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Scots Catholic Blog
|Posted on September 7, 2015 at 11:45 AM||comments ()|
Sister Lucia dos Santos
As we approach the second and final part of the Synod on Marriage and Family Life it is important for us to remember these words of Sister Lucia of Fatima, one of three children who were visited by Our Blessed Mother Mary during the twentieth century.
Lucia describes how the final battle between the Lord and Satan will be about marriage and the family, but that anyone who stands for the sanctity of marriage and the family should not fear as "Our Lady has already crushed its head".
It should be no surprise to us to hear that there is an ongoing battle with the father of lies over marriage and family life. Just consider contraception, abortion and the redefinition of marriage and you can see precisely where the devil is attacking God's divine plan for mankind.
We are, in all respects, in the battlefield for the very last battle between the devil and the Lord. But which side are we on? Are we with the world; a world that is increasingly subject to the contol of the devil with all his lies and attacks on our faith? Or are we with Christ and his Church, standing firm to the Truth and God's divine plan with which comes the promise eternal salvation?
|Posted on August 6, 2015 at 5:36 AM||comments ()|
Bishop James Conley
Five American Bishops have responded to the recent Planned Parenthood videos which show the company dealing in the body parts of aborted babies.
Cardinal O'Malley and Bishops Paprocki, Vasa, Tobin and Conley all express their own personal view on the tragedy.
Perhaps my favourite quote is from Bishop Conley. He said: "Anyone who can casually discuss tearing children to shreds while having lunch and a good cabernet is a victim of the father of lies."
Click here to read the full story at Catholic Vote: http://www.catholicvote.org/five-of-your-favorite-bishops-respond-to-planned-parenthood-videos/
|Posted on July 13, 2015 at 9:00 AM||comments ()|
Pope Francis has urged young people to reject playing for the devil's football team, so full of empty promises of glory, riches and power; and instead invited them to play for Jesus' team, where humility, love and service to others is key.
Click here to read Pope Francis' full address: http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-prepared-remarks-to-young-people-in-p
|Posted on June 26, 2015 at 11:48 AM||comments ()|
Sunday’s First Reading (Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24):
‘Death was not God’s doing,
he takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living.
To be – for this he created all;
the world’s created things have health in them,
in them no fatal poison can be found,
and Hades holds no power on earth;
for virtue is undying.
Yet God did make man imperishable,
he made him in the image of his own nature;
it was the devil’s envy that brought death into the world,
as those who are his partners will discover.’
Let’s focus on the first two lines of this scripture passage. Read them again and think about our world today. Consider the unnecessary death of the innocent in the womb, and the increased incidence of deaths among vulnerable and elderly people following the introduction of assisted suicide. Consider the unnecessary deaths of people at times of war or at the hands of extremist groups like ISIS. All of this death is unnecessary and God - as set out in today’s passage - takes no pleasure in it.
And while God ‘did make man imperishable’, something which would become visible in the person of Jesus Christ when he rose from the dead on the third day, we are still called to protect life and protect the most vulnerable.
As death was not God’s doing don’t you think we should be fighting hard to ensure we don’t allow unnecessary death to creep further and further into society? Our society generally makes the killing of another person illegal, and thankfully so. Yet this is qualified. For example, it is not illegal to kill an unborn child in the womb in certain circumstances. And increasingly, particularly in parts of Europe, it is becoming legal to kill those who are said to want to end their own lives through the process of assisted suicide. This, of course, is putting more and more pressure on elderly and vulnerable people to consider whether they too should die in order to alleviate the burden of those caring for them or indeed the burden supposedly carried by wider society.
But we must fight against this tide of death as best we can. Death is not from God. It is from Satan. And that alone should be enough to want to give it our best shot. Of course death will come to us all at one point, but do we really want to hasten it and let the devil win? Do we really want to defy God who takes ‘no pleasure’ in such extinction and let the ‘devil’s envy’ be victorious?
Our role as Christians is to defend life and defend it from conception until its natural end. As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) once said: “Defend the unborn against abortion, even if they persecute you, calumniate you, set traps for you, take you to court, or kill you.”
Yes, it’s that important.
|Posted on February 6, 2015 at 6:53 AM||comments ()|
Pope Francis has condemned gossip on numerous occasions
“I tell you, on the day of judgement you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned”
Matthew 12: 36
More than any other Pope in the past, Pope Francis warns us frequently to guard against gossip. He has talked of how gossip is a powerful tool of the devil and has even admitted to being tempted to gossip himself. He states: "It begins this way, discreetly, like a trickle of water. It grows by infecting others and in the end it justifies itself."
So what exactly is gossip? And why does the Holy Father have such an issue with it? Surely it is just harmless talk and can even strengthen bonds between us and those we are talking to? It is important that we are clear on what we mean by ‘gossip’ so we can easily spot it discreetly working its way into our hearts. And it is also important to be sure of what it is lest we become overscrupulous and falsely accuse ourselves of being a gossip.
As always, it serves us well to turn to the Catechism of the Catholic Church for answers and, regarding conversation, it states:
Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:
· of rash judgement who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbour;
· of detraction who, without objectively valid reasons, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;
· of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgements concerning them.
Gossip therefore can be harmless if it does not disrespect another’s reputation and if it does not keep you from attending to your other responsibilities. But it can become harmful when it leads you to rashly judge your neighbour, or damage their reputation among people who don’t know them (even if what you are saying is true), or when you spread lies about them. It places us on the seat of judgement, causing us to overlook the plank in our own eye and does other untold damage that we might never fully realise.
Our culture is bathed in gossip. We need only to look at a gossip magazine or tabloid newspaper to appreciate how prevalent it is in society. We should remember that celebrities are people too. And I would suggest soap operas and other television programmes, although not technically gossip as of course the characters aren’t real, may predispose us and lead us into the habit of this particular sin.
So perhaps in our examination of conscience we could consider the following points when thinking of a time we talked about someone; What was my reason for talking about them? Was what I said true or was I rashly judging them? Did I negatively colour the opinion of that person when talking about them to other people? How would the person feel if they overheard what I said? How would my comments reflect upon me if they were somehow recorded or published? Did what I say bring me to a better understanding of the person and call me and others to love them more, or did it bring division?
May we pray for God’s mercy for the times we have failed to uphold our neighbour’s reputation and for His strength to resist all forms of gossip, as we say the words of St Francis of Assisi:
O Divine Master grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
Only Jesus can save us from the grasp of the devil (Dwelling on the Word of God, Sunday 1st February 2015)
|Posted on January 30, 2015 at 11:56 AM||comments ()|
Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 1:21-28):
‘Jesus and his followers went as far as Capernaum, and as soon as the sabbath came he went to the synagogue and began to teach. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.
In their synagogue just then there was a man possessed by an unclean spirit and it shouted, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him. The people were so astonished that they started asking each other what it all meant. ‘Here is a teaching that is new’ they said ‘and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.’ And his reputation rapidly spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.’
It’s not difficult to imagine evil in our world. It’s all around us; wars, murder, violence, destruction. Evil has enveloped our world and it can be experienced at almost every turn. Yet,while it is easy to see evil and to experience it, do we really appreciate who is behind it?
While a willing human mind is perhaps necessary to carry out evil, it is the devil that is the source of evil; and he uses his power to force others to carry out his evil deeds in many different ways. In today’s Gospel passage he uses possession as a means to wreak havoc and to attack God. In today’s world possession by unclean spirits is still a reality and exorcisms occur throughout the world. But the devil makes his presence felt in numerous other ways. He destroys our love of life from the moment of conception until natural death by willing abortions and assisted suicide. He chips away at the family by breaking it up and removing those critical elements of fatherhood and motherhood for every child. He encourages gossip, cynicism, complaining and negativity among people.
The devil also comes to us in the most simple and innocent situations. He encourages our laziness as we prepare for Mass on a Sunday; making us feel like the weekly trip to church is a chore rather than a joy. He visits us in the evening just before we go to sleep and gently invites us to read another few pages of the latest thriller at the expense of our prayers. He is not always forceful. Indeed, his ways are often subtle and gentle; wooing us with a seeming beauty and elegance designed to capture our hearts and designed to thrill and excite.
The devil’s intention is ultimately to come between us and God. He is a fallen angel because he wanted to be God. And given he cannot possibly be God he now wants to bring as much destruction to God’s creation as he possibly can and the best way to do this is to turn God’s own children against Him.
However, he will never win as Christ has won the victory on the Cross. Good has triumphed over evil and God can never be defeated. But our hearts can still be won over by the devil and he is doing his very best to ensure that this happens to as many people as possible. As we prepare for our Lenten journey this year perhaps it would beuseful to try to discern the ways the devil tries to get at us. If we can identify his evil habits then we can turn to Jesus and ask him to defend us so that our hearts are never won over by the devil and his destructive ways. We belong to God and to God alone. It is He who has given us life and it is to Him that we shall return at the end of time to be judged. Make sure that judgement has a happy ending. Don’t let the devil have his way. He wants you to fail so that you will be damned for all eternity. Remember, you have Jesus on your side! He is the only one who can save you from the devil’s evil clutches.
Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and ignore the subtle temptations of the evil one. Keep your heart fixed on Jesus and make sure that your destiny is Heaven, to be reunited with your Father who loves you more than you can ever imagine.
Disabled and mentally ill increasingly at risk as Belgium becomes more and more liberal with assisted suicide
|Posted on January 30, 2015 at 11:40 AM||comments ()|
It’s not as if we didn’t know this was coming. Belgium has, after all, already legalised the euthanizing of children. But now the reality of assisted suicide for those who suffer from mental ill health and those who are disabled is becoming a reality, with increasing numbers of people using the option to take their own lives, and with considerable ease.
There are reported cases of a transgender man who struggled with mental illness from a childhood trauma and who was killed ‘with dignity’ as proponents of assisted suicide like to say. There is the case of twins who were euthanized because they were going blind and because it was felt they had nothing to live for. This is the reality of assisted suicide.
Life is being destroyed all around us. It started with contraception and abortion and now we have people telling us that killing should be even more widely available. They suggest it should stretch to any vulnerable person who feels they would be better off dead. The sense of caring and the responsibility to love one another has been consigned to the modern day secular dustbin. Love, it seems, is a tired concept. Survival of the fittest and the strongest would appear to have won the day in countries like Belgium.
For Catholics, there simply is no way other than love. Jesus calls on all of us to love our neighbour and to love life. Our life is from the very moment of our conception until the day we die in accordance with the will of God. We are not entitled to take control of our lives out of God’s hands. We cannot play God. Remember, the devil wanted to be God. It does not pay to meddle with God-given life. Please, please, if you haven’t already done so, read our recent post on assisted suicide in Scotland and make sure you write to your MSP and sign the ‘Care Not Killing’ petition. You can find everything you need by clicking this link.
This is a hugely significant battle, a battle which is, for some, a matter of life and death.
To read a more detailed article on this at Live Action News and to see a video of a doctor euthanizing a woman in Belgium, click this link: http://liveactionnews.org/documentary-shows-belgian-doctor-euthanizing-a-depressed-suicidal-woman/
|Posted on October 31, 2014 at 8:46 AM||comments ()|
Pope Francis has continued his recent theme of talking about the devil and has
asked exorcists to manifest the love of the Church for those “suffering due to the work of the Evil One.”
Click here to read the full article at zenit.org: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-asks-exorcists-to-manifest-church-s-love-for-those-persecuted-by-devil