CHECKMATE BY THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN — C

The events at Fatima in Portugal

A. WORLD WAR I

The true history of the 20th century will never appear in the standard history books you will read in school. The hand of God is too clearly seen in the events for the secular historians to acknowledge. It was an infamous century whose devastation began with the First World War However, as you will see, where sin abounds, grace the more abounds (Romans 5:20).

Actually the destruction of Western Civilization which took place in the 20th century had its beginnings with Martin Luther’s challenge to the Church in 1517. The crevasse between Protestant Europe and that part that clung to the ancient Faith broke open with all of its virulence with the declaration of war on Serbia in August 1914 by the Austro- Hungarian Empire. This took place one month after the assassination of the heir-apparent to the Empire by agents of the French Masons in Sarajevo. Emperor Franz Joseph insisted that the Serbs be punished for protecting the assassins and declared war on that country.

The autocratic Czar of Russia considered it his duty to protect that Slavic nation so he declared war on Austria. The Austrians had treaties with Germany, so Germany entered the war and immediately attacked France which had come in as an ally of Russia.

The German high command had secretly planned the attack on France long before; it involved outflanking all the French defenses by invading Belgium and striking South to take Paris. By violating the neutrality of Belgium they gave the British an excuse to jump into the melee. Germany had mutual defense treaty arrangements with Turkey and Bulgaria both of which declared war on the allies. The Italians, having treaties with Britain and France, and wanting to unite the Austrian holdings in Northern Italy with the rest of the nation, declared war on the Central Powers.

Thus began the horror of the collapse of the West.

The German plan almost worked, but Paris was saved by an army that met the Germans at the Marne and deflected their attack. The war began in August, by the end of that month the machine guns were set up. They dominated the battlefield for the entire war, making any significant advances on either side almost impossible. The armies dug into trenches to protect themselves from the withering fire and fought for, literally, a few feet of territory. The Eastern Front also froze into immobility after Poland had been engulfed by Germany and Austria.

On reviewing the events that took place, it is hard to avoid the observation that something diabolical was at work. The leaders of all the countries involved really lost their heads. The casualties on all sides were unimaginably enormous. In the first three weeks of war there were more than one million casualties. In 1915 more than four million casualties occurred without any change in the position of the armies. In 1916, two and a quarter million bled and died on the Western Front alone.

On February 1916, the Germans attacked the French fortress at Verdun. It was the linchpoint of the French defensive fortifications in the South. The German Command knew that the French would do anything to hold it so they deliberately left one road open so that men and supplies could be brought in. Then they wheeled up their 155 long rifles and their Mortars, bombarding the fortress incessantly. They fired so many shells that the lands on the 155 mm rifles wore out.

Almost one million Frenchmen bled or died to hold that fort. At the end of the attack, in October, the French and Germans held exactly the same positions as when they started.

To relieve the pressure on Verdun, the British and French attacked the German lines at the Somme. That summer over six hundred thousand French and British soldiers were killed or wounded to gain just eight miles while six hundred and fifty thousand Germans were killed or wounded to limit the advance. Thirty casualties paid for every foot of that advance. On 1 July 1916, the British army lost sixty thousand men — the largest loss of men on a single day in the history of the British Army.

Although by the beginning of 1915 it was obvious that no one could win that war and that they were destroying Europe, only Pope Benedict XV and the heir to the Austrian throne, Charles (now declared “blessed“ by the Church), made any effort to come to a cease-fire. The madness rolled on, ultimately destroying the Russian Empire as well as the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Into the chaos came Lenin and his Bolsheviks engineering the Communist take-over of the Russian Empire and initiating the most terrifying police state in History. The chaos into which Germany fell at the end of the war gave the Nazi Party the opportunity to take over that country. Thus was set the stage for a century of horror and destruction.

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B. PORTUGAL

In Portugal, on the periphery of Europe, in the summer of 1916, three little shepherd children: Jacinta and Francisco Marto — brother and sister six and eight years old respectively and Lucia Abobora, their cousin, aged nine, were tending their sheep when they were visited by an angel who taught them some prayers and asked for sacrifices and prayers for the salvation of souls. That year they saw angels twice more.

On 13 May 1917, when the madness of war reached unbelievable heights, and the Russian government collapsed, The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the three children while they were tending their sheep near the town of Fatima.

Czar Nicholas had abdicated in March of that year after his troops refused to fire on people rioting for bread in Petrograd. From that event until November of that fateful year, Russia was in complete confusion. In November, Lenin declared the Communist Revolution and his party took over the Russian world.

Our Lady appeared to the children on the 13th of each month from May until October except for one month when the children were being held in prison. No one else but the children ever saw or heard her; however, to them, she prophesied the end of he war and pleaded for repentance of the people and penance because if we didn’t another even more devastating war would break our later. She predicted that Russia would spread her errors throughout the world unless people repented. She said, however, “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

Of course, we did not repent. In the US we were not even aware of the events at Fatima until the beginning of the Second World War Even then; it seemed a far-fetched idea that Our Lady could conquer such a powerful slave state as the Union of Soviet Republics.

Stalin and Hitler, together, were responsible for the deaths of over two hundred million people. Chairman Mao, the communist leader of China is credited with killing at least 300 million. The statistics of suffering during the Nazi and Communist domination of Europe are really beyond conceiving — making the insanity of the First World War seem like child’s play.

All this time, the Church kept asking for prayers and sacrifices. The voice of Mary was barely heard over the thunder of the guns. For years, only the old folks and a few “fanatics” would do as Our Lady had asked and meet on Saturdays to attend Mass and say the Rosary for the Conversion of Russia.

It seemed like such an impossible agenda that I, for one, hardly paid any attention. The Blue Army, and other Marian organizations promoted the Rosary –but I felt that if the whole world had to respond to Mary’s request — it was a lost cause.

However, little by little, the idea that Mary’s Immaculate Heart would rescue Russia seemed to grow.

Suddenly, one fateful day (1 December 1989) there was an article in the newspapers that Mikhail Gorbachev, Premier of the Soviet Republics and heir to the power of Joseph Stalin had gone to Rome to visit the Pope.

There were pictures of the Pope giving a blessed Rosary to Raissa, Gorbachev’s wife.

Unbelievable!

What could have possibly happened that the Premier of the Soviet system would go his mortal “enemy” for a state visit?

As we now know, it was to ask the Pope for his help in dismantling the Socialistic system without bloodshed.

Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart did triumph! Political pundits have tried repeatedly to analyze the events in the fall of the Soviets in order to explain the amazing sequence of events. This powerful and enormous tyranny fell without any deaths except four men — one of whom was an Old Bolshevik who committed suicide when the attempt to retake the system failed.

What happened?

To understand the dynamics involved we have to examine how Our Lady’s Agents worked. The world cannot accept this, because they were such unlikely agents — people with no power at all, who did not even know how they were to affect History. Rev, FPF — A.M.D.G.

CHECKMATE BY THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN –B

LEPANTO AND THE ROSARY

In 1570 the Moslem Turks had conquered Cyprus and immediately started to assemble a fleet to attack Italy. They had conquered Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in 1453; and as a consequence of the terrible wars of Religion that were setting brother against brother north of the Alps, they felt that this was the time to conquer the Capital of the West and so finally dominate and destroy the Christian World.

The Pope of the time, Pius V (born Michael Ghisleri from Alexandria in Tuscany) was a very intelligent and holy man; a Dominican; He found out the Moslem plans and tried to rally the royal houses of Europe to unite against this common foe and to preserve Christianity. All were too busy quarrelling over the spoils wrested from the Church to worry about the Turks. Some, it is a shame to say, were hoping that the Moslems would take Italy and so destroy the terrible Catholic Church. Being unable to rouse the leaders of Europe, the Pope asked for a crusade of prayer. Since he was a Dominican he asked specifically that people pray the Rosary for help. The Catholic people responded with a wave of Rosary processions and other community devotions using the Rosary.

Finally the King of Spain, Phillip II, decided that his possessions in Sicily and Calabria were worth defending so he asked his illegitimate half-brother, Don Juan of Austria, to be the commander of an Allied fleet.

A Christian fleet gathered at the port of Messina in Sicily; it consisted of 206 galleys. Eighty came from Spain and the Spanish possessions in Naples and Sicily; commanded by Marquis de la Cruz. Venice under the command of Augustino Barbarigo contributed 100 galleys and 6 galleases, invented by the Venetians; these were very large galleys on which were mounted heavy artillery. Savoy, Genoa, and the Knights of Malta each contributed 3 gallieys The Order of St. Stephan of Tuscany sent 12 gallieys. These were under the command of Gianandrea Doria the great-nephew of Andrea Doria the famous Genoese Admiral.. There were a large number of galleys from the Papal States under the command of Marcantonio Colonna.

The Holy League had 68,000 combatants, according to some estimates. 40,000 were sailors and oarsmen — largely freemen. The soldIers included 10,000 Spanish who were the finest soldiers in the world at that time.

The Moslem fleet, according to some estimates, consisted of 222 war galleys and 56 galliots. Besides these warships were a number of smaller vessels. It is also estimated that they had 84,000 men of which 37,000 were oarsmen and sailors: most of them captured slaves.

Actually, this was the last (and largest) recorded sea-battle that involved galleys, the use of which went back to the Punic Wars.

The Christian fleet set sail from Messina at the beginning of October/
They encountered the Turks off the Island of Patras on 6 October. The Turkish commanders were eager to engage because they had the advantage of numbers.

The Christian fleet engaged the Turks at close quarters as the Moslems were trying to pass through the straits of Lepanto to the wider seas where they could maneuver.

On the evening before the battle, Marcantonio Colonna had himself rowed from ship to ship and blessed each one with a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He used a copy of the picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe that had been entrusted to the Jesuits thirty years before!

It is said that on October 7, the Pope was consulting with his Cardinals when, suddenly, he got up and walked over to the window. He was silent for a moment, then turned back to the Cardinals and announced that there had been a great victory. Then he sang with them the TE DEUM with tears running down his cheeks.

Indeed there had been a great victory–totally unexpected. The Christians lost 20 ships and about 7.500 men. The Turks had lost 210 ships, including 117 galleys. Their casualties amounted to the vicinity of 18,000 . The Christians released 30,000 Christian galley slaves from the Turkish fleet.

There are varying estimates as to the number of men involved in the battle. However the total on both sides came to eat least 120,000 To have a complete victory when so many warriors are involved and have only 7,500 casualties is a miracle hard to explain.

The Turks in a few years rebuilt their shattered fleet however the loss of experienced sailors and soldiers crippled their naval actions so that from that time they avoided direct battle with the Christian fleets. Many historians see this as the turning point in the unchecked growth of Islam under the Turks.

Believe it or not, among the few units of the Turkish fleet that survived was a small squadron commanded by a turncoat Calabrese! He broke free from the battle and sailed to a small port on the shore of North Africa. He and his men took the town and he installed himself as the Pasha. What happened to him after that is not recoded.

The Moslems never again tried to attack Christendom by sea. The Pope was convinced that it was a miracle and thus instituted the first Sunday in October as the Feast of the Holy Rosary in honor of Our Heavenly Mother who is working in the world and protects us by the Power of God who is using her in this final battle against the evil one.

Rev. F.P Filice

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LEPANTO AND THE ROSARY

In 1570 the Moslem Turks had conquered Cyprus and immediately started to assemble a fleet to attack Italy. They had conquered Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in 1453; and as a consequence of the terrible wars of Religion that were setting brother against brother north of the Alps, they felt that this was the time to conquer the Capital of the West and so finally dominate and destroy the Christian World.

The Pope of the time, Pius V (born Michael Ghisleri from Alexandria in Tuscany) was a very intelligent and holy man; a Dominican; He found out the Moslem plans and tried to rally the royal houses of Europe to unite against this common foe and to preserve Christianity. All were too busy quarrelling over the spoils wrested from the Church to worry about the Turks. Some, it is a shame to say, were hoping that the Moslems would take Italy and so destroy the terrible Catholic Church. Being unable to rouse the leaders of Europe, the Pope asked for a crusade of prayer. Since he was a Dominican he asked specifically that people pray the Rosary for help. The Catholic people responded with a wave of Rosary processions and other community devotions using the Rosary.

Finally the King of Spain, Phillip II, decided that his possessions in Sicily and Calabria were worth defending so he asked his illegitimate half-brother, Don Juan of Austria, to be the commander of an Allied fleet.

A Christian fleet gathered at the port of Messina in Sicily; it consisted of 206 galleys. Eighty came from Spain and the Spanish possessions in Naples and Sicily; commanded by Marquis de la Cruz. Venice under the command of Augustino Barbarigo contributed 100 galleys and 6 galleases, invented by the Venetians; these were very large galleys on which were mounted heavy artillery. Savoy, Genoa, and the Knights of Malta each contributed 3 gallieys The Order of St. Stephan of Tuscany sent 12 gallieys. These were under the command of Gianandrea Doria the great-nephew of Andrea Doria the famous Genoese Admiral.. There were a large number of galleys from the Papal States under the command of Marcantonio Colonna.

The Holy League had 68,000 combatants, according to some estimates. 40,000 were sailors and oarsmen — largely freemen. The solders included 10,000 Spanish who were the finest soldiers in the world at that time.

The Moslem fleet, according to some estimates, consisted of 222 war galleys and 56 galliots. Besides these warships were a number of smaller vessels. It is also estimated that they had 84,000 men of which 37,000 were oarsmen and sailors: most of them captured slaves.

Actually, this was the last (and largest) recorded sea-battle that involved galleys, the use of which went back to the Punic Wars.

The Christian fleet set sail from Messina at the beginning of October/
They encountered the Turks off the Island of Patras on 6 October. The Turkish commanders were eager to engage because they had the advantage of numbers.

The Christian fleet engaged the Turks at close quarters as the Moslems were trying to pass through the straits of Lepanto to the wider seas where they could maneuver.

On the evening before the battle, Marcantonio Colonna had himself rowed from ship to ship and blessed each one with a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He used a copy of the picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe that had been entrusted to the Jesuits thirty years before!

It is said that on October 7, the Pope was consulting with his Cardinals when, suddenly, he got up and walked over to the window. He was silent for a moment, then turned back to the Cardinals and announced that there had been a great victory. Then he sang with them the TE DEUM with tears running down his cheeks.

Indeed there had been a great victory–totally unexpected. The Christians lost 20 ships and about 7.500 men. The Turks had lost 210 ships, including 117 galleys. Their casualties amounted to the vicinity of 18,000 . The Christians released 30,000 Christian galley slaves from the Turkish fleet.

There are varying estimates as to the number of men involved in the battle. However the total on both sides came to eat least 120,000 To have a complete victory when so many warriors are involved and have only 7,500 casualties is a miracle hard to explain.

The Turks in a few years rebuilt their shattered fleet however the loss of experienced sailors and soldiers crippled their naval actions so that from that time they avoided direct battle with the Christian fleets. Many historians see this as the turning point in the unchecked growth of Islam under the Turks.

Believe it or not, among the few units of the Turkish fleet that survived was a small squadron commanded by a turncoat Calabrese! He broke free from the battle and sailed to a small port on the shore of North Africa. He and his men took the town and he installed himself as the Pasha. What happened to him after that is not recoded.

The Moslems never again tried to attack Christendom by sea. The Pope was convinced that it was a miracle and thus instituted the first Sunday in October as the Feast of the Holy Rosary in honor of Our Heavenly Mother who is working in the world and protects us by the Power of God who is using her in this final battle against the evil one.

Rev. F.P Filice A.M.D.G.

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THE IMPOSSIBLE REALITY

THE INCARNATION

(Romans 8 18 -25) “ For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us.
For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God.
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him that made it subject, in hope:
Because the creature also itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.
For we know that every creature groaneth and travaileth in pain even till now.

And not only it, but ourselves also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body.
For we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen, is not hope. For what a man seeth, why doth he hope for?
But if we hope for that which we see not, we wait for it with patience.”

(1 John 3: 7 -12) “Dearly beloved, let us love one another, for charity is of God; and every one that loveth, is born of God and knoweth. God
He that loveth not, knoweth not God: for God is charity.
By this has the charity of God appeared towards us, because God has sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we may live by him.
In this is charity: not as though we had loved God, but because he hath first loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins
My dearest, if God hath so loved us; we also ought to love one another.
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abideth in us, and his Charity is perfected in us.”

If the essence of God, our Creator, is the divine love we call “charity”, then it follows that the Creator is an act of self-giving.

All love is a type of communication of myself to another. Thus, every act of the Creator is fundamentally a communication of Himself. In creation He communicates His Being to the creature.

The mysterY of the Trinity is understood by the Church as an outcome of these facts. The Father, as Jesus told us ( John 5: 19 -21;6:54; etc.), is the Eternal Being who has existence within himself. Since His essence is to love , The Creator must communicate Himelf it is the essence of His existence. However communication requires not only a communicator, but also someone who can receive that communication and return it. Otherwise the act of communication is incomplete and is simply noise.

When God created Adam ( Genesis 2), he created him in the image of the Creator thus Adam could not be alone — to exist he had to have someone with whom he could communicate. The other creatures of this 3 dimensional construct within which all this takes place, are incapable of completing this act of self-giving which is the very essence of the image of God within man. The Bible clearly explains the fact that this is why God created woman — to form with the man this complete creature who can communicate and receive that communication.

The same is true of The Creator. Since He is essentially a communication of Himelf (which we call “Charity”), there has to be a Being capable of receiving the Act of Love which is the Father. The Church holds that this Receiver (since the Creator is unique) is His own image to whom The Father (who has Being within himself) communicates His entire nature thus “begetting” His Duplicate (who has the fullness of the Divinity) which we call “The Son”. Since the Son is the perfect image of the Invisible God, his existence, too depends on his total self-giving to the Father. Since that exchange of self is essentially what God is — this results in the third Person of the Blessed Trinity– the Holy Spirit who essentially is the communication of Divinity itself which is eternal and infinite.. Three Divine persons, One God.

Thus, the Trinity is perfect and a complete dynamo of Divine Love.

However, when something was created “outside” of the Trinity, as is recounted in Genesis. The creature (this Univers) exists as an act of Divine Love. But what created thing can return completely the Love of the Father?

No creature could possibly be able to complete the communication because there is no creature ( even the highest angel) that is infinite. Only the Father and Son and the Holy Spirit are capable of receiving and giving this infinite Love

Therefore, in order for Creation to take place, the Creator had to have a creature that has the Diving ability to receive and give in the infinite love that is God.

Thus, the Incarnation is the essential feature of this entire construct we call the Cosmos and of ourselves. Without Jesus, the Christ, we could not exist. Nothing would exist.

Paul (Colossian 1:14 -20) says: “ In whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins; who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creatur. For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible; who is the image of the Invisible God,the first born of every creature. For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether Thrones or Dominations, Principalities or Powers; all things were created in him and by him. He is before all, and by him all things consist.
And he is the head of the body, the Church, who is the beginning ,the first-born from the dead; that in him all things he may hold the primacy. Because in him, it hath well pleased the Father, that all fullness should dwell.”

I think it is easy to see, therefore, that when Jesus allowed himself to be killed on Golgotha ( “ I go because the World must know that I Love the Father and do his Will “ John 14: 31), what was taking place was the completion of this Creation. This Act of LOve was the reason and purpose of Creation.

So, Our Saviour not only gave himself to save us and to give the Glory to the Father that all creatures have not given Him and thus Atoning for our sins, but he justified existence itself.

The events at Golgotha that we commemorate during the Easter season are the key events of the Universe itself that completed Creation and thus inaugurating a new creation dedicted entirely, through Jesus Christ, to the Glory of God.

Could any event be greater than the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus?
A.M.D.G.

A GREAT GIFT FRM ISRAEL

THE STORY OF THE SCAPULAR

It is not generally recognized but the Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel originated, as did so many of our Catholic customs and liturgical actions, in our historical beginnings among the Hebrew people.

Chapter 15 of the Book of Numbers (“bemidbar” i.e. “in the wilderness”) as well as Chapter 22 of Deuteronomy (“Sefer Devarim”) enjoins the Israelites to wear tassels on their garment. This traditionally has been fulfilled by the wearing of the prayer shawl which every male Hebrew receives at his Bar Mitzvah and which he wears during the liturgical payers prescribed for him. This garment (“ tallit”, meaning “garment) is called the “Tallit Godol” (“large garment”). The Chapter cited enjoins the Israelite to have fringes on the Tallit that are tied on with knots that symbolize the 613 prescriptions of the Law.

Orthodox Jews, also wear a Tallit Katan , or a “small garment”, under their clothes and over their innermost garments. This tallit, unlike the Prayer Shawl is supposed to be worn always and it too has on it the tassels known as “Tzitzis”

Why two tallitot and why all Jews do not wear both has to do with the history of the Jews as a people.

The Torah is probably the first book ever written by man; certainly it is the first using an alphabet. The alphabet was given to Moses by the Angels ( i.e. The Creator’s agents) on Mount Sinai. As a matter of fact the earliest alphabetic use as an inscription was found in a mine in that area and it dates to the time of the Exodus.

Moses wrote the Torah ( or it was done under his direction) not only as a history of the Israelites, but also as God’s Word to Mankind, instructing us about Himself and how we are to serve him.

For a thousand years the customs and prescriptions of The Law were observed by Hebrews as they were instructed by the priests at the Temple.

After the destruction of Solomon’s Temple and during the Babylonian exile, a new problem arose. Since there was no longer a Temple, the liturgical prescriptions of The Law could not be observed. No sacrifices could be made since the Temple was the only place in the entire world where The Creator would accept sacrifices.

The Lord inspired the leaders of the Jews residing in Babylon to develop Sabbath prayer meetings at which the Scriptures (especially the Torah) were studied with a teacher whose function was to study all the scriptures and the commentaries. This prayer meeting became the “Synagogue” and the unifying feature of the Diaspora.

Under the Chaldeans, the Israeli became essentially merchants and spread our to all the centers of the buying and selling of merchandise. For example, the Jewish community in Kerala, India, had been there for five hundred years when St. Thomas visited them on his apostolic journey.

Thus, although under the Persians (successors to the Chaldeans) travel was possible, the distances were very great and the communities had a tendency to be united only by merchants and visiting Rabbis. It was very difficult to go to Jerusalem for the prescribed holidays.

As the Bible records, seventy years after the destruction of the Temple, the Priests and many Jews returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the Second Temple and instituted again the customary prescription of the Law with regard to the Sacrifices and the worship at the Temple.

The collapse of the Hellenic conquest of the Middle East with the death of Alexander in 323 B.C. threw the Middle East into a period of almost constant wars between the competing Grecian Warlords vying to re-unite the conquests of Alexander , each seeking to be the ruler . Thus, for almost 300 years it was virtually impossible for the Jews of the Diaspora, even once in a lifetime to go to Jerusalem to celebrate the prescribed Pilgrim Feasts. There was no protection for the travel

The result was different theological concepts developing in the environs of Jerusalem from the Jews of the Diaspora. The people of the land of Judah were taught by the Priests and those who followed their teachings were called the “Sadducees”.

Certainly by the inspiration of the Lord, the Rabbis of the Diaspora made every effort to keep the Jews separated from the surrounding environment. Thus the Pharisees (=”separate”) developed. The leaders helped the people to remain separated from the pagans especially by developing laws that acted as a fence around the Jewish home. Thus the relatively straightforward laws of the Torah were enveloped with so many secondary laws that keeping them was a total preoccupation of the observant Jew and kept him from absorbing the pagan ideas around him. Remember that the book of Acts records that even Paul complained about the difficulty of observing all the laws of the Pharisees.

For example, it was among the Pharisees of the Diaspora that the exclusive nature of the Jewish Home developed. As you know, an observant Orthodox Jew will not willingly enter into a Gentile home nor invite a Gentile into his home. The many laws surrounding the Sabbath rest and the service of prayer in the synagogue also were a real fence for the Jew.

We know that the Jewish religion as practiced today reflects the Diaspora, not the Sadducees. An Orthodox Jew today is one who observes the prescriptions of the Rabbis.

One of the customs developed, under divine inspiration, by the Rabbis of the Diaspora was the Tallit Katan — meant to be worn always and not only during prayer as was the Tallit Godol. It was worn under the outer clothing so the Jew would always remember that he was chosen by the Creator to serve Him and this extended to every part of his life, not just prescribed prayer times. It reminded him of his need to keep himself pure.

The Tallit Katan consists of two unadorned cloths one covering the back and the other the front of the torso with two shoulder straps. The result is a poncho-like garment that has tassels at the four corners ( the Tzitzis) to remind him of the Law of the Lord. It was a sign of divine predilection and protection.

Jesus, as you remember, although born in Bethlehem of Judea, was raised in Nazareth of Galilee. Galilee was part of the Diaspora and so the teachers in the Synagogues were the rabbinical Pharisees. Thus he would have worn the Tallit Katan .

After the destruction of the Temple by the Romans and the dispersal of all the Jews into the Diaspora , in the year 70, the Orthodox Jew always wore this Tallit Katan. The Mother of Jesus, gave this garment to those Gentiles entering into the New Covenant with Jesus, because we who are baptized are adopted as His Brothers and so are chosen people dedicated to do God’s work in bringing the Nations to Christ. Thus the Scapular (as it is called by the Romans) also carries with it the concept of being protected.

The Scapular promises and the Blessings and Indulgences given this garment by the Church are signs of the protection promised by the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Scapular entered the general world of the Gentiles through the monks who lived on Mt. Carmel for millennia and who were observant Jews of the Diaspora. It is well documented that the reconquest of the Holy Land by the Turks during the Crusades brought them to Europe; and the Scapular with them.

The promises of Our Lady regarding her special protection for those who wear the Scapular have been atttested to by many miracles historically verified.

She has promised, for example, that anyone dying with the Scapular on will not suffer the pains of Hell. This has led to miraculous conversions of people accepting the scapular. Hospital Chaplains who confer the Scapular on patients find that they invariably accept the Sacraments and prepare for eternal life with God.

The Catholic Church owes a great debt of gratitude to the Jewish people of the Diaspora for this gift from Our Lady. WE must be very grateful to God for this wonderful gift.

FROM A CATHOLIC PARENT

NOTE TO MOTHERS Actual and Potential
(AND TO FATHER OR POTENTIAL FATHERS ALSO)

Since my family has a new group of babies being born I feel I should thank the Lord publicly for them. Remember that mothers and, really, every woman has to be encouraged to not be afraid of what they are called by the Creator to do — that is, pass on Life to succeeding generations.

Every woman, as we all know, is a beautiful work of God and should be treated as such by everyone and they should keep themselves in such a way as to be worthy of the work of being a temple of life. God’s creation takes place in women and so they are holy to the Lord whether they generate children physically or not. As a corallory duty,women pass on the culture of our society to their children.

I am very grateful to God that my female descendants, like my wife , are willing to accept what God sends to them. They are very happy in their vocation. Timidity — as I have often said, is a great enemy of ours: it makes us afraid of cooperating with God’s plans and so interferes with our salvation and that of those for whom we are responsible.

Thus I would like to counsel every woman, not just those of my family, to not be afraid to have children in Holy wedlock and to strive to raise the children for God and not for the Devil. This last is the responsibility shared by every Christian.

Jesus came to give us the opportunity to go to heaven, eventually; a gift that is free and always there in His Church. For us to not accept this gift is foolish indeed. He said that we have to teach what He taught and Baptize in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit ( last chapter in the Gospel of Mark) and those who are baptized and believe will be saved.

-However, there is something to understand beyond that: — there is an enemy of our salvation who lurks around each human. These bad angels cannot hurt us in any way because we are protected by God; but they can tempt us. God permits these temptations so we may prove the reality of our love of God and our desire to serve Him alone.

What each of us has to be aware of and what we must teach our children is that the angels communicate with us though our thoughts. So, not every thought in your head is yours. This is very important to remember ourselves and to teach children.

There are thoughts that are our own -generally pretty ordinary. There are thoughts given to us by our Guardian Angels — if we follow those thoughts we will be safe and happy here on earth and will finally get to heaven. But there also thoughts generated by our guardian devil. These always lead to sin although they may seem very ordinary.

When sin is serious enough (“mortal,” sin: that is to say, we know the act is against the Will of God and we do it anyway) we can no longer hear the guidance of the Angel who is the agent of the Creator in our lives. We follow the other thoughts. That is when the troubles start because the enemy fools us into thinking that bad is good and that the Creator has abandoned us. He tells us that God protects those who protect themselves. We have to teach our children what a temptation is and how to avoid it.

I have noticed that more spiritually inclined souls are attacked in subtle ways — always appealing to pride. “You are too smart to fall for that line” — your tempter tells you –“Your parents ( or teachers of Catholic Faith) are trying to control you, again ; lucky you know how to think for yourself.” Etc. etc.

The enemy tries to get you to stop going to Sacraments. In that way you do not have the ability to resist him. You have discarded the gift of defense provided us by Jesus when he died. If the demon can tempt you to physical sins — he will do it and keep you enslaved to that sin. Then, his greatest weapon is depression and fear.

I hope some of you who are depressed read this –DEPRESSION AND DISCORAGEMENT COME FROM TRYING TO SOLVE PROBLEMS YOU CANNOT SOLVE. And WHEN YOU CANNOT SOLVE A PROBLEM IT IS NOT YOURS TO SOLVE — IT BELONGS TO OUR CREATOR. Then the enemy makes you afraid to resort to the sacraments of confession and the Eucharist — which are the way we learn to avoid trying to do things that are not ours to do.

So, I urge you potential and actual Mothers (and Fathers) to teach your children how to avoid temptation. Point out that not all our thoughts are our own and if we can control the ones we listen to we not only will never sin but we will lead safe and happy lives and also get to heaven.

The thoughts of the enemy may be very subtle so that you hardly notice that they are not yours — however they lead to sin and death. The best way to reject the thoughts that will lead you to sin is to think :”Jesus Christ is Lord” and then make acts of love to Him. Never try to argue with a temptation but try to think of something else — preferably the life of Jesus — but even getting busy hiking or painting or any other activity that draws you away from those discouraging thoughts can protect you.

Also, develop the habit of praying to God by talking to him in your mind. Talk to him about your problems; about the beautiful things you see; about the fun you had —etc. Jesus is a wonderful companion but he cannot enter unless you invite him. Our relationship with Jesus is one of Love — and that cannot be forced.

In closing I want to say that I am very proud, not only of my children and their descendants – but of the many young people of our time who go forward trusting that God will take care of them and who push fear out of their hearts.

A.M.D.G.

Italian Catholic Federation

Another example of great people I have known.

At St. Monica’s Parish, in San Francisco, as a layman I met many wonderful people. One of them was Mr. Savant.

Mr Savant was a Genovese who married a very Catholic woman of Irish decent. Bernard, his son was a great singer but earned his living as a purchasing agent; and the other son taught for many years a the Dominican College ( now “university”) in San Rafael.

Well, Mr Savant was active in our Parish and instrumental in the founding of our local chapter of the Italian Catholic Federation.

As you remember, that great organization was founded by an Italian business man, Luigi Providenza, and Father Bandini, at the Church of The Immaculate Conception, in San Francisco in 1924. They did it to serve the spritual needs of the many Italians who settled in California. They were largely in small towns like Gilroy , Martinez, and Hollister. The local priest was never of Italian descent and, thus, not “trustworthy”. As a result very few Paisani went to Mass and the Faith was rapidly diminishing. It was estimated that only 8 % of the Italians in California attended Mass.

As you remember: the Italian Catholic Federation was designed to attract Italians as a Family organization — with many feasts etc. etc. A part of the dues went to bring and Italian priest here to give Missions in the various parts of California where Italians lived.

Today, about 50% of the Italians in California are good Catholics due to the apostolic work of the Federation.

I probably have told you this befor, but I would like to recount one of the incidents he told me because it shows how real is the promise of salvation which we have received and how much the Mother of Jesus is at work bringing her Children to Heaven.

Mr. Savant was a salesman and made enough money to devote a large part of his time to the ICF. He was one of the laymen who would take turns accompanying the Italian-speaking priest on his preaching tour to help with the preparations.

Sometime in the fifties, after the War he was accompanying a Missionary preaching at one of the small towns of the Mother Lode country. He would arrange for the publicity and make the announcements at the Masses of the parish for several Sundays before the Mission, then he and the Italian priest would visit every Italian family in the area.

Thus they would go out to the farms and seek out any Italians. During the War many of the Italians in small towns had encountered suspicion like the Japanese did, and they were closely watched by the US government. As a result some hid their nationality by chainging their name.

They came to a farmhouse and knocked on the door and when the woman of the house answered they told her they were looking for Italians. There was a non-Italian name on the mailbox and she assured them that there were no such persons there. As they were about to leave they heard a voice from deep in the house say “Chi ce?” They told the lady of the house that that was Italian. Ths lady explained that it was the aged mother of her husband and that she was very sick.

They asked if they could speak to her and found that this aged woman of almost niney years of age had immigrated to Caifornia with her husbad when she was 18 years old. They had settled on that remote farm and from that day she never left the place. Her entire life was careing for her family. She never learned English –she never went to town – never attended Mass – had not received ANY Sacrament. The only thing she had was her rosary which she constantly recited; her only prayer and solace.

Well, the priest heard her confession and gave her the last rites. They came back the next day to bring her Communion (the first since she was married).

The very next day she died.

Imagine, the Blessed Virgin made sure she received the consolation of the Sacraments before leaving this life. What a reward for her patient devotion!!

Why should we ever get discouraged with such a loving Mother to help us?

Another experience that he told me was an event that took place on one of his excursions to the Los Angeles area.

The Mission, in the 60’s of the last Century, was being offered at a Church in the older part of Los Angeles. As part of the prayer for the conversion of the parishoners, they passed a night vigil of Adoration beore the Blessed Sacrament in which the people attending the Mission participated .

Mr. Savant was spending the night in the Church to make certain that the Blessed Sacrament would not be left ungaurded. Sure enough, around 2 in the morning, eveyone had left so that he was alone in the Church. So, Mr. Savant left his place and went to the Altar Rail to kneel and pray.

As he was praying in the empty Church he began to hear the slap of sandals slowly coming up the aisle. He did not pay much attention until the footsteps stopped behind him.

He turned around and there saw an old Indian woman. Dressed as an Indian with sandals on her feet. She was staring reverenly at the Blessed Sacrament. He turned back to his devotians and not hearing anything for awhile turned around, again, to see what the Indian woman was doing.

There was no one there!!

She had vanished.

It is well known, that the poor souls in purgatory can spend part of their time in a Church. He was convinced that is what he had seen.

Speaking of phantoms there is another true story involving the ICF.

This time it was the founder: Luigi Providenza, who had the experieince. He was helping at a Mission to be held at the Cathederal Church of Monterey. At that time the Cathedral was the ancient Presedio chapel of Monterey, California.

It is a very ancient Indian Spanish Church built like all the Missions of the Californias, with adobe .

The Rectory was the residence not only of the Pastor but also of the Bishop when he was in the area. At that time, the Diocese of Montery extended across California to include what is now the Diocese of Fresno.

In the Bishops’s absence, Luigi and the Mission Priest were staying with the Pastor in the Rectory of the Cathedral.

Luigi was assighed a room on the top floor.

During the night,aroud 12, he was wakened by a noise in the hall. He rose and opened the door and, to his amazement, saw and elerly priest, dreassed ina cassock pacing down the hall. He turned at the end and paced slowly back and disappeared into the wall at the end of the hall.

Naturally, Mr. Providenza was astonished and he hurridly woke up the Pastor to tell that he had seen a phantom priest.

The Pastor showed no surprise. It was a phenomeon that had been taking place for several years. They had done everyting imaginable to exorcise the phantom. The Bishop had blessed the house and read the prayers of exorcism — all to no avail.

They even knew who it was. It was the phantom of the last Pastor of the Cathedral.

Some time after Mr. Providenza had this remarkable experieince, the Bishop was going through the records of the late Pastor. He found a notebook. Every priest carries a notebook to record the Masses he promises to say. Whether he recives a stipend or not he is responsible to say the Mass for the agreed intention.

The previous Pastor had been sick in the hospital and did not expect to die. When a parishoner came to visit and asked for a Mass for a particular intention, he noted it in the book. When he said the Mass he was supposed to note the date or otherwide indicate that the promise had been honored.

The Bishop noted that there were around 14 Masses that had been promised but not said because the Pastor died unexpectely.

The Bishop passed the Masses among is priests who said the promised Masses.

The spector never came back again.

It is vitally important for us to realize that the phenomenon of Purgatory is very real.

The Baptized Christian who believes in Christ and does His Will, is promised salvation. However, very few people are ready at death to love the Creator with His own love — that is to live the Divine Life offered to him. Most people have to go through a period of healing to prepare them to be totally Children of God.

The Church prays for the souls in Purgatory and offers sacrifices because when you pray for someone you are performing an act of kindness for someone who, because of their helplessness, cannot return the kindness at that time. This unselfish act is the essence of Divine Love which aids the healing and perfection of the soul.

We should always remember to pray for the deceased we know, but also for those we do not know personally. As a matter of fact, the month of November, each year, is the Month of the Poor Souls. During that month we are reminded to offer prayer and sacrifice for all the Souls in Purgatory Rev FPF

A great Jesuit saint

ST. ALOYSIUS GONZAGA, S.J. 21 June 21, 2011

A great Jesuit saint who died as a very young man while still a novice. He was noted for his innocence as well as his mortifications. The two, you know, go together.

Chastity, in our time has been greatly denigrated. Actually, it is a virtue of great importance. A chaste person is obedient to the reason for his existence, which certainly does not include sin. A chaste person can allow the Creator to act through him to save others.

God, as you know, is Love and we are made in his image — thus we need to love and to be loved to be in harmony with our basic design. It is only by being in harmony with the reason for our existence that we can be at peace and without peace we can never be truly happy in this life or the next. The selfishness of sin corrupts love.

It is really hard to maintain your innocence in our society because the media is in the hands of people who push sin and unchastity all the time. For example it is commonly held by young people that when they go to College they are expected not to come back but to be on their own. Being alone you lose the protection of those who love you and are exposed to the traps sowed by the enemy. As long as we live in normal families, the unity of the family is the way the culture is transmitted and the way we manage to form good people who try to serve God and not the World. Women, for example, were carefully protected by the family. They always dressed modestly and were treated with respect. Now, every young lady feels she has to advertise her body everywhere in order to ge popular.

As a result , men find if very hard to maintain chastity.

This is why I am writing this to you: to teach how to maintain your integrity in the midst of serious temptations.

On the feast of the Holy Eucharist the Perpetual Adoration sisters in San Francisco have an outdoor procession on Haight St. to honor the Blessed Sacrament. It is to show our love and respect for what Jesus has done for us in the Church.

Perhaps 200 people may participate.

The same day on Market St. 500 , 000 homosexuals parade their defiance of the Creator. It is true that there are probably not may more than that in the United States but they gather all that they can to make a statement that IT IS GOD’S FAULT.

Every single one of those poor deluded people are victims of the inability to understand the character of temptation.

They would be free of that slavery to sensuality if they realized that every sin and every act contrary to the Law of our Maker starts with thoughts.

IF THEY KNEW HOW TO CONTROL THEIR THOUGHTS THEY WOULD NEVER SIN AND WOULD BE FREE OF THE ADDICTIONS THAT BIND THEM.

And the same thing is true of us. If we know how to control our thoughts we would not sin no matter how flagrant the temptations.

That is why I am writing this to teach you how to control your thoughts and so spend your life serving the Creator and not the devil; thus you can spend your eternity happy in your heavenly home.

What is the secret?

Well, not every thought comes from us. There are three kinds of thoughts in your head: (a.) YOURS, (b.) YOUR GUARDIAN ANGEL and (c.) THOSE PROMPTED BY YOUR GUARDIAN DEVIL.

Those who become homosexuals, for example, think that the thoughts and odd desires floating in their minds are a sign that they are not normal. This is an idea that the tempter re-inforces over and over.

Those who maintain their integrity in the face of a barrage of sensuous thoughts are those that realize these thoughts are not theirs and can be rejected by ignoring them.

As I have told you before the best way to defeat the tempter is to ignore him.

However that is hard to do sometimes. Therefore, If you have thoughts, feelings, moods, etc. that depress you, discourage you, make you sad, feel sorry for yourself, excite you, lead to morbid curiosity; or disturb you in any way like evoke fear or timidity, anxiety and worry; know that the thoughts are from your enemy and can be safely ignored. Your Creator loves you with an overwhelming love and will not let these things reach you. All you have to do is remind the demon that “Jesus Christ is Lord” (a phrase he hates and fears) and then think of Jesus and simply tell him you love him. As long as the temptation lasts, do the same thing and try to think of Jesus. You will see that tranquility will return and (if you are free from Mortal sin) your heart will regain its peace.

Remember, things you cannot control are not your responsibility. Actually many people find physical activity helps protect them from these disturbing thouhgts.

Once the enemy has you listening to him he will lead you to all kinds of aberrations of thought and action.

You have to remember that we humans are in the middle of a cosmic battle between the Creator and his enemy. The battlefield is your soul; so the wise person stays close to Jeus who will protect us.

To keep close to the Lord requires frequent recourse to prayer and the Sacraments. I suggest that you go to confession at least once a month and never miss mass and the opportunity to go to communion.

Also — a very important point — Mortal Sin closes the Lord’s ability to guide you. The reason is that you can no longer hear your guardian angel directly, having chosen another voice.

This is where the other part of St. Aloysius’ teaching comes in. We have to practice self-control in order to resist the false lights of sin. If we give in to every whim we will wind up drugged sponges completely ruled by the enemy.

Every Catholic must practice some penance in order to be saved. It certainly does not need to be heroic, like those of some saints == but, like the Little Flower, we can practice a penance within our powers and Our Lord will multiply the effect in our lives.

She used to do simple things == like be kind to someone you do not like. Being patient with someone who annoys you, Not saying a cutting remark. Holding back negative talk or smiling patiently when you are falsely accused.

Remember, you belong to the Creator and if you do not do his Will you will lose the reason for your existence. That is a pathway to despair.
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Seek good companions who are also trying to be good and be a good companion by giving good example.

THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE COSMOS

A BIBLICAL QUESTION A. M. D. G.

John 19: 23 -34 “ The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified him took his garments (and they made four parts, to every soldier a part) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from top throughout.

“They said then one to another: let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the scripture might be fulfilled, saying: TheY have parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture they have cast lot. And the soldiers indeed did these things.

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Last Things

A friend of mine was recently given a brief vision of a elderly deceased relative. This relative seemed much younger and strong. The seer remembers that the brief vision evoked no sense of fear; suggesting that it was not a diabolical illusion. The deceased person sparkled and shone with a beautiful light.

My friend was granted a glimpse of the change that takes place in us through the purification of the Sacraments and the events of Purgatory. The deceased, once purified, now is completely filled with the Grace of God, which is His own life of Divine Love.

This vision makes us realize that what is waiting for us is so incredibly wonderful that we cannot even conceive of extraordinary nature of what God has in store for His faithful.

We will be healed and perfected by the power that created all things: Divine Love. To accept and pass on the Love of God is the force that will make us share in the Life of God, forever.

St. Paul says as much in his letters.

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Rosh Hoshanha

The generally accepted story of Rosh Hosanah is that it means “head of the year” and it falls in the 7 th month of the Hebrew Calendar. The reason given is that the seventh month (Tishrei) is, according to Jewish belief, when God began Creation. The first month, Nissan, was when the Jews were liberated from Egypt.

However, initially for the first 1,500 years of their existence, the Hebrews have always belived that Creation began at the Vernal Equinox. And the beginning of Spring, each year, celebrates that act of the Creator. The idea that Creation began in the Fall, therefore, is a mistake caused by an attempt to harmonize the concept of the first month beginning with the new moon after the Vernal Equinox, with another Calendar whose first month began in the Fall.

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