After 52 weekly columns we bid farewell to “Ask Alice” and say hello to “Religious Ed”


Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

After one full year/52 weekly columns, we bid farewell to Alice and thank her for her faith, her wit, her knowledge, her love, as well as her tireless service to all our readers … and the whole Church.

Alice plans to keep up with her other ministries and church work, something that will hopefully be much easier now, without a looming, 5 AM, Thursday morning deadline.

We plan to keep all of Alice’s previous columns available for reference, on-site. See the “CATEGORY” drop down menu, on the right side of the main viewing window, or simply use the search box.

We wish Alice and her family the very best of all God’s blessings, supernatural abundance and peace, along with a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Our new weekly Q&A columnist,
“Religious Ed”®
will begin his column
on Thursday, January 12, 2012.

“Ed” is a staunchly conservative Catholic, with many years of experience in both the “pre” and “post” Vatican II Church. Ed likes to remind people that, while God IS love, his wrath is also genuine, awesomely formidable and nothing to be marginalized or ignored!

Ed theorizes that many of the evils that God allows to exist in the world are actually divine chastisements, stemming from corruption in the Church and in the world, at large. 

One example: The rise of Islamic terrorism in the West closely coincided with the wide-spread, legalization/government promotion of abortion. If infants can’t be safe and secure inside their mother’s womb, why should anyone expect to experience security in their land?

Similarly, the rise of militant homosexuality closely coincided with the illicit establishment of the “Lavender Mafia” inside the Catholic Church, presently thought to encompass one-third to one-half of the hierarchy and priesthood, and wielding a particularly deviant homosexual influence over the bulk of Catholic seminaries.

In light of all this, the clerical sex abuse scandals were not only likely, but virtually guaranteed. Yet the church still refuses to enforce the established rules preventing homosexuals from applying to the priesthood, and the bishops generally do very little to reign in militantly homosexual priests and their parishes.

Maybe after another $2.6 billion in payouts, they’ll finally get the message. Not likely though, since it’s not their money!

Send Your Questions or Comments to Ed

This Week’s Ask Alice: Free Electronic Catholic Bible Study Resources



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer your Catholic questions
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

*** Alice is out this week. Doug Lawrence is sitting in. ***

Bill Asks: Where can I get free or cheap Bible study resources that are both easy to use and thoroughly Catholic?

Doug Lawrence Answers: Two of my favorites are E-Sword and the Holy See’s own BIBLIA CLERUS site.

E-Sword offers a large number of various Protestant Bible translations, but it also offers the renowned, Catholic, Douay-Rheims Bible, along with various commentaries and other appropriate aids.

Simply go to the E-Sword site, 1) Download the E-Sword software engine; 2) Download the desired modules; 3) Install them on your local computer; 4) Run them.

The software is easy to use and excellent for both reading and searching, by key word, or phrase.

E-Sword accepts donations, but otherwise, it’s FREE.

Click here to visit the E-Sword site

The Holy See’s Biblia Clerus site is an on-line resource, with nothing required to download … but you may download the whole thing for free, if you like.

There, you will find the Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition, along with many types of commentaries and study tools.

This is a very “heavy-duty” software resource that will allow you to do many, many things … including studies of various church documents and related commentaries.

Click here to visit the Holy See’s Biblia Clerus Site

Some other useful Bible Study Links:

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

This Week’s Ask Alice: Prayer for Blessed John Paul II’s Intercession



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Anonymous asks: Are there any existing, church-authorized prayers to newly beatified John Paul II … especially for healing?

Alice answers: I’m glad you asked this question! A few weeks ago, my friend, Fr. John Zemelko, Pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows in Valparaiso, Indiana, shared this prayer with me. It’s a joy to share it with you.

PRAYER FOR BLESSED JOHN PAUL II’s INTERCESSION

O Blessed Trinity,

we thank you for having graced

the Church with Blessed John Paul

and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care,

the glory of the cross of Christ,

and the splendor of the Holy Spirit,

to shine through him.

Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy

and in the maternal intercession of Mary,

he has given us a living image of

Jesus the Good Shepherd,

and has shown us that holiness

is the necessary measure of

ordinary Christian life and is

the way of achieving eternal

communion with you.

Grant us, by his intercession,

and according to Your will,

the graces we implore, hoping

that he will soon be numbered among your saints.

Amen.

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

This Week’s Ask Alice: On-line prayer services



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Brian asks: Is there a list of prayer services on-line, that will accept prayer requests and actually conduct the praying requested. (There must be an element of trust here.) Kind of like lighting the candles in church with a prayer request, but on-line. Do you think this works, that the service actually prays the individual request, or is it lumped together and “here are the prayer requests for today”. What are the top sites that will take your prayer requests?

Alice answers: Two online prayer services, which are both prayerful and personal, are International Compassion Ministry (prayers@frrookeyicm.org) and OurPrayer (ourprayer@email.ourprayer.org.) At various times, I have contacted each of these groups and was moved by the healing touch of each ministry.

International Compassion Ministry was founded in 1987 by Fr. Peter Mary Rookey, a Servite priest who has the gift of healing. Scores of miracles around the globe have been attained through his prayerful intercession. Prayer requests are presented both online and by phone. From 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, Fr. Rookey is in his office and prays with callers by phone at (708) 748-MARY. A family member and two friends were healed through Fr. Rookey’s intercessory prayers.

OurPrayer is a faith community, which offers online prayerful support 24 hours a day. This prayer group, founded 50 years ago, is part of the Ruth Stafford Peale Prayer Power Network. Its motto is “over 50 years of praying for others by name and need.” Volunteers from OurPrayer will send a personal email response if you request one.

Personally, I’m not much of an online prayer service devotee. When desperate for the aid of prayer warriors, I contact several of my praying friends, who contact their praying friends, who contact their friends, then together, we storm Heaven.

My favorite method for seeking special help from God, is to call collect His Heavenly Hotline. Why dial directory assistance ( a prayer service) when you can speak directly to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament? It’s not the number of people praying that determines the outcome of our pleas. God hears even the shortest prayer and commits each petition to His Sacred Heart. Remember, also, that Jesus, Mary, our guardian angels, and all the saints are available to hear our pleas and intercede for us with our Heavenly Father.

“He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him.
I will be with him in trouble.
I will deliver him and honor him.”
(Psalm 91:15)

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Doug Lawrence adds: The Archdiocese of St. Louis maintains a very good, easy to use prayer request site. Another great site offers perpetual Masses, for an optional, voluntary donation of one Hail Mary (a super deal!) We at Ask Me About God Catholic Ministries also maintain a comprehensive prayer list, currently including daily intentions for some 1188 souls.

Please remember us in your prayers, too. Thank you!

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

This Week’s Ask Alice: “Eternal Damnation for Temporary Sins” and “If Jesus Is God, Why Did He Need To Pray?”



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Anonymous writes: If Jesus is God then why did he pray for his “daily bread” and to be “forgiven of our debts”?

Alice responds: Jesus taught his apostles how to pray by saying the, “Our Father.” (Matthew 6: 9-13) Jesus, the Son of God, lived His entire earthly life in obedience to His Heavenly Father. Jesus behaved as the perfect Son to be an example for his apostles, and all of us. How we should think, speak, pray and act as children of God.

While on earth, Jesus continually prayed to His Father for his daily bread, i.e., sustenance and strength. When Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fishes, he prayed for our daily bread. “He took the five loaves and two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed and broke them and gave the loaves to his disciples, who in turn gave them to the people.” (Matthew 14:19)

Jesus’ prayer, “forgive us our debts” must be taken in context. “Forgive us the wrong we have done as we forgive those who wrong us.” Although Jesus never sinned, he set a prayerful example of forgiving those who wrong us when he forgave the soldiers who nailed him to the cross.

“Father, forgive them: they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

****

Defiant writes: What is so loving about eternal damnation for temporary sins?

Alice answers: God does not cast anyone into hell for the commission of any sins, venial or mortal. God, who is love, desires every person to spend eternity with him in Heaven. Since we have free will, we choose where we will spend eternity. The only people who experience eternal damnation are those refuse to repent and receive God’s mercy.

God gives us an infinite number of chances to repent of our sins. God grants us pardon and forgiveness for all of our temporary sins each time we receive absolution in the sacrament of Penance. The punishment for our sins, hell, is washed away in the Confessional. Those who die in the state of serious sin, without receiving the Sacrament of Penance, are given one last chance to repent when we stand before the Judgment Seat of God. Every sinner who expresses contrition and begs for forgiveness will be saved from eternal damnation through God’s Divine Mercy. God’s love for each one of us is incomprehensible!

“I tell you, there will likewise be more joy in Heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent.” (Luke 15:7)

In Christ’s love,

Alice

This Week’s Ask Alice: History’s Biggest, Catholic Church Scandals.



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Brian Asks: With the recent Philadelphia sex scandal surfacing, i was trying to rationalize the severity of this scandal in the history of the church. Naturally its an ugly situation here and in other parts of the world. What are the top 5 biggest scandals in the history of the Catholic Church?

Alice Answers: Living in an era when scandals rock our Church is no concert for faithful Catholics. To put the current scandal in perspective, I spoke with two priests.

My beloved uncle, Fr. Sergius Wroblewski, O.F.M., is an author, and he also teaches Scripture classes at Lourdes Friary, in Cedar Lake, Indiana. Here is his answer:

“That is a tough question, because it calls for scouring history for scandals. I came up with two cases and both have to do with the Reformation. One is about the Capuchin, Bernardine Ochino who became a Lutheran and caused a great scandal that almost brought down the whole Capuchin Order. The other one is about Pope Leo X who was Pope from 1513 to 1521 and whose scandalous life was a factor in moving Luther to break with the Church. He was a de Medici pope. Cardinal Petrucci wanted to kill him. Four cardinals were involved. They did not succeed because a letter describing the plot was intercepted. So Petrucci was strangled at the Castel Gandolfo.

Leo was the Pope who initiated the construction of the great Vatican Basilica. He needed lots of money so he issued indulgences: the greatness of the indulgence was in proportion to the amount of money given. This speculation in indulgences involved Bankers. But let me give you a description of what was going on in the Vatican gardens.

There was a continual celebration that was a mixture of paganism and Christianity with masked balls, performances of ancient mythology, Roman tales acted against magnificent scenery and, on the other hand, processions and splendid church feasts with performances in the Colosseum, classic orations in the Capitol, and more feasts and speeches on the anniversary of the founding of Rome. There were daily parades of cardinals, ceremonies for the arrival of ambassadors and princes with groups so large they looked like armies. Retinues, too, of the pope where he went off to hunt at Magliana, at Palo, at Viterbo, with the falcons at his wrist, with packs of dogs, heavy baggage, flocks of servants, the suites of the cardinals and of foreign preachers, the happy crowd of the poets of Rome and a mob of barons and princes, all in such a clamor as to seem a company of Bacchantes.

The vicar of Christ took part in the shows and appeared to enjoy the stupidities of the court buffoons that his valet Serrafica, had the job of bringing to Court. Among these was a certain Querno who dressed like Venus sang poems and drank a lot. There was also Mariano Fetti, Apostolic Sealer in the Chancery, better known as the court clown. A formidable glutton and drinker, he amused the pope with his buffoonery inviting him to enjoy life, saying, ‘Let’s live it up, Holy Father, for everything is a joke.’

There is no doubt that lasciviousness and moral corruption reached the highest levels with Leo X. That was a scandal that invited a (very) strong reaction, The Protestant Reformation.”

Fr. John Zemelko, pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Valparaiso, Indiana compiled his list of the top five scandals of the Catholic Church:

1) Schisms: East and West (the Reformation)

2) Lapsi Crisis. This schism occurred when an African deacon, Felicissimus, opposed St. Cyprian, who enforced an extremely rigorous policy for Christians who apostatized (lapsi) during the Decian persecution in 250 A.D.

3) The Inquisition

4) The Crusades

5) Current clergy sex scandal

Although we live in troubled times, it is reassuring to remember Jesus’ promise to all faithful Catholics when appointing Peter as His earthly successor.

“(Peter) you are ‘Rock,’ and on this rock I will build my church, and the jaws of death shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)

No priest, bishop, heretic, dictator, or army can destroy the Catholic Church, which was founded in 33 A.D. by Jesus Christ.

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Doug Lawrence adds: I often say that if the Catholic Church was a publicly traded company, I would have sold all my stock in it, many, many years ago. Instead, I continue to “hold” … based solely on the “rock solid” security that God alone is able to provide.

The fact that the Catholic Church has always been able to “take a punch” … ever since Jesus Christ walked the earth … despite whatever novel corruptions and persecutions those outside … or inside … of the Church … might choose to unleash against it … is just more proof of its divine origin … and of God’s loving and continuing providence.

But … what else would a person expect of the only Church that Jesus Christ ever founded, authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed … for the purpose of our salvation?

Praise God!

This Week’s Ask Alice: Does a person need to be ordained in order to access the tabernacle?

Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Nancy writes: Our priest recently told us that only ordained hands were allowed in the tabernacle. The person must be an acolyte, deacon, or priest. No extraordinary ministers allowed. Is this true? Thank you.

Alice Answers: The tabernacle is a secure reservoir for the Blessed Sacrament. It is not used as a part of the Mass. There are no iron clad rules regarding whose hands are allowed inside the tabernacle.

Touching the interior of the tabernacle is a matter based on protocol and common sense. During Mass, the celebrant, con-celebrating priest and deacon (ordained men) are at the altar, so protocol and logistics suggest that ordained hands would open and close the tabernacle during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. However, extenuating circumstances, such as a disabled celebrant without a deacon assistant, might necessitate (with the priest’s approval) the use of the hands of an extraordinary minister or layperson.

Properly authorized extraordinary ministers often remove the Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle during Eucharistic Adoration or when preparing to bring the Holy Eucharist to hospitalized or home-bound persons.

Directives regarding access to the tabernacle may vary from one diocese to another, according to the jurisdiction of the local ordinary (bishop). For example: A bishop or priest might prudently decide to restrict the laity from access to the tabernacle in a church that’s located in a high crime area, or in a community with a large population of non-Christians.

In Christ’s Love,

Alice