Prayer must include praise, thanks, pope says

VATICAN CITY — Prayer should not center just on asking God to fulfill one’s hopes and desires, but must include praise, thanks and trust in God’s plan which may not match one’s own, Pope Benedict XVI said.

The way Jesus prayed to his Father “teaches us that in our own prayers, we must always trust in the Father’s will and strive to see all things in light of his mysterious plan of love,” he said during his weekly general audience Dec. 14.

Link

Editor’s note: 1-Give God thanks and praise; 2-Tell God you’re sorry for your sins and promise to try to do better, in the future; 3-Ask for what you need, in as much explicit detail as possible; 4-Believe you will indeed receive for what you have prayed … otherwise, what’s the point of faith; 5-Repeat, as necessary.

This process is designed to help us align our fickle, fallible, human will with God’s perfect will and plan. Since God certainly knows his own mind, and he already knows precisely what we need, long before we typically manage to discern it, the results of prayer are invariably positive, even if we might initially fail to recognize how or why that can be.

“Those in danger of death are presumed to be repentant…”

by Doug Lawrence

In order to make a good confession, a person typically needs to confess ALL known mortal (grave) sins to the priest, and to have (at the very least) imperfect contrition for having committed the sins, along with a firm purpose (and at least, a reasonable possibility) of actual repentance, i.e. turning away from committing those sins, in the future.

Absent all of the above, priestly sacramental absolution for sins is typically ineffective, and the person remains in a state of mortal sin.

The only exception to the “repentance rule” is when a person is near death.

From a purely practical standpoint, a person very near death is not likely to commit grave sin. Similarly, should death occur, it will no longer be possible for the person to commit sin, at all. In that case, a profound “change in ways” would be unavoidable! Hence, the church … the Catholic ministerial priesthood … and Jesus Christ … mercifully presumes that, whenever death is very near … a state of authentic repentance already exists. It’s a “gimme”.

Contrition is still required, as is a complete confession of all known, mortal sins.

This is truly great news for hypocrites, fallen away Catholics, adulterers, homosexuals, and all other types of habitual, grave sinners … assuming that they are blessed with the availability of a Catholic priest … and they still have the physical ability to make an otherwise, good confession … when their time comes to shuffle off this mortal coil.

Truth be told, until the moment a person dies and shortly finds himself standing before Jesus Christ … sins … even the gravest kind … are extraordinarily simple to have absolved. But after death … not nearly so much.

Contrary to today’s popular opinion, there is no reliable way … outside the Sacrament of Reconciliation … to obtain forgiveness of mortal sins … sins which can cause a soul to end up in hell.

So, it’s best always to “err” on the side of caution … especially since no one has yet returned to report what happens to those unfortunates who find themselves standing in judgment … sinful, unrepentant, and still “puffed up” with pride … before our loving God … who actually owes us sinners nothing but wrath.

Related article (PDF)

Submitted by Doria2

A last chance for lost souls


*** Click on picture to enlarge ***

The Lord is kind and merciful. Slow to anger.
Always willing to forgive.

Even a life-long, habitual sinner may have a “golden” opportunity, near the end of life, to make a final, good faith effort at repentance, since old age, illness, or infirmity often make it impractical to persist in a sinful lifestyle.

The end of a relationship, or the imminent death of a life partner may provide the necessary “window of opportunity” for repentance and conversion.

And near the end, it really doesn’t matter whether the person who was “living in sin” is gay or straight, since pretty much the same rules apply to all.

Absolution for sin is typically available in these types of cases, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, so long as all known sins are confessed, authentic contrition is present (even if based primarily on the fear of hell) and a firm purpose of amendment exists.

When a person is very near death, the old, thorny and difficult issues of repentance virtually fade into irrelevance, while the process of genuine reconciliation with God, takes on crucial and strategic importance.

In short, when death is very near, the Church makes it as easy as possible for us sinners (and yes, even hypocrites) to be finally and fully reconciled with God.  Any Catholic priest will confirm this.

Virtually every family has someone in it who might “fall” into this category, so don’t pass up a last-minute opportunity to snatch an otherwise lost soul from Satan’s grasp. Make up your mind to become your loved ones best spiritual advocate … in these types of situations … even if it hurts!

God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness …
Don’t let your loved ones depart this existence without it!

A Guide for Confession

Remember

If you need help–especially if you have been away for some time–simply ask the priest and he will help you by “walking” you through the steps to make a good confession.

Before Confession

Be truly sorry for your sins. The essential act of Penance, on the part of the penitent, is contrition, a clear and decisive rejection of the sin committed, together with a resolution not to commit it again, out of the love one has for God and which is reborn with repentance. The resolution to avoid committing these sins in the future (amendment) is a sure sign that your sorrow is genuine and authentic. This does not mean that a promise never to fall again into sin is necessary. A resolution to try to avoid the near occasions of sin suffices for true repentance. God’s grace in cooperation with the intention to rectify your life will give you the strength to resist and overcome temptation in the future.

Read more

Deathbed Conversions

Deathbed conversion, however difficult, is possible. Even when we see no sign of contrition, we can still not affirm that, at the last moment, just before the separation of soul from body, the soul is definitively obstinate. A sinner may be converted at that last minute in such fashion that God alone can know it. The holy Cure of Ars, Divinely enlightened, said to a weeping widow: “Your prayer, Madame, has been heard. Your husband is saved. When he threw himself into the Rhone, the Blessed Virgin obtained for him the grace of conversion just before he died. Recall how, a month before, in your garden, he plucked the most beautiful rose and said to you, ‘Carry this to the altar of the Blessed Virgin.’ She has not forgotten.”

Other souls, too, have been converted in extremis, souls that could barely recall a few religious acts in the course of their life. A sailor, for example, preserved the practice of uncovering his head when he passed before a church. He did not know even the Our Father or the Hail Mary, but the lifting of his hat kept him from departing definitively from God.

In the life of the saintly Bishop Bertau of Tulle, friend of Louis Veuillot, a poor girl in that city, who had once been chanter in the cathedral, fell first into misery, then into misconduct, and finally became a public sinner. She was assassinated at night, in one of the streets of Tulle. Police found her dying and carried her to a hospital. While she was dying, she cried out: “Jesus, Jesus.” Could she be granted Church burial? The Bishop answered: “Yes, because she died pronouncing the name of Jesus. But bury her early in the morning without incense.” In the room of this poor woman was found a portrait of the holy Bishop, on the back of which was written: “The best of Fathers.” Fallen though she was, she still recognized the holiness of her bishop and preserved in her heart the memory of the goodness of Our Lord.

Read more at CatholicTradition.Org

Why do we need the Sacrament of Penance if Christ has died for our forgiveness?

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Q: Why do we need the Sacrament of Penance if Christ has died for our forgiveness?

A: St. Paul clearly explains that Jesus’ death on the cross provided forgiveness for PAST sins.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned and do need the glory of God.
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

 

Rom 3:25 Whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to the showing of his justice, for the remission of FORMER sins …

He’s right, because God would never forgive sins that had not yet been committed. That would be patently unjust and not in keeping with God’s system of things. God does not license anyone to freely commit sin.

At the same time, Jesus’ one time, once for all sacrifice on the cross provides an infinite reservoir of grace, that when properly dispensed (through the sacraments) and applied by the duly ordained ministers of his authentic (Catholic) church … is sufficient to absolve the faithful of their sins … subject to the usual conditions of genuine contrition and a firm purpose of amendment (repentance).

Only in this way can one be absolutely sure of God’s certain and immediate forgiveness, thereby escaping divine judgment, as well as replenishing all the grace that might have been lost due to sin.

Those who do not have access to the sacrament of reconciliation, or who reject it, will have to wait until Judgment Day to see if God has truly forgiven their sins, and by then it may be too late.

Jesus gave the apostles the power to forgive sins, as his very first post-resurrection act. The Church continues that work to this day, and it’s remains the most provocative, in your face assault against the forces of Satan, sin and death, that the world has ever known.

More on this here:

https://douglawrence.wordpress.com/2008/1…

Tiller’s church served as “enabler” of his ghastly work

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Isaiah 3:11 Woe to the wicked unto evil: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.

Probably the most deliberately misused, misunderstood, and misapplied passage in scripture is “Judge not, lest ye  be judged.”

While much of modern society self-servingly presumes that Jesus was telling us NOT to JUDGE at all … what Jesus was actually saying is that every believer is obligated to make prudential judgments about a whole array of choices … 24/7 and 365 … but ONLY after having properly formed their consciences in the light of Christ, and with the help of the authentic teachings of his Church.

After spending a lifetime attempting to live up to that awesome responsibility we will one day, be ultimately and finally judged (to Heaven or to Hell) by Jesus Christ alone. It is ONLY in THIS judgment that we are to have no part, at all.

Except for the most radical and liberal sects of Christianity … which might falsely attempt to teach almost anything in Jesus’ name … authentic Christianity has always maintained that the killing of innocents (in this case, by abortion) is intrinsically evil, and something that God would NEVER sanction, under ANY circumstances.

Tiller’s congregation might have saved his life … and the lives of countless innocents … if someone in charge had decided to have a “face to face” with Tiller, explained the absolute need for his authentic contrition and genuine repentance … and after a reasonable trial period … if Tiller remained unable or unwilling to stop the killing … shown him the door.

Some might say that since abortion is legal, that it cannot be sinful … but they would be wrong … since NO government (or ANYONE, for that matter) has the legal right to take an innocent life. 

The scripture verse that all of us should actually keep in mind at all times is, “Go, and sin no more.” since absent authentic contrition (sorrow for sin) and genuine repentance (turning away from sin) God is (typically) not willing to forgive.

Tiller’s ministers should have explained this to him … over and over again, if necessary … in order to help save both his life and his soul.

The fact that Tiller was a long time member of that church, and was an usher there … tells us that Tiller and his entire congregation had instead made a deal with the devil … becoming complicit in the ongoing deaths of thousands of innocent babies, the abuse of as many women, and eventually in Tiller’s own death, as well.

The “judgment” that took place in that church on Pentecost Sunday may not have been of God, but there’s no doubt that God permitted it … just as he had earlier (on Pentecost, 586 B.C.) permitted the Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem and the first Temple … and as he also permitted the Romans to encircle, invade, and shortly, destroy apostate Israel, along with the second Temple, on Pentecost, 70 A.D. 

The congregation that silently condoned and empowered Tiller’s bloody, scandalous, and murderous work has now also been stained with Tiller’s blood. It will always be so.

In the interest of justice, it’s now time for Tiller’s congregation to take a long look at what they stand for, what they’ve done (and failed to do) and what they now ought to do now, to help make things right with God. There’s also plenty of innocent blood that still needs to be mopped up.     

The real question we need to ask is:  “How does ANY Christian group manage to tolerate within their congregation, the constant presence of a totally unrepentant, long-time, notorious slayer of innocent babies? Why didn’t anyone in authority take the necessary steps that might have put an end to the scandal, or (at least) act to somehow mitigate the killing?

The following statement is signed by The Rev. Lowell Michelson and The Rev. Kristin Neitzel of Wichita’s Reformation Lutheran Church — the church to which abortion provider George Tiller belonged, and where he was killed, last Sunday:

The Reformation Lutheran Church family is shocked and deeply saddened by the violent murder of Dr. George Tiller, a longtime member of our congregation, that occurred in our church home May 31.

Editor’s note: (You ought to be sad. Shame on the lot of you!)

Our congregation strives to be a safe place for all people. We deplore the violence that took place within the walls of our church. Further, we reject any notion that violence against another human being is an acceptable way to resolve differences over any issue. We must always strive to engage in peaceful discussion. Our faith calls us to this. Our humanity demands it.

Editor’s note:(It would have been much nicer if your congregation had helped to make Wichita safe for the infants and women upon whose misery Tiller profited so handsomely. When were you planning to tell Tiller that what he was doing was wrong, and that his actions constituted a grievous sin against God and man? What kind of faith do you call that? Blind faith?)

In the wake of this tragic event, our deepest concern is for the family of George Tiller. We ask the community to join us in prayer for them as they face the difficult days ahead. Our hearts ache with them. We also ask that the family’s privacy be respected.

Editor’s note: (Tiller’s family certainly knew what he did for a living. They all profited handsomely from it, and enjoyed a nice standard of living, as a result. They deserve their privacy … and also a big share of the guilt.) 

Members of Reformation Lutheran Church have been deeply affected by this tragedy. To address their needs, we are assembling a team of crisis intervention specialists.

Editor’s note: (You guys are obviously going to need a lot more help than that. Why not try crying out to God for forgiveness, with prayer and fasting, combined with new leadership, all around?)

In this time of uncertainty, we stand firm in the promises of Jesus Christ: forgiveness, hope, love, and new life, even from death. We pray for healing and peace to be restored. We offer our thanks for the many prayers of support from across the country. Your words of encouragement are a blessing to the people of Reformation Lutheran Church and Wichita.

Editor’s note: (Not uncertainty … apostasy! Jesus promised to separate the sheep from the goats, and to send divine judgment and wrath on the fakes and the evil doers. Quit kidding yourselves, before it’s too late. Tiller the Killer is already dead. No telling who might be next. The time for repentance is NOW!)

Psalm 50:16-22 But to the sinner God hath said: Why dost thou declare my justices, and take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hast hated discipline: and hast cast my words behind thee. If thou didst see a thief thou didst run with him: and with adulterers thou hast been a partaker. Thy mouth hath abounded with evil, and thy tongue framed deceits. Sitting thou didst speak against thy brother, and didst lay a scandal against thy mother’s son: These things hast thou done, and I was silent. Thou thoughtest unjustly that I should be like to thee: but I will reprove thee, and set before thy face. Understand these things, you that forget God; lest he snatch you away, and there be none to deliver you.

Here’s the Official Lutheran ELCA “Position” on Abortion (from their website):

Abortion (Lutheran view)

 The ELCA Social Statement on Abortion , adopted by the 1991 Churchwide Assembly, acknowledges the issue’s complexity, noting that it “evokes strong and varied convictions about … human life and responsibility, freedom and limits.” The statement also offers useful guidance: “A developing life in the womb does not have an absolute right to be born, nor does a pregnant woman have an absolute right to terminate a pregnancy. The concern for both the life of the woman and the developing life in her womb expresses a common commitment to life.”

A last resort

“The strong Christian presumption is to preserve and protect life,” the statement says. “Abortion ought to be an option only of last resort. Therefore, as a church we seek to reduce the need to turn to abortion. …We also deplore the circumstances that lead a woman to consider abortion as the best option available to her.”

The statement adds: “The church recognizes that there can be sound reasons for ending a pregnancy through induced abortion.” These are the threat to a woman’s physical life; when pregnancy has resulted from rape, incest or sexual violence; and fetal abnormalities incompatible with life.

Basic faith convictions undergird the ELCA statement. Created in God’s image, we see all of life as a mysterious, awesome gift. As a community of forgiven sinners, Christians are free to make just and caring choices. In fact, the statement says, “we have both the freedom and the obligation to engage in serious deliberation on moral matters.” A compassionate community, praying and standing with those in struggle, is called neither to judge nor justify but to support people making difficult moral decisions.

Editors note: (With the “wishy-washy” and “luke-warm” spiritual guidance illustrated here, one can understand how these folks could easily tolerate and quickly rationalize even rampant and notorious evil in their congregation, in their community, in their government, and just about anywhere else. Barack Obama, the ABORTION President, must love these guys! I wonder how long they “deliberated” with Tiller the Killer, before just “giving in”? This is the height of moral apostasy!

The spiritual works of mercy are:

To instruct the ignorant;

To counsel the doubtful;

To admonish sinners;

To bear wrongs patiently;

To forgive offences willingly;

To comfort the afflicted;

To pray for the living and the dead.

So be it. May God have mercy on us all.)