost all their earthly possessions; and nearly a million were displaced. It is safe to say that almost every person living in New Orleans at the moment Hurricane Katrina struck shared your belief in an omnipotent, omniscient, and compassionate God. But what was God doing while Katrina laid waste to their city? Surely He heard the prayers of those elderly men and women who fled the rising waters for the safety of their attics, only to be slowly drowned there. These were people of faith. These were good men and women who had prayed throughout their lives. Do you have the courage to admit the obvious? These poor people died talking to an imaginary friend.”
Mankind has grappled for millennia with the mystery of suffering, and how it can possibly be compatible with an all-powerful and benevolent God. Let’s explore this question together for a few minutes and see if perhaps we can catch a glimpse of a greater reality.
To begin with, let’s consider one more famous voice angrily condemning God as cruel and sadistic. See if you can guess who the speaker is:
What reason have we, except our own desperate wishes, to believe that God is, by any standard we can conceive, “good”? Doesn’t all the prima facie evidence suggest exactly the opposite? …
If God’s goodness is inconsistent with hurting us, then either God is not good or there is no God: for in the only life we know He hurts us beyond our worst fears and beyond all we can imagine.
So, who do you think this is ranting and raving against God? The ever-fuming journalist Christopher Hitchens? The haughty Oxford professor Richard Dawkins?
No, actually it’s another Oxford professor, far more famous than Dawkins, and whose intellect and writing ability dwarf Hitchens’. It’s C.S. Lewis, one of the 20th century’s most influential defenders of the Christian faith.
As you may know, Lewis was an atheist for the first part of his life. Through a gradual spiritual awakening during his early 30s, he first became convinced of the existence of God, and later – with the help of “Lord of the Rings” author J.R.R. Tolkien and another colleague – embraced the Christian faith. Through his books, like “Mere Christianity” (voted the best Christian book of the 20th century by Christianity Today in 2000), “The Screwtape Letters” (now being made into a feature film for 2008 release) and many others – including of course his beloved “Chronicles of Narnia” series – he helped, and continues to help, countless people in their journey toward God.
“So,” you must be thinking, “these angry anti-God words from the great C.S. Lewis must have come from his early, whacked-out atheist years – right?”
Wrong.
They were written after “Narnia,” after “Mere Christianity,” after all the acclaim of an appreciative Christian world. They were written, to be precise, after the 1960 death of Lewis’s wife, Joy, in his book “A Grief Observed.”
For most of his life, well into his 50s, Lewis the author, literature professor at Oxford and Cambridge and celebrated Christian apologist, had been a bachelor. Then he met Helen Joy Davidman, an unusually gifted American writer and poet of Jewish background who had converted from atheistic communism to Christianity, in part due to Lewis’s writings. After they corresponded for several years, she moved to England and they married in 1956, when Lewis was 57.
Both of them knew Joy had bone cancer. In fact, they were married at Joy’s hospital bedside.
Amazingly, Joy experienced a dramatic remission, during which time the couple lived together happily, traveled and enjoyed each other to the fullest. But this blissful period was short-lived, and Joy died when her cancer returned with a vengeance in 1960.
In his 1961 book, “A Grief Observed,” Lewis records for posterity his intense bereavement – including his very real angers and doubts about everything he had written and taught about God for decades – and does it in such a raw and uncensored manner that he originally released the book under the pseudonym of N.W. Clerk, so readers wouldn’t associate it with him.
But let’s see how Lewis responded to this severe personal suffering – and what conclusions he ultimately came to about God. He begins, understandably enough, poignantly grieving the loss of his beloved (whom he referred to in the book as “H,” for Helen):
… The most precious gift that marriage gave me was this constant impact of something very close and intimate yet all the time unmistakably other, resistant – in a word, real. Is all that work to be undone? Is what I shall still call [Helen] to sink back horribly into being not much more than one of my old bachelor pipedreams? Oh my dear, my dear, come back for one moment and drive that miserable phantom away. Oh God, God, why did you take such trouble to force this creature out of its shell if it is now doomed to crawl back – to be sucked back – into it? …
… What pitiable cant to say, “She will live forever in my memory!” Live? That is exactly what she won’t do. You might as well think like the old Egyptians that you can keep the dead by embalming them. Will nothing persuade us that they are gone? What’s left? A corpse, a memory, and (in some versions) a ghost. All mockeries or horrors. Three more ways of spelling the word dead. It was H. I loved. As if I wanted to fall in love with my memory of her, an image in my own mind! It would be a sort of incest. …
Meanwhile, asks Lewis, where on earth is God?
This is one of the most disquieting symptoms. When you are happy, so happy that you have no sense of needing Him, so happy that you are tempted to feel His claims upon you as an interruption, if you remember yourself and turn to Him with gratitude and praise, you will be – or so it feels – welcomed with open arms. But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence. You may as well turn away. The longer you wait, the more emphatic the silence will become. There are no lights in the windows. It might be an empty house. Was it ever inhabited? It seemed so once. …
Not that I am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not “So there’s no God after all,” but “So this is what God’s really like. Deceive yourself no longer.”
Now Lewis zeroes in on the key question:
… Sooner or later I must face the question in plain language. What reason have we, except our own desperate wishes, to believe that God is, by any standard we can conceive, “good”? Doesn’t all the prima facie evidence suggest exactly the opposite? What have we to set against it?
We set Christ against it. But how if He were mistaken? Almost His last words may have a perfectly clear meaning. He had found that the Being He called Father was horribly and infinitely different from what He had supposed. The trap, so long and carefully prepared and so subtly baited, was at last sprung, on the cross. The vile practical joke had succeeded.
In his despair, Lewis goes on to speculate darkly about the “vile practical joke” played on him and his beloved.
What chokes every prayer and every hope is the memory of all the prayers H. and I offered and all the false hopes we had. Not hopes raised merely by our own wishful thinking, hopes encouraged, even forced upon us, by false diagnoses, by X-ray photographs, by strange remissions, by one temporary recovery that might have ranked as a miracle. Step by step we were “led up the garden path.” Time after time, when He seemed most gracious He was really preparing the next torture.
The next morning, Lewis thinks better of his agonized rant.
I wrote that last night. It was a yell rather than a thought. Let me try it over again. Is it rational to believe in a bad God? Anyway, in a God so bad as all that? The Cosmic Sadist, the spiteful imbecile?
And coming to his senses, he asks:
Why do I make room in my mind for such filth and nonsense? Do I hope that if feeling disguises itself as thought I shall feel less? Aren’t all these notes the senseless writhings of a man who won’t accept the fact that there is nothing we can do with suffering except to suffer it? Who still thinks there is some device (if only he could find it) which will make pain not to be pain. It doesn’t really matter whether you grip the arms of the dentist’s chair or let your hands lie in your lap. The drill drills on.
‘Knocked silly’
Eventually, after fully expressing his anger, inconsolable grief and doubts about God, Lewis starts to turn a major corner.
… Something quite unexpected has happened. It came this morning early. For various reasons, not in themselves at all mysterious, my heart was lighter than it had been for many weeks. For one thing, I suppose I am recovering physically from a good deal of mere exhaustion. … And suddenly, at the very moment when, so far, I mourned H. least, I remembered her best. Indeed, it was something (almost) better than memory; an instantaneous, unanswerable impression. To say it was like a meeting would be going too far. Yet there was that in it which tempts one to use those words. It was as if the lifting of the sorrow removed a barrier.
… How far have I got? Just as far, I think, as a widower of another sort who would stop, leaning on his spade, and say in answer to the inquiry, “Thank’ee. Mustn’t grumble. I do miss her something dreadful. But they say these things are sent to try us.” We have come to the same point; he with his spade, and I, who am not now much good at digging, with my own instrument. But of course, one must take “sent to try us” in the right way. God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box and the bench all at once.
Lewis finally admits a shattering but also liberating personal truth …
He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize that fact was to knock it down. …
… And he offers a useful metaphor to explain the powerfully redemptive use God makes of human suffering.
… Bridge-players tell me that there must be some money on the game, “or else people won’t take it seriously.” Apparently it’s like that. Your bid – for God or no God, for a good God or the Cosmic Sadist, for eternal life or nonentity – will not be serious if nothing much is staked on it. And you will never discover how serious it was until the stakes are raised horribly high; until you find that you are playing not for counters or for sixpences but for every penny you have in the world.
Nothing less will shake a man – or at any rate a man like me – out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses.
In the afterglow of this profound realization, Lewis, in a moment of story-telling brilliance, confides in God:
Sometimes, Lord, one is tempted to say that if you wanted us to behave like the lilies of the field you might have given us an organization more like theirs. But that, I suppose, is just your grand experiment. Or no; not an experiment, for you have no need to find things out. Rather your grand enterprise. To make an organism which is also spirit; to make that terrible oxymoron, a “spiritual animal.” To take a poor primate, a beast with nerve-endings all over it, a creature with a stomach that wants to be filled, a breeding animal that wants its mate, and say, “Now get on with it. Become a god.”
Why do you suppose one person who suffers a tremendous personal loss also loses his belief in God, while another goes through the same experience and – despite all his transient doubts and angers – emerges with his faith intact, and stronger than ever?
Why did some people survive the Nazi Holocaust only to conclude there is no God – or no God worth knowing if He would allow such suffering – while other Holocaust survivors emerged from that ordeal with a far deeper faith in the Almighty?
What words can describe this mysterious quality? Humility, faith, blessedness, grace? It’s actually beyond words – perhaps some secret mystical connection between our soul and God, some back-channel that enables us to keep attuned to a proper perspective regardless of difficult circumstances.
That special quality – C.S. Lewis had it – is the secret ingredient that makes the good things that happen to us truly good, and the bad things that happen to us also good, because God uses them to perfect our character. In the same way, for people who live from the energy and motivation of pride (which in turn is connected to the invisible realm of evil), the bad things that happen remain bad (non-redemptive), but even the “good” things (success, wealth, fame) aren’t good either, because they just build pride, in ever-increasing conflict with God.
Our life is a gift – including the suffering. It’s time we stopped spitting at the gift-Giver. Atheists who rant pompously against God are a little like ants, muttering and sputtering furiously against man, believing themselves superior to him (if he even exists!).
Life is not only a gift from God, but it’s supposed to be magical – or maybe “miraculous” is a better word – and full of adventure and discovery. I’m not referring to our outer journey of life, which may or may not be particularly exciting, but to the inner adventure we’re meant to experience – a journey of discovery whereby through progressive realization and repentance our character is gradually perfected for the Creator’s purpose. The enchantment of such a life is subtle and private – no one else will know about it – but it’s more magical than anything in “Harry Potter” or “The Lord of the Rings” or “The Narnia Chronicles” or any other fantasy from the mind of man. Because we are living characters, set in a story not from the mind of man, but from the mind of God. And that story is full of wonder.
An acorn falls to the ground, dies to itself, and effortlessly grows into a towering oak tree – a transformation which, if it occurred in a few seconds, we’d consider pure magic. But, since that same magic unfolds in slow motion over the course of 50 years, we think nothing of it. We walk past such marvels constantly and shrug, just as we bypass the potential miracles of character growth within each of us – dying and being reborn – because we don’t understand God’s methods. Sometimes there is miraculous transformation in suffering – but only if we endure it with patience and dignity, and not with resentment.
God works miracles through the things we suffer. Even Christ, the perfect Son of God, learned obedience that way, Scripture tells us.
“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Hebrews 5:8-9 KJV)
So, even if we suffer, even if we need to be “knocked silly” like C.S. Lewis, even if we lose everything like Job, what of it? The magic of redemption is in the air when we suffer with patience and humility and without anger – and allow God to transform us at our core, into the giant oak. This is a great mystery.
And what of the atheist? He also breathes a kind of magic air, but of a very different variety. He is his own god, or so it seems. That kind of freedom has a sort of sweet stench – a little like those green Christmas-tree-shaped air fresheners that people hang from their car’s rear-view mirror, meant to make the car smell better but which actually emit an offensive odor. Just so, the “sweetness” of pride, of being your own god and master of your destiny, has a spiritual scent that is noxious to sincere seekers of truth.
Meanwhile, as atheist authors write books and lecture and travel to and fro persuading as many of us as possible to abandon our faith, lift up your gaze: The enemy is amassing and heading for the city’s gates. The global Islamic jihad movement, which is single-mindedly focused on spreading Islam over the world at the point of a sword – or a gun or a bomb or a suitcase nuke – has awakened after centuries of relative dormancy and is on the prowl again, seeking whom it may devour. The waning of genuine Christian faith in America is like a pheromone, a sweet scent this predator can’t resist. And yet – just as God brought ancient Israel back to life over and over, don’t count us out.
It’s been said it takes a religion to fight a religion. Thus, however many angry and clever books atheists write expounding their arguments, they’ll never make any headway in countering radical Islam. You see, genuine belief in God – the God Who inspired the Holy Bible and sustained America’s soldiers throughout all the righteous wars we have fought for freedom, not just for ourselves but for others too – is what has given strength and muscle and sinew to America up until now. And without genuine faith in God, we will never be able to defeat the Islamists in the coming battle. Why? Because their belief – and therefore their determination, persistence and willingness to suffer for the sake of obedience to their god – will be more powerful than ours.
source:
http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=43734
thanks to patrick madrid

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Litany of the Holy Ghost

Posted on January 2, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Father all powerful, have mercy on us
Jesus, Eternal Son of the Father,
Redeemer of the world, save us.
Spirit of the Father and the Son,
boundless life of both, sanctify us.
Holy Trinity, hear us
Holy Ghost, Who proceedest from the Father and the Son,
enter our hearts.
Holy Ghost, Who art equal to the Father and the Son,
enter our hearts.
Promise of God the Father,
have mercy on us.
Ray of heavenly light,
have mercy on us
Author of all good,
have mercy on us
Source of heavenly water,
have mercy on us
Consuming fire,
have mercy on us
Ardent charity,
have mercy on us
Spiritual unction,
have mercy on us
Spirit of love and truth,
have mercy on us
Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
have mercy on us
Spirit of counsel and fortitude,
have mercy on us
Spirit of knowledge and piety,
have mercy on us
Spirit of the fear of the Lord,
have mercy on us
Spirit of grace and prayer,
have mercy on us
Spirit of peace and meekness,
have mercy on us
Spirit of modesty and innocence,
have mercy on us
Holy Ghost, the Comforter,
have mercy on us
Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier,
have mercy on us
Holy Ghost, Who governest the Church,
have mercy on us
Gift of God, the Most High,
have mercy on us
Spirit Who fillest the universe,
have mercy on us
Spirit of the adoption of the children of God,
have mercy on us.

Holy Ghost, inspire us with horror of sin.
Holy Ghost, come and renew the face of the earth.
Holy Ghost, shed Thy light in our souls.
Holy Ghost, engrave Thy law in our hearts.
Holy Ghost, inflame us with the flame of Thy love.
Holy Ghost, open to us the treasures of Thy graces
Holy Ghost, teach us to pray well.
Holy Ghost, enlighten us with Thy heavenly inspirations.
Holy Ghost, lead us in the way of salvation.
Holy Ghost, grant us the only necessary knowledge.
Holy Ghost, inspire in us the practice of good.
Holy Ghost, grant us the merits of all virtues.
Holy Ghost, make us persevere in justice.
Holy Ghost, be Thou our everlasting reward.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Send us Thy Holy Ghost.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
pour down into our souls the gifts of the Holy Ghost.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
grant us the Spirit of wisdom and piety.

V. Come, Holy Ghost! Fill the hearts of Thy faithful,
R. And enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

Let Us Pray
Grant, O merciful Father, that Thy Divine Spirit
may enlighten, inflame and purify us,
that He may penetrate us with His heavenly dew
and make us fruitful in good works,
through Our Lord Jesus Christ,
Thy Son, Who with Thee, in the unity of the same Spirit,
liveth and reigneth forever and ever.
R. Amen.
___
upon rising this morning

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Give us peace in our days, Lord – Numbers 6:27

Posted on January 2, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Numbers 6 >>Douay-Rheims Bible

1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: When a man, or woman, shall make a vow to be sanctified, and will consecrate themselves to the Lord: 3 They shall abstain from wine, and from every thing that may make a man drunk. They shall not drink vinegar of wine, or of any other drink, nor any thing that is pressed out of the grape: nor shall they eat grapes either fresh or dried. 4 All the days that they are consecrated to the Lord by vow: they shall eat nothing that cometh of the vineyard, from the raisin even to the kernel.
5 All the time of his separation no razor shall pass over his head, until the day be fulfilled of his consecration to the Lord. He shall be holy, and shall let the hair of his head grow.
6 All the time of his consecration he shall not go in to any dead, 7 Neither shall he make himself unclean, even for his father, or for his mother, or for his brother, or for his sister, when they die, because the consecration of his God is upon his head. 8 All the days of his separation he shall be holy to the Lord.
9 But if any man die suddenly before him: the head of his consecration shall be defiled: and he shall shave it forthwith on the same day of his purification, and again on the seventh day. 10 And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons to the priest in the entry of the covenant of the testimony. 11 And the priest shall offer one for sin, and the other for a holocaust, and shall pray for him, for that he hath sinned by the dead: and he shall sanctify his head that day : 12 And shall consecrate to the Lord the days of his separation, offering a lamb of one year for sin: yet so that the former days be made void, because his sanctification was profaned.
13 This is the law of consecration. When the days which he had determined by vow shall be expired, he shall bring him to the door of the tabernacle of the covenant, 14 And shall offer his oblation to the Lord: one he lamb of a year old without blemish for a holocaust, and one awe lamb of a year old without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for a victim of peace offering, 15 A basket also of unleavened bread, tempered with oil, and wafers without leaven anointed with oil, and the libations of each: 16 And the priest shall present them before the Lord, and shall offer both the sin offering and the holocaust. 17 But the ram he shall immolate for a sacrifice of peace offering to the Lord, offering at the same time the basket of unleavened bread, and the libations that are due by custom. 18 Then shall the hair of the consecration of the Nazarite, be shaved off before the door of the tabernacle of the covenant: and he shall take his hair, and lay it upon the fire, which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings. 19 And shall take the boiled shoulder of the ram, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and he shall deliver them into the hands of the Nazarite, after his head is shaven. 20 And receiving them again from him, he shall elevate them in the sight of the Lord: and they being sanctified shall belong to the priest, as the breast, which was commanded to be separated, and the shoulder. After this the Nazarite may drink wine.
21 This is the law of the Nazarite, when he hath vowed his oblation to the Lord in the time of his consecration, besides those things which his hand shall find, according to that which he had vowed in his mind, so shall he do for the fulfilling of his sanctification.
22 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23 Say to Aaron and his sons: Thus shall you bless the children of Israel, and you shall say to them:
24 The Lord bless thee, and keep thee.
25 The Lord shew his face to thee, and have mercy on thee.
26 The Lord turn his countenance to thee, and give thee peace.
27 And they shall invoke my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.

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Numbers Chapter 22

Posted on January 2, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Numbers 22 >>Douay-Rheims Bible

1 And they went forward and encamped in the plains of Moab, over against where Jericho is situate beyond the Jordan.
2 And Balac the son of Sephor, seeing all that Israel had done to the Amorrhite, 3 And that the Moabites were in great fear of him, and were not able to sustain his assault, 4 He said to the elders of Madian: So will this people destroy all that dwell in our borders, as the ox is wont to eat the grass to the very roots. Now he was at that time king in Moab. 5 He sent therefore messengers to Balaam the son of Beer, a soothsayer, who dwelt by the river of the land of the children of Ammon, to call him, and to say: Behold a people is come out of Egypt, that hath covered the face of the earth, sitting over against me. 6 Come therefore, and curse this people, because it is mightier than I: if by any means I may beat them and drive them out of my land: for I know that he whom thou shalt bless is blessed, and he whom thou shalt curse is cursed.
7 And the ancients of Moab, and the elders of Madian, went with the price of divination in their hands. And when they were come to Balaam, and had told him all the words of Balac: 8 He answered: Tarry here this night, and I will answer whatsoever the Lord shall say to me. And while they stayed with Balaam, God came and said to him: 9 What mean these men that are with thee? 10 He answered: Balac the son of Sephor king of the Moabites hath sent to me, 11 Saying: Behold a people that is come out of Egypt, hath covered the face of the land: come and curse them, if by any means I may fight with them and drive them away. 12 And God said to Balaam : Thou shalt not go with them, nor shalt thou curse the people: because it is blessed. 13 And he rose in the morning and said to the princes: Go into your country, because the Lord hath forbid me to come with you. 14 The princes returning, said to Balac: Balaam would not come with us.
15 Then he sent many more and more noble than he had sent before: 16 Who, when they were come to Balaam, said: Thus saith Balac the son of Sephor, Delay not to come to me: 17 For I am ready to honour thee, and will give thee whatsoever thou wilt: come and curse this people. 18 Balaam answered: If Balac would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot alter the word of the Lord my God, to speak either more or less. 19 I pray you to stay here this night also, that I may know what the Lord will answer me once more. 20 God therefore came to Balaam in the night, and said to him: It these men be come to call thee, arise and go with them: yet so, that thou do what I shall command thee.
21 Balaam arose in the morning, and saddling his ass went with them.
22 And God was angry. And an angel of the Lord stood in the way against Balaam, who sat on the ass, and had two servants with him. 23 The ass seeing the angel standing in the way, with a drawn sword, turned herself out of the way, and went into the field. And when Balaam beat her, and had a mind to bring her again to the way, 24 The angel stood in a narrow place between two walls, wherewith the vineyards were enclosed. 25 And the ass seeing him, thrust herself close to the wall, and bruised the foot of the rider. But he beat her again: 26 And nevertheless the angel going on to a narrow place, where there was no way to turn aside either to the right hand or to the left, stood to meet him. 27 And when the ass saw the angel standing, she fell under the feet of the rider: who being angry beat her sides more vehemently with a staff. 28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said: What have I done to thee? Why strikest thou me, lo, now this third time? 29 Balaam answered: Because thou hast deserved it, and hast served me ill: I would I had a sword that I might kill thee. 30 The ass said: Am not I thy beast, on which thou hast been always accustomed to ride until this present day? tell me if I ever did the like thing to thee. But he said: Never.
31 Forthwith the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel standing in the way with a drawn sword, and he worshipped him falling flat on the ground. 32 And the angel said to him: Why beatest thou thy ass these three times? I am come to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse, and contrary to me: 33 And unless the ass had turned out of the way, giving place to me who stood against thee, I had slain thee, and she should have lived. 34 Balaam said: I have sinned, not knowing that thou didst stand against me: and now if it displease thee that I go, I will return. 35 The angel said: Go with these men, and see thou speak no other thing than what I shall command thee. He went therefore with the princes.
36 And when Balac heard it he came forth to meet him in a town of the Moabites, that is situate in the uttermost borders of Arnon. 37 And he said to Balaam: I sent messengers to call thee, why didst thou not come immediately to me? was it because I am not able to reward thy coming? 38 He answered him: Lo, here I am: shall I have power to speak any other thing but that which God shall put in my mouth? 39 So they went on together, and came into a city, that was in the uttermost borders of his kingdom. 40 And when Balac had killed oxen and sheep, he sent presents to Balaam, and to the princes that were with him.
41 And when morning was come, he brought him to the high places of Baal, and he beheld the uttermost part of the people.

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St Pio – Pray to the Holy Mother of God for us

Posted on January 2, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

St. Pio of Pietrelcina, you love Our Holy Mother very much and have received daily graces and consolations from her.Please, we beg you to pray to the Holy Mother for us. Place in her hands the sorrow for our sins and our prayers of reparation, so that, as at Cana of Galilee, her Son says ‘yes’ to His Mother and our name may be written in the Book of Eternal Life.“Mary has to be the star that illuminates your path and she will show you the secure way to go to the Celestial Father. She will be an anchor to which you must cling in the hour of temptation”.
Padre Pio

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Reign, O Mother and Queen

Posted on January 2, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Pope Pius XII gave us this prayer on the
occasion of his official proclamation of
the Feast of Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth.

For it admirably sums up the sentiments
we should have towards the “Regina Angelorum,”
the Queen of the Angels.

Reign, O Mother and Queen, by showing us the paths
of holiness and by guiding and assisting us that
we may never stray from it.
In the heights of heaven you exercise your
primacy over the choirs of angels who acclaim
you as their Sovereign, and over the legions
of saints who delight in beholding your dazzling beauty.
So, too, reign over the entire human race,
above all by opening the path of faith to those
who do not yet know your Divine Son.
Reign over the Church, which acknowledges
and extols your gentle dominion and
has recourse to you as a safe refuge amid
the calamities of our day.

Reign especially over that part of the Church
which is persecuted and oppressed:
give it strength to bear adversity,
constancy never to yield under unjust compulsion,
light to avoid falling into the snares of the enemy,
firmness to resist overt attack,
and at every moment unwavering faithfulness
to your kingdom.

Reign over our minds,
that they may seek only what is true;
over our wills, that they may follow solely
what is good; over our hearts, that they may
love nothing but what you yourself love.
Reign over individuals and over families,
as well as over societies and nations:
over the assemblies of the powerful,
the counsels of the wise,
as over the simple aspirations of the humble.
Reign in the streets and in the squares,
in the cities and the villages,
in the valleys and in the mountains,
in the air, on land and on the sea;
and hear the pious prayers of all those
who recognize that yours is a reign of mercy,
in which every petition is heard,
every sorrow comforted,
every misfortune relieved,
every infirmity healed,
and in which, at a gesture from your gentle hands
from death itself there arises smiling life.

Obtain for us that all who now
in every corner of the world acclaim and
hail you Queen and Lady
may one day in heaven enjoy the fullness
of your kingdom in the vision of your Divine Son,
who with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
lives and reigns forever and ever.
Amen.
____
source:
Work of the Holy Angels
http://www.opusangelorum.org/Formation/Maryregina.html

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