November 30, 2013

Novena to the Immaculate Conception Begins Today

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Feast of the Immaculate Conception is December 8. Pray this once a day from November 30 to December 8. 

Prayer:

Immaculate Virgin! Mary, conceived without sin!

Remember, you were miraculously preserved from even the shadow of sin, because you were destined to become not only the Mother of God, but also the mother, the refuge, and the advocate of man; penetrated therefore, with the most lively confidence in your never-failing intercession, we most humbly implore you to look with favor upon the intentions of this novena, and to obtain for us the graces and the favors we request.    

You know, O Mary, how often our hearts are the sanctuaries of God, Who abhors iniquity. Obtain for us, then, than angelic purity which was your favorite virtue, that purity of heart which will attach us to God alone, and that purity of intention which will consecrate every thought, word, and action to His greater glory. Obtain also for us a constant spirit of prayer and self-denial, that we many recover by penance that innocence which we have lost by sin, and at length attain safety to that blessed abode of the saints, where nothing defiled can enter.
   
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.
V. You are all fair, O Mary. R. You are all fair, O Mary.
V. And the original stain is not in you. R. And the original stain is not in you.
V. You are the glory of Jerusalem. R. You are the joy of Israel.
V. You are the honor of our people. R. You are the advocate of sinners.
V. O Mary, Virgin, most prudent R. O Mary, Mother, most tender.
V. Pray for us. R. Intercede for us with Jesus our Lord.
V. In your conception, Holy Virgin, you were immaculate. R. Pray for us to the Father Whose Son you didst bring forth.
V. O Lady! aid my prayer. R. And let my cry come unto you.                                        

Let us pray, Holy Mary, Queen of Heaven, Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and mistress of the world, who forsakest no one, and despisest no one, look upon me, O Lady! with an eye of pity, and entreat for me of your beloved Son the forgiveness of all my sins; that, as I now celebrate, with devout affection, your holy and immaculate conception, so, hereafter I may receive the prize of eternal blessedness, by the grace of Him whom you, in virginity, didst bring forth, Jesus Christ Our Lord: Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, lives and reigns, in perfect Trinity, God, world without end. Amen. 

November 28, 2013

Thought of the Day

And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God and who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

and

Jesus has said to us: But I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. On that day you will have no more questions to ask me. (Jn 16:22-23)

November 26, 2013

Pope Francis takes veiled swipe at ‘progressive’ Democrats

Pope Francis said Tuesday in his first apostolic exhortation that no matter how progressive-minded the world turns, the Catholic Church can never compromise on its “no abortion” rule — it’s a matter of human dignity.

“I want to be completely honest in this regard,” he said, Catholic News Service reported. “This is not something subject to alleged reforms or ‘modernizations.’ It is not ‘progressive’ to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.”

The statement comes in sharp contrast to some in the political world, of mostly liberal and left-of-center progressive mind, who claim loyalty to the Catholic faith, yet refuse to denounce abortion as a matter of policy. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, one of the most visible examples of such politicos, has advocated for years for the rights of women to abort — to the point of even raising the hackles of one Catholic cardinal in September, who said the Democrat should quit taking Communion

Then, in an interview with The Wanderer reported by the Western Center for Journalism, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke said of Mrs. Pelosi: “This is a person who obstinately, after repeated admonitions, persists in a grave sin — cooperating with the crime of procured abortion — and still professes to be a devout Catholic.”

The pope’s exhortation seemed only to drive home the point that abortion and the church stand at crossroads.

Obama’s call to close Vatican embassy is ‘slap in the face’ to Roman Catholics


The Obama administration, in what’s been called an egregious slap in the face to the Vatican, has moved to shut down the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See — a free-standing facility — and relocate offices onto the grounds of the larger American Embassy in Italy.

The new offices will be in a separate building on the property, Breitbart reported.

The Washington Times has all the details.

November 23, 2013

Homily for the Solemnity of Christ the King, Year A

Fr. René J. Butler, M.S.
Director, La Salette Shrine
Enfield, NH
I once met a woman who was descended from the first man executed in the American colonies. It was a curious fact, but it did not reflect negatively on herself.

There are people, however, who live with inherited guilt. The descendants of famous Nazis such as Himmler, Goering and others have distanced themselves as much as possible from their cruel history. Descendants of Hitler’s nephews have changed their name and live a secluded life.

There is also guilt by association, as expressed by sayings about “birds of a feather” or “you are the company you keep.” Even the British royal family, in 1917, because of strong anti-German sentiment during World War I, changed its name from the German “Saxe-Coburg and Gotha” to “The House of Windsor.”

And yet, Matthew in the very first chapter of his Gospel seems to go out of his way to remind us that Jesus’ ancestry included incest (Judah), adultery and murder (David himself!) and kings who worshipped false gods.

In all four Gospels we find Jesus crucified with two criminals. During his public ministry Jesus had associated with sinners, but this was different. Here, he is one of them! Crucifixion was designed to inflict not only pain but also humiliation. Any one crucified had no dignity left.

And this is the image put before us on the feast of Christ the King! Again, all four Gospels relate the inscription over the head of Jesus, indicating the charge, the crime for which he was being executed: “King of the Jews.” The other two criminals presumably had charges above their heads, and we can be sure it wasn’t petty thievery!

This is the Jesus whom Paul calls “the image of the invisible God... in whom all fullness was pleased to dwell.” No higher rank, no higher dignity is conceivable.

We just commemorated John F. Kennedy’s assassination. It still shocks us when people of high status are assassinated. The French revolution’s execution of royalty sent shock waves throughout Europe. More shocking perhaps for us at that time is the official execution of an entire convent of Carmelite nuns!

Jesus’ execution actually shocks us less, maybe because we are so familiar with it, but especially because through it he was “making peace by the blood of his cross.”

A governor can pardon a criminal, but he can’t “reconcile” the criminal with anyone. In today’s Gospel we witness a royal pardon. Christ the King says: “Today you will be with me in paradise.” This is more than a pardon, it is reconciliation.

Years ago in Rome I noticed a government building with a large inscription: Ministero di grazia e giustizia, Ministry of Mercy and Justice. That is the reality of today’s scene in Luke. Jesus performs an act of justice towards the Father, atoning, making peace, reconciling. At the same time he performs an act of mercy towards the criminal, an act of reconcilIation.

This is the King we celebrate today. In the very moment when he is sneered at by his enemies and by a “fellow criminal,” and with no human dignity left, he shows himself to be worthy of all glory.

And so we make ours the words of St. Paul: “Let us give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.” In other words, by the very name of Christian, we are meant to be “guilty by association” with Jesus Christ our King.

November 17, 2013

Bishop will lead prayers of exorcism as Illinois governor signs gay ‘marriage’ bill

SPRINGFIELD, IL, November 15, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The bishop of Springfield, Illinois will lead prayers of exorcism “in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage” at his cathedral on November 20 as Governor Pat Quinn signs a state law redefining marriage.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki says he was inspired by Pope Francis, who had condemned same-sex “marriage” as a “machination of the Father of Lies” in 2010 when Argentina was preparing to redefine marriage.

Go here for more.

November 11, 2013

Homily: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time 2013, Year C

Fr. René J. Butler, M.S.
Director, La Salette Shrine
Enfield, NH



There’s an old joke about a little boy who noticed that his great-grandmother read the Bible constantly. One day he asked her why. She answered, “I’m cramming for finals!”


There is plenty to make us anxious in today’s readings. Malachi prophesies doom for evildoers. Jesus says his followers will be. And why? “Because of my name.”


Even family and friends will hand you over, everyone will hate you. And why? Again, “Because of my name.”


But then Jesus says two strange things.


1. In a time of persecution, don’t prepare your defense. Now any self-respecting “Law & Order” addict can tell you that you never go into a courtroom unprepared. Witnesses have to be prepped.


2. Don’t worry. Jesus doesn’t say this in so many words, but he assures us that not a hair of our head will be destroyed. How can he make such a claim?


If we look back at the reading from Malachi, we read, “But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.” There’s that “name” again! In the King James translation, which is more literal, we find “there will arise the sun of justice with healing in his wings.” What a wonderful image of protection!


So suppose we knew that the end was coming on December 21, 2013. How should we spend the next two years? Try to be extra good? Memorize the bible (cram for finals)? Just keep our nose clean, sit back and wait? St. Paul is very clear: keep on working!


Do we need to live in fear? Well, yes and no. Not in fear of persecution that may or may not come. Not in fear of the end. But if we live in “fear of God’s name,” if the deepest abiding respect for God is the hallmark of our lives, we are assured that, no matter what happens, we have nothing to fear. Really.

November 8, 2013

Intercession For Souls In Purgatory

Ye souls of the faithful! who sleep in the Lord;

But as yet are shut out, from your final reward!
Oh! would I could lend you, assistance to fly;
From your prison below, to your palace on high.

O Father of mercies! Thine anger withhold;

These works of Thy hand in Thy mercy behold;
Too oft from Thy path, they have wandered aside:
But Thee, their Creator, they never denied.

O tender Redeemer! Their misery see;

Deliver those souls that were ransomed by Thee;
Behold how they love Thee, despite of their pain:
Restore them, restore them to favour again.

O Spirit of grace! O Consoler divine!

See how for Thy presence they longingly pine;
Ah, then, to enliven their sadness, descend;
And fill them with peace, and with joy in the end.

O Mother of mercy! Dear soother in grief!

Lend thou to their torments a balmy relief;
And temper the rigour of justice severe;
And soften their flames with a pitying tear.

All ye who would honour the Saints and their Head,

Remember, remember, to pray for the dead;
And they, in return, from their misery freed,
To you will be friends in the hour of need.

November 4, 2013

A Christian Duty

By Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

The practice of recommending to God the souls in Purgatory, that He might mitigate the great pains which they suffer, and that He may soon bring them to His glory, is most pleasing to the Lord and most profitable to us. For these blessed souls are His eternal spouses, and most grateful are they to those who obtain their deliverance from prison, or even a mitigation of their torments. When, therefore, they arrive in Heaven, they will be sure to remember all who have prayed for them. It is a pious belief that God manifests to them our prayers in their behalf, that they may also pray for us. It is true that these blessed souls are not in a state to pray for themselves, because they are atoning for their faults. However, because they are very dear to God, they can pray for us, and obtain for us the divine graces. Saint Catherine of Bologna, when she wished to obtain any grace, had recourse to the souls in Purgatory, and her prayers were heard immediately. She declared that, by praying to those holy souls, she obtained many favours which she had sought through the intercession of the saints without obtaining them. The graces which devout persons are said to have received through these holy souls are innumerable.

But, if we wish for the aid of their prayers, it is just, it is even a duty, to relieve them by our suffrages. I say, it is even a duty: for Christian charity commands us to relieve our neighbors who stand in need of our assistance. But who among all our neighbors have so great need of our help as those holy prisoners? They are continually in that fire which torments more severely than any earthly fire. They are deprived of the sight of God, a torment far more excruciating than all other pains. Let us reflect that among these suffering souls are parents, or brothers, or relations and friends, who look to us for succour.

Let us remember, moreover, that being in the condition of debtors for their sins, they cannot assist themselves. This thought should urge us forward to relieve them to the best of our ability. By assisting them we shall not only give great pleasure to God, but will acquire also great merit for ourselves. And, in return for our suffrages, these blessed souls will not neglect to obtain for us many graces from God, but particularly the grace of eternal life. I hold for certain that when a soul delivered from Purgatory by the suffrages of a Christian enters paradise, she will not fail to say to God: “Lord, do not suffer that person to be lost who has liberated me from the prison of Purgatory, and has brought me to the enjoyment of Thy glory sooner than I had deserved.”