Sunday, March 31, 2013

DIVINE MERCY NOVENA PRAYERS - DAY 3

Peace be with you!
 
Happy Easter! 
 
Today is the day of Victory! Victory over sin and death!  
 
Pray with me and the whole Church today in thanksgiving for our Lord's saving Passion, Death and Resurrection! Let's pray the novena prayers today with exaltation and gratitude for the great gift of Mercy poured out through the resurrection of Christ our Savior!
 
Here are the prayers for today:
 
Divine Mercy Novena Prayers - Day 3
 
"Today bring to Me ALL DEVOUT AND FAITHFUL SOULS, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me."
 
Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wonderous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.
 
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages.
 
Amen.
 
 
 
---------------------------------
 
Thank you again for praying with everyone today!
 
Don't forget to pray for the intentions of this prayer community today as you celebrate the resurrection!
 
I'm praying for you!
 
God Bless You,
 
     John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com
 
 SHARE THIS NOVENA
 
 
 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

DIVINE MERCY NOVENA PRAYERS - DAY 2

Peace be with you!
 
Happy Holy Saturday! 
 
Let's pray the novena prayers today as we wait in anticipation of the resurrection of our Lord just as the Apostles waited. 
 
Let us pray for God's mercy and for a greater trust in His mercy in our hearts!
 
Here are the prayers for today:
 
Divine Mercy Novena Prayers - Day 2
 
"Today bring to Me THE SOULS OF PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS, and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind."
 
Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service,* that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.
 
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard--upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end.
 
Amen.
 
 
 
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I hope you have a blessed Easter Triduum!
 
I'm praying for you!
 
God Bless You,
 
     John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com
 
 
P.S. Just a friendly reminder that you can help spread the word :) 

Friday, March 29, 2013

DIVINE MERCY NOVENA - DAY ONE

Peace be with you!
 
I hope you have a fruitful Good Friday! 
 
I pray that the Divine Mercy prayers will strengthen you as you fast and do penance today. I pray that you will grow closer to our Lord's Passion today and throughout this Novena. 
 
You can find all the prayers, post your intentions and have your friends sign up here:
 
 
Here are the prayers for today:
 
Divine Mercy Novena Prayers - Day 1
 
"Today bring to Me ALL MANKIND, ESPECIALLY ALL SINNERS, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me."
 
Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
 
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever.
 
Amen.
 
 
SHARE THIS NOVENA
 
 
 
 

GOOD FRIDAY 2013

From "One Bread, One Body"

Friday, March 29, 2013, Good Friday

Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9, Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25, John 18:1-19:42 Link to Readings --> http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/032913.cfm

TAKING IT PERSONALLY

Jesus "bowed His head, and delivered over His spirit." -John 19:30

During Lent, many churches depict the crucifixion of Jesus graphically. They show movies or slides showing the brutality of Jesus' crucifixion. Some churches display a real crown of thorns or even have you hear the pounding of the hammer driving nails into Jesus' flesh. The purpose of this is to show people that Jesus literally suffered and died for them and that the crucifixion is not just a story. A graphic depiction of Jesus' crucifixion is an occasionally successful attempt to lead secularized, lukewarm people to repentance.

However, for those who have a total, personal relationship with Jesus, these realistic recollections of Jesus' crucifixion are torture. What if your older brother was tortured and executed? Would you watch the video of His execution? Would you go to a play that dramatized his torture? Could you stand to hear the pounding, gasps, and grunts which were the sound-track of his sufferings? For hundreds of years after Jesus' death, Christians never put a representation of Jesus' body on the cross. His death was so personal to them that they couldn't bear to recall the details of His appearance, "so marred was His look beyond that of man, and His appearance beyond that of mortals" (Is 52:14).

This doesn't mean we should get rid of our crucifixes. It does mean that a deep, total, personal relationship with Jesus, our older Brother, should determine how we react to everything, including the depictions of Jesus' death.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I react to Your death as I would react to the death of the person I love most in this world. May the deepest personal relationship in my life be with You.
Promise:  "Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered; and when perfected, He became the Source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him." -Heb 5:8-9

Praise: (none)

________________________________________

Rescript: In accord with the "Code of Canon Law", I hereby grant my permission to publish "One Bread, One Body" covering the period from February 1, 2013 through March 31, 2013 ?Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati,  September 13, 2012

The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

FOR WOMEN: SELECTING A BATHING SUIT

When I was a child in the 1950s, the bathing suit for the mature figure was-boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered. They  were built to hold back and uplift, and they did a good job.

Today's  stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure  carved from a potato chip.

The  mature woman has a choice, she can either go up front to the maternity  department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking  like a hippopotamus that escaped from Disney's Fantasia, or she can  wander around every run-of-the-mill department store trying to make a  sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.

What  choice did I have? I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room. The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material. The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I  believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which  gives the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into  one, you would be protected from shark attacks. Any shark taking a swipe  at your passing midriff would immediately suffer  whiplash.

I  fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap  in place I gasped in horror, my boobs had  disappeared! Eventually,  I found one boob cowering under my left armpit. It took a while to find  the other. At last I located it flattened beside my seventh  rib. The  problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups. The mature woman  is now meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed  bump. I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a  full view assessment.

The  bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fitted those bits  of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously  from top, bottom and sides. I looked like a lump of Playdoh wearing  undersized cling wrap.

As  I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, "Oh, there you are," she said, admiring the bathing suit.

I  replied that I wasn't so sure and asked what else she had to show me. I  tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking  tape, and a floral two-piece that gave the appearance of an oversized  napkin in a serving ring.

I  struggled into a pair of leopard-skin bathers with ragged frills and came out looking like Tarzan's Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough day.

I  tried on a black number with a midriff fringe and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.

I  tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would  have to wax my eyebrows to wear them.

Finally,  I found a suit that fit, it was a two-piece affair with a shorts-style  bottom and a loose blouse-type top. It was cheap, comfortable, and  bulge-friendly, so I bought it. My ridiculous search had a successful  outcome, I figured.

When  I got it home, I found a label that read, "Material might become transparent in water."

So,  if you happen to be on the beach or near any other body of water this  year and I'm there too, I'll be the one in cut-off jeans and a T-shirt!

Be  the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says ~

~
"Oh Crap, She's up!"

~ Author Unknown

TURIN SHROUD IS NOT "MIDEVIL FORGERY"

The Turin Shroud is not a medieval forgery, as has long been claimed, but could in fact date from the time of Christ's death, a new book claims.

The Turin Shroud is not a medieval forgery, as has long been claimed, but could in fact date from the time of Christ's death, a new book claims.
Many Catholics believe that the 14ft-long linen cloth was used to cover Christ's body when he was lifted down from the cross after being crucified Photo: EPA
Experiments conducted by scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy have dated the shroud to ancient times, a few centuries before and after the life of Christ.

Many Catholics believe that the 14ft-long linen cloth, which bears the imprint of the face and body of a bearded man, was used to bury Christ's body when he was lifted down from the cross after being crucified 2,000 years ago.

The analysis is published in a new book, "Il Mistero della Sindone" or The Mystery of the Shroud, by Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University, and Saverio Gaeta, a journalist.

The tests will revive the debate about the true origins of one of Christianity's most prized but mysterious relics and are likely to be hotly contested by sceptics.

Scientists, including Prof Fanti, used infra-red light and spectroscopy – the measurement of radiation intensity through wavelengths – to analyse fibres from the shroud, which is kept in a special climate-controlled case in Turin.
The tests dated the age of the shroud to between 300 BC and 400AD.

The experiments were carried out on fibres taken from the Shroud during a previous study, in 1988, when they were subjected to carbon-14 dating.

Those tests, conducted by laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona, appeared to back up the theory that the shroud was a clever medieval fake, suggesting that it dated from 1260 to 1390.

But those results were in turn disputed on the basis that they may have been skewed by contamination by fibres from cloth that was used to repair the relic when it was damaged by fire in the Middle Ages.
Mr Fanti, a Catholic, said his results were the fruit of 15 years of research.

He said the carbon-14 dating tests carried out in 1988 were “false” because of laboratory contamination.
The mystery of the shroud has baffled people for centuries and has spawned not only religious devotion but also books, documentaries and conspiracy theories.

The linen cloth appears to show the imprint of a man with long hair and a beard whose body bears wounds consistent with having been crucified.

Each year it lures hundreds of thousands of faithful to Turin Cathedral, where it is kept in a specially designed, climate-controlled case.

Scientists have never been able to explain how the image of a man's body, complete with nail wounds to his wrists and feet, pinpricks from thorns around his forehead and a spear wound to his chest, could have formed on the cloth. Mr Fanti said the imprint was caused by a blast of “exceptional radiation”, although he stopped short of describing it as a miracle.

He said his tests backed up earlier results which claimed to have found on the shroud traces of dust and pollen which could only have come from the Holy Land.

Mr Gaeta is also a committed Catholic - he worked for L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, and now works for Famiglia Cristiana, a Catholic weekly.

The Vatican has never said whether it believes the shroud to be authentic or not, although Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI once said that the enigmatic image imprinted on the cloth "reminds us always" of Christ's suffering.

His newly-elected successor, Pope Francis, will provide an introduction when images of the shroud appear on television on Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday, which commemorates the resurrection.
The Pope has recorded a voice-over introduction for the broadcast on RAI, the state television channel.
"It will be a message of intense spiritual scope, charged with positivity, which will help (people) never to lose hope," said Cesare Nosiglia, the Archbishop of Turin, who also has the title "pontifical custodian of the shroud".

"The display of the shroud on a day as special as Holy Saturday means that it represents a very important testimony to the Passion and the resurrection of the Lord," he said.

For the first time, an app has been created to enable people to explore the holy relic in detail on their smart phones and tablets.

The app, sanctioned by the Catholic Church and called "Shroud 2.0", features high definition photographs of the cloth and enables users to see details that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.

"For the first time in history the most detailed image of the shroud ever achieved becomes available to the whole world, thanks to a streaming system which allows a close-up view of the cloth. Each detail of the cloth can be magnified and visualised in a way which would otherwise not be possible," Haltadefinizione, the makers of the app, said.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 25, 2013 Message To Marija


Our Lady appeared to the Medjugorje visionary Marija and delivered the following message to the world:


"Dear children! In this time of grace I call you to take the cross of my beloved Son Jesus in your hands and to meditate on His passion and death. May your suffering be united in His suffering and love will win, because He who is love gave Himself out of love to save each of you. Pray, pray, pray until love and peace begin to reign in your hearts. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Monday, March 25, 2013

CATHOLIC MASS WITH NANCY PELOSI


Last Saturday afternoon, in Washington , D.C. , an aide to Nancy Pelosi
visited the Bishop of the Catholic cathedral in D.C.. He told the Cardinal
that Nancy Pelosi would be attending the next day's Mass, and he asked if
the Cardinal would kindly point out Pelosi to the congregation and say a few
words that would include calling Pelosi a saint. 
The Cardinal replied, "No. I don't really like the woman, and there are
issues of conflict with the Catholic Church over certain of Pelosi's views."
Pelosi's aide then said, "Look, I'll write a check here and now for a
donation of $100,000 to your church if you'll just tell the congregation
you see Pelosi as a saint. 
The Cardinal thought about it and said, "Well, the church can use the
money, so I'll work your request into tomorrow's sermon." 
As Pelosi's aide promised, Nancy Pelosi appeared for the Sunday worship
and seated herself prominently at the forward left side of the center aisle.
As promised, at the start of his sermon, the Cardinal pointed out that
Ms. Pelosi was present. 
The Cardinal went on to explain to the congregation, "While Ms. Pelosi's
presence is probably an honor to some, the woman is not numbered among my
personal favorite personages. Some of her most egregious views are contrary
to tenets of the Church, and she tends to flip- flop on many other issues.
Nancy Pelosi is a petty, self -absorbed hypocrite, a thumb sucker, and a
nit-wit. Nancy Pelosi is also a serial liar, a cheat, and a thief. I must
say, Nancy Pelosi is the worst example of a Catholic I have ever personally
witnessed. She married for money and is using her wealth to lie to the
American people. She also has a reputation for shirking her Representative
obligations both in Washington , and in California . The woman is simply not
to be truste

The Cardinal concluded, "But, when compared with President Obama, Ms.
Pelosi is a saint."

GOTCHA!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

"OFFER IT UP"

This 16-minute video recording is life-altering.  And I mean what I am saying to you:  IT IS LIFE ALTERING.  It has made an enormous impact on me and my sufferings.  You simply MUST spend just 16 minutes of your time and listen to Jeff Cavins.  God bless you +++

Abbey
~*~

"'Offer it Up': Opportunities to Grow in Holiness" Jeff Cavins



2012 INTERVIEW WITH POPE FRANCIS

This interview from 2012 with then Archbishop and Superior in the Society of Jesus, Jorge Bergoglio, interesting and quite personal.  But my attention was more drawn to his comments on pedophilia.  What people fail to realize is the pedophilia is a national and very public problem. It is happening to more children than I care to think of every day, God bless them and save them.  I'm loving Pope Francis.  The Holy Spirit send a very serious message to the Conclave when they vote for priest Jorge Bergoglio, and I feel The Holy spirit did this for the very reason that we need change.  All the pomp and circumstance is beautiful on special occasions, but Pope Francis' showing us that he cares for all of us, the common, is making a huge and GOOD impact on followers of The Faith and The Holy Catholic Church.  So read .....


~*~

In 2012 interview, Pope Francis (then-Cardinal Bergoglio) reveals secret of celibacy

Dazzled by a girl as seminarian

 Image Alternative Text


The formation of priests was one of Jorge Bergoglio's (now Pope Francis) constant concerns when he was Archbishop and Superior in the Society of Jesus. He had a conversation on the subject with Rabbi Abraham Skorka, rector of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary. This conversation appears in the book Sobre el Cielo y la Tierra (“On the Heavens and the Earth”) published in 2012 by the Sudamericana publishing company.

The following is an excerpt of that dialogue, in which then-Cardinal Bergoglio reveals the secret to living celibacy happily:


Bergoglio: When I was a seminarian, I was dazzled by a girl I met at an uncle's wedding. I was surprised by her beauty, her intellectual brilliance... and, well, I was bowled over for quite a while. I kept thinking and thinking about her. When I returned to the seminary after the wedding, I could not pray for over a week because when I tried to do so, the girl appeared in my head. I had to rethink what I was doing. I was still free because I was a seminarian, so I could have gone back home and that was it.  I had to think about my choice again. I chose again – or let myself be chosen by – the religious path. It would be abnormal for this kind of thing not to happen.

When this happens, one has to get one’s bearings again. It’s a matter of one choosing again or saying, “No, what I'm feeling is very beautiful. I am afraid I won't be faithful to my commitment later on, so I'm leaving the seminary.” When something like this happens to a seminarian, I help him go in peace to be a good Christian and not a bad priest. In the Western Church to which I belong, priests cannot be married as in the Byzantine, Ukrainian, Russian or Greek Catholic Churches. In those Churches, the priests can be married, but the bishops have to be celibate. They are very good priests. Sometimes I joke with them and tell them that they have wives at home but they did not realize that they also got a mother-in-law as part of the bargain. In Western Catholicism, some organizations are pushing for more discussion about the issue. For now, the discipline of celibacy stands firm. Some say, with a certain pragmatism, that we are losing manpower. If, hypothetically, Western Catholicism were to review the issue of celibacy, I think it would do so for cultural reasons (as in the East), not so much as a universal option.

For the moment, I am in favor of maintaining celibacy, with all its pros and cons, because we have ten centuries of good experiences rather than failures. What happens is that the scandals have an immediate impact. Tradition has weight and validity. Catholic ministers chose celibacy little by little. Up until 1100, some chose it and some did not. After, the East followed the tradition of non-celibacy as personal choice, while the West went the opposite way. It is a matter of discipline, not of faith. It can change. Personally, it never crossed my mind to marry. But there are cases. Look at the case of the Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo. He's a brilliant guy. But as a bishop, he had a fall and resigned from the diocese. This decision was honest. Sometimes we see priests fall into this.


Skorka: And what is your position?

Bergoglio: If one of them comes and tells me that he got a woman pregnant, I listen. I try to help him have peace and little by little I try to help him realize that the natural law takes priority over his priesthood. So, he has to leave the ministry and should take care of that child, even if he chooses not to marry that woman. For just as that child has the right to have a mother, he has a right to the face of a father. I commit myself to arranging all the paperwork for him in Rome, but he has to leave everything. Now, if a priest tells me he got excited and that he had a fall, I help him to get on track again. There are priests who get on track again and others who do not. Some, unfortunately, do not even tell the bishop.


Skorka: What does it mean to get back on track?

Bergoglio: To do penance, to keep their celibacy. The double life is no good for us. I don't like it because it means building on falsehood. Sometimes I say: “If you can not overcome it, make your decision.”


Skorka: I would like to clarify that a priest who falls in love with a girl and then confesses is one thing, and a case of pedophilia is quite another. Pedophilia has to be cut off at the roots. It's very serious. Two adults who love each other having an affair is something else.

Bergoglio: The idea that pedophilia is a consequence of celibacy is ruled out. More than seventy percent of cases of pedophilia occur in the family and neighborhood: grandparents, uncles, stepfathers, neighbors. The problem is not linked to celibacy. If a priest is a pedophile, he is so before he is a priest.

Now, when that happens, we must never turn a blind eye. You cannot be in a position of power and destroy the life of another person. In the diocese it never happened to me, but a bishop once called me to ask me by phone what to do in a situation like that and I told him to take away the priests' licenses, not to allow them to exercise the priesthood any more, and to begin a canonical trial in that diocese’s court. I think that's the attitude to have. I do not believe in taking positions that uphold a certain corporative spirit in order to avoid damaging the image of the institution. That solution was proposed once in the United States: they proposed switching the priests to a different parish. It is a stupid idea; that way, the priest just takes the problem with him wherever he goes. The corporate reaction leads to such a result, so I do not agree with those solutions. Recently, there were cases uncovered in Ireland from about twenty years ago, and the present Pope [Benedict XVI] clearly said: “Zero tolerance for that crime.” I admire the courage and uprightness of Pope Benedict on the subject.

Copyright 2012 Aleteia. All rights reserved

Thursday, March 21, 2013

END OF NOVENA

Abbey - Peace be with you!
 
At the end of every novena that we pray here at PrayMoreNovenas.com we always pray our closing prayer. 
 
Please pray with me!
 
Let us pray...
 
Dear Lord Jesus, I have specific requests that may only partially fill the infinite needs and desires that are in my heart. I ask that You answer me not only for those requests but also for a greater reliance on You to satisfy the needs and desires that You have given me.
 
Please grant the prayers of all those who prayed this novena with me. Bless them with Your love and make them holy!
 
May I seek You with a sincere heart knowing that it will profit me nothing if I gain the whole world yet lose my soul.
 
So, help me to see Your good and gracious purpose in all my trials. Help me to see Your blessings in every day and help me to love You more.
 
Preserve, oh Lord, your Church and our a new Pontiff. 
 
Thank You for everything, Lord Jesus!
 
Amen.
 
~*~
 
I'm so glad that I got the chance to pray with you and witness history as Pope Francis was elected!
 
Have these novenas been a blessing to you? 
 
Would you like to see this prayer service keep growing? 
 
You can make a small donation here: 
 
 
God bless you!
   John-Paul - PrayMoreNovenas.com

CONTEMPLATION IN PRAYER

I enjoyed this article more for Dan Burke's description of "Contemplation" more than anything, but I felt the entire article had to be published for completeness. I urge you to read "Contemplation" over and over; it's a wonderful description of how you can pray and truly become so close to God that you can feel and hear him!  Of course, I highly recommend Dan Burke's webiste, Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction.  Dan is a wonderful writer and knowledgeable in his choice of writing about The Church and spiritual matters.

Peace be with you +++

Abbey
~*~

IS IT OKAY TO HAVE A SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR WHO IS NOT AS ADVANCED AS I AM IN PRAYER
March 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured, Finding a Director, Spiritual Direction

Abrazo_santa_teresa,_santa_catalina,_santa_clara WikimediaQ: Dear Dan, my spiritual journey seems to be leading me deeper into contemplative prayer. Is it important for me to find a director who is experienced in contemplation, or is it okay for me to have someone who is compatible with me in other areas but not necessarily in this?

A: Dear friend, you have asked several good questions. That said, there are also a few questions that need to be answered so that we can avoid common confusion about advanced states of prayer.

Q: What is contemplation?


A: Sometimes it can be very helpful to identify what something is not before you explain what it is. Because there is so much misinformation about contemplation in modern literature, we will use this as a starting point.
Contemplation is NOT:
  • a method of prayer.
  • something we generate on our own or through a sit, breathe and repeat a sacred word formula.
  • oneness or fusion with a cosmic force or principal or the universe.
  • a good feeling during prayer.
  • the same as or synonymous with meditation.
  • something that we can in any way originate, intensify, or prolong by anything that we do.
  • an exercise in self-contemplation, stillness, silence of the mind, or self-emptying.
  • a new or alternate realm of consciousness.
  • a turning inwards on ourselves.
  • an annihilation of self resulting in total union with God wherein the self no long exists as a distinct creature.
  • a looking within to discover authentic wisdom, creativity, and power.
  • a detachment in any way from the person and incarnational reality of Christ.
So, what is contemplation? Here’s a definition I provided in my book Navigating the Interior Life that is in keeping with Catholic tradition:
Contemplation is an infused supernatural gift, that originates completely outside of our will or ability in God, by which a person becomes freely absorbed in God producing a real awareness, desire, and love for Him. This often gentle, delightful, or even intense encounter can yield special insights into things of the spirit and results in a deeper and tangible desire to love God and neighbor in thought, word, and deed. It is important to note that infused contemplation is a state that can be prepared for, but cannot in any way be produced by the will of a person through methods or ascetical practices.
Ok, with that out of the way, lets move on to your questions.

Q: Is it important to find a director that is experienced in contemplation if you are at that stage of prayer?

A: It is optimal to have a director that is advanced in prayer to an equal or greater degree than we are. However, the factors that inhibit or enable contemplation can be understood by any competent spiritual director regardless of their direct experience. If they are well grounded in mystical and ascetical theology and are faithful themselves, they can probably help you in your journey. If you must settle for a less experienced director, it can be helpful to self-educate on the topic. Check out our Resources area for reading recommendations.

Q: Is it ok to have someone who is compatible with me? (You didn’t ask this one directly but it is worth consideration.)

A: Believe it or not, it is not necessary to have someone who is “compatible” with you. In fact, it is best to have a director who is different than you and who will challenge you to think and in ways that you may have never considered. Sometimes a challenging spiritual direction relationship can be a catalyst for unexpected growth assuming that it is a healthy relationship. In my case, my I selected my current spiritual director because I sensed that she would pose a challenge for me. I was right. Thus far it has been the most productive spiritual direction relationship I have had.
I hope these answers help you along your journey. Be assured of our prayers as you seek to deepen your love and service to our Lord and His people!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

ISABELLA NEEDS YOUR PRAYERS - JOIN TEAM ISABELLA

I am a Prayer Warrior at my parish, and there is a little twin girl for whom we have been praying, and who desperately needs a miracle.  I have not posted about this before, but when I received the following update today, I was led to share it with you and ask you to keep spreading the word of TEAM ISABELLA around the world.  They, we, need prayer and LOTS OF IT! Please put Isabella and her family in your prayers daily.

With deepest Gratitude for you,
Abbey

~*~


Kirk,

Things are not looking good for little Isabella.  This was written after her medical neuroblastoma team reviewed all the latest tests.  Please pray for this sweet little girl and her family.  They are an inspiration to us all. 

My aunt forwards this message from the CaringBrigdge site for their church prayer warriors.  As I mentioned earlier Isabella is the granddaughter (one of twin girls) of her Baptist minister. She was diagnosed at her 9 month regular checkup with neuroblastoma .

Thank you. God Bless each of our OLV prayer warriors. 
P. W.
 
-----Original Message-----

Not our plan, but His!

Written 30 minutes ago

We know many of you have been waiting to hear the latest, right along with us and we appreciate your encouragement and prayers more than you know. We got a call from Bella's oncologist today. Yesterday was the neuroblastoma team meeting to discuss Isabella's case. They actually meet and talk about other patients, but as far as we are concerned, they were meeting about Isabella:).

The team consists of other neuroblastoma specialists and surgeons. They looked at her most recent scans, and concluded that surgery is not an option for her right now. The surgeons said at the tumor has not changed since the last scans. They said that the fact that she is still eating, growing, peeing, pooping, walking and functioning normally, that it would more than likely do her more harm than good to open her up. Their main concern is that they would in essence be going in blind. One of the surgeons said that "we could go in and she could be in trouble and us not even know it".

Her tumor is still so entwined with her vascular system(veins, arteries), and there is so much tumor that they fear they might inadvertently cut a vein or artery and not know it until it is too late because they can't see it due to the tumor. Make sense? I know it is complicated, but we trust the doctors judgment. The immediate concern is the blood supply to her intestines, and the tubes(ureters) that lead from her kidneys to her bladder.

To say Tim and I are disappointed would be an understatement. I know it may seem odd that we are disappointed that they are not going to put her through major surgery, but we had really hoped this surgery would be one step closer to her complete healing. We are, however, so thankful for surgeons who don't feel it necessary to be heroic at Isabella's expense. We had felt like God would use medicine to heal our girl, but God clearly has a much loftier plan! This has been a change in direction for us, but God has seen and planned this very news since the beginning. As we have said all along, God is not surprised by any of this and He truly is the orchestrator of it all. What blessed assurance we have!!!!

So, what is in store for Isabella? We now take her in once a month to have her port flushed and check her urine counts. Her urine is where the neuroblastoma tracers show up. As long as her numbers stay the same or go down, we will continue to monitor once a month and then do an MRI every three months. They will reevaluate surgery with each MRI. If her numbers were to go up, then they will revisit chemo. The oncologist says that the likelihood of her numbers going up is pretty slim, but that is why we a keeping an eye on it. Realistically, we are looking at a long road of watching a waiting which is harder than we imagined! To know that her little body is still fighting this nasty disease and we are essentially not doing anything to treat it is unimaginable, but we still cling to the promise that God is still doing a healing work in her body and we will wait as long as it takes to witness His miracle in our girl.

We know that as life "slows down" for us and updates are less frequent, that the enemy will be working double time to make us feel like we are alone and forgotten, but please know that we do know better! Y'all have upheld our family for nearly 11 months with your prayers, and we know that it will continue. We will let you know as things progress and change, and will be sure to update as often as we can. We appreciate your sweet words and the love we have received through letters, cards, gifts, prayers, and hugs. Y'all are all part of Team Isabella, and we will continue to fight this as a praying team!!!

Here is how you can continue to pray...

- pray for complete healing!!!!
- pray that we would not let the watching and waiting consume us and our time. We want to be able to enjoy this time with our family as much as we can and not feel like we are constantly in limbo.
- Our biggest praise is that we have a plan now and we a not still waiting to hear about the next step.
 
   2 Chronicles 7:14, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.


LAST DAY OF NOVENA FOR POPE FRANCIS

Peace be with you!
 
Here it is, the last day of the novena!
 
Thank you for praying with me and more than 40 thousand other people!
 
Even after this novena is over, don't forget to keep praying for the Pope and the Church in general.
 
Here are the novena prayers for today:
 
Day 9 - Holy Spirit Novena Prayers
 
Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.
 
Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus' name. By Your love, we are protected from evil. And so, we ask with humility and a beggar's heart for Goodness within us.
 
We want to be like your Saints in heaven. Holy Spirit, renew us by your power with your Goodness that we may bring the Good News to the world.
 
Amen.
 
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
 
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord,
 
Amen.
 
Thanksgiving Prayer for the Conclave:
 
Heavenly Father, we pray in union with the whole Church in thanksgiving for the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Cardinals. We pray for our new Pope Francis with all our hearts, that he will guide us to You.
 
Almighty God, we pray that the new Pope pleases You by guiding Your Church to grow in faithfulness to You. We pray together with the intercession of our Mother Mary and all the Saints. Please Lord, protect and guide your Church during this time of transition.
 
St. Francis, Pray for us!
 
Amen.
 
 
---------------------------------
 
Thank you so much for being a part of this!
 
As we finish praying for Pope Francis, do you have any thoughts or prayers for him that you would like to share with the rest of the praymorenovenas.com community? 
 
Click here to leave a comment about the Pope! 
 
(Note: Whatever you enter for 'Name' will be published publicly. If you would like to keep your name private please put in your initials) 
 
Annie and I are praying for you!
 
God bless you!
   John-Paul - PrayMoreNovenas.com

Monday, March 18, 2013

PEACH COBBLER & VANILLA ICE CREAM

I am a cobbler junkie ...if there is such a thing! I love warm cobbler of any kind with cold vanilla ice cream! And not just any cobbler...it has to be a southern cobbler like my Mom used to make. Especially this peach cobbler. I keep a bag of frozen peaches in the freezer at all times just in case it hits me! This is one of the throw it all together and it comes out wonderful recipes.

Easy Southern Peach Cobbler

3 pounds frozen peaches
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Pinch of salt

Cobbler Topping:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 heaping tablespoons sugar,
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into pieces
3 tablespoons Crisco shortening
3/4 cup whole milk
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish. Dump the frozen peaches in a big bowl and add sugar, flour, lemon juice and salt. Stir and set aside. The sugar and flour will stick to the peaches because they are so cold....that's what makes it so good!

Topping: In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir together. Add the pieces of butter and pinch off pieces of the shortening and add the dry ingredients. With your fingers or a pastry cutter work in the butter and shortening. Beat the milk and eggs together. Pour into the flour mixture and stir with a fork until just combined.


Pour the frozen peaches into the prepared baking dish. Next tear off pinches of the dough topping you just made and drop it onto the surface of the fruit, creating a "cobbled" texture. Sprinkle additional sugar (1/4 cup) all over the top.


Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. If the cobbler is too juicy, use a turkey baster to remove a little of the juice (or spoon the juice over ice cream). Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
  Picked from a friend on Facebook!

MIRJANA'S ANNUAL APPARITION & PRIEST WHO HOLDS THE TEN SECRETS

Mirjana's Annual Apparition

Mirjana Soldo had her annual apparition today, March 18, at about 1:52 pm, Medjugorje time.

When Our Lady entrusted the tenth secret to Mirjana and stopped appearing to her every day, she promised to appear once a year, on March 18.

Although March 18 is Mirjana's birthday, she claims that Our Lady chose that date for another reason, but, she said, we will only understand that reason in the future.

Due to rain, the apparition took place inside Mirjana's home instead of near the Blue Cross area of Apparition Hill as it normally does.


Interestingly, the message echoes the recent comments about God's mercy from Pope Francis.
"Dear children! I call you to, with complete trust and joy, bless the name of the Lord and, day by day, to give Him thanks from the heart for His great love. My Son, through that love which He showed by the Cross, gave you the possibility to be forgiven for everything; so that you do not have to be ashamed or to hide, and out of fear not to open the door of your heart to my Son. To the contrary, my children, reconcile with the Heavenly Father so that you may be able to come to love yourselves as my Son loves you. When you come to love yourselves, you will also love others; in them you will see my Son and recognize the greatness of His love. Live in faith! Through me, my Son is preparing you for the works which He desires to do through you - works through which He desires to be glorified. Give Him thanks. Especially thank Him for the shepherds - for your intercessors in the reconciliation with the Heavenly Father. I am thanking you, my children. Thank you." 
~*~

 

Retreat & Pilgrimage


Meet Fr. Petar


Only 8 spots left!


Come to Medjugorje for a unique pilgrimage that includes a private spiritual retreat with Fr. Petar, the priest chosen by Mirjana to reveal the ten secrets to the world.

May 13-21, 2013 - $1485

Fr. Petar is a fascinating priest who will be known around the world when the secrets take place. He is in his mid-sixties now, and the secrets will be revealed within his lifetime. How much longer do we have?

According to Fr. Petar, not long. He believes that we simply need to look around us at the state of the world to know that the time is fast approaching. He feels that God must "do something" very soon. Part of our interview with him is in the upcoming film, The Triumph.

Learn more about this one-of-a-kind pilgrimage.

  
~MedjugorjeLive.org

POPE FRANCIS' FAVORIATE MARIAN IMAGE


Mary Untier of Knots - Pope Francis' Favorite Marian Image

Link to Dr. Taylor Marshall | Canterbury Tales

Posted: 18 Mar 2013 09:43 AM PDT
Our Lady Untier of Knots,
Marian Image Beloved by Pope Francis

Our new Pope Francis has a very special devotion to Our Lady Untier of Knots. Many have never heard of this devotion, but it's a great one...going all the way back to the second century.

Before describing "Our Lady Untier of Knots," I'd like to share a recent experience from my own life as it relates to this special Marian devotion:

Recently at Fisher More College, during the offertory of our High Mass for the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas, a student tapped me on the shoulder, "Dr. Marshall, you're needed in the courtyard." I was a bit puzzled, but I followed the student outside. 

Outside in the courtyard, I saw one of the altar servers handing a hot thurible and the chains were tangled and knotted. The priest was about to incense the altar, and in its current condition, the thurible would not close. It was a jangled up mess. Apparently, the base of the thurible had flipped over a few times and the chains were wound up around each other. If you have handled a thurible, you may have experienced this before.

We literally had 45 seconds until the priest needed the thurible at the altar. I prayed, "Our Lady, Untier of Knots, pray for us." And like magic I tumbled around the base of the thurible about three times. Aha! It was straight again. The altar server used his bare hands to put the coals in the thurible (he was in a hurry, after all) and he darted inside to the altar...just in time.

So what is meant by the title Our Lady Untier of Knots?

Pope Francis's Devotion to 'Our Lady Untier of Knots'

Our new Pope Francis has been one of the chief promoters of "Our Lady Untier of Knots." When Pope Francis, then Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was studying in Germany, he was stunned by a Bavarian painting of "Holy Mary, Our Lady Untier of Knots." He acquired a copy of the painting and brought it to Argentina and promoted devotion to Mary under this title. Apparently it has caught on with the faithful of Argentina.

It is interesting that this Marian devotion of Pope Francis is rooted in Bavaria - it therefore creates a bridge between the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI and that of Pope Francis. In fact, Cardinal Bergoglio had an image of Our Lady Untier of Knots engraved into a chalice and presented it to Pope Benedict XVI.

The Theology of Our Lady Untier of Knots

The theology of Mary untying knots goes back to the second century - less than one hundred years after the death of the Apostles. Saint Irenaeus of Lyons wrote "the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith." (Adversus haereses, 3, 22) This is one of the earliest examples of describing Mary as the "New Eve." Eve, standing next to Adam, is the "co-peccatrix" (co-sinner) Mary, standing next to Christ crucified, is the "co-redemptrix" (co-redemptress). This does not mean that Mary directly saves or redeems us. It means that Mary consents and participates in the redemptive action of Christ. Her role is congruent and relative to the condign and absolute role of Christ.

Our Lady Untier of Knots is Patristic and may be the way forward for establishing and expanding Marian theology. The doctrine of Mary's universal mediation and her subordinate role to Christ in human salvation is beautifully summed up in this saying of Saint Irenaeus of Lyons. The fact that it goes back to the second century reveals that this is not a medieval accretion. It's a doctrine deriving from the Apostles themselves.


Question: Had you heard of this devotion, Our Lady Untier of Knots? If so, in what part of the world do you live? Is it popular there?

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

NOVENA FOR POPE FRANCIS

Peace be with you!
 
Many people have been asking me about why the Holy Father chose the name Francis. 
 
Well, I found a video of him explaining it and posted it on the website. 
 
 
Let's keep praying!
 
Here are the novena prayers for today:
 
Day 6 - Holy Spirit Novena Prayers
 
Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.
 
Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus' name. By Your love, we are protected from evil. And so, we ask with humility and a beggar's heart for Your gift of Faithfulness within us.
 
You, oh Lord, are ever faithful. You are faithful until the end. Though we are weak and distracted, please give us the grace to be faithful to You as you are to us!
 
Amen.
 
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
 
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord,
 
Amen.
 
Thanksgiving Prayer for the Conclave:
 
Heavenly Father, we pray in union with the whole Church in thanksgiving for the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Cardinals. We pray for our new Pope Francis with all our hearts, that he will guide us to You.
 
Almighty God, we pray that the new Pope pleases You by guiding Your Church to grow in faithfulness to You. We pray together with the intercession of our Mother Mary and all the Saints. Please Lord, protect and guide your Church during this time of transition.
 
St. Francis, Pray for us!
 
Amen.
 
SHARE THIS NOVENA
 
 
 
 
God bless you!
   John-Paul - PrayMoreNovenas.com
 

Friday, March 15, 2013

DAY 4 - NOVENA FOR OUR HOLY FATHER

Peace be with you!
 
It's day 4!
 
Let's keep praying for our new Holy Father!
 
Here are the novena prayers for today:
 
Day 4 - Holy Spirit Novena Prayers
 
Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.
 
Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus' name. By Your love, we are protected from evil. And so, we ask with humility and a beggar's heart for Your gift of Patience within us.
 
Oh Holy Spirit, you give lavishly to those who ask. Please give us the patience of the Saints who are now with you in heaven. Help us to endure everything with an eternal patience that is only possible with your help.
 
Amen.
 
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
 
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord,
 
Amen.
 
Thanksgiving Prayer for the Conclave:
 
Heavenly Father, we pray in union with the whole Church in thanksgiving for the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Cardinals. We pray for our new Pope Francis with all our hearts, that he will guide us to You.
 
Almighty God, we pray that the new Pope pleases You by guiding Your Church to grow in faithfulness to You. We pray together with the intercession of our Mother Mary and all the Saints. Please Lord, protect and guide your Church during this time of transition.
 
St. Francis, Pray for us!
 
Amen.
 

IGNATIUS PRESS

Lifted from my friend, Mark Brumley.  Thanks, Mark!

Ignatius Press
‎"We hope that legislators, heads of government, and health professionals, conscious of the dignity of human life and of the rootedness of the family in our peoples, will defend and protect it from the abominable crimes of abortion and euthanasia; that is their responsibility. Hence, in response to government laws and provisions that are unjust in the light of faith and reason, conscientious objection should be encouraged. We should commit ourselves to ‘eucharistic coherence’, that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive holy communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals."

From the Fifth General Conference of Latin American and Caribbean Bishops, presented by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) in 2007.

PAT BOONE CALLS OBAMA A MARXIST

Pat Boone Calls Obama a Marxist
It's safe to assume that Pat Boone did not vote for President Barack Obama's re-election.

The legendary pop/gospel singer and avowed conservative appeared on Fox Business News on Wednesday night, joining Neil Cavuto to give his expert opinion on the deficit fight and sequestration. Instead of fiscal wonkery, though, Boone reached back into the past several years of Tea Party rhetoric to accuse Obama of being a socialist, bent on destroying economic progress through policies advocated by Saul Alinsky.

"He is following his playbook, which is Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals," Boone charged. "This is the guy that trained him to be a community organizer, a Marxist, a socialist, a progressive, who wrote the rules for doing what Mr. Obama is doing."

After Cavuto suggested that he differed with Boone on that accusation, the singer doubled down. "He has a plan, he thinks it’s good for America -- a virtually socialist nation in which nobody gets rich, government is in charge of everything," he said.

Cavuto suggested, jokingly, that Obama was individually targeting Boone, to which the singer responded that he was, indeed, on the president's "enemies list" in 2009 -- a document published by the tabloid "The Globe."

Boone has long been a critic of Obama's, suggesting in the past that he was a Kenyan Muslim, among other things.

Boone scored 18 Top 10 singles from 1955-62, including six No. 1s. Billboard ranks him as the No. 2 singles act of the 1950s, behind Elvis Presley.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

NOVENA FOR OUR NEW POPE

Peace be with you!
 

We have a Pope! 
 
Pope Francis was elected yesterday! 
 
Since we no longer need to pray for the conclave, I changed the final prayer to be one of thanksgiving for our new Holy Father. 
 
Here are the novena prayers for today:
 
Day 3 - Holy Spirit Novena Prayers
 
Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.
 
Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus' name. By Your love, we are protected from evil. And so, we ask with humility and a beggar's heart for Your gift of Peace within us.
 
The Saints were tempted, attacked and accused by the devil who is the destroyer of peace. When we are accused by the devil, come to our aid as our Advocate and give us Peace that lasts through all trials!
 
Amen.
 
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
 
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord,
 
Amen.
 
Thanksgiving Prayer for the Conclave:
 
Heavenly Father, we pray in union with the whole Church in thanksgiving for the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Cardinals. We pray for our new Pope Francis with all our hearts, that he will guide us to You.
 
Almighty God, we pray that the new Pope pleases You by guiding Your Church to grow in faithfulness to You. We pray together with the intercession of our Mother Mary and all the Saints. Please Lord, protect and guide your Church during this time of transition.
 
St. Francis, Pray for us!
 
Amen.
 

Traditionalists and Pope Francis: Can We Take a Deep Breath and Please Calm Down? ~ Dr. Taylor Marshall | Canterbury Tales

Traditionalists and Pope Francis: Can We Take a Deep Breath and Please Calm Down? ~ Dr. Taylor Marshall | Canterbury Tales

Quite saddened by the immediate attacks on Pope Francis! I am 100% behind the choice of the Conclave through The Holy Spirit.  Pope Francis is EXACTLY what our church needs, someone who is pious and unafraid to make necessary changes within The Church to bring her back to her roots.

You will read of people of our faith protesting that he is against gay marriage and contraception.  Well then, I say to you, "find yourself a religion that suits your own selfish agenda because The Catholic Church will not bend or break to satisfy your evil hunger.!"

It is with great sadness that I read the above blog article, but we need to stay TOGETHER and every Catholic needs to read this.  It, more or less, condenses what is going on in the rush to condemn the new Papacy.  I urge you to read it!

I love you, dearest PaPa!

Viva il Papa!
Abbey