Monday, May 9, 2016

How to Pray the "Secret Rosary"

My tenth book is now available, and it is titled How to Pray the Secret RosaryEssentially it teaches you how to pray the Rosary in situations where it is not convenient to hold the beads, and without the need to count out the ten Hail Marys for each Rosary Mystery.

The book also contains chapters on the history of the Rosary, Fatima and the Rosary, St. Padre Pio and the Rosary.  It shows the connection between the four mini-gospels and seven pillars of wisdom with the praying of the Rosary.  And, for those new to the Rosary, the book describes the traditional Rosary prayers and mysteries.  Complete with bibliography.
Praying the Rosary without the beads and without having to count the Hail Marys is not only possible, but some day might be necessary if we are forced to pray the Rosary in secret. 

See my books on Mary, Padre Pio and others Here.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Russians, Muslims, and Stolen Europe

After reading an article about the plight of Europe, "Saker rant about a stolen Europe", I sent the link to my friend Bob, who is a retired high-ranking U.S. government official (stationed in Europe for many years), and a Professor Emeritus of International Affairs at a major university. We exchanged two emails about this article, and with his permission most of that exchange is presented below:

   Thanks for sending along the “rant.” I’m not sure where to begin on my comments. I guess first of all I would say that certainly many of his observations are correct. For example, today’s Europe is not the one of yesteryear. On the other hand, today’s US isn’t either. The south increasingly looks like the north and vice versa. Blacks can now ride anywhere in the bus they would like and drink from the same water fountains. Much of the differences that once characterized the north and south are gone. Is that all bad? I think not.
   On the other hand, the author is correct. There have always been at least two Europes – the one of the north and the one of the south. On my first visit to Europe in 1960, among the things that struck me was how much the northern Europeans felt superior to those in the south, yet to say as the author does that the Germans and the the Italians have “nothing” in common is a bit of a stretch. Northern Italians are in many ways very much like many Germans. The Germans have the 4th largest economy in the world. Italy has the 8th (most of that economy is from production in the north). The northern Italians are very productive, industrious, and creative. I might add that the northern Germans see themselves as superior to the Bavarians. As a good north German friend of mind once remarked to me, they don’t even speak the same language, which if you’ve lived in south Germany you will recognize as true when the Bavarian dialect is spoken.

   Now on the subject of immigrants changing European society. Well this is of course true. Just as successive waves of immigrants changed the colonial society of America. Think about the “Micks, Dagos, Wops, Krauts, Jerrys, Huns, Wetbacks, Negroes, etc." They definitely changed America. I would say it enriched our society and continues to do so. So much is in one’s perspective and sometimes it is an issue of timing. Surely Europe is being overwhelmed today with a huge influx of immigrants. They are not easily digested in a few years, perhaps not in decades. But the Germans, Irish, Italians who came to the this country and huddled together in unmixed communities, now have largely integrated into our society. For me this has been a positive.
I should, however, note that the writer is Swiss, not American. In fact Europeans take ethnicity very seriously. Often, though not always, If a person is from France, even though living in and a citizen of Italy, he or she will often consider themselves French, not Italian. Ask a Mexican who is a citizen of the US and he will tell you he is an American. This clinging to ethnicity for identity is perhaps changing a bit with the younger generations, But it will take decades not years.

   Now for Muslims. There has been a very strong anti-Muslim feeling that predominates in Europe. It is not new. It predates current immigration problems. Perhaps it goes back to the Crusades. However, one of my first encounters with this was in the mid-1980s when Turkey was being considered for membership in the EU. Sitting with an ambassador, friend and colleague of mine at a banquet marking the 40th anniversary of the formation of Allied (NATO) Forces Southern Command, the conversation turned to Turkey’s possible inclusion in the EU. After a long list of why, for economic reasons, Turkey should not be admitted to the EU, his bottom line was captured when he said to me “Bob, they just aren’t like us. We are a Christian people, they are Moslems.”
   Well, There is perhaps not enough time for me to deal with all of the issues our “ranter” raises. Let me touch on a few.
"Just remember that Daesh is CIA-controlled.” Rubbish
"The EU is essentially a US project via the Bilderbergers and the Zionist lobby in Europe.” Me thinks he forgets the Robert Schumans, the Paul Reuters, the Jean Monnets, etc.
I find his rants against the so-called AngloZionists outrageous and unsupported by fact. On the other hand, I do agree that Russians, while admiring the industriousness of northern Europe, find themselves more comfortable with the the southerners. Having traveled widely all over Russia, we find many of the Russians to be more like southern than northern European.
"Muslims are here to stay. You can hate it or love it, but that is a fact. Fact 2: Islam, real Islam as opposed to Wahabi Islam, is categorically opposed to AngloZionism.” Probably much on target, though I personally would separate the “Anglo” from the “Zionism."
"Call me crazy, but I am coming the conclusion that Turkey, at least in its present form, is inherently a dangerous and non-reformable entity which must be beat back to a size and quality commensurate with the notion of “normal country”. Erdogan is potentially a problem. But the Turks aren’t stupid. They have already shown their concern over Erdogan’s grab for more power.

   After receiving this email, I sent the following note to my friend:
   Thanks for your observations - I was surprised to receive such a thorough analysis! Agreed about how good immigration has been especially for the USA. Only problem is that a certain element of the Muslim community does not want to integrate in our society, but actually wants to destroy. That is why we do need some kind of filtering, profiling or whatever you want to call it, over the immigrants coming in.
   What interested me greatly was your comment that Russians are more comfortable with southern Europeans. I wonder if this is because the southerners are more religious. From what I have read, the Russians have a deep religious spirit (except for those who became communist). I think they even refer to Russia as "Holy Mother Russia."

   Bob then replied with these additional observations:
   On the Russians, most of those I’ve met that are not senior officials in the government (who often feel they have to be serious since they represent their government), seem to have a fun loving, easy, Latin spirit to them. They love to sing songs and get together. Even when they get pretty smashed on vodka, they can be a lot of fun. This perhaps stands in contrast to some, perhaps many, northern Europeans, particularly north Germans, who to me seem to be much more serious.
My experiences don’t link this fun loving attitude on the part of Russians to religion. Though as you suggest, Russians, indeed almost anyone on earth may be more religious than most northern Europeans, except the Poles and a few others. When we lived in England I think the figure was 15% of the English were church goers. And that might have been a number on the high side. On the other hand, don’t jump too quickly to the conclusion that southern Europeans are serious about their religion. When we lived in Italy, many Italians went to church. However, that might have meant ducking in for a few minutes, maybe to hear the Gospel, maybe not. Now if you want to live where people seemingly are serious about religion, come to the Bible Belt. On the other hand, I often feel that many here in the South don’t really have a clue about what Christianity is really about.
   As for the Muslims, surely you are correct in asserting that some Muslims are here to destroy our society. I don’t find that particularly surprising. Just like the non-Muslims who have sought to destroy our society and what it represents (think Black Panthers, the Oklahoma bombing of Federal building, the bombing of Synagogues, etc.), these people need to be sorted out, rooted out if already entrenched, and removed. However, one must be careful in the process to not stigmatize and in turn alienate the entire community of Muslims, the great majority of whom are decent, law abiding, and just plan good American citizens. To do so would be very un-American.
   I have traveled widely in Muslim countries – e.g. Egypt, Libya, Morocco , Turkey, Azerbaijan, all of central Asia. I have Muslim friends from Pakistan and elsewhere around the globe. I have found Muslims to be a very friendly, open, and hospitable people.

Best Regards,

Sunday, May 1, 2016

How many sacriligeous Communions will now occur?

With the release of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, battle lines are being drawn between liberal vs. conservative, traditional vs. progressive Catholics.  Conservatives are bending over backwards in their hope that responsible priests and bishops will follow a rigorous discernment process regarding eligibility to receive the Holy Eucharist. On the other hand, the liberal hierarchy seems all too ready to grant Communion to whomever seems to sincerely wish it, regardless of their objective situation.

Let's face reality.  I fear that the net result of this document will be a dramatic increase in sacrilegious Communions thanks to the progressivists, regardless of the noble efforts of traditional priests to guide their flocks according to perennial Catholic doctrine. How many liberal priests intend to warn the recipients that their eternal salvation may be at stake by an unworthy Communion?

In light of this coming flood of injuries and sorrows to Our Lord in the Eucharist, the following  lament by Jesus to pray and repair for the many abuses and sacrileges of the Sacrament is extremely appropriate for our times, although this sublime Communion meditation was transcribed by the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta in 1923. 

"After I received Communion, my sweet Jesus made Himself seen, and as soon as I saw Him, I threw myself at His feet, to kiss them and to cling to Him with all of myself. And Jesus, extending His hand to me, told me: “My daughter, come into my arms, and deep into my Heart. I have covered Myself with the Eucharistic veils so as not to strike fear. I have descended into the deepest abyss of humiliations in this Sacrament in order to raise the creature up to Me, identifying her with Me so much as to form one single thing with Me, and, by letting my Sacramental Blood flow inside her veins, constitute Myself life of her heartbeat, of her thought, and of her whole being. My Love devoured Me and wanted to devour the creature in my flames, to make her be reborn as another Me. This is why I wanted to hide Myself under these Eucharistic veils and, so hidden, enter into her to form this transformation of the creature into Myself. But in order for this transformation to take place, the dispositions were needed on the part of creatures; and my Love, giving in to excess, as It instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist, so It issued from within my Divinity more graces, gifts, favors and light for the good of man, to render him worthy to receive Me. I could say that It put out so much good as to surpass the gifts of Creation. First I wanted to give him the graces in order for him to receive Me, and then Myself, to give him the true fruit of my Sacramental Life.
"However, in order to anticipate souls with these gifts, it takes a little emptying of themselves, hate of sin, desire to receive Me. These gifts do not descend into rot, into mud. So, without my gifts they do not have the true dispositions to receive Me, and in descending into them, I do not find the void in order to communicate my Life; I am as though dead for them, and they are dead for Me; I burn, and they do not feel my flames; I am light, and they remain more blinded. Alas! how many sorrows in my Sacramental Life. Many, for lack of dispositions, feeling nothing good in receiving Me, reach the point of nauseating Me; and if they continue to receive Me, it is to form my continuous Calvary and their eternal condemnation. If it is not love that pushes them to receive Me, it is one more affront that they give Me - one more sin that they add upon their souls. Therefore, pray and repair for the many abuses and sacrileges that are committed in receiving Me in the Sacrament.”  
[March 27, 1923, Volume 15.] 

May is Mary's month, and in order to foster the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart, I strongly recommend the daily readings for May from Piccarreta's The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will, which is available online Here.

P.s. Stay tuned for my tenth book, How to Pray the Secret Rosary.