Perpetual Adoration: your life will never be the same

More Perpetual Adoration, please!

When St. Catherine of Siena parish on Long Island (New York) introduced the Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament over a year ago, the results have been remarkable:

“There’s a wide range of people on their knees before the Blessed Sacrament. Older couples, businessmen in suits stopping by before or after work or at lunchtime, entire families, a young guy in painter’s clothes, a woman in tears, a 20-something guy with tattoos and a sweatshirt, a priest from a neighboring parish. One couple come regularly with their adult disabled daughter. A dad brings his three sons straight from school. They follow him right up to the Blessed Sacrament and kneel beside him with their backpacks. A family of four generations came to pray together.”

I can hear the chuckles coming from those who think we’re kneeling before a piece of bread. But we don’t care. When we kneel before the Blessed Sacrament to be with Our Lord – to talk to him, to offer our joys, sorrows, problems, and pains to Him – we know He listens to us and comforts us. The peace that He gives us, even in the midst of our tribulations, is a peace that those who deny Him will never know and we pray for them, that they may adore Him and obtain His peace, which no one can ever take away.

Read: How Perpetual Adoration is Transforming My Parish

 

 

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Stop using the 60s sexual revolution as an excuse for clergy sex abuse

Bishop Sanborn has written an excellent post entitled “Ratzinger blames sex abuse by priests on the 1960s sexual revolution” in which he states what is so obvious to anyone with a functioning brain.

Here are excerpts:

In a recent letter commenting on clerical sex abuse, Ratzinger said that the cause of it was the sexual revolution of the 1960s. This is a stunning statement. Why? Because it is the mission and purpose of the Church to resist moral corruption, and especially to protect the clergy from it. The clergy should practice mortification of their sexual passions, devoted as they are — and canonically obliged — to celibacy and perfect chastity. One could just as easily say: “The monks are all fat because of the eating revolution.” Are they not supposed to practice mortification? It would be the equivalent of saying that the Titanic sank because there was an iceberg in front of it. The reality is that the Titanic sank because the crew was recklessly speeding at 22 knots (at that time very fast for an ocean liner) through “Iceberg Alley” in the springtime when icebergs are most commonly seen. The crew had also committed gross negligence in ignoring the warnings of ice by other ships.

. . .

Ratzinger offers a few other reasons for the clerical abuse. One of the factors is declining devotion to the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist: “The declining participation in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration shows how little we Christians of today still know about appreciating the greatness of the gift that consists in His Real Presence.” It was Ratzinger, however, who told us in an encyclical that Christ is in the bread,” which is a thoroughly Protestant notion of the Eucharist, denying the Real Presence of Christ. Ratzinger also stated: “To go to church on the ground that one can visit God who is present there is a senseless act which modern man rightfully rejects.” (2) And has the New Mass promoted devotion toward the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist?

The cherry on top of this burlesque of self-exoneration for the heinous crimes of the clergy is the final paragraph: “At the end of my reflections I would like to thank Pope Francis for everything he does to show us, again and again, the light of God, which has not disappeared, even today. Thank you, Holy Father!”

It is not to be forgotten that the “Holy Father,” that heretical motor-mouth, is the one that has pronounced numerous heresies, and has justified receiving communion in the state of the mortal sin of adultery.

. . .

The real cause of the clerical abuse. Ratzinger said a few things which were true, but failed to assign the cause. Yes, there was a sexual revolution of the 1960’s, but was not the stated purpose of Vatican II to adapt the Church to fit the modern world? Did it not want to “open the windows of the Church,” as John XXIII said? The effect of this attitude produced in the clergy and the people an absorption of the very detestable sexual revolution which Ratzinger laments. If Vatican II had not happened, the Church would have resisted the sexual revolution. It was very successful in doing so in the 1950’s by means of the Legion of Decency, for example, which managed to control Hollywood’s penchant for sex. The Legion of Decency died after Vatican II, and so did decency in movies and in television.

Likewise the collapse of the Church’s moral theology was a direct result of Vatican II. Up to 1958, moral theology was in wonderful condition. Many moral theologians wrote treatises and textbooks in the early part of the twentieth century which were excellent, applying traditional moral principles to modern moral problems. One such example is the textbook of the Dominican Merkelbach, which we use here at the seminary. It is the most thorough moral theology textbook in my experience.

Ratzinger describes these horrors as if neither he nor his boss, “Saint” John Paul II, were responsible for them, and in any way participated in them. The reality is that Ratzinger is one of the most responsible for Vatican II as the radical, modernist, suit-and-tie theologian, together with his “buddies” Karl Rahner, the pantheist Jesuit with a mistress, and Hans Küng, the notorious denier of the divinity of Christ, Our Lady’s Assumption, and the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. They were the radical threesome. I remember. It was Küng who said “We got more from Vatican II than we ever expected.”

Ratzinger refuses to see Vatican II as the cause of the problems. The Council is his baby. It is evident to anyone with a brain that the Church went into a tail-spin in every aspect of its life since the opening of that wicked meeting of Vatican II, but Ratzinger insults every thinking and decent person with these preposterous and farcical “reasons” that he gives for clerical abuse, never once saying “mea culpa” for his criminal, lawless, disgraceful, and reprehensible cooperation in these vicious acts of a corrupt clergy.

So many people allow the man who calls himself Pope Emeritus to squirm his way out of responsibility for the sorry state of the Church today. Until Vatican II is dumped and men, like Ratzinger, who are responsible for this sorry mess are held to account, not much will change.

Difficulty with mental prayer after years of Buddhist meditation

I have been struggling with mental prayer for the past week. I don’t suffer from a wandering mind, as most people who are new to mental prayer do. My problem is different: I had been doing Buddhist meditation for years before coming back to the Catholic Church. In Buddhist meditation, you empty your mind. You are not supposed to think about anything. In mental prayer, you focus on a specific text in the gospels and turn it over again and again in your mind; or you apply your imagination to an event in the gospels (example: the Visitation of Our Lady to Saint Elizabeth) and you immerse yourself in it. The one thing you don’t do, which I tend to do, is to sit on your ass with an empty headspace.

So, I decided to pray to Our Lady for guidance during mental prayer. I sat for 2 days, 15 minutes at a time, turning over in my mind, a sentence in the New Testament. One day it was this: “I am the vine and you are the branches.” The next day it was this: “I am the good shepherd.” I decided I was going to relax about this instead of being uptight and worried about whether any magic thing was going to happen, whether I was going to obtain some kind of inspired divine insight as I was meditating.

This is what I learned. You don’t necessarily receive any amazing insights while you are meditating. When you end the meditation, you get on with your day. However, the next day and the days after that, I was surprised to discover that these two meditations were seared into my memory and I found myself thinking about them while hiking and doing my chores, and deriving profound insights. Better yet, as the week wore on, it became easier for me to sit down and simply turn over a sentence from the day’s Gospel reading in my mind.

My advice to people who are getting started with mental prayer: pray to Our Lady for guidance, relax, don’t expect an earth-shattering experience, just follow the mental prayer instructions (you can find videos and articles on the Internet about mental prayer) and be patient.

How to deepen your devotion to Mary: tips on praying the Rosary, recommended books

This is the first day of May, the month of Mary. How appropriate it is that all the spring flowers are blossoming, the trees are full of fresh green leaves, and the days are getting longer. Joy, light, warmth and spiritual renewal are all attributes of Our Lady, the Queen of Heaven. How can we deepen our devotion to the  Mother of God?

The Rosary

The first thing I did when I came back to the Church was to pray the Rosary. I began by praying one set of mysteries (5 decades) everyday, and a few months ago, I started praying all three sets of mysteries (15 decades) daily. I have never missed a day since March 2017. Pope Leo XIII says:

“The rosary is the most excellent form of prayer and the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life. It is the remedy for all our evils, the root of all our blessings. There is no more excellent way of praying.”

I recommend The Secret of the Rosary by Saint Louis de Montfort for those who want to get serious about praying the Rosary or those who have been praying it lukewarmly.

Don’t listen to the idiots who disparage praying the Rosary as meaningless mumbling. It is the single most effective way to meditate at home, on a long flight, waiting outside a doctor’s office, in an airline lounge, on trains and buses.

I often pray the Rosary when I go running or hiking. This is my form of walking or running meditation. But I only do this when running along a path that has absolutely no car traffic (e.g. along a river bank) or hiking in the mountains (again no cars) because I get completely focused and immersed in a meditative state. I picture in my mind each mystery, reflect upon what it is saying to me (each time the mystery tells me something else), ask Our Lady to obtain for me the fruits of each mystery. I also pray for other people and for the souls of my relatives and friends in purgatory. On a 45-minute run, I pray two sets of mysteries. I don’t carry my Rosary on my hikes or runs. I use my fingers.

Devotion to Mary

To get started with Marian devotion, read True Devotion to Mary: With Preparation For Total Consecration by Saint Louis de Montfort.

Meditate during each day in May with Month of Mary according to the spirit of Saint Francis de Sales by Don Gaspar Gilli.

St. Alphonsus Liguori’s The Glories of Mary is also a great book for those who want to bring themselves closer to Our Lady and to know her better.

The May Magnificat: a poem by Gerald Manley Hopkins

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The May Magnificat

MAY is Mary’s month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season—

Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?

Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunest
And flowers finds soonest?

Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?—
Growth in every thing—

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good,
Nature’s motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.

Well but there was more than this:
Spring’s universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp are merry
With silver-surfèd cherry

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoocall
Caps, clears, and clinches all—

This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation.

– Gerard Manley Hopkins

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See also Why May is called the month of Mary

Morning and Evening Prayers

Here are Morning and Evening Prayers from The New Roman Missal by Father Lasance in PDF format. Because the New Roman Missal is a big book with tiny print, it might be difficult for some to read. So print out this PDF, place it by your bed, say the morning prayers when you wake up and the evening prayers before you turn in. If you have time, pray at least one set of mysteries of the Rosary (or all three sets of mysteries) when you wake up, in addition to the morning prayers.

Saying Morning Prayers and/or praying the Rosary sets one’s intentions for the day. Use the time to thank God that you are even alive and praying, and dedicate all your thoughts, words and actions to Him. In the evening, say the Evening Prayers and preferably, pray Compline. End the day by giving Him thanks.

How many people bother to thank God for their physical and mental health, the brilliant sunshine, the leaves on the trees?