Sunday, June 30, 2013

"The Son of Man has nowhere on earth to lay His head": Buona Domenica from Alaska

Sunday blessings to you from an island along the Bering Sea coast in the new town of Mertarvik.

There are a few new buildings here occupied by an Alaskan family and additional construction underway such as stone and steel supports for an evacuation shelter and for additional homes latuer. Military personnel occupy a base camp along the descent to the river coast only a short distance away. The villagers of Newtok, on the mainland and distant about eight miles by water, are under threat from flooding especially at this time of the year, and would be moved to this location if their homes are threatened by rising waters. 

Army National Guard pilots flew five of us out here Friday in a Blackhawk, approximately 100 miles inland from Bethel. Friday was mild and mostly sunny with temperatures in the 50's or 60's. On Friday evening or Saturday winds, at times topping 50 or 60 mph, picked up bringing rain and colder temps which have held for two days now. We are about 80 personnel, Marines and Sailors. I celebrated the extraordinary form for the vigil of Saints Peter and Paul on Friday, for the Solemnity on Saturday and this morning the ordinary form for our little group at 7 am when we used a new altar constructed by the Seabee's with Latin crosses adorning the front and sides. I am working on getting the means to post pics so please stand by.

The Lord speaks of his poverty and meagre worldly means in the Gospel today. We share a particular solidarity with him here as we are often cold or wet and adjusting often to changing conditions and circumstances. But the sacredness of His holy Person remained nevertheless present to those faithful who shared in the Lord's poverty and self-denial. We live His sacredness by Faith and baptism which open for us the sharing in His holiness through prayer and the sacramental life. Be faithful to the sacredness He offers us always, the grace and sanctification of His Body and Blood. He is faithful and comes to us through our priests whenever we welcome them into the circumstances of our lives whatever they may be . Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!

I am hoping the weather breaks so that I can get transportation to the town of Newtok and celebrate the Lord's Holy Sacrifice with them. Please join me in praying for this grace. Thank you for reading my post here.

Best wishes and prayers for abundant blessings upon you and your families,

Un povero servo di Dio,

Friday, June 28, 2013

Archbishop Broglio: "no Catholic priest will ever be compelled to condone- even silently – same-sex 'marriages' ”

Archbishop Broglio Issues Op-Ed on U.S. Supreme Court Rulings on DOMA and Proposition 8

Archbishop Broglio has issued the following op-ed piece on the United States Supreme Court decisions regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8.

Op-Ed by the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D.

In two decisions today the US Supreme Court avoided a firm declaration about same sex-marriage but signaled that attempts by the federal government to limit rights available under state law could be unconstitutional. By sidestepping the issue of marriage per se, the Court shifts the debate to the states where it is now but raises questions about the scope of the federal government’s authority to administer its own programs.

In ruling DOMA out of bounds, the Court confirmed Congress’ basic authority to establish rules for federal programs including rules about marriage but has called into question the reach of that authority. While marriage traditionally has been defined by the states, the states have no basis to press the variety of those views on the federal government.

Until today. It is unseemly that the uniformity of the federal system can now be upset by state policies in this area of life and law.

In light of today’s Supreme Court opinion, it seems imperative to remind the faithful of the Archdiocese for the Military Services that they must never forget that all, regardless of their sexual inclination, must be treated with the respect worthy of their human dignity. As you know well, the Catholic Faith teaches clearly the biblical principle thatall persons, regardless of their sexual inclination, are called to chastity regardless of their state of life. While today’s decision voids federal law it opens the doors to others: it allows the citizens of each state the opportunity to uphold the true definition of marriage by voting for representatives and legislation that defend the true definition of marriage. I call on all Catholics and men and women of good will to make their voices heard through the democratic process by upholding marriage in their home states.

I remain confident that people of this great country, no matter the consequences, will continue to promote and defend the good and the truth of marriage as the union of one man and one woman as husband and wife for life. Marriage remains what it has always been, regardless of what any government might say.

I likewise remain confident that the First Amendment Constitutional guarantee of the “Free Exercise of Religion” will forever ensure that no restrictions or limitations on the teaching of the Catholic Faith will be placed on any Catholic priest or deacon serving in the Armed Forces. Furthermore, the Constitution guarantees that no endorsed minister will ever be compelled to perform a religious ceremony contrary to the dictates of his/her faith nor will today’s decision have any effect on the role and teaching ability of a priest or deacon in the pulpit, the classroom, the barracks or in the office.

This Archdiocese remains resolved in the belief that no Catholic priest will ever be compelled to condone- even silently – same-sex “marriages”.

Date: 6/26/2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"When you pray do not babble like the pagans do"


Recently Pope Francis spoke in unscripted remarks to a small group of representatives of religious life from South America. His private words made their way into the press and caused some consternation because they took the form of a critique which seemed to take in just about everyone in the Church, including traditional Catholics for what he called a kind of “Pela­gianism” involved in the counting of rosary prayers.

Some reacted with hurt or incomprehension upon hearing of his cri­tique, but I suggest his remarks should be taken to heart. No one in the Church is above criticism. “ All have sinned” and in our weakness we do not always pray as we ought. We should always give reign in our hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit who “ groans” in our beings togeth­er with all creation in longing for the fulfillment of the Kingdom.

The truth which the Holy Father sought to teach is a warning against piling up prayers by emphasizing the counting of them as of greater priority than the prayers themselves. Spiritual bouquets are a venera­ble tradition in the Church, and no doubt that is what the Holy Father was referring to when he mentioned that he had received news of many rosaries prayed for him and for his intentions.

The giving of such a spiritual gift as a bouquet of prayers falls in perfectly with the Holy Father’s renewed emphasis on rejecting materi­alism. Too often special events in our lives center on the giving of ma­terial things. The gift of prayer is to be lauded and no doubt Pope Fran­cis certainly appreciates such a gift.

As our spiritual father it is equally certain, that the Pope has a con­cern that in our life of prayer we avoid the danger warned of by the Lord Himself. He cautioned: “ When you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans for they think they will be heard because of their many words,” with an emphasis on the number of words of prayer or the length of prayers taking on greater importance than the act of pray­ing itself as an engagement of our personhood with intellect and will.

It should not go unremarked that a person can fall into the habit of piling up words in any language, including English.

Many are studying and learning Latin within a wide movement in the Church to support the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, traditional devotions and music. Because Latin was neglected for many years this interest opens for many Catholics what is a foreign spiritual country necessitating assiduous study for learning how to pray in Latin. Love for tradition must be balanced with the human need to engage the mind and heart in love for God.

With the beauty of tradition comes the responsibility to make the effort to understand what we do so that our humanity and our freedom are engaged, for without these there is no love for faith to touch the Lord and receive His joy.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, in nn. 2740- 2741, tells us how Jesus is our model in prayer: “ The prayer of Jesus makes Christian prayer an efficacious petition. He is its model, he prays in us and with us. Since the heart of the Son seeks only what pleases the Father, how could the prayer of the chil­dren of adoption be centered on the gifts rather than the Giver?

“Jesus also prays for us — in our place and on our behalf. All our petitions were gathered up, once for all, in his cry on the Cross and, in his Resurrection, heard by the Father. This is why he never ceases to intercede for us with the Father. If our prayer is resolutely united with that of Jesus, in trust and boldness as children, we obtain all that we ask in his name, even more than any particu­lar thing: the Holy Spirit himself, who contains all gifts."

(“ Like” Father’s Cusick’s public Facebook page “ Reverendo Padre-Kevin Michael Cusick” to subscribe and follow him on Twitter at MCITL. Fr. Cusick blogs at APriestLife. blogspot. com. Meeting Christ in the Liturgy at mcitl. blogspot. com offers teachings from the Cate­chism of the Catholic Church paired with the Scriptures of the Sacred Liturgy for Sundays and weekdays.)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Say Only the Good Things Men Need to Hear

By Father Kevin M. Cusick

The homosexual lobby has certainly won a victory in at least one sense: everybody in America is now openly discussing sodomy, to include the Boy Scouts.

The so-called "gay" lobby has claimed all along that they are only asking to be treated equally but, as one husband and father recently stated, they began by asking for tolerance and ended by demanding tribute. The absurdity of the recent decision to admit “openly gay” boys into the venerable institution of Scouting can easily be demonstrated by asking, has anyone ever needed to describe themselves as “openly heterosexual”? The answer to that question is “no” and thus is revealed the truth that the enshrinement of sodomy is not about equality.

Any attempt to misrepresent Catholic teaching on same sex activity must be steadfastly resisted with the truth.  Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” (CCC 57)

Chastity is not optional for salvation and Scripture and tradition make clear that chaste thought and speech are not optional for chastity.  For the sake of salvation we urged to “say only the good things men need to hear” which precludes impure speech.  The senses are now assaulted in unprecedented ways through ubiquitous pornography on the internet to which we now add the societal slide into impure and suggestive speech which approves immorality.

Parents have customarily been the ones to discuss matters of marital intimacy with their own children.  Physiological sex education is not best handled in a group or classroom environment as children each differ in their development.  The social context has disrupted this process which balances the need for information with respect for chastity.

It is good to repeat the Church’s teaching on those who experience same sex attraction. The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”
(CCC 2358)

 Young people now exposed in increasing numbers to the agenda of the homosexual lobby will be left with questions and their parents will need to be equipped with answers.  A distinction must always be offered that loving and respecting others does not mean acceptance of their ideas or agendas when such are opposed to the law of God.

It will be left to others to figure out what “openly gay” means and who decides how much of such disruptive behavior is tolerable for the common good. The pastors and bishops who just want to get along and who are currently bending over backwards to accommodate the policy are certainly attempting to err on the side of charity.  Our Catholic teaching on social justice, however, demands that charity always include a concern for the common good.  Those who now openly suggest that the new so-called “compromise” cobbled between Scouting and the same-sex lobby is tolerable may change their tune when the financial well-being of a parish community or diocese is brought into jeopardy by the phone call of a lawyer who announces that a claim has been filed by a Scout or family who claims that an “openly gay” individual feels that their chosen behavior has resulted in discrimination.

Those who like this writer were Scouts for many years know that the programs were always “policed” by the parents who cared to participate enough so that they could calibrate the well-being of the youths participating.  Elimination of cruelty and injustice and the righting of wrongs between individuals are always best handled by parents in the Scouts as in every other organization.  Now it appears they will be trumped by the lawyers and I don’t expect them to hang around long enough to suffer the consequences.

A version of this column appeared in a recent issue of The Wanderer Catholic Newspaper.

(“Like” Father’s Cusick’s public Facebook page “Reverendo Padre-Kevin Michael Cusick” to subscribe and follow him on Twitter at MCITL.  Visit Meeting Christ in the Liturgy at for teachings from the Catechism of the Catholic Church paired with the Scriptures of the sacred Liturgy for Sundays and weekdays.)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Defending The Faith In The Year Of Faith


Our Holy Father Pope Francis recently wrote to a friend in Argentina explaining the reason for his reluctance thus far to move into the apos­tolic palace. It would look ridiculous, he elaborated, for one to change at his age. I would demur, however, crediting the Holy Father with the capacity to make one of the most dramatic and demanding changes pos­sible in this world, having been vaulted himself from his role as cardi­nal archbishop of Buenos Aires to that of Pope and universal Pastor.

As well, he has demanded changes of the oldest institution in the world’s history through his innovative pastoral approaches and the Bride of Christ appears to be coming through the transformation just fine. Change at any age for the sake of Christ and His people is laud­able and sometimes necessary for all of us.

While speaking of change — which is necessary in the life of all for the sake of flourishing spiritually as grace builds upon nature for the sake of salvation — we find ourselves celebrating the Year of Faith in the midst of a rapidly changing world.

In March, during his address to religious leaders who attended his inauguration Mass, Pope Francis spoke about his hopes for the Year of Faith: “ I begin my apostolic ministry in this year during which my venera­ble Predecessor, Benedict XVI, with true inspiration, proclaimed the Year of Faith for the Catholic Church. With this initiative, that I wish to con­tinue and which I hope will be an inspiration for every one’s journey of faith, he wished to mark the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, thus proposing a sort of pilgrimage toward what for every Christian represents the essential: the personal and transforming rela­tionship with Jesus Christ, Son of God, who died and rose for our sal­vation. This effort to proclaim this eternal treasure of faith, to the peo­ple of our time, lies at the heart of the council’s message.”

We are now in great need of this “ eternal treasure of faith.”

One pastor recently commented that many of us would rather find ourselves before a persecuting tribunal for the sake of defending the supernatural truths of Revelation such as the divinity of Christ, His Real Presence in the Eucharist, the divine foundation of the Church or the Holy Trinity. Instead we find ourselves all before the tribunal of the world called to defend the truths of nature instead. Denial of sexual complement­arity between man and woman, the right of children to be brought into the world by one man and one woman, and the natural institution of marriage between one man and one woman are instead the new “ heresies” against which we struggle.

The instruments of persecution which Christians face today in West­ern societies are the power of the media in which the change agents cloak themselves, and the force of tyranny of lawmakers who claim com­passion and equality as their mantra of caprice. Raw power bullies those who are weak in faith and poor in philosophical formation and many fall through lack of the means to defend themselves. These crises which have befallen us partly as a result of the catechetical emergency in­form us about the necessary focus for this Year of Faith.

Demonstrating that grace builds on nature and that our flourishing in the spirit depends upon our respect for the body as the gift of a be­nevolent Creator is a necessary first step for all. Though the matter of supernatural Revelation covered well by the
Catechism of the Catho­lic Church is certainly necessary for our salvation, being itself the de­posit of the matter of the faith by which we are saved, the base of na­ture upon which it is built is no less necessary.

Offering the faithful the building blocks for faith is a necessary first step.

Our celebration of this Year of Faith will bear fruit if we look to the challenges our people face in the daily living of the faith and if priests take account of them in our weekly preaching on the Lord’s Day. + + + (“ Like” Fr. Cusick’s public Facebook page “ Reverendo Padre- Kevin Michael Cusick” to subscribe and follow him on Twitter at MCITL. Fr. Cusick blogs at APriestLife. blogspot. com.
Meeting Christ in the Litur­gy at mcitl. blogspot. com offers teachings from the Catechism of the Catholic Church paired with the Scriptures of the Sacred Liturgy for Sundays and weekdays.)

Thank you for visiting.


Kamsahamnida, Dziekuje, Terima kasih, Doh je, Grazie, Tesekur, Gracias, Dank u, Shukran

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