10 Priests Were Recently Asked To Write Roughly 4 Sentences On The Topic of Video Games. Here Is What They Said…
Fr. Edward Connolly from Pennsylvania
Reality is where I work out my salvation. Reality is where I meet Mom and Dad, Brother and Sister, Son and Daughter, Wife or Husband, God and Neighbor and, come to think of it, Myself. Video games are Alternate Reality. There I can pretend that I don’t have Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, Son, Daughter, Wife or Husband, God or Neighbor. Only Myself. It’s kind of like Hell.
Fr. Peter Junipero Hannah from California
I recall when I was a kid the first Nintendo system came out, and I saved allowance to buy it since my parents did not have a high opinion of such diversions. After the purchase, they suspected my extended use was frying my brain, and I recall defending it to them on the grounds that it improved hand-eye coordination. I now think this argument a load of hooey (I probably knew that then too), and find myself after twenty-five years to have arrived at—surprise—roughly my parents’ views. I wonder how much better off intellectually, artistically, and even physically and morally, young people (especially boys) would be if they unplugged and gave their adventurous youthful vigor to more worthy pursuits.
Fr. Matthew Schneider, LC from Rome
Video games are not necessarily evil—I remember playing video games with friends: my nerd friends and I would play Warcraft II after school. Games like that teach strategy and planning but are also a great way to relax; they’re similar to Axis & Allies. Even today, I like to play Wii from time to time (my sister and foster-niece practice Mario Kart more and always cream me)—however, today video games can cause trouble in three ways: 1. Games that have inappropriate content such as a recent game where you had to fight terrorists in an airport surrounded by civilians (you inevitably shoot at least one) and with graphic death sequences; 2. Where video games put you as the bad guy such as the GTA series; and 3. Simply playing too much where this recreation keeps us from important duties such as work, school, or exercise. If you avoid all 3, enjoy video games in moderation.
[Note: for those of you unfamiliar, Warcraft II is a strategy game where you control a town and army of orcs or humans; World of Warcraft is a completely different game which easily falls into problem #3 because of its addictive nature.]
Msgr. Charles Pope from Washington, D.C.
Video Games are entertaining to be sure. But they are poor training for life which does not unfold at the pace of these games. Much of the ADHD diagnosed today is more likely a poor attention span that results from hyper-stimulation intrinsic to many of these games. One may wonder how a steady diet of these frantic, loud and sometimes violent games can dispose one to pray and listen for the still, quiet voice of God.
Fr. Ezra Sullivan from Rome
Like television, many people make arguments in favor of video games that have little to do with the real purpose of the game. For instance, people say they can learn about history by watching television; or they can perfect eye-hand coordination by video games. But everyone knows that the real point of video games is to have fun by escaping reality. That sort of fun is like a highly-toxic medicine: it should be taken in small, rare doses, if at all.
Fr. Donald Calloway from Massachusetts
Children should be outside playing, doing physical activity, and not sitting in front of a screen all day playing the part of a cyber hero in someone else’s fantasy world. As a norm, adults should not be playing video games; their leisure moments should be more dignified and age appropriate. It’s so sad today to see how many grown men live in a fantasy world of video games; waste of time and money. No woman I know delights in dating and/or marrying a man who sits on his duff all day pushing buttons frantically like a lunatic.
Fr. Christopher Pollard from Virginia
How many hours of Tetris are too many? When you close your eyes yet the pieces are still falling and the music is still playing. After college I banished games from my computer. Now it’s a lot easier to pray when I close my eyes.
Fr. Thomas Longua from Texas
Do the research. There are serious consequences mentally and physically. Morally: ask an exorcist about what he has to deal with because his patients are hooked on these things.
Fr. Edward Murphy from Florida
The very concept of virtual reality is causing our children to have a significant disconnect with reality as we know it now. When our youth are obsessed with video games, they fantasize about things that are inane, ludicrous and violent. Why, we may ask, do we continue to see the pattern of mass shootings in schools and universities? It is a known fact that many of these senseless acts of violence can be attributed to our young people living in a fantasy world.
Fr. John Hollowell from Indiana
The sci-fi thriller “The Matrix” was a film about an alternate world that seemed real to those living in it. One of the characters was rescued from the “fake world” but wanted to go back in. I see this in many young people today – video games are so realistic that people often times desire to “live” in them, but this can only be damaging. God is encountered only in reality, and so those who are enslaved by electronic realities can not encounter God unless they return to the real world where God is to be found.
Originally posted at: Catholic Household
Spiritual Warfare Is Not For The Faint Of Heart!
Father Richard Heilman – “The time is now to prepare an elite fighting force, surrendering to God and then allowing His grace to invade every aspect of our lives.” Admission into Christ’s elite fighting force begins by knowing that by your baptism you have been commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ to fulfill a most dramatic mission; it is the mission of saving souls. This mission cannot be accomplished without entering into conflict with ‘the world, the flesh and the devil.’ It is not a mission for the fainthearted or for those who wish to take the wide road to heaven. It is the path of warfare, of spiritual battle.
“Holiness,” wrote Benedict XVI, “has its deepest root in the grace of baptism, in being grafted on to the Paschal Mystery of Christ, by which His Spirit is communicated to us, His very life as the Risen One.” Jesus Christ is the one Whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and established as priest, prophet, and king. The whole People of God participates in these three offices of Christ and bears the responsibilities for mission and service that flow from them. (CCC 783).
From the very first days of our membership in the Mystical Body of Christ, we are, in essence, commissioned officers in the Church Militant. In other words, the power of the Holy Spirit to combat evil and rescue souls proceeds precisely through the three offices of Christ: Priest, Prophet, and King.
Office Of Priest
The first office we receive in baptism is that of priest (the priesthood of the laity). Fr. Robert Barron says, “A priest prays for others, intercedes, and performs sacrifices. Priests are border walkers. They walk the border between heaven and earth. They are mediators as friends of God and friends of the human race. They bring divinity and humanity together. It means you must be a person of prayer — intercessory prayer — prayer on behalf of others. It pleases God to channel His providential care precisely through us and through the instrumentality of our prayer.”
Whether it’s a Navy SEAL or a Saint, we admire those who put it all on the line — go “all in!” — those who are totally dedicated to the mission. In the military, this dedication is revealed in the “Warrior Ethos,” four simple lines embedded in the Soldier’s Creed:
- I will always place the mission first.
- I will never accept defeat.
- I will never quit.
- I will never leave a fallen comrade.
The last line of the Warrior Ethos, “I will never leave a fallen comrade,” is really striking. When I read this, I think of recent Medal of Honor recipients who reportedly ran through a hail of bullets to rescue their comrades from the clutches of the enemy. It is very similar in the spiritual realm.
When our loved ones are “dead in sin,” they are not only separated from God, but they lose their desire to seek God. Some become so far removed from God that they find repulsive all things spiritual. So, prayer, Holy Mass, spiritual reading, etc. all become boring and, to some, even detestable when they are dead inside: no Divine Life. They are, quite literally, caught behind enemy lines (imprisoned in their worldliness) with no way out unless some campaign of search and rescue is launched.
Pope Francis refers to the Church as a “field hospital after the battle.” Does our love, care, and concern for them extend to their eternal salvation? Pray unceasingly for them!
Remember the Warrior Ethos: “I will never leave a fallen comrade!”
Office of Prophet
The second office we receive in baptism is that of prophet. Fr. Robert Barron says, “A prophet is someone who speaks for God. Their task is to speak God’s word, in season and out (whether that word is popular or not). It means you should be a reader of theology and spirituality so that you might, as St. Peter put it, ‘give a reason for the hope that is in you.’ We’re living in a time when religion is under attack. If someone challenged you, could you give a reason for the hope that is in you?”
For Pope Leo XIII, to be a prophet means we are “born for combat”:
“To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. The only ones who win when Christians stay quiet” he says, “are the enemies of truth. The silence of Catholics is particularly disturbing because frequently a few bold words would have vanquished the false ideas.”
The element of surprise often catches us off-guard when faced with an opportunity to defend the faith from attacks or admit why our faith is so important to us. Those moments often come and go rather quickly. This is why it is essential for us to make the necessary preparations by developing short but powerful statements or quotes that really leave, in a brief moment, a spiritual mark on the recipients. In the public relations world, these are called “talking points.” Or, as Pope Leo XIII called them, “a few bold words.”
A talking point in a debate or discourse is a succinct statement designed to persuasively support one side taken on an issue. Such statements can either be free-standing or created as retorts to the opposition’s talking points. Yes, you should study theology and spirituality but, like arrows in your quiver, you must have these talking points prepared and memorized, ready to fire. More than anything else, before ever opening your mouth, take a deep breath and ask the Holy Spirit to speak through you in love.
Office of King
The third office we receive in baptism is that of king. A king is someone who leads others to God. A good king is someone who leads by example. A good king is someone who puts those in his charge ahead of himself. Christ the King said, “I have not come to be served, but to serve.” And then He got down on His hands and knees and washed the dirty feet of His disciples. He told them, “You want to be great? Then be the slave of the rest.” (Mt 20:27-28, Jn 13:4-5)
As Jean-Baptiste Chautard recounts in his book “The Soul of The Apostolate”, Pope St. Pius X was conversing with a group of his cardinals one day. The pope asked them:
“What is the thing we most need, today, to save society?”
“Build Catholic schools,” said one.
“More churches,” said another.
“Speed up the recruiting of priests,” said a third.
“No, no,” said the pope. “The most necessary thing of all, at this time, is for every parish to possess a group of laymen who will be at the same time virtuous, enlightened, resolute, and truly apostolic.”
Chautard continues, “Further details enable us to assert that this holy pope at the end of his life saw no hope for the salvation of the world unless the clergy could use their zeal to form faithful Christians full of apostolic ardor, preaching by word and example, but especially by example. In the diocese where he served before being elevated to the papacy, he attached less importance to the (count) of parishioners than to the list of Christians capable of radiating an apostolate. It was his opinion that shock troops could be formed in any environment.”
“Shock troops” (or assault troops) is actually a military term that refers to infantry formations, along with supporting units, created to lead an attack. Consider the Allied Forces of World War II moving toward the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. That first wave of men knew full well that their chances were extremely poor of ever leaving that beach alive, but they knew somebody needed to go first. It is no less than profound that the holy Pope St. Pius X would use a military term, shock troops, to describe the most necessary need of our times. The pope was resolute in acknowledging that we are in spiritual warfare as he calls for an uncommon valor willing to be the tip of the spear, the vanguard.
In other words, we need warrior saints unafraid “to lead.”
Originally posted at: One Peter Five.com
Our Fight Is Not Against Flesh And Blood, But Against Powers And Principalities!
By Christine Dhanagom, DENVER, CO, April 23, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Prayerbooks, rosaries, and pro-life pamphlets are a common sight outside Planned Parenthood’s massive facility in downtown Denver, but this year, local organizers of this spring’s Forty Days for Life campaign decided that one last piece was missing to bring the light of Christ to the country’s second largest abortion facility: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
The idea to celebrate the Catholic Mass in front of Planned Parenthood came from Fr. Joseph Hearty, Assistant Pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in nearby Littleton, who felt that it was time to “pull out the big guns.” It was, he told LifeSiteNews, an inspiration from the Holy Spirit.
“If we can pray the rosary, why not offer the Mass, why not use the Mass and the Eucharist as a means of fighting this tragedy,” he said. “Why not use the most powerful means that we have?”
As it turned out, the idea energized the local pro-life community far beyond what organizers had expected. Fr. Hearty planned for thirty attendees at his first Mass on March 3rd, and got a hundred.
Providentially, an empty parking lot right across the street from the Planned Parenthood owned by a pro-life couple was big enough to accommodate the crowd.
As a member of the traditional Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, Fr. Hearty celebrated the traditional Latin Mass, known as the Tridentine Mass. Diocesan priests have also gotten in on the action, though, with six different Masses offered in the parking lot during the Forty Day campaign in English and Spanish. All six Masses were well attended, averaging between fifty and a hundred persons.
A March 31st closing rally kicked off with a Spanish Mass, followed by a rosary led by Bishop James Conley, apostolic administrator for the Denver Archdiocese. In comments at the rally, Bishop Conley urged pro-lifers to vigilance as Planned Parenthood continues to build “mega-plex death mills” across the country, the Denver Catholic Register reports.
According to the Register, over 300 people attended the rally, which ended with a second Latin Mass celebrated by Fr. Hearty. There were so many at the final Mass that the priest returned to the altar four times to break up the hosts for distribution before finally running out.
The popularity of the idea, says Fr. Hearty, is a sign that “people really want to do something.” He hopes the idea will spread, and in particular that clergy in other parts of the country will be inspired to become more involved in pro-life work.
“That’s our vocation,” he said. “We’re there to mediate, and we’re there to lead, and we’re there to encourage.”
As for the effort in Denver, organizers are hoping to build on the momentum and establish a regular schedule of Masses in front of the clinic, continuing to wage spiritual warfare against the nation’s largest abortion provider.
“Our fight is not against the world, it’s against principalities and darkness, it’s against evil, it is against the devil,” says Fr. Hearty. “Why not make a few demons quake?”
More Abortions Will Not Solve Our Problems!
Archbishop Gregory Aymond
On the weekend of February 1-2, Archbishop Aymond published the following letter (published here with slight editing) asking Catholics, and the people of New Orleans, not to participate with Planned Parenthood in their aim of building a regional abortion facility on Claiborne Avenue. The letter was published on the front page of the Clarion Herald (Catholic newspaper in New Orleans), in an ad in a local newspaper called the New Orleans Advocate, and on the home page of the Archdiocese’s website.
My brothers and sisters in Christ:
In March, 2013, the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans participated in an awareness campaign regarding Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. Planned Parenthood is set to construct a 7,000-8,000 square foot facility at 4636 S. Claiborne Avenue near Napoleon Avenue in New Orleans. Although Planned Parenthood does not currently perform abortions in Louisiana, they have publicly stated that they will be performing abortions at this new facility and that it will be the largest of its kind in Louisiana. They intend to open in 2014.
In 2011, Planned Parenthood performed over 330,000 abortions across the U.S., representing over 1/3 of our nation’s abortions every year. Moreover, for every 145 abortions that Planned Parenthood performs, they facilitate only one adoption referral. Nine out of ten pregnant women who enter the doors of a Planned Parenthood facility have an abortion.
A New Construction permit was given final approval by the City of New Orleans on December 5, 2013. Documentation filed with the City Department of Safety and Permits provides substantial detail as to the design of the facility. According to records filed by Planned Parenthood’s Electrical Engineering Consultant, there will be “6 patient recovery areas…” Abortion industry experts have advised that this indicates Planned Parenthood could perform upwards of thirty (30) abortions per day. This is a staggering increase in the number of abortions in light of the 3,496 abortions performed in 2012 in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.
It has been the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church since the first century that abortion is a grave evil. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraph 2270 that:
2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.
We cannot be silent in view of the grave injustice presented by the abortions that will be performed at the proposed Planned Parenthood facility. The archdiocese is obliged to remind every person and organization involved in the acquisition; preparation and construction of this or any abortion facility that they are cooperating with the evil that will take place there. For this reason, the archdiocese, including its churches, schools, apartments for the elderly, and nursing homes, will strive in its privately-funded work not to enter into business relationships with any person or organization that participates in actions that are essential to making this abortion facility a reality. This policy applies to all businesses regardless of religious affiliation or non-affiliation. Our fidelity to Church teaching and our conscience necessitates this stance.
There is no justification, including economic hardship that will make a direct or indirect relationship with Planned Parenthood or any abortion provider, acceptable. Additionally, affiliation or support of Planned Parenthood by Catholics is a matter of serious scandal.
We will continue to pray for those that are blind to the destruction caused by abortion and invite those involved with Planned Parenthood to prayer and dialogue. There are many issues, from violence in the streets to poverty, which hurt this community. A regional abortion center will not solve our problems; it will only create more. This is not the future the New Orleans metropolitan area needs.
We hope that the community invested in the City of New Orleans and in her future, will join us in standing for life, not more abortion.
All citizens of the New Orleans area must stand together for a peaceful community, not one with more abortion and more Planned Parenthood.
Wishing You God’s Blessings, I am,
Sincerely in Christ,
Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond
Archdiocese of New Orleans.org
“And I Say To You, You Will Not Get Out Until You Have Paid The Last Penny”
Fr. Paul McDonald – THE LORD JESUS teaches us through His Church, that death marks the end of the earthly pilgrimage of man. Death marks the end of this life as the time when we can accept divine grace which is given to us in Christ. Death brings the end of the time of grace and mercy which God offers to us, so that we can realize the purpose of our existence. It is God’s plan that this life is when we decide our ultimate destiny. When “the unique course of our earthly life” has ended, we will not return to other earthly lives. “Man dies only once”. There is no “reincarnation” after this life.
After this life human beings will themselves be either among those who have responded to the love and mercy of God, or among those who have refused to accept grace right up to the end.
Among the friends of God who enter the next life, there are some who loved the Lord with all their hearts during this life, and there are some who truly loved Him, but imperfectly, with a divided heart; they need healing and purification before entering Paradise, and they have a preparation to make. Divine Mercy created Purgatory to accomplish this purification. “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1030).
But this is a family affair. We can help our sisters and brothers who find themselves amongst the poor souls. We can do so by our prayers, our sacrifices and our participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
Now here I have to admit something. I am afraid that one day a parishioner will visit me from the “other side”, saying, “Why didn’t you warn me? Why did you never teach or mention that the sufferings of the next life are severe, if we have treated God as optional or of secondary importance?” But I am not really expecting an extraordinary visit like that. What is for sure is that one day the Lord will Himself ask me such things. “Why, my son, did you not tell the whole truth to my People?” To avoid having to endure such scrutiny, I will try to repair what I have omitted…
I am not speaking for the moment of the mysterious suffering of the “fires of Purgatory” that Pope Paul VI speaks of in his Credo. I will go to the essential. This is about the sadness and the thirst of these souls, deprived for a time of seeing God face to face. He is the Supreme Good and the source of all that is good, the source of infinite and eternal joy, for which our souls were created, like our eyes are for the light.
The doctors are in agreement to say that in general the sufferings of the next life are very rigorous. The Doctor of the Church, St. Robert Bellarmine says that we must hold as certain that there is no comparison between the sufferings of this life and those of Purgatory. St. Augustine says so rather clearly in his commentary on Psalm 31: Lord, do not punish me in your anger, and do not reject me along with those to whom you will say: Go into the eternal fire; but do not punish in your anger: rather so purify me in this life, so that I don’t need to be purified in the next life. That ordeal will be terrible, that torment will be more unbearable than all one can suffer of what is sorrowful in this world.
That’s what St. Augustine says, and what St. Gregory, the Venerable Bede, St. Anselm and St. Bernard say after him. St. Thomas Aquinas goes even further and he holds that the least pain of Purgatory is greater than any pain of earth, no matter what they may be.
The author of the Imitation expresses this teaching by a practical and gripping sentence: “There, he says, one hour in torment will be more terrible than a hundred years here of the most rigorous penance.”
Let us practice charity towards the souls of the faithful departed so that we receive mercy in this life and in the next.
Originally posted at: The Remnant Newspaper
“Could You Not Spend One Hour With Me?”
By, Fr. Louis Guardiola, C.P.M. Have you ever been lonely? Have you ever felt depressed and suicidal? Do you think that no one cares for you or understands you? Do you think you can’t go on?
Jesus loves you, Jesus understands you, and Jesus cares for you from the infinite depths of His Divine spirit and Sacred Heart. Jesus waits for you to visit Him in the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus understands your loneliness and despair. Jesus was betrayed and abandoned on the cross by His best friends, the Apostles, in His hour of supreme need and trial. Let us not do what the Apostles did, but share our needs, our concerns, our weaknesses and put our troubles before Jesus and His Sacred Heart that eternally throbs with love for you and me. Put your troubled sons and daughters, spouses, brothers and sisters, friends and grandchildren, each one before Jesus Himself and dedicate them to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and by extension to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Jesus is there, body and blood, soul and divinity, really, truly and substantially present before us. Jesus listens to us on His Eucharistic throne with a human ear and loves us with His Sacred human Heart.
Jesus is your God-friend. Jesus is my God-friend. Jesus will never betray you, Jesus will never hate you, Jesus will never separate Himself from you, and Jesus totally understands you. Jesus is your best friend; Jesus is my best friend, forever loving us with a love that is not of this world. God is love, and He who abides in love abides in God and God in Him.
When we adore Jesus exposed in the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus dwells in us, lives in us in a very special way. We directly experience the comforting, consoling rays of His healing love and heart. He gives us directly the strength to go on, the courage to face our problems and the wisdom to know how to resolve them. Remember that the greatest saints and orators like St. Thomas Aquinas and Bishop Fulton Sheen did their most inspired work before the Blessed Sacrament. It was Bishop Fulton Sheen who established in the minds of the American clergy the necessity to spend one hour a day before the Blessed Sacrament to not only maximize, but also even to continue to persevere in their priestly vocation.
Do you recall the joy you experienced when in your loneliness an estranged son or daughter of yours came to visit you? The same joy a parent experiences from an unexpected visit is multiplied infinitely when we as His adopted sons and daughters in baptism visit Him in the Blessed Sacrament.
Jesus told the Apostles, “Could you not spend one hour with me?” in the garden of Gethsemane during His passion. Jesus tells us today, “Could you not spend one hour with me,” in this hour of the Church’s passion, this hour of scandal, dissensions, divisions, abortion, international terrorism, apostasy, etc., etc. Remember, fellow members of the Eucharistic Body of Christ: The Church is Christ. The Church is Jesus Christ extended into space and time.
I firmly believe that in Eucharistic adoration, whether it be one day a week, 40 hours or Perpetual Adoration, your hour of Eucharistic power, your hour of adoration, your hour of conference with the Lord of lords, the King of kings, really, truly and substantially present on His Eucharistic throne can and will change the world. I firmly believe that if every one of the billion plus Catholics in the world spent an hour one day a week before the Blessed Sacrament, every major crisis, every major scandal, abortion and acts of international terrorism would stop! Think about that!
There is power in numbers. We have the numbers and we have the Eucharistic power. We have the power of the very enfleshed love of God Himself, who redeemed us and the world, whose power of the resurrection continues today through the Eucharist that can and will totally transform the world. When we become Eucharistic adorers, we form an army, a Eucharistic army armed with the power of the Eucharist, the Body and Blood, soul and divinity, the real, true and substantial presence of Jesus Christ that transformed the world in the Resurrection and continues to do so today through the Holy Eucharist. When we become Eucharistic adorers, we form an army, a Eucharistic army armed with the power of the Eucharist, the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ Himself. When we become Eucharistic adorers, Jesus unleashes through us His very real grace and presence outward to the entire world, so that the world itself can become a holy tabernacle of the Lord.
Can you not spend one hour with Jesus for the salvation of the world? We do not ask you to sign your life away. Indeed, we ask you to sign your name in the book of life through Eucharistic adoration. Jesus asks you as He asked the Apostles, to spend one hour with Him, to become an Apostle of the Eucharist, a member of His Eucharistic army. If you do, you will never be alone again. Instead, you will grow day by day more holy, more convicted, more assured in your faith, more steadfast in the knowledge that you are a member in solidarity with Jesus Christ Himself and millions of Eucharistic adorers throughout the world. When you spend one hour with Jesus you walk with Him as two of the disciples did on the road to Emmaus. When you spend one hour with Jesus, you walk arm in arm with the other members of the mystical Eucharistic Body who happen to adore Him throughout the world at that same hour.
Come and pray to Jesus. Recite your favorite prayers, do some meditative reading or just bask in the healing rays of Jesus before you. St. John of the Cross-said, “One moment of pure love is more precious in the eyes of God and more profitable to the whole Church than all the good works put together.” Imagine what an hour can do! Allow Jesus to work through you. By your presence, your prayers and your sacrifice, have Christ’s grace reach through you into your family, into your parish, into your community, into our country, and even into purgatory. There are different levels of commitment to Eucharistic adoration. If after choosing a day, an hour, you have to change it or even volunteer as a substitute, that’s possible. The Lord has given us 168 hours in the week. Surely we can give one back to Jesus.
Originally posted at: Knights of the Holy Eucharist
One Priest’s Sobering Account Of The Afterlife!
Fr. Jose Maniyangat
For your discernment – A priest who saw heaven, hell, and purgatory on 4/14/85. The following is not a story coming out of the rumor mill. The priest whose testimony is given below is the pastor of a Catholic Church in Florida.
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Background On Father Maniyangat
A priest who saw heaven, hell, and purgatory The death experience of Father Jose Maniyangat Francais-Espanol Fr. Jose Maniyangat is currently the pastor of St. Catherine of Sienna Catholic Church in Orange Park, Florida. Here is his personal testimony:
I was born on July 16, 1949 in Kerala, India to my parents, Joseph and Theresa Maniyangat. I am the eldest of seven children: Jose, Mary, Theresa, Lissama, Zachariah, Valsa and Tom.. At the age of fourteen, I entered St. Mary’s Minor Seminary in Thiruvalla to begin my studies for the priesthood. Four years later, I went to St. Joseph’s Pontifical Major Seminary in Alwaye, Kerala to continue my priestly formation. After completing the seven years of philosophy and theology, I was ordained a priest on January 1, 1975 to serve as a missionary in the Diocese of Thiruvalla. On Sunday April 14, 1985, the Feast of the Divine Mercy, I was going to celebrate Mass at a mission church in the north part of Kerala, and I had a fatal accident. I was riding a motorcycle when I was hit head-on by a jeep driven by a man who was intoxicated after a Hindu festival. I was rushed to a hospital about 35 miles away. On the way, my soul came out from my body and I experienced death. Immediately, I met my Guardian Angel. I saw my body and the people who were carrying me to the hospital. I heard them crying and praying for me. At this time my angel told me: “I am going to take you to Heaven, the Lord wants to meet you and talk with you.” He also said that, on the way, he wanted to show me hell and purgatory.
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A Visit To Hell
First the angel escorted me to hell. It was an awful sight! I saw Satan and the devils, an unquenchable fire of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, worms crawling, people screaming and fighting, others being tortured by demons. The angel told me that all these sufferings were due to unrepented mortal sins. Then, I understood that there are seven degrees of suffering or levels according to the number and kinds of mortal sins committed in their earthly lives. The souls looked very ugly, cruel and horrific. It was a fearful experience. I saw people whom I knew, but I am not allowed to reveal their identities. The sins that convicted them were mainly abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, hatefulness, unforgiveness and sacrilege. The angel told me that if they had repented, they would have avoided hell and gone instead to purgatory. I also understood that some people who repent from these sins might be purified on earth through their sufferings. This way they can avoid purgatory and go straight to heaven. I was surprised when I saw in hell even priests and Bishops, some of whom I never expected to see. Many of them were there because they had misled the people with false teaching and bad example.
Next Stop Purgatory
After the visit to hell, my Guardian Angel escorted me to purgatory. Here too, there are seven degrees of suffering and unquenchable fire. But it is far less intense than hell and there was neither quarreling nor fighting. The main suffering of these souls is their separation from God. Some of those who are in purgatory committed numerous mortal sins, but they were reconciled with God before their death. Even though these souls are suffering, they enjoy peace and the knowledge that one day they will see God face to face. I had a chance to communicate with the souls in purgatory. They asked me to pray for them and to tell the people to pray for them as well, so they can go to heaven quickly. When we pray for these souls, we will receive their gratitude through their prayers, and once they enter heaven, their prayers become even more meritorious. It is difficult for me to describe how beautiful my Guardian Angel is. He is radiant and bright. He is my constant companion and helps me in all my ministries, especially my healing ministry. I experience his presence everywhere I go and I am grateful for his protection in my daily life.
Heaven Next, my angel escorted me to heaven passing through a big dazzling white tunnel. I never experienced this much peace and joy in my life. Then immediately heaven opened up and I heard the most delightful music, which I never heard before. The angels were singing and praising God. I saw all the saints, especially the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, and many dedicated holy Bishops and priests who were shining like stars. And when I appeared before the Lord, Jesus told me: “I want you to go back to the world. In your second life, you will be an instrument of peace and healing to My people. You will walk in a foreign land and you will speak in a foreign tongue. Everything is possible for you with My grace..” After these words, the Blessed Mother told me: “Do whatever He tells you. I will help you in your ministries.” Words can not express the beauty of heaven.. There we find so much peace and happiness, which exceed a million times our imagination. Our Lord is far more beautiful than any image can convey. His face is radiant and luminous and more beautiful than a thousand rising suns. The pictures we see in the world are only a shadow of His magnificence.. The Blessed Mother was next to Jesus; She was so beautiful and radiant. None of the images we see in this world can compare with Her real beauty. Heaven is our real home; we are all created to reach heaven and enjoy God forever. Then, I came back to the world with my angel.
Father’s Soul Returns To His Body
While my body was at the hospital, the doctor completed all examinations and I was pronounced dead. The cause of death was bleeding. My family was notified, and since they were far away, the hospital staff decided to move my dead body to the morgue. Because the hospital did not have air conditioners, they were concerned that the body would decompose quickly. As they were moving my dead body to the morgue, my soul came back to the body. I felt an excruciating pain because of so many wounds and broken bones. I began to scream, and then the people became frightened and ran away screaming. One of them approached the doctor and said: “The dead body is screaming.” The doctor came to examine the body and found that I was alive. So he said: “Father is alive, it is a miracle! Take him back to the hospital.” Now, back at the hospital, they gave me blood transfusions and I was taken to surgery to repair the broken bones. They worked on my lower jaw, ribs, pelvic bone, wrists, and right leg. After two months, I was released from the hospital, but my orthopedic doctor said that I would never walk again. I then said to him: “The Lord who gave me my life back and sent me back to the world will heal me.” Once at home, we were all praying for a miracle. Still after a month, and with the casts removed, I was not able to move. But one day while praying I felt an extraordinary pain in my pelvic area. After a short while the pain disappeared completely and I heard a voice saying: “You are healed. Get up and walk.” I felt the peace and healing power on my body. I immediately got up and walked. I praised and thanked God for the miracle. I reached my doctor with the news of my healing, and he was amazed. He said: “Your God is the true God. I must follow your God.” The doctor was Hindu, and he asked me to teach him about our Church. After studying the Faith, I baptized him and he became Catholic. Following the message from my Guardian Angel, I came to the United States on November 10, 1986 as a missionary priest. I am currently the parish priest at St. Catherine Of Sienna Parish in Orange Park, FL.
Originally posted at EWTN.com (with editing)
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Catholics Are Called To Live By The Spirit And Letter Of The Law!
Fr. John A. Hardon S.J. – In almost any group of Catholics today, one hears the question frequently asked, “Are you a conservative or liberal Catholic?” Or perhaps it is posed, “Are you charismatic?” Then again the speaker may interrogate his audience about his familiarity with renewals, retreats, liberation theology, centering prayers, Cursillo or any other currently popular movement or practice within the Church. Oftentimes people feel that the answer to such a question involves deep philosophical pondering. Semantics aside, there can be only one answer to these questions. But before that reply is supplied, and its rationale, one need examine the rather bizarre practice of describing our faith in social and political terms and the implications of such nomenclature.
Considering one’s self to be or, conversely, labeling others conservative or liberal in matters of faith is of relatively recent vintage. While these terms have a history of application within the political spheres, probably not until the aftermath of Vatican Council II did they become affixed to attitudes and beliefs among members of the Catholic Church. Prior to that time, the People of God were known either as practicing Catholics or fallen away Catholics. The implication was that the former were on a path of continually honing themselves toward perfection; the latter had somehow slipped through the cracks, but hope remained that they could yet see the Way, the Truth, and the Light. This dichotomous assessment was easily identifiable by others as well as by one’s self. One either totally accepted Catholic dogma and tradition as a package deal or not at all. So it could not easily be said that before recent ecclesiastical developments any political mindset in religious matters even existed.
Subsequent to Vatican II, many Catholics seemed to become increasingly more vocal. Pope Paul VI’s emphasis on human interest, in itself just, was soon to be denuded of any vestige of Christian transcendence and replaced by a materialistic and humanistic interpretation. The aggiornamento or updating desired by John XXIII was designed to aid the Church to “open its windows.” The gentle breeze he foresaw entering the Church quickly became a violent storm of juxtaposed philosophies. Ecumenism, once considered the hope for reunification among separated Christian brethren, came to mean a homogenization of beliefs, bland and innocuously nonspecific, so they could be readily acceptable to any denomination. Concern for the poor amplified itself, festered, and oozed out as Liberation Theology which, in essence, can be seen as nothing less than Marxist ideology replete with an acceptance of violence and guerilla war overtones thinly disguised by a veneer of social justice. Despite these perversions, or perhaps even because of them, many Catholics felt the need to align themselves with either one viewpoint or the other of what was increasingly appearing as a major rift between opposing factions. As this division became more obvious, each side waxed more strident in its declarations and more extreme in the outward manifestations of its beliefs. This gave rise to the variety of practices easily observable today.
The left of Rome, liberal Catholic manifests his faith in several unique public expressions. Often he is associated with causes such as gay rights, feminism, euthanasia, and a plethora of others. His religion is an umbrella which encompasses saving whales, recycling inorganic materials, worrying about CIA involvement in Latin American governments, humanizing bureaucratic organizations, and awaiting a cosmic Christ. The unity he envisions in the new world order has little if any linkage to the one bread, one body in which the religion he supposedly espouses was based. In his alleged concern for all rights, he supports many wrongs. Endorsed by him would be a church in which a non-gender-specific liturgical “service” is led by a female priest, assisted by altar girls for a congregation which consisted of those who hold disparate beliefs all of which were democratically allowed under the guise of freedom from the patriarchal system whose leadership, outdated and outmoded, was yet based in Rome.
At the opposite end of the belief spectrum is the conservative Catholic whose actions and opinions are always right (of center, that is). SSPX epitomizes for them the essence of strict adherence to the true faith. Just as their hands will not be sullied in an exchange of peace nor receive the Eucharist from a priest or (heaven forbid) an extraordinary minister, so too will their minds remain untouched by any of the allowable innovations inaugurated by the Second Vatican Council. As if the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered in the language of the laity instead of Latin were not bad enough, what could be said of the scandal of speaking in tongues and other manifestations of the charismatic Catholic? In practice much like strict interpreter of the Constitution, this believer professes only that which is explicitly expressed in the Ten Commandments of in Canon Law; all that which is tacitly implicit is not a viable worship option.
Extremist beliefs of any sort are always dangerous and often fatal to the institution with which they are associated. The either/or fallacy is always just that—a meretricious assignment of validity to one point of view with the attendant obliteration of any counter system. This blindness lends itself to a bigotry quite often found in social and political systems, but no such taint should ever be allowed to mar our religious and ethical behaviors.
A question similar to those which began this essay was posed to a Catholic priest just recently. In response to the query, “Father, are you a conservative or liberal Catholic,” he replied, “I’m a Roman Catholic. I follow the guidelines of the Vatican.” The holder of the Petrine Office is the direct descendent of Peter to whom were handed the keys of the kingdom. His mandate is clear; our duty as Roman Catholics is to adhere to both the letter and the Spirit as the Holy Father delineates them for us, not pick and choose those aspects of Catholicism more to our liking. As 2 John 9 reminds us, anyone who “does not remain rooted in the teaching of Christ does not possess God, while anyone who remains rooted in the teaching possesses both Father and the Son.”
Originally posted at: The Real Presence.org