The Catholic Defender: You Shall Know Them By Their Fruits, Quotes From Obama

Posted by Donald Hartley - September 30th, 2015

Trump2Recently, Presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Ben Carson both have been criticized by the media for their responses or the lack there of when questioned about Obama’s religious persuasion. I have long felt that the evidence was in the pudding just from all that we have seen President Obama has said on the subject. I recently came across something by Michael T. Snyder, a writer for “The Truth” that came out today. This is based on a collection of statements coming from President Obama himself, this might help us see more clearly where the truth lies in this story.

20 Quotes By Barack Obama About Islam

obama-slander-prophet#1 “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam”

#2 “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer”

#3 “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”

#4 “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”

Obama-Islam-Tolerance-87745322328_xlarge#5 “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”

#6 “Islam has always been part of America”

#7 “we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities”

#8 “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”

#9 “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

Obama at war#10 “I made clear that America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam.”

#11 “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”

#12 “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed”

#13 “In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.”

obama-muslim-brotherhood-racists#14 “throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”

#15 “Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality”

#16 “The Holy Koran tells us, ‘O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.’”

#17 “I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.”

Obama islam#18 “We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants – farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities, the Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped unlock the secrets of our universe.”

#19 “That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

obama islamic#20 “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”

From looking at this for a short time, I am finding there are several more examples of what President Obama has said for Islam. When you look at how much has been overlooked in America to bring Islam into the fabric of American culture, it is easy to see why so many people see Obama as a Muslim. What are some things President Obama has said about Christians many times coming out from the same breath?

20 Quotes By Barack Obama About Christianity

Obama-American-not-a-Christian-Nation#1 “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation”

#2 “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.”

#3 “Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith?”

#4 “Even those who claim the Bible’s inerrancy make distinctions between Scriptural edicts, sensing that some passages – the Ten Commandments, say, or a belief in Christ’s divinity – are central to Christian faith, while others are more culturally specific and may be modified to accommodate modern life.”

Obama bowing#5 “The American people intuitively understand this, which is why the majority of Catholics practice birth control and some of those opposed to gay marriage nevertheless are opposed to a Constitutional amendment to ban it. Religious leadership need not accept such wisdom in counseling their flocks, but they should recognize this wisdom in their politics.”

#6 From Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope: “I am not willing to have the state deny American citizens a civil union that confers equivalent rights on such basic matters as hospital visitation or health insurance coverage simply because the people they love are of the same sex—nor am I willing to accept a reading of the Bible that considers an obscure line in Romans to be more defining of Christianity than the Sermon on the Mount.”

obama_muslim_brotherhood-1#7 Obama’s response when asked what his definition of sin is: “Being out of alignment with my values.”

#8 “If all it took was someone proclaiming I believe Jesus Christ and that he died for my sins, and that was all there was to it, people wouldn’t have to keep coming to church, would they.”

#9 “This is something that I’m sure I’d have serious debates with my fellow Christians about. I think that the difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and prostelytize. There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they’re going to hell.”

Obama and Islam#10 “I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell. I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity. That’s just not part of my religious makeup.”

#11 “I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.”

#12 “I’ve said this before, and I know this raises questions in the minds of some evangelicals. I do not believe that my mother, who never formally embraced Christianity as far as I know … I do not believe she went to hell.”

#13 “Those opposed to abortion cannot simply invoke God’s will–they have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths.”

Obama-SameSex-Marriage1#14 On his support for civil unions for gay couples: “If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount.”

#15 “You got into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Obama vs crusades#16 “In our household, the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology”

#17 “On Easter or Christmas Day, my mother might drag me to church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites.”

#18 “we have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, and their own path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own”

obama and gays#19 “All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of the three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra — (applause) — as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, peace be upon them, joined in prayer. (Applause.)”

#20 “I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.”

deliver-us-from-evilMatthew 15 says it all, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” Today many souls are at stake because the tide of evil is being pushed through our Government, the media, movies and song, our higher education, it is everywhere. Ephesians 5:11 says something very important to this discussion, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them”. St. Paul is calling for the Church to stay pure and to alert the faithful against the rising tide of deception and evil. Isaiah 5:20 states, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

Orange County News - Sept. 9, 2013When I see children playing, praying, at Catholic School, I am reminded to pray for their protection against these wolves. Matthew 18:6-7 warns it best, “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the man by whom the temptation comes!

Am I saying that President Obama is a Muslim? If he is not, it is obviously his passion.

Please keep all of them in your prayers (1 Timothy 2:2).

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The Catholic Defender: The Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena (Orvieto) Italy 1263

Posted by Donald Hartley - September 29th, 2015

Juliana-of-LiegeFrom time to time we find in history where a priest struggled with their faith. That happens to be a human trait that God sometimes will use to enrich His people with great signs and wonders. I remember the story of a Basilian Monk who was celebrating Mass at the Monastery of St. Longinus (Lanciano Italy) 8th century when he had the strong urge to doubt the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. The Lord has given us a great sign that continues this very day which has endured scientific scrutiny in modern times.

Blessed Juliana of Cornillion of Belgium (1192 – 1258) received a vision in which she saw a full moon that had a darkened spot near the center of the vision. A voice from heaven revealed to her that the moon represented the Church at this time in history. The dark spot on the moon represented the Lord’s plan to establish a great feast of the Church in honor of Corpus Christi. At this time, this was not yet a feast on the Church calender.

Blessed Juliana reported this vision to the Archdeacon of Liege, who would one day become Pope Urban IV (1261). By this time, Blessed Juliana had already went to her eternal reward when her friend, Eva, reminded the Pope of the prophecy when the Lord decided to take matters in his own hands.

BolsenaIn the 1200′s there were many challenges taking place in the medieval church. There were several issues taking place resulting from the crusades and different heresies that would arise.

In 1263, Peter of Prague was a German priest who found himself struggling with what the Fourth Lateran Council (1213-1215) would define in the transubstantiation, that Jesus Christ is truly and wholly present, body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Eucharist. As he was saying Mass for the people of Bolseno, Italy, he began to doubt when blood began to stream out of the consecrated Host dripping down onto the corporal.

Illustration of Pope Urban IV with Saint Bonaventure and Saint Thomas AquinasIn 1261, the Archdeacon Pantaleon was elected Pope, and took the name Pope Urban IV. Juliana’s friend, Eva, contacted Pope Urban through her Bishop, and asked him to institute the feast which Juliana had proposed. In recalling Blessed Juliana’s vision, after verifying the reports of the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena near Orvieto, he commissioned his chief theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas to compose the Office for the Mass and Liturgy for the new feast, the feast of Corpus Christi (1259-1265) and defined in 1312.

miracle_of_bolsena_fresco460Today, the blood stained linen is displayed at the cathedral in Orvieto, Italy and pilgrims the world over travel to Orvieto to see the relic. Blessed Juliana is among the heavenly realm, that great cloud of witnesses where she can see the dark spot on the moon fade away as Jesus instituted His feast day.

We are living at a time when many of the faithful are struggling with their doubts. Mass attendance is down especially in the Western world. I recall the prayer of the Angel of Portugal who appeared to the children of Fatima in 1916.

AngelKids1The Angel first prostrated himself before the Sacred Host and Precious Blood as it was in suspended animation in the air praying, “Most Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit- I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifferences whereby He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love you. I ask pardon of you for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, nor do not love you.

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The Catholic Defender: A Pagan Experience I Never Will Forget

Posted by Donald Hartley - September 28th, 2015

CD Mass 1(Editors note) February 2011 was my last month in the United States Army as I retired after 26 years. This particular story is in honor of my Wife, Gigi. Please keep her in your prayers as she is very sore after moving all across the nation. We are now in Alabama. I recently had my third cervical disk in my neck removed and I have a Titanium steel spacer in it’s place. My disk had ruptured into my spinal cord causing all kinds of problems. My injury happens to be the same one that Payton Manning suffered who has now recovered and playing for the Denver Broncos. That helps give me assurance for a complete recovery. Now when I have to go to an airport, I will cause the buzzer to go off. I’ll just have to tell them I have a pain in the neck!!! I do want to thank all of you who have prayed for me during this time. God bless you all.

We are just a few weeks from Halloween and I really wanted to write something for this time of year. So much of our effort at this time concerns Halloween, yet “All Saint’s Day” and “All Soul’s Day” becomes more of an after thought.

Strangely, this year Halloween falls on a Saturday and I expect the Catholic Church will celebrate All Saints Day this Sunday as well. Since I am lectoring this Sunday at Mass I better find out!

The following took place in Iraq in August 2007.

The Coven of Witches would meet on Fridays at the very Chapel we had Mass? I was invited to go to a meeting by an acquaintance (a former Catholic) I met from the Wiccan service. I reported this on Steve Ray’s Web site “Defender’s of the Catholic Faith” (DCL) message board. The thread is “The Catholic Defender in Kuwait/Iraq).

(10 August 2007)

pagansTonight I sat in on a Wiccan meeting. I was invited to come by members last week. I sat in as one of them spoke on the gods of Babylon and their world of creation. They were very hospitable towards me. There were 18 people involved tonight and they ranged from several different groups. I did ask them at the end of their gathering, 4 basic questions:

1. Do you feel that you were born a witch?

The response was mixed, but most of them believe they were born a witch. In the discussion that followed the consensus was that most of them were raised Christians but they felt when they became witches, this was what they were suppose to be. They had to discover who they were.

Some felt that it was a process of discovery due to their former life, reincarnation, that each life develops and has issues with problems associated in the past life. The better the life, the better the next life and the better understanding in that next life.

pagans 12. Do you believe you will become gods like the ones you serve.?

The response was general, they believed they would achieve divine status and have their own world. They all felt that way.

3. Do you have spells specific to Latin?

The response was a huge yes, one of them went to college and majored in Latin. He said that Latin was important to him in his spells. They believe that spells have power, they can do allot with spells. They all claimed to work spells.

pagans 24. What part did Harry Potter play in your becoming a witch?

The response was that Harry Potter and other outlets opened the door to them to help them realize their full potential in learning who they were. Discovering that they were witches was a learned event and so HP plays a part so as to help a person find who they are. HP might lead some to investigate witchcraft so they would call or check out Wiccan web-sites.
One person openly stated he hated Harry Potter.

As I listened to them, not only would HP and other outlets might play a part, but I wondered about those who might be abused by their parents. Maybe their parents faced a divorce, broken families. Maybe they were outcasts growing up, not getting involved with school activities, a loner. There might be a number of supporting issues that play a part.

dthg11I told them that I was a Catholic and that as an ambassador for Christ. I recognize that Christ is true God and true man. That He truly rose from the dead. That as a Christian, we are called to show our Lord through the lives we live. If anyone called a christian condemned you, persecuted you, I asked for their forgiveness. I think they were really shocked by that. They all opened up to me and shook my hand. I was even given a military coin by them. It was positive in that I was not there to condemn or judge them, but to love them. I hope to develop relationships there so I can show them Christ is the one true God.

pagans 3The coin I recieved from the group was clearly one of witchcraft. It had several Occult images on this and so I felt odd taking it. After I posted this on the messageboard, one of my friends on the board encouraged me to take it and have it blessed with holy water. I told him that was a good point. The next time I was back down to the Division Chapel, I took the coin with me to have it blessed by Father in holy water. When Father poured out holy water in his font, I placed the coin in the font. That’s when it vanished from our sight, it was nowhere to be found. That freaked us both out. To this day, it is gone! I guess it got mad at me? The next part of this story takes place two days later:

(12 August 2007)

pagans 4Tonight as I sat down to dinner, I noticed one of the Wiccan’s that was in the Friday night circle. I continued to eat when I noticed he recognized me. He quickly grabbed his things and sat in front of me as to be able to talk across the table. I was glad that he did so. He was the former Catholic and so I particularly looked for the opportunity to talk with him. I could be more open with him in an open environment. He was very happy to see me. We talked for about 25 minutes until we took it outside and talked more at a picnic table.

He explained that he was a Druid, not a Wiccan, but in their inner circle there were Wiccans and other groups, even Satanists. He identified himself as a Classical Pagan, he said Wiccans were neo-pagans. He told me that many he knew were enlightened by Harry Potter to become witches, others had other influences. I asked him why Harry Potter was so influential to the witchcraft lodge. He said it is because in fantasy, it supports many of their basic beliefs. I told him that there are some who are trying to Christianize Harry Potter. With that he laughed and thought it was funny to think so.

pagans 5I had to head toward the Troop Medical Clinic (TMC) to give Anthrax Vaccinations so I had to go, but tomorrow night, I’m meeting with him to talk about the Catholic Faith with him. He was willing to do so for the knowledge he can receive. I will show him the Conversion story of Father Calloway. I am really hopeful. Please pray for our success regardless how you feel about Harry Potter.

We spent about three hours this night discussing the truths of the Catholic Faith. I went all the way back to Adam and Eve, the Old Testament Covenants, the prophecies that relate to the Messiah. What was important to me was to show that Christ is not just another god, but that He is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. That we believe in One God in three Divine Persons. That can be a tough sell for someone who is struggling to understand their faith. He invited me to come back and talk with him the following night. This would be the last time because he was preparing to redeploy back to the United States later that night.

(13 August 2007)

tum 4I had my meeting with the Wiccan tonight, we talked for about 1 1/2 hours discussing witchcraft and the Church. By nights end, he was lead to recognize the Resurrection. I explained to him the fact that the Old Testament is really a period of Covenants God makes with man kind. Adam is a Covenant of marriage, Noah is a Covenant of family, Abraham is a tribal Covenant, and Moses is a kingdom Covenant uniting all the tribes in a single nation. Jesus establishes a world wide Covenant, a Catholic Covenant. I also shared that Jesus fulfils in one human lifetime, the prophecies that concerns Him.

There were several prophets in the span of centuries that are fulfilled in one human life. He was deeply impressed with this knowledge. I also showed him that in the New Testament, we have a New and everlasting Covenant in the Blood of Christ. We renew the Covenant with Him when we go to Communion. I shared with him the Miracle of Lanciano and the Shroud of Turin. He gave me his AKO account so we can keep in contact as he leaves Iraq to go back home tomorrow. I hope I was able to plant seeds that will help him come home.

pagan 6May God bring home the prodigals no matter how far they drift!

Jesus told St. Faustina that the greater the sinner the more deserving of His Divine Mercy.

I gave a talk to a group in Canyon Texas just outside of Amarillo at St. Anne’s Catholic Church.

I asked the group, “how many of you know someone or have family members who have left the Church”?

Just about everyone raised their hand. If we were handling this as a disease, this would be an epidemic.

Let is pray for those who have gone the way of the prodigal. God is in control!!!

The Catholic Defender: The Story Of The Virgin Mary Appearing In Rapallo, Italy in 1557

Posted by Donald Hartley - September 27th, 2015

Rapallo ChurchAround the world, there are many Marian shrines and churches built in honor of Our Lady. Many of them specifically at her request. One of the more unique Marian shrines in the world is known as the Sanctuary of Montallegro (Rapallo).  It was built in celebration commemorating the Blessed Virgin Mary’s apparitions to a local farmer, Giovanni Chichizola on July 2, 1557.

Originally, what was once called the “Mountain of Death” (Montis Laeti), by the people of Rapallo, today is known as the “Mountain of Gaiety” (Montallegro) which was based on the crest.  Interestingly, as God can change the heart of a person He can also change the place where he lives.

anglesIn Heaven we can see the angels singing and playing harps before God and His throne.  A couple of these angels were also present helping the Blessed Virgin Mary as she appeared to Mr. Chichizola.

Why would the Blessed Virgin Mary appear to a peasant farmer in the middle of a field? We serve a Great God! Sometimes the Glory of God is made manifest through the things made by His people. The Virgin Mary showed a picture to Mr. Chichizola that depicted her passing from this life to eternal life. In Jerusalem, there is a scene in a church called the “Domition” meaning the passing.

angel 7This picture had been transported by angels from Greece and it was clear that Mother Mary wanted the picture to be placed there in Rapallo saying, “Go and say to Rapallo inhabitants I want to be honored here,” as she left the picture on the mountain side.

When the towns people placed the picture in the local church for veneration, two days later the elusive picture was mysteriously moved only to be found where Mother Mary had left it, on the rock at Montallegro.  After this second time, the people realized that Heaven was adamant about the location of this painting. It was then that a shrine began construction and was consecrated in July, 1558.

Eventually, in 1574, some shipwrecked Greek sailors recognized the picture that had been missing from Greece since July 1557. It mystified them how the portrait was now found in Rapallo. The Greek sailors claimed the portrait for Ragusa from where it had been originally venerated. Back and forth the magistrate went between the people of Rapallo and the Greeks and after a ruling, the portrait was given back to the sailors to take back to Greece.

angels 7That did not last long as the following day, despite being at sea, the miraculous painting reappeared back in the shrine at Montallegro and from that time on, no one has again challenged the setting of this picture. The picture is Byzantine representing the Virgin Mary surrounded by saints, a couple of angels. There is a strong Trinitarian message symbolized by three human bodies merged into one.

The feast of Our Lady of Montallegro to whom Rapallo was dedicated, 1739, and every year, the anniversary of the apparition is celebrated with the famous festivities that take place for three days, 1, 2 and 3 July, with religious celebrations in the Basilica and Sanctuary and the awesome day and night fireworks on the sea.

When it comes to angels, you should always show hospitably as you might be entertaining angels unaware (Hebrews 13:2).

The Catholic Defender: Pentecost, New Hope For America

Posted by Donald Hartley - September 27th, 2015

pentecost 12Pentecost, the Greek name for “Fiftieth Day“!

It takes place 50 days from Easter! In Hebrew,(חג השבועות Hag haShavuot or Shevuot known as “the Feast of Weeks.”

Pentecost also marks the 1981st birthday of the Catholic Faith.

Some might say Ascension Thursday is the birth of the Papacy, regardless, this is when we were sent out by the coming of the Holy Spirit!

This was the event the Lord called for his Apostles and disciples to wait in Jerusalem. This was the event that would change the world forever.

In the Old Testament, the work of the Holy Spirit was shown through powerful signs and wonders among the Israelites.

Prophesy“So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. Gathering seventy elders of the people, he had them stand around the tent. The Lord then came down in the cloud and spoke to him. Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses, he bestowed it on the seventy elders; and as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied. Now two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad, were not in the gathering but had been left in the camp. They too had been on the list, but had not gone out to the tent; yet the spirit came to rest on them also, and they prophesied in the camp. So, when a young man quickly told Moses, Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp, Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses aide, said, “Moses, my lord, stop them”. But Moses answered him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets? Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all”(Numbers 11:24-29)!

Think of what Moses just said, “Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all”? The Lord had this in mind all along. This was why Jesus instructed the Apostles to wait upon the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem.

This would become the first Novena of the Catholic Church as they awaited for the glory of the Lord. Unlike the Old Testament when the Spirit of God would come upon the Lord’s people through His Ministers, we have the gift of the Holy Spirit 24/7.

Sampson“When he reached Lehi, and the Philistines came shouting to meet him, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him (Samson): the ropes around his arms became as flax that is consumed by fire and his bonds melted away from his hands. Near him was the fresh jawbone of an ass; he reached out, grasped it, and with it killed a thousand men. Samson cried out to the Lord, “You have granted this great victory by the hand of your servant. Must I now die of thirst or fall into the hands of the uncircumcised? Then God split the cavity in Lehi, and water issued from it, which Samson drank till his spirit returned and revived” (Judges 15:14-19).

The New Testament, Jesus states, “I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name–he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you”(John 14:25-26).

truthJohn 16:13 Jesus says, “But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you”.

Jesus Said he would build his Church and the Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus through his Catholic Church.

The Holy Spirit declares the truth to the people of God. This is important because many false prophets have come and they give the Holy Spirit credit for their interpretations and opinions. That is dangerous and the Catholic believer must be aware of this.

With Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles (50 days after the Resurrection of the Lord), we have seen the glory of the Lord.

tomguesThe Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles and Disciples along with Mother Mary, in the form of tongues of fire.

The Holy Spirit filled them all as they spoke in different tongues to the people. As the Holy Spirit scattered the people building the Tower of Babel with diverse languages (Genesis 11:7-9), the Lord was bringing the people to the Church through languages (Acts 2:5-12).

With the coming of the Spirit on Pentecost, the Catholic Church is enabled by the Lord to accomplish his will to take the gospel to all the nations. Praise the name of the Lord! Veni Creator Spiritus!

Consider the warning given today at Mass (9/27/2015) found in Mark 9:42, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”  This warning is again found in Matthew 18:6-7, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.  Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come!”

popefrancis_00000001282What a stark contrast from the first reading and the Gospel today, because much is given to us, much is expected.  We need to pray for America like never before.  Souls are at stake.  The Holy Spirit has not been taken from us (2 Thessalonians 2:7) and we are still under the law of grace.   How wonderful was  Pope Francis journey to the United States and again the stark contrast between the Servants of the Lord (Isaiah 54:17) from those who seek to change America from it’s Christian foundations.  Let us hold the line and not fall out of His Grace.

 

 

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The Guardian Angel: Eucharistic Miracle of Blanot, France 1331 Revisited

Posted by Donald Hartley - September 25th, 2015

CD 2Prayer for Marian Conference: “Father in heaven, by your grace, the virgin mother of your incarnate Son was blessed in bearing him in her womb and still more blessed in keeping your word and doing your will. Grant us all who will participate in the Marian Conference, (October 9 & 10, 2015), the grace to draw inspiration following the example of Blessed Virgin Mary and become faithful followers of Your Son, Jesus, Amen Hail Mary,…………Amen. Thank you Father Alex.

The upcoming Conference will be October 9 & 10 in Springfield Missouri. It will be located at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 2200 W. Republic Road, Springfield Mo.

Father CaseyThe Main speakers for this event will be Father Bill Casey (Fathers of Mercy) “Being Prepared for Battle”, Father Chris Alar “Going Places You Can’t Go On Your Own”, John Labriola “Onward Catholic Soldier”, Donna Lee – Award Winning Catholic Vocalist celebrating her 25th Anniversary as a Catholic Artist “Returning From The Dark”, and Thomas Dixon ESQ “Answering Mary’s Call”.

I picked some of the passages I will refer to today before you read the Eucharistic Miracle, because of a friend Tim, who desires Adoration so much to come to his parish, and is so aware of the need for Confession to be part of that on a weekly if not daily basis to be as pure as possible before receiving the Eucharist, or Adoring the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus.

bread of angels“What is there to say about the great purity of soul with which the saints managed to receive the Bread of angels? We know that they had a great delicacy of conscience which was truly angelic. Aware of their own wretchedness, they tried to present themselves to Jesus, “Holy and Immaculate” (Eph. 1-4), repeating with the publican, “O God be merciful to me a sinner” (Lk. 18:13), and having recourse with great care to the cleansing of Confession.”

“Approach the Sacred Banquet,” said St. John Baptist de La Salle, “with the same dispositions that you would desire to have in order to enter Heaven. One should not have less respect in receiving Jesus than in being received by Him.”

Forgive me Father for I have sinned, you can see even the smallest stains in my soul, be merciful on me a sinner, cleanse me in the Confessional as much as I possibly can, so that I can be pure to receive you and to Adore you. Jesus I love you so much, GregoryMary

blanot-franceEucharistic Miracle of Blanot, France 1331

The Eucharistic miracle of Blanot took place during the Easter Mass of 1331. During Communion, a Host fell to a cloth that was held below the communicant’s mouth. The priest tried to pick up the Holy Eucharist, but it was not possible. The Host had transformed into Blood, resulting in a stain the same size as the Host, on the cloth. That cloth is preserved today in the village of Blanot.

In the 14th Century, Blanot was a small village in the center of France and part of the diocese of Autun. The bishop of this town, Pierre Bertrand, was involved in certain canonical discussions with an official of his curia, Jean Jarossier, which resulted in documentation that gives us many details about this Eucharistic miracle.

communion on tongueThe miracle occurred on Easter Sunday, March 31, 1331, at the first Mass of the day, which was offered by Hugues de la Baume, the vicar of Blanot. One of the last people to receive Communion was a woman named Jacquette, the widow of Regnaut d’Effour. The priest placed the Host on her tongue, turned, and started walking toward the altar. He did not notice that a Particle from the Host fell and landed upon a cloth that covered the woman’s hands.

Thomas Caillot, who was assisting at the Mass went to the altar and said: “Father, you must return to the rail because the Body of Our Lord fell from the mouth of this lady onto the cloth.” The priest immediately went to the woman, still kneeling at the railing, but instead of finding the Host on the cloth, he saw a small spot of Blood.

euch72-3When Mass was over, the priest took the cloth into the sacristy and placed the stained area in a basin filled with clear water. After washing the spot and scrubbing it numerous times, he found that it had become darker and larger (reaching about the size and shape of a Host). Moreover, the water in the basin turned Bloody.

The priest took a knife and, after washing the cloth, cut from it the piece bearing the Bloody imprint of the Host. He held up the Sacred Host and said: “Good people: here is the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I sought in every way to wash and to wring the stain from the cloth, and in no way was I able to do so.”

This square of cloth was reverently placed in the tabernacle. Every year, on the feast of Corpus Christi, the relic is solemnly exposed in the church of Blanot. An additional note: The Hosts that remained in the ciborium after the distribution of Holy Communion on that Easter Sunday were also returned to the tabernacle, never to be distributed. Hundreds of years later they were found to have been perfectly preserved.

John 1:23, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord.”

Alfonso_SotomayorSince it should be our number one goal in life, eternal salvation, lets listen to those words which are found to have been perfectly preserved.

A great example of this is St. Alphonsus Liguori, a Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Consider the wisdom of this holy man that has guided and fortified Catholics for over two hundred years. No one can read his sermons with a sincere heart without being profoundly moved to a greater spiritual life.

St. Alphonsus takes the statement of John, “Make straight the way of the Lord” as the Means Necessary for Salvation, and tells us that the means are first, distrust in ourselves, secondly, confidence in God; thirdly, resistance to temptations.” I will address only the first one that each of us need to get a handle on. DISTRUST IN OURSELVES:

“With fear and trembling,” says the apostle, “work out your salvation” (Phil. 2:12). To secure eternal life, we must be always penetrated with fear; we must be always afraid of ourselves (with fear and trembling, and distrust altogether our own strength; for, without the divine grace we can do nothing. “without me,” says Jesus Christ, “you can do nothing” – we can do nothing for the salvation of our own souls.

AlgorhythmSt. Paul tells us, that of ourselves we are not capable fo even a good thought.

“Not that we are sufficient to think anything of ourselves, as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.” (II Cor. 3:5).

Without the aid of the Holy Ghost, we cannot even pronounce the name of Jesus so as to deserve a reward. “And no one can say the Lord Jesus, but by the Holy Ghost.” (I Cor. 12:3)

The Catholic Defender: Pope Francis is Authentic

Posted by Donald Hartley - September 24th, 2015

pope-francis-uses-paul-vis-ferula-20130407Pope Francis spoke before both Houses of Congress this morning and made a great speech I believe defending liberty especially religious liberty, justice, hard work, and a vision of prayer and working with others. He used the historical contributions of President Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Doris Day, and Thomas Merton. His speech points to Philadelphia and the Synod on the Family. In listening to today’s speech the writing is on the wall. The Pope will defend traditional family life, a strong pro-life position. The following is an older article that I put together on Pope Francis as I respond to other false accusations against him:

There are a number of Protestants who are digging deep into some Catholic prophecies concerning the Anti-Christ and the last things. They are attempting to use them and point their guns at Pope Francis even to the point of claiming deception by the Church in electing Pope Francis. According to Canon 332 §2 of the Code of Canon Law: “If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone.”

The radical Protestants who are making such radical accusations are claiming that Pope Benedict XVI was forced out of the Vatican by “Free-Masons” within the Conclave? Not only is that preposterous, they are making these false assumptions and using them to create a sinister plot within the Vatican. Kind of like those who claim that President Bush had something to do with 9/11?

Jack-Van-Impe-Condemns-Chislam-and-One-World-GovernmentThe intent is clearly to convince people that Pope Francis fits into the prophecies related to the Anti-Christ or perhaps the false prophet of Revelation 12:11. Neither can be true.  I have already written on this subject in my response to Jack Van Impe who has come out claiming that Pope Francis is this “False Prophet” and “Anti-Christ”.  Pope Francis was elected in accordance with Canon Law.  I was watching one of the Jack Van Impe telecasts concerning the subject.

I use to listen to Jack Van Impe years ago because he was always respectful towards the Catholic Church which I found inviting.  In watching this segment, Mr. Impe raised some key concerns from Pope Francis.  The Pope referred to Fundamentalism as having a disease or mental disorder.  I can see why that would disturb Jack Van Impe, but if you understood where Pope Francis is coming from, he is coming from Latin America.  Anyone who understands Latin America, especially Brazil, can understand the attack by Fundamentalists on the Catholic Church.  They flood money down there from America to obtain converts.

neal-pollard-church-of-christ.jpg w=400It is hard for the Catholic Church to compete because of the money raised by the Protestants. I spoke with a Catholic Priest who is currently stationed in Mexico and he agrees, it is hard for them to compete with the proselytizing taking place. I have encountered this myself and vigorously defended the Catholic Faith against them.

Pope Francis called ideological Christianity “an illness” that doesn’t serve Jesus Christ. Instead, it “frightens” people and pushes them away from religion. This very day, I spoke with a fallen away Catholic who became a Baptist after being deceived that Catholics worship false idols. I explained the Catholic position to her and she became very defensive because she couldn’t come to the realization that she made a terrible mistake.

Recent comments by Pope Francis towards Muslims and Atheists were also mentioned on the show and at first glance feels problematic, but if you take this in context, we are not their judge, we are to reach out to them and love them. They are under God’s judgment and we are to show them love and respect by our lives. That is the best way to preach to them. Of Course Jesus is the only way to the Father and everything we do should point to that truth.

vatican 1I agree with Jack Van Impe in that there is no other way to be saved outside the Catholic Church, founded by Christ.  The only way a non-Catholic can be saved is through the mercy of God for their ignorance of His Church.

So, lets take a look at what they shared on this show:

St. Francis of Assisi, knowing that his time was short, called together his followers and warned them of the coming troubles, which are coming in this time of great tribulation. He warned:

“The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase.

francis 1The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death.

Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.

There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense Mercy of God.

Then our Rule and manner of life will be violently opposed by some, and terrible trials will come upon us. Those who are found faithful will receive the crown of life; but woe to those who, trusting solely in their Order, shall fall into tepidity, for they will not be able to support the temptations permitted for the proving of the elect.

Those who preserve in their fervour and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and, persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth. but the Lord will be the refuge of the afflicted, and will save all who trust in Him. And in order to be like their Head, [Jesus Christ] these, the elect, will act with confidence, and by their death will purchase for themselves eternal life; choosing to obey God rather than man, they will fear nothing, and they will prefer to perish rather than consent to falsehood and perfidy.

Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true pastor but a destroyer.” Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis Of Assisi, Washbourne, 1882, pp. 248-250.

CD 1Amen! It sounds like we can identify with much of what St. Francis is prophesying during the reign of Anti-Christ.  However, nothing here shows anything that Pope Francis has done to cause any of this.  In Fact, despite the liberal media’s attempt to twist the Pope’s words, they are not changing anything.

Who then is this “destroyer” that St. Francis warns about? He will be influential as he leads the world into apostasy.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen is one of the great Catholic media personalities in the 1950′s and 1960′s that had a powerful impact reaching many through the use of television.  Many of his shows are still being show cased on Catholic television today.

fultonsheen3In 1950, Bishop Sheen states, “We are living in the days of the Apocalypse–the last days of our era…. The two great forces of the Mystical Body of Christ and the Mystical Body of Antichrist are beginning to draw up the battle lines for the catastrophic contest.” (Flynn T & L. The Thunder of Justice. Maxkol Communications, Sterling, VA, 1993, p. 20)

He also said: “The False Prophet will have a religion without a cross. A religion without a world to come. A religion to destroy religions. There will be a counterfeit church. Christ’s Church [the Catholic Church] will be one. And the False Prophet will create the other. The false church will be worldly ecumenical, and global. It will be a loose federation of churches. And religions forming some type of global association. A world parliament of churches. It will be emptied of all divine content and will be the mystical body of the Antichrist. The mystical body on earth today will have its Judas Iscariot and he will be the false prophet. Satan will recruit him from among our bishops.“

This is so important, Jesus is true to His Word that His holy Catholic Church will not fail, but it will undergo a similar passion as Christ beginning in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Persecution is coming and there will be no “Rapture” taking the Elect out of the world.  For the sake of the Elect, the days are shortened, but it is going to be tough for true Christians who are loyal to Jesus Christ and the Pope.

horsemenIt is obvious that there will be a counterfeit many will accept and flock towards in that time of great Tribulation.  The Pope will lead the Church during this time and will feed the sheep as Christ commissioned Peter so long ago.  Yet, also will arise a counterfeit church that will not recognize the Sacraments, deny the Eucharist, accept immorality, Gay Marriage, Abortion, and Artificial Birth Control just to name a few.  The traditional family structure will be challenged with all kinds of new inventions of what family will be.  Are we to be surprised that such a leader would spring from one of our bishops? Martin Luther was a Catholic Priest and look what destruction he has caused?

Millions of souls are at stake and the challenge may seem very daunting.  However, Jesus has us here for such a time as this! Where do you stand? Are you willing to fall from the Catholic Faith and embrace this counterfeit church that Archbishop Sheen warns about, or are we going to stand strong holding fast to the “Bark of Peter”? Do not be surprised that many voices will  tempt you to go into the wilderness or the desert to find God, when He is present in His holy Catholic Church!

A final word from Archbishop Sheen:

SHEEN-articleLarge“The Antichrist will not be so called; otherwise he would have no followers. He will not wear red tights, nor vomit sulfur, nor carry a trident nor wave an arrowed tail as Mephistopheles in Faust. This masquerade has helped the Devil convince men that he does not exist. When no man recognizes, the more power he exercises. God has defined Himself as “I am Who am,” and the Devil as “I am who am not.”
Nowhere in Sacred Scripture do we find warrant for the popular myth of the Devil as a buffoon who is dressed like the first “red.” Rather is he described as an angel fallen from heaven, as “the Prince of this world,” whose business it is to tell us that there is no other world. His logic is simple: if there is no heaven there is no hell; if there is no hell, then there is no sin; if there is no sin, then there is no judge, and if there is no judgment then evil is good and good is evil. But above all these descriptions, Our Lord tells us that he will be so much like Himself that he would deceive even the elect–and certainly no devil ever seen in picture books could deceive even the elect. How will he come in this new age to win followers to his religion?
The pre-Communist Russian belief is that he will come disguised as the Great Humanitarian; he will talk peace, prosperity and plenty not as means to lead us to God, but as ends in themselves. . . .
. . . The third temptation in which Satan asked Christ to adore him and all the kingdoms of the world would be His, will become the temptation to have a new religion without a Cross, a liturgy without a world to come, a religion to destroy a religion, or a politics which is a religion–one that renders unto Caesar even the things that are God’s.
In the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality, he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect. He will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ. . . .
. . . But the twentieth century will join the counterchurch because it claims to be infallible when its visible head speaks ex cathedra from Moscow on the subject of economics and politics, and as chief shepherd of world communism.”
(Fulton J. Sheen, Communism and the Conscience of the West [Bobbs-Merril Company, Indianapolis, 1948], pp. 24-25)

Listen to this teaching from Archbishop Sheen, very important!

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The Catholic Defender: The Freeborn Woman

Posted by Donald Hartley - September 23rd, 2015

ishmael-and-hagar“Brothers and sisters: It is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the freeborn woman. The son of the slave woman was born naturally, the son of the freeborn through a promise. Now this is an allegory. These women represent two covenants. One was from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar. But the Jerusalem above is freeborn, and she is our mother. For it is written: Rejoice, you barren one who bore no children; break forth and shout, you who were not in labor; for more numerous are the children of the deserted one than of her who has a husband. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are children not of the slave woman but of the freeborn woman. For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” Galatians 4:22-5:1

Abraham’s two sons, Ishmael, born of the slave woman Hagar, and Isaac, born of his wife Sarah represents two peoples, two nations. It is through Isaac that the promise of God has been preserved, ultimately with the coming of the Messiah, the holy promised one of God. By following Jesus, we are spiritually sons and daughters of father Abraham (John 8:39-58).

JonahWe see in the Gospel Jesus making this case: “While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, ‘This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”

Jesus speaks of a sign, the sign that Jesus gave his generation is found in John 6:30. The people challenged Jesus, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?” Jesus then gives the bread of life discourse that becomes the sign not just for his time, but for all time.

jesus-break-breadFour times Jesus states, “Amen amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” John 6:53

Jesus says that at the resurrection of all the dead, the Queen of the south will rise and condemn them because of their lack of faith.

Matthew 10:15 states, “Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town” (the town that does not accept Jesus word).

The real issue brought before us today is who do we hold allegiance with, who is our spiritual mother in this context, Hagar, the slave woman or Sarah, the wife of Abraham?

To break this down a little closer to home, are we listening to the teaching of the Church, or are we listening to the way of the world?

Do we accept the sign coming from the Son of Man, or are we following the “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4)?

sacredheartsIn receiving the truth of the Son of Man, by accepting his kingship (Daniel 7:13-14), we are then accepting the Queen-ship of the woman of Revelation 12, the mother of all her offspring, “those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus.” Revelation 12:17

Jesus promised to those who accept and receive His sign that he will raise them on the last day (John 6:40, 44, 47, 51, 54, 57). Jesus gives six reasons to believe in His sign and like St. Peter, we should say, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68)

O Divine Eternal Father, in union with your Divine Son and the Holy Spirit, and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg you to destroy the Power of your greatest enemy–the evil spirits. Cast them into the deepest recesses of hell and chain them there forever! Take possession of your kingdom which you have created and which is rightfully yours. Heavenly Father, give us the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I repeat this prayer out of pure love for You and with every beat of my heart and with every breath I take. Amen.

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The Catholic Defender: The Hail Mary

Posted by Donald Hartley - September 20th, 2015

The-Hail-MaryThe Hail Mary prayer is the most popular Marian prayer. It is the par excellence of intercessory prayer calling upon the Lord for supplication, petitions, and thanksgiving. The Hail Mary is very central to devotions such as the holy Rosary and the Angelus. To break down the Hail Mary Prayer, it is important to understand the biblical foundations.

The prayer of the saints have always been seen as important (James 5:16, Revelation 5:8, 8:3, and Hebrews 12:1) as well as intercessory prayer. Some argue that Jesus is the only mediator, advocate, and intercessor between God and man so they reject the intercession of the Saints. But that goes directly against the very character of God.

1 Timothy 2:1-6 states, “First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth. For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as ransom for all.”

Jesus used a lot of metaphors depicting who He is before God and man. In His person He has two natures, He is God the Son, equal to the Father in substance and nature. His human element certainly submissive to the Father’s will. In the Gospel of St. John, Jesus uses 26 times the “I Am” using seven metaphors indicating who Jesus is: I am the bread of life (John 6:35), I am the light of the world (John 8:12), I am the gate (John 10:7, 9), I am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25), I am the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6), I am the true vine (15:1).

Jesus picJesus said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I Am.” John 8:58   Clearly, Jesus is identifying Himself as having divine origin with God His Father (Exodus 3:13-14). What gives the heavenly host, Mary, the Saints, the Angels any kind of life, any kind of special knowledge, special ability comes from and through the power of God and most certainly through Jesus as the Mediator between God and man.

The Virgin Mary has no power outside that given her by Jesus. 1 Corinthians 2:9 states, “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him, this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.”

The living church, the Church Militant, is a body “no longer strangers and sojourners, but fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.” Ephesians 2:19-20

These “holy ones” are united with those who are together at the gold altar of God who offer prayers with the incense before God (Revelation 8:4) which is a pleasing fragrance to our God (Ephesians 5:1).

Mary, as the Mother of Jesus, takes the historic position of the Queens of God’s people who intercede before the King on behalf of the people (1 Kings 19-20). Mary is not in competition with Jesus nor is she a back door offering another way to heaven. Mary’s whole message is also found in St. John, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). At Lourdes, France Our Lady identified herself as “I am the Immaculate Conception”, this is not equating herself as “I am” with who Jesus is, but she is identifying her position in Christ Jesus.

People misinterpret 1 Thessalonians 4:15, “Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”

Christs_return_s640x480This is depicting the resurrection of the body. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 states, “Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” Like Christ, we will have glorified bodies that will be joined together with our soul.

When a person dies, the soul lives on and goes where they are destined. Purgatory is a state of the saved and will inherit eternal happiness in heaven. The damned will go to hell trapped forever in the despair and misery of their final choice. God is the God of the living, not the dead (Mark 12:27, Luke 20:38).

It is through the Lord Jesus Christ that all of the graces flow and He chooses to use the Virgin Mary, the Saints, and the angels in accordance to His will. We have the apostolic teaching that I have touched upon that covers 2,000 years of faith handed down from the Lord, to His Apostles, and down to us through His Church.

With all this being said, the Hail Mary prayer is the par excellence to intercessory prayer.

Hail Mary

annunciationThe opening word of greeting, χαῖρε, chaíre, here translated “Hail,” literally has the meaning “rejoice” or “be glad.” Today, it is also known to be used to flag down taxi drivers in New York City. It is not a word associated with worship.

Luke 1:28 is where the greeting was given towards Mary by the angel Gabriel. The angel gives his greeting “χαῖρε” and the Church knows specifically who the angel is addressing adds the name “Mary” to the greeting. Hence, the beginning of the Hail Mary prayer.

Full of grace

The word κεχαριτωμένη, (kecharitōménē), here translated as “full of grace,” the word is the feminine present perfect passive voice participle of the verb χαριτόω, charitóō, which means “to show, or bestow with, grace” and, in the passive voice, “to have grace shown, or bestowed upon, one.”

St. Luke gives this story of the angel Gabriel’s greeting to Mary with the “Hail, full of grace” which implies that Mary is full of God. John 1:14 gives principally the same description towards Jesus, “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.”

Mary also shared in this glory given to Jesus because she was chosen to be Jesus Mother, full of grace. These two were not affected by the fall of Adam and Eve by the plan of God. Jesus is full of grace because He is God, Mary is full of grace by a singular special grace given to her by God.

The Lord is with you

sacredheartsFor those who accuse Catholics of worshiping Mary, this is very important. We are claiming that the Virgin Mary is with the Lord, she is not the Lord herself. This part of the Hail Mary prayer is taken from Luke 1:28 with the recognition of Gabriel.

1 Peter 5:10 states, “The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little.” What the angel acknowledged for Mary, is also promised to us in a future tense. Because we recognize Mary to be with Jesus, we also petition her to pray for us who are children of the promise. We are the offspring of the woman (Revelation 12:17).

Blessed are you among women

Visitation of MaryAt the greeting of Mary, St. Elizabeth exclaimed, “Most blessed are you among women” (Luke 1:42) as she recognized that the words of the angel given to Mary were true. Mary is blessed for her faith and obedience to the will of God.

Judith in the Old Testament is a type of Mary because of her faith and in what she had down. Judith literally by her hand saved the Israelites from certain destruction, yet, God worked a miracle through her. Judith 15:10 states, “With your own hand you have done all this: you have done good to Israel, and God is pleased with what you have wrought. May you be blessed by the Lord Almighty forever and ever!”

Likewise, because of Mary’s Yes, and her obedience to do God’s will, through her love of God, by her hand, she brought into the world the King of Kings who won the war. Mary spoke of herself, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.”

Mary is identifying herself with the Queen of Psalms 45 (vs 10) whom the Lord promised, “I will make your name renowned through all generations; thus nations shall praise you forever.” Psalms 45:18

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.

christmasThe second part of St. Elizabeth’s exultation to Mary (Luke 1:42) is a total recognition of Jesus. Vs 43 states, “And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me.” In the Old Testament, the people did not speak the name of God boldly, they referred to God as “Adoni” meaning, “my Lord”.

Fruit is an important word here as well, Psalms 1:3 tells us that people who study the teaching of the Lord, “They are like a tree planted near streams of water, that yields it’s fruit in season; it’s leaves never wither; whatever they do prospers.”

Jesus is the root source of the running water, He is the fruit (through Mary) that all the world has the opportunity of Grace. Mary is blessed tremendously because of the fruit of her womb, her Son, Jesus Christ. Mary is blessed because she believed what the Lord was telling her and she followed that word through that grace. Jesus would say blessed are they who hear the Word of the Lord and keep it, so like Mary, the Saints, we all can be saved.

Jesus came to liberate us from sin and bondage, to set the captives free, the Messiah has come.

Holy Mary

Mary 6The second part of the Hail Mary prayer begins with a recognition of Mary. Mary is holy because she is blessed, she was obedient, she is full of grace. Mary is the model for all God’s people, as His creatures, to live in holiness.

St. Peter tells us, “Like obedient children, do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance but, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, ‘Be holy because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-15

Hebrews 12:14 states, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord”. We are called to be holy, to place God up above all things. To live by the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control” Galatians 5:22

We do this by following the teaching of Christ through His Catholic Church, we have the Lord’s authority handed down, His Sacred Tradition, and the Sacred Scripture.

Mother of God

mary annThe Israelites worshiped Pagan gods that displeased the Lord. The Babylonians worshiped a woman called “Ishtar“, she was the goddess of love and war. Prostitution was a part of the temple worship. She was known to have had many lovers.

Contrast this with the Blessed Virgin Mary who represents chastity, modesty, faithfulness, and love of God. She is the purest of God’s creation. Unlike Ishtar and other female goddesses who were worshiped and called “God the Mother“, the Blessed Virgin Mary is called Mother of God. Not because she is a goddess, she is not, but because Catholics recognize Jesus as Divine. He is truly God and man.

St. Irenaeus referred to Mary as the “Ark of the New Covenant”. He made the typology between Eve and Mary “Against Heresies” as St. Paul did with Adam and Jesus (Romans 5:12). This reveals the perspective and role Mary had in the early Church.

At the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D., the Church gave the title “Theotokos” (Mother of God) to proclaim that Jesus is God, that Mary was not simply the mother of the human part of Jesus, but his whole person with two natures, divine and human.

Pray for us sinners

mary 38Now we are getting to the purpose and heart of the Hail Mary prayer, we are asking the Mother of Jesus to pray for us, to intercede for us, not circumventing Jesus, but through Him.

1 John 1:8 states, “If we say, ‘We are without sin,’ we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

1 John 1:10 states, “If we say, ‘We have not sinned,’ we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

We all need his help, Romans 3:23, “all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.” What brings us into His glory is to be united with Jesus through His Church (John 17:22).

now and at the hour of our death

Mary 6 (1)We all need to face it, we are all going to die at one time or another, we are all destined, but this is not our end. We first die to ourselves, learning to pick up our cross and follow Jesus.

Now is important! 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 states, “Working together, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, ‘In an acceptible time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.’ Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

“Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15: 54-56

Through the power of the Sacraments, God’s grace is given through supernatural faith. The prayer of Mary and the Saints are powerful because God is all powerful who listens to His children.

Amen

This is all very true. May the Lord bless you all and keep you in the palm of his hand.  (Isaiah 49:16)

Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death Amen.

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The Catholic Defender: The Lord’s Prayer

Posted by Donald Hartley - September 18th, 2015

Lord's prayerThe most recognizable prayer of all time is the “Our Father”, the great example that Jesus offers to His followers when asked how they should pray. According to the Gospel of Luke 11:1-4, it states, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”

The Liturgical form of the Lord’s Prayer is taken from the Gospel of Matthew 6:9-13, the wording is slightly different from Luke’s version. Within the prayer there is the introduction, there are 7 petitions, and there is the doxology.

This prayer is offered at every Mass and is involved in most Catholic devotions. In it embodies all the necessities of life in which we are grateful.

The introduction:

Lord's prayer 1“Our Father, who art in heaven”

John 5:18 states, “For this reason the Jews tried all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.” From the very beginning, when the angel Gabriel announced the coming of Jesus, St. Luke tells us, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” Luke 1:35

The Purpose for Jesus coming to earth was for our benefit, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” John 3:16

With the “Lord’s Prayer”, we are invited by Jesus to call God our Father. 1 John 3:1 states, “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.”

As children of God, we are given access to the whole of Heaven. We are made partakers of the glory of God (John 17:22). We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who pray for us (Hebrew 12:1. Revelation 5:8. Revelation 8:3).

We are given the hope of eternal life that presently we cannot fathom (1 Corinthians 2:9).

First Petition

Lord's prayer 2“Hallowed be thy name”

We look upon the name of God as being holy. At the call of Moses, God instructs Moses, “Come no nearer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your Father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.” The Name Yahweh is taken from this text where God told Moses, I am who am. God told Moses to tell the people, I Am sent him. (Exodus 3:5, 14)

St. Peter tells us, “Like obedient children, do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance but, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, ‘Be holy because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-15

Hebrews 12:14 states, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord”.

The Saints in Heaven sing the glorious refrain, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come”. (Revelation 4:8) In the New Testament, they do not have words in the bible that denotes plurality such as Big, bigger, biggest. So if the writer want to make a strong point, saying, “Holy, holy, holy”, they are in effect saying God is the holiest.

Jesus is the “holy one, the true, who holds the key of David” (Revelation 3:7), whom by his power and authority as King (Daniel 7:13-15), gives the keys to his Royal Steward (Matthew 16:19).

Second Petition

LOrd's prayer 3“Thy kingdom come”

In the Nicene Creed we proclaim, “He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.”

The Catholic Church has always proclaimed that Jesus will return at the Parousia, the Second Coming. Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:37-39)

At the end of St. John’s Book of Revelation, he exclaims, “The one who gives this testimony says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon’. Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.” Revelation 22:20-21

There are multitudes of examples coming from both the Old and New Testaments relating to the return of Jesus on that great and glorious day.

Third Petition

Lord's prayer 9“Thy will be done”

Jesus said, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” John 14:23 Jesus also states, “For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Matthew 12:50

John 6:40 is clear, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”

It is all about doing the will of the Lord, not our own will. Isaiah 55:8-9 states, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.”

This is not an easy concept for many people because we have lived under the “me” generation so long and we have principally lost or forsaken the lordship of Jesus in our lives. Jesus is truly Lord and Savior but we must surrender to do His Will in our lives.

Fourth Petition

Lords prayer 4“Give us this day our daily bread”

In the Old Testament, we learn of the “Bread of the Presence” also known as the “showbread” that was placed on the table before the Lord. This was placed within the tabernacle and later in the temple (Exodus 25:30).

Jesus identifies himself as the bread that comes down from heaven (John 6:34) and gives the importance that we receive this bread for everlasting life (John 6:52-59).

The table of the Lord used for the showbread in the Old Testament symbolized the table of the Lord that would bring God’s people together to participate in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:21). This bread that Jesus is talking about in the Lord’s Prayer is not only physical, but mostly spiritual.

In the Eucharist, we receive the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ and through this Holy Communion, we become one with the Lord.

Fifth Petition

Lord's prayer 4“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (or “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us”)

From the cross, Jesus cried, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

This is the par excellence as the model for all Christians to follow in the area of forgiving. St. Pope John Paul II gave a great testimony to this act of forgiving when he forgave Mehmet Ali Ağca in his prison cell.

It was 13 May 1981 when Agca shot the Pope while moving through a large crowd at Vatican City. Many believe the Popes surviving the attempted assassination was of divine providence. The many prayers offered for the Pope, the prophecy of Fatima is possibly connected.

Jesus states, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) Jesus is clear that we must love our enemies (Matthew 5:44) and forgive those who persecute you (Romans 12:14-21).

We are to forgive seventy times seven which is an infinite amount of times. As often as someone has offended us, we are to forgive. This is different from the Confessional where Jesus forgives us sacramentally through His Priests.

Sixth Petition

Lord's prayer 5“And lead us not into temptation”

Ezekiel 3:20 states, “If a virtuous man turns away from virtue and does wrong when I place a stumbling block before him, he shall die.” Now, there is an apparent view held by St. James, James 1:13 states, “No one experiencing temptation should say, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and he himself tempts no one.”

So why the apparent contradiction? It might be better understood if we see God allowing temptation only to strengthen us in the battle that belongs to the Lord. Revelation 3:10 states, “Because you have kept my message of endurance, I will keep you safe in the time of trial that is going to come to the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.”

While in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus warned, “Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) It always seems that evil lurks in the darkness and we are challenged the most when the light is but a mere shadow. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

1 Timothy 4:7-9 is key to this question, “Avoid profane and silly myths. Train yourself for devotion, for, while physical training is of limited value, devotion is valuable in every respect, since it holds a promise of life both for the present and for the future.” This is the purpose, passion, and power that God wants to administer to his people making them truly children of God.

Seventh Petition

Lord's prayer 6“But deliver us from evil”

I love the Rich Mullins song, My Deliverer that he wrote not long before his death. In it he sings, “Joseph took his wife and her child and they went to Africa To escape the rage of a deadly king. There along the banks of the Nile, Jesus listened to the song That the captive children used to sing, They were singing’ “My deliverer is coming, my deliverer is standing by, My deliverer is coming, my deliverer is standing by”

Through a dry and thirsty land, water from the Kenyon heights Pours itself out of Lake Sangra’s broken heart There in the Sahara winds Jesus heard the whole world cry For the healing that would flow from His own scars The world was singing “My deliverer is coming, my deliverer is standing by My deliverer is coming, my deliverer is standing by”.

Jesus is our deliverer. He is capable of delivering us from all addictions, saving our souls for eternal life. He is setting the captives free.

Psalms 18:3 states, “Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, My God, my rock of refuge, my shield, my saving horn, my stronghold! Praise be the Lord, I exclaim! I have been delivered from my enemies.”

Doxology

Lord's prayer 8“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen”

In the Catholic Liturgy, this doxology follows the priestly prayer, “Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”

“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen” is a article of thanksgiving to God for the many blessings we do receive through our holy Catholic Faith. Through the Church, we can place our total trust in the Lord: O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because in revealing them you can neither deceive nor be deceived.

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