If you don’t want to wait or my blog posts to see my interviews my youtube channel is here.
Full CPAC 2017 list (for those who feel nostalgic) is here
A reminder I have copies of my Book Hail Mary the perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer available at CPAC with me, price $7 and I will happily sign them for you.
Or you can just order it on Amazon
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Is our past without blemish? Absolutely not. Will our future be without blemish? Absolutely not. Why, because the church is made up of people like you and me. I can promise you some really good scandals in the future, why because the Church is made up of people like you and me.
The move by the Vatican under Pope Francis to normalize the state named Communist bishops while asking the underground catholic prelates to step aside is the latest is a series of moves, the biggest being the unwillingness to address the Dubia submitted by 4 cardinals asking for clarification on Amoris Laetitia which has remained unanswered after nearly two years, that have been troubling to many Catholics concerned bout the faith.
The question becomes, what is the best way to deal with this type of thing. and I think the answer is very clear, very simple and very difficult.
Practice, Prayer and faith.
Regardless of the various articles, the pronouncements of media or the hits being thrown around by those “in the know” the actual doctrine of the church has not changed, the Catechism of the Catholic Church has not been edited and the basics of being a good catholic, Confession , Communion, the spiritual and corporal works of mercy and Scripture are they same as they were. And this reality of the church as it is, vs the church as some wish to remake it for their own purposes is all the matters.
So go out and practice your faith. Go to confession, Go to mass, receive communion,, go to adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and above all pray for the church and the Holy Father. Practice the Spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Be that Christian example that inspires.
And have faith that the Holy Spirit and God know what they are doing even if we don’t and have faith that Christ’s promise that the gates of hell will not stand against the church has not now, nor ever will be revoked.
Over 2000 years the Church has gotten through some really difficult times. Rest assured that we will get though these.
Today is Ash Wednesday and that means that one of my favorite passages in scripture is going to be highlighted:
Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.
Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”
Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
and took pity on his people.
If you go to a Catholic Mass today that reading from the book of Joel Chapter 2 verses 12-18 is the first scripture you’ll hear and it emphases one of the most important themes of Christianity and that’s this:
It doesn’t matter how bad your sins have been, how far down the path you’ve gone or what any person thinks of you and your sins. Even now at this very moment God will forgive and forget if you sincerely repent your sins.
Will the path be easy? Probably not, the other side is not going to let you go all that easy, and in modern society if you choose to turn to Christ without a question the Joy Behars of the world will ridicule you.
But in terms of eternity it pays dividends that the world doesn’t offer.
Lent is a time for repentance but in truth the time to take the first step in the right direction is always NOW!
Merry Christmas, I say, since I stubbornly hold that the Christmas season begins on December 25. Happy New Year as well, keeping in mind that each day begins a new year.
I’m grateful to readers, fellow writers, and DTG himself for this spot on the blog.
To all, I commend these words from Pope Francis, spoken to a group of laypeople in 2015. The words are on my own blog’s home page as an epigraph to that particular project. Even if you and I don’t share a religious faith, I suspect we have in common a commitment to our nation’s political culture. As Pope Francis says, get to it.
Engaging in politics is martyrdom: truly a martyr’s work, because one needs to go the whole day with the ideal of building the common good, always carrying the cross of many failures and carrying the cross of many sins. It’s difficult to do good in a society without getting your hands or your heart a little dirty…Don’t allow this to discourage you.
…You can’t watch from the balcony! Get involved! Give it your best. If the Lord calls you to this vocation, get to it, engage in politics.
Cheers and best wishes to all!
Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist from New Hampshire.
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As far as pilgrimages go, my annual trip to the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro Massachusetts was not an epic journey. It involved a five minute walk then an hour long bus ride on a luxury motor coach. On the way we stopped at Wright’s Chicken Farm, which I most highly recommend. They serve all you can eat chicken and french fries. Both are outrageously good.
If you’re planning on visiting, I would recommend taking a bus trip. The shrine is hard to find and the traffic is very bad this time of year. For those who want to drive there, arrive early and use a good GPS device. The traffic into the parking lot usually starts to build around 3 pm so I would try to arrive before then. By 5 pm the traffic is bumper to bumper for miles each time I visited, which was always the Saturday two weeks before Christmas.
There is plenty to do if you arrive early. They have a nativity museum with over 2000 nativity sets from around the world. The grounds are very peaceful with Christmas music playing over church bells. At 3 pm they usually have an Christmas concert in the church followed by a mass at 4 pm.
At about 10 minutes to 5 there is a candlelight procession to the large outside manger where a brief prayer service is held. At exactly 5 pm the lights are turned on. That is an amazing sight. This year they have over a half million lights spread over a large area. The pictures I’m posting only show a very small fraction of the entire display. It is well worth the trip.
An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.”
Then John said in reply, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.” Jesus said to him, “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”
One of the things that a Catholic sees over the years is an incredible array of different devotion that various people insist IS the devotion you should pray, or that THIS devotion is the one that will finally get your kids or grandkids to church or change the heart of that horrible boss of yours or will bring peace to your friend or finally get the world on the right track.
Then there are all the various prayers and chaplets from the standard Rosary, to the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the St. Michael Chaplet, The Litany of the Saints , the Penitential Psalms and the prayers of various saints.
And beyond that if you go to a divine mercy chapel or to some other place of devotion you will without fail find home made slips with various special prayers that can be prayed on a standard Rosary or various chapelts
In fact I even contributed to this with my own bloggers prayer on my site that went up as soon as my pastor at the time approved it. It goes like this:
Oh God, you who gave free will to your creation, bless those who use that precious gift to blog
May we though this gift of freedom of expression enlighten, entertain and inform our readers, and we ask particular blessing for those who bring your word across the net, that they may faithfully execute your command to make disciples of all nations.
We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
This situation is amplified by 10 if you write about the church, attend Catholic events or go to any national event. The number of such devotions you are exposed to, involving saints both ancient and modern, miracles long forgotten or new and all kinds of revelations to the point where you realize that not only is God not dead as the left insisted in the sixties but he and the saints still seem to be working overtime for the salvation of souls.
But that leaves the questions on the floor? Of all of these various devotions:
What are the best ones to pray?
Which one are the most likely to be answered?
The answer to both questions is the same: all of them.
In terms of what you should or should not pray, as long as your it is legitimate, unherticial and not forbidden by the Church, ANY prayer, devotion or practice that is the direct worship of God the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit or intercessory in nature asking the Blessed Mother or the saints to pray and intercede with God the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit either directly, is of value and worth encouraging.
The idea is not so which prayers or devotion you embrace but that you regularly pray bringing your devotions to the Lord and make such prayer habitual. It is that regular prayer, whether the liturgy of the hours, a daily rosary or regular adoration or whatever devotion you embrace that will bring you closer to God and if you find you are more inclined to one devotion more than another by all means go with it.
My rule of thumb is the best prayer is the one you actually DO.
As for which prayers will be answered the likely hood God answering any prayer is dependent not so much on the prayer used, but on the following:
Your request being in accordance with the will of God.
If what your praying for is contrary to God’s will, it’s just not going to happen. The desire for God to do our will via prayer rather than the desire of us to accomplish God will through prayer is not only ineffective but is conducive to the Sin of Pride. If we treat our communication with God like the voice taking your order in a drive through we shouldn’t be surprised if we open the bag after leaving and find something other than what we expected.
Your faith in God’s ability to answer your request. Presuming your request is in accord with God will faith is still a key ingredient. Over and over in scripture Jesus notes where faith is the difference between a prayer even by a person “unworthy” (“Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.” Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.” MK 7:28,29) being granted to a prayer by the worthiest ( Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured. Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. “Mt 17:18-20a ) Just as faith without works is dead, prayer without faith is just words without meaning. It’s worth noting that a sign of faith in prayer is persistence in prayer.
The disposition of the Target of a prayer. This is a function of the freedom God provides us as humans. One of the most common prayers you will run into is someone praying for the conversion to the faith or that someone will find their way to God. These prayers are of great use and can aid a guardian angel in opening doors and opportunities for such repentance but while our guardian angel is always on the job and God never tires of opening doors that lead to his right hand in the end a person has to be willing to take step however small to seize that opportunity, walk though that door or grasp that hand. Furthermore we have to remember it’s not WHEN such a thing takes place but THAT such a thing takes place that matters. So be persistent as the Holy Spirit does the heavy lifting.
So here is my advice: Pray liberally, wait patiently and have faith that while you might not know what God & the Holy Spirit is doing, he does.
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Many of my Facebook friends – most of whom are conservatives — are arguing about controversies of recent vintage and of this particular day: whether or not to continue watching the NFL, whether Christians should allow their children to take part in Halloween festivities or participate in those festivities themselves. I find it amusing, as I do with most purse fights.
But today is also another anniversary: the 500th anniversary of the day on which Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, signaling, in hindsight, the Protestant Reformation. I put up a short status noting the occasion and received not one bit of blowback from my Catholic friends like Fausta or our host! Not one bit of purse fight. I’m almost disappointed!
Seriously, I love that noting this event in 2017 is almost mundane, especially since the split between the two parts of Christianity generated lots of bloodshed all those centuries ago and did so for some time in the previous century.
The evolution of this relationship between Catholics and Protestants was exemplified by the fact that, when my great-aunt was alive, I would drop her off for Mass at St. Brigid Catholic Church in South Central LA, continue on to my Protestant non-denominational church in Glendale, then, when my church’s service was over, come back to retrieve her.
Having read a lot about theology and church history, one overarching theme seems inescapable to me – every church denomination is capable of falling into error, division and even violence because we forget these things: that God believes in freedom and that our primary commandments are to love Him and each other. I, for one, don’t want to forget.
God bless the peace between His children and Happy Reformation Day …
And thank you, my Catholic friends, for the love and for the reconciliation.