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MARCH 4, 2012

2nd Sunday of Lent

“This is my beloved Son.  Listen to him.”

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The rosary is an instrument of prayer given by the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Dominic in the year 1208.  St. Dominic was trying to convert the Albigensians of  Southern France who taught the heresy that physical matter was inherently evil since God was pure spirit.

      God is pure spirit, but God the Son united his spirit to human nature to affirm the goodness of God’s creation, to redeem it and offer all people salvation from sin through Christ and his sacraments.  Mary taught St. Dominic how to pray the rosary and so reflect and respond to God’s saving work.

      Throughout the centuries and throughout the world the rosary has been recited prayerfully for the conversion of sinners, for the protection of countries and the Catholic faith.  We are encouraged to pray the rosary daily, but even once a week with family or before Mass is a great blessing.

      Pope John XXIII spoke 38 times about our Lady of the Rosary, which is the title Mary chose to give herself at her apparitions inFatima,Portugal1917.  Pope John prayed 15 decades daily (1959-1963).  The following are the 15 promises of Mary to Christians who recite the rosary with devotion.

 *Whoever faithfully serves me by the recitation of the rosary shall receive signal graces (signs of blessings).

*I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who

  shall recite the rosary.

*The rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice,

  decrease sin and defeat heresies.

*It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the

  abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of

  the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. 

  Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.

*The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary shall

  not perish.

*Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the

  consideration of the sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by

  misfortune.  God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by

  an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and

  become worthy of eternal life.

*Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the

 sacraments of the Church.

*They shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the

  plenitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the

  merits of the saints in paradise.

*I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.

*The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in

  heaven.

*You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.

*All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their

  necessities.

*I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary

  shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at

  the hour of death.

*All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only son Jesus

  Christ.

*Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.

(Given to St. Dominic)

Imprimatur: Patrick J. Hayes, D.D., Archbishop ofNew York

      To praise God is to recall the great action of his saving love in our history.  The holy rosary prayed sincerely is sweet praise.

 All for the glory of God,

Fr. Thomas McCabe

FEBRUARY 26, 2012 – 1st SUNDAY IN LENT

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“This is the time of fulfillment.  The kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Today our society is in a spiritual struggle between the culture of life centered on God, and the culture of death, which is centered on selfish pleasure and ignores God’s Ten Commandments of life and love.

We see struggles like this in the Bible, for example, in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.  There the people gave themselves up to sexual perversion, including homosexuality, and tried to seduce Abraham’s nephew Lot.

“In those days, the Lord said: ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave, that I must go down and see…[if it] corresponds to the cry against them.’”  There are four sins that cry out to God for justice so that innocent people (those who strive for holiness) might be relieved: 1) killing of innocent people, like abortion, 2) homosexual activity, 3) not paying people a livable wage for honest work, and 4) oppression of the poor.

Abraham asks the Lord if he will “sweep away the innocent with the guilty?…”  God responds that he will spare the town “if” there are ten innocent people within it.

God saved Lot and his family by having them leave the city by the help of his angels.  Unfortunately his wife turned around with evil desire and turned into a pillar of salt.  God then destroyed the cities because of the lack of repentant hearts.

God sent his Son, Jesus, into to the world to establish his Church in order that there are more than 10 innocent people living in every city so as to transform the culture of death into the culture of life.  Every member of the Church must proclaim and fight against mortal sin and help those who want to “Repent, and believe in the Gospel”.

Our Archdiocese has Faith in Action which is part of a larger organization called “COURAGE” that helps men and women with Same Sex Attraction live within God’s Commandments of life and love.

The following goals have been establish for Courage members.

*To live a chaste life in accordance with the Catholic Church’s teaching on Sexuality.

*To dedicate one’s life to Christ through service, prayer, spiritual reading, meditation, individual spiritual direction, and the frequent reception of the sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist.

*To be mindful of the truth that chaste friendships are not only possible but necessary in celibate Christian life and to encourage one another in forming and sustaining them.

Our Archdiocese has formed another group called Encourage: “The mission of Encourage is to help families and friends of homosexual persons deal with their concerns in this regard.  It is open to all people, regardless of their loved one’s lifestyle.  It conforms to the Catholic Church’s teaching on sexuality and reflects the Church’s approach of helping the homosexual person to lead a chaste lifestyle…”

More information can be found at Archdiocese Office of Marriage, Family and Life (651)291-4488, or website: www.archspm.org/family.

Fr. James Livingston will be speaking on the importance of being respectful of everyone, which includes speaking God’s truth with love.  FRIDAY, MARCH 2, at 7:30 PM, Crusader Civic Center.  He is the Chaplain at North Memorial Medical Center, Robbinsdale, and Spiritual Director of Courage and a Carmelite Lay Group.  A short informational meeting will follow with respect to the passing of the Marriage Amendment that will protect traditional marriage between one man and one woman.

 Peace through Christ,

Fr. Thomas McCabe

Jesus, and His Catholic Church, teach with authority

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 FEBRUARY 19, 2012

7th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

“I say to you, rise, pick up your mat and go home.”

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Ash Wednesday is this coming Wednesday,  which begins the Liturgical Season of Lent.  Lent is a time to review our life in light of the Gospel; to ask important questions about our  relationship to God and others.  We are called to repent of sin and recommit ourselves to God and his Ten Commandments of life and love.  This prepares us for the Resurrected life which we celebrate every Sunday, especially on Easter Sunday.

       Blessed ashes are placed on our forehead to remind us that we are mortal creatures, created by God who sustains our every heart beat and breath until he calls us to himself for judgment at our death.

        Lent is forty days of intensified prayer and fasting (on Sundays only the Eucharistic fast – no food –including gum – or beverages except water and medicine one hour before receiving Holy Communion).  In God’s revelation, found in the Old Testament, the number forty took on significance in the first book in the Bible, Genesis.  God was displeased with unrepentant mankind, but he did recognize one man who sought forgiveness, Noah.  God therefore communicated to Noah about an impending punishment out of justice to cleanse the earth of wickedness – the lack of repentance of sin.

       Forty days and forty nights the rain fell, but Noah and his family were saved because they listened to the Word of God and acted upon it by building the ark.  God purified the earth for them and set a rainbow in the sky as a reminder of his covenant.  The first thing Noah did, upon leaving the ark, was to build an altar and sacrifice to the Lord God for saving him and his family.

       God also communicates to us in the person of Moses, whom he chose to be a servant leader of his chosen people.  God led the people out of Egyptthrough the leadership of Moses to Mt.Sinai.  Moses climbed the mountain and fasted and prayed for forty days and forty nights before receiving the Ten Commandments of God’s covenant of love. (Exodus, 24:12-18)

       Upon coming down Mount Sinai, Moses realizes the people have rebelled against God and had made a golden calf to worship – an idol to replace God.  Moses smashed the stone tablets as a sign of their breaking their covenant with God.  He goes back up the mountain to intercede for God’s people and again is given the Ten Commandments of life and love, but also with a hard penance for the people – they would wander in the desert for forty years – one generation – to test them.  Many fail and never make it to the Promised Land of rest.

       King David is inspired to write Psalm 95: “Forty years I loathed that generation; I said, ‘This people’s hearts go astray, they do not know my ways’.  Therefore I swore in my anger: ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”  King David put on sackcloth and sat in ashes when he mourned his sins, and he wrote the Psalms to be sung on the Sabbath.

        Noah, Moses and King David prefigure Jesus Christ.  Jesus begins his public ministry soon after being baptized, but before preaching, “the Spirit drove him out into the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan.  He was among the wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.”  Mk 1:12

       The Gospel of Luke records that during those forty days, “He ate nothing…” Lk 4:1   Jesus did not need baptism, nor did he need to pray and fast in reparation of sin or to satisfy God’s justice – because he never sinned as the Son of God.  However, Jesus is also a man who is a perfect example for all who would follow him into heaven.  He is tempted by Satan in every way we are, but shows us that by calling upon him and his grace through prayer, fasting and sacrificial almsgiving (beyond our tithe), we can grow in holiness and overcome evil.

       I am happy to offer the Sacrament of Penance this Ash Wednesday, February 22, from 7:15 – 7:45 a.m. and 6:00 – 6:30 p.m, before the Ash Wednesday Masses.

 

Peace through Christ, Fr. Thomas McCabe