Sunday, December 29, 2013

Our Lady's Little Stone: Fasting on Bread and Water

A view from my seat at the Evening Mass at the back altar of St. James Church
Evening Mass at the back altar of Saint James Church

Today's post is a continuation of one of my previous posts, Our Lady's "Little Stone" - Pray With The Heart, The Rosary Everyday. Fasting on "bread and water," is the third of five "little stones" Our Lady has given us from her messages in Medjugorje.

If you are new to the reference of "little stones," they refer to five spiritual weapons Our Lady has given us to fight the good fight against Satan. As God gave David little stones which he used to hurl at Goliath, we are to do likewise in our spiritual battle against our Goliath, the Evil One.

Our Lady has given us these stones because she understands what we need to not only fight the good fight, but to become victorious in our spiritual battle.

Our Lady's request is to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays, on bread and water from midnight to midnight; that is, the entire day, "The best fast is on bread and water. Through fasting and prayer one can stop wars, one can suspend the natural laws of nature. Works of charity cannot replace fasting. Everyone except the sick, has to fast." (July 21, 1982) By combining fasting with prayer, we increase the power of our prayers. This is something we should keep in mind especially when praying for a special or urgent intention. By fasting we allow our entire being to participate and offer this sacrifice to God. Let us also not forget that Jesus fasted frequently and he taught the Apostles, that certain devils can be cast out in no other way except by prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:29)

The amount of bread and water you consume does not matter, so long as you make the sacrifice of this strict fast and offer it to God. Our Lady appeared to one of the six visionaries, Ivan Dragicevic on August 14, 1984, and gave him the following message, "I would like people to pray with me these days in the greatest numbers possible. Also I would like them to fast strictly on Wednesdays and Fridays, and to pray at least the rosary every day, joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries."

There are many ways to fast, but Our Lady specifically stated that fasting on bread and water is the "best fast." For those not used to fasting, it doesn't have to be something strictly adhered to at first, but eventually implemented over time.

Our Lady's invitation to fast is an appeal to our freedom to live her messages. Officially, the Church only obliges the faithful to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, so fasting according to Our Lady's request becomes our "yes" to our personal devotion to her. By giving our assent to Our Lady to fast, combined with prayer, we may come to know God's love and do his will in our lives:
"Dear children! In a special way I call you all to pray for my intentions so that, through your prayers, you may stop Satan's plan over this world, which is further from God every day, and which puts itself in the place of God and is destroying everything that is beautiful and good in the souls of each of you. Therefore, little children, arm yourselves with prayer and fasting so that you may be conscious of how much God loves you and may carry out God's will. Thank you for having responded to my call." (October 25, 2008)
Fasting and prayer form that perfect combination in our fight against evil. We pray better when we fast, and our love for our Saviour and Redeemer grows. Fasting also heightens our receptivity to listen inwardly to God's gentle voice.

The Evil One hates fasting and tries to discourage us. Saint Paul used to fast before his journeys to clear the way of all devils from his path. Saint Anthanasius who was experienced in fasting is quoted as stating:
It cures diseases; it dries up all morbid discharges of the body. It repels devils and drives out unclean thoughts. It renders the spirit more lucid and purifies the heart. It sanctifies the body and transports man to God's throne. Fasting is a powerful force and leads to great spiritual triumphs.
In these modern times that we live in, it seems so rare to hear of people fasting in the manner in which Our Lady asks of us. If you are new to fasting and wondering about whether or not this is something you can do, it is not difficult or strenuous at all. Fasting is done out of love for Our Lady and performed as an offering to God. Well motivated in this respect makes the days of fasting a great joy, knowing that you are pleasing both God and Our Lady.  

Fasting benefits us in many ways, physically and psychologically, but it is the spiritual benefits that should concern us the most. What we should also consider is that when we fast, combined with prayer, there is an even greater opportunity to receive God's mercy upon us.

The Cure d'Ars or St. Jean Marie Vianney used to fast for days to obtain some divine favour from God and was quoted after he had fasted, "I then obtained from the good God everything I sought." Here are a few more messages from Our Lady regarding fasting that I hope will encourage you to take this "little stone" and employ this spiritual weapon, one that is both powerful and efficacious against the Evil One in all that he tries to do to interfere with your life's goal, your salvation:
  • January 25, 2001: "Dear children! Today I call you to renew prayer and fasting with even greater enthusiasm until prayer becomes a joy for you. Little children, the one who prays is not afraid of the future and the one who fasts is not afraid of evil. Once again, I repeat to you: only through prayer and fasting also wars can be stopped – wars of your unbelief and fear for the future. I am with you and am teaching you little children: your peace and hope are in God. That is why draw closer to God and put Him in the first place in your life. Thank you for having responded to my call."
  • April 25, 1999: "By fasting and prayer, witness that you are mine and that you live my messages."
  • November 6, 1982: "Repeated prayers and fasting reduce punishments from God."
  • January 28, 1987: "If you wish to obtain a grace from the Lord by fasting, then let no one know that you are fasting. If you wish to obtain the grace of God through a gift to the poor, let no one know it, except you and the Lord."
  • October'1983: "The fasting which you are doing in eating fish, instead of meat, is not fasting but abstinence. The true fast consists in giving up all our sins, but one must also renounce himself and make the body participate in it.
I should note that there are exceptions to the strict fasting of bread and water: in the case of small children; the elderly; and those who are of temporarily ill or have a serious health issue, are not required to adhere to the strict fast.

One of the visionaries, Mirjana Soldo, stated in one of her talks to pilgrims that, "Our Lady does not ask for fasting from those who are sick, but truly sick. Our Lady says that they will realize through their own prayer what fasting they can do outside bread and water." 

In these scenarios and other situations that make fasting on bread and water impossible, fasting could take on another form: a reduction in food intake for the day; the deprivation of coffee or tea; or whatever would constitute a proper offering to God in place of the strict fast. Through prayer, each individual will be able to understand what alternative fast would be appropriate and acceptable to God. 

Our Lady's love for us is so great—evidenced by her messages alone—let us in our response, reciprocate that love by embracing her "little stone" of fasting.

Our Lady Queen of Peace, pray for us.  

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Morning Mass attendees at St. Margaret Mary Church
The daily morning Mass attendees at St. Margaret Mary Church

The above photo captures most of the regular morning Mass attendees at St. Margaret Mary Roman Catholic Church, here in Woodbridge, Ontario. Each morning Mass is a faith strengthening, grace filled experience that is celebrated by Father Donald White, P.O.C.R. As a daily attendee, I can personally testify that each morning Mass is celebrated with attention, reverence, devotion, and in a well prepared manner. What a great way to start each day strengthened by Christ's gift to us, the Eucharist.

The celebration of the Eucharist is the summit of Catholic worship. There are no other prayers and devotions more powerful than that of the Eucharist. It is a time when the faithful contemplate Christ's presence in the living sacrament of his body and blood.   Quoting Pope John Paul II's encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia"...The Eucharist is a priceless treasure: by not only celebrating it but also by praying before it outside of Mass we are enabled to make contact with the very wellspring of grace..." (25) This treasure is available to each of us everyday, and it is Christ who wants us to receive him daily.

Morning Mass at St. Margaret Mary is not at full capacity, so there is plenty of room in the pews. Depending on your availability, If you are thinking about going to morning Mass and would like to have a profound Mass experience, I can assure you St. Margaret Mary is for you. For those who do not go to confession and do not attend Mass regularly, it is important that you receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation prior to Mass. Even if you are in doubt about being in a state of mortal sin, it would be prudent to go to confession so that at Mass, you will approach the Eucharist with a clear conscience and in a worthy manner. Pope John Paul II specifically notes this very important point in Ecclesia de Eucharistia:  
Keeping these invisible bonds intact is a specific moral duty incumbent upon Christians who wish to participate fully in the Eucharist by receiving the body and blood of Christ. The Apostle Paul appeals to this duty when he warns: “Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Cor 11:28). Saint John Chrysostom, with his stirring eloquence, exhorted the faithful: “I too raise my voice, I beseech, beg and implore that no one draw near to this sacred table with a sullied and corrupt conscience. Such an act, in fact, can never be called 'communion', not even were we to touch the Lord's body a thousand times over, but 'condemnation', 'torment' and 'increase of punishment'”. (36)
The doors at Saint Margaret Mary Church are typically unlocked at 7:30am, affording the faithful quiet time for personal adoration and prayer prior to Mass. Morning Mass begins at 8:00am and usually ends at 8:30am. The church remains available after Mass for further adoration, personal prayer and group recitation of the Rosary. The morning Mass experience at St. Margaret Mary is truly a time of divine intimacy. 

As we journey through this Christmas Season, let us implore God's grace and mercy to transform our hearts and souls, that God may deepen our ongoing conversion and
strengthen us on our faith journey. May Jesus find our hearts and souls transformed and overflowing with love, a most welcome and warm dwelling place, fitting for our Saviour and Redeemer. 

To all visitors of my blog, Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Our Lady's Little Stone: Pray With The Heart, The Rosary Every Day

Second Blue Cross at the base of Apparition Hill
The Blue Cross where the visionary Mirjana has her public apparitions on the second of each month.

Today's post on praying with the heart the Rosary every day is the second in a series of posts on Our Lady's "Little Stones," that began with my previous post, Our Lady's "Little Stone": Monthly Confession.

If you are not familiar with the topic of today's post, let me briefly explain it. The Blessed Virgin Mary has been appearing to six visionaries since June 24th, 1981 in Medjugorje, Herzegovina (officially Bosnia and Herzegovina) and ever since then, she has been giving them important messages for the world. Today, Medjugorje has become the spiritual center of the world, a place of many miracles, conversions, healing, vocations to the priesthood and religious life, drug and alcohol recovery, a place that emanates hope and peace for the world. Our Lady has appeared there because she loves us, her children, and wants to help us in these perilous times where sin has taken over the lives of so many of "unbelievers," those who have yet to know and experience God's love.

Our Lady's "little stone," to pray with the heart the Rosary everyday, is an important message that we need to take very seriously, as are all of Our Lady's messages. Our Lady has emphasized the importance of praying with the heart in her January 23, 1986, message, "Dear Children, again I call you to prayer with your heart..."  When Our Lady asks of us to pray the Rosary each day, she is asking us to do it with the heart. By praying the Rosary with the heart, we are saying "yes" to Our Lady and allowing her to be our light to Christ, showing us the path to Jesus. There is no other more surest and quickest way to reach Jesus, than through Our Lady.

The Rosary is so essential to our earthly pilgrimage, it is no coincidence that Our Lady has asked us to pray it. Next to the Holy Mass, the Rosary is the most powerful prayer we have available to us. The Rosary is our effective weapon against Satan, "Dear children! Today I call you especially now to advance against Satan by means of prayer. Satan wants to work still more now that you know he is at work. Dear children, put on the armor for battle and with the Rosary in your hand defeat him! Thank you for having responded to my call." (August 8, 1985) 

Our Lady's request to pray the Rosary everyday has been a request made in the past, but neglected by so many. The Rosary was initially given to Saint Dominic in 1214, to convert the Albigensian heretics in Southern France. Our Lady had ordered St. Dominic to recite it everyday and get others to do likewise. Saint Dominic obeyed Our Lady and what resulted was the conversion of entire regions.

Over the centuries the recitation of the Rosary waned in the prayer lives of many families and individuals, some completely omitted it all together from their faith journey. To counter this, Our Lady chose additional servants to reestablish the Rosary. One such servant was St. Louis De Montfort (1673-1716), whose book, The Secret of The Rosary, is dedicated to explaining the importance and significance of praying the entire Rosary everyday.

In our own time, it is a well known fact that Pope John Paul II's favourite prayer was the Rosary. Pope John Paul II's Marian devotion permeated his pontificate and every aspect of his life. The Apostolic Letter on the Rosary, Rosarium Virginis Mariae is an apostolic letter that beautifully captured Saint John Paul II's great love and devotion to Our Lady.

Yet with these and so many other examples to draw from, many people still have not embraced Our Lady's message. The apparitions of Medjugorje have been Our Lady's opportunity to teach us anew, to "pray with the heart." Our Lady asks this of us with with great motherly love and concern for our salvation. What remains for many of us, is to say "yes" to Our Lady, much in the same spirit of Sts. Dominic and Louis De Montfort, Saint John Paul II, and the many saints throughout the history of the Catholic Church.

For some, Our Lady's message to pray the entire Rosary each day may seem like a daunting task, but like anything new, all it takes is some time to adjust and a willingness to persevere. No matter what your daily calendar is like, praying the entire Rosary everyday is achievable. The first step requires you to embrace this new inclusion in your life with a great love for Our Lady.

The next step is to seriously review your daily calendar and set reasonable and attainable goals. This is especially important if you have never prayed the Rosary or do not pray in general.

The Rosary consists of four sets of mysteries: Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious. Praying all four sets is what Our Lady asked of us and to complete this each day takes approximately two hours.

The most optimal approach would be to pray the individual sets of mysteries at different times of the day. Each individual set will take approximately 25-30 minutes to complete. If you find yourself pressed for 30 minutes of free time, you can take then divide the recitation of the individual mystery into single decades (one Our Father, ten Hail Mary's, one Glory Be, and one O My Jesus) which will take approximately five minutes. You probably can squeeze in five minutes here, five minutes there throughout your day. In so doing, you will eventually complete one set of the mysteries. Once you do this on a consistent level, seizing those opportunities to recite your Rosary throughout your day, will become second nature.

The last step is all about training to pray the Rosary, which is synonymous to training for a marathon. If you have never ran a marathon before, you need to build up your endurance by setting an initial distance that you can consistently run over a set period of time. Gradually you build up your endurance and add more kilometers. This cycle continues until you have run the entire distance of a marathon.

This is very much the same scenario with the Rosary. Perhaps in the initial stages of your "training" you may only include one or two decades of a particular set of mysteries, but once you recited this initial amount of prayers consistently, you will be able to add other decades, perhaps even enough to complete one of the fours sets of the mysteries. As you continue to build up your prayer capacity, you will eventually have "prayed the distance" and crossed the "spiritual finish line."

Once you do recite the entire Rosary each day consistently, you will come to realize that what once seemed impossible, has now become possible. Like a marathon race, your heart and mind must be in the right place to cross the "spiritual finish line." Each day you will experience the joy having said "yes" to Our Lady's message and completed The Rosary: A Marathon of Grace.  

Whether you are new to the Rosary or you recite some of the mysteries or the entire Rosary, pray for the grace to: recite it each day faithfully and completely, with attention, reverence and devotion; to understand the Gospel lessons contained within; to do as Saint John Paul recommended in Rosarium Virginis Mariae—the apostolic letter issued on October 16, 2002, to bishops, clergy and the faithful on the Most Holy Rosary—to contemplate the face of Christ, and the lived Rosary of Our Lady, and to gaze as the apostles did during the Transfiguration (Fourth Luminous Mystery).

Rest assured that I will include all those who endeavour to do this in my daily Rosary.  I would like to conclude this post and leave you with one of Our Lady's messages to think and pray about:
You know that I love you and am coming here out of love, so I could show you the path of peace and salvation for your souls. I want you to listen to me and not permit Satan to seduce you. Dear children, Satan is strong enough! Therefore, I ask you to dedicate your prayers so that those who are under his influence may be saved. Give witness by your life, sacrifice your lives for the salvation of the world. Therefore, little children, do not be afraid. If you pray, Satan cannot injure you, not even a little, because you are God's children and He is watching over you. Pray, and let the Rosary always be in your hands as a sign to Satan that you belong to me." (February 25, 1989)

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Our Lady's Little Stone: Monthly Confession

A photo of confessions taking place at St. James Church, Medjugorje
In Medjugorje, confessions are available everyday beginning at 6:00pm, and lasts well into the evening.

If this post is the first you have heard of Our Lady's "Little Stones," and the apparitions at Medjugorje, then perhaps it best I explain a little bit about Medjugorje and what has happened there since the very early 1980s.

The Blessed Virgin Mary has been appearing to six visionaries since June 24, 1981, all of whom are alive and continue to receive visions from Our Lady. Since then, Our Lady has been giving the visionaries messages for the world. So important are these messages, that many of the laity and clergy have gone on pilgrimages to experience the beautiful hope, love, and peace emanating from Medjugorje. To date, over 40 million pilgrims have gone to and become spiritually adopted in Medjugorje and many, if not all, return home strengthened and renewed.

There have been so many fruits harvested from this spiritual orchard: conversions; vocations to the priesthood and religious life; drug and alcohol recovery; spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical healing; and answers to life questions and many miracles. It was at one of the apparitions that Our Lady communicated the following message:
Dear children, I invite you for your individual conversion. This time is for you! Without you God's plan cannot be realized. Dear children grow day by day closer to God through prayer. I give you the weapon against your Goliath. Here are your little stones:
  • Pray The Rosary With Your Heart - A daily recitation of the entire Rosary, that is, the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries. 
  • Eucharist - Receive the Eucharist on Sunday and when possible, go to daily Mass.
  • Holy Bible - Read the Bible everyday 
  • Fasting - The best fast recommended by Our Lady is, "bread and water" and to be done on Wednesdays and Fridays, from midnight to midnight (the entire day) 
  • Monthly Confession
Our Lady's mission is of peace and love. So important is this mission that the Blessed Mother announced herself as the "Queen of Peace." Our Lady has come to reeducate, convert, and bring us back to God.

To ensure our success and give us the spiritual weapons that will allow us to fight the good fight, Our Lady has given us "little stones," just as God gave to David to battle against Goliath, a stronger and more powerful opponent. (1 Samuel 17Our "little stones" are to be used against our Goliath, the Evil One, the Devil or Satan. As David hurled a little stone at the forehead of Goliath, and sent him to his death, let us hurl our spiritual stone, our monthly confession, and put to death all that the Evil One tries to do to interfere with our faith journey and our daily conversion.  

As to which of the "little stones" to first write about, I purposely chose "Monthly Confession." Entering into this battle, one wants to start off in the best possible manner, and this is what confession provides, a spiritually cleansing and entry into a state of grace. In so doing, we the branches are reconnected to our vine, Jesus Christ, whom acts directly upon our soul through the person of the priest. It is only then, can we begin do anything with Jesus, our Saviour and Redeemer, "I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)  

The importance of confession or the Sacrament of Reconciliation cannot be overstated. Many have responded to Our Lady's request—as the photo published with this post depicts—and it is a well known fact that the demand for confessions in Medjugorje has risen dramatically. Some who have never confessed in twenty or more years, have gone to confession in Medjugorje.

One of the visionaries Vicka Mijatovic's diary entry of the twenty-eighth apparition, July 22, 1981, notes the following communication from Our Lady, "A good many people have been converted and among them some had not gone to Confession in 45 years, and now, they are going to Confession. Go in the peace of God."

Confession is for many, the humble beginnings of a conversion and that is what Our Lady has called us to, conversion. We need to say "yes" to Our Lady by confessing our sins once a month, complying with her request to live her messages. In so doing, we follow Christ in a closer manner and the more we receive this sacrament the better we will be able to do this.

Not only is confession a sacrament that absolves us of our sins, but it is a source of grace that strengthens our souls against relapses, provides us with the fortitude to resist temptations, and grants us a stronger and more determined resolve to follow Christ with a greater love and fidelity.

Through confession, we come to know ourselves better because each confession is preceded by an examination of conscience. Your conscience is the place where you and God meet, where God reveals the truth about yourself. During confession, Jesus provides us with the remedy for all sins and imperfections and; thus, teaches us how to "Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48) Here is another of Our Lady's messages regarding confession:
Open yourselves to Holy Confession so that each of you may accept my call with the whole heart. I am with you and I protect you from the ruin of sin, but you must open yourselves to the way of conversion and holiness, that your heart may burn out of love for God. Give Him time and He will give Himself to you and thus, in the will of God you will discover the love and the joy of living. (November 25, 2012)
Mary is our best teacher in the school of Christ; therefore, let us follow her messages with complete trust as she has requested, "Little children, read every day the messages I gave you and transform them into life. I love you and this is why I call you to the way of salvation with God." (December 25, 1989)

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Triumph Medjugorje Movie: A Follow Up

Mirjana at the moment Our Lady appeared to her (The Triumph)
Today's post is a follow up to my previous post on the The Triumph - Medjugorje Movie Vaughan Screening at AMC Theatres. If you have not heard about this movie or the recent events, let me bring you up to speed. Over this past weekend, The Triumph  movie was shown at AMC 30 Theatres here in Woodbridge, on Saturday, December 7, at 9:30 am. Although this was the second showing, the first was at Colossus Theatres two weeks ago, there was an added afternoon schedule of faith sharing and prayer at a local cathedral.

The Triumph is about the Marian apparitions that began on June 24, 1981, to two of the six visionaries, who were accompanied by the other four the next day on June 25. To these specially selected individuals, Our Blessed Mother appeared to them and announced herself as "Queen of Peace." Ever since that first day, Our Lady Queen of Peace has been giving the visionaries messages for the world.

In case you missed this movie, there will be a DVD release once the theatre screenings have completed their run. You can even sign up to be notified of the DVD availability at the The Triumph web site.

Patrick and Nancy Latta after the movie showing at AMC 30 Theatres

When the movie had finished, Patrick and Nancy Latta (two Canadians who now live in Medjugorje) popped in and gave us a quick testimonial of their lives and the wonderful events that took place in their respective conversions, a perfect conclusion to the movie's end. After all this ended, many of us left for the Good Shepherd Chaldean Catholic Cathedral, where we recited the Rosary and heard Patrick and Nancy speak at length about their conversion experiences and continued with adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament, benediction and Saturday's Vigil Mass.  

Patrick, Nancy and Fr. Casullo on the topic of the gift of priests.

Our Lady understands our needs in the battle we face on this earthly pilgrimage. Our Lady has told us we are fighting a goliath and to fight the good fight, She has given us spiritual weapons, the "little stones," which we can use to hurl, like David, at our Goliath the Evil One. Here are the little stones : 
  1. Pray The Rosary With Your Heart - A daily recitation of the entire Rosary, that is, the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries.
  2. Eucharist - Receive the Eucharist on Sunday and when possible, go to daily Mass.
  3. Holy Bible - Read the Bible everyday
  4. Fasting - The best fast recommended by Our Lady is, "bread and water" and to be done on Wednesdays and Fridays, from midnight to midnight (the entire day)
  5. Monthly Confession
To live Our Lady's messages is serious commitment to want to change for the better, to rid ourselves of all that stands in the way of properly following Jesus Christ, Our Saviour and Redeemer. The above mentioned "little stones" ensures the spiritual progress of our ongoing conversions.

Nancy and Patrick Latta with me after Mass

As you can see from the above photo, I met Patrick and Nancy. If you have never heard of them, they are fellow Canadians who after receiving the call to go to Medjugorje, sold all they had, left nothing behind in Canada, and moved to Medjugorje. Today, they run a successful retreat house in Medjugorje, Our Lady of The Sacred Heart.

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Secularization of The Advent and Christmas Seasons

The Nativity - Jesus, Mary and Joseph

With the ushering in of the Advent Season on Sunday, December 1st you have probably already started to think about Christmas? Today, I would like you to consider adding to your thoughts, the growing trend to secularize the Advent and Christmas Seasons.

Many people will soon begin, if they have not already, to prepare for Christmas by shopping for Christmas gifts, putting up Christmas trees, exterior lights and other home decorations, organize parties, plan family visitations, book vacations and other things. Certainly all this is appropriate, but we must be careful not to let all these activities distract us from our proper and true focus, that is, our interior preparation for the coming of Christ.

Currently, we are in the Advent Season, not the Christmas Season. The Advent Season begins four weeks prior to Christmas day and ends on Christmas Eve. The Christmas Season does not officially begin until the first Vespers of Christmas Eve and extends to the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, which is the Sunday after the Epiphany.

It seems though that Advent and the spirit of the season has been removed from the hearts of minds of many people. Instead of preparing to usher in Christmas in the true Christian sense, many have begun or will soon begin, to enter into the frenzy of Christmas shopping and embrace the secularized consumeristic character of Christmas. I am sure you have already been exposed to the retailers' promotions encouraging this frenzy? Do we really need to have all these Christmas products available at least one month before Christmas? Will not one to two weeks prior to the December 25th suffice? Consumerism is a significant distraction and in my view, constitutes one of the major attacks on the Christian spirit and meaning of both the Advent and Christmas seasons. 

So what is Advent and what is it all about? Advent is the four week period before Christmas when the Church celebrates the first coming of Christ and anticipates His second coming. The word “advent” comes from the Latin adventus (Greek parousia), which means “coming” or “arrival.” Advent is not part of the Christmas season, but a preparation for it. This is why we do not sing Christmas hymns or use Christmas readings in Mass until December 25th, the first day of the Christmas season.

Advent provides us all with an opportunity to continually re-orient ourselves to God’s will as we, together with the entire Church, expectantly wait for the true meaning of Christmas, the incarnation of God the Son. The spirit of Advent should help to arouse in each one of us, an intimate and personal expectation of the renewed coming of Christ in our soul. This “coming” is accomplished through grace and the more it matures in us, the more copious it becomes, penetrating us until it transforms the soul into an alter Christus.  

The question I pose to the visitors of my blog, do you think most people are focussing on the true meaning and spirit of the Advent Season? Of course, no one knows the complete answer to this, but we can get a strong sense from our observations and interactions with others. To help answer my question, consider taking a survey of who amongst your family members, friends, colleagues and coworkers, neighbours, those who you communicate and come into contact with, have encouraged you in any way to focus on the spiritual activities associated with the Advent and Christmas seasons. Has there been any mention as what you can do to prepare for Christ's coming in your soul? If the results of your survey yields an overwhelming "no," "no one" or "very few," then it probably is very typical. It is a symptom of the major problem of consumerism and secularism as a whole, which does not limit itself to the Advent and Christmas seasons.

A reoccurring secular pattern in the past several years, during the Advent and Christmas Seasons, has been the greeting of "Happy Holidays" as a replacement for the proper greeting of "Merry Christmas." I am sure that most of us have experienced it. It is sad that so many are willing to throw Christ out of Christmas with such a greeting. Whether they realize it or not, this is exactly what they do. In my view, the "Happy Holidays" greeting represents another major attack on the true meaning and spirit of the Advent and Christmas seasons. It only begs the question, what are we going to do about it? 

As active and practicing Christians, we as Catholics have a responsibility to act upon the secularization of the Advent and Christmas Seasons. In the face of this growing secular trend here in our community in Woodbridge, we must meet that challenge and correct those that greet us without Christ. To do so, is proper to our call to "labour in the vineyard of the Lord," as noted in Pope John Paul II's document, Christifideles Laici, a Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the vocation and the mission of the lay faithful in the Church and the world:  
...[L]ay people as well are personally called by the Lord, from whom they receive a mission on behalf of the Church and the world...Keep watch over your manner of life, dear people, and make sure that you are indeed the Lord's labourers. Each person should take into account what he does and consider if he is labouring in the vineyard of the Lord. (2)
What are some of the possibilities for us to "labour in the vineyard?" In addition to the obvious of responding to someone's "Happy Holidays," with your "Merry Christmas," consider taking an extra 5-10 minutes to speak with the manager of a retail outlet, store or organization and inquiry as to why employees are throwing Christ out of Christmas with their "Happy Holiday" greetings to customers. You can simply argue that you are not only a customer, but a Catholic customer and you find it offensive and do not appreciate that company personnel in their communications with customers, exclude Christ from Christmas.  

Consider "labouring for Christ in His vineyard" by being more attentive to the purchase of Christmas cards, ensuring that it is a true Christmas card with the greeting of, "Merry Christmas." Do not be fooled by what may appear to be a Christmas card. Some may look like Christmas cards, but contain very little Christmas content. Others may contain content that is most inappropriate for such a card. Examples might be with respect to improper humour, references that have nothing to do with Christ and content that draws one's heart and mind away from the true meaning of Christmas.

Consider "labouring in the vineyard" with regard to shopping decisions for Christmas presents. We all have Christmas shopping to do. Why not ensure that your dollars are spent at a store that actually has "Merry Christmas" on display. If a store has, "Happy Holidays," one way you can protest the secularization of Christmas is not to shop at that location. If you see calendars, posters and banners in stores that say, "Happy Holidays," why not speak to the manager and inquire about the rational for such displays? This is what you can do to put faith into action. (James 2:14-18)  Let us not allow Edmund Burke's quote, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing," to become our community reality this year. Let us stem the tide of the secularism and help restore Christ in the hearts and minds in our community. Do not let those in our community who carelessly ignore the true meaning of Christmas get away with it. It is up to us to make a difference and put Christ back in Christmas.

As always, our communications should be respectful and maintain a calm and considerate tone, with an attitude of charity and mercy. This is especially important when we are the recipients of opposite treatment: hostility, anger, misunderstanding and a sharp rebuke. Our response must always be a Christian one. Above all, we must not judge those whose faith is less than our own or perhaps minimal, if anything at all. We must pray for them and show them by our example what Advent and Christmas is all about.

Christ will never be removed from the Advent and Christmas seasons, because many of us know, understanding and live the truth. It will never be a "Happy Season." It will always be the Advent and Christmas Seasons!

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Triumph: Medjugorje Movie Vaughan Screening at AMC Theatres

The Triumph is a powerful new documentary film about a miracle taking place in a village in Bosnia-Herzegovina; a miracle with global implications. This movie is playing at AMC Theaters on December 7th at 9:30am. Yes, I wrote "am" in the morning, that is not a "typo." Tickets are $12.00 for adults, and $6.00 for youth and students. To purchase tickets now, click on this link, Vaughan Screening. For more information about the movie, please visit the home page at

If you are new to Medjugorje, here are some details to bring you "up to speed." Our Lady first appeared on June 24, 1981 on the Feast of St. John The Baptist to the first two of six visionaries, Ivanka Elez and Mirjana Soldo. She later appeared to the other four: Marija Lunetti, Jakov Colo, Ivan Dragicevic and Vicka Mijatovic. At these apparitions, Our Lady Queen of Peace as she has entitled herself, has prayed with the visionaries, granted blessings and given messages for the world. The four basic messages of Our Lady are: prayer, peace, fasting and penance. Here is Our Lady's basic messages in Her own words on June 6, 1988:
Dear children, it’s going to be seven years soon that I have been coming to you. I ask you to renew in yourselves the messages I have given to you. These are messages of prayer, peace, fasting, and penance. Make some penance yourselves. All of the other messages come from these four basic ones, but also live the other ones. Thank you for responding to my call. I am your Mother. Open your heart to the grace.
The most important message to understand from her basic messages is the call to conversion. Our Lady stated on February 25, 1996, “Dear children! Today I invite you to conversion. This is the most important message that I have given you here…” Part of that conversion process includes prayer.
Medjugorje is not officially recognized by the Catholic Church, but Canon Law allows for devotions even when the process of approval has already begun and is on going. In the interim, the faithful are permitted to go on pilgrimages to Medjugorje. So important is Medjugorje that Pope John Paul II had encouraged pilgrims at Medjugorje. This was revealed to us by Mirjana, one of the first two visionaries to see Our Lady on June 24th, 1981, who was quoted in an interview when she saw Pope John Paul II at the Vatican:
...(Mirjana) What are you trying to tell me?” Then we talked. Among other things he said to me, (Pope John Paul II) “I know everything about Medjugorje. I’ve been following Medjugorje. Ask pilgrims to pray for my intentions, to keep, to take good care of Medjugorje, because Medjugorje is hope for the entire world. And if I were not Pope, I would have been in Medjugorje a long time ago....
You can read the full interview at Deacon John Giglio's Blog. In that interview, Mirjana also speaks about Pope John Paul II giving his shoes to be placed at Apparition Mountain, which now are at Mirjana's hotel, next to her home in Medjugorje.

I have yet to see this movie, but that will soon change on December 7. To all those who will attend the AMC Vaughan screening, see you there!  

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The New Age: The Human Person, God and The World

New Age Practices - Rolfing, Homeopathy, Polarity Massage & Biofeedback

Like my previous posts on the New Age, today's post specifically draws from the Vatican document, Jesus Christ The Bearer of The Water of Life, a joint effort by the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Council For Interreligious Dialogue. The focus of this post will be on what the New Age says about the human person, God, and the world. I will conclude with a section on why the New Age has grown so rapidly, and spread so effectively.  

If you are not familiar with the topic of the New Age or unclear as to what it is all about, you are probably not alone. The subject matter can be somewhat ambiguous, and at times, difficult to absorb and recall. This is one of the reasons why I have chosen to deal with the aforementioned document in selected sections. To do otherwise would inundate any visitor to my blog with too much information.

In a "nut shell," the New Age is basically is an alternative view of the world that differs substantially from the Christian tradition. At times the differences can be a sharp contrast, and a complete contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Any serious reading about the New Age will require you to run the gauntlet of unfamiliar ideas, perspectives, approaches, practices, attitudes and thinking. I have run through this gauntlet a few times, and my posts on the New Age are aimed at making your run an easier one.

Today's post forms part of a series of posts that I have been developing to expose the New Age within my community, and bring awareness to others. You might want to consider reading my previous posts on the New Age to strengthen your understandingThe New Age: A Basic Introduction  and The New Age: Further Aspects

What does the New Age say about the human person?

Fundamental to the New Age thinking with respect to the human person is the belief that we can achieve perfection solely by implementing a variety of techniques and therapies, available to us for the choosing. This is in sharp contrast, and a total contradiction to the Christian tradition which views perfection as something we can certainly strive for, but only available and achievable by divine intervention; that is, grace.

The New Age views one's "self" as the source of fulfillment because apparently, available to us are a set of values which we can create and achieve with our own strength. So, there is no need for a higher authority, nor a recognition of God's role in our lives. It is all about us, and our decisions. As a matter of fact, the New Age view of the human person is in accord with Nietzsche's idea that Christianity has prevented the "full manifestation of genuine humanity." (

So how does the New Age reveal each individual's "divine power." From the New Age perspective, the answer is "mind expanding" techniques. These "techniques" amount to the exaltation of humanity, which points to the second major contradiction with Christianity because it overturns the correct relationship between Creator and created being.

This rebellious spirit is characteristic of the Evil One, who desired to be held in high regard, and worshipped when refusing to accept the Father's plan for humanity with the life and death of Christ. An example of one of the more extreme forms of this self fulfilling mind expanding process is Satanism. ( Some of the characteristics of Satanism are: selfishness, aggression and violence. This contrasts the message of the New Testament of peace and harmony.

The esoteric culture that this New Age approach to the human person promotes has infiltrated the realm of politics, education, legislation and ecology. In particular, the New Age view of the human person is certainly evident in ecology, where people illustrate by a variety of methods, the preference and belief in the "self" and their negation of God. Examples are such efforts are population control strategies and genetic engineering. In essence, this amounts to "playing God" with life which spotlights another contradiction. God is the author of life, and life is sacred specifically because of God's creative act when each human being is conceived. This truth is completely ignored in the New Age view of the person.

Some other ideas of the human person that stems from the New Age thinking are: we are co-creators, we create our own reality, there is no sin only imperfect knowledge, the identity of every person is diluted in the universe. There is more to this list, but you get the general idea of how alternative the New Age thinking is with respect to the human person.

What does the New Age say about God?

The New Age does not recognize and acknowledge the one and true God of Israel, but has a preference for Eastern or pre-Christian religions, which according to the New Age view, have not been "contaminated" by the Judaeo-Christian traditions. This paves the way for the New Age to seek a whole host of alternative ideas, and approaches that has a very anti-Christian character about it.

You will find in reading about the New Age, the intentional use of the word, "God," is never in reference to the Holy Trinity. It is always some alternative false god. The New Age god is not a personal one, but impersonal; nor is their god a sustainer of the universe, but an "impersonal energy" existing throughout the world in some sort of "cosmic unity." ( This so called unity is referred to as: monistic, pantheistic and more precisely, panentheistic. Although, the document, Jesus Christ The Bearer of The Water of Life, does not get into their specific meanings, I thought to provide a brief definition of each:

  • Monism - is a philosophical position which argues that the variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance. The wide definition states that all existing things go back to a source which is distinct from them. The common, restricted definition implies also a unity of substance and essence. Contrasting with monism are metaphysical dualism  and metaphysical pluralism.The term monism originates in western philosophy, but has also been applied to religions.
  • Pantheism - The idea that all things are both a manifestation or revelation of God and a part of God at the same time. Pantheism was a common attitude in the early societies of Egypt, India, and Greece—the term derives from the Greek pan meaning "all" and theos meaning "deity. A pantheist is someone who believes that God and the universe are the same.
  • Panentheism - (from Greek πᾶν (pân) "all"; ἐν (en) "in"; and θεός (theós) "God"; "all-in-God") is a belief system which posits that the divine (be it a monotheistic God, polytheistic gods, or an eternal cosmic animating force) interpenetrates every part of nature and timelessly extends beyond it. Panentheism differentiates itself from pantheism, which holds that the divine is synonymous with the universe.

Perhaps the most contrasting aspect of the New Age's view of God is with respect to the use of the word "Christ." The New Age does not speak or refer to "Christ" as in Jesus of Nazareth, the Saviour and Redeemer of the world, but refers to a state of consciousness that one arrives at where the individual perceives himself or herself as being divine. ( For the New Age, Jesus of Nazareth was not the "anointed one" or Christ, but one of many historical figures in whom the "Christic" nature is revealed.

If this wasn't enough, the New Age calls what they consider to be the "holy spirit" (not in the true Christian meaning) as the "innermost and personal ("psychic") level on which "divine cosmic energy" is "heard."

What does the New Age say about the world?

The New Age's view of the world is not only alternative, but perhaps one of the most challenging views to comprehend. The New Age does not accept the traditional mechanistic model of classic physics, but instead proposes a "holistic" world. This so called "holistic" world is one of modern atomic and sub-atomic physics, based on the concept of matter as waves or energy as opposed to particles. ( According to this alternative view of the world, the "universe is an ocean of energy, which is a single whole or networks of links." What the New Age refers to as spirit is the energy animating the universe.

Why has the New Age has grown so rapidly and spread so effectively?

The New Age appeals to many individuals because it promotes much of what today's culture promotes, the "self." Many people are rejecting the traditional Christian tradition, yet are still seek some spiritual fulfillment. This is where the New Age "captures" those searching souls with enticing language and a wide variety of practices, therapies, ideas and approaches to choose from.

The New Age approach attempts to provide warmth to those who have experienced harshness in the world, operating on the level of feelings and emotions. In reaction to all of the world's problems, be it political, economic, social or environmental, the New Age encourages individuals to seek an alternative, "harmonious" relationship with the cosmos. (2.5

The New Age broadens its appeal with a rejection of morality. Moral people are considered intolerant of others. In an atmosphere where "anything goes," being different and alternative is not only acceptable, but preferable. In most cases, it is not so much being a member of a group or organization, but more a result of an attraction to therapies and practices, without understanding or having full knowledge of them. The Vatican document, Jesus Christ The Bearer of The Water of Life, provides an example of such a scenario when those who use aromatherapy or listen to New Age music are interested in the health effects and benefits for their well being, but only a minority will actually seek the truth behind the experience. (2.5)

If you have read this post, and my two previous posts on the New Age, together with Jesus Christ The Bearer of The Water of Life, then you have made it through the "gauntlet." The remainder of this Vatican document beginning from section three, New Age and Christian Faith, is a relatively easy read that specifically focuses on the contrasting spiritualities between Christianity and the New Age.   

For what ever reason, Jesus Christ The Bearer of The Water of Life, has not received the kind of attention it deserves considering how the New Age has infiltrated into the main stream culture. For those who have not read it, I hope my posts will encourage you to do so. May it strengthen your understanding, and empower you to share it with others. We need to be better informed about the spiritual threats to our respective communities. This document certainly helps in that process. May all who endeavour to spread awareness be successful in their efforts.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Christ The King and Pope Pius XI's Encyclical Quas Primas

Pope Pius XI (1922-1939) and an image of Christ The King

Today, the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of Christ The King, originally instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925, in response to the evils of the day, and to help remedy the reality that the majority of the laity had discarded Christ's royal authority and inclusion in their lives.

The absence of Christ in the hearts and minds of so many individuals was made evident by the fact that Christ had been removed from private affairs and politics. In response to this spiritual crisis, Pope Pius XI instituted the Solemnity of Christ The King; a feast to be celebrated by the entire Universal Church during the last week of the liturgical year. 

To accompany this insertion into the liturgical calendar, Pope Pius XI issued the encyclical, Quas Primas (In The First); a necessary reading for anyone who truly wants to fully understand this solemnity.

One of the most important points in Quas Primas is located within the first paragraph where Pope Pius XI stated, "...[A]s long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ." (1) It is a message that is very applicable in today's state of affairs in the Church and in the world. 

How fitting a read this encyclical is with Advent, the beginning of the liturgical year, just one week away.

In reading Quas Primas, it becomes evident very quickly just how dear a subject this was for Pope Pius XI. Not only had he acceded to the demands of many of the Cardinals, Bishops and lay faithful, by inserting the solemnity of "the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ," issuing this encyclical in the process, but he wrote it in such a way that it is sure to kindle in the heart of the the reader a strong desire to insert Christ as King in each one's life. Here is what he expressed in his own words:
It has long been a common custom to give to Christ the metaphorical title of 'King,' because of the high degree of perfection whereby he excels all creatures. So he is said to reign 'in the hearts of men,' both by reason of the keenness of his intellect and the extent of his knowledge, and also because he is very truth, and it is from him that truth must be obediently received by all mankind. He reigns, too, in the wills of men, for in him the human will was perfectly and entirely obedient to the Holy Will of God, and further by his grace and inspiration he so subjects our free-will as to incite us to the most noble endeavors. He is King of hearts, too, by reason of his 'charity which exceedeth all knowledge.' And his mercy and kindness which draw all men to him, for never has it been known, nor will it ever be, that man be loved so much and so universally as Jesus Christ. But if we ponder this matter more deeply, we cannot but see that the title and the power of King belongs to Christ as man in the strict and proper sense too. For it is only as man that he may be said to have received from the Father 'power and glory and a kingdom,' since the Word of God, as consubstantial with the Father, has all things in common with him, and therefore has necessarily supreme and absolute dominion over all things created. (7) 
Pope Pius XI went on to cite references that further spotlighted Christ as King; scripture references from Numbers and the Psalms, and the testimony from the Prophets Isaias, Jeremias, Daniel and Zachary. He also quoted the Archangel Gabriel's announcement to the Blessed Virgin Mary of the bearing of the Son of God, that "...[T]he Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father, and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." (10)

Pope Pius XI noted that it was Christ himself who spoke of his own kingly authority when publicly questioned by the Roman magistrate, and also when He appeared to the Apostles and called himself "king" and declaring publicly that "...[A]ll power was given him in heaven and on earth." (11)

In addition, Pope Pius XI also explained the nature and meaning of the lordship of Christ, that our Redeemer's empire embraces all men. He quoted Pope Leo XIII on this point, "His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ." (18)  

Pope Pius XI stressed that there is great significance for a society that embraces Christ as king. Only in a society that acknowledges this, can its leaders preserve their authority and increase prosperity amongst its citizens. However, when a society moves in the opposite direction; that is, excluding God from political life, and with authority derived not from God, but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the fundamental reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been removed. What results is a society "...[T]ottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation." (18) 

The Solemnity of Christ The King was established to remedy the needs of the last century; a lesson that we can learn from in our own time, one that is inflicted with so many evils in society.

How pertinent and relevant are Pope Pius XI's words for today's Canadian society. In Pope Pius XI's time, anti-clerical attitudes brought on by the spirit of evil, encouraged men to error and to impious activities. What resulted then, was much of what has continued today, as Pope Pius VI states:
...The empire of Christ over all nations was rejected. The right which the Church has from Christ himself, to teach mankind, to make laws, to govern peoples in all that pertains to their eternal salvation, that right was denied. Then gradually the religion of Christ came to be likened to false religions and to be placed ignominiously on the same level with them. It was then put under the power of the state and tolerated more or less at the whim of princes and rulers. Some men went even further, and wished to set up in the place of God's religion a natural religion consisting in some instinctive affection of the heart. There were even some nations who thought they could dispense with God, and that their religion should consist in impiety and the neglect of God. The rebellion of individuals and states against the authority of Christ has produced deplorable consequences...(24)
What have our political leaders done to recognize Christ as King. Are we not witnessing in our own day anti-Christian attitudes, indifference to Christ, and an overall secular mentality that has gripped the national psyche. Do our laws reflect moral and ethical thinking rooted in Christianity. Should our laws not be a continuation of Canada's Christian heritage. Was not our nation founded by Christian people, the French and the British, and among them many Catholic missionaries and Orders that evangelized and converted so many in what was then considered to be the "New World." Sadly, in today's Canadian political life, "God and Christ" has been removed by those who have been entrusted to work and build for the common good.  

Need proof of Christ's removal from the Canadian political landscape? All you have to do is look to Canada's most recent abortion history, the chronology of laws that have made abortion legal and available on demand. This is "proof positive" not only of a lack of respect for human life, but a rebellion against God, a defiance of God and his holy laws, which are characteristic of the spirit of evil.

Abortion directly contradict's God's holy law of "thou shall not kill." (Exodus 20:13) It is a commandment that Jesus reminds the rich man, who asked Jesus as to how he may have eternal life? Jesus replied, "...You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal..." (Matthew 19:18

With the 1969 omnibus bill, the murder of babies in the womb, euphemistically referred to as, "therapeutic abortions" was ushered in for use in hospitals. Hospital committees determined when a pregnancy "qualified" for an abortion and in almost every case, hospitals approved abortions. The truth is that the 1969, omnibus bill became a "carte blanche" to perform abortions, which eventually became available on demand in 1988, with the infamous Dr. Morgantaler's constitutional challenge. It was a challenge which resulted in the Supreme Court of Canada striking down section 251 of the Criminal Code, the section governing abortion, declaring it unconstitutional. From that point on, there was no legal restriction against abortion, nor was it considered criminal activity.

Most recently, we are confronted with another life threatening issue: euthanasia. In Quebec, Bill 52 an effort to legalize euthanasia, was proposed under the euphemistic title, An Act respecting end-of-life care

In the province of British Columbia in October 2013, The BC Court of Appeal had struck down the decision by Justice Smith and upheld the current laws which protect Canadians from euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Sentiments in favour of euthanasia have also been echoed by Ontario's premier Kathleen Wynne who has publicly proposed that Canada should have a national debate on euthanasia. 

Any discussion on euthanasia and any proposed bill is an effort to rationalize the legalized killing of Canadians. Proponents for euthanasia may have a litany of excuses as to why euthanasia should be legalized: the ending of suffering; too costly for the state to treat the individual; performed at the request of the patient; and terminal illness. What ever the arguments for euthanasia are, it does not negate the fact that one individual is killing another individual. Here in Canada, we call this murder. Not only is murder against God's holy law, but it ignores the sacredness of human life, a sacredness which is noted and clearly defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church's Article 5 The Fifth Commandment:
Human life if sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being. (2258)
As Pope Pius XI pointed out, it is only as when the Kingdom of Christ is received by nations that happiness will abound amongst all men, individuals, and families. Pope Pius XI saw the wisdom in not only announcing "Christ The King," but inserting His kingship as an annual feast to properly encourage it and reach all the faithful. Announcements only reach a privileged few, but feasts reach everyone!

I hope that the Solemnity of Christ The King will become better known and understood by all in the Church, and that it will result in the restoration of Christ in society. It is a hope that Pope Pius XI also expressed in 1925, "We firmly hope, however, that the feast of the Kingship of Christ, which in future will be yearly observed, may hasten the return of society to our loving Savior. It would be the duty of Catholics to do all they can to bring about this happy result." (24) 

May God grant us all the grace to understand the importance of Christ's kingship and accept His royal authority in our lives.