New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Friday, July 3, 2009

St. Thomas the Apostle - 3rd July 2009

Let us read the commentary of Dr Plinio about the Apostle St. Thomas who died in India.

St. Thomas was ordered by Our Lord to go to India, which he did in the company of Abbanes, a provost of one of the kings of India who had come to Caesarea looking for an architect. After dealing with this King and building a palace for him, not on earth, but in Heaven by giving his treasure to the poor, and after converting multitudes in India through his innumerable miracles, Thomas headed to Upper India.

There he converted Queen Migdonia and her sister to the Catholic Faith. From then on, they refused to lie with their pagan husbands. The King became furious and ordered that Thomas be brought before him, his hands and his feet bound. He was commanded to reconcile the wives to their husband. But Apostle answered the King saying that he could not do this so long as he professed a false faith.

Irate, the King commanded that pieces of burning iron be brought forth and that the Apostle should stand on them in his bare feet. And immediately, by the will of Our Lord, a spring of water sprang up and quenched the iron.

Next, the King, following the counsel of his brother-in-law Carisius, had him thrown into a fiery furnace, but miraculously it was made so cold that the next day he issued out all safe, without harm.

Then Carisius said to the King: “Command him to sacrifice to the god of the sun. That will bring down on him the wrath of his God, who so far has been protecting him.” They tried to force Thomas to do this, but the Apostle responded that the devil was in the idol, and that God would break it to pieces the moment he would approach it. And so it happened.

After that miracle, the high priest killed St. Thomas piercing him through with a sword. The King and Carisius did not convert, but fled away, for they saw that the people would avenge the Apostle.

Comments of Prof. Plinio:

Our Lord said that the Apostles would work more and even greater miracles than He Himself did: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father (John 14:12). Why did He say this? What principle is behind these words?

It is not easy to respond with precision to this question, but among many answers, there is one worthy of attention.

A person who saw Our Lord Jesus Christ and heard the words that issued from His divine mouth already experienced a kind of special miracle, which was to see with his own eyes the Incarnate God. Our Lord’s presence was so supernatural, so divine, so out of proportion to any human measure that for a man of faith, nothing else would be necessary to believe in His divinity. His presence was more than any miracle imaginable.

For this reason He censured those who were asking for miracles. He addressed them as a “faithless and perverse generation” who only believe when they see miracles. Thus, it is a blessing to believe without miracles. St. Thomas also received a similar criticism from Our Lord: “Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed. Blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed” (John 20:29).

This selection mentions some of St. Thomas’ astonishing miracles in India. He worked one miracle after another, but still the King did not convert. His mind was made up and he did not want to believe. In the end, he remained an unbeliever and allowed his high priest to kill St. Thomas. One miracle, two miracles, many miracles were not enough for him. When he was defeated by the evidence of the miracles, he became an accomplice to the murder of St. Thomas.

This mentality is shared by those who are not satisfied with normal graces, but are always asking for miracles. In appearance, they are thirsty for miracles, but at depth they are too lazy to open their souls to grace. If God would give a miracle, it would not satisfy them. They would become more hardened, and even reject the saint who worked the miracle. They share in some way the psychology of the pagan King.

This leads us to consider the depth of human wickedness. Man stained by original sin and excessively complacent with his actual sins has a strong tendency to close his soul to grace, even to miracles. Often nothing but very exceptional graces can touch a soul like this.

Another symptom of such hardness is when a person, like the King in India, is subject to superstitions. I knew a person with a great vocation who came to our fight for the Church but never had a true generosity toward Our Lady. He ended by going astray. He was a superstitious man, always carrying an amulet that he believed had occult powers. I don’t think his defection was caused by the malefic power of the amulet. I think that by relying on magical powers he rejected the grace and disregarded the rich supernatural help the Church places at our disposition.

A point also worthy of consideration is the attitude of St. Thomas regarding his previous infidelity. He was unfaithful when he doubted the Resurrection of Our Lord. He was chastised for that: he was the only Apostle who was not present at the death of Our Lady. He arrived late, when Our Lady was already starting her Assumption in the air. With a marvelous manifestation of her tenderness for him, she took off her girdle and let it fall for him. He was chastised, but at the same time she inundated him with her tenderness.

St. Thomas converted because of her sweetness as well as Our Lord’s severity and became a truly penitent soul. What is a truly penitent soul?

It is one who committed a bad action, but with shame and sadness repents of the evil he did and, when the occasion presents itself he takes advantage of it to admit his bad action. He is happy to humiliate himself in public and accuse himself of the evil that he committed. He hates his sin and wants others to hate it also. This is the profile of the truly penitent soul. Regarding sins of purity, this rule only applies for those sins that are public and notorious for obvious reasons.

Even after this person makes expiation for his fault and practices acts of virtue, he always has before him the sin he committed. This is what David sang in one of his penitential psalms: “Peccatum meum contra me est semper” – my sin is always before me. That is, I hate my sin, it will stand there facing me all my life, and only my death will annihilate it. Repentance is a swelling hatred for the evil that one has done. Insofar as a man comes to understand the consequences of his bad action, he is increasingly sorrowful. To be implacable toward ourselves is one of the starting points of the Catholic and counter-revolutionary spirit.

There is another way one can note this sense of penance in a man. A person who is convinced of the effects of original sin in himself likes to be reprimanded. He is grateful when someone shows him that he did something wrong. He feels relieved when he is reproved, because from then on he can avoid that error and improve.

St. Thomas went far and wide evangelizing and I am sure that, like St. Peter, he wept over his past infidelity. I am sure he repented publicly without fear of causing scandal or a bad impression. Penance, when it is sincere, only attracts and advances others on the path of virtue.

Here are some points for an examination of conscience: Are we really sorry for the sins we committed? Is our repentance as serious as it should be? Do we have a true severity toward the evil we committed? Do we always have our sins before us so that we might hate them and make reparation for them? Are we happy when others reprove us for our faults or do we flee from those who criticize us with rage in our heart?

If this examination reveals that we are not as penitent as we should be, we can direct our prayers to all the penitent saints who are in Heaven – especially St. Thomas – and ask them to have mercy on us, give us the grace of true repentance, penance, and the splendid sadness of contrition along with a hatred for the evil that is in our souls.

The soul with the true spirit of penance loves without self-interest the virtue opposed to the sin he committed. This soul attracts Our Lady. She comes to his soul, enters, and remains in it, bringing with her the Holy Ghost her Spouse, Our Lord Jesus Christ her Son, and God the Father. Let us beg her to make us worthy of this.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

St. Oliver Plunkett - 2nd July 2009

(Case holding head of St Oliver Plunkett)

Oliver Plunkett was born in Loughcrew, Co. Meath, Ireland in 1629 of well-to-do Anglo-Normal parentage. He was related by blood to a number of landowning families, such as the Earl of Fingall, Earl of Louth and Lord Dunsany. Until the age of 16, he was educated by his cousin, Patrick Plunkett, Abbot of St Mary’s in Dublin. Patrick was a brother of the first Earl of Fingall and later became bishop in turn of Ardagh and Meath.
In 1645 he set out for Rome under the care of Fr Scarampo of the Roman Oratory and stayed at the Irish College where he had a brilliant academic career. The Rector later said that Plunkett “devoted himself with such ardour to philosophy, theology, and mathematics, that in the Roman College of the Society of Jesus he was justly ranked amongst the foremost in talent, diligence, and progress in his studies… and was a model of gentleness, integrity, and piety". He was ordained a priest in 1654, and deputed by the Irish bishops to act as their representative in Rome. Meanwhile, the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland (1649-53) had defeated the Catholic cause in Ireland and, as a result, it was impossible for Plunkett to return to Ireland for many years. He asked to stay on in Rome and, in 1657, became a professor of theology at the College of Propaganda Fide. He also pleaded successfully the case of the Irish Church. On 9 July 1669, he was appointed Archbishop of Armagh, the Irish primatial see, and was consecrated on 30 November at Ghent by the Bishop of Ghent, assisted by the Bishop of Ferns and another bishop. He finally landed in Ireland in March 1670 just as the English Restoration of 1660 was becoming more tolerant.
On his return to Ireland, he began to rebuild a ravaged Church and to build schools and seminaries. The clergy he found very weak in moral theology and in their ability to deal with religious controversies. There were also drinking problems among them. As the Penal Laws had been relaxed in accordance with the Declaration of Breda in 1660, a Jesuit school was set up in Drogheda in 1670. Within a year it had 150 students. However, three years later when the Test Act which Plunkett refused to accept was enacted, the school was demolished.
Plunkett now had to travel in disguise and refused to register with the authorities for deportation. In 1678, the Titus Oates plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament led to further repression of Catholics. The Privy Council in London was also told that Plunkett was plotting a French invasion of Ireland. He had a price on his head but refused to abandon his flock.
He took refuge in a Clogherhead parish church, about 10 km outside Drogheda. He was finally arrested in Dublin in December 1679 and held in Dublin Castle, where he gave absolution to the dying Archbishop Peter Talbot of Dublin, who had also been arrested. He was tried at Dundalk for conspiring against the state by plotting to bring thousands of French soldiers into the country, and for levying a tax on the priests to support a local force for rebellion. This was not proved but there were fears that another rebellion was being planned. Because Lord Shaftesbury knew Plunkett would never be convicted in Ireland, he had him moved to Newgate prison in London. After two very dubious trials, Plunkett was found guilty of high treason “for promoting the Catholic faith” and condemned to death.
On 1 July 1681, Plunkett became the last Catholic martyr to die in England when he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. His body was initially buried next to five Jesuits, who had died earlier, in the courtyard of St Giles. Two years later the remains were moved to the Benedictine monastery at Lamspringe, near Hildesheim in Germany. The head was brought to Rome, and from there to Armagh and eventually to Drogheda where, since 29 June 1921, it has rested in Saint Peter’s Church. Most of the other remains are now in Downside Abbey, England, with some still at Lamspringe. There are also other relics in different locations.
Oliver Plunkett was beatified in 1920 and canonised in 1975, the first new Irish saint for almost 700 years and the first Irish martyr to be beatified. He has since been followed by 17 other Irish martyrs who were beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1992. During his short and difficult ministry, Oliver Plunkett confirmed more than 48,000 people over a period of four years.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Blessed Junipero Serra - 1st July 2009

Spanish Franciscan priest, explorer and colonizer of California where he was the founder of the missions of California. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in September 1988.

Junipero Serra was born Miguel Serra y Abram on November 24, 1713 in Petra, a farming village in Mallorca's central plain. At the age of sixteen, Miguel entered the Franciscan friary and took the name Junípero, after St. Francis' close, extroverted friend.

Years of formation and study followed, and in 1744 he was named Professor of Philosophy at the monastery of San Francisco and at Lullian University. Serra was known as a bright, articulate scholar -- apparently a moving speaker and a clear, precise writer -- but he did not remain long in academic life. In 1749 he responded to the call for Franciscan missionaries to the New World.

Nearly 200 years before, Spain had established a colony called New Spain, the area now known as Mexico. The success of colonization was due largely to the collaboration of the Spanish imperial staff and the Catholic Church. By acting as partners in exploration and settlement efforts, both their purposes were achieved: Spain claimed new territory and the Catholic Church claimed new members.

By the middle of the 18th century, Spanish cultural and religious influence was already evident in New Spain's great cathedrals, schools, hospitals, and seaports. However, this sophisticated civilization was restricted to urban centers such as Mexico City. The outlying areas were still uncharted and wild. The unexplored areas were considered missionary territory.

Serra's first assignment was to a rugged, mountainous region of Sierra Gorda. Here he remained for nine years, preaching to the Indians and strengthening the two missions already established in the area. Serra's second assignment was to journey out from Mexico City into coastal villages and mining camps. In those eight years, despite a leg chronically infected and ulcerated after an insect bite, he walked over 6,000 miles on foot, preaching retreats and administering the sacraments.

In 1767 when the King of Spain banished the Jesuit Society from his dominions, the thirteen Jesuit missions in Baja California were suddenly left unstaffed. Junipero Serra was assigned the new Superior of Baja California, and within several years he was given orders to move into Alta California, or what today is known as the state of California. In 1769 Serra was appointed padre president of California.

Serra joined the expedition of Don Gaspar de Pórtola, ordered by the Spanish king to explore and occupy new territory. He reached San Diego on June 27, 1769 and founded there the first mission. From San Diego the party journeyed northward and in April, 1770 Serra founded San Carlos Borromeo at Carmel, the second mission. In his fifteen years as padre president, he established nine of his 21 missions, each a one-day walk apart (about 30 miles), and linked by a dirt road called "El Camino Real."

Junípero Serra personally oversaw the planning, construction, and staffing of each mission from his headquarters at Carmel. From Carmel he traveled on foot to the other missions along the California coast, to supervise mission work and to confer the sacrament of Confirmation. Biographers estimate that, still bothered by the infected leg, Serra walked more than 24,000 miles in California alone -- more than the journeys of Marco Polo and Lewis and Clark combined. He kept with determination to his watchword, "Always to go forward and never to turn back."

Each mission centered on a church structure, usually a wood frame topped with a thatched roof. However, when the church at San Luis Obispo burned after being showered by Indians' flaming arrows, all churches were rebuilt of adobe and stone. Indians fashioned rounded roof tiles by molding wet clay around their shins. Surrounding the church itself were housing, areas for education of women and children, land cultivated for farming, and cattle-grazing areas.

Junipero Serra did not die a martyr as he had hoped. Instead he died a quiet, natural death at Carmel on August 28, 1784. Today, 200 years later, he is a candidate for canonization.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

First Martyrs of Rome - 30th June 2009

Nero's persecution was occasioned by an early morning fire on July 19, 64. It broke out in a small shop by the Circus Maximus and spread rapidly to other regions of Rome, and raged for nine days, destroying much of the city. This was the worst in a series of fires that beset the crowded city -- more than a million people, packed tightly into apartment blocks of wooden construction, among narrow streets and alleyways. Only two areas escaped the fire; one of them, the Transtiberum region, Trastevere, across the Tiber River, had a large Jewish population.

Nero was at his seaside villa in Anzio when the blaze began, but he delayed returning to the city. They say that when he heard the news, he began composing an ode comparing Rome to the burning city of Troy (illustration above). His indifference to the suffering caused by the tragedy stirred resentment among the people. Rumors began that he himself set the fire in order to rebuild the city with his own plans.

Nero To stop the rumors, Nero decided to blame someone else, and he chose a group of renegade Jews called Christians, who had caused trouble before, and already had a bad reputation in the city. Earlier, about the year 49, the Emperor Claudius had banished some of them from Rome for starting upheavals in the Jewish synagogues of the city with their disputes about Christ.

Nero's Raging Sword

"Nero was the first to rage with Caesar's sword against this sect," wrote the early-Christian writer, Tertullian. "To suppress the rumor," the Roman historian Tacitus says, "Nero created scapegoats. He punished with every kind of cruelty the notoriously depraved group known as Christians." Just how long the process went on and how many were killed, the Roman historian does not say.

Christian martyrs of Rome The Early Christians of Rome

Who were the early Roman Christians? Most of them came from the large community of about 50,000 Jewish merchants and slaves who had strong ties to their mother city of Jerusalem. Even before Peter and Paul arrived in Rome, Jewish-Christians, clearly identified as followers of Jesus Christ, were found among the city's Jews. Indeed, these were the founders of the church at Rome; the apostles were among its foundation stones.

By the time of the fire Rome's Jewish-Christians had become alienated from the larger Jewish community and were beginning to separate from it. Where they lived and met was well known. The authorities, following the usual procedure, seized some of them, brought them to the Prefecture and forced them by torture to give the names of others.

"First, Nero had some of the members of this sect arrested. Then, on their information, large numbers were condemned -- not so much for arson, but for their hatred of the human race. Their deaths were made a farce." (Tacitus)

Mass Executions

Instead of executing the Christians immediately at the usual place, Nero executed them publicly in his gardens nearby and in the circus. "Mockery of every sort accompanied their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired." (Tacitus)

Most thought Nero went too far. "There arose in the people a sense of pity. For it was felt that they (the Christians) were being sacrificed for one man's brutality rather than to the public interest." (Tacitus)

Monday, June 29, 2009

St. Peter and St. Paul – 29 June 2009

St. Peter and St. Paul – June 29

Biographical selection:

Sts. Peter and Paul always listen to the prayers of their devotees. Time has not diminished their power, and from Heaven – even more than when they were on earth – they do not abandon the interests of the Church or neglect the least of the inhabitants of this glorious earthly City of God, of which they were and remain princes.

One of the triumphs of the Devil in our times is to have dulled the faith of good people in this regard. It is necessary to insist that man awake from this deathlike sleep that makes us forget that Our Lord wanted these two saints to continue His work and represent Him visibly on earth.

St. Ambrose extols the continuing, vibrant apostolic mission of the Church, and expresses with profundity and delicacy the roles of Ss. Peter and Paul in the salvation of the elect. The Church, he says, is the ship from which Peter fishes, and for this labor at times he receives an order to use the hook, and at other times, the net. It is a great mystery, for this fishing is entirely supernatural. While the net does not harm the fish, the hook wounds it; the net takes in multitudes, the hook catches a single fish. The good fish does not resist the hook of Peter because it does not kill, but rather converts. Fortunate the gash that permits one to profess the same faith of Peter!

It is for this reason that Jesus told Peter: “"Put out into the deep water, and let down the nets for a catch” (Luke 5:1) “Put out into the deep water” – that is, go to the very depths of the hearts of men. ‘Put out into the deep water” – go to Christ, the source of living waters of wisdom and knowledge.

Peter continues to fish every day. Our Lord tells him: “Put out into the deep water.” But one seems to hear Peter replying: “Master, we have worked all night with no result.” Peter suffers when we are hard-hearted. Paul is also fighting for our souls. Didn’t he tell us that no one suffers without him also suffering? We should act in a way that does not make the Apostles suffer.

Comments of Prof. Plinio:

These are very beautiful words. Let us consider some of the thoughts in them.

First, the selection makes an interesting remark about how Divine Providence permitted the faith of many good people to be dulled regarding the roles that St. Peter and St. Paul exercise in Heaven. This is true. Devotion to the Apostles has diminished a great deal, except for devotion to St. Jude Thaddeus, who was an almost unknown Apostle and for a time even raised some suspicion because people thought that this Judas might be Judas Iscariot, also a member of the College of Apostles. Except for the devotion to St. Jude, who became the patron of the impossible, devotion to the other Apostles decreased a great deal.

This diminishment is completely unreasonable since it is evident that the mission of the Apostles did not diminish with time. On the contrary, we know that their mission continues now and will continue until the end of time. They were not Apostles for just one epoch. They were not men who saved souls in the first days of the Church, and then went to Heaven where they do nothing. They are there now with Our Lord Jesus Christ watching and exercising a role over the entire Church.

The apostolate they made in their times was a seed they planted that contained the apostolate of all epochs. From Heaven they continue to nurture and develop it. Therefore, devotion to them is a necessary thing, and this selection gives us an opportunity to recommend ourselves to St. Peter and St. Paul, to pray to them, and to increase our devotion to them.

Second, the selection seems to insinuate a difference between the apostolate of St. Peter – made with a hook – and the one of St. Paul – made with a net. The distinction between these two different methods of apostolate is useful. The apostolate of the net is meant to catch a large number of people; the apostolate of the hook is destined to catch this or that particular person.

Third, the text speaks beautifully of the apostolate of hook, saying that the hook wounds the mouth of the fish, but by means of this gash he pays the price of his conversion. There are conversions that are very difficult, that are only possible through great sacrifices and sufferings. The blood exacted by the great effort is the price paid to be a part of the Catholic Church. This is a normal characteristic of the apostolate of the hook.

There are conversions, however, that are painless. In the Middle Age, for example, we have the marvelous examples of the conversions of Kings who brought entire nations with them: the kingdom of the Franks came to the Church with Clovis, the Hungarians with St. Stephen, the Polish with Boleslaus, the Ukrainians with St. Vladimir, and so on. These were apostolates of the net that brought a multitude of souls without any special suffering.

Fourth, another beautiful part of this selection speaks of the apostolate when it is without fruit. St. Peter and St. Paul experienced enormous difficulties in their apostolates, and also enjoyed times of extraordinary successes. They were not easy labors with “happy endings.” It was hard work along rocky paths that required much prayer and supernatural help in order to go forward. Without this help, the apostolate is fruitless.

We should remember this in our own apostolate. We should keep in mind that St. Peter’s fished all night and was unsuccessful. But when he asked Our Lord for help, the net was lifted from the water filled with fish.

This reference to the miraculous catch serves to help increase our humility and supernatural spirit. Without supernatural assistance, without the help of God through the intercession of Our Lady, our apostolate will be fruitless.

We see that this results in a greater glory for Our Lady and should raise in us the desire to draw closer to her. She who is our very amiable Mother and an all-powerful supplicant before God, she who with her prayer can attain everything that she requests.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

St. Cyril of Alexandria - 27th June 2009

Today is the feast of St. Cyril of Alexandria, let us see what Dr. Plinio has to say about this saint

Biographical selection:

St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, strove to win back the heretic Nestorius by letters, in which his personal meekness is rivaled only by his vigor and breadth of doctrine. But Nestorius was obdurate. Since he had no argument in response, he began to make personal complaints against the Patriarch.

As always happens, there were pacifists who, although they did not accept Nestorius’ errors, thought it would be best not to reply to him for fear of further embittering him, increasing the scandal, and wounding charity. In response to this, Cyril criticized those who were more afraid of affirming the truths of the Catholic faith more than of falling into heresy:

“What! Nestorius dares to suffer men to say in public and in his presence that he who calls Mary the Mother of God is to be anathema! He hurls his anathema, by means of his partisans, at us, at the other Bishops of the Catholic Church, and at the ancient Fathers, who in all ages and places in one accord have acknowledged and honored the holy Mother of God! And have we not the right to repay him in his own coin and say, ‘If anyone denies that Mary is the Mother of God, let him be anathema’? ….

“If our fear of some disturbance is stronger than our zeal for God’s glory and thus prevents us from speaking the truth, how shall we dare in the presence of the Catholic people to celebrate the holy martyrs, whose glory lies in the very fact that by their lives they made example of the words: ‘To fight for justice even unto death’?”

Comments of Prof. Plinio:

The text is magnificent! Just to situate you a bit in those times, let me say that St. Cyril lived in the fifth century and combated the heresy of Nestorius, who denied the union between the humanity and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and thus, the divine motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In the first centuries of the Church, there were various heretics who combated the dogmas of the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Some affirmed that He was only man and not God; others stated that He was God but not man. Both denied that He is man and God. Either way, the heresy tried to shake the Catholic belief that Our Lord is true God and true man. The heresy of Nestorius denied the hypostatic union of the divine and human natures in Our Lord. He affirmed that there would have been two distinct persons, that of God and that of the man Jesus Christ. This man would not have been God, but only joined by a moral union to God, like a kind of super-saint. As a consequence Our Lady would have been only the mother of the man, not the mother of God. Therefore, her mission would be greatly reduced.

St. Cyril and the good Catholics defended that Our Lord was both God and man. The heretics sustained the opposite. The false middle, the ones who were partisans of ecumenism and wanted to dialogue between the two positions, were of the opinion that it was better not to defend the good position. They argued that this would irritate the adversaries, make it more difficult to convert them, and violate charity. These “moderates” were against St. Cyril because the Saint attacked the heretics.

I ask you if this doesn’t remind you exactly of the reactions of many “moderates” of our days who criticize our work. We should not attack the heretics, communists, and progressivists, but start a dialogue with them. To attack them would be unproductive, it would irritate them, etc. Actually, this kind of “moderate” corresponds to those of whom Scripture says: “I would that thou were hot or cold. But because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit thee out of my mouth.” (Re 3:16) That is, if you would accept either the truth or the error, you would be consistent, but since you will not be on either side, you cause me nausea. These are the one who are hated by God, those whom He vomits from His mouth, those who elicit that particular type of horror that causes queasiness.

These are the worst people, the ones who do the most harm to the good cause, because they present themselves to the average Catholics claiming to be Catholic, but warning them against following the ones who took the good position. The moderates say they are exaggerated in their views, etc. It is thanks to these people that the numbers of real fighters for the Catholic cause is much less than it should be.

The best support for error is not given by those who clearly defend that error, but by those who apparently profess the truth – but protect the error. They are the “fifth column” that prepares the future advance of the enemy. They attract divine wrath more than the outright evil people do.

If we want to be like Our Lord Jesus Christ, we should have the same repulsion for this kind of soul that He has. We should feel nausea when hearing the arguments of such “moderates.” It is not enough to love the good; we must also reject those who favor evil. A rejection similar to that of Our Lord, who had a loathing that caused a nausea. If we do not have such sentiment, we should pray and make a frequent ejaculation like the one we find in the litany of the Sacred Heart: “Sacred Heart of Jesus, make my heart like unto Thine.”

Let us ask St. Cyril of Alexandria through the intercession of Our Lady to give us a just indignation and revulsion toward such a hypocritical position.

Lessons from a Crashed Computer

I woke up yesterday morning to a crashed computer. After the boot up the computer would not load the OS. From about 10 AM in the morning till 2:00 AM I was resetting the computer.

The computer hard disk was full and as a consequence it would not load the OS. I had to format the entire hard disk making it clean and then install the OS again. After that I had to install various softwares.

A spiritual lesson was to be learnt. Sometimes in our spiritual journey we start taking up various tasks and do a lot of things for the Kingdom. After some time we forget why and for who we are doing these things. We become like a cluttered computer with lots of programs installed and lots of pictures and MP3s, we become like a library full of knowledge but nothing elese, or worse a garbage heap full of rubbish. And then we crash, we stop and examine ourselves and see that all the actions we think we are doing for God are not really for Him but more for ourselves. We need to reformat ourselves, by prayer and meditation, realizing that our primary duty is to Know, Love and Serve Him. In thar order specifically.

This lesson can be found in the Bible where Jesus says that He is the vine and we are the branches and the Father is the wine dresser who trims and prunes the branches. Your gardeners know that when a vine grows it uses energy that should be going to the grapes so it needs to be trimmed so that it bears more fruit. This pruning is like reformatting, sometimes our growth may look good to us, but we are not bearing the right kind of fruit. Hence it is a time for a reformat.

Happy Sunday
God Bless