Canada Bishop Makes Powerful Statement

‘We Will Not Be Bullied’

The Diocese of London is telling the federal government to keep its money.

Bishop Ronald Fabbro

Bishop Ronald Fabbro, the head of the Diocese of London, has indicated Catholic churches in the region will take a stand against controversial changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program by not participating this year.

Religious groups across Canada have been speaking out over a new clause introduced in December that requires applicants of the program to sign an attestation on abortion and LGBTQ2 rights.

“I believe that we need to take a stand against the position of the Government of Canada, and say that we will not be bullied into even the appearance of collusion on this issue,” Fabbro said in a letter released Tuesday. “While others may take an alternative path, we can make a powerful statement by saying ‘no’ to the conditions as set down by the government.”

Fabbro went on to write that the Diocese is asking the government to remove or change the attestation, which he calls “a regrettable infringement of freedom of conscience and religion.”

Not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers, and small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees can apply for funding to hire students through the program. But the new attestation states that their organization’s core mandate and all duties of the job be respectful of individual human rights. That includes reproductive rights, and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

The Diocese of London, through various groups, had been planning to apply for just under $35,000 in grants from the program. Fabbro hopes churches can raise that amount of money on their own.

“Monies collected would be portioned out accordingly to those who intended to apply to the [Canada Summer Jobs] program. I am confident that we can respond to this challenge, pooling our resources to support our camps, our interns in the Archives office and in IT services, and our youth in general,” Fabbro stated.

The deadline to apply for funding through the Canada Summer Jobs program is Friday.

Contraception: Planned Parenthood’s Little Baby

Father Acervo’s Corner:

One could say that 1968 was a memorable year (I say this as one who had not been born yet).  Locally, it was the year that the Tigers beat the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games to win the World Series.  This might be a nice memory to hold on to during what could be a tough season for our baseball club!  In the Church, 1968 was the year that Pope Paul VI wrote his Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae(“Of Human Life”).  This letter sent shockwaves in the Church throughout the world and continues to do so fifty years later.  From the moment that it was promulgated, Humanae Vitae was mocked and derided as “controversial” and “divisive”.  It was rejected by many even in the Church.  Many clergy refused or were afraid to preach on it. Today, there are still dissenters even within the Church who call it “outdated”.  We need to pray that the pope won’t succumb to any calls to “update” Paul VI’s encyclical which affirms the Church’s unchangeable teaching on the transmission of human life.  So where are we now fifty years later?

Unfortunately, contraception has become the norm in our modern culture.  It wasn’t always that way.  As recently as the early part of the 20th century, contraception was almost universally acknowledged as immoral.  Even those who didn’t consider themselves religious saw contraception as unnatural.

History

Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s Founder, was a champion for the contraception mentality.

But then a movement in favor of contraception began to form led in large part by Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood.  They cited things like economic burden, overpopulation, the potential for greater freedom for those who choose career over family, greater harmony and peace in married life if couples weren’t “burdened” by children, and the promise of taking control over our bodies – which are not really ours, but the Lord’s – through science and technology (“fake news” existed back then too).  But what mostly fueled the movement was a desire to de-moralize the culture paving the way for people to do whatever they wanted seemingly free from all consequence.

Unfortunately, many yielded to the increased pressure to accept contraception.  The Christian community, however, resisted.  But in 1930 at the Lambeth Conference, the leadership of the Anglican church caved and approved the use of contraception.  One by one, other Christian denominations followed suit.  The Catholic Church, however, remained steadfast, and today she almost alone in the world condemns contraception as being intrinsically evil.  Like the Lord Himself, the Catholic Church is a sign of contradiction (cf. Lk 2:34).  In response to the contraceptive movement, Pope Pius XI wrote his 1930 Encyclical, Casti Conubii (“On Christian Marriage”), affirming Church teaching that the primary natural end of the marital act is procreation and that any unnatural means used to deliberately frustrate God’s plan for marriage is intrinsically sinful.

The contraceptive movement, however, continued to gain momentum and by 1950 had all but won over public opinion.  The Catholic Church would feel increased pressure as it was the last major Christian denomination to remain condemning the practice.  The pill would be released not long after to the public which would fuel the sexual revolution of the 1960’s.  The convenience of the pill removed the need for self-discipline and abstinence and started the culture on the path of accepting and normalizing the “hook-up” culture, abortion, divorce, and same-sex unions.  One worries about what will be next (#genderconfusion)

It was in that culture that Paul VI wrote Humanae Vitae reaffirming and further clarifying that contraception is an intrinsically evil act.  Pope St. John Paul II would continue to reaffirm the Church’s teaching on life in his Theology of the Body – a series of instructions that explained the Church’s vision (which is really God’s vision) of the human person, marriage, family, and life.  Marital love, he said, must be free, total, faithful, and fruitful.  Contraception is none of these.

It’s called contraception because it is “against conception”, meaning that it is an act against the beginning of new human life.   It is also against marriage and the family.  Recall that Sr. Lucia of Fatima said that “the decisive battle between the kingdom of Christ and Satan will be over marriage and the family” and that “those who work for the good of the family will experience persecution and tribulation”.  We must be on the right side of this battle.

Fifty years later, we are still experiencing the terrible fruits of contraception.  In Humanae Vitae (paragraph 17), Pope Paul VI made certain predictions about what the consequences of contraceptive use would be. He argued (in 1968) that there would be more marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards, that more men would forget the reverence due to women, instead considering them mere instruments for the satisfaction of desire (Hollywood may just be figuring this out.  Maybe), and that governments “who care little for the precepts of the moral law” might adopt coercive population control measures (“they may even impose their use on everyone”).

As Catholics, we must be faithful to God’s divine plan for marriage and family, that the marital act was created by God to strengthen the bond between husband and wife and to beget children (“babies and bonding”).  This would be a good year for all of us to take another look (or perhaps a first look) at Humanae Vitae and pray for the courage to follow God’s plan for life and love.

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Acervo

On “Coming Out” From the Pulpit

A Healthy Approach to Same Sex Attraction

Here is a good response to the National Catholic Reporter on a priest “coming out” on the pulpit.

By Father Nathan Reesman, In Exile:

Father Nathan Reesman

For a few years now I have had the privilege to walk with men and women who experience same sex attraction, and who desire to live an integrated life of wholeness and joy, in fidelity to the demands of chastity.

They do not like the terms “gay” or “lesbian” because they understand that whole, healthy persons do not reduce themselves to their mere parts, or to labels that can put them in boxes for years to come.

These same men and women also understand the pitfalls of sharing their own sexual struggles and attractions with wide audiences. Occasionally some of them may prayerfully discern the need for a carefully delivered witness talk about their story in support of the Church’s teachings, but such situations should be the exception rather than the norm. In our modern culture where the prevailing approach to sexuality is to speak without restraint, the people that I walk with attempt to take a very different approach that treats such topics with the delicacy, modesty, and sacred veiling that they deserve. We are not meant to live as though we are turned inside out, and doing so is not necessary for healthy integration.

There is wisdom in their approach, and it is one many of them have learned the hard way. Their approach is also the recommended pastoral approach of the Catholic Church, grounded in centuries of careful study of the human condition, and guided by the unbroken truth of revelation.

The men and women who experience same sex attraction, seeking to live life in the way that Divine revelation clearly points out to us, are aware that it is very easy to awaken unhealthy desires in themselves, and others, when they dwell on the topic of sexuality too openly and too often. Doing so feeds the appetite for stimulation and unchastity, glamorizing ways of acting and thinking that blur our reason and vision.

The men and women I walk with are keenly aware of the deep emotional wounds that frequently accompany their particular situation, which means they spend a great deal of time working to avoid attention seeking behavior. They know how tempting it is to make their sexual struggles or personal wrestling into a focal point.   Their self knowledge leads them to work hard at focusing on the countless other facets of life that do not directly intersect with their sexuality.

They are also wary of being used and manipulated for other people’s agendas, especially that of the gay lobby. Many of them have been used already in life due to sexual wounds, and they have no desire to become a pawn in the manipulative game of identity politics that is sweeping the culture and now the Church as well.

“Coming Out” Makes Healthy Integration Even More Difficult

For all of these reasons, and many more, these men and women do not make a point of identifying themselves as “gay.” It is precisely because they wish to be known as more than a label, and known as son or daughter of God first and foremost, that they quietly choose to deal with their struggles in the protected and appropriate zone of private spiritual direction, the confessional, and a trusted support group.

This is why the best pastoral approach that the Church can suggest to people who experience same sex attraction is NOT to “come out” as “gay.” Doing so only leads to more confusion, pain, and emotional frustration. It is not in accord with the virtue of chastity, or the dignity of discretion that we are all called to. It does not lead to wholeness, joy, or healing but rather the reverse.

Is there such a thing as a “Gay Celibate?”

All of the above is adequate reason to be troubled whenever a Catholic priest chooses to “come out” at Mass, from the pulpit, to his congregation. Doing so is a wildly unhealthy thing for any man who experiences same sex attraction as our pastoral practice over the years has shown again and again.

In the case of a priest, however, the situation is even more acute.

Priests should know that the people in the pews have the right to receive, at Mass, the unbroken teachings of the Catholic Church, rather than being forced to make a false choice between supporting or abandoning a priest who willfully makes the occasion of a homily about his own interior struggles that are best left dealt with in the internal forum of spiritual direction and pastoral counseling.   Being forced to make a judgment about the needs of a priest of God, their shepherd, causes deep wounds to their faith and unleashes wave upon wave of confusion.

Granted it is easy to get confused about why we might want to be supportive of a priest, or any man, to do something so public. After all, the Church does recognize that people struggle, and we know that God has infinite patience for us as we strive after the life of goodness and virtue. Priests are weak men, too, that much is clear.

But, the priesthood, and a life of celibacy by its very unique and beautiful calling, can never be about exercising authority in order to meet the emotional needs of the minister. That is not the radical other-centered behavior that all priests (and all fathers, mothers, consecrated men and women) are called to.   The love and acceptance that any priest who “comes out” is seeking is never authentically discovered in such a radically self-revelatory act.

Only Christ can calm our restless inner need for earthly affirmation. And he does so most keenly as we strive to assent to the truth of his revelation about human nature. For married couples this assent to revelation finds its proper context in the marital embrace and in the daily lived sacramental reality of married life, and even then the Church recognizes this state to be only a temporary one, confined to this life.

The celibate priest, on the other hand, must find the healing and affection his heart desires in the context of radically other-centered shepherding, as he is conformed more and more to Christ the priest who offers himself as a pure sacrifice for the salvation of all. And even then, at the core of celibacy is an intentional ache that priests must rest within, deliberately, so that they can realize most deeply that it is Christ for whom they, and all humanity, longs.

To speak of a “gay celibate” is theologically, pastorally, and emotionally confusing and incoherent. One term, “gay,” is about an identity reduced to categories and misplaced emphases. The other term, “celibate,” is about a calling to the highest levels of other-centered integration and wholeness. The two terms are fundamentally incompatible.

If an ordained priest does happen to experience same sex attractions, then there are some essential points to abide by based on the Church’s pastoral wisdom. Firstly, the answer for him is not to adopt such a reductionist label as “gay.” Also, it is unwise for him to satisfy his emotional thirst for acceptance by forcing his flock to minister to the minister. The priest must also know that the path to wholeness can never take the form of strident rejections of the Church’s teachings. Wholeness comes only by embracing them. Lastly, a priest should not adopt a public label that will follow him for the rest of his ministerial assignments causing no small amount of confusion, questioning, and conflict as he lives out the remainder of his ministry.

Essentially, a priest who experiences same sex attractions must do what any other man with his same inclinations must do. He must handle it in a subtle, gentle, prayerful, discreet, and private network of healthy support, in accord with the Church’s best pastoral practices.

Advising a priest not to “come out” has nothing to do with rejecting struggles. It has nothing to do with some refusal to accept people. On the contrary, it has everything to do with the best of pastoral practices that we have learned are essential for fostering the healing and wholeness that God desires for us all.

Religious Leaders Affirm Beauty of Being “Created Male and Female”

Dear Friends:

As leaders of various communities of faith throughout the United States, many of us came together in the past to affirm our commitment to marriage as the union of one man and one woman and as the foundation of society. We reiterate that natural marriage continues to be invaluable to American society.

We come together to join our voices on a more fundamental precept of our shared existence, namely, that human beings are male or female and that the socio-cultural reality of gender cannot be separated from one’s sex as male or female.

We acknowledge and affirm that all human beings are created by God and thereby have an inherent dignity. We also believe that God created each person male or female; therefore, sexual difference is not an accident or a flaw—it is a gift from God that helps draw us closer to each other and to God. What God has created is good. “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27).

A person’s discomfort with his or her sex, or the desire to be identified as the other sex, is a complicated reality that needs to be addressed with sensitivity and truth. Each person deserves to be heard and treated with respect; it is our responsibility to respond to their concerns with compassion, mercy and honesty. As religious leaders, we express our commitment to urge the members of our communities to also respond to those wrestling with this challenge with patience and love.

Children especially are harmed when they are told that they can “change” their sex or, further, given hormones that will affect their development and possibly render them infertile as adults. Parents deserve better guidance on these important decisions, and we urge our medical institutions to honor the basic medical principle of “first, do no harm.” Gender ideology harms individuals and societies by sowing confusion and self-doubt. The state itself has a compelling interest, therefore, in maintaining policies that uphold the scientific fact of human biology and supporting the social institutions and norms that surround it.

The movement today to enforce the false idea—that a man can be or become a woman or vice versa—is deeply troubling. It compels people to either go against reason—that is, to agree with something that is not true—or face ridicule, marginalization, and other forms of retaliation.

We desire the health and happiness of all men, women, and children. Therefore, we call for policies that uphold the truth of a person’s sexual identity as male or female, and the privacy and safety of all. We hope for renewed appreciation of the beauty of sexual difference in our culture and for authentic support of those who experience conflict with their God-given sexual identity.

Sincerely Yours:


Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera 

Bishop of Scranton
Chairman, USCCB Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs

The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach 
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America

The Rev. John F. Bradosky
Bishop
North American Lutheran Church

Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia
Chairman, USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth

Most Rev. James D. Conley
Bishop of Lincoln
Chairman USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage

The Rt. Rev. John A. M. Guernsey
Bishop, Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic
Anglican Church in North America

Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison
President
Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod

Imam Faizal Khan
Founder and Leader
Islamic Society of the Washington Area

Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz
Archbishop of Louisville
Chairman USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty

Melchisedek 
Archbishop of Pittsburgh
Orthodox Church in America

The Rt. Rev. Eric V. Menees

Bishop, San Joaquin
Anglican Church in North America

Rev. Eugene F. Rivers, III 
Founder and Director
Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies
Church of God in Christ

Rev. Dr. Gregory P. Seltz, PhD 
Executive Director
The Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty

The Rev. Paull Spring 
Bishop Emeritus
The North American Lutheran Church

Rev. Tony Suarez 
Executive Vice President
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

Very Rev. Nathanael Symeonides 

Ecumenical Officer
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

The Rev. Dr. L. Roy Taylor
Stated Clerk, General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in America

Andrew Walker 

Director of Policy Studies
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

The Rev. Dr. David Wendel 

Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism
The North American Lutheran Church

Paul Winter 
Elder
Bruderhof

Immaculate Conception: the Unprecedented Gift of God

The Immaculate Conception

By Fr. Tim Henderson:

The Immaculate Conception does not celebrate the virgin conception of Jesus Christ.  The Immaculate Conception does not celebrate the Virgin Mary’s yes to God, though there can be no doubt that that ‘yes’ is the most important ‘yes’ ever made by a human being.  What we celebrate is the Grace behind the ‘yes.’  We are often asked, ‘where does it say in Sacred Scripture that the Blessed Virgin Mary never sinned?’  Or to say it in the most accurate way possible, ‘where does it say that the Blessed Virgin Mary had the contagion of original sin, but that contagion never incubated into a full fledge virus of sin?’  To answer this, all we needed from our Gospel was, ‘Coming to her, [the Archangel Gabriel] said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”’  The translation to Latin from the original Greek leaves us with puny words.  The original Greek word can be translated into almost a full sentence, ‘you who were Graced in the past; you who are Graced now; and you who will be Graced into the future.  Or to say it another way, a way which completely eliminates any thought that this was only about the Blessed Virgin Mary being the Mother of God… you could also translate the Angel St. Gabriel’s words as, ‘you who have Grace perfected in you.’

And yet, I wondered, how can I further prove this unprecedented Gift of God to the world, and to the Blessed Virgin Mary her self?  What struck me, and perhaps the best way to show the Gift of Grace that God gave her, and us was the one place – the one place that the Blessed Virgin Mary speaks her understanding of God in more than just a sentence or two… where she really makes a statement to St. Elizabeth and indeed to the whole world.

If the Our Father is the prayer from the Mouth of the Savior, second to only the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, then this prayer called the Magnificat – from the mouth of the Blessed Virgin Mary comes in third.  It has many of the same elements or at least similar elements in this prayer as the Our Father.  And the two times she speaks of her self, she speaks only to praise God for what God has done on her behalf, and behalf of the whole world.  There is not a selfish part of this prayer.

‘Our Father who art in heaven’; Mary, ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…’ ‘the Almighty has done great things for me’.  ‘Hallowed be Thy Name’; Mary, ‘holy is his Name’.  ‘Thy Kingdom come, They Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven;’ Mary – well frankly, this whole prayer from the mouth of the Blessed Virgin Mary is about God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven.  ‘Give us this day, our daily bread’; Mary, ‘He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.’  ‘Forgive us of our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us’; Mary, ‘He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation’ – indeed from the beginning, Israel was told to forgive. ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil’; Mary, ‘He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.’  Through Christ, she – Mary – and us have been delivered from evil, the ‘promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.’

This is a perfect prayer – never selfish, always pointing to God, and similar and sometimes identical to what is stated in the Our Father.  Catholics often stand accused of making Mary into a goddess… but this prayer is our greatest insight to how Mary thought of her self – as being unfathomably Graced by God, and always… always in relationship to what God has done for her.  Her words reveal the workings of her heart and mind; it is our greatest insight into how God blessed this unfathomably Graced soul – and is similar to how Jesus asked us to pray.

‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.  From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.  He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation.  He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit.  He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly.  He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.  He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.’

Amen.’

Your 2018 Catholic Calendars, A Time Sensitive Offer

Attention Lovers of Our Catholic Faith:

Back by popular demand, the Courageous Priest family-run apostolate has been graced with the opportunity to share with you the 2018 Madonna Wall Calendar showcasing the works of 18th century French artist William Adolphe Bouguereau.  The new masterpiece this year is Catholic Iconography.

What Makes These Calendars So Special?

I fondly remember hearing a Dominican Sister of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist say that when you see true beauty, it turns your heart to the Heavenly Father’s House. Well, that is what these Catholic calendars have done.

First of all, without a doubt, they turn the heart to Heaven.

  • They are about our Catholic Faith. But, honestly, when you open the package the typical response is a heartfelt “WOW!” The quality of this calendar is rare.
  • You can really see the quality and professionalism. Remember the time when you were on vacation with your loved ones and you witnessed the most talented artisan creating the most remarkable craft?  It is like that.

You will love these!  These Catholic calendars honor both the new and traditional liturgical calendars, which mostly means Saints removed from the old calendar are recognized on this one. Without a doubt, I personally believe God the Father honors both liturgical calendars. It is such a good feeling to see powerful saints, like St. Philomena and St. Christopher, back in their proper places on the calendar. It’s just like rekindling a good friendship lost long ago.

These calendars also include the daily readings making it a spiritual work horse.

As our “Thank You” to you . . .

Your entire family, living and deceased, will be included in the 900 Christmas Mass Novena beginning on Christmas Eve which is offered by the Seraphic Mass Association.  Yes, that is correct, 900 Capuchin Masses including you in their special Mass intentions.

Testimonials!

“I absolutely love the calendar – the Pictures are just beautiful! Glad I bought it ! Thanx” – Patti W.

“Dear John and Regan, the calendar arrived today and it is everything said and more. Thank you” – Walter B. from Florida

“Can’t wait for my 2 calendars! I am so excited.” – Brian K. Australia

“The beautiful calendar arrived yesterday. It is everything you promised and then some. Some 22 years ago I discovered William Bouguereau and his gently beautiful paintings. Softness which comes from love of The Lord and of Our Blessed Mother is in all of his works. I am delighted that you have made a whole collection of his paintings available in the calendar. What a lovely way to start each new day…and a new month.” June S. from Idaho

“Your beautiful calendars arrived today. The pictures, as you said, are good enough to frame.” – Denise O. from Missouri


How much is it?

Your typical professional-quality calendars range from $14.95 to $21.95 with a higher than expected shipping and handling cost. Yes, you can find some for less, but we are asking you to help support the Courageous Priest family run apostolate. We don’t ask for donations, but we do ask for your purchase. We want it to be a fair price, so we are offering it for $14.95 plus shipping and handling. We hope that is fair enough.

To be honest, this a crazy big event for us.  We have sold a whopping 1500+ calendars.

20% Off for a Limited Time Only

This lovely calendar is perfect for the home or office and makes a great gift for Christmas or any occasion.   We are having people contacting us so they can order more for their loved ones.   So, here is what we are going to do for you.  When you buy 3 or more calendars you receive 20% off. Can you believe we had one generous soul order 50!  Please note that the 20% discount will be discontinued in December 1st.

Click HERE to support Courageous Priest and Buy the 2018 Madonna Calendar

or

Click HERE to Buy 3 or more at 20% Off

Please remember to enter the number of calendars you want.


Click HERE to support Courageous Priest and Buy the 2018 Iconography Calendar

or

Click HERE to Buy 3 or more at 20% Off

Please remember to enter the number of calendars you want.


 

Important: International Orders will be sent a PayPal invoice to cover additional shipping cost.  Give it a try, if you don’t agree with the extra shipping charges you can cancel the order.  To keep things simple, please pay the invoice in three days.   After that, we will automatically cancel the order with no hard feelings.

Do you want to mix and match? Just call 314-833-8371 and we will take care of it.

By the Way, We Have a Guarantee.

We Guarantee Your Satisfaction  – Buy it Risk-Free. You either absolutely love it or return it with a no-questions asked full refund. We want you 100% satisfied.

So, there you have it. Would you please do Courageous Priest and yourself a favor and buy this before the introductory low rate ends October 31rst.  We cannot tell you how much we greatly support your generosity.

May God, who is rich in Mercy, bless you.

John Quinn
Founder, Courageous Priest

P.S.  Please don’t wait. The early-bird special ends December 1st.  All orders will arrive before Christmas. Go ahead and please click on the links above. For questions or to order by check, please call 314-833-8371.

P.P.S. And don’t forget about the the 900 Christmas Mass Novena your family will be automatically enrolled.

P.P.P.S.   Don’t forget your friends and family. Over half of our purchases are going to loved ones.  And 20% off is hard to find on calendars before Christmas. The 20% off is for a limited time only.

Sharon from North Carolina said.

“After having just received one of your exquisite calendars of the Blessed Mother with the artwork of Bouguereau. We knew we’d enjoy having 5 more to give as gifts.”

 

Mary G

“I just purchased 8 calendars…..thank you!!! They look so beautiful! Gave these as gifts last year and they were a big hit. Doing the same this year. Thanks and
God Bless you and your families!!”

The 7 Deadly Sins

Catholic Journal, Fr. Joseph Esper:

The 7 Deadly Sins

The 7 Deadly Sins

Once there was a liberal clergyman who became pastor of a somewhat traditional church, and after a few weeks of listening to his modernistic, politically-correct preaching, some of his parishioners came to him and asked, “Reverend, do you believe in the devil and in hell?” The pastor scoffed at these ideas and responded, “No, of course not; those are silly medieval superstitions.” To this, the parishioners said, “Well, then, please resign and go somewhere else—for if there is no devil and no hell, we don’t need you, and if there is a devil and a hell, we don’t want to be led astray by you” (David F. Burgess, Encyclopedia of Sermon Illustrations, #451). The Church has always taught the reality of the devil, and the possibility of being eternally damned along with him as a result of the spiritual warfare he wages against us. For instance, Pope Francis has stated that the devil “exists in the 21st century, and we need to learn from the Gospel how to battle against him,” and also that “the presence of the devil is on the first page of the Bible, and the Bible ends as well with the presence of the devil, with the victory of God over [him].” It is not only mistaken, but also spiritually foolish—and potentially disastrous—to deny or ignore the devil’s existence. He hates each one of us personally, and is always plotting and working against us, seeking our eternal damnation. Only by remaining on guard against him, and by using the spiritual weapons and defenses the Lord provides us through the Church, can we be sure of defeating his attacks and of one day reaching our true home in heaven.

Jesus uses the image of weeds among the wheat to explain why evildoers are to be found in the world and even in the Church. However, it’s also possible to interpret this parable on a more personal basis: namely, Satan is trying to sow his evil seeds of sin and spiritual destruction in our own lives—and it’s our duty guard against this threat. The devil studies us very carefully, taking note of our strengths and weaknesses, our habits and inclinations, and he shrewdly chooses the particular temptations and attacks best suited to overcome us—all the while striving to work behind the scenes without us suspecting anything. Therefore, it’s good to ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten us. In this regard, we might ask ourselves: what particular evil seeds is the devil attempting to sow in the field of our lives?

The Church speaks of the “Seven Deadly Sins,” which are anger, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, and sloth or laziness. Every human being is weak or easily tempted in at least one of these areas, and probably several of them—and so these are usually the focus of the devil’s attacks.

  • In regard to anger, for instance, the devil wants us to nurse grudges and refuse to forgive other people, to become impatient with their failings, and to overreact to the things about them that annoy us.
  • Satan tries to use the sin of envy against us by getting us to compare ourselves with others, to adopt an “entitlement mentality,” and to consider ourselves better than those around us.
  • Because we Americans are, compared to most people, very self-indulgent, the devil has found gluttony to be a fertile field for his evil seeds. He tempts us to overdo life’s legitimate pleasures, to disdain or reject sacrifice and self-control, and to ignore other people’s poverty or suffering.
  • Greed is also a common weakness in our society, so Satan tempts us to want more money and possessions, more technology and convenience, and more luxury and leisure—when we should instead be concerned with storing up treasure for ourselves in heaven.
  • Lust is a particularly fertile field for the devil’s seeds; as Our Lady of Fatima revealed, more souls are in hell for sins against the 6th Commandment than any other. Satan is constantly tempting us to misuse sex, to glorify and expose our bodies, and to treat other people as objects for our own pleasure.
  • Pride is the sin which transformed Lucifer, the greatest of all the angels, into the hideous creature of Satan—and so the devil delights in using this sin against us. He wants us to think, “I’m superior to others, I know what’s best for me, and no one is going to tell me how to live my life”—for such attitudes make spiritual growth impossible, while causing us to reject the God-given authority and saving power of the Church.
  • Even if all these temptations fail, the devil will try to get us to fall victim to sloth, or spiritual laziness, in which we know we have to repent or take our spiritual duties more seriously, but we just can’t motivate ourselves to get started. Instead of striving for holiness, Satan wants us to settle for being good enough—for that may eventually allow him to turn us against God.

Other snares of the devil include poisoning our relationships, distracting us with this life’s concerns so that we’re always too busy or preoccupied to pay attention to God, making us afraid to do what’s right because of what other people might say, inflating our egos by appealing to our natural desire to be popular and praised by others, and trying to discourage us by convincing us we’ll never overcome our faults and that holiness is beyond our reach.

Farmers use weed-killers or pesticides to prevent or remove weeds in their fields, and fertilizer to nourish the crop and bring about the greatest possible growth. The most potent weed-killer against Satan’s evil seeds of spiritual destruction is humility. The more we humble ourselves, the more God’s grace can be at work within us, helping us overcome our faults and grow in holiness. In particular, frequently examining our consciences and regularly receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation will ensure the devil will not gain a solid foothold in our lives. As far as the spiritual fertilizer we need, worthily receiving Holy Communion each weekend is the single greatest thing we can do to be made ready for eternal life in heaven. Other valuable means of tending the field of our souls include reading the Bible and other worthwhile spiritual books, setting aside time for prayer every day, seeking God’s guidance in all our decisions, learning more about our Catholic faith, submitting to the authority of the Church on moral and religious issues, praying for the conversion of sinners and for the souls in purgatory, and cultivating a loving relationship with the Virgin Mary, our guardian angels, and our favorite saints. Satan is real; he is hate-filled and dangerous, and is conducting spiritual warfare against each of us personally. However, the devil is doomed to fail—if we take our faith seriously, and if we make a loving relationship with Jesus our highest priority.

Satan, Diabolical Nicety and You

Sword of Truth, by Fr. Nathan Siray,

In a short span of time, St. Peter went from being proclaimed  the steadfast Rock on which Jesus Christ would built His Holy Church to being rebuked as having the spirit of Satan within his
heart.

A false image of Satan.

When Christians hear the name Satan, they tend to think of the  devil as we commonly depict him: some sort of a red fiery goat creature with a pitchfork, pointed horns and in all honesty not all that frightening as he looks more like cartoon character than the Prince of Darkness. But the Jewish people thought of Satan in a different manner, based on the meaning of his name in Hebrew. The name Satan can be best translated as the accuser. They understood Satan to not be a fiendish centaur-like monster but instead a fallen angel who was the adversary of God but who was nonetheless permitted by God to act as an accuser against humanity.

In both the Book of Job and the Book of the Prophet Zechariah, we read how Satan was permitted to stand before the Throne of God, surrounded by the angelic court, and act as an accuser against the actions of humanity. God permitted His servants to undergo temptation and satanic manipulation and they proved to be faithful to God when put to the test.

Our Lord made frequent references to the activity and influence of Satan throughout His ministry, Himself undergoing temptation from the Evil One, and revealing how this adversary of God even tried to accuse Jesus of failing to act as God’s Son by not using His divine power to give himself bread to eat or to show how God would save Him from harm.

In rebuking St Peter and calling him a Satan, our Lord was showing a loving concern for the newly appointed leader of the Church in helping St Peter to realize that he, like the Devil, was acting as an accuser, by trying to dissuade Jesus from undergoing His Passion and regarding the coming of God’s Kingdom in all too human terms. St Peter had fallen under the influence of the cunning serpent and rightly needed to be rebuked by Christ, dispelling whatever satanic manipulation St Peter had undergone by once again saying Yes to the will of His Heavenly Father in accepting the royal road to the Cross and Resurrection.

If St. Peter, the Rock on which Christ built His church, was able to fall under the dark spell of the Evil One and become both an adversary and accuser against Christ, even if only for a passing moment, than we should not be surprised that Satan will look to deceive and manipulate other men and women in leadership positions and have them cause grave evil in the world.

Often, the machinations and deceiving influence of the Devil appears as actions that are seen as praiseworthy and good for society yet beneath these words and actions are what one could call “diabolical nicety.”

Take for example the recent actions of a prominent world leader, one that was baptized Catholic and has spoken of himself as being a practicing member of our Church in his own estimation. This world leader sent out a message on twitter recently congratulating Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States and elsewhere in the world, on their 100th anniversary and looked forward to their next 100 years, using the hashtag #100yearsstong. This tweet contained no words of profanity or overtly satanic references, but these words, as nice as they might sound, are sheer evil as this world leader gave thanks for 100 years of killing more than 100 million unborn children and hoped that the slaughter of the silent innocents will continue for another century. This is but one example of diabolical nicety, using politically correct language and appealing words like human rights, tolerance, progress, reproductive health and others to disguise and give praise for what is evil in the Lord’s sight.

Satan will not hesitate to use the powerful, elegant, attractive,  influential and ambitious of our world to continue the work of being the adversary and accuser of both God and His People. When a man or woman of incredible gifts and talents have not given their hearts to God and seek to serve first His kingdom and glory, than those gifts and talents can so easily be used by Satan, but more often than not disguised behind a smile and elegant words that sounds appealing and caring but in truth reek of evil and lies of hell.

Since the days of the Roman Caesars, who did not hesitate to kill God’s Holy People, both young and old, our Church has taken it upon herself to pray for men and women in positions of leadership. Be they political, religious, economic or media leaders, we, as God’s Holy People, must pray for the conversion of countless individuals who are carrying out the work of Satan in our world, most especially when these individuals are totally blind to the demonic influence that is compelling them to speak and act in a spirit of diabolical nicety. In addition to prayer and penance for these individuals, we  must also be courageous in acting out against the lies that they proclaim. We must make our voices heard when evil is promoted as good. We must manifest our faith for others to see and realize that doing so will cause people to hate us. We must give voice to those who have no means to speak. In all things, we must drown out the evil of this world in an abundance of good.

St. Peter might have allowed Satan to deceive him and cause him be become a momentary accuser and adversary of Christ. But we know he was reconciled to the Lord and remained faithful to Jesus, dying crucified upon on upside down Cross under the orders of the Emperor Nero, who is an example of a leader who had become a pawn of Satan.

Let us ask the Prince of the Apostles to intercede for all men and women of influence and power who have become adversaries of Jesus Christ, that they will recognize the evil they are doing and seek to repent and be reconciled back to Heart of Jesus Christ lest they face His dread judgment for their wicked and evil deeds.