Friday, 28 August 2015

St. John Vianney Quote

St. John Vianney

"There is no doubt about it: 
a person who loves pleasure, 
who seeks comfort, 
who flies from anything 
that might spell suffering, 
who is over-anxious, who complains, 
who blames, and who becomes impatient 
at the least little thing 
which does not go his way -- 
a person like that is a 
Christian only in name; 
he is only a dishonor to his religion, 
for Jesus Christ has said so: 
Anyone who wishes to come after Me, 
let him deny himself and 
take up his cross every day of his life, 
and follow Me."

The Story of Our Lady of Czestochowa

Our Lady of Czestochowa

In the monastery-fortress of Jasna Gora, in Czestochowa, Poland is venerated an ancient icon of Holy Mary and the Infant God, with a fascinating history. 

Tradition has it that it was painted 
by St. Luke the Evangelist on a table built 
by Our Lord Jesus in St. Joseph’s workshop. 

Empress Saint Helena who found Our Lord’s cross, also discovered this icon in Jerusalem, and took it to Constantinople where her son, Constantine, built a church to enshrine it.

The image remained in Constantinople for 500 years until, through dowries, it was taken to Russia to a region that later became Poland.

This icon, now known as Our Lady of Czestochowa, has an embattled history.

While still in Constantinople, placed on the wall of the city, the icon so frightened an army of besieging Muslims that they took flight.

Saint Ladislaus, 15th Century King of Poland
In the 15th century, the polish king Saint Ladislaus installed the holy image in his castle. Tartar invaders besieged the castle and an arrow pierced the image in the region of the throat, leaving a scar. (see closeup pic showing the scars)

Interestingly, repeated attempts to repair the damaged painting failed. The scar always reappears.

Wishing to protect the icon from subsequent attacks, Saint Ladislaus took it to his town of birth, Opala.

On the way, he stopped at city of Czestochowa to rest, placing it in the wooden church of the Assumption in the nearby place of Jasna Gora (Bright Hill).

In the morning, the horses pulling the carriage containing the icon refused to move. Taking this as a sign, St. Ladislaus re-installed the image in the church of the Assumption and confided sanctuary and monastery to the Pauline Fathers.

It was on this day, August 26, 1382 that Saint Ladislaus established the feast of the Madonna of Czestochowa and it is still observed today.

Our Lady of Czestochowa closeup
showing scars from vandals

Next, the Hussites, followers of the heretic John Hus from Prague, attempted to harm the holy icon. 

In 1430 they stormed the monastery and stole the image. Placing it in a wagon, they were carrying it away when the vehicle stopped and could not be moved. The attackers hurled the image to the ground, breaking it in three pieces. 

One man pulled his sword and struck 
the image twice on the cheek 
leaving two deep scars. 
On attempting to slash it thrice, 
the man went into agonizing 
convulsions and died.

The two scars on the holy image as well as the one on the throat have always reappeared after attempts to repair them.


Siege of Czestochowa in 1655
The holy icon’s great epic was the Siege of Czestochowa in 1655 when an army of 12,000 Swedish Protestant invaders led by a General Miller, attempted to take the monastery-fortress of Jasna Gora. The year before, a vision of a scourge in the face of the sun had been seen over the area. Indeed, King Karl Gustav, and the Swedes invaded and conquered most of Poland with the help of Calvinist Polish nobles, ousting King Jan Kasimir.

One monastery, led by a heroic prior, Fr. Augustine Kordecki, refused to surrender. Taking in five Catholic Polish nobles, the monastery resisted with only 300 men. The besieged faced treason, threats, and numerous assurances of the enemy’s “good will” in attempts to seduce them into an inglorious “peace”.

King Jan Kasimir
But placing their full trust in Our Lady, whose image they guarded, the monks answered, “Better to die worthily than to live impiously.” Thus began the 40-day siege, and nothing was spared to bring down the walls of Jasna Gora.

Meanwhile, the forty monks and the besieged prayed before the Holy Icon of Czestochowa. They prayed and fought, fought and prayed. And a mysterious “Lady”, dressed in a white or blue mantle, whom the Swedes called a “witch” began to appear on the ramparts, herself supplying the canons. The sight of her terrified the invaders.

A mysterious fog also enveloped the holy hill, which at times gave the illusion of the monastery-fortress being higher, at others lower, the result being that the canon-balls missed their target.

Finally, the mysterious lady appeared in the night to General Miller himself. After procuring a copy of the icon of Czestochowa, Miller said, "It is absolutely not comparable to that virgin who appeared to me; for it is not possible to see anything comparable on earth. Something of the celestial and divine, which frightened me from the beginning, shone in her face."

Siege of Czestochowa in 1655
Oil painting 17the Century
In the end, spooked and discouraged by these supernatural occurrences, the Swedes lifted the siege. From the victory of Czestochowa, the Poles again took heart, and rallying around King Jan Kasimir, took back their country.

The next year, in the presence of the clergy, nobility and people, 

            King Kasimir solemnly proclaimed 
Our Lady of Czestochowa Queen of Poland. 

Recognizing that Poland had been chastised for its sins, and oppression of the less fortunate, He promised to rule with equity.

In 1920, when the Russian army assembled at the River Vistula, the Polish people had recourse to their Madonna. 

War on Warsaw
The Russians quickly withdrew 
after the image appeared in the clouds over Warsaw.

In Polish history, this is known as the Miracle of Vistula.

During the Nazi occupation of Poland in WW II, Hitler ordered all religious pilgrimages closed. In a demonstration of love and trust in Our Lady, half a million Poles defied Hitler’s orders and visited the shrine. Following the liberation of Poland in 1945, a million and a half people expressed their gratitude to their Madonna by praying before the miraculous image.

Nazi occupation of Poland
Twenty eight years after the first attempt to capture Warsaw, the Russians took the city. That year 800,000 visited the Lady of Czestochowa in defiance of the invader.

And today, free from Communism, Czestochowa continues to be the religious heartbeat of Poland. 

To the miraculous, fearless Lady of Jasna Gora, the Polish go with their needs and petitions, their sorrows and their joys. Indeed she is their embattled, victorious, miraculous queen.

Special Thank you to America needs Fatima for this article. 

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Filial Appeal to Pope Francis Sign the Petition

Half a Million Ask the Pope for Clarity

The Filial Appeal to Pope Francis has been signed by prominent clergy and Catholic leaders

by Christine Niles  •   August 24, 2015  
DETROIT, August 24, 2015 ( - More than half a million faithful are asking the Pope for clarity.
The Filial Appeal to Pope Francis has garnered the signatures of leading prelates and lay Catholics, and pleads with the Holy Father to put an end to the worldwide confusion over Church teaching on marriage and the family.
Your Holiness, in light of information published on the last Synod, we note with anguish that, for millions of faithful Catholics, the beacon seems to have dimmed in face of the onslaught of lifestyles spread by anti-Christian lobbies. In fact we see widespread confusion arising from the possibility that a breach has been opened within the Church that would accept adultery — by permitting divorced and then civilly remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion — and would virtually accept even homosexual unions when such practices are categorically condemned as being contrary to Divine and natural law. ...
Truly, in these circumstances, a word from Your Holiness is the only way to clarify the growing confusion amongst the faithful. It would prevent the very teaching of Jesus Christ from being watered down and would dispel the darkness looming over our children's future should that beacon no longer light their way.
Holy Father, we implore You to say this word. 
Nearly 90 bishops and almost 150 priests have signed the petition, including former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura Raymond Cardinal Burke, Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan, and Bishop Robert Vasa of Santa Rosa, California. Other signatories include bishops from nearly every continent.
Prominent political leaders and royalty who have signed the document include H.R.H. Prince Dom Duarte, Duke of Braganza, Head of the Royal House of Portugal; H.I.R.H. Prince Dom Luiz of Orleans-Braganza, Head of the Imperial House of Brazil; Kigeli V, exiled King of Rwanda; and various current or former members of parliament in Europe and other countries. Professors, attorneys, authors and Catholic activists have also signed the petition. 
To add your name to the petition, click on this link.

Christine Niles is a staff writer, producer and anchor for

Follow Christine on Twitter: @ChristineNiles1

St. Therese's Prayer to the Holy Face of Christ


By St. Therese of Lisieux

O Jesus, Who in Thy cruel Passion didst become the “Reproach of men and the Man of Sorrows”, I worship Thy Divine Face.

Once it shone with the beauty and sweetness of Divinity; now for my sake it is become as the face of a “leper”.  Yet in that disfigured Countenance I recognize Thy Infinite Love, and I am consumed with the desire of loving Thee and of making Thee loved by all mankind.  The tears that streamed in such abundance from Thine Eyes are to me as precious pearls which I delight to gather, that with their infinite worth I may ransom the souls of poor sinners.

O Jesus, Whose Face is the sole beauty that ravishes my heart, I may not behold here upon earth the sweetness of Thy Glance nor feel the ineffable tenderness of Thy Kiss.  Thereto I consent, but I pray Thee to imprint in me Thy Divine Likeness, and implore Thee to so inflame me with Thy Love that it may quickly consume me, and soon I may reach the vision of Thy Glorious Face in heaven.  Amen.
St. Therese of Lisieux

Joannes Henricus, Ep. Portus Magni, Oct 3, 1958

Indulgenced by Pope St. Pius X (1903 – 1914)

Friday, 21 August 2015

Pray for Priests in Purgatory

Purgatory - a place of purification

Prayer for the Priests in Purgatory

My Jesus,

By the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially the most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them.  I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and those I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory.  Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let your Perpetual Light shine upon them.


Prayer for Healing your Family Tree

Prayer for Healing the Family Tree

By Fr. John Hampsch

Heavenly Father, I come before You as Your child, in great need of Your help; I have physical health needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, and interpersonal needs.  Many of my problems have been caused by my own failures, neglect, and sinfulness, for which I humbly beg Your forgiveness, Lord.  But I also ask You to forgive the sins of my ancestors whose failures have left their effects on me in the form of unwanted tendencies, behaviour patterns, and defects in body, mind, and spirit.  Heal me, Lord, of all these disorders.

With Your help I sincerely forgive everyone, especially living or dead members of my family tree, who have directly offended me or my loved ones in any way, or those whose sins have resulted in our present sufferings and disorders.  In the name of Your Divine Son, Jesus, and in the power of His Holy Spirit, I ask You, Father, to deliver me and my entire family tree from the influence of the evil one.  Free all living and dead members of my family tree, including those in adoptive relationships and those in extended family relationships, from every contaminating form of bondage.  By Your loving concern for us, Heavenly Father, and by the shed blood of Your Precious Son, Jesus, I beg You to extend Your blessing to me and to all my living and deceased relatives.  Heal every negative effect transmitted through all past generations, and prevent such negative effects in future generations of my family tree.

I symbolically place the cross of Jesus over the head of each person in my family tree and between each generation; I ask You to let the cleansing blood of Jesus purify the bloodlines in my family lineage.  Set Your protective angels to encamp around us, and permit Archangel Raphael, the patron of healing, to administer Your divine healing power to all of us, even in areas of genetic disability.  Give special power to our family members’ guardian angels to heal, protect, guide, and encourage each of us in all our needs.  Let Your healing power be released at this very moment, and let it continue as long as Your sovereignty permits.

In our family tree, Lord, replace all bondage with a holy bonding in family love.  And let there be an ever-deeper bonding with You, Lord, by the Holy Spirit, to Your Son, Jesus.  Let the family of the Holy Trinity pervade our family with its tender, warm, loving presence, so that our family may recognize and manifest that love in all our relationships.  All of our unknown needs we include with this petition that we pray in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

St. Joseph, patron of family life, pray for us.

Excerpt from Church Militant Field Manual, Special Forces Training for the Life in Christ by Father Richard M. Heilman.  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK.  You can purchase online on the Church website. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Angels Those Who See the Face of God


From a homily on the Gospels 
by Saint Gregory the Great, pope

The word “angel” denotes a function rather than a nature
You should be aware that the word “angel” denotes a function rather than a nature.  Those holy spirits of heaven have indeed always been spirits.  They can only be called angels when they deliver some message.  Moreover, those who deliver message of lesser importance are called angels; and those who proclaim messages of supreme importance are called archangels.

St. Gabriel and Our Lady at the Annunciation
And so it was that not merely an angel but he archangel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin Mary.  It was only fitting that the highest angel should come to announce the greatest of all messages.

Some angels are given proper names to denote the service they are empowered to perform.  In that holy city, where perfect knowledge flows from the vision of almighty God, those who have no names may easily be known.  But personal names are assigned to some, not because they could not be knowing without them,
St. Michael the Archangel
but rather to denote their ministry when they came among us.  Thus, Michael means “Who is like God”’ Gabriel is “The Strength of God”, and Raphael is “God’s Remedy.”

Whenever some act of wondrous power must be performed, Michael is sent, so that his action and his name may make it clear that no one can do what God does by his superior power.  So also our ancient foe desired in his pride to be like God, saying: I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne avoe the stars of heaven; I will be like the Most High.  He will be allowed to remain in power until the end of the world when he will be destroyed in the final punishment.  Then, he will fight with the archangel Michael, as we

St. Raphael the Archangel
are told by John: A battle was fought with Michael the archangel.  So too Gabriel, who is called God’s strength, was sent to Mary.  He came to announce the One who appeared as a humble man to quell the cosmic powers.  Thus God’s strength announced the coming of the Lord of heavenly powers, mighty in battle.
Raphael means, as I have said, God’s remedy (healer), for when he touched Tobit’s eyes in order to cure him, he banished the darkness of his blindness.  Thus, since he is to heal, he is rightly called God’s remedy.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

You cannot make Evil good and Good evil

Examine your Conscience in the Presence of God

Truth - St. Augustine Quote

Catholic Mass -- St. Alphonsus Liguori

St. Alphonsus Liguori

Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and the founder of the Redemptorist Congregation. He was born Alphonsus Marie Antony John Cosmos Damien Michael Gaspard de Liguori on September 27,1696, at Marianella, near Naples, Italy. 

Raised in a pious home, Alphonsus went on retreats with his father, Don Joseph, who was a naval officer and a captain of the Royal Galleys. Alphonsus was the oldest of seven children, raised by a devout mother of Spanish descent. Educated at the University of Naples, Alphonsus received his doctorate at the age of sixteen. By age nineteen he was practicing law, but he saw the transitory nature of the secular world, and after a brief time, retreated from the law courts and his fame. 

Visiting the local Hospital for Incurables on August 28, 1723, he had a vision and was told to consecrate his life solely to God. In response, Alphonsus dedicated himself to the religious life, even while suffering persecution from his family. He finally agreed to become a priest but to live at home as a member of a group of secular missionaries. He was ordained on December 21, 1726, and he spent six years giving missions throughout Naples. 

In April 1729, Alphonsus went to live at the "Chiflese College," founded in Naples by FatherMatthew Ripa, the Apostle of China. There he met Bishop Thomas Falcoia, founder of the Congregation of Pious Workers. This lifelong friendship aided Alphonsus, as did his association with a mystic, SisterMary Celeste. 

With their aid, Aiphonsus founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer on November 9, 1732. The foundation faced immediate problems, and after just one year, Alphonsus found himself with only one lay brother, his other companions having left to form their own religious group. He started again, recruited new members, and in 1743 became the prior of two new congregations, one for men and one for women. 

Pope Benedict XIV gave his approval for the men's congregation in 1749 and for the women's in 1750. Alphonsus was preaching missions in the rural areas and writing. He refused to become the bishop of Palermo but in 1762 had to accept the papal command to accept the see of St. Agatha of the Goths near Naples. Here he discovered more than thirty thousand uninstructed men and women and four hundred indifferent priests. 

For thirteen years Alphonsus fed the poor, instructed families, reorganized the seminary and religious houses, taught theology, and wrote. His austerities were rigorous, and he suffered daily the pain from rheumatism that was beginning to deform his body. 

He spent several years having to drink from tubes because his head was so bent forward. An attack of rheumatic fever, from May 1768 to June 1769, left him paralyzed. He was not allowed to resign his see, however, until 1775.

In 1780, Alphonsus was tricked into signing a submission for royal approval of his congregation. This submission altered the original rule, and as a result Alphonsus was denied any authority among the Redemptorists. Deposed and excluded from his own congregation, Alphonsus suffered great anguish. 

But he overcame his depression, and he experienced visions, performed miracles, and gave prophecies. He died peacefully on August 1,1787, at Nocera di Pagani, near Naples as the Angelus was ringing. 

He wasbeatified in 1816 and canonized in 1839. In 1871, Alphonsus was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX. His writings on moral, theological, and ascetic matters had great impact and have survived through the years, especially his Moral Theology and his Glories of Mary. 

He was buried at the monastery of the Pagani near Naples. Shrines were built there and at St. Agatha of the Goths. 

He is the patron of confessors, moral theologians, and the lay apostolate. In liturgical art he is depicted as bent over with rheumatism or as a young priest.


Belief is NOT a matter of Taste

St. Augustine
St. Augustine
St. Augustine of Hippo is the patron of brewers because of his conversion from a former life of loose living, which included parties, entertainment, and worldly ambitions. His complete turnaround andconversion has been an inspiration to many who struggle with a particular vice or habit they long to break.

This famous son of St. Monica was born in Africa and spent many years of his life in wicked living and in false beliefs. Though he was one of the most intelligent men who ever lived and though he had been brought up a Christian, his sins of impurity and his pride darkened his mind so much, that he could not see or understand the Divine Truth anymore. Through the prayers of his holy mother and the marvelous preaching of St. Ambrose, Augustine finally became convinced that Christianity was the one true religion. Yet he did not become a Christian then, because he thought he could never live a pure life. One day, however, he heard about two men who had suddenly been converted on reading the life of St. Antony, and he felt terrible ashamed of himself. "What are we doing?" he cried to his friend Alipius. "Unlearned people are taking Heaven by force, while we, with all our knowledge, are so cowardly that we keep rolling around in the mud of our sins!"
Full of bitter sorrow, Augustine flung himself out into the garden and cried out to God, "How long more, O Lord? Why does not this hour put an end to my sins?" Just then he heard a child singing, "Take up and read!" Thinking that God intended him to hear those words, he picked up the book of the Letters of St. Paul, and read the first passage his gaze fell on. It was just what Augustine needed, for in it, St. Paul says to put away all impurity and to live in imitation of Jesus. That did it! From then on, Augustine began a new life.
He was baptized, became a priest, a bishop, a famous Catholic writer, Founder of religious priests, and one of the greatest saints that ever lived. He became very devout and charitable, too. On the wall of his room he had the following sentence written in large letters: "Here we do not speak evil of anyone." St. Augustine overcame strong heresies, practiced great poverty and supported the poor, preached very often and prayed with great fervor right up until his death. "Too late have I loved You!" he once cried to God, but with his holy life he certainly made up for the sins he committed before his conversion. His feast day is August 28th.

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit -- Do you have them?

True Faith

Divine Love

Baldwin Bishop of Canterbury

Love is as Strong as Death
from a treatise by Baldwin, Bishop of Canterbury

Death is strong, for it can rob us of the gift of life.  Love too is strong, for it can restore us to a better life. 

Death is strong, for it can strip us of this robe of flesh.  Love too is strong, for it an take death's spoils away and give them back o us.

Death is strong, for no man can withstand it.  Love too is strong, for it can conquer death itself, soothe its sting, calm its violence, and bring its victory to naught.  The time will come when death is reviled and taunted.  O death, where is your sting?  O death, where is your victory?

Love is as strong as death because Christ's love is the very death of death.  Hence it is said: I will be your death, O death! I will be your sting, O hell! Our love for Christ is also as strong as death, because it is itself a kind of death: destroying the old life, rooting out vice, and laying aside dead works.

Our love for Christ is a return, though very unequal for His love for us, and it is a likeness modeled on His.  For He loved us and, through the example of love He gave us, He became a seal upon us by which we are made like Him.  We lay aside the likeness of the earthly man and put on the likeness of the heavenly man; we love him as he has loved us.  For in this matter he has left us as an example so that we might follow in His steps.

That is why He says: Set me as a seal upon your heart.  It is as if He were saying: 

"Love Me as I love you.  
Keep Me in your mind and memory, 
in your desires and yearnings, 
in your groans and sobs.  

Remember, man, the kind of being I made you; how far I set you above other creatures; the dignity I conferred upon you; how I made you only a little less than the angels and set all things under your feet.  Remember not only how much I have done for you.  Yet look and see: Do you not wrong Me?  Do you not fail to love Me?  Who loves you as I do?  Who created and redeemed you but I?"

Lord, take away my heart of stone, a heart so bitter and uncircumcised, and give me a new heart, a heart of flesh, a pure heart.  You cleanse the heart and love the clean heart.  Take possession of my heart and dwell in it, contain it and fill it, you who are higher than the heights of my spirit and closer to me than my innermost self!  

You are the pattern of all beauty and the seal of all holiness.  Set the seal of your likeness upon my heart!  In Your Mercy set Your seal upon my heart, God of my heart and the God who is my portion for ever! Amen.

The New Creation
From a letter attributed to Barnabas

The Lord was willing to hand over his body for destruction so that by the shedding of His Blood we might be made holy through the remission of our sins.  According to Scripture this refers to both Israel and us.  He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised by our iniquities; by his wounds we are healed.  He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, like a lamb that is dumb before its shearer.   What a debt of gratitude, then, do we owe to the Lord for letting us see the meaning of the past, for instructing us about the present and not leaving us in the ignorance about the future. 

In the words of Scripture: 
Now unjustly are nets spread for birds.  
This means that a man is justly condemned if, 
knowing the right way, 
he heads into the way of darkness.

The Lord was ready to undergo suffering for our souls’ sake, even though He is Lord of the whole earth, the one to whom God said at the foundation of the world: Let us make man in our own image and likeness.  But, in that case, my brothers, how could He allow Himself to suffer at the hands of men?  

This is the explanation.  The prophets inspired by His grace foretold what He would do; He allowed Himself to suffer because He had to be seen in the flesh, in order that He might destroy the power of death and manifest the resurrection from the dead.  In this way he would carry out the promise that had been made to our forefathers, and while still on earth prepare Himself a new people; He would also show that, after the resurrection, He was to be our judge.  Furthermore, by teaching Israel and working such great signs and wonders, He proclaimed the good news and showed the depths of His love for that people.

Having thus renewed us by forgiving our sins, He refashioned us; He gave us the souls of children, as though we had been born anew.  For it is to us that Scripture refer when the Father says to the Son: Let us make man according to our own image and likeness; and let him rule over the beasts on the earth and the birds of the air and the fish of the sea.  The Lord saw the beauty of our fashioning and added: Increase and multiply and fill the earth.

All this God said to His Son.  But let me now point out to you how He also speaks to us.  It is indeed a second act of creation that the Lord has performed in these last days; that is why He says:  Behold, I am making the last things like the first. It was this that the prophet had in mind when he said: Enter into a land flowing with milk and honey, and rule over it. It is true, you see, that we have been completely remade.  This is what God means by the words of another prophet: Behold, says the Lord, I will take the stony hearts out of this people, that is, the people whom the Spirit of the Lord foreknew, and put hearts of flesh into them.  For He willed to appear in the flesh and live among us.

And so, my brothers, 
the dwelling place of our hearts 
is a temple sacred to the Lord.  

Again, the Lord says; Let me give thanks to you in the assembly of the people.  So it is we whom He has led into a fertile land.

St. Barnabas on the New Law of the Lord

Christ teaching the Apostles

The New Law of the Lord
A Letter attributed to St. Barnabas

God has abolished the sacrifices of the old law so that the new law of our Lord Jesus Christ imposes no yoke of coercion and its sacrifice is not one made by man. In another place he says to them, Did I command your fathers when they came out of the land of Egypt to offer me burnt offerings and sacrifices? No, but I commanded them this: “Let none of you cherish any evil in his heart against his neighbour, and let none of you be fond of breaking vows.” 

If we have any sense then we will understand the loving intention of our Father. He wants us not to err as these people did but to seek how we may make our offering to him. And he tells us: the sacrifice for the Lord is a contrite heart, a heart that glorifies its Maker is a sweet savour to the Lord.

My brethren, we must look closely
into the matter of our salvation
so that the Evil One does not slyly
enter our hearts and drag us away
from the life that lies before us.

God also says to them, Why are you keeping a fast for me and filling this day with your whinings? I have not decreed this fast, says the Lord, nor this humiliation of man’s soul.  Turning to us, he says Here is the fast I decree: relax your iniquitous restrictions, loosen the shackles of your oppressive contracts, let your ruined debtors go free and teat up your unjust agreements. Break your bread and give it to the hungry, if you see a man without clothing, give him clothes of your own. If you see one who is homeless, bring him into your own house.

Let us flee from all vanity, let us hold in aversion the Way of Wickedness and its works.
Do not withdraw into solitude as if you were already considered righteous,
but come together and seek out the common good.

For Scripture says: Woe betide those who are wise in their own eyes and knowledgeable in their own sight. Let us be men of the Spirit, let us be a temple consecrated to God. As far as we can, let us devote ourselves to living in the fear of God, and let us strive to keep his commandments so that his ordinances become our delight.
When the Lord judges the world he will have no favourites:
each will receive according to his deeds.

If he is good then his righteousness will lead him forward; if he is evil then the reward of iniquity will be in front of him.

Let us never complacently think of ourselves as ‘called’, let us never doze in our sinfulness, or the Prince of Evil may gain power over us and thrust us out from the Kingdom of the Lord. And consider this also, my brethren, you see what great signs and wonders were wrought in Israel and yet in the end they were finally abandoned –

let us be very careful not to be among those of whom it was written

that many are called but few are chosen.

About Saint Barnabas 

St. Barnabas

Barnabas, a Jew of Cyprus, comes as close as anyone outside the Twelve to being a full-fledged apostle. He was closely associated with St. Paul (he introduced Paul to Peter and the other apostles) and served as a kind of mediator between the former persecutor and the still suspicious Jewish Christians.

When a Christian community developed at Antioch, Barnabas was sent as the official representative of the Church of Jerusalem to incorporate them into the fold. He and Paul instructed in Antioch for a year, after which they took relief contributions to Jerusalem.
Later, Paul and Barnabas, now clearly seen as charismatic leaders, were sent by Antioch officials to preach to the Gentiles. Enormous success crowned their efforts. After a miracle at Lystra, the people wanted to offer sacrifice to them as gods—Barnabas being Zeus, and Paul, Hermes—but the two said, “We are of the same nature as you, human beings. We proclaim to you good news that you should turn from these idols to the living God” (see Acts 14:8-18).
But all was not peaceful. They were expelled from one town, they had to go to Jerusalem to clear up the ever-recurring controversy about circumcision and even the best of friends can have differences. When Paul wanted to revisit the places they had evangelized, Barnabas wanted to take along John Mark, his cousin, author of the Gospel (April 25), but Paul insisted that, since Mark had deserted them once, he was not fit to take along now. The disagreement that followed was so sharp that Barnabas and Paul separated, Barnabas taking Mark to Cyprus, Paul taking Silas to Syria. Later, they were reconciled—Paul, Barnabas and Mark.
When Paul stood up to Peter for not eating with Gentiles for fear of his Jewish friends, we learn that “even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy” (see Galatians 2:1-13).


Barnabas is mentioned by name as one of the generous members of the idyllic and extremely poor Church in Jerusalem: "The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. . . . There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need.
"Thus Joseph, also named by the apostles Barnabas (which is translated 'son of encouragement.), a Levite, a Cypriot by birth, sold a pieace of property that he owned, then broguht the moeny and put it at the feet of the apostles" (Acts 4:32, 34-37).


Barnabas is spoken of simply as one who dedicated his life to the Lord. He was a man "filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. Thereby large numbers were added to the Lord." Even when he and Paul were expelled from Antioch in Pisidia (modern-day Turkey), they were "filled with joy and the Holy Spirit."