The Faith of Elijah


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A recent story came out regarding the words of the Imam who was present in the Vatican garden for the “Prayers for Peace”: What Did the Imam Really Say? Revisited

I’m reminded of the faith of the Prophet Elijah. Being Catholic we KNOW there is only One God. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Remember those who worshiped the false idols:

25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.” 26 So they took the bull given them and prepared it.

Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.

27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28 So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.

Hummm

Elijah’s Prayer
…37″Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that You, O LORD, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.” 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God.”…

Place your trust in our Lord.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

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Persecution In All Forms


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“Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Persecution of Christians takes place in many forms. In Iraq, we see the destruction that men do with the sword. In the US we see what takes place with the pen. Both equal in hate for anything sacred. Both being bough forth through not loving God above all else.

There is a spectrum of persecution taking place across the globe. One is not greater than the other. They all stem from hate. A hatred that comes from fear. A fear of self. The self that holds on to everything other than God. Fear of letting go of prejudiced and conviction not from God. The self-justification that somehow if I am not physically killing someone, but rather pushing for them to change their “belief” is killing. Killing the fundamental base for all faith. That being, we are not God. As Christians, when our Lord calls us to die to self, we freely give up the sinfulness of self, and follow him. When the government says “Convert or Die”, it is following its own design and not that of our Lord. When persecution comes by the pen, its screaming to the world, WE ARE GOD! When persecution comes at the hand of a sword, it screams WE ARE GOD! There is no difference. The pen may be mightier then the sword, but it can be used as a weapon and is, more than not when the truth is trying to be suppressed.

“Remember the word that I said to you, `A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you”

EDIT TO ADD:

USCCB Chairmen Respond To ‘Unprecedented And Extreme’ Executive Order

July 21, 2014
WASHINGTON–The bishop-Chairmen of two USCCB Committees responded with great concern to President Obama’s July 21 executive order to prohibit federal government contractors from what the Administration deems “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” discrimination and to forbid “gender identity” discrimination in the employment of federal employees. The problems the bishops identify in the order relate both to the flaws in its core prohibitions, and to its lack of religious freedom protection.

Two USCCB Chairmen – Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, Chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth – together issued the following statement.

Today’s executive order is unprecedented and extreme and should be opposed.

In the name of forbidding discrimination, this order implements discrimination. With the stroke of a pen, it lends the economic power of the federal government to a deeply flawed understanding of human sexuality, to which faithful Catholics and many other people of faith will not assent. As a result, the order will exclude federal contractors precisely on the basis of their religious beliefs.

More specifically, the Church strongly opposes both unjust discrimination against those who experience a homosexual inclination and sexual conduct outside of marriage, which is the union of one man and one woman. But the executive order, as it regards federal government contractors, ignores the inclination/conduct distinction in the undefined term “sexual orientation.” As a result, even contractors that disregard sexual inclination in employment face the possibility of exclusion from federal contracting if their employment policies or practices reflect religious or moral objections to extramarital sexual conduct.

The executive order prohibits “gender identity” discrimination, a prohibition that is previously unknown at the federal level, and that is predicated on the false idea that “gender” is nothing more than a social construct or psychological reality that can be chosen at variance from one’s biological sex. This is a problem not only of principle but of practice, as it will jeopardize the privacy and associational rights of both federal contractor employees and federal employees. For example, a biological male employee may be allowed to use the women’s restroom or locker room provided by the employer because the male employee identifies as a female.

In an attempt to avoid these needless conflicts, states that have passed “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” prohibitions have overwhelmingly included protections for religious employers. When the U.S. Senate, which is controlled by the President’s own party, passed the similar Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) last year, it included religious liberty protections as well. Indeed, all prior versions of ENDA had at least some religious liberty protections. But the executive order is an anomaly in this regard, containing no religious liberty protections. In this way, the order, which is fundamentally flawed in itself, also needlessly prefers conflict and exclusion over coexistence and cooperation.

Regarding federal contractors, the Executive Order will take effect after rules to be promulgated by the Department of Labor implementing the Executive Order become final. Regarding federal employment, the Executive Order is effective immediately.

Keywords: Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, Archbishop William E. Lori, Bishop Richard Malone, gender identity, sexual identity
# # # # #

MEDIA CONTACT ONLY
Sister Mary Ann Walsh
O: 202-541-321

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In Solidarity


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When I was received into the Third Order of Carmel, I received my Scapular, “The Yoke of Christ”. Also, I was given a prayer card. When I got home after the beauty of the day, I read it and much to my surprise I noticed my name was spelled wrong. An “N” was placed in the center of my last name. As I pondered it, I heard our Lord in my heart tell me to look up the meaning of “N” in Hebrew. So I did.

(The prayer card below from July 12, 2014)

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In the last few days hearing the news in Iraq and the persecution of the Christians, I have come to understand completely, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

We are untied in Christ. “Be not afraid”.

Nun: The Sign of Genocide

Nun (ن), the 14th letter of the Arabic alphabet (the equivalent of letter N in our Roman alphabet), is the first letter of the word Nasara (نصارى : Nazarenes), the way Muslims have called Christians since the beginning of their invasion of the Christian world in the 7th century — Christians under Muslim rule never called themselves thus, since the intent of Muslims was to portray Christians as a contemptible and disobedient sect.

It is the same name of the equivalent letter (נ) in the Hebrew alphabet (also a Semitic language), and it reminds us of the words of Jeremiah, also crying for an exile of his people sent to Mesopotamia:

Nun. The yoke of my iniquities hath watched: they are folded together in his hand, and put upon my neck: my strength is weakened: the Lord hath delivered me into a hand out of which I am not able to rise. (Lamentations, 1)

Above block quote from Rorate Caeli. Please read HERE

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Prayer For The Conversion Of The World


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Lord Jesus Christ, most merciful Saviour of the world, we humbly beseech You, by Your most Sacred Heart, that all the sheep who stray out of Your fold may in one days be converted to You, the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls, who lives and reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, world without end.
Amen.

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Religious Freedom In The USA Is In DANGER


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Since the Supreme Court ruled on the Hobby Lobby case, some members of Congress are trying an end around to undermine our religious freedom.

YOU need to get involved with this one. YOU need to pick up your phone and call your senators or write an email. Concrete helpful info and links, below.

Here is the explanation

Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop Lori To Senate: Oppose Bill That Attacks Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON—In a letter sent July 14 to all U.S. Senators, Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore stated their “strong opposition to the misnamed ‘Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act of 2014’ (S. 2578).” Cardinal O’Malley and Archbishop Lori chair the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, respectively.

“Though cast as a response to the Supreme Court’s narrow decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the bill ranges far beyond that decision, potentially attacking all existing federal protections of conscience and religious freedom regarding health coverage mandates,” they wrote.

The two bishops identified several areas of concern with the bill, including its unprecedented curtailment of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993; its potential for overriding other federal conscience protections, including the Hyde-Weldon amendment on abortion; its application to coverage mandates beyond the HHS contraceptive mandate; its application to employers beyond for-profit businesses; and its denial of religious freedom for employees and their minor dependents, not just employers.

“In short, the bill does not befit a nation committed to religious liberty. Indeed, if it were to pass, it would call that commitment into question. Nor does it show a genuine commitment to expanded health coverage, as it would pressure many Americans of faith to stop providing or purchasing health coverage altogether. We oppose the bill and urge you to reject it,” they wrote.

Full text of the letter is available online HERE.

More HERE.

WHAT TO DO?

Recommended Actions:

Send e-mails through NCHLA’s Action Center. Click HERE.
Contact your Senators by phone. Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or call Senators’ local offices. Full contact info is on Senators’ web sites at: http://www.senate.gov.

Suggested Message: “Please vote against the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act (S. 2578). This misnamed measure would revoke conscience rights now guaranteed by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other federal laws. In the future it could empower federal officials to mandate abortion or any other item in all health plans, forcing Americans to violate their deeply held religious and moral beliefs on respect for human life.”

When: The Senate may vote as early as the week of July 14. Please contact your Senators today!

(kudos Fr. Z)

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The Sower And The Seed


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Todays Gospel, The Parable Of The Sower And The Seed (Matthew 13:1-23),is one that I have pondered over an over. My love for our Lord so deeply set in the “seed” when I was young. Loving Him so, and as age set in, so did the influence of the world. I was “carried away”. I was devoured by the “bird” of the world while I sat on the path. Being swallowed in sin and constant turbulence in the bowels of the world and worldliness. Taken into total darkness, wondering where I was, Where God was, and then becoming so indifferent to Him, surrounded by death and destruction, but still knowing there is a God, as I kept the “original form” that baptism had given to me. Knowing as I moved through the bowels of sin, that God was real. Somewhere. He had to be.

My conversion of heart came! I was still that little seed, but covered in the “poop” of my sinfulness as all worldliness and worldly desire is poop. As I hit the ground,and repentance came, the more I turned to the Grace our Lord offered me, His light shone on me and through constantly receiving His sacraments I was “watered”, washing away the “poop” of my mortal sinfulness.

I started to “sprout”. This little plant, in the beginning, couldn’t see above much as I struggled and tried to stretch up to receive more and more of the LOVE that our Lord was giving to me. I could see other beautiful flowers and a huge tree but I was so close to the ground, all I could do, was to look “Up”.

Yesterday, as I had finally reached a growing point, I looked arround. I realized I had been planted in the “Garden of our Lady of Mount Carmel”. This realization does not give me a pass not to grow any further. On the contrary, now, using all the gifts I have been given by our Lord, I must THRIVE in His Light and Love, to ensure I am not a “weed” but rather able to produce “Fruit” that is pleasing to our Lord. For our Lord.

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Our Lady


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Last night, I attended Exposition of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, for the soul purpose of what took place in my life today. Handing myself fully over to Him.

I entered the Chapel of St. John of the Cross, and came face to face with our Lord. I thanked him for all He had done for me and to me through my conversion of heart. I poured myself out to Him and simply asked Him if He would allow me to enter under the Mantle of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. As I finished praying, I felt this tickle under my nose and sneezed. All I could hear in my heart was “God bless you”.

To someone who doesn’t understand His presence completely taking over my life, it’s a meaningless thing that occurred. To me, this so simple action would have been nothing more than a sneeze after prayers, if it hadn’t been told to me a long time before. I knew in my heart, our Lord truly called me with the words, “God bless you”.

Looking back through my enter conversion, not able to comprehend our Lord calling to me in so many ways and thinking I was in “Trouble”, struggling with what so many call “Scrupulosity” as it was, for most of this, I instantly knew how to “Trust Him”. The evil one would never use a soul to repent of ones evilness, nor call them to come and sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament to be near our Lord and empty ones self of all “self”, receive the sacraments, attend daily Mass let alone, enter the Third Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I’m not trying to blow my own horn here, the glory is our Lords. The honor is our Lords. Everything belongs to Him. “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam”. To the greater glory of God.

Today, this morning, I was received under Our Lady’s Mantle. The mantle of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Many years ago,going back to the point of least “distraction”, as I attended confession for a sin that caused me great pains for many years, my penance was to sit in front of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. As I did, I was reduced into a blubbering pool of tears at how I refused to listen to Him in my youth. How I refused to confess that one sin for fear. As I looked up between sobbing, I seen the face of our Lord in the Eucharist. There was no doubt it was Him with His Crown of Thorns very visible to me. There were many others in the room with me and they did not see, was I was “Seeing”. I then seen myself as a child of about 3. I don’t profess to know what this means other than our Lord loves me too.

When our Lord “opens eyes” for the first time, there is utter horror at the fact we have been so sinful and rotting in our sins. But the greater horror is that we have hurt our Lord so painfully. You NEVER seek to hurt Him again. Our “environment of sinfulness” becomes a place we never wish or hope to be. To see ones self in this way causes the soul to pull closer and closer to Him, and away from that world we once lived in, along with a deep repentance of all our sins. Not just the big ones. All sins. You begin to say NO to yourself, and yes to all our Lord commands and all He has said and done. The “appetite” for pleasures changes from flesh, to “Spirit” as the soul realizes the reality that all “pleasure” comes from our Lord. One doesn’t seek vanity, or fortune or fame. As all those things that man can give, and do, never replace or replenish the soul for this desire for all things holy. All things change! God never does. He remains as He is.

He becomes the “Object of all Desire”. You turn from self, and turn to Him as His grace replaces self. The key is to act upon it. It’s easy to see why so many refuse to believe in Him. It’s quite simple. Because they don’t want to. There isn’t a PLACE in His “Kingdom” that any soul can escape Him and His mercy He is offering to all souls. All it takes is denying self, and accepting Him. ALL of Him.

Mama Mary is the shinning example of His Grace. The first question: “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” In thinking of this passage in scripture and pondering it, how can anyone of us believe in Him, if we refuse to have a “Relationship” with Him. Unless we say yes, the only relation will be with self. The world shook around her, and His “Kingdom Within” that was brought forth to the world, was the first peek into the “Kingdom” she was told of, through His Grace, by saying yes and acting on it! She remained in “His Kingdom Within” with not only constantly saying yes Lord, but acting on it, even to the day she told Him, “They have no wine”.

Accepting the sorrows as knowing, this to shall pass no matter how great the sorrow may be, she did not remain in the sorrow, nor allow it to take hold of her, as He remained with Her in Spirit, guiding her through it. Therefore she was there to strengthen and guide the Apostles, when that same Spirit came to them, to guide them through and not cling to it but to the Spirit and become one. I have learned that the greatest use for His grace, is humility. Placing ones self last as Mama Mary does. She does not seek to be known, rather she seeks to glorify God. She does not seek self. She seeks simply to do the will of God because she loves Him.

“Do not be afraid” were the words first offered to our Holy Mother as are the words today, to each soul from our Lord who turn to Him.

Thank you Mama, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, for saying yes.

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