Friday, June 24, 2016


The global attitude in these days is one of mistrust in governments, large and small. Let's face it: governmental track records of selfishness, intrusion into religious beliefs, and the neglect of individual freedoms has everyone concerned.

The UK's voting to leave the European Union is one such outcome and there will be more. The world is forever changing and changed so we cannot trust in men or governments. We have our trust in God who never changes.

1 John 2:15-17 
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any [one loves] the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides forever.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Down Under and Plain

We're heading into winter here in New Zealand. We've been busy harvesting the garden and storing the food for winter. We've pulled our coats out of storage and checked our boots for repairs.

Our northern hemisphere Plain Catholics are just now seeing their gardens sprout and are going into summer. They've pulled their summer clothing out of storage and cleaned and stored their winter wear.

Somehow we feel connected to our Plain Catholic friends where ever they may live. Our daily lives are much the same - governed by the seasons, the liturgical and the agricultural.

Keeping everyone in prayer as we continue to praise our Lord together in every time zone.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Matthew 28:

He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.

May this beloved and precious day of Resurrection bless you and urge you on in seeking God's Will for your life.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Prayer needed

Please keep in prayer the families and the religious sisters of the Missionaries of Charity who endured martyrdom in Yemen. You can read more here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Power corrupts...

Sir John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton is most famously known for his oft-quoted 
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

A Catholic who was a member of the House of Commons in Great Britain's Parliament, Sir John had a great affection for historic research and the history of liberty in particular. In the USA presidential election year focus we hear and see examples of his quote play out repeatedly. 

In his homily, Msgr. Pope teaches us about the Biblical Warning on the Nature of Centralized Government in I Samuel 8 when the Jews begged for a king to be appointed over them. I highly recommend reading this.

Some fruitful thoughts for this coming election.

“When you break the big laws, you do not get liberty; you do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws.” Indeed, we get thousands of lesser laws." GK Chesterton  

Be careful what you wish for... or who you vote for.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Paradox of God's Power

Msgr. Pope has excellent teachings on his blog. He is able to relate the most complex concepts into language easily understood by the average person. Enjoy! (apologies for the formatting difficulties).

Stir Up Your Power and Come, Lord! An Advent Meditation on the Paradox of God’s Power 
Msgr. Charles Pope • December 16, 2015   
One of the great cries of Advent is for God to rend the heavens and come down (Is 64:1), for Him to stir up his mighty power and come to save us (Ps 80:2). But what is it that we really seek? Is it armies with thunder and lightning? Is it vindication and peace on our terms? In a way, it is a dangerous cry if we mean it that way, for who of us can say that no wrath should come to us but only to those other people who deserve it? If God should come in thunderous judgement, are you and I really so sure we could endure and be numbered among the just?
It is clear that we need the Lord to save us, but is that salvation seen only in earthly terms where salvation is from my enemies and I myself remain largely unharmed?
In the final essay of volume 11 of his collected works (which I just finished reading), Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict) ponders a similar Advent theme. I’d like to present his reflections, and add a few of my own. In a sermon from December 2003, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger taught,
Stir up your might O Lord and come! This was the cry of Israel in exile … this was the cry of the disciples on the Sea of Galilee [in the storm] “Wake up O Lord and help us!” … And throughout all of history, the little bark of the Church travels in stormy waters … Stir up your might and come!… What really is this might of God that seems to be asleep and must be wakened? St. Paul gives the answer in 1 Corinthians when he says that Christ the Crucified One, who is foolishness and weakness to men, is the wisdom and power of God.Therefore, when we ask for this real power of God, we are not asking for more money for the Church, for more buildings, for more structures, for more political influence. We are praying for this special, entirely different power of God. We are praying with the awareness that he comes in a powerful way that seems to the world to be weakness and foolishness (Joseph Ratzinger, Collected Works, Vol 11: 595-596).
Yes, here is the paradox of God’s power: He defeats Satan’s pride by the humility of His Son; disobedience and the refusal to be under any authority are defeated by the obedience and submission of Jesus.
Once stirred, God’s power will not always—or even often—manifest itself in thunder and lightning or in armies that shatter and destroy. Rather, His “strong and outstretched arm” is often found nailed and bloody on the cross. Yet here, and in this way, he defeats Satan. How? Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hatred cannot drive out hatred; only love can do that. And pride cannot drive out pride; only humility can do that.
And thus the Lord defeats Satan; not by the becoming a bigger, fiercer, more vengeful version of Satan, but by canceling Satan’s grievous stance with its opposite. It is the Lord’s refusal to meet Satan’s terms, to become anything like him or in any way enter his world. In this way, the Lord conquers pride with humility and hate with love. I am mindful of some of the words from an old hymn, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”
See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down! Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown?The hymn concludes with these words:Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Cardinal Ratzinger continues his essay as follows:He does not come with military divisions; he comes instead with a wounded heart that apparently has nothing more to say, yet then proves to be the true and wholly other power and might of God.
This paradox should challenge us mightily, because it means that God’s help will often not be on our terms. We would like to have every foe vanquished and every harmful sorrow of our life removed. No cross at all; just stir up your power Lord and take it all away. But that is not usually how God’s power stirs in this “paradise lost,” which we chose by our own ratification of Adam and Eve’s sinful choice. We preferred a tree and its fruit to God and He does not cancel our choice. Instead, He plants the tree of the Cross and saves us by the very suffering and death we chose in the ancient Garden of Eden.
Here is God’s true power at work in this sin-soaked and rebellious world: the power of Cross. And if you didn’t know what you were asking for when praying, “Stir up your power, Lord, and come to save us,” now you do. We might prefer that God save us on our terms, by the mere vanquishing of our foes and the removal of our suffering, but (as St. Paul teaches) power is made perfect in weakness; it is when we are weak that we are strong, for then the power of God rests on us (cf 2 Cor 12:9-10).
Cardinal Ratzinger then sets forth the challenge of this prayer for us:[Hence our true declaration is] “Lord wake us up from our drowsiness in which we are incapable of perceiving you, in which we conceal and impede the coming of your holy power.… Christianity is not a moral system in which we may merely roll up our sleeves and change the world. We see in the movements that have promised us a better world how badly that turns out!… But [on the other hand] Christians are not merely spectators … rather [the Lord] involves us; he desires to be efficacious in and through us … And so the in this cry we pray to him for ourselves and allow our own hearts to be touched: Your power is in us, rouse it and help us not to be an obstacle to it, but, rather, its witnesses [to its] vital strength.
That may well mean suffering, martyrdom, and loss. It may not, and often does not, mean that God will simply vanquish our foes and remove all our suffering. In this world the saving remedy is the Cross; not just for others but for us, too. On Good Friday, Christ looked like a “loser.” Satan and the world danced. But on Sunday, the Lord got up. Friday was first, Saturday lingered, and then came Sunday. As for Christ, so also for us: always carrying in our body the death of Jesus, so that also the life of Jesus may be manifested in us (2 Cor 4:10). The victory will come but it comes through the paradoxical power of the Cross.
Does this Advent reflection sound too much like Lent for you? Why do you think we are wearing purple?Now pray with me (but be sure to understand what you are asking): Stir up your power, Lord, and come to save us!Here is the common Psalm for Advent: Lord make us turn to you, let us see your face and we shall be saved. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

We are upholding those in Paris in prayer. May the hearts of the violent be converted to the peace of Jesus.

We are putting in tilling time in the garden. For us in New Zealand we are coming quickly into spring weather. We are thankful for the opportunity to live free and to practice our faith when so many in the world are fleeing their homes, their countries because of persecution. May God send his angels to protect them.

Matthew 5:16 So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Sign the St. Michael Pledge

Ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus

Ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus