Saturday, May 30, 2009

Russia: Sheeple Watching

Russian newspaper Pravda ('Truth') has an interesting take on the state of affairs in the U.S.A.

While Pravda is not known for accurate reporting, I link to the article because they smartly recognize the collapse of liberty in the United States. Now those who have never known true freedom seem to watch with smug satisfaction as ours is snatched away under the guise of 'hope' and 'change'.
I recall feeling hope myself and happiness too, as communism appeared to have crumbled a decade ago. I thought finally, the Russian people might have a chance to enjoy freedom. It never occurred to me that one day they might be welcoming us to their party.

May God help us.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

To Hell and Back

St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesian order, experienced many prophetic dreams during his lifetime. God used these dreams to help form St. John Bosco and to provide guidance as this dedicated servant of the Almighty helped so many others along the path to heaven.

One night, St. John Bosco experienced a frightening glimpse of Hell. His account, in part, follows:

The Road to Hell
Prophetic Dream of St. John Bosco 1868 A.D.

On Sunday night, May 3 [1868], the feast of Saint Joseph's patronage, Don Bosco resumed the narration of his dreams:

I have another dream to tell you, a sort of aftermath of those I told you last Thursday and Friday which totally exhausted me. Call them dreams or whatever you like. Always, as you know, on the night of April 17 a frightful toad seemed bent on devouring me.
When it finally vanished, a voice said to me: "Why don't you tell them?" I turned in that direction and saw a distinguished person standing by my bed. Feeling guilty about my silence, I asked: "What should I tell my boys?"

"What you have seen and heard in your last dreams and what you have wanted to know and shall have revealed to you tomorrow night!" He then vanished.

I spent the whole next day worrying about the miserable night in store for me, and when evening came, loath to go to bed, I sat at my desk browsing through books until midnight. The mere thought of having more nightmares thoroughly scare me. However, with great effort, I finally went to bed.

"Get up and follow me!" he said.

"For Heaven's sake," I protested, "leave me alone. I am exhausted! I've been tormented by a toothache for several days now and need rest. Besides, nightmares have completely worn me out." I said this because this man's apparition always means trouble, fatigue, and terror for me.

"Get up," he repeated. "You have no time to lose."

I complied and followed him. "Where are you taking me?" I asked.

"Never mind. You'll see." He led me to a vast, boundless plain, veritably a lifeless desert, with not a soul in sight or a tree or brook. Yellowed, dried-up vegetation added to the desolation I had no idea where I was or what was I to do. For a moment I even lost sight of my guide and feared that I was lost, utterly alone. Father Rua, Father Francesia, nowhere to be seen. When I finally saw my friend coming toward me, I sighed in relief.

"Where am I?" I asked.

"Come with me and you will find out!"

"All right. I'll go with you."

He led the way and I followed in silence, but after a long, dismal trudge, I began worrying whether I would ever be able to cross that vast expanse, what with my toothache and swollen legs. Suddenly I saw a road ahead.

"Where to now?" I asked my guide.

"This way," he replied.

We took the road. It was beautiful, wide, and neatly paved. "The way of sinners is made plain with stones, and in their end is hell, and darkness, and pains. " (Ecclesiasticus 21: 11, stones: broad and easy.) Both sides were lined with magnificent verdant hedges dotted with gorgeous flowers. Roses, especially, peeped everywhere through the leaves. At first glance, the road was level and comfortable, and so I ventured upon it without the least suspicion, but soon I noticed that it insensibly kept sloping downward. Though it did not look steep at all, I found myself moving so swiftly that I felt I was effortlessly gliding through the air. Really, I was gliding and hardly using my feet. Then the thought struck me that the return trip would be very long and arduous.

"How shall we get back to the Oratory?" I asked worriedly.

"Do not worry," he answered. "The Almighty wants you to go. He who leads you on will also know how to lead you back."

The road is sloping downward. As we were continuing on our way, flanked by banks of roses and other flowers, I became aware that the Oratory boys and very many others whom I did not know were following me. Somehow I found myself in their midst. As I was looking at them, I noticed now one, now another fall to the ground and instantly be dragged by an unseen force toward a frightful drop, distantly visible, which sloped into a furnace.

"What makes these boys fall?" I asked my companion. "The proud have hidden a net for me. And they have stretched out cords for a snare: they have laid for me a stumbling-block by the wayside." (Psalms 139: 6)

"Take a closer look," he replied.

I did. Traps were everywhere, some close to the ground, others at eye level, but all well concealed. Unaware of their danger, many boys got caught, and they tripped, they would sprawl to the ground, legs in the air. Then, when they managed to get back on their feet, they would run headlong down the road toward the abyss. Some got trapped by the head, others by the neck, hand, arms, legs, or sides, and were pulled down instantly. The ground traps, fine as spiders' webs and hardly visible, seemed very flimsy and harmless; yet, to my surprise, every boy they snared fell to the ground.
Noticing my astonishment, the guide remarked, "Do you know what this is?"

"Just some filmy fiber," I answered.

"A mere nothing," he said, "just plain human respect.",

Seeing that many boys were being caught in those straps. I asked, "Why do so many get caught? Who pulls them down?"

"Go nearer and you will see!" he told me.

I followed his advice but saw nothing peculiar.

"Look closer," he insisted.

I picked up one of the traps and tugged. I immediately felt some resistance. I pulled harder, only to feel that, instead of drawing the thread closer, I was being pulled down myself. I did not resist and soon found myself at the mouth of a frightful cave. I halted, unwilling to venture into that deep cavern, and again started pulling the thread toward me. It gave a little, but only through great effort on my part. I kept tugging, and after a long while a huge, hideous monster emerged, clutching a rope to which all those traps were tied together. He was the one who instantly dragged down anyone who got caught in them. It won't do to match my strength with his, I said to myself. I'll certainly lose. I'd better fight him with the Sign of the Cross and with short invocations.

Then I went back to my guide. "Now you know who he is," he said to me.
"I surely do! It is the devil himself!"

Carefully examining many of the traps, I saw that each bore an inscription: Pride, Disobedience, Envy, Sixth Commandment, Theft, Gluttony, Sloth, Anger and so on. Stepping back a bit to see which ones trapped the greater number of boys, I discovered that the most dangerous were those of impurity, disobedience, and pride. In fact, these three were linked to together. Many other traps also did great harm, but not as much as the first two. Still watching, I noticed many boys running faster than others. "Why such haste?" I asked.

"Because they are dragged by the snare of human respect."

Looking even more closely, I spotted knives among the traps. A providential hand had put them there for cutting oneself free. The bigger ones, symbolizing meditation, were for use against the trap of pride; others, not quite as big, symbolized spiritual reading well made. There were also two swords representing devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, especially through frequent Holy Communion, and to the Blessed Virgin. There was also a hammer symbolizing confession, and other knives signifying devotion to Saint Joseph, to Saint Aloysius, and to other Saints. By these means quite a few boys were able to free themselves or evade capture.

Read the rest of the dream (you do not want to miss this one!!) here
Good Night and May God Bless You Always

On Prayer

Spirit Daily recently ran this great article on prayer. Enjoy!


There's an old saying on how God answers prayers.

It's in one of three ways:

By saying "Yes."

By responding, "Not yet."

Or, by saying: "Wait, I have something better."

We can take that last one unto eternity!

When you pray and receive no answer it can be because what you request will cause you harm or doesn't fit with your higher calling. It doesn't coincide with how God wants to form you. It's not in His timing. We are trying to force things (and we know what rushing things can do). We can start with that: God responds only to prayers that bring you toward full realization.

There are other reasons why prayers aren't answered.

You may need to pray in a different way.

Perhaps, you need to pray more extensively (and with greater faith).

You may need to pray more from the heart -- really reach up to Him.

You may need to fast.

It may also be due to a block:

There can be blocks in your life preventing your prayer from "piercing the clouds," and these blocks can be from sin, negativity, or jealousy -- in your heart or directed against you.

Did you ever notice how hard it is at times to pray for others?

When we can't pray for ourselves, or someone else -- when it's like butting your head against a wall -- you need to step back, reflect on the issue, ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit, check your true inner feelings (for whomever you are trying to pray), and ask that the obstacle is lifted, from them or you. Cast the block away. How often we forget to remove obstacles! The result is frustration.

Before Jesus raised Lazarus, He wanted them to remove the stone from the tomb. He wanted them to take action. He wanted them to act in the natural -- and then He acted in the supernatural!

The same is true in your life: when prayers are not answered, it can be because God is waiting for you to remove the stone, to cause an opening, to step out of your "comfort zone," to take your feet out of the muck of worldliness. Are you too focused on things? Do you still compete? Do you want something (or someone) to boost your "ego" (which is the false self)?

All prayers "count." All are heard. God may apply them elsewhere. As we started out by saying, He has various reasons for "holding back."

-- It may be because what you want will do direct harm. Think back on your life and realize how things may have turned out (and what you may have become) if you had gotten the things you so earnestly wanted.

This is especially true with relationships: the wrong one keeps you from being who you really are. ("Wait, I have something better.")

-- Or a prayer may go unanswered because we are still "worldly." We try to have it both ways. We feature ourselves as "religious" but also grounded in the secular. (Forget the stock market; there will be no hint of it in Heaven).

-- It may be because we are in sin. When there are bad habits in our lives (including sloth), a barrier may form around us.

Prayers are heard when they are totally unselfish. How often are our prayers unselfish?

Seek to love and glorify God in all things and watch miracles unfold! There may be the need for release. You may have to let go of something. Open your heart and you open the tabernacle.

-- Lastly, recall that some trials are in His Plan for us -- and bring us to our essence. The Lord answers those prayers that take us to our true selves, not the selves we contrive through worldliness. He wants you to be who you really are. Only then will you know peace.

To do that, He must sometimes strip things away or deny them.

God has His fingerprints on you. He wants you to reach your destiny. How often we stop ourselves! How often we create a block through artificial concepts of happiness.

Knock the barriers down. Cast them out.

Pray with fervor.

Cry out (from the heart)!

Learn from your failures.

Realize with great hope that God knows we will make mistakes on this earth and desires mainly that we learn from them.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Holy Priesthood!

As of late, I've been reading a blog called HolyPriesthood: A Journal of a Young Priest in Midwestern America.

Keep your eye on this one, folks.

There are two contributors, twin brothers who are both newly ordained to the priesthood.

Homilies and other odds and ends are posted, but it is the eloquent defense of the faith which appears periodically that has me thinking the Holy Spirit is working powerfully through these two. Today's post on Obama's commencement address at Notre Dame illustrates this point beautifully.

If you like what you read, please pray for them. Pray that they remain humble, holy and the able defenders of the faith that they are proving to be. All of our priests, especially the Holy Father and the bishops need our frequent and fervent prayers.

I intend to ask St. Joseph to keep them both under his special protection.


Undoing the 'Undoable'

The world would have us believe that our country cannot change its course. That we cannot turn a ship headed in the wrong direction around. That we must resign ourselves to anti-Catholic policy, anti-Catholic sentiment.

I invite you to view this submission for a contest entitled 'You at 50' sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons ( AARP).
We have an actual reset button at our fingertips...
The rosary.

Prayer is similar to diet and exercise. We know what we need to do, we feel better when we do it, yet for some reason, we often choose to do other things.

So, with credit to Nike...Just Do it. Pray. You are called to be a warrior in Our Lady's army.
Pray the rosary. Every day. Fast from something you enjoy - the Internet, shopping, watching TV, eating chocolate. Encourage others to pray.

And watch the world right its course.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Catholic Clarity

National Review Online editor Kathryn Jean Lopez caught up with Archbishop Raymond Burke on his recent visit to the United States.

Lopez made the most of her opportunity to interview the head of the Vatican’s Supreme Court, seeking guidance for the faithful on a variety of critical issues. Among the topics were the Notre Dame controversy, pro-abortion ‘Catholic’ elected officials, and consecrated virgins.

In the following excerpt, Burke offers perspective for Catholics who may have voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 election.

LOPEZ: You seemed to make very clear that Catholic voters collaborated with evil when they voted for Obama. If you’re Catholic and did, do you have to confess this now that Mexico City, embryo-destructive funding, among other things, have happened?

ARCHBISHOP BURKE: If a Catholic knowingly and deliberately votes for a person who is in favor of the most grievous violations of the natural moral law, then he has formally cooperated in a grave evil and must confess his serious sin. Since President Obama clearly announced, during the election campaign, his anti-life and anti-family agenda, a Catholic who knew his agenda regarding, for example, procured abortion, embryonic-stem-cell research, and same-sex marriage, could not have voted for him with a clear conscience.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

St. Gemma Galgani

In the Passionist Order, today marks the feast date of St. Gemma Galgani. A contemporary saint ( she died in 1903 at the age of 25) , her extraordinary life was marked by the sufferings and trials saints so often bear in the service of Our Lord. St. Gemma was gifted with the wounds of Christ at age 21.

I am enthralled and inspired by the life of this beautiful, humble saint. Divine grace surrounded her always, and Our Lord and Our Lady appeared to her often. She used to send letters to her spiritual director, Father Germano, through a very special delivery service….

However, the most unusual angelic errands were the one’s that Father Germano writes about in Gemma’s biography. Gemma would write a letter to him (Father Germano) seeking some spiritual guidance, and then place it in a “Little Manger Shrine” that was in the Gianinni home (her "adopted" family -editor), and because she had no money for stamps, she would request her angel to deliver the letter for her. Father Germanus, living several hundred miles away in Rome at the time, would soon “find” the letter unstamped on his desk, or another such place. (yet another reason for the angelic deliveries was the fact that Father Germanus travelled extensively in his preaching ministry, and Gemma never knew where to reach him)Realizing how unusual this was, Father Germano asked Heaven for a sign that these "angelic deliveries" were it was in accord with God’s Will. Afterwards, while he was staying at the Passionist house in Corneto, Italy, a "young boy" knocked at the door asking for him. Father Germanus answered the door and the boy handed him a letter from Gemma, and ubruptly turned and left without saying a word. Who was the boy and how could Gemma have known that he was visiting at Corneto? He opened the letter and immediately realized that God anwered his prayer as to the authentcity of these "angelic" deliveries. After Gemma’s death, he wrote: “I always received the angelic letters faithfully. The fact is unusual … I confess I do not understand it at all....To how many tests did I not I submit this singular phenomenon in order to convince myself that it took place through a supernatural intervention! And yet none of my tests ever failed; and thus I was convinced again and again that in this, like in many other extraordinary things in her life, Heaven was delighted in amusing itself, as it were, with this innocent and dear maiden.”

For more on St. Gemma, please visit this outstanding site . It is one of my favorite places to visit when I have a free moment in the day!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Our Lady Help of Christians Novena

The Feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians (also called Mary, Help of Christians) is celebrated May 24th. Today around the world novenas are beginning to honor the Virgin Mary in this manner.

St. John Bosco dedicated much of his ministry to Our Lady bearing this title. Spreading devotion to Mary, Help of Christians is one of the three primary devotions of the Salesian Order, which he founded. The accounts of intercession by Mary, Help of Christians are astonishing.

With secularism, socialism and anti-Catholic sentiment rampant the world over, I am so grateful that we have recourse to Our Lady with yet another powerful prayer. Please encourage prayer warriors everywhere to honor The Blessed Mother and invoke her powerful patronage as Our Lady, Help of Christians.

I found three great Novenas :

Novena #1


Novena #3

Prayer to Our Lady Help of Christians

St. John Bosco

Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christians,how sweet it is to come to your feet imploring your perpetual help.If earthly mothers cease not to remember their children, how can you, the most loving of all mothers forget me?

Grant then to me, I implore you, your perpetual help in all my necessities, in every sorrow, and especially in all my temptations.I ask for your unceasing help for all who are now suffering. Help the weak, cure the sick, convert sinners.Grant through your intercessions many vocations to the religious life.

Obtain for us, O Mary, Help of Christians,that having invoked you on earth we may love and eternally thank you in heaven.

A New Majority!

A new Gallup poll has found that a majority of Americans consider themselves to be pro-life.

"PRINCETON, NJ -- A new Gallup Poll, conducted May 7-10, finds 51% of Americans calling themselves "pro-life" on the issue of abortion and 42% "pro-choice." This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995...

The new results, obtained from Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs survey, represent a significant shift from a year ago, when 50% were pro-choice and 44% pro-life. Prior to now, the highest percentage identifying as pro-life was 46%, in both August 2001 and May 2002."
Thank you Jesus, thank you Mary for this shift in the hearts of mankind. Please touch the hearts and minds of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and every elected official so that they may govern as God would have them govern; protecting the most innocent and vulnerable lives among us, from natural conception to natural death. Amen.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Really Relevant Radio

As a HappytoBeCatholic, I am always striving for a deeper understanding of Truth. I love to read about the lives of the saints, read accounts of the lives of Our Lady and St. Joseph as reported by mystics and historians, and watch documentaries and movies about Catholics, Christians and other world religions. I am inspired by stories of miraculous healings and accounts of the power of prayer.

Of all the resources available to my inquiring Catholic mind, none has proven more valuable than a talk radio station called Relevant Radio.
Every time I turn on this Catholic station, I learn something new or my faith is deepened in some way.

You can tune in each morning and receive in your-face- Truth courtesy of the incomparable Father John Corapi. Catholic family and relationship issues? Dr. Ray Guarendi hosts a program just for that. The treasure of spiritual direction is available for all to experience, on The Inner Life – a program featuring various spiritual directors from around the country. My personal favorite is afternoon drive time The Drew Mariani Show. This skillfully presented show features experts discussing politics, faith, culture, spiritual warfare, prayer and more. Drew’s show leaves me inspired, uplifted, energized and occasionally outraged. His talent is truly extraordinary and has helped me explore aspects of Catholicism that I might not have discovered on my own.

Relevant Radio is in a number of states, for a complete list, click here. But the good news is that even if you aren’t fortunate to have an affiliate in your area, you can listen online anytime, free of charge! Free audio archives are available for download as well.

Lots of non-Catholics listen as well. The programming is that great.

If you tune in this week, you will find yourself at the tail end of their quarterly pledge drives. Another unique thing about Relevant Radio is that they are listener supported. Four times a year they host a week long pledge drive, and listeners call and contribute $5, $10, $25…whatever they can afford to help keep this extraordinary Catholic station on the air. Even the pledge drives are fun…it feel nice to be a part of something that brings so many people closer to God.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Two Daughters Too Many

The consumption of fetal soup in China...Dr. George Tiller... Jill Stanek's account of babies dying alone in soiled laundry closets. Sometimes I long for the days when I was blissfully ignorant about the depraved depths of abortion on demand, but I recognize that I, as a baptized Catholic, am a soldier in Our Lady's army and I must pray the rosary every single day to end the genocide of 'inconvenient' children.

Today a story out of Sweden shocks the conscience. The right words, if any , elude me...

So here is the story, in its heartbreaking entirety. *sigh*

STOCKHOLM, May 12, 2009 ( - Swedish health authorities have ruled that it is not illegal to kill a healthy unborn child based simply on its gender, according to Swedish news service The Local.
Doctors had asked health authorities about the matter after a woman from southern Sweden had two of her children killed in utero for being an undesired sex. The woman had already given birth to two daughters.
The gender was determined during an amniocentesis requested to determine whether the child had a disability.
Concerned doctors at Mälaren Hospital then asked Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare to determine a protocol for future instances in which they "feel pressured to examine the foetus's gender" without a medical necessity.
The medical board responded that such requests must be accommodated.
According to Swedish law, abortion is legal on any basis whatsoever up to the 18th week of gestation, and therefore the board said doctors cannot deny a mother seeking to have an unborn child killed because it is the wrong gender.
A medical ethics consultant told The Local in March that mothers regularly travel to Sweden from Norway, where sex-selective abortions are illegal, to abort unwanted girls.

Our Lady of Fatima, please pray for us.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Most Powerful Prayer

Do you have an urgent prayer need?

Feeling hopeless?




The answer is here.

Friday, May 1, 2009

St. Joseph the Worker

Today is the feast date of St. Joseph the Worker.

We are reminded today that we are called to holiness in all our endeavors. Every task, no matter how mundane, can be done with joy and offered with gratitude to Our Lord.

It is true that today is a wonderful day for job-seekers, fathers, families and laborers to offer their petitions to St. Joseph.

But it is also an exceptionally powerful day for anyone to approach this great saint.

It seems that God grants special intercessory authority to certain saints. St. Peregrine, Patron Saint of Cancer Sufferers, is an example. He may be a powerful intercessor for a prayer to heal cancer; however, asking him to help you pray to find a lost article might not prove particularly effective.

Areas of intercession appear to correspond to a specific saint's calling or reflect the ways God uniquely touched them while on Earth. It logically follows then that the two most glorious saints in all of heaven, The Blessed Virgin Mary and her Most Chaste Spouse, St. Joseph, who were called to know the Lord more intimately than any others, who were touched in every way by the magnificence of God and His mysterious plan, would be granted the ability to intercede - powerfully - for every prayer presented to them.

Numerous mystics and visionaries report that God grants Saints special power on their feast dates. While prayers are always heard, the connection to heaven might be extra-clear on those days. Just one more generous gift from our wonderful, loving merciful God.

Make the most of this powerful day to draw closer to the carpenter, spouse of the Blessed Virgin and humble servant of God who held the Christ child in his arms.

He who protected Our Lord and Our Lady while being hunted by cruel King Herod, is a extraordinary patron in uncertain times like this.

Litany of St. Joseph

V/ Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
V/ Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
V/ Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
V/ Jesus, hear us. R/ Jesus, graciously hear us.
V/ God, the Father of Heaven, R/ have mercy on us.
V/ God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, R/ have mercy on us.
V/ God, the Holy Spirit, R/ have mercy on us.
V/ Holy Trinity, One God, R/ have mercy on us.
R/ pray for us.

Holy Mary,
St. Joseph,
Renowned offspring of David,
Light of Patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster father of the Son of God,
Diligent protector of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most strong,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of artisans,
Glory of home life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the wretched,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,

R/ spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,

R/ graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world.
R/ have mercy on us.
He made him the lord of his household.
R/ And prince over all his possessions.

Let us pray.

O God, in your ineffable providence you were pleased to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most holy Mother; grant, we beg you, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector: You who live and reign forever and ever.


additional resources

Prayers to St. Joseph

A fabulous book about the life of St. Joseph

Another great book about St. Joseph

A fantastic 31 day novena to St. Joseph

The Holy Cloak of St. Joseph - an extraordinary prayer

US National Shrine of St. Joseph

St. Joseph's Oratory, Montreal, Canada

A Special Prayer to St. Joseph for Employment

God My Father, the Feast Day of Saint Joseph the Worker was instituted to draw attention to the dignity of labor, and to remind us of the spirituality of our jobs. I give the workers of my family and circle of friends-and their jobs-to Saint Joseph's intercession, and I especially ask for his prayers in the protection and guidance of husbands and fathers. Help us to view these men-and all workers-with the same appreciation as You have, O Lord. Teach us to prioritize our jobs rightly, for the sake of loving our families, and lead the unemployed to work that is right for them. Saint Joseph, pray for us. Amen.

One final note, if you wish to learn more about how devotion to St. Joseph can transform a life, please research Blessed Brother Andre. Wow!

Thank you St. Joseph for your extraordinary example. Bless us all, especially those in need of work and those who do not yet know your Son.

Thank you God for the graces granted to St. Joseph and Our Lady.

Good night and God Bless.