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But the several resolutions Iíve made are small ones.† I must ask God for the grace to keep even the small ones because of myself† I cannot do it; but with His help I can.
One of my resolutions is to omit Coffeemate from my coffee every day.† Oh, I LOVE Coffemate in my coffee!† The Vanilla Nut flavor is my favorite!† I also want not to play solitaire on the computer (or anywhere) and not eat any sweets be they candy or sweet rolls.
With Godís help I think I can do the above.† I used to have WILL POWER, but in my older age I say I have WILT†POWER!
Yet all of the above are things I will DENY myself.† It is good, as well, to do something thatís positive for Lent and what I have selected for myself is to read something about Our Lordís Passion every day.† There is nothing better to strengthen oneís Faith in Godís love for us and how important to Him we are.† Furthermore, I remember Jesus telling Sister Faustina:† "If you meditate on My Passion, you will rise above the scorn of men."
Reading and meditating on the Passion and Death of Our Lord would strengthen us.† It would give us courage to endure our everyday sufferings.† It will strongly remind us that Jesus suffered everything we suffer (except sin).† He endured misunderstanding, contempt, rejection, disbelief, fatigue, cold, abuse -- even from those He helped and cured.
Reading and meditating on the Passion and Death of Our Lord will also be a strong reminder to us of how horrible sin is and that Jesus endured all to save us from hell.†
Many people today want to deny the existence of hell or say that hell is on this earth.† We only need to remind ourselves that the children of Fatima and Medjugorje were given a vision of hell and it scared them so much (far worse than any suffering they could endure in this life) that it was a powerful force for them to work out their own salvation and be a part of Godís Salvation Plan for others.
Hell is a real PLACE!† We have the visions and writings of the saints to confirm this and, of course, Our Lordís own Words.
The choice I have made for reading is Volume 5 of Maria Valtortaís THE POEM OF THE MAN-GOD.† Iíve read from it before and aside from the Scriptures there has never been an account of Our Lordís sufferings that has affected me more.
The first time I ever read from it, as to what happened to Our Lord before He was crucified and as He hung on the cross, I was affected so powerfully for a full day.
I highly recommend it to you and urge you not to be influenced by the criticisms (even from good people) this book has sometimes received.† It has been read by many reputable theologians who find in it nothing contrary to the teachings of the Church.
Have a holy Lent with good sacrifices and good reading! God bless you!
Jesus has gathered His apostles. I am given to understand that they are still at Lazarus' estate, but have gone to a remote corner for privacy.
Our Lady says that what is important to note here is the love, the desire to be faithful to Jesus. I see our dear Lord seated upon a stone bench benath the canopy of a leafy tree. The apostles have spread their mantles upon the ground, and are sitting on them, as close to Jesus as possible. John, the beloved discipline of pure heart, is next to Jesus, leaning against His right knee in an attitude of a trusting child, hungering for every word from His Master's lips. Peter is close, also. He is short of stature, but very intense, almost pensive. In fact, I am given to understand that all of the apostles, except John, are pensive. This is an interior agitation as they fight internally to deny or put off the reality that their Master, the Messiah, is soon to be condemned, to die, that Scripture might be fulfilled.
Our Lord knows well their interior struggle. But He is gentle and kind, constantly praying for them that their fear may dissipate and their faith be strengthened.
As our Lady directs me to look about I notice one apostle is leaning nonchalantly against an arbor over which vines have grown and whose cool greenery contrasts dramatically with his pompous attire and attitude.
This is Judas the Iscariot, Judas of Kerioth, who leans like a mischievous school boy, whose gaze is not fixed upon the Master, but whose eyes scan his brother apostles. There enfolds his lips a cynical smile, and then his entire attention wanders off, as if he were impatient for Jesus to be finished.
It troubles me greatly to look at Judas. But for now I am unable to look away. In his eyes, the cock of his head, the curve of his lips, the manner of his dress and his over-all posture, I see much of myself at various times of my life. I "see" with my soul's eyes the outer markings of pride. I "see" how this pride stiffens one's spine, while killing the true strength of the soul. His inattentiveness instantly recalls to my mind the many times I have been bored and have allowed my attention to stray - to day dream of things not of God.
It becomes very clear to me that in all men there is a little Judas Iscariot, but that these evil tendencies can be and must be completetly subdued and rooted out by our "attentiveness" to Jesus, Who is life.
Then I look again at Jesus and see how attentive He is to all His beloved apostles. He is very aware of Judas, but shows no reaction. I am given to understand that Jesus loves Judas for what he might yet be, should he will to be repentant and humble. Jesus, as God, loathes what exists already in Judas' heart and soul: evil that is so obvious to the eyes of the soul. How hideous does evil appear before God, Who is all-good! Yet even at this moment Jesus is praying for Judas, as He prays for the other apostles, each of whom still has great weaknesses and will face many purifying trials ahead.
NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part Two of Lesson 3: WITH THE APOSTLES ON THE EVE OF PASSOVER
That investigation has uncovered serious errors in his work which is subtitled "A Proposal for Change in Catholicism's Third Millennium". The Sacred Heart Congregation's Superior-General Father Michael Curran was asked to respond to these errors in Collin's work by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratsinger. This is not an unusual procedure for the Vatican did the same with Fr. Tissa, submitting their findings to the Superior-General at the Oblate General House just up the block from the Vatican. The findings submitted to Curran point out serious errors such as Curran denying that the Church Jesus Christ founded in Matthew 16: 18-19 is not identified with the Roman Catholic Church. Further Collins' book insinuates that there is "no true and binding revelation," and attacks the issue of papal infallibility. Of course Collins and his modernist cronies must degrade the latter issue, so they can build their own house of sand in their crusade to push through and overcome such obstacles as women priests which the Holy Father and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith officially put the kabosh on with Mulieris Dignitatem on May 30, 1994 and which Cardinal Ratzinger supposedly closed the door on any controversy by further defining the finality of the women's ordination issue in 1995. But that's never stopped the liberals. After all, they don't respect, understand or obey the Pope, so why should they listen and comply? They have, unsuspectingly, as their role models Martin Luther, Henry VIII, John Calvin, Hans Kung and a long list of those who protested and, because of their pride, refused to serve. Was it not someone else who said "non serviam" to God and was forever banished from the legion of angels to the regions of hell? But, again, don't expect the radical left to acknowledge this either since they don't believe in hell or the devil! Our favorite response to that is Padre Pio's famous retort whenever anyone told him there was no such thing; his reply, "You'll know when you get there!" The question is, does Fr. Collins know that he has arrived at the brink of excommunication because of his pride and arrogance? To paraphrase Padre Pio, "he will when he gets there!"
That pride and obstinacy is coming to the surface as Collins has lashed back at Church officials, specifically Ratzinger's office and challenged the Cardinal's document, which was released last summer and targeted toward errant theologians and entitled Regulations for Doctrinal Examination. After all, if he can poke enough holes in the document it won't hold water. At least that's his rationale, but Collins doesn't stop there. He fired back a terse letter to Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary for the Congregation, demanding that those theologians who examined his book be publicly named and their works held up for scrutiny as well by another panel. In addition he intimated that his book be re-examined by a board that would include those who are sympathetic to his leanings. Another ultimatum he issued was that he be allowed to publicly debate the merits of his book, a typical ploy of modernists who seek to persuade more bleeding heart liberals - especially the media - to rally to their cause. His final demand belies his sincerity and betrays his true intent - non serviam for he rails at the Vatican for not dealing direct with him rather than going through his Superior-General. Forget the fact that as a Roman Catholic he has pledged his allegiance to Rome, forget that as a priest he has pledged to uphold the truths of the Church. The real achilles heel to his whole argument is that he forgets that, as a religious he has not just pledged but vowed obedience to his superiors. But Collins disdains obedience when it doesn't fit his agenda. This is evident from his harping that "it's not fair!"
For the past decade and a half he's tried to bring his radical ideas to the TV and radio down under, in fact serving as director for a while as the head of religious programming for ABC - that's the Australian Broadcasting Company. And we wonder why so many lukewarm Catholics in Australia are as confused as their counterparts here in America? Collins is a member of that renegade group that numbers such liberal radical papal-bashers as Richard McBrien, the frockless priest who heads the theology department at Notre Dame. Both Collins and McBrien write popular theology. What is popular theology? Well to listen to Collins it's intended to "make sense of people's faith in the modern world." Funny, Christ never said that! The fact is it makes no sense at all. Christ did not turn to the popular but to the necessary. This is what Collins has totally missed. As a priest, we would hope he would return to the days he made his priestly vows, harken back to the ideals he had then, and remember the vow he made to be obedient. Remember, lucifer started out as a good angel, too...so did Martin Luther as a good monk, and Henry VIII as a good king. But they all went bad. Is Collins' pride and arrogance so strong that he wishes to follow this inevitable path? Sadly, no one can tell him. But no one could tell those others either. Perhaps he should put in a call to Fr. Tissa. One was lost, and now he's found, the other has been found to be lost!
The following is taken from VATICAN COUNCIL II, VOLUME II, More Postconciliar Documents; General Editor Austin Flannery, O.P. Costello Publishing Company, Chapter II, page 115 on the SACRED LITURGY, I. and II., THE CELEBRATION OF THE MEMORIAL OF THE LORD, Articles 20 and 21.
The people have the right to be nourished by the proclamation of the Word of God, and by the minister's explanation of it. Priests, then, will not only give a homily whenever it is prescribed or seems suitable, but will ensure that whatever they or the ministers say or sing will be so clear that the faithful will be able to hear it easily and grasp its meaning; and they will in fact be spontaneously drawn to respond and participate.(71)
b. In printing the words of consecration the custom of printing them in a way different from the rest of the text should be maintained, in order that they may stand out more clearly.
Next installment: we will focus on the importance of the arrangement of churches for well-ordered celebrations which opens a whole new discussion about the problems inherent today with "multi-purpose churches."