Quotations about the Rosary

“The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin…If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary. Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors.”
–Pope Pius XI

“Go to the Madonna. Love her! Always say the Rosary. Say it well. Say it as often as you can! Be souls of prayer. Never tire of praying, it is what is essential. Prayer shakes the Heart of God, it obtains necessary graces!”
–Saint Padre Pio

“Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother. Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother.”
–Saint Padre Pio

Published in: on October 8, 2017 at 01:14  Leave a Comment  
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Humble Yourself Before God. God Humbled Himself Before You.

I’m doing the consecration to Jesus through Mary by Saint Louis de Montfort again this year, and I had an inspiration to write the following.

Man is dust.  Though we should be humble and obedient to our superiors, how difficult we find that task.  Why is obedience so difficult?  Why do we bristle at obedience?  If we can’t humble ourselves to our human superiors and obey them–parents, bosses, or any other, how much more difficult will it be to humble ourselves completely to God and obey His commands–all of them?

Did He not humble Himself to His own creation?  Did He not subject Himself to dust, allowing His creatures to beat Him, mock Him, strip Him, and nail Him to a cross?  Did He not obey dust and allow Himself to suffer the most cruel method of execution–crucifixion–so that mankind–this dust–may be freed from sin?  Freed from hell?  Did He not subject Himself to dust in order to glorify His creation and raise mankind into heaven to become one with God and remain united with God for all eternity?

Then why–if God can subject Himself to His creation, if God can humble Himself before man, if God can be obedient to mere dust–why can’t we subject ourselves to God, humble ourselves before God, and obey the Almighty Creator of the universe?  If He loves us so much, why can’t we love Him a little?  If He’s willing to bring us into heaven to live in absolute bliss and never-ending love, why do we reject His offer in favor of momentary earthly enjoyment and eternal suffering and never-ending hatred?

Published in: on May 13, 2015 at 01:57  Leave a Comment  
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Hell Is For Real

Nobody wants to talk about hell because it’s a scary subject—eternal punishment!

Some people don’t believe hell exists. It most definitely does. Just ask Satan.

Some people don’t believe hell is eternal. It most definitely is. Just ask Satan.

Better yet, don’t contact Satan. Let’s see what our Lord and our God, Jesus Christ, had to say:

Matthew 25:41 – Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Matthew 25:46 – And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

There it is—eternal punishment.  You see, hell isn’t like a prison sentence where you would serve some number of years and then get out.  There is no time in hell or in heaven to serve.  Time is part of creation.  Once we enter into eternity, we just are.  No time passes because it doesn’t exist in eternity. It’s a difficult concept, because we are part of creation.  In any case, once you are in hell—to borrow a lyric from The Eagles—you can check out any “time” you like but you can never leave. Eek!

Hell is something you need to consider seriously. One day you will die, and you don’t know when that day will come. We all would like to think we’re going to heaven, but, whether or not you would like to believe it, most people won’t.

Matthew 7:13-14 – Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.  How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.  And those who find it are few.

Do your best to make sure you are one of the few.

Now, you can’t blame God if you go to hell.  He created us to spend eternity united with Him in heaven.  He loves us beyond all understanding.

1 Timothy 2:4 – [God our savior] wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.

1 John 4:8b – God is love.

Our problem is that we don’t love God back as He desires. How can I say that? Well, we sin. It’s that simple. What can we do?  Repent. We hear that word, but what does it mean? Simply this:  turn away from sin and turn to God.  In other words—stop sinning!  Do you remember the story of the adulteress? You can find it in the gospel according to John 8:3-11.  A woman who was caught in adultery was brought to Jesus, and the people who brought her said she should be stoned to death according to the law, and they were preparing to do just that.  Then Jesus said:

“Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone.”

Everybody realized they had all sinned, so they dropped their stones and left.  Jesus then told the adulteress:

“Go and sin no more.”

That’s what repent means.  Go and sin no more.

I said earlier that we don’t love God back as he desires.  The easiest way to start loving God better is to obey His commandments.

John 14:15 – If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

John 15:24a – Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.

Obedience = love.  Disobedience ≠ love.

See Exodus 20:1-17 for the Ten Commandments.

Jesus’ two great commandments were to love God and love your neighbor.

Matthew 22:37 – You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

John 13:34 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you.

To love God, love Him with all that you are.  Give yourself completely to Him.  Hold nothing back.  As you would give yourself completely to your spouse, give even more so to God.  To love your neighbor, treat Him as Jesus would.  A good example of what to do can be found in the Judgment of Nations narrative:

Matthew 25:34-36 – Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’

It makes sense.  If you love God, you won’t sin against God.  If you love your neighbor, you won’t sin against your neighbor.  Ah, if only it were so easy.  Unfortunately, because of the sin of Adam, we have what is called concupiscence, which is the tendency to sin.  You will sin.  I will sin.  We all sin.  But Jesus knew that although He would die for our sins, and by His resurrection bring us to new life, we would still sin.  For our part, we must actually make a firm amendment of our lives not to sin again.  That’s part of loving God.  You don’t want to offend the ones you love, most especially God.  For most of us, we will continue to commit grave sin from time to time.  But Jesus, because of His great love for us, gave us the sacrament of confession (a.k.a. penance or reconciliation).

John 20:22-23 – And when [Jesus] had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Forgiving sins is one of the powers of God.

Luke 5:21 – Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies?  Who but God alone can forgive sins?”

But when Jesus created His Church, He shared this power with His disciples.  This ability to forgive did not die with the last apostle.  The disciples handed on this power to forgive sins on behalf of God to the men that they ordained, and all those ordained to serve Jesus—the priests and bishops—share the power to forgive and will until the end of time.  Remember, they can’t forgive or retain your sins unless they know what they are.  That’s why you need to confess to a priest or bishop.  Once you have been absolved of your sins, your soul is healed, no longer cut off from God, and you are as spiritually pure as a newly baptized babe.  You receive sanctifying grace when you go to confession.  That’s grace that makes you holy.  Of course, for your confession to be valid, you must sincerely regret your sins, be firmly resolved not to sin again, and confess every grave sin you are aware of.  If you’re not really sorry, if you have no plans to stop sinning, or if you hold back and don’t confess all your sins, you’re wasting your time and the priest’s time.  Out of love, Jesus gave you this lifeline. Use it!

So what are some grave sins? Saint Paul tells us some:  fornication (sex outside of marriage), adultery, sexual acts between people of the same sex, covetousness (inordinate desire for something that belongs to another), idolatry, slander, drunkenness, extortion (theft).  See the first letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 5:11 and 6:9-10.

One thing that many Catholics don’t think is breaking a commandment is skipping mass on Sunday or a holy day of obligation.  The commandment to keep the Lord’s day holy means go to mass.  That’s how we keep it holy, and to skip mass is a mortal sin, which must be confessed.  Some people scoff and think I skip mass once, and I’m going to hell?  Well, if you knew it was a grave sin and you willfully did it anyway, then yes.  You will have willfully disobeyed one of God’s commandments.  That cuts you off from the life of God. That’s why mortal sins are called mortal—they are deadly sins.  If you do not repent and confess, you will not have life in heaven.  Those who resist this truth as well as other truths want things their way, not God’s way.  They put themselves above God.

Isaiah 55:6-9 – Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake their way, and sinners their thoughts; Let them turn to the LORD to find mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving.  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways—oracle of the LORD. >>>For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts.<<<

Additionally, don’t think that if you do all kinds of wonderful things like feeding the poor and your only sin is that you’re shacking up with someone, for example, that God will tell you, “oh, alright.  Come on in.  You’re doing good things.”  It doesn’t work like that.  God doesn’t use a balancing scale, more good than bad and you can enter heaven.  Good works won’t get you past the pearly gates.  It’s about love, which means obedience.  If He says don’t do something, you don’t do it.  If He says do something, you do it. Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden for eating the forbidden fruit.  They disobeyed.  They couldn’t say, “but it was just one bite!”  Satan and the demons were once angels in heaven.  They chose not to obey.  Hell was then created for them, and humans who will not obey will share the same fate.

Matthew 25:41 – Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

1 Corinthians 6:9a – Do you not know the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God?

Revelation 21:27 – Nothing unclean will enter heaven, nor anyone who does abominable things or tells lies.

You need to know that God is being very patient with you, but you don’t know when your time will be up, so stop sinning and start loving God now.

2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,” but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Think of this:  Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer:  Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven….  Now, do you think the will of God is for you to sin?  No.  Repent, yes, but sin, no.

Most people don’t think about this, but God doesn’t condemn a person to hell.  That person, by his own free will, condemns himself.  If a person does not repent or convert or if he willfully rejects God altogether, God is not going to force that person into heaven against his will.  If an unrepentant sinner were brought into heaven, he would suffer more greatly than if he had gone to hell, because he would know what his life had been like, his sins would be known to him, and he would find it absolutely intolerable to stand in the presence of the glory of God.  Hell is merciful.

So it comes down to this:  don’t sin.  Love God first first by obeying Him.  People hate the word obey these days, but just as parents lay down rules for their children for their good, so God lays down rules for us for our infinite and eternal good.  Take time to learn the Catholic faith well.  The more you do, the more you will love.  The more you love, the less desire you will have to offend your heavenly Father (i.e. to sin).

Get on that narrow path and stick with it.  Eternity basking in the infinite love of God is worth it.  Eternity with an absolute lack of love, an everlasting hatred of self, of God, and of everything else (there is no love in hell) is not worth any sin.

God Must Be a Trinity for He Is Love

The apostle John tells us that “God is love” (or your translation of the Bible may say “God is charity”…same thing).  Can this be if God is a singular being, that is, not a Trinity?  There is evidence that God is a Trinity in Genesis:

The Lord–in three persons–visits Abraham.

Genesis 18:1-3 – And the Lord appeared to him in the vale of Mambre as he was sitting at the door of his tent, in the very heat of the day.  And when he had lifted up his eyes, there appeared to him three men standing near him: and as soon as he saw them he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and adored down to the ground.  And he said: Lord, if I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away from thy servant….  (Notice, Abraham did not say “Lords” plural.)

It is in the apostle John’s first letter where he tells us that God is love.

1 John 4:8 – He that loveth not, knoweth not God: for God is love.

First let us realize that God does not need us.  God was before time and the universe existed, and He was complete in and of Himself.  However, if that is true, that God is complete in Himself and has no need of any created being, then how is God love?

You see, if God loves, there must be an object of that love, a beloved.  Right?  Well, the beloved is the Son of God.  Here is part of the Nicene Creed (a statement of what Christians believe):  “We believe…in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages; God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God; begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father….”

God is a Father, the Father of the only begotten Son.  This indicates only two Persons, though.  The third is the Love itself.  When a person loves with all his heart, he gives everything to his beloved.  He holds nothing back.  It is the same with God, but even more so than what is possible with us mere creatures.  God the Father loves His Son.  God the Son loves His Father.  In their love, they give each other everything, even their very existence.  The love between the Two is the Third Person of the Trinity–the Holy Spirit.

God is a communion of three persons, each loving the other with no need of you or me.  God had no need to create anything; however, God created heaven and the angels, the universe, the earth, the flora and fauna, and man (created in His image) to have dominion over the earth–all out of love.

He loves us with an unknowable love, and we should love Him because He is OUR FATHER, in heaven, hallowed be His name…and His desire is for us to join Him in heaven, to be a part of that communion of love.  He wants so much for us to join Him that He even sent us His only begotten Son (God the Son condescended Himself to become one of us) to be sacrificed for our sake, us miserable sinners.  Not only that, but before we go to heaven, we can actually receive the real body, blood, soul, and divinity of the Son of God:  1 Corinthians 11:24 – “Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me.”  And this we do at every mass.

Can you think of anything greater than being in the presence of Love Himself–a love we will never, ever know on earth–for all eternity?  So, do your part:   “Let us therefore love God, because God first hath loved us.” (1 John 4:19)  “A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.”  (John 13:34-35)

God Loves You This Much

…so love Him back.

Published in: on July 22, 2013 at 10:07  Leave a Comment  
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Ask Jesus to Teach You to Be a Disciple.

To seek mercy, we must first be humble.  We must feel regret for offending God, who loves us beyond measure.  Humility and remorse on our part come before mercy on God’s part.  That is not to say God’s mercy is not always there.  And we surely can’t earn it like a merit badge!  What we have to do is cooperate with God and His will in all humility.  We have to die to self and allow God to act through us.  This means checking our pride and arrogance.  Never forget, though–we can do nothing on our own, only with Jesus (cf John 15:5).  Pray.  Ask Jesus to teach you to be a disciple.  Pray for humility.  Pray for mercy.  What more can we do before our judge but ask for mercy?  But how can we honestly do that if we are unable to lie prostrate before God full of humility?

Published in: on April 30, 2013 at 22:13  Comments (1)  
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Catholics Attacking Catholics

Catholic? Aggression

Of late, I have seen attacks against Catholics by other Catholics.  Why are we “attacking” each other, especially for such petty reasons?  Aren’t we being attacked enough by those of this world, whether by those in the government who are trying to restrict religious liberty or by militant atheists who are trying to eliminate public signs of religion?

One recent instance that comes to mind are the comments against Catholic blogger Lisa Graas because of her blog post about why Rick Santorum, a Catholic, should not help raise funds for the Salvation Army.  The Salvation Army, by the way, is not a charity.  It is a protestant ecclesial community that, like many other religious (including Catholic) organizations, does corporal works of mercy.  A surprising number of people chastised her for her position on a prominent Catholic raising funds for a protestant “church.”  I couldn’t help but wonder why her perspective on the subject was so controversial.

The second instance of an attack that comes to mind–and far worse in my view–is by Catholic blogger Simcha Fisher and her co-blogger called “The Jerk.”  They malign fellow Catholic Michael Voris of Saint Michael’s Media and ChurchMilitant.TV.  Not liking Voris’ style is one thing, calumny is another.  Fisher is a prominent blogger whose writings appear in numerous outlets, so her writings, including this verbal aggression, are read by many, and if her readers are unfamiliar with Michael Voris, they will automatically have a negative view about him.  The blog post harms his reputation.

There are numerous places to learn that we should not attack each other.  Let’s start with “Love one another as I have loved you.”  That, from the mouth of the Son of the Living God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We can learn from the handbook for the Catholic faith, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC).  If you ever have a question about the faith, look there.  I highly recommend owning a copy.

According to paragraph 2477 of the CCC:  “Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty…of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.”  Personally, I believe one harms one’s own reputation by insulting another person so publicly.

As Catholics, we are supposed to be one body (the body of Christ), CCC 791:  “The unity of the Mystical Body produces and stimulates charity among the faithful: ‘From this it follows that if one member suffers anything, all the members suffer with him, and if one member is honored, all the members together rejoice.’  Finally, the unity of the Mystical Body triumphs over all human divisions:  ‘For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.'”  So to insult or attack another member of the body of Christ is to insult or attack all members, including yourself.

Let’s look at what the Apostles said.

Saint Paul, where he tells us what “love is…” in chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians, says this:  “[Love] is not rude.”  I must say that Simcha Fisher and The Jerk were especially rude.  They were even rude to people who tried to defend Voris, even to someone who tried to admonish politely and quoted the CCC paragraphs I mentioned above.  (Thanks for those.)  As a Catholic who is taking the time to learn more and more about the faith, and in doing so learning to love my neighbor better, I don’t understand this behavior by this well-known Catholic blogger, who even contributes to the respected National Catholic Register.

Saint Peter, whom Jesus selected as our first pope, in his first letter, second chapter, tells us to “rid yourselves of all malice…and all slander.”  So if you disagree with someone, do so with charity.  Don’t be mean.  Don’t name call.  Should we not “do to others whatever you would have them do to you”? [Matthew 7:12]  Are we not to “be perfect as [our] Heavenly Father is perfect”? [Matthew 5:48]

Saint Peter reminds us in chapter 2 of his first letter:  “you are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation…'”  If this is true, we should not act like the people of this world, i.e. secular people who are hostile towards Christians.  We are called to be different…better…perfect.  We are “called…out of darkness into His wonderful light.”

In Saint Peter’s second letter, we read this:  “Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.  For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love.”  One builds on the other, and how does it end?  Love!

It’s all about love.

Look.  If we see a fellow Catholic failing in living the faith, we should admonish–with charity [which means love]–to guide them back onto the righteous path.  If we simply disagree about a point of no consequence, like a Catholic politician who helps to raise funds for a protestant church or the presentation style of a Catholic media personality, discuss calmly, with charity.  We don’t need to “rip” anyone.  We have enough of that from the secular world.

I know I am not a prominent Catholic blogger like Lisa Graas or Simcha Fisher, and I will be able to count on one hand the number of people who read this post, but for those of you who do read this, be good to others.  Remember love.  It is at the core of our faith.

Published in: on December 26, 2012 at 23:44  Comments (4)  
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