Posts by popemichael

The Real Meaning of Penance

Posted by on Dec 5, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

John the Baptist said: “Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2) A footnote in the Bible says: “Penance: Which word, according to the use of the scriptures and the holy fathers, does not only signify repentance and amendment of life, but also punishing past sins by fasting, and such like penitential exercises.”

Dear friends,

Before we consider the above, We would like to remind everyone that Saturday, December 7th is the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception, a day of fast and partial abstinence. Wednesday, December 18, is Ember Wednesday with the customary fasting and partial abstinence. Friday and Saturday (20 and 21) of that week are also Ember Days with the Customary fasting. Abstinence is full on Fridays as it is on all Fridays, and partial on Saturday.

Penance here consists of three things. The first is repentance of our sins, which is a good things to remember in this penitential season of Advent. And so repent of your sins and confess them to a priest sent from God. The next essential step is amendment of our life. The Fathers of the Church tell us that conversion is a complete change of customs and habits. Go now and sin no more, Jesus advised two different people in the Gospels.

Once we have repented and asked God to help us change our customs and habits in order to amend our life, then we are ready to undertake penitential exercises. These go beyond the weak fast laws of today and should be tailored to bring our body into subjection. (I Corinthians 9:27)

When we read the word penance let us remember what it truly means.

Have a Blessed Advent,

+Michael pp

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A Sacred Moment

Posted by on Oct 26, 2019 in Sanctification | 0 comments

A Sacred Moment

Dear friends,

Yesterday We had a sacred moment. While reading and taking to heart some material, We had a sacred moment. Recently we closed down the VIE Catholic radio station and replaced it with podcasts, flowing from programs we produced here to make these podcasts. The new format makes it easier for people to hear what they want to hear, when they want to hear it, which is a great improvement over the internet radio station approach. The project is called Encouragement For Today, and don’t we all need encouragement in our Christian walk? https://www.encouragementfortoday.com/ One of the podcasts is Sacred Moments, and We believe is an important concept. We all need to have sacred moments, whether from a podcast or from something we read, something that comes to mind, an event in our life, etc. If we are not returning to God spontaneously on occasion, then we need to check into our spiritual life. We pray you find the podcasts inspiring and look forward to your feedback.

+Michael pp

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September Ember Week

Posted by on Sep 15, 2019 in Sanctification | 1 comment

I could use two secretaries. I do almost nothing during the day but write letters. I am a conventual preacher, reader at meals, parochial preacher, director of studies, overseer of eleven monasteries, superintendent of the fish pond at Litzkau, referee of the squabble at Torgau, lecturer on Paul, collector of material for a commentary on the Psalms, and then, as I said, I am overwhelmed with letters. I rarely have full time for the canonical hours and for saying Mass, not to mention my own temptations with the world, the flesh, and the Devil. You see how lazy I am.”

In looking at Our own life, We could rattle off a list of things as this man did in a letter above over five centuries ago. In fact, as We were writing this, an interruption came in, and We see a squabble brewing elsewhere, that We will have to deal with. Actually this man omitted something very important, setting aside time for prayer. (I will tell you who he was in a moment.) Four times a year, we are given three days to bring us back on course, the Ember Days. This year in the fall, they are Wednesday, September 18, Friday September 20 and Saturday, September 21. In addition to the customary fasting the Ember Week is ideal for focusing on our spiritual life and getting back on track, if we have wandered off. And consider the distractions of summer, that can take us from what is truly important. We are entering fall. It is time to tune up our spiritual life and restore prayer to the first place, if it has slipped from there.

This man was Martin Luther, and this letter written before he defected from the Faith. A fall from a serious life of prayer leads to apostasy. Pray or die are our options. This Ember Week, we plan on spending Our spare time in considering some changes in Our life. This week sees Us occupied every day with something that would go on the list above.

“But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided.” (I Corinthians 7:33) As we can see from Martin Luther, our lives can become divided even without having a wife. Our own division is caused in part by Our wife, the Church. In the early centuries of the Church, Bishops were considered to be married to their own church, which we call a diocese today. So, when a man became Bishop of a diocese, he was Bishop until death did part him from his diocese. He was not transferred to another.

“But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42) Let us also choose to be at the feet of Jesus as much as duty will allow. Today’s sermon is on Spiritual Communion, and although We leave in thirty minutes for two Masses and 350 miles traveling, it is not yet printed out. We hope to prepare it also for the new podcasts, which are replacing the internet radio station, which became too much of a burden with our limited resources here. Also for the Olive Tree.

Let us withdraw from the world as much as duty will allow this Ember Week and enjoy the best part. Let us make Spiritual Communions as well: “I believe that Thou, O Jesus, art in the most Most Holy Sacrament! I love Thee and desire Thee! Come into my heart. I embrace Thee; oh, never leave me! Never let me leave Thee!”

Oremus,

+Michael pp

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Spiritual Communion

Posted by on Sep 2, 2019 in Pope Michael, Sanctification | 0 comments

Saint John Vianney tells us that the whole life of a Christian should be a preparation to receive Holy Communion.

Dear friends in Christ,

Except for helping a friend get to and from work today, this morning there were no plans. After making a 350 mile round trip for a mission in south central Kansas We are ready for a break and planned on finding something to send to you. And then the work arrived. First something for Our Daily Passion Podcast website. And then a thought, which We are expanding.

In this time of apostasy it is difficult to find a place where a Mass is celebrated that is pleasing to Almighty God. Several things have made Our trips to southern Kansas difficult, causing several of Our bi-weekly visits to be cut off. We were discussing the spiritual losses from inability to assist at Mass and receive the Holy Eucharist.

How should we prepare to receive Holy Communion? We see above our whole life is a preparation. Much can be said on this, but We ask you to consider this in your hour of prayer. We began with thinking about Spiritual Communion, and opened the appropriate file. While We were reviewing Our notes, a thought came to Our mind. What about preparing something more specific on preparing for Holy Communion. And then another thought for later on, preparing a series of considerations to help us become far more sincere in living the Catholic way of life, for Catholicism is not a religion, but a way of life.

Let us return to Spiritual Communion. Saint Alphonsus tells us: “How pleasing these spiritual Communions are to God, and the many graces which he bestows through their means, was manifested by our Lord himself to Sister Paula Maresca, the foundress of the convent of St. Catharine of Sienna in Naples, when (as it is related in her life) he showed her two precious vessels, the one of gold, the other of silver. He then told her that in the gold vessel he preserved her sacramental Communions, and in the silver one her spiritual Communions. He also told Blessed Jane of the Cross that each time that she communicated spiritually she received a grace of the same kind as, the one that she received when she really communicated. Above all, it will suffice for us to know that the holy Council of Trent greatly praises spiritual Communions, and encourages the faithful to practise them.” He continues that we can make a Spiritual Communion anytime we want. Unlike actual Communion, we do not have to be fasting. In fact Spiritual Communion is a good preparation for Sacramental Communion.

One may find prayers in prayer books that will help, but our prayer must reflect the dispositions of our heart and not be mere words. When We make a brief visit to the chapel or at other times We recite a prayer adapted from Saint Alphonsus, who preovides several prayers. (We hope to publish something on this, first for the Olive Tree and later something in more depth.) “I believe that Thou, O Jesus, art in the most Most Holy Sacrament! I love Thee and desire Thee! Come into my heart. I embrace Thee; oh, never leave me! Never let me leave Thee!” Do we truly desire Jesus to come into our heart and soul and change them?

Through Spiritual Communion we can come close to Jesus and welcome Him into our hearts, which is what we desire. Let us bring the holy practice of Spiritual Communion into our prayer life, especially as part of our more formal times of prayer, such as morning and evening prayers.

We now return to labor on this Labor Day in the United States.

+Michael pp

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Saint Peter’s Chains

Posted by on Aug 1, 2019 in Catholic Action, Pope Michael, Sanctification | 0 comments

This consideration is being prepared mainly for Facebook, but will be shared with all, because We believe it is important. Let us begin with the story of today’s Feast, Saint Peter’s Chains.

“And he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword. And seeing that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take up Peter also. Now it was in the days of the Azymes.” (Acts 12:2-3)

Please continue to read on your own later on. Peter was imprisoned. Today many consider the Church imprisoned by the officials possessing the buildings in Rome, which once belonged to the Church. And what is their reaction? There is much saber rattling, about storming Rome some day, and running the bums out, if we could get enough people together. This has been going on for decades, but noting has been done.

What did the Church do, when Peter was imprisoned? Acts (2:5) gives us the answer: “Peter therefore was kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the church unto God for him.” The Church in Jerusalem did not gather together and make a plan to break Peter out of prison. They did not gather together and talk about how evil Herod was. No, they gathered together to do what is truly important, take this problem and present it to God in prayer, and ask Him for a solution. Read the rest of the story and find out how God answered their prayer.

We are all in agreement, that the Church is in a severe crisis. What people differ in is the extent and conditions of the crisis. People waste a lot of time in trying to define these points and in complaining about the causes of the crisis. What we do not hear is a call for prayer and fasting asking God to end the crisis. “But prayer was made without ceasing by the church unto God.” We have defined a few misunderstood points, but are taking Our own time in developing them. The reason is simple. “For whereas for the time you ought to be masters, you have need to be taught again what are the first elements of the words of God: and you are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” (Hebrews 5:12) People are still little babes in the spiritual life, and can understand these points about as well as a baby can understand the History of the Church. What we need first is to grow up as saints, and be ready for the meat and potatoes of the spiritual life.

Let us go over to Saint Paul. Read, beginning at I Corinthians 2:11 and continue to I Corinthians 3:5. Yes, we are giving you a reading assignment, because this is how we grow up, by taking and reading for ourselves. Saint Paul contrasts three kinds of people, sensual, carnal and spiritual. Now, we are called to be spiritual, because only the spiritual are ready for meat, as Saint Paul says: “I gave you milk to drink, not meat; for you were not able as yet. But neither indeed are you now able; for you are yet carnal.” (I Corinthians 3:2) At least the carnal are ready for milk, and there is some hope they will grow up. The sensual are in far worse shape. The Douay defines the sensual as: “he who measureth divine mysteries by natural reason, sense, and human wisdom only.” How many today are applying natural reason to spiritual concepts. No wonder, people cannot figure things out. It is like trying to measure air pressure with a light meter, instead of a barometer.

And so, let us begin growing up spiritually. At the website, there is a resource, that may be helpful here: https://www.vaticaninexile.com/olive_tree_archives.php Also recommended is Sacred Moments from the VIE Catholic Radio. https://www.viecatholicradio.com/program_guide.php

And so, let us pray fervently and without ceasing, (I Thessalonians 5:17)

+Michael pp

Complete definition of the sensual man from the Douay: “The sensual man is either he who is taken up with sensual pleasures, with carnal and worldly affections; or he who measureth divine mysteries by natural reason, sense, and human wisdom only. Now such a man has little or no notion of the things of God. Whereas the spiritual man is he who, in the mysteries of religion, takes not human sense for his guide: but submits his judgment to the decisions of the church, which he is commanded to hear and obey. For Christ hath promised to remain to the end of the world with his church, and to direct her in all things by the Spirit of truth.”

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