I just don’t feel it

Confession time. I know that Mary is a massive part of the Catholic faith and that what she did in saying her "yes" was an amazing example to us all. But I've just never had a big devotion to Mary.

I wonder if part of this is because I don't feel the need for a spiritual mother. I have a great Mum right here on earth. I wonder if I didn't have that experience of having a Mum to look after me, whether I would have felt closer to Mary. Also, I'm not a mother myself, so maybe that has a part to play.

I wonder if part of it is because as a child I was much more interested in the Martyrs. Their stories seemed much more exciting than Mary's story. In fact, as a child. I was much more fascinated by Gabriel than by Mary in the story of the Annunciation.

I also think that part of it is that we just don't know much about her. The Bible is so silent on Mary. What was she like as a person? What was her daily life like? What kind of Mum was she? What kind of wife was she? Was she terrified when she had to give birth in a stable? Who were her friends? Did she fully understand who her son was?

It's not that I have an aversion to Mary, not at all. Like I said before I think she is a role model of faith to us all. It's just that I don't feel any special link or devotion to her.

I have my "go-to" saints that I pester for different occassions. St Michael is a particular favourite of mine when I'm in need of protection. St Mary of the Cross is someone I call on when I'm needing help at work because she was a teacher too. St Peter is someone I'll talk to when I've made a big mistake. Maybe I don't have need to call on Mary because her main function was as a mother, and I'm not a mother.

Do you have "go-to" saints that you call on for different things? And am I the only one out here who doesn't feel a devotion to Our Lady?

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    Comments: 76

    1. Dominican July 30, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      Mary is the Mother of God.  She is our most powerful intercessor.  Jesu2s can refuse her nothing. Love her and cultivate a devotion to her. She desires that we love and serve her Son and she can obtain for us all the graces we need to do just that.  A wise old priest said once "ignore Mary at your peril".  I have obtained miracles through her intercession. There is a special significance that Jesus gave ner to us from the cross to be our Mother.  I encourage you all to respond to that.

    2. bamac July 30, 2014 at 6:38 pm


      I agree….  one good way to get to know Our Blessed Lady surely is to ask her Son Who loved her when He was on earth ,spending most of His life with her  and now loves and honours her in Heaven. that would be a prayer He is sure to answer … ask the Holy Spirit for His help for He was her Spouse … ask God the Father for He chose her from all women to be the mother of His Son …. if the Blessed Trinity loves her that much then how can we not love her too, specially when her Son gave her to us as our mother too?  Why not ask St Mary of the Cross to help you to get to know and love for she loved Our holy Mother too.

      God Bless,

      Mrs Mac


    3. MarkO July 30, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      Hi Maryand Martha

      Remember those fine summer days when you've taken a trip to the beach.  You hop out of the car and smell the invigorating salty tang of the sea drifting in on the sea-breeze. Combine that with the scent of the finest of roses……that's my experience of the uplifting and Holy odour of our Mother Mary.

      Jesus was made incarnate of the Virgin Mary – Mary's DNA was intertwined with the DNA of the gamete of God through the power of The Holy Spirit  Consider that which you receive at Holy Communion………

      Mary is the Spouse of The Holy Spirit – great wonders and intercessary power lie with and within her – crowned as she is, the Queen of Heaven. The 12 stars on her head glowing like St Elmo's fire, but with the luminosity of twelve hundred billion suns…..

      Not so surpising, when you consider that Mary is taught by the Church to be the Mother of God, the Mother of Jesus Christ. And she is our Mother too, as Jesus Himself stated to her and to Saint John during His final moments while on His Cross.

      God Bless!

    4. Rubyshine July 30, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      I never really "got" Mary either until quite recently and I'd always been a bit indifferent to her.

      I think for me I'd never really put a lot of thought into her story,

      I was at the Hamilton Cathedral a few months ago and noticed a woman come in and go up to their statue of Mary. She kissed her feet and embraced her for quite a few moments in prayer, before taking a seat in front of her. This act really struck me and began a process of thinking about her.

      I think being a mother really helped me to appreciate the idea of giving up your son to what he simply had to do. Not to mention the idea of having a baby in a stable (having a baby due two weeks after Christmas put this in a whole new perspective for me).

      But I don't think you need to be a mother to appreciate her courage in trusting God when he first called on her. Nor do I think you need to be a mother to appreciate how much love Jesus had for her.

      Recently I've been focusing on the, Hail Mary. I've been saying it really slowly and thoughtfully, letting the simplicity and beauty of those words just wash over me. I've also found myself spending more and more time meditating on the statue of Mary at my parish and spending time in prayer, with Mary in my mind. Some of my meditations are about motherhood in terms of my own life, and some of it is around a simple appreciation for all that Mary was and did.

      I think like many aspects of faith you need to let these things develop over time, and I'm a big believer in the right thing happening at the right time. For me my love for Mary started to develop before a personally difficult time, and has only strengthened since then.


    5. Dominican July 30, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      M and M please refer to what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about Mary.  I do hope tbe pupils in our schools are receiving sound and authentic teaching on what the Church teaches and why.

    6. Teresina July 30, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      M&M, what can I say in a few words that could ever hope to sum up what Out Lady means to me.  My earliest thoughts of her I remember from the nuns at primary school explaining to us simply that when we pray to God our prayers are like boxes covered in brown wrapping paper, but when we pray through Our Lady to God she takes the parcels and puts on the beautiful wrapping paper and ribbons and presents the parcel to God on our behalf.  And so my life long love of Mary began.  She has been a powerful intercessor throughout my life.  I love her dearly.  I had a mother I loved dearly too but that didn't stop that love for her.

      When I was about five I fell in love with a bride doll that was being raffled at our school fair.  I solemnly announced to my mother that I was going to win that bride doll.  "Why do you think that?" she asked.  "Because I'm going to pray to Our Lady" I told her.  Anyway, I walked in that night with the bride doll in my arms.  I said to mum, "See, I told you Our Lady would answer me".  Mum laughed and she said, "Oh the raffle sellers felt sorry for you because walked around all day after them praying Hail Marys and so they gave you the doll".  I was crestfallen for a minute but answered back, "Well, Our Lady still answered my prayers".  And of course mum had no answer for that because I held the proof in my arms … and that is how I find she responds always to childlike trust and confidence in her intercession.

      I have had many prayers answered in my life that I thought were impossible but I always trusted in her intercession for me and I have never ever been let down.  The secret is you keep praying and don't give up. 

      God can refuse His mother nothing.  There is no better proof of that than what happened at the Wedding at Cana.  When Our Lady saw that they had run out of wine she went up to Our Lord and interceded on behalf of the young couple saying, "See, they have no wine".  Our Lord answered, "Woman, it is not yet my time".  So what did Our Lady do at that seeming rebuke? Well, she knew He could refuse her nothing and she said, "Do whatever He tells you to do" and of course we know the rest of the story that He turned water into wine.  That shows two things: the powerful intercession of Our Lady and that she is indeed willing to intercede on behalf of those who she sees are in need and those who ask her.  Her Son worked a miracle because she asked Him to, even though it wasn't yet His time.  How powerful is that?

      I think if you pray the litany of Our Lady you will come to know her a lot more – it depicts the beauty of Mary, the graciousness of Mary and her purity.  There is a lot in scripture about Mary, especially in the Old Testament if you look for it.  The Hail Mary says she is full of grace, the Lord is with her, she is blessed among women and blessed is the fruit of her womb:

      The Litany tells us she is:  The Holy Mother of God, the Holy Virgin of virgins, the Mother of Christ, the Mother of the Church, the Mother of Divine Grace, the Mother most pure, the
      Mother most chaste, the Mother inviolate, the Mother undefiled, the Mother most amiable,
      the Mother most admirable, the Mother of good counsel, the Mother of our Creator, the Mother of our Saviour, Virgin most prudent, Virgin most venerable, Virgin most renowned, .
      Virgin most powerful, Virgin most merciful, Virgin most faithful, Mirror of justice, Seat of wisdom, Cause of our joy, Spiritual vessel, Singular vessel of devotion, Mystical rose, Tower of David, Tower of ivory, House of gold, Ark of the Covenant, the Gate of heaven, Morning star,
      Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, Help of Christians, Queen of angels, Queen of patriarchs, Queen of prophets, Queen of apostles, Queen of martyrs, Queen of confessors, Queen of virgins, Queen of all Saints, Queen conceived without Original Sin, Queen assumed into Heaven, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Queen of Peace, Queen of the Church.

      All those titles the Church lovingly bestows upon Our Lady because she is the Gate of Heaven and she is our tainted nation's solitary boast and has been greatly loved and revered down the centuries by all Catholics and don't forget that the apostles clung to her, frightened and afraid, on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came down upon them. 



    7. Werahiko July 30, 2014 at 11:50 pm

      M&M taped about what she felt. Everyone is telling her what to think and do. Catholics are not required or ven expected to feel faith. They are just expected to give intellectual assent to articles  of faith. The whole point about the communion of saints is that there is one communion, not one devoted to Mary, one devoted to someone else and one going straight to the top. 

    8. Werahiko July 30, 2014 at 11:51 pm

      M&M talked about what she felt. Everyone is telling her what to think and do. Catholics are not required or ven expected to feel faith. They are just expected to give intellectual assent to articles  of faith. The whole point about the communion of saints is that there is one communion, not one devoted to Mary, one devoted to someone else and one going straight to the top. 

    9. Teresina July 31, 2014 at 12:53 am

      Werahiko, no one is telling M&M what to do.  If you read her post properly you would have seen she said "And am I the only one out here who doesn't feel a devotion to Our Lady?"  Those of us up until you that is have been telling her that we do have a devotion to Mary and why we do.  I guess you don't but I wonder if M&M will be happy to be in your camp? 

    10. Teresina July 31, 2014 at 1:11 am

      And Werahiko I will close with a prayer written by Newman – he possibly had you in mind – “May that bright and gentle Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, overcome you with her sweetness, and revenge herself on her foes by interceding effectually for their conversion” …

    11. Benedicta July 31, 2014 at 6:59 am


      It's just that I don't feel any special link or devotion to her.

      The love for Mary is a Grace like any other. It sounds as if you love the Angels…so Queen of Angels might be the way forward. I would spend a little time now and then considering all the titles and aspects which have been given to Mary. Such as Mary as the First Christian or Our Lady of Mt Carmel, or Our Lady Help of Christians (I rather like this one…followed from Battle of Lepanto and a good one to unite you to the Christians in the Middle East?). Learn the history and study the image…this will give Grace the door to stir your affections and heart for Mary. Then this title will be the one through which you will come to Mary. In the same way that the sign of an empathy with Carmelite spirituality is marked by the beginnings of devotion to Our Lady of Mt Carmel. At Lent spend time just being with Mary at the foot of the Cross.

      Let us know in time how Mary comes to you…


      Faith is not simply the intellectual assent to the doctrines of the Church. If it were faith would be merely a human thing – something able to be contained within the limits of the human mind i.e. 'my assent to the Faith'. Rather faith is a theological virtue which presupposes the assent to the teaching of the Church. As a theological virtue it is a Grace bestowed as the way to union with the Holy Trinity (the only way this side of eternity). Union as such, in so far as it is possible is effected through Charity – another theological virtue. 'The Science of the Cross' by Edith Stein will bring together this Saint reading St John of the Cross and anticipates the thought of St John Paul the Great on the same matter.



    12. Teresina July 31, 2014 at 9:49 am

      M&M, "I just don't feel it" is exactly the same conclusion I have come to over the Novus Ordo Mass and I sum up how I feel on an earlier Post "Pulling up Stumps (kind of)" and what Fr Ripperger has to say about the old rite of Mass where he concludes that, although the NO Mass is valid, there is more grace to be had from the old rite for both the priest and the laity and he says:

      "we have a grave obligation to consider the impact that this factor may be having on the life of the Church"


      Now I have heard the argument "It doesn't matter how you feel" but to me it does.  It matters where Our Lady is concerned and it matters where the Mass is concerned.  I think Fr Ripperberger is correct and it is an impact on the life of the Church.  If we don't feel love for Our Lady then the devotion to her will not be there and if we don't feel it with the Mass then the devotion won't be there either.  I sense that this is having a major impact on the life of the Church.  The reason people don't feel love for Our Lady is they were never taught about her from a young age.  They have been handed scripture instead and it's not working.  The protestant way of handing people a cold book of scriptures never worked for them and so why should it work any better for us?  The scriptures never existed until some hundreds of years after Our Lord was crucified and so the people built up their faith on tradition – what was handed down to them.  Yes, it's important to read scripture but not the way it has been pushed to the detriment of Catholic devotions since Vatican II.

      And the reason people don't get a feel for the Mass is that it is swamped with interruptions – noise etc – and there is no opportunity to meditate at all as to why we are there which is to worship God … there is great reluctance by the bishops and priests who are told over and over again what the problem is.  As Michael Voris says the Church is imploding and no amount of smiling and pretending it's not happening is going to change that.  A friend from Wellington said to me over the weekend "When you go to a Latin Mass you realise just how thin the Novus Ordo Mass is".  He said he goes to daily Mass only to receive Holy Communion and that's what it comes down to because it is unfortunately not building up the faith as it should do …

    13. Teresina July 31, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Some interesting comments from Fr Ray Blake and I've been thinking that perhaps it is also why "I don't feel it" – as he puts it there is a decidely beatnik hippie feel to Jesus that was developed at the time the New Mass was composed which you don't get in the old rite of the Mass.  Anyone who bothers to take the time to read through the Mass in the 1962 missal cannot help but see the difference.  Anyway this is how Fr Ray Blake puts it and he is not screaming traditionalist either:

      "I can't help thinking of Abp Annibale Bugnini writing the Missal of Paul VI and composing the present Lectionary through a haze of whatever was smoked in 60s. Maybe I am being unfair and he didn't smoke anything but the Pauline Lectionary has a decided 60s feel to it. The image of God, of Jesus is not organic, it has the feel of one particular period in history, to me it is decidedly Beatnik to early Hippie. If it hadn't been compiled after two World Wars and the Holocaust it would probably have been quite different, if Bugnini or Paul VI had been different types of men the image of God presented to us would be quite different. Because fundamentally it is their image of God, it is not the image that St Thomas Becket, St Francis, St John of the Cross, St John Vianney, or Padre Pio met every day at the altar.

      The OF Lectionary presents us with a new theology; the ancient Lectionary formed the theology of the Church, it was an unchanging 'given'. What Bugnini produced was very much the product of the Council and 20th century theology. It comes from the same school that applied the scalpel to excise the cursing psalm, that separated that bit about eating and drinking one's own condemnation from the Epistle for Corpus Christi and so many other bits and pieces that they were uncomfortable with, that simply did not reflect the theological fashion of the time.

      Yes, we now have a lot more scripture but it is carefully selected, carefully edited and from a very particular time in Church history and produced by very strange men indeed, some of whom were quite unsaintly, who had their own image of God they wanted to impose on the Church.

      In a sense the new Lectionary gives a new image of God, in that it has change the Church fundamentally because it has changed the face of God.

      I know I have written about this before, but the image of God we worship and that Church believes in is of absolute importance.
      Ben too has done a lot of work on a comparison of the two Lectionaries."


    14. Teresina July 31, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      There has been another crack down by the Vatican under Pope Francis.  First it was the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate where ordinations have been suspended and now it is an Opus Dei Bishop in Paraguay where ordinations have also been suspended – both groups report a lot of vocations – obviously what the new guard in Rome don't seem to want.  It remains to be seen who will be next?

      "“For the time, priestly and diaconal ordinations for the students of St. Joseph's Major Seminary are suspended and it is unknown how long this will endure – it can only be revealed by the Pope,”

      Since 2004 the diocese has been led by Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, who was ordained a priest of Opus Dei in 1978.

      Soon after coming to the diocese, Bishop Livieres opened a major seminary for his diocese, in light of the shortage of priestly vocations, and he has been closely involved in promoting.

      More than 60 priests have been ordained in the past 10 years from St. Joseph's Major Seminary. According to Italian daily La Stampa, the seminary has “cut the period of priestly formation to only four years, citing the urgent need for new priests.”

      Because of this success, in 2012 the diocese opened the St. Andrew Minor Seminary, as well as the St. Irenaeus of Lyons Institute of Priestly Formation.

      According to a statement on the diocese's website, the Paraguyan bishops “resisted” Bishop Livieres' new seminaries because they would “break the monolithic scheme of priestly formation” held by the national seminary."


    15. Teresina July 31, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      I just add for context that Cardinal Abril y Castello who has shut down this seminary in Paraguay is a close friend of Pope Francis.  He is the Arch Priest of the Church of St Mary Major in Rome who stopped the Latin Mass in the Church of St Mary Major.  He is also a former Nuncio in Buenos Aires who allowed the appointment of very liberal bishops in Buones Aires.  He is also the man in charge of the conclave that elected Pope Francis who is reported to have handled the votes and we know the result.  Nuf said …

    16. Teresina July 31, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      It is also being reported that the bishop is most likely to be sacked notably because he is against liberation theology.  He is extremely highly qualified but that counts for nothing in the Church now.  So they've gone after the traditionalists and now it's the conservatives – watch this space:

      Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano


      He was born on August 30, 1945, completed his studies at St. Joseph Bachelor of Assumption College. He graduated as a Lawyer, Notary Public Notary and the Catholic University "Nuestra Señora de la Asunción."

      He holds a PhD in Canon Law from the University of Navarra (Spain) and specialist in Administrative Law by the National School of Public Administration, Madrid (Spain).

      He was ordained priest on August 15, 1978, belonging to the clergy of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei.

      He has developed his priestly service in direct pastoral activity as Vicar of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei in Buenos Aires, Chaplain of the Universidad Austral in Buenos Aires and the University Center CUDES. In the city of Asunción was Chaplain Training School for Business Support Services (EFAES) and at the University Center Ycuá.

      He has also conducted extensive academic work as Professor of Philosophy of Law at the Faculty of Law of the Universidad Nacional del Este (UNE) and the Faculty of Law of the Catholic University located in Alto Parana. As Professor of Introduction to Law at the Faculty of Law of the Catholic University of Asuncion, Professor of Administrative Law at the Law Faculty of the University of Navarra (Spain), Professor of Canon Law at the International Seminar of the Prelature Holy Cross and Opus Dei in Rome and Professor of Theology at the Faculty of Law, University of Buenos Aires Austral.

      He was appointed as Bishop of Ciudad del Este by Pope John Paul II on July 12, 2004 and took office on October 3 of that year.

    17. Don the Kiwi July 31, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      Hi M&M

      I suspect that you are of the post VII generation that grew up with the iconoclasm of the 70's and 80's, and the dumbing down of much of the Tradition of the Church. Part of that was downplaying the role of Mary, and the protestant view that Mary is – or almost – worshipped in the Catholic church. I recall in our parish in 1990 when we build the new church, that Mary's statue was relegated to the porch of the church. Thankfully not long afterward she was restored to a rightful alcove within the church.

      I recall also some talks led, in the early 2000's, by a certain influential woman in our diocese that Mary had been elevated to too high a place, and this smacked of idolatory. She even quoted a heretical group in the central NI that had elevated Mary to the point of equality with the Trinity. I recall in those earlier years of the rosary being denigrated – how those elderly darling women during the time of the TLM were being criticised for saying the rosary during Mass (the rosary is a contemplation of the birth, passion and salvific act of Christ). So I can, to a degree, understand your antipathy to Our Blessed Lady.

      You need to be aware of a few things. Mary is at the centre of our Salvation History – forecaste in the OT and lauded in the NT, despite her not being mentioned much in the Gospels. As has been mentioned above, Mary was instrumental in bringing Jesus into the world – our greatest example of co-operation with the Will of God. Through her, Jesus worked his first miracle – and what a miracle it was. She taught Jesus from His infancy – the creature teaching its God. I could go on for pages.

      The simple fact is, that Mary is our creation's greatest boast and the centre of our salvation after Jesus and the action of God the Father and the Holy Spirit – our Triune God. To not include Mary in our theology – Mariology – is to not fully understand the Catholic faith. As a teacher at a Catholic school, it is absolutely imperative that you develop this love and devotion to Mary, so that you can pass it on to the children in your charge. To not do this, is to fail in your vocation as a Catholic teacher in a Catholic school.

    18. IAGHW July 31, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      I am not saying feelings are evil etc

      I forgot when is the last time I experience "feelings" when I pray… should that stop me praying? should that stop me having devotions to saints? What is "spriitual" feelings anyway? are you suppose to feel when you pray?

    19. MarkO July 31, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      Hi there Werahiko

      The truth about Mary as taught by the Church is bang on the button. I know that from personal experience, not just from rote. I do feel a great deal when I pray to her, because I regard Mary as a personal friend – the ultimate intercessor to The Christ. On the day when I have to appear before the Ultimate Court of our Lord Jesus Christ, I would not like to think I'd have to be there alone, without the support of my Mother Mary….

      Anyway, enough of mere words, I made this video which might better express my feeling about Mary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slEz4cHcxUw

      Take Care! Mark

    20. Benedicta August 1, 2014 at 9:26 am


      I forgot when is the last time I experience "feelings" when I pray… should that stop me praying?

      No one can make a comment about your personal situation regarding prayer, especially on a blog and also as no one can appoint themselves your spiritual director.

      But in general terms the answer to your question is 'no' – don't stop praying.

      As I understand it prayer in a Christian's life in relationship to the Holy Trinity takes a sort of pattern or form but then the Holy Spirit does what he likes for the good of the soul etc.

      But generally prayer is a form of meditation or praying with scriptures, Rosary etc in which the imagination is engaged and the senses play a part and as the Saints say the person experiences feelings of 'delight'. This can be quite dramatic after a conversion for instance or seem quite 'normal' for those who have always been in the faith.

      All of the above presupposes no state of mortal sin or in the early stages a determination to turn from it. This is important especially as we go on.

      Then as time and fidelity make friends the praying soul encounters more purgative elements. These may be daily trials, difficulties which may be intellectual, moral, spiritual or anything really. If they hold fast and adhere to the Holy Trinity in an ecclesial fidelity to the Church in what she holds and teaches they may experience what the Saints call 'refreshments' and consolations. These can also seem quite dramatic and do sometimes engage the senses but may also be beyond the souls effort to bring such things about.

      The advice from the Saints here is to reject these consolations. Appartently the soul doesn't need to dwell on them or recall them or hang on to them in anyway as what the Holy Spirit imparts to the soul is given immediately whether the soul has any conscious realisation or not.

      So essentially now the mature soul feels for the most part nothing at all when praying. In fact it can be most difficult as it feels as if it is wasting time and not serving the Holy Trinity. There is a tendency to 'stall' the spiritual life unless the soul is given help to proceed. The soul may tend to retreat back to discursive meditation. What is needed is the trust and courage to go on 'in the dark' as it were and as Mother Teresa so aptly described her own prayer 'I look at God and God looks at me'. That's it. Not much but absolutely everything.

      For some souls perhaps those whom the Holy Spirit has a special work or because the soul is just so open to the great love of God and as St Therese would have thought of God 'not being able to resist this soul'. There may be another dark period of deep spiritual trial but through which union, in so far as is possible this side of eternity, is effected – spiritual marriage – a particular union in charity between a particular soul and the Holy Trinity. Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity is poetic about this state of which she seemed to be a participant – she exhorted souls to 'let yourself be loved more than these'. She was quoting scripture. But while God is all about His Holy People….he still, as Jesus did and does, encounters and invites them one by one.

      So should one stop praying if there is no feeling! No! After examining the state of one's life, if there is no falling away, no infidelity to the teachings of the Church (faith IS ecclesial – if not already there its taking you there – to the Church in love and fidelity – its taking you there), no unconfessed mortal sin….no reason at all and in fact you are still desiring to pray….then it is a good sign of spiritual darkness.

      That is all I know about it. Teresa of Avila said most people stay lurking about the door (to her spiritual seven mansions) and never enter. They loiter in the courtyard. If they only knew to come in and know the love of God.

      This is why it is an anomaly for Christians not to pray…they are not desiring relationship and participation in God which is preparation and making the most of the spiritual union in the Eucharist. To not pray is to not know the power of the Eucharist nor Christ in it.

      On the other hand are some who look for methods by which they achieve contemplation. This is not Christian prayer which is essentially a gift which in the end the soul is wholly receptive and passive but bestowed with the love of God. No one can take it by method.

      None of the above ranks higher than the sacramental life. Nor does it place itself above the prayers of the Church or the Rosary. People should pray as they can but there is more if they open themselves to God in personal prayer as well as fulfilling other prayers which serve the Body of Christ as ecclesial prayer (where two or three are praying…). This is powerful of course but I agree with Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity 'let yourself be loved'. After all God is our Father and Christ is our Brother and the Holy Trinity is love itself.


    21. Teresina August 1, 2014 at 9:54 am

      Yes, prayer is the important thing and the Fraternity has called for today – the First Friday – for penance and prayers for the persecuted Church:

      “August 1 is the First Friday of the month and the Feast of St. Peter in Chains, which is celebrated as a Third Class Feast in FSSP houses and apostolates. It is the feast in which we read of the great power of the persevering prayer of members of the Church: “Peter therefore was kept in Prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him.” (Acts 12:5)

      “This feast of our Patron should be an invitation to the faithful to join us in Holy Hours and other fitting prayers – to beg the Most Holy Trinity that these members of the Mystical Body may persevere in the faith, and that, like St. Peter, they may be delivered from this terrible persecution. May such a day serve as a reminder to us of the stark contrast that stands between our days of vacation and ease, and their daily struggle for survival as they are killed or exiled from their homes.”

      Please keep the Catholics of Mosul – and our persecuted brethren all over the world – in your prayers. The 1st of August falls on a Friday this year, so fasting and penance is already in order. Step it up a notch. And please help spread the word regarding this event via the social media available to you."

    22. Teresina August 1, 2014 at 9:56 am

      What the Fraternity say "May such a day serve as a reminder to us of the stark contrast that stands between our days of vacation and ease, and their daily struggle for survival as they are killed or exiled from their homes" may we be shaken out of our reveries and the old NZ syndrome of "She'll be right" when in other countries not far from home it isn't right!

    23. Don the Kiwi August 1, 2014 at 11:59 am

      Today is also the feast day of Dt.Alphonsus Ligouri , the founder of the Redemptorist Order and a Doctor of the Church. He had a very deep devotion to Mary. He wrote some beautiful things about her – one goes something like this: 

      "Go to the tree to gain its fruit. Go to Mary, whose fruit is Our Saviour Jesus Christ. Out of her beauty came the most wondeful fruit."  I''m not sure how accurate that is; it is longer than that.

    24. IAGHW August 1, 2014 at 2:39 pm


      Benedicta: of course I am going to keep on praying. That was a statement support that fact that feelings got nothing to do with prayer… if you happens to feel good in prayers… good for you… if you don't keep on praying… Push it a bit further… if you feel your prayer… you are too focus on your feeling instead of your praying

    25. Teresina August 1, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      Yes, Don, that's correct when I went to Mass today we were celebrating the great St Alphonsus Liquori who did have a wonderful devotion to Our Lady. 

      Nevertheless, one can only wonder why the Feast day of St Paul in Chains was dropped (too hard for some of the reformers to face perhaps) but It was included in the pre-1962[ General Calendar of the Roman Rite . Traditional Roman Catholics continue to celebrate the feast day of "St Peter's Chains" either as a Greater-Double or a Double Major feast. In the Orthodox Church this feast is celebrated on January 16.[8]

      And it is a most apt feastday for remembering our brothers and sisters who are threatened with the sword if they don't convert and you can be sure they will be calling on the help of Our Lady in their dire need as Catholics always have and always will do.

    26. Werahiko August 3, 2014 at 10:06 am

      Some of the most-difficult-to-believe things in the Catholic faith are about Mary. There's the virgin birth of course, accompanied by the astounding article of faith that Mary remained physically intact during the process of birth, the belief that despite clear references to Jesus' siblings in the scriptures, she remained a Virgin, and then of course the immaculate conception and the bodily assumption. And then of course there is all the accretion of medieval courtly concepts of Queenship. And that is without the apparitions. 

    27. Teresina August 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      Werahiko, difficult for those to believe who do not believe that God is all powerful and nothing is impossible to Him!

    28. Rubyshine August 3, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      For me what I struggle with is not so much whether Mary was still in tact after the birth, or if she remained a virgin for the rest of her days or not, but the inference that both of these things would be better, and I just wonder why.

      Why would it be better for Mary to still be in tact. Why would it be better if she never went on to have more children?

      I just don't really get the obssession with her intactness.

    29. Don the Kiwi August 3, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      There are sevral reasons for Mary's Perpetual Virginity being promoted as dogmatic teachings of the Church, and the first being the prophesies in the scriptures – "The virgin will conceive …." and other like it.

      Brother Werahiko.   There .now you are my brother because I wrote it down,  We are all brothers and sisiters in Christ, all children of God. Brothers can still be brothers, whether or not from the same mother or father.

      A simple explanation is that in Aramaic there is no term for cousin, nephew etc.  they are brothers and sisters. Salome, the mother on James and John was Mary's second cousin – therefore the "brothers" of Jesus.

      The "Protoevangelium of James" , although not a part of the canon, does give some valuable insights into the life and times of the gospels. It is said that Joseph was an older man who had been previously married, and had – I think – 3 sons and a doughter to his wife, who died. When he took Mary as his wife they became Jesus' brothers and sisters. Joseph knew of Mary's vow of virginity that she had taken when she was young, and as a model of true manhood honoured his wife's vow and so became the model of puity for all fathers.

      That's just a couple of loints. Mary's Perpetual Virginty was declared a Dogma of the Church at the Council of Ephesus in 451 I think – I'll check.

    30. Rubyshine August 3, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      Don the Kiwi, I'm glad you're around. This is completely off topic but I was thinking the other day about how you commented on Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion often being referred to as Eucharistic ministers. It occurred to me that I don't know why it matters if they are referred to as Eucharistic ministers.

      Can you explain the importance of that language please?

    31. Don the Kiwi August 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm


      Its because they are not Eucharistic Ministers. The only Eucharistic Ministers are bishops and priests, and to a lesser extent, deacons. Holy Communion is a PART of Eucharist – the Eucharistic celebration. Eucharist come from the greek word "Eucharistia" which means "thanksgiving", and stems from the words in the gospel referring to the last supper where Jesus starts by saying, "We give you thaks, Eternal Father…." or similar words – they differ slightly from gospel to gospel, but these are the words generally at the start of the Eucharistic prayer during Mass, which only the priest (bishop) is allowed to say.

      The Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC)  assist in the distribution of Holy Communion, the final part of the Eucharistic sacrifice. To call them Eucharistic Ministers is therefore quite incorrect – it would be like calling a deacon as Bishop, which he clearly isn't. It is actually an abuse, as specified in the Vatican Motu Proprio issued by Benedict XVI "Redemptionis Sacramentum".

      So, Sparkling Stone  – oh I'm sorry, Rubyshine ;-)     I hope that helps .

    32. Rubyshine August 3, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      That's a fabulous explanation, Don, thank you! 

    33. Teresina August 3, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      The immaculate conception is also a dogma of the Faith.  We know that the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit on these matters and before something is declared a dogma there is a lot of things taken into consideration.  For example, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was confirmed no less than by Our Lady herself when she appeared at Lourdes.  When Bernadette asked her, on behalf of her parish priest, who she was she said "I am the Immaculate Conception".  At the time of the apparitions St Bernadette was an illiterate child who would have had no knowledge of those things.  The Church was considering whether to declare Mary immaculate or not and were clearly given this sign from God, and so it was declared a dogma of the Church.  Admittedly, we do not have to believe in apparitions but the Church has canonised St Bernadette and also St Bernadette's body is incorrupt which is miraculous in itself.  

      The fact that Our Lady was immaculately conceived means that she was born without the stain of original sin and therefore she did not suffer the pangs of childbirth.  The idea of virginity has always been considered a higher calling of the Church and Our Lord declared that himself when he said there is no marriage in heaven.  Each person of course is called to different vocations: the married state, priesthood and religious life and celibacy, but also there are consecrated virgins who live in the world, and all is in accordance with God's will and His plan.

      All these things are to show the almighty power of God – there is no other reason for it.  God is not limited by time and space as we are. 


    34. MarkO August 3, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      Hi Teresina

      When I read what you wrote; "God is not limited by time and space as we are" I was so pleased.  You've got it!

      Many Catholics still don't understand what it really means when the Church teaches, that the earth is our place of exile. That God's Plan for man never included death, suffering, want or the pain of chiildbirth for instance. Or of being marooned in one place. What we were before the Fall of Man was certainly not what we are now.

      In other words, many tend to view the universe from the perspective of a mere earth-based existence, rather than from the perpective of man before the Fall. With the advent of Jesus Christ and our Mother Mary, the new Adam and the new Eve, God is to take us slowly but surely back to where we were before the Fall.

      By the way, science believes that the universe is a closed system, hence their Laws of Thermodynamics. They're incorrect, it is an open system..anyway more about that some other time. 

    35. Rubyshine August 3, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      Is it official church teaching that pain in childbirth is punishment for our sins?

      I ask because it's something I really struggle with. I find it offensive and ridiculous, and my own birthing experiences felt like anything but punishment. Not saying they weren't hard work, but to my mind they were an absolute celebration of life and womanhood, and completely positive experiences.

      I know not all women view birth positively, and some have truly harrowing experiences, but punishment?

      It is part of my issue with Mary as the ever virgin. Although I understand the absolute logic of, if she was born of the immaculate conception, and thus without sin, and childbirth is punishment for original sin, she obviously would not have experienced childbirth as we know it.

      However, for me all that boils down to is, childbirth is bad, and for me it's just not. And to suggest that it is does offend my appreciation of the female experience.

      Maybe I'm not fully understanding or appreciating the subtleties of the language. Perhaps someone can explain it more clearly to me.

    36. MarkO August 3, 2014 at 8:59 pm


      It's the Word of God. Genesis 3:16

      If you want to argue, then take the matter up with Him.

    37. bamac August 3, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      Have just read this about the Holy Sacrifice of the mass  ,,,, it said penty to me after Mass this morning mod songs and stream of ministers leading Father into church… God Bless,

      Mrs Mac

    38. Teresina August 4, 2014 at 12:26 am

      Yes, Rubyshine, Mark is correct that, prior to the fall, man did not suffer in any way and did not suffer death either but because of the fall of our first parents he was cast out of paradise.  (And I am using the word "man" as in mankind – not that I should really have to explain that but these days because of feminism we do because feminists have deconstructed the English language).

      It doesn't appear that Catholics these days are taken through the Old Testament, apart from the psalms or one or two readings that we get at Mass.  Every Catholic should read the Old Testament (as a child we were taken through the Old and New Testaments and Catholic teaching was explained to us in light of the Old Testament as well as the New.)  Catholics won't understand the concept of original sin if they don't read Genesis and nor will they understand about the devil if they don't read about how the devil fell through pride and was banished.  It is not surprising that Catholics challenge the teachings of the Church because they have not been told what those teachings are based on.

      If you read Genesis 3 – the explanation is all there and Our Lady's role is explained too:

      "I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head [15]  [meaning the devil], and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel."

      [15] She shall crush: Ipsa, the woman; so divers of the fathers read this place, conformably to the Latin: others read it ipsum, viz., the seed. The sense is the same: for it is by her seed, Jesus Christ, that the woman crushes the serpent's head.


    39. Teresina August 4, 2014 at 12:42 am

      Thanks for that link Mrs Mac and I lift from it one paragraph because I think the essence of the Mass is in many ways being overlooked these days "The priest approaches the altar to offer the Holy Sacrifice to God. The faithful, standing behind the priest, adhere to his mediatorship and, so, are drawn after him into the heavenly fire of the Sacrifice. Even in the absence of the faithful,the priest represents them, intercedes for them, and brings their adoration, thanksgiving, expiation, and petition before God, offering the Holy Sacrifice for the living and the dead."

      Quite often Mass is spoken of as a numbers game – for example, the Extraordinary Form of the Mass – despite the fact that Summorum Pontificum states all that is required is a stable group who request the Latin Mass and that their request should be acceded to where possible.  In Hamilton we are not allowed a Latin Mass on Sunday because Bishop Browne states that we don't meet some mysterious number (known only to him) that we are required to achieve before he will grant permission – even though under Summorum Pontificum his permission is not required he insists on it.

      There is nothing on earth that is more pleasing to God or more efficacious than the Mass, and it only requires the priest to say it – not numbers.  I was told by a good bishop that because of a false idea that they need a congregation many priests are not even saying daily Mass when in fact they are still required to do so.  For example, there weren't large numbers at Golgotha – we are only told of Our Lady and St John and one or two holy women but even had they not been there the sacrifice still would have taken place and the gates of heaven opened at that instant … we have moved a very long way away from the cry that "It is the Mass that matters". 

    40. Rubyshine August 4, 2014 at 7:15 am

      When I was at school the Priest told us that Genesis, and a lot of the stories in the bibles were people trying to explain things they couldn't fully understand.

      So that was the biblical, Old Testament teaching I had.

    41. Teresina August 4, 2014 at 11:10 am

      That was pretty poor, Rubyshine – maybe he didn't understand it himself or he may not have believed any longer in original sin etc.  I don't know how many priests now believe in original sin, the devil, hell, purgatory, etc and certainly some don't believe in miracles.  For example, I was told that at the Cathedral in Hamilton a priest gave a sermon saying that Our Lord didn't walk on water, He was walking on a submerged reef.  It all comes back to trying to bring God down to our level and forgetting He is almighty or perhaps it is pride and not wanting to believe that we are subject to Him.  Pride of course was why Lucifer, who was an Archangel and the most beautiful of all the angels, fell.  

    42. Don the Kiwi August 4, 2014 at 2:05 pm


      Either the priest was wrong, or you misunderstood. The early OT was not written down till centuries after the events, and much of the Creation stoires are what we could call fable – or Myth. Not so much as in  ancient Greek mythology, but Myth, in that the stories reveal an underlying truth which explains an event. So it's not that they didn't understand the message, they used this format to give an explanation. The obvious one is the Creation story where God made the world etc. in six days. That obviously does not mean six 24hr. days as we treat the passage of time. Scripture tell us that to God, a day is a thousand years, and a thousand years a day – as Teresina said previously, God is not bound by time and space as we are.

      The underlying Truth of Genesis is, that God created the world and mankind in that manner, that man and woman were separate creations – not evolved – as Mary told the children of Fatima, and that evil entered into the world through the devil, and so on. Man has advanced to the point where we know through science that Creation happened over a vast time span – billions of years – but many things ares till mystery – and that simply confirms God's creation. Without getting into detail on the creation, we are constantly told that "God is Mystery" – who can know the mind of God?

    43. Teresina August 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      Yes, what Don says is correct and explained here:

      "The Catholic Bible Dictionary also clarifies that the decrees of the Pontifical Biblical Commission regarding the creation account may not be questioned or doubted.

      The Pontifical Biblical Commission enumerated nine “narrated facts” in Genesis whose “literal and historical meaning” should not be questioned: 1. The creation of all things by God in the beginning of time; 2. The special creation of man; 3. The formation of the first woman from man; 4. The unity of the human race; 5. The original happiness of our first parents in a state of justice, integrity, and immortality; 6. The divine command laid upon man to prove his obedience; 7. the transgression of that divine command at the instigation of the devil under the form of a serpent; 8. The fall of our first parents from their primitive state of innocence; 9. The promise of a future redeemer. Catholic Bible Dictionary, page 308, Ed. Dr. Scott Hahn

      Therefore, in obedience to the Magisterium of the Church we must reject the opinion that Genesis is a myth, and accept the ancient tradition of the Church that the Genesis account on creation is a historical narrative in the literal sense."


    44. MarkO August 4, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      Hi Don the Kiwi

      What you've said I agree with.  It's obvious that the universe is much older than the 6 day face-value literal interpretation of a creationist fundamentalist.  The fundamentalist does not take into account that what a day means to us, is not what a day means to God.

      When it comes to the physical and moral condition of man, scripture is more direct and more easily understood.  Still, we know that there were misunderstandings and disagreements, which is why we can more clearly understand why Christ established His Church to be that clear moral guide which overcomes any confusion about what is right and what is wrong. And about why so many things were allowed to happen the way they did.


    45. MarkO August 4, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      One last thing Don

      I put it quite clearly to those who I engage in relevant converstion – that while the universe may have evolved, mankind did not. He was a spontaneous creation.

      The spatial/material universe is both continually created and continually re-created. The act of creation had a beginning, but the act of creation has never stopped.  What has already been created continues to be sustained, while the creation of new space and new matter has never ceased, nor ever will.

    46. MarkO August 4, 2014 at 7:48 pm

      Hi Teresina

      Yes and let's take a look at Genesis 1:6-7  And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water."  So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it.

      A basic, but essentialy correct statement, describing how God created space for our existence where no such space had existed before. God parted His existence (or more correctly compressed His Being) to make space for created things, where no such space had existed before.Without the parting (or compression), there would have been no space for any created thing.

    47. Teresina August 4, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      Yes, Mark, that is so and it is all a mystery to us but one day we will understand.  As you mention space I remember reading once about black holes in space which are apparently made of stars that have collapsed in on themselves.  The writer of the article said that these black holes have all the characteristics of what we know of hell: once in a black hole nothing can ever escape because of the gravitational pull and no light can escape so it is total darkness.  Just an interesting analogy but such places do exist.

    48. Teresina August 5, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Letter from Bishop Slattery re a propose Black Mass in his diocese – a bishop showing pastoral care of his flock:

      by Most Rev. Edward J. Slattery



      A letter from Bishop Slattery
      Countering with Prayer the proposed Black Mass in Oklahoma City

      My Dear People:

      As has been widely reported, a Satanic Black Mass has been scheduled for September 21 in Oklahoma City’s Civic Center. As a part of Satanic worship, a Black Mass attempts to invert the action and meaning of the Eucharist in order to mock Christ’s sacrifice and worship Satan through an orgiastic ritual of pain and perversion. It blasphemes everything which we hold as sacred and redemptive; and the spiritual dangers it poses ought not be dismissed. Since the Civic Center has not responded positively to the pleas of the Archbishop of Oklahoma City not to host this event in a tax-payer supported public venue, I am asking the faithful Catholics in the Diocese of Tulsa to fight this blasphemy through prayer and fasting:

      Please keep the nine days prior to the Feast of the Assumption as an extraordinary period of prayer and penance. I am asking every Catholic to abstain from all meat and meat products from August 6 through the 14th. I am also asking that you consecrate your hunger with a daily recitation of a decade of the rosary and the familiar Prayer to Saint Michael. Printed copies of these prayers are available in the bulletin and at the entrances of the church. Be strong and encourage your friends to also be strong.

      On Assumption Day, August 15th, we will ask Our Lady on her Feast, to intercede for us and protect us. On that day I in the Cathedral, and every priest in his own parish, will pray a special prayer written by Pope Leo XIII for the defense of the Church against the attack of the Enemy and his apostate angels.

      Should these prayers and this period of fasting not effect the cancellation of this event, then I will ask every priest in the Diocese to conduct a Eucharistic Holy Hour on September 21 at the same time (7:00 p.m.) as this profanity is being celebrated in Oklahoma City. Wherever possible, I ask that Eucharistic Processions – especially outdoor processions – be arranged as part of these holy hours. Let us give a public witness to our faith in the Eucharist which is being so profoundly mocked and ridiculed by this event.

      From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Lord!

      Sincerely yours in Christ,

      Most Rev. Edward J. Slattery
      Bishop of Tulsa

    49. bamac August 5, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Have just finished following this online retreat on the beautiful reality of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass … most especially on the reality of Our Blessed Lord's Eucharistic presence….. what I hope you will watch in particular, is the Conference ( you have to scroll down past the first and second mediations to find it ) How blest we are to have been given the great gift of our holy faith!

      Don, Teresina, Rubyshine and all , I would love to know what you think of it after watching ( and maybe praying through it )  no apologies for it being a bit long.


      God Bless, Mrs Mac

    50. MarkO August 5, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      Hi Teresina

      Last Sunday the Gospel Reading once again reminded us of the miracle of the loaves and fishes – an important precursor to The Eucharist which was designed to help us understand how Christ intended to share His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity with us in an extrordinary way – the likes which had never been done before. To be the perfect antidote to the virus satan had placed into the fruit which Adam and Eve took into their bodies.

      We are fortunate in having an orthodox priest serving our parish – and he gave a fearless sermon on Sunday – pointing out how we must rely on the providence of God rather than on money, wealth and position to give us what we need.

      He spoke about the throw-away culture of contraception and abortion – something I haven't heard in over 20 years from the pulpit. He told us to reply on God's provision when it comes to providing for children who are sent our way, to believe in a miracle which is similar to the loaves and fishes when it comes to financial worries.

      And he asked us, from his heart, to please pray for priests, now more than ever.  I rang him later to thank him for what he had said. He asked me to pray for priests (echoing his sermon) – in between the lines I knew what he meant.  There are so many priests feeling the pressure right now, and it could be that many are considering giving up and walking away….

      We must pray for the Church and especially for our priests – we must consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  The power invested in Mary will overcome everything which threatens a world with hope for real peace, real purity of living and hope for the Kingdom to come.

    51. MarkO August 5, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Hi Mrs Mac – I've watched the first two videos you've shared with us. I'm looking forward to watching the others later tonight. Spot on the button, especially with relation to last Sunday's Gospel Reading!

      Opps! I should have finished writing to Teresina with: "The power of Mary will overcome everything which threatens a world which has a hope for real peace, real purity of living and hope for the Kindgom to come."

      I'm so sorry, I get so carried away with my Irish enthusiam sometimes that I sometimes type faster than I can think.

      God Bless for sharing that little gem with us! Mark

    52. Teresina August 5, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Thanks, Mrs Mac, like Mark I will certainly look at that as it sounds to be really good and I'll let you know what I think.

      Mark, your parish priest sounds to have given a great sermon and he is absolutely right, we have to rely on God's providence in everything.  Yes, you are so right we must pray for priests as it is a difficult time for them and I do offer my Masses and prayers for them to be strengthened in everything they do.  They are really going through a dry martyrdom and it will be a few years yet but they are going to come into their own and be the bishops and leaders of the future – and they won't be fettered as they are now with modernist bishops.  Imagine having a Bishop Slattery in our country – how different things would be.  Who, for example, has heard a bishop in this country (apart from one or two perhaps) requesting priests to say the prayer to St Michael the Archangel?  In this country many bishops would censure their priests for doing so.  Bishop Slattery himself now celebrates Mass ad orientum and is an advocate for the poor and for the unborn etc. So there is hope and with Our Lady's help, as you say, all evil will be overcome.  In fact, as you will know, it is her heel who will crush the head of the serpent and send him back to whence he came!   

    53. bamac August 6, 2014 at 10:35 am

      Some time back a Black Satanic Mass was planned in an American city … this was very much downsized as a result of many prayers …. it is again bing planned and,once again, prayers will be offered …please can we not also join our prayers with theirs…


      God Bless,

      Mrs Mac

    54. Rubyshine August 6, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      Mrs Mac,

      thank you for that link on the talk about the mass. The idea of an online retreat had never occurred to me but what a great idea. I often come across local retreats that simply aren't an option for me to attend due to work and family commitments.

      I've often thought that you get out of mass what you put into it. That if you go along with a bored/sour/disheartened attitude then that's what you're likely to leave with, because you're shutting yourself off from the essence of what mass is about.

      Early in the piece, the speaker talks about that basically no matter how sloppy the priest or bad the music etc etc you are partaking in mass. This made me think about how you simply cannot change some things, but that also you cannot know what is going on for another person.

      I think it's easy to attribute motives to a person's actions (perhaps a priest's) when often we simply don't know how they are feeling or thinking or what else is going on for them. A while back I read on another blog a story of a person who had a priest who the congregation basically moaned amongst themselves about because he seemed disinterested and detached and rushed. One day this person decided to thank the priest for all his efforts and service. After looking taken aback, the priest said, "thank you. I was mugged on my way over here today, so I'm a little shaken up." 

      Obviously most priests aren't mugged on their way to mass, but everyone has their own battle.

      Also the idea of the offertoryof the Mass being my opportunity to place my own life, struggles and joys on the altar is a brand new idea for me, so thank you for that.

      As to the black mass, these seem to keep springing up. I know black masses have been done over the years, but is it a fairly new thing for them to be being attempted to be done so publicly, or am I just more aware of it?

    55. Teresina August 7, 2014 at 8:14 am

      Mrs Mac, I have just had a quick look at the online retreat that you have linked.  It seems really good and I will have a proper look at it over the weekend so that I can do it justice.  The point I will make is what the priest says about the sense of spirituality that St John Paul The Great showed at Mass.  I certainly agree with that and that is what I always felt when I saw him that he was totally engrossed in the Mass, the way he elevated the host to heaven – as high as he possbly could – offering to the Father.  That is why I have difficulty with the criticisms I have read of him by others and I believe he is a great saint who lived a life of obvious holiness and he is a daily inspiration to me.  I have a lovely photo of him on my desk.  He is a saint of our times and I suppose that is why he is so special to me, and proves the point that we need saints in our time – why wait 300 years to canonise or even 100 years when they will mean very little to that generation, but to those who knew them their lives are a shining example.  So, Mr Mac, thanks for pointing to that retreat – I think it is something I would like to do because, as Rubyshine says, with the day to day bustle of life we can't always commit to something like that.

      Rubyshine, I agree that black masses have always taken place but it is only recently that I have heard of such public ones.  I am sure that that is because the participants do not realise how dangerous it is for them – it is a lark, perhaps a chance to poke fun or to denigrate Catholics.  But those who practise the dark arts clandestinely know the evil that such a black mass can unleash and how wise Bishop Slattery is.  My cousin, who is a very good woman said to me recently "Make sure you say the prayer to St Michael the Archangel every day".  And that is what we should all do because it is a strong protection from evil.

    56. bamac August 7, 2014 at 11:08 am


      I agree very much with your suggetion of saying the prayer to St Michael every day … we say it after the Holy Rosary every day at church, except Sunday when we are Rosary-less.  We also say St Theresa"s prayer for priests  …

      " O Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep all thy priests within the shelter of thy Sacred Heart where none may harm them   Keep unstained their annointed hands which daily touch thy Sacred Body, keep unsullied their lips purpled wth thy Precious Blood .

      Keep pure and unearthly their hearts sealed with the marvelous gift of thy glorious priesthood.

      May Your holy love surround them and shield them from the world's contagion.  bless their labours with abundant fruit and may the souls,  to whom they have ministed , be here on earth , their joy and consolation and in Heaven their beautiful and everlasting crown … Amen

      Mary ,Mother of all priests , pray for us and obtain for us a number of holy priests."

      We used to be told that as all members of the Mystical Body are prayed for as well as those fortuunate enough to be present at Holy Mass , that  where ever we may be during any of the 24 hours of the day and night ,we are being offered up to our Father with Jesus as He offers Himself,  for there is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass being celebrated somewhere in the world …offering all that we are and have 24/7 if we make that intention in the morning along with our morning offering  ……. I still shut my eyes in quiet moments and feel myself present at Mass along with my Guadian Angel ……   God forgive me for all the times I forget to do  take time to do so …. God Bless the good nuns and priests who encouraged us to pray thus all those years ago.

      God Bless,

      Mrs Mac

    57. Teresina August 7, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      That is a beautiful prayer for priests, Mrs Mac, and one priest I know (now deceased, RIP) gave me a copy of his old ordination card and it had that prayer on it and I used to pray it for him – now you have reminded me I will start to say it generally for priests.  

      Mrs Mac, you may be interested in this site which is the Spiritual Motherhood for Priests, where all women are invited to generally pray for priests.  It is certainly a most important work and not well known I believe: 



      Another bishop, Archbishop Coakley,  has called for prayer to St Michael the Archangel to for protection against the black Mass:

      "The archbishop wrote that he was asking Catholic churches to conclude each Mass between Wednesday and Sept. 29 with the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, who according to the faith defeated the devil in battle.

      Coakley also said he would lead a prayer service and outdoor procession on Sept. 21, the day the satanists plan their event at the Civic Center. The prayer service will begin at 3 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1901 NW 18 St.

      “Even though tickets are being sold for this event as if it were merely some sort of dark entertainment, this satanic ritual is deadly serious,” Coakley wrote.

      Calling on Catholics

      “I am especially concerned about the dark powers that this satanic worship invites into our community and the spiritual danger that this poses to all who are involved in it, directly or indirectly,” the archbishop said in his letter.

      “Since it seems this event will not be canceled,” he said, “I am calling on all Catholics of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City to counteract this challenge to faith and decency through prayer and penance.”

    58. Teresina August 8, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Some important comments from John Porteous (organiser of the Eucharistic Convention in Auckland):


      We have been sleeping…….

      Meanwhile – Satan has been having a field day……..

      A Satanic Music Group called BELPHEGOR has the following quotation attributed to it:

      THE LAST SUPPER, is released on Lethal Records and is a welcomed collection of infernal hymns for their growing fan base. Following their own path of sin and befitting their ever-evolving anti-religious, anti-life attitude, BELPHEGOR’s logo gets revamped to incorporate two inverted crosses completely surrounded by blood representing the slaughter of Christians and martyrs.

      Be aware fellow Catholics of the dangers awaiting our children who engage in social media that we have no idea how to navigate; and of course they know this. Satan is alive and well in our contemporary world; we must be aware of this.

      Belphegor's latest offering to the world entitled "Conjuring the Dead" is alive and well out there in cyber space – God help us all.

      Google it if you want to view the debauchery – we have much praying and fasting to do.

      John Porteous

    59. Teresina August 8, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      From the Transalpine Redemptorists:

      "While world leaders and newspapers keep guilty silence [as does the mainstream Church I add]:

      We are helpless to come to the assistance of our brethren in Iraq except by our prayers.  Of your charity read this letter [see link below] from the Patriarch and carry them in your hearts to God.

      They carry the Holy Cross and follow the Lamb to slaughter

      Agnus redemit oves – the Lamb redeems teh sheep;

      the innocent Eastern Christians die for their guilty Western brethren;

      with our rosaries let us wait beside them in their passion;

      to pray for their perseverance."


      While world leaders and newspapers keep guilty silence.


      We are helpless to come to the assistance of our brethren in Iraq except by our prayers.

      Of your charity read this letter from the Patriarch and carry them in your hearts to God.


      – See more at: http://papastronsay.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/while-world-leaders-and-newspapers-keep.html#sthash.mLoKTMdU.dpuf

      While world leaders and newspapers keep guilty silence.


      We are helpless to come to the assistance of our brethren in Iraq except by our prayers.

      Of your charity read this letter from the Patriarch and carry them in your hearts to God.


      – See more at: http://papastronsay.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/while-world-leaders-and-newspapers-keep.html#sthash.mLoKTMdU.dpuf

      While world leaders and newspapers keep guilty silence.


      We are helpless to come to the assistance of our brethren in Iraq except by our prayers.

      Of your charity read this letter from the Patriarch and carry them in your hearts to God.


      – See more at: http://papastronsay.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/while-world-leaders-and-newspapers-keep.html#sthash.mLoKTMdU.dpuf

    60. Teresina August 8, 2014 at 10:35 pm

      Many think it is time the Pope put his money where his mouth is.  Where is his voice now.  The voice which has been so vocal criticising priests and laity is silent in the face of the most severe persecution of Catholics for decades.  If he remains silent on this it will be said no doubt that he is just full of wind.  It has already been said by some of the homeless sheltering in or near St Mary Major that he has not returned their call and requests for help.  Is he an empty sounding gong that is only ready to hop on a bus or embrace the poor when there is a camera on view?  Many of us will be waiting to see how he responds …


      Iraqi Christian Refugees call upon the Vatican and the West
      "Come, Pope in the Vatican!" "America, fix it." "Where are you?"

      There's really nothing left for us to say, other than our words in the editorial and our surprise at the Pope's silence  (except for a written statement by his spokesman) and absence from the cameras in this, one of the most dramatic days for any mostly Catholic population in decades. The mostly Catholic refugees can't understand either, and call upon the "Pope of the Vatican" to help them. But from Rome and from the United Nations Security Council only written statements…

      Dramatic moments ask for dramatic gestures by those who can make a difference, and these have not been forthcoming, we are very sorry to say.

    61. Teresina August 8, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      A video taken apparently just hours ago of Catholics sheltering in churches in Iraq – 




      A Maronite reader asks us to post this information on the collection being made by the Eparchy of Brooklyn that will go directly to the Christians in need.

      Bishop Mansour has issued an appeal to the parishes in his eparchy, to assist the Iraqi christians. He writes: "As the world sits by and does nothing to help our brothers and sisters who are being openly discriminated against, displaced, and persecuted for no other reason than being Christian, we feel we need to do something to help." To do so, he is taking up a collection on the weekend of August 16-17. All monies collected will be sent through the appropriate Catholic channels so that those suffering may directly receive the benefits. Bishop Gregory is a member of the USCCB but this collection is not part of any effort they may be devising. I checked their web site but found not such collection listed.

      Perhaps some of your readers, frustrated like myself, may want to assist this effort. If so, they should direct their contributions to:

      Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn
      Collection for Iraq
      109 Remsen Street
      Brooklyn, NY 11201

    62. Teresina August 10, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      I heard a good sermon from a priest who talked about Mosul and how nothing will change without our prayers and what a mess Iraq is in and he considered it was better under Saddam Hussein.

      I sent a joke to a friend who contacted me laughed about the joke but said, "Have you heard the latest on that Islamic State group? They’re crucifying Christians and beheading children as young as two and three. I think they make Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot etc look like novices when it comes to brutality … Strangely enough, this is the same mountain where Noah is said to have moored the Ark. The US are dropping water to the people on this mountain that once was poking out of the flooded Earth."

      I saw an elderly woman climbing up that mountain of rocks with a walker – they said 86 children have died on the mountain so far.

      But except for this priest, the FSSP, the Sons of the Most Holy Redeember there are very few Catholics who even mention it – I wonder if they care.  I wonder if they pray about it or have they just become hardened to all the suffering in the world and it is too much for them?.

    63. Teresina August 10, 2014 at 11:34 pm

      What we need more of:

      Father Jonathan Morris is outraged over President Obama and other western leader's silence on the persecution of Christians in Iraq by the terror group ISIS.

      And the Anglicans:

      [Anglican Communion News Service] The five-year-old son of a founding member of Baghdad’s Anglican church was cut in half during an attack by the Islamic State1 on the Christian town of Qaraqosh.

      In an interview Aug. 8, an emotional Canon Andrew White told ACNS that he christened the boy several years ago, and that the child’s parents had named the lad Andrew after him.

      Anglicans at the forefront of relief
      The violent takeover of parts of Iraq by the Islamic State is threatening to bring about what the United Nations has said would be a “humanitarian catastrophe” in the beleaguered nation.

      White said that Anglicans there have been working hard to provide a lot of support for the Christians who have fled Mosul and Nineveh to the north, as well as the many other minority groups targeted by the Islamic State.

      Anglicans are literally at the forefront of bringing help in this situation and there’s no-one else,” he said adding that the church is supplying much-needed food, water, accommodation and other relief items thanks to financial contributions from supporters overseas. The church’s activities are led by a Muslim, Dr. Sarah Ahmed.

      “We need two things: prayer and money. With those two we can do something. Without those we can do nothing.”

      As regards prayer, White said, “I have three ‘P’s that I always mention which is for protection, provision and perseverance. We need protection, we need to provide for those people and we need to keep going.”

    64. Teresina August 11, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      ISIL: 500 Yazidis Killed and 300 Kidnapped into Slavery


      By Robert Abel (staff@latinpost.com)

      First Posted: Aug 10, 2014 04:07 PM EDT


      Iraq's human rights minister Mohammed Shia al Sudani announced Sunday that at least 500 Yazidis been killed and about 300 had been kidnapped by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL. Some of those who were killed were buried alive, and women and children were among those kidnapped and taken into slavery.

      Yahoo News reported that the Yazidis are an ethnic minority group residing primarily in northern Iraq. Their beliefs predate Islam and was developed in ancient Persia in 1,500 B.C. Overtime the religion has adopted elements of Christianity Islam and Judaism. ISIL had referred to the Yazidis as devil worshipers and, earlier this week, threatened that they convert to Islam by midday Sunday or die.

      According to Gulf News, the insurgents move through northern Iraq has forced tens of thousands to leave there homes and has threatened the region and provoked the first airstike form the U.S. since their troops were withdrawn from Iraq in 2011.

    65. Teresina August 11, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      ISIS 'Systematically Beheading Children' in Iraq; They Are 'Killing Every Christian They See,' Says Chaldean Leader:


      From Fr Paul Nicholson – St Benedicta of the Cross "Those who remain silent are responsible".



    66. Teresina August 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm


      It takes courage to speak out against the threatening presence of Islam in today’s world. And it takes courage to defend those who have the courage to speak out.

      Eight years ago, after Benedict XVI gave his controversial Regensburg address, most European commentators were shamefully timid in their response. Most refused to raise their heads above the parapet, preferring the coward’s option of not making any response at all. In the light of this continuing cowardly silence, it is timely to remind ourselves of the ugly face of Islamic fundamentalism.  …

      The polarization of British society into mutually antagonistic factions has forced even the most dyed-in-the-wool pluralists to concede that multiculturalism has proved a dismal and destructive failure. Ruth Kelly, a senior member of Tony Blair’s last government, suggested in the days before she chose to leave the political arena for a career in banking, that the multi-cultural experiment “may have resulted in a more fractured society,” thereby uttering a truth that would have been considered an unmentionable blasphemy in Labour Party circles until recently. (Since Ms. Kelly is a member of Opus Dei, and is therefore, presumably, a tradition-oriented Catholic, her rise through the ranks of the feminist-fuddled ranks of the Labour Party has always been a mystery to me. Perhaps the refreshing sanity of her rebuttal of her own party’s long-standing dogma might have something to do with the deeper creed to which she adheres.) Heralding what appeared to be a revolutionary u-turn in her government’s thinking she called for an “honest debate” on “integration and cohesion”: “We have moved from a period of near uniform consensus on the value of multiculturalism to one where we can encourage that debate by questioning whether it is encouraging separateness.”

    67. MarkO August 11, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      Hi Teresina

      Re IS attrocities in Iraq:

      This was one of the reasons why my brother and I set up that webite which I shared on these pages a while ago.  We could see what was developing.  Please go back to the the Headlines section and see what was written back in June.  Our Mother Mary very clearly stated at Fatima in 1917 that the solution to war and barbarism was a Consecration to Her Immaculate Heart.

      To update, I've seen all the horrifying and barbaric images which are streaming out of Iraq, including the latest development of those (mainly mothers and children) stranded on Shingal Mountain. Yesterday, I approached our local parish priest and asked him to speak about the disaster and ask the parish to pray for all affected people – and approached a member of the local Parish Council and asked her include a prayer for the stranded in the Prayers of The Faithful this coming Sunday.

      I've also alerted all family members and friends via e-mail about what is happening and requested that we all pray through our Mother Mary to Jesus for a solution to this unfolding horror.

      To me, these events are akin to the activties of the likes of Hitler's Germany, the Stalinist purges, Mao Zse Tung's purges and the horror wreaked by Pol Pot in Cambodia.

    68. Rubyshine August 11, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      It's interesting, Teresina, that you bring up the idea of being hardened to what is happening in Iraq. I was talking with some friends at work about the situation, and one of them, after I'd specifically mentioned the beheadings (I've seen some images that I wish I could unsee) said, "ugh it's just more of the same for that part of the world." I said, "no this is a whole new level." and she basically shrugged and said, "oh well" Myself and another friend were shocked at her indifference.

      So maybe SOME people have come to expect brutality in the Middle East or maybe it's because it's happening so far away, but not everyone is indifferent.

      Personally I'm not bothered about this being Muslims doing this to Christians. It doesn't make it better or worse which side is doing it. It does bother me that innocent people are being persecuted and brutalised and killed, and most of the world is standing by.



    69. Teresina August 11, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      Mark, the more that people such as you stand up, and particularly pray about it, then something will be done to help these people.  As the Fraternity of St Peter said when St Paul was in prison the people prayed without ceasing and God heard their prayers.

      Yes, Rubyshine, it doesn't matter whether it is Christians or not but in this instance it has been Christians who are suffering and their cries have been largely ignored.  It is only now that another religious group are in a peril that the news media are being alerted to what they are now calling genocide.

      I think that New Zealanders seem very apathetic because even in Australia thousands marched a week ago against the atrocities but we have done nothing here.  But we have a special interest because we are Catholics and it is our brothers and sisters in this instance who are sufferning.  One would think that that should have been enough to galvanise some Catholic voice in this country but there has been very little. We know that the Jews would not sit idly by if there was such persecution going on of the Jews at the moment.  In fact, Jews have marched and said they have a right to protection in Israel.

      So where has the Catholic voice been?  If it were happening to Catholics in this country but the Catholic world largely ignored our cries – not to even offer prayers at Mass in many instances – how would we feel? 

      Obama's hand has been forced.  No one wants to see the US embroiled in another war but they seem to have pulled out too soon.  I heard a priest say yesterday that Iraq was in a better state before the US went in.  It seems that way.  Difficult to know as Saddam Hussein was evil as well but there was at least some stability.  It seems that deposing all these various heads of middle eastern states has left an opening for the rise of this evil Islamic group – even worse than Al Qaeda they are saying. 

    70. Teresina August 11, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      Mark, what you say on your website http://www.thewayexplained.com/gallery.html on 22 June is exactly right and I am going to renew my consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as you point out there.  I read that the Christians in Iraq are praying for the sins of the west and I think that is true that the innocent suffer along with or because of the guilty.  Certainly these are only very ordinary families and everything has been taken from them.  Have you ever read about Our Lady of Zeitoun, a vision approved by the Patriarch of the Coptic Church in Egypt.  Our Lady was seen over a period of a couple of years standing on the Coptic Church in Zeitoun – it was a vision of light but clearly can be seen in the recognised form of Our Lady.  At the time Christians were being persecuted and all their doors were marked with a cross but the persecution was stopped by this vision of Our Lady witnessed by literally thousands of Christians, Jews, Muslims, protestants and non-believers.  See the video here.  It has quite remarkable footage and eye witness testimony.



    71. Teresina August 11, 2014 at 11:16 pm

      Sorry, Mark, that should have read "paying for the sins of the west"

    72. Don the Kiwi August 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm


      Does your parish have a Cenacle of the Marian Movement of Priests – Holy Hour for the sanctification of our priests? Its a very worthwhile movement, uusually held on a weekly basis, and there, the members consecrate themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

    73. Don the Kiwi August 12, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      Google the Marian Movement of Priests. You'll see it all there. The format consists of Rosary, a reflection from the book, the consecration to the Immaculate Heart, and a hymn. Usually takes 35 – 40 mins, and the rest of the hour is spent if private prayer and meditation. We hold ours at 1.00 pm. Wednesdays in the Parish cdentre Chapel. There are a couple of others that are held in the individual homes.

      Very worthwhile. The Reflections, are locutions by Our Lady to Fr. Don Stephano Gobbi, bgan on the 8 th. May 1972, and continued till 31st. December, 1997 I think. That's the last reflection in my book anyway. Fr. Gobbi died in, I think, 2011. Many of the reflections repeat many of the predictions of Our Lady at Fatima, Garabandal, Akita and elsewhere.

    74. MarkO August 12, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      Many Thanks Teresina

      For me, the most poignant photo that has come out of the Iraqi conflict, is the one of the little babe with his little knitted cap and jumper, surrounded by insurgents pointing three automatic rifles at his head…

      This one hit me right between the eyes like a freight-train and effectively removed any pretence I may have ever had.

      Let's spread our Mother Mary's words for the need for repentance any we can, using any means we can, so that God's Will be done.


    75. Teresina August 12, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      Don, I know that one of the parishes in Hamilton does have a Cenacle of the Marian Movement of Priests – my cousin also attends one in Palmerston North, so I will ask her about it.  You very rarely hear of the consecration to the Immaculate Heart these days.

      Yes, Mark, imagine the suffering of the little children.  I believe at least 70 plus have died on the mountain, and also this article points out that the Christians are overlooked as Pope Francis said:


      Pope Francis explained in remarks at a conference co-sponsored by the St. John’s University Center for Law and Religion in Rome this summer, Christians suffer perhaps the largest share of religious persecution in the world today:

      It causes me great pain to know that Christians in the world submit to the greatest amount of such discrimination. Persecution against Christians today is actually worse than in the first centuries of the Church, and there are more Christian martyrs today than in that era. This is happening more than 1700 years after the edict of Constantine, which gave Christians the freedom to publicly profess their faith.

      It’s good that the United States has begun attempts to alleviate a human rights crisis for which it bears much responsibility. Let’s hope it does not ignore some of the principal victims of that crisis."


    76. Teresina August 12, 2014 at 11:49 pm

      And the Catholic Herald is reporting that Christians are dying in over-crowded refugee camps:

      "Sahar Mansour, 40, who lectured in chemistry at the University of Mosul before she fled the city in June, said newborn babies, the sick and the elderly in the Ankawa refugee camp on the outskirts of Irbil are dying from diseases, thirst and malnutrition. Mansour now resides in the camp.   …

      She appealed to the international community: “Please save our lives. We cannot cope any more … please pray for us to remain in our faith and not lose our faith in any kind of fear. I was born Christian. I am praying that I die Christian.”

      Her sentiments echoed the concerns of Patriarch Sako, who said that the refugees sleeping in the streets and public parks were in a “deplorable situation” and that “humanitarian aid is insufficient.”

      “The position of the American president, Obama, only to give military assistance to protect Irbil is disappointing,” he said. “The confirmation that this terrible situation will continue until the Iraqi Security Forces will fight along with Peshmerga against the ISIS militants is very depressing.”

      “At the end, perhaps, Mosul will not be liberated (and) neither the villages in the Nineveh Plain,” he said, adding that the refugees would, as a result, be forced to stay in makeshift camps indefinitely."


      If we all keep these people – all suffering people in the Middle East in our Prayers God is sure to help them …